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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:11 pm 
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theJack wrote:
Peetem wrote:
I think the non-Catholic interpretation of John 6 as not being literal is based on the premise that, "Jesus wasn't really being literal, because well, He couldn't have been literal. It makes no sense. There's no way Jesus could give himself as food - people can't do that. God wouldn't do that. At communion the bread and wine don't become His body and blood, because that makes no sense. There's no reason for Him to do that because He died once and for all. Therefore, how else do I make sense of what He's saying? He must have meant it figuratively; that we are to believe in Him. That's what He means by 'eat and drink'. "

Now I have way over-simplified how the non-Catholic performs the exegesis. But, at the heart of it, they read the passage with zero intent on seeing if its meaning should be that we are to literally "eat His body and drink His blood."

You haven't over-simplified my exegesis. You've absolutely butchered it by substituting an argument I think is patently ridiculous for the argument I actually hold. I make no arguments whatsoever about whether or not Jesus could give Himself for food. Nor do I argue about whether or not it "makes sense" or about Jesus not needing to do so, especially because He "died once for all." I'm not interested in that type of sophistry.

I've said it a million times - my position is based on exegetical principles applied to a large chunk of text. It has nothing to do with preexisting theology or arguments about what God could or is obligated to do.


I wasn't referring specifically to you in this case, although I did reference you earlier in my post. So to be fair, it could read that way. And yes, I was being a little polemical.

I was referring in general to most non-Catholics; I've heard the same argument since I was a kid from pastors all over. Who while haven't performed your exegesis, come to the exact same, essentially, conclusion - the Bread of Life discourse is just Jesus saying, "Believe in me" in a metaphorical way.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:16 pm 
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And there are people who make idiotic arguments on behalf of God's existence. That doesn't mean the conclusion "God exists" is false in Aquinas' argument. A little unsolicited advice--and maybe you can consider it regardless of whether or not your words could have been misconstrued so as to be directed at me--always consider the strongest arguments for a position, and never, ever, ever criticize a position on the basis of a weaker argument.

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Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. ~ Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes 24.3


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:50 pm 
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theJack wrote:
And there are people who make idiotic arguments on behalf of God's existence. That doesn't mean the conclusion "God exists" is false in Aquinas' argument. A little unsolicited advice--and maybe you can consider it regardless of whether or not your words could have been misconstrued so as to be directed at me--always consider the strongest arguments for a position, and never, ever, ever criticize a position on the basis of a weaker argument.


That’s fair and thank you.

I would add that I wasn’t attacking the exegesis. I was saying that the underlying premise, whether one recognizes or not, could be mistaken. In other words, the bias in our beliefs leads us to arrive at the conclusion we are seeking to find with our biblical studies.

I don’t think anyone is immune to personal bias, even in scripture stud

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:27 pm 
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And I thank you for taking the discussion seriously. I do recognize that any given argument could be mistaken. But we don't decide our positions based on whether or not it could be wrong We decide our positions based on the evidence for why it is right.

I would also be careful with saying that no one is immune from bias. That's one of those things we say in today's culture, but I think it's more dangerous than we think for a few reasons:

1. It can excuse error: Someone says they don't believe in God; you present them rational proof of His existence, and rather than responding to the logic, they reply, "Well you're just biased to see it that way." It doesn't matter how many times you demonstrate that your point is based on reason rather than bias; they can always say, "Well that is just based on bias."
2. Taken too far, it's self-defeating: If every statement is subject to bias, what about the statement that everything is subject to bias? Is THAT subject to bias? If so, then if we ought to doubt based on bias, then even that statement ought to be doubted. But if we ought not doubt it because it isn't based on bias, then the statement itself is just wrong.
3. It leads to a breakdown in reasoning: even if any given perspective is rooted in a bias, we cannot allow ourselves to decide whether or not the statement is true or false based on that bias. That would be a genetic fallacy. For instance, if I believe God exists because I've been taught to believe He does, does it follow therefore that my arguments for His existence are flawed? But more deeply, what this would really suggest is that nothing is actually true or false but rather merely a product of this or that bias. Thus "rational analysis" wouldn't be about deciding if an argument is true or false but rather analyzing its influences, i.e., where it came from. But then those influence would be subject to the same type of reductionism, etc., until you are left with a denial of agency and free-will itself.

Beyond all that, the statement is, I think, just wrong. I'm not biased when I say that 2+2=4. I'm not biased when I say that God exists. Maybe you find it easy to agree with those statements because you yourself accept them as true. But does that mean, then, that if someone disagrees with you, the reasonable response is just to write it off as bias? Of course not! How would you distinguish between what you believe that's biased and what you believe that's not? How do you prevent yourself from being the arbiter of bias? You couldn't.

So the bias point really ought not be brought up at all except under the narrowest of circumstances, and I don't think that applies at all here. The question must only be, "What is your warrant/evidence for drawing the conclusion that you do?" When framed that way, if a person really is failing to see some point out of a bias, that will become evident and in the discussion itself and, itself, will become a point of evidence. So I presented my evidence for interpreting Jesus' command to eat His flesh metaphorically in my exegesis of John 6. It doesn't come from bias. It comes from a structural analysis of the text. You're under no obligation to read or react to or respond to that exegesis. You're under no obligation to present your evidence for why you interpret the command literally. You're only obligated to do those things if you wish to have a discussion about them.

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Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. ~ Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes 24.3


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:53 pm 
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Signum Crucis wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Signum Crucis wrote:
Denise Dee seems to forget that we have Christ as Mediator.

I think it's more fundamental than that. The reason she can't make chicken soup (understand eternal damnation) is not just that she has added too little salt (the role of Christ). It is that she pours lots of maple syrup (univocal love) and yogurt (conversion after death). Lack of salt is the least of the soup's problems. You can't repair or redeem that soup by adding more salt because she has poured maple syrup and yogurt into it.


:yes:

It's better than pouring poison into it.


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:55 pm 
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Jack3 wrote:
Suppose I say, "Paneer butter masala is good, and the Harry Potter series is good."

Now, when I say the paneer makhani is good, I mean that it is delicious. But I didn't mean that the Harry Potter series is delicious in the same sense. If I say, the HP series is better than paneer butter masala (I'd side with paneer in reality though), I don't mean that it is more delicious.

So it is with the love of God and man. They are not just quantitatively different. They are qualitatively different.

Jack3, where are you getting this nonsense from? And why aren't your friends here putting you right?

God is love, there is only one God, one love, love is love, agape is agape.

1 John 4:7-8
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

1 John 4:16-17
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.


1 Corinthians 13:1-8
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

If those beautiful words are too syrupy for you, don't criticise me, criticise St Paul.


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:24 pm 
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theJack wrote:
And I thank you for taking the discussion seriously. I do recognize that any given argument could be mistaken. But we don't decide our positions based on whether or not it could be wrong We decide our positions based on the evidence for why it is right.

I would also be careful with saying that no one is immune from bias. That's one of those things we say in today's culture, but I think it's more dangerous than we think for a few reasons:

1. It can excuse error: Someone says they don't believe in God; you present them rational proof of His existence, and rather than responding to the logic, they reply, "Well you're just biased to see it that way." It doesn't matter how many times you demonstrate that your point is based on reason rather than bias; they can always say, "Well that is just based on bias."
2. Taken too far, it's self-defeating: If every statement is subject to bias, what about the statement that everything is subject to bias? Is THAT subject to bias? If so, then if we ought to doubt based on bias, then even that statement ought to be doubted. But if we ought not doubt it because it isn't based on bias, then the statement itself is just wrong.
3. It leads to a breakdown in reasoning: even if any given perspective is rooted in a bias, we cannot allow ourselves to decide whether or not the statement is true or false based on that bias. That would be a genetic fallacy. For instance, if I believe God exists because I've been taught to believe He does, does it follow therefore that my arguments for His existence are flawed? But more deeply, what this would really suggest is that nothing is actually true or false but rather merely a product of this or that bias. Thus "rational analysis" wouldn't be about deciding if an argument is true or false but rather analyzing its influences, i.e., where it came from. But then those influence would be subject to the same type of reductionism, etc., until you are left with a denial of agency and free-will itself.

Beyond all that, the statement is, I think, just wrong. I'm not biased when I say that 2+2=4. I'm not biased when I say that God exists. Maybe you find it easy to agree with those statements because you yourself accept them as true. But does that mean, then, that if someone disagrees with you, the reasonable response is just to write it off as bias? Of course not! How would you distinguish between what you believe that's biased and what you believe that's not? How do you prevent yourself from being the arbiter of bias? You couldn't.

So the bias point really ought not be brought up at all except under the narrowest of circumstances, and I don't think that applies at all here. The question must only be, "What is your warrant/evidence for drawing the conclusion that you do?" When framed that way, if a person really is failing to see some point out of a bias, that will become evident and in the discussion itself and, itself, will become a point of evidence. So I presented my evidence for interpreting Jesus' command to eat His flesh metaphorically in my exegesis of John 6. It doesn't come from bias. It comes from a structural analysis of the text. You're under no obligation to read or react to or respond to that exegesis. You're under no obligation to present your evidence for why you interpret the command literally. You're only obligated to do those things if you wish to have a discussion about them.


All good points. Thank you for the thoughtful response.

And I agree, bias shouldn’t be brought up except in the narrowest of circumstances. It’s why I clearly said that other parts of scripture I could appreciate the non-Catholic exegesis. I accept others point of view and understand how they arrived at the conclusions. That bias certainly didn’t seem to always apply.

But, its also why I used John 6 to illustrate my point. I’m a simpleton on many levels, especially when it comes to logic, reasoning, and philosophy. I’m new to the science and will never attain the level of knowledge of you, ThomisticCajun, PED, Father Obi and etc on this board.

But, I’m also not an a total idiot either (although my wife may differ :) ).

The reality of the Eucharistic sacrifice, especially as prefigured in John 6, has many hundreds of years of historical exegesical support in what I claim it means - that Jesus was speaking literally. Much more exegesical support than non-Catholics can lay claim to their belief in what it means - that Christ was being metaphorical.

To me this is a 2+2=4 type of situation. Just like God exist. Jesus died and was resurrected for our salvation, and a host of things you would likely agree.

To ignore the history and study of so many very learned scholars and Church Fathers, seems to me to be the result of only one thing - bias.

And I don’t make that claim lightly.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:27 pm 
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I would add that if you really, really want me to create a long posts of quotes, evidences, and other exegesical support, I guess I’ll get too it.

But honestly, if I know you like I think I do, you’ve heard it all and reject it.

So we’re back to discussing until the trumpet blows. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:28 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Signum Crucis wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Signum Crucis wrote:
Denise Dee seems to forget that we have Christ as Mediator.

I think it's more fundamental than that. The reason she can't make chicken soup (understand eternal damnation) is not just that she has added too little salt (the role of Christ). It is that she pours lots of maple syrup (univocal love) and yogurt (conversion after death). Lack of salt is the least of the soup's problems. You can't repair or redeem that soup by adding more salt because she has poured maple syrup and yogurt into it.


:yes:

It's better than pouring poison into it.

My point is that you are getting mistaken conclusions because you begin with mistaken premises.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:16 pm 
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"For we must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of the body, according as he hath done, whether it be good or evil."
[2 Corinthians 5:10]

"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly from temptation, but to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be tormented."
[2 Peter 2:9]

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:57 am 
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Signum Crucis wrote:
"For we must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of the body, according as he hath done, whether it be good or evil."
[2 Corinthians 5:10]

"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly from temptation, but to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be tormented."
[2 Peter 2:9]


Signum, I'm not sure why you posted those two verses, but obviously, it should be clear to everyone, that no one here, neither I nor Light Of The East nor anyone, disputes that the "unjust" will be "tormented".


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:00 am 
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Jack3 wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
Signum Crucis wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Signum Crucis wrote:
Denise Dee seems to forget that we have Christ as Mediator.

I think it's more fundamental than that. The reason she can't make chicken soup (understand eternal damnation) is not just that she has added too little salt (the role of Christ). It is that she pours lots of maple syrup (univocal love) and yogurt (conversion after death). Lack of salt is the least of the soup's problems. You can't repair or redeem that soup by adding more salt because she has poured maple syrup and yogurt into it.


:yes:

It's better than pouring poison into it.

My point is that you are getting mistaken conclusions because you begin with mistaken premises.

What are the "mistaken premises" you are claiming I'm beginning with?


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:35 am 
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I've already mentioned them in my analogy. Univocal understanding of God's love, soul converting after death.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:37 pm 
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Jack3 wrote:
I've already mentioned them in my analogy. Univocal understanding of God's love, soul converting after death.

It's absolutely bizarre for you to claim that because I refuse to believe that God's love could possibly mean the opposite of what God has led us all to believe love is, that I have a "univocal understanding of God's love" and thereby a "mistaken premise".

And whether or not a soul can convert after death is not a premise I begin with and makes no difference to the fact that an infinitely merciful loving God who throws people into an inescapable eternal hell is an impossible-to-truly-believe contradiction, which requires doublethink to delude oneself into believing.


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:04 pm 
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God's love is different from man's because God is different from man.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:30 pm 
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Jack3 wrote:
God's love is different from man's because God is different from man.

You are creating unnecessary confusion here, Jack3. I don't know what you mean by "man's" love, but I have made it clear that throughout this discussion I am referring to God's love, agape, and God's mercy.

God is love does not mean the opposite of what we understand agape to mean. God has led us to an understanding of agape, and though we may have only a very slight understanding of agape, we know that it does not mean the opposite of what we understand agape to mean.

Similarly, infinitely merciful does not mean the opposite of what we understand mercy to mean. If someone has wronged you, and you want to show mercy to this person, you don't send him to be tortured for the rest of his life, and claim that's showing mercy, because it clearly isn't showing mercy. Infinitely merciful cannot mean showing less mercy than a human being is capable of. Condemning people to eternal inescapable torment in hell is not merciful, and therefore impossible for an infinitely merciful God. It's an impossible contradiction.


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:53 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Condemning people to eternal inescapable torment in hell is not merciful, and therefore impossible for an infinitely merciful God. It's an impossible contradiction.


You have some serious issues with God's Word.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:28 pm 
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The terrible thing is that a perfectly good God is in this matter hardly less formidable than a Cosmic Sadist. The more we believe that God hurts only to heal, the less we can believe that there is any use in begging for tenderness. A cruel man might be bribed — might grow tired of his vile sport — might have a temporary fit of mercy, as alcoholics have fits of sobriety. But suppose that what you are up against is a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good. The kinder and more conscientious he is, the more inexorably he will go on cutting. If he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before the operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless. But is it credible that such extremities of torture should be necessary for us? Well, take your choice. The tortures occur. If they are unnecessary, then there is no God or a bad one. If there is a good God, then these tortures are necessary. For no even moderately good Being could possibly inflict or permit them if they weren’t.

Either way, we’re for it.

What do people mean when they say ‘I am not afraid of God because I know He is good?’ Have they never even been to a dentist?

-- C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed, pp 20-21


And that leads on to my second point. People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, "If you keep a lot of rules I'll reward you, and if you don't I'll do the other thing." I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow — creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.

-- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 52

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:38 pm 
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If God does not condemn, then how can human beings do do? How can we justify sending a mass shooter to prison when God himself cares so little about what he did that the guy is just going to go straight to heaven anyway? Clearly, the reason why God does not punish anyone is that nothing human beings do are really all that bad.

This argument is irrefutable, which is why universalisn ALWAYS goes hand in hand with moral relativism and a generally permissive attitude.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:29 pm 
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Doom wrote:
If God does not condemn, then how can human beings do do? How can we justify sending a mass shooter to prison when God himself cares so little about what he did that the guy is just going to go straight to heaven anyway? Clearly, the reason why God does not punish anyone is that nothing human beings do are really all that bad.

This argument is irrefutable, which is why universalisn ALWAYS goes hand in hand with moral relativism and a generally permissive attitude.

https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion ... ot-sermons

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