Author Topic: Reason for God (T. Keller)  (Read 1447 times)

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Offline Jeff7

Reason for God (T. Keller)
« on: September 06, 2011, 02:49:34 AM »
The book: http://www.amazon.com/Reason-God-Belief-Age-Skepticism/dp/1594483493/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315295515&sr=8-1

After quite a bit of discussion, a friend of mine finally offered his copy to me and asked me to read it. Good deal through it, though I'm curious if anyone else has given this one a read/thoughts. While I agree on his part of both skeptics and theists both at times probably needing to stand back to check themselves inwardly, etc... the content, ehh.

Offline albeto

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2011, 09:59:12 AM »
The book: http://www.amazon.com/Reason-God-Belief-Age-Skepticism/dp/1594483493/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315295515&sr=8-1

After quite a bit of discussion, a friend of mine finally offered his copy to me and asked me to read it. Good deal through it, though I'm curious if anyone else has given this one a read/thoughts. While I agree on his part of both skeptics and theists both at times probably needing to stand back to check themselves inwardly, etc... the content, ehh.

I've not come across this book, but I did have Reasons to Believe, written by a popular Catholic apologist.  For me it all came down to the concept of "sin."  See, our oldest child has an autistic spectrum disorder and severe anxiety.  For years we've had ABA tutors in our home and at school helping him learn appropriate social skills to replace the very inappropriate (and often destructive) behaviors he naturally employed.  One of the first things I learned was that each and every behavior has a function, find the function, help him with an appropriate alternative.  Eventually that registered with me for everyone, not just people with neurological glitches.  So if every behavior has a function, and that is generally to solve some kind of problem like finding something to eat or avoiding confrontation at work, then some behaviors are effective and some create more problems.  If a behavior creates more problems than it solves, it's simply not an effective behavior.  "Sin" has nothing to do with it any more than it has to do with earthquakes or tsunamis.  Everything broke down after that for me.   The idea of "checking yourself inwardly" sounds to me like checking your behavior against sinful desires, which doesn't really compute for me any more.  Am I misunderstanding?  Is there some particular argument presented in the book that has you curious about possible validity? 

Offline Jeff7

Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2011, 12:24:16 PM »
Oh, no, that was just a something written rather poorly by me.. I blame it on being so dang late/posting.  :D I'm not 100% sure what I was referencing to.. I'll get back to you on that.

As to validity - no, not at all. Once I started into the book, I took a quick peek on the search here to see if it/the reviews had been posted.  At seeing that it hadn't, I decided to do so, mostly out of curiosity's sake.

Offline Brakeman

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2011, 09:15:41 PM »
See, our oldest child has an autistic spectrum disorder and severe anxiety. 

This is also known as "possession by demons", this happens because the parents, um father actually because women don't count, failed to properly pray at his birth and dedicate their son to the sky god. If the father had actually have been willing to kill the child for god, which god sometimes asks for, then god would have told Satan to bugger off, unless of course the father's name was Job, or if there were some Iron chariots in the way.

Alas, I'm getting too sciency and technical, so I'll just agree to call it Autism until we get all emotional and shouting in a one-up-manship game of who's closer and more thankful to god.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 04:21:07 AM »
Both of my kids have Aspergers, and that is an excellent (although tiring) way to help them through a confusing and difficult world.

I don't think many Christians try to suggest that those born with disorders or diseases are somehow being punished.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2012, 11:37:01 AM »
I don't think many Christians try to suggest that those born with disorders or diseases are somehow being punished.

I'd say it is probably only a couple of tens of millions.  Given that there are over a billion xians, that is only a percent or three.  So, not many at all.

Of course, there is also the whole idea that disease was introduced in the first place because of sin.  So, yeah, definitely punishment if you are going by orthodox beliefs. 

You must be one of those pseudo-hippy, new-agey xians.  Do you even believe in hell?
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2012, 01:13:17 PM »
...You must be one of those pseudo-hippy, new-agey xians.  Do you even believe in hell?

I actually really like pseudo-hippy, new-agey xians.  ;D I'm not sure that what they believe is truly christianity anymore, but I can accept their watered down, kindly approach much more easily than I can accept fundamentalist bible literalists.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2012, 02:29:13 PM »
Yes, I do believe in hell. but I have always thought that to be the state things will be in when God is no longer present in the world, as I believe God is the source of goodness. So in that sense, "being thrown into hell" becomes "being allowed to live without God" - which presumably isn't a concern if you don't believe God exists.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2012, 03:21:38 PM »
Yes, I do believe in hell. but I have always thought that to be the state things will be in when God is no longer present in the world, as I believe God is the source of goodness. So in that sense, "being thrown into hell" becomes "being allowed to live without God" - which presumably isn't a concern if you don't believe God exists.

Here we go with the varied concepts of who really knows what this god meant/means.

Well, since we can see no evidence of any gods, including yours, in this world, is this hell?  How could we tell the difference? 

And your god is all about punishing children for the sins of their fathers, so there's little reason to not think this god punishes children by disease for those sins.  MM, can you show your version of god and Christianity to be the "right" one?

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Offline screwtape

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2012, 04:20:07 PM »
Yes, I do believe in hell. but I have always thought that to be the state things will be in when God is no longer present in the world, as I believe God is the source of goodness. So in that sense, "being thrown into hell" becomes "being allowed to live without God" - which presumably isn't a concern if you don't believe God exists.

Heretic.

What about the other parts of my post.  Like, the part where I kind of clearly show that disease as punishment is exactly how the bible describes it?
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2012, 05:18:45 PM »
Yes, I do believe in hell. but I have always thought that to be the state things will be in when God is no longer present in the world, as I believe God is the source of goodness. So in that sense, "being thrown into hell" becomes "being allowed to live without God" - which presumably isn't a concern if you don't believe God exists.

Here we go with the varied concepts of who really knows what this god meant/means.

Well, since we can see no evidence of any gods, including yours, in this world, is this hell?  How could we tell the difference? 

And your god is all about punishing children for the sins of their fathers, so there's little reason to not think this god punishes children by disease for those sins.  MM, can you show your version of god and Christianity to be the "right" one?

Many users seem to be assuming I am interested in "proving God" or even convincing anybody on these forums. I'm not. I'm a Christian because I do see evidence for God, I believe it and that is how I choose to live my life. I enjoy discussing it and explaining things from MY perspective, and I enjoy debating perspectives different to mine.

Who has 'better' arguments or who is actually 'right' means squat to me on these forums. I'm just having fun. If this sort of participation is frowned upon just let me know and I'll be off like a brides nighty.

So..to the points you raised. I think that God acted in certain ways in the OT times for a very specific purpose...it was all about His plan of salvation which involved a saviour from the Jewish people, and God stamped out any evil that was possibly corrupting the Israelites. God generally seems to have dealt with human sin much more immediately in biblical times. It's interesting that it's the physical deaths that seem to horrify most non-Christians, when really its the fact that they will probably all spend eternity in hell that is the really horrifying thought. But God is just.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2012, 05:23:39 PM »
I don't think many Christians try to suggest that those born with disorders or diseases are somehow being punished.

I'd say it is probably only a couple of tens of millions.  Given that there are over a billion xians, that is only a percent or three.  So, not many at all.

Of course, there is also the whole idea that disease was introduced in the first place because of sin.  So, yeah, definitely punishment if you are going by orthodox beliefs. 

You must be one of those pseudo-hippy, new-agey xians.  Do you even believe in hell?

To clarify, I don't think those born with disease are being singled out in any way. Certainly I acknowledge that disease exists at all because of the rebellion against God. Its a tough pill to swallow.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2012, 09:36:52 AM »
To clarify, I don't think those born with disease are being singled out in any way. Certainly I acknowledge that disease exists at all because of the rebellion against God. Its a tough pill to swallow.

That's a bitch, innit?  Your kids have... problems?  obstacles?[1] because some douche 6000 years ago[2] did something he could not possibly know was wrong.  That hardly seems fair, does it? 

I think I read in another post of yours where you say, "god is just".  Are you sure you don't want to ammend that?  Perhaps add to it?  Something like, "god is just a jerk"?  "god is just not fair"?  "god is just a figment of my imagination"?

Even though you said you weren't going to respond, you might want to read my post in the tebow thread where I point out you assessment of god as good may be... faulty.
 1. I'm trying to find the right tactful, inoffensive word.  I apologize if I failed
 2. are you a YEC?  I'm not sure...
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2012, 09:51:12 AM »
Many users seem to be assuming I am interested in "proving God" or even convincing anybody on these forums. I'm not. I'm a Christian because I do see evidence for God, I believe it and that is how I choose to live my life. I enjoy discussing it and explaining things from MY perspective, and I enjoy debating perspectives different to mine.
  I find that curious since your god said to go out and convert people.  You differ with your god’s desires?  also, if you want to debate, that means you are interested in proving your god.  Debates are to come to a conclusion, by the review of the evidence.  In that you say you aren’t interested in this, I’m guessing you only want a soapbox. 
Quote
Who has 'better' arguments or who is actually 'right' means squat to me on these forums. I'm just having fun. If this sort of participation is frowned upon just let me know and I'll be off like a brides nighty.
And again, you seem totally uninterested in actually debating, since anyone else’s arguments mean “squat” to you.  In that I do not own the forum or administer it, I cannot tell you what participation is frowned upon or not. If it were my forum, the willfully ignorant like you, who are not interested at all in an actual debate would be removed.  In my opinion, you are simply wasting space. 
Quote
So..to the points you raised. I think that God acted in certain ways in the OT times for a very specific purpose...it was all about His plan of salvation which involved a saviour from the Jewish people, and God stamped out any evil that was possibly corrupting the Israelites. God generally seems to have dealt with human sin much more immediately in biblical times. It's interesting that it's the physical deaths that seem to horrify most non-Christians, when really its the fact that they will probably all spend eternity in hell that is the really horrifying thought. But God is just.
Here we go, the invocation of the mysterious “plan”, that can excuse any action by god, by the theist claiming that they don’t understand but golly, their god must have had a reason.  All predicated on the assumption that this god even exists.  Consider the OT story, we have a supposedly omniscient, omnipotent being that starts off with being either too stupid to keep a “snake” out of the garden, or intentionally means it to be there.  He exposes two humans who are utterly ignorant about everything to a very smart snake (or magical fallen angel) in a garden where everything is supposedly under this good god’s control. This god then throws a fit that they believe something that this god created.  They have no idea of evil or deceit or anything.  Then we go ahead a few millennia(well, we don’t know do we since Christians can’t figure out when their bible’s events supposedly happened), and find God being shocked, shocked, that humans aren’t worshipping him while he’s absent.  His angels are even getting it on with humans per your storybook.  He throws another fit and murders every living thing on the earth, except a drunkard’s family and supposedly two of *every* animal on the earth. (Just how did the koalas get there?) We have a just so story on why rainbows are.  Noah promptly gets drunkn and curses, not his son who sees him naked (which also may mean had sex with Mrs. Noah), but the child of another son.  Wow, how just and fair &)   Then we have Babel where God is surprised that humans are building a temple and promptly makes sure that they can’t talk to each other so they can’t keep building (forgetting that they already have different languages a chapter before the babel story).  Then we have the giving of the laws in Exodus, Leviticus etc.  All intentended to be how one can be in good with this god.  Then, God, evidently surprised *again* by his plans failing one more time, decides that he has to have a version of himself, killed in a blood sacrifice, to make up for the sin he made the rules for in the first place.  He could have said “hey, believe in me, I forgive you it’s all good.” But no, we had to have a torture fest, and at least in one gospel, this god needing the help of its supposed archenemy (who makes a lovely return as god’s pal in the nonsense of Revelation). 

You want to claim that God, for some mysterious reason, actually personally handled sin in the OT.  I find physical deaths to be quite horrific, nice to see that you don’t seem to.  Since you have no evidence that your god exists at all, your claims of some magical “spiritual death” are meaningless.  You may as well be a Hindu claiming that people are reincarnated into animals.  It’s just as silly.  And it seems your concept of hell is dependent on how “scary” you want to make it.  Is it just being separate from this god?  If so, pelase show me how this hell of yours is different from this world?  I see no god doing anything.  I only see Christians who make baseless claims about their religion that are just like the claims of any other religion.  They sound good but evidence? Not one scrap.

As for being just and fair, repeating that your god is this is meaningless when its actions show exactly the opposite.  How is it just and fair that this god intentionally allowed people to be killed for a bet with his supposed archenemy?  To damn children for the actions of their parents (not just suffering from collateral damage but *damned*)? To kill all “bad people” in the world and then allow its archenemy back to corrupt the good people that are left?   Your god is imaginary but if it did exist, I would not worship such a petty being any more than I would worship Zeus, or Odin or Tezcatlipoca. 
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2012, 03:09:25 PM »
meh, I've pretty much decided this forum is taking too much of my time and I'm getting distracted at work, so I'll bail. I haave enjoyed the discussions. Bye to all.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2012, 03:20:53 PM »
meh, I've pretty much decided this forum is taking too much of my time and I'm getting distracted at work, so I'll bail. I haave enjoyed the discussions. Bye to all.

Ah, the typical theist.  When asked to support your claims, you run.  So much for your courage and faith that this god of yours is supposed to support.  Yet one more reason to have no reason to assume your god exists at all.  You come here all certain you have all of the answers and when you see that your claims are met with disbelief and questions, you suddenly have soemthing better to do.  I'm sure if you were met with agreement and approbation, you'd stay.  But your god has left you high and dry, hasn't he? No atheists falling at your feet, no immediate acceptance of your claims.

Of course you run when asked this "How is it just and fair that this god intentionally allowed people to be killed for a bet with his supposed archenemy?"  You can't answer and actually thinking about it makes you afraid.  if you admit that this is not just, then your god is not what you thought. 

MM, you are just one more in list of hundreds of Christians who have made the exact same excuses.  Congratulations. 
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Offline Brakeman

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2012, 08:42:24 PM »
I don't think many Christians try to suggest that those born with disorders or diseases are somehow being punished.

Every single schizophrenic and Bi-polar patient I've met in TN and SC though my step daughters issues, have experienced the suggestions of god's punishments and demon possession from christians. Now that is not a hundred percent of christians, but it is a hundred percent of the victims of such sentiment.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Reason for God (T. Keller)
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2012, 12:12:39 PM »
meh, I've pretty much decided this forum is taking too much of my time and I'm getting distracted at work, so I'll bail. I haave enjoyed the discussions. Bye to all.

punk move.  I am very disappointed.
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