The Belief for everlasting punishment for finite trangressions agaist god

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 06:54 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;65967 wrote:
But the hero of the myth (or his authors) also invented Hell as it is popularly understood, and said that you would go there if you didn't accept his authority.


I'm not convinced that this is true.

In the Synoptic Gospels, Hell is the word used for "Gehenna", which was a valley outside Jerusalem where waste was burned. "Gehenna" is the opposite of the "Kingdom of God" which, as Jesus says, is "within" humans.

A Hell that is within and among human beings is not the popularly understood notion of Hell, even though this is the notion given to us by Jesus if we call Gehenna Hell.

Dave Allen;65967 wrote:
It's hardly a surprise then, based on this doctrine, that those who came to follow the hero in word and deed (if not intention) have been willing to use the fact that spreading the word might help people avoid everlasting torment as an excuse to go as armed missionaries.


You admit the error of your argument right here: as an excuse to go armed. Jesus never suggests that his followers spread the word by force. Jesus teaches that the Kingdom of God is approached through understanding, not through violent conversion.

Anyone using this myth to justify violence is interpreting the myth for selfish reasons rather than reading the myth for what it is. This myth is literature: while there is no one correct interpretation, there are incorrect interpretations. Interpreting the myth as condoning violence is incorrect.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 07:38 am
@Alan McDougall,
Whether you are convinced its true or not might have some bearing on me, or the minority of people who seek to understand the context of such concepts at the time.

For example hell is mentioned in Jonah, but to Jews at the time of Jonah's hell simply meant "the worst a human can suffer" - which seems quite adequately conferred on the situation of having to live in the entrails of a huge fish.

By the time of Jesus it MIGHT have meant something, or it MAY have meant something else - certainly the popular perception of Hellfire, eternal damnation and torment, does not seem to date back later than the time of Jesus.

Quote:
You admit the error of your argument right here: as an excuse to go armed. Jesus never suggests that his followers spread the word by force. Jesus teaches that the Kingdom of God is approached through understanding, not through violent conversion.

Which is why he comes across as a terribly naive interpreter of human nature. If my argument was that he wanted people to kill in his name, then I would have some apparent disparities to account for - but it isn't. The following comedy sketch illustrates what I mean, illuminating the fact that Jesus regularly fails to illuminate - rather he bewilders...

YouTube - Sunday Heroes "the Last Supper"
If you read Avatar's comments in the "Christianity" thread it is quite clear that he does not view Jesus' commands to turn the other cheek, march two miles if ordered to walk one and so on, as exortations not to kill. He may be a religious hypocrite for all I know, but he's in very good company. I think MOST Christians think as he does, because being asked to love others as yourself is to ask the impossible.

The other point is that humans are expected to be flawed, and they are forgiven through accepting that Christ's sacrifice offers them redemption.

So are we not left with the following confusing points:

* We are intrinsically sinful.
* We are to love others as ourselves.
* Whilst we are sinful God sent his avatar to suffer and die to atone for us.
* If you accept this you accept heaven, if you don't you face damnation.
* Damnation is popularly accepted as eternal torture of the dead.

Now whether or not your own brand of rather lassez faire pantheism accepts this as a correct or incorrect interpretation - it is the popular one.

So it's easy to see that Conquistadores could justify the roughouse civilisation of the Americas as a 'loving' act. They spread the word - saving those natives wise enough to listen to listen from damnation. As for those who get killed on the way - well they were unrepentant savages, and provided the killers atone for their trespasses then they are probably - on balance - doing good in their eyes, and those of the accompanying priests.

Quote:
This myth is literature: while there is no one correct interpretation, there are incorrect interpretations.


I don't see who you are to judge on anything other than a subjective level. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone were an enlightened pantheist who made optimistic interpretations of numerous religious texts and decried belligerent interpretations as rubbish? Perhaps ... but it's the same attitude pretty much everyone privately asserts. Don't wahabbhists believe that everything will be wonderful once everyone accepts a fundamental reading of the Koran and the Hadith?

All successful religions rely on varying interpretations - because they are political in nature and need to weather various societal situations in order to survive.

It is a great weapon in the arsenal of Christianity that followers have excuses to justify violence when need be.

What better weapon could there be than being able to tell yourself that the vanquishing of one's enemies is in fact a compassionate act - because in bringing holy war unto them you actually might save some of them from eternal damnation, and that if you have transgressed in the act you can always repent of it and thus wash your hands of the act in the eyes of God?

This isn't something worthy of contempt - it is a weapon that is very subtle and complex and admirable - but to miss it for a weapon is, I think, wishful thinking.

It is why someone like Ann Coulter - someone who I doubt loses any sleep over the messge of the Sermon on the Mount and acts for all the world like the rich will continue to kick dust in the faces of the meek in perpetuity - is able to claim her opinions are based in piety without cries of dissent from clergymen who would rather join her in bleating fearfully about muslims and atheists. C'est la vie!
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 07:39 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;65963 wrote:
But the myth did not create Christian brutality. The men reading the myth and interpreting the myth to suit their own selfish ends created the brutality. Ignorance created the brutality.

The hero of the myth is murdered, he does not have victims. To say that a myth about a man who endures the brutality of others with compassion somehow created cold-hearted slayings does not make much sense.


I agree it was the perverter's of the message of Jesus, that did hideous acts in his name and indeed in the name of god
Quote:

Xris said

Alan I'm content to condemn the myth that created christian brutality.The conquistadors used the scriptures to murder millions of South Americans.Muslims used their god to kill 80 million pagans.If there was a god don't you think he aught to inform his followers about the excesses they commited in his name?Just one little nudge,one wink, one shake of his head.I can assure you if god exists I will not bow down and worship him, not till his made his excuses and explained his inept reasoning's


But xris were would free will fit into the scenario?, if god came on a huge cloud shouting at we little trembling entities, we would become very frightened little robots

I concur, however, with nearly all you have said, but philosophy was equally guilty at times don't you think?. The twisting of Karl Marx,s basic good idea of a community of sharing people, compared to the actual so called communism in China and the USSR, which in reality did not really bear any resemblance to his idea.

How many died in atheistic China and the USSR due to the twisting of true communism to fit the regime. Maybe 30 million in the USSR and 40 million in China

Philosophy is right up there with religion in the slaughter of the innocents

Depravity seems to follow and haunt man no matter what belief system he chooses

.
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 12:09 pm
@Dave Allen,
Don't you understand when we debate christianity its not the message from Jesus its Paul's.When will you read the bible as a book written by Paul and confirmed by Paul, this Paul is even now disceiving the Christians.

---------- Post added at 01:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:09 PM ----------

Alan McDougall;65984 wrote:
I agree it was the perverter's of the message of Jesus, that did hideous acts in his name and indeed in the name of god


But xris were would free will fit into the scenario?, if god came on a huge cloud shouting at we little trembling entities, we would become very frightened little robots

I concur, however, with nearly all you have said, but philosophy was equally guilty at times don't you think?. The twisting of Karl Marx,s basic good idea of a community of sharing people, compared to the actual so called communism in China and the USSR, which in reality did not really bear any resemblance to his idea.

How many died in atheistic China and the USSR due to the twisting of true communism to fit the regime. Maybe 30 million in the USSR and 40 million in China

Philosophy is right up there with religion in the slaughter of the innocents

Depravity seems to follow and haunt man no matter what belief system he chooses

.
I dont think its actually philosophy Alan but opportunists who debase every revolution by the common man.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 12:36 pm
@xris,
xris;66026 wrote:
Don't you understand when we debate christianity its not the message from Jesus its Paul's.When will you read the bible as a book written by Paul and confirmed by Paul, this Paul is even now disceiving the Christians.

---------- Post added at 01:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:09 PM ----------

I dont think its actually philosophy Alan but opportunists who debase every revolution by the common man.


That is a good point xris , remember the indulgences of the Catholic church that had much to do with the break away into Protestantism , which of course was/is no better

But aren't all religious beliefs just philosophies in another guise?
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 12:52 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;66036 wrote:
That is a good pint xris , remember the indulgences of the Catholic church that had much to do with the break away into Protestantism , which of course was/is no better

But aren't all religious beliefs just philosophies in another guise?
I was hoping there was no certainties in philosophy but certain posters are determined their educated peers are never wrong.Philosophy of religion always amazes me because it accepts certain scriptures as sacrosanct and the concept of questioning their authenticity is hardly ever considered. The runaway train, the tree that falls without a noise are self serving nonsense but it goes on and on like a Chinese water torture.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 01:59 pm
@xris,
xris;66041 wrote:
I was hoping there was no certainties in philosophy but certain posters are determined their educated peers are never wrong.Philosophy of religion always amazes me because it accepts certain scriptures as sacrosanct and the concept of questioning their authenticity is hardly ever considered. The runaway train, the tree that falls without a noise are self serving nonsense but it goes on and on like a Chinese water torture.


What about the quote by Jesus "I am way the truth the life and no one comes to the Father but by me"

Jesus interestingly never ever use the term God
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 02:05 pm
@xris,
Dave Allen;65983 wrote:
Whether you are convinced its true or not might have some bearing on me, or the minority of people who seek to understand the context of such concepts at the time.


Exactly: the minority of people, people who have a conception of Hell that is not the same as the popular conception of Hell.

You claimed that the popular conception of Hell is taught in the New Testament. I explained how you were mistaken.

Dave Allen;65983 wrote:

By the time of Jesus it MIGHT have meant something, or it MAY have meant something else - certainly the popular perception of Hellfire, eternal damnation and torment, does not seem to date back later than the time of Jesus.


Torment predates Jesus. Plato describes Tartarus, a place in Hades where souls go for eternal punishment. In Ancient Egypt, a person found guilty in death is subjected to torment and then complete annihilation.

In Buddhism, a person may be reincarnated into a Naraka, a world of great suffering. The hot Narakas are associated with hellfire images familiar to anyone who has read Dante.

So that's all three, hell fire, eternal damnation, and torment, all predating Jesus.

Dave Allen;65983 wrote:
Which is why he comes across as a terribly naive interpreter of human nature. If my argument was that he wanted people to kill in his name, then I would have some apparent disparities to account for - but it isn't. The following comedy sketch illustrates what I mean, illuminating the fact that Jesus regularly fails to illuminate - rather he bewilders...


Jesus is naive because he teaches that we develop understanding rather than resort to violence?

The New Testament explicitly states that some of the teachings are difficult to understand. The reader is warned that he will be bewildered and confused. Illumination requires reflection, serious thought, not simply a read through.

Dave Allen;65983 wrote:
If you read Avatar's comments in the "Christianity" thread it is quite clear that he does not view Jesus' commands to turn the other cheek, march two miles if ordered to walk one and so on, as exortations not to kill. He may be a religious hypocrite for all I know, but he's in very good company. I think MOST Christians think as he does, because being asked to love others as yourself is to ask the impossible.


What is your point? I am arguing that the popular conception of Hell is not taught by the New Testament. Pointing out the belief of most Christians in no way supports your claim that the New Testament teaches the popular conception of Hell.

Dave Allen;65983 wrote:

* We are intrinsically sinful.
* We are to love others as ourselves.
* Whilst we are sinful God sent his avatar to suffer and die to atone for us.
* If you accept this you accept heaven, if you don't you face damnation.
* Damnation is popularly accepted as eternal torture of the dead.


It is universal to humans that we will sin, and Jesus teaches us to love others as ourselves. Jesus died on the cross in order to teach through the power of moral example.

Heaven is not the result of accepting as true certain claims. Heaven requires activity: simply saying "I love others as myself" is not sufficient, one must actually practice that sort of love for others.

Eternal damnation is not explicitly taught, and contradicts explicit teachings of Jesus.

Damnation is, however, popularly accept as eternal torture of the dead.

Dave Allen;65983 wrote:
Now whether or not your own brand of rather lassez faire pantheism accepts this as a correct or incorrect interpretation - it is the popular one.


I am not a pantheist. God is not equivalent to nature.

The popular interpretation is not the issue here. My whole point is that the popular interpretation is not what is actually taught in the New Testament.

Dave Allen;65983 wrote:
So it's easy to see that Conquistadores could justify the roughouse civilisation of the Americas as a 'loving' act. They spread the word - saving those natives wise enough to listen to listen from damnation. As for those who get killed on the way - well they were unrepentant savages, and provided the killers atone for their trespasses then they are probably - on balance - doing good in their eyes, and those of the accompanying priests.


Yeah, I got that. My points are simple: these justifications of violence necessarily use incorrect interpretation of scripture and that the New Testament explicitly teaches against such uses of violence. Becuase these justifications rely on incorrect interpretation of scripture, the ignorant interpreter is at fault and not the Scripture itself.

Dave Allen;65983 wrote:
I don't see who you are to judge on anything other than a subjective level.


I am not judging: my statement was simple truth of literary criticism. No one interpretation of a work is right, but there are incorrect interpretations. If there are no incorrect interpretations, then literature is meaningless because it can be interpreted in any way the reader likes with no regard given to the actual content of the work.

Dave Allen;65983 wrote:

Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone were an enlightened pantheist who made optimistic interpretations of numerous religious texts and decried belligerent interpretations as rubbish?


An enlightened person would not take overly optimistic interpretations of scripture; an enlightened person would, theoretically, understand the scripture's meaning - including the good teaching as well as the aspects of scripture worth criticizing.

Optimistic interpretations are no good. We need honest interpretations, we have to be able to criticize teachings.

Dave Allen;65983 wrote:
Perhaps ... but it's the same attitude pretty much everyone privately asserts. Don't wahabbhists believe that everything will be wonderful once everyone accepts a fundamental reading of the Koran and the Hadith?


I suppose they might do this. But there is a crucial difference: the fundamentalist says that there is only one correct way to interpret scripture, while I maintain that scripture, like all literature, can have multiple correct interpretations.

Dave Allen;65983 wrote:
All successful religions rely on varying interpretations - because they are political in nature and need to weather various societal situations in order to survive.


Yes, scripture must be open to multiple interpretations. That's a good thing. A scripture is useless if it has only one interpretation because a single dogmatic interpretation does not allow for the uniqueness of each practitioner to become manifest in the application of scripture learning to life. Multiple interpretations allows each person to benefit from the scripture according to their own uniqueness. Recognizing that some interpretations can be incorrect allows us the ability to have scripture that simultaneously allows each person to benefit from the scripture according to their own uniqueness and defend against ignorant and wrong interpretations of scripture (for example, if someone reads Jesus' words "love thy neighbor as thyself" and interprets them as meaning "go forth and slaughter indescriminately every other person you meet").

Dave Allen;65983 wrote:
It is a great weapon in the arsenal of Christianity that followers have excuses to justify violence when need be.


What is a "great weapon"? And when do Christians need to justify violence? Is this statement really true of Christianity universally, or just true in that sometimes Christians pervert scripture to justify violence for selfish ends? The later I agree with, the former is something you cannot possibly prove.

Dave Allen;65983 wrote:
What better weapon could there be than being able to tell yourself that the vanquishing of one's enemies is in fact a compassionate act - because in bringing holy war unto them you actually might save some of them from eternal damnation, and that if you have transgressed in the act you can always repent of it and thus wash your hands of the act in the eyes of God?


Sounds like a heck of a weapon. But this is all beside the point.

Again, reread my argument: that to justify violence with an interpretation of Christian scripture is to necessarily misinterpret the scripture.

You can done on as long as you like about the violence committed in the name of Christianity, but no such examples in any way address my point.

Dave Allen;65983 wrote:
it is a weapon that is very subtle and complex and admirable - but to miss it for a weapon is, I think, wishful thinking.


Who said we should miss this weapon (the use of misinterpretation of scripture to justify violence)? I am aware of the "weapon" and this is exactly why I make the point that using scripture to justify violence is to necessarily misrepresent the scripture.

My argument is simple:
1. The NT teaches pacifism
2. The NT does not teach violence
3. Therefore, any one who justifies violence by sighting the NT is mistaken about the NT's teachings or purposedly misrepresenting the NT's teachings.

I really do not understand our disagreement. If you think literature has meaning, if you think that the New Testament is literature, then you should readily grant that there can be incorrect interpretations of the New Testament. The only reasonable ground for disagreement between us is on whether or not the New Testament explicitly teaches violence.

Dave Allen;65983 wrote:
It is why someone like Ann Coulter - someone who I doubt loses any sleep over the messge of the Sermon on the Mount and acts for all the world like the rich will continue to kick dust in the faces of the meek in perpetuity - is able to claim her opinions are based in piety without cries of dissent from clergymen who would rather join her in bleating fearfully about muslims and atheists. C'est la vie!


You do know that there are and have been socially conscious clergymen?

Just a quick google search gives an example of religious establishment criticizing Ann Couler:
Newsmax.com - Ann Coulter Strikes Back on Jewish Issue

"Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United, also criticized Coulter, saying he was "dumbfounded" by her remarks. "

Depicting Christians, or members of any other large and ancient faith tradition, as one monolithic group is going to lead to an inaccurate depiction. I'm with you, man: let's get upset when religious people do vile things. But let's not do the same in reverse by saying vile and untrue things about all religious people.

xris;66026 wrote:
Don't you understand when we debate christianity its not the message from Jesus its Paul's.When will you read the bible as a book written by Paul and confirmed by Paul, this Paul is even now disceiving the Christians.


While it is true that Paulist teachings sometimes receive apparent favor over teachings of Jesus, it does not follow that all debate on Christianity is about Paul's message and not Jesus' message. As a matter of fact (f-a-c-t) both the teachings of Paul and the teachings attributed to Jesus are the subject of discssion regarding Christianity. Books exist which treat just one of each aforementioned subject.

Paul did not write the Bible. He probably wrote several shorter works included within most Bibles. Paul did not confirm the Bible. The Bible has been confirmed in many different versions, at many different times, in various denominations and never did Paul play a role in this confirmation of canon.

Whether or not Paul is teaching something that contradicts the teachings of Jesus is a matter of great debate and not easily resolved. If we look at the basic teachings introduced by Paul, the only significant disagreement comes with Paul's belief about what is necessary for salvation: he believes that salvation is only possible through Jesus.

But we also find surprisingly modern explicit teachings in Paul, specifically, the inclusion of women in spiritual rites: 1 Corinthians 11 Paul suggests quite clearly that women can not only pray, but that women can also prophesie! This passage is directly contradicted by the much later 1 Timothy 2:11-12. Many scholars think that the earlier epistle is genuinely Paul's work and that the later epistle is an interpolation of Paul's work used to marginalize women in accordance with cultural standards. In this scenario, it is not Paul who promotes hate, but later editors who decide that Paul is too progressive.[/COLOR][/COLOR]
 
 

 
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 06/19/2019 at 04:13:44