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21-11-2012, 03:57 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
CM, I'll get to you questions as soon as I can. Don't know how much I can answer right now.

And no, if there are questions I don't want to answer, I'll let you know. I've done that before. No worries.

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21-11-2012, 04:04 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
Aside from the ponderance as to why the plan required anything for redemption for us humans doing nothing at all. Could not he simply magic away any & all problems? No, the plan is apparently above god...

And then there is the problem of gods perfection; He is perfect because he: made everything; planned everything; knows everything and is timeless.

Did he plan for his own interventions and make a time paradox of himself? Or does not not inter-view his actions within the plan, or did he not plan any interventions (miracles) he might have later caused..

And lets not even get into how "perfection" is entirely different from person to person.

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21-11-2012, 04:12 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(21-11-2012 04:04 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  Aside from the ponderance as to why the plan required anything for redemption for us humans doing nothing at all. Could not he simply magic away any & all problems? No, the plan is apparently above god...

And then there is the problem of gods perfection; He is perfect because he: made everything; planned everything; knows everything and is timeless.

Did he plan for his own interventions and make a time paradox of himself? Or does not not inter-view his actions within the plan, or did he not plan any interventions (miracles) he might have later caused..

And lets not even get into how "perfection" is entirely different from person to person.

We are God's crop of souls. Our ultimate purpose is for his consumption. Thus sin is just an indicator to Him which of us are more "pure" (read "tastiest"). The only thing he is waiting for now is for the timer on the oven to go "Ding!"

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21-11-2012, 06:58 PM (This post was last modified: 21-11-2012 07:06 PM by Styrofoam02.)
RE: Ask a Theist!
(21-11-2012 11:38 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(17-11-2012 01:16 PM)Styrofoam02 Wrote:  1) You don't see this as a cop out? Did God not write morality on our hearts? Why then, does the morality he writes on our hearts in regards to fairness and Justice contradict his very own morality?

2) Do you not see this as just a way to pat yourself on the spiritual back? "I am better than you are because I am of the elect." And as a continuation of number 1, how can you bring this sense of moral justice in your own life into alignment with God's sense of justice? If God tells you to love your neighbor as yourself, but then creates ETERNAL BEINGS for no other purpose than to be tortured for eternity, do you not see an inherent contradiction there?
3) If a truly omnipotent god existed as you suggest, why did his plan include the presence of evil? Why, if he is omniscient did he create Satan to begin with, knowing full well that he would corrupt the rest of his creation and force him to come to earth as a human being and die? To go one step further, Why have this Rube Goldberg machine type plan when a supposedly all powerful and all knowing god could just create it and skip it? You say that sin was always in God's plan, but if God hates sin and cannot be in the presence of sin, Why create sin to begin with?
1) No. God did not directly give us morality. Morality is basic, primitive evolutionary trait handed down generations after generations. It is based on selfishness and empathy. Society also affects morality. This type of morality is amoral - neither good or bad.

With the knowledge of good and evil, we are able to understand how selfishness and empathy can positively or negatively affect others. We are then able to deny selfishness and embrace empathy because these traits are no longer amoral; they now hold an immoral or moral weight to them.

2) It's not an inherent contradiction. Without sin, there would be no perceived morality. Without consequences for sin, there would be no sin. We have a moral obligation because we were given a moral standard after God imparted His image upon us. God's standards for us aren't His standards. In the same way that students have rules that aren't applicable to the teacher but are created by the teacher.

3) The Bible never says that God can't be in the presence of sin. That is made up. God does hate sin, but He is still the author of it. He doesn't have to love everything He created. Everything He created is "good" in a sense that it serves a purpose.

His plan always was. Sin always was. Why? I can't answer that. I'm the not the mind of God.
1) So you deny Romans 2:15 when it says that god has directly given us a conscience for right and wrong?

2) The inherent contradiction is easy to spot when we look at the law "Thou shalt not kill" and then count how many people god himself killed (even if we take out the people that god COMMANDED to be killed) he is clearly not holding himself to his own standards. Clearly, without "sin" there could be morality, since sin is a made up concept... You contradict yourself... you say "god doesn't give us morality" then turn around and say "We only have morality because of the existence of sin." You present a false dichotomy anyway. Is it not possible that we are able to show empathy without a god? Why do Chimps show empathy? or some insects? they do not have the brain power to understand the concepts you lay out, and yet they still exhibit these things you say are from morality. "

2b) "His standards aren't our standards" You're right. I for one hold humans to a much higher standard than you hold God.

3) If you aren't asking "why" you clearly aren't thinking critically. Its the most important part, why does your god hold you to a higher standard than he holds himself. You have not really answered the question: What makes your god worthy of praise if he is a "do what I say not what I do" type person? How can anyone reasonably expect a child to learn reasonable behavior if they are only doing what they see? If he is going to create eternal beings that have LITERALLY NO CHANCE for redemption, he is a sadist. And by any definition, he is evil. No different than breeding dogs to torture them... the only difference is, god is worse than that because the dogs will eventually get out of the torture through death. God will torture us for eternity. HOW is this goodness? Please explain.
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23-11-2012, 09:59 AM (This post was last modified: 23-11-2012 10:16 AM by DeavonReye.)
RE: Ask a Theist!
I see that many good questions have been raised. I had a few questions, but it looks like they have been asked already, so I have to edit my post.

I was raised in a christian home, too, and am well familiar with Calvinistic theology. It has to be one of the most evil forms of doctrine ever conceived by the mind of men . . . . Elitist men [at that] with a narcissism that is rivaled by few. The idea that a god PURPOSEFULLY creates "vessels of destruction" . . . merely so that the few "elect" will see their blessing. . . . . and all FOR this god's glory. I'm not sure what this "destruction" entails for such christians, . . . annihilation? . . . everlasting "destruction" in flames? Regardless, it is clear that at the very heart of christianity is a self centered "pat on the back" of arrogance reminiscent of the very bronze age it was conceived.
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23-11-2012, 10:50 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(23-11-2012 09:59 AM)DeavonReye Wrote:  I see that many good questions have been raised. I had a few questions, but it looks like they have been asked already, so I have to edit my post.

I was raised in a christian home, too, and am well familiar with Calvinistic theology. It has to be one of the most evil forms of doctrine ever conceived by the mind of men . . . . Elitist men [at that] with a narcissism that is rivaled by few. The idea that a god PURPOSEFULLY creates "vessels of destruction" . . . merely so that the few "elect" will see their blessing. . . . . and all FOR this god's glory. I'm not sure what this "destruction" entails for such christians, . . . annihilation? . . . everlasting "destruction" in flames? Regardless, it is clear that at the very heart of christianity is a self centered "pat on the back" of arrogance reminiscent of the very bronze age it was conceived.
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24-11-2012, 10:36 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(21-11-2012 03:52 PM)Cardinal Smurf Wrote:  I think we are almost at a level of understanding. You haven't established that the sentience is all *anything*. The only thing you can derive from your situation, is that the entity was powerful enough to convince you of something and make you feel something unexpected. It made you feel something you'd never felt before. Your inability to accept that these feelings might, in fact, come directly from your own psyche are basically an argument from incredulity. But, even if it were external, you've still placed your trust in something with very little in the way of what most people would require to earn their trust. Just because you feel like it's god talking to you, doesn't mean it's god. So far, you haven't convinced me you even really know what it is. You just seem to have an idea, formulated by you, based partially on your own perceptions, and mostly on past ideas of this feeling experienced by other humans in the past. All of which could be completely wrong.

Having the potential to be wrong isn't something that I've shied away from. I've said several times that if there is sufficient evidence contrary to my beliefs which can cause me to discredit my anecdotal experience, then I would move towards the evidence. The problem is that there is no measurement for my anecdotal experience; likewise, there isn't a certain "amount" of evidence that would suddenly make me change. It would just "be". Don't really know how to explain it.

Quote:Now, this request may exceed propriety. Forgive me, but my curiosity is now invested. Smile Could you please state each proposed alternative explanation you discussed or considered alone, and then for each state the refutations which caused you to dismiss them? I realize its a lot to ask for, but this is part of your process that remains a mystery to me. Take your time with this one. Maybe we can tackle them one at a time?

Okay, keep in mind this was 6-7 years ago... and I wasn't "taking notes". I simply approached the situation and dealt with it as it came. But, I'm going to do my best to recall everything that was said.

1) A biology professor - he told me that I needed to see a doctor. We briefly talked about my experiences and he told me from a physiological stand point that there are several factors at play. He told me humans are hard wired with complex emotions and that my experiences could be a culmination of these experience in which my mind is convincing me that I'm something or something else happened to me. I think this was the first time I heard the word "delusion" in a scientific sense. He said delusions are real and it's not you lying... it's just what the brain is telling you to think.

2) Psychologist - this was mainly to try and help me get a hold of my "depression". At the root of it, I think I was embarrassed and a little mad that I was accepting the thought of a God. I talked to her about this because I previously rejected the concept of a Christian God, but now, I was not only accepting it, but embracing it. She pretty much just listened to me talk and then prescribe me medicine. I went a couple of times, but it didn't help. My angst at giving up my agnosticism was perceived as depression. This was some of the darkest time in my life.

3) Hypnotist - tried to further figure why I was depressed. Honestly, I don't remember much about this. And, I don't remember much help coming from it. I do remember being extremely uncomfortable and uneasy during the visits.

4) Family Doctor - one of the first people I talked to about my angst in leaving my non-belief as well as one of the few people I talked to about my drug abuse. He gave me some good neutral, general advice, but nothing much to help me with my angst.

5) College and Career pastor - surprisingly someone who embraced my decision to be an agnostic atheist. He told me he totally understood, and he got "why". He prayed that I experience a miracle and I laughed at him. 24 hours later, my whole life... my whole thinking changed. It was the strangest thing I've ever experienced.

6) 2 neurologists - this was mostly to deal with my headaches. They ruled out anything neurological or psychological. They said it had to be physical. 6 years later, I would find out that my headaches were due to the physical and were masked by medicine. This is how I know that my headaches were psychological... I was being treated incorrectly. I had maybe a handful of migraines in my life; however, I overloaded the medicines to deal with them, which created rebound headaches, which I would use more medicine, which created worse rebound headaches, and so on. Once we got them under control, I was fine. Took 8 years, but I finally got a handle on them.

7) My brother (pastor) - just listen to my experience and suggested that I read some chapters from Romans and Ephesians. He then explain Calvinism to me... and then... then, it just made sense. It made sense what happened to me.

Quote:Which drugs, specifically? I've taken a few myself in the past. I can attest to unexpected psuedo-psychotic side effects of some.

Lexipro was the main one... but I tried a lot of others that I don't remember. Lexipro didn't do anything to me but make me more sad. I'm kinda still pissed at the liberality at which they handed me drugs when I wasn't even depressed.

Quote:Seems insufficient to me for full analysis, but I agree that's arbitrary. It had to be an exhausting process, no? Must have been very taxing, mentally and emotionally?

BTW - Thank you for your patience with me. It is much appreciated. If you feel I dig too deeply just let me know. I don't want to offend.

Yeah it was... and I was talking about the conversion to understanding... not whole encompassing series of events that led to my acceptance of agnostic atheism to my conversation to Christianity... that was over several years.

But, it was my conversation that things really got bad for me... for a couple of months anyway.

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24-11-2012, 11:02 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(21-11-2012 06:58 PM)Styrofoam02 Wrote:  1) So you deny Romans 2:15 when it says that god has directly given us a conscience for right and wrong?

No.

God gave us morality through evolution. Because He gave us the knowledge of good and evil, we know what is right and wrong. Morality isn't evil or good... everything is amoral... until we are given the knowledge of good and evil. Then we can do good and evil... but, since good and evil is relative, it's up to God to interpret amoral actions into moral or immoral actions.

Even when animals portray "morality" it's only because we perceive, under human standards, as moral or immoral. We cannot force our relative morality onto anything. When mice help other mice stuck in a maze; bring them food or whatever; we perceive that as the mouse doing "good" or being moral. But why? Because that's how we perceive those actions. Did the mouse have good intentions? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it was just the mouse's evolution kicking in and helping its species survive.

So, actions are amoral. We assign morals to these actions. Romans is saying that God has given us the understanding of what these actions are... they are no longer amoral; but immoral or moral.

Quote:2) The inherent contradiction is easy to spot when we look at the law "Thou shalt not kill" and then count how many people god himself killed (even if we take out the people that god COMMANDED to be killed) he is clearly not holding himself to his own standards. Clearly, without "sin" there could be morality, since sin is a made up concept... You contradict yourself... you say "god doesn't give us morality" then turn around and say "We only have morality because of the existence of sin." You present a false dichotomy anyway. Is it not possible that we are able to show empathy without a god? Why do Chimps show empathy? or some insects? they do not have the brain power to understand the concepts you lay out, and yet they still exhibit these things you say are from morality. "

2b) "His standards aren't our standards" You're right. I for one hold humans to a much higher standard than you hold God.

I explain this above. Animals show empathy and selfishness, but their actions are neither moral or immoral - they are amoral.

Quote:3) If you aren't asking "why" you clearly aren't thinking critically. Its the most important part, why does your god hold you to a higher standard than he holds himself. You have not really answered the question: What makes your god worthy of praise if he is a "do what I say not what I do" type person? How can anyone reasonably expect a child to learn reasonable behavior if they are only doing what they see? If he is going to create eternal beings that have LITERALLY NO CHANCE for redemption, he is a sadist. And by any definition, he is evil. No different than breeding dogs to torture them... the only difference is, god is worse than that because the dogs will eventually get out of the torture through death. God will torture us for eternity. HOW is this goodness? Please explain.

I have asked "why". This is why I don't have an answer for it. It's the same reason why I don't know what you're thinking right now. I'm not you. I don't know your thoughts or your plans. So, I can't answer that question, but it doesn't have anything to do with me not asking "why".

I've gone into great detail about sin before, but I'll touch on it again. This is God's plan... His world... His rules. Perception is the key. You may perceive Him as a sadist, and you wouldn't be wrong. Based on your information and understanding, that would be a correct interpretation. I have a different understanding, so my perception is different.

Also, what you describe as "evil" is only evil according to your morality. Your opinion is crafted by your morality... and morality, again, is relative. Your example of the dogs isn't quite sufficient simply because you don't know the whole story. What if the breeder is actually torturing them to analyze their brain patterns in order to construct cybernetic dogs of the future that will be used in police task forces, rescues, and/or life long companions. Now, yes, this is an outrageous example, but the situation changes once you get the whole picture; likewise, something that you could have never previously perceived (cybernetic dogs) suddenly changes what you understand.

This is God. Infinite knowledge and infinite understanding. We don't know His plan and why His plan involves death and hell and such... but, it is necessary for His plan.

It's really just the acceptance that God is infinite. Once that happens, you have to accept that anything He does is without contestation simply because your knowledge and understanding isn't even measurable next to infinity. The only way to get this is faith. The only way to get faith is through God.

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24-11-2012, 11:03 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(23-11-2012 09:59 AM)DeavonReye Wrote:  I see that many good questions have been raised. I had a few questions, but it looks like they have been asked already, so I have to edit my post.

I was raised in a christian home, too, and am well familiar with Calvinistic theology. It has to be one of the most evil forms of doctrine ever conceived by the mind of men . . . . Elitist men [at that] with a narcissism that is rivaled by few. The idea that a god PURPOSEFULLY creates "vessels of destruction" . . . merely so that the few "elect" will see their blessing. . . . . and all FOR this god's glory. I'm not sure what this "destruction" entails for such christians, . . . annihilation? . . . everlasting "destruction" in flames? Regardless, it is clear that at the very heart of christianity is a self centered "pat on the back" of arrogance reminiscent of the very bronze age it was conceived.
Not sure of your question?

Just bashing my beliefs?

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24-11-2012, 08:13 PM (This post was last modified: 24-11-2012 08:17 PM by Styrofoam02.)
RE: Ask a Theist!
(24-11-2012 11:02 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(21-11-2012 06:58 PM)Styrofoam02 Wrote:  1) So you deny Romans 2:15 when it says that god has directly given us a conscience for right and wrong?

No.

God gave us morality through evolution. Because He gave us the knowledge of good and evil, we know what is right and wrong. Morality isn't evil or good... everything is amoral... until we are given the knowledge of good and evil. Then we can do good and evil... but, since good and evil is relative, it's up to God to interpret amoral actions into moral or immoral actions.

Even when animals portray "morality" it's only because we perceive, under human standards, as moral or immoral. We cannot force our relative morality onto anything. When mice help other mice stuck in a maze; bring them food or whatever; we perceive that as the mouse doing "good" or being moral. But why? Because that's how we perceive those actions. Did the mouse have good intentions? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it was just the mouse's evolution kicking in and helping its species survive.

So, actions are amoral. We assign morals to these actions. Romans is saying that God has given us the understanding of what these actions are... they are no longer amoral; but immoral or moral.

Quote:2) The inherent contradiction is easy to spot when we look at the law "Thou shalt not kill" and then count how many people god himself killed (even if we take out the people that god COMMANDED to be killed) he is clearly not holding himself to his own standards. Clearly, without "sin" there could be morality, since sin is a made up concept... You contradict yourself... you say "god doesn't give us morality" then turn around and say "We only have morality because of the existence of sin." You present a false dichotomy anyway. Is it not possible that we are able to show empathy without a god? Why do Chimps show empathy? or some insects? they do not have the brain power to understand the concepts you lay out, and yet they still exhibit these things you say are from morality. "

2b) "His standards aren't our standards" You're right. I for one hold humans to a much higher standard than you hold God.

I explain this above. Animals show empathy and selfishness, but their actions are neither moral or immoral - they are amoral.

Quote:3) If you aren't asking "why" you clearly aren't thinking critically. Its the most important part, why does your god hold you to a higher standard than he holds himself. You have not really answered the question: What makes your god worthy of praise if he is a "do what I say not what I do" type person? How can anyone reasonably expect a child to learn reasonable behavior if they are only doing what they see? If he is going to create eternal beings that have LITERALLY NO CHANCE for redemption, he is a sadist. And by any definition, he is evil. No different than breeding dogs to torture them... the only difference is, god is worse than that because the dogs will eventually get out of the torture through death. God will torture us for eternity. HOW is this goodness? Please explain.

I have asked "why". This is why I don't have an answer for it. It's the same reason why I don't know what you're thinking right now. I'm not you. I don't know your thoughts or your plans. So, I can't answer that question, but it doesn't have anything to do with me not asking "why".

I've gone into great detail about sin before, but I'll touch on it again. This is God's plan... His world... His rules. Perception is the key. You may perceive Him as a sadist, and you wouldn't be wrong. Based on your information and understanding, that would be a correct interpretation. I have a different understanding, so my perception is different.

Also, what you describe as "evil" is only evil according to your morality. Your opinion is crafted by your morality... and morality, again, is relative. Your example of the dogs isn't quite sufficient simply because you don't know the whole story. What if the breeder is actually torturing them to analyze their brain patterns in order to construct cybernetic dogs of the future that will be used in police task forces, rescues, and/or life long companions. Now, yes, this is an outrageous example, but the situation changes once you get the whole picture; likewise, something that you could have never previously perceived (cybernetic dogs) suddenly changes what you understand.

This is God. Infinite knowledge and infinite understanding. We don't know His plan and why His plan involves death and hell and such... but, it is necessary for His plan.

It's really just the acceptance that God is infinite. Once that happens, you have to accept that anything He does is without contestation simply because your knowledge and understanding isn't even measurable next to infinity. The only way to get this is faith. The only way to get faith is through God.
so the only way to believe in god is to believe in god. That makes so much sense. /sarcasm

God gave us the knowledge of good and evil....through the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for which eating it condemned us to hell. That. makes. so. much. sense.

"sin has always existed. God has always existed." So, did God create sin? if so, at what point? If god created sin, then it wasn't "always" That. makes. sense.

"God has infinite understanding" Apparently he doesn't. Otherwise, he'd understand why I don't believe in him, and he wouldn't banish me to a complete and utter eternity for my non-belief. Because this. makes. sense.

You know what else makes sense? That your god is made up. This actually DOES make sense.
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