Author Topic: ...then what good is your god?  (Read 14693 times)

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Offline HAL

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2010, 04:56:36 PM »

Quote
And if He desires a relationship, why does He not appear before me and start the relationship. What's the hold up?

Maybe he likes a challenge ;D


Appearing before me is a challenge?  :shrug

If that's a challenge, I can't figure out how this dude ever got in charge of everything.
Seriously, you guys are the meanest people I have ever met.  I hope you are happy and feel really good about yourself. 

Offline UniversityPastor

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2010, 05:35:15 PM »
UP:
Quote
mark 16:17? And what century was that added to the manuscripts?
and then:
Quote
Quote
So what is the source material that leads you to this belief?
I understand that it may be a conglomeration of many discrete knowledges, but I would like to understand what your thought process is to reach this conclusion.

It's from the bible... The whole bible, sorry.

Does the whole bible include Mark 16:17, UP?

No it doesn't include the end of Mark or most of John 8. those were later additions.

But when I said the whole bible, I meant more in terms of "the generalized theme of the story" not "every single verse".

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Offline UniversityPastor

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2010, 05:38:03 PM »

Quote
And if He desires a relationship, why does He not appear before me and start the relationship. What's the hold up?

Maybe he likes a challenge ;D


Appearing before me is a challenge?  :shrug

Naw, getting you to believe in him without cheating is a challenge, and he likes challenges!

...I'm kidding of course...
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #32 on: September 05, 2010, 05:52:57 PM »
We believe (or at least I believe) That God, The creator of the universe who made us desires also to live with us and have a relationship with us, superpowers or not if it's true that's an offer worth taking. We (I) also think that since he knows the universe, he knows better than us how it works, and that by following the teachings of Jesus we can best succeed at making ourselves better people and the world a better place.

I interpret this as "God has left us out of the loop but he expects us to teach the truth." In other words, with minimal information we're supposed to choose the right path so we can end up in heaven, and teach that path to others.

I'm confused how you got there from here. I didn't say anything about limited revelation, about going to heaven, or about teaching others.

I think you made some good points, but it probably wouldn't be wise to go further until I understand where you're coming from with your thesis.

Sorry, forgot I had a thesis here.  :)

I'll try again. God presumably  knows everything. Or at least a heck of a lot more than we do re: why we are here and what we're supposed to be doing.

He chooses to communicate information through his human scribes, several thousand years ago.

That information he did communicate is somewhat wanting. That is, those humans since who've given life any thought find the bible incomplete. People have since created vast arrays of information, but little of it (outside of the direct realm of religion) agrees with the biblical version of reality.

Yet the standard to which we are held (be nice, love Jesus, obey God), which was never transmitted either clearly or universally, is the yardstick by which we are to be measured. Eternal life or hell-wise that is.

So in my case, I am born of casually religious parents for whom Sunday School and Church is unimportant.  I am mildly aware that there is a God (I don't question it) but I also don't attend church. One of my only books is a little Golden Book about the story of Jesus. Christmas presents probably help reinforce my appreciation of the tale.

A woman comes into my parents lives who pressures them into having me attend church. I'm excited. I get a bible (I'm 7 or so) and shunted out the door and down the street to the nearest joint. I sit in the pew and listen, trying to identify the best I can with the concept of being a sinner, even though I'm think I'm a pretty nice kid. Then I get to go to Sunday School. There I am told in more detail the stories I had heard via the kid grapevine. Floods, whales, somebody writing on the wall, etc. etc. etc. I modestly fell for it, except the incongruities weighed on me.

If Omnipodude is real, he began failing me at birth, and his incomplete message, one that I, a stupid little kid couldn't understand, continues to be the only one put forth. In hundreds of versions by thousands of variations in the religion. Too, this religion happens to be the predominate one I was born into. Were I born in India or Indonesia or Japan I would have been born into something so different that only the invisible gods would have been the same. I might be even more ignorant of your one true Lord.

So, even if he is real, I end up being an atheist by 11, even though I'd never heard that word. I knew by then that he didn't exist. Fast forward from 1962 to today and I continue to assume he's not there.

If he is, many christians (not all, I've no idea what the percentages are) tell me that I'm doomed. I am headed to hell in a handbasket. Now that's the same place most of my friends are. If being born again is a requirement, then all of my grandparents and my deceased mother and soon to be deceased father will be there. My brothers will end up there. Quite a long list. But the two nice ladies that knocked on my door recently and told me I could be saved? They want me to go with a bunch of strangers to an as of yet undefined place where I get to worship the guy I don't currently thinks exists for an eternity.

Whether it is hell or simply not heaven, the stakes are described as very high. Barely described, but high. Inadequately described, but high. Variously described, but high. Christians are asking me to not only believe, but accept and follow and gather others and be happy I've been saved. All from a book that is literally thinner than the manuals I got when I bought PageMaker 4.0 fifteen years ago.

The reason there is a discussion, the reason that there are doubts, is this lack of information the christians replace with faith. And to me faith is the very proof of no god that we are all looking for. Christians have to depend on faith because there is literally nothing else for them to go on.

I've been asked to accept that this incompetent sky guy loves us. Obviously not in those exact words, but that's the gist of it from my perspective. I'm asked to love him despite the fact that biblical history show he couldn't make a human to save our life, shows that he choose to make impossible demands on version 1.0 and modified only his methods for v2.0 (Noah, et small al), and after the implausible kid thing (he sent his kid to die for us because he had to die for us or the story line kind of wasn't going to work, but he didn't die anyway, but we're supposed to feel bad and ask forgiveness, etc.). Anyway, after the kid thing he just poof, disappeared.

Almost the only evidence that there ever was a god is the fact that people stopped making thing up for the bible at the end of Revelation, because someone somewhere said "That's a wrap!"

Of course, keeping everything in the past is a darned good way to explain why nothing similar is happening in the present. Why Mr. McKenzie down the street isn't being asked to put a 30.30 bullet through his kid in the process of being tested by the Lord. Why Mrs. Delahaunty of San Francisco didn't get cut out of a whale last week saying "I believe now, I really do. Honest". Why Eddie Frankfurger of Boise, Idaho hasn't been asked to whip out a large boat or go get permits for a zoo. Why astronauts don't return from space speaking new languages.

Only the past can present this story if anyone in the present is going to accept it. You can't say "Hey, the son of God just got stapled to the cross in Shebogan, Wisconsin a couple of days ago", because we have Twitter and YouTube.

It it was really happening, it could continue to happen and the doubts would just fritter away. That it doesn't continue to happen kind of hints at non-existence.

Anyway, we have an incomplete, past-tense and unlikely story that we're told is the only thing that stands between billions of people and a giant barbecue pit. Or at least the absence of God for an eternity, something I'm assured is equally uncomfortable. And believers show up here and elsewhere and tell us it's so obvious.

It ain't.

That was my thesis.

Edit: Changed name of an imaginary person from Obediah to Eddie. I had apparently unconsciously noticed that name in UP's sig and used it. I don't want anything to be implied from using it, so it's been changed.

Edit: Feeling spiffy so I went ahead and put the rest of the letters in one word. i.e.: I fixed a spelling error.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 11:43:26 AM by ParkingPlaces »
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2010, 06:04:02 PM »
UP:
Quote
No it doesn't include the end of Mark or most of John 8. those were later additions.
I'm not sure why that matters.

But for future reference, which version of the Bible do you use?

Also, do you believe in Hell? If so, what's it like and what happens there?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 06:14:33 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #34 on: September 05, 2010, 06:50:33 PM »
ParkingP:
Quote
Almost the only evidence that there ever was a god is the fact that people stopped making thing up for the bible at the end of Revelation, because someone somewhere said "That's a wrap!"

1.3 billion muslims would disagree with you, PP ! They added an extra chapter.

But what's interesting is that the muslims are equally insistent that their guy Mohammed definitely is the last prophet. They worship the god of the old testament, they revere Jesus as a prophet (but not as the son of God, which is blasphemy to them), and they believe that the Koran is the latest, and indeed last, version of god's message.

But their version of the cosmic narrative is just as weird as the christian one; when every baby is conceived, an angel writes on its forehead whether it will be a believer or a non-believer. Its future is already written in a book (The Preserved Tablet), written 50,000 years before the universe was created. Allah says that people have free will, but in fact a soul's destiny is predestined. The non-believer, as predicted, fails to believe, and Allah then sends them to hell to be tortured forever as a punishment.

Whoop-de-doo. Good game you got there, God. Well done for creating sinners, and then punishing them for sinning.

Sorry, bit off-topic. Maybe we should stick to the christian narrative. Which makes so much more sense.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 06:53:51 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline HAL

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2010, 06:53:24 PM »
Sorry, bit off-topic. Maybe we should stick to the christian narrative. Which makes so much more sense.

Seriously, you guys are the meanest people I have ever met.  I hope you are happy and feel really good about yourself. 

Offline William

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #36 on: September 05, 2010, 07:28:31 PM »
No it doesn't include the end of Mark or most of John 8. those were later additions.

But the whole bible, every word in every manuscript, was "added" at some point.  Whether it was sooner or later what difference does it make?  :shrug  Does it have to be older to be the authentic word of God?  It's His book to us - so why would He let it get contaminated with crap ideas to confuse everybody?  :?  

Would a loving God want OH&S issues lurking in the text of His book - snakes and poison and stuff that might injure and turn potential souls away from Him? :?

Is God's word not permitted any updates?  Didn't the NT update the OT?

However, if we want to play this game please tell us what the canon should contain and what it should exclude?  What is the CORRECT bible?
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Offline William

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #37 on: September 05, 2010, 08:26:39 PM »
Is the last part of Mark inadmissible because it's a late addition or because it's stupid  :shrug

If we're going to exclude bits of the bible because they are stupid (e.g. drinking poison to prove your faith) then we should exclude all the bits that are batshit crazy.

Rib-girl, the talking snake, the global flood, the talking donkey, target shooting with lightning, wind being ordered to change direction, stars moving around in the sky, a pregnant woman saying she never had sex and being believed  :o , water being turned into wine to avoid embarrassment, the bottomless basket of bread and fish, smelly corpses rising from the dead, flying around like superman, etc.

But if that's all fine and it's only a timing issue - then what was the Holy Spirit up to when Mark was rounded off to sound good - was the Holy Spirit busy elsewhere with other priorities? Taking a nap? Couldn't be bothered getting it right?  If so then God should give the Holy Spirit the sack - put somebody competent on the job.
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Offline UniversityPastor

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #38 on: September 06, 2010, 01:01:26 AM »
Sorry guys. I'm going to have to enforce a level of relevance if I'm going to get around to responding to each of you.

It's true that I'm a Christian, and I understand that there are a number of beliefs tied to that, but if it's not the subject of a thread and it's not a direct response to something I said, I'm going to need to let it pass.
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Offline William

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2010, 01:06:06 AM »
So what is relevant then?  :shrug
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Offline UniversityPastor

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2010, 01:37:56 AM »
So what is relevant then?  :shrug


Fair question,

Well the subject we were on, was answering what good a god who doesn't give you superpowers is. It's also of course understandable to inquire about things I've said in this thread while talking about that.

On the other hand, I haven't said a word about hell (and that's the second time I've pointed this out)
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Offline pingnak

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2010, 02:27:09 AM »
Is hell relevant to what a god is 'good for'?


Offline William

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #42 on: September 06, 2010, 04:03:49 AM »
Is Jesus a "saviour"?  If so, a "saviour" from what?
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Offline plethora

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2010, 05:47:41 AM »
If god wanted all of us to believe in him and know about him, we all would. He is god and nothing is impossible for him, right?  8)

Clearly God hates you guys doesn't exist. :-\

I can think of no other explanation

Fixed.
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Offline plethora

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2010, 05:57:22 AM »
@UP

You rejected Mark 16:17 (which clearly refutes your OP) as a verse that was 'added' to the manuscripts.

So then... we are waiting for you to confirm which version of the bible is the correct version.

From which date to which date do you consider the entries 'valid' as the infallible word of god?
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #45 on: September 06, 2010, 07:39:00 AM »
I believe that God, The creator of the universe who made us desires also to live with us and have a relationship with us.....

Would you say these were your god's primary desires?  Would he have desires that would supercede those? If so, what?

Good question. I'm not sure.  Those would be near the top.

Near the top....but not AT the top.  Because if it were AT the top, he would be introducing himself to me today.  But he doesn't, for whatever reason.  And whatever that reason is, it trumps his desire "to live with us and have a relationship with us".

But ParkingPlaces said it quite adequately.  Was his - and my - point one you will be refraining from answering?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #46 on: September 06, 2010, 04:57:46 PM »
UP:
Quote
Sorry guys. I'm going to have to enforce a level of relevance if I'm going to get around to responding to each of you.
That might be a little tricky, UP; what if all our posts are relevant? How are you going to get around to all of us then?

But we do sympathize with your experience of being out-numbered; but it's bound to happen, because we don't get a huge number of theists coming here, and even fewer theists such as yourself who are prepared to be polite and can present an argument, so when one arrives, they get a lot of responses.

Two suggestions. If you want, you can have a debate with a limited number of opponents (or just one, if you like), in our debating section. Each debate is accompanied by a gallery thread where people can discuss the debate and offer suggestions and ideas to the participants. If your time available for this site is limited, this might be a good option for you.

Second, if you added a brief post to your introduction thread stating a few more details about your church and your basic beliefs, we wouldn't need to be asking questions about which bible you use, or what your conception of hell is, because we'd know where you were coming from.

Back to the topic.

I asked you about hell. Hell is relevant to the thread topic.

Many christians say that one of the main things Jesus is "good for" is that Jesus is their Saviour; he's going to save them, and the more confident of them already describe themselves as Saved.

So my question to you is, do you believe that Jesus is your saviour? If your answer is in the affirmative, the next question is, what is he saving you from? Is it hell? And if so, what is hell?

Gnu.

Offline Odin

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #47 on: September 06, 2010, 08:01:57 PM »
Well for example. My answer to the title question "Why won't God heal Amputees?" Is "because he doesn't heal much of anybody miraculously, the stories we all hear are wrong"

Quote
The advantage to God was never that he imbued you with superpowers. Even Christians who actually believe that He did give them superpowers don't believe that's what God is "good" for (obviously not because if they did they would get frustrated very quickly by the fact that their superpowers never seem to work)

We believe (or at least I believe) That God, The creator of the universe who made us desires also to live with us and have a relationship with us, superpowers or not if it's true that's an offer worth taking.

I agree with HAL as to the last statement.  The Creator of the Universe made me, and desires to have a relationship with me.  But, the best he can do is the Bible?  Can't I at least have a sign of some sort?

As to the superpowers, no, just "supernatural" healings.  Healings we don't understand the cause of, but are repeatable and predictable.  Healings that respond to prayer.  Malignant metastic melanoma has a five year survival rate of about 6%.  That 6% figure is not affected at all by prayers.  Healing of amputees is just a metaphor for any healings whose cause would be seen and intrepreted correctly by any reasonable person.  We might just use healings of children born with cleft palates.  By any reasonable definition of creation, those malformations are ordained by god.  What good is that kind of god?

So, back to the first part.  What about the stories we hear are all wrong?  If the stories are wrong, and god can't or won't heal us, then what good is he?  If he wants to have a relationship with us, then why is the story so far fetched and mythological?  If the Creator of the Universe created me broken, so that I must be fixed (freed from sin) in order to have that relationship, then he is not very potent.  And I ask again, what good is he to me?

Odin, King of the Gods

[edit] PS - Seeing folks die of cancer and accidents, and children born with birth defects, leads me to believe in a statement by, I believe, Dawkins (paraphrased):  "The world operates the way you would expect it to if there were no god or gods."
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 08:06:28 PM by Odin »

Offline UniversityPastor

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #48 on: September 06, 2010, 09:47:28 PM »
Is Jesus a "saviour"?  If so, a "saviour" from what?

who said savior? did i say savior?
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Offline UniversityPastor

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #49 on: September 06, 2010, 09:48:15 PM »

From which date to which date do you consider the entries 'valid' as the infallible word of god?


who said infallible? Did I say infallible?
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Offline Gimpy

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #50 on: September 06, 2010, 09:57:25 PM »
Is Jesus a "saviour"?  If so, a "saviour" from what?

who said savior? did i say savior?


Are you playing games? Why?

I think William's questions were pretty clear and you just dodged them like he threw a tire jack at you.

He asked quite plainly:

Is jesus a "savior"?

That's a "yes" or "no" question.

The reply "who said savior" does not apply.

Try again.
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Offline UniversityPastor

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #51 on: September 06, 2010, 10:03:25 PM »
I believe that God, The creator of the universe who made us desires also to live with us and have a relationship with us.....

Would you say these were your god's primary desires?  Would he have desires that would supercede those? If so, what?

Good question. I'm not sure.  Those would be near the top.

Near the top....but not AT the top.  Because if it were AT the top, he would be introducing himself to me today.  But he doesn't, for whatever reason.  And whatever that reason is, it trumps his desire "to live with us and have a relationship with us".

But ParkingPlaces said it quite adequately.  Was his - and my - point one you will be refraining from answering?

yeah Anf, PP's point was one which i thought it wise not to answer. I like PP, i respect him, we spoke over PM a bit, And for that reason I think he deserves to see me give him a run for his money. He put a good page of ink down against beliefs which I've not mentioned (hell, the bible, evangelism and the means of grace, Omnipotence etc.). I agree with some of them, disagree with others and only partially agree with most in such a way as I would have to carefully articulate exactly what I mean and why I believe that particularly.

That's just not realistic in this setting. That would be something for me and PP to hammer out one one, maybe in a discussion room, and I think we should, I think PP deserves that. If I were to tackle that as a secondary issue here I'd have to gloss over some things, It'd be clumsy, and ultimately i don't think you all would get what you want out of this interaction, which is to have a good inteligent discussion with atheist who makes you think.

But the question's good Anf, the question of why God doesn't appear to you. It's fair and I think it'd be a good one to stat another thread about (unfortunately I'm in about 5 active threads right now which is about my limit, so if you started one this instant I probably wouldn't join it)

Can you see where I'm coming from?
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Offline UniversityPastor

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #52 on: September 06, 2010, 10:11:52 PM »
Is Jesus a "saviour"?  If so, a "saviour" from what?

who said savior? did i say savior?

Are you playing games? Why?

Yeah I am kinda playing games.

These quick little posts in reply to challenges... You could call them games.

The reason why is in order to make a point. The point being, that I was asked a question, I answered it, and now I'm being asked unrelated questions that have the appearance of being rebuttals. I understand they have that appearance, and I just want to make it clear that they are not rebuttals, they are fresh questions.

...That said I have to admit, I read the post quickly and I misread it.

I thought William had said

Jesus Is a "savior"? what did he save us from?

not Is Jesus a "savior"?

So I thought he kinda misleadingly gave the false appearance that he was quoting me with those quote marks, and decided to give a sassy reply. Now I can see he was just honestly quoting the typical rhetoric, and not in a misleading way. My mistake.
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Offline Gimpy

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #53 on: September 06, 2010, 10:17:59 PM »

Yeah I am kinda playing games.

Interesting.

The reason why is in order to make a point. The point being, that I was asked a question, I answered it, and now I'm being asked unrelated questions that have the appearance of being rebuttals. I understand they have that appearance, and I just want to make it clear that they are not rebuttals, they are fresh questions.

Or they may not be "fresh" questions. They may still be connected to the points being addressed, but in order for the points to be made further, certain "groundwork" questions may need to be asked.

It happens a lot. I do it sometimes, and sometimes people do it to me.

If the questioner then fails to be able to connect the dots back to the point(s) at hand, then you might have a complaint.

Sometimes they are needed for clarification purposes.

...That said I have to admit, I read the post quickly and I misread it.

I thought William had said

Jesus Is a "savior"? what did he save us from?

not Is Jesus a "savior"?

So I thought he kinda misleadingly gave the false appearance that he was quoting me with those quote marks, and decided to give a sassy reply. Now I can see he was just honestly quoting the typical rhetoric, and not in a misleading way. My mistake.

So.

Are you going to answer it then?
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Offline UniversityPastor

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #54 on: September 06, 2010, 10:57:11 PM »
UP:
Quote
Sorry guys. I'm going to have to enforce a level of relevance if I'm going to get around to responding to each of you.
That might be a little tricky, UP; what if all our posts are relevant? How are you going to get around to all of us then?

But we do sympathize with your experience of being out-numbered; but it's bound to happen, because we don't get a huge number of theists coming here, and even fewer theists such as yourself who are prepared to be polite and can present an argument, so when one arrives, they get a lot of responses.

Two suggestions. If you want, you can have a debate with a limited number of opponents (or just one, if you like), in our debating section. Each debate is accompanied by a gallery thread where people can discuss the debate and offer suggestions and ideas to the participants. If your time available for this site is limited, this might be a good option for you.

Second, if you added a brief post to your introduction thread stating a few more details about your church and your basic beliefs, we wouldn't need to be asking questions about which bible you use, or what your conception of hell is, because we'd know where you were coming from.

Those are both good ideas Gnu, I think I'll do both of them

I'm a little concerned about the second one, because even if you know from some other means what my belief on a particular thing is, I don't care to be asked to defend every aspect of my beliefs at all times in every post.

Fundamentalists take the perspective that if any part of a theory is wrong then the whole thing is bad. I don't take that stance. Things can have good parts and bad parts.

 The way that weighs out in debate with fundamentalists is that when they are talking to you about the crucifixion, and you dangle a piece of argumentation out about the resurrection, or the accession, they can't help themselves but to go for it.

Me, If I'm in a debate with you about the crucifixion, and you bring up the resurrection, I'm going to ignore it. Not because I don't believe the resurrection, but because my belief in the resurrection is immaterial to the discussion, You could be totally right about the resurrection, I could grant every argument, and that wouldn't damage my point about the crucifixion. Because Jesus could have been crucified without ever having been raised. (now visa versa is a little bit of a different story, but still Jesus could have died some other way and still been raised)

So that's the same thing here. I want to have a great discussion with you all about what good a god who doesn't heal amputees or anybody else is. And I could win that debate, even if i don't disagree with anything you say about hell. (God could be good, not heal anyone, and not send anyone to hell, without creating a contradiction)

So If I mention I'm "Presbyterian" Woah buddy, now you have the whole Book of Order to throw at me, and anytime i say something about the crucifixion you could conceivably ask me why I think you have to serve communion with "a bread common to the culture of the people" at any time on any thread. That'd be no fair.

Does that make sense? Because I plan to do that, (and I'm not Presbyterian), but I need that concern to be understood. We're dealing with one idea at a time here in debate. Other ideas only come into play if you or I say something to defend one idea that relies upon a different idea.

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Back to the topic.

I asked you about hell. Hell is relevant to the thread topic.

Many christians say that one of the main things Jesus is "good for" is that Jesus is their Saviour; he's going to save them, and the more confident of them already describe themselves as Saved.

So my question to you is, do you believe that Jesus is your saviour? If your answer is in the affirmative, the next question is, what is he saving you from? Is it hell? And if so, what is hell?

Gnu.

Okay I see how you got there, thanks for articulating that, I really had trouble connecting it in my head.

Unfortunately this is going to be kind of a sticky issue, so excuse me for taking up some ink to fully explain myself.

The bottom line is this:
I don't think what Jesus is primarily "Good for" is saving us from hell.

Jesus may or may not save us from hell, we could all go to heaven anyway, The debate doesn't really hinge on that, and as it happens, I'm not totally decided.

Since everyone seems curious. I hold to an obscure theological distinction famously forwarded by Myreslov Vulf. he said "i am not a christian universalist, I hope for the truth of christian universalism" so basically "I would like it very much if everyone goes to heaven, i can't find a good argument for it"

Anyway like I said, Not really relevant.

What is relevant is what I think Jesus IS good for, which is being Lord

The offer of the gospel should never have become "Hey the Master of the Universe wants to give you a deal which will get you out of that hell you don't believe in" is was perfectly fine at "Hey, the Master of the Universe wants to interact with you" I mean honestly isn't that cool enough? (if it's true of course)

And to answer your question, yes, I think Jesus is a savior, in so many ways, and he saves us from a great multitude of things, one of them may or may not be hell, one of them is almost certainly the distance we had felt from God, but the one I'm most excited about is that he saves us from our old way of living.

The way of life that we default towards is to think that our goal in life should be increase of wealth, or power, or pleasure, that we should view ourselves as the most important thing, and strive for self betterment. Jesus taught that our goal in life should be to love one another, specifically love one another sacrificially, so lose while others gain, he taught us to life to make the world a better place rather than to accumulate, and to see God rather than ourselves as the most important thing.

I know a lot of you live that way, you care about others welfare sometimes much more than your own, and you want to see the world improved even if you don't live to see it. I believe you owe those convictions to a carpenter from the bronze age, that if he didn't teach the guys who taught the guys who taught, the guys who screwed it up a little bit before they taught the guys, who taught the guys and girls, who taught the people who set the foundation for this world we live in, you'd be living by different convictions. You have all been saved by Jesus.

Obviously you don't believe that. The idea here is internal consistency. That's how I answer the question that was brought up to expose a flaw in my theology. Now my theology is intact, but I still need to prove it.
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Offline OnePerson

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #55 on: September 06, 2010, 11:02:58 PM »
Quote from: UniversityStudent
I know a lot of you live that way, you care about others welfare sometimes much more than your own, and you want to see the world improved even if you don't live to see it. I believe you owe those convictions to a carpenter from the bronze age, that if he didn't teach the guys who taught the guys who taught, the guys who screwed it up a little bit before they taught the guys, who taught the guys and girls, who taught the people who set the foundation for this world we live in, you'd be living by different convictions. You have all been saved by Jesus.

Wow, talk about ethnocentric.

Offline Gimpy

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #56 on: September 06, 2010, 11:03:54 PM »
Sorry, I think that all you stated above was that you have a secret decoder ring that allows you to see/understand/know certain things that other christians may not fall in line with. In fact, much of what you stated appears to be large gaps of "loopholes" -- in order to make the god/jesus thing less something to fear and more something to just simply "love." (My quotes, not yours, but I'm paraphrasing.)

And even if there are contradictions, they really aren't contradictions, so, in some cases white CAN be black, and you would still "win"?

Is that about right?
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Offline UniversityPastor

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Re: ...then what good is your god?
« Reply #57 on: September 06, 2010, 11:19:29 PM »

I agree with HAL as to the last statement.  The Creator of the Universe made me, and desires to have a relationship with me.  But, the best he can do is the Bible?  Can't I at least have a sign of some sort?
apparently not

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As to the superpowers, no, just "supernatural" healings.  Healings we don't understand the cause of, but are repeatable and predictable.  Healings that respond to prayer.  Malignant metastic melanoma has a five year survival rate of about 6%.  That 6% figure is not affected at all by prayers.  Healing of amputees is just a metaphor for any healings whose cause would be seen and intrepreted correctly by any reasonable person.  We might just use healings of children born with cleft palates.  By any reasonable definition of creation, those malformations are ordained by god.  What good is that kind of god?

What good would the kind of god be who allowed those malformations in the first place even if we could heal them with prayer?

And if they could be healed with prayer, than wouldn't prayer become something other than prayer? Wouldn't doctors and nurses practice it? Even doctors and nurses who don't believe in God or gods? Wouldn't it just be... medicine?

It's a common theological mistake in these debates (and i think it's Christians own fault) for Skeptics to believe that Christians believe God made the world perfect, and that if you can expose a flaw in the world, you have exposed a flaw in their theology.

That's not the case. (if it were we'd be sunk)

Christians believe God made the world perfect, and we broke it, and someday he'll fix it sure, but right now it's broken, so we see all of the cleft palates, and amputations, and cancer that you do. This business called "Christianity" is what goes on in the meantime, inside this broken world.
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