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NuttyKaks

What does God look like?

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Jeanne dArc

Well the premise is also predicated on the notion that there is a God, as well.

Of course, which I grant for the sake of argument only.

You're reading into that something I didn't say. I never said anything about a detriment to the soul.

Exactly, as a sacrifice. If there were no pain it wouldn't exactly be a sacrifice, would it?

Well, I presume physical pain is not the only thing applicable to a "sacrifice"? If Jesus were, for example, eternally separated from God in Hell, that would be a sacrifice, even if Hell did not involve actual, literal pain (as some sects of Christianity believe). Sacrifices can be made without bloodshed: although I grant that the god of the Bible does not seem to have such a nuanced view of the matter.

I wouldn't say that. "Supra-moral" would be an equally appropriate term. Morals aren't exactly an easy topic to discuss. My point in bringing up assumptions is that it is entirely insular on this physical existence on earth. For about seventy years (rough average estimate), and rarely longer than a hundred years (and far more often, tragically many decades less) humans will be born, live and die. The universe is over 13 billion years old, and God is older by far than that. In 13 billion years from now, God will still be around. His plan is that one day, humans will be resurrected and live an eternity alongside him. In the context of this eternal view, some suffering in the here and now pales into insignificance.

By what measure can you declare that God is older "by far" than 13 billion years? Most modern physicists are of the view that time didn't even exist prior to the Big Bang: ergo literally nothing can technically be older than it, or precede it.

If God wanted company so badly, why not simply make it eternal with him? Rather than go through the arduous process of losing most of them to Hell, and having still more endure horrible suffering in life (for which God can be held rightly accountable).

That's not to say that God doesn't care what happens, but I'm just putting some level of context onto this. In this view, is it more important to make mankind happy and carefree for a few decades, or allow suffering and take an eternal view into question. I know you'd argue "why not both", but God didn't work that way. Suffering is part of his creation, I don't see that as an "evil" act.

The inclusion of suffering and evil where it is not necessary is by definition wantonly evil. You don't seem to deny that God could have created the universe without evil and suffering: thus he must be (again) either immoral or amoral for including it. Either it exists arbitrarily or deliberately: which does not speak well for God's character. If it is truly necessary, and God could not help but include it, then he is not truly almighty.

Then there's the argument that without suffering humanity couldn't grow. If God removed every bad consequence would humanity ever evolve? Or would we be as blissfully ignorant as the Eloi in The Time Machine?

That's a pitifully naive argument, I'm sorry. Firstly, why is "growth" necessary? Did God or the angels require growth into their current positions? Why did God foist such an apparently unnecessary obstacle upon humanity? For his own amusement? If he does not require it of himself, then he cannot rightly expect it of another being; either he wants slaves for his own benefit (selfish), or he's chosen an extremely poor way of attempting to make friends. Second: if suffering was intended as a consequence for wrongful actions, then why disproportionately heap suffering on those who have done nothing to deserve it (children in Africa or India, for example)? If suffering were only the product of certain actions, then I'd say perhaps you had a point: but given that is evidently not the case, that line of reasoning can be disregarded quite easily.

Of course, speaking biblically, there are a number of different views given throughout the text with respect to immortality. The New Testament is clearly of the doctrine that God desires eternal life for all: while the Tanakh generally espouses a view that God (or the gods) deliberately demarcates mortals from immortals, and that humanity is never meant to have eternal life.

God, by virtue of being God, defines what morality is. This makes morality subject to his whim (what is good is from God), but God is not a creature of "whim", his morality is true and eternal.

If morality is subject to his will, and exists dependent upon his will, then it can be defined as nothing but arbitrary. Unless morality exists independently of God, then there is no measure by which to define the morality of his actions as "true": if any action of God is intrinsically good, then there is no objective morality, since it is subject to him (read: subjective). If morality is dictated entirely by God, then what actions are barred from him? Does he declare things good because they are good? If so, by what standard? Or does anything he declares good become good by fiat? In which case: if he declared rape and genocide "good", it would be so. What prevents him from doing so? It must be either that it is arbitrary, or there is a morality to which he himself is subject. There is no other way to attempt to salvage the "morality" of the biblical god.

I would argue that this is a completely false view of the God of the Bible. God is love, the God of the Bible is love.

Declaring something to be something else, simply by fiat, is an absurdity. By the human definitions of "love", and "evil", God certainly fulfills the latter, and bears little resemblance to the former. If he is somehow "love" in a non-human sense, then by whose definition? If he declares himself to be "love" by fiat, then what separates him from a totalitarian despot? By what meaningful definition of "love" can the biblical god possibly be conflated with?

It is not "somehow good", it is just plain good. God's eternal plan for humankind is about as good as it gets.

Basic human morality does not describe genocide as "good", in any sense. If God's morality defines genocide as "good" (or at least acceptable: not "evil"), then from whence does he derive this moral value? If it is independent of a morality to which he is subject, then it must be arbitrary (if his standard is of his own devising, then what objective meaning does it have?). If it is dependent of him, then he is not the arbiter of morality. Much as I dislike dichotomies, there are few alternative solutions to this dilemma (certainly when all definitions are accounted for).

It isn't "contrary" to human morality. Remember that in India right this very moment someone is born into slavery, and it doesn't receive a blink of an eyelid over there but we in the West abhor it. If we humans are incapable of defining "human morality", then how can we make a judgement on eternal morality?

Morality needn't be objective to be largely universal: there is such thing as a consensus. Basic human ethics are effectively founded on the premises of reciprocity and consequence: that being, that it is logically hypocritical (and thus wrong) to act towards another in a manner which you would not appreciate if enacted upon in kind, and that actions which directly cause harmful outcomes are unfavorable (wrong), while actions which directly cause beneficial outcomes are favorable (right). That is a very nutshelly way of describing it, but that's basically how it works. Genocide is a monstrously unethical act, based on the ethic of reciprocity: generally speaking, most people would rather not be murdered (seeing as our mortal life is the most precious thing any of us can be seen to possess), ergo taking lives is evil, with genocidal numbers of lives being taken simply magnifying the crime. Slavery is largely considered immoral nowadays because of this same principle: most people would rather not be slaves, therefore making another person a slave against their will is unethical (evil). It's fairly straightforward. Given the biblical god's morality is clearly not based on these principles (he seems to have no ethical aversion to either genocide or slavery), he can only be described as evil based on humanistic ethics. By whatever standard he seems to declare himself "good", it is not any form of morality which ought to be palatable to modern humans.

God is God. That is standard enough. This makes him neither immoral nor amoral, but the only entirely moral being in existence.

Again, by what standard is he moral? He is clearly either immoral or amoral by human standards, and if he is moral by his own standard, then it must be subjective. Morality is not a quality that can be conferred by fiat, my friend.

It is entirely logically consistent for me to posit the existence of an evil god, who actively desires suffering and evil. The existence of such an omnimalevolent being not only is immune to all of the logical quandaries which an alleged omnibenevolent suffers, but would be no less plausible based on these moral arguments than any other god. Furthermore: an omnimalevolent god would appear to be more probable than an omnibenevolent one, taking a little thing called reality into account (you know, the place where all of that evil and suffering is: and God appears either unwilling or unable to prevent it).

And just to conclude, I know you won't agree with most of my comments, I'm not expecting this to change your mind, I'm just stating what it is that I believe.

And I understand that you believe it: I just don't see how it can be believed. It's not only logically inconsistent, but requires enormous apologetical explanation in order to appear consistent with observable reality. Occam's razor alone would appear to discredit the notion of a moral god: Hitchens' razor of course allows me to disregard it out of hand, literally-speaking. But then, I'm allowing you quite a bit of room, for the sake of argument alone.

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DieChecker

Interesting, because at the moment, computers don't have consciousness. Perhaps they will eventually, but they will cease to be simply computing machines at that point. So is your god simply a mindless force that reacts to the universe's changes like a machine? That doesn't sound much like the god of the Bible. Nor does a god that only makes choices when prompted.

I'd say that He's not a mindless force, but rather that he would react the same in the same situation every time. He does not "Change His mind" (Other then, as I said, with prayer). He's the same today as He was 4000 years ago, but we are not the same people as we were 4000 years ago.

If your god can willingly ignore omniscience and omnipotence, and thus allow evil to exist, then your god is evil. There is no way around that, logically. If your god is willing to allow evil to exist, even though he ought to have all the knowledge and power needed to prevent it, then what causes him to allow it? This decision must be either arbitrary or malevolent.

Many don't like the idea, but Evil is a part of God. God created everything, including evil. There is a reason for everything, even evil. It is said that everything is eventually turned to good, even the actions of evil. We simply are not intellectually able to digest the how and why.

Some argue that evil is there to test and tempt everyone, to see what choices they will make with their Free Will. Without evil, there would be no need of Free Will and we'd just be animals. Without evil (as expressed as sins) we'd still be under a million in number and wandering the plains of the world in primitive hunter gatherer tribes, perhaps without fire, and without tools. Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride... The seven deadly sins, have probably done more to advance technology and civilization then anything else. They've cause ideas, techniques and technology be be moved around the whole world, and cause migrations of people across the planet. Evil serves a purpose on a global scale. But, we should try to avoid it in our lives if at all possible. (Which almost all of us fail at to one degree or another.)

Edited by DieChecker

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danielost

Mormon belief is god has a physical body and is limited in what he can do, do to that body. for instance he cannot be in two places at once. however the holy ghost which has no body can be. Jesus also now has a body so he is now limited like god is.

jesus, god, mom, and the holy ghost all work together as one. they have the same goal. Jesus also said that humans could be as perfect as god is. sorry i don't know the verse. as for myself i am a long way from being perfect and i never will be.

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danielost

I'd say that He's not a mindless force, but rather that he would react the same in the same situation every time. He does not "Change His mind" (Other then, as I said, with prayer). He's the same today as He was 4000 years ago, but we are not the same people as we were 4000 years ago.

Many don't like the idea, but Evil is a part of God. God created everything, including evil. There is a reason for everything, even evil. It is said that everything is eventually turned to good, even the actions of evil. We simply are not intellectually able to digest the how and why.

Some argue that evil is there to test and tempt everyone, to see what choices they will make with their Free Will. Without evil, there would be no need of Free Will and we'd just be animals. Without evil (as expressed as sins) we'd still be under a million in number and wandering the plains of the world in primitive hunter gatherer tribes, perhaps without fire, and without tools. Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride... The seven deadly sins, have probably done more to advance technology and civilization then anything else. They've cause ideas, techniques and technology be be moved around the whole world, and cause migrations of people across the planet. Evil serves a purpose on a global scale. But, we should try to avoid it in our lives if at all possible. (Which almost all of us fail at to one degree or another.)

i disagree that god made everything. he is love, therefore he could not have made love. he made rules but, he did not make the rule of judgement.(not the right word). he did make the rule of mercy. Christ came to fulfill both of those laws. also, where he made Lucifer he need not make him evil. Lucifer did that on his own, when he turned his back on god.

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Atuke

He would look like an androgynous human since he created humankind in his own likeness, as read in scripture.

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Jeanne dArc

I'd say that He's not a mindless force, but rather that he would react the same in the same situation every time. He does not "Change His mind" (Other then, as I said, with prayer). He's the same today as He was 4000 years ago, but we are not the same people as we were 4000 years ago.

Many don't like the idea, but Evil is a part of God. God created everything, including evil. There is a reason for everything, even evil. It is said that everything is eventually turned to good, even the actions of evil. We simply are not intellectually able to digest the how and why.

Some argue that evil is there to test and tempt everyone, to see what choices they will make with their Free Will. Without evil, there would be no need of Free Will and we'd just be animals. Without evil (as expressed as sins) we'd still be under a million in number and wandering the plains of the world in primitive hunter gatherer tribes, perhaps without fire, and without tools. Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride... The seven deadly sins, have probably done more to advance technology and civilization then anything else. They've cause ideas, techniques and technology be be moved around the whole world, and cause migrations of people across the planet. Evil serves a purpose on a global scale. But, we should try to avoid it in our lives if at all possible. (Which almost all of us fail at to one degree or another.)

I'm glad that you acknowledge that God is capable of evil. Most Christians will not admit that to themselves. And I agree that some evils are, at times, necessary (for various reasons). In many cases this is because the only possible options are "evil". As for God remaining the same, and reacting the same way every time: so God does endorse genocide and slavery then? Or at the very least does not oppose them?

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DieChecker

I'm glad that you acknowledge that God is capable of evil. Most Christians will not admit that to themselves. And I agree that some evils are, at times, necessary (for various reasons). In many cases this is because the only possible options are "evil". As for God remaining the same, and reacting the same way every time: so God does endorse genocide and slavery then? Or at the very least does not oppose them?

If we assume the Christian God is the same as Moses' God of the Old Testament, then the answer must be yes. Under circumstances that existed in the past. But like I said, today is not yesterday and humans today are different culturally then we were 4000 years ago, or even 2000 years ago.

Most slavery in the OT was not passed to the children, but a result of a choice made by the slave. Either they sold themselves, or were sold by their family, or were a criminal, or a soldier captured in war. Sometimes they were civilians captured in war, which was arguably not so much their fault. But overall it was not horrible. Probably poverty was worse then slavery.

Genocide occurred often, and there are many occasions in the OT where God tells the Israelites to go wipe out a group of people.

Again, it was a different time, and those all were a different people. There is no point in claiming God today sanctions slavery or genocide. Especially since we just covered how the OT was fulfilled by Jesus and God has a new covenant with the human race, where we all are to follow the example of Jesus and not Moses, David, Aaron or Abraham.

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Jeanne dArc

If we assume the Christian God is the same as Moses' God of the Old Testament, then the answer must be yes. Under circumstances that existed in the past. But like I said, today is not yesterday and humans today are different culturally then we were 4000 years ago, or even 2000 years ago.

So, God is basically like Captain Kirk? He just sits around and defers to the dictates of human culture? If he has a particular morality, and has the power and knowledge required to disseminate it, why does he not? Why does it seem that the only cultures he "reached out to", as it were, were the same ones who historical evidence suggests made him up? Hmm.... curious....

Most slavery in the OT was not passed to the children, but a result of a choice made by the slave. Either they sold themselves, or were sold by their family, or were a criminal, or a soldier captured in war. Sometimes they were civilians captured in war, which was arguably not so much their fault. But overall it was not horrible. Probably poverty was worse then slavery.

Superbly wrong. Slavery in ancient Levantine culture was similar to what we've found all throughout history: with the exception of members of your own tribe, or allied tribes, slaves are heritable (may be passed on to children), they may be kept for life, they may be raped, they may be beaten severely (unless it is so severe that it causes them a permanent impairment), and even killed (as long as the fatal blow was delivered at least three days prior to the actual death). As for those slaves who were of the same or affiliated tribes as their master: they must be freed after six years (except female sex slaves, they may be enslaved indefinitely), and in general their treatment was to be superior to other slaves. Still terrible, but better than the others. Poverty was terrible, certainly: but to claim that slavery was better would be almost laughable, if it weren't such a disturbing suggestion.

Genocide occurred often, and there are many occasions in the OT where God tells the Israelites to go wipe out a group of people.

Again, it was a different time, and those all were a different people. There is no point in claiming God today sanctions slavery or genocide. Especially since we just covered how the OT was fulfilled by Jesus and God has a new covenant with the human race, where we all are to follow the example of Jesus and not Moses, David, Aaron or Abraham.

Why would he not continue to endorse genocide and slavery? He has done nothing to indicate that his opinion has soured towards them: if it was acceptable then, and he has given no indication that they are unacceptable now, then is it not reasonable to assume that he still finds them acceptable today? It's of course tricky trying to know the mind of an imaginary being, but if we're purely basing things off of the Bible, then there is absolutely no reason at all to think that the commandments of the Tanakh are void. In Matthew 23:2-3, Jesus clearly states his desire that the "seat of Moses" (the law) be upheld and followed very closely. He makes similar statements elsewhere. The New Testament repeatedly instructs the murder of apostates and pagans: moreover, slavery is very clearly endorsed in the New Testament (almost more clearly than in the Old, at times). So are these things moral, or not? If you do not consider slavery and genocide ethical, I must ask you: why? From whence do you derive this morality? Certainly the Bible does not contain even a single indisputable sentence which would lead naturally to such a conclusion.

Edited by Jeanne dArc

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Alan McDougall

Almighty God, can have any form or appearance He wants to present. He is not bound by atheist perceptions.

God is simply "That which is That"

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huckstep

Almighty God, can have any form or appearance He wants to present. He is not bound by atheist perceptions.

God is simply "That which is That"

Does that mean he (or she or it) is not bound by theist perceptions either? In other words, any answer a theist might give that defines an attribute of God cannot be relied on, no matter how much the theist might believe it to be true, because God might present another form? If so, it seems that leaves only a "god of the gaps," where every possible description can be dismissed as potentially wrong, but none can be relied upon as right.
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J. K.

I think you could consider that since God seeks to interact with humanity, He has communicated enough of Himself that we can understand Him. (There's probably a better way to phrase that.)

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Ben Masada

I think you could consider that since God seeks to interact with humanity, He has communicated enough of Himself that we can understand Him. (There's probably a better way to phrase that.)

You are probably right. Another way to rephrase that is to understand Jehovah through the Scriptures, Nature and the expansion of the universe. When Einstein was asked if he believed in God, he was working on a formula about the expansion of the universe. His answer to the question was that all his life was trying to catch God at His work of Creation. Seriously or joking, he meant either way to connect expansion with God's creation.

Edited by Ben Masada

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JinxDeMynx

Wouldn't it to be better to assume his true form could blind us all, so he picks a human form to be in instead?

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Ben Masada
So, basically the same thing as you claim God did?

That's why I have chosen the title Primal Cause because atheists are paranoid about gods as if they are intoxicated with gods. The Primal Cause could be any thing from which the universe came into existence.

The term "caused itself to exist" needn't be wholly literal, come now.

If it is not literal that your parents caused yourself to exist, how would you put it, that you caused yourself to exist?

Why couldn't a pre-cosmos have been effectively eternal?

Aristotle thought so but his theory died in 1922 when George Lemaitre elaborated the theory of the big bang almost unanimously adopted by all cosmologists as the beginning of the universe. That's why nothing that has had a beginning could be eternal.

After all, most models of modern cosmology indicate that time did not exist prior to the Big Bang: so there was simply nothing "before" it.

I agree that time did not exist prior to the big bang as indeed there was nothing before it. So, it was a big bang of what? You are not thinking.

Causality is contigent on time, ergo causality did not apply whatsoever prior to the Big Bang. Pretty simple.

Causality is indeed contingent on time because Causality is of matter and time is an accident of matter in motion. Hence it did not apply prior to the big bang. Indeed, pretty simple.

I like your phrasing here: if the universe was caused to exist. We can't say for certain that it was.

I said that in opposite to the dead theory of eternity for the universe, not that I doubt it.

That's not at all what quantum mechanics is. Quantum mechanics is not a product of matter,

Really! If quantum mechanics is not subject to matter, how could it exist prior to the big bang? Think!

nor necessarily is gravity (though macroscopic gravity is certainly effected by matter; although we don't have a firm understanding yet of quantum gravity).

There is no gravity in the absence of matter. Matter must be somewhere close or far to exert the force of attraction of a piece of matter by another.

Quantum mechanics, at its most basic, is simply the fact that virtual particles exist or do not exist on a probablistic basis: they do not readily adhere to causality.

Particles of what, not matter? Don't forget your question above, "Why couldn't a pre-cosmos aka a pre-nothing be eternal?" Quantum mechanics could not happen in eternal nothingness.

There's a whole lot more to it than that, obviously, but it is highly disingenuous to claim that quantum mechanics is contingent on matter: it is not.

Photons are akin to quantum mechanics and are produced by atoms in activation. Atoms are particles of matter. Nothing can be activated without the effects of matter.

Edited by Ben Masada

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Ben Masada

He would look like an androgynous human since he created humankind in his own likeness, as read in scripture.

According to Jesus himself in John 4:24 God is a Spirit and spirits don't have likeness. (Isa. 46:5)

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Quaentum

That's why I have chosen the title Primal Cause because atheists are paranoid about gods as if they are intoxicated with gods. The Primal Cause could be any thing from which the universe came into existence.

If it is not literal that your parents caused yourself to exist, how would you put it, that you caused yourself to exist?

Aristotle thought so but his theory died in 1922 when George Lemaitre elaborated the theory of the big bang almost unanimously adopted by all cosmologists as the beginning of the universe. That's why nothing that has had a beginning could be eternal.

I agree that time did not exist prior to the big bang as indeed there was nothing before it. So, it was a big bang of what? You are not thinking.

Causality is indeed contingent on time because Causality is of matter and time is an accident of matter in motion. Hence it did not apply prior to the big bang. Indeed, pretty simple.

I said that in opposite to the dead theory of eternity for the universe, not that I doubt it.

Really! If quantum mechanics is not subject to matter, how could it exist prior to the big bang? Think!

There is no gravity in the absence of matter. Matter must be somewhere close or far to exert the force of attraction of a piece of matter by another.

Particles of what, not matter? Don't forget your question above, "Why couldn't a pre-cosmos aka a pre-nothing be eternal?" Quantum mechanics could not happen in eternal nothingness.

Photons are akin to quantum mechanics and are produced by atoms in activation. Atoms are particles of matter. Nothing can be activated without the effects of matter.

Is there a reason why you are hijacking this thread to promote your own theories

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DieChecker

Superbly wrong. Slavery in ancient Levantine culture was similar to what we've found all throughout history: with the exception of members of your own tribe, or allied tribes, slaves are heritable (may be passed on to children), they may be kept for life, they may be raped, they may be beaten severely (unless it is so severe that it causes them a permanent impairment), and even killed (as long as the fatal blow was delivered at least three days prior to the actual death).

Can you provide a link where slavery was generational. What I have read is that the children of a slave were free, not slaves.

Also, most sources say that slaves in Israel had unprecedented rights under Israeli law, they could be freed (Which was illegal in the rest of the Levant), they could run away and no one was forced to return them (Which again was illegal in the rest of the Levant), they could not be beaten overly hard, or the master would be forced to free them, and they killed them, the master could be charged with a crime (None of which existed in any other nation).

As for those slaves who were of the same or affiliated tribes as their master: they must be freed after six years (except female sex slaves, they may be enslaved indefinitely), and in general their treatment was to be superior to other slaves. Still terrible, but better than the others. Poverty was terrible, certainly: but to claim that slavery was better would be almost laughable, if it weren't such a disturbing suggestion.

I think you are mistaken. Poverty often meant starvation or homelessness, yet slavery provided both as a guarantee, or the owner could be charged with a crime.

Why would he not continue to endorse genocide and slavery? He has done nothing to indicate that his opinion has soured towards them: if it was acceptable then, and he has given no indication that they are unacceptable now, then is it not reasonable to assume that he still finds them acceptable today?

I suppose that would be true, and that Israel is just waiting for the Lord to tell them to go do it. Christians though live by a different covenant, and so I'm sure they would not be asked to go do so.

It's of course tricky trying to know the mind of an imaginary being, but if we're purely basing things off of the Bible, then there is absolutely no reason at all to think that the commandments of the Tanakh are void. In Matthew 23:2-3, Jesus clearly states his desire that the "seat of Moses" (the law) be upheld and followed very closely. He makes similar statements elsewhere. The New Testament repeatedly instructs the murder of apostates and pagans: moreover, slavery is very clearly endorsed in the New Testament (almost more clearly than in the Old, at times). So are these things moral, or not? If you do not consider slavery and genocide ethical, I must ask you: why? From whence do you derive this morality? Certainly the Bible does not contain even a single indisputable sentence which would lead naturally to such a conclusion.

Can you link where the murder of apostates and pagan is encouraged? Slavery was an economic issue, not a religious one. I would consider owning another person unethical, yet, as has been argued over and over again, that was a different time and different culture, where ethics were different. It is naive and childish to try to force 21st century cultural ethics onto a situation from 2000 years ago.

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DieChecker

According to Colton Burpo, the kid from the Book and Video "Heaven is for real", said God was too impressive to describe, though he describes Jesus in great detail.

Christ did indeed sit on the right hand of God, who was too vast to describe, and near the Holy Spirit, who was a ‘kind of blue’ colour. Colton also saw John the Baptist, Jesus’s mother Mary and even Satan — though he was always too upset to describe the Devil.

Everyone flew around on wings, except Jesus who ‘went up and down like an elevator’. There were trees, animals and a multitude of people, all in their prime of life.

http://www.dailymail...d-hospital.html

Edited by DieChecker

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danielost

Wouldn't it to be better to assume his true form could blind us all, so he picks a human form to be in instead?

when Moses say just his finger his hair turned white.

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danielost

up to the roman empire, slaves were what we call pows. in most cases they could go home after seven years. and even in Rome most of the gladiators were pows as well.

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Jeanne dArc

That's why I have chosen the title Primal Cause because atheists are paranoid about gods as if they are intoxicated with gods. The Primal Cause could be any thing from which the universe came into existence.

True enough. Which makes proposing that a god is the "primal cause" rather difficult... there are literally infinite alternative possibilities. Evidence is the only thing that allows us to ascertain probabilities concerning those possibilities though.

If it is not literal that your parents caused yourself to exist, how would you put it, that you caused yourself to exist?

"Caused to exist" is a very tricky phrasing in the first place... it evokes the idea of creatio ex nihilo, in a sense. Yes, I was caused to exist, technically, but at what point can I be said to "exist"? At what point of development am I "existent"? If all of my atoms are filtered away and replaced by new ones, do I still exist? The whole question of "caused to exist" is a slippery concept.

Aristotle thought so but his theory died in 1922 when George Lemaitre elaborated the theory of the big bang almost unanimously adopted by all cosmologists as the beginning of the universe. That's why nothing that has had a beginning could be eternal.

When speaking of the beginning of the universe, typically people are, in fact, talking about the origins of reality (more or less). While the Big Bang theory is indeed the consensus, many physicists also posit a multiverse beyond our own, or possibly that we inhabit a cyclical universe, with periodic "bangs" and "crunches". In any case, again, the singularity at the universe's origin was a circumstance without time: what else is eternity but a transcendence of time? Yes, something which had a beginning can also be eternal: the concepts are not logically exclusive. You realize that by "beginning", there must be points of reference: what was the "beginning"? Well, certainly the Big Bang appears to have been the beginning of things, the beginning of things happening in the universe: but that is a far cry from an absolute "beginning" in the sense I think you're suggesting.

I agree that time did not exist prior to the big bang as indeed there was nothing before it. So, it was a big bang of what? You are not thinking.

I've mentioned the singularity several times: you haven't really addressed it though...

Causality is indeed contingent on time because Causality is of matter and time is an accident of matter in motion. Hence it did not apply prior to the big bang. Indeed, pretty simple.

Yay, glad you've grasped that ^_^

I said that in opposite to the dead theory of eternity for the universe, not that I doubt it.

I take it you're referring to the obsolete Steady State theory of cosmology? I don't think it means what you think it means. The theory of reality being eternal and unoriginated has not been discredited, and nor do I think it really can be (certainly not with our current science). The Steady State theory was a theory which held that the universe's current iteration (not accounting for possible alternate iterations) has always been more or less the same way it is now (distribution of matter and energy, etc.). So while that the Steady State theory is dead, the notion that the cosmos (or reality, existence, etc.) may be ultimately eternal is far from dead.

Really! If quantum mechanics is not subject to matter, how could it exist prior to the big bang? Think!

Hahaha, umm..... how did you ever imagine that this question ever made any sense? :lol:

Quantum mechanics applies to all physical phenomena on extremely small scales: that encompasses matter and energy. The singularity was effectively a zero-dimensional condensed form of both matter and energy together. The effects of quantum mechanics on a singularity are unknown.

There is no gravity in the absence of matter. Matter must be somewhere close or far to exert the force of attraction of a piece of matter by another.

Again, the singularity was arguably a sort of matter-energy: ergo, gravity may well apply, in some form (essentially infinitely, in fact, since a singularity represents an infinitely dense, zero-volume space). As for "close or far", that's only a very small part of how gravity works. That's irrelevant.

Particles of what, not matter? Don't forget your question above, "Why couldn't a pre-cosmos aka a pre-nothing be eternal?" Quantum mechanics could not happen in eternal nothingness.

Nobody is claiming that "eternal nothingness" ever existed. Again, the singularity existed prior to the Big Bang: that's not nothing. True, we don't know exactly how quantum mechanics might effect a singularity, but the fact that some form of physics (and presumably quantum mechanics also) applied to it is indisputable.

Photons are akin to quantum mechanics and are produced by atoms in activation. Atoms are particles of matter. Nothing can be activated without the effects of matter.

Umm... photons are not "akin" to quantum mechanics. They are effected by quantum mechanics as much as all other particles of matter-energy. And not all photons are the product of atoms: virtual photons produced by purely quantum mechanical means arise from "nowhere".

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Jeanne dArc

Can you provide a link where slavery was generational. What I have read is that the children of a slave were free, not slaves.

Leviticus 25:44-45 states quite unambiguously that child slaves were absolutely acceptable. As for "generational" slavery, wherein a slave had children: yes, their children were to be kept slaves forever (even Hebrew slaves; Exodus 21:4).

Also, most sources say that slaves in Israel had unprecedented rights under Israeli law, they could be freed (Which was illegal in the rest of the Levant), they could run away and no one was forced to return them (Which again was illegal in the rest of the Levant), they could not be beaten overly hard, or the master would be forced to free them, and they killed them, the master could be charged with a crime (None of which existed in any other nation).

What "sources"? Everything you've said applied only to Hebrew slaves: again, I already said that the Hebrew slaves were to be treated better than the non-Hebrew slaves. That hardly makes it acceptable, simply because it was less horrible than the norm.

I think you are mistaken. Poverty often meant starvation or homelessness, yet slavery provided both as a guarantee, or the owner could be charged with a crime.

Self-sale was indeed sometimes a feature of ancient slavery, as a means of subsistence. Little else can really be said on that subject: the suffering of slaves and impoverished should not be compared.

I suppose that would be true, and that Israel is just waiting for the Lord to tell them to go do it. Christians though live by a different covenant, and so I'm sure they would not be asked to go do so.

Many millions of Christians throughout history would disagree: throughout the medieval period, Christians very often believed that God commanded such behavior.

Can you link where the murder of apostates and pagan is encouraged? Slavery was an economic issue, not a religious one. I would consider owning another person unethical, yet, as has been argued over and over again, that was a different time and different culture, where ethics were different. It is naive and childish to try to force 21st century cultural ethics onto a situation from 2000 years ago.

Romans 1:32, Deuteronomy 13:6-9 and 17:3-5, 2 Chronicles 15:13, etc.

You consider owning another person unethical: why? Jesus clearly didn't have a problem with it. If he did, presumably he wouldn't have been so blatantly acceptant of it. I acknowledge that the culture of that time did not have a moral opposition to slavery: I reserve my right to regard such a culture as primitive, ignorant, and immoral. Yes, that is simply by comparison to my own morality: I think mine however is generally justifiable via basic humanism and ethics (concepts which weren't fully developed in the ancient Levant, unfortunately).

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Jeanne dArc

up to the roman empire, slaves were what we call pows. in most cases they could go home after seven years. and even in Rome most of the gladiators were pows as well.

Where are you getting your information? Slaves were not sent home after seven years (except in Israel, where Hebrew slaves, unless they were born slaves, were set free after six years).

And as for calling them "POWs", tell me: how exactly was the Roman expansion and invasion of Europe, Africa, the Near East, etc., and the enslavement of the peoples of those lands, differen that the invasion and enslavement of Mesoamerica by the Spaniards? or the invasion, enslavement, and genocide of the Native Americans by the Europeans? or the invasion and enslavement of Africa by the Europeans and Americans? What exactly were the differences?

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huckstep

Wouldn't it to be better to assume his true form could blind us all, so he picks a human form to be in instead?

As an atheist, I could get behind that. It's even somewhat Biblically supported ("Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me...") though I don't know how common it is in other religions. One has to remember the appearance of god(s) is not just atheism vs. Christianity, but atheism vs. all descriptions of any god in any current, past or future religion.

But if a person believes that the god that they worship should be respected, helped, etc., and they're not sure exactly which human-looking person he/she/it is incarnated in because the god is indistinguishable from any other human, that person might try to help any human he meets, just in case the human happens to be the god one.

Helping other humans, or at least treating them kindly and respectfully, is always a good thing, and such a belief would channel some of the good works of religion into respecting and perhaps helping real people rather than limiting it to a special disincarnated entity.

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Paranoid Android

71 pages of discussion, and I think everyone by now has their own idea on what God looks like or doesn't look like. Considering the way the topic has completely gone off topic (and all current discussions can be found in other concurrent thread topics) I'm going to close this thread.

~ Thank you,

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