Social Question

KNOWITALL's avatar

What would you like to ask a theist?

Asked by KNOWITALL (14633 points ) 3 months ago

(Inspired by ETPro’s very informative question)

Other interested parties should feel perfectly free to respond to questions so long as you too maintain a respectful tone.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

289 Answers

Darth_Algar's avatar

What makes you so certain that you’ve got the right god and that everyone else is wrong?

Symbeline's avatar

What I would like to know is how theists view things like ghosts. Do you believe in them? A ghost is a dead person with some unfulfilled element that keeps them from moving on. Or a denial of death, perhaps a message they insist on passing on, or an overwhelming emotion like hatred, rage or sorrow that keeps them here. I understand that the idea of a ghost is global and older than Christianity itself, however, a lot of the ideas on ghosts exist with the assumption that God exists. Like the legend of Sleepy Hollow, where the horseman is denied entry into Heaven, and even the Devil doesn’t want him.
Dumb example, and I’m not making fun, I really want to know. How do believers see ghosts, and do they believe in them? If so, how and why are they related to God? And does it talk about ghosts in The Bible? I’m pretty sure it doesn’t, besides the Holy Ghost, but that’s still a ghost, isn’t it?
So, God and ghosts, how does this work out?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Darth_Algar I’m not certain, I have my faith to sustain my beliefs.

@Symbeline I don’t believe in ghosts. I do enjoy watching the CNN near-death experiences though!

Seek's avatar

I am liking how the atheist thread is going. Questions, answers, more questions – as opposed to question, answer, lengthy battle about answer. ^_^ Let’s try to keep that going?

My question – I know it’s long, but please read it in entirety:

According to the book of Hebrews, 11:1 (KJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen”. Skipping ahead to verse 6, it states ”but without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary (my own Bible, along with The Joy of Cooking) “faith” is defined as:

complete trust or confidence in someone or something
strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof

Now, in daily life, we tend to expect people to rely on evidence to make their choices. We question abused housewives who insist with absolute conviction that their husbands love them, even while we can see the bruises on their broken bodies. We joke that the definition of “insanity” is continuing to perform the same action while expecting a different result. In short (too late, I know), in every other aspect of life acting on blind faith is considered an ill-informed choice, and something to be discouraged.

Why, then, is “faith” with regard to religious belief, considered such a good thing, and held in such high esteem?

If your only evidence for God is your determined belief in him in the face of a total lack of proof for, and various proofs against his existence, and the only benefit of following that faith is the possible avoidance of a negative afterlife whose only evidence is faith…

…why is faith a good thing?

KNOWITALL's avatar

Faith is the cornerstone of all Christians. It is how the disciples were able to preach and change the world. They absolutely believed in God’s promises as told to them by Jesus Christ. The disciples treated the good news of Jesus as truth even though most of these truths were either promises for the future or at odds with the material world around them.

When Christians act out on their faith, it is the evidence of things not seen. Faith is the source of a Christian’s strength and places them in God’s plan for mankind. Through faith Christians anticipate the future of God’s promises and act in faith in their day-to-day activity knowing they are in God’s plan.

Without Christian faith there is no substance, no purpose, or strength in a person’s life. People may have faith in other gods, themselves, or material things, but this type of faith is temporal and does not rely upon God’s truth. Without faith in Jesus Christ, all is vanity with no purpose or hope. Jesus Christ came on this Earth to offer faith to all of mankind that everyone can be part of God’s plan for eternal life and meaningful existence. Faith allows Christians to rise above earthly experience and participate in God’s plan.

http://www.religionforums.org/Thread-Why-is-faith-so-important-for-Christianity

In layman’s terms-
*To me, having faith in the unseen is one of the most difficult things about Christianity. Self-denial and being ‘good’ to others and in you life and moral code, is not near as hard as simply having faith.

Seek's avatar

^ That did not address my question. I know what faith is, even quoted the scripture demanding faith to please God.

My question was, why is it that faith is considered a good thing in religion, when in other life aspects it’s frowned upon.

Pachy's avatar

Same way I replied to ETPro’s atheist question…

Why can’t we spend more time solving problems on earth instead of debating whether there’s a God?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Maybe for the same reason real life heroes jump into fiery houses to rescue a child or old person.
Maybe for the same reason a military hero helps clear land mines to protect others.

They believe their faith has an altruistic ‘greater’ purpose, just like Christians do. That’s my take, maybe another theist will chime in for you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How can you reconcile Allah and God? Is one of them wrong?

tom_g's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: “why is it that faith is considered a good thing in religion, when in other life aspects it’s frowned upon.”

I just want to see this one answered.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III There is no reconciliation, Allah means God in Arabic, and there is only one God and it is the same one as Abraham & Moses.

I hope the rednecks don’t come at me for that one..lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, I know that, but apparently Allah is a far more violent and angry God than the one Christian’s worship…but how can that be when they’re the same entity?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III For example, Muslims – like Jews – reject the Christian beliefs of the Trinity and the Divine Incarnation. This, however, does not mean that each of these three religions worships a different God – because, as we have already said, there is only One True God. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all claim to be “Abrahamic Faiths”, and all of them are also classified as “monotheistic.” However, Islam teaches that other religions have, in one way or another, distorted and nullified a pure and proper belief in Almighty God by neglecting His true teachings and mixing them with man-made ideas.

Read more here
http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/195/

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Many Theists kill people over the idea of what happens to a person when they die.

Why don’t they see the irony in that?

funkdaddy's avatar

not really a theist, but I’ll take a shot

I think we all operate with faith in a lot of other areas that don’t get quite the same scrutiny. Any pattern we follow in life, we essentially assume it will continue until it doesn’t, then we’re shocked. You have faith you’ll wake up tomorrow because you always have, but everyone dies. You have faith those you love will continue loving you, but that’s obviously not always the case.

You have faith so you can continue with your life and handle other things beyond those basics.

To go a little deeper, you have faith in all those other drivers not to hit you, even though they are extremely close for how fast they are moving. Is it a rational faith? If someone does hit you, will it change your world view?

No, you’d probably put it aside based on your own experiences that collisions are rare, even though evidence suggests you will have 4 or 5 accidents during your driving lifetime. You put it aside so you can continue with your life. You have faith either in yourself or those other drivers, even though it’s not really called for, that today won’t be the day you get in a wreck.

Faith in something greater than yourself exists alone, in a vacuum with no evidence for or against. You can argue concrete points of any religion, and most do, but no one has any worthwhile evidence if there is something out there, or not. Only their gut.

So we’re all operating on a feeling, putting it aside on faith, and getting on with our lives until something changes our world view enough to make us question it.

It’s not just religion, it’s all the basics we take for granted.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Can you give me an example? You mean like in war/ military action or ? I don’t know any theists who just kill people so I’m not sure what you mean.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, the crusades is a good example. Tiller is another.

But it’s the same God. How can the same God advocate that women should be subject to men and their wishes, while on the other hand say that they’re equal to men?

elbanditoroso's avatar

Nothing. I would ask nothing.

Beliefs are private. Right, wrong, or whatever, the person’s beliefs are their own. As long as they don’t try and foist them on me, I don’t care what they believe.

It’s none of my business.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Because humans put their own selfish spin on everything? Are you talking about Dr. Tiller the abortionist who was killed by a Christian’s bomb?

If so, most Christians I know adhere to the bible’s directive to follow the law of the land, which of course, murdering someone is against the law. It’s also agasint God’s commandments as well, so I can’t defend those actions except that that person THOUGHT they were doing God’s work and saving the lives of babies.

Blackberry's avatar

What’s your favorite color?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“You mean like in war/ military action or ?”

Yes of course. And it doesn’t matter that Atheists also kill one another in war. The specific question is that Theists kill one another specifically on the merit of what happens to a person after death.

The question is not why they kill one another.

The question is Why don’t they see the irony of this?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Military action by our armed forces is not determined by those soldiers, it is determined by the US government.

Are you asking why theists join the military if their directive from God is not to kill?

Some_Ghost's avatar

@KNOWITALL I don’t believe in ghosts. sad panda

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Pachy

Because solving the world’s problems is a little beyond the scope of Fluther, so why not debate about God since we’re posting here anyway?

tups's avatar

What is doubt to you?

Seek's avatar

@funkdaddy

All of your examples are of evidence-based reasoning, not blind faith.

I believe other drivers will make a reasonable effort to avoid my vehicle because logically they’d be about as thrilled with an auto collision as I would be.

I believe I’ll wake up tomorrow (with a reasonable margin of error) because I have waked up the last 10,237 days in a row, and there’s no compelling reason to believe tomorrow will be different.

flutherother's avatar

Do your beliefs conflict with science?
Do you think everyone should believe as you do?
Do you respect those who do not believe in God?
Does the God you believe in have a mind that in any way resembles a human mind?
If God made someone so he doesn’t believe why should you think he (or she) should believe?
Is God interested in religion?
Can the Bible be the word of God if it has been translated from the original text?
What are we before we are born?
Why are we here? What does God expect of us?
Could your belief in God exist without your religion?
What is the importance of this world to God?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Will the meek really inherit the earth? If so, won’t it be snatched from them in probate?

Darth_Algar's avatar

@KNOWITALL “I’m not certain, I have my faith to sustain my beliefs.”

You say you’re not certain, so does this mean that you have doubts?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Darth_Algar I’m not judging you or your God(s) as right or wrong. My faith tells me that my God is real, along with my personal experiences, which to me are very significant.

funkdaddy's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – My argument is that faith is useful because it keeps your current state of beliefs going until some new evidence changes them. It allows you to put things off to the side and move forward and isn’t unique to this set of beliefs.

My examples were to illustrate that and to show that we ignore greater evidence in other areas and don’t consider it an act of “faith”. You will die, you are extremely likely to get in multiple auto accidents during your life, and love doesn’t last forever.

Despite that, you don’t wake up every morning wondering if today is the day you die, if your husband is leaving, or if you should start believing in god. If something changes, then you ask those questions, otherwise you have faith your answer is the same.

Put another way, if there is no evidence to either side of a question, any strong feelings you may have one way or the other are an act of faith. What else could they be?

For this particular question you’ve labeled the other side “blind faith” and yours “relying on evidence” when there is no evidence for either position.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@KNOWITALL That doesn’t address my question.

Seek's avatar

@funkdaddy

You’re presenting a false dichotomy.

The belief in one particular god, and the lack of belief in any god, are not two sides of a coin.

If Yahweh is not real, it does not necessarily mean that no god is real. There could, conceivably, be another god in existence who is verifiable through empirical observation. If that were the case the lack of belief in a deity would be simply a matter of “faith”.

However, if there is no evidence to justify belief in any deity, it is not a matter of faith to disbelieve. It’s just an acceptance of the worldview that best fits the evidence.

You would not consider it a matter of faith to disbelieve in Viracocha, Huizilopochtli, the Ancient Aliens, or Russell’s Teapot, would you?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Darth_Algar I’ll let another theist answer then. I don’t judge other people and the deity they worship as right or wrong.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@KNOWITALL That’s great, but I’m not asking about your views on other people or the gods they worship. I’m asking if you personally have doubts about your god.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Darth_Algar No. If you’d had some of my experiences, I doubt you would either. God actually can answer prayers in a significant way.

I asked a Q once here How has God proved His existance in your life? that was answered by many many theists, it would be a good read for you.

funkdaddy's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – I would consider all of the gods you’ve listed and all the others mentioned to be in the same boat. After you get past “is there someone greater than you?” the rest is filled in by priests and the civilization that created them. The details aren’t important to the question.

Ancient Aliens is another question that you can dig as deep as you want and come away with a justifiable position on either side. Ultimately it can’t be proven or disproven with what we know now, so having strong feelings on it one way or the other would indeed be an act of faith.

Russell’s Teapot doesn’t get the same benefit because its origin is known to be false.

So yes, I would still consider it a matter of faith to hold any strong convictions about questions that are unanswerable with the information available.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@KNOWITALL So you’re not certain of your god, but have no doubts about your god?

Why would that thread be a good read for me?

Seek's avatar

@funkdaddy

There’s a thing called a “burden of proof”. It rests on a person making a claim.

As an agnostic atheist, I am not making a claim that no gods exist. I am claiming a lack of evidence to sufficiently support the extraordinary claims made by religious folk in relation to the existence of their deities.

A theist on the other hand, is making a positive claim. My god is real. My god exists. My god created the world/listens to and responds to prayers/watches you masturbate/cares how you spend your Sabbath.

In this instance, the theist has the burden of proof.

Once someone states “No gods exist, and it will never be shown that any gods exist”, then and only then will the atheist have a burden of proof to determine that no gods exist.

ONLY positive claims can be proven through evidentiary support. I can make a positive claim like “The Judeo-Christian god as posited in the Bible fails to live up to the traits attributed to him. Thus, I believe he does not exist.” If called on that claim, I have the burden of proof to demonstrate the Biblical attributes of the Judeo-Christian god, and how he fails to live up to them in real life. I’m prepared to do that, by the way.

However, “I believe in no gods” has no burden of proof, as there’s nothing to prove. Literally.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Darth_Algar I’m certain of my God, I’m not certain that my God is the RIGHT God for everyone but He is the right God for me.

If you have doubts about God/ religion /Christianity, sometimes reading RL experiences can be pretty powerful. I know for we theists, it was good stuff.

Are you trying to be antagonistic? Theists and non-theists alike both asked for this to be respectful and it pretty much has been so we’d like to keep it that way. :)

funkdaddy's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – your question here, today, was boiled down to

why is it that faith is considered a good thing in religion, when in other life aspects it’s frowned upon.

And I’ve tried to answer that and offer evidence to show that

1) Faith is used in other aspects of life in direct opposition of verifiable evidence with less scrutiny than theists receive

2) There is no way to prove or disprove the existence of a god with what we know now. It’s an unanswerable question.

3) So all we’re left with is faith on either side. Any conviction from either side is personal.

The rest of this seems to be opening up an argument far larger than the question I tried to answer.

To put my position another way. Imagine someone asked you “Why are you here?” in a large sense.

Then they told you that you were wrong.

kritiper's avatar

I have nothing to ask. I was once one.
What is the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost)? If God was an extraterrestrial, the Holy Spirit was the name of his landing craft.

Seek's avatar

@funkdaddy

1. The aspects of life you posited are not faith-based, but evidence-based and reason-based.
2. Yes, there is, provided we have a working definition of “god”.
3. No, we’re not.

The question is “Why is faith good?” You have not answered that.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I found this a very good question:
Author @Seek_Kolinahr
_Why, then, is “faith” with regard to religious belief, considered such a good thing, and held in such high esteem?__
That is up to the individual. I don’t see faith on any religion anything to be highly esteemed. Religion is of men, and all men are fallible. My faith is in Christ for He is God, and God the Father. People of science have faith, thought they go kicking and screaming not to call it that. What they find, conclude, deduct etc. they have no real means to know because they can’t ever reach it to have a 1st person experience; they believe it is there by what they can see, smell, touch, hear, or measure. Some religions, if you want to call it that, can have you lying under a purple flag waiting the messiah in the tail of a comet in your black Nike. I am into the relationship, and if you had one you would experience it in. I can experience a sunset in Australia, if you were not there, the best I can do is describe it, it is much harder to describe it if you were blind and never seen colors.

If your only evidence for God is your determined belief in him in the face of a total lack of proof for, and various proofs against his existence, and the only benefit of following that faith is the possible avoidance of a negative afterlife whose only evidence is faith…
…why is faith a good thing?
Who said had no evidence of God? Because you can’t see it, not that you really tried I suspect, doesn’t mean I have no proof just because it doesn’t meet your standard of expectable truth. I see plenty of proof to His existence.

If the only reason for not following God is because you have to follow rules that are unnatural to men, like compassion, forbearance, longsuffering, meekness, etc. how is that a bad thing? Is it better to go about the world selfish, or At least self-centeredness, looking out for number one, an d only looking out for others if eventually there is some earthly gain (which is not necessarily money) how can that be better?

Why can’t we spend more time solving problems on earth instead of debating whether there’s a God?
Author @Pachy
The reason that doesn’t happen is basically pride. Man for the most part can, or do not want to conceive there is something greater than him he will have to answer to for how he conducts himself. To admit there is a God means he is accountable for wars, stealing, cheating, lying and many other things.

How can you reconcile Allah and God? Is one of them wrong?
Author @Dutchess_III
They are both one in the same person. Allah is just the Arabic or Islamic name for God; however, they see it as singular when God is not singular but three entities in one. Someone can say they were visited by the IRS, the IRS is not one person, or the top person, it is an entity made up of more than one person. God is made up of the Father (because He remained in Heaven), the Son (_because he volunteered to come down as sinful man to live a perfect life in a fleshly body, to fulfil the law that no man could ever keep, and become the one and only perfect sacrifice to reconcile man back to God, and the Holy Spirit, the essence of God that directs you on a spiritual level, if you let Him. It is not the word, or name, it is the application where the problem comes.

Many Theists kill people over the idea of what happens to a person when they die. Why don’t they see the irony in that?
Authior @RealEyesRealizeRealLies
Please elucidate.

But it’s the same God. How can the same God advocate that women should be subject to men and their wishes, while on the other hand say that they’re equal to men?
Author @Dutchess_III
This is a very good question, many ”Milk Christians”, and certainly secular persons are thrown by this; Satan has done his job well. Look at it this way, which is more important? For you to get online if you had the hardware but not the software, would you be online? What if you had the software but no hardware, would you be online? You need both, and both to work together. God mad man first, so in a sense, men were birth 1st, they were before women, so in the order of birthrights, they were 1st, so more authority. Women were made for man and not man for women, another point. Men and women are weak vessels but the women the weaker, on average physically perhaps in other areas as well, (yeah, you don’t care to hear it and the Devil counts on it). The serpent came to Eve not to Adam because she was the weaker vessel. Taking all those things together men come out ahead on the org chart. However, that responsibility weighs heavier on the man, if his wife is a floozy, and his kids are thugs, it will be more of a reflection on him, because he can’t control his household. He also is required to treat his wife As his own flesh, if he will not beat himself and slap himself around, HE CAN’T SLAP OR BEAT HER EITHER OR HE WILL ANSWER TO GOD. Men are to lead, not to lord over as some demigod, or dictator.

Well, it has been fun, but I have a Bible study to get to, so I will have to get back to this later, and hope the dirks, and daggers have not come out and no one has been shanked in the cafeteria.

Seek's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central My only question for you is this:

You are aware there are no less than 12 places in the Bible that refer to haughtiness as a sin that brings destruction, aren’t you?

funkdaddy's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – it does not seem like your last answer is furthering discussion or very respectful

Regarding answering your question. From earlier:

faith is useful because it keeps your current state of beliefs going until some new evidence changes them. It allows you to put things off to the side and move forward and isn’t unique to this set of beliefs.

Seek's avatar

removed by me, not beating a dead horse further.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@KNOWITALL

Antagonistic? No. I’m just asking honest questions. Is that not the purpose of this thread?

And trust me, I’ve read/heard countless RL experiences. They haven’t swayed me so far, they’re not going to now.

Kropotkin's avatar

How do theists reconcile the problem of natural evil with the idea of a just and loving god? Actually, skip that. No theologian or apologist has even come close to managing it. I doubt random lay theists are going to do any better

How do you reconcile other people being convinced of, or having faith in mutually exclusive conceptions of their worshipped god(s)? For example: Muslims don’t believe in the trinity, and don’t believe Jesus is god, but they have faith that they’re right—and thus Christians must be wrong.

Why are appeals to revelation, testimony and supposed “convincing experiences” remotely valid?—when we as a species are known to possess a multitude of cognitive biases and flaws in our thinking. In other words: the capacity to fool ourselves, to interpret erroneously and to be mistaken, always looms as the alternative and simpler explanation for any claims of having their faith validated by “prayers being answered” or by some equivocal or unclear “experiences”.

Thank you for this opportunity to ask these questions, and I look forward to your clear and insightful responses.

josie's avatar

When all is said and done, are you really any different than a statist?

cookieman's avatar

Which is your favorite cookie??
aside from the communion wafer

SwanSwanHummingbird's avatar

Why do you have to talk about it all the time? Too much god in a conversation is pointless and ultimately boring.

Can’t you just accept I will never believe in your god? Can we just talk about something else?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@KNOWITALL Does your faith always stay strong and resolute, or are there times it waivers.? If so what do you do to restore it.

LornaLove's avatar

People either do or do not have spiritual experiences. That is when they seek answers to questions that they do not understand.(In whichever faith they have then acquired).

Spiritual experiences happen to many people in different ways. There is no wrong or right ‘God’ for any one person.You are either spiritual or not. Those that are not, and have had ‘religion forced down their throats’ become angry and it is clear as to why they are angry.

I think this is a great question, but pointless for those that are not spiritual people that are seeking answers to a specific God. I’ve never found examining books or questions a very spiritual exercise or life changing exercise at all. The good of this question is that it could take away the fairy angle that some people have in regards to certains spiritual leanings.

I wish I could be like you @KNOWITALL and care what people think, about God, my faith and beliefs,but I don’t. We all choose our paths and we all sit with whatever the consequences are good or bad. I wish there was a Christian Forum that asked questions like these as many Christians ask the same questions that have been asked here.

basstrom188's avatar

Do you believe in geocentric universe?

SavoirFaire's avatar

Might as well start with a classic question from Epicurus:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is not omnipotent.
Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent.
Is He both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is He neither able nor willing? Then why call Him God?

SavoirFaire's avatar

If your faith is based in any way on personal miracles or the answering of prayers, how do you explain why God intervenes to help some people find their car keys but perpetually fails to save children from death by starvation?

(My pastor did not believe in personal miracles for precisely this reason. His claim was that divine intervention only occurred when it affected everyone, the most obvious and dramatic example being the redemption from sin through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.)

PhiNotPi's avatar

@KNOWITALL What, in your opinion, is the largest misunderstanding that occurs between Christians and the non-religious?

Darth_Algar's avatar

Do you believe that God’s will is in all things, that everything happens in accordance to God’s plan? If so how do you reconcile the notion of a just, loving, beneficent god with, say, the pain and suffering of a young child who has to endure some terrible cancer?

Symbeline's avatar

One other thing I’d like to know, although this need not be reserved for theists only, but how come God, like in cartoons and stuff, is always depicted as an old man with a beard? Wearing white robes, usually? Basically, I always imagine that as what Jesus would look like if he aged, and it also kind of reminds me of the visual depictions of the Norse god Odin/Wotan.

ragingloli's avatar

Why do you not believe in Odin?

Symbeline's avatar

I do, anyways.

Kropotkin's avatar

Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr _ @Hypocrisy_Central My only question for you is this:_
You are aware there are no less than 12 places in the Bible that refer to haughtiness as a sin that brings destruction, aren’t you?
I know what the Bible says on that subject. I answered that question so no need for me to try to figure out the reason for it.

@stanleybmanly Will the meek really inherit the earth? If so, won’t it be snatched from them in probate?
Yes they will, and God owns everything, even if on loan to Satan, so there will be no probate.

@flutherother Do your beliefs conflict with science?
No, God created science and physics. Man may think he understands weather but he can’t create a cloud to rain on areas of drought.

Do you think everyone should believe as you do?
Everyone needs to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling according to the Word of God

Do you respect those who do not believe in God?
Way more than they _respect _ me.

Does the God you believe in have a mind that in any way resembles a human mind?
No, God’s thinking in comparison to ours is like comparing the brain of an amebae to a super computer, and then some.

If God made someone so he doesn’t believe why should you think he (or she) should believe?
God gave each the capacity to believe, they don’t because they unwittingly are children of the other guy and hear his voice more.

Is God interested in religion?
God hates religion, that was the big mistake of the Pharisees, and Sadducees. Religion is wrought full of the traditions of men.

Can the Bible be the word of God if it has been translated from the original text?
Yes, the core survives even if certain words cannot be translated exactly.

What are we before we are born?
That I will have to research for you.

Why are we here? What does God expect of us?
We are here for God’s good pleasure. He expects us to rely on Him as the source, reason, and provider for our lives. He expects us to be holy as He is holy, to love one another, and many more things.

Could your belief in God exist without your religion?
I have no religion, but if I did, or didn’t, God would still exist.

What is the importance of this world to God?
It is His creation, and the home of His greatest masterpiece; man.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Darth_Algar I felt like you were asking an unclear question and couldn’t get a straight answer. We’re good.

@Adirondackwannabe My faith doesn’t waiver, no. I went through a questioning phase of my life twice and am over that now. Plus, I’ve seen too much, I’ve experienced too much to doubt at this point in my life.

@LornaLove I don’t care what people think OF ME at all. I do care that people are helped by having faith/ religion and some people want to take that away from them for their own selfish reasons.

@PhiNotPi The largest misunderstanding between the religious and the non-religious, to me, is that we’re all the same.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Kropotkin :Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?”

I think #1, but I’m certainly no biblical scholar or theologian- lol

@Darth_Algar “Do you believe that God’s will is in all things, that everything happens in accordance to God’s plan? If so how do you reconcile the notion of a just, loving, beneficent god with, say, the pain and suffering of a young child who has to endure some terrible cancer?”

I do think God’s will is in all things, but I believe that we are not privy to those plans and thus we can’t see His greater purpose. My mom’s a great Christian and got cancer, and has touched a lot of people through her struggle, and is now in full remission. Is that a miracle or the chemo, I don’t know, but I’m grateful.
If your faith is based in any way on personal miracles or the answering of prayers, how do you explain why God intervenes to help some people find their car keys but perpetually fails to save children from death by starvation?

@SavoirFaire
(My pastor did not believe in personal miracles for precisely this reason. His claim was that divine intervention only occurred when it affected everyone, the most obvious and dramatic example being the redemption from sin through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.)

I believe that personal miracles happen, I’ve had a few personally (no offense to your pastor.)

Dutchess_III's avatar

I had a girlfriend who kept seeing “unexplained” miracles in her life. When I offered up a rational and obvious explanation it upset her. One time she said, “Why do you always have to ruin it?”

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Miracles and obvious explanations are two different thing’s to me, maybe coincidence that I prayed a week ago and this week it was answered, who’s to say.

My mom is the queen of miracles and maybe some of it can be ascribed to wishful thinking, but not all, not imo.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We’ll the explanations weren’t always so obvious. The main thing was, she didn’t want to look for a logical explanation.
For example, one night she was lying in bed when a leaf, apparently from nowhere, gently drifted down her doorway. It was highlighted by ambient light from the rest of the house. She watched it, just spell bound. She told me about it the next day, emphasizing how it had come out of thin air!
I thought for a second and I said, “Was it a ficus leaf by chance?”
She said as a matter of fact, it was.
I said, “Didn’t you have your ficus tree in your room for a while?” It was a good sized tree, and tall.
She said yes, but she’d moved it out like 4 days earlier.
I said, “Well, I imagine it kind of scraped along the top of the door way when you moved it and a leaf got stuck up there, and it just happened to fall at that moment.”
That’s when she said, “You just always have to ruin everything!”
She wanted to believe it was some sort of miracle.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’d venture to say that most people would love to see a real miracle, even non-theists. It’s not necessarily a bad thing unless you’re delusional…lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would love to see a real miracle! Love to! But one that I really CAN’T explain. For example…why the hell was the upstairs creaking like mad again last night?

Kropotkin's avatar

@KNOWITALL If what is morally good, is commanded by God because it is morally good, does that mean God is bound by an external standard of morality?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Kropotkin Maybe He, as an all-knowing God who knows us before we’re born, knows what morals keep us happier or safer as a species in the long term.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why don’t morals apply to other species too?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Here’s a good read about animal morality, so maybe it does.

In one experiment, hungry rhesus monkeys refused to electrically shock their fellow monkeys, even when it meant getting food for themselves. In another study, a female gorilla named Binti Jua rescued an unconscious 3-year-old (human) boy who had fallen into her enclosure at the Brookline Zoo in Illinois, protecting the child from other gorillas and even calling for human help. And when a car hit and injured a dog on a busy Chilean freeway several years ago, its canine compatriot dodged traffic, risking its life to drag the unconscious dog to safety.

http://www.livescience.com/24802-animals-have-morals-book.html

Darth_Algar's avatar

@KNOWITALL “I do think God’s will is in all things, but I believe that we are not privy to those plans and thus we can’t see His greater purpose. My mom’s a great Christian and got cancer, and has touched a lot of people through her struggle, and is now in full remission. Is that a miracle or the chemo, I don’t know, but I’m grateful.
If your faith is based in any way on personal miracles or the answering of prayers, how do you explain why God intervenes to help some people find their car keys but perpetually fails to save children from death by starvation?”

So you reconcile it by basically just saying “I dunno, but he probably has good reasons”? Honestly, I can’t see how striking a 5 year-old with brain cancer could be considered the act of a loving and beneficent being.

Is that last bit a question you’re asking me, or is it a rhetorical question?

tom_g's avatar

@KNOWITALL – What @Kropotkin is referring to is something called the Euthyphro dilemma. If you have a chance, check it out. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Darth_Algar Yeah, pretty much, I don’t know why but I have FAITH it’s for a greater purpose.

If I didn’t believe that, I’d hate God for giving my mom, one of the most righteous & faithful Christians I know, Stage 4 breast cancer all over her body. Sitting in the chemo room with her, watching little kids getting treatments next to half-dead teenagers with no hair, an elderly couple holding hands while the emaciated wife gets her chemo, there’s no room for doubt, you make your choice to believe or not. Love is real, suffering is real and for me, God is real.
No, I was just commenting.

@tom_g Sure, read it, I basically answered that above though.

Someone also mentioned something about the fear of death. For me as a theist, there is absolutely nothing to fear, it is this life that is painful. I plan to embrace my own death with open arms and seek oblivion or whatever comes next.

Seek's avatar

No one is going to answer @ragingloli ? It’s a valid question.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ragingloli Maybe he was real, I don’t worship him because he’s not my God. Believing in him is different that worshipping him as my Deity.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Odin is my homeboy.

bolwerk's avatar

Wait, @KNOWITALL is a henotheist?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@bolwerk Uh oh, I’m skeered. :) Seriously though, I try not to put my beliefs onto others, or at least as little as possible, you know, live and let live. I’m super intrigued with the tree-worshipers though- lol

Wiki “the belief in and worship of a single God while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities that may also be worshipped.”

Seek's avatar

There are Biblical arguments for henotheism, anyway. Even in the Ten Commandments, Yahweh acknowledges that there are other gods, but that he’s supposed to come first. It’s my understanding that at that time, household gods were fairly common, leftovers of matriarchal society, goddesses of hearth and harvest, that kind of thing.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Cool thanks, if Yahweh’s good with it, then I am, too…lol
Paganism interests me a bit.

Seek's avatar

if Yahweh’s good with it, then I am, too

I wouldn’t go that far if I were you…

bolwerk's avatar

The first lines about Abra[ha]m in the Bible imply YWHW began as a household god in Ur. He evolved from that into a tribal god and later into a national god, and later into the cosmic God. A lot of the contradictions in the Bible are perhaps because the tales diverged somewhat for political reasons when Israel and Judah broke into two separate kingdoms and then were forced back together, which in turn meant two divergent national histories had to be hastily glued together.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Well, yeah, I meant on that particular subject…lol

@bolwerk Common sense replies like yours are what really throws me sometimes. If I were going to argue the atheist view, that’s what I’d use.

bolwerk's avatar

@KNOWITALL: I don’t even see it as a counter-theist point. Most theists already reject the notion of Biblical inerrancy anyway. I’m pretty sure the guy who researched that last part about putting different histories back together is actually still a practicing theist, though Jewish rather than Christian. His book is a good read.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@bolwerk Looks interesting, I’m heading to B&N soon.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

If your faith is based in any way on personal miracles or the answering of prayers, how do you explain why God intervenes to help some people find their car keys but perpetually fails to save children from death by starvation?”
Author @Darth_Algar

God doesn’t perpetually fail to rescue starving, drowning, or any other children. Not every time a person finds their keys, God lead them to it. If a gun man enters a school and shoots 15 children and 9 of them dies, in that tragedy God’s glory and aim can be furthered. Not that God caused it for that, Satan caused it through unbelief by secular people. But some of those children may have developed a crippling disease that would have diminished their quality of life. Maybe one would have been a very evil acting person harming many others in his/her life time. Perhaps one of the families did not know God, and a tragedy like that would have gotten them in touch with a Bible believing relative who would lead them to the cross because they were an anchor of support long after all the secular friends had left to get on with their lives. God is not unsympathetic but He will not come in and clean up every mess man has caused himself.

Why do you not believe in Odin?
Author @ragingloli

He cannot walk, talk, eat, see, hear, or does anything the people that invented him had not made him do. I personally have not heard any miracle he did, nor read of any 1st hand account of any healing he did of the sick. I might as well worship a shot glass, fire hydrant, or spent steel-belted tire.

@Seek_Kolinahr There are Biblical arguments for henotheism, anyway. Even in the Ten Commandments, Yahweh acknowledges that there are other gods, but that he’s supposed to come first There are Biblical arguments for henotheism, anyway. Even in the Ten Commandments, Yahweh acknowledges that there are other gods, but that he’s supposed to come first.
Just because God said there were other gods, He also said those other gods were made by men and those gods were in a sense, dead. Those gods could do nothing, they had no hears to hear with. Nowhere have I read that anyone attributed any of those gods with acts of healing, raising the dead, or even having a physical functioning body that anyone can see.

cookieman's avatar

Still waiting on the cookie answer. Just sayin’

Seek's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Does your god have a physical, functioning body anyone can see?

Paradox25's avatar

1) Do you think that God is truly omnipotent?

2) Do you think that the worst possible thing that any entity could do to another is to torture them in hell for eternity facing the most unimaginable pain without any hope of let up?

3) Do you feel that it’s justifiable for God to do the above to others for not merely believing in the right god, or for just not believing in any deity/s?

4) Do you feel that good people who are not believers should suffer in hell while bad people who were believers should go to heaven?

5) Why didn’t God do a better job to convince other theists and nontheists of the ‘truth’ so they don’t suffer upon death?

6) Could you be happy in heaven, knowing full well that other people you’ve greatly cared about, perhaps even other loved ones, are suffering greatly in hell as you stand where you are in paradise?

7) Why hasn’t Jesus ever made a quote himself in the New Testament?

Symbeline's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central
He cannot walk, talk, eat, see, hear, or does anything the people that invented him had not made him do. I personally have not heard any miracle he did, nor read of any 1st hand account of any healing he did of the sick. I might as well worship a shot glass, fire hydrant, or spent steel-belted tire.

But how is the Christian god not like that? It’s exactly the same. The Bible isn’t a collection of first hand accounts, especially not when it talks about dudes living in whales for like, three days. Considering that, God can no more walk, talk, eat or hear anymore than Odin.

And anyways, they’re gods, why would they need to eat? Just for fun though, in Norse mythology, when new warriors arrive in Valhalla, there is always a huge feast for them at Odin’s table. Everyone eats, besides Odin, who just sits there, pondering. Haha I always thought that was cool. Mentioned it because of this gods eating thing. Although Jesus did eat with his buddies, but he probably didn’t actually need it, no?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr But how is the Christian god not like that? It’s exactly the same.
Read the Bible, and then tell me there were no 1st hand witnesses to things, and of God. The Glory of God is so great that if He was seen in full Glory it would over load the senses of people more than those who get a heart attack during earthquakes. He often appeared as a column of fire or smoke, or some other manifestation that people could see, but not carved of stone, wood, or metal.

Seek's avatar

He often appeared as a column of fire or smoke -

That was a volcano.

Read the Bible, and then tell me there were no 1st hand witnesses to things, -

There were no first hand witnesses to things.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Hippie Central, Nine children dying means God’s glory and aim can be furthered? So Lanza was just doing God’s work?

Symbeline's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Read the Bible, and then tell me there were no 1st hand witnesses to things, and of God

Instead of telling me to read The Bible, why don’t you provide a few examples for me? If you’ve read The Bible and are sure there are true first accounts, you’ll know where they are, shouldn’t be hard to find and post a few here. Either that are give me the names and numbers, I’ll go find the scriptures myself. I have a Bible, but I’m not gonna trudge through alla dat. I’m randomly flipping in here, and it says that in Heaven, lions will eat grass alongside gazelles.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

You’re mis-attributing that quote. Those are @KNOWITALL ‘s words, not mine. And frankly, your justifications there are fucking sickening.

glacial's avatar

@Darth_Algar Actually, they were @SavoirFaire‘s words.

This question and answer thing is working pretty well. Let’s not blow it by making judgments on people’s beliefs. Someone asked the questions, and @Hypocrisy_Central is giving his answers to those questions, which is an insight into how he believes. Other people will give their own answers, which will be different. Nobody says you have to agree with the answers, or even find them palatable.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Sorry, but the idea that God might allow someone’s child to be murdered because that family did not know God, or that school shootings happen because others disbeliever….there’s no way I’m not going to express my opinion on that.

ragingloli's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central
He destroyed the Ice Giants.
Have you looked around? I can not see any Ice Giants.
Miracle confirmed.

mattbrowne's avatar

Are you able to distinguish between faith and superstition?

Do you know the difference between a parable and historical accounts?

Can you show me one snake that can talk?

My answers are:

Yes.

Yes.

No.

tom_g's avatar

(This is probably a stupid question) Christians – since humans have been around for 200,000 years, what was god up to during that time until he visited humans in the form of Jesus 2,000 years ago?

KNOWITALL's avatar

Personally I think that this had deteriorated quite enough.

I did a favor for an atheist by asking this, to be fair, and with faith we could all be grown-up’s for once, so for it to be getting disrespectful is really unacceptable to me.

I’m done here and feel embarassed for some of you.

Kropotkin's avatar

Why do some theists try to end their discussion threads by rhetorically taking the moral high ground in a paternalistic and sanctimonious manner?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Kropotkin Did I blame either party? Both threads have now went bad, real mature.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@mattbrowne What IS the difference between faith and superstition?

dxs's avatar

Okay @Seek_Kolinahr let me try to answer your faith question:
The faith that goes into earthly matters is not the same faith that goes into the faith in God. Faith, in this Godly sense, is the gift given to God’s chosen people to enter the Kingdom of God. Only those with faith are welcome. (I looked and looked but couldn’t find the source fo this in the Bible…somewhere in the NT) Faith is necessary for God because he only wants the “true” people to enter. Sorry…couldn’t think of a better word. If God proves himself, then there would be less free will, and people would enter unwillingly, more as an expectation of what is to come. It’s like they’d take it for granted perhaps.
No human can truly conceptualize God anyway, so a level of faith will always be required. In Catholicism, God isn’t even a guy with a beard living a bazillion lightyears above us. He has no form or physical entities. He’s…God.
It’s the same idea that some Christian people hold with “becoming God”. You aren’t God, so you cannot know him entirely.

kritiper's avatar

@tom_g – Now THERE is an interesting POV that some people seem to have; As I was taught, Jesus was the son of God, not God himself.

dxs's avatar

@tom_g Let me give you the Catholic perspective on this:
God is God, and Jesus is also God. It’s called the Holy Trinity.
God is three in one:
Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Ghost. One person, three entities.
So in those days before Jesus, God was God. God sent Jesus as a final sacrifice and to fulfill the prophecies and all.
Also, God isn’t a human, he is just given human attributes to help better understand him (read my last response).

kritiper's avatar

@dxs – I have a friend who was raised Mormon, has changed to (I suppose) a ‘general” Christian (no major religious belonging) who has the idea that since Jesus (supposedly) died for the sins of man, that he can do just about whatever he wants, sin-wise. (IMO, he is a lousy Christian!) Would God have such a blanket admittance to heaven policy for people like this? Not in any religion I would have if I still had one.

tom_g's avatar

@kritiper – I am an ex-Catholic, so that could be the difference. But feel free to answer the question by changing it to read…

@tom_g: ”(This is probably a stupid question) Christians – since humans have been around for 200,000 years, what was god up to during that time until he sent his son jesus to visit humans 2,000 years ago?”

Seek's avatar

^ I’m an ex-Pentecostal, and we believed that God was God, Jesus was God manifested in flesh, and the Holy Ghost was God manifested in us.

All the same God, and don’t you dare use the word “Trinity”, because only pagan heathens believe in more than one god.

kritiper's avatar

@tom_g – I, too, am ex-Catholic. I sometimes wondered if God’s (so-called) creation was like a fish bowl or ant farm. He would wander by every so often and look in to see what was going on.

kritiper's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – I don’t recall the Catholic church using the term “trinity” to mean more than one god. In the trinity, there was God (the one and only God), his son, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost (or Spirit) what ever the heck it was supposed to be.

dxs's avatar

Hooray other ex-Catholics!
@kritiper That’s one thing I really struggled with when I was Catholic. I always asked this question in my theology classes but unfortunately I forgot what they told me. Basically, I would ask them, why confess if I know I am going to sin again? One Christian group once told me that taking time to acknowledge your wrongdoings is helpful to steer you towards God. Repentance is a required Sacrament in Catholicism. But in the Act of Contrition (the version I knew), it specially said:
I firmly resolve, with the help of your Grace, to do penance and to sin no more.
Whenever I said it, I’d think to myself that I’m lying to God by saying this, so I’m making things even worse. Even God says and knows that we are all sinners.
@Seek @kritiper I know that the Trinity is controversial in Christian denominations, but it didn’t imply three gods. Catholics are still monotheistic, though. It is a very important aspect of Catholicism.

Seek's avatar

@dxs

I still don’t understand why this “faith” is necessarily good.

If one has “faith” that aliens are monitoring our thoughts in order to plan world domination, and the only way to save yourself and the world is by wearing a tinfoil hat, we call those people crazy. It’s not considered admirable to have that kind of faith.

If one has “faith” that an abusive partner loves them, we want to help those people. We want to separate them from their faith, in order to allow them to see that what they’re believing is not fact. It is not considered admirable to have that kind of faith.

In the case of Christianity, one must have faith that God is real, and one must have faith that God’s word is true with regards to the afterlife, sin, and punishment. Furthermore, one must have faith that they have correctly interpreted Scripture in order to figure out what the God they have faith in demands in order to receive a reward and avoid punishment. How do you accomplish this? You have faith that God has inspired you through direct communication, and has led you to the right church, the right denomination, and the right scriptures in the right translation of the right texts. You also have faith that, even though any mistake could send to to an eternal pain you cannot possibly imagine (which you believe in by faith), you have faith that god does, indeed, love you.

From the outside, it seems like a combination of tinfoil-hat-guy and black-eyed-housewife.

I’m just wondering why faith in God is considered an admirable trait.

I mean, if you are introduced to those ideas, what makes you accept them based on faith alone, without triggering a desire to know more, in order to determine whether the belief is based on fact. Would you spend your life in an abusive relationship, determined to believe that your partner loves you, even as they demonstrate no loving action to back up their words?

Seek's avatar

@dxs and @kritiper

Don’t go expecting Pentecostals to make sense. They speak in tongues, and believe if you don’t speak in tongues, you’re going to hell. Thus, all Catholics are going to hell anyway, and we don’t have to listen to your pagan heathen arguments.

tom_g's avatar

Here are a couple more questions that I have always wondered about…

1. If god has always existed, why did he decide to suddenly create humans?

2. Had god ever experimented with creation before, or are we the first?

3. Since humans had not existed prior to god creating us, suffering had not yet existed, correct? So, what went into god’s motivation to create anything at all – especially considering that he would be creating suffering. *

4. * If suffering is necessary (see #3), is god subject to laws that are greater than he is, or is he the author of these laws?

Seek's avatar

There was a minister that visited my old church, who suggested that God might have played around with other versions of sentient beings before, and that’s why Science thinks the earth is older than the Bible says it is, and why fossils are older and blahblah.

Oddly enough, he was never invited back. But I did think it was an interesting loophole. Sentient dinosaurs?

KNOWITALL's avatar

I swore I wouldn’t get into this today again, but @Seek_Kolinahr made me recall a thought I had last night.

For some of us theists, faith in God can also be a form of hope. Example: My child gets terminal cancer. Having faith in God and miracles can keep me from falling into the depths of despair and able to function while dealing with a painful situation.

You may call it self or mass delusion of course, but I don’t because I choose to believe.

kritiper's avatar

@KNOWITALL – Good point and well said. (I remember the hope and faith I had as a child, praying MIGHTILY to God every night for a Superman costume and a horse.) Hope is a very viable driving force for faith.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“Played around” suggests trial and error @Seek_Kolinahr….how can that be?

Yeah, I find myself praying still @KNOWITALL. Sometimes we just need something to hold on to even if it seems irrational. And it is comforting.

dxs's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr To answer this question, let me quote you:
Don’t go expecting Pentecostals to make sense. They speak in tongues, and believe if you don’t speak in tongues, you’re going to hell. Thus, all Catholics are going to hell anyway, and we don’t have to listen to your pagan heathen arguments.

Instead of being the Devil’s advocate, I’m going to be my own self answering this time.
I honestly don’t know what to say about Pentecostals, so you’d have to talk to them about this, not me. And I am personally against most Christian denominations because most don’t make sense to me, either.
But again, not every single Christian is Pentecostal. At least thinking of a non-denominational Christian, I don’t see the belief in a god necessarily a bad thing. Christ isn’t going to give you a black eye like an abusive husband would. Do you not ride buses because you don’t have faith that the driver won’t crash the bus into a cement wall? Do you not let anyone into your house because you think they are going to take your possessions? Faith isn’t always the mindset of insane and deceived people. Therefore Faith isn’t always a bad thing.
As @KNOWITALL and @Dutchess said, faith can be good for people. It’s the same reasoning I gave you in @SuperMouse’s last thread here—it can give someone spiritual strength. Actually, @KNOWITALL reminded me of a really interesting concept of Catholicism: the Paschal Mystery. If there’s one thing from Catholicism that really helped me in daily life, it’s this. The Paschal Mystery is the idea that through pain and suffering comes joy and happiness. You can obviously see how it relates to Jesus, but it always helped me (and still does) if there is something wrong, no matter how trivial. For instance, the other day I was walking outside in the freezing cold in just a sweatshirt. I was pretty cold, but I kept thinking that this feeling is not infinite; I will eventually be in my nice, warm (I mean, low 60s, but at least bearable) room within short time. So there, it even helps a non-Catholic like me!
Also, I always thought of faith being different than trust because faith carries more of a spiritual aspect. If you think of it that way, then the division I made earlier about faith in earthly matters and faith Godly matters makes more sense. It’s just a thought, though.
I have to go now, but if you want to continue, I’ll be back later.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Exactly. Now how do we keep that comfort and hope and subtract it from our general viewpoint enough to be able to vote, that’s a little more difficult.

@dxs Like the monks who wall themselves up, and wear hairshirts, sleep on beds of nails. Yeah, I tend to view life as one big suffering cesspot, preparing us and making us holy for Heaven. :)

Seek's avatar

I know exactly what to say about Pentecostals. Crackpot whackos. But, they do have their faith. And they believe what they believe just as strongly as you believe what you believe, and you both have faith that you got your belief from the same place.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KNOWITALL “Now how do we keep that comfort and hope and subtract it from our general viewpoint enough to be able to vote, that’s a little more difficult.” I’m not following you…

Seek's avatar

^ Religious people are more likely to vote for religious people, and religious people in office are more likely to vote for laws based on religious causes.

@KNOWITALL has, in the past, admitted she does this, and while she understands that this does directly affect nonreligious people (by forcing them to comply with religious doctrine with no underlying secular reason) she does not have any immediate plans to stop supporting religious candidates.

tom_g's avatar

5. Do you ever consider what it would have been like to have been born in another country, and therefore be of a different religion?

6. Is it important to god that humans believe in god’s existence?

7. If yes to #6, why doesn’t god reveal himself?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III @Seek_Kolinahr Correct for the most part. Even taking religion out of the equation, it’s difficult.

I did vote for Bill Clinton and I do have several social issues that I lean more liberal on. On many other issues, I lean more right, like, as you know, our military, fiscal issues, gun rights, etc..

There aren’t many candidates that will support gun rights and SSM, see my point here?

Seek's avatar

However, @KNOWITALL, logic can assist you in determining which to vote for.

Gun rights are not in danger. They are a constitutional right. No one is coming to “take away our guns”.

However, human rights are currently being violated, and it’s a hard battle we’re facing to correct that problem now.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr When I get to St. Peter I’m not sure ‘I used logic’ will be an acceptable defense. I’m also not as convinced as you are that my guns are safe.

If a majority of theists do NOT believe in SSM since it’s (as they see it) a direct violation of the Bible’s directives, for me to support it from an openminded stance puts me in a bad position . And along with supporting SSM, I could be voting to support many other liberal issues that I do NOT believe in. That is the real pickle.

Give me a more middle-of-the-road liberal or conservative that I can fully support, along with other religious conservatives, and we may have a chance for progress.

tom_g's avatar

8. How did you determine that your god is a good god?

9. How certain are you that your god exists?

10. What would it take for you to no longer believe in god?

11. Do you feel that god intentionally designed the universe and us in a way that makes his existence seem unlikely? In other words, did he “cover his tracks”, and if so, why?

glacial's avatar

@KNOWITALL Can you vote in primaries in your area? That’s how you get the kind of candidate you can support. Sorry, I know we’re straying off-topic here.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@glacial So pick one from a sorry list of choices?

Seek's avatar

@KNOWITALL It’s pretty much what we’re stuck with in this country, unfortunately.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I know, but that’s part of the dilemma.

Seek's avatar

@KNOWITALL Don’t I know it.

Bear in mind, we’ve had 44 presidents, and not a single one has been an open atheist. The closest we got was Thomas Jefferson, who was (if nominally) a deist. And that was 250 years ago.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Jefferson was cool, too, read a lot about him. Maybe it’s our elected leaders causing all this angst, poor leadership.

tom_g's avatar

12. If you believe in an eternal afterlife, do you fear it at all (boredom, etc)?

13. If you believe in an afterlife, does it take effort to attribute meaning to this life?

14. What is the purpose of life (this life) if the real thing is eternity in heaven (or somewhere)?

KNOWITALL's avatar

Wow @tom_g you’re on FIRE, son!!! (just a joke!!)

5. Do you ever consider what it would have been like to have been born in another country, and therefore be of a different religion? Sure, I have known lots of foreigners and asked them tons of questions.

6. Is it important to god that humans believe in god’s existence? After giving us this entire world to play with, I’m sure he appreciates our appreciation, but I have no confirmation of such.

7. If yes to #6, why doesn’t god reveal himself? I don’t know, ask Him.

8. How did you determine that your god is a good god? Because the bible tells me he gave up his son for us, among other things.

9. How certain are you that your god exists? I’m not certain, I just have faith that He does.

10. What would it take for you to no longer believe in god? That is not reallly something I’m comfortable sharing here.

11. Do you feel that god intentionally designed the universe and us in a way that makes his existence seem unlikely? In other words, did he “cover his tracks”, and if so, why?

No, I think He is what He is, unfathomable.

12. If you believe in an eternal afterlife, do you fear it at all (boredom, etc)? Not at all, we’ll be there with all the other souls we’ve known before, adoring our deity.

13. If you believe in an afterlife, does it take effort to attribute meaning to this life? Yes it does actually. Life is very hard, very unfair, and only by good works and hope/ faith does it redeem itself.

14. What is the purpose of life (this life) if the real thing is eternity in heaven (or somewhere)?

Sometimes I think life is our actual hell, our test for holiness.

tom_g's avatar

^ Thanks @KNOWITALL! How about #1 – #4? :)

KNOWITALL's avatar

@tom_g Ah sorry.

1. If god has always existed, why did he decide to suddenly create humans?
How can I know other than what the Bible tells us about creation?

2. Had god ever experimented with creation before, or are we the first?
Oh boy, so maybe he made other life on other planets, and we were like issue #1 (have to be because we’re so goofy.) I don’t know.

3. Since humans had not existed prior to god creating us, suffering had not yet existed, correct? So, what went into god’s motivation to create anything at all – especially considering that he would be creating suffering. *

Well I don’t think we knew suffering until Eve ate from the tree of knowledge according to the bible. So we basically screwed everything up for all eternity.

4. * If suffering is necessary (see #3), is god subject to laws that are greater than he is, or is he the author of these laws?
He is the Alpha and Omega, Jesus basically pleaded with his Father, God, for us. So God is the author, he is subject to no law.

tom_g's avatar

@KNOWITALL: “Well I don’t think we knew suffering until Eve ate from the tree of knowledge according to the bible. So we basically screwed everything up for all eternity.”

But god knew this, right? He created suffering from scratch and the conditions that will bring about suffering (Eve), knowing that his creation (Eve) would do this and that all creatures would forever experience his creation (suffering).

Since god is “subject to no law” and therefore created suffering, are you concerned at all about this? Why wouldn’t god have created existence without suffering?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@tom_g Sure, but He gave us free will & a brain, we had the option of living blissfully and chose not to do so. So we created suffering for ourselves.

I’m not concerned about it, I don’t judge Him anymore than I judge you. Suffering is a part of life and has been since then.

You know I’m no theologian.

tom_g's avatar

@KNOWITALL: “Sure, but He gave us free will & a brain, we had the option of living blissfully and chose not to do so. So we created suffering for ourselves.”

I think you misunderstood what I was saying. What I mean is that there was no such thing as suffering prior to god creating suffering. It just didn’t exist. He built it into our universe (or at least the experience of conscious creatures).

So, he created – I mean, just invented it from scratch – suffering. All of this is before the whole question of “free will”. But even looking at free will from what you are saying, didn’t god know that a few minutes after creating Adam and Eve, Eve would trigger suffering for everyone else who ever lived? He did, right?

Sorry to harp on this. It’s personally important to me because it was one of the first big questions I had when I was a Catholic. I had actually asked my priest during a CCD “ask the priest” moment about this and was scolded for it. This was the beginning of the end for me.

Symbeline's avatar

This is what gets me too. God created everything, therefore, He created all the bad stuff, too. Why? And why doesn’t He help us? The world is dark and evil, and that’s all part of His creations. He also created Satan, and now He allows said fallen angel to torment people. I don’t understand why a loving god would do this. If He’s not playing a cruel game, then it’s all unnecessary.
My only guess is, human beings have to go through trials in order to reach a higher plane of existence when we ’‘die’’. But since that isn’t in The Bible and The Bible is supposed to be the word of God, it completely escapes me. The Bible seems to suggest that God is helpless in front of Satan and man’s sins, at least until Judgement Day when he fixes it all. All He can do is send messages and order people around.

tom_g's avatar

@tom_g: “You know I’m no theologian.”

Just to be clear. I am not trying to trick you or looking for you to find a satisfying apologetic about the topic. I’m just curious about how you resolve these questions as a believer – not a theologian.

When I asked the priest the question (in the basement of the rectory – what the?), I hadn’t even begun to question god’s existence. I was a believer. But I was struggling with the “is god good” part. In other words, I couldn’t reconcile my moral intuitions with what I was told about god. I first became convinced that it was likely that the god we were all praying to was malevolent.

Anyway, just didn’t want to feel that I was picking on your responses.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@tom_g @symbeline I don’t know. Maybe because suffering makes us humble and helps us appreciate the lives He gave us?

First Corinthians 13:12 says, “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”

snowberry's avatar

Sorry folks, I’m following, but my husband was in a motorcycle accident a few days ago, and I don’t have time to post much, so I’ll simply toss this out there and go. Regarding “Why doesn’t God help us?”-

This reminds me a bit of the time my little son broke a toy he had. He had accidentally ripped the axles off of a cheap plastic toy truck. He brought it to me screaming in anger while trying to force the wheels back into the toy. I told him to give it to me, but he refused, still crying and yelling at me to fix it. My choices were to forcibly take it from him or let him cry it out until he dropped it or forgot about it. I sure couldn’t fix it as long as he was gripping it because I might have hurt him when I pushed the axles back in. Eventually he put it down and I had a chance to fix it, and gave it back to him. Many times I see myself in the same position, holding so tightly to the problem that God cannot move on my behalf. And when I release the problem to his control God does resolve it, and more magnificently than I could have imagined.

My current situation is an example. As long as I keep my hands off the problem, God is free to work in my hubby’s life, and people are amazed at the many “coincidences” that keep happening.

flutherother's avatar

@KNOWITALL Don’t you prefer the King James version?: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

tom_g's avatar

@KNOWITALL: “Maybe because suffering makes us humble and helps us appreciate the lives He gave us?”

But if suffering is required to make a person humble, this is a condition or law that god created. In other words, he created humans as creatures that could only be humble by experiencing this thing called suffering, which he created. The path to humility could have been any other way – but god chose this.

Also, he apparently also chose to make humility a requirement for the appreciation of life.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@snowberry Good answer. I release thing’s I can’t handle to God as well, and in fact that’s how I got married via answered prayer.

@flutherother Either way, same meaning.

Seek's avatar

Many of these arguments are very Western-centric.

There are a great many people in the world who have never heard of the Christian god. Yet they suffer. And they suffer greatly, without ever knowing whether they’re being starved to death or drinking parasitic water in order to humble them enough to receive God’s attention.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Like Native Americans and Mayans, blame themselves for not doing something ‘right’, displeasing the god’s and being punished.

@tom_g Suffering leads to holiness. He is the the way, the path and the light.

tom_g's avatar

@KNOWITALL: “Suffering leads to holiness. He is the the way, the path and the light.”

So, you’re ok with what I described – that god created this…

suffering leads to holiness

…when he didn’t need to at all?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@tom_g How do you know He didn’t need to? We are pretty crappy as a race to each other and to our planet as is, and we know suffering.

Okay with it? I don’t really have a choice. My mom got cancer so of course I’d prefer her not to suffer, or anyone else for that matter.

As I said, going into a chemo room with my mom, watching little kids with cancer sit there half dead, hoping for another year of life, we have to ask what suffering is for, what’s the purpose, what can I learn from this to help myself and others. Hating God serves no purpose.

Seek's avatar

How do you know He didn’t need to?

Unless there’s something more powerful than God, telling God what he can and can’t do, he didn’t.

tom_g's avatar

@KNOWITALL: “How do you know He didn’t need to?”

You said that…. @KNOWITALL: “So God is the author, he is subject to no law.”

@KNOWITALL: “We are pretty crappy as a race to each other and to our planet as is, and we know suffering.”

Yes. Again, all the creation of god. The universe, the laws, the existence of suffering, the creatures, the tsunamis, disease, rapists, all of it.

If god is the creator of everything, he had the choice to create existence without suffering. Remember – heaven is the example, right?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Since He’s All-Knowing, I have to believe He saw us without suffering and yet still gave us the choice. Suffering or not, we chose suffering when we chose the knowledge.

@tom_g See answer to Seek. I’m saying there must have been a reason to create suffering in the first place. Adam and Eve were living without suffering. They chose to change that in pursuit of knowledge against God’s directive.

tom_g's avatar

@KNOWITALL: “See answer to Seek.”

I can’t find it. Which one?

@KNOWITALL: “I’m saying there must have been a reason to create suffering in the first place.”

If there is had been a reason, that reason would have been created by god.

@KNOWITALL: “Adam and Eve were living without suffering. They chose to change that in pursuit of knowledge against God’s directive.”

@tom_g: “I think you misunderstood what I was saying. What I mean is that there was no such thing as suffering prior to god creating suffering. It just didn’t exist. He built it into our universe (or at least the experience of conscious creatures).
So, he created – I mean, just invented it from scratch – suffering. All of this is before the whole question of “free will”. But even looking at free will from what you are saying, didn’t god know that a few minutes after creating Adam and Eve, Eve would trigger suffering for everyone else who ever lived? He did, right?” *

Seek's avatar

The one in the same post, love. “Since He’s All-Knowing, I have to believe He saw us without suffering and yet still gave us the choice. Suffering or not, we chose suffering when we chose the knowledge.”

tom_g's avatar

But that doesn’t answer my question.

Seek's avatar

Shocked?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@tom_g What exactly is your question? Why didn’t God create existance without suffering?
That is the one I answered. If there’s another I missed, please advise. :)

*I think it’s interesting that so many people feel we’re worthy to be absolved of suffering, I surely do not agree with that.

Seek's avatar

Do you think small children living in third world countries deserve to have parasites eating their eyeballs from the inside out, because they haven’t accepted Jesus?

dxs's avatar

I kind of got a bit lost reading the responses, but let me address the whole “why would God create evil?” thing.
The justification that Christians have regarding suffering is to look at it this way: paradoxes can only exist if both sides are present. Therefore, God wouldn’t be good if there were no evil. Happiness and joy would be nothing without pain and suffering. So they have to exist, and humans must therefore know suffering to know of God’s greatness. Catholics believe in the armageddon, which is the belief that God will return and defeat evil forever, and all the faithful souls will live forever in rapture.
What I cannot answer (because I don’t understand it either) is why and how sin is a result of humans if God created everything. The biggest problem I have is relating God’s omniscience to his culpability.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr No I don’t. Eve made that choice for all of us, not me and not God. He gave us free will and that is what was chosen.

You know me well enough by now, I hope, to know I’m not a sadist.

dxs's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I know exactly what to say about Pentecostals. Crackpot whackos. But, they do have their faith. And they believe what they believe just as strongly as you believe what you believe, and you both have faith that you got your belief from the same place.
Okay just to clarify, what do you mean? Are you talking to me? I assumed you were addressing me since the first part of that post was referring to something that I had posted.

tom_g's avatar

@KNOWITALL: ”@tom_g What exactly is your question? Why didn’t God create existance without suffering? That is the one I answered.”

You didn’t answer it. You said that he likely had to, despite the fact that you had just said that god doesn’t have to do anything (not subject to any law).

@KNOWITALL: “Eve made that choice for all of us, not me and not God. He gave us free will and that is what was chosen.”

First of all, Eve doesn’t come into the picture until after the topic we’re discussing (the creation of the universe). Let me know which point I am failing on….

1. god is omniscient
2. god is benevolent
3. god is omnipotent
4. because of #1 – #3, god was capable of creating a universe without suffering
5. god created suffering
6. god created the path to suffering (what Eve did would result in suffering)
7. god knew that Eve would do what she did
8. the statement, “Eve made that choice for all of us, not me and not God. He gave us free will and that is what was chosen.” makes little sense if #1 – #7 are true, right?

Why did god create a universe where suffering exists?

tom_g's avatar

And just to be clear – I am not talking about “evil” and “choices”. I’m talking about the existence of suffering. I mean, god has created a shining example of what a universe might look like without suffering (heaven), and I could certainly create one if I was omnipotent. What concerned me as a child was that #2 was wrong.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@tom_g I don’t know and I think this is getting a little too much for me at the end of a work day. I told you I’m no theologian and while you may have thought about this as a child, I did not.

I was indoctrinated from birth and didn’t even know I COULD question God or the Bible until I was a teenager. :)

tom_g's avatar

^ ok. Thanks. Well, think about ;) and let me know how it goes.

dxs's avatar

@tom_g Did you even read my response?

tom_g's avatar

@dxs: ”@tom_g Did you even read my response?”

I didn’t because of this:

@dxs: “I kind of got a bit lost reading the responses, but let me address the whole “why would God create evil?” thing.”

I wasn’t discussing the whole “evil” thing and didn’t want to get sidetracked.

But I’ll read it now…

@dxs: “The justification that Christians have regarding suffering is to look at it this way: paradoxes can only exist if both sides are present. Therefore, God wouldn’t be good if there were no evil. Happiness and joy would be nothing without pain and suffering. So they have to exist, and humans must therefore know suffering to know of God’s greatness.”

Right. But they are forgetting that god is omnipotent. The conditions you describe are only conditions at all because god created them. Water freezes at 32 degrees because of god. They also forget that heaven exists, which is a universe without these conditions.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@all Interesting.

Is God culpable for the evil he knows will take place?

I would say that the parallel between you and God is precise. You do know that your child is going to do some things wrong. The only difference between you and God in this case is that God knows the particular things that every one of His children is going to do wrong. You don’t know the particulars, but you know it’s inevitable.

If it is true that God is morally responsible for what His children do because He knows in advance, then it is also true that you’re morally responsible. But if it’s true that you’re not morally responsible because you know in advance, then it’s also true that God is not responsible. That’s why I argue that neither is morally responsible because the wild card, in a sense, in this discussion is free moral agency.
http://www.str.org/articles/is-god-culpable-for-evil-he-knows-will-take-place

*key words, free moral agency

tom_g's avatar

^ I could respond to this. But keep in mind that I am intentionally trying to keep us away from the “evil” question altogether. This can only take place in a conversation in which the existence of suffering has been resolved. Everything we have been talking about so far is regarding suffering, not “evil”.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Symbeline Instead of telling me to read The Bible, why don’t you provide a few examples for me?
Instead of using the often used atheist tactic of saying ”I don’t have time to do your homework for you, you can look it up”, which means below the surface, ”I don’t have and can’t produce the goods”, I am going to post some for you, just keep looking. However, when I do, you have to look them up yourself that is the deal. In part because you will know I did not doctor up anything to try to bamboozle you and you can see it for yourself. I will post them if you look them up for yourself. Deal, or no deal?

@Darth_Algar And frankly, your justifications there are fucking sickening.
I have not justified anything; you better go speak to those abortion supporters and those who have had them about justifying.

Sorry, but the idea that God might allow someone’s child to be murdered because that family did not know God, or that school shootings happen because others disbeliever….there’s no way I’m not going to express my opinion on that.
When God allows some teenager who was fornicating and got pregnant to go to Planned Parenthood to kill the baby because it doesn’t look like a baby yet, you will be as animated, or will you be all rah, rah for the teen to hide the pregnancy from her parents and disown her responsibility for the child she formed boinking like bunnies? You want to have your cake and eat it to, but God don’t swing that way. If you want God to do something about a crazed gunman, maybe he should curse those women who want to use abortion as birth control or escape the obligation created by her act of pleasure (to put it mildly).

@tom_g (This is probably a stupid question) Christians – since humans have been around for 200,000 years, what was god up to during that time until he visited humans in the form of Jesus 2,000 years ago?
What God was doing before He sent Christ as the salvation for all, was trying to reconcile His relationship with men, and as today, many were hard-headed, and obstinate.

Here are a couple more questions that I have always wondered about…
1. If god has always existed, why did he decide to suddenly create humans?
The same way anyone else does anything, because He wanted to. If you never owned a dog, boat, plane, motorcycle, etc. why did you at the time you did?

2. Had god ever experimented with creation before, or are we the first?
I don’t know, and don’t care. If He experimented with creation in another dimension, per se, it has no bearing on my salvation here and now.

3. Since humans had not existed prior to god creating us, suffering had not yet existed, correct? So, what went into god’s motivation to create anything at all – especially considering that he would be creating suffering.
Suffering was a byproduct of sin. Plane crashes are a byproduct of aviation, yet people still do it and try to do it better, Knowing gravity can cause crashes did not stop man from wanting to fly.

4. * If suffering is necessary (see #3), is god subject to laws that are greater than he is, or is he the author of these laws?
Suffering is a byproduct. God never had it for man to suffer, man did that to himself (or should I say Adam through Eve did it to all of us) by disobedience.

@Seek_Kolinahr I know exactly what to say about Pentecostals. Crackpot whackos
I know exactly what to say about gays and atheist. redacted. If I were to plug in what I took back, would you believe It as just respectful illustration of my free speech?.

(Other questions I will get to later, unless they keep growing to the point I can’t catch up)

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Whoa….. With all due respect, Jesus came for the sinners not the saved, so we need to be real careful about casting stones and remain humble, my friend.

Abortion is a very difficult issue and remember some of those occur because of rape and molestation, not just sexual promiscuity. Please keep that in mind and renew your compassion for women in that position.

Gays and atheists are still children of God and worthy of love and compassion. Please don’t stoop to their level. :)

dxs's avatar

@tom_g I’m lost with what you’re trying to say.
I already said in my previous response that I can’t relate sins to being the fault of humans if God created everything:
What I cannot answer (because I don’t understand it either) is why and how sin is a result of humans if God created everything.
And to clarify, sin led to suffering.
So are you potentially arguing why God should have created anything anyway? Too many problems, right? Well who knows. In Catholic schooling, I learned that the meaning of life here on earth is to know, love, and serve God. But the meaning of existence…does any person know?
Oh, and to Catholics, heaven doesn’t exist. Heaven is the state of rapture, and no human soul with original sin has entered heaven because the Parousia hasn’t happened yet.

tom_g's avatar

@dxs: ”@tom_g I’m lost with what you’re trying to say.”

That’s ok. It’s not that important anyway. It’s nothing tricky. I am simply asking why god, during the creation of the universe, created suffering – when it was just as easy to create a universe without suffering. He invented suffering.. And sure, we could easily talk about why something instead of nothing. But for now, it’s just the suffering thing.

dxs's avatar

@tom_g Then I’ve addressed everything you said in that paragraph above in my last two responses. Did you read more than just the first line in my second response as well? I’m not writing responses that go against my own opinions just for shits and giggles, I’m trying to help you get a better understanding of a theist’s perspective.

Darth_Algar's avatar

If everything happens in accordance to God’s plan then how do we truly have free will?

dxs's avatar

@Darth_Algar It’s more that God knows what is going to happen anyway. He isn’t controlling what we do. God isn’t restricted by time.
One of my theology teachers once made an analogy of a parade. When we’re at a parade, we look at the parade pass us by. God is above us is seeing the whole parade from start to finish all at once.

Darth_Algar's avatar

If he knows everything that is going to happen then then implication is still that everything is ordained or “written down”, and thus is still problematic for the notion of free will.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@KNOWITALL Whoa….. With all due respect, Jesus came for the sinners not the saved, so we need to be real careful about casting stones and remain humble, my friend.
Yes, He came for all, even those who don’t realize the boat is sinking and he has the only rescue craft. If it seem I said anything other than that, I did not mean it.

Abortion is a very difficult issue and remember some of those occur because of rape and molestation, not just sexual promiscuity. Please keep that in mind and renew your compassion for women in that position.
My compassion for those women are no less than anyone else, to be raped, and I have to include molestation as a form of non-violent rape, it was not their will, as I would say fornication is, same as adultery; none with full knowledge. I did not mention that group of women.

Gays and atheists are still children of God and worthy of love and compassion. Please don’t stoop to their level. :)
What I didn’t post was nothing close to a slur or dig as was said in the comment that preceded it. It was to illustrate the hypocrisy of those who do not want anything negative said of gays and atheist but they feel free to call a parson of faith crackpots, stupid, delusional, etc..

Back to questions for atheist

• In the process of development, be it called evolution or anything else, do you believe it natural or usual to have created gays?
• If it was, why not at least 30% of All other species as well?
• If only unique for humans, why?
• If natural for human development why can I not find 3 in every 10 person gay?
• If we play the numbers game, why are dwarfs not seen as natural blonde headed people (in relative numbers to the population)?
• This development process placed man here on this planet for what?
• Is man essential to this planet?
• If this is all you get forever, what are you trying to do that you don’t spend all of your time trying to enjoy it to the hilt before you die?

kritiper's avatar

For all, be you Theist, Atheist, or something else, there are MANY things that can never be understood and we all must accept this fact.

tom_g's avatar

^ huh?

Seek's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central – though I don’t know why I bother anymore.

It appears to be a natural development.

Homosexuality in non-human animals

It is not unique to humans.

You made up the 3 in 10 number yourself.

I have no idea what that dwarf question is supposed to be asking. If you’re intending to ask why dwarfism is considered unnatural to unlearned people, you can probably look to Mediaeval Europe and their insistence that anything straying from the norm was the result of daemonic influence. We now know that most dwarfism is a random genetic accident and cannot be predicted. It’s as natural as colourblindness.

We weren’t “placed” and it wasn’t “for” anything. It just happened.

Nope.

I do spend my time enjoying my life. If you’re asking why I don’t take part in destructive activity, it’s because I don’t feel I would enjoy it and have no compelling reason to do so. I would like to try skydiving, I would not like to drive a race car. I would like to set off fireworks, I would not like to shoot people.

kritiper's avatar

@tom_g – You can never know the answers to everything, so don’t try.

Seek's avatar

^ What a boring worldview.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^^^ OK, an interesting article but it goes a long way from saying there are gay animals. You did read this passage here, correct?
“necessarily an account of human interpretations of these phenomena”. Simon Levay introduced the further caveat that “Although homosexual behavior is very common in the animal world, it seems to be very uncommon that individual animals have a long-lasting predisposition to engage in such behavior to the exclusion of heterosexual activities.Thus, a homosexual orientation, if one can speak of such thing in animals, seems to be a rarity.” If one wants to find guy animals they can concoct it from behavior they believe supports it.

I am sure you want to doctor that thinking up as much as possible. Because an animal may act in a homosexual manner doesn’t make them homosexual. That being said, did the evolutionary or developmental whatever get it wrong with humans? After all atheist believe everything just happened at random. Why didn’t animals, out of this random occurrence, make a conscious choice, at least a significant enough to shun the other sex, even if it is a female in heat, and latch onto another of the same sex? I guess in that part, true sympathy and empathy was an abnormally due human as well.

Seek's avatar

Animals don’t make conscious choices at all, as they lack the prefrontal cortex necessary for sentience.

kritiper's avatar

Should have said “Don’t try TOO hard.”

dxs's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr What? Animals don’t have senses?

LornaLove's avatar

@KNOWITALL Just to clarify, never said ‘you’. I said I don’t really care what people think about my beliefs. Meaning to clear up misunderstandings or change their minds. God does that, or not.

Seek's avatar

@dxs

Sentience. Not “sense”.

Awareness of their existence, life, potential death, and the consequences of their choices. Consciousness.

From wiki for “prefrontal cortex”:

The most typical psychological term for functions carried out by the prefrontal cortex area is executive function. Executive function relates to abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on actions, and social “control” (the ability to suppress urges that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially unacceptable outcomes).

dxs's avatar

Ohh okay. I thought sentience meant ability to perceive senses. Whoops.

Seek's avatar

That’s the raw definition, the philosophical usage of the word is found here

dxs's avatar

“The ability to experience subjectivity”? Gees so if I wasn’t sentient then I wouldn’t have to go through those damned writing classes. ~

Seek's avatar

* Snort!*

mattbrowne's avatar

@Dutchess_III – Faith includes the awareness of something not being a fact, like human lives have meaning and purpose, or there is a higher power as the ultimate explanation of being. Faith does not contradict science it only complements it.
When faith is seen as a fact it becomes superstition. The other form of superstition is the rejection of knowledge and facts, such as Jesus can really walk on water or the Earth was created in six days or Friday 13th means bad luck..

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t know about you guys, but my hat’s off to @KNOWITALL!!! You’re doing an awesome job, girl, acting like a real Christian and all!!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Aw thanks, it’s not always easy. :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

I bet it isn’t!

But @mattbrowne isn’t so much of Christianity based of acceptance of the Bible stories as a fact? I remember being preached at that I had to believe the Bible literally in order to be truly saved. I finally figured I’d never be truly saved so I gave it up.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III If I may respond, I’d like to say that we should all remember that God gave us a brain to think with, you don’t have to take anything so literally it drives you away from the MAIN TEACHINGS. All you have to do is accept Jesus as your Savior, the other ‘rules’, to me are of significantly lesser importance.

Religion is so subjective and full of so many rules that I completely understand the frustration, indeed I’ve felt it myself. You have to boil it down into something you feel good about and comfortable with, at least that’s my take on it. And frankly, I think Jesus understands that, too. :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

YOU MAY NOT RESPOND @KNOWITALL!!! JK. :D

I guess I don’t understand then, the arrogance of pastors and preachers claiming to know so much about what God expects from us, then preaching to their congregation that this is what you have to believe and don’t ask questions. Basically, if your brain is saying something doesn’t make sense, you must ignore that or you are not saved.

I never had a problem with God. I have a problem with those humans who claim to know certain things as a fact and you better believe what they believe or you’re in trouble.

I went to a Pentecostal church. They got to talking in tongues. It was retarded. I wasn’t going to make a fool of myself. My friend elbowed me when she realized I was silent. After church she was totally aghast when I said it was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard of. Blasphemy. That kind of pressure we don’t need.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III I just try to keep in mind that humans are fallible and subject to ego and other emotions. To me, preachers are supposed to be lead by God and lead their flock by example in deeds and life.
One of the thing’s I do like about the Catholic Church is that they place less emphasis on seeing the bible in black and white.

As far as speaking in tongues, I don’t have a lot of experience with that personally. I know I went to church with my besty at an AOG church and when I heard it, it scared me. I went home and asked my mom and we read the bible where it says something about having to have a translator or it was not of God. I’ve felt God in my life, but I’ve not been moved to speak in tongues or the language of the angels, or anything like that at all.

All I can tell you is that to me, God is there and available, and your personal relationship may be different than anyone else’s and that’s okay. Don’t let humans interfere in that relationship because having that relationship and whatever it means to you (comfort, hope, etc…) is the important thing imo. Peace to ya!!

(I rarely talk about this in RL, so this is so odd to me!)

snowberry's avatar

@Dutchess_III It’s really a good idea to remember that preachers are as subject to mistakes and sin as anyone else. If it’s not working for you, then you don’t have to listen to them.

I am not saying that we should not hold such people to a higher standard, just to remember they don’t have the final say on life. God does.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@snowberry I didn’t have any problem rejecting ridiculousness when I was a church goer.

glacial's avatar

@KNOWITALL “Gays and atheists are still children of God and worthy of love and compassion. Please don’t stoop to their level. :)”

I’m sorry… what level are the gays and atheists on, exactly? You say you want @Hypocrisy_Central not to judge…

Dutchess_III's avatar

So many times I want to say “That last comment / sentence (in this case) wasn’t necessary…” but I know I’m guilty too….

dxs's avatar

@glacial If you were paying attention to the conversation she was having with @Hypocrisy_Central, you’ll see that she was probably referring to Pentecostals, not gays nor atheists. That doesn’t necessarily address the judging, just that she may be against that type of bigotry.

glacial's avatar

@dxs That is a very creative interpretation.

Darth_Algar's avatar

“That is a very creative interpretation.”

Indeed.

dxs's avatar

That’s how I looked at it when I first read it. You pointing it out now makes me realize the ambiguity.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Dutchess_III – Much of Christianity? Not in Europe and not in Lawrence, Kansas. I never personally met a single Christian who really thought a snake could talk or Jesus could really walk on water or that people really are the salt of the earth and can be put into a salt shaker.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@glacial Why do twist everything into something ugly? I was telling HC the he didn’t have to stoop to the juvenile level of insults some like to sling here. I understand how difficult it is to hold your tongue and let constant insults roll off your back without getting angry and fighting back.

Everyone here should know by now that I love a few LGBT’s, have no problem with SSM, which is somewhat rare for theists, but true nontheless. Generally I have no problem with atheists either, but when it gets adverserial and ugly, then I do.

@dxs Thanks for paying attention and using context to form your opinions.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@KNOWITALL My question was not whether personal miracles happen. My question was this: if you believe in them, how do you explain why God intervenes to help some people find their car keys but perpetually fails to save children from death by starvation? As of yet, you have not answered that question.

You have inspired a second question, however: If you believe in personal miracles, how do you distinguish them from serendipity?

@Hypocrisy_Central My question was not predicated on the assumption that belief in personal miracles requires us to say that every time a person finds their keys, God led that person to them. And yes, God most certainly is perpetually failing to save children from starvation. Every time a child dies of starvation, God has failed to save that child. This has been happening perpetually for all of human history. Therefore, God perpetually fails to rescue starving children (as well as drowning children and others). After all: saying that God perpetually fails to save children does not mean that He has never saved any children.

What I asked was this: if you believe in personal miracles (that is, if you believe that God sometimes uses His power to intervene and help individuals out while not helping other individuals out), why does he help some people find their car keys (this being one of those “personal miracles” many people rave about) while simultaneously allowing some children to die?

The answer you gave seems more relevant to one of the other questions I asked, which was about the problem of evil. You mention the possibility that sometimes Satan causes bad things (blaming secular people for it, as if religious people have never done anything bad in all of history). But that just pushes the problem back a step: why does God allow Satan to run amok?

SavoirFaire's avatar

And a philosophical note: the Euthyphro dilemma is not a challenge to theism per se. It is a challenge to a particular sort of moral theory that some theists hold. The question is still interesting, and may apply to some of the theists on this thread. But keep in mind that neither horn of the dilemma rules out theism.

SavoirFaire's avatar

“You may call it self or mass delusion of course, but I don’t because I choose to believe.”

We know that you don’t call it that, but the question is whether or not you should. I’m glad that religion helps you. But that it helps you doesn’t make it true, which is the issue being debated by theists and atheists. The feather helped Dumbo fly, after all, but he was much better off learning that he didn’t really need it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@SavoirFaire Because I don’t know the answer. See my reply earlier about trusting in God’s greater plan.

On the second, if I pray for something specific and a week later the answer/ solution has materially appeared, I can’t call that serendipity. Answered prayer is different.

On mass delusion- To me it is real because I choose to believe, so my reality is different than people who choose not to believe. I don’t look at it like fact versus fiction, God has always been very real to me. We answered that to ETpro’s question previously, too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@mattbrowne how many believe that Mary was a virgin? How many believe that God responds to certain chants done a certain way or to specific wording?

glacial's avatar

@KNOWITALL “Why do twist everything into something ugly?”

I didn’t twist anything. I asked you to clarify your comment. If you didn’t mean what you said, I should think you’d be happy to be able to have the opportunity to explain what you did mean.

” I was telling HC the he didn’t have to stoop to the juvenile level of insults some like to sling here.”

But the problem is that you didn’t say “stoop to the level of some who like to sling insults here”. Please look at your comment again closely – what you said was effectively, “stoop to the level of gays and atheists”. I understand that you are telling me that you didn’t mean to say that. But it is exactly what you said.

“Generally I have no problem with atheists either, but when it gets adverserial and ugly, then I do.”

This is exactly why it’s important to be careful not to make broad, generalizing statements that blame a larger group than you mean to. You have given another perfect example of this by saying that I “twist everything into something ugly”. Do you really think that I do that here on Fluther? Come on now. Please don’t make accusations unless you mean them.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@KNOWITALL Fair enough on the first question. On the second, though, that’s exactly what serendipity is. The only question is whether it was caused by God or by happenstance. How is prayer different? Why is it a miracle when it happens to you, but chance when it happens to me (since I didn’t pray for it)?

Finally, note that reality is the same for everyone. Something cannot be real to you and not real to me. Things are either real or not real. Reality may appear differently to different people, but that is another matter entirely. By believing something, you incorporate it into your picture of reality. But you cannot thereby make it real. This is simply a matter of how words are defined. So the point is that atheists are concerned with what really is the case. I imagine theists are concerned with that question as well. Evangelists wouldn’t be worried about convincing me God exists if they didn’t think there was some underlying reality to the matter. You wouldn’t get upset when some atheists call God a figment of your imagination if you didn’t think that He really does exist. So I don’t think “He’s real to me” constitutes a response to my point. But it wasn’t about one of the questions asked, so feel free to let it drop if you prefer.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@glacial I’ll try to make my posts to others a little easier for you to understand. Thanks.

@SavoirFaire I believe a higher power listens to my prayers and responds. There are many examples in my life but I don’t really choose to share those in this forum, and recommend you to look at my past Q “How does God prove His existance in your life?” It’s interesting.

Sure, I’m busy and don’t really want to debate reality with you when I already did with ET. peace.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@mattbrowne “Much of Christianity? Not in Europe and not in Lawrence, Kansas. I never personally met a single Christian who really thought a snake could talk or Jesus could really walk on water or that people really are the salt of the earth and can be put into a salt shaker.”

I’d argue that if you haven’t met any Christians who thought a snake could talk (specifically when that snake wasn’t really a snake, but rather Satan in the guise of a snake) or that Jesus could walk on water then you haven’t really met any Christians, but rather people who are only Christian in name.

The “salt of the Earth” thing is one of many parables spoken by Christ (speaking in parable and metaphor was kinda his thing) and has nothing to do with people being put in a salt shaker. You’re probably confusing the “salt of the Earth” parable with the story of Lot’s wife from the book of Genesis.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Animals don’t make conscious choices at all, as they lack the prefrontal cortex necessary for sentience
If that is the track you will make for them, then they are a non-starter even bringing them into the equation. If they act gay they aren’t because they are going of innate programing from their DNA. However, I guess that must mean that gays are gay because they chose it having sentience to know what they are doing and why.

@mattbrowne Faith does not contradict science it only complements it.
Yes, no one knows how long the ”creation day” of the Lord was, the 24hr day was not even possible until the forth ”creation day” of the Lord. In the beginning everything was void and shapeless, certainly pre-Big Bang, then there was light, and God set order to this darkness and chaos; the Big Bang. I for one certainly do not see science as an enemy of God, He created scientist, it is the –antichrists- scientist who want to try to use science to debunk the author of it.

@dxs That doesn’t necessarily address the judging, just that she may be against that type of bigotry.
Only if there were any bigotry to speak against. I am merely saying what the Bible, the Word of God says, I can say the same for murderers, adulterers, liars, cheats, and all others who are going against the will of God as He spoke through the Bible, gays and atheist need not feel singled out as cornering the market on sin

@SavoirFaire @Hypocrisy_Central My question was not predicated on the assumption that belief in personal miracles requires us to say that every time a person finds their keys, God led that person to them. And yes, God most certainly is perpetually failing to save children from starvation. Every time a child dies of starvation, God has failed to save that child. This has been happening perpetually for all of human history. Therefore, God perpetually fails to rescue starving children (as well as drowning children and others). After all: saying that God perpetually fails to save children does not mean that He has never saved any children.
There is the rub; you want your cake and eat it too. You want to blame God because He did not intervene to save a drowning child but would be pissed if He intervened to save a child from its mother before he/she were born. If you want God to have a ”hands off” approach when dealing with your life, He will give it to you. Surely He has the will to make everyone worship Him without a free choice to say no. You either followed God or fire would rain from heaven and smote you like a frankfurter or something. Is that a tradeoff you Are willing to pay that no child dies before adulthood? If you are in the family; a believer, I have seen many children that should have been dead spared, adults as well.

What I asked was this: if you believe in personal miracles (that is, if you believe that God sometimesuses His power to intervene and help individuals out while not helping other individuals out), why does he help some people find their car keys (this being one of those “personal miracles” many people rave about) while simultaneously allowing some children to die?
Maybe the person who got favor or was blessed was a believer, the other person wasn’t. If you were out for a walk and seen two kids fighting, you might, if you could do so without harm to yourself, break up the fight and send them on their way. More than likely you are not going to care about punishing any of those kids because they are not your kids. If one of them was your child then you would take more measure like punishment if it was your child who started it. Those who are believers are adopted into the Family and body of the Lord. Those who are not, why would He need be concern about them; they do not care to be in the family anyhow. Any family you are not in, you don’t have to worry about family rules.

Another reason is the person who found their keys may have needed to get to the hospital before a loved relative died because they were going to bring said dying relative to salvation with their last breaths. The child God took when the tragedy happened might have been born to ungodly parents who were going to physically abuse the child until he/she ran away to live a horrible live as a uneducated, homeless, junkie. Knowing that would have been the outcome decided to bring the child back home in innocence before all that suffering happened to him/her later in life. Surely it makes no sense to you because you Are looking with carnal eyes and not spiritual eyes. Like weightlessness you would never know what it was like of you were never in space or an astronaut, if you never come to the cross, you would never be able to see beyond the 1st layer of the onion of life.

But that just pushes the problem back a step: why does God allow Satan to run amok?
Satan runs wild because man allows him. The Bible says if you resist the Devil, he will flee from you; most do not resist him. Way too many do not even want to acknowledge he exists. If I told you that your house was going to fall into a sinkhole, you had to get out in the next 20 minutes, if you didn’t believe in sinkholes are that one would ever appear where you lived, why would you do anything different? Even if you did not believe in sinkholes, if one was below your house you would still be in danger. The Devil has control of this world but only on loan, so to speak. If man would submit to God, the Devil would have no quarter to rest on. Because men who do not believe or even are in denial of his existence give him reign.

dxs's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central The definition of the word bigot from dictionary.com: “a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.”
What is adressed can still be considered bigotry. To avoid being derogatory, I’ll just say it’s a faith-based presumption. But I shun at grouping atheists and homosexual people with murderers, adulterers, liars, and cheaters.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Response moderated
dxs's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central As usual, your tangential analogies are confusing the sanity out of me. I have absolutely no idea what you are saying, but I don’t think we’ll get much out of this discussion since our opinions are both strong and drastically opposing.
And what a clever use of 7 and 70! Clearly a furtive Jesus allusion right there, huh?

Seek's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

I think in our earlier years, humans might have been a little more like bonobos than we are today. I think everyone is a shade of gray, and the insistent leaning one way or another might be a result of our societal conditioning to prefer a monogamous lifestyle.

There’s no real evidence to suggest humans evolved to be monogamous. We are promiscuous creatures by nature. Some animals are very sexually selective, going so far as to imprint on a single mating partner for life – literally. All but the most fervently devoted modern humans would choose a new mate after being widowed.

I think our animal instincts cry more toward a “free love” attitude, with both heterosexual and homosexual contact being acceptable and normal.

Bear in mind that even in our own recorded history (I say this understanding you’re going to stick your fingers in your ears and say LALALABIBLE!!) bears out evidence for socially accepted homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual relationships of both monogamous and polygamous nature as far back as we can go. Strict monogamy and strict heterosexuality are products of modern society. (the last 6,000 years or so, I’d say.)

mattbrowne's avatar

@Dutchess_III – Far more Christians believe in virgin Mary than talking snakes. The Protestant Church in Germany I belong to doesn’t. It is Vatican doctrine to endorse evolution, but unfortunately also virgin Mary. I know many enlightened German Catholics who don’t believe that Mary was a virgin in a biological sense. But that’s anecdotal evidence. It might be interesting to conduct a survey about this.

Virgin is actually a translation error from Hebrew to Greek. The source is Isaiah 7,14 in the old testament talking about a young woman not a virgin.

How many believe that God responds to certain chants done a certain way or to specific wording?

That might also require a survey. Enlightened Christians believe in prayer as a form of meditation. It’s about finding your own strength and being kind to other people, not about asking God to violate natural laws. For recorded history there’s not a single incident of such a violation. The natural laws are extremely reliable, which is good.

ETpro's avatar

What does faith mean when used as in faith in a deity and that deity’s teachings?

At first blush, it seems that should be easy to answer. After all, the word is in every decent dictionary.

faith
noun

1.   complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
        “this restores one’s faith in politicians”
        synonyms: trust, belief, confidence, conviction; More
        antonyms: mistrust
        example: Our faith in the government has been badly
        shaken by the recent scandals.

2.   strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion,
        based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
        synonyms: acceptance, certinty, surety, certitude
        assent, credulity
        antonyms: disbelief, agnosticism, skepticism, unbelief
        example: No evidence could shake her faith in God.

3.   (religious) persuasion, (religious) belief, ideology,
        creed, teaching, doctrine
        synonyms: religion, church, sect, denomination
        example: Muslims are reluctant to switch faiths
        because Sharia Law requires death for apostasy.

Yet even though we have a pretty succinct dictionary definition of the word, its meaning can prove terribly difficult to pin down. First, there are several completely separate meanings that apply to different contexts. It doesn’t help that religious apologists from various faith-based religions have worked tirelessly trying to obfuscate the meaning of the word, and conflate it with things it is not. Such apologists’ efforts to confuse and conflate the meaning of the word “faith” as applied to their chosen deity have likely been the source of more deepities than any other epistemological pursuit on Earth, philosophy included. That is not helpful in pinning down the word’s meaning. So as we approach a definition of the word, faith, I will note each deepity when it’s offered and dismiss it as not helpful in providing a definition we can understand.

Seek's avatar

Gee, I hope someone is still following this thread in order to answer your question, @ETpro. Too bad we’re not allowed to ask new questions anymore. Oh well, I guess I’ll go make up another ABC game.

glacial's avatar

What happened to your question???

Seek's avatar

Apparently, because this and the ask an atheist questions exist, all future questions directed to theists or atheists are duplicates.

glacial's avatar

You can’t be serious. Whose decision was that?

Seek's avatar

Auggie’s, from what I hear.

tom_g's avatar

Who is up for a challenging “What color is your soap dish?” question? Get those brain cells primed and look out for it….

glacial's avatar

Well, no matter. I have now asked the last question on Fluther.

Seek's avatar

BAH HAHAH!

glacial's avatar

Well, fair’s fair. ;)

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] The issue wasn’t that any particular kind of question was a duplicate per se, but that some questions have a recurring pattern. Certain specific questions seem to be used as a vehicle to proselytize – either for a religion or for atheism – rather than in an effort to actually understand/learn something. Since Fluther isn’t an appropriate place for proselytizing, that kind of question will be redirected to the existing “Ask a theist” or “Ask an atheist” threads.

I hope this clears up any confusion about the matter, and that everyone will still feel free to ask any genuine question you have.

P.S. I’m at my other job right now, so may be slow to reply.

ETpro's avatar

Confining new religious questions to the two proposed threads, What would you like to ask an atheist? and What would you like to ask a theist? is a de facto gag order on religious questions, in my opinion. Those are now old and quite long threads with a very small number of Jellies ever having been active in them. It’s likely some have already stopped following the thread. Over time, this means that fewer and fewer people will even know about any new question posted there and answers to new questions will get hopelessly garbled together so that it will become impossible to follow the discussion of a given question.

This is just one more instance of religion having a special pedestal, being off limits for discussion except by evangelists, who operate freely. Questions about political ideology, abortion, marriage equality, gender identity, and international disputes such as the current one between Israel and the Palestinians all generate heated discussion; but they are fine. Only religion is off limits. That’s a problem to my interest in participation here. It’s a restriction on free speech I am unwilling to support.

augustlan's avatar

I think there’s been a misunderstanding. We have no problem with someone starting new “Ask a theist” and “Ask an atheist” threads when the existing ones get old. We also have no intention of confining religious discussion in general to those two threads. This is a specific case, pertaining to specific types of repetitive questions, from both theists and atheists.

The type of question we’re talking about isn’t asked in an effort to genuinely discuss or learn anything. Instead, it’s all about repeatedly pushing a clear agenda. It’s not just religion questions that have this problem, that just happens to be what we’re discussing here. Anything that is essentially propaganda shouldn’t be on Fluther, and we need to do a better job of catching ALL questions of that type. Please help us by flagging them.

Bottom line: If you have a genuine question about religion (or politics or what-have-you), ask away! But if you’re asking it for the purpose of pushing your agenda, this isn’t the place for it. No matter what the topic.

Just a general FYI: When any one member posts many questions on the same topic, we often ask that member to post their ‘new’ questions in one of the ongoing discussions. This happens most often with relationship questions, but occasionally with other topics, as well.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@augustlan

But how do you determine who’s asking a genuine question and who’s pushing an agenda?

glacial's avatar

@augustlan So, why does this never happen to @josie‘s global warming questions, or @DWW’s political party questions? This is pretty clearly a one-jelly policy, I assume brought about by complaints the mods are receiving. If you don’t like having to defend the jelly, why not simply ban him and be done with it?

Oh right – because he hasn’t actually done anything wrong.

augustlan's avatar

@glacial As I said, we need to get better about catching ALL of these questions. At the moment, I’m just a tad busy. And if you think we’ve never modded them, go talk to the jellies who routinely ask them.

augustlan's avatar

@Darth_Algar Over time, it becomes blatantly clear.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@augustlan

Is that why someone like, say, @josie, can post essentially the same politically motivated global warming thread over and over apparently without any reprisal?

glacial's avatar

To be clear, I would not want to see those questions removed either. Sometimes (unsurprisingly) they do lead to interesting discussions.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@glacial “To be clear, I would not want to see those questions removed either. Sometimes (unsurprisingly) they do lead to interesting discussions.”

Likewise. I just find it interesting that there are some who are, and are being allowed, to flagrantly push an agenda in spite of the moderators claims being made here.

augustlan's avatar

As I said elsewhere:

…many of the types of questions you talk about are a problem, too. We have cracked down on them in the past, but not so much recently (and not on religion questions, either, until today). I have a new full-time job and Fluther gets slammed with spam every single day. Given that, we’re doing our level best.

We would appreciate a little trust from the community.

augustlan's avatar

See if you can spot the difference:
————————————————————————————————————-

Question title: What is your definition of “marriage”?

Details: Is your definition of marriage “one man/one woman”, or do you have a different view? What led you to your viewpoint?

Tags: marriage, human nature

Participation from the OP: Focused on learning, civil discussion, no inflammatory language.

———————————————————————-
Question title: What is your definition of “marriage”?

Details: Is your definition of marriage “one man/one woman”, or do you have a different view? Things have been so twisted by the liberals, it’s hard to pinpoint the definition these days.

Tags: good values, decency, gross

Participation from the OP: Focused on showing the inferiority of her opposition, uses inflammatory language.

Additional circumstances: The OP has asked 20+ questions on this general topic, all with the same goal.
——————————————————————-

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ETpro What does faith mean when used as in faith in a deity and that deity’s teachings?
I could take a stab at that but I have to know if you mean about God, or gods. I have no idea what gods expect, since man created them, I guess only men who choose the follow them would know. If you mean the one True God, I will tell you, even though you will not believe any of it, even though you said you been to Bible college, which I frankly think you should ask for your money back.

ETpro's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Of course I’d be interested in your answer. I said God or gods so anybody could answer, be they monotheists like yourself (although Muslims claim Christians are polytheists) or polytheists such as Hindus.

KaY_Jelly's avatar

@snowberry I hope everything is OK.

I’ve seen many people talking on the thread about faith. Imho we need faith regardless of whether we put that faith in a deity or not. Each night when I go to bed I am literally ‘sleeping’ on faith and proving to ‘it’ when I wake up in the morning that my body has ‘faithfully’ sustained me and granted me into the next morning. One day when I lay my head on my pillow my faith of waking up in the morning might prove me wrong but it (death) could also snatch me up right in the middle of a beautiful afternoon while I am faithfully at the park feeding the geese their daily rations, the possibilities are endless, aren’t they? Of that I am aware.

I am going to share with you what I choose to believe in. These are my philosophical structured views. This view can hopefully answer some of your questions.

I have already used this quote today on Fluther but I think it is great:

“Our concern here is simply to show that the Bible does provide a perfectly sound basis for understanding not only religious truth but also physical processes. It may very effectively serve as a “textbook” of scientific principles within which we can satisfactorily explain all the data of science and history. Whether or not we choose to accept this framework is basically determined by whether or not we want to do so. Those who elect the evolutionary framework do so not because the facts of science require this, but because this is the philosophic thought-structure they desire.”
~Institute for Creation Research

I’d also like to explain why we suffer.

We suffer not because of Adam and Eve but because of Lucifer. I think it is important that people need to understand that the Christian God is known as the “Prince of Peace”.

~Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

When you read the bible you learn that Jesus loves animals. He even refers to His followers as sheep.

~Revelation 19:14
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Isaiah 11:6–9
6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.

9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

Deuteronomy 25:4
4 Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.

Isaiah 1:11
11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of the goats.

Before the fall of the angels there were no meat eaters and the Garden of Eden was like heaven on earth.

~Genesis 1:29
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

It is also important I think to know Luciferianism along with Christianity. Knowing both makes the story even more complete. It’s like a war between good and evil. The scriptures don’t actually say when the angelic realm was created but the information in the bible implies that angels were formed after heaven was created by Him but before He created the earth, this scripture below is one I can think of:

~Job 38:4–7
4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

After the fall Satan who was the first to fall or rather he is the first documented in the bible and the first of angels disobeying God. Many people think that Satan was an angel, which is not true, Satan was a high ranking cherub.

~Ezekiel 28:12–15
12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

Anyway, after the fall sinning became prevalent.

Before I start talking about the Nephilim I should say that the there is some question as to who the “sons on God” are. Imo and I have no source other than the bible. So going by the scripts I believe they are the fallen angels who mated with human females and/or possessed human males and then mated with human females and these unions resulted in offspring, called the Nephilim. The Nephilim were giants.

~Genesis 6:1–7
6 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

3 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Imho “the fowls of air” refers to fallen angels and “both man, and beast” refers to the Nephilim and “the creeping thing” refers to the Satan in the Garden of Eden called the serpent.

~Ecclesiastes 3:18
18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

OTOH, concerning to the Nephilim some people refer to the book of Enoch to give “proof” of the validity of giants. If we look at Enoch chapter 6 & 7 it says:

1 And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto

2 them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men

3 and beget us children.’ And Semjaza, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not

4 indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’ And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations

5 not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’ Then sware they all together and bound themselves

6 by mutual imprecations upon it. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn

7 and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And these are the names of their leaders: Samlazaz, their leader, Araklba, Rameel, Kokablel, Tamlel, Ramlel, Danel, Ezeqeel, Baraqijal,

8 Asael, Armaros, Batarel, Ananel, Zaq1el, Samsapeel, Satarel, Turel, Jomjael, Sariel. These are their chiefs of tens.

1 And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms

2 and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they

3 became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed

4 all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against 5 them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and

6 fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.

The book of Enoch is not in the Christian bible, maybe it has been omitted for a reason. That is up for debate I suppose.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Well, after three weeks or so, I think the decimation of many of our more intelligent contributors on this site makes it obvious that the relegation all questions concerning religion or atheism to one of two threads specified by the mods was a piss-poor decision; a tactic more charactaristic of a venue rigidly controlled by fearful autocrats rather than an open forum created by people raised under strong democratic traditions.

It wasn’t so much what these members contributed to questions of religion or atheism that made this forum interesting—such small beer that was to most of us—it was the intelligence and art with which they informed all of their questions and responses on all the threads they contributed to.

Now it seems, with very few exceptions, we are reduced to a level of content more appropriate to ages 14 years and below rather than 14 years and above. It may be too late to attract many of these contributors back as many have now found climes warmer to thier discussions, but this rule should be rescinded immediately on principal and a prominent notice stating the same—otherwise we can expect this site’s demise as an adult forum.

What a terrible mistake this was.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How did they fit the dinosaurs on the ark?

KNOWITALL's avatar

How come Moses was allowed to sleep with his servant and have a baby with her, and is still a man of God. And why did he get rewarded when Ruth got pregnant finally? And why is it okay to cast of the servant and his child after that? The whole thing sounds hinky to me. And I’m a theist. ;)

Dutchess_III's avatar

AND the earth was populated by incestuous relations…twice!

Buttonstc's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus

I agree with your sentiments. Even tho I chose to not participate in many of those Qs which I considered “baiting” I still don’t really understand why they were disallowed completely.

Anyone is free to participate in or totally ignore any Q on this site so I think it was kind of overkill IMHO.

But I rather doubt they’ll admit to a mistake on their parts. That would require some humility :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

They didn’t ban them. They just said wait for the first one to die down before posting a second one.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Perception is everything, and I think they perceived they were being stifled. Seek alluded to that a few times. It would be like telling a dog lover they couldn’t post anything about dogs, annoying.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@KNOWITALL How come Moses was allowed to sleep with his servant and have a baby with her, and is still a man of God.
He married her, she was a non-inheriting wife.

Genesis 16:3
3 After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and *gave her to her husband Abram as his wife.

And why is it okay to cast of the servant and his child after that?

Genesis 21: 9–14

9 Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, “Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac.” 11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “[f]Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named. 13 And ofthe son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant.” 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba.

God told Abraham to do as Sarah wished, He knew He would provide for the woman and her son, but he was not the child of promise; he was a mistake that Sarah created in her unbelief, and impatience. God allowed Sarah to put Hagar and her son out, it was not Moses.

And why did he get rewarded when Ruth got pregnant finally?
Are we still speaking about Moses?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I still don’t think it speaks highly of moral values and Moses was a man of God. Logically I’m just asking how we can justify these actions and this whole story based on the morals we hold dear.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@KNOWITALL I still don’t think it speaks highly of moral values and Moses was a man of God.
God’s great plan doesn’t always appear moral to us feeble humans but the whole story goes to show if they, Moses and those who were delivered with him, would have had faith, half of their calamity would not have happened. Being as man of God he should have known to wait, yet he listened to Sarah and jumped the gun. That was not how God told him his heir would come. There were a lot of flawed people with human defects that the Lord used in mighty ways.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I know, I just wondered how we can expect non-theists to believe anything with stories like that. Thanks!

Darth_Algar's avatar

@KNOWITALL “I just wondered how we can expect non-theists to believe anything with stories like that.”

In short, frankly, you can’t.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Darth_Algar I know. The thing is, when God acts in your life in a way that is beneficial, it’s good and you want to share it, and then thing’s like this get thrown in your face, basically negating the positive’s. It’s frustrating but understandable. ;)

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK, so where is a good fast food place to get breakfast at 1:00 p.m.?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Duh, Waffle House…everybody knows that…oh wait, you said ‘good’....lol

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

OK, so where is a good fast food place to get breakfast at 1:00 p.m.?
Isn’t that what people pay through the nose to have a Smart Phone for, so the phone can tell them?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t have a smart phone, so I asked a smart Theist. It was a joke question, @Hypocrisy_Central. Calm down.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

It was an ironic comment….I am calm LOL LOL

KNOWITALL's avatar

You two, play nice!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Can’t, she throws coffee and has cooties. ~~

KNOWITALL's avatar

hahaha! :)

Buttonstc's avatar

Denny’s is a much better bet. They’re open 24/7 all year long except for Xmas and they’re a lot more ubiquitous than Waffle House :)

I’ve lived up north for the majority of my life and have yet to encounter a Waffle House.

Aren’t they more prevalent down South cuz of the whole chicken and waffles thing?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know of all of those places but they’re in Wichita. Didn’t want to go through all of THAT just for food. I got a breakfast burrito at Sonic. Should be renamed, Sluggish.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Buttonstc I’ve actually never had chicken and waffles, but maybe further down south…lol

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