LostintheEcho1498
LostintheEcho1498's Forum Posts

Where is heaven??Posted 2 years Ago

At 8/24/2017 6:08:06 PM, FanboyMctroll wrote:
With our modern telescopes we have been able to map out our whole solar system, the milky way and are looking at other universes. No sign of heaven anywhere. So where is it.

Understand that this is my opinion and I could back with sources later should you want them, but it's 3am and I'm too lazy at the moment. For starters, we should establish Heaven is a physical place. That said, it is unlikely to exist in the same dimension that we do. After the Second Coming the Earth is to be turned into a paradise and become transfigured, thus becoming Heaven. This raises the questions where is Heaven now, what happens to it after, and what dimension would Heaven take, ours now or the one in which Heaven currently resides. The short answer, you can't see it because it isn't here.

Also why has Jesus waited 2017 years and we are still waiting for his return? Why put humans through 2000 years of war, suffering, famine, disasters, terrorism without coming? What is Jesus waiting for?

This is a long standing religious question in and of itself. Why is there pain, suffering, affliction, famine, disease, etc. The easy answer is because there has to be. Watch any movie about Utopias and study the concept. 99% of the time, the Utopia is made by taking away free agency and thereby creating a perfect society. However, even within these Utopias they aren't truly perfect because no one progresses. There are no lessons to be learnt, trials to strengthen us, or problems to solve. You learn nothing because there is nothing to learn. To put it in one sentence, because without bad there is no good and we must have good and bad or there is no point anyway.
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The outsider test of faith in ChristianityPosted 3 years Ago

At 4/14/2016 11:42:02 PM, Chloe8 wrote:

I looked into it and found out that only 12% of Mormons in the world live in Utah. I would have guessed that figure woul have been higher and it's fair to say Mormonism Is more widespread than I thought. Your membership is not massive though it's merely widespread. This still does not change the fact that regardless of where you live in the world, you are far more likely to be a Mormon if your parents are Mormons. You are more likely to be a Mormon in certain areas than others.

As of 2014, there were 15.3-4 million members. Maybe not massive, but still notable when compared to the massive number of religions there are.(https://en.wikipedia.org...) Look under Restorationism.

I looked at your source, and the first paragraph destroys the basis of your assertion; "While Americans are still overwhelmingly -- at least nominally -- Christian (78.4 percent of the respondents identified themselves that way), only a bare majority (51.3 percent) call themselves Protestant. Our once dominant majority religion is headed toward being a minority religion -- still the largest single bloc of adherents, to be sure, but home only to a plurality of our country, rather than to a majority.

As a Mormon you probably place great emphasis on the different denominations. As an atheist I look at it as Christianity as a whole. Yes Mormonism is a bit different but the differences between some of the denominations are very minor. You are much more likely to be a Christian if your parents are Christians.

The most rapidly growing precinct in our religious landscape is the "unaffiliated" who now comprise roughly 16 percent of the population." This would further cement my argument, being that religion is generally decided upon after leaving your home and developing your own opinions, not that religion is primarily and forever decided by upbringing. For the actual numbers, here are those; "84 percent of those raised Hindu remain so into adulthood. By contrast, 76 percent of those raised Jewish, 73 percent of those raised Orthodox, 68 percent of those raised Catholic, and 37 percent of those raised as Jehovah's Witnesses persist into adulthood. At first glance, the Protestant performance looks unimpressive: only 52 percent didn't change denominations from childhood to adulthood." So not only is religion not as persistent as you predicted, but is actually significantly lower, specifically with Christianity being lower than any other religion, which is the topic of this forum. You may take a closer look at the next few sentences of that source and notice "hey, it gets better, the statistics are actually higher." These higher statistics are followed by " In all but a few cases, the largest proportion of movers switched from their childhood denomination to an evangelical church." Sorry, but your source seems to be destroying your argument all by itself. Again, however, one may argue that they are still Christian, but take a close look at the forum topic and put it into perspective. The argument you make is that the religion one is raised with practically determines someone's religion, but 52% of Christians change their religious ideas with the vast majority changing religion after childhood when becoming adults, either changing denominations or religions...I just gotta say, I feel a little psychic.

Again your argument is based on Christians changing denominations. I don't class that as changing your religion. the vast majority of theists follow their parents religions.

If you only count religion as Christianity and don't differentiate from sects, then you are possibly unwittingly grouping together unlike things. We may have a few similar overarching ideas, but even then we disagree about things involving God, Christ, etc. It is equivalent to grouping Socialism and Communism both as the same thing, which would be incorrect. Being a Socialist or a Communist are two very different things, even if similar.

Non religious affiliation is growing due to the improvements in education, scientific knowledge and alternative explanations than theism becoming more accessible to ordinary people.

This made me chuckle a little bit. Education, science, knowledge, and alternative explanations support the idea that people change ideals, again detrimental to your thesis.

Hmmm; "Another interesting feature of the data about religious change has to do with those who were raised in a religiously unaffiliated home. (Recall that this is the most rapidly growing proportion of the American religious landscape.) It turns out that more than half of those who grew up in such a household defect from the secularism of their parents, finding at least a nominal home in some faith somewhere." Seems being a religious household is not the only determining factor, but that over half of those in non-religious households turn to religion when becoming adults as well as children in religious households being likely to change religions.

Yes this is not surprising. America has a very religious culture which has a strong influence on young people. People raised in non affiliated families have no bias to any particular religion as non affiliation is not a religion. The person is free from bias and makes a more genuine choice.

So you accept the contention? That religious background or not, people in a large percentage change ideals to join different religions?

First, whoever can persuade someone to be a Donald Trump supporter has mind control powers and needs to teach me their ways. Second, I cannot profess to know the way missionaries of other religions teach, but Mormonism is purposefully and almost always pretty bland when we speak. This is because we do not want to convert people because of our "persuasive abilities" but because they find it to be true. If you don't believe me, have little kids watch General Conference. I know this from being a kid watching General Conference, you fall asleep. Quickly. It's very boring in the eyes of a child because they generally do not understand the concepts being taught and they all speak very blandly. Not that they speak poorly, you just will never hear any of them shout "Hallelujah" or the such. This is the same with the missionaries.

Persuasion is neccessary to convert someone to your views. You need to show what you perceive is factual evidence supporting your claims. It's impossible for all religions to be true but their followers all convert people using what they perceive to be strong evidence.

This I can accept to some degree. Again, I stand by my previous statement that persuasion is unnecessary to a large degree if attempting to truly convert someone.


I don't know whether you are prepared to comprehend your religion is wrong but it is certainly true for the vast majority of theists. They refuse to question their beliefs.

I can understand this and would expect it. Basic human behavior to cling to our own ideals as truth. My curiosity, however, was based on how you worded the statement, being that the way it was worded suggested you give credence to religion. I was just wondering why that was.

First, you callin me bias brah? I understand this to a degree, though. Even if I were to leave Mormonism, I have a great amount of respect and understanding towards their values and why they are implemented and would still be willing to defend it. This said, there are many who despise the religion of their parents and as such have a negative bias. It would be wise of us to also keep this in mind.

Yes agree some people despise their parents religion.

We agree, no argument necessary.
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The outsider test of faith in ChristianityPosted 3 years Ago

At 4/11/2016 1:11:40 AM, Chloe8 wrote:

The same goes for all religions. The beliefs of family members, the beliefs of the majority of people in the local community and the type of education if any given to a person in 90%+ of cases determines their religion.

It's the main population centre for your religion. Like many other religions mormonism has communities of believers congregated in certain areas but absent or only present in small numbers in others.

If you are unaware, Mormonism is a widespread and worldwide religion. I will admit, there are many Mormons in Utah, but saying that since I am Mormon I'm from Utah is a very stereotypical statement, considering the massive amount of members worldwide. It is the equivalent of saying that I must be from the Vatican because I am Catholic or Mecca because I am Muslim. Sure, there are many who reside in or near these areas, but broadly applying this to most people is not wise or appropriate.

I agree with that. It's a combination of both.

We agree, moving on.

Evidence suggests it does. Hence the vast majority of people adopt the same religious belief as their parents.

I'll address this in a bit along with the sources.

It's number of believers is low. I would not call it a thriving religion. The vast majority of Jewish people had Jewish parents.

(http://www.pewforum.org...)
It may have a smaller percentage than some, but it is still prominent on the world-stage, enough to be worth it's own spot on the chart. As for Jewish people with Jewish parents, again I will address this in a moment.

Agree. If someone thinks a religion is true they may be prepared to die for it.

We agree, moving on.

That's a guess on my behalf. It's clear nurture is more important than nature but how big an influence each factor has is hard to know. I used this figure due to the high number of people who adopt their parents religious beliefs.

http://www.acton.org...

I looked at your source, and the first paragraph destroys the basis of your assertion; "While Americans are still overwhelmingly -- at least nominally -- Christian (78.4 percent of the respondents identified themselves that way), only a bare majority (51.3 percent) call themselves Protestant. Our once dominant majority religion is headed toward being a minority religion -- still the largest single bloc of adherents, to be sure, but home only to a plurality of our country, rather than to a majority.
The most rapidly growing precinct in our religious landscape is the "unaffiliated" who now comprise roughly 16 percent of the population." This would further cement my argument, being that religion is generally decided upon after leaving your home and developing your own opinions, not that religion is primarily and forever decided by upbringing. For the actual numbers, here are those; "84 percent of those raised Hindu remain so into adulthood. By contrast, 76 percent of those raised Jewish, 73 percent of those raised Orthodox, 68 percent of those raised Catholic, and 37 percent of those raised as Jehovah's Witnesses persist into adulthood. At first glance, the Protestant performance looks unimpressive: only 52 percent didn't change denominations from childhood to adulthood." So not only is religion not as persistent as you predicted, but is actually significantly lower, specifically with Christianity being lower than any other religion, which is the topic of this forum. You may take a closer look at the next few sentences of that source and notice "hey, it gets better, the statistics are actually higher." These higher statistics are followed by " In all but a few cases, the largest proportion of movers switched from their childhood denomination to an evangelical church." Sorry, but your source seems to be destroying your argument all by itself. Again, however, one may argue that they are still Christian, but take a close look at the forum topic and put it into perspective. The argument you make is that the religion one is raised with practically determines someone's religion, but 52% of Christians change their religious ideas with the vast majority changing religion after childhood when becoming adults, either changing denominations or religions...I just gotta say, I feel a little psychic.

The simple fact is if your parents believe a particular religion you are far more likely to believe that religion then any other religion.

Hmmm; "Another interesting feature of the data about religious change has to do with those who were raised in a religiously unaffiliated home. (Recall that this is the most rapidly growing proportion of the American religious landscape.) It turns out that more than half of those who grew up in such a household defect from the secularism of their parents, finding at least a nominal home in some faith somewhere." Seems being a religious household is not the only determining factor, but that over half of those in non-religious households turn to religion when becoming adults as well as children in religious households being likely to change religions.

People get converted. It happens. Thats the aim of missionaries. It shows how the persuasive nature of certain individuals persuades others to adopt their view on religion. If you think about it this happens all the time. It's the same as a Donald trump supporter persuading a Ted Cruz supporter that trump is actually better.

First, whoever can persuade someone to be a Donald Trump supporter has mind control powers and needs to teach me their ways. Second, I cannot profess to know the way missionaries of other religions teach, but Mormonism is purposefully and almost always pretty bland when we speak. This is because we do not want to convert people because of our "persuasive abilities" but because they find it to be true. If you don't believe me, have little kids watch General Conference. I know this from being a kid watching General Conference, you fall asleep. Quickly. It's very boring in the eyes of a child because they generally do not understand the concepts being taught and they all speak very blandly. Not that they speak poorly, you just will never hear any of them shout "Hallelujah" or the such. This is the same with the missionaries.

Missionaries are good at promoting their views. Certain people are receptive and open to persuasion while the vast majority are not. Most people refuse to comprehend they are wrong.

I can agree with this to a degree, but would argue against the word persuasion. Also, I am just going to assume that when you say most people refuse to comprehend they are wrong, you mean to speak this in my perspective, or do you mean religion does have truth? Just a curiosity.

True. But an in built bias favouring their existing Religion exists. This Means someone who claims to be open to other ideas has a subconscious bias towards their existing Religion.

First, you callin me bias brah? I understand this to a degree, though. Even if I were to leave Mormonism, I have a great amount of respect and understanding towards their values and why they are implemented and would still be willing to defend it. This said, there are many who despise the religion of their parents and as such have a negative bias. It would be wise of us to also keep this in mind.

True. However this perspective is heavily influenced by a person's upbringing.

Look above.

Conversion happens I agree. However the vast majority of people do not convert and continue to believe The religion of their parents.

Again, look above.

http://answers.google.com...

I am going to have to say this source is semi-credible. More like the sources the source uses are more credible. Even so, some of the sources in this source are conflicting, so judge which is more c
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The outsider test of faith in ChristianityPosted 3 years Ago

At 4/2/2016 9:37:01 PM, Chloe8 wrote:
I can agree that it would be pretentious of me to say it had no influence that my parents are mormons. I can agree with this and would make the argument that we are not simply our surroundings and while being christian my increase the odds of being christian, there are hundreds of thousands of people who both leave and join churches they were born in or not. To say that surroundings doesn't affect it would be false, but to say it is the largest factor would be false as well. People are individuals who make decisions for themselves, religion born or not. As for why mormonism, since I'm running l

I agree conversions to and from Christianity happen every day. However environment, culture and family are the main factors deciding someone's religion. Imagine these scenarios.

1. You were born in India to Hindu parents.
2. You were born in Saudi Arabia to Muslim parents.
3. You were born in Sri Lanka to Buddhist parents.
4. You were born in Israel to Jewish parents.
5. You were born in Argentina to Catholic parents.

In each of these scenarios the chances of you becoming a Mormon are very low. Less then 1%. Maybe you would be that small minority of people who converts to Mormonism in these environments. However you have to agree that the vast majority of Mormons have parents who are also Mormons. I'm going to guess your from Utah in the USA?

The same goes for all religions. The beliefs of family members, the beliefs of the majority of people in the local community and the type of education if any given to a person in 90%+ of cases determines their religion.

First of all, I can realize the stereotype of "all Mormons are in Utah." It's less than half Mormon actually and I'm a native Californian and still here. Next, I can agree with some of your assertions, but would point out one thing: Nature. Your argument can largely be classified as nurture, or environment being responsible for how we are, both physiologically and psychologically. This is often compared and contrasted with nature, or our innate personalities. I have the view that both contribute to how we act. Both our nature and our nurturing affect how we think, act, etc. The question here is, would nurture overrule nature? If it is in your nature to think a certain way then it is likely if you are introduced to a religion, regardless of circumstances, you will be more drawn to it. An easy example of this is the Jewish religion. Jews, more than almost any other, have been persecuted down the centuries yet still it is a thriving religion. Despite constant threat of death(circumstances) the religion prevails. This is possible for two reasons: family tradition(another circumstance) and our natural draw to religion(nature). Getting back to the main topic, you assert that 90% of this is your surroundings(nurture). I would be willing to accept this if there was some kind of evidence to prove this and until then will take this number with a grain of salt. Is it possible? I could see it. But the actual number I find unlikely to exist as we still have a large number of arguments about nature v. nurture and if such a statistic existed, nurture would clearly be the greater of the two and as such no debate would be needed but I realize I could be wrong and people(myself included) can argue about things that are already clearly decided. To give another first hand example, my Grandpa was raised as a Catholic. And when I say Catholic, I mean VERY Catholic. After he left from his parents house, he was drafted to Vietnam and swore off religion. He became very atheistic and when he came home was approached by missionaries. Now to understand why he let them in, you have to understand his motive behind it. He still to this day loves to bring in Jehovah's witness because of this. Anyway, he likes to prove to missionaries that their religion is faulty and point out the holes in their religions. After he talked with them, he found not so many holes existed and they set a few more appointments. Eventually he was converted, baptized, and married my grandma who then converted also. My point is that over time nurturing and circumstances really don't amount to as much in the long run. They have more of an immediate effect. This is clear in children raised in religion but after they leave home(which I am being optimistic and hoping they do) as humans we create opinions of our own. Religion is just one of those things that we have to leave the nest to figure out what we really think. Does this mean our parents are always wrong, right, or radical converters? No, it means that the effect of religion in someone's life early on is significantly more and as we mature we create our perspective to religion. Now I can realize that sometimes people never leave home like our Catholic Argentinian because it is an agricultural society based on family ties. All I can say here is that my dad went on his mission to Argentina, actually while it was a dictatorship, and still people converted and left religions, Mormonism and Catholicism included. The surroundings of a person, without a doubt, have an effect on someone but the longevity and strength of such an influence is of potential doubt. Show me the statistical analysis of this being proven and I will accept your assertion that nurture is of more portent than nature.
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The outsider test of faith in ChristianityPosted 3 years Ago

At 3/31/2016 7:15:15 PM, Chloe8 wrote:
At 3/29/2016 10:22:08 PM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
At 3/23/2016 7:47:13 PM, Chloe8 wrote:
John Loftus wrote a book entitled "The Outsider Test for Faith," which is summarized at the following website:

https://docs.google.com...

The Outsider Test for Faith (John Loftus)

What if you had been born in Saudi Arabia as a Muslim and were given the opportunity to examine the Christian faith as a born and raised Muslim?

A. If you acknowledge you probably would have remained a Muslim in these circumstances " there is a high probability your belief is simply an accident of birth and culture, or at the very least not the result of careful, objective reasoning.

B. If you believe the "evidence" would have convinced you to convert to Christianity, that means one of two things:

1. You believe you have solid, objective and falsifiable evidence that can be examined through the eyes of a Muslim and still be self-evident. Why then don"t more Muslim"s convert or consider the Christian religion as a serious alternative to Islam? Where is this evidence and why doesn"t it seem to convince people who aren"t born into Christianity by accident of birth? What is it that personally convinces you that a god exists? If this were discredited, would you still believe it? If so your belief is not based on reason or evidence.

2. You are delusional with faith, which is not so much a virtue as willingness to believe something that there is no evidence for whatsoever.

C. If you had been born into isolation and not exposed to or even heard of religion for the first thirty years of your life, and then were suddenly exposed to all of the religions that have ever existed all at once, how would you come to the conclusion that the one you believe in now is true and all of the others are false? Imagine comparing the Samoan creation story with the Biblical creation story if you had never been exposed to either? What makes one more plausible than the other?

The outsider test makes it obvious that the object of a person"s faith is in almost all cases determined by the circumstantial elements of a the person"s parentage and place of birth, and not, except in extremely rare cases, by the result of an analytical comparative study of the world"s religions. This fact is readily apparent to an atheist but stubbornly indiscernible to the average Christian (or other theist).

I can see where this might be true, but also where it can be false. Let me explain a bit. First, it can be true that children are indoctrinated into religions. Children are impressionable, especially by parents, friends, and culture. If your parents are Christian, friends are Christian, you go to a Christian school, and live in a Christian neighborhood it is very likely you will be Christian. I can accept this simply because of human nature to conform and be accepted. Where I challenge this is my own personal experience as well as second-hand experience. Originally, I was brought up as LDS, or Mormon(I still am btw). My parents would take me to church, have me learn the doctrine, and come to understand it. The difference was they never actually forced me to practice. If at any point I had said "I don't believe in Mormonism", they would have accepted it. The rules they had and still do are based on constructing good character and while having foundation in religion, need no religion to maintain. Don't steal, don't kill, etc. whether you believe in God or not. My own education in religion actually extended to visiting other churches with friends and comparing them to my religion. Then looking for myself at the religion of my parents and friends to see which I could logically and spiritually accept as truth. IT wasn't until several years ago I questioned religion itself and went to work on that. Whether a God exists at all and the many questions and doubts of millions that have some foundation. Eventually, after a lot of research, I came to the conclusion that God is real and that Mormonism was the most complete(if not totally)of the Christian religions. I came to this decision on my own and without provocation and would consider it to have been created without objectivity. Moving on from myself, missionairy work in other countries is another easy testament to the spread of religion with upbringing having both positive and negative affects. There are those who have never been introduced to religion, already have their own, are prohibited from religion, left religion, and despise religion. All of these types of people have been converted to religion by missionairies, regardless of upbringing, location, or objectivity for or agaisnt Christianity. How then can it be argued that upbringing is the deciding factor of religion? Then people bring up those wackos in that one uber-radical church that says "Praise God for Dead Soldiers." I would point out those children have no chance to know anything else and one ran away from the lifestyle after figuring out it was crazy town. Human nature is to be curious, to find out for ourselves and discover what is the truth. Granted we can take a long time, go about it in round-about ways and can sometimes have to start over, but generally we all do it. Can upbringing affect this? Definately. Does it completely decide it? I wouldn't think so. As for your test, all I can say is I truly don't know, as none of us can. We have the upbringing we were given and have to work with what we have. I would like to imagine I would have ended up in the same place, but I am objective(obviously). I did the research and found the LDS church to make sense. Would I think so if I was born into another world? Who knows. That's nature vs. nurture and a whole different thing. I would have different concepts of logic and reason and about religion in general. Heck my life may depend on being Muslim and so is now an ingrained part of my being. Without the experience, I cannot know the same as everyone. All I can say is I have seen this go both ways and as a general rule, when people are left to their own devices and are unaffected by outside influence, humans gravitate toward religion. Why this is can be argued all day but it is true. Religion has been a part of society as long as there has been society and even before. Trying to guess if we would end in the same place is unrealistic but it can to a certain degree be ascertained that we would end up somewhere where we are now if given the same conditions. It's an experiment that would have to be done.

I agree upbringing is not the sole factor determining someone's religion. Other factors are involved. It is clear from demographics though that people tend to follow the religion as their parents. Yes your parents did not force their religion down your throat but you were brought up in an environment where mormonism was considered the truth. This makes it more likely that you will perceive it as the truth. What is it about Mormonism do you believe gives it more legitimacy /credibility than other Christian denominations?

I can agree that it would be pretentious of me to say it had no influence that my parents are mormons. I can agree with this and would make the argument that we are not simply our surroundings and while being christian my increase the odds of being christian, there are hundreds of thousands of people who both leave and join churches they were born in or not. To say that surroundings doesn't affect it would be false, but to say it is the largest factor would be false as well. People are individuals who make decisions for themselves, religion born or not. As for why mormonism, since I'm running low on space I'll make it simple. It is more complete + addresses all concerns an
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The outsider test of faith in ChristianityPosted 3 years Ago

At 3/23/2016 7:47:13 PM, Chloe8 wrote:
John Loftus wrote a book entitled "The Outsider Test for Faith," which is summarized at the following website:

https://docs.google.com...

The Outsider Test for Faith (John Loftus)

What if you had been born in Saudi Arabia as a Muslim and were given the opportunity to examine the Christian faith as a born and raised Muslim?

A. If you acknowledge you probably would have remained a Muslim in these circumstances " there is a high probability your belief is simply an accident of birth and culture, or at the very least not the result of careful, objective reasoning.

B. If you believe the "evidence" would have convinced you to convert to Christianity, that means one of two things:

1. You believe you have solid, objective and falsifiable evidence that can be examined through the eyes of a Muslim and still be self-evident. Why then don"t more Muslim"s convert or consider the Christian religion as a serious alternative to Islam? Where is this evidence and why doesn"t it seem to convince people who aren"t born into Christianity by accident of birth? What is it that personally convinces you that a god exists? If this were discredited, would you still believe it? If so your belief is not based on reason or evidence.

2. You are delusional with faith, which is not so much a virtue as willingness to believe something that there is no evidence for whatsoever.

C. If you had been born into isolation and not exposed to or even heard of religion for the first thirty years of your life, and then were suddenly exposed to all of the religions that have ever existed all at once, how would you come to the conclusion that the one you believe in now is true and all of the others are false? Imagine comparing the Samoan creation story with the Biblical creation story if you had never been exposed to either? What makes one more plausible than the other?

The outsider test makes it obvious that the object of a person"s faith is in almost all cases determined by the circumstantial elements of a the person"s parentage and place of birth, and not, except in extremely rare cases, by the result of an analytical comparative study of the world"s religions. This fact is readily apparent to an atheist but stubbornly indiscernible to the average Christian (or other theist).

I can see where this might be true, but also where it can be false. Let me explain a bit. First, it can be true that children are indoctrinated into religions. Children are impressionable, especially by parents, friends, and culture. If your parents are Christian, friends are Christian, you go to a Christian school, and live in a Christian neighborhood it is very likely you will be Christian. I can accept this simply because of human nature to conform and be accepted. Where I challenge this is my own personal experience as well as second-hand experience. Originally, I was brought up as LDS, or Mormon(I still am btw). My parents would take me to church, have me learn the doctrine, and come to understand it. The difference was they never actually forced me to practice. If at any point I had said "I don't believe in Mormonism", they would have accepted it. The rules they had and still do are based on constructing good character and while having foundation in religion, need no religion to maintain. Don't steal, don't kill, etc. whether you believe in God or not. My own education in religion actually extended to visiting other churches with friends and comparing them to my religion. Then looking for myself at the religion of my parents and friends to see which I could logically and spiritually accept as truth. IT wasn't until several years ago I questioned religion itself and went to work on that. Whether a God exists at all and the many questions and doubts of millions that have some foundation. Eventually, after a lot of research, I came to the conclusion that God is real and that Mormonism was the most complete(if not totally)of the Christian religions. I came to this decision on my own and without provocation and would consider it to have been created without objectivity. Moving on from myself, missionairy work in other countries is another easy testament to the spread of religion with upbringing having both positive and negative affects. There are those who have never been introduced to religion, already have their own, are prohibited from religion, left religion, and despise religion. All of these types of people have been converted to religion by missionairies, regardless of upbringing, location, or objectivity for or agaisnt Christianity. How then can it be argued that upbringing is the deciding factor of religion? Then people bring up those wackos in that one uber-radical church that says "Praise God for Dead Soldiers." I would point out those children have no chance to know anything else and one ran away from the lifestyle after figuring out it was crazy town. Human nature is to be curious, to find out for ourselves and discover what is the truth. Granted we can take a long time, go about it in round-about ways and can sometimes have to start over, but generally we all do it. Can upbringing affect this? Definately. Does it completely decide it? I wouldn't think so. As for your test, all I can say is I truly don't know, as none of us can. We have the upbringing we were given and have to work with what we have. I would like to imagine I would have ended up in the same place, but I am objective(obviously). I did the research and found the LDS church to make sense. Would I think so if I was born into another world? Who knows. That's nature vs. nurture and a whole different thing. I would have different concepts of logic and reason and about religion in general. Heck my life may depend on being Muslim and so is now an ingrained part of my being. Without the experience, I cannot know the same as everyone. All I can say is I have seen this go both ways and as a general rule, when people are left to their own devices and are unaffected by outside influence, humans gravitate toward religion. Why this is can be argued all day but it is true. Religion has been a part of society as long as there has been society and even before. Trying to guess if we would end in the same place is unrealistic but it can to a certain degree be ascertained that we would end up somewhere where we are now if given the same conditions. It's an experiment that would have to be done.
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Do the religious really believe in heaven?Posted 3 years Ago

At 2/15/2016 4:02:25 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 2/15/2016 8:27:16 AM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
At 2/13/2016 4:15:50 PM, Double_R wrote:

Then I was mistaken in an assumption I made. You do not understand the purpose of a funeral. As we do have a mix of emotions, joy, pain, gratitude, sorrow, etc., a funeral is where we address those things. We confront and make peace with our sadness so we may move on and accept that they have moved on to better things. You assume that because we are Christians we instantly say "well gramps just died, good for him." We reach the point where we are able to understand that they are somewhere better and make peace with it. This is not an instantaneous reaction and your perception that it must be is convoluted. Humans are meant to grieve. Humans are not meant to grieve forever, however(fun word combo). Funerals give us the opportunity to come to terms with what has happened and make sure it doesn't control the rest of our lives so we can have joy about their passing.

First of all please stop with this "humans were meant to ----" argument. The purpose of this thread was to point out the contradictory way heaven believers act towards and treat death. Appealing to human nature does not absolve the contradiction, it just disregards it.

Telling me that I don't understand the purpose of a funeral is just plain stupid. It doesn't matter what its purpose is, you can't manufacture emotions just because you call everyone together for the purpose of feeling them. People are sad, often extremely torn-apart sad at funerals. My point is and has been that the level of sadness often felt at a funeral is contradictory to the belief that the person who died is in a better place. We will always feel sadness because of our own personal loss, that is not the only thing being felt at funerals and the evidence of that is the difference between a funeral of an 80 year old and a 10 year old.

And no, I don't assume that Christians say "well gramps just died, good for him". My point is and has been that if you really believe what you profess then this should be your reaction.

The two problems you mentioned are meaningless to an atheist and more importantly irrelevant to the topic of this thread.

You asked why we do not simply kill children. I answered you. It may be that it has nothing to do with the title of this thread, but you introduced the idea. Now if you don't like the fact you cannot refute the idea that killing children is bad, then accept it and move on. Don't hide behind the thread.

I can't refute the idea that killing children is bad because in my worldview it actually is. My point is and has been that in your worldview there is not only no reason to believe it is bad, but every reason to believe it is a good thing. Why have you not understood this? I made that point explicitly clear in the OP.

Beyond answering to the point of this thread, the only other answers you can offer as to why killing children is bad is something along the lines of "because God says so", which is a whole different discussion about divine command. Still, I don't mind having it but first you need to make a choice: Either explain how it makes sense in your worldview that killing a child is bad, or just admit that the only reason you believe it is bad is because by doing so you are not properly following orders.

I begin to feel like a recording. Everything you just said I literally could copy paste from my past posts and it would address this just fine. The idea that upbringing could affect the outcome of their decision is true, and I accept that. As I have already said. Being raised after this life I have gone into detail in three separate posts I think now, yet you continue to disregard it. The idea that accepting God is easier to accept having been raised in the life after this has also been addressed, as has the chances not being considered equal. If you have nothing new left to say, let us leave this as it lies, as nothing productive comes from circular argument.

I have disregarded what you have said about the chances in the afterlife because you haven't said anything useful at all. You agree that the odds may be impacted but you make no attempt to determine whether the odds in would be more or less favorable to the child, and you disregard every reason why I gave to point out that it would be more favorable to the child if they were killed early on in life.

So yes, if that is all you have to say then we can just leave it here. You still maintain that funerals are sad occasions because they are supposed to be and because that is human nature, while failing to account for all of the contradictions it poses. You don't believe in killing infants because it is bad, but have yet to provide anything to make sense out of that statement. And you accept that the odds may be impacted upon an early death but have no idea how and no answer to the arguments that it would be good for them. The problems raised in my OP would seem sustained.

I will leave this here. It seems that you are not looking to understand, only to berate. I look at your rebuttals and see someone crying out that my arguments don't make sense and have no value yet your rebuttals are answered in my arguments already given. If I really have done a horrible job explaining this, I apologize, but it seems more likely that you refuse to make sense of it yourself.
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Do the religious really believe in heaven?Posted 3 years Ago

At 2/13/2016 4:15:50 PM, Double_R wrote:

I never stated nor implied that there is only one emotion being felt. I am pointing to the fact that regardless of the mix of emotions that may be occurring on any occasion, there is a predominant emotion being felt. My example was a child going to Disneyland instead of grandma's house. Yes there may be some sadness about not seeing grandma, that does not refute the fact that the occasion is overall a happy event.

Then I was mistaken in an assumption I made. You do not understand the purpose of a funeral. As we do have a mix of emotions, joy, pain, gratitude, sorrow, etc., a funeral is where we address those things. We confront and make peace with our sadness so we may move on and accept that they have moved on to better things. You assume that because we are Christians we instantly say "well gramps just died, good for him." We reach the point where we are able to understand that they are somewhere better and make peace with it. This is not an instantaneous reaction and your perception that it must be is convoluted. Humans are meant to grieve. Humans are not meant to grieve forever, however(fun word combo). Funerals give us the opportunity to come to terms with what has happened and make sure it doesn't control the rest of our lives so we can have joy about their passing.

Funerals are no different. Sure you may be comforted by the belief that your loved ones are in heaven, but the fact of the matter is that the mood of a funeral is a very sad one. That makes no sense if your beliefs are true. If someone was leaving to pursue an amazing opportunity abroad, and for whatever reason this meant never seeing them again, sure there would be tears but the mood of the gathering would not be sad, it would be mostly happy for the person who is moving on to something better. "Congratulations" would be the predominant attitude. I don't see anyone expressing a congratulatory attitude at funerals.

Already addressed above.

The two problems you mentioned are meaningless to an atheist and more importantly irrelevant to the topic of this thread.

You asked why we do not simply kill children. I answered you. It may be that it has nothing to do with the title of this thread, but you introduced the idea. Now if you don't like the fact you cannot refute the idea that killing children is bad, then accept it and move on. Don't hide behind the thread.

Well I still don't know what being "raised in the afterlife" means, and I have no reason to believe you do either. What I do know is that most of our personality is developed through our upbringing and is specifically and demonstrably the result of how our brain chemistry reacts to our experiences, which would not apply to the afterlife. You also fail to address the point, which was that believing in God would presumably make a lot more sense for one who is brought up in the afterlife then one brought up in the physical world with no evidence of an afterlife. So to argue that the chances of one accepting God are equal is quite absurd.

I begin to feel like a recording. Everything you just said I literally could copy paste from my past posts and it would address this just fine. The idea that upbringing could affect the outcome of their decision is true, and I accept that. As I have already said. Being raised after this life I have gone into detail in three separate posts I think now, yet you continue to disregard it. The idea that accepting God is easier to accept having been raised in the life after this has also been addressed, as has the chances not being considered equal. If you have nothing new left to say, let us leave this as it lies, as nothing productive comes from circular argument.
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Do the religious really believe in heaven?Posted 3 years Ago

At 2/13/2016 4:15:50 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 2/13/2016 6:23:32 AM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
At 2/13/2016 1:59:59 AM, Double_R wrote:
So to be clear, the sadness you feel for your father is 100% sadness for yourself. You do not feel sad for him, you are not in pain about the idea of anything you feel he is losing. Your tears are for you and you only. Correct?

Killing a child does not guarantee a child a position in Heaven. They are still given the choice to accept or reject God, Jesus, and the Atonement.

Can you explain how this makes any sense when discussing an infant?

For the first part, admittedly yes, the sadness would be more selfish than anything, but does also include sadness over future possibilities he could have had in this life. Sadness is a complex feeling that involves several factors, remorse for another I would include. Just because one goes to Heaven does not mean they complete everything they may have wanted to in this life. If I were to die tomorrow, I would regret never having been able to have a family. If my father dies tomorrow, I would regret him not being able to meet his grandchildren in this life. So to say my tears are only for me is a two-sided statement, being yes and no. I am sad for someone else because of my own reasoning behind it.

Then you are contradicting yourself. Sure we all wish we can have our cake and eat it too, but knowing that we cannot we do not feel sad about getting the better option. If you give your child a choice as to where they want to go to vacation, Grandma's house or Disneyland, and they choose Disneyland, sure there will be some sadness about not getting to see grandma, but that does not make going on vacation a sad event. And if your child was going without you, sure you would be sad about not getting to see them, but since you know they will be in "a better place" your emotions would be overall happy. To call your child back from vacation because you are sad and missing them, despite knowing that they are happy there is just downright selfish and immoral, yet that is exactly what theists feel when wishing loved ones they believe are in heaven were still alive.

Then to infants, I again refer to what I previously stated about infants and Heaven. As it seems you are uninterested in reading it, let me reiterate. Children who die are raised in the life after this one and given the choice to either accept or reject God, Jesus, and the Atonement. Everything maintains the agency of the person as well as still allowing them to mature to be able to understand the answer they are giving. It also does supply a certain amount of leniency towards them, having lost their life at an early age, as they are being raised in the life beyond this and allowed to see beyond the veil when they decide to accept or reject God, Jesus, and the Atonement. This still is no guarantee of what they choose, though. They are allowed to choose the same as us, they simply are already there when they make that choice as they were unable to while here.

Children being "raised in the afterlife" (whatever that means) would presumably have a far greater reason to believe God and heaven are real then we do, so if that is the case then it would still be moral to kill them at infancy because you are still giving them the greatest chance at heaven.

First, you demonstrate some understanding toward the concept, but still not fully. The point I am making is not that we would take them away from Heaven if we could bring them here. As stated already, we find joy and comfort that they now exist in a place of greater happiness, but the fact we feel sad does not overrule the fact that we are also comforted. To say one can only feel one or the other is faulty and that we can feel both at the same time makes us human. The idea that one can do both of these things seems to be where you have misunderstanding and that one can be greater than the other is what allows us to move on.

Second, no, killing infants is still not moral. First, still is murder and causes those two problems you fail to address. Second, you rely on the idea that "it is a greater chance" they go to Heaven. Honestly, it depends on the person. Some people are innately more compassionate, kind, or forgiving. Others more rebellious, hateful, and spiteful. We are unique, which becomes painfully obvious with children more than any other group. Raising a child beyond this life does not mean they act perfect all the time. They act how they would otherwise and are brought up into maturity until they are able to conscientiously decide. This may make it more likely for some, but only more final for others. If they decide to reject, there is no mercy for them, no leniency, nothing. Only they are responsible for their decision and so must face the consequences of it, whichever it may be.
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Do the religious really believe in heaven?Posted 3 years Ago

At 2/13/2016 4:17:16 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
4. We do believe what we claim, being that we go onto a life after this one. There may be some who do not, and I cannot speak for them, but for those of us who do, death still presents pain and sadness despite our knowledge of what comes after. This is what makes us human, not hypocrites of our religion.

And my point is... that's what makes folks like you hypocritical.

Simply put, you believe that you are going somewhere better than this life when it is over, and yet you are sad at the thought of you or those close to you going there. That is contradictory, and can't just be dismissed as "human nature".

Regarding my point on infants, I presume you believe that infants who die go straight to heaven. I also presume you believe that heaven is a place where not everyone goes. If so, then by allowing an infant to grow up you are subjecting them to the possibility of missing a place in "eternal bliss" just so they can live a measly 70 or 80 years here on earth. That is absurd and contradicts how we treat our children in every other aspect of life. We always do things that our children will not like because we know it will benefit them in the long run. If you guys really believe what you profess, then why on earth do you act differently when it comes to the biggest consequence of them all?

You have clearly misunderstood my point and have made false assumptions.

The idea that I can feel sad about my father dying right now is not hypocritical to the belief that he will go on to Heaven. It means I will live the rest of this life without him, which makes me sad.

So to be clear, the sadness you feel for your father is 100% sadness for yourself. You do not feel sad for him, you are not in pain about the idea of anything you feel he is losing. Your tears are for you and you only. Correct?

Killing a child does not guarantee a child a position in Heaven. They are still given the choice to accept or reject God, Jesus, and the Atonement.

Can you explain how this makes any sense when discussing an infant?

For the first part, admittedly yes, the sadness would be more selfish than anything, but does also include sadness over future possibilities he could have had in this life. Sadness is a complex feeling that involves several factors, remorse for another I would include. Just because one goes to Heaven does not mean they complete everything they may have wanted to in this life. If I were to die tomorrow, I would regret never having been able to have a family. If my father dies tomorrow, I would regret him not being able to meet his grandchildren in this life. So to say my tears are only for me is a two-sided statement, being yes and no. I am sad for someone else because of my own reasoning behind it.

Then to infants, I again refer to what I previously stated about infants and Heaven. As it seems you are uninterested in reading it, let me reiterate. Children who die are raised in the life after this one and given the choice to either accept or reject God, Jesus, and the Atonement. Everything maintains the agency of the person as well as still allowing them to mature to be able to understand the answer they are giving. It also does supply a certain amount of leniency towards them, having lost their life at an early age, as they are being raised in the life beyond this and allowed to see beyond the veil when they decide to accept or reject God, Jesus, and the Atonement. This still is no guarantee of what they choose, though. They are allowed to choose the same as us, they simply are already there when they make that choice as they were unable to while here.

The bold makes zero sense. If they are "raised in the life after this", God, Jesus, and Atonement (for what, btw?) are not matters of faith anymore. Its distinctly real. To say they are allowed to choose, "the same as us" would be a gross understatement.

Which is why I stated earlier that it is different. They are given leniency due to the fact they were unable to carry on life on Earth. Does this mean it is different? Clearly it does. They are still allowed to reject it, however. Who would do so after living it I don't know, but it is still a possibility and has probably happened. When I say they are allowed to choose "same as us", it refers to the idea of choice still being existent, not that they are identical circumstances.
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