TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

If someone is a good person without believing in god only good choices. Does that make them better or worse in the eyes of god?

Because if im a good person by choice and i don't need to read the bible to do so doesn't that mean that im just naturally a good person and as such should i not be able to go to heaven (or any equivalent for the differ religions) or would I still be damned.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Aug 24 2011: Are you the best person who community organizations turn to and say "we want to model our organization after you!" Do you treat everyone equally? If a famous and respected person came over to your house today would you not pull out your finest wine and make your house look like a very presentable palace and give that person the best of everything? What about if a homeless person knocked on your door asking for food or money? Would you invite him in and treat him the same or even better then the famous and respected person? Or would you give him a little bit of food, $20 and send him on his way. Faith without works is dead, but works without faith is meaningless (summarization and interpretation from James 2 for those who read the Bible). I agree with Kent that religion has flaws, but I like to look at Christianity as a relationship. If you insult your wife then make dinner for her, she will still remember that you are not sorry for insulting her. Your actions might mean one thing but that verbal admitting that you did something wrong and honestly seek forgiveness from her as well as make her dinner, then she will forgive you. In faith it is the same. If you do even one bad thing it is like insulting God (sin) and you can go out and do a whole bunch of good works but if you do not admit that sin and ask for forgiveness you will still have it held against you. I believe in Heaven and Hell and that the works that we do here on earth determine how eternity will be played out. If you have faith in Jesus you go to heaven, you choose not to believe, well you have already answered that in your mind. But beyond that if you do good works on earth and have faith you will be storing up treasures in heaven. Matthew 6:19-24. I would type it out but if you are honestly wanting to look into it you would search it for yourself. I think good works are awesome and it makes the world a better place. But why not look into your own spiritual awareness and decide for yourself :)
    • thumb
      Aug 24 2011: So all the people who are in the "wrong" religion by accident of birth are insulting God? Doesn't God know better than to judge them for something they can't help? Someone somewhere who has never had any exposure to the Bible and therefore cannot honestly form an opinion on God is by that sole fact destined to Hell. Good going God, you really planned that out well!

      I am sure that a being with infinite supplies of wisdom could understand that one book written a few thousand years ago isn't much to go by. Yes, you could go on about faith, but if faith requires faith you're screwed if you don't have it in the first place.
      • thumb
        Aug 24 2011: One of the most interesting conversations of my life was with my then 16 year old eldest son when he told me why he could not believe in the God of the bible's Old Testament. He said - after reading the book (which most Christians cannot claim to have done)- that even he knew that killing entire villages of men, women, children and animals was immoral. He said that there was no way that a human being should be able to know that better than God did.

        Taking up his reasoning, I realize that I cannot be more compassionate, more understanding or more caring than God so I cannot imagine a universe where it is OK to hate gay people, to kill women who are raped in the city who did not call out loudly enough or many other tenents of a written book.

        I still love the sense of God that said "With all of your getting get understanding, with all of your getting get knowledge." or "when you see your neighbour's oxcart in a ditch do not turn away pretending that you do not see his distress". Until I get to a better understanding of 'God' I will continue to love the attributes that I percieve of God: Justice, mercy, wisdom, love.
        • thumb
          Aug 24 2011: i caim to this exact realization while in church, left and never came back.
    • Aug 24 2011: Well im just a human with a very simple reasoning i don't claim knowledge i don't fully understand. Because if i had a fraction of the power of God, Lets say i was superman for example (I know its a little silly but bare with me). There are things i could do which could save almost the entire world (lol super speed etc). And that's not even close to the power of God. So im saying we have the answer to do it in a very general sense but we lack the power such as strength, Resources etc. So why cant God shed a helping hand.

      P.S. If i offend anyone by this it is not my intention to do so and i apologize in advanced.
      • thumb
        Aug 24 2011: How then could we as humans have the opportunity to go and prove that we are good if God has already saved everyone in the world and made life just some easy walk in the park?
        • thumb
          Aug 24 2011: what exactly would we prove?

          Demonstrate the truth or existence of (something) by evidence or argument

          i think best we can do is give our opinion and to live by it.
        • thumb
          Aug 25 2011: Don't you think God could have made his case more compelling? around 4 billion people are going to Hell for having the wrong belief or no belief at all. That sounds like the casualty toll of a God who seriously lacks compassion. Not to mention some of the 2 billion who are going to Hell because they're still horrid people despite being Christians. I wonder if he'll send Creationists to hell since he likes to punish ignorance.
        • Aug 25 2011: I agree it seems a very steep price to pay for simple proof. Especially of an all loving God. Science today requires absolute proof but we never wager such pain and strife for it because of the HUMAN concept of being inhuman.
    • thumb
      Aug 25 2011: Nate, if you look around over the earth if we are nowadays capable of, don't you think then that heaven and hell are here allready. And if you look carefully it is indifferent for that matter what faith someone has.
      There is a nice tale about heaven and hell.

      There was once a samurai who wanted to learn the difference between heaven and hell. He sought until he found a master from whom he thought he could learn. He stood before the Master and asked him what was the difference between heaven and hell. The Master took the samurai’s sword and, turning it to the flat of the blade, struck the samurai on the head. The samurai was surprised at this but chose to ignore it. He thought that the Master had failed to understand his question. He once again asked the Master about the difference between heaven and hell. Again the Master struck the samurai on the head. The samurai staggered back and puzzled over this. He approached with his question for a third time and, before he could utter a word, the Master struck him a third time. The samurai was now so enraged at this behaviour that he grabbed his sword from the Master, raised it over his head and was prepared to bring it down on the Master’s head when the Master raised one finger and the samurai paused.

      "That is hell," said the Master.

      The samurai was instantly so overcome by the courage of this frail old man - to have risked his life for the sake of a stranger’s question - that he fell to his knees and bowed before the Master.

      "That is heaven," said the Master.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.