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Trailblazer

Veteran Member
I used to ask God to speak to me to confirm he exists but gues what? "The number you have dialed is currently not awailable. Please try again later..."
God is awfully busy fielding calls from disgruntled customers so I suggest you try again later. God loves persistence. :)
 

Evangelicalhumanist

"Truth" isn't a thing...
Premium Member
Evangelicalhumanist said:
First, why is God not available for a demonstration? How do you know that? God is, so I'm told, omnipotent.

Those are the 3 possible reasons, and I am not ignoring the third. I just happen to believe it is a combination of 1 and 2.

God is omnipotent does not mean God can do anything. It means that God is all-powerful. God can only do what is within His nature to do. For example, God cannot become flesh because God is spirit. If God became flesh God would be a man.

If God is spirit and not matter, how can He 'show up' on earth and be demonstrated?
Even if that was possible, and God can do it, we all know He is not doing it so if He can and doesn't, the logical conclusion is that He doesn't want to.

The other logical possibility is that there is no God and that is why God is not 'showing up' on earth.
But you are Baha'i -- you believe that you possess a soul (which is spirit) which survives your death and begins a new conscious relationship with God. How is that spirit possible to exist here on earth, as part of you, if the spirit you believe is God cannot? The inconsistency is confusing to me.
 

F1fan

Veteran Member
I did not say that. I said nobody could understand God if He spoke to them since God communicates to the mind through the Holy Spirit, and only Messengers of God can understand God since they have a divine mind.
This is your guess about the rest of the Abrahamic faiths only because of what you think is true in the baha'i texts. In the Bible God does talk directly to people. Many Christians claim that God talks to them. So the Bible and all these Christians are liars, but you are correct?

God did manifest into a form that could speak Persian and Arabic, and His Writings were translated into over 800 languages.
This is not a factual statement, you assume a God exists, and you assume baha'u'llah's claims are true. there is no basis in reality for these.

Baha'u'llah got nothing wrong since He was infallible. Baha'u'llah did predict the future and much of what He predicted has come to pass. The remainder of His predictions will come to pass in due time.
Just more blind faith on your part, and no test in reality to show it's true, so we reject it.

God may or may not have caused x, y, or z, but just because you consider those to be problems, that does not mean they are problems. They are only problems according to your limited understanding.
Right, humans have no idea whether any gods exist, or what gods do, or can do, or are limited from doing. Religion is all guesswork, not factual, including your beliefs. So critical thinkers have a good reason to doubt.[/quote]

God is awfully busy fielding calls from disgruntled customers so I suggest you try again later. God loves persistence
If only God was "allmighty".
 

F1fan

Veteran Member
Off the top of my head I will say that we cannot know that, we can only believe it. We cannot know it as a fact since it can never be proven,
So every time you write something like "God can't communicate with us" what you really mean is "I believe God can't communicate with us, and I might be wrong".

All belief is uncertain and prone to errors of human judgment.
 

It Aint Necessarily So

Veteran Member
Premium Member
God only wants to be known so humans can have the benefits of knowing God.

This is a very confused argument. The deity appears conflicted and indecisive. Does it want that or not?

Nonexistent

I can't argue there. Your god, like all gods, does the perfect imitation of nonexistent. This universe behaves as we would expect if it were the product of natural substances and forces.

If people aware of more effective ways for God to reach people how come I have not heard of any?

You and I have more effective ways of reaching people than messengers. Or maybe you'd prefer to send messengers to RF participants than to use the Internet. If you'd like to respond to this by messenger, I can give you an address. I like to have it sung if you can sing. Just leave something in the mailbox next if nobody's home.

You've got a belief that forces you to keep making just-so excuses like why this god can't or won't stop imitating its own nonexistence. That's a pretty reliable indicator that you're wrong.

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I've already given you examples of that in the past (Ptolemaic epicycles to explain retrograde planetary motion in a geocentric model), and you ignored them then, so no reason to write out what those are or how they were resolved by a paradigm shift in celestial mechanics, but it is an excellent example of that phenomenon. Look at this George Santos in the news now. He's got a just-so answer for everything, why nothing is what it appears to be. That's how you know he's lying. I wouldn't accuse you of lying - just of making up your theology as you go along, or repeating the theology that others created for you. Either way, it's vamping.
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
Agreed, but the example was more along the lines of "I want to know if you exist. Do you?" It's the basis of that person's future belief. What does a refusal to answer tell us? I would suggest 1) God doesn't exist or 2) God doesn't want to be known. Either one would likely cause the seeker to give up. Is that what God wants?
No, I don't think God wants anyone to give up.
That reminds me of a story a man once told me about his car radio. I saved the story as he told it to me in a Word document but I cannot find it right now. As I recall he was a nonbeliever and he was going through a very difficult ordeal and he was at the end of his rope and he had almost given up hope. He had driven his car to a remote location and he cried out to God for help, and his car radio came on and God spoke to him through the radio. That never happened to him again after that day. After that he became a believer and he was the most humble and faithful believer I ever met. I used to post that story to atheists on another forum. :)

I have also heard from Christians on the Christian radio station I used to listen to that God wants us to be desperate before He will answer, and that has been my own experience. I do not plan to get desperate, I just become desperate. Then when I am completely at the end of my rope I cry out to God for help, and I get the answer, usually the next day. In the interim period I figure God must think I am handling things okay on my own although it doesn't always feel like it. :(
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
"The law was given through Moses” (John 1:17).

So the "law" as set out in the OT was not the word of God? Despite having been given through a Messenger?
There is a big difference between being 'given through' Moses and 'written by' Moses. Moses did not actually write the OT the way Baha'u'llah wrote His own scriptures.

Below are some Baha'i views of the Bible:

Introduction

Although Bahá'ís universally share a great respect for the Bible, and acknowledge its status as sacred literature, their individual views about its authoritative status range along the full spectrum of possibilities. At one end there are those who assume the uncritical evangelical or fundamentalist-Christian view that the Bible is wholly and indisputably the word of God. At the other end are Bahá'ís attracted to the liberal, scholarly conclusion that the Bible is no more than a product of complex historical and human forces. Between these extremes is the possibility that the Bible contains the Word of God, but only in a particular sense of the phrase 'Word of God' or in particular texts. I hope to show that a Bahá'í view must lie in this middle area, and can be defined to some degree.

Conclusion

The Bahá'í viewpoint proposed by this essay has been established as follows: The Bible is a reliable source of Divine guidance and salvation, and rightly regarded as a sacred and holy book. However, as a collection of the writings of independent and human authors, it is not necessarily historically accurate. Nor can the words of its writers, although inspired, be strictly defined as 'The Word of God' in the way the original words of Moses and Jesus could have been. Instead there is an area of continuing interest for Bahá'í scholars, possibly involving the creation of new categories for defining authoritative religious literature.

A Baháí View of the Bible

Below is the Baha'i position on the Bible according to the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, Shoghi Effendi:

The Bahá'ís believe what is in the Bible to be true in substance. This does not mean that every word recorded in that Book is to be taken literally and treated as the authentic saying of a Prophet.

...The Bahá'ís believe that God's Revelation is under His care and protection and that the essence, or essential elements, of what His Manifestations intended to convey has been recorded and preserved in Their Holy Books. However, as the sayings of the ancient Prophets were written down some time later, we cannot categorically state, as we do in the case of the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, that the words and phrases attributed to Them are Their exact words
(9 August 1984 to an individual believer)

The Bible: Extracts on the Old and New Testaments
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
But other theists disagree with you, so why should we reject their beliefs but accept yours? Could you be mistaken?
I am not saying you should accept my beliefs about the Bible. Yes, I could be mistaken.
Hearing implies communication, and this would be direct communication from God. So it may not be in words, but it is direct communication, yes?
It might be, but there is no way to verify that it is communication from God, we can only believe that.
 

YoursTrue

Faith-confidence in what we hope for (Hebrews 11)
In my case, there wasn't any benefit to seeking the biblical God, and it was a total waste of my time. If I were you, and this is just my personal advice, don't waste your time seeking this God who either doesn't even exist or, if he does, doesn't give a rat's behind about you and the pain and trauma you may suffer. I wasted thirty years of my life as a Christian, and several years before that, sincerely praying to the biblical God to protect me from abuse. Despite my sincere prayers to God, I still was abused while I was growing up, and I suffered from severe trauma and depression as an adult. I began to heal emotionally only after I renounced my Christian faith.



I came to a very different conclusion about the so-called evidence of God and the Bible after I was no longer under the influence of my Christian indoctrination. In fact, I have a very different perspective on the Bible and the so-called evidence for God now.
Your answer made me think. (That's good sometimes.) According to what I understand, Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. He wrote them (well, they weren't really books, but scrolls eventually put into book form much later) when the Israelites were confined to the wilderness after they escaped from subjection in Egypt.
 

Sgt. Pepper

Well-Known Member
I do not see any advantage in ignoring God's guidance, just because others are able to oppress us .. I don't see how that can help me at all .. it just means that I can do whatever I like, whether it is good for me in the long run or not.

In my opinion and based on my experiences since abandoning my Christian faith, I don't need the biblical God or any other deities in my life to be moral and do the right thing or to keep me from doing something that might hurt me or not be good for me in the long run. I don't need anything from God, and I will take it a step further and say that I don't want God in my life. And no, it's not a matter of me "wanting to sin," as I've been accused of in other threads, or a matter of pride either. As far as I'm concerned, my belief, faith, hope, and trust in God were in vain, and being a Christian was an absolutely miserable experience for me. I don't need God in my life to be happy or to be a good person. I managed to turn my life around and began to heal emotionally only after I renounced my belief in God. I finally realized that my belief and faith in God were an emotional crutch, but I chose to give them up and make my life better. I'm emotionally strong enough to stand on my own, and I don't need or want God in my life. I'm more than capable of making my own decisions and choosing my own spiritual path without having to rely on God or any other deities to dictate those decisions for me.

As I explained in one of my previous posts (such as this one), being a Christian was an absolute nightmare for me, and I'm determined to never be a Christian again. It took me several years to finally break free from Christianity and deprogram myself from all the church indoctrination that I had been subjected to while I was a Christian and while I was growing up. It was actually very difficult for me to detox from my faith, but as I've said before, renouncing my Christian faith and my belief in God was the best decision that I have ever made for myself and for my mental health. I liken my experience of giving up my Christian faith to being imprisoned, only my cell door was always open and I never realized I could escape whenever I wanted to. Christianity was a prison for me, but now I'm free from it.

In my opinion, my personal experience of emotionally healing and making my life better on my own without believing in God, having faith in God, or depending on God validates Penn Jillette's point that a person doesn't need God in their life to be a moral person. I think that Penn hit the nail on the head when he said, "The question I get asked by religious people all the time is, without God, what’s to stop me from raping all I want?" And my answer is: I rape all I want. And the amount I want is zero. And I do murder all I want, and the amount I want is zero. The fact that these people think that if they didn’t have this person watching over them, they would go on killing and raping rampages is the most self-damning thing I can imagine." As far as I am concerned, he was spot on in his quote.
 
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Trailblazer

Veteran Member
Nope... #1 is a claim based on flawed logic which employs the fallacy of circular reasoning. #2 is NOT based on verifiable fact, since you've yet to provide ANY verifiable evidence that this proposed god being sent any messengers whatsoever.
1. God is not weak because He chooses to use Messengers to communicate. God uses them because the all-knowing God knows that Messengers are the *best way* to communicate to humans.

-- This is a claim but it is not based upon flawed logic.

Circular reasoning is a logical fallacy in which the reasoner begins with what they are trying to end with. The components of a circular argument are often logically valid because if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true. Wikipedia

So here is my perfectly valid circular argument:
If the premise Baha’u’llah was a Messenger of God is true, then the conclusion God exists must be true.

2. God is not ineffectual because the Messengers have had an effect on the vast majority of humans. I am not saying that *proves* God exists, as nobody can ever prove that God exists. You want verifiable evidence, which is proof, but there is no such proof, so you will just have to continue disbelieving.

-- This is not about whether the Messengers are from God or not. That can never be proven as a fact. This is about the fact that most people in the world believe in God because of a Messenger, Prophet, or Holy man, an intermediary between God and man.
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
What is the benefit of knowing God? I'm a Syntheist and have my own answer to this question, but I want to hear a Baha'i take on it.
That is a big question with many answers since there are many benefits of knowing God.

But in the main, if God created humans for a purpose, we have to know God by way of what God revealed through the Messengers in order to know the purpose for which we were created and fulfill the purpose of our existence. That purpose was revealed by Baha'u'llah.

“The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence. To this most excellent aim, this supreme objective, all the heavenly Books and the divinely-revealed and weighty Scriptures unequivocally bear witness.”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 70

That is the primary purpose as is also expressed in the Baha'i Short Obligatory Prayer as knowing and worshiping God. However, the other purpose if this life in this material world is spiritual growth, developing our spiritual nature, so our souls will be prepared to ascend to the spiritual world when we die physically.

“In man there are two natures; his spiritual or higher nature and his material or lower nature. In one he approaches God, in the other he lives for the world alone. Signs of both these natures are to be found in men. In his material aspect he expresses untruth, cruelty and injustice; all these are the outcome of his lower nature. The attributes of his Divine nature are shown forth in love, mercy, kindness, truth and justice, one and all being expressions of his higher nature. Every good habit, every noble quality belongs to man’s spiritual nature, whereas all his imperfections and sinful actions are born of his material nature. If a man’s Divine nature dominates his human nature, we have a saint.” Paris Talks, p. 60

THE TWO NATURES IN MAN
 

muhammad_isa

Well-Known Member
..I don't need anything from God..
Well, I do .. I depend on God for my food, for my fuel bills, and for my shelter .. and for companionship. :)

I managed to turn my life around and began to heal emotionally only after I renounced my belief in God..
Well, if anything, that should make you suspicious .. why would you feel so good after deciding that you are not in need of God?

As I explained in one of my previous posts (such as this one), being a Christian was an absolute nightmare for me..
That makes no sense .. why do you equate the evil you experienced with Christianity and God?
Did God oppress you, or was it other human beings that oppressed you?

Christianity was a prison for me, but now I'm free from it..
Well, you couldn't have understood what is the meaning of "true faith" .. God is not an oppressor .. He does not wish to overburden us .. on the contrary, He wishes ease for us, and to be successful.
 

F1fan

Veteran Member
I am not saying you should accept my beliefs about the Bible. Yes, I could be mistaken.

It might be, but there is no way to verify that it is communication from God, we can only believe that.
Then why are you taking what Baha'u'llah claims in his writings as if factual? Isn't it possible he was not bing truthful? Could it be was was a person like you who really believed he was a messenger but he wasn't?
 

Truthseeker

Non-debating member when I can help myself
This is not a valid, objective source for critical thinkers. You are biased and assume this text is true. So we dismiss it as a non-credible source. What else do you have to support what you believe and post that is verifiable and factual?
She's just saying what she believes. It's not meant as any evidence for anyone else. Can't she state what she believes? You should know by now through your encounters with her that that was what she was doing.
 

Sgt. Pepper

Well-Known Member
Well, I do .. I depend on God for my food, for my fuel bills, and for my shelter .. and for companionship. :)


Well, if anything, that should make you suspicious .. why would you feel so good after deciding that you are not in need of God?


That makes no sense .. why do you equate the evil you experienced with Christianity and God?
Did God oppress you, or was it other human beings that oppressed you?


Well, you couldn't have understood what is the meaning of "true faith" .. God is not an oppressor .. He does not wish to overburden us .. on the contrary, He wishes ease for us, and to be successful.

Well, you're entitled to your personal opinions and your religious beliefs, and I'm entitled to mine. I won't argue about it. Perhaps it's best for the both of us if we agree to disagree on this topic because you won't change my mind and I obviously won't change yours.
 
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