I don't blame you for giving a shortanswer to this question - because that's what it all hinges on: the fact that you had a vague daydream, which could have applied to anything, and you chose to believe that it was a portent of the next event that happened to you.
How do you determine if something is causal or not?Missed this questions Wayne - and I've asked it half a dozen times now. I will therefore assume that you HAVE no way of determining whether something is causal or not: that your automatic and constant assumption is that "god did that". It means that NONE of your anecdotes here are worth our consideration or discussion.
I'm going to allow you to define my testimony as anecdotes if it suits you. In fact, with the moderators permission I'm going to publish here kind of a comprehensive Wittenburg door anecdote challenge to be nailed to the galley door of the Church of Atheists that congregates on the Pirate Ship WWGHA.
The anecdotes are not self generated so your diminishing them and saying they are not somehow worthy of peoples time does nothing to insult me. It's not as though I went to school, misunderstood the lessons, turned in my homework and got an F. I would deserve the insult, and the humiliation of failure, and even the charge that my homework was not worthy of discussion. But it's not my homework and my intellect, and my personall worthiness were talking about here, we are talking about evidence, real evidence, Lots or anecdotal evidence of the intervention of an intelligent being, one so intelligent as to be (at least) 23 years patient and forknowing, and to be demonstrably either capable of causing an earthquake, or at least all knowing enough to pinpoint its eruption to the second. Pass that off as not worthy of discussion if you like, All I can do is report.
That's just it - they do for you, because you just ascribe everything to god's actions.
You reply saying you don't ascribe my anecdotes to God regardless of the intelligence that organized it. I describe obvious intelligent manipulation of events otherwise out of my personal control and you are so committed to not believing in God that you dismiss the clear intelligence that makes my anecdotes.. occur. God is throwing you a curveball that he knows your rational religion rejects. Your rejection of his overriding and obvious intelligence just makes you look and act silly.
I'm sure it is. But it isn't for us. That's the problem with a god who picks and chooses his favours and interventions: it's only convincing for the individuals concerned.
You are talking like a be liver that just feels left out of the loop. Come on his terms and He will make himself known to you personally. The remarkable activity of God detected in my life very neatly fits in to the Christian principles of acknowledging God and His righteousness, confessing my unworthiness, repenting, depending on the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ to cleanse me when I cannot do it myself, and then having a desire to obey. He knows what I'm made of, and that I fail to meet his standards, He's just glad to see that I agree with him about it, and so he helps me where I'm the weakest.
How are you driving us from belief?
Why would we not want to be like you? Because you have no critical thinking skills that you have demonstrated here.
You must be holding me to a higher standard than God is himself. It appears that the only critical thinking skills you can accept are ones that reject God. Am I right about that?
You refuse to Chang your position even when massive evidence is provided for you (remember those crime graphs?).
What I remember about the graphs was that you didn't like mine even though they came from the same source as yours. What I derived from that is that you pick and choose your data and what you want to believe about it, and I suppose that I do as well. You absolutely failed to make a case that the graphs i submitted were a fraud, and you simply didn't like what they concluded about the degradation of society. You would have never conceded to any coorelation that didn't follow your world view, you simply made up your mind that mine were wrong, and yours were right just like I say that an intelligent God intervenes in my life and you have made up your mind to dismiss it, out of hand. Maybe we are at loggerheads, but you can't walk away from this saying I haven't had a point. You might want to save face, but I don't expect that you have convinced yourself that I'm all wrong. You haven't convinced yourself that there was absolutely no meaning in the earthquake, you just don't know what to do with it. You don't have to concede to me personally that there is a God. I don't really matter. You do have to be honest with yourself though, just take that with you.
You alternate between being patronising, and smug. You are happy - or at best, indifferent - to the fact that you worship a god who does parlour tricks for you, and ignores the plight of others in far more need. For the most part, you refuse to answer questions, and those you do answer are normally rewarded with either a non sequiteur, or a smug little "bless you, you don't understand".
I do tell a lot of fun stories, what you haven't heard are stories of despair in my life. No unlike the despair of Job. My life has not all gone well, but God's presence is there. If things turn for the worse now and I'm dropped again into the pit, I may not like it, but like Job, I cannot renounce him. I have to live with the good and the bad of life like anyone else. The difference is that, I love and honor him in the good and the bad. That is the true mark of a Christian.
In short, you are a poor advert for any religion - if being a follower of your god would turn me into someone like you, then I want no part of it. That is how your actions, and presentation, are driving me away from your god - I see the multiple negative effects that your belief apparently has on you.
Sorry you feel that way.
Why would we not want to worship your god? Because he will reward the believer with numerous little parlour tricks. Spending vast amounts of time setting up little tales for you to tell about how super-powered he is, while ignoring the very real plights of millions of people in desperate need around the world. A god who is willing and able to pop down to the world and steer things so that one special little flower will get an amusing anecdote, while women are raped and toddlers battered and children abused by his priests and....well, I needn't go on. I look at the god you are portraying to me, and it sickens me. You portray your god as a selfish manipulator, one who (by your own admission) will help find the keys of people who bow down before him and kiss his feet, but who will shrug and sneer at anyone who doesn't and happily watch them suffer. It sickens me. The god you tell us of is not a fount of love and kindness, but an inadequate with a colossal need for love himself.
God is love, and he can show that love to you even in a world of cruelty. I can't explain it all but it is true.
This is the god you present to us Wayne - be very clear about that. It MAY bear no relation at all to any god that really exists. But it is the god that we construct from everything you say here. You are the one putting this god forward Wayne - THAT is how you are driving us towards Satan.
I'll take that as an admission that you are a believer, as I believe most of you are here, you have just taken sides out of frustration.
To be entirely fair, I can't recall you ever once mentioning your god being loving, or nice - just powerful. Perhaps that is enough for you. It is not for me.
You should go back and watch the video I posted of the guy singing Amazing Grace. I get chokes up about it and I'm so sorry if you missed the point.
To be honest, I have no expectation that you will be able to change, or even that you will try to understand what I am saying above. I HOPE that you will be able to engage with the issues I've raised, treat them seriously, and give a considered and relevant response that answers rather than avoids. My expectation, based on your previous performance, is that your response will avoid what I've said entirely. If this latter is the case, then I will quit wasting my time and this will be the last communication you will have from me that is not as a mod.
I've enjoyed our slugging it out.