If we evolved and religion evolved - what’s actually true and how would we know?

Hint: maybe you should look for a contrapositive. Nah, just an inverse.

It all depends whether Love has a double standard or not doesn’t it?

Rebels and anarchists are allowed to remain rebels and anarchists. No double standard there.

Why would they want to be, in Paradise?

I have given this some thought. I don’t think that a person joins some particular religion due to a changed heart. If a person is not humane, i.e., they have a conscience and have empathy (love), then there is no change of heart possible anyway. It also means finding inspiration in the prophets. I consider Jesus a prophet like Mohammad and Krishna.

A change of heart we talk of in English meaning we have reconsidered something or have remorse for something we have done wrong and see the wrongfulness and want to make it right. This may be the result of inspiration from Jesus and loving Jesus but that is not enough. The person has to have a viable conscience. I he or she has a bad conscience about something, then the person will seek to reconsider and having done so have remorse and thus want to make amends.

Religion is really a way of worship primarily, then of doing ritual and joining with others, who have a similar view and gaining spiritual support, i.e., finding community through religion and religious gatherings.

A person may be an atheist and become a theist and join some religion, but it is not really a change of heart, but seeing a broader picture and thus changing their world view from physical only to physical is only a part of a bigger spiritual picture.

What are the self-destructive habits of sin? I don’t understand this. Sin, AFAIK is about doing wrongful actions that may hurt others.

Yes, agreed, without Grace there is nothing doing. But forgiveness is the same whether asking it of God or someone else. We need to acknowledge the wrong and admit it.

Then we need to have what we say in Greek metanoisis, which means “after knowing” and that has the meaning of having remorse after having knowledge that we were wrong.

And finally forgiveness, again in Greek we say synchorisis, which is syn= together and chorisis= finding or standing again on a common ground.

So we have to have repented having seen the wrong and had remorse and want to make amends. Only then are we worthy of again being accommodated on common ground with the other that we wronged. Any unjust action is a wrong done against God.

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My only caveat here is that I sometimes have to say “I repent, and I want to repent fully”–knowing that I still have strong desires to do the wrong thing, and it’s an evolving process that I have to depend on God to help me with! Thanks.

The first one we see described in the Bible is that of blaming others for your own mistake. This started with Adam blaming Eve and even God for giving Eve to him. How can you learn from your mistakes if you will not even acknowledge that you have made any?

The second we see described in the Bible is that of murdering others who show you up and make you feel bad about yourself. This started with Cain who killed his own brother. God warned him and tried to get Cain to stop, but to no avail. How can others help you see your mistakes so you can learn from them if you simply kill them to make the problem go away?

In both cases, the Bible describes how quickly the disease spreads and gets worse. God said, “I set before you life and death, therefore choose life.” Learning from your mistakes is the essence of life itself. It is how evolution works. Therefore these habits are a refusal to face the challenge of life itself. They are in fact choosing death instead and it is why such habits are ultimately self-destructive.

These are but two example of what are legion. And many of them are simply habits of thought. But all of them are addictive and self-destructive. They are not only destructive of our freedom of will, but damage our awareness of ourselves and others as human beings, and tear down our integrity, ability to love, and frankly everything else of value within us. Drug addiction is a graphic physical example of sin and how destructive sin can be to our very being. But there are many others which more subtle and yet just as damaging… an addiction to power, control, and manipulating others, inferiority/superiority complexes, etc… etc… Much of this is often described as various illnesses and sin is indeed very much an illness.

That is a good definition of evil: pursuing your own desires at the expense of the well being of other people. And indeed you will find evil in many of these self-destructive habits – certainly you see it in the first two described above.

I think one thing that is making understanding difficult for you is the whole judgement/punishment mindset, which I think is more of a metaphor than a reality. This is why you want to equate sin with evil rather than illness. But the judicial metaphor is just that – a metaphor. Often the medical metaphor is more applicable. And rather than judgement/punishment what we are dealing with is the natural logical consequences of these self-destructive habits.


Good question, are they? Why didn’t Jesus tell the unrepentant thief that he would be in paradise?

He didn’t ask?

Um, neither did the other.

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”. That’s not an ask then?

Asking to be remembered is not really a petition for entrance. But we can suppose it is. It is a more a proclamation of faith in Jesus and that he has a righteous kingdom.

Besides being cute, that is actually a decent answer.

Hi again,

This discussion has taken on a different life of its own so I’ll just jump in, respond out of courtesy to some thoughtful comments, summarise the content of that original video I posted and then probably leave it there (over probably two maybe three consecutive posts - I try and avoid giant long posts now).

Starting out -

Thank you for the sentiment.

Thank you Laura

This is a good point. I guess there could be two schools of thought around it - 1. that God for some reason decided to destill the actual truth through the very odd method of revealing a bit to a chosen people but then other bits to others that he would then say “hey, what those guys believe is actually true too but I didn’t tell you at first” or 2. that the idea of progressive revelation is a confirmation of how much a human phenomenon religion is “oh we like that bit, let’s believe that too … via this explanation”

To actually accord with reality as we observe it and not need the presence of bizarre and non logical explanations

I dunno … I know this sell, I’ve used it myself. But in the end, I don’t know. I want this to be true but I can’t just rely anymore on my wishful thinking and hope. It’s hard separating what’s just in my mind from outside it. A lot of things are in the mind.

I’ve come to the depressing conclusion this is the case, based on the evidence.

This is a good verse to use to explain the previous incomplete revelations. I guess the logic begs the question why God so allowed religious ideas to become incredibly adulterated with untruths … I know the Christian answer is “because of our sinful nature” but sometimes if we dig deeper beyond such push button answers … we’re left properly stumped and hollow.

I’ll give it a read, thanks. If I’m taken by good old Lewis’ arguments - I’ll let you know. I hope to be but don’t expect to be unfortunately (which will make it all the better if I am though)

I’ll take a look. In everything I’m saying, I still believe in a force, even a God - but not as the Bible presents, I believe the actual picture is, different. I’m trying to figure out how.

That’s what I’m searching for … the Truth. How to properly reconcile the spiritual with the scientific without all the religious dressing. I believe the true spiritual and science are the same - actual reality. I believe there are scientific aspects to things we’ve thought spiritual that we just haven’t properly understood yet. There are a few more apples to fall down from Newton’s tree, so to speak.

Hopefully … but maybe I’m just wrestling with myself … maybe that’s what Jacob was doing? Maybe there’s something in that all … but then as I said before, there’s so much in the mind

That’s probably the direction I’m heading in. But actually it’s probably more so looking into other intelligences/aliens first - there is plenty of convincing evidence for their existence, dare I say much much stronger evidence than for many of the claims of standard religion

I’ll leave this post there but will continue with another about the Richard Carrier video.

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Why not before you proceed.

ET is rational fact, no scientific proof is necessary at all. So what’s to look at? They don’t know anything we don’t, they can’t be much smarter than our average, maybe evolution allows for a higher average IQ, but not much, any more than it does lifespan. And, course, we’ll never communicate with them. We won’t even detect them. But they’re there of course.

But the other guy? He has to burn in Hell forever and ever, amen?

Whatever. He is not in paradise with Jesus, anyway. I guess you don’t believe in the Paschal Lamb or the Agnus Dei.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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