ARCHIVED COMMENTS FROM ORIGINAL POST(S) —A MANIPULATIVE GOD:
BLUE = ORIGINAL POST
BLACK = COMMENTS
- So Unnecessary – As a direct result of his own actions (curses, humankind born sinners, etc.) God must come to earth as a specimen of his own creation & cause himself to be put to a hideous death in order to redeem humanity from the condemnation which he himself imposed upon it. And don’t forget the resulting deaths for those who followed Jesus.
Thank you for your comment on my blog. I would love for you to expand your thought process a little bit and to share what it is that you find laughable about my explanations.
I wanted to comment on your main page, but I guess that is not doable, so this comment is intended for what is there. I will try to get back and read more when I am able.
I would like to know what denomination you were “indoctrinated” in at an early age. I find a lot of problems with the Catholic denomination of Christianity, and have seen several Catholics who, like you, read the Bible and “de-convert” because of the differences between what they read in the Bible and what they see in Catholicism and learn in their Catholic school.
But, alas, more churches than not stray from the Bible more often than they stringently stick to it, so that issue is not monopolized by Catholics.
Also, I agree that it is wrong for parents to indoctrinate their children, IF they are not sufficiently convinced themselves. If the parents believe simply because they have been told and it sounds good, then they cannot and should not expect their children to believe for their whole lives simply because they tell their children that God, Jesus, and Christianity are true.
I personally believed simply because I had been told and it sounded good all the way through high school. However, when I was old enough to think for myself, my beliefs, which were based on other people, were not strong enough to withstand the barrage of temptation to which a young man is submitted.
So I became an unbeliever and was really going to have to be sufficiently convinced if I was going to go back to fighting the difficult battles that I had fought in my Christian youth.
Praise and honor and glory be to God, for He has convinced me that He is the Creator and Giver of all, and that He is just and good and loving and perfect; and that my sins, which are many, seperate me from Him and the perfection and righteousness that He demands; and that Jesus Christ, by His perfect life and death on the Cross and Resurrection is the King of the universe; and that I must submit to His authority in order to take hold of the eternal life to which I have been called.
You can read more about my re-conversion, if you like, at my blog.
Thanks again for the comment,
On the Catholic thing, I meant to also say that a lot of people commit the error of association Catholicism with Christianity, such that Catholicism equals Christianity in their minds. If a person makes that association and finds flaws in Catholicism, which I believe there are many, then they see them as flaws with Christianity.
There are many flaws with Christians, but no flaws with Christianity or with Christ, who is the author and founder of our faith!
God sent himself as a sin offering because there is no sacrifice that could cover sin, except a pure lamb (Jesus). Man put condemnation on themselves when Adam and Eve took the first fruit and spoiled the bloodline of humans to follow. God imposed rules and they violated them. Sin cannot be in the presence of God, therefore sinful beings as ourselves need something to bridge that separation sin causes, thus Jesus comes into the picture. Saying that God condemns us from a imposed sanction is like blaming the government for giving you a speeding ticket, going to jail, or something else to that affect for disobedience to the law.
brooksrobinson: God set everything in motion. Got created Adam, Eve and the snake and gave them knowledge (how to move talk and so on) and personality’s and he put the tree of knowledge where Adam and Eve could get to it. If God had given the snake a different, less manipulative personality, made Adam and Eve less naive and put the tree of knowledge somewhere where they could not get to it than things would have tuned out different.
If God created everything than God set everything in motion and everything goes back to God, God is then the root cause of all the problems in the universe.
And can’t God do anything? If so than all he has to do is say “all is forgiven” and all is forgiven barbaric sacrifice needed.
bigham appears to have taken off.
I hate it when they do that.
The simple point is, brooksrobinson, that a perfect god wouldn’t need a sacrifice of any kind. A perfect god wouldn’t create a situation where sin could exist. It could be argued that a perfect god COULDN’T create a situation where sin could exist. You state that sin can’t be in the presence of God, and yet, in another post, you state that God himself came down to Sodom and Gomorrah to see the sinners sinning up close and personal in order to verify that it was as bad as it appeared all the way up in heaven (apparently God needs glasses). And I’m sure you didn’t really mean to compare the laws of your god to the laws of our country, laws that change from state to state and often from city to city and county to county. Not to mention laws that are constantly erased, added and adjusted as we evolve as a society.
And, bigham, you state that you agree that it is wrong for parents to indoctrinate their children in religion, IF the parents are not sufficiently convinced themselves. So the parents who followed David Koresh and believed he was the second coming of Christ and taught their children that this was indeed the case, you have no problem with that, seeing that the parents were absolutely certain in their convictions? The same for followers of the various cults that have and currently exist or even religions like Mormonism or Scientology.
And I am curious about your reconversion, bigham, but can you provide the link to your blog. I used to be able to just click your user name but that is no longer working.
“It could be argued that a perfect god COULDN’T create a situation where sin could exist.”
Not necessary, if God wanted people to sin than it could. But that would bake God evil and theists dislike that ore than an imperfect god.
But of course the god(s) of the bible is evil so they have no way around that except ignoring it and Christan’s and Jew (and Muslims but thats a different book) are good at that..
On an archetypal level – far displaced from the doctrine – I would say that it was absolutely necessary. And, I would argue that God created the situation by design as well as by secondary manifestation. He breathed His breath into dirt and caused it to be a sentient being. Being spirit, He could not *experience* His own creation in human terms. And so, at the first transgression (disobedience having nothing whatever to do with sexuality), He set Himself up to redeem humanity by experiencing human life *perfectly*. Without this experience, He could not comprehend His own creation. By living and dying as a human, and subsequently returning to His immortal state, God opened the door for humanity to become divine.
Again, it is very important that you understand here that God resides *outside* of Time as well as being everpresent in creation.
This suggests to some a kind of duality in God . . . but I think that He resides in dimensions we cannot yet comprehend. This is what the esoterics explore – the multiple dimensionality of reality and the force or being who created it.
Blessings! Have a super day!
bitterhermit: What do you mean by “out side of time”? What dose that mean?
Looks like bitterhermit doesn’t want to answer the question. I suppose its hard to answer the question when its premise (God being out side of time) is vague and doesn’t make sense.
Lone Wolf, believe me, bitterhermit probably just forgot or hasn’t realized your request for him to expand on his meaning is just sitting there. David (bitterhermit) LOVES to explain his theories; it’s why I love his comments, even if I don’t often agree with them. And let’s give the guy some credit; he is one of the most open minded believers I’ve encountered on this or any other blog. He may be a little too ‘deep’ in his thinking for me to follow sometimes but, you must admit, his comments are VERY fun to read.
Well, I hope he answers.
Sorry. I didn’t get the question until just now. I’ve been off doing work. Such a drag . . .
Okay. Here’s the thing: we exist in four dimensions. We live in three dimensions of space and one of time. The specific dimension of time in which we live is called “now”. There is no other point of time in which we can exist because of our physical limitations. We can have memories or imaginations of past and future, but can only experience ‘now’.
For a being to have created the four dimensions we know – or even that which is manifest within those four dimensions – that being must be ‘other’ than its own creation. In order to create what did not before exist, it must have existence completely removed from that which it creates. This means that it must stand outside those four dimensions. Therefore, God, as Creator, must exist outside of what we recognize as time.
The question is whether he is the absolute origin of all universes. If said creator is the origin of all things . . . it gets really deep from there . . . because that creator must be All things. Not only creator, but creation and all that issues from it and from said creator. In this scenario, God is a multi-dimensional (or, perhaps, mega-dimensional) being. From here, we can only guess at that creator’s nature as viewed by the dim reflection that creator casts within the creation. Nature reveals a great deal. We have numerous disciplines through which we attempt to discern that being’s nature: science, philosophy, religion, spiritualism, etc.
In short, a being capable of creating time could not be held to its strictures. Time is a mere framework in which all things occur. God stands outside that framework. Time is part of our environment. What keeps the Creator synchronized? That is a fascinating quandary.
We measure time by the movement of light. What would the creator of light use to measure time? Is it a dimension to him similar to our dimensions of space? Can he move through it in the same manner as we do through air? I think perhaps it is possible. BUT, I don’t think he can do it in any physical form. Just as I do not think that humanity will ever acheive bodily interstellar travel . . . .
Well there you go, Lone Wolf.
I see what you mean but to say God exists out side of time is not the most accurate way of saying it. What your saying is God exists out side of the universe.
But theres a problem with that idea, yes God could exist out side time in this universe but where ever God exists there has to be time (not necessarily time as we know it but time non the less). With out time, nothing can happen. If time ceased to exist it would be like pressing pause on a movie, nothing happens, nothing moves, not even photons. With out time nothing happens so where ever God exists there has to be time in some shape or form.
As a consequence of your idea, it brings up another idea, a multiverse. If God exists out side of our universe than God must be another universe. That brings in the possibility of other universes and the multiverse is an possible explanation for the existence of our universe (our universe came out of another universe). Which leads to another point, there is no need for God as an explanation for the universe or anything.
And the idea that God created everything has problems of its own. God is a thing so if God created everything than God created himself but that would make the whole of existence a massive predestination paradox that God is a part of. But of course you can say God created everything except him self but that then gets into a different topic.
Another problem is the problem of evil, if God created everything than God created evil and suffering and that would mean God is not good.
And the idea that God created everything goes right back to my point, God set everything in motion. So if God was perfect than everything would happen how he envisioned it which then means God made some mistakes or God wanted the bad things that have happened to happen.
I have a bad feeling Lone Wolf and David (bitterhermit) could end up going back and forth on this for a while
What’s to feel bad about?
Define “perfect”. It really only means ‘complete’.
God created us to have free will. That is a variable within the context of creation that leaves it open to our influence. If God has the power to create even one solar system, I don’t think I want to call him out for being a jerk. But then, if I thought he was a petulant and pedantic prick as the Bible thumpers and hellfire preachers suggest, then I’m ready to party away eternity among the sinners in Hell – certainly don’t want to be a slave to a tyrant and have to sing and bow through eternity. Pardon the invective, but FUCK that. Yes. I cuss. Like a sailor. I don’t have a problem with it. If I know it offends anyone, I’ll refrain from it around them, but that’s off-topic . . .
Assuming God as Creator, I agree with you that he set things in motion. However, I don’t really see things from a perspective of “good” and “evil” anymore. I’m working my way around to a systems perspective, and from this perspective it is a matter of natural consequence. Not shame and blame, which are worthless – actually, they are powerful but destructive means of controling people, and I prefer to avoid them – but instead to view the world and life and society as a system of living beings in which we are either responsible or irresponsible. To be responsible means to live according to an understanding that we effect each other in all that we do, think, and say. If I murder someone, the natural consequence of that is a great deal of emotional suffering and a certain amount of destruction to my own mind and being as well as any social consequence such as imprisonment or execution.
One thing is certain: if you are not responsible for yourself, someone will force responsibility on you. That is the way of society. It is natural law. The law God built into His creation.
Going back to the belief that God made us in His image, I’d like to point out what incredibly curious animals we are (when not opressed by bullying dogma). From this, I conclude that God is a very intellectually curious person. What was His purpose in creating the world and a sentient race?
” I don’t really see things from a perspective of “good” and “evil” anymore. I’m working my way around to a systems perspective, and from this perspective it is a matter of natural consequence. Not shame and blame, which are worthless – actually, they are powerful but destructive means of controling people, and I prefer to avoid them – but instead to view the world and life and society as a system of living beings in which we are either responsible or irresponsible. To be responsible means to live according to an understanding that we effect each other in all that we do, think, and say. If I murder someone, the natural consequence of that is a great deal of emotional suffering and a certain amount of destruction to my own mind and being as well as any social consequence such as imprisonment or execution.”
Thats a very good way to view the world, its the best ways to find solutions to problems.
Replace evil with suffering and the problom still remains. God created a would ful of suffering. And not just in humans, in animels as well.
Perfection, God incapable of making mistakes, allways doing things exastly right ith out any error. If God is perfect that everything wpuld happen they way God invisioned it. With out any error, everything would happen acording to hs plans.
As for free will, that argument simply dose not work. First: God dose not seem to care about peoples free will. A man can go out ans rape and kill a woman, she had no choice in the madder, his will overtook hers. Think about how often people wills are suppressed by others.
Second you have to deal with determinism which can be easily and logically explained but free will can not be logically explained. In free will vs determinism, determinism wins every time.
Then what about omniscients? If God is omniscient than he know what people are going to do before they do it and if they do differently, he’ not omniscient.
As for humanity being made in Gods image. Why would such a bing as God have an image? And even if he did, why would it be in human form? God could choose any form we wanted. Human animal, glowing blob, dust cloud, giant 1 eyed, 8 legged, 5 armed headless monster. Why would a bing as powerful as God be confined to 1 form or any form.
Didn’t really mean ‘bad’, David (bitterhermit). Alas, I’m afraid the discussion has moved a bit beyond my comprehension. But no worries, I actually love reading what you two have to say.
And, just so we’re clear, I don’t limit any kind of speech on my blog
Lone Wolf: i just stumbled across this post and saw you’re thing about the “multiverse” explination of the origin of the universe. However for that theory to be true and for it to be the ultimate origin of the universe, then there would have to be an infinite chain of universes. This creates an impossibility, For there to be and infinite chain of events leading up to and away from every point in the chain. This would mean that we had to overcome and infinite amount of time to reach the point the universe was created in. Therin lies the impossibility. !)avid
Hey whiteman0o0, good to see you jump into the deep end by joining this discussion. It’s without a doubt one of the more interesting ones to sprout up on any of my posts. I’ve pretty much stepped aside to allow this rather multifaceted discussion run its course.
And I guess I’m going to have to refer to both you and bitterhermit by your usernames seeing as you’re both named David.
I hope you’re up to the challenge as I’m certain your last comment will NOT Jbe the last word.
whiteman0o0: There dose not need to be an infinite number of universes, it is possibility though.
Second you can have an infinite amount of time, it is a very difficult to imposable thing to comprehend cause of how we think of time. But that is just the limitations of our brains, not time.
Thirdly: time would not be part of the multiverse, it would be part of the universe. If you got o another universe, time might not exist there and if it does, it could be different than time in this universe. For example, say a man built a partial to another universe, he then went and spent a week exploring the other universe, he then. He then comes back to this universe and then finds that he is a week in the past. In our universe time goes in one direction how ever in the other universe time goes in the opposite direction,
I’m not buying your assertion about determinism trumping free will. You’re being too linear in your approach. We’re not each making our free choice decisions in a vacuum! We’re variables in a seemingly infinite equation. The guy choses to rape or not. She choses to fight or not. The court decides to prosecute or not. The brother decides to avenge or not. There are almost always options. Yes, there are a certain number of deterministic factors with which we have to deal, such as natural law, but by and large we have a great deal of latitude in how to live our lives. We have the choice to be moral, immoral, or even amoral. We have the choice to pursue education or art or vice or virtue or a craft or profession or any number of combinations thereof. We have the choice of adapting to our environment, adapting it to us, or to flee to another environment. By and large we are raised with a victim mentality that keeps us opressed by the erroneous assumption that we ‘have to’ or ’should do’ what others want or demand or expect us to.
I’ve had opportunity and motive numerous times to commit murder, but I never have. Same with theft, rape, robbery, fraud, and lots of other crimes and misdemeanors – and at times I made bad choices and commited more than a couple infractions of the law. Other times I’ve erred on the side of following the letter of the law. All were choices I made and led to various consequences. I’m not a rat in a maze. God has no strings on me, no ring in my nose leading me on.
As far as any supposition that a perfect being is incapable of setting into motion an imperfect creation . . . non sequitor. God as the Creator made the creation to have a life of its own. The creation – each creation and/or creature – has the choice to remain perfect or to transgress. God has that choice; his default is perfection.
Suffering is part of life. Embrace it. Honor it. Be grateful for it. What would joy be if there were no pain? It is the contrast of pain and pleasure that bring meaning and distinction to life. Frankly, I believe Adam and Eve are in heaven fucking each other’s brains out in celebration of choosing to go ‘where angels fear to tread’. That’s kind of a radical thing of a believer to say, but I’m a pluralist overall. I intend no offense, nor to shock or what have you, but merely to introduce a different perspective.
God’s omniscience led to the whole of history. He saw trouble and built in corrective measures. But then, I’m not completely sold on God’s omniscience and omnipresence. He talks a couple times in the Bible about His spirit not dwelling here forever. In the book of Job, he seems to come from somewhere to join Job in the guise of a thunderhead. And then there is the matter of angels – why does He need messengers if He can just tap us on the shoulder and say, “Uh, hey, David. Would you mind not slandering my saints? The Bible is my Word. Take my word for it. Go forth and pacify.”
Sorry, I realize I have a habit of raising more questions than I answer, but ain’t that just the way of things?
Peace & Health!
I think you missed the point about determinism.
Theres no way to explain how free will would work however its easy to describe how determinism would determine even the thoughts in our heads. Even if you bring in the randomness of quantum mechanics, that only brings a random variable in to play, it dose not give you free will.
Think about it this way, if you grew up in another country (say somewhere in the middle east) and raised by different parents with different beliefs. You would be a different person with different belief and even think differently. If you where raised by a Islamic fundamentalist family, in a primarily Islamic fundamentalist area and a situation came up where you had a chance to become a suicide bomber. Now you can argue you have free will but what it comes down to is you DNA, what you’ve been exposed too, when you were exposed to it and by whom. All those come together and determine what your decision would be. Its not really a choice, its the culmination of multiple variables coming together
When I say suffering, I don’t mean small things I mean starvation, torture, chronic instance pain. You know the horrible things. God could have created a world with out such things but God created a world with these things, even in animals. God didn’t have to create the world like it is, he could have made a world with out such things. And the fall doesn’t explain it cause 1. thats not our fault, 2. God should have the power to change the would and make it better and 3. those where stupid mistakes God made that lead to the fall (he couldn’t put a guard to make sure they never would approach the tree or put the tree somewhere else where they couldn’t get to it)
No. I didn’t miss the point. I merely disagreed with it . . . conditionally. There are a great many deterministic factors in our life and world, but that does not contraindicate free will. We all have choices. It is our right, responsibility, and privelidge to make choices. Our choices lead to consequences that may or may not be determining factors in others’ lives. Others make choices that become determining factors in our lives. But it is a matter of CHOICE. We decide. Most choices are limited by deterministic factors, yes; however, we retain our freedom to choose.
I was born in America. I’m grateful. I was raised by fundamentalist (emphasis on ‘mental’) Christians with a love for the belt and a penchant for corporal punishment. Despite that, I have reformed my life. It was not determined for me (except in large part by me).
Determinism is a crutch. An out. An excuse. Personal responsibility requires the realization that we have the choice, power, privelidge, and duty to make beneficial choices. It requires free will.
Were you biologically moved to clack out the above entry? Why would any deterministic factor require that of you? Did you not make the choice of how to react? What words to use? Whether to capitalize God or His personal pronouns?
I am not denying that we are beholden to a great many deterministic factors; I am adamantly declaring that we have choices, which is to say that we have free will. Otherwise, logic itself is predetermined and there is no point whatsoever for abstract thought or reason. It would be completely unreasonable to assume that we have the capability of abstract thought and higher reasoning by some accident of bio-chemistry. All things in this world – this universe – have their place and have pragmatic use to the entire system.
Suicide bombers are not born, they are made. Same with murderers and theives and adulterers and Bio-chem majors and saints and sinners of every stripe and spot. I am intensely grateful to be an American with a good education and not a person who has lost his sense of free will.
As for why God created the world as it is . . . I’ll go hang out with the agnostics on this one. I have only conjecture and questions on the matter. Frankly, I think a great deal of it is created by humanity and the choices tyrannical leaders make – tyrants of all species, corporate as well as government and household, etc.
It is quite easy and intuitive to explain how free will works. You’re at a stoplight; do you adhere to the law or act irresponsibly by ignoring it? Your choice depends on a conscious decision. It is not predetermined by any other factor that you have not created by your own will. You choose whether you will remain beholden to the law for the sake of law. Or whether you only adhere to rules when they appeal to your reason. Or only when it is convenient. Or only when enforcement is likely.
Be careful here, though, because your choice has consequences. It may become a deterministic factor in your life or the life of other drivers. But it is not determined until you engage your free will to either drive responsibly or be a scofflaw.
Deterministic factors are constants in the extended equation, and each choice made is a variable that affects the rest of the equation. That is the nature of dualism – as well as pluralism.
Your view of determinism is wrong. Its not a Church or an excuse. It is an explanation of why people do what they do. It dose not negate responsibility, It dose not mean people should not be punished when people do wrong, the point of punishment is to deter and teach people not to do those things. We still have responsibility, we still are responsible for our actions, determinism just tels us why we do what he do.
It dose not mean that w.e do not have abstract though and the ability reason, we have those things, those things come from how we proses information which is a product of determinism.
All determinism does is explain why people do what they do. It is a better view point cause it informs our decision on how to deal with circumstances, how to salve problems like crime, terrorism, poverty, war and so on.
One thing to understand about determinism is it involves so many variable that its so complicated that not even with all the processing power of all the brains of all living things and all computers combined you couldn’t comprehend it all. Even on an individual level. And it is those countless variables that determine whether I capitalise “god” or not.
How can free will exist? This is my main problem with free will. How can a decision that has not been determined? How can you make a “free” decision?
bitterhermit (or whomever wishes to reply), regarding the issue of free will, I was wondering what your thoughts were on people whose mental issues may result in them not having the ability to control their own actions. Is it possible for God to judge such a person? Is it possible for them to be punished and sent to hell to burn for their sins, sins that were committed with a complete lack of free will?
Of course it’s possible. Anything is possible. But, if He is that much of a tyrant, I don’t want to spend eternity with him!
I have a brother with bipolar disorder, and a mother whose undergone ECT enough times that she ‘gets confused’ about things. She believes God is that judgemental. I believe he is much more generous, forgiving, and loving than that. I believe He takes all things into consideration.
And, frankly, I do not believe in hell as a place. I believe that what we cosider Hell is merely the suffering we undergo in this life. Not all of it has to do with sin and punishment. In fact, the majority is simply circumstantial consequence.
If we have no power to chose, then we cannot be condemned for doing what we were not given the option of not doing. That’s like a man who beats his dog just because he’s within arm’s reach. So, what, we see God as a mean drunk? I can’t accept that. He’s going to have to come down and bitch-slap me into believing that scenario if He wants that to be the truth for me.
Actually, I think the entire spirit of the gospel is contained in the idea that God does not, and therefore we should not, judge people at all. He judges behavior, and so should we. It is our right and responsibilty to call right right and wrong wrong, but it is not our right to condemn a person for doing one or the other.
How’s that for an answer?
Yes, but does that person have free will?
Yes. But . . . It’s a matter of degrees. Can a lame man travel? Yes, but not by the usual means. A person has free will to the limit of their cognitive ability.
Biblically speaking, the original sin was not an act as such. The original sin was disobedience. If someone lacks the capability of obedience or rebellion, then to that degree they lack free will.
I’m kind of a heretic in many ways. One of my weird and unsubstantiated beliefs is that there are people born without souls. In the OT, they speak of the “sons of man” and they speak of the sons of Adam as being different. Very curious, yes?
Lone Wolf . . . bite me! LOL
We can only continue to discuss this rationally if you take the trouble to define what you mean by ‘determinism’. And what you mean by ‘free will’. Otherwise we’re just flagellating each other with ungrounded assertions. Which is as meaningless as a world void of free will.
ECT? Electroshock? They still do that?
Determinism: that easy, our actions and thoughts are determined by preexisting variables. Free will: the ability to make a choice with out it being determined or destined (in part or full).
As Ive said, it only explains why people do things, it dose not take away responsibility. If I went out and killed some one, regardless of what variables lead to it, I am still a murder. If you disagree (as you do), think about it another way. The world is mostly gray. Killing is wrong but there are certain circumstances where it is excepted and even needed, steeling is wrong but if you had to steel to get food to feed you family its wrongness is out weighed by circumstance, in fact in such circumstances it would be far more wrong you not to do what is needed to feed your family.
If determinism negates responsibility, there is still a need for it and that need would out weigh the consequences of determinism.
They do it even better these days. It’s pretty much regarded as barbaric in the mainstream, but it’s much more common than it should be. Overall, mental health medical practice is woefully behind the technological times.
I don’y buy your idea of freewill. You say the world is gray, and yet you take an extreme polar position on the definition of free wiil. That’s bad logic.
Our thoughts and actions are INFLUENCED not determined by those factors.
I said in part or full
“Free will: the ability to make a choice with out it being determined or destined (in part or full)”
One thing you have not dealt with yet, its easy to explain how determinism works but free will, there is no way to explain how it would work. How can you make a decision that has not been determined or only influenced by determinism? How dose free will work?
I did give you examples. Free will is rather simple: you DECIDE which available option to take. You decide, “I WILL shrug and walk away instead of punching this dimwit in the mouth.” That is how free will works. You have the power, AND responsibility to consciously DECIDE how to live your life.
That’s all there is to free will.
And your definitition reads as being being totally exlusionary. “In part or full”, as stated, is a polarized definition that claims that if the decision is even partially determined, then there is no free will. And that, friend Lone Wolf, is the part with which I disagree.
Making decisions does not mean we have free will, those decision are determined. When you decide to do something, that decision is based on series of variables that determine what the decision will be. So the question remains.
It dose not polarise, even if 9 times out of 10 your decision are determined, that 1 in 10 decision is based on free will, thus you have free will.
LW, your logic really sucks.
If we had no free will, we would not have choices to make.
Free will means that WE consciously determine our own choices. Decisions made without deliberate intent are deterministic. When we CHOOSE – that is free will. If the decision is determined by something outside our own intent, that is determinism.
You’re not even using logic. You’re just making the same assinine assertions time and again.
YES, having the power of decision IS free will. Otherwise, it would not be our decision; it would be a DETERMINED response based on external factors.
Go take a course in rhetoric and learn to proof your writing. You stopped making any knid of rhetorical response about ten comments ago. At this point, you’re just beating me over the head with a dry, dead assertion which you have completely FAILED to state in any coherent or convincing manner.
Peace and Consciousness.
Thomas: Thanks for hosting this discussion. I appreciate your patience. I’m done on this subject unless someone brings something new and interesting and LOGICAL to the discussion.
Oh, I think see now. Are you a Compatibilist?
I have never heard the term “Compatibilist”.
First, I’d like to note here that I prefer to remain “undeclared”. I shun labels.
From the glossing read I gave a few sources on Compaitilism, it seems compatible with the rest of my pluralistic concepts/ethics/philosopies/beliefs. One link in a chain. I believe that life demands free will . . . AND also that free will absolutely depends on deterministic factors.
Any decisions we make are instances of free will. Otherwise they would be COMPULSIONS, and not decisions. Free will is the ultimate variable in every deterministic causal equation. It must therefore be both a cause of determinism and a seperate concept – an outside factor.
I see. Than we must agree to disagree.
whiteman0o0: There dose not need to be an infinite number of universes, it is possibility though.
Second you can have an infinite amount of time, it is a very difficult to imposable thing to comprehend cause of how we think of time. But that is just the limitations of our brains, not time.
Thirdly: time would not be part of the multiverse, it would be part of the universe. If you got o another universe, time might not exist there and if it does, it could be different than time in this universe. For example, say a man built a partial to another universe, he then went and spent a week exploring the other universe, he then. He then comes back to this universe and then finds that he is a week in the past. In our universe time goes in one direction how ever in the other universe time goes in the opposite direction,
Lone wolf: I will agree with your statement of the possibility of time flowing on opposite directions because i believe it to be a linear function. However that does not change the fact that we would have to have overcome an infinite number of points to reach the present for there to be an infinite universe spawning superverse.
Allow me to give an analogy for a moment.
If I have an infinite number of apples and I give you all of the odd apples the I am still left with an Infinite number, however you also have an infinite number. Hence the problem of dealing with infinite proportions in any type of conversation.
Because while time may flow in opposite directions into infinity there is still an infinite amount of time either way, So It would still be impossible for the universes to be infinite in number, there must always be a point of origin, whether it be to the superverse or anything else.
I hope this was vaguely coherent as i was just snowballing on an idea. !)avid
lone wolf would never understand so please,don’t waste your time bitterhermit
lou, bitterhermit was not wasting his time. To suggest that because he and Lone Wolf didn’t come to an agreement (other than agreeing to disagree) means that their discussion wasn’t productive is missing the point. Clearly they both have two very interesting takes on this particular subject and I for one enjoyed trying to force my mind around each of their thought processes. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. Even whiteman0o0 felt compelled to join the discussion. Few blogs are designed exclusively for only those who agree on a particular thing to share their thoughts. I may not understand how anyone can believe, that of the thousands of gods mankind has invented over countless generations, that when man discovered THEIR chosen god, well, that time he got it right. But that doesn’t mean someone would be wasting their time if they attempted to explain.
Lou this is one thing that I will agree with doubtingthomas on, And to perhaps help you understand it a little better I will explain something that you seem to misunderstand.
An argument does not have to be won, a debate does not have to have a clear victor, These two were making thier points in order to inspire thought within the other, This is the problem that I find with most xians in todays society, they expect to find that one argument that will make an atheist fall on his/her knees and repent, however it doesnt work like that. The thing you have to do is get them to think, while keeping and open mind and thinking on what they have to tell you as well. Hope that helped lou.
What more is there to life than wasting time?
Thanks for the advice, lou. I appreciate the sentiment.
My aim was not so much to convince anyone of anything as it was to, as white* states, inspire thought in others – assuming, perhaps rashly, that far more than Lone Wolf and myself were audience to the discussion. Also, I find it a good practice to engage in ‘vain’ discussions as an exercise of testing both my faith and my ideals (my heart and my head). I’ve been swayed to different perspectives by many a good argument. I’ve also come to such impasses as this current one numerous times. I learn from them. As education and knowledge and clear reasoning are core values for me, this makes the discussions fruitful and valuable to me.
In this discussion, I’ve actually become more convinced of free will. And while I’ve actually come to have a deeper understanding of determinism, I find it a reprehensible and dangerous philosophical polemic. WHich is to say that determinism fits into the equation, but those who believe it to BE the equation have opened themselves to the temptation of complete irresponsibility. If everything is predetermined, then responsibility is not what most of think it is as it becomes merely another predetermined and determining factor as forces external to ourselves drive us to do whatever we do. THAT is dangerous. And, in my opinion of course, both highly amoral and downright irrational.
But I believe each of us has the right to declare our beliefs whatever they are. That’s a gift of the both God and the Constitution – and other humanistic documents of social liberation.
Have a super day!
whiteman0o0: As I’ve said the problem is how we perceive time but time doe not work the way we perceive it. For insistence the term “points in time” time does not not have points, thats simply how we perceive it.
Another problem is, no madder what you believe, be it eternal universe, multiverse, eternal god, all would require and infinite points in times. Even if you take causality of the universe (people/things can travel back and forth in time and can change the past) there is still going to be an infinite number of points of time, there just not going to be linear and involving an infinite number of changes to the time line.
I agree that the eternal universe and the multiveres both require infinite time, However with an eternal God, he transcends time, and space, making himself able to be infinite.
Ok, im a little bit lost but I think that I get the gist of what you are trying to say here. And for people/things to travel back/forth in time we would need to be able to exceed the speed of light which (according to relativity) is implausible. And lets see if we can get a better analogy to use for time. say, an expanding shpere? where it can extend in any direction eternally? !)avid
What do you mean by “transcend time”?
The method time travel method is not important to the point. What is important is the ability. The point is even with out causality, if time is not linear but relative (past present future all depend on persecutive) and things can go back and forth through time (which could be achieved in a multiverse through the interactions between universes (a universe can come into existence, interact with another universe and prevents its parent universe from coming into existence) you would still need infinite points in time, just not linear time.
I mean that he is outside of the dimensions that we can comprehend(time being the 4th dimension).
Now I will agree that there is no absolute time, Einstein I believe proved that, however the travel back and forth in a reality where there is infinite time, is rendered useless. As I have stated in my last posts, even a single universe having time in an infinite system would make it impossible for the cycle to perpetuate itself.
What your saying is God can travel back and forth through time? Or that God exist at all points in time at once? Well if God can travel back and forth through time that does not self the infinite points in time thing but if God exists at all points in time at once, well then for God there would be no time and with out time, nothing could happen, God couldn’t crate anything cause he couldn’t do anything, not even think.
I didn’t say every universe would have an infinite amount of time, by the nature of a multiverse any universe that has time, time would have a beginning and possibly an end.
Wolf: I didnt say that God exists inside of time at any point, allow me to use a quick analogy.
I plan to record this years super bowl, so that I will actually be able to watch it since I will be busy sunday and I hate comercials. Now when I pick up my remote I can select to play that game. I can fast forward and see what happens in that “world” when I want to. This is the basic idea behind how God works. Except for the fact that since he is outside of time he can see every point in time at once.
But for Time to have a beginning then there has to be some sort of beginning for the system that the time is involved in. And just curious, but I have been looking into the structures of time, and while I have seen that there is indeed no Absolute time. I have yet to find that there is any type of system that has no time at all, In my mind time is a facet of reality.
Where ever God exists there has to be time in some form as time is needed for something to happen, for God to say “let there be light” there has to be time for for that be be able to happen.
I don’t really get your analogy
Time is part of our reality as we know it.
Wolf, Sorry its taken so long to post back, I’ve been sick for a few days and am still recovering so please pardon me if my rant becomes incoherent.
You say that wherever God exists there has to be some for of time, But Why would the creator of time need time to function? If he was able to exist before there was time, why would he not be able to function without it? The thing here is that as far as we know in our limited knowledge there has to be time for there to be actions, But to a transcendent creator who is outside of time, why does there need to be time? !)avid
A creator would need time cause with out it, nothing could happen. With out time in some shape or form nothing moves, nothing happens, it would be like pausing a movie, it would all be still. Time is an integral part of actions, with out it, there can be no actions.
For insistence there is a before creation, after creation and creation, To get from the before to the after, you need time.
For that view to be true you still have to go back to there being an infinite amount of time which as I stated earlier is impossible, because you can’t overcome the infinite. !)avid
To Lone Wolf
For insistence there is a before creation, after creation and creation, To get from the before to the after, you need time.
Not necessarily if all is in the now. Time is a concept for man. Creation may never have been and may never be over.
Your not getting it. For there to be a creation, for something to go from one form or another or from nothing at all to existing, that requires a before and after and that requires time. Just as it requires times for an object to move from one point to another.
For a creator to create, there has to be time not necessarily times as we know it but times non the less.
Perhaps Im not getting it, but I would still like to say. We have limited comprehension abilities, we dont understand all of time, and probably never will. However God being all knowing and all powerful, is outside of that, He has perfect knowledge of time, and due to his omnipotence he can be outside of it. !)avid
For something to happen, there needs to be time in some shape or form. For God to create the universe, where ever he exists, there has to be time in some shape or form. Before and after requires time. You can say that God exist out side our universe, you can say God has the power to manipulate times thus go back and forth through it but if something exists out side of time, where there is no time, it can not do anything no matter how powerful it is.
By saying God is omnipotent and omniscient your bringing in paradoxes. Could an omnipotent bing create a rock too heavy for it to lift? If so than there is a limit to its power, if not there is a limit to its abilitys thus ether way, it has limitations thus it can not be omnipotent. And omniscients, well, you can’t have free will with omniscients. Omniscients are mutually exclusive.
You seem to misunderstand what I meant by Omnipotent. When I say omnipotent I mean that he has the ability to do whatever, is logically possible, and by all knowing I mean that he knows all that can possibly be known. So He can do whatever is logically and conceptually possible, and because of his perfect knowledge he knows everything that Is logically and conceptually possible. So no an omnipotent being can’t create a rock to heavy for it to lift, because that is logically impossible. !)avid
Thats not omnipotents, thats near-omnipotents which isn’t the same as omnipotents.
In a deterministic world a bing with all possible knowledge would know what your going to do before you do it thus no free will.
Mmk now you are just taking random words and stringing them together in a nonsensical argument. 1. Your question about the rock isnt even a logical question, its a strawman, and illogical. 2. You are redefining the words that I am defining. 3. You are assuming a deterministic world, which is not true.
I have dealt with those questions many times in the past and they annoy me just as much now as they ever have, because no matter my response I still get a “awww you cant say that!” or “No thats not what that means”. So please humor me and leave the questions that you are using to get me to try to sound ignorant out of this.
Now the words I have defined are in accordance to the Nature of God. You have taken them and shaped them into what you think works best with your argument. hence Strawman.
So aside from the fact that I can choose what I want to do apart from my nature if I so choose, then I entirely agree on determinism. !)avid
The omnipotence paradox it not a straw man, it is a logical question that people have been discussing for thousands of years, usually as a thought experiment until some people decided that there 1 god was omnipotent.
You are the one who has redefines the word omnipotent, omnipotent means all powerful, infinite power and the ability to manipulate (create, change, destroy) all things with that power, in other words, the ability to do anything even the logically imposable.
You don’t want to debate me on determinism, I spent years thinking about it and debating it. Your actions are determined by your personality, mindset and circumstances, your circumstances are determined you past actions and the past actions of others, your mind set it determined by your currant circumstances and past (mostly recent) circumstances, your personality is determined by your genetic personality traits and your past experiences, your past experiences where determined by the circumstances you were in. Even if you want to use the randomness of quantum mechanics, thats on a scale so small a neuron in your brain is the size of the sun in comparison so quantum mechanical randomness will not effect us.
Lone Wolf . . . that post is so riddled with horse lumps it’s almost not worth rebutting. You’ve shown yourself to recalcitrant and uninterested in a logical or reasonable debate. You’re starting with a conclusion – “a conclusion is what you come to at the end of reason.”
I have asthma. What causes that? Microscopic lumps of plant and animal residue. What happens on the smallest scale effects and affects the entire sphere of its NETWORK of influence – not merely its own sphere of influence, but the networked influence of its own sphere and every sphere with which that sphere interacts. Quantum mechanics effects us every infinitesimal moment of time!
“Currant circumstances”? Like what wine I’m drinking? Dessert?
What is the determining factor in your penchant for obvious and aberrant misuses of terminology and conventional spelling? Is that genetic, or edumacational determination?
I can change my thoughts from this focus to that one. From quantum mechanics to ad Hominem and either/or fallacies. From poetry to science to relationships to speculation on the ontology of the universe. My thoughts are determined by MY WILL. They are often *influenced* by situation, education, language, my environment, etc. But I have a choice in what and how to think. I know a great many folks who have the same ability. I know only a few – okay, I *associate* with only a few – who believe in the utterly ridiculous, illogical, heretical, and unscientific position of determinism. And my primary reason for not associating with such persons is their penchant for victim mentality and self-disempowerment.
Wow, what a fallacious non-response. You disregard my comments and them make a statement that you have free will even though there is no logical way to describe it yet I easily described determinism.
I have logically described determinism, yet no one has logically described free will. There is no logical way for free will to work yet there is a logically way for determinism to work.
If quantum mechanics some how effects out actions, that does not mean its free will all it does is introduce a random factor. And there is no evidence that the randomness has an effect on a scale the size of the inner-workings of our neurons.
Whether you like determinism or not has no baring on whether we are deterministic or not. Whether you like something or not has no baring on whether it is true or not. And determinism is not “victim mentality and self-disempowerment” it is an answer to a question.
The question of “do we have freewill or is our actions determined” can not be proven or disproven scientifically (as it would require large scale immoral and imposable experiments) so it goes into the realm of logic and the only logical answer is or actions and thoughts are determined by our currant mindset and personality, our mindset is determined by our currant circumstances, our personality’s are determined by by our experiences and genetic personality traits, out experiences are determined by our past action and the actions of others.
Lone Wolf, your argument is null.
Free will is very simply experienced. Did I decide to post this reply, or was it decided for me? As I made the decision myself, I have free will. I had the choice to respond or not. I choose now to respond. You’re also very sloppy and spell a lot of words wrong. Is that determined by your choice, temper, distemper, logic, or other verbal malfunction?
“Currant” is a FRUIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! “Current” is a matter of proximity in time.
I determine my own mindset. THAT is free will. Free will is simply the ability of a sentient being to DECIDE among seemingly arbitrary choices. We can decide to be illogical, unlawful, unethical, or whatever. To some degree, that free will is limited by deterministic factors such as physical reality, physical limitation, natural consequences of poor choices, etc. ad nauseum.
I won’t bother to insult your intelligence; you’ve taken care of that for me. Thanks.
Wow, more fallacy’s. You know attacking the person does not affect the validity of his argument right? Didn’t think so.
None of what you said describe free will, all it is is screaming “I decide! I choose! I decide! I Choose!” To describe free will you have to describe (in logical terms) how you (or any one) can make a decision not based (or not fully based) on pre-existing factors.
Repeating your inane assertions is not a viable rhetorical stance. And YES, asswipe, I know damn well what Ad Hominem is. And, yes, describing experience IS a viable position. It takes no logical terms; it is simply emperical observation.
And I did define free will. You’re reading skills seem to be as truncated as your rhetorical enfeeblement.
You claim to know what an Ah Hominem is yet you uses them, you fail to produce any real argument and you make only 1 good point (your right on the blasphemy thing (different post), I was wrong), you misrepresent what determinism is and you fail to produce any logical argument that refutes my own and end up effectively screaming “I have free will, I have free will!”
I see no reason to continue these conversations.
And you’re the one with an Ad Hominem fallacy every other post. THAT is why I’m not being a bit friendly about it any more. You’ve been a jerk from hell throughout this thread and a couple others. I’m just here to call you on that.
And my argument is cogent. You’re just blinded by your own stubborn prejudice. You started ass-backward from a conclusion and are evidently incapable of understanding anything that contradicts it.
And your opinion is completely irrelevant because of your assinine insistence that everyone else is wrong and you are right.
You’ve chosen to be an ass. You continue to choose to be an ass. That’s the experience I am currently observing. What has determined this? We are only as much victims of circumstance and determinism as we allow ourselves to be. THAT is my point.
YES, it is terribly unfortunate that some people are terribly limited by deterministic factors. But that does not condemn them to being controlled by external factors.
As a direct result of his own actions (curses, humankind born sinners, etc.) God must come to earth as a specimen of his own creation & cause himself to be put to a hideous death in order to redeem humanity from the condemnation which he himself imposed upon it. And don’t forget the resulting deaths for those who followed Jesus.”
Let me ask you this, Thomas: what death is not hideous?
I find the sacrifice of God to himself as truly beautiful and elegantly symmetrical act of supreme selfishness and altruism. It’s not pretty, but it does strike me as majestically beautiful. What is it that makes life precious? Mortality, I think. And to some extent I really believe that God wanted to experience that. And though he was tortured and suffered through a great deal of it, I also think his life as a human was more full of benefit than detriment. He was loved and adored by many, loathed and feared by more. But don’t we all have that dualism in our lives to some extent? If there were no pain, how would you know pleasure? Pain and pleasure are simply reactions to stimuli. Even in the spiritual sense. It is all relative to a great many other factors. To me, the story of Jesus is a wonderful one regardless of its historical fact. So are the stories of other great mystics and prophets and gurus and such. And how many of those stories are filled with terror, loathing, pain, torture, war, pestilence and so on? That’s life. And these stories are not *about* the suffering; they are about the redemption, and the virtues that led to redemption. God did not put Jesus of Galilee to a heinous death, the Romans did (as a natural consequence of their laws, and his being convicted by a duly appointed court; my point being that it was really nothing special or bizarre or holocaust-like). Of course, it is stated that He “hardened the hearts” of key figures and otherwise influenced and permitted it to happen. But in concrete terms, Jesus was crucified as a dissident. The rest of the Gospel story is about the meaning of it in context to a new doctrine that eventually became known as Christianity . . .
If the Bible is true, and its revelation of God’s plan is accurately portrayed within, then it was necessary – according to God – to play it out this way. And, like any good story teller, He foreshadowed it numerous times in the Hebrew traditions and histories: Abraham & Isaac; Moses’ caduceus; Jonah and Seamonster; sacrifices and rites of atonement; and so forth.
I’m not sure what else happened to you on March 13th but it clearly must have been a bad day (also see https://doubtingthomas426.wordpress.com/2008/01/06/does-a-soul-have-nerve-endings/ ). Your personal attack on Lone Wolf was uncharacteristic, unfair and uncalled for. You may find his arguments to be the products of a stubborn and willful mind but couldn’t the same be said for your own? Couldn’t it be said about everyone who is passionate about a personal opinion/concept? And as frustrating as you may find Lone Wolf’s reasoning and passion for his beliefs, I don’t recall him ever resorted to personal attacks and name calling. Nor have you until now. And to think I even defended you on this very post (see above – January 15th). I can only consider your more courteous and tolerant tone on your other posts and assume you were having a bad day. Could everyone please resist the urge to attack a commentator regardless of how much what he said may have irritated you. And everyone, unless a misspelled word results in you not understanding what a person was trying to say, PLEASE DON’T ATTACK SOMEONE FOR A SPELLING ERROR ON A BLOG SITE! It is petty and serves no purpose other than to boost your own self esteem. REMEMBER, most people read something posted, hurriedly type a response in the comment box, and click Leave Comment. The majority of spelling errors on blogs aren’t a result of a poor education but are simply the result of a hurried response. The comment box does not have spell checker. If you know someone means does when they type dose, gleefully pointing out the spelling error is childish and a waste of space. Let’s focus on the CONTENT of the comments.
FYI, if you go back and reread your own comments on this very post you will find a number of spelling errors.
I’m just saying.
Now to respond to your comment directly related to my original post (reading all the comments on this thread I almost forgot how it all started!).
You asked – “what death is not hideous?”
Dying in my sleep in the arms of my beloved wouldn’t be too bad (hopefully before I loose control of my bodily functions, natch). Physician assisted suicide seems like a pretty nice way to go. Just to name a few. I’m sure you had a point in asking the question but I fear I must have missed it.
Did you mean to say “supreme selfishness” OR supreme selfLESSness? I’ll respond with the assumption of the latter. The reason I don’t find Christ’s death on the cross as “majestically beautiful” or “elegantly symmetrical” is simply because I don’t find this stagy, melodramatic display to be necessary. And to clarify, regardless if Christ and God were/are equal (one and the same), when Christ was on earth he was separate from God. His suffering was his own. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying God didn’t ‘feel’ for Christ as he was tortured and died, just that His son’s pain was felt by Christ alone. His nerve ending, his pain receptors, his suffering. I just can’t get past the idea that all of the genocide, murder, rape and suffering caused by God (as depicted in the bible) or as a result of God’s neglect, was utterly unnecessary. God CHOSE suffering, but it wasn’t the only or even the best choice he could have made. The idea that God must make one suffer before offering redemption isn’t appealing to me.
You said – “God did not put Jesus of Galilee to a heinous death, the Romans did.”
Of course you know that the vast majority of Christianity believes that God sent Jesus down to earth to die for our sins. So a parent throws his 5yo child into a den of lions. The lions rip the child apart and devour him. Let me get this straight, you blame the LIONS and not the parent?
And again, it wasn’t necessary for Christ to suffer and die in order to deliver a new doctrine. God got his point across just fine to the people depicted in the Old Testament. Why the need for a visit from the ‘Son’? There was no need. It was a choice. God’s choice. I judge him based on that. That was the point of the original post. Most of my posts are simply a catalog of responses resulting from my years of studying the bible and the stories depicted within. I chose to create it in a blog format to allow others to put in their two cents. And BOY have they.
Thanks for the response, bitterhermit.
First, I apologize to you for the misbehavior.
Second, LoneWolf, I apologize to you for the personal attack; it was, indeed, petty – and very much a transgression of my own standards. At the time, I duped myself into believing that I was insulting the person but really only taking the behavior to task. So, please forgive my behaving badly toward you.
Thirdly: I was having a great day on the 13th; but I did engage in some rather . . . hypomanic . . . behavior. I apologize to all who were or felt harmed and/or offended and/or confused by the behavior displayed here. It was “not to do” to attack LoneWolf as a person instead of continuing the discussion.
FYI: Thomas, I intended to email you but could not find your email address.
More later . . .
Yum. Crow omelet.
Yes, Thomas, I know about my own errors. I went back yesterday to investigate the source of the burr under my saddle. That is, to a large extent, why I came back and posted on each thread postings intended to get back on topic. It was my attempt to ammend my hijacking of the thread. Again, I apologize.
I do find it quite humorous that you toss the spelling thing at my feet like a smoking gun, Thomas, as though to say, “let he who is without sin . . .”
I’m just saying . . .
Thomas, I do not blame anyone. Blame is a silly and ineffective distraction. I am much more interested in responsibility and the manifestation of better outcomes. Nature is a vast network of action and reaction, action and consequence. It seems to me a quite aberrant thing for a parent to toss any child, especially a blood relation, into a den of lions. But, the parents did not kill the child. The child died as an indirect (and predictably so) consequence of the parental misconduct; however, the lions actually did the killing. Morally speaking, the parents are more responsible for the death than the lions because we consider the parents as aware of the harm they inflict.
I definitely intended to use the word “selfishness”. The sacrifice of God as the Son to God as the Father is a multi-dimensional paradox. God was glorifying Himself by showing off His triumphant and immaculate virtue in the willingness to sacrifice “His only begotten Son”. That such a sacrifice was intended to atone for all sin was the altruistic, the selflessness, part. It was a supreme act of both at the same time.
Was Jesus’ death on the cross intended to bring the new covenant? I thought the point was that his death was the death of the old covenant, which wasn’t working. His resurrection was the sign of the New Covenant. Symbolically, it was necessary, I believe, at that point in history. It made for a figure that people could rally around and believe in.
Have you ever read Stephen R. Donaldson’s “Chronicles of Thomas Covenant”? He gives a beautifully outlined argument for the Christ story without really ever bringing in the whole God thing as such. Basically, his conception of it is that the creator is just an ambitious tinkerer who built the world. When he built it, he had a few subconscious issues that came out in his creation as seeds of evil and corruption. When he had finished, he framed the creation in “the arch of time”. Breaking the arch would destroy the whole creation. So, when the creator looked down at the world and noticed the flaws he had created, he felt great remorse. He learned of the part of himself that was corrupt, and somehow he pulled it out of himself and the two parts of him struggled. At the end of the struggle, the evil part had been somehow thrown down into the creation and sealed into it by the arch of time. The tinkerer wanted to destroy that part of himself that was so hideous and unworthy, and with it the flaws within his creation, but his compassion for his creation stopped him from reaching through the arch to wipe out the evil, because doing so would also destroy all the good and beautiful things along with the evil. Instead, he had to find an end-around. He sent agents through somehow to work his plan for him. His agents were powerful within creation, but they had to contend with the evil part of the creator to fulfill the creator’s plan. Sometimes these agents were killed or corrupted and betrayed the plan and the creator. So the creator had to conceive of new plans and find new agents. He did what he felt was necessary.
My point? I am not convinced that the plot of salvation was either necessary or unnecessary. In the end, I think it is more important whether it was effective. Not that the ends justifies the means. I don’t care for that kind of extremism. But pinning it all on one guy as a sacrificial lamb instead of making the sun go supernova to wipe out the aberrations of man seems a relatively compassionate alternative. I’d volunteer for the job myself – if I were absolutely convinced that it would save others. Not that I am some icon of virtue and compassion or anything (recent evidence makes that a laughable idea), but, in truth, to die for a cause is much easier than living for one. Keep in mind, though, that despite my being a reformed zealot, I retain some of the romance of the zealot. I find such sacrifice and death quite beautiful and elegant. To me, a terrible death is one that comes before one realizes one’s primary purpose in life – which seems to me pandemic. A beautiful death is one in which the dying person leaves this world without the burden of unaccomplished goals. I won’t go all the way into this because it is far tangential to the discussion of “necessary”, but I find it to be very respectful to honor slaughtered animals by eating them and wearing their fur precisely because it fulfills the purpose of their lives. Humans, though, are not purposed to slaughter for food (except Irish infants, lol). We have choices about our purpose(s) in this life. We can make them ourselves, or we can refrain from choice and have such choices inflicted upon us.
Bravo! I was very impressed by your response to my somewhat grandiose chastisement.
I’m a firm believer that eating a little crow once in a while always strengthens a person’s character.
On the topic of the New Covenant vs Old Covenant, I have always found this to be contradictory to biblical teachings. The idea that God is perfect but didn’t have it right in the Old Testament so sort of ‘started over’ with the new covenant just doesn’t fit for me. It seems too revisionist to me. I even have the rather scandalous opinion that the Old and New Testaments actually represent two different religions and two different gods. It almost seems as if this guy named Jesus decided to ‘hijack’ Judaism and revise it to suit a more evolved society.
I have read the Stephen R. Donaldson Thomas Covenant books (at least the first three. Were there more?). It was some time ago and I remember being disappointed (they had been highly recommended) but I don’t recall noticing the Christ correlation. Perhaps I should give them another read. I know a friend still has his set. Funny how different a book can be upon the second go around.
You stated – “A beautiful death is one in which the dying person leaves this world without the burden of unaccomplished goals.”
What a fantastic notion. Sadly it seems to me that this lovely ideal would be all but impossible to realize. How many of us, even after living a long and full life, would find that upon our death beds there was not a single thing left in the world that we wanted to do? What an accomplishment if one were able to achieve such a feat! Certainly a life worthy of review. I’d buy the movie rights.
FYI, I have similar feelings regarding the purpose of animals. I am opposed to killing just for sport (hunting) but am constantly perplexed by people who find that a pride of lions taking down and devouring a gazelle while the animal is still kicking and bleating is just fine but humans killing a cow and eating its flesh is abhorrent.
“We have choices about our purpose(s) in this life. We can make them ourselves, or we can refrain from choice and have such choices inflicted upon us.” — Bitterhermit
I couldn’t agree more! Let’s put it on a bumper sticker.
On the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: there were two trilogies; the first one seems to have a lot of allusions to the Bible, but in an archetypal way. I didn’t pick up on it until my third reading of them. And then I was wonderfully fascinated by it. Covenant is a sort of christ figure, only he’s more like Jonah and Moses in being totally rebellious and then pissy about the whole matter of having to mule the creator’s plan.
It’s not that the Old Dispensation was a bad plan. Sorry, I botched that wording. It’s that mankind had failed miserably to make it work. I find it totally revisionist as well; however, I think that perhaps it was God’s plan all along to ‘dispense’ His plan at times and in ways that humanity as a whole could understand. Which meant waiting until they were evolved enough to have discovered logic and reason, and having found the value in them to overcome despotism and barbarity.
Again, the New Covenant is like a tree that grew from the acorn of the Old Covenant. Of course they look completely different. They work on completely different systems of belief. Christianity is more enlightened and evolved (at least it would be if we could practice the pure gospel without all the superstitious crap people seem to want to add to it). But, not wanting to offend anyone, let me also say that there have been movements in Judaism and its doctrines that seem to keep it more progressive.
The one big religion that seems most out of whack to me is Islam. It’s a bad rehash of Zoroastrianism and Mosaic law as though seen and memorized in an opium and physical deprivation induced hallucination (yeah, I know, Revelations reads the same way). But whatever the source, I believe it to be a dead religion. I say this because it adamantly refuses to evolve with humanity. It is completely unchanging and inflexible. Priests of that religion have to memorize from oral tradition the *exact* Koran. But, please, understand that I am in no way judging any person or their faith in stating this opinion. If it’s blasphemy, may the Almighty forgive me.
Love the bumpersticker idea;-)
PS: I don’t exactly buy stock in the Perfect Almighty school of thought, either. Perfect compared to us. But omniscient and omnipresent? Not sold. I’m hoping He’ll sell me on that if I need to be. But I have this heretical notion that creation is all about God learning Himself. Our evolution is God’s growing self-knowledge . . . Granted, this is a kind of melding of Buddhist and J-Cian idealisms. But it’s fun conjecture.
- Voter Tampering – Romans 11:7, 8 – “What then, Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded according as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear.” Isn’t this voter tampering. This is a major crime now.
This isn’t a scripture on election… the Israelites disobeyed God(many times throughout the scriptures) so God hardened their hearts to him, much like yourself has been hardened to God(do not take this as an insult). The elect in this verse is referring to those who chose to follow Christ. Paul is writing this to the fact that the Israelites, as i mentioned earlier, rejected Christ and instead believe on the basis that its by their works/bloodline that they are saved, when in reality its grace. Paul is also saying, as earlier stated, that God did not reject his people because he gives them an option of grace through Jesus, which opens up salvation to all who believe.
Keep reading. Paul is doing the exact same thing that you are doing in the book of Romans. He is bringing up objections to God and Christianity. Then he refutes those objections. So quoting bits and pieces of Paul’s letter to the Romans would be like me quoting bits of pieces of your writing- as a matter of fact I will do so here:
“a lifelong Christian who went to church every Sunday and private Christian schools most of my life… studying the holy book (the Bible). …Like almost all other religious people I was indoctrinated into my religion as a young child.” If I just give you those excerpts, you could be a Christian, right?
But, if you read your whole page, it is very clear that you are not a Christian. Similarly, you must read the entire chapter of Romans 11 to get Paul’s intention there, if not the entire book of Romans.
Paul has been trying to persuade Jews that Jesus was the Messiah for something like 20 years, and he uses all of the objections that he has heard over those many years in the book of Romans. Then, he refutes those objections. Therefore, it is laughable to quote the objections that he raises without quoting the refutations.
Not sure what you’re referring too, David. The passage above is simply another example of God manipulating man, once again disproving the whole ‘free will’ idea so many Christians like to pretend exists in their religion.
The passage doesn’t disprove freewill… elect is referring to your place in heaven if your a believer. The Bible is clear that its your choice, however that position if you so choose to believe, is elected to guarantee you everlasting life.
- So vile, this god’s behaviour – Another example of how God manipulates man. In order to bring about his desired outcome (the death of King Ahab), I Kings 22:20-23 says, “And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? …And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him … I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he (God) said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.” Now check this out – Ez. 14:9 “And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him.” Why not ‘stretch out’ your hand and destroy King Ahab?
In 1Kings 22:20-23 you notice that it’s not God whose going to put the lying spirit, its possibly another agent. In 21 it says “Finally a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’” In other words God gave them over to their lying spirits and allowed them to continue on, whether that agent is the devil or his demons we don’t know. You’ll find if you sincerely read the Bible God gives people over to their desires once their desires over take them and they abandon God for the sin.
On your main page, you mention that many Christians do not actually read the Bible. Then you say,
“If one reads the ‘good book’ expecting to find a joyous life-guide encouraging love and happiness they will be sorely disappointed. Instead they will find a collection of fables obviously derived from earlier mythologies full of superstitious ignorance, atrocities, inhuman cruelty, violence, vengeance, threats, petty jealousy, incest, curses, injustice, unfair punishment, murder, rape, depravity, anger and death. Sooooo much death.”
The error there is in your expectations. You say that it is not a “life-guide” and then give a list of examples that happen in our lives, do they not? Have you ever seen or heard of ignorance, atrocities, inhuman cruelty, violence, vengeance, threats, petty jealousy, incest, curses, injustice, unfair punishment, murder, rape, depravity, anger and death in the world that we live in?
God could have given us a Bible that was nothing but a “joyous life-guide” but it would not have been cruelty if He did not include things that we will encounter in His world.
I believe that you may be suffering from the effects of being sold a version of the “prosperity gospel.” This false gospel promises, more or less, that God’s #1 concern is the happiness of His people. If you take that perspective, then much of the Old Testament, especially the book of Job, as well as all of the suffering in the world prove that God is either incompetent or non-existant. Either that, or our happiness is not His #1 concern. I believe that our happiness is very high on His list of concerns, but not in the way that the world would measure it.
If you take into account the existance of hell, then it would be cruel for God to allow us to be happy if it means that our happiness in this life will lead us away from Him and to an eternity in hell. So it would definitely make sense for God to hold our eternal happiness as a higher concern than our happiness in this life only.
Also, God’s #1 concern is His own glory. Our satisfaction with God gives Him the most glory, so He is greatly concerned with our satisfaction.
*would have been cruelty (in the third “paragraph”)
Beautiful! Thank you so much for your comment, David.
[[[…God’s #1 concern is His own glory.]]]
Could a phrase more perfectly reveal what a vile god the Christian god is. How can any self respecting human willingly get on their knees and worship a god whoes main concern is being glorified, worshiped, praised, etc.? And yes, I understand this is just David’s version of Christianity (one of 80+ varriations out there) but any that use the bible as their refference/guide deserve the same condemnation.
[[[Our satisfaction with God gives Him the most glory, so He is greatly concerned with our satisfaction.]]]
It’s strange how closely, David, your version of the Christian god so closely resembles North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il, or most of the worlds past and present dictators, for that matter.
And, no, I don’t find that, as you put it, reading the Old Testament, especially the book of Job, and witnessing all of the suffering in the world prove that God is either incompetent or non-existant. I take it to prove that the god you worship is a careless, irresponsible monster. Your god is one who regularly deceives and manipulates his creation in order that they fail him. And for their failure to see through his deceptions, they are punished in the most heinous ways imaginable. There is no denying that mankind’s failures are God’s plan. I’m sorry, David, but this sort of god can only be described as evil. And if there were a lick of evidence that such a god actually existed, rest assured that I wouldn’t waste a single second worshiping him. In fact, much like those brave, good souls did when confronted with Hitler, I would be encouraged to oppose him. I know this offends you, David, and I’m sorry. I’m sure you’ll respond with some fire and brimstone condemnation of my words for fear your god won’t approve of you if you don’t, and I’m fine with that, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to do a continuous back and forth with you on this as my life is simply too full to allow time for such things.
Thank you for your comments.
All these evils you point out Thomas are all created by man… Hitler committed atrocities, started a war. Man starts wars, murders, robs, rapes, pillages, steals from all facets of life. It’s all mans doing, If we as the US gave all our wasted food to Africa we could prob. feed the whole contanent. Instead we eat eat and become the fattest nation on the earth, and throw away platefuls daily, we have buffets where we can graze on food all day for 8$’s and you have the nerve to blame God? God gave each and everyone of us the ability to do good. You acknowledge evil and say God is evil? So are you now not an atheist? Why would an evil God create good, because to say there is evil you have to acknowledge good. Your wasting so much of your life devoting your blog to something that you believe doesn’t exist, thats like making a blog on why unicorns don’t exist.
Do hundreds of millions of people believe in the existence of unicorns? Do they worship them? If so, then a site dedicated to showing that unicorns aren’t real would hardly be a waste of time. And suggesting that the evils I connect to god on this website or in this post are all created by man is utterly false. Please point out examples. Also, I say that the god of the bible is evil. This in no way suggests that I believe in God and believe he is evil. And, Atheist is a title/category. My feelings about god worshipers and religion go way beyond the simple definition of that word. Please read Penn Jillette’s There Is No God in my THE WORDS OF OTHERS section. He puts it so well I couldn’t possibly put it better.
And to clarify, all the posts on this site existed LONG before the site ever did. I have been studying the bible and religion for a very long time. Over the years I made massive catalogs of notes. Eventually I transferred them to my computer, and at the urging of a friend, I created a site to categorize them all and give others a chance to read and respond to my conclusions and questions. Strange how only religionist think I should be doing something else with my spare time.
- Reign O’er Me – James 5:17 states that in answer to Elijah’s prayers, God made it not rain on earth for three years and six months! If this really happened, all life on earth would have come to an end, but perhaps those in the sea. As a result of God’s actions a great famine causes some Jews to eat their children.
A. The Greek word for earth, ghay (in English lettering) is also used to describe, region, land, or soil. So in other words it could mean Israel, which is probably the case as you continue to read through 1kings 18 you find that the famine was in Samaria. Before finding errors in the Bible use the original context, lettering, and read the versus around it, and other versus that are linked to it scattered in other books of the Bible.
The Greek word for earth, ghay (in English lettering) is also used to describe, region, land, or soil. So in other words it could mean Israel, which is probably the case as you continue to read through 1kings 18 you find that the famine was in Samaria. Before finding errors in the Bible use the original context, lettering, and read the versus around it, and other versus that are linked to it scattered in other books of the Bible.
Another misrepresentation, as Brookrobinson has pointed out.
Sorry, again no misrepresentation on my part but a wish on your part that I use one of your preferred, revised versions of the bible that better suits a more evolved and knowledgeable society. We now know, of course, that if such an event occurred that all life in the area (earth, land, ground) would perish. Does it really matter, then what word was used?
And when exactly does earth mean earth then? Only when you want it to?
Earth (KJV, ASV, LIT, DRB, WEB, MNT)
Land (YGB, WEY, WNT)
And reading what came before or after this passage reveals nothing more than how obviously fictional it is. One single man stops and starts the rain for the earth, land, ground, whenever he feels like it. A shame God doesn’t grant anyone these special, grand wish fulfillment moments anymore.
What does the word earth mean in English? How do we determine what it means and when? Simple ability to read in context, and know that there are various uses for the word.
- Quick, get an editor in here! In Josh. 10:12-14 Joshua, desiring a longer day for his armies, commands the sun and moon to stand still. And they do. Here the level of ignorance of the workings of the universe by those who wrote the stories of the bible is in evidence as the sun is already still. It is the earth itself that is moving. “So the sun stood still in the midst of the heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.”
who are you to call into question the living God and His Word?
Could not the Author and Creator of the universe and all life not have the power to control that which He created?
This is a human record of the event, and the humans at that time did not necessarily have the grasp of the workings of the universe that we have now. But, this does not prove the Bible to be a lie.
I don’t want you to think that I am trying to scare you into a Pascal’s wager or anything, but you do need to know the gravity of your actions.
You believe that there is no God and have not seen any evidence for the contrary. But, you cannot prove that there is no God. Just think about the consequences if you are wrong. The living God of this universe, the Creator and Giver of all, is who you are offending with this site.
Romans 1:22 says that everybody knows there is a God, some just suppress the truth. Deep down you know that there is a God, you just do not want to believe that there is a God, for whatever reason. Think about the way that you react to evidence for or against God. I am sure that you are eager to accept and drink in anything that seems to disprove God, while you claim to have not seen any convincing evidence for the existence of God.
My question to you is, what do you do when you see anything that claims to be evidence for the existence of God? In my atheism, I claimed to have no covincing evidence for God, all the while rejecting without consideration and/or avoiding any and all such evidence.
There will come a day when your mouth is shut to speaking against the living God of the universe, and your knee will bow and your tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Your sins against the living God deserve the penalty of death. The choice is yours, whether you pay that penalty with your own death, the “second death” as the Bible calls it, an eternity in hell. Or you can let Jesus Christ, the Son of God, pay the penalty for you. His death on the cross declared God righteous, for His righteousness was called into question in letting the sins of man go unpunished. His death also has the power to declare you and I righteous, although there is no righteousness in either of us apart from God. Let Christ pay your penalty. Let His death take the place of your death, be satisfied in God by enjoying Him forever!
David, I understand that, according to your version of Christianity, I deserve to rot in eternal hellfire. This is one of the primary reasons I no longer worship the Christian god (or any other, for that matter). If there IS a god out there that would punish those who think like me with an eternal existence of torture in hell’s fiery dungeons, this is not a god I would deem worthy of worship. A god who created mankind solely to stroke his own mighty ego is an appalling one. A god who fathered a human child, simply so that child could be tortured to death in some bizarre replacement for the barbarous, ritualistic blood sacrifices that were previously required for man to atone for their perceived ‘sins’ hardly declares god ‘righteous’ but instead reveals him to be grotesque.
Your statement that “There will come a day when your mouth is shut to speaking against the living God of the universe, and your knee will bow and your tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” is truly disturbing. Your suggestion that your god would shut my mouth from speaking against him (am I truly such a threat?) and force me to kneel before him and state that Jesus is Lord only serves to reveal what an insecure god it is that you praise so diligently. No true god would ever require anyone worship him. It absolutely defeats the argument of perfection to suggest that a god NEEDS anything.
You ask what do I do when seeing anything that claims to be evidence for the existence of God? And then suggest that I have or do on a regular basis but choose to ignore it. I assure you that I have never been presented with any evidence of God’s existence. If you have any, please feel free to present it. In fact, get rich while you’re at it – go to http://www.godsreward.com/ and provide the proof there as well. But remember what happened to all those religions of the past which also could not offer proof; The Greeks couldn’t provide proof of Zeus’s existence, the Romans couldn’t provide proof of the god Jupiter’s existence, the Aztecs couldn’t provide proof of Coatlicue’s existence, the Egyptians couldn’t provide proof of Ra’s existence, and on and on and on. And, David, the main reason I created my site in blog format was to allow those who believe to reply to my comments and offer their opinions. I don’t isolate myself in my belief like so many god worshipers do. I welcome differing opinions. And remember, I didn’t ‘fall away from God’ while being away from believers but while being among them.
David, you state “that everybody knows there is a God, some just suppress the truth. Deep down you know that there is a God, you just do not want to believe that there is a God”. This argument that ‘deep down’ all of humanity knows that the god of the Christian Bible is the real and one true god is beautiful in its idiocity. The idea that all of the hundreds of millions of people who have lived and died worshiping the thousands of gods that mankind has invented over the years, did so fully aware that the Christian god even existed is so beyond the scope of reality and reason as to be laughable. And to suggest that they are all burning in eternal hellfire as a result of their ‘choice’ is perfectly revelatory of what a truly vile god it is that you worship.
You also state that the bible is a human record of the events, susceptible to the ignorance of humanity at the time. True, but you then state that this doesn’t mean the bible is a lie. Again, true, but it does mean that the bible is fallible. In other words, it means your perfect god allowed his holy word, the work that represents him and his religion, to be full of inaccuracies. What kind of all powerful, perfect god would do that?
You ask, who am I to call into question the living God and His Word? I am an independent, free thinking human being blessed with an unclouded mind. Now, if it’s your god who blessed me with this mind, then to punish me for using it is all the proof I need that he is not a god worthy of my praise.
Thank you for your comment.
- Moon Light – Isaiah 13:10 – “The moon shall not cause her light to shine.” How can an all knowing God allow such ignorance of the world be depicted in His Holy Word?
So, you are saying that the Bible cannot use poetic language? Where does this passage give any indication that it is to be taken as a scientific explanation?
You asked – “So, you are saying that the Bible cannot use poetic language? Where does this passage give any indication that it is to be taken as a scientific explanation?”
You really want to go there, Paul? Really? OK, I’ll paraphrase; Where does the bible give any indication that it can be taken literally? How much should we assume is ‘poetic’ or ‘parable’ or ‘allegory’ or ‘false’ or ‘a lie’ or ‘nonsense’? Where is the codex that will reveal which parts of the bible I can be certain are true and which parts are a fairy tale? Maybe I should just rely on you, Paul, huh? Or should I rely on another Christian’s concept of God and the meaning of a particular bit of scripture? But which sect? Which sect of Christianity is most in tuned with God? I get the funny feeling that you think it is yours. But SOOOOO many would disagree. Do you have any idea which sect believes the story of Noah and the Ark is fact and which believes it is fiction? Do you think there is a single story contained in the bible that EVERY SINGLE SECT OF CHRISTIANITY would agree on? What may be ‘poetic language’ to you, Paul, is ABSOLUTE FACT to another. But I should only accept YOUR opinion as truth, right?
A small window into my frustration.
When you are reading a news story how do you know which parts are fact and which parts are metaphor? When you are talking to a friend how do you know he doesn’t literally mean he could eat a horse?
We have common metaphors and sayings and phrases. Do you think those are unique to our times? Do you seriously think the writer who wrote, “the moon shall not cause her light to shine . . . ” was trying to convey scientific fact? That people misinterpret, or are ignorant of how to read and understand the Bible does not make it untrue.
To use a modern example, there are many different theories of evolution. Not everyone agrees how it happened, or how long it took, or where the first humans originated, etc. Do these different interpretations of the fossil record mean it didn’t happen?
Again I say we have to look (as much as we can) at the intent of the writer. If the writer’s intent was to state scientific fact, then we can question “How can an all knowing God allow such ignorance of the world be depicted in His Holy Word?”
But I do not believe this is the case, and I think context and historical evidence backs up that claim.
- Hornets from God – Ex 23:28, 30 – Describes how God wanted Moses and the Jews to overrun & seize the seven nations of Canaan & how God would send hornets to drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite and the Hittite. Another example of God being directly involved. Why doesn’t he send swarms of hornets against the Palestinians in current Israel?
I’d like to write that this is one damn great blog site, but is the word ‘damn” acceptable? It’s a darn good one, if not. Mary from Meander With Me
Mary, ALL language is acceptable here. I am strongly opposed to all forms of censorship. Hope you keep coming back and checking in.
God promised them the land of Canaan, it’d only make sense to get directly involved considering the Hebrews where wandering around the desert for 40yrs, and before that slaves to the Egyptians. These nations were well established, fortified, and had armies that were certainly battle hardened. God told them to enter and take it from these people because as described in previous, and latter books, only evil all the time, and would only cause harm to the Hebrews if allowed to live. Guess what the Hebrews allowed them to live and now those people are causing harm to them and are a thorn in their side.
The point is that the bible regularly depicts a god that is actively involved in effecting the outcome of human events, often in dramatic ways. He sends angels to slaughter massive numbers of men, sends plagues, and swarms of insects to do his bidding, pretty much every mythological cliché. A human army calls upon God to knock down the walls of a fortified city and stop the sun from rotating around the earth (again, the SUN from rotating around the EARTH). The bible is filled with depictions of the Christian god aiding his followers in murdering those that worshiped other gods, not converting them, killing them, dooming them to eternal hellfire. The reason I repeatedly point this out is to compare how involved God was then to how UNinvolved he is now. If there ever was a time when the power of God needed to be displayed, perhaps in a mighty swarm of hornets helping the Israelis to defeat the Palestinians, it’s now. But, of course, this will never happen as the events depicted in the pages of the bible are fairy tales, not soon to be replicated in reality.
Thank you for your comment.
Israel defeated Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt in 1948. They lacked a military and many fresh from the holocaust… Meanwhile the Arab nations had fresh armies, British trained, and British equipment. Israel not only defeats them all, but takes land. When in such a time does a group of people get a nation when they haven’t existed as a nation for 2000years? If thats not a miracle I don’t know what is. You keep dinging on these issues of the sun rotating around the earth… Does that seriously determine whether or not the Bible is true? Because it appeared to men back then that the Sun rotates around the earth? Your basing your whole after life on that one line ? God takes an active part in today and it is clear if you understand Biblical prophecy.
Israel defeated Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt in 1948. They lacked a military and many fresh from the holocaust… Meanwhile the Arab nations had fresh armies, British trained, and British equipment. Israel not only defeats them all, but takes land. When in such a time does a group of people get a nation when they haven’t existed as a nation for 2000years? If thats not a miracle I don’t know what is. You keep dinging on these issues of the sun rotating around the earth… Does that seriously determine whether or not the Bible is true? Because it appeared to men back then that the Sun rotates around the earth? Your basing your whole after life on that one line ? God takes an active part in today and it is clear if you understand Biblical prophecy. The reason why God told them to kill all those people because as the Bible quotes many times. Those people are only evil all the time, if you do not kill them they will only be a thorn in your side. Hence why the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab nations are a constant threat. Israel disobeyed God and are still dealing with its consequences.
[[[You keep dinging on these issues of the sun rotating around the earth… Does that seriously determine whether or not the Bible is true? Because it appeared to men back then that the Sun rotates around the earth? Your basing your whole after life on that one line?]]]
Out of a couple hundred posts and comments I mention the whole sun rotating around the earth incident only a handful of times. The reason is always the same; the sun doesn’t rotate around the earth. As you state, in their ignorance, the men who wrote the bible believed that was what happened. But it isn’t. Meaning, this all knowing, all perfect god allowed his holy word, the book that represents him and his religion, to contain blatant falsehoods. If a person writes their autobiography and it is later revealed that, in it, they lied about a certain incident, every single other story they wrote would be brought into doubt. Credibility would be completely lost. Just as it is with the bible. And if you’ve reviewed my site even briefly you will realize that, NO, I don’t base my whole ‘after life’ on this one inaccuracy.
[[[Those people are only evil all the time, if you do not kill them they will only be a thorn in your side. Hence why the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab nations are a constant threat. Israel disobeyed God and are still dealing with its consequences.]]]
You’ve mentioned this whole — the Palestinians need to be killed because, otherwise, they will continue to be a thorn in the sides of the Israelis before. I’m not sure if you’re Jewish or not, but I have difficulty understanding how you can defend this way of thinking. Palestinians aren’t evil. They aren’t demons. They are as human as you or I. How can you justify god’s mandate that they should all be killed? Are you telling me that they truly have no good reason to believe they have a right to be there? Not even one? And you say that Israel disobeyed god by not killing them all and so are still suffering the consequences. If their god wanted them to succeed so badly, why didn’t he send in a great swarm of hornets, or an angel to slaughter the enemy of the Israeli as he does so often in the pages of the bible? You say that an American supported and armed Israel’s success in invading and conquering a vastly under-funded, under-trained and unprepared army and establishing their own nation was a miracle and evidence of God’s aid? You, sir, are easily satisfied.
Also, GOOD and EVIL are adjectives used to describe typical human behavior. They do not represent an existence of a soul or a god. Christians are as capable of ‘Evil’ or ‘Good’ deeds as a Hindu or an Atheist. You can describe a murderer as ‘evil’ as a way to reveal your opinion of that person but are they truly ‘evil’? A psychological explanation is always more likely.
“and it is later revealed that, in it, they lied about a certain incident” Your assuming they lied about the incident. The problem is your going to have inaccuracies with any ancient literature, whether its due to issue of transferring it language to language or just an ancient understanding of the world.
“You say that an American supported and armed Israel’s success in invading and conquering a vastly under-funded, under-trained and unprepared army and establishing their own nation was a miracle and evidence of God’s aid” Perhaps a little history lesson is in order for you. Israel did not receive support from anyone in the 1948 wars. They defeated these nations solely alone. Today its not just us supporting Israel, but Israel supports us to. Many of our weapons come from Israel, and they’ve succeeded in military technology that are still in test phases here, like the Land Warrior program. If you still aren’t satisfied, perhaps you should look up the Israeli “force field” that was recently invented and we purchased.
“the Palestinians need to be killed because, otherwise, they will continue to be a thorn in the sides of the Israelis before” The Palestinians are merely the descendants of the evil people God told to kill.I never said they were demons, but evil? The majority of the Palestinians want to see Israel burn, and its evident of that by the suicide bombings and the breaking of every treaty Israel has ever signed with them. The Bible has already predicted whats going to happen with Israel.
“A psychological explanation is always more likely” This maybe true, but the idea’s of morals have existed outside the “Jewish-Christian” religion as well. Christians are no different then Hindu’s or Atheists, man is man, and is imperfect. The idea’s of evil however, should not of needed to come to pass if its just nature. Our emotions spike if a human kills a human, or even if an animal kills a human. But when animals kill animals we think “Oh, thats just nature” That same process doesn’t enter our minds with us. Murder is just nature, if it wasn’t then it wouldn’t of existed since the dawn of man.
Again you miss the point. If inaccuracies exist in your holy book, your perfect, all powerful god allowed them to be there. In other words, he allows an inaccurate book to represent him.
In 1947 Britain decided to hand the matter of Palestine over to the United Nations. A special committee of the United Nations sent out to study the problem produced a plan of partition on terms more favorable to the Zionists than the 1937 Peel Commission had come up with. This was accepted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in November 1947, WITH VERY ACTIVE SUPPORT FROM THE UNITED STATES AND FROM RUSSIA, which wanted the British to withdraw from Palestine. The Arab members of the United Nations and the Palestinian Arabs rejected it, and, faced once more with the impossibility of finding a policy which both Arabs and Jews would accept; Britain decided to withdraw from Palestine on a fixed date, 14 May 1948… As the date came nearer, British authority inevitably decreased and fighting broke out, in which the Jews soon gained the upper hand. This in turn led to a decision by the neighboring Arab states to intervene, and thus a series of local conflicts turned into a war.
Israel would not exist if America wouldn’t have stepped up to back its formation. Period.
NOTHING about the Israel-Arab war had anything to do with God’s intervening to aid his people. The war was about ego and greed and power and arbitrary lines drawn in the sand of some of the ugliest, most inhospitable land on the face of the earth. Why is the promise-land such a crappy place to live?
Finally, why, exactly, do the Israelis have MORE of a right to that chunk of land than the Palestinians? And the bible can’t be used to support your reasoning.
There is nothing inaccurate about that verse. Everyone today does the exact same thing. How many times in your life even after being an Atheist, have you said When the sun goes down? Does that mean now your statements are false now because you weren’t scientifically precise about the sun? Not to mention I think you have a big misconception of what the Bible truely is. Its not a book literally written by God, nor is the Bible handed down to man from God. No Christian can and should say that. What the Bible is, is a book that is inspired by God through man. The story and main points all add up, most of the side information all add up, infact many of the errors in the Bible are simply mistranslation errors. So unless you know Greek or Hebrew, it may not be wise of you to talk about contradictions and errors. The Greek language is set up differently then English and something like Dog bites man and Man bites dog might literally mean the same thing in the Greek. Now onto Israel-Arab issues, Just because America/Russia is instrumental in bringing Israel together does not mean God did not influence the situation. The Bible has time and time again showed that God used many empires to punish Israel for disobeying God. Israel has many times been a cause of issues, and at many times has not caused issues but God has saved them either way. The United States has many times attempted to create new countries or saved governments and has failed at it, so using the US as this almighty trump card does not work. We created the modern Iraq who has more oil deposites and riches then Israel yet cannot hold itself together. Israel who had nothing, and a cultural minority has been able to withstand out numbering Arab forces many times. Israel has a claim to the land because they have lived there before hand. Jews have attempted to repopulate the land even before ww2. Most of the Palestinians were brought over there to work on Jewish farms. Im also not opposed to Palestinians having their own land, just not in Israel, but the fact that Palestinians do not want to compromise with Israel period without their death should be troublesome.
[[[The story and main points all add up, most of the side information all add up, infact many of the errors in the Bible are simply mistranslation errors.]]]
brooksrobinson, I give you just one single example, the story of Noah and the Ark:
• God so despised (so much for ‘good’) the offspring of the first nine generations of his creation he decided to not only kill them all (why bother with trying to save them?) but to kill every other living thing upon the face of the earth! No exception was made for children, pregnant women or even babies. Only Noah, his three sons and their four wives were spared. How convenient that Noah and his sons had such perfect taste in women.
• In the time it took Noah to gather up all the animals (7 of every ‘clean’ beast & 2 of every ‘unclean’ beast & 7 of every fowl of both sexes (14 each) , and a male & female of every ‘creeping thing’) and construct the ark (even working with his sons and the wives it would have taken years), how many women became pregnant? How many gave birth? How many babies did God murder with the flood?
• How is it neither Noah, his sons, nor their wives were at all concerned about worshiping and blindly obeying a God (really Noah as he was the only one in direct communication) who was determined to kill all their friends and family? Did they all really believe everyone they knew deserved to be murdered?
• The tools required to build such a large vessel (100? times larger than any built at the time) didn’t exist at the time.
• The lumber required to build such a large vessel (500ft long, 85ft wide, 60ft & 3 stories high) wasn’t readily available & would have been VERY expensive. Gen 6:15 – “…The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.” The size is the equivalent of 522 standard stock cars or 8 freight trains of 65 cars each.
• The weight of the ark, filled to capacity with animals, food and supplies would result in a non-buoyant vessel.
• How did all these species of animals migrate across numerous foreign continents in their return home after the flood and yet leave no trace behind? The fossil record should basically show that all species originated wherever the Ark landed (Turkey).
• How did Noah keep the birds from eating all the insects? And what about the parasites they (and the other animals) carried? Do those count for the two of each living thing?
• It would have been impossible for Noah, his wife, his three sons and their three wives, (8 people total) to both crew the vessel and care for and feed and clean up after all the animals.
• Only an expert ship builder could hope to construct a vessel never before imagined and hope to make it sea worthy.
• Why all the trouble? Again, why didn’t God just snap his almighty fingers and poof there is the ark and snap all the animals are on board? Did he want to sit and stew in his anger while Noah and his sons attempted to obey his command. And better yet, why not just snap his almighty fingers and all the bad people just drop dead or disappear in a puff of smoke? Why the need to kill every living thing?
• Insects must have been included (creeping things maybe) in the to be saved list, otherwise the majority would have drowned.
• Were all fish excluded? What happened to the fresh water fish when the seas rose and mixed with their water? And vice versa?
• As any zoologist will tell you, a male and female of any species aren’t necessarily compatible as mates and there is no guarantee if they were that they could produce an offspring.
• And in case any believer suggests at any point that God interfered in order to guarantee his plan worked out (i.e. all animals mated and produced offspring, never attacked one another, no sickness on board) I again ask why not just snap his almighty fingers and make all the offending humans fall dead? I mean if he is going to use his infinite powers to take part in the great plan, why not that?
• How many ‘clean’ or ‘unclean’ beasts are carnivores? How about the 14 of each fowl? And the creeping things? How many extra animals were brought on board to feed them? Or did God once again conveniently interfere to make the lions herbivores for the duration of the voyage?
• And what about after the voyage? What did all the carnivores eat then? How many generations of animals would have to be born before they could all safely start preying on one another again?
• Noah, one of only 8 people on earth God deems worthy of sparing his wrath, at one point lies about naked and is spied on by his son, Ham. He gets drunk from wine of his own vineyard. How long does it take to get a vineyard going? How much priority was given to creating wine when they needed to repopulate and regrow the entire world? Gen. 9
• After the waters receded the whole of the earth would have been covered in rot and death. Disease would have been unavoidable.
• Pork too? – After the flood, of the few remaining animals left on earth, God tells Noah, “…every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you.” Gen. 9:3 How quickly would each species become extinct if such an occurrence had actually taken place? And what happened to kosher?
• “And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth; and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.” Gen 7:23 Please don’t suggest that fish, or whales, or plants survived God’s tantrum.
If God really commanded this ( the almighty creator of the Universe) I don;t think it would be difficult for Him to keep animals from eating each other, or to guide them to where Noah was located, or even give Noah the ability with knowledge, on how to do this impossible feat, to keep disease from being prevalent. God did not command the Hebrews to not eat pork until the law and theres a reason for this( An atheist professor, explained to my friends class that perhaps the Jews associated God to these commands, because there is evidence that pigs had a disease because of their filth in those days, and understood why the Jews did not eat meat). The Bible is clear on why God flooded the earth, man became wicked because they were the descendants of what is called the Nephilim (Demons had sexual relations with humans and created giant offspring who were only evil all the time) this in turn corrupted man and as God said in Genesis, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time” So God judged them because of this. Compare this to the book of Numbers 13, which the Hebrews spot these nations whom God told them to destroy were giants, and even Nephilim themselves, and therefore are only evil all the time. God judged these people because they are only evil all the time, and did nothing good, not one thing. Noah did sin, just as I sin, but Noah did not do evil all the time, and believed in God and followed his commands as best as humanly possible, where as the others perhaps did not.
Really, you religionists MUST stop defending the implausible depictions in the bible by citing your god’s superpowers. If your god deemed every living thing deserved to die except Noah, his sons, their wives and a handful of each type of creature, he could have simply snapped his almighty fingers and made it so. But no, the god of the bible LOVES drama. So the idea that God commanded Noah to do all these impossible things and then uses his magical powers to do them himself is absurd. God could have killed only the guilty and spared the world, but, as was the case with Sodom and Gomorrah, this ‘perfect’ god of yours apparently has no ability to control his tempter.
And Demons having sex with humans?! Really!? Is there NOTHING in the bible that makes you roll your eyes? Nothing?
Doubting Thomas, of course, there is absolutely nothing too far-fetched, too ridiculous, too insane and too infantile for a believer such as Brooksrobinson to accept as God’s Word. Everything written in the Bible is not only possible, but factual.
I wonder to what fantasy-land he would go to explain “God’s” command, and this is after the Israelites made thier exodus out of Egypt, to sacrifice every newborn son as a burnt offering to himself. Exodus 22:29 and 30. True, God relented and later, permitted “His” people to redeem their sons, but how many newborn babies were horribly sacrificed and sent to God as burnt offerings in the interim . . . and all because Moses believed himself to be the people’s one and only connection to God, at the time.
The first born humans were not sacrificed, just the animals. As chapter 13 explains they were consecrated to the Lord. If you read 13:14, it says “In days to come, when your SON asks you, What does this mean?” If the baby was sacrificed on the 8th day, he cannot ask questions what this means. Read also Luke 2:22-24, which is Jesus’ consecration, but it gives an account of what a consecration consists of.
Numbers 3:40 has the Lord taking the Levites for him instead of the first born sons and livestock. By how your looking at this, it would seem as if God wants the tribe of Levites to be sacrificed to him, however they were set aside as the priestly tribe.
Please visit my main page (https://doubtingthomas426.wordpress.com/) to gain a better understanding of where I am coming from. There you will find all my observations regarding religion and the bible categorized on the top Right hand side of the page. Please feel free to read through them and leave a comment or two if you like.