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Featured If God spoke directly to everyone...

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Trailblazer, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    My parents rarely ever talked to me so I do not know what they thought. My dad died when I was 12 years old and only later did my mother tell me he had become an atheist. My mother became a Baha’i about five years after me and my sister, when she was 60 years old. My brother was also a Baha’i, so that was the entire nuclear family. I often wonder what my dad in doing now in the spiritual world, if he ever connected to God.
    I had no interest in God in childhood or at the time I became a Baha’i. I cannot even remember thinking about God before I became a Baha’i.

    No, it absolutely was not the social aspects of community that attracted me, as I am not very sociable in groups. It was the social and spiritual teachings of the Baha’i Faith that attracted me as well as the underpinning theology of progressive revelation. It was also the idea that the Faith has a plan for uniting humanity and building the Kingdom of God on Earth. I have always been very idealistic.
    I think it was because I realized I had tried everything else to no avail. I spent over 15 years in college acquiring various degrees because I thought that was important, but after all that I realized it really didn’t really matter. Admittedly, I was kind of flailing around when I finally decided to give the Baha’i Faith and God a second chance. For about 10 years prior to that I was really angry at God and I wished He did not exist. It has been an uphill battle to try to overcome that hate, but I have made a lot of progress in the last seven years, mostly from being on various forums listening and conversing with others.
     
  2. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    God does not exist outside of space/time. It was not me who originally said that so I just corrected what I said. Thanks for pointing that out. If God is omnipresent, God can be wherever He wants to be, in this material world or in all the spiritual worlds.
     
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  3. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    That is true.
    If we are convinced we choose to believe.
    If we are not convinced we choose not to believe.
     
  4. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I said: If you have made up your mind that God does not exist you will choose not to believe in God because you are convinced God does not exist.

    That means you are no longer looking for evidence because you made up your mind.

    If you have not made up your mind and are requesting evidence, and evidence is provided but it is not good enough for you, then you are out of luck. :(
     
  5. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    They are not. As already said, you can easily demonstrate to yourself how they are not: you aren't able to choose right here, right now, to sincerely and honestly believe that Santa is real.

    So, not a choice.

    Makes no sense.

    Again makes no sense.
     
  6. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    If I am convinced that something is true, then I will believe that something by compulsion, not by choice.
    The point. You're missing it.

    No. As explained above. Being convinced of something triggers belief by compulsion, not by choice.


    Let's stick to "based on your understanding and / or interpretation of evidence".
    Because your reasoning could be incorrect or invalid, off course.

    Not anymore then non-belief in santa is a choice.

    This is also wrong btw. I don't believe in god because I remain unconvinced that a god exists. Not because I am convinced that a god does not exist. Those aren't the same things.

    But in any case, belief isn't a choice. It's a compulsion that flows from being convinced.
    And you don't choose what convinces you either. At best, you can choose your sources where you get your intel, but ultimately, it's the intel and your reasoning that will result in being convinced or unconvinced - which is not by choice.

    I never "choose" to believe that I'll get hurt or worse if I jump out of the window on the 5th floor.
    Instead, my understanding of the evidence that that is what will happen, informs my conviction that that is what will happen. "Choice" doesn't come into it. It's not a factor.

    You again make no sense.
    That sentence should read:

    If people never become convinced that God exists then they will never be compelled to believe
     
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  7. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    For the same reason that we don't choose our beliefs.

    Where is the choice in "being convinced" that we'll hurt ourselves when jumpin out the window of a tall building? All the evidence shows that we'll fall to earth with an acceleration of 9.81 meters per second per second (in a vacuum, so you'll need to correct for resistance).

    Can you "choose" to "not accept" that evidence and thus not be convinced that if you jump from a building, you'll likely hurt yourself?

    I say you can not.

    I know that that is your point. Your point is wrong.
    Being convinced makes belief a compulsion, not a choice.
    Evidence makes being convinced a compulsion as well, also not a choice.

    In that sense, "being convinced" and "believing" are synonymous.

    Your brain compells you.
    This is why you can't "choose" to believe that santa is real or that you'll walk away unharmed after jumping from the empire state building without a parachute.

    Not a choice.
    You keep using that word. It doesn't mean what you seem to think it means.


    Yes, we are. By the evidence and our mind.
    Due to the evidence, you cannot sincerely believe or be convinced of the existance of santa, because the evidence informs you that that belief is incorrect or unjustified.

    You might choose to say / claim that you believe in santa, but you won't really believe in santa.

    I'm just going to call this a straight up lie.
    No, you could not "choose" to sincerely believe in santa, not even if your life depended on it.

    Your knowledge about the santa story makes that impossible.

    This has nothing to do with free will and everything with psychology of belief.

    Let's put that into practice concerning gravity.

    1. we acquire knowledge: things fall down to earth. The heavier the things, the harder they fall down.
    2. I have no idea what you mean by "applying our will" to that. Instead, I'll say we apply our reasoning to all those observations concerning "falling objects". We conclude that objects with mass attract other objects with mass. And the bigger the mass, the stronger the attraction. We calculate that an object falling to earth in a vacuum will accelerate towards the earth with 9.81 meters per second per second.
    3. Based on that knowledge, we conclude that jumping from the empire state building without a parachute, will result in certain death. We are convinced of this.

    So you are saying that in 3, barring any other factors concerning data or other beliefs, we could "choose" to believe that we can jump from that building and walk away unharmed? And really sincerely believe that?


    I say that is obviously wrong. And I'll claim that you agree that it is wrong. I submit that you will not succeed in "choosing" to believe such and sincerely honestly believe it.

    You did not.
     
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  8. Pudding

    Pudding Well-Known Member

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    Regardless you're trying to convince anyone or not, your claims (regards your God) which you have provided 0 evidence to backup any of them, are very unconvincing.

    Claim: An assertion that something is true.
    Assertion: A confident and forceful statement of fact or belief.

    In your op, you presented a bunch of assertions that you believe are true. That's what claims are. You're making claims, as in you use your hands typing those claims via keyboard to your computer and posted them in your op, in this thread.

    Why do anyone need to debate your beliefs when you were providing 0 evidence to backup any of your beliefs? You're automatically render your beliefs' statements (regards your God) with 0 credibility when you provided 0 evidence to backup any of them.
     
    #188 Pudding, Jan 15, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
  9. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    and the Carpenter said.....
    It is not well to give the bread of the children unto dogs

    care for some crumbs?
     
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  10. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    Hi Trailblazer! Long time no see!

    I have been away from this site because my experience last year had a more dramatic impact on my mind than I thought.

    Anyway. Regarding the OP, I think the question has got to do with methodology of determining what is true.

    The situation at the moment, if God exists, is that if people reject God then they are within their rights to do so because logically they had no reason to believe that he exists.

    If he spoke to everybody, then if they reject him it would be because they don't want to worship him for some reason or another. But it would be proven that he exists. Or at least the voice claiming to be God's exists.

    So, my take on the individual points:

    1.God wants us to seek Him out and use our innate intelligence to decide if we have found Him. God rewards true seekers. The question to ponder here is what method would our innate intelligence conclude is the best method for determining what is true and how we can best discard what is false about our reality? Also, if God rewards truth seekers how can we currently determine who genuinely seeks truth?

    2.God does not want to make belief easy to acquire. God wants us to exert an earnest effort in order to believe. For what purpose does God want us to exert an effort in finding him? What does he achieve through laying down this obstacle that prevents us from easily finding him?

    3.God wants us to have faith that He exists without absolute proof. Those who have faith will get the proof they need. Why would God favour faith over fact? What if our innate intelligence convinces us that a methodology that favours fact over faith is the best way of determining truth?

    4.Last but not least, nobody except God’s Messengers can comprehend God. Messengers act as mediators between God and humans, communicating what we would otherwise be unable to understand. Why would God favour only some to communicate with him? And wouldn't this be a problem in itself because then he is creating confusion as there then can be debate as to who is a true messenger and who is not?
     
  11. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    Nope. There is no "choose" here-- no more than you could "choose" to "believe" in gravity.

    Or "choose" to have you left arm just detach and crawl away..
     
  12. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    Sorry... your crumbs are worthless... for they are composed of crumbling bits of badly mixed mortar, that was laid down in deep winter, and froze before it could set.

    That's what you get when using amateur woodworking, who clearly could not even make a living building furniture, and had to go out on the road as an itinerant con man, bilking people out of their lunches, and pretending he had magically multiplied it or something.
     
  13. Left Coast

    Left Coast Happy New Year!
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    "Man is absolutely helpless and dependent, since might and power belong especially to God,"

    Yes. He literally did.

    Having cake. Eating it too.

    As I've now explained probably a dozen times (13th times the charm?) it's premised on the notion that beliefs are chosen. They aren't. I can't "try hard" to have a certain belief.

    I want you to reread that statement, and carefully think through how silly it is. That's literally what omnipotence means. The philosophical conundrum and contradictions this creates have led most theistic theologians and apologists to walk back the meaning to something like what you're describing.

    Why would it matter? It would matter in terms of God's motivations to do what he does.

    Yes. evidence which is sh*tty and which God knows all of us won't accept. 100% his choice. Again, he's holding all the cards and invented the rules of the game. There's no absolving him of the responsibility of his choices.

    The belief that beliefs are things we choose and should try hard to obtain, despite all evidence to the contrary. The belief that humans have "free" will, despite all evidence to the contrary (including your own prophet's teachings). The belief that God is not responsible for people's disbelief despite being omnipotent and choosing a course of action which guarantees it.

    Then you believe that the basis upon which we come to understand that everything else in the universe exists is "childish." Okay then. :shrug:

    He only needs to make excuses if he has an interest in humanity believing he exists. Generally, theists think he does. If you don't, then okay, there's no need for any more threads from you on the topic I guess.

    No, ZERO evidence indicates God has ever done ANYTHING. The evidence that we have is that religions have often CLAIMED that God speaks through their special messengers, prophets, messiahs, etc. No religion has ever demonstrated that their claims are CORRECT. For some reason, theists just cannot accept that reality, but it does not change that reality.

    I'm sorry to hear that. :(

    I agree that covering the same ground over and over is not productive.

    The issue here, in terms of "excuses," is that you are asking us to accept the idea that your God, who is omnipotent, omniscient, etc. wants us to believe he exists (or does he?) on the basis of completely natural, mundane means, which are the same means used by literally every prophetic religion you believe is false. So it's weird that the true God would communicate through the same fallible, mundane means of people claiming they speak for him that countless people whose message you don't accept have also used. In fact, it's more than weird - it's completely implausible.
    Got it, so all the attributes of God that are actually distinguishable as divine, Messengers don't have. They only have the mundane ones that lots of people who aren't Messengers also have.

    You see the obvious problem with that in terms of believability, right? But perhaps we should wait for your thread.
     
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  14. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Since there is no evidence that indicated that Santa is real I can to choose right here, right now, to sincerely and honestly believe that Santa is not real.
    It makes no sense that we can make choices? Belief is no different than anything else in life. You gather information and based upon that information you make a choice.

    For example, if I was considering going to college, I would research the different colleges I am considering, and based upon that information I would make a choice which one to attend. If none of them met my criteria, I would make a choice not to attend any of them.

    How is that any different from researching various religions and making a choice to believe or not believe?
     
  15. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Unless you are obsessive-compulsive, it is not a compulsion, it is a choice. You act as if you have no control over your own actions.
    Compulsion: the act of compelling or forcing; coercion; constraint.
    Choice: the act of choosing; selection; election

    Maybe you like to think you are forced because that means you have no control over your own actions.
    Who is the judge of incorrect or invalid reasoning?
    It is a choice people make based upon lack of evidence.
    No, those are not the same. You do not believe that god exists because you are not convinced that god exists, so you are an agnostic atheist. Some atheists are convinced that a god doesn’t exist. They are called hard atheists.
    Choice, compulsion, it amounts to the same thing, so why argue over semantics?
    I am not saying that you choose what convinces you, but when you are convinced you make a choice (are compelled) to believe, and if you are unconvinced you will make a choice (are compelled) not to believe.

    Can we agree on that?
    That is true. And if people become convinced that God exists then they will be compelled to believe. I am compelled to believe in God based upon the evidence. That is why I cannot unbelieve even though I have wanted to. ;)
     
  16. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    No, you cannot deny what would happen (unless you are irrational) because of your knowledge of what would happen is based upon what has happened to other people who jumped off tall buildings.
    Okay, I will buy that when you put it that way.
    Okay, I will buy that when you put it that way. Your brain compels you; what is happening is that you are compelled to not to believe in Santa. It is kind of like me believing in Satan or the bodily resurrection of Jesus. I am compelled not to believe those because my logical brain will not accommodate such beliefs. Obviously, other people do not think like me because they are compelled to believe in Satan and the bodily resurrection because their brain accommodates these beliefs.
    That is true. Due to the evidence I have that is proof to me that God exists, I cannot sincerely unbelieve or be unconvinced of the existence of God, because the evidence informs me that my belief is correct or justified.
    I call it choosing to believe based upon the evidence and you call it being compelled to believe based upon the evidence. These mean the same thing because the same process is going on in the brain. Why argue over semantics?
     
  17. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Beliefs are not claims, nor are they assertions, because they cannot be proven. That is why I prefaced my list with an Imo.

    I said: “Imo, the main reasons why God does not speak directly to everyone are as follows:”
    If I told you that the evidence that my beliefs are true comes from the scriptures that were written by a Messenger of God, would you accept that as evidence? I highly doubt it. Like every other nonbeliever you would say “that’s not evidence.”
     
  18. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    You certainly have been away a long time. I do not know what that experience was but I hope you are doing okay now and welcome back. :)
    Imo, everyone is within a right to believe or disbelieve. There are reasons to believe and reasons to disbelieve, it all just depends upon how we view the evidence. Because people view it differently, we have believers and nonbelievers.
    IF it could be proven that the “voice” was actually God those people hearing it would believe, but how could anyone ever know it was actually the Voice of God? Only if God wanted to convince you it was Him could you know, but if God convinced you that would be taking away your free will choice.
    I would say just looking at what seems likely to you to be evidence and investigating it thoroughly. God knows who are sincere seeks of truth because God is All-Knowing.
    I really cannot really know for certain, I can only surmise. The harder we search, the more we have proven our love for God. Also, if it was too easy, it would not be worth much and we would not appreciate it as much as if we had to exert an effort.

    God does not achieve anything because God has no needs, so no need to achieve anything. It is humans who achieve, but only if they make an effort. Anyone who has struggled hard to achieve something (like a college degree) knows the satisfaction they feel having achieved it.

    Also, if it was really easy, everyone could be believers, and within the ‘everyone’ would be people who were unworthy of belief.

    All that said, some people who believe did not have to make much of an effort, it came easy. It is a mystery why this is the case, but it is no different from anything else in life; some people have an easier life than others.
    Again, I do not know why, but I know God favors faith:

    Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who approaches Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

    But to look at it logically, faith is necessary to believe in God since God cannot be proven as a scientific fact, so maybe that is why God wants us to have faith.
    According to my beliefs, God only communicates to Messengers because they alone have a divine mind. Also, they have a human nature and a divine nature, so they can bridge the gap between God and humans, acting as mediators.

    Of course there will always be a debate as to who is a true messenger and who is not. This is what we have to use our innate intelligence for, to determine who the true Messenger is. Obviously, not everyone will be successful. It is like anything else in life.
     
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  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    No, you do not really choose to believe or not believe, you are compelled to believe or not believe based upon how you view the evidence or lack of evidence for God’s existence.

    However, I do not like the example of gravity because that is a provable scientific fact, so how you view evidence for gravity will always be the same.

    Belief in God is different in that you are compelled to believe or not believe based upon how you view the evidence at any moment in time, but that can change if you change how you view the evidence, or if new evidence comes in that you have not yet seen.

    Belief and non-belief are not static states, so there is always a chance you could “come to believe” if you changed how you view the evidence or got new evidence. Conversely, as you know, people can lose their belief in God. Many atheists were formerly believers, and they lost their belief because they could no longer view the Bible as evidence.
     
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    You took that out of context...

    "Now another question arises. Man is absolutely helpless and dependent, since might and power belong especially to God. Both exaltation and humiliation depend upon the good pleasure and the will of the Most High."
    Some Answered Questions

    That does not mean we do not have free will. It means God has all power, so we are dependent upon God. Note that it does not say God is doing anything for us, so that means we have to make our own choices.
    I never said you could.
    Even if omnipotent means can do anything, it does not mean will do anything, so it still does not help you out. God does not do anything that God does not want/choose to do, period. That comes with the territory of being omnipotent. You are not omnipotent so you cannot make God do anything.
    I told you what that motivation was. God’s motivation for us to believe in Him is because it benefits us, but it does not do any good at all to just believe that God exists, without getting the message God wants us to have. As such, the whisper in your ear – “I exist” -- is a waste of time for both you and God because it accomplishes nothing. Lots of people “believe” God exists, but to what avail? If they are not getting God’s message for this age, they have no idea what God’s will is for them.
    God is responsible for everything in existence, but God is not answerable to any humans. That comes with being omnipotent.
    We should only try hard to obtain belief in God if we want to believe in God. If we find evidence that convinces us, we will be compelled to believe; if not we won’t believe.
    No, that is not true at all that there is evidence to the contrary from my religion. Abdu’l-Baha clearly said we have free will to make moral choices. He said nothing about being able to choose to believe in God.
    That is ludicrous. God is not responsible for anyone's disbelief. Most people believe in God because of the evidence God provides; only 7% of people in the world do not believe in God and that is either because they cannot accept the evidence God provides or they just do not care about believing in God. Why should God provide some other kind of evidence just because 7% of people cannot believe based upon the evidence He provided? God is not a short order cook.

    According to sociologists Ariela Keysar and Juhem Navarro-Rivera's review of numerous global studies on atheism, there are 450 to 500 million positive atheists and agnostics worldwide (7% of the world's population), with China having the most atheists in the world (200 million convinced atheists). Demographics of atheism - Wikipedia

    “Despite being omnipotent…” What does that have to do with anything? Oh I know, I ought to know, because I have been listening to this for six years… God is omnipotent so God can do anything, which for certain atheists translates to “God is omnipotent so God should hop to and do what I want Him to do, provide some better evidence.”
    Sorry, I do not see the connection.
    How could religions prove that God speaks through their special messengers, prophets, messiahs? Try to use your logical mind.

    This is the crux of the problem, atheists want proof, not just evidence, and there can never be the kind of proof that they want for God.
    I consider myself done posting to him, unless he has something new.
    I accept all the messages that have come from God through true Messengers of God. Their social teachings needed to be updated to suit the times, but the spiritual teachings are the same in all the great religions.

    I have asked this on previous threads, and this was before I remember seeing you on this forum. Realistically, what other “means” could God use? When I asked this nobody could come up with anything that would work as well as Messengers, or work at all, to get the same message out to everyone. It is ludicrous to think that God should reveal the 15,000 tablets He revealed to Baha’u’llah to every one of the 7.7 billion people in the world. Please do not tell me “God is omnipotent do God can do anything.” There is no reason why God would do this and certainly very few of the world population could understand what was revealed to Baha’u’llah, if it was revealed to them directly.
    Logically speaking, how could a man be Eternal, Holy, Unchanging, Impassable, Infinite, Omnipresent, All-powerful, All-Knowing, All-Wise, Self-Existent, Self-Sufficient, Sovereign, Righteous, and Immaterial, even if He has a divine nature, which all the Messengers of God had? That is not possible. However, the Messengers do have qualities that distinguish them from ordinary humans, not the least of which is the ability to comprehend God and write down what God communicated. They can also do miracles and see into the future, not that this is that important.
    I guess I do not see it because I do not have a bias against the idea of Messengers and I never did. To me it always made sense that there would need to be an intermediary between God and humans.
     
    #200 Trailblazer, Jan 16, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
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