Would you say something similar to how Stephen Fry responded?
Personally, I don't think it would be quite so easy to meet GOD, Creator of all seen and unseen. Jesus would be a bit more plausible---approachable and spokes-person-like.
I wouldn't be quite as arrogant as Stephen Fry was. Truthfully, I don't know what I would say or ask any differently than I do now through prayer.
I'd have to think about this one.
Saying, "I don't know," is the same as saying, "Maybe."~ZombieRingo It's easy to see the speck in somebody else's ideas - unless it's blocked by the beam in your own.~Ringo If a savage stops believing in his wooden god, it does not mean that there is no God — only that God is not wooden.(Leo Tolstoy)
I can understand why, as a Christian, you'd see what Stephen Fry said as arrogant, but this is the heart of his point. This whole "we're not worthy, we worship you and abase ourselves, we are but worms" stuff is utterly unsustainable in the face of the sorts of injustices Stephen Fry mentions, unless our sole purpose is to get our own ass into club God and hence into heaven.
Stephen Fry seems (severe bouts of depression to one side) to have had a relatively good life - his words here (and elsewhere) are spoken on behalf of people suffering the world's injustices. He is a deeply moral and apparently pretty selfless person, and his questions to God would be put in that context.
I don't see that as arrogant. I see it as noble.
Could there be any greater conceit, than for someone to believe that the universe has to be simple enough for them to be able to understand it ?
Would you say something similar to how Stephen Fry responded?
Most of what Stephen said has been said by others - the worm in the child's eye is David Attenburgh for example - but not all at once and not as cleverly or as powerully - I couldn't hope to match that.
Of course the problem with this little conceit is that if god does exist he's obviously a total shit and he's not going to offer the opportunity of a pleasant little chat.
Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.
Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android
"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed. Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved." - Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.
I must be a glutton for punishment if I'm actually considering responding to this post. Oh well, here goes.
It is of course disturbing to a Christian to hear someone denounce the God who made him and everything else, and there is never going to be a way to answer him adequately, he thinks what he thinks, and many here agree with him, even as vimesey said, consider it noble of him to stand up against God for people who suffer unjustly in this world.
But of course the answer is easy from my point of view, easy but not simple: Everything God made was good, He said so. The original Creation had no disease or death, pain or suffering. Suffering entered the world when sin entered at the Fall. Just saying that will raise the specter of Calvin and God will be accused of all of it anyway since the Fall was also in His sovereign will.
But that doesn’t change the fact that all goodness is in God and it’s human sin that has brought pain and suffering into the world.
That being the case the opinions of this man are adding to the calamity he decries. He himself could be responsible for the worm in someone's eye, if only by influencing more people to hate God. Hating God is itself sin since the first commandment is You shall love God with all your heart...
Every day our own sins contribute to our own sufferings, if not now then later. And we inherit sin too through our ancestors. That's a Biblical principle. Nations accumulate sin by passing laws that violate God's laws. Abortion is murder. America has murdered some fifty million unborn since Roe v Wade. That's going to bring judgment on America. Sexual sin is also big in America. "Thou shalt not commit adultery" covers every kind of sexual sin, and if it's officialized in law it's definitely going to bring God's judgment against the whole nation. Fornication is a sin and it's tolerated in America, and people even applaud the birth of fatherless babies these days. Easy divorce is a sin as "God hates divorce." Applying the First Amendment to the protection of pornography and homosexuality is a bad one. God is not going to overlook these things for long.
That's just a few I think of at the national level. You can read the Ten Commandments and the elaborations of the Law in the Bible, and the penalties prescribed to Israel for violating them in Deuteronomy 9 and Leviticus 26 if you want to get an idea of where America is on the judgement calendar.
Personal suffering as a result of sin is usually not possible for us to track down. We all inherit sin through our ancestors and bring more suffering on ourselves through our own sins. Babies simply inherit it, and nobody really knows much about the sins of our ancestors so there's no way to guess why anybody suffers in a particular way at a particular time, the thing is the world is shot through with sin and we're all vulnerable to disease and calamity.
As long as we think it's righteous to promote abortion and homosexuality and all the sexual sins and so on and so forth we are all contributing to the accumulation of suffering in the world.
The way God's law works is almost like a sort of cause-and-effect machine whose operations are inexorable but too complex to trace. What happens of course is that people will go on thinking sin is just fine and God is a meanie and things will keep getting worse.
I consider the idea of original sin to be among the most evil schemes ever foisted upon mankind by the shaman class.
The best summary of this I have seen is by Ayn Rand:
What is the nature of the guilt that your teachers call his Original Sin? What are the evils man acquired when he fell from a state they consider perfection? Their myth declares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge—he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil—he became a moral being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor—he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire—he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness, joy—all the cardinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man’s fall is designed to explain and condemn, it is not his errors that they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man. Whatever he was—that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love—he was not man.
Man’s fall, according to your teachers, was that he gained the virtues required to live. These virtues, by their standard, are his Sin. His evil, they charge, is that he’s man. His guilt, they charge, is that he lives.
Predictable responses. Funny how for people who think evidence and reality matter so much to them, when it comes to this it's their irrational feelings that call the shots. If what I've said is true so that there are practical causes for suffering and also practical solutions, you'd think a pragmatic rational position would be concerned with that side of things.
I forgot to add that the continued inexorable increase in sin and suffering can be turned around by repentance and prayer.
"You know Holy FSM (oh, you’re omniscient so I don’t really have to tell you as you know my thoughts), but here goes. Pasta and meat balls would get quite boring after a while, especially if I’m going to have it for brunch every day.
Imagine having it every day for all eternity. Not that you can imagine eating, for You don’t need to eat. But try to.
Sometimes beacon and eggs would do just fine for me."
Of course I would have to alter the answer quite considerably in the case of encountering the Jewish and/or Muslim God.
Hey, I'd ask him for Wednesday night's SA lotto numbers, too. On R20 000 000, I would be able to buy my own Indian Ocean Island.
You should have seen the answers from our main local "born again Christian" on that one when he was asked about it on tv. Suddenly he wasn't being able to talk to Spooks anymore. Just some vague "personal relationship"...