Creating Our Own Purpose Driven Life

March 21, 2008 at 5:48 pm 122 comments

Creating PurposeI don’t believe in an afterlife, so every second of my time on earth is precious. The years remaining in my life provide the only chance I will have to fulfill my potential and make a difference. The people I love are to be cherished in the here and now for there will be no reunions in another realm. The suffering and pain on earth must be alleviated today because there is no happy ever after in the sky. Beauty is to be admired and appreciated now because tomorrow it will fade away. I must make meaning in life every day, because there is no-one providing a purpose for me to fulfill.

When I was a Christian, I wanted to believe that God endowed the universe with purpose and my personal life with meaning. I spent time every day reading the Bible to discover God’s purpose in the universe. I spent time praying every day to discover God’s will for my individual life. I was not alone in my search. Similar beliefs were held by most people for much of history and went largely unchallenged until nineteenth century philosophers began to consider the possibility that the universe and human life had no built-in meaning. For centuries science had been moving humanity further away from its prized position at the center of the universe.

After Galileo discovered that the Earth is not the center of the Solar System and Darwin revealed that humans had evolved from earlier primate ancestors, it was no longer possible to consider that humanity deserved any special place of honor. The answers that satisfied ancient philosophers who had very little knowledge about the workings of nature are no longer relevant to those of us living in the twenty-first century. Even believers know this is true. Some subconsciously hide from this knowledge by burying themselves in a reactionary fundamentalism that claims to provide pre-packaged meaning in an attempt to fend off modernity, while others bravely face the future looking for ways to make meaning through their religion in the face of postmodern meaninglessness. Those of us who are not believers have it a little easier, but it is still sometimes difficult to face the fact that the universe exists for no reason.

If the universe has no ultimate purpose, does that render our individual lives meaningless? I must answer with a resounding “NO!” Although meaning is not provided to us, we humans are uniquely qualified to make our own meaning and to find fulfillment through the act of living purposefully.

Our most basic purpose is to survive, as individuals and as a species. Evolution has given us, as it has every other species, the tools and drive to pursue this purpose. But mere survival no longer satisfies our need for meaning. Both the beautiful and ugly sides of human nature are the results of natural selection and evolution. Consciousness and culture give us the ability to cultivate the beautiful and weed out the ugly.

Selfishness, sexism, racism, and even homophobia may have provided survival benefits to early humans living in small bands and tribes, when our numbers were so few that it was important for every woman to bear children and for those children to be fiercely protected against all possible forms of harm from outsiders. But generosity, selflessness, philanthropy, and community also provided survival benefits as culture developed and eventually became more important than physical evolution in humanity’s journey. These traits are rewarded by our own bodies, as the pleasure centers in our brains are activated when we cooperate with our neighbors and colleagues, bond with our partners, and nurture our children.

The evolution of these physical characteristics has led to our search for meaning and given us the ability to look beyond our basic biological needs and instincts to choose a higher path. There is always someone to help, something to improve, something to hope for. That’s why meaning will never run out as long as humanity survives as a species. If we get discouraged trying to save the world, we can help our neighbor’s daughter with her homework. If we feel useless stuffing envelopes for a political campaign, we can volunteer at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving. If our children are grown and have moved away, we can give time and money to a local charity. As we move from helping ourselves, to helping our families, neighbors, and societies, finally to helping our species and even our world, we find that our need for meaning is met by our own choices and actions.

There are many worthy causes and many ways to find meaning in life. Eventually each one of us must come to recognize those causes that are closest to our own hearts and those issues that arouse our strongest passions. These may change many times over the course of a lifetime. Some people find meaning in raising a family, others in pursuing a career, and still others in charity work, volunteering, creating art, public service, and many other spheres.

Every day we must search our hearts to find out what it is that gives us meaning and to find a way to fulfill our purpose while we attend to the needs of our families, work to make a living, struggle to keep up with our daily responsibilities, and are bombarded with negative news.

- writerdd

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The 10 Commandments are an extremely weak basis for morality Is He Live or is He Memorex?

122 Comments Add your own

  • 1. My name is Botha (as in Earl)  |  March 19, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    If you don’t believe in afterlife you should be a vegetarian!! :) because you are robbing animals from their last and only life too.

    You DO NOT have to read negative news — try it — you can survive without it, AND you will feel better.

    As you move forward in life, it is ok to leave your religion behind. It helps to keep an open mind. Be receptive and patient — the truth will find you.

    eklagvirjulle@live.co.za

  • 2. Zachary Weber  |  March 22, 2008 at 1:29 am

    What does searching our hearts lead to? At times it does lead to more momentary beauty which is mutable (left to it’s self all things mutable will be muted, otherwise you cannot say they are able to be mutible), but more often it leads to hate, uglyness, and suffering.

    If life is empty, as you say then it doesn’t matter what you do, at all. Why should I obey instinct? Why should I want beauty? Why should I live? This life containts some good that passes away in an instant and is often overwelmed by suffering. Whatever love or beauty is, when it is lost it horibly increases our suffering.

    The greeks understood what life is like for your world view.

    After pandoras box was open, and let out all it’s suffering, at last Hope was sent to keep us from ending our lives, keeping us here to recieve the tortures that overwhelm life. even life at it’s best from that world view is torture, because all those wonderful things will be lost.

    We look at the things at this world and suffer, we look at the frailty of our selves and suffer. What is that you have but suffering which is contiuously made greater by moments of pleasure which are forever lost.

    Why not kill yourself and stop the pain? Why bother with killing yourself, your going to die anyway? Death wins over all.

    So we come to place were in the bible were read: “everything is meaningless…”. Even what you do to ettempt to create meaning. You do not have the power to keep any beauty, good, or pleasure, they were never yours in the first place. Just a thing you got partisipate in for a short time.

    In front of this overwheling meaningless Chriatanity dares to say that there is hope. And this is the hope of Chritainity, that you may have etternal life. John 17 says that eternal life in knowledge of God, and his son Jesus Christ (Knowledge being inttelegent interactive relationship).

  • 3. Quester  |  March 22, 2008 at 1:29 am

    Good article, writerdd! There is more than enough we can choose to provide meaning for our lives. I think we should remember to allow ourselves a little selfishness, though. As you say, we will never run out of people to help and things to improve. No need, then, to burn ourselves out trying to reach a perfection that will never come. We need to take care of each other, but we also need to take care of ourselves.

  • 4. writerdd  |  March 22, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Zachary asked, “Why not kill yourself and stop the pain? Why bother with killing yourself, your going to die anyway? Death wins over all.”

    My life is not painful, for the most part. No more or less painful than the life of someone who believes in God for any rate. Why not kill myself? Because I like living. Yes, we all die. But before then we can do all kinds of beautiful and meaningful things. So although I accept that I will eventually die, I don’t have to look forward to it or yearn for death to come sooner.

    I actually have the same question for Christians. Why not die now, since you think this life sucks so much, and go to heaven where you can take the eternal happy pill and live forever? Why not abort every baby so they can to straight into God’s loving arms instead of living a painful life on this crappy planet? I find the gloomy outlook of Christians, and their distaste for the only life we are certain to live, to be quite depressing.

    I’m sorry that you have such a bleak outlook on life and humanity and I hope that you find some way to overcome your nihilism.

  • 5. Frreal  |  March 22, 2008 at 9:36 am

    “at last Hope was sent to keep us from ending our lives”

    Hope or fear of hell?

    Lovely post writerdd. I concur.

  • 6. Born again Skeptic » Blog Archive » Purpose  |  March 22, 2008 at 10:45 am

    […] as writerdd quite eloquently observes, this need not be the case. Acknowledge and celebrate your own meaning. « No, really– why are we […]

  • 7. Zachary Weber  |  March 22, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    witerdd says “We can do all kinds of beautifull and meaningfull things”. You veiw, from my understanding reject actual meaning and beauty. You have no standard or principle to base meaning or beauty off of except poteintail and kentic energy (which from my view is a contridiction because you have energy with out a first Cause, or better said first Act, which is God. I.e. you can’t have a copy of a book to which there was no original).

    You deny the prinicple of energy, meaning, and beauty yet you try to say you can have it sll of it. This is why the bible says the fool in his heart says there is no God. I am not just trying to be condeming, to just say you and your ideas are messed up. Still if you don’t see the hopelessness and emptyness in your beilef, so that you can really love true meaning and beauty and the principle of the two.

    So whay should a christian not die now? Two things: (1) Suffering in life is for the better for “all things work out for good for those who love the Lord”. What do i mean by that? Even evil and suffering are given meaning and purpose. In fact, the are a type of purgitory, each suffering being a means of God’s grace. Romans address those people who say then why not do evil so that God’s grace abounds. The Good man is always victorious.

    (2) simple to be a means of God’s grace to those that are living here and now. To be an image of God as much as we can (which is are pupose just look at the creation story).

    Frreal says “hope or fear of hell?”
    What is fear of hell? The etternal suffering is being left to your own choice seprated from the redeeming grace of God. Hell is you getting what you choose, and you choosing to live with out your humanity or as much of it as you can remove before death. No better Image of hell I have seen then the explanation of the bible in dante’s aligory and symbolism in the divine comedy which is largely missunderstood.

    C.S. Lewis has a really great naritive book called “the great divorce” which blatently deals with this issue.

  • 8. writerdd  |  March 22, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Zachary, obviously we disagree. :-)

    I’ve read lots of C.S. Lewis. He’s one of my favorite authors. But I disagree with a lot of what he has to say, too!

    My favorite part of not being a Christian any more is the freedom to not have to read or think about only what the Bible says and to be able to enjoy reading different authors, even if I don’t agree with them.

  • 9. writerdd  |  March 22, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Quester said, “I think we should remember to allow ourselves a little selfishness, though.”

    Amen. If you don’t nurture yourself, there’s nothing to give to anyone else. Doing things for ourselves is not really “selfish” though. It’s necessary and healthy! I think being selfish is when you only do things for yourself and never think about others.

    Jesus, Others, You — or always putting yourself last — does not equal JOY.

  • 10. Zachary Weber  |  March 22, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Well all have that freedom, the poiint is are you using it to deny reality or embrace it?

  • 11. LeoPardus  |  March 22, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Zachary:

    You work from a mindset that almost all the de-converts on this blog are completely familiar with. Most of us used to operate within the very paradigm you are now in. We could not conceive of existence, meaning, or much of anything in which God was not real and central. At some point though, we all found a way to look outside that paradigm.

    You’re still very much in that mindset. Just as most of us once were. You can’t see without “God filters” over your vision.

    You don’t have to adopt to the way we are now able to see the universe, but do please try to imagine it. We don’t believe there is a God or gods. We have good reasons for believing so. And none of us were happy to leave the faith, nor did we do so easily.

    Please don’t give us the canned answers. We know them intimately. If you can’t at least try to understand, please don’t preach.

  • 12. Quester  |  March 23, 2008 at 3:06 am

    DD, I concede the point. I used the word “selfish” for sake of ease, rather than clarity. I couldn’t think of any other single word or short phrase that would be more appropriate.

    Zachary, you said, You veiw, from my understanding reject actual meaning and beauty. You have no standard or principle to base meaning or beauty off of except poteintail and kentic energy.

    Now, assuming that I’m parsing your spelling and grammar correctly, I think you’ve got things entirely reversed. What I hear you saying is that we can not recognize beauty or meaning unless we have accepted a standard of ideal beauty and meaning, which is your God. Please correct me if I’m wrong, and you are trying to say something else.

    I turn it around; if you have some way to perceive, or even understand in a limited fashion, the ideal forms of beauty and truth, how can you appreciate the imperfect beauty and meaning of the everyday? Instead, all you need is to see ugliness and experience purposelessness to appreciate beauty and seek meaning. It is not the ideal that sets the standard, but the lack or insufficiency. One need not have all the money for another to appreciate wealth. Experiencing poverty can create all the appreciation of wealth a person needs.

    I, too, truly enjoyed reading The Great Divorce. I received a lot of hope from it, but could never reconcile it to the fear I found in scripture.

  • 13. Zachary Weber  |  March 23, 2008 at 3:24 am

    I understand that you think your world view is better or clearer than mine but either of us beliving something does not make it true. I do think that you really have come from where I have, you might have, but logically it seems impossible.

    The very fact that you deny God shows that you never really understood the fact that God is the great I AM. You may have had a vauger similair view, but If you really have that knowelgde ther eis no running away, it is a tidal wave that sweeps away everything at first slowly but contiously gaining speed.

    I understand you belive in deconvertion, but from a truely christain perpective you were never converts in the first place or you are and it’s still being worked out in your soul.

    My glasses or perspective is from being Himself. There is no truely logical argument against God. You can’t have logic with out Him. He is The principle of all things. I don’t know what you belive about what a God is, but if you don’t your in total self-contradiction. Your only option is to be nothing with out a God, or be something in God.

    I am not sure what you mean by preachy. My guess is either that i am bible bashing or claiming knowledge that is against what you belive. If it’s the first, i am only quoting the bible to connect it with what i am saying not as an argument. If it’s the second well thats part of what comments are.

  • 14. Zachary Weber  |  March 23, 2008 at 3:51 am

    Quester says “Now, assuming that I’m parsing your spelling and grammar correctly, I think you’ve got things entirely reversed. What I hear you saying is that we can not recognize beauty or meaning unless we have accepted a standard of ideal beauty and meaning, which is your God. Please correct me if I’m wrong, and you are trying to say something else.”

    Let me apoligize for the gramar but i am currently deployed in Iraq and the computer use has a time limit that i am ove so i could have to get off at any minute if someone else wants to use it.

    Let me state it like this you cannot have meaning or beauty without obsolute meaning and beauty.

    “I turn it around; if you have some way to perceive, or even understand in a limited fashion, the ideal forms of beauty and truth, how can you appreciate the imperfect beauty and meaning of the everyday? Instead, all you need is to see ugliness and experience purposelessness to appreciate beauty and seek meaning. It is not the ideal that sets the standard, but the lack or insufficiency. One need not have all the money for another to appreciate wealth. Experiencing poverty can create all the appreciation of wealth a person needs.”

    It’s true that if a thing exist existance and non existence are possible. But It is only by the existance of beauty that you can even see non-beauty. A man can enjoy beauty but enjoy it even more when lost and restored.

    That is the message of the bible, God made wills that could choose existance in God as wills or non existance outside of God rejecting will (sin), when they chose (sin) he restored there will and existance in God. It’s that simple.

    You can know God through the way of admission, or the way of rejection and admission. Speaks only because of existance, and it speaks only existance.

  • 15. Quester  |  March 23, 2008 at 4:10 am

    I understand what it means to be under a time limit, but it does increase the chance of misinterpretation.

    *shrug* I guess I’ll just have to try harder.

    Does there have to be one perfect tree for us to understand what a tree is, or appreciate it as different than grass? I really don’t see why an ideal has to exist in order for something less than ideal to exist. I see no evidence for that.

    I also see no evidence for God. I did once believe, and truly believe, that God is the great I AM. I believed in a just and loving creator, redeemer and sanctifier who created each of us with a purpose and desires that we freely choose to be in loving communion with Him, following His will as best we can. And I do not have a logical argument against God.

    I just don’t see any actual evidence for God, either. That’s why I stopped believing.

    I do see beauty, though, and meaning. Those can be considered evidence for God, but are circumstantial evidence, at best. Still, I can choose to admire beauty and pursue meaning. I am thankful for that.

  • 16. Zachary Weber  |  March 23, 2008 at 7:16 am

    Qyester says, “Does there have to be one perfect tree for us to understand what a tree is, or appreciate it as different than grass? I really don’t see why an ideal has to exist in order for something less than ideal to exist. I see no evidence for that.”

    A tree by nature in not in perfection in it’s privation because it is mutable. So in a sense, no there can’t be a perfect tree, except what partisipated in the imutable Act which is God. Let me clarify, perfection is Act with no mutability or potency. God is the Original, Simple, Perfect, Act, that is Being it self. That what I mean when I say He is the principle of all things, there is simple nothing besides him that what is made gets it’s existance. Am I making sense?

    Understand that imperfection is not sin. Sin is Knowedge (Intelegent Interactive realtionship with reality as it is) that not ordered from God. Hence the name of the Tree of Life(knoweldge arder from God), and the Tree of the Knoweldge of Good and Evil (good and evil because it is absured knoweldge that is in contradiction, you can’t have something that exist that is only evil, evil being a lacking of existance).

    Perfection is act with out potency. To be perfect is growth in God to the point were you are at you highest form of action or better said knowledge which is as I keep on saying intellegent interactive realtionship ordered from God.

    “I also see no evidence for God. I did once believe, and truly believe, that God is the great I AM. I believed in a just and loving creator, redeemer and sanctifier who created each of us with a purpose and desires that we freely choose to be in loving communion with Him, following His will as best we can. And I do not have a logical argument against God.

    I just don’t see any actual evidence for God, either. That’s why I stopped believing.”

    Movment is and has been in all thingsexept God. Movement is potential to act becoming potency by act. As i keep on saying, there can’t be a now if there is an infinite amount of events before now. So there must be original Act that is etternally, perfectly in Act.

    “I do see beauty, though, and meaning. Those can be considered evidence for God, but are circumstantial evidence, at best. Still, I can choose to admire beauty and pursue meaning. I am thankful for that.”

    That is my point of your self contradiction though. You cannot have anything beauty, meaning, truth, movement, or act with out Original Act. You can’t eat you cake and not have it too.

    Don’t take my hastyness as a condeming to put my self up, I only am pointing out the problem, because i am moved to love you, because I my self am moved by a Love that moves the heavens, and the furthest stars. As cheezy as that is, it’s true.

    I also do respect your choice because i wouldn’t want to force you in to anything you do not will.

  • 17. writerdd  |  March 23, 2008 at 8:58 am

    Zachary: “The very fact that you deny God shows that you never really understood the fact that God is the great I AM. ”

    Sigh. Why do Christians always come back to this lame argument? And why do they think they can judge people they have never met?

    Yes, I was a “real” Christian. Yes, I loved God with every fiber in my being, yes I understood everything that Christians understand about God. I thought about nothing else for many years; and I spent all of my energy praying, reading the Bible, trying to minister to others, and worshipping God.

    Quester: ” And I do not have a logical argument against God. I just don’t see any actual evidence for God, either. That’s why I stopped believing.”

    That’s exactly where I’m coming from! I wasn’t converted by apologetics and I wasn’t deconverted by anti-apologetics. I just learned more about the universe and eventually saw that there was no evidence for the God I believed in, and that the stories in the Bible did not match up to the realities of the universe. I didn’t choose to stop believing. I never would have made that choice. But one day I realized that I no longer believed, and was completely surprised that 1) I did not backslide into sin and become a hooker or a drug addict and 2) I felt more freedom, joy, and peace than I ever had as a believer.

    Talk about a revelation. I was totally “surprised by joy”! (To quote from a popular apologist!)

  • 18. Zachary Weber  |  March 23, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Writerdd says
    “Sigh. Why do Christians always come back to this lame argument? And why do they think they can judge people they have never met?”

    I apoligise what i meant to say was that if what you say is true, then you didn’t know the I AM. I cannot know for sure if you did or did not but if what you say is true you never knew Him. If you did you would be face with the same overwheling power of the truth that I am. I am not argueing with you by saying this only stating fact according to reason and logic. If you deny Reason, well there is not much i can do about that.

    What you quoted was no arguement at all. So please don’t missunderstand me, when i say things like that with out argument i am only showing you what I believe and the end to my arguement are trying to lead. Please respect that, and try to understand what i am using as argument and what i am stating as my belief.

    “Yes, I was a “real” Christian. Yes, I loved God with every fiber in my being, yes I understood everything that Christians understand about God. I thought about nothing else for many years; and I spent all of my energy praying, reading the Bible, trying to minister to others, and worshipping God.”

    That is a huge thing you say and I am sorry, but i do not belive it. I have never known a fully santified Christian, nore do I believe that there are many that have ever existed on earth in this life. I don’t belive you loved God with every fiber of your being, I don’t belive you spent all your energy praying and reading the bible. You may have spent much and loved much, but it’s extremly doubtfull you did what you say.

    To love God with every fiber of your bieng is to be sinless. I have never known anybody with out sin except Jesus Christ. But Let me say this, beliving in a great I AM has nothing to do with the bible. It’s just plan reason. Hence Paul says in romans that he has been revealed to all by all creation (Via order, messure, and specificity).

    Quester: ” And I do not have a logical argument against God. I just don’t see any actual evidence for God, either. That’s why I stopped believing.”

    That’s exactly where I’m coming from! I wasn’t converted by apologetics and I wasn’t deconverted by anti-apologetics. I just learned more about the universe and eventually saw that there was no evidence for the God I believed in, and that the stories in the Bible did not match up to the realities of the universe. I didn’t choose to stop believing. I never would have made that choice. But one day I realized that I no longer believed, and was completely surprised that 1) I did not backslide into sin and become a hooker or a drug addict and 2) I felt more freedom, joy, and peace than I ever had as a believer.

    Talk about a revelation. I was totally “surprised by joy”! (To quote from a popular apologist!)

  • 19. Zachary Weber  |  March 23, 2008 at 9:36 am

    sorry I sent that last message early, because i was bumped by another guy.

  • 20. writerdd  |  March 23, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Zachary, “That is a huge thing you say and I am sorry, but i do not belive it.”

    Well, I have nothing more to say to you if you think I’m a liar.

  • 21. karen  |  March 23, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I don’t belive you loved God with every fiber of your being, I don’t belive you spent all your energy praying and reading the bible. You may have spent much and loved much, but it’s extremly doubtfull you did what you say.

    Well, guess what? I don’t believe that you’re a True Christian. I don’t believe that your name is Zachary Weber. I don’t believe that you’re deployed in Iraq. I don’t believe that anything you assert here is true, real or sincere.

    How does that statement make you feel, Zachary? What use is it for me to respond like that in an online discussion? Does it promote understanding and conversation, or does it totally shut down the same?

    If you want to converse online, there are some basic “rules of engagement” you need to learn. One is that you must try to respect what other people say, particularly about their own personal backgrounds and experiences. You may not agree with their conclusions, but there’s no use in telling them they are liars.

    You won’t get far here coming in as a complete and total stranger and undercutting what people describe about themselves in all sincerity and honesty. And yes, I can say that about writerdd because I have “known” her online for many years now (not just from this board) and know a lot about her background and her deconversion story.

    Rethink your approach, Zach, and you’ll be much more successful in your communications.

  • 22. Zachary Weber  |  March 24, 2008 at 6:25 am

    writerdd says, “Well, I have nothing more to say to you if you think I’m a liar.”.

    It’s hard for me to understand, how a person can claim to have loved God with every fiber of your being. To my understanding, that is the same as saying you are without sin. Maybe that is a poor conclution on my part but it is founded in some logic even if what I say is logic in privation from true logic, but that another tangent. The point is that I thought that if i told you what i though you were saying stait out, (i.e you are claiming sinlessness) you would point out what you really meant to say. I was supprised to see you defend it.

    I have been thinking about it, I am trying to be respectful, but God (in my world veiw) still has alot of work in me left to do. I am truely sorry for being a jerk by my lack of tact, in the way I talked to you. I understand i fell into a common mistake in pushing you a way by commenting on your character, in a disrepectful way. I see my mistake and i am really saoory. Understand it was more out of a lack of tact, then actual disrespect. I hnonestly was just trying to show you what I thought would be plan for you to see, but i was rude and I apoligize.

    Also i have been thinking about it and it maybe be possible to be in a sense rejecting false christianity for true christainity, and merely think you are rejecting christanity. That may be the case here, I wouldn’t know. Don’t get in sulted when i argue and attack your idea’s, I am not attacking you when I do that, I know people are more than idea’s.

    Still you don’t really answer the problem I have with finding purpose with out an obsulute purpose. Unless you what is mutable is apart of the immutable it dies, and only what was part of the immutible lives on.

    karen says, “How does that statement make you feel, Zachary? What use is it for me to respond like that in an online discussion? Does it promote understanding and conversation, or does it totally shut down the same?”

    Your right it doesn’t promote discussion, what I should have done is merely restate it in stead or restating it an say i think it is a lie. What i did was rude and i am sarry but try and bare with me that i am not trying to be rude.

  • 23. The de-Convert  |  March 24, 2008 at 7:54 am

    Zachary,

    It’s hard for me to understand, how a person can claim to have loved God with every fiber of your being.

    The best explanation I could give for this is Santa Claus. There are kids who love Santa. They believe in him and think he’s the greatest guy in the world. However, one day they realize that there is no Santa Claus.

    In regards to their previous feelings towards Santa – were they insincere? Were they lying? No way. There was genuine respect and affection there.

    Well, there are many of us who have realized that there is no Elohim or YHWH. He (if you think they are one and the same god) is no different than all the other gods of mythology. YHWH was the warrior God of an tribe of nomads in the Middle East and he was not very nice at that (see this link) – even though Christianity has “redeemed” him. Most of the stories of this tribe date to within the 1,500 years BC (hardly… “in the beginning”).

    I saw a very interesting chart the other day that showed about a couple hundred names of gods – on one side had a list of gods that Christians do not believe in and on the other side, gods that atheists do not believe in. The lists were exact except there was one more god listed on the atheist side – YHWH.

    Paul

  • 24. writerdd  |  March 24, 2008 at 9:11 am

    “It’s hard for me to understand, how a person can claim to have loved God with every fiber of your being. To my understanding, that is the same as saying you are without sin.”

    I didn’t say that. You did. I have no idea why having a huge amount of love for God would mean that a person is sinless. There is absolutely no logic connecting those two ideas. Loving something or someone doesn’t make you any more or less perfect.

    At any rate, I don’t believe in sin or God. I do believe that human beings are imperfect and that we sometimes do bad things and some humans do horrific things. But sin is a concept that has no meaning for me because it means to perform acts that offend God. Since I don’t believe in God, I don’t believe in sin. The only offenses I can commit are those against other living, conscious beings on this planet, be they human or animal. I do my best not to harm others, and to help alleviate suffering when I can. To me that is the core of morality, since there is no afterlife, we have to do what we can to improve this life.

    I would like to elaborate on what I mean when I say “I don’t believe in God.” I know a lot of Christians say they don’t believe in astrology or witches or other things and they mean that they disagree with these thins, and in a way they are saying, “I know astrology and witchcraft are real, but they are evil, so I don’t ‘believe’ in them.”

    That is not what I mean when I say I don’t believe in something. I mean it does not exist. God does not exist. He is not a real being. He is nothing more than a figment of human imagination–as The de-Convert says, God is no more real than Santa Claus or, I might add, Harry Potter.

    I was in love with someone who did not exist. Alas, I wasted quite a few years of my life trying to please my imaginary friend. In the end, I finally realized I was wasting my time and now I try to help and please real, flesh and blood human beings, a much more worthy cause.

  • 25. LeoPardus  |  March 24, 2008 at 11:16 am

    karen:

    Have you still got that list of convenient categories for Christians use for pigeonholing de-converts? If you can find it, I’d like to turn it into a post.

  • 26. Notabarbie  |  March 24, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Zachary, you said, “That is a huge thing you say and I am sorry, but i do not belive it. I have never known a fully santified Christian, nore do I believe that there are many that have ever existed on earth in this life.”

    Well, Zachary, that’s because when you encounter one, you reject them and what they tell you out of hand.
    I remember when I told my sister that I was no longer a believer and she said she had never ever met or even heard of a Christian leaving Christianity. I thought of d-C and others and smiled to myself. I said, “Oh, they are out there, believe me.” She didn’t. The truth is, she had never met or heard of one because she lives in a Christian bubble, seeing things only through Christian lenses…I know, because I wore them for over 40 years. I took them off…

    I could get really pissed off at you for calling the posters here liars, but I won’t because, those of us who are de-converts are in a unique position; we have been on both sides of the religion fence…you have not. We know exactly where you are coming from…you don’t have that same insight…sorry…you speak from ignorance. It’s a simple as that.

  • 27. karen  |  March 24, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    karen says, “How does that statement make you feel, Zachary? What use is it for me to respond like that in an online discussion? Does it promote understanding and conversation, or does it totally shut down the same?”

    Your right it doesn’t promote discussion, what I should have done is merely restate it in stead or restating it an say i think it is a lie. What i did was rude and i am sarry but try and bare with me that i am not trying to be rude.

    Thanks for the apology, Zach. You seemed like a reasonable person, which is why I responded to you trying to illuminate how it feels to be on the other side of a post like yours. I’m very glad to see that you understand what I meant and responded graciously to Donna.

    I think what happens is that some people post from their own viewpoint without stopping to think how the person they are addressing will feel and think about it. If you can keep an open mind here, and take what people say about their own journey at face value, I think you’ll get a lot more out of the interaction on this site.

  • 28. karen  |  March 24, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Have you still got that list of convenient categories for Christians use for pigeonholing de-converts? If you can find it, I’d like to turn it into a post.

    I certainly should have it, but at the moment I can’t find it. Which is weird because I recall looking for it before, finding it and putting it somewhere where I could easily locate it! Argh…

    I think that post was in response to an essay by one of our female posters, writing about her mother’s reaction to her deconversion. Does that ring a bell with anyone?

    If it doesn’t turn up, I bet we could all brainstorm and re-create the list, and probably come up with a few more reasons to boot.

  • 29. Ubi Dubium  |  March 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Zachary,

    I am curious. Were you born into a Christian family and raised as a Christian?

    I ask, because that was the case for many of us here. And I would hazard a guess that most of the Christians in world were born and raised in Christian families. And most Muslims were born and raised in Muslim families. Same for the Jews. And Hindus. And Taoists. (etc. etc.)

    There are over 10,000 religions in the world. Almost all of them declare that they know the truth, and that all the other religions have it wrong. They cannot all be correct! (It is, however, possible for all of them to be mistaken.)

    So, Zachary, if you had been born into a Muslim family, would you now find yourself as fervent a Muslim as you now are a Christian? It is a useful exercise to try stepping out of your box for a moment, and looking at all the world’s religions with an open mind. (If your religion is true, this will not harm you.) If you had been born to a family of another faith, what would the attraction of Christianity be? And if you were born to a family without a faith, and found yourself trying to choose among more than 10,000, how would you select one? By the fervent devotion of true believers? By the inspiration believers find in a holy book? By how long it has been around? By the comfort and ritual and community the religion provides? Christianity has no exclusive lock on any of these things.

    Since you have come here to speak with us in this place of reflection, I challenge you to try it also. Try asking a true believer of another faith (no lack of those in Iraq) about what he gets out of his religion, why he follows it, and how he perceives yours. Don’t preach, just really listen! Read a holy book from another religion, and look for the reasons that its followers find it powerful and truthful. Try to see your religion the way an outsider would see it. Open your mind, take off the Bible goggles for awhile, and think. If Christianity is genuinely true, such a journey will lead you right back to it. Don’t be afraid. Many of us here have taken that journey, and God didn’t strike any of us down. But most of us wound up in a different place than where we started, and we are better and happier people for it.

  • 30. karen  |  March 24, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Okay, LeoPardus, I’m reconstructing a partial list here just based on a post in another thread:

    You’re looking for an excuse not to believe
    You’re being manipulated by satan
    You’re indulging your desire to live hedonistically
    You want instant gratification
    You’re not thinking about the future/afterlife
    You never had a true personal relationship with Jesus
    You never experienced/received the holy spirit
    You weren’t in the right sect/denomination
    You were “religious” but not born again
    Your decision is based on other Christians’ behavior, not on Jesus’ teachings
    You were hurt by your pastor/other Christians
    You were in the “wrong” denomination or sect
    People disappointed you and so you “threw out the baby with the bathwater”
    You quit seeking
    You’re angry and resentful and taking it out on god
    You’re mad at god for some misfortune in your life

  • 31. LeoPardus  |  March 24, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks Karen. Y’all pitch in any more you know of. I already added some (and removed one that was redundant). Here’s the updated list:

    1. You’re looking for an excuse not to believe
    2. You’re being manipulated by Satan
    3. You’re indulging your desire to live hedonistically
    4. You want instant gratification
    5. You’re not thinking about the future/afterlife
    6. You never had a true personal relationship with Jesus
    7. You never experienced/received the holy spirit
    8. You were “religious” but not born again
    9. Your decision is based on other Christians’ behavior, not on Jesus’ teachings
    10. You were hurt by your pastor/other Christians
    11. You were in the “wrong” denomination or sect
    12. People disappointed you and so you “threw out the baby with the bathwater”
    13. You quit seeking
    14. You’re angry and resentful and taking it out on God
    15. You’re mad at God for some misfortune in your life
    16. You were never saved/Christian to start with.
    17. You’re harboring sin in your heart.
    18. You’re too prideful/arrogant to humble yourself before the Lord.
    19. You have a rebellious spirit.
    20. You didn’t pray/read the Bible enough.
    21. You forsook assembling together.
    22. You can’t accept authority.

  • 32. Rachel  |  March 24, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    How about, “you have legitimate questions and Christianity hasn’t met your conditions for belief.”

    Give us a little credit!

  • 33. HeIsSailing  |  March 24, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    C’mon Karen, how could you possibly forget:

    “You were a carnal Christian”??

  • 34. Zachary Weber  |  March 24, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    The de-Convert says “The best explanation I could give for this is Santa Claus. There are kids who love Santa. They believe in him and think he’s the greatest guy in the world. However, one day they realize that there is no Santa Claus.”

    I because of a lack of time i wil have to wait alittle longer to respond to some of these post but i will because I think this is a really good discussion. Right now my plt is doing gaurd shits but tomorrow we will be on a three day mission. so understand if i don’t respond for awhile

  • 35. HeIsSailing  |  March 24, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    “Right now my plt is doing gaurd shits but tomorrow we will be on a three day mission.”

    huh?

  • 36. HeIsSailing  |  March 24, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Rachel:
    “How about, “you have legitimate questions and Christianity hasn’t met your conditions for belief.” Give us a little credit!”

    I would love to hear a Christian friend say that I left Christianity because I had legitimate doubts that were left unfulfilled by the teachings of my Faith. But that will never happen. I mean, that is pretty much what I tell my old Christian friends, but they seem to know better than me. Because one-by-one, my Christian friends have claimed:

    I left Christianity because I am having a mid-life crisis,

    I am harboring secret sin

    I am wanting to serve myself

    I was never a Christian in the first place

    I am shutting my eyes to the obvious truth of God

    I served science more than God (I am a physicist)

    I was unequally yoked (my wife is Catholic I was Protestant Baptist)

    I was letting my will and emotions get the better of me

    I hate religion (from my mother-in-law)

    Because I did not remain a Christian, my friends have told me:

    I am a gutless wonder because I did not stare my doubts down and claim them by the Blood of Jesus (I swear I don’t even know what this means)

    Because my marraige vows were made to a God I don’t believe in, my marraige is invalid, and God does not honor it (this was insulting to me and painful for my wife – and this came from an asst pastor of my church!)

    In other words, Christians ignore the reasons and make up their own for me. You see, the Christian crowd cannot, and I mean CANNOT even hint that thier Faith may be wrong. That is a sore they dare not aggrivate. That is what “you have legitimate questions and Christianity hasn’t met your conditions for belief” would do. No faithful Christian would do that. No Christian that I know would say ‘HeIsSailing left Christianity because he had too many nagging questions that the Bible could not answer and that prayer did not satisfy.’ That would mean that they might also possibly have questions that would be equally unsatisfied by the Bible and prayer, and no faithful Christian would *dare* do that.

    Yes, I know your younger generation may not do that, but every Christian I know would. I don’t ever expect to be treated with that tiny bit of respect that a Christian would actually believe me when I tell them why I left. To them, I am willingly rejecting an obvious truth and spitting in the face of Jesus.

  • 37. Brent  |  March 25, 2008 at 1:12 am

    HeIsSailing,

    I think Zachary was saying that his platoon is pulling guard shifts right now.

  • 38. Quester  |  March 25, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Karen, LeoP, HIS,

    I think a compilation of those lists would make a great article on their own. Perhaps as a Frequent Accusations list we can direct people to as they come onto this site and claim one or more on the list to be true.

    Rachel,

    Skim the archives a little. Read the comments. This list isn’t being created out of thin air as an insult to Christians. These are comments frequently made by Christians visiting this blog.

  • 39. HeIsSailing  |  March 25, 2008 at 7:24 am

    “I think Zachary was saying that his platoon is pulling guard shifts right now.”

    Oh, plt. I thought he typed pit. Understand now. My apologies.

  • 40. writerdd  |  March 25, 2008 at 8:44 am

    I think it’s a great list. I’ve been told most of these things at one time or another, and some of them (like I never was a real Christian and I’m lying to say that I was) come up over and over again.

    It might be interesting to compare it to the reasons Christians say that they believe and the reasons unbelievers think that Christians believe. I read an article about that once, and there was probably an equal amount of misunderstanding going in both directions.

    Those who have de-converted are probably the only ones who can truly relate to both groups based on personal experience. We have to ask as a kind of interpreter. I am not always successful and sometimes I don’t even come close, but one of my goals is to be able to help believers and unbelievers to understand each other at least a little bit.

  • 41. LeoPardus  |  March 25, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Thanks to HIS the list is now 29 items long. One more and we’ll have an even 30. :)

    I am planning to make an article of it as Quester suggests. Just waiting a few days for any more additions.

    It will be interesting to develop responses to all of them, but I don’t think I’ll do that on my own.

  • 42. notabarbie  |  March 25, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Here are my contributions:
    1. I took philosophy and it poisoned my mind
    2. I’ve become “wise in my own eyes.”
    3. I had a “said faith, not a real faith.”
    4. I’m going through “a phase.” (As HIS said, a mid life crisis)

    Also, I told my sister that it was when I was in “the Word,” daily, and praying my hardest, that I felt challenged to examine my faith with the same fervor as I had other religions. I asked her why she thought that might be and she said, “I’m sorry, but it was Satan tempting you.” Then she acted all shocked when I got a bit offended by her explanation….sheesh, I ask you, wouldn’t anybody be offended by that?

  • 43. Quester  |  March 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    When it comes to “the list”, I’ve often received a slight adaptation of the tempted/manipulated one. “The closer you come to God and who God wants you to be, the more Satan and his minions will attack you to sow seeds of doubt.”

    Another one I hear that I don’t think is on the list is, “You’re trying too hard to see God, and your own efforts are keeping you from success. You have to ‘let go and let God’.”

  • 44. LeoPardus  |  March 25, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    YeeeHaawww! We got 35 now! Thanks to all contributors. I’ll post all 35 below so you can see what we have now. If anyone spots a couple that are highly redundant, or if you know one that is missing. Let me know.

    Convenient categories into which Christians can shoehorn or pigeonhole ex-Christians:

    1. You’re looking for an excuse not to believe
    2. You’re being manipulated by Satan
    3. You’re indulging your desire to live hedonistically
    4. You want instant gratification
    5. You’re not thinking about the future/afterlife
    6. You never had a true personal relationship with Jesus
    7. You never experienced/received the holy spirit
    8. You were “religious” but not born again
    9. Your decision is based on other Christians’ behavior, not on Jesus’ teachings
    10. You were hurt by your pastor/other Christians
    11. You were in the “wrong” denomination or sect
    12. People disappointed you and so you “threw out the baby with the bathwater”
    13. You quit seeking
    14. You’re angry and resentful and taking it out on God
    15. You’re mad at God for some misfortune in your life
    16. You were never saved/Christian to start with. (Calvinism)
    17. You’re harboring sin in your heart.
    18. You’re too prideful/arrogant to humble yourself before the Lord.
    19. You have a rebellious spirit.
    20. You didn’t pray/read the Bible enough.
    21. You forsook assembling together.
    22. You can’t accept authority.
    23. You never dealt with sin in your life. (i.e. You were a carnal Christian.)
    24. You are having a mid-life, or some other life wide, crisis, or you’re, “going through a phase”.
    25. You are self-centered/serving yourself.
    26. You are shutting my eyes to the obvious truth of God.
    27. You love/serve science/job/hobbies more than God.
    28. You were unequally yoked (e.g. wife is Catholic, you were Protestant).
    29. You looked to your own will/emotions instead of God’s will.
    30. You’re mind was poisoned by man’s philosophy.
    31. You became “wise in your own eyes.”
    32. You had a “said faith, not a real faith.”
    33. You were trying too hard to see God, and your own efforts kept you from success. (Or, said a little differently,) You never “let go and let God.” (Or, said a little differently,) You depended too much on your own strength/intellect.
    34. You stopped “growing in the faith”, or allowed your faith to become stagnant.
    35. You didn’t “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

  • 45. karen  |  March 25, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    C’mon Karen, how could you possibly forget:

    “You were a carnal Christian”??

    ROTFLMAO!! How could I forget that one!? Shame on me. ;-)

    Those who have de-converted are probably the only ones who can truly relate to both groups based on personal experience. We have to ask as a kind of interpreter. I am not always successful and sometimes I don’t even come close, but one of my goals is to be able to help believers and unbelievers to understand each other at least a little bit.

    I agree, and I have the same goal. There are a lot of major misunderstandings about religious people coming from those who were never religious, and I can try to “translate” some of the religious lingo to help them understand where they are missing the mark.

    The biggest one I’ve seen is “How can such a smart person possibly believe that nonsense?”

  • 46. writerdd  |  March 25, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    The biggest one I’ve seen is “How can such a smart person possibly believe that nonsense?”

    I still ask myself that question about myself all the time! Oh my.

  • 47. Quester  |  March 25, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    “How can such a smart person possibly believe that nonsense?”

    In my experience, that one gets asked by theists and non-theists alike.

  • 48. Zachary Weber  |  March 28, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    The de-Convert says”

    It’s one thing to argue about something that may or may not exist, but to argue that Being Himself doesn’t exist seems pretty crazy though in my mind, though i can understand how rationally (in it’s privation), some one could thin God Doesn’t exist or that this God is not Being Himself.

    writerdd says, “I didn’t say that. You did. I have no idea why having a huge amount of love for God would mean that a person is sinless. There is absolutely no logic connecting those two ideas. Loving something or someone doesn’t make you any more or less perfect.”

    Loving God, is the fulfillment of the of the law essentially. Thats why when you say you loved God with every fiber of your are saying to me you are without even the stain of sin. Understand where i am coming from now?

    “The only offenses I can commit are those against other living, conscious beings on this planet, be they human or animal. I do my best not to harm others, and to help alleviate suffering when I can. To me that is the core of morality, since there is no afterlife, we have to do what we can to improve this life.”

    Where do you get any standard of what is harming or what is suffering if there is not God and therefore no absolutes? Or Do you belive in absolutes and no God?

    Secondly what is love, if you reduce thing to chance and nessecity you have no such thing as love, because there is no you (I amsuming you belive only in chance and nessecity because I don’t know what you really belive). Love requires intellect and will, which is not chance nor nessesity. So I am not sure what you mean by love?

    It would make more sense if you belived in a God, just not the biblical one, thats understandable, but to say love with out a God, well understand that just doesn’t make sense to me from my possition.

    26. Notabarbie | March 24, 2008 at 11:59 am

    I could get really pissed off at you for calling the posters here liars, but I won’t because, those of us who are de-converts are in a unique position; we have been on both sides of the religion fence…you have not. We know exactly where you are coming from…you don’t have that same insight…sorry…you speak from ignorance. It’s a simple as that.

    My argument is you really haven’t felt both side you felt only a lie that probably was given to you (there are many not-so-christians or christains that really know nothing about what they believe, so understand where i am comeing from on my side).

    karen says “I think what happens is that some people post from their own viewpoint without stopping to think how the person they are addressing will feel and think about it. If you can keep an open mind here, and take what people say about their own journey at face value, I think you’ll get a lot more out of the interaction on this site.”

    It’s worse then that, it’s an ettempt to abuse other peoples free will. To not try to help, or talked to people as they are, and make rude claims to try and get people to understand what is true. It’s offencive to me so I can tottally understand how it’s offencive to others, it’s something i slip in to time to time though. Again sorry

    Ubi Dubium says:
    “Zachary,
    I am curious. Were you born into a Christian family and raised as a Christian?”

    Yes I was, though amongts the christain jargon I wasn’t raised christian, but I came to it my self in high school, by my parents putting me in a great books program, and the gaints of old witnessed to me past the jargon that has been made in the modern church.

    “There are over 10,000 religions in the world. Almost all of them declare that they know the truth, and that all the other religions have it wrong. They cannot all be correct! (It is, however, possible for all of them to be mistaken.)”

    So very true! I have no argument to stand on against christainity, not one that by passes all the reason for. The other relgions I have problems with, essentail problems.

    “So, Zachary, if you had been born into a Muslim family, would you now find yourself as fervent a Muslim as you now are a Christian? It is a useful exercise to try stepping out of your box for a moment, and looking at all the world’s religions with an open mind. (If your religion is true, this will not harm you.) If you had been born to a family of another faith, what would the attraction of Christianity be? And if you were born to a family without a faith, and found yourself trying to choose among more than 10,000, how would you select one? By the fervent devotion of true believers? By the inspiration believers find in a holy book? By how long it has been around? By the comfort and ritual and community the religion provides? Christianity has no exclusive lock on any of these things. ”

    Most likely i would be muslim in nominal or practically, I really don’t know cause i am not n that situation. But just saying i could believe on thing doesn’t make it true, and I think you know that. The argument is that christanity is the only religion, that fits with reality as i can see it.

    believe me i have looked for other religions that speak reality and have debated alot. The more i know the more they don’t seem to fit with reality. If their is they have to provide a strong argument why cchristanity is wrong, but it has to be darn close to christainity. The Closest I can think of is a deist, but I cannot belive a God that would make the universe would not interact with it tangible.

    To all :

    I am truely sorry for the rudeness of Christians, it is an avious shame, and there is no one to blame but our selves. But I do not think it is because of Christainity that people do this, or if it is it’s by a privation of some christain pricible.

    As i have said i am not here to bager you, but I really want to ask what do you belive reality is with out God? Because you may not be as far from christianity as you might guessm in fact probably closer then most “Christians”. But i do belive in God (the God of the bible), though I do not know if you know what i mean by that except a I am not a sure how to say it ofther then I believe in the I AM (which is a perfect, simple, eternal, infinie, imutable, Active I AM, not just a I exist. I think you all know that but this is for some reading this who may not.).

    I am not saying i have all the answers, but still i would like you to argue with my why do you not believe in a God? Then from there we might move in to why don’t you beilieve in Christianity. But first lets stick with the simpler God. Is that to much to ask?

  • 49. Zachary Weber  |  March 28, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    I will make this quick. For some reason my other post didn’t load.

    1. I I apoligize for Christians and nonminal christians acting so rude. It is there fault but not because of thir christianity, or if it is it is it in it’s prrivation from it’s fullness.

    2. If I were born in to a muslim family i would probably be what ever the culture was i was born into. So if i was born in say germany I would probably be an athiest or maybe a deist. America, i would have more of a chance of being muslim but still more probably not, Iran i would probably be muslim nonminally or practically. What I believe doesn’t change fact, if it’s true it’s true with out with out me beliving it.

    3. Santa has the posibiblity to to exist or not exist, but auing about being Himself creates some problems. I am not arguing about something that can or cannot exist but something that has to exist.

    4. loving God with every fiber of your being is the fullfillment of the all the law. Thats why i was saying, it seems you are telling me that from my perspective you were saying you were, or were for a time, without sin.

    5. I am guessing that you only belive in chance snd nessesity.
    You can’t have reall love with those princibles by them selfves. Only mater in potency and act. Love is not a material substance of of a material substance, but of spiritual substance. it requires an intellect and a will, which is by no means material.

    6. How can you get a standard by what is suffering and what is not suffering? Or what is harmfull and what is not harmfull? If you have not absolutes (God). Then you have no nothing to base an though off of. If you do have an absolute then you must have a God.

    7. I would like you to bring to me your problems with christianity to me, not that I have all answers, but I see no reliable reason that it is not true and many that it is. Before that though, I want to just talk about the existance of God and find out why most of you don’t believe in one. You all seem really smart and reasonable, it Just doesn’t make sense from my perspective.
    Do you mind tellign my why you don’t believe in God?

  • 50. LeoPardus  |  March 28, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Regarding your number 7. Look in the archives for a series of articles I wrote called “Reasons I can no longer believe”. Others around here can point you to their stories and reasons.

    Really short answer to why I don’t believe. I’m just like the apostle Thomas. He said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, and place my finger in the wound his side, I will not believe.” If that’s good enough for one of the original 12 apostles, who lived with Jesus, it’s good enough for me.

  • 51. Frreal  |  March 28, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    “I would like you to bring to me your problems with christianity to me……….”

    For starters,

    God/Jesus commanded his followers to slaughter the children of his enemies, the elderly, the handicapped and the pregnant. Why does Jesus need to have babies slaughtered? Is the slaughter of babies a moral absolute? Can you reconcile the command to kill babies with omnibenevolence? Which person would have been more moral in God/Jesus’ eyes … the obedient man that plunged a sword into the belly of a toddler clinging to the lifeless body of his mother or the disobedient man that said “NO God/Jesus! It is wrong to kill the children of my enemies. ” Which man is more moral in your eyes?

  • 52. Spirituality Without Superstition « de-conversion  |  March 29, 2008 at 12:16 am

    […] out of human consciousness. Three and a half billion years of evolution has built the need for meaning and purpose into human beings. It is as real as our need to breathe. The word spirit comes from the Latin word […]

  • 53. Zachary Weber  |  March 29, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I said, “Before that though, I want to just talk about the existance of God and find out why most of you don’t believe in one. You all seem really smart and reasonable, it Just doesn’t make sense from my perspective.
    Do you mind tellign my why you don’t believe in God?”

    I ment what i said, i think we will end up going in circles if you don’t have the belief in God to base my arguements off of. It will take a whole lot longer. But if you do belive in a God and just want to grill me on my christian beliefs, that is fine to, just please try to metion that you do before you grill me on christianity.

    to LeoPardus:
    sure i will get reading on those when i can k? I am in iraq though, but lately i have had some good computer time.

    50. Frreal says:

    “God/Jesus commanded his followers to slaughter the children of his enemies, the elderly, the handicapped and the pregnant. Why does Jesus need to have babies slaughtered? Is the slaughter of babies a moral absolute? Can you reconcile the command to kill babies with omnibenevolence? Which person would have been more moral in God/Jesus’ eyes … the obedient man that plunged a sword into the belly of a toddler clinging to the lifeless body of his mother or the disobedient man that said “NO God/Jesus! It is wrong to kill the children of my enemies. ” Which man is more moral in your eyes?”

    This is a though part of the bible and i have had to think about it alot but i came to a few conclutions:

    1. Is it nessisarly wrong for God to end life “early” (whatever that means cause who know when mean die naturally) people to save more people then He would of without killing them? I am not sure you can prove it’s nessisarly wrong. It by simply being a possible for it to be good is all I need to use.

    2. But just filling the nessesity argument rarely satisfies so: Secondly, there is no modern tech, no modern governments. Everything is mob rule. If they let the childern land women live, what do you think would happen in a few years? War again. It’s quick, it reduces suffering, and it brings basic peace in that area. It’s not like they were capible of rasing and re-educating the rest. It would have probably caused alot of suffering if they had not. Brutal but true, freedom has not yet prevated enough to allow anything else (or the defence of it). Just look how hard Iraq has been and this is some where about 3500 years later. Our Government, economy, our wealth of knowledge through things like the internet, allow so much more possibilities then they had at that time. It’s hardly the same thing as if you did it now. And it’s not like the people they were doing anything better, just look at their religions. God chose a nation of slaves. Slaves. It’s not like they could do a whole lot. The would have died out with out God whathing overthem and leading them.

    3. Speaking of which, God wanted to use a nation of slaves to shame greatness that is with out God. So He let them send their armies at God’s chosen, and God shamed them and made an example by fear, fear because there is nothing else he could really use at that time to ward off other mobs. It is in fact what we still use. It also turn others towards surender, because it’s not like the jew are forcing others to be immoral more than they already or. Infact their laws were very morally advanced in most ways. In some ways because of the time no they couldn’t be. Remeber there are 2 laws, laws for all men and laws for jews goverment which God extablished.

    Honestly, It’s not completely fulling as a probability argument, but it does answer the nessisary one. It’s not like I know everything about what is right at all times. So it is enough for me.

    51. Spirituality Without Supe&hellip says,

    “[…] out of human consciousness. Three and a half billion years of evolution has built the need for meaning and purpose into human beings. It is as real as our need to breathe. The word spirit comes from the Latin word […]”

    Can evolution come with out a God? Can existance be without a God? That is my problem with your argument because reasonable i can’t belive in any absolutes with out God, yet that requires the absolute.
    But i wont get in to that it’s easier to use the second law of thermodinamics. The univers is going towards disorder, if it has existed infinitely then it what be in total disorder. It is not in total disorder, so there fore it does not exist infinitely, therefore it had to have a begining. what ever is brought into existance had to have a cause, this cause is what we call God.

  • 54. Zachary Weber  |  March 29, 2008 at 11:27 am

    49. LeoPardus read your arguments. Their are reasonable arguments, though i dissagree with them. I will address as soon as I get time, I am going to be at another fob or “base” for all you none military, for a two weeks and aI have no idea if they have computers or if i will get any down time between patrols.
    UTM,
    -Zach

  • 55. Quester  |  March 29, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Zachary:

    48iii) Why does God have to exist?

    48v) Love is an act of will. I see no reason that will can not come from that which is material, though it is in itself immaterial. I am not a neurologist, but see no reason to assume that chemical and electrical interactions of sufficient complexity are not all that is required for reason, will, emotion and love.

    48vi) One only has to experience different degrees of suffering to understand what suffering is, and imagine what not suffering would be like. No absolute, nor God, is necessary.

    48vii) What causes me to doubt God’s existence is the complete lack of a clear revelation of God’s existence.

    52i) When God could have killed the people painlessly in their sleep, or not caused them to be born, then yes, it is necessarily wrong- and evil- that God should order them slaughtered in agony, raped or enslaved.

    52ii) Nothing was mob rule. It was all monarchy. God could have sent prophets. God could have raised prophets amongst the people already there. God could have revealed Godself to the monarchs. God could have simply not chosen already occupied land as the Promised land for “His” specially chosen people. God could have chosen all the people He created, as all were equally unrighteous, instead of selecting one group and having them slaughter those He did not choose.

    52iii) God did not let the others “send their armies at God’s chosen”. He sent His chosen to attack and slaughter. You say, “God shamed them and made an example by fear, fear because there is nothing else he could really use at that time to ward off other mobs.” Is He not God? Is He not all-powerful? If all He could use is fear, He is not worthy of worship, for He is no more powerful nor capable than a human leader.

    You say, “Remeber there are 2 laws, laws for all men and laws for jews goverment which God extablished.” Why, then, did God not reveal these laws He established to the nations?

    I’m not a physicist, either, but I’ve heard the second law of thermodynamics often brought up in these sorts of discussions, and quickly dismissed. Here is a website describing why it does not work as an argument. Here is another. If it helps, here is a video; it doesn’t matter if you do not have speakers on your computer- it’s just music in the background of displayed text.

    Once again, no God is required.

  • 56. Zachary Weber  |  March 30, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    1. What i am saying is that God is existence or being (though probably not as you understand it, the common idea of it is usaully far to privated from the fullness). All things that exist get there being by partisipation with his being actually (intellectual wills that are in unity with his will), and acciddently(things with out intellectuall wills or that regect them by failing to properly use them.).

    2. Nessesity privated from existance of inttellect is incompatible with form. So you aren’t really you, you are just what is nessesity. With out you, there can’t be love because love requires a you, it requires specific form in it’s simplicity, not just it’s mutliplicity. If there is specificity, there is form. If there is form there must be intellect or intent. Intent has to be prior to the thing. There you get nessesity in it’s true form unprivated, which is order or another word direction. Both require a director to exist before the thing directed to derect the thing. I.e. God.

    3. Just having something happen to you in different ways does not mean you can know it. If i have a thousand thing happening to me in a thousand ways and degrees and I don’t know they are happening to me or I don’t know anything about them how can i know them just by them happening?

    4. God has to hide Himself from those who aren’t seeking Him. If He didn’t, He would either so ravish those that would serve Him that they would really not have the ability to choose because they are so overwhellmed by thier senses, (which is exactly the way he does not want us to love Him), or those that would never choose to love Him would be in a state of utter weakness(for lack of a better word) that they gcould not be used to help those that would choose to love God. So He has to stay hidden. Also i don’t know if He could truelly reveal Himself in His fullness in the naturall anyway. He has to constantly use the way of affermation (knowledge of Him by things in thier likeness) and the way of nagation (knowledge of Him by things in the matterial world lacking being like Him). Namely evil or corruptability or mutability or what ever you want to call it. Hense He has to stay hidden to show Himself.

    5. Now i have no idea where you keep gettting this whole raped thing. i never have heard any logical arguement for the bible saying God told them to rape or enslave. My understanding is that he told them to kill and be done with it. If God just killed them in there sleep how is he etteblishing israil as his choosen people? He isn’t, for all they know it was some sickness, and it give no meaning to them being choosen to the world.

    6. It was far more tribal than monarchy and what was monarchy was still far more like mob rule.

    7.God Could have sent prophets to everynation but He didn’t. Can you prove that He should have? But romans says he did go out to all nations and reveal Himself.

    and i got cut short I will respond futher tomorrow my time hopefully. Later

  • 57. Frreal  |  March 30, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Zach there is a descriptive phrase for what you are doing. It is called mental gymnastics. Yet another believer that must distort reality to make it palatable. You so want to believe that the being you worship is righteous and good that you spend inordinate amounts of time defending the indefensible.

    Plunging a sword into the belly of a newborn baby still held in its mothers arms…. or did the Israelites burn them to death? behead them? drown them? throw them from a cliff? or perhaps just leave them to starve at their dead mothers side?

    These acts are acceptable to you? The God of the Bible commanded the slaughter and rewarded the slaughter according to that very same Bible. These stories are plausible coming from the minds of men but outrageously unbelievable to have been inspired from a being that is considered the foundation of morality.

    Think about it Zach.

  • 58. Brent  |  March 30, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Zachary,

    The problem with your argument is that it defines God in such a way that no matter what happens, you can use it as evidence for his existence. You talk about actual and accidental will–no matter what happens, God wills it, either actively or passively. How do we know he wills it? Because it happens. Good people exist? Evidence for God because they show us what he is like. Bad people exist? That’s evidence for God, because they show us what he isn’t like.

    As far as killing everyone in their sleep, which do you think would display supernatural support more? An entire city dying in their sleep, or being beaten by sword-wielding humans? I don’t know of many illnesses that kill entire populations overnight, and given the nature of ancient superstition, I don’t think an illness that does so would be attributed to anything else but a god.

    There are indeed a great number of instances where the Israelites are instructed to “utterly destroy” everyone–man, woman, and child. However, I’d call your attention to Numbers 31, where the Israelites defeat the Midianites and killed all their males. They took the women and children captive. When Moses found out he was upset and instructed them:

    31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
    Moses tells the Israelites to kill every male and all the non-virgin females, but to keep the virgins for themselves.
    Is it wrong to commit adultery?
    31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

    “Keep alive for yourselves?” Hmmm…wonder what that means? Now you could make a case that God isn’t actually quoted as giving Moses that instruction, but neither does he condemn the action, instead instructing Moses to make sure he gets his cut. (Comes out to 32 virgins according to v. 40)

    As far as slavery, how about Leviticus 25:44-46:

    25:44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
    “Of them shall ye buy, and of their families … inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever.”
    Buy some heathen neighbors for slaves. They are to be your possessions forever.
    Does God approve of slavery?
    What the Bible says about slavery
    25:45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
    25:46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

    or Joshua 9:21-27, where God curses the Gibeonites by telling them that they would be slaves of the Israelites.

  • 59. LeoPardus  |  March 30, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Zachary:

    5. Now i have no idea where you keep gettting this whole raped thing. i never have heard any logical arguement for the bible saying God told them to rape or enslave.

    Then you should pay attention to what’s in your Bible.
    In Numbers 31:1-18, God commanded the Israelites to kill the Midianites — all except the female virgins, whom the Israelites were to “save for themselves.”

    4. God has to hide Himself from those who aren’t seeking Him. If He didn’t, He would either so ravish those that would serve Him that they would really not have the ability to choose

    Utter hogwash. He revealed himself numerous times in the Bible. Once again you find yourself just needing to cover up for the fact that your invisible, inaudible, intangible, undetectable friend only does anything in your imagination.

  • 60. Zachary Weber  |  March 31, 2008 at 1:13 am

    1. God did reveal the laws to all creation by creation, because they existeded by natural reason. The Law being a benovolane toward being in genral. This law can be seen by actual and accidental created things purpose by there cause. Actually things can only intend what exists, and every thing exist is consitent because it is from a simple prinicple, so to will one thing is to will every thing it’s true benevolence or nothing by willing it’s privation

    I’m not a physicist, either, but I’ve heard the second law of thermodynamics often brought up in these sorts of discussions, and quickly dismissed. Here is a website describing why it does not work as an argument. Here is another. If it helps, here is a video; it doesn’t matter if you do not have speakers on your computer- it’s just music in the background of displayed text.

    2. Ok though i admit not fulling understanding what was argued (there were terms i weren’t familair with like “Q 0″ or “P 1″ ). It still doesn’t change the fact that the universe will be eventually all get suck out into the vacume of space completely seperate from each other. It has to happen with an infinite vacume. If infinate amount of time has passed we would be in the vacume seperated, so it is a finite movement. If it’s a finite movment it had a start or should i say an act with no potency which is God. So God is required.

    3. Frreal, telling me your ussumtion that i am wrong and that i am just making up reasons for my beliefs is very rude and unprodutive to conversation. It may be try but it’s still rude in this enviorment. Please don’t comment on the person but the idea. Though i admit it’s a good mental workout or better said tempering.

    4. I am pretty sure it was put them to death by the sword, but any way. The problem with your argument is that you argueing from your own morallity with is possible flawed. I am not arguing from my morality or it directly in the same way. I agree that people shouldn’t do these things at all now days, but i can’t argue for all time all situations that people shouldn’t do this becaue i don’t know the implications. Now, arguing from a God, if He existed He would know ther eis a right time to do it.

    5. Yes it does define God in such a way that no matter what happens i can use it as evidance for his existance. Thats the point, thats what God is. The only thing that God does not will directly is for wills, that he has made that get there existance in partisipation with his will, to love privation or inttend privation. So yes God made evil as a possiblility (lacking exitance) but actual things must choose there lacking while accitdental things exist by partisipation in actual.

    6. The point is suppernatural support. If it’s Just God doing it he is not supporting them so much as doing it for them. The point is God want to make us stand up on our own to legs so that we can do great things with out Him directly interfering. He wants to support us and make us useful not over power us and make use useless.

    7. As far as raping the women, i can only reach that this means as slave because rape is punished by death in the old testment. Your assume base of what you don’t know. I am am arguing off what i know. I think that they were taken as slaves is a better argument.

    8. Your right i had forgotten about those verses. Again though while i do disagree with slavery as end, i have no problem with takeing away power from certaint people. That it essetially what slavery is. Though i do believe the end Goal should be to give all people power in ther proper use but it must be given in does that they wont lose control, or that isn’t to more then what he is ready for. That is freedom given properly, when it’s given in a way that they can use it for good instead to destroy it.

    9. God only showed him self in power to those who were already seeking Him.
    shoot cut short again gtg

  • 61. Quester  |  March 31, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Zachary, in response to your points in #55:

    1) If God is being, than God must exist. Fair enough. I simply see no reason to assume that God is being, nor am I able to define being in such a way that it can also be understood as something one can develop a relationship with. If God is being, I see no reason to pray; though I can understand expressing thanks, any response expected would have to come from something more than just the essence of being.

    2) You seem to be defining necessity, simplicity, multiplicity and form in ways I’ve never heard before. In what ways does form imply intent or intellect? Water falling can form a puddle without intending to, and no intelligence is required to make water fall while in a gravity well (ie: on a planet).

    3) By training your perception and using your reason. I assume you can figure out when you are wet and when you are dry, even if you are never either in their ideal or complete state. In the same way, I can figure out when I am suffering.

    4) If God hides completely from those who are not seeking Him, He is not giving them a free choice for you can not choose something you have no reason to believe exists. I am not asking God to reveal Himself in His fullness, just as something that is clearly God and not a false idol.

    5) You’ve seen by now where I get “the whole raped thing”. Perhaps it didn’t happen. Slavery and slaughter certainly did. Both are evil. Both were commanded by God. This may be the only way to establish the Israelites as God’s chosen people; I’ll concede that. That means, however, that it was an act of evil for God to make the Israelites His chosen people (evil to those God created but did not choose).

    6) Could be. It doesn’t matter. Mob rule or monarchy: doesn’t limit God’s choices substantially if God is all-powerful.

    7) Can I prove God should have revealed Himself to every nation? No. I can say that hiding Himself from people, then ordering those people killed for not following what they could not see and had no reason to suppose existed is evil. But I can’t prove that God shouldn’t be evil. If He is evil, though, we should oppose Him, not submit to Him.

    Now, for your comments in 59:

    1) What laws are revealed in creation or natural reason?

    You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you (Genesis 17:11).

    If a bull gores a man or a woman to death, the bull must be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible (Exodus 21:28).

    If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:26).

    I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent (1 Timothy 2:12).

    I don’t see how natural reason would would draw anyone to those commandments.

    2) Who is to say what was required as an action before there was time or space to act in? Maybe a god, maybe not. If God, in what way do you consider God to be an act with no potency?

    3) I’ll let Frreal respond.

    4) Yes, if God exists, He could know if there are circumstances that would justify an evil action. That would not make the action good, but perhaps less evil than that which would have happened if the action was not performed. Of course, if God existed, He could have chosen a good act, instead of one that was simply less evil than another.

    5) I’ll assume this is addressed to Brent.

    6) Then why isn’t God supporting His chosen in good actions instead of evil ones?

    7) Taken as slaves may be a better argument, but it still an immoral action for God to be commanding His chosen people to perform.

    8) God could have chosen these people as well, instead of enslaving them. That you have no problem with God choosing as He did is a disturbing comment about your priorities and ideas of what is moral.

    9) I see you were cut short, but hope you will provide lots of evidence for this point. I see no reason to assume Abraham or Moses, for example, were seeking God when God revealed Himself to them. How about the twelve apostles? On what evidence do you assume they were seeking God when Jesus chose them?

  • 62. Zachary Weber  |  March 31, 2008 at 5:18 am

    1. God is being is what i mean by God is Act, it is the principle from which all creation gets it’s existance by partiscipation. So how do you have realtionship with this Act? Three ways: To see it, intend it,(this is what i mean by exiting actually) and to be caused by it(this is what i mean by accidentally).

    2. Let me say this to avoid some confusion. Any act requires proirspecificity. In moving bodies, a thing with kenetic energy is a certaint way, can only be that way it it has the potential or potency to be that way. It also must be moved by an act or kentic energy that brings that potency in to act. Thats in a small way how we get the word director and direction. Both imply each other nessisarly. Breaking down act I have three things: The Actor or Act (the thing in it’s simplicity), the Acting (The direct relationship between simplicity of the Idea and the mutiplicity of the thing cause by the Action), and the Action (the relationship between the Act and the Acting). This is the trinity, none are created by each other but the same thing beggoton or exstended by each other.

    3. Original Act cannot create Original Act, but it is the only principle that it can create by. So what is created must in one way be and not be Origional Act. So things are made in mode or messure, specificity or multiplicity, and order. Messure being the amount of God or Act in the thing made in it’s simplicity, specificity being the amount in it’s muliplicity, and order is the relationship between the two. None of these things can exist etternally by themselves (eternity is restricted to act without potency) or else they would have to be God, so the messure, specificity, and order implies also corruptability in all of those principles.

    I got cut short again gtg

  • 63. Quester  |  March 31, 2008 at 6:41 am

    Zachary,

    1) If existing is our relationship to god, then we can toss out scripture, prayer, worship, ritual, faith and everything to do with religion. This God you are describing has nothing to do with any of it.

    2) Not sure I follow, but I’ll play along.

    3a) I do not see why the Original Act, acting as it does unconditioned by time, can not create the Original Act. I’m not saying it did. I just can’t see why it can’t.

    b) Eternity, simply meaning “unconditioned by space or time” cannot act, in and of itself. If what you mean is “an infinite amount of time”, I see no reason why the Actor cannot Act out the Action in all its specificity and multiplicity for an infinite amount of time. The Actor is simply changed by the Act of Acting until it has, ultimately, given itself the potency to Act out its own Action.

    c) What, in your theory, created the Original Act? If nothing did, why assume the universe was? The mutability of the universe does not prove, in and of itself, that it was created, nor that it could not have created itself, nor that it will not create that which will have originally created it (sorry for the confusion of tenses- grammar was not built to discuss a non-linear view of time). If time was created, then there exists that which is unconditioned by time (eternity). Within eternity, the concept of mutability, and indeed the concepts of cause and effect, are inapplicable. The need for an Original Actor, separate from any mutable Action is no longer obvious. There may be one, but it is not necessary to assume there is.

    God may exist, but does not necessarily.

  • 64. Frreal  |  March 31, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Zach you asked for reasons for unbelief. You agree that killing children is wrong yet somehow you want to justify it as righteous and good because it is God’s will and God is righteous and good. How do you know God is righteous and good? Because God wrote the Bible and he tells us he is righteous and good. How do you know God wrote the Bible? Because he tells us he did.

    Here inlies the problem. God tells us he is righteous and good and merciful and says read my book so that you will see evidence of my good works. So I read the book and what I see is the slaughter of infants, incest, slavery, rape, genocide, torture. And I see ALL of these behaviors REWARDED.

    I see where God calls Lot a righteous man after he offers his daughters up to be raped by a mob to save God’s angels from being sodomized. I see where God calls David a most favored after he has a woman’s husband killed so he can marry her. I see God’s law where a women is to be executed if she was unable to cry out while being raped in a city. I see where God sends a bear to eat children for calling a bald man bald. I see where God allows a righteous man’s family and life to be destroyed merely to prove a point to Satan only to provide him with prettier children and more wealth in the end.

    I see evidence of God and his chosen people taking delight in the dashing of little ones with stones. Psalm 137:9

    I read these portrayals of God’s favored people and can only conclude that these are NOT righteous behaviors. Righteous people do not throw babies off a cliff or throw rocks at their fragile bodies, crushing their skulls and breaking their bones all the while rejoicing and praising God for their latest military victory.

    It saddens me that you can so easily dismiss the horrifically graphic depictions of killing infants. That it doesn’t even generate thought provoking emotion is something I find profoundly disturbing. Could you possibly be more cavalier?

    ” I am pretty sure it was put them to death by the sword, but any way. ”

    I am sorry you feel offended by my use of the term mental gymnastics. But that is what it is. You are defending the slaughter of babies by God’s people even though you believe (I hope) that killing babies TODAY is wrong. You feel compelled to provide reasons and rationalizations for acts you know are dispicable to people like me to justify that the God you worship (as I once did) is in fact truly righteous, good and merciful. You are asking me to disregard what is evidenced by God’s own testimony (The BIBLE). You are telling me to deny my internal moral compass(which you say by the way is God given). You are telling me that yes those acts seem bad but in fact they weren’t evil because of this and that poor excuse after poor excuse because in the end God is good because He says He is good so everything He does must be good even if it doesn’t seem to be good and who are we to question anyway.

    No…..you don’t question atrocity but you will surely defend it even if God won’t.

  • 65. Brent  |  March 31, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Zachary,

    59.4) You could take that reading, but I think it is avoiding an problem. Why only take women who had not been with a man? Why say to take them “for yourselves?” Why not say to take them for slaves. Admittedly, the language is not specific. Either way, though…I can just see the defense in a court of law. “Honest your honor, I didn’t rape the girl in question…I only took her as a slave!”

    59.5) In essence, what we have is a gerrymandered deity; he gets all the credit for good things, takes none of the blame for bad things, he’s “proved” by every piece of evidence, and the whole conversation becomes pointless.

    59.6) I understand your point, but this is ambiguous as proof of supernatural support. A clearly supernatural act such as a city dying in the night would not be attributable to Israel’s military prowess, while victory in battle can. I don’t understand how this illustrates divine support better than some other action (for either party.)

  • 66. Brent  |  March 31, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Frreal,

    “It saddens me that you can so easily dismiss the horrifically graphic depictions of killing infants. That it doesn’t even generate thought provoking emotion is something I find profoundly disturbing. Could you possibly be more cavalier?”

    There is a HUGE blind spot that issues from accepting the Bible 100% literally. I know…I’ve been there. Ironically, the best illustration I can think of comes from Jesus himself:

    Matthew 7:3) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

  • 67. Zachary Weber  |  April 1, 2008 at 10:02 am

    I think we are getting a bit to unfocused. So if you don’t mind I would like to re summarize the points of disagreement and my arguments. Please understand I that I am not using this to try and avoid answering some of your counter arguments. Our focus is getting so broad that I keep getting cut short.

    1.Points of disagreement on the existence of God are:

    a. “God” doesn’t really mean anything.

    b. God is not necessary for the universe

    2. Points of disagreement if the Christian God is the true God:

    a. He seems far to immoral to be God when he orders the killing of many nations by the Israel, and by approving of Israel taking slaves.

    b. He is far too in effective at changing sinful hearts in reality.

    c. God is a no show. If He exists he should be more prevalently revealed in creation.

    If there are any other major points I missed, go a head and I will put them in, but these seem plenty enough for now so unless you have a major one to put in, let just work with these for now.

    I will try to summarize my arguments:

    1a. It’s true that when we say God is not “A” in this way, in a sense we are not saying anything about what God is (like when we say God is higher than material substance, or beyond time), except by un-equating an example of what God is. It’s the allegorical nature of language i.e. an apple is red. What I do not mean is that an apple is the wavelength of the photo that is red, but that it has a likeness to it. When it comes to God, He is defined by all things that are of Him as He is Principle Being, yet He is none of the things of Himself as Principle Being, because He is not of Principle Being but is Principle Being. So God does mean something, it is just the He is not = to anything of Him. This is what is meant by the way of affirmation and the way of negation.

    1b. God is necessity. Necessity is boiled down to the Acts prior specificity and the Act bringing into act what was specified prior. In this case, nothing had the potential to be something not of it’s self but by God (Original Act). In any system this can be seen by potential and actual energy, and as always the process of what is potentially act, becoming act, by priorspecificity of the previous act cannot be infinite or else there would be an infinite about of acts before now and we would never get to now. So far this all I mean by God. Now do you agree that God exists like this (if I define Him as Original Act, Necessity, and Being)? I am not asking you if you yet believe in a God you can pray to or have a relationship with, just that based of this definition do you agree.

    2a My argument for God not being too immoral by calling for killing and slavery of all these people is that, first, there is no proof so far that it is necessarily wrong. You can’t prove that at all times, in all situations it is wrong. You all so can’t know for sure that this situation it was wrong, because you are fallible and not always right. Where is he were God, He would always be right. So that deals with the necessary problem. So now it is possible that the Christian God is the true God, though not yet shown as probable in this case. Even so, it is possible to make the Christian God probable by other means.

    The probability argument for the Christian God seeming to inconsistent and immoral to be God in these verses are strong, but very subjective. Still my argument for why it doesn’t seem completely immoral to me is that slavery of the body is ok if it is seen as means to free the soul (or more souls then would have without), with an end goal of freedom for the bodies of any souls that are free. Second, God knows how to give the most souls possibility to choice that would choose to love Him, which may mean, that to do so, He must not give choice to some (Keep in mind that all men are begotten of Adam as Eve choice, so to give the choice to them, the effect of choice in their nature, or that is them, has to be taken by God in a way that does not remove what was chosen, and be given the ability to choose again that does not counter the old choice.). As for killing, all men die, we all know that, and that was the effect of the choice, privation from God who is Life. Knowing this, if by a few dying many more were saved from death or something worse then physical death, then those that died did so for good, though not intentionally.

    2b. Changing heart and sinful souls is a long process, but it happens by necessity. Eventually, the person has to face every sinful part of himself with His choice that God is his ruler, it must happen because it is potentially to happen, and when you live endlessly every thing potential to happen must happen except if it contradicts what already happened. So, it a process of plugging in every habit and act back into God as it’s cause. Now, this is very hard if one is not very aware of his habit contradicting his Love for God. That why you will get some men who turn to God and become better men faster from doing horrible things, then men who do evil that is seemingly respectable, or simple unnoticed as either. This is what is meant by the war between the spirit and the flesh (the ideas of the world and the devil take advantage of the habits of flesh and exasturbate them ). The old habits are the cause of sin which can pervade in anything not directly connected to the submission to God. But the New habits of the love and submission of the will to God are necessarily good (submission not absorption).

    2c. God is hidden because he can’t show himself in His fullness by nature, so there still exist the possibility to love the thing show instead of God and the more powerful the act the more potentially mistakable it is for God. God does and did show Himself in two ways, one by wooing the other by ravishing. The first he uses very little so as not to hinder human choice or overwhelm it, the second, after God is sought, God will sometimes do to any He chooses but those who God does choose to do it to, participate less in God intentionally, and more accidentally. So the preferred way is with as little of God’s help as possible. He wants you to learn to stand on your own to feet to love Him, not to baby you if possible. God did show Him self in power to many who were seeking Him in the bible but only to those who were seeking Him in some way already. Adam, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, David, Solomon, the apostles, Paul, and many others through history have seen God act powerfully but were all seeking God in some way first (if you have one you don’t believe they were I would like to argue otherwise, with the exception of those who were blatantly against Him and His people.). Most of His power shown to myself has been subtle but viable. I don’t know how many time I prayed for something to small to happen that had very little chance of happening and it did. Like for example, stopping rain out on mission of in training. I would pray and it would stop right then and there. I would lose my keys and I would pray and right there I found them. More often it doesn’t happen than it does, and I have to give my frustration to God and submit to reality. I am not trying to say that these things happened to prove Christianity, but only to explain what I mean. Feel free to test it, but if He doesn’t do it then He didn’t want you to come to Him on those terms, or simply He didn’t want to do what you wanted Him to do. Ask for car key, ask for help. It wont prove God undenyable, but it is what it is it wont be anything in your world view but a brief moment of madness if there is no God or that God is not the real God. But enough of that there are my arguments so far. Let me address what you have brought up.

    1. Remember that I am arging that Being is Original Act, and that other things that have being, have it by relationship (or partisipation) in Original Act. There are two kinds of participation: (1) being Acted by the Act (accidential) (2) acting the Act, or agreeing intention and will with the Act (actual). I said before how Original Act must have Intetion and Wiil. Now, this Act, is Acting without potency so it cannot have movement only act. We have potency and act moving potency into priospecified act, which is movement, and movement is time. material substences potency, and spiritual(intellect and will) substancy potency, do not give or add potency to Original Act. This means that to things in time (movement or act with potency), Original Act can effect at any potnecy of ours with out moving. He simple is always in Act. So if this Act is intettionally willing to Act in our potency if we will Him to will something that doesn’t contradic His will, we can have prayer for that is all prayer is.

    2. Water, or mateiral substance, driping forming a puddle to not intend to form the puddle itself, but of the prinicple of it’s movment, which comes from Original Act. So though the drop of what doesn’t have intent of itself, it does have intent by it’s prinicple cause.

    3. Key point perseption and reason is needed. Reason see things in there form in relation to Original Act or in relation to other forms. Now form, implys intent, because it comes from a prinicple of movement, and all movement has intent. So you still must have the priniple of movement or being, which is God.

    4. Gos is hidden, but He reveals Himself in manyways. He reveals Himself in a way that does not hinder free will, either by ravishing or inability to see, by wooing. Or Leading, instead of placing. Thats were you get the quote “No one can come to the Father unless the Spirit lead him.”. If you want God to lead you to Him just ask Him and seek Him, because according to m believe, if you do the door will be open and you will find.

    5. “I can say that hiding Himself from people, then ordering those people killed for not following what they could not see and had no reason to suppose existed is evil. ”

    Remember, all men are begotten of Adam and Eve’s nature which includes thier choice to not have knoweldge of God. So they have chosen, the only difference is God made a way to fullfill their choice, and still give man another choice that is not contrary to the old choice. They are already choosing not to know God by nature. So If now God saw that the only way to save as many as possible from their old choice to a new one loveing Him, without overiding anyones will, ravishing them, not contradicting their old choice, He saw it fit to kill these people (death does not remove freedom of will, only power to do so effectively), then by all means it was the greatest Good God could do given the situaltion.

    6. The law of benovolence toward being in genral is known by all or at least know naturally.

    Maybe a god, maybe not. If God, in what way do you consider God to be an act with no potency?

    7. Potency requires act to bring the potency into act. Original Act must not have an Act causing it, or else it wouldn’t be original and the thing that truely is first is original. All I mean by calling the thing that started time and space act, is something that doesn’t have a Cause, yet did cause time, space, and form or more properly said: order, specificity, and mode (or messure in stead of mode. It is a bit more understandable but less precise).

    8. You don’t know if God could have chosen the other people as well as Israel, and stiil produces as much Good as He dd or more in the whole of time.

    9. The evidance I have that they were seeking God before God revealed Himself in undeynable or ravishing power, is that:
    to Abraham, he allready was religious, and seeking God before he spoke to Him (or at least its plausible that that happened). Even if he did, a voice is hardly undenyable. So he may also have been seeking God when he moved according to the voice. Moses was looking on sacred a moutian for God or at least soemthing more. The apostles were already religous when they were called. Paul was seeking God in his ferverent zeal for God, (though totally missdirected into killing christians). The list goes on..

    10. If Existance in lacking from what we ought to be, and if scripture, worship, prayer, ritual, and faith is a means of restoring what existance is lacking (actual or inttentional) then it is perfectly reasonable for those things to be used and have meaning.

    11. Uneffected by space and time does not mean it does not effect space and time. Orginal Act simply can’t make Original Act. It can make a thing that is not origninal.

    12. Now, to say the the Actor change into acting in not what I mean when I say the actor beggets acting. Both are asspect of the same simple thing which is Act. one by is seen by it’s dirrect effecting to multiplicity, the othe ris seen in it’s simple self. So there are now parts of it’s self, but in relation to the acted. So beggetting doesn’t impley change or potency, but relation. It is Act, always in Act, because it has no potency

    out of time, again….

  • 68. Quester  |  April 1, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    In keeping with your stated intent of keeping focused, let me restate my main arguments:

    Ai) If there is an “uncaused cause”, there is no reason to assume it had intent or reason, nor that it need be anything other than the universe itself.

    ii) The theory of an uncaused caused (or Original Act) implies a temporal relationship outside of the bounds where time is a factor. Outside of time and space, there is no reason to assume the laws of cause and effect work the way we see them in linear time.

    B) An all-powerful god, by virtue of being all-powerful, does not need to cause harm or order others to do so. A god who causes harm to others (directly or indirectly) is either desiring to cause harm (and thus cruel) or not all-powerful (and thus not God).

    C) A God who demands we submit ourselves to Him must distinguish Himself from not-God, or choosing to submit ourselves to God is impossible for us to do.

    Now, to address your points:

    1a) Fair enough. God is defined as what He is not as much as by what He is. Still, though, when we say “the apple is red” we can still come to an agreement on what we mean by referring to the apple. We can not do the same with God, as there is no characteristic we can point to with confidence.

    b) I can accept defining God as being, but disagree that being implies necessity or a time when there was nothing. I see no reason to assume the existence of an Original Act. Imagine that space is infinite. That does not stop us from being here. If time were infinite, why assume it would stop us from being now?

    2a) You are right that I can prove that unnecessary cruelty is always wrong. Neither can you prove that it can ever be right. I can state with confidence that cruelty is unnecessary for an all-powerful God to commit or order, by what “all-powerful” and “necessary” individually mean. If you are comfortable with believing God is unnecessarily cruel and you can accept unnecessary cruelty as proper and moral behaviour, I can not prove you are wrong, but I recommend you seek counselling. Such beliefs are dangerous to those around you.

    2b) I can not submit myself to god, unless I can distinguish God from not-God. Which leads to:

    2c) I can not submit myself to a God who is hidden from me, and if He is hidden that I might stand independently, this contradicts His desire that I submit. I can do one, or the other. Both are outside of human possibility. They might be within divine possibility, but God is not expected to do this. We are.

    Second set:

    1) I see no reason to assume the necessity of an Original Act, let alone assuming the Original Act had intention and will.

    2) Water can form a puddle without having intent of it’s own. I see no reason to assume the same is not true for the universe. Neither intent nor will are necessary components.

    3) Form does not imply intent. Form implies nothing more than form. Non-form and potential can sometimes be deduced or guessed at by studying form, but form- in and of itself- implies nothing other than form.

    4) If God does not reveal God’s self, then He hinders free will by not presenting Himself as an option to be chosen.

    5) No one chooses their own nature. I am not Adam. I did not make his choice, nor did I choose to be born of his nature.

    6) If the law of benevolence toward being is God’s law found in nature, why is God constantly breaking this law in scripture, and nature constantly breaking this law, through entropy in action?

    I do not consider God to be an impotent act, but an unnecessary actor.

    7) Yet we can stop that train of thought one step earlier and call the universe Original Act, because nothing (necessarily) caused it to act.

    8) If God is all-powerful, He could have. If He could not, He is not all-powerful.

    9) The list of “may have” and “maybe” goes on. Abraham is not described as seeking. The mountain Moses met God on was not sacred until Moses met God on it. More people than just the apostles were religious. Paul was hardly the only zealot. seeking or not seeking does not seem to be the determining factor.

    10) If ritual, prayer and faith do fulfil what does lack, then yes, they are reasonable for those who feel they are lacking.

    11) True, unaffected by space and time does not mean unable to affect space and time, but it does allow for the potential of Original Act causing the Original Act. Perhaps space and time have always been, simply not as they are currently understood (in the limited fashion we can say we understand).

    I’m having a fair amount of fun with this, but it feels like my brain is being wrung out as I try to keep track of all the new ways of using common words.

  • 69. Zachary Weber  |  April 2, 2008 at 8:13 am

    Ai) When i say uncaused cause, i mean, Act that is allways in act that is with out potency.

    ii) Let me clarify: time is the process of act moving potency in to act untill it has no more potency. That is movement and that is all time is. Time = movment. Movement = the process of potency becoming act till it is in it’s highest form of act and has no more potency, which is perfection, act without potency.

    B) Causing harm specifically is different then causing harm genrally. If by removing a decrepted building you can now make a bigger and better one, then you may be causing harm specifically, but genrally it is adding more being or existance. My argument is that in this case it was in whole of things it is helping not harming. So why can’t people just go around killing people, because we don’t have enough knowledge to have a good reason to do something on that scale. So it’s only something commandable by God. It’s nmot that different from shooting forcing a drunk driver off a clif to save a crowed of people he is going to kill on accident. The difference is savlation is way more immportaint than death, because (to use a cheezy quote), “All men die, not every man truely lives”. Also being all powerful doesn’t mean that you can contradict your own will. So if doing it “better” contradics something else that He thought was more importiant, then the true better is whit out that. You following so far?

    C) He does show His existance through nature, who he is through Christ, and His plan of salvation through revalation (biblical and oral).

    1a) That is ture you can interact with mater by your self, but to know a intellect and will of any person it must be taught. Knowledge by teaching is what faith IS. That is why, love, freindship, and much of art requires teaching (or as in most books, songs, and paintings, are teaching). Yet we can only esspearience knowledge taught through something seen. Still it is taught.

    b) Again let me clearify: Necessity means direction of movement. Breaking that down we have movement, which is the process of potencial act becoming act, and direction is the purpose or intent of the movement moving to I become it’s end (which in this case, because it’s the first principle, God is His own end, hence the verse: “I am the alpha and omega, the beggining and end.”). “Outside of time”, merely mean this Act had nopotency and was allways in perfect full Act. If it had potency then it was not original, but caused, making the Original, perfect, full, Act, the thing that caused it. Also Endless reduceablity is very different from endless movement. If we have endless amount of things before us, would never happen. With endless space and endless reduceability, endless things there and this sive, do not make it impossible for us to be here and this size. Remember how i was arguing earlier, all things are caused in messure, specificity, and order. So in thing have a limmited amount in there simplicity, and a limetless amount as a whole in there multiplicity.

    2a) I can’t believe in a cruel God, that does violence without cause. That is cruelty, to harm things without reason, but so far i have argued the opposite.

    2b) You can not God by relation, which is observable, and revalation which must be taught.

    2c) I can not submit myself to a God who is hidden from me, and if He is hidden that I might stand independently, this contradicts His desire that I submit.

    His hiddeness to protect free will does not contradict him showing you Himself if you will it. Hence “ask and the door will be open seek anf you will find.”. Now, that does not prevent him from leading you to him in ways that do not hinder free will.

    1) The first part: original act comes as a first cause which is necessarty for caused things or moving things. The second part: All things cause or moving have a dirretion of movment which requires a nessisary dirrector of movement. This is intetton and will.

    2) This is because of movment which requires intettion and will as i have said above. That is why, while the puddle wasn’t inttended by the drop which is a form with out intettion of it’s own, being mattierial substance, it was intended by it’s mover or by it’s movers orignal cause.

    3) Your right and i am wrong, form doesn’t imply intent, i was mixing the idea of form with movement with form. All forms that we know of have movement (except God) so we must imply that almost al forms have intent by their origninator.

    4) God does reveal Himself, first by leading, which doesn’t hinder free will, second by showing, which is only with free will.

    5) True you did not choose to be of Adam never-the-less, your nature is from His (from my point of view.).

    6) God does somethings we shouldn’t do because of His ability, and knowledge. Like lf could fly and flew even though i told you it was bad to fly. Me reason is simply that you can’t fly. As for knowledge if I can tell my kid when i have one he can’t drive, because he wouldn’t know how to and may do unnessisary harm.

    7) “Yet we can stop that train of thought one step earlier and call the universe Original Act”.

    Sure, but that in not what is usually meant when we say universe, because it is usaully not refered to as the Original Act. But as long as it is simple, original, and is always in pefect, full, act, thne i don’t care what you call it. It’s still what i mean by God.

    9) It’s true that Abraham is not discribed as seeking but either way if God desn’t hinder free will or as much of it that is not contradiction from what was predictated in His Acting, then it is necessarily interpreted that way. Also, being relgious is at time a means to seek God though not all realigious people are seeking God.

    10) Good we have agreement that it possible has use.

    11) I don’t see how you could cause the same thing, they have to be different in some way. It Can’t be original, it has to be a sub existance (what is ment by substance), and it has to be multiplicit (or if simple it’s as a sub-form in comparecence to other forms or a simple form including everything and God).

    I really think this is a great, talking like this. It’s really help straiten out errors in my views and helped me understand more clearly what i mean. Thank you. I know how some of these word useages are rough, it took me forever to really start to understand what Thomas Quinas was saying.

  • 70. mewho  |  April 3, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Zachary,

    I will admit that the framework within a believer’s mind can be a good one in which to enjoy life. You’ll get no argument from me, because when I was a Christian, I loved life and felt a tremendous purpose that no earthly problem could have derailed. It also settled the “where did we come from?” question.

    It was only after being introduced to other religions on an intimate level, and meeting other people of opposite faiths did I realize that their religion worked for them, too. Some religions have sustained populations for a lot longer than Christianity. It seemed to me that it wasn’t ultimate truth that was giving meaning, but the effects that certain beliefs had on the brain. For instance, if a person feels certain that they will live on after death, there is a joy about dying, because it is really a gain. Even if the ultimate truth might be that this life is all we have, but if you live thinking that you have an eternity ahead, it changes how you feel.

    The good feelings can’t make Christianity true . However, the philosophy that reinforces such notions as(1) I am a child of God, (2) I am destined for Heaven, (3) I have somebody watching over me all the time is such an attractive way to think that many people gladly believe it without a shred of evidence. The brain is so mysterious that there are many people whom we would consider mentally ill, but perhaps are perfectly content within their own minds. There are lots of different religions that people adhere to, and have wonderful lives within those frameworks.

    Our minds are such that placebos can work quite well, and our minds are subject to believe falsehoods if those “beliefs” make our lives better. I think religion is the great placebo of the human race. And the more one believes it’s true, the better.

    I would like to ask a question and would love to have some responses from anyone. Do people converting from Christianity to, say, Islam, believe they are now worshipping the same God, but in a different way, or do they think they are worshipping an entirely new Deity? I’m a Christian to Atheist de-convert, so I would just like some light shed on this move from one faith to another. Do people think that by a religious conversion they now are worshipping the true God, their former God interpreted as just a figment of their imagination? Or do they think that they are just worshipping the same God in the correct way?

  • 71. mewho  |  April 3, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Zachary,

    As to “free will”, there are several Biblical examples of God deceiving, hardening hearts, or causing someone to do something outside their will. The God of the Bible does appear to thwart free will.

  • 72. Zachary Weber  |  April 3, 2008 at 9:46 am

    mewho(this is adressed primaerly to mewho),

    My belief in Christianity is not based offf of feelings, and i can say thta with a strait face. What I believe is, because I am unable to logically deny it, with much seriousness. I have had my fits and tried to, but as soon as i sit down to think about it, I reality sets in and i am fighting against a Infinite wall, all I can really do is turn around and pretend it’s not there. That sincerly where i honestly am. I really mean every word of that. I don’t expect you to believe me, but either way thats where I am

    Yes God does harden hearts, I am perfectly awhere of that. That doesn’t mean he is hindering there choice, only bringin it to more of an extreme. The most clear example of this is exodus, where God didn’t harden Pharoh the first few times., but only afer he hardened it. Another explainition is the that Aramaic is a very visual languge. Not conseptual like greeko roman languge. Many things we intrpret conseptually are improperly interpreted because they do not always mean God did this concept, but this is what it looks like is happening in a vissual sort of way. Thats why I AM, is not a sort of concept of higher being that is non interactive, but it implys a vissually activity. It’s closer to I AM Actively Here.

  • 73. writerdd  |  April 3, 2008 at 9:53 am

    I really mean every word of that. I don’t expect you to believe me, but either way thats where I am

    Why wouldn’t we believe you, Zachary?

    Belief is involuntary. You can’t choose not to believe in God any more than I can choose to believe in God. In fact, I never would have chosen to stop believing in God. I loved being a Christian and I enjoyed my life and I did find a modicum of peace and joy from my devotion. (It turns out, I have much more peace and joy without it, but that’s not something I could have foreseen.)

    I think the main point is that it is better to be open to reading and learning and talking about all kinds of things, and to doing research into these issues. When we learn more, our beliefs may change. That’s very scary to many Christians, so they don’t allow themselves to read or talk about anything that might disturb their comfort zone of faith. That is sad.

  • 74. Cthulhu  |  April 3, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Zachary

    I am unable to logically deny it

    Could you explain further? My problems with Christianity came about because I could not logically believe it. The Bible is so contradictory I could not reconcile it as being ‘the word of God’. I am not trying to ridicule you in any way – I am just curious about the chain of logic that makes you conclude that Christianity is true.

  • 75. Zachary Weber  |  April 3, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    73. writerdd says:
    “Why wouldn’t we believe you, Zachary?”

    Well, franky few people have been basically telling be that i am just making up reasons to believe in God, or at least it’s what i have been getting, maybe this is a missunderstanding.

    “Belief is involuntary. You can’t choose not to believe in God any more than I can choose to believe in God. ”

    I would have to dissagree. If we knew everything about a subject then yes, belief would most likely be unchosen, but we because we don’t usually have this kind of knowledge, belief is simply trust, which is not based on undeynability (except for a few things). To trust something, is to reconize it may fail, but except with it’s faliablity that it’s the best thing acording to your knpwledge.

    “That’s very scary to many Christians, so they don’t allow themselves to read or talk about anything that might disturb their comfort zone of faith. That is sad.”

    I tottally agree! It makes you wonder how seriously the really think their God is the God of the universe. Why be afraid of any arguement agaist Him? If it’s true even the best arguemnt can’t hold ground. If it’s not true we then it’s not true (for me if it’s not it must be pretty darn close).

    74. Cthulhu says, “Could you explain further?”.

    My belief is based off a few simple things:
    – It’s the only religion that fits actually with what God HAS to be. Every other one on a breif study you can see that what they are talking about is God (I am willing to stand corrected, maybe some are actually based on some of the same beliefs).

    – It’s plan of salvation is the only true logical way it can be done (though I do not mean specifically, but the idea the the Word, or the Acting, of God had to come and take the nature of man into His Etternal Being, Die in His man nature, and resurect His manly nature (so that in our man hood we have two contrary natures by intellectual substance or if you want, spiritual substance, with the knowledge of Christ, and accepting Jesus as God, we can know God, not just His existance, and live according to the Princible of being by intending Being in it’s fullness. I don’t hardly do justice to it, but logically, I can see know way to undue the choice that is begotten of Adam and Eve, which you can clearly see in society.

    -Now, you can argue Adam and Eve didn’t exist as the first Humans, and that man never knew God, but this is an area that trust is the basis for my knowledge because it’s more based off of logically denyable evidance, but their is still good evidance. Their are a few good books that make this aregument on genetic exidence, but I can’t think of it off the top of my head. I think one is called “Who is Adam?”, it’s by the same group that wrote “Origins of Life’. Both are good book that aren’t stupid theistic non-sense, but reasonable sceintist that are frustrated with the idioticy of most christians on this topic.

    – There has been alot of hisorical evidence found that fits with the bible. So even if the religion isn’t true the history must be mostly true if not all true.

    – The state of the earth the gensis story it so acurate and unknown, to the common man at that time, it is to amzing to belief it was guessed to me, I can’t beleive it was made up by Moses or who ever wrote it, but it had to be taught from some one who saw it (sorry i am quite doubtfull of intteligent alien life flying over and teewling him about it, though ifaliens do exist they don’t counter anything in christianity).

    – The prophecies in the oldtest., really seem to be getting fullfilled by the Newtest., in ways that seem to hard to make up.

    – I have not found any aparent “contradiction” that hasn’t been explainable to show it as not being a contradiction.

    – I have personally seen and have had miricles do to and through me (though none before i was a Christian. I am not saying it can’t happen but it’s not what converted me). This isn’t an argument to convince you but it has be convinced.

    – Finally i am a completely different person because of my knowledge from God. It’s a whole lot more loving, of others, of life, of knowledge, art, science, and of people who who are my enemies (Not just talking about issurgents). Again, this is an argument for me not to convince you.

    So I have excepted this God now as the basis for all my knowledge. This is the wall I now face that I can’t scale logical to deny, only pretend it’s not their.

  • 76. Cthulhu  |  April 4, 2008 at 12:45 am

    Zachary,

    thanks for your reply – a few things…

    It’s the only religion that fits actually with what God HAS to be.

    Why does ‘God’ have to be? There is NO empirical evidence that any god exists. Just because anyone believes he/she must exist or the ‘holy book of your choice here’ say so does not make it so. Emotions and feelings are NOT empirical evidence.

    It’s plan of salvation is the only true logical way it can be done

    Once again you begin with the assumption that there is a god and man needs salvation. No proof of either.

    Adam and Eve – logically deniable evidence Huh? Adam and Eve are a myth – no evidence. And genetic evidence totally discredits the Bible – and the blathering of the Discovery Institute or the ID community have NO basis in scientific evidence.

    There has been alot of hisorical evidence found that fits with the bible.

    And? The Odyssey By Homer Written 800 B.C.E contains accurate historical and geographical evidence – do you believe in Poseiden?

    The prophecies in the oldtest., really seem to be getting fullfilled by the Newtest., in ways that seem to hard to make up.

    The prophecies in the Bible are no more clear that Nostradamus. As far as New Testament fulfillment of prophecy – there is no independent evidence that Jesus fulfilled ANY prophecy other than taking the word of whoever wrote the Gospel accounts.

    I have not found any aparent “contradiction” that hasn’t been explainable to show it as not being a contradiction.

    Then you have not studied the Bible in depth – I refer you to http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

    I have personally seen and have had miricles do to and through me (though none before i was a Christian.

    That is quite a claim – do you have proof? And I mean empirical evidence, not anecdotes. Call me stubborn, but anyone can make this claim, but there has never been ANY empirical evidence.

    Finally i am a completely different person because of my knowledge from God.

    I am glad of this change in your life – but this is not proof not is it logical.

    I am sorry Zachary – but I see zero logic in any of your arguments. Most of your points are founded in circular reasoning and rooted in the post hoc, ergo prompter hoc fallacy.

    One another note – I would like to thank you for your service to our country by serving in the Armed Forces. You brave men and women are greatly appreciated by me and I wish you a safe tour and quick return home. I am the son of a career Marine and served myself for 8 years. Semper Fidelis – regardless of your service branch.

  • 77. Zachary Weber  |  April 4, 2008 at 4:06 am

    76. Cthulhu says:

    “Why does ‘God’ have to be? There is NO empirical evidence that any god exists. Just because anyone believes he/she must exist or the ‘holy book of your choice here’ say so does not make it so. Emotions and feelings are NOT empirical evidence.”

    If you were paying attetion and reading my previous post, then you would see that I am currently arguing about how everything is empirical evidance for God by relationship (like how foot prints are evidance of people or animals being in a certaint place.). The fact that you say emotional evidance is not empirical evidance is just a plan insult to my intelligence.

    “Once again you begin with the assumption that there is a god and man needs salvation. No proof of either.”

    Again pay attetion to my arguments above in the other post on this thread, I think I put forth a rather strong proof that God exists. As for sin, or choosing knowledge in privation from God, it’s quite easy to see that for most people there knowledge is privated from God.

    “Adam and Eve – logically deniable evidence Huh? Adam and Eve are a myth – no evidence. And genetic evidence totally discredits the Bible – and the blathering of the Discovery Institute or the ID community have NO basis in scientific evidence.”

    I am sure you are a not genetic specialist. So what you know about genetics you have been taught. Well, the book “Who is Adam?” make some pretty good arguments for Adam. Yes there is bad ID science, but there is also bad non-ID arguments(I am not sure what you would call it because even evolution seems pro ID). Also my wife is in pre-med at a secular school, and constantly infoms my of more evidance she finds in her research.

    And? The Odyssey By Homer Written 800 B.C.E contains accurate historical and geographical evidence – do you believe in Poseiden?

    Yes i know this. In fact thats what i meant by: “So even if the religion isn’t true the history must be mostly true if not all true.”.

    Actually the prophecies are pretty clear from my perspective, but not overwhemllingly clear. So your argument is that the 12 just made it up? That doesn’t have much historilogical evidance. you might as well say Socraties didn’t exist.

    Then you have not studied the Bible in depth – I refer you to http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

    I hate to say it but reading through the first few argument in the book of Gen. I can see that who ever is writing this, there arguments are as deep as Brittany Spears(sorry thats just plan mean isn’t it. You get my point though). I am not going to read trhough the whole thing at this rate. It’s pretty bad arguementitively.

    Didn’t i say “I am not using this as an argument”. Any emperical evidence has long since vanished. With peopel i live with, but talk to actual actual doctors and pastors. Both usaully have seen a lot. It probably will never happen undenyable before all though, because my guess is that if it was undenyable before all it would hinder free will.

    I am glad of this change in your life – but this is not proof not is it logical.

    Again it’s not eperical evidance for you but it is for me, because I have to teach it to you I saw it happened to me.

    I am sorry Zachary – but I see zero logic in any of your arguments. Most of your points are founded in circular reasoning and rooted in the post hoc, ergo prompter hoc fallacy.

    I would say in one sense my reasoning is circular, but that is not always bad, because you can only realy reason if you have a basis to reason off of. It’s only bad when your reasoning becaomes circulair but not off the proper basis. I can’t reason if i believe their is no logic, or if I refuse to eccept logic. The question is where is logics basis?

    “One another note – I would like to thank you for your service to our country by serving in the Armed Forces. You brave men and women are greatly appreciated by me and I wish you a safe tour and quick return home. I am the son of a career Marine and served myself for 8 years. Semper Fidelis – regardless of your service branch.”.

    Thank you. Everyone seems to think we are all murderers and sadist. I am in the infantry and I haven’t killed a person that didn’t threaten me, the men with me, or other Iraqis with violence. I have made children cry by carting off their fathers though, but that really there fathers fault for trying to kill other Iraquis because of a religios difference. It still breaks my heart. We’re not all villians.

  • 78. Quester  |  April 4, 2008 at 5:03 am

    Zachary, a few points first and foremost.

    – Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you.
    – Thank-you for admitting when you made a mistake. I find that refreshing, and wish more people could do that in discussion and debate.
    – I’ve only read Aquinas’ views on salvation and ethics. I like his goals, but his language often defeats me.
    – I’m rather saddened that people are calling you a sadistic murderer just because of your profession. I would rather that human nature was such that no one needed to fight or protect themselves from another, but it isn’t, and it does no one any good to cast those who work in such necessary and dangerous professions as the villains of the piece.

    As to our on-going discussion, we’re getting a bit long-winded and beginning to repeat ourselves, I think. I’m going to try to summarize our positions. Correct me where I’m wrong, please.

    Zachary: The existence of the universe depends on an uncaused cause, or an act with intent, but without potency.

    Quester: I do not understand why such a cause or act is necessary. There are other possibilities for how the universe came into being as it currently is.

    Zachary: Nothing God has done can be called evil, for God is good and does what is good. That which seems evil to us seems so only because of our limited knowledge. If we knew what God did, we would see that what God has done was either not evil, or a lesser evil that prevented a greater.

    Quester: Unnecessary cruelty is evil. Any cruelty God causes or commands is unnecessary, because God is all-powerful and could have, in every instance, chosen to do something that was not cruel. Any example of a lesser evil performed to prevent a greater are human examples necessary because of human limitations. God is not bound by such limitations.

    Zachary: God is revealed through creation; it’s existence and attributes. God is also revealed through holy scripture and tradition. To reveal Himself any more than that would prevent us from freely choosing to submit ourselves to God, for if He revealed Himself any more clearly, we could not possibly choose anything else. Once we have freely chosen God, God will reveal Himself to us more clearly.

    Quester: If creation, scripture and tradition do reveal anything about God, the revelations within them are vague and contradictory at best. By not giving us a clear revelation of God to choose, God has hindered our ability to freely choose Him.

    Is that a fair summary of both of our positions thus far, Zachary?

  • 79. Zachary Weber  |  April 4, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Wow, that was a really good summery, i wish i was as good at it as you. Thank you for your comments. They were really knowlegdable and clear.

    (edited)Zachary: The existence of the universe depends on an uncaused cause, or an act with intent, but without potency. Any alternitive would really still imply this in some way or another necessarly.

    (edited)Zachary: Nothing God has done can be called evil, for God is good and does what is good necessarly, ens essencailly. That which seems evil to us seems so only because of our limited knowledge. If we knew what God did, we would see that what God has done was either not evil, but a healing good.

    (edited)Zachary: God is revealed through creation; it’s existence and attributes. God is also revealed through holy scripture and tradition. To reveal Himself in miracals ways ussually keeps us from freely choosing to submit ourselves to God, for if He revealed Himself any more clearly, we could not possibly choose anything else accordding, or it may simple by not reaveling Himself in miracals at a certaint level of undenyability, He is producing a greater good throught the whole of time. Once we have freely chosen God, God might reveal Himself to us more clearly if by doing so it does the greatest good in the whole of time.

    I have slightly edited to avoid soem missunderstanding that i may have comunicated, but besides that it right on.

  • 80. Frreal  |  April 4, 2008 at 10:13 am

    How can an uncaused cause be caused into human form? According to God we were created in HIS image. God walked and talked to Adam and Eve and was a physical being. We can safely assume then that God has eyes, nose, ears, mouth, arms, legs, fingernails and hair can we not?

    But…. Why does an “I Am” NEED a mouth? Does he eat?
    Ears? Does he NEED them to hear? Eyes? Does he NEED them to see? Nose? Does God like the smell of BBQ?(yes he does very much)? Does he use it to breathe air? Penis? Does he procreate or excrete?

    Why would a God that just “became” from the nothing have appendages and sensory organs? If He didn’t “Become” in human form why would He create himself a form with body parts he did not NEED?

  • 81. Cthulhu  |  April 4, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Zachary,

    Be careful assuming again…I have a BS in molecular biology, and minored in philosophy (weird I know). And nothing in your post displays evidence for anything you say. From Wikipedia – Empirical research is any research that bases its findings on direct or indirect observation as its test of reality. Everything in your post is opinion – just because you see everything as evidence for god means nothing if you cannot prove in an empirical manner that he/she even exists.

    And a lot us do not think all soldiers are killers – you are doing a difficult job in a distant country. Regardless of one’s political opinion of the war, everyone should appreciate and applaud your sacrifice.

  • 82. LeoPardus  |  April 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Zachary:

    Everyone seems to think we are all murderers and sadists

    Not at all. I dare say the far and away the majority of people I know strongly support and love our soldiers. Nationally the polls seem to indicate the majority feel this way. We may not like the war, but the soldiers we like mucho mucho.

    To reveal Himself in miracals ways usually keeps us from freely choosing to submit ourselves to God, for if He revealed Himself any more clearly, we could not possibly choose anything else

    Bogus. The Bible is replete with incidences where god reveals himself miraculously. Then there are beaucoup reports from church history, and you can hear people giving testimonies about how god did some miracle to bring them to faith.

    This “god can’t blow us away” excuse is just another effort of hide from the fact that god NEVER shows up in any way for anyone.

  • 83. writerdd  |  April 4, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Soldiers are just men and women with jobs, just like the rest of us. As with police, firefighters, and teachers, I appreciate that some people are willing to work in these fields.

    If I disagree with the foreign policy or military actions of my country, I blame the politicians, not the men and women in the trenches.

    Of course there are abuses whenever there is war, which is one reason why war should be avoided at all costs and only entered into as a last resort; something our current “leaders” never learned. But (I believe and hope) in most cases the abuses are not the norm.

  • 84. Quester  |  April 4, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Thank-you for correcting my summary, Zachary. I’m not sure, though, that we have anywhere to go from here. Even to your edited stance, I think my summarized responses address your points and you obviously disagree. We may have to leave that as it is.

  • 85. writerdd  |  April 4, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    One of my favorite things about leaving fundamentalism behind is the fact that I can now agree to disagree with people. I don’t have to prove that I am right or convince everyone that they are wrong and that they need to “see the light.”

    Isn’t it wonderful to be able to live in a world of diversity without being afraid that everyone who is different is a minion of Satan who will lead you to hell?

  • 86. LeoPardus  |  April 4, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    writerdd:

    Re post 85….. WORD!

  • 87. writerdd  |  April 4, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Leo, sorry if I am dense, but I don’t know what you mean.

  • 88. Quester  |  April 4, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    DD,

    I believe that’s what is known as “emphatic agreement” which Leo is expressing in regards to your above point. Agreement that I happen to share in, as it happens.

  • 89. tonalddrump  |  April 4, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    The Purpose Driven Life, another book of lies.

    God loves it when we Fuck each other.He gets to watch.

    http://tonalddrump.wordpress.com/

    BTW Christians are very sexually repressed.

  • 90. LeoPardus  |  April 4, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Sorry writerdd. That is apparently slang amongst some of the younger crowd. It means, “Right on. You have spoken true words.” or something like that.

  • 91. writerdd  |  April 4, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    I’m getting too old. :-)

    Thanks.

  • 92. Zachary Weber  |  April 4, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    80. Frreal says, “How can an uncaused cause be caused into human form?”

    It wasn’t caused into human form, it is what God is meeting with human choice which is somehting God gave to us. It is just one part of His simple act that all of time summerises in multiplicity.

    God so loved(vug. willed actual existence) the world(vulg. actually lacking existence creatures), that He gave His only begotton Son (vulg. the Word or the Acting that became a man), that who so ever believes in Him (vulg. rests or trust opon the truth that Jesus is God), will have everlasting life.

    -I know what emperical evidence, but it necerally is empirical evidance because of it’s existance, derection, and movement. All empirically show God exists, by indirect observation.

    “Bogus. The Bible is replete with incidences where god reveals himself miraculously. Then there are beaucoup reports from church history, and you can hear people giving testimonies about how god did some miracle to bring them to faith.”

    -read my whole sentance, i deal with that: “To reveal Himself in miracals ways ussually keeps us from freely choosing to submit ourselves to God, for if He revealed Himself any more clearly, we could not possibly choose anything else accordding, or it may simple by not reaveling Himself in miracals at a certaint level of undenyability, He is producing a greater good throught the whole of time.”

    -Quester, they are a good summury, and your right i don’t think you response answers the arguments I have given. If you lack intrest in talking about this anymore thats on you, and i respect you choice, though understand that it at least apears like (1) you don’t have a response that meets my arguments, (2) one of us simple doesn’t understand each others arguments, (3) one of us doesn’t want to accept the the arguement given, but not on any known reasonable basis (I leave room for aruments that you don’t know you know). For 1 and 2, I am pretty sure I am doing, for 3 I know I am not doing. All i am saying it’s up to you to stay in, though it is my wish for conclusion.

    “Isn’t it wonderful to be able to live in a world of diversity without being afraid that everyone who is different is a minion of Satan who will lead you to hell?”

    It’s a fear of reaping what you sow. Getting what you choose and all the things that go with it.

  • 93. mewho  |  April 5, 2008 at 12:43 am

    Zachary,

    There is a fallacy to the argument that if God revealed Himself to us that we would not have a choice but to worship Him, God could show Himself to us tonight and people could still reject Him. Free Will would not be affected by God’s decision to FULLY reveal Himself. I could still say “NO” to worshipping Him, or accepting Jesus as my Savior. To say that God doesn’t perform miracles because He doesn’t want to affect my free will to follow Him is an excuse by Believers to excuse God’s “no-show”. Many of us here on De-C probably have asked God “Please show yourself to me like you did to Moses, Paul, Thomas, Abraham, etc.” It would not negate my Free Will to worship Him. I could still reject Him.

  • 94. Frreal  |  April 5, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Zach you didn’t answer my question.

    Does God have a nose?

  • 95. Quester  |  April 5, 2008 at 1:41 am

    Zachary,

    I can understand the desire to seek conclusion. I simply do not know if you and I can. Let me say where I think we are, summarizing my summary, so to speak–

    —–

    1) The uncaused cause:

    Zachary: There must be a first act for there to be a universe.
    Quester: No there doesn’t.

    To reach a conclusion: You need to convince me that an act with intent but without potency is required for the universe to exist, or I need to convince you that it isn’t.

    Problem: Neither of us can know, with any certainty, what was before the universe (as we know it) was.

    2) God’s morality:

    Quester: God has committed evil deeds.
    Zachary: No, God hasn’t.

    To reach a conclusion: I need to convince you that an all-powerful entity who wants what is best for us can reach Its goals without causing any amount of pain or cruelty, or you need to convince me to trust that God has a reason to do what I perceive as cruel, that I, in my limitations, can’t perceive.

    Problem: Neither of us can know, with any certainty, what God can do, or what God’s motivations are.

    3) God’s self-revelation:

    Zachary: God has revealed God’s self as clearly as God can, without compromising our free will.
    Quester: No, God hasn’t.

    To reach a conclusion: You need to convince me that God’s revelation of God’s self is sufficient for our needs, or I need to convince you that God’s self-revelation is so vague and contradictory as to compromise our free will.

    Problem: You perceive God, and so think God’s self-revelation is sufficient. I don’t perceive God, and so think God’s self-revelation is insufficient.

    —–

    Where do you think we can actually go from here, besides simply repeating ourselves in slightly different words?

  • 96. Zachary Weber  |  April 5, 2008 at 2:17 am

    93. mewho says:
    “There is a fallacy to the argument that if God revealed Himself to us that we would not have a choice but to worship Him, God could show Himself to us tonight and people could still reject Him. Free Will would not be affected by God’s decision to FULLY reveal Himself. I could still say “NO” to worshipping Him, or accepting Jesus as my Savior. To say that God doesn’t perform miracles because He doesn’t want to affect my free will to follow Him is an excuse by Believers to excuse God’s “no-show”. Many of us here on De-C probably have asked God “Please show yourself to me like you did to Moses, Paul, Thomas, Abraham, etc.” It would not negate my Free Will to worship Him. I could still reject Him.”.

    -I would have to disagree with this. Man in his nature has made a choice to reject the knowledge dirived from God, or Prime Act, God’s deal with Man was that if they choice lacking knowledge or more properly, contradictional knowledge that they would die both actually (by not intending existence as a whole) and matterially. So If God corrected and resorted Man knowledge of His own nature, not through taking up the nature of Man into Himself (through Jesus Christ), God would be hindering free will by contradicting Man’s choice forcibly. Now, there are miricles used to lead men to Christ, but these miricles to be a choice must be denyable according to specific persons nature or contradiction, or else it is forced and no longer a choice. If a person can’t reasonably resist Christianity according to his own principles, and does not have the power to deny it, by his logic, it was forced by something outside his nature or his nature. That is why the choice to follow Christ as Lord must always be rejectable, even though after it may not be.

    – Some denyalbe mricles have a strong possiblility to lead men away from the true God. If i see some great act how do I know it’s not from a demon, or another religion? What if it leads me to beleive this God is inside of time? Or that this God is matterial and non transendant? My point is by the very fact that denyable miricles are denyable, they may lead men away from God.

    -Even if I am wrong mircles don’t hinder free will in anyway, then there is still the fact that you cannot prove it is better restore existence by mircles undenyable (key is to restore, that means acording to it’s own principles, not simple create a new. If i simplely make a new Mankind by another principle then i destroy or do nothing to help the old accarding to it’s nature.).

    94. Frreal says,

    “Does God have a nose?”

    If you would have undstood what i wrote above it would you known. Yes did have a nose, because He so wills it a part of His Act, but no because it does not have a nose now because Jesus is spirit right now.

  • 97. Zachary Weber  |  April 5, 2008 at 2:54 am

    Zachary,

    I can understand the desire to seek conclusion. I simply do not know if you and I can. Let me say where I think we are, summarizing my summary, so to speak–

    I understand, and agree it may not be possible, but i would like to try (maybe I am just stubborn). Let me try one more response and your rebuttle and if were in the same place we will leave it at that. Sound Good?

    1) The uncaused cause:

    “Neither of us can know, with any certainty, what was before the universe (as we know it) was.”

    I dissagree, by deffinition God is what was before the universe. Thats all I am saying basically at it’s core, except I am saying it implies more than that. The type of exitence in things, movement, and direction show that there is this Act or God. God is Viable and observable inderectly. All the other deffinitions of God come from these priniples, which can be simpliied down to Being. This is what it means for there to be Being. That all I am arguing. That Being is God.

    2) God’s morality:

    “I need to convince you that an all-powerful entity who wants what is best for us can reach Its goals without causing any amount of pain or cruelty, or you need to convince me to trust that God has a reason to do what I perceive as cruel, that I, in my limitations, can’t perceive.”.

    What are your thoughs on my reasponse to mewho. I thinki deal with is in a tangible way. The idea of not overiding the old choice, but still offering a new choice. If God interferes in a denyable way, then He may lead men astray to the wrong idea of a God, simple it wont do much because it is denyable, but if He forces them in an undenyable way, He is in contradiction. Notice how often, his people followed other God’s, even with the miricles, Or How the jewish leaders said Jesus worked his mricles by demons. Denyable miriclesarn’t enough, not that they have no purpose, but they aren’t enough. They are to lead some men to the real meat, which is a intectual knowledge of God that is not just empirical (seen), but taught (faith).

    “To reach a conclusion: You need to convince me that God’s revelation of God’s self is sufficient for our needs, or I need to convince you that God’s self-revelation is so vague and contradictory as to compromise our free will.”

    His revalation must lead you to Christ by your own nature without overiding your natural choice. For you it must be possible that Jesus is God without any too strong or overwhelming evidance. You must be able to not accept it to be a choice. Now, it may be true that it is self contradictory in some way for God to give all men this second choice (I don’t think he does), so God adds as must existence to reality as possible, or should i say, brings into by restoring as much existence as possible. It always must be, your choice though, till you die in the flesh and your last conection with Christ is severed.

  • 98. Quester  |  April 5, 2008 at 4:42 am

    All right, Zachary. We’ll give it a shot.

    1) The uncaused cause:

    This is what it means for there to be Being. That all I am arguing. That Being is God.

    If you were arguing that God is Being, I would agree with you, but because you argue that Being is God, you assume that Being has Will, Purpose, and the capability to exert its Will to bring it’s Purpose into Actuality. I see no reason to assume any of that is true.

    2) God’s morality:

    What are your thoughs on my reasponse to mewho.

    I think your response to mewho has absolutely nothing to do with this point, and everything to do with point 3, “God’s self-revelation”.

    What I am arguing is that the Bible records God acting cruelly and ordering his followers to act cruelly, and none of these cruelties would be necessary if God were truly all-powerful. Outside of the Bible, we see cruelties in creation- diseases, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions- that God either causes or allows, and none of these cruelties would be necessary if God were truly all-powerful.

    Because God commits (or orders, or allows) these cruelties, God is either not all-powerful, or chooses to perform evil deeds.

    3) God’s self-revelation:

    If God interferes in a denyable way, then He may lead men astray to the wrong idea of a God, simple it wont do much because it is denyable, but if He forces them in an undenyable way, He is in contradiction.

    Contradiction with what? When did God promise us free will?

    Why is free will a good thing? When your toddler tries to drink gasoline, do you respect its free will? Are we not all toddlers in comparison to God? Is poison less of a danger than eternal damnation?

    Denyable miriclesarn’t enough, not that they have no purpose, but they aren’t enough.

    I agree. We need undeniable miracles.

    They are to lead some men to the real meat, which is a intectual knowledge of God that is not just empirical (seen), but taught (faith).

    How can we trust what is taught, when we cannot compare it to what is seen? So many religious teachers contradict each other utterly. How should we judge? What can we believe?

    You must be able to not accept it to be a choice.

    I must also be able to accept it for it to be a choice.

    It always must be, your choice though, till you die in the flesh and your last conection with Christ is severed.

    If death severs our last connection with Christ, how can Christ be said to have overcome death? Sounds like death still wins.

  • 99. Zachary Weber  |  April 5, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    98. Quester says,
    I am going to write again because i think we got some where further.

    1) The uncaused cause:

    “If you were arguing that God is Being, I would agree with you, but because you argue that Being is God, you assume that Being has Will, Purpose, and the capability to exert its Will to bring it’s Purpose into Actuality. I see no reason to assume any of that is true.”

    You right i have made a few intellectual leaps, skiping over some stuff I had hope that you wouldn’t need it, but it’s seems i have only unintettionally cheated you by it. But first let me ask you a few things.

    1. Do you agree that all being is essencially effective potentially or actually?

    2. Do you argee that everything in this universe that is directly observable being, is in some sort of movement or at least potential?

    3. Do you agree that the diference between endless and infinite, is that endless has start but potentially no end, and that infinite is seemless without start or end, that it is not finite in anyway?

    4. Do you agree that matter is is finite and mutible by it’s form?

    5. Do you agree matters form is finite and mutible by matters movement?

    6. Would you agree anything infinite must be simple, without composition?

    8. Would you agree that endless can agree with mulitplicity potencially?

    9. Do you argee finite has a cause and Infinite does not?

    10 .You agree that what is finite must absolutly come from what is infinite?

    2) God’s morality:

    “What I am arguing is that the Bible records God acting cruelly and ordering his followers to act cruelly, and none of these cruelties would be necessary if God were truly all-powerful. Outside of the Bible, we see cruelties in creation- diseases, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions- that God either causes or allows, and none of these cruelties would be necessary if God were truly all-powerful.”

    My point was that God is truely all powerful but not contradictory. If He did will that should have free will he could not just contradict tthat by overiding it by acting too powerfully in a way that would override any choice, or show God to be something He is not and lead other men astray by his actions. I would think that if he just made everything ok in some way it would be way too much. The only way i could see Him make it ok is if He made them belive that He was God, because remember Israel had enough unbelief in it’s own ranks by miricles. I don’t think there would be anyway to do it with out overwelling the will, and forcing them to believe in God. Even if it is belief in God it’s overiding their old choice and it’c consiquences. I really belive it’s come to be apart of the third dissagreement. Would you agree that we are at two main dissagreements now?

    3) God’s self-revelation:

    “Contradiction with what? When did God promise us free will?”

    That is what the choice garden of the garden of eden implied. That is what the choice of Christ implies.

    Why is free will a good thing?

    It’s the only way love can exist.

    When your toddler tries to drink gasoline, do you respect its free will? Are we not all toddlers in comparison to God? Is poison less of a danger than eternal damnation?

    Yeah it’s horribly dangerous but thats how you get love. By allowing intetion, which is free will

    “How can we trust what is taught, when we cannot compare it to what is seen? So many religious teachers contradict each other utterly. How should we judge? What can we believe?”

    Believe what is most true, good, and beautiful. And i am agruing that this is the biblical God.

    “If death severs our last connection with Christ, how can Christ be said to have overcome death? Sounds like death still wins.”

    If you accept Him Lord you have connection to him and therefore God through inttetion. As time passes things will slowly start to get connected to that inttion till you inttend allexistance in every habit.

    out of time gtg

  • 100. Quester  |  April 6, 2008 at 12:56 am

    1) The uncaused cause:

    1. Do you agree that all being is essencially effective potentially or actually?

    I have no idea what that means.

    2. Do you argee that everything in this universe that is directly observable being, is in some sort of movement or at least potential?

    I can’t think of anything that isn’t.

    3. Do you agree that the diference between endless and infinite, is that endless has start but potentially no end, and that infinite is seemless without start or end, that it is not finite in anyway?

    Almost. Start counting: 1, 2, 3… you can continue endlessly. Start counting backwards: 1, 0, -1, -2, -3… you can continue endlessly in this direction as well. There are, then, an infinite number of numbers. Nonetheless, no matter how long you count, starting at any point and counting in either direction, you will never reach giraffe, for giraffe is not a number. You are also limited to counting in one of two directions. Numbers, as a class, are only infinite in length. While we can discuss the possibility of something being infinite in an infinite number of manners, it is also possible for something to be infinite in one manner, yet finite in another.

    4. Do you agree that matter is is finite and mutible by it’s form?

    Now language is beginning to get slippery. The form, or state, of matter is finite and mutable. However that which is matter can be transformed into energy and vice versa (not easily, and not without vast amounts of energy). Aquinas would not have been aware of this, having lived and died well before Einstein, and I know very little about it myself. Still, while matter is finite in one way, I do not see why it can not have been transforming from energy into matter and back again infinitely.

    5. Do you agree matters form is finite and mutible by matters movement?

    Yes.

    6. Would you agree anything infinite must be simple, without composition?

    Something that is infinitely infinite? I’m not sure. It would have to include all that is, all that isn’t, and everything else. It would be a bit of a stretch to call that “simple”.

    7. There is no seven.

    8. Would you agree that endless can agree with mulitplicity potencially?

    Got me again. I can define each of the words, but have no idea what this question means.

    9. Do you argee finite has a cause and Infinite does not?

    No. Something that is infinite, in one way, can be caused. Something that is finite is not necessarily caused. Is mathematics, for instance, caused or discovered? Mathematics can be used to describe the relationships of that which is, but is it dependent on that which is?

    I am quickly going beyond my depth, here.

    10 .You agree that what is finite must absolutly come from what is infinite?

    No.

    2) God’s morality:

    Would you agree that we are at two main dissagreements now?

    No. I don’t think free will fits into our discussion on this point. God, according to the Bible, created all people of all nations, chose one group to reveal Himself to, and told them to slaughter others whose only crime was that God did not reveal Himself to them as He did with His chosen. This has nothing to do with our free will, and everything to do with God committing evil deeds (if only by proxy).

    3) God’s self-revelation:

    “Contradiction with what? When did God promise us free will?”

    That is what the choice garden of the garden of eden implied. That is what the choice of Christ implies.

    Adam and Eve did not choose to be created. No one chose to be saved by Christ before He went and did whatever He did. Why does free will only kick in when it comes to blaming us for our own suffering and potential damnation?

    Why is free will a good thing?

    It’s the only way love can exist.

    I choose to love my family. That is true. But I did not choose to be born in this family. Can it be said that I have freely not chosen to love a family I was not born into and have not met? Some freedom may be necessary, but so may some limits. If I do not choose to love a God I can not distinguish from not-God, could my will in that matter be described as free?

    When your toddler tries to drink gasoline, do you respect its free will? Are we not all toddlers in comparison to God? Is poison less of a danger than eternal damnation?

    Yeah it’s horribly dangerous but thats how you get love. By allowing intetion, which is free will

    Freedom within limits, for we are not infinitely infinite. Why is eternal torment placed within those limits?

    “How can we trust what is taught, when we cannot compare it to what is seen? So many religious teachers contradict each other utterly. How should we judge? What can we believe?”

    Believe what is most true, good, and beautiful. And i am agruing that this is the biblical God.

    With all the slaughter, torment and suffering, I can not agree that the biblical God is the most good or beautiful. With all the contradictions, I can not agree He is the most true. The article we are not quite replying to discusses searching out the most true, the most beautiful and the most good. I agree with writerdd on the best way to go about it.

    “If death severs our last connection with Christ, how can Christ be said to have overcome death? Sounds like death still wins.”

    If you accept Him Lord you have connection to him and therefore God through inttetion. As time passes things will slowly start to get connected to that inttion till you inttend allexistance in every habit.

    And so Christ has not conquered death, but bought passage for a selected few to slip past. This God you describe seems very limited and finite.

  • 101. Zachary Weber  |  April 6, 2008 at 7:11 am

    1) The uncaused cause:

    1. Does being imply some type of effecting, either by it’s potencial to act or it’s action?

    3. So would you say endless has a begining and is, in a sense, infinite in potencial? And infinite is with out multiplicity because it is without begin or end in anyway? That It is simple?

    4. Still, while matter is finite in one way, I do not see why it can not have been transforming from energy into matter and back again infinitely.

    Wouldn’t that still be properly called endless which is infinite in potencial? Because it is infinite potencially, but things with multiplicity have numbers that are at least a 1 and a 2, what is infinite has no beginning or ended, so it must not have a multiple in number. Infinite must be simple, and matter, energy, and force are not simple. For the universe to be infinte it must be simple absolutly which means no mutliplicity, which means no difference and composition of any kind. Now, there is difference and composition, so we must assume that the universe is not infinite but endless, and endless has a beginning.

    Got cut short i will respond to the rest later.

  • 102. Zachary Weber  |  April 6, 2008 at 8:08 am

    6. “Something that is infinitely infinite? I’m not sure. It would have to include all that is, all that isn’t, and everything else.”

    Everything and nothing, means every existance, and nothing else. It is all + 0 which = all.

    9. “No. Something that is infinite, in one way, can be caused.

    “Isn’t that only potentially infinite not actual infinite”.

    Something that is finite is not necessarily caused.

    Doesn’t soemthing finite have a begining like say for example matters and energy moves to reach the form that is “this chair”. Instantly the form “this chair” is made, and it has a beginning. The form “this chair” at one point did not exist, and in the next moment in alteration of mater and energy “this chair” became “that chair”. The matter and the form keep not existing as they were before. Matter being made finite by it’s form and form being made finite by it’s matter. Has begining and a end in it’s action, yet may be endless or infinite in potencially. Now,

    Is mathematics, for instance, caused or discovered?

    Mathamatices is the idea of things in their simplicity either by relationship to what is absolutly simple (infitnity, 1), or in relationship to what is simple by relationship to what multiple (1<). 0 only exist by a number. Nothing is simple no thing.

    Mathematics can be used to describe the relationships of that which is, but is it dependent on that which is?

    Agreed you it is dependant on what is, but there is nothing that is infine except what is simple, cannot exist by anything (either mutliple or simple) or else it would not be simple, but multiple. Now, mutlipile can come from simple just as 1 can be made into many by sub divion of it’s self but it can not make 2 of it’s self. Now any sub divsion of 1 is one but one without one infinitely. In the same way you have finite things that infinitely are and infinitely are not by movement. This is endlessness, or inifinite potencially.

    gtg again will answer more next chance i get one

  • 103. Quester  |  April 6, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    1. Does being imply some type of effecting, either by it’s potencial to act or it’s action?

    Thank-you for clarifying. I think the answer is yes.

    3. So would you say endless has a begining and is, in a sense, infinite in potencial? And infinite is with out multiplicity because it is without begin or end in anyway? That It is simple?

    Remind me what you mean by “multiplicity”. I’ve lost track.

    4. Wouldn’t that still be properly called endless which is infinite in potencial?

    No. Think of a circle. It is finite in area, but has no beginning and no end and can thus be infinite in circumference. (Yes, I know that circles aren’t infinite in circumference because when measuring you stop at where you started. But the starting and ending points are arbitrary. Imagine that you just kept going.)

    6) Everything and nothing, means every existance, and nothing else. It is all + 0 which = all.

    You just declared a finite limit to your infinity, by limiting it to that which is.

    9) I’m afraid you’ve lost me completely.

  • 104. Zachary Weber  |  April 7, 2008 at 7:45 am

    “Remind me what you mean by “multiplicity”. I’ve lost track.”

    many things.

    I think i thought of a clearer way to explain what i am trying to say.

    1. Infinity has no beginning or end in anyway so it is not a sub divsion of anything else, if it were, it would have a beginning and end, and would not be properly called infinite. So infinty = 1 but not as a sudivsion. It is 1/1.

    2. Now the number(…-3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3…) contuim is not infinite because it maintains two qualities. – and +. – is not 0 but a lack which is saying that there is or was something that could be there. – is not = 0. ) maintains no quantity or quality.0 = nothing. So in the quality of + begins at 1. 1 is endless as a sub divsion of infinite 1 which by definition is not subdivided. Endless is infinite in potential. So Numbers are endless as a subdivion of infinity, but not in them selves with out relation to infinity.

    3. Many in number, or any multiplicity, are always a subdivsion of infinite which is without subdivsion. So many are parts of 1(w/o subdiv.), because one can always be divided by subdivsion. in other words 1.00000… contains 0.99999…, 0.88888… ect.. endlessly(infinite in potentcial).

    4. You cannot make infinite (1 w/o subdivsion), a sub divsion of 10, because you are contradicting the predictate.

    5. All numbers that are subdivided from infinity predictate existence by relationship to infinity or what they are sub divided from.

    6. by definition 1/1 = 1 so there can’t be two infinities.

    7. Infinity= God, or more properly God in relationship to numbers= infinity.

    2) God’s morality:

    Would you agree that we are at two main dissagreements now?

    “God, according to the Bible, created all people of all nations, chose one group to reveal Himself to, and told them to slaughter others whose only crime was that God did not reveal Himself to them as He did with His chosen. ”

    Romans says that God when out to all nations to reveal himself, but Israel was trusted with the oricals of God. Sorry i don’t have my bible with me, so i can’t give you the exact verse, but it should be between chapter 3 and 9.

    “This has nothing to do with our free will, and everything to do with God committing evil deeds.”

    My argument though was that these were necessary deeds to bring about the most getting saved w/o hindering free will, or will according to our nature, making the deeds justified and therefore good. This is also why men can’t do this because we are not able to see such an end in the long term because we do not know all things. So are actions are most good according as long term as we can reasonably effectivly see, realitivly short in comparison to all time. So the only way we can justify killing on such a scale if it does come from the true God. Now, there has been lots of killing that has been claimed to come from the true God but I believe that only the jews in the establishment of their nation were allowed to do this and have seen no good argument saying otherwise. So I believe that such mass killings that have happened since, are not Justfied and good.

    “(if only by proxy).”

    What does this mean?

    3) God’s self-revelation:

    “Adam and Eve did not choose to be created. No one chose to be saved by Christ before He went and did whatever He did.”

    I hardly see that having the ability to intettion, or to choose is an evil thing in it’s self. I can see a lacking choice is evil by deffinition though.

    “Why does free will only kick in when it comes to blaming us for our own suffering and potential damnation?”

    Because that is what was chosen, inttending knowledge w/o God. It is by nature self contradictory. So hell is Man kinds choice is by deffinition, seperation from God. In the degree you are in seperation is the degree of self contradiction. That is why Dante shows those without mercy, recieving none. Thats also why dante shows those whos only contradiction was knowledge with out God only suffering is not having the hope of heaven (eternal relationship with God by intetion), it is basically elisium for the moral pagans. The greater degree they reject reality the greater suffering, but what every is not apart of the suffering in there state is the only dood that can be comunicated to them.

    “I choose to love my family. That is true. But I did not choose to be born in this family. Can it be said that I have freely not chosen to love a family I was not born into and have not met? Some freedom may be necessary, but so may some limits. If I do not choose to love a God I can not distinguish from not-God, could my will in that matter be described as free?”

    Yes and no. Your choice in relationship to mankind has been predictated from the first man which all men our a subdivsion of. Now you have a choice as individual man in relationship to christ by your manhood, but it is by nature arbitary because your nature is arbitrary. This is why God can only lead your nature to the choice(of intending God’s intettion, by intending Christ’s inttention), not force you according to your principles to choose Christ. Now, other men can change your principles by addtion or deduction, i.e. trusting what they teach not what you know which may either add in degree to your contradiction or take away.

    “With all the slaughter, torment and suffering, I can not agree that the biblical God is the most good or beautiful.”

    I am arguing that these things are justified to a Good and beautiful end, though in apperence they do not seem it.

    With all the contradictions, I can not agree He is the most true.

    I am arguing that nothing in the bible (at least before translation) us contradictory.

    “The article we are not quite replying to discusses searching out the most true, the most beautiful and the most good. I agree with writerdd on the best way to go about it.”

    Well, you have the knowledge of Christ so anytime you choose, if you choose to intend what he intends, according to me and the bible(what amount little or big that may mean to you) will give you etternal life.

    “And so Christ has not conquered death, but bought passage for a selected few to slip past. This God you describe seems very limited and finite.”

    Nevertheless, Christ did conquer death and those that participate in Him by intention, will be raised up with him. So he conquered death for himslef and any that want to go with him.

  • 105. Quester  |  April 7, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    1) The uncaused cause:

    The numeric continuum, having no beginning or end, is infinite.

    By limiting your infinity to the positive (or existing) side of the continuum, you have chosen what is endless, not infinite.

    Thus your God, as you have described Him, is finite, and must have had a beginning.

    That beginning may have been when He was first imagined.

    2) God’s morality:

    First of all, you have a good memory! Romans 2 does say what you said in point 60 above (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)

    But as they are not made righteous by following that law, I don’t see how that helps.

    My argument though was that these were necessary deeds to bring about the most getting saved w/o hindering free will, or will according to our nature, making the deeds justified and therefore good.

    Yes, but I disagree utterly. As an all-powerful God, there are many more ways He could have chosen, making this way unnecessary, and therefore evil.

    “(if only by proxy).”

    What does this mean?

    By that, I meant that God is responsible for the evil He commands us to do, as well as the evil He does not working through us.

    3) God’s self-revelation:

    “Adam and Eve did not choose to be created. No one chose to be saved by Christ before He went and did whatever He did.”

    I hardly see that having the ability to intettion, or to choose is an evil thing in it’s self. I can see a lacking choice is evil by deffinition though.

    I’m not saying that choice is an evil thing. I’m saying that free will isn’t as much of a factor as we like to think.

    If lacking a choice is evil, then being created is evil, for it was not by our choice.

    Because that is what was chosen, inttending knowledge w/o God. It is by nature self contradictory. So hell is Man kinds choice is by deffinition, seperation from God. In the degree you are in seperation is the degree of self contradiction

    Which is completely counter to Paul’s descriptions of salvation by grace alone, with the impossibility of any righteousness under law.

    Yes and no. Your choice in relationship to mankind has been predictated from the first man which all men our a subdivsion of. Now you have a choice as individual man in relationship to christ by your manhood, but it is by nature arbitary because your nature is arbitrary.

    Why is my choice in relationship to man predicated by the first Adam, but my choice in relationship to God is not predicated by the second.

    I am arguing that these things are justified to a Good and beautiful end, though in apperence they do not seem it.

    I know you are, Zachary. I just disagree utterly.

    I am arguing that nothing in the bible (at least before translation) us contradictory.

    Again, I recognize what you are trying to argue, but disagree.

    Well, you have the knowledge of Christ so anytime you choose, if you choose to intend what he intends, according to me and the bible(what amount little or big that may mean to you) will give you etternal life.

    Yet I can not figure out, due to His vague and contradictory revelations, what He intends. Therefore, I can not intend it myself and am thus condemned.

    Nevertheless, Christ did conquer death and those that participate in Him by intention, will be raised up with him. So he conquered death for himslef and any that want to go with him.

    Partial conquering is not conquering at all. This Christ is barely allowed to save face by taking a precious few home with Him as He retreats out of the lands of the dead. The grave still has its victory. Death still has its sting.

  • 106. George  |  April 8, 2008 at 3:25 am

    this article.. .ROTFL… that’s all I have to say.

  • 107. Zachary Weber  |  April 9, 2008 at 6:49 am

    1) The uncaused cause:
    “By limiting your infinity to the positive (or existing) side of the continuum, you have chosen what is endless, not infinite.”

    – + are both are addition by a different quality. No existance or 0 is not -, and it is not less than nothing, it is something by a different qulitiy not quanitiy. I am talking about pure quantity. Infinite is not limited by positive, but redusing to simple quanity w/o quality, we still have infinity that is simple. Now, subdivsion is endless, and endless is limited to a beggining.

    2) God’s morality:

    Actually, there was another verse later on that i was refering to. It was almost an exact quote from what i said, i think.

    “Yes, but I disagree utterly. As an all-powerful God, there are many more ways He could have chosen, making this way unnecessary, and therefore evil.”

    but do you see how that is related to the other topic #3?

    3) God’s self-revelation:

    I hardly see that having the ability to intettion, or to choose is an evil thing in it’s self. I can see a lacking choice is evil by deffinition though.

    “I’m not saying that choice is an evil thing. I’m saying that free will isn’t as much of a factor as we like to think. If lacking a choice is evil, then being created is evil, for it was not by our choice.”

    Miss understood what i mean, i meant if what we choose was lacking, but what you brought up is a good point that i agree with except that that lacking choice comes from what we chose.

    gt out of time

  • 108. Quester  |  April 9, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    1) The uncaused cause:

    - + are both are addition by a different quality. No existance or 0 is not -, and it is not less than nothing, it is something by a different qulitiy not quanitiy. I am talking about pure quantity. Infinite is not limited by positive, but redusing to simple quanity w/o quality, we still have infinity that is simple. Now, subdivsion is endless, and endless is limited to a beggining.

    Lost me again. How is infinity pure quantity? What is quantity without quality? Are you saying God has no quality (or qualifiers)?

    2) God’s morality:

    “Yes, but I disagree utterly. As an all-powerful God, there are many more ways He could have chosen, making this way unnecessary, and therefore evil.”

    but do you see how that is related to the other topic #3?

    No. You seem to be arguing that God revealing Himself to the Israelites does not counter free will, but God revealing Himself to everyone else would. How do you reach such a conclusion?

    3) God’s self-revelation:

    Miss understood what i mean, i meant if what we choose was lacking, but what you brought up is a good point that i agree with except that that lacking choice comes from what we chose.

    How does lacking choice come out of what we chose? What choices did we make before we were born?

  • 109. Zachary Weber  |  April 10, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    1) The uncaused cause:

    “Lost me again. How is infinity pure quantity?”

    Sorry, I was wrong to say that it has no quality. I meant, I am using quality w/o -, just +. It is a simple subdivsion of quality.

    “What is quantity without quality? Are you saying God has no quality (or qualifiers)?”

    God Infinity in quality, order, and quantity

    2) God’s morality:
    “No. You seem to be arguing that God revealing Himself to the Israelites does not counter free will, but God revealing Himself to everyone else would. How do you reach such a conclusion?”

    It was because of the helpless condition of the isrialites, as slaves, that qualified them. They were at the end of there rope and the only thing you can do there is look up. Either to curse or to plead for help. It was a nation of people in this condition, already open to God helping. So God revealed Himself in a denyable way because in this place and time it was effective to lead men to God.

    3) God’s self-revelation:

    “How does lacking choice come out of what we chose?”

    Man chose knowledge w/o or not of God, we are begotten af man in that condition.

    “What choices did we make before we were born?”

    We are that choice, because we are begotton of Adam’s natural condition that he chose. We are by nature a slave to that choice.

    “Which is completely counter to Paul’s descriptions of salvation by grace alone, with the impossibility of any righteousness under law.”

    It’s not by work, God has to lead you to the choice, and he made the choice possible by His son. So it is not by you alone, but it is you in part. Does that make sense?

    “Why is my choice in relationship to man predicated by the first Adam but my choice in relationship to God is not predicated by the second.”

    One by is your nature in relation to what it is begotten from, the other is by the fact we are indivduals, and not Adam himself.

    “Yet I can not figure out, due to His vague and contradictory revelations, what He intends. Therefore, I can not intend it myself and am thus condemned.”

    You have the power to say, even though it is seems contradictory, vauge, and foolish in someways, that you postpone those beliefs and trust Christ. You can trust from what is seemingly not contradictory, foolish, and vauge. Weither you are willing to lay down what doesn’t make sense for what does, is of course always your choice as an invividual, and in this case, it involes Christ.

    “Partial conquering is not conquering at all. This Christ is barely allowed to save face by taking a precious few home with Him as He retreats out of the lands of the dead. The grave still has its victory. Death still has its sting.”

    In the end, He is to make those who hate Him his foot stool. He will resurect those who love Him and those who don’t will make Him more apparently Lord. He will make good out of those who do not love Him to bless those that do.

  • 111. Quester  |  April 11, 2008 at 2:57 am

    1) The uncaused cause:

    Sorry, I was wrong to say that it has no quality. I meant, I am using quality w/o -, just +. It is a simple subdivsion of quality.

    If it is a subdivision, it is finite (limited to within that subdivision).

    God Infinity in quality, order, and quantity

    I think I know what you’re trying to say, but could you add a verb to that sentence to help me out?

    3) God’s self-revelation:

    Man chose knowledge w/o or not of God, we are begotten af man in that condition.

    So, it has nothing to do with our choice, but that of someone who came before us? By the way, do you believe that the story of Adam and Eve happened as depicted in Genesis?

    We are that choice, because we are begotton of Adam’s natural condition that he chose. We are by nature a slave to that choice.

    Why are we not born into the nature that Christ (the second Adam) chose?

    It’s not by work, God has to lead you to the choice, and he made the choice possible by His son. So it is not by you alone, but it is you in part. Does that make sense?

    Not really. It is either up to us, or up to God. If it depends on our choice, then our salvation is by our own action (the act of choosing).

    “Why is my choice in relationship to man predicated by the first Adam but my choice in relationship to God is not predicated by the second.”

    One by is your nature in relation to what it is begotten from, the other is by the fact we are indivduals, and not Adam himself.

    Er.. by “the second” I meant the second Adam (ie. Christ).

    You have the power to say, even though it is seems contradictory, vauge, and foolish in someways, that you postpone those beliefs and trust Christ. You can trust from what is seemingly not contradictory, foolish, and vauge. Weither you are willing to lay down what doesn’t make sense for what does, is of course always your choice as an invividual, and in this case, it involes Christ.

    If I can’t find Christ, I can’t follow Him. If I can’t understand His will, I can’t submit to it. I can be as willing as anything or anyone, but I can’t listen to someone who does not speak.

    In the end, He is to make those who hate Him his foot stool. He will resurect those who love Him and those who don’t will make Him more apparently Lord. He will make good out of those who do not love Him to bless those that do.

    Interesting theology. Could you expand on that?

  • 112. Quester  |  April 11, 2008 at 2:59 am

    Oops! The fourth line: “If it is a subdivision, it is finite (limited to within that subdivision).” was not supposed to be in italics. It is my response to “Sorry, I was wrong to say that it has no quality. I meant, I am using quality w/o -, just +. It is a simple subdivsion of quality”. Sorry for any confusion caused.

  • 113. Zachary Weber  |  April 11, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    1) The uncaused cause:

    “If it is a subdivision, it is finite (limited to within that subdivision).”

    Your right! Thats why true infinity is only God. God is Infinity in quality, order, and quantity. As i said before though infinity, as we use it, is God in reference to quantity only.

    “I think I know what you’re trying to say, but could you add a verb to that sentence to help me out?

    lol yeah I am a total dork. it’s a wonder how people ever understand me. : p. Anyway, I was saying God is unsubdivided quantity, order (or direction of movment), and quality. I really don’t know how else to say it.

    3) God’s self-revelation:

    “So, it has nothing to do with our choice, but that of someone who came before us?”

    Original sin or nature sin does was not originated by us .

    “By the way, do you believe that the story of Adam and Eve happened as depicted in Genesis?”

    Yes, though i do think I depart from some traditional views. There are many things I am not sure of about it and I am willing to be corrected by someone I trust on the issue. I believe the jist of it in the tradisional way though.

    “Why are we not born into the nature that Christ (the second Adam) chose?”

    Because we are not begotton of Christ nature naturally, but trusting (belief) in knowledge that is taught(faith) of Christ. We have relationship with Jesus by our humanity, and by that relationship we can choose to follow Him as God or not if we have been lead to the ablility to make that choice. This is how we Have knowledge of God as he is not just partial knowledge of His existence.

    “Not really. It is either up to us, or up to God. If it depends on our choice, then our salvation is by our own action (the act of choosing).”

    It make sense to me. Maybe I am missing somethng, but to me if God has to do something to bring you to that choice, and God made that choice possible, and God is that choice. Seems like it’s is by grace through faith to me.

    “If I can’t find Christ, I can’t follow Him. If I can’t understand His will, I can’t submit to it. I can be as willing as anything or anyone, but I can’t listen to someone who does not speak.”

    Well, you do have an understanding of what he want, which is to love God with all your heart mind soul and strength. The you have the bible and other Christians and virtues men athiest or pagan or what have you, and all creation to lead you to know him once you have the basis of knowledge. You start by pretending to be like Christ, till you learn to be like Him. Till you habits and knolwedge line up with your intetion.

    “Interesting theology. Could you expand on that?”

    I will go into it next chance i can i gtg my times up.

  • 114. writerdd  |  April 11, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    “If it is a subdivision, it is finite (limited to within that subdivision).”

    That’s not true, actually.

    The set of all whole numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) is infinite but it is a subset of the set of all real numbers (1, 1.1, 1.2… 2, 2.1, 2.2, etc.).

    That’s oversimplified, but a subdivision can still be infinite.

    Glad you’re having fun, but I really don’t see the point of most of what has been said recently. I must say think that discussion has gone off into meaningless philosophical BS if you ask me. I call it mental masturbation.

  • 115. Quester  |  April 11, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    That’s oversimplified, but a subdivision can still be infinite.

    True, but not infinitely infinite. *grin*

    I must say think that discussion has gone off into meaningless philosophical BS if you ask me. I call it mental masturbation.

    Well, yes, but I figure we’re enjoying ourselves and not hurting anyone else. This is something I do for fun and stress relief, and I often get to learn something.

    If we are bothering anyone, I’m sure Zachary would be willing for us to move this over to my blog. In fact, Zachary? This is dd’s article, and we’re not exactly replying to it. I’m beginning to feel like an uncourteous guest. Hoping you don’t mind, I’ll open a thread on my blog for us to continue this.

  • 116. Zachary Weber  |  April 11, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    “Glad you’re having fun, but I really don’t see the point of most of what has been said recently. I must say think that discussion has gone off into meaningless philosophical BS if you ask me. I call it mental masturbation.”

    Ouch harsh.

    115. Quester | April 11, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    “If we are bothering anyone, I’m sure Zachary would be willing for us to move this over to my blog. In fact, Zachary? This is dd’s article, and we’re not exactly replying to it. I’m beginning to feel like an uncourteous guest. Hoping you don’t mind, I’ll open a thread on my blog for us to continue this.”

    Yeah I kinda felt bad about that, the whole time but people didn’t seem to mind. Go ahead and post the link so if some random person come to check it out 50 years from now lol. I would hardly call it mental masturbation, because what we are talking about is fundimental to life styles and even I have grown and learned alot more clearly what i believe and rooted out a bit of nonsense in my belief as wwe have gone. Any till next episode…er…post.

  • 117. Quester  |  April 11, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Ah, yes. A link. Click here, Zachary. This will be a busy weekend for me, making it hard for me to write an in-depth response, but I will try to get back to you soon.

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  • 120. ThisPC  |  August 25, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    OP: ” I spent time praying every day to discover God’s will for my individual life”

    It is at least superficially understood by anybody acquainted with Christian theology that God is love. But what is love? It is true that love can only be extended freely and unconditionally. There is no coercion in love. It extends out but neither expects, demands or requires anything in return – absolutely nothing. But if love is returned then it is fulfilled; it has become a relationship – and one which yearns for nothing because it has everything it needs in and of itself.

    God is about relationships. Relationships are the essential core of the human experience too. Without them we would not develop. We would be nothing – intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. I have come to believe that quite fundamentally we are defined by the relationships we have. Man and humanity are a collection of relationships. So, for example, if a man’s mind is greatly polluted with relationships defined by enmity or hate then revenge, spite and capricious self-gratification will be his unending purpose. Unending because it can never be satisfied. On the other hand, if a man’s mind is defined by relationships of love then he yearns for nothing because his purpose is simultaneously defined and achieved.

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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