AuthorTopic: Another One Bites the Dust  (Read 10759 times)

Offline RE

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #45 on: June 23, 2016, 10:29:52 AM »
This sounds like a Biblical debate.  I'm still waiting for the Hopi part.

RE

I for one don't mind derailing a thread venerating suicide into one glorifying God ;-)

Obviously, since he committed suicide he did not accept the Word of Jesus, so he wasn't getting anywhere through God.  I am sure though that Jesus wished him well on his way to Burning in Everlasting Damnation in the Fire & Brimstone of HELL.  If you believe in Jesus you go to Heaven.  If you don't believe in Jesus you go to Hell.  What is it about this part of Christian theology that you don't understand?

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The Hopi thing is a non-starter until AZ points to a specific Hopi tradition or prophecy that is relevant to his naturalist position.

Yah, we definitely need some clarification on this.

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Offline Ashvin

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #46 on: June 23, 2016, 12:33:14 PM »
This sounds like a Biblical debate.  I'm still waiting for the Hopi part.

RE

I for one don't mind derailing a thread venerating suicide into one glorifying God ;-)

Obviously, since he committed suicide he did not accept the Word of Jesus, so he wasn't getting anywhere through God.  I am sure though that Jesus wished him well on his way to Burning in Everlasting Damnation in the Fire & Brimstone of HELL.  If you believe in Jesus you go to Heaven.  If you don't believe in Jesus you go to Hell.  What is it about this part of Christian theology that you don't understand?

That's milk for infants of Christian theology. It's actually not that easy. If you believe that you are a sinner, that you are in need of God's grace, that Jesus atoned for your sin, and then you repent and put your faith in that reality, then you are saved.

He may be going to Hell, but God does not celebrate that fact and neither should we. We most certainly should not cross our fingers and hope that more bankers or any other "ledge leaners" follow suit.

Offline K-Dog

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #47 on: June 23, 2016, 01:28:42 PM »
Jesus said to her "I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in me will live even though they die"

Pretty clear here, If you believe in him you get to play a bonus round in heaven.  If you don't, you perish but this should not be confused with being dammed because yours would then be the same fate as if there were no Jesus at all.  All that is happening is the celestial bus does not stop for you to take you to the big casino in the sky because you are not a member.

Too bad I think that belief in his message was placed under the influence of a bribe.  As one who likes his message on pure philosophical grounds conditional eternal life has always offended me.  I doubt the real Jesus would be so petty.  The real Jesus would pass the peace pipe on and make sure everyone in the circle has a good hit.  Forever.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 01:31:41 PM by K-Dog »
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Offline RE

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #48 on: June 23, 2016, 01:47:59 PM »
This sounds like a Biblical debate.  I'm still waiting for the Hopi part.

RE

I for one don't mind derailing a thread venerating suicide into one glorifying God ;-)

Obviously, since he committed suicide he did not accept the Word of Jesus, so he wasn't getting anywhere through God.  I am sure though that Jesus wished him well on his way to Burning in Everlasting Damnation in the Fire & Brimstone of HELL.  If you believe in Jesus you go to Heaven.  If you don't believe in Jesus you go to Hell.  What is it about this part of Christian theology that you don't understand?

That's milk for infants of Christian theology. It's actually not that easy. If you believe that you are a sinner, that you are in need of God's grace, that Jesus atoned for your sin, and then you repent and put your faith in that reality, then you are saved.

Sounds the same to me.

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He may be going to Hell, but God does not celebrate that fact and neither should we. We most certainly should not cross our fingers and hope that more bankers or any other "ledge leaners" follow suit.

How do you know He doesn't celebrate? You have God on Speed Dial?  He made the rules.

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Offline Ashvin

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #49 on: June 23, 2016, 02:43:00 PM »
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He may be going to Hell, but God does not celebrate that fact and neither should we. We most certainly should not cross our fingers and hope that more bankers or any other "ledge leaners" follow suit.

How do you know He doesn't celebrate? You have God on Speed Dial?  He made the rules.

RE

Yeah and he communicated those rules to us clearly in his revelation.

"This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people."

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

If he wants ALL people to know the truth and repent and be saved, and sacrificed his only son to achieve that purpose, and NOT all people know the truth, repent and are saved, then obviously he is not happy about that. Simple logic here.

Offline RE

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #50 on: June 23, 2016, 03:22:50 PM »
If he wants ALL people to know the truth and repent and be saved, and sacrificed his only son to achieve that purpose, and NOT all people know the truth, repent and are saved, then obviously he is not happy about that. Simple logic here.

He may WANT All People to be Saved,  but if they are not he rejects them and they go to join Satan in Hell.  So He would Rejoice that His Law was being followed.

Besides that, this only applies to People, not Pigmen.  Pigmen aren't Human, they are Satan's Minions on Earth sent up from Hell.

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Offline Ashvin

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #51 on: June 23, 2016, 03:36:57 PM »
If he wants ALL people to know the truth and repent and be saved, and sacrificed his only son to achieve that purpose, and NOT all people know the truth, repent and are saved, then obviously he is not happy about that. Simple logic here.

He may WANT All People to be Saved,  but if they are not he rejects them and they go to join Satan in Hell.  So He would Rejoice that His Law was being followed.

Besides that, this only applies to People, not Pigmen.  Pigmen aren't Human, they are Satan's Minions on Earth sent up from Hell.

RE

Do you rejoice when what you want to happen doesn't happen? You WANT all the pigmen to be squashed like cockroaches, but it's not looking like they will be. Are you going to be happy about that? Don't think so.

Offline RE

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #52 on: June 23, 2016, 03:38:35 PM »
If he wants ALL people to know the truth and repent and be saved, and sacrificed his only son to achieve that purpose, and NOT all people know the truth, repent and are saved, then obviously he is not happy about that. Simple logic here.

He may WANT All People to be Saved,  but if they are not he rejects them and they go to join Satan in Hell.  So He would Rejoice that His Law was being followed.

Besides that, this only applies to People, not Pigmen.  Pigmen aren't Human, they are Satan's Minions on Earth sent up from Hell.

RE

Do you rejoice when what you want to happen doesn't happen? You WANT all the pigmen to be squashed like cockroaches, but it's not looking like they will be. Are you going to be happy about that? Don't think so.

I am Happy when Eternal Justice is served.  I am sure God is happy about that too.

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Offline K-Dog

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #53 on: June 23, 2016, 03:55:51 PM »
This all assumes the big cheese still cares and hasn't written off the human race.  Arrogantly we assume he does but nobody has heard from the big guy for a while now.  That we would no longer amuse his godliness would not surprise me.  Perhaps lizard people on a planet around a star far far away now catch his/her fancy.  We may have reached a point where our self obsessed persuits are boring and incomprehensible.  Perhaps a flock of sparrows now provide more delight.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 03:59:25 PM by K-Dog »
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Offline monsta666

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #54 on: June 23, 2016, 03:57:15 PM »
It is one thing to rejoice when one follows your suggestions/advice but it is another when someone rejects a person for going against their will and then subjects them to literal Hell. The fact that Hell is described as eternal and a place of much suffering also raises the question of how compassionate God is and one wonders how merciful such an entity can be. Let us be clear, it is okay to be angry at someone who clearly disrespects or ignores sound advice; the issue here is the scale of retribution. If someone called for a murderer of a parent's child to be burned alive or slowly tortured over a few days then such punishment would be deemed unlawful as it is cruel and unusual. Yet with Hell the degree of punishment is on another level; seeing as Hell is eternal then what I described previously can only be seen as mercy by comparison.

The other thing that also troubles people, and this is something not limited to Christianity, is God appears to place greater value in believing in either him or his son above moral values that have a more direct impact on the world we live in. This is demonstrated by the fact if one believes in God (or Jesus) then one always has the chance of reaching heaven yet if one is moral but chooses not to believe in God then they are damned. This placement of theology above morality leads some people to question that God's ego and need to be worshipped trumps all other considerations. To compound matters is the fact that God is often described as omniscience and even omnipotent so if God is all knowing and all powerful then why does God damn people to Hell if he can predict their behaviour beforehand? It is like punishing a child for eating sweets if you never taught them it was the wrong thing to do.

Offline agelbert

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #55 on: June 23, 2016, 04:01:12 PM »
Here's some simple logic that the nameless learned counselor has derided as the unproven hyperbole of wide eyed 'sky is falling' "conspiracy theorists". The fellow below knows a thing or two about Christianity and Christian moral imperatives (if you engage in wilful ignorance of them, you are in sin). Of course a Calvinist pseudo Christian might take issue with such a "judgmental" point of view.

Learned counselor claimed a fellow I was debating called Alan was "reasonable". Below please find, a 278 day plus old direct quote from the last post on that debate where I addressed, in my "unreasonable fashion", the questions put forth by learned counsel.

Said questions were allegedly based on the excuse that learned counsel, a very intelligent and well read individual (that has apparently been living in a climate science news blackout bunker for several years), had not had time to research the global warming issue in his busy life.

Ashvin,
Here I continue to address your questions with a post from Eddie that I comment on.


Because of that 40 year time lag, it is simply impossible, even with drastic measures to stop the continued increase in deleterious effects of global warming for that length of time, even if we go 100% green today. IOW, we have to go to more than 100% green to actually address the baked in time lag. We have go to, say 130% or so, so as to rapidly return the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels. This is certainly not limited just to CO2 reduction. Many other toxic products of industry must be eliminated somehow.

A lot of people missed the memo on this, but I've read it from a number of sources I trust.


Exactly. AS David Wasdell states in the following video, if you wish to actually ameliorate the existential threat from catastrophic climate change, you must use the projected climate condition of about 40 years from now as your target, not what is observed at present. Acting on the present guarantees failure due to the fact that the feedback mechanisms are moving faster than the policies to ameliorate climate change. This is politically very unpalatable. But it is the only approach with science behind it. IOW, if the IPCC predicted 470 ppm of CO2 and a 2 degree C increase by 2055, then drastic action to eliminate any target above that must be taken now.

Of course, that is not happening. Every day that isn't happening makes it more and more difficult to deal with.
 

David Wasdell, Director of the Meridian Programme, is a world-renowned expert in the dynamics of climate change. He is also a reviewer of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports and the author of numerous papers and presentations on climate change and related topics.

Kevin Anderson, former Director of the Tyndall Centre (the UK's top academic institute researching climate change), said that a global society (like the one we have now) is not possible with our present level of technology in 4degree C or higher world. And that's where we are going, despite the IPCC figures all revolving about an alleged agreement (with no teeth, no enforcement and all voluntary carbon limits. LOL!) by the piggy countries s of taking measures to keep the planet  below 2 degrees C. Collapse is baked in, so to speak, thanks to government piecemeal incremental measures.

Back to David Wasdell, he clearly and calmly stated that the 30 or so positive feedback loops, if not addressed with absolute limits on carbon output, including even foregoing even biofuels, approximately 80% of life on Earth may die. If that isn't an existential threat, I don't know what is.


Ashvin asked,

What are the chances that scientific technology will progress quickly enough to offer viable solutions (I believe you say this is a very good chance)?'

According to both the scientists I mentioned, we do not have the technology to stop this catastrophe at this time, once the runaway greenhouse positive feedback loops push us past a certain point. Some say we have passed it. Due to the 40 year bake and the paltry government measures being employed, it sure looks that way. Drastic measures to stop emitting CO2 might change that equation.

But it is not realistic to expect governments to engage in them. When large masses of people are dying and a public outcry is sounded, it will be about 40 years too late.

All that said, there are technofix types that claim we just have to put a pack of aerosols up there and cool the planet like volcanic eruptions have partially done in the past. There is evidence that our government has been doing just that since 2000. It doesn't seem to be working. Maybe it's just a conspiracy theory, but some very obvious man made 'cloud' grids have been videoed for some time. And, they are not jet contrails.

Another less messy and much more expensive approach is to block out a portion of the sunlight reaching earth with some giant aluminum vapor coated, 1 mil thick, polyester film a few thousand miles in diameter to cool the planet. But we have no way of knowing whether such a simple solution would not trigger some, even worse, unforeseen climate effect. It certainly is true that the massive sun shield qualifies in the 'any port in the N.T.H.E. storm' category.

But it would do nothing to eliminate the other industrial toxins, unrelated to CO2, that have upped the probability of getting cancer in our lives from 1 in 10 back in 1950 to 1 in 2 (for men) and 1 in 3 (for women) at present. And no, that isn't because we "live longer" ( check the social Security stats and you will find the longevity increase applies to the top 20% wage earners. The bottom 80% "longevity increase" looks like a rounding error.  :P). ; it's because we are subject to more pollutants in our food, air and water from birth than any humans in history. 

We have a plethora of severe problems and the rug the gooberment keeps trying to sweep them under is starting to look like Mount Everest.


-What are the chances that the above technology, or other mitigating policies, will be implemented by corporations and governments which can make a difference when push comes to shove (I believe you say this is a low chance, but quite possible)?

-What are any other known or as of yet unknown factors which may serve to mitigate the destructive trends?


Well, here's the situation, according to Professor Emeritus Richard Somerville  Please note that he is a very conservative scientist. But he makes it clear how serious the urgency is BECAUSE of the limitations of our technology and government reaction times.

The above graph is discussing the procedure to limit the damage to 2 degrees C. That was in 2013. He explained that the required carbon limits, if not enforced by 2020, will basically be impossible to implement. We are passing by 2015 with no end in site to the INCREASE in carbon pollution.

As he said, once the window is closed, it will remain closed. That is a scientist's way of stating an existential threat. He understands the technology. He understands what will happen when we cannot hope to stop the positive feedback mechanisms from overwhelming reforms. He understands that will head us to 4 degrees C or more. That is a dire threat to our species, and literally millions of other species we share this planet with.



Notice how the IPCC sea level rise predictions only fit the data at the extreme end. It is not logical to think that they aren't erring on the side of caution. They are. Therefore, only the most extreme scenarios they come up with can be considered 'in the ball park'.

Every time a report comes out, they have to admit that, yeah, the ice melted more than predicted and several other predictions were a bit on the, uh, conservative side. Each report published every 7 or 8 years gets a little more real. Consequently, it is prudent to assume that a worse than their worse case scenario is highly probable.

That is why I believe firmly that mankind faces an existential threat from Global Warming AND all the other industrial pollution factors degrading the biosphere.

That is why I focused initially on extinctions with Alan. When the extinction rate of species in our biosphere is 1,000 to 10,000 the normal background rate of the last ten thousand years (at least!), it's logical to then assume our species faces an existential threat.

This extinction rate cannot be neatly approached as the product of a single cause. Our society is lousy at dealing with multiple causes. It's like we are as bad as crows (they can't count above three).

But  there are thousands of toxic chemicals, radionuclides and aerosols, along with the CO2 damage that have joined together to drown us in our industrial effluents. CO2 pollution is what we should all agree on. As you can see from Alan's posts, even that is like pulling teeth.

Also, there are too many corporations stuck in the incremental measures approach to expect them to own up the their responsibility to future generations. I just posted an article on the good and the bad corporations. But the 'good" are STILL not at 100% renewable energy. And the bad ones are worse than ever. :emthdown:

It's hard to communicate this threat dispassionately. I do the best I can. We are in a world of trouble.

These are the web sites Professor Emeritus Richard Somerville recommends for reliable information. I hang around RealClimate regularly. I have posted articles from RealClimate here during the last year and have recommended it to all readers. They are the ones who are now looking very hard at the meltwater tunneling by supercritical water (liquid water several degrees below freezing due to massive glacier pressures lubricating glacier movement) beneath Greenland glaciers that is NOT addressed in any of the IPCC predictions that David Wasdell discussed.

They cover all the climate bases. RealClimate is staffed exclusively by climate scientists. 



Ashvin went away. He never answered. I'm certain he is a busy fellow, but considering the importance of this issue, the fact that he could not find the time in 278 days to drop in and view it is prima facie evidence of willful denial and ignorance of this issue.

His excuse that he "hadn't had the time to research the issue" is a sophist canard. IOW, it's a cheap dodge and a LIE to disguise the fact that he is on the denier side of this issue, and wants to STAY there.

I am posting this here because he came to this forum and mocked, derided and insulted me as a wide eyed conspiracy theorist, as is his ridicule laced wont.

I am NOT posting this here to give him an opportunity to answer. He is now banned from my forum for his abysmal lack of objectivity and serial mendacity.

I post it here so that the disingenuous MO of this lawyer LIAR pseudo Christian, which includes, among other sophist unethical tricks, faking an intellectually honest interest in an issue (that he only wishes to ridicule though attack the messenger chicanery) is exposed for all to see objectively.

An accomplished sophist will look at the following quotes that expose them and immediately set about trying to attack one of the authors as a "nut case" if possible.  :evil4: Anything to avoid admitting they are in willful denial.
IGNORANCE is NO EXCUSE:
Quote

It is therefore inexcusable that some members of Congress and other politicians continue to ignore or plead ignorance to the irrefutable science, and dangers, of climate change.

We know the continued argument in their echo chamber, that the science is unclear or the dangers are not real, is a lie — a dangerous lie.

The science is clear. Already, 2015 is the hottest year to date and might top 2014 as the hottest year on record, and carbon dioxide has reached its highest level in 800,000 years. These record-breaking events are related: carbon dioxide and global temperatures are rising together, thanks to human activities. - Rep. A preponderance of "H"'s Johnson (D-Ga.)

Quote
“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”  - Atwood H. Townsend
Quote

“The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and wilfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.”  - Aleister Crowley
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“People are stupid. They will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true.” - Terry Goodkind
Quote

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” - Benjaming Franklin
Quote

“But you can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can't last.” - Ray Bradbury


Alan's GRAB BAG of DENIER excuses that ASHVIN has no problems with:






   
« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 04:53:31 PM by agelbert »
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Offline K-Dog

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #56 on: June 23, 2016, 04:13:31 PM »
It is one thing to rejoice when one follows your suggestions/advice but it is another when someone rejects a person for going against their will and then subjects them to literal Hell. The fact that Hell is described as eternal and a place of much suffering also raises the question of how compassionate God is and one wonders how merciful such an entity can be. Let us be clear, it is okay to be angry at someone who clearly disrespects or ignores sound advice; the issue here is the scale of retribution. If someone called for a murderer of a parent's child to be burned alive or slowly tortured over a few days then such punishment would be deemed unlawful as it is cruel and unusual. Yet with Hell the degree of punishment is on another level; seeing as Hell is eternal then what I described previously can only be seen as mercy by comparison.

The other thing that also troubles people, and this is something not limited to Christianity, is God appears to place greater value in believing in either him or his son above moral values that have a more direct impact on the world we live in. This is demonstrated by the fact if one believes in God (or Jesus) then one always has the chance of reaching heaven yet if one is moral but chooses not to believe in God then they are damned. This placement of theology above morality leads some people to question that God's ego and need to be worshipped trumps all other considerations. To compound matters is the fact that God is often described as omniscience and even omnipotent so if God is all knowing and all powerful then why does God damn people to Hell if he can predict their behaviour beforehand? It is like punishing a child for eating sweets if you never taught them it was the wrong thing to do.

Yes monsta666.  It seems the world is full of people who want to portray the great one as having the qualities of men.  The contradictions you mention do not fall from the sky on stone tablets.  The contradictions are penned by the hand of man.
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Offline monsta666

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #57 on: June 23, 2016, 04:14:01 PM »
This all assumes the big cheese still cares and hasn't written off the human race.  Arrogantly we assume he does but nobody has heard from the big guy for a while now.  That we would no longer amuse his godliness would not surprise me.  Perhaps lizard people on a planet around a star far far away now catch his fancy.  We may have reached a point where our self obsessed persuits are boring and incomprehensible.  Perhaps a flock of sparrows now provide more delight.

Well it is often stated that God's sense of mercy/compassion is so great that it is naturally assumed he cares deeply for the human race. Moreover the fact he is willing to sacrifice his only son to redeem the people of their sins shows that God places humans on the same level as family which would indicate a long-lasting love. Now I suppose it is possible for him to get bored of humans as you state but by taking that position then you are implicitly suggesting that God is not compassionate and is even somewhat fickle. Part of the quality that makes God so merciful is his strong patience to endure our shortcomings. By stating that he can get bored leads one to question other assumed qualities like: is God really patient or benevolent? Could he actually be a bit of a jerk or have a fantastic ego? Such thoughts are taboo in many circles but if the only qualifier you place in God is an entity capable of creating the universe then why is it he HAS to be a nice wonderful perfect being? Is it impossible for God to have shortcomings?

What I am trying to say is if we take your assumption then the general narrative of God being perfect can be questioned further on different aspects of his personality. If on the other hand you believe in the standard textbook stuff then you must assume he cares even if it has been a long time (for us at least) that God has done anything. Let us not forget that when you have an eternity then a couple of thousand years is a blink of an eye.

Offline RE

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #58 on: June 23, 2016, 04:28:53 PM »
It is one thing to rejoice when one follows your suggestions/advice but it is another when someone rejects a person for going against their will and then subjects them to literal Hell. The fact that Hell is described as eternal and a place of much suffering also raises the question of how compassionate God is and one wonders how merciful such an entity can be. Let us be clear, it is okay to be angry at someone who clearly disrespects or ignores sound advice; the issue here is the scale of retribution. If someone called for a murderer of a parent's child to be burned alive or slowly tortured over a few days then such punishment would be deemed unlawful as it is cruel and unusual. Yet with Hell the degree of punishment is on another level; seeing as Hell is eternal then what I described previously can only be seen as mercy by comparison.

The other thing that also troubles people, and this is something not limited to Christianity, is God appears to place greater value in believing in either him or his son above moral values that have a more direct impact on the world we live in. This is demonstrated by the fact if one believes in God (or Jesus) then one always has the chance of reaching heaven yet if one is moral but chooses not to believe in God then they are damned. This placement of theology above morality leads some people to question that God's ego and need to be worshipped trumps all other considerations. To compound matters is the fact that God is often described as omniscience and even omnipotent so if God is all knowing and all powerful then why does God damn people to Hell if he can predict their behaviour beforehand? It is like punishing a child for eating sweets if you never taught them it was the wrong thing to do.

Why make the assumption God is merciful?  If you go by the Old Testament, he was incredibly vengeful and cruel.  He would smite entire populations, men, women and children alike.  He would ask people to sacrifice their children as a test of loyalty to him.

He didn't get much kinder in the New Testament, allowing Christians to be Fed to the Lions by the Truckload.  He even allowed his own Son to be Tortured for days, despite knowing in advance this would happen.  The theory was this would Save people, but historically speaking it didn't work too good to do that, which he also knew in advance.

As far as what is considered "cruel & unusual" punishment, that is cultural.  In Biblical times, they would Stone women to Death for Adultery.  Back in the days of Edo Japan, boiling people for crimes was fairly common.  They didn't consider the Rack "cruel & unusual" punishment during the Spanish Inquisition.  The Guillotine was considered a Humane alternative during the French Revolution.  C & U is a fairly recent concept.

It's hard for me to call any punishment too cruel or unusual for CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.

RE
« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 04:31:32 PM by RE »
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Offline monsta666

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Re: Another One Bites the Dust
« Reply #59 on: June 23, 2016, 05:20:39 PM »
Why make the assumption God is merciful?  If you go by the Old Testament, he was incredibly vengeful and cruel.  He would smite entire populations, men, women and children alike.  He would ask people to sacrifice their children as a test of loyalty to him.

He didn't get much kinder in the New Testament, allowing Christians to be Fed to the Lions by the Truckload.  He even allowed his own Son to be Tortured for days, despite knowing in advance this would happen.  The theory was this would Save people, but historically speaking it didn't work too good to do that, which he also knew in advance.

The reasoning behind the assumption is these qualities are commonly stated in the Bible, Koran and Torah so even if these descriptions are a contradiction on the actual accounts given in the texts they are commonly held views by the vast majority people. These views and assumptions are important because if we portray God as not only all-knowing and all-powerful but also benevolent, caring and merciful we make God to be morally superior to us and more important: give him moral authority over us. It is the basis of this moral authority that allows people to follow and place faith in God's action even if they seem suspect because his strange actions can commonly be described as actions beyond our knowledge. However if we feel that God could be cruel, he could be vengeful then one cannot so easily give him a moral authority in unknown matters and therefore we question our faith and our reasoning on why we follow an imperfect God if the reasons given are not clear. People maintain faith in God because we believe he is good person. His omnipotence is a side point although this ability is a significant matter when considering matters of heaven and hell.

In other words, it is the assumption of mercy/moral authority even if it is false, hidden or otherwise that is one of the enablers in people maintaining faith in God. By questioning or rejecting his stated qualities it becomes harder to follow God in the traditional manner. This is not an argument against your reasoning; I am simply describing the necessary reason for making this assumption because if you reject it this leads to a knock-on effect of rejecting other notions.

As far as what is considered "cruel & unusual" punishment, that is cultural.  In Biblical times, they would Stone women to Death for Adultery.  Back in the days of Edo Japan, boiling people for crimes was fairly common.  They didn't consider the Rack "cruel & unusual" punishment during the Spanish Inquisition.  The Guillotine was considered a Humane alternative during the French Revolution.  C & U is a fairly recent concept.

I would agree that cruel and unusual punishment is not only a cultural phenomenon but also a recent one. For me the key criteria in determining cruel and unusual is the magnitude of the punishment. If the degree of retribution vastly exceeds the cultural expectation of what is deemed a suitable punishment then people will consider it cruel and unusual. However as each society differs on its opinion of justice then this measuring stick will vary. Also in many places with less formal forms of punishment the issue of cruel and unusual will not be formalised in law so instead of being banned people will take a rather dim view of the punishment being handed out. Also because of the fluidity of moral values there can be a degree of retroactive reaction so what is normal today maybe unusual tomorrow meaning people of the future can see today's normal punishment as unusual.

The more important point in this argument of cruel and unusual punishment however is to underline the point it is a contradiction of the description that God is merciful and forgiving. A forgiving person will generally not use the full extent of the law to punish someone unless the circumstances were well and truly warranted plus even then they may still exercise caution to set some sort of moral example for others to follow. The fact that God goes above and beyond what is deemed normal punishment, at least by contemporaries of the time, and does so on a somewhat regular raises questions on how merciful he is. This break of character leads to the problems I mentioned in the earlier part of my post.

 

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