Discussion in 'Religion' started by James R, Nov 9, 2016.
The cool bit for me, is how simple meanings can be hidden in plain sight.
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Ok. So the thing about not understanding stuff, then.
Alex understands the scripture according to his perception. He knows what a mustard seed is, or if not, he can easily find out. But he chooses to take the analogy literally, thereby coming to the conclusion he does.
Does God have any moral attributes? Does God, in fact, have any attributes of note? Or are all of God's supposed attributes "purely a human perception"?
What does God think about needless torturing and killing for pleasure? Would he have an opinion on those things? Or perhaps a preference that such things should or should not occur?
So nothing God does is good or evil?
Yes, Jan, it's all simply a temper tantrum, a show of defiance, a desire to be independent, and wilful ignorance.
The same way, perhaps, that a blind person not being able to read the road signs is due to their wilful ignorance, their temper tantrum, their show of defiance, and their wilful ignorance of the words on the page.
So please just can the condescension. If you want to progress amicably then perhaps start treating the blindness that you think atheists have toward God as just that: blindness. Note how blind people can still read, can still make their way through the world... they just have to use different means to those you consider blessed with working sight. If you want to show them what they're missing out on then you have to use means that they can understand, not accuse them of simple denial, not be condescending, or arrogant.
Is that not what the parables are intended for, after all? To offer understanding in a manner that the other person can grasp? Did Jesus ever turn round and say, "nah, you're just in denial!"?
Maybe asserting that the atheist is simply in denial helps reaffirm your own belief, I don't know, but it is certainly among the least helpful and least intelligent of the things you have ever said. And you've said quite a few, I assure you.
So if you do want to discuss honestly and openly, both of which I genuinely have doubts about given your history, then please try to adopt a less unintelligent attitude.
And hey, down the road you may even come to realise that we might not be the blind ones after all.
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I simply wanted you to see the evidence for yourself in your bible. The evidence thatthe author made stuff up Jan its there for all to see, in black and white, set out for anyone to look at direct evidence that its made up.
Really I did not think of that, well I did and I copied a part for you to read but as you did not comment I assumed you missed seeing my post wherein I copied the first few words which established my case that that part was undeniably made up. I thought theneedle jumped and it was simply to right for you to face without a melt down.
Then I thought its best to let Jan find out from an own bible rather than me post line by line to confirm my position.
Its up to you to read the bible and not up to me to try and force you.
When I first found out much of Jesus words were not written down until many years after I was very disappointed, almost betrayed because I could only think how what was said could have been corrupted or even made up. I expected to find that someone close who heard his words had recorded them and of course they had not. Would not fly in a court and that must tell you something Jan.
Well I can see why I have a problem because I have been under the impression words convey meaning such that one could get the message.
So I send a telegram "buy bhp shares at $10" to my stock broker and he reads that and buys me a race horse and at the trial where I sue him for negligence he pleads along your logic I doubt if the learned jugde would say he has any defence what so ever.
So it is entirely unreasonable that you claim words do not convey a message. I can only think you are joking Jan. You are winding me up.
And how come it was so many years before anyone wrote down these parables... given the complexity you suggest in understanding can we be sure the message was passed on uncorrupted and not made up. The answer is we can't be sure in fact it would be most likely the original words were nothing like those eventually set out.
Of course we cannot be sure.
Have you ever played that party game where a message is passed from one person to another so it goes thru say ten guests. The message passed on is compared to the original message and everyone gets a huge laugh out of the extreme difference between the two.
Yet you suggest such a game played over many many years is reliable. May I suggest that you maybe wrong.
In a court evidence of what Jesus was supposed to have said would be thrown out on the basis it was heresay.
But you say read the words that may be Jesus speaking and get a message that is hidden unless you have faith that it supports whatever you can to invent. Too wishy washy Jan.
Jan seriously you are a very clever person can you not grasp the reasonable point I make.
I sincerely expect more from you.
I really do. Why do you disappoint me.
It matters because we have no way to establish the words came from Jesus.
That matters Jan it matters to me and it would matter to many theists if they knew the truth. But of course kids wont be taught such facts will they Jan.
. You may find this strange but I follow many of the teachings attributed to Jesus and it does not sit well that I probably follow something made up by another.
I may as well say I have a certain philosophy but I really honestly dont know who invented it.
And as an athiest I show more concern than you do Jan.. Is that not odd?
On page one of the bible I see firm evidence of important matters being made up can you not understand there is reason for concern.
Think of it this way each of us will playfully twist what the other has said to suit our cause and to throw each other off.. So someone takes your version of what I said and after dinner tells it as a story to someone else, who tells it to someone else who tells it to someone else, then many years later someone writes down the story he heard and outrageously says those were my words. Do you think what I actually said would have survived?
No Jan its not on.
This sort of thing makes a mockery of the whole thing and claiming it is faith that it is somehow makes it right and means whatever you want it to mean really is wrong.. Very wrong.
God's attributes aren't purely a human perception, but through our perceptions, we are able to comprehend God. If we think God is good, evil, non existent, then we are at least focusing on God. That is the point. If we focus, knowledge will ensue (this is actual on any level)
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Only if we perceive as such.
"If we focus, knowledge will ensue". Hmm.... That's quite an odd statement. You seem to be saying that we have some kind of in-built capacity to intuit the Truth of things.
As mentioned previously, knowledge is often taken to require three elements: (1) belief (2) justification (3) truth.
I can understand how a person can arrive at a belief through appropriate "focus". But a belief can't justify a fact, or guarantee the truth of that fact.
If we think about God, we can no doubt form all kinds of beliefs about God. But in this thread, I am more concerned about justification and truth.
Your claim, then, is that nothing can justify a belief that God is good, and it is not a Truth that God is good.
To me, that is a good moral precept. Can we take it, then, that God approves of this in some way? Or is God neutral about it? Or does God reject it?
The "scriptures" that say this are supposed to be somehow connected to the Word of God, aren't they? Is "do unto others" something that God wants us to do, then? Or is God neutral on that? Or would God really rather we didn't? Or is there no way to know what God wants in this regard?
If this is not a statement of what God desires, then what is it? A mere human perception? Why is it claimed to be related to the Word of God, then?
Why would you think that?
Focusing can bring about a sharpness or clarity to a situation. It can clear the mind of unwanted, unecessary clatter.
It needn't be just a belief.
So am I. We can argue that God is good because He allowed Jesus to feed 5000 people, and we can argue that God is evil because He orders the killing of people. But it is all from our perspective of good and evil.
I'm claiming that it doesn't matter what you or I claim, the truth of the matter remains.
God is Goodness. If that is a good moral principal, then goodness is the underlying quality of that principle. If someone does not act up that good principle, then they are ignorant of it. They fall below that standard, and act accordingly.
It is axiomatic (unless people don't mind being tortured and killed). It is based on good intelligence.
Remember that we're talking about God here, not people. God is not human, as you say.
So, God sets this standard, and the standard is good. But God is not good.
Or is it more a case of God sets whatever standard he wants, and we're obliged to call that good?
So God could decide that hurting people was the Standard, and if he did then we'd all think that was Good.
Is this what you're saying?
It may well be axiomatic that people (human beings) think that torture and killing is evil, but we're talking about God here.
Why does God set this Standard that torture and killing are evil, and yet not have an opinion on the matter himself? That's what I don't understand.
I can answer a few of these from my own understanding.
Whether or not God exists, the concept certainly does, and it has at least a modicum of internal consistency.
And after all, he may actually exist. So the logic applies.
One of the perks of being a supreme creator of everything is that judgments do not apply.
It is, after all, his universe.
There is no human precedent - or postcedent, as it were. We are not a creator of - well, all creation. Judgments of good and evil can apply to lesser things than that which created everything.
Not obliged, no.
But with the assumption that he created everything, including us, we exist because he wanted it so.
That's a pretty good thing.
I suppose if, no matter how bad it was, it was still better than non-existence - and never having existed, then yeah, it's still a good thing.
As anyone who has not attempted suicide will attest to.
That ol' nut free-will.
The idea is that he gave us free will and let us go, like a wind-up toy.
It is we who create evil.
To reiterate, I do not believe (with my fallible senses) that God does exist, but the concept has some internal logic to it. And again - for all we know - he could. I just wouldn't bet money on it.
What an odd thread! Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! The OP contains questions and challenges that cannot be met (in fact) and yet it's still going strong 271 posts later. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
But we're in his universe. And we are free to judge whether God's works are good or evil. Even Jan would agree with that.
The question of the thread is: can we tell from God's works whether God himself has a preference for what we call "good" over what we call "evil"?
Suppose 10,000 people are killed in an earthquake, and I consider that to be a terrible loss of innocent human life. Knowing that God is All Powerful, I know that God could have prevented that earthquake from happening.
The existence of that earthquake is consistent with the idea of God being evil, since presumably an evil God would take pleasure in the arbitrary death of innocents. It is harder to reconciled that earthquake with God being fundamentally good, though it can be done in various convoluted ways. And it seems to me that many popular religions go out of their way (for example by making those convoluted arguments) to insist that God is fundamentally good.
If God is evil, then creating us as playthings to suffer from things like disasterous earthquakes would be in line with God's aims.
Why is existence better than non-existence? By what standard are you judging that?
And if it is, indeed, better, regardless of any suffering that happens during that existence, then an evil God would surely choose non-existence for us. Does this suggest, then, that God is good?
How do we create the evil of the earthquake? Isn't that fundamentally God's evil? God could prevent the earthquake. We are powerless to do so.
Someone pointed out to me the other day that evil grows if good men do nothing.
Can this be extended to include the non action of the gods.
Clearly no action of the gods to do anything to prevent evil would indicate they are letting evil grow which could be said to be evil.
The perfect thread.
Don't you know? The Gods work in mysterious ways. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! There's also free will. The God's are big on that one apparently. That fits into their standard of Goodness someway...it's all very mysterious.
And although the Gods gave us free will they apparently do not have free will...well if they have free will then I find it most evil on their part that they never ever ever step in to save an inoccent child being sexually molested, tortured and brutally killed.
And it happens so often it is s real problem...can't we get some help given the huge number of houses we have built for you God...and the money raised..so how about putting in some effort...appear before the people and thank them and give us a few miracles.. there are those of us who are yet to see a miracle..
And not something showy like walking on water but saving some little inoccent lives.
And when doctors save a life do these foolish believers ever say... thank you doctor, thank you modern medicine...of course not they thank God....what did God do..really be honest what does he,it them ever do...
Nothing absolutely nothing....
Run and hide you fools who believe else you get killed by someone exercising their free will.
And frankly if a God can't step in to prevent such un necessary and cruel suffering why should we worship that entity. Why?
And I am sick of this...he works in mysterious ways throw off.
Oh God is wonderful and all powerful yet did nothing to save one inoccent child ... Laughable that folk see any virtue in believing in such a horrible uncaring entity.
Of course a more reasonable explanation for God doing nothing is to realise God is nothing more than a fictional character made up by superstitious humans who made up myths to explain things that they did not understand.
Made up and of no use may as well worship a brick.
Oh Alex. Apparently you are just a human but if you were a God you would understand. When a child is not saved it's an honor as he gets to go to heaven early and is spared the injustices of this world.
Ours is not to judge or to question why. The Gods work in mysterious ways. It's probably not mysterious if you are a God but to us it's mysterious. That's why we are not to judge. We aren't Gods and we don't get it.
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We have free will.... Free will to jugde.... Free will to question why.
Well saying mysterious ways is way to kind. I could say the Gods work in ways that offer no logic or support for humans but tben I have to stop myself and remind me that I am trying to fathom a mythical entity who does not have to make sence because it is non existant.
Of course we need to have faith.. But not faith in any God or similar superstition... No we must have faith in ourselves that we can question and determine the scriptures were made up to help less educated humans make some sence of stuff they did not understand.
We need to have faith that we can develope and maintain high moral standards without a need to rely on text tbousands of years old and written for much different times.
We need to have faith that we are not autoomatically of a sinful nature and reject all attempts to destroy our hopes with guilt.
We must have faith that we special but not destined to an unrealistic immortality that is simply a relic of a superstitious hope from times where humans had little hope of liberty, freedom and dignity.
I am sorry everyone.
I know I am not playing the game.
But I doubt if I will cause anyone to lose faith... If I thought anything I say could destroy someones faith I would not post.
Please just write me off as a cranky old man who just wants a better world for humans and animals... An impossible dream which makes me realise why many seek a God to somehow help them deal with life.
You are just not logical Alex. Let me explain. God is Jesus. The father is the son. Is that clear? He's also the Holy Ghost by the way.
OK, God sent himself (Jesus) down to Earth to give his life (sacrifice) for the sins of Man that he (I mean God) created. God had to kill himself (Jesus) to atone for the sins that Man, his creation, posses the minute Man is born.
He had to have himself nailed on a cross so that he (I mean Jesus) could rise up to heaven to join himself.
Surely this much is clear?
We could start at the beginning where day and night was created before the Sun but this might be a bit confusing so let's just stay here. God had to kill himself to atone for the sins that he created.
Now you get it, right?
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