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  1. #201  
    Quote Originally Posted by checkmate
    There seems to be disagreement still. If God really does exist, why is it so hard for everyone to agree on a standard? Why would an almighty creator make it difficult? Why would he create people of different faiths?
    All of our words, myths, and metaphors, i.e. our "faiths," are feeble attempts to simplify something that is inherently complex. We cannot agree upon them because they are all imperfect. (We like to pretend that one of them is perfect, ours, and only the others are flawed. However, if ours were perfect, would it not satisfy everyone?)

    Incidentally, the more we learn about the scope and complexity of creation, the less satisfying, and hopefully the less necessary, the words, myths, and metaphors seem.

    One author, wish I could remember who, argued that the human brain is a "metaphor machine," that a metaphor is the brain's attempt to organize all of the diverse inputs that it gets. It would be naive to hope that a mind, or even a culture, could really get itself around the creation, much less the creator.

    Another author suggested that intelligence is the creation's attempt to apprehend, comprehend, and appreciate itself.
  2.    #202  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    If man can, at his best, rise above being small and petty then his Creator is necessarily neither small nor petty.
    Yet if man murders and makes war, it is because of Satan.
  3. #203  
    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    Yet if man murders and makes war, it is because of Satan.
    Really?
  4. #204  
    I think one reason is that we all have been given free will, the ability to make decisions for ourselves.
    So God no longer has any input in 'earthly' goings-on?
    HP Pre 3 (UK)
  5. #205  
    Never said or meant that.....when he wants something done it will happen one way or another.....but we all have the choice to follow or not. Make good or bad decisions, etc....
  6. #206  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    .....when he wants something done it will happen one way or another.....
    ..... by the definition of "God." Is the converse also true? That is, is everything as God would have it be?
  7. #207  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    ..... by the definition of "God." Is the converse also true? That is, is everything as God would have it be?
    Everything is as "God" would have it, though everything is not as God would have it.

    By virtue of free will, the choice to obey "God" is left to us. In exercising that choice, it is possible for us to create circumstances that are contrary to how God desires, yet they are as desired in that they result from our exercising the "God"-given right.
  8. #208  
    Thats all nonsense. If God is all-knowing there is no such thing as free will.

    Surur
  9. #209  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    Thats all nonsense. If God is all-knowing there is no such thing as free will.

    Surur
    Why?
  10. #210  
    If God is the all-knowing all powerful being (by definition) and to It the future and past is all the same, it knows exactly the consequences of all our actions AND the consequences of all ITS actions. If It gave us "free will" (which It did by creating us), it knew AT THAT TIME, how many billion would be damned, and how many million would be saved. It also knew EXACTLY who would be damned or saved. As we wander around our lives ostensibly exercising free will we are merely actors acting out the script known only to God.

    Just because we think we have free will does not mean we have it (if God exists as we conceive of course).

    Surur
  11. #211  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    If God is the all-knowing all powerful being (by definition) and to It the future and past is all the same, it knows exactly the consequences of all our actions AND the consequences of all ITS actions. If It gave us "free will" (which It did by creating us), it knew AT THAT TIME, how many billion would be damned, and how many million would be saved. It also knew EXACTLY who would be damned or saved. As we wander around our lives ostensibly exercising free will we are merely actors acting out the script known only to God.

    Just because we think we have free will does not mean we have it (if God exists as we conceive of course).

    Surur
    Does the premise that God knows the future necessarily imply that God dictates the future? Does the premise that God knows what choices you will make imply that you didn't really make those choices?
  12. #212  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    Does the premise that God knows the future necessarily imply that God dictates the future? Does the premise that God knows what choices you will make imply that you didn't really make those choices?
    Of course God dictates the future. He's God, isn't he.

    You obviously dont believe in a material deterministic universe. If we accept that God knows everything, and God created the universe, it obviously follows that God set up the initial conditions which resulted in the unfolding universe, and everything which followed from that. When God created the universe he knew where every particle (including you) would be 1 000 000 000 000 years later. That makes him responsible.

    Surur
  13. #213  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    Of course God dictates the future. He's God, isn't he.

    You obviously dont believe in a material deterministic universe. If we accept that God knows everything, and God created the universe, it obviously follows that God set up the initial conditions which resulted in the unfolding universe, and everything which followed from that. When God created the universe he knew where every particle (including you) would be 1 000 000 000 000 years later. That makes him responsible.

    Surur
    I suppose one could say that God is responsible for everything since He was the first cause. However, as with many intentional causes, there are unintended consequences. If you parent a child, for example, and that child grows up to be a murderer then you're responsible only by virtue of having parented that child. Unless you were a horrible parent one would be hard-pressed to blame you for your child's crimes. Taking it a step further, if you knew your child would be a murderer and had that child anyway then one could say you are responsible. But are you responsible for the actions themselves or for not intervening to prevent the actions?

    EDIT: This whole debate also presupposes that God is somehow not constrained by time.
  14. #214  
    We have now left the theme of the thread, religion and morality, and started debating the most difficult questions in theology, "the queen of sciences," and metaphysics. If we contribute anything novel, it will be by accident. Because we are not arguing in the context of what has gone before, we will not be able to recognize a novel idea if we have one. We do not have time to recapitulate six thousand years of debate.

    One should be getting some idea of why Darwin waited two generations to publish.
  15. #215  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    I suppose one could say that God is responsible for everything since He was the first cause. However, as with many intentional causes, there are unintended consequences. If you parent a child, for example, and that child grows up to be a murderer then you're responsible only by virtue of having parented that child. Unless you were a horrible parent one would be hard-pressed to blame you for your child's crimes. Taking it a step further, if you knew your child would be a murderer and had that child anyway then one could say you are responsible. But are you responsible for the actions themselves or for not intervening to prevent the actions?

    EDIT: This whole debate also presupposes that God is somehow not constrained by time.
    George Burns in the role of God: "I never figured out how to make something with an inside and no outside. I made mathematics too hard."

    George was a pretty good theologian. What he recognized is that even God has design constraints. If, as the optimists assert, this is the best of all possible worlds, it may still be far from perfect, particularly when viewed from our perspective. This is one universe in an infinite number of possible universes; there is an equally large infinity of impossible universes. Even a design that God is extremely pleased with might not look so good from "down here."
    Last edited by whmurray; 07/21/2006 at 05:58 PM.
  16. #216  
    So God cannot see into the future? And we are just an experiment to see how well we do in qualifying for heaven? Did God mean for me to be born exactly as I am? If so then he designed me and if he designed me to be exactly as I am, what's the point of the experiment? He would already know what the outcome would be.

    On the other hand, if God didn't design me then how could I be classed as "one of God's children"? Why should I be thankful to him?
    HP Pre 3 (UK)
  17. #217  
    I would have thought the universe is a perfect example of an object with an inside and no outside, and a klein bottle a perfect example of an object with an outside and no inside.

    You've got to give God a bit more credit

    Surur
  18. #218  
    Quote Originally Posted by checkmate
    So God cannot see into the future? And we are just an experiment to see how well we do in qualifying for heaven? Did God mean for me to be born exactly as I am? If so then he designed me and if he designed me to be exactly as I am, what's the point of the experiment? He would already know what the outcome would be.

    On the other hand, if God didn't design me then how could I be classed as "one of God's children"? Why should I be thankful to him?
    God does not need any defense, least of all from me.

    I tell my godson that winning is more fun than losing but losing beats not having been in the game.

    I am grateful that I am here, that I am in the game. I am grateful for the joy; I accept any pain as the price.
  19. #219  
    There is a simple answer to the OP question (which has been implied in a few posts within this thread): It depends.

    Religion is obviously not a cure all for morality. There are plenty of amoral religious adherants and atheists in this world. A religion can help serve to make a follower more or less "moral", depending on your perspective. There are deeper questions beyond this one (e.g. all of those debated obove).
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