Questions for Christians of the site

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28 Sep 2016 15:11 #258803 by V-Tog
I’m certainly not speaking for any Christians (although when I myself was Christian, I held a fairly similar if much less well-articulated view than this), but perhaps the ideas offered back in the first chapter of ‘The Book’ (Alan Watts) may help:

God is the Self of the world, but you can’t see God for the same reason that, without a mirror, you can’t see your own eyes, and you certainly can’t bite your own teeth or look inside your head. Your self is that cleverly hidden because it is God hiding.

You may ask why God sometimes hides in the form of horrible people, or pretends to be people who suffer great disease and pain. Remember, first, that he isn’t really doing this to anyone but himself. Remember, too, that in almost all the stories you enjoy there have to be bad people as well as good people, for the thrill of the tale is to find out how the good people will get the better of the bad. It’s the same as when we play cards. At the beginning of the game we shuffle them all into a mess, which is like the bad things in the world, but the point of the game is to put the mess into good order, and the one who does it best is the winner. Then we shuffle the cards once more and play again, and so it goes with the world.


Perhaps it still wouldn’t seem to fully justify some cruelties, particularly those relating to people who haven’t yet realised that (hypothetically, in this way of thinking) they are God, but there may be some analogies that could make it easier to comprehend. For example, when we eat junk food we are putting parts of our body through absolute hell, but we feel (in that moment, anyway – if not so much when experiencing the guilt that tends to come afterwards!) that the overall experience will be worth the damage done to individual cells of our bodies, even though those individual cells presumably have no understanding that their suffering is contributing to this ‘higher’ purpose! The same can be said of a whole host of other activities that affect the body negatively, of course.

I don’t know if that helps any… :)


The whole passage is under the spoiler, if anyone wants to remind themselves of a bit more of the context:

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
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28 Sep 2016 15:39 #258809 by Goken
Just some background.

When I was born my father was in a Baptist bible college to become a minister or whatever Baptists call them. My lack of knowledge as to what they're called should tell you how long that lasted. I am not super familiar with any specifics of the Bible and it doesn't interest me all that much so I haven't actually read it. I no longer really consider myself a Christian really.

On to the question.

As to questions 2 and 3 regarding harm coming to children and God letting bad things happen in the world. I don't remember where I read this but a character in a book said something that I think makes a lot of sense to me. I'm not saying that I agree with it 100%, but I get where it's coming from and agree about as much as I feel I can no longer being a Christian.

Thinking on an individual scale it does seem that letting anyone come to harm is not something that a benevolent god worth worshiping completely would do. However, any super-powerful deity doesn't look at us as individuals. It's got a whole species of us to deal with (plus, you know, the rest of the Universe) so it looks at things from a compete species standpoint. In that perspective (one that exists outside of space and time) things that are absolutely horrible to individuals is a scraped knee to the species as a whole

Think of God like a parent and the human race as one child (as opposed to 9 billion children). If God protected us from every bad thing that happened we'd never learn. Instead, God lets us fall down, scrape our knee, and pick ourselves back up.

I can see where this explanation sucks on a "So God doesn't care about us as individuals?" stand point, but it's the best explanation I've heard so far.

Per fraternitate consurgamus

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28 Sep 2016 22:38 #258862 by rrhodes67
I've thought of these questions myself. I don't know where I stand on the issue of Christianity. I believe in the message of the J man, like love your neighbor, don't be a dick, etc. I also believe in the possibility of God, which is what I believe the force is. But I can't commit to Christianity, because I don't believe the bible is literal, I don't and can't discriminate against gays, I don't believe someone being gay is sinful. I have trouble with those areas of the story that defy science, or physics. Things like raising the dead, the resurrection, the miracles, and the virgin birth. I do believe miracles happen, but not in the literal way the Bible described them. I had someone tell me once, that if I had enough faith in God, my spine would knit back together, my leg muscles would expand and it would be as if I'd never been paralyzed.

Now that to me just goes beyond the realm of common sense and believability and into the area of fantasy. So I don't know if I could ever be a Christian, even though I was raised in a Christian home, because I can't believe in all the stuff that goes with it. I am however interested in what I've seen called Christian Mysticism.
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26 Nov 2016 20:33 #266063 by Greatest-I-am
Replied by Greatest-I-am on topic Questions for Christians of the site

SeventhSL wrote:
3. As a parent I tell my kids all the time “Don’t do that or you’ll hurt yourself/each other”. How many times do they listen? .


The tree of knowledge of good and evil is basically the source of all knowledge as all knowledge is subject to being either good or evil or having a bit of both qualities.

The tree of knowledge is then analogous to our school system from grade school to the best university.

God, in saying do not eat of it, is basically telling Adam and Eve to stay as mentally blind and morally stupid as they are shown to be with, they did not know they were naked.

As a parent, would you command your children to stay uneducated and stupid and never go to school?

If they did not listen, as you say children are wont to do, would you do like God is shown to do and murder A & E by neglect which is what he did when locking away the tree of life which would have kept A & E alive.

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26 Nov 2016 20:48 #266066 by Greatest-I-am
Replied by Greatest-I-am on topic Questions for Christians of the site

steamboat28 wrote:

MadHatter wrote:

2. How do you get past the things that caused the death of children in the bible?

How do you get past the things that cause the death of chidlren now? People die in cataclysms. It's terribly unfortunate, but only recently have we developed the technology to predict natural disasters with any accuracy.

3. How do you get past Gods nonintervention in things like world hunger, rape, the murder of the innocent, etc?

Again, how do you get past our own non-intervention in those things? .


For starters, if most here were witnessing a crime and could intervene safely, they likely would. Some, depending on where they live, would be compelled by law if they are in a community where either Good Samaritan, citizen's arrest or Duty to rescue laws exist.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Samaritan_law

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duty_to_rescue

To your number two reply.

God is actively killing those children. Any God who can cure as well as kill, and chooses to kill, iis what we Gnostic Christians call a vile demiurge.

If you ever meet Yahweh, tell him I have a bullet with his name on it.

Regards
DL

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29 Nov 2016 03:54 #266579 by Silas Eventhorne
1. Do you believe that it is a choice to go to heaven or hell? If you believe it's a choice how can it be when its made with a threat over one's head. To me, it feels like love me or suffer and that is not a choice in my eyes.
It is kinda a choice. It's a choice whether or not you believe. If you believe then, it's your choice whether or not to follow God, if you dont believe, then Hell is not something to worry about because you dont believe in it :P

2. How do you get past the things that caused the death of children in the bible? Such as the flooding of earth, the death of the firstborn, the rain of fire upon sodom and its sister city, the setting of a bear upon youths for mocking a prophet? If you say you feel they are parables how do you separate parable from literal?
God flooded the earth because back in that time there was WAY too much sin in the world and God was displeased. So he cleansed the world by bring upon a flood, but at the end, he knew what he did was drastic and promised to never do such a thing again. And the death of the firstborn was a punishment for those who disrespected and disobeyed God.

3. How do you get past Gods nonintervention in things like world hunger, rape, the murder of the innocent, etc? I know I could not walk past someone being beaten in the street and not act. Never mind if I could end the act with a thought. No amount of us having free will can justify claiming to love someone but watching them suffer terribly when you can stop it with no risks to yourself. ( in my eyes that is.)
All the evil in the world was brought upon by mankind itself. We are the ones who originally sinned. Everything that goes on in the world may not be what God wants, but it is what we brought upon ourselves by the original sin.

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29 Nov 2016 04:09 #266581 by Adder

Silas Eventhorne wrote: 1. Do you believe 2, 3


I don't think its a threat but a particular set of observations of the nature of a wider universe, nor cast blame for action or inaction, because I don't buy into the anthropomorphic interpretation of deities. I manage to take from it as much truth as I can but not be distracted by the celebrities



hehe ooops sorry :pinch:

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30 Nov 2016 16:19 #266739 by Greatest-I-am
Replied by Greatest-I-am on topic Questions for Christians of the site

Silas Eventhorne wrote: 1. Do you believe that it is a choice to go to heaven or hell? If you believe it's a choice how can it be when its made with a threat over one's head. To me, it feels like love me or suffer and that is not a choice in my eyes.
It is kinda a choice. It's a choice whether or not you believe. If you believe then, it's your choice whether or not to follow God, if you dont believe, then Hell is not something to worry about because you dont believe in it :P

2. How do you get past the things that caused the death of children in the bible? Such as the flooding of earth, the death of the firstborn, the rain of fire upon sodom and its sister city, the setting of a bear upon youths for mocking a prophet? If you say you feel they are parables how do you separate parable from literal?
God flooded the earth because back in that time there was WAY too much sin in the world and God was displeased. So he cleansed the world by bring upon a flood, but at the end, he knew what he did was drastic and promised to never do such a thing again. And the death of the firstborn was a punishment for those who disrespected and disobeyed God.

3. How do you get past Gods nonintervention in things like world hunger, rape, the murder of the innocent, etc? I know I could not walk past someone being beaten in the street and not act. Never mind if I could end the act with a thought. No amount of us having free will can justify claiming to love someone but watching them suffer terribly when you can stop it with no risks to yourself. ( in my eyes that is.)
All the evil in the world was brought upon by mankind itself. We are the ones who originally sinned. Everything that goes on in the world may not be what God wants, but it is what we brought upon ourselves by the original sin.


This was good until you forgot that the fall is a Christian invention that was not the way the Jews read their myths, Jews saw an elevation and not a fall.

dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/10/20/comparative-theodicy/

‘Instead of the Fall of man (in the sense of humanity as a whole), Judaism preaches the Rise of man: and instead of Original Sin, it stresses Original Virtue, the beneficent hereditary influence of righteous ancestors upon their descendants’.

The Jewish God was a winner while the Christian God was a loser.

Regards
DL

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30 Nov 2016 20:13 #266763 by Wescli Wardest
I am always astounded at the interpretations people have. It often causes me to wonder just how much they have actually studied or really understand.
:blink:

Or if they just read a sentence or two, or talk to someone once, and jump to conclusions.
:laugh:

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04 Dec 2016 17:10 #267173 by Greatest-I-am
Replied by Greatest-I-am on topic Questions for Christians of the site

Wescli Wardest wrote: I am always astounded at the interpretations people have. It often causes me to wonder just how much they have actually studied or really understand.
:blink:

Or if they just read a sentence or two, or talk to someone once, and jump to conclusions.
:laugh:



Indeed. It is the level of intelligence and education on religious issues that have Christian following a genocidal son murdering God.

Intelligent and moral people know better.

Regards
DL

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