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Old April 11th, 2017, 12:14 AM   #1
Voice_Of_Unreason
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Default The Everlasting Arms

I have been wanting to advocate for the addition of a religion forum on the main site for awhile now, been one of my main goals on VT. However, I looked at the suggestions thread and saw that a religion forum has been shot down in the past for virtue of being "too volatile to moderate." Well, I find that to be a lazy excuse and a negative outlook upon the VT community, so I've decided to challenge it.

This thread is designed for the general discussion of religious matters. Be it praises, prayer requests, theology discussions, personal testimonies, or just religious Q&A. Despite the Christian name and tilt, this thread is open to discussion of all religions or just religion in general. This includes but is not exclusive too Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and others. I personally am open to discussions and questions on Abrahamic religions, and I know others here who have other religious knowledge I am sure they would love to share.

Ground rules:
1. No baseless bashing of other religions or religion in general.
Challenges and questioning of other religions based upon logical and respectful reasoning is fine, but bashing religions because your own opinions without any evidence or respect is spam, and will be treated as such.

2. Debating at a minimum
While debating is allowed and is encouraged in this thread, to keep this from coming just another debate thread I am asking you to keep it small. If you feel that you must continue a debate beyond 3 posts each, then start a new thread in ROTW for it.

That's it! Start posting!
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Old April 11th, 2017, 03:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Everlasting Arms

Alright then, sounds good.

If I'm permitted to ask questions on your take on religion / your religious beliefs, then:



001.
Do you think that life for each of us involves more than just our span of physical biological existence?

010. If you think so for the above, then is our life before birth similar to our life after death, or do they differ?

011. If the above differs, then what is this difference, and why is this difference a thing?


On a less personal stance:

100. Do you think that religions in general (or examples if you want) put more emphasis on death and 'after' death, than birth and 'before' birth?
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Old April 11th, 2017, 06:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Everlasting Arms

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Originally Posted by Paraxiom View Post

If I'm permitted to ask questions on your take on religion / your religious beliefs, then:



001.
Do you think that life for each of us involves more than just our span of physical biological existence?

010. If you think so for the above, then is our life before birth similar to our life after death, or do they differ?

011. If the above differs, then what is this difference, and why is this difference a thing?

On a less personal stance:

100. Do you think that religions in general (or examples if you want) put more emphasis on death and 'after' death, than birth and 'before' birth?
This is entirely allowed, and I will answer as best as I can.

001. Yes, I believe that individual life is not bound by our physical bodies, and as such all of us will experience some form of it.

010.
I do not believe in such a principle as pre-existance, the idea that our "soul" was created separate and prior to our physical bodies. From a general Christian perspective, it is taught that our body and soul are created together. People are described as being "born once", unless you experience spiritual birth with Christ, in which you are born twice. If our souls were "born" before our bodies, then it would more logically say that all humans are born twice, and that Christians are born three times, but it does not.

011. To answer you question, there is great difference between life before birth and after death, because before birth there is no life. A soul is eternal and once created it will last far beyond physical death. But a soul is not created until there is an accompanying physical form to go with it. This is almost the universal stance of Christianity.

100. I think in general there is more focus on life after death, at-least in Christianity* and Judaism. Islam too, but there is also emphasis on life before birth, just not to the extent of life after death. Eastern religions on the other hand seem to have a much larger emphasis on life before birth than western ones. However, I think in our nature we are more worried about life after death than life before birth, therefore many of the world's religions have been crafted using that mentality, and is why I think there is more emphasis on life after death.

*Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons split from mainstream Christianity on this issue. Both believe to varying extents that all of our souls were created at the Creation of the world, and that we have influence over our eventual physical lives during that point.
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Old April 11th, 2017, 09:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Everlasting Arms

My family has never consistently practiced any religion although my parents are Christians (one Baptist, one Catholic). Because we've never gone to church, read the Bible or had any religious discussions together, I'm left utterly confused. Yes I believe in God and yes I pray and have had prayers be granted, but I have no idea where I fit in and that makes me reluctant to discuss religion with anyone.

Kinda needed to get that out of my system. Maybe someone can relate.

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Old April 12th, 2017, 10:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Everlasting Arms

I'm kinda in the same boat as Amethyst. My family and I have gone to church all our lives and I am a Christian, I know that. I'm just not sure where me liking other guys fits into the puzzle. Its my personal belief that its a sin, but I have no clue what to do with these attractions. And even though I've been a lot more open about...who I am, probably more open than I should be considering the town I live in, It hasn't really helped me figure out what I'm supposed to do. Though, it has helped me come out of my shell a little bit.

Anyways, I was wondering, whats your stance on homosexuality? I don't mean to start a flamewar by asking, I'm honestly just curious.

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Old April 13th, 2017, 10:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Everlasting Arms

@Amethyst Rose & @Brightwolf, I am praying for your situations. That must be hard when you don't have a good guide to help you through life's struggles. Reminds me of my father, who was raised by a Jewish father and Catholic mother. He was very much confused about religious matters until he was nearly 25 years old when he met my mother. I just recommend reading the Bible, praying, and asking questions to people you trust.

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Anyways, I was wondering, whats your stance on homosexuality? I don't mean to start a flamewar by asking, I'm honestly just curious.
As long as you or someone don't start a flamewar, I will gladly answer your question. I believe that homosexuality is a sin and is not approved of by God. The Bible does not talk about this issue that much, but when it does it is always in a negative light. You hear this most often in the Old Testament, but many "modern" Christians ignore those verses under the belief that nothing from the Old Testament actually counts anymore. But the New Testament does repeatedly condemn sexual fornication and stresses that marriage is between one man and one woman. You see this often in Paul's writings, since he was a frequent missionary to the Greeks, a culture which is infamous for its rampant sexuality.

However, just to make this clear, I do not hate homosexuals. I just believe what they are doing is wrong and that laws shouldn't be made to support it. But the last thing I wish for is for all the gays to be killed or imprisoned for being gay.
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Old April 13th, 2017, 09:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst Rose View Post
My family has never consistently practiced any religion although my parents are Christians (one Baptist, one Catholic). Because we've never gone to church, read the Bible or had any religious discussions together, I'm left utterly confused. Yes I believe in God and yes I pray and have had prayers be granted, but I have no idea where I fit in and that makes me reluctant to discuss religion with anyone.

Kinda needed to get that out of my system. Maybe someone can relate.
You say you believe in God and pray so what else do you need? You can read the Bible there's all in there so what should confuse you? Just wondering.
I don't think you need to find some of those obscure so called Christian preacher and his fanatic followers to be a Christian and believe in God. I have always been very suspicious of most of these religious groups and the way most of them interpret the Scriptures.

Being a good Christian is simple: Love everyone, judge nobody. God is love.
You can more or less forget about all the rest. It's not God that is confusing but all those "religious" people who no better than God what is right or wrong.
God doesn't care whether you are a Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Catholic, Mormon or whatever.
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Old April 14th, 2017, 07:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Everlasting Arms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst Rose View Post
My family has never consistently practiced any religion although my parents are Christians (one Baptist, one Catholic). Because we've never gone to church, read the Bible or had any religious discussions together, I'm left utterly confused. Yes I believe in God and yes I pray and have had prayers be granted, but I have no idea where I fit in and that makes me reluctant to discuss religion with anyone.

Kinda needed to get that out of my system. Maybe someone can relate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brightwolf View Post
I'm kinda in the same boat as Amethyst. My family and I have gone to church all our lives and I am a Christian, I know that. I'm just not sure where me liking other guys fits into the puzzle. Its my personal belief that its a sin, but I have no clue what to do with these attractions. And even though I've been a lot more open about...who I am, probably more open than I should be considering the town I live in, It hasn't really helped me figure out what I'm supposed to do. Though, it has helped me come out of my shell a little bit.

Anyways, I was wondering, whats your stance on homosexuality? I don't mean to start a flamewar by asking, I'm honestly just curious.
I'm kinda in the same boat. In fact I never really went to church till about 2 years ago. Had no idea much about it. Started in catholic school. And I liked the religion classes but I had a hard time believing some of the beliefs.

We go to a Protestant church now. And I've liked it. I'm regularly attending a different one than my parents do. Even the same faith can have distinct differences in some things that matter to you.

Where I go now has a large youth population who are all very involved in the church. And many kids like myself from all types of family backgrounds.

With that said, I feel I agree more with the Protestant beliefs than catholic faith. That's just me. For me I don't think a religion is something you choose in your search for, it's just something you believe, you just do. A lot like someone's sexuality. Yiundont choose it, you just are.

I feel good atbthe church I go to, I know people there like me and accept me for who I am and as the person I am. Not all churches are like that

I've learned your search for faith may not be as clear as your search for a new car or pair of shoes, it may take years or a lifetime. Everyone's different. It's a personal thing, and imo shouldn't be taken lightly if/when you choose to join a church/faith and commit yourself to god and his work. So don't rush it, just take it all in little by little and worth through all the shit ton on info that's tossed at you between then and when you find your way.

It's a long journey.

Good thread!!!!!

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Old April 16th, 2017, 11:24 AM   #9
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Happy Easter Everybody!

If you want to know a bit more about the Bible, there is a marathon of Bible-related content on the History Channel today. I suggest you check it out, as it is both entertaining and informative.
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Old May 6th, 2017, 08:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Everlasting Arms

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaHam View Post
This is entirely allowed, and I will answer as best as I can.
I've got a greater number of questions to follow, as you'll see. They branch out of your answers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaHam View Post
001. Yes, I believe that individual life is not bound by our physical bodies, and as such all of us will experience some form of it.
Do you see this individual life experience transcending the physical body as only a thing that happens after the death of the body, or can/does it happen during the physical existence of the body as well?


Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaHam View Post
010.I do not believe in such a principle as pre-existance, the idea that our "soul" was created separate and prior to our physical bodies. From a general Christian perspective, it is taught that our body and soul are created together.
So you are saying that the soul is created at the same time and place as the body is (this being conception), am I correct?

So, if the soul is not physical in the sense of not being intrinsically made of any physically measurable entities (atoms, EM waves, etc), is it instead some other kind of existing substance that occupies the same spatiotemporal dimensions as physical substances but without interacting with them as would happen between most physical substances?

(An analogy of resemblance here would be that different frequencies of light can occupy the same spatiotemporal locations, but they don't interact with each other in the sense of 'trading' information between each other. They pass through each other but their intrinsic form isn't affected by the existence of the other. They share the same dimensions but don't share the same 'playing field' of interaction.)

If what I am clarifying above is correct, is it the brain that mediates a connection between the physical body and the aphysical soul? Some level of interaction is necessarily occurring between the body and soul of a person, and I gather that it must be in a very specific way if almost no physical processes can interact with the soul and vice-versa. There must be some particular physical forms that can mediate interaction between them and souls, which all other physical forms cannot do (and vice-versa).


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People are described as being "born once", unless you experience spiritual birth with Christ, in which you are born twice. If our souls were "born" before our bodies, then it would more logically say that all humans are born twice, and that Christians are born three times, but it does not.
I'm already aware of the 'born again' view, but I'm confused with how people who have no contact with christians or the bible (and etc) are to be able to have any means of having 'spiritual birth' with him. If you don't learn about him in any way (or if you learn incorrect details about him), how are you able to have any relationship with him? It seems there is no chance for someone to experience spiritual birth with something it's never been aware of and/or never taught about by another person.


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Originally Posted by PlasmaHam View Post
011.To answer you question, there is great difference between life before birth and after death, because before birth there is no life.

When you say there is no life before birth, do you mean that there is no life in the period between conception and birth, or are you treating 'birth' temporarily as the process of formation from conception to biological birth?

(Granted, I should have made conception relevant taking your stance on abortion that I already know about.)

Either way, when you say there is no life before birth, do you mean there is literally nothing (as in actual lack of consciousness)? Are you talking about a 'state of consciousness' that is experientially equivalent to the 'eternal oblivion' that many physicalists talk about being after someone's brain death?


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A soul is eternal and once created it will last far beyond physical death. But a soul is not created until there is an accompanying physical form to go with it. This is almost the universal stance of Christianity.
So souls cannot be destroyed but can be created. Is this property of souls an intrinsic feature of their essence, or is it more of the result of the external environment that's being maintained by God in a certain manner?

In other words, are the souls just inherently indestructible but creatable, or are they necessarily 'guided' to be so?

Is it certain physical forms themselves that 'spark' (like a metaphysical catalyst of sorts) the formation of souls? Do souls need such particular physical forms to be created?

Do you see eternity as being essentially the same if it's bounded in some way or not? By this I mean to speak of eternity as infinite temporal duration, but it turns out that one can have such a situation with or without a beginning or* and end.
*(an exclusive 'or',also written as XOR like in logic gates)

Using mathematical analogy, a line is a 1D geometrical entity that has infinite length. It also has no bounds in the sense that no matter where you go on the line either way, you will forever keep on travelling on that line.

However, rays are 1D geometrical entities that look like lines except that they stop at a point. They start (or end, because it's ambiguous) at a point, and an infinitely long ray (hence their name) 'travels' in a particular direction from that point. Rays have an infinite length, but you can take a direction to travel on that ray (one of the possible two) that will get you to the edge of the ray in a finite time. Rays are infinitely long but they do have a beginning/end/edge.

Infinite length means the same thing for lines and rays, but rays are less infinite in the general sense than lines, because they are bounded at a point.


What I'm asking from this is whether or not you see the eternal nature of souls to be the same as the eternal nature of any hypothetical entity that similarly has a spatial location, but without having a temporal end as well as without having a temporal beginning. Something that has no beginning and no end seems eternal in a way that something else with no end but a beginning is not.


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100. I think in general there is more focus on life after death, at-least in Christianity* and Judaism. Islam too, but there is also emphasis on life before birth, just not to the extent of life after death. Eastern religions on the other hand seem to have a much larger emphasis on life before birth than western ones. However, I think in our nature we are more worried about life after death than life before birth, therefore many of the world's religions have been crafted using that mentality, and is why I think there is more emphasis on life after death.
I like your angle on taking people's worries/ponderings about certain things to affect whatever possible/actual religions are present across people. I see the emotional, intuitive way of how we work to actually have a massive, critical impact on what mental constructs we formulate. It's not just abstracted rational thought. For this reason, rational arguments cannot fully defend or attack viewpoints that people have, but they can (to the best of their creator's skill/intention) present opportunities to maintain/reinforce or change/threaten another's viewpoint.


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*Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons split from mainstream Christianity on this issue. Both believe to varying extents that all of our souls were created at the Creation of the world, and that we have influence over our eventual physical lives during that point.
Interesting offshoots.

This is an example of why theology is effectively its own field. It may be greatly intermingled with philosophy, but there's so much scope as to what God(s) and related entities could be that it might as well be an offshoot away from philosophy that does not centrally look at such things.

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Old May 16th, 2017, 02:53 PM   #11
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First of all, I am obviously not as smart as you on these matters. That is just a fact, and I freely admit it. So please forgive me if I do sound ignorant or uneducated when I answer your questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paraxiom View Post
Do you see this individual life experience transcending the physical body as only a thing that happens after the death of the body, or can/does it happen during the physical existence of the body as well?
I think that as long as we are alive on this plane of existence, our body and spirit are always bonded. I don't believe in the idea of literal out-of-body experiences in this day and age. Spiritual visions perhaps, but none of which involving the spiritual and physical aspects separating.
Quote:
So you are saying that the soul is created at the same time and place as the body is (this being conception), am I correct?

So, if the soul is not physical in the sense of not being intrinsically made of any physically measurable entities (atoms, EM waves, etc), is it instead some other kind of existing substance that occupies the same spatiotemporal dimensions as physical substances but without interacting with them as would happen between most physical substances?
lol, you are clearly way beyond me with this question. If I had to answer, I would say yes, but again I am not knowledgeable in nearly any aspect of this.
Quote:
If what I am clarifying above is correct, is it the brain that mediates a connection between the physical body and the aphysical soul? Some level of interaction is necessarily occurring between the body and soul of a person, and I gather that it must be in a very specific way if almost no physical processes can interact with the soul and vice-versa. There must be some particular physical forms that can mediate interaction between them and souls, which all other physical forms cannot do (and vice-versa).
Assumes there is. I can't say for certain it is the brain though.



Quote:
I'm already aware of the 'born again' view, but I'm confused with how people who have no contact with christians or the bible (and etc) are to be able to have any means of having 'spiritual birth' with him. If you don't learn about him in any way (or if you learn incorrect details about him), how are you able to have any relationship with him? It seems there is no chance for someone to experience spiritual birth with something it's never been aware of and/or never taught about by another person.
I believe God can reveal himself in ways to individuals who have never had the opportunity to hear it from a physical person. There are various ideas of how and why, and honestly I am not sure. Good question, it would take someone trained in theology to give you a satisfactory answer.

Quote:
When you say there is no life before birth, do you mean that there is no life in the period between conception and birth, or are you treating 'birth' temporarily as the process of formation from conception to biological birth?

(Granted, I should have made conception relevant taking your stance on abortion that I already know about.)
Conception, I was just using birth as a general descriptor. I meant conception.
Quote:
Either way, when you say there is no life before birth, do you mean there is literally nothing (as in actual lack of consciousness)? Are you talking about a 'state of consciousness' that is experientially equivalent to the 'eternal oblivion' that many physicalists talk about being after someone's brain death?
Don't know, I don't know. And too be honest, I really don't know how to answer your remain questions. I'm sorry about that.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 06:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Everlasting Arms

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First of all, I am obviously not as smart as you on these matters. That is just a fact, and I freely admit it. So please forgive me if I do sound ignorant or uneducated when I answer your questions.
If you think so, then alright! I don't think so myself, rather I'm just very curious about your take on things (though I like to systematically approach a thing so maybe that is a factor). Thanks for the compliment anyway, of course.


Quote:
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I think that as long as we are alive on this plane of existence, our body and spirit are always bonded. I don't believe in the idea of literal out-of-body experiences in this day and age. Spiritual visions perhaps, but none of which involving the spiritual and physical aspects separating.
Alright, so you don't believe in people with claims of NDEs as well? Just checking.


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lol, you are clearly way beyond me with this question. If I had to answer, I would say yes, but again I am not knowledgeable in nearly any aspect of this.
Okay, no issue.


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Assumes there is. I can't say for certain it is the brain though.
So you're open to it being the brain, but you're not sure; correct?


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Originally Posted by PlasmaHam View Post
I believe God can reveal himself in ways to individuals who have never had the opportunity to hear it from a physical person. There are various ideas of how and why, and honestly I am not sure. Good question, it would take someone trained in theology to give you a satisfactory answer.
I'll look into the relevant fields in theology for it then.


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Conception, I was just using birth as a general descriptor. I meant conception.
It was no fault on you but instead me using the term 'birth' too generally for my specific question. Had it been a more general question I wouldn't need to ask another one


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Don't know, I don't know. And too be honest, I really don't know how to answer your remain questions. I'm sorry about that.
Is OK, I don't imply an obligation to answer my questions (I have got used to it already through my history in ROTW).

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