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thinkinginpictures
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17 Sep 2014, 6:02 am

Set aside the usual science vs. God, I want to discuss the theological implications about the concept of God.

From a theological view, a benevolent all-powerful God makes no sense. There is far too much evilness in this world for a benevolent God to exist.

Job's book in the Bible clearly states this as an issue, and
while it does deal with the issue, Job did not get any answers, besides "God works in mysterious ways". Which I find a pity, stupid and moronic argument, that is not worth anything for discussion.

Instead we are forced to, from a theological point of view, to conclude that if there is a God, he is either evil, OR, there exists two gods:

1. God, who is weak.
2. Satan, who is strong.

From a theological point of view, the only thing that makes sense, is to conclude that Satan made the world
and God is weak and has nothing to say at all, in this god-forsaken world.

Furthermore, if we conclude that Satan made the world, and that Satan is always amongst us, instead of a benevolent deity ("God"), religion actually begins to make a rational sense from
the Darwinian point of view:

If you believe in a benevolent deity, you are more likely to do stupid things, because "God will protect me" or "God will reward me in the afterlife".

If you believe in an evil, devil-like figure who rules the world, you are more likely to attribute other people's actions as a negative thing, causing you to be more awake,
aware and protect yourself. That actually makes sense, from a perspective of survival, strength or at least to avoid too much damage to your own life.



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17 Sep 2014, 6:34 am

I'll step into apologist mode here, as an ex-Christian. But I'll have to speak in general terms because of the mixed authorship, each coming from different agendas.

The general notion is that evil (or more precisely corruption) came into the world because of the fall. Eden was totally without corruption, evil, or anything bad. Man had a good relationship with the animals and all of creation was vegetarian. No disease, no deformities, no death. Original sin is why we were cast out of that paradise, why we die, why we eat animals, why men kill men, why there is disease, why we toil, and why we were cut off from God.

Then God decided to let those of faith back into his house, after death, but not before. On one hand, he wouldn't interfere in this corrupt world, but on the other hand, he would help 'His' people, if it served 'His' purpose. Sometimes we can know his purpose, other times not. Each time he saves or doesn't is supposed to teach a moral lesson, or something about God's nature (in the Bible at least, even if it rarely does so in real life). When God saved Abraham from sacrificing his son, it was a lesson about faith in God providing. When God let the devil do bad things to Job, it was a lesson about faith, even in terrible adversity. When God tells the Israelites to go murder that tribe over the hill, it was a lesson about what happens to people who reject God.

Accordingly, we still live in a corrupt world and anything bad that happens is a result of the original corruption of the fall. Ecclesiastes is a good one for the faithful. It basically says that there is nothing of any value in this world, except that God exists. The writer talks about how we go in circles with the things we do and give value to, only to learn that we've been going in circles and that nothing is of value.

Now.... I'll resist the urge to step into ex-Christian mode, even if that's where I live now.


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17 Sep 2014, 9:22 am

Human beings instinctually are tribal social animals. The Abrahamic God in traditional Muslim and Christian religions is mirrored in this human centric point of view.

Fortunately some humans have come along and presented an alternate idea that there is a force that can be described as GOD that is the interdependent relationship of nature aka ALL IT IS.

Socrates, Jesus, Spinoza, and Einstein are philosophers of this caliber. But no, not the early Roman Emperor Constantine with early Roman Catholic Cohort ways of making Jesus a GOD himself instead of just a man who found GOD in himself; yes inside, outside, as above so below.

And yes, with the later findings of Einstein and science, science now also shows an interdependent relationship of all things in Nature as far as the eye can see, and the aided eye of science can see too; from the electrons orbiting nucleus in all things that exist materialistically at the core of nature to the photon that acts as both particle and wave as part of the whole field of what is, also known as the interdependent relationship of all of nature there is.

The real Yeshua dude aka Jesus, whether an actual person or not, has words that ring true with this, as reported in the Gospel of Thomas. Jesus was just a classical pantheist leaning Yogi like dude, not unlike Socrates too, really, who paid the ultimate price for going against the tribal reason of separation rather than seeing one big interdependent relationship of all it is.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/thomas.htm

The GOD I know that I've known even before I could speak as a child, at age 3, is the same GOD that is reported in the Gospel of Thomas, by Spinoza, and yes, by Einstein too. I am part of GOD and yes science backs up, my three-year-old premise too.

And of course Jesus spoke in parables, yes metaphors, as if you cannot imagine, there is no way, he could literally speak these truths to literally thinking folks at that time, with their tribal ways, and avoid a death by the hand of others any later than he did, not unlike Socrates as well.

And to hate one's mother and father and brothers and sisters in a literal tribal thinking society, is obviously a metaphor to go against tradition of narrow ways of thinking.

I need no language to understand GOD and for a man who might wander the desert for 40 days, he would also need no language to understand GOD.

I walked literally thousands of miles alone on desolate pristine beaches when I was young. It was always refreshing to be with the GOD that is all of nature there, away from literally thinking folks in fundamentalist tribalistic religious ways.

I find more of GOD in a Seagull spiraling the sun, than in any text that attempts to put a silly little human being above anything else in nature.

Yes, it is instinct and a tribal way that is also part of GOD of nature, but it is only one tiny speck of what all of nature is interdependently working as ONE GOD all together, yes as ONE.

I melt away all of the lies of tribalistic traditions when I lose language in a TAI CHI way of moving in 'perfect' spiraling human balance. I and the Seagull and GOD become one spiraling around the SUN both in life and at nuclear core of all of our electrons orbiting our inner Suns. Yes, so above as below, inside and outside, WE ARE ONE FORCE OF GOD ACTING TOGETHER, YES AS ONE.

The illusion is we are separate, and alone.

It's a very sad illusion too that leads to much suffering among many humans left as metaphorically blind through the illusory forces of tribal cultures and yes, separatist religions too.

Yes, that's only my opinion, but science proves my GOD TRUE NOW WITHOUT A DOUBT, and finally backs up the words of Jesus aka Yeshua, as metaphorically reported in the Gospel of Thomas, in parables, true too.


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simon_says
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17 Sep 2014, 4:37 pm

There is no one answer to suffering in the bible. There are multiple answers from different authors including (to paraphrase), "don't question my ways". Part of the trick of religion is convincing people that it answers more than it does. And it works.



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18 Sep 2014, 4:40 am

If God doesn't make sense, how is that surprising considering a great many wise people have thought about life in general and concluded that it doesn't make sense? As Mark Twain said- "Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense".

Basically, anyone who is a theist doesn't really "know" that the moral calculus all works out- they just have a hope that somehow God will balance the scales despite all the problems we see in life. Whether that is good or bad will depend entirely on your values. People are not just intellects, they also have emotions and embodied needs, and that's the sort of thing that religions have to deal with, not just whether their beliefs "make sense".

Theists making stupid decisions based on the afterlife? That's a bit silly. Most people are not that consistent in their thinking and behavior. As I said, nobody knows really what happens after they die. They may have faith in an afterlife, but that's not he same as certainty, and the majority of believers know this. So peoples motivations are rarely so simple.



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18 Sep 2014, 10:28 am

^^

Yes, even with a common group of monotheists, there are as many potential 'GODs' as there are sets of eyes.

The most amazing thing about life in general, is how it varies from eye to eye. There is a GOD for everyone and no GOD for everyone too, perhaps.

But again, as Mark Twain says, Truth is stranger than fiction.

I focus on now; and that's enough for me, and the GOD I know now, 'who' journeys with me on 'A' journey too.


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azaam
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18 Sep 2014, 6:44 pm

thinkinginpictures wrote:
Set aside the usual science vs. God, I want to discuss the theological implications about the concept of God.

From a theological view, a benevolent all-powerful God makes no sense. There is far too much evilness in this world for a benevolent God to exist.

Job's book in the Bible clearly states this as an issue, and
while it does deal with the issue, Job did not get any answers, besides "God works in mysterious ways". Which I find a pity, stupid and moronic argument, that is not worth anything for discussion.

Instead we are forced to, from a theological point of view, to conclude that if there is a God, he is either evil, OR, there exists two gods:

1. God, who is weak.
2. Satan, who is strong.

From a theological point of view, the only thing that makes sense, is to conclude that Satan made the world
and God is weak and has nothing to say at all, in this god-forsaken world.

Furthermore, if we conclude that Satan made the world, and that Satan is always amongst us, instead of a benevolent deity ("God"), religion actually begins to make a rational sense from
the Darwinian point of view:

If you believe in a benevolent deity, you are more likely to do stupid things, because "God will protect me" or "God will reward me in the afterlife".

If you believe in an evil, devil-like figure who rules the world, you are more likely to attribute other people's actions as a negative thing, causing you to be more awake,
aware and protect yourself. That actually makes sense, from a perspective of survival, strength or at least to avoid too much damage to your own life.


Satan promised Allah to wait for them in the straight path of Islam and He is succeeding for some people. But realize that you humans make your choice and Allah won't force you believe. In the end, you only made the promise true.

That doesn't God weak. Remember it us who committ evil and make this world a hell to live in because of our choices. Not God.

Satan and Adam both disobeyed God. Satan blamed it on God while Adam blamed on himself so he seeked the repentance. So don't be like satan and blame everything on God.

It is our fault that there is so much evil. We make our choices.


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azaam
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18 Sep 2014, 6:47 pm

In the end, Satan will be rushed to hell fire.

And Allah is only granting him respite but the kingdom will belong to Allah in then end but that is the day that Allah decides that our term should expire and the result will a complete failure of the human race.

So tell me, how can you say Satan is strong and God is weak.


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18 Sep 2014, 7:46 pm

This is my understanding of how such a concept would work. Hear me out-

Basically, first one has to view "God" as the embodiment or personification of "Love".
If everyone was in heaven from the get go, everything would be good, right? God is good, that is all I know. But that in itself would not be truly knowing the full spectrum, or even what it truly means to be good or (loving, if you orient your mind back to the idea that God is a literal personification of love, Godly things are loving and healthy things) to be evil, (unkindness, sickness)
So if things were left with all is well, nothing else- then we would almost be complete prisoners to the unnawareness of what anything truly means, if there is no comparison.
We would have no strength, if everything is done for us... and we would not "grow" or have any form of wisdom.
My understanding is, that to love... one aspect of love- that cannot be expressed without experiencing hurt: Is to overcome one's own hurt (which is what the crucifixion is supposed to conceptualize) and learn to be kind to others even if we ourselves are hurting. To help others to heal. To decide to be kind even if the other person has done wrong against you.
Basically we are given the chance to do well, because we have learned "why" and not just because that's all we know to do. Basically, we gain such a privilege as to become honorable, to become knowing, rather than just being.
If one experiences evils only temporarily (during life) for the sake of obtaining valuable knowledge... a deep understanding from personal experience- then it becomes something productive, even if unpleasant for a bit.

I acknowledge that not everyone who claims to have certain beliefs acts lovingly and I believe that is where the flaw lies. The flaw not being the belief itself as much as people not understanding what something actually teaches.
I do also believe that the bible is flawed... especially the old testament.
However there are plenty of good things to take from it, even if sometimes people take it too literally or like it's some kind of instruction manual.



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18 Sep 2014, 9:51 pm

VioletRaine wrote:
So if things were left with all is well, nothing else- then we would almost be complete prisoners to the unnawareness of what anything truly means, if there is no comparison.
We would have no strength, if everything is done for us... and we would not "grow" or have any form of wisdom.
My understanding is, that to love... one aspect of love- that cannot be expressed without experiencing hurt: Is to overcome one's own hurt (which is what the crucifixion is supposed to conceptualize) and learn to be kind to others even if we ourselves are hurting. To help others to heal. To decide to be kind even if the other person has done wrong against you.


This only makes sense if you already believe that God is both benevolent and all powerful.

The only reason we really need to "grow" is in order to become stronger in mind and body so we can overcome adversity. Assuming an all powerful, kind God could erase adversity, we would have no reason to do that.

And why would we need to appreciate a state of bliss, unless this god is also so egocentric he needs our constant thanks?

Really, it comes down to free will. Humans have free will, we're constantly infringing on each-other's free will. In these religions it's important to have a benevolent, omniscient (although, not so much all powerful as all seeing) god in order to encourage believers to live together peacefully.



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18 Sep 2014, 10:45 pm

azaam wrote:
Satan promised Allah to wait for them in the straight path of Islam and He is succeeding for some people. But realize that you humans make your choice and Allah won't force you believe. In the end, you only made the promise true.

That doesn't God weak. Remember it us who committ evil and make this world a hell to live in because of our choices. Not God.

Satan and Adam both disobeyed God. Satan blamed it on God while Adam blamed on himself so he seeked the repentance. So don't be like satan and blame everything on God.

It is our fault that there is so much evil. We make our choices.

See, now here is a person who cannot discuss any view but one. I remember what that was like, and I'm glad to be free of it. A closed mind is an evil in itself.


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20 Sep 2014, 10:58 am

thinkinginpictures wrote:
There is far too much evilness in this world for a benevolent God to exist.


How are you defining "evil" in this question?



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20 Sep 2014, 1:55 pm

A very good question to ask. And also how to define "benevolent," as well. Is "benevolence" defined by what God means by benevolence, or is it defined by how WE understand benevolence?

A benevolent God can't both be benevolent AND deny the will of the human to choose between a God-made world and a human-made one. Human beings weren't made that way, nor was it God's will to deny us that choice. If you take a close look at the fall of man in Genesis, God does not explicitly say eating from the tree would be evil. He simply outlined what would happen if they did. If they resisted temptation or called on God's help to remove the serpent and/or the tree, they would have been proved faithful and the story would have ended there. Man's actions in Eden sought to improve on what God had already made perfect, inherently introducing a flaw into perfection from which flows disease, famine, and death. Knowing good from evil is not evil in and of itself, and Adam and Eve already knew this since they already knew good from evil (they were incapable of doing evil even if they weren't expressly aware of it). The evil part was deciding that they could be better than God. THAT was where we went wrong.

What most people seem to miss is death is actually a benevolent act. If man makes earth into a flawed existence, it is unlivable. To live forever would mean being eternally afflicted with disease, cancer, decay, hunger/thirst, etc?in other words, you might as well be dead or in Gehenna (often translated "Hell" in older English-language Bibles). Death separates the spirit from physical existence in order to reunite the two in a perfected, glorified form. Why would a benevolent God allow such a thing as death? Because He's benevolent.