Computer analysis of the Bible

For intuitive and critical discussions, from spirituality to theological doctrines. Fair warning: because the subject matter is personal, moderation is strict.

Moderator: Dan~

Postby inward » Mon Dec 16, 2002 11:12 am

Pax_Vitae wrote:..While Eve who was humble, and out of this humbleness had a low self-opinion of herself. She wanted to be like God in thinks like Love, Goodness, and Forgiveness.


Genesis wrote:..And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat..


I don't see the woman wanting to be kind, loving and forgiving. I rather see her wanting wisdom, wanting to satistfy her belly and wanting to satisfy her eyes.

The devil only gave them words

“In the beginning there was the Word”


Yes, the Word of God, not of the devil. The Word of the Creator, not of a creation.

Pax_Vitae wrote:If they only sinned because the devil tricked them, then it’s the devils fault. Adam and Eve DID NOT KNOW EVIL!!! SO HOW COULD THEY KNOW THEY WHERE BEING TRICKED.


As a matter of fact, I understood your reasoning. Of course they did not know evil, they didn't have to know evil. Instead, they introduced evil by not following God. They could know they were being tricked by the contradiction they were facing: eat/ don't eat of that fruit.

The more you sin, the less free willed you are. It seems natural to me to follow one whom wants your best, especially that He is the one whom created you, whom knows you best.


Pax_Vitae wrote:No, the more I sin, the more my will is free from God’s will, so is my own. The more I sin the truer I am being to who and what I am.


Actually, the more you sin, the more you follow your carnal desires, which were not given to Adam at creation. The more you sin, the more you turn your face from God, and turn it towards yourself, a mere creature. Sin is not your true nature.

Pax_Vitae wrote:This is a flawed analogy, as God is everywhere!


God is not in sin.

And as for the East/West thing, it's the direction that matters. If you choose to follow God, you will understand sin, and overcome it. If you choose to follow sin, you won't understand God. It's not entirely like in Geography..

Yes, Clementine, you're right. God alone knows the nature of God. Now we're only discussing what He has shown us. I am surprised, though, as you didn't believe in God..
inward
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 2:31 pm

Postby Clementine » Mon Dec 16, 2002 5:21 pm

I don't see the woman wanting to be kind, loving and forgiving. I rather see her wanting wisdom, wanting to satistfy her belly and wanting to satisfy her eyes.


I see women being ingenuous and naive, like a child who doesn’t understand what is good and what is bad. But of course, each one sees it the way they want to.

Yes, Clementine, you're right. God alone knows the nature of God. Now we're only discussing what He has shown us. I am surprised, though, as you didn't believe in God..


I don’t think God has shown anything, it’s all a man interpretation/imagination

As we discussed before, I don’t believe in God. When I said that I meant that we can only guess what God is (if he is to be anything). Remember, I see God as a possible character of a story so am able to deny his existence, otherwise I would have to state ‘god doesn’t exist’ and leave it as it is.
Cle

"Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience. But nothing is a greater cause of suffering." Dostoyevsky
User avatar
Clementine
 
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 6:37 pm
Location: UK

Postby Uccisore » Mon Dec 16, 2002 10:56 pm

Nope, you are still missing the point. My experiences don't count.
The pain and suffering of those whom have encountered these scenarios are the only one's whom I would consider to make a judgement. Not me, not you, no one, except those whom have had to deal with it. How about this? Why don't you take a trip down to your local hospital and tell all the intensive care patients that they are suffering because God is punishing them for the sins of their parents or even for their own sins.


Why would I do that? They wouldn't be in a right mind to accept such a thing any more than you are. Even if it were true that God was punishing them, and even if I could prove it, they'd have a purely emotional reaction irrelevant to the issue.

Good for you, but that is an ignorant statement. Adolf Hitler had an opinion as well, so does Bin Laden. Both were based on their religious beliefs.


LIke I asked the last person who brought up HItler ina conversation with me, what exactly is your point? Am I a genocidal maniac? Is everybody who believes in God? Is everything Hitler believed automatically wrong because of the things he did? Does any of this have anything at all to do with a reasonable conversation of the Problem of Evil?


Tell that to the parents of such a child. They would probably tear you to pieces right then and there. Your flaw in logic is that you have not experienced these scenarios


That has nothing to do with it. For one thing, you haven't a clue what I have and have not experienced, other than your apparent assumption that anybody who's had suffering in their life would agree with you. What's more, even if my life has been nothing but roses and sunshine, that's no reason I can't discuss the Problem of Evil.

You have just related horrible pain and suffering to eskimos!?


No, I've related a fictional example of bias brought on by suffering to a real example of bias brought on by suffering.

Yes. A logical and sound argument would make me feel better and would also change my opinion of God (that is, if I had reason to believe there was a God).


But you'll only accept such an argument if it's brought to you by someone who's undergone as much horrible suffering as you. What kind of logical criteron is that?


The bible solves no problems. It only creates a false sense of guilt, a false sense of security, and a false sense of hope. The worst of it's problems is the false sense of hate.


These statements all assume your conclusion, that the Bible is false.
User avatar
Uccisore
The Legitimatizer
 
Posts: 13279
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 8:14 pm
Location: Deep in the forests of Maine

Postby Skeptic » Tue Dec 17, 2002 1:44 am

I know I said that I wouldn't respond unless I heard a rational argument but I couldn't let this go.

LIke I asked the last person who brought up HItler ina conversation with me, what exactly is your point? Am I a genocidal maniac? Is everybody who believes in God? Is everything Hitler believed automatically wrong because of the things he did? Does any of this have anything at all to do with a reasonable conversation of the Problem of Evil?


hmmm . . . somebody likes to take things out of context. The point is that opinions mean nothing. Hitlers opinion led him to kill 8 million Jews. It really doesn't matter to me what your opinion is but as soon as you start going around telling people that they are suffering because they made a few mistakes in their life, you have crossed a line. Most people are gullible enough to believe you and that is just not fair.

No, I've related a fictional example of bias brought on by suffering to a real example of bias brought on by suffering.


So your relating people who have been attacked by Eskimos to people whom have been attacked by suffering. Right? You are illustrating that people who have been attacked by eskimos would have a biased perspective of Eskimos. Right? You're absolutely correct. I met an Eskimo once and he was a nice guy. Proves your point, right? So those people who have been attacked with suffering would have a biased perspective of suffering. Right? So obviously, we know from an outside perspective that suffering isn't always bad. Sometimes it is a good thing. Right?

Let me make another scenario, to prove your point. Let's say that there was this guy named Adam. Lets say that God told Adam not to eat a piece of fruit. Ok? Adam did anyways. Later on in history, a baby is born with a horrible excrutiatingly painful disease. He is also born with grotesque malformities and the inability to ever leave his house b/c he is quadrapelegic. You stroll over to tell the poor guy about Jesus on his 18th birthday.

You tell him, "God made you the way you are because there was this guy named Adam who disobediently ate a fruit. If you take Jesus as your savior he will forgive you for Adam's sin."

The kid says, "Why did God punish me for Adam's sin?"

You tell him, "Well, he also punished you for your future sins."

The kid says to you, "But why didn't he punish you, too?"

You are left speechless. The kid rejects your plea for him to accept Jesus, as he cannot believe that a benevolent God would do such a thing. He dies shortly after, only to relive his life of suffering eternally in hell. Justice has been served! Thank you God for your perfect Justice!

But you'll only accept such an argument if it's brought to you by someone who's undergone as much horrible suffering as you. What kind of logical criteron is that?


As I said before, I have suffered nothing in my lifetime. Maybe a few migraines here and there but nothing that I would consider a punishment for my sins and I can guarantee you I am no angel in that department. :wink: I'm sure he will get me one of these days though.

These statements all assume your conclusion, that the Bible is false.


Yes, I assume it is false as I have no reason to assume it is true. You prove it is true and I will change my mind. I swear. (with my right hand on the bible.)
Last night as I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky, I thought to myself,
"Where the heck is the ceiling?!"

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
User avatar
Skeptic
(Jason Hill)
 
Posts: 660
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 7:02 am
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA

Postby Uccisore » Tue Dec 17, 2002 5:01 am

So your relating people who have been attacked by Eskimos to people whom have been attacked by suffering. Right?

No. I'm simply making the point that "Only people who have been subject to extreme emotional duress are qualified to discuss a topic" is a foolish thing to say. It's exactly like saying only pregant people can have an opinion on abortion, or only dying people can have an opinion on euthanasia, or etc. Anybody who's researched a topic is qualfied to have an opinion about it, and justified in expressing and arguing for that opinion.
Or, to put it another way, how about I say that only people who claim to have experienced miracles are qualfied to comment on the existence of God.


You prove it is true and I will change my mind. I swear. (with my right hand on the bible.)


The question is, who do I have to be for you to trust my opinion on the Bible? An atheist? A cancer patient? God?
User avatar
Uccisore
The Legitimatizer
 
Posts: 13279
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 8:14 pm
Location: Deep in the forests of Maine

Postby Clementine » Tue Dec 17, 2002 12:45 pm

The question is, who do I have to be for you to trust my opinion on the Bible? An atheist? A cancer patient? God?


'trust my opinion' ? You opinion doesn’t count, you bring proofs and we will believe you... but bringing God to us would be good too. :lol:

I wonder what a cancer patient has to do with it. The thing with suffering is that you can empathize and sympathize but you can't judge or experience it in the same level. People who suffer would be a better and more reliable source when you are talking about suffering. Ask a British middle class child what it feels like to broke a finger and then ask a starving child from Gambia… for the british kid the pain would be much worse than to the other one, simply because they have different perspectives of what pain and suffering is. So you are not a reliable source to talk about certain levels of suffering.
Cle

"Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience. But nothing is a greater cause of suffering." Dostoyevsky
User avatar
Clementine
 
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 6:37 pm
Location: UK

Postby Pax Vitae » Tue Dec 17, 2002 1:16 pm

Skeptic
So obviously, we know from an outside perspective that suffering isn't always bad. Sometimes it is a good thing. Right?


Pain and suffering is the defence mechanism of the human body against the harmful things in our environment and our own stupidity. In this way pain can be of benefit. If I eat too much food I will end up with a sore stomach, this will stop me from eating any more food. Or if I put my hand into the fire it will start to feel warm and then this will turn into pain, as the body realizes its becoming in danger of being damaged.

But like everything in the human body its susceptible to corruption, so our pain defence mechanism can become damaged. People can then be suffering for no other reason then their body is not functioning correctly.

Pain has very little to do with God. People who don’t understand why they’re suffering sometimes use God punishing them for sin, as away to bring meaning to otherwise meaningless pain.

Uccisore
The question is, who do I have to be for you to trust my opinion on the Bible? An atheist? A cancer patient? God?


This is not an issue of trust, but one of proof. Only a well-grounded argument that proofs God’s existence will convince some people. The lack of understanding to the nature of existence is not a good argument to make people believe in God’s existence. When God is used as a way to ignore the hard and possibly unanswerable questions, God seems like little more then an intellectual cop-out, and not a divine entity.

Pax Vitae
User avatar
Pax Vitae
(Jonathan Wilson)
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 12:44 pm

Postby Skeptic » Tue Dec 17, 2002 9:45 pm

To Uccisore:
No. I'm simply making the point that "Only people who have been subject to extreme emotional duress are qualified to discuss a topic" is a foolish thing to say.


hmmm . . . You will have to show me where I said this. Was it on this board?

Anybody who's researched a topic is qualfied to have an opinion about it, and justified in expressing and arguing for that opinion.


Where have I disagreed with you on this point? People are welcome to have opinions. Again, you just have to remember that Hitler had an opinion too.

Or, to put it another way, how about I say that only people who claim to have experienced miracles are qualfied to comment on the existence of God.


You seem to be having a little trouble with your analogies. :wink:

The question is, who do I have to be for you to trust my opinion on the Bible? An atheist? A cancer patient? God?


Just as Cle said, your opinion means nothing to me and no matter how many times you tell me your opinion, it will still mean nothing to me. Hopefully, you do not base your faith upon other people's opinions? Do you? I just hope that you will realize from our discussion here, that there is more to life than your own experiences and opinions. Try looking at a situation from the eyes of another before you form your opinions.

Here is another brief point that I would like to make. Here's a little clip from the mouth of David / the word of God:

Psalms 139:13-16
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret , and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

God intricately and skillfully designed us in everything that we are. He preordained every day of our lives.

God created us and we sin because that is how He created us. Our sins have been preordained. Every action we make has been preordained, even our good works. How could a benevolent God, punish us for who He created us to be? Why did He create some of us to exist only to suffer? and then knowing that they would reject him, he sends them to hell to suffer eternally?
Last night as I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky, I thought to myself,
"Where the heck is the ceiling?!"

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
User avatar
Skeptic
(Jason Hill)
 
Posts: 660
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 7:02 am
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA

Postby Uccisore » Wed Dec 18, 2002 3:39 am

Skeptic:

Until anyone experiences that misery, they have no room to make justificatons.


The above is an example of the kind of quote from you I'm responding to. If the above doesn't mean something like "Only people who have experienced terrible suffering can comment on the co-existence of God and pain", then I apologize, and please tell me what it does mean.


PAX: I didn't notice your reply to my comment froma while ago, sorry it took so long to respond to it.

The point I was trying to make was, a real God knows good people will worship him automatically.


That leaves three options:

1.) There is no God.
2.) There are no atheists,
3.) No atheist is a good person.

Do you agree with any of these, or is there a fourth option I've missed?

Do you think God is not Humble?


No, I don't think God is humble. Humilty on the part of God would be dishonest. I think the reason Humility is a virtue for us created beings is specifically because we aren't God.

If a great sports star was to say, “You should all worship me because I’m the greatest football player ever.” Would you not think he’s a little pretentious and full of his own self-importance?


Yes, I would. However, I think God has some serious qualitative differences from humans, even exceptional humans.

If I can find a flaw in God, then either I’m completely nuts or God is not perfect.


I see a third option: Humans are not perfect.
To put it a more detailed way, the God you believe in is what you personally deem to be perfection. Where did you get your ideas of perfection? Research, introspection, certainly. However, "Perfect" isn't a term that can be precisely defined, like '43'. I great deal of what you consider to be perfect is a personal thing.
With that in mind, let me move on to something else. How many people strive to be as good as they possible can? I would say most. Wouldn't you agree? If you had all the powers God has, you would strive to behave in the way you believe God, in fact, behaves, right?
Those two points together suggest to me that if a person's concept of God is centered on their own opinion of 'perfection', they are essentially worshipping a deified version of themselves. I'd say it was extreme vanity, except that I'm not sure vanity can be unconcious. I'm sure, Pax, you can see terrible implications, or at the very least blasphemy, in the idea of everybody worshipping their idealized selves.
User avatar
Uccisore
The Legitimatizer
 
Posts: 13279
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 8:14 pm
Location: Deep in the forests of Maine

Postby Pax Vitae » Wed Dec 18, 2002 11:15 am

The point I was trying to make was, a real God knows good people will worship him automatically.

That leaves three options:

1.) There is no God.
2.) There are no atheists,
3.) No atheist is a good person.

Do you agree with any of these, or is there a fourth option I've missed?


I would say there is a forth option.

4.) There is a God. He judges people on how they live their life with each other. So you could have a Good Atheist that goes to heaven, and a Bad Religious that is sent off somewhere for rehabilitation to become good.

I think this is just as possible as any other of the options. But I know that I am creating a God that is tailored to what I believe.

Do you think God is not Humble?

No, I don't think God is humble. Humilty on the part of God would be dishonest. I think the reason Humility is a virtue for us created beings is specifically because we aren't God.


I don’t think God is a special clause, so can do what He likes. That’s a bit like, “Do what I say, not what I do!” What made Jesus so believable to the people of that time was, he matched what he said, with what he did. In other words he was not a hypocrite.

I great deal of what you consider to be perfect is a personal thing.[/qutoe]

True.

How many people strive to be as good as they possible can? I would say most. Wouldn't you agree?


Yes. But Hitler thought what is good, is killing the Jews. This comes back to your “personal thing” point.

If you had all the powers God has, you would strive to behave in the way you believe God, in fact, behaves, right?


Sort of, but if I had all the powers of God I would know the correct way to act, which could be different from what I currently now believe is right. I do understand that, and also that my outlook on the world is only one small fragment of the complete picture.

But I think humanity has grown in knowledge to the point were God should be more open with why this is the correct way for it to be. We live in a time when we understand morality, and kindness better then when the last of the great religious books where written. But that doesn’t mean we practice it any better, just that we know at an intellectual level what is good.

I'm sure, Pax, you can see terrible implications, or at the very least blasphemy, in the idea of everybody worshipping their idealized selves.


Yes I agree with you, my ideas our very blasphemes to an insecure God. But I’m this way because God says, “We should help people out of their suffering.” But God does little to help us out of our suffering. If your Catholic, every good act you do, is actually God. Yet we choose with are freewill to do a good act, then God hijacks it and claims it to be his good work! So in Catholicism because of this, it’s actually impossible to do a good deed yourself.

I’m the type of person who learns better from the sharing of knowledge then, suffering and having, to try and figure out why I’m being punished.

In the bible Jesus taught that the only type of people he had a problem with were hypocrites. So I would find it very difficult to believe the God Jesus worshiped is a hypocrite.

Pax Vitae
User avatar
Pax Vitae
(Jonathan Wilson)
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 12:44 pm

Postby inward » Wed Dec 18, 2002 2:13 pm

Pax, I applaud you. :wink:
I'm in a hurry these days, I can't post much, I'm afraid, but you said everything I wanted to say, especially that 4th option.
inward
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 2:31 pm

Postby Skeptic » Wed Dec 18, 2002 7:15 pm

Uccisore:

Are you a Christian Uccisore? I thought Christians were supposed to be honest. You seem to be a very poor representation of honesty, and humility, while I'm at it. You are changing your argument every time you reply to me. Just admit you were wrong and move on.

Until anyone experiences that misery, they have no room to make justificatons.


The above is an example of the kind of quote from you I'm responding to. If the above doesn't mean something like "Only people who have experienced terrible suffering can comment on the co-existence of God and pain", then I apologize, and please tell me what it does mean.

Didn't you say this last time?
No. I'm simply making the point that "Only people who have been subject to extreme emotional duress are qualified to discuss a topic" is a foolish thing to say.

"Extreme emotional duress" and "terrible suffering" are two different subjects. Well, at least you finally quoted my words rather than making up words for me.

So let's see, I said:
Until anyone experiences that misery, they have no room to make justificatons.

You are suggesting that it means:
Only people who have experienced terrible suffering can comment on the co- existence of God and pain


First of all, these two statements mean two completely different things. One speaks of "justification", while the other speaks of "commenting". Again, I have no problem with anyone making comments as I have told many times already. People can have any friggin opinion that they want. How many times do I need to repeat myself?!

Secondly, I have no problem with the co-existence of God and pain. I never made such an argument. I have a problem with a "benevolent" God justifying the creation of malformed babies and horrendous suffering in response to the sin of the their ancestors. There is no logic in that.

Why do I argue with idiots? :x I don't know. I'm sure that you will just come back and try and rearrange your argument again (probably, my words too!) Just get over it and admit your mistake while you still have some respect.
Last night as I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky, I thought to myself,
"Where the heck is the ceiling?!"

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
User avatar
Skeptic
(Jason Hill)
 
Posts: 660
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 7:02 am
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA

Postby Uccisore » Wed Dec 18, 2002 7:58 pm

"Extreme emotional duress" and "terrible suffering" are two different subjects. Well, at least you finally quoted my words rather than making up words for me.


In order to avoid any further confusion on this issue, let me say this: A person does not need to experience extremes of misery, suffering, emotional duress, or any other such phrase meaning "Negative experiences beyond what is typical from life" in order to have a well reasoned opinion on the Problem of Evil. In fact, a person could have much less negativity in their life than is normal, and still have a well reasoned opinion. Further, such a person could go on and make a coherent argument for the justification of God and evil, in other words, a sound explanation of how a benevolent God and terrible suffering can coexist- providing that such a justification exists.
Second point, a person who has experienced terrible suffering has no special insight that will help them form successful arguments regarding a benevolent God and terrible suffering.
If you don't disagree with any of this, then I guess I made a horrible mistake, and I'm sorry for dragging it out.


PAX, now.

4.) There is a God. He judges people on how they live their life with each other. So you could have a Good Atheist that goes to heaven, and a Bad Religious that is sent off somewhere for rehabilitation to become good.


Under your previous statement, though, you can't have a Good Atheist, because if he were good, he would be automatically worshipping God, which atheists don't do. I do see another option, though:

4) A person can worship God without believing God exists.

Is that possible?

I don’t think God is a special clause, so can do what He likes. That’s a bit like, “Do what I say, not what I do!” What made Jesus so believable to the people of that time was, he matched what he said, with what he did. In other words he was not a hypocrite.


Well, that was part of Jesus' purpose, was to live as a human and be the perfect example of correct human behavior, including humility. I don't think there's cause to believe Jesus's life is also meant to be an example of proper behavior for a God, though.
As far as "Do what I say, not what I do!", the main reason, as I see it, that that attitude is looked down on is it assumes the speaker is somehow justified in laying down the rules without being subject to them. God is actually legitimately in that position, where no human is.

Yes. But Hitler thought what is good, is killing the Jews. This comes back to your “personal thing” point.


Which raises the question in my mind "What was Hitler's God like?"

Sort of, but if I had all the powers of God I would know the correct way to act, which could be different from what I currently now believe is right. I do understand that, and also that my outlook on the world is only one small fragment of the complete picture.


Do you think it's possible, that as God, you would do things that some mortals would find evil?


We live in a time when we understand morality, and kindness better then when the last of the great religious books where written.


I don't exactly disagree with this statement, but I do think it would be impossible to prove. In case people haven't caught on, I'm a big believer in the 'is vs. ought' gap.

Yes I agree with you, my ideas our very blasphemes to an insecure God.


Do you agree, then, that you're worshipping a deified vision of yourself? That's the only thing I find blasphemous, not the other statements you've made.
The main thing I'm driving at is that a proper understanding of God in general, and Christianity is particular, is about changing and conforming the self to God's will, not having our views of God conform to how we may change as a person.
User avatar
Uccisore
The Legitimatizer
 
Posts: 13279
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 8:14 pm
Location: Deep in the forests of Maine

Postby Clementine » Thu Dec 19, 2002 12:31 pm

A person can worship God without believing God exists.


How?

Well, that was part of Jesus' purpose, was to live as a human and be the perfect example of correct human behavior, including humility. I don't think there's cause to believe Jesus's life is also meant to be an example of proper behavior for a God, though.


And… what’s your point?

Which raises the question in my mind "What was Hitler's God like?"


Probably like yours… as he was Catholic… friends with Pope Pius XII. :P JK
Last edited by Clementine on Thu Dec 19, 2002 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cle

"Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience. But nothing is a greater cause of suffering." Dostoyevsky
User avatar
Clementine
 
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 6:37 pm
Location: UK

Postby Pax Vitae » Thu Dec 19, 2002 12:53 pm

4) A person can worship God without believing God exists.


This is what I was trying to imply with the “Good Atheist”. The Good Atheist does not worship God, he’s worshipping goodness, and rejecting the idea that God exists.

God is actually legitimately in that position, where no human is.


I personally don’t believe that.

"What was Hitler's God like?"


You could say the same thing as you said about me. Do you agree, then, that you're worshipping a deified vision of yourself?

Do you think it's possible, that as God, you would do things that some mortals would find evil?


“You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.”

You can’t keep everybody happy as long as they have freewill, some will always feel evil is being done.

Do you agree, then, that you're worshipping a deified vision of yourself? That's the only thing I find blasphemous, not the other statements you've made.


It’s not that I worship myself. I worship the idea of perfect goodness that I have defined from reading many books (the bible being just one of them) and talking to people about them.

The only logical reason I see for God creating this world the way it is, is if it’s used to test us. Because of this ‘Test’ God does not tell us anything, as to do so would undermine the whole testing process. But all this is speculation and I accept that. The Catholics would say if something that is normally evil is used for the moral good then its okay.

Pax Vitae
User avatar
Pax Vitae
(Jonathan Wilson)
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 12:44 pm

Postby Uccisore » Thu Dec 19, 2002 7:59 pm

The Good Atheist does not worship God, he’s worshipping goodness, and rejecting the idea that God exists.


Is this enough, then? Why worship God?

personally don’t believe that.


Ok. But why? Is what sense is God subject to, or held responsible for whatever rules there may be- say, ethics for example?

You can’t keep everybody happy as long as they have freewill, some will always feel evil is being done.


I agree with this. That said, though, doesn't it remove the imperitive to believe in a God that does nothing we view as evil?

I worship the idea of perfect goodness


Wouldn't this be a sophisticated kind of idolatry?


I'm a big fan of theological rigor. If a proposition is appealing to me, I'm automatically skeptical of it. I think when studying religious issues, as when studying any other field, what 'ought' to be true, or what would be nice if it were true, has very little bearing on reality. I think with religious issues, it's a little easier to give in and create a theology around our personal wishes, since we can't exactly put God in a test tube.
However, I think as we do this, or religious ideas can drift away from reality and loose their significance. For example, the idea that God is accepting of everybody, whether they believe in Him or not, as long as they are good people is an extremely appealing thing to believe. However, when looked at closely, it becomes apparent that 'good' doesn't mean anything at all unless it means something in particular, and if it means something in particular, then quite a few people won't measure up to it. What's worse, any human devised concept of 'good' is going to be completely subjective, so there's no reason at all to suspect that what you mean when you say 'good' is at all related to what God means when He says 'good'.
Another problem I see with tweaking our concept of God so that it doesn't offend or upset anybody is that the more you make God seem like our equal, our good buddy, completely understanding and tolerant of thus-and-such, the harder the Problem of Evil becomes for you to solve- we clearly don't live in a world that that sort of God would make, ask Skeptic.
User avatar
Uccisore
The Legitimatizer
 
Posts: 13279
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 8:14 pm
Location: Deep in the forests of Maine

Postby Pax Vitae » Thu Dec 19, 2002 9:49 pm

The Good Atheist does not worship God, he’s worshipping goodness, and rejecting the idea that God exists.


Is this enough, then? Why worship God?


What I’m saying is, it’s only that good gets done that matters. It’s better not to believe in God and do “good”, then believe in Him and not do “good”. Or I could state it as follows: God is only worshiped if you do good! And it doesn’t matter if you believe there is a God or not, so long as you do good.

Ok. But why? Is what sense is God subject to, or held responsible for whatever rules there may be- say, ethics for example?


I’ve already said I think God should ask more of use then he does him.

You can’t keep everybody happy as long as they have freewill, some will always feel evil is being done.


I agree with this. That said, though, doesn't it remove the imperative to believe in a God that does nothing we view as evil?


From reading what you have said it looks like your saying. I should believe more in a God that sometimes does evil in my eyes then a God that never does evil. That might be true for some people, but not for me. I know there are grey areas when it comes to morals, but for some things our current God is way off.

I worship the idea of perfect goodness


Wouldn't this be a sophisticated kind of idolatry?


Haha, I have to laugh at this. While that could be true, I hope it isn’t. It would be quite funny to think that by loving Goodness more then God you’ll end up in hell.

For example, the idea that God is accepting of everybody, whether they believe in Him or not, as long as they are good people is an extremely appealing thing to believe.


It was the bible that said this not me, look at the parable of the dividing of the Sheep and the Goats.

If a proposition is appealing to me, I'm automatically skeptical of it


I have to say that is worrying. Does that mean the one you dislike the most is more lightly true? Or do you have a very negative opinion of your own judgment, meaning if I like it then I must be, being deceived?

What's worse, any human devised concept of 'good' is going to be completely subjective, so there's no reason at all to suspect that what you mean when you say 'good' is at all related to what God means when He says 'good'.


“Good” to me means helping people.

the more you make God seem like our equal, our good buddy, completely understanding and tolerant of thus-and-such, the harder the Problem of Evil becomes for you to solve- we clearly don't live in a world that that sort of God would make, ask Skeptic.


True, I do have a problem with evil, and I agree with a lot of what Skeptic says. I still have many more things on the evil front to think about and I hope to get some time over the holidays to do.

Pax Vitae
User avatar
Pax Vitae
(Jonathan Wilson)
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 12:44 pm

Postby Uccisore » Fri Dec 20, 2002 1:39 am

What I’m saying is, it’s only that good gets done that matters. It’s better not to believe in God and do “good”, then believe in Him and not do “good”. Or I could state it as follows: God is only worshiped if you do good! And it doesn’t matter if you believe there is a God or not, so long as you do good.


I think I understand what you're saying. My question to you would be, is there any good reason to worship God? That is, if I know God exists, can I ignore that fact and do good, and be in the right?


I’ve already said I think God should ask more of use then he does him.


Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by this.

I should believe more in a God that sometimes does evil in my eyes then a God that never does evil.


Well, what I'm really saying is that a person should try to believe in a God that really exists, as that God is. I'm also saying that it is *possible* that God would do things we view as evil, and essentially inventing a God-concept that fits all our ideals isn't the best way to discover the real God.

It would be quite funny to think that by loving Goodness more then God you’ll end up in hell.


Unless God defines goodness, goodness can only be a man-made concept. Holding a man-made concept in higher esteem than God pretty much defines idolatry, I would think. Does man have the capacity to invent a concept greater than God?


It was the bible that said this not me, look at the parable of the dividing of the Sheep and the Goats.


What did Jesus say the greatest commandment was?


I have to say that is worrying. Does that mean the one you dislike the most is more lightly true? Or do you have a very negative opinion of your own judgment, meaning if I like it then I must be, being deceived?


Neither, exactly. It's a way of reducing bias, so that I don't automatically become convinced of whatever view makes me most comfortable. My views will be more likely correct if I strongly criticize ones that I otherwise would accept without hesitation.
User avatar
Uccisore
The Legitimatizer
 
Posts: 13279
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 8:14 pm
Location: Deep in the forests of Maine

Postby Pax Vitae » Fri Dec 20, 2002 1:09 pm

What I’m saying is, it’s only that good gets done that matters. It’s better not to believe in God and do “good”, then believe in Him and not do “good”. Or I could state it as follows: God is only worshiped if you do good! And it doesn’t matter if you believe there is a God or not, so long as you do good.


I think I understand what you're saying. My question to you would be, is there any good reason to worship God? That is, if I know God exists, can I ignore that fact and do good, and be in the right?


God is only worshiped if you do good! And it doesn’t matter if you believe there is a God or not, so long as you do good. I’m saying to Worship God you must do Good. You might believe there is no God as an entity, but the fact that you do Good shows you still believe in what God stands for. Doing what is Right and Just is the same as believing in God. You believe in what makes God special, his love of Goodness. You believe in what God stands for, but you might not really believe he exists as a real person.

“That is, if I know God exists, can I ignore that fact and do good, and be in the right” It depends on what you believe about God. To do Good is the same as saying God exists. Praying is only and can only be done through Acts of Goodness. Even if you don’t know your praying when doing Good it makes no difference.

I’ve already said I think God should ask more of use then he does him.


Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by this.


Oops, That’s a typo. I’ve already said I think God should ask no more of us then he does himself.

essentially inventing a God-concept that fits all our ideals isn't the best way to discover the real God.


Well, until God chooses to reveal himself to me, I’m going to continue Worshiping Good and calling it God. Just because, it’s written in an old book, doesn’t make it right. Just because, most people believe something, doesn’t make it right.

Unless God defines goodness, goodness can only be a man-made concept.


“Only do to another, what you would like them to do to you.” That’s what I call Goodness. If the world lived by that one sentence, there would be no problems in the world, and we would all be living in an earthly paradise.

Does man have the capacity to invent a concept greater than God?


Some say we are made in the image of God. Maybe morality is a simple lesson that even humanity has the capacity to create a version of which is perfect. But lacks the ability to live by it. A well-lived morality by humanity will do more to help the world then the idea of God. God has left us to act out our own freewill, so all I’m saying is we should use morality to fix the world, now, and not wait for God.

What did Jesus say the greatest commandment was?


You left out a small validation to what was asked of Jesus: “In the Law”

Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

But Jesus also said,

Matthew 5:17-18 Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill! For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass away from the law till all is fulfilled.

Most Christians believe that Christ completed that fulfilment by dying on the Cross. Luke 21:32 Verily I say unto you, “This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” I think is the right quote, but I’m not sure, as that generation would see him dying on the cross. So therefore the most importance commandment is:

John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments. 15:12 This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.

Pax Vitae
User avatar
Pax Vitae
(Jonathan Wilson)
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 12:44 pm

Postby Uccisore » Fri Dec 20, 2002 7:12 pm

Ok, having read the above, I guess my next question would be "To what degree do you equivocate goodness with God?" Is goodness an intelligent personal force, or on the otherhand, is God really an abstract moral concept? Do you consider yourself a theist by the traditional definition?

Well, until God chooses to reveal himself to me, I’m going to continue Worshiping Good and calling it God.


So then, we are justified in having whatever God concept pleases us, until God satifies our curiousity about Him?

“Only do to another, what you would like them to do to you.” That’s what I call Goodness.


I'm sure you do. But can you show that this isn't a man-made concept?

A well-lived morality by humanity will do more to help the world then the idea of God.


Neverttheless, the idea of God is what we're discussing. What do you really think God is?


Most Christians believe that Christ completed that fulfilment by dying on the Cross.


Is your point, then, that we no longer need to adhere to the "Greatest commandment in the Law" since Jesus fulfilled the law? IF so, then we also no longer need to adhere to the second great commandment, which you cite above as the source of your morality. Either way, Jesus still seems to be saying that loving God is at least as important if not more important than doing good.
User avatar
Uccisore
The Legitimatizer
 
Posts: 13279
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 8:14 pm
Location: Deep in the forests of Maine

Postby Pax Vitae » Fri Dec 20, 2002 8:23 pm

"To what degree do you equivocate goodness with God?"


They are the same and inseparable.

Is goodness an intelligent personal force, or on the otherhand, is God really an abstract moral concept?


It depends on what you want to believe. Goodness is as real as the life we live. Because all our actions can be judge by what I defined as Goodness. While what I defined is not perfect, it’s the best starting point for morality between two people. Then each person needs to define what else he or she believes is needed for morality. So what’s morally right between two people might not be right between another two.

So then, we are justified in having whatever God concept pleases us, until God satifies our curiousity about Him?


To me I’ve gotten to the point I don’t care if it’s right or wrong. I see just as much proof for Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, or any other of the old world religions. So by the lack of definite proof I’m going to invent what I see is the best of all of them and call it God, and I’ll write it in a book. Then in 500 years time people won’t know if it’s a real religion, or the work of someone’s over active imagination.

I'm sure you do. But can you show that this isn't a man-made concept?


Once God is involved somewhere, you’ll never have proof, only a belief. Because it’s only through humanity that God is manifested.

Neverttheless, the idea of God is what we're discussing. What do you really think God is?


I’ve said in another post, “God to me is Hope.” But for others I’ve seen it put, “God is everything that we don’t know and consider mysterious. This is why as we grow in knowledge, God’s powers are lessened.”

Is your point, then, that we no longer need to adhere to the "Greatest commandment in the Law" since Jesus fulfilled the law? IF so, then we also no longer need to adhere to the second great commandment, which you cite above as the source of your morality. Either way, Jesus still seems to be saying that loving God is at least as important if not more important than doing good.


I was being pedantic with you! If we are going to play the bible quoting game, I was showing you how we could say almost anything, so long as you know where to find the quote you need.

Everything I’ve said I believe. I’ve just as much reason to believe, as I do anyone else’s views. I just don’t have the same propaganda machines that the world religions have. I’m also not out to sell what I believe in bottles. I’m looking for Morality and Justice first, and then I’m going to look at the problem of Evil. But this is all from a philosophical position. I know nothing will change the status quo, but I would like to see what my utopia would look like.

Pax Vitae.
User avatar
Pax Vitae
(Jonathan Wilson)
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 12:44 pm

Postby Uccisore » Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:27 pm

To me I’ve gotten to the point I don’t care if it’s right or wrong.


Oh, ok.
User avatar
Uccisore
The Legitimatizer
 
Posts: 13279
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 8:14 pm
Location: Deep in the forests of Maine

Postby Pax Vitae » Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:49 pm

I wasn't giving up on the search; I just don't believe it’s possible to find the correct answer. So, until I find an argument that convinces me otherwise, I'll never know for certain if any doctrine said to be from God is accurately portraying God’s truths or a ghostwriter’s views.
User avatar
Pax Vitae
(Jonathan Wilson)
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 12:44 pm

Postby Uccisore » Sat Dec 21, 2002 6:07 am

That's fine. I cut my reply short because if truth isn't the major criterion of your having a belief, I don't think we have enough common ground to hold a productive conversation. You, it's clear, don't hold any particular view strongly enough to try to convince me of it, and you can always reply to "Well, I don't mind if my beliefs are false" if I provide an otherwise convincing argument to you, so all that's left is the usual post-modern exhange of:

Person 1: "I think A."
Person 2: "I think B, but respect your right to believe A and will not attempt to change your mind."
Person 1: "And I will do the same in turn."
~The End~

...which I find extremely boring.
User avatar
Uccisore
The Legitimatizer
 
Posts: 13279
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 8:14 pm
Location: Deep in the forests of Maine

Postby inward » Wed Dec 25, 2002 12:25 am

This has gotten too far. I thought we were discussing about The Bible..
Let's face the facts. The Bible was written by over 40 different authors from all walks of life: shepherds, farmers, tent-makers, physicians, fishermen, priests, philosophers and kings, during a period of around 1500 years. Even so, all of them talk about the same God and the same plan of His. The Bible is by far the best selling book of all time, although t's so old (The Bible Society´s attempt to calculate the number printed between 1816 and 1975 produced the figure of 2,458,000,000. A more recent survey, for the years up to 1992, put it closer to 6,000,000,000 in more than 2,000 languages and dialects). Besides, let's take a look at some modern inventions predicted by The Bible:
----- automobile (Nahum 2:4)
----- atomic energy (Genesis 19:24-28 ; Isaiah 24:20 ; Micah 1:4 ; 2 Peter 3:10-12)
----- airplane (Isaiah 31:5 ; Isaiah 60:8 ; Jeremiah 48:40 ; Ezekiel 1:9)
----- radio (Job 38:34-35 ; Psalms 19:3-4 ; Romans 10:18 )
Not to mention the political prophecies, part of which we can see fulfilling today. These I've written here are very few, still outstanding.

Can anyone give me one rational explanation for all this? This is what I want, people! Don't question God's existence. Better question the facts. They will lead you to The Answer.
So, any rational explanation?

I have also found some contradictions in The Bible, reffering to some names and chronological data, but I'm working on it. Other problems, like the problem of suffering at innocent children, are very well explained at http://www.christiananswers.net

So let's stick to the topic, ok?
inward
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 2:31 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Religion and Spirituality



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users