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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: median on December 20, 2013, 03:33:08 PM

Title: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: median on December 20, 2013, 03:33:08 PM
The idea that the all-powerful, all-good, god Yahweh (the alleged deity of the bible) is morally perfect (and all loving) cannot be rationally defended while still maintaining that Satan is roaming the earth like a lion "seeking whom he may devour". This God allegedly created hell (a place for Satan) but then allows Satan and his minions out of hell to torment his alleged children. Such actions are neither moral nor loving.

If I discovered creatures, persons, or animals that were harming or tormenting my children I would get rid of them. That is in my character. My moral compass (and likely all of yours) is far superior to this deity Yahweh b/c I would not stand back and allow someone, or some-thing, to harm my children, nor would you, (especially when I know I have the power to step in immediately). Thus, I propose there are only two possibilities:


1) The god Yahweh is not all-loving/all-moral

or

2) The god Yahweh does not exist

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 21, 2013, 08:48:19 PM
The idea that the all-powerful, all-good, god Yahweh (the alleged deity of the bible) is morally perfect (and all loving) cannot be rationally defended while still maintaining that Satan is roaming the earth like a lion "seeking whom he may devour".

Your perspective assumes that you know at least as much, or more, than Yahweh.  That would be the only position from which you could then pass moral judgment on Him.


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God allegedly created hell (a place for Satan) but then allows Satan and his minions out of hell to torment his alleged children. Such actions are neither moral nor loving.


What is your source for saying that God ever had satan and his minions in Hell ever?  The Bible doesn't say that they have ever been in Hell yet, but if you know of a verse that says so, please share it and I'll stand corrected.

Regarding your take on God tormenting His children, again your perspective assumes that you know at least as much, or more, than Yahweh.  That would be the only position from which you could then pass moral judgment on Him.

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If I discovered creatures, persons, or animals that were harming or tormenting my children I would get rid of them. That is in my character. My moral compass (and likely all of yours) is far superior to this deity Yahweh b/c I would not stand back and allow someone, or some-thing, to harm my children, nor would you, (especially when I know I have the power to step in immediately). Thus, I propose there are only two possibilities:


1) The god Yahweh is not all-loving/all-moral

or

2) The god Yahweh does not exist

The truth comes out - you believe you are morally superior to God. The problem of evil does not disprove God's existence nor His holiness nor His love for humanity.

Are you familiar with martial arts?  How do students become better skilled?  By facing opponents.  Sometimes facing opponents stronger and better skilled than they are.

Satan and his minions can be used by God for good in someone's life if it brings that person into a better understanding of God and their relationship to Him and others. God can use negatives to bring about much positive, but at the time it may seem like eternal torment, because we are limited in our understanding of God and our own selves.

Peace and grace.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Wasserbuffel on December 21, 2013, 11:52:05 PM
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The truth comes out - you believe you are morally superior to God.

I believe Median to be morally superior to god. I only know him by his writing, just as you only know your god by his writing (or his word as he inspired humans to write it, close enough). Median, if he had the power, has no plans on torturing me for eternity for not worshiping him. God, if he has the power, plans to do just that.


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The problem of evil does not disprove God's existence

Here you're correct. God might be real despite the problem of evil.

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nor His holiness nor His love for humanity.

Wrong. The problem of evil does disprove his love for humanity.   Actually his setting them up for failure in the garden, killing all but eight in a flood, and his endgame of tossing the bulk of us into eternal hellfire are also pretty damning evidence that he's not so very fond of us as you've been led to believe.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on December 22, 2013, 12:33:34 AM
Your perspective assumes that you know at least as much, or more, than Yahweh.  That would be the only position from which you could then pass moral judgment on Him.

So you're saying that humans can't know right from wrong.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: mhaberling on December 22, 2013, 01:49:04 AM
The idea that the all-powerful, all-good, god Yahweh (the alleged deity of the bible) is morally perfect (and all loving) cannot be rationally defended while still maintaining that Satan is roaming the earth like a lion "seeking whom he may devour". This God allegedly created hell (a place for Satan) but then allows Satan and his minions out of hell to torment his alleged children. Such actions are neither moral nor loving.

If I discovered creatures, persons, or animals that were harming or tormenting my children I would get rid of them. That is in my character. My moral compass (and likely all of yours) is far superior to this deity Yahweh b/c I would not stand back and allow someone, or some-thing, to harm my children, nor would you, (especially when I know I have the power to step in immediately). Thus, I propose there are only two possibilities:


1) The god Yahweh is not all-loving/all-moral

or

2) The god Yahweh does not exist

Wait which proposition are you making? Clearly you are not claiming one or the other, or you would be breaking the law of the excluded middle. Lets then consider the middle.:

How can we have the freedom to do anything if we do not have the freedom to fail. If we do not have the option to be harmed, if we do not have the option to harm others, how then could we ever chose to be good? Please list any scenario in which God could stop something bad from happening to us without taking away our freedom to chose.

The problem with this argument is that you are forwarding that God is a parent to humanity in the same way that a mother is a parent to their child. The position of creator of the universe and humanity may hold certain moral implications that neither you nor I understand. But I will leave you with this, Does not even a Mother, after her child grows up, let her child forge his or her own path?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 22, 2013, 04:13:32 AM
How can we have the freedom to do anything if we do not have the freedom to fail. If we do not have the option to be harmed, if we do not have the option to harm others, how then could we ever chose to be good? Please list any scenario in which God could stop something bad from happening to us without taking away our freedom to chose.

Um, where is there freedom to choose when a 4 year old is being raped and murdered? Why does the villain get to do all the choosing?

It is one thing to tell me that I benefit from learning via failure (no argument) and another to tell me that if my failure harms others, no biggie.

Good and not good are fine as variables. Good and horrible are not. Not if the power to prevent tragic events exists.

Why does the rapist's freedom of choice get priority over the choice of the victim? I've asked that over and over and never gotten a christian to even try answering it. If there is a god in the picture, and he lets the innocent die left and right to benefit the baddest amongst us, then I see this god of yours as a monster. Here I am, supposedly the sinner in the picture, and the "good" that I know from "bad" is vastly superior to the "good" vs. "bad" that your god considers normal. How do I know this? Because my morals, if applied universally, would assure that no innocent, be it a man, woman or child, would ever be harmed by the selfish acts of another. Your god, on the other hand, artificially ascribes such importance to, as you describe it, the freedom of choice (others tell us that it is free will) that the harm is of no importance whatsoever. His motto, "Eh, who cares!", words he speaks he shrugs his shoulders tens of thousands of times a day, is not a phrase of kindness, consideration, love or even indifference.

What you are doing here is justifying this invisible god of yours, and giving your okay for him to create a world where all kinds of crap can happen. Because we live in a world where all kinds of crap does happen, and you need to carefully dovetail your lord into it. As an atheist, who isn't perplexed by the bad stuff (I don't like it, but I'm not surprised when it happens), I am concerned with finding real world ways to minimize terror and sorrow using real world methods. People have been praying for the bad stuff to stop for 2,000 years, but that approach hasn't helped. I don't know if there actually are human solutions, but I know with almost complete certainly that there are no supernatural ones.

There is no god. Followers of various imaginary beings have to work multiple excuses into their belief system because reality doesn't match their artificial world. In other words, made up stuff is inadequate, so they have to make up more stuff to justify their stance. So here you sit, working your brain cells overtime, so that you can completely justify your god's lack of action. An all powerful being who could easily create scenarios where the innocent would not suffer, but who does not, is truly a monster. None of your justifications for what appears to be complete indifference can make up for his absence. But again, there is no god, so everything you are saying is for your benefit, not the benefit of people.

I could sit down today and make up a brand new religion from scratch. And my god would have to be invisible, just like yours. There would have to be a back story to explain why he takes no action when bad things are happening. I would have to invent some variation on the free will theme to justify his apparent indifference. And I would have to tell people that they can ask for his help, but not to expect it to come in the form they request. And the story of my god would have to be quite old so that I had a good excuse for the current lack of evidence.

There is no difference between your supposedly real god and a made up one. That you can eke out a difference and happily claim you have it all figured out is ego at its worst.

(By the way, being good is pretty unnatural for us humans, on the scale we're asked to be good. Back when we were all in hunter/gatherer mode, it is apparent that in many cultures, killing members of others groups was the norm. Heck, your bible talks of such events all over the place. Our efforts at civilization are unnatural, and we humans are trying to fit ourselves into situations that couldn't have existed even a few hundred years ago. There are literally ten of thousands of reasons why bad things happen between humans. None having to do with a god. Religion just has a knack for making such things worse most of the time.)
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: mhaberling on December 22, 2013, 04:42:46 AM
Parking Places,

The rant about a lack of God was probably unnecessary, The OP was about if it was possible to have a moral god that does not act to prevent evil or if the lack of action was evidence that God did not exist.  When you go into the analysis of my motives you take away from the discussion that is at hand here.

Now with your rather graphic example in mind, If you suggest that their is a threshold in free will. That at some point something becomes so tragic that a moral god would have to intervene. Where then is this line that you speak of?

Maybe it would be better to consider it this way, Your example brings up the idea of power theory. Or that what makes this event tragic is that even though both parties had a choice, the evil party was so overwhelmingly powerful that the choice of the other party almost seemed to disappear. So then consider the implications of God's intervention of every tragedy. If God is all powerful, then direct intervention would literally render the other party without choice. Weather the choice is right or wrong is it not that persons choice to make? I ask then again where is the line to where God should intervene?

Now on the point that God artificially makes the freedom of choice as the most important. What then would you say is the most important?

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on December 22, 2013, 04:53:08 AM
So, you - like all other xians he's asked - will never, ever answer the question of why a rapist/murderer gets free will by divine decree but the victim does not.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: mhaberling on December 22, 2013, 05:08:07 AM
So, you - like all other xians he's asked - will never, ever answer the question of why a rapist/murderer gets free will by divine decree but the victim does not.
I apologize if that was not clear. Both parties have free will. The rapist murder has more power than the victim. In result in this case the murderer's will wins over the victim's will.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on December 22, 2013, 05:12:17 AM
The victim's free will is curtailed by the aggressor's power.  That's the problem.  It makes sense in a natural universe.  With a supernatural being capable of adjusting the power balance, however, the dilemma returns:  Why does one deserve, in the eyes of God, to have more power than the other?  Spell out the reasoning.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: The Gawd on December 22, 2013, 07:07:42 AM
I never understood why Christians, who claim to have a moral high ground, support torture.  :o

Why dont they realize that words have meanings. The word "love" has a meaning, and torture falls outside of the meaning of love. They are incompatible. If you torture me, you do not love me, period. Why the charade gezusfreke? Why act like this is some sort of higher form of love that we cannot understand? You would just as soon destroy all language rendering it worthless than to admit that torture is not love, and that is scary.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: shnozzola on December 22, 2013, 09:12:25 AM
Where then is this line that you speak of?

We can get an idea where god intervened 1000s of years ago can't we?

 - pillar of fire, plague of locusts, killed the first born sons of Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, the story of Job, Daniel in the lion's den, the story of Joseph, Noah's flood, raising of Lazarus, healing a man born blind, David and Goliath - the bible tells the story of god's intervention, doesn't it?

The line is actually easy to see.  We can pinpoint that line we speak of.  Christians spend their lives studying the line where god intervenes.

So the problem is not the "line", the problem is, why has this type of intervention stopped?  Hmmm.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: SocialConstruct on December 22, 2013, 09:25:20 AM
I never understood why Christians, who claim to have a moral high ground, support torture.  :o

Why dont they realize that words have meanings. The word "love" has a meaning, and torture falls outside of the meaning of love. They are incompatible. If you torture me, you do not love me, period. Why the charade gezusfreke? Why act like this is some sort of higher form of love that we cannot understand? You would just as soon destroy all language rendering it worthless than to admit that torture is not love, and that is scary.
It is because religious moralism allows you to justify just about everything, because God said so and God is superior to us all.

I would say that atheism provides a far better framework for dealing with morality than any religion in the world. At least atheists can be corrected. Nobody can correct the almighty God.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: shnozzola on December 22, 2013, 09:34:52 AM
Atheism shouldn't even be a term, in my view, just a realization of the truth, and when it really does one better than religion is when people realize that there is no free will, there is no evil.  Then you look at parking places' rapist murderer with a different lens, realizing that person comes from a hellish childhood, or mental disease, or a host of problems, and needs to be separated from society, and probably not in a place where inmates share the same problems.

Edit:  It's far easier for humanity to argue about god's morality than taking care of our fellow "broken" people.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: jetson on December 22, 2013, 09:59:22 AM
I am always amazed when Christians use the argument that there are things about YHWH that mere humans could not understand, while simultaneously claiming to know not only that there is a YHWH, but precisely what YHWH means based on a pile of disjointed and in-comprehensive letters, songs, and books written by unknown people, cobbled together by a committee of humans, and claimed to the precise word of the YHWH character.

The convenience of claiming that we cannot know the mind of YHWH is quickly eliminated when the Christian recognizes the complete irony of their claims.  Said no Christian, ever.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 22, 2013, 11:59:18 AM
Parking Places,

The rant about a lack of God was probably unnecessary, The OP was about if it was possible to have a moral god that does not act to prevent evil or if the lack of action was evidence that God did not exist.  When you go into the analysis of my motives you take away from the discussion that is at hand here.

How exactly was my post, saying that a god that does not act to prevent evil is evidence that god does not exist, off-subect? Or whatever you are saying? And what did I say about your motives that is any different than what you say about ours each and every time you suggest we hit our knees and beg forgiveness?

And don't you find it kind of ironic that in a world where your god does nothing during a rape/murder, you are expecting me to stop? If I'm a psychopath, you are helpless right now.

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Now with your rather graphic example in mind, If you suggest that their is a threshold in free will. That at some point something becomes so tragic that a moral god would have to intervene. Where then is this line that you speak of?

No, I don't suggest that there is a threshold of free will. In case I was not clear in my post, I am stating that free will, as you define it, does not exist. There is no threshold. If I can't keep a madman with a sniper rifle, who is out to kill an random person, from blowing a hole in my chest, then I have no free will in the matter, as per your definition. None whatsoever. But if we add the ostensible existence of your moral god and nothing changes, then either he is not moral or he does not exist. And I assume the latter. You, of course, are saying that there is a threshold, and that you don't understand it but he's the boss so it doesn't matter anyway, though its okay to pray every now and then for some other, more humanly acceptable outcome, as long as we don't go getting our hopes up or anything.

Your world view on this subject is an excuse as to why there is evil, et al. Mine is an explanation. You view implies that more prayer will help. My view is that humans can help themselves, but there is no outside force available to assist us.

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Maybe it would be better to consider it this way, Your example brings up the idea of power theory. Or that what makes this event tragic is that even though both parties had a choice, the evil party was so overwhelmingly powerful that the choice of the other party almost seemed to disappear.
I have no quarrel about the victim being less powerful, except you said "almost", when at times the victim has no say whatsoever.
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So then consider the implications of God's intervention of every tragedy. If God is all powerful, then direct intervention would literally render the other party without choice. Weather the choice is right or wrong is it not that persons choice to make? I ask then again where is the line to where God should intervene?

You are saying that there is a god but he doesn't do diddly for good reason. He used to do diddly, like, you know, when he made us and stuff, and drowned folks and turned that nice lady to salt and things, but these days, not so much. And while you tell us that he is omnipotent, it didn't occur to him to design us to be a little less bad at being humans. And that, even though he messed up in that department, it isn't his fault about the tree and snake and stuff, because he casually mentioned the horrors that that would bring to Adam that one time. Which should have been more than enough. Because, you know, husbands always communicate well with their wives, so certainly he would have communicated the dictate effectively to Eve.

Plus you are telling us that he he used to have such casual conversations with people, but now he is agoraphic and we need to be understanding about his problem.

If god is real, of what value is he? Why worship him? Is it only because you're hoping that you can cop a reserved seat in heaven? And because you like feeling better because you have answers to the really big important stuff? (note: this is not a personal attack. I am asking you, as a self-defined christian, why you accept the stories.) According to most of the believers who come here, your god demands our adoration, based on his ill-defined intrinsic love and the kid thing. Which, as an atheist, I see as just another part the myth.

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Now on the point that God artificially makes the freedom of choice as the most important. What then would you say is the most important?

If god is real, and if he makes freedom of choice more important than anything else, then he doesn't understand how powerless he is leaving some people, and how powerful he is allowing other people to be. And that this power imbalance is clearly not a part of his specific plan, but rather a by-product of his refusal to participate in his own creation. If he is real, his reliance on one old book and heresay is inadequate, and so obviously he doesn't actually care. And if he doesn't care about the world in general, he presumably also doesn't care about the dying child in my example. And if that is the case, even if he is real, why bother getting on my knees today if he is going to let me be killed by a crazed maniac tomorrow? For salvation and heaven? How would I know if that would be an improvement? He can't do anything right by humans standards on earth. What would his motivation be to do any better up there? That he calls it paradise is irrelevant. His standards are so much different than my own that I doubt he knows what a paradise is. It may be a paradise for him, but I've no reason to think that it would also be a paradise for humans. His track record is too poor to imagine otherwise.

If he's real, I'll take hell. If billions of others can be down there suffering right now, for not kowtowing to him, that's where I belong. Which means, of course, that he only gets around to doing what he says he's going to do after death. Which is no use to the planet right now.

My knees shall remain clean. Unless I drop another pen under the sofa.

Edit: minor rewording
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 22, 2013, 10:07:48 PM
So you're saying that humans can't know right from wrong.

No, that's not what I said, but since you brought it up, on what basis do humans decide what is right and what is wrong?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 22, 2013, 10:21:24 PM
The same two problems keep in appearing in the Forum.  I see a constant assumption that people are capable of being "innocent," but if they aren't innocent, then God is evil for setting people up where they can't be innocent. Therefore, those with this view seem satisfied that they have all the information that they need in order to assert their moral superiority to God.

It is appalling to think that God did not make them innocent or perfect, so He must be evil, because no one wants to be less than perfect, right?

But the problem is that all mankind was capable of choosing to be flawed, so whether I or you had replaced Adam in the garden, both of us would have chosen the fruit over obedience to God. Therefore, Adam was all of mankind's representative in the garden.  Again, if it were you, you would have been mankind's representative and you would have chosen wrong too. So there are no "innocents" as all stand guilty. 

"Not fair!" you say? "I didn't elect Adam!" you say? Then that again shows that you place yourself in a superior position of not only morals but knowledge over God. 

If all are guilty before God, then God would be just in punishing all and would not be evil for doing so.

If God instead chooses to show mercy and save some, then He is not only just but merciful, but still not evil for saving some instead of all.

The question for most people is "Why would God save any?"
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on December 22, 2013, 10:32:40 PM
So you're saying that humans can't know right from wrong.

No, that's not what I said,

That is totally what you said.  If humans aren't able to make a moral judgment about a situation because our moral ideas might be inferior to those of a god, then that applies to all contexts - whether or not the god is the subject being judged.  If you didn't mean to state that humans have no grounds to make any moral judgments, then you shouldn't have said what you did.

but since you brought it up, on what basis do humans decide what is right and what is wrong?

That would vary from human to human.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Astreja on December 22, 2013, 10:35:19 PM
But the problem is that all mankind was capable of choosing to be flawed, so whether I or you had replaced Adam in the garden, both of us would have chosen the fruit over obedience to God.

Perhaps many of us would have made the same choice, although it's not possible to know that for sure.  However, I'm not convinced that "obedience to God" is a moral action.  Speaking in general terms here, I think that obedience per se is one step removed from actions that would substantially help or harm someone else, and that it's those actions that should be assessed for their moral qualities.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 22, 2013, 10:39:31 PM
So you're saying that humans can't know right from wrong.

No, that's not what I said,

That is totally what you said.  If humans aren't able to make a moral judgment about a situation because our moral ideas might be inferior to those of a god, then that applies to all contexts - whether or not the god is the subject being judged.  If you didn't mean to state that humans have no grounds to make any moral judgments, then you shouldn't have said what you did.

but since you brought it up, on what basis do humans decide what is right and what is wrong?

That would vary from human to human.

Based on your logic, you are saying that humans aren't able to make a moral judgment because since the ability would "vary from human to human," then some would make moral judgments inferior to other humans.

But humans do make moral judgments, and yes some make better moral judgments than others, but a human is in no more position to make a case for being morally superior to God than my 2-year old 3/4 Chihuahua/ 1/4 Dachshund is capable of being morally superior to me.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 22, 2013, 10:47:09 PM
But the problem is that all mankind was capable of choosing to be flawed, so whether I or you had replaced Adam in the garden, both of us would have chosen the fruit over obedience to God.

Perhaps many of us would have made the same choice, although it's not possible to know that for sure.  However, I'm not convinced that "obedience to God" is a moral action.  Speaking in general terms here, I think that obedience per se is one step removed from actions that would substantially help or harm someone else, and that it's those actions that should be assessed for their moral qualities.

In this case, per the Christian Biblical view, Adam's disobedience substantially harmed the entire human race, so using your criteria, then his choosing the fruit was immoral.  But the Christian Biblical view says that morality is based on one's response to God and His Word, so if one disobeys God then that person has committed rebellion against God.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 22, 2013, 10:50:00 PM
So you're saying that humans can't know right from wrong.

Can you tell me your theory of how humans decide what is right and what is wrong?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: shnozzola on December 22, 2013, 10:50:52 PM
I see a constant assumption that people are capable of being "innocent," .......

Hi Gzusfreke
   I don't know if I have ever greeted you, so, hello.  I have always believed the story of Adam and Eve is about humanity evolving to the point of self realization.  Even in my christian denomination, the idea of the apple and all humanity being born guilty wasn't taught.  So, although you may be well studied in christianity, with 30,000 - 40,000 denominational views, some christians don't agree with you.

Frankly, I consider it horrendous to get to the point in a child's life where you must say, put down your kite, sit down, I have bad news, but you have a way out...........

I wish you could look objectively at your own religious training and question it.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 22, 2013, 11:02:42 PM
Hi Gzusfreke
   I don't know if I have ever greeted you, so, hello. 

Thank you for your greeting.  Peace and grace to you shnozzola.

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I have always believed the story of Adam and Eve is about humanity evolving to the point of self realization.  Even in my christian denomination, the idea of the apple and all humanity being born guilty wasn't taught.  So, although you may be well studied in christianity, with 30,000 - 40,000 denominational views, some christians don't agree with you.

If you get a chance, can you direct me to a website that lists that many Christian denominations?  It would be fascinating to see it. Which denomination did you receive your instruction from?  Are you still involved with that denomination?

And it is no shock to me that Christians disagree over views of the Bible.


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Frankly, I consider it horrendous to get to the point in a child's life where you must say, put down your kite, sit down, I have bad news, but you have a way out...........

I wish you could look objectively at your own religious training and question it.

Yes, it is horrendous that there is a story of sin and rebellion, but it is great that there is "a way out."

Thank you for your suggestion.  I got on the Forum back in '09 full of zeal but had little knowledge of the faith and Bible that I claimed (which Forum members were quick to point out) and so I did look objectively at what it was I believed, which led me to seek additional training, but not from just one denomination.

Peace and grace.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Astreja on December 22, 2013, 11:04:23 PM
However, I'm not convinced that "obedience to God" is a moral action.

In this case, per the Christian Biblical view, Adam's disobedience substantially harmed the entire human race, so using your criteria, then his choosing the fruit was immoral.  But the Christian Biblical view says that morality is based on one's response to God and His Word, so if one disobeys God then that person has committed rebellion against God.

But at the time of the choice, Adam was missing some critical information.  Knowledge of good and evil was supposedly not there until the forbidden fruit was actually eaten, so hypothetically neither Adam nor Eve would not know whether eating the fruit was good or bad, or whether disobedience was good or bad, or even what "good" and "bad" meant.  There's certainly nothing in Genesis 3 itself that suggests that Adam or Eve were warned about the potential effects on future generations, and IIRC the only Old Testament allusion to Original Sin is Psalm 51:5.

From a non-Christian point of view, at very least it appears that the Biblical god used questionable methods for teaching morality to his two brand-new humans.  The idea of "Do what I command, because to disobey is wrong" also seems a bit subjective.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on December 22, 2013, 11:27:17 PM
Based on your logic, you are saying that humans aren't able to make a moral judgment because since the ability would "vary from human to human," then some would make moral judgments inferior to other humans.

Look, I explained how I got what I said from what you said.  Care to return the favor?  Because as it stands, nothing you've written other than "vary from human to human" relates to anything I'd said.

But humans do make moral judgments, and yes some make better moral judgments than others, but a human is in no more position to make a case for being morally superior to God than my 2-year old 3/4 Chihuahua/ 1/4 Dachshund is capable of being morally superior to me.

Is your dog capable of moral communication and argument?  No?  Hmm, guess the analogy doesn't hold any water.  Why not think of an analogous situation?

Can you tell me your theory of how humans decide what is right and what is wrong?

As I said, that varies depending on the kind of moral reasoning used by the person in question.  Some people don't think much about it at all.

In case you're asking for my theory of how humans can come to logical decisions of moral judgment, then that's simpler.  We use our values are premises upon which logic yields judgments.  Even for those who don't think much about their morality, it's still their values that they're going to act on.

This is what actually happens.  It is also why gods tend to be forced into agreement with the believers who create them.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: mhaberling on December 23, 2013, 01:39:27 AM
Parking Places...

I would say that if you think that you have no free will in the case of the sniper, you and I are at a pass.  While your free will in the situation is small it is certainly not non existent. Think of power theory like a limit. As the power of someone who is trying to harm you increases over yours, the effectiveness of your will approaches 0. It does not in fact reach 0. THe only way it could reach 0 is if that persons power was absolute, like an all powerful god. But please explain a moral way on which God could balance power through the 7 billion people on this planet....

 
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Anfauglir on December 23, 2013, 07:39:57 AM
But the problem is that all mankind was capable of choosing to be flawed, so whether I or you had replaced Adam in the garden, both of us would have chosen the fruit over obedience to God. Therefore, Adam was all of mankind's representative in the garden.  Again, if it were you, you would have been mankind's representative and you would have chosen wrong too. So there are no "innocents" as all stand guilty.
...
If all are guilty before God, then God would be just in punishing all and would not be evil for doing so.

So what you are saying is that every person, ever, would have chosen to disobey Yahweh and take the fruit - because that is the only way that Adam can stand as representative for us all.  Okay.  But then some questions occur.....

1) If EVERY being, ever, would have chosen to disobey Yahweh, does he not bear some responsibility for creating a situation that is impossible to prevent?  Whether in his construction of man, or his layout of events, he made a Kobayahsi Maru "test" that could never be passed.  What kind of loving god sets up a situation that can never be passed?

2) Perhaps more pertinently, if ever human being ever is programmed to disobey god - indeed, would inevitably disobey him - then what chance does anyone have of reaching heaven?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Anfauglir on December 23, 2013, 07:44:40 AM
Are you familiar with martial arts?  How do students become better skilled?  By facing opponents.  Sometimes facing opponents stronger and better skilled than they are.

Satan and his minions can be used by God for good in someone's life if it brings that person into a better understanding of God and their relationship to Him and others.

And what is the ultimate purpose of martial arts?  To defeat those who would harm us.  If we would never meet anyone who would harm us, what would be the point of those arts?

Similarly, the "goal" of troubles in life, you say, is to better understand god and their relationship with him.  But what you are saying then is that the best possible way to get to know someone is by them arranging for bad things to happen to you.  Really?  You don't think that the best way to understand someone would be for them to sit down in person and talk to you and answer your questions?

When YOU want someone to understand YOU.....what methods do you use?

- - - - -

Incidentally, you mentioned free will.  Why do you regard it as so important to have?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: jtk73 on December 23, 2013, 10:57:29 AM
"Why would God save any?"

Save them from what? Oh yeah. His own arbitrarily selected rules, his anger management issues and his frequent habit or overreacting.

For being an all-powerful being/entity, Yahweh behaves very human. Spiteful, vindictive, jealous and egotistical. It almost seems like his behavior and manners were no more advanced than the culture that was writing about him. Odd that.

So tell me again why Yahweh is worthy of worship if he exists...?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 23, 2013, 06:15:14 PM
So, you - like all other xians he's asked - will never, ever answer the question of why a rapist/murderer gets free will by divine decree but the victim does not.
I apologize if that was not clear. Both parties have free will. The rapist murder has more power than the victim. In result in this case the murderer's will wins over the victim's will.
So then why pray if God has no power to help,,,and why praise such a weak creature?....But then again you ONLY praise a God who has the POWER to send you to Hell.

 So God is no better than the Rapist
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 06:53:06 PM
But at the time of the choice, Adam was missing some critical information.  Knowledge of good and evil was supposedly not there until the forbidden fruit was actually eaten, so hypothetically neither Adam nor Eve would not know whether eating the fruit was good or bad, or whether disobedience was good or bad, or even what "good" and "bad" meant.  There's certainly nothing in Genesis 3 itself that suggests that Adam or Eve were warned about the potential effects on future generations, and IIRC the only Old Testament allusion to Original Sin is Psalm 51:5.

From a non-Christian point of view, at very least it appears that the Biblical god used questionable methods for teaching morality to his two brand-new humans.  The idea of "Do what I command, because to disobey is wrong" also seems a bit subjective.

"The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying,'You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'” (Genesis 2:15-17, ESV)

How much more information did Adam and Eve need?  They were given the choice of obeying or not obeying, and they were given the consequences of disobedience.  If you have ever raised any children of your own, how much information do you give a 2-year old in order to for them to begin making decisions for their own welfare?

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 06:56:51 PM

Can you tell me your theory of how humans decide what is right and what is wrong?

As I said, that varies depending on the kind of moral reasoning used by the person in question.  Some people don't think much about it at all.

In case you're asking for my theory of how humans can come to logical decisions of moral judgment, then that's simpler.  We use our values are premises upon which logic yields judgments.  Even for those who don't think much about their morality, it's still their values that they're going to act on.

This is what actually happens.  It is also why gods tend to be forced into agreement with the believers who create them.

So in your reasoning, morality is relative?  My premise that by knocking someone over the head with a stick and taking their wallet will improve my life by adding money for food, clothing, and shelter to my wallet makes such an action a good moral choice for me even though others may disagree?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 07:03:25 PM
Are you familiar with martial arts?  How do students become better skilled?  By facing opponents.  Sometimes facing opponents stronger and better skilled than they are.

Satan and his minions can be used by God for good in someone's life if it brings that person into a better understanding of God and their relationship to Him and others.

And what is the ultimate purpose of martial arts?  To defeat those who would harm us.  If we would never meet anyone who would harm us, what would be the point of those arts?

Trials in life, decisions that we make, unforeseen circumstances - these are things that have the potential to harm us, especially if we make poor decisions during these times of testing.


Quote
Similarly, the "goal" of troubles in life, you say, is to better understand god and their relationship with him.  But what you are saying then is that the best possible way to get to know someone is by them arranging for bad things to happen to you.  Really?  You don't think that the best way to understand someone would be for them to sit down in person and talk to you and answer your questions?

When YOU want someone to understand YOU.....what methods do you use?

What better way to find out what's really inside yourself than to get squeezed? Then, when you see what you are really made of, you can compare it to God's character. 

God did come down and answer questions.  He left a whole big book of answers.  Some people come to it with preconceived notions though and can't glean truth from it because of their prejudices.


- - - - -

Quote
Incidentally, you mentioned free will.  Why do you regard it as so important to have?

Refresh my memory, what did I say about free will?  Do you consider free will important?  If so, why?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 07:05:31 PM
"Why would God save any?"

Save them from what? Oh yeah. His own arbitrarily selected rules, his anger management issues and his frequent habit or overreacting.

For being an all-powerful being/entity, Yahweh behaves very human. Spiteful, vindictive, jealous and egotistical. It almost seems like his behavior and manners were no more advanced than the culture that was writing about him. Odd that.

So tell me again why Yahweh is worthy of worship if he exists...?

If there is a God of the Bible and He did create the universe from nothing, do you believe that you have done something that would give you the intelligence and moral superiority to pass judgment on his decisions?  If so, please share.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 23, 2013, 07:19:01 PM
"Why would God save any?"

Save them from what? Oh yeah. His own arbitrarily selected rules, his anger management issues and his frequent habit or overreacting.

For being an all-powerful being/entity, Yahweh behaves very human. Spiteful, vindictive, jealous and egotistical. It almost seems like his behavior and manners were no more advanced than the culture that was writing about him. Odd that.

So tell me again why Yahweh is worthy of worship if he exists...?

If there is a God of the Bible and He did create the universe from nothing, do you believe that you have done something that would give you the intelligence and moral superiority to pass judgment on his decisions?  If so, please share.  Thanks.

A child has more intelligence and moral superiority than Yahweh. A child is disgusted by the bible. I was.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: shnozzola on December 23, 2013, 08:01:06 PM
If you get a chance, can you direct me to a website that lists that many Christian denominations?  It would be fascinating to see it. Which denomination did you receive your instruction from?  Are you still involved with that denomination?

Gzusfreke,
  Here are a couple websites from a google search that list info on Christian denominations.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations
              http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_Christian_denominations_are_there
              http://www.pewforum.org/files/2011/12/ChristianityAppendixB.pdf
              http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/a106.htm

I believe when people quote 40,000 plus, they are referring to folks such as a cousin of mine, who got a bit upset at his church's interpretation and went out and started his own. :)

(http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/DenomCartoon.png)

edit: Sorry, forgot, I was raised anabaptist, Church of the Brethren.

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Betelnut on December 23, 2013, 10:42:06 PM
But at the time of the choice, Adam was missing some critical information.  Knowledge of good and evil was supposedly not there until the forbidden fruit was actually eaten, so hypothetically neither Adam nor Eve would not know whether eating the fruit was good or bad, or whether disobedience was good or bad, or even what "good" and "bad" meant.  There's certainly nothing in Genesis 3 itself that suggests that Adam or Eve were warned about the potential effects on future generations, and IIRC the only Old Testament allusion to Original Sin is Psalm 51:5.

From a non-Christian point of view, at very least it appears that the Biblical god used questionable methods for teaching morality to his two brand-new humans.  The idea of "Do what I command, because to disobey is wrong" also seems a bit subjective.

"The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying,'You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'” (Genesis 2:15-17, ESV)

How much more information did Adam and Eve need?  They were given the choice of obeying or not obeying, and they were given the consequences of disobedience.  If you have ever raised any children of your own, how much information do you give a 2-year old in order to for them to begin making decisions for their own welfare?

A two-year old would not know what you mean by "die" "good" or "evil."  Adam and Eve were the equivalent of 2-year olds at that point.  Well, actually, to be more accurate, they were more like dogs.  Animals do not have the knowledge of good or evil (they are incapable of being either--they are amoral) and most don't (as far as we know) have a sense of mortality.  So Adam and Eve were truly incapable of understanding what the heck God was talking about.

Plus, only Adam was given those instructions.  You notice, Eve wasn't around at that point.  God never told HER to not eat from the tree.  Presumably Adam told her?  Well, you know how THAT must have gone over.  Why the heck would or should Eve listen to him? 

So the biblical God was teaching morality lessons to beings that were amoral at the time.  Like teaching a cat to feel bad about eating a mouse or scratching a child.  A lesson that simply would not compute.

I actually think the Eden story is a quite interesting parable/folktale to explain the difference between human beings and animals when it comes to moral beliefs/knowledge but it IS just a folk tale after all...
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 11:00:44 PM

A two-year old would not know what you mean by "die" "good" or "evil."  Adam and Eve were the equivalent of 2-year olds at that point.  Well, actually, to be more accurate, they were more like dogs.  Animals do not have the knowledge of good or evil (they are incapable of being either--they are amoral) and most don't (as far as we know) have a sense of mortality.  So Adam and Eve were truly incapable of understanding what the heck God was talking about.

Plus, only Adam was given those instructions.  You notice, Eve wasn't around at that point.  God never told HER to not eat from the tree.  Presumably Adam told her?  Well, you know how THAT must have gone over.  Why the heck would or should Eve listen to him? 

So the biblical God was teaching morality lessons to beings that were amoral at the time.  Like teaching a cat to feel bad about eating a mouse or scratching a child.  A lesson that simply would not compute.

I actually think the Eden story is a quite interesting parable/folktale to explain the difference between human beings and animals when it comes to moral beliefs/knowledge but it IS just a folk tale after all...

According to the account in Genesis, Adam had enough intelligence to name all of the animals and realize that bestiality was not an option.  He also knew how to tend to and work in the garden before Eve was created.  Then, when God did form her, he had enough intelligence to know that she was made for him and his expression was "Whoa Man!!!" and you know the rest of the story.

But if you only think it is a folk talk, then we really don't have a lot more territory to cover. 

How about you explain your beliefs of how human beings came into existence and then let's talk about folk tales.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 23, 2013, 11:02:33 PM

Can you tell me your theory of how humans decide what is right and what is wrong?

As I said, that varies depending on the kind of moral reasoning used by the person in question.  Some people don't think much about it at all.

In case you're asking for my theory of how humans can come to logical decisions of moral judgment, then that's simpler.  We use our values are premises upon which logic yields judgments.  Even for those who don't think much about their morality, it's still their values that they're going to act on.

This is what actually happens.  It is also why gods tend to be forced into agreement with the believers who create them.

So in your reasoning, morality is relative?  My premise that by knocking someone over the head with a stick and taking their wallet will improve my life by adding money for food, clothing, and shelter to my wallet makes such an action a good moral choice for me even though others may disagree?
People who pretend to have moral authority do this all the time,the stick they use is a law allowing them to steal your money without the use of the stick. They just tell you,you have to pay or go to jail. It's much like your God except jail is hell in this regard. You are confusing power with love,without the threat of hell,what has this God character got?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 11:05:55 PM
People who pretend to have moral authority do this all the time,the stick they use is a law allowing them to steal your money without the use of the stick. They just tell you,you have to pay or go to jail. It's much like your God except jail is hell in this regard. You are confusing power with love,without the threat pf hell,what has this God character got?

Troll
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 23, 2013, 11:06:40 PM

A two-year old would not know what you mean by "die" "good" or "evil."  Adam and Eve were the equivalent of 2-year olds at that point.  Well, actually, to be more accurate, they were more like dogs.  Animals do not have the knowledge of good or evil (they are incapable of being either--they are amoral) and most don't (as far as we know) have a sense of mortality.  So Adam and Eve were truly incapable of understanding what the heck God was talking about.

Plus, only Adam was given those instructions.  You notice, Eve wasn't around at that point.  God never told HER to not eat from the tree.  Presumably Adam told her?  Well, you know how THAT must have gone over.  Why the heck would or should Eve listen to him? 

So the biblical God was teaching morality lessons to beings that were amoral at the time.  Like teaching a cat to feel bad about eating a mouse or scratching a child.  A lesson that simply would not compute.

I actually think the Eden story is a quite interesting parable/folktale to explain the difference between human beings and animals when it comes to moral beliefs/knowledge but it IS just a folk tale after all...

According to the account in Genesis, Adam had enough intelligence to name all of the animals and realize that bestiality was not an option.  He also knew how to tend to and work in the garden before Eve was created.  Then, when God did form her, he had enough intelligence to know that she was made for him and his expression was "Whoa Man!!!" and you know the rest of the story.

But if you only think it is a folk talk, then we really don't have a lot more territory to cover. 

How about you explain your beliefs of how human beings came into existence and then let's talk about folk tales.
We were discovered by the Raven,hiding in a giant clam shell on Naikoon beach,the only difference is YOU actually BELIEVE your story to be true,while calling all other stories Myth,sad really.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 11:10:46 PM
We were discovered by the Raven,hiding in a giant clam shell on Naikoon beach,the only difference id YOU actually BELIEVE your story to be true,while calling all other stories Myth,sad really.

Like I said, "Troll." Have you consider changing your name to "Troll Monkey"? ;D

Seriously though, what is the story that you believe? Do you have one? If not, then just say that you don't know. Or are you just here for the clams and derogatory remarks.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 23, 2013, 11:16:03 PM
We were discovered by the Raven,hiding in a giant clam shell on Naikoon beach,the only difference id YOU actually BELIEVE your story to be true,while calling all other stories Myth,sad really.

Like I said, "Troll." Have you consider changing your name to "Troll Monkey"? ;D

Seriously though, what is the story that you believe? Do you have one? If not, then just say that you don't know. Or are you just here for the clams and derogatory remarks.
If you would actually read it,I said YOU actually believe your "story" to be true,my creation story,LIKE yours is MYTH.  There is NO truth to either story,I am just smart enough to realize it.

 Evolution is becoming harder and harder for theists to dismiss,as more and more is uncovered. Soon enough theists will have nowhere to hide,from the true origins of humanity

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 23, 2013, 11:20:29 PM
BTW nothing better than a hit-and-run theist who posts a couple of days every few months calling a regular on these boards a troll
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 23, 2013, 11:28:44 PM
BTW nothing better than a hit-and-run theist who posts a couple of days every few months calling a regular on these boards a troll

If all you do is send out inflammatory remarks with the hope of inciting other inflammatory remarks, then you are a troll.

You ridicule the creation story yet you have no intelligent explanation for how humankind came into existence.   :(

Peace and grace 12 Monkeys.  I would like to have an intelligent, rational conversation with you, but if all you are going to do is troll, then please don't be offended if I sometimes ignore your remarks.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 23, 2013, 11:36:39 PM
 When I dismiss it as a myth,that is hardly ridicule,my statement above covers what I think of humanity and the universe. Did you not read my comment?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Anfauglir on December 24, 2013, 03:07:56 AM
Similarly, the "goal" of troubles in life, you say, is to better understand god and their relationship with him.  But what you are saying then is that the best possible way to get to know someone is by them arranging for bad things to happen to you.  Really?  You don't think that the best way to understand someone would be for them to sit down in person and talk to you and answer your questions?

When YOU want someone to understand YOU.....what methods do you use?

What better way to find out what's really inside yourself than to get squeezed? Then, when you see what you are really made of, you can compare it to God's character. 

God did come down and answer questions.  He left a whole big book of answers.  Some people come to it with preconceived notions though and can't glean truth from it because of their prejudices.

Maybe you missed the direct question I asked there.  I'll repeat it for you.

When YOU want someone to understand YOU.....what methods do you use?

Very glad you mentioned the Bible.  So....your point is that every person should read the Bible and get the exact same understanding of Yahweh's character?  Except that doesn't happen, as you point out......hmmm, I wonder why such an intelligent being would choose as a method of communication one that is clearly not well suited to getting his message across.....

- - - - -
Quote
Incidentally, you mentioned free will.  Why do you regard it as so important to have?

Refresh my memory, what did I say about free will?  Do you consider free will important?  If so, why?

Apologies, I thought you mentioned free will as being necessary for us to be able to choose, as opposed to just following god by default.  If you don't regard free will as a vital part of your theology then we can forget about it.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Betelnut on December 24, 2013, 04:03:28 AM

A two-year old would not know what you mean by "die" "good" or "evil."  Adam and Eve were the equivalent of 2-year olds at that point.  Well, actually, to be more accurate, they were more like dogs.  Animals do not have the knowledge of good or evil (they are incapable of being either--they are amoral) and most don't (as far as we know) have a sense of mortality.  So Adam and Eve were truly incapable of understanding what the heck God was talking about.

Plus, only Adam was given those instructions.  You notice, Eve wasn't around at that point.  God never told HER to not eat from the tree.  Presumably Adam told her?  Well, you know how THAT must have gone over.  Why the heck would or should Eve listen to him? 

So the biblical God was teaching morality lessons to beings that were amoral at the time.  Like teaching a cat to feel bad about eating a mouse or scratching a child.  A lesson that simply would not compute.

I actually think the Eden story is a quite interesting parable/folktale to explain the difference between human beings and animals when it comes to moral beliefs/knowledge but it IS just a folk tale after all...

According to the account in Genesis, Adam had enough intelligence to name all of the animals and realize that bestiality was not an option.  He also knew how to tend to and work in the garden before Eve was created.  Then, when God did form her, he had enough intelligence to know that she was made for him and his expression was "Whoa Man!!!" and you know the rest of the story.

But if you only think it is a folk talk, then we really don't have a lot more territory to cover. 

How about you explain your beliefs of how human beings came into existence and then let's talk about folk tales.

Based on current knowledge, I got natural selection, random chance and chemistry.  Nothing supernatural.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 24, 2013, 07:25:37 AM

A two-year old would not know what you mean by "die" "good" or "evil."  Adam and Eve were the equivalent of 2-year olds at that point.  Well, actually, to be more accurate, they were more like dogs.  Animals do not have the knowledge of good or evil (they are incapable of being either--they are amoral) and most don't (as far as we know) have a sense of mortality.  So Adam and Eve were truly incapable of understanding what the heck God was talking about.

Plus, only Adam was given those instructions.  You notice, Eve wasn't around at that point.  God never told HER to not eat from the tree.  Presumably Adam told her?  Well, you know how THAT must have gone over.  Why the heck would or should Eve listen to him? 

So the biblical God was teaching morality lessons to beings that were amoral at the time.  Like teaching a cat to feel bad about eating a mouse or scratching a child.  A lesson that simply would not compute.

I actually think the Eden story is a quite interesting parable/folktale to explain the difference between human beings and animals when it comes to moral beliefs/knowledge but it IS just a folk tale after all...

According to the account in Genesis, Adam had enough intelligence to name all of the animals and realize that bestiality was not an option.  He also knew how to tend to and work in the garden before Eve was created.  Then, when God did form her, he had enough intelligence to know that she was made for him and his expression was "Whoa Man!!!" and you know the rest of the story.

But if you only think it is a folk talk, then we really don't have a lot more territory to cover. 

How about you explain your beliefs of how human beings came into existence and then let's talk about folk tales.

I know the word "myth" is thrown around quite freely today and is implied to mean false story.  But I like the original meaning which meant a story to explain the unexplainable. 

I am curious if Genesis should be interpreted literally.  If so, why? 

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Boots on December 24, 2013, 12:50:38 PM
How much more information did Adam and Eve need?  They were given the choice of obeying or not obeying, and they were given the consequences of disobedience.  If you have ever raised any children of your own, how much information do you give a 2-year old in order to for them to begin making decisions for their own welfare?

First off, I would give an actual, accurate consequence (based on their ability to understand).  Your god, however, lies by saying they would die.  And don't bother with the "but he meant spiritual death" crap, because it's exactly that.  He said "you will surely die."  He did not say "you will surely die a spiritual death."  die = die.

Second...if god was so irked that they ate the fruit that he put an angel to guard the tree of life after they ate, why didn't he GUARD THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE BEFORE THEY ATE FROM IT?!?!?  Would have saved a lot of time, effort, and heartache.

honestly, the diety you follow is a real jerk.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: G-Roll on December 24, 2013, 01:49:05 PM
Parking Places...

I would say that if you think that you have no free will in the case of the sniper, you and I are at a pass.  While your free will in the situation is small it is certainly not non existent. Think of power theory like a limit. As the power of someone who is trying to harm you increases over yours, the effectiveness of your will approaches 0. It does not in fact reach 0. THe only way it could reach 0 is if that persons power was absolute, like an all powerful god. But please explain a moral way on which God could balance power through the 7 billion people on this planet....

This must be the most ridiculous, backwoods, upside-down, and irrational way to say shit happens I have ever heard. Is this "power theory" a real thing/theory or is it a deep arse pull?
So basically if you take away the silly power meter numbers in this example all you are saying is that if you don’t figure out there is a sniper before he shoots you, you are as good as shot. So instead we have a free will meter assigned that is based on your power in life/will. Thus whoever is more powerful wins...

Please stop watching Dragon Ball Z 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBy3aI0WB_U
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: G-Roll on December 24, 2013, 01:57:03 PM
Are you familiar with martial arts?  How do students become better skilled?  By facing opponents.  Sometimes facing opponents stronger and better skilled than they are.

You mean sparring? Practicing techniques in a controlled environment to ensure no one gets hurt. Or perhaps when a promoter and your coach (sensei or whatever) decide to give you a challenging title shot? Again in a controlled environment. 
As opposed to a spiritual fight to the death with the loser being dropped into the pits of hell to be tortured forever.

Are you familiar with martial arts? No really what do you practice/ used to practice!? (off topic I know)
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Graybeard on December 24, 2013, 02:19:03 PM
The same two problems keep in appearing in the Forum.  I see a constant assumption that people are capable of being "innocent," but if they aren't innocent, then God is evil for setting people up where they can't be innocent. Therefore, those with this view seem satisfied that they have all the information that they need in order to assert their moral superiority to God.

It is appalling to think that God did not make them innocent or perfect, so He must be evil, because no one wants to be less than perfect, right?
No. It is your defence that is wrong. God creates evil and looses it upon his children. God created Satan, God created the Serpent in the Garden, and God clearly states:

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Exodus 4:11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

Jer:18:11 Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.

The modern fluff-bunny Christian, the Christian who picks and chooses which parts of the Bible he most agrees with, the Christian who creates a god provided by selected verses, the so-called Christian like you, usually ignores these very clear statements.

Today, it is not popular to obey God, but, instead, to obey a god you personally create. That is how it is possible to have a "personal relationship" with Yahweh or The Trinity as you now have no choice but to call your alleged, monotheistic deity.

As a matter of fact and Biblical evidence, Yahweh has an evil aspect to him - just in case the Christian misses that when he reads the Bible, Yahweh tells us in the clearest way and, as He is immensely intelligent, He ensures that His Message is absolutely understandable, even for us mere mortals.

If you deny it, put simply, it is not a matter of discussion, it is a fact and you are wrong. Well, either that or you have chosen your own hand-crafted god. If you have done that, your god can have any attributes you require him to have.

But please, do not tell us that Yahweh has not an easily-discernible, evil aspect to Him.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 24, 2013, 02:29:32 PM
cog the word myth is used by Christians as a dismissive way to describe all other religions  creation stories'. Why do you think that fails to apply to the Bible?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: jtk73 on December 24, 2013, 02:34:35 PM
If you have ever raised any children of your own, how much information do you give a 2-year old in order to for them to begin making decisions for their own welfare?

Well...for starters I wouldn't put a tree with fruit anywhere NEAR them if I didn't want them to eat the fruit.

God did come down and answer questions.  He left a whole big book of answers.

So which is it? Did he come down and answer questions or did he leave a whole book of answers. There is a huge difference. Why won't he 'come down' and answer questions today? Can't be bothered?

Also, I noticed something in this sentence...
He left a whole big book of answers.
He left a whole big book of.
He left a whole big book.
He left a whole big.
He left a whole.
He left a.
He left.

If there is a God of the Bible and He did create the universe from nothing, do you believe that you have done something that would give you the intelligence and moral superiority to pass judgment on his decisions?  If so, please share.  Thanks.

Even on my worst days, I am far more intelligent than and extra-morally superior to the slacker as described in the bible and by his fanboys. How can you read the bible and not see Yahweh as a complete imbecile?

Even IF, I wasn't qualified to pass judgement on his decisions, I can still see that he behaves and reacts worse than most humans. So, I will ask again, Why is Yahweh worthy of worship?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: lotanddaughters on December 24, 2013, 02:51:19 PM
"The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying,'You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'” (Genesis 2:15-17, ESV)

How much more information did Adam and Eve need?  They were given the choice of obeying or not obeying, and they were given the consequences of disobedience.  If you have ever raised any children of your own, how much information do you give a 2-year old in order to for them to begin making decisions for their own welfare?
"So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man." -Genesis 2:21-22(NASB)

Why do men have nipples?  :o




There are three popular ways to look at the Book of Genesis:

1) Genesis contains ancient mythical stories that were created by ancient people in order to attempt to answer many good questions about why things are the way they are.

2) Genesis is comprised entirely of absolutely true events.

3) Many of the stories in Genesis are allegorical lessons that have been given to us by the all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful, and all-present Creator of the Universe Himself.


Number 1) is by far the most probable of the 3 explanations.

It's crazy that I am even attempting to explain something that shouldn't need explaining. Even crazier, the most probable outcome of my attempt to explain is that you will not agree with me that number 1) is the most probable of the 3.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 24, 2013, 06:29:14 PM
cog the word myth is used by Christians as a dismissive way to describe all other religions  creation stories'. Why do you think that fails to apply to the Bible?

Are you talkin' to me?  If not, what is the meaning of the word "cog"?

As always,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 24, 2013, 07:22:59 PM
Sorry OCG spell check

I wanted to know your opinion on why everything else in all cultures is dismissed by theists as myth,,, and everything in the Bible that can't possibly be true is metaphor,but not myth
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 24, 2013, 08:51:47 PM

When YOU want someone to understand YOU.....what methods do you use?

Bold print.  ALL CAPS CAN BE A NICE TOUCH TOO.  BOTH SCREAM OF "I'M SCREAMING AT YOU!!!"  ;D


Quote
Very glad you mentioned the Bible.  So....your point is that every person should read the Bible and get the exact same understanding of Yahweh's character?  Except that doesn't happen, as you point out......hmmm, I wonder why such an intelligent being would choose as a method of communication one that is clearly not well suited to getting his message across.....

Why would an intelligent being resort to the written word?  Because it can be copied and transmitted to more people more reliably than the oral word? Because he is intelligent and intelligent people write down what they want others to know and understand?
- - - - -
Quote
Incidentally, you mentioned free will.  Why do you regard it as so important to have?
Refresh my memory, what did I say about free will?  Do you consider free will important?  If so, why?


Quote
Apologies, I thought you mentioned free will as being necessary for us to be able to choose, as opposed to just following god by default.  If you don't regard free will as a vital part of your theology then we can forget about it.
We can discuss free will.  What was it you said?  Something about asking a question and not getting an answer? Do you consider free will important?  If so, why?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 24, 2013, 08:55:10 PM
Are you familiar with martial arts? No really what do you practice/ used to practice!? (off topic I know)

Years and years ago I started with Tang Soo Do (Korean style like Chuck Norris) and then switched to Yoshukai Karate (Japanese style). I tried it for about two years, but life got in the way.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 24, 2013, 09:12:08 PM
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

The word "evil" is the Hebrew ? ra.  The sense of the word is "calamity" and is translated so in new translations.  Keep in mind that 1611 KJV English often uses the same words that we use but with different meanings (eg. meat doesn't mean "steak, chicken, pork, or fish" back then)

 7451a.      ??? ra (948a); from the same as 7455; bad, evil:—bad(23), bad*(2), badly(1), deadly(1), defamed*(1), defames*(1), defect*(1), destroying(1), displease*(1), displeased(1), displeasing(1), distressing(1), evil(124), evil man(3), evil men(4), evil things(4), evildoer(1), evildoers*(1), evils(1), great(1), grievous(4), harm*(1), harmful(3), man(1), miserable(1), misfortune*(1), sad(4), selfish*(1), serious(1), severe(2), sore(2), threats*(1), treacherous(1), trouble*(1), troubled(1), ugly(6), unpleasant(1), what is evil(2), what was evil(5), which is evil(3), wicked(15), wicked women(1), wild(5), worst(1), wretched(1).

Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).


Quote
Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Evil here is the same Hebrew word but translated as "disaster" in newer translations.  Even the KJV would translate the same word in different variations depending on the context around it.

Quote
But please, do not tell us that Yahweh has not an easily-discernible, evil aspect to Him.

If you see God as evil, then it is because He does not play by your rules.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 24, 2013, 09:18:30 PM

So which is it? Did he come down and answer questions or did he leave a whole book of answers. There is a huge difference. Why won't he 'come down' and answer questions today? Can't be bothered?

Why does He need to come down and answer your questions?  Why don't you start with what information you have and work with that?  Most people don't ever make a sincere effort to take the information that has been given them and use it, or they come with a closed mind and presuppositions (i.e. "The bible if false, but I'll try it." Atheists reads the book of Numbers. "Yep, just like I thought, no answers.")

Quote
Even IF, I wasn't qualified to pass judgement on his decisions, I can still see that he behaves and reacts worse than most humans. So, I will ask again, Why is Yahweh worthy of worship?

You won't understand why Yahweh is worthy of worship because you are predisposed to not want to know.  But I would answer your question if you will explain how you would be qualified to pass judgment when you can't even spell it correctly.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 24, 2013, 10:48:00 PM
Has Yahweh ever come down to visit you GF? If he has why?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 24, 2013, 11:42:16 PM
Sorry OCG spell check

I wanted to know your opinion on why everything else in all cultures is dismissed by theists as myth,,, and everything in the Bible that can't possibly be true is metaphor,but not myth

I can't speak for other theists. 

There was a time in my life when I was quite willing to dismiss other religions as false and believe Christianity was the ONLY true religion.  Over time, mainly by leading a Sunday School class that was interested in comparative religions, I came to realize all religious beliefs are valid for their believers.  Who am I to judge one religion is superior to another? 

Regarding the second idea that theists tend to see things in the Bible as metaphor and not myth, which definition of myth are you applying? 

As always,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 25, 2013, 12:00:11 AM
OCG the myth vs  metaphor thing I would generally apply it to passages in the bible that really can't be explained by theists or be shown to be based in reality

An example may be a non existent    Animal like a unicorn,not reality based it is dismissed as metaphor of some kind where a Sasquatch is dismissed by theists as myth.

This example may not explain as clear as I would like,but you understand the direction I am going
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Anfauglir on December 25, 2013, 02:50:57 AM

When YOU want someone to understand YOU.....what methods do you use?

Bold print.  ALL CAPS CAN BE A NICE TOUCH TOO.  BOTH SCREAM OF "I'M SCREAMING AT YOU!!!"  ;D

True.  Of course, I didn't put it in bold the first time I asked it, only when you ignored it.  But never mind - if you would prefer to avoid answering it, that's fine - I just wanted to be sure you hadn't missed it, now at least I can be sure you have read the question and decided not to answer it.


Very glad you mentioned the Bible.  So....your point is that every person should read the Bible and get the exact same understanding of Yahweh's character?  Except that doesn't happen, as you point out......hmmm, I wonder why such an intelligent being would choose as a method of communication one that is clearly not well suited to getting his message across.....

Why would an intelligent being resort to the written word?  Because it can be copied and transmitted to more people more reliably than the oral word? Because he is intelligent and intelligent people write down what they want others to know and understand?

Except....you're moving away from the reason I brought it up.  You said:

Quote
He left a whole big book of answers.  Some people come to it with preconceived notions though and can't glean truth from it because of their prejudices.

My point was that a much-translated book set thousands of years ago was clearly NOT best suited to getting his message across.  Its failed to get his message to me, for example, failed to get his message to billions across the world and across history.  That was the point.




- - - - -
Apologies, I thought you mentioned free will as being necessary for us to be able to choose, as opposed to just following god by default.  If you don't regard free will as a vital part of your theology then we can forget about it.
We can discuss free will.  What was it you said?  Something about asking a question and not getting an answer? Do you consider free will important?  If so, why?

Happy to answer.  I want to be sure I grok the question though - do you mean "do I consider the concept of free will important in the context of understanding the message of the Bible", or "do I consider having free will to be important in general in the world", or something else?

Incidentally....I'm noting the irony of the number of words we are using just to get me to understand the exact thrust of a question.  I say without any sarcasm that I am sure that in your mind you know what the question is that you wanted answered, but it hasn't been entirely accurately conveyed to me.  We'll get there though, through a dialogue. 

Just imagine though if you'd written your question down ONCE, and there was no way I could clarify what you meant!  I might have sincerely answered the wrong question through misunderstanding it, and what use would that have been?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 25, 2013, 07:01:54 AM
OCG the myth vs  metaphor thing I would generally apply it to passages in the bible that really can't be explained by theists or be shown to be based in reality

An example may be a non existent    Animal like a unicorn,not reality based it is dismissed as metaphor of some kind where a Sasquatch is dismissed by theists as myth.

This example may not explain as clear as I would like,but you understand the direction I am going

At the risk of sounding like a politician, I believe there are stories in the Bible which are myth and those which are metaphor.  By myth, I mean an attempt to explain a phenomenon or otherwise inexplicable event.  The creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2 come to mind as myths.  One can argue that the metaphors in the Bible are actually myths and that may be.  I just don't have enough knowledge or understanding to say with certainty.

Wishing I was smarter,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 10:08:34 AM
Has Yahweh ever come down to visit you GF? If he has why?

Do you mean in a physical sense or a spiritual sense?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: G-Roll on December 25, 2013, 10:09:59 AM
Are you familiar with martial arts? No really what do you practice/ used to practice!? (off topic I know)

Years and years ago I started with Tang Soo Do (Korean style like Chuck Norris) and then switched to Yoshukai Karate (Japanese style). I tried it for about two years, but life got in the way.

I took Tang Soo Do in my teens for about a week. I didn’t like it because they were very focused on point sparring and I was just interested in kicking ass.
In my adult days I have took up boxing, kickboxing/Muay Thai, BJJ, and MMA. I have retired with a few amateur fights under my belt because fighting is a young man's game. And I am not young any more.

It's crazy how many different forms of karate there are. Right when I think I have heard of all of the Japanese styles a new one pops up that I have never heard of. I can understand how life gets in the way. I have learned the hard way I can't karate chop the rent. I can't even chop it in half. Lol maybe I am chopping it wrong. 
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 10:13:13 AM
Sorry OCG spell check

I wanted to know your opinion on why everything else in all cultures is dismissed by theists as myth,,, and everything in the Bible that can't possibly be true is metaphor,but not myth

I can't speak for other theists. 

There was a time in my life when I was quite willing to dismiss other religions as false and believe Christianity was the ONLY true religion.  Over time, mainly by leading a Sunday School class that was interested in comparative religions, I came to realize all religious beliefs are valid for their believers.  Who am I to judge one religion is superior to another? 

Regarding the second idea that theists tend to see things in the Bible as metaphor and not myth, which definition of myth are you applying? 

As always,

OldChurchGuy

So when Jesus said that He is the only way to the Father, do you just ignore that or what?  If all religious beliefs are valid for their believers, then of what value was the cross? 

OldChurchGuy, you are what the Apostle Paul would call a "wolf in sheep's clothing."  You will lead many to eternal destruction.

Christianity is the only religion that offers salvation through grace by faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ.  All other religions say "get there the best you can and hope your good works outweigh the bad." So just to make sure it is said - all beliefs are not equal in validity and not equal in what they believe.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 10:20:01 AM
Except....you're moving away from the reason I brought it up.  You said:
Quote
He left a whole big book of answers.  Some people come to it with preconceived notions though and can't glean truth from it because of their prejudices.

My point was that a much-translated book set thousands of years ago was clearly NOT best suited to getting his message across.  Its failed to get his message to me, for example, failed to get his message to billions across the world and across history.  That was the point.

not everyone will get the message.  which leads us into the topics of election and is God evil for choosing some and not others, topics sure to offend many.

Quote
Happy to answer.  I want to be sure I grok the question though - do you mean "do I consider the concept of free will important in the context of understanding the message of the Bible", or "do I consider having free will to be important in general in the world", or something else?

Incidentally....I'm noting the irony of the number of words we are using just to get me to understand the exact thrust of a question.  I say without any sarcasm that I am sure that in your mind you know what the question is that you wanted answered, but it hasn't been entirely accurately conveyed to me.  We'll get there though, through a dialogue. 

Just imagine though if you'd written your question down ONCE, and there was no way I could clarify what you meant!  I might have sincerely answered the wrong question through misunderstanding it, and what use would that have been?

Actually I just want you to share your thoughts and/or questions on free will, wherever such thoughts lead.  I think it will lead to a good discussion.  I'm not trying to box you in with a question that is spelled out a certain way in order to receive an expected answer or an answer that may be deficient because the question was deficient.

But if you want to drop the topic, I understand.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 10:23:49 AM

I took Tang Soo Do in my teens for about a week. I didn’t like it because they were very focused on point sparring and I was just interested in kicking ass.
In my adult days I have took up boxing, kickboxing/Muay Thai, BJJ, and MMA. I have retired with a few amateur fights under my belt because fighting is a young man's game. And I am not young any more.

It's crazy how many different forms of karate there are. Right when I think I have heard of all of the Japanese styles a new one pops up that I have never heard of. I can understand how life gets in the way. I have learned the hard way I can't karate chop the rent. I can't even chop it in half. Lol maybe I am chopping it wrong.

Yes, I was thirty years younger but still a grown man when I took lessons.  Overtime work hours, chasing young ladies, etc. put an end to my martial arts "career," and I am sure Chuck Norris is thankful for that. ;D

If you figure out how to chop that rent in half, please share.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: shnozzola on December 25, 2013, 10:37:05 AM
Sorry OCG spell check

I wanted to know your opinion on why everything else in all cultures is dismissed by theists as myth,,, and everything in the Bible that can't possibly be true is metaphor,but not myth

I can't speak for other theists. 

There was a time in my life when I was quite willing to dismiss other religions as false and believe Christianity was the ONLY true religion.  Over time, mainly by leading a Sunday School class that was interested in comparative religions, I came to realize all religious beliefs are valid for their believers.  Who am I to judge one religion is superior to another? 

Regarding the second idea that theists tend to see things in the Bible as metaphor and not myth, which definition of myth are you applying? 

As always,

OldChurchGuy
OldChurchGuy, you are what the Apostle Paul would call a "wolf in sheep's clothing."  You will lead many to eternal destruction.
Oooh Gz,

           What a horrible thing to say.

You know, there are non-calvinistic views of christianity, non judgemental views.  A cafeteria view of christinity where you only take love - nothing else - and you pile it on your plate, you receive so much of it, you are surrounded by it,  and you hand it out over and over  - and it becomes the strongest thing in the world, and yes the most dangerous, because of where you are willing to go, and what you are willing to do.  It doesn't involve a god, or a jesus, or a religion - it involves respect for and caring about the other person, no matter how you feel you have been treated.

This individual view of Christianity that you have selected as your close-minded truth is what hurts the world.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 10:55:17 AM
Sorry OCG spell check

I wanted to know your opinion on why everything else in all cultures is dismissed by theists as myth,,, and everything in the Bible that can't possibly be true is metaphor,but not myth

I can't speak for other theists. 

There was a time in my life when I was quite willing to dismiss other religions as false and believe Christianity was the ONLY true religion.  Over time, mainly by leading a Sunday School class that was interested in comparative religions, I came to realize all religious beliefs are valid for their believers.  Who am I to judge one religion is superior to another? 

Regarding the second idea that theists tend to see things in the Bible as metaphor and not myth, which definition of myth are you applying? 

As always,

OldChurchGuy
OldChurchGuy, you are what the Apostle Paul would call a "wolf in sheep's clothing."  You will lead many to eternal destruction.
Oooh Gz,

           What a horrible thing to say.

You know, there are non-calvinistic views of christianity, non judgemental views.  A cafeteria view of christinity where you only take love - nothing else - and you pile it on your plate, you receive so much of it, you are surrounded by it,  and you hand it out over and over  - and it becomes the strongest thing in the world, and yes the most dangerous, because of where you are willing to go, and what you are willing to do.  It doesn't involve a god, or a jesus, or a religion - it involves respect for and caring about the other person, no matter how you feel you have been treated.

This individual view of Christianity that you have selected as your close-minded truth is what hurts the world.

The only view of Christianity that I am interested in, and that I hope to profess, is the one that comes from the Bible itself, not one based on any man's opinions or preferences.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Boots on December 25, 2013, 11:28:22 AM
The only view of Christianity that I am interested in, and that I hope to profess, is the one that comes from the Bible itself, not one based on any man's opinions or preferences.

...which is based on your opinion and preference.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on December 25, 2013, 12:18:43 PM
So in your reasoning, morality is relative?

Subjective.  "Relative" carries more confusing assumptions.

My premise that by knocking someone over the head with a stick and taking their wallet will improve my life by adding money for food, clothing, and shelter to my wallet makes such an action a good moral choice for me even though others may disagree?

If it wasn't, then you wouldn't have done it, right?  But it would still be wrong to me.  And I would be acting and judging based on my values, not on yours.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 25, 2013, 03:28:05 PM
So in your reasoning, morality is relative?  My premise that by knocking someone over the head with a stick and taking their wallet will improve my life by adding money for food, clothing, and shelter to my wallet makes such an action a good moral choice for me even though others may disagree?

If you are unable or unwilling to look at the other side of the story, and imagine yourself as the one with the sore head and empty wallet, then you are not interested in the sources of morality.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 25, 2013, 03:58:11 PM
Sorry OCG spell check

I wanted to know your opinion on why everything else in all cultures is dismissed by theists as myth,,, and everything in the Bible that can't possibly be true is metaphor,but not myth

I can't speak for other theists. 

There was a time in my life when I was quite willing to dismiss other religions as false and believe Christianity was the ONLY true religion.  Over time, mainly by leading a Sunday School class that was interested in comparative religions, I came to realize all religious beliefs are valid for their believers.  Who am I to judge one religion is superior to another? 

Regarding the second idea that theists tend to see things in the Bible as metaphor and not myth, which definition of myth are you applying? 

As always,

OldChurchGuy

So when Jesus said that He is the only way to the Father, do you just ignore that or what?  If all religious beliefs are valid for their believers, then of what value was the cross? 

OldChurchGuy, you are what the Apostle Paul would call a "wolf in sheep's clothing."  You will lead many to eternal destruction.

Christianity is the only religion that offers salvation through grace by faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ.  All other religions say "get there the best you can and hope your good works outweigh the bad." So just to make sure it is said - all beliefs are not equal in validity and not equal in what they believe.

It would appear where we differ is the opening sentence "So when Jesus said that He is the only way to the Father...".  If I understand you correctly, you interpret that to mean that Jesus actually said those words (or, at best, words to that effect) and you take that on faith.  I have no problem with you taking such a statement on faith.  Where we differ is that I do not treat my faith as irrefutable fact as it appears you do.  Put another way, you have faith that Jesus said these words and you have faith that these words are not added by some author sometime after the fact.  I admit, I do not have such a faith.

If that makes me a wolf in sheep's clothing, so be it. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 25, 2013, 04:00:40 PM
Sorry OCG spell check

I wanted to know your opinion on why everything else in all cultures is dismissed by theists as myth,,, and everything in the Bible that can't possibly be true is metaphor,but not myth

I can't speak for other theists. 

There was a time in my life when I was quite willing to dismiss other religions as false and believe Christianity was the ONLY true religion.  Over time, mainly by leading a Sunday School class that was interested in comparative religions, I came to realize all religious beliefs are valid for their believers.  Who am I to judge one religion is superior to another? 

Regarding the second idea that theists tend to see things in the Bible as metaphor and not myth, which definition of myth are you applying? 

As always,

OldChurchGuy
OldChurchGuy, you are what the Apostle Paul would call a "wolf in sheep's clothing."  You will lead many to eternal destruction.
Oooh Gz,

           What a horrible thing to say.

You know, there are non-calvinistic views of christianity, non judgemental views.  A cafeteria view of christinity where you only take love - nothing else - and you pile it on your plate, you receive so much of it, you are surrounded by it,  and you hand it out over and over  - and it becomes the strongest thing in the world, and yes the most dangerous, because of where you are willing to go, and what you are willing to do.  It doesn't involve a god, or a jesus, or a religion - it involves respect for and caring about the other person, no matter how you feel you have been treated.

This individual view of Christianity that you have selected as your close-minded truth is what hurts the world.

The only view of Christianity that I am interested in, and that I hope to profess, is the one that comes from the Bible itself, not one based on any man's opinions or preferences.

Is it correct to conclude you understand the Bible to be the divinely inspired interrant Word of God to be taken literally unless the wording in a given passage uses simile's such as "like" or "as"? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 25, 2013, 04:48:44 PM
Has Yahweh ever come down to visit you GF? If he has why?

Do you mean in a physical sense or a spiritual sense?
is there a difference,no human has "seen" Yahweh have they?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 06:45:32 PM
The only view of Christianity that I am interested in, and that I hope to profess, is the one that comes from the Bible itself, not one based on any man's opinions or preferences.

...which is based on your opinion and preference.

That's your opinion.  I've often had to come to grips with things in the Bible that weren't pleasant, or didn't fit with the theology I already had, or stuff that just seemed harsh.  It's a growth process, not an automatic submission.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 06:50:11 PM
Sorry OCG spell check

I wanted to know your opinion on why everything else in all cultures is dismissed by theists as myth,,, and everything in the Bible that can't possibly be true is metaphor,but not myth

I can't speak for other theists. 

There was a time in my life when I was quite willing to dismiss other religions as false and believe Christianity was the ONLY true religion.  Over time, mainly by leading a Sunday School class that was interested in comparative religions, I came to realize all religious beliefs are valid for their believers.  Who am I to judge one religion is superior to another? 

Regarding the second idea that theists tend to see things in the Bible as metaphor and not myth, which definition of myth are you applying? 

As always,

OldChurchGuy

So when Jesus said that He is the only way to the Father, do you just ignore that or what?  If all religious beliefs are valid for their believers, then of what value was the cross? 

OldChurchGuy, you are what the Apostle Paul would call a "wolf in sheep's clothing."  You will lead many to eternal destruction.

Christianity is the only religion that offers salvation through grace by faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ.  All other religions say "get there the best you can and hope your good works outweigh the bad." So just to make sure it is said - all beliefs are not equal in validity and not equal in what they believe.

It would appear where we differ is the opening sentence "So when Jesus said that He is the only way to the Father...".  If I understand you correctly, you interpret that to mean that Jesus actually said those words (or, at best, words to that effect) and you take that on faith.  I have no problem with you taking such a statement on faith.  Where we differ is that I do not treat my faith as irrefutable fact as it appears you do.  Put another way, you have faith that Jesus said these words and you have faith that these words are not added by some author sometime after the fact.  I admit, I do not have such a faith.

If that makes me a wolf in sheep's clothing, so be it. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

If you claim to speak for Christianity, yet you say all religions are valid, then by the New Testament standards, yes, you are a wolf in sheep's clothing. If you claim to be a Christian yet you do not have faith, then you are misled or misleading. If you believe parts of the Bible are God speaking and other parts are supposedly just the words of mere men, then how can you trust any of it?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 06:56:40 PM
Is it correct to conclude you understand the Bible to be the divinely inspired interrant Word of God to be taken literally unless the wording in a given passage uses simile's such as "like" or "as"? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

I believe the original autograph to be the divinely inspired, inerrant Word of God.  He used different men over different ages as His scribes and He used different literature styles such as historical narrative, poetry, apocalyptic writing, parables, and letters. The Word of God uses symbolism and imagery at times such as in Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation, so no, it is not every word taken literally, but that's always a good place to start if possible.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 07:01:57 PM
Has Yahweh ever come down to visit you GF? If he has why?

Do you mean in a physical sense or a spiritual sense?
is there a difference,no human has "seen" Yahweh have they?

If you differentiate the person of Yahweh into God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, then no one has seen the Father, but God the Son said if you have seen Him then you have seen the Father. God the Father is Spirit and God the Holy Spirit is of course Spirit. God the Son was Spirit but took on the flesh of humanity.

So no one, including me, has seen the Father or the Holy Spirit. I have not seen God the Son.

But that leaves the spiritual sense of visitation. Yes, God in the Spirit has not only visited me, but according to the biblical worldview, resides within me continually. 
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
Sorry OCG spell check

I wanted to know your opinion on why everything else in all cultures is dismissed by theists as myth,,, and everything in the Bible that can't possibly be true is metaphor,but not myth

I can't speak for other theists. 

There was a time in my life when I was quite willing to dismiss other religions as false and believe Christianity was the ONLY true religion.  Over time, mainly by leading a Sunday School class that was interested in comparative religions, I came to realize all religious beliefs are valid for their believers.  Who am I to judge one religion is superior to another? 

Regarding the second idea that theists tend to see things in the Bible as metaphor and not myth, which definition of myth are you applying? 

As always,

OldChurchGuy

So when Jesus said that He is the only way to the Father, do you just ignore that or what?  If all religious beliefs are valid for their believers, then of what value was the cross? 

OldChurchGuy, you are what the Apostle Paul would call a "wolf in sheep's clothing."  You will lead many to eternal destruction.

Christianity is the only religion that offers salvation through grace by faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ.  All other religions say "get there the best you can and hope your good works outweigh the bad." So just to make sure it is said - all beliefs are not equal in validity and not equal in what they believe.

It would appear where we differ is the opening sentence "So when Jesus said that He is the only way to the Father...".  If I understand you correctly, you interpret that to mean that Jesus actually said those words (or, at best, words to that effect) and you take that on faith.  I have no problem with you taking such a statement on faith.  Where we differ is that I do not treat my faith as irrefutable fact as it appears you do.  Put another way, you have faith that Jesus said these words and you have faith that these words are not added by some author sometime after the fact.  I admit, I do not have such a faith.

If that makes me a wolf in sheep's clothing, so be it. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

If you claim to speak for Christianity, yet you say all religions are valid, then by the New Testament standards, yes, you are a wolf in sheep's clothing. If you claim to be a Christian yet you do not have faith, then you are misled or misleading. If you believe parts of the Bible are God speaking and other parts are supposedly just the words of mere men, then how can you trust any of it?

I speak only for myself.  If at any time I give the impression on this exchange or any of the other exchanges on this website that I am speaking for Christianity then I apologize as that is never my intent. 

The second sentence confuses me (as you can tell, I confuse easily).  The sentence "If you claim to be a Christian yet you do not have faith, then you are misled or misleading." is what I am referring to.  How is the word "faith" being defined.

 Regarding the third sentence, for me, the Bible (the Hebrew Bible aka The Old Testament and the New Testament writings) is a collection of stories written by many people (very few of whom are actually known) all trying to describe what it is like to experience God.   So if that means I don't blindly trust it as being 100% the word of God, then you are correct.  The conclusion is based on the perception that no two Christians, even Apologists, are 100% unified on interpreting the entire Bible. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

 
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 25, 2013, 08:27:53 PM
Is it correct to conclude you understand the Bible to be the divinely inspired interrant Word of God to be taken literally unless the wording in a given passage uses simile's such as "like" or "as"? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

I believe the original autograph to be the divinely inspired, inerrant Word of God.  He used different men over different ages as His scribes and He used different literature styles such as historical narrative, poetry, apocalyptic writing, parables, and letters. The Word of God uses symbolism and imagery at times such as in Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation, so no, it is not every word taken literally, but that's always a good place to start if possible.

Makes sense.  It is my understanding the oldest complete set of the New Testament writings are about 200 years after the fact and the complete Hebrew Bible is about 1,000 years after fact.  So does the "original autograph" pertain only to the original manuscripts or also to the copies which are a few centuries later?

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 09:04:37 PM
Is it correct to conclude you understand the Bible to be the divinely inspired interrant Word of God to be taken literally unless the wording in a given passage uses simile's such as "like" or "as"? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

I believe the original autograph to be the divinely inspired, inerrant Word of God.  He used different men over different ages as His scribes and He used different literature styles such as historical narrative, poetry, apocalyptic writing, parables, and letters. The Word of God uses symbolism and imagery at times such as in Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation, so no, it is not every word taken literally, but that's always a good place to start if possible.

Makes sense.  It is my understanding the oldest complete set of the New Testament writings are about 200 years after the fact and the complete Hebrew Bible is about 1,000 years after fact.  So does the "original autograph" pertain only to the original manuscripts or also to the copies which are a few centuries later?

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy

Then you are behind the times.  Much of the recent academic studies place the writings of the New Testament from about 40 AD for the Gospel of Mark to no later than 110 AD for the book of Revelation.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 25, 2013, 09:14:08 PM
Is it correct to conclude you understand the Bible to be the divinely inspired interrant Word of God to be taken literally unless the wording in a given passage uses simile's such as "like" or "as"? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

I believe the original autograph to be the divinely inspired, inerrant Word of God.  He used different men over different ages as His scribes and He used different literature styles such as historical narrative, poetry, apocalyptic writing, parables, and letters. The Word of God uses symbolism and imagery at times such as in Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation, so no, it is not every word taken literally, but that's always a good place to start if possible.

Makes sense.  It is my understanding the oldest complete set of the New Testament writings are about 200 years after the fact and the complete Hebrew Bible is about 1,000 years after fact.  So does the "original autograph" pertain only to the original manuscripts or also to the copies which are a few centuries later?

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy

Then you are behind the times.  Much of the recent academic studies place the writings of the New Testament from about 40 AD for the Gospel of Mark to no later than 110 AD for the book of Revelation.

To quote the famous movie Cool Hand Luke, "What we have here is a failure to communicate".  Please re-read my post.  I am not disputing the date the scholars believe the writings took place.  I am saying it is my understanding the oldest complete set of the New Testament writings are about 200 years after the fact and the complete Hebrew Bible is about 1,000 years after fact.  So does the "original autograph" pertain only to the original manuscripts or also to the copies which are a few centuries later?

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 09:16:55 PM
I speak only for myself.  If at any time I give the impression on this exchange or any of the other exchanges on this website that I am speaking for Christianity then I apologize as that is never my intent.

You spoke of teaching a Sunday School class - the assumption is that it was in a Christian context since Buddhists and Hindus don't have "Sunday School." You use the moniker "OldChurchGuy," again implying Christianity.  Subtle inferences.

Quote
The second sentence confuses me (as you can tell, I confuse easily).  The sentence "If you claim to be a Christian yet you do not have faith, then you are misled or misleading." is what I am referring to.  How is the word "faith" being defined.

You mentioned faith, these are your words:  "It would appear where we differ is the opening sentence 'So when Jesus said that He is the only way to the Father...'.  If I understand you correctly, you interpret that to mean that Jesus actually said those words (or, at best, words to that effect) and you take that on faith.  I have no problem with you taking such a statement on faith.  Where we differ is that I do not treat my faith as irrefutable fact as it appears you do.  Put another way, you have faith that Jesus said these words and you have faith that these words are not added by some author sometime after the fact.  I admit, I do not have such a faith." 

How do you define faith?

Quote
Regarding the third sentence, for me, the Bible (the Hebrew Bible aka The Old Testament and the New Testament writings) is a collection of stories written by many people (very few of whom are actually known) all trying to describe what it is like to experience God.   So if that means I don't blindly trust it as being 100% the word of God, then you are correct.  The conclusion is based on the perception that no two Christians, even Apologists, are 100% unified on interpreting the entire Bible.
[/quote]

So you just hope you get something out of the text, not knowing if what you read is inspired by God or just a man's opinion?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Boots on December 25, 2013, 09:17:29 PM
Christianity is the only religion that offers salvation through grace by faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ.  All other religions say "get there the best you can and hope your good works outweigh the bad." So just to make sure it is said - all beliefs are not equal in validity and not equal in what they believe.

Wait a second.

Grace, defined by a quick google search (emphasis mine): (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

Yet you claim you need faith for that grace.  How is that free and unmerited?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 09:25:06 PM

To quote the famous movie Cool Hand Luke, "What we have here is a failure to communicate".  Please re-read my post.  I am not disputing the date the scholars believe the writings took place.  I am saying it is my understanding the oldest complete set of the New Testament writings are about 200 years after the fact and the complete Hebrew Bible is about 1,000 years after fact.  So does the "original autograph" pertain only to the original manuscripts or also to the copies which are a few centuries later?

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

Props for the Cool Hand Luke quote - one of my favorite.

Are you familiar with the Septuagint?  It is the Greek translation of the complete Hebrew Old Testament.  It was completed approximately in the last 2nd century BC. 

Are you asking if the copies are also inspired in the same way the original was, or are you asking me if the copies are true to the original, because if that is what you are asking, then do the research and see the variances in the oldest texts available and you will see that none of the variances change the meaning of the text, so we have reasonable assurance that the texts are very faithful to the original.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 09:27:11 PM
Christianity is the only religion that offers salvation through grace by faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ.  All other religions say "get there the best you can and hope your good works outweigh the bad." So just to make sure it is said - all beliefs are not equal in validity and not equal in what they believe.

Wait a second.

Grace, defined by a quick google search (emphasis mine): (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

Yet you claim you need faith for that grace.  How is that free and unmerited?

I think that I understand what you are asking, but I would like for you to clarify.  Are you asking how grace is free and unmerited if it requires faith to receive it?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 25, 2013, 09:42:52 PM

To quote the famous movie Cool Hand Luke, "What we have here is a failure to communicate".  Please re-read my post.  I am not disputing the date the scholars believe the writings took place.  I am saying it is my understanding the oldest complete set of the New Testament writings are about 200 years after the fact and the complete Hebrew Bible is about 1,000 years after fact.  So does the "original autograph" pertain only to the original manuscripts or also to the copies which are a few centuries later?

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

Props for the Cool Hand Luke quote - one of my favorite.

Are you familiar with the Septuagint?  It is the Greek translation of the complete Hebrew Old Testament.  It was completed approximately in the last 2nd century BC. 

Are you asking if the copies are also inspired in the same way the original was, or are you asking me if the copies are true to the original, because if that is what you are asking, then do the research and see the variances in the oldest texts available and you will see that none of the variances change the meaning of the text, so we have reasonable assurance that the texts are very faithful to the original.

Yes, I am aware of the Septuagint.  Not sure what the point is, though.  Would you please clarify how knowing when the Septuagint was written is significant for this exchange?

I am asking if you believe the copies are true to the original.  There appears to be a contradiction and I ask for clarification, please.  I understand the word "inerrant" to mean " Containing no errors.".  Yet the above response appears to concede there are variations.  But the variations are not errors, correct? 

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 10:01:22 PM
I am saying it is my understanding the oldest complete set of the New Testament writings are about 200 years after the fact and the complete Hebrew Bible is about 1,000 years after fact.

Quote
Yes, I am aware of the Septuagint.  Not sure what the point is, though.  Would you please clarify how knowing when the Septuagint was written is significant for this exchange?

If Malachi was written approximately 350 BC, it was the last book of the OT canon to be written, yet in less than 200 years there would be a Greek translation of the entire OT.  That's considerably less than "1,000 years after the fact."  In fact, much of the OT (1 Samuel and forward) was written 1,000 BC and after. Many of the Prophets were written between 700 and 350 BC.

Quote
I am asking if you believe the copies are true to the original.  There appears to be a contradiction and I ask for clarification, please.  I understand the word "inerrant" to mean " Containing no errors.".  Yet the above response appears to concede there are variations.  But the variations are not errors, correct? 

You probably know all of the variants by heart OCG. Is it an error when a scribe transcribes 100,000 instead of 10,000?  Yes, obviously that's an error.  But thankfully we have several ancient manuscripts to compare to each other and we know where the "potholes" are in certain manuscripts.  But nothing that can be attributed to scribal error has ever changed one doctrine.  If you want, I can recommend some good resources for your "ever curious" self to do some quality research into this topic.

Space and time do not allow for a really good treatment of this subject in a forum, but i will be more than happy to have a long-term PM discussion of this with you and any others who want to tag along.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 25, 2013, 10:42:41 PM
I am saying it is my understanding the oldest complete set of the New Testament writings are about 200 years after the fact and the complete Hebrew Bible is about 1,000 years after fact.

Quote
Yes, I am aware of the Septuagint.  Not sure what the point is, though.  Would you please clarify how knowing when the Septuagint was written is significant for this exchange?

If Malachi was written approximately 350 BC, it was the last book of the OT canon to be written, yet in less than 200 years there would be a Greek translation of the entire OT.  That's considerably less than "1,000 years after the fact."  In fact, much of the OT (1 Samuel and forward) was written 1,000 BC and after. Many of the Prophets were written between 700 and 350 BC.

Quote
I am asking if you believe the copies are true to the original.  There appears to be a contradiction and I ask for clarification, please.  I understand the word "inerrant" to mean " Containing no errors.".  Yet the above response appears to concede there are variations.  But the variations are not errors, correct? 

You probably know all of the variants by heart OCG. Is it an error when a scribe transcribes 100,000 instead of 10,000?  Yes, obviously that's an error.  But thankfully we have several ancient manuscripts to compare to each other and we know where the "potholes" are in certain manuscripts.  But nothing that can be attributed to scribal error has ever changed one doctrine.  If you want, I can recommend some good resources for your "ever curious" self to do some quality research into this topic.

Space and time do not allow for a really good treatment of this subject in a forum, but i will be more than happy to have a long-term PM discussion of this with you and any others who want to tag along.

I am not disputing when the documents were originally written.  What is the earliest known complete edition of the Hebrew Bible? 

If I understand things correctly, it is OK if there are errors in the Bible because there are other manuscripts to compare the errors with and reach a rational conclusion.  Correct? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 25, 2013, 10:55:00 PM
I am not disputing when the documents were originally written.  What is the earliest known complete edition of the Hebrew Bible?

If the Septuagint was translated in the 2nd century BC, then you know you have one date for a complete edition.

If Malachi was written approximately middle of the 4th BC, then you could not have a complete edition prior to that.

Quote
If I understand things correctly, it is OK if there are errors in the Bible because there are other manuscripts to compare the errors with and reach a rational conclusion.  Correct?

There are scribal errors in some manuscripts. I.E. Where two different manuscripts would say 10,000 and a third would say 100,000. The scribal errors have been identified by theistic and non-theistic scholars alike. And yes, it is possible to take the context of the immediate passage, compare to other text within the Bible, and compare the different manuscripts to rationally conclude a correct reading.  Other historical documents suffer the same problems, but there are more ancient copies of the books of the Bible than there are of the historical texts, so we have more confidence in the accuracy of the Bible than we do Homer's Iliad and Odyssey or any writings about Julius Caesar, yet few people ever question the accuracy of those texts.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 26, 2013, 12:16:43 AM
I am not disputing when the documents were originally written.  What is the earliest known complete edition of the Hebrew Bible?

If the Septuagint was translated in the 2nd century BC, then you know you have one date for a complete edition.

If Malachi was written approximately middle of the 4th BC, then you could not have a complete edition prior to that.

Quote
If I understand things correctly, it is OK if there are errors in the Bible because there are other manuscripts to compare the errors with and reach a rational conclusion.  Correct?

There are scribal errors in some manuscripts. I.E. Where two different manuscripts would say 10,000 and a third would say 100,000. The scribal errors have been identified by theistic and non-theistic scholars alike. And yes, it is possible to take the context of the immediate passage, compare to other text within the Bible, and compare the different manuscripts to rationally conclude a correct reading.  Other historical documents suffer the same problems, but there are more ancient copies of the books of the Bible than there are of the historical texts, so we have more confidence in the accuracy of the Bible than we do Homer's Iliad and Odyssey or any writings about Julius Caesar, yet few people ever question the accuracy of those texts.

I am beginning to get a bit dizzy by what comes across as the dancing around the key question.  Which means I am not phrasing it correctly.

We seem to be agreed the Septuagint was translated in the 2nd Century B.C.  How far after this date is the oldest known complete version of the Septuagint?  2nd Century B.C.? 1st Century B.C.? The 1100s A.D.? 

I think it is safe to say the Iliad, the Odyssey and writings of Julius Caesar are not considered religious texts divinely inspired by a god.   So I am not sure the argument is valid.  An extraordinary claim for a text to be divinely inspired by God would seem to demand extraordinary proof if you are trying to convince others your theology is sound.   

As always,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Anfauglir on December 26, 2013, 03:28:49 AM
Happy to answer.  I want to be sure I grok the question though - do you mean "do I consider the concept of free will important in the context of understanding the message of the Bible", or "do I consider having free will to be important in general in the world", or something else?

Actually I just want you to share your thoughts and/or questions on free will, wherever such thoughts lead.  I think it will lead to a good discussion.  I'm not trying to box you in with a question that is spelled out a certain way in order to receive an expected answer or an answer that may be deficient because the question was deficient.

But if you want to drop the topic, I understand.

Everyone here will affirm that I will talk free will until the cows come home!  Which is why I wanted to be sure I understood your question before  I dived in.  But here is the nutshell précis.....

Free will does not exist.
The Bible requires there to be free will to be in any way coherent.
Yahweh would know there is no free will, ergo the Bible is not god-inspired.
The Bible places a lot of emphasis on free will, despite Yahweh making it clear he prefers automata that do not exercise their free will.
In heaven, there is either no free will, or constant chance of losing salvation.  It is likely there is no free will in heaven, but that that is a good thing.
Taken as a whole, mankind would be better served in religious terms by never having free will.  All the benefits of man having free will apply to Yahweh, not to man.

Quite a lot there - sorry.  I may split this thread.....but not while I'm on my ipad, it would drive me buggy.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Boots on December 26, 2013, 09:22:00 AM

Wait a second.

Grace, defined by a quick google search (emphasis mine): (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

Yet you claim you need faith for that grace.  How is that free and unmerited?

I think that I understand what you are asking, but I would like for you to clarify.  Are you asking how grace is free and unmerited if it requires faith to receive it?
yes
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Graybeard on December 26, 2013, 09:34:44 AM
So you're saying that humans can't know right from wrong.

Can you tell me your theory of how humans decide what is right and what is wrong?

Yes, it is very simple. Two people are stranded on a desert island. They must then agree (tacitly or otherwise) upon a set of rules that both might survive until rescuers arrive. There is no need for a god.

Have you any other questions?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Boots on December 26, 2013, 09:58:42 AM
So you're saying that humans can't know right from wrong.

Can you tell me your theory of how humans decide what is right and what is wrong?

Yes, it is very simple. Two people are stranded on a desert island. They must then agree (tacitly or otherwise) upon a set of rules that both might survive until rescuers arrive. There is no need for a god.

Have you any other questions?

Nice and succinct, Gray.  Please allow me to add one thing: proof positive that no god is required is the case study of my 2 children.  We are an a-religious household, neither child has any belief in a supernatural supreme being of any flavor (unless you count Santa, my youngest still believes).  These are two of the most polite, well-rounded, and "good" kids you ever want to meet.  They know that some people believe in a diety of some flavor, and that folks go to church to "hear a priest make speeches, and for people to make vows" (<--my youngest's near spot-on description of what she thinks going to church is!)  But they know what hurst other people, and what makes other people feel good.  They do the right thing because it's the right thing.

They also know that other kids/families can look down on them for their lack of superstitions--that the followers of the Xian god, for example, can be extremely intolerant of their atheism, depsite that, to mmy kids, it makes no sense to believe in a god.  My children have been persecuted (mildly, but persecuted nonetheless) for their atheism by Christians, who I see every day of the week play the persecution card with no justification, and no appreciation of irony or recognition of hypocisy.

My point: even if I didn't know where morality came from, I sure as heck know it does NOT come from any god.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: jtk73 on December 26, 2013, 03:18:21 PM
Because he is intelligent and intelligent people write down what they want others to know and understand?
a) Yahweh, even if he exists, did not write the bible., b)Yahweh is not 'people', he is supposedly an all-powerful, all-knowing being - I would expect a level of communication more advanced than humans could ever devise., c) No, if there is something THIS important and Yahweh really wants everyone to know and understand, he would appear to each and every individual and give them the message TO THEIR FACE and the message would be the same for EVERY SINGLE PERSON that has ever lived, is alive today or ever will live.

Throwing this in because it was a reply to me and it was somewhat related.

Why does He need to come down and answer your questions?
Because I can't get straight, logical answers from his collection of stories nor from any of his followers. He's supposedly all-powerful. It would take him all of 0 seconds and more importantly zero effort.

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Why don't you start with what information you have and work with that?  Most people don't ever make a sincere effort to take the information that has been given them and use it
Why would I do any of the above mentioned if there is no definitive, demonstrable evidence that any of it is true. If I am going this route, why choose Christianity over Hinduism or Islam? They have information that I can start with. Can you give me one single, logical reason why Christianity is more valid than Hinduism?

I'm putting in the exact amount of effort that I see Yahweh putting in.

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...or they come with a closed mind and presuppositions (i.e. "The bible if false, but I'll try it." Atheists reads the book of Numbers. "Yep, just like I thought, no answers.")
This is a huge assumption on your part. I've read enough of the bible to know that a majority of it doesn't match up with reality. I'm sorry, should I assume the bible is true and then read it? Should I do this with all other books that I read?

Forgot some more of my questions that you had replied to...
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You won't understand why Yahweh is worthy of worship because you are predisposed to not want to know.
Huge, unwarranted assumption on your part. Also, I didn't say that I don't understand. I said that he doesn't behave like a super-intelligent, all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful entity. He behaves like a tantrum throwing toddler and I don't see that as worthy of worship. I actually see that as worthy of disdain.

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But I would answer your question if you will explain how you would be qualified to pass judgment when you can't even spell it correctly.
Firstly, they are both valid spellings, genius. Secondly, I explained exactly why I was MORE THAN qualified to pass judgement on Yahweh's childish behavior and instead of agreeing or refuting me, you snub an incorrectly perceived spelling error. Nice dodge.

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 03:39:50 PM
We seem to be agreed the Septuagint was translated in the 2nd Century B.C.  How far after this date is the oldest known complete version of the Septuagint?  2nd Century B.C.? 1st Century B.C.? The 1100s A.D.?

If you have a complete Old Testament - all 39 books by Christian division (some of the 1st and 2nds were one book instead of two in Hebrew) - and it was translated somewhere between 200 BC and 100 BC, then you be comfortable that you had a complete Hebrew collection that we call the OT between 200BC and 100 BC.

If the 39th book wasn't written until around 350 BC, then you would not have had a complete collection of all 39 books prior to the 39th book being written.

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 03:42:58 PM

I think it is safe to say the Iliad, the Odyssey and writings of Julius Caesar are not considered religious texts divinely inspired by a god.   So I am not sure the argument is valid.  An extraordinary claim for a text to be divinely inspired by God would seem to demand extraordinary proof if you are trying to convince others your theology is sound.   


The comments in regards to Homer's and Julius' writings was within the context of what we were talking about - scribal errors on subsequent copies, not divine inspiration. 

Are you a used car salesman, because when I was a used car salesman I used the same diversionary tactics.  Someone would be talking about gas mileage and I would ignore their comments and start talking about the sound system.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 03:52:53 PM

Free will does not exist.

Please clarify or expound on this.  Are you saying that even if your worldview (I'm assuming based on everything I've seen you post that you are an atheist - correct me if I'm wrong) is correct and there is no God that man does not make choices based on his own will? 

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The Bible requires there to be free will to be in any way coherent.

Agreed.

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Yahweh would know there is no free will, ergo the Bible is not god-inspired.
The Bible places a lot of emphasis on free will, despite Yahweh making it clear he prefers automata that do not exercise their free will.
In heaven, there is either no free will, or constant chance of losing salvation.  It is likely there is no free will in heaven, but that that is a good thing.
Taken as a whole, mankind would be better served in religious terms by never having free will.  All the benefits of man having free will apply to Yahweh, not to man.

Quite a lot there - sorry.  I may split this thread.....but not while I'm on my ipad, it would drive me buggy.

All this is dependent on your assumption that there is no free will.  I'm looking forward to hearing how you get there, even if it is in a new thread.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Astreja on December 26, 2013, 03:54:07 PM
Can you tell me your theory of how humans decide what is right and what is wrong?

Yes, it is very simple. Two people are stranded on a desert island. They must then agree (tacitly or otherwise) upon a set of rules that both might survive until rescuers arrive. There is no need for a god.

Further to what Graybeard said, there is a natural bias towards sustainable behaviour patterns in most, if not all, successful cultures.  Think about it:  Would you want to live in a town where people regularly broke into one another's houses and killed the occupants?  Probably not. You'd move to another town, or even get together with people who were just as fed up as you, and start another town with clear-cut rules of what was allowable.  You might even designate the best fighters as the town defenders.

Most humans aren't stupid enough to bite the hand that feeds them, or to crap in their own beds -- They realize that the best way to avoid trouble is not to start it.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 03:57:03 PM

Wait a second.

Grace, defined by a quick google search (emphasis mine): (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

Yet you claim you need faith for that grace.  How is that free and unmerited?

I think that I understand what you are asking, but I would like for you to clarify.  Are you asking how grace is free and unmerited if it requires faith to receive it?
yes

If I put $500,000,000 dollars in an account with your name on it, just because I wanted to, would the fact that you have to use your debit card, write a check, or go to the bank to make a withdrawal make my act of grace anything less than an act of grace?  Would you merit the $500,000,000 any more just because you appropriated it?  No. Your works or worthiness did not initiate the gift.  Your effort is only required to enjoy the grace gift, not to initiate it.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: jtk73 on December 26, 2013, 04:01:01 PM
If you differentiate the person of Yahweh into God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit
So you are polytheistic? You believe in three gods?

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then no one has seen the Father
Convenient...

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but God the Son said if you have seen Him then you have seen the Father.
Sounds like schizophrenia.

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God the Father is Spirit
What the frell is a Spirit?

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God the Son was Spirit but took on the flesh of humanity.
This sounds both disturbing and gross.

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So no one, including me, has seen the Father or the Holy Spirit. I have not seen God the Son.
Odd that.

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But that leaves the spiritual sense of visitation.
Was LSD any part of this 'visitation'?

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but according to the biblical worldview, resides within me continually.
That sounds weird. So he's there when you are trimming your nose hair or pooping? Does he have his mail forwarded?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Anfauglir on December 26, 2013, 04:10:19 PM

Free will does not exist.

Please clarify or expound on this.  Are you saying that even if your worldview (I'm assuming based on everything I've seen you post that you are an atheist - correct me if I'm wrong) is correct and there is no God that man does not make choices based on his own will?  .

Yup.

All this is dependent on your assumption that there is no free will.  I'm looking forward to hearing how you get there, even if it is in a new thread.
Because all the evidence points to there being none.  If you believe there is, I'd be fascinated to hear how if works.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 04:26:36 PM
Because he is intelligent and intelligent people write down what they want others to know and understand?
a) Yahweh, even if he exists, did not write the bible.,

Have you ever heard of an amanuensis, a secretary, or someone who takes dictation?

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b)Yahweh is not 'people', he is supposedly an all-powerful, all-knowing being - I would expect a level of communication more advanced than humans could ever devise.,

If it was more advanced than humans could ever devise, then how could humans understand it?


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c) No, if there is something THIS important and Yahweh really wants everyone to know and understand, he would appear to each and every individual and give them the message TO THEIR FACE and the message would be the same for EVERY SINGLE PERSON that has ever lived, is alive today or ever will live.

You are imposing your morality into the situation.  What determines, other than your wants, what Yahweh should or should not do?  Would He be unjust for giving some the information and not all?  If so, by whose standards is He unjust?  Yours or His?

Throwing this in because it was a reply to me and it was somewhat related.

Why does He need to come down and answer your questions?
Because I can't get straight, logical answers from his collection of stories nor from any of his followers. He's supposedly all-powerful. It would take him all of 0 seconds and more importantly zero effort.

I'm sorry that you've not gotten straight, logical answers from any of His followers.  I'll be glad to work through the questions, share what I know whether logical or not, and let you know if I don't know an answer. You can PM me with questions or start a new thread.

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Why don't you start with what information you have and work with that?  Most people don't ever make a sincere effort to take the information that has been given them and use it
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Why would I do any of the above mentioned if there is no definitive, demonstrable evidence that any of it is true. If I am going this route, why choose Christianity over Hinduism or Islam? They have information that I can't start with. Can you give me one single, logical reason why Christianity is more valid than Hinduism?

I'm putting in the exact amount of effort that I see Yahweh putting in.

So how much of the Bible have you read? You said you've read at least some of "his collection of stories." What did you read?  What questions were you looking to answer?


How much do you know about Hinduism, a complex religion of 3.3 million gods?  I still have a lot to learn about it. How much time do you have to discuss this topic?  Who's the judge of what is "logical"?


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...or they come with a closed mind and presuppositions (i.e. "The bible if false, but I'll try it." Atheists reads the book of Numbers. "Yep, just like I thought, no answers.")
This is a huge assumption on your part. I've read enough of the bible to know that a majority of it doesn't match up with reality. I'm sorry, should I assume the bible is true and then read it? Should I do this will all other books that I read?
[/quote]

No, don't assume anything.  Have an open mind - consider the possibility that it is true and try to forget your prejudices towards it.

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Forgot some more of my questions that you had replied to...
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You won't understand why Yahweh is worthy of worship because you are predisposed to not want to know.
Huge, unwarranted assumption on your part. Also, I didn't say that I don't understand. I said that he doesn't behave like a super-intelligent, all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful entity. He behaves like a tantrum throwing toddler and I don't see that as worthy of worship. I actually see that as worthy of disdain.

A lot of aspersion here.  Do you want to discuss specific instances where you believe God acted like a tantrum-throwing toddler and discuss these in their context?

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But I would answer your question if you will explain how you would be qualified to pass judgment when you can't even spell it correctly.
Firstly, they are both valid spellings, genius. Secondly, I explained exactly why I was MORE THAN qualified to pass judgement on Yahweh's childish behavior and instead of agreeing or refuting me, you snub an incorrectly perceived spelling error. Nice dodge.
[/quote]

you must be British.  and no, you haven't explained to me in a "straight, logical answer" how you are qualified to pass judgement or judgment on any deity.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 04:48:16 PM
If you differentiate the person of Yahweh into God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit
So you are polytheistic? You believe in three gods?

No.  I believe in one God.  Because He is not human, He does not have to be like a human, who can only exist as one person. He reveals Himself as one God who is three persons.  There is no contradiction.  The three are of the same "essense" or godness.

The closest approximation I can come to this in human terms is "I am one human with three roles.  I am a father, a son, and a husband.  At no time do I quit being a father so that I can be a son, or quit being a husband so that I can be a father."

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then no one has seen the Father
Convenient...
[/quote]

The concept of a being so transcendent over humanity that a human could not look upon it and live is "convenient"?

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but God the Son said if you have seen Him then you have seen the Father.
Sounds like schizophrenia.
[/quote]

No, schizophrenia implies that there are split minds.  Jesus (God the Son) and God the Father are of the same essense, mind, and will.

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God the Father is Spirit
What the frell is a Spirit?
[/quote]

What the hell is "frell"?

What is a Spirit?  God never really explains it in a straight-forward, logical way.  Jesus says that the Spirit gives life.  The Bible says that God breathed His Spirit into Adam so that Adam became a living soul. A spirit is a living being, but not a human. I only know about God as a Spirit and about spirits from what the Bible says.

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God the Son was Spirit but took on the flesh of humanity.
This sounds both disturbing and gross.
[/quote]

Why disturbing and gross?

God the Son somehow took on a second nature, the nature and physical form of a human being, in Mary's womb.  After He was born, He had to physically endure all that humans endure - stubbing His toe; getting hungry, tired, and thirsty; betrayal and rejection; and death (though a much worse death than most humans experience) - so that He could empathize with His creation.  This should be comforting and encouraging.

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So no one, including me, has seen the Father or the Holy Spirit. I have not seen God the Son.
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Odd that.

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But that leaves the spiritual sense of visitation.
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Was LSD any part of this 'visitation'?

No, I was stone-cold sober.

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but according to the biblical worldview, resides within me continually.
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That sounds weird. So he's there when you are trimming your nose hair or pooping? Does he have his mail forwarded?

The Apostle Paul was warning Christians about having sex with prostitutes.  He said that Jesus is even there when you have sex with a prostitute. 

"Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." (1 Corinthians 6:15-20, ESV)

I have spent a lot of time trying to at least address your comments.  You bring up valid questions and I will gladly spend time trying to address them in more detail if you are sincere and earnest in your desire to hear answers from a biblical Christian perspective.  If you just want to hurl insults and make derogatory statements towards Christianity, the Bible, and God, then that will be apparent as the discussion progresses and I will likely not waste any time indulging you.

Peace and grace.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 04:54:32 PM

Because all the evidence points to there being none.  If you believe there is, I'd be fascinated to hear how if works.

I would be more fascinated to hear how, in your opinion, humans have no free will.

But for me, humans have a certain amount of free will within certain spheres in our lives.  Are we free to choose to grow gills and swim underwater like Kevin Costner in Waterworld?  No. But am I free to choose to sign on to the Forum or ignore the Forum? Yes.

We all have choices each day to make.  Within those choices, we have free will.  Even the spheres we live in can be changed and the choices we then have each day will change.  EX: As long as I continue working at the same employer, I only have certain choices I can make (get up and bathe or not, wear a tie or not, leave work at 4 or 5 pm, etc.), but if I exercise my free will one day and just not show up for work, then I will lose some of the choices I had and get different choices (get food stamps or beg).
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 26, 2013, 05:09:02 PM
Your perspective assumes that you know at least as much, or more, than Yahweh.  That would be the only position from which you could then pass moral judgment on Him.


I do not need to know every possible detail of the life of a person who instigated genocide to pass judgement on said person as morally lacking and vile.

So your premise is invalid.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: jtk73 on December 26, 2013, 05:50:03 PM
Have you ever heard of an amanuensis, a secretary, or someone who takes dictation?
Oh, you mean like the person or persons who took dictation for Joseph Smith (the Mormon dude) as he translated the golden tablets.

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If it was more advanced than humans could ever devise, then how could humans understand it?
Because understanding is different than devising.

Also, you must have missed this part..
Quote from: jtk73
b)Yahweh is not 'people', he is supposedly an all-powerful, all-knowing being - I would expect a level of communication more advanced than humans could ever devise.,

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You are imposing your morality into the situation. What determines, other than your wants, what Yahweh should or should not do?
This has nothing to do with morality or my wants. It has everything to do with logic -
a)Yahweh has a desire (everyone be saved, have a personal relationship, what-have-you..)
b)Yahweh has every ability to fulfill that desire (all-powerful, all-knowing)
c)Everyone is 'saved', begins a relationship, .... Oh, wait.
Either the desire is not there, the ability is not there or Yahweh is not there.

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Would He be unjust for giving some the information and not all?
If not receiving the information results in suffering, absolutely. It would also infer that he is not all-loving as many of his followers claim.

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If so, by whose standards is He unjust?  Yours or His?
Anyone that is not a sadist.

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I'm sorry that you've not gotten straight, logical answers from any of His followers.  I'll be glad to work through the questions, share what I know whether logical or not, and let you know if I don't know an answer. You can PM me with questions or start a new thread.
It's not really your or other followers fault. You just have horrendous source material.
Why do you have to answer my questions of him, for him?

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So how much of the Bible have you read? You said you've read at least some of "his collection of stories." What did you read?  What questions were you looking to answer?
In my entire life, I would approximate that I have read about 90 - 95% of the bible. Again, enough to see that it does not match up with reality. Enough to think that the light in which the writers portray Yahweh, is not the light in which they were hoping to portray him. Or maybe it was. Maybe they thought a jealous, petty, vindictive sky wizard was cool.

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How much do you know about Hinduism, a complex religion of 3.3 million gods?
I know Hinduism has one god with many aspects. In what way is it any more complex than Christianity? What does complexity have to do with validity in regards to religion?

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Who's the judge of what is "logical"?
Logic.

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No, don't assume anything.  Have an open mind - consider the possibility that it is true and try to forget your prejudices towards it. A lot of aspersion here.  Do you want to discuss specific instances where you believe God acted like a tantrum-throwing toddler and discuss these in their context?
For the purposes of discussion (I don't believe any of this) - The garden of Eden, the flood, the plagues visited on Egypt, the bald dude with the attack bears, the tower of Babel, Sodom & Gomorrah, Job's ordeals.

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and no, you haven't explained to me in a "straight, logical answer" how you are qualified to pass judgement or judgment on any deity.
Firstly, your original question was referring to Yahweh. Now you are referring to any deity. It is entirely possible that there exist a deity or deities that are morally superior to me - Yahweh is not one of them. Still see no evidence for any of them, so even if they exist, they are irrelevant.
Also, I haven't murdered a single person in my entire life. That, immediately makes me morally superior to Yahweh
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Graybeard on December 26, 2013, 05:55:36 PM
you haven't explained to me in a "straight, logical answer" how you are qualified to pass judgement or judgment on any deity.
I did and you ignored it. I don't see what another answer would do for you. You seem incapable of listening.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: jtk73 on December 26, 2013, 06:01:27 PM
No.  I believe in one God.  Because He is not human, He does not have to be like a human, who can only exist as one person. He reveals Himself as one God who is three persons.
????? So either Jesus did not die on the cross or Jesus did die on the cross but had nothing to do with Yahweh?

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There is no contradiction.
Uhhh.

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The three are of the same "essense" or godness.
Then why ever mention the holy spirit or Jesus in the bible. If Yahweh does everything, why not just always refer to him as God or Yahweh?

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The closest approximation I can come to this in human terms is "I am one human with three roles.  I am a father, a son, and a husband.  At no time do I quit being a father so that I can be a son, or quit being a husband so that I can be a father."
So can you send one of your 'roles' to the dry cleaner or grocery store while another 'role' is playing checkers with you kids?

*I will have to address the rest of your reply tomorrow.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 06:26:26 PM
Have you ever heard of an amanuensis, a secretary, or someone who takes dictation?
Oh, you mean like the person or persons who took dictation for Joseph Smith (the Mormon dude) as he translated the golden tablets.

Yeah, we'll go with that.  You seem to understand the concept, even if you use an example meant to belittle the conversation.

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If it was more advanced than humans could ever devise, then how could humans understand it?
Because understanding is different than devising.

If you can't devise something, it's likely due to the fact that you can't understand it in order to devise it. 
Again, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you aren't trolling.

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Also, you must have missed this part..
Quote from: jtk73
b)Yahweh is not 'people', he is supposedly an all-powerful, all-knowing being - I would expect a level of communication more advanced than humans could ever devise.,

No, that is irrelevant.  I didn't miss it.  Because He is all-powerful and all-knowing, He wouldn't use a level of communication that was beyond human comprehension (can't comprehend what you can't devise - you can't devise what you can't understand).

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You are imposing your morality into the situation. What determines, other than your wants, what Yahweh should or should not do?
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This has nothing to do with morality or my wants. It has everything to do with logic -
a)Yahweh has a desire (everyone be saved, have a personal relationship, what-have-you..)
b)Yahweh has every ability to fulfill that desire (all-powerful, all-knowing)
c)Everyone is 'saved', begins a relationship, .... Oh, wait.
Either the desire is not there, the ability is not there or Yahweh is not there.

Oh wait, maybe the desire is there and the ability is there but so is God's allowance of man's free will.  Man's free will is not inconsistent with God's desire (God's will) and God's ability.

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Would He be unjust for giving some the information and not all?
If not receiving the information results in suffering, absolutely. It would also infer that he is not all-loving as many of his followers claim.

Does God have to treat everyone equally?  If so, why?  How is He unjust by showing mercy to some and not to others?  If everyone is entitled to mercy, then it is not mercy we are speaking of.  If God loves all, but does not love all equally, then is He not all-loving?

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If so, by whose standards is He unjust?  Yours or His?
Anyone that is not a sadist.

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I'm sorry that you've not gotten straight, logical answers from any of His followers.  I'll be glad to work through the questions, share what I know whether logical or not, and let you know if I don't know an answer. You can PM me with questions or start a new thread.
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It's not really your or other followers fault. You just have horrendous source material.
Why do you have to answer my questions of him, for him?

That's the way God works.  God directs His believers to go and tell others about Him and give a reasoned defense of why they believe what they believe.  I am thankful for God for forgiving me my sins, so I voluntarily and gladly will tell others in hopes that some also be forgiven of their sins.

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So how much of the Bible have you read? You said you've read at least some of "his collection of stories." What did you read?  What questions were you looking to answer?
In my entire life, I would approximate that I have read about 90 - 95% of the bible. Again, enough to see that it does not match up with reality. Enough to think that the light in which the writers portray Yahweh, is not the light in which they were hoping to portray him. Or maybe it was. Maybe they thought a jealous, petty, vindictive sky wizard was cool.

What parts of the Bible brought you to think of God as "a jealous, petty, vindictive sky wizard"?  Nevermind, I see further down in your post what you are referring to.

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How much do you know about Hinduism, a complex religion of 3.3 million gods?
I know Hinduism has one god with many aspects. In what way is it any more complex than Christianity? What does complexity have to do with validity in regards to religion?

Knowing how people in the forum love wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism.  Chew on this awhile and we can talk more later.  If you don't understand at least some aspects of Hinduism, how can you determine what is and is not valid in Hinduism or how another belief structure is more or less valid?

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Who's the judge of what is "logical"?
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Logic.

ooh, aahh. wait, no, that's a terrible answer.

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No, don't assume anything.  Have an open mind - consider the possibility that it is true and try to forget your prejudices towards it. A lot of aspersion here.  Do you want to discuss specific instances where you believe God acted like a tantrum-throwing toddler and discuss these in their context?
For the purposes of discussion (I don't believe any of this) - The garden of Eden, the flood, the plagues visited on Egypt, the bald dude with the attack bears, the tower of Babel, Sodom & Gomorrah, Job's ordeals.

So would it be a waste of my time to discuss these with you?  No sense beating a dead horse if you are predisposed into believing that these are just myths to show how infantile Yahweh is.

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and no, you haven't explained to me in a "straight, logical answer" how you are qualified to pass judgement or judgment on any deity.
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Firstly, your original question was referring to Yahweh. Now you are referring to any deity. It is entirely possible that there exist a deity or deities that are morally superior to me - Yahweh is not one of them. Still see no evidence for any of them, so even if they exist, they are irrelevant.
Also, I haven't murdered a single person in my entire life. That, immediately makes me morally superior to Yahweh

Have you ever hated someone in your heart/mind?  Have you ever wanted something that belonged to someone else for your own - not wanting something like it but wanting that exact thing?  Have you ever wanted to have sex with someone outside the vows of marriage?  Have you ever been dishonest with anyone? Have you ever been disrespectful in thought or speech towards your parents? Have you ever taken anything that did not belong to you?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 06:33:48 PM
No.  I believe in one God.  Because He is not human, He does not have to be like a human, who can only exist as one person. He reveals Himself as one God who is three persons.
????? So either Jesus did not die on the cross or Jesus did die on the cross but had nothing to do with Yahweh?

Yes, the human nature of Jesus did die on the cross.  No, His deity did not die on the cross.


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The three are of the same "essense" or godness.
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Then why ever mention the holy spirit or Jesus in the bible. If Yahweh does everything, why not just always refer to him as God or Yahweh?

I don't know why God chose to reveal Himself this way in different places in the Bible.  Since the Bible says that He is one God but expressed as the three Persons, then I guess He is just trying to help us understand Him.  Why does He call Himself Jehovah Jirah in one place, Jehovah Nissi in another, etc?  Each time it reveals something of His character.

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The closest approximation I can come to this in human terms is "I am one human with three roles.  I am a father, a son, and a husband.  At no time do I quit being a father so that I can be a son, or quit being a husband so that I can be a father."
So can you send one of your 'roles' to the dry cleaner or grocery store while another 'role' is playing checkers with you kids?

*I will have to address the rest of your reply tomorrow.

Only if you quit trolling.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 26, 2013, 06:48:45 PM
GF you have faith you will be forgiven for sins,given Gods track record for doing the opposite of what he says,I doubt it
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Graybeard on December 26, 2013, 06:57:21 PM
Have you ever hated someone in your heart/mind?  Have you ever wanted something that belonged to someone else for your own - not wanting something like it but wanting that exact thing?  Have you ever wanted to have sex with someone outside the vows of marriage?  Have you ever been dishonest with anyone? Have you ever been disrespectful in thought or speech towards your parents? Have you ever taken anything that did not belong to you?

... if so, you're probably human.

Have you ever committed genocide more than once?
Have you promised to laugh at people when they are in trouble?
Have you told people a fake way to cure leprosy and then giggled as they were disabled?
Have you ever taught your faithful to perform abortions?
Have you ever advocated wholesale slaughter to gain slaves and wealth?
Have you ever inspired your faithful to gather the foreskins of your enemy dead?
Have you ever thought that arranging for your son to be killed would be good for the world?
Does a desire come upon you to set bears onto children?
Does ripping open the abdomen of a pregnant woman sound good?
Have you plans to slaughter 1/3rd of mankind?

... if so, you are probably a god.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Graybeard on December 26, 2013, 07:06:57 PM
No, don't assume anything.  Have an open mind - consider the possibility that it is true and try to forget your prejudices towards it.
Oh, you mean like you do when you assume there is no god?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 07:23:04 PM
No, don't assume anything.  Have an open mind - consider the possibility that it is true and try to forget your prejudices towards it.
Oh, you mean like you do when you assume there is no god?

There was a time when I thought that I knew there was no god, at least not the God of the Bible.  It was 1993 through 1998.  I had been in and out of church since age 12. I had a fear-driven response to a very fiery hell-and-brimstone sermon when I was 12 and "made a profession of faith." My actual profession was "I don't want to die and go to hell." Not exactly coming to God for the right reason, but that's another story.  For the next 26 years, I drifted in and out of church.  I attended, sometimes tithed, sometimes participated above and beyond Sunday School and Worship service.  Sometimes I stayed out and ran the roads and drank and chased women every chance I got.  There was no evidence of salvific regeneration in my life for all those years.

After going through some traumatic times and God not showing up and doing things to my liking, I raised my fist to Him, cursed Him, spit at Him, and then I decided He was just a figment of someone's imagination.  I believed that the only thing that was, was what is.  Carl Sagan and the Cosmos, stardust, evolution, higher reasoning and thinking, these are the things that have meaning in life and after this life, there was nothing.

So for five years, I was mostly an atheist until I heard about Deism near the end of the five years. I studied that for a little while and felt comfortable that Deism was a better explanation for the universe than Carl Sagan could offer, but it also provided the answer why there was pain and suffering in my life.  It didn't make me like God any better, just answered some nagging questions about existence.  I was a devout Deist.  God left me alone and I left Him alone.

So, yes, I have more than considered that there is no God.  I have doubted the Bible and the God of the Bible (at least the Bible that I really had never read completely other than as rote exercise and the God that I made up in my image who was supposed to solve all my problems for me).  I have denied the existence of any deity and sincerely held that belief not for a day, a week, or a month, but for several crucial years of my life.

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 26, 2013, 10:35:26 PM


So for five years, I was mostly an atheist until I heard about Deism near the end of the five years. I studied that for a little while and felt comfortable that Deism was a better explanation for the universe than Carl Sagan could offer, but it also provided the answer why there was pain and suffering in my life.  It didn't make me like God any better, just answered some nagging questions about existence.  I was a devout Deist.  God left me alone and I left Him alone.

So, yes, I have more than considered that there is no God.  I have doubted the Bible and the God of the Bible (at least the Bible that I really had never read completely other than as rote exercise and the God that I made up in my image who was supposed to solve all my problems for me).  I have denied the existence of any deity and sincerely held that belief not for a day, a week, or a month, but for several crucial years of my life.

Are you currently a Deist or Christian?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 10:37:21 PM


So for five years, I was mostly an atheist until I heard about Deism near the end of the five years. I studied that for a little while and felt comfortable that Deism was a better explanation for the universe than Carl Sagan could offer, but it also provided the answer why there was pain and suffering in my life.  It didn't make me like God any better, just answered some nagging questions about existence.  I was a devout Deist.  God left me alone and I left Him alone.

So, yes, I have more than considered that there is no God.  I have doubted the Bible and the God of the Bible (at least the Bible that I really had never read completely other than as rote exercise and the God that I made up in my image who was supposed to solve all my problems for me).  I have denied the existence of any deity and sincerely held that belief not for a day, a week, or a month, but for several crucial years of my life.

Are you currently a Deist or Christian?

I became a Christian in early 1999.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 26, 2013, 10:49:44 PM
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Are you currently a Deist or Christian?

I became a Christian in early 1999.

Okay. Then how do you logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 11:13:58 PM
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Are you currently a Deist or Christian?

I became a Christian in early 1999.

Okay. Then how do you logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false?

How do you logically declare which ones are false?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 26, 2013, 11:32:33 PM


Okay. Then how do you logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false?

How do logically declare which ones are false?

May i play?

I don't remember enough about logic to play the game philosophically. But here is how I look at it.

There are a whole bunch of conflicting religious cosmologies. None reflect reality well enough to be impressive. Nobody that I know claims that two or more cosmologies that are far obviously dissimilar are also right. If Christians can, without deep study, proclaim the Hindu version wrong, simply because they know that their own is right, and Hindu's can claim the Christian version is wrong, simply because it conflicts with the Hindu version, then the most likely scenario is that both of them are right. At least about the other one being wrong.

How do you logically pick one cosmology as right when there is no way to square any of them with observed reality? How do you square any of them with reality when each requires a measurable degree of belief and faith? Belief and faith in astonishing claims that no living human has ever experienced in a provable way? How do you pick any cosmology as right using any measure if those same measures can be used by others to pick yet another cosmology as right?

The logical conclusion is not that one of the cosmologies is correct, but rather one can conclude that people used to make stuff up when they didn't have enough information to do otherwise. They had two choices at the time. Wonder a bit and go on with their lives, or come up with what, at the time, seemed plausible, so that their world could make a bit more sense. And probably, as an added bonus, those that made up the stories ended up having more power than everyone else. Because people discovered by-products like that long before they discovered how to make telescopes.

When an ancient story has you saying "Yea, but…" every time someone who doesn't believe it brings up observable information that conflicts with your story, it seems a more likely that you are defending something that is false than something that is true.

When Christianity is taken to its extreme, with a 6,000 year old earth and an earth-drowning flood 4,000 or so years ago, every ounce of sanity goes out the window. We have so much evidence that this planet and the universe are older than that that if it is indeed true that we have a young earth, then your god is playing games. And the one I don't believe in is nicer than that.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 11:44:29 PM


Okay. Then how do you logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false?

Thanks to PP for reminding me.

Here's how you would " logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false":

Two opposing views can't both be true.  Example:  2+2=3 and 2+2=4.  They can't both be true; therefore, since Christianity is true, all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions are false.

Hatter23 , that is what you asked for, right?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 26, 2013, 11:53:41 PM


Okay. Then how do you logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false?

Thanks to PP for reminding me.

Here's how you would " logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false":

Two opposing views can't both be true.  Example:  2+2=3 and 2+2=4.  They can't both be true; therefore, since Christianity is true, all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions are false.

Hatter23 , that is what you asked for, right?

You kind of need to show us the math for your conclusion too.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 26, 2013, 11:56:19 PM


Okay. Then how do you logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false?

Thanks to PP for reminding me.

Here's how you would " logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false":

Two opposing views can't both be true.  Example:  2+2=3 and 2+2=4.  They can't both be true; therefore, since Christianity is true, all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions are false.

Hatter23 , that is what you asked for, right?

You kind of need to show us the math for your conclusion too.

No, Hatter23 said to "logically state that Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions are false." I think I used logic to do what he requested.  And to think that you were partly responsible.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 12:05:38 AM
No, Hatter23 said to "logically state that Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions are false." I think I used logic to do what he requested.  And to think that you were partly responsible.

Understood, Spock. But your ears are falling off.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 27, 2013, 12:43:10 AM


So for five years, I was mostly an atheist until I heard about Deism near the end of the five years. I studied that for a little while and felt comfortable that Deism was a better explanation for the universe than Carl Sagan could offer, but it also provided the answer why there was pain and suffering in my life.  It didn't make me like God any better, just answered some nagging questions about existence.  I was a devout Deist.  God left me alone and I left Him alone.

So, yes, I have more than considered that there is no God.  I have doubted the Bible and the God of the Bible (at least the Bible that I really had never read completely other than as rote exercise and the God that I made up in my image who was supposed to solve all my problems for me).  I have denied the existence of any deity and sincerely held that belief not for a day, a week, or a month, but for several crucial years of my life.

Are you currently a Deist or Christian?

I became a Christian in early 1999.

We know a lot more now than Carl Sagan ever did. You should look at the evidence again.

Deism is a much better bet than Christianity, which has been ruled out for so many reasons.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 01:14:12 AM

So for five years, I was mostly an atheist until I heard about Deism near the end of the five years. I studied that for a little while and felt comfortable that Deism was a better explanation for the universe than Carl Sagan could offer, but it also provided the answer why there was pain and suffering in my life.  It didn't make me like God any better, just answered some nagging questions about existence.  I was a devout Deist.  God left me alone and I left Him alone.


First of all, you do realize that there is pain and suffering in everyones life. Obviously some end up having more of both than others do, but it is a fairly normal thing.

My question is this: Why do you think there has to be a specific reason for it? Outside of what is natural, or cultural, or individually generated? Why do you think there has to be some central cause (evil) rather than an assortment of causes, some of which can be amplified by cruel or careless humans?

I have never understood this aspect of christianity. To think that without a central cause that nothing bad would be happening on earth is patently silly. We have earthquakes, a**holes, accidents, selfishness, inebriating substances, sexual tensions and two or three other trouble-producing sources, and to think that as natural being we would automatically be immune to these things seems incredibly naïve. As natural (vs. god-built) beings, there are no controls in nature or anywhere else in the universe to always protect us from it or ourselves.

When making up a reason makes the bad stuff seem more understandable, you are adding delusion as yet another source of pain.

I was at a funeral for a neighbor a number of years ago. She had died at 82 of lung cancer. Her daughter was very distraught, and kept wailing "Why, why, why God!". Well, her mom was old and had smoked since she was 12. But the daughter had to add a god-based puzzlement to her grief, and I'll never see any advantage to mixing fact and fiction.

In a natural world, why would you expect us to be immune to pain and suffering? What aspect of evolution do you think would protect us. What part of stars blowing up and asteroids crashing down seems inherently cute? Do you honestly expect volcanoes to limit the heat of their lava to under 100° so as to avoid serious burns? For earthquakes to emulate a bowl full of jello? Floods to be only an inch deep? Religion-crazed rebels with AK-47's to shoot blanks? Passionately angry lovers to follow all the safety rules while slashing out with a butcher knife? Cancer asking if it can play in your liver for just a couple of days if it promises not to hurt anything?

I can't imagine a reason in the world why everything that goes wrong should be considered abnormal and hence proof of an evil force lurking amongst us. In fact, it would take a world where nothing went wrong that would convince me that a higher power exists. One where normal includes bad stuff is just what I would expect. And it is exactly what we have.

Edit: My usual f**k-ups, plus some more later.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 27, 2013, 01:22:12 AM


Okay. Then how do you logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false?

Thanks to PP for reminding me.

Here's how you would " logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false":

Two opposing views can't both be true.  Example:  2+2=3 and 2+2=4.  They can't both be true; therefore, since Christianity is true, all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions are false.

Hatter23 , that is what you asked for, right?
Lets put aside the sarcasm;

That is referred to as circular reasoning.

Try again.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Anfauglir on December 27, 2013, 02:16:22 AM
if I exercise my free will one day and just not show up for work,

How does the making of that choice work please?  What actually happens while you are making it?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Graybeard on December 27, 2013, 07:15:08 AM

There was a time when I thought that I knew there was no god, at least not the God of the Bible.
[...]I studied that for a little while and felt comfortable that Deism was a better explanation for the universe
It seems to me that you had been so severely damaged by the thought of some deity that you found that you were trapped in some cult and returned to it via a less demanding belief system.

Oh, and just in case you're worried, when you say
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Sometimes I stayed out and ran the roads and drank and chased women every chance I got.
That is just a normal part of growing up - nothing to worry about, nothing to be ashamed of. Men have been doing this since women have been around: it is probably just as well that they have, otherwise our species would have died out.

It is, of course, interesting that the religious crime of "lusting after" someone (in a sort of adolescent way) was still in your mind - proof, if proof were needed, that your religious indoctrination had never really left you.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Boots on December 27, 2013, 07:52:55 AM


Okay. Then how do you logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false?

Thanks to PP for reminding me.

Here's how you would " logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false":

Two opposing views can't both be true.  Example:  2+2=3 and 2+2=4.  They can't both be true; therefore, since Christianity is true, all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions are false.

Hatter23 , that is what you asked for, right?

You kind of need to show us the math for your conclusion too.

No, Hatter23 said to "logically state that Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions are false." I think I used logic to do what he requested.  And to think that you were partly responsible.

gfreke,
Hatter asked "Then how do you logically state Christianity as true ...?"  You replied with "...since Christianity is true, all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions are false"

one of two things happened here (assuming that I understood Hatter's meaning--Hatter, please correct me if I'm wrong)
1) You misunderstood what Hatter was asking, so instead of providing a thread of logical reasoning for your belief in Xianity/disbelief in all other religions, you provided an "if A then B" style statement, stating you believed in Xianity--not what he was asking for.
2) you deliberately twisted what he asked, knowing full well that you were dodging, and gave a smarmy response to a legitimate question.

I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the innocence of #1, and I humbly invite you to, as Hatter did when he pointed out your circular reasoning, "try again."
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:52:25 AM

So for five years, I was mostly an atheist until I heard about Deism near the end of the five years. I studied that for a little while and felt comfortable that Deism was a better explanation for the universe than Carl Sagan could offer, but it also provided the answer why there was pain and suffering in my life.  It didn't make me like God any better, just answered some nagging questions about existence.  I was a devout Deist.  God left me alone and I left Him alone.


First of all, you do realize that there is pain and suffering in everyones life. Obviously some end up having more of both than others do, but it is a fairly normal thing.

My question is this: Why do you think there has to be a specific reason for it? Outside of what is natural, or cultural, or individually generated? Why do you think there has to be some central cause (evil) rather than an assortment of causes, some of which can be amplified by cruel or careless humans?

Because everything that is, has a cause. 

Because living is cruel and meaningless if pain, loss, and suffering have no purpose.

Quote

I can't imagine a reason in the world why everything that goes wrong should be considered abnormal and hence proof of an evil force lurking amongst us. In fact, it would take a world where nothing went wrong that would convince me that a higher power exists. One where normal includes bad stuff is just what I would expect. And it is exactly what we have.


At least you can conceive of a world where nothing went wrong. That's a good sign.  There's hope for you yet.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:57:56 AM
if I exercise my free will one day and just not show up for work,

How does the making of that choice work please?  What actually happens while you are making it?

I think about my options.  I have free will to choose at least within the options.

Option 1:  Go to work, work hard, please my boss.  Consequences:  I keep my job, I get a paycheck, I spend it at Wal-mart on groceries and pay rent.

Option 2:  Go to work, slack off, fool my boss.  Consequences:  Could be the same as Option 1 Consequences, but new consequences are introduced.  My boss catches me slacking off, I get a reprimand and passed over for a raise.  Or my boss might fire me, which means I have no money for Wal-mart and rent.

Option 3:  I don't go to work at all and call in sick.  Consequences get more complicated.

Option 4:  I don't go to work at all, stay home, create a new Atheists website, and get rich selling advertising to major corporations who want to be identified as supportive of atheistic thought.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Boots on December 27, 2013, 10:02:39 AM

Because everything that is, has a cause. 

Because living is cruel and meaningless if pain, loss, and suffering have no purpose.


So, because you wantsomething to be true, you believe it *is* true?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:04:15 AM

There was a time when I thought that I knew there was no god, at least not the God of the Bible.
[...]I studied that for a little while and felt comfortable that Deism was a better explanation for the universe
It seems to me that you had been so severely damaged by the thought of some deity that you found that you were trapped in some cult and returned to it via a less demanding belief system.

What I was damaged by was my own unmet expectations from having a false view of the God of the Bible as a result of not becoming familiar with what the Bible said about Him and relying on my own thoughts independent of the Bible to form this deity in my mind. 

Quote
Oh, and just in case you're worried, when you say

I'm not worried.

Quote
Sometimes I stayed out and ran the roads and drank and chased women every chance I got.
Quote
That is just a normal part of growing up - nothing to worry about, nothing to be ashamed of. Men have been doing this since women have been around: it is probably just as well that they have, otherwise our species would have died out.

It is, of course, interesting that the religious crime of "lusting after" someone (in a sort of adolescent way) was still in your mind - proof, if proof were needed, that your religious indoctrination had never really left you.

At the time I was doing it, it wasn't a crime to me.  It was just natural tendencies.  It only because a "crime" or sin to me after I was regenerated.

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:07:20 AM


Okay. Then how do you logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false?

Thanks to PP for reminding me.

Here's how you would " logically state Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions as false":

Two opposing views can't both be true.  Example:  2+2=3 and 2+2=4.  They can't both be true; therefore, since Christianity is true, all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions are false.

Hatter23 , that is what you asked for, right?

You kind of need to show us the math for your conclusion too.

No, Hatter23 said to "logically state that Christianity as true and all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions are false." I think I used logic to do what he requested.  And to think that you were partly responsible.

gfreke,
Hatter asked "Then how do you logically state Christianity as true ...?"  You replied with "...since Christianity is true, all other conflicting cosmologies from other religions are false"

one of two things happened here (assuming that I understood Hatter's meaning--Hatter, please correct me if I'm wrong)
1) You misunderstood what Hatter was asking, so instead of providing a thread of logical reasoning for your belief in Xianity/disbelief in all other religions, you provided an "if A then B" style statement, stating you believed in Xianity--not what he was asking for.
2) you deliberately twisted what he asked, knowing full well that you were dodging, and gave a smarmy response to a legitimate question.

I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the innocence of #1, and I humbly invite you to, as Hatter did when he pointed out your circular reasoning, "try again."

I took Hatter's request literally and provided him what he wanted.   ;)

Can you logically disprove or prove a philosophical concept? If so, you go first and show me how it's done.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:09:32 AM

So, because you wantsomething to be true, you believe it *is* true?

How did you get there?  No, I want it to be true that I am richer than Bill Gates, but wanting it to be true doesn't make it true.  But there are some objective truths in the universe that, just because I don't want them to be true, doesn't make them false.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Boots on December 27, 2013, 10:30:50 AM

So, because you wantsomething to be true, you believe it *is* true?

How did you get there?  No, I want it to be true that I am richer than Bill Gates, but wanting it to be true doesn't make it true.  But there are some objective truths in the universe that, just because I don't want them to be true, doesn't make them false.

I got there by your statement, which I quoted:

"Because living is cruel and meaningless if pain, loss, and suffering have no purpose"

You don't like the thought of pain, loss, and suffering (ie. "life") having no "purpose."  I am suggesting you're creating a purpose because you want/need there to be one.

Quote from: gzusfreke
I took Hatter's request literally and provided him what he wanted. 

acutally, no you didn't, even if you did take his request literally.  You simply said "since Christianity is true..."  you can't assume what you're trying to prove is true, is true.

what Hatter was asking for (again, Hatter, please correct me if I'm wrong) is for your logical explanation of why you believe Xianity, and not any other religion.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 27, 2013, 10:35:10 AM


I took Hatter's request literally and provided him what he wanted.   ;)

Can you logically disprove or prove a philosophical concept? If so, you go first and show me how it's done.

But you are not being asked to prove a philosophical concept. You are being asked to distinguish your cosmology, that has real actual worldly implications, from other cosmologies through logical means. You are not being asked about the redness of red. You are not being asked about the "proof" that a philosophy, such as stoicism, is the only true way to live.

You are being asked to back up your assertations the Christianity is true and other religions are not. To do otherwise is dodging.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 11:02:33 AM

So, because you wantsomething to be true, you believe it *is* true?

How did you get there?  No, I want it to be true that I am richer than Bill Gates, but wanting it to be true doesn't make it true.  But there are some objective truths in the universe that, just because I don't want them to be true, doesn't make them false.

I got there by your statement, which I quoted:

"Because living is cruel and meaningless if pain, loss, and suffering have no purpose"

You don't like the thought of pain, loss, and suffering (ie. "life") having no "purpose."  I am suggesting you're creating a purpose because you want/need there to be one.

Who does like "the thought of pain, loss, and suffering (ie. 'life') having no 'purpose'"?  I suppose there are a few, but the overwhelming majority of mankind has written about these things for hundreds and thousands of years.  So it is more of a universal concern than just an individual concern.

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Quote from: gzusfreke
I took Hatter's request literally and provided him what he wanted. 

acutally, no you didn't, even if you did take his request literally.  You simply said "since Christianity is true..."  you can't assume what you're trying to prove is true, is true.

what Hatter was asking for (again, Hatter, please correct me if I'm wrong) is for your logical explanation of why you believe Xianity, and not any other religion.

How do I give you a logical explanation of a philosophical or spiritual or supernatural concept?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 11:07:38 AM
You are being asked to back up your assertations the Christianity is true and other religions are not. To do otherwise is dodging.

So you are asserting that other religions are not true as if that is fact, but you are wanting me to provide the facts of why that is so?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Graybeard on December 27, 2013, 11:15:39 AM
You are being asked to back up your assertations the Christianity is true and other religions are not. To do otherwise is dodging.

So you are asserting that other religions are not true as if that is fact, but you are wanting me to provide the facts of why that is so?
No. That is not what Hatter is asking, and unfortunately, I think you are aware of that. Hatter's question, basically put (and he will correct me if I am wrong) is what is it about other religions that makes them wrong, but makes yours right? - What differentiates the others?

It would be a favour to the forum if you would answer this question and it would also set aside those charges of "dodging".

Thanks

GB Mod
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Boots on December 27, 2013, 11:19:38 AM

So, because you wantsomething to be true, you believe it *is* true?

How did you get there?  No, I want it to be true that I am richer than Bill Gates, but wanting it to be true doesn't make it true.  But there are some objective truths in the universe that, just because I don't want them to be true, doesn't make them false.

I got there by your statement, which I quoted:

"Because living is cruel and meaningless if pain, loss, and suffering have no purpose"

You don't like the thought of pain, loss, and suffering (ie. "life") having no "purpose."  I am suggesting you're creating a purpose because you want/need there to be one.

Who does like "the thought of pain, loss, and suffering (ie. 'life') having no 'purpose'"?  I suppose there are a few, but the overwhelming majority of mankind has written about these things for hundreds and thousands of years.  So it is more of a universal concern than just an individual concern.

Agreed 100%.  But here's the rub, and the point:  just because someone doesn't like it, doesn't make inventing a god to artificially infuse purpose 'true'

For me, I choose to make my own 'purpose.'  I understand my life will be over when i die, and I have made peace with that knowledge, because I choose to do what I can to make the world a better place for my having lived in it.  that is enough for me.

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Quote from: gzusfreke
I took Hatter's request literally and provided him what he wanted. 

acutally, no you didn't, even if you did take his request literally.  You simply said "since Christianity is true..."  you can't assume what you're trying to prove is true, is true.

what Hatter was asking for (again, Hatter, please correct me if I'm wrong) is for your logical explanation of why you believe Xianity, and not any other religion.

How do I give you a logical explanation of a philosophical or spiritual or supernatural concept?

The question is, why (logically) do YOU espouse the Christian beliefs that you do, as opposed to any other beliefs?  (is this really that difficult to grasp?)

Edit: yeah, what GB said...
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 11:30:49 AM

So for five years, I was mostly an atheist until I heard about Deism near the end of the five years. I studied that for a little while and felt comfortable that Deism was a better explanation for the universe than Carl Sagan could offer, but it also provided the answer why there was pain and suffering in my life.  It didn't make me like God any better, just answered some nagging questions about existence.  I was a devout Deist.  God left me alone and I left Him alone.


First of all, you do realize that there is pain and suffering in everyones life. Obviously some end up having more of both than others do, but it is a fairly normal thing.

My question is this: Why do you think there has to be a specific reason for it? Outside of what is natural, or cultural, or individually generated? Why do you think there has to be some central cause (evil) rather than an assortment of causes, some of which can be amplified by cruel or careless humans?

Because everything that is, has a cause. 

Because living is cruel and meaningless if pain, loss, and suffering have no purpose.

Bad news. There is no higher purpose. There is the purpose of life, inherently, to just keep keepin' on (apparently a biological "imperative", because living things of all sorts are big into reproduction) and there whatever importance that we, as sentient beings, assign to it. Anything more than that is imaginary, and detracts from reality.

The lack of a higher purpose doesn't bother me in the least. You can learn to adjust too.

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I can't imagine a reason in the world why everything that goes wrong should be considered abnormal and hence proof of an evil force lurking amongst us. In fact, it would take a world where nothing went wrong that would convince me that a higher power exists. One where normal includes bad stuff is just what I would expect. And it is exactly what we have.


At least you can conceive of a world where nothing went wrong. That's a good sign.  There's hope for you yet.

I can conceive because I am aware of the concept of opposites. When I stub my toe, I have no trouble envisioning a world where everything was soft and painless. But I am also aware of Mr. and Mrs. Realtiy and their insistence that things be as they are, not as I wish them to be.

I'm don't envision a better world, I imagine it. Because the imagination is the only source of such things. And it is never hard for a human to think about opposites.

This need not be an issue. The first step is to accept that you will die someday and that will be the end of you, in almost every sense. The elements that make up your body will continue on in one form or another, but you will be but a memory. And this is no big deal. Billions of people have experienced their end already, and billions more will do the same thing later on.

Almost every cell in your body has been replaced in the last six or seven years. You are physically a different person than you were in 2006. So you've already died a few times, technically speaking. Your mind assumes a continuum, and you want to carry it out beyond death, but it doesn't work that way.

Replacing life's mysteries with fantasies is no way to live. And a "meaningless" life is far more interesting than having a life  with "meaning" shoved down your throat.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 27, 2013, 11:52:43 AM
You are being asked to back up your assertations the Christianity is true and other religions are not. To do otherwise is dodging.

So you are asserting that other religions are not true as if that is fact, but you are wanting me to provide the facts of why that is so?
No. That is not what Hatter is asking, and unfortunately, I think you are aware of that. Hatter's question, basically put (and he will correct me if I am wrong) is what is it about other religions that makes them wrong, but makes yours right? - What differentiates the others?

It would be a favour to the forum if you would answer this question and it would also set aside those charges of "dodging".

Thanks

GB Mod

Facts are part of the logical process(the agreed upon premise), or you deal with circular reasoning or ignoring the evidence to the contrary. Unsupported assertions are not facts.

However, it is my experience when you ask for a Christian for "facts" you get one of the two things above. Or some sort of vague touchy feely Jello mush that could equally apply to other religions.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Anfauglir on December 27, 2013, 03:33:12 PM
if I exercise my free will one day and just not show up for work,

How does the making of that choice work please?  What actually happens while you are making it?

I think about my options.  I have free will to choose at least within the options.

Option 1.....

No, you misunderstand.  How does that process work?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 04:55:39 PM
You are being asked to back up your assertations the Christianity is true and other religions are not. To do otherwise is dodging.

So you are asserting that other religions are not true as if that is fact, but you are wanting me to provide the facts of why that is so?
No. That is not what Hatter is asking, and unfortunately, I think you are aware of that. Hatter's question, basically put (and he will correct me if I am wrong) is what is it about other religions that makes them wrong, but makes yours right? - What differentiates the others?

It would be a favour to the forum if you would answer this question and it would also set aside those charges of "dodging".

Thanks

GB Mod


you are right and I have been playing the troll and having fun at your expense.  doggone that ole sin nature!

I'll try to be serious about this, because you guys appear to really want an answer, almost as if you really want someone to prove Christianity true.

As I have stated before, I consider this a monumental task and I will attempt making some coherent, rational, thoughtful response, but I am sadly out of my league, so if I draw on the words of others, it is because I believe that they can speak to this more clearly or more concisely than I.

Do you consider atheism a "religion"?  While not an organized religion with a central hub of authority, I believe that it takes "faith" to be an atheist, so can I start with the apology on why Christianity is true and atheism is false?

By the way, you guys have been really good sports while I was toying with you.  No hard feelings?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 04:56:46 PM

No, you misunderstand.  How does that process work?

Must be my meds.  Can you elaborate please, because I sincerely would like to understand and give you a good reply that expresses my worldview on whatever it is that you are asking me.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 27, 2013, 05:31:30 PM


you are right and I have been playing the troll and having fun at your expense.  doggone that ole sin nature!

I'll try to be serious about this, because you guys appear to really want an answer, almost as if you really want someone to prove Christianity true.

Honestly we think you are wrong. Quite wrong. However we, or I at least, hold that factuality trumps previously held notions and desires.  I don't LIKE being proven wrong, however the temporary embarrassment is trivial to actually being wrong.


As I have stated before, I consider this a monumental task and I will attempt making some coherent, rational, thoughtful response, but I am sadly out of my league, so if I draw on the words of others, it is because I believe that they can speak to this more clearly or more concisely than I.

Do you consider atheism a "religion"?  While not an organized religion with a central hub of authority, I believe that it takes "faith" to be an atheist, so can I start with the apology on why Christianity is true and atheism is false?

No, atheism isn't a religion. It could hold the same place for legal purposes(also known as a legal fiction:An assumption that something occurred or someone or something exists which, in fact, is not the case, but that is made in the law to enable a court to equitably resolve a matter before it. The most common example is a Corporation is treated as a person for the purposes of contract law.) Atheism, to me, is a subset of skepticism. In this case skeptical of the assertion there are one or more god(s).

As to this faith to be an atheist thing: that's the portion that is insulting.

I have a belief that while I am asleep and there are no recording devices present that my shoes do not fly around the room. You might even call it I have faith in non-flying shoes.

And if you do, so what? You are really really stretching the definition of belief and faith.  The belief in non-flying shoes is not the equal to the belief shoes fly around the room while I am asleep. Both may be claims, for sure.  However the claim, the claim that violates what we see and can test, is the one that has the burden of proof.

Theist, until I mentioned The flying shoe thing, you had no belief about flying shoes. You were Aflyingshoeists. After the claim about flying shoes you are still an Aflyingshoeist, but now one with a belief that flying shoes are a falsehood.

Atheism is similar. The Atheism we had as a baby is very different than the atheism we have as adults. Adult Atheism is a belief that things operate as they appear without the need for gods If you belief that there is an invisible force making things operate differently, the burden of proof is on you. Many time through the ages of man has this been demonstrated, Gravity being an excellent example. The burden of proof was on the claimant, and they met that burden of proof. Similarly many other such theories have come and gone, and those that have been proven have been added to the sum knowledge of man. Many seem to gain some currency, and when proof was not forthcoming, they were dropped and mostly forgotten, Ether theory for instance.

So while some argue whether Atheism is truly a belief like theism by semantic games, it is just obfuscation.

Yes it is a kind of faith. It is that same kind of faith that I have that my shoes do not fly around my round when I am asleep and no recording devices are present. I'm sure you share that same faith, the faith of NoFlyingShoeswhlesleeping, how's that faith working out for you? Does it require a deep conviction of resolute solemnity, or do you have that faith because the proposition that your shoes fly around when you are asleep is in contradiction to everything observable about reality?


By the way, you guys have been really good sports while I was toying with you.  No hard feelings?

More like "Mild irritation that can be overcome with not doing it again" type feelings.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 05:41:46 PM
I'll try to be serious about this, because you guys appear to really want an answer, almost as if you really want someone to prove Christianity true.

You might be misreading us. If someone can prove christianity is true, that's fine. But what we're more interested in is showing people who believe where they are wrong.

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Do you consider atheism a "religion"?  While not an organized religion with a central hub of authority, I believe that it takes "faith" to be an atheist, so can I start with the apology on why Christianity is true and atheism is false?

Atheism is very simple. A disbelief in gods. It has no churches, no holy books, no holy leaders, no hymns, no pews, no child indoctrination programs, no tithing, no tax-free status. So no, it isn't a religion. It is a stance on a subject, and nothing more. Each atheist forms their world view without the benefit of being told what to think by others. The only thing we really have in common is that we lack the tendency to believe ancient myths. Plus we usually aren't real happy about efforts to run the world according via religious dogma.

People have come here and insisted that we are indeed a religion, which is not surprising. Folks who are not clear on what religion is appear to be far more prone to distort other things than your average bear.

So those who insist on telling us that we're something we're not while at the same time trying to convince us to follow something we think is untrue tend not to impress.

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By the way, you guys have been really good sports while I was toying with you.  No hard feelings?

We do fine when theists are both civil and willing to talk. A heavy reliance on scripture, without including personal interpretations, or other evidence that the theist has actually thought about whatever it is they are saying, tends to bother us. And theists who ignore the hard questions and react only to trite and unimportant quips tend to fall out of favor fast. You'll know if you are going sour on us. If for no other reason than I'm here and I'll mention it.

If you can avoid ignoring questions, you'll do fine. You'll get your chance to convert us, we'll get out chance to convert you, and a good time can be had by all. Just don't expect any miracles. There aren't any to be found on this site.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 06:10:48 PM


you are right and I have been playing the troll and having fun at your expense.  doggone that ole sin nature!

I'll try to be serious about this, because you guys appear to really want an answer, almost as if you really want someone to prove Christianity true.

Honestly we think you are wrong. Quite wrong..

And you have an "open" mind that is made up before I even began to answer your question, so why are we wasting each other's time?

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As I have stated before, I consider this a monumental task and I will attempt making some coherent, rational, thoughtful response, but I am sadly out of my league, so if I draw on the words of others, it is because I believe that they can speak to this more clearly or more concisely than I.

Do you consider atheism a "religion"?  While not an organized religion with a central hub of authority, I believe that it takes "faith" to be an atheist, so can I start with the apology on why Christianity is true and atheism is false?

No, atheism isn't a religion. It could hold the same place for legal purposes(also known as a legal fiction:An assumption that something occurred or someone or something exists which, in fact, is not the case, but that is made in the law to enable a court to equitably resolve a matter before it. The most common example is a Corporation is treated as a person for the purposes of contract law.) Atheism, to me, is a subset of skepticism. In this case skeptical of the assertion there are one or more god(s).

Atheist "church" = atheism is a religion.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/29/sunday-assembly-atheist-church_n_4339870.html


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As to this faith to be an atheist thing: that's the portion that is insulting.

You have faith that there is no God. You have faith that there is no explanation for why what is, is.  You have faith that there is no meaning and purpose to pain, loss, and suffering.  If anyone should be insulted, it should be me being insulted by your intellectual dishonesty.  No meanness to this statement, it just is, without any morally evil (which does not exist) intent.

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I have a belief that while I am asleep and there are no recording devices present that my shoes do not fly around the room. You might even call it I have faith in non-flying shoes.

And if you do, so what? You are really really stretching the definition of belief and faith.  The belief in non-flying shoes is not the equal to the belief shoes fly around the room while I am asleep. Both may be claims, for sure.  However the claim, the claim that violates what we see and can test, is the one that has the burden of proof.

Theist, until I mentioned The flying shoe thing, you had no belief about flying shoes. You were Aflyingshoeists. After the claim about flying shoes you are still an Aflyingshoeist, but now one with a belief that flying shoes are a falsehood.

Those flying shoes with their shoe laces flapping in the wind look an awful lot like the FSM.  Just sayin'.


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Atheism is similar. The Atheism we had as a baby is very different than the atheism we have as adults. Adult Atheism is a belief that things operate as they appear without the need for gods If you belief that there is an invisible force making things operate differently, the burden of proof is on you. Many time through the ages of man has this been demonstrated, Gravity being an excellent example. The burden of proof was on the claimant, and they met that burden of proof. Similarly many other such theories have come and gone, and those that have been proven have been added to the sum knowledge of man. Many seem to gain some currency, and when proof was not forthcoming, they were dropped and mostly forgotten, Ether theory for instance.

Why is it that pretty much until the time of David, King of Israel, the problem never was atheism but worship of false gods?  Then David said something about the fool saying in his heart "There is no god." (Ps. 14:1) and then atheism is introduced to the world, yet is is still not the default position of mankind? And even today, with the so-called "rise in popularity" of New Atheism, atheism is not the default position of mankind, yet theists are the one who have to meet the burden of proof?  Really?  You guys don't even play by your own rules.


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So while some argue whether Atheism is truly a belief like theism by semantic games, it is just obfuscation.

Yes it is a kind of faith. It is that same kind of faith that I have that my shoes do not fly around my round when I am asleep and no recording devices are present. I'm sure you share that same faith, the faith of NoFlyingShoeswhlesleeping, how's that faith working out for you? Does it require a deep conviction of resolute solemnity, or do you have that faith because the proposition that your shoes fly around when you are asleep is in contradiction to everything observable about reality?

Let's see, did PP convince me?  Well, . . . no.  It takes faith that NOTHING + CHANCE + TIME = SOMETHING.  It takes faith that even CHANCE and TIME could exist with NOTHING.


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quote author=gzusfreke link=topic=26076.msg591819#msg591819 date=1388181339]
By the way, you guys have been really good sports while I was toying with you.  No hard feelings?
[/quote]

More like "Mild irritation that can be overcome with not doing it again" type feelings.
[/quote]

No promises.  I will treat you in the same way you treat me, which means if I see an opportunity to get in a dig, I will take it.  You all do the same, why should I be any different?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 06:20:46 PM
I'll try to be serious about this, because you guys appear to really want an answer, almost as if you really want someone to prove Christianity true.

You might be misreading us. If someone can prove christianity is true, that's fine. But what we're more interested in is showing people who believe where they are wrong.

Ok, then prove there is no God of the Bible beyond any shadow of a doubt.

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Do you consider atheism a "religion"?  While not an organized religion with a central hub of authority, I believe that it takes "faith" to be an atheist, so can I start with the apology on why Christianity is true and atheism is false?

Atheism is very simple. A disbelief in gods. It has no churches, no holy books, no holy leaders, no hymns, no pews, no child indoctrination programs, no tithing, no tax-free status. So no, it isn't a religion. It is a stance on a subject, and nothing more. Each atheist forms their world view without the benefit of being told what to think by others. The only thing we really have in common is that we lack the tendency to believe ancient myths. Plus we usually aren't real happy about efforts to run the world according via religious dogma.

People have come here and insisted that we are indeed a religion, which is not surprising. Folks who are not clear on what religion is appear to be far more prone to distort other things than your average bear.

So those who insist on telling us that we're something we're not while at the same time trying to convince us to follow something we think is untrue tend not to impress.

religion: a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, . . . http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion

You have your set of beliefs concerning these, don't you?

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By the way, you guys have been really good sports while I was toying with you.  No hard feelings?

We do fine when theists are both civil and willing to talk. A heavy reliance on scripture, without including personal interpretations, or other evidence that the theist has actually thought about whatever it is they are saying, tends to bother us. And theists who ignore the hard questions and react only to trite and unimportant quips tend to fall out of favor fast. You'll know if you are going sour on us. If for no other reason than I'm here and I'll mention it.

If you can avoid ignoring questions, you'll do fine. You'll get your chance to convert us, we'll get out chance to convert you, and a good time can be had by all. Just don't expect any miracles. There aren't any to be found on this site.

As long as this goes both ways, then I'll try to address questions, but I've had a few questions that have not been answered.  Also, I'm one guy trying to respond to you, Graybeard, OCG, boots, Anfaulgir, and a few more.  I'm going to ignore what seems to be trite, or unimportant, or what I perceive to be trolling. But I will answer even some trolling attempts if it provides an opportunity for me to present my worldview on a topic.  I don't want to convert you.  I just want you to consider if my worldview is possible.  I'll let God worry about converting you.  And if there is no God, then you don't have anything to worry about.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 27, 2013, 06:55:04 PM
I'll try to be serious about this, because you guys appear to really want an answer, almost as if you really want someone to prove Christianity true.

You might be misreading us. If someone can prove christianity is true, that's fine. But what we're more interested in is showing people who believe where they are wrong.

Ok, then prove there is no God of the Bible beyond any shadow of a doubt.

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Do you consider atheism a "religion"?  While not an organized religion with a central hub of authority, I believe that it takes "faith" to be an atheist, so can I start with the apology on why Christianity is true and atheism is false?

Atheism is very simple. A disbelief in gods. It has no churches, no holy books, no holy leaders, no hymns, no pews, no child indoctrination programs, no tithing, no tax-free status. So no, it isn't a religion. It is a stance on a subject, and nothing more. Each atheist forms their world view without the benefit of being told what to think by others. The only thing we really have in common is that we lack the tendency to believe ancient myths. Plus we usually aren't real happy about efforts to run the world according via religious dogma.

People have come here and insisted that we are indeed a religion, which is not surprising. Folks who are not clear on what religion is appear to be far more prone to distort other things than your average bear.

So those who insist on telling us that we're something we're not while at the same time trying to convince us to follow something we think is untrue tend not to impress.

religion: a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, . . . http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion

You have your set of beliefs concerning these, don't you?

Quote
Quote
By the way, you guys have been really good sports while I was toying with you.  No hard feelings?

We do fine when theists are both civil and willing to talk. A heavy reliance on scripture, without including personal interpretations, or other evidence that the theist has actually thought about whatever it is they are saying, tends to bother us. And theists who ignore the hard questions and react only to trite and unimportant quips tend to fall out of favor fast. You'll know if you are going sour on us. If for no other reason than I'm here and I'll mention it.

If you can avoid ignoring questions, you'll do fine. You'll get your chance to convert us, we'll get out chance to convert you, and a good time can be had by all. Just don't expect any miracles. There aren't any to be found on this site.

As long as this goes both ways, then I'll try to address questions, but I've had a few questions that have not been answered.  Also, I'm one guy trying to respond to you, Graybeard, OCG, boots, Anfaulgir, and a few more.  I'm going to ignore what seems to be trite, or unimportant, or what I perceive to be trolling. But I will answer even some trolling attempts if it provides an opportunity for me to present my worldview on a topic.  I don't want to convert you.  I just want you to consider if my worldview is possible.  I'll let God worry about converting you.  And if there is no God, then you don't have anything to worry about.

There is a more complete definition of religion in the link cited.  Granted, you did include "...." indicating there is more.  The "more" is as follows:

re·li·gion 
noun 

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion. 

3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions. 

4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion. 

5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.

For the record, is it correct to conclude you are defining religion as " a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe"?  If not, what definition of religion do you use?

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2013, 06:57:06 PM
You might be misreading us. If someone can prove christianity is true, that's fine. But what we're more interested in is showing people who believe where they are wrong.

Ok, then prove there is no God of the Bible beyond any shadow of a doubt.

That's hard to do. He has been defined so loosely and is defined so without substance that there is no way to do it. But you could help. If you could first disprove Odin or Shiva without a doubt, then we'd have an example to work with. And a better idea about what your standards are.

Quote
Quote
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Do you consider atheism a "religion"?  While not an organized religion with a central hub of authority, I believe that it takes "faith" to be an atheist, so can I start with the apology on why Christianity is true and atheism is false?

Atheism is very simple. A disbelief in gods. … (snip)

religion: a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, . . . http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion

You have your set of beliefs concerning these, don't you?

Nope. The cause? There are theories.  Pretty compelling ones. But my adherence to them doesn't involve much belief, but rather evidence. Mostly. I'm not saying there aren't any beliefs, but mine do not necessary match the beliefs of other atheists, so there is no imagined or dictated coherence.

Nature of the universe? That falls into the same category. I base my understanding of things on research, discoveries and evidence, not a short and inept description of things. Maybe I'm too picky.

And purpose? I don't know of one, so I'm real low on beliefs in that department. We're here, but there doesn't have to be a specific, intentional reason for that to happen. So that doesn't count at all.
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Quote
By the way, you guys have been really good sports while I was toying with you.  No hard feelings?

We do fine when theists are both civil and willing to talk. A heavy reliance on scripture, without including personal interpretations, or other evidence that the theist has actually thought about whatever it is they are saying, tends to bother us. And theists who ignore the hard questions and react only to trite and unimportant quips tend to fall out of favor fast. You'll know if you are going sour on us. If for no other reason than I'm here and I'll mention it.

If you can avoid ignoring questions, you'll do fine. You'll get your chance to convert us, we'll get out chance to convert you, and a good time can be had by all. Just don't expect any miracles. There aren't any to be found on this site.

As long as this goes both ways, then I'll try to address questions, but I've had a few questions that have not been answered.  Also, I'm one guy trying to respond to you, Graybeard, OCG, boots, Anfaulgir, and a few more.  I'm going to ignore what seems to be trite, or unimportant, or what I perceive to be trolling. But I will answer even some trolling attempts if it provides an opportunity for me to present my worldview on a topic.  I don't want to convert you.  I just want you to consider if my worldview is possible.  I'll let God worry about converting you.  And if there is no God, then you don't have anything to worry about.


We do have out "Shelter" area, where you can have discussions with a smaller group. And we have our debate section, where you can challenge one of us to a one-on-one debate, which eliminates the part where you're overwhelmed.

We've all considered at least the generic version of your world view. I can't speak for the others, but I've rejected it outright. I need more than one ancient and irrelevant story told multiple times with multiple versions and multiple interpretations by multiple bodies who all claim to be telling the story right. I'm picky like that.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: xyzzy on December 27, 2013, 07:25:01 PM
As long as this goes both ways, then I'll try to address questions, but I've had a few questions that have not been answered.  Also, I'm one guy trying to respond to you, Graybeard, OCG, boots, Anfaulgir, and a few more.  I'm going to ignore what seems to be trite, or unimportant, or what I perceive to be trolling. But I will answer even some trolling attempts if it provides an opportunity for me to present my worldview on a topic.  I don't want to convert you.  I just want you to consider if my worldview is possible. I'll let God worry about converting you.  And if there is no God, then you don't have anything to worry about.

xyzzy - I have no evidence to convince you of anything.  My purpose here is not to convince anyone as that is an impossible task.  No mere human can convince those who hearts are hardened.  I only wish to provoke you to consider thoughtfully the possibility that the Bible is true and God is real.  Again, I do appeal to those who are more learned, more eloquent, and more studied than I because I know that you have the same access to them that I do.  If they cannot convince you, then I certainly stand no chance in doing so.  And if I convince you with reason and logic and you were to only intellectually assent, then I have still failed.
<snip>

gzuefreke, the second quote is in reference to this post. (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26058.msg591449.html#msg591449) I listed several items that are possible, it's just that they are so improbable to be of no consequence. You acknowledged the post but you didn't actually provide any specific answers other than to assent that evidence backing up what you claim as possible, is lacking.

To rephrase some previous posts, as you most likely know, what actually "happens" right in the atomic and sub-atomic guts of how the real world (universe, actually) operates, is driven by probability not just mere possibility. Similar words, vastly different implications.

So, with reference to my previous posts, do you live your life according to possibilities - something you want us to acknowledge about your world view, or not? If that's so, the consistent thing to do would to be act as if those events above were not just possible, but likely or probable.

Or, are you inconsistent in that you mix and match so that you can ignore all those other possibilities as they are improbable, but use word-play by asking if your god is possible; then you conveniently ignore that you have no demonstrable evidence that it is probable?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Betelnut on December 27, 2013, 07:27:33 PM
Arggggghhh!  It never stops!  A theist shows up and usually will say these two things, over and over and over again.

"Atheism is a religion--you've got to have FAITH to not believe in something."

And...

"Prove to me that God DOESN'T exist."

It never changes!

So GF, no atheism is not a religion.  You see, atheists have no beliefs in supernatural beings.  It is as simple as that. Just as you, I assume, don't believe in a lot of things that don't exist like yetis or djinn or unicorns.  Sure, these things exist in literature, mythology, the movies, etc.  But "out there?"  No.  So add gods to the list for us.  How is that faith?  If someone finds evidence for these beings, including gods, we will examine the evidence.  No "faith" needed.

As many people will point out to you and as you should already know, being an adult (I assume), it is pretty hard to prove a negative and easier to prove a positive.  You are saying there is a god.  Prove it. 
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:20:46 PM

For the record, is it correct to conclude you are defining religion as " a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe"?  If not, what definition of religion do you use?


I only copied that definition, I didn't author it, thus the link to give credit to where credit is due.

My thoughts on religion:

-Religion is man's attempt to either reach God, or to be God.
-Religion is the set of beliefs that someone holds that rule his thoughts, motivations, and actions towards others.
-While "Christianity" as most people see it could be classified as a "religion," following Jesus as His disciple is just a new way of walking through life.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:24:44 PM
You might be misreading us. If someone can prove christianity is true, that's fine. But what we're more interested in is showing people who believe where they are wrong.

Ok, then prove there is no God of the Bible beyond any shadow of a doubt.

That's hard to do. He has been defined so loosely and is defined so without substance that there is no way to do it. But you could help. If you could first disprove Odin or Shiva without a doubt, then we'd have an example to work with. And a better idea about what your standards are.

Oh, don't trouble yourself with my standards; after all, you haven't so far.  Just give it your best shot, ok?


Quote
We've all considered at least the generic version of your world view. I can't speak for the others, but I've rejected it outright. I need more than one ancient and irrelevant story told multiple times with multiple versions and multiple interpretations by multiple bodies who all claim to be telling the story right. I'm picky like that.

So what drives you to continue to haunt these hallowed halls and live in a continuous circle of posts?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:27:46 PM
As long as this goes both ways, then I'll try to address questions, but I've had a few questions that have not been answered.  Also, I'm one guy trying to respond to you, Graybeard, OCG, boots, Anfaulgir, and a few more.  I'm going to ignore what seems to be trite, or unimportant, or what I perceive to be trolling. But I will answer even some trolling attempts if it provides an opportunity for me to present my worldview on a topic.  I don't want to convert you.  I just want you to consider if my worldview is possible. I'll let God worry about converting you.  And if there is no God, then you don't have anything to worry about.

xyzzy - I have no evidence to convince you of anything.  My purpose here is not to convince anyone as that is an impossible task.  No mere human can convince those who hearts are hardened.  I only wish to provoke you to consider thoughtfully the possibility that the Bible is true and God is real.  Again, I do appeal to those who are more learned, more eloquent, and more studied than I because I know that you have the same access to them that I do.  If they cannot convince you, then I certainly stand no chance in doing so.  And if I convince you with reason and logic and you were to only intellectually assent, then I have still failed.
<snip>

gzuefreke, the second quote is in reference to this post. (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26058.msg591449.html#msg591449) I listed several items that are possible, it's just that they are so improbable to be of no consequence. You acknowledged the post but you didn't actually provide any specific answers other than to assent that evidence backing up what you claim as possible, is lacking.

To rephrase some previous posts, as you most likely know, what actually "happens" right in the atomic and sub-atomic guts of how the real world (universe, actually) operates, is driven by probability not just mere possibility. Similar words, vastly different implications.

So, with reference to my previous posts, do you live your life according to possibilities - something you want us to acknowledge about your world view, or not? If that's so, the consistent thing to do would to be act as if those events above were not just possible, but likely or probable.

Or, are you inconsistent in that you mix and match so that you can ignore all those other possibilities as they are improbable, but use word-play by asking if your god is possible; then you conveniently ignore that you have no demonstrable evidence that it is probable?

How do you assign probability and improbability? While it is likely that I would not agree with your system, would there be a consensus  among your peers? 

You do not see that even you are talking in abstacts?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 27, 2013, 09:29:37 PM


Honestly we think you are wrong. Quite wrong..

And you have an "open" mind that is made up before I even began to answer your question, so why are we wasting each other's time?


I don't you could possibly been more dishonest in your snipping. You are a complete asshole.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:29:51 PM
You are saying there is a god.  Prove it.

Theists were here first, so the burden of proof is on you late-comers.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 09:33:26 PM


Honestly we think you are wrong. Quite wrong..

And you have an "open" mind that is made up before I even began to answer your question, so why are we wasting each other's time?


I don't you could possibly been more dishonest in your snipping. You are a complete asshole.
'
You are the one who has his mind made up yet claims to be open minded.  So you are a liar.  And you can't think of anything rational or reasonable to say, so you go to the most immature of all dirty debate techniques - the ad hominem.

I know you have some intelligence as evidenced by the fact you can access the internet, but so far nothing I have seen from you indicates any maturity.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 27, 2013, 09:56:23 PM


Honestly we think you are wrong. Quite wrong..

And you have an "open" mind that is made up before I even began to answer your question, so why are we wasting each other's time?


I don't you could possibly been more dishonest in your snipping. You are a complete asshole.
'
You are the one who has his mind made up yet claims to be open minded.  So you are a liar.  And you can't think of anything rational or reasonable to say, so you go to the most immature of all dirty debate techniques - the ad hominem.

I know you have some intelligence as evidenced by the fact you can access the internet, but so far nothing I have seen from you indicates any maturity.

No I called you an asshole because you deliberately removed part of my post "snipping" not "sniping" to utterly miscast what I was saying. If you want it logical terms you were "straw manning" and "ignoring the counterevidence"

When I said "I think you are wrong" I didn't say "Nothing can convince me you are right" so once again you are straw manning me and then calling me a liar...

FOR THE FUCKING THINGS YOU PUT IN MY MOUTH.

That furthers my point you are a liar and an asshole.



Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:01:56 PM


Honestly we think you are wrong. Quite wrong..

And you have an "open" mind that is made up before I even began to answer your question, so why are we wasting each other's time?


I don't you could possibly been more dishonest in your snipping. You are a complete asshole.
'
You are the one who has his mind made up yet claims to be open minded.  So you are a liar.  And you can't think of anything rational or reasonable to say, so you go to the most immature of all dirty debate techniques - the ad hominem.

I know you have some intelligence as evidenced by the fact you can access the internet, but so far nothing I have seen from you indicates any maturity.

No I called you an asshole because you deliberately removed part of my post "snipping" not "sniping" to utterly miscast what I was saying. If you want it logical terms you were "straw manning" and "ignoring the counterevidence"

When I said "I think you are wrong" I didn't say "Nothing can convince me you are right" so once again you are straw manning me and then calling me a liar...

FOR THE FUCKING THINGS YOU PUT IN MY MOUTH.

That furthers my point you are a liar and an asshole.

Sewermouth, I only quoted the part about you already having a presupposition that I am wrong because the whole point is - you never heard my response yet you passed judgment on it before you heard it.

Thou truly dost judge me in error.  And it is good thing I am sanctified and forgiven, other wise I could have a lot of fun with your statement: " FOR THE FUCKING THINGS YOU PUT IN MY MOUTH."

But instead I'll just inform the moderator that you are making remarks that are not child-friendly.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Betelnut on December 27, 2013, 10:20:49 PM
You are saying there is a god.  Prove it.

Theists were here first, so the burden of proof is on you late-comers.

Define "here"--I'm not sure what you mean.  You mean, "here" as in on Earth? Or the forum? 

Yes, I would admit, the first people to become self-aware were probably so awed by their self-awareness and puniness compared to the vast sky, they probably did, quite quickly, invent a way to explain their environment, their place in that environment and the randomness they found within it.  So?  They did the best they could with the limited knowledge they had.  I don't blame them a bit for creating sky and earth gods and goddesses to help them face and understand their world.

I believe we have a bit more knowledge to go on than the hunter-gathers in Africa and EurAsia and Europe who were our ancestors.

I don't think YOU understand though what I mean when I say that it is difficult to prove a negative.  A person can claim anything he/she likes but, with that claim comes the necessity of proving it.  I don't have a claim.  You do.  You claim an existence, a "thing."  You claim there is a non-corporeal being out there that actually cares about what goes on here on Earth.  A non-corporeal being that is also all-knowing, etc.  I can't prove there isn't, just like you can't prove there aren't invisible pixies living in my basement. 

But you should be able to prove there is or, basically, the whole thing is a wash.  I have my invisible pixies and you have your all-knowing God and we'll just shake hands and agree to disagree.  No problem.  If all theists would just say, "Well, I think so.  Good day Madam," that would be great.  Or if all theists would just say, "I have faith but no proof," that would be also acceptable since it is essentially the truth.  But so many theists try to prove something that has shown itself to be impossible to prove.  Stop trying it and just believe.  We atheists can't argue against someone who simply says, "I don't need proof, I don't have it and I actually realize that I can't prove it.  But I still believe."  Eh, okay.

Karen Armstrong, in her great book, The History of God, says that historically atheism started to increase once theists started trying to reason about their belief.  Once people actually tried to "prove" it, the cracks started showing.  Theists are better off without reason and do better with mysticism and blind faith.  Oh, that and the rise of science, of course.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on December 27, 2013, 10:27:44 PM
Gzusfreke, where are you saying that this god is?  Once you state where it's supposed to be, then we can try to disprove it.  Until then, you've not placed the idea within reality.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 27, 2013, 10:38:15 PM
Gzusfreke, where are you saying that this god is?  Once you state where it's supposed to be, then we can try to disprove it.  Until then, you've not placed the idea within reality.

In the supernatural realm, yet within each believer simultaneously.  Jesus, in human body, is at the anthropomorphic "right hand of the Father," yet the Spirit of Christ dwells within us (believers).

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on December 27, 2013, 10:57:32 PM
Where is this supernatural realm?  How does it interact with the natural realm?  If one is to find this god, or not find it, then its context must be stated.  For example, "the baseball exists in my bedroom".

To state "God exists" on its own is meaningless.  So, without hand-waving, point it out already.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 27, 2013, 11:29:21 PM

No, you misunderstand.  How does that process work?

Must be my meds.  Can you elaborate please, because I sincerely would like to understand and give you a good reply that expresses my worldview on whatever it is that you are asking me.


So you do take meds for some mental disorder?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: MadBunny on December 27, 2013, 11:46:25 PM
Gzusfreke, where are you saying that this god is?  Once you state where it's supposed to be, then we can try to disprove it.  Until then, you've not placed the idea within reality.

In the supernatural realm, yet within each believer simultaneously.  Jesus, in human body, is at the anthropomorphic "right hand of the Father," yet the Spirit of Christ dwells within us (believers).

Can you differentiate between what you mean by 'natural' and 'supernatural' realm?
Currently they differ in that one is fictional and the other is not.

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 28, 2013, 12:15:03 AM

For the record, is it correct to conclude you are defining religion as " a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe"?  If not, what definition of religion do you use?


I only copied that definition, I didn't author it, thus the link to give credit to where credit is due.

My thoughts on religion:

-Religion is man's attempt to either reach God, or to be God.
-Religion is the set of beliefs that someone holds that rule his thoughts, motivations, and actions towards others.
-While "Christianity" as most people see it could be classified as a "religion," following Jesus as His disciple is just a new way of walking through life.

If I am understanding you correctly, the definition of religion that you didn't author (a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe) applies to atheists. 

For Non-Christian theists the following definitions of religion apply:

-Religion is man's attempt to either reach God, or to be God.
-Religion is the set of beliefs that someone holds that rule his thoughts, motivations, and actions towards others.

For Christian Theists the following definition of religion applies:
-While "Christianity" as most people see it could be classified as a "religion," following Jesus as His disciple is just a new way of walking through life.

Correct?  If the above understanding of definitions of religion applied to atheists, non-Christian theists and Christian theists is incorrect, what is the correct understanding? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Anfauglir on December 28, 2013, 03:20:03 AM
A report has been filed, so I am investigating.

Hatter, please moderate your language.

Gzusfreke, if you look at Hatter's response to you, you will see he says that while he believes you to be wrong, he will alter his beliefs if he is shown to be wrong.  You selectively took part of his response which effectively 180d what he was actually saying.  I would like to hear your comments on this please.


As written
I'll try to be serious about this, because you guys appear to really want an answer, almost as if you really want someone to prove Christianity true.

Honestly we think you are wrong. Quite wrong. However we, or I at least, hold that factuality trumps previously held notions and desires.  I don't LIKE being proven wrong, however the temporary embarrassment is trivial to actually being wrong.


As quoted
Honestly we think you are wrong. Quite wrong..

And you have an "open" mind that is made up before I even began to answer your question, so why are we wasting each other's time?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 28, 2013, 06:18:03 AM
You are saying there is a god.  Prove it.

Theists were here first, so the burden of proof is on you late-comers.

Appeal to antiquity, your argument is invalid.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Graybeard on December 28, 2013, 07:01:22 AM
I apologise for quoting at length:
You are being asked to back up your assertations the Christianity is true and other religions are not. To do otherwise is dodging.

So you are asserting that other religions are not true as if that is fact, but you are wanting me to provide the facts of why that is so?
No. That is not what Hatter is asking, and unfortunately, I think you are aware of that. Hatter's question, basically put (and he will correct me if I am wrong) is what is it about other religions that makes them wrong, but makes yours right? - What differentiates the others?

It would be a favour to the forum if you would answer this question and it would also set aside those charges of "dodging".

Thanks

GB Mod


you are right and I have been playing the troll and having fun at your expense.  doggone that ole sin nature!

I'll try to be serious about this, because you guys appear to really want an answer, almost as if you really want someone to prove Christianity true.

As I have stated before, I consider this a monumental task and I will attempt making some coherent, rational, thoughtful response, but I am sadly out of my league, so if I draw on the words of others, it is because I believe that they can speak to this more clearly or more concisely than I.

Do you consider atheism a "religion"?  While not an organized religion with a central hub of authority, I believe that it takes "faith" to be an atheist, so can I start with the apology on why Christianity is true and atheism is false?

By the way, you guys have been really good sports while I was toying with you.  No hard feelings?

You have now dodged again. You have answered Hatter's supplementary question without addressing his first, other than by saying the question is not easily answered.

You have used the tactic of diversion. This has not gone unnoticed.

You have also rephrased the question, and have attempted to make Hatter appear unreasonable:

Quote
I'll try to be serious about this, because you guys appear to really want an answer, almost as if you really want someone to prove Christianity true.

You are ingenuously faking surprise. You know this is a misrepresentation of the question. I am not here to play your game.

This is his first question. Please answer it.


No. That is not what Hatter is asking, and unfortunately, I think you are aware of that. Hatter's question, basically put (and he will correct me if I am wrong) is "what is it about other religions that makes them wrong, but makes yours right?" - What differentiates the others?

Thanks

GB Mod

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: naemhni on December 28, 2013, 11:18:58 AM
Theists were here first, so the burden of proof is on you late-comers.

The burden of proof is not born by whoever made a claim first.  The burden of proof is born by whichever party is making a claim that extends ontology.  The theist is the one making such a claim; therefore, the theist bears the burden of proof.  Atheists do not make a claim that extends ontology.  (Actually, most atheists don't make a claim at all, but that's a separate discussion.)
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: shnozzola on December 28, 2013, 11:34:39 AM
Theists were here first, so the burden of proof is on you late-comers.

Many people were satisfied that rats spontaneously generated from dirt and old rags in a dark corner.  We are the type that look for the truth - please don't hurt us, OK?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Aaron123 on December 28, 2013, 12:03:53 PM
You are saying there is a god.  Prove it.

Theists were here first, so the burden of proof is on you late-comers.

This is little more than a roundabout way of admitting that there is no evidence for the existence of god.

Otherwise, you'd just provide said evidence.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Graybeard on December 28, 2013, 03:30:54 PM
So what drives you to continue to haunt these hallowed halls and live in a continuous circle of posts?
Now there's a good question that isn't on-topic at all.

Christians come in 4 flavours

(i) uneducated, unthinking
(ii) Well-meaning, fluffy bunny, "God loves everyone"
(iii) Those who have taken an interest beyond the average but look for proof to confirm their preconceptions.
(iv) Those who simply accept their belief as part of their life and get on with it without bothering others.

All Christians differ

(i) In the way they perceive God and/or the Trinity.
(ii) The way they explain what to others is the inexplicable
(iii) In what parts of their Book they have read.
(iv) The knowledge they have of pre-Christian society, the political and socio-economic circumstances of the OT, Post-crucifixion history, the absence (as there always will be) of Q.

All Christians have in common the false ideas that
(i) There is free-will
(ii) Sacrificing your son can do something
(iii) Morality stems from Yahweh, The Lord of Hosts.
(iv) Heaven exists

No Christian can explain
(i) Why God will not heal amputees
(ii) The immortality of gods
(iii) The source of the energy of gods
(iv) Why Christianity is more believable than any other religion.

No Christian will accept that
(i) their religion is a state of mind: no more, no less.
(ii) No god is real. (others may not be, but theirs is.)
(iii) God has retreated because knowledge has grown: the god of the gaps. That which is attributed to gods is only that which we do not know. It is a badge of honour amongst some Christians to "not know" various established facts and thus prevent the ingress of destructive wisdom into the sanctum of ignorance that supports all religions.

gzusfreke,

We chose our name on this forum to say something about ourselves: I see where you are coming from: Unapologetic conviction based upon accepting the impossible without question. A denial of reality. A rejection of that which is shown. To do otherwise would lessen your god.

You are but one of many who have come to throw themselves upon the hard rocks of reality. There will be many more, drawn here to have their belief challenged.

When you eventually leave, I hope you take with you a few of the things we have given you.

That is why we are here. We sow the seeds of critical thinking. Have your beliefs and live your life. But do not even attempt to convince others that your way is uniquely correct. Some time you are going to have to say, "Well, that's the way I see it but there is no evidence for it; it is my mind, which is my only window on reality."

I hope this answers your query and that we may now continue with what is a very interesting question.

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 28, 2013, 05:32:31 PM
So what drives you to continue to haunt these hallowed halls and live in a continuous circle of posts?
Now there's a good question that isn't on-topic at all.

Christians come in 4 flavours

(i) uneducated, unthinking
(ii) Well-meaning, fluffy bunny, "God loves everyone"
(iii) Those who have taken an interest beyond the average but look for proof to confirm their preconceptions.
(iv) Those who simply accept their belief as part of their life and get on with it without bothering others.

All Christians differ

(i) In the way they perceive God and/or the Trinity.
(ii) The way they explain what to others is the inexplicable
(iii) In what parts of their Book they have read.
(iv) The knowledge they have of pre-Christian society, the political and socio-economic circumstances of the OT, Post-crucifixion history, the absence (as there always will be) of Q.

All Christians have in common the false ideas that
(i) There is free-will
(ii) Sacrificing your son can do something
(iii) Morality stems from Yahweh, The Lord of Hosts.
(iv) Heaven exists

No Christian can explain
(i) Why God will not heal amputees
(ii) The immortality of gods
(iii) The source of the energy of gods
(iv) Why Christianity is more believable than any other religion.

No Christian will accept that
(i) their religion is a state of mind: no more, no less.
(ii) No god is real. (others may not be, but theirs is.)
(iii) God has retreated because knowledge has grown: the god of the gaps. That which is attributed to gods is only that which we do not know. It is a badge of honour amongst some Christians to "not know" various established facts and thus prevent the ingress of destructive wisdom into the sanctum of ignorance that supports all religions.

gzusfreke,

We chose our name on this forum to say something about ourselves: I see where you are coming from: Unapologetic conviction based upon accepting the impossible without question. A denial of reality. A rejection of that which is shown. To do otherwise would lessen your god.

You are but one of many who have come to throw themselves upon the hard rocks of reality. There will be many more, drawn here to have their belief challenged.

When you eventually leave, I hope you take with you a few of the things we have given you.

That is why we are here. We sow the seeds of critical thinking. Have your beliefs and live your life. But do not even attempt to convince others that your way is uniquely correct. Some time you are going to have to say, "Well, that's the way I see it but there is no evidence for it; it is my mind, which is my only window on reality."

I hope this answers your query and that we may now continue with what is a very interesting question.

Very interesting analysis.

I like to see myself as the 4th flavor;

Totally agree on areas where Christians differ;

Regarding the false ideas:

When talking about free-will, are you meaning free-will as it applies to Christian theism or free-will in general?
I am still wrestling with item ii;
I agree with item iii
I do believe heaven exists but am unable to prove it.

Regarding what Christians cannot explain:
I agree with the first three;
On the 4th, I am at a point where I don't see Christianity as being any more or less believable than any other religion.

I think you are correct about what Christians will not accept. 

Having made such a confession, I want to go on record to say again how much I truly appreciate this website and the people who participate.  By your questions and observations you have helped me refine what I believe and why. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 28, 2013, 06:38:37 PM
Where is this supernatural realm?  How does it interact with the natural realm?  If one is to find this god, or not find it, then its context must be stated.  For example, "the baseball exists in my bedroom".

To state "God exists" on its own is meaningless.  So, without hand-waving, point it out already.

Using your logic, if we can't give an exact longitude and latitude of a location, or an object at that location, they don't exist.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 28, 2013, 06:40:05 PM

No, you misunderstand.  How does that process work?

Must be my meds.  Can you elaborate please, because I sincerely would like to understand and give you a good reply that expresses my worldview on whatever it is that you are asking me.


So you do take meds for some mental disorder?

sinus infection, but I bet you and some of your forum buddies could recommend from experience some really good drugs if I ever do get some mental disorder.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 28, 2013, 06:48:29 PM

For the record, is it correct to conclude you are defining religion as " a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe"?  If not, what definition of religion do you use?


I only copied that definition, I didn't author it, thus the link to give credit to where credit is due.

My thoughts on religion:

-Religion is man's attempt to either reach God, or to be God.
-Religion is the set of beliefs that someone holds that rule his thoughts, motivations, and actions towards others.
-While "Christianity" as most people see it could be classified as a "religion," following Jesus as His disciple is just a new way of walking through life.

If I am understanding you correctly, the definition of religion that you didn't author (a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe) applies to atheists.

Correct.


Quote
For Non-Christian theists the following definitions of religion apply:

-Religion is man's attempt to either reach God, or to be God.
-Religion is the set of beliefs that someone holds that rule his thoughts, motivations, and actions towards others.

This would encompass all atheists and all theists, including most of what is perceived to be Christianity.

Quote
For Christian Theists the following definition of religion applies:
-While "Christianity" as most people see it could be classified as a "religion," following Jesus as His disciple is just a new way of walking through life.

Following Jesus with heart, soul, mind, and strength is more than a set of beliefs.  It is a way of life that is ruled by the love, mercy, and grace of God, not a list of do's and don'ts.


Quote
Correct?  If the above understanding of definitions of religion applied to atheists, non-Christian theists and Christian theists is incorrect, what is the correct understanding? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

These are my thoughts.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 28, 2013, 06:51:33 PM
A report has been filed, so I am investigating.

Hatter, please moderate your language.

Gzusfreke, if you look at Hatter's response to you, you will see he says that while he believes you to be wrong, he will alter his beliefs if he is shown to be wrong.  You selectively took part of his response which effectively 180d what he was actually saying.  I would like to hear your comments on this please.


As written
I'll try to be serious about this, because you guys appear to really want an answer, almost as if you really want someone to prove Christianity true.

Honestly we think you are wrong. Quite wrong. However we, or I at least, hold that factuality trumps previously held notions and desires.  I don't LIKE being proven wrong, however the temporary embarrassment is trivial to actually being wrong.


As quoted
Honestly we think you are wrong. Quite wrong..

And you have an "open" mind that is made up before I even began to answer your question, so why are we wasting each other's time?

My perception of what Hatter said is that his mind is already made up - no matter what I say, before I even say it, he has already passed judgment on it and it is wrong.  That's different from saying "We would like to hear you out on this topic and then we'll decide if we think you are wrong or not."
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 28, 2013, 07:07:26 PM


No. That is not what Hatter is asking, and unfortunately, I think you are aware of that. Hatter's question, basically put (and he will correct me if I am wrong) is "what is it about other religions that makes them wrong, but makes yours right?" - What differentiates the others?

Thanks

GB Mod


The Twitter response is:

Christianity is true and all other religions are false because only Christianity provides:

1)  a reasonable answer to how the universe and us got here.  I know you all are familiar with the cosmological argument, so for time and space's sake I won't repeat.
2)  a reasonable answer to the problem of pain and suffering.  Again, you all are familiar with that argument as well, so no need to repeat it.
3)  a way of salvation that does not rely on one's own effort to obtain it, thus one can not only receive the salvation but have assurance of it because it is not based on their own works.  if you all are as smart as you claim to be, then you know what Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and others offer in the way of salvation and assurance of it, if anything.
4)  a God Who is the First Cause in the salvation process.  God chooses to give salvation to someone and they are saved.  This is related to 3 above. It is not someone seeking God and finding Him, it is God choosing to make the lost one found.


In addition, there is the personal experience that I and many others have had.


Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 28, 2013, 07:09:29 PM
Theists were here first, so the burden of proof is on you late-comers.

The burden of proof is not born by whoever made a claim first.  The burden of proof is born by whichever party is making a claim that extends ontology.  The theist is the one making such a claim; therefore, the theist bears the burden of proof.  Atheists do not make a claim that extends ontology.  (Actually, most atheists don't make a claim at all, but that's a separate discussion.)

Theism was the default mode.  Atheism busted up in here to challenge the status quo.  I say the burden of proof falls on the challenger.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 28, 2013, 07:13:51 PM
The Twitter response is:

Christianity is true and all other religions are false because only Christianity provides:

1)  a reasonable answer to how the universe and us got here.  I know you all are familiar with the cosmological argument, so for time and space's sake I won't repeat.
2)  a reasonable answer to the problem of pain and suffering.  Again, you all are familiar with that argument as well, so no need to repeat it.
3)  a way of salvation that does not rely on one's own effort to obtain it, thus one can not only receive the salvation but have assurance of it because it is not based on their own works.  if you all are as smart as you claim to be, then you know what Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and others offer in the way of salvation and assurance of it, if anything.
4)  a God Who is the First Cause in the salvation process.  God chooses to give salvation to someone and they are saved.  This is related to 3 above. It is not someone seeking God and finding Him, it is God choosing to make the lost one found.


In addition, there is the personal experience that I and many others have had.

I agree that your god gives these answers. He must be an idiot to be wrong every time.

Now, I know the bible says your god knows everything and is supposed to be powerful, but does the bible actually say that your god is intelligent?

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 28, 2013, 07:18:36 PM
GF  why did this gods  plan include killing everyone  BEFORE offering salvation?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Aaron123 on December 28, 2013, 07:46:53 PM
Theism was the default mode.  Atheism busted up in here to challenge the status quo.  I say the burden of proof falls on the challenger.

Burden of proof is not dependent on when a claim is made.

It's dependent on whom is making a claim.  The timing has nothing to do with it.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 28, 2013, 07:56:55 PM


Theism was the default mode.  Atheism busted up in here to challenge the status quo.  I say the burden of proof falls on the challenger.

So disprove the assertion the Flying Spaghetti Monster made the universe last Tuesday and the assertion shoes fly around the room while you are asleep and no recording devices are present and Canada secretly landed a man on the moon in the 50s.

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Antidote on December 28, 2013, 07:58:29 PM
And prove to me Pokemon don't really exist. They just have to, I mean Gamefreak wouldn't lie right?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: naemhni on December 28, 2013, 08:05:35 PM
I say the burden of proof falls on the challenger.

And you're wrong.  Burden of proof falls on the one making a positive claim, regardless of whether he said it before or after the person not making a positive claim.  That's simply all there is to it; if you don't accept or understand this, then you need to educated on the matter.

It's somewhat similar to criminal trials in the United States.  In such trials, the burden of proof relies entirely on the prosecution, the side that is making the criminal claim against the defendant.  The defense bears no burden of proof at all.  And it doesn't matter when the prosecution made its accusation.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on December 28, 2013, 08:29:02 PM
Where is this supernatural realm?  How does it interact with the natural realm?  If one is to find this god, or not find it, then its context must be stated.  For example, "the baseball exists in my bedroom".

To state "God exists" on its own is meaningless.  So, without hand-waving, point it out already.

Using your logic, if we can't give an exact longitude and latitude of a location, or an object at that location, they don't exist.

No.  Using my logic, if we can't give any boundary conditions, they might as well not exist.

You no doubt know this and are simply lying.  That is Christian behaviour.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 28, 2013, 08:35:51 PM
I say the burden of proof falls on the challenger.

And you're wrong.  Burden of proof falls on the one making a positive claim, regardless of whether he said it before or after the person not making a positive claim.  That's simply all there is to it; if you don't accept or understand this, then you need to educated on the matter.

It's somewhat similar to criminal trials in the United States.  In such trials, the burden of proof relies entirely on the prosecution, the side that is making the criminal claim against the defendant.  The defense bears no burden of proof at all.  And it doesn't matter when the prosecution made its accusation.

Theism is the defense position, atheism is the prosecution making the accusation against theism.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 28, 2013, 08:40:38 PM
Where is this supernatural realm?  How does it interact with the natural realm?  If one is to find this god, or not find it, then its context must be stated.  For example, "the baseball exists in my bedroom".

To state "God exists" on its own is meaningless.  So, without hand-waving, point it out already.

Using your logic, if we can't give an exact longitude and latitude of a location, or an object at that location, they don't exist.

No.  Using my logic, if we can't give any boundary conditions, they might as well not exist.

You no doubt know this and are simply lying.  That is Christian behaviour.

I know that I exist in the natural realm.  What can be seen, held, touched.  The natural realm is the universe. 

The supernatural realm is other than the natural realm.  If I knew where it existed, then I would gladly share that information with you.  Because I don't know where it exists does not mean that it doesn't exist.

Lying is not peculiar just to Christians.  It is a human fault shared by all.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on December 28, 2013, 08:44:52 PM
Theism is the defense position, atheism is the prosecution making the accusation against theism.

Regardless of whether or not this is true --- you do admit, then, that you were 100% wrong regarding the burden of proof being related to who made their claim first?

It's important to be honest about these sorts of things.

I know that I exist in the natural realm.  What can be seen, held, touched.  The natural realm is the universe. 

There is plenty of stuff in the natural universe that cannot be so readily experienced first-hand.

The supernatural realm is other than the natural realm.  If I knew where it existed, then I would gladly share that information with you.  Because I don't know where it exists does not mean that it doesn't exist.

It does mean that it might as well not exist.  And it means that making claims about what's in it is profoundly dishonest.

Lying is not peculiar just to Christians.  It is a human fault shared by all.

It is a fault shared by all, except within Christianity as you've practiced it here on the forum.  There, it's not a fault, but a virtue.  Honesty is a deadly sin, for it leads away from faith.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: naemhni on December 28, 2013, 08:48:15 PM
Quote
Quote
Burden of proof falls on the one making a positive claim, regardless of whether he said it before or after the person not making a positive claim.  That's simply all there is to it; if you don't accept or understand this, then you need to educated on the matter.

It's somewhat similar to criminal trials in the United States.  In such trials, the burden of proof relies entirely on the prosecution, the side that is making the criminal claim against the defendant.  The defense bears no burden of proof at all.  And it doesn't matter when the prosecution made its accusation.

Theism is the defense position, atheism is the prosecution making the accusation against theism.

No, you have that backwards.  Theism is the positive claim because, as I said, it is a claim that extends ontology. Atheism is just the null hypothesis.  It is neither claim nor accusation, it's simply the default position.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 28, 2013, 08:59:12 PM
Theism is the defense position, atheism is the prosecution making the accusation against theism.

Regardless of whether or not this is true --- you do admit, then, that you were 100% wrong regarding the burden of proof being related to who made their claim first?

It's important to be honest about these sorts of things.

You wouldn't know honest if it came up and kicked you in the groin.  Do you admit that you twist people's words to make them into what you want them to say? 

Quote
I know that I exist in the natural realm.  What can be seen, held, touched.  The natural realm is the universe. 

There is plenty of stuff in the natural universe that cannot be so readily experienced first-hand.

And if that is true in our universe, then why is it a stretch that there is plenty of stuff in the supernatural universe "that cannot be so readily experienced first-hand."

Quote
The supernatural realm is other than the natural realm.  If I knew where it existed, then I would gladly share that information with you.  Because I don't know where it exists does not mean that it doesn't exist.

It does mean that it might as well not exist.

Like the back side of the moon does not exist, because I've never seen that either, so based on your logic, there might as well not be a back side of the moon.  Or the inside of the sun.  I've never seen that either, so it must not exist either, right?


 
Quote
]And it means that making claims about what's in it is profoundly dishonest.

So making claims about the moon having a backside and the sun having an inside is profoundly dishonest?

I've never seen Russia first-hand.  Would I be dishonest to make claims like "it is cold this time of year in Russia" or "people in Russia speak Russian"?  If I follow your logic, then it would be so.  I couldn't read something about it and then tell you about it, because that would be dishonest?

Quote
Lying is not peculiar just to Christians.  It is a human fault shared by all.

It is a fault shared by all, except within Christianity as you've practiced it here on the forum.  There, it's not a fault, but a virtue.  Honesty is a deadly sin, for it leads away from faith.

It is a fault shared by all - period. 
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on December 28, 2013, 09:08:16 PM
Theism is the defense position, atheism is the prosecution making the accusation against theism.

Regardless of whether or not this is true --- you do admit, then, that you were 100% wrong regarding the burden of proof being related to who made their claim first?

It's important to be honest about these sorts of things.

You wouldn't know honest if it came up and kicked you in the groin.  Do you admit that you twist people's words to make them into what you want them to say? 

So you don't admit that you were wrong about this?  It's a yes or no question, about which you can either decide to be honest, or not.  Slinging insults at me won't change what happened.

And if that is true in our universe, then why is it a stretch that there is plenty of stuff in the supernatural universe "that cannot be so readily experienced first-hand."

In the what universe?  You've not established that such a realm exists in the first place.  It is, in itself, a stretch.

Also, the things I was alluding to in our natural universe can be detected.  Just not always first-hand by the unaided senses.

Like the back side of the moon does not exist, because I've never seen that either, so based on your logic, there might as well not be a back side of the moon.  Or the inside of the sun.  I've never seen that either, so it must not exist either, right?

The motion of the moon would be different if it was a half-sphere or something like that.  The sun would rapidly degenerate if there was nothing inside it.  These are very easily detectable effects.  Or are you saying that the inside of the sun, and the back-side of the moon, are supernatural?

So making claims about the moon having a backside and the sun having an inside is profoundly dishonest?

Making claims in the absence of the information to make the claim, is dishonest.  This is because the claimant is pretending to have information that (s)he does not actually possess.

You do this all the time.

I've never seen Russia first-hand.  Would I be dishonest to make claims like "it is cold this time of year in Russia" or "people in Russia speak Russian"?  If I follow your logic, then it would be so.  I couldn't read something about it and then tell you about it, because that would be dishonest?

I am not sure whether you are lying about my logic, or unable to understand it.  It's one or the other.  I tend to give peoples' intelligence the benefit of the doubt in these cases.

It is a fault shared by all - period.

It is shared by all, period.  It is a fault, except for when it is embraced as a virtue.  Then it gets called "faith".
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 28, 2013, 10:47:31 PM

For the record, is it correct to conclude you are defining religion as " a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe"?  If not, what definition of religion do you use?


I only copied that definition, I didn't author it, thus the link to give credit to where credit is due.

My thoughts on religion:

-Religion is man's attempt to either reach God, or to be God.
-Religion is the set of beliefs that someone holds that rule his thoughts, motivations, and actions towards others.
-While "Christianity" as most people see it could be classified as a "religion," following Jesus as His disciple is just a new way of walking through life.

If I am understanding you correctly, the definition of religion that you didn't author (a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe) applies to atheists.

Correct.


Quote
For Non-Christian theists the following definitions of religion apply:

-Religion is man's attempt to either reach God, or to be God.
-Religion is the set of beliefs that someone holds that rule his thoughts, motivations, and actions towards others.

This would encompass all atheists and all theists, including most of what is perceived to be Christianity.

Quote
For Christian Theists the following definition of religion applies:
-While "Christianity" as most people see it could be classified as a "religion," following Jesus as His disciple is just a new way of walking through life.

Following Jesus with heart, soul, mind, and strength is more than a set of beliefs.  It is a way of life that is ruled by the love, mercy, and grace of God, not a list of do's and don'ts.


Quote
Correct?  If the above understanding of definitions of religion applied to atheists, non-Christian theists and Christian theists is incorrect, what is the correct understanding? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

These are my thoughts.

I am confused by the definition of religion (a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe) applying to atheists.  I have no doubt the atheists on this website will correct me if I am wrong but I don't think an atheist is concerned with the purpose of the universe.  Cause and nature of the universe will appeal to an atheist mindset but a purpose of the universe is much more subjective and therefore doesn't fit as a measurable demonstrable criteria for an atheist.  But, it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.

Regarding salvation, there is only one way to salvation and that is through Jesus the Christ, correct?  Is it correct to conclude that accepting Jesus the Christ as one's personal Lord and Savior must be declared by each individual who professes to be a Christian?  And is it correct to conclude there are no exceptions to being a Christian other than accepting and declaring Jesus the Christ as one's personal Lord and Savior?

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 28, 2013, 10:48:26 PM


Christianity is true and all other religions are false because only Christianity provides:

1)  a reasonable answer to how the universe and us got here.  I know you all are familiar with the cosmological argument, so for time and space's sake I won't repeat.
What does 'reasonable' have to do with it. Atomic theory isn't reasonable, in the sense that you using. Nor is the theory of gravity. Rather, each is a conclusion reached via study, research, experimentation and other scientific undertakings. Reasonable isn't one of criteria. Reasonable isn't even very useful in life. A reasonable person would never get married, because no marriage will ever be as smooth as silk, so it will inevitably hurt. Yet people do it.

'Reasonable' is not a criteria worth considering.

Just to be clear, the end results of scientific endeavors are reasonable. But as a byproduct, not as the only reason to look for the answers. You're doing it wrong.

Quote
2)  a reasonable answer to the problem of pain and suffering.  Again, you all are familiar with that argument as well, so no need to repeat it.

More reasonable. Again, irrelevant. To expect everything in life to be nice and neat and 'reasonable' is to more or less guarantee that you're going to settle for lies, because, in this case, that is the only way to wend your way to 'reasonable'.

There are more obvious, more logical, more consistent, more rational, more easily explainable reasons for right and wrong existing in this world. All are grounded in reality rather than fantasy, so from your point of view, they aren't much fun. And they lack the pazzazz of 'sinning', which is the frosting on the cake for you guys. But we evolved being have no particular reason to be perfect. There has been no evolutionary pressure to be good all the time. So we're not. Don't go slathering your lack of thought all over the issue.

Quote
3)  a way of salvation that does not rely on one's own effort to obtain it, thus one can not only receive the salvation but have assurance of it because it is not based on their own works.  if you all are as smart as you claim to be, then you know what Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and others offer in the way of salvation and assurance of it, if anything.

Irrelevant. Religious salvation doesn't exist, and to believe that it does distorts your reality beyond measure. You're going through life using Play-Skol toys instead of knowledge and common sense. You are not dealing with reality, but rather a Barbie shaped view of reality that is just as distorted as the doll. Religion is a toy, that you keep trying to hit everyone else over the head with.

Quote
4)  a God Who is the First Cause in the salvation process.  God chooses to give salvation to someone and they are saved.  This is related to 3 above. It is not someone seeking God and finding Him, it is God choosing to make the lost one found.

We're not lost, you just don't' see us playing in your daycare and, being spoiled brats and all, you want us to be there with you rather than out living an adult life. With no god, there is no path to your imagined salvation. Only you choose to want others to the useless religious tasks that you think are important, because again, no god is involved in the process. It is entirely human. And the religious tend to give 'human' a bad name by playing all of your games.


Quote
In addition, there is the personal experience that I and many others have had.

That is all anyone has ever had. Personal experiences. I don't know of any other kind for a person to have. That you have misinterpreted various events in your life as god-related is not very useful. Not useful at all, in fact.

Righteousness doesn't look good on anyone. Not at the level you are trying to reach. Please stop. You're embarrassing us humans.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Anfauglir on December 29, 2013, 04:47:39 AM


I honestly do not see how you get from this...

Honestly we think you are wrong. Quite wrong. However we, or I at least, hold that factuality trumps previously held notions and desires.  I don't LIKE being proven wrong, however the temporary embarrassment is trivial to actually being wrong.
to this....
My perception of what Hatter said is that his mind is already made up - no matter what I say, before I even say it, he has already passed judgment on it and it is wrong.  That's different from saying "We would like to hear you out on this topic and then we'll decide if we think you are wrong or not."

To me it is clear that Hatter's statement says exactly what your second sentence above says.  Can you please explain what you believe is meant by the sentences below?  "Show your working", as the expression goes.

However we, or I at least, hold that factuality trumps previously held notions and desires.  I don't LIKE being proven wrong, however the temporary embarrassment is trivial to actually being wrong.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Graybeard on December 29, 2013, 07:08:30 AM
I like to see myself as the 4th flavor;
And this is as it should be. : )

Quote
When talking about free-will, are you meaning free-will as it applies to Christian theism or free-will in general?
There are several other threads on the subject of “free-will v. determinism”. The argument seems to have been resolved[1].

The term “free-will” is an inaccurate term. Whether the universe was created or ‘appeared’ does not matter. The universe is governed either
(i)   By random chance (the capricious or unfathomable will of a deity)
(ii)   By degrees of random chance and order
(iii)   By order

(i) If it is by random chance, then there is no free will as everything is random and all events are independent of each other. This would include the thought process (basically an electro-chemical reaction) and hence the decision making process: if this is random, there is no free-will, merely random actions. It is highly unlikely that the universe operates purely random chance given that we are here experiencing much the same things in much the same ways and there are proven laws that explain its form and the actions within it.

(ii) If it is by degrees of random chance and order, then as random chance is not a free choice and as order is fixed by definition, then there is no free will.

(iii)If it is by order alone, then, on a human scale, we would have certainty and would allow us to discover the mechanical laws that have governed, govern, and will continue to govern our existence and that of everything around us. This is the state we find ourselves in.[2]

However, if we attempt to say, “Well, if all is governed by laws, then our personal future must be foreseeable.” we fail. Although we can state with high accuracy short term mechanical events, non-trivial animal behaviour is infinitely more complex. Although it is driven by those very atoms and particles, it is also influenced by (i) nurture, environment, and experience and (ii) internal organ structure on a sub-atomic level. It is so complex that, by its very nature and size, like the photons in the footnote, all the data required to predict any non-trivial human decision at all is impossible to collate and process.

The conclusion is that although there can be no free-will, there is an overwhelming illusion of free-will.

Where does this leave us on a moral scale? Why should we punish people? Well, punishment is a way of correcting a system by applying known laws to the "experience" aspect of presently determined behaviour in the hopes of influencing future behaviour… sometimes it works, but we would prefer reform/a cure to punishment.

Quote
I do believe heaven exists but am unable to prove it.
This goes with flavour #4 above.
 1. not originally by us here but by philosophy and science
 2. This is not quite accurate. For example the decay of the individual nuclei of radio-active elements is considered to be random. It may not be random, but when dealing with a few billion subatomic particles travelling at the speed of light, it is not possible to obtain precise information. However, it turns out that mathematics allows us to calculate reactions with a high degree of repeatable precision.

The classic example is to stand in a lighted room at dusk and look out the window. You will see the street and your reflection. Your reflection is caused by photons from the room reflecting back at you and the visibility of the street by photons from the sun passing through the glass. Some photons from the room will penetrate the glass and some will reflect. There is no possible way of knowing which individual photons will do what but we can describe the light levels in the street and of our reflection to a remarkable degree of accuracy. So our uncertainty becomes certain.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 29, 2013, 07:59:42 AM
I like to see myself as the 4th flavor;
And this is as it should be. : )

Quote
When talking about free-will, are you meaning free-will as it applies to Christian theism or free-will in general?
There are several other threads on the subject of “free-will v. determinism”. The argument seems to have been resolved[1].

The term “free-will” is an inaccurate term. Whether the universe was created or ‘appeared’ does not matter. The universe is governed either
(i)   By random chance (the capricious or unfathomable will of a deity)
(ii)   By degrees of random chance and order
(iii)   By order

(i) If it is by random chance, then there is no free will as everything is random and all events are independent of each other. This would include the thought process (basically an electro-chemical reaction) and hence the decision making process: if this is random, there is no free-will, merely random actions. It is highly unlikely that the universe operates purely random chance given that we are here experiencing much the same things in much the same ways and there are proven laws that explain its form and the actions within it.

(ii) If it is by degrees of random chance and order, then as random chance is not a free choice and as order is fixed by definition, then there is no free will.

(iii)If it is by order alone, then, on a human scale, we would have certainty and would allow us to discover the mechanical laws that have governed, govern, and will continue to govern our existence and that of everything around us. This is the state we find ourselves in.[2]

However, if we attempt to say, “Well, if all is governed by laws, then our personal future must be foreseeable.” we fail. Although we can state with high accuracy short term mechanical events, non-trivial animal behaviour is infinitely more complex. Although it is driven by those very atoms and particles, it is also influenced by (i) nurture, environment, and experience and (ii) internal organ structure on a sub-atomic level. It is so complex that, by its very nature and size, like the photons in the footnote, all the data required to predict any non-trivial human decision at all is impossible to collate and process.

The conclusion is that although there can be no free-will, there is an overwhelming illusion of free-will.

Where does this leave us on a moral scale? Why should we punish people? Well, punishment is a way of correcting a system by applying known laws to the "experience" aspect of presently determined behaviour in the hopes of influencing future behaviour… sometimes it works, but we would prefer reform/a cure to punishment.

Quote
I do believe heaven exists but am unable to prove it.
This goes with flavour #4 above.
 1. not originally by us here but by philosophy and science
 2. This is not quite accurate. For example the decay of the individual nuclei of radio-active elements is considered to be random. It may not be random, but when dealing with a few billion subatomic particles travelling at the speed of light, it is not possible to obtain precise information. However, it turns out that mathematics allows us to calculate reactions with a high degree of repeatable precision.

The classic example is to stand in a lighted room at dusk and look out the window. You will see the street and your reflection. Your reflection is caused by photons from the room reflecting back at you and the visibility of the street by photons from the sun passing through the glass. Some photons from the room will penetrate the glass and some will reflect. There is no possible way of knowing which individual photons will do what but we can describe the light levels in the street and of our reflection to a remarkable degree of accuracy. So our uncertainty becomes certain.

I appreciate your responses and the footnotes. 

Based on the information provided about free-will, I am in the illusion of free-will camp.  If it is an illusion, so be it. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 29, 2013, 08:10:09 AM
  Do you admit that you twist people's words to make them into what you want them to say? 



Damn my hypocrisy meter just redlined and blew a fuse
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 29, 2013, 08:17:41 AM


No. That is not what Hatter is asking, and unfortunately, I think you are aware of that. Hatter's question, basically put (and he will correct me if I am wrong) is "what is it about other religions that makes them wrong, but makes yours right?" - What differentiates the others?

Thanks

GB Mod


The Twitter response is:

Christianity is true and all other religions are false because only Christianity provides:

1)  a reasonable answer to how the universe and us got here.  I know you all are familiar with the cosmological argument, so for time and space's sake I won't repeat.
2)  a reasonable answer to the problem of pain and suffering.  Again, you all are familiar with that argument as well, so no need to repeat it.
3)  a way of salvation that does not rely on one's own effort to obtain it, thus one can not only receive the salvation but have assurance of it because it is not based on their own works.  if you all are as smart as you claim to be, then you know what Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and others offer in the way of salvation and assurance of it, if anything.
4)  a God Who is the First Cause in the salvation process.  God chooses to give salvation to someone and they are saved.  This is related to 3 above. It is not someone seeking God and finding Him, it is God choosing to make the lost one found.


In addition, there is the personal experience that I and many others have had.


I notice if you replace Christianity with Hinduism, Islam,Buddhism...etc(any replace it with Christianity in number 3) The exact same 'reasoning' could be used by the adherent of any religion? So GF really didn't address the question at all.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Anfauglir on December 29, 2013, 04:33:11 PM


No. That is not what Hatter is asking, and unfortunately, I think you are aware of that. Hatter's question, basically put (and he will correct me if I am wrong) is "what is it about other religions that makes them wrong, but makes yours right?" - What differentiates the others?

Thanks

GB Mod


The Twitter response is:

Christianity is true and all other religions are false because only Christianity provides:

1)  a reasonable answer to how the universe and us got here.  I know you all are familiar with the cosmological argument, so for time and space's sake I won't repeat.
2)  a reasonable answer to the problem of pain and suffering.  Again, you all are familiar with that argument as well, so no need to repeat it.
3)  a way of salvation that does not rely on one's own effort to obtain it, thus one can not only receive the salvation but have assurance of it because it is not based on their own works.  if you all are as smart as you claim to be, then you know what Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and others offer in the way of salvation and assurance of it, if anything.
4)  a God Who is the First Cause in the salvation process.  God chooses to give salvation to someone and they are saved.  This is related to 3 above. It is not someone seeking God and finding Him, it is God choosing to make the lost one found.


In addition, there is the personal experience that I and many others have had.


I notice if you replace Christianity with Hinduism, Islam,Buddhism...etc(any replace it with Christianity in number 3) The exact same 'reasoning' could be used by the adherent of any religion? So GF really didn't address the question at all.

All of the reasons are self-referential anyway. 

Posit: A god exists - and is, by our definition, insane.  1 and 2 are answered, and 3 and 4 become irrelevant - they were only necessary in the contex of Christianity anyway.  What has salvation to do with anything unless you a priori accept Christianity?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 05:43:57 PM


No. That is not what Hatter is asking, and unfortunately, I think you are aware of that. Hatter's question, basically put (and he will correct me if I am wrong) is "what is it about other religions that makes them wrong, but makes yours right?" - What differentiates the others?

Thanks

GB Mod


The Twitter response is:

Christianity is true and all other religions are false because only Christianity provides:

1)  a reasonable answer to how the universe and us got here.  I know you all are familiar with the cosmological argument, so for time and space's sake I won't repeat.
2)  a reasonable answer to the problem of pain and suffering.  Again, you all are familiar with that argument as well, so no need to repeat it.
3)  a way of salvation that does not rely on one's own effort to obtain it, thus one can not only receive the salvation but have assurance of it because it is not based on their own works.  if you all are as smart as you claim to be, then you know what Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and others offer in the way of salvation and assurance of it, if anything.
4)  a God Who is the First Cause in the salvation process.  God chooses to give salvation to someone and they are saved.  This is related to 3 above. It is not someone seeking God and finding Him, it is God choosing to make the lost one found.


In addition, there is the personal experience that I and many others have had.


I notice if you replace Christianity with Hinduism, Islam,Buddhism...etc(any replace it with Christianity in number 3) The exact same 'reasoning' could be used by the adherent of any religion? So GF really didn't address the question at all.


Hatter,

are you familiar with what the Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim concepts of salvation and eternal life are? Christianity differs greatly from other religions with respect to these concepts.  If I thought it would do any good, I'd try to explain, but I can tell that the only thing you are interested in is making ugly remarks.  I answered the question and instead of this fostering additional good discussion, it only serves to give you an opportunity to prove how mean-spirited you are.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 05:45:13 PM


No. That is not what Hatter is asking, and unfortunately, I think you are aware of that. Hatter's question, basically put (and he will correct me if I am wrong) is "what is it about other religions that makes them wrong, but makes yours right?" - What differentiates the others?

Thanks

GB Mod


The Twitter response is:

Christianity is true and all other religions are false because only Christianity provides:

1)  a reasonable answer to how the universe and us got here.  I know you all are familiar with the cosmological argument, so for time and space's sake I won't repeat.
2)  a reasonable answer to the problem of pain and suffering.  Again, you all are familiar with that argument as well, so no need to repeat it.
3)  a way of salvation that does not rely on one's own effort to obtain it, thus one can not only receive the salvation but have assurance of it because it is not based on their own works.  if you all are as smart as you claim to be, then you know what Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and others offer in the way of salvation and assurance of it, if anything.
4)  a God Who is the First Cause in the salvation process.  God chooses to give salvation to someone and they are saved.  This is related to 3 above. It is not someone seeking God and finding Him, it is God choosing to make the lost one found.


In addition, there is the personal experience that I and many others have had.


I notice if you replace Christianity with Hinduism, Islam,Buddhism...etc(any replace it with Christianity in number 3) The exact same 'reasoning' could be used by the adherent of any religion? So GF really didn't address the question at all.

All of the reasons are self-referential anyway. 

Posit: A god exists - and is, by our definition, insane.  1 and 2 are answered, and 3 and 4 become irrelevant - they were only necessary in the contex of Christianity anyway.  What has salvation to do with anything unless you a priori accept Christianity?

Anfaulglir,

are you familiar with what the Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim concepts of salvation and eternal life are? Christianity differs greatly from other religions with respect to these concepts.  If I thought it would do any good, I'd try to explain, but I can tell that the only thing you are interested in is making ugly remarks.  I answered the question and instead of this fostering additional good discussion, it only serves to give you an opportunity to prove how mean-spirited you are.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 29, 2013, 06:53:00 PM


I notice if you replace Christianity with Hinduism, Islam,Buddhism...etc(any replace it with Christianity in number 3) The exact same 'reasoning' could be used by the adherent of any religion? So GF really didn't address the question at all.


Hatter,

are you familiar with what the Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim concepts of salvation and eternal life are? Christianity differs greatly from other religions with respect to these concepts.  If I thought it would do any good, I'd try to explain, but I can tell that the only thing you are interested in is making ugly remarks.  I answered the question and instead of this fostering additional good discussion, it only serves to give you an opportunity to prove how mean-spirited you are.

So you dodge, and when I call you on it you call me a meanie pants and use that as a reason for dodging a second time.

I am saying I've noticed no difference between the claim between each religion as being actually factual as opposed to other religions. Any piece of evidence that would advance one claim over the other would undermine my assertion as false. So far you, and every other  theist in the world I have spoken with other than deists, have provided none.



Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 07:07:42 PM


I notice if you replace Christianity with Hinduism, Islam,Buddhism...etc(any replace it with Christianity in number 3) The exact same 'reasoning' could be used by the adherent of any religion? So GF really didn't address the question at all.


Hatter,

are you familiar with what the Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim concepts of salvation and eternal life are? Christianity differs greatly from other religions with respect to these concepts.  If I thought it would do any good, I'd try to explain, but I can tell that the only thing you are interested in is making ugly remarks.  I answered the question and instead of this fostering additional good discussion, it only serves to give you an opportunity to prove how mean-spirited you are.

So you dodge, and when I call you on it you call me a meanie pants and use that as a reason for dodging a second time.

I am saying I've noticed no difference between the claim between each religion as being actually factual as opposed to other religions. Any piece of evidence that would advance one claim over the other would undermine my assertion as false. So far you, and every other  theist in the world I have spoken with other than deists, have provided none.

No, I wasn't dodging, your post was not clear.  You did clear it up this time, but in doing so you show that you are dodging.  I asked if you are familiar with the concepts of salvation and eternal life within the contexts of the Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim religions as opposed to the Christian religion.

Are you - yes or no?  If so, then let's have a meaningful discussion about the differences, which is not dodging but going deeper into the conversation of why Christianity is true and all other religions are false.  If you can't see that this is a sincere attempt to have the discussion that you say you want to have, you are either not really reading my responses, you are reading my responses and aren't able to comprehend them, or you read my responses and comprehend them but you are being intellectually dishonest.  I'm trying to show you why I believe Christianity is true and other religions are false by having a discussion of the different views of salvation and eternal life.  Is that really that hard for you to see?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 29, 2013, 09:24:38 PM
Buddhism addresses each point as clear as Christianity it is the one true religion
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 29, 2013, 10:10:19 PM
Buddhism addresses each point as clear as Christianity it is the one true religion
as does Muslim, and Viking Cosmology as well.

However, I am weak on my knowledge of Hinduism; but IIRC there's not a lot about afterlife and salvation.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 10:20:17 PM
Buddhism addresses each point as clear as Christianity it is the one true religion
as does Muslim, and Viking Cosmology as well.

However, I am weak on my knowledge of Hinduism; but IIRC there's not a lot about afterlife and salvation.

Then you need to read up on karma and reincarnation and what they mean in the Hindu religion when you get time.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 29, 2013, 10:21:47 PM
Buddhism addresses each point as clear as Christianity it is the one true religion

Would you then please do a side-by-side comparison of each point in Buddhism and in Christianity and I will respond to the Christian points that you list?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 29, 2013, 11:03:32 PM
Buddhism addresses each point as clear as Christianity it is the one true religion

Would you then please do a side-by-side comparison of each point in Buddhism and in Christianity and I will respond to the Christian points that you list?
it would just be opinion,but because of your attitude you would be reincarnated as some kind of rodent in Buddhist terms,your closed mind  would seal your fate for the next few lives. This is something a Christian would refuse to believe... Not that I would be elevated any higher than that of a rodent.

 The Buddhist views you would actually PAY for your sin instead of sin/ forgive path you see yourself on now it is the Buddhist  thing where you actually are accountable for your actions. You love the fact you can sin without payment,unlike Buddhism
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Anfauglir on December 30, 2013, 03:22:27 AM
Posit: A god exists - and is, by our definition, insane. 

If I thought it would do any good, I'd try to explain, but I can tell that the only thing you are interested in is making ugly remarks.  I answered the question and instead of this fostering additional good discussion, it only serves to give you an opportunity to prove how mean-spirited you are.

I'm confused - all I said was that an insane god covered all the points you said Christianity answered.  I would be most interested to hear how an insane god does NOT address the first two points.

So far as salvation goes, your third and fourth points are irrelevant, as I said.  It only makes sense in a Christian context once you have already accepted Christianity, so it is entirely irrelevant in showing why a particular faith should be accepted over another.  I can see you would like salvation, but there is no reason at all it is a necessary part of existence
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Truth OT on December 30, 2013, 12:02:45 PM
So, you - like all other xians he's asked - will never, ever answer the question of why a rapist/murderer gets free will by divine decree but the victim does not.
I apologize if that was not clear. Both parties have free will. The rapist murder has more power than the victim. In result in this case the murderer's will wins over the victim's will.

Your posts seem to assert that GOD highly values free-will to the point that it prevents him from intervening to prevent tragedies, etc. But, according to the Bible that "reveals" god, he is a rampant free will violator. He hardens Pharoah's heart, he put a lying spirit in the mouths of prophets, he caused Mary to get pregnant and told her after the fact, he intervened with Saul the way to Damascus. Hell, he even interferes with animal's free will; remember Balaam's donkey in Numbers 22, the "great fish" that swallowed Jonah, and the bears that mauled the kids that picked on Elisha from 2 Kings 2.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 30, 2013, 01:57:56 PM
Posit: A god exists - and is, by our definition, insane. 

If I thought it would do any good, I'd try to explain, but I can tell that the only thing you are interested in is making ugly remarks.  I answered the question and instead of this fostering additional good discussion, it only serves to give you an opportunity to prove how mean-spirited you are.

I'm confused - all I said was that an insane god covered all the points you said Christianity answered.  I would be most interested to hear how an insane god does NOT address the first two points.

So far as salvation goes, your third and fourth points are irrelevant, as I said.  It only makes sense in a Christian context once you have already accepted Christianity, so it is entirely irrelevant in showing why a particular faith should be accepted over another.  I can see you would like salvation, but there is no reason at all it is a necessary part of existence
and its all a side show, of going down a rabbit hole of obfuscation that to the objective observer, there is nothing to separate all religions from each other as far as evidence goes.

Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 05:51:10 PM
Buddhism addresses each point as clear as Christianity it is the one true religion

Would you then please do a side-by-side comparison of each point in Buddhism and in Christianity and I will respond to the Christian points that you list?
Quote
it would just be opinion,but because of your attitude you would be reincarnated as some kind of rodent in Buddhist terms,your closed mind  would seal your fate for the next few lives. This is something a Christian would refuse to believe... Not that I would be elevated any higher than that of a rodent.

So what sealed your fate for the next few lives, if you admit that you would not "be elevated any higher than that of a rodent"?


 
Quote
The Buddhist views you would actually PAY for your sin instead of sin/ forgive path you see yourself on now it is the Buddhist  thing where you actually are accountable for your actions. You love the fact you can sin without payment,unlike Buddhism

Now we are where we can have a meaningful discussion.  I am assuming from what you've said so far that you do believe people sin.  So now we can talk about the concept of paying the penalty for sin, if you are so inclined.  Is this a discussion that you would care to participate in?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 30, 2013, 06:21:16 PM
Sin being a term you would understand.... Not the label universally  Christians through history have changed the definition of what sin is.  Universally doing harm to others is not labelled Sin.  A Christian defines it this way,but over the centuries have revised and refined what sin is. 

A sin in the 10th century is redefined  and absolved in the next century,up and until something is less wrong it was labelled by Christians as sin. Taboo and sin are they the same. Up to the mid 20th century a women had no voice but her husbands in Christianity,now she is free to speak..... Taboo or sin?  Slave ownership till mid 18th century,common practice,taboo or sin?  Christians just roll with the centuries,what is sin in one century is ok in the next



Like my sig. Says there's no right or wrong just popular opinion,As a sin becomes the norm it is dropped from the dogma.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 07:09:22 PM
Sin being a term you would understand.... Not the label universally  Christians through history have changed the definition of what sin is.  Universally doing harm to others is not labelled Sin.  A Christian defines it this way,but over the centuries have revised and refined what sin is. 

A sin in the 10th century is redefined  and absolved in the next century,up and until something is less wrong it was labelled by Christians as sin. Taboo and sin are they the same. Up to the mid 20th century a women had no voice but her husbands in Christianity,now she is free to speak..... Taboo or sin?  Slave ownership till mid 18th century,common practice,taboo or sin?  Christians just roll with the centuries,what is sin in one century is ok in the next



Like my sig. Says there's no right or wrong just popular opinion,As a sin becomes the norm it is dropped from the dogma.

I just posted my definition of sin another thread, but I'll give it here as well:  Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God.  So when I speak of sin, it is within this context.

Do you want to continue the discussion of payment of sin?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 30, 2013, 07:31:29 PM
Care to address the fact that sin does not remain sin over time.....the example of women speaking in church is a fine example....a sin until the early 20th century
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 07:38:02 PM
Care to address the fact that sin does not remain sin over time.....the example of women speaking in church is a fine example....a sin until the early 20th century

Just because something once considered a sin is being done now doesn't mean that it is no longer a sin. 

Why do you believe that it was a sin for women to speak in church?  You said you've never read the Bible, so are your sure, or have you just heard others say this?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: MadBunny on December 30, 2013, 10:34:52 PM

I just posted my definition of sin another thread, but I'll give it here as well:  Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God.  So when I speak of sin, it is within this context.

Do you want to continue the discussion of payment of sin?

So, is all sin black and white?  Is there a 'gray area' of sin?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 10:44:56 PM

I just posted my definition of sin another thread, but I'll give it here as well:  Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God.  So when I speak of sin, it is within this context.

Do you want to continue the discussion of payment of sin?

So, is all sin black and white?  Is there a 'gray area' of sin?

Such as? Is there something specific that you have in mind?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: MadBunny on December 30, 2013, 10:51:51 PM
I don't believe in sin.  That's you.

I'm trying to get a clear idea of what you think sin actually is.  I mean, are you committing sin just by conversing with atheists instead of trying to stone us to death?

Is there more than one punishment, ANY punishment for sin?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 30, 2013, 10:58:35 PM
I don't believe in sin.  That's you.

I'm trying to get a clear idea of what you think sin actually is.  I mean, are you committing sin just by conversing with atheists instead of trying to stone us to death?

Is there more than one punishment, ANY punishment for sin?

I gave you an answer already.  Are you badgering me?  Moderators, are you taking notice of this?

Again, I'll type it out really s-l-o-w-l-y for you:  Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God (God of the Bible).  Other people say this is a clear explanation of my belief.  What part of "anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God" do you not understand (I know you don't believe that sin and God exists, that's not the question.)   Would it help if I put it in Spanish for you?

Is there more than one punishment for sin? The Bible says the wage of sin is death.  More than physical death, it is the eternal destruction that never ceases (according to my particular understanding of death, hell, lake of fire, etc.)

But if you don't believe in God of the Bible, and you don't believe in absolute objective moral truths, then there is no such thing as sin, therefore no punishment of sin.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: MadBunny on December 30, 2013, 11:37:03 PM
Did you?  I didn't see it, my apologies.  If you link the post I'll go back and read that.
If you think this is badgering, feel free to report it over the sound of my laughter.  Please remember that from my perspective I'm talking to somebody who thinks I *deserve* to be tortured and burn in hell beyond the heat death of the universe.

From your post here it looks like sin is whatever you want it to be.  How very convenient.  A bit too convenient don't you think?

To clarify: the punishment for sin is death (plus).  The plus part being eternal torture in one form or another depending on your sect I suppose.  This is actually a pretty common understanding, I wanted to be sure it was also yours as well.

Again, is there a 'gray area' sin?  Like a 'little sin' that doesn't result in eternal torture, is it pretty much just black and white?

Is telling a lie a sin?
Is talking to an atheist a sin?

It seems to me that if your rules are black and white then eventually you're going to break one, and suffer the penalty, but if the rule has gray area then it's just a suggestion rather than a rule.




Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: median on December 31, 2013, 12:13:12 AM
The idea that the all-powerful, all-good, god Yahweh (the alleged deity of the bible) is morally perfect (and all loving) cannot be rationally defended while still maintaining that Satan is roaming the earth like a lion "seeking whom he may devour".

Your perspective assumes that you know at least as much, or more, than Yahweh.  That would be the only position from which you could then pass moral judgment on Him.

So there is a double standard then? Are you trying to argue that your alleged God 'thing' can be self contradictory? Under what circumstance (any circumstance) is it morally justified to allow a 'lion' in your house to devour your children but at the same time say that you "love" your children? Further, how can you argue that we are "made in the image and likeness of God" if you think your alleged deity allows this? "Moral perfection" has absolutely no meaning if you admit that your alleged God can violate his own rules.

You are quite wrong in your assertion above. I do not claim to know more than this "Yahweh" imaginary thing of which you speak - b/c I don't think it is real. However, there is still a direct contradiction with your theology and you haven't resolved it just by spinning or rationalizing (aka - the "bigger purpose" argument - as that argument could be used by Muslims as well). Both attempts fail to demonstrate a resolution to the conflict in your theology. An all-loving being would not allow a lion to 'devour' his children. Would you?

If you're willing to admit that you wouldn't do it (and that it would be immoral for you to do so) then please demonstrate how it CAN be moral for your alleged God but not for you.

God allegedly created hell (a place for Satan) but then allows Satan and his minions out of hell to torment his alleged children. Such actions are neither moral nor loving.


What is your source for saying that God ever had satan and his minions in Hell ever?  The Bible doesn't say that they have ever been in Hell yet, but if you know of a verse that says so, please share it and I'll stand corrected.


You just misrpresented my argument. Please read it again. I said according to your bible God created hell for this alleged 'Satan' character, Matthew 25:41 and Revelation 20:7-10.

Now, is hell separation from God? If so, then Satan has been in hell since he and the angels were thrown out (in this myth).


Regarding your take on God tormenting His children, again your perspective assumes that you know at least as much, or more, than Yahweh.  That would be the only position from which you could then pass moral judgment on Him.


Ah but see, you too have also passed moral judgment upon this 'god' conception you have in your mind. You have determined that this 'thing' is "good". How do you know that? By what process have you come to that conclusion? If your moral reasoning has been corrupted by "sin" then you have no reliable means for making that determination.



The truth comes out - you believe you are morally superior to God. The problem of evil does not disprove God's existence nor His holiness nor His love for humanity.

Are you familiar with martial arts?  How do students become better skilled?  By facing opponents.  Sometimes facing opponents stronger and better skilled than they are.

Satan and his minions can be used by God for good in someone's life if it brings that person into a better understanding of God and their relationship to Him and others. God can use negatives to bring about much positive, but at the time it may seem like eternal torment, because we are limited in our understanding of God and our own selves.

Peace and grace.

The truth has been out for a long time. Your God is imaginary and the problem of evil does in fact disprove your alleged deity, but of course that subject is not directly related to this OP. Morality is about well being and the minimization of harm. If you attempt to talk about anything else besides that, then you aren't talking about morality. In that sense, I am in fact morally superior to this wacko 'god' creature you believe in, and you know what, so are you. I'm guessing that you wouldn't allow a lion to devour your children or your family, would you? And yet you think your God would allow his children to be devoured, right?

I will await your response as to how you think this alleged God can allow these things and still be called loving, but until then this argument has been dealt with. The God of the bible is either not loving or imaginary. I go with option #2, just like I go with that option regarding all of the other man-made gods from history (as likely you do too!).


Doesn't it seem at least a little bit hypocritical that any time you think God did something that was beneficial to you, you can say he is "good" - but when horrific things occur you don't find yourself lifting your hands and saying, "Thank you God that you allowed such horror"? Did you say, "Praise Jesus for all those Nazi slaughter houses" or "Thank you God for the horror of Jeffrey Dahmer"? I don't think you did, but if so that would make you one sick individual who has sacrificed his own reasoning and moral sense for a mere belief in an old book.

Your God is not your standard of morality. You are.

p.s. - Your martial arts analogy fails as well b/c w'ere talking about a lion against a child who cannot defend itself again such a thing (aka - an invisible demon vs a physical person). Never-mind the fact that the very concept of 'immaterial person' is incoherent, loving parents of martial arts students do not put their kids in the ring to fight with creatures that would kill them.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: median on December 31, 2013, 12:35:05 AM

Wait which proposition are you making? Clearly you are not claiming one or the other, or you would be breaking the law of the excluded middle. Lets then consider the middle.:

How can we have the freedom to do anything if we do not have the freedom to fail. If we do not have the option to be harmed, if we do not have the option to harm others, how then could we ever chose to be good? Please list any scenario in which God could stop something bad from happening to us without taking away our freedom to chose.

The problem with this argument is that you are forwarding that God is a parent to humanity in the same way that a mother is a parent to their child. The position of creator of the universe and humanity may hold certain moral implications that neither you nor I understand. But I will leave you with this, Does not even a Mother, after her child grows up, let her child forge his or her own path?

The bible refers to this alleged god as "father", and all over the place draws comparison to god being a parent type figure. Perhaps you need to go back and read those parts more carefully.

This last part here is a false analogy. A loving mother (or a loving father) would remove a roaring lion from the midst of her/his children immediately. Yet your alleged deity does not under your theology (aka - sorry your imaginary deity is not loving). But of course we would in fact expect these kinds of vile writings from MEN (just like we see in Islam and hundreds of other cults through history).

Now, if this alleged 'god' thing holds "certain moral implications" (that you can't understand - and which are btw contrary to it's own rules) how have you then come to the determination that this thing is good? It could very well be that this being is the evil one and you are being tricked, especially since this would force you to accept that horrific acts of murder, rape, incest, or any any other disgusting or vile act could be deemed 'good' (aka moral) even when you find it repugnant. Sorry, to such things I call bullshit.

To the first argument, "freedom to fail" has absolutely nothing to do with allowing a hungry lion to eat your children in the backyard. You ask about a scenario in which this alleged god could save us from harm but not remove our freedom, as if you don't think this is possible. Have you read your bible? Numerous places are there in which this allegedly occurs (such as the parting of the red sea - they still had choice). An intervention from a deity has nothing to do with free choice (just look to your doctrine of Satan and the angels dude). They supposedly had direct access to this "God" and still rebelled. I'm sorry, freewill has nothing to do with this.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: median on December 31, 2013, 01:10:21 AM
God did come down and answer questions.  He left a whole big book of answers.  Some people come to it with preconceived notions though and can't glean truth from it because of their prejudices.

Oh the irony...



Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Anfauglir on December 31, 2013, 07:29:02 AM
I don't believe in sin.  That's you.

I'm trying to get a clear idea of what you think sin actually is.  I mean, are you committing sin just by conversing with atheists instead of trying to stone us to death?
Is there more than one punishment, ANY punishment for sin?

I gave you an answer already.  Are you badgering me?  Moderators, are you taking notice of this?

Again, I'll type it out really s-l-o-w-l-y for you:  Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God (God of the Bible).  Other people say this is a clear explanation of my belief.  What part of "anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God" do you not understand (I know you don't believe that sin and God exists, that's not the question.)   Would it help if I put it in Spanish for you?

Spanish I don't think is necessary.  But what would be useful, I think (that would address what MadBunny is asking) is to at least begin a definitive list of what actually pleases/displease Yahweh.  Without such a list, as MadBunny says, it can become whatever you want it to be at any particular time.

I'm sure we've all seen the film with the psychopathic bad guy.  All his henchmen tiptoe around him, never quite sure what to say in case today is the day he doesn't like it (and of course he always gets his comeuppance because someone ends up not telling him something for fear of his reaction....but I digress!).

I'm equally sure that you in no way see Yahweh as that kind of being - he is a loving and GOOD creature, and would be devastated to think that the creatures he loves are in any way unclear about what is good and what is not - in this case, what is sin and what is not.  So I would expect - from a loving and good god - that his top priority would be an unambiguous list of what pleases him, and what does not.  So I would be grateful if you could make a start on that list with some specifics of sins, rather than the vague and (to the current unbeliever) frankly unhelpful "sin is whatever Yahweh doesn't like".
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: median on December 31, 2013, 11:53:49 AM

Why does He need to come down and answer your questions?  Why don't you start with what information you have and work with that?  Most people don't ever make a sincere effort to take the information that has been given them and use it, or they come with a closed mind and presuppositions (i.e. "The bible if false, but I'll try it." Atheists reads the book of Numbers. "Yep, just like I thought, no answers.")

You won't understand why Yahweh is worthy of worship because you are predisposed to not want to know.  But I would answer your question if you will explain how you would be qualified to pass judgment when you can't even spell it correctly.

Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, and countless others try to say this same thing to us non-believers. Your words are exceedingly ironic in that you came to the bible with an assumption that it was true (which was influenced by the culture of which you grew up - aka you started with your conclusion). The problem with your assessment though is that I (and many others here) believed like you do for nearly 20 years. I later discovered how irrational theology is and how Christians have to spin, rationalize, dodge, use confirmation bias, and/or lie to continue arguing for it.


These things are evidenced in you by your own words - aka the irrational arguments you chose to accept for deism first (namely an argument from ignorance/incredulity fallacy - likely among others) and then onto full superstition in the bible. How can you claim to be neutral and/or open-minded when you are wholly committed and uncritical of your own view? 

Evidence here:
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I don't know why God chose to reveal Himself this way in different places in the Bible.  Since the Bible says that He is one God but expressed as the three Persons, then I guess He is just trying to help us understand Him.  Why does He call Himself Jehovah Jirah in one place, Jehovah Nissi in another, etc?  Each time it reveals something of His character.

The "trinity" is just one example of religious SPIN. The bible does not say "one god in three persons". You say that. If you were actually willing to be critical of this view you would accept it as a direct contradiction. 3 cannot equal 1, and that the bible says there is only one god but then mentions multiple gods. Your reinterpretation of it (and those of your predecessors) is a spin tactic b/c you started with the conclusion that it CAN'T be a contradiction (in fact the Jews and other Christians don't even accept it but that is where your confirmation bias begins). How convenient that you do this with all of your theological beliefs (assume that they can't be false and then mold/squash/reinterpret them to fit your prior theological commitments). Honest skepticism (the kind you would practice toward Islam, etc) says otherwise.

This is far from being open-minded. It is closed-minded in the highest degree b/c you have committed yourself to confirmation of your assumptions NO-MATTER-WHAT.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on December 31, 2013, 01:59:38 PM
Care to address the fact that sin does not remain sin over time.....the example of women speaking in church is a fine example....a sin until the early 20th century

Just because something once considered a sin is being done now doesn't mean that it is no longer a sin. 

like vegetable gardens, shellfish, and mixed fabrics
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 31, 2013, 06:22:43 PM
Did you?  I didn't see it, my apologies.  If you link the post I'll go back and read that.
If you think this is badgering, feel free to report it over the sound of my laughter.  Please remember that from my perspective I'm talking to somebody who thinks I *deserve* to be tortured and burn in hell beyond the heat death of the universe.

From your post here it looks like sin is whatever you want it to be.  How very convenient.  A bit too convenient don't you think?

How is "anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God" "convenient"? Especially if you were to read the Bible and determine what is says is the nature and character of God.

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To clarify: the punishment for sin is death (plus).  The plus part being eternal torture in one form or another depending on your sect I suppose.  This is actually a pretty common understanding, I wanted to be sure it was also yours as well.

Yes, there is physical death and then eternal torment.

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Again, is there a 'gray area' sin?  Like a 'little sin' that doesn't result in eternal torture, is it pretty much just black and white?

Is telling a lie a sin?
Is talking to an atheist a sin?

It seems to me that if your rules are black and white then eventually you're going to break one, and suffer the penalty, but if the rule has gray area then it's just a suggestion rather than a rule.

Telling a lie is sin.  Talking to an atheist is a conversation.

Based on what Jesus said, I believe that there are degrees of punishment, but it will all be eternal:

Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” (Matthew 11:20-24, ESV)
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on December 31, 2013, 06:56:46 PM
Yes, there is physical death and then eternal torment.

And unless you disagree with your god's judgment of what's right and just, you yourself must be glad for it.  It is, after all, right and just - no?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: MadBunny on December 31, 2013, 07:04:30 PM
Well your bible god is pretty fickle.  I'm sure you're perfectly aware that it's fairly easy to make the bible say almost anything you want it to say. [1]

For example there is a commandment against killing, yet plenty of commandments to stone people to death.

Does this mean that all the people who follow his commandment (to kill) are now bound for hell?  Have all the Christians in our military willingly given up their place in heaven?

If telling a lie is a sin, will you burn in hell for all eternity if you tell somebody they have a pretty baby, when they have only an average looking baby?  Or is that only the minor hell?  Raising the question of course of what all these other afterlife punishments are.

If you get a tattoo?
-------------------------------- - - - -

It's interesting that you think there are degrees of sin though.  That rather more than implies that you don't think the bible itself is absolute, which unless I'm mistaken is apparently also probably a sin.   

So how does one navigate this particular obstacle course?  I know that Catholics have their confession and priestly absolution, along with their celebration of the human sacrifice by eating the flesh and blood of the sacrifice.  I'm not aware of any particular mechanism in other sects that carry the same role.
 1. Including that there is no sin, and everybody, even the 'bad' people go to heaven.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 31, 2013, 07:07:53 PM
The idea that the all-powerful, all-good, god Yahweh (the alleged deity of the bible) is morally perfect (and all loving) cannot be rationally defended while still maintaining that Satan is roaming the earth like a lion "seeking whom he may devour".

Your perspective assumes that you know at least as much, or more, than Yahweh.  That would be the only position from which you could then pass moral judgment on Him.

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So there is a double standard then? Are you trying to argue that your alleged God 'thing' can be self contradictory? Under what circumstance (any circumstance) is it morally justified to allow a 'lion' in your house to devour your children but at the same time say that you "love" your children? Further, how can you argue that we are "made in the image and likeness of God" if you think your alleged deity allows this? "Moral perfection" has absolutely no meaning if you admit that your alleged God can violate his own rules.

You are quite wrong in your assertion above. I do not claim to know more than this "Yahweh" imaginary thing of which you speak - b/c I don't think it is real. However, there is still a direct contradiction with your theology and you haven't resolved it just by spinning or rationalizing (aka - the "bigger purpose" argument - as that argument could be used by Muslims as well). Both attempts fail to demonstrate a resolution to the conflict in your theology. An all-loving being would not allow a lion to 'devour' his children. Would you?

If you're willing to admit that you wouldn't do it (and that it would be immoral for you to do so) then please demonstrate how it CAN be moral for your alleged God but not for you.

How can He allow His believers to be tempted and go through trials and tribulation? 

Because I believe the rest of the story:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4, ESV)

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (James 1:12-14, ESV)

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 4:1-5, ESV)

I'll stop there.  It's a perspective/worldview issue that shows how diverse our opinions are.

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God allegedly created hell (a place for Satan) but then allows Satan and his minions out of hell to torment his alleged children. Such actions are neither moral nor loving.


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What is your source for saying that God ever had satan and his minions in Hell ever?  The Bible doesn't say that they have ever been in Hell yet, but if you know of a verse that says so, please share it and I'll stand corrected.[/font]


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You just misrpresented my argument. Please read it again. I said according to your bible God created hell for this alleged 'Satan' character, Matthew 25:41 and Revelation 20:7-10.

Now, is hell separation from God? If so, then Satan has been in hell since he and the angels were thrown out (in this myth).

Okay, now that you've provided more information, I can see your reasoning.

According to Job, Satan is free to enter into the presence of God.  See Job chapters 1 and 2. Satan roams the earth according to 1 Peter 5:8.

I don't know of any verses that say Satan has ever been in Hell.

One day Satan and his minions will be tossed into the lake of fire according to Revelation and Matthew, not Hell:

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41, ESV)

This eternal fire is the Lake of Fire.

And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. (Revelation 19:20, ESV, italics mine)

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 21:7-10, ESV, italics mine)

Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14-15, ESV)

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[/font]

Regarding your take on God tormenting His children, again your perspective assumes that you know at least as much, or more, than Yahweh.  That would be the only position from which you could then pass moral judgment on Him.


Ah but see, you too have also passed moral judgment upon this 'god' conception you have in your mind. You have determined that this 'thing' is "good". How do you know that? By what process have you come to that conclusion? If your moral reasoning has been corrupted by "sin" then you have no reliable means for making that determination.

"If your moral reasoning has been corrupted by "sin" then you have no reliable means for making that determination." That actually works both ways.

But, you do make a good point.  How can I, with a reasoning flawed by sin, make the determination that God is good?  It is because of my sin that I can recognize His goodness. 

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[/font]


The truth comes out - you believe you are morally superior to God. The problem of evil does not disprove God's existence nor His holiness nor His love for humanity.

Are you familiar with martial arts?  How do students become better skilled?  By facing opponents.  Sometimes facing opponents stronger and better skilled than they are.

Satan and his minions can be used by God for good in someone's life if it brings that person into a better understanding of God and their relationship to Him and others. God can use negatives to bring about much positive, but at the time it may seem like eternal torment, because we are limited in our understanding of God and our own selves.

Peace and grace.

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The truth has been out for a long time. Your God is imaginary and the problem of evil does in fact disprove your alleged deity, but of course that subject is not directly related to this OP. Morality is about well being and the minimization of harm. If you attempt to talk about anything else besides that, then you aren't talking about morality. In that sense, I am in fact morally superior to this wacko 'god' creature you believe in, and you know what, so are you. I'm guessing that you wouldn't allow a lion to devour your children or your family, would you? And yet you think your God would allow his children to be devoured, right?

I will await your response as to how you think this alleged God can allow these things and still be called loving, but until then this argument has been dealt with. The God of the bible is either not loving or imaginary. I go with option #2, just like I go with that option regarding all of the other man-made gods from history (as likely you do too!).


Doesn't it seem at least a little bit hypocritical that any time you think God did something that was beneficial to you, you can say he is "good" - but when horrific things occur you don't find yourself lifting your hands and saying, "Thank you God that you allowed such horror"? Did you say, "Praise Jesus for all those Nazi slaughter houses" or "Thank you God for the horror of Jeffrey Dahmer"? I don't think you did, but if so that would make you one sick individual who has sacrificed his own reasoning and moral sense for a mere belief in an old book.

No, Christians don't give thanks to God that evil happens, we give thanks to God that one day He will exact justice for all evil done.  We thank God that ultimately He is in control, even if we can't quite make sense of it.

Your God is not your standard of morality. You are.

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p.s. - Your martial arts analogy fails as well b/c w'ere talking about a lion against a child who cannot defend itself again such a thing (aka - an invisible demon vs a physical person). Never-mind the fact that the very concept of 'immaterial person' is incoherent, loving parents of martial arts students do not put their kids in the ring to fight with creatures that would kill them.

Ok, sorry for the poor analogy.  I guess parents don't put their children on the football field to get their necks broke or get fatal heatstroke either?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 31, 2013, 07:15:31 PM
I don't believe in sin.  That's you.

I'm trying to get a clear idea of what you think sin actually is.  I mean, are you committing sin just by conversing with atheists instead of trying to stone us to death?
Is there more than one punishment, ANY punishment for sin?

I gave you an answer already.  Are you badgering me?  Moderators, are you taking notice of this?

Again, I'll type it out really s-l-o-w-l-y for you:  Sin is anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God (God of the Bible).  Other people say this is a clear explanation of my belief.  What part of "anything that you think, say, or do that does not please God" do you not understand (I know you don't believe that sin and God exists, that's not the question.)   Would it help if I put it in Spanish for you?

Spanish I don't think is necessary.  But what would be useful, I think (that would address what MadBunny is asking) is to at least begin a definitive list of what actually pleases/displease Yahweh.  Without such a list, as MadBunny says, it can become whatever you want it to be at any particular time.

How about Augustine's list:  "Love God, and do what you please."?

And no, it cannot become "whatever you want it to be at any particular time."  Rebellion against God in any form at any time in history never pleases God.  Self-exaltaion, selfishness, pride, arrogance, etc. never please God at any time.  Use your common sense please.

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I'm sure we've all seen the film with the psychopathic bad guy.  All his henchmen tiptoe around him, never quite sure what to say in case today is the day he doesn't like it (and of course he always gets his comeuppance because someone ends up not telling him something for fear of his reaction....but I digress!).

I'm equally sure that you in no way see Yahweh as that kind of being - he is a loving and GOOD creature, and would be devastated to think that the creatures he loves are in any way unclear about what is good and what is not - in this case, what is sin and what is not.  So I would expect - from a loving and good god - that his top priority would be an unambiguous list of what pleases him, and what does not.  So I would be grateful if you could make a start on that list with some specifics of sins, rather than the vague and (to the current unbeliever) frankly unhelpful "sin is whatever Yahweh doesn't like".

This is one area that is difficult to proceed in because of the vast difference and distance between our world views.  :(

We both have presuppositions.  You presuppose that you can pass moral judgment on God.  I presuppose that God is so vastly transcendent that the things I don't understand are just that, things I don't understand, but that God has His reasons and a higher good that He does not reveal.

Peace and grace.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 31, 2013, 07:25:08 PM

Why does He need to come down and answer your questions?  Why don't you start with what information you have and work with that?  Most people don't ever make a sincere effort to take the information that has been given them and use it, or they come with a closed mind and presuppositions (i.e. "The bible if false, but I'll try it." Atheists reads the book of Numbers. "Yep, just like I thought, no answers.")

You won't understand why Yahweh is worthy of worship because you are predisposed to not want to know.  But I would answer your question if you will explain how you would be qualified to pass judgment when you can't even spell it correctly.

Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, and countless others try to say this same thing to us non-believers. Your words are exceedingly ironic in that you came to the bible with an assumption that it was true (which was influenced by the culture of which you grew up - aka you started with your conclusion). The problem with your assessment though is that I (and many others here) believed like you do for nearly 20 years. I later discovered how irrational theology is and how Christians have to spin, rationalize, dodge, use confirmation bias, and/or lie to continue arguing for it.

These things are evidenced in you by your own words - aka the irrational arguments you chose to accept for deism first (namely an argument from ignorance/incredulity fallacy - likely among others) and then onto full superstition in the bible. How can you claim to be neutral and/or open-minded when you are wholly committed and uncritical of your own view? 


As I have said several times, I suffered from a case of "cultural Christianity from the time I was 12 until I was 38.  Then I became an unbeliever for nearly 5 years.  I believed that the Bible was nothing but ancient myths.  Then I believed for a year that there was a Creator, but He was the Deist Creator and that had no effect on my life. Nor did this Deist view validate the Bible in any way, as I did not associate the Creator with Bible-god. My conversion was at a time when I could not have been more inclined NOT to believe the Bible.

Quote
Evidence here:
Quote
I don't know why God chose to reveal Himself this way in different places in the Bible.  Since the Bible says that He is one God but expressed as the three Persons, then I guess He is just trying to help us understand Him.  Why does He call Himself Jehovah Jirah in one place, Jehovah Nissi in another, etc?  Each time it reveals something of His character.

The "trinity" is just one example of religious SPIN. The bible does not say "one god in three persons". You say that. If you were actually willing to be critical of this view you would accept it as a direct contradiction. 3 cannot equal 1, and that the bible says there is only one god but then mentions multiple gods. Your reinterpretation of it (and those of your predecessors) is a spin tactic b/c you started with the conclusion that it CAN'T be a contradiction (in fact the Jews and other Christians don't even accept it but that is where your confirmation bias begins). How convenient that you do this with all of your theological beliefs (assume that they can't be false and then mold/squash/reinterpret them to fit your prior theological commitments). Honest skepticism (the kind you would practice toward Islam, etc) says otherwise.

This is far from being open-minded. It is closed-minded in the highest degree b/c you have committed yourself to confirmation of your assumptions NO-MATTER-WHAT.

No, I actually struggled with the concept of the Trinity after God saved me in 1998.  Just because I am reconciled with the concept now does not mean I have always been. 

You and a few others in the Forum are guilty of engaging in some kind of self-projection, perhaps, in attributing to me things that aren't true.  You seem to know my entire life and how I have always thought, and what internal and external influences have caused me to be made in the image that you have made me in.  I don't approach you guys this way; I would appreciate the same treatment.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 31, 2013, 07:28:15 PM
Yes, there is physical death and then eternal torment.

And unless you disagree with your god's judgment of what's right and just, you yourself must be glad for it.  It is, after all, right and just - no?

I am saddened that any would rebel against God and choose eternal torment.  I am glad that God is a God of mercy who offers forgiveness for the repentant but offers justice for those who reject Him.  I do not place the value of a human over the value of God's character or His right to be obeyed and worshiped.  I know this may be offensive to you, but I am trying to explain how I believe, which is a mainstream Christian view of this subject.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 31, 2013, 07:30:13 PM
Well your bible god is pretty fickle.  I'm sure you're perfectly aware that it's fairly easy to make the bible say almost anything you want it to say. [1]

For example there is a commandment against killing, yet plenty of commandments to stone people to death.

Does this mean that all the people who follow his commandment (to kill) are now bound for hell?  Have all the Christians in our military willingly given up their place in heaven?

If telling a lie is a sin, will you burn in hell for all eternity if you tell somebody they have a pretty baby, when they have only an average looking baby?  Or is that only the minor hell?  Raising the question of course of what all these other afterlife punishments are.

If you get a tattoo?
-------------------------------- - - - -

It's interesting that you think there are degrees of sin though.  That rather more than implies that you don't think the bible itself is absolute, which unless I'm mistaken is apparently also probably a sin.   

So how does one navigate this particular obstacle course?  I know that Catholics have their confession and priestly absolution, along with their celebration of the human sacrifice by eating the flesh and blood of the sacrifice.  I'm not aware of any particular mechanism in other sects that carry the same role.
 1. Including that there is no sin, and everybody, even the 'bad' people go to heaven.

Are you wanting to have a discussion about why murder is a sin, but when God said "annihilate the Amalekites" that it is not a sin?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: jaimehlers on December 31, 2013, 08:04:06 PM
gzusfreak:  It frankly sounds as if the god you believe in is just as fickle as any of the numerous pagan gods that you don't believe in.  "Killing another human being is a sin unless I tell you to."  So how do you know that he actually commands something?  I mean, where's the unambiguous, objective signal that he gives that can't be interpreted any other way than the one he intends?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on December 31, 2013, 08:10:06 PM
I am saddened that any would rebel against God and choose eternal torment.

Not remotely related to what I said.

I am glad that God is a God of mercy who offers forgiveness for the repentant but offers justice for those who reject Him.

So I was right.  If you believe that Madbunny, or anyone else, gets sent to hell to roast for all eternity - you are glad of it.

I do not place the value of a human over the value of God's character or His right to be obeyed and worshiped.  I know this may be offensive to you, but I am trying to explain how I believe, which is a mainstream Christian view of this subject.

I do understand that your beliefs require you to hold the most ultimately passionate hatred imaginable for those who disobey your god.  That is what is required in order to desire that sort of punishment for them, after all.

As long as you acknowledge the incredible amounts of hatred involved in your beliefs, I'll be done here.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 31, 2013, 08:11:53 PM
Gf how do you view war....ww1 ww2 Iraq,Israel ?  War is sometimes  the only solution a Christian president has at his disposal,does this anger a god,or does said god see it as just?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: MadBunny on December 31, 2013, 08:20:07 PM

Are you wanting to have a discussion about why murder is a sin, but when God said "annihilate the Amalekites" that it is not a sin?

I'd say start small.  Why is killing a sin, yet stoning somebody to death not a sin?
Certainly however your example fits within the discussion just fine though.

I am curious to see where you take this.  Most Christians I talk to like to use the new testament of their bible as a 'get out of contradiction card'.[1]
 1. Hmm, I should make one of those..
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 31, 2013, 08:50:38 PM

Are you wanting to have a discussion about why murder is a sin, but when God said "annihilate the Amalekites" that it is not a sin?

I'd say start small.  Why is killing a sin, yet stoning somebody to death not a sin?
Certainly however your example fits within the discussion just fine though.

I am curious to see where you take this.  Most Christians I talk to like to use the new testament of their bible as a 'get out of contradiction card'.[1]
 1. Hmm, I should make one of those..
if he keeps moving the goalposts how can you win a dispute?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 31, 2013, 09:06:32 PM
I am saddened that any would rebel against God and choose eternal torment.

Not remotely related to what I said.

Its hard to say, since you edited that part out.  Getting snippy wid it!


Quote
I am glad that God is a God of mercy who offers forgiveness for the repentant but offers justice for those who reject Him.

So I was right.  If you believe that Madbunny, or anyone else, gets sent to hell to roast for all eternity - you are glad of it.

I do not place the value of a human over the value of God's character or His right to be obeyed and worshiped.  I know this may be offensive to you, but I am trying to explain how I believe, which is a mainstream Christian view of this subject.

I do understand that your beliefs require you to hold the most ultimately passionate hatred imaginable for those who disobey your god.  That is what is required in order to desire that sort of punishment for them, after all.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:20-21, ESV)

I love you Azdgari and desire that God would save you and that you could find eternal life in Him.  That last thing I want for you is for you to suffer eternal damnation.  But the Jesus said that our love for Him must be of such quality that even our love for our own family would appear as hate in comparison.  I would be wrong to not want God to show justice for those who refuse His mercy.  What is He left with if they refuse His mercy except to be just?

Quote
As long as you acknowledge the incredible amounts of hatred involved in your beliefs, I'll be done here.

Your portray a straw man, but I'm ok with you being done here.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 31, 2013, 09:12:35 PM
Gf how do you view war....ww1 ww2 Iraq,Israel ?  War is sometimes  the only solution a Christian president has at his disposal,does this anger a god,or does said god see it as just?

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:3-12, ESV)


Jesus, talking with His disciples before His crucifixion, was telling them about the end of times.  He recognized (not the same as ordered or promoted) that wars would take place.  Why? Because lawlessness will be increased - meaning people will act more wickedly.  People will act on their flawed sin nature.

As for me passing judgment on whether a war was just or not, even though I've studied history, it was only in junior high and high school many, many years ago and I learned what I needed to make a good grade.  I am in no way an expert historian or subject matter expert on any war.  I don't have enough information to make the judgment call that you wish me to make.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on December 31, 2013, 09:13:49 PM

Are you wanting to have a discussion about why murder is a sin, but when God said "annihilate the Amalekites" that it is not a sin?

I'd say start small.  Why is killing a sin, yet stoning somebody to death not a sin?
Certainly however your example fits within the discussion just fine though.

I am curious to see where you take this.  Most Christians I talk to like to use the new testament of their bible as a 'get out of contradiction card'.[1]
 1. Hmm, I should make one of those..


Ok, starting a new thread.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: MadBunny on December 31, 2013, 09:18:10 PM
if he keeps moving the goalposts how can you win a dispute?

He's the one trying to convince others that a set of rules written for bronze age gatherers regarding a fictional entity are somehow valid.  It's roughly analogous to discussing the metallurgical properties of Mithril.

I'm more curious about how he manages to maintain his own cognitive dissonance on the issue. 
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 31, 2013, 11:44:09 PM
Is war right or wrong...... Yes or no.... Is there ever a reason to invade a territory for the purpose to kill another human?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on January 01, 2014, 02:52:16 AM
I love you Azdgari ...

No, you are lying through your teeth - though avoiding the sin of honesty, at least.

You cannot both love me and feel that I deserve to be burned for eternity.  These are mutually exclusive feelings.  You're lying about one of them.  Pick.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: median on January 01, 2014, 04:55:47 AM

How can He allow His believers to be tempted and go through trials and tribulation? 

Because I believe the rest of the story:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4, ESV)

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (James 1:12-14, ESV)

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 4:1-5, ESV)

I'll stop there.  It's a perspective/worldview issue that shows how diverse our opinions are.

I didn't ask you if "he allows his believers to be tempted". I asked you if you would ever allow your children to devoured by a lion and whether or not that would be called moral. Please go back and read my questions here because you didn't answer them. Were you avoiding them? The passages you are citing here have nothing to do with the subject. Allowing one or more of your children to be devoured by a lion has nothing to do with "trials" and "testing". This is just more of your starting with a conclusion (aka that the bible is the inspired 'inerrant word of God' and trying to work backwards).



"If your moral reasoning has been corrupted by "sin" then you have no reliable means for making that determination." That actually works both ways.

But, you do make a good point.  How can I, with a reasoning flawed by sin, make the determination that God is good?  It is because of my sin that I can recognize His goodness. 

You've just contradicted yourself. You've said I have a "good point" (and I take that to mean you agree that it is sound) but then attempt to disagree with my good point. Are you practicing cognitive dissonance? If your moral reasoning has been damaged by this alleged thing called "sin" then you have no reliable method for determining that this deity is moral/good. Merely CLAIMING (ad hoc) that it "works both ways" doesn't mean that it does. Notice that you just made a claim but didn't attempt to back it up with anything?

I'm wondering how much critical thinking you actually practiced during that time in which you claim you were a non-believer.

No, Christians don't give thanks to God that evil happens, we give thanks to God that one day He will exact justice for all evil done.  We thank God that ultimately He is in control, even if we can't quite make sense of it.

So it is true then that both you and I are morally superior to your alleged 'God'? This alleged deity stands back and watches while a child is mercilessly raped and murdered, for example, but we would step in immediately and stop it (doing something that your invisible magic friend will not do). In your theology a child being raped is within "God's divine and perfect plan", right? So then you must think there is some context by which it is moral for your God to do nothing at the moment when moral atrocities are taking place but at the same time think it moral for you or someone else to step in and stop it. And you cannot see the double standard here?

It seems that under your theology (aka - your theological pre-commitment) no argument or rational discourse could persuade you that your god conception is false. Why then should anyone engage you in discourse with you when you are participating in this kind of closed-mindedness? Do you even care whether or not your beliefs are true?

Ok, sorry for the poor analogy.  I guess parents don't put their children on the football field to get their necks broke or get fatal heatstroke either?

Are you actually trying to compare your "all-knowing" god concept with a non-all-knowing human being? If parents had a precise knowledge that a specific game or martial arts tournament was going to KILL their child, do you think they would be moral in deliberately putting them in there anyway? WOW. The lengths it seems you will go to save your assumed theology. How is it loving in any way shape or form for your alleged God to allow a lion in with his alleged 'children' to devour them?

Finally, are you willing to admit that because your moral reasoning has been impaired due to "sin" (according to your theology) that you then have no basis for determining that this invisible thing you claim to worship is actually good? Given that this thing you say you believe in can violate it's own commands, how can you make the judgment that it is moral and/or good? I am interested to see how you can have a coherent and/or meaningful definition of what is moral/good when you can have this kind of double standard.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: median on January 01, 2014, 05:06:48 AM

As I have said several times, I suffered from a case of "cultural Christianity from the time I was 12 until I was 38.  Then I became an unbeliever for nearly 5 years.  I believed that the Bible was nothing but ancient myths.  Then I believed for a year that there was a Creator, but He was the Deist Creator and that had no effect on my life. Nor did this Deist view validate the Bible in any way, as I did not associate the Creator with Bible-god. My conversion was at a time when I could not have been more inclined NOT to believe the Bible.

I do not wish to stray too far off the topic of this OP but for clarity I will say this; if you were an unbeliever I would like to explore that more and what mental state you were under when this conversion occurred (but not in this thread - perhaps we can start another one).


No, I actually struggled with the concept of the Trinity after God saved me in 1998.  Just because I am reconciled with the concept now does not mean I have always been. 

You and a few others in the Forum are guilty of engaging in some kind of self-projection, perhaps, in attributing to me things that aren't true.  You seem to know my entire life and how I have always thought, and what internal and external influences have caused me to be made in the image that you have made me in.  I don't approach you guys this way; I would appreciate the same treatment.

I apologize if I sound like I'm projecting. However, I'm not intending to. It's just that we see these arguments on this forum over and over and over. It gets old, and being that I was a believer (making the same types of arguments you are attempting to make here) I often find it reasonable to hold specific tentative beliefs about a believers theological positions (as my intuitions about them are correct more often than not).

And onward we shall go...
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on January 01, 2014, 11:18:48 AM
I love you Azdgari ...

No, you are lying through your teeth - though avoiding the sin of honesty, at least.

You cannot both love me and feel that I deserve to be burned for eternity.  These are mutually exclusive feelings.  You're lying about one of them.  Pick.

Having a humanitarian love for someone does not exclude recognizing that person's faults or guilt.  Take my brother-in-law (please take him!  ta-doosh ;D) for example.  I love him as a person, but because of his drug-induced beating of his step-son, he deserves conviction, jail time, and psychiatric treatment.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on January 01, 2014, 11:23:57 AM

How can He allow His believers to be tempted and go through trials and tribulation? 

Because I believe the rest of the story:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4, ESV)

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (James 1:12-14, ESV)

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 4:1-5, ESV)

I'll stop there.  It's a perspective/worldview issue that shows how diverse our opinions are.

I didn't ask you if "he allows his believers to be tempted". I asked you if you would ever allow your children to devoured by a lion and whether or not that would be called moral. Please go back and read my questions here because you didn't answer them. Were you avoiding them? The passages you are citing here have nothing to do with the subject. Allowing one or more of your children to be devoured by a lion has nothing to do with "trials" and "testing". This is just more of your starting with a conclusion (aka that the bible is the inspired 'inerrant word of God' and trying to work backwards).



"If your moral reasoning has been corrupted by "sin" then you have no reliable means for making that determination." That actually works both ways.

But, you do make a good point.  How can I, with a reasoning flawed by sin, make the determination that God is good?  It is because of my sin that I can recognize His goodness. 

You've just contradicted yourself. You've said I have a "good point" (and I take that to mean you agree that it is sound) but then attempt to disagree with my good point. Are you practicing cognitive dissonance? If your moral reasoning has been damaged by this alleged thing called "sin" then you have no reliable method for determining that this deity is moral/good. Merely CLAIMING (ad hoc) that it "works both ways" doesn't mean that it does. Notice that you just made a claim but didn't attempt to back it up with anything?

I'm wondering how much critical thinking you actually practiced during that time in which you claim you were a non-believer.

No, Christians don't give thanks to God that evil happens, we give thanks to God that one day He will exact justice for all evil done.  We thank God that ultimately He is in control, even if we can't quite make sense of it.

So it is true then that both you and I are morally superior to your alleged 'God'? This alleged deity stands back and watches while a child is mercilessly raped and murdered, for example, but we would step in immediately and stop it (doing something that your invisible magic friend will not do). In your theology a child being raped is within "God's divine and perfect plan", right? So then you must think there is some context by which it is moral for your God to do nothing at the moment when moral atrocities are taking place but at the same time think it moral for you or someone else to step in and stop it. And you cannot see the double standard here?

It seems that under your theology (aka - your theological pre-commitment) no argument or rational discourse could persuade you that your god conception is false. Why then should anyone engage you in discourse with you when you are participating in this kind of closed-mindedness? Do you even care whether or not your beliefs are true?

Ok, sorry for the poor analogy.  I guess parents don't put their children on the football field to get their necks broke or get fatal heatstroke either?

Are you actually trying to compare your "all-knowing" god concept with a non-all-knowing human being? If parents had a precise knowledge that a specific game or martial arts tournament was going to KILL their child, do you think they would be moral in deliberately putting them in there anyway? WOW. The lengths it seems you will go to save your assumed theology. How is it loving in any way shape or form for your alleged God to allow a lion in with his alleged 'children' to devour them?

Finally, are you willing to admit that because your moral reasoning has been impaired due to "sin" (according to your theology) that you then have no basis for determining that this invisible thing you claim to worship is actually good? Given that this thing you say you believe in can violate it's own commands, how can you make the judgment that it is moral and/or good? I am interested to see how you can have a coherent and/or meaningful definition of what is moral/good when you can have this kind of double standard.

As I said, our world views are so different, that I don't believe you and I can really have a meaning understanding of the other.  In your post above, I perceive much of what you say as your either not understanding much of what I said or you are twisting what I said because of your presuppositions.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on January 01, 2014, 01:18:53 PM
Having a humanitarian love for someone does not exclude recognizing that person's faults or guilt.  Take my brother-in-law (please take him!  ta-doosh ;D) for example.  I love him as a person, but because of his drug-induced beating of his step-son, he deserves conviction, jail time, and psychiatric treatment.

The treatment would be for his own good.  Torture is never for someone's own good.  Eternal torture cannot be justified by love, only by hatred.  You are hateful.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: gzusfreke on January 01, 2014, 02:18:08 PM
Having a humanitarian love for someone does not exclude recognizing that person's faults or guilt.  Take my brother-in-law (please take him!  ta-doosh ;D) for example.  I love him as a person, but because of his drug-induced beating of his step-son, he deserves conviction, jail time, and psychiatric treatment.

The treatment would be for his own good.  Torture is never for someone's own good.  Eternal torture cannot be justified by love, only by hatred.  You are hateful.

In the theistic worldview, you were made for God's purposes, not the other way.  He has offered you undeserved mercy and forgiveness. There will be a day when His long-suffering and lovingkindness will be no longer offered to you.  Nothing unjust or hateful about that.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Azdgari on January 01, 2014, 02:26:23 PM
I am not talking about the feelings of "God".  I am talking about your feelings.  About how you feel that I and others, for disagreeing with you, deserve to be tortured in the most horrible way imaginable for all of eternity.

That you wish to shift responsibility for this feeling away from yourself is understandable.  But have some balls.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: median on January 01, 2014, 03:47:43 PM

As I said, our world views are so different, that I don't believe you and I can really have a meaning understanding of the other.  In your post above, I perceive much of what you say as your either not understanding much of what I said or you are twisting what I said because of your presuppositions.

If you actually care about truth and/or having a meaningful discussion about differences in worldview then why not actually clarify your beliefs better and we can discuss them? Please demonstrate where I have misrepresented your position (if that is what you do think) and then perhaps clarify where you disagree and why. Of course we have different views. That is why you are on this website debating with us, right? So your statement is pointless and redundant. We already know there are disagreements. Let's discuss where those disagreements lie and the details therein. Is that not your goal here or are you just here to preach?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: median on January 01, 2014, 03:51:55 PM
Having a humanitarian love for someone does not exclude recognizing that person's faults or guilt.  Take my brother-in-law (please take him!  ta-doosh ;D ) for example.  I love him as a person, but because of his drug-induced beating of his step-son, he deserves conviction, jail time, and psychiatric treatment.

The treatment would be for his own good.  Torture is never for someone's own good.  Eternal torture cannot be justified by love, only by hatred.  You are hateful.

In the theistic worldview, you were made for God's purposes, not the other way.  He has offered you undeserved mercy and forgiveness. There will be a day when His long-suffering and lovingkindness will be no longer offered to you.  Nothing unjust or hateful about that.


Ah, perhaps I am right in my last post, b/c this is just preaching. I must ask again, do you actually care whether or not your beliefs are true or are you just looking to make yourself comfortable with your presuppositions?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: ParkingPlaces on January 01, 2014, 05:47:07 PM
Eternity is a hell of a long time (pun intended) to be punished by a god with poor communication skills and patently ridiculous hangups, like that faith thing.

If you are a Christian who thinks like that, I would rather spend an eternity in said hell than spend an hour with you in heaven. Because I'm not the monster in this scenario.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Anfauglir on January 02, 2014, 04:40:29 AM
But what would be useful, I think (that would address what MadBunny is asking) is to at least begin a definitive list of what actually pleases/displease Yahweh.  Without such a list, as MadBunny says, it can become whatever you want it to be at any particular time.

How about Augustine's list:  "Love God, and do what you please."?

And no, it cannot become "whatever you want it to be at any particular time."  Rebellion against God in any form at any time in history never pleases God.  Self-exaltaion, selfishness, pride, arrogance, etc. never please God at any time.  Use your common sense please.

Unfortunately, I can't - or, at least, couldn't until that point, because you hadn't defined what actually pleased or displeased your god.  Now, at least, I have a partial list - but which still doesn't really help that much.  Take for example "pride".  I painted a model figure the other day.  It turned out well, and I felt proud of what I had done.  Now was that a sin, or was it not?  It feels trivial, but I don't know - possibly even that little bt of pride was a deep offence to god.

"Common sense", sadly, is of little use in this situation.  I could use my common sense to work out what most humans might think about my little figure, but god?  No, of course not.  He moves in myserious ways, he is beyond our understaning, he is a an ineffable secret mystery.....so no, of course my common sense cannot answer these questions.  You said it yourself:

God is so vastly transcendent that the things I don't understand are just that, things I don't understand, but that God has His reasons and a higher good that He does not reveal.

I - humanity - needs that definitive list, needs it spelled out in excruciating details where the borderlines are.  I repeat my point - if god wants us to do the right thing, he needs us to be a heck of a lot clearer and more specific as to what the "right thing" actually is, if the final judgement is to be made on what we have DONE, as opposed to what our intentions were.

For example:
I honestly believe that god wants me to kick puppies.  Doesn't matter how I got to that point, that is what I honestly and sincerely believe.  Please don't get hung up on the specifics of the act - the point is that there is a certain behaviour that I am convinced god wants, which (in reality) god hates.
I die, and face judgement.
Am I judged on what I DID, despite having the most sincere belief I was doing the right thing?
Or am I judged on my MOTIVES - that I tried my hardest throughout my life to do the things I truly believed were right?

If the former, then I maintain that a truly GOOD god would indeed be minutely specific and ridiculously clear about what he wants me to do - common sense would be irrelevant.
If the latter, then that seems like god would be good - but would mean that the sincere believers of Westboro would enter heaven along with the devout Hindus - and yes, even the fervent atheists who tried all through their lives to live up to what they believe was the right thing to do.

Can you see the quandry I am in here?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Boots on January 02, 2014, 09:31:05 AM
In the theistic worldview, you were made for God's purposes, not the other way.  He has offered you undeserved mercy and forgiveness. There will be a day when His long-suffering and lovingkindness will be no longer offered to you.  Nothing unjust or hateful about that.

So, gawd is offering undeserved mercy and forgiveness for a design flaw that he put in us.  But that mercy and forgiveness for his design flaw has an expiration date--and the unimaginably horrible punishment for NOT taking him up on it does not.

Nope, nothing unjust or hateful at all.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: xyzzy on January 02, 2014, 10:23:15 AM
In the theistic worldview, you were made for God's purposes, not the other way.  He has offered you undeserved mercy and forgiveness. There will be a day when His  and lovingkindness will be no longer offered to you.  Nothing unjust or hateful about that.

So, gawd is offering undeserved mercy and forgiveness for a design flaw that he put in us.  But that mercy and forgiveness for his design flaw has an expiration date--and the unimaginably horrible punishment for NOT taking him up on it does not.

Nope, nothing unjust or hateful at all.

Read in another voice, that of someone standing on the other side, it sounds like a conversation of the form:

Look at all the things I do for you. I'm loving, I'm kind, I take care of you.

You don't deserve what I do for you, someone else wouldn't do this for you, but I'm always there to take care of you.

You're useless, nothing you do is right, it's always wrong. I shouldn't even put up with you but I do it because I love you.

You couldn't manage without me and, if you don't take care of me in the way I ask, I'll leave you and you'll be nothing. All alone and without me. Just like you deserve.


It's scary how the abused make excuses for their abusers.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Hatter23 on January 02, 2014, 01:50:03 PM
I love you Azdgari ...

No, you are lying through your teeth - though avoiding the sin of honesty, at least.

You cannot both love me and feel that I deserve to be burned for eternity.  These are mutually exclusive feelings.  You're lying about one of them.  Pick.

Nah, he'd rather continue lying and dodging. CF, his reply to you: because everyone knows temporary jail is the equivalent of eternal torture  &)
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: median on January 02, 2014, 02:06:58 PM

This is one area that is difficult to proceed in because of the vast difference and distance between our world views.  :(

We both have presuppositions.  You presuppose that you can pass moral judgment on God.  I presuppose that God is so vastly transcendent that the things I don't understand are just that, things I don't understand, but that God has His reasons and a higher good that He does not reveal.

Peace and grace.

NOPE. Wrong again sir. YOU presuppose your theology b/c that is the only way you can continue believing this nonsense. We can certainly get into presuppositional apologetics if you want to. I was a presuppositional Christian apologist for nearly 10 years. I studied under Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen and know all of those arguments quite well b/c I made them myself (nearly every day) when I did what you are doing now online. But you know what? I changed my mind when I discovered that those arguments cannot be rationally justified. Unlike you, I put truth above dogma and pre-commitment (which is actually what you have b/c you didn't just 'suppose' your theology, tentatively, you fixed yourself to it). That is what religious superstition requires.

Now, I have not 'presupposed' that I can make moral judgments about your alleged invisible 'God' thing (nor do I think any other non-believer here has). I simply DO, and CAN make those moral judgements b/c, as I said before, morality is about the well being of conscious creatures and the minimization of unnecessary harm (and I have challenged you to show otherwise). It's funny though that you readily admit your position here:

Quote
I presuppose that God is so vastly transcendent that the things I don't understand are just that, things I don't understand, but that God has His reasons and a higher good that He does not reveal.

WOW. If you can't understand something, why do you keep pretending to (acting like you know this invisible alleged 'Yahweh' thing is moral when you don't know that)? So you have made a PRE-COMMITMENT to your theology, when only a few posts ago you told a story that would have us believe that this was NOT the case and that you were somehow convinced (by evidence or argument) that your particular version of Christianity was the way to go (aka - not presuppositional), after being 'the furthest thing from a believer' [to paraphrase you]. So which was it? Did you start with your conclusion (making a "presupposition") or were you convinced of it by some means of evidence? It sounds like you can't keep your stories straight (which btw is evidence of delusion and/or self-deception).

FYI, there is no such thing as an "I don't know" worldview. So please stop attempting to misrepresent the view of those who do not share your gullibility. Atheism is simply the opposite of theism (the belief in a god). That is all that is required. It says absolutely NOTHING about any other subject of philosophy or science. If you care anything about truth you will represent opposing positions properly. That is called being intellectually honest. You owe yourself at least that much. Thank you.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: jaimehlers on January 02, 2014, 02:12:02 PM
Having a humanitarian love for someone does not exclude recognizing that person's faults or guilt.  Take my brother-in-law (please take him!  ta-doosh ;D) for example.  I love him as a person, but because of his drug-induced beating of his step-son, he deserves conviction, jail time, and psychiatric treatment.
Except this is not relevant to your god, because he is not a human and is therefore not capable of humanitarian love.  No matter how you look at it, your god is infinitely superior to any human, and therefore cannot possibly love any human in any meaningful sense.  It would be like you saying that you love every cell in your body, or every molecule of food that you digest, in an intensely personal way - and that's simply not possible.

No, in order for humanitarian love to exist, you have to view someone as a person, not simply an object, so that you care about their welfare.  So you might feel that it's best for your brother's welfare that he gets psychiatric treatment, but that wouldn't extend to torturing him.  And your god simply doesn't care.  Your god only cares about whether people worship him, not about what's best for them.

By being willing to accept that the fate your god decrees for those who don't believe in him is just, you are contradicting any claim of humanitarian love for them.  You're essentially saying that you don't care that this fate is completely unconcerned with their actual welfare.  Instead, you are acquiescing to your god's decree and trying to intimidate other people into acquiescing to it as well.  Like it or not, having humanitarian love for someone means that you're willing to stand against people who don't have their interests at heart, and you've proven that you aren't, at least when it comes to your god's desires.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Truth OT on January 08, 2014, 05:45:11 PM
Having a humanitarian love for someone does not exclude recognizing that person's faults or guilt.  Take my brother-in-law (please take him!  ta-doosh ;D) for example.  I love him as a person, but because of his drug-induced beating of his step-son, he deserves conviction, jail time, and psychiatric treatment.

The treatment would be for his own good.  Torture is never for someone's own good.  Eternal torture cannot be justified by love, only by hatred.  You are hateful.

In the theistic worldview, you were made for God's purposes, not the other way.  He has offered you undeserved mercy and forgiveness. There will be a day when His long-suffering and lovingkindness will be no longer offered to you.  Nothing unjust or hateful about that.

This is the worldview that says God created me to be born and "insouled" sometime at or after conception only to die within a maximum of a little over a century and to then have my soul live on in a mysterious heavenly paradise or tortured for all eternity in a fiery hellish lake of torment. My eternal destiny, which in this worldview is really all that truly matters to me as the living person, is determined based on how well I live my short adult life attempting to please the god that created me. The very god who's "word" declares that few will find heaven and many will take the broad road to destuction, who is claimed to not be a respector of persons even though he has placed the majority of people that ever lived into regions and traditions that have not allowed for those folks to know or fulfill god's requirements, and yet he claims they are without excuse; doesn't sound fair or moral at all.

Under this worldview life is really a means God uses to set most people up for failure, and that failure he has determined is deserving of eternal conscious torment. Being that we are "born in sin and conceived in iniquity", have only recently developed mass communication ability, have just recently become literate as a general populous, massive human failure was and is eminent! In spite of all of that you have the gall to claim that there's nothing hateful about that. Is it that the word hateful bothers you? Would words like sadistic, insideous, or diabolical be more apt descriptions!?!?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: jtk73 on January 09, 2014, 05:51:56 PM
I am saddened that any would rebel against God and choose eternal torment.

Don't be sad. Even within the context of the Bible, no one CHOOSES eternal torment. God is the one that makes the rules and sends them to eternal torment, therefore, God is the one that is choosing.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: johnrain on January 24, 2014, 06:40:12 AM
It is hard to fathom why an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent deity would create us and have us PREDESTINED for eternal life or death.
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: Boots on January 24, 2014, 11:59:20 AM
It is hard to fathom why an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent deity would create us and have us PREDESTINED for eternal life or death.

How about "because he's a bitchy bronze-age dictator?"
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: junebug72 on January 26, 2014, 04:40:38 PM
So you're saying that humans can't know right from wrong.

No, that's not what I said,

That is totally what you said.  If humans aren't able to make a moral judgment about a situation because our moral ideas might be inferior to those of a god, then that applies to all contexts - whether or not the god is the subject being judged.  If you didn't mean to state that humans have no grounds to make any moral judgments, then you shouldn't have said what you did.

but since you brought it up, on what basis do humans decide what is right and what is wrong?

That would vary from human to human.

Based on your logic, you are saying that humans aren't able to make a moral judgment because since the ability would "vary from human to human," then some would make moral judgments inferior to other humans.

But humans do make moral judgments, and yes some make better moral judgments than others, but a human is in no more position to make a case for being morally superior to God than my 2-year old 3/4 Chihuahua/ 1/4 Dachshund is capable of being morally superior to me.

Man I got to say something.  You're right we are not superior to God IMO either.  What I do believe is if humans think it's wrong then so must God.  I think religion is wrong.

I think discrimination is wrong.  I think judging others is wrong.  I think you should be careful what you say about God.  The list goes on and on.

See my point is you take the very best of us multiply that times a lot and you have God, IMO.

As far as free will goes.  God didn't take that little girl's free will away the killer did.  That's why we lock them up.  Some call it "playing God" killing someone that is.  It's the farthest thing from being God, IMO. 

This argument insinuates humans should not have been created, by any means.  If God does not exist because of pain and suffering, the atheist POV, then nature is to blame for pain and suffering.  Should I hate nature or just try to make the best out of what I got?

It's a grain of salt...


JB
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: One Above All on January 26, 2014, 04:47:43 PM
I think judging others is wrong.

You don't see the problem here?
Title: Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
Post by: MadBunny on January 27, 2014, 01:33:29 AM
It is hard to fathom why an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent deity would create us and have us PREDESTINED for eternal life or death.

Seems like an unhealthy relationship to me.


(http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k150/madbunny_2006/y8w4fu5hxqpx8.jpg)