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Re: People who haven't heard of Jesus

Postby Regnis Numis » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:59 pm

I’m saying that if God is a fair judge, then He must be following specific criteria, and if certain criteria for fair judgment exist, then there are naturally ways of violating such criteria. Claiming God will be a fair judge is the same as asserting that He will not be an unfair judge, which only makes sense if there are ways He could judge us unfairly but refuses to do so.
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Re: People who haven't heard of Jesus

Postby jimwalton » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:59 pm

It's the "there are naturally ways of violating such criteria" that knocks me sideways. If God is omnibenevolent, righteous, holy, and incapable of error, mistake, sin, or even inadequacy, how can we assume "there are naturally ways of violating such criteria"?

> Claiming God will be a fair judge is the same as asserting that He will not be an unfair judge, which only makes sense if there are ways He could judge us unfairly but refuses to do so.

Not that if He could judge us unfairly, but that unfairness is a characteristic of other beings, such as humans. For instance, we can't claim "God is good implies that He is not evil, which only makes sense if He really could be evil but refuses to do so." Unfairness is not a possibility any more than evil is. His fairness is not a choice but His inviolable nature.
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Re: People who haven't heard of Jesus

Postby A Box » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:09 pm

> You may think you can cavalierly toss off "God will judge them according to what they know,"

That creates an unsurmountable problem for Christians. God outsources to men what He himself deems the delivery of a vital message but fails to acknowledge the intrinsic limitations of human action.

Not very omniscient.

> but that's the answer. It's not a generic cop-out at all.

It is a cop out. God supposedly established a criterion that has proven impossible to be met universally, in the most basic sense, that is, being informed of what is at stake. This is inevitably problematic and leads to ironical loopholes, like refusing to hear any Christians at the door for that refusal will afford you a sort of negative Pascal's wager: you can't be condemned for what you haven't made your mind on.
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Re: People who haven't heard of Jesus

Postby jimwalton » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:09 pm

> That creates an unsurmountable problem for Christians. God outsources to men what He himself deems the delivery of a vital message but fails to acknowledge the intrinsic limitations of human action.
> Not very omniscient.

You are thinking too small and also illogically and not biblically. There is nothing about this statement ("God outsources to men what He himself deems the delivery of a vital message but fails to acknowledge the intrinsic limitations of human action.") that is true. God doesn't "outsource" it; the Holy Spirit superintends the writing so that it is God-breathed.

And then you claim that God fails to acknowledge the intrinsic limitations of human action, but you yourself seem to fail to understand that the problem is sin (and the insurmountable limitations of human action) is one of the most prominent themes in the Bible.

> It is a cop out.

It's not a cop out. God didn't establish a criterion; it was a criterion dictated by the nature of reality and the inviolable consequences of man's actions.

> This is inevitably problematic and leads to ironical loopholes

Again, there is nothing true about this statement. If you want to discuss Christian theology and logic, you can't just make things up and think they fly.

> you can't be condemned for what you haven't made your mind on.

And if you read my post carefully, I stated that God takes all things into account, and no one will be judged unfairly "for what you haven't made your mind on."
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Re: People who haven't heard of Jesus

Postby A Box » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:47 pm

> You are thinking too small and also illogically and not biblically. There is nothing about this statement ("God outsources to men what He himself deems the delivery of a vital message but fails to acknowledge the intrinsic limitations of human action.") that is true.

It's all true. Missionaries, not God, spread Christianity. It took 1500 years for Christianity to reach entire continents. It's all nonsensical and a fatal blow to the claim God is directing the preaching work.

> God doesn't "outsource" it; the Holy Spirit superintends the writing so that it is God-breathed.

And yet you Christians cannot agree on a single point of doctrine. Even among those who adhere to Sola Scriptura, you people cannot for the life in you reach an absolute consensus on absolutely anything. It's a colossal failure.

> And then you claim that God fails to acknowledge the intrinsic limitations of human action,

He would, except there's no evidence for his existence. For the sake of argument let's pretend he exists, he first deemed accepting Jesus vital for one's salvation. Ge then waited 1500 years for entire regions of the Globe to first hear of Jesus. Any fair minded person will immediately see a problem but Christians remain oblivious.

> but you yourself seem to fail to understand that the problem of sin (and the insurmountable limitations of human action) is one of the most prominent themes in the Bible.

I am rather knowledgeable on the Bible, thank you. It's a despicable piece of fiction, though.

> It is a cop out.
> It's not a cop out.

It most definitely is.

> God didn't establish a criterion;

He must certainly. I realize you people can0t reach an agreement on this, but most denominations accept that faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour is indeed a criterion for Salvation. ANd yet God let countless kill ions remain in complete ignorance of Jesus for at least 1500 years. Complete bonkers, I know.

> it was a criterion dictated by the nature of reality and the inviolable consequences of man's actions.

Bollocks.

>This is inevitably problematic and leads to ironical loopholes
> Again, there is nothing true about this statement.

It is true in its entirety.

> If you want to discuss Christian theology and logic, you can't just make things up and think they fly.

That is a slanderous lie. I am not making things up. Everything I said is both scriptural and historical.

> you can't be condemned for what you haven't made your mind on.

> And if you read my post carefully, I stated that God takes all things into account,

Which would have created immense inequality between people. But Christians will swallow anything. They have the nerve to call a God who is said to have tortured and slaughtered all of mankind minus 8 love. The nerve!

> and no one will be judged unfairly "for what you haven't made your mind on."

So the cautious thing to do is an inverse Pascal Wager, don't listen to any Christian. Remain ignorant. That way you won't have denied this absurdity. And if it turns out the absurdity is regrettably true, then you will be off the hook.
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Re: People who haven't heard of Jesus

Postby jimwalton » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:47 pm

> Missionaries, not God, spread Christianity.

This is a humanistic viewpoint. God spread Christianity. The book of Acts should more accurately be titled "The Acts of the Holy Spirit" rather than "The Acts of the Apostles." Acts itself is clear that God is orchestrating and superintending the whole operation.

> And yet you Christians cannot agree on a single point of doctrine.

Of course we can. Anyone who is truly a Christian must subscribe to at least the following:

1. God exists.

2. God is holy. God’s holiness is not a separate attribute but the result of the sum total of all of his attributes—including but not limited to his sovereignty, omniscience, love, and righteousness.

3. Jesus is God (Jn. 10.30).

4. Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried and rose again, according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15.3-4).

5. There is salvation only in Jesus Christ (Acts 4.12).

6. We have one objective: salvation (both for ourselves and others).

7. A core of objective moral principles based on the nature and character of God.

8. The powerful example of Christ that can change human behavior for the better.

9. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself.

10. Baptism (of some kind, according to various traditions). Heb. 6.2.

11. The laying on of hands (Heb. 6.2).

12. The future physical resurrection of the dead (Heb. 6.2).

13. Eternal judgment (of some kind, according to various interpretations of Scripture). Heb. 6.2.

> He would, except there's no evidence for his existence.

This is a different discussion. There isn't room in this limited post to divert the conversation in this direction.

> despicable...bollocks...slanderous...Christians will swallow anything

I don't see much value in continuing the conversation. There doesn't seem to be anything about it that's productive. I'll be glad to converse with you another time.
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Re: People who haven't heard of Jesus

Postby Regnis Numis » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:53 pm

> It's the "there are naturally ways of violating such criteria" that knocks me sideways. If God is omnibenevolent, righteous, holy, and incapable of error, mistake, sin, or even inadequacy, how can we assume "there are naturally ways of violating such criteria"?

Maybe it'll be better if I use an example: If God decided the degree of separation for each human soul based on their sins, then a disproportionate degree of separation for a particular sin would count as unfair judgment. However, since God is righteous and omnibenevolent, such unfair judgment would contradict His character. Thus, He would never actually judge us in such a manner. Nevertheless, there cannot be a proportionate degree of separation for a specific sin without disproportionate degrees of separation for the same sin. Fairness and unfairness are conceptually contingent upon each other, just like accuracy and error. Neither concept can be defined without the other. Even though God will never judge us unfairly, He must still evaluate each person's life to determine what type of punishment is appropriate, which only makes sense if other punishments were inappropriate. It's impossible to be a fair judge without gauging fair outcomes against unfair outcomes. However, since you believe human souls decide their own degrees of separation, I must ask: How does God's fair judgment play into the picture, especially if He simply leaves alone human souls who continually reject Him? In what way is He "judging" us, and what standard of fairness is He following? What outcomes would be fair versus unfair, according to His judgment? More specifically, if leaving human souls alone is fair judgment to Him, then what would He deem to be unfair judgment?
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Re: People who haven't heard of Jesus

Postby jimwalton » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:53 pm

> there cannot be a proportionate degree of separation for a specific sin without disproportionate degrees of separation for the same sin.

Why is this? You lost me here, and this doesn't make sense to me. If God is righteous and just, then there will never be disproportionate degrees of separation for any sin.

> He must still evaluate each person's life to determine what type of punishment is appropriate, which only makes sense if other punishments were inappropriate.

Why is this? This doesn't make any sense to me. Punishments on this earth may have been appropriate, but since God is the only one giving punishments in the afterlife, (1) there are no other punishments, and therefore (2) there are no inappropriate punishments.

> It's impossible to be a fair judge without gauging fair outcomes against unfair outcomes.

This is true. Humans, under sin, provide examples and practices of the latter. God is only capable of the former.

> In what way is He "judging" us, and what standard of fairness is He following?

He is following ultimate and ideal fairness based on his knowledge of everything and his omnibenevolent character and righteous nature.

> What outcomes would be fair versus unfair, according to His judgment?

Unfairness would be a punishment that doesn't fit the sin.
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Re: People who haven't heard of Jesus

Postby Regnis Numis » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:32 pm

> Why is this? You lost me here, and this doesn't make sense to me. If God is righteous and just, then there will never be disproportionate degrees of separation for any sin.

Yes, in reality, God would never cast somebody into a disproportionate degree of separation. However, that doesn't mean disproportionate degrees of separation don't exist for any sin. For example, the degree of separation suitable for a genocidal dictator would be a disproportionate degree of separation for a small-time thief. God, given His righteous nature, would never condemn a minor thief to the same degree of separation as a mass-murdering dictator. Nevertheless, this fact doesn't make the degree of separation for the dictator any less disproportionate for the thief.

> Why is this? This doesn't make any sense to me. Punishments on this earth may have been appropriate, but since God is the only one giving punishments in the afterlife, (1) there are no other punishments, and therefore (2) there are no inappropriate punishments.

I assume you mean that God never delivers any other punishment for the same sin, and thus there is never an inappropriate punishment. However, I think you've misunderstood my point. What I'm trying to say is that when God evaluates each person's life to determine an appropriate punishment, He must necessarily consider which punishments would be too inappropriate, just as the punishment for a tyrannical dictator would be too excessive for a petty thief.

> Unfairness would be a punishment that doesn't fit the sin.

A punishment that doesn't fit the sin is precisely what I mean by inappropriate punishment. God must evaluate what type of punishment would fit our sin, which naturally means there are punishments that do not fit our sin (again, refer to my example with the thief and dictator). However, since you believe human souls decide their own degrees of separation, I must ask: How is it remotely possible for God to decide our punishment, let alone what type of punishment is fair? By leaving alone human souls who want nothing to do with Him, how is He being an evenhanded judge and not just a compliant parent? What is He being fair about if He doesn't decide our degrees of separation?
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Re: People who haven't heard of Jesus

Postby jimwalton » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:40 pm

> God would never cast somebody into a disproportionate degree of separation.

Correct.

> However, that doesn't mean disproportionate degrees of separation don't exist for any sin.

But God would never be guilty of that.

> For example, the degree of separation suitable for a genocidal dictator would be a disproportionate degree of separation for a small-time thief. God, given His righteous nature, would never condemn a minor thief to the same degree of separation as a mass-murdering dictator.

Correct.

> Nevertheless, this fact doesn't make the degree of separation for the dictator any less disproportionate for the thief.

You lost me here. The dictator gets a more severe separation, the petty thief a lesser one. I don't get what you're saying.

> What I'm trying to say is that when God evaluates each person's life to determine an appropriate punishment, He must necessarily consider which punishments would be too inappropriate, just as the punishment for a tyrannical dictator would be too excessive for a petty thief.

He doesn't have to think about it. He doesn't have to weigh appropriate vs. inappropriate. For him there is only one course: appropriate.

> God must evaluate what type of punishment would fit our sin, which naturally means there are punishments that do not fit our sin (again, refer to my example with the thief and dictator).

Again, he doesn't really have to evaluate. It's his auto-response, and only response. "Appropriate" is the only thing on the menu.

> How is it remotely possible for God to decide our punishment, let alone what type of punishment is fair?

He is omniscient and righteous by nature. He only has one course of action: the appropriate one.

> By leaving alone human souls who want nothing to do with Him, how is He being an evenhanded judge and not just a compliant parent?

He is not leaving them alone, per se, but rather not forcing them into a love relationship with Him, which would be a contradiction in terms. He is instead allowing them to reject Him and thereby sentence themselves to hell, and His righteousness and omniscience places the appropriate amount of separation for their context and warrant.
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