Archive for Saturday, January 17, 2009

True love

January 17, 2009

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To the editor:

Bruce Springsteen’s reply (Public Forum, Jan. 13) to my letter says that the “idea of hell is … the most vicious, appalling notion to emerge from … the human psyche” and “is the most gross perversion of proportional justice and sincere love imaginable.”

Springsteen’s assertions have no true standard, so it appears that his standard of justice and love would be himself. Dostoevsky says this: “If there is no God, then I am God.” The Bible (God’s word) states that sin is against God. God is an infinite being and all sin against Him deserves infinite punishment. A sin is a cosmic crime against a cosmic law. An infinite time (so to speak) is needed for a finite being to suffer infinite punishment. The need for the God-man to suffer this is clear.

True love is to love justice and holiness, which renders such punishment on cosmic criminals. Hell is very moral. Love is not just what makes us feel good, but is what is good for truth and justice. Springsteen’s standards of “justice” and “love” have no viable standard. Hell is only against human-centered reason and morality rather than true reason and morality. In fact, apart from God we have no reason for reason and no real standard for morality. People use reason and morality to argue against God when neither could exist apart from Him. The doctrine of hell is perfectly reasonable and moral. Hatred for it demonstrates the truth of the Bible: Humans don’t want to retain knowledge of God.

Richard Smith,
Lawrence

Comments

BrianR 6 years, 3 months ago

Ceiling cat would have no followers if there weren't some negative consequence to fear. Sin is a human construct. Next.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

So Richard's message is that it's good to have standards. His happen to be his own preferred superstitions.

rtwngr 6 years, 3 months ago

Bozo,Once again I contend that if we believe in a God that doesn't exist then we are all just worm food in the end anyway. However, if those of you that don't believe in a God are wrong and a God does exist, well, eternity is a long time.

repaste 6 years, 3 months ago

trwng, so you are hedging you bets, (in case)? What if you picked the wrong god, or are they all the same?

mom_of_three 6 years, 3 months ago

"apart from God, we have no reason for reason and no real standard for morality." Yes, it's called a brain and common sense. And if reason only existed due to God, wouldn't everyone's reason be the same, and there wouldn't be any crime or hate in the world. Okay, done with this letter. Feel like I am reading something from my grandfather, who said his way was the only way.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 3 months ago

"True love is to love justice and holiness, which renders such punishment on cosmic criminals."[tangedit:] True love is... unconditional.

bondmen 6 years, 3 months ago

Good thinkers must deal with the fact Jesus Christ was an historical figure and to not beleive one must dispel the great evidence amassed in His support.One may choose - God gave us free will - to not believe what God revealed in His Word. God will give you over to your passions and failings and grant your desire to not live in His presence for eternity. This is Hell and it is a place where only we are responsible for being, by our own choice."What is a “historical” person? Martin Kahler suggested: “Is it not the person who originates and bequeaths a permanent influence? He is one of those dynamic individuals who intervene in the course of events” (1896, p. 63). Do any records exist to document the claim that Jesus Christ “intervened in the course of events” known as world history? Indeed they do."http://www.inplainsite.org/html/historicity_of_jesus_christ.html

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes I think, if ever there was a God,unknowable even to Himself,He must have shattered Himself into countless bits,encompassing this reality engulfing us,so that, in the myriad pieces, He might, in some measure, come to know... Himself.

Strontius 6 years, 3 months ago

"Good thinkers must deal with the fact Jesus Christ was an historical figure and to not beleive one must dispel the great evidence amassed in His support."There is very little evidence that Jesus was an historical figure. And even if he was a historical figure, it proves nothing. Mohamed was a historical figure to be sure. Do we need to dispel his existence to dispel Islam? Certainly not.It really irks me, that no matter how many times we go through the same song and dance about how you don't need faith/religion to be a moral/ethical person, we have to go through the whole thing again because someone didn't pay attention (or didn't care to) the first time. What really bothers people like Richard Smith is that there are people in the United States, millions of people, who live good, moral lives without his god or religion. In fact, statistically they live more peaceful lives than the followers of a supposed peaceful religion. They commit fewer crimes, have fewer abortions, have fewer problems with drugs and alcohol, and are better educated. This doesn't mean that Christians are more likely to do more or less of these things, but it does mean that not being religious carries no negative attributes by default. On another note, the LJWorld really should not let people answer a response to their own LTE with another LTE. I'm sure there are other topic and people writing into the LJWorld for consideration.

Boston_Corbett 6 years, 3 months ago

LTE: "In fact, apart from God we have no reason for reason and no real standard for morality."___Where does this person get the cactus juice to write this stuff?

TheYetiSpeaks 6 years, 3 months ago

There is much back and forth and some good debate on this thread. Looking it over I find some good points on both sides. This, however, any historian will tell you is the most ridiculous thing someone typed on this thread: "There is very little evidence that Jesus was an historical figure." Really? There is a lot of mystery and debate surrounding Jesus of Nazareth, but his impact on society at large is not really in doubt.

jonas_opines 6 years, 3 months ago

I predict that with this thread we'll resolve this issue once and for all to everybody's satisfaction.

Leslie Swearingen 6 years, 3 months ago

jonas, I love you dude! SEAIW Are you by any chance a Jesuit? Just asking because of the ease with which you reason these things out.I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried, the third day He arose from the dead; He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from hence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.I try to treat others with mercy, and compassion and give my full attention to what they have to say to me. I just might learn something. We each one of us must think this though and decide for ourselves how we live and how we believe. No one knows where anyone else is on their faith path, so no one has the right to judge anyone else.Well, jonas what say you? BSOMF

jonas_opines 6 years, 3 months ago

Not. . . a jesuit, sorry. I'm actually the High Priest of the Church of the Great Slurg Beast of Hyperandromache VIII, the ancient entity that fed on time and defacated out the universe.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 3 months ago

invictus: "There is a god, his name is Oden. Wednesday is named after him. Friday is name after his wife: Frey."Not to be a Thor in your side, but I believe that would be Odin.,;-)

denak 6 years, 3 months ago

".....apart from God, we have no reason for reason and no real standard for morality......"In a nutshell, I believe this to be true. However, I don't think we, meaning humans, will ever be able to define or understand "God" because the human brain does not have the capacity to fully understand something of that magnitude. However, that does not mean that there are not some things that fall in the catagory of "absolute truths." There are things that are inherently true. And I think if we were to make a list, some of the thing that we all believe to be wrong and some of the things we believe to be right, will come up on the majority of lists. I don't know if we believe these things because we have a "god gene" or because of societal conditioning.But I do belive it is somewhat inherent. Humans could be endowed with it by God or it could be evolutionary but I think there is an inherent set of standards that most people would agree on.Even if there aren't, I don't believe people are the best qualified to make the decision on what is right and wrong. I think there needs to be that standard. People are too selfish. We rationalize. We do things we know is wrong because we want to do it.So, honestly, I do think that a person who gets their moral code from their religion is slightly more moral because when push comes to shove, if you do not have a moral code, something that tells you that there are consequences to your actions, something "supernatural" then when push comes to shove, when someone has to make a tough decison about something,and they have no set standard for something, they will pick the easy way out.Dena

KansasPerson 6 years, 3 months ago

I just want to throw my two cents in here and say that, although I am a Christian, I do not agree with most of this letter.I do believe in heaven and hell, but I believe that heaven is being in God's presence, and hell is being away from it. I do not believe that hell is "cosmic punishment" which has to last forever because God is infinite.... no; I believe that those who are in hell are there by their own choice. If you want nothing to do with God, you are able to exercise your free will in this regard.

Leslie Swearingen 6 years, 3 months ago

jonas, congrats! I had heard that you were trying for the position, but hadn't heard that you made it. Way to go, dude!Am I going to be invited to your service some time? Any particular rituals I need to know about ahead of time? Looking forward to it.I am such a sharing person. Mom would be proud.

Richard Smith 6 years, 3 months ago

Richard S: The doctrine of hell is perfectly reasonable and moral.”Witchfind: Ah, religious hypocrisy…my favorite!In addition to the fact that the existence of Hell was magnified (and arguably invented) by men (male clergymen) through the ages to frighten the listless and dejected masses into belief,RichardS: But surely this is simply conjecture on your part. You don't like it and so come up with the idea that this is how it came into being. Witchfind: the idea of Hell itself contradicts the necessary qualities of a Supreme Being. RichardS: That is again simply conjecture. Witchfind: God must be all-powerful, all-caring, and all-knowing to deserve worship.RichardS: Indeed He is all-powerful, but what does it mean to be all-caring? God has revealed Himself as a God of love, but that does not mean that He has to love any particular finite being. He is, after all, all-powerful. His love cannot be diminished with limits set to it by finite human beings. Witchfind: It is logically impossible for such a Being to be omni-benevolent when He would condemn 77% of humanity to eternal torture. RichardS: It is not logically impossible at all. The God of love just may love true holiness, justice, and love enough that it is required that all sin be punished and those without Jesus Christ must be punished. Witchifind: This is not moral and it certainly isn't rational or reasonable. Christians call the concept of Hell a “test of faith;” I call it what it is: a logical fallacy.RichardS: It is quite moral and quite rational. The doctrine of hell is a moral and rational certainty. The use of logic requires that a person have acurate premisses in order for the conclusion to be correct. When a person tries to determine what God should be by fallen human rationale, the premisses will be false and lead to a false conclusion. God would be perfectly moral and perfectly rational to send all human beings to hell. The standard cannot be determined by the criminals.

Richard Smith 6 years, 3 months ago

LTE: “In fact, apart from God we have no reason for reason and no real standard for morality.”___Boston: Where does this person get the cactus juice to write this stuff?RichardS: Simply from the truth itself. If we were not created by God, then we have no way of knowing if we in fact know anything at all. How do we know that our brains or minds are functioning properly? What does it mean for a brain to function properly? How can we ever arrive at a point where we think we have knowledge (justified true belief) if there is no truth? Are we so sure that our senses are in fact telling us what is and is not true? What determines reality?

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 3 months ago

"What determines reality?"Why... reality itself... or the lack thereof... i.e., nonreality... unreality? ... reality, sans reality? ... reality realized... really real reality... surreal reality... surreality... and, of course, the inexplicably unfathomable... which, of course, turns many to realty, removing the I from reality, as it were.Is there a realtor in the house? ( Ah, yes, inherently. )

Richard Smith 6 years, 3 months ago

RichardS (Anonymous) says…“What determines reality?”Liberty: Definitely not 2000 year old fairy tales…RichardS: Nah, your fairy tales are far older than that. It is a fairy tale to deny the existence of a God that is necessary for there to be anything at all and that includes rationality and morality. Human beings try hard to get any knowledge of God out of their heads, but it is quite impossible to deny the One that upholds them each and every moment.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 3 months ago

anonymous: "Tangential, what the hell are you talkin' about?I'm talkin' about shrift SHRIFT!

TheYetiSpeaks 6 years, 3 months ago

"Not to be a Thor in your side, but I believe that would be Odin."Hah....funny stuff. I'll play it a little more Loki and stay over here and watch your back or should I call it Asgard. For those who are about to RagnaRock, I salute you.

Kathy Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

"For those who are about to RagnaRock, I salute you."Funny. Loki - the contriver of all fraud?

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 3 months ago

I love it. "Christian" fire and brimstone supplanted by a handful of Nordic hijackers. Stan Lee would be proud.

Ronda Miller 6 years, 3 months ago

I am He as He is me and we are all together...come together...over He.... We are all the same, one and the same, we are each other....I need to start treating myself better...you need to start treating yourself better.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 3 months ago

I need to start treating you better. Up for reciprocation?,;-)

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

There may be an infinite being with infinite standards, and Richard may be right.The real problem with his position is that as finite beings, we have no way of knowing.Also, he wrongly calls logical analysis "conjecture".The opposition is also a little wrong - B. Ehrmann's work has not led to the conclusion that Jesus didn't exist. It has led him to believe that Jesus was an "apocalyptic prophet" - his own words in answer to my question.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 3 months ago

( ... rhetorical question.I need to stop sleepwalking through these forums. )

jonas_opines 6 years, 3 months ago

What happened to your old profile, Mr. Smith?

Richard Smith 6 years, 3 months ago

Jafs: The real problem with his position is that as finite beings, we have no way of knowing.RichardS: How does being a finite being make it certain that we have no way of knowing? God can do as He pleases and He can reveal Himself to finite beings. Jats: Also, he wrongly calls logical analysis “conjecture”.RichardS: I suppose I did not see it as all that logical. Some of the logic was based on premisses that I would understand as conjecture.

Richard Smith 6 years, 3 months ago

Liberty: Richie, gods are about as necessary for rationality and morality as unicorns.RichardS: An interesting thought, but so far a presentation of a basis for rationality and/or morality apart from God has not been forthcoming. It is very easy to make assertions, but it is far harder to demonstrate the basis for them. Liberty: Did you ever really ask yourself where morality could come from if not from a magic sky fairy?RichardS: I must admit that that is not a question that I have ever asked myself. But then again, a magic sky fairy is not possible since the reality of God would deny that.

Richard Smith 6 years, 3 months ago

witchfindergeneral: Richard, your reasoning is skewered by obvious, religious prejudice—RichardS: Dare I say that your reasoning is skewered by obvious, anti-God prejudice? Simply pointing out that this is not necessarily a helpful remark as it can easily go both ways. witchfindergeneral: you assume all human judgment is false in favor of the arbitrary judgment of an, admittedly, indifferent God. RichardS: God is not indifferent at all and His judgment is in accordance with perfect knowledge and wisdom. All human judgment must fall in accordance with perfect knowledge or, by sheer definition, it would be opposed to knowledge and so not knowledge at all. witchfindergeneral: My fact- and logic-based conjectures carry more weight than your unproven religious conjectures. Most of your prejudged arguments don't deserve comment.RichardS: I am not trying to be offensive, but so far I have not seen any facts demonstrated to be facts. I have also pointed out holes in your logic. In other words, I think you are the one with the unproven conjectures. All arguments are in many ways prejudged or they would not be rational arguments at all. However, I assume that are saying that as a way of not dealing with them. witchfindergeneral: “RichardS: Indeed He is all-powerful, but what does it mean to be all-caring? ”You did not thoroughly answer this question, Richard, and neither will any religion: the so-called “problem of evil” has no easy answer. RichardS: You are right, I did not thoroughly answer the question. But then again this is a simple forum. I would also say that there is no real problem of evil as such it is just that people don't want to deal with the issues. witchfindergeneral: Personally, I find it very hard to believe an all-powerful deity would sit idly by while events like the Holocaust destroy His precious creations—RichardS: Excuse me for sounding absurd and all, but coming from your worldview how can you account for even the Holocaust as being immoral? Again, I am trying to get you to show that it was immoral in a way that is consistent with your worldview.

jonas_opines 6 years, 3 months ago

Richard: You've asked that question several times before over the years, and in the end never accepted the answer because you deligitimize any world-view that doesn't contain a deity as being able to deal with morals, morality, or civility. Your logic, then, finds itself in a circular proof, or a circular trap, depending on your position in the this debate, but it gets us nowhere.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 3 months ago

jonas: "... but it gets us nowhere."nowhere... now here...http://www.rosab.net/IMG/jpg/02-nowhere_bus.jpg"... the further your destination...."

jonas_opines 6 years, 3 months ago

tangent: We should paintshop over that so it looks like a TBus.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 3 months ago

jonas; "We should paintshop over that so it looks like a TBus."http://media.sexpistolsofficial.com/non_secure/images/pvpsostsing250a.jpg( hmm... even the EmpT-ers would be onboard with the above )

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