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Homosexuality & Politics in the 21st Century

LDSman

Banned
You're right. Seems like the First Amendment actually gives us Freedom From Religion, which means we're even less bound by it.

No. It means the Congress won't make laws either way.
 

Mr Dragon

Crazy Dude
Sorry, but that is not true of real Christianity. For starters, the doctrine of eternal punishment is bogus and was never there to begin with. More importantly, if you read 1 Corinithians 13:4-7, there should be a part that says 'Love does not insist on its own way.'. i.e. In general, you do NOT force your beliefs on others (exceptions would be to protect people from harm, but that bogus doctrine I mentioned previously messes things up a lot). That counterexample completely disproves your statement. Regarding homosexuals, I'd say be careful of health risks involved with homosexual sex when considering if it is worthwhile or not.

It sounds like you're going all 'No True Scotsman on me, and citing a piece of passage and interpreting it in a way which looks more literal than how your applying it (citing passage at all in this way shouldn't be done, unless you use about 3 translations for corroboration and more passage is used for context, otherwise you can just say whatever the hell you want). Besides, Christianity is not the sole relavent religion, and they should not get the 'we are the most popular religon therefore people should do what we want' pass. If they want that, then they need to form a political party (or then again, we already have the republicans) because, as I say, they don't get to tell people who don't practice their religion what to do.

Think of it this way. What if about 50?% of the population over the course of the year suddenly convert to a religion called 'Religion A'? (Imaginative I know). Now, 'Religion A' says that your love of the opposite sex is invalid, and you should love those of the same sex, and that you are still Christian and believe that there's nothing wrong with being with the opposite sex.

Or better yet, imagine that 'Religion A' has always been the most popular religion. That's what it's like for homosexual people right now. What the Bible says has no relevance here, because they believe something different. Just like how you would say that the holy book of 'Religion A' is invalid, homosexuals can say the same here.

History disagrees with you about forcing beliefs on others. As does the God needing you to believe in him and does as he tell you sort of thing. It's fundamentally part of religion to try and get others to be a part of your gang, it's how they survive.

Health risks are something else and should not be taken in as part of political discussion.
 

JDavidC

Banned
It sounds like you're going all 'No True Scotsman on me
You would be completely wrong, in reality the religion itself has been distorted into a lot of counterfeit copies, misleading those who want to follow the real religion. The real religion does NOT have forcing beliefs on others. That was a major point of my post, including the parts where passages where being misused to support gay-bashing. Furthermore, I don't think you understood the point of what I said. You said
It doesn't help that a fundamental part of any religion's core involves trying to force others to carry out your practices and share your beliefs.
I just need one counter-example to prove that statement false, which is what I have done. (Please Google 'Disproof by counterexample' if you don't understand what I'm saying) i.e. Christianity, if you actually read (present tense) the relevant parts of Bible, teaches AGAINST forcing beliefs on others, 'Love does not insist on its own way' is blatantly easy to interpret correctly as that.

and citing a piece of passage and interpreting it in a way which looks more literal than how your applying it (citing passage at all in this way shouldn't be done, unless you use about 3 translations for corroboration and more passage is used for context, otherwise you can just say whatever the **** you want).
How am I not applying it literally enough? Furthermore, as this is the Internet, you can EASILY look up the verses yourself with Google, and find links which have multiple translations and cross-references, along with it being easy to read around what you put in. Also try using the NET Bible to get at multiple translations, including the original Hebrew/Greek, it's also great for being able to see specific verses inside the entire chapters they appear in if you need to be sure that verses quoted are in context. I don't need to include more than is necessary, the verses I referenced stand fine alone. As for expecting others to do your work of research for you with providing translations etc, I respectfully disagree with that. You can always research what I say yourself, and see if it makes sense, I'm not going to do the research for you.

Think of it this way. What if about 50?% of the population over the course of the year suddenly convert to a religion called 'Religion A'? (Imaginative I know). Now, 'Religion A' says that your love of the opposite sex is invalid, and you should love those of the same sex, and that you are still Christian and believe that there's nothing wrong with being with the opposite sex.

Or better yet, imagine that 'Religion A' has always been the most popular religion. That's what it's like for homosexual people right now. What the Bible says has no relevance here, because they believe something different. Just like how you would say that the holy book of 'Religion A' is invalid, homosexuals can say the same here.
Again, with fake Christianity around, it is relevant to what is HAPPENING to homosexuals, which is a big part of what this topic is about. There would be many religious people in politics, with a good chance of fake Christianity popping up to guide their belief systems. Homosexuals get affected by this politically whether they like it or not. My point is that condemning people for being homosexual is not only wrong, but isn't even in the Bible! The only thing condemned there is homosexual sex itself.

History disagrees with you about forcing beliefs on others. As does the God needing you to believe in him and does as he tell you sort of thing. It's fundamentally part of religion to try and get others to be a part of your gang, it's how they survive.
As I said, you missed the point of my argument. As for 'trying to get others to be a part of your gang', there's a world of difference between suggesting that they join, and trying to force them to join. Real Christianity does the former, not the latter.

Health risks are something else and should not be taken in as part of political discussion.
On the contrary, it is the government's duty to protect its citizens from harm. If health risks weren't relevant in a political discussion, then that means that if people were discussing legalising *ALL* drugs in a political discussion, the obvious madness of it could not be discussed if what you're saying is true (which it is not). There SHOULD be education on the risks of homosexual sex, just the same way as there should be education on the risks of (especially unprotected) heterosexual sex, which can result in unwanted pregnancies, which is a whole, HORRIBLY messy can of worms in itself.

Finally, in the interest on staying on topic, if you wish to discuss the validity of the Bible separately from 'Homosexuality & Politics in the 21st Century', please PM me instead of replying here.
 
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(2) The change in brain structure resulted from hormonal changes, not genetic changes. Plenty of people on this Forum have argued that a difference in brain structure must mean something genetic (hence innate). But this actually does the opposite and proves that brain structures are not solely based on genetics. And it proves that such structures can change (if only in newborn subjects).

Isn't the amount of hormones in your body directly tied to your...genetics? Unless homosexuals are shooting themselves up with hormones to maintain their "gayness" as it were, I don't really see how you can separate hormones and genetics into completely different spheres.

(3) If such an alteration of brain structure results in an organism that is only partly homosexual, what alteration is necessary to result in one that is completely homosexual? It would be impossible for them to reduce the influence of testosterone to less than zero! It is also worth noting that they say that this part of the brain is twice as large in homosexual males, but fail to ask why none of the rats ended up homosexual as opposed to bisexual. This is a definite flaw in the method they used for "proving" that behavior couldn't be the factor that changed the brain structure in homosexual males.

I don't think the study makes the conclusion that homosexuality is solely genetic. Most scientists don't make that claim, but rather argue it's partially genetic. Your genes alone aren't the sole determining factor in whether you turn out gay or not. Further still, there's no such thing as "completely homosexual", but rather sexuality exists on a spectrum. Your argument here is somewhat specious. Your dismissing the results of the study because they were only able to make bisexual rats. That's a non point, because that's all they need to do. They tinkered around with the brain structure, and lo and behold, the sexuality of the rats was altered. Thus, evidence that sexuality has less to do with choice but more to do with brain structure. Seems pretty simple to me. If a man is 99.9% gay, are we really to say that this person has much of a choice in deciding who they're sexually attracted to? You aren't going to find that 100% gay man or 100 % lesbian, but acting as if this mythical 100% case has to exist in order to show that homosexuality is not a choice, or that the failure to show this 100% case somehow undermines the findings of this study is just downright silly.

(4) It must be emphasized that the scientists did something abnormal to the rats. The hormonal interruption on the rats' developing brains caused a difference in brain structure and of sexual orientation. This is not evidence that different sexual orientations are "perfectly normal."

So, you then argue that all developing human brains in the world have completely normal hormone levels...?

In fact, they could have proceeded from this experiment to the conclusion that some (perhaps many) instances of homosexuality or bisexuality are caused by hormonal imbalance. But it is obvious why they did not. By definition an imbalance is abnormal! It is not something that "needs to be accepted" or anything like that. In fact, a hormonal imbalance sounds distinctly like something that can be corrected! Aside from politically-correct pussyfooting, most doctors would recommend treatment to correct an imbalance.

Well, I'll grant you homosexuality is abnormal in the literal sense of the word, in that it deviates from the norm. Okay. So what though? I don't know how you leaped from "It's abnormal" to "Therefore I don't have to accept it." Unless this abnormality is inherently harmful, I think you do have to accept it. If this is your reasoning, it logically follows that you don't "need" to accept goth people, hippies, people that wear piercings, etc, etc. I can come up with a bucket load of things that are abnormal, but no one cares about because they're harmless. Abnormality is a pretty bogus reason for not needing to accept something. The doc isn't going to give you a drug to correct an abnormality unless A) It's harming you or B) You specifically ask for medication to correct it. If you had a condition that gave you purple eyes, and the doc had drugs to turn them blue, he's not going to sit you down and say "Here, you need these."


And I don't need any outraged protests of "How dare you suggest that homosexuals might have a hormonal imbalance!" I do not claim anything about the origin of homosexuality (or bisexuality) in all cases; but this study may be evidence of what happens in some cases. My main point is that many of the studies cited in support of a biological origin of homosexuality/bisexuality don't provide anywhere near as much support as many pro-gay people think. But more importantly, being a critical thinker necessitates asking the hard questions, not just the ones people want asked. Science should not allow political correctness and special interest groups to intimidate them into (or out of) certain research or conclusions of said research.

Ah. The famous "The reason science doesn't support my position is because of politics, definitely not because the vast majority of available evidence contradicts my position." line. Global warming deniers usually use this same victimization technique.
 
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Technically, I said I doubt whether this was true in the original Bible. Now I'm going to see what I can get off the NET Bible...

Romans 1:24-27... It's hard to try to read Greek directly as I don't know it at all, all I have is translations of individual words of Greek to work with. I've had to look through the parallel translations as well to see what I can come up with for what was said originally.

People exchanged heterosexual relations for homosexual ones seems to be the gist of it, specifically regarding sexual intercourse, and this got condemned. However, there are two distinct possibilities that arise here.
Is it a case of heterosexual people switching to an act against their own nature that is being condemned, or simply homosexual sex alone, regardless of sexual orientation, that is being condemned?

There are two plausible possibilities here:
1. Heterosexual people switching to homosexuality being condemned, and really defying the natural design of their own bodies (including their sexual orientation).
2. Homosexual sex itself being condemned, regardless of sexual orientation, due to health and safety risks mainly which go against the physical design of the human body (excluding any anomalies in the brain). I should point out I don't see anything against a homosexual relationship without homosexual sex, or simply having a homosexual orientation.

Both seem plausible to me... I will admit the 2nd one seems the most likely if I break out Occam's Razor, as it does not apply any strange complications. However, I'm not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the 1st possibility can be discounted.

However, when I look at 1 Corinthians 6:9... There seems to be condemnation aimed specifically at homosexuals in English translations. I had to dig deeper and focus on a word... arsenokoitai, http://www.equip.org/articles/is-arsenokoitai-really-that-mysterious/
The only way 1 Corinthians 6:9, as it is written in Greek, and the previous verses mentioned in Romans can make sense together is if homosexual sex, not merely being homosexual, is what is being condemned. I can understand condemning homosexual sex on health and safety grounds, but not on someone being homosexual by nature. Condemning people based on their nature and the way they were made is nonsensical. At the very least, if the nature is a mental illness of some kind, then God would be obliged to offer a cure for it in the after-life, otherwise it would be cruel and unloving.
Your analysis is correct up to a point. Your option 1 cannot actually be sustained from the text. Nowhere does that text make any kind of exception like "but it's fine if that's the way you are." The text makes no allowance for some people being made "with a homosexual nature," and as I have argued on numerous occasions, much of the research supporting this position contains significant flaws. (Don't worry; you haven't missed it. I'm going to keep making this point!) Additionally, it is not just for "health and safety" that it is prohibited.

And I should add, the passage in I Corinthians condemns "males who lie [sexually] with males" in the same sentence as it condemns thieves (people who steal), and drunkards (people who get drunk). None of this indicates that any of these groups are a certain way; they are under a condemnation for certain actions--even if genes, upbringing, society, etc. give them a tendency toward certain actions.



(And BTW, since you brought it up in passing, nobody goes into a homosexual relationship thinking that there will be no sexual actions involved. Advocating non-sexual, same-sex marriages would be a cruel joke.)


Now I am going to utterly destroy the notion of eternal suffering using Proof by Contradiction (Google it if you need to).

A = 'God will condemn people to eternal punishment'
B = 'God is all loving'.
C = 'God is NOT all loving'.

To carry out my proof, I will assume A is true, and accept B as the sole premise of this argument, and show that this leads to a contradiction.
A -> C, that is, C is true if A is true, as I have outlined already.
Given that B is true in this case, as well as C, then B AND C is also true.
Let's write out B AND C in plain English. 'God is all loving and God is NOT all loving'. i.e. C = NOT B!
In other words, B AND (NOT B) must be true! However, B AND (NOT B) is, in propositional logic, a statement that is always false, which is the very definition of a contradiction in propositional logic. Basically, 1 = 0 if A is true! (1 represents 'true', 0 represents 'false').
Clearly something has gone wrong. The logic is fine except for one point, the initial assumption. A implies a contradiction, therefore A is false. i.e. 'God will condemn people to eternal punishment' is a contradictory, flat out, FALSE statement. IMHO, it goes as far as to be extreme blasphemy against God. IMO, it is a most vicious, Satanic lie, and I would be very, very surprised if Satan didn't cause this to come about himself. On this point, I am in full agreement with Richard Dawkins (even though I do not share his beliefs), this doctrine is EVIL and needs to stop.
Yet it is an unjustified assumption to conclude that "Love always protects" contradicts your point "A [eternal punishment]." Just a question, don't you believe there is something more important about us as humans than our bodily selves?


Given the anecdotal evidence I mentioned earlier, I had to search for some explanation for this blatant contradiction (which also completely screws up the point of Jesus Christ being crucified on the cross btw)... I will say this much, research 'Universalism' in Christianity, particularly parts about 'Hell' not being in the Bible originally. BTW, for the purpose of making it easier to debate with me, I will say that I am a Christian that follows the Universalism school of thought (although my beliefs are not identical to that of other universalists).
At this time I have no need for an extended debate about Universalism. I have done plenty of research on it in the past, and I know that Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me 'Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 7:21). What I want to do right now is put three questions to you, a few of which are questions I've asked you before:

(1) How can you trust a God who allows His word (not just in one or a few translations) to be, as you indicated, corrupted by Satan's lies in such a way that it blasphemes God extremely? Didn't you say love always protects?

(2) When we last debated, you argued that Jesus' death on the cross, which is a central teaching in the New Testament, made no sense and was "troll logic" on God's part. Could you explain how "troll logic" allows for a God who is love to send His Son to such a death to gain nothing when we would not convict any human father who uses that excuse?

(3) Given that there are teaching with the best objective credentials of being in the Bible--the death of Jesus "for our sins" (I Cor. 15:3, etc.), homosexual actions being wrong without exception, eternal punishment--and that you dismiss these teachings because you hold that God is love...what basis do you really have for concluding that God is love? I'm not advocating the position that He is not love. But really: how do you know?


Also FightingPikachu, I have no idea where you got the idea that Jews had no house of worship (if I'm understanding your post correctly). Also, nobody said that seafood = all things that live in the water. Also-also, there are hundreds of types of Judaism and many levels of observance, from those who won't even wear mixed fabrics to those who cherry-pick whatever laws and customs are convenient to them to those who are entirely secular. Most of us don't really care about what the others do; as long as everyone is left to worship how they please, Shlomo isn't going to be bothering anyone about what laws they do/do not follow.
I apologize if I gave that impression, but I did expressly mention the Tabernacle and then the Jerusalem Temple. They decidedly did have a house of worship; it would just be a mistake to apply passages about either of these directly to "church" in a Christian, New Testament sense.


Isn't the amount of hormones in your body directly tied to your...genetics? Unless homosexuals are shooting themselves up with hormones to maintain their "gayness" as it were, I don't really see how you can separate hormones and genetics into completely different spheres.
Hormones undoubtedly have some connection to genetics, but hormones can undoubtedly be influenced by other things (even, unless I'm mistaken, what nutrients a body takes in). Also, if it wasn't clear, I was mentioning that because these researchers (along with lots of people) were arguing that homosexuality is caused (at least in large measure) by hormones in the mother during a person's gestation (in other words, not their own hormones).



I don't think the study makes the conclusion that homosexuality is solely genetic. Most scientists don't make that claim, but rather argue it's partially genetic. Your genes alone aren't the sole determining factor in whether you turn out gay or not. Further still, there's no such thing as "completely homosexual", but rather sexuality exists on a spectrum. Your argument here is somewhat specious. Your dismissing the results of the study because they were only able to make bisexual rats. That's a non point, because that's all they need to do. They tinkered around with the brain structure, and lo and behold, the sexuality of the rats was altered. Thus, evidence that sexuality has less to do with choice but more to do with brain structure. Seems pretty simple to me. If a man is 99.9% gay, are we really to say that this person has much of a choice in deciding who they're sexually attracted to? You aren't going to find that 100% gay man or 100 % lesbian, but acting as if this mythical 100% case has to exist in order to show that homosexuality is not a choice, or that the failure to show this 100% case somehow undermines the findings of this study is just downright silly.
You misrepresent my argument. That study said that homosexual males have a certain brain difference. The researchers induced a similar difference in the rats, but the rats were bisexual. They did nothing to explain this difference. They didn't say, "we altered their brains, just to a lesser degree," or "we were unable to completely block the testosterone from the developing brain." The fact that such gets published shows a lot about the state of the scientific community.


So, you then argue that all developing human brains in the world have completely normal hormone levels...?
No. Just that doing something that drastic in a lab doesn't constitute evidence that homosexuality is biologically/neurologically normal, and may even provide evidence that it could occur because of a deficiency, a suggestion you have not countered, by the way.

Well, I'll grant you homosexuality is abnormal in the literal sense of the word, in that it deviates from the norm. Okay. So what though? I don't know how you leaped from "It's abnormal" to "Therefore I don't have to accept it." Unless this abnormality is inherently harmful, I think you do have to accept it. If this is your reasoning, it logically follows that you don't "need" to accept goth people, hippies, people that wear piercings, etc, etc. I can come up with a bucket load of things that are abnormal, but no one cares about because they're harmless. Abnormality is a pretty bogus reason for not needing to accept something. The doc isn't going to give you a drug to correct an abnormality unless A) It's harming you or B) You specifically ask for medication to correct it. If you had a condition that gave you purple eyes, and the doc had drugs to turn them blue, he's not going to sit you down and say "Here, you need these."
I'm not talking about "abnormal" in the sense of "being in a statistical minority." The way the alteration was produced is the key. If I told you I could induce a dog in my lab to be six-legged, nobody would proceed from that to conclude that six-legged dogs are, in fact, normal.


Ah. The famous "The reason science doesn't support my position is because of politics, definitely not because the vast majority of available evidence contradicts my position." line. Global warming deniers usually use this same victimization technique.
That study prominently included the line, "The study of these differences has emerged from an era of prejudice and fear such as I experienced 20 years ago." If you'd like to tell me how such a statement belongs in an objective, scientific paper, I'd love to hear it. Or if you'd like to show me how that article really does provide good evidence of homosexuality being inborn, unalterable and normal.
 

JDavidC

Banned
I'm going to spoiler this reply as although there is mention of the main topic, a lot of it is also biblical, so people who do not want to bother with this can ignore it easily. There is also the fact that my replies tend to be long.
Your analysis is correct up to a point. Your option 1 cannot actually be sustained from the text. Nowhere does that text make any kind of exception like "but it's fine if that's the way you are." The text makes no allowance for some people being made "with a homosexual nature," and as I have argued on numerous occasions, much of the research supporting this position contains significant flaws. (Don't worry; you haven't missed it. I'm going to keep making this point!) Additionally, it is not just for "health and safety" that it is prohibited.

And I should add, the passage in I Corinthians condemns "males who lie [sexually] with males" in the same sentence as it condemns thieves (people who steal), and drunkards (people who get drunk). None of this indicates that any of these groups are a certain way; they are under a condemnation for certain actions--even if genes, upbringing, society, etc. give them a tendency toward certain actions.
Well, once I do the second analysis that you quoted, option 2 is the only one that does not contradict the second analysis (I did not have stated it explicitly, which may have been a fault of mine, but it is there). BTW, what other reasons is it prohibited beyond health and safety? Something like heterosexuals finding it unnatural isn't a good enough argument, though, that would be an appeal to nature fallacy.

(And BTW, since you brought it up in passing, nobody goes into a homosexual relationship thinking that there will be no sexual actions involved. Advocating non-sexual, same-sex marriages would be a cruel joke.)
Can you prove this?

Before I deal with your questions, I need to state what is meant by love always protects, when an omniscient being is involved. The focus would have to be on protection from consequences that occur over an infinite period of time, rather than just a finite period of time. This may include allowing bad things to happen with finite consequences to prevent event worse things from happening. e.g. Punishing people involves harming them, as punishment IS supposed to cause suffering, but it also serves to protect people in the longer term. When I deal with God, I have to focus on the infinite.

Yet it is an unjustified assumption to conclude that "Love always protects" contradicts your point "A [eternal punishment]." Just a question, don't you believe there is something more important about us as humans than our bodily selves?
How is it an unjustified assumption? Eternal punishment only inflicts endless suffering, is disproportionate retribution, and does the opposite of protecting the person for an infinite period of time. There is no benefit derived that ultimately stops even worse things from happening to the person, so the "Love always protects" statement falls apart here when it is applied to God if you also accept eternal punishment as a premise. It just does not make any sense. If you still believe that it is an unjustified assumption, then prove it. It always amazes me that people would think that eternal punishment is an act of love after they have read what love is supposed to be about. One thing I can tell you, many people would be very unhappy if God condemned even one person to such a fate, I would be one of those people.

At this time I have no need for an extended debate about Universalism. I have done plenty of research on it in the past, and I know that Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me 'Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 7:21).
This was more to clarify where I stood on the issue, nothing more.

What I want to do right now is put three questions to you, a few of which are questions I've asked you before:
OK.

(1) How can you trust a God who allows His word (not just in one or a few translations) to be, as you indicated, corrupted by Satan's lies in such a way that it blasphemes God extremely? Didn't you say love always protects?
This is an extremely tough one. There is an approach I can take to answering this question, but I will not rely solely on it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodicy

Now then, the gist of what I have linked involves omniscience, and how it would radically alter the way someone behaves, any form of protection has to focus on consequences over an infinite period of time, not just a finite period. The only way a possible justification for allowing this to even exist would have to be based on theodicy, in that even worse stuff would happen, overall, if he made sure the original documents were not altered. Furthermore, there are other factors to consider, people will interpret those documents in different ways, and language/interpretations also change over time. Writing a 'one-size-fits-all' Bible doesn't seem like it will work. Of course, the Bible was never written as a Bible, but there were 66 other documents that were put together into the Bible. Although in the Old Testament God had to pretty much force his beliefs on the Israelites, out of necessity, he no longer does that, and lets people make their own decisions and respects free will. God also has to protect people's freedom and free will to a reasonable extent, as well as their lives. The morally 'right' option isn't always clear-cut, there are so many shades of grey involved (go through any abortion debate, for example), that it isn't funny. Finally, even if people DO die as a result of deception, God still gets to take control right away when that happens.

Seeing as you are asking me, personally, how I can trust a God that does this, in spite of the biblical corruption, I cannot fully answer that without introducing anecdotal evidence. Normally this would be off-limits in a debate, but in order to answer your question, I would nonetheless have to state why. For starters, in spite of quite a lot of suffering in my life, long-term, things have worked out, I have defied a lot of odds to get where I am, even though there may have been intense suffering along the way. My free will does not get overridden either, I do not get smited for thinking that something may be wrong with God, or for any time I feel angry at him.

On to some of the more interesting points. In the past, I suffered an incurable hearing loss (I asked questions to see if this diagnosis happened and was accurate before accepting it), and I was going to have to be taught sign language. However, some time after that, a Christian priest/minister laid hands on me and prayed for me. At a later point in time, a subsequent test showed that said incurable hearing loss was no longer existent. That is not something I can ignore.

Another interesting point was when I was alone with someone else, and they started speaking in A. Gibberish or B. Tongues, followed by restating what they said in English. It was like a lightning bolt from a clear sky, it was so strange. What was said appeared to be some message from God personally to me (I don't want to say what it was, but nonetheless, it was a very strange event).

A long time ago on TV (I can't remember when), I saw a news broadcast with strange, unusual lights over Jerusalem being broadcast live, that did not appear to be something that humans could generate. That also struck me as very interesting.

Furthermore, when I find teachings that make sense logically, and put them into practice, they work very well indeed, which is evidence (to me) suggesting that said God is in fact omnibenevolent. Obviously I don't take a lot of them at face value (due to ease of misinterpretation etc), but even ones that seem crazy at first glance (e.g. love thy enemy) work extremely well for me.

Finally, and this is where the evidence stops being anecdotal, http://watchmanbiblestudy.com/Articles/1948PropheciesFulfilled.htm. Specifically the prophecy at Isaiah 66:7-8 about Israel being reformed in one day. Extremely specific prophecy fulfillment like that is the sort of evidence I look for if I want evidence to suggest that Christianity is true.

(2) When we last debated, you argued that Jesus' death on the cross, which is a central teaching in the New Testament, made no sense and was "troll logic" on God's part. Could you explain how "troll logic" allows for a God who is love to send His Son to such a death to gain nothing when we would not convict any human father who uses that excuse?
It made no sense because of the confusing doctrine of eternal punishment, which extended to Jesus paying a blood price for the sins of others (which ultimately makes zero sense as far as justice is concerned). The question is, what was the sacrifice for then? I may have thought that there was some weird truth to the whole sacrifice to save people from God's own wrath in the form of eternal punishment, which strikes me as troll logic or a lie. Based on further analysis, I have to conclude that Jesus dying to save people from eternal punishment is a LIE, not troll logic. There has to be some other reason, involving protecting them from the consequences of evil and sin, and to help people turn away from sin, there is still death involved because of evil/sin, but not to save people from eternal suffering. Furthermore, and here is where theodicy comes back in, other methods ultimately wouldn't be as good for protecting people's best interests in the long run (and I mean until the end of time by that), seeing as God chose this one.

(3) Given that there are teaching with the best objective credentials of being in the Bible--the death of Jesus "for our sins" (I Cor. 15:3, etc.), homosexual actions being wrong without exception, eternal punishment--and that you dismiss these teachings because you hold that God is love...what basis do you really have for concluding that God is love? I'm not advocating the position that He is not love. But really: how do you know?
What do you mean by best objective credentials? I hope that you're not using a fallacious appeal to authority to prove your point. The death of Jesus may not be in the way you think, but still based on sins and salvation from said sin. People do not choose their sexual orientation either, however I may accept that homosexual sex is condemned, but health and safety is the only reason I can think of so far, that sort of sex being 'unnatural' as a reason gets swiftly rebutted by https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/appeal-to-nature .

When it comes to eternal punishment, it is obviously NOT in the best interests of everyone for all eternity, specifically those being eternally punished. It fatally contradicts 'Love always protects' as applied to God, and he pretty much contradicts himself by disobeying one of his own greatest commandments, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself'. It should be BLATANTLY obvious that eternal punishment is a fatal, an utterly fatal contradiction to Christianity if it is in the original Bible. 2 possibilites, Christianity is true, which means the doctrine of eternal punishment was invented along the way and is a man-made lie, or Christianity is false, which means the doctrine of eternal punishment is meaningless and essentially false. Either way, I can state with 100% certainty that eternal punishment is a false doctrine. Theodicy does not defend this, as eternal consequences can be seen and understood by humans here, unlike any of the other 'atrocities' committed by God, or by times when God does not act to stop suffering/evil etc. With theodicy, considering omniscience, it is possible that God can be protecting everyone's best interests when applied to all time (i.e. not contradicting 'Love always protects'), but only if the Universalist doctrine applies, the traditional and annihilationist doctrines both fall apart as God fails to always protect the people being punished. If it wasn't for that traditional doctrine, I wouldn't even have made that troll logic comment!

What basis would I have for concluding that God is love? His greatest commandments focus exclusively on this issue, and ultimately do make a great deal of sense, not to mention a description of what love is in 1 Corinithians 13:4-7 that also makes a lot of sense. Furthermore, putting his commandments into practice and actually obeying them does serve to protect me and others from harm. Commandments 5-10 in Exodus are pretty much common sense, for example. Any teachings by Jesus Christ that are clearly not aimed just at his audience also work extremely well. There is also the (admittedly unverifiable) fact that my miraculous hearing loss was fixed, along with what appeared to be a nice message from him. It's as if he knew I would require strong evidence that he exists in order to believe in him, rather than 'blind faith'. Also, consider what I said in the previous paragraph about the three points you raised in spite of me believing this.
 
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Maedar

Banned
Not only do Bible-huggers misinterpret the Bible, they also tend to believe myths and outright lies about it.

Biggest example: "Spare the rod, spoil the child" was actually said by Samuel Butler; it doesn't appear in the Bible. The closest it has to anything like it is "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." (Prov 13:24)

You may say that it's "close enough", but the thing is, given the number of metaphors that involve shepherds and sheep all the way through the Good Book, use of "the rod" should be clarified. Shepherds never hit sheep with a rod; rather, they use it to steer the flock in the direction they want them to go. (Watch The Ten Commandments with that in mind. Yvonne De Carlo is shown guiding sheep to the well with soft "drrr, drr" sounds and pushing them with the side of her staff.) Western civilization tends to equate "discipline" with "punishment", and that is not what the Bible means when it refers to using a rod.
 

deh74

Seine Majestät
To those of you who are using the Bible as a source you skulls probably know that it was passed down by word of mouth for hundreds of years before being written down and it may also be a complete work of fiction. I say may because I noticed your signatures .
 

Maedar

Banned
I've seen worse. A guy in Japan who Guiness confirmed as the world's oldest man passed away at age 116.

One loony-tunes Bible-hugger debated this claim, saying that Methuselah was the "proper record holder", implying that he actually believed that Methuselah was real and that it was possible for a man to live 969 years, as the Bible claimed he did. Even though there was no calendar at the time and no way to measure years, but he ignored that when I mentioned it, much like people who claim that the story of how God created the Heaven and Earth in seven days doesn't mention any way of measuring a day. (I mean, think about it; no sun and no Earth means the 24-hour length of a day would not be yet established, right? You just can't reason with these people.)
 

CSolarstorm

New spicy version
Why was the title added to? The purpose of my original title was to represent an unbiased platform that both parties could debate on. Now by adding a remark about what Jesus said/didn't say about gay people, it's not neutral anymore.
 

LDSman

Banned
Why was the title added to? The purpose of my original title was to represent an unbiased platform that both parties could debate on. Now by adding a remark about what Jesus said/didn't say about gay people, it's not neutral anymore.

Ask one of the Mods to change it back.
 

Maedar

Banned
Uh, don't look at me. Someone did that to that thread about Mr. Obama too.
 

JDavidC

Banned
I've PM'ed a high ranking mod (Kirby) about this issue. Hopefully (s)he can figure out what is going on and stop it.
 

WizardTrubbish

much more beastly

Maedar

Banned
See this?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/20/alan-chambers-apology-exodus-international_n_3474464.html

This man led one of the biggest anti-gay groups for over four decades. Now he's shutting it down, admitting he was wrong, and saying he's sorry?

Why? Well, maybe he did what Jim Bakker did. Anyone old enough to remember him? After Bakker's career pretty much lay in shambles, he wrote a very accurately-titled book called I Was Wrong where he confessed that the first time he actually read the Bible in its entirety was while he was in prison, and found that it contradicted almost everything he had ever said.

Maybe Mr. Chambers did the same thing, and realized that the negative things the Bible said (like how so many things in were declared sinful and evil by a wrathful God) paled in comparison by the kind words and positive things spoken by Christ.

Mr. Chambers has one-upped most Republican politicians on this issue, as he's willing to admit his mistakes. And you know what? I accept his apology.

Know why? Because to quote Alexander Pope, a man who would have rejected the ideas of Hobbes and Machiavegli while accepting those of Rousseau, "To err is human, to forgive, divine."
 

Eterna

Well-Known Member
See this?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/20/alan-chambers-apology-exodus-international_n_3474464.html

This man led one of the biggest anti-gay groups for over four decades. Now he's shutting it down, admitting he was wrong, and saying he's sorry?

Why? Well, maybe he did what Jim Bakker did. Anyone old enough to remember him? After Bakker's career pretty much lay in shambles, he wrote a very accurately-titled book called I Was Wrong where he confessed that the first time he actually read the Bible in its entirety was while he was in prison, and found that it contradicted almost everything he had ever said.

Maybe Mr. Chambers did the same thing, and realized that the negative things the Bible said (like how so many things in were declared sinful and evil by a wrathful God) paled in comparison by the kind words and positive things spoken by Christ.

Mr. Chambers has one-upped most Republican politicians on this issue, as he's willing to admit his mistakes. And you know what? I accept his apology.

Know why? Because to quote Alexander Pope, a man who would have rejected the ideas of Hobbes and Machiavegli while accepting those of Rousseau, "To err is human, to forgive, divine."

His apology doesn't undo the damage he has done. Him being misguided and good intentioned is no excuse to cause anguish, he can kiss my ***.
 

Arcamenel

Shiny Hunter
His apology doesn't undo the damage he has done. Him being misguided and good intentioned is no excuse to cause anguish, he can kiss my ***.

THIS X 1000. That man has blood on his hands. The blood of children and teens who've killed themselves because of people like him telling them they need to be fixed. He could spend the rest of his life trying to make amends and it wouldn't get rid of the blood he's shed.
 

7 tyranitars

Well-Known Member
Seems like the Same sex marriage rulings are soon. Good luck to our american friends. Personaly I except Doma to be struck down, (the section that blocks federal goverenment from recognising it) and prop 8 struck down, but only for cali.
 
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