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Author Topic:   Straightforward, hard-to-answer-questions about the Bible/Christianity
Pauline
Member (Idle past 1846 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


Message 136 of 477 (548970)
03-02-2010 9:13 PM
Reply to: Message 135 by Apothecus
03-02-2010 6:56 PM


I'm done with the rest of ya'll. I'm not going to post the same thing one more time lest you accuse me of "testing you guys' patience" often like you accuse Buzsaw and ICANT. ( I see Dr A has come to the question which got me posting in this thread: why did Adam being perfect sin? Which I answered, but obviously he isn't satisfied, so whats the point in me taking another go at it. I'm one of the worst people at explaining things. ) So, if anyone is really interested, open a different thread and take the opinion of other believers I guess, or read books, the Bible...
But, just wanna say one thing to Apothecus and Dr A.

Apo writes:

p.s. In response to your forthcoming comment about my over-complicating things: you're over-simplifying things.

I will agree that I am using over-simplified terminology. For example "the relationship between God and Adam would end by Adam's eating the fruit". That is a REALLY simple way. There's two reasons I'm doing this: 1. An unbeliever always thinks differently from a believer, he will not understand the things of God, I'll show you the verse in a sec...so whats the point in introducing theological jargon into such a discussion and complicate it. 2. I fear misusing or misunderstanding complex, deep theological terms and ideas because of my limited intellectual capacity, therefore I use simple words and daily-life examples.

The verse I was referring to is 14

I Cor 2: 6We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"[b]— 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.[c] 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Would not god have known exactly everything that would occur, (including what would happen to "perfect" Adam due to the Tree, or how Bill Gates would steal the Windows idea from Steve Jobs, etc, etc ad infinitum) forever, before time existed? Thus this idea of "permitting" this or that sort of fails at the outset, doesn't it? And along with it fails the concept of free will.

Can you see where this sort of thinking gets the literalist in a bit of trouble? What you're proposing is that god does not have previous knowledge of future events,

No. God has complete knowledge of past, present, and future events. I think you completely misunderstood what I said about God's omniscience. He knew everything that would happen during time, even before time itself began. He permitted all that He wanted and all that He wanted happens now to us during time. In other words, nothing which was not permitted by God before time happens today, is my belief.

Dr. S writes:

If I told you strictly not to do X, what would you infer? Obviously, that doing X will make me angry, correct?

Dr A writes:

That depends on whether I interpret it as a command or advice. If you say "You should fly to London by British Airways, because they're cheaper", and someone else says "No, Virgin Atlantic are cheaper, fly with them", then I wouldn't suppose that the second person was your enemy or that following their advice would make you angry.

Gen 2:16 And the LORD God COMMANDED the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you MUST NOT eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die. (emphasis mine)"

Since you brought it up, I had one of the most disgusting flying experiences with British Airways. I'm pretty sure I'm never going for them again, even if they offer me a free trip around the entire planet. Anyway, this is off-topic.

Which leads me back to the original question, slightly modified. If Adam was "perfect", why didn't he avoid doing something which, according to you, he knew was bad for him?

Which is the same question which enticed me to join this discussion. So now that we're back to square one, I had better leave before we repeat the same cycle of events again...

Apothecus writes:

One word: theater. It makes for a good story, but also makes for a weak deity. This is what you, yourselves, do to your own god, and you don't even realize you're doing it.

Or maybe the opposite party that is listening to what we're saying has incomplete understanding? (Our Bible says ya'll do) Does that possibility ever occur to you? Probably not. But that's fine. Let time reveal everything there is to know. I don't do a good job anyway, do I Dr. Apothecus?

G'night all.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : uuhh...just added a word.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by Apothecus, posted 03-02-2010 6:56 PM Apothecus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-03-2010 2:23 AM Pauline has responded
 Message 142 by Apothecus, posted 03-03-2010 5:56 PM Pauline has responded
 Message 143 by Coragyps, posted 03-03-2010 8:24 PM Pauline has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16094
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 8.2


(1)
Message 137 of 477 (548993)
03-03-2010 2:23 AM
Reply to: Message 136 by Pauline
03-02-2010 9:13 PM


I see Dr A has come to the question which got me posting in this thread: why did Adam being perfect sin? Which I answered, but obviously he isn't satisfied, so whats the point in me taking another go at it.

Well, you could refine your explanation. The meat of it seems to be this passage from Message 60:

Dr Sing, Message #60 writes:

In other words, Adam while being a perfect human i.e created in God's image and never having sinned before, still had the choice to sin; freewill to make a choice. In that sense yes, Adam was IMperfect if you define "perfectness" as God's own perfectness.

Now, let's grant that Adam has free will. (Doesn't God also have free will?) Adam therefore had the ability to choose to defy God's commands in a way that, according to you, he knew would have bad consequences for him personally: he had the ability to choose a course both wicked and stupid. But would a perfect man so choose?

If so, then, as I said, I must have met a whole lot of perfect people.

But Christian theology also encompasses people with a better kind of perfection, which is an oxymoron. Jesus, for example, or the saved in heaven, apparently do not choose options which are wicked and stupid, despite possessing free will. If Adam was "perfect", wouldn't we have to say that they are "better than perfect"? --- which makes no sense.

Edited by AdminPD, : Added Msg link


This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by Pauline, posted 03-02-2010 9:13 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 138 by Pauline, posted 03-03-2010 9:02 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Pauline
Member (Idle past 1846 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


Message 138 of 477 (549017)
03-03-2010 9:02 AM
Reply to: Message 137 by Dr Adequate
03-03-2010 2:23 AM


Mental Gymnastics or Faith?
Dr A writes:

(Doesn't God also have free will?).....Well, you could refine your explanation....

Yes, but God cannot be tempted to sin. His nature is one that does not and cannot deem sin as attractive. IOW, He doesn't have to make an effort, like I do, to not sin...sin just doesn't appeal to Him.

Did Adam have that kind of perfect nature? No. If Adam was in EVERY way like God, then he's not Adam, he's God II, right? Adam clearly was a human. Adam was like God in many ways before he sinned, example, he had a pure soul, eternal life, freewill, the ability to love, think, reason, judge...but he certainly didn't have the incommunicable qualities of God like omniscience, omnipotence, impeccbaility, justice...

But Adam was a perfect human. And this is where Dr A is having to do some mental gymnastics. (...and they are not pleasing to him at all, I might add).

I know, Dr A, that you perfectly understand Message 60 as far the words, idea, and concept is concerned. Why you have a problem with it is because you have no faith. To an atheist, everything must be logical and empirical, if something isn't then it doesn't exist at all right? Well, how do you suppose that approaching the Bible with that kind of a worldview will give you your answers. I think every unsaved person that comes to finally understand the things of God does so only after he believes that what he is hearing is true. I know, I know, you won't like this. But essentially what you are trying to do is fit supernatural matters into a naturalistic framework (and they'll never fit, I might add). For you to imagine two varying degrees of perfection requires faith. The Bible makes complete sense to one who believes in supernatural things. It is to the unbeliever that "logical contradictions" appear on every page simply because they try to interpret the Bible in terms of logic.

All I'm saying is, while you perfectly understand message 60, you find it hard to believe. And I'm not surprised, I'm just helpless. I can't refine my words to make them "more logical". Some things in faith just aren't logical, such as having varying degrees of perfection.

P.S: I think I'll continue to feel guilty for my harsh words towards you (about the analogy and all that) as long you don't forgive me. Have mercy on me and say you forgive me?? Okay, don't even tell me, just forgiven me in you heart.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : Asking dr A to forgive me for the fourth or fifth time.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-03-2010 2:23 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by Blue Jay, posted 03-03-2010 10:37 AM Pauline has responded
 Message 140 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-03-2010 12:28 PM Pauline has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 808 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


(1)
Message 139 of 477 (549034)
03-03-2010 10:37 AM
Reply to: Message 138 by Pauline
03-03-2010 9:02 AM


Re: Mental Gymnastics or Faith?
Hi, Dr Sing.

Dr Sing writes:

But essentially what you are trying to do is fit supernatural matters into a naturalistic framework (and they'll never fit, I might add). For you to imagine two varying degrees of perfection requires faith.

That isn't really the problem. The problem is that you read two scriptures that apparently contradict one another about the meaning of "perfect," and concluded that there must then be two different meanings for the word "perfect."

I see no reason other than that for you to claim that there are two different kinds of perfection.

-----

Let's also dissect the verse that you used to support your claim that God's perfection is different from Adam's---1 Samuel 2:2.

  • Notice that the word used in 1 Samuel 2:2 is "holy," not "perfect" (admittedly, I don't know what the words are in the original language).

  • Notice that 1 Samuel 2:2 was written a considerable time after the Fall of Adam, which means that Adam is no longer "perfect" by any standard at this time.

  • Notice also that 1 Samuel 2:2 is written in present tense: "There is no one holy like the Lord."

  • Notice also that you have interpreted this present tense as a sort of "universal tense," such that it applies retroactively to times when the situation may very well have been different (e.g. before the Fall).

  • Notice also that 1 Samuel 2:2 is a song of praise attributed to Hannah after she was granted a son. I have never been particularly keen on treating the flowery homages of emotional believers as official doctrines: I've heard too many of those over the pulpit in my day to put any credence in them.

-----

What I see in this is that you are trying hard to make the Bible internally consistent, so much so that you are equating words that do not have the same meaning and ignoring contextual clues that could very easily confound your interpretation.

Maybe that's what faith is to you, but I don't see why you need to have faith in this particular point. In the end, what difference does it make?

-----

Let’s also look at ICANT’s original argument. ICANT believes that a perfect being (God) can only make perfect creations (Adam). This argument requires some style of symmetry in order to work right: the concept is that God can only make things of similar substance to himself.

But, when you say that there are two different kinds of “perfect,” you spoil the symmetry in ICANT’s argument, and I have to wonder why God (Perfect type 1) can only make things of Perfect type 2 (e.g., Adam). I also have to wonder what is the difference between “Perfect type 2” and “imperfect,” and why it is that God can create one kind of thing that is beneath Him, but not another kind.

In short, the principle of ICANT’s argument is kind of lost in your logic.

Edited by Bluejay, : Formatting to break up the monotony.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by Pauline, posted 03-03-2010 9:02 AM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 141 by Pauline, posted 03-03-2010 3:11 PM Blue Jay has responded

Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16094
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 8.2


(1)
Message 140 of 477 (549047)
03-03-2010 12:28 PM
Reply to: Message 138 by Pauline
03-03-2010 9:02 AM


Re: Mental Gymnastics or Faith?
Yes, but God cannot be tempted to sin. His nature is one that does not and cannot deem sin as attractive. IOW, He doesn't have to make an effort, like I do, to not sin...sin just doesn't appeal to Him.

But Adam was different. But he was still perfect ...

"Perfect" ... unlike the saved, who will never sin, right?

I know, Dr A, that you perfectly understand Message 60 as far the words, idea, and concept is concerned. Why you have a problem with it is because you have no faith ... All I'm saying is, while you perfectly understand message 60, you find it hard to believe.

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!

You are now entering the final, irreversible stage of madness. Once you have stepped over this line, you will never, ever, get back. You will be insane for the rest of your life if you take this final step.

Please don't.

P.S: I think I'll continue to feel guilty for my harsh words towards you (about the analogy and all that) as long you don't forgive me. Have mercy on me and say you forgive me??

My dear Dr Sing, I thought I had made it clear that I don't need to forgive you. Because you have not hurt me. I don't care about it for myself. If I have tried to shame you (which I have) I am trying to shame you into accuracy.

If it makes you feel better, then I forgive you.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by Pauline, posted 03-03-2010 9:02 AM Pauline has not yet responded

Pauline
Member (Idle past 1846 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


(1)
Message 141 of 477 (549057)
03-03-2010 3:11 PM
Reply to: Message 139 by Blue Jay
03-03-2010 10:37 AM


Re: Mental Gymnastics or Faith?
Bluejay writes:

That isn't really the problem. The problem is that you read two scriptures that apparently contradict one another about the meaning of "perfect," and concluded that there must then be two different meanings for the word "perfect."

I see no reason other than that for you to claim that there are two different kinds of perfection.

No, I concluded that there are two different types perfection simply because the Bible states that God is perfect and there is no one else like Him. However, the Bible also says that when believers die, they will lose human bodies and their spirit will become perfect. I don't believe that to mean that resurrected believers will become Gods. They will become like God. Just as Adam was a pattern of Christ, but not a clone of Christ Himself. Implying Adam had many of the same qualities God had but not all of them. Adam was perfect in that he never sinned before the fall, but God is perfect in that He cannot sin. Rom 5 is where I get my comparison between Christ and Adam.

Notice that the word used in 1 Samuel 2:2 is "holy," not "perfect" (admittedly, I don't know what the words are in the original language).

Original

God is holy in that He is sacred, is what I make of the original verse. And there is no one as sacred as God, no one, not even Adam. Adam was a type of Christ, but not Christ Himself.

I have never been particularly keen on treating the flowery homages of emotional believers as official doctrines: I've heard too many of those over the pulpit in my day to put any credence in them.

I believe in the literal, plenary inspiration of the Word of God. That every single word is meaningful, profitable, and perfect. Be it a homage, be it a lengthy argument by Paul, or a poignant poem by Isaiah, or a terrible vision from John, or simply history from Joshua, or a collection of proverbs or the love story of Ruth and Boaz...every Word will be fulfilled and must be revered.

Notice that 1 Samuel 2:2 was written a considerable time after the Fall of Adam, which means that Adam is no longer "perfect" by any standard at this time.

It doesn't matter when the ink was spilled on paper. God formed the Bible, so to speak, before the world was created.

Notice also that 1 Samuel 2:2 is written in present tense: "There is no one holy like the Lord."

To show that God lives even today. No matter which age a believer who reads this is in, he will understand that the God of the Bible lives even today.

Maybe that's what faith is to you, but I don't see why you need to have faith in this particular point. In the end, what difference does it make?

Does it not take faith to believe that such a perfect God exists if you have not seen or touched Him? Or does it not take faith to even believe what the Scripture says is true? Whereas the believer approaches the Bible with total belief that it is perfect and true, the unbeliever tries to dissect its logic and find internal contradictions (which I believe are only apparent, and not real, BTW)

Let’s also look at ICANT’s original argument. ICANT believes that a perfect being (God) can only make perfect creations (Adam). This argument requires some style of symmetry in order to work right: the concept is that God can only make things of similar substance to himself.

Ah. I'm not sure what ICANT believes here. (I suggest we discuss it in his presence in another thread if you want to) But God made perfect animals, didn't He? Were they also of same substance as Him, then? no. In that case, why can't Adam be created of a "similar" but not "exact same" substance as God?

But, when you say that there are two different kinds of “perfect,” you spoil the symmetry in ICANT’s argument, and I have to wonder why God (Perfect type 1) can only make things of Perfect type 2 (e.g., Adam). I also have to wonder what is the difference between “Perfect type 2” and “imperfect,” and why it is that God can create one kind of thing that is beneath Him, but not another kind

Is God's omnipotence limited? Only in two situations: 1. Self imposed limitations 2. Limitation imposed by His nature (i.e God cannot do anything that doesn't agree with His nature) So, the answer is, yes, God can make people who resemble Him, animals who do not resemble Him, and gardens which do not resemble Him, fruit which do not resemble Him, and angels who do resemble Him. But none of these creations is the exact same replica of God in substance.

The difference between type 2 and imperfect is presence or absence of sin. Adam was type 2 before he sinned. And Adam was the only type 2 that ever existed. Everyone born after him is imperfect.

Dr A writes:

My dear Dr Sing, I thought I had made it clear that I don't need to forgive you. Because you have not hurt me. I don't care about it for myself. If I have tried to shame you (which I have) I am trying to shame you into accuracy.

If it makes you feel better, then I forgive you.

I know my heart wasn't right when I said those harsh words, that's why the apology. Thank you.

BJ writes:

[ICANT's] concept is that God can only make things of similar substance to himself.

Perhaps you got ICANT wrong. To me it looks like where ICANT picks up his argument from is: Gen 1: 31 "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good" I agree with him that God created a perfect world. Just, nothing that was in it was of same substance as His. Which necessitates varying degrees of perfection. And I already showed you the Apostle Paul's take on that. Rom 5

Rom 5: Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ
12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

______________________________________________________

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : included last quote and response

Edited by Dr. Sing, : included Romans 5 for fear of getting "well, you've got to provide evidence form the Bible and not made up stuff, Zenmonkey?"


This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by Blue Jay, posted 03-03-2010 10:37 AM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 151 by Blue Jay, posted 03-06-2010 2:17 AM Pauline has responded

  
Apothecus
Member (Idle past 521 days)
Posts: 275
From: CA USA
Joined: 01-05-2010


(1)
Message 142 of 477 (549065)
03-03-2010 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by Pauline
03-02-2010 9:13 PM


Thanks for the reply, Dr. Sing.

You still haven't replied to Message 123, when I asked you:

Apothecus writes:

Are you a strict literalist?

The reason I ask is because much of what literalists espouse comes up hard against an omniscient god. For example, if you believe the entire bible was "god inspired" and thus above reproach or question as to whether each and every verse was "god breathed", then how do you explain written incidents of god's anger or punishments doled out to humans due to transgression? Surely god would have known these things would happen, and thus just "expect" them and go on about his business (he couldn't really do anything else considering he would have already known how he would react, yes?).

This is aside from the "theatrical" aspect of reality: according to you, god knew from before time that the ancient Isrealites would complain about their lot in the wilderness and time and time again would be punished for it - if this was all predestined and god knew this would all happen and knew how he himself would respond, what's the point of it all? Why not just admit to yourself, Dr. Sing, that you believe we're all performing in the largest (and really, only) theatrical presentation that ever was? It's the Matrix, Original Yahweh Edition.

Let me ask you a question, Dr. Sing.

Do you pray to god to grant things material or immaterial?

If you can already see where I'm coming from with this question, then let me give you credit for your insight. If not, I'll wait on your answer and then explain myself.

Dr. Sing writes:

Bluejay writes:

That also brings up another question: If you know what is going to happen before it happens, how can you also have freewill?

And the question tells us that you do not understand the concept of freewill.

I was wondering if you could elaborate on the above statement. What are we not understanding about free will?

No. God has complete knowledge of past, present, and future events. I think you completely misunderstood what I said about God's omniscience.

I understood your comment, and also understand your predestinationist/Calvinist views. I just don't understand how you can manage to reconcile these views with others in Christianity without an impressive case of cognitive dissonance.

Have a good one.


"My own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. J.B.S Haldane 1892-1964
This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by Pauline, posted 03-02-2010 9:13 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 145 by Pauline, posted 03-03-2010 9:30 PM Apothecus has responded

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5381
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 8.4


Message 143 of 477 (549072)
03-03-2010 8:24 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by Pauline
03-02-2010 9:13 PM


John Calvin. ...No, jk... he's an amazing man.

Particularly if you are fond of scheming, murderous assholes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by Pauline, posted 03-02-2010 9:13 PM Pauline has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 144 by Theodoric, posted 03-03-2010 8:41 PM Coragyps has not yet responded

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6048
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 144 of 477 (549074)
03-03-2010 8:41 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by Coragyps
03-03-2010 8:24 PM


Yeah just ask these guys
Jacques Gruet
Michael Servetus

To name two among many


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by Coragyps, posted 03-03-2010 8:24 PM Coragyps has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Pauline
Member (Idle past 1846 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


(1)
Message 145 of 477 (549081)
03-03-2010 9:30 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by Apothecus
03-03-2010 5:56 PM


Apo writes:

if this was all predestined and god knew this would all happen and knew how he himself would respond, what's the point of it all? Why not just admit to yourself, Dr. Sing, that you believe we're all performing in the largest (and really, only) theatrical presentation that ever was? It's the Matrix, Original Yahweh Edition.

He's not a passive God. If God knew that Israel would backslide, and your complaint is that there is no point in Him punishing them for it because he already knew it, that's essentially asking God to just sit back, relax, and watch the show on earth and be passive because He already knows whats going to happen anyway. (Take a chill pill?) Which doesn't make sense to me. Since I perceive God as being actively involved in His creation. I think God restrains His children from sinning sometimes. I think He allows sinners to sin. You see, He's right now "doing" stuff. (Stuff which He already knew He would do) But again, does omniscience obviate expression?involvement?

how do you explain written incidents of god's anger or punishments doled out to humans due to transgression? Surely god would have known these things would happen, and thus just "expect" them and go on about his business (he couldn't really do anything else considering he would have already known how he would react, yes?).

This is interesting. Are you implying that God need not express anger? Frustration? just because He knows forthcoming events. I don't think omniscience obviates expression. The God of the Bible is an emotional God. To me, God's greatest business has to do with His creation, specifically mankind because man is the only creature with a soul. And God regard the soul as more important than physical body. I find this "passive God" idea of yours rather funny.

Do you pray to god to grant things material or immaterial?

If you can already see where I'm coming from with this question, then let me give you credit for your insight. If not, I'll wait on your answer and then explain myself.

Ahh, let me guess. If God already knows what you're going to ask Him for, and knows whether or not He will give it you, why do you need to pray? Is that it?

(I say that because I get asked that question a lot)

I was wondering if you could elaborate on the above statement. What are we not understanding about free will?

I'm under the impression, the quoted person thinks omniscience and freewill cannot exist together. Which I think results from a misunderstanding of either or both concepts.

if this was all predestined and god knew this would all happen and knew how he himself would respond, what's the point of it all?

One Word. Salvation.

Ultimately, I believe that God directs every occurrence to manifest Himself. And that manifestation can make Him look good, or bad, or powerful, or angry, or merciful, or anything else. I believe "its all about Him". The main reason I believe He creates this huge plan is to bring unsaved, spiritually dead people to Himself. (the doctrine of Redemption).To make them more like Himself and restore what Adam lost for them (the doctrine of Sanctification) And the second reason, I believe is to show unbelievers who He can be because of their unbelief. (Judgment) And I think the second reason is justifiable because General Revelation provides entire mankind with evidence for an all powerful, creative God.

---I see it coming.... I imagine a post that says something to the effect of "are you kidding me!?, how can murders, rapes, earthquakes, killing, strife, hatred, etc possibly demonstrate God's goodness???, These things sound more like what a evil monarch rather an a all-loving God would do"

All I want to say in response is, 1. The devil is still active today. 2. Sin keeps ever increasing (and therefore God's wrath) because of that 3. I know you atheist guys are going to want to completely bash me and trash me, and kick me out of this place for this, but I'm going to say it, "what bad we see is much less than what good God gives us" If God really was to show His wrath, I can't even imagine what that would look like. I don't want to.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.

Edited by AdminPD, : Fixed quote box


This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by Apothecus, posted 03-03-2010 5:56 PM Apothecus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by ZenMonkey, posted 03-03-2010 10:21 PM Pauline has responded
 Message 149 by Apothecus, posted 03-05-2010 6:04 PM Pauline has responded

  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 2621 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 146 of 477 (549084)
03-03-2010 9:56 PM
Reply to: Message 144 by Theodoric
03-03-2010 8:41 PM


Re: Yeah just ask these guys
From the Wikipedia article on Michael Servetus, here's John Calvin:

John Calvin writes:

Whoever shall maintain that wrong is done to heretics and blasphemers in punishing them makes himself an accomplice in their crime and guilty as they are. There is no question here of man's authority; it is God who speaks, and clear it is what law he will have kept in the church, even to the end of the world. Wherefore does he demand of us a so extreme severity, if not to show us that due honor is not paid him, so long as we set not his service above every human consideration, so that we spare not kin, nor blood of any, and forget all humanity when the matter is to combat for His glory.

Apparently, this is why it's a Good Thing to execute a man for the crime of Thinking Thoughts That John Calvin Doesn't Like And Even Writing About Them. No, wait. This is Why It's Just As Bad Not To Torture And Kill People Who Think Thoughts That John Calvin Doesn't Like As It Is To Think Such Thoughts Yourself.

Hey, at least I give Calvin credit for only asking for beheading, rather than torture and burning alive. This time, anyway.

But I suppose I'm failing to see this in context. Or something.

Edited by ZenMonkey, : No reason given.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon
This message is a reply to:
 Message 144 by Theodoric, posted 03-03-2010 8:41 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 2621 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


(1)
Message 147 of 477 (549086)
03-03-2010 10:21 PM
Reply to: Message 145 by Pauline
03-03-2010 9:30 PM


Calvinist Logic
Dr. Sing writes:

The main reason I believe He creates this huge plan is to bring unsaved, spiritually dead people to Himself. (the doctrine of Redemption).

Um, but hasn't he already decided who's going to be saved anyway? He already knows who's going to be created spiritually dead, as well as who he's going to redeem in the end (unearned Grace) and who he's going to send to The Hot Place (ha, ha, see you in Hell, sucker). Right? Predestination is a mean son-of-a-bitch.

Your attempts to reconcile Freewill with God's omniscience and omnipotence still fails to convince, so long as God permitting something to happen still works out to be the same thing as God making something happen. If God sets up the whole Mouse Trap board as he pleases (omnipotent) and knows how each piece is going to fall (omniscient), then human beings have about as much free will as dominoes, even if God doesn't push each one over individually. (Sorry about the mixed game metaphors.)

Anyway, it appears that for you, whether you like to admit it or not, the universe boils down to something like:


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon
This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by Pauline, posted 03-03-2010 9:30 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 148 by Pauline, posted 03-03-2010 10:23 PM ZenMonkey has not yet responded

Pauline
Member (Idle past 1846 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


Message 148 of 477 (549088)
03-03-2010 10:23 PM
Reply to: Message 147 by ZenMonkey
03-03-2010 10:21 PM


Re: Calvinist Logic

Good night, Zenmonkey. Have a great day tomorrow.

Silence is as deep as eternity; speech, shallow as time. ~Thomas Carlyle

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 147 by ZenMonkey, posted 03-03-2010 10:21 PM ZenMonkey has not yet responded

  
Apothecus
Member (Idle past 521 days)
Posts: 275
From: CA USA
Joined: 01-05-2010


(1)
Message 149 of 477 (549307)
03-05-2010 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 145 by Pauline
03-03-2010 9:30 PM


And 'round and 'round we go...
Hello there again, Dr. Sing.

He's not a passive God. If God knew that Israel would backslide, and your complaint is that there is no point in Him punishing them for it because he already knew it, that's essentially asking God to just sit back, relax, and watch the show on earth and be passive because He already knows whats going to happen anyway. (Take a chill pill?)

Maybe this is just what appears to me to be the elephant in the room, but you still seem to be missing it.

My point is that if everything is predestined, then everything is predestined, including god's reaction to...well, whatever. What's the point of god acting surprised or "angry" when his subjects do something that, according to predestination, he knew was going to happen anyway? Think about this, please. Again, is everything just part of some big scripted farce?

I don't think omniscience obviates expression.

So, god is just expressing himself for show? He wanted his subjects' disobedience enough to cause these disobedient acts to be predestined even before creation, but for what reason? As an object lesson? To what end? For the mindless devotion (or not) of his subjects, of which he's known since before time?

I find this "passive God" idea of yours rather funny.

And I find this Calvinist "scriptwriter god" of yours rather funny as well. The fact that, in the bible, we don't see a god who seems to have any sort of precognition of future events (with the exeption of "prophecies") is very telling. What we do see are all types of anthropomorphic emotions attributed to a god who, for all intents and purposes, should have seen the punch line coming from a mile away. What do you do when you've heard the joke but listen anyway? At the end, do you fall off your stool convulsing with laughter, or chuckle in a "Meh." kind of way? Unless you're an inanely artificial individual, I'd suspect the latter, no?

Ahh, let me guess. If God already knows what you're going to ask Him for, and knows whether or not He will give it you, why do you need to pray? Is that it?

(I say that because I get asked that question a lot)

And how do you respond, if I may ask?

Dr. Sing writes:

Apothecus writes:

I was wondering if you could elaborate on the above statement. What are we not understanding about free will?

I'm under the impression, the quoted person thinks omniscience and freewill cannot exist together. Which I think results from a misunderstanding of either or both concepts.

When I asked you to elaborate, I meant about what you think, not what you think Bluejay thinks.

I see it coming.... I imagine a post that says something to the effect of "are you kidding me!?, how can murders, rapes, earthquakes, killing, strife, hatred, etc possibly demonstrate God's goodness???, These things sound more like what a evil monarch rather an a all-loving God would do"

All those things are rather interesting, I'll admit, but are fodder for another thread.

I know you atheist guys are going to want to completely bash me and trash me, and kick me out of this place for this, but I'm going to say it, "what bad we see is much less than what good God gives us"

I think you underestimate admin's (and others') desire to discuss topics such as these. The above won't even register as a blip on the "heinousity radar". FYI.

ZenMonkey writes:

Dr. Sing writes:

The main reason I believe He creates this huge plan is to bring unsaved, spiritually dead people to Himself. (the doctrine of Redemption).


Um, but hasn't he already decided who's going to be saved anyway?

Before you vacate the premesis, Dr. Sing (if you haven't already), I'd like to know your thoughts on the above post.

Thanks.

Have a good one.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by Pauline, posted 03-03-2010 9:30 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 150 by Pauline, posted 03-05-2010 11:59 PM Apothecus has responded

  
Pauline
Member (Idle past 1846 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


(1)
Message 150 of 477 (549345)
03-05-2010 11:59 PM
Reply to: Message 149 by Apothecus
03-05-2010 6:04 PM


Re: And 'round and 'round we go...
Disclaimer: This post contains a LOT of my personal opinion. Very little is argued or discussed. Just so you know what to expect. (and Admins, I apologize if this isn't allowed, but please note also that Apothecus has asked for my opinion at some points)

Hello there again, Dr. Sing.

Hi, Apothecus. I'm enjoying this conversation with you. I know I can't do justice to it because of my limitations, but I'll try to give you a personal, honest opinion on the questions asked.

My point is that if everything is predestined, then everything is predestined, including god's reaction to...well, whatever. What's the point of god acting surprised or "angry" when his subjects do something that, according to predestination, he knew was going to happen anyway? Think about this, please. Again, is everything just part of some big scripted farce?

Alright. I am thinking about this, I promise.

"Including God's reaction..." Uhhmmm, I have a problem with that actually. And my problem is that you somehow ignored/did not grasp the other half of my paragraph. Let me re-quote the whole paragraph one more time and I request you to please bear with me:

Dr Sing writes:

He's not a passive God. If God knew that Israel would backslide, and your complaint is that there is no point in Him punishing them for it because he already knew it, that's essentially asking God to just sit back, relax, and watch the show on earth and be passive because He already knows whats going to happen anyway. (Take a chill pill?) Which doesn't make sense to me. Since I perceive God as being actively involved in His creation. I think God restrains His children from sinning sometimes. I think He allows sinners to sin. You see, He's right now "doing" stuff. (Stuff which He already knew He would do) But again, does omniscience obviate expression?involvement?

I get the impression that you perceive the God of the Bible as being a skilled story-writer. And that's okay with me to a certain degree. But when you focus on the latter part of the paragraph (which I bolded for you), my point there is that God is actually organizing, orchestrating, guiding, directing, coordinating, and conducting events. I know I said God is "doing stuff right now" and that's pathetically vague, but I hope I made myself clear now? God's foreknowledge does not eliminate His direct, active involvement in the actual occurrences of this world, no? And so when you stop with the story writer idea, you get these kind of questions...well, the screenplay's all set, why bother now? Just sit back, relax, and watch......right? Well, with no director to visualize the screenplay, no producer to create scenes and settings, and no cinematographer to arrange the set and lighting, what good is the screenplay? No good.
I say it gain, God is actively working right now. Just because He knows that people ar going to do in their lives, He isn't hindered to intervene and manipulate things. Consider this verse: Psalm 33:13-15 “The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.”

Also, God's feelings aren't predestined, I don't think. When making a movie, you aren't limited to shutting up and watching. You actually manipulate, direct, improve, and organize things for the better, right? God does change things, people, plans...but still He's omniscient in that He knows the final outcome of every twist and turn.

So, god is just expressing himself for show? He wanted his subjects' disobedience enough to cause these disobedient acts to be predestined even before creation, but for what reason? As an object lesson? To what end? For the mindless devotion (or not) of his subjects, of which he's known since before time?

In other words, why make the screenplay at all when it doesn't sound like a merry one with a happily-ever-after fairytale style ending?

Well, I'm not going to be all sugary and fake and say that our world is actually a good place to live in. Someone once said that the earth is probably another planet's hell. When I first read that, I was like, you know, that's it!! that's the king of descriptions of all descriptions of this damn earth, you can't get more accurate than that..............until a few seconds after that, I realized how pathetically foolish I was. When you think of it, Apothecus, what the world has become is what WE have made it. We are the kings of this planet. We take everything from animals, to natural resources, to sunlight...everything under our control and use it to make our lives better. We abuse animals in unimaginably horrible ways, we destroy nature with our ignorance, we kill each other, we hate each other, we invent technologies, we make a name for ourselves, we have kids, we play, we cry, we love, we sing, we dance and then we die. That's all. All that we achieve, unfortunately, will not go to the grave with us. I find this so ironical! That we humans make our lives better at the cost of others' pain and nature's destruction and finally just die, is beyond me. Fine, we invent amazing technologies. We increase life-spans. We conquer epidemics. We invent too-good-to-be-true stuff like the internet. We do a lot. Does one thing, one thing, conquer death, pain, suffering, loss, crime, cruelty? Death, that's what brought things into perspective for me. Is death what I live for? No. There has got to be something more greater than I, that I should be living for. I was reminded of one thing. My salvation. God. The beauty of the screenplay is that God takes something that we have so deucedly messed up and turns it into a beautiful love-story. Of course, for you to believe that God is not at fault for this sad screenplay (and that we are) requires that you also believe He did not create sin. And to believe he did not create sin, you need to have faith in His character and words. Without faith, yes, He does look like a tyrant. With faith, He looks like the unselfish soldier who lays down his life for the sake of his friends'.

The fact that, in the bible, we don't see a god who seems to have any sort of precognition of future events (with the exeption of "prophecies") is very telling

Hmm, I beg to differ with that, please. Plus, I don't see how you can give prophecies without omniscience.

Psalm 139: 1-6

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

I ripped a small chunk from Acts 27 for space's sake, but reading the entire chapter makes more sense, I think.

Acts 27:21After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: "Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me 24and said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.' 25So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island."

These are just two passages form the Bible that give sure proof for God's knowledge of future events. There are many more that deal with His knowledge of past and present events. But since you specifically called into question His ability to discern future events, I present to you these two Scripture passages for your perusal.

And how do you respond, if I may ask?

And here we come, to THE question. BTW, was that really what was in your mind?

Simple answer: I pray to foster a relationship with Him. The purpose of my prayer is not to beg Him for material benefits. I think the benefits (material or immaterial) will follow regardless of my asking Him or not asking Him. I know God will keep blessing me regardless of whether or not I ask Him as long as I maintain a healthy relationship with Him. This is not to imply that I do not ask Him for earthly things. Like right now I need a car (badly!). And I'm asking Him for one. And I can't predict whats going to happen. But as a general rule, I know that when I please Him, earthly blessings follow. However, my desire to please Him should not (and I hope does not) stem from a desire for material benefits.

Remember the Lord's prayer?

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen

Please know that bread here means the Word of God. How do I know? Answer: Matthew 4:4 (New International Version)

4Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."

I am aware that most often Christians fail to follow this pattern of prayer. Instead we on and on about, "give me a job, give me a wife, give me new shoes, give me a slim body, give me intelligence, give me this, that, everything..." I am not saying that asking God for material benefits is inherently wrong, not at all (Jesus said, ask and it shall be given unto you), I'm saying that often we Christians pretend like that's what we're living for. When in reality, we really need to be living for the source of those gifts. And believe that those gifts will automatically follow. And even if they don't--- just keep going. I fail miserably at this. But I also know that with God's help, I'm overcoming my selfishness. And one day, I'll get there. There truly is war between spirit and flesh. So to answer your question very succinctly, "I pray in order to cultivate a relationship with God (much like friends talk to each other). My prayer is allowed to include petition for material benefit, however it isn't allowed be centered around material benefit. And the prime reason God's grants these petitions is to show, to respond, to reciprocate my faith in Him. Ultimately, the center of prayer is (or should be) God."

Please understand that I'm not displaying a "holier than thou" type attitude. (and neither do I want to trash Christians, I just am sharing a very honest personal opinion about us) I admit freely that I'm a huge failure at praying the right way. Huge. But I'm learning, and one day, learning-mode will end. I think that day will be when I'm with Christ in Heaven.

I think you underestimate admin's (and others') desire to discuss topics such as these. The above won't even register as a blip on the "heinousity radar". FYI.

Good. I didn't doubt the capability of the Admins to handle a riot, I just thought that I'd get a boatload full of such replies and not know what to do next.

Before you vacate the premesis, Dr. Sing (if you haven't already), I'd like to know your thoughts on the above post.--- (on why God sends some people to hell and some to heaven)...

Basically, you're asking me why I adhere to Calvinism, correct?

I'm going to give you a very broad and simple answer. There's more to this, but time, and space limit me.

Calvinism is attractive to me personally simply because it makes God look unimaginably sovereign. An implication of that is that men look small compared to Him. But when I first read Calvin's works, especially on predestination and limited atonement, I hated it with a passion. Really. But as I read Scripture, I began to see that God really is as sovereign as Calvin portrays Him (and even more). Then I turned to science. Science, specifically Astronomy, told me that the earth is some "pale blue dot" that you can hardly see. (ever heard of that?) Basically, everywhere I turned, I noticed that man's life is worthless, short, and almost meaningless. (bitter, but true, you can tell by the murders, rapes, killings, death, crime etc) And I came to the conclusion that if man's life has to be worth anything, it needs God to be in it. A sovereign God.

Then I battled with the question of "well, how can predestination possibly be reconciled with an all-loving God"? Scripture gave me my answer. True God is all-loving. But He is also a just judge. While He saves some people from eternal damnation (as in predestines them), He assigns some people to hell. He cannot claim to be a just God and NOT send some people to hell. At the same time, He cannot claim to be love and NOT save some people. He's got to do both in equal proportion in order to maintain His integrity. He can' t lie.

Have you noticed something? In my view, its all about Him. His character. His integrity. His love. His justice. Man is just a means to meet His desired end. And I don't think that should bother us. To me, all this made sense. I don't think it will to an unbeliever. It is VERY dangerous to read Calvin's works while being an unbeliever, specifically a skeptic who is searching for the truth. Honestly, that stuff is for people who already know who God is and believe in Him.
Coming back to the predestination problem...so, how does He pick which ones to send to hell, then? That's got to be subjective! Again, Scripture. General Revelation. He gives a chance to everyone. Some accept it, some reject. Predestination and freewill are admittedly two of the hardest things to reconcile. And I freely admit, I do not fully understand how God's mind works. Neither did Calvin. But Calvin surely understood much more than I do. And that's why I adhere to his teachings.

Have a good one.

If you read all of that, my heartfelt gratitude for your patience and kindness. I really have enjoyed this conversation a lot. Thank you so much for being very kind and considerate in your choice of words. I've admitted that I'm incapable of doing justice to your deep questions, and I apologize if my answers don't match up to your expectations. But I hope you will find the Truth one day and may it satisfy all your questions.

G'night.

edit:

oh, one more...

When I asked you to elaborate, I meant about what you think, not what you think Bluejay thinks. (about freewill and omniscience co-existing)

Right. I know, but I need a starting point. I don't want to lecture for 2 hours on the topic.(I doubt I can, haha). In my view, they both exist in harmony. Bluejay (or Hyrolgyphyx, I think it actually was, dunno) seemed to think that having omniscience eliminates the possibility of freewill. But I maintain that omniscience [God] just knows what freewill [man] is going to produce [decide or do about something], omniscience [God] does not interfere with or manipulate [man's] freewill's decision-making. Now, I believe that God can manipulate a person's freewill (not eradicate it, mind you), but that's more His omnipotence. Which is not the topic here.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : The bluejay thing...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 149 by Apothecus, posted 03-05-2010 6:04 PM Apothecus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 152 by Apothecus, posted 03-06-2010 3:05 PM Pauline has not yet responded
 Message 157 by Apothecus, posted 03-08-2010 12:34 PM Pauline has responded

  
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