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Good Religion, As I See It
Renew America ^ | 02/16/11 | Edward L. Daley

Posted on 02/17/2011 2:33:25 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE

My name is Edward L. Daley, and I'm what's known as a deist. That is to say that I embrace no particular religious faith, yet I do believe in an eternal creator of all life and existence... as best we understand those terms. I simply do not claim to know the motives or methods of our creator.

(Excerpt) Read more at renewamerica.com ...


TOPICS: Ecumenism; General Discusssion; Moral Issues; Worship
KEYWORDS: deist; good; religion; worship
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My name is Edward L. Daley, and I'm what's known as a deist. That is to say that I embrace no particular religious faith, yet I do believe in an eternal creator of all life and existence... as best we understand those terms. I simply do not claim to know the motives or methods of our creator.

As a deist, I'm generally regarded by most religious people as being a little weird, which suits me just fine, since I AM a little weird... and believe me, religion has absolutely nothing to do with that fact. Still, I've always been fascinated by religion, and that's why I'm writing this article today.

For you see, I've come to conclude over the course of my 48 years on Earth that there are good religious practices and bad ones. I shall not name the various memberships of either camp here, but I will outline, in the simplest terms available to me, the necessary elements of what I believe to be a 'good religion.'

In my view, a good religion is one in which its practitioners understand that a person cannot force another to honestly and wholeheartedly embrace any particular belief system. True faith can only be achieved of one's own free will, devoid of coercion, bribery or any other illicit act.

Secondly, no good religion systemically endeavors to punish people for not embracing it. If one truly believes that one's faith is the only means by which one may enter into the kingdom of God, such a person would necessarily pity a non-believer, and one does not punish those for whom one has sympathy.

Lastly, no practitioner of a good religion would seek to openly demean, degrade or defame the good religion embraced by another, even though one may strongly disagree with the latter's method of worship. One may attempt to convert a person of a different faith to their own, but only via positive means, lest one be essentially corruptive in nature.

After all, if the point of embracing a religious faith is to find oneness with God (and please tell me, what other point is there?) what Godly purpose would it serve a person to embrace a religion which causes harm to non-believers for simply failing to share in said faith? Are not all people created equal in God's eyes? And if one is judged wicked by God, isn't it God who determines one's ultimate fate?

I rest my case.

1 posted on 02/17/2011 2:33:30 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: DARCPRYNCE
"In my view, a good religion is one in which its practitioners understand that a person cannot force another to honestly and wholeheartedly embrace any particular belief system. True faith can only be achieved of one's own free will, devoid of coercion, bribery or any other illicit act.

Secondly, no good religion systemically endeavors to punish people for not embracing it. If one truly believes that one's faith is the only means by which one may enter into the kingdom of God, such a person would necessarily pity a non-believer, and one does not punish those for whom one has sympathy.

Lastly, no practitioner of a good religion would seek to openly demean, degrade or defame the good religion embraced by another, even though one may strongly disagree with the latter's method of worship."


The first point is true according to biblical principles.

The rest is simply creating a god to suit yourself.

He openly claims to not "know the motives or methods of our creator", and yet proceeds to define the intents and purposes of that creator as a feelgood worldview that he chooses to ordain.

It's the oldest religion in the book. It's put-your-idol-on-the-shelf-&-call-it-god religion.
2 posted on 02/17/2011 2:43:07 PM PST by Christian Engineer Mass (25ish Cambridge, MA grad student. Any potential conservative Christian FReepmail-FRiends out there?)
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To: DARCPRYNCE
...isn't it God who determines one's ultimate fate?

If that were true, what need is there for free will? What difference would it make in accepting or rejecting Christ?

3 posted on 02/17/2011 2:46:26 PM PST by loboinok (Gun control is hitting what you aim at!)
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To: Christian Engineer Mass
Thank you, I was thinking of posting a reply myself, but you've done a far better and more succinct job than I would've.

Shalom

4 posted on 02/17/2011 2:46:36 PM PST by Buggman (returnofbenjamin.wordpress.com - Baruch haBa b'Shem ADONAI!)
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To: DARCPRYNCE

Yer doin’ alright Ed. Keep seeking—it took me about 48 years too. Here’s a hint—it’s not as complicated as we make it.


5 posted on 02/17/2011 2:47:59 PM PST by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: Christian Engineer Mass

“The rest is simply creating a god to suit yourself.”

Nonsense. I wasn’t talking about God, I was talking about religions and the people who embrace them. Do you believe a religion is good which has, as a built-in mechanism, a means for punishing all non-members of the faith?

Secondly, explain to me the goodness inherent in demeaning, degrading or defaming other religions that neither do nor wish harm to you or your faith?

Again, these things have absolutely nothing to do with what God may or may not think, since I have stated clearly that I do not claim to know God’s mind. My points pertain to the behavior of PEOPLE and their religious organizations.


6 posted on 02/17/2011 2:56:24 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: randog

Thanks for your encouragement. :o)


7 posted on 02/17/2011 2:58:43 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: loboinok

“If that were true, what need is there for free will?”

Let’s suppose that Christians are right and God requires that you accept Jesus Christ as your savior in order to be accepted into Heaven.

Doesn’t that mean that someone who may never have even heard of Jesus will necessarily be excluded from God’s kingdom in spite of their own free will?


8 posted on 02/17/2011 3:13:10 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: DARCPRYNCE

Just a thought. There is only one Truth and it takes effort to unearth it.

Relativism is what is killing this country and all the “immutable” principles that made it work for hundreds of years. We are preventing a “God”-centered country now, instead of being one.....Our government is promoting Secular Humanism in schools and media (the Atheist religion) and chasing God out of our “democracy”. We are no longer a Republic...we are a socialist mess where we have had our freedoms stripped from us at an amazing speed.

We need to restore God as the Giver of all our rights and get rid of the Positivism and return to the fundamental intent of our
Constitution....no man-made laws allowed that go against Natural Law Theory which always presupposes a Supreme Being. Put the 10 Commandments back in the public square because that was the intent of our Founding Fathers and the basis of our legal system. Revelation with Natural Law Theory. We never were intended to be a country of man-made law based on whims and corruption to force ideas that go against God’s Laws and the Laws of Nature.

Think about it....Since Oliver Wendell Holmes...our judicial system has become an absolute JOKE! So corrupt and unjust. He removed Moral Law from our our Judicial system. It can never be Just and won’t!
Judicial system is an oxymoron now.


9 posted on 02/17/2011 3:15:16 PM PST by savagesusie
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To: DARCPRYNCE

No one knows the mind of God, but plenty are more than ready to speak for Him. In the Bible they were called Pharisees. There are a plethora of them around here.


10 posted on 02/17/2011 3:20:23 PM PST by SaxxonWoods
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To: DARCPRYNCE
Secondly, explain to me the goodness inherent in demeaning, degrading or defaming other religions that neither do nor wish harm to you or your faith?

In his first letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul makes a statement that seems harsh:

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. (I Corinthians 10:20, KJV)

I suspect that sacrifice was likely the most common form of worship in the world at that time. You might call I Corinthians 10:20 "demeaning," "degrading," or "defaming" to any or all of the religions of the Gentiles, as Paul is claiming that when they worship their god or gods (or goddesses), they are actually worshiping devils.

By the way, do you notice how this answers the claim that "we all worship the same God?"

I don't care to speculate on what you meant by "inherent" goodness. I will simply say that my God spoke I Corinthians 10:20 by means of His apostle, and that it is good.

Perhaps you would judge the religion of the apostle Paul to be a "bad" religion. You're not alone; there are a couple thousand years worth of people who would agree with you.

I will stand with Paul on this one.

11 posted on 02/17/2011 3:27:56 PM PST by Kyrie (This space for rent.)
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To: savagesusie

I agree. I believe that our unalienable, immutable rights come from our creator and not from any Earthly agency. That which the government gives, the government may just as easily take away. But that which God has bestowed, no man can remove nor repudiate.

And while I am not a Christian, I am perfectly okay with the 10 Commandments being displayed in public places, as well as allusions to God being placed on our currency and public buildings.

Christianity is the foundation of our culture and laws, whether I happen to embrace it as my religious faith or not, and the secularists and atheists who argue otherwise are simply wrong.


12 posted on 02/17/2011 3:31:12 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: Christian Engineer Mass

This all sounds very reasonable, but that is the problem. When will people realise that one cannot be neutral about spiritual things? If I believe my viewpoint of God to be true, how can I possibly admit that a different viewpoint has validity without undermining my own belief? I mean, I’m perfectly prepared to admit that ones attitude to people who have strayed off the path in one way or another should be respectful, but I dont see any virtue in sugaring the pill by refusing to tell them that they are wrong.


13 posted on 02/17/2011 3:31:36 PM PST by Vanders9
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To: DARCPRYNCE

“Do you believe a religion is good which has, as a built-in mechanism, a means for punishing all non-members of the faith?”

It depends whether you are restricting your statement to worldly physical attacks, or beliefs in general. Do you consider hell to be “a means for punishing all non-members of the faith”?

“explain to me the goodness inherent in demeaning, degrading or defaming other religions that neither do nor wish harm to you or your faith”

Please define “demeaning, degrading or defaming”. Euro-style countries have laws that ban such generic morphable concepts, and in practice those terms are used to mean anything the unjust government wants them to mean. They are, for example, used to bring Mark Steyn before a kangaroo court, or to prevent Christians from evangelizing.

Something is either true, or it is not true. It does not depend on whether we consider it to be nice and easygoing based on our view from the 21st century. One of the greatest insights I have ever had is that my attempts to define the world in my own terms were utterly insufficient.


14 posted on 02/17/2011 3:35:39 PM PST by Christian Engineer Mass (25ish Cambridge, MA grad student. Any potential conservative Christian FReepmail-FRiends out there?)
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To: DARCPRYNCE
Let’s suppose that Christians are right and God requires that you accept Jesus Christ as your savior in order to be accepted into Heaven. Doesn’t that mean that someone who may never have even heard of Jesus will necessarily be excluded from God’s kingdom in spite of their own free will?

I dont know what will happen to people who, through no fault of their own, have never heard of Jesus, but I do know that a loving and just God will deal with them lovingly and justly.

The people I really worry about are those who HAVE heard of Jesus and have not chosen to follow Him. I mean, what excuse do they have?

15 posted on 02/17/2011 3:36:36 PM PST by Vanders9
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To: Kyrie

Fair enough, but I shall endeavor to refrain from speaking or behaving hatefully toward those who do not speak or behave hatefully toward me or other good people first.


16 posted on 02/17/2011 3:36:58 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: DARCPRYNCE
Excellent Religion, as I see it -- read on!

[ECUMENICAL] For My Non-Catholic Readers
Why Only Catholicism Can Make Protestantism Work
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] The Church is A Miracle
Be proud to be a Catholic (prominent Jewish business man explains)
Organization of the Catholic Church
[PleaseReadBeforeJudging] Why Only Catholicism Can Make Protestantism Work: Bouyer on Reformation

17 posted on 02/17/2011 3:40:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Vanders9

I never said you should refrain from telling someone when you believe their viewpoint to be wrong, but that’s not the same things as demeaning them for disagreeing with you.


18 posted on 02/17/2011 3:41:20 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: Vanders9; DARCPRYNCE

Exactly right! The world has worked hard to redefine our basic concepts of right and wrong until they revolve around not hurting peoples’ feelings!

But we in America, Europe and the Anglosphere are the only people whose worldview has been thus warped. We must regain a clearer view of reality or we are toast.


19 posted on 02/17/2011 3:41:32 PM PST by Christian Engineer Mass (25ish Cambridge, MA grad student. Any potential conservative Christian FReepmail-FRiends out there?)
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To: DARCPRYNCE
Catholicism -- Excellent Religion, as I see it -- read on!

[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] Now This is Communion
Ten Facts Most Catholics Don’t Know (But Should!) (Catholic Caucus)
The Church, Yesterday and Today
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] The Church is A Miracle
Be proud to be a Catholic (prominent Jewish business man explains)
THE RITES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH -- There are many!
How Did the Catholic Church Get Her Name?
Catholics, Protestants, and History (the faith of the early church)
Organization of the Catholic Church
How Old Is Your Church?

20 posted on 02/17/2011 3:42:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: DARCPRYNCE

Those arguments are among many I believe support my faith in Judaism.


21 posted on 02/17/2011 3:42:34 PM PST by Uncle Miltie ("And did you exchange a walk on part in a war, for a lead role in a cage?")
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To: DARCPRYNCE

Good Christians do NOT demean people for disagreeing with them (or at least they shouldn’t do). Unfortunately people often take criticism, particularly negative criticism, to be demeaning. But that’s not the fault of the critic. Homosexuals believe they are being “demeaned” by Christian organisations that refuse to sanction their practices by “marrying” them. They think they are being forced to be “second class citizens”. I think they are doing that to themselves.


22 posted on 02/17/2011 3:54:23 PM PST by Vanders9
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To: Christian Engineer Mass

“It depends whether you are restricting your statement to worldly physical attacks...”

My remarks were concerned only with Earthly religions and the people who embrace them.

“Please define demeaning, degrading or defaming.”

I define them as the dictionary defines them.

“They are, for example, used to bring Mark Steyn before a kangaroo court, or to prevent Christians from evangelizing.”

And wrongly so, because it is not the government’s business whether a person decides to demean, degrade or defame another, unless it can be shown that the offenses of libel or slander had been committed.

Moreover, what Steyn did was simply report the truth - as he understands it - about Islam. If what he wrote or said was not essentially truthful and supportable by facts, he would be subject to libel and/or slander laws like anyone else.

The same applies to those who denounce homosexuality. Simply holding an opinion against a particular activity is not a crime - at least it shouldn’t be. So-called hate speech laws are inherently unjust and fascistic. No one has a right to not be offended.

But all that aside, what I was talking about was what I consider to be basic good behavior or quality of being, and I never said that my opinions should be codified in law.

“Something is either true, or it is not true.”

Yes, and something is true when the evidence supports it, and not necessarily so when the evidence is unclear.


23 posted on 02/17/2011 4:00:22 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: Vanders9

“I dont know what will happen to people who, through no fault of their own, have never heard of Jesus...”

Neither do I, yet it was you who brought up the subject of free will. I merely asked a pertinent question.

“The people I really worry about are those who HAVE heard of Jesus and have not chosen to follow Him. I mean, what excuse do they have?”

They have no “excuse”, but, like myself, they do have reasons for not embracing Christianity.


24 posted on 02/17/2011 4:05:23 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: Salvation

Thanks for the links.


25 posted on 02/17/2011 4:06:49 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: Uncle Miltie

I can dig it.


26 posted on 02/17/2011 4:10:03 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: Vanders9

“Unfortunately people often take criticism, particularly negative criticism, to be demeaning. But that’s not the fault of the critic.”

I agree.

“Homosexuals believe they are being “demeaned” by Christian organisations that refuse to sanction their practices by “marrying” them.”

That’s because many homosexuals are leftists who like to misuse words to garner sympathy for their cause.


27 posted on 02/17/2011 4:15:12 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: SaxxonWoods

“No one knows the mind of God, but plenty are more than ready to speak for Him.”

As a deist, I have chosen not to speak for God. I merely speak for myself and leave God to sort everything else out.


28 posted on 02/17/2011 4:19:08 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: DARCPRYNCE
Darcprynce...you claim to be impartial on this, because you say you do not know God's mind, and you are merely commenting on the behaviour of people and religious organisations. Fair enough. But what criteria are you judging those people and religious organisations on? I humbly submit to you that you are basically using your own understanding. You admit as much - do you not say "based on 48 years of experience"?

Now I would certainly agree with a lot of what you say - but the principle remains. I am afraid previous posters are right - you are setting yourself up as a "god", in the sense that you are the one defining what is good and what is bad. And like I say, I think your judgement is very sound - but it isn't perfect. No Human discernment is.

This is the faultline with deism. By definition, a deist is someone who believes in god, (or gods, or a supreme being) but has come to that belief by some form of rational or logical process of deduction and reasoning, as opposed to personal revelation. And this is all very well and good, except that it presupposes that all truth can be discerned solely by the powers of the mind. But there are lots of things that cannot be. Human Beings for example. We are creatures of emotion as well as logic. Or love. That is neither logical or rational, and nobody denies that exists.

The reverse does not hold true. All true Christians will have had that personal revelation experience (the exact nature of which varies quite considerably from person to person) - but that doesn't mean that many Christians don't think logically and rationally about their faith as well. I personally had to be intellectually convinced, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

Can you see what I am getting at? I think you have thought very deeply on these things (and that's very good) but I don't think you are addressing all aspects of it.

29 posted on 02/17/2011 4:23:47 PM PST by Vanders9
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To: DARCPRYNCE

“My remarks were concerned only with Earthly religions and the people who embrace them.”

That doesn’t really answer my (pretty clear) question.

“the truth - as he understands it”

There is truth, and there is untruth. It doesn’t matter how you, me, or anyone else understands it.

“The same applies to those who denounce homosexuality. Simply holding an opinion against a particular activity is not a crime - at least it shouldn’t be.”

But what if 3 homosexuals call themselves a religion, and decide (much as you have just done) what constitutes reasonable behaviour, and they stay nicely within what society considers acceptable (ie. they follow your thoughts, above). If chooses denounce them and their “religion”, have they not broken your ?commandments?

“So-called hate speech laws are inherently unjust”

Of course they are. And they are based on words like “demeaning, degrading or defaming”.

“what I was talking about was what I consider to be basic good behavior or quality of being”

But what right do you have to do that? You awake one day, and find yourself on Earth. You recognize that you have a creator, you decide you don’t know who that creator is, or what his intents are, and yet you decide to tell everyone else what basic good behavior is?


30 posted on 02/17/2011 4:24:45 PM PST by Christian Engineer Mass (25ish Cambridge, MA grad student. Any potential conservative Christian FReepmail-FRiends out there?)
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To: DARCPRYNCE
Neither do I, yet it was you who brought up the subject of free will. I merely asked a pertinent question.

I didn't bring up the subject of free will. That was another poster. I merely gave a pertinent answer :)

They have no “excuse”, but, like myself, they do have reasons for not embracing Christianity.

Care to share them?

31 posted on 02/17/2011 4:27:22 PM PST by Vanders9
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To: Vanders9

“But what criteria are you judging those people and religious organisations on?”

On the criteria of basic decency and fairness, at least as I understand those concepts. Those concepts I define thusly:

Decency - behaving in a polite and respectful manner, until a valid reason not to - such as being confronted with impolite and/or disrespectful behavior - presents itself.

Fairness - conforming to a standard in which all parties involved are treated equally and with equitable intent, until such a time as it is shown that one of the parties involved should not be, due to their own untoward actions.

“I am afraid previous posters are right - you are setting yourself up as a “god”, in the sense that you are the one defining what is good and what is bad.”

Nonsense. Merely expressing my opinions as to what is or is not good human behavior in no way implies a deistic quality in me. That would be like saying that a Rabi is setting himself up to be a god for simply expressing his views along the same lines. The only difference between myself and a Rabi in this respect is that my criteria for defining good and bad are somewhat different than his.

“a deist is someone who believes in god, (or gods, or a supreme being) but has come to that belief by some form of rational or logical process of deduction and reasoning, as opposed to personal revelation. And this is all very well and good, except that it presupposes that all truth can be discerned solely by the powers of the mind.”

I presuppose no such thing. I actually do believe that many people experience a personal revelation not born entirely of reason which leads them to truth. I simply admit that I have yet to experience such myself. Please do not assume that because I’m not, say, a Christian, that I don’t understand or appreciate that such spiritual revelations as you’ve remarked upon exist.


32 posted on 02/17/2011 5:02:25 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: Vanders9

“I didn’t bring up the subject of free will. That was another poster. I merely gave a pertinent answer :)”

Sorry for confusing you with another poster. I’m currently carrying on several conversation on this thread.

“Care to share them?”

I’m afraid that would take more time than I’m willing to devote to this thread right now. Perhaps another time and another thread... one more specific to Christianity.


33 posted on 02/17/2011 5:05:47 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: loboinok

***If that were true, what need is there for free will?***

The road to hell is paved with fallen man’s free will.


34 posted on 02/17/2011 5:16:55 PM PST by Gamecock (The resurrection of Jesus Christ is both historically credible and existentially satisfying. T.K.)
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To: DARCPRYNCE

I wasn’t talking about you. ;)


35 posted on 02/17/2011 5:29:34 PM PST by SaxxonWoods
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To: Christian Engineer Mass

“That doesn’t really answer my (pretty clear) question.”

Hmmm... perhaps you should ask it again in a slightly different way.

“There is truth, and there is untruth. It doesn’t matter how you, me, or anyone else understands it.”

Can a person not be wrong, due to a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the facts, yet still be truthful in his heart? that is to say, if you believe something to be true, you’re not lying or trying to deceive anyone just because you’re wrong.

“But what if 3 homosexuals call themselves a religion, and decide (much as you have just done) what constitutes reasonable behaviour, and they stay nicely within what society considers acceptable (ie. they follow your thoughts, above). If chooses denounce them and their “religion”, have they not broken your ?commandments?”

In the first place, please don’t insult me by insinuating something that isn’t true. I’ve sought to command no one with my opinions, and I’m pretty sure you know that.

Secondly, as I wrote in my opening article, no practitioner of a good religion would seek to openly demean, degrade or defame the good religion embraced by another, even though one may strongly disagree with the latter’s method of worship.

Tell me, what good does it do you, your religion, or anyone else, for you to openly condemn a religion - assuming that 3 people can actually compose a religion - which means no harm to you or anyone else?

“Of course they are. And they are based on words like “demeaning, degrading or defaming”.”

So? The democrat party is based on slogans like “party of the working class” and “party of civil rights”, but just saying it doesn’t make it so. Just because some people misuse words to advance their own, selfish agendas, doesn’t mean that people of more noble intent shouldn’t use them.

“But what right do you have to do that?”

The same exact right as anyone else.

“You recognize that you have a creator, you decide you don’t know who that creator is, or what his intents are, and yet you decide to tell everyone else what basic good behavior is?”

I’m simply sharing my opinion of what good behavior entails in this particular context. Is that forbidden in your religion?


36 posted on 02/17/2011 5:33:31 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: SaxxonWoods

I wasn’t sure, but by any means, I’m just saying. ;o)


37 posted on 02/17/2011 5:43:11 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: DARCPRYNCE

“Can a person not be wrong, due to a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the facts, yet still be truthful in his heart?”

A clearer way to express what I _think_ you mean is that you can be honest in your wrongness; you can be well-intentioned and wrong. But to be “truthful in heart” has no meaning outside of an emotional plea for self-righteousness. And yes, I would say there is more merit in that than being intentionally wrong. But most people think they are right, so what is so special about that?

“as I wrote in my opening article, no practitioner of a good religion would seek to openly demean, degrade or defame the good religion embraced by another, even though one may strongly disagree with the latter’s method of worship”

And as I said, then your position is logically incongruent. I give the example of the homosexual religion, and yet you offer that it is OK to publicly demean their practice, because it is wrong, and I agree!

“Tell me, what good does it do you, your religion, or anyone else, for you to openly condemn a religion - assuming that 3 people can actually compose a religion - which means no harm to you or anyone else?”

Standing up for what is right, against a society that tells me evil behavior is OK.

“The same exact right [to tell other people what consists right and wrong, from your own mind, without reference to any higher power] as anyone else.”

i.e. none.

“I’m simply sharing my opinion of what good behavior entails in this particular context. Is that forbidden in your religion?”

Don’t set up a straw man please. You have invented a set of rules and beliefs from your own mind (which, like Western liberalism, are based on a passing glance at Christianity, without real understanding of the depth). I am trying to explain the logical inadequecies of that.


38 posted on 02/17/2011 6:12:11 PM PST by Christian Engineer Mass (25ish Cambridge, MA grad student. Any potential conservative Christian FReepmail-FRiends out there?)
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To: Christian Engineer Mass

“Tell me, what good does it do you, your religion, or anyone else, for you to openly condemn a religion - assuming that 3 people can actually compose a religion - which means no harm to you or anyone else?”

I should have added to my response to that point that what consists harm to me or anyone else is an extremely interesting point. People who are pushing an evil way of life (let us take homosexuals as the example) are capable of much harm to me and everyone else, without lifting a finger towards them.


39 posted on 02/17/2011 6:15:52 PM PST by Christian Engineer Mass (25ish Cambridge, MA grad student. Any potential conservative Christian FReepmail-FRiends out there?)
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To: Gamecock

“The road to hell is paved with fallen man’s free will.”

If that’s true, then do we blame free will itself for the smooth pavement which comprises said road, or do we blame the judgment of those who exercise such will?

Should we blame God for bestowing free will upon us in the first place, and if we do, isn’t that tantamount to wishing that we were robots?

Is it better to be damned to hell than never to have been afforded the choice to go or not go there in the first place?

I kinda like choices, so I’ll blame myself if I end up in hell. Whatever happens though, I thank God every day for my Earthly life.


40 posted on 02/17/2011 6:26:26 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: DARCPRYNCE

I like the one that says “believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved-and your house”. That’s it, now go be nice to each other. That’s the one I like.


41 posted on 02/17/2011 6:26:36 PM PST by CynicalBear
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To: DARCPRYNCE

***Should we blame God for bestowing free will upon us in the first place, and if we do, isn’t that tantamount to wishing that we were robots?***

No, God is giving fallen man exactly what he wants.


42 posted on 02/17/2011 6:28:43 PM PST by Gamecock (The resurrection of Jesus Christ is both historically credible and existentially satisfying. T.K.)
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To: Christian Engineer Mass

“I would say there is more merit in that than being intentionally wrong. But most people think they are right, so what is so special about that?”

Nothing... nothing at all. In fact, it’s as common as the day is long.

“and yet you offer that it is OK to publicly demean their practice, because it is wrong, and I agree!”

I said just the opposite. You need to re-read my remarks to you.

“Standing up for what is right, against a society that tells me evil behavior is OK”

So you know what’s right, but I can’t possibly know that... correct?

“to tell other people what consists right and wrong, from your own mind, without reference to any higher power”

What higher power did you reference? And don’t say God or even Jesus, because you did neither.

“You have invented a set of rules and beliefs from your own mind.”

No I haven’t. I’ve adopted a set of personal rules for behavior from a great number of sources. The standards by which I live my life are derived from various experiences, people and literary volumes, not the least of which is the Bible itself - both old and new testaments.

I’ve invented nothing.


43 posted on 02/17/2011 6:47:14 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: CynicalBear

I’m happy for you. :o)


44 posted on 02/17/2011 6:50:13 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: DARCPRYNCE

I looked up the definition of deism in the dictionary - what a surprise! Could the “dark prince” be attempting to fill the void with politically correct and morally relativistic gibberish? Just asking...

JC


45 posted on 02/17/2011 8:14:26 PM PST by cracker45 (I don't believe in coincidences!)
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To: cracker45

“I looked up the definition of deism in the dictionary - what a surprise! Could the “dark prince” be attempting to fill the void with politically correct and morally relativistic gibberish? Just asking...”

He just might be. Of course, I wouldn’t know because I’m not the “dark prince” of which you speak. DarcPrynce is just a computer handle I’ve used for over a decade, and my adoption of it had nothing to do with religion, God or spiritual concepts of any sort.


46 posted on 02/17/2011 8:59:50 PM PST by DARCPRYNCE
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To: DARCPRYNCE
Fair enough, but I shall endeavor to refrain from speaking or behaving hatefully toward those who do not speak or behave hatefully toward me or other good people first.

That is generally appraised as a noble sentiment. I was tempted to ask you precisely how you would define "hateful." Looking over some of your other posts, I will conjecture that you would respond by saying that you would define it as the dictionary defines it. Although I can only guess which dictionary you would be referring to, I looked it up in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. The possibilities were as follows:

  1. Full of hate
  2. Deserving of hate
  3. Arousing hate

Have you ever heard anyone state their intention to speak or behave in a way that would be deserving of hate? Neither have I. Nor have I ever encountered a person who said that they planned to speak or behave in a manner that was full of hate. Even the people we have seen who seem to be attempting to arouse hate probably wouldn't admit to it. Nearly everyone would say that they would "endeavor to refrain from speaking or behaving hatefully." Perhaps there is a gap between the intention and the reality...

Other than the word "hate," these three definitions of "hateful" do have one thing in common: they are all subjective. To illustrate this, consider the threads on FR concerning Mormonism. Evangelical Christians will often make assertions on these threads to the effect that Joseph Smith was a fraud. Sometimes Mormons on those threads will make a reply to the effect that the Evangelical Christians were being hateful.

Now, if a person believes that 1) Joseph Smith was in fact a fraud, and 2) the teachings of the LDS church regarding God and Jesus would steer a person away from a saving faith and towards eternal damnation, then a failure to advocate these beliefs would be the most uncaring and, well, hateful thing that person could do. On the other hand, if someone believes that 1) Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and 2) obedience to the teachings of the LDS church will result in salvation, then the posts of the Evangelical Christians could well be perceived as defaming, and as hateful.

So, lacking what scientists call an "operational definition" of words like "hateful", "demeaning," "degrading," or "defaming," I am left only with how I feel about what someone else says or does. Does it make me angry? Does it make me scared? Does it make me feel like it would make someone else angry or scared? Then I guess it must be hateful.

In my earlier post, I referred to I Corinthians 10:20. Many people today would consider that to be a hateful statement by a hateful person who embraced a hateful religion. Does that make it so? They certainly feel that way.

And if you base your definition of "a good religion" on those words, then it would seem to come down to nothing more than "a good religion, as I see it, is one whose practitioners don't upset me," and, "if you don't bother me, I won't bother you; that's why my religion is a good religion."

Speaking of hate...

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But [this cometh to pass], that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. (John 15:17-25, KJV)
For an example of unswerving, perfect love, I look to Jesus. As He was preparing to lay down His life for sinners like me, the world judged Him to be hateful. There were probably plenty of people who judged Him to be "demeaning," "degrading," or "defaming" their "good" religion. A few of them may have been convinced that He deserved to die for that reason.

Some people may find my remarks to be "hateful, "demeaning," "degrading," or "defaming." That's fine: my God told me not to expect them to think that mine is a "good" religion (as you see it).

47 posted on 02/17/2011 9:02:02 PM PST by Kyrie (This space for rent.)
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To: DARCPRYNCE

What you say is correct but Christianity has little to do with Natural Law Theory and God’s Law, although Aquinas aligned Catholic Theory to its logic and reason in the 13th century. That is the beauty of our government—this is a quote from the “Greatest Lawyer of All”— Marcus Tullius Cicero
(He tried to save the Republic of Rome. His ideas would have if they were put into practice.) Note: this is written long before Christianity.

“Power and the law are not synonymous. In truth they are frequently in opposition and irreconcilable. There is God’s Law from which all equitable laws of man emerge and by which men must live if they are not to die in oppression, chaos and despair. Divorced from God’s eternal and immutable Law, established before the founding of the suns, man’s power is evil no matter the noble words with which it is employed or the motives urged when enforcing it.
Men of good will, mindful therefore of the Law laid down by God, will oppose governments whose rule is by men, and , if they wish to survive as a nation they will destroy that government which attempt to adjudicate by the whim or power of venal judges.”

The first thing the Progressives (Wilson) did when in power is to pervert the laws of this nation, stack the courts with subversives (progressive/marxists) who instituted man-made laws that went against Natural Law Theory to create centralized power and remove us from God-Given Rights. It is all unconstitutional.

Clarence Thomas is the Judge with the most profound understanding of Natural Law Theory and that is why he was vehemently opposed, like Bork, who also understood the corrupted courts.


48 posted on 02/17/2011 9:31:51 PM PST by savagesusie
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To: DARCPRYNCE

Fair enough.


49 posted on 02/18/2011 12:02:04 AM PST by Vanders9
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To: DARCPRYNCE
On the criteria of basic decency and fairness, at least as I understand those concepts.

But that is the point that I am trying to make. Your criteria are perfectly valid, but you are the one who is defining them. As you say - "As I understand those concepts".

Merely expressing my opinions as to what is or is not good human behavior in no way implies a deistic quality in me.

True, it does not. But you have already declared that you are, in fact, a deist. When I point out the consequences of that position, your response is to deny that your statements imply deism. Aren't you really dancing in and out of the argument there?

That would be like saying that a Rabi is setting himself up to be a god for simply expressing his views along the same lines. The only difference between myself and a Rabi in this respect is that my criteria for defining good and bad are somewhat different than his.

No it isn't the same. Not at all. Because a Rabbi, or a Christian, "leans not on his own understanding". In other words, the basis for your belief is merely your own experiences and thoughts (and possibly the wisdom of others), whereas the basis for the Rabbis is the word of almighty God AND his own experiences and thoughts (because we all of us are far from heaven, and sinfully insist doing it our way rather than Gods).

I presuppose no such thing. I actually do believe that many people experience a personal revelation not born entirely of reason which leads them to truth. I simply admit that I have yet to experience such myself. Please do not assume that because I’m not, say, a Christian, that I don’t understand or appreciate that such spiritual revelations as you’ve remarked upon exist.

Fair enough, I apologise if I impugned the belief that there is no truth but what you can taste, smell, touch, see and hear to you. But - the original point stands. My definition of the way deists arrive at their conclusions is accurate. You agree that "many people experience a personal revelation not born entirely of reason which leads them to truth." And you also admit to not having such an experience yourself yet. Therefore, it follows that there is a whole aspect of religion that you are simply unaquainted with.

I would suggest, if you are serious about examining these matters, that you ask [whatever it is you believe to be God] to provide that experience.

50 posted on 02/18/2011 12:33:04 AM PST by Vanders9
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