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

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

  1. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    I should hope that an 'overwhelming show of power' from god would be a bit different from that of the US...



    This doesn't make sense though. If God were all-powerful, he wouldn't have to wait around to do something. If God were all-loving, he wouldn't WANT to wait around to do something.

     
  2. SoulTYPE

    SoulTYPE Well-Known Member

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    Amen. I thouroghly agree with that. No no, I am not defaming God, merely agreeing with ceridwen on this note. it is true because now is a better time than any for God to come and do "his thing".

    Good call Ceridwen!
     
  3. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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  4. mahayana

    mahayana Member

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    Fire and brimstone contradicts Jesus' idea that God is a loving father.

    Much of the NT message contradicts much of the OT message, for instance regarding capital punishment and war.
     
  5. Mr Spinkles

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    Please answer the question.

    Also, it would help if you would please identify which epoch in human (or hominid?) history you believe to have been "perfect".
     
  6. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    Mr_Spinkles,


    A quote from Cool Hand Luke: “What we got here is a failure to communicate!”


    Does God have the “ability” to create a “perfect” world in the “absolute” sense that your question implies, or in other words, according to Mr_Spinkles’ specifications? Yes, absolutely, he has that ability. Having the ability to do so does not mean that it must automatically follow that he should or would. Remember please that the world he did create was perfect according to his specifications even if not so by Mr_Spinkles’ specifications. Being perfect according to God’s standard (revealed and defined in the Bible) does not require that the world be perfect according to any and all possible standards including Mr_Spinkles’ or any and every one else’s standard.

    To understand this issue read (or reread) posts #17-20 on page 2 and #22 on page 3 of this thread.

    The Bible is imperfect in the view of many. Why? Because they refuse to accept it for what it is and try to impose upon it their individual standards. Consider: some complain that it is too long and detailed and much to categorical while others complain that it is overly simplistic and lacking in detail or is not sufficiently explicit. How could the Bible meet both those standards? . . . By not meeting those standards the Bible is perfectly accomplishing one of God’s standards or purposes for the Bible—that it be a winnowing tool.

    How could God ever create a world to meet Mr_Spinkles’ standards? First you criticize God for allowing independent thinking (free will requires independent thinking) and next you criticize for him for not allowing independent thinking (see post #33 on page 4 of this thread).

    Putting it as simply as I know how here is how it works. To meet God’s standard of perfection required that all his intelligent creatures have free will with its inherent independent thinking and potential for abuse. Because of God’s “omni” qualities he did not have to worry about that potential abuse because when and IF it ever came up he could handle it. (Why “IF”? Remember it took many untold billions of years before a problem finally arose.) He is in the process of solving the problems and settling the issues. Not only that, God will undo all the bad effects brought about by Satan and resulting from rebellion, every single one. Intelligent creatures will retain all the rights and responsibilities that come with free will and independent thinking. That means that the potential for future abuse remains. However, because of God’s wisdom in handling this rebellion there will be no need to ever repeat this process. Based on the precedents being established now there will be an immediate execution of justice. So the future may hold in store other rebellions but never again will they disturb the peace and perfection of that everlasting world.







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  7. Mr Spinkles

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    Hogcaller, with all due respect, I believe what we got here is a failure to answer the question. :) Here it is, again:

    Does God have the ability to create a perfect world that will remain forever perfect?
    (I realize your answer is 'yes')
    Why doesn't/didn't God create a perfect world that would remain forever perfect?
    (If your answer is "because that would violate our free moral agency" please refer back to the first question)


    No, I'm not talking about "perfect" as in perfect according to Mr_Spinkles' specifications. I'm talking about "perfect" according to your own (what you believe to be God's) specifications. You said that Eve introduced imperfection (sin, suffering, etc.) when she ate the fruit. Putting aside, for the moment, why on earth one should believe this story as divine truth rather than ancient tribal mythology, the question at hand is:

    Does God have the ability to create a perfect world that will remain forever perfect? You have already stated that the world God created did not remain forever perfect. So the follow-up question is...

    Why doesn't/didn't God create a perfect world that would remain forever perfect? If your answer is "because that would violate our free moral agency" please refer back to the first question.

    I understand, Hogcaller. The problem is that, from what I understand, you believe the world does not currently meet God's specifications--the world is full of evil, sin, suffering, etc. In other words, the world currently is not perfect (according to your definition). If that is true, then God cannot be all-powerful, because if he was all-powerful he could easily never allow the world to stray from his specifications, not even for a second.
    You have to choose between admitting that God is not all-powerful, or that the world--with all its evil and suffering--currently does meet God's specifications (even if he periodically changes those specs).

    No my friend, on the contrary I do accept the Bible for what it is. You are the one trying to impose upon it your a priori beliefs.


    Consider: one of my friends criticized an essay I wrote for being too casual, the other said the tone was way too formal. Still, the inconsistency amongst my critic's does not lead me to suspect that what I wrote is the inerrant word of God.


    No, first I criticized religious institutions created by humankind for not allowing independent thinking. (Remember, I don't believe in a God--to me, humans created the ten commandments, and humans are responsible for enforcing them--not a deity.) Then I criticized the argument that giving humans the ability to do evil is somehow more "good" than preventing humans from doing evil.


    I see what you're saying here, but there's a problem: how long does it take an omnipotent being to destroy evil and end suffering? Hypothetically, an omnipotent being could do it instantaneously. If the "process" takes thousands of years, it can only be because the omnipotent being wanted it to take thousands of years. This would mean that thousands of years of suffering, evil, imperfection, etc. happen because God wills it to happen. In other words, you cast God (though you may not realize it) as malevolent (or at the very least, indifferent).


    Also, it would help if you would please identify which epoch in human (or hominid?) history you believe to have been "perfect". ....Pretty please?
     
  8. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    Mr_Spinkles,



    “[Mr_Spinkles], with all due respect, I believe what we got here is a failure to [accept the] answer [to] the question. Here it is, again:”



    First, your question has your specification built into it so there is no way that your question can be separated from your specification: “that will remain forever perfect”.



    Once again just so there is no mistake, the question, with or without specification, was and is answered: “Yes, absolutely, he has that ability. Having the ability to do so does not mean that it must automatically follow that he should or would.” I know that you do not agree, but, to me, God’s way, as I understand it, is better than Mr_Spinkles’ way, as I understand it.



    You say: “No my friend, on the contrary I do accept the Bible for what it is. You are the one trying to impose upon it your a priori beliefs.”



    I say: Well, excuuuusse me! I humbly bow before your obviously superior and overwhelming knowledge of the Bible. Please sir, correct my errant thinking and beliefs so that everyone may benefit. I await your words of enlightenment.



    OK, I will stop that now and I apologize for my lame attempt at humor.



    You say: “No, first I criticized religious institutions created by humankind for not allowing independent thinking. (Remember, I don't believe in a God--to me, humans created the ten commandments, and humans are responsible for enforcing them--not a deity.) Then I criticized the argument that giving humans the ability to do evil is somehow more "good" than preventing humans from doing evil.”



    I say: You seem to forget what I said at the beginning of this thread and what I have said in other posts that I too am critical of man-made ideas and actions that have besmirched God’s name and have caused the ranks of nonbelievers to swell. You might even remember that I took to task some of those ideas and actions. (Follow this link.) Unfortunately, you also seem to forget the point that I make through out this thread, as we will see in the next “You say”. Or perhaps I should say that that you cannot grasp or agree with God’s ways of doing things or, if you prefer, with my explanations of them. That I can understand. It must be hard, if not impossible, to correctly understand my concept, the Bible’s concept or, for that matter, any concept (other than your own) of something you seem to disdain and claim is nonexistent—God (remember color and flat earth). Therefore, all I can do is to continue to try to explain.



    Please remember what I have explained in this thread is exactly what I said in the beginning: “It is an answer that I personally find to be much more satisfying than any other.” You criticize my answer but you provide no answer, satisfying or not, of your own. You just knock mine.



    No, I did not expect everyone to agree and to understand and to say to me what I humorously said to you above. Your lack of acceptance of the ‘whys,’ as I have explained them, is not surprising to me nor does your criticizing them prove anything. I guess what I am trying to get said is perhaps we both must accept that there will be things that we simply cannot understand about the other’s position. I say that and still want to try again.



    You say: “I see what you're saying here, but there's a problem: how long does it take an omnipotent being to destroy evil and end suffering? Hypothetically, an omnipotent being could do it instantaneously. If the "process" takes thousands of years, it can only be because the omnipotent being wanted it to take thousands of years. This would mean that thousands of years of suffering, evil, imperfection, etc. happen because God wills it to happen. In other words, you cast God (though you may not realize it) as malevolent (or at the very least, indifferent).”



    I say: If omnipotence were the only consideration you would have a point, but it is not. If the issues raised had simply been questions of power you are right to theorize that everything should be settled by now. But that is not the case! That is the point of this whole thread and you seem to being ignoring that, why is that?



    Let me refresh your memory: “He [Satan] questioned their need to depend upon the Creator for continued life and happiness. In fact, he told them that disobedience would actually improve matters for them, causing them to be like God. Thus he called into question the truthfulness of God. And by calling into question God’s laws, he cast doubt on God’s way of ruling, in fact, on God’s right to rule. For this he was called Satan, which means resister, and Devil, which means slanderer.”



    “Again for emphasis and clarification, what was the point of what Satan said? For one thing the Devil challenged God’s honesty. Reflect on the implications of this. If God were not truthful in this matter, could he be trusted in anything else? Would his creatures on earth or in heaven always have to be suspicious about what God said? We know today how suspicious persons are of politicians who govern through the use of lies. (Compare Psalm 5:9) Satan’s claim that God is deceitful and withholds things that are good for his creatures also raised the issue, does God deserve to rule? The question of the rightfulness of God’s way of ruling involved all creation. Additionally, Satan was contending that humans could get along without God, that they can and should rule themselves. The question was put before men and angels: Can humans successfully govern their affairs independent of God?”



    “Because God is so much stronger, he could easily have wiped out these human and spirit rebels in an instant and right at the start. But that would not have settled matters satisfactorily. Why not? Because it was not God’s strength that was challenged, the issues raised were moral ones. And a vital issue among them was this: Would the way of rebellion prove successful? Could rulership that ignored God bring lasting benefits to the entire human family? Would God’s rulership of man be better for mankind or would man’s independent rulership be better? God, in his wisdom, knew that this, and other key issues raised, would take time to settle. So he allowed a definite period of time that would give humans ample opportunity to arrive at the peak of their political, social, industrial and scientific achievements.”





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  9. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    There is much more, do you remember Job? Do you remember what God did for Job afterwards? Do you understand what that means for our future? All that information is in the Bible, placed there by God, so that anyone sincerely asking “Why?” would have an answer and so that they could put their hearts and minds at ease especially when they realize that God will undo it all. I am sorry that you choose to ignore “that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) That is just one of the many ways that God will use to undo and set right after the issues have been totally settled.



    I could go on, but instead let’s play ‘what if’ and consider the scenario you propose. First, let’s review the circumstances: (1) God’s standards of love and wisdom and justice and perfection required that his creatures possess independent thinking (exercised within proper limits) (2) there were already billions of lives at stake, the heavenly races of intelligent creatures, that are observing this play out (Job 38:4,7 “Where did you happen to be when I founded the earth? Tell [me], if you do know understanding. . . . When the morning stars joyfully cried out together, and all the sons of God began shouting in applause?”). (3) God has already had the earth prepared and had man and woman placed on it and has given them this command (Genesis 1:28): “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.” (4) The implications are clear (Psalm 37:29 says: “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” And also Isaiah 45:18 says that: “God, the Former of the earth and the Maker of it, . . . did not create it simply for nothing, who formed it even to be inhabited.”): God wanted humans to live forever in happiness on earth.



    Was the joyfulness of those “sons of God” who watched the preparation of the earth to end in disappointment? Was God’s stated purpose for the earth and mankind to fail? No, for if God did not accomplish what he purposed, if he did anything other than what he did, he would be admitting defeat. That he could never do! “The One telling from the beginning the finale, and from long ago the things that have not been done; the One saying, ‘My own counsel will stand, and everything that is my delight I shall do’; the One calling from the sunrising a bird of prey, from a distant land the man to execute my counsel. I have even spoken [it]; I shall also bring it in. I have formed [it], I shall also do it,” is what he declares at Isaiah 46:10, 11. And at Isaiah 55:11 he says, “so my word that goes forth from my mouth will prove to be. It will not return to me without results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted, and it will have certain success in that for which I have sent it.” The result of doing things any other way would have undermined his Godship.



    Now let’s consider other implications of doing things as you have proposed. How would those onlookers have answered these questions: Was Satan telling the truth? Was God actually withholding something of benefit and to which the three rebels had a “right”? Is it proper that we can never know the answers to those questions because God plays by the rule “might makes right”? ‘What if’ God immediately exercised his power and destroyed the three rebels? What would that have proved? Would that not be, in effect, saying, “I cannot handle this problem so the only solution is to throw up my hands and destroy these rebels”? What would be the message in that to the angels? In reality would not God have to admit total defeat and have to destroy those billions of angels who were also “flawed” by free will? Where is the justice in that?



    I have already discussed why I believe that God could and did create his creatures with free will and its inherent possibility for abuse and yet is not responsible for those abuses. Perhaps what you are asking for is more explanation of how that can be. Is that what you what from me? Am I just so out of practice that I am missing what it is you want? Probably.



    You say: “Also, it would help if you would please identify which epoch in human (or hominid?) history you believe to have been "perfect". ....Pretty please?”



    I say: Like it or not, you have my answer. You can ask again but I do not know any answer but the one already given. Perhaps you are trying to make some point that you picked up from debating creationists, but since I am not a creationist it is not striking a chord with me. If you have a point I suggest that you go ahead and make it.



    I realize that all the above probably seems foolish to someone that believes as you do. I realize that you will just turn around and ask the same question again (because your reasoning makes so much sense to you that you cannot understand why it does not to me also [been there done that]) expecting to get a different answer. There is nothing I can do about that other than repeat what I have already said. Or perhaps you will again try to “criticize the argument that giving humans the ability to do evil is somehow more "good" than preventing humans from doing evil” without realizing what you are arguing that we give up or that God not give us in the first place. Be my guest. I enjoy this even though I believe we are going around in circles.



    In politics sometimes one party accuses the other of ‘refusing to solve a problem so that they can retain it as an issue’. ‘What if’ that is going on here? I hope not.



    Again I say: “It is an answer that I personally find to be much more satisfying than any other.” In that statement I tell you exactly what it will take to reach me—provide me with an even more satisfying answer than the one I already have. Can you do it? So far, about all you have done is try to tear mine down and you have offered very little in the exchange.



    Because it is part of my favorite book let me end by quoting Proverbs 27:17: “By iron, iron itself is sharpened. So one man sharpens the face of another.” You are a good and worthy adversary Mr_Spinkles.




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  10. mahayana

    mahayana Member

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    Mr. Hogcaller,

    If I'm following your thesis, the whole Bible is an extension of the ideas in Job (Job was assigned reading in my 1964 sophmore public High School English class- how times have changed!), in other words, God created man and the world as a perfect game. We're here for the amusement of the Almighty and his angels, in a wager with Satan that we will or won't be compliant with His rules. He destroyed us all once for not measuring up (with a flood), and promised to do it again (with a fire). We can suffer all kinds of indignities and afflictions like Job, but they're really just a test of our piousness and obedience, in the end the best players get placed on God's side of the board. He can't lose, having designed the game.

    Is that about right?
     
  11. Mr Spinkles

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    When I say "that will remain forever perfect" I am still using your own definition of perfection. Perhaps a further revision of my question is in order to clear up confusion:

    Does God have the ability to create a world that will always abide by his specifications?
    If so, why doesn't God create a world that will always abide by his specifications?
    (Again, if your answer is "because that would violate our free moral agency" refer back to the first question.)

    In my mind, if God didn't create a world that would forever meet his own specifications because he was unable, he cannot be omnipotent; if God didn't create a world that would forever meet his own specifications because he didn't want to, he is self-contradictory; and if the current world--with all its evil and suffering--meets God's specifications, he cannot be omnibenevolent.

    Please spare me another narration of the political unrest amongst angels, Satan, etc. that a tribe wrote of thousands of years ago, and answer the question.


    If you mean to imply that a world with imperfection, suffering, and evil is "better" than a world that is forever perfect and good, then we must simply agree to disagree. I suppose next you'll tell me "war is peace" and "freedom is slavery".



    "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." ~Thomas Jefferson


    You're critical of the Bible?


    Hogcaller, I have little interest in reading any more of your posts on this thread if you continue to make the assumptions I listed in an earlier post--in particular, that the reason others disagree with you is because they are "unable to grasp" your arguments. Just because you disagree that a unicorn can logically be both pink and invisible, for example, does not mean you are unable to grasp the concept, or that you disdain invisible pink unicorns.



    I knock your answer because it is illogical; I cannot provide an answer to my question because it presupposes the existence of a creator-deity; finally, I cannot answer the question "Why? Why? WHY?!" because it presupposes a reason. Of course, if you wish to believe in something because it is satisfying to you, that is your right.


    What did you say humorously? I can't find it. ;)


    Doesn't ring a bell. I remember reading something in which someone claimed that these events happened, but that is all. Please just answer the questions posed.


    And I am sorry that you choose to ignore "that Acts 24:15 was written by a man with no more knowledge of the divine than you or I." (Book of Spinkle, 99:99)


    Thus ending our discussion.


    No, I can only provide my own answers. Only you can determine what satisfies you the most. In fact, my personal satisfaction is not even one of the qualifications by which I determine which answers warrant belief.


    I have never, nor will ever, desire to be anyone's adversary. I find that mutual respect is best fostered not amongst adversaries, Hogcaller, but amongst friends. :)
     
  12. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    Mr_Spinkles,

    You say: “I have never, nor will ever, desire to be anyone's adversary. I find that mutual respect is best fostered not amongst adversaries, Hogcaller, but amongst friends. ”

    I say: Generally my friends are persons with whom I have much in common and with whom I agree on many things. There are exceptions to that generality but I know a great deal about the personality and character of those individuals and, therefore, choose to call them friends, in spite of our many disagreements. Perhaps someday I will feel comfortable calling you a friend, but not yet. That does not mean I want to be enemies. That does not mean that I want to treat you in an unfriendly way. Perhaps I should have used the word ‘opponent’ or ‘antagonist’ instead of ‘adversary.’ I do have respect for you even if I do not always properly show it; I apologize for my shortcomings.

    You say: “No, I can only provide my own answers.”

    I say: From a purely technical standpoint you are correct: “I can only provide my own answers.” But isn’t your persistently repeated question evidence that you want me and everyone else reading it to understand your point of view and possibly even share it and thus, in effect, contradicting that technically correct statement? Why would you choose to post in this public forum if you were not interested in ‘providing’ answers to others? In effect, aren't you also evangelizing?

    You say: “In fact, my personal satisfaction is not even one of the qualifications by which I determine which answers warrant belief.”

    I say: That may be true. I don’t know you well enough to say that it isn’t; but that certainly isn't true of most people. I recognize that yours and Ceridwen018’s question, “Why? Why? WHY?!,” is not a request for information as much as it is an incrimination. Yet there are many who will read these words who do want additional information so that they can be happy and satisfied with their decision to believe one way or the other. Your logical ‘answers’ will appeal to some and my reasonable ‘answers’ will appeal to others. I submit that the “appeal” of those answers is not based 100% on logic or reason or even conscious thought processes and that with most people “comfort level” and “personal satisfaction” and other such factors are very much determining factors as to what they do or do not believe. I am convinced that most people believe only what they “want to” believe and understand only what they “want to” understand and that there is nothing wrong with that process. This is where your technically correct point of view, “I can only provide my own answers,” comes into play. We each individually must examine and eventually answer for our “want to” or our motivations.

    Because I am convinced that most people believe only what they “want to” believe and understand only what they “want to” understand. The statements I make reflect that conviction. I apologize that I appear to make personal and negative application of that conviction. I do not mean it in that way. To me, those statements are just statements of how things are. I apologize if I seem to be condemning you or others. I do not feel negatively toward you or others. Please believe me when I tell you that I do not believe that yours or most people’s motivations are malicious. The only thing I have negative feelings about is my inabilities to “reason” and to properly express myself. Perhaps my biggest mistake is in trying to answer the question, “Why? Why? WHY?!,” when it isn’t really a question but is an accusation.

    You say: “I knock your answer because it is illogical; I cannot provide an answer to my question because it presupposes the existence of a creator-deity; finally, I cannot answer the question "Why? Why? WHY?!" because it presupposes a reason. Of course, if you wish to believe in something because it is satisfying to you, that is your right.”

    I say: I guess logic is like beauty and all in the ‘eyes’ of the beholder. Why is it wrong for me to assume that you cannot “grasp” my answer when my answer is based on several presuppositions I know you are unwilling to concede to or accept? Is it really so insulting of me to assume that I am trying to explain color to a person blind from birth? If I stated to the blind person “you have no concept,” should he be insulted? My inability to explain color to a blind person does not mean that I automatically think negatively of the blind person, does it?

    I readily admit that I do not “grasp” or understand some of your logic because I do not accept all of the presuppositions that are required for your logic to have meaning. That admittance does not, in my mind, infer anything, negative or otherwise, about me, about you or about our respective arguments. It only means that I don’t “want to” or, as you put it, “that is [my] right.” By the same token, you reject the Bible because you say it is “man-made” ideas and words but you have no problem with the “man-made” and ever changing theories of science because you “want to” and “that is your right.” But please excuse me if I don’t see the ‘perfect logic’ in that situation. The only way either of us would ever change or even fully and completely understand the other’s point of view is if we were to “want to.” You can take that negatively if you wish but there is nothing negative in that statement.

    As I have already stated to you and others in the posts above: “Want to” is at the heart of it all. Perhaps you remember this: “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. . . . 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.”

    Perhaps you remember this from a post above (post #54) directed to Ceridwen018:

    You [Ceridwen018] 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).




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  13. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    You [Ceridwen018] say: “Alright then, who DID create Satan, and who DID create evil?”

    I say: Satan

    You [Ceridwen018] say: “Also, is god more powerful than Satan?”

    I say: absolutely!

    You [Ceridwen018] 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 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 [Ceridwen018] 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 [Ceridwen018] 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 [Ceridwen018] 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 [Ceridwen018] 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. (End of quotation from post #54)

    You say: “In my mind, if God didn't create a world that would forever meet his own specifications because he was unable, he cannot be omnipotent; if God didn't create a world that would forever meet his own specifications because he didn't want to, he is self-contradictory; and if the current world--with all its evil and suffering--meets God's specifications, he cannot be omnibenevolent.”

    I say: God did things the way he did because he wanted to and not so it would coincide with arbitrary, misguided man-made notions of logic and perfection and thereby meet with any and all possible man-made standards or scenarios. God’s standard of perfection was that his creatures be created in his ‘image.’ That meant that Adam was created with all of God’s qualities just to lesser degrees. In addition to free will, one of God’s prime or cardinal qualities is love. I submit that true love is not possible without free will. God has true love for his creatures and wants his creatures to have true love for him. That requires that his creatures have free will in spite of its potential for abuse. God’s creating his creatures with free will did not mean that there must be abuses of free will for free will itself makes such abuse a matter of true choice. Along with free will and true choice comes true responsibility. Therefore, regardless of Mr_Spinkles’ protestations otherwise, the eventual arrival of free will abuse did not indicate any failing on God’s part.

    As I said before: ”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.” If you “want to” accept the answer you can; if you don’t “want to” you don’t have to and that is the ultimate answer.



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  14. Mr Spinkles

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    Though fascinating in its own right, your psychoanalysis does nothing to further your argument that a soon-to-be-imperfect world is more perfect than an ever-perfect world. For the umpteenth time, the question at hand is:

    Does God have the ability to create a world that will always abide by his specifications?

    If so, why doesn't God create a world that will always abide by his specifications?
    (If your answer is "because that would violate our free moral agency" refer back to the first question.)


    After reading several paragraphs about how your argument is illogical because I don't want it to be logical badly enough, I was able to glean this possible answer:

    No, God does not have the ability to create a world that will always abide by his specifications, as the continued perfection of the world is contingent upon the choices of free moral agents whose freedom is, according to said specifications, not to be infringed upon. All God can do is create a perfect world, free agents, and then hope that the free agents will not freely choose to subvert the world's perfection. The possibility of subversion will always be present because God's own specifications stipulate that, if a free agent should choose, it will have the power to go against God and bring imperfection into the world.

    Is that an accurate summation of your answer?

    If so, the best answer to my first question would be "No". ;)

    Well done.


    It's more like the first step in coming to the logical conclusion that the existence of "bad"--however you define it--is inconsistent with the existence of a being who both wants to and has the ability to remove all "bad". The argument...


    "Yes God can create a world that meets his specifications, but if he did, it would violate free will...which would go against his specifications! Therefore he can, but he doesn't, because he can't."

    ...is self-contradictory and silly.

    Which one, "God" or "omniscient"?


    Thus rendering the Bible--which was written by men--a useless determinant.
     
  15. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    Mr_Spinkles,

    I’m not absolutely sure but I think that you may have just insulted Mr. Sigmund Freud. As for me, I am just surprised. I would have never thought it possible that my opinion of the results of your actions in this forum could be interpreted as psychoanalysis of you. WOW! I didn’t know I had it in me.

    Let’s review for a moment:

    I originally said: “Again I say: “It is an answer that I personally find to be much more satisfying than any other.” In that statement I tell you exactly what it will take to reach me—provide me with an even more satisfying answer than the one I already have. Can you do it? So far, about all you have done is try to tear mine down and you have offered very little in the exchange.

    To which you replied: “No, I can only provide my own answers.”

    I then replied to that: “I say: From a purely technical standpoint you are correct: “I can only provide my own answers.” But isn’t your persistently repeated question evidence that you want me and everyone else reading it to understand your point of view and possibly even share it and thus, in effect, contradicting that technically correct statement? Why would you choose to post in this public forum if you were not interested in ‘providing’ answers to others? In effect, aren't you also evangelizing?”

    To which you replied that I was psychoanalyzing you. I respectfully submit to you that this is a diversion. Not only is it a diversion but also it ignores the point of what I said: Your answer, “No, I can only provide my own answers,” is contradictory of, or at the very least, inconsistent with your actions on this forum where you do regularly and quite skillfully provide what to you are answers. Where is the ‘logic’ in that?

    Additionally, to me, what you provide is not answers and is of no value. I guess that I must accept that you are being truthful and that you are incapable of providing me with what I would call an answer and something that I can use in my life. In your eyes, does that inability and the short falling of your philosophy to meet my needs detract from what you think and say? I doubt it. The reverse is also true of me.

    Almost nothing of what I believe will ever pass your tests of logic. For example: I believe that ‘good’ works do not earn me a qualification to what I seek. At the same time I believe that ‘bad’ works do earn me a disqualification. I will assume, even though we have not discussed it, that by your standard that is not “logical.” As a result, you will never be able to “see” the beauty and the love and the wisdom and the justice and the mercy and on and on of that unless something profound changes within you. I realize all that does not appeal to you. In turn, do you realize I do not see anything in your arguments and logic that appeals to me?

    Let me rephrase my question: “Can you do it,” can you show me anything in your logic that will improve my life in any way? Of what benefit, to me, is your logic? How will your logic help me with the everyday challenges of my life? How will your logic help me to be a better, happier, ______ person? (You fill in the blank with anything but ‘logical.’) Please don’t twist my questions into a personal level comparison; that is not what I mean.

    You say: “For the umpteenth time, the question at hand is:

    Does God have the ability to create a world that will always abide by his specifications?”

    I say: For the umpteenth time, “Yes, absolutely, he has that ability. Having the ability to do so does not mean that it must automatically follow that he should or would. Remember please that the world he did create was perfect according to his specifications even if not so by Mr_Spinkles’ specifications. Being perfect according to God’s standard (revealed and defined in the Bible) does not require that the world be perfect according to any and all possible standards including Mr_Spinkles’ or any and every one else’s standard.” Nor is it required that it be ‘logical’ by Mr_Spinkles’ or any other standard other than God’s.

    You say: “No, God does not have the ability to create a world that will always abide by his specifications, as the continued perfection of the world is contingent upon the choices of free moral agents whose freedom is, according to said specifications, not to be infringed upon. All God can do is create a perfect world, free agents, and then hope that the free agents will not freely choose to subvert the world's perfection. The possibility of subversion will always be present because God's own specifications stipulate that, if a free agent should choose, it will have the power to go against God and bring imperfection into the world.

    Is that an accurate summation of your answer

    I say: No it is not. First off you misstate the fact that God does have the ability to create a world according to your standards. He chose not to. The Bible does not say anything on this other than it tells us about his qualities, primary of those are love, wisdom, justice, power and he is also eternal (some try to put “eternal” into scientific terms and say that he exists outside of time and space). Due to being infinitely loving, wise and just and eternal he didn’t do it your way. I can speculate as to why but God has not yet revealed the answer to us; I believe he will. But what I “see” of what he has done and what he has revealed makes me believe that he chose the best way. Second, you deliberately overlook that a very large part of the “why” of our current situation is so that it will never have to be repeated. Precedent is being established that will preclude the necessity of a repeat and that will allow for immediate execution of justice preserving both perfection and free will. Also, as part of the process we are going through, God will undo all the effects of imperfection (when I am a thousand years old I will not feel any of the negative effects of this imperfect world). Third, to me, your overall point of view in asking “Why? Why? WHY?!” smacks of an attitude of victimization, a self-centered, self-defeating and hopeless point of view. I had not even thought of this latter point till you brought up psychoanalysis. Perhaps this explains some of why as the world appears to be becoming less and less religious it also, at the same time, seems to be becoming less and less happy and satisfied and, as a result, more and more hopeless and angry and violent. You may not be like that but it is obvious that some are. Nonetheless, my feelings toward and impressions of the atheistic point of view are what I just stated and nothing I have “heard” from you has helped to change that. The sense of most everything I “hear” from you is negative.

    Just curious: Assuming you are married and have a family, do you and your family celebrate Christmas?


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  16. Mr Spinkles

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    Ah don't be so hard on yourself--your analysis wasn't that bad.

    No, Hogcaller, this is a diversion:
    As is this:


    Clarified, your statement reads: "Your answer that you can only provide your own answers is contradictory of you regularly and skillfully providing what to you are answers." Ironically, your rhetorical question "Where is the 'logic' in that?" only calls attention to the hopeless incoherency of your accusation.


    I provided some possible answers to my question in an earlier post. That you do not give your personal approval of them does not concern me in the least.


    Nonsense. You believe that the Earth is round, don't you?


    I'm glad you asked! According to the Book of Spinkle, 12:78: "They who accept these teachings will win the lottery someday." I rest my case.


    And this statement smacks of an appeal to pathos designed to divert attention away from flimsy arguments, as does this statement:

    You're right--the world was much less angry and violent and much more happy and satisfied during, the Salem witch trials or the Crusades, for example. :rolleyes:


    Honestly Hogcaller, start a thread about this--it would be a good topic for discussion. In the meantime, I've said many positive things. In order to "hear" them, try "listening": http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2369


    I've decided to wait until I'm at least 19 to start a family. ;) I celebrate Christmas with my parents and my sister.

    I think you and I have both said everything we intend to say regarding my question. Rather than repeat myself indefinitely, I'd rather just agree to disagree on this one. Thanks for a spirited discussion. :)
     
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