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A few questions from an open-minded agnostic.

PeterJens

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Well, I'm actually doing much worse than I was when I first posted this thread. The lack of routine and campus setting has removed the things distracting me from my emotional cravings. You're right that I've lost interest in this if I may be permitted to say so. I just check in out of force of habit.

I'll say this. I don't know if you're right. I don't know enough and i'm not in a postion to evaluate the validity of your statments. From what I have been thinking about religion, the whole heaven thing is probably what I have most issue with actually. I hear a lot that you should do everything for the glory of god, literally everything, but most of those activies people enjoy, even Christians, wont be done in heaven anyway and I doubt most people would say their absolute favorite part of week is going to Church. Maybe i'm wrong about that. There's not even marriage in heaven.

I don't like people. I think they're just biological machines. I don't value my relationships, whatever ones I have, with others. I think I've was always an abnormal person. That about sums up my current feelings.
I think your assumptions are wrong. Heaven is a new earth and God dwelling with man on earth. If we have biological life, we have food, we have energy and we have work.
Some project an etherial other, except they forget earth was made by God and it was good, as well as life. It was the path life took that went wrong, but the Lord is prepared to give the elect the right path.

Jesus gave a clue. To the faithful servants He said, you have been faithful in a little now you will have responsibility over much. Whatever God has in store this was just the training ground, the beginning and what is to come is so much bigger and vast than we can imagine. Look at the universe that we know and how small our little earth is.
God bless you
 

LovethroughDove

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Well, I'm actually doing much worse than I was when I first posted this thread. The lack of routine and campus setting has removed the things distracting me from my emotional cravings. You're right that I've lost interest in this if I may be permitted to say so. I just check in out of force of habit.

I'll say this. I don't know if you're right. I don't know enough and i'm not in a postion to evaluate the validity of your statments. From what I have been thinking about religion, the whole heaven thing is probably what I have most issue with actually. I hear a lot that you should do everything for the glory of god, literally everything, but most of those activies people enjoy, even Christians, wont be done in heaven anyway and I doubt most people would say their absolute favorite part of week is going to Church. Maybe i'm wrong about that. There's not even marriage in heaven.

I don't like people. I think they're just biological machines. I don't value my relationships, whatever ones I have, with others. I think I've was always an abnormal person. That about sums up my current feelings.
You can express yourself however you want. That is your God-given right. We are Christians on here and only try to help, so say your feelings.

Some of us can taste what is ahead for us and it won't be boring. My best day on earth won't compare at all to what is in the future, but we have to stick it out here to help others.
 

Serving Zion

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Well, I'm actually doing much worse than I was when I first posted this thread. The lack of routine and campus setting has removed the things distracting me from my emotional cravings.
I understand. The people really do not know the depth of harm being done to society through the distancing measures being put in place.

You're right that I've lost interest in this if I may be permitted to say so. I just check in out of force of habit.
I am glad you have said so. Most people simply run away and it never gets reported as feedback for consideration!

I'll say this. I don't know if you're right. I don't know enough and i'm not in a postion to evaluate the validity of your statments.
You know, it can't stay that way because what I have said is a thing you will be forced to have an opinion about (even subconsciously if so be). So it will happen as time brings opportunities for you to find agreement with what I have said, and in those moments you may come to see it the way I do, or for whatever reason there is that would lead you away, into disagreement.

From what I have been thinking about religion, the whole heaven thing is probably what I have most issue with actually. I hear a lot that you should do everything for the glory of god, literally everything, but most of those activies people enjoy, even Christians, wont be done in heaven anyway
I wonder if you could name a few? I have all sorts coming to mind, that I don't know if it is what you had meant (eg: swimming, gaming, music, fishing etc.. but not that I'm into all of that personally, it's just what I think you might mean when you say "things Christians do").

I doubt most people would say their absolute favorite part of week is going to Church.
Now that's where I am different! .. I have literally found that the most difficult thing, as a Christian, that the lack of enthusiasm for church, and integrity thereof, I am constantly searching for a church that can actually give me enough of God!

There's not even marriage in heaven.
Yes of course, and that really is the whole reason for marriage in the first place: it is to complete a person - but when a person is in full contentment, are they not then just as they were as a child - not needing another person to confide in, to trust and to share with? In heaven of course, they are complete in and of themselves.

I don't like people. I think they're just biological machines.
Is it really people that you don't like, though, or their sinfulness? I know it's hard for you to answer it knowing so little about sin, but it's meant moreso as a rhetorical question, to challenge you to observe that when people are doing decency and being nice as a human is meant to be, there you see what a human is truly meant to be. I was reading Ecclesiastes yesterday, and one of the things that stood out to me I would like to share with you, is in Ecclesiastes 9:18 and Ecclesiastes 10:1 (basically meaning that even though a person does many good things, the few harmful things are so damaging that all the good counts for nothing).

I don't value my relationships, whatever ones I have, with others.
I'm a bit like that myself, but I wouldn't say it is necessarily wise. It's just who I am, and I think it is hard for people to have trust in us when we are likely to treat them just as we would treat anyone else (ie: without favouritism) .. but it doesn't necessarily mean that it produces bad treatment from us, just that they are always wary and secretly opposed to our success in case they end up being in a position of having no way to influence our decisions through emotion.

I think I've was always an abnormal person.
That is a potentially valuable thing! :)
 
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Recently I went on a psychology focused forum and tried discussing some of my personal issues, but the reception I've received has been far less warm there than it has been here. Although I was a lot more specific about my problems on there. I don't know how much it's worth or what it really indicates, but I've noticed it.

Maybe something like Christianity is necessary to make average people "decent", but on the other hand the people here are the ones who care enough to join an online forum, so you guys may not represent average Christians. I agree that there's an inherent problem with people, but I think there might be other ways to fix those issues.

I wonder if you could name a few?

Is it really people that you don't like, though, or their sinfulness? I know it's hard for you to answer it knowing so little about sin, but it's meant moreso as a rhetorical question, to challenge you to observe that when people are doing decency and being nice as a human is meant to be
Football. It's socially acceptable to be fanatical about it, but when you look closely at it, there's quite a few things about it that are detrimental to society. You can't be as openly passionate about interests which are less common even if those interests are objectively less harmful. I can't imagine something so commercial being in heaven.

Well, being that I know so little about sin, I just see those inclinations as natural to people and built in. When I think about my own emotions and look at my own reactions, I notice that's it's all just shifting patterns and habits. I peel back the curtain and all I see is gears and dials. Nothing really suprises me anymore.

In my opinion, pity and kindness aren't very good predictors of long-term "decent" behavior. Those emotions are fleeting and spontaneous. People are built to stop feeling them soon enough and become apathetic as other things grab at their attention. I think conscientiousness and stoicism may be better predictors of dependability and selflessness. People who care about honesty and are unconcerned about their own suffering. Warmth might be misleading. Plenty of people who seem warm and nice act selfishly, they're probably blind to their own behavior. I don't know if the bible has anything to say about this.
 

jerry63935

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Maybe something like Christianity is necessary to make average people "decent", but on the other hand the people here are the ones who care enough to join an online forum, so you guys may not represent average Christians. I agree that there's an inherent problem with people, but I think there might be other ways to fix those issues.
Christianity is better experienced than explained When Jesus said we must be born again .its a spiritual birth the natural mind can not comprehend it . a person can try to analyze it. when the Holy spirit comes into your heart after your saved . a person will see things from a different perspective . our eyes are opened we are transformed from darkness to light . does it make us perfect ? no . only forgiven With Christ in our life every thing changes . we reach out to those w/o Christ in Love. you will find Christians more willing to listen. the reason we all was a mess at one time or another . we also still have problems we face every day . if we sin we have a advocate if we have feelings all ut of sort. we have a high priest Jesus who went through the same thing. last its not about us But him what he done for us on the cross
 
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Christianity is better experienced than explained
This kind of goes back to what I was saying before about how you have to believe it first before you're able to believe it. I'm not taking any position or asking for a postion on it, but there is also the whole once saved always saved issue. I'm just saying it exists and that it kind of throws a wrench into things. I've noticed it, that's all. I didn't even know about it before coming here.

I'm over here asking questions while most people are way more apathetic, so things aren't looking good from that vantage point either. Sometimes I see people say believers shouldn't care what nonbelievers do and think, other times I see people say concern for nonbelievers is necessary and significant. Can you help people without understanding or knowing about them?
 

LovethroughDove

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Football. It's socially acceptable to be fanatical about it, but when you look closely at it, there's quite a few things about it that are detrimental to society. You can't be as openly passionate about interests which are less common even if those interests are objectively less harmful. I can't imagine something so commercial being in heaven.
I do support my local NFL team (Seahawks), but I do get annoyed that I can't be rocking a Jesus is#1 t-shirt without people thinking I'm a total nerd. It should be cool to do that.
 

Who Me

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Maybe something like Christianity is necessary to make average people "decent"
No it is an influential portion of society that live Christianity and cause others to adopt and live by Christianities standards.

Morality can be forced on people, but that only produces as morality of following the rules. We already have that, even if the rules are not clear.

May I suggest looking at why people do what they do.
Why do atheist give to charity etc, where does there belief tell them this is a good thing to do.
Why do other religions give to charity?
Why do Christians?
 
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Morality can be forced on people, but that only produces as morality of following the rules. We already have that, even if the rules are not clear.
I think it's more about feelings than following rules. People are raised to have a moral code and then feel emotionally invested in following that code. Following rules is rational, while following morals isn't. There's many paths to feeling inclined to do something. Most people don't question it I think.

Protestantism certainly has a strong cultural hold in America, so even people who aren't very religous share some similarities with Christians in their feelings and perceptions.
 

JohnDB

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Well, being that I know so little about sin, I just see those inclinations as natural to people and built in. When I think about my own emotions and look at my own reactions, I notice that's it's all just shifting patterns and habits. I peel back the curtain and all I see is gears and dials. Nothing really suprises me anymore.
Annnd...and that's why we study the Bible.
Within it contains the very definition of "good" and outlines what is "evil"
In my opinion, pity and kindness aren't very good predictors of long-term "decent" behavior. Those emotions are fleeting and spontaneous. People are built to stop feeling them soon enough and become apathetic as other things grab at their attention. I think conscientiousness and stoicism may be better predictors of dependability and selflessness. People who care about honesty and are unconcerned about their own suffering. Warmth might be misleading. Plenty of people who seem warm and nice act selfishly, they're probably blind to their own behavior. I don't know if the bible has anything to say about this.
Actually it does.
The problem is that most of the morality lessons are told in the form of stories and metaphors.
God has his reasons for this and I won't get into them now.
But everyone, generally speaking, is "good/right/justified" in their own mind for their actions...no matter how horrible they may be.
There was a study done as to why people went along with authority figures to demonize the Jews and commit genocide during WWII...and the number of those who wouldn't push the button to deliver the Electrical shocks was pitifully few. Everyone hated his study. Because it shows our inherent ability to justify our horrible actions. No one wants to be guilty...but everyone is.
Even now we have people who treat the "sinner's prayer" as a fire insurance policy. And so much more is required than an incantation.

Then we have those who preach legalism. Strict adherence to a set of rules based loosely on scriptures. Even those who do so still miss the essence of the Gospel Message.

"The path is narrow and few find it"
Yeah...that's true.
 

HeIsRisen2018

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May I suggest looking at why people do what they do.
Why do atheist give to charity etc, where does there belief tell them this is a good thing to do.
Why do other religions give to charity?
Why do Christians?


Maybe because they have hearts?
 

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Maybe because they have hearts?
Yes many atheists are very compassionate, that is not the point.
The point is where in there philosophy of life and belief does it say they should be compassionate?

I'll answer this for you. No where in there worldview does it say be nice or kind to others, in fact it does say the opposite.
Evolution teaches that the strong prey upon the weak, that others are competitors for the resources they need.
A kind and nice atheist is an atheist who is not living according to his beliefs.

Other religions do good because they will be rewarded.

It is only Christianity that says Love your enemies, do good to those who perscute you.
 

Who Me

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I think it's more about feelings than following rules. People are raised to have a moral code and then feel emotionally invested in following that code. Following rules is rational, while following morals isn't. There's many paths to feeling inclined to do something. Most people don't question it I think.

Protestantism certainly has a strong cultural hold in America, so even people who aren't very religous share some similarities with Christians in their feelings and perceptions.
Morality has nothing to do with ' feelings ' and everything to do with doing what is right.

You are right that the west is living on the decaying capital of a vitreous Christian past, but that is going fast.

I've asked why do Atheists do good?
And have answered it. A gooder atheist is an oxymoron.

An atheist living according to Christianity's morals not the non existent atheist morality.
 

LovethroughDove

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Well, being that I know so little about sin, I just see those inclinations as natural to people and built in.
Sin would be that which makes earth not heaven. Whatever sucks about living on earth....sin. It is the discontent people feel within themselves. Sin seeks out filling the spot where God should be filling. And, some people would rather chase sin a lifetime than to find the one thing that could fill that spot.
 
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Evolution teaches that the strong prey upon the weak, that others are competitors for the resources they need.
Not really. Human beings are very social creatures. There's safety in numbers and helping others may lead to them helping you. If everybody is naturally inclined to feel bad for one another to a certain point, the whole group benefits. There's plenty of reasons why empathy would be evolutionary advantageous. Nonreligious people don't tie their philosophy on life with why they think things exist. Most people don't think about it or realize their morals aren't based on "reality". They also seek approval from others.

I'd say morals are very emotional. I think people are born with a little slot seeking to be filled with human values, and once that slot is filled they'll follow whatever was put there. Rationality has nothing to do with it. Very secular, modern, technologically advanced societies still have social order. Societies which were never predominantly Christian and don't share a Protestant mentality.
 

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think people are born with a little slot seeking to be filled with human values, a

Or people have a 'God ' shaped hole that thy seek to fill with what ever they can.

I'm asking why are people moral or kind etc. That people are shows that the view I've expressed as an atheists world view is nonsense. But it also makes having an atheist belief to be nonsense.


As for other beliefs, I have already said most other religious view doing good as a way of earning a reward.
 
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I'm asking why are people moral or kind etc. That people are shows that the view I've expressed as an atheists world view is nonsense. But it also makes having an atheist belief to be nonsense.
I completely agree. Things are falling apart because the foundation has been rotting. I do think there's other, more rational, nonreligious world views which would allow a functional society of "decent" people to exist in the west though. Something better than what's around now.

Assuming the world isn't going to end too soon from now, most people aren't going to return to being religious, and more and more people are going to leave religion(all of which seem like reasonable assumptions), wouldn't you agree?
 

HeIsRisen2018

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I'll answer this for you. No where in there worldview does it say be nice or kind to others, in fact it does say the opposite.





I'm sorry but I strongly have to disagree with you on that one. The golden rule of treating others the way you want to be treated is universal although not always followed. Then again, neither is the Ten Commandments.
 

PeterJens

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Morality has nothing to do with ' feelings ' and everything to do with doing what is right.

You are right that the west is living on the decaying capital of a vitreous Christian past, but that is going fast.

I've asked why do Atheists do good?
And have answered it. A gooder atheist is an oxymoron.

An atheist living according to Christianity's morals not the non existent atheist morality.
I suspect it is a bit more complex than this. We are built to follow cultural and emotional tracks, learnt over time, like a background of behaviour which in a social context gives us a real sense of what has an impact and what does not. Now if you want to get the feel of these things, take twitter and one or two sentences that doom someones future.

The sentences commentate on a background and an obvious attitude that is culturally so bad, that person is struck off. Now in a real sense this is felt, which is why the impact is so strong. The group know it is just gone wrong.

Now morality, in a christian sense, in Jesus builds on our love and loyalty to Him and the Lord. The cross and love become central themes through which everything passes. In the world, it is loyalty to family, friends, the group but primarily oneself and reassurance everything will be ok.

Now believers who have turned atheist understand the principles of loving and getting back love in return, but disconnect this from Jesus. It is the emotional displacement from the foundations that is interesting. In their formative years the principles burned deeply. It colours everything else about them. If these principles were betrayal, or torture or victimisation, then they would probably have found themselves there. Pier pressure is an unbelievably powerful thing, it is how social groups work and dominate.

But this language does not evaporate if faith does, or not continue when people come to faith. It is the power of the Holy Spirit within us, that changes and remakes this behaviour background to His image. God bless you
 

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