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Author Topic:   Why Would God Care?
Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 217 (389490)
03-13-2007 9:03 PM


Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that there is, in fact, a God. And not just any old God, but an elderly man, with a long white beard, who sounds a bit like James Mason. His thought process is at least superficially comparable to a human's, and he watches over all of His Creation, taking an active (if at times mysterious) hand in its development.

The question I have, given this scenario, is why God would care that little Jimmy Highschoolboy touches himself at night.

It's a big universe, and Jimmy is one boy, on a tiny planet, on the far end of a single galaxy. Meanwhile, God still hasn't managed to get around to licking that whole entropy thing. In the course of running all of Creation, how can it be that God's priorities include getting all pissed off that Jimmy thought a little too long about his lab partner Suzie while he was in the shower?

Is it even possible that, for a being who can't help but see the Big Freakin' Picture, little Jimmy's self-abuse is even an issue?


"I know some of you are going to say 'I did look it up, and that's not true.' That's 'cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut."
-Stephen Colbert

Replies to this message:
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 Message 11 by Heathen, posted 03-14-2007 4:51 PM Dan Carroll has responded
 Message 19 by ringo, posted 03-14-2007 6:28 PM Dan Carroll has not yet responded
 Message 57 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-21-2007 2:54 PM Dan Carroll has responded
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AdminPD
Inactive Administrator


Message 2 of 217 (389492)
03-13-2007 9:06 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

Please do not turn this into a turkey shoot.


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Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 217 (389561)
03-14-2007 10:16 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by AdminPD
03-13-2007 9:06 PM


Well, despite the thread having been placed in the wrong forum with a thinly-veiled warning to not respond, I anticipate lively discussion. Thanks bunches.


"I know some of you are going to say 'I did look it up, and that's not true.' That's 'cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut."
-Stephen Colbert

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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5399
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 4 of 217 (389563)
03-14-2007 10:26 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dan Carroll
03-13-2007 9:03 PM


Dan, that argument is pretty much exactly what planted the seeds of my atheism back 45 years ago. I learned enough astronomy by 9th grade to see that the Earth was a pretty piddly pebble in the scheme of things, and had a pretty hard time buying into the notion that the Creator of All That would give a red rat's ass about what happened here. Being a fairly well-indoctrinated preacher's kid, I tried to make belief work until I was in my forties - but then I had occasion to really reflect on religion and decided yes, it all is, indeed, fable.

Oh, and I whacked it a great deal as a ninth grader, just like Jimmy.


This message is a reply to:
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Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 217 (389566)
03-14-2007 10:52 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Coragyps
03-14-2007 10:26 AM


This is essentially what I'm talking about. I've never had a theist adequately explain why God, who by definition has got the biggest conceivable issues to concern itself with, would take an interest in the paltry matters of mankind. (Assuming it even noticed us.)

Any believers want to weigh in?


"I know some of you are going to say 'I did look it up, and that's not true.' That's 'cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut."
-Stephen Colbert

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Heathen
Member
Posts: 1062
From: Brizzle
Joined: 09-20-2005


Message 6 of 217 (389569)
03-14-2007 11:18 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Coragyps
03-14-2007 10:26 AM


Coragyps writes:

Oh, and I whacked it a great deal as a ninth grader, just like Jimmy.


These are mental pictures I DON'T need...

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jar
Member
Posts: 31495
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 7 of 217 (389570)
03-14-2007 11:24 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dan Carroll
03-14-2007 10:52 AM


Dan writes:

This is essentially what I'm talking about. I've never had a theist adequately explain why God, who by definition has got the biggest conceivable issues to concern itself with, would take an interest in the paltry matters of mankind. (Assuming it even noticed us.)

Well, over the years here I've tried to "weigh in" on this very issue.

As a believer I find it inconceivable that a GOD, a GOD who by a simple act of will, could create this universe would get upset over things such as those you have mentioned.

The GOD who could will all of this wondrous universe into existence would not be insecure. That GOD would not be bothered if someone didn't believe in Her, at most would find it humorous; that GOD would see it more on the order of the ant who denied the existence of the human that dropped the crumbs.

That GOD would not care if little Johnnie masturbated or if Susie was attracted to women or Ahmal called Her "Allah" while Sol called Him "Hashem" and Bubba was always calling out "Jeezus Keyyyrice".

Only a small, picayune goddlet worries about that trivial, unimportant stuff. The Gods that worry about the stuff you brought up certainly exist, but they exist only in the minds of the followers who created them.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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anastasia
Member (Idle past 4241 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 8 of 217 (389625)
03-14-2007 4:40 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dan Carroll
03-13-2007 9:03 PM


Dan Carroll writes:

And not just any old God, but an elderly man, with a long white beard, who sounds a bit like James Mason

Are you stealing Eddie Izzard's God for yourself? I don't know how much/how far I can go with a God like that. Even Eddie was doing a caracature, and I don't view God as describable in that way. Well I'll go with it.

I think I am partially on the same page as jar, but not entirely. God can appear picayune if we imagine Him to be concerned with little details, but we are creating His dilemma from our own small view point. If I come along and say that I don't think God cares about anything, I sound like a deist. If I say God cares about some things but not others, I am dangerously close to determining my own course of action based on personal preferences. I am not satisfied with either, so I am left with the option of God caring about 'all' things.

If God exists, and if He automatically knows how humans should live, then there might indeed be a 'right' way to act and a 'wrong' way. We are the ones who are ultimately left to figuring out the right way.

We create rules and morals. We assume God sees them as 'right' because we do. We don't need to worry about a big angry God, just a God who can call the shots as He sees them. Any of us can make a call about what is good or bad, so God could too, without being a special weirdo.

Since I say that I believe that God cares about everything, I will clarify that. He cares about 'how' rather than 'what'. That's not to say I don't believe in some absolute morality, as everyone knows I do :) but the forgiveness of God in trivial and great matters alike over-rides His supposed caring about what we do. He cares about motive, not methods.

I won't believe in an OCD God being up-tight because His rules aren't followed to the T. I don't believe that God cares whether we walk into a building once a week at a set time. I DO believe He cares whether I do it, because He knows it is part of my view. And I edited this whole page, because I forgot the important part. The NT is extremely devoted to switching the minds of the people from this OCD GOD concept, where God cares if you are circumscized or un, or whether you eat fish, or don't, or work on the Sabbath, etc. This does not mean that I think all actions are inherently equal, but that God doesn't care about the act as much as the intention.

Edited by anastasia, : No reason given.


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Brian
Member (Idle past 3247 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 9 of 217 (389626)
03-14-2007 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dan Carroll
03-13-2007 9:03 PM


You are assuming he does care.

Why would a God be concerned about Jimmy whacking it when he doesnt give a sh*t about millions of babies starving to death all over the world?

Why would He care when He gleefully sent the Angel of Death to slaughter innocent Egyptian babies?

Brian.


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Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2199 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 10 of 217 (389627)
03-14-2007 4:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dan Carroll
03-13-2007 9:03 PM


I certainly don't think that God does actually care about such a thing especially given recent info suggesting that 'self-abuse' is actually good for you. To play devil's advocate for a moment though, if God actually is infinitly powerful, then it is certainly within his capabilities to personally monitor every single atom in the universe if he wants too while at the same time working on things like "that whole entropy thing". So while jimmy is one small boy on one tini infintesimal planet around one star among billions in one galaxy among billions, it is perfectly feasable that God could actually care. He could also equally care about little Yanztax Jr. on planet Gromtom and his propensity for rubbing his telepathy antenna against the soft fronds of a Lazanik plant. Sorry for being so explicit!


Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)

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Heathen
Member
Posts: 1062
From: Brizzle
Joined: 09-20-2005


Message 11 of 217 (389628)
03-14-2007 4:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dan Carroll
03-13-2007 9:03 PM


dan writes:

It's a big universe, and Jimmy is one boy, on a tiny planet, on the far end of a single galaxy

Y'see your common or garden fundy (as far as I understand it) would at this juncture, point out that God is omnipotent and eternal. So the Idea of something being far away or very small, does not apply.

according to Xian teachings, he sees all, knows all and therefore is concerned with all.

Being all powerful and omnipotent It's not as if watching little jimmy is going to cause him to lose concentration on some supernova he is arranging on the other side of the galaxy.

You are applying Human limitations and weaknesses to a divine eternal being.

Of course that never stopped him becoming jealous, or vengeful, or murderous, or indeed never prevented adam hiding from him in the garden of edenetc. etc. But that's another Story (testament)


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Heathen
Member
Posts: 1062
From: Brizzle
Joined: 09-20-2005


Message 12 of 217 (389629)
03-14-2007 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Jazzns
03-14-2007 4:51 PM


jazzns writes:

He could also equally care about little Yanztax Jr. on planet Gromtom and his propensity for rubbing his telepathy antenna against the soft fronds of a Lazanik plant.


Fair's fair.. that's just filthy...Yanztax deserves everything he gets..

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Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 217 (389630)
03-14-2007 5:00 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by anastasia
03-14-2007 4:40 PM


Are you stealing Eddie Izzard's God for yourself?

Glad someone got that.

If God exists, and if He automatically knows how humans should live together...

Well, your assumptions shoot right past the question I was asking. Why would how humans live even be within its notice? Are we that blindingly important, when stacked up against the entire universe?


"I know some of you are going to say 'I did look it up, and that's not true.' That's 'cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut."
-Stephen Colbert

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Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 217 (389632)
03-14-2007 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Heathen
03-14-2007 4:51 PM


Being all powerful and omnipotent It's not as if watching little jimmy is going to cause him to lose concentration on some supernova he is arranging on the other side of the galaxy.

You are applying Human limitations and weaknesses to a divine eternal being.

Fair enough. (And this reply is aimed at Jazzns too, you guys kinda said the same thing.) But even given that, there's still the notion that God would have to be the only being in the universe who (being able to see Jimmy and a supernova and who knows what all else at the same time and understand it all) could really understand the big, big picture.

Are we meant to believe that, in the great scheme of all things, little Jimmy's nighttime fondlins really stand out as Something That Matters?

For that matter, that Jimmy himself is Something That Matters, when you look at everything from that perspective?


"I know some of you are going to say 'I did look it up, and that's not true.' That's 'cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut."
-Stephen Colbert

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Heathen
Member
Posts: 1062
From: Brizzle
Joined: 09-20-2005


Message 15 of 217 (389637)
03-14-2007 5:25 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Dan Carroll
03-14-2007 5:07 PM


I guess the assumption By christianity is that we are at the centre of creation, the pinnacle of God's handywork. the universe is there for us to play in. So you only have to assume that God values us and our well being above and exploding star to see that god would be interested.
Of course how we behave in life could just prepare us for our career in heaven...
"Ah.. little Johnny, welcome to heaven, now let me see: tragically killed at age 12, spent 11 years beating off...Latrine Duty.."

Dan writes:

Are we meant to believe that, in the great scheme of all things, little Jimmy's nighttime fondlins really stand out as Something That Matters?


That is not for us to understand.
Go say 3 hail Marys and beat yourself with a pointy stick.... and if that gets you off then say 10 hail Marys and tickle yourself with a feather...and if that gets you off...
and so on and so forth...

Dan writes:

For that matter, that Jimmy himself is Something That Matters, when you look at everything from that perspective?


Jimmy might just be the kid that saves the universe from complete destruction with his new unified theory of beating-off

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