TexasFreethinker

Are "pro-life" christians short-sighted?

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Maybe you should have read my post before saying that? :) I'm smiling, not offended.

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2 hours ago, Miriam said:

Hi there! Very nice to meet you, thanks for the welcome. And thanks for clearing that up - God revealed himself through signs, wonders and the prophets to the Jews, pointing to the time when he would be revealed in flesh. That's Jesus. We now have the Holy Spirit to convict us, and have had God revealed in flesh. Why would you ask for another sign - isn't that enough?

Hell no it isn't nearly enough, which is why we have this forum for ex Christians. That being said I'll also start a topic specifically for this question because I think you'll find people's answers of interest. 

 

 

 

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Sorry, not "playing the game".

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3 hours ago, Miriam said:

Hi there! Very nice to meet you, thanks for the welcome. And thanks for clearing that up - God revealed himself through signs, wonders and the prophets to the Jews, pointing to the time when he would be revealed in flesh. That's Jesus. We now have the Holy Spirit to convict us, and have had God revealed in flesh. Why would you ask for another sign - isn't that enough?

 

I'm aware of all the theology. Aside from the fact that the scriptures that Christians say point to Jesus don't, (And Jews know this), you still have the issue that God is not revealing himself to everyone clearly. Apparently for a select few its good enough to receive direct communication in physical form with God, but for the vast vast majority they have to take it on faith.

 

Cool, so there is the holy spirit. Please explain what a spirit is, how we'd know its holy, and how you can demonstrate it's existence.

 

Also a Muslim told me that Muhamed was the final prophet, and had signs following. Why should I accept your claims, but not his?

 

3 hours ago, Miriam said:

The billions of years before anything, that's in Genesis. God made the heavens, then the Earth. It says in 7 days, but an eternal God has a different concept of time - it says in the bible in 2 Peter 3:8 that to God "one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day."

 

I think you missed the point. The entire point was out of all of history God, for some inexplicable reason, chose only to reveal himself using physical signs and wonders between 1,000 BC, and 33AD. A fraction of a fraction of total time.

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Miriam, maybe you missed it, but I replied to you a couple pages back. Here's a link back to it:

 

https://www.ex-christian.net/topic/81398-are-pro-life-christians-short-sighted/?do=findComment&comment=1200760

 

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10 minutes ago, Miriam said:

Sorry, not "playing the game".

Was this for me? If so, I"m not "playing a game." Are you or are you not here out of your own interest in people's perspectives?

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25 minutes ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

Was this for me? If so, I"m not "playing a game." Are you or are you not here out of your own interest in people's perspectives?

 

Nah, TS. Miriam's doing the same with me. It's a typical strike and fade on the forums.

 

I don't understand why Christians come here and then refuse to answer questions and follow lines of inquiry.

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Whatever her purported reason for being here might have been, it appears she is in heavy apologetics and preaching mode now.

 

I said goodbye to the bible and church doctrine years ago. A personal relationship with God does not require bibles, churches or the freaky people that inhabit them. Just you and whatever you think God might be.

 

(Not saying you 'should' believe in a God, either)

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Hello again everyone.

 

If you scroll back to page 1 of this thread, I asked what I believe were some very straightforward questions to Miriam, meant with respect and in the spirit of a friendly debate. 

 

A lot of comments have gone back and forth since then.  I would really love an opportunity to get Miriam's take on the points I raised.

 

Also, with much love and respect to all of you guys, I feel like Citsonga and myself are doing a pretty good job of asking respectful and specific questions while avoiding petty personal attacks, insults, and accusations.

 

I feel like all of the other side arguments are really taking away the focus from some really great questions that he and I have raised.

 

Miriam, would you mind giving your most honest and direct answers to these questions?

 

1.  Prior to this thread, were you aware that God commanded the killing of nursing infants in 1st Samuel 15?  

Were you aware that this was for crimes that the amalekites committed 400 years prior?

 

2.  If you were one of the soldiers and God ordered you to kill a nursing infant for something another country did 400 years ago, would you obey God and kill the infant?

 

3.  I don't know if you have any children and I'm very sorry if by chance you've ever lost a child, but if God ordered the killing of your nursing baby for something your ancestors did 400 years ago, how would you feel about that?  Would you feel satisfied that Justice was rightly served?

 

Thanks in advance for taking a moment to consider these items.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hooray! Thanks, Insightful!

 

1 - yes. 

 

2. yes.  I have already said why in other posts, somehow I don't think it's worth repeating.

 

3. No, I don't have children, I'm not married, and I'm asexual anyway, so not going to happen. I would be devastated. That's normal. If I was an Amelekite - blimey, no, because I wouldn't believe in God anyway. I know, that's not your point. It's a more complicated question than you think.  The Jews were God's chosen people, a promise made to Abraham.  God had promised them the land the Amelikites had taken, by force. God keeps his promises. The Amelekites wouldn't have just stepped aside and let the Jews take the land, so the men would have to be killed or they would just kill the Jews. What about the women and the nursing baby? Jewish law says they women would have to be cast out, they'd die anyway. But why not let the baby live? Back in those days, war was a vital part of civilisation, people, including the Amelikites, just took it that they must kill to have land. If there were any left, they would re attack.  It's brutal, but that's humans.  "Because your hearts are hard".   Now you can disagree with everything I just said :)  

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Thanks Miriam!

I appreciate the dialogue 😃

 

These discussions definitely raise the question of how we derive our moral principles.

 

You are consistent in your position that if the Bible says that God said or did something, then it is, by definition, "good".  So, in the instance of I Sam 15, the killing of the nursing infants must be deemed ultimately "good", otherwise God would not be omnibenevolent and/or biblical inspiration/inerancy must be rejected.

 

What I sincerely believe is that virtually all Christians FIRST arrive at a belief that God is "all good" - a key part of a doctrinal package that we are taught.  THEN, at later points in time, one by one, we encounter these passages that strike against our better moral judgment and cause at least a low level of cognitive dissonance.  Because, by the time we encounter these rarely-preached sticky points, we have already bought into the belief system (and that belief system has hooked us with the promises of surviving death, escaping torment, and achieving external bliss, given us a community, meaning, etc), our response is to RATIONALIZE the moral conflict - to find an explanation for why that thing that doesn't ACTUALLY fit our worldview somehow really does.

 

As you can see, you did this with your very good question, "why not save the babies?" -  for which you posited an explanation to satisfy your mind.  I think your own very good moral judgment kicked in - that it really would be better to save the babies.  And if we're honest, aren't there a million ways God could have saved them?  They could have been raised by the Israelites and grown up in the ways of God.  They could have been early examples of international adoption, something modern Christians promote...  

 

Anyway, I think that once we have bought into the belief system FIRST, then we rationalize every piece of conflicting data thar we later encounter in the bible (and in the world around us) until we have many.  We do this because we cannot conceive that the whole system might be flawed.

 

I can think of countless rationalizations I made as a Christian to questions such as:

 

How come we don't see miracles like regrown limbs any more?

 

Why aren't heaven and hell mentioned in the bible before the Babylonian exile?

 

If demon possession is a real thing, why don't doctors diagnose it or courts accept it as a defense?

 

Why doesn't God speak audibly?

 

Why do Christians get divorced as frequently as non Christians?  

 

Why didn't the bible condemn slavery or child abuse?

 

Why wasn't Lot's offering of his daughters to be gangraped condemned?

 

Why didn't Jesus return during the lifetime of his hearers like he promised?

 

If I was having a heart attack, why would i want the ambulance to take me to an atheist doctor rather than a pastor's house?

 

If we have a soul that is separate,  why do we perceive nothing when were unconscious?  Why do our personalities change with brain damage?

 

Why do we have the same genetic error as chimpanzees that stops us from syrhesizing vitamin C?  Why does our DNA carry the same retroviruses in the same places as chimpanzees?  

 

Etc.  There are many more.  My point is that the Christian must keep rationalizing away so much evidence - to whittle away at a square world to keep it fitting into a round world view.

 

For the thoughtful and inquisitive among us, we reached a point where intellectual honesty forced us to recognize what had been staring at us all along: the Christian worldview just does not hold up in light of both the biblical record and the reality we experience.

 

And we are willing to let go of our hopes of eternal life in order to live this life as truly and fully as we can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Miriam, since you didn't respond to my last reply to you, I want to reiterate the most important part of that post.

 

13 hours ago, Miriam said:

Yes, I believe abortion is murder.

 

If abortion is murder and the Bible story of God commanding abortion is true, then that would mean that God was commanding murder.

 

Are you OK with the notion of God commanding murder?

 

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11 hours ago, Miriam said:

God revealed himself through signs, wonders and the prophets to the Jews, pointing to the time when he would be revealed in flesh. That's Jesus.

 

That's a common Christian argument and I used to believe it, too. Close analysis reveals otherwise, though. If you go through the Gospels, there are plenty of claims of fulfilled prophecies. However, I strongly recommend that you look up the original Old Testament passages and read them in context, because there is a pattern of the NT taking OT verses completely out of context. I go through several of them in great detail in the letter that I linked for you in the other thread.

 

11 hours ago, Miriam said:

We now have the Holy Spirit to convict us, and have had God revealed in flesh.

 

I used to believe that, too. I "felt" the presence of the Holy Spirit. It seemed very real, yet the whole thing crumbled due to serious problems with the Bible (again, I go through a lot of them in great detail in the aforementioned letter).

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6 hours ago, Insightful said:

Miriam, would you mind giving your most honest and direct answers to these questions?

 

2.  If you were one of the soldiers and God ordered you to kill a nursing infant for something another country did 400 years ago, would you obey God and kill the infant?

 

 

6 hours ago, Miriam said:

2. yes.  I have already said why in other posts, somehow I don't think it's worth repeating.

 

That's the answer of a religious terrorist.  ISIS uses that same rationale today.  I sincerely hope that you never think your invisible god is commanding you to kill people because you apparently don't have the human moral brakes to override that impulse.

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6 hours ago, Insightful said:

2.  If you were one of the soldiers and God ordered you to kill a nursing infant for something another country did 400 years ago, would you obey God and kill the infant?

 

6 hours ago, Miriam said:

2. yes.  I have already said why in other posts, somehow I don't think it's worth repeating.

 

4 minutes ago, TexasFreethinker said:

That's the answer of a religious terrorist.  ISIS uses that same rationale today.  I sincerely hope that you never think your invisible god is commanding you to kill people because you apparently don't have the human moral brakes to override that impulse.

 

Oh, yeah. I had meant to comment on that, but it slipped my mind. Thanks for addressing it, TF.

 

Miriam, excusing murder simply because the perpetrator believes "God commanded it" is morally reprehensible. It's no different from the 9/11 hijackers flying planes into buildings because "God commanded it." Do you seriously not see how problematic it is to use religion to justify murder?

 

This gets back to the point I raised earlier about it being far better to base our morality on true empathy and respect for others than to base it on the flawed writings of ancient superstitious people.

 

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Insightful - sorry, I realised I'd gotten this confused with the passages in Deuteronomy - sorry! Here is my full answer (it's a bit long - sorry!) Could you try to answer it without sarcasm? (Not you Insightful, I think you are being very respectful :) )

 

This calls into question the nature of God. Is God a nasty, murdering tyrant? I think one thing is, you want a God of love, without being a God of wrath. That makes no sense, you can’t have one without the other. Example: if you love children, you must feel wrath against child abusers.  And, if God is a perfect being, then to not feel wrath against evil would be wrong.  So, God, as a God of love, must love us, his creation, but at the same time be angry at the wrong we do. We won’t go into Jesus right now, let’s stick with the Old Testament, although separating the two is quite wrong so I’ll finish with that.
Look at Isaiah 47:11 “Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A a calamity will fall on you that you cannot ward off with a ransom; a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you.”
And Numbers 14:18 “The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” Unfair! We didn’t do it, they did, you have no mercy. God showed his mercy in giving a lot of time for people to change how they behaved. Sodom and Gomorrah, in Genesis 18:26-33. That’s a long one, you can look it up. For the sake of 10 righteous people, God would not destroy Sodom.  He is a God of justice, and of patience. Yes, he judges, he must, or he is not a God of righteousness. Ezekiel 33:20 “Yet, O house of Israel, you say ‘the way of the Lord is not just.’ But I will judge each of you according to his own ways.”
And Jeremiah 30:11a “I will discipline you, but only with justice”
You can’t leave out the New Testament in a study of God’s nature and his judgement.  Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: whilst we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Now, the question being, is God evil and wrong to kill a child? After telling me how arrogant it is for me to assume to know the will of God, now you are deciding you are the perfect judges, who can see into men’s hearts, and know all. Your belief, which is based on solid fact, actually requires a lot of assumptions about your own infallible wisdom.  I read on this forum that God is a narcissist for saying we should trust in Him and not lean on our own understanding, and other such verses. If God was a human, yes, that would be beyond narcissistic! You want to make God into a human. It’s human nature to do that.  If you now turn and say I can’t use the bible in any way, that is a little ridiculous since all known about God is in the bible, you wouldn’t be accusing God of being evil if you hadn’t read it, if I demand you don’t use the bible then you can’t say anything either.

I believe based on faith as well as evidence – so do you.

 

I haven't read the other replies yet - I'll do that now.

 

Miriam

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Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient and bearing with each other in love

 

Yes, God obviously wants me to commit terrorist acts and kill as many people as I can.

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One more thing - if you think Christianity is the biggest social evil, what about Marxism and Fascism? These are based on atheist principles, and have caused the biggest massacres in recent history.

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2 minutes ago, Miriam said:

One more thing - if you think Christianity is the biggest social evil, what about Marxism and Fascism? These are based on atheist principles, and have caused the biggest massacres in recent history.

Um... yeah:

 

https://www.thoughtco.com/adolf-hitler-on-god-quotes-248193

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Fascism is based on atheism. Hitler wasn't the only fascist.

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50 minutes ago, Miriam said:

One more thing - if you think Christianity is the biggest social evil, what about Marxism and Fascism? These are based on atheist principles, and have caused the biggest massacres in recent history.

Let's hear what atheist "principles" they're based on please, I am curious. And as well, which massacres are you referring to?

 

ps. this is the definition for atheist: a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

Note the definition does not list such things as atheist "principles." Atheists are people like anyone else and as such have a variety of opinions, preferences, and principles.

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13 minutes ago, Miriam said:

Fascism is based on atheism. 

This is a positive claim.  You are responsible for supporting it with appropriate evidence.

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https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fascism 

For fascism to work, there must be a complete absence of God. Atheism.

 

Back to Insightful

 

If I said to you, I will believe in evolution utterly and that intelligent design is false, if you can put a single celled organism on the table in front of me and have it evolve into a primate in 2 hours. You'd probably say, that's ridiculous, evolution takes millions and millions of years. Then I could say, No. I won't accept that because it is based on a theory and not proven fact, if you can't do what I just demanded then it is not true.  You say the bible contradicts itself, so you go with science. Science is constantly contradicting itself - what was held as fact 400 years ago is now a lot of it obsolete, and in another 400 years the truths you hold to now may be proved false - where is your evidence? I am happy to admit my beliefs are that - beliefs, which I have based on evidence. How can you claim that yours is absolute fact when there is in fact no certainty to that either? And if you do not hold absolute truth, you can't definitively claim I MUST be wrong.

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19 minutes ago, Miriam said:

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fascism 

For fascism to work, there must be a complete absence of God. Atheism.

Someone else can honestly take this up with you, I can't be bothered, you are presenting positive claims and then not backing them up at all when the burden of proof for providing evidence for your statements is on you. Honest to god you sound so much like people I know, and conversations with them have never been fruitful, therefore, I graciously bow out of ones with you.

 

 

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