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A few questions from an open-minded agnostic.

OzSpen

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This is a bit off-topic, but I feel like saying it. I don't believe humans are special. We have feelings and inclinations and patterns of behavior, but I don't trust them to point to any truth.
John DS,

If human beings are not special, then surely we should resort to this:
image courtesy Adam's Tavern, Blacktown NSW, Australia.

Walk into your nearest butcher shop or supermarket’s meat department and look at the choices: beef, veal, mutton, lamb, pork and chicken. In some meat departments you may find turkey, geese and duck.

However, there is a kind of flesh you will not find in Australian butchers’ meat trays.

Which meat is missing?

Why can’t I buy homo sapiens’ chops, people porterhouse steak, mortal mince, lady beef rissoles, macho sausages, and human BBQ spare ribs? Why not?

Tribes of human beings in the past used to eat each other. They were called cannibals.

Is it illegal to eat human flesh in your country? Why or why not? If human beings are not special, why can't we expect to see their flesh with BBQ spare ribs along with monkey rib fillet?

Oz
 
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Is it illegal to eat human flesh in your country? Why or why not? If human beings are not special, why can't we expect to see their flesh with BBQ spare ribs along with monkey rib fillet?
Well, monkey is still eaten in some places. Humans are special to humans because it is beneficial to humans. That alone doesn't say anything about humans being special on a celestial scale. If I had to choose between living in a society where anybody could murder me with no consequence or my dead body could be eaten, and a society where that isn't the case, I would pick the latter. I think eating monkeys being somewhat taboo in most places supports my view. They're certainly not special, but they remind us of ourselves too much. Crows have funerals and families and some animals can see more colors than we can. I obviously can't prove we're not important on a grand scale though.
 

Luminous_Rose

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This is a bit off-topic, but I feel like saying it. I don't believe humans are special.
At times it is hard for us to have hope for humanity or all feel like we are just a speck in this big old world of all these people.

If people weren't so special then why do we have the ability to self reflect upon our lives and actions? A lion doesn't sit there and feel guilty about the gazelle they killed and ate earlier. Animals do not have the capability to self reflect like we do. I would say that is one things that makes people special.

Supposedly DNA if stretched from end to end could go from the sun and back about 600 times. How special to have a code so complex and small naturally in our bodies. How is it that we can have millions or billions of people on this planet and we all habe different dna? Each person is unique and special!

God wanted to share His divine nature with us. I feel that is definitely something to treasure. Just as a few thoughts.
 
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If people weren't so special then why do we have the ability to self reflect upon our lives and actions? A lion doesn't sit there and feel guilty about the gazelle they killed and ate earlier. Animals do not have the capability to self reflect like we do. I would say that is one things that makes people special.
We don't really know what lions are thinking, but we know they aren't very smart. A dog is smarter, and a pig is smarter than a dog and a crow is smarter still. What goes through their minds is a mystery. DNA isn't unique to us either. Language is what I think sets humans apart from "animals" most. The part in our brain responsible for that is unique to us. I'm know very little about that. Special can mean a lot of things, but within Christianity it seems to mean us both being modeled after the perfect maker of everything and us being the most important thing to this creator.

Of course we would rather believe we resemble God rather than something far older like jellyfish or bacteria. That wouldn't feel as good. We don't have any reason to think there's anything better than us, but i'm not certain it's not out there. The whole idea of changing our "design" in some way doesn't seem to gel well with Christianity, but I feel we are headed in that direction. Nobody here is happy with where things seem to be going though, right?
 

Reformed05

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We don't really know what lions are thinking, but we know they aren't very smart. A dog is smarter, and a pig is smarter than a dog and a crow is smarter still. What goes through their minds is a mystery. DNA isn't unique to us either. Language is what I think sets humans apart from "animals" most. The part in our brain responsible for that is unique to us. I'm know very little about that. Special can mean a lot of things, but within Christianity it seems to mean us both being modeled after the perfect maker of everything and us being the most important thing to this creator.

Of course we would rather believe we resemble God rather than something far older like jellyfish or bacteria. That wouldn't feel as good. We don't have any reason to think there's anything better than us, but i'm not certain it's not out there. The whole idea of changing our "design" in some way doesn't seem to gel well with Christianity, but I feel we are headed in that direction. Nobody here is happy with where things seem to be going though, right?
But Christians have hope and they know, because God has told them in His Word, which is the Bible, what is laid up in Heaven for the future for those who believe. Not all the details of course but we know all things broken in this world will be restored, never to be broken again.
 

Luminous_Rose

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We don't really know what lions are thinking, but we know they aren't very smart. A dog is smarter, and a pig is smarter than a dog and a crow is smarter still. What goes through their minds is a mystery. DNA isn't unique to us either. Language is what I think sets humans apart from "animals" most. The part in our brain responsible for that is unique to us. I'm know very little about that. Special can mean a lot of things, but within Christianity it seems to mean us both being modeled after the perfect maker of everything and us being the most important thing to this creator.

Of course we would rather believe we resemble God rather than something far older like jellyfish or bacteria. That wouldn't feel as good. We don't have any reason to think there's anything better than us, but i'm not certain it's not out there. The whole idea of changing our "design" in some way doesn't seem to gel well with Christianity, but I feel we are headed in that direction. Nobody here is happy with where things seem to be going though, right?
Saying nobody is happy with how things are going ia more of an absolute. I am happy with the way things in life are going. I believe God has blessed us and I couldn't be more grateful. I am alive, my health is improving, and I have loving family in my life. Sure, the world is scary and things happen every day that I don't agree with out there. However, I won't let it steal my hope and faith in God. No matter what happens, I know God will keep me safe.

It doesn't sound realistic to me to come from bacteria or a jellyfish or whatever. I don't say that because being created sounds better, but because it is true. How is it possible we were created from bacteria into something like a human being? That is like saying we somehow made ourselves, that we didn't need a Creator to survive.

If we see a building, do we assume it built itself? No, there was a construction team or engineers to build it. If we see a painting, do we assume it just appeared. Probably not, that painting needed a painter or designer. In the same way, creation has a Creator.

I know without a doubt that God created us all special and with purpose to fulfill His will =)

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails (Proverbs 19:21)

We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
 
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It doesn't sound realistic to me to come from bacteria or a jellyfish or whatever. I don't say that because being created sounds better, but because it is true. How is it possible we were created from bacteria into something like a human being?

If we see a building, do we assume it built itself? No, there was a construction team or engineers to build it. If we see a painting, do we assume it just appeared. Probably not, that painting needed a painter or designer. In the same way, creation has a Creator.
Human have a tiny life span, and our brains are very limited. If you try to imagine five of something, like five apples, it's easy. I mean every individual apple. Then you get to ten and it's a bit trickier. At twenty it's much easier to just imagine 20 as an abstract number. One hundred is just one with two zeroes after it, but to see every apple out of a hundred all at once in your head is superhuman. Billions of years don't mean anything to us outside of an abstract sense because it's beyond us. You can picture a jellyfish and you can picture a human and you can picture a day, but you can't picture billions of years.

Even if somebody makes a watch, as soon as it's made they don't have to do anything. It just runs on its own. A building just stands on its own, apart from very deliberate maintenance. If the world and its creatures were unchanging and remained pristine I would be very compelled to think it's all deliberate. These are just my thoughts. Aside from your personal life, do you think the world is headed in a bad direction? Are we approaching the end of this way of living?
 
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Luminous_Rose

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Aside from your personal life, do you think the world is headed in a bad direction? Are we approaching the end of this way of living?
I do believe there is a lot of sin in the world and many nations that are not accepting God's laws. The world is full of sin. So yes, I do believe the world is headed the wrong direction. Just because I am joyful in my own life doesn't mean there isn't a world full of sorrow out there. We are instructed not to be of this world.

Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1 John 2:15-17
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.


It is guranteed that the world will hate believers and that is a sign of a world that doesn't love God so that is bad.


John 15:19
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

Matthew 10:22
You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Yes, the world is getting closer to it's end each day. One day, God will decide to send Jesus back. We do not know when, but it will happen.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
or the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

Of course in Revelation it mentions much about the end of the world. The world will follow on more than likely a steadily growing corrupt path because of sin.

It is still important to remember we have hope because Jesus has called us out of the world. As humans, we have all sinned. Have you ever stolen a pen? Then you are a thief. Have you ever lied? Then you are a liar. Ever lusted after someone? Then you have committed adultery in your heart. According to God's law (Exodus 20) that is already 3/10 commandments we have broken. The bad news is if you die, you will stand before God and go to Hell. The good news is Jesus died for your sins. The fine has been paid. God can legally dismiss your case and allow you into Heaven, He has forgiven you. What you need to do is ask for forgiveness, repent of your sins, and read God's word (The Holy Bible) daily and obey it!

I take comfort in the hope and faith I have that one day in Heaven there will be no suffering, no danger, no illness, or no starvation.
 

OzSpen

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Well, monkey is still eaten in some places. Humans are special to humans because it is beneficial to humans. That alone doesn't say anything about humans being special on a celestial scale. If I had to choose between living in a society where anybody could murder me with no consequence or my dead body could be eaten, and a society where that isn't the case, I would pick the latter. I think eating monkeys being somewhat taboo in most places supports my view. They're certainly not special, but they remind us of ourselves too much. Crows have funerals and families and some animals can see more colors than we can. I obviously can't prove we're not important on a grand scale though.
Yes, monkey is eaten in some cultures and is considered 'wild meat'. Eating it is not recommended. The Daily Mail (UK) reported:
African scientists warn that eating monkeys and apes could cause 'the next HIV'
  • 80% of meat eaten in Cameroon is bushmeat including gorilla and chimp
  • HIV-like virus called 'Simian foamy virus' could jump to humans, say researchers
  • Hunters become infected with Simian virus
  • Meat has also caused mass deaths possibly due to Ebola
By Rob Waugh, Daily Mail (UK),Published: 03:18 AEDT, 26 May 2012 | Updated: 04:54 AEDT, 26 May 2012

Scientists in Cameroon have warned that eating monkeys and apes could cause the next HIV.​
They are already tracking a HIV-like virus called simian foamy virus, and fear more viruses could spread and lead to a global health crisis.​
80 per cent of the meat eaten in Cameroon is killed in the wild and is known as ‘bushmeat’,with gorilla, chimpanzee or monkey favourites.​


John, you seem to have missed my point. You say there's nothing special about human beings. If that's so, why can't you and I buy BBQ human spare ribs in the meat department at the local supermarket?

The Scriptures state human beings are special and radically different from any animal on the planet.

Are you interested in knowing more?

Oz
 
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John, you seem to have missed my point. You say there's nothing special about human beings. If that's so, why can't you and I buy BBQ human spare ribs in the meat department at the local supermarket?

Are you interested in knowing more?
Diseases are spread between primates and us because of our biological similarities. It's the same with pigs to a lesser extent. I wrote "if I had to choose between living in a society where anybody could murder me with no consequence or my dead body could be eaten, and a society where that isn't the case, I would pick the latter". My assumption is that most people feel similar. Society exists to make life easier. Supermarkets are part of that and so is not having to worry as much about losing your life. It's a very old, mutual agreement among people. We also empathize with what reminds us of ourselves and that has helped us in the past. Ants and bees have something similar to altruism and it helps them as a group too.

I am interested in knowing more about your perspective. Assuming humans are special, what else would you like to tell me about? I'm also curious about Christian's thoughts on Annihilationism.
 

OzSpen

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Diseases are spread between primates and us because of our biological similarities. It's the same with pigs to a lesser extent. I wrote "if I had to choose between living in a society where anybody could murder me with no consequence or my dead body could be eaten, and a society where that isn't the case, I would pick the latter". My assumption is that most people feel similar. Society exists to make life easier. Supermarkets are part of that and so is not having to worry as much about losing your life. It's a very old, mutual agreement among people. We also empathize with what reminds us of ourselves and that has helped us in the past. Ants and bees have something similar to altruism and it helps them as a group too.

I am interested in knowing more about your perspective. Assuming humans are special, what else would you like to tell me about? I'm also curious about Christian's thoughts on Annihilationism.
John D S,

I'm not discussing human beings as similar to primates - because they aren't. Have you ever tried to talk with a gorilla and communicate to make rational sense? You stated:

"if I had to choose between living in a society where anybody could murder me with no consequence or my dead body could be eaten, and a society where that isn't the case, I would pick the latter". My assumption is that most people feel similar.​

You admit this is your 'assumption' and most people 'feel similar'. Assumptions and feelings don't make for a rational society. Assumptions need to be demonstrated to be true and feelings are so unreliable.

God's perspective is radically different. Human beings are special. Take a read of Genesis 1:24-27 (NLT):

24 Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind—livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened. 25 God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.​
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”​
27 So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.​

God made animals and then he made human beings 'in our image, to be like us'.

The difference among monkeys, chooks, cattle, kangaroos and human beings is that only human beings are made in the image of God. One of the roles of human beings is to rule over fish, birds, livestock, wild animals and animals that scurry along the ground.

The uniqueness of human beings is clearly seen by comparing these human beings with chickens: Sir Isaac Newton, William Wilberforce, William & Catherine Booth, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, NASA scientists, Billy Graham, the terrorists of 9/11, you and me.

So what does it mean to be made in the image of God? Think about it.

As for annihilation, why don't you start another thread that deals with it? I consider the better alternative would be for you to make sure you experience eternal life now and forever.

Oz
 
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You admit this is your 'assumption' and most people 'feel similar'. Assumptions and feelings don't make for a rational society. Assumptions need to be demonstrated to be true and feelings are so unreliable.
I don't know how rational our society is, but i'm glad it exists. I read that part of Genesis. I wonder what it means to rule over animals. Is in the image of God a physical similarity or a mental one? Humans did not have knowledge of good and evil, and we are not omniscient, so if there is some mental similarity, wouldn't humans be a partial image? Just how much better are we than everything else? Is the soul what matters?
 

OzSpen

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I don't know how rational our society is, but i'm glad it exists. I read that part of Genesis. I wonder what it means to rule over animals. Is in the image of God a physical similarity or a mental one? Humans did not have knowledge of good and evil, and we are not omniscient, so if there is some mental similarity, wouldn't humans be a partial image? Just how much better are we than everything else? Is the soul what matters?
JDS,

Surely you know what it is to 'rule over animals'. What happens in your country with farmers who raise cattle, sheep, pigs, etc? They rule over them by feeding, herding to take to markets, and slaughtering for meat.

To be made in the image of God cannot refer to physical image as God is not seen in flesh and blood. He is spirit (John 4:24). What then could God's image in human beings include? I consider it refers to the immaterial parts of human beings.

We have soul, mind, emotions, knowledge, etc. See this article which explains the nature of human beings being made in the image of God: What does it mean that humanity is made in the image of God (imago dei)?

Oz

P.S. In which part of Washington State do you live? I graduated from a college in Kirkland WA. Or are you in Washington DC?
 
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Is the soul what matters?
Yes. The soul is eternal and we are either being called into the light or will be in darkness. That is why Jesus gave his flesh up, because it wasn't the end. We are to do the will of God here on earth until "he" calls us home. God is building his eternal family. It's not about us, it is about him. And, God is Love.
 

wondering

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hi. im jumping in here -very- late, just...couldn't resist the urge to type my 2 cents worth, as they say.


OK...the canon was decided I think in 325 CE or so. fun fact: the original JKV Bibles included The Apocrypha. I think it was purged in the 19th century or so. As a Christian...

I believe that The Bible, as is, is a result of God moving thru men and women and getting the correct books together for future generations whom He would choose to draw nigh unto Him. and...

yes, morality shifts and changes over the years, centuries. why? well...

Scripture speaks of building one's house (life) on "the solid rock," which would be Jesus and The Good News. Christ, and Him Resurrected, basically. This is compared to building on sand, the shifting and changing whims of the surrounding world. And yet...

1) human nature is fairly constant. we're all self-centered, self-loving, prideful, boastful, turned away from God...from birth, no less. So...a lot of the shifts in morality have more to do with with social and economic shifts (I'd recommend skimming Marx for more on that), not any change in the core of human nature.

2) Christianity at the core is fairly constant. God is omnipotent and omniscient and, thank goodness, omnibenevolent--"...'twas grace that saved a wretch like me." I think you posted a question about marriage. Early Christians were often celibate. Marriage for the faithful is a big deal...you get 1 shot (usually...) at a meaningful, -life long- , faithful union with someone of the other sex. many do not marry. many cannot marry.

3) Remember this: The Good Lord saves His people from sin, satan, self, death, and the world. notice: The World. In The Pilgrim's Progress, the world is shown as "Vanity Fair," if I recall correctly, and it is a constant source of temptation and sometimes pain for the faithful believer.

4) I cannot convince you to repent and be saved. I don't think anyone can. I can see about planting seeds that may or may not bear fruit in the days and years to come. It is God who gives the increase, after all.

5) God is Love.

6) Scripture makes a whole lot more sense to me -now- , after Jesus took serious pity on me and I repented, than it did when I was unrepentant, still in and of the world. I found The Bible rather dull back then...now, I see wisdom and, above all else, Truth.

ok. off to bed now. have a nice day. :)
What a great post CE !
:clap
 

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