Author Topic: Random Religious Questions That have Different Viewpoints and Answers...  (Read 1103 times)

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Offline Tick

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Why do people who don't believe in God like to lay blame on God for everything bad that happens in the world? I mean, he doesn't exist right? I've heard Atheists do this, and it doesn't make a lot of sense.

Why do people who believe there is a God and the Devil ask the question "Why did God allow that to happen?" when something awful happens.
Why not blame the devil since he's the evil one? Right?

If believers like the fact that God gave man freewill then why do they think God would play puppet master and stop terrorism, train wrecks, etc...
Wouldn't that not be freewill?

These are some thoughts I have...
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Offline El Barto

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Because Christians credit God with every good thing that happens. You can't have it both ways. Twenty-seven people die in a bus accident. The lone survivor credits God with his survival. Doesn't that mean that God gets credit for the deaths? In any case, an answer to that effect by an atheist is sarcastic, thus no conflict in their beliefs.

Because God is, by definition, supposed to be all powerful. Are you suggesting that the devil is as powerful as God?

I'm neither a believer in God nor in freewill so I can't really help you on that one.
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Offline Chino

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Why do people who don't believe in God like to lay blame on God for everything bad that happens in the world? I mean, he doesn't exist right? I've heard Atheists do this, and it doesn't make a lot of sense.

As an atheist who socializes with several other atheists, I don't think I've ever encountered this. I (and the ones I know) attribute everything in this world to the laws of our universe and the assholeishness of human beings.


Why do people who believe there is a God and the Devil ask the question "Why did God allow that to happen?" when something awful happens.
Why not blame the devil since he's the evil one? Right?


Isn't god supposed to be all omnipotent? If so, wouldn't that mean god has the power to override anything the devil wishes? If the devil decided Sandy Hook should happen, god, being omnipotent, should have been able to stop it. Not doing so means that at the least, he/she didn't not want it to happen. God allowed it to happen by not interfering with the devil's wishes.

If believers like the fact that God gave man freewill then why do they think God would play puppet master and stop terrorism, train wrecks, etc...
Wouldn't that not be freewill?

Mark 11:24 "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours".

Chronicles 7:14 "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land".

I would interpret the above quote to mean that god has the ability to modify our world outside of the laws of physics and natural order. I'd also assume that if he could heal land, he could heal other things in the physical world. If some sinner puts a knife through my lower intestine, bible logic would lead me to believe that god could repair the damage. If god could manipulate the physical world in regards to both land and bodies, could he then not cause a terrorist's detonator to malfunction? We'd still have the free will, but god could circumvent it if he/she found it necessary.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 10:05:48 AM by Chino »

Offline eric42434224

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People who do not believe in God do not blame God for everything bad that happens I the world.  One can't answer a question that is false on its face.

Because if one believes God Is all powerful, he did allow it to happen.

It is easier to blame someone or something else for bad things than take personal responsibility.
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Offline axeman90210

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Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.
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Offline Tick

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Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.
One could say generational curses and sins of past generations can bring curses on the offspring they bring into this world in the here and the now.

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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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I don't think I've ever encountered this.

Me either.  That would be like someone who doesn't believe in a flat earth saying that ships lost in the Bermuda Triangle must have sailed off the edge.

Offline El Barto

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Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.
One could say generational curses and sins of past generations can bring curses on the offspring they bring into this world in the here and the now.
I suppose one could, but I don't think God ever said, or even implied, such a thing. In fact, I believe the very nature of your religion precludes such a thing.
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Offline Chino

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Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.
One could say generational curses and sins of past generations can bring curses on the offspring they bring into this world in the here and the now.

So the 100,000,000 year old dinosaur fossils that show evidence of cancer, or the tree in my backyard that has a tumor, were those generational curses caused by the dinosaurs and plants that came before them?

I'm not trying to be a dick, but this is something I wonder about. Why is there this line between what happens in the human body vs everything else in nature? A dinosaur gets a tumor, it's just the way it is. If I get a tumor, it's because some ancestor I don't even know the name of raped a slave or something. Why is god so petty in the eyes of many? Some guy does something terrible centuries ago, so god takes it out on some poor child by making their few years of existence a world of pain, fear, and sadness? It makes absolutely no sense to me. "Hey! remember that viking that murdered that woman and pissed on her corpse? Well guess what, I just gave his great great great great great great grand daughter a terminal illness! "

Offline axeman90210

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Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.
One could say generational curses and sins of past generations can bring curses on the offspring they bring into this world in the here and the now.



Right, but that's still pretty fucked up for the kid, whom God presumably created and loved, that he/she will be subjected to potentially months of agony before ultimately dying tragically young. All because he/she had the bad luck to be born into a family with a generational curse or something.
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Offline Tick

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Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.
One could say generational curses and sins of past generations can bring curses on the offspring they bring into this world in the here and the now.



Right, but that's still pretty fucked up for the kid, whom God presumably created and loved, that he/she will be subjected to potentially months of agony before ultimately dying tragically young. All because he/she had the bad luck to be born into a family with a generational curse or something.
Of coarse it is, Ax. I'm just saying, there are natural laws and spiritual laws that are in motion. I don't have answers, just questions.  I watched one of my closest life long friends lose his 13 year old daughter to cancer in 2013. I still can't wrap my brain around it. He remains strong in his faith. My daughter is a year younger than his was and it likely would have shattered mine.
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Offline RuRoRul

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Why do people who don't believe in God like to lay blame on God for everything bad that happens in the world? I mean, he doesn't exist right? I've heard Atheists do this, and it doesn't make a lot of sense.
Obviously I can't speak for other atheists, but if I was to ever say something about blaming God for bad things it'd be in the context of discussion to address the arguments of those who believe God does exist. If you believe an all powerful God exists then you must consider him responsible for everything, good or bad, as mentioned above. It might come up if people are talking about it (e.g. on a forum like this), but it is a topic that is very familiar and most people will likely have seen it in the past, so an atheist might say something like that even if it's not immediately prompted by someone saying the other side.

Alternatively, sometimes it's considering the bad things in the world and how a God fits with them that leads people away from theism, so someone who is questioning their beliefs may say something about it.

Also, there are just people who have inconsistent or illogical beliefs and attitudes. Some people claim to believe in God but then sometimes act in ways that don't make sense with that viewpoint, some people claim they don't believe but then act in ways that aren't consistent with that as well. Especially when emotions are involved, people don't always act in a way that's logical.

Offline axeman90210

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Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.
One could say generational curses and sins of past generations can bring curses on the offspring they bring into this world in the here and the now.



Right, but that's still pretty fucked up for the kid, whom God presumably created and loved, that he/she will be subjected to potentially months of agony before ultimately dying tragically young. All because he/she had the bad luck to be born into a family with a generational curse or something.
Of coarse it is, Ax. I'm just saying, there are natural laws and spiritual laws that are in motion. I don't have answers, just questions.  I watched one of my closest life long friends lose his 13 year old daughter to cancer in 2013. I still can't wrap my brain around it. He remains strong in his faith. My daughter is a year younger than his was and it likely would have shattered mine.

To circle back around to your original question, atheists are looking at it as "If you believe in God and that he is all powerful, I don't understand how you can reconcile claiming that he loves us while some of the suffering/horrible things in the world that go on are happening".
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Offline Tick

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Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.
One could say generational curses and sins of past generations can bring curses on the offspring they bring into this world in the here and the now.



Right, but that's still pretty fucked up for the kid, whom God presumably created and loved, that he/she will be subjected to potentially months of agony before ultimately dying tragically young. All because he/she had the bad luck to be born into a family with a generational curse or something.
Of coarse it is, Ax. I'm just saying, there are natural laws and spiritual laws that are in motion. I don't have answers, just questions.  I watched one of my closest life long friends lose his 13 year old daughter to cancer in 2013. I still can't wrap my brain around it. He remains strong in his faith. My daughter is a year younger than his was and it likely would have shattered mine.

To circle back around to your original question, atheists are looking at it as "If you believe in God and that he is all powerful, I don't understand how you can reconcile claiming that he loves us while some of the suffering/horrible things in the world that go on are happening".
The answer I would give is God is not a puppet master. Free will given means plenty of bad stuff will happen. If he was to constantly intervene then humans would not have free will would they?
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Offline El Barto

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Then what's the point of prayer?
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Offline Chino

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Then what's the point of prayer?

Probably something along the lines of "God give me strength", "Help my friend find their way", or "Please let the Yankees win the World Series". It's asking for guidance, not the interference or prevention of the use of free will.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 11:23:56 AM by Chino »

Offline Tick

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Then what's the point of prayer?
Well, I would say prayer would be God responding to a request? As opposed to just stepping in and intervening without being asked.

That would be the best response I could give.

Well, in fiction its like a vampire can't enter your home without being invited in.
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Offline Chino

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Then what's the point of prayer?
Well, I would say prayer would be God responding to a request? As opposed to just stepping in and intervening without being asked.

What if the request is to step in and intervene with someone's free will?

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Why do people who don't believe in God like to lay blame on God for everything bad that happens in the world? I mean, he doesn't exist right? I've heard Atheists do this, and it doesn't make a lot of sense.

I've never heard an atheist do this, but if one does, I suspect it's more of a pithy response to those casuistic games that theologians and Thomists like to play, whereby they attempt to reconcile belief in an omnipotent and benevolent God with a world full of suffering. It's not so much "laying the blame for every bad thing on God" so much as asking "what's your take on why your God constantly solicits prayers to relieve suffering and yet so frequently seems to ignore them?"


Why do people who believe there is a God and the Devil ask the question "Why did God allow that to happen?" when something awful happens.
Why not blame the devil since he's the evil one? Right?


The efficacy of prayer is a huge area of theological study, but pretty much every Christian philosopher I've read on the subject agrees that Christians are supposed to ask God, not 'the devil', for his guidance and occasionally intervention in human proceedings. So it's not unreasonable if (for example) a Christian parent prays 'unsuccessfully' for their child to be healed of a very painful cancer to wonder why their appeal was apparently denied by that same God that all their pastors and priests and (in America) politicians keep telling them to pray to.

If believers like the fact that God gave man freewill then why do they think God would play puppet master and stop terrorism, train wrecks, etc...
Wouldn't that not be freewill?


As mentioned by others, where does free will play into natural disasters or the contraction of certain illnesses? You suggested a generational curse, but a) frankly that's more Old Testament thinking than New, and b) you'd be hard pressed to find any family tree that doesn't have a 'sinner' on it somewhere, so why are we all not dying painfully of God's delayed generational judgment? Plus, the concept of free will doesn't preclude a God's ability to help out. People give their children freedom of will and action, it doesn't mean they won't intervene if they see their children doing something innocently wrong or stupid. If you see your child is suffering from a gashed knee due to his foolishness in riding his bike too fast (his own choice) you'd likely dress his knee rather than let him suffer and develop sepsis. It's not about playing "puppet master", it's about being a loving and caring parent and teacher.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 12:59:02 PM by Dave_Manchester »

Offline Tick

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Then what's the point of prayer?
Well, I would say prayer would be God responding to a request? As opposed to just stepping in and intervening without being asked.

What if the request is to step in and intervene with someone's free will?
I'm going to say you would be out of luck on that one.
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Offline Tick

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By the way I was hoping others would participate and not just respond to my questions but that's fine too.
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Offline Dave_Manchester

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Incidentally another problem with the 'generational curse' theory is that it has a flipside, i.e following the same train of logic means that those who now live well are apparently being rewarded for the actions of their forebears. Which raises awkard questions about why (just one example from millions) several of bin Laden's kids are currently living the life of Riley.

Offline El Barto

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Why do people who don't believe in God like to lay blame on God for everything bad that happens in the world? I mean, he doesn't exist right? I've heard Atheists do this, and it doesn't make a lot of sense.

I've never heard an atheist do this, but if one does, I suspect it's more of a pithy response to those casuistic games that theologians and Thomists like to play, whereby they attempt to reconcile belief in an omnipotent and benevolent God with a world full of suffering. It's not so much "laying the blame for every bad thing on God" so much as asking "what's your take on why your God constantly solicits prayers to relieve suffering and yet so frequently seems to ignore them?"
I do this all the time and yes, it's a pithy response. I see real hypocrisy in the way God gets credit but never blame. Nobody ever blames God for the game-losing fumble or the lost battle against cancer. They're quick to prostrate themselves after a touchdown or recovery, though.
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Offline Adami

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Why do people who don't believe in God like to lay blame on God for everything bad that happens in the world? I mean, he doesn't exist right? I've heard Atheists do this, and it doesn't make a lot of sense.

I've never heard an atheist do this, but if one does, I suspect it's more of a pithy response to those casuistic games that theologians and Thomists like to play, whereby they attempt to reconcile belief in an omnipotent and benevolent God with a world full of suffering. It's not so much "laying the blame for every bad thing on God" so much as asking "what's your take on why your God constantly solicits prayers to relieve suffering and yet so frequently seems to ignore them?"
I do this all the time and yes, it's a pithy response. I see real hypocrisy in the way God gets credit but never blame. Nobody ever blames God for the game-losing fumble or the lost battle against cancer. They're quick to prostrate themselves after a touchdown or recovery, though.

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Offline Chino

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Why do people who don't believe in God like to lay blame on God for everything bad that happens in the world? I mean, he doesn't exist right? I've heard Atheists do this, and it doesn't make a lot of sense.

I've never heard an atheist do this, but if one does, I suspect it's more of a pithy response to those casuistic games that theologians and Thomists like to play, whereby they attempt to reconcile belief in an omnipotent and benevolent God with a world full of suffering. It's not so much "laying the blame for every bad thing on God" so much as asking "what's your take on why your God constantly solicits prayers to relieve suffering and yet so frequently seems to ignore them?"
I do this all the time and yes, it's a pithy response. I see real hypocrisy in the way God gets credit but never blame. Nobody ever blames God for the game-losing fumble or the lost battle against cancer. They're quick to prostrate themselves after a touchdown or recovery, though.

Lewis Black has a really funny book called Me of Little Faith (I think you'd enjoy it) and he talks about this. I remember that part of the specifically as it made me laugh out loud to the point where I started choking in the car.


“Who knew that the devil had a factory where he made millions of fossils, which his minions distributed throughout the earth, in order to confuse my tiny brain?”

“Each of us is full of shit in our own special way. We are all shitty little snowflakes dancing in the universe.”


Offline Stadler

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Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.

Let's just start by saying that I believe in God.  I believe in an omnipotent being.  Having said that, I have a number of problems with the way that generally some believers play this out.

- I don't at all think that God necessarily is involved in all or even any of the day-to-day activities of man.  To me, there are few things more ridiculous than that basketball player attributing that winning shot to God's hand. 
- I think it is an egregious and fatal flaw for us to talk of these things through the lens of man.   I strongly believe that man is flawed and cannot comprehend the scope and breadth of any omnipotent being.  To the extent that God decides that an event like Sandy Hook is necessary (and see no. 1) it's not within our capacity to decide whether it is "good" or "just".   Assuming you've already crossed the rubicon of believing in an omnipotent being, there are more than enough reasonable discussions to be had as to why a Sandy Hook is more than just "the loss of innocent life".   Perhaps those children have a higher/different/other purpose to serve.   Perhaps those lost lives in their own way save an exponential amount in another way.
- religion and spirituality are NOT the same and should not be confused as such.

Offline portnoy311

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Incidentally another problem with the 'generational curse' theory is that it has a flipside, i.e following the same train of logic means that those who now live well are apparently being rewarded for the actions of their forebears. Which raises awkard questions about why (just one example from millions) several of bin Laden's kids are currently living the life of Riley.


It seems like others (Dave, Chino, Jesus/Barto, etc.) have my thoughts mostly well covered.

Just to add - this is why I've never understood the argument that religion (Christianity specifically) provides a 'moral compass' that people like me (dirty atheists) just don't have. If I punished the child of a criminal for the father's crimes, Christians would be among the number calling for my own head, as that is reprehensible. We don't punish the innocent. But yet, Christianity is literally founded upon that principle. Jesus was used as a scapegoat for the sins of people that I've never met (and in literal terms, never existed, I'm granting Adam and Eve being metaphors), and I'm supposed to feel some kind of gratitude for this? I'm supposed to have some kind of burden of guilt and responsibility over something that happened thousands of years before my birth? Why not think it's ludicrous that God needed a scapegoat in the first place (he needed to torture his only begotten son so that he could himself forgive ALL of humanity?), and that we should all thousands of years later feel like we somehow were guilty of the 'crimes' that led for his necessary torture and crucifixion? That is incredibly immoral to me, and if any nation, court, tradition, or even modern religion in the world operated that way, we'd all line up to talk about their crimes against humanity and immoral ways. Yet, Christianity is used as a moral compass that those without faith are somehow lacking? In the words of Stadler, "mofo please."
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 12:52:28 PM by portnoy311 »

Offline Chino

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Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.

Let's just start by saying that I believe in God.  I believe in an omnipotent being.  Having said that, I have a number of problems with the way that generally some believers play this out.

- I don't at all think that God necessarily is involved in all or even any of the day-to-day activities of man.  To me, there are few things more ridiculous than that basketball player attributing that winning shot to God's hand. 
- I think it is an egregious and fatal flaw for us to talk of these things through the lens of man.   I strongly believe that man is flawed and cannot comprehend the scope and breadth of any omnipotent being.  To the extent that God decides that an event like Sandy Hook is necessary (and see no. 1) it's not within our capacity to decide whether it is "good" or "just".   Assuming you've already crossed the rubicon of believing in an omnipotent being, there are more than enough reasonable discussions to be had as to why a Sandy Hook is more than just "the loss of innocent life".   Perhaps those children have a higher/different/other purpose to serve.   Perhaps those lost lives in their own way save an exponential amount in another way.
- religion and spirituality are NOT the same and should not be confused as such.

This is a good point. When I used to create my worlds in The Sims, I'd murder children and laugh at it, or I'd kill their parents and watch them starve to death. For all anyone knows, God could be a twisted and sadistic fuck that created Earth for the sole purpose of carrying out his darkest desires.

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.


- I think it is an egregious and fatal flaw for us to talk of these things through the lens of man. 

But to me, this then simply makes impossible all attempts at religious commentary, and renders pointless every supposed religious text. If you're a Christian (which I know you are, a Catholic), you believe that God chose a human (Jesus) to communicate via human language (Aramaic) and human concepts (good, charity, evil, love, forgiveness) his messages. If we (people) can't hope to understand the scope and nature of God's message, then why did he specifically intend for us to understand it via his 'son'? It seems to me a kind of dead end that religious people always end up hitting - "God stands for love and kindness and generosity of spirit, but when those things don't pan out, who are we to say what love, kindness and generosity of spirit actually are?" It's a cop out to me.

To suggest that human concepts of good and bad shouldn't be used to talk of God makes it then pointless to ever discuss the theme, and God would be frankly a bit of an idiot for creating a race with whom he intends to communicate but then making it literally impossible to communicate with and be perfectly understood by. To will reconciliation with himself yet go to such absurd and extraordinary lengths to conceal himself and make himself unknowable. The fact is, we feel what is right and good. Many, I suppose, have seen a child be relieved of his pain and have felt moved to thank God. It would be odd to see a child writhing in agony and screaming in helpless distress and to then say "God be praised, this is truly his divine work!". But why not, if - as you say - we shouldn't use human concepts of good and bad? Of what use was every single line Jesus ever spoke if humans simply aren't eqipped to fully comprehend and follow God's will? Why all that talk of 'love', 'charity' and 'forgiveness', if those words don't mean what we - humans - typically understand them to mean?

Offline Stadler

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Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.


- I think it is an egregious and fatal flaw for us to talk of these things through the lens of man. 

But to me, this then simply makes impossible all attempts at religious commentary, and renders pointless every supposed religious text. If you're a Christian (which I know you are, a Catholic), you believe that God chose a human (Jesus) to communicate via human language (Aramaic) and human concepts (good, charity, evil, love, forgiveness) his messages. If we (people) can't hope to understand the scope and nature of God's message, then why did he specifically intend for us to understand it via his 'son'? It seems to me a kind of dead end that religious people always end up hitting - "God stands for love and kindness and generosity of spirit, but when those things don't pan out, who are we to say what love, kindness and generosity of spirit actually are?" It's a cop out to me.

To suggest that human concepts of good and bad shouldn't be used to talk of God makes it then pointless to ever discuss the theme, and God would be frankly a bit of an idiot for creating a race with whom he intends to communicate but then making it literally impossible to communicate with and be perfectly understood by. To will reconciliation with himself yet go to such absurd and extraordinary lengths to conceal himself and make himself unknowable. The fact is, we feel what is right and good. Many, I suppose, have seen a child be relieved of his pain and have felt moved to thank God. It would be odd to see a child writhing in agony and screaming in helpless distress and to then say "God be praised, this is truly his divine work!". But why not, if - as you say - we shouldn't use human concepts of good and bad? Of what use was every single line Jesus ever spoke if humans simply aren't eqipped to fully comprehend and follow God's will? Why all that talk of 'love', 'charity' and 'forgiveness', if those words don't mean what we - humans - typically understand them to mean?

There's a lot to talk about - not least of which is that the texts we have are written by MAN, and therefore, inherently flawed.   Like the classic "Thou shalt not kill" can be "Thou shall not take any life" or "Thou shalt not murder", depending on the translation, we're going by human interpretations.  But even if I concede your point - that God DID mean "love, kindness, forgiveness, and charity", there is still the ultimate interpretation of that, and the fact that frame of reference is important.   

We can and do make compromises between principles all the time.  Killing is bad, but we have self-defense, assisted suicide, the death penalty.   My point was only, we have the frame of reference of only this earth.   For all we know, those children in Sandy Hook were merely innocents ripped from their mother's bosom, and it makes no sense.   There are ways - including ways that are incomprehensible to man - where those killings make PERFECT sense.   I just find it fascinating the hubris of man that we sometimes cannot fathom that there is more than just our being at stake. 

Offline Dave_Manchester

  • Posts: 537
Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.


- I think it is an egregious and fatal flaw for us to talk of these things through the lens of man. 

But to me, this then simply makes impossible all attempts at religious commentary, and renders pointless every supposed religious text. If you're a Christian (which I know you are, a Catholic), you believe that God chose a human (Jesus) to communicate via human language (Aramaic) and human concepts (good, charity, evil, love, forgiveness) his messages. If we (people) can't hope to understand the scope and nature of God's message, then why did he specifically intend for us to understand it via his 'son'? It seems to me a kind of dead end that religious people always end up hitting - "God stands for love and kindness and generosity of spirit, but when those things don't pan out, who are we to say what love, kindness and generosity of spirit actually are?" It's a cop out to me.

To suggest that human concepts of good and bad shouldn't be used to talk of God makes it then pointless to ever discuss the theme, and God would be frankly a bit of an idiot for creating a race with whom he intends to communicate but then making it literally impossible to communicate with and be perfectly understood by. To will reconciliation with himself yet go to such absurd and extraordinary lengths to conceal himself and make himself unknowable. The fact is, we feel what is right and good. Many, I suppose, have seen a child be relieved of his pain and have felt moved to thank God. It would be odd to see a child writhing in agony and screaming in helpless distress and to then say "God be praised, this is truly his divine work!". But why not, if - as you say - we shouldn't use human concepts of good and bad? Of what use was every single line Jesus ever spoke if humans simply aren't eqipped to fully comprehend and follow God's will? Why all that talk of 'love', 'charity' and 'forgiveness', if those words don't mean what we - humans - typically understand them to mean?

But even if I concede your point - that God DID mean "love, kindness, forgiveness, and charity", there is still the ultimate interpretation of that, and the fact that frame of reference is important.   



But I simply don't understand how you can describe yourself as a Christian (which you have) and then speak of God/Jesus' reference to love, kindess and charity as being in line with our own human understanding as a "concession" of my point. You're the first Christian I've ever met who "conceded" (rather than taking as doctrine) the notion that God values love and forgiveness as humans understand those terms over hatred and condemnation. Those principles (love, charity, etc) form the very basis of the religion. If they don't mean what we commonly understand them to mean, then on what is based your entire religion? Yes, certain commandments will always be open to interpretation, and yes the Bible may well be a series of documents penned by fallible humans, but are you suggesting that the following statements:

1) God does not approve of the rape, torture and murder of children

and

2) God approves of the rape, torture and murder of children

are equally likely? If so, then fair enough, but if not, then why not? If we can't know God naturally because we are not equipped to embrace his scope, and if we can't know God unnaturally (i.e via books and commentary) because man is flawed and the religious texts were penned by fallible humans, then of what use is this God entity to any of us?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 01:23:00 PM by Dave_Manchester »

Offline Dave_Manchester

  • Posts: 537

There's a lot to talk about - not least of which is that the texts we have are written by MAN, and therefore, inherently flawed.   

And incidentally, how do you know this? Many Christians believe the Bible to be the direct word of God. Muslims believe the Koran to be the direct word of Allah. Are they wrong?

Offline El Barto

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 19073
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Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.


- I think it is an egregious and fatal flaw for us to talk of these things through the lens of man. 

But to me, this then simply makes impossible all attempts at religious commentary, and renders pointless every supposed religious text. If you're a Christian (which I know you are, a Catholic), you believe that God chose a human (Jesus) to communicate via human language (Aramaic) and human concepts (good, charity, evil, love, forgiveness) his messages. If we (people) can't hope to understand the scope and nature of God's message, then why did he specifically intend for us to understand it via his 'son'? It seems to me a kind of dead end that religious people always end up hitting - "God stands for love and kindness and generosity of spirit, but when those things don't pan out, who are we to say what love, kindness and generosity of spirit actually are?" It's a cop out to me.

To suggest that human concepts of good and bad shouldn't be used to talk of God makes it then pointless to ever discuss the theme, and God would be frankly a bit of an idiot for creating a race with whom he intends to communicate but then making it literally impossible to communicate with and be perfectly understood by. To will reconciliation with himself yet go to such absurd and extraordinary lengths to conceal himself and make himself unknowable. The fact is, we feel what is right and good. Many, I suppose, have seen a child be relieved of his pain and have felt moved to thank God. It would be odd to see a child writhing in agony and screaming in helpless distress and to then say "God be praised, this is truly his divine work!". But why not, if - as you say - we shouldn't use human concepts of good and bad? Of what use was every single line Jesus ever spoke if humans simply aren't eqipped to fully comprehend and follow God's will? Why all that talk of 'love', 'charity' and 'forgiveness', if those words don't mean what we - humans - typically understand them to mean?

But even if I concede your point - that God DID mean "love, kindness, forgiveness, and charity", there is still the ultimate interpretation of that, and the fact that frame of reference is important.   



But I simply don't understand how you can describe yourself as a Christian (which you have) and then speak of God/Jesus' reference to love, kindess and charity as being in line with our own human understanding as a "concession" of my point. You're the first Christian I've ever met who "conceded" (rather than taking as doctrine) the notion that God values love and forgiveness as humans understand those terms over hatred and condemnation. Those principles (love, charity, etc) form the very basis of the religion. If they don't mean what we commonly understand them to mean, then on what is based your entire religion? Yes, certain commandments will always be open to interpretation, and yes the Bible is a series of documents penned by fallible humans, but are you suggesting that the following statements:

1) God does not approve of the rape, torture and murder of children

and

2) God approves of the rape, torture and murder of children

are equally likely? If so, then fair enough, but if not, then why not? If we can't know God naturally because we are not equipped to embrace his scope, and if we can't know God unnaturally (i.e via books and commentary) because man is flawed and the religious texts were penned by fallible humans, then of what use is this God entity to any of us?
The last thing I want to do is to speak for Stadler, since his beliefs are both highly personal and very different than my own, but I don't see the conflict. You're conflating the knowledge man has of his own workings with our understandings of the machinations of God. He might very well disapprove of porking children, but have his own reason why it has to be allowed to happen which we can't understand.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
E.F. Benson

Offline portnoy311

  • Posts: 814
Yeah, what barto and chino said. To remove the freewill piece of it, one could ask why a loving, omnipotent God would allow something like pediatric cancer.


- I think it is an egregious and fatal flaw for us to talk of these things through the lens of man. 

But to me, this then simply makes impossible all attempts at religious commentary, and renders pointless every supposed religious text. If you're a Christian (which I know you are, a Catholic), you believe that God chose a human (Jesus) to communicate via human language (Aramaic) and human concepts (good, charity, evil, love, forgiveness) his messages. If we (people) can't hope to understand the scope and nature of God's message, then why did he specifically intend for us to understand it via his 'son'? It seems to me a kind of dead end that religious people always end up hitting - "God stands for love and kindness and generosity of spirit, but when those things don't pan out, who are we to say what love, kindness and generosity of spirit actually are?" It's a cop out to me.

To suggest that human concepts of good and bad shouldn't be used to talk of God makes it then pointless to ever discuss the theme, and God would be frankly a bit of an idiot for creating a race with whom he intends to communicate but then making it literally impossible to communicate with and be perfectly understood by. To will reconciliation with himself yet go to such absurd and extraordinary lengths to conceal himself and make himself unknowable. The fact is, we feel what is right and good. Many, I suppose, have seen a child be relieved of his pain and have felt moved to thank God. It would be odd to see a child writhing in agony and screaming in helpless distress and to then say "God be praised, this is truly his divine work!". But why not, if - as you say - we shouldn't use human concepts of good and bad? Of what use was every single line Jesus ever spoke if humans simply aren't eqipped to fully comprehend and follow God's will? Why all that talk of 'love', 'charity' and 'forgiveness', if those words don't mean what we - humans - typically understand them to mean?

There's a lot to talk about - not least of which is that the texts we have are written by MAN, and therefore, inherently flawed.   Like the classic "Thou shalt not kill" can be "Thou shall not take any life" or "Thou shalt not murder", depending on the translation, we're going by human interpretations.  But even if I concede your point - that God DID mean "love, kindness, forgiveness, and charity", there is still the ultimate interpretation of that, and the fact that frame of reference is important.   

We can and do make compromises between principles all the time.  Killing is bad, but we have self-defense, assisted suicide, the death penalty.   My point was only, we have the frame of reference of only this earth.   For all we know, those children in Sandy Hook were merely innocents ripped from their mother's bosom, and it makes no sense.   There are ways - including ways that are incomprehensible to man - where those killings make PERFECT sense.   I just find it fascinating the hubris of man that we sometimes cannot fathom that there is more than just our being at stake.

First paragraph - he also picked a time to reveal himself to humanity when the vast population couldn't read or write. One would think if he existed as claimed, he would not only know that fact, but would also know how flawed the writings would be, or even the simple fact that most would be written many, many years later.

The second - and there you go, that is the religion I've always gotten you to try to say. Big 'R', little 'r', it is all the same. It is a clever trick to claim humanity cannot understand everything -> there may be a reason [][][][][][][]-> I believe there is a reason [][][][][][][]-> it's hubris to look at the murder of children as the murder of children, and not under this reason I believe exists, but by definition cannot understand, much less explain.

[][][][][][][]-> = Religion

Offline Dave_Manchester

  • Posts: 537
The last thing I want to do is to speak for Stadler, since his beliefs are both highly personal and very different than my own, but I don't see the conflict. You're conflating the knowledge man has of his own workings with our understandings of the machinations of God. He might very well disapprove of porking children, but have his own reason why it has to be allowed to happen which we can't understand.

My point was that if we can't ever hope to understand something so basic as whether or not shagging kids is wrong due to a) not being innately equipped to comprehend God's scope, and b) all the religious texts being written by flawed humans who may have got everything they wrote completely wrong, then of what use is any conversation about God or attempt to achieve some kind of knowledge of him? If even the fundamental things are beyond our ability to understand (i.e what did Jesus mean by 'love' and 'forgiveness'), then how are we supposed to move on to the more difficult areas of the human experience?