The Consequences of your Beliefs

The consequences of one's beliefs are what follows logically from what is stated.

You have the potential consequences regarding the actual original validity of the beliefs. For example an atheist might spend eternity in the void or hell or some other place reserved for such smug individuals.

Any religious person would also have to accept that if they do not suffer for choosing the wrong religion, then others will.

There is also the more subtle logical consequences of your beliefs. They fall into the realms of A + B = C - therefore you must believe B + A also equals C.

Specifically - There are things we know for sure as these things have been measured and documented many times and from many cultures. I'm refering specifically to religious experiences.

1) Feeling the hand(s) of ____________ (insert personal diety here).

2) Talking with __________________

3) Your life was changed when ______________ found you.

4) Without ____________ in your life it would feel empty.

5) I prayed to _______________ and it was answered.

6) I saw a miracle and it happened in the name of ____________

7) When I pray I feel in touch with ____________

All of the above are used to support the faith based system of religious belief. They are also found in every single religion around the world.ALSO, just about every religion claims to be the correct path - and that straying from this path can possibly lead to punishment.

This means (to use a specific example) that as a Christian you would have to believe that either everyone else is hallucinating or that God is appearing as someone else to those individuals - which cannot be of course because it's clear in the ten commandments that there's only him -- and not the myriad from Hindu, Navaho etc. Of course, the idea that you had a hallucination will never cross your mind.

There are many issues concerning this whole "We're right, they're wrong" attitude that for the most part people don't think about.

Who here has read that paper on artificially stimulating the "God" experience? They were able, through magnetic stimulation of certain parts of the brain (If I remember correctly) to get the subjects to see "God". What they saw was of course dependant on what they were raised to be - but they saw it at the press of a button. What do you think this means?

Religion is man made attempts to explain God and is often peppered with aspects of RELATIONSHIP that God has given through the ages to His people. So you will find aspects of truth in every religion.

It is also clear from the scriptures that 1) God does speak to whomever calls on His name (he appeared in dreams and visions to pagan kings) and 2) that there is a competing entity called Satan who is a master of manipulating man through "ism's, where he can appear as a "angel of light" and a "minister of truth" but is a wolf in sheeps clothing.

I think your stmt basically affirms that man is religious by nature. It doesn't confirm or disprove the nature of one's specific claims and you would have to look at each case individually.

"every religion claims to be the correct path - and that straying from this path can possibly lead to punishment. "

Not true.

Spiritism accepts the fact that there are different religions for different people, and they are not going to be punished only because the person was born under a certain culture.

Rob, I think you're simplifying religious views to pat yourself on the back. I am religious and in no way believe that people of a different sect are punished for it or don't get to go to heaven or whatever you're suggesting. Nor do I believe that an atheist is "bad" or excluded from any of the eternal rewards of godliness....provided that person demonstrates godliness despite his atheism.

I think that this moderate, inclusive stand is actually more common among believers than the charicature of christians that you are attempting to discredit. In other words, straw man.

"I am religious and in no way believe that people of a different sect are punished for it or don't get to go to heaven or whatever you're suggesting. Nor do I believe that an atheist is "bad" or excluded from any of the eternal rewards of godliness....provided that person demonstrates godliness despite his atheism."

Then you disagree with Jesus and much of the Bible.

Tulkas - In the Koran it states that all who do not bow to Allahs will, will suffer. Islam has a fairly large membership (the largest or second largest). Aaron already beat me to the punch in regards to your view on christianity.

Then of course there is the logical conclusion from ones religious beliefs that although a person might not be punished, because they're not my beliefs they would obviously have to believe everyone else is mistaken.

I believe you are unaware of the vast amount of religious intolerance around the world - and I'm wondering how you associate this with me "patting myself on the back?".

I think roosters view is closer to how I would resolve this if I was a christian.

Robert, sorry if I came off as a prick...I didn't mean to. I'm at work...so I'm a different guy.

Anyway...all I meant is that while I have strong religious convictions (and of course I think they are right and that conflicting views are wrong.....how could it be otherwise???), I don't think that adhering to my personal set of beliefs is requisite for salvation. Nor do I believe that any theistic belief is necessary.

I just can't picture God being very petty. Even I love my atheist siblings and my friends from all different faiths. I'd be surprised if God ends up being LESS loving or accepting than I am.

In other words...I was trying to second what rooster said and I just said it all wrong and ended up looking foolish.

Aaron, I'm very interested in what you mean by your comment.

I thought from other posts that you don't have much of a fondness for sects.....Maybe I'm wrong and we have even less common ground than I thought.

Do you just disagree with the atheists-are-still-good-people-and-go-to-heaven stand????

Also, Robert, I believe that anyone who touches the divine will interpret it in his or her own context. I don't really have a problem with other religions describing something very different from what I believe because I think its most likely that we are both mostly wrong about how we picture God...I don't think any of us has the capacity for a full view.

Orthodox Judaism allows non-Jews to enter Heaven. Non-Jews have to uphold the 7 Noahide laws while Jews must uphold the 613 Mosaic laws.

MS

"I thought from other posts that you don't have much of a fondness for sects."

Only because it't not about religion or a sect, it's about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He want's to KNOW us because He is the only way to God's perfect Love. To believe that outside of this Man Christ one can find God is not Christ nor Christianity.

To be honest with you that view could be one of the most dangerous places to be IMO of Scripture. It's a form of Godliness but zero power there of. Christ did not do what He did to be one of the WAYS to Heaven. He did it to make the ONLY way to Heaven.

not trying to attack just telling you how I feel about your post and this subject. The Consequences of our beliefs is Heaven or Hell and the beautiful thing about that is that we get to choose thanks to Jesus.

Aaron,

Do those people who are born into another culture have the same chances as you do? Of course not, as they have been indoctrinated in their own way and their personal divine relationship will be with another God - or differently with yours (see Islam).

You are saying that these people will be damned forever simply because they are born in different circumstances?

Why would god make it so much easier for those born in the united states to get into heaven - as compared to people born in india or Iran?

God loves America obviously

---"Why would god make it so much easier for those born in the united states to get into heaven - as compared to people born in india or Iran?"

Not fair, asking tough questions Robert ;-)

Prof.

this is the obvious problem with any brand of "my way or the highway" christianity.

Even if Christ is the only WAY---which I personally believe----I hope he's not petty enough to exclude people born into non-christian families or cultures. If so, he'd be less admirable than many regular people I know.........

And since none of us can expect to comprehend his full nature, none of us is really worshipping the true Christ....none of us knows him very much at all. Why then assume that someone who knows a bit less than me will be condemned to hell for it?

aren't jews, muslims, christians etc all worshiping the same god? If so doesn't that make the points of difference between them trivial as opposed to the areas of consensus?

That's what I think.......and I think the same thing for polytheists and atheists who dedicate their life to goodness, to helping humanity, to creativity,to humility, etc.......those things encompass true worship.....Why would God cut them off??????

you: ---"Why would god make it so much easier for those born in the united states to get into heaven - as compared to people born in india or Iran?"

me: The bible states that all men have an intuitive knowledge of God that He has put into them, a testimony that can be found in the creation so that they are "without excuse". He has also promised that those who seek Him with all their heart will find Him. I'm convinced that there are many unsaved Americans hiding behind the veneer of religion.

Deu 4:29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find [him], if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

I know in my own life, I had "religion" but I didn't have God. I know that a time in my life came where I was able to really, really seek God with my whole heart, soul and mind. He rewarded my honesty by revealing Himself to me. If I had not sought Him, and responded to the intutitive drawing He gave me (because I didn't want to stop partying, or fighting, or whatever) then I would not have known Him and would have died in my sins despite having "religion".

you: aren't jews, muslims, christians etc all worshiping the same god? If so doesn't that make the points of difference between them trivial as opposed to the areas of consensus?

me: no, not really, not theologically. The attributes given to Jesus, or Jehovah, or Allah, or Vishnu, etc. are often times contradictory and in conflict. Heck, even Christians often times worship different Jesus' (a blond nordic, effeminate surfer, a militant wrathful hate filled judge, a member of a group (Trinitarians and tritheists), a demi god (arians) God alone (modalist), a new age Christ avatar etc.

That being said, i think a person who has no idea who God has or has wrong or bad theology is not impaired from knowing God if they reach out past their theology and cry out to "whoever is out there". He will answer.

"you: ---"Why would god make it so much easier for those born in the united states to get into heaven - as compared to people born in india or Iran?"

me: The bible states that all men have an intuitive knowledge of God that He has put into them, a testimony that can be found in the creation so that they are "without excuse". He has also promised that those who seek Him with all their heart will find Him. I'm convinced that there are many unsaved Americans hiding behind the veneer of religion."

You don't actually answer the question. We're not talking about America where they're offered what is (according to you) the right religion. We're talking about the billions of people who aren't even offered the opportunity to take up "the right" religion.

To say that they are born with an idea of what God is in their hearts completely disregards the unacceptable obstacles placed in their way for finding him in the first place. How many people are born hindu and stay hindu? Why don't they change? Is it as easy for a person born into a Hindu religion to change faith as it is for an american to simply accept the faith they were born into -- of course not.

So why would God make it more difficult for all these people? I thought he loved everyone equally - there were no favorites.