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  1. #211
    Sniffles
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    Paradox is at the heart of Christianity. Take the Incarnation as the most famous example.

  2. #212
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    "Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a God superior to themselves. Most Gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child."

    ~Robert Heinlein

    This quote illustrates the difference between the concept of God and the concept of religion.

    God is God.. religion seeks to humanize the concept of God.
    Once humanity starts to study and rationalize anything at all, from that point onward the concept of God is only that of human thinking.
    Humanity does not have to capacity to fully comprehend God. So humans fill in the blanks with human qualities that serve only their concepts and means.
    Distilling religion to it's purest form leaves you with the rawest form of politics..

    Religion without God, is philosophy, morality and ethics which on their own, work well within the scope of human capacity.
    Adding a God to the mix corrupts humanity in it's quest for enlightenment.

    God is not authority.. That is a human construct.
    God is spirituality and connection to life beyond human capacity, We can sense it, intuit it and draw from it. We should stop short at trying to define it universally.
    God is beyond human intellect.

  3. #213
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    I have found endless comfort and (much NEEDED) humility in my belief that something greater than myself exists.

    Regardless of whether it exists or not, I am grateful that my belief in a higher power has allowed me to be a better person.

    Here is a quote from Futurama that I feel applies.

    God Entity: Bender, being God isn't easy. If you do too much, people get dependent on you. And if you do nothing, they lose hope. You have to use a light touch, like a safecracker or a pickpocket.
    Bender: Or a guy who burns down a bar for the insurance money.
    God Entity: Yes, if he makes it look like an electrical thing. If you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

  4. #214
    Sniffles
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    Seems Plantinga addresses some of the questions raised here:
    [youtube="JSaaYTKIE70"]Plantinga[/youtube]

  5. #215
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snuggletron View Post
    The desires and nature that were created purely by god. The contradiction is still there, you can't make-believe it away. Since we're talking about god in Christianity, this is pretty important.
    The bible makes it clear that sin entered the world through a combination of human decision and satan. It is very clear that God is not the author of evil even if the fall of satan is never fully explained.

    Even if there is seemingly a contradiction, why is something that seems inconsistent to you a reason to reject God?
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  6. #216
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    The Evolution of the Mytho-Poetic

    I prefer to see God as part of my mytho-poetic world.

    The mytho-poetic world had its start in child sacrifice. And slowly abandoned child sacrifice for child abuse. And more quickly abandoned child abuse for the obedient child.

    And today my mytho-poetic world is leaving the obedient child behind and rather helping the child realise their life goals.

    And each stage of child rearing has its own God.

    The sacrificial form had the God of Abraham, the abusive form had the God of the Old Testament, the obedient form had the God of the Book, and the helping form has the God of the Enlightenment.

    So just as the Continents and Oceans have evolved, and just as the DNA of every living creature has evolved, so the mytho-poetic world has evolved from sacrifice, to abuse, to obedience, to helping.

  7. #217

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    A few points:

    If God has no influence on reality, then within reality he is irrelevant (except maybe to people who believe in afterlives beyond reality when their time in reality ends)

    If God influences reality must that influence be detectable, and how do we decide it is caused by a God and not just a law of nature? Why should God follow/not follow any pattern we can detect?

    Many people overrate science. Suppose we live surrounded by random noise. As we grow we see patterns in this noise. As we grow more we notice that some patterns always repeat, and some only sometimes repeat. As we look at it more we notice they only sometimes repeat because there is something different happening in each situation. We compare these situations and see more patterns. We formalise how these patterns relate to each other. We become confident at predicting outcomes given certain actions. The thing is, everything we don't see a pattern in is still just noise to us. It is random occurrences, chances, coincidence. When you only play with representations of reality, you can get a long way ahead of yourself. You start to believe that the things we see patterns in are all there is. They are just the limit we can predict to, the stuff we can do science on (so far).
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  8. #218
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    Most of this conversation seems to focus on the implausibility of God, and not the impossibility of God. .
    Of course. You can not "prove" that something doesn't exist.
    You try to prove there is no little teapot on orbit between Mars and Jupiter. Especially if the teapot is invisible.

    How do you decide whether something is real or not? You can try using only logic. I mean only logic, no observation. Then you can prove that, if "square root", "two" and "rational number" take on the meanings defined by the English language, the sentence "the square root of two is a rational number" is false.
    But you can't prove there is a moon. You can't prove there exist such things like earth, water, humans, oaks and mosquitoes. For those things you need observation. If we would talk about the existence of the moon, for example... I think most people would agree there exists a moon. You can do a little philosophical exercise and say everything in our observation is only an illusion and so the moon doesn't exist. But. For most things, people decide between "existence" and "non-existence" by observation. You can all say observation is an illusion, but it would do you quite good to run away from a lion illusion, you know.
    In the same vein, I guess everybody will agree there is no second moon made from a pure diamond orbiting behind the first one. Is it impossible? No, only very, very improbable. After all, we've been there and we didn't see a diamond moon. We measured the effect of the moon's gravity on the seas and there is only effect from one moon.

    But for some reason, if you use the same arguments for a god as for a diamond moon, suddenly it's not enough anymore. You've got to prove impossibility, not improbability.
    I'm of the opinion it should be the other way around. That god claims he's the boss. He wants me to shout every week I believe in him. He wants me to fast during a few months. I don't really know what he wants with my sex life because his messengers (who are all human) contradict each other AND contradict observation. If he wants me to do all this, he has to be a bit more probable than "as improbable as a diamond moon". Actually, anyone who wants to boss me around, has to be as probable as the first moon. Or as probable as my human boss, who has every right to boss me around.
    Got questions? Ask an ENTP!
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  9. #219
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    A few points:

    If God has no influence on reality, then within reality he is irrelevant (except maybe to people who believe in afterlives beyond reality when their time in reality ends)

    If God influences reality must that influence be detectable, and how do we decide it is caused by a God and not just a law of nature? Why should God follow/not follow any pattern we can detect?

    Many people overrate science. Suppose we live surrounded by random noise. As we grow we see patterns in this noise. As we grow more we notice that some patterns always repeat, and some only sometimes repeat. As we look at it more we notice they only sometimes repeat because there is something different happening in each situation. We compare these situations and see more patterns. We formalise how these patterns relate to each other. We become confident at predicting outcomes given certain actions. The thing is, everything we don't see a pattern in is still just noise to us. It is random occurrences, chances, coincidence. When you only play with representations of reality, you can get a long way ahead of yourself. You start to believe that the things we see patterns in are all there is. They are just the limit we can predict to, the stuff we can do science on (so far).
    I think miracles are the extraordinary things that don't abide by our sense of normality. In some cases, they may not abide by the natural laws we've accounted for.

    Spinoza rejected miracles because they intervened upon what was known to be possible. However, if there exists phenomena outside of what we currently know, then dogmatically insisting that those miraculous things do not occur is quite limiting. Our imagination would be smothered as it gave its final yelp, trying to break free.

    Since man is an imaginative creature, I think that confining himself the way Spinoza did would drive him to tears.

  10. #220
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    In some cases, they may not abide by the natural laws we've accounted for.
    That only means we've got to make up better laws. It means we don't understand everything of the universe - which is quite normal, actually, because we're just a tiny part of it. We're chess pieces trying to understand the game. It doesn't mean there is a conscious being purposely doing things which are impossible according to our laws of physics.
    The most awesome and craziest thing is that there are such laws. We can almost with 100% certainty assume that mass will attract each other according to the law of gravity. We even relied with our lives on that law when we sent a rocket to the moon - and it didn't fail us!
    Miracles? No... just an incomplete understanding. Which does NOT take out the wonder from our universe. After all, a rainbow is still beautiful even if you know how it's made.
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