"burn your house down… brew you a cup of tea in the still-glowing embers" - good and evil in people

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Comments

  • A condition to being alive (for humans, anyway) is that you must be taking in oxygen. Whether you are breathing on your own or have a machine, an EMT, or your pregnant mother handling the mechanics of oxygen intake for you doesn't matter. You are not "earning" your aliveness by breathing, and you do not cease to be alive because someone else is doing all the work for you. So the argument that any condition turns a state of being into something "earned" falls to the ground.
    Not all analogies work and this one doesn't. Again, because Creator.

  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned. The idea of the freely offered choice that must be accepted does not change this, especially when the offerer created the whole shebang.

    The whole point of the thread is whether good deeds earn Heaven. They don't. Neither do evil deeds earn Hell.

    Whatever transactional qualifications you think you see in the offer of Christian salvation (and orthodox belief has them as minimal, an offer and an acceptance), good and evil isn't part of it.
    In that scenario, Hitler could accept salvation without repentance and gain Heaven.
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited August 2020
    Repentance is not a good deed. It is a change in direction, a change in state--it is in fact the very name for what salvation looks like from a particular angle. To say that someone could be saved without repenting is like saying someone could be seen without being visible, or be alive and dead at one and the same time. It's like saying, "I've got COVID, but at least it isn't coronavirus." It's a nonsense.
  • lb--
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned. The idea of the freely offered choice that must be accepted does not change this, especially when the offerer created the whole shebang.
    Golden Key wrote: »
    For me, it means that God wants everyone to be safe, and well, and Home with her--and won't rest until that happens. No matter how much work, learning, and healing it takes.
    If this is the truth, then it is better than the private club, Say the Magic Word sort of Christianity, but your described position is still earning. And that is still problematic when the judge created the starting positions, the false paths, the pitfalls, the mountains, etc.

    IMHO, ok?

    In my chosen truth, it's NOT about earning. It's about healing. So there may be medicine to take; assorted kinds of "therapy"; helping to heal someone you've hurt, which would be good for both parties (when they're both ready and willing); maybe unstopping various kinds of creativity, love, and possibilities that you didn't get to use in your Earth life; etc.

    Not a test, not a lab experiment, not limited to Christians. And no one left out, kicked out, or locked out.

    And something about the Tolkien story I linked to, which I'll put into a spoiler box:
    Tolkien was Roman Catholic, IIRC, and Purgatory is part of that package. While the places in the story aren't labeled "Purgatory", that's clearly where most of it takes place.

    So the story has people, particularly a main character, needing to bring "luggage" with them--basically, good deeds, kindness, personal growth, etc. If someone arrives in the afterlife without them, then they have to do a lot of work and healing in order to be ready to move on. And they do move on, and wonderfully.

    I don't like the idea of needing to bring luggage. But Tolkien's Purgatory isn't a matter of "do this, or go to hell". It's more "you need treatment; you need to take it; and then you can move on".

    If anyone gets bogged down in the treatment section of the story, skip ahead towards the end.

    CS Lewis said (paraphrase) that his idea of Purg was someone coming to you (gen.) with a bottle of nasty-looking medicine; pouring a spoonful of it; and holding it out to you. "Do I have to take it?" "Yes." "Do I really have to take it?" "Yes." "Do I really, really have to take it?" "Yes." So you take it, and it's awful, but it does the job.

    FWIW, YMMV.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned.
    Only if the word “earned” is redefined, which is what you seem to be doing.

  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned.
    Only if the word “earned” is redefined, which is what you seem to be doing.

    It sounds like a tautology to me. I guess there are conditions which are not earned, like the weather, or your age. Thus, it's a condition of entry that you're 18, not about earning. But a condition for salvation? But I thought that Jesus sees us all as saints.
  • Repentance is not a good deed. It is a change in direction, a change in state--it is in fact the very name for what salvation looks like from a particular angle. To say that someone could be saved without repenting is like saying someone could be seen without being visible, or be alive and dead at one and the same time. It's like saying, "I've got COVID, but at least it isn't coronavirus." It's a nonsense.
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned.
    Only if the word “earned” is redefined, which is what you seem to be doing.
    Repentance is a condition. Trying to separate that from earning is pretty much semantics in this situation.
    The players must meet a condition that the game designer chose to set up in a game that wasn't necessary to create.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned. The idea of the freely offered choice that must be accepted does not change this, especially when the offerer created the whole shebang.

    The whole point of the thread is whether good deeds earn Heaven. They don't. Neither do evil deeds earn Hell.

    Though as far as I can tell; Martin's argument was that ignoring the small amount of good even the vilest person might have done might then lead to them being treated in an inhuman manner.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited August 2020
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Repentance is a condition. Trying to separate that from earning is pretty much semantics in this situation.
    As you’re so fond of saying, rubbish! Utter rubbish! It’s not semantics at all. A condition and earning are not the same thing.

    To earn something means to receive it in return for work done. It means you deserve what you’re getting because of effort you’ve put in. Earning involves reciprocity of value for what is given and what is received. Earning something might be a condition of receiving it—salary, for example—but not all conditions are about earning.

    Beyond that, I think that saying “repentance is condition” misses the mark a bit. It seems a bit like saying me opening my hand is a condition of receiving what you’re handing me. It’s a condition in the sense that if I don’t open my hand, I can’t receive it from you, but it’s not a condition in the sense that you’re unwilling to give it to me unless I open my hand. And it makes no sense to suggest that by opening my hand I’ve “earned” what you’re giving me.

  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    And it makes no sense to suggest that by opening my hand I’ve “earned” what you’re giving me.

    I wouldn't use the language of 'earning' but it becomes a little bit more slippery once you examine the concept of why you opened your hand and the person next to you didn't.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    To my mind what we are discussing is: Why should we be good? One answer is that without good deeds we won't get into heaven, which is why we may or may not be reluctant to admit that Hitler might have committed some good acts. Alternatively, we may hold the view with St. Paul that our righteous status rests on the righteousness of Christ. In which case an argument for being good does not rest on our ultimate destination but the ethical basis of our actions here.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Repentance is a condition. Trying to separate that from earning is pretty much semantics in this situation.
    As you’re so fond of saying, rubbish! Utter rubbish! It’s not semantics at all. A condition and earning are not the same thing.

    To earn something means to receive it in return for work done. It means you deserve what you’re getting because of effort you’ve put in. Earning involves reciprocity of value for what is given and what is received. Earning something might be a condition of receiving it—salary, for example—but not all conditions are about earning.

    Beyond that, I think that saying “repentance is condition” misses the mark a bit. It seems a bit like saying me opening my hand is a condition of receiving what you’re handing me. It’s a condition in the sense that if I don’t open my hand, I can’t receive it from you, but it’s not a condition in the sense that you’re unwilling to give it to me unless I open my hand. And it makes no sense to suggest that by opening my hand I’ve “earned” what you’re giving me.
    Does quetzalcoatl's tautology work better for you? God sets up an unnecessary game that the player must navigate, and some from vary disadvantage positions, to win or even just not finish in a bad place.
    However you want to frame it, that is messed up.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned. The idea of the freely offered choice that must be accepted does not change this, especially when the offerer created the whole shebang.

    The whole point of the thread is whether good deeds earn Heaven. They don't. Neither do evil deeds earn Hell.

    Though as far as I can tell; Martin's argument was that ignoring the small amount of good even the vilest person might have done might then lead to them being treated in an inhuman manner.

    We held the Nuremberg trials. Not because they were good, but because we were. This is why I'm absolutely against extra-judicial killings - Obama, I'm looking right at you - not because evil people might not deserve explody justice from the sky, but because of what it does to us.

    So, in almost all cases, the good that otherwise-evil people might do is, rightly or wrongly, irrelevant. We treat people humanely because we are humane.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Repentance is a condition. Trying to separate that from earning is pretty much semantics in this situation.
    As you’re so fond of saying, rubbish! Utter rubbish! It’s not semantics at all. A condition and earning are not the same thing.

    To earn something means to receive it in return for work done. It means you deserve what you’re getting because of effort you’ve put in. Earning involves reciprocity of value for what is given and what is received. Earning something might be a condition of receiving it—salary, for example—but not all conditions are about earning.

    Beyond that, I think that saying “repentance is condition” misses the mark a bit. It seems a bit like saying me opening my hand is a condition of receiving what you’re handing me. It’s a condition in the sense that if I don’t open my hand, I can’t receive it from you, but it’s not a condition in the sense that you’re unwilling to give it to me unless I open my hand. And it makes no sense to suggest that by opening my hand I’ve “earned” what you’re giving me.
    Does quetzalcoatl's tautology work better for you? God sets up an unnecessary game that the player must navigate, and some from vary disadvantage positions, to win or even just not finish in a bad place.
    However you want to frame it, that is messed up.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Repentance is a condition. Trying to separate that from earning is pretty much semantics in this situation.
    As you’re so fond of saying, rubbish! Utter rubbish! It’s not semantics at all. A condition and earning are not the same thing.

    To earn something means to receive it in return for work done. It means you deserve what you’re getting because of effort you’ve put in. Earning involves reciprocity of value for what is given and what is received. Earning something might be a condition of receiving it—salary, for example—but not all conditions are about earning.

    Beyond that, I think that saying “repentance is condition” misses the mark a bit. It seems a bit like saying me opening my hand is a condition of receiving what you’re handing me. It’s a condition in the sense that if I don’t open my hand, I can’t receive it from you, but it’s not a condition in the sense that you’re unwilling to give it to me unless I open my hand. And it makes no sense to suggest that by opening my hand I’ve “earned” what you’re giving me.
    Does quetzalcoatl's tautology work better for you?
    No.
    God sets up an unnecessary game that the player must navigate, and some from vary disadvantage positions, to win or even just not finish in a bad place.
    However you want to frame it, that is messed up.
    From what I see, it’s a framework based on faulty assumptions. That God “set up an unnecessary game that the player must navigate, and some from vary disadvantage positions, to win or even just not finish in a bad place,” is not a Christianity I’ve seen or experienced very often. It’s more of a caricature or distortion, which I’ll grant some historical and current Christian movements and teachers have fostered. But it’s simply not the Christianity I’ve experienced, nor is it, I do not think, mainstream little-o orthodox Christianity, or what is presented in Scripture generally or the Gospels specifically.

    It is as though you’re insisting that it all fit your framework without questioning whether your framework is actually sound.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited August 2020
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Repentance is a condition. Trying to separate that from earning is pretty much semantics in this situation.
    As you’re so fond of saying, rubbish! Utter rubbish! It’s not semantics at all. A condition and earning are not the same thing.

    To earn something means to receive it in return for work done. It means you deserve what you’re getting because of effort you’ve put in. Earning involves reciprocity of value for what is given and what is received. Earning something might be a condition of receiving it—salary, for example—but not all conditions are about earning.

    Beyond that, I think that saying “repentance is condition” misses the mark a bit. It seems a bit like saying me opening my hand is a condition of receiving what you’re handing me. It’s a condition in the sense that if I don’t open my hand, I can’t receive it from you, but it’s not a condition in the sense that you’re unwilling to give it to me unless I open my hand. And it makes no sense to suggest that by opening my hand I’ve “earned” what you’re giving me.
    Does quetzalcoatl's tautology work better for you? God sets up an unnecessary game that the player must navigate, and some from vary disadvantage positions, to win or even just not finish in a bad place.
    However you want to frame it, that is messed up.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Repentance is a condition. Trying to separate that from earning is pretty much semantics in this situation.
    As you’re so fond of saying, rubbish! Utter rubbish! It’s not semantics at all. A condition and earning are not the same thing.

    To earn something means to receive it in return for work done. It means you deserve what you’re getting because of effort you’ve put in. Earning involves reciprocity of value for what is given and what is received. Earning something might be a condition of receiving it—salary, for example—but not all conditions are about earning.

    Beyond that, I think that saying “repentance is condition” misses the mark a bit. It seems a bit like saying me opening my hand is a condition of receiving what you’re handing me. It’s a condition in the sense that if I don’t open my hand, I can’t receive it from you, but it’s not a condition in the sense that you’re unwilling to give it to me unless I open my hand. And it makes no sense to suggest that by opening my hand I’ve “earned” what you’re giving me.
    Does quetzalcoatl's tautology work better for you?
    No.
    God sets up an unnecessary game that the player must navigate, and some from vary disadvantage positions, to win or even just not finish in a bad place.
    However you want to frame it, that is messed up.
    From what I see, it’s a framework based on faulty assumptions. That God “set up an unnecessary game that the player must navigate, and some from vary disadvantage positions, to win or even just not finish in a bad place,” is not a Christianity I’ve seen or experienced very often. It’s more of a caricature or distortion, which I’ll grant some historical and current Christian movements and teachers have fostered. But it’s simply not the Christianity I’ve experienced, nor is it, I do not think, mainstream little-o orthodox Christianity, or what is presented in Scripture generally or the Gospels specifically.

    It is as though you’re insisting that it all fit your framework without questioning whether your framework is actually sound.
    Only the most universal of universalism works at all. Everybody gets to heaven regardless or it is kinda messed up. Because all we are, form psychopath to saint, is from God. Even allowing for free will, there is so much that forms us that is not choice that the game is rigged from the start.
    You call it oversimplification, but what I am talking about is the framework. Yes, a house is more than its frame, but it is no better than that underlying structure.
  • That's fine, but it's not standard orthodox Christian theology, no matter how messed up you think it is. And some people think that a universalism that admits Hitler to Heaven is also kinda messed up.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned. The idea of the freely offered choice that must be accepted does not change this, especially when the offerer created the whole shebang.

    The whole point of the thread is whether good deeds earn Heaven. They don't. Neither do evil deeds earn Hell.

    Though as far as I can tell; Martin's argument was that ignoring the small amount of good even the vilest person might have done might then lead to them being treated in an inhuman manner.

    We held the Nuremberg trials. Not because they were good, but because we were. This is why I'm absolutely against extra-judicial killings - Obama, I'm looking right at you - not because evil people might not deserve explody justice from the sky, but because of what it does to us.

    So, in almost all cases, the good that otherwise-evil people might do is, rightly or wrongly, irrelevant. We treat people humanely because we are humane.

    This.

    I'll add that, from the Christian perspective, deeds flow from the heart. One does not become good by doing good things. God changes the heart first, and the deeds follow. (and if they don't, people have good reason to question whether the heart has really been changed at all.)
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    I once saw a group of teenagers acting out a skit which clarified the issue for me.

    One boy is standing there, not doing anything, just standing. Another boy comes bounding into the room carrying a large gift-wrapped package. He says enthusiastically, "I have the most wonderful present for you!"

    The first boy does not react at all.

    "As soon as I saw it I knew you would love it!"

    No reaction.

    "I can't wait till I see your face when you open it!"

    Nothing

    Finally the present-giver lays the package at the feet of the other boy, who makes no move to pick it up or even acknowledge its existence.

    The point is that you can't give someone something if they don't reach out to accept it.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    That's fine, but it's not standard orthodox Christian theology, no matter how messed up you think it is.
    What part of it is wrong?
    Did God create the Universe or not?
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    And some people think that a universalism that admits Hitler to Heaven is also kinda messed up.
    Look, I'm all for Hitler being punished eternally. But you cannot get past God creating the circumstance that ended up with Hitler.
  • You sure sound mad at God.
  • Moo wrote: »
    I once saw a group of teenagers acting out a skit which clarified the issue for me.

    One boy is standing there, not doing anything, just standing. Another boy comes bounding into the room carrying a large gift-wrapped package. He says enthusiastically, "I have the most wonderful present for you!"

    The first boy does not react at all.

    "As soon as I saw it I knew you would love it!"

    No reaction.

    "I can't wait till I see your face when you open it!"

    Nothing

    Finally the present-giver lays the package at the feet of the other boy, who makes no move to pick it up or even acknowledge its existence.

    The point is that you can't give someone something if they don't reach out to accept it.
    What if the first boy had been given cruel presents? What if his parents had died tragically around his birthday or Christmas?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    I have more of a problem with the present being invisible and you having to receive it by nevertheless believing it's there.
  • Moo wrote: »
    Finally the present-giver lays the package at the feet of the other boy, who makes no move to pick it up or even acknowledge its existence.

    As lb says above; why do only some pick their presents up? What is the difference between the two individuals?
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Repentance is a condition. Trying to separate that from earning is pretty much semantics in this situation.
    As you’re so fond of saying, rubbish! Utter rubbish! It’s not semantics at all. A condition and earning are not the same thing.

    To earn something means to receive it in return for work done. It means you deserve what you’re getting because of effort you’ve put in. Earning involves reciprocity of value for what is given and what is received. Earning something might be a condition of receiving it—salary, for example—but not all conditions are about earning.

    Beyond that, I think that saying “repentance is condition” misses the mark a bit. It seems a bit like saying me opening my hand is a condition of receiving what you’re handing me. It’s a condition in the sense that if I don’t open my hand, I can’t receive it from you, but it’s not a condition in the sense that you’re unwilling to give it to me unless I open my hand. And it makes no sense to suggest that by opening my hand I’ve “earned” what you’re giving me.
    Does quetzalcoatl's tautology work better for you? God sets up an unnecessary game that the player must navigate, and some from vary disadvantage positions, to win or even just not finish in a bad place.
    However you want to frame it, that is messed up.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Repentance is a condition. Trying to separate that from earning is pretty much semantics in this situation.
    As you’re so fond of saying, rubbish! Utter rubbish! It’s not semantics at all. A condition and earning are not the same thing.

    To earn something means to receive it in return for work done. It means you deserve what you’re getting because of effort you’ve put in. Earning involves reciprocity of value for what is given and what is received. Earning something might be a condition of receiving it—salary, for example—but not all conditions are about earning.

    Beyond that, I think that saying “repentance is condition” misses the mark a bit. It seems a bit like saying me opening my hand is a condition of receiving what you’re handing me. It’s a condition in the sense that if I don’t open my hand, I can’t receive it from you, but it’s not a condition in the sense that you’re unwilling to give it to me unless I open my hand. And it makes no sense to suggest that by opening my hand I’ve “earned” what you’re giving me.
    Does quetzalcoatl's tautology work better for you?
    No.
    God sets up an unnecessary game that the player must navigate, and some from vary disadvantage positions, to win or even just not finish in a bad place.
    However you want to frame it, that is messed up.
    From what I see, it’s a framework based on faulty assumptions. That God “set up an unnecessary game that the player must navigate, and some from vary disadvantage positions, to win or even just not finish in a bad place,” is not a Christianity I’ve seen or experienced very often. It’s more of a caricature or distortion, which I’ll grant some historical and current Christian movements and teachers have fostered. But it’s simply not the Christianity I’ve experienced, nor is it, I do not think, mainstream little-o orthodox Christianity, or what is presented in Scripture generally or the Gospels specifically.

    It is as though you’re insisting that it all fit your framework without questioning whether your framework is actually sound.
    Only the most universal of universalism works at all. Everybody gets to heaven regardless or it is kinda messed up. Because all we are, form psychopath to saint, is from God. Even allowing for free will, there is so much that forms us that is not choice that the game is rigged from the start.
    You call it oversimplification, but what I am talking about is the framework. Yes, a house is more than its frame, but it is no better than that underlying structure.
    No, I don’t call it oversimplification. I call it misunderstanding. I’m saying you’ve got the framework, the underlying structure wrong. As a result, you’re conclusions are faulty.

    Look, I understand that this is your position. You’ve asserted it many, many times. But it’s an assertion that is inconsistent with Christianity as I’ve learned it and lived it, and it’s an assertion that as far as I can tell is, as @Doc Tor says, inconsistent with standard, orthodox Christianity. You’ve given me no reason to reconsider that assessment, or to view your assertion as an adequately informed and supported one.

  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    There are three possible Christian positions that I can see: the universalist, the free-will defender, and the predestinarian.
    I'll leave predestinarians to defend themselves. Universalists don't really need a defence in this respect. The free-will defender argues that underlying all circumstances there is a core in each person that is unconstrained by circumstance and can either fundamentally reject everything beyond its own boundaries or can accept everything. The idea of a decision that is entirely unconstrained by circumstances may seem implausible (it does to me at least), although as it is an absolute existential decision, it is not beyond comprehension that no finite factor can determine such an unconditional decision. (I think this would be Kierkegaard's position.)
  • Unconstrained by circumstance implies random, doesn't it?
  • ... There's also an annoying, a-logical position in Lutheranism which holds that human nature is "bent" in such a way that it is capable of freely rejecting, but NOT capable of freely deciding to say Yes. Rather like a shopping cart/trolley with a bent wheel, it wants to go the wrong way all the time, and it takes brute strength to force it to run straight. Which means that it is possible to do good deeds, live an exemplary life, etc. by sheer brute strength up to the point where your strength gives out--a point that comes sooner or later to all of us.

    Fixing this mess requires divine intervention. Which we have, thank God. But the freedom-to-reject remains.
  • Dafyd wrote: »
    There are three possible Christian positions that I can see: the universalist, the free-will defender, and the predestinarian.
    I'll leave predestinarians to defend themselves. Universalists don't really need a defence in this respect.
    I’ll just mention that universalism can be a form of predestinarianism—that all are predestined to salvation.

  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Unconstrained by circumstance implies random, doesn't it?
    Free will defenders would say no. The phenomenology of decision making, at least superficially, is that decisions are neither determined nor random.

    The problem is that all our language in which we talk about choice and decision, and all our analogies are drawn from non-psychological processes. Psychological processes are not available for direct public inspection. Since non-psychological processes are either constrained or random (discounting the possibility of animism), our language has no good way to describe free decision except in terms of constraint or randomness.
  • Good point. I find it hard to conceive of decisions without causes, which is presumably what "free" means. But there is no way of knowing.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited August 2020
    Moo wrote: »
    Finally the present-giver lays the package at the feet of the other boy, who makes no move to pick it up or even acknowledge its existence.

    As lb says above; why do only some pick their presents up? What is the difference between the two individuals?

    Why do you care? Pick up the damn present. What somebody else chooses is somebody else's story.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned. The idea of the freely offered choice that must be accepted does not change this, especially when the offerer created the whole shebang.

    The whole point of the thread is whether good deeds earn Heaven. They don't. Neither do evil deeds earn Hell.

    Whatever transactional qualifications you think you see in the offer of Christian salvation (and orthodox belief has them as minimal, an offer and an acceptance), good and evil isn't part of it.
    In that scenario, Hitler could accept salvation without repentance and gain Heaven.

    Your problem being?
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned. The idea of the freely offered choice that must be accepted does not change this, especially when the offerer created the whole shebang.

    The whole point of the thread is whether good deeds earn Heaven. They don't. Neither do evil deeds earn Hell.

    Though as far as I can tell; Martin's argument was that ignoring the small amount of good even the vilest person might have done might then lead to them being treated in an inhuman manner.

    Bingo!
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    That's fine, but it's not standard orthodox Christian theology, no matter how messed up you think it is. And some people think that a universalism that admits Hitler to Heaven is also kinda messed up.

    I suppose the way I deal with the latter is to try and imagine "perfected Hitler", to try and conceive of the benign impulses that were twisted and corrupted in his life. No doubt the teasing out of those twisted things would be hard and painful, and I presume the shining soul that emerged from the other side would be astonishingly transformed and yet still definitely Hitler.
  • I presume the shining soul that emerged from the other side would be astonishingly transformed and yet still definitely Hitler.

    To put it another way, it would be all the good parts of him but none of the evil.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    edited August 2020
    mousethief wrote: »
    Moo wrote: »
    Finally the present-giver lays the package at the feet of the other boy, who makes no move to pick it up or even acknowledge its existence.

    As lb says above; why do only some pick their presents up? What is the difference between the two individuals?

    Why do you care? Pick up the damn present. What somebody else chooses is somebody else's story.
    Most elements of their story - which may have a powerful influence on what they do - are not under their control (see lb's strawman example).
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned. The idea of the freely offered choice that must be accepted does not change this, especially when the offerer created the whole shebang.

    The whole point of the thread is whether good deeds earn Heaven. They don't. Neither do evil deeds earn Hell.

    Though as far as I can tell; Martin's argument was that ignoring the small amount of good even the vilest person might have done might then lead to them being treated in an inhuman manner.

    Bingo!

    Okay, so see @Doc Tor's post and maybe start advocating for those who are actually subject to this type of thinking in the present rather than in some hypothetical future (some offhand suggestions; drone victims, prisoners in Guantanamo and Shamima Begum).
  • I presume the shining soul that emerged from the other side would be astonishingly transformed and yet still definitely Hitler.

    To put it another way, it would be all the good parts of him but none of the evil.

    More than that, the defining evil parts re-formed into good.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited August 2020
    I presume the shining soul that emerged from the other side would be astonishingly transformed and yet still definitely Hitler.

    To put it another way, it would be all the good parts of him but none of the evil.

    I think that's different. In a way, it's focussing on the evil only - once that's gone away, then the individual is saved. I see it more as bringing out a good that was never previously expressed or seen; his becoming the Hitler he could have been as opposed to the one he was. Good is more than the absence of Evil.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    I'm interested less in a persons eternal destination, but what we do about dangerous individuals down here, so to speak. Setting aside Hitler, what do we do about a person who declares he/she is a paedophile but has yet to abuse a child?
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Admin
    edited August 2020
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned. The idea of the freely offered choice that must be accepted does not change this, especially when the offerer created the whole shebang.

    The whole point of the thread is whether good deeds earn Heaven. They don't. Neither do evil deeds earn Hell.

    Though as far as I can tell; Martin's argument was that ignoring the small amount of good even the vilest person might have done might then lead to them being treated in an inhuman manner.

    Bingo!

    Okay, so see @Doc Tor's post and maybe start advocating for those who are actually subject to this type of thinking in the present rather than in some hypothetical future (some offhand suggestions; drone victims, prisoners in Guantanamo and Shamima Begum).

    It wasn't so long ago that @Marvin the Martian was advocating vigilante killings. If he's rowed back on that, then I for one embrace the new humane Marvin.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    If there are conditions to salvation, it is earned. The idea of the freely offered choice that must be accepted does not change this, especially when the offerer created the whole shebang.

    The whole point of the thread is whether good deeds earn Heaven. They don't. Neither do evil deeds earn Hell.

    Though as far as I can tell; Martin's argument was that ignoring the small amount of good even the vilest person might have done might then lead to them being treated in an inhuman manner.

    Bingo!

    Okay, so see @Doc Tor's post and maybe start advocating for those who are actually subject to this type of thinking in the present rather than in some hypothetical future (some offhand suggestions; drone victims, prisoners in Guantanamo and Shamima Begum).

    It wasn't so long ago that @Marvin the Martian was advocating vigilante killings. If he's rowed back on that, then I for one embrace the new humane Marvin.
    Host hat on
    I struggle to see how this contributes to serious discussion of the issue in hand. In addressing the person, and in inflammatory terms, rather than the issue it fails to pay attention to Commandment 3. Don’t do it in Purgatory.
    Host hat off
    BroJames, Purgatory Host

  • Apologies.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited August 2020
    mousethief wrote: »
    Moo wrote: »
    Finally the present-giver lays the package at the feet of the other boy, who makes no move to pick it up or even acknowledge its existence.

    As lb says above; why do only some pick their presents up? What is the difference between the two individuals?

    Why do you care? Pick up the damn present. What somebody else chooses is somebody else's story.
    Most elements of their story - which may have a powerful influence on what they do - are not under their control (see lb's strawman example).
    How is that a strawman? It a continuation of Moo's simplistic analogy.

    Fixed quoting code. BroJames, Purgatory Host
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Repentance is a condition. Trying to separate that from earning is pretty much semantics in this situation.
    As you’re so fond of saying, rubbish! Utter rubbish! It’s not semantics at all. A condition and earning are not the same thing.

    To earn something means to receive it in return for work done. It means you deserve what you’re getting because of effort you’ve put in. Earning involves reciprocity of value for what is given and what is received. Earning something might be a condition of receiving it—salary, for example—but not all conditions are about earning.

    Beyond that, I think that saying “repentance is condition” misses the mark a bit. It seems a bit like saying me opening my hand is a condition of receiving what you’re handing me. It’s a condition in the sense that if I don’t open my hand, I can’t receive it from you, but it’s not a condition in the sense that you’re unwilling to give it to me unless I open my hand. And it makes no sense to suggest that by opening my hand I’ve “earned” what you’re giving me.
    Does quetzalcoatl's tautology work better for you? God sets up an unnecessary game that the player must navigate, and some from vary disadvantage positions, to win or even just not finish in a bad place.
    However you want to frame it, that is messed up.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Repentance is a condition. Trying to separate that from earning is pretty much semantics in this situation.
    As you’re so fond of saying, rubbish! Utter rubbish! It’s not semantics at all. A condition and earning are not the same thing.

    To earn something means to receive it in return for work done. It means you deserve what you’re getting because of effort you’ve put in. Earning involves reciprocity of value for what is given and what is received. Earning something might be a condition of receiving it—salary, for example—but not all conditions are about earning.

    Beyond that, I think that saying “repentance is condition” misses the mark a bit. It seems a bit like saying me opening my hand is a condition of receiving what you’re handing me. It’s a condition in the sense that if I don’t open my hand, I can’t receive it from you, but it’s not a condition in the sense that you’re unwilling to give it to me unless I open my hand. And it makes no sense to suggest that by opening my hand I’ve “earned” what you’re giving me.
    Does quetzalcoatl's tautology work better for you?
    No.
    God sets up an unnecessary game that the player must navigate, and some from vary disadvantage positions, to win or even just not finish in a bad place.
    However you want to frame it, that is messed up.
    From what I see, it’s a framework based on faulty assumptions. That God “set up an unnecessary game that the player must navigate, and some from vary disadvantage positions, to win or even just not finish in a bad place,” is not a Christianity I’ve seen or experienced very often. It’s more of a caricature or distortion, which I’ll grant some historical and current Christian movements and teachers have fostered. But it’s simply not the Christianity I’ve experienced, nor is it, I do not think, mainstream little-o orthodox Christianity, or what is presented in Scripture generally or the Gospels specifically.

    It is as though you’re insisting that it all fit your framework without questioning whether your framework is actually sound.
    Only the most universal of universalism works at all. Everybody gets to heaven regardless or it is kinda messed up. Because all we are, form psychopath to saint, is from God. Even allowing for free will, there is so much that forms us that is not choice that the game is rigged from the start.
    You call it oversimplification, but what I am talking about is the framework. Yes, a house is more than its frame, but it is no better than that underlying structure.
    No, I don’t call it oversimplification. I call it misunderstanding. I’m saying you’ve got the framework, the underlying structure wrong. As a result, you’re conclusions are faulty.

    Look, I understand that this is your position. You’ve asserted it many, many times. But it’s an assertion that is inconsistent with Christianity as I’ve learned it and lived it, and it’s an assertion that as far as I can tell is, as @Doc Tor says, inconsistent with standard, orthodox Christianity. You’ve given me no reason to reconsider that assessment, or to view your assertion as an adequately informed and supported one.
    Have you ever tried to follow a medieval recipe? They are incomplete, sometimes contradictory, rough guides. In order to get a usable result, you have to examine what is there and break it down. Even then, the results people get will vary. Religion is no different. I'm trying to examine the actual recipe, not the finished results baked after interpretations and inferences have been made. After all, the results vary from unleavened bread to multi-tiered wedding cake, all from the same recipe.

  • Dafyd wrote: »
    There are three possible Christian positions that I can see: the universalist, the free-will defender, and the predestinarian.
    I'll leave predestinarians to defend themselves. Universalists don't really need a defence in this respect. The free-will defender argues that underlying all circumstances there is a core in each person that is unconstrained by circumstance and can either fundamentally reject everything beyond its own boundaries or can accept everything. The idea of a decision that is entirely unconstrained by circumstances may seem implausible (it does to me at least), although as it is an absolute existential decision, it is not beyond comprehension that no finite factor can determine such an unconditional decision. (I think this would be Kierkegaard's position.)
    The idea that every decision can be made without influence of circumstance is ridiculous. Unless you posit that God completely resets one's mind before presenting the decision, in which case, what is the point of existence?

  • Kwesi wrote: »
    I'm interested less in a persons eternal destination, but what we do about dangerous individuals down here, so to speak. Setting aside Hitler, what do we do about a person who declares he/she is a paedophile but has yet to abuse a child?
    We do nothing. I am reminded of a news story during the height of the RCC paedophile scandal about a man who quit the priesthood and moved to a remote location so that he would not face temptation.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Moo wrote: »
    Finally the present-giver lays the package at the feet of the other boy, who makes no move to pick it up or even acknowledge its existence.

    As lb says above; why do only some pick their presents up? What is the difference between the two individuals?

    Why do you care? Pick up the damn present. What somebody else chooses is somebody else's story.
    Most elements of their story - which may have a powerful influence on what they do - are not under their control (see lb's strawman example).
    How is that a strawman? It a continuation of Moo's simplistic analogy.

    Fair enough, your extension of Moo's strawman analogy - in general I agree with the critique.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Have you ever tried to follow a medieval recipe? They are incomplete, sometimes contradictory, rough guides. In order to get a usable result, you have to examine what is there and break it down. Even then, the results people get will vary. Religion is no different. I'm trying to examine the actual recipe, not the finished results baked after interpretations and inferences have been made. After all, the results vary from unleavened bread to multi-tiered wedding cake, all from the same recipe.

    That's a terrible analogy, so why don't we just talk about the thing?

    In Christian theology (certainly in Catholic theology and I'm guessing Orthodox theology, but less so in Protestant circles) the Church (with a capital C) is supposed to interpret the scripture through the Spirit - those the interpretations and inferences are literally part of the whole and are indivisible from it. If the Church pronounces X, then X is how it is.

    If you're not part of the Church, or are not part of the Church that makes those kind of pronouncements (the common Catholic criticism of Protestantism is that it 'makes every man his own pope', while Protestants tend to take that as a feature, not a bug), then okay. But given that some/many of us follow some formalised, structural, Church-derived theology, we'd say that the recipe for salvation is indivisible from the ingredients for salvation is indivisible from the finished baked good of salvation.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Have you ever tried to follow a medieval recipe? They are incomplete, sometimes contradictory, rough guides. In order to get a usable result, you have to examine what is there and break it down. Even then, the results people get will vary. Religion is no different. I'm trying to examine the actual recipe, not the finished results baked after interpretations and inferences have been made. After all, the results vary from unleavened bread to multi-tiered wedding cake, all from the same recipe.
    That is a terrible analogy even on its own terms. The recipe is an aide-memoire to the medieval cook, who is mainly relying on their training by other cooks to interpret the recipe, and the whole exists for the sake of the finished result.
    I suppose from a Catholic or Orthodox point of view it's quite a good analogy, with the proviso that "trying to examine the actual recipe not the finished results" is exactly what the Catholics and Orthodox accuse Protestants of doing.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Dafyd wrote: »
    The idea of a decision that is entirely unconstrained by circumstances may seem implausible (it does to me at least), although as it is an absolute existential decision, it is not beyond comprehension that no finite factor can determine such an unconditional decision. (I think this would be Kierkegaard's position.)
    The idea that every decision can be made without influence of circumstance is ridiculous. Unless you posit that God completely resets one's mind before presenting the decision, in which case, what is the point of existence?
    RfFCfFS. (Read for Comprehension).

  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host

    lilbuddha wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Moo wrote: »
    Finally the present-giver lays the package at the feet of the other boy, who makes no move to pick it up or even acknowledge its existence.

    As lb says above; why do only some pick their presents up? What is the difference between the two individuals?

    Why do you care? Pick up the damn present. What somebody else chooses is somebody else's story.
    Most elements of their story - which may have a powerful influence on what they do - are not under their control (see lb's strawman example).
    How is that a strawman? It a continuation of Moo's simplistic analogy.

    Fair enough, your extension of Moo's strawman analogy - in general I agree with the critique.

    I deny that this was a strawman argument. The point was that you can't give someone a gift if they will not take it. The boy rejecting the present may have had excellent
    reasons. The fact is that he did no receive the present =. That's the point.

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