2 questions to ask a theist.
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27-09-2012, 03:00 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
(27-09-2012 02:43 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(27-09-2012 02:41 PM)Marco Krieger Wrote:  just belief what the man in the fancy cloth tells.

well he's obviously an important guy and everyone listens, so he must know right?

You take the word's right out of my mouth.
Hope i've got no halitosis.

If atheism is a religion, then not playing football is an Olympic discipline.
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27-09-2012, 03:03 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
(27-09-2012 02:41 PM)Marco Krieger Wrote:  Now more learning and testing and questioning, just belief what the man in the fancy cloth tells.

Nah, you god it all wrong. It all depends on the hat.

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27-09-2012, 03:08 PM (This post was last modified: 27-09-2012 03:11 PM by Marco Krieger.)
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
(27-09-2012 03:03 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  
(27-09-2012 02:41 PM)Marco Krieger Wrote:  Now more learning and testing and questioning, just belief what the man in the fancy cloth tells.

Nah, you god it all wrong. It all depends on the hat.

[Image: attachment.php?attachmentid=199374&a...1291174697]

He is the guy who is against gay marriage.
I think he fears the competition.
With this outfit he will blend perfectly in a CSD-Party, dont you think?
I am in a blasphemic mood today....

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27-09-2012, 03:54 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
(27-09-2012 02:22 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(27-09-2012 02:09 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Okay, wait. So god makes the natural laws, but they don't apply to him/her/it? Wouldn't that negate them? I mean, if the rule applies to all things, then either god is not a thing or they can be broken, and we have never demonstrated that they can be broken so?...

I realize you are a believer and all, but I feel a bit confused by that logic.

If God exists outside our natural world... then no.

God created specific rules for this world. His power is unlimited, which means that if He is bound by rules - even if they are His own - it contradicts His power.

Before anyone says anything, no this isn't a contradiction to my answer to the God-rock paradox. The rules He created for our natural world are confined to our natural world; He can act outside those rules.

Seems to me that such leads to a logical paradox in conception. That if god acts beyond the bounds of that which can be conceived, then god is part of the set of things beyond understanding - like me and my Gwynnies - and one cannot know wtf one is talking about when referencing such a member of that set.

Like when I blame all good things on my Gwynnies, I certainly don't expect others to concur from their reference frame. Yet this is exactly what the theist demands.

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27-09-2012, 04:20 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
I think, a creator and his creation have to have the same physical groundrules in common.
As Heisenberg said, the observer is influenced by the objekt of the observation and vice versa.
A scientist how creates an antidote to a poison or a cure to a disease is unable to accomplish the task without knowing, understanding and experienceing the circumstances, in which the object of his research existes.
If god is not under the law of common physiks, even though he invented them, how could he know what gravitation does to biological beings?
Don't tell me he already know it, or he's just guessing the right thinks together.
That's not an argument.

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27-09-2012, 05:08 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
Caff -

(I know I could've "quoted" your parts, rather i put them in bold)

What I will do is address your problems as you have posted them, then show you the alternate (of course I would say correct) interpretation.

Here's why I consider the Parable of the Prodigal Son to be a faulty analogy:

Problem 1

-- The parable misrepresents God's and human-kind's positions --

The wasteful spending of the father's gift by the son is supposed to represent Adam and Eve's (or rather, man-kind's) fall from God's graces, right?


No, rather the youngest son represents the sinners, etc. esp. of Israel; those who have fallen away from God for one reason or another, or feel far away from God because of their sins, including us as well who are in the same position (fallen away from God).

But the father in the parable gifted his son with riches, whereas God didn't gift humans with knowledge of good and evil; God instead told Adam and Eve that they weren't allowed to eat from the tree. And when they did (almost inevitably), God punished them and their kind. Let's look at the difference in set-up between the fall of man-kind and the parable:

Correct in that the gift and the tree do not corelate. Nor are they meant to.

Genesis set-up:

• God, for some indiscernible reason, put a "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" in the garden of Eden. He then forbid Adam and Eve from eating fruit from the "tree of knowledge of good and evil".

• God made an evil, walking/flying, talking serpent and put it in the Garden of Eden. (source on the walking/flying thing - http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles...-have-legs )

• Adam and Eve, not yet having eaten from the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil", couldn't have possibly known that disobeying God was a bad thing to do.

• The "father" is an all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipotent deity who would have to know that Adam and Eve would listen to the serpent - as well as simply knowing of the deceiving serpent's existence (entrapment, anyone?).



Parable set-up:

• The father granted his youngest son a share of his riches. He didn't try to keep it from his son.

• The father didn't create an evil, walking/flying, talking serpent that would likely lead his son astray.

• The son would have already known the difference between good and evil, being a descendant of another human, not the first human.

• The father is a human who may not have been able to see how his youngest son would waste his gift due to humans not being omnipotent or all-knowing.


Without getting into the Genesis set up (thus detracting from our original discussion here) I will say that the set-up are NOT meant to be parallels. Genesis is it’s own, and the Parable is AFTER the fall – dealing with CURRENT times. So that is part of the issue, they are separate and not comparable in that regard.


See how the parable is a misrepresentation of the positions of both God and human-kind? There are a multitude of factors involved in the genesis fable, which aren't included in the parable. There is no way you can judge the actions of the prodigal son in the same way you can judge the actions of Adam and Eve.

It would be a misrepresentation, yes, if they were to be comparable in that regard, which they aren’t as I will show.

This leads me to my next problem:

Problem 2

-- The prodigal son can't accurately represent human-kind --

Adam and Eve are two people. It was them and only them who ate from the forbidden tree. I didn't. You didn't. Bucky Ball and Vosur didn't (you didn't, did you guys?). Nobody other than Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, so what's the rest of human-kind guilty of? Inherited knowledge of good and evil? But we don't have any control over that. There's no choice when developing in the womb, for us to opt out of knowing what good and evil are. So what sin have we committed, that the prodigal son could possibly represent?


Correct the younger son doesn’t accurately rep. human kind as a whole, as he is meant ONLY to represent a certain GROUP of human kind. Certainly, he isn’t meant to rep. Adam and Eve – again the parable is dealing with CURRENT time (as it was then, and still is) - that is AFTER the fall. So, yes, to an extent the PS doesn’t rep. human-kind (in whole) because he’s only to rep. human-kind IN PART.


Problem 3

-- The father can't accurately represent God/Jesus/that-whole-three-in-one-thing --

Aside from the obvious reason that the father in the parable isn't all-knowing, nor is he the creator of everything ever, the father in the parable behaves differently to God.

1) The father doesn't initially punish his son, as opposed to God who punished Adam and Eve (Genesis 4, verses 15 and onwards), and the rest of man-kind.
2) The father granted his son riches, as opposed to God who forbid the fruit of the tree in the garden of Eden.
3) The father didn't make the drought that caused the prodigal son to return, whereas God caused a lot worse due to human defiance, before eventually sending Himself down to earth to sacrifice Himself to Himself in order to forgive us for something that He Himself was ultimately responsible for.


The father isn’t to represent the whole 3-in-1. But a certain nature of God (which I will get into). Remember, this is a story that Jesus is telling to every day, downtrodden, run of the mill, salt of the earth people – so, it’s purpose is to pack as much punch as simply as possible. So the father NOT being a COMPLETE representation of God is okay, because the purpose of the father is to HIGHLIGHT the nature of God.


The Parable of the Prodigal Son is a twisting of the truth*, to me at least. If you want to say that God doesn't use coercion and implicit blackmail to recruit, by citing a parable Jesus gave (according to the Bible), you're going to have to straighten out my interpretation of the parable, or cite something else.

And hopefully I will show you the alternate (correct) view of the parable.

Okay, so let’s get to the parable. As with any passage or verse in the Bible, you must get a good context. Prior to the Prodigal (or lost son) Son parable, there are two other parables. The lost sheep, the lost coin.

In the lost coin, Jesus says at the end “10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

In the lost sheep he says, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

Now, these parables could get the same treatment we are giving the Prodigal Son, however, suffice it to say, both parables are speaking to the nature and to what degree God wants us to repent and what we can expect when we do: rejoicing.

This is pretty bold, considering the Jewish culture at that time. The people Jesus spoke with and hung out with, were NOT the Jewish leadership, but those who were the furthest they could be from being considered “righteous” by any standard.

So, now we look to the prodigal son.

There are actually four characters in this story, however, only three are spoken of.

1. the father (God)
2. the younger son (sinners, etc)
3. the older son (the religious leaders)
4. society at large – setting (religious rules of the day)

Again, the youngest son is NOT meant to represent man-kind as a whole, but as a part – sinners, or those who have been outcast, deemed “not worthy”, or believe themselves to be as such. And us – for those who fall into those “categories.”

The father in the story DOES represent God, but not as the trinity – as you have pointed out – but as to his forgiving nature and his love.

The eldest son, represents those who believe themselves righteous and holy and blameless, etc. (of which I’m sure you agree we still see this segment of Christianity today)

Society at large represents the religious and cultural rules of the day. It’s the setting and backdrop. It’s not OVERTLY stated in the parable, because it’s a known factor at that time. Jesus is telling the story in THAT TIME, during THAT culture. (important point to remember – it doesn’t change the story, but highlights it even better)

Now, before I continue I will rhetorically ask you this: when was the youngest son “forgiven?”

The youngest son has just basically said to his dad, “You’re dead in my book, give me my money…” Dad does, son does his thing, nearing death he changes his mind (repents) goes home and is dang near given a hero’s welcome upon his return.

Dad doesn’t care what the son did, where he’s been, how much – if any of the money he has left (which is clearly none) – all Dad cares is that his son has RETURNED.

Unconditionally, Dad kills the fattest calf, throws a party and again gives him the best welcome home anyone could get.

Plus! As you will read in the link – Dad does some very culturally unacceptable things to ENSURE his Son is welcomed home – such as RUNNING. Again, read the link, Ortberg spells this out a bit further.

THAT is the nature of God that Jesus is highlighting in the parable. God DOESN”T CARE about your sins, what you did, didn’t do, where you were, etc. He cares that you RETURNED. And upon your return he will rejoice as such of the father did in the parable. THAT”S how much God loves us.

So, when was the younger son forgiven for his sins? Before dad even handed over the money. (we can go into that further if you wish)

Okay, so the youngest son is welcomed back into the arms of the father (God) without condemnation, without any expectation, without question.

But what about the eldest son?

What did he do?

He complained and tried to point out why the youngest wasn’t worthy of such treatment. (boy don’t we still hear that today)

He complained and was against it so much so he REFUSED to join the party. Result? Left outside, despite the pleading of his father to enter in.

But was the elder brother blackmailed into entering the party? No, he was BEGGED. Was the elder brother coerced into the party? No, he was BEGGED.

The father WANTED him at the party – which I think is clear to say is the Kingdom (Heaven if you will). Yet, he wasn’t going to MAKE the elder brother. No, the elder brother had to make the choice on his OWN.

Though the father did plead.

The youngest?

All he had to do was return home. No coercion (as we saw the father GAVE the son what he wanted). As God will do for us. If we wish to be apart from him, he will grant us that. No blackmail, the father didn’t say “I’ll forgive you if….” Or to the oldest say, “you better join the party or else….”

As for the societal aspect, God will humble himself to OUR level to reach us, to get to us, to beg us…however, before you think this is a sign of weakness upon his part, it does the opposite and highlights his strength. Because one HAS power, does not mean one MUST use it at all times. (we see this with parents and children all the time, parents humbling themselves to their child’s level to benefit the child – are they less powerful? of course not.)

Okay, I could ramble on, but I would rather address any questions or comments on what I have posted – if you wish to do so.

Thanks for the discussion, I enjoyed it, hope you did too.


Here is the Ortberg link that speaks to the cultural aspect a bit more http://mppc.org/series/well-leave-light-...oming-home
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27-09-2012, 05:15 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
(27-09-2012 09:15 AM)Impulse Wrote:  
(25-09-2012 04:24 PM)Idiot for Christ Wrote:  Impulse

"
You really need to learn what your own faith teaches. It teaches that God is the ultimate beginning of everything. Without him, there would be nothing - that includes love, logic, sin, etc. He supposedly created the universe, everything in it, all the laws of physics, time, etc. Everything."

So, do you believe that logic exists or not? You didn't answer. Once you do, we can go back to whether or not the nature of something is created or not.
Sorry, the way it was originally phrased, I didn't realize you actually wanted an answer. Yes, I believe logic exists. So please continue.

yeah, I can put running sentences together that get buried...

So if logic then exists - why?

Was it created? If so, by what or whom? ( earlier an argument was made that it WAS created)

If it wasn't created, how does it exist?
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27-09-2012, 05:19 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
(27-09-2012 09:15 AM)Impulse Wrote:  
(25-09-2012 04:24 PM)Idiot for Christ Wrote:  Impulse

"
You really need to learn what your own faith teaches. It teaches that God is the ultimate beginning of everything. Without him, there would be nothing - that includes love, logic, sin, etc. He supposedly created the universe, everything in it, all the laws of physics, time, etc. Everything."

So, do you believe that logic exists or not? You didn't answer. Once you do, we can go back to whether or not the nature of something is created or not.
Sorry, the way it was originally phrased, I didn't realize you actually wanted an answer. Yes, I believe logic exists. So please continue.

yeah, I can put running sentences together that get buried...

So if logic then exists - why?

Was it created? If so, by what or whom? ( earlier an argument was made that it WAS created)

If it wasn't created, how does it exist?
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27-09-2012, 06:00 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
TBD -

BD –

1) Why "Idiot for Christ?" What is the purpose of calling yourself such?

It’s an homage to the first Christians. When they were first preaching the Gospel, were called fools, and accused of being drunk, etc. Also, it has often been used (in some for or another) these days toward Christians and theists in general. Plus, it helps me to not take myself too seriously.

2) What are the religious views of those closest to you? (I.E. what are the religious views of your parents and closest friends)

My mother is Lutheran, my sister and her family are Lutheran. My wife grew up going to all sorts of churches, etc. Nothing stable though. I have friends who are Catholic, Orthodox, non-denom, GLBT Protestant, and atheist as well.

3) How does the answer to the above question influence your personal religious views?

It influences me in the fact that I get questioned on what I believe and why I believe it. Certainly with my Protestant friends, we don’t disagree on much, and nothing along the lines of Dogma. But with my other friends etc. questions are brought up – always in a civil manner – and discussed. Sometimes I have answers, sometimes I don’t and have to do study to see if answers do exist, and if the answers logically follow.


4) What had a bigger impact on the spread of Christianity: its stories and Jesus or the acceptance by the Roman hierarchy as the official state religion?

Jesus, clearly. While it’s argued that the Roman’s acceptance helped Christianity – Christianity was doing fine without it. Despite the early persecution – the message – Gospel – held firm and still spread. I’m not saying it wasn’t helped – but the message Jesus brought is clearly what resonated. Whether or not Constatine was truly a Christian – I’ll let God decide.

5) What evidence is there to support the existence of a god?

This is a longer answer than I will supply here – but will be more than glad to get into this further. However, just a couple of pieces: 1) life. 2) love. 3) logic. 4) that ANYTHING exists at all. 5) “rules” of the world and universe at large. 6) the propensity of anything “seeming” to be created usually is. Etc.

6) How does this evidence prove the Christian version of god and not a different version or multiple gods?

As much as I’d like there to be “proof” there isn’t. However, there is what I would consider to be greater evidence FOR the Christian God than another or multiple gods. Again this could be a longer answer than I put here and we can dive into it if you wish. However, this isn’t to say there COULDN’T be other gods – just that there is only ONE TRUE God. Monotheism allows for lesser gods, but not over THE God.

If no evidence exists and faith must be the means by which to believe, then;
7) Why do believers attempt to justify their beliefs using "evidence?"


Well, again, I would say there is evidence – which we can discuss further – but like any belief people try to come up with evidence to support it, even if there is lacking or none at all. Why? Because we are usually asked to defend our belief, whatever it may be. Religious belief is no exception. Though, I will add – one’s lacking ability to back one’s belief up, does not necessarily mean the belief is false.

Very nice question. I would start by saying God would RATHER that we knew him more personally than through the Bible (however, knowing how we are….) Second, evidence by the masses or singularly? Example. I’m pretty damn sure my wife loves me. Now, I can provide you with what I think is evidence of such – however none of it actually PROVE she loves me. A person who didn’t love me could very well do the same things that I list for evidence. But, would you trust me in that I know my wife loves me? Sure, trusting me that God exists is quite a further stretch…but I think you can see my point. Also, as shown through the Bible – while God did deal with Israel as a nation, he also and more often dealt with people one on one. One on one foster a better relationship. Also, what confirms God for some, doesn’t for others. Could you name ONE THING that would truly confirm God’s existence for EVERYONE?

No. For whatever you (or I) came up with, we could find people who wouldn’t believe and reasons that it wouldn’t qualify as evidence for some.

9) If faith is sufficient, then why do we need the bible?

Perhaps the simplest reason: we are tactile. WE would want a Bible, regardless, I would argue. We WANT something, anything, that we can hold, see, touch, feel, etc…and we do this for even less things. Shake hands on an agreement…why? Isn’t the agreement enough? The hell does shacking hands really do?

So my argument would be, that WE have (and would) ask for such – and don’t we now? Don’t you, in some way, wish for tactile type evidence for a god?

I realize I have thrown numerous questions at you all at once, so allow me to explain my position. I am a former christian who was raised in the bible belt of the southern US to an extended family of self-identifying christians (mainly southern baptists). I began to shed my beliefs upon reflection of the morals that were displayed in the bible. Particularly by my senior year of high school when a youth minister told us a very disturbing story of his grandmothers suicide and how he was mad at her because he would never see her again. After that, my belief in the bible faded to that of a story-book with some of the stories within perhaps containing relevant points for today's society, but no more so than a Disney film. After my continued education in geology and paleontology, I began to see the shrinking spaces that god occupied in my brain as increasingly unnecessary, and eventually asked myself one question. Was there any evidence at all to justify my beliefs in any supernatural deity/force/energy/god? Simply put the answer was no, and although I am confident of that answer, I allow my doubt to drive me in my search for truth (or something close to it). My doubt keeps me on my toes and enables me to reject any claims that are too good to be true. I am a doubter, I am a nonbeliever, but I am not dogmatic about it and I am open to evidence. My last question.

10) Are you?

Very much so, which is why I often ask for evidence AGAINST God in discussions. Much of what we DON’T believe in isn’t simply because there is LACK of evidence (as argued for God) but ALSO because we have evidence AGAINST such a belief. Which is why I use Santa a lot. There IS evidence against Santa – which is why none of us believe him to be real. Not JUST lack of evidence. Lack of evidence is only one side of the coin for disbelief. Currently we have NO EVIDENCE for life on other planets – so should we just assume and believe there isn’t? We can, for sure, but what if there is? There could be, DESPITE having NO EVIDENCE whatsoever.

I am interested in the truth.

AND I am not afraid to be wrong. If I am found to be wrong, well then I am glad to finally know the truth. I don’t believe because I WANT to believe or because I was TOLD to believe, but because I have found what I believe to be true.

If it can be truly shown that what I believe is wrong, then I will gladly admit it and cast away my prior belief. One can only grow if one truly accepts when they are wrong.

I know that I didn’t answer your questions fully, so if you would like to go back and dive into one further, I would be more than happy to.

Thanks for the questions.
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27-09-2012, 06:40 PM
RE: 2 questions to ask a theist.
(27-09-2012 05:19 PM)Idiot for Christ Wrote:  
(27-09-2012 09:15 AM)Impulse Wrote:  Sorry, the way it was originally phrased, I didn't realize you actually wanted an answer. Yes, I believe logic exists. So please continue.

yeah, I can put running sentences together that get buried...

So if logic then exists - why?

Was it created? If so, by what or whom? ( earlier an argument was made that it WAS created)

If it wasn't created, how does it exist?

Yay, the transcendental argument! Haven't seen that one in a while.

My counter-argument: Why does logic require a creator? Demonstrate the need for logic to have a creator. "Something can't come from nothing" doesn't count, since that applies equally well to your own deity.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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