Friday, July 25, 2014

Black and White

Through the years I have run across people that think so much differently than I do. I'm not talking just about religion or political differences, but a fundamental difference on what they find to be a satisfying or acceptable answer or explanation.

You see, I like to be as accurate and detailed in my answers as I can. Meanwhile, other people want everything to be black and white. That may work for them, but I view the world in shades of grey. I've had employers that only seemed capable of flat yes or no answers. But the questions that are asked were rarely answered so simply. There are nuances and details that make neither yes or no to really be an accurate reply. Yet, this is all they find acceptable.

Not one to willingly forfeit accuracy, I will avoid the use of these flawed replies if a more accurate option is available. What is wrong with 'possibly' or 'most likely' and then stating the variable(s) you are concerned could reverse an affirmative or negative declaration?
A: Is the machine fixed?
B: I'm not sure, it's working now.
A: So it's fixed...
B: Maybe. It wasn't working, and now it is. Everything was done exactly the same both times. So either there's a variable I'm missing, or it fixed itself.
A: It's working. So it's fixed. How did you fix it?
B: As I said. Everything was done as it was when it didn't work and did work, but it's working now. So we'll see how it goes. If I can repeat the problem/solution, then we'll know.
A: So it's fixed for good then?
B: ... *bangs head on wall*
An accurate portrayal of reality: Usually, it's somewhere in
the middle...
Also, why are 'I'm not sure', or I don't know' discarded as acceptable answers? I'll be asked A question that I don't know the answer to, and will say as such and then offer the my gut feeling or what is usually the case, but that I'll have to check the facts. Yet, I find myself faced with only the binary options of 'yes' or 'no'. What is wrong with being honest and accurate?
A: Can we put this info on a plaque this small?
B: I'm note sure. I'll have to lay it out and see it that's too small.
A: Can we do it?
B: I think so, but it will be pretty close. Let me lay it out to see.
A: Yes or no?
B: Probably, but I can't say for certain at that size without checking.
A: Yes or no?
B: ... *wonders if I'm speaking another language*
Those are quite simplified examples, but when speaking with someone incapable of understanding variables or detailed explanations, I'm often left at a loss for words. I'm dumfounded that before me stands a grown man, that wishes to converse at the level of a grade schooler. Sorry, but I refuse to eschew accuracy in favor of faulty simplicity.

It's odd that these same people always seem to take things the wrong way. Say they offer a solution to a problem. I may agree or I may notice a problem with the proposed solution. Yet pointing out this flaw is somehow viewed as a reactionary shooting down of anything they would have said. Um, no... Offer a good idea, and I'll gladly accept it. But if there's a problem or potential problem I'm not just going to ignore it.
A: What if we do 'X'?
B: That almost sounds like it would work, except for the fact that 'Y' will cause 'problem Z'.
A: What if we do 'X2'?
B: We tried that already and it didn't work.
A: What if we did 'X3'?
B: That would actually cause more problems because of 'Y2' and 'Z2'.
A: I'm offering solutions, but you just keep shooting them down!
B: ... *At this point I'm thinking "chill dude, me pointing out where physics or geometry defy your 'solution' is not me trying to pick a fight..."

I feel that looking at everything in such a black and white manner is good for no one. So it's no surprise that this thinking has permeated politics and religion. It's not news to anyone that many conservative view liberals as the enemy, and vice versa. You're either with the party, or you're against it. Likewise, some believers feel that you are either with God or against him. This like of thinking only goes to divide and cause undue conflict. Often there is a middle-ground where people can compromise on an issue. But in a strict black and white world, this potential for cooperation is lost.

I feel that similar dangers are at risk when condensing conversation to only two polar opposites. Sometimes that may work, but often times things aren't quite that simple. Some may enjoy that illusion of black and white simplicity, but I will pick the accuracy of a world painted in shades of gray any day.

-Brain Hulk

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

The problem of evil

Based on this title, you probably think I'm going to talk about the classic problem of evil. But I'm actually going to talk about an article from Christian Today that actually claims it's us atheists that face the bigger problem with the problem of evil. Seriously? Oh well, let's see what they have to say...
Lots of people, when asked why they don't believe in God, will say something like, "Because there is so much evil in the world".
You know what, I have a suggestion... How about if Christian Today doesn't  simply purposely create a premise on which to base their entire article, and instead do some real research?

I must say that I've heard very few atheists say that they are atheists because of how much evil there is in the world. I have heard atheists say that the existence of evil made them doubt the whole part about God being all love. But that's pretty much it. After all, there being evil wouldn't disprove God, it only goes so far as to show that if he does exist, he just doesn't give a shit.

You see, most atheists are non-believers because religion hasn't satisfied the burden of proof, or because it just didn't make any logical sense. Not off to a good start David Robertson...
It wasn't the case for me. One of the reasons I became a Christian was studying the horrors of the Holocaust. I visited Auschwitz for the first time last year. It was so upsetting. If there is no God, then to me, this world is hell. What's often used as a reason to not believe in God can be used as a reason to believe.
So David was afraid of reality and retreated to a religion to tell him that it will all be okay and that Jesus will fix the world... someday. Sorry, but belief due to fear is not impressive.
I think that all of us have a sense of evil and a sense of good – I don't think that morality is relative. The modern mantra of "It's true for you but not for me" is false. There really is such a thing as good and evil. To me this truth actually leads to God, rather than away from God.
It matters not that David  doesn't believe morality is subjective. The simple fact it that any way you slice it, it is... Even if you claim morality comes from God. He changes his mind from time to time in the Bible, so that's subjective as well. But looking at morality, we can see that we crafted it and it evolved along with us. We are social creatures that poses empathy (well, most of us). But I go into more detail on that here.

Some things are pretty much universal to us because we are the same species and have gone down the same evolutionary road. But there are still plenty of exceptions from one morality to another. And sorry, there simply being 'evil' doesn't necessitate a god. 'Evil' or 'bad' is simply a term that is comparative to something that is 'good'. Evil is our interpretation, not an actual thing.
So here's the problem of evil in a nutshell. We say that God is omnipotent – that he is all powerful, so he could destroy evil. We say that God is good, so he would want to destroy evil. So then atheists will argue, that because evil exists, a good omnipotent God cannot exist. Otherwise, he would stop evil. It's a simple
argument, but for many people it is devastating.
Yes, it's simple and easy to understand. God as defined by some Christians is contradictory at its core. When you present a God that is all-powerful and all-loving, and than state the existence of evil, you are left having to choose.

1) God either isn't all powerful and can't stop evil.
2) He isn't all loving  but is all powerful and chooses not to stop evil that he could stop.
3) God isn't all powerful or loving.
4) There is no God.

So why is it that when so many believers are shown this that they stridently refuse to believe that their definition of their god is necessarily flawed?
We shouldn't shelter Christians from arguments like this. Some of our young people grow up in churches where they are not asked to think about these things, and we try to protect them.
And they do this because history is showing that education, thinking and questioning are things that usually end up being quite bad for religious faith. Sorry, but if education and thinking are your enemies, that really should tell you something...
So the first time they come across a problem like this, everything gets blown apart and they lose their faith.
Oh no! The kids might actually see logic and recognize it for what it is! *gasp* But let's not be too dramatic. Most don't stop believing just like that. The majority will simply be left with a seed of doubt. A seed that might blossom into a beautiful tree of self discovery, or might be stamped out by religious friends and family should they get a whiff.
That doesn't need to be the case. There are lots of contradictions within this argument, especially when compared to the attitude of many atheists today.
Um, how...? We don't claim to have a super-powered hero that has promised to lock up Captain Evil for his dastardly deeds.
Atheists such as Richard Dawkins claim that evil doesn't actually exist. In his book, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life Dawkins writes: "In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference."
Talk about not understanding what one is reading. The subject of the book should have been a hint. River Out of Eden is about evolution. Dawkins is not saying that atheists don't believe in evil but that evolution doesn't, as it works with total indifference. I sure hope that this wasn't the bedrock this article was built upon. If so, David wasted probably a couple hours writing an article that is a total waste of time.
So for this kind of atheist thinking, there is no evil. There is no purpose. Nothing, but blind, pitiless indifference.
 Congratulations! David wasted any time he spent penning this piece!
Sometimes I ask God why such terrible things happen in the world. I get upset. But I would be in the pit of despair if I thought that the universe had no purpose, no good and no evil, and it all happened for no reason at all.
Doubling down on the belief out of fear and not actually understanding what you are talking about I see...
If you are a naturalist (ie you believe that the material world is all that there is), then you have a real problem with the existence of evil. You have to believe:
1) There is no creation, and no Creator.
Close enough I guess. A naturalist could believe in a creator that doesn't violate the laws of nature. But since we haven't found any of those yet, we'll just go with what David said.
2) There is no life after death. No one to answer to. You are a blob of carbon floating from one meaningless existence to another.
Wrong. The lack of an after-life doesn't make life meaningless. Does the lack of an after-after-life make the after-life meaningless to a believer? My life may not have a prescribed meaning, but don't fool yourself into thinking life is meaningless. Even without divine mandate, life is beautiful and full of meaning. And even better, we get to decide what that meaning is!
3) There is no ultimate foundation for morality. It's just something that happens, and has evolved.
Yes, morality evolved. And because if that it fits us rather well. Even better, that allows us to fix mistakes. Something that an absolute objective morality won't allow. So a well reasoned subjective morality that we created is actually a superior one anyway!
4) There is no ultimate meaning in life. We're going on from one meaningless existence to another.
How is this one really any different than #2? Was David desperate to make his list a nice tidy  five items and couldn't think of anything else?
5) There is no human free will. It means I'm programmed to do certain things. It means I can't be held accountable. It means when you stand in front of a judge for raping a woman, you say, "I can't help it, it was my genes". It takes away human responsibility. Part of being human is being responsible. We have an element, at least, of free will.
Wow, David has a real knack for not understanding things. We can be genetically predisposed to be more likely to act one way or another, but unless one has some form of mental illness, there still is a choice to be made. That or the lives we lead make us into the people we become. Sorry, but David's attempt at an over simplified straw-man simply fails.
The problem with the atheist view of evil, is that logically it doesn't make sense. Either you agree that it exists, or you don't. If it does exist, then on what metaphysical basis does it exist? It can't just "be" in a world that is just atoms and molecules.
Here's the thing. Atheists don't claim that there is no evil! We may counter a believers claim of absolute evil that there isn't really an absolute, transcendent evil. But this in no way equates to us not thinking there is any 'evil'. So no, it's David's claim that 'the atheist view of evil' doesn't make sense that actually doesn't make any sense.
Good old CS... Who claimed that Jesus was either
lord, liar, or lunatic. He of course left out that
possibility that Jesus didn't claim to be God or
didn't exist. Something that confine Jesus to be
no more than a simple legend.
I love CS Lewis' view.
I usually don't, as his work on Christianity that is supposed to be aimed at atheists shows a real lack of understanding about atheists.
As he made his journey from atheism to theism, Lewis realised [SIC] that the problem of evil presented more of a problem for atheism than it did for theism. In Mere Christianity he writes:
Yeah, I actually have my doubts about his supposed atheism. I've seen him claim he was an atheist, but never anything more than that. For someone who claimed to have been an atheist, his knowledge of atheism is staggeringly bad. So he either came to atheism from some illogical path, miscategorized himself as an atheist (maybe he was just angry with God), or was lying.
"My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust...? Of course, I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too – for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies.
Oh, so close! We recognize 'bad' not because we know God, but because we know 'good'. Furthermore, it CS really did have a problem with God due to the problem of evil, it just goes to show that if he was an atheist, he wasn't a logical one. 
"Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. Consequently, atheism turns out to be too simple."
Funny... My non-belief stemmed in part from my actually trying to prove God...
It's true. Atheism is way too simple. If you say you don't believe in God because the world is unjust and that there is evil in the world – but you then say there is no such thing as evil, you're contradicting yourself.
Well it's a good thing that we don't say that then, isn't it...
The New Atheist motto "There is no God and I hate Him" doesn't make any sense at all.
David... Please stop making stuff up. Atheism doesn't have a motto, let alone a new one. And if it did, it certainly wouldn't be something as illogical as that!

So lets all thank David for wasting his time and ours by writing about something he clearly doesn't understand. 

-Brain Hulk

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

God proven in three minutes?

Josh Feuerstein is back. As you may remember, he's best known for knowing absolutely nothing about evolution. Well, this time he claims that he will prove that God exists in just three minutes. Lets just see about that...
...I can see a painting and know that there was a painter. I don't need to see the painter to know there is one. If I am hunting and see droppings in the woods, I know they were left by an animal. I know these things exist because of the evidence left behind. So when I look at human beings and creation, I know that there has to be a creator.
Leading with this argument isn't a good start. Yes, we know that a painting needed to be painted because we know that paintings don't just suddenly pop into existence. Actually, the very definition of a painting necessitates it's creation by a painter. The same is true of animal droppings. The function of an animal's digestive system is required to yield animal droppings.

But you can't just assert that the Earth and everything on it is a creation that required a sentient guiding hand in it's creation. You can not just claim that the Earth is a creation, therefor it needs a creator, without first actually showing that it is a 'creation' at all. Add to that the scientific models and evidence that have shown that no divine authorship was needed, and the entire argument is shot. Next!
We believe in all kind of things we can't see. We believe in heat, but we can't see it. We can't see gravity. We believe in gravity because we have felt it. The same way the millions and billions have felt God.
Technically you can see a representation of heat with a thermal camera, but lets get to the point of this. We can't see heat or gravity, but they are distinct from God in that they have been measured, tested and understood. Maybe we can not see them with out naked eye, but we can and have proven their existence. God? Not so much...

And so what if a lot of people believe in the Christian god? A lot of people believe the Hindu gods as well. Is Josh suggesting that they exist as well? A lot of people also once thought that the Sun orbited the Earth, and that the Earth was flat. If a billion people believe a foolish thing, it's still a foolish thing. What I care about is what is provable.
And atheist doesn't poses the totality of truth, so how can they say that God doesn't exist?
Most of us don't claim to know it all, or know for a fact that God doesn't exist. The majority of atheists (myself included) would rather say that they simply don't believe in God, or that his existence is highly unlikely. Not that we are 100% certain he doesn't exist.

My experiences are enough to prove to me that he does exist.
And a Hindu's experiences are enough to prove to them that Krishna exists, and a Buddhist's experiences are enough to prove to them that the Buddha and Nirvana exist. Which part of this is supposed to apply to me though?
There's a billion people around the world that would agree with me that they've experienced  his love, etc...
Sorry, but an argumentum ad populum won't work on me. But you know what Josh, a billion people will also agree to have experienced the Hindu gods. Are they true as well?
Remember, believers in EVERY religion claim
the same sincerity and experiences. They can't all
be right, but they can all be wrong.
I challenge you to simply ask God to show himself to you. I promise that it will change your life the same way it changed mine. 

Apparently Josh is unaware that most atheists were previously believers. I know I was. According to Josh, what I thought and thought I felt should have proved God to me beyond a shadow of a doubt. As a believer, I never felt something that was so obvious and life changing as Josh is stating. I did believe, and thought I had it figured out, but eventually lost belief anyway. But what the hell, in the interest of science, I will take his challenge and ask God to show himself to me...

...and here we are a few hours later, and nothing. Sorry, but Josh fails once more. He claims to prove
God in three minutes, and doesn't even come close. So much for that good old Christian honesty...

-Brain Hulk

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A republican proves God?

Oh my... When I saw the blurb claiming that a republican congressman can prove that God exists with a simple equation, I was admittedly skeptical. When I read the article though...
A Republican congressman has apparently figured out the solution to the age-old philosophical question mankind has been trying to figure out for a very long time.
Really?  I'm all ears.
Proving God exists or does not exist has been a difficult endeavour for many, but Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) gave it a try at a prayer rally held in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
Gohmert? I don't have a good feeling about this already... Whenever I hear his name, I instantly think of TV's hapless Gomer Pyle.
“Bob Murphey used to say, ‘You know, I feel so bad for atheists, I do,’” Gohmert said of the country music singer at the “Celebrate America” event. “‘Think about it, no matter how smart they think they are, an atheist has to admit that he believes the equation: nobody plus nothing equals everything.’”

He continued: “How embarrassing for an intellectual to have to say ‘yeah, I believe that. Nobody plus nothing equals everything.’ Well, you couldn’t get everything unless there was something that was the creator of everything. And that’s the Lord we know.”

Your move, atheists.
Sigh... nothing + nobody = everything? Talk about an old and terrible argument. Fist off, the argument shows a lack of understanding of what an atheist even is. An atheist at it's simplest is someone who lacks a belief in gods. Where everything came from is a different question. Sure, most atheist accept the Big Bang theory, but not all. An atheist is free to think that some advanced alien race created us, or that our universe is just part of an advanced computer simulation where we are but digital characters convinced we are biological. But no matter what they think about the origins of the cosmos or life, if they don't believe in God, the are an atheist.

Another problem is that the believer has the same problem with their equation that they think atheists have. They think God created everything, so what about nothing + nobody = God. They want me to account for where the universe came from (and we have parts of that figured out already), while they still have to account for where God came from. A believer may just claim that he always existed, but that's a non-answer. If a complex God could just always exist, why couldn't a comparatively simple universe or it's building blocks simply always exist instead?

Despite Gohmert's opinion, there's nothing embarrassing about lacking faith in God. Actually, he should be the one embarrassed. He doesn't realize his equation is old, terrible and refuted. He doesn't even know an accurate description of atheism. And he's the one following a religion that has consistently been on the wrong side of history and science.

And what's with the jump at the end that the creator god is the Christian god? Even if his equation did prove what he is claiming it does, he's still left with all the work to do as to which god is the one that did it all.

Once again, we're left with an article who's headline is all flash, and the body is no substance. But if you can prove that God is real, I'll listen. Your move Louie...

-Brain Hulk

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Female Thor?

First it was the Human Torch, now the mighty Thor is embroiled in controversy...

Marvel took to The View of all places to make this announcement:
Thor concept art courtesy of Marvel Comics.
It’s a huge day in the Marvel Universe. Thor, the God of Thunder, he messed up, and he’s no longer worthy to Mjolnir. For the first time in history, that hammer is being held by a woman. That’s right. Thor is a woman!

This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe.

But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before. The new Thor continues Marvel’s proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute – she’s now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!
That's right, Thor is now a woman!

As you might have guessed, this has ruffled more than a few feathers. Some are claiming that Marvel is trying to change Norse mythology. An odd statement seeing how the Thor in the comics has very little in common with the 'real' god of thunder to begin with. Secret identity as a human, powers can be transferred, others can become Thor... Also, in Norse mythology Sif is Thor's wife, but in the comics and movies, Jane Foster is his love interest.

In mythology, Thor is Thor. But in the comics, there have been a few to hold the title.

• Dr. Donald Blake (turns out to be the actual Thor sent to Earth)
• Roger 'Red' Norvell
• Beta Ray Bill
• Eric Masterson
• Dargo Ktor

Other complaints have been how this will effect the movies. I'd imagine it wouldn't effect them at all since the movies have not been following the comics. In the movies Thor always knows he is Thor and lives in Asgard. In the comics he was sent to Earth, didn't know he was Thor, and lived on Earth secretly.

And then of course there's the fact that Thor is now a woman... But is that really a big deal? There have been Thor themed female characters before, and let's not forget the inscription Marvel put on Mjolnir.
Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.
So if the hammer deems you worthy, you hold it and in turn will posses the powers of Thor.

Other Characters (other than those that actually became Thor) to have been worthy of holding Mjolnir include:

So when this was Thor, it was just fine. And let's not forget that
time he was a frog. But a woman? That's just too much! Nope,
that doesn't sound misogynistic at all...
• Captain America
• Throg
• Thor 'clone'
• Ragnarok
• Hulk
• Storm
• Rouge
• Thunderstrike
• Odin
• Loki
• Spider-Man 2099 (Miguel O'Hara)
• Conan
• Deadpool
• Superman
• Wonder Woman
• and others...

So given that Thor's powers can be transferred as such, that those powers have been wielded by women before, and that there have been multiple 'Thors', is the next Thor being a woman really the rule breaker travesty that some are making it out to be? No, not at all. It fits with the Marvel character's mythos and doesn't rewrite the past at all.

Who knows, maybe she will turn out to be the original Thor's daughter or sister and they can now fight side-by-side. She with Mjlnor and, he with the battle ax Jarnbjorn.

-Brain Hulk

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Friday, July 18, 2014

What we have here, is a lack of understanding

What's the proper course of action when you don't understand something? Should you research and study it? Nope, just ask Billy Graham!
DEAR DR. GRAHAM: I believe in God because I don’t think it’s logical to think this universe just happened. But where does Jesus fit into the picture? I apologize for asking what’s probably a simple question, but I didn’t grow up in a church-going family. — H.R.
Sorry HR, this isn't so much an easy question so much as a painfully sad one. What HR fails to realize is that his thinking it isn't logical is meaningless when compared to the facts and evidence that it is...
DEAR H.R.: Don’t apologize; I’m thankful you want to learn about God! As I’ve often said, the person who’s in the greatest danger spiritually is the one who never thinks about God or wants anything to do with Him.
So... Billy is in terrible danger with Thor then?
You’re right; it’s not logical to think that the universe just “happened.” Whether we look into the heavens through a telescope or examine a droplet of blood through a microscope, we see incredible beauty and complexity that could only come from the hand of an all-wise and all-powerful Creator. As the Bible says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).
Billy, Billy, Billy... A lack of understanding about cosmology, physics, evolution, and the scientific process in general is not proof of a creation. It's only proof that you ignore or didn't bother to try and learn the explanations that are actually backed up by cold hard facts.
But looking only at the created world doesn’t tell us everything we need to know.
Prove that it's even a creation at all please...
For example, it doesn’t tell us if God loves us and cares about us. 
Don't worry, the Bible very clearly shows that he doesn't.
Nor does it tell us how we ought to live. 
We figured that one out on our own too. Social creatures and all that...
Most of all, it doesn’t tell us what we ought to do about the sense of sin and guilt we all feel in our hearts.
We sorted that one out too. Empathy is pretty damn powerful. Plus the previous one funnels in here as well.
And this is why Jesus Christ came into the world. He was God in human form, and He came to demonstrate God’s love to us. He did this by giving His life for us, so we could be forgiven of our sins and go to be with Him in heaven forever.
Yes, we've all heard this before. But I still want to know... Why the huge production for something that wasn't even necessary?
God will accept you just as you are, and you can begin your journey of faith by asking Christ to come into your heart today. Your life will never be the same.
You see... That's the thing. He doesn't take you as you are.  He requires you to conform to one demand (if not more) otherwise he doesn't give a toss and sends you to hell. That doesn't sound very loving and accepting to me.

-Brain Hulk

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

God's forgiveness

Ah, once more Billy Graham picks a letter from someone wanting to know if there is hope for them after all their 'sins'...
Q: I know God can do anything He wants to, which means that if He wanted to, He could even forgive me for all the bad things I've done. But I could never forgive myself. I know I've hurt a lot of people, and I feel so ashamed and guilty. Is there any hope for me?
It's amazing just how many Christians don't seem to know very much about Christianity...
A: The most important thing you need to know is that God not only could forgive you - but He wants to! He loves you and doesn't want you to go through life carrying a burden of guilt and shame.
Oh, so he wants to forgive? Okay I think we're done here. Let's pack it up and go...
That's why God has done everything possible to make your forgiveness a reality.
Wait... He wants to forgive, and has done everything possible to make that happen, so he just forgives right? I mean, that really is all it takes.
Yes, you have sinned; you've sinned against others, and most of all you've sinned against God. We often downplay the seriousness of sin, but sin is serious, because it cuts us off from others and from God. And we all are guilty, whether we feel it or not. The Bible warns, "There is no one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10).
Wait, wait, wait... How can sin or anything cut someone off from God. He's supposed to be all-powerful for crying out loud!
But God has provided the way for us to be forgiven...
By, I don't know... Maybe just forgiving people who are genuinely sorry, good, or have learned their lesson?
...and that way is Jesus Christ. He was without sin, for He was God, but on the cross all our sins were placed on Him, and He took upon Himself the judgment you and I deserve. Now we can be forgiven - freely and fully - by putting our faith and trust in Him. Why not ask Him to forgive you today?
After-all, he was a Christian.
Son of a... What happened to wanting to forgive? If he's requiring the acceptance of a barbaric, unnecessary and immoral human sacrifice (or anything really) in order to gain forgiveness he isn't forgiving because he wants to, but because you payed him to. That's more black-mail than forgiveness. If someone truly wants to forgive someone, there is no need of any such requirement.
Then ask God to help you forgive yourself. You can't forget what you've done, but if God has taken away your sins, why act as if they were still there? And if you need to ask others to forgive you, let them know you now belong to Christ, and you're sorry for what you've done and you hope they'll forgive you.
Yeah... That's real great advice. Why act like your sin is still there if God has forgiven you? Is Billy blind to the obvious implications? Oh, you just robbed and shot a pregnant woman? No worries, God forgave you so there's no need to stress about it. In fact, do it again tomorrow if you want... you're in good with the big guy.

-Brain Hulk

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