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Re: [biblicalapologetics] Response to Heinz

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  • Patrick Navas
    Heinz,   Thank you for responding to my query. You wrote:    I decided I would actually go to the experts for the answers. If I really wanted to know about
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 14, 2009
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      Heinz,

       

      Thank you for responding to my query. You wrote:

       

       I decided I would actually go to the experts for the answers. If I really wanted to know about earthquake frequency, biology, crime and a host of
      other things that religion frequently makes claims on, then why not
      ask a seismologist, a biologist, a criminologist etc.

       

      It sounds to me like you were testing one of the Watchtower’s most distinctive claims, namely, that earthquakes, warfare, famines, etc. have all increased since the year “1914," serving as a kind of prophetic, composit sign of the end times--when Christ allegedly casted Satan out of heaven and when his promised  returned allegedly took place in an invisible sense. Carl Olof Jonsson wrote a book on this very subject called “Sign of the Last Days--When?” I’m sure you know about his research.

       

      It's interesting once you considedr the Watchtower's interest in defending their 1914 doctrine. Their very claims to authority are based on what allegedly occured in that year and in the immediately following years. They have so much vested in that date, that to question it, or any associated element (like the 'composite' sign), is a threat to their entire system and exclusive claims to divine authority. It's no wonder that they respond in the way that they do.

       

      It seemed that whenever I tried to line up what religon said about the world, and what the real world evidence actually said, they were not matching up. The best answer I could get for this from religion was: Satan was blinding them, it is all a big conspiracy.

       

      Yes, I am familiar with that type of response, especially from an organization like the Watchtower and JWs. Any questioning or criticism of their interpretations or authority is automatically perceived as Satanic or as arising from an independent and arrogant spirit. Since the 'organization' is God's 'sole channel of communication,' even relatively small differences of viewpoint are not tolerated.

      Eve, for wanting to eat of the tree of knowledge should be our hero,

       

      I disagree, from a scriptural perspective, that Eve should be thought of as “heroic” based on her decision to eat from the tree of knowledge and good and bad. According to the text, and as you yourself know, God clearly warned the couple that they would "surely die" in the day that they ate from it. --unless you were just making this comment in a “tongue and cheek” manner, in order to get a point across.

       

      ...and doubting Thomas for demanding evidence should be our patron saint, yet religion interestingly belittles these ones.

       

      I see no scriptural evidence that Thomas’ demand for evidence concerning Christ’s resurrection should be belittled. Nothing in the text says that Thomas’ desire to see the nail marks was something negative or sinful. After Jesus showed Thomas the proof, he did say to him, Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

       

      I believe, however, that the truthfulness of Christ’s resurrection and the overall Christian message is supported by a great deal of facts and evidences. But, ultimately, as I believe all Christians would gladly acknowledge, the Christian life and confession is a matter of faith, yet it is a faith based upon many powerful and persuasive reasons. That is, in Christianity, it is a case of hoping and believing in that which we cannot see or necessarily prove with absolute certainty--in the observable/experimental “scientific” sense--yet that which has a great deal of evidence and rationale to give sufficient confidence to all seekers of truth and lovers of righteousness.

       

      I believe that God is pleased by faith because, ultimately, if God is real and his message true, it is a faith that demands a corresponding devotion to that which is righteous. In other words, I believe that God purposed that we come to him in faith, since faith in his righteous message, the Gospel, is the only thing that could ever satisfy the heart of those who “hunger and thirst after righteousness.” (Matthew 5:6). As the Scripture says, "For in [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17).

       

      "Faith," in my view, and I believe in the biblical sense, is not to be defined or thought of as "blind belief without evidence," but "confidence" based on "good reasons" and "trust" in the just ways of our Creator. And what does this "faith" imply? Namely, a call to a life that is righteous--above and beyond all things, that we love, with all our heart and soul, the One who gave us life, and that we love all those who were created in his image, by always extending kindness, mercy and compassion to them, in all circumstances, even to the point of loving our "enemies" and "praying" for those who "persecute" us. (Mark 12:28-34; Matthew 5:43-45). What I mean is that God, in my view, calls us to a life of faith, based not only on many convincing proofs (not scientific certainty), but based on, and elicited primarily out of, our own love for the righteousness of the message itself, and, hence, the God who graciously revealed it. In other words, if you are a lover of truth and rigtheosness, faith in, and obedience to, the will of the Father, in the Father's eyes, is the only legitmate response to God's revealed word of truth, because it is righteous.

      This is a big problem for me that I cannot get past, and the more I think about religion, the less I respect it.

       

      I feel very much the same way about the “organized” and “institutionalized” religions like the Watchtower, the Catholic Church and the Protestant establishment. But I maintain a deep respect for the teachings of Jesus and his apostles, since they cannot simply be equated with the traditional insitutions or their creeds.

       

      I have considered all the arguments in behalf of Darwinistic evolution. My conclusion is that a measure of “evolution” certainly has and does take place within human and various animal species. But, as far as I know, there is no experimental evidence establishing that non-living matter could ever have given rise to the kinds of complex living organisms that exist, even when all the right theoretical conditions are present. Everything that we know about the material world in a scientific sense tells us that life only comes from pre-existing life. As improbable as the existence of life would be under the naturalistic/atheistic model, I suppose I could accept, as improbable as the experts agree that it would be, through vast eons of time and chance, that a completely blind, unintelligent, mindless, unplanned material process could somehow produce simple and unconsious life forms like bacteria, algae and various forms of fungi with the ability to reproduce, but I find it absolutely incredible to suggest--in my soberest moment of reasoning--that a totally blind, mindless, and unplanned physical process could ever have ever produced the kind of creatures like humans who have the potential we have, and who can experience the kind and the quality of life that we can. That is to say, when the conditions are right, life truly is like a perfect gift, filled with seasons of great joy, inner peace, beauty, love, profound meaning and deep satisfaction. That is one of the primary reasons why I am convinced of God’s existence. The human experience is so much more than raw “survival.” When all the right pieces are present, or even just some of them, life can be so wonderful, that it makes absolutely no sense to my mind to believe that all these marvelous things, in all their wondrous varieties, were not intentionally designed by a supremely wise and loving intelligence. I do not say this to arouse emotions. But, in my own fortunate experience--having a healthy family, a beautiful wife who loves me, watching my young children grow physically and mentally, listening to beautiful music, eating wholesome food to my satisfaction, considering the magnificence of nature and the beauty of every wonderful creature on earth--life when experienced in its fullness, is so marvelous to the point of being overwhelming. Often my heart wells up with joy and gratitude for the glorious gifts I have been fortunate enough to enjoy. Could a mindless universe have brought such wonderful things into existence, considered in all the depth of their multifaceted forms and dimensions?

       

      Patrick Navas

       

    • Heinz Schmitz
      ... evolution. My conclusion is that a measure of evolution certainly has and does take place within human and various animal species. But, as far as I know,
      Message 2 of 17 , Feb 15, 2009
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        --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, Patrick Navas
        <patrick_navas@...> wrote:

        > I have considered all the arguments in behalf of Darwinistic
        evolution. My conclusion is that a measure of "evolution" certainly
        has and does take place within human and various animal species. But,
        as far as I know, there is no experimental evidence establishing that
        non-living matter could ever have given rise to the kinds of complex
        living organisms that exist, even when all the right theoretical
        conditions are present.

        Reply: This is the problem I run across all the time. The origin of
        life is not a part of evolutionary theory. The study of the
        naturalistic origins of life is called abiogenesis, and scientists
        have no clear explanation of how life might have developed from
        nonliving material, but this has no impact on evolution. Even if life
        did not begin naturally but was started due to the intervention of
        some divine power, evolution would still stand on the evidence as our
        best explanation so far for how that life has developed.

        >Everything that we know about the material world in a scientific
        sense tells us that life only comes from pre-existing life. As
        improbable as the existence of life would be under the
        naturalistic/atheistic model, I suppose I could accept, as improbable
        as the experts agree that it would be, through vast eons of time and
        chance, that a completely blind, unintelligent, mindless, unplanned
        material process could somehow produce simple and unconsious life
        forms like bacteria, algae and various forms of fungi with the ability to
        > reproduce, but I find it absolutely incredible to suggest--in my
        soberest moment of reasoning--that a totally blind, mindless, and
        unplanned physical process could ever have ever produced the kind of
        creatures like humans who have the potential we have, and who can
        experience the kind and the quality of life that we can. That is to
        say, when the conditions are right, life truly is like a perfect gift,
        filled with seasons of great joy, inner peace, beauty, love, profound
        meaning and deep satisfaction. That is one of the primary reasons why
        I am convinced of God's existence.

        Reply: Again, you are not talking about evolution. Evolution by
        natural selection is not blind chance, it is actually the opposite of
        that. If it were chance, it wouldn't work.

        >The human experience is so much more than raw "survival." When all
        the right pieces are present, or even just some of them, life can be
        so wonderful, that it makes absolutely no sense to my mind to believe
        that all these marvelous things, in all their wondrous varieties, were
        not intentionally designed by a supremely wise and loving
        intelligence. I do not say this to
        > arouse emotions. But, in my own fortunate experience--having a
        healthy family, a beautiful wife who loves me, watching my young
        children grow physically and mentally, listening to beautiful music,
        eating wholesome food to my satisfaction, considering the magnificence
        of nature and the beauty of every wonderful creature on earth--life
        when experienced in its fullness, is so marvelous to the point of
        being overwhelming. Often my heart wells up with joy and gratitude for
        the glorious gifts I have been fortunate enough to enjoy. Could a
        mindless universe have brought such wonderful things into
        existence, considered in all the depth of their multifaceted forms and
        dimensions?
        >
        > Patrick Navas
        >

        This is mainly an emotional response. YOU may have a good life, but
        others don't. When you examine life throughout the epochs and begin to
        understand that over 98% of all species have gone extinct, when you
        realize that there are thousands of animals right now dying from
        disease and thousands of others running for fear of being preyed upon
        and eaten, when you understand that up to 40 percent of all fetuses
        end in miscarriage, you realize that this not the product of a loving
        designer but the result of cold dispassionate, blind, pitiless
        indifference...something we expect from evolution.
      • Jimmy Sloan
        Heinz, You said, This is mainly an emotional response. YOU may have a good life, but others don t. When you examine life throughout the epochs and begin to
        Message 3 of 17 , Feb 16, 2009
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          Heinz,

          You said,


          This is mainly an emotional response. YOU may have a good life, but
          others don't. When you examine life throughout the epochs and begin to
          understand that over 98% of all species have gone extinct, when you
          realize that there are thousands of animals right now dying from
          disease and thousands of others running for fear of being preyed upon
          and eaten, when you understand that up to 40 percent of all fetuses
          end in miscarriage, you realize that this not the product of a loving
          designer but the result of cold dispassionate, blind, pitiless
          indifference.
          ..something we expect from evolution.


          Given the above view of the universe, my question is, why be moral? 

          ~ J. Sloan


           



          "Men live on the brink of mysteries and harmonies into which they never enter, and with their hand on the latch, they die on the outside,"
          ~ G.K. Chesterton







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        • Heinz Schmitz
          ... begin to ... upon ... loving ... moral? ... To deny the fact of this suffering does not make anyone more moral. I know that I am here for only a short
          Message 4 of 17 , Feb 16, 2009
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            --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, Jimmy Sloan
            <jimmysloan@...> wrote:
            >
            > Heinz,
            >
            > You said,

            >
            > This is mainly an emotional response. YOU may have a good life, but
            >
            > others don't. When you examine life throughout the epochs and
            begin to
            >
            > understand that over 98% of all species have gone extinct, when you
            >
            > realize that there are thousands of animals right now dying from
            >
            > disease and thousands of others running for fear of being preyed
            upon
            >
            > and eaten, when you understand that up to 40 percent of all fetuses
            >
            > end in miscarriage, you realize that this not the product of a
            loving
            >
            > designer but the result of cold dispassionate, blind, pitiless
            >
            > indifference...something we expect from evolution.
            >
            >
            > Given the above view of the universe, my question is, why be
            moral?
            >
            > ~ J. Sloan

            To deny the fact of this suffering does not make anyone more moral.
            I know that I am here for only a short while, and it is in my best
            interest to be nice to my fellow man. Morals derive from necessary
            truths. For example, murder cannot be moral, because if it were a
            universal law, everyone would be dead, and murder would no
            longer be possible. Therefore, it is self-contradictory to consider
            murder moral. Similarly with stealing. If stealing were a universal
            law, the concept of personal property would become meaningless, and
            stealing would become impossible.
          • Heinz Schmitz
            ... wrote: Me: Eve, for wanting to eat of the tree of knowledge should be our hero, You: I disagree, from a scriptural perspective, that
            Message 5 of 17 , Feb 16, 2009
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              --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, Patrick Navas
              <patrick_navas@...> wrote:

              Me: Eve, for wanting to eat of the tree of knowledge should be our
              hero,

              You: I disagree, from a scriptural perspective, that Eve should be
              thought of as "heroic" based on her decision to eat from the tree of
              knowledge and good and bad. According to the text, and as you
              yourself know, God clearly warned the couple that they would "surely
              die" in the day that they ate from it.

              Reply: Knowledge of good and bad should never be withheld, and God
              was wrong to deny this.

              Me...and doubting Thomas for demanding evidence should be our patron
              saint, yet religion interestingly belittles these ones.

              You: I see no scriptural evidence that Thomas' demand for evidence
              concerning Christ's resurrection should be belittled. Nothing in the
              text says that Thomas' desire to see the nail marks was something
              negative or sinful. After Jesus showed Thomas the proof, he did say
              to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are
              those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29).

              Reply: The story of Doubting Thomas is told, not so that we should
              admire Thomas, but so that we should admire the other apostles in
              comparison. Thomas demanded evidence and nothing is more dangerous
              for certain kinds of beliefs than evidence. The other apostles,
              whose faith was so strong that they did not need evidence, are held
              up to us as worthy of imitation.
            • Jimmy Sloan
              Heinz, You said, To deny the fact of this suffering does not make anyone more moral. I know that I am here for only a short while, and it is in my best
              Message 6 of 17 , Feb 16, 2009
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                Heinz,

                You said,


                "To deny the fact of this suffering does not make anyone more moral.
                I know that I am here for only a short while, and it is in my best
                interest to be nice to my fellow man. Morals derive from necessary
                truths. For example, murder cannot be moral, because if it were a
                universal law, everyone would be dead, and murder would no
                longer be possible. Therefore, it is self-contradictory to consider
                murder moral. Similarly with stealing. If stealing were a universal
                law, the concept of personal property would become meaningless, and
                stealing would become impossible.
                "

                The issue is not to deny any type of suffering; Christian views espouse a fallen world in which there is pain and suffering both for man and animals.  It is hard to see why, given that you take the world to be the way that it is, "cold dispassionate, blind, pitiless indifference", why you not only think that you should be moral, but that your moral precepts are derived from necessary truths.  If the world is how you describe it, then what does it matter if if everyone murdered and killed each other off, or, if the concept of personal property would become meaningless?  It's not as if human animals, the bi-products of "cold dispassionate, blind, pitiless indifference", have any moral stake to claim in such a universe. 

                ~ J. Sloan


                 



                "Men live on the brink of mysteries and harmonies into which they never enter, and with their hand on the latch, they die on the outside,"
                ~ G.K. Chesterton





                __._

              • Heinz Schmitz
                ... espouse a fallen world in which there is pain and suffering both for man and animals. Reply: And it is a horrible view, or perhaps just a silly one. ...
                Message 7 of 17 , Feb 16, 2009
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                  --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, Jimmy Sloan
                  <jimmysloan@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > The issue is not to deny any type of suffering; Christian views
                  espouse a fallen world in which there is pain and suffering both for
                  man and animals.

                  Reply: And it is a horrible view, or perhaps just a silly one.

                  >>It is hard to see why, given that you take the world to be the way
                  that it is, "cold dispassionate, blind, pitiless indifference", why
                  you not only think that you should be moral, but that your moral
                  precepts are derived from necessary truths. If the world is how you
                  describe it, then what does it matter if if everyone murdered and
                  killed each other off, or, if the concept of personal property would
                  become meaningless?

                  Reply: I already answered that question, but frankly, I don't like
                  being killed or hurt, and I like to keep my property. I certainly
                  don't need an ancient holy book to teach me that.
                  Heinz

                  "Every sensible man, every honorable man, must hold the Christian sect
                  in horror."
                  (Voltaire / 1694-1778)
                • Jimmy Sloan
                  Heinz, You said (speaking of the Christian view of human and animal suffering), And it is a horrible view, or perhaps just a silly one. You have just finished
                  Message 8 of 17 , Feb 16, 2009
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                    Heinz,

                    You said (speaking of the Christian view of human and animal suffering),

                    And it is a horrible view, or perhaps just a silly one.

                    You have just finished telling me that, according to your view, the world displays a "cold dispassionate, blind, pitiless indifference", a world in which people suffer, animals suffer, face extinction and a world in which we too will face extinction -- for no reason at all.  My point here is that what you think are cold, hard facts, can be accounted for on a Christian view as well.  However, the difference between a Christian view (which can allow for theistic evolutionary interpretations) and your view (which is some form of ontological naturalism), and what makes a Christian view anything but silly, is that a Christian view has a light at the end of the tunnel for those who choose to accept it.

                    You said,

                    I already answered that question, but frankly, I don't like
                    being killed or hurt, and I like to keep my property. I certainly
                    don't need an ancient holy book to teach me that.

                    You answer is inconsistent.  On the one hand you want to claim that your view of the universe is entailed by a "cold dispassionate, blind, pitiless indifference" towards humans and animals alike.  Then on the other hand, you want to claim that there are moral imperatives which are derived from necessary truths.  If the world is what you claim it is, then what you like or don't like does not come into play with regards to ethical right and wrong; you are only espousing personal preferences, not moral imperatives that are derived from necessary truths.  To claim that "murder cannot be moral, because if it were a universal law, everyone would be dead, and murder would no longer be possible. Therefore, it is self-contradictory to consider murder moral" assumes that preserving the human race is a moral issue, and one that is worth pursuing.  However, that assumption viciously begs the question.  Since there is no point or purpose to anything, including our existence, why, on your view of the universe, are you trying to slip teleology into the picture? Evolution has no purpose, it simply maximizes fitness.


                    ~ J. Sloan


                     



                    "Men live on the brink of mysteries and harmonies into which they never enter, and with their hand on the latch, they die on the outside,"
                    ~ G.K. Chesterton







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                  • Paul Leonard
                    Correct; by evolutions own position on natural selection and survival of the fittest you do not have any rights regardless of your wants in regard  to
                    Message 9 of 17 , Feb 16, 2009
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                      Correct; by evolutions own position on "natural selection" and survival of the fittest you do not have any "rights" regardless of your wants in regard  to life, happiness, possessions or even to retain a loving spouse.

                      --- On Mon, 2/16/09, Jimmy Sloan <jimmysloan@...> wrote:

                       Evolution has no purpose, it simply maximizes fitness.
                      ~ J. Sloan


                       



                      "Men live on the brink of mysteries and harmonies into which they never enter, and with their hand on the latch, they die on the outside,"
                      ~ G.K. Chesterton







                      i'm EMAILING FOR THE GREATER GOOD
                      Join me







                    • Heinz Schmitz
                      ... However, the difference between a Christian view (which can allow for theistic evolutionary interpretations) and your view (which is some form of
                      Message 10 of 17 , Feb 17, 2009
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                        --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, Jimmy Sloan
                        <jimmysloan@...> wrote:
                        >
                        However, the difference between a Christian view (which can allow for
                        theistic evolutionary interpretations) and your view (which is some
                        form of ontological naturalism), and what makes a Christian view
                        anything but silly, is that a Christian view has a light at the end of
                        the tunnel for those who choose to accept it.

                        Reply: Not really. You have tons of Christian groups, many which are
                        opposed to each other. You have a "light" only if you pick the right
                        needle in a haystack, and if you pick wrongly, like most inevitably
                        will, you will born for an eternity. At least the naturalistic
                        worldview ends your suffering, often mercifully, at death.

                        >
                        > You said,
                        >
                        > I already answered that question, but frankly, I don't like
                        >
                        > being killed or hurt, and I like to keep my property. I certainly
                        >
                        > don't need an ancient holy book to teach me that.
                        >
                        >
                        > You answer is inconsistent. On the one hand you want to claim that
                        your view of the universe is entailed by a "cold dispassionate, blind,
                        pitiless indifference" towards humans and animals alike.

                        Reply: This is simply a fact, it is not what I wish.

                        >>Then on the other hand, you want to claim that there are moral
                        imperatives which are derived from necessary truths.

                        Reply: Again, the fact that I will die along with everyone else does
                        not mean I do not want to enjoy the few years that I have. I certainly
                        am not going to waste them to prepare for a future life after death
                        based on ancient myths.
                      • Heinz Schmitz
                        ... survival of the fittest you do not have any rights regardless of your wants in regard  to life, happiness, possessions or even to retain a loving
                        Message 11 of 17 , Feb 17, 2009
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                          --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, Paul Leonard
                          <anotherpaul2001@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Correct; by evolutions own position on "natural selection" and
                          survival of the fittest you do not have any "rights" regardless of
                          your wants in regard  to life, happiness, possessions or even to
                          retain a loving spouse.
                          >

                          Reply: Scientific theories don't guarantee anything, and it is not
                          as if they are supposed to, and, they certainly don't restrict me. I
                          accept the theory of gravity, but I will still take an airplane from
                          time to time.

                          A naturalistic world offers nothing to me
                          It never has, It never will
                          It doesn't make me feel good
                          or comfort me
                          It's not there for me when I'm sick or ill
                          It can't intervene in my times of need
                          It can't protect me from hate and lies
                          It doesn't care if I fail or succeed
                          And it won't wipe the tears from my eyes
                          It does nothing when I've no where to run
                          It won't give me wise words or advise
                          It has no teachings for me to learn
                          It can't show me what's bad or nice
                          It's never inspired or incited anyone
                          It won't help me fulfill all my goals
                          It won't tell me to stop when I'm having fun
                          It's never saved one single soul
                          It doesn't take credit for everything I achieve
                          It won't make me get down on bended knee
                          It doesn't demand that I have to believe
                          It won't torture me for eternity
                          It won't teach me to hate or despise others
                          It can't tell me what's right or wrong
                          It won't tell anybody they can't be lovers
                          It's told nobody they don't belong
                          It won't make you think that life is worth living
                          It has nothing to offer me that's true...

                          But the reason it offers me nothing is because
                          I've never asked it to

                          It offers nothing because it doesn't need to
                          Religion promises everything because you want it to
                          You don't need a religion or to have faith
                          You just want it because you need to feel safe
                          I want to feel reality...and nothing more

                          So naturalism offers me everything that religion has stolen before.
                        • Jimmy Sloan
                          Heinz, You said, Not really. You have tons of Christian groups, many which are opposed to each other. You have a light only if you pick the right needle in a
                          Message 12 of 17 , Feb 17, 2009
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                            Heinz,

                            You said,

                            Not really. You have tons of Christian groups, many which are
                            opposed to each other. You have a "light" only if you pick the right
                            needle in a haystack, and if you pick wrongly, like most inevitably
                            will, you will born for an eternity. At least the naturalistic
                            worldview ends your suffering, often mercifully, at death.


                            Your answer assumes that God is hidden.  However, the Christian does not have to stake their claim on a wager; if God is who He says He is, then God's revelation is both a sufficient and some would say, necessary, condition for illuminating each individual's heart in such a manner that we are free to accept or reject what has been revealed to our inner hearts.  We have this hope that is within us, the atheist has no hope. 

                            You said,

                             
                            Again, the fact that I will die along with everyone else does
                            not mean I do not want to enjoy the few years that I have. I certainly
                            am not going to waste them to prepare for a future life after death
                            based on ancient myths.

                            Now you are changing the subject.  I asked you why, given your dismal view of the universe and your place in it, why you should be moral.  Now you are switching gears and moving to your goal oriented view of life:  "Life is short, why not enjoy what you have?"  That says very little about why one should be moral.


                            ~ J. Sloan


                             



                            "Men live on the brink of mysteries and harmonies into which they never enter, and with their hand on the latch, they die on the outside,"
                            ~ G.K. Chesterton







                            i'm EMAILING FOR THE GREATER GOOD
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                          • Heinz Schmitz
                            ... not have to stake their claim on a wager; if God is who He says He is, then God s revelation is both a sufficient and some would say, necessary, condition
                            Message 13 of 17 , Feb 18, 2009
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                              --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, Jimmy Sloan
                              <jimmysloan@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > Heinz,
                              >
                              > You said,
                              >
                              > Not really. You have tons of Christian groups, many which are
                              >
                              > opposed to each other. You have a "light" only if you pick the right
                              >
                              > needle in a haystack, and if you pick wrongly, like most inevitably
                              >
                              > will, you will born for an eternity. At least the naturalistic
                              >
                              > worldview ends your suffering, often mercifully, at death.
                              >
                              > Your answer assumes that God is hidden. However, the Christian does
                              not have to stake their claim on a wager; if God is who He says He is,
                              then God's revelation is both a sufficient and some would say,
                              necessary, condition for illuminating each individual's heart in such
                              a manner that we are free to accept or reject what has been revealed
                              to our inner hearts. We have this hope that is within us, the atheist
                              has no hope.
                              >

                              Reply: Firstly, having a hope does not mean this is actually true. A
                              suicide bomber has a hope of 72 virgins in the afterlife, but this doe
                              mean he will actually get it. Secondly, each member of an opposing
                              Christian group feels he has been drawn there my God himself, yet
                              these members also feel other Christians are wrong, so the feelings of
                              the heart you mention is either a lie we tell ourselves, or God simply
                              found a very lousy way to communicate himself.

                              > You said,
                              >
                              >
                              > Again, the fact that I will die along with everyone else does
                              >
                              > not mean I do not want to enjoy the few years that I have. I certainly
                              >
                              > am not going to waste them to prepare for a future life after death
                              >
                              > based on ancient myths.
                              >
                              > Now you are changing the subject. I asked you why, given your
                              dismal view of the universe and your place in it, why you should be
                              moral. Now you are switching gears and moving to your goal oriented
                              view of life: "Life is short, why not enjoy what you have?" That
                              says very little about why one should be moral.
                              >

                              You keep hearkening back to MY dismal view of the world, as if I am
                              making this up. This is simply reality, and I think my answer stands.
                              2000 years of Christian history has shown us that faith or belief does
                              not make one more moral than anyone else, and often it is the opposite.
                            • Patrick
                              ... The naturalistic view is incorrect. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God - Psalm 9:17. Her house is the way to hell,
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jul 2, 2009
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                                > Jimmy Sloan <jimmysloan@> wrote:
                                >
                                > However, the difference between a Christian view (which can allow
                                > for theistic evolutionary interpretations) and your view (which is
                                > some form of ontological naturalism), and what makes a Christian
                                > view anything but silly, is that a Christian view has a light at
                                > the end of the tunnel for those who choose to accept it.

                                > "Heinz Schmitz" <christian_skeptic@...> wrote:
                                > Reply: Not really. You have tons of Christian groups, many which are
                                > opposed to each other. You have a "light" only if you pick the right
                                > needle in a haystack, and if you pick wrongly, like most inevitably
                                > will, you will born for an eternity. At least the naturalistic
                                > worldview ends your suffering, often mercifully, at death.

                                The naturalistic view is incorrect. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God - Psalm 9:17.

                                Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death - Proverbs 7:27. That's about a seducing, immoral woman (v.5). The Hebrew word for hell means the OT designation for the abode of the dead, wicked sent there for punishment, righteous not abandoned to it.

                                Jesus said, "Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?" - Matthew 23:33. The Greek word for hell means the place of the future punishment called Gehenna or Gehenna of fire. This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and the dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.

                                "hell fire" (Matthew 5:22).

                                "Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your hearts, you men of... lest My fury come forth like FIRE, and BURN so that NO ONE can QUENCH it, because of the evil of your doings." - Jeremiah 4:4.

                                His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out (to eliminate the bad from the good) His threshing floor, and gather His wheat (us saved ones) into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff (worthless, unrepentive sinners) with UNQUENCHABLE FIRE. (Matt. 3:12)

                                Jesus said, "Then He will say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the EVERLASTING FIRE prepared for the devil and his angels'... These will go away into EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT, but the righteous into eternal life." - Matthew 25:41-46.

                                since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you... in FLAMING FIRE taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power- 2 Thes. 1:6-9.

                                I hope you like my preaching pages:

                                The Way To Heaven, according to the Bible
                                http://www.geocities.com/1christlover

                                "Once Saved, Always Saved" IS WRONG
                                http://www.geocities.com/1christlover/OSAS-.html
                              • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
                                Patrick, This is preaching, not discussion, which is what we do here. In Christ s service, Rob Bowman
                                Message 15 of 17 , Jul 2, 2009
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                                  Patrick,

                                  This is preaching, not discussion, which is what we do here.

                                  In Christ's service,
                                  Rob Bowman


                                  --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick" <pat4surf@...> wrote:
                                • Patrick
                                  Robert M. Bowman, Jr. wrote: This is preaching, not discussion, which is what we do here. But Rob, I clearly discussed Heinz s words. He had written the
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Jul 2, 2009
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                                    Robert M. Bowman, Jr. wrote:

                                    "This is preaching, not discussion, which is what we do here."

                                    But Rob, I clearly discussed Heinz's words. He had written "the naturalistic worldview ends your suffering, often mercifully, at death." and I gave the scriptural proof that that statement is incorrect If I can't defend the truth with Bible Scriptures then this group is not for me.
                                  • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
                                    Patrick, I wrote: This is preaching, not discussion, which is what we do here. You replied:
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Jul 2, 2009
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                                      Patrick,

                                      I wrote:

                                      "This is preaching, not discussion, which is what we do here."

                                      You replied:

                                      << But Rob, I clearly discussed Heinz's words. He had written "the naturalistic worldview ends your suffering, often mercifully, at death." and I gave the scriptural proof that that statement is incorrect If I can't defend the truth with Bible Scriptures then this group is not for me. >>

                                      When someone is misinterpreting the Bible, responding by showing what the Bible really teaches is appropriate. But when someone appeals to his naturalistic worldview, merely citing biblical texts is not a fruitful way of engaging that person in discussion. In fact, responding in such a way is counterproductive. Take a cue from the apostle Paul: in his speech engaging the Athenian philosophers in discussion, he never cited the Bible, even though the truth he was defending was biblical (Acts 17:16-34).

                                      In Christ's service,
                                      Rob Bowman
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