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Does God Exist?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by BrandenTownsend, May 1, 2004.

  1. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Nietzche said that god died because he choked on pity for us. It was a way for him to bypass the argument for the existence of god. But it still doesn't make much sense to me, for if god existed, god must of been perfect, and a perfect thing cannot die. And some say that he choked on perfect pity, but one perfection cannot negate another. It just doesn't make sense to me. If I am mistaken about this, please enlighten me.

    And runt, being taoist doesn't make you atheist, it just makes you taoist. I asked my philosophy professor the same question, and he just said. No, some christians might think you are going to hell, but atleast your not going to hell as an atheist. HEHEHE!!!
     
  2. Alaric

    Alaric Active Member

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    Yeah, it's one of my favourite quotes.

    Nietzsche was one cool guy - he did say 'God is dead', although that doesn't mean anything out of context, and he was the one that coined the term 'übermensch' ('overman' or 'superman'). He was a German philosopher that lived 1844 - 1900. A lot of his work was about self-empowerment, of freeing oneself from herd mentality and so forth. And he absolutely despised Christianity:

    "I condemn Christianity. I bring against the Christian Church the most terrible charge any prosecutor has ever uttered. To me it is the extremest thinkable form of corruption, it has had the will to the ultimate corruption conceivably possible. The Christian Church has left nothing untouched by its depravity, it has made of every value a disvalue, of every truth a lie, of every kind of integrity a vileness of soul. People still dare to talk to me of its "humanitarian" blessings! To abolish any state of distress whatever has been profoundly inexpedient to it: it has lived on states of distress, it has created states of distress in order to eternalize itself. . . . The worm of sin, for example: it was only the Church which enriched mankind with this state of distress! – "Equality of souls before God", this falsehood, this pretext for the rancune of all the base-minded, this explosive concept which finally became revolution, modern idea and the principle of the decline of the entire social order – is Christian dynamite. . . . "Humanitarian" blessings of Christianity! To cultivate of humanitas a self-contradiction, an art of self-violation, a will to falsehood at any price, an antipathy, a contempt for every good and honest instinct! These are the blessings of Christianity!"
    Nietzsche, The Antichrist

    Read up a little on who Nietzsche was, then visit this compilation of quotes: Nietzsche Quotes
     
  3. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    Alaric and Dudley Thoth-- Thanks for the information on Nietzsche (to Alaric in particular)! I'll take a look at the links you guys gave me soon!

    Master Vigil-- I'll respond in the Taoism forum, since I'm... uh... kinda leading this forum off topic with the whole "Am I atheist?" and "I like this Nietzsche guy" stuff...

    Mr_Sprinkles--Yeah, I am kinda mixture of things... that's what happens when you grow up in a mixed household and attend a Unitarian Universalist Church as a child... :)

    Now... um... lets get this forum completely back on topic (and sorry for leading it away from the topic in the first place! :oops: )
     
  4. jay1_z

    jay1_z Member

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    Just because God know what we will do doesn't mean that He is controlling us. Fortune-tellers don't control us. If you know that your child must make a decision, & you know what decision he will make because of what type of person he is, does that mean you are controling him?
     
  5. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    1) Evil defeated Jesus (no resurrection power)

    2)Jesus defeated Evil (resurrection power)

    The remaining alternative would be (I think) a cosmic stalemate, or a dualism of Good and Evil. Such a dualistic state is contradicted by the death of Christ (worst evil) because it is transformed into the life of Christ (the great good) which is eternal life. In Christ eternal life is indestructable. The power of death cannot touch it. Evil is conquered.

    "in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in christ Jesus our Lord." Paul of Tarsus (Romans 8:37-39 N.I.V).

    Yes evil exists. But do we truly SEE it?

    You believe all evil to be subjective, don't you?

    I look at evil and see it for what it is. It's nasty. It doesn't need interpretation.
     
  6. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    First of all, what if the bible is false and jesus really didn't defeat evil, then the stale mate is not contradictory. For I believe that in the end, perfection is not solely evil, but the complete balance between the two opposites that results in the complete unrecognizability of either opposite. This therefore almost causes both's existence to cease. And yes I do believe all good and evil to be subjective. For no two people have the same idea of what is good, and what is evil. And the ideas can change over the course of history. Therefore I believe that good and evil only exist in our minds.
     
  7. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    The idea of nasty is also subjective.
     
  8. BrandenTownsend

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    See, the thing about that is your comparing a parent and his/her child to the most powerful being in existence and us. God is in control of what we do if you think about it, because he wrote the book which is our lives. He pre-destined us to do everything we have ever done. For example, if you are planning to buy a car, but you aren't sure if you will, your choice in the matter isnt even your choice, because god already made that decision for you like 1,000,000 years ago. When he was writing the "plan" for your life long before you were born, he decided then whether or not you would buy that car, and even though you have a brain and can think and make decisions, really all your doing is following the program that god downloaded in your brain when you were born. So, in that sense, if you think about it, we are no more than slaves to god. We are like ants in one huge ant farm that god created for his own amusement.
     
  9. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    To Master Vigil 8)

    If the Bible is false and Jesus didn't really defeat evil Then my faith is worthless. :cry:

    I wanted to try and answer your original question (above) 'tis all.

    If you study ancient morality I think you'll find it to be basically the same as it is today. A good (and short) book to read on the subject is 'The Abolition of Man' by C.S Lewis, especially his final chapter entitled 'Illustrations of the Tao'

    God Bless
     
  10. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    You see, this is where a HUGE contradiction lies:

    If god is all powerful and all knowing, then we certainly do not have free will, because 'god's plan' for our lives was created indeed before we were born. Free will, as I define it to myself, is the ability to make any desicion, spur of the moment, without any premeditated idea about it. Christians would say that we do make our own decisions (god does not control) but that god just knowswhat we will decide. If it becomes written into 'the script', however, is it free will anymore?

    On the other hand, if lets say, god knows what the outcome will be to each possible choice, but not which one we will ultimately choose, then he is not all powerful and all knowing anymore. There is either no god, or no free will.
     
  11. Redeemed of God

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    Mr_Sprinkles just be thankful that Jesus died on the cross because if he didn't God would not be so merciful. And he didn't have to create you...you wouldn't be here if God didn't exist (which is totally impossible.)
     
  12. Mr Spinkles

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    Redeemed of Grod-- there is no "R" in my name :)

    God doesn't exist, yet here I am....

    And why is it impossible for God not to exist?
     
  13. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    To Master Vigil 8)

    Some Thoughts

    The Dao is not a dualism of good and evil.

    The Dao is a dualism of 'positive' and 'negative'.

    Good is a balance of 'positive' and 'negative'.

    Evil is an imbalance of 'positive' and 'negative'.

    Is this correct?

    *

    The ultimate state of balance is total harmony/order (Apex of Good).

    Blessed is the man
    who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
    or stand in the way of sinners
    or sit in the seat of mockers.
    But his delight is in the law of the
    LORD,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
    He is like a tree planted by streams
    of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
    and whose leaf does not wither.
    Whatever he does prospers...
    (Psalm 1:1-3 N.I.V)

    The ultimate state of imbalance is total dissolution (Nadir of Evil).

    ...Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
    Therefore the wicked will not stand
    in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the
    righteous.
    (Psalm 1:4-5 N.I.V)

    You have argued (elsewhere) that God cannot exist because he is good yet allows evil. And if God allows evil, God himself cannot be good.

    A fine sounding argument.
    And yet, if we say exactly the same thing using different terminology....

    You have argued that God cannot exist because he is perfectly balanced yet allows imbalance. And if God allows imbalance, God cannot be balanced.

    ...it doesn't seem to carry the same force of argument.

    We need to understand evil and sin as a state of imbalance. The word 'sin', in New Testament Greek, is Hamartano, which carries the meaning 'to miss the mark' (New Strong's, 1996). Sin is the byproduct of selfish desire, which springs into being when the self and its desires are not aligned with the Self and Desire of God. However, we must not side-step, or lose sight of the fact, that the imbalance is (dare I say it) an abomination. Imbalance left unchecked must result in destruction.

    Christians believe (or should) that Jesus is the only one capable of maintaining this balance.
    Because he was without sin (the dividing wall between God and ourselves) his desire and God's desire were perfectly attuned. The unity of Christ's will and God's will was demonstrated to us through Christ's self-less (or even better, God-self-centered) sacrifice. In death, Jesus took upon himself all sin and through the indestructable and transforming nature of his Spirit, he took what was dead and made it alive! In Christ our sins are 'covered' (Hebrew concept of atonement) and we receive AT-ONE-MENT with God.

    any positive or negative feedback?

    God bless
     
  14. Reeddogg

    Reeddogg New Member

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    If God defines what is good and evil then creating Satan wasn't and evil act. It brings the question of is it pious because God defines it to be, or does piety exist without regard to God. Frankley the whole God Satan thing doesn't hold alot of weight with me, but I liked you comment about Noah. I always say that the idea of Noah collecting a pair of every animal is improbable because if you melted them down and poured them into the Arc you run out at about the Emu. Silly, but it gets the point across.
     
  15. Mr Spinkles

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    What Master Vigil would be saying in that case is that God must desire or be ambivalent to imbalance, since it only occurs because he allows it to happen.

    So therefore by your definition of imbalance, God desires or is ambivalent to evil, because evil can only exist as long as he allows it to exist (assuming God is all-powerful).

    Therefore God is not perfect (assuming a perfect God desires only good and is not ambivalent to evil).

    Therefore there is no God (assuming God must be perfect).
     
  16. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    I think if God is only "good" then He is limited... and being limited, that would make him imperfect. This is, of course, more Taoist rather than Christian thought. Taking it one step further, I think a perfect God/Tao is COMPLETE, rather than being something that embodies only those qualities that we find ideal or sublime. Therefore you have the Tao, which is complete and perfect, and you have God and other archetypes of the Tao, which are incomplete and imperfect. But because we cannot know the totality of reality, we cannot truly know the Tao. So all we can really do is recognize that archetypal Gods hold SOME of the truth of the Tao... or reject archetypal Gods competely and either explore the Tao through either a spiritual or scientific the study of the Natural Tao (reality as we can perceive it)... or reject archetypal Gods completely and ignore the mystery reality in favor of the illusion.

    I believe that reality is veiled by layers upon layers of illusion. When you peel ALL the layers away, you get the Eternal Tao. However, as mere humans we can never escape all illusion... which means we do not experience the Eternal Tao ever until we die and become one with it. But we CAN strip away those layers of illusion and come CLOSER to the truth.
     
  17. Mr Spinkles

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    Runt, I agree with what (I beleive BioMors) said earlier: there comes a point when a belief has such a general definition that it becomes the mere acknowledgement of the universe in general, which pretty much everyone agrees with.
     
  18. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    Dudley Thoth -- "If the Bible is false and Jesus didn't really defeat evil Then my faith is worthless."

    It is possible though, isn't it?

    Dudley Thoth --

    "The Dao is not a dualism of good and evil."

    The Eternal Tao is the perfect balance between ALL opposites. Good and evil are in fact opposites are they not?


    "The Dao is a dualism of 'positive' and 'negative'.

    Good is a balance of 'positive' and 'negative'."

    That is subjective.


    "Evil is an imbalance of 'positive' and 'negative'."

    Also subjetive.


    Is this correct?"

    First you must recognize that good, evil, balance, imbalance, positive, and negative are all opposites. The Eternal Tao is the perfect balance between these. Taoists would avoid extremes, so therefore they would say that too much evil is unecessary, and too much good is unecessary. For yes, it would cause imbalance. So good isn't good, and bad isn't bad. What we want is balance. Good and evil are subjective to our ideas and definitions of them. Now to say that the Tao does not exist for its perfect balance would allow imbalance everywhere else would be so if the Tao dictated anything. The Tao doesn't tell us how to live, or give us laws. For imbalance is still part of the Tao, it's just within one side of it. While balance is in the other. And for some, balance would be subjective as well. The Eternal Tao is so perfect a union that either opposite almost ceases to exist in it. Therefore, the natural Tao allows us to understand the way of the universe using opposites, for our knowledge of the Tao is limited.
     
  19. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    Basically, if I understand what Master Vigil is saying on this point, it's that the existence of both evil and supreme intelligence is contradictory.

    God is not ambivalent to evil. It was counteracted in the Eternal creation and cast out. Our true home is the Eternal creation. Jesus' death on the cross was not an act of indifference.


    see above

    see above

    see above
     
  20. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    Ah, but Mr_Spinkles, that is the not the point I was trying to make. I think that the views most people have on the universe are ILLUSION... because it is based entirely on our binary system of meaning which is in itself an illusion (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, take a look at my Binary System post in the... World Philosophy?... forum)

    Simple example. Our human senses percieve the sun as being bright, and being warm. Yet is it really? These feelings are based purely on human senses... other creatures would not necessarily sense the sun in this way. Then, we take it one step further. Within our minds we assign certain connotations to the sun, light, and warmth, connotations that are NOT based on our sensory observation but rather on our experiences and our ability to connect one subject to another. Sun: male, harsh, loving, life-giving.... light: truth, enlightenment, good, holy. Warm: comforting, safe, mother...

    Physical science, psychology, religion... all attempts to understand and explore what is basically an illusion based entirely on human perception of things...
     
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