Author Topic: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?  (Read 19869 times)

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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #174 on: January 08, 2014, 11:27:39 PM »
Please understand that though I would like to think that I am knowledgeable of God's ways, I really only know the surface of a vast ocean of things to know about God and the way He works. Not to mention that I am only 23 so I have alot of years of learning yet to do ;)

God DOES care about our physical ailments, and I apologize if I made it sound like He doesn't. I only meant to say that in the grand scheme of how God works, He is MORE concerned about eternity than he is about physical things. Our physical and situational griefs are serious to us! So therefore they are serious to God as well. Does He perform medical miracles that cannot be explained by any other means than God? Yes He has, and He does. I'm sure you have heard accounts in present time, and we know of recorded incidents in the Bible. He cares as much for the problems that affect us as much as we would care for the problems that affect our own children. But why God does not heal EVERY case of illness, well that is something that truly is left to mystery and I would not presume to know how or why He works on a person to person basis. Really if He was going to heal every case, then He probably would have just killed Adam and Eve and started over with a clean slate. I mean God wants us to follow Him because we want to, not because we have no other choice. If He healed every case, well, would you have a choice to believe in Him? That is my opinion on why he doesn't heal every case, take that for what it is, don't take that as theological truth. I will say, that it has little relation to who deserves it more or not. In Psalm 73, the Psalmist records that those who are opposed to God can often prosper as much or more than those who follow Him. In fact Jesus Himself promised that to follow Him was to suffer. Luke 9:23-24 ("pick up [your] cross daily and follow me") He promised persecution, suffering, and at times, death. But He also promised life. Eternally and abundantly. He also promised the joy that can only be found through knowing Him as saviour. Not happiness, but joy and contentment. This is not to say that the Christian walk is devoid of happiness or blessing, but it is to say that with one comes the other. I for one don't mind it, and in fact as James 1:2-4 says, I count my trials as joy, as they produce faith, which produces perseverance, which produces maturity (the first recording of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"). Let it also be said that that was said in the context of being a believer, not the generalized "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". But I get off topic.

God does care about our physical ailments and sufferings. But as I said earlier in my previous posts, if we are defining what a "good" person is by God's standards, then the questions has to be asked: Instead of why doesn't God heal us, we need to ask why hasn't God wiped us out if we are so evil (going back to my previous reference of God wiping out Adam and Eve and starting fresh)? Valid question isn't it? As soon as you word it like that, we are left with God's grace and unfathomable love and mercy in the giving of His Son Jesus. The fact that God hasn't wiped us out and has, in turn, held back His wrath (which I talked about in my previous posts) and given us the freedom to choose Him, and escape the wrath of God, and spend eternity with Him. Why did he do that? Because of love. And that very thought and statement is the hope of all Christians, the lifeblood if you will. That is the greatest promise ever given, and without that, there really isn't any point of following God. The promise of eternal salvation is what keeps us, sustains us, and keeps our eyes on heaven day to day. I love God, not because I have to, but because I choose to. And that, my friend, is a beautiful thing.

I hope that helps define what I meant a little better. Please, if something doesn't make sense, ask me to clearify, I miss things alot. I REALLY appreciate your responses. Trust me, I don't do this to hear myself talk :) or type rather. Keep 'em coming, and I'll do my best to refine God's truth a little more.

God Bless!

Oh and the name is Timothy, or Tim. You don't have to call me "Ralonx". That is just a screen name. So impersonal.

Hi Tim, that is a lot of talk about what your god thinks. You have given him your own personality, maybe some of the bits you don't want to admit to yourself.
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Offline harbinger77

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #175 on: January 09, 2014, 12:13:55 AM »
I learned today that if some mod comes along and deletes a post it even vanishes from my personal history. I agree that The mod should have some rights if we get off topic to move a post. I think it shows quite a bias to DELETE the one that may have had roots in the "rabbit trail" but was at the heart, back on topic!

I believe by the Grace of God this one was salvaged and will stand as a reminder that the title to this thread is bias. One must be willing to admit his own guilt before he can go judging others, Ya know!

If a person comes up with a reasonable argument, if the receiver refuses to listen to reason...it is still a reasonable argument...but not as far as the receiver is concerned. And that is what is happening here.
Ok, I'm listening.  What is the reasonable argument for naturalism?
Nothing you can accept.
I see.

This sounds exactly like what Christians say about our arguments falling on deaf ears and hardened hearts.... lol and then followed by the perfect dodge and on all the threads it could be on... Praise the Lord Mooby... hahaha

Praise the Lord! Thank you Mooby :)
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Online xyzzy

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #176 on: January 09, 2014, 12:16:06 AM »
I'm not trying to say anything about you, or Atheists per-say by saying this, but I would rather be punched in the mouth then face the hate and threats I have had dished out to me by anti-God people. It's like all the hate and anger they feel towards God, is then turned to me. It is easier to say, "I don't deserve that" and walk away. Which is what alot of Christians do. Unfortunately, sometimes we walk away from good hearted people who just want answers, because we think they want to rip our heads off. So I hope that sheds a little more light on it.

ralonx, welcome, it's good to have you here. Also, thank you for taking the time to organise your thoughts, and for laying them out in readable paragraphs. That makes it so much easier to follow your arguments. White space rules, and your use of it is appreciated.

Oh yes, the comment about the moderators. This really is a wonderful venue. You'll even find that atheists will correct and disagree with other atheists. It is not a question of sides here. Also, don't spread it around lest people think you off your rocker, but I've heard whispers to the effect that moderators are human. I know, astonishing, isn't it? ;) - that is a nice thing about WWGHA, they participate as regular members too.

Now, I do realise that the above is somewhat of an aside, you did clearly say it wasn't a comment directly about people here, and I don't want to go to far off-topic, but something needs clarifying so it doesn't cause surprise later.

You see, the thing is, atheists don't hate your god. It's simply not possible to hate or be angry against something that doesn't exist. I don't mean to wound you by my bluntness, but you do need to appreciate that some here were believers; others, like me, have never, ever, ever, believed in your god, or any other other god.

This whole "you hate god" thing comes up a lot, and it's irksome. If you truly think we are angry at your god consider this: "Why do you hate Zeus?" "You're just angry at Ra" - those make no sense to you, do they? After all Zeus and Ra never existed. Right? Well, that's pretty much what an atheist hears when someone says "you're angry at god".

The part about you suffering hate. Well, that's sad and walking away would seem prudent. I'm not suggesting that you are being misleading about that, but I do wonder if you may not have mistaken frustrations at the institution of religion, or the effects of religion on society, for hatred of your god. Just a thought, I'm sure we will get back to that another time. I just wanted you to be aware of the reaction you'll get.

Now, many good points have been covered, so the only one I'm going to repeat is the part about miracles.

It's convenient, isn't it, how Yahweh's "miracles" are consistent with human abilities - of that time period -  but you may not see it that way? As far as I can determine, many miracles only happen when no one is there to properly record it. And of course, wherever video capabilities exist, the number of miracles has plummeted. Again, you don't find that even the slightly bit odd? Not at all?

There's absolutely never been found any indication that so-called medical miracles are more prevalent in Christians (for example) than any other religion, or the non-religious. Why not? If it happens no more to a Christian than, say, a Hindu, what does that tell you? I'd appreciate your take on that.

You answered with Yahweh's mysteries ways, but how is it that this god is mysterious when it comes to things that could absolutely demonstrate his existence, yet believers claim to know so much about what he wants, to the points of specificity, with other things? That's not mysterious, ralonx, that's called making up excuses.

Here's a final item for your consideration. You're American, I think, so let's use that as a base. Many soldiers are young men, younger than you. They go into battle fighting for their country, and believing that "god" is on their side. George Bush, for example, declared that he was on a mission from god when he went into Iraq.

Now, these brave young men[1] go in to battle, they get their arms and legs blown off - all in service of their country and their god. Yet "god" is happy to heal people from things that humans naturally heal from. But, replacing missing limbs? He never does that. Never Ever.

You seem to like analogies, here's one. You're one of soldiers above. Around you are comrades. Over come the doctors and surgeons.

The guy with the broken leg? Certainly, we can fix that. Oh, you've got a ton of shrapnel in you? Let us remove it. Oh, you have severe internal injuries. Well, this it tough, but we'll work in it. You may need organ transplants, but we're on it.

Oh, now you two. The one who has lost an arm and a leg.  Sorry, soldier, but no-can-do. Oh, and you, the teenager who has lost all his limbs, suffered severe spinal damage, trauma to the brain? We could so easily fix you, but we are not going to. You just need to accept that our reasons are mysterious, and you'll thank us later, but you get to see life from the confines of a shell of a body confined to a wheelchair. Carry on!

That's not mysterious; for an omnipotent god that's downright delinquent. I should have asked, do you believe that this god could help, but chooses not to? I think that is your position. Do correct me if I accidentally misrepresented you in this point.

Of course, an explanation that perfectly accounts for his inaction, is that he doesn't exist.

ralonx, you seem a nice guy - but you make excuses for this being that affords his "miracles" in a manner that seems inversely proportional to need. Yet you view such actions as those of a loving god?

Really. I mean, really? F'ing magnets miracles, how do they work? Or do they even exist?
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« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 12:26:04 AM by xyzzy »
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #177 on: January 09, 2014, 03:54:16 AM »
Hey! Thank you for responding :) Maybe moderators respond to things all the time in this forum, but on alot of forums they just hang out and no one hears from them. Thank you for taking interest :)

No worries.  Just as a general note, I think all the Mods and Admins here take part in threads.  When we're debating as a member, we type normally.  But when we are speaking as a Mod, we go all green and bold.   It's just one of things, we can't control it, its a bit like the Incredible Hulk.....   ;D
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 Anfauglir

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #178 on: January 09, 2014, 03:57:20 AM »
1) You say your god is wrathful when the things he loves are abused.  You are correct, if I saw my loved ones in danger I would step in and help them.  But we see all manner of bad things going on in the world, and your god does not intervene, preferring to sit back and "build his wrath" instead.  Is that a method you would advocate  in response to abuse of the people you or I love?

1)In short no you didn't get it wrong. Most Christians will gladly say they are a Christian, but crumble when we are confronted about it. It's sad, and I do it too. My God deserves much more than I give Him. It's one thing to identify yourself with Christ, it is another to share in his sufferings.

Sorry, but you missed my point.  I was not talking about Christians, I was talking about your god.
I see those I loved being abused, I immediately step in and do something.  I call this love.
Your god sees those he loves being abused, he does nothing but beuild his wrath.  You call that love.

Should I try to emulate your god so as to display more love, and do nothing but fume inside when I see bad thingsd happen?
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 Anfauglir

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #179 on: January 09, 2014, 04:03:26 AM »
2) I love my daughter.  If she does something that makes me mad, then because I love her I try to explain, over and over again if necessary, what it is I believe she should be doing.  I do not sit in the next room, fuming and tutting until I just explode and beat her, "unleashing my fury in its totality".  From what you are saying, my constant involvement and discussion and presence in my daughter's life is not the best strategy, and it would be more loving to just keep getting madder - is that correct?
2)So I'll try to walk you through what i meant with wrath. I only used the analogy of harmonious wrath in context of loved ones being abused to show how love and wrath cannot be separated. In the context of God's wrath, he reoccuringly comes to the defence of those who call on him. He did that totaly in the act of sending his Son Jesus to die for our sins.

To put it a little differently, it would be like someone beating your daughter, you going to try to save us, and then your daughter pulling out a gun and threatening to shoot you if you helped her. What would you do? I would stand there dumb founded for a couple seconds at the situation. I really don't know what I would do. In the context of God's wrath and saving his loved ones, he did that. All to often however, we reject his help and tell him to bugger off.

And if it was my daughter, I would still try to help her, no matter how many times she told me to go away.  I mean, to complete the analogy you used with stubbed toes, I know better than my daughter whether she needs help or not, and by extension your god has a vastly better understanding of when help is required.  And so far as I can tell, since god has not popped in to help with famine, genocide, child abuse, or any of a thousand other issues I could name, he clearly does not regard them as actual problems.

So I ask the same question as above: if your god does not regard them as problems, why should I care?  Surely I should try to follow the example of god?

The only other interpretation I could put on your words is that your god threw a "hissy fit" when his help was spurned, and backed right off.  But THAT can't be right, because (a) he's GOD, and above such things, and (b) would still be helping out the True Christians around the world - and that isn't happening, so far as I can see.  So I'm confused.
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 Anfauglir

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #180 on: January 09, 2014, 04:13:28 AM »
I learned today that if some mod comes along and deletes a post it even vanishes from my personal history. I agree that The mod should have some rights if we get off topic to move a post. I think it shows quite a bias to DELETE the one that may have had roots in the "rabbit trail" but was at the heart, back on topic!

If this refers to the post that was over a screen of quote with 2 or 3 lines at the bottom that related to perhaps the last two lines of the quoted text, then yes, it was removed wholesale.  You have been told several times to check your quoting, which still doesn't seem to be happening.

The post you are quoting here was one of the ones moved when the thread was split.  It appears on page 4 of that thread still, and so was NOT deleted.  I thought I had moved back all the relevant posts - clearly I missed one - my apologies.
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 Ataraxia

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #181 on: January 09, 2014, 04:34:45 AM »
...I am a pathetic, sorry excuse for a human being.

I don't believe that.

Try something - rack your brains and make a list of all the things you deem to have been good deeds that you have done, say since the turn of the year. Then make a list of all the things you deem to be bad deeds. Now take these two lists and envisage where your god would put each deed. Do you expect there to be any shifting of deeds between the good and bad categories? If yes, then ask yourself why god would consider something good/bad which you consider the opposite. If no, welcome to SPAG.


Okay, well said. And I thank you for your concern about my health and how I consider myself.

No worries. Being an optimist, it concerns me when I see pessimism, especially when that pessimism is aimed at ones own existence.

Did you try it out, btw? Did you see a difference in you and god?

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What I meant to communicate in that statement was not what came through. I do not consider myself a "waste of space" or anything like that. I have done many "good deeds" but the questions is: Does that equate to, or cancel out all the bad things I have done?

No, it doesn't. However, neither do the bad things cancel out the good things.
This seems to be something the Christian god also fails to realise. He focuses on the bad things, accentuates them and points them out to you to tell you how much of a rubbish human you are, all the while ignoring all the good things you've done.
The only "good" thing this god does take notice of is your admittance that you are bad with the realisation that you are only forgiven of this badness if you accept that god and his manifestations have taken the brunt of the punishment you deserve..... and if you don't do this "good" thing then you will take the punishment..... for.ever. Nice.

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Good deeds don't make us any less guilty, just gives us times when we could have made ourselves more guilty and didn't. They may turn someones eyes to see our good deeds and wave off the bad ones, but a good judge would not let a murderer go just because they helped grama across the street right?

Nope, but a good judge who is evaluating the entirety of your life wouldn't dismiss it, would they? A good judge wouldn't dismiss the murder either would they, and let them off the hook if they accepted that the judge's son was taking the punishment for the murderer?

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So having said all that, we must look at a scale of good and bad. What defines a "good" person, and who's definition matters? To people, it is our own standard that matters. This is why you can go to a country like Canada or United States where theft will result in a fine or jail time, or you can go to Sierra Leone where you will get your hands chopped off.

Yes, to us it is our standards that matter because our standards are all we have got to work with. Societies on one side of the globe have different standards to societies on the other side of the globe, and if we find ourselves in a society whose standards differ from our own we still do our best to conform to them. To anyone of moral worth, the deterrent for theft should be irrelevant to not wanting to thieve (though thieving and its moral judgments, like anything else, are relative to the specific circumstances).

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To God, and in extension Christians, it is God's standard that matters. This would be the Ten Commandments. By that standard, we have all fallen very short.

What about the other 613?

Anyway, the 10 commandments are entrapment. They're goals set up with the specific intention of us never being able to achieve them. They might as well be thrown out and replaced with "being human is bad".

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The next question now is: Does a white lie deserve hell? Well sin (or a wrong deed, however you would like to word it) all matters who it is committed against. If one was to lie to me, well then who cares really right?

You would care? The person who lied to you may care? The other people who are indirectly affected by it care?

But no, a white lie doesn't deserve hell because nothing does, not even your god. ;)

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Is that going to cause them jail time or anything? No. However, you lie to a federal judge: That's Purgery brother. Jail. If you lied to a Persian king hundreds of years ago (or any king really, I just picked Persian out of my head)....well you wouldn't have to worry about what hat to wear, cause you wouldn't have a head to wear it on.

Like thieving, it's relative to the specific circumstances and standards. Also, like thieving, lying generally connotes a negative impact, though there are situations where lying or thieving might achieve something positive.

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So does a white lie really matter? Well if one does not believe in God, then why argue about it cause it shouldn't matter right?

Of course it still matters if it affects you. Why shouldn't it matter just because one doesn't believe in god? This is what we do, this is why we set up laws and systems, because actions of others affect other people. We don't have to believe we are accountable to a god when we are accountable to 7 billion other people.

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If you even have the slightest thought that God might exist, then you realize that a sin against the creator of all things is a big deal. Does a white lie matter, yes of course it does.

Sin is a problem god created for himself, as you say, he is the creator of all things. God has the potential to remove this problem. Jeez, god had the potential to never even give himself the problem. Either that or he needs to put a complaint in to the manufacturer of his celestial Play-do machine.
But then you see, god tries to weasel his way out of that by hypnotising followers into thinking that sin is their fault, yet those of us on the prosecution can see past his attempts of diminished responsibility, or should that be complete irresponsibility.

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When we line up all the questions like: "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?" or "Why would God send a good person to hell?" We have to evaluate what "good" means right? By God's standard, the only good person that ever lived was Jesus. Therefore the only hope we would have in the eyes of God would be to accept Jesus as our saviour. By humanities standard? Well then the answer to that question would really change depending on who you asked.

Yes, as I said above, the only "good" we can do in god's eyes is to realise we are bad and accept that he's so loving that he can forgive us of our badness by taking the burden we deserve. That ain't good and it sure ain't loving. It's egotism and morally reprehensible.
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

Offline ralonx

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #182 on: January 09, 2014, 10:29:28 PM »
Well I won't respond to anyone's comment specifically. My there is a lot of responses. So I'll try to address the most general of topics. The concept of miracles and how a loving God can allow bad things to happen.

So on the topic of miracles. It was brought up that with more technology, and provable means, miracles seem to happen less. I would not be inclined to say that they happen less. But perhaps it is that God does them, and we try to explain them away? I'm just putting that thought out there, I know that won't fly in a forum like this, so please don't think that I thought that would end the discussion lol. I mean, we can look at anything anymore and find an alternative explanation for it right? Perhaps we don't see miracles anymore because we choose to not look for them?

When looking at the topic of God's goodness and mercy, we also have to realize that God could sit back and do nothing. There are a lot of problems out there. Starvation, disease, death, war. The list could go on. When it comes right down to solid answers, I don't want to dodge the questions as this topic is about, but I really don't have the answers. And this may sound like a cop-out, but I believe that the reason why God is God, and we are not, is because He knows better than we do. And though God may choose to not solve every problem that humanity has, like some sort of wish fountain, I also believe it wrong to blame God for humanity's problems. If we are so much better and wiser than He is, then why haven't we solved world hunger? Or world peace? I dwell on the promise of Romans 8:28 that says "All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes". It doesn't wall all things are good, it just says all things work together for good.

As for me, I would rather put my faith in God who has yet to fail me (and no that will not change if I lose my legs) rather than people who I know fail me on a daily basis. Heck, I fail MYSELF on a daily basis.

The only scripture that we have to answer why God withholds blessing from some, and gives it to another, is a book that makes some mad and some uneasy when mentioned: The book of Job. Terrible things happened to a man who was deemed righteous. The whole book he cried out to God for answers. His friends mislead him, and God doesn't EVER tell him, even tip the end of his life, why all those things happened. The fact is God is sovereign. He doesn't have to answer to us. As I said, I am going to get a lot of angry, frustrated responses based on that, but that's the only answers I have. I rely on God for everything. Fr some, that seems like stupidity. For me, it's comfort. I know that no matter what happens to me, I don't have to worry about it because God will work it out. And of course EVERYTHING in ones life could be explained as coincidence, just like miracles. But if God made everything obvious, well, we wouldn't have to choose Him. We would have no choice but to follow Him. Makes God look like everything is about Him. Makes Him look selfish. Of course it does. Everything is all about Him. He's God. Doesn't that make sense? If I created all of everything, I would expect it to be all about me to. But I am powerless to do so. That's why I am not God. So I simply render praise and glory to where praise and glory is due.

I apologize for the fact that this response will only confuse things even more. But at least I'm answering a direct question with a direct answer ;)

Thanks for your responses :)

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #183 on: January 09, 2014, 11:21:43 PM »
So on the topic of miracles. It was brought up that with more technology, and provable means, miracles seem to happen less. I would not be inclined to say that they happen less. But perhaps it is that God does them, and we try to explain them away? I'm just putting that thought out there, I know that won't fly in a forum like this, so please don't think that I thought that would end the discussion lol. I mean, we can look at anything anymore and find an alternative explanation for it right? Perhaps we don't see miracles anymore because we choose to not look for them?

You are making excuses and rationalizations. What is more likely:  Primitive, superstitious, pre-darwinian, pre-scientific people claimed the occurrence of miracles, or that with the massive advancement of the wonderful and powerful tools of science, we see those claimed "miracles" fully explainable in naturalistic terms?

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When looking at the topic of God's goodness and mercy, we also have to realize that God could sit back and do nothing. There are a lot of problems out there. Starvation, disease, death, war. The list could go on. When it comes right down to solid answers, I don't want to dodge the questions as this topic is about, but I really don't have the answers.

Yes, you do; but the answer (that your god is imaginary) is protected from you because of your "belief" and "faith".  As the old saying goes: "Believing is easier than thinking, thus so many more believers than thinkers."



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And this may sound like a cop-out, but I believe that the reason why God is God, and we are not, is because He knows better than we do. And though God may choose to not solve every problem that humanity has, like some sort of wish fountain, I also believe it wrong to blame God for humanity's problems.

Yes, it is a cop-out.  Once you cease to make excuses and rationalizations for your imaginary father figure, you will step over the chasm of childhood to adulthood, where you accept 100% responsibility for yourself.

"The idea of god was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god was nothing more than an exalted father-figure.  Desire for such a deity sprang from infantile yearnings for a powerful, protective father; for justice and fairness and for life to go on forever. God is simply a projection of these desires, feared and worshipped by human beings out of an abiding sense of helplessness. Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race; it had been a necessary stage in the transition from childhood to maturity. It had promoted ethical values which were essential to society. Now that humanity had come of age, however, it should be left behind."  (Sigmund Freud)


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If we are so much better and wiser than He is, then why haven't we solved world hunger?

We're not better. He doesn't exist.





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The fact is God is sovereign.

What does that mean?





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He doesn't have to answer to us.

That sounds like an excuse and a rationalization.  It also sounds like you're just regurgitating stuff that's been fed to you from your church/family etc.


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I rely on God for everything.

This makes me angry.  For you don't rely on any deity, although you think you do, you rely on science.  For if you were to be born just a few hundred years ago, you'd likely have died at a young age, for all of the things you enjoy - including longevity - is due to the advancements of science.  This includes sanitary systems, dentistry, clean water, technology, and the massive advancements of modern medicine.  Your god doesn't do anything.  All of our advancements are due to hard work.


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For some, that seems like stupidity. For me, it's comfort.

You might want to give that a little thought.  Yes, it must be comforting to shut one's mind to the "off" position, I know I did when I was a christian, but once you develop an appetite for what is "true" over what is comforting, the wild, supernatural and infantile beliefs of religion in general and christinsanity in particular become unpalatable.




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I know that no matter what happens to me, I don't have to worry about it because God will work it out.

Is that because you view your god as a father figure?  If so, I suggest that you are stuck in a state of infancy and dependency, and you will forever be wondering what's going to happen next, because hey, you're not charge of your life, your invisible, imaginary father figure in the sky has everything under control.



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But if God made everything obvious, well, we wouldn't have to choose Him. We would have no choice but to follow Him.

Not true.  Do you have the freedom to love/choose/follow the people that you meet?  What about Adam & Eve (although we know there was no Adam & Eve - that's a silly myth), but for the sake of argument, they knew god, but had free will to follow or not.  So again, I suggest that you're making excuses and rationalizations.


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Makes God look like everything is about Him. Makes Him look selfish. Of course it does. Everything is all about Him. He's God. Doesn't that make sense? If I created all of everything, I would expect it to be all about me to. But I am powerless to do so. That's why I am not God. So I simply render praise and glory to where praise and glory is due.

Again, it sounds like you have father issues.



« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 03:39:55 PM by Star Stuff »
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #184 on: January 09, 2014, 11:27:17 PM »
As for me, I would rather put my faith in God who has yet to fail me (and no that will not change if I lose my legs) rather than people who I know fail me on a daily basis. Heck, I fail MYSELF on a daily basis.
Could you create a hypothetical scenario that you may experience where god does fail you?
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Online xyzzy

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #185 on: January 10, 2014, 12:07:37 AM »
I mean, we can look at anything anymore and find an alternative explanation for it right? Perhaps we don't see miracles anymore because we choose to not look for them?

Star Stuff left you quite some things to ponder, so I'm to ask you about this sentence.

For, you see, ralonx, I think you have that exactly back-to-front. Science is a process by which we understand the world around us. If we find alternative explanations, that's because the previous explanation was either faulty, or incorrect. The scientific endeavor is simply moving forwards with real-world explanations. If that displaces age-old superstitions, well that's the price of progress.

In terms of looking, we are actually looking more closer and in more depth and detail than ever before. We're also looking further into space. However, the more we study this universe the less it needs gods. In fact, science has overturned so many ancient beliefs, often attributed to a god. But the number of times that process has worked in reverse - where a religious explanation has trumped a scientific one - is exactly - zero.

Moreover, Christians (for example) are being forced to look wider and wider to find their miracles. It's getting harder and harder to find a decent miracle with which to support a believer's faith.

In fact, things that happen to everyone else are now the new miracle.

Here's the same example as seen by an atheist and a believer.  Someone gets sick, is rushed to the hospital, surgeon performs emergency procedure, life is saved. Modern medicine is pretty, damn, amazing.

Same things happens to the miracle-believing Christian. This time, though, it's a miracle, god saved his life. God is great. It wasn't the surgeon who went to med school, completed his residency, his fellowships and still wasn't done 10 years down the road. Nooo, it was god wot did it.

ralonx, is that what you mean by not looking though? Things that I'd ascribe to the processes operating in the natural world, but you'd see as being the hand of god? If not, what did you mean?
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Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #186 on: January 10, 2014, 02:53:55 AM »
So on the topic of miracles. It was brought up that with more technology, and provable means, miracles seem to happen less. I would not be inclined to say that they happen less. But perhaps it is that God does them, and we try to explain them away? I'm just putting that thought out there, I know that won't fly in a forum like this, so please don't think that I thought that would end the discussion lol. I mean, we can look at anything anymore and find an alternative explanation for it right? Perhaps we don't see miracles anymore because we choose to not look for them?

OK - miracles. Straight away you've put yourself on the same page as Mooby. So I ask you, what method do you use to falsify miracle claims? How do you know what is a miracle and what isn't a miracle? For example, can the sky appear blue naturally or does it take a miraculous intervention for it to appear blue?
See, just because something appears to be the common norm, like the sky being blue, doesn't mean that it can be via natural means alone. Even if we have a natural explanation, it has no bearing on whether or not there is a miracle behind that controlling it.
A miracle isn't an observable phenomenon in nature, it is a tinkering of nature where only the observable effects can be seen. We don't observe god pulling all the levers and pushing all the buttons, we only see the effects they have. So, to repeat, what method do you use to falsify when god is playing with the controls of nature?
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #187 on: January 10, 2014, 04:01:30 AM »
Well I won't respond to anyone's comment specifically.....When it comes right down to solid answers, I don't want to dodge the questions as this topic is about, but I really don't have the answers.....at least I'm answering a direct question with a direct answer

And the direct answer is "I don't know".  Fair enough. 

You do realise you therefore have given us no reason to accept anything you may want to claim about your god?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 04:03:16 AM by Anfauglir »
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 Anfauglir

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #188 on: January 10, 2014, 04:10:59 AM »
The only scripture that we have to answer why God withholds blessing from some, and gives it to another, is a book that makes some mad and some uneasy when mentioned: The book of Job.

It doesn't make me uneasy at all - it makes me sad that so many Christians cite it as an example of how wonderful their god is, without apparently considering the book at all.

The book says (as you say) that your god can do what he wants with man.
It says that - when someone challenges him - he will happily dish out all manner of terrible events on someone who was trying to do everything right.

The book tells us that whatever you do to make god happy, if it suits his purpose, he will slam you down.

For me, it's comfort. I know that no matter what happens to me, I don't have to worry about it because God will work it out.

Tomorrow, the adversay will go see your god and say "you know what?  The reason the whole Job thing didn't work it because we didn't take it far enough.  Betcha if I went for ralonx, I could unleash enough hell on him to make him question you".

In your understanding, what would your god do?
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 harbinger77

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #189 on: January 10, 2014, 02:25:20 PM »
Star stuff...
your reply to "God doesn't owe us an answer" was the following...
"That sounds like an excuse and a rationalization. It also sounds like you're just regurgitating stuff that's been fed to you from your church/family etc."
I assume then you take the opposite view. The extreme being no God of course. Which from your view may have been a better answer. However, your response seems to come from a different place. So this is the question.
Why then should the creator of all that is known and unknown owe you an answer for anything? So that you may judge the actions perhaps? What makes you the judge of God?
I can't help but look at those pages (human genome) and have a vague sense that this is giving me a glimpse of God's mind.
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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #190 on: January 10, 2014, 02:33:03 PM »
What makes you the judge of God?

The same thing that makes me the judge of the thousands of other gods man has created.

You make the common colossal error in concluding at the get-go that your god exists, and then strut around like some proud rooster asking everyone to disprove your wild, fantastical, unsubstantiated claim.  Can you please see how not only bankrupt that position is, but also the utter arrogance?

But all that aside, what exactly do you mean when you say "god"?
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #191 on: January 10, 2014, 03:32:33 PM »
What makes you the judge of God?

I am judgeing purported actions. Whether or not said actions come from your favored mythological deity aren't really relevant to my judgement as to whether or not those action constitute moral behavior or villiany. The relative power of those that did said action doesn't matter; it is called being an adult.



An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline SevenPatch

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #192 on: January 10, 2014, 05:26:45 PM »
What makes you the judge of God?

I'm curious harbinger77, could you please answer your own question?

You have to make a judgment about God in order to answer the question "does the creater of all that is known and unknown owe anyone an answer for anything?".

If someone answers yes, then we can ask your next question:

Why then should the creator of all that is known and unknown owe you an answer for anything?

Which we would have to make another judgement.

If someone answers no, then we could ask "Why shouldn't the creator of all that is known and unknown owe anyone an answer for anything?.  In order to answer that question, further judgement must be made.

So that you may judge the actions perhaps?

Do you not judge the actions of God?  Whether they are good or bad actions?  Whether they are God's actions or not?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 05:28:29 PM by SevenPatch »
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Offline ralonx

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #193 on: January 10, 2014, 10:44:10 PM »

Tomorrow, the adversay will go see your god and say "you know what?  The reason the whole Job thing didn't work it because we didn't take it far enough.  Betcha if I went for ralonx, I could unleash enough hell on him to make him question you".

In your understanding, what would your god do?

Just as a quick note before I answer that question, I believe I was falsely accused of quoting the book of Job to say how wonderful and merciful God is. I didn't say that. I referenced it to show his sovereignty (literally to "over" and "reign" or to rule over everything. To be in control of everything). The book of Job shows his sovereignty. Might it also be known that God at no point causes anything to happen to Job. He simply allows Satan to do it. The book calls attention to God's headship and control over every facet of creation, including the protection of his children as Satan had to ask permission of God before he could do anything to Job. God also reserves the right to not have to answer to mankind as is mentioned in the later chapters of Job. So I just wanted to clearify that part.

Well I suppose my answer for a hypothical question like the above quoted one would be "hypothetically I don't know". Well if it did happen, I suppose I would just pray for the strength to make it through or pray for the perseverance to die clinging to my faith. Because if this hypothetical situation happened, then that would mean without a shadow of a doubt that God would exist. And then my faith wouldn't be so dumb to everyone :) If this is a situation God has to use to prove to you that he exists and bring you to a place where you choose to follow him, then I say bring it on, because your spiritual eternity is more important to me than my physical well being. If my body can be destroyed to save one other person from an eternity in hell, well then price well paid in my eyes. Jesus did it for me, so it would be an honour for me to be able to do that for someone else.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 11:40:18 PM by ralonx »

Offline ralonx

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #194 on: January 10, 2014, 11:12:08 PM »
What makes you the judge of God?

I'm curious harbinger77, could you please answer your own question?

You have to make a judgment about God in order to answer the question "does the creater of all that is known and unknown owe anyone an answer for anything?".

If someone answers yes, then we can ask your next question:

Why then should the creator of all that is known and unknown owe you an answer for anything?

Which we would have to make another judgement.

If someone answers no, then we could ask "Why shouldn't the creator of all that is known and unknown owe anyone an answer for anything?.  In order to answer that question, further judgement must be made.

So that you may judge the actions perhaps?

Do you not judge the actions of God?  Whether they are good or bad actions?  Whether they are God's actions or not?

Seven Patch. You ask him to answer the questions as if they were really questions?

To answer the first question: "does the creator of all that is known and unknown owe anyone an answer for anything?" Well the retorical answer would be "no". That's because He is the creator of everything.

Because I'm assuming you don't believe in God, let's put forth the hypothetical view that you came to the realization that an all mighty creator existed. Why would He have to answer to you for anything? Or to anyone? He created it. It's His. The fact that He is all powerful, all knowing, and all present dictates that He could do whatever He wanted, whenever He wanted, however He wanted, and not have to answer for it. That's what makes Him God.

To answer the second question see above answer. He doesn't owe anyone an answer because He created everything. period. If He wanted to destroy it tomorrow, He can, what would we be able to do about it? Debate with Him? Fire nukes at Him? Yell at Him? We have no control and no power. Therefore, the only right we have to speak is given to us by this almighty creator.

To answer the final question, this is what I have been talking about for the past 4 days. We cannot ask a question of God like "why do you allow bad things to happen to good people" because we CANNOT judge His actions. As Christians, we do not judge His actions. We assume that all the things He does is right and good. Why? Because He makes the rules. If there is an almighty God, then He would be the standard of good and evil.

See the reason Christians don't make sense to people who don't believe is because people who don't believe think we are blinded by faith. Blindly assuming that all that God does is good. It's not that we are blind. We see things the same way everyone else does. Hence the WHOLE book of psalms, Habakkuk, Jeremiah, Lamentations, etc. Fairly often God's actions DON'T make sense to us. But if you believe in an almighty God, then you must trust that He knows what He is doing. The other alternative if one believes in an almighty God, is to think that one is smarter than He is. Which would not make sense if this almighty God creates truth as well. 

The other alternative is to refuse to believe in a God at all. Which is a viable choice as well. And we won't know who made the right call until we die I guess. If I'm wrong, then I give all the people in this forum full permission to laugh at me from....well wherever we are...black nothingness I guess....or grass....I don't know. What do you guys believe happens after we die anyway? Since I've been sharing my beliefs all this time, what do you guys believe happens when you die? Reincarnation? Circle of life? I honestly don't know? Or do you have a belief about it? Just wondering what kind of beliefs we have out there?


Oh and one final side note......"Star stuff". DO NOT insult my intelligence by saying that I simply regurgitate things fed to me by my family and church. I'll have you know that my faith is based on a life pursuit of truth, integrity, and knowledge. God is simply the only one that makes sense to me. That is not based on brainwashing, but a lifetime spent in the love and guidance of my creator and saviour Jesus Christ. Before you presume to think that someone is "lesser" than you, or stupidly regurgitating things, you should think again. I don't want to speak for a moderator, but I believed this forum was for debate, not slander and insults. Apart from being just rude, comments like this are foul play in a debate. Discrediting my character will not make anything appear more true. Please refrain from saying that my responses are regurgitated things that I am incapable of coming up with myself. I would appreciate that you treat me and the other people on this forum with respect and dignity. It is one thing to say that you believe someone to be wrong. It is another thing to say that you think they are stupid for believing what they believe. Or should I quote "Infantile".
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 11:33:28 PM by ralonx »

Offline SevenPatch

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #195 on: January 10, 2014, 11:47:49 PM »
Tim,

Every one of your answers is a judgement.  You are judging that God does not owe us an answer.

It doesn't even matter if I was Christian and believed God exists, I would still judge that God owes an answer to my questions.

Why is it okay for you to judge?

Simply discussing God is making a judgment.  To even believe God exists you have to make a judgement about God.
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Offline RED_ApeTHEIST

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #196 on: January 11, 2014, 12:13:11 AM »
To answer the first question: "does the creator of all that is known and unknown owe anyone an answer for anything?" Well the retorical answer would be "no". That's because He is the creator of everything.

You don't believe that an individual is responsible for their actions then?

Why would He have to answer to you for anything? Or to anyone? He created it. It's His. The fact that He is all powerful, all knowing, and all present dictates that He could do whatever He wanted, whenever He wanted, however He wanted, and not have to answer for it. That's what makes Him God.

In what way does having great ability absolve you of the responsibility in the use of that ability? Because of the omniscience? I don't think that works because, traditionally, having foreknowledge of the results of your actions makes you more responsible for those results not less.

If I make a child, then I owe them certain things because I am responsible for their existence. Why does god get a pass in the same situation?


The fact is, that you have to start with the supposition that your god is benevolent, otherwise none of the rest of your arguments work. At the same time, you provide no evidence that your supposition is valid. Why should anyone pay you any attention if you cant make an argument without presupposing your conclusion?

"God is good, therefore all of his actions are good, and we know that god is good because all of his actions are good"

Right...If you based your faith around a pursuit of truth and integrity then you would recognize circular logic when you use it.

Star stuff doesn't have to assume that you're full of it. He can tell by your comments.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 12:34:41 AM by RED_ApeTHEIST »
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #197 on: January 11, 2014, 12:19:08 AM »
ralonx, you say he can do whatever he wants and not answer to it. That sounds like a petty dictator to me. I treat my animals better than what you're implying about your god. In fact, I treat my friends, my family, heck, even my shoes better than you're describing. If I make something, especially something that lives, breathes and feels, I will take good care of it. To do less is to be, quite frankly, pretty darn evil.

Children who are abused think the abuser is all powerful, but good, because they have to in order to survive. I find it terribly sad that some christians describe their god as if he's an abusive parent.

This primitive, immature idea of a god has got to GO if the human race is to move forward.
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Offline DVZ3

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #198 on: January 11, 2014, 01:01:22 AM »
Oh and one final side note......"Star stuff". DO NOT insult my intelligence by saying that I simply regurgitate things fed to me by my family and church.

He comes in here with a claim of god this god that, Jesus died for sins and has the nerve to say we insulted his intelligence... Wow, just wow...
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #199 on: January 11, 2014, 01:07:19 AM »
I learned today that if some mod comes along and deletes a post it even vanishes from my personal history. I agree that The mod should have some rights if we get off topic to move a post. I think it shows quite a bias to DELETE the one that may have had roots in the "rabbit trail" but was at the heart, back on topic!



But, of course, you don't give a fig about the disingenuous snipping in you "preserved" accusation of bias. Heck,  when I asked you a direct question of how you treat the Iliad...I got evasion. This only further demonstrates the original point and title of the thread.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline DVZ3

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #200 on: January 11, 2014, 01:16:49 AM »

Unfortunate but true joke of the day and our society: Christians are like the protons of an atom, they're always positive!

I suppose the real joke is on everyone else who doesn't buy gods door to door girl scout cookies that we're baked for our sins.  :-\
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Offline skeptic54768

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #201 on: January 11, 2014, 02:42:53 AM »
Tim,

Every one of your answers is a judgement.  You are judging that God does not owe us an answer.

I would like to jump in here.

Let me make the response to this as simple as possible:

God by definition is PERFECT. Therefore, everything God does is PERFECT. You may personally think God's actions are wrong, but then you would basically be admitting that you are MORE PERFECT than a PERFECT being.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?
« Reply #202 on: January 11, 2014, 03:07:45 AM »


God by definition is PERFECT. Therefore, everything God does is PERFECT.

And since I can think of better ways of handling things than your alleged PERFECT being, said being does not exist. By Definition.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.