Salvation by door#1 door#2 or door#3

Salvation and the path to it!

  • Salvation by Works
  • Justification by Faith
  • Neither ill stick to my own path
0 voters

Is it just me or does each religion have its own aspect of being saved after death?

But to focus this post, what im really asking about is Salvation by works or salvation by faith. While each has something else to do with the other they are like black and white.

Salvation by works: He who does good deeds and works hard at being good will be saved due to the good deeds he has done.

Justification by faith: (will somebody define this for me, i understand it but i can not describe it acurately due to my bias against it)

While it is fine to say both because thats a cheap way out, but its not really furthering the defintion or discussion of the two. and the answer both could be seen as a grey inbetween the white and black

If you ask me, there’s only one just way into heaven if it exists, and that’s by good works alone. It’s easy to have Faith and do nothing, it’s harder to have no Faith yet still do good works just for the sake of goodness.

Here’s the Chirstian argument for Faith alone:

Only those that believe in Jesus are saved, must believe! Otherwise your already condemned.


What am I being saved from? Hell? Sins?

I think it depends. In our current world, I would argue that we lack precedence for faith, so selfless acts of good will might be the best identifier of whom is most deserving. However, if God were to confront each and everyone of us, telling us that we need to have faith to get into heaven, it might make more sense, but then again, would that really be considered “faith”? Oh well, I think the whole notion of faith is an awfully faulty concept. It just make no sense no matter how you look at it.

Do we have to go to either heaven or hell? Why doesn’t God just give us the opportunity to cease existence?

Because He made you eternal in the first place.


We would all enjoy discussing some of these issues with you but your one liner comments are not going to get you anywhere. I am guessing that you are a christian? Please don’t think that I am trying to demean your beliefs with my anti-christian perspective. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject and even carry on a positive debate concerning God, Heaven, Hell, Christianity, etc. Thanks for posting and I hope that you will join us on for some meaningful discussions.



I am the unworthy. Remember me? :laughing:
I’d like to be more explicit in my posts, but time is working against me.
Let me give it a shot about this one, though.

Man is like a ship in the open sea. If there is no light to guide it through all the storms and dangers, it will perish. Of course, ships do have small compasses (which I correlate to man’s consicousness), but they are not always accurate, as there are many influences out there. As I see it, you are being saved from being against yourself. (Ships often tend to go blindly into the greatest storms.)

As I said, He created you immortal in the first place. He can’t go against His own will, this is not… ‘suitable’ for a God. Now you’ll probably ask ‘why did He create us immortal?’. I would say from love; He wanted us to endlessly inhabit The Kingdom of Heaven. A unloving, let’s say hating god (because many see an enemy in God) would have no reason to create. What would be the reason? The sadistic ‘pleasure’ of seeing someone in pain; killing for pleasure? Killing your own creature = killing a part of yourself, having a ‘double-faced will’, an unconsistent will, I mean. That doesn’t sound like an eternal god to me.

I’m tired, I’m probably not making much sense. I’m not saying much, either. Well, I look forward for your objections :wink:

I don’t pretend to have all the answers but will try to explain salvation by faith as according to the protestant Christian(I’m sure someone who fits that category will disagree but it happens). I guess mostly this is a christian debate, since that is what the original post sounds like. Here is the argument against salvation by works. A God capable of creation would likely be able to adhere to a code(assuming that code exists), far better than any of us. The question most problematic for that stance is; What is the crossing point for a person to acheive the statis of being good enough to earn something from a beign far greater than us. What reason do we have to believe that goal is any less than perfect. If you assume the correct moral code is that off Chrisianity, then I believe that it is an impossibility. The old testiment has a strict moral code most well personified by the ten commandments. Although when Jesus live, there were volumes of very precise laws supposedly showing how to live according to God’s standards. Jesus, then raised that standards to further highlight the impossibilty of living a life good enough to earn something from God. He said that even if you live a perfect life, you are accountable for your thoughts. Meaning that wanting to kill someone that made you angry or have sex with a model in a magazine, makes you less than the standard set by God. Therefor, the standard is that belive in a certain thing ie, God, Christ, etc. will ovecome your inability to acheive that unacheivable goal of living up to the standards of a far superior being.

Ulthough like I said I don’t have all the answers. This exlanation has quite a few assumtions and things that lead to other debates, but without writing a novel, I think it at least presents the idea.

h2o!!! Good to have you back! Didn’t mean to give you a hard time, I just wanted to hear you explain your perspective at length. :wink:

Well, I think you presented the armenian protestant view quite well, so let’s move on to the finer parts of the argument.

First of all, why the heck would God expect us to meet an impossible standard? Hence, the word “impossible”? Seems like a fairly obtuse thing to ask of a person.

God: “Man, I have set an impossible standard for you to uphold, but I expect you to do it anyways.”
Man: “So, you’re saying that you created me to fail? Right?”
God: "Basically, yes. And when you do fail, I have got a wonderful surprise for you. You’re gonna love it. :evilfun: "
Man: “. . . and you expect me to think that you are a good God?”

God: Here’s the deal though. I will give you no reason to believe that I am real, I will create thousands of religions to choose from, and I will create your brain to think rationally with logic, and after all of this I will expect you to believe that I exist. If you make the right choice, you get to go to heaven, if not, hell awaits.
Man: (scratches head) . . . huh?
God: Do I really need to tell you twice?!? Read your friggin’ bible for God’s sake!
Man: (after a few more minutes of head scratching) . . . so let me get this straight. You’re a big creepy wierdo that makes no sense, right? and you live in heaven, right? yet, you tell me hell sucks too? Do I get another choice? :cry:

If it made sense, I might be more apt to fall for it, but it is clearly a ridiculous assertion. Yes?


To me the question of “Does god exist” is about a 50-50. But by God I mean a Creator who isn’t necessarily all-powerful and all-knowing. Just something with the ability to create this universe and all who live in it. A designer who created all the rules of physics and in doing so shapes the matter, which fills the universe. I’m not even going to say God can grant eternal life or that he will judge our actions when we die. Only that there’s at least a 50-50 for a being that might have created the universe we live in.

I’m currently reading a book by David Hume called, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. While I haven’t yet finished the book, Hume has made some very good points about how we can’t know God because he doesn’t manifest himself in this world in a way that can be easily recognised by our 5 senses.

While Hume said this, in another part of the book he discusses how we can’t ever know what God what’s us to believe, because he doesn’t make his ways know in a direct manner. Revelation is not proof of Gods way, as all we are doing is taking the revealers word that their message is from God. So to believe in Jesus as saviour we are in fact believing another’s word, i.e. we’re actually trusting others to be right. To have faith is not to have faith in God, but to have faith in those who reveal his ways to us in the form of religion.

It’s for this reason I believe a belief in a Creator is about a 50-50, while I believe all religions to be false, no exception. Even what I believe in God is only what I want to believe, so comes from me not God.

Thanks for the warm welcoming, Skeptic :slight_smile:
Actually, the post about the protestant Christian view is not mine. I don’t agree to it, either, maybe because I’m not protestant, but, unfortunately, I also can’t give a fluent flow to my ideas, to show you where I don’t agree. For now, my views are best explained in the example with the ships :slight_smile:

In my view, if God created everything and controls everything then God also created human evil. It follows that since the entire universe is under the control of (the Judeo-Christian) God, then that God knows that the moral states of subordinate beings are his doing and responsibility (as a matter of that God’s intentionality over time). If this is (conceptually) true, then a God cannot “fairly” eternally punish a moral being for that being’s choices, since that being’s choices were given to him in the first place by God. ( I hold that free will does not exist coherently with an omniscient and omnipotent God, but that is only my view). If this in turn is (conceptually) true, then universalism, or the complete salvation of man from evil moral state is the only logical choice. If God makes a man evil, then it may be conceivably possible that either post-death or pre-death God makes the same man “good” to see what it is to be good, since the man is evil because God made him so. In this way, God is being “fair” in the sense that Paul used the term in Romans 3.

In my view, the only way man is to be “invariantly good” is to become Jesus Christ rather than simply to become “christ-like”…by reason of God transforming men from their humanistic minds to have the very mind or psychology of Christ. In this view, individualized consciousness distinct from Christ was never intended by a God to survive, and only the Christ consciousness was intended by a God to eternally survive.

Jay M. Brewer
4712 Oldfort Hills Rd.
Austin, Texas 78723

It is possible for God to create a World, but not the evil in that world. This is based on what some call the Freewill defence. By the very fact that God gave us freewill we can choose to do Good, or we can do Evil, either way it’s up to us. Therefore God creates us with the potential to be what we choose to be. God makes us neither one nor the other, as we become what we choose to become.

A reply to Vitae the Thinker:

In my view there seems to be no good reason why a God cannot create human evil, as in general Judeo-Christian thought (and the bible) refers to God as the “maker of all things”. In my view, this is not restricted to just the physical phenomena of the universe but also the psychological. It seems that free will is not the aim or goal of a God, and that to a God only intentionality matters over all (that God’s intentions and the power to carry them out)

Even from a secular viewpoint(conceptually)…even if God does not exist energy runs the entire show and it is ultimately brain processes that determine what we choose to do and what we choose not to do. If the relevant brain function is performed, then a certain choice (be it “evil” or “good”) arises…if that relevant function fails to perform, the oppositie choice (or no choice at all) arises.

The concept of “we choose what we shall become” is ultimately more an illusion of freedom, when it seems that the metaphysical truth rules out such epiphenomenal freedom…ultimately it comes down to the will of God or brain processes of the physical domain (if God does not exist) that determines the moral state of a person and that this sense of the “free-floating /free-choosing” self is just a matter of subjective illusion.

But this is only my view.

Jay M. Brewer

True, it is possible for God to create anything, but most religions will not attribute evil to him. God is the ideal of perfect goodness, so evil must come from somewhere else. The problem of evil is a fundamental problem for all religions that believe in a benevolent creator. Christians say, “God can bring good out of evil.” But when you hear about a masochist brutally killing a young child it’s very hard to see what good will come of it, to me it just seems senseless.

Yes, I agree. The main point I was trying to make was, in the eyes of some theologians freewill is a reality. They don’t accept that a human is just a slave to the cocktail of chemicals, which makes up the body. I don’t want to repeat myself verbatim, if you read my reply to the following link you will see that I agree with you, Responsibility.

True, how can you have real freedom when the universe we live in is based off cause and effect? Therefore every choice we make is the consequence of a cause.

Beautiful guys! It’s good to see some people that see things from my perspective. The concept of free will seems to have no good explanation. In fact, I have a hard time trying to understand what it even means. It’s basic physics. Cause and effect. Until someone can prove that our universe is based on a non-causal structure, I am left to believe that causality is the most probable answer. Of course, even Hume said that causality is unprovable but we have to rely on it anyways. We have no better answer.

To Pax Vitae and Skeptic:

Vitae: Thanks for elaborating on your notions of free will(or lack thereof) as well as Skeptic. I had always considered adherents of free will and believers in energetic brain process to be laboring under a logical contradiction.

In my view, I understand that believers in an “omnibenevolent” God MUST deny that God’s role in the creation of human evil, but this raises other problems such as evil in the face of God’s omniscience and so on that I won’t get into here. My point is that for all we know apriori our world could conceivably contain a “not-too-omnibenevolent” God or only a “selectively omnibenevolent” God (selectively benevolent to only one other being: Christ) and that that God (following David Cavendish, “The Black Arts”,1967: definition of Gnostism) considers humans as not “real” in the true subjective sense to whom that God might feel morally obligated-precisely because that God knows that humans are nothing more than collective combinations of microphysical entities(atoms,etc.)
In the same way, a cartoonist would fail to respect his/her creations as subjectively “real” in the relevant sense to whom that cartoonist would feel morally obligated to precisely because the cartoonist knows that “all that these things are” are ink on paper representing conscious beings.

I think that subjectively(to us) we are relevant but to a creative being we are not…I think that it is an (unconscious?) narcissism that religionists hold that God is morally obligated to what happens to us, when many verses in the bible state otherwise.

"For all of the powers in heaven
and all of the people on the earth
are considered to Him as nothing

For he does as he pleases
with all of the powers in heaven
and all of the people on the earth."

(Daniel 4)

For me everyday I question my faith (or lack of) and wonder what is faith and religion but something to believe in. I congratulate those who believe and whole heartedly put their inner essence into believing in religion and just having faith which can be hard to keep.

I think that there are so many religions and labels to the belief system, that I cannot categorize myself. I think having faith, and hope are very important factors in life.

I have to wonder though, can’t the fact that you just have faith unite us rather than divide us? I don’t know… sometimes I just feel like an outsider looking in on this vast space of thoughts.

For those who believe in anything, there is nothing more powerful than your hope…

Thanks Becca for you input. Faith and hope are interesting concepts but of what value are they if their focal point is false? Why do we need to hope for greater things to come? (i.e. an afterlife) Is it unsensable to be happy with what we’ve got? Do we always have to be hoping that there is something better in our futures? Lives can fly by quickly. Why not enjoy it while it lasts? :slight_smile: If we waste our whole lives concerned about our afterlife, then we might just be following a dead end path. Faith and hope are psychological responses to the concept of death. Live it up while you can and don’t let faith and hope distract you from the truth.

To Skeptic:

Very interesting view on how life is short, how faith and hope are psychological responses to the fact or fear of death,and so on.
Of course, the secular(or atheistic) view is by far the most simplistic: we live in a universe ultimately entailed by various forms of energy changing from one to the other and so on; consciousness depends on the physical processes of the brain, and if the brain should fail in functionality consciousness ceases to exist, and so on. An “atheistic” universe is the simplest of all universes, uncluttered by “idealized others” or “higher forms of consciousness” and so forth.

But in my view the an atheistic world, although the most simplistic, is also ultimately only the “most apparent” world. You espouse cause and effect as the underlying principle of the world, but we have no way of knowing if it is only energetic process and brain process per se that answers to every psychological event(in man): for all we know, faith and hope and belief in God are CAUSED phenomena by some nomologically imperceptible other(a God, for point of conception)-or for all we know belief in God could be a side-effect of brain function and it’s reaction to fear of the concept of eternal oblivion.

It comes down to logical possibility: we can’t know which world is ultimately the real world-belief in God because we are caused to believe by a God or belief in God as a psychological and functional response to fear of the concept of eternal oblivion. Holding to one and excluding the other is a logical fallacy no matter if your are atheist or theist.

Of course, even as a theist one should “live life while one can” and enjoy it to the utmost, but if one is CAUSED(by God? by Nature?) to believe in some nomologically imperceptible “other” and an afterlife then that is simply luck-of-the-functional-draw(in terms that brain function determines whether one believes or does not believe in God or an afterlife).

Overall, while one can believe that all we have is physical process and physical natural law and psychophysical laws and processes(Chalmers terminology for the relation between brain states and conscious states)-belief does not reality ultimately make (although reality may INADVERTENTLY agree with what one believes): precisely because God is naturally (as conceived)imperceptible(as I claim that God is a nonembodied consciousness that has causal powers over all of the physical and psychological phenomena in the universe) a universe containing a God causing subordinate beings to believe in the God (even if discordantly by the whim of such a God) and a universe that is completely godless is ultimately indistinguishable from one another.

But that is only my view,

Jay M. Brewer

I have really enjoyed reading through your responses phenomenal graffiti (by the way, that is a really cool screen name :slight_smile:). When I get some free time, I’d like to respond more specifically. One thing that I am not completely clear about from your responses. Are you an atheist or a theist? or even an agnostic? It seems that we agree on most things, but I have a feeling we disagree at some point. Do you really believe that God is a disembodied consciousness or are you only suggesting it as a possibility?

(Keep up the excellent posts and please join us by registering your screen name. It’s really simple and will only take, at most, 5 minutes. Thanks Jay!)