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Ben Masada

And the Sun Stood Still

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Throughout the Bible we have references to the fall of kingdoms and political powers reported as the fall of the stars from heaven and other instances of catastrophical disasters in the heavens above. Then the author chose to embelish Joshua's strategy of the five kings in the cave of Makkedah to metaphorize the inertia of the sun and moon in the sky. If it were possible the use of a time machine to go back in time to that event, I am sure Joshua would refer that success to his strategy and not to a literal interpretation that the sun indeed stood still. And I am sure you agree with me, but it is almost equally catastrophic to watch one's illusions washed through under the bridge, especailly after many years that one has been fed on them. This happens more often with old people. You know, habit is too hard to break.

Ben

Okay I'll bite...

Please provide me with one or two examples (it shouldn't be a problem since as you state there are many examples throughout the bible) of references to the fall of kingdoms and political powers reported as the fall of the stars from heaven and other instances of catastrophical disasters in the heavens above.

Joshua 10 is out as an example, since it is the central theme of our discussion.

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Posted (edited)

I enjoy reading Ben's thoughts on the biblical metaphors, his posts reflect that he has put thought into his perspective, I think he adds a lot to the discussion and it is my impression that he is framing his opinion as just that. You are not suggesting that your perspective is the only one possible are you?

No I'm just helping Ben out as his adversary in the discussion at hand. He needs to see the weakness of his points as well.

Point 1. The text does not read as metophor but as historical fact. (Irrespective of if one believes in it or not). This is demonstrated by the wording of the text, as I pointed out to him, and the content used in the narrative, there is no indication of poetic licence or of metaphorical content. The only thing backing up his position is the incredible nature of the events related. If one does not believe said events happened, then the only road left is to cry "metaphor".

Point 2. The nature of the events do not conflict with what we know of the natural physical laws of the universe, if one applies the hypothesis that superior capacity or technology is applied beyond our present knowledge. (and we ain't talking about magic)

Point 3. The reference to the sun and moon standing still in the heavens in Joshua 10 is actually a quote from another book, one that has since been lost. We do not know in what context the reference was used in that book, was it poetic or a narrative of the event by a 3rd party, we simply do not know.

Point 4. Just to be a little pesky I will add the following:

1. 2,400 BC - The canons of the Chinese emperor say, 'In the lifetime of Yao, the sun did not set for ten full days and the entire land was flooded (by an immense wave), that reached the sky'. http://www.ancient-w...k/astronomy.htm

2. Babylonians recorded an account of a day twice the normal length.

3. Seneca, Roman writer, wrote about the sun reversing its course and blotting out the night.

4.Herodotus, Greek historian, was shown by Egyptian priests an ancient manuscript that told a story about a day that was twice as long as the normal.

5. Egyptian heiroglyphics translated by Fernand Combette read, ” The sun, thrown into confusion, remained low on the horizon and by not rising, had spread terror among the great doctors.”

In the western part of the world, instead of a long day, ancient civilizations recorded account of a long night.

1. Quiche Mayas of Guatemala: “… they remained standing and great was the anxiety in their hearts and stomachs as they wait for the coming of the dawn and the day.”

2. Aztecs of Mexico recorded that both the sun and the moon stood still after sunrise.

3. American Indian tribe Omahas mentioned, ” the sun being caught in the rabbits top and was released before dawn”

Edited by Jor-el

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No I'm just helping Ben out as his adversary in the discussion at hand. He needs to see the weakness of his points as well.

Point 1. The text does not read as metophor but as historical fact. (Irrespective of if one believes in it or not). This is demonstrated by the wording of the text, as I pointed out to him, and the content used in the narrative, there is no indication of poetic licence or of metaphorical content. The only thing backing up his position is the incredible nature of the events related. If one does not believe said events happened, then the only road left is to cry "metaphor".

Point 2. The nature of the events do not conflict with what we know of the natural physical laws of the universe, if one applies the hypothesis that superior capacity or technology is applied beyond our present knowledge. (and we ain't talking about magic)

Point 3. The reference to the sun and moon standing still in the heavens in Joshua 10 is actually a quote from another book, one that has since been lost. We do not know in what context the reference was used in that book, was it poetic or a narrative of the event by a 3rd party, we simply do not know.

Point 4. Just to be a little pesky I will add the following:

1. 2,400 BC - The canons of the Chinese emperor say, 'In the lifetime of Yao, the sun did not set for ten full days and the entire land was flooded (by an immense wave), that reached the sky'. http://www.ancient-w...k/astronomy.htm

2. Babylonians recorded an account of a day twice the normal length.

3. Seneca, Roman writer, wrote about the sun reversing its course and blotting out the night.

4.Herodotus, Greek historian, was shown by Egyptian priests an ancient manuscript that told a story about a day that was twice as long as the normal.

5. Egyptian heiroglyphics translated by Fernand Combette read, ” The sun, thrown into confusion, remained low on the horizon and by not rising, had spread terror among the great doctors.”

In the western part of the world, instead of a long day, ancient civilizations recorded account of a long night.

1. Quiche Mayas of Guatemala: “… they remained standing and great was the anxiety in their hearts and stomachs as they wait for the coming of the dawn and the day.”

2. Aztecs of Mexico recorded that both the sun and the moon stood still after sunrise.

3. American Indian tribe Omahas mentioned, ” the sun being caught in the rabbits top and was released before dawn”

So to make sure I understand you Jor el, you think this actually happened, that the events related in Joshua 10 are historical fact?

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The criticism of miracles based on the difficulties about them our modern knowledge creates are useful. After all, if the text says, "Such and such happened," then we cannot sidestep this by saying God made it appear to happen, or God did something else that had that effect. We have to stick with the sun stood still in the sky, etc.

Only if the text does not allow a metaphoric interpretation. For example, Creation in Genesis 1-2 bears resemblance to Hebraic poetry, therefore we can use a poetic understanding. The sun standing still in Joshua 10 does not have a poetic style but is written as fact. Therefore, whether we believe miracles are possible or not (I do believe they can and do happen) the author intended it to be read as an actual historical event.

Still, if you are talking about a being that can do anything, then maybe we should just forget all this and just accept it as a miracle and relax.

Except there is a more general problem with miracles. If God created it all in the first place, why does He have to do special things to interfere with the working of His creation? Its as though what he made is not quite functioning and he has to make adjustments here and there.

In Genesis 12:1-3, God promises to look after the Israelites. He would bless those who bless Abraham (and his descendants) and would curse those who cursed Abraham (and his descendants). If God then just sat back and allowed things to pan out naturally, how could God uphold his side of the covenant?

This is also a problem I have with certain kinds of prayer -- those where we ask God for something. It may not be selfish -- say we are praying for world peace. What are you really doing here? You are asking God to interfere. You are in effect asking God to replace what He wants with what you want. No wonder these prayers so often end with a sort-of apology "Above all Your will be done." Such prayers are a bit much -- please do what I want but if You don't want to then please don't.

Prayer is not just about asking for things. In a nutshell, prayer is simply talking to God. We can talk to him about anything and everything. Those who treat God as a glorified "genie in a bottle", only talking to him when they want something, well, they remind me of Users - think about it, if someone you knew only ever talked to you when they wanted to borrow money, how long would it take before you realised they didn't really care about you, but about what you were willing to give them?

But with that said, some prayers do include asking for things, and you are absolutely right - we're asking God to interfere. But not necessarily. Let's say I ask God for $300 to buy something. Perhaps I may walk down the street and a freak gust of wind blows a discarded betting slip that just so happens to have an unclaimed $300 win. But perhaps not. Perhaps if I cancelled a pay-tv subscription ($80-per month) and downgraded my internet service (from $40 to $20-per month). Then I put the $100-per month aside and in three months I have the money I asked for. I don't have pay-tv, so it's a purely hypothetical example, but it gets my point across.

I see nothing wrong with asking God to intercede on our behalf. At worst, it helps us to organise our thoughts. Let's say I pray to God to help me get a job interview, I won't get any interviews unless I go out and give me resume to various work places. So praying to God leads me to canvas the area with my resume.

~ Regards, PA

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So to make sure I understand you Jor el, you think this actually happened, that the events related in Joshua 10 are historical fact?

Pesonally I think that the events related in joshua 10 are based on the eyewitness accounts of something extraordinary that happened. The people who wrote the text did not have any special knowledge of the world, they related things as they interpreted them, even if they got the actual facts wrong.

When I started getting involved in this debate I mentioned to Ben that the whole thing could be explained through a comet that happened to break up in the earths atmosphere. In this case the language used in the text is not an accurate description of events, but rather a confused account that was embellished.

On the other hand, the whole thing can also be explained with a miracle in which all God had to do was manipulate the time flow on the earth without needeing to do anything else. In effect we could say that he created a bubble of time around the planet that allowed us to experience 24 hous in the space of a few minutes of universal time.

Either way, I say, that yes, something did happen, we simply can't chalk it up to metaphor.

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A message is inaccurate according to preconceived notions. What helps some could not be the same help for others. Those who enjoy a world of illusions prefer to stay with the myth that the sun and the moon did remain still for a whole day. Those who enjoy the exercise of reason are glad that now they can see how detrimental was to live with the shadows within the cave.

Ben

Hard to argue with Plato.

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I posted this months ago! Nobody even considered it. No one had any explanation for "a missing day during the historic record." Glad to see you brought it back Ben. :tu:

Always thought references like this were interesting:

Discussion of the Missing Day in Earth's History(The Day the Sun Stood Still)

It is reported by historians that records of the Chinese during the reign of Emperor Yeo, who lived at the same time as Joshua, report "a long day." Also, Heroditus, a Greek historian, wrote that an account of "a long day" appears in records of Egyptian priests. Others cite records of Mexicans of the sun standing still for an entire day in a year denoted as "Seven Rabits," which is the same year in which Joshua defeated the Philistines and conquered Palestine. ("Bible-Science Newsletter," DAILY READING MAGAZINE - Supplement, Vol. VIII - No. 5, May 1978, Caldwell, Idaho.) Additionally, the historical lore of the Aztecs, Peruvians, and Babylonians speak of a "day of twice natural length."

In 1970, a story appeared in "The Evening World," a newpaper in Spencer, Indiana, about a consultant to the space program named Harold Hill (deceased) citing that he was told a computer program had found a "missing day." Though the computer program story could never be validated, interesting speculations and studies ensued about what astronomical mechanism might result in the "Earth standing still" for 24 hours.

One person suggested a large asteroid, perhaps 480 miles in diameter, may have struck Earth's mantle slowing Earth's rotation to a standstill by causing the hard mantle and molten core to separate for 24 hours as a bicycle's speed brake might slowly bring the wheels to a halt with the inter spokes continuing to rotate. After 24 hours, the friction between the stationary mantle and rotating core would accelerate the mantle to rotate once more.

The mechanism and collision would have to be somewhat viscous so that both the deceleration and acceleration was so gradual as to go unnoticed by Earth's inhabitants. The theory cites Professor Totten as writing that Newton described a way Earth's rotation could abruptly be slowed without its inhabitants noticing the slowing. A close encounter with the asteroid Hermes (500,000 miles) by Earth in 1937 is given as an example of the likelihood that such a collision might have occurred in Joshua's time.

The existance of a depressed (sink ) region of great size between Hawaii and the Philippines featuring long fracture lines at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean which extend outward to the continents is offered as the remains of the asteroid causing the loss of a day in the Earth's history. ("How To Live Like a King's Kid," Harold Hill with Irene Harrell, Bridge Publishing, Inc., South Plainfield, New Jersey, 1974, p. 74.)

I googled the missing day, and found a lot of sites that basically said the claims made about Harold Hill are false, i.e. Snopes. there's also a lot of stuff about the biblical account, as well. I suppose a person should read the information then decide on the degree of accuracy.

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Very cool ben thanks for posting and i do believe the sun stood still..

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Okay I'll bite...

Please provide me with one or two examples (it shouldn't be a problem since as you state there are many examples throughout the bible) of references to the fall of kingdoms and political powers reported as the fall of the stars from heaven and other instances of catastrophical disasters in the heavens above.

Joshua 10 is out as an example, since it is the central theme of our discussion.

I have posted another one of the kind as a thread so that others can enjoy at the same time: It is under the title "The Back Steps in he Sundial of Ahaz." And another one is about the column of cloud by day and the column of fire by night to guide the Israelites through the desert for 40 years. But this one after another week so that time be given to the first one to get some replies.

Ben

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Hard to argue with Plato.

Not too hard. He was simply letting us know that the majority of us are happy with the shadows and have no need or interest to understand what causes the reflexion.

Ben

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Posted (edited)

I have posted another one of the kind as a thread so that others can enjoy at the same time: It is under the title "The Back Steps in he Sundial of Ahaz." And another one is about the column of cloud by day and the column of fire by night to guide the Israelites through the desert for 40 years. But this one after another week so that time be given to the first one to get some replies.

Ben

Hmmm Ben, sorry to be a stickler but I just read the examples you provided in the other thread and also in regards to the columns of cloud and fire.... where are the stars, sun and moon in all of that?

The examples were specifically about those as far I can determine by the context.

Throughout the Bible we have references to the fall of kingdoms and political powers reported as the fall of the stars from heaven and other instances of catastrophical disasters in the heavens above.

Those were your exact words... that is the entire basis of your metaphorical viewpoint, so a little substantiation would be in order, don't you think? Neither of your given examples fall in to either of the categories you provided in your quote.

Edited by Jor-el

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Very cool ben thanks for posting and i do believe the sun stood still..

Of course! It is much more convenient and exciting that way. What's life without illusions? For some, not worthy living.

Ben

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Of course! It is much more convenient and exciting that way. What's life without illusions? For some, not worthy living.

Ben

It is not all convenient, if we pay attention to the text, we cannot in all fairness play the metaphor card here, that would be oh so easy and convenient.

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Posted (edited)

It is not all convenient, if we pay attention to the text, we cannot in all fairness play the metaphor card here, that would be oh so easy and convenient.

If metaphorical language were that easy and convenient, all the illusions of literal interpretation would be erased from the pages of the Scriptures. But the common theist prefers the illusion of miracles. More exciting that way.

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada

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If metaphorical language were that easy and convenient, all the illusions of literal interpretation would be erased from the pages of the Scriptures. But the common theist prefers the illusion of miracles. More exciting that way.

Ben

That is the God we believe in, not some theoretical being that does not involve itself in its own creation. Why are we believers? Because God is actually there for us and that sometimes includes miracles. You can rationalize it all you want but the truth is that a God that doesn't care for his people is not God at all.

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Jor-el. Your assumptions about time dilation around the earth to slow time is completely incorrect.

That is not the way time dialation works. It's merely a function of the speed of light limit.

I don't see the purpose in comeing up with a way for an omnipotent god to stop the sun. If omnipotence is a trait of god, then obviously he just does it. No need for complicated physics.

The other problem I have with the Jesus story is how Christians constantly proclaim god sacrificed his son or himself in human form, yet Jesus is in heaven. Where is the sacrifice? It seems to me there was nothing lost to be a sacrifice. If Jesus sits in heaven on a throne either as god or with god, he obviously wasn't sacrificed. I dosnt make any sense at all. Blatantly so.

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Posted (edited)

That is the God we believe in, not some theoretical being that does not involve itself in its own creation. Why are we believers? Because God is actually there for us and that sometimes includes miracles. You can rationalize it all you want but the truth is that a God that doesn't care for his people is not God at all.

Jor el let me ask you this,

If I got out of the way so my kids could live their lives(age appropriate) would this not be unconditional love at its greatest? I think it would be. It means I respect them as adults, it means I respect and know what they are capable of and in this I am not involved because I don't need to be, it doesn't mean I don't love them, it doesn't mean I don't care, It doesn't mean I won't spend time with them, it doesn't mean I won't offer the occasional 'momma miracle' of money(the kind one doesn't have to pay back, or help they can always count on--if/when asked.) It just means I embrace and honor their independence and get out of the way.

Edited by Sherapy

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The other problem I have with the Jesus story is how Christians constantly proclaim god sacrificed his son or himself in human form, yet Jesus is in heaven. Where is the sacrifice? It seems to me there was nothing lost to be a sacrifice. If Jesus sits in heaven on a throne either as god or with god, he obviously wasn't sacrificed. I dosnt make any sense at all. Blatantly so.

My thoughts exactly, well put! A common refrain from Christians is that Jesus was fully human and fully divine simultaneously, when I think that in every way that matters that is a plain contradiction. If Jesus was human, his story is one of many tragic ones, where a mostly peaceful person who largely preached compassion and empathy stood up for what he believed in and his principles and was put to a very violent death, his mortal life was given up and nothing can restore it, it's poignant and sad. If Jesus was divine, and if we're going to accept his miracle-working he must have been, then it just becomes a game and I'm utterly unmoved by the supposed 'sacrifice' and non-death of the supreme being, especially when it's couched within a, to me, bizarre scenario where he is dying(?) to save all of us from, well, himself and his judgment. A sacrifice requires something to be lost, and Jesus/God didn't give anything up as far as I can tell. Yes, he had to endure a painful death presuming he didn't 'cheat', but sorry, I have a few million mortals who suffered equally painful deaths who are in line for sympathy and consideration before we get to the immortals.

Ha, and all I'm doing here is just proving how accurate the Bible actually is: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

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Jor-el. Your assumptions about time dilation around the earth to slow time is completely incorrect.

That is not the way time dialation works. It's merely a function of the speed of light limit.

I don't see the purpose in comeing up with a way for an omnipotent god to stop the sun. If omnipotence is a trait of god, then obviously he just does it. No need for complicated physics.

Time dilation is a fancy term used in physics, and that is the understanding that you are taking, but it also means differentiated time in its simplest understanding. Time does not flow equally everywhere in the universe, contrary to public opinion, time is not a constant.

Be that as it may, the theory exists (and it does not contradict modern physics) that one can manipulate the flow of time in a specific location and in so doing speed it up or slow it down. This in turn does not necessarily affect the speed of light or any other measurement one cares to make. In essence what you have done is create a bubble of time that is not in sync with the rest of the universe.

As someone with more knowldge than myself has explained, just like water in a river rushes or slows depending on the size of the channel, time flows at different rates in different places. In other words, time is relative.

http://science.howst...time-travel.htm

(I would draw your attention especially to page two of the article, personally I think it is very well explained.)

The other problem I have with the Jesus story is how Christians constantly proclaim god sacrificed his son or himself in human form, yet Jesus is in heaven. Where is the sacrifice? It seems to me there was nothing lost to be a sacrifice. If Jesus sits in heaven on a throne either as god or with god, he obviously wasn't sacrificed. I dosnt make any sense at all. Blatantly so.

A little story if you will...

Imagine one day you die and are taken to heaven, you are saved and God invites you to live with him in his heavenly kingdom. Then God comes to you and asks you for a favour, an eternal favour. He shows you a multitude of world in the universe, and in particular he shows you a specific planet.

On this planet, exists a being, somewhat like a shaggy dog, it is evidentely intelligent, it has built a civilization and it is even discovering its planet in ships built by this race of "shaggy dogs".

God says to you, I am showing you another of my creations, just like humanity, whom I created for myself and my glory, I have also created these "Hezgobins" but they have lost their way, they have turned from me and forgotten their creator. My favour, if you are willing, is to go down there and show thewm the path back to me, back to my word. Will you do this for me?

You look at these beings, they are reaaly different from you, in fact they are extremely ugly, they may look a little like shaggy dogs, but they are so different from anything you have seen that you cannot find beauty in them, but God has asked you for a favour, a sacrifice if you will.

You notice that this race of beings is very violent, they make it a way of life, they kill each other indiscriminately. They destroy what they cannot take, they live by the law of "might makes right". Yet you know God needs and wants you to go down there and bring them back to him.

So you say yes... You'll do it, just like Jesus did it for you...

Now here is the thing, says God, when I change you into one of them, you will be born among them, you will grow up among them and in the end, if you are faithful, they will return to me, but for this to happen, they must change their nature, for that to happen they have to learn a new path, a better path, but they will hate for it, they will hurt, you, they will torture you and eventually kill you for this. Are you sure that you still want to go?

You think carefully and with smile you say yes. If Jesus did it for me, I will do it for them.

Then God turns to you and says, there is one last thing.

You will never be human again, you will forever retain the shape of these beings, you will rise and be granted glory in my name, but you will forever be one of them...

Are you still willing to go?

You say, Jesus didn't sacrifice anything, but he did, more than you can ever appreciate or consider.

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Jor el let me ask you this,

If I got out of the way so my kids could live their lives(age appropriate) would this not be unconditional love at its greatest? I think it would be. It means I respect them as adults, it means I respect and know what they are capable of and in this I am not involved because I don't need to be, it doesn't mean I don't love them, it doesn't mean I don't care, It doesn't mean I won't spend time with them, it doesn't mean I won't offer the occasional 'momma miracle' of money(the kind one doesn't have to pay back, or help they can always count on--if/when asked.) It just means I embrace and honor their independence and get out of the way.

And if possible you will always be there for them when they need you.

Now imagine a mommy who never got involved, didn't care either way whether her children lived or died, Didn't provide for them and never game them a "momma miracle" of any kind. Would you still consider her to be a mother to you?

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Posted (edited)

And if possible you will always be there for them when they need you.

Now imagine a mommy who never got involved, didn't care either way whether her children lived or died, Didn't provide for them and never game them a "momma miracle" of any kind. Would you still consider her to be a mother to you?

Ironically, I had a mother as this, she just could not be the mother that I needed at that point in my early development. Even though she couldn't fulfill the things you outlined she did impart other things. So yes, I still think of her as my mother.

To be clear, I do not think of her as my mother just because she gave me life either, I think of her as my mother because in spite of everything we have found a way to work past our circumstances. She has been willing to do her part. No, she is not the traditional great mother of the year, but she has earned(over time) my respect and love for what she has accomplished in spite of her flaws.

Edited by Sherapy

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Scientists don't understand scriptures. Believers don't understand them well enough. Joshua's "extra day" didn't come from this planet or any other celestial body stopping its rotation. It came from extremely high technology (higher even than alien technology) creating a large multi-dimensional mirror. The mirror deflected the sun's rays around Joshua's battle area to maintain the apparent position of the sun in the sky for the prescribed time.

The Islamic prophecy that one day in the future the sun will rise in the west will be accomplished in the same manner. As Arthur Clarke noted, "all sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." It is time for the human race, especially believers, to give up all forms of magical thinking and realize that the higher the 'god' the higher the technology is involved in its miracles and marvels.

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Ironically, I had a mother as this, she just could not be the mother that I needed at that point in my early development. Even though she couldn't fulfill the things you outlined she did impart other things. So yes, I still think of her as my mother.

To be clear, I do not think of her as my mother just because she gave me life either, I think of her as my mother because in spite of everything we have found a way to work past our circumstances. She has been willing to do her part. No, she is not the traditional great mother of the year, but she has earned(over time) my respect and love for what she has accomplished in spite of her flaws.

Well, my sentiment, not ever having a mothger like that would be that if she wasn't a mother then she certainly isn't a mother now.

To me, I view God in much the same way, a God that is merely an abstraction, that does not involve himself in the lives of his children is not a God I would care to worship. In the same vein, a God that does do all these things is a God I would and do worship. This God is not an abstaction, this God does care for his children and this God in some very anusual ways goes out of his way to provide what many call miracles. The sun standing still (or the perception of this event), is one such event, dividing the Red Sea is another and the creation of this universe yet another, but I would deem the greatest miracle to be that such a being cares for us and loves us.

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Posted (edited)

Well, my sentiment, not ever having a mothger like that would be that if she wasn't a mother then she certainly isn't a mother now.

To me, I view God in much the same way, a God that is merely an abstraction, that does not involve himself in the lives of his children is not a God I would care to worship. In the same vein, a God that does do all these things is a God I would and do worship. This God is not an abstaction, this God does care for his children and this God in some very anusual ways goes out of his way to provide what many call miracles. The sun standing still (or the perception of this event), is one such event, dividing the Red Sea is another and the creation of this universe yet another, but I would deem the greatest miracle to be that such a being cares for us and loves us.

So for you, the way you believe in g-d( or a mother) gives credence to the idea; in other words, according to you, g-d fits a certain bias, basically meaning it is in this way you avoid g-d being an abstraction. Is my understanding correct?

Staying with the mother analogy I think g-d (or a mother) can be experienced in more then one way-- it really seems to be dependent on how one frames their understanding-- and what they believe or do not believe to begin with.

I am not more correct then you on the way I see a mother figure, any more then Ben is in error for interpreting biblical text as a metaphor.

Both your approach and Ben's approach are valid.

They present different ways to look at something.

Edited by Sherapy

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So for you, the way you believe in g-d( or a mother) gives credence to the idea; in other words, according to you, g-d fits a certain bias, basically meaning it is in this way you avoid g-d being an abstraction. Is my understanding correct?

No it doesn't give it credence, it just demonstrates my attitude toward such a concept, be it of a mother or a God.

It is one of those rules we learn early in life, just because you like a girl, doesn't mean she likes you back, just because you think a friend is someone to be trusted, doesn't actually mean that that person is trustworthy. So what makes them have validity?

Experience. We learn to give love where it is recieved and we learn to trust where it is justified. It is an exercise in futility loving illusions, they can't love you back. Loving an abstract God that has no interaction with humanity is an exercise in futility.

Staying with the mother analogy I think g-d (or a mother) can be experienced in more then one way-- it really seems to be dependent on how one frames their understanding-- and what they believe or do not believe to begin with.

No it is more a matter of reacting to stimulus. I may continue to love an uncaring mother, but my reaction to her will ultimately be a reflection of her actions toward me. In the same way I could continue to love an uncaring God, but again it would be a reaction of what I recieve from him. Feeling and attitude is mirrored in the response. Rejection breeds rejection, love breeds love, hate breeds hate.

God himself understands this in humanity and purposefully strove to alter our reactions based on others actions, by giving love in the face of hate, by giving care in the face of indifference, but it is always his initial action that leads the way. An uncaring God would not elicit anything but an uncaring people.

I am not more correct then you on the way I see a mother figure, any more then Ben is in error for interpreting biblical text as a metaphor.

Both your approach and Ben's approach are valid.

They present different ways to look at something.

I would disagree on one basic and fundamental principle, one can read whatever one wants into a text.... if you disregard the rules of textual analysis. It isn't that metaphores and metaphorical language don't exist within the bible, it is found in many places, but this simply isn't one of those places. If it were I wouldn't fight his interpretation of said text, I would just consider it one of a number of different possible views.

Aside from this, if he is completely satisfied he is in the right, then he should be able to make a good case for his view, I haven't seen anything yet that changes my mind in this regard.

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