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Discussion on religion. (1 Viewer)

jessjackowski

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Once agian, while i specifically said that i wasn't aiming at any particular religion, you are only helping anyone if you support what you are saying. Explain to me why this doesnt apply to Christianity. I'll even give you a template to save you time:
Me: Good people go to heaven.
You:
Me: Bad people go to Hell
You:
Me: Which afterlife you go to is based on how you do while on Earth, so existence on Earth is to test your moral fibre.
You:

Seriously, please expand my knowledge on this. Take BlackDragon - he said i was wrong about Hinduism and Buddhism, but he showed me why, in his opinion, it was wrong.
Edit: I'm sorry if referring to heaven and hell seemed to take aim at christianity - its just an easy way of saying good people get rewarded and bad people get punished, but i'm sure you are insightful enough to gather that much
Well in terms of Christianity, all people are sinners, i.e there are no "good" people or "bad" people. Your implication of what "good" people and "bad" people are is based on what is probably your own interpretation of what is right and wrong, and not God's? There is no "way" as such into heaven, as there is nothing that you alone as a person can do to "get in". However by acknowledging that you are a sinner, and by believing that by God's grace you can be forgiven through Jesus' death and resurrection, you are saved (i.e. "get into" Heaven).

Life on earth is also not a morale fibre test. As I said before, since there is nothing that you alone can do to "get into" Heaven, then no matter how "good" you are, if you dont accept Jesus and ask for forgiveness, then there is no "reward" for you. For those who accept who God is, then the purpose of life is to bring him glory.

In terms of Hell, it is not a place of endless physical torture with fire and lava etc as many people think. Instead, it is a place without God. A place without God means that anything associated with Him does not exist, i.e happiness, friendship, family, foregiveness, grace, love etc. "Bad" people dont go to Hell, people who reject God and refuse to accept Him for who He is go to Hell.

Hope this helps
 

Durga

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That i bother posting these thoughts on the net shows i'm willing to listen to a discussion on it, but if you're going to just say "It's wrong" without attempting, at least, to show me why I'm wrong, then you're just being a pain in the ass. I get the impression you're a person of science. So, peer review me, baby. And please don't take this as sounding bitter in tone: seriously, refute my arguments so that i may advance in my thinking.


You're either a very discerning reader or you can...read...considering i readily admitted to not knowing much about his writings ("actually I’m assuming that he has said something along those lines. I don’t know... ")


I did only mean that stab at Dawkins half jokingly. I am well aware that he is a man of science, and therefore probability. but from watching his ridiculous and frankly annoying arguments with religious people on tv, he's clearly a prat. clever, but a prat. and besides, this discussion isn't about probabilities. My arguments are on the basis of morality, not science. Whether or not God exists is outside the realm of moral arguments.


agreed. now why couldnt you be nice and constructively criticise me like this? it makes me sad...but i'm staying right away from this sort of science vs religion argument because it goes nowhere. all a religious person has to say is it's meant metaphorically and bam, you got nothing (neither do they, but remember they don't need anything - they only need faith.) The only fair way to approach the question of whehter or not to believe it is to discuss the one thing that fundamentalists and moderates agree on - that it provides a system of morality.
Edit: once again, i'm assuming that's the major ground semi-believers and radicals hold, so if i'm wrong correct me, but its definitely at least one of the major common territories
I'm sorry Bodhimilla, but you do sound VERY bitter in tone. You give me the very unfortunate impression, that not only have you not read some of the great books on this EXACT topic, but you don't want to. I suppose since you've seen some TV interviews with Dawkins and evangelists, you know all he has to say, but I'd still recommend reading The God Delusion, because a great deal of it refutes the argument from morality. While Dawkins does delve a bit into science, his book is absolutely outstanding in the sense that every book that tries to pose a rebuttal has to rely on quote mining, personal/ad hominem attacks, and straw man fallacies.

If you want to explore the idea of morality within religion more so, Daniel Dennet has a great book Breaking the spell: Religion as a natural phenomenon.

While you say you want to discuss this issue, why don't you read books on the issue first (on both sides), and then discuss. It's sad that you're only willing to read small tidbits of information on a forum, when there are libraries FULL of books that pertain to this topic.
 

ilikebeeef

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Well in terms of Christianity, all people are sinners, i.e there are no "good" people or "bad" people. Your implication of what "good" people and "bad" people are is based on what is probably your own interpretation of what is right and wrong, and not God's? There is no "way" as such into heaven, as there is nothing that you alone as a person can do to "get in". However by acknowledging that you are a sinner, and by believing that by God's grace you can be forgiven through Jesus' death and resurrection, you are saved (i.e. "get into" Heaven).
This is all based on the belief that "if you believe in something, you will get it". This is analogous to Scientology's Law of Attraction, which is completely ridiculous as you cannot always get what you want.

Life on earth is also not a morale fibre test. As I said before, since there is nothing that you alone can do to "get into" Heaven, then no matter how "good" you are, if you dont accept Jesus and ask for forgiveness, then there is no "reward" for you. For those who accept who God is, then the purpose of life is to bring him glory.
Glory to a constructed idea?

In terms of Hell, it is not a place of endless physical torture with fire and lava etc as many people think. Instead, it is a place without God. A place without God means that anything associated with Him does not exist, i.e happiness, friendship, family, foregiveness, grace, love etc. "Bad" people dont go to Hell, people who reject God and refuse to accept Him for who He is go to Hell.
Firstly, most Christians would actually believe that Hell is fire and brimstone. Secondly, if God is infinite, then he would permeate Hell as well, unless Hell does not exist.

well i haven't really thought enough to answer that, but the way i see it is:

Science and religion don't mix that well together, Science can be proven and Religion requires you to just believe.
Yes. Science is belief based on proof and Religion is about believing what someone told you, without proof.

This corrects a basic misunderstanding that some people are fundamentally 'innocent'. '
The smarter the animal, the less "innocent". Smart animals learn to manipulate to their own advantage as they grow older, to increase chances of survival. It is an ingrained animal instinct.

if you really want a hardcore test of people's goodness, you put them in a world designed to bring out the worst in people. Anybody left over must be damn good (oxymoron, anyone?).
Lol yes it is an oxymoron. Reminds me of The Matrix Revolutions, where The Architect explained the failures of the Matrix (particularly the "cruel" version) ahahaha.

Question: Why put us in the world?
Where else would God put us if God did exist?

i LOOOOOVE jesus.
JESUS IS MY MAN. JESUS MAKES US HURT SO WE APPRECIATE HIM MORE.
Orly? If I had a lover who hurt me, I would not appreciate it unless he is genuinely sorry and willing to make up for it.

The God in the quote puts us in a world of suffering and then, based on our performance in said world (after scaling and normalising the results - its all quite complicated), gives us admission into heaven or condemns us to hell.
This totally does not sound like the Board of Studies!
 

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people can;t handle a utopia, haven't you seen the matrix?

this thread is tl:dr except I have to say that any omnipotent and omniscient god makes the whole testing process idea impossible as your choices are already known.
 
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Bodhamilla

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I'm sorry Bodhimilla, but you do sound VERY bitter in tone. You give me the very unfortunate impression, that not only have you not read some of the great books on this EXACT topic, but you don't want to. .

While you say you want to discuss this issue, why don't you read books on the issue first (on both sides), and then discuss. It's sad that you're only willing to read small tidbits of information on a forum, when there are libraries FULL of books that pertain to this topic.
i'm interested in many things. that doesn't mean i have the time to read up on all of them. if you're going to say that you must read up on stuff to debate it then you're taking an academic elitist's perspective. It is possible to gain a lot from simple debate with laymen. That's the point of discussion. A collective knowledge. Take BlackDragon's criticism of my misinterpretation of hinduism and buddhism - i took it in stride. I hadn't read the Bhagavat Gita or the Buddhist scriptures, but i was able to learn.


If you don't wish to be part of this, you don't need to be. But so far you've actually contributed nothing. all you've said is
  • i'm wrong - without proving why (and i'm still willing to listen)
  • and that i should read up on a whole bunch of references. But where do you stop? are you saying that once ive read the few books you referred to, i'm fully qualified to debate these topics? to be an expert ont he topic you can't just stop there. That's why we discuss. In a forum, hopefully we'll be able to get a melting pot of people with different ideas and knowledge from their readings.
I don't profess to know much about religion. These were just some thoughts offered for discussion with the intention of reeling in some people who may be able to offer critiques into the topic and would be willing to share some of their knowledge and opinions.

no, you've read these books, and if you geniunely had any desire to contribute to other people's understandings you would have actually used your supposed knowledge to prove some of my points wrong. as it is, you haven't.

So, now, i would suggest we stop this petty argument and actually get down the heart of the matter. I have no interest in arguing about who's bitter and who's a prat. are you mature enough to, instead of continuing with an argument over whether or not Dawkins is a prat, actually show me why you think my morality logic is flawed and - if you would entertain me with it - maybe even show me some of the logic your esteemed Dawkins espouses? I would love to hear it.
 

jazzzod

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In the US state of Nebraska, State Senator Ernie Chambers filed a suit against God seeking an injunction, in an effort to highlight the issue of public access to the court system. The suit was dismissed due to the fact that God could not be properly notified, having no address.
 
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Anonymous-

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This is just me spitballing. I’m 110% sure other people have thought of to the ideas I’m about to discuss, but I also came up with them (mostly) independently so I’m not gonna bother with any referencing. This piece of litratchure is about religion. It’s just what I think. If you are going to be offended by views contrary to your own (and that’s nothing to be ashamed of), don’t read anymore. This is for the open minded and in that same vein, comment/tear me to pieces as much as you like.

I’m gonna start off by specifying that I’m only going to be discussing religions which at least seem to follow this basic formula:
1. Our existence on earth is supposedly to test our moral fibre
2. Those who are “good” are rewarded by going to heaven
3. Those who are “bad” are punished by going to hell

Far as I know this applies to all of them, but I don’t know...

Before I go on: I think it’s funny that human society, in which for the majority of time women have been oppressed and generally thought of as inferior to men, has (usually) managed to throw up religions in which (surprise, surprise) God, or at least the greatest of the Gods, is male. Therefore, in compensation to the women for the wrongs of my fellow men, I shall refer to God not as He, not even as IT, but as She. That’s how nice I am.

We can’t question anything without first asking WHY She is testing us. I think there is only one reasonable explanation: God wants to create utopian society by admitting only those who get along with each other – good people. There is, of course, the possibility that God is simply bored and wants to mess with us but let’s assume that God is not a prick. (If you can think of other possible reasons for the test, please tell me.)

For all those religions that have omniscient god(s), point number 1 is not needed: God knows who is good and who is bad, so She doesn’t need to test us. Without point number 1, life on Earth is not necessary. So it is unlikely that any religion with a perfect God is correct since there is life on Earth.

For those religions whose God(s) are not perfect (such religions are invariably polytheistic) then point 1 still stands on the assumption that the Gods are not powerful enough to be able to judge an individual’s morality straight off the bat. So they test us. I think there is a HUGE flaw in their test.

a. ALL religions tell you what is right and wrong.

Therefore, the assumption is that human beings are born without a complete sense of morality. (Don’t take this to mean that we are born evil – we just don’t know right from wrong). So far, everything is fair enough. The problem is:

b. ALL religions tell you that the bad are punished and the good are rewarded.

If you want to figure out if someone is good, why would you tell them that they will be rewarded for being good and punished for being bad? The only possible effect of this is to make people who aren’t very good pretend to be good – opening up the possibility of “sneaking” into heaven. And, since God isn’t powerful enough to see whether we are good or not, people really can sneak into heaven this way. So, by telling us about the consequences of our actions, God has failed to make a Utopian society, because some naughty ones will be sneaking in. We can draw two possible conclusions from this:
a. The current religions are wrong OR
b. I’m smarter than God, coz I understand this flaw and She doesn’t.

In the words of Sherlock Holmes, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however implausible, most be correct.” Therefore I think that this argument supports the belief that all current religion are wrong. It doesn’t prove that there is no God – no matter what Richard Dawkins may say you can’t prove that there is not God (actually I’m assuming that he has said something along those lines. I don’t know but he’s such a prat that I wouldn’t put it past him). The only leftover possibilities are:

· There is a God(s) and there is a heaven but to test us properly they haven’t told us
· There is a God(s) and they don’t give a crap about us
· There is a God(s) and they like to torture the vast majority of the world’s population
· There is no God

I don’t think we can get any further into the argument. From here on, we don’t know enough. It done. Over. Inarguable.

But since I, like Richard Dawkins, am a prat, I’d like to stick a few more nails in the coffins of the current religions.

My biggest hangup is they impose a flawed morality. The single most burning example of this is the concept of hell: a person can commit enough sins in a lifetime (roughly 80 years we’ll say) to get them condemned to hell for ETERNITY. What kind of God punishes a finite amount of sin with infinite punishment? A mean one. The Woman is a prick. In fact, we are more moral than God. When someone commits a sin we put them in jail. (Yes, some people are executed, but for now I’m just talking about the not-so-bad sins.) Why do we put them in jail?

· To keep the rest of us safe
· To teach them a lesson.

The second point is the more important. We are teaching them, so they can learn what is right from wrong. As we mentioned before, all religions assume that we aren’t born knowing right from wrong, so they give us the rights and the wrongs to learn. If you condemn someone to eternal punishment after a lifetime

a. You are assuming that, during their lives, they have had sufficient experiences to actually understand the rights and wrongs they have learnt. Thus, they have committed sins understanding full well that they were sins
b. You are not giving them any more chances to learn
c. As we mentioned before, you are punishing them infinitely for finite sin.

So, obviously any religion that present eternal punishment is morally dubious at best. There are other religions which don’t condone eternal punishment: Hinduism and Buddhism, for instance, both punish a sinner with another life, but a lesser one. I’m sure there are others, but I don’t know. [Edit: apparently this is wrong. While i'm not sure if BlackDragon is correct, I will admit that I dont know enough to decide so just pretend that the following paragraph refers to the reincarnation as a reward/punishment cycle, not the Hindu/Buddhist interpretation.]

This, to me seems fairer: they sin in one life and so they’re punished in the next. Furthermore, they are capable of being good enough in the second life to get themselves a better third life. This allows a nice, gradual punishment/reward learning cycle. People can LEARN exactly what is right and wrong. Very elegant and, while I’m sure that [such] religions have many other moral flaws which render them just as ethically useless as the rest, I don’t really know enough about them to comment. Still, they do still suffer from the major flaw that they tell us about this reward/punishment cycle, so hey, I’m gonna say they’re wrong too.
Discuss J
STFU

kthanksbye
 

Bodhamilla

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Well in terms of Christianity, all people are sinners, i.e there are no "good" people or "bad" people. Your implication of what "good" people and "bad" people are is based on what is probably your own interpretation of what is right and wrong, and not God's? There is no "way" as such into heaven, as there is nothing that you alone as a person can do to "get in". However by acknowledging that you are a sinner, and by believing that by God's grace you can be forgiven through Jesus' death and resurrection, you are saved (i.e. "get into" Heaven).

Life on earth is also not a morale fibre test. As I said before, since there is nothing that you alone can do to "get into" Heaven, then no matter how "good" you are, if you dont accept Jesus and ask for forgiveness, then there is no "reward" for you. For those who accept who God is, then the purpose of life is to bring him glory.

In terms of Hell, it is not a place of endless physical torture with fire and lava etc as many people think. Instead, it is a place without God. A place without God means that anything associated with Him does not exist, i.e happiness, friendship, family, foregiveness, grace, love etc. "Bad" people dont go to Hell, people who reject God and refuse to accept Him for who He is go to Hell.

Hope this helps
It does - greater understanding is always appreciated, but in my opinion it still fits the basic structure:
As i mentioned, all religions give you some instructions to follow. In this case, i suppose, the instruction is, among others, to "accept Jesus and ask for forgiveness", because presumably thats the right thing to do. (i know 'right' is an ugly word to use but for simplicity's sake let''s call it "doing the right thing", after all it conveys my meaning.)
  • People who don't do the right thing (accept jesus etc) go to hell
  • People who do the right thing go to heaven
We have to make this decision while on Earth, so the only possible reason for existence on Earth is to seperate the people willing to "accept Jesus and ask for forgiveness", and the people who aren't. What other role could our life on Earth play? After all, glorifying God isn't something that can only be done on Earth - heaven is filled with such people.

As for the concept of Hell, i'm sure thats quite open to interpretation but nevertheless that description of hell can be described, i think, as "negative punishment" - ie taking something good away as a punishment. Regardless, an eternity of life like that seems the definition of hell. And the fact remains - it is still an eternal punishment for a finite amount of sin.

While i see how what i said before did not lend itself straight away to the Christian system, i think that, given that it was a general formula, it still manages to fit.
 

jessjackowski

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It does - greater understanding is always appreciated, but in my opinion it still fits the basic structure:

As i mentioned, all religions give you some instructions to follow. In this case, i suppose, the instruction is, among others, to "accept Jesus and ask for forgiveness", because presumably thats the right thing to do. (i know 'right' is an ugly word to use but for simplicity's sake let''s call it "doing the right thing", after all it conveys my meaning.)
  • People who don't do the right thing (accept jesus etc) go to hell
  • People who do the right thing go to heaven
We have to make this decision while on Earth, so the only possible reason for existence on Earth is to seperate the people willing to "accept Jesus and ask for forgiveness", and the people who aren't. What other role could our life on Earth play? After all, glorifying God isn't something that can only be done on Earth - heaven is filled with such people.

As for the concept of Hell, i'm sure thats quite open to interpretation but nevertheless that description of hell can be described, i think, as "negative punishment" - ie taking something good away as a punishment. Regardless, an eternity of life like that seems the definition of hell. And the fact remains - it is still an eternal punishment for a finite amount of sin.

While i see how what i said before did not lend itself straight away to the Christian system, i think that, given that it was a general formula, it still manages to fit.
I think your missing the point I'm making. There is no "instruction to follow" with Christianity. In fact, it isn't you who chooses God, but rather God who, by grace, chooses you. It is not as simple as "ok yep, by believing in Jesus I get into Heaven, so I'm going to do that". Becoming a Christian is not the "right thing to do", ultimately because it is not you alone who decides it, but rather God.

While you are entitled to your own opinion/interpretation, and I respect that, I think your main problem is that your op is very vague and thus cannot be applied to all religions (including Christianity and Buddhism as you've already mentioned). An in depth and accurate understanding of a few of these religions would help you shape your arguments, and perhaps even make you understand things a bit better in order for you to challenge your earlier points in a more informed way. While I don't support most of your arguments because I am a Christian, and I think your lack of understanding about religion has led you to push them all under the same umbrella, when in fact that are very, uniquely, different, you do have some good questions/reflections.

If your sincerley interested, have a read of "A Spectator's Guide to World Religions: An Introduction to the Big Five" by John Dickson. This book would help inform you a bit more
 

ilikebeeef

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I think your missing the point I'm making. There is no "instruction to follow" with Christianity. In fact, it isn't you who chooses God, but rather God who, by grace, chooses you. It is not as simple as "ok yep, by believing in Jesus I get into Heaven, so I'm going to do that". Becoming a Christian is not the "right thing to do", ultimately because it is not you alone who decides it, but rather God.
An issue here would be that not Christians agree on the same "Christian Values". When I was a Christian (Catholic to be specific) I (and the rest of my youth group at least) saw it as "you choose God" "Becoming a Christian is the right thing to do" "believing in Jesus gets you a lot closer to Heaven" and there kind of ARE instructions or at least activities people were expected to take part in (Church every week, prayer every night, the sacrament of reconciliation, baptism and confirmation etc).
 

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Yep, religion attempts to explain the starry heavens above and the moral law within.
<3 Kant.

Note, though, that in Kant religion isn't really used to explain such things, rather God is introduced as a possible entity whose existence we can reasonably hope for. God then becomes a necessary postulate of practical (rather than speculative/theoretical) reason given that god is the condition which would ensure our worthiness to be happy - i.e. that which would ensure that happiness is apportioned according to moral actions such that the perfectly moral being is guaranteed perfect happiness (this is perhaps a philosophical version of the ideal of heaven). Perceived laws in Kant's philosophy, in the heavens or the heart, can be explained with recourse to the transcendental constitution of the mind which imposes a certain structure on objects of cognition.
 

jessjackowski

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An issue here would be that not Christians agree on the same "Christian Values". When I was a Christian (Catholic to be specific) I (and the rest of my youth group at least) saw it as "you choose God" "Becoming a Christian is the right thing to do" "believing in Jesus gets you a lot closer to Heaven" and there kind of ARE instructions or at least activities people were expected to take part in (Church every week, prayer every night, the sacrament of reconciliation, baptism and confirmation etc).

I understand what your saying, but it is not the act of going to church/bible study, praying or baptism that gets you into Heaven. As an active Christian, you would feel the desire to go to these things, rather than feel the need to do these things just because its 'the right thing to do' or 'expected' of you. I guess my problem is I disagree with many Catholic principles, and you are right, not all Christians hold the same values or beliefs.
 

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<3 Kant.

Note, though, that in Kant religion isn't really used to explain such things, rather God is introduced as a possible entity whose existence we can reasonably hope for. God then becomes a necessary postulate of practical (rather than speculative/theoretical) reason given that god is the condition which would ensure our worthiness to be happy - i.e. that which would ensure that happiness is apportioned according to moral actions such that the perfectly moral being is guaranteed perfect happiness (this is perhaps a philosophical version of the ideal of heaven). Perceived laws in Kant's philosophy, in the heavens or the heart, can be explained with recourse to the transcendental constitution of the mind which imposes a certain structure on objects of cognition.
I'm surprised you can work a keyboard with all that shit pouring out of your squalid mind.
 

annabackwards

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What you said there is excellent.



The thing here is, this interpretation of reincarnation would be incorrect because if we did "make mistakes" in our "previous life", we would not remember them in the "life after" and hence will not learn from them.
+1

Very nice post OP. Your thoughts on religion are somewhat similar to mine and even many believers would agree that religion is corrupt as it is controlled by humans.
 

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Hell is viewed as a seperation from God , therefore if you choose not to believe in god, it is a conscious decision to distance yourself from God. Also I find it inherently contradictory that you are questioning the validity of God's motives by invoking a moral law (good and bad etc.) that is dependent on God's existance to be used as a point to argue

I'm not religious just clearing things up
 

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Hell is viewed as a seperation from God , therefore if you choose not to believe in god, it is a conscious decision to distance yourself from God. Also I find it inherently contradictory that you are questioning the validity of God's motives by invoking a moral law (good and bad etc.) that is dependent on God's existance to be used as a point to argue

I'm not religious just clearing things up
This is what I'm saying Bodhamilla - you've taken a lot of religions and bunched them together, stripped them down to the bare bones (i.e. heaven and hell), and then tried to find motivations for their respective deities creation of the universe. While I see your point in how it's often really funny to take religions to that point (stripped down without the frills), and look at how trivial and stupid the overall idea is, it's hard to do it with a number of religions at the same time.

Christianity is quite funny, in how God watches Homo Sapiens for about 98 000 years, most of them dying in childbirth, the average lifespan 20 years, and then after 98 000 years, he decides it's time to intervene. And so he sends a man to be tortured to death in the most secluded part of Palestine, also the most superstitious. Not China, where they already learned how to invent, but some tribal community in the middle of no where. :D

OR God didn't really send anyone, because it doesn't exist. :jaw:
 

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