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Going to Heaven if you never heard the Gospel

#51countzanderPosted 3/24/2013 2:40:08 PM
I also have a question for you. As I mentioned earlier, it seems that Paul says that we all are without excuse and for one reason or another know he's real. So hypothetical: Someone has heard the Gospel, they've studied the Bible, etc. They feel zero internal compulsion of God's existence, they don't see the idea of God being remotely apparent in nature, and just are legitimately unconvinced of God. Because of what Paul said, would you agree in this scenario that the individual in question could contend to be a gnostic atheist in regards to Christianity.


I don't think Paul's focus is God existence, but I'll assume that it is.

No. When it comes to religion, I think appeals to emotion are necessary but not sufficient. A hard-core Christian could easily rebut your claim by saying he feels 100% sure that God exists and could rationalize your atheism by saying that you've sinned so much that God has abandoned you, just as Paul says.

The only way you could be a gnostic anything is by objectively showing that you're right. Despite thousands of years of religious philosophy, no one has been successful. Besides, the threat of being wrong is what makes the philosophy of religion so exciting. ;p
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#52DarkContractor(Topic Creator)Posted 3/24/2013 4:57:14 PM
From: Julian_Caesar | #049
From: DarkContractor | #025
What modern religions would you say is Christianity with a different name?


That wasn't exactly what I was getting at. Rather, there are many individuals whose personal revelation of God can be expressed within their own religion even if they don't know the exact name of "Jesus." That's much more unusual in the modern world because of the vast spread of information, but I suppose it can still happen.

Hinduism would get my vote. From what I can tell, its "polytheism" is strikingly similar to the idea of God having different aspects. It certainly leans toward the "universalism" areas of Christianity, which is troublesome for me, but then again I'm suggesting that people can know God without knowing His "Christian name" so perhaps I shouldn't be throwing stones lol. Also, I don't count Islam because it comes from the same ancestor. It shares many similarities with Judaism/Christianity because it theoretically falls under the same deity (just more accurately, they would claim).


You see, the notion that someone experiences a personal revelation of who God is does not mean they much unless they start spouting Biblical details. If anything I find it discrediting of the validity of the usual 'personal revelation/personal relationship with x God" in general. You're being pretty vague on Hinduism's similarity as well, mind specifying?



I think I've built the case for still being condemnable without the Gospel being preached to you quite effectively. Paul's conversion was especially interesting, he was burning down Churches left and right and God decided to intervene. Here many atheists on this board would simply just like a similar experience while we genuinely prefer there being the idealistic omnibenevolent God. And I'm not necessarily implying knowledge of Yahweh's name, but knowledge of who Yahweh is; like his nature of being, the way he acts, in general Christian theology.

And that's my point in the last bit, Paul says the following

1. God commands everyone everywhere to repent because the time of excusion for ignorance has passed.
2. This truth is confirmed by observing God's qualities through nature.
3. We all have knowledge of what sin is
4. We are all guilty of sin and will be punished
5. We can be pardoned through repentance and faith in the Resurrection which Paul says we all know about; the Resurrection is the proof to the skeptics.
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An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. PSN: MrPillow92 Steam: MrPillowtheGreat
#53DarkContractor(Topic Creator)Posted 3/24/2013 5:36:48 PM
Your claim is that there're no exceptions to accepting Jesus. Hebrews 11 provides examples to the contrary.


Everyone one of those guys had faith in God, presumedly in Yahweh, but even if I'm wrong, these were Old Testament examples of faith, hence the earlier times in which God had forgiveness for it.

All pagan deities have some of God's qualities.


Yes, but not all deities, which is what we need to be focusing on. In fact, an atheist, by default, does not feel there are any qualities of God.

Yes,
(Aphrodite and Athena were arbitrary examples.) I think that's what Paul is referring to when he says God's qualities are apparent in nature: people unconsciously assigned God's qualities to their deities because the qualities are apparent. (That is, pagan religions are not fabricated.) But because of incomplete knowledge, false qualities are also assigned. When the false qualities were pointed out, people, for whatever base reason, continued to follow their religions anyway.

The end of Romans 1 and most of Romans 2 seem to be more about morality than Christianity's uniqueness or validity. Paul seems to be criticizing sinful behavior. Their pagan religions, though not accurate, still provided a functional moral framework. This moral framework is partially derived from God's invisible qualities, and so when pagan people made laws against murder and theft and stuff, they were behaving morally. They had no excuse for not knowing since...societies instinctively know that certain things are wrong.


But Paul specifically says that God's qualities of eternity and divine power are clearly seen throughout nature. That has nothing to do with knowing morality. That has to do with knowing God. He says all see this, and all are without excuse. Now, when look at nature, I see 99% of every species to have ever lived extinct, I see starving children, viruses and diseases running rampantly, natural disasters (these were almost always attributed to God's wrath back in the Biblical era, btw). I feel no internal compulsion about anything regarding Yahweh whatsoever. It doesn't matter that you wanna call it morality, that passage made zero reference of knowing morality through nature; we know that through our conscience. And that's the other part, Paul did not say some of the requirements of the law are innate in us, it's that all our innate in us.
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An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. PSN: MrPillow92 Steam: MrPillowtheGreat
#54DarkContractor(Topic Creator)Posted 3/24/2013 5:36:54 PM
That's why I disagree with your interpretation. You seem to be focusing on God's existence, the Gospel, and culpability, but I think the passage is about morality. The focus seems to be that there's no excuse for ignorance of natural law, not necessarily what happens to people who've never heard of God. There is a contradiction between God as some people imagine him and God as he's presented in the Bible, and while I have no trouble biting the bullet, I think your position is based upon a false assumption.

I think we're at an impasse, so I'm just gonna ignore the other points.


I would say that's a fatal bullet for reasons demonstrated in the last paragraph as well as throughout this topic.

In order to find the truth, you need to ask the right questions. Empiricism is useless when it comes to God. I mean, Jesus himself says, "God is a spirit. Those who worship him must worship him in spirit." What the hell does that even mean? How would you even go about using science to analyze that statement? Would you build a device that can detect prayer waves or something?
You say you don't want to make appeals to emotion, but, unfortunately, according to the Bible, there is no other way to find God. You either feel after him, or you don't find him at all.


Actually, empiricism was the exact reason Paul converted, and the Bible is chock full of empirically based conversions. An appeal to emotion instills me with no reason whatsoever to believe, nor does it give any credibility whatsoever to the claim of the Bible. That said, I have zero clue what it means "to feel after God" so perhaps some enlightenment in that area could be of some use.
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An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. PSN: MrPillow92 Steam: MrPillowtheGreat
#55DarkContractor(Topic Creator)Posted 3/24/2013 5:42:24 PM
From: countzander | #051
I also have a question for you. As I mentioned earlier, it seems that Paul says that we all are without excuse and for one reason or another know he's real. So hypothetical: Someone has heard the Gospel, they've studied the Bible, etc. They feel zero internal compulsion of God's existence, they don't see the idea of God being remotely apparent in nature, and just are legitimately unconvinced of God. Because of what Paul said, would you agree in this scenario that the individual in question could contend to be a gnostic atheist in regards to Christianity.


I don't think Paul's focus is God existence, but I'll assume that it is.

No. When it comes to religion, I think appeals to emotion are necessary but not sufficient. A hard-core Christian could easily rebut your claim by saying he feels 100% sure that God exists and could rationalize your atheism by saying that you've sinned so much that God has abandoned you, just as Paul says.

The only way you could be a gnostic anything is by objectively showing that you're right. Despite thousands of years of religious philosophy, no one has been successful. Besides, the threat of being wrong is what makes the philosophy of religion so exciting. ;p



100% sure=/=a proof. But what if I never felt that way about God? I suppose I should have been more specific. I didn't mean to implicate "what if someone felt God was real but then sinned too much so God abandoned him?"

Worth noting btw, that the inability to find anything in nature that seem to empirically indicate or made me 'spiritually feel' that God is real is one of the reasons I de-converted.
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An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. PSN: MrPillow92 Steam: MrPillowtheGreat
#56bratt100Posted 3/24/2013 7:10:09 PM
countzander posted...
bratt100 posted...
http://i.imgur.com/3NQst1K.jpg

In this situation telling the man about Jesus doomed him.


:(


I put forth the argument of ignorance. No mission will ever convert all the people in a region and if these people are ignorant of sin and have never heard of jesus, then you actually save more people by not talking about jesus.

So you could even say that the christian mission has doomed far more people then it has saved.
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"If the victim was a mute, then she shouldn't really be out alone."- OrangeWizard on rape
#57bratt100Posted 3/24/2013 7:16:05 PM
DarkContractor posted...
From: countzander | #051
I also have a question for you. As I mentioned earlier, it seems that Paul says that we all are without excuse and for one reason or another know he's real. So hypothetical: Someone has heard the Gospel, they've studied the Bible, etc. They feel zero internal compulsion of God's existence, they don't see the idea of God being remotely apparent in nature, and just are legitimately unconvinced of God. Because of what Paul said, would you agree in this scenario that the individual in question could contend to be a gnostic atheist in regards to Christianity.


I don't think Paul's focus is God existence, but I'll assume that it is.

No. When it comes to religion, I think appeals to emotion are necessary but not sufficient. A hard-core Christian could easily rebut your claim by saying he feels 100% sure that God exists and could rationalize your atheism by saying that you've sinned so much that God has abandoned you, just as Paul says.

The only way you could be a gnostic anything is by objectively showing that you're right. Despite thousands of years of religious philosophy, no one has been successful. Besides, the threat of being wrong is what makes the philosophy of religion so exciting. ;p



100% sure=/=a proof. But what if I never felt that way about God? I suppose I should have been more specific. I didn't mean to implicate "what if someone felt God was real but then sinned too much so God abandoned him?"

Worth noting btw, that the inability to find anything in nature that seem to empirically indicate or made me 'spiritually feel' that God is real is one of the reasons I de-converted.


It isn't nearly as self evident as many people believe. It makes it much more difficult when you look at the biology behind these things.
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"If the victim was a mute, then she shouldn't really be out alone."- OrangeWizard on rape
#58DarkContractor(Topic Creator)Posted 3/25/2013 4:48:53 AM
From: bratt100 | #057
DarkContractor posted...
From: countzander | #051
I also have a question for you. As I mentioned earlier, it seems that Paul says that we all are without excuse and for one reason or another know he's real. So hypothetical: Someone has heard the Gospel, they've studied the Bible, etc. They feel zero internal compulsion of God's existence, they don't see the idea of God being remotely apparent in nature, and just are legitimately unconvinced of God. Because of what Paul said, would you agree in this scenario that the individual in question could contend to be a gnostic atheist in regards to Christianity.


I don't think Paul's focus is God existence, but I'll assume that it is.

No. When it comes to religion, I think appeals to emotion are necessary but not sufficient. A hard-core Christian could easily rebut your claim by saying he feels 100% sure that God exists and could rationalize your atheism by saying that you've sinned so much that God has abandoned you, just as Paul says.

The only way you could be a gnostic anything is by objectively showing that you're right. Despite thousands of years of religious philosophy, no one has been successful. Besides, the threat of being wrong is what makes the philosophy of religion so exciting. ;p



100% sure=/=a proof. But what if I never felt that way about God? I suppose I should have been more specific. I didn't mean to implicate "what if someone felt God was real but then sinned too much so God abandoned him?"

Worth noting btw, that the inability to find anything in nature that seem to empirically indicate or made me 'spiritually feel' that God is real is one of the reasons I de-converted.


It isn't nearly as self evident as many people believe. It makes it much more difficult when you look at the biology behind these things.




Absolutely. Natural selection, while non sentient, is definitely nonrandom.
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An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. PSN: MrPillow92 Steam: MrPillowtheGreat
#59bratt100Posted 3/25/2013 6:22:35 AM(edited)
There is a reason they use the word selection.
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"If the victim was a mute, then she shouldn't really be out alone."- OrangeWizard on rape
#60countzanderPosted 3/25/2013 6:23:56 PM
Everyone one of those guys had faith in God, presumedly in Yahweh, but even if I'm wrong, these were Old Testament examples of faith, hence the earlier times in which God had forgiveness for it.


So there are exceptions to accepting Jesus. It's not unreasonable that those ignorant of Jesus may have some alternative to finding God.

But Paul specifically says that God's qualities of eternity and divine power are clearly seen throughout nature. ..


God's qualities are not synonymous with God himself. Given the subsequent verses and chapters' emphasis upon following the law and not being a bad person, I'm still leaning toward the morality interpretation, that the invisible quality in question is nothing more than goodness which comes from God. Conscience is just a moral compass which God has given to everyone. No one has an excuse for failing to recognizing goodness/godliness because we instinctively know what good is.

Actually, empiricism was the exact reason Paul converted, and the Bible is chock full of empirically based conversions. An appeal to emotion instills me with no reason whatsoever to believe, nor does it give any credibility whatsoever to the claim of the Bible. That said, I have zero clue what it means "to feel after God" so perhaps some enlightenment in that area could be of some use.


"Blessed are those who have not seen but have believed anyway." -- Jesus
It's great if God performs an exciting revelation for you, but as Jesus said, faith is not contingent upon sensory evidence. The decision to find God must often be made without empirical verification.

100% sure=/=a proof. But what if I never felt that way about God? I suppose I should have been more specific. I didn't mean to implicate "what if someone felt God was real but then sinned too much so God abandoned him?"


It's kinda hard for me to answer that. Both religion and science seem to suggest that people are hard-wired for religiosity or superstition and that secularism is something which usually must be learned. If you absolutely have never felt God (though we both know that's false), then you're still culpable, even if your interpretation of Romans is correct. You've mentioned that you reject the concept of faith, despite the Bible's saying that faith is required to find God. Your justification is that empiricism is preferable to fideism. The problem is that the Bible says the exact opposite. "We walk by faith and not by sight."
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