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      01-28-2016, 09:06 AM   #309
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikkagtr
I live my life very simply
I try and treat everyone around me the way I'd like to be treated if the script was flipped
It isn't hard to do and requires no faith nor facts or science
If I wouldn't want someone to key my car out of jealousy or hate, I would not do it to other peoples cars
How would you treat someone with Alzheimer's, or mentally retarded? Some would say to support them in a nursing home, others would advocate for euthanasia. Who would be right? Who gets to decide?

Should someone be punished because they stole food? Some would say no - others would say yes - who is right? Who gets to choose?
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      01-28-2016, 11:21 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by bbbbmw View Post
Uhhhh - your "fairy story" analogy isn't nice at all - it's insulting. Much less that all you perceive of religion is wars and death; and you ignore all of the good done in the name of religion?
It doesn't stop there man, all the good done in the name of religion is not just that. The good is done in order buy the golden ticket to heaven... Most religious organizations help "because Jesus commanded us to help the poor" instead of saying "I'm helping my neighbor because it is the human thing to do, to help each other in order to grow a more human society".

It is quite insulting to assume religion is the foundation of our moral values and that without religion there is no morality. This concept is what most Americans believe.
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      01-28-2016, 11:22 AM   #311
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Originally Posted by bbbbmw View Post
How would you treat someone with Alzheimer's, or mentally retarded? Some would say to support them in a nursing home, others would advocate for euthanasia. Who would be right? Who gets to decide?

Should someone be punished because they stole food? Some would say no - others would say yes - who is right? Who gets to choose?
Huh? Is there a point to make with this?

Two hundred years ago a person with mental retardation was treated like an animal, families would get rid of and deny his/her existence. Thanks to science and NOT RELIGION we now understand much more and can effectively treat ill family members in a way to provides them with better quality of life.

A few hundred years ago a person with Alzheimer's was treated like the devil took his/her soul and confined to an asylum. Now things are much different thanks to science. Religion has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Stealing anything is punishable by law because it's the law! It doesn't matter if it is food or diapers or milk. Lady justice is blindfolded for a reason...

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      01-28-2016, 11:34 AM   #312
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Originally Posted by KlausPA View Post
It doesn't stop there man, all the good done in the name of religion is not just that. The good is done in order buy the golden ticket to heaven... Most religious organizations help "because Jesus commanded us to help the poor" instead of saying "I'm helping my neighbor because it is the human thing to do, to help each other in order to grow a more human society".

It is quite insulting to assume religion is the foundation of our moral values and that without religion there is no morality. This concept is what most Americans believe.
Precisely and the hi-jacking of things like Remembrance Day by Christians is even more insulting.

So many things in all religion fall flat with any form of analysis.
Add violence, crusades, slavery then mix it up with countless scandals involving religious "leaders" and you have far more evil than good.

Not discounting all the good; some have done immeasurable good in the name of religion but it is far outweighed by evil.

I visited Paris over Christmas; a real centre for vast religious buildings. My initial thoughts were "wow" followed by "how many suffered and died so this vast monument to a fairy tale could be built?"

Having also suffered agonising personal loss, if there was any God out there, which there isn't, he/she/it can get stuffed.
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      01-28-2016, 11:38 AM   #313
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Originally Posted by Em135eye View Post
I visited Paris over Christmas; a real centre for vast religious buildings. My initial thoughts were "wow" followed by "how many suffered and died so this vast monument to a fairy tale could be built?"
Slaves, that's all I have to add.
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      01-28-2016, 11:56 AM   #314
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Originally Posted by KlausPA View Post
Slaves, that's all I have to add.
slavery - which was ok in the bible - or more like reality at the time, and written as law, in a story form.
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      01-28-2016, 12:42 PM   #315
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This thread continues to be a mouthpiece for atheists to troll people of faith.
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      01-28-2016, 02:47 PM   #316
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Originally Posted by bbbbmw View Post
This thread continues to be a mouthpiece for atheists to troll people of faith.
Yes but we won't threaten to kill you because of our beliefs.
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      01-28-2016, 05:25 PM   #317
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Originally Posted by Em135eye
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Originally Posted by bbbbmw View Post
This thread continues to be a mouthpiece for atheists to troll people of faith.
Yes but we won't threaten to kill you because of our beliefs.
You can leave that to Chairman Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, ghettos Khan, or any other atheist leader.
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      01-28-2016, 05:30 PM   #318
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      01-28-2016, 05:30 PM   #319
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbbmw
Quote:
Originally Posted by Em135eye
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Originally Posted by bbbbmw View Post
This thread continues to be a mouthpiece for atheists to troll people of faith.
Yes but we won't threaten to kill you because of our beliefs.
You can leave that to Chairman Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, ghettos Khan, or any other atheist leader.
I don't see it as trolling though. We are arguing against something that, in the first place, has to be believed in for it to work.

Anyone of any religion can say something positive with examples and it's so easy to refute that claim with simple logic.

So Israeli leadership is that of God? Even the pope said you don't need religion to achieve the same things as people who worship.

May I ask what your feelings are towards gay rights?
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      01-28-2016, 06:09 PM   #320
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longress View Post
In your post there are many metaphor's that really can be interpreted in different ways. The word heart comes up a lot and of course you see this a lot in religious discussions but how are you defining heart? Certainly not literal - I would hope. I'm assuming you mean emotion or compassion which every human being (bar a psychopath) has. I've been told to let Jesus in my heart before... What does this mean?? Let a made up voice in my head play on my emotions? Or does it mean appeal to my emotional side as opposed to my logical side which is not very smart in most real world situations.
The usage of the term ďHeartĒ is based on Greek καρδία (kardia) the center of our being, or Hebrew leb לֵב: inner man, thoughts, will, heart.


In Scripture "heart" means a great deal more than it does in our modern usage, for we employ it only as an expression for the emotions, whereas the Bible takes it as including the whole inner man. So to ďlet Jesus into our heartsĒ would be to let Him into the center of our being, our thoughts, will and affections. Thomas Aquinas was well known for his use of the term affections which would be the same as heart in scriptures. I also think it could be summed up as our reason for doing things, believing things and thinking the way we do.

We may understand something first with our mind, but it takes time for it to actually become part of our being (heart).

Quote:
Originally Posted by longress View Post
From the quote you posted your author try's to make the case that without guidance from your scripture we are not capable of making consistently sound decisions and this is just utter nonsense. There are moral and immoral clear situations in the world in which we live. For example is it moral to kill innocent children out of jealousy? Of course not but the Christian god himself sure condones it within writings of the bible.
Yes, the scriptures do claim that our nature is flawed, but not that we are incapable of making everyday decisions. The basis of these understandings can be seen in our character. Like the presence of a desire (heart) to do something wrong even though we know (mind) itís wrong. The presence of that evil desire is sin. Some are able to overcome these desires by will alone, others cannot. I know science has given reasons for many of these desires, but most still remain unknown. Where do these dark desires come from? From a simple tendency to lie to the desire to kill for fun? Many reporters that sat with Charles Manson said they could tangibly feel something dark and evil. Is this leftover survival programming in our genes? Or evidence that we have a fallen nature?

It is true that the Bible documents several instances in which God caused or personally ordered the death of innocent children: the Flood (Genesis 7), death of the first born in Egypt (Exodus 12:29-30), annihilation of the Midianites (Numbers 31), death of the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15), etc. I assume you are using these instances, to claim that God cannot be moral because He kills innocent children. Therefore, to then insist that modern-day atheism would never approve of such, and thus atheism is morally superior to the morality of the biblical God. However, ironically, atheists have been supportive of abortion and consider it moral. Additionally, I have stated before that God alone would be the only one I would trust to take a life. And God was there working in the midst of His people at a unique time (biblically).

Quote:
Originally Posted by longress View Post
I am also perplexed by your claim that god has spoken to you. So if I am to understand you correctly you heard a voice and that voice gave you direction? I think the only direction I need if I should start hearing voices is to the nearest psychologist.
And no, I do not hear audible voices, but I figured that you would recommend that I see a psychologist if I did. Actually, it is accepted that many authors of the scriptures may have heard an audible voice, though the understanding of how God speaks to people is still up for debate. In my experience, itís more of an impression that comes into my thoughts that I did not initiate. This would line up with the above understanding of letting Jesus into our hearts. The Holy Spirit is the one who speaks directly to the inner man, or center of our being.
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      01-29-2016, 12:03 AM   #321
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grimlock View Post
I am interested in what you mean by 'heart' -the subconcious (intuition, vs. the 'rational', or logical mind), or a sense of morality/judgement with or without respect to the felt emotions of guilt, anger etc. ?
This was addressed in my reply to longress

Quote:
Originally Posted by grimlock View Post
What does 'faith' mean in the most commonly used way - is it willpower?
Faith is the ability to see or perceive something, i.e. a belief, and then act on it. I wouldn’t say its willpower, but a deep sense about something that you act on it. Much like a traffic light. When the light turns green, we are trusting (faith) that everyone else will stop. It’s that (faith) or trust that enables us to hit the gas. Of course that’s a simple obvious example, but in many ways God is that green light that we see and perceive and trust in. Faith must have an object or it is blind faith.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grimlock View Post
The way I see it so far, when one is talking to God, one is in fact conversing with the self - just that it is the conscious (logical) mind conversing with the sub/unconscious part of you, because as has been proven, the vast majority of the mind is outside the purview of the conscious, hidden programs that run silently in the background unless special attention is made to observe them.
If God really does not exist, then you are correct, we are all successfully communicating with ourselves and have some really interesting conversations on a massive scale. That by itself would warrant some major funding for an in-depth study! But I think the context of the conversations, what is being heard and the scope of the information is what is vital in determining this. Such as feeling led by God to give someone groceries or money only to find out that that individual just lost their job and was praying that day for help. These types of incidents go beyond what any one person may be capable of by hearing their own thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grimlock View Post
The construct of a 'God' (if you will forgive me for the apostrophes) as an outside agent: -how does this differ from philosophical "thought experiments", or an imaginary friend? (forgive the insolence)
Also addressed above, though I do understand your having to use the word “construct”. Which brings up another question. How were we able to conceive the attributes of a perfect supreme being? Even in the scriptures, our greatest theologians often do not understand what is written about Him? Just a thought…

Quote:
Originally Posted by grimlock View Post
I am starting to wonder if this God with personhood, or agency, is a prop by bad consciences (I am aware this may be offensive) to outsource their own blame or irresponsibility. I base this on a casual observation of people I know that are diehard Christians, of whom I can see the massive characters flaws. -But instead they 'chose' to believe in a god and then cast the dispersion on to the non-believers such as myself as THE morally corrupt people, without ever taking a look at themselves. (oh, the irony)
I can obviously only speak for myself, and I can assure you, I am very conscious of my own character flaws and take full responsibility for them. But I think there may be a misunderstanding of how the scriptures actually handle this subject. If anything, God requires all people to take responsibility for their sin, and ALL are guilty and immoral by His standards. Believers or non-believers. I think what you are referring to is the idea that believers should at least show a better level of morality, and to that I agree. The process of knowing God should and does bring us closer to see who we really are, flaws and all. I know for me, it was a rude awakening to see who I really was. It’s humbling. But I know this is not the norm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grimlock View Post
In the end, a person's religion is only as good as they themselves are..
Again, very true. Even the scriptures say that. Moral excellence has always been the hallmark of Christianity, however, those ideals in my opinion have become corrupted. How can we as believers say anything, when we ourselves are often more corrupt than those we are trying to influence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grimlock View Post
But let me try provoking the believers - have you ever tried to accept the blame yourself for your own shortcomings? Rather than subscribe (pun intended: lol, is it that easy) to an institution that promises you absolution for all the wrong you have done JUST if you believe (but not really)?
Again, I’d say one of the main teachings of scripture IS to accept and admit (confess) blame for our own actions. Without it, repentance is not possible. Again, I think you are seeing more cultural Christianity than those who have followed through with accepting their sin, repenting of it and walking in new life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grimlock View Post
These comments are made in jest AND in seriousness, if you find yourself seething in rage then you have no looked very deeply within yourself - GOD is not self-help made easy. Any retorts are welcome.
Nothing you said made me angry or upset; I actually enjoyed your candor. If anything, the teachings of the bible have made me seriously evaluate my own character, motives and behaviors. It is not a journey done casually. As well as debating and evaluating my own reasons for my faith.
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      01-29-2016, 06:38 AM   #322
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Thanks once again for your detailed answers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1smokehouse View Post
Yes, the scriptures do claim that our nature is flawed, but not that we are incapable of making everyday decisions. The basis of these understandings can be seen in our character. Like the presence of a desire (heart) to do something wrong even though we know (mind) itís wrong. The presence of that evil desire is sin. Some are able to overcome these desires by will alone, others cannot. I know science has given reasons for many of these desires, but most still remain unknown. Where do these dark desires come from? From a simple tendency to lie to the desire to kill for fun? Many reporters that sat with Charles Manson said they could tangibly feel something dark and evil. Is this leftover survival programming in our genes? Or evidence that we have a fallen nature?
Is nature flawed, or do we lack knowledge of the 'truth'?
A worm cannot understand God, (or can it?) but humans have a mind, yet no one is born with divine knowledge. But it can be obtained through learning, to restrain the senses, which otherwise, in the absence of truth, lead man to run amok?
There is no difference here between God and non-religious knowledge on the subject of "how to live".

I would not call any deviancy "fallen nature", but simply non-evolved-ness.
A person with special needs is not fallen, it is simply an error, even with healthy genes a baby builds knowledge through errors.

But this furthers your point, and mine as well (in case my previous comments were interpreted as such) that God, whether believed or simply studied, still points the way forward in just as it has done in the past.

The difference between now and 2000yrs ago is that science has explained -or perhaps 'detailed' is a better word- a lot of the world, yet the ultimate question still remains untouched, and I believe will never be answered (unless it is by faith).
We can make things do this, make things travel through air ... yet no one knows why we are here.
We can meet aliens, and the best we can do if we survive them is ask them if they know God.

This, I believe, is the gem of God (heresy..), or faith.
If is not the things we can illuminate ourvelves, which we will eventually.. but what is beyond? Will there always be a beyond? Well look no further, we can't even answer the question of why are we here. <enter atheists, you may expound here>

Must life have meaning?
Does a worm think about this? Can it? Does it matter?
I contend a worm cannot, but humans can .. then why can we think about this? To drive ourselves insane?
Is this what is meant by 'consciouness'?
Is a worm conscious? or does it act/react purely through impulse/programing?
How do we know we are conscious? What is consciousness anyway?
If we take that we can be 'conscious' of things, and that is the only way to define it, then things INSIDE a system can either be conscious of other things inside it, or not.
Then what about things OUTSIDE the system?
Well, by definition, if you can be conscious of it, it must be INSIDE and of the same system.
So, have we solved a primary riddle -"what is beyond?"
Nothing can be beyond, that we cannot perceive... because it is logically not possible! So, IF it exists, it MUST be within.. (because nothing can be without. I know this point is a little strange, but think about it for a while, just don't go insane doing it)
So have we ruled out heaven?
Not that it does not exist, but it is not so much an 'after'-life, but a next-life. Okay, I know this is playing with words..
But it goes back to, where do you go when you fall asleep? And then wake up suddenly, and you 'are' again, whereas in comparison, when you were asleep, you were 'nowhere'.

God and philosophical questions are not mutually exclusive, just some food for thought.
[Better take a break here before I go off the deep end.]
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      01-29-2016, 06:53 AM   #323
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbbmw View Post
This thread continues to be a mouthpiece for atheists to troll people of faith.
The subject is God and religion, you will get push back from non-religious. I'm actually surprised of how long this thread has remained civilized and somewhat intelligent and respectful.

I'm not trolling, I'm calling out your religion because I don't agree with it. I have the right to do so just like you have the right to state your opinions. I honestly advise you to get used to it because religion is on the decline. Atheists and people unaffiliated with religion are the fastest growing group in this country. The Bible is becoming an artifact of ancient history of which most people (including believers) don't use as a moral compass anymore... It started with slavery, women's rights, now gay rights. In the meantime science keeps debunking world mysteries every day. We still have a long way to go before religion becomes a lifestyle instead of the mainstream way of living but rest assure that it will happen.
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      01-29-2016, 07:01 AM   #324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1smokehouse View Post
.... the understanding of how God speaks to people is still up for debate. In my experience, itís more of an impression that comes into my thoughts that I did not initiate. This would line up with the above understanding of letting Jesus into our hearts. The Holy Spirit is the one who speaks directly to the inner man, or center of our being.
The new-agey concept of the 'field' or universal consciousness seeks to replace this -but are these ppl atheist or not?

Quantum weirdness (an actual scientific thing) is an example of this, or Schrodinger's cat.
Supposedly, it has been shown by actual scientists, the men in white overalls, that you cannot observe a particle, or anything, without affecting it.
What does this mean? Position, or speed (=mass) -choose one- you cannot know BOTH because that would be like being God, because if you knew both you would know EVERYTHING about the universe, or more specifically, you would know where everything is at this moment, and could therefor work out where everything was in the past (where we came from, Big bang.. whooooh) and where we will end up (fate, or destiny).
In other words, you cannot SEE the flower, you must pluck it to be able to feel it. And thereof the flower is 'dead', or you have affected it so it can never be the same again.

Why is this important?
Because if one little mouse, by eating cheese or whatever (not an analogy), irrevolcably affects the universe.. then how are we not a clusterfuck?
No, but everything affects everything else, and yet there is 'order' (although some would dissagree, it depends if you can see the order).
When one thing 'ceases' to exist in this universal clusterf*ck-i-mean-field what happens to 'it'? Does it 'go' 'inert' - what does this mean?
Does dying mean to lose the ability to perceive, if perceiving is living (not believing )? Do we die when we go to sleep? How can we tell?
I believe if we solve this problem first, what happens after death should not be far away.
(this is the universal problem of consciousness in philosophy, not that I am an expert or anything)

So, yes, in my understanding there is no contradiction in talking with God or whatever, and science.
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      01-29-2016, 07:30 AM   #325
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Perhaps it would be useful to divide the question of God into two parts:
1. ethics: the what, how, where, when of science and how to act
2. the universal question: why? (which includes, where did we come from, why, where are we going, for what purpose etc.)

If we assume science will eventually answer all of part1, how do we answer part2? Philosophy? Take LSD, meditate, knock ourselves off to find out? Scripture? Pray, to the entity that knows why you are here - so there exists something whose purpose it is to tell you what YOUR purpose is?
Aha! So if something exists FOR you, then are you not the ends, and the means?
Imagine if you were Genghis Khan, you have everything you could possibly want in the world (ok, except the parts of the globe you have no conquered, but whose counting?) - do you think about God, or worry what will happen when you die? At that point do you even think you will die, I mean you killed millions of people, bedded then of thousands of the most beautiful women on the earth - EVERYTHING belongs to you.. except the Kingdom of God, that is.
Would the Khan desire God? I think he would, because as a man, who has the rational capacity for belief, or ability to see things beyond to carnal realm, he must wonder, like everyone else, what is beyond? Even when he picks a flower, it dies.
So there is no difference between having conquered to human world, and a baby that has just been born and done nothing.
The capacity for wonder, or God, exists, and if it does, it must/can be satiated.
If you are a worm, and you cannot comprehend God, then you cannot.
But if you can, and desire to do so, you must or you will not be 'fulfilled' in the basest sense.
So those who desire to know, or know God, will .. and those who don't, won't or it's not their time.
That's the most practical description I can think of.
So the answer to does God exist is.. I'm glad you asked? wtf..
something like that
I'm not deliberately trying to sound apocryphal..
How about if we make the answer to part2 is part1?
Meaning, the meaning of life, is to live life well.?
It works.. is it a cop-out? Well, do you have a better solution?
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      01-29-2016, 07:35 AM   #326
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Does God teaching you to live well preclude, or make his own existence, superfluous?
What if the afterlife is only God's trick to get you to behave, for your own benefit, not because he is tricky, but because we are dumb?
Would God think you are an idiot for asking 'what is after?'
Have we made a gross misinterpretation?
Is the whole point this life, and not the next?
What purpose would God have in wanting us to live well this life?
Exactly..
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      01-29-2016, 08:12 AM   #327
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God made man in the image of himself; does it get any more narcissistic than that?
God appeared on the scene 2015 years ago; so before then, no God?
Getting a ticket to heaven; seems to require asking forgiveness. So is it okay to be a serial killer who seeks forgiveness?
Would a non believing aid worker not qualify?
Monuments to God; we're told everyone is equal. How about the poor and needy; I don't see any records of them being offered shelter and accommodation in these vast buildings. And how were they built? Slave labour? And why has the church always had such vast reserves of money? Surely it should be shared out?
Why is anyone's God(s) any more valid than anyone else's? Do devout Buddhist monks get to their end then realise they'd backed the wrong fairy tale?
Why did missionaries feel it so important to "turn" others to their religion? So they could control them too perhaps?
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      01-29-2016, 08:38 AM   #328
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlausPA
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbbmw View Post
This thread continues to be a mouthpiece for atheists to troll people of faith.
The subject is God and religion, you will get push back from non-religious. I'm actually surprised of how long this thread has remained civilized and somewhat intelligent and respectful.

I'm not trolling, I'm calling out your religion because I don't agree with it. I have the right to do so just like you have the right to state your opinions. I honestly advise you to get used to it because religion is on the decline. Atheists and people unaffiliated with religion are the fastest growing group in this country. The Bible is becoming an artifact of ancient history of which most people (including believers) don't use as a moral compass anymore... It started with slavery, women's rights, now gay rights. In the meantime science keeps debunking world mysteries every day. We still have a long way to go before religion becomes a lifestyle instead of the mainstream way of living but rest assure that it will happen.
Your post reveals you have an agenda. Troll.
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      01-29-2016, 08:45 AM   #329
pikkagtr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbbmw View Post
Your post reveals you have an agenda. Troll.
He's a troll because he stated his opinions and some facts ???
I like blue cars and thus is the year 2016
There it is , I also stated my opinion and a fact
Am I a troll with an agenda too??
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      01-29-2016, 10:00 AM   #330
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikkagtr
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbbmw View Post
Your post reveals you have an agenda. Troll.
He's a troll because he stated his opinions and some facts ???
I like blue cars and thus is the year 2016
There it is , I also stated my opinion and a fact
Am I a troll with an agenda too??
"Call you out"
"Get used to it"
"Rest assured"

Trolling.
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