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Thread: John 1:12

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    John 1:12

    I got a book for Christmas called JOHN 1:12. I was engulfed by it! It's about bizarre and supernatural events that happened in Dallas Tx. I looked up the scripture in the Bible and basically says for those who seek God or believe in Him, God embraces them as His children. What a beautiful thing to know that He loves us so much!

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    precious... subterranean's Avatar
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    I understand what you mean Karen. However at the moment, I'm still shocked with the number of dead people cause of the Tsunami quake, which up till now already reach 20,000, with the great possibility to increase. So I'm wondering whether God really loves us, humans.


    "there are people in the world so hungry that God can not appear to them except in the form of bread"

    Mahatma Gandhi

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    What a fool headed thing to say! You blame God for deaths, you blame God for natural disasters but if you dig into your pockets or ask ANY NATION WITH SATELLITES ORBITTING THE EARTH FOR GEOPHYSICAL DISTURBANCES. WHY THEIRS DIDN'T TRACT VOLCANIC ACTIVITY, alot of deaths can be prevented by giving to a child in need or having advanced warning of tsunami danger.

    So get off your smug, intellectually righteous than God high horse!

    By the way Karen, where can I buy that book?
    Last edited by laurenmichaels; 01-01-2005 at 03:54 PM.

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    Eccentric Rodent Dyrwen's Avatar
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    For 1. Scientists had some idea of the earthquake when it occured. They thought it was only around a 7.0 and wasn't capable of producing a tsunami and by the time they realized it had, it was too late to alert anyone in the region to cause anything of a useful effort. For 2. Considering the Christian god is potentially ominscient and omnipotent, one can blame God for not stopping it and being there when it happened, if one chooses to believe in a god, that is.

    Calm down the caps, it isn't needed. And do your research before looking into something with that much emotional appealment added on beforehand.
    To think is to blog is to distract is to stop is to destroy is to die is to think therefore I am not good enough

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    Who, ME? trismegistus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by subterranean
    I understand what you mean Karen. However at the moment, I'm still shocked with the number of dead people cause of the Tsunami quake, which up till now already reach 20,000, with the great possibility to increase. So I'm wondering whether God really loves us, humans.
    Is it your suggestion that a Deity could only love his worshippers by letting them live forever? Life ends and claiming that deaths are a sign that God (or whatever) doesn't care seems like poor logic to me. How do you see the two as related?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dyrwen
    Considering the Christian god is potentially ominscient and omnipotent, one can blame God for not stopping it and being there when it happened
    But why would or should he? Is it your contention that a god's job is to stop people from dying?
    Last edited by trismegistus; 01-01-2005 at 04:41 PM.

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    Eccentric Rodent Dyrwen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trismegistus
    But why would or should he? Is it your contention that a god's job is to stop people from dying?
    Not at all, but the same people who claim the Christian god is ominscient and omnipotent also try to claim "God is love" i.e. benevolent and that somehow letting them suffer in life is a-okay because they'll just go to heaven when they die anyway. Personally speaking, I find that line of thinking completely demoralizing to any realistic person trying to live underneathe God as one to follow the most general moral codes.

    I'm fine with accepting that God, if it were there, is just an a-hole and really doesn't mind what happens in our lives because we've still got a whole eternity in Heaven in Hell when we get there to deal with, but I've rarely heard people openly claim that God is amoral and a butcher, even though their own book of the Bible tends to confirm it. As they say: It's God's will when people die, a term that shouldn't be thrown around loosely if one doesn't one their god getting blamed for not doing anything about it.

    But eh, I've got a lot of issues with Christianity, probably why I never followed it. If one is going to be a moral creature, one better be damn well clear as to what their intentions are. I'm pretty amoral, but at least I'm consistent. heh

    Edit: Some like to refer to the The Riddle of Epicurus; "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
    Last edited by Dyrwen; 01-01-2005 at 05:06 PM.
    To think is to blog is to distract is to stop is to destroy is to die is to think therefore I am not good enough

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    Who, ME? trismegistus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dyrwen
    the same people who claim the Christian god is ominscient and omnipotent also try to claim "God is love" i.e. benevolent and that somehow letting them suffer in life is a-okay because they'll just go to heaven when they die anyway. Personally speaking, I find that line of thinking completely demoralizing
    Meh. We'll have to disagree on that. I've found real value in the suffering I've gone through in my life. I might not like the sensation of suffering, but when I'm honest about it I cannot deny that a number of life-changing realizations have come to me through my periods of suffering. These are things that I simply couldn't have conceived without the pain that generated them, and without doubt the whole way I live my life is richer and more vibrant because of them. That's a gift not a curse. (I don't know about the whole irrelevance-of-life-because-of-the-afterlife thing. From a deity's perspective it has complete merit. When we're talking eternity, ANYTHING that hppens in our time here is less than microscopic in importance. But whatever. IMO suffering has its merits in this life, so who cares about what comes next?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dyrwen
    I'm fine with accepting that God, if it were there, is just an a-hole and really doesn't mind what happens in our lives because we've still got a whole eternity in Heaven in Hell when we get there to deal with, but I've rarely heard people openly claim that God is amoral and a butcher
    Well, I don't want to start a war over diction, but the very terms you use strongly suggest you're not fine with accepting that God. But in any case, I don't see how a non-involved God equates to an amoral God, much less a butcher. I'd argue that a really loving God who is not a slave master MUST be non-involved even while loving ... ahem ... all his children. (Sorry for the cliche.) See below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dyrwen
    As they say: It's God's will when people die
    Yeah, I see that as sloppy or cowardly thinking. I don't see God as particularly willing life or death on any individual. In fact I think Christ (speaking as God or merely prophet) tried to discourage that portrayal of God with the Prodigal Son parable. What you have there is a Deity-as-father. You go off into the world and take your beatings (many of which are products of your own choices), but your home is still there waiting for you. That's love too, and it's pretty easily argued that it's a greater kind of love than the restrictive, imprisoning kind which MUST be the result of a god who takes a role in everything we do.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dyrwen
    Some like to refer to the The Riddle of Epicurus; "... Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent ...."
    This is where I'd argue that Epicurus falls short. It is not axiomatic that because God is not willing to prevent "evil" that he is malevolent. Certainly those who want to be sheltered and coddled from all hurts would call the father who didn't do that a bad father at best and malevolent at worst. At the same time, living a life being held under a blanket is exactly that: it's not living life at all. It's imprisonment.

    A good parent understands that there are great things to be attained from pain and confronting evil. Only a blind fool would try to prevent his child from experiencing these as well as the good things of life. If the parent is actually successful (and of course an omniscient and omnipotent God would be entirely successful if he chose to do so), what kind of being would you create? It certainly wouldn't be cognizant of the important things of life and spirituality. It would be an infantile "thing" which could subsist only by sucking at the teat of its parent. Would ANY of us wish that on our children?
    Last edited by trismegistus; 01-01-2005 at 05:56 PM.

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    Eccentric Rodent Dyrwen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trismegistus
    Meh. We'll have to disagree on that. I've found real value in the suffering I've gone through in my life. I might not like the sensation of suffering, but when I'm honest about it I cannot deny that a number of life-changing realizations have come to me through my periods of suffering. These are things that I simply couldn't have conceived without the pain that generated them, and without doubt the whole way I live my life is richer and more vibrant because of them. That's a gift not a curse.
    I agree with you in the merits of suffering. I'm a masochist myself and haven't personally felt empathy in a long time, so I do know that one can live just fine with suffering and it isn't any god's place to stop it just to be nice. Mainly, The problem most folks tend to have is the emotional response of: Why do bad things happen if God can stop them? It is a futile argument for most to make, but it still occurs more than one would like to think. Yes we all must suffer, we all must have our troubles, bad things must happen. But I use that sort of thinking to equate my atheistic train of thought, not that "God needs us to experience life and can't stop our free will from changing life's outcomes."

    My whole issue with any deity having some control over the moral highground is the "purposeless is life, when an afterlife is guaranteed" line of thought I brought up. The point is that if we suffer, so what? If we kill everyone we hate, so what? If we love everyone in our existence, so what? The afterlife awaits us nonetheless. A friend of mine once said "I live my life to learn, when I die, if there is nothing after, I will not care. If there IS something, death will be opening a whole new opportunity for learning. Where is the downside?" Be it Heaven or Hell, any afterlife is a better life than no life at all. The concept of there being a god that controls the moral standards though, yet by doing so makes life only meaningful in figuring out which afterlife awaits them, really makes me sense the meaningless one's choices in life become when there is a god involved.

    Probably just something to do with control. The moral test is a control and the outcome is merely a weighted punishment or reward based on how well we scored in his moral achievements. There's an underlying complexity and misunderstanding at how any god would work in the first place, so that might be why I'm not making much sense, if there's some confusion.


    Quote Originally Posted by trismegistus
    Well, I don't want to start a war over diction, but the very terms you use strongly suggest you're not fine with accepting that God. But in any case, I don't see how a non-involved God equates to an amoral God, much less a butcher. I'd argue that a really loving God who is not a slave master MUST be non-involved even while loving ... ahem ... all his children. (Sorry for the cliche.)
    Of course I'm not fine with it, but personally I'd find a god willing to harm its "children" honestly and not beat around the bush with us throwing around details of "God's love" and "Righteousness" and all that crap when they didn't really mean it. Simply put: The Old Testament God killed a lot of people and was fine with it because that's just how God is, what he says goes. Yet the image people portray of God nowadays seems too happy-go-lucky, in it for the love, but watch out for hell-type of guy with some conflicting messages. That is how I equate the non involved God. God once got involved all the time in daily affairs, or so the books say, yet now he's not. So people naturally assume he doesn't care and is amoral to our needs. Not everyone believes that the free will to cause our own suffering and pain is justified. Some folks really want to live a life without pain or loss and may very well be idealistic because of it, but still, it messes with their perception of God.

    I'm fine with a deistic and non involved god. The point is: We're talking about "God" as in the Christian god. As in: Flooded the Earth to kill some people God. As in kicked people out of Eden for learning the difference between good and evil. As in sent bears to murder 40 children God. Comparing that god with what people believe God to be nowadays is a hard thing to manage in contrast, so I'm doing what I can with what I got.

    If God were willing to edit his text to say: 'Hey, I'm not getting involved here. Free will and everything. I love you people, but you gotta live your lives the way you truly want to so that I might judge you once the afterlife reaches you. Good luck, follow these commandments.' The problem is: He didn't do that and those following the texts are following mistranslations, misinterpretations, blah de blah, there's a lot of problems with the religion's basis right now and that's the issue at hand, I'd suppose.


    Quote Originally Posted by trismegistus
    That's love too, and it's pretty easily argued that it's a greater kind of love than the restrictive, imprisoning kind which MUST be the result of a god who takes a role in everything we do.
    I know. See above. The god you talk about is all well and good, but that isn't the generalized Christian god. It may be how you interpret it to be, which is fine, then we'll just disagree, but I tend to go straight into text most of the time, which dictates a different god than most perceive, even with the interpretations leaning to the good messages.


    Quote Originally Posted by trismegistus
    A good parent understands that there are great things to be attained from pain and confronting evil. Only a blind fool would try to prevent his child from experiencing these as well as the good things of life. If the parent is actually successful (and of course an omniscient and omnipotent God would be entirely successful if he chose to do so), what kind of being would you create? It certainly wouldn't be cognizant of the important things of life and spirituality. It would be an infantile "thing" which could subsist only by sucking at the teat of its parent. Would ANY of us wish that on our children?
    I think there's a problem in that: I've heard a lot of folks claim that heaven will be many things, but the same. Some claim we'll all just praise God forever. Others that we'll be perfectly happy, which means no bad, no good, no free will. And of course most just say: Heaven is what you really want it to be. The whole good and bad experiences in life, I can understand, but the problem becomes that once we do get into the afterlife: will God wipe the memories we had and replace them with happy thoughts? Will he let us live out our days in Heaven happily, but experiencing some bad and some good, just as usual? There's all sorts of questions in that line of thought that are still just "I don't know" answers.

    All I know is that in life we experience what we can and enjoy or hate it when the appropriate time allows. Unfortunately for us, Heaven would be a lot like Eden. No sense of good and evil, just a bunch of content. Hell would more than likely still have our past in it, bad, good, but it all sucks nonetheless.

    Hopefully I at least made some sense in clarifying that in life I don't expect God to do much, but the underlying dogma seems to imply it more often than not, which is where my preconceived notions of actions arrived. I know I'm sort of jumping from topic to topic, but I suppose there's a lot of ground to cover and most of it overlaps because of cause and effects overall. heh
    To think is to blog is to distract is to stop is to destroy is to die is to think therefore I am not good enough

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    I can't believe all of this mess that's been started on this thread because of a book that touched my heart! Now, I don't claim to be all knowing nor do I want to be! It sounds like some of you are waiting in line for that privilege. I suggest if you have personal questions on why this happened or why that, take it up with the god you serve, but me and my house will serve the Lord!

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    Eccentric Rodent Dyrwen's Avatar
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    Hah. And if I don't serve any god then I'd say my questions directed at trismegistus are just fine. Asking questions to other living people is a healthy way to learn things about yourself that you don't know.

    Lighten up.
    To think is to blog is to distract is to stop is to destroy is to die is to think therefore I am not good enough

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    Who, ME? trismegistus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dyrwen
    The Old Testament God killed a lot of people and was fine with it because that's just how God is, what he says goes. Yet the image people portray of God nowadays seems too happy-go-lucky, in it for the love, but watch out for hell-type of guy with some conflicting messages .... If God were willing to edit his text to say: 'Hey, I'm not getting involved here. Free will and everything. I love you people, but you gotta live your lives the way you truly want to so that I might judge you once the afterlife reaches you. Good luck, follow these commandments.' The problem is: He didn't do that and those following the texts are following mistranslations, misinterpretations, blah de blah, there's a lot of problems with the religion's basis right now
    Agreed. The problem is that the great majority choose to read the Bible as a literal historical text, and that inevitably produces contradictions when the events of real history change society. Out of that change in social paradigms comes these gross misunderstandings. People must realize that when they read Scripture, they are looking at a map, a representation. Farr too many, the large majority in fact, believe they are looking at the actual land, not a map.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dyrwen
    I think there's a problem in that: I've heard a lot of folks claim that heaven will be many things, but the same ....
    Here I'm not following you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dyrwen
    Hopefully I at least made some sense in clarifying that in life I don't expect God to do much
    We agree here. I neither expect, nor would I want, a Deity playing a significanet role in my life, the point being it's MY life. I want my free will, and I'd think a loving parent would want me to HAVE my free will.

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    Who, ME? trismegistus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarenM
    I can't believe all of this mess that's been started on this thread because of a book that touched my heart! Now, I don't claim to be all knowing nor do I want to be! It sounds like some of you are waiting in line for that privilege. I suggest if you have personal questions on why this happened or why that, take it up with the god you serve, but me and my house will serve the Lord!
    What in Yahveh's name are you on about? Where do you see a "mess?" I see a dialogue between two posters concerning the existence and nature of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent god.

    As for "serving the lord," great. We ALL should be, the only question being, where does each of us find the Lord? Personally I think Wallace Stevens put it best when he said, "God is in me, or else is not at all."
    Last edited by trismegistus; 01-02-2005 at 03:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trismegistus
    Where do you see a "mess?" I see a dialogue between two posters concerning the existence and nature of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent god.
    Yes, a perfectly healthy, reasonable debate--much to the chagrin of those of us sitting forward in our chairs, eagerly anticipating the slanderous ad hominem attacks which, sadly, failed to materialize.

    I will grudgingly admit that I have enjoyed following this thread, even with its lack of childish taunts and name-calling . . .

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    Eccentric Rodent Dyrwen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trismegistus
    Farr too many, the large majority in fact, believe they are looking at the actual land, not a map.
    Indeed. I'd appreciate much of the population just taking it as literature with a lot of good social bearing underlying its messages and leave it at that with their religion, but it gets used to literally at times and so liberally at other times that it messes up the whole point of the book. Hopefully at some point people will stop picking and choosing what to follow in it through a strict interpretation and literal line and just realize it wasn't meant to be used that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by trismegistus
    Quote Originally Posted by Dyrwen
    I think there's a problem in that: I've heard a lot of folks claim that heaven will be many things, but the same ....
    Here I'm not following you.
    I thought of revising that line myself.

    I think I was just saying that some folks believe heaven will be many different things, but others believe it will just be one thing that is the same for everyone. I don't suppose there was much point to the sentence itself, just confusing, since I made sense in the following paragraph, but started it off with this nonsense sentence, heh. Don't mind the conscious thought that throws off the message, happens from time to time.

    On the other subjects: Appreciate the thought of folks actually enjoying this information debate, heh. Just a few ideas being cross checked and interpretations considered, as should be anything with a religious tone to it. Sorry to dissapoint in the namecalling realm though, never did care to use those when simple knowledge alone stands on higher ground.

    But I'll work on that, buttpirate. :P
    To think is to blog is to distract is to stop is to destroy is to die is to think therefore I am not good enough

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dyrwen
    But I'll work on that, buttpirate. :P
    Alas! The childish name-calling that I longed for has arrived, but contrary to my expectation . . . I find myself to be the target!

    Damn this accursed monkey's paw! Damn it straight to hell!!

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