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Does God Exist?

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

  1. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    O.O I like that... what is it (who is Nietzsche?)
     
  2. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    Jesus DID defeat evil on the cross.

    "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the curruption in the world caused by evil desires.
    For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness, knowledge; and to goodness knowledge; and to knowledge self control; and to self control perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is short sighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
    ...if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will recieve a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2Peter 1:3-11 N.I.V)

    It is our perception(inner vision/eyes of our heart) of what is good, that enables us to see evil. Without this ability, 'evil' is subjective.

    P.S No need to apologise. We need not offend one another. 8)
     
  3. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    A Book For All And None
     
  4. Mr Spinkles

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    Runt-- Ah, I see- you're sort of a combo of things. Nietzche was an early 20th century philosopher who famously said "God is dead" (correct me if I'm wrong, fellas--could be mistaken).

    This "God" fellow sounds awfully insecure. To think he needs to create tiny beings to assure him of how great he is--my, what an ego! :lol:
     
  5. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    "escape the curruption in the world caused by evil desires."

    But there is still corruption and evil in the world. Therefore he created ways to overcome the evil, he didn't defeat it completely. For if he defeated it completely, then it wouldn't exist at all.

    "It is our perception(inner vision/eyes of our heart) of what is good, that enables us to see evil. Without this ability, 'evil' is subjective."

    So if we can see evil, than it still exists. Therefore he didn't defeat it completely. And even a subjective evil, is evil in its own right.
     
  6. 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!!!
     
  7. 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
     
  8. 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: )
     
  9. 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.
     
  10. 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.
     
  11. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    The idea of nasty is also subjective.
     
  12. 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
     
  13. 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.)
     
  14. 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?
     
  15. 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
     
  16. Mr Spinkles

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    I already have provided examples of orderly societies that beileve these things. Nazi Germany was a very orderly society, as were the societies of the ancient Romans and Aztecs. The Romans conquered and stole from the Goths (and other barbarian tribes) enslaved them, and even killed them in arenas for sport. You personally may disagree with this moral system, but to the ancient Romans this was all perfectly acceptable. C.S. Lewis is flat out wrong if he suggests that ALL people feel that lying stealing and killing is immoral.

    Secondly, even if in your opinion these societies were not orderly, it doesn't matter. "Orderly" is subjective, and to the ancient Romans they considered their own society very orderly.

    Third: Assuming everyone wants an orderly society where everyone is equal and free and killing lying and stealing are all nonexistent, then C.S. Lewis has a stronger case--we can use logic to figure out how best to accomplish these objectives. But not everyone wants those things, not everyone shares those same goals. The Romans didn't want everyone to be equal and free, they wanted to be rich and powerful--they didn't share our altruism. So for the Romans what they did was perfectly acceptable and ethical to acheive these ends.

    Let's think about ethics for a moment. Why would someone believe it's wrong to steal food? Because, they might say, if we all stole what doesn't belong to us society would drift into chaos. Why don't we want society to be in chaos? Because if society was in chaos, I might have my food stolen from me. Why do we not want our food stolen from us? Because, I want to eat. Why do we want to eat? Because I want to live. Why do you want to live? Because........I just do.

    This just one example, but as you can see at the very bottom foundation of all our morals are axioms like "I want to live" from which all our moral codes are derived. There is no logic or reason that answers why we want to live....one simply feels that way. I doubt many people truly do not want to live...this desire to live is an axiom that almost everyone shares.

    However where Lewis goes wrong is that he doesn't realize that many more axioms are not shared, such as the emotional revulsion to murder. Many groups do not have the axiom "it is wrong to murder" (check my examples) and therefore an objective logical system of ethics based on the axiom "it is wrong to murder" is impossible, since this axiom varies in mankind. In fact, even people who do share the axiom "it is wrong to murder" might conflict on other axioms (such as "it is right to execute criminals") and therefore derail any universal system of ethics that everyone can agree on.

    Lewis was on the right track though...once we have established our moral axioms we can use logic and objective reason to figure out how to best acheive an axiom without compromising others. The problem is that different individuals and groups have conflicting sets of moral axioms, which no one single system of ethics can reconcile.
     
  17. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    To Mr Spinkles

    A Nazi (whether s/he likes it or not) is bound by moral objectivity. All of us deviate from the objective moral law. The qustion is, what is it that we are deviating from? The ONLY way a Nazi can JUSTIFY his subjective morality is to adhere to a subjective (and perverse) view of the world. If, as you say, the Nazis believed it was morally correct to murder people, then why did they dehumanize Jews? I tell you it was to JUSTIFY to themselves that what they were doing wasn't WRONG. The Nazis, according to their worldview, didn't murder people. Nazis don't believe it is RIGHT to murder people. Neither do Nazis believe it is right to cheat and steal. Neo-nazis (their corrupt view of the Kosmos aside), can in fact be really nice people. The same argument can be applied to the Aztecs and Romans.

    "if he suggests..." But he doesn't. If people didn't commit these acts (usually on the basis of self-justification) there would be no need for a code of law.

    All Roman citizens were considered free. (i'm not to sure about the equal part). Just because a society is rich and powerful it doesn't follow that all the members of that society crave power and wealth. Please don't make that mistake.

    "I want to live" is not the basis of morality. You cannot separate the 'I' from 'everybody else'.

    C.S Lewis does not go wrong. He understands the human condition. He doe not deny the existence of subjectivity.

    God Bless 8) 8) 8)
     
  18. 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).
     
  19. 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.
     
  20. 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.
     
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