I have admitted many personal faults without them being pointed out.
This isn't about personal faults, only the faults in your posts.
As I said, "Fault-finding is particularly important in this thread." We are trying to determine who the true God is. We can only do that by examining all of their claims and falsifying all that we can. Any candidate who makes false claims is not the true God. Any candidate who can not defend his position is not the true God.
Who the hell are you, or we, to determine which God is real?
We are the members of this committe. Determining which God is real is our only reason for existence. If you don't feel qualified, feel free to resign.
The real God will be clear and consistent.
HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW THAT!!
See, there's another flawed argument. :) If you think the real God will be unclear or inconsistent, please feel free to explain why. Don't just stand on your Shift key.
On a semi serious note, however, I now call upon our various Deity candidates to one at a time attempt to best express themselves and touch us...proving to our own internal beliefs at least that they deserve to be loved, worshiped, and trusted.
Well, I guess Candidate 5 (Human Imagination) will bow out of this particular competition. I don't think, strictly speaking, that Imagination deserves any of the above (love, worship, trust).
However, if you decide to return to the OP:
I want to start a semi humorous, semi serious discussion about the nature of God.
then I will make 5's case.
I suppose that 5, as the meta-god, should not really be on the panel. But, if you want to know the true nature of any god, 5 should not be ignored. Gods do not exist except in the presence of Candidate 5.
The Christian God is only represented once. Members of the committee, note that there is only one chair...occupied by Jesus representing His Father and that any Spirit perceived as real or otherwise emanates through Him.
Spirit can represent any and all of the Gods, provided that the committee determines that the same Spirit is doing so. Any fraudulent spirits will be disqualified by our committee provided we identify them as such.
Bull shit! Fault finding undermines people's confience. It is a cruel and dangerous practice by those who are themselves insecure.
on this you're wrong. It might destroy a person's self-confidence, but this is a debate site. we don't let people get away with half truths if we can help it.
I don't see how a person's insecurity leads them to nit-pick others. I do see, however, how a person interested in an accurate portrayal of the facts and whatnot would find whatever inconsistencies there are.
only those who have something to hide would decry fault-finding.
so, what do you have to hide from nit-picking?
Question. Always Question.
" . . .and some nights I just pray to the god of sex and drugs and rock'n'roll"--meatloaf
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My sincere apologies to all concerned. Anonymity does not ease embarrassment.
It is no one else’s fault that I lose my temper from pure frustration in attempting, and failing, to articulate experiences and perceptions that run completely counter to accepted wisdom, traditional practices and beliefs. My fault in this instance was in trying to communicate to others through an international forum where there are many conflicting agendas. That is not a complaint, rather a simple, perhaps mistaken, personal observation.
All the topics are interesting and deserving of due attention and respect. Particularly, in view of my ‘revelations’, the topic “Will the real God please stand up.” caught my attention.
My first entry did not go far enough to explain why ‘I’ (the so-called god I was trying to introduce) could not stand. My experience informed me that A) god does not seem to conform to most portrayed images B) god was not author of any religion or religious belief C) god cannot be isolated from any aspect of the known, and as yet unknown, universe(s) D) by definition of ‘C’ god is the essence of all and everything, including every atom and sub-atomic particle known to science.
So, if I have been correctly informed, we are all gods in the process of becoming. Why? Because our minds have for millennia perceived that to be the case and have made every effort to quantify our perceptions. Most of our species (including this fool) go to great lengths to deny the call of our innermost perception. The very idea of the responsibility involved in such a notion has more than once driven me to drink and consider suicide. But, fool that I am, I forgot that my experience clearly did NOT impose any obligation whatsoever upon my flawed mortal being. It did not demand worship. Rather encouraged ‘listening to’ in the quiet of my soul (spirit). But, of course, the world of our creation is awash with attractive and often destructive distractions.
In short, I am an even greater fool for attempting to take responsibility for things that are far, far beyond my wildest dreams of maturity.
Carl Rogers wrote, “It is who we are and not what we know that facilitates the growth of another.” Thank you for that gem of wisdom, Mr Rogers.
If I am man enough, wise enough, to remember that who I am (in terms of loving and caring for those nearest and dearest, not ignoring others who cross my path) will do more to facilitate their growth, then perhaps that is as close as I can possibly get to being like god.
The only proof I can offer to substantiate my spiritual experience is simple. Compare my personal posts with “Who Am I” and the excerpt of “The Weeping Redwood Tree.” They did not come from the same source (and believe me when I say that I am not schizoid).
If anyone would care to discuss this post with me would you please email me at the address provided with my details. The forum is great, but does tend to become fragmented. No fault of anyone! So many opinions clambering to be heard.
If you think the real God will be unclear or inconsistent, please feel free to explain why. Don't just stand on your Shift key.
My response was referred to in my little excerpt "The Weeping Redwood Tree" in which God denies he is perfect, according to our understanding of the word. I was implying that perhaps our collective understanding of the real God is unclear and inconsistent.
Of course anyone can rightfully argue that my allegory is fictional nonsense. They would not be wrong in thinking that. It could also be argued that another universe was created, like those of Tolkien, and others. But I hasten to deny any resemblance to REAL writers. I'm simply drawing a feeble simile.
I strenuously object to the inclusion of candidate Spirit into these proceedings. The Christian God is already under consideration
Duly noted with respect. My apologies for brevity. I should have explained that my 'Spirit' is not affiliated with nor confined to any religion. It is my perception that all religions serve specific cultures and are all related to the same source. It is not God's fault that we kill others who do not share the same belief.
Please read message 201 for further clarification. Even that message will fail to satisfy our amazing questioning minds. Thank God?
My response was referred to in my little excerpt "The Weeping Redwood Tree" in which God denies he is perfect, according to our understanding of the word.
I'm the first to agree that God is not "perfect" any more than He is "big" or "old" or "Portuguese". If there is a God, our human words (and the concepts they represent) can not begin to "describe" Him.
That's part of the problem with this topic: We can only discuss the "nature of God" in human terms.
I was implying that perhaps our collective understanding of the real God is unclear and inconsistent.
The premise of this topic is that God is sitting right here among us. I think it's reasonable to assume that He would have powers of communication to present His case in a clear and consistent fashion.
So far, none of the candidates has succeeded in doing that.
So we're left with the dilemna: Do we need to "hire" one of the candidates at all? If none of the candidiates can convince us that he is indispensible to the requirements of our organization, why not cut costs and leave the position vacant? :)
The premise of this topic is that God is sitting right here among us. I think it's reasonable to assume that He would have powers of communication to present His case in a clear and consistent fashion. So far, none of the candidates has succeeded in doing that. So we're left with the dilemma: Do we need to "hire" one of the candidates at all? If none of the candidates can convince us that he is indispensable to the requirements of our organization, why not cut costs and leave the position vacant?
I agree with your premise and the reasonableness of your assumption that He would have powers to communicate . . . in a clear and consistent fashion.
I dare not to attempt to speak for God, but will argue your premise and assumption on His behalf. Imagine that God is ‘sitting right here among us’. Perhaps He is hampered by the terminology we use in visualizing and describing Him.
Firstly, He may be hard pressed to accommodate the infinite images humans have invented in every religion to help personalize Him. Secondly, He might realize that he’s in a no win situation because everyone around the table may not agree with his clarity or consistency. Let us say that God is sitting at the table. He knows that every committee member has a different deeply held religious belief or none at all.
In that event God might conclude that, since He is essentially the essence of the universe and beyond, He could not be more visible. Yet He is not! God’s dilemma would be: how can he appear to be recognized by one person occupying a chair at the table - in accordance with that person’s preconceived notions - and risk not being recognized by others at the table or causing even greater confusion and disruption. What to do? Would He decide to leave us sort ourselves out?
On the point of God communicating in a clear and consistent fashion. My allegory begins with a very distressed ancient asking why God will not answer him. God replied, “Why do you not listen?” (A point you yourself made in an earlier post in another topic I came across) Let us assume that God has never been silent, unclear or inconsistent on any issue. What then?
I submit that A) we try listening to God without knowing how to listen, B) God cannot impose His will because Creative Love could not survive (as His has done for more than 16 billion light years or so) if it was controlled. God might say, “Once Life began it was instantly beyond my control. I could not withdraw freewill when it was abused. Creative Love cannot be controlled or controlling, otherwise it could not be eternal. My creation is perfect only in the sense that it is ever changing, constantly evolving for the original purpose of perpetuating my love of Life.”
That seemed to be suggesting that God was entirely dispensable until I thought more deeply about the meaning. Is it possible that God needs us more than we need Him? Does he depend upon us to continue the process of evolution through our individual and collective forces of intelligent creative love? He knows perfectly well that we now possess the power to destroy our mother Earth, yet He cannot interfere if we used our powers of destruction. Knowing how flawed we are, why does He place such faith in Us? My simple conclusion is that He knows us far better than we know ourselves. He knows his original purpose succeeded until now and will continue to self-perpetuate.
So we come to your final question: “Why not cut costs and leave the position (of God) vacant?
I quote from Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion”, page 155: “Time and again, my theologian friends returned to the point that there had to be a reason why there is something rather than nothing. There must have been a first cause of everything, and we might as well give it the name of God. Yes, I said, but it must have been simple and therefore, whatever else we call it, God is not an appropriate name (unless we very explicitly divest it of all the baggage that the word ‘God’ carries in the minds of most religious believers). The first cause that we seek must have been the simple basis for a self-bootstrapping crane which eventually raised the world as we know it into its present complex existence.”
Anyone who reads Dawkins will know that he strongly disapproves of religions (and explains his reasoning clearly and consistently). I personally abandoned my ‘religious beliefs’ many decades ago, but found Dawkins’ Chapter on “Why there almost certainly in no God” and many of his further conclusions deeply depressing. Despite the undeniable breadth of Dawkins’ analytical mind and his depth of knowledge, I wonder if he might possibly have fallen into a trap laid by himself.
Dawkins unambiguously argues that the first cause that we seek must have been the simple basis for a self-bootstrapping crane which eventually raised the world as we know it into its present complex existence. I suggest that the simple self-bootstrapping crane is none other than a simple act of Divine Creative Love.
Let’s test it for ourselves, somewhat simplistically for lack of space here. I can personally recall verifiable instances when I actually created an ongoing relationship (after many attempts) with my wife through simply learning how to love her. I can also produce firm evidence of objects I produced with my own hands through a desire to create the object. I can equally, and painfully, recall far too many instances when I was destructive because of the lack of love. How many people reading this can identify with my simplistic examples?
There is nothing ‘divine’ about anything in my life - other than a perception of a force that seems to fill me with delight when I perform the simplest act of kindness and consideration, rather than any act of hatred and destruction.
Since I often fail to practice what I preach, I humbly vacate your table.
Thanks for taking the time to share all that. Very eloquent.
I submit that A) we try listening to God without knowing how to listen, B) God cannot impose His will because Creative Love could not survive (as His has done for more than 16 billion light years or so) if it was controlled.
I don't see anything here to stop God from sending a fax if a person wants one. Thoughts?
Do we need to "hire" one of the candidates at all? If none of the candidiates can convince us that he is indispensible to the requirements of our organization, why not cut costs and leave the position vacant?
Actually...Israel did that already. They did not see Jesus as qualified to be the Messiah that their planning committee deemed authentic. So they left the position vacant. Jesus Himself said to His Disciples that He was going away to a place they could not follow...but that He would send the comforter (Holy Spirit) back to them. In a sense, aside from the Spirit...the position is still vacant. Unless of course someone objects to the Spirit and hires GhostBusters! :rolleyes:
Malachi II writes:
My simple conclusion is that He knows us far better than we know ourselves. He knows his original purpose succeeded until now and will continue to self-perpetuate.
I agree with you also, Malachi. :)
Malachi II writes:
Despite the undeniable breadth of Dawkins’ analytical mind and his depth of knowledge, I wonder if he might possibly have fallen into a trap laid by himself.
Interesting speculation, although Dawkins can only be judged on his honesty and intentions...not on his conclusions.
Archer Opterix writes:
I don't see anything here to stop God from sending a fax if a person wants one. Thoughts?
I was just remembering a scripture that I heard yesterday which brought to mind our candidate, Gold.
Allow me to submit this scripture to the minutes of this meeting, If I may.....
Ps 115:3-8 Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. 4 But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. 5 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; 6 they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; 7 they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. 8 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
I submit the idea that whichever God candidate that we committee members decide is our choice, we will become like this candidate if we internally accept the characteristics of the candidate. I'm not sure if this means that those who accept the spaghetti monster will become jolly rotund gourmets, however. ;)