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Featured A God Problem

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Quintessence, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    That's unreasonable.
     
  2. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    The concept of a morally perfect, all knowing, all powerful God never made sense to me because morality is subjective. The morals of a perfect god wouldn't necessarily reflect our own imperfect sense of morality so who would judge such a thing? The morally perfect God. The same would apply to all knowing and all powerful. If God creates a set of laws, as in space, time and nature, then to at least some extent he is bound by them as well. For example, God can't lie.

    I often marvel at people who say if God isn't all knowing and all powerful he isn't worth their time. That seems nonsensical to me. He created life, the universe, and everything in it and you're going to reject him because he isn't fully aware of what you did at 7:30 P.M. on Tuesday, March 11, 1986?!

    The article makes a good point about God not having experienced sin. Neither Jehovah or Jesus experienced sin first hand, which is why there are a limited number of people who have experienced these things who will judge angels and men. It wouldn't be fair otherwise.

    I don't think that you have to abandon reason for faith. Faith without reason is nothing. You just have to be aware of the limitations of reason.
     
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  3. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    I hope no one has asked, if so forget it and I'll see it as I read through the thread, but . . . why? Why must gods change or gods cannot intervene? I suppose they could change.
     
  4. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    I highly disagree with this and if it were true then God could only be a remote fictional character in a old story for us.
     
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  5. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member
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    What evidence do you have other than the Hebrew texts?
     
  6. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    Personal stories of dreams or visions of God by various people including myself. In fact the similarity between modern and ancient descriptions of an experience of God suggest the Bibles account is based on similar psychological experiences.
     
  7. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    There is no contradiction, so apparently you simply misunderstood what I meant by what I said. What it means is that God does not want anything from us for Himself because God does not NEED anything from us for Himself. Everything God wants for us is for us, for our own benefit. It is not for God’s benefit because God does not need anything for Himself since God is fully self-sufficient.

    In the following excerpts from longer passages, where Baha’u’llah says “He Himself can well dispense with all creatures” that means that God does not need any of His creatures, so He could wipe us out in one split second; but God does not wipe us all out because God loves us.

    “This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. Let him that seeketh, attain it; and as to him that hath refused to seek it—verily, God is Self-Sufficient, above any need of His creatures.”
    Gleanings, p. 136

    “Consider the mercy of God and His gifts. He enjoineth upon you that which shall profit you, though He Himself can well dispense with all creatures.”
    Gleanings, p. 140

    “Your Lord, the God of mercy, can well dispense with all creatures. Nothing whatever can either increase or diminish the things He doth possess. If ye believe, to your own behoof will ye believe; and if ye believe not, ye yourselves will suffer.”
    Gleanings, p. 148

    “The one true God, exalted be His glory, hath wished nothing for Himself. The allegiance of mankind profiteth Him not, neither doth its perversity harm Him. The Bird of the Realm of Utterance voiceth continually this call: “All things have I willed for thee, and thee, too, for thine own sake.”
    Gleanings, p. 260

    “Regard thou the one true God as One Who is apart from, and immeasurably exalted above, all created things. The whole universe reflecteth His glory, while He is Himself independent of, and transcendeth His creatures.
    Gleanings, p. 166

    Regarding God’s Love, God loves all of us, but God does not need us to love Him back because God has no needs. God is never going to force His Love upon anyone, so if we choose not to love God, God’s Love will not reach us. It is as if there is a conduit between God and man and God’s Love runs through that conduit. If we close off our end of that conduit, God’s love cannot get through that conduit and reach us, but if we leave it open then God’s Love can reach us.

    Simply put, God created us out of His Love for us.

    3: O SON OF MAN! Veiled in My immemorial being and in the ancient eternity of My essence, I knew My love for thee; therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and revealed to thee My beauty.
    The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 4

    But if we do not love God, God’s Love cannot reach us. A analogy could be used ona human to human relationship. If we are ina loving relationship and our spouse loves us but we hate our spouse or have no feeling for out spouse, we will not feel the love our spouse has for us since we will have closed off our heart to him or her.

    5: O SON OF BEING! Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant.
    The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 4
    Everything that Baha’u’llah wrote (about God and about everything else) is as clear as the noonday sun and it all fits together hand in glove. One has to make an attempt to understand it though, and that requires some effort.

    “The incomparable Creator hath created all men from one same substance, and hath exalted their reality above the rest of His creatures. Success or failure, gain or loss, must, therefore, depend upon man’s own exertions. The more he striveth, the greater will be his progress.”
    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 81-82

    I have been a Baha’i for over 48 years and until six years ago I never attempted to understand anything about God and Messengers of God and how they are related, but once I read Gleanings several times, I came to understand the core theology of the Baha’i Faith, and now it is as clear to me as the noonday sun. Another reason I understand it so well is because I have been explaining it to atheists on forums 24/7 for five years.
    There is a serious flaw in what you just said. No Baha’i claims to be a “messenger of God.” Baha’u’llah was the Messenger of God. All we do is share what we know according to what Baha’u’llah wrote, but we always say that you need to check it out for yourselves and not take our word for anything. This is called Independent investigation of Truth and it is the first principle inculcated by Baha’u’llah, who urged us to employ it in discovering Truth.

    “The first principle Baha’u’llah urged was the independent investigation of truth. “Each individual,” He said, “is following the faith of his ancestors who themselves are lost in the maze of tradition. Reality is steeped in dogmas and doctrines. If each investigate for himself, he will find that Reality is one; does not admit of multiplicity; is not divisible. All will find the same foundation and all will be at peace.” – Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Volume 3, p. 5.

    “Bahá’u’lláh asked no one to accept His statements and His tokens blindly. On the contrary, He put in the very forefront of His teachings emphatic warnings against blind acceptance of authority, and urged all to open their eyes and ears, and use their own judgement, independently and fearlessly, in order to ascertain the truth. He enjoined the fullest investigation and never concealed Himself, offering, as the supreme proofs of His Prophethood, His words and works and their effects in transforming the lives and characters of men.”Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, p. 8

    “What does it mean to investigate reality? It means that man must forget all hearsay and examine truth himself, for he does not know whether statements he hears are in accordance with reality or not. Wherever he finds truth or reality, he must hold to it, forsaking, discarding all else; for outside of reality there is naught but superstition and imagination.” – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 62.
     
    #87 Trailblazer, Mar 31, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  8. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    I can't read more than the first paragraph of the article because of the paywall.

    With classical monotheism - or at least apologetics for it - two big things catch my attention:

    - how in mang arguments for God, they argue for some arcane concept that doesn't necessarily have to do with God, then just jump to the conclusion they want with "... and we call this God."

    - how most arguments for God are actually arguments for at least one god, but they tend not to ever give arguments for why there also can't be more than one god.

    As for other types of theism... I haven't seen a form of theism yet that clears the bar attiributed to Laplace ("I had no need for that hypothesis").
     
    #88 9-10ths_Penguin, Mar 31, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  9. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    There are a couple of red lights in that. One is that you are not presenting that description in the personal terms that I think would be needed. Another is that you are presenting your understanding as something that is somehow relatede to "absolute certitude", which is contradictory at best.

    I don't think so. That would be a good reason not to be Abrahamists, I suppose (and it is). But we do not need to deal with that derivative idea at all in order to be atheists. We just have to lack a need for god-concepts.

    ... according to mainstream Abrahamist expectations, at least.

    Still an odd notion to entertain, if one looks at it rationally.

    More like there can be no need to involve god-concepts in the description of the attributes and forms of the sacred, such as love.

    It looks like you are deciding to disregard other forms of perception and expression of the sacred. That would be wasteful at the best of times, and looks more than a bit silly to me.
     
  10. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    Why would belief in God need to be personal? My belief is not based upon emotion, but rather upon reason.
    Why do you think understanding that God exists with "absolute certitude" is contradictory?
    Messengers of God are a good reason not to be an Abrahamist? What is so problematic about Messengers of God? I have never figured out why atheists find the idea problematic. Why wouldn’t God use a Messenger as a mediator to communicate to humans? How else could God communicate to humans?
    I do not understand what is irrational about God using Messengers to communicate? How else could we have any knowledge of God?
    What are the other forms of perception and expression of the sacred?
     
  11. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I have long considered the matter. The only way that god-beliefs can have any form of valid claim of rational standing is by acknowledging that they are inherently very personal and forms of expression of perception of the Sacred.

    Extrapolate them anywhere outside of that narrow scope, and they have given up any intent being acknowledged with reason.

    Certitude is certitude. It has no need to be absolute, and it is entirely outside of human scope to provide brands of absoluteness of arbitrary abstract concepts.

    Any claims of absolute certitude of such beliefs are null and void, even on their own terms.

    Dependency on their existence is. They are in fact a fascinating subject matter for study on the pitfalls that may plague religious claims. for there is a myriad of problems inherent to the role.

    Atheists often know for a fact that there are no such Messengers, because we are unsaddled with the need to warp our rational analysis to allow for social expectations.

    For one thing, the idea of very few, very specific people being Messengers of God is self-limiting and self-contradictory. Why would a God even need an intermediary? Even if he did, why would there be such hardships at identifying them or reconciling their messages?

    Yes, I know full well that the Bahai Faith claims that the messages are ultimately compatible when the social and historical circunstances are taken into account. It is a commendable attempt, but it will eventually have to deal with the realization that good will is not enough to bridge the differences.

    Interesting questions, but I find their natural complements more interesting still, and far easier to answer. Why would human or humanlike messengers be necessary if such a conscious God existed? How is it possible for actual people with very real limitations to inspire and express themselves in subtle ways if somehow even an presumably transcendent and all-powerful God somehow can't? Is the idea even compatible with itself?

    We probably can't, if it is the Abrahamic model that is being discussed. That is one of the main logical weaknesses of that proposal of god-concept.

    Art, empathy, religious wisdom, moral courage, epiphany and insight, emotional growth and acceptance are some of those.
     
  12. night912

    night912 Member

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    Personal testimonies can't be use as evidence. The reason is because there is no way to verify the stories for validity. Can't verify for truthfulness, accuracy, misinterpretation, if it's a natural thing, etc.

    Similarity between ancient and modern experience, does not add weight to the stories. If anything, it actually weakens them as evidence . Knowledge of the ancient stories increase the likelihood of influencing modern experiences.

    Example: Alien abduction stories changed after the roswell crash. Victims describes the aliens with features similar to the "Roswell Greys" .
     
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  13. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member
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    Visions like Muhammed had?
     
  14. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    Because the premise of intervention entails a difference. Thus a god can intervene or a god does not change but it cannot do both. They are mutually exclusive.
     
  15. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    I can't even remember what this is all about . . . but I'm going to respond to what you are saying here, now. I don't get it. First of all, how do you determine what a god can and cannot do, second is there some law on this. Some divine legislature? Third, can law itself intervene and change? Fourth, what constitutes change? If, lets say, man has no permission from a god to eat the flesh of a living animal, and then there's a flood where man saves all animals from destruction is the god then changing should he, hypothetically, grant permission to eat animals?
     
  16. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    I have a recent thread Subjective Evidence which discusses how subjectivity always influences our truths. In my statement I speak of psychological reality, not physical reality per se.

    As a psychological experience, alien abduction experiences have objective qualities worth studying even if they demonstrably cannot be proven to have physical origins. Nice short video:

    Our psyches are emergent systems grounded on physical activity and there are objective qualities above and beyond the neurons where that activity occurs.

    Just as dreams are the source of myth, the psyche is the ground of all of our knowledge. As such all of our truths have the "flavor" of human brain activity about them. Our sense of our self is intimately tied into our visions and dreams and these sometimes produce experiences of aliens or gods with qualities both influenced by and generative of our cultural background.
     
    #96 sealchan, Apr 1, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  17. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    Possibly...I haven't studied Muhanned's vision. The trick with story embedded in an ancient tradition is to be able to separate the cultural interests of the storyteller from elements of the story embedded in experiences that people may have actually had. This is why modern psychological reports can help us to see the "braininess" of elements of extraordinary claims to divine experience from the past.
     
  18. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    - it creates the possibility for the messenger to alter the message.

    - a messenger would have no real way to demonstrate that they're authentic.

    - a messenger would be subject to human limitations when spreading the message: geographic limitations, language barriers, etc.

    - humans aren't perfect, so errors, distortions, and misunderstandings will creep into the message as it's propagated and translated.

    - one-way communication from God allows no opportunity for confirmation that the message is still correct.

    Well, what else is your god capable of?

    It would seem strange to me if the best method that God could come up with to spread his preferred religion were no better than the methods that would be used to spread religions that are complete fabrications by humans.
     
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  19. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    What God wants, He wants for us... so it has nothing to do with Him wanting anything from us? Seriously? That's what you're going with? You say God loves us, and everything He wants is what He wants for us... but that is still God wanting. And it is still God wanting something that involves us. Even if He only wants it "for us." If He truly had no wants, then He wouldn't care. And if He truly did not need to involve us, and had no wants or needs, then He wouldn't involve us. But you would obviously state that He does want, and He does want us involved. You would even say that He does "care." I don't understand how you can have tripped your own mind up this badly.


    Assertion. Baseless.


    Assertion. Baseless.


    Assertion. Baseless.


    Assertion. Baseless.


    Assertion. Baseless.
    All I read are specious, feel-good statements and proclamations that cannot, in any way, be correlated with the reality we are able to experience.

    Then why don't you just stop trying to talk for Him?

    Highly doubtful.

    And why are you urged to share if you are not ultimately messengers of God? Are you messengers for your religion? Are you messengers for "faith?" Why do you bring the "news" and who do you bring it on behalf of? I think you are very confused. Once again - unable to keep your story straight. This is all I can see in your words. I almost feel compelled to apologize, because for me there is nothing more than this from you.


    This, at least, is good advice. But Bahá’u’lláh is not nearly the only one who gives such advice. And if someone comes to different conclusions than Bahá’u’lláh about God, once they have concluded their own investigations? As has happened countless billions of times? What then? I'll tell you what then... it must be admitted that NONE of us have it quite right. Not one. This is the only respectable understanding to be reached with respect to theological ideas. I am more than willing to admit this of myself. I'm wrong. Either in part or in whole. But so is everyone else. This is because I understand why I can't know... and no one's stories are compelling in the slightest.

    And yet everything Abdu’l-Baha or Bahá’u’lláh has ever said or asserted about God is hearsay. Nothing more. I believe these sorts of "investigate for yourself" statements are intended to espouse these men and their views to the wisdom that those types of statements impart... and then they feel that perhaps their bald, baseless assertions about God and the "spiritual realm" that follow might be taken more seriously. In my investigations of reality... this is another of the conclusions I come to. This is what I have found in examining the truth for myself.​
     
    #99 A Vestigial Mote, Apr 1, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  20. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

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    I cannot figure out why people believe this.
    Why would primitive people know anything more about God than I do?

    It's not that they were stupid or evil. They were just ignorant. They thought that the earth was bigger than the sun. They didn't really know where babies came from, believing that men planted their seed in a woman(much like planting a grain seed). They thought that war and slavery was just "how things are done".

    What possible reasons for believing that they knew anything important about God?
    Tom
     
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