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Monkyburd

What? Proof of Creationism You Say?

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chico del nacho

I would think that one is able to distinguish between someone being dead (as Jesus was) and someone being alive (which he was after three days in the grave).

just so you know, there's a very fair chance that jesus never ressurected. the bible never actually uses that word, they use risen. he is risen, ya know? they knew the word ressurected, but they didn't use it here. i highly doubt that was done with dramatic purposes. also, all the books that mention his death and what happened after are very inconsistent. up to that point, they tell the same basic thing, except when he dies, it all becomes foggy.

in terms of extraordinary events, as well as the order the books were written, it goes like this:

paul - 0

mark - 1 (he saw one angel)

matthew - 4 (there was an earthquake, the rolling stone, dead bodies crawling from graves in jerusalem, and an angel)

luke - 5 (2 angels [they're multiplying! scared.gif ], a sudden materilaization of jesus, a sudden dematerialization of jesus, and then a bodily ascension)

peter - 6 (rolling stone, 2 angels, an extravanganza of light, a talking cross, and a bodily ascension)

john - 5 (2 angels, sudden materialization, jesus goes fishing, and many years later, an ascension)

you'd think that they'd be able to keep their stories straight when it came to something this important.

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trublvr

First of all, what word for resurrection are you talking about? The greek word "anastasis" is what they used to signify resurrection. If you've got another greek word that is really means resurrection as opposed to one that doesn't I'd like to know what it is. Aside from this, the greeks did not have a concept for what happened to Jesus: Namely that God would not only bring the body back from the dead, but bring it back to a new existence that is not subject to death or sin. So truly, there is no one word that would have signified this for Greeks. However, the New Testament writers used the closest word they had to communicate the Jewish concept of resurrection. If you look at all the New Testament descriptions of resurrection what you find is that they were consistent with the Jewish understanding of that concept. They overcame the language problems with their very Jewish descriptions of the phenomenon.

As far as the gospel accounts of the resurrection are concerned, there are distinctions in the resurrection accounts, but not contradictions. If one person only records one angel while one records two, so what? The only way there would be a contradiction is if the person who records one angel said, "There was absolutely, positively only one angel." And just b/c one person records something that another doesn't about the same event, that in no way shows the falsehood of one or the other. So if Matthew doesn't record Jesus and the disciples eating fish on the seashore and John and Luke do, it doesn' t mean that Matthew is wrong or that he's trying to diss John and Luke. Just means he didn't write it down. In fact, in courts of law, when different people observing the same events come up with the exact same details down to the letter, they are usually branded as being false. Why? Because humans observing the same events usual have nuances in what they make note of that are very specific to them. I don't know why eating fish with the disciples was more important to to write down for Luke and John than it was for Mark and Matthew, but it is not in itself indicative of contradiction.

What material from Paul are you considering? Though Paul had a miraculous experience with Jesus in the early 30's AD, he wasn't on the scene during the time of Jesus. As far as the Gospel of Peter reference goes, that's got to be off the table because that has been demonstrated by Christian and non-Christian scholarship to be a false (i.e., not by Peter) document produced in the mid-second century at the earliest. Outside of a few ultra-radical critics, that is not used by Christian or non-Christian New Testament scholars for much of anything. The same can be said for any kind of "Gospel" of Paul or Paul and Thelca.

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chico del nacho

*ahem*

First of all, what word for resurrection are you talking about?

the earliest written account of the ressurection (in Paul I Corinthians 15:3-8)

" for i delivered unto you first of all that whish i also received, how that

christ died for our sins

in accordance with the scriptures,

and was buried(etaphe).

and he was raised (egeiro) on the third day

in accordance with the scriptures

and he appeared (opthe) to Cephas (peter)

and then to the twelve.

afterward, he appeared to more than 500 brethren,

most of whom are still alive,

though some have fallen asleep.

afterward, he appeared to james,

and then to all the missionaries (apostles).

last of all, as to one untimely born,

he appeared to me also."

etaphe means simply "put in a grave." he would've been put in a simple dirt grave since the romans considered him a criminal, definitely not a tomb. though he could've been dug up and moved, despite how disrespectful to the dead that'd be.

the word raised is egeiro, meaning to wake up. you're right about the word ressurection being anastasis/anistemi, which paul knew. yet he didn't use. egeiro is used in the new testament to mean, simply, to wake up. "now it is time to awaken (egeiro) of out sleep" was not written to corpses. "awake (egeiro) thou that sleepest, and arise (anistemi) from the dead, and christ shall give thee light" was also written to breathing people, so even if paul did mean a ressurection, he didn't mean anything physical.

what i think happened is a story got passed around and then, as now, the story got exagerated and warped. nobody's perfect.

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PsychicPenguin

As far as the gospel accounts of the resurrection are concerned, there are distinctions in the resurrection accounts, but not contradictions. If one person only records one angel while one records two, so what? The only way there would be a contradiction is if the person who records one angel said, "There was absolutely, positively only one angel."

So Mark thought that the fact that there were two angels present was not important at all? If you saw two angels aren't you going to report that you saw two angels instead of one? This is the quote from Mark

And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

And Matthew said that the angel came down from heaven instead of waiting inside.

The angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

John said there were two angels, and also pay attention to their location. Mark reported that the young man (the angel?) sit on the right side.

And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain

So what happened??? Well.. the original gospel of Mark does not even have the resurrection account. It was added later. whistling2.gif

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saucy

Jesus wasn't buried in a typical grave. A rich man bought the body, wrapped it in a cloth and stuck him in a catacomb. That fulfilled the prophecy that he was buried among the rich because the poor didn't really have graves. Their bodies were either burned and were tossed into a trench (a mass grave). Also, a two-ton stone was placed in front of the catacomb and about fifteen Roman soldiers guarded it. What do you think would happen to them if they let Jesus out of their sight? Probably death. Anyway, three days later, an angel came down from heaven and rolled back the stone. There were a few women standing around who saw this. At the time, a woman was thought of as important, a little more than a slave, but three women looked into the grave and there was nothing but the cloth. The Roman soldiers passed out from the sight of the angel. Jesus then appeared to the women, no scars or welts on his body from the beating he took (if you saw the Passion, you know what I'm talking about!) His skin was in perfect shape except for the holes in his hands and feet. There was no blood. Jesus stayed on earth for forty days. The diciples wrote about themselves that they were hiding and afraid because they thought they were next to die. Would you write that about yourself? Even Paul was making fun of people who worshipped Jesus until he was walking down a road and Jesus appeared to him and Paul changed his whole beliefs. The diciples were just as big skeptics as anyone of you but after they saw Jesus on that third day, they traveled the world preaching the word without fear. They were all killed horribly for it as well.

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trublvr

etaphe means simply "put in a grave." he would've been put in a simple dirt grave since the romans considered him a criminal, definitely not a tomb. though he could've been dug up and moved, despite how disrespectful to the dead that'd be.

So the argument is that b/c Paul said "put in a grave" as opposed to "put in a tomb", that Jesus was not laid in a tomb? You are calling for too fine of a nuance here. And the Romans didn't pay for his burial; Joseph of Arimathaea asked for his body, and it was given to him. True, the Romans would've buried him the ground, but apparently it was no big deal for them to give the body of criminal to Joseph.

the word raised is egeiro, meaning to wake up. you're right about the word ressurection being anastasis/anistemi, which paul knew. yet he didn't use. egeiro is used in the new testament to mean, simply, to wake up. "now it is time to awaken (egeiro) of out sleep" was not written to corpses. "awake (egeiro) thou that sleepest, and arise (anistemi) from the dead, and christ shall give thee light" was also written to breathing people, so even if paul did mean a ressurection, he didn't mean anything physical.

Once again, just b/c Paul didn't use anastasis/anistemi here, but instead used egeiro, that means that he meant to signify that Jesus wasn't raised from the dead? Actually, usage of "sleep" to refer to death was known in Jewish circles, especially for the righteous dead, b/c in Jewish thought the righteous dead "went to sleep with their fathers." Why can't sleep have two uses here? You're acting as if Paul must use the word anastasis every single time he refers to resurrection, and if he doesn't, then we cannot believe he means resurrection!

Also, have you looked at the rest of 1 Corinthians 15? Paul is most assuredly refuting a gnostic doctrine that said that Jesus wasn't bodily resurrected (as he did in other letters of his!). Also, many of the New Testament writers used different idioms and words to express Jesus' resurrection. We can't just decide that one word or phrase is the total encapsulation of the concept of resurrection to the exclusion of all others! Especially when the gospel writers surrounded those words with descriptions that were in accordance with the Jewish concept of resurrection. We also have to keep in mind that if we use your criterion, then even anastasis would have to be excluded b/c the Graeco-Roman after-life schemes had no concept of what Jews meant by resurrection.

what i think happened is a story got passed around and then, as now, the story got exagerated and warped. nobody's perfect.

These folks were a lot better than we are at transmitting things orally. I'm not arguing for perfection in the transmission of the gospel message, but the gap in between when the events transpired and when they first began to write this stuff down is so small that an oral culture such as the Jewish one could've easily perserved this material very well. Addtionally, these people all ended up being martyred for their message. Unless they had really experienced the resurrected Jesus, why die not only for something that's not true, but for something you know to be untrue--something you invented?

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chico del nacho

ohmy.gif i am terribly impressed. well argued.

why die not only for something that's not true, but for something you know to be untrue--something you invented?

simply hypothetically, let's say that they DID die for a lie. i'm not saying that's what happened or that's what i belive, i'm just being hypothetical. anyway, if they did know all this stuff that they thought would be inspirational and what they thought was good and right and a great way to live, i'd say they died for some pretty good reasons, lie or not.

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trublvr

Chico del Nacho,

First of all, good talking with you about the resurrection stuff. Talking about that makes me think a lot about what I believe as opposed to just mouthing off. Thanks for your time.

simply hypothetically, let's say that they DID die for a lie. i'm not saying that's what happened or that's what i belive, i'm just being hypothetical. anyway, if they did know all this stuff that they thought would be inspirational and what they thought was good and right and a great way to live, i'd say they died for some pretty good reasons, lie or not.

Yeah, you're right. Even if you take out the supernatural component the morality of Jesus would be a thing worth dying for. Good point. However, if they did lie about Jesus' resurrection--hypothetically speaking--folks might have a problem with their morality. Perhaps a moral message that doesn't bother with the supernatural elements at all could work in this scenario.

Edited by trublvr

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bathory

Unless they had really experienced the resurrected Jesus, why die not only for something that's not true, but for something you know to be untrue--something you invented?

why do suicide bombers kill themselves? why is it that matyrs have appeared all over the world for many religions?

what i wanna know is, how is this all relevant to creationism?

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debipatnaik
God desires to deliver us from such corporate and individual selfishness so that we may love others by taking care of them.

Irrelevant; God is supposed to be all knowing; therefore he knows every choice we have ever, or are ever, going to make. He also created the elements in our personalities and nature that lead us to make the choices that we do. If God exists, then he already knew people in the third world were going to be starving to death before he even made the earth, and he knew he must have deliberately set out to design humans to conduct themselves in such a fashion.

This is a testimony to the fact that God gives people ample time to wake up and realize that destroying themselves and one another sucks

Again, God should already have known what they were doing to do, and indeed that the world would fall into such chaos, before he even created it; what right does he have to get angry and murder people over something that he not only knew was going to happen, but designed the very circumstances that led to it?

He is supposed to know ,I agree with you.But why do you blame him for the sins commited by we humans. He has given you the intelligence to discern. Many of the suffering of the third world is attributed to human action only. When the human being designs the chaos and the wars why blame God for that. Now if you are talking about the natural disasters,God made that is,nothing is going to remain permanently you know.Even without that(disasters) you are not immortal. Its all cause and effect. The resons are again in those books and teachings for every one to see.But you will not bye that. As we have already discussed there are many secrets the science has not yet discoverd.

I had already asked the question to you,why you are you and you are unique. You are not the one that is in hunger or deprivation. you are throwing back that question again.Please answer that question from your view point assuming that God does not exist.What is your understanding of the reason for all the inequalities in the world.

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trublvr

why do suicide bombers kill themselves? why is it that matyrs have appeared all over the world for many religions?

My point is not that Christianity has produced the only martyrs. Outside of death for the sake of some higher cause, the correllation between Christian martyrdom and terrorist bombers is more than a bit sticky (understatement of the year). What I was pointing out is that no one dies for something they knowing and willfully fabricated.

what i wanna know is, how is this all relevant to creationism?

I think that when we talk about creationism, there are a few things to consider. See, for some creationists, this issue is not merely one about how things got here and how everything got started. Now for some other creationists (like deists, for example), it doesn't matter who the god is that created everything; the fact that there is some kind of Creator out there is quite enough. For others, especially those of semitic monotheistic backgrounds (like Muslims, Jews, and Christians), creation is also an expression of who God is. The very reality of creation says something, discloses something about God, human purpose, and the relationship between God, humans, and the world.

Another thing is the issue of science. Many think that we are threatened by science or that we only care about it if it supports what we believe. True, there are some folks for whom this is true, but neither of these assumptions is automatically valid concerning Christian creationists. We do have a mixed approach where we evaluate the scientific enterprise through the lens of our faith in God, while also evaluating things like biblical history and epistemology through the lens of science. This is where things get sticky, especially for how non-Christians view our relationship to science. From the times of Sir Francis Bacon, the West has operated under the impression that there's the realm of facts and the realm of values. In Bacon's estimation, science was concerned with pure empiricism, only dealing with facts, entirely devoid of those pesky values that cloud sound reason and judgment. The Enlightenment only furthered this notion, and we've carried it right on into the 20th and now 21st centuries.

Though this is seldom spoken, one big issue is this: Christian creationists believe that values are intrinsic to the scientific enterprise, and in reality values are employed all of the time. Non-theistic evolutionists, on the other hand, promote their scientific exploits as being undergirded by valueless evaluation of available evidence and the interpretation of said evidence. If Christians talk in term of values, they are accused of being non-scientific (sometimes this is true). When non-theistic evolutionists talk of cold, hard facts, Christians try to appeal to values. The problem is obvious.

Because, for Christians and other theists, the created world says something about 1) who the Creator is (this god as opposed to that god) and 2) what the purpose of humankind is (these behaviors as opposed to those behaviors, for example), we find it impossible to speak of the world outside the realm of values, even we're speaking scientifically. We posit that many non-theistic evolutionists actually blend their pre-existing values with their scientific analyses as well, but said evolutionists at times bristle at this suggestion.

There's other stuff happening beneath the surface of our discussions about geologic strata, fossils, and Australopithacus, but know that beneath a lot of our scientific jargon lurk deep-seated opinions on religion/spirituality, our rage over experiences we've had with religious nuts, our rage over experiences we've had with hostile, anti-theistic atheists, and plain confusion that masquerades behind scientific sound-bites that we have no context for. That's why we end up talking about suicide bombers, the resurrection of Jesus, the nature of proof and evidence, and seeing eye dog faith vs. retina-scorching science.

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debipatnaik
What I meant to say is saints like jessus and Budha have by their teachings and actions proved that the Supremebeing exists and has also shown paths to reach him.

you mean Ghandi was a supreme being? omg no waonder

He was not Ghandi Bathory.His name is Gandhi. Now I did not take his name.But when you have dragged him I must tell you that he is the fathervof my Nation.I will not write here what I think of him but that hardly matters. I will rather quote what some other eminent personalities in history thought of him.

Robert Thruman-"One of the creative forces countering this wild destructiveness was Mahatma Gandhi, who synthesized the teachings of Buddha, Jesus, Thoreau, and Tolstoy into a political method of nonviolent activism. A visionary clearly too far of this century of violence, he did succeed in finally getting the British to withdraw from their most prized colonial possession, but then was assassinated and could not prevent Indian independence from leading to the violent schism between Hindu and Muslim."

Albert Einstien had said: Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this (Gandhi) ever in flesh and blood, walked upon this earth.

There can not be two supreme beings Bathory. There is only one and those who descend here are only humans and some of them we call saints.dont confuse yourself.

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bathory

He is supposed to know ,I agree with you.But why do you blame him for the sins commited by we humans. He has given you the intelligence to discern. Many of the suffering of the third world is attributed to human action only. When the human being designs the chaos and the wars why blame God for that

we had a nice thread a while back in which for the Christian God to be as he was defined in the bible, free will was non-existant, which means that the Christian God is responsible for everything, good and bad:)

What I was pointing out is that no one dies for something they knowing and willfully fabricated.

do you have any links etc regarding the Disciples and how they died? i've had a look and can't really find much

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Seraphina

I had already asked the question to you,why you are you and you are unique. You are not the one that is in hunger or deprivation. you are throwing back that question again.Please answer that question from your view point assuming that God does not exist.What is your understanding of the reason for all the inequalities in the world.

Oh, I believe that the inequalities of the world are down to human actions, because I don't believe in a supreme being or a designer tongue.gif But, as a follower of God, you have to accept the fact that it's down to him; the fact that it's humans who have walked into our current situation doesn't matter, it's still God that created the elements in our nature that led to them, it's still God, that 'created' the very people who are exploiting the third world and he did so knowing exactly what they were going to do.

If people use drugs, who is more guilty? The drug user, or the drug dealer who made, sold, and encouraged the use of these drugs by the circumstances he forced on people?

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debipatnaik
Oh, I believe that the inequalities of the world are down to human actions, because I don't believe in a supreme being or a designer tongue.gif But, as a follower of God, you have to accept the fact that it's down to him; the fact that it's humans who have walked into our current situation doesn't matter, it's still God that created the elements in our nature that led to them, it's still God, that 'created' the very people who are exploiting the third world and he did so knowing exactly what they were going to do.

If people use drugs, who is more guilty? The drug user, or the drug dealer who made, sold, and encouraged the use of these drugs by the circumstances he forced on people?

since you agree to it that, the enequalities are the result of human action only.. why again drag God back into all this. The inequality between some wretched grug addict and some devote believer of God is again reduced to human action only by your own admission.

Well God crated both the noble and sinster elements in you ,he also created the drugs that save life and that also kills by overdose.Now if you exploit the knowledge, if you mishandle the bounty that he gave you,if you exploit the nature and if you kill human beings by not discerning the good from the bad then what use the power of intelligence,thought,descerning that he gave you. When you do some good you dont give him any credit for that.

If you mean to say he is to blame because he knew beforehand the humankind would degenerate to this degree you are wrong. He never meant that to happen.It is cause and effect again. As you sow so you reap. The actions you do will get you the befitting results. It only creats a vicious circle. It is only by human action directed towards the goodbeing of the mankind in general that the miseries will be removed. No creator suffers the plight of the creation.Even in this human plain.Can you contradict.

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Seraphina

since you agree to it that, the enequalities are the result of human action only.. why again drag God back into all this.

I don't; However, as you believe God to be the grand designer and creator of the universe, you don't have the same luxury. You are forced to accept God, by his very definition, as the creator and director of all things, evil included. You can't simply pick and choose what you think he created because it sounds pretty.

If you think God created trees, birds, and rainbows, then he also created the black plague, smallpox, the desire in some humans to kill each other, the desire in the hearts of those who attacked New York in 9/11, and orchestrated the death of every human that has ever come before us, and every evil act that has ever been commited. Unless you accept that, then you can't claim God to be the ultimate designer you claim him to be.

If you mean to say he is to blame because he knew beforehand the humankind would degenerate to this degree you are wrong.

If I put a voilent pitbull in a cage with a rabbit, knowing full well that the dog will kill the rabbit, then I am guilty of killing the rabbit. God created every single element of our society and personality (according to the design theory), and must have known the affect that each and every trait would have. Why did he give us greed if he knew we were going to use it? Why did he make us hate if he knew we are going to spend so much time doing it? Why did he make us aggressive, confrontational, warlike, selfish? Why are all these emotions part of our being when God knew exactly what effect each and every single one of them was going to have, and knew exactly how much evil they were doing to cause?

The inequality between some wretched grug addict and some devote believer of God is again reduced to human action only by your own admission.

I say again, if humanity is a junkie, then God is the drug lord who pushed the drugs on us to begin with.

No creator suffers the plight of the creation

Does a parent not have the responsibility to not only provide for their children, but teach them how to behave? Not simply give them all the tools they need to survive, and then plunge them into a world where it's survival of the fittest?

God remains the most abusive parents in history.

If a scientist created a lethal biological weapon that could wipe out the population of a continant, and it was used, would he be blameless? Or would he have to face up the fact that he created such a weapon in order for it to be used?

You can tout "free will" all you like...it doesn't change the fact that God designed us, already knowing how his design was going to turn out, and what we were going to do with the abilities he gave us. He made us into pitbulls, and knowingly unleashed us on the rabbit tongue.gif

Edited by Seraphina

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trublvr

do you have any links etc regarding the Disciples and how they died? i've had a look and can't really find much

In response to your question, I looked up some stuff. THe following website is representative of the traditional martyrdom accounts of the apostles: www.angelsink.com/holyheroes6.htm

Let me know what you think.

Edited by trublvr

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saucy

The drug dealer created the drugs and offered it to the man. What the man does next is up to the man. That's the true definition of freewill. The man can refuse the drugs, or take them. It's up to him. The drug dealer isn't going to force them down your throat. But, if you take the drugs, turn around and get hit by a truck, is it the fault of the one who sold you the drugs, the man who took the drugs or the one driving the truck?

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bathory

God the drug dealer is a poor analogy imo

that said, Free Will is an illusion, it can't exist in a Christian account of the universe.

We are predestined to do whatever we do, and God is ultimately responsible for this, the Free Will Clause is an attempt to try and place the blame on us:)

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trublvr

If you think God created trees, birds, and rainbows, then he also created the black plague, smallpox, the desire in some humans to kill each other, the desire in the hearts of those who attacked New York in 9/11, and orchestrated the death of every human that has ever come before us, and every evil act that has ever been commited. Unless you accept that, then you can't claim God to be the ultimate designer you claim him to be.

   This is untrue.  This scheme only works if you fail to take into account the Fall of humankind.  I don't know what you're conceiving of when you say "ultimate designer." If what you mean is that everything that is real is to be automatically attributed to God, then that may be your idea of how some god is, but this has nothing to do with the Christian God.  Evil is real, but it is a perversion of that wh/ is good, and evil--like parasites in nature--has a parasitic relationship to good, while good has no dependence on evil.  Evil is real, but evil is not true or ultimate (it ain't the last word).  Evil is not as substantially real as good b/c of its parasitic nature and b/c it will be vanquished completely one day. 

Free Will is an illusion, it can't exist in a Christian account of the universe.

We are predestined to do whatever we do, and God is ultimately responsible for this, the Free Will Clause is an attempt to try and place the blame on us

Let me see if I can detail the line of reasoning here: God knows everything, so he knew humankind would screw up. B/c of God's knowledge of the screw up humans would enact, we are somehow "predestined" to commit evil. God's foreknowledge of human evil = predestination of said evil, thusly making God complicit in the evil of humans. If I have misrepresented this line of thinking at any point, please inform me.

Lots to unravel here (we obviously ain't the first ones to discuss this). Let me first admit that there are some points at which I don't have all (or most) of the answers here.

1) Does God's foreknowledge of evil = God's complicity in evil, especially when there is an attempt on the part of God to stop it before it happened? God's attempt to stop--for instance--Adam and Eve before the serpent ever enters the picture is very real! He gives them a very clear command concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Judeo-Christian God acts in numerous ways to prevent evil from happening. Many of these attempts are very successful. Many are not, b/c we choose evil. It's easy to view the cup half empty by focusing on all the times when people choose evil and then to lay those at God's feet. But what of all the times evil has been averted b/c of God's actions? This in no way resolves the entire issue. However, it does help us to get rid of the overly-simplistic scenario that claims that God is automatically complicit in evil b/c He foreknew it. Taking into account God's attempts to avert evil, and the successes God has had at averting evil, does help at least to move both Christian and non-Christian beyond caricatures that have little to do with a search for truth.

2) Does God's remedy for evil help us to answer this question? So far in this discussion we have dwelt primarily on God's punitive remedies for sin (punishment in the here and now, eternal punishment hereafter). What of God's redemptive solution to sin? For instance, what about forgiveness as part of God's program against evil? The primary subject in the Judeo-Christian ethic of forgiveness is the evil-doer, with God attempting through various means to reconcile the evil-doer to Himself and to the human community. The ultimate (though not singular) expression of this was God coming down in Jesus Christ to bring about this kind of forgiveness for Jew and Gentile alike. If God were complicit in human evil through His foreknowledge of evil, then why would God put Himself out so radically by giving up His Son not only as a solution for human evil (which is not the subject of forgiveness, by the by), but as a means by which He would reconcile humankind to Himself?

3) God's attempt to get us to choose goodness instead of evil points to the fact that doing good is at least a very real possibility. If we were "predestined" to do evil, then goodness would be a false choice. The question, it seems, is this: Can all possibilities (to commit evil or to do good) be equally valid if God foreknows which one we'll pick? If God knew I would commit evil at any point and time, but yet still attempted to get me to do good, then what does this say of His foreknowledge? Can I surprise God? If so, does that encroach on His sovreignty? For instance, in Genesis 4, God clearly knows that Cain is going to kill Abel. In fact, he tells Cain that he's on the road to evil before he kills Abel. Hypothetically, if Cain had said, "Yeah, I can't stand the little goody-two-shoes, but You're right, God, it ain't right to kill the twerp," are we to believe that God would have said, "Oh no, Cain! You've got to play your part and disobey me, because I foresaw it, and I just can't be wrong!" I don't think so. As difficult as it is to navigate through all this stuff, God does not foresee things and then have people slavishly live them out so that He might be proven right. Whether you believe in the Judeo-Christian God or not, this is not representative of what we see in the Old or New Testament.

Sorry that this is so long, but this issue ain't exactly easy.

Edited by trublvr

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Seraphina

Okay, I'll do my best to deal with each of your points one by one tongue.gif

If what you mean is that everything that is real is to be automatically attributed to God, then that may be your idea of how some god is, but this has nothing to do with the Christian God.

"My idea" of God is irrelevant; I don't believe in him/it/her/whatever to begin with. However, you have touted God as the creator....as all power....as all knowing. By the veiw of the bible, the Christian God created and designed everything. This must, therefore, mean he also created and designed evil, and all thing evil.

He created humans...therefore he must also have created the "evil" tendancies in us. He created the apples that Adam and Eve ate, giving them knowledge of these things, therefore he must also have created the knowledge that the applies imbued.

So, I'll repeat what I said before...if you're going to argue God is the creator, then you must then accept that he created evil. If you're going to pick and choose what you think he created on the basis of whether or not it sounds bright and happy, then you can't claim God is the creator.

It doesn't take much investigation to see God is not a bright and happy person....your own bible quotes him as being the biggest mass murderer in the history of this planet. He is easily angered, hideously ruthless, intolerant of other beliefs, quick to judge, quicker still to kill, and is arguably the worst tyrant makind has ever seen.

Many of the acts he commited on the old testament were evil. Murdering the entire population of the planet in a flood is evil. Murdering every man, woman and child in two cities because they were homosexuals is evil. Turning people into salt for looking over their shoulder is evil. Sending people to burn in fire for all eternity, because they "sinned" is evil.

The case of claiming God had nothing to do with the invention from evil looks more and more flimsy the longer you look at it.

God's attempt to stop--for instance--Adam and Eve before the serpent ever enters the picture is very real! He gives them a very clear command concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

So let me get this straight....he creates a tree, that serves no other purpose than to tempt Adam and Eve (what the hell else was it there for?). He creates a serpent, which is also meant to test them. He puts them in a garden with this tree, unattended and, as he's God, and is all knowing, already knew that they were going to eat from the tree, before any of the above even occured....

....remind me, what did he do to stop them? God's either half hearted, or stupid.

It's easy to view the cup half empty by focusing on all the times when people choose evil and then to lay those at God's feet.

Ah, but you forget that you veiw God as the creator of all things; the grand designer of the universe. Therefore it comes back to the fact that, if all that is true, he created evil to begin with. And even if he did not, he must still have directed the circumstances that led to a person "choosing" evil, knowing as he was doing so that this would be the choice they would make.

Even if it is humans who "choose" to commit evil, God is the one who has unleashed them on the world, led them down that path, and sat and waited for them to commit the evil acts that he already knew they were going to commit.

Taking into account God's attempts to avert evil, and the successes God has had at averting evil

...name one huh.gif I can't seem to remember anything God's done that hasn't involved murdering or punnishing either a person, or a group of people. God is actually so ineffective at stopping evil, that the only way he knows how is by commiting more evil, and waving his badge of divine immunity.

If God were complicit in human evil through His foreknowledge of evil, then why would God put Himself out so radically by giving up His Son not only as a solution for human evil (which is not the subject of forgiveness, by the by), but as a means by which He would reconcile humankind to Himself?

Didn't Jesus shout out that god had "forsaken" him? Even Jesus didn't understand why your god was as twisted as he is. By the testimony of his last words, Jesus didn't willinly "die for us" anyway...did God murder him too?

In any event, what exactly did Jesus' death solve for humanity? Jesus, in fact, predicted a time when all non-conformists would be slaughtered by an agent of his God. I'll never understand how people can claim Jesus "died for our sins"...we're still being held accountable for them, we're still told we're going to go to hell for them; Jesus didn't die to absolve us, he was brutally tortured and executed, end of story.

God does not foresee things and then have people slavishly live them out so that He might be proven right.

Perhaps not, but he still created the thoughts and desires that exist in every human being. He not only created evil, but he created the desire to commit it. If god wanted us to commit nothing but good, why on earth did he create evil in the first place? Why create the tree of knowledge, the only purpose of which was to provide this understanding of evil to Adam and Eve? Why create the serpent, if he already knew it would successfully entice Eve? Why create sin, if you don't want sin to ever be commited?

From the so called evidence presented by your very own scripture, the only real possibilites are that either God isn't the creator, or he is, but is really quite evil huh.gif

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bathory

the problem is that you can't argue Free Will as a cause of evil in regards to the Christian God, the Christian God and Free Will are incompatible, thats a little stuff up the bible makes, for God to be omniscientific, he would have to know our future actions, free will however adds uncertainty to his knowledge of future actions which means he isn't omniscientific, and not all powerfull:)

What this means is that in effect, Humans are more powerful than God because he can't tell our futures (assuming free will does exist)

so really here is your options in regards to who created evil

God, because he is THE creator

Humanity, because God is a fraud

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trublvr

My idea" of God is irrelevant; I don't believe in him/it/her/whatever to begin with.

Seraphina, trust me--anyone who has been in dialogue w/ you concerning issues of God's existence and/or activity is well aware of this. Anytime we discuss God, I always assume that you're only speaking on the hypothetical level. Message received loud and clear (a long time ago).

He created humans...therefore he must also have created the "evil" tendancies in us. He created the apples that Adam and Eve ate, giving them knowledge of these things, therefore he must also have created the knowledge that the applies imbued.

So, I'll repeat what I said before...if you're going to argue God is the creator, then you must then accept that he created evil. If you're going to pick and choose what you think he created on the basis of whether or not it sounds bright and happy, then you can't claim God is the creator.

I don't understand this all or nothing premise you're operating from: The only way in wh/ God is the Creator is if everything real is created by him. If everything real--including evil--is not created by Him, then He's not the Creator. Creator = complicit in evil; Not complicit in evil = not Creator.

There is a possibility of good and evil for humankind. The existence of a possibility is not to be confused with the actuality of good or evil that is performed once one has acted upon either choice. True goodness is not some force that we can point to and say that it looks, smells, or tastes like this or that. Rather goodness, like evil, is a moral framework from wh/ activity flows. Activities that stem from a moral framework can be called "good" or "evil", but without the activities, there is no actual goodness or evil. This is the problem w/ speaking in terms of God creating or not creating good and evil. Neither good nor evil was created in the sense that trees, zebras, and people were. Good and evil are moral frameworks that are distinct possibilities for moral entities. Only when either has been acted upon can we speak of something being "good" or "evil". Though God is described as good in the bible, and though goodness is attributed to His activity in the bible (take the creation in Genesis, for instance), there is no point at wh/ we told, "...And at this time God created the goodness.." Instead, goodness is presupposed as a moral framework from which God operates.

He created humans...therefore he must also have created the "evil" tendancies in us. He created the apples that Adam and Eve ate, giving them knowledge of these things, therefore he must also have created the knowledge that the applies imbued.

Said tendencies were acquired by humankind and clearly not the intention of God. What God intended verses what happened as a result of human rebellion are two different things. Even if you don't believe in the biblical account of things, what is represented in the bible is the view that the way we are is not the way God intended things to be. The the pre-apple-tasting scenario, there are no evil tendencies in us (though I do think that "tendency" is the best word to describe our bent toward evil in a fallen world).

As I've explained in other posts, the whole tree of the knowledge of good and evil scenario is not an issue of knowing vs. non-knowing (ignorance). Instead, no matter what Adam & Eve chose--to eat or not to eat--they were guaranteed to know good and evil. The issue was HOW they were going to know good and evil. In God's scheme, Adam and Eve would know good the way a fish knows what wet is: by so embodying and exemplifying goodness and by being so surrounding by such goodness in creation that they would not even think of it separately from the human experience. They would know evil by staying away from it, remaining naive to it, as per God's command. However, they chose to invert things: Adam & Eve chose to know evil through experience. They chose to know goodness in the way a fish understands wetness once it's in the fisherman's boat--through separation from it.

It doesn't take much investigation to see God is not a bright and happy person....your own bible quotes him as being the biggest mass murderer in the history of this planet. He is easily angered, hideously ruthless, intolerant of other beliefs, quick to judge, quicker still to kill, and is arguably the worst tyrant makind has ever seen.

Many of the acts he commited on the old testament were evil. Murdering the entire population of the planet in a flood is evil. Murdering every man, woman and child in two cities because they were homosexuals is evil. Turning people into salt for looking over their shoulder is evil. Sending people to burn in fire for all eternity, because they "sinned" is evil.

It would be an understatement to say that you and I have some world-view differences that cause us to see the above-mentioned things differently. Most of your invectives against God involve you evaluating Him as you would a human being. If we start out w/ the premise that there are no special prerogatives entailed in being the ruler and creator of the universe and in being the moral compass by which everything is evaluated, then we have no moral basis on wh/ to evaluate God except our own. As you well know, Christians, Jews, and Muslims think the opposite: God entirely "other" from us (though we are made in His image), and He is that by wh/ everything will be judged. Additionally, His absolute moral character and His sovereign status and perspective afford Him rights and prerogatives that are not available to us (such as the taking of life).

Because you have chosen to evaluate God as if he were a human, there is no way in which you can make sense of His flooding of the world in response to human wickedness or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. In fact, if you evaluate God in such a way, any and every act of judgment on humanity would be murderous. Which brings up an interesting point: In your opinion, is there any instance in which the taking of human life by God would be valid? I'd like to know.

Something else is in operation in what you have written, though. You fail to mention WHY God did these things. The flood is not just about God saying, "Hey, learn to swim [a la Maynard James Keenan and the boys from Tool]!" The whole world was in a state of rebellion against God and violation of one another. Hence the flood. And God must have been extraordinarily patient, b/c I would imagine it took a long time for the whole world to get that insane! God's patience is long, but when humans have exhausted it, judgment comes b/c of the need for justice.

As for Sodom and Gomorrah, I wish folks would start at Genesis 18 when God and Abraham are discussing what is going to happen to these cities. Abraham pleads for mercy for cities b/c his nephew Lot and his family are there. God acquiesces. The angels are sent to the city b/c the way in wh/ the folks from these cities treat the angels will determine whether or not they'll be spared. We have no indication that Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed principally b/c of homosexuality. In fact, if you look up other references to Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament, you find that they were destroyed b/c of rampant injustice. I'm not saying that the homosexuality was okay w/ God, but the impression is not that this was the BIG REASON why God wiped them out (Lesson: Don't let weirdo fundamentalists convince you of this!).

I can't seem to remember anything God's done that hasn't involved murdering or punnishing either a person, or a group of people. God is actually so ineffective at stopping evil, that the only way he knows how is by commiting more evil, and waving his badge of divine immunity.

Do you own a bible that only contains all of the times God ever punished someone? From your reading of the biblical text--even though you do not believe it--do you sincerely find that every single act of God has only involved death or punishment? Seraphina, are you merely making a hyperbolic statement? Listen, I engage in many inter-faith dialogues in my community. Frequently, there are disagreements between myself and those of other faiths. However, I do not pick out what I find objectionable about their religions and then reduce their holy texts down to that one aspect. It is simply not fruitful, nor is it in keeping with the content of their holy texts. I true hope that you are being hyperbolic here.

Didn't Jesus shout out that god had "forsaken" him? Even Jesus didn't understand why your god was as twisted as he is. By the testimony of his last words, Jesus didn't willinly "die for us" anyway...did God murder him too?

In any event, what exactly did Jesus' death solve for humanity? Jesus, in fact, predicted a time when all non-conformists would be slaughtered by an agent of his God. I'll never understand how people can claim Jesus "died for our sins"...we're still being held accountable for them, we're still told we're going to go to hell for them; Jesus didn't die to absolve us, he was brutally tortured and executed, end of story.

Wow. Taking on all the sin of the world all at once can kinda make you feel alone and sorrowful. Jesus' statement from the cross can hardly be taken as a pronouncement that His Father is "twisted". He feels cut off from God b/c at that point Jesus had taken up himself the iniquity of the planet. And Jesus did willingly die. If you read the gospels you find that Jesus constantly points to his willingness to do this work. Try looking at Mark 10.35-45, John 3.16-21, and John 10.14-18 (there are more). Jesus never gives the impression that he was forced to do this work.

Faith in Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection are a means of freedom from individual bondage to sin and freedom from the rebellious tendencies that plague our world. To partake of such freedom is a choice on our part. This is what Christ accomplished for humanity. He did die for the sins of the world, but our participation in his death and resurrection is needed for this to take affect in our lives. It is not only an objective reality; it must be subjectively experienced. Going to hell is not merely the result of not picking the religion that God likes more than a bunch of other ones. Hell is the logical (and sad) conclusion of a life that is attached to all that is evil in the world because of an unwillingness to be joined to God, the lover and creator of the universe.

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Seraphina

guh...it's too early in the morning for this....*rubs eyes* Okay...from the top...

I don't understand this all or nothing premise you're operating from: The only way in wh/ God is the Creator is if everything real is created by him. If everything real--including evil--is not created by Him, then He's not the Creator. Creator = complicit in evil; Not complicit in evil = not Creator.

This is a perfectly logical standpoint given the biblical portrayal of the creator. We're not talking about someone who picked up a blob of clay and sculpted the world from it, we're talking about a being that allegedly created the entire universe from nothing. Therefore, as there was nothing before he applied his hand, everything in the universe, be it material or immaterial, good or evil, must have come from him. Unless you're proposing that there's a less known, second creator that nobody knows about, who made all the evil to let God off the hook.

I do understand what you mean by the idea of a morale framework...but I'm not talking about evil as some kind of tangable force, but rather acts of evil that are commited. The desire in human beings to commit these acts...situations that push us towards acting upon these desires....if you propose that God created the universe, and he did so from 'nothing', then all of these had to have created by him.

We could argue this point all day, and truth to tell it's getting rather tedious. I'd agree to disagree if it wasn't quite such an important point that God seeks to condem humans for 'sinning', when 'sin' is God's very own invention.

Even if you don't believe in the biblical account of things, what is represented in the bible is the view that the way we are is not the way God intended things to be.

This is a contradiction. God, as he is portrayed, is all knowing. Therefore he knew every detail of how his expiriment would turn out before he even started it. He could not "intend" for things to turn out any way except how they did. That's like watching a movie twice, and expecting the ending to be different the second time.

If god truly exists, with all the almighty powers he is credited for, then the world is exactly as he knew and intended it to turn out.

If we start out w/ the premise that there are no special prerogatives entailed in being the ruler and creator of the universe and in being the moral compass by which everything is evaluated, then we have no moral basis on wh/ to evaluate God except our own.

Did Hitler have the right to slaughter people in the Holocaust, simply because he was in charge of the country?

Additionally, His absolute moral character and His sovereign status and perspective afford Him rights and prerogatives that are not available to us (such as the taking of life).

How can humans be expected to follow the path of "good", if the very being who lays down the laws he demands we follow is utterly incapable of following them himself? Being in a position of power does not give you the right to brutally slaughter your subjects...mankind grew out of this concept several thousand years ago, is god THAT morally far behind us?

In fact, if you evaluate God in such a way, any and every act of judgment on humanity would be murderous.

I do consider God's so called "judgement" as murderous. There aren't many other ways you can veiw it. If you consider god above reproach, and capable of doing no wrong, no matter what actions he takes, then you are sweeping the actions of a tyranical mass murderer under the carpet.

In your opinion, is there any instance in which the taking of human life by God would be valid?

No. Not if he then demands that we worship him and hail him as a glorious savour, who will deliver us from evil. A being who so willingly commits evil, and brutally punishes those who do the same (for eternity no less), has absolutely no right to my devotion, or my acklowedgement. A being of such hypocracy, incapable of following what it tells us are the most sacred of morale laws, is utterly beneath me.

And God must have been extraordinarily patient, b/c I would imagine it took a long time for the whole world to get that insane! God's patience is long, but when humans have exhausted it, judgment comes b/c of the need for justice.

For a being who has been alive since the beginning of time, humans would have a mayfly like existance. What we consider a "long time", I doubt God would. Indeed, creationists still argue to this day the the seven days of creation were "God's days", which could mean millions upon millions of years. What you call "patience", God would call "two minutes to decide how to kill those sinning vermin".

And "justice"? Where is the "justice" in murdering children? Where is the justice in murdering millions of innocent lives, who even if the world WAS in such chaos, would have had absolutely nothing to do with it? Where is the justice, mercy, and compassion of God's "absolute moral character", as he drows babies in their cribs?

If we are to believe the bible, then even the most hideous attrocities in the history of our species absolutely pale in comparrison to the butchery commited by God...and that's just ONE of his actions.

Do you own a bible that only contains all of the times God ever punished someone?

If memory serves, the stories in the bible where God does not maim, murder, blind, injure, cripple, mortify, petrify, transmutate or murder the family of one individual or another, are very few and far between. The last time I read the bible, I was given the impression of reading about the life and time of history's most brutal psychopath.

Taking on all the sin of the world all at once can kinda make you feel alone and sorrowful. Jesus' statement from the cross can hardly be taken as a pronouncement that His Father is "twisted".

"My lord! Why have you forsaken me!"

...forsaken....abandoned...left to die....Jesus felt that God had left him to his fate, which he clearly did not want to endure. If he felt god had forsaken him, then he clearly expected some kind of aid...or at the very, perhaps he expected a sign that he had done the right thing.

Instead, dad sat and watched his son by brutally tortured and murdered. Good times.

Faith in Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection are a means of freedom from individual bondage to sin and freedom from the rebellious tendencies that plague our world.

I do not believe in Jesus' sacrifice (I do believe he was crusified, but not that he chose to for the greater good of humanity) or his resurrection...yet I am hardly in "bondage to sin". ....that is, unless we're going to touch on God's intollerance again, and count "not believing in god" as a grave sin.

You are not required to be a believer of god to live a fruitful, meaningful life...as much as the bible might try to convince you otherwise.

God, the lover and creator of the universe.

Just in closing...I find it hard to believe that god "loves" anything. He sent his son to die, he's subjected his proudest creations to (according to the bible timeline) ten thousands years of terror, disease, famine and slaughter, cast his chosen luitenant out of heaven for rebelling against his tyranny, and is still sending everyone who disagrees with him to the fiery bits of hell to burn for the rest of eternity.

God can be credited for very few acts of love. Your god is a hateful and vengeful one.

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Phantom
Please be informed that this thread is curiously watched by the moderating team...

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