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Pre-Discussion Brief:

Comparative theology, philosophy and metaphysics is somewhat of a hobby of mine - and as such I end up getting in quite a few discussions revolving around this topic with all sorts of individuals - and as an agnostic tend to get into arguments with both sides, as neither the overtly devout nor the dogmatically atheist tend to take to kindly to a "wishy-washy agnostic," who likes to the ride the fence.  In fact, I have been accused of being a "spiritualist," which according the person levying the term, is actually worse than being either religious or atheistic, as is reveals an inner flaw of my personal character as a being unable to be trusted.

However, this thread concerns a trend I have noticed in many of my conversations with the devoutly religious worshippers of The God of Abraham (i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam), and revolves around a series of assumptions/postulations that I find extremely difficult to reconcile as being consistent.  I have created this thread as I would be very interested in the thoughts of those who have opinions on either side, but in particular those who would qualify themselves as religious.

This is not intended as a Nelson-eque "ha-ha" kind of conversation. I am genuinely curious, and am trying to find some satisfactory answers.

The Question(s):

  • How can the statements below all be true at the same time?
    Granted, there's some immediately obvious questions that have been circled probably around-and-around before (ahem... free will?), but there are some other, more subtle potential.... inconsistencies, when one looks at several of these beliefs against each other.  I'm curious to know if anyone has some satisfactory answers to attempt to reconcile them.


  • What's wrong with the following statements and how do they need to be clarified to accurately reflect the beliefs of the faithful?
    Obviously, severe inaccuracies should probably be remedied, so if you see something glaringly wrong from a standpoint of whether or not this accurately reflects a distillation of these beliefs, then by all means please let me know.

The Statements/Beliefs for Consideration:

The following statements are a result of several conversations with religious individuals of both an official (priests, etc...) and unofficial capacity, my own readings and interpretations, and the writings/interpretations of others. These statements are meant to most closely portray the current and contemporary understanding of God and His nature as delineated by the faithful.

  • God loves everyone.

    • God wants the "best" for everyone

    • The "best" for everyone is to be in the "better" part of the afterlife
      The "better" portion of this statement is covered later.

  • God wants everyone to be "saved."

    • Therefore, human beings require saving.

    • It is possible for a person NOT to be saved.

  • A Segregated Afterlife exists:

    • The benefits of this segregation are not equal:
      Whether you call it "heaven / hell" or "closeness / distance from God," there is by default, a better and worse part of the afterlife to be in than the other.

    • Upon placement, your experience in this segregated afterlife is permanent and profound:
      Either "eternal bliss in the Kingdom of Heaven" or "eternal suffering / longing in the lake of fire," gives a pretty good summation of this.  However, even a more moderated "distance from God," belief (commonly held by the Jewish) still implies a negative connotation, that for the rest of eternity, your afterlife is defined by "not knowing God," or being a part of his chosen.

  • God is Omnipresent.

  • God is Omniscient:

    • God knows all outcomes:
      Often summarized by, "God has a plan," and "I am the Alpha and the Omega."

    • Upon creation of the soul, God knows whether the individual will go to [BETTER] or [WORSE]:
      This is a natural conclusion (one that tends to be readily admitted to once I step through this with the religious) of God having a plan - as his plan obviously would encompass the "final tally" of the ranks of the redeemed and the ranks of the damned.

  • God is Omnipotent

    • There is nothing that God cannot do.

    • God, as the Universal Architect, controls All.

  • Human beings possess free-will, and can thus accept or reject God's covenant.

I look forward to your postulations and insights.

The Show / The Bizzaro Universe FTL 'reverse interview'
« on: January 20, 2010, 12:18:11 AM »
I just had to say that the reverse Interview with Byron's "Kenmore Box FTL Interview" was absolute comedic gold.  Even re-listening to it on the iTunes feed for the 2nd time I was still rolling.  Kudos to you Mark and Ian for playing along.

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