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Thread: God Speaking...anyone listening?

  1. #61
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    That's a great story, cafolini.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

  2. #62
    Registered User Melanie's Avatar
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    mal4mac...why am I not surprised that an atheist would find a naysayer...only one? Naysayers abound when a man writes one of the 20th century's top 40 books and one of the 13 most influential books of the last 50 years on Christianity. The name of that book is "New Evidence That Demands a Verdict". Like your naysayer, Josh McDowell attended Talbot Theological Seminary, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Master of Divinity degree. But what's more impressive is what he did with his education: http://www.josh.org/about-us/joshs-bio/

    Oedipus...you asked "Why not God heal amputees?" Everyone has afflictions they suffer, some more visible than others, and for various reasons. In eternity, God will settle the score and make it right. Time here is a drop in the bucket if that. Some are natural consequences. None are caused by God. If someone prays for a healing then God may say yes, no, or wait for his perfect timing. If he says no, and allows suffering, it's for one or many of a gazillion reasons that are for the purpose of his perfect plan. It could be for the reasons of teaching, building relationships, and more. There are over 100 reasons in Biblical scripture for why God allows good people to suffer but, like I said, in eternity He will make it right. Regarding your comment about "coincidences"...that's semantics isn't it. You call it coincidences that rule out divine intervention. I call it all a part of God's perfect plan...whether it appears good or bad to us now, we will someday know why it was so perfect. There's a vast network, a vast web of a plan that God is doing...far more than our finite minds can fathom. I'm humbled by it. One word can describe what it's all about....love....brotherly love, love of God, love of yourself, love for the unlovable, love for creation, etc etc. Perfect love is waiting for us in eternity. Believe.

    cafolini...yes, lovely story
    Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    ... one of the 13 most influential books of the last 50 years on Christianity. The name of that book is "New Evidence That Demands a Verdict".
    Which has 22 one star reviews on Amazon, most of them written by people who seem to know what they're talking about. I think I'll give it a miss, I've read enough apologetic waffle for one lifetime. If you want to defend this book, I suggest you join the arguments there, there are some fairly interesting debates going on.

  4. #64
    Registered User Melanie's Avatar
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    22 out of how many? A Billion? Wow, that's excellent! Those 22 are exactly the ones Josh McDowell wants to reach. Of course you would gravitate to their side since, A. You've never read the book, and B. You and they are like-minded which is closed to spiritual matters...so you've chosen to be their follower. I'd rather follow God.
    Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #65
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    Well those 22 have read the book, and, for me, have produced very good reasons not to read it. I've just read a book devoted to spiritual exercises in Ancient Philosophy, so my mind isn't closed to spiritual matters. And you have to be very careful in using the word "spiritual"; it has multiple meanings. Looking at my concise OED, one of them is "having the higher qualities of the mind". It's very insulting to say to anyone, atheist or Christian, that they are not interested in the higher qualities of the mind.

    "Spirituality can mean something that I’m very sympathetic to, which is, a sort of sense of wonder at the beauty of the universe, the complexity of life, the magnitude of space, the magnitude of geological time. All those things create a sort of frisson in the breast, which you could call spirituality. But, I would be very concerned that it shouldn’t be confused with supernaturalism." - Richard Dawkins

  6. #66
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    The leader worship that goes on in perverted communist states like North Korea is very similar to religious worship. Judging all atheists by the actions of Kim Il-Sung is like judging all protestants by the actions of Henry VIII.
    What you provide is an example of an atheist excusing other atheists for bad behavior by saying, in this case, that the atheists are no longer atheists, but have turned themselves into some sort of "religion". It is more useful to use atheistic states like North Korean as evidence for what atheism can produce when it gets political power and its righteousness, unchecked by anything since it claims not to believe in anything, is unleashed.

    Now, I need an example of people like Dawkins nitpicking religions. Here is a quote from Dawkins: http://ffrf.org/news/timely-topics/i...me-to-stand-up

    "To blame Islam for what happened in New York is like blaming Christianity for the troubles in Northern Ireland!" Yes. Precisely. It is time to stop pussyfooting around. Time to get angry. And not only with Islam.

    Dawkins doesn't mind blaming Islam for 911 nor Christianity for what happens in Northern Ireland. However, you tell me I shouldn't do the same thing with atheists and North Korea. Why not?

    Further in that article Dawkins says the following that I partially agree with:

    My point is not that religion itself is the motivation for wars, murders and terrorist attacks, but that religion is the principal label, and the most dangerous one, by which a "they" as opposed to a "we" can be identified at all. I am not even claiming that religion is the only label by which we identify the victims of our prejudice. There's also skin color, language, and social class. But often, as in Northern Ireland, these don't apply and religion is the only divisive label around. Even when it is not alone, religion is nearly always an incendiary ingredient in the mix as well.

    As I see it, based on evidence from the 20th century, atheists are the primary ones who use the label "religion" to generate targets. This has destroyed the civil liberties and even the lives of millions of people.

    It is ironical that Dawkins makes my case for me. This targeting of religion is much like targeting people with a different skin color or social class. I agree. Dawkins should stop targeting. Until he does I put his atheism on the same shelf with racism and antisemitism.
    Last edited by YesNo; 10-01-2013 at 09:38 AM. Reason: hopefully for clarity

  7. #67
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    That was a very nice story, cafolini.


    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    There is no evidence for...
    This reminds me of something I learned in one of the threads on "many worlds". The phrase, "there is no evidence for", if one is honest, should be rephrased as "there is no evidence that I accept for" something.

    The main reason I can't accept atheism is that the 20th century undermined any scientific foundation that atheism might have enjoyed. It has no ground to stand on given quantum physics, the big bang and evidence of near and shared death experiences.

    Now if we were living in the 19th century with a belief that one day we would find an atomic structure that was materialistic and deterministic, then I would have to reconsider. But we are living in the 21st century, not the 19th century. If there is any metaphysics for which there is no evidence (certainly none that I accept), it is atheism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    Well those 22 have read the book, and, for me, have produced very good reasons not to read it. I've just read a book devoted to spiritual exercises in Ancient Philosophy, so my mind isn't closed to spiritual matters. And you have to be very careful in using the word "spiritual"; it has multiple meanings. Looking at my concise OED, one of them is "having the higher qualities of the mind". It's very insulting to say to anyone, atheist or Christian, that they are not interested in the higher qualities of the mind.

    "Spirituality can mean something that I’m very sympathetic to, which is, a sort of sense of wonder at the beauty of the universe, the complexity of life, the magnitude of space, the magnitude of geological time. All those things create a sort of frisson in the breast, which you could call spirituality. But, I would be very concerned that it shouldn’t be confused with supernaturalism." - Richard Dawkins
    Forget the universe. That's the verse of the UNI, impossible for you or anyone to reach in actuality. But to think of God as supernatural is the most appropriate way to avoid the possibility of people like you manipulating God and prescribing His behavior as if it were a natural piece of meat, which you postulate and then turn around and claim you can't find it.

  9. #69
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafolini View Post
    I have an interesting story regarding Billy Graham, which I think I already told a long time ago in LitNet. But rather than search for it, I'll tell it again. My grandmother was a Baptist and used to take me to Sunday school. There was in Buenos Aires, in those days, a Boxing Stadium, named Luna Park, which Billy Graham used to rent for his crusade. One day my grandmother took me there, and when Billy started with his eternal pitch about "take the lord." my grandmother wanted me to do so, regardless of the fact that I was very young and hardly understood a word of it. But she started elbowing me and I decided to please her. So I stood up and took the lord, got my certificate, and we later went home, she as happy as could be.
    Once home we got into a dispute. She somehow got me upset. So I pull out the certificate, tore it to pieces, let it fall on the floor and exited the house irritated.
    About 10 years later I came to the United States of America. All throughout my life, I had noticed my grandmother collected my toys as I evolved and didn't play any longer with them. Years later, my grandmother passed away, and my aunt was in charge of distributing what grandma left, as per her instruction. So I inherited the box of toys. Surprise. Inside the box I also found the certificate I had gotten from Billy's assistants, put together with scotch tape on the back. At that point, I had already grasped the message. Amazing story.
    God be with you.
    beautiful story and a very caring clever grandma for looking after your toys and things from childhood. we should all do the same.
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    What you provide is an example of an atheist excusing other atheists for bad behavior by saying, in this case, that the atheists are no longer atheists, but have turned themselves into some sort of "religion".
    I'm not excusing Kim Il-Sung for anything. Like most liberals, atheist or Christian, I think that cruelty is the worst thing we can do, and no one, atheists or Christians, should be excused for being cruel.

    It is more useful to use atheistic states like North Korean as evidence for what atheism can produce when it gets political power and its righteousness, unchecked by anything since it claims not to believe in anything, is unleashed.
    Atheism only claims not to believe in a god.

    Dawkins: http://ffrf.org/news/timely-topics/i...me-to-stand-up

    "To blame Islam for what happened in New York is like blaming Christianity for the troubles in Northern Ireland!" Yes. Precisely. It is time to stop pussyfooting around. Time to get angry. And not only with Islam.

    Dawkins doesn't mind blaming Islam for 911 nor Christianity for what happens in Northern Ireland. However, you tell me I shouldn't do the same thing with atheists and North Korea. Why not?
    9/11 and the troubles in Northern Ireland came out of conflicts directly related to the religions involved. Troubles in North Korea, and other communist states, come from the pseudo-religion involved there, i.e., communism. Communist states have killed people because of communist ideology. For instance, landowners who complained too loudly about their land being taken away from them, were killed for talking against communist principles. Dawkins himself has called the current North Korean leader "ludicrous":

    https://twitter.com/RichardDawkins/s...57043237474304

    As I see it, based on evidence from the 20th century, atheists are the primary ones who use the label "religion" to generate targets. This has destroyed the civil liberties, not to speak of the lives, of millions of people.
    Communists, like Stalin, certainly killed priests, but he didn't do that because he was an atheist, but because he saw priests as being opposed to communist ideology (along with many other sectors of society.) If you look at atheist leaders of liberal democracies, like Clement Attlee in the UK, then you see no sign of priests being persecuted, no sign of civil liberties of religious people being affected in any way.

    This targeting of religion is much like targeting people with a different skin color or social class.
    No it's not, religions have nasty doctrines like "Don't suffer a witch to live" that explicitly propagate cruelty. Think of the Salem Witch trials, and the persecutions of old women in Europe simply because they muttered a few off-colour words, or were said to have done so. Also, Dawkins doesn't promote violence against religious people, or suggest they should be treated as second class citizens. He just argues against their ideologies, and encourages them to adapt more rational & liberal attitudes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    Well those 22 have read the book, and, for me, have produced very good reasons not to read it. I've just read a book devoted to spiritual exercises in Ancient Philosophy, so my mind isn't closed to spiritual matters. And you have to be very careful in using the word "spiritual"; it has multiple meanings. Looking at my concise OED, one of them is "having the higher qualities of the mind". It's very insulting to say to anyone, atheist or Christian, that they are not interested in the higher qualities of the mind.

    "Spirituality can mean something that I’m very sympathetic to, which is, a sort of sense of wonder at the beauty of the universe, the complexity of life, the magnitude of space, the magnitude of geological time. All those things create a sort of frisson in the breast, which you could call spirituality. But, I would be very concerned that it shouldn’t be confused with supernaturalism." - Richard Dawkins"

    Forget the universe. That's the verse of the UNI, impossible for you or anyone to reach in actuality. But to think of God as supernatural is the most appropriate way to avoid the possibility of people like you manipulating God and prescribing His behavior as if it were a natural piece of meat, which you postulate and then turn around and claim you can't find it.
    Last edited by cafolini; 10-01-2013 at 10:25 AM.

  12. #72
    University student EvoWarrior5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WyattGwyon View Post
    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.
    I found this quote interesting, but this part of the quote irks me a bit.
    From my interpretation, this comparison is incorrect. If we are looking from the perspective of God being omniscient and omnipotent, and him knowing exactly what our every move and decision will be, and how we will come to look, this is a flawed comparison. A carpenter can vision a table, or a chair, but he will never know for a hundred per cent what it will come to look like. Even if he follows his plans perfectly, there will always be a scratch too many or too little which he did not picture beforehand. In that sense he can only make a general picture of it in his mind, a blueprint of the shape and properties he would ideally like it to have. He is also unable to see where it will end up, e.g. who will buy it and how it will be used, and he is most definitely not able to envision the scars it will collect over the years, and how its existence as a table or chair will end. Things which, from the perspective of God being omniscient, would all be visible to him beforehand. Whereas our creations will never truly end up the way we pictured them, God's creations will always end up the way he pictured them. Therefore, this is a comparison that to my view cannot be made, and is much more like a contrast than anything else.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafolini View Post
    ... to think of God as supernatural is the most appropriate way to avoid the possibility of people like you manipulating God and prescribing His behavior as if it were a natural piece of meat, which you postulate and then turn around and claim you can't find it.
    But if God is supernatural how can he interact with nature? How can he impregnate a woman and produce a Virgin birth? If you say he didn't do that, then what did he do? If he's totally outside nature then how can he be even said to exist?

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    But if God is supernatural how can he interact with nature? How can he impregnate a woman and produce a Virgin birth? If you say he didn't do that, then what did he do? If he's totally outside nature then how can he be even said to exist?
    That something is defined as supernatural does not have to mean that it cannot interact with the natural, though. Supernatural by definition only means that it is something that cannot be explained by science, which is exactly what God is. Unexplainable by science. The fact that he is supernatural, however, does not have to mean that he cannot interact with us, and (to some people) we cannot interact with him.

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    Registered User WyattGwyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvoWarrior5 View Post
    I found this quote interesting, but this part of the quote irks me a bit.
    From my interpretation, this comparison is incorrect. If we are looking from the perspective of God being omniscient and omnipotent, and him knowing exactly what our every move and decision will be, and how we will come to look, this is a flawed comparison. A carpenter can vision a table, or a chair, but he will never know for a hundred per cent what it will come to look like. Even if he follows his plans perfectly, there will always be a scratch too many or too little which he did not picture beforehand. In that sense he can only make a general picture of it in his mind, a blueprint of the shape and properties he would ideally like it to have. He is also unable to see where it will end up, e.g. who will buy it and how it will be used, and he is most definitely not able to envision the scars it will collect over the years, and how its existence as a table or chair will end. Things which, from the perspective of God being omniscient, would all be visible to him beforehand. Whereas our creations will never truly end up the way we pictured them, God's creations will always end up the way he pictured them. Therefore, this is a comparison that to my view cannot be made, and is much more like a contrast than anything else.
    I agree. If the quotation was to be attributed to me, I would have excluded the part you point out. It is, however, the speech of a fictional character which I chose not to edit by removing that passage. (Probably should have removed it.)

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