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Thread: God Speaking...anyone listening?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    There is evidence that Santa and the tooth fairy don't exist. What is your evidence that God doesn't exist? We can explain why there's money under the pillow and we can explain why there are presents under the tree, but, what's your explanation for where love came from?
    The tooth fairy doesn't actually leave money under the pillow, parents do that. But the tooth fairy looks on and, through telepathy, gives them a "warm feeling" when they leave the money. So love comes from the tooth fairy, and from Santa who's on duty on Christmas day. Cupid fires arrows when certain men and women get together.

    OK, I'll turn off the satire generator... the point is you can always spin out your fairy story to match any circumstance you like as long as there is no actual evidence. If there were evidence for Christianity then why are there so many other faiths, and why is atheism increasing as general education improves? It said on the news yesterday that 37% of Scottish people no longer have any faith, up 10% from a decade ago.

    Whatever your scientific answer is to that, you haven't gone back far enough....as far back as nothingness...
    You don't know how far I've gone back. I don't pretend to have an explanation for the big metaphysical problems, either religious or scientific.

    You'll soon know if that answer was from God or just your subconscious mind, by it's clarity and it's knowing what is best according to his will.
    How do you know that it's not your subconscious mind being exceptionally clear? As it's your subconscious mind, then you are, by definition, not clear about the cause of clarity. If it is "something else", how do you know it's the Christian God and not Zeus or the flying spaghetti monster?

  2. #17
    Registered User Melanie's Avatar
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    Right on. We finally agree on something, malmac. God tells us in the Bible that, as believers, we are children of God. We are his children and he is our Father. God is not imaginary. The Bible is the #1 Best Seller every year since it's inception....and that's for a reason. There are archeological findings, prophecies fulfilled, historical documentations, etc etc
    Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    The tooth fairy doesn't actually leave money under the pillow, parents do that. But the tooth fairy looks on and, through telepathy, gives them a "warm feeling" when they leave the money. So love comes from the tooth fairy, and from Santa who's on duty on Christmas day. Cupid fires arrows when certain men and women get together.
    I know you are being sarcastic, but that is the best explanation for the tooth fairy or Santa that I have ever heard. This also shows that the "flying spaghetti monster" probably doesn't exist because it doesn't motivate us to do much of anything and so is just an idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    OK, I'll turn off the satire generator... the point is you can always spin out your fairy story to match any circumstance you like as long as there is no actual evidence. If there were evidence for Christianity then why are there so many other faiths, and why is atheism increasing as general education improves? It said on the news yesterday that 37% of Scottish people no longer have any faith, up 10% from a decade ago.
    The evidence I see for Christianity is found in the shared-death experiences reported in the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles and the in the way that Christians have developed their beliefs through two thousand years. I know they have been a pain in the rear at times, but overall, I think they did a good job. A similar argument would go for other religions. However, when atheists get political power, that is, get a chance to push their world view, which I find negative and dehumanizing, onto others all hell breaks loose.

    I don't think atheism is increasing, but who knows? When the statistics are collected, I would probably be lumped with those who "don't have any faith". Even my wife tells me I don't "really" believe in those Hindu gods I seem to admire, however, I would have to say I am definitely not an atheist. Atheism doesn't make sense, especially the materialistic, deterministic kind, given quantum physics, the big bang, and given the existence of consciousness that can have near-death experiences.

    This doesn't mean that there is an individualized God-object somewhere that exactly corresponds to a specific religion's portrayal. However, I think those religions, in their varied and sometimes contradictory ways, are closer to reality than atheism.

    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    How do you know that it's not your subconscious mind being exceptionally clear? As it's your subconscious mind, then you are, by definition, not clear about the cause of clarity. If it is "something else", how do you know it's the Christian God and not Zeus or the flying spaghetti monster?
    It is probably not the spaghetti monster. How do you know your subconscious is not a manifestation of some God?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    God tells us in the Bible that, as believers, we are children of God. We are his children and he is our Father. God is not imaginary. The Bible is the #1 Best Seller every year since it's inception....and that's for a reason. There are archeological findings, prophecies fulfilled, historical documentations, etc etc
    Santa Claus is the "best selling" myth that adults "sell" to children; that doesn't mean he actually exists. What archaeological findings prove the existence of God? There are just a bunch of old buildings & sculptures that indicate some myth was in vogue at the time of their creation. You have ancient remains depicting Hindu and Roman gods; do they exist because they are portrayed in stone? God needs to part some oceans within sight of oceanic survey ships, then perhaps we can start to believe. Prophecies have been fulfilled? There are just vagaries in the bible that can be interpreted in many ways; if exact names and exact dates had been mentioned we might start to believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    However, when atheists get political power, that is, get a chance to push their world view, which I find negative and dehumanizing, onto others all hell breaks loose.
    Like Nick Clegg? The current Conservative-lib-dem coalition in Britain isn't very pretty; but no signs of hell breaking loose! Also atheists don't have a world view that they share, all they share is a disbelief in theism, that's not a world view, it's just one view. There is little in common between Nick Clegg and Stalin (whatever students might say...)

    Here's a list:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...litics_and_law

    Look at the list of UK politicians, for instance, who have been atheists. There are better examples than Clegg, for instance:

    Clement Attlee 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC (1883–1967): Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951, under whose government the National Health Service and Welfare State were established.

    Roy Hattersley PC (1932–): British Labour Party politician, author and journalist, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party 1983–1992

    Michael Portillo, Conservative, former Minister of Defence. Now a TV writer and presenter whose work includes UK Channel 4's documentary Christianity: A History (I hesitated to include him in the same list as as the immortal Attlee, but I thought I'd better include a right winger!)

    Given this list, how come Hell hasn't broken loose in the UK in the last few decades? Other countries, like Ireland and Australia, have also had declared atheists occupying top jobs. Those countries don't look like "visions of hell" to me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    Like Nick Clegg? The current Conservative-lib-dem coalition in Britain isn't very pretty; but no signs of hell breaking loose! Also atheists don't have a world view that they share, all they share is a disbelief in theism, that's not a world view, it's just one view. There is little in common between Nick Clegg and Stalin (whatever students might say...)

    Here's a list:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...litics_and_law

    Look at the list of UK politicians, for instance, who have been atheists. There are better examples than Clegg, for instance:

    Clement Attlee 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC (1883–1967): Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951, under whose government the National Health Service and Welfare State were established.

    Roy Hattersley PC (1932–): British Labour Party politician, author and journalist, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party 1983–1992

    Michael Portillo, Conservative, former Minister of Defence. Now a TV writer and presenter whose work includes UK Channel 4's documentary Christianity: A History (I hesitated to include him in the same list as as the immortal Attlee, but I thought I'd better include a right winger!)


    Given this list, how come Hell hasn't broken loose in the UK in the last few decades? Other countries, like Ireland and Australia, have also had declared atheists occupying top jobs. Those countries don't look like "visions of hell" to me!
    I generally steer clear of discussions on the unknowable, but the political examples given here do confirm my belief in the existence of the devil.
    As for Nick Clegg and Stalin, the pairing is not as incongruous as might first appear, for the major characteristic of both is a deviousness worthy of Machiavelli.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    Given this list, how come Hell hasn't broken loose in the UK in the last few decades? Other countries, like Ireland and Australia, have also had declared atheists occupying top jobs. Those countries don't look like "visions of hell" to me!
    The problem with hell breaking loose is when atheists get enough political power to dump their world views onto others. Based on the last century, the effects of atheistic intolerance of others is worse than that of religious people in the same situations. Under secular democracies where the bullying intolerance of atheists and religious people is constrained, both of these groups behave better. That's because the secular democracy forces them to behave.

    It is just avoiding responsibility or delusional thinking for atheists to claim that they do not have a world view or that the actions of atheists like the Khmer Rouge do not represent them. Those actions do represent them. Atheists who excuse the bad behavior of other atheists but nitpick religious groups, the way Hitchens and Dawkins have done, represent a form of bigotry, much like racism or antisemitism. No sane person would ever want to give these kinds of people political power.
    Last edited by YesNo; 09-28-2013 at 08:51 AM.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    God did not want to create robots. He wanted to create man with an ability to make choices. Much of our suffering comes from natural consequences because of our wrong choices. Before Christ came in the New Testament (to pay the punishment for our sins), man was punished for wrong choices and disobedience to God. But now it's not punishment. Sometimes it's natural consequences and sometimes it's a myriad of other reasons as mentioned in the Bible. Have you ever heard someone say of their loved one, "He didn't die in vain."? It's because, looking back, we sometimes see why it was part of God's perfect plan. Sometimes we won't know until we have passed on ourselves...then we'll know everything according to God's Word.

    Cacian is right. Man needs to own up to his own poor choices and quit blaming God for them or expecting God to bail him out every time.
    The Christian argument for free will is fatally flawed. As a fictional character once said:

    "If, as Christians teach, God is truly omniscient and omnipotent, knowing all things past, present, and future and willing all into existence exactly as it is, was, and will be, then time is, for Him, essentially meaningless. From this being’s perspective, the lives of those he creates are laid out as completed courses at the moment he creates them, their every choice and action from cradle to grave encompassed by his divine consciousness at the instant of inception. Their lives are, for God, objects or completed motions in four dimensions which he envisions with utter clarity before he brings them into being, the same way his son, the carpenter, might have envisioned a table or chair before setting tools to wood. So when he brings human beings into existence, he does so with full knowledge of every word they will ever speak, every deed they will perform down to the most minute detail, every thought they will have, and every sin they will ever commit. Indeed, the act of bringing any individual into existence, from such a God’s perspective, can only mean intentionally creating every one of those words, deeds, thoughts, and sins. From this I conclude: Knowing all we will ever be in the process of willing us to be makes God morally culpable for all we are and all we do. If we are hell-bound it is because God decided to create a hell-bound soul. In fact, every denizen of hell from Cain to Nixon and beyond was a being intentionally created to suffer for all eternity. Two conclusions are inescapable: God as conceived by the Christians is a sadistic monster and if he is omniscient, there is no free will. When Calvin reached this point in the argument he simply accepted this God, character flaws and all, and accepted that the fates of our immortal souls are wholly determined from the start. This is why Calvinists and Presbyterians believe in predestination. I took the other road, deciding that the God of the Christians is a logical absurdity. Did this make me an atheist? Not in principle or as a matter of course, but it did make me effectively so. You see, I had never felt any need for God or other kinds of supernatural phenomena, so if he didn’t exist I would never have bothered to invent him. My sole concern was debunking the God I had been brow-beaten into acknowledging and after that was done I moved on."
    Last edited by WyattGwyon; 09-28-2013 at 09:52 AM.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    The problem with hell breaking loose is when atheists get enough political power to dump their world views onto others. Based on the last century, the effects of atheistic intolerance of others is worse than that of religious people in the same situations. Under secular democracies where the bullying intolerance of atheists and religious people is constrained, both of these groups behave better. That's because the secular democracy forces them to behave.

    It is just avoiding responsibility or delusional thinking for atheists to claim that they do not have a world view or that the actions of atheists like the Khmer Rouge do not represent them. Those actions do represent them. Atheists who excuse the bad behavior of other atheists but nitpick religious groups, the way Hitchens and Dawkins have done, represent a form of bigotry, much like racism or antisemitism. No sane person would ever want to give these kinds of people political power.
    "Based on the last century, the effects of atheistic intolerance of others is worse than that of religious people in the same situations'? A bare assertion with no evidence.

    The Khmer Rouge represent all atheists? One of the most genocidal groups in history - who killed a greater percentage of their own people than Hitler, without a war -- are a fair representation of 16% of the population?


    "The problem with hell breaking loose is when atheists get enough political power to dump their world views onto others." Another assertion with no evidence. I repeat what mal4mac said: "Given this list [of atheist politicians who have done well], how come Hell hasn't broken loose in the UK in the last few decades? Other countries, like Ireland and Australia, have also had declared atheists occupying top jobs. Those countries don't look like "visions of hell" to me!


    You attack Dawkins for 'nitpicking'' after accusing all atheists of being Pol Pots in waiting. Can you give an example of this nitpicking?

    Not believing in something does not mean building a world-view based on that lack of belief. Atheists have a vast range of approaches to life, of world-views. Secular humanism is one. You have the hubris to assume that everyone bases their life around a deity (or lack thereof), including atheists?

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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    Atheists who excuse the bad behavior of other atheists but nitpick religious groups, the way Hitchens and Dawkins have done, represent a form of bigotry...
    I've read much of the writings of Hitchens and Dawkins and don't remember any examples of them excusing the bad behaviour of other atheists. Have you any examples? I'd certainly vote for Dawkins, imagine having a minister for science who actually knows something about science!

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by WyattGwyon View Post
    "If, as Christians teach, God is truly omniscient and omnipotent, knowing all things past, present, and future and willing all into existence exactly as it is, was, and will be, then time is, for Him, essentially meaningless.
    I'll get to the topic at hand below, but first, I want to clarify that time is for us only. Time was a result of the creation of seasons. There is no time in eternity where God dwells. No clocks there. As an aside to the topic at hand, I'll just mention that it's comforting to know that when our loved ones die and then we die 20 yrs later, it will be as if we stepped over that line at the same time, because there is no time in eternity. We won't be missing anyone...no sadness from lost time together therefore.


    Quote Originally Posted by WyattGwyon
    "...So when he brings human beings into existence, he does so with full knowledge of every word they will ever speak, every deed they will perform down to the most minute detail, every thought they will have, and every sin they will ever commit....From this I conclude: Knowing all we will ever be in the process of willing us to be makes God morally culpable for all we are and all we do. If we are hell-bound it is because God decided to create a hell-bound soul."
    Yes, God is all knowing and knows in advance what our decisions are going to end up being. But that doesn't make it meaningless to him. It was not predestined, he just plain knows what our decision will be in advance. God will use that to teach, test our faith, draw us closer into a loving relationship with Him, teach others, build humankind relationships, etc etc...just as a father would with his child. It's all about love....loving God enough to respect and obey him, loving others enough to help and support each other, and loving God's creation enough to take care of our planet responsibly.
    Last edited by Melanie; 09-28-2013 at 11:38 AM.
    Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    "Yes, God is all knowing and knows in advance what our decisions are going to end up being. But that doesn't make it meaningless to him. It was not predestined, he just plain knows what our decision will be in advance. God will use that to teach, test our faith, draw us closer into a loving relationship with Him, teach others, build humankind relationships, etc etc...just as a father would with his child. It's all about love....loving God enough to respect and obey him, loving others enough to help and support each other, and loving God's creation enough to take care of our planet responsibly."

    I don't think God knows beforehand what choices we will make. Otherwise we would have no responsibility whatsoever. But he does know beforehand what our choices should be, and allows for that kind of freewill. So, in that sense, good points about the outcome, Melanie. But we cannot enslave God in accounting for the responsibility of the entire process. Yet, that God knows what the outcome will be is infallible.

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    cafolini, just a friendly request; could you please use the "Reply With Quote" button when posting my words? Otherwise, readers might think Mike Hulme said it (He is a highly intelligent and respected scientist and professor of Climate Change in the School of Environmental Science. He has said of his Christian faith, "I believe because I have not discovered a better explanation of beauty, truth and love than that they emerge in a world created - willed into being - by a God who personifies beauty, truth and love.")
    Last edited by Melanie; 09-28-2013 at 01:29 PM.
    Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    Yes, God is all knowing and knows in advance what our decisions are going to end up being. But that doesn't make it meaningless to him. It was not predestined, he just plain knows what our decision will be in advance.
    Creating a being you know for an absolute certainty will perform a precise series of actions with a precise set of consequences is the very definition of predestination! What else do you think predestination could mean?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WyattGwyon View Post
    Creating a being you know for an absolute certainty will perform a precise series of actions with a precise set of consequences is the very definition of predestination! What else do you think predestination could mean?
    Of course we can produce something that we know with absolute certainty it'll perform a precise set of actions. That's a computer. But we cannot determine at the same time a finite set of consequences. That's too much for us. It will never happen. We have no access to predestination.

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