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Henbane
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18 Apr 2011, 6:09 pm

I wonder if those who believe or have believed in God, of whatever religion, could identify what particular attributes of God they most relate to or value.

For example do you primarily relate to God's Justice or Mercy, Wisdom or Love, Vengefulness, Power, Grace, Truth, Joyfulness, Nearness, etc

Do you think people of different religions emphasise different characteristics?

I wonder as well if you believe in God, but do not believe He is involved or interested in our lives.

I ask, because for most of my life I have struggled with God's merciful nature, and the suffering in the world, not just of people, but of animals too. I know this is an age old problem, that has been much discussed by philosophers and theologians. But I still cannot reconcile the two.

Maybe I am looking at it the wrong way. Maybe His mercy is just an attribute I am overly attached to, and I should concentrate instead on another attribute.

I realise I am inviting atheists to just call me stupid, but I'd appreciate it if you didn't. Ta.



MCalavera
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18 Apr 2011, 6:14 pm

If it helps any, I'm a deist. I do not believe that God is loving or merciful, but I do believe he is not the bully that religious people make him out to be. He just doesn't interfere in any way.



Henbane
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18 Apr 2011, 7:19 pm

MCalavera wrote:
If it helps any, I'm a deist. I do not believe that God is loving or merciful, but I do believe he is not the bully that religious people make him out to be. He just doesn't interfere in any way.


So as a deist you believe that God is the first cause of the universe? Do you believe that He caused life, caused humanity to exist? Or is life just an event that happened randomly? Is God even aware of our existence?



MCalavera
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18 Apr 2011, 7:45 pm

To me, God triggered the ultimate existence of the universe and let it do the rest. Life and humanity both resulted from sets of random events that led to their existence. That's all I can say.

And, yes, if God exists, then he is definitely aware of our existence.



Kraichgauer
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19 Apr 2011, 2:02 pm

Hoping that I don't sound corny here, but God was virtually unknowable prior to Christ's arrival. He was too big, too distant for us humans to completely grasp him. It was only when we had an otherwise unknowable God take on a human face and nature that we were able to confront God face to face, and know that he isn't the fearsome deity of the Old Testament, but is the God who loves his children and suffers with them.
Again, I apologize for being corny and sappy.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



auntblabby
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20 Apr 2011, 5:44 am

god is an absentee landlord, while gaia and satan run things down here on earth, in a good cop/bad cop arrangement. just my 2-cents' worth, not adjusted for inflation. :)



cdfox7
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20 Apr 2011, 6:18 am

auntblabby wrote:
god is an absentee landlord, while gaia and satan run things down here on earth, in a good cop/bad cop arrangement. just my 2-cents' worth, not adjusted for inflation. :)


Who knows he might be serving an eviction notice soon :wink:



auntblabby
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20 Apr 2011, 6:21 am

cdfox7 wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
god is an absentee landlord, while gaia and satan run things down here on earth, in a good cop/bad cop arrangement. just my 2-cents' worth, not adjusted for inflation. :)


Who knows he might be serving an eviction notice soon :wink:


well, i'd rather move uptown anyways. 8)



ruveyn
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20 Apr 2011, 6:50 am

The Epicurians got it right:

Epicurus' view was that there were gods, but that they were neither willing nor able to prevent evil. This was not because they were malevolent, but because they lived in a perfect state of ataraxia, a state everyone should strive to emulate; it is not the gods who are upset by evils, but people.[2] Epicurus conceived the gods as blissful and immortal yet material beings made of atoms inhabiting the metakosmia: empty spaces between worlds in the vastness of infinite space. In spite of his recognition of the gods, the practical effect of this materialistic explanation of the gods' existence and their complete non-intervention in human affairs renders his philosophy akin in divine effects to the attitude of Deism.

--From the Wikipedia article on Epicurus


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ruveyn
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20 Apr 2011, 6:50 am

Epicurus got it right:

Epicurus' view was that there were gods, but that they were neither willing nor able to prevent evil. This was not because they were malevolent, but because they lived in a perfect state of ataraxia, a state everyone should strive to emulate; it is not the gods who are upset by evils, but people.[2] Epicurus conceived the gods as blissful and immortal yet material beings made of atoms inhabiting the metakosmia: empty spaces between worlds in the vastness of infinite space. In spite of his recognition of the gods, the practical effect of this materialistic explanation of the gods' existence and their complete non-intervention in human affairs renders his philosophy akin in divine effects to the attitude of Deism.


The Epicureans believed in the existence of the gods, but believed that the gods were made of atoms just like everything else. It was thought that the gods were too far away from the earth to have any interest in what man was doing; so it did not do any good to pray or to sacrifice to them. The gods, they believed, did not create the universe, nor did they inflict punishment or bestow blessings on anyone, but they were supremely happy; this was the goal to strive for during one’s own human life.
"Live unknown was one of [key] maxims. This was completely at odds with all previous ideas of seeking fame and glory, or even wanting something so apparently decent as honor."[8]
Epicureanism rejects immortality and mysticism; it believes in the soul, but suggests that the soul is as mortal as the body. Epicurus rejected any possibility of an afterlife, while still contending that one need not fear death: "Death is nothing to us; for that which is dissolved, is without sensation, and that which lacks sensation is nothing to us

--From the Wikipedia article on Epicurus


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