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Atheists & Agnostics: Why Don't You Believe The Bible?


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#221 jonas5877

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:22 AM

Jonas, you need to take a parable for what it is, as well as understand what it isn't. What a parable is not is a logical exercise inviting us to try and fit any and everything we choose to shoehorn into the parable. That would be missusing the intention of the parable. A parable is a short story that most often uses fictional objects or events as a means of getting a certain idea across. If the point that God wanted to get across was that he created the soil then he would hardly have used the parable of the sower. The sower doesn't really create anything. He sows, and that's all he does. It's a parable...

Then we don't consider anything else in the Bible when reading the parables? What about the Parable of the Sheep and Goats in Matthew 25? Does it really mean that if we don't produce feed the hungry and thirsty, clothe the poor, and visit the sick and imprisoned, that we will be sent to Hell? Taking the story on its own, that is exactly what it means. That sounds a bit like works righteousness, which I know you disagree with.

#222 Salsa

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:56 AM

Then we don't consider anything else in the Bible when reading the parables? What about the Parable of the Sheep and Goats in Matthew 25? Does it really mean that if we don't produce feed the hungry and thirsty, clothe the poor, and visit the sick and imprisoned, that we will be sent to Hell? Taking the story on its own, that is exactly what it means. That sounds a bit like works righteousness, which I know you disagree with.


Sure, I disagree with "works righteousness". But I do not disagree with "righteous works".

That might seem like a silly game of words to you, but I think it illustrates perfectly what I am about to tell you. The order of these words represent the well-known problem of putting the cart before or after the horse. One is bound to fail, the other to succeed.

Make no mistake about this! God wants us to do what is right and just and praiseworthy. But unless we do it his way, and for the right reasons, then all our feeble attempts will be nothing more than dirty rags in his sight.

Anyone who is born again and who has done what it takes to make his harvest grow and florish will have faith that is active. An entire chapter in the NT, the "Acts of the Apostles" is dedicated to giving an account of what the apostles did.

The question is whether or not they were doing these things in order to attain righteousness, or whether they did them because they were righteous.

Motivation Jonas, that is the key.

#223 jonas5877

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:44 AM

Sure, I disagree with "works righteousness". But I do not disagree with "righteous works". That might seem like a silly game of words to you, but I think it illustrates perfectly what I am about to tell you. The order of these words represent the well-known problem of putting the cart before or after the horse. One is bound to fail, the other to succeed. Make no mistake about this! God wants us to do what is right and just and praiseworthy. But unless we do it his way, and for the right reasons, then all our feeble attempts will be nothing more than dirty rags in his sight. Anyone who is born again and who has done what it takes to make his harvest grow and florish will have faith that is active. An entire chapter in the NT, the "Acts of the Apostles" is dedicated to giving an account of what the apostles did. The question is whether or not they were doing these things in order to attain righteousness, or whether they did them because they were righteous. Motivation Jonas, that is the key.

But if we don't do them, we get eternal punishment...right?

#224 Salsa

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:33 AM

But if we don't do them, we get eternal punishment...right?


You are touching on something known as OSAS (Once Saved Always Saved), which causes a great amount of debate within the Christian community. It's an enormous subject with good arguments on both sides. The strictest form of OSAS would have you believe that once you are saved you can basically do anything at all. However, I don't think this meshes too well with what Paul wrote to the Romans:

"God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism."

So does that mean that we are still justified by works?

No, all it means is that faith has works. They are simply an unseparable side-effect of living by faith.

If you plant seeds in the soil and water it, then they will grow. That is the nature of things as far as sowing seeds is concerned. Similarly it is the nature of God's word when recieved by faith that it, by nature, gives you the desire and ability to "be persistent in doing good and seek glory, honor and immortality".

There is also another difference between legalism and righteous works that I would like to mention, namely that legalism is based on human effort, whereas righteous works are based on being led by the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote to the Ephesians;

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

This is what I think Paul meant by "serving in the new way of the Spirit". The book of Acts doesn't describe how the saints went around trying to follow a written code of law, it describes how they worked along with the Holy Spirit doing individual acts "prepared in advance for them to do". Similarly, a Christian doesn't need to try and follow a list of rules. All he needs to do is obey the Spirit when he is urged to do something.

#225 jonas5877

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:38 AM

You are touching on something known as OSAS (Once Saved Always Saved), which causes a great amount of debate within the Christian community. It's an enormous subject with good arguments on both sides. The strictest form of OSAS would have you believe that once you are saved you can basically do anything at all. However, I don't think this meshes too well with what Paul wrote to the Romans: "God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism." So does that mean that we are still justified by works? No, all it means is that faith has works. They are simply an unseparable side-effect of living by faith. If you plant seeds in the soil and water it, then they will grow. That is the nature of things as far as sowing seeds is concerned. Similarly it is the nature of God's word when recieved by faith that it, by nature, gives you the desire and ability to "be persistent in doing good and seek glory, honor and immortality". There is also another difference between legalism and righteous works that I would like to mention, namely that legalism is based on human effort, whereas righteous works are based on being led by the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote to the Ephesians; "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." This is what I think Paul meant by "serving in the new way of the Spirit". The book of Acts doesn't describe how the saints went around trying to follow a written code of law, it describes how they worked along with the Holy Spirit doing individual acts "prepared in advance for them to do". Similarly, a Christian doesn't need to try and follow a list of rules. All he needs to do is obey the Spirit when he is urged to do something.

You said we need to take a parable for what it is, as well as understand what it isn't. Yet, now you are using information outside the parable to judge what the parable means despite the fact that you said I could not do that with the previous parable.

The Sheep and Goats parable doesn't say anything about motivation. It simply says that those people who did help others went to Heaven and those who did not went to eternal punishment. It doesn't even say that either side claimed to be a "saved". This really strongly implies that the dividing line is helping or not helping (works) regardless of whether you are saved or not.

Without using other teachings of the Bible, you cannot say the parable means anything other than that. So, why do you get to qualify the meaning of the parable by using other teachings from the Bible yet I do not get to when analyzing the parable of the sower?

#226 Salsa

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:17 AM

You said we need to take a parable for what it is, as well as understand what it isn't. Yet, now you are using information outside the parable to judge what the parable means despite the fact that you said I could not do that with the previous parable.

The Sheep and Goats parable doesn't say anything about motivation. It simply says that those people who did help others went to Heaven and those who did not went to eternal punishment. It doesn't even say that either side claimed to be a "saved". This really strongly implies that the dividing line is helping or not helping (works) regardless of whether you are saved or not.


What I was talking about when I mentioned motivation had to do with the discussion at hand, not the parable itself. I believe we were discussing the works of the OT contra the works of the NT, but if I got off track then let me know. Pehaps we were talking past each other...

Without using other teachings of the Bible, you cannot say the parable means anything other than that. So, why do you get to qualify the meaning of the parable by using other teachings from the Bible yet I do not get to when analyzing the parable of the sower?


Sure, using other parts of the Bible is often necessary when interpreting a parable, but using any and everything in the Bible would be incredibly confusing. I have suggested an interpretation of the parable of the sower where the seed is the word, the soil is the heart and soal of the man who hears it and the harvest is the result that manifests in the one who receives it. Everything in the parable makes sense when given that interpretation. If you think that God creating the seed or the soil or anything else in the Bible has relevance to the how the parable should be interpreted then sure, give your interpretation and we can discuss it.

#227 jonas5877

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:13 AM

What I was talking about when I mentioned motivation had to do with the discussion at hand, not the parable itself. I believe we were discussing the works of the OT contra the works of the NT, but if I got off track then let me know. Pehaps we were talking past each other... Sure, using other parts of the Bible is often necessary when interpreting a parable, but using any and everything in the Bible would be incredibly confusing. I have suggested an interpretation of the parable of the sower where the seed is the word, the soil is the heart and soal of the man who hears it and the harvest is the result that manifests in the one who receives it. Everything in the parable makes sense when given that interpretation. If you think that God creating the seed or the soil or anything else in the Bible has relevance to the how the parable should be interpreted then sure, give your interpretation and we can discuss it.

Ok. My interpretation is that God made both the seed and the soil. He chose to make them the way that they are.

A farmer wants to grow a crop.
1. He prepares the field. A human farmer plows the field and makes the soil ready to receive the seed. However the human farmer has to put in effort to do this. So, the yeild from the sowing is based somewhat on how much the farmer wants to prepare the field. If he wants a great yeild, he puts in more work to ready the field. If he wants less yeild, he puts in less effort and some seeds don't grow or result in weak plants that die soon.
2. If a farmer wants great yeild, he can buy better seed. Weak seed results in poorer yeild even in good soil. Good seed can produce a good yeild even in poor soil. There are seeds now that can grow on a rock and produce a harvest. However, good seed costs more so a farmer may not want to spend as much because the increase in yeild does not justify the expense of the seed.

Now let's apply this information to the meaning behind the parble
1. God prepares the soil (he's the sower). Putting more effort in the preparation has no meaning for an all-powerful being. Making better soil does not make God more tired. So the quality of the soil (human beings) when the seed is sown is totally up to God. If there are dry or rocky areas, it is because God did not prepare those places. Preparing them more suitably would not cost God anything. So, He must have wanted dry and rocky areas to which he sows the seed.

2. God makes the seed. It costs Him nothing to make seed that can grow anywhere and produce a good yeild. So, He must have wanted to sow seed that could only grow in the soil that He made suitable for that seed.

If I knew enough about human nature and you in particular, I could figure out what things would convince you, without forcing you, to believe what I am telling you. God knows everything about us and should know what it would take to convince us that He is real, without removing our free will.

Conclusion: God knows the soil (us) yet He chooses how we are prepared and what seed we will get. If we don't believe it, that is because God chooses that we would not do so.

I thought the whole point of Jesus was that God wants us all to be with Him. Based on the actions of God, I am not sure that was the point after all.

#228 JohnG

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:29 PM

Hi guys/gals.

 

I guess this is a good place to make my first post, if only to give a bit of a background on my opinions on religion for future conversations.

 

My parents weren't devout (my dad had a jewinsh heritage, and my mom was a catholic) but they did believe in a creator. I remember asking my mom at a young age, around 8 or 9 if there was a god and she said " All this had to come from somewhere"

 

I didn't put a lot of thought into it, too busy being a kid I guess. I had been to some church and synagogues. A little later, (maybe about 14) I was fascinated by things I heard that related to magic: esp, dreams as premonitions, and metaphysical ideas.

 

I was crushed to read that many of the people who claimed to have "powers" were hoaxes (people like Uri Gellar, etc...)

 

Then I thought, "but there IS magic, and I know where to find it...so I read the bible (14 years old, I remember specifically). I had also read previous to the bible many greek mythology stories. As I was reading the bible, I really felt that I was reading a cultural history not unlike the greek mythology I had read and I was saddened. I actually fell into a bit of despair about it.

 

I felt the world was nothing more than what we see everyday and all this otherwordly talk was wishfull thinking..."but how could so many people believe it?"  I thought.

 

This may have been the start of my atheism as I was angry at society for telling me that God was a real concept.

 

In my teens I was a bookworm and renewed my sense of being in the world at the wonders of the natural world and history. At one point I read my family's entire set of encyclopedias, and then again for fun.

 

My non-theism was boosted reading about the history of the jews and the impacts on their philosophy by the cultures they came in contact with. The impact of the Sumerians, the Persians, the Greeks, Babylonian exile, etc...also reading about Plato, the Romans, early church fathers...All this put western religion in a context that made sense to me in a logical way. Ancient allegorical philosophy. Reading about natural sciences shed light on living things and how they came to be in a way that I could understand. It just sounded like an honest effort to understand our world to me personally. I get that a lot of people don't feel this way.

 

I guess for me, I know that people are creative storytellers, I love the artistry in cultural stories like those of First Nations peoples, the Jews, the Chinese, and the depth of philosophy in those stories is wonderful. The wisdom of ancient cultures and their understanding of philosophy is formidable.

 

 

However, I've yet to hear a perspective from any religion that I find compelling enough to make me think even "maybe".

 

I have read more excerpts from the Bible and Quran in later years.

 

The closest I got to trying to imagine a god was this: (remember, this is an atheist perspective so bear with me) I tried to imagine a consciousness outside of our universe.

 

My first hurdle was that consciousness is likely an evolved construct aiding planetary life in it's mission to replicate. I think this because I see a mechanism and examples abound here on earth. There could be consciousness on other planets...I don't know but I would be very surprised if there wasn't on some level. We're talking about something different than that though...needing different mechanisms and an enirely different rulebook.

 

So I think, "If the chemicals are available here on our rock in the universe, and the environmental conditions allow it to occur, then maybe a situation unknown to me has allowed a consciousness to arise outside of a planetary environment." 

 

That's as close as I can get (believe me, I have tried) and I still feel I have to make some big leaps.

 

I do believe we know very little about who we are and the nature of the universe, but I also feel that there are good people making honest attempts at uncovering some of the mysteries that we can address.

 

In my opinion, a real scientist never knows any "truth" about anything (history is littered with the bodies of scientists who claim to have the "Truth"), but a good scientist merely elimates certain possibilities to arrive at an idea.

 

Anyone who says they know the truth about evolution is not a scientist. Same with gravity, It is merely piecing together ideas and evidence to make a theory that works until a better one replaces it. That's all that science is, nothing more. Having that perspective puts religion in another tough spot for me, as it contends to contain the truth about our beginnings, our nature, and our future.

 

I'm going to stop there for now...

 

I am here to find out what I'm missing about religious thought. For starters, I'm obviously having trouble with the faith part.

 

Cheers.

 

John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#229 gilbo12345

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 10:28 PM

My first hurdle was that consciousness is likely an evolved construct aiding planetary life in it's mission to replicate.

 

So you think consciousness evolved? I'd ask you for the data and mechanisms on how such a thing evolved, or how do you know that such a thing could evolve?

 

I think this because I see a mechanism and examples abound here on earth. There could be consciousness on other planets...I don't know but I would be very surprised if there wasn't on some level. We're talking about something different than that though...needing different mechanisms and an enirely different rulebook.

 

 

 

In my opinion, a real scientist never knows any "truth" about anything (history is littered with the bodies of scientists who claim to have the "Truth"), but a good scientist merely elimates certain possibilities to arrive at an idea.

 

I am a scientist and I know that I have two arms and one head that is a truth for me.....

 

Anyone who says they know the truth about evolution is not a scientist.

 

So anyone claiming evolution is a fact, (thus is true), is not a scientist? Since this is pretty much all evolutionists ;)

 

Same with gravity,

 

Why put gravity with evolution? Or are you trying to link a hypothesis with a law? (There is no logic in that).

 

It is merely piecing together ideas and evidence to make a theory that works until a better one replaces it.

 

That is not what science is about, science is the endeavor of learning the facts (TRUTH) about the physical world. If you have an idea and it is false you do not hold onto that false idea until something else comes around, that is called blind faith / stubbornness.

 

That's all that science is, nothing more.

 

No its not, science is simply the search for the truth of this physical world, the scientific method is the methodology for such a search

 

Having that perspective puts religion in another tough spot for me, as it contends to contain the truth about our beginnings, our nature, and our future.

 

How?

 

I'm going to stop there for now...

 

I am here to find out what I'm missing about religious thought. For starters, I'm obviously having trouble with the faith part.

 

What are you looking for? We cannot help if we do not know what to help you with.



#230 Salsa

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:48 AM

I am here to find out what I'm missing about religious thought.

 
John, since you have already started out on a journey dismissing religious thought and listing reasons not to believe I am fairly sure that you have already made your choice - not the choice whether or not to believe in God, but the choice whether or not to put your trust in human mental capacity to navigate truth, or putting your trust in someone like your mother, who I expect loves you and who's question you still haven't been able to answer.
 
Someone who has already made that kind of choice usually continues to filter away anything else they consider to be "missing about religious thought", so what exactly do you expect to find here?
 
Let me ask you something else. Why do you assume that anyone on this planet knows more about the existence of God than your mother does?

#231 JohnG

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:09 AM

So you think consciousness evolved? I'd ask you for the data and mechanisms on how such a thing evolved, or how do you know that such a thing could evolve?


 

 
 
Keep in mind I have a non-theistic perspective on things, so when I consider things like how we came to our present state, creation stories aren't considered, therefore I look to other ideas. My view of Christian ideology is that they are a product of the Israelite philosophy that reflects their philosophy and politics of a specific time in history. I appreciate that for what it is.


 

 

>I am a scientist and I know that I have two arms and one head that is a truth for me.....


 

I am no philosopher, but I consider Truth to be more of an absolute, un changing concept or idea: past, present and future.
 

So anyone claiming evolution is a fact, (thus is true), is not a scientist? Since this is pretty much all evolutionists wink.png
 


I agree that many evolutionist state it as a fact, however, I would say that it is more accurate that they treat as if it were a fact as it has a predictive power.
 

Why put gravity with evolution? Or are you trying to link a hypothesis with a law? (There is no logic in that).


 

 For the reason I stated above.
 

That is not what science is about, science is the endeavor of learning the facts (TRUTH) about the physical world. If you have an idea and it is false you do not hold onto that false idea until something else comes around, that is called blind faith / stubbornness.


 
Again, I differentiate Truth, and fact, if not merely for semantic reasons. Truth has a more philosophical reference, and a fact is more an observance of a current or past physical state. "My pencil is sharp" - that type of thing. I would hesitate to call that a truth because in 5 minutes it will be dull from writing.
 

No its not, science is simply the search for the truth of this physical world, the scientific method is the methodology for such a search


 
In my opinion, philosophers look for Truth, scientists assemble facts ( the ball falls to the ground) and puts together a theory (gravity)


 
 

 

What are you looking for? We cannot help if we do not know what to help you with.

 

I do have some questions, some of them in regards to Absolute Truth. As I stated, I am no philosopher and I want to expand my knowledge in this area. I always get the impression that philosophy is trying to boils things down into its simplest forms ( reductionism)

What are some examples of Absolute Truth to a Christian? I tend to see the universe in an always changing, dynamic state.



#232 JohnG

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:29 AM

 
John, since you have already started out on a journey dismissing religious thought and listing reasons not to believe I am fairly sure that you have already made your choice - not the choice whether or not to believe in God, but the choice whether or not to put your trust in human mental capacity to navigate truth, or putting your trust in someone like your mother, who I expect loves you and who's question you still haven't been able to answer.
 
Someone who has already made that kind of choice usually continues to filter away anything else they consider to be "missing about religious thought", so what exactly do you expect to find here?
 
Let me ask you something else. Why do you assume that anyone on this planet knows more about the existence of God than your mother does?

 

I wouldn't say I am dismissing religious  thought, I am quite intrigued by it actually. With all due respect respect to my mother, I never did consider her to be the pinnacle of knowledge in regards to the existence of mankind, neither would she have done that. We are all human and our ideas are products of our culture and not bulletproof. 



#233 JohnG

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:47 AM

Heres another question. In terms of Abrahamic religions, what are the core differences between Jewish belief, Islamic belief and Christian belief in reference to God Himself?

 

Do you see it as varying interpretations of the same message (due to culture)? or is it more polarized than that?



#234 Salsa

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:49 AM

I wouldn't say I am dismissing religious  thought, I am quite intrigued by it actually. With all due respect respect to my mother, I never did consider her to be the pinnacle of knowledge in regards to the existence of mankind, neither would she have done that. We are all human and our ideas are products of our culture and not bulletproof. 

 

That doesn't answer my question. I didn't ask you whether or no you thought that human ideas were bulletproof. I asked you why you assume that anyone other than your mother has more knowledge about the existence of God. You seem to think that someone having such knowledge would have to be considered a "pinnacle of knowledge", but by that you disqualify God's own ability to impart knowledge about himself to those who are not a pinnacle of knowledge.



#235 Salsa

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:00 AM

Heres another question. In terms of Abrahamic religions, what are the core differences between Jewish belief, Islamic belief and Christian belief in reference to God Himself?

 

Do you see it as varying interpretations of the same message (due to culture)? or is it more polarized than that?

 

The difference between these religions is actually somewhat related to what I was hinting at in my previous post. The Jewish and Islamic religions are primarily based on human effort, but according to Jesus things such as righteousness and knowledge about God is not something anyone can work for - it must be revealed:

 

Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. (Matt 11:5)



#236 JohnG

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:15 AM

The difference between these religions is actually somewhat related to what I was hinting at in my previous post. The Jewish and Islamic religions are primarily based on human effort, but according to Jesus things such as righteousness and knowledge about God is not something anyone can work for - it must be revealed:

 

Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. (Matt 11:5)

Thanks for that. It answers my question.

 

In response to your above post, that gives me insight into your beliefs as well. If I understand correctly, only followers of Jesus' words know true knowledge? (As it is imparted by God Himself?)



#237 Dig4gold

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:48 PM

Hi John, some good questions. L'Shana Tovah!

 

What are some examples of Absolute Truth to a Christian? I tend to see the universe in an always changing, dynamic state.

 

Many people have asked that very question in one form or another, i.e., "What is truth." My answer is always the same, truth is not a "what" but a "who". Yeshua, God's only begotten Son, said, "I am the Truth. He was either lying, a lunatic or He is the Truth. That is for you to decide.

 

About the universe changing, that proves that it is not immutable which means contingency which ultimately means that it is not eternal. The importance of that is the fact that it had to be created.

 

Anything, even the universe, that has a beginning has to have a cause that made it. Ok, let me head some people off at the start, "Who created God?"

 

Remember that I said everything that has a beginning must have a cause, however, God is eternal and has no beginning and therefore needs no cause. So the answer is that no one created God. He needed no creator since He has always existed. Consider the following example adapted from the late R. C. Sproll, May his name be remembered

 

 

Choose an object, any object. OK, you picked a pen (for this purpose).

If this pen can be said to exist then one of the following must be true:

 

1) It created itself

2) It always existed (eternal, no beginning, no end)

3) It came into being by an eternal being (or force)

 

As I understand it those are the only choices for being.

 

We can rule out created itself, that is a contradiction that is plain to see. If there is Nothing to create then Nothing will be created.

 

Is it eternal? It could run out of ink and thereby change i.e. it is not immutable which means contingency. Besides I don't think the pen is the Supreme Being.

 

Did it come into existence through something that has the power of existence within itself, something that has the power of being in itself? I think this is the only logical explanation to this excellent question.

 

Chance is a word - That is all it is. It has no power because it is not a being, it is not an entity. Chance is no thing, let me say it again, chance is nothing.

 

To dispute the fact that something eternal and self existent is responsible for everything requires a flight into irrationality. There is a transcendent (by that I do not mean geography but ontology [nature]) being. He alone has the power of self existence He is the highest order of being and the supreme point of highness is to have ones being in and of oneself.

 

He transcends everything else in the universe ontalogically, His nature is transcendent because He and He alone has necessary being, He and He alone is self existent. In the beginning God created...

 

 

 

In terms of Abrahamic religions, what are the core differences between Jewish belief, Islamic belief and Christian belief in reference to God Himself?

 

That is a great question. I would say that the most obvious difference is that God is viewed as a loving Father in Judaism and Christianity. In Islam allah is viewed as vindictive, alone and a lyer. In fact one of his great names is "The Great Deciever".

 

Judaism and Christianity both have the concept of grace through sacrifice where God is seen as a loving Father watching over His children and not wanting to discipline them but doing so for their own good - exactly like a good father would.

 

Judaism and Christianity understand that God is not alone. He is seen during creation week as saying, "Let us make man in our image". In fact His Name "Elohim" suggests there are facets to His existence that we do not fully understand. I am not suggesting that there is more than one God by any means but that God can have an existence that we cannot understand.

 

Hope that helps.

 

 

 

 



#238 Salsa

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:08 PM

Thanks for that. It answers my question.

 

In response to your above post, that gives me insight into your beliefs as well. If I understand correctly, only followers of Jesus' words know true knowledge? (As it is imparted by God Himself?)

 

According to Jesus "the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber."

 

This is because truth belongs to God. You have the choice of either going to him directly to get the truth, or finding "some other way". When you "climb" you are exerting yourself in an effort to bypass the gate, which is a comparatively effortless enterprise.

 

This is what evolution and naturalism is all about - throwing off the fetters of believing in God, and tediously looking for alternative explanations to the "all this had to come from somewhere" kind of questions.



#239 Dig4gold

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 08:31 PM

One other major difference between the above mentioned religions is that the Scriptures of Judaism and Christianity (Messianic Jews and Gentiles) have historical, genealogical and archeological evidence that support that they are founded in truth. The evidence is overwhelming!

#240 JohnG

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 01:49 AM

Shana Tovah to you as well brother! Lets hope for a peaceful year for all.

 

Thanks to all for answering my questions (maybe I should be starting new threads?)

 

There is certainly a large chasm between the perspective of a non theistic world view and a theistic one. I think maybe one of my objectives is to a put few fears to rest for my own piece of mind. I don't really want to get into serious debates about which view is correct,

 

One of my concerns with Absolute Truth is that implies no room for new knowledge and takes away our resposibility to make a decision based on our own individual instincts, right or wrong. We are all aware that despite anyones view, people can make some bad choices.

 

It's possible that the events of 9/11 fuelled a lot of anti religious sentiment around the globe, as religion was viewed as the motivation for the event - I strongly disagree myself, I contend it was political. Same could be said about Bush's response in his "Axis Of Evil" speech.

 

The point is, we all have to live together and ultimately, we are all responsible.

 

Using that event as an example, would we not be better off we put religion aside and looked at the politcal factors and addressed it as such? Would we not have a better understanding of each other, as opposed to drawing lines in the sand (on a metaphysical level)?

 

Stating that only one group of people are privy to the Truth, does that not alienate people, and even de-humanize them in such a way as to justify war?






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