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 Post subject: Can (a Christian) God Be?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 6:58 pm 
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PSA: This topic has been split off from the Creation vs. Evolution thread. If you've just now joined the discussion, it may be helpful to to refer to that one for reference.

AgentOpaque wrote:
God knew that we would corrupt the perfect Earth that He created for us, so He structured our DNA to to adapt accordingly.


This is one of my favorite parts in any religious discussion. I like to call it the "what was he thinking?" moment. Why would god create a species that he knew would "corrupt the perfect Earth that He created" for them? Why not create a more perfect species?

Usually the answers offered are "god has a greater plan," or "we aren't meant to know" or "it is beyond our comprehension" or similar. I've heard a couple original responses to this one, but I'd like to hear something convincing. Anybody?

Don't forget that core to Christianity is that god is infallible and capable of everything.

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Last edited by InterruptorJones on Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: So this is what I think...
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 7:16 pm 
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InterruptorJones wrote:
Why would god create a species that he knew would "corrupt the perfect Earth that He created" for them?


I don't know what other religions think/feel, personally I have never felt that earth was perfect. I believe it was constructed exactly as it was supposed to, but perfect it isn't.

We are here to be tested, and part of that test is making mistakes.

InterruptorJones wrote:
Why not create a more perfect species?


Again, I am not sure if this agrees with the way things are, but it is how I feel. This was an option. Of the two plans presented, this was the one that wasn't chosen. We would be a perfect species, but we wouldn't have a choice. And the real kicker was who the glory was going to be given to.

I could be getting confused in how scripture is actual interpreted. If that be the case, I am sorry. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 7:20 pm 
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IJ:

Would you prefer that He never created at all? That He had left us all in a state of total oblivion, with no lives to live? That was a viable option to Him, you know.

Capable of anything? Depends on what you mean by "anything." As someone once said, to speak nonsense and precede it with the words "God can..." does not make it any less nonsense. God created humans with free will, which means that He made them with the possibility of falling. Free will without moral choice is a logical contradiction, and so it is utter nonsense to say, "God can create free creatures without moral choice."

Now I have no idea how you might answer this question, but I'll ask it anyway. Would you prefer to date a real girl or a robot doll? Or let me put it this way: would you prefer to be a living, thinking human being, or some kind of robot doll or pod person, with no ability to think, reason, or choose for yourself?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 7:22 pm 
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Maybe someone can help me out here, since I'm awful at finding things in the Bible. According to the Bible, why did god create man?

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 Post subject: okie dokie...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:10 am 
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okie dokie....so this is why God created man.
GE 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth,* and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

GE 1:27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
(NIV)
We were meant to be managers of the Earth. The creation of man is much deeper than that though, we were created for worship. It's difficult for us to understand that we weren't just created to please ourselves but we were created to please our Creator. In every act that we do, we can be in worship to God...our work lives, school, our time of gathering and anything else that is good and pleasing to God can be worship.

Why not create a more perfect species?
Since we were created to worship and fellowship with God, He wanted us to choose Him. It's all well and good when you can have a friend that is uber impressed with your cool stuff or how much you can do for them but I find that the friends that I value the most are those that choose to love me and want to be with me by their own choice not because I've done something for them but because they find happiness in my happiness.

So I suppose that since we are made in God's image that the way we feel about good friends is the way that He feels about good friends too.
I'm sure it would have been easy to create a species that never questioned Him, sinned against him or intentionally hurt him...but I'm glad that He didn't because I do all of those things and more, but I find joy and purpose in knowing that in my friendship with Him gives Him Joy and gladness.

God has given us a world, I think it was perfectly created...others aren't going to think that it is perfect...but I do, I can't imagine how a God that created so much and gave it to us could want nothing more than our true faithfulness in return but that's really all that He desires. So if the God that gave me all of the happiness I have right now and the comfort I receive when I am down wants to have a real relationship with me you better believe I am all about that.

Sorry if I skipped any questions...thanks for the listen!

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 Post subject: Re: okie dokie...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:57 am 
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AgentOpaque wrote:
We were meant to be managers of the Earth.
...
Since we were created to worship and fellowship with God, He wanted us to choose Him.


You're making two different analyses here. Firstly, I'd like to hear the scriptures behind both of these (neither of the ones you posted fit the bill), and secondly I'd like you to pick one or tell me how they can both be the case.

The thing is, the "managers of the Earth" thing just doesn't work, because it just makes us ask "why create the Earth?" And the second bit.. god created and gave life to an entire species solely for the sake of having someone to worship him? I mean, sure, if there's anybody who has an excuse for it, it's god, but isn't that a little bit egotistical?

The trouble is that if I follow what you say to its natural conclusion, I find that while god was creating this custom race of people especially to worship him, and giving them free will for whatever reason ("what was he thinking?"), he realized (god knows all, he had to have realized) that in the process he'd be creating millions of souls that he'd end up condemning to hell, millions of souls who'd be murdering, raping, and torturing eachother, and why? So he'd have someone to worship him.

I'm not at all trying to be glib here, I'm really trying to understand. But if this is the case, what's going on, here?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:01 am 
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Don't think of it as Him condemning them to hell. They condemn themselves. He gave them the gift of existence, and they used that gift to rebel against Him and destroy themselves. It's a pity, but if He had chosen the other option--not creating at all--then none of us would be able to enjoy the gift of existence. Maybe it was all worth it to Him so that those of us who love Him could exist to do so. Just like it would be worth it to suffer a dozen heartbreaks if you can find that one special person to spend the rest of your life with. I don't know. You'd have to ask Him.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:17 am 
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Note: this is AgentOpaque...sorry AgentSeeThroo forgot to log out...silly boy!

The scripture behind "Managers of the Earth" statement has already been given to you. Anyone that is put in a position to 'rule over' something...(GE 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth,* and over all the creatures that move along the ground." )is a like a manager. Parents are manager or supervisors of their children’s lives, giving them good instructions, correcting them when they are wrong and the like....the same goes for God.

As far as God being Egotistical...If He were egotistical, that would mean that he would be exaggerating His importance and power...which wouldn't be so...because He IS that important and that powerful.
And whoa...to give you scripture backing worship would be to like quote the entire bible. Through the history in the Old Testament, the letters from the Apostles, Teachings of Jesus...countless times worship is at the center of all of these teachings...I would suggest that you begin to read the bible beginning in book of John. In all things that we do we can worship.

As far as Why Create the Earth? I mean why not would be a good enough answer but I don't do that sort of thing (hehe) God wanted companions...friends, people that he could hang out with. In fact, God actually HUNG OUT with Adam and Eve:
GE 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

There was point when God was physically (in the sense that you and I understand physically) with man...together. They were friends and until they sinned against God they were actually in His very up close and personal presence. I personally don't believe that people want to be alone, sure there are moments when we need and want alone time...but we always wants someone special to be there for us. I personally believe we inherit that trait from God, who wants more than anything to be with us and to be our very best friend.

Why create people that he knows are going to go to hell?
In life you have a series of choices. It's like the lottery...there are many different combinations that the numbers could be. Now I'm NOT saying that God thinks of us like a game or a chance...not all, so please don't think for a minute that I might be trying to convey that idea. However, God knows the path and outcome of every single series of choices. It's not like people are born and God has already condemned them to hell. He will help you make the right choices that lead you to Him but you have to have faith in His wisdom and love for you. So in fact EVERY SINGLE PERSON that lives for even a moment has an opportunity to listen to God and make the right choices that lead to him.

Ok well I probably won't be able to do anymore discussion tonight because I'mma bout to go take a cold pill.
Thanks again for the listen.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:41 am 
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AgentOpaque is AgentSeeThroo? Man, talk about the two becoming one!

AgentWhoEver is correct, though. God can make the kinds of expectations He has because He is who He is. If He weren't God, it would be egotistical of Him to expect people to worship Him.

I think sometimes we forget that God is a person. It's so easy to describe Him in philosophical terms like, "omniscient" and "omnipotent," and in the process completely forget He has feelings just like we do. Does God get angry? Of course He does! The difference between Him and us is that, while we can't always be sure about ours, we can be sure that His anger is justified. When He gets angry, He has a right; we don't always have that right, though we do sometimes.

And why shouldn't God have emotions or act on them? Where is it written, "Emotions=bad"? Didn't He give us emotions? Didn't He pattern us after Himself? Didn't He show a full range of emotions--from anger, to joy, to sadness and even despair--when He walked among us as a Man?

Could it be so simple that God created people out of a simple emotion like love? Maybe it wasn't a rational act that led Him to create, but an emotional one. Do His actions always have to fit the scheme of logic?

As Blaise Pascal once said, "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; not the God of philosophers and scholars."

This isn't so much an argument or proof as just another 2¢ on the pile.

BTW, why don't they have a ¢ key on computers?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 1:52 pm 
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AgentOpaque wrote:
The scripture behind "Managers of the Earth" statement has already been given to you. Anyone that is put in a position to 'rule over' something...(GE 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth,* and over all the creatures that move along the ground." )is a like a manager.


That still doesn't answer the question. It says "let them rule over all the earth". It doesn't say why. It doesn't say why the Earth needs someone to rule over it, and it doesn't say why the Earth was created in the first place.

AgentOpaque wrote:
God wanted companions...friends, people that he could hang out with.


Let's get hypothetical: Say someone you knew was lonely and someone came along and gave them a magic wand with which they could create one friend to their specifications, looks, personality, desires, etc. So the person says "I want a friend just like me, except that I want them to worship me every hour of every day." What would that look like to you? I think there was a PBS Saturday Morning Special about this one: A friend is not someone who worships you. If you want a friend, use the Friend Wand to make a friend. If you want someone to worship you, you've got the wrong wand.

God did not want friends. He did not want to "hang out". He wanted subjects to get down on their knees and quail before his divine might.

And you don't condemn your friends to hell when they refuse to kneel. Which brings us to...

Didymus wrote:
Don't think of it as Him condemning them to hell.


Boo. God created the punishment, god created the rules by which you are punished, and god created you. God knows all. There is nothing that god does not know, including the future. So if, say, Bob is going to go to hell, god knows Bob is going to hell even before Bob is ever born. God has known that Bob is going to hell since before the dawn of time. Gob made Bob with the specific, thorough knowledge of every single moment in Bob's life (including every single choice Bob will make in his life), leading right up to (and beyond) the moment that Bob winds up in hell. God sent Bob to hell. Lucky Bob, he got to spend a blink of an eye in this Earthly paradise, but after that it's been eternal damnation for him all along.

Didymus wrote:
Could it be so simple that God created people out of a simple emotion like love? Maybe it wasn't a rational act that led Him to create, but an emotional one. Do His actions always have to fit the scheme of logic?


I don't know about logic (since in this scenario, god created logic), but according to Christianity, god is infallible. He is without flaw. He does not make mistakes and he does not do irrational things. Either that or we've got god pegged all wrong.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:43 pm 
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As much as it bothers me to hear people suggest that my God is egotistical and a God of hate that would create someone just to go to hell...I'm going to respond to you again.

So here we go...why God create the Earth is totally trivial. The fact is...God created the Earth and He doesn't have to give us a reason why He created it. It's like asking someone..."why did you build that house for me?...I already had a great house down the street" They'd probably say "well because I can and I wanted to" and we would accept that without question. Well I would.

Seriously why questions go on and on and on...that why some 5 year olds are so annoying...but why but why but why? You have to get past the why did God create the Earth and find out why God created you, because the Earth is here, it was here before you were born and it will be here when you die, so knowing why it's here isn't exactly the most important thing you need to know. I'm not suggesting that God will or has ever given anyone all the answers. I do know that God knows all the answers, which is great considering that He's got my back all the time...so I feel much better knowing that I worship and am friends with a God that is at least always going to be there for me.

I mean it's your choice to choose a life of arguing with Christians and convincing yourself that you are totally alone in this world and that you are in control of everything that happens to you and it's all about you while you're alive...however I think that lifestyle fits the definition of egotistical better than God being egotistical right?

What we today know to be friends and lovers and everything is totally screwed up. Since God is the creator, what he says is the truth...so hypothetically if God said "friend = someone that never lets my glass get empty" that's what FRIEND would mean...EVEN THOUGH we would say..."what that's a waiter/waitress!!??" Just because we have made 'friends' easier to come by, by not expecting much from them doesn't mean that God's definition of friend has ever changed.

So to think that we are going to think EVERY SINGLE thought like God does is ridiculous. We act like Him in the sense that we love and we cry and laugh but we aren't going to understand or feel things in the same way that he does.

God did not create hell for people. PERIOD. When you have been given the opportunity to accept the truth and live according to the will of God and you are capable of making the decision to follow Him (meaning you understand good and evil) you are then accountable. There is a path for EVERY SINGLE MAN to get to Heaven, however if God makes that way and they still decide to follow the Enemy...what can God do? Give them the same reward that He's giving to those that devoted their earthly lives to Him, people that actually love Him and want to be around Him? If you choose to follow the enemy, you’re choosing to follow him to hell, but that doesn't mean that you were destined to go there or that God wanted you to go there...you chose to refuse your creator and follow His enemy. Every single person in hell made the choice to go there. If you choose not to believe, you're choice is hell. I don't really know how to make that statement more clear.

Sorry if I didn't answer any questions that you might have asked, I've been trying to make a doctor's appointment while responding...so if I skipped something please just ring it to my attention.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:08 pm 
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AgentOpaque wrote:
I mean it's your choice to choose a life of arguing with Christians and convincing yourself that you are totally alone in this world and that you are in control of everything that happens to you and it's all about you while you're alive...however I think that lifestyle fits the definition of egotistical better than God being egotistical right?


Are you referring to me, here? Could we please try to be a little bit less nasty? I didn't do anything to you, and if the above refers to me (Didymus has taught me not to make such assumptions), I don't think it's very nice, particularly since it's not true.

AgentOpaque wrote:
why God create the Earth is totally trivial. The fact is...God created the Earth and He doesn't have to give us a reason why He created it


This is the "because" argument, and the question is not trivial. I'm asking for an answer. If you don't know the answer, just say so, but don't try to convince us it's trivial. This is the universe we're talking about. Maybe it's chump change to god, but to me it's the entirety of the existence of every person who has ever lived and ever will. Trivial.

AgentOpaque wrote:
God did not create hell for people. PERIOD.


Whoops. So who created hell? Who's "the Enemy"? How did this enemy create hell? Why didn't god stop him? Why does god allow hell to continue to exist?

AgentOpaque wrote:
what can God do?


This is god, remember? God can do everything. There is nothing beyond god's power. So why won't he do it?

AgentOpaque wrote:
Every single person in hell made the choice to go there.


Remember Bob? God knew before the dawn of time that Bob would, as you say, choose to go to hell. Why didn't god stop him? Why did god create him in the first place when he knew Bob would end up in hell for all of eternity? God could have. His hands are never tied.

Nothing ever happens that is against god's will. Every thing that happens that one might claim is "against" god's will could have been stopped by god, because he is all-powerful. If he chooses not to prevent it, then he allowed it to happen, which is the same thing as him willing it to happen. God willed Bob to go to hell. Either that or we've got god pegged wrong. What then?

AgentOpaque wrote:
Just because we have made 'friends' easier to come by, by not expecting much from them doesn't mean that God's definition of friend has ever changed.


So the problem is that our definition of "friend" is screwed up? I'd like to see you go a it further with this. You seem to be suggesting that in a true friendship as defined by god, one friend worships the other unquestioningly. Is that mutual? Since god created Bob to be his friend, should god be down on his mighty knees before Bob and do as Bob commands? I don't think that there's any definition of friendship in which the relationship is not mutual, so why doesn't god do as every one of us commands? Or do you think maybe we should be using a different word than "friend" and get rid of the "hanging out" idea altogether?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 5:13 pm 
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I absolutely am not referring to you as an individual in any sense. The context of ‘you’ is in reference to anyone that might read the text posted...not intended for any specific person. So please don't be offended. None of the comments I make are intended to be 'nasty' or degrading.

sidenote: please do not try to convey that I think your questions are trivial, I am not trying to convince you that what I say is not trivial and what you say is trivial. Thanks.

As far as I know, the bible does not say, "God created the Earth for -insert specific reason-" However the bible doesn't say why blood is pumped through the heart and not the brain...because it doesn't matter if you want to know why because blood will always be pumped through the heart and not the brain...so knowing why that is so...isn't going to do anything for you...it's not going to make you run faster or think harder...I mean that the HUMAN BODY...it's been the same for thousands of years...but understanding why it works the way it does and why God made it that way isn't going to do you a bit of good.

The Enemy is Satan who was is a 'fallen angel.' He tried to overcome God, he lost and thus good and evil and hell. God created hell for SATAN and his followers (other angels tried to overcome God with Satan). If someone chooses not to follow God they choose to follow Satan. It's like you have to either go right or left because you can't sit in the middle of the intersection. God continues to allow hell to exist because it is the place where Satan and his followers will spend eternity.

God can not do EVERYTHING...because God can not sin. He can't lie, cheat, steal or be unfair. That's why God is just, there is justice for everyone...if I break the law on earth and my dad is the judge in my case, wouldn't you want him to punish me fairly in spite of his love for me?

Ok and so there is BOB...I don't know why BOB was created but maybe God decided to create people will a 99.9% chance of choosing him...I don't know. Like I've said before, everyone has the opportunity to choose God...it's the free will that God gave to us. Of course he wants us to spend our lives following Him and He spends opportunity after opportunity for us to choose him and get off the wrong path that we're on, but there are people that in spite of all the times God tries to help them will reject Him.

It's like if you are going to have a baby and everything but you foresee that your baby will grow up and make bad friends and do drugs and hurt you and just lead a bad life...you wouldn't abort the baby just because of that, you would still have the baby and try your best to show it the right ways to live, help them find a way out of a drug addicted life...you'd do everything in your power to help your child make the right choices...but even after all of that if he still doesn't accept your help and he chooses to hate you, then that's their decision. You've done all that you can to help them make a good life and if they don't accept the gift of good parenting that you give to them...you can't do anything for them because you've already done all that you can.

So you'd like to see me go further with the definition of friend...you, (interrupterJones) and I see things differently...why on Earth would anyone think that if they can't see things the way that other human beings can see things...why would we even fathom that we can see and understand things the way that God does all the time?

Since God created Bob, should God bow down to Bob and worship him? (That was kind of funny) NO. Thou Shall have NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME! That means that if God were to worship us, we'd become a God more important than God himself which is not possible because then God would be sinning by breaking on of his own ten commandments.

Other gods require worship or reverence or other religious traditions. My God require worship, reverence and friendship. I was not created for only one purpose...I'm a wife, a co-worker, a daughter, a friend, and countless other things...in being a good wife, I worship God because he gave me my husband, in being a hard worker I worship because God has provided work for me, in being a good daughter, friend or anything else, I can call that worship because I have all things through God. Every single thing I have is a direct gift from Him. That's why He is worthy of worship. He loves me in spite of all of the times I wrong Him, that's what makes Him such a great friend. We have a good time in fellowship together, He is with me all the time, revealing more of His plan to me and helping me make the right choices...that's part of what makes us friends.

I give Him worship because He requires it but also because I truly enjoy being in His presence thanking Him for all that He has given me. He gives me friendship even though I don't deserve it. He has built a mansion in heaven just for me...there is a pay off for following Him, being with Him like Adam and Eve were with Him. The treasures and gifts in heaven are like so not the most important thing...it's being with the Creator and knowing that He knows you and still loves you in spite of that.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 5:30 pm 
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Good stuff!

These discussions are awesome.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 7:59 pm 
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OK, this is off-topic, but in my opinion this thread has already been off-topic :P

Jones, why do you not capitalize the name of "God"? I may be an atheist, but for some reason that's a pet peeve of mine. I mean, we're talking about a specific (Judeo-Christian) God, who has a proper name. To decapitalize the name because, to you, he isn't real, is like refusing to capitalize "arthur dent" because Arthur Dent isn't "real". ;)

Though, oddly enough, that's exactly why I don't capitalize pronouns or adjectives that refer to God, which has potential to offend some. Go figure.

- Kef


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furrykef wrote:
OK, this is off-topic, but in my opinion this thread has already been off-topic :P

Jones, why do you not capitalize the name of "God"? I may be an atheist, but for some reason that's a pet peeve of mine. I mean, we're talking about a specific (Judeo-Christian) God, who has a proper name. To decapitalize the name because, to you, he isn't real, is like refusing to capitalize "arthur dent" because Arthur Dent isn't "real". ;)

Though, oddly enough, that's exactly why I don't capitalize pronouns or adjectives that refer to God, which has potential to offend some. Go figure.

- Kef


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They aren't mutually exclusive.


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furrykef wrote:
They aren't mutually exclusive.


They're not? I was under the impression that atheism was a lack of a religion, not a lack of belief in Christ.


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I don't know about logic (since in this scenario, god created logic), but according to Christianity, god is infallible. He is without flaw. He does not make mistakes and he does not do irrational things. Either that or we've got god pegged all wrong.


IJ:

Who ever said emotion was a flaw? Or that all behaviors have to be absolutely rational in order to be good? Haven't you ever done anything spontaneous and found it was good? Maybe God is more of an Expressionist than a Realist when it comes to creation.

And you are right. God did create the rules and the punishment, just as a nation or state creates laws and punishments to govern its citizens. However, if a criminal breaks those laws and receives his just penalty, can you blame the judge for it? Absolutely not. Neither can you blame God because human beings fail. Bob failed God; God didn't fail him.

As far as God making subjects and not friends: Did Jesus not say, "No greater love is there than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends"? God did more than create us. He redeemed us, and that at great personal expense to Himself. For the Father, it was the most precious thing He had in the entire universe: his own dearly beloved Son. For the Son, it meant rejection, alienation, abandonment, betrayal, torture, execution, and death. God did more than create you, IJ, he also paid a great price for you, and he did it to keep you out of that hell. No greater love could God have than this, that he suffered the torments of hell in order to keep you out of there.

If that's the case, then why do people still go there? Because they don't want that gift. They detest the very gift itself because it makes no sense, and people want everything--even those things so far above their understanding that they cannot begin to grasp them--to make perfect sense. So they reject it, ridicule it, scorn it, and--dare I say it--construct philosophical arguments against it. All because they think they know better than God how the universe ought to work (have you seen that movie Bruce Almighty?).

Again, it seems to me that you are trying so hard to impose philosophical absolutes on Him rather than letting Him be who He is. It just seems to me like the God of which you speak is that of the philosopher or scholar, not of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

AgentSeeThroo:

The way I understand it, Buddha himself was something of an agnostic. He did not really care whether gods existed or not; he did believe that if they did exist, they don't care about humans at all, so why depend on them for some sort of salvation? Buddha proposed a way of dealing with the harsh realities of life by doing away with desires. A person can be an atheist Buddhist just as easily as someone else can be a Aristotilean Christian.

On the other hand, someone else in this thread claimed to be an atheist Christian. Now THAT is a logical contradiction. One cannot simultaneously believe that God does not exist and that Jesus Christ is His Son.

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My Dad was/is a Minister, so I grew up in Creationism. I also like to consider myself a Christian.

I do not mind other peoples' opinion on how the Earth was created, but I do mind people slamming Christians and Jews and other Creationist types.

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AgentOpaque wrote:
God created hell for SATAN and his followers (other angels tried to overcome God with Satan). If someone chooses not to follow God they choose to follow Satan. ... God continues to allow hell to exist because it is the place where Satan and his followers will spend eternity.


So why let Satan continue to exist? Why not destroy Satan and destroy Hell? Or why not put Satan in a Jar of Holding for all eternity where he can't get at god's children. Certainly that's what we do here on the mortal plane with evil people. Certainly god is capable (right? see below). And without Satan, Bob won't be led to evil. Maybe he'll still miss the bus won't be led to god, either, but every little bit helps, right?

The trouble is that, just like Bob, god created Satan. When god created Satan he knew that Satan would lead millions (billions! trillions!) of his children to evil, and to hell, and to eternal damnation. So why create Satan in the first place? God created Satan. God could stop Satan, but chooses not to. Everything that Satan does because God chooses not to prevent it is therefore God's will.

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God can not do EVERYTHING...because God can not sin. He can't lie, cheat, steal or be unfair.


Where does the Bible say this? Every Christian I've ever spoken to has said that god is omnipotent, meaning he is capable of everything, which means everything possible, impossible, imaginable, or unimaginable. God created sin, falsehood, and injustice, so I have a hard time imagining those terms applied to his deeds. God is without limitation, according to every definition I've heard, but saying that he cannot do X is claiming he is limited.

AgentOpaque wrote:
I don't know why BOB was created but maybe God decided to create people will a 99.9% chance of choosing him


I think it's Didymus who reminded us of Einstein's opinion: God does not play dice. Would you agree? God created Bob and knew beforehand that Bob would not choose him, because god knows all.

AgentOpaque wrote:
It's like if you are going to have a baby and everything but you foresee that your baby will grow up and make bad friends and do drugs and hurt you and just lead a bad life...you wouldn't abort the baby just because of that


If you knew the baby would turn out like this even before he is conceived, would you still choose to conceive the baby?

AgentOpaque wrote:
Since God created Bob, should God bow down to Bob and worship him? (That was kind of funny) NO. Thou Shall have NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME!


So clearly this isn't a mutual "friendship". I so move that we pick a different word. Anybody care to second?

AgentOpaque wrote:
Other gods require worship or reverence or other religious traditions.


Are you saying that you believe in these other gods? Or that you allow for the possibility of them existing? I do, clearly, but it seems a little backwards coming from you.

Didymus wrote:
Who ever said emotion was a flaw?


I don't know, but I sure didn't. I implied that irrationality is a flaw. Irrationality is a lapse in reason. A perfect, omnipotent being cannot lapse any more than he can get less than 100% on a quiz or trip over his shoelaces. The Christian god may be emotional, but he does not lapse.

furrykef wrote:
Jones, why do you not capitalize the name of "God"?


I can't say for sure. It has nothing to do with his authenticity, and of course I regret having offended anybody. It's just a personal preference.

But now that you've brought it to everybody's attention, someone will probably get on my case about it. Curse you, The Kef! :eekdance:

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I don't know, but I sure didn't. I implied that irrationality is a flaw. Irrationality is a lapse in reason. A perfect, omnipotent being cannot lapse any more than he can get less than 100% on a quiz or trip over his shoelaces. The Christian god may be emotional, but he does not lapse.


Then here's another question: who gets to decide what is rational? For that matter, what does rational mean? I would tend to define it as, "according to good reason," but then who gets to decide what good reason is?

Maybe irrational isn't the right word here. Maybe "transcending reason" or "above reason" would be a better way to describe it. An emotional or spontaneous action doesn't necessarily have to have anything to do with rationality at all.

For example, I could say to myself, "I want some ice cream." If I do, I might just go over to the freezer and fix me a bowl (MMMmmm, cookies and cream...). If it were a rational act, I would say something like, "A bowl of ice cream would help to nourish and sustain my body right about now." On the other hand, if I were irrational about wanting ice cream, I might just dive right into the bucket and gobble up every delicious drop of it. Why can't there be some room in there for me to just say, "I want some ice cream"? And if we human beings have that freedom, then why not God? This is just an example, and perhaps a silly one, but I think it illustrates my point. I do not need to justify why I want ice cream to you or anyone else.

I take it that you are familiar with the German philosopher Leibnitz and his "Best of All Possible Worlds" theory?

If God considered creating human beings a mistake, believe me, He would have wiped us out long ago.

Here's something to think about. The Bible says that God's power is made perfect in our human weakness. What do you think that means?

If you truly want to understand the Christian faith, I would suggest a few things. First, get someone to baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Second, I would suggest praying regularly, and perhaps reciting the Creed. Get yourself into the faith, live it. I will tell you this: you won't find all the answers to your questions. I haven't found all the answers I want either. But I don't think you'll find any meaningful answers about God apart from faith itself. It's like trying to learn about ice cream. You can't say you know about ice cream if all you ever do is read the label. Sooner or later, you must either throw the box away or open it up and eat some.

Another thing you could do is visit the Jefferson Barracks Domaciliary with me sometime. My patients can tell you plenty about the real nature of evil. They can tell you what it's like to live in hell right here and right now. Unfortunately, I'm only going to be at JB for a few more days. After this week, I'm being transferred to Laclede Groves Nursing Home to complete my training. I'm really going to miss the Dom. I learned a lot there.

That's all I have to say. The Problem of Evil is a nice little logical problem, but it's like trying to solve :goblin: / :kot: + :cheat: X :casio: = :copter: . There are certain variables that we human beings do not have. If you are asking me to solve that problem for you, then you are asking the impossible. But I could just as easily ask you to do the same thing. Why is it that we human beings despise evil so much? Why is it that we have this idealized vision of a utopian world that looks so dramatically different than the one in which we live? Why is it that Bob going to hell bothers us so much? BTW, Bob going to hell bothers me, too. But since that is the case, shouldn't we be more concerned about trying to keep him from going there than arguing about whether God has the right to send him there?

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Didymus wrote:
Then here's another question: who gets to decide what is rational?


I rather assume that in this scenario, god does.

Didymus wrote:
An emotional or spontaneous action doesn't necessarily have to have anything to do with rationality at all.


Can god really be "spontaneous"? Can god have "whims"? I doubt it. God knows the ultimate outcome of every choice he could make (ironically, god already knows everything that he himself is ever going to do), so he can't possibly do anything without forethought, which is, at least, how I define spontanaety.

Didymus wrote:
If God considered creating human beings a mistake, believe me, He would have wiped us out long ago.


But in this scenario, God is infallibe; he would not make such a mistake. I don't think I made that analysis, did I? When god created man he already knew every choice that that every single person would ever make. God can never regret anything, because, knowing all, he knows before he does anything whether or not he'll regret it. Unless he's a masochist, he's clearly not going to do something that will be a mistake.

Didymus wrote:
Here's something to think about. The Bible says that God's power is made perfect in our human weakness. What do you think that means?


I have absolutely no idea. Some context would help, maybe.

Didymus wrote:
If you truly want to understand the Christian faith, I would suggest a few things. First, get someone to baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


Out of curiosity, why do you assume that I was never baptized?

And concerning the "you'll never understand unless you become one of us" argument.. well, I'm grudgingly forced to the accept the possibility that it's a legitimate argument. It's also a really clever way to convert someone, especially someone as down-the-middle as me. I've definitely considered it, and probably won't rule it out as a possibility for some time, if ever, but it's not really on my spiritual to-do list for the time being.

Didymus wrote:
But I could just as easily ask you to do the same thing. Why is it that we human beings despise evil so much?


I'm a little confused. Are you asking me from a nontheist point of view? Because to a nontheist, evil is a null symbol. Evil does not exist without a god who is presumed good. I think we already had this discussion. A nontheist would replace 'evil' with a more useful symbol and break the answer down to terms of humanity, I think. If I'm confused, let me know. I can't answer your question from a Christian point of view, for obvious reasons.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 12:25 am 
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This is the first of two replies that I intend to make within the next few hours.
Interrupter, I feel that some of your questions and statements directed towards me are nothing short of rude and disrespectful. I have tried to be as civil and understanding of your point of view as possible without compromising my own faith, so please try to show me the same respect that I am trying to show you.

So I have to get dinner ready, so I'll answer your questions later.

thanks for the listen!

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Out of curiosity, why do you assume that I was never baptized?

Good point. I should not have assumed.

Quote:
And concerning the "you'll never understand unless you become one of us" argument.. well, I'm grudgingly forced to the accept the possibility that it's a legitimate argument. It's also a really clever way to convert someone, especially someone as down-the-middle as me. I've definitely considered it, and probably won't rule it out as a possibility for some time, if ever, but it's not really on my spiritual to-do list for the time being.

Understandable.

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Can god really be "spontaneous"? Can god have "whims"? I doubt it. God knows the ultimate outcome of every choice he could make (ironically, god already knows everything that he himself is ever going to do), so he can't possibly do anything without forethought, which is, at least, how I define spontanaety.

So there are some limits on what God can do. When I use the term omnipotence, I generally do not wish to imply that God can do nonsense. I think I was trying to push the argument to its limits. I was really only trying to emphasize that, with our limited understanding, we cannot always know why God does anything, unless he tells us.

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I'm a little confused. Are you asking me from a nontheist point of view? Because to a nontheist, evil is a null symbol. Evil does not exist without a god who is presumed good. I think we already had this discussion. A nontheist would replace 'evil' with a more useful symbol and break the answer down to terms of humanity, I think. If I'm confused, let me know.

Actually, you got my point exactly. The Problem of Evil argument assumes a set standard of good and evil. But if the Problem of Evil proves there is no God, then the argument itself becomes pointless. This does not mean that I have solved the problem, only that there are unknown variables on both sides of the equation. That being the case, it makes no sense really to argue over the Problem of Evil.

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I have absolutely no idea. Some context would help, maybe.

2 Corinthians 12.

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Interruptor, I can't possibly answer all of your why questions because I find that every time I answer one of your questions, you reword your question to make it a slightly different question that actually implies that the answer that I gave you was incorrect.

Why not Lock Satan up?...he will be...along with all of the people that choose to follow him. After the second coming of Christ and after the Great War, Satan will be cast into hell and will never be let out.

Since God knew everyone before their existence on earth, He would want them to live so that they could choose Him. I have no idea why God allows Satan to live, but I will not question God on that subject.

God cannot sin because God cannot even look upon sin. God is the essence of holy, he IS love...as far as the actual scripture, I'll have to have a time to look that up. When Jesus was on the cross, all of the sins of the world were cast upon Him and the sin that was cast upon Jesus made it so that God could not even look upon His son. God has never (in any version that I have read) said 'I am omnipotent.' God is goodness...therefore he can do no evil. He's the Alpha and Omega the great I am....but never have I heard Him or His Son say that he is omnipotent. Omnipotent is a word that man came up with to describe God; it's not how God has described himself.

Frankly as far as Einstein's opinion...and God choosing to create Bob...I have given you the answer to that according to my faith and will no longer waste my time reiterating why God created Bob.

I knew before the conception to my child that these things would be, yes I would still conceive.

Friendship is the perfect word for the relationship that I have with God and if you are implying that the relationship that I have with God is not friendship, I would suggest that you step off that train until you have an understanding of what true friendship is...the truest form of friendship is that between God and his children.

Do not for a second think that I worship other Gods, there are other gods. ANYTHING that you place before the Father is a god. Sports are a god to people, statues are gods to people, stories about mythical beings are gods to people...but do these gods hold any power? No, there is one living God with true power all other gods that we place before Him are powerless and empty and will eventually be destroyed.

And my last statement, it is grammatically incorrect not to capitalize God, because it is a proper noun.

Thanks for the listen.

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AgentOpaque wrote:
Interruptor, I can't possibly answer all of your why questions because I find that every time I answer one of your questions, you reword your question to make it a slightly different question that actually implies that the answer that I gave you was incorrect.


That's not what I do, and I have not implied anything, most especially that you are incorrect. So far I have called nobody incorrect. And when I reword my questions, it's only because I find that often they're unclear to the reader in the first place, and the reader often ends up answering some other question, rather than the question I intended to pose. It's frustrating to me, too.

AgentOpaque wrote:
Why not Lock Satan up?...he will be...along with all of the people that choose to follow him. After the second coming of Christ and after the Great War, Satan will be cast into hell and will never be let out.


I know you probably won't answer any more "why" questions (unfortunately, that's most of the questions I have), but why not lock Satan up right now? Why not save all those lives instead of letting them be destroyed by Satan? How many people, in your estimation, have been and will be cursed to hell for all eternity between the time god created hell and the time god finally gets around to taking out Satan? That's a rhetorical question, but take a shot at it if you wish.

AgentOpaque wrote:
never have I heard Him or His Son say that he is omnipotent. Omnipotent is a word that man came up with to describe God; it's not how God has described himself.


Okay, how does god describe his power? Or rather, how does the Bible characterize god and his disciples as describing his power? Do you believe that God has limits? That there are things that he cannot do? Do most Christions, would you say, agree with you? Most Christians I have spoken to (and you'd be surprised at how many) believe that his power is limitless.

AgentOpaque wrote:
I knew before the conception to my child that these things would be, yes I would still conceive.


Even if it were, in fact, billions of children, all of whom you knew would have the same awful fate? And in this scenario would you yourself, like god, create the "bad friends" and the people who create the drugs that make these children's lives so awful, too?

AgentOpaque wrote:
the truest form of friendship is that between God and his children.


Yeah, I get this already, I'm just curious because every earthly definition of "true friendship" requires complete and utter reciprocity, but your "god's definition" is clearly not this way. I'm not disparraging your relationship with god, I have no reason to say that it isn't everything you say it is and more. I'm just trying to understand why god's definition of friendship is so different from the kindergarten definition that we're all taught.

AgentOpaque wrote:
God with true power all other gods that we place before Him are powerless and empty and will eventually be destroyed.


This fascinates me. Because this was just a minor thing I mentioned in my previous posts, and most of the Christians I have talked to have just said "no, I don't believe in other gods, they're fictions of other cultures". Which is fine. But you seem to believe in these other gods. You clearly don't worship them, but you personify them pretty solidly (i.e. they can't be destroyed unless they actually exist, right?). I don't know if there's any more to be said about this, but I find it very interesting.

AgentOpaque wrote:
And my last statement, it is grammatically incorrect not to capitalize God, because it is a proper noun.


Okay.

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To answer Jones:
InterruptorJones wrote:
AgentOpaque wrote:
Since God created Bob, should God bow down to Bob and worship him? (That was kind of funny) NO. Thou Shall have NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME!

So clearly this isn't a mutual "friendship". I so move that we pick a different word. Anybody care to second?

Yes, I second. Here goes...

AgentOpaque wrote:
Friendship is the perfect word for the relationship that I have with God and if you are implying that the relationship that I have with God is not friendship, I would suggest that you step off that train until you have an understanding of what true friendship is...the truest form of friendship is that between God and his children.

I'm sorry if I am misinterpreting you, but you said before:

AgentOpaque wrote:
We were meant to be managers of the Earth. The creation of man is much deeper than that though, we were created for worship. It's difficult for us to understand that we weren't just created to please ourselves but we were created to please our Creator. In every act that we do, we can be in worship to God...our work lives, school, our time of gathering and anything else that is good and pleasing to God can be worship.

How can human beings both worship and be friends with your god?

Or, to rephrase so that my question does not apply to a deity-to-person relationship: How does a friendship exist if one person worships another?

AgentOpaque wrote:
And my last statement, it is grammatically incorrect not to capitalize God, because it is a proper noun.

According to Webster's the word "god" has different meanings when capitalized and when not capitalized.

(Also, see Wikitionary, Wikipedia, and dictionary.com.)


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Opaque:

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never have I heard Him or His Son say that he is omnipotent. Omnipotent is a word that man came up with to describe God; it's not how God has described himself.


The word is not in the Bible. It is a latin term. However, there are Hebrew and Greek equivalents, most of which are translated "Almighty." The idea is clearly there, though. "With God, all things are possible." It's kind of like the term "Trinity". It's not in the Bible, but the concept of a God who is Three Persons in One Being clearly is.

Now I will say that this does not mean that God does not have limits. As I pointed out in one post, putting the words in front of a nonsense phrase and saying "God can" in front of it doesn't change the fact it is nonsense. God cannot create a rock so big He cannot move it; the fact He created it means He has all power over it, and you end up with another contradiction, a nonsense phrase.

God cannot sin or lie. This is because He is so good that wrongdoing and falsehood are things He WILL not do. It is not like that movie, Liar Liar, where the guy could only tell the truth. God's inability to sin or lie is not a metaphysical limitation, but a self-imposed limitation. It's a very strong way of saying He WON'T ever do those things.

Other gods. It depends on what you mean by gods.

1. Deities or supernatural powers worthy of worship and respect (in a polytheistic culture).
2. Supernatural powers that attempt to usurp the authority that rightly belongs to the one true God (i.e., gods of other cultures compared to the one true God).
3. Supernatural powers, whether in league with or opposed to the one true God (i.e., sometimes angels are called gods, though they are not worshipped as such--this is rare, though).
4. An idol. A carved image that people revere and worship.
5. Anything that people look to for security and support rather than to the one true God.

The Scriptures clearly deny that there are any such things as gods according to the first definition. However, these other things, which are not truly gods by that first definition, are sometimes called gods for whatever reason. Worship of these things, whatever they may be, is strictly forbidden.

As for Satan, it is my understanding that he is already imprisoned; because of the cross, he no longer has free reign. Unfortunately, humans have already learned his destructive ways all too well, and they just picked right up where he left off. IJ is right, though: Satan is only a creature; he might have some power, but he's nowhere near God. You can't just blame the existence of evil on the devil. Humans are responsible for their actions.

The word "friend" only helps us to see one aspect of our relationship to God. The primary is "creature", as in He created us. Our relationship to God is not one of equality; we are still subordinants. However, the term "friend" does address His gracious actions on our behalf, like laying down His life for us.

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