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Author Topic:   In defense of nihilism
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 256 of 306 (269246)
12-14-2005 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 255 by iano
12-14-2005 12:50 PM


Re: God's game
Not believing the Bible to be his word is not a wrong answer

I thought you said the Bible was "evidence," but nevermind.

Your argument seems to be that because we have a sense of right and wrong, therefore God exists. Is that your argument?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 255 by iano, posted 12-14-2005 12:50 PM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 258 by iano, posted 12-14-2005 1:29 PM robinrohan has responded

iano
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 257 of 306 (269249)
12-14-2005 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 254 by robinrohan
12-14-2005 11:47 AM


Re: God's game
A man may seek to escape his conscience. And he is permitted to - even though it is only at extreme cost to himself. It is when a man comes to the point of giving in, of stopping the struggle against it that God can reveal himself as the person behind it.

This man comes to accept that whilst he is powerless to obey his conscience - except sporadically and with a lot of effort and many failures - his conscience is always right and his actions against it are indeed wrong. It is when the man finally recognises the sheer opposition in him to that which is ever right within him and acknowledges it's rightful authority over him that he is almost there. It is when a man despairs of this conflict raging within that he may be induced to cry out to God. Not because he believes in God, but simply that there is no one else to appeal to: he's tried the phsycologists, the therapists the philosopies, the Religions....maybe even sex, thrills, drugs, success, the bottle. It is when the man finally recognises that only "God" could release him from the captivity he is in that he may be induced by his despair to cry out to God for that release

...then God comes. This is the only thing that God requires. Mans acknowledgment from his heart... of his need for God.

An when he comes, the very first thing he pours out on the person is his love. Release in the form of peace. The man is reborn. A baby, a helpless thing, completely unknowledgeable in the things of God. But sure of one thing

"Everything is going to be okay..."

It's called the peace of God which surpasses all understanding. Believing is seeing. That's all believing is. Being able to see it with your own eyes

"Was blind but now I see" The hymn writer was right. It is truly amazing, Gods grace.

This message has been edited by iano, 14-Dec-2005 06:21 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 254 by robinrohan, posted 12-14-2005 11:47 AM robinrohan has not yet responded

iano
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 258 of 306 (269253)
12-14-2005 1:29 PM
Reply to: Message 256 by robinrohan
12-14-2005 1:04 PM


Re: God's game
The bible is a book of evidence. But a book of evidence isn't a case. God doesn't supply an iron-clad case until the person chooses for him (see a manner in which that can happen above)

Your argument seems to be that because we have a sense of right and wrong, therefore God exists. Is that your argument?

Not at all. I say there is no proof of God for a person to whom God hasn't revealed himself. Only evidence. A person can deal with the evidence as they see fit. Their choice at the end of the day.

This message has been edited by iano, 14-Dec-2005 06:29 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 256 by robinrohan, posted 12-14-2005 1:04 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 259 by robinrohan, posted 12-14-2005 1:50 PM iano has responded

robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 259 of 306 (269256)
12-14-2005 1:50 PM
Reply to: Message 258 by iano
12-14-2005 1:29 PM


Re: God's game
I say there is no proof of God for a person to whom God hasn't revealed himself.

That sounds like a Catch-22 to me. There's no proof that God exists until you believe that He does exist, and then and only then does He provide proof. But you need rationally to have some evidence to begin with to have any reason to believe in God. But He won't give you the evidence until you believe in Him.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 258 by iano, posted 12-14-2005 1:29 PM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 260 by Faith, posted 12-14-2005 2:08 PM robinrohan has responded
 Message 265 by iano, posted 12-15-2005 5:28 AM robinrohan has responded

Faith
Member
Posts: 31656
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 260 of 306 (269265)
12-14-2005 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 259 by robinrohan
12-14-2005 1:50 PM


Re: God's game
I'm enjoying Ian's argument here so just want to chime in on his side and point out he said there's plenty of evidence but definitive proof is only given to those who have turned to God. I rather like that distinction. Plenty of evidence is given to the fleshly mind but only the spiritual (regenerate) mind can know God for sure. I was just reading some Oswald Chambers this morning and ran across his saying that even Christians may not understand many things in the Bible, either because we don't need to know them at the time or because of sin that prevents knowing it, but that when we need it or give up the sin we will then get insight into a particular truth in the Word. I've experienced this personally many times. {AbE: Correction: when we are committed to obeying it is what he said, rather than when we give up the sin}

God doesn't deal with fleshly humanity, fallen humanity, though He provides care and has provided His word as a help. The flesh, which is what we are on account of the Fall, is "enmity to God" who is holy and who is Spirit. We have to be born again to recognize God. It's always a start to begin to doubt yourself and consider that maybe there's something to it. But if you just can't give the slightest credence to a bunch of goatherders, nobody's forcing you.

This message has been edited by Faith, 12-14-2005 02:09 PM

This message has been edited by Faith, 12-14-2005 02:10 PM

This message has been edited by Faith, 12-14-2005 02:11 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 259 by robinrohan, posted 12-14-2005 1:50 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 261 by robinrohan, posted 12-14-2005 2:24 PM Faith has responded

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 261 of 306 (269272)
12-14-2005 2:24 PM
Reply to: Message 260 by Faith
12-14-2005 2:08 PM


Re: God's game
It's always a start to begin to doubt yourself and consider that maybe there's something to it. But if you just can't give the slightest credence to a bunch of goatherders, nobody's forcing you.

It's always a start to begin to doubt your religion and consider that maybe there's something to that doubt. But if you can't give the slightest credence to a bunch of scientists, or whoever, nobody's forcing you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 260 by Faith, posted 12-14-2005 2:08 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 262 by Faith, posted 12-14-2005 3:01 PM robinrohan has responded

Faith
Member
Posts: 31656
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 262 of 306 (269280)
12-14-2005 3:01 PM
Reply to: Message 261 by robinrohan
12-14-2005 2:24 PM


Re: God's game
Touche'.

But science doesn't offer me eternal life.

Besides, I not only doubted but aggressively rejected my religion for thirty years before it captured me.

Besides, again, I like science, just not the ToE.

{AbE: Besides besides again, scientists are just flesh and know nothing of the spirit unless they're born again, so they can't tell me anything about my religion. They can't see God so they call that proof that He doesn't exist, but all it means is that they haven't had their spiritual eyes opened.

This message has been edited by Faith, 12-14-2005 03:17 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 261 by robinrohan, posted 12-14-2005 2:24 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 263 by robinrohan, posted 12-14-2005 8:35 PM Faith has responded

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 263 of 306 (269443)
12-14-2005 8:35 PM
Reply to: Message 262 by Faith
12-14-2005 3:01 PM


Re: God's game
They can't see God so they call that proof that He doesn't exist, but all it means is that they haven't had their spiritual eyes opened.

Well, I suppose such a religious belief is based on some intense personal experience that one has which will never convince someone else unless he has a similar experience.

I don't see any evidence of an objective-- of a non-personal-- nature that such a Being exists. I've given my reasons more or less throughout this thread--the seemingly accidental nature of life, etc.

iano seems to think that one's conscience is evidence. I'm of the belief, despite Holmes' disagreement, that we have developed a moral faculty like we have developed a mathematical faculty. And just as we have to accept certain assumptions in geometry, we do the same with morals (for one cannot prove logically that a given action is right or wrong). My interpretation of iano's ideas is that he thinks if you feel something deeply then that's a sign of God working on you. Or something like that.

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 12-14-2005 07:36 PM

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 12-14-2005 07:37 PM


"And from water we made all living things."-- The Quran
This message is a reply to:
 Message 262 by Faith, posted 12-14-2005 3:01 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 264 by Faith, posted 12-15-2005 2:29 AM robinrohan has not yet responded

Faith
Member
Posts: 31656
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 264 of 306 (269565)
12-15-2005 2:29 AM
Reply to: Message 263 by robinrohan
12-14-2005 8:35 PM


Re: God's game
I don't see any evidence of an objective-- of a non-personal-- nature that such a Being exists.

There isn't any. Or there is but it is a matter of inferring from such things as the mysteries of reality and the complexity of living things that a Designer is the only explanation. But you draw the opposite inference, and since most people conclude something similar, I concede for the purpose of this discussion that there isn't any evidence.

EXCEPT WITNESS EVIDENCE. That is the ONLY evidence we have. There's lots of it, and it's the key to the whole thing, but if you don't believe the witnesses you can't open the door.

I've given my reasons more or less throughout this thread--the seemingly accidental nature of life, etc.

Yes, but you don't seem to see that its apparent accidentalness is a matter of interpretation or point of view, a subjective impression. Someone else may see Design or Purpose in it all, even someone who doesn't believe in God. The point being your sense of accidentalness is just your own angle on it. It can't be proved any more than God can be proved.

iano seems to think that one's conscience is evidence.

I think it is too, but only for those who can see it. And before I was a Christian I didn't see it. Didn't C.S. Lewis argue for God from conscience? Most of the reality of our nature, our intelligence, our moral sense, our emotional life, our science, our theory-making, all of it, is really at odds with an accidental or random origin, but most people don't see it. We're capable of convincing ourselves that even these amazing things can be the product of randomness no matter how illogical that is.

I'm of the belief, despite Holmes' disagreement, that we have developed a moral faculty like we have developed a mathematical faculty. And just as we have to accept certain assumptions in geometry, we do the same with morals (for one cannot prove logically that a given action is right or wrong). My interpretation of iano's ideas is that he thinks if you feel something deeply then that's a sign of God working on you. Or something like that.

I think that Iano is simply trying to develop arguments to communicate what he knows, just as I'm trying to do, but he knows what he knows because he's born again and not because arguments convinced him.

Arguments don't often convince anyone though. Just believe Jesus and do what He says.

This message has been edited by Faith, 12-15-2005 02:30 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 263 by robinrohan, posted 12-14-2005 8:35 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 265 of 306 (269581)
12-15-2005 5:28 AM
Reply to: Message 259 by robinrohan
12-14-2005 1:50 PM


Re: God's game
That sounds like a Catch-22 to me. There's no proof that God exists until you believe that He does exist, and then and only then does He provide proof. But you need rationally to have some evidence to begin with to have any reason to believe in God. But He won't give you the evidence until you believe in Him.

It has all the hallmarks of a catch-22. But God is very good as resolving catch-22's. Caught in the crossfire by the pharisees who hauled a woman caught in adultery before him, he was asked, "the law says this woman should be stoned - what do you say?" Jesus seemingly had two potential answers:

"Stone her according to the law" his powerbase - a ministry based on love and forgiveness - which held crowds captive to him and protected him would have dissolved. His protection gone he could have been picked off and killed

"ignore the law - don't stone her" Blasphemy. Penalty for blasphemy? Stoning.

Catch-22. Jesus replied "Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone. The mob melted away.

As I've pointed out a number of times, you cannot believe without a reason to believe. Doing otherwise is irrational like you say. But God doesn't require you to believe that which you cannot. He invented rational after all. Take the man in Romans 7. Look at what he is realising. He is realising that God has laws and that Gods laws are indeed good and that he is unable to keep them. God is the one who draws back the curtains so that the man can see that. God does this. You don't have to work up the evidence yourself. God is the one who will attempt to provide.

A man can grip onto the curtains and keep them closed. He may look at the vast oceans of sea and stars for example and his only hearts response is to stand in awed dumbstruckness. Every honest heart bows to this. And all the theories in the world about the accidental nature of everything are rendered nothing when a mans heart looks out like this. Because this vista bypasses intellect and goes straight to the heart. And the very pain of this causes sinful man to do what sinful Adam did when faced with this attribute of God - his very infiniteness.

He hides.

He turns from that within him which would want to call out to this infinity - to plead that it provide a place for him when all it seems to tell him is how insignificant he is - when something within him KNOWS he must be significant. He instead weaves all his philosophies and addictions into a fig leaf to cover himself with.

For the man who doesn't pull curtains, who faces that which he knows simply because he knows it, his fate is to be drawn nearer to God. It will hurt. It will be uncomfortable. There will be turning away again. Excuses will be formed. Labour is a painful thing. But in the measure man doesn't run away, he WILL be drawn. God wants him very badly. 4 Gospel writers aim their testimonies at the cross - the place where God showed just how badly he wants man.

You don't have to intellectualise it. Don't worry if your intellect stands in the way. It's your hearts response that God deals with. And if your heart doesn't say no even though your intellect, as mine did, struggles all the way - then no matter. God can cut through that like a hot knife through butter. There is no obstacle he cannot remove once you don't say no. He will not remove your free will. Not now - not ever.

As Faith says, I'm trying to develop in words that which I know about God. So think of the deepest pleasure you've ever had in your life - and imagine how much any attempt to explain it to someone in words falls far short of adequately describing it.

But one must persevere...

Would you want God to be true Robin?

I predict that that question will immediately pull up a raft of intellectual objections along the lines of: cop-out, weakness, loss of dependence, Religion (uugh!), Stepford Wife, fairytale. No matter. What does your heart want?

You don't have to answer the question to me. You've already answered the question to him. If somewhere buried in amongst the debris was the tiniest glimmer of heart that actually said yes, then he'll work with that.

Another piece of advice should you want it. Suspend disbelief. Go read the bible - say the Gospel of John. Slowly, a page or so a night. But with an attitude of suspended disbelief. In your state of suspended disbelief, you can accept as true every word you read on the page. When Jesus ('the Word' incidently) turns water into wine, then suspended disbelief allows you to accept that he did and perhaps see the significance of him announcing for the first time publicly, that he was God. And wonder at the lack of reaction from many around him. Stay the intellectual arguments that say this is impossible. Ponder instead. Ponder perhaps on the significance of God actually stepping out of eternity, taking the form of a man (orders of magnitude lower - remember the seas and the stars) and coming to live amongst us. He must have had a reason to do it.

If you ask God ("if you are there") to assist you because a little bit of your heart wants him to be true- then he will. Possibly not in ways you expect or with the timing you expect. It is only after the fact that you can look back and see the many ways in which he drew you in. No matter. Heart response. If you want him, then you can have him. He can work with a glimmer of want.

He put the want in there after all. The God-shaped hole that everyone tries to fill with everything but God.

This message has been edited by iano, 15-Dec-2005 10:48 AM

This message has been edited by iano, 15-Dec-2005 11:04 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 259 by robinrohan, posted 12-14-2005 1:50 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 266 by Funkaloyd, posted 12-15-2005 5:46 AM iano has responded
 Message 271 by robinrohan, posted 12-15-2005 12:20 PM iano has responded

Funkaloyd
Inactive Member


Message 266 of 306 (269583)
12-15-2005 5:46 AM
Reply to: Message 265 by iano
12-15-2005 5:28 AM


Re: God's game
iano writes:

His protection gone he could have been picked off and killed

I thought that was the idea.

the significance of him announcing for the first time publicly, that he was God

The miracle was his way of saying "I am God"?

This message has been edited by Funkaloyd, Thu, 15-Dec-2005 10:51 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 265 by iano, posted 12-15-2005 5:28 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 267 by iano, posted 12-15-2005 5:49 AM Funkaloyd has not yet responded
 Message 268 by iano, posted 12-15-2005 5:55 AM Funkaloyd has responded

iano
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 267 of 306 (269585)
12-15-2005 5:49 AM
Reply to: Message 266 by Funkaloyd
12-15-2005 5:46 AM


Re: God's game
Timing Funkaloyd. Gods timing.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 266 by Funkaloyd, posted 12-15-2005 5:46 AM Funkaloyd has not yet responded

iano
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 268 of 306 (269586)
12-15-2005 5:55 AM
Reply to: Message 266 by Funkaloyd
12-15-2005 5:46 AM


Re: God's game
The miracle was his way of saying "I am God"?

Can you think of a better way?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 266 by Funkaloyd, posted 12-15-2005 5:46 AM Funkaloyd has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 269 by Funkaloyd, posted 12-15-2005 6:15 AM iano has responded

Funkaloyd
Inactive Member


Message 269 of 306 (269588)
12-15-2005 6:15 AM
Reply to: Message 268 by iano
12-15-2005 5:55 AM


Re: God's game
Saying "I am God" and then turning the water into moonshine.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 268 by iano, posted 12-15-2005 5:55 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 270 by iano, posted 12-15-2005 6:28 AM Funkaloyd has not yet responded

iano
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 270 of 306 (269591)
12-15-2005 6:28 AM
Reply to: Message 269 by Funkaloyd
12-15-2005 6:15 AM


Re: God's game
Saying "I am" in certain circumstances was a dangerous thing to do in those days. "I am" was the name God gave himself when Moses asked him who should he tell the Israelites had sent him to lead them out of captivity. "Tell them 'I AM' sent you" replied God.

So when the Pharisees questioned Jesus as to who he was, he simply said "I am" And they freaked and tried to kill him. He had, in their eyes, blasphemed by using God's own name for himself.

We don't know what proof the wine was but apparently it was very good :)

This message has been edited by iano, 15-Dec-2005 11:29 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 269 by Funkaloyd, posted 12-15-2005 6:15 AM Funkaloyd has not yet responded

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