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How much rope do we give God?

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    Training elephants is not easy. After all, they are huge compared to humans and have a will of their own. And yet we have all seen them bend to the will of their trainers. How is this done? One step at a time and it begins very early in life.

    A baby elephant is initially confined so it can barely move. Later, it is tethered by a strong cuff and chain secured to a wall or steel pole. The baby elephant slowly learns that no matter how hard it resists, its desires do not override those of his trainers. Over time, the elephant resigns itself to the status quo and the trainers are able to gradually reduce the restraints until a simple rope tied to a stake in the ground works as well as the strongest chains. What does this have to do with the subject at hand? I believe this is analogous to how constrained we become to our spiritual beliefs based in fear, guilt and shame.

    So why do we hear stories of people and animals becoming lifelong friends without any coercion at all? Such stories often share a common theme. It takes time and patience and trust to accomplish such a friendship. That makes one wonder why such cruel treatment of animals, like with the training of elephants, is used at all? The answer is that it is quicker and requires much less effort from the trainer to get an animal to submit through fear and suffering than it does to win their cooperation through love and patience. But how does all this relate to religion and spirituality?

    When God created us, there was a choice made as to whether or not we should have free will. Clearly we do have it, so God’s answer was that our having free will was the better way. But in having the freedom to choose our own path, we also have the choice to reject God’s loving ways. If the goal is to have everyone freely accept God’s loving ways for our own, can that best be done through love and patience, or coercion and suffering? The answer to that question has evidence on both sides, for we all do suffer even though God loves us with an everlasting love. But we also know that our choices made out of fear hardly compares to the joy of cooperating with others through love. And so the answer becomes clear.

    While God’s plan may require a great deal more time and patience to accomplish, His loving approach is a sustainable win/win for us all. When every one of us joyously agrees on how we should live, coercion, suffering or our submission to anyone’s will is a moot point.

    But what do we make of the Bible’s warnings of a torturous and irreversible hell to which rebellious souls are condemned? That has to be a selfish and intolerant plan created by Mankind that lacks love, compassion and patience. Such a fearful and anxious approach works quickly to scare many people into submission, but it doesn’t last. We will always sin again when our lives are guided by fear, guilt and shame.

    How can I be sure I am right? God created us in His own perfect image, and so the same qualities that bring God His greatest pleasure are also shared by us. It would make no sense for God to create us so that we thought He could be improved. How would it serve for God to be something other than the most wonderful, loving and patient Creator we can imagine? So in believing that the true nature of God is to be unconditionally loving and perfect in all ways, how can we be wrong? We will still reap what we sow, for that is instructive and only leads us back into His loving arms as we learn what works best. But tethering ourselves to the fear, guilt and shame of the religions many were raised with is not what God intended nor does it yield His desired results. What do you think?
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    The Bible is plagiarised myth and folklore with a whole lot of religio-ethical nonesense thrown in for good measure.
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    (Original post by GospelJohn)
    Training elephants is not easy. After all, they are huge compared to humans and have a will of their own. And yet we have all seen them bend to the will of their trainers. How is this done? One step at a time and it begins very early in life.

    A baby elephant is initially confined so it can barely move. Later, it is tethered by a strong cuff and chain secured to a wall or steel pole. The baby elephant slowly learns that no matter how hard it resists, its desires do not override those of his trainers. Over time, the elephant resigns itself to the status quo and the trainers are able to gradually reduce the restraints until a simple rope tied to a stake in the ground works as well as the strongest chains. What does this have to do with the subject at hand? I believe this is analogous to how constrained we become to our spiritual beliefs based in fear, guilt and shame.

    So why do we hear stories of people and animals becoming lifelong friends without any coercion at all? Such stories often share a common theme. It takes time and patience and trust to accomplish such a friendship. That makes one wonder why such cruel treatment of animals, like with the training of elephants, is used at all? The answer is that it is quicker and requires much less effort from the trainer to get an animal to submit through fear and suffering than it does to win their cooperation through love and patience. But how does all this relate to religion and spirituality?

    When God created us, there was a choice made as to whether or not we should have free will. Clearly we do have it, so God’s answer was that our having free will was the better way. But in having the freedom to choose our own path, we also have the choice to reject God’s loving ways. If the goal is to have everyone freely accept God’s loving ways for our own, can that best be done through love and patience, or coercion and suffering? The answer to that question has evidence on both sides, for we all do suffer even though God loves us with an everlasting love. But we also know that our choices made out of fear hardly compares to the joy of cooperating with others through love. And so the answer becomes clear.

    While God’s plan may require a great deal more time and patience to accomplish, His loving approach is a sustainable win/win for us all. When every one of us joyously agrees on how we should live, coercion, suffering or our submission to anyone’s will is a moot point.

    But what do we make of the Bible’s warnings of a torturous and irreversible hell to which rebellious souls are condemned? That has to be a selfish and intolerant plan created by Mankind that lacks love, compassion and patience. Such a fearful and anxious approach works quickly to scare many people into submission, but it doesn’t last. We will always sin again when our lives are guided by fear, guilt and shame.

    How can I be sure I am right? God created us in His own perfect image, and so the same qualities that bring God His greatest pleasure are also shared by us. It would make no sense for God to create us so that we thought He could be improved. How would it serve for God to be something other than the most wonderful, loving and patient Creator we can imagine? So in believing that the true nature of God is to be unconditionally loving and perfect in all ways, how can we be wrong? We will still reap what we sow, for that is instructive and only leads us back into His loving arms as we learn what works best. But tethering ourselves to the fear, guilt and shame of the religions many were raised with is not what God intended nor does it yield His desired results. What do you think?
    When you say that God created us in 'His own perfect image', it primarily means that he gave us the power and ability to dominate his creation: Earth. Also, it means we have the ability to have a relationship with God. Humanity was 'perfect' in Eden, hence why there was no need for the Law of Moses. However, when humanity sinned, we lost that power of perfection and infinite pleasure in order for us to regain it in Heaven after leading a life of piety and faith.

    But God did give us an element of free will. Many people interpret this differently, but I believe that God created free will in order to test his creation, therefore enabling the very best and most worthy to enter his domain. All things which compromise faith and theology are obstacles to the faith that is required of all Christians; this is why Christ constantly taught and tested his disciples and those whom He met. The fact that Christ endured immense suffering in order to uphold Truth shows that being a Christian isn't exactly an easy ride in a world which will never fully understand religion.
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    Alex said: "When you say that God created us in 'His own perfect image', it primarily means that he gave us the power and ability to dominate his creation: Earth."

    GJ: Adam was the second creation. A chapter and 11 verses earlier, when the Bible says we were all created together in His image, would indicate that creation must have been of spirit and not of the earth. IMO you are trying to make the Bible fit a particular POV rather than be consistent with what must be true of a God of unconditional love.

    Alex said: "I believe that God created free will in order to test his creation"

    GJ: Why would an omniscient God need to test anything? Doesn't God already know the outcome of any experiement? And if God is not omniscient, why would He risk creating children who could be eternally tortured in hell for the sake of curiosity? That is truly not the loving God Jesus described.
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    (Original post by Alex-jc123)
    When you say that God created us in 'His own perfect image', it primarily means that he gave us the power and ability to dominate his creation: Earth. Also, it means we have the ability to have a relationship with God. Humanity was 'perfect' in Eden, hence why there was no need for the Law of Moses. However, when humanity sinned, we lost that power of perfection and infinite pleasure in order for us to regain it in Heaven after leading a life of piety and faith.

    But God did give us an element of free will. Many people interpret this differently, but I believe that God created free will in order to test his creation, therefore enabling the very best and most worthy to enter his domain. All things which compromise faith and theology are obstacles to the faith that is required of all Christians; this is why Christ constantly taught and tested his disciples and those whom He met. The fact that Christ endured immense suffering in order to uphold Truth shows that being a Christian isn't exactly an easy ride in a world which will never fully understand religion.

    And what do you base all of what you THINK on. You base it on a very poor non credible book that no one alive today knows where it truely came from. Religion is a pile of rubbish and im sure most religious people can see they just choose to ignore. Look at all the different types of religion , working on their being a creator according to the holy books of these cults if you choose the wrong religion you go to hell. Where is the logic in that. Im out. Athiest till i die
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    Nicholas said: "...if you choose the wrong religion you go to hell. Where is the logic in that. Im out. Athiest till i die"

    GJ: I am a Theist, but one who maintains a Universalist perspective. Assuming there is a God, and He is omniscient/omnipotent, why would God create children He already knows are destined to eternal torture in hell. If torturing your kids without chance of redemption is the alternative to being an Atheist, I'm with you.

    But the God I believe in is unconditional love. There is no downside to God and we were created in His image. So our highest potential is that there is no downside to us either, and that (IMO) is what we are all here on earth to discover about ourselves. If there is a God, there is a great deal of logic in that.
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    (Original post by NICH0LAS)
    And what do you base all of what you THINK on. You base it on a very poor non credible book that no one alive today knows where it truely came from. Religion is a pile of rubbish and im sure most religious people can see they just choose to ignore. Look at all the different types of religion , working on their being a creator according to the holy books of these cults if you choose the wrong religion you go to hell. Where is the logic in that. Im out. Athiest till i die
    75% of religions worship the same God and have almost the same principles but with alternate approaches (as seen with Islam, Christianity, Judaism and ancient Indian and Chinese religions).

    I base what I "THINK" on faith and also philosophy. If you trust your instinctual views on religion, how can you be so bold and arrogant as to call it 'rubbish'? This means you are not very well-read on philosophical matters, because barely any philosophers have fully rejected religion because of the fact that human instincts and knowledge are not infallible. Even the controversial atheist Richard Dawkins says that there is a possibility (albeit a remote one) that God exists. Thus, for you to fully reject it as 'rubbish' is to make your intelligence and wisdom seem 'rubbish'.

    You come across as just another arrogant atheist with a plethora of poorly thought-out theories against religion, which show that you haven't read all of the Bible; that you haven't read philosophy from 2000BC -2000AD; that you haven't read a lot of history; and that you haven't realised the inestimable gaps and holes in science which scientists fill with seemingly erudite assumptions, interpretations and judgements.
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    I need my rope. God can make his own.

    _Kar.
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    (Original post by GospelJohn)
    Nicholas said: "...if you choose the wrong religion you go to hell. Where is the logic in that. Im out. Athiest till i die"

    GJ: I am a Theist, but one who maintains a Universalist perspective. Assuming there is a God, and He is omniscient/omnipotent, why would God create children He already knows are destined to eternal torture in hell. If torturing your kids without chance of redemption is the alternative to being an Atheist, I'm with you.

    But the God I believe in is unconditional love. There is no downside to God and we were created in His image. So our highest potential is that there is no downside to us either, and that (IMO) is what we are all here on earth to discover about ourselves. If there is a God, there is a great deal of logic in that.
    It's entirely up to you how you interprete the holy book. Most religious people interprete it in a way that brings them comfort.

    But the facts remain that everyone alive today is refering to past events that happend a very very long time ago. It is well known that as time passes true facts get distorted. Your basing your whole life on something that might not posess it's original form. It is even accepted by many that the bible has been edited may times.

    There is no proof that god does not exist but as time goes by there is more and more evidence to suggest that a creator had nothing to do with the planet we live on.

    Also if there is a god and that is omniscient. Then surely with the knowledge that super natural figure posseses then he will be able to see the logic of all athiests. You don't believe everything you read in the papers do you . Why should i believe preachers who try to convert people because they THINK it is the will of their "leader".
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    God can make himself infinite rope.
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    (Original post by GospelJohn)
    Training elephants is not easy. After all, they are huge compared to humans and have a will of their own. And yet we have all seen them bend to the will of their trainers. How is this done? One step at a time and it begins very early in life.

    A baby elephant is initially confined so it can barely move. Later, it is tethered by a strong cuff and chain secured to a wall or steel pole. The baby elephant slowly learns that no matter how hard it resists, its desires do not override those of his trainers. Over time, the elephant resigns itself to the status quo and the trainers are able to gradually reduce the restraints until a simple rope tied to a stake in the ground works as well as the strongest chains. What does this have to do with the subject at hand? I believe this is analogous to how constrained we become to our spiritual beliefs based in fear, guilt and shame.

    So why do we hear stories of people and animals becoming lifelong friends without any coercion at all? Such stories often share a common theme. It takes time and patience and trust to accomplish such a friendship. That makes one wonder why such cruel treatment of animals, like with the training of elephants, is used at all? The answer is that it is quicker and requires much less effort from the trainer to get an animal to submit through fear and suffering than it does to win their cooperation through love and patience. But how does all this relate to religion and spirituality?

    When God created us, there was a choice made as to whether or not we should have free will. Clearly we do have it, so God’s answer was that our having free will was the better way. But in having the freedom to choose our own path, we also have the choice to reject God’s loving ways. If the goal is to have everyone freely accept God’s loving ways for our own, can that best be done through love and patience, or coercion and suffering? The answer to that question has evidence on both sides, for we all do suffer even though God loves us with an everlasting love. But we also know that our choices made out of fear hardly compares to the joy of cooperating with others through love. And so the answer becomes clear.

    While God’s plan may require a great deal more time and patience to accomplish, His loving approach is a sustainable win/win for us all. When every one of us joyously agrees on how we should live, coercion, suffering or our submission to anyone’s will is a moot point.

    But what do we make of the Bible’s warnings of a torturous and irreversible hell to which rebellious souls are condemned? That has to be a selfish and intolerant plan created by Mankind that lacks love, compassion and patience. Such a fearful and anxious approach works quickly to scare many people into submission, but it doesn’t last. We will always sin again when our lives are guided by fear, guilt and shame.

    How can I be sure I am right? God created us in His own perfect image, and so the same qualities that bring God His greatest pleasure are also shared by us. It would make no sense for God to create us so that we thought He could be improved. How would it serve for God to be something other than the most wonderful, loving and patient Creator we can imagine? So in believing that the true nature of God is to be unconditionally loving and perfect in all ways, how can we be wrong? We will still reap what we sow, for that is instructive and only leads us back into His loving arms as we learn what works best. But tethering ourselves to the fear, guilt and shame of the religions many were raised with is not what God intended nor does it yield His desired results. What do you think?
    We should give God just enough rope for him to hang himself.
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    Nicholas said: "Also if there is a god and that is omniscient. Then surely with the knowledge that super natural figure posseses then he will be able to see the logic of all athiests. You don't believe everything you read in the papers do you . Why should i believe preachers who try to convert people because they THINK it is the will of their "leader"."

    GJ: First, I do not believe that the entire Bible is the infallible word of God. Much of the Bible is filled with the misunderstandings of Man IMO.

    I also believe that God only creates using lawful ways, so what we can scientifically measure in the world around us are the lawful methods used by God to create everything in this 3-D universe.

    So IMO God = Love = Law = God is a true equation. That means whether we see God as a loving Creator or simply as the physical laws of the manifest universe, we all worship or believe in the same thing under a different name. So IMO God did account for Atheists even before he said, "Let there be light."
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    (Original post by Martyn*)
    The Bible is plagiarised myth and folklore with a whole lot of religio-ethical nonesense thrown in for good measure.
    I like how your conspiracy theories get you ridiculed and negged in all non-religion threads yet as soon as you enter the religion forum your posts start getting repped and taken as gospel truth.
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    the_dude said: "well GospelJohn, I think you are a complete retarded and by looking at your picture maybe even a paedophile"

    GJ: Did you bother to read what you wrote above? Offering insults when you wrote "you are a complete retarded" followed by misspelling "pedophile" was curiously amusing. Did you expect me to recant my position once I was confronted by your eloquence and crushing grip of reason? I am truly amazed.
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    (Original post by dreiviergrenadier)
    I like how your conspiracy theories get you ridiculed and negged in all non-religion threads yet as soon as you enter the religion forum your posts start getting repped and taken as gospel truth.
    It is funny like that. I can't be wrong about everything though.
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    (Original post by GospelJohn)
    GJ: Why would an omniscient God need to test anything?
    Either he's not omniscient, he's not omnipotent, he's not "the loving God Jesus described", or we're missing some higher reasoning - perhaps relating to the opportunity to exist or the notion that God created this apparent paradox to see which of those among us are astute enough to pick up on it.. :rolleyes:

    This rather perverse "mouse trap" scenario bothered me as a youngster and is one of the main reasons I don't buy into monotheism and am an agnostic who leans more towards atheism than theism, whilst maintaining some baseline Jesu-morality
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    (Original post by The-Real-One)
    We should give God just enough rope for him to hang himself.
    Shame on you!
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    (Original post by GospelJohn)
    Training elephants is not easy. After all, they are huge compared to humans and have a will of their own. And yet we have all seen them bend to the will of their trainers. How is this done? One step at a time and it begins very early in life.

    A baby elephant is initially confined so it can barely move. Later, it is tethered by a strong cuff and chain secured to a wall or steel pole. The baby elephant slowly learns that no matter how hard it resists, its desires do not override those of his trainers. Over time, the elephant resigns itself to the status quo and the trainers are able to gradually reduce the restraints until a simple rope tied to a stake in the ground works as well as the strongest chains. What does this have to do with the subject at hand? I believe this is analogous to how constrained we become to our spiritual beliefs based in fear, guilt and shame.

    So why do we hear stories of people and animals becoming lifelong friends without any coercion at all? Such stories often share a common theme. It takes time and patience and trust to accomplish such a friendship. That makes one wonder why such cruel treatment of animals, like with the training of elephants, is used at all? The answer is that it is quicker and requires much less effort from the trainer to get an animal to submit through fear and suffering than it does to win their cooperation through love and patience. But how does all this relate to religion and spirituality?

    When God created us, there was a choice made as to whether or not we should have free will. Clearly we do have it, so God’s answer was that our having free will was the better way. But in having the freedom to choose our own path, we also have the choice to reject God’s loving ways. If the goal is to have everyone freely accept God’s loving ways for our own, can that best be done through love and patience, or coercion and suffering? The answer to that question has evidence on both sides, for we all do suffer even though God loves us with an everlasting love. But we also know that our choices made out of fear hardly compares to the joy of cooperating with others through love. And so the answer becomes clear.

    While God’s plan may require a great deal more time and patience to accomplish, His loving approach is a sustainable win/win for us all. When every one of us joyously agrees on how we should live, coercion, suffering or our submission to anyone’s will is a moot point.

    But what do we make of the Bible’s warnings of a torturous and irreversible hell to which rebellious souls are condemned? That has to be a selfish and intolerant plan created by Mankind that lacks love, compassion and patience. Such a fearful and anxious approach works quickly to scare many people into submission, but it doesn’t last. We will always sin again when our lives are guided by fear, guilt and shame.

    How can I be sure I am right? God created us in His own perfect image, and so the same qualities that bring God His greatest pleasure are also shared by us. It would make no sense for God to create us so that we thought He could be improved. How would it serve for God to be something other than the most wonderful, loving and patient Creator we can imagine? So in believing that the true nature of God is to be unconditionally loving and perfect in all ways, how can we be wrong? We will still reap what we sow, for that is instructive and only leads us back into His loving arms as we learn what works best. But tethering ourselves to the fear, guilt and shame of the religions many were raised with is not what God intended nor does it yield His desired results. What do you think?
    to answer the original question, i would say around 1.36 metres
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    (Original post by The-Real-One)
    We should give God just enough rope for him to hang himself.

    Or too small?

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