Why I changed my mind


And here I thought you were talking about a really intense massage…


You define “not wanting to die” as a preference?

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #404

What is the alternative? Anything you can come up with other than… “The Bible says…” is on the same level as what the Atheists propose.


I’m not sure if I’m not communicating clearly or if you are deliberately misreading.

When I ask you to justify the source of morality, you give me a preference question, and yet you seem to be contending that morality is not simply a matter of preference…


Do you think “not wanting to die” is just a preference?


It’s a basic instinct. I’ve already pointed out Lewis’s contention that what is “good” is more than the acting out of instinct–such as when the choice is between two competing instincts.

I don’t want to die. Is it “wrong” to sacrifice my life for the sake of others and counteract what is probably my strongest and most primal instinct, self-preservation?

But yes, “not wanting to die,” although an extreme preference, is certainly a preference. There are some situations in which it might not be the preference.

(GJDS) #408

It may seem impolite for me to talk of pain from blogging … :sweat_smile:

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #409

[quote=“SuperBigV, post:389, topic:37604”]
I prefer evidence. And there is a difference between trusting own reason, vs believing there are invisible universe creating pixies (or a variation of them, such as Gods, etc…). I’m sorry I can’t explain this even more clearly. There is one kind of a faith that believes a flight in an airplane will take me from LA to NY. It’s another kind of faith that believes stepping into a rusty old can will teleport you to a distant planet. Both are FAITH, but they are vastly different. And having faith in the former does not validate the latter.

Karl Marx was a very smart person, who worked out a very logical theory of history. Many others followed him to develop a plan to create a new civilization that would bring justice and freedom to almost all people in a rational manner. Sadly it did not work out that way

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #410

Never say never :slight_smile: . What will happen in the developed world after most of the jobs have been automated and are done by the robots?

Also, it’s amazing how Christians ignore Communism in the teachings of Jesus! Jesus was a very communist person. Look at Luke 12:33 and Luke 14:33 and Acts 5! These are teachings of Jesus, where he clearly says that you cannot be his disciple if you do not give up ALL your possessions! Jesus also tells the rich young ruler that he must sell his possessions and give them away to the poor if he wants eternal life. Thankfully, St Paul came to the rescue.

Just to clarify my personal position, I was a young teenager when my family immigrated to the US. I have no specifics on the Marxists, since my family was very religious and resisted the Communist Party.
I have not been interested in the Marxist ideology to study it in detail.

Edit: I also think the multi-national corporations are acting in exploitation-al manner when they are operating outside of the US. With the help of the corrupt locals, no doubt, but ultimately there is exploitation.


What happens to the Ghaddafi’s Lybia oil processing after Ghaddafi was killed by US drones and rebels in 2011?

Nothing personal. It’s only business

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #411

I am glad that HRC was open to different views. You seem to be cynical about everyone but Putin, who is far from an angel.

Please do not mistake military power for real power. Russia needs to make friends of its neighbors to make up for all the exploitation over the years. It must do more than exploit its oil, gas, and mineral resources so it can be a real economic power and bring real prosperity to its people.

You have only a superficial understanding of the life of Jesus which is too bad. What is your real interest.

(GJDS) #412

This is a misunderstanding that needs to be corrected. Jesus said do these to enter the kingdom of God, which is not of this world (hardly a communist sentiment). Christians were encouraged to have all things in common and to use what we have to help the poor and needy - notice that this was voluntary, and the only criteria was that no one deceived the Holy Spirit when they chose to freely give.

These and other matters are very different to communism, and Paul emphasised charitable acts and to grow in the faith, including that of helping the poor.

Both capitalism and communism seek to concentrate power and wealth in a few - the methods used to achieve these goals differ. They are not Christian by any stretch.

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #413

Putin is Russia’s angel, not mine. Russia’s empire differed from the Western empires, in that Russia gave more than it received. Under the Soviet Union, Russian cities fared worse than many cities in Ukraine and other Republics. Same cannot be said about India under British Empire rule (for example).

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #414

I am afraid you are misunderstanding Jesus. Of course Jesus’ kingdom was not of this world, but the alternative to his kingdom, was an eternal torture in Hell (eternal torture or otherwise). Hardly a voluntary teaching. Disobedience is punishable by a Hell fire. You are either with Jesus (doing what he tells you) or you are against him (his enemy).

Paul said that if one will not work, they should not eat. Jesus said you ought to give to everyone who asks of you and also the verses I quoted already. Christians should really be Paulinists, since they typically follow Paul, not Christ.

As for communism vs capitalism, it’s a tricky subject. People in the former USSR now realize that what many of them had under the Soviet Union is better vs what they have now. And don’t forget there are poor capitalist countries, such as Bangladesh. These issues are not as black and white as they may seem. Is my family better off in the US now vs where we were in the USSR? Most definitely yes. However, I see the downward spiral of the American system as well. Everyone says that the high debts US finds itself in is not sustainable. Where will we be if the belts will need to be tightened and the debt will be due? Hard to say.

(GJDS) #415

I suggest that you are mistaken on a number of things but I am not inclined to enter into a debate with you on Christianity. I will provide a quote from Hart (since his translation of the NT has caused various comments) on how hell is discussed in the Greek of the NT.

"Hades, in the Septuagint and the New Testament, is chiefly the realm of the dead, Sheol in Hebrew, not a place of punishment for the wicked. It is, in fact, the kingdom of death to which all of humanity is enslaved, but which is conquered by Christ (especially in Paul’s theology), and which is now destined (at least, in Revelation) for final annihilation. The Vale of Hinnom, Gehenna, by contrast, is indeed a figure for a place of final condemnation, but its exact nature is impossible to discern from the texts of the New Testament, and its meaning in prophetic, intertestamental, and later Rabbinic literature is too various to give us an exact sense of how it was understood by Christ or his immediate contemporaries (I explain all this at length in my translation’s postscript). Most good New Testament scholars believe it is an image of final destruction, "

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #416

Evil is punishable by evil. "Do unto others was you would have them do unto you.’ Stalin did evil to many others, so it is fitting and just that he receive evil after his demise. Jesus foresaw the punishment after death for these who did evil, while those who do evil hurt those who are living. Of course if there is no God those who are evil will not be held accountable for their evil deeds.

Life is not voluntary. We do not choose to be born, nor when nor where. We do have an obligation to make the most of our lives and I believe that if we do so we will be rewarded, we will be blessed. Sounds like a good plan to me.

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #417

So, what makes Jesus better than Stalin? Stalin killed people, but Jesus tortures them for all eternity, no?

Especially since life is not voluntary for us, but Jesus, allegedly, plans humanity to minute detail, who gets to be born and live, to die and under what circumstances, etc… And then tortures those who don’t believe in him. You don’t have to kill anyone to be in hell for eternity. People end up there simply because they refuse to follow God’s commands. How is this not dictatorial? If this were a human institution, we’d go to war if we could to get rid of such ruler.


Well, Jesus said that In context to one person. It’s only couple of chapters later that he commends the tax collector for giving only half his possessions to the poor (Luke 19)–I mean, I don’t think there was a sale on salvation that day!

But it is drastically simplistic to equate Jesus’ expectation with Marxist communism. The one was based on the recognition of all humans as family and the other was based on the actualization of individuals through revolution and seizing the means of production.

This is true. But the totalitarian communist social experiment was one of the worst disasters of the 20th century, if not all of history.

There are no legitimate examples of this kind of Marxism “working.”

(George Brooks) #419


What else would you use to describe the desire to live?

(Susan Linkletter) #420

The bottom line for me was this. There is no proof that God exists. There is no proof that He does not exist, We therefore get to choose that He does or He doesn’t. The Bible in its complex compilation reiterates this fact in that it states that belief in God is through faith. If we had proof, we would not need faith. This is the way its supposed to be, its as simple as that.

"At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. "

Matthew 11:25


A fundamental part of being human.