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Author Topic:   Proofs of God
John
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 131 (32942)
02-23-2003 2:10 PM


This is a spin-off from post #122 of the "An honest anwer for a newbie" thread.
BambooGuy writes:
There are quite a few, more than I could put on this forum. The combination of all three books would probably near 500+ pgs. To give you an idea, they deal with the problem of pain (i.e. why doesn't God stop bad things from happening), the existence or non-existence of morals in a philosophy (that's a confusing statement which means, why are morals important to a philosophy), why God doesn't suspend the laws of science (i.e. why isn't he more obvious?), & the reason why the Judeo-Christian God is the only one capable of meeting the requirements of existence. I'm sorry if I've had to be hard to understand, I don't know how I could fit all that info in a nutshell any other way. Read the books, they'll explain it better than I can. 'Mere Christianity' is a good book to start on, it's easier reading. And it's only $8 from Amazon. I can try to explain it if you want, but I think it might be better to read it (it's easy reading).
I can't discuss this with a book, so I'd appreciate a summary and/or interpretation you'd be willing to defend. One argument at a time would likely make the thread move more smoothly. #122 of the "An honest anwer for a newbie" thread.
BambooGuy writes:
There are quite a few, more than I could put on this forum. The combination of all three books would probably near 500+ pgs. To give you an idea, they deal with the problem of pain (i.e. why doesn't God stop bad things from happening), the existence or non-existence of morals in a philosophy (that's a confusing statement which means, why are morals important to a philosophy), why God doesn't suspend the laws of science (i.e. why isn't he more obvious?), & the reason why the Judeo-Christian God is the only one capable of meeting the requirements of existence. I'm sorry if I've had to be hard to understand, I don't know how I could fit all that info in a nutshell any other way. Read the books, they'll explain it better than I can. 'Mere Christianity' is a good book to start on, it's easier reading. And it's only $8 from Amazon. I can try to explain it if you want, but I think it might be better to read it (it's easy reading).
I can't discuss this with a book, so I'd appreciate a summary and/or interpretation you'd be willing to defend. One argument at a time would likely make the thread move more smoothly.
------------------
No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com
[This message has been edited by John, 02-23-2003]

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by bambooguy, posted 02-25-2003 1:03 AM John has replied

  
bambooguy
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 131 (33113)
02-25-2003 1:03 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by John
02-23-2003 2:10 PM


John,
Okay, I'll take your challenge, but don't say you weren't forewarned!
I've started out by reading your website (which is very good by the way) to get some idea of where you are coming from intellectually. I know this is really unfair because I don't have a website and you can't do the same for me! But it has helped somewhat, I've found a good place to start.
I'd like to ask you what you meant in your article about 'Star Wars' when you said, "The truth is beyond good & evil." Please explain what you mean by this & if you still believe it. It will help the discussion, really.
Evan
P.S. Your discussion of 'faith' is right on target. 'Faith' is not blindly believing that something is true without proof. And contrary to popular interpretation Jesus is not rebuking Thomas for keeping his eyes open. He is rebuking Thomas for requiring arbitrary evidence that is unneccessary. Does Thomas -have- to stick his fingers in Jesus' hands, feet, & side? Isn't seeing him eat real food, hearing a real voice, and touching a real body enough? Thomas set up a judgment standard that was arbitrary and unneccesary and he refused to believe until God met him on his own ground. God chose to grant Thomas' request, but it would have been better for Thomas if he had believed in the first place. Modern application, 'faith' means question everything and if/when you're convinced that God is good, trust in him even if your current situation doesn't look good. And trust in him to save you from what you deserve.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by John, posted 02-23-2003 2:10 PM John has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by John, posted 02-25-2003 4:35 PM bambooguy has replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 131 (33174)
02-25-2003 4:35 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by bambooguy
02-25-2003 1:03 AM


quote:
Okay, I'll take your challenge, but don't say you weren't forewarned!
... but... I wasn't warned before
quote:
I've started out by reading your website (which is very good by the way)
Thanks. It definitely needs updating though.
quote:
I'd like to ask you what you meant in your article about 'Star Wars' when you said, "The truth is beyond good & evil."
The hard dichotomy between good and evil is the specified film is childish. Nothing is as simple as made out in that set-in-space morality tale.
quote:
God chose to grant Thomas' request, but it would have been better for Thomas if he had believed in the first place.
Suppose you watched someone die, then bit latter that person comes to your house for a chat. Would you not inquire into the situation? Look for stitches maybe? Check for makeup? Ask questions that you felt only the undead guy would know? I damn sure would. I can't help but think you are making excuses, building up a story around the story that is bigger than the story itself.
------------------
No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by bambooguy, posted 02-25-2003 1:03 AM bambooguy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by bambooguy, posted 02-26-2003 12:11 AM John has replied

  
bambooguy
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 131 (33201)
02-26-2003 12:11 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by John
02-25-2003 4:35 PM


John,
Point taken about Thomas. All I'm trying to say is that the Bible never uses the fundamentalists' definition of faith. It is a post-Kierkegaard definition (he was a theologian around 1850AD). It took theologians nineteen centuries to come up with that aliteral definition, and it was under the influence of existential philosophies.
I've thought about how to begin this apologetic, with the knowledge that I was going to follow the train of thought in Mere Christianity very closely (though I could have used a different book just as well, Lewis' is the least technical and the most understandable). And as I was trying to formulate the position in my own words, I found it nearly impossible to differ from the wording in the book (other than parochial expressions). Since I didn't want to use his words as my own, I will copy the preface and the first several chapters into several posts. I do not believe that there is any copyright infringement in doing so, because originally book was three radio broadcasts and anyone can get identical information (almost all of it) by going to Amazon.com and using their 'Look inside...' feature.
Since I would be willing to defend everything said by Mr. Lewis in this part of his book, I feel that this is very close to what I originally intended and to your original request. Then we could discuss the topic in additional posts, if you would like.
I hope you will find this acceptable. Below you will find the first installment.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by John, posted 02-25-2003 4:35 PM John has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by John, posted 02-26-2003 12:27 AM bambooguy has replied
 Message 6 by bambooguy, posted 02-26-2003 12:56 AM bambooguy has replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 131 (33203)
02-26-2003 12:27 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by bambooguy
02-26-2003 12:11 AM


quote:
I will copy the preface and the first several chapters into several posts.
hmmmm... responding to such a massive cut and paste job is usually a serious pain and is no fun. Basically, rather than you doing the work and presenting the argument, you are shifting the burden to everyone else. And I have a feeling the administrators will mind. What you propose will use a lot of storage space and space costs money.
------------------
No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by bambooguy, posted 02-26-2003 12:11 AM bambooguy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by bambooguy, posted 02-26-2003 1:44 AM John has replied

  
bambooguy
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 131 (33204)
02-26-2003 12:56 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by bambooguy
02-26-2003 12:11 AM


Percy and/or other moderators, since the owner of this site is ultimately legally responsible for what I publish here (I have heard that is the case), please inform me whether publishing this copyrighted material would be alright with y'all. People can visit Amazon.com's site if necessary or I can spread these ideas some other way.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by bambooguy, posted 02-26-2003 12:11 AM bambooguy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by bambooguy, posted 02-26-2003 12:58 AM bambooguy has not replied

  
bambooguy
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 131 (33205)
02-26-2003 12:58 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by bambooguy
02-26-2003 12:56 AM


Sorry, I didn't see John's latest post when I entered my last message. Scratch both ideas.
Evan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by bambooguy, posted 02-26-2003 12:56 AM bambooguy has not replied

  
bambooguy
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 131 (33206)
02-26-2003 1:44 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by John
02-26-2003 12:27 AM


Sounds good here goes,
I see that the basic problem with belief in God is that the Christian understanding of God makes him non-physical and in this modern day it is difficult to believe in the non-physical. And you can't prove God's existence using science, because science strictly deals with the tangible, physical world.
But as we think about this problem we must try to find something in the universe that might have a non-physical aspect to it. And we find that Christian theology claims that humans have souls, non-physical personalities. So we are all the perfect laboratory for this type of experiment. Now we have to find some evidence of this soul, if it truly exists.
Have you ever seen two people quarreling? They say things like, "How'd you like it if anyone did the same to you?" or "That's my seat, I was there first" or "Give me some of your orange, I gave you some of mine--Come on, you promised!"
Now what is useful about this illustration, is that the man making these statements is not appealing to his own displeasure at having lost his seat. He is appealing to an external standard of conduct, that the other fellow should know about. But it gets even stranger.
The other fellow doesn't say, "To h--- with your standard!" Usually, he tries to explain why what he is doing does not really go against the standard. Or that if it does there is some special excuse. He pretends there is a special reason why the other person who got up can't claim the chair anymore. Or that the promised bit of orange shouldn't really count, because it was under extenuating circumstances (if he's a verbose chap!).
It's as if both people were playing under a law or standard of fairness or morality about which they both really agreed. If they didn't really agree on this standard then they would fight like animals, one trying to dominate the other. But for some reason that is not accepted by many cultures, most have courts so both guys can try to verbally prove the other is wrong.
But this is very contrary to what we see in nature. When two animals 'disagree' the strongest always 'proves' his point through strength. There is no discussion of fairness or right and wrong, it's "I get this rotting corpse because I've beat you up before and I'll do it again if you don't back off. Grrrr."
And what is even more astounding is that all cultures have similar rules of fair play. They may differ on specifics, Judaism requires monogamy while Islam allows polygamy, but they agree on the basics, i.e. you can't have any woman you want. And the similarity doesn't end here, they all prohibit murder, theft, dishonesty, and many other similar vices that contradict the law of the jungle, might makes right.
Well, there is another important observation still to make, but I'm too tired to hold my eyes open. Until next time.
Evan
P.S. Good idea, 'bout me writing it out. Though it may be confusing to you at first, it'll help me get it all verbalized in my head.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by John, posted 02-26-2003 12:27 AM John has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by PaulK, posted 02-26-2003 2:21 AM bambooguy has not replied
 Message 10 by John, posted 02-26-2003 10:09 AM bambooguy has replied
 Message 26 by Peter, posted 02-27-2003 4:48 AM bambooguy has not replied
 Message 35 by Gzus, posted 02-28-2003 2:55 PM bambooguy has not replied
 Message 40 by Peter, posted 03-03-2003 7:31 AM bambooguy has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17848
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 9 of 131 (33210)
02-26-2003 2:21 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by bambooguy
02-26-2003 1:44 AM


Humans are social animals and there are social conventions on acceptable behaviour. Indeed it is necessary to have such conventions for society to work. Lewis' argument fails at this point because he does not consider these facts.
I would add that the idea that the prohibition on murder being a similarity between societies is meaningless. Any killing that was not against the laws of a society would, by definition, not be considered murder within that society.
[This message has been edited by PaulK, 02-26-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by bambooguy, posted 02-26-2003 1:44 AM bambooguy has not replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 131 (33245)
02-26-2003 10:09 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by bambooguy
02-26-2003 1:44 AM


quote:
And what is even more astounding is that all cultures have similar rules of fair play.
I don't find this astounding at all. Humans live in groups and have lived in groups since long before we were human. Some behaviors are more conducive to life in a group than other behaviors. Simple. The argument Lewis tries to make just doesn't hold. As PaulK said, he ignores or is ignorant of the facts. ( I did go to Amazon and read the sample pages of his book. ) Sorry. Wanna try again?
------------------
No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by bambooguy, posted 02-26-2003 1:44 AM bambooguy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by bambooguy, posted 02-26-2003 10:33 AM John has replied
 Message 41 by Unashamed, posted 03-03-2003 2:18 PM John has replied

  
bambooguy
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 131 (33247)
02-26-2003 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by John
02-26-2003 10:09 AM


So neither John nor Paulk agree with C.S. Lewis ideas of morality, which he presents in 'Mere Christianity'. May I ask why? What are you're reasons for supposing that morality is merely a herd instinct? Why do you reject Lewis' rebuttal of this view?
Evan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by John, posted 02-26-2003 10:09 AM John has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by bambooguy, posted 02-26-2003 10:35 AM bambooguy has not replied
 Message 13 by PaulK, posted 02-26-2003 11:01 AM bambooguy has not replied
 Message 14 by John, posted 02-26-2003 11:13 AM bambooguy has not replied

  
bambooguy
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 131 (33248)
02-26-2003 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by bambooguy
02-26-2003 10:33 AM


Man, my last post was filled with editorial errors! My apologies.
Evan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by bambooguy, posted 02-26-2003 10:33 AM bambooguy has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17848
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 13 of 131 (33251)
02-26-2003 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by bambooguy
02-26-2003 10:33 AM


I disagree with Lewis because his arguments fail to establish his claims. Indeed Lewis' arguments are often poor. (To take an example Lewis justifies the witch trials on the basis that it ought to be acceptable to execute witches. Aside from the question of whether Christians should be using the death penalty at all - does "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" ring any bells ? or "judge not, lest ye be judged" ? - the fact is that those executed were NOT witches. Lewis does not address that issue, nor the methods used to convict "witches" and so leaves the most important issues untouched).
However I did not claim that morality is merely herd instinct either, and it is a misrepresentation to claim I did.
In my view, morality, as we have it, is a social phenomenon owing more to "memes" than to genes. It is based in instinct but much of it goes a long way beyond instinct. Much of it is based on the practical needs of society, some of it is only tradition that now serves no real purpose (if it ever did - think of "female circumcision" for an example from another society). It is passed on from one generation to the next, changing as it does so.
Here's a question can you name some similarity between the moralities of different socities that is not either clearly based in human nature or in the practical needs of a society ?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by bambooguy, posted 02-26-2003 10:33 AM bambooguy has not replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 131 (33256)
02-26-2003 11:13 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by bambooguy
02-26-2003 10:33 AM


quote:
What are you're reasons for supposing that morality is merely a herd instinct?
I gave my reasons for this.
quote:
Why do you reject Lewis' rebuttal of this view?
Lewis doesn't really refute anything. He just says it ain't so. He doesn't really have an argument.
------------------
No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by bambooguy, posted 02-26-2003 10:33 AM bambooguy has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 02-26-2003 12:19 PM John has replied

  
funkmasterfreaky
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 131 (33263)
02-26-2003 12:19 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by John
02-26-2003 11:13 AM


The ideas of C.S Lewis are incredible though if you desire to explain them away there's always the billions of years to hide behind.
paulk-
curious where you found this witchburning reference?
------------------
Saved by an incredible Grace.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by John, posted 02-26-2003 11:13 AM John has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by PaulK, posted 02-26-2003 12:35 PM funkmasterfreaky has replied
 Message 18 by John, posted 02-26-2003 1:17 PM funkmasterfreaky has replied

  
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