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Thread: Christianity and self defense

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    Regular Member 77zach's Avatar
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    Christianity and self defense

    http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/...arm-themselves

    I'd appreciate feedback from professing Christians. It gives me pause to disagree with Piper. I agree with some of what he says. Some of it I almost see as sinful in the right context and disagree sharply.

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    “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? ” -Bastiat

    I don't "need" to openly carry a handgun or own an "assault weapon" any more than Rosa Parks needed a seat on the bus.

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    I am a confessed Lutheran. Before I found my tipping point in Pascal's Wager, I corresponded with Charl van Wyk, author of Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self Defense, his story of the Saint James Church Massacre in Kenilworth, SA, 1993, and co-founder of Gun Owners of South Africa.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Regular Member cjohnson44546's Avatar
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    I couldn't read the whole thing... the guy isn't as learned as he thinks he is. He started to lose me when he thinks carrying a gun for self defense is about showing off or challenging them to "come get us, don't mess with me" ... then he doesn't know the difference in self defense and vengeance.

    Christians have every right to self defense... and like all people in self defense, killing should be a last resort.

    EDIT:
    uhhgg.. i read through some more and shouldn't have. This guy teaches? He is totally taking the bible and twisting it to things it doesn't even say...
    Last edited by cjohnson44546; 12-22-2015 at 09:42 PM.

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    If there is a God and it created good and evil and it wanted you to value the give it has given you, your life, then you must defend yourself to cherish the gift.

    Thou shall not commit murder.

    Killing in self defense is not murder.

    No matter how you look at it, if you are a (cough cough) christian, then you are in the wrong and committing sin by not defending yourself.

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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjohnson44546 View Post
    I couldn't read the whole thing... the guy isn't as learned as he thinks he is. He started to lose me when he thinks carrying a gun for self defense is about showing off or challenging them to "come get us, don't mess with me" ... then he doesn't know the difference in self defense and vengeance.
    Christians have every right to self defense... and like all people in self defense, killing should be a last resort.
    EDIT:
    uhhgg.. i read through some more and shouldn't have. This guy teaches? He is totally taking the bible and twisting it to things it doesn't even say...
    hummm...the underlined comment could have been said about ISIL's interpretation of the Qur'an...how interesting.

    thank goodness Pascal postulated an alternate choice...

    ipse
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    Regular Member 77zach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjohnson44546 View Post
    I couldn't read the whole thing... the guy isn't as learned as he thinks he is. He started to lose me when he thinks carrying a gun for self defense is about showing off or challenging them to "come get us, don't mess with me" ... then he doesn't know the difference in self defense and vengeance.

    Christians have every right to self defense... and like all people in self defense, killing should be a last resort.

    EDIT:
    uhhgg.. i read through some more and shouldn't have. This guy teaches? He is totally taking the bible and twisting it to things it doesn't even say...
    He is one of the preeminent expositors of biblical Christianity. But I agree, self defense and vengeance are disparate.

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    “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? ” -Bastiat

    I don't "need" to openly carry a handgun or own an "assault weapon" any more than Rosa Parks needed a seat on the bus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjohnson44546 View Post
    I couldn't read the whole thing... the guy isn't as learned as he thinks he is. He started to lose me when he thinks carrying a gun for self defense is about showing off or challenging them to "come get us, don't mess with me" ... then he doesn't know the difference in self defense and vengeance.

    Christians have every right to self defense... and like all people in self defense, killing should be a last resort.

    EDIT:
    uhhgg.. i read through some more and shouldn't have. This guy teaches? He is totally taking the bible and twisting it to things it doesn't even say...
    Self-preservation is almost the strongest impulse in nature. Not only do Christians have a right to self-defense, recognizing a right to self-defense is simply recognizing that all possess an equal right to their own persons and that the Creator made self-preservation a very strong impulse. The ramifications of that last point could be its own thread.
    Last edited by Citizen; 12-22-2015 at 10:39 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 77zach View Post
    He is one of the preeminent expositors of biblical Christianity. But I agree, self defense and vengeance are disparate.

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    +1

    For myself, I have concluded that too much of justice is actually vengeance.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    He is a charlatan. He has taken the King James Bible and created his own version so it says what he wants it to say.

    John Piper version Romans 12:17–21 through 13:1-4
    The movement from Romans 12:17–21, laying out the mindset of the Christian toward his enemies, to Romans 13:1–4, laying out the rights and duties of government, is crucial. God intends to reveal his justice in the common grace of police and military (Romans 13:1–4). And he intends to reveal the supreme worth of his Son and his salvation in the special grace of a Christian people who have the miraculous power to entrust themselves to his care while suffering unjustly.
    King James version Romans 12:17-21
    Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
    18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
    19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
    20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
    21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
    King James version Romans 13:1-4
    Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
    2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
    3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
    4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
    How did God's law all of a sudden mean follow government's secular law? In his eyes you are to bow down to the government. He is a charlatan.

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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    jefferson wrote his own bible https://books.google.com/books?id=Am...page&q&f=false

    ipse
    I'm only human; I do what I can; I'm just a man; I do what I can; Don't put the blame on me; Don't put your blame on me ~ Rag'n'Bone Man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 77zach View Post
    http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/...arm-themselves

    I'd appreciate feedback from professing Christians. It gives me pause to disagree with Piper. I agree with some of what he says. Some of it I almost see as sinful in the right context and disagree sharply.

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    I'm not a professing Christian. However, one need not be a Christian to recognize the illogic in the arguments offered in the article/essay:


    "2. The apostle Peter teaches us that Christians will often find themselves in societies where we should expect and accept unjust mistreatment without retaliation."

    Huh!?!?!

    A right-now! criminal attack is not unjust treatment by "society".

    The rest of the article is similarly off-base. Insofar as the author gets each point so wrong, one has to wonder what his real premise is--meaning, the one he isn't telling us.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Christianity and self defense

    I am reading Timothy Keller's 'Every Good Endeavor' and thought this was pertinent to the question

    "Luther is arguing here that God calls every Christian equally to their work. In his exposition of Psalm 147, Luther lays out his basic idea of vocation, explaining why this is so. He looks at verse 13, which assures a city that “God strengthens the bars of your gates.” Luther asks how God can strengthen the bars—provide for the security and safety—of a city. He answers, “By the word ‘bars’ we must understand not only the iron bar that a smith can make, but...everything else that helps to protect us, such as good government, good city ordinances, good order...and wise rulers....this is a gift of God.” How does God give a city security? Isn’t it through lawmakers, police officers, and those working in government and politics? So God cares for our civic needs through the work of others, whom he calls to that work.

    Bible is very obvious G-d gave us a brain to use and protect ourselves from Evil. As well as electing good rulers - maybe not every voter has been attentive to that part.


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    Last edited by HPmatt; 12-22-2015 at 11:49 PM.
    “Men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them"
    -Thomas Hobbes 1651

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    Quote Originally Posted by HPmatt View Post
    I am reading Timothy Keller's 'Every Good Endeavor' and thought this was pertinent to the question

    "Luther is arguing here that God calls every Christian equally to their work. In his exposition of Psalm 147, Luther lays out his basic idea of vocation, explaining why this is so. He looks at verse 13, which assures a city that “God strengthens the bars of your gates.” Luther asks how God can strengthen the bars—provide for the security and safety—of a city. He answers, “By the word ‘bars’ we must understand not only the iron bar that a smith can make, but...everything else that helps to protect us, such as good government, good city ordinances, good order...and wise rulers....this is a gift of God.” How does God give a city security? Isn’t it through lawmakers, police officers, and those working in government and politics? So God cares for our civic needs through the work of others, whom he calls to that work.

    Bible is very obvious G-d gave us a brain to use and protect ourselves from Evil. As well as electing good rulers - maybe not every voter has been attentive to that part.
    To be correct it would be "good servants."

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    77zach,

    What difference does it make who says what? It's either Biblical or not. That's why there's a Bible. We Christians can get on such a high horse sometimes(most times?)

    As Christians, we're trying to learn how to motivate ourselves by selflessness. Sometimes that results in self defense and sometimes it doesn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    If there is a God and it created good and evil and it wanted you to value the give it has given you, your life, then you must defend yourself to cherish the gift.

    Thou shall not commit murder.

    Killing in self defense is not murder.

    No matter how you look at it, if you are a (cough cough) christian, then you are in the wrong and committing sin by not defending yourself.

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    His opening paragraphs are actually decent. We should not have "teach them a lesson!" mentality. Like most issues, we should seek to have a heart like Christ's.

    Then he starts his points:
    1. The apostle Paul called Christians not to avenge ourselves, but to leave it to the wrath of God, and instead to return good for evil.
    Self defense, in the moment, is not vengeance. How can one return good for evil if you die in receiving the evil?
    He references Romans 12:17-21, but misses v18
    18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
    (emphasis mine)
    Paul shows understanding that it is not always possible to live at peace.
    The rest in this point he gets right. God sometimes uses Governments to enact vengence and justice, and an individual should not take that upon himself or to "teach a lesson". These verses say nothing on self-defense.

    Point 2 talks about suffering, but he doesn't really relate that back to self-defense and as such I don't have much in way of counter points. He's spot on at the end:
    Peter’s aim for Christians as “sojourners and exiles” on the earth is not that we put our hope in the self-protecting rights of the second amendment, but in the revelation of Jesus Christ in glory
    Our hope should be in Christ alone, not the second amendment. Many have lost their lives, even while they had guns to defend themselves, but if you're in Christ you've already overcome. But acting in self-defense does not mean that your hope is in you gun any more than going to a doctor or using modern medicine means you've abandoned your faith. On the contrary, sometimes God brings you through by giving you the strength or guiding your footsteps or actions.

    As he goes on through his points, you'll see a clear distinction. It speaks of enduring suffering, but it's ambiguous at best on the point of self-defense. The vast majority of scripture quoted relates to being persecuted by the government, courts, or authorities (in many cases religious authorities, who at the time had their own courts and enforcers). These cases presented ample opportunity to stand before your persecutors and give testimony for Christ. However, in a crowded movie theater, being gunned down side by side with any random person provides no avenue for proclamation nor to show your faith other than to die just like the atheist or muslim sitting next to you. These examples also provided little chance of defense. Going out in a blaze of glory doesn't do much either. As Solomon would say there's a time to live and a time to die. We should be "wise as serpents" and know the difference.

    Overall, as this is in response to Dr. Falwell's address, there's a lot to agree with. It comes down to something so basic to Christianity: seeking God's heart. We need to be careful in our language and presentation, and Falwell seemed a little loose for my taste. This becomes very situational, and scripture doesn't try to outline every situation and the correct response. Instead, it's a journey of seeking the very heart and nature of God, and letting that lead you.

    Our primary aim in life is to show that Christ is more precious than life. So when presented with this threat to my wife or daughter or friend, my heart should incline toward doing good in a way that would accomplish this great aim.
    This is the part that absolutely baffles me. Man breaks in, attacks your wife and daughter, and somehow doing nothing will show everyone the great love of Jesus? Imagine your daughter has a friend over who is also attacked and killed. Think her parents will think, wow, what a special faith and hope you have to sit back and only pray?

    To me, when it says, "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." it includes coming to someone's defense, even with arms, even with the chance that you may not make it out alive.

    I think Falwell made a mistake when he talks about "teaching them a lesson". I hope I never have to act in defense of myself or anyone else. But I also hope that I have the faith that if God places me in position to protect others who may be defenseless, that I don't seek preservation of my own life but trust mine to Him and do what's necessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by solus View Post
    hummm...the underlined comment could have been said about ISIL's interpretation of the Qur'an...how interesting.
    Some twist the language of the Bible to other meanings. Pointing that out when reviewing an article on the 2A and the Bible is relevant. Some twist the meanings of the Qur'an, some twist the meaning of writings by Charles Darwin or Albert Einstein. The posted question was how self defense relates to biblical teaching. Just because someone twists that, doesn't broaden the scope to any writing that may get twisted. If you'd like to discuss self defense and religion in general, start that thread. For this thread, please stay on topic or keep to yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by solus View Post
    Other's have called it his bible. He titled it simply "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth". And, he didn't "write" it. Just edited. Cut out and reordered. Even if we want to call this a different "Jefferson Bible", the OP is obviously not discussing this Bible. Another off topic jab.

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    Quote Originally Posted by georg jetson View Post
    You don't understand Christianity, but I see an interest.
    I understand it better than most preachers.

    I am being a little PC for the sake of the forum


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    Please research the term 'deterrence'. It is the rare idiot who is truly idiot enough to go into a place where he knows armed resistance is very likely... if not guaranteed to be present.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Please research the term 'deterrence'. It is the rare idiot who is truly idiot enough to go into a place where he knows armed resistance is very likely... if not guaranteed to be present.
    Or high/drunk, just crazy or just don't give a dam.
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    Quote Originally Posted by solus View Post
    [ ... ] thank goodness Pascal postulated an alternate choice...ipse
    He did no such thing. If you believe so then provide a citation to Pascal.

    Yes; but you must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then?

    Let us see. Since you must choose, let us see which interests you least. You have two things to lose, the true and the good; and two things to stake,[Pg 67] your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun, error and misery.

    Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose. This is one point settled. But your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.

    Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.—"That is very fine. Yes, I must wager; but I may perhaps wager too much."—Let us see. Since there is an equal risk of gain and of loss, if you had only to gain two lives, instead of one, you might still wager. But if there were three lives to gain, you would have to play (since you are under the necessity of playing), and you would be imprudent, when you are forced to play, not to chance your life to gain three at a game where there is an equal risk of loss and gain. But there is an eternity of life and happiness. And this being so, if there were an infinity of chances, of which one only would be for you, you would still be right in wagering one to win two, and you would act stupidly, being obliged to play, by refusing to stake one life against three at a game in which out of an infinity of chances there is one for you, if there were an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain. But there is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. It is all divided; wherever the infinite is and there is not an infinity of chances of loss against that of gain, there is no time to hesitate, you must give all.

    And thus, when one is forced to play, he must renounce reason to preserve his life, rather than risk it for infinite gain, as likely to happen as the loss of nothingness. [my emphasis] https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1826...-h/18269-h.htm
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    if one can wager for some form of deity...then most certainly one can wager against such an existence...

    quoth nightmare: Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. so quoth nightmare

    you see, again, as you quoth, ...there is no time to hesitate, you must give all. unquoth. as has been consistently shown by my actions, as well from my behaviour, my all has been and continues to be given...and as you, yourself have pointed out by parroting Pascal...i lose absolutely & unequivocably nothing whatsoever.

    those wagering there is a deity...and lose will be utterly devastated beyond consolement.

    btw...is citing your own rhetoric acceptable or shall i go copy the bloody gutenburg website url also?

    ipse
    I'm only human; I do what I can; I'm just a man; I do what I can; Don't put the blame on me; Don't put your blame on me ~ Rag'n'Bone Man.

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by solus View Post
    if one can wager for some form of deity...then most certainly one can wager against such an existence...

    quoth nightmare: Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. so quoth nightmare

    you see, again, as you quoth, ...there is no time to hesitate, you must give all. unquoth. as has been consistently shown by my actions, as well from my behaviour, my all has been and continues to be given...and as you, yourself have pointed out by parroting Pascal...i lose absolutely & unequivocably nothing whatsoever.

    those wagering there is a deity...and lose will be utterly devastated beyond consolement.

    btw...is citing your own rhetoric acceptable or shall i go copy the bloody gutenburg website url also?

    ipse
    If God exists, then not raising his ire is of some benefit to me.

    If God does not exist, I have lost nothing, nor will I be disappointed for not getting stuck by a bolt of lightning...just say-in.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    If God exists, then not raising his ire is of some benefit to me.

    If God does not exist, I have lost nothing, nor will I be disappointed for not getting stuck by a bolt of lightning...just say-in.
    my mentality also...do not go through the mumbo jumbo motions and live life accordingly or be wrong and hope the deity i meet at the end is forgiving... (if not i will join a gaggle of my friends in the afterlife)

    ipse
    I'm only human; I do what I can; I'm just a man; I do what I can; Don't put the blame on me; Don't put your blame on me ~ Rag'n'Bone Man.

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

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    One may, one can, but Blaise Pascal did not as Himself-alone ignorantly asserted.
    Last edited by Nightmare; 12-24-2015 at 05:09 AM.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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