Author Topic: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.  (Read 41746 times)

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #750 on: June 30, 2017, 04:53:36 PM »

God did not create sin, lol.

Sin entered the cosmos due to an act of rebellion against God.


God created everything. Everything.

He created the cosmos. There was nothing outside of the cosmos. Or was there? Are you saying that there's something outside that is bigger than God?

He created the cosmos, and every single thing in it. If you are saying that there's something outside that he didn't create, then you are saying he is not all-powerful.
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jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #751 on: June 30, 2017, 04:54:11 PM »
God cannot tolerate sin.

If god can't tolerate sin, he shouldn't have created it, lol.
God did not create sin, lol.

Sin entered the cosmos due to an act of rebellion against God.

God created men and angels with a free will, and, if a being has a free will, there is at least the potential that he will choose badly. The potential for sin was a risk God took. He created human beings in His image, and, since He is free, humans were created free, too.   He gave the man a true choice (Genesis 2:16). Adam chose disobedience. God did not tempt, coerce, or lure Adam into disobedience.

God provided the opportunity to sin, but He did not create or instigate sin. Having the opportunity was good; without it, human beings would be little more than robots.

God commands, pleads, and encourages us to follow Him (Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 12:28; 1 Samuel 15:22). He promises blessings, fellowship, and protection when we obey (Jeremiah 7:23; Psalm 115:11; Luke 11:28). But He does not chain us. God did not put a fence around the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had freedom to choose obedience or disobedience. When they chose sin, they also chose the consequences that went with it (Genesis 3:1624).

God did not and does not create sin, nor does He delight in punishing those who choose to sin (Ezekiel 33:11).

Of course god created sin.  As you mentioned above - God's universe, God's rules.  You might not like that he created sin, but he sure as hell did.  Laying it off on Adam is just blaming the victim.

If god is omnipotent and omniscient - he knew this all would happen BEFORE HE MADE ANYTHING.  And he could have made the universe ANY WAY HE WANTED.  But he created THIS universe, with full fore-knowledge.  So how the f' is Adam (or any of us) to blame?
Sin is all part of the plan.  Why create / allow evil and unrighteousness?  It has a purpose.  Things are not just observed but ordained.

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #752 on: June 30, 2017, 05:11:21 PM »
God cannot tolerate sin.

If god can't tolerate sin, he shouldn't have created it, lol.
God did not create sin, lol.

Sin entered the cosmos due to an act of rebellion against God.

God created men and angels with a free will, and, if a being has a free will, there is at least the potential that he will choose badly. The potential for sin was a risk God took. He created human beings in His image, and, since He is free, humans were created free, too.   He gave the man a true choice (Genesis 2:16). Adam chose disobedience. God did not tempt, coerce, or lure Adam into disobedience.

God provided the opportunity to sin, but He did not create or instigate sin. Having the opportunity was good; without it, human beings would be little more than robots.

God commands, pleads, and encourages us to follow Him (Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 12:28; 1 Samuel 15:22). He promises blessings, fellowship, and protection when we obey (Jeremiah 7:23; Psalm 115:11; Luke 11:28). But He does not chain us. God did not put a fence around the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had freedom to choose obedience or disobedience. When they chose sin, they also chose the consequences that went with it (Genesis 3:1624).

God did not and does not create sin, nor does He delight in punishing those who choose to sin (Ezekiel 33:11).

Of course god created sin.  As you mentioned above - God's universe, God's rules.  You might not like that he created sin, but he sure as hell did.  Laying it off on Adam is just blaming the victim.

If god is omnipotent and omniscient - he knew this all would happen BEFORE HE MADE ANYTHING.  And he could have made the universe ANY WAY HE WANTED.  But he created THIS universe, with full fore-knowledge.  So how the f' is Adam (or any of us) to blame?
Sin is all part of the plan.  Why create / allow evil and unrighteousness?  It has a purpose.  Things are not just observed but ordained.

See, we do agree on something!  Actually, we agree on a lot.  We both agree that grace comes from god and is a gift not obtainable by works (or even by 'faith').  Our only real difference is that you think only 'some' people get grace.  I think all people do.
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jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #753 on: June 30, 2017, 05:12:52 PM »
How do free willers explain that God wants everyone saved, elects based on tunnel of time foreknowledge, knows the vast majority will not accept.  If it is known that the vast majority will not accept than why even let the process continue to the point they get sent to hell?  Wouldn't it be better just to not allow it to continue if everyone is loved, according to them?

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #754 on: June 30, 2017, 05:26:39 PM »
God does want everyone saved.  And to quote a Roger Waters song - "What god wants... god gets".  So everyone is saved.  Because that is what god wants.
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jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #755 on: June 30, 2017, 05:28:56 PM »
God does want everyone saved.  And to quote a Roger Waters song - "What god wants... god gets".  So everyone is saved.  Because that is what god wants.
How do you explain all the verses that show a vast number being sent to eternal punishment?

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #756 on: June 30, 2017, 05:34:50 PM »
God does want everyone saved.  And to quote a Roger Waters song - "What god wants... god gets".  So everyone is saved.  Because that is what god wants.
How do you explain all the verses that show a vast number being sent to eternal punishment?

Easy.  The bible is not the word of god.
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DoubleDown

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #757 on: June 30, 2017, 06:15:07 PM »
Christianity cannot be "proved," I recognize that.
Then how does it make sense to send anyone to eternal torment for not accepting a belief which cannot be proved?

Because it's not up to God to prove anything to anyone. He simply desires love/worship, and those that choose not to love/worship him are turning their backs on him. It's like those that don't "believe" in the MMM message. They choose not to spend less than they earn, they are never financially independent. They're welcome to accept it and follow it, but if they don't, that's on them, not MMM.
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MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #758 on: June 30, 2017, 06:18:39 PM »
Because it's not up to God to prove anything to anyone. He simply desires love/worship, and those that choose not to love/worship him are turning their backs on him. It's like those that don't "believe" in the MMM message. They choose not to spend less than they earn, they are never financially independent. They're welcome to accept it and follow it, but if they don't, that's on them, not MMM.

Okay - but again, the analogy doesn't hold.
We can easily prove Pete exists.
We can easily prove Pete's message is true via mathematical proof and first hand examination.
And, most importantly, Pete does not bankrupt those who chose to turn their back on him, forcing them to suffer in poverty as a result.

And to be fair, I am not saying that God owes a proof to anyone.
But the idea of hiding from humanity and then punishing them for a lack of belief seems irrational.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 06:21:00 PM by MrDelane »

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #759 on: June 30, 2017, 06:22:28 PM »
Because it's not up to God to prove anything to anyone. He simply desires love/worship, and those that choose not to love/worship him are turning their backs on him. It's like those that don't "believe" in the MMM message. They choose not to spend less than they earn, they are never financially independent. They're welcome to accept it and follow it, but if they don't, that's on them, not MMM.

Okay - but again, the analogy doesn't hold.
We can easily prove Pete exists.
We can easily prove Pete's message is true via mathematical proof and first hand examination.
And, most importantly, Pete does not bankrupt those who chose to turn their back on him, forcing them to suffer in poverty as a result.

And to be fair, I am not saying that God owes a proof to anyone.
But the idea of hiding from humanity and then punishing them for a lack of belief seems irrational.

Well, and Pete doesn't demand to be worshiped.
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Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #760 on: June 30, 2017, 06:36:32 PM »
God cannot tolerate sin.

If god can't tolerate sin, he shouldn't have created it, lol.
God did not create sin, lol.

Sin entered the cosmos due to an act of rebellion against God.

God created men and angels with a free will, and, if a being has a free will, there is at least the potential that he will choose badly. The potential for sin was a risk God took. He created human beings in His image, and, since He is free, humans were created free, too.   He gave the man a true choice (Genesis 2:16). Adam chose disobedience. God did not tempt, coerce, or lure Adam into disobedience.

God provided the opportunity to sin, but He did not create or instigate sin. Having the opportunity was good; without it, human beings would be little more than robots.

God commands, pleads, and encourages us to follow Him (Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 12:28; 1 Samuel 15:22). He promises blessings, fellowship, and protection when we obey (Jeremiah 7:23; Psalm 115:11; Luke 11:28). But He does not chain us. God did not put a fence around the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had freedom to choose obedience or disobedience. When they chose sin, they also chose the consequences that went with it (Genesis 3:1624).

God did not and does not create sin, nor does He delight in punishing those who choose to sin (Ezekiel 33:11).

Of course god created sin.  As you mentioned above - God's universe, God's rules.  You might not like that he created sin, but he sure as hell did.  Laying it off on Adam is just blaming the victim.

If god is omnipotent and omniscient - he knew this all would happen BEFORE HE MADE ANYTHING.  And he could have made the universe ANY WAY HE WANTED.  But he created THIS universe, with full fore-knowledge.  So how the f' is Adam (or any of us) to blame?
Sin is all part of the plan.  Why create / allow evil and unrighteousness?  It has a purpose.  Things are not just observed but ordained.

God created sin, then.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

DoubleDown

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #761 on: June 30, 2017, 06:51:35 PM »
I'm definitely not doing a good job of explaining, because the point keeps getting warped. Forget my MMM analogies, they're not working.

The point of God is he wants people to love and worship him. It's that simple. And if they choose not to, it's their problem, not his. To put it another way, and because some want to portray God as the a-hole for not "accepting" everyone and supposedly dooming them to eternal torment for not believing, I offer this story:

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A mom and dad "create" (give birth) to a boy. They love him and give him everything he needs. They boy decides to leave the home. The dad says, "Son, don't go out into the world. It will destroy you, corrupt you, and kill you. You have everything you need here, and your mother and I will always take care of you and love you." The son says, "F*** you dad, I hate you. I hate that you keep me cooped up here, under YOUR rules. I want to do what *I* want to do. The dad says, "I don't want you to leave. But if you do, you're always welcome to return home, where I will love you and take care of you. But if you turn your back on me and hate me and leave and are lost out in the world, it will kill you, and I can't help you." The son gives the dad the finger and leaves.
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So I ask, who's the a-hole in this story?

I know, you all will say that the mom and dad aren't invisible so it's not the same, etc. etc. etc. You will continue to strain at the gnat of details or find ways how my story falls short of the exact same situation with God worship, in order to avoid the more important point of the story: God simply wants us to love him (and each other). He's given us everything we need to be with him and thrive. If we turn our backs on him, that's US being the a-hole, not him. We are not accepting what is being freely offered, and it has nothing to do with "proving" his existence.
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MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #762 on: June 30, 2017, 07:08:33 PM »
I know, you all will say that the mom and dad aren't invisible so it's not the same, etc. etc. etc. You will continue to strain at the gnat of details....

I am not trying to be difficult, I promise, but I don't really understand how you can consider whether or not the alleged subject of worship exists to be a 'gnat' of a detail.

Quote
We are not accepting what is being freely offered, and it has nothing to do with "proving" his existence.

I honestly do not see how you can separate the two.

I am being told that something is being offered to me (after I die) by a being that, as of yet, I have no rational justification for believing even exists.  And yet somehow I am at danger of eternal torment for not accepting this gift with open arms and unquestionable faith?

The hiddenness of God is very much intertwined with whether or not humanity 'accepts' what is being offered.

In the spirit of analogies - I would guess that none of us here would ever give our accounts over to a financial advisor which we heard about third hand with such little information.  And that decision would only affect your short life here, not for eternity.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 07:10:12 PM by MrDelane »

Pigeon

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #763 on: June 30, 2017, 07:27:46 PM »
I'm definitely not doing a good job of explaining, because the point keeps getting warped. Forget my MMM analogies, they're not working.

The point of God is he wants people to love and worship him. It's that simple. And if they choose not to, it's their problem, not his. To put it another way, and because some want to portray God as the a-hole for not "accepting" everyone and supposedly dooming them to eternal torment for not believing, I offer this story:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A mom and dad "create" (give birth) to a boy. They love him and give him everything he needs. They boy decides to leave the home. The dad says, "Son, don't go out into the world. It will destroy you, corrupt you, and kill you. You have everything you need here, and your mother and I will always take care of you and love you." The son says, "F*** you dad, I hate you. I hate that you keep me cooped up here, under YOUR rules. I want to do what *I* want to do. The dad says, "I don't want you to leave. But if you do, you're always welcome to return home, where I will love you and take care of you. But if you turn your back on me and hate me and leave and are lost out in the world, it will kill you, and I can't help you." The son gives the dad the finger and leaves.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So I ask, who's the a-hole in this story?

I know, you all will say that the mom and dad aren't invisible so it's not the same, etc. etc. etc. You will continue to strain at the gnat of details or find ways how my story falls short of the exact same situation with God worship, in order to avoid the more important point of the story: God simply wants us to love him (and each other). He's given us everything we need to be with him and thrive. If we turn our backs on him, that's US being the a-hole, not him. We are not accepting what is being freely offered, and it has nothing to do with "proving" his existence.
The father is the asshole in your story.  It is natural for a mature and loving father to accept that their children will grow up and make their own way in the world.  Only a narcissistic and unhealthy father would expect that his child would live in his basement forever.  The reason why your analogies don't work is that belief in god requires a complete suspension of logic along with a worship of a deity who is anything but good.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #764 on: June 30, 2017, 08:02:12 PM »
God cannot tolerate sin.

If god can't tolerate sin, he shouldn't have created it, lol.
God did not create sin, lol.

Sin entered the cosmos due to an act of rebellion against God.

God created men and angels with a free will, and, if a being has a free will, there is at least the potential that he will choose badly. The potential for sin was a risk God took. He created human beings in His image, and, since He is free, humans were created free, too.   He gave the man a true choice (Genesis 2:16). Adam chose disobedience. God did not tempt, coerce, or lure Adam into disobedience.

God provided the opportunity to sin, but He did not create or instigate sin. Having the opportunity was good; without it, human beings would be little more than robots.

God commands, pleads, and encourages us to follow Him (Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 12:28; 1 Samuel 15:22). He promises blessings, fellowship, and protection when we obey (Jeremiah 7:23; Psalm 115:11; Luke 11:28). But He does not chain us. God did not put a fence around the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had freedom to choose obedience or disobedience. When they chose sin, they also chose the consequences that went with it (Genesis 3:1624).

God did not and does not create sin, nor does He delight in punishing those who choose to sin (Ezekiel 33:11).

Of course god created sin.  As you mentioned above - God's universe, God's rules.  You might not like that he created sin, but he sure as hell did.  Laying it off on Adam is just blaming the victim.

If god is omnipotent and omniscient - he knew this all would happen BEFORE HE MADE ANYTHING.  And he could have made the universe ANY WAY HE WANTED.  But he created THIS universe, with full fore-knowledge.  So how the f' is Adam (or any of us) to blame?
I'm not going to argue back and forth with you.

I gave you a summary from a theological page answering that question for you, because it is a criticism handed down all the time.  You can find other pages if you do not like this answer but they say the same thing with different words.  Sin is not a thing to be created or not created, it is a result of actions.  He allowed for the possibility of it to not create you as  sinless being because the would mean you had limited choices.  You would literally be unable to have an impure thought, or to murder someone, or to do anything other than serve God 24/7/365.  Of course then you wouldn't complain because you would not know any better and you'd just be an automaton without any ability to make any choices.  But if you feel that is a good creation, then I guess that would work for you.


caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #765 on: June 30, 2017, 08:05:14 PM »
Christianity cannot be "proved," I recognize that.
Then how does it make sense to send anyone to eternal torment for not accepting a belief which cannot be proved?
You are not being sent into eternal torment because you did not believe.  You are being sent into eternal torment because you sinned against God.  Belief that you sins have been paid for by the sacrifice of Jesus is the way to avoid that. 

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #766 on: June 30, 2017, 08:11:13 PM »

You may have a point on the desensitization. 
But again, we should consult data on the subject.  I don't believe there is a correlation between increased violence in media and increased violence in that society - but I could be wrong.  If there is a connection then I would be tempted to agree with you, because I am much more concerned with what we actually do to each other as people than how we portray things in our art.

I had to pull this out and provide some input, because the timing was just too funny.  Maybe it was God getting me some data.

I turned on NPR on the way to the store after work today, and while it is just a single data point, they were interviewing the people responsible for Baby Driver, the new back robbery movie.  One of the producers is an ex-bank robber.  He was talking about how police will tell you that virtually every criminal they arrest has the same six or so movies in their video collection.  Goodfellas, Casino, Scarface, Godfather.  He explained that for an entire generation this is how they learned to talk like criminals, act like criminals.  The movies taught them how to be men.  So at least with this data point, a person who was in the business of violence and crime he has recorded an interview saying there is a direct connection between violence in media and in the real world, and that police departments will back him up.

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #767 on: June 30, 2017, 08:24:25 PM »

You may have a point on the desensitization. 
But again, we should consult data on the subject.  I don't believe there is a correlation between increased violence in media and increased violence in that society - but I could be wrong.  If there is a connection then I would be tempted to agree with you, because I am much more concerned with what we actually do to each other as people than how we portray things in our art.

I had to pull this out and provide some input, because the timing was just too funny.  Maybe it was God getting me some data.

I turned on NPR on the way to the store after work today, and while it is just a single data point, they were interviewing the people responsible for Baby Driver, the new back robbery movie.  One of the producers is an ex-bank robber.  He was talking about how police will tell you that virtually every criminal they arrest has the same six or so movies in their video collection.  Goodfellas, Casino, Scarface, Godfather.  He explained that for an entire generation this is how they learned to talk like criminals, act like criminals.  The movies taught them how to be men.  So at least with this data point, a person who was in the business of violence and crime he has recorded an interview saying there is a direct connection between violence in media and in the real world, and that police departments will back him up.


And yet, violent crime is down: 

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MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #768 on: June 30, 2017, 08:31:13 PM »
Christianity cannot be "proved," I recognize that.
Then how does it make sense to send anyone to eternal torment for not accepting a belief which cannot be proved?
You are not being sent into eternal torment because you did not believe.  You are being sent into eternal torment because you sinned against God.  Belief that you sins have been paid for by the sacrifice of Jesus is the way to avoid that.

You expanded on the theology to explain it in detail.
While I appreciate the clarity, it does not truly change the thrust of what I originally posted.


As I understand what you wrote:

I have sinned against God.
The price for those since is eternal torment.
However, those sins were paid for by the sacrifice of Jesus.
I could avoid eternal torment by believing in the sacrifice of Jesus for my sins.

Therefore - if I do not believe in the sacrifice of Jesus I will be sent into eternal torment.

(which is pretty much exactly what I said originally:  "How does it make sense to send anyone to eternal torment for not accepting a belief which cannot be proved?")

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #769 on: June 30, 2017, 08:35:15 PM »
And yet, violent crime is down: 



This would be a strong point if we could find data that shows that violence in media has increased in the same period.  I realize Caracarn believes it has (and I would guess that he's right) but I don't know for a fact offhand.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #770 on: June 30, 2017, 08:40:51 PM »

We should really dig up some data on this (and I say that not being 100% certain what the data will show).
But my guess is that data will show that crimes against children, violent crime, etc are all down from where they were in the 60s and 70s.
But, maybe I'm wrong.


I think it does a disservice to a discussion about if morality is improving to simply use criminal statistics as he basis for that, and I would agree that I think the exercise would turn into another case of using statistics to say what we want them to say.  I loved that part of statistics class that showed how to can effectively prove both sides of any argument using the available data the right way.  Say you'd find statistics to show that crime is down, and then I'd find statistics showing how under reported crime is and we'd use that to go back and forth.  Fruitless and not fun, so let's not bother as for me it's besides the point, because as I said, I think morality is much bigger than anything we can capture with statistics and with studies that would need to be done that have not been done yet and never will be if for no other reason than they would be too expensive.

I am simply stating that in my personal experience over forty plus years of living and also reading a lot of history, I feel there is a decline. It's an opinion and one that many of my non-Christian friends share as well, so I do not feel it's biased by some Christian worldview that would cause me to see through only a certain lens.  It tests my bias against others who hopefully do not share it, and as parents and folks from all walks of life we are saddened to see the breakdown of decency.  My only experience with things in private is with personal experiences with friends I have had who shared something with me that would be considered immoral that they had done.  Stealing from their employer, cheating on their spouse, using their kids as things to gain advantages they did not qualify for, cheating in various ways.  I find myself having to distance myself from more people now than I had to in the past.  I'm not saying they are dropping like flies, but where maybe it was one person in five years, now there is usually one every year.  And these are people I have spent years knowing and would call them good.  They at times have a justification, they know it was wrong, but they did it anyway.  Sometimes they are bragging about it because it's in that gray area that we've made acceptable, like lying on your taxes, because you know "everybody does it".  Or stiffing contractors because you know, now our president does it. 

So I'm not basing this on anything more than personal experience and it is my opinion.  The one comment I will make is that having some state troopers and law enforcement members in the extended family and knowing folks in police forces in places like Chicago and other cities and hearing the stories at Thanksgiving and family gatherings, there is also a possible correlation in lower arrests because the police just give up in some areas.  There is so much crap going on and it is so dangerous for them to go in, that they just turn the streets over. And all the public outcry about police misconduct is going to make this worse.  My friends used to be proud and respected.  That feeling is gone for nearly all of them.  They feel the public has taken the side of the criminals and that the media and the citizens thrive on the sensationalism of finding a "bad cop" so they look at any slight and amplify it into something it is not.  These are men and women just trying to do a job, and they now do it under a microscope of scrutiny that is unfair in their eyes.  I've spoken with the officer who directs traffic outside out church several times.  He indicates they cannot get young officers on the force because no one wants to join because of this stigma.  He laments a time when police were core to the community and the community helped police itself.  While the word morals did not come up, the entire tone of what he sees as the decline is driven my lower morality of the citizenry and looking the other way for infractions, but holding the police to standards no one could meet.  These are the types of things and discussions that happen more often.  The workload of every officer I see is higher and they talk of increasing call rates and the severity of the calls escalating.

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #771 on: June 30, 2017, 08:41:15 PM »
You are missing the doctrine of original sin.
The first transgression in imputed to Adam's line, all of humanity. 
Imputed original sin is why people go to hell prior to the giving of the law in the OT, there was no other law given besides the first command not to eat from the tree.  Adam is the federal head of the race.


« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 08:44:14 PM by jim555 »

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #772 on: June 30, 2017, 08:43:55 PM »
I'm not going to argue back and forth with you.

I gave you a summary from a theological page answering that question for you, because it is a criticism handed down all the time.  You can find other pages if you do not like this answer but they say the same thing with different words.  Sin is not a thing to be created or not created, it is a result of actions.  He allowed for the possibility of it to not create you as  sinless being because the would mean you had limited choices.  You would literally be unable to have an impure thought, or to murder someone, or to do anything other than serve God 24/7/365.  Of course then you wouldn't complain because you would not know any better and you'd just be an automaton without any ability to make any choices.  But if you feel that is a good creation, then I guess that would work for you.

Yeah, we're just not gonna agree on this.  Have you ever heard the phrase, "The buck stops here"?   I'm just pointing out that your god should take some damn responsibility, haha.
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MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #773 on: June 30, 2017, 08:45:12 PM »

You may have a point on the desensitization. 
But again, we should consult data on the subject.  I don't believe there is a correlation between increased violence in media and increased violence in that society - but I could be wrong.  If there is a connection then I would be tempted to agree with you, because I am much more concerned with what we actually do to each other as people than how we portray things in our art.

I had to pull this out and provide some input, because the timing was just too funny.  Maybe it was God getting me some data.

I turned on NPR on the way to the store after work today, and while it is just a single data point, they were interviewing the people responsible for Baby Driver, the new back robbery movie.  One of the producers is an ex-bank robber.  He was talking about how police will tell you that virtually every criminal they arrest has the same six or so movies in their video collection.  Goodfellas, Casino, Scarface, Godfather.  He explained that for an entire generation this is how they learned to talk like criminals, act like criminals.  The movies taught them how to be men.  So at least with this data point, a person who was in the business of violence and crime he has recorded an interview saying there is a direct connection between violence in media and in the real world, and that police departments will back him up.

I just did a quick search for "media violence and societal violence" and just scanned the first couple of links that I found.

It looks like you might be on to something in regards to issues of desensitization and future risk.

You might find these links interesting:
http://www.apa.org/action/resources/research-in-action/protect.aspx
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/25/opinion/sunday/does-media-violence-lead-to-the-real-thing.html

There seems to be a correlation, though causation is still murky.

Personally, I still don't feel this lends credence to the idea that we are morally worse off than we were in the past.  Violent crime is still down, and I haven't yet found data on violence in media (and this whole line of discussion, while very interesting, is way off topic for this thread probably).

But, I didn't want to drop it completely and felt it was worth sharing this with you, if for no other reason that to show that I'm happy to follow the evidence where it leads.

This is definitely something I'm going to spend some more time reading about.


EDITED TO ADD:
And I now see that you just wrote a long reply to one of my posts while I was typing this.


jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #774 on: June 30, 2017, 08:48:12 PM »
This "acceptance" gospel is a load of bunk.  God does not sit on His hands hoping something happens and then gets frustrated when it doesn't.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #775 on: June 30, 2017, 08:50:34 PM »

You may have a point on the desensitization. 
But again, we should consult data on the subject.  I don't believe there is a correlation between increased violence in media and increased violence in that society - but I could be wrong.  If there is a connection then I would be tempted to agree with you, because I am much more concerned with what we actually do to each other as people than how we portray things in our art.

I had to pull this out and provide some input, because the timing was just too funny.  Maybe it was God getting me some data.

I turned on NPR on the way to the store after work today, and while it is just a single data point, they were interviewing the people responsible for Baby Driver, the new back robbery movie.  One of the producers is an ex-bank robber.  He was talking about how police will tell you that virtually every criminal they arrest has the same six or so movies in their video collection.  Goodfellas, Casino, Scarface, Godfather.  He explained that for an entire generation this is how they learned to talk like criminals, act like criminals.  The movies taught them how to be men.  So at least with this data point, a person who was in the business of violence and crime he has recorded an interview saying there is a direct connection between violence in media and in the real world, and that police departments will back him up.


And yet, violent crime is down: 


And as I explained to Delane, violent crime is only a fractional indicator relating to morality.  It does not measure how many liars we have, how many cheats, how many spousal abusers, how many parents who manipulate their kids for their own gain.  People trying to argue your point like to trot out the violent crime statistics like they are the holy grail.  They are a grain of sand in the Sahara desert.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #776 on: June 30, 2017, 08:53:41 PM »
Christianity cannot be "proved," I recognize that.
Then how does it make sense to send anyone to eternal torment for not accepting a belief which cannot be proved?
You are not being sent into eternal torment because you did not believe.  You are being sent into eternal torment because you sinned against God.  Belief that you sins have been paid for by the sacrifice of Jesus is the way to avoid that.

You expanded on the theology to explain it in detail.
While I appreciate the clarity, it does not truly change the thrust of what I originally posted.


As I understand what you wrote:

I have sinned against God.
The price for those since is eternal torment.
However, those sins were paid for by the sacrifice of Jesus.
I could avoid eternal torment by believing in the sacrifice of Jesus for my sins.

Therefore - if I do not believe in the sacrifice of Jesus I will be sent into eternal torment.

(which is pretty much exactly what I said originally:  "How does it make sense to send anyone to eternal torment for not accepting a belief which cannot be proved?")

Because you should not need to have it proved to believe it.  You should just believe.  You are making the choice to need proof.  That's on you.  That does not work for some people.  They want proof, and since God is unproveable they will not believe.  Not sure what else to say.  It does not need to make sense.  I already covered that.  It does not make sense to make.  It makes perfect sense to God.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #777 on: June 30, 2017, 08:54:21 PM »
I am simply stating that in my personal experience over forty plus years of living and also reading a lot of history, I feel there is a decline. It's an opinion ...
Quote
So I'm not basing this on anything more than personal experience and it is my opinion.
Alright, if you do not want to look for data and instead simply hold to your opinion then, with all due respect, there isn't much else to discuss in reference to the idea that societal morality is decreasing.

No offense intended but if we cannot rely on statistics for anything and are leaning on personal experience and anecdote then we may as well debate whether or not a certain flavor of ice cream tastes good.

The statement "Humanity was more moral in the past than today" is a statement of proposed fact.
But if we're going to treat it as an opinion, then I suppose all I can say is that I happen to disagree and leave it at that.

Some people like vanilla, some like chocolate.

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #778 on: June 30, 2017, 09:01:51 PM »

You may have a point on the desensitization. 
But again, we should consult data on the subject.  I don't believe there is a correlation between increased violence in media and increased violence in that society - but I could be wrong.  If there is a connection then I would be tempted to agree with you, because I am much more concerned with what we actually do to each other as people than how we portray things in our art.

I had to pull this out and provide some input, because the timing was just too funny.  Maybe it was God getting me some data.

I turned on NPR on the way to the store after work today, and while it is just a single data point, they were interviewing the people responsible for Baby Driver, the new back robbery movie.  One of the producers is an ex-bank robber.  He was talking about how police will tell you that virtually every criminal they arrest has the same six or so movies in their video collection.  Goodfellas, Casino, Scarface, Godfather.  He explained that for an entire generation this is how they learned to talk like criminals, act like criminals.  The movies taught them how to be men.  So at least with this data point, a person who was in the business of violence and crime he has recorded an interview saying there is a direct connection between violence in media and in the real world, and that police departments will back him up.


And yet, violent crime is down: 


And as I explained to Delane, violent crime is only a fractional indicator relating to morality.  It does not measure how many liars we have, how many cheats, how many spousal abusers, how many parents who manipulate their kids for their own gain.  People trying to argue your point like to trot out the violent crime statistics like they are the holy grail.  They are a grain of sand in the Sahara desert.

Yeah, if you feel free to ignore data when it doesn't agree with you, then there's not much else I can say...
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MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #779 on: June 30, 2017, 09:03:34 PM »
Because you should not need to have it proved to believe it.  You should just believe.  You are making the choice to need proof.  That's on you.  That does not work for some people.  They want proof, and since God is unproveable they will not believe.  Not sure what else to say.  It does not need to make sense.  I already covered that.  It does not make sense to make.  It makes perfect sense to God.


Fair enough, I suppose.
If it does not need to make sense then I'm not sure how much more discussion there is to be had.
Though I do have two more things to add.

I would disagree that God is unprovable.  We don't know that.
I would say that the existence of God has not yet been proven.  But to go so far as to say 'unprovable' is probably too far.  We can't know that for certain.

And secondly, I will say once again that I do not choose to need proof.
No one chooses what to believe, we become convinced (for both good and bad reasons).
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 09:09:05 PM by MrDelane »

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #780 on: July 01, 2017, 09:23:36 AM »
Here is a good starting point if you are interested. Here is a historical and scholarly approach to the subject "I Cannot Believe Because the Bible is Unreliable"
 https://youtu.be/P5_rTu0-XSQ

Overflow -

I wanted to let you know I finally found the time to watch this whole talk last night.
There were quite a few things I found surprising in it, including the number of claimed copies of the NT books as compared to other ancient writings (though I do have some small quibbles with the way this data is presented, but it doesn't change the overall point Wallace made).  I will say, I appreciate his approach as a whole.  He clearly does not shy away from data that might seem 'inconvenient,' and instead digs into it honestly. 

Overall I actually found very little to disagree with in his whole presentation in terms of the facts presented.  It was pretty much in line with what I expressed to Caracarn much earlier in this thread.  Mainly that from the end of the second century onwards it seems we can have a pretty high level of confidence that the books of the NT were copied and transmitted accurately.

I did find it a bit surprising that he mentioned, almost in passing, that in his opinion "only" one fifth of one percent of the textual variants found are both meaningful and viable.  This was on the heels of stating that there are roughly 500,000 textual variants among manuscripts.  So that leaves us with close to 1,000 meaningful textual variants between manuscripts (that we know of).  Now, I appreciate his point that these in no way affect essential Christian beliefs (and using Ehrman's own quote to back that up was pretty great).  But I can't help but think that this whole issue of textual variance creates a significant issue that Wallace didn't really address - and that is biblical inerrancy. 

If we know for a fact that there are at least 1000 meaningful and textual variants between manuscripts of the New Testament, then how can we claim that we have access to the inerrant word of God?  Clearly that can't be true.  Keep in mind that some of these meaningful variants were not discovered until just 100 years ago (he mentioned P52 which was found in 1920, I believe).  So it's possible there are other meaningful variants we have no yet found, or will never find.  The point is that once we know there are meaningful variants at all, and any debate on what the original manuscripts said, then it seems that inerrancy is no longer an option. Then again, I don't know anything about the details of Wallace's theology, so I'm not certain how important inerrancy is to him.

In regards to the aside I made above about the way the number of manuscripts was presented, what I meant was this (and this isn't a huge deal to me, just something that I think is worth pointing out for the sake of honesty).  Wallace was upfront in pointing out that when he says 'manuscript' it could mean a fragment of papyrus the size of a postage stamp, or it could mean full copies of an entire book.  I don't have a big problem with that, at least he was upfront about it.  But I am a bit bothered by the fact that he is taking data for 27 books and comparing it to data we have for single books and then drawing a comparison to show how many more copies of the NT we have.  And yes, to be fair, even if he divided his manuscript numbers by 27 there would still be more copies of the NT, so his point would still be relevant.  But by his method of presentation, if all we have was a postage sized scrap from each book of the bible and we hypothetically had two full manuscripts of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (I just picked that as a random example, these number are made up to make a point).... then Wallace would claim that we have 27 copies of the new testament and only 2 of the Meditations, or over 13 times as many copies. 

That seems slightly disingenuous to me.  But, I do recognize that it's difficult to know where to draw the line as to what counts as a manuscript and what does not.  And I will say that Wallace was upfront from the beginning of his talk about that issue.  The only thing that bothered me a little was that he treats the NT as one book when comparing it to other writings, when in fact he should probably treat each book separately to make a fair comparison (but that would make his talk much longer as he would have to go through the data for 27 different books).  Like I said, it was a quibble.

In the end, I appreciated his approach and already sought out some other works of his.  I'm curious to learn more about his work in textual variants, as well as maybe watch some of the discussions he's had with Bart Ehrman about it.

All that said - I will end this by saying something that I'm certain will come as no surprise.
Even if we grant everything that Wallace presented (and honestly I have little problem with any of it), I still don't see how that gets you to the truth of the text itself.  Being able to say that, from a certain point in time, we can have confidence that the manuscripts were copied accurately... even if we assume that they were transmitted accurately from the time they were originally written... I don't see how we can verify the events described within.  Aside from the inability to verify the events there are still things like the synoptic problem of the gospels to contend with... etc (I won't go on, I'm sure you see where I'm going from here).  For perspective, if the Quran or Vedas could be shown to have been accurately copied over the centuries, would that make their claims any more believable?

Like I said, no surprise I'm sure.  But I do truly appreciate you passing along Wallace's talk.  I enjoyed it, I learned from it, and I'm going to dig further into his work because I found it fascinating.

And please don't feel the need to respond to the points I made here (unless you really want to) - I wasn't intending to turn this into another point/counterpoint back and forth.  More than anything I just wanted to make sure you knew that I meant it when I said I would find the time to listen to the presentation you recommended.

Thanks for the recommendation.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 09:33:03 AM by MrDelane »

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #781 on: July 01, 2017, 02:15:39 PM »
They found the Book of Isaiah in the Dead Sea Scrolls and it is dated to a few hundred years BC.  They say the text is the same as what we know to be Isaiah today.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #782 on: July 01, 2017, 02:28:09 PM »
They found the Book of Isaiah in the Dead Sea Scrolls and it is dated to a few hundred years BC.  They say the text is the same as what we know to be Isaiah today.

Isaiah is in the Old Testament.
We were discussing the New Testament (and more specifically focusing on the gospels).

Regardless, that's still an interesting piece of history to know.

chad

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #783 on: July 01, 2017, 05:52:08 PM »
I'm a Christian. I don't believe that death is your last chance to be reconciled to God. And I don't believe in eternal conscious torment for those who are never reconciled to God. I think the fate of those who ultimately (perhaps in the next life) reject God's plan of salvation is just what they think their fate will be: annihilation.

I don't have a high degree of confidence about these things. But I find it surprising that so many of my fellow Christians (as well as their detractors!) seem to think that "death is the last chance" and "hell is eternal conscious torment" are central claims of the Christian faith. This surprises me in part because it is pretty hard, as far as I can see, to support these claims with scripture.

To me, the central commitments of Christianity start with the idea that you've made a lot of mistakes, you need to be forgiven, and you need some help to set things right. If you don't think that's true about yourself, then it seems to me that Jesus didn't have very much to say to you. One way to end up in this position, of course, is to think that you have made a lot of mistakes, you would need forgiveness if it were available, but you just don't really believe that there's a God up there to forgive you and give you the help you need. I can sympathize with that, and my view is: just wait and hope and open your mind and heart. What I can't sympathize with is those who think they have made no mistakes, need no forgiveness, and need no help to set things right. I just don't relate with that at all.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #784 on: July 02, 2017, 08:42:58 AM »
I'm a Christian. I don't believe that death is your last chance to be reconciled to God.
That's an interesting perspective.  So when do you believe the last chance to be reconciled with God occurs?

Quote
I find it surprising that so many of my fellow Christians (as well as their detractors!) seem to think that "death is the last chance" and "hell is eternal conscious torment" are central claims of the Christian faith.
Personally, I would say that I react to what I hear from individual Christians.  While I'm aware that there are those that believe in the annihilation theory, they seem to be either less common or at least less outspoken (keep in mind I'm in Texas, so that shouldn't be a surprise).  That's just a guess, but I can say that in my personal experience I run into more believers who warn me of hell than they do of annihilation.

I try not to take anything for granted as a central claim of the Christian faith, and instead try to listen to what the individual actually believes.  I've learned that aside from the most basic beliefs in the divinity and resurrection of Jesus it seems there can be quite a bit of variation in the rest.

Quote
To me, the central commitments of Christianity start with the idea that you've made a lot of mistakes, you need to be forgiven, and you need some help to set things right. If you don't think that's true about yourself, then it seems to me that Jesus didn't have very much to say to you. One way to end up in this position, of course, is to think that you have made a lot of mistakes, you would need forgiveness if it were available, but you just don't really believe that there's a God up there to forgive you and give you the help you need. I can sympathize with that, and my view is: just wait and hope and open your mind and heart.

The idea of being forgiven by a God is something that I've personally never fully understood.  Please don't get me wrong, I think I understand the appeal of being forgiven for something by an omniscient authority.  But what I mean is, if I have wronged someone then shouldn't I seek forgiveness from the people I've wronged? 

Granted, within the Christian worldview it would possibly be said that I have wronged God and so I should seek God's forgiveness... so I suppose that makes sense.  But if someone sees no evidence of a God's existence, I don't see why they would feel a need for forgiveness from a being they are unsure even exists.

Quote
What I can't sympathize with is those who think they have made no mistakes, need no forgiveness, and need no help to set things right. I just don't relate with that at all.

In all seriousness, that sounds a bit like the definition of a sociopath, and I doubt many of us could sympathize with them either (then again, I suppose they can't sympathize with... anyone).

You drew two pretty wide extremes here.  Either there are people who feel they need forgiveness (ostensibly from an omniscient authority) but are unsure of God's existence.  Or there are people who feel they make no mistakes and need no forgiveness of any kind.

I'd be tempted to believe that there are entire groups of people in-between who feel they make mistakes and seek the forgiveness of those people whom they have wronged or hurt through their mistakes, and see no need for a divine authority to intercede.

That says nothing about which one might be right, obviously. My point was only to say that if there are those who do not believe in or seek out a God it does not automatically follow that they believe they are perfect individuals who never make mistakes or require forgiveness of any kind (nor does it mean they are unable to find forgiveness for their mistakes).
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 08:46:13 AM by MrDelane »

chad

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #785 on: July 02, 2017, 10:37:18 AM »
I definitely don't know when the last chance will come. My main point is that it isn't clearly taught in scripture that death is the last chance, and so it's surprising that so many people in the church regard this as a central tenet of the religion. I do agree with you that lots of Christians teach this, and I think you're not being unreasonable to simply take Christians at their word. But, in my opinion, there is just a lot of confusion and noise in the church about what is essential and central to the faith, and what is an inessential detail. And so, as a result, I would encourage non-Christians who are investigating the Christian faith not to build too much into the religion, at least as an essential tenet, beyond the basic gospel message.

I agree with you that we need to first seek forgiveness from those we have wronged. That's taught in the bible, both in the old and new testaments. To get the idea of what Christians have in mind when thinking about God's forgiveness, I think it's helpful to look at those who found Jesus's gospel so attractive in the bible: tax collectors, a woman caught in adultery, a prostitute, a woman who had been married five times, and so on. Or in Jesus's stories: the prodigal son, the lost sheep, the debtor who owes a large sum. These are people whose lives had really not gone well--people who felt like damaged goods, who felt that they were not enough, that they were broken, that their lives were all screwed up, that they were less than they should be. Maybe they had sought forgiveness for all their mistakes from those they had hurt. Would that set things right for them? I guess I feel like it's pretty obvious that they needed something more than that to get back on track and to feel alive and full of hope and love again. And that's what Jesus offered them--that "something more" that would put them back on track. And that is why they leaped at the opportunity as soon as they saw it.

I think a lot of folks feel that they're not like the people in these stories. And that's the part of the gospel that offends people: it says you too are like the tax collector, the prostitute, and so on. Your life is off track too. And if you don't feel that, you probably won't like the message of Jesus and won't leap at the opportunity he provides.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #786 on: July 02, 2017, 11:07:05 AM »

You may have a point on the desensitization. 
But again, we should consult data on the subject.  I don't believe there is a correlation between increased violence in media and increased violence in that society - but I could be wrong.  If there is a connection then I would be tempted to agree with you, because I am much more concerned with what we actually do to each other as people than how we portray things in our art.

I had to pull this out and provide some input, because the timing was just too funny.  Maybe it was God getting me some data.

I turned on NPR on the way to the store after work today, and while it is just a single data point, they were interviewing the people responsible for Baby Driver, the new back robbery movie.  One of the producers is an ex-bank robber.  He was talking about how police will tell you that virtually every criminal they arrest has the same six or so movies in their video collection.  Goodfellas, Casino, Scarface, Godfather.  He explained that for an entire generation this is how they learned to talk like criminals, act like criminals.  The movies taught them how to be men.  So at least with this data point, a person who was in the business of violence and crime he has recorded an interview saying there is a direct connection between violence in media and in the real world, and that police departments will back him up.


And yet, violent crime is down: 


And as I explained to Delane, violent crime is only a fractional indicator relating to morality.  It does not measure how many liars we have, how many cheats, how many spousal abusers, how many parents who manipulate their kids for their own gain.  People trying to argue your point like to trot out the violent crime statistics like they are the holy grail.  They are a grain of sand in the Sahara desert.

Yeah, if you feel free to ignore data when it doesn't agree with you, then there's not much else I can say...
Not ignoring data.  You just seem to want me to have it carry more weight than it should.  Are you seriously purporting the violent crime is anything more than a single measure?  And that there are hundreds of other things that are not or cannot be easily measured that also determine how moral someone is? I can be extremely immoral in everything I do, but still never commit a violent crime.  I've lowered the violent crime statistics, but I've made morality incredibly worse.  So again, please actually read what I said, rather than saying I ignored something because I'm not taking this one statistic as anything with a huge amount of weight.  Yes it is down, but I'd challenge you to extrapolate that you can prove that is because of improved morals versus simply anything else like increased fear of punishment or stronger sentencing.  You are asking me to take this stat as a sign of morality and I'm asking for you to intelligently analyze the stat and realize we have no way to determine how much, if any, of this is based on changes in morality.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #787 on: July 02, 2017, 11:16:04 AM »
Even if we grant everything that Wallace presented (and honestly I have little problem with any of it), I still don't see how that gets you to the truth of the text itself.  Being able to say that, from a certain point in time, we can have confidence that the manuscripts were copied accurately... even if we assume that they were transmitted accurately from the time they were originally written... I don't see how we can verify the events described within.  Aside from the inability to verify the events there are still things like the synoptic problem of the gospels to contend with... etc (I won't go on, I'm sure you see where I'm going from here).  For perspective, if the Quran or Vedas could be shown to have been accurately copied over the centuries, would that make their claims any more believable?

This is where I would bring on Wallace's work, Cold-Case Christianity, I presented very early on. The main point of that entire book is to explain how we can verify the veracity of the events described.  I do not think it will meet your "I must have physical proof" as the case is circumstantial proof, which is what a cold case defective specializes in.  Since we convict people to life sentences on only circumstantial evidence, that level of proof seems accurate enough for the vast majority of people, but I get it may not clear your bar. 

The general tone of all your replies very clearly shows you will not be convinced until the evidence is irrefutable, so I guess for you this ends up being a fun mental exercise.  Wallace covers all of what you are asking about above, so I'd recommend the book.  Talks are fun, but they are highlights.  You really want to delve in, take the time to read it all.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #788 on: July 02, 2017, 01:09:34 PM »
This is where I would bring on Wallace's work, Cold-Case Christianity, I presented very early on. The main point of that entire book is to explain how we can verify the veracity of the events described.
I just checked my library and unfortunately they don't have a copy.
I may see if I can find one at half-price (but I'm not certain I want to buy it new, I'm sure you can understand that).

Quote
I do not think it will meet your "I must have physical proof" as the case is circumstantial proof, which is what a cold case defective specializes in.
I don't know that I require physical proof.
But to be honest, I don't know what it would take - possibly some evidence that the claims in the Bible could even occur (not even proof that they did).

In the end, I am certain that if God is real He knows exactly what would convince me, and has possibly chosen not to reveal it yet.

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Since we convict people to life sentences on only circumstantial evidence, that level of proof seems accurate enough for the vast majority of people, but I get it may not clear your bar.
Just for clarity, circumstantial evidence can include physical evidence (I only mention that because it seemed as if you mentioned it as a counterpoint to physical evidence).  It simply means that the evidence is not direct proof and some inference is required.  But using purely inference is a whole other thing.  Perhaps we have convicted people based solely on inference (and with no provable first hand eyewitness accounts), but if so I would think most of us would find that questionable.

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The general tone of all your replies very clearly shows you will not be convinced until the evidence is irrefutable, so I guess for you this ends up being a fun mental exercise.
Evidence does not need to be irrefutable, simply lean towards probable.
And honestly, I haven't seen any evidence for the existence of a God.

And it is more than a fun mental exercise for me.
I am deeply concerned with the facts about the world we live in - and religion affects all of our lives deeply (whether we are believers or not).

Nevermind that if there truly is a God, and a life after this one, I can think of nothing more important that we should be concerned with.

So yes, it's something that I spend a good amount of time studying, thinking, and talking about.

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Wallace covers all of what you are asking about above, so I'd recommend the book.  Talks are fun, but they are highlights.  You really want to delve in, take the time to read it all.
I will look for a copy of it. 

By the way, just for the sake of clarity - the talk that Overflow recommended (and which I watched) was from Daniel B. Wallace, a professor of New Testament studies.  Not the same Wallace who wrote Cold Case Christianity.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 01:39:02 PM by MrDelane »

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #789 on: July 02, 2017, 01:16:29 PM »

You may have a point on the desensitization. 
But again, we should consult data on the subject.  I don't believe there is a correlation between increased violence in media and increased violence in that society - but I could be wrong.  If there is a connection then I would be tempted to agree with you, because I am much more concerned with what we actually do to each other as people than how we portray things in our art.

I had to pull this out and provide some input, because the timing was just too funny.  Maybe it was God getting me some data.

I turned on NPR on the way to the store after work today, and while it is just a single data point, they were interviewing the people responsible for Baby Driver, the new back robbery movie.  One of the producers is an ex-bank robber.  He was talking about how police will tell you that virtually every criminal they arrest has the same six or so movies in their video collection.  Goodfellas, Casino, Scarface, Godfather.  He explained that for an entire generation this is how they learned to talk like criminals, act like criminals.  The movies taught them how to be men.  So at least with this data point, a person who was in the business of violence and crime he has recorded an interview saying there is a direct connection between violence in media and in the real world, and that police departments will back him up.


And yet, violent crime is down: 


And as I explained to Delane, violent crime is only a fractional indicator relating to morality.  It does not measure how many liars we have, how many cheats, how many spousal abusers, how many parents who manipulate their kids for their own gain.  People trying to argue your point like to trot out the violent crime statistics like they are the holy grail.  They are a grain of sand in the Sahara desert.

Yeah, if you feel free to ignore data when it doesn't agree with you, then there's not much else I can say...
Not ignoring data.  You just seem to want me to have it carry more weight than it should.  Are you seriously purporting the violent crime is anything more than a single measure?  And that there are hundreds of other things that are not or cannot be easily measured that also determine how moral someone is? I can be extremely immoral in everything I do, but still never commit a violent crime.  I've lowered the violent crime statistics, but I've made morality incredibly worse.  So again, please actually read what I said, rather than saying I ignored something because I'm not taking this one statistic as anything with a huge amount of weight.  Yes it is down, but I'd challenge you to extrapolate that you can prove that is because of improved morals versus simply anything else like increased fear of punishment or stronger sentencing.  You are asking me to take this stat as a sign of morality and I'm asking for you to intelligently analyze the stat and realize we have no way to determine how much, if any, of this is based on changes in morality.

I do think people (and societies) are getting better, over time.  You do not.  I present data to support my stance, you dismiss it.  There's not much else to be said, if relevant data can be simply dismissed. 

Put another way, if you feel that the violent crime data is not a good marker for morality in society, please present your own data that backs your contention.
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MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #790 on: July 02, 2017, 04:49:29 PM »
I definitely don't know when the last chance will come.

Fair enough
Whether we believe in annihilation or eternal torment, either way presupposes there will be a last chance at some point (or so it seems).

I wonder if we'll know it is the last chance when it's presented.

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But, in my opinion, there is just a lot of confusion and noise in the church about what is essential and central to the faith, and what is an inessential detail. And so, as a result, I would encourage non-Christians who are investigating the Christian faith not to build too much into the religion, at least as an essential tenet, beyond the basic gospel message.
That's a good thing to keep in mind.
I definitely try to come to it with a clean slate - but obviously, like everyone, I'm victim to my own biases (which I'm probably not aware of).

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I agree with you that we need to first seek forgiveness from those we have wronged. That's taught in the bible, both in the old and new testaments.
Just to be clear, I didn't mean to insinuate that it wasn't taught in the bible.

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To get the idea of what Christians have in mind when thinking about God's forgiveness, I think it's helpful to look at those who found Jesus's gospel so attractive in the bible: tax collectors, a woman caught in adultery, a prostitute, a woman who had been married five times, and so on.

I'm well familiar with all those stories, and they all make good points and have lessons we can all learn from.
However taking them as literal truth, and then seeking the forgiveness of a being for whom I have no evidence of existence is a whole other step.

I never meant to insinuate there was nothing to learn from the bible, only that I cannot find reason to take it as an inerrant document from God (especially when things like the story of the woman caught in adultery seems to have been added at a much later date than the original manuscripts, for example).

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Maybe they had sought forgiveness for all their mistakes from those they had hurt. Would that set things right for them? I guess I feel like it's pretty obvious that they needed something more than that to get back on track and to feel alive and full of hope and love again. And that's what Jesus offered them--that "something more" that would put them back on track. And that is why they leaped at the opportunity as soon as they saw it.

I agree that the idea could be comforting and even helpful.
I guess my focus has always been much more on whether or not it is true.
I don't deny that Christianity does have many positive aspects to its theology, however that is completely separate from whether or not it reflects reality.

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I think a lot of folks feel that they're not like the people in these stories. And that's the part of the gospel that offends people: it says you too are like the tax collector, the prostitute, and so on. Your life is off track too. And if you don't feel that, you probably won't like the message of Jesus and won't leap at the opportunity he provides.

I'm not sure if it offends people, perhaps it does.
But again, the message is received completely differently if it is true versus if it is not.

For example, if it happens to not be true then perhaps teaching our children that they are broken and sinful people from birth may not be the best thing for them psychologically or emotionally.

If it is true, however, then of course we would be doing them a disservice by hiding it from them.


Overflow

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #791 on: July 03, 2017, 07:23:44 AM »
Here is a good starting point if you are interested. Here is a historical and scholarly approach to the subject "I Cannot Believe Because the Bible is Unreliable"
 https://youtu.be/P5_rTu0-XSQ

Overflow -

I wanted to let you know I finally found the time to watch this whole talk last night.

All that said - I will end this by saying something that I'm certain will come as no surprise.
Even if we grant everything that Wallace presented (and honestly I have little problem with any of it), I still don't see how that gets you to the truth of the text itself.  Being able to say that, from a certain point in time, we can have confidence that the manuscripts were copied accurately... even if we assume that they were transmitted accurately from the time they were originally written... I don't see how we can verify the events described within.  Aside from the inability to verify the events there are still things like the synoptic problem of the gospels to contend with... etc (I won't go on, I'm sure you see where I'm going from here).  For perspective, if the Quran or Vedas could be shown to have been accurately copied over the centuries, would that make their claims any more believable?

Like I said, no surprise I'm sure.  But I do truly appreciate you passing along Wallace's talk.  I enjoyed it, I learned from it, and I'm going to dig further into his work because I found it fascinating.

And please don't feel the need to respond to the points I made here (unless you really want to) - I wasn't intending to turn this into another point/counterpoint back and forth.  More than anything I just wanted to make sure you knew that I meant it when I said I would find the time to listen to the presentation you recommended.

Thanks for the recommendation.

MrDelane,

I am glad you took the time to watch the lecture. I realize that was a time investment on your part - glad you found it worthwhile.

I got the chance to study under Dr. Wallace and I can confirm that his theology would be considered conservative evangelical. He recently served as the President of the Evangelical Theological Society, which would mean he holds to inerrancy. While he doesn't have many publications on the subject, he has quite a few lectures on Youtube - I am sure he deals with inerrancy more in other talks. Additionally, his debates with Bart Erhman (I think they have debated 3 of 4 times) are fascinating to watch. Erhman is a great debater and an obviously well known scholar. But they take polar opposite views on the development of the New Testament text, which makes their engagement entertaining.

While, I can't engage everything you mentioned (mostly because I am not qualified to speak to some of it), I wanted to touch on your last point.

If these text of the NT is accurate to what the Apostles wrote in the 1st century, than that means a few things:
- The doctrine of Jesus divinity didn't "develop" over the course of a few hundred years. (A good teacher, became a great teacher, because divine! Fact > myth > legend). The Apostles were making these claims about Jesus in the years immediately following his time on earth.

- Jesus himself claimed to be God. He preached to hundreds (and at times thousands) of people who heard his words and could verify the Gospel accounts. These accounts spread across Jesus and Hellenist world quickly. If they were made up stories, the people who were actually there would have cried foul.

- The most incredible thing they claimed (the resurrection) could very likely have been debunked. When the Apostles are wondering far and wide for the next few decades claiming Jesus rose from the dead, all someone had to do was produce the tomb. Jesus' crucifixion was a public event by the governing authorities and he was buried in the tomb of a wealthy Jewish leader. When Peter is preaching in Acts 2 (a mere 6 weeks after Jesus resurrection) and "God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it" don't you think someone would say "wait a second, he's buried right over here!" With abundant civil and religious authorities hating the early Christians, there was tremendous incentive to debunk the resurrection.

- In the exceedingly small chance the apostles were able pull off such a conspiracy, essentially faking Jesus resurrection, why would they continue to perpetuate it for decades while their friends, families and eventually themselves were killed for it. Religious people have done crazy, remarkable and stupid things, but they always do it because they actually believe in something. Not because they hid the body and are trying to keep a myth they created alive. 

- Jesus appeared to hundred of people after his resurrection (again according text written in the 1st century). In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul essentially tells his readers "Go ask all these people if they saw Jesus after his resurrection." Again, inviting people to debunk it. This isn't 11 close friends of Jesus who are working hard to keep the story alive. Jesus appeared to hundreds of people who could verify the story of his resurrection.

All of that is pretty compelling to me (obviously). If Jesus really rose from the grave, then I need to take a very serious look at his claims of divinity (and the existence of divinity).



caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #792 on: July 03, 2017, 07:57:56 AM »
The general tone of all your replies very clearly shows you will not be convinced until the evidence is irrefutable, so I guess for you this ends up being a fun mental exercise.
Evidence does not need to be irrefutable, simply lean towards probable.
And honestly, I haven't seen any evidence for the existence of a God.

And it is more than a fun mental exercise for me.
I am deeply concerned with the facts about the world we live in - and religion affects all of our lives deeply (whether we are believers or not).

Nevermind that if there truly is a God, and a life after this one, I can think of nothing more important that we should be concerned with.

So yes, it's something that I spend a good amount of time studying, thinking, and talking about.



You may want to look up "God's Crime Scene" from Wallace where he goes at God's existence for this.  I have not read it yet so I can't indicate if I feel he did an impartial job, but i do own it.  Picked it up at the same time I purchased Cold-Case Christianity as it was an angle I wanted to know more about.

ETA: http://coldcasechristianity.com/gods-crime-scene-by-j-warner-wallace/
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 09:04:12 AM by caracarn »

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #793 on: July 03, 2017, 08:01:06 AM »

You may have a point on the desensitization. 
But again, we should consult data on the subject.  I don't believe there is a correlation between increased violence in media and increased violence in that society - but I could be wrong.  If there is a connection then I would be tempted to agree with you, because I am much more concerned with what we actually do to each other as people than how we portray things in our art.

I had to pull this out and provide some input, because the timing was just too funny.  Maybe it was God getting me some data.

I turned on NPR on the way to the store after work today, and while it is just a single data point, they were interviewing the people responsible for Baby Driver, the new back robbery movie.  One of the producers is an ex-bank robber.  He was talking about how police will tell you that virtually every criminal they arrest has the same six or so movies in their video collection.  Goodfellas, Casino, Scarface, Godfather.  He explained that for an entire generation this is how they learned to talk like criminals, act like criminals.  The movies taught them how to be men.  So at least with this data point, a person who was in the business of violence and crime he has recorded an interview saying there is a direct connection between violence in media and in the real world, and that police departments will back him up.


And yet, violent crime is down: 


And as I explained to Delane, violent crime is only a fractional indicator relating to morality.  It does not measure how many liars we have, how many cheats, how many spousal abusers, how many parents who manipulate their kids for their own gain.  People trying to argue your point like to trot out the violent crime statistics like they are the holy grail.  They are a grain of sand in the Sahara desert.

Yeah, if you feel free to ignore data when it doesn't agree with you, then there's not much else I can say...
Not ignoring data.  You just seem to want me to have it carry more weight than it should.  Are you seriously purporting the violent crime is anything more than a single measure?  And that there are hundreds of other things that are not or cannot be easily measured that also determine how moral someone is? I can be extremely immoral in everything I do, but still never commit a violent crime.  I've lowered the violent crime statistics, but I've made morality incredibly worse.  So again, please actually read what I said, rather than saying I ignored something because I'm not taking this one statistic as anything with a huge amount of weight.  Yes it is down, but I'd challenge you to extrapolate that you can prove that is because of improved morals versus simply anything else like increased fear of punishment or stronger sentencing.  You are asking me to take this stat as a sign of morality and I'm asking for you to intelligently analyze the stat and realize we have no way to determine how much, if any, of this is based on changes in morality.

I do think people (and societies) are getting better, over time.  You do not.  I present data to support my stance, you dismiss it.  There's not much else to be said, if relevant data can be simply dismissed. 

Put another way, if you feel that the violent crime data is not a good marker for morality in society, please present your own data that backs your contention.
You're splitting hairs.  I did not say it is not a good marker.  I simply said it is A marker, so trotting it out as THE marker, is what I am pushing against.  It's like me asking you to prove the economy is growing and you send me a chart on US auto sales being up and say, "See, the economy is up!"

Pigeon

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #794 on: July 03, 2017, 08:28:48 AM »
Violent crime is a good marker as it is one we probably all agree on.

Other markers would be more oontroversial.  Some people think pre-marital or gay sex is immoral and some do not.  Some are apparently less morally outraged by slavery than others.  Some think divorce and remarriage is immoral.  Some find reasons why it isn't. The list goes on.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #795 on: July 03, 2017, 08:58:01 AM »
Violent crime is a good marker as it is one we probably all agree on.

Other markers would be more oontroversial.  Some people think pre-marital or gay sex is immoral and some do not.  Some are apparently less morally outraged by slavery than others.  Some think divorce and remarriage is immoral.  Some find reasons why it isn't. The list goes on.
Pigeon, I get all that, and agree.

But are you truly saying that since we can only agree on this one marker, then we should base a discussion on if a societal morality if changing on just the violent crime stat?  Because that's what I'm hearing from everyone who keeps trotting it out on this board in this discussion.  I'm saying there are other things.  Has the general tone of discussions with our neighbors gone up or down, for example.  We're not going to get there with any stats because it's too big a topic.   

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #796 on: July 03, 2017, 09:18:02 AM »
I did not say it is not a good marker.  I simply said it is A marker, so trotting it out as THE marker, is what I am pushing against.

That is a totally fair point, and I would actually agree with Caracarn on this one.

The question then becomes, what other markers would you find valid, Caracarn?
I think that is where the difficulty is coming from - a few people on here are trying to back things up with data, but you seem to push back on the idea of data giving us a relevant conclusion.

So, what metrics do you think would be relevant to look at?
Or, put a better way perhaps, how would you suggest that we test your idea, that the morality of humanity is on the decline, in an objective way?


caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #797 on: July 03, 2017, 09:26:28 AM »
I did not say it is not a good marker.  I simply said it is A marker, so trotting it out as THE marker, is what I am pushing against.

That is a totally fair point, and I would actually agree with Caracarn on this one.

The question then becomes, what other markers would you find valid, Caracarn?
I think that is where the difficulty is coming from - a few people on here are trying to back things up with data, but you seem to push back on the idea of data giving us a relevant conclusion.

So, what metrics do you think would be relevant to look at?
Or, put a better way perhaps, how would you suggest that we test your idea, that the morality of humanity is on the decline, in an objective way?
I think anything can be valid.  I'm not proposing any set or another, because frankly I think all will come up short because I think we can all agree that there are many aspects to morality that are just not studied or measured in a way we would find.  The things I look at are not only the increase in immoral acts in entertainment which I'm sure has data somewhere, but the general regression of what is acceptable in a rating that has not changed on the surface, but has in substance of that is allowed.  For example the acceptable words or actions allowed to be shown in a PG-13 rating has expanded from when it was originally created to include more and more vulgar terms as acceptable for a 13 year old to hear.  Even the PG rating has allowed more and more content to get that rating and not bump up to a PG-13. 

ETA:  Quick search found this, so maybe there is some data.  "A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health has found that a decade of ''ratings creep'' has allowed more violent and sexually explicit content into films, suggesting that movie raters have grown more lenient in their standards."

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/14/movies/study-finds-film-ratings-are-growing-more-lenient.html
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 09:29:09 AM by caracarn »

Pigeon

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #798 on: July 03, 2017, 10:09:32 AM »
I would see the change in entertainment standards perhaps as related to civility, but irrelevant to morality.

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #799 on: July 03, 2017, 10:28:37 AM »
Here's an interesting question:

Suppose there was a comprehensive list of "immoral behaviors" that everyone could agree upon.

If there were data showing that we were watching more of those behaviors, but doing less of them, would that show that we were more or less immoral now?
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.