Is it fair that a non-Christian may not know God?

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Reply Wed 21 Oct, 2009 04:30 pm
I'll start by saying that i do believe and god and consider myself a Christian.

As a Christian i have been taught that god is all knowing. If this is true then is it fair for god to have created people knowing that they will never know him and will eventually be damned for eternity. or for that matter is it fair that he has created people knowing that they will never hear the word of Christ.

Discuss...
 
ahmedjbh
 
Reply Wed 21 Oct, 2009 05:53 pm
@Johnny Fresh,
Do Christians believe that those who had no opportunity to learn about Christianity go to hell?
 
prothero
 
Reply Wed 21 Oct, 2009 07:14 pm
@ahmedjbh,
ahmedjbh;99107 wrote:
Do Christians believe that those who had no opportunity to learn about Christianity go to hell?

Well Christianity is a mixed bag, I would be reluctant to say that all Christians believe any particular thing.
Some Chrisitans do believe that Jesus is the only path to salvation, and that to be saved one must accept Christ.
Generally I put this under the not helpful category of beliefs.
To believe that God is love and one serves god by serving your fellow man- helpful good belief.
To believe that you are going to heaven and others are going to hell-not helpful bad belief.
People of all faiths can work together to implement the golden rule, to feed the hungry, shelter the poor, heal the seek and comfort the afflicted.
What is required of you, to show mercy, love justice and walk humbly before god. Part of humility would be to acknowledge that no religious faith is any more than a partial and incomplete perception of the divine. God is too big for one religion. There are many paths to god. Your God is too small.
 
William
 
Reply Wed 21 Oct, 2009 07:17 pm
@Johnny Fresh,
Might I suggest exploring other posts and threads in which these topics have been discussed. You both are new to the forum and it is loaded with dialog pertaining to what you are asking. Many, many, many. Smile

Thanks,
William
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Wed 21 Oct, 2009 11:49 pm
@Johnny Fresh,
Johnny Fresh;99086 wrote:
I'll start by saying that i do believe and god and consider myself a Christian.

As a Christian i have been taught that god is all knowing. If this is true then is it fair for god to have created people knowing that they will never know him and will eventually be damned for eternity. or for that matter is it fair that he has created people knowing that they will never hear the word of Christ.

Discuss...


It doesn't seem like there is any sort of yes or no answer to what you are asking. But fear not, there are several possible answers to consider.

A) There is no God. No problem. Case closed.

B) God is fallible. He made a mistake creating these particular people. But wait . . . how can God be fallible and still qualify as God under our definition of God?

C) God is a sadist. These people are unaware of their transgressions, or even that there is a transgression to be made for that matter, so it would seem to follow that the only being that would be anticipating their punishment would be God. It's okay though, because God loves you, and Christ's love is perfect and unconditional. Well . . . maybe not so much.

D) God has a plan. Who are you to question God's plan? Where were you when He created the Universe?

These are just a few possible answers. How would you answer your own question?
 
manfred
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 07:07 am
@TickTockMan,
I think it's more than fair.
Im not a christian,but if your(christian)belief system tells you that im going to hell because i will never except Jesus christ as my lord and savior,and you are fine with this,then my belief that Christianity is an excuse to intentionally remain ignorant should have no bearing on a decision life takes in choosing what's fair or not because neither one of knows what we are talking about(in my opinion).That's fair,this allows a chance for everyone to be wrong.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 07:36 am
@Johnny Fresh,
One might ask the same question as the original poster about humans born before Christ, many of whom were presumably decent if not kind people.

I suppose one could believe that those who willfully and actively ignore a certain required path to salvation are automatically condemned by God, and I suppose there are sects that do.

But doesn't one find it difficult, on the other hand, to value or believe a dogma that makes God condemn men, women, and infants who had absolutely no opportunity to make any sort of choice about it simply because they were born, say, in Japan in 560BC?
 
Justin
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 08:12 am
@Johnny Fresh,
Johnny Fresh;99086 wrote:
As a Christian i have been taught that god is all knowing. If this is true then is it fair for god to have created people knowing that they will never know him and will eventually be damned for eternity. or for that matter is it fair that he has created people knowing that they will never hear the word of Christ.

Yeah, that doesn't really seem fair now does it. However, you have to ask yourselves, how is it that a Christian knows God in the first place? Usually it involves getting a message on Sunday morning and then a word during prayer. The God they typically know is the God-Deity they've created, worshiped, and bow down to.

So, no it would not be fair if that were actually the case. It's also not fair for Christians to claim that the only way to God is through one of their numerous methods of madness. Because we go to church on Sunday and call ourselves Christians does not at all mean we're hearing or receiving the word of Christ. The word of Christ is unspoken.

In summary and in my humble opinion, I don't believe knowing God and performing life as a Christian have anything to do with each other. Christians know Christianity and in my experience, not many actually know god or even know what or who God is, they simply go through the motions hoping like hell they are betting on the right religion.

It goes with any religion. Technically we have a number of mythical Gods that have been created over the years. So for someone to be born in Egypt and never know Christianity, doesn't mean they don't know God and certainly doesn't mean they are damned. The damned are the folks that make these preposterous claims and damn others with their dogmas.

Fair, I think not. It wouldn't be fair at all would it? Since when has Religion been fair anyway... They follow each other around building an ethical system and a support system while many never realize the presence of God is not something that can be acquired through ritualistic systems of religion. Religion is one thing, God is another.
 
manfred
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 08:48 am
@Justin,
I thought the question was: Is life fair?
Just humor me and set aside what impact religion may have on your response.Now,in general do you think life is fair,yes or no?
 
Justin
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 08:58 am
@manfred,
manfred;99233 wrote:
I thought the question was: Is life fair?
Just humor me and set aside what impact religion may have on your response.Now,in general do you think life is fair,yes or no?

Actually, that's the thread topic but the question is:

Johnny Fresh;99086 wrote:
As a Christian i have been taught that god is all knowing. If this is true then is it fair for god to have created people knowing that they will never know him and will eventually be damned for eternity. or for that matter is it fair that he has created people knowing that they will never hear the word of Christ.

Based on the original post, we'd be taking the subject off-topic if we were discussing the poor choice of thread title. Title revised.
 
manfred
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 09:17 am
@Justin,
Well instead of me creating a new topic and wasting everyone's time,why dont you go ahead and answer my question?
Is life fair?
yes or no
 
Justin
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 09:30 am
@Johnny Fresh,
Feel free to create another topic if that's what you want to discuss.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 09:35 am
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan;99152 wrote:


A) There is no God. No problem. Case closed.

B) God is fallible. He made a mistake creating these particular people. But wait . . . how can God be fallible and still qualify as God under our definition of God?

C) God is a sadist. These people are unaware of their transgressions, or even that there is a transgression to be made for that matter, so it would seem to follow that the only being that would be anticipating their punishment would be God. It's okay though, because God loves you, and Christ's love is perfect and unconditional. Well . . . maybe not so much.

D) God has a plan. Who are you to question God's plan? Where were you when He created the Universe?

These are just a few possible answers. How would you answer your own question?


I applaud anyone who uses deductive reasoning. It is one of the best ways to examine and analyze a problem. I don't think people use this useful tool nearly enough to come to their own solutions. These responses are great but I would like to go into option D a little further.

It really bothers me when I hear this option. A plan denotes a static progression of events. Sure they could technically be altered as they unfold but would it still be considered a plan if you are changing it as you go? Not really. The problem I see with the whole gods plan idea is the torture at the end part. It seems rather strange to plan out a life for a being who does not accept anything religious to eventually toss that being into hell for eternity. Was that the plan? If that is the plan then how can you justify torture of any being? You can't.

So there can't be a "gods plan" if that plan is optional.
 
chad3006
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 09:51 am
@Johnny Fresh,
Another possibility is that mankind's documentation of God is imperfect. Who says that these unknowers are doomed to damnation?

Did God tell you directly, or did you get that from some other source?
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 10:19 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;99244 wrote:
I applaud anyone who uses deductive reasoning. It is one of the best ways to examine and analyze a problem. I don't think people use this useful tool nearly enough to come to their own solutions. These responses are great but I would like to go into option D a little further.

It really bothers me when I hear this option. A plan denotes a static progression of events. Sure they could technically be altered as they unfold but would it still be considered a plan if you are changing it as you go? Not really. The problem I see with the whole gods plan idea is the torture at the end part. It seems rather strange to plan out a life for a being who does not accept anything religious to eventually toss that being into hell for eternity. Was that the plan? If that is the plan then how can you justify torture of any being? You can't.

So there can't be a "gods plan" if that plan is optional.


In which case, one could simply return to "A" and go about their day.

Or is it not that simple?

"God's Plan" does sound better than "God's Rough Idea" though . . .
 
Dasein
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 10:41 am
@Johnny Fresh,
God is bigger than all of us on this planet. God is bigger than all of your conceptions about God, the universe, time, or space. We have reduced all of it to pitiful concepts, rituals, and dogmas so that we can have some semblance of control over it all. This is how humans act when they know that they have no control. Get over it.

If you could "wrap your arms" around God, he/she wouldn't be God. What you have wrapped your arms around so far isn't God either.

Who you are is "faith". You wake up each morning and go to bed each night not knowing or having control over anything. This is the "plot of ground" you've been given to work. That's the way it is.

You get up every day and move forward and instead of un-covering your magnificence and sharing it with the world, you spend your time reducing the magnificence of it all by trying to "wrap your arms" around it. Most people waste the opportunity by spending their entire life "defending that territory."

You ain't never gonna wrap your arms around the magnificence of it all, only God can do that. If you do the work of uncovering be-ing, you might find out who you really are.

Get to work and leave God alone.


Dasein
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 11:05 am
@Dasein,
Dasein;99256 wrote:
God is bigger than all of us on this planet. God is bigger than all of your conceptions about God, the universe, time, or space. We have reduced all of it to pitiful concepts, rituals, and dogmas so that we can have some semblance of control over it all. This is how humans act when they know that they have no control. Get over it.

If you could "wrap your arms" around God, he/she wouldn't be God. What you have wrapped your arms around so far isn't God either.

Who you are is "faith". You wake up each morning and go to bed each night not knowing or having control over anything. This is the "plot of ground" you've been given to work. That's the way it is.

You get up every day and move forward and instead of un-covering your magnificence and sharing it with the world, you spend your time reducing the magnificence of it all by trying to "wrap your arms" around it. Most people waste the opportunity by spending their entire life "defending that territory."

You ain't never gonna wrap your arms around the magnificence of it all, only God can do that. If you do the work of uncovering be-ing, you might find out who you really are.

Get to work and leave God alone.


Dasein


Does this God you are referring to have "A Plan" then, or no?
 
Krumple
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 11:09 am
@Dasein,
Dasein;99256 wrote:
God is bigger than all of us on this planet. God is bigger than all of your conceptions about God, the universe, time, or space. We have reduced all of it to pitiful concepts, rituals, and dogmas so that we can have some semblance of control over it all. This is how humans act when they know that they have no control. Get over it.


I find this amusing because you just did what you suggested not to do. How is it you arrive at the conclusion that, "god is bigger than all of us..." isn't this forming a characteristic? Wrapping your arms around the concept? Shouldn't you follow your own suggestion or are you the only person who is allowed to define what god is?

If god is this undefinable, unfathomable thing, then how is it that you even remotely come close to a notion of such a "beings" existence? Just a hunch? or is it something you hope exists for your sake? So how did you arrive at your conclusion? because what I currently see is nothing but a man made wishful thought. Can you wrap your arms around that?
 
manfred
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 12:39 pm
@Justin,
Justin;99242 wrote:
Feel free to create another topic if that's what you want to discuss.


I was responding to the origional topic,before someone changed it,i really wasn't trying to rude.

Re: Is it fair that a non-Christian may not know God?
yes
 
prothero
 
Reply Thu 22 Oct, 2009 01:56 pm
@Johnny Fresh,
Its possible (I would say likely) that when you die your dead (end of experience, period).
Alternatives to the classical heaven hell model.
Only the righteous are saved, the rest remain dead.
All all saved, universal salvation.
The wicked are punished but only for a time and proportionally to their sins, then they are saved.
The modern Catholic view. Heaven, Hell and purgatory are not physical places. Hell is a state of anquished existence voluntariily seperated from God. Heaven is a state of union or bliss with god.
Other religions the final judgement does not occur until the end of the world and time until that time you are dead (no experience) then you will be resurrected and judged.

In the east you are stuck in the continuing cycle of life, death and rebirth (samsara and reincarnation) until you become enlighted and achieve nirvana.

I would say the main 3 are:
One chance get it right go to heaven otherwise hell.
One chance this is it, birth is the beginning of experience, death is the end of experience, period.
As many chances as you need (reincarnation) till you get it right (nirvana) then eternal bliss.

And no it is not fair. If your dominant view of the divine is loving kindness, compassion and forgiveness Hell seems out of character.
If your dominant view of the divine is ruler, judge, tyrant and lawgiver then Hell sounds quite in keeping with that view.
 
 

 
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