1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

"Why? Why? WHY?!" a direct quote from Ceridwen018 and many others

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by HOGCALLER, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. Doc

    Doc Space Chief

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    500
    Ratings:
    +80
    Well stated! St. Francis did not dawdle over divinity of the Book! You could memorize everything in the Bible but it is what you do with that knowledge is important!
     
  2. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    3,768
    Ratings:
    +399

    I made a mistake and you picked up on it, thank you. Obviously, from a scientific point of view, I cannot provide you with definite "proof" on account of because in science nothing is ever 100% certain. However, I CAN provide you with theories, which have been tried and tested and accepted, in many cases, as law. To rephrase my question to you, in order to keep it fair in that we are both expected to meet the same criteria, I ask you for theories instead of proof. Where are your theories? Or, if you have proof, you could always one-up me and post that.


    I won't argue that you're more familiar with the bible than I am. I am aware that the words "God is omniscient" aren't scralled across Leviticus, but I was under the impression that the bible mentions God as being all-knowing and all-powerful, which is the definition of omniscient. Basically, if god isn't omniscient, then that means that he is not all-knowing or all-powerful. Do you agree with that?

    Alright then, who DID create Satan, and who DID create evil? Also, is god more powerful than Satan? If he is, than he is perfectly capable of disposing of Satan, and therefore responsible for evil by not doing everything in he can to prevent it.

    If god did not create satan, then that means that satan 'always was' just like god. Perhaps satan shares eual power with god? Perhaps satan is MORE powerful than god? Bottom line, if god did not create satan, then that means that god did not create everything. Also, if satan created evil, that obviously shows that he has creating powers. What else did he create?


    Please do not make assumptions about what I think. If I misinterpreted what you were trying to say, do not immediately suspect that it is because I am pretentious and close minded. If you could politely explain what it is you meant and where I went wrong, we might be able to get somewhere here.

    Let me spell out my train of thought here, so you can see why I find Deuteronomy to be illogical in this context: If it is true that god does not want evil, then obviously something went wrong in the garden of eden, as evil was introduced. The passage you cited from Deuteronomy states that "God is perfect in his work". Obviously, if god allowed for a crack through which evil could slip, his work in this instance was NOT perfect, and therefore in direct contradition to Deuteronomy.


    Where does it say that in the bible? I don't remember any verses like, "Well, god could totally know if he wanted to, but he just doesn't. He holds his powers back sometimes."
    'The Matrix' is not an appropriate analogy when we're trying to talk about free-will. The people in the Matrix had just as much 'free-will' as those out of it, they just didn't have to handle the machines.

    Bottom line--If being an automaton meant that I was completely happy all the time and didn't want for anything, I would choose that over having 'free-will' and being sad.



     
  3. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Messages:
    7,049
    Ratings:
    +860
    Scientific facts don`t directly state that god is unnecessary but scientific method does.
    Occams Razor.

    Yes, I did.

    John 21:17
    He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
    John 16:30
    Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
    Colossians 2:3
    (Christ)In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
    Acts 1:24
    "And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men.
    Ps.139:2-3
    "Thou knowest my down-sitting and mine up-rising; thou understands my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways
    Ps.44:21
    "For he knoweth the secrets of the heart."
    Ps.139:7-8
    "Whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there."
    Pr.15:3
    "The eyes of the Lord are in every place."
    Jer.16:17
    "For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes."
    Jer.23:24
    "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth?"
    Acts 1:24
    "Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men."
    Half the verse is unprovable because you would have to first prove that God exists.
    The other half is provable simply because I could cite a litany of imperfections in this world he created. I could also show that God is extremely unjust considering accepted ethics today.
    He kills innocents, punishes the sons for the crimes of their fathers.
    Etc..etc..on..on..and on and on… Before I continue you will have to tell me your definition of "just".

    This is only your interpretation of scripture.

    Please cite verse that supports it.

    It is a serious case of splitting hairs because either way he is still omniscient.

    I would also like you to cite reference for your earlier claim that Satan was in fact in Eden and misled Eve.

    This reply is rushed and I apologise but I`m heading out the door.I`ll give a more thorough reply later.
     
  4. SoulTYPE

    SoulTYPE Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,252
    Ratings:
    +121
    It was too much to quote, but ceridwens last post was very excellent. the part about Satan, anyways.

    Resume your arguments ppl.
     
  5. mahayana

    mahayana Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Messages:
    118
    Ratings:
    +13
    It's hard to know where to begin responding to a thread with so many philosophical and theological questions and assertions.

    Perfection and imperfection is a duality, a way of looking at phenomenon and putting them in separate columns. Good (God) and evil (Devil) is another duality, like just/unjust, moral/immoral, saved/damned, correct/incorrect, etc.

    Humans like to think in these paradigms, though they are ultimately divisive of the whole, just a confusion. The Bible is really more important in suggesting what ethical behavior is, than in answering deep questions about existence, history, ultimate reasons.

    One further observation: Hogcaller is a name which conjures a farmer speaking to his pigs. Perhaps we can't appreciate his pearls, due to our inferior, beastly, unclean nature?

    I do empathize with Job and Sisyphus, all those tormented by God in our literature. Humans deserve what they get, no?
     
  6. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Messages:
    7,049
    Ratings:
    +860
    I prefer to think it`s because his pearls are actually fakes and not pearls at all.

    I have to disagree.
    I can`t think of an literary influence that is a worse moral guide in this day and age.
    What correct ethical edicts the Bible puts forth are usually directly contradicted by the Bible elsewhere.
     
  7. mahayana

    mahayana Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Messages:
    118
    Ratings:
    +13
    My way with all the holy books is to take from them only what makes sense to me. While it's easy to react to preachers trying to convince you of their views (and overviews), ultimately your integrity is more important than their judgements.

    Religion without contradiction is rare, without paradox rarer still.
     
  8. SoulTYPE

    SoulTYPE Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,252
    Ratings:
    +121
    Or what you WANT to make sense? Is this not taking the bible out of context? I say this because God's words are supposed to be full and understood entirely. Not a go at you.

    Now THAT I agree with. The bible is full of inviting contradiction.
     
  9. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    255
    Ratings:
    +8
    Mr_Spinkles,

    You again ask: "Can God create a perfect world?" That tells me that, at a minimum, you still do not understand and accept the fact that I believe God “did” create a perfect world. And that is in spite of the fact that I have said so, more than once, in this thread and you know that I have argued such previously on this site, is that not correct? Therefore asking me “can” God do something he already “did” is a non sequitur. Would you like to reword the question? Or, should I again just answer this way: yes, God “can” create a perfect world, he already “did.”



    I “listened”, to you primarily but also others, in that previous thread and was moved to respond to the comments, questions and complaints expressed there by preparing what I have presented in this thread. As I stated in my introduction and as I have stated in the past, my desire in this is not to be a contrarian but to give you (meaning all readers of these words) a “new” point of view to consider and to stand up for God and his Word. I have discussed this subject with many ‘believers’ and usually found their explanations wanting. And from many atheists what I have “heard” (referring to the tone of what was said) is an in-your-face cynicism (that may be a bit harsh but it was at least arrogant superiority), skepticism and negativity that left me cold. I feel relatively certain that almost everyone confident enough in his beliefs to post here is not ‘looking’ for something different but someone reading this may be. Perhaps what I am really trying to say to you all is, “give me, and more importantly, any ‘lookers,’ something more than ‘bluff and bluster’ (referring to tone) to go on.”



    Again, it appears that, at a minimum, we are not communicating with, or rather I should say not understanding, each other very well. Therefore, I am sure that my answer is a non sequitur in your eyes. You can tell me all about the faulty “logic” of my answer if you wish, but I can already imagine what you might say. Already being somewhat familiar with what might be said is why I went into so much detail with my original post in this thread. In it I have already touched on many, perhaps even most, of the objections to my point of view. My hope was that by presenting my point of view in a complete, connected, logical (at lease in my mind) and presented-all-at-once form it would be easier to understand, it seems I was mistaken. I apologize to you all for it being so long that you cannot remember what I have said after you read it and then make comments or ask questions which irritate me because I think you have not bothered to read the post. My mistake.



    There may be other factors at work here, also. Let me use an illustration that I think applies: at one time a common marketing ploy was to mail a contest entry form that included a message hidden in a patch of multicolored dots. To read the message and determine whether or not you were a winner you had to visit the place of business and pick up a special pair of glasses that allowed you to see the message. Without those ‘goofy glasses’ you could not understand the message even though it was right there in plain sight. Much in life works like that; this discussion and especially coming to a correct understanding of the Bible works like that. I am not saying that having “special glasses” is a bad thing, but it is unavoidable for we each possess our own individual pair of “corrective lenses.” They sometime work for our good and our protection but they also can work to the bad and our detriment. Sometimes we refuse to come down off our high horse and try out those ‘goofy glasses’ and we miss out on the ‘prize.’ Please do not dismiss me and my message simply because you have to get off your high horse and put on those darn ‘goofy glasses.’



    There was a time when I was much better at engaging in this sort of discussion. I am almost twenty years out of practice, in fact, part of the reason I came to and posted on this site was for my benefit, to try to get that back. Please bear with me as I “fight” my way back into shape. Anyway, as I remember it, part of being good at this was a willingness to be open to other’s ideas and to the possibility that I was wrong. Also, I remember playing a mind game that helped me; I called it ‘what if.’ I invite you and any other reader to join me in playing ‘what if’ and to think about and consider other’s points of view and beliefs from the perspective of ‘what if.’ It always seemed to help me to ask many ‘what if’ questions, always including “What if I am wrong and he is right?”



    How does that apply to answering your question? Consider this: what if you, as a sighted person (I will feel sooo bad if I have assumed incorrectly), were called upon to describe the color blue to a person blind from birth? It would be very difficult because you do not share a frame of reference. Perhaps this question is better: what if you were called upon to prove that the earth is a sphere to a person who is convinced that the earth is flat? (Follow this link.) How could you do so when they reflexively reject every word you say and counter every proof you present with their own set of facts and proofs? The answer is to establish common ground, to share a frame of reference, to exchange ‘goofy glasses.’



    I must tell you that I feel a bit like Number Five from the movie Short Circuit who kept repeating, “More input, please.” In addition to the above referenced disagreement regarding "can" and "did," we apparently disagree about ‘perfection’ as it applies to man and the world. Several others have made statements to that effect also. Mr_Sprinkles and everybody else also, how can I give you an answer to your question(s) when I don't know what you mean when you say “perfect?” Please define your terms so that we can “share a frame of reference.” I have already presented my “frame of reference” including definitions and some scriptural support for them and I have even supplied reasons why I chose to use the Bible to provide my answer to my original question. Those definitions and reasons make up the prescription to my “corrective lenses.” If you do not agree with my definitions and reasons then you must provide me with your definitions and your reasons that support them; otherwise you leave me unable to “see.”



    Again, in my introduction I stated that my argument would be “from the Bible.” Unfortunately, to some the accepting of God and his Word, even for the sake of argument, is so distasteful that what I suggest above is all but impossible for them. Even though I acknowledge that such is the case and recognize their "right" to feel that way, still I must say: to bad for them. I invite them to stay and to post because, even though there may be little benefit for them, I will benefit and I need all the help and practice I can get. However, those who can and do play “what if” are the ones who ask the best questions and make the best points and that will benefit us all.
     
  10. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    255
    Ratings:
    +8
    Mr_Sprinkles, you bring up a good question even though the premise of your point is flawed and incorrect, from my standpoint. Please correct me if I am wrong but the way I understand your question is that it goes to the issue of free moral agency versus self-determination or self-governance. I hope I am correct because that is what I am going to address.



    Also, my first guess is that in this aspect of your question the actual disagreement is not about the definitions of the words “free moral agency” and “free will” and the words “self-determination” and “self-governance” as much as it is that we are disagreeing about the concept of “absolutes” versus “relatives,” am I correct? (I am guessing here because you have not explained what your belief is and on what it is based. Nor have you detailed to me what of mine you reject and why; I have no choice but to guess.) In other words the real issue is: I believe that perfection, freedom, free moral agency and all other such things, as they apply to creation, are “relative,” even in a “perfect” world, while you insist that those things can only be “absolutes” in a “perfect” world, is that right?



    Second, there may also be a problem on your part in understanding that while God, and God alone, is capable of such absolutes, he chooses not to use or exercise such. I am really guessing on this one for I have absolutely no idea what your concept of God is. Hopefully you will remedy that. But until then let me proceed.



    Third, just as physicists, based on what is now known, can figure back only to a certain point after the big bang but no further, so it is with our knowledge of God, we do not now know nor will we ever know the answers to all possible questions about him (just one of the many reasons why eternity will not be boring). The question you have asked could possibly be boiled down to, or carried out to if you prefer, a question I cannot answer based on what I now know. But just as a physicist does not abandon what he knows and believes because he runs up against a question he cannot answer, so it is with me and any other true believer. You may or may not have thought about one of the ultimate implications of your question, so I will say no more at this point. I will say this, seeking answers to questions is not solely the purview of science, regardless of the arrogant protestations otherwise, and, just as it is in science it is with the Bible—the more you know the more you come to know how much you do not know. And therein lies the true answer to your question; it all boils down to the seeker’s true motivations. In science those who give up do not find the answers. Unfortunately, also in the realm of religion many are too quick to give up. In the man-made religion of science the case is that he who is most fiercely competitive, he who has the biggest and most arrogant ego is most times the most successful. In religion truly based on the Bible and reflecting God’s qualities and personality, the opposite is true. Those who have enough love and faith in God to humbly wait on and trust in him to provide an answer (Please read Psalm 145:16), in due time, are the ones that come up with the answers. And I do not mean by setting around doing nothing but waiting for an epiphany, I mean by working harder on the basics and looking for what may have been missed that might provide some clue. If you truly, sincerely want to know the answer to the question you ask, I may be able to help you find it; but if you do not, I cannot. So here we go.



    “Fruitage of the spirit,” some qualities of which God is the source are listed at Galatians 5:22, 23 which reads: “On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” God exercises each of those qualities perfectly, but not absolutely. God has the capability to carry any of those qualities to an “absolute” or infinite or unlimited degree but he chooses not to do so. For example: God has shown himself to be perfect in long-suffering (Definition: the patient endurance of wrong or provocation, combined with a refusal to give up hope for improvement in the disturbed relationship.) it can be said that he is the “absolute” embodiment of that quality. Yet God’s exercise of that quality shows that he imposed limits upon it, as he has repeatedly demonstrated by his acts of judgment and punishment, therefore, it is not “unlimited.” Yes, God's patience and long-suffering are “perfect” but there are limits to them. Why? It is because his other “absolute” qualities of justice, wisdom and love require it. Let us carry this thinking a little further. Being limited does not equate to being imperfect. At the same time, being without limits does not equate to being perfect. My hope is that my ‘goofy glasses’ will help you see God as he IS and not as man-made concepts and ‘incorrect prescriptions’ have made him out to be.



    Perhaps it will be that you do not like my choice of long-suffering. Therefore, let me provide you with another example of what I mean. Free moral agency stems, in part, from the “absolute” quality of freedom possessed by God. Even though the term and idea is man-made, God, and God alone, is capable of “absolute freedom.” Although capable of “absolute freedom,” is that how God conducts himself? No, he acts, not only as the Law-Giver, but also as the Law-Keeper. That means that he does not operate outside his own “laws” and principles. Please remember self-control is also on the list above. Even though “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26; Mark 14:36), God’s perfection causes him to put limitations on himself so that “God cannot lie” and “it is impossible for God to lie.” (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18) Therefore, it becomes obvious that God’s perfection arises, in many ways, from his self-controlled, self-imposed limitation of his absolute, unlimited characteristics. For a correct understanding of God, and of the Bible, one must not make the common mistake of thinking that everything called “perfect” is so in an absolute sense, that is, to an infinite degree, without any limitations. Being arbitrary and going to absurd extremes is a characteristic of sinful creation.



    Speaking of which (absurd extremes), let me ask you (all) a few questions. Does your concept of perfection mean that for a man to be considered perfect he would have to be unlimited or infinite in every aspect? Therefore to be perfect Adam would have had to have infinite knowledge and unlimited experience? And that he would be required to do everything to absolute perfection at all times and anything short of absolute perfection in every minute detail would mean that he was not perfect in any way? Is that a correct description?



    Therefore, according to that concept, the very first time Adam strapped on a pair of ice skates he would have been able to go out and skate a 10.0 long routine, correct? And if Adam had been a carpenter, it would mean that he could never ever bend a nail or hit his thumb, right? Or if Adam had designed and built an automobile it would, having been built by perfect Adam, have to perfect also and would never have worn out and broke down, in fact, it wouldn't even have had any rattles or squeaks, is that so? All I can say to that is, “Boy am I glad God rejected that concept.” No wonder so many people have told me that they do not want to live never-ending perfect lives. A life of such absolutes does not seem appealing. That concept finds no foundation in the Bible. Please explain to me what in nature or science, what in the world makes you believe that human perfection has to be that way?
     
  11. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    255
    Ratings:
    +8
    It is possible to manufacture a perfect ball bearing, one with absolutely no discernible defects or measurable deviations from exact measurements and specifications. Even though the manufacturer can find no defect in the bearing they still put limitations on it such as rpm limitations, load limitations, temperature limitations and limitations on the type of lubrication to be used with the bearing and they even tell you that the L10 life of the bearing is only X number of hours. Why? It is a perfect bearing, isn't it? I thought that meant no limitations and no wearing out.



    The bearing will only perform perfectly (meeting all standards and specifications) within its design limitations. So it was with the creation of Man. Since God himself works within the self-imposed limitations of his qualities, each one unlimited in capacity and potentiality nevertheless each quality acting as a restrain or limit on the others, and also within the bounds of his own law and principles, it should be no surprise that he expected the same from his creatures. Even more than that, he created them with and placed boundaries and limitations upon them. And since God's main motivation in creating was pure, true love and not narcissism, he chose not to make clones, duplicates, or mirror images of himself. Rather he chose to create a variety of intelligent creatures with different capabilities to meet different design specifications. His love, wisdom and other qualities caused him to reject “absolutes” in the design specifications of all of his creatures.



    I am fairly certain that I do not need to explain to you why we have laws that restrict our freedoms even here in the “land of freedom.” In many ways the laws of this nation are based on and reflect the laws and principles found in the Bible. They do because man has not been able to truly and actually improve on those (God’s) and they have been found to work for the greater good. So just like the ball bearing, man was created with design specifications that required limitations. Therefore the free moral agency bestowed upon man by his Creator was not absolute and unlimited and it did not give him the right to break the law. And they (Adam and Eve) did break the law. Even though Eve was completely deceived about the ‘knowing good and evil’ part, she must have known that she was taking what did not belong to her, that she was stealing, a serious offense even today.



    Man’s design specifications did not include being separated from God and therefore a ‘need’ for total self-determination or self-governance. So it was not built into him.



    There are some who cannot stand the idea of being dependant on God. There are some who chafe at the very idea of any limitation or boundary being imposed upon them. They are above and too good for such things. As a result, and because God did not create them as absolute equals to himself (a position they feel entitled to), they feel slighted by and jealous of and then resentful and bitter and end up rejecting God. Their pride and arrogance blinds them to God's humility and good example in all things and they fail to recognize that God does not allow himself the absolutes they come to covet. For these reasons and many others besides, some others develop disillusionment and disbelief. And out of all those feelings and attitudes have developed the man-made concepts, past and present, which account for all the excesses and extremes as well as even all the mainstream ideas that lead to a rejection of God. The above also describes, in part, how a “perfect” and loyal angelic servant of God “created” or changed himself into a defiant, rebellious and bitterly hateful creature, God’s chief adversary, Satan.



    You say: “Ah yes, independent thinking--religion's ultimate faux pas. There should have been an eleventh commandment which read "Thou shalt not think for thyself".”



    I say: This is a prime example of the negativity I mentioned above. You take a good thing and twist it and make it out to be as negative a thing as you can. Reminds me of the discourse during the election. Unfortunately, it seems to be all too common now days. I feel a Dana Carvey moment coming on!
     
  12. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    255
    Ratings:
    +8
    The Voice of Reason,

    You are correct, Hogcaller. I could not, and would not say that you haven't given the matter serious thought. I am only trying to point out that if you are more succinct in making your point, it is easier for others to read and digest. Thus, you will get better responses.
    Like Spinkles, I wish you well while you are away.

    Take care,
    TVOR

    You are right in many ways as I have acknowledged in my reply to Mr_Spinkles. It is a flaw in my personality that only seems to have gotten worse with age. I will try to do better, that too is part of why I am posting here.

    I will say this much more: I do not care much for 30-second sound bites.
     
  13. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    255
    Ratings:
    +8
    Master Vigil,



    Are we talking apples and apples, oranges and oranges or is it apples and oranges?



    If you like apples and I like oranges do you think you can convince me to like apples by saying what I, as an orange lover, think are untrue things about oranges and on top of that imply I am defective in some way because I like oranges?



    You say: “Do not attack me personally”



    I say: please point out where I did. I did not intent to and do not think I did. But please, point out to me where I did so that I can avoid doing it again.

    You say: “The simple idea of perfection says that perfection can not be relative. Think about what you are saying. How can something be perfect, and be relative. Perfection is an objective idea, not a relative one.”



    I say: Huh? Read my reply to Mr_Spinkles and to standing_on_one_foot and explain, in detail please, how you are right and I am wrong. I am not being flip but I feel another Number Five moment coming on.



    You say: “Saying that one perfection cannot negate another means... It means if many things are perfect, than one cannot be more perfect than another. And if multiple things are "perfect" than they in effect are the same thing.”



    I say: then a perfect bearing, a perfect orange and a perfect apple are the same thing? Hog wash! (Pun intended, oh btw HOGCALLER is an old cb-radio ‘handle’ that became a ‘pen name’ or ‘screen name’ when I got onto the Internet.)



    You say: “If you allow the bibles definition of perfection to be ambiguous”



    I say: where, specifically, have I done what you accuse me of doing?



    You say: “anyone who takes a basic logic course knows that one of the formal fallacious arguments is one of ambiguity.”



    I say: you know, I was just thinking the exact same thing about you. Sounds like the pot is calling the kettle black. Here is what I have said:



    Perfection of any other [than God] person or thing, then, is relative, not absolute. (Compare Psalm 119:96) That is, a thing is “perfect” according to, or in relation to, the purpose or end for which it is appointed by its designer or producer, or the use to which it is to be put by its receiver or user. The very meaning of perfection requires that there be someone who decides when “completion” has been reached, what the standards of excellence are, what requirements are to be satisfied, and what details are essential. Ultimately, God the Creator is the final Arbiter of perfection, the Standard-Setter, in accord with his own righteous purposes and interests. (Romans 12:2)



    As an illustration, the planet Earth was one of God’s creations, and at the end of six creative ‘days’ of work toward it, God pronounced the results “very good.” (Genesis 1:31) It met his supreme standards of excellence hence it was perfect. Yet he thereafter assigned man to “subdue it,” evidently in the sense of cultivating the earth and making the whole planet, and not just Eden, a garden of God. (Genesis 1:28; 2:8) In other words, what was already “very good” or perfectly suited to perform what was required and purposed for it was to be made more so.



    Apparently your claim is that the above definition is ambiguous to you. If that is so, I have my doubts that I can ever ‘reason’ with you. To me the above is about as definite as can be. Please explain to me the ambiguities in the above.



    You say: “My statements of opinion are based on logic and factual data.”



    I say: please show me the “factual data,” in your statements I seem to have missed it somehow. BTW I do not count your opinion or the opinion of some other man as “factual data.”



    You say: “This is why I have lost so much respect for christians. The main point of christianity and of all religions is goodness and love. Not trying to prove the bibles "perfection" and divinity. You have become trapped by your own quest to prove something that you lost your way. Did mother theresa debate the bible like this? Padre Pio? St. Francis? Even the dalai lama doesn't try to disprove the bible or prove the sutras. The book is not the point. It is the interpretation of the book that is important.”



    I say: be very careful here! You should not confuse Christendom and Christianity! Not everyone who claims to be Christian is. (Matthew 7:20-23) I am not really making an effort to “prove the Bible” in this post other than in replies to specific questions or comments. What I am doing, among other things, is trying to correct “the interpretation” or understanding of it. When you say: “It is the interpretation of the book that is important,” what do you mean?
     
  14. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    255
    Ratings:
    +8
    Ceridwen018,



    You say:” To rephrase my question to you, in order to keep it fair in that we are both expected to meet the same criteria, I ask you for theories instead of proof. Where are your theories? Or, if you have proof, you could always one-up me and post that”



    I say: I hear you. I'm working on some ideas right now and will let you know when I post it.

    You say: “I won't argue that you're more familiar with the bible than I am. I am aware that the words "God is omniscient" aren't scralled across Leviticus, but I was under the impression that the bible mentions God as being all-knowing and all-powerful, which is the definition of omniscient. Basically, if god isn't omniscient, then that means that he is not all-knowing or all-powerful. Do you agree with that?

    I say: the problem enters in the form of man's concepts and ideas that are not actually supported in the Bible. That is why I quote scriptures to support what I say. If you have not done so please read my replies to Mr_Spinkles and standing_on_one_foot rather than me repeating what I have already posted. There you will find my arguments, my definitions, my scriptural support, my illustrations and my reasonings for this statement: God is not omniscient (man-made word and concept) but he could be if he needed or wanted to be. He chooses not to be omniscient and for very good reason. Therefore, my answer to your question is: no, I do not agree with that. I do not agree with what I believe others led you to believe (via their possible influence and for sure misleading concepts and definitions).

    You say: “Alright then, who DID create Satan, and who DID create evil?”

    I say: Satan

    You say: “Also, is god more powerful than Satan?”

    I say: absolutely!

    You say: “If he is, than he is perfectly capable of disposing of Satan, and therefore responsible for evil by not doing everything in he can to prevent it.”

    I say: you would be absolutely correct if it were a simply a question of power. But it is not, that is my whole point! Such a demonstration of power would not settle the moral questions and legal points that have been raised.

    You say: “If god did not create satan, then that means that satan 'always was' just like god.”

    I say: nice try! But not so! God did not create the Egyptian pyramids, does that mean they always were? Your concept does not allow the creation to work unless it is absolutely controlled in every minute detail by God. That is not the situation. Free will is part of the equation and allows Satan to be self-created without God being responsible.

    You say: “then that means that god did not create everything.”

    I say: exactly! God did not create Satan. God did not create imperfection (see the beginning of this thread).

    You say: “Also, if satan created evil, that obviously shows that he has creating powers. What else did he create?”

    I say: excellent observation and very good question! The Bible speaks of Satan creating many things. I will not detail them here and now. They mostly have to do with his “empire of death.” (Please read Hebrews 2:14) And you probably remember this: (Follow this link.)

    You say: “Please do not make assumptions about what I think. If I misinterpreted what you were trying to say, do not immediately suspect that it is because I am pretentious and close minded. If you could politely explain what it is you meant and where I went wrong, we might be able to get somewhere here.”

    I say: you are right! I stand corrected and you have my sincerest apology. I will try never to let it happen again.

    You say: “Let me spell out my train of thought here, so you can see why I find Deuteronomy to be illogical in this context: If it is true that god does not want evil, then obviously something went wrong in the garden of eden, as evil was introduced. The passage you cited from Deuteronomy states that "God is perfect in his work". Obviously, if god allowed for a crack through which evil could slip, his work in this instance was NOT perfect, and therefore in direct contradition to Deuteronomy.”

    I say: thank you very much for the explanation. Although I do not agree at least I now can “see” your point. First, you still think in absolute terms. Second, you do not “see” yet that free will is an expression of God’s love and wisdom. What God wants are creatures that willingly requite his love. That requires free will or freedom of choice. Remember the perfection of creation is not determined by the concepts of men but by the standards and requirements of God. Did his requirement that his creatures have freedom of choice make it possible for there to be a Satan? Yes it did, but it did not require it. That makes a big difference. Yes free will was abused but that does not make God responsible for the actions of the abusers. Adam and the angel could have remained faithful and sinless and we would not be having this discussion and paradise would cover the earth. Remember too, in the long run all this is not a real problem. Now before you start hyperventilating read the beginning of this thread again—we very definitely have problems. But in the total scheme of things they are minor problems. God did not need to worry about any possible problems when he began creation. Why not? Because there is no eventuality or problem he cannot easily handle. He is in the process of handling this one in such a way that it never has to be handled again. And then he is going to undo all the evil that has been done. Creation will be made perfect again and intelligent creation will enjoy true happiness and true freedom.

    You say: “Where does it say that in the bible? I don't remember any verses like, "Well, god could totally know if he wanted to, but he just doesn't. He holds his powers back sometimes."

    I say: please read my replies to Mr_Spinkles and to standing_on_one_foot where I have cited several (not all) of the scriptures.

    You say: “'The Matrix' is not an appropriate analogy when we're trying to talk about free-will. The people in the Matrix had just as much 'free-will' as those out of it, they just didn't have to handle the machines.”

    I say: you are probably right about using 'The Matrix' comparison. I was not having a good night the other night when I wrote that. Hopefully, I'll do better in the future.

    You say: “Bottom line--If being an automaton meant that I was completely happy all the time and didn't want for anything, I would choose that over having 'free-will' and being sad.”

    I say: You are not the first to express sentiments along the lines of giving up freewill for happiness. My response is simply this: God wants you to have both!




    .
     
  15. Mr Spinkles

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    10,985
    Ratings:
    +1,676
    Hogcaller--

    I would like to say a few things about the nature of your comments, particularly those directed towards myself and others who disagree with you.

    I would encourage an avoidance of the following assumptions in future posts:

    1) That a question which challenges a set of beliefs equates to a lack of understanding of the beleifs in question.
    2) That those who disagree with you all think the same, have always thought exactly as they currently do, have never seriously considered other points of view, and/or that your point of view is "new" to them.
    3) That others do not have valid reasons to reject your arguments, but have merely failed to "get down off" their "high horse".
    4) That you are free from the criticisms you have made of those who disagree with you (how seriously have you considered the Creation stories of the ancient Greeks?)
    5) That a person's/group's rejection of the Bible equates to rejecting God and his Word
    6) That because there may not be an answer to the aforementioned question that agrees with your set of beliefs, there is no answer and we must continue searching until we find an answer that does agree with your beliefs.
    7) That the reason others do not agree with your claims is because--
    • they have "given up"
    • they are not "humble" enough
    • they do not "trust in" or "love" God enough
    • they are too "arrogant" or have too big an "ego"
    • they "cannot stand the idea of being dependent on God"
    • they don't like "any limitation or boundary being imposed on them"
    • they feel "slighted by" "resentful" or "jealous" of God
    • they are "disillusioned"
    --rather than because your argument:

    1. Stems from a mythology no more reliable than Native American, Greek, or Hindu creation mythology;
    2. Makes the unreasonable claim that a perfect being devoid of evil would be inclined to create a world with the potential for both imperfection and evil;
    and
    3. Makes the unreasonable assertion that it is good for a deity to bestow upon its creation the ability to defy it, then accuses those who disagree with this assertion of not being able to "stand the idea of being dependent on God".

    8) That your conception of God is God "as he IS" and all others are "man-made" and "incorrect".

    I hope these suggestions aid us in continuing a respectful, enlightening discussion of this topic.

    In addition, I would like to add that if you feel you have answered my question already in your original post, I apologize. All that is required, then, is to quote what part of the original post answered my question. Or, simply direct me back to the original post. Again, I apologize for any frustration this has caused you.

    Just for clarification: when, exactly, was the world perfect? Was it during the Precambrian era, or the Jurassic, or the Stone Age? Do the fossil remains of Lucy date from this "perfect" epoch?


    Also, you concede that in this hypothetical perfect world, humans had the ability to choose evil/go against God's law. It betrays the definition, however, to claim that a perfect world has the potential for imperfection.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    255
    Ratings:
    +8
    Linwood,



    Based on your following statement I assume you do not respect the Bible:



    I have to disagree.
    I can`t think of an literary influence that is a worse moral guide in this day and age.
    What correct ethical edicts the Bible puts forth are usually directly contradicted by the Bible elsewhere.




    Is that correct?



    Based on your following statement I assume you do not respect God:



    Half the verse is unprovable because you would have to first prove that God exists.
    The other half is provable simply because I could cite a litany of imperfections in this world he created. I could also show that God is extremely unjust considering accepted ethics today.
    He kills innocents, punishes the sons for the crimes of their fathers.
    Etc..etc..on..on..and on and on… Before I continue you will have to tell me your definition of "just".




    Is that correct?



    Based on the following statement I assume you do not respect me:



    Quote:

    One further observation: Hogcaller is a name which conjures a farmer speaking to his pigs. Perhaps we can't appreciate his pearls, due to our inferior, beastly, unclean nature?


    I prefer to think it`s because his pearls are actually fakes and not pearls at all.




    Is that correct?
     
  17. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    3,768
    Ratings:
    +399


    Satan created himself?

    Such a demonstration of power would rid the world of evil, and therefore do away with moral questions, etc.


    So humans created Satan by sinning? How is this so, unless 'Satan' is really some kind of metaphor, and not a supernaturla being at all.



    No problem buddy, we're cool. :)



    Then why can't he give us both? Or why doesn't he give us both?




     
  18. SoulTYPE

    SoulTYPE Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,252
    Ratings:
    +121
    That can't be true. Satan was around before people began sin.
     
  19. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    255
    Ratings:
    +8
    mahayana,

    You say: "One further observation: Hogcaller is a name which conjures a farmer speaking to his pigs. Perhaps we can't appreciate his pearls, due to our inferior, beastly, unclean nature?"

    I say: HOGCALLER was originally a CB radio handle. When I started going onto the Internet about 10 years ago I was conversing primarily with people I knew from the CB radio, so I just kept the handle as a pen or screen name, less confusing for everyone. When I used it on this site I never dreamed any one would think that it implied such a thing. I would not be posting here if I thought that way. No need to apologize. I am not upset, just wanted to clear the air.

    You say: "I do empathize with Job and Sisyphus, all those tormented by God in our literature. Humans deserve what they get, no?"

    I say: Last time I read Job I would have swore that Satan did all the torturing and not God!
    No, absolutely not! Job did not deserve what he got.
     
  20. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    255
    Ratings:
    +8
    Mr_Spinkles,

    You say: "I hope these suggestions aid us in continuing a respectful, enlightening discussion of this topic."

    I say: I was sincere in asking for the "input" and want you to know that I appreciate your comments.

    I will get back to you on the rest.

    Good night and thanks again.
     
Loading...