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  1.    #241  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    1. Assuming a God exists, did he just create us for his amusement?
    2. If a God exists, what possible reasons would there be for us not to have been created perfectly?
    I think question #1 might be difficult to answer. I think Micael's mention of the Religion of Deism comes to an at least similar conclusion. Maybe he can provide us some more guidance on what's he's concluded and what possible journey led him there. (Sorry Micael if I'm putting you on the spot, or again have misclassified your beliefs.)

    Question #2 raises more questions when I think about them:
    If God exists and created us ...
    3) ... why did he give us free will?
    4) ... why did he create us to be dependent on each other?

    I'd postulate #4 might have been because he wanted us to help each other, possibly as part of our "development" (ie: live on Earth is just like another "womb" for us)

    Perhaps #3 is so we can learn right from wrong?

    If I accept my reason for #3, that also supplies an answer to question #2 (about why we might not have been created perfectly).

    That leaves me with the answer to question #1 as being "probably not".
    Last edited by sudoer; 02/17/2010 at 07:54 PM.
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  2. rjwerth's Avatar
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    #242  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    Well I sure as hell would expect the creator of the entire universe to have a bigger entrance than say, the President of the USA or perhaps the Olympic Games.

    Have you seen the shows that the North Korean's put on for their supreme and all knowing leader? Bigger than that....after all this god is worshiped by over half the planet.
    Are you familiar with the rapture? That is supposed to be the next "big(ger) entrance." As an atheist, I don't think that is the sort of entrance you will want to be a part of.

    Oh, for the record, I don't fully subscribe to the classic rapture prediction.
  3. rjwerth's Avatar
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    #243  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    The universe has always existed and always will. It nether has an end or a beginning. This is what I took away from q-physics anyway.
    So you can believe this, but not in an omnipotent being?
  4. #244  
    Quote Originally Posted by rjwerth View Post
    So you can believe this, but not in an omnipotent being?
    What "being" do you know, that exists here on earth, has no beginning and has no end? What precedent has been set?
    "Brace yourself, you beautiful *****. I am about to **** you up with some truth!" - Kenny Powers

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    #245  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kenanator View Post
    What "being" do you know, that exists here on earth, has no beginning and has no end? What precedent has been set?
    Is this not what we are precisely discussing? The last time I checked, there was about as much proof of one thing existing as the other. That was the point.
  6. #246  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    I think question #1 might be difficult to answer. I think Micael's mention of the Religion of Deism comes to an at least similar conclusion. Maybe he can provide us some more guidance on what's he's concluded and what possible journey led him there. (Sorry Micael if I'm putting you on the spot, or again have misclassified your beliefs.)

    Question #2 raises more questions when I think about them:
    If God exists and created us ...
    3) ... why did he give us free will?
    4) ... why did he create us to be dependent on each other?

    I'd postulate #4 might have been because he wanted us to help each other, possibly as part of our "development" (ie: live on Earth is just like another "womb" for us)

    Perhaps #3 is so we can learn right from wrong?

    If I accept my reason for #3, that also supplies an answer to question #2 (about why we might not have been created perfectly).

    That leaves me with the answer to question #1 as being "probably not".
    Well if we were created perfectly we'd know right from wrong, won't have to depend on each other etc. We would be.......'perfect'.

    In fact when you think about it, why create us in the first place? Also why would a perfect being such as God feel to need to be loved, wanted, worshipped? These needs would seem to be non existent in a 'perfect' being.

    Even if these needs were to be present in a perfect being, why wouldn't that being simply 'wish' them away? After all he is all powerful, all knowing?

    Also why would an all knowing being need to test us? Wouldn't he already know the answers ahead of time? In fact wouldn't an all powerful, all-knowing being be able to foretell the result of his own actions? If so, why go through with them anyway?
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  7.    #247  
    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    Well if we were created perfectly we'd know right from wrong, won't have to depend on each other etc. We would be.......'perfect'.
    You asked for possible reasons (and I struggled my mind to come up with a possible answer) but now you are simply postulating on why physical things in our universe are not different that they appear to our reality. Are you just bored and toying with me, or really searching for an answer? (If I think it were the latter, a natural thing might be to suggest other possible answers rather than just "re-asking" the same question.)

    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    In fact when you think about it, why create us in the first place?
    I'm not sure you want to hear my answer, but ...
    ... If there were a God, and our observations of our physical universe did not provide answers, it's only logical to assume that if we needed to know, He would tell us.

    I claim the Bible teaches us this in what's called "Salvation History". I posted a link to a free MP3 audio of a Bible Study that explains this in a previous post. Below are the "12 timeframes in salvation history" and the books of the Bible which describe them. These are the "historical" books of the Bible and they're the ones you will want to read when reading the Bible in a first reading. (This list is based on the Study in the 2nd link in that same post.)

    Code:
    Early World
        Part 1	Genesis 1-3
        Part 2 Genesis 4-11
    
    Patriarchs
        Part 1	Genesis 12-26
        Part 2 Genesis 27-50
    
    Egypt & Exodus
        Part 1	Exodus 1 - 18
        Part 2 Exodus 19 – 40
    
    Desert Wanderings Numbers
    
    Conquest & Judges
        Part 1	Joshua
        Part 2 Judges
    
    Royal Kingdom
        Part 1	1 Samuel 8 - 31
        Part 2 2 Samuel 1 – 1 Kings 1
    
    Divided Kingdom
        Part 1 Israel 1 Kings 12 – 2 Kings 16
        Part 2 Judah 1 Kings 17 – 2 Kings 23
    
    Exile 2 Kings 17-25
    
    Return Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther
    
    Maccabean Revolt 1 Maccabees
    
    Messianic Fulfillment
        Part 1	Luke
        Part 2 Luke
        Part 3 Luke
    
    The Church
        Part 1	Acts
        Part 2 Acts
        Part 3 Acts
    I'm hoping that these provide some answers to your remaining questions. I'm sorry that I can't do all the work for you. It's kind of like the reason that we're asked to do our own homework when taking a class. The Bible provides good answers to your questions if you are open minded enough to give it a try.

    (I really tried to give you an answer outside of the Bible in my previous answer, but I'm not willing to search for more answers until you consider the ones that I've found "most practical" so far. I'd be somewhat disordered and uncharitable if I withheld my best answers due to political correctness. I hope you understand. You've milked me for just about all the knowledge I have. If this is not good enough, perhaps someone else here might have a better answer.)
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  8. #248  
    Only as it applies in this book (which was hilarious by the way):

    Amazon.com: How to Profit From the Coming Rapture: Getting Ahead When You're Left Behind (9780316017305): Steve and Evie Levy, Barbara Davilman, Ellis Weiner: Books

    A "believer" friend of mine gave it to me as a lark but if things start looking like they are going Christian, I'm set to make millions.

    Quote Originally Posted by rjwerth View Post
    Are you familiar with the rapture? That is supposed to be the next "big(ger) entrance." As an atheist, I don't think that is the sort of entrance you will want to be a part of.
  9. #249  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    You asked for possible reasons (and I struggled my mind to come up with a possible answer) but now you are simply postulating on why physical things in our universe are not different that they appear to our reality. Are you just bored and toying with me, or really searching for an answer? (If I think it were the latter, a natural thing might be to suggest other possible answers rather than just "re-asking" the same question.)
    Nope not toying with you, just asking some logical (albeit legitimate) questions based on what have been said to me (and I've read) over my lifetime. Your answers were kind of moot in the face of something/someone considered 'perfect'. Also, If we are going to talk about God as an all-powerful all-knowing being, we've already left our reality way behind.

    I'm not sure you want to hear my answer, but ...
    ... If there were a God, and our observations of our physical universe did not provide answers, it's only logical to assume that if we needed to know, He would tell us.
    Of course we need to know. Millions of people need to know these answers to even accept he exists.


    I claim the Bible teaches us this in what's called "Salvation History". I posted a link to a free MP3 audio of a Bible Study that explains this in a previous post. Below are the "12 timeframes in salvation history" and the books of the Bible which describe them. These are the "historical" books of the Bible and they're the ones you will want to read when reading the Bible in a first reading. (This list is based on the Study in the 2nd link in that same post.)

    Code:
    Early World
        Part 1	Genesis 1-3
        Part 2 Genesis 4-11
    
    Patriarchs
        Part 1	Genesis 12-26
        Part 2 Genesis 27-50
    
    Egypt & Exodus
        Part 1	Exodus 1 - 18
        Part 2 Exodus 19  40
    
    Desert Wanderings Numbers
    
    Conquest & Judges
        Part 1	Joshua
        Part 2 Judges
    
    Royal Kingdom
        Part 1	1 Samuel 8 - 31
        Part 2 2 Samuel 1  1 Kings 1
    
    Divided Kingdom
        Part 1 Israel 1 Kings 12  2 Kings 16
        Part 2 Judah 1 Kings 17  2 Kings 23
    
    Exile 2 Kings 17-25
    
    Return Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther
    
    Maccabean Revolt 1 Maccabees
    
    Messianic Fulfillment
        Part 1	Luke
        Part 2 Luke
        Part 3 Luke
    
    The Church
        Part 1	Acts
        Part 2 Acts
        Part 3 Acts
    I'm hoping that these provide some answers to your remaining questions. I'm sorry that I can't do all the work for you. It's kind of like the reason that we're asked to do our own homework when taking a class. The Bible provides good answers to your questions if you are open minded enough to give it a try.


    (I really tried to give you an answer outside of the Bible in my previous answer, but I'm not willing to search for more answers until you consider the ones that I've found "most practical" so far. I'd be somewhat disordered and uncharitable if I withheld my best answers due to political correctness. I hope you understand. You've milked me for just about all the knowledge I have. If this is not good enough, perhaps someone else here might have a better answer.)
    Well I was hoping the religious amongst us would be able to at least provide some semblance of an answer. Just simply pointing to the Bible isn't good enough IMO. I want to hear from the believers.
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  10. groovy's Avatar
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    #250  
    Quote Originally Posted by Dic Doc View Post
    A had a recent "revelation" that the Bible is a lot like a collection of Grimm's fairy tales. As Bujin in post 206 points out, people tend to cherry pick from the Bible the parts that they like and gloss over the points that they don't like. We remember the fun happy parts of the Disney-fied fairy tales, but who remembers that the Little Mermaid felt like she was walking on nails (or was it fire?) with every step on her new legs? That is why you can get radical religious groups - they just focus on the bad parts. This topic has been very Christ-centric, but Islam claims to have the same God, and to me it seems that the pacifist Muslims are the ones that ignore all the bloodshed in the Koran and focus on the happy message parts.
    While I think you're largely correct about your second claim that people tend to gloss over the hard parts or parts they don't like, I think you made somewhat the same mistake in your first statement by lumping all of the Bible into the fairy tale category. Clearly there are parts of the Bible that can be corroborated by archeology and other historical sources. Now, you may not believe the interpretations of what that history represents, but that's different than being a fairy tale.

    To speak to your second assertion, as I said, I think you're largely correct. And it seems to me that Atheists are more like fundamentalists because they wish to prove the Bible wrong by interpreting it in a very literal sense--just like fundamentalist they deride. But the Bible was written over a long span of time in many different literary styles and it can't all be read the same. People can't take a passage here or there, read it literally and expect it to make sense out of context. But, as you say, this is a very common occurrence and it mostly leads to misunderstanding and discord.

    I recognize that atheists will never convince believers of the absence of God, because you can't prove it doesn't exist. And believers will never convince atheists of the existence of God because you can't prove that it does exist. What bothers me is religious intrusion into the laws of our country. Our Founding Fathers, not all Christian, saw the wisdom in creating a very real separation of Church and State, because once one religion gets in power, all others are oppressed.
    I don't really see the difference in a representative democracy between a religious believer who votes based on his religious convictions and a secular person who votes based on his secular convictions. Provided that we do not recognize an established religion, why shouldn't everyone be able to vote based on their own convictions no matter where those convictions come from?
  11. #251  
    Sorry I keep poking my head in and haven't been as involved as usual.
    I've been swamped workwise.

    By breifly scanning this thread I saw brought up a couple common misunderstandings about God and his will for us written in his Word.

    Many denominations separate the Old Testament from the New Testament for one major reason; God had originally made a covenant with Abraham/Isaac/Jacob - (renamed Israel). Most are aware of a covenant having certain stipulations for both parties involved. God promised his people that if they kept their end of the bargain, he'd keep his - to bless them and make them a Holy Nation. Most Laws/Regulations required for the Israelites were done away with when Christ enacted a New Covenant with his disciples. Many moral laws were reiterated in the Christian Scriptures. But most, especially the ceremonial laws, and avoiding certain foods, were no longer necessary once Christ came and fulfilled the law (lived up to everything required by God's law for his people).
    When the Jews rejected Christ, he then opened up to people of all nations to enter into this covenant relationship with him.

    So to wrap.... the short story is; Most things written as required for God's people in the Old Testament are no longer required in the New Testament. Not because God changed his mind, but rather the Good News was going to the Nations (Non-Jews) and the Covenant God made with Israel was broken. So the New Covenant.
    Just call me Berd.
  12.    #252  
    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    Just simply pointing to the Bible isn't good enough IMO. I want to hear from the believers.
    Believers wrote the Bible, start with reading what they thought was important.

    Do you care to tell me about your experiences reading the Bible?
    (Seriously, please feel free to sharel.)

    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    Of course we need to know. Millions of people need to know these answers to even accept he exists.
    NOW FOR THE "SOFT SELL":
    I gave you links to MP3s that you don't even have to read. (You can just listen to them using earbuds and your Palm Pre. You can do this while doing many activities in life (even while napping). I've bought used Bibles for around $2 plus $3-4 shipping over the internet. I've given you suggestions that don't involve having to be proselytized by Christians. Just do this on your own "risk-free".

    NOW FOR THE "HARD SELL":
    If you "act now", I will thank 5 of your posts (of my choosing), but that's not all, I'll even throw in 5 evening prayers on your behalf! People are dying to to get to Heaven!!!

    DISCLAIMER; Others may not be as charitable as me, or they may damn you to Hell. Act now before it's too late! -- peace --
    Last edited by sudoer; 02/17/2010 at 10:04 PM.
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  13. groovy's Avatar
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    #253  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    I think question #1 might be difficult to answer. I think Micael's mention of the Religion of Deism comes to an at least similar conclusion. Maybe he can provide us some more guidance on what's he's concluded and what possible journey led him there. (Sorry Micael if I'm putting you on the spot, or again have misclassified your beliefs.)

    Question #2 raises more questions when I think about them:
    If God exists and created us ...
    3) ... why did he give us free will?
    4) ... why did he create us to be dependent on each other?

    I'd postulate #4 might have been because he wanted us to help each other, possibly as part of our "development" (ie: live on Earth is just like another "womb" for us)

    Perhaps #3 is so we can learn right from wrong?

    If I accept my reason for #3, that also supplies an answer to question #2 (about why we might not have been created perfectly).

    That leaves me with the answer to question #1 as being "probably not".
    Perhaps bringing humans into existence brought forth the recognition of joy. I really believe that part of what came along with the knowledge of good and evil is the joy that is born by pain and suffering. Each of us can easily think of a person who has had a charmed life but who feels unfulfilled. We can also, without much effort, think of someone in our own lives who has suffered unspeakable pain but who is an inexplicably joyful person. Why is this?
  14. #254  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    Perhaps bringing humans into existence brought forth the recognition of joy. I really believe that part of what came along with the knowledge of good and evil is the joy that is born by pain and suffering. Each of us can easily think of a person who has had a charmed life but who feels unfulfilled. We can also, without much effort, think of someone in our own lives who has suffered unspeakable pain but who is an inexplicably joyful person. Why is this?
    Again this makes no sense (to me) for an all-powerful all-knowing being to be engaged in.
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  15. groovy's Avatar
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    #255  
    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    Again this makes no sense (to me) for an all-powerful all-knowing being to be engaged in.
    Do you think its illogical or you just don't understand the motivation?
  16. #256  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post

    To speak to your second assertion, as I said, I think you're largely correct. And it seems to me that Atheists are more like fundamentalists because they wish to prove the Bible wrong by interpreting it in a very literal sense--just like fundamentalist they deride. But the Bible was written over a long span of time in many different literary styles and it can't all be read the same. People can't take a passage here or there, read it literally and expect it to make sense out of context. But, as you say, this is a very common occurrence and it mostly leads to misunderstanding and discord.
    So how can anyone who reads the Bible can be sure they're reading it in the 'correct' context?

    Also another aspect to consider is the scientific knowledge of the society at the time the Bible was written. A lot of what might have seemed to be 'miracles' might have been perfectly natural phenomenon that went beyond the comprehension of those who witnessed them at the time.
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  17. #257  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    Do you think its illogical or you just don't understand the motivation?
    Well it's a little bit if both. But let's concentrate on motivation for now, what would be the motive in your opinion? IMO, all power, all knowing should assume a knowlegde of everything including joy.
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  18. #258  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    Believers wrote the Bible, start with reading what they thought was important.

    Do you care to tell me about your experiences reading the Bible?
    (Seriously, please feel free to sharel.)
    Just snippets for the sake of discussion, mostly on the web. Sorry for that misunderstanding. The last time I actually read a Bible I was in Church and was about 10. It was for a short time. I've had many discussions though.



    NOW FOR THE "SOFT SELL":
    I gave you links to MP3s that you don't even have to read. (You can just listen to them using earbuds and your Palm Pre. You can do this while doing many activities in life (even while napping). I've bought used Bibles for around $2 plus $3-4 shipping over the internet. I've given you suggestions that don't involve having to be proselytized by Christians. Just do this on your own "risk-free".

    NOW FOR THE "HARD SELL":
    If you "act now", I will thank 5 of your posts (of my choosing), but that's not all, I'll even throw in 5 evening prayers on your behalf! People are dying to to get to Heaven!!!

    DISCLAIMER; Others may not be as charitable as me, or they may damn you to Hell. Act now before it's too late! -- peace --
    They're both hard sells but I sincerely appreciate the offer. I'd rather hear from some of the others on here what their thoughts are.
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  19. groovy's Avatar
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    #259  
    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    So how can anyone who reads the Bible can be sure they're reading it the 'correct' context?
    How can we be sure we are reading any text in the correct context? We study it. We study it in its totality. We study it in relation to the history and culture at the time of its writing. We study it in relation to other similar texts. We interpret passages that are more difficult to understand in light of passages that are more direct.

    Also another aspect to consider is the scientific knowledge of the society at the time the Bible was written. A lot of what might have seemed to be 'miracles' might have been perfectly natural phenomenon that went beyond the comprehension of those who witnessed them at the time.
    I don't have a problem with explaining 'miracles' in a naturalistic way. It doesn't make them any less miraculous having happened at the time and place that they did and working toward an ultimate goal. Again, I don't think we can take each event individually. That's not what makes the text special. What makes it special is the seamlessness of the narrative as a whole.
  20. groovy's Avatar
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    #260  
    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    Well it's a little bit if both. But let's concentrate on motivation for now, what would be the motive in your opinion? IMO, all power, all knowing should assume a knowlegde of everything including joy.
    Well, the knowledge of joy is one thing but sharing joy is quite another, and propagating joy is another thing still. Don't you think?

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