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I'm a good person

 
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TFBW
Deus Ex Machina


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1254
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:30 am    Post subject: I'm a good person Reply with quote

Caldazar wrote:
If I've lived a good life and shown through actions rather than belief that I'm a good person wouldn't a true god take me into his heaven even if I haven't paid lip-service to him, even if I have never in my mind believed in him directly? [source]

The above strikes me as a fairly common sort of position. As far as I can tell, most people consider themselves to be "a good person", or at least "not a bad person", and why would God condemn a good person to Hell? That would be monstrous -- not the action of a good God -- right? And surely a good God wouldn't make a big fuss over religious beliefs in a direct sense -- only in the sense that those beliefs had any impact on your actual conduct.

If you more or less agree with the idea that you don't deserve to be condemned to Hell, or ought to be admitted to Heaven based on your good behaviour, I invite you to elaborate on that point of view here. For example, what actions do you think are sufficient to determine your fate, one way or another? If you faced God after death and he invited you to state your case for admission to Heaven, what would it be? Conversely, if you think there is some action (or lack thereof) which deserves Hell, what is it?

If these questions are too easy, then try some harder ones, like these. If God is fair and just, how should He deal with the conflicting opinions he will inevitably hear from people in the scenario above? After all, some will say that certain people deserve to burn in Hell, but many of the people so accused won't plead guilty! On what basis should God judge the matter? Also, tell me about Heaven and Hell. What should Hell be like, and why? How should God manage Heaven so that it doesn't become as full of strife and conflict as Earth, given the people he's likely to admit? After all, even supposedly good people wind up in disputes with each other, and past good conduct isn't a guarantee of future good conduct in any case. In other words, how should God solve the problem of "human nature" in Heaven?
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ssava
Creator of "The Dreamland Chronicles"


Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 1122
Location: Franklin, TN

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think this question is really answerable if you don't know if there is a God. And if so...what are HIS thoughts.

People can't "create" a god to their liking.

IF there is a God. Who is he/she/it?

Once we learn this...then the answer to your question is answered.

It's like people specualting on what kind of ice cream I like.
If you don't know me. Don't ASK me....how will you know?
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www.thedreamlandchronicles.com


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TFBW
Deus Ex Machina


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1254
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssava wrote:
People can't "create" a god to their liking.

That doesn't stop them from having an opinion on what He ought to be like, if He exists.
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ssava
Creator of "The Dreamland Chronicles"


Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 1122
Location: Franklin, TN

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True...
I'm just at this point of my life where I don't want to speculate any more.
A lot of people I know create their own universe.

"I believe the world wants us to...."
or
"MY god is like..."
or
"Let me tell you how it REALLY is...there's these aliens and they..."

Ugh.
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TFBW
Deus Ex Machina


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1254
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get back to the proof of God topic, ssava! Wink I want to hear from people like Caldazar who have an opinion on how a True God ought to behave.
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Caldazar
Supporting Role


Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TFBW wrote:
I want to hear from people like Caldazar who have an opinion on how a True God ought to behave.


I'll take that as my queue to enter the conversation.

I think most people have a general idea of what is wrong and right but of course it's always a tricky situation since everything isn't black and white (hence why I have some trouble truly committing to the idea of a heaven and hell. I think it is best illustrated by the Greek mythology's view of an Elysium where all the great heroes of the world would come to relish in a wonderful garden and enjoy a thousand virgins (well you get the idea). Where as people who betrayed their country, murderers and other horrible people got the truly bad punishments (and the Greeks did have some nasty punishments in their stories). Now those things are all nice and dandy but what about all the rest? the people who got stuck between the rivers wasting away into oblivion, does that feel like a yust punishment to people who've lived a "normal" life? Perhaps something like what is described in Dante Aliigieri's book the divine comedy would be more suiting, at least I've always liked the description of the circle of hells with punishments more severe depending on the severity of the crime. Perhaps something similar would be appropriate for heaven.

As to the question on how to decide who's lived a good life...well the best we can hope to do is live a life as good as we can manage, try to make the correct decisions and hope that god will see them for what they are because if god exists then he is also the ultimate judge.

As to how god should manage heaven, first of all I don't think someone who is almighty would have that much trouble handling the strife that is human nature. It could be as simple as splitting people apart. I mean who is to say heaven is one great ballroom, if it's to house as many people as it surly already does then it wouldn't be unimaginable that it's split up into different sections. And also don't you think the glory of heaven would outshine any need to continue on earthly disputes?
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TFBW
Deus Ex Machina


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
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Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caldazar wrote:
As to the question on how to decide who's lived a good life...well the best we can hope to do is live a life as good as we can manage, try to make the correct decisions and hope that god will see them for what they are because if god exists then he is also the ultimate judge.

That's a lot vaguer than I was expecting, given what I quoted from you earlier. So, no assertions about how God ought to behave? Just a vague hope that you've met up to His standards, whatever they are?
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Caldazar
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a lot of thoughts an ideas on how I believe god ought to behave if he exists but then again those are centred around my own morals and on how I view the world. However bringing those points into the discussion is kind of a moo-point. There are only two options as I see it, either God is set in his view on what is good and what is evil and judge accordingly or he'll take into consideration the persons intent. In the end what view god takes on things doesn't effect what way I choose to live my life. Sure if god or one of his lackeys chooses to come down to earth and give me explicit instruction on how to live my life I might reconsider but up until that point I'll yust try to live my life as best as I can.
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Kytross
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Joined: 29 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that's kind of the point of Judaism/Christianity: that there is one God who has been a part of our history, publicly revealing himself to humanity. Or do you need a special revelation just for you, an angel coming to tell you to read the book of Proverbs for tips on how to live a good life?

Friedrich Nietzsche makes an amazing, logical argument that good and evil can only exist if there is a deity imposing its values on reality. I want to say it was in his book Beyond Good and Evil, but its been over a decade since my last philosophy class, I could have the book wrong. Neitzsche goes on to say that since he doesn't believe in God he doesn't believe in good or evil either. Of course, if there is a God it would behoove us to learn what he has defined as Good and Evil and strive toward the good.

I tend to see good as living life the way we are meant to live it. Good is a combination of proper maintenance and use, and the Bible is a bit like a users manual. Just like you should change the oil in your car so that it stays clean and doesn't damage your engine, you should be humble so your pride doesn't make decisions that damage your life.

Like all analogies this one does break down. Humans are far more complex then a mechanical device. Consequently the concept of 'Good' is more complex then just maintenance and proper use of our lives, but it's a different take then most people seem to have.
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TFBW
Deus Ex Machina


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caldazar wrote:
There are only two options as I see it, either God is set in his view on what is good and what is evil and judge accordingly or he'll take into consideration the persons intent.

Those two don't have to be mutually exclusive alternatives. The typical Western court of law is pretty set in its view as to what the law is -- it's that which is made so by government, not that which you think is legal or not. Even so, the same court will take into consideration the person's intent. I believe the appropriate Latin legal jargon is "mens rea" -- a state of mind. This is the primary difference between various degrees of murder or manslaughter, for example: if a court believes that it was not your intent to kill someone, you might be guilty of manslaughter, but not murder. Causing the death itself is the actus reus -- the guilty act -- but it's not murder unless associated with a certain mens rea -- a mental state.

So, if I may interpret your position a little, you recognise that your opinion on how God ought to behave is not relevant (any more than your opinion on law is relevant to a courtroom), but you're a good person, so your mens rea works in your favour. Two additional questions spring to mind, based on this analysis. First, do you think that your good intentions will earn you a reward, or merely reduce your punishment? I get the impression that you're going with the former alternative, although I'd like to hear more from you about it, particularly in light of my second question, which is as follows. Second, how good are your intentions, really? Are they invariably saintly, mostly good, mostly not bad, or not entirely bad? How good do you think your intentions need to be?
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Caldazar
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Joined: 29 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
First, do you think that your good intentions will earn you a reward, or merely reduce your punishment?


well I guess I view it as a scale ranging from reward to punishment. Meaning if you're a good person you'll get rewarded according to how good you've been and if you're a bad person you'll get punished according to how bad you've been. Unfortunately things aren't yust black and white so the problem is what to do with people in the grey area. Truth be told I haven't given it enough thought to really make up my mind.

Quote:
Second, how good are your intentions, really? Are they invariably saintly, mostly good, mostly not bad, or not entirely bad? How good do you think your intentions need to be?


I'd say they're not bad. I can't say I'm living the life of a saint going out of my way to help people and sacrificing my own life for the betterments of others. I guess you could say I'm mostly centred around my own corner of the universe helping friends and family as often as I can and occasionally lending a hand to a stranger in need.

Oh and I like the court comparison because that's about what I had in mind
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