Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby Graham Kennedy » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:50 pm

Mikey wrote:There is a combination of the two options which Graham Kennedy has pronounced to be his, and therefore universal, absolute truth.


No, there is not. Things either happen or they do not happen. You can try and paint it as me being grandiose all you like, but that doesn't change the fact.

Again, I find it both understandable and unsurprising that an atheist wouldn't acknowledge, or even formulate, such an option which is based on theological faith, and also depends on it. But completely aside from an argument on the existence of G-d, we can take as a given that I believe in such.


Well that's up to you. And I too find it understandable, in a way, why you would want to have the beliefs you want whilst being able to dismiss the implications of having them. If you feel you can do that with a little quibbling, I certainly can't stop you and wouldn't want to if I could. But this aspect of your belief is at odds with reality, whether you accept it or not.

I think we've reached a point where there is little to be gained in continuing. <shrug>
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Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby Deepcrush » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:44 pm

GrahamKennedy wrote:I think we've reached a point where there is little to be gained in continuing. <shrug>


When it comes to faith, this is the only point you'll ever reach. Those with faith and those without it will never fully agree because of their beliefs. Normally best to agree to disagree and move on.
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Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby Mikey » Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:14 pm

GrahamKennedy wrote:I think we've reached a point where there is little to be gained in continuing. <shrug>


Probably correct. To paraphrase my last comment above, you or I could learn all there is to know about childbirth, but we could never truly understand how it feels. Likewise, I could never truly empathetically understand how it feels to live as an atheist; nor could you empathetically know how it feels to believe. This is not a failing; it is simply a circumstance of the mutal exclusivity of faith and proof.
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Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby Graham Kennedy » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:52 pm

Deepcrush wrote:
GrahamKennedy wrote:I think we've reached a point where there is little to be gained in continuing. <shrug>


When it comes to faith, this is the only point you'll ever reach. Those with faith and those without it will never fully agree because of their beliefs. Normally best to agree to disagree and move on.


It's not a matter of whether you have faith or not. When a person insists that some circles can be square, all you can do is shrug and walk away.
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Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby Deepcrush » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:56 pm

GrahamKennedy wrote:It's not a matter of whether you have faith or not. When a person insists that some circles can be square, all you can do is shrug and walk away.


It is a matter of faith, something you're just blind to. Some things are different to different people. Though walking away is normally best if you can't put yourself in someone else's point of view.
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Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby Atekimogus » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:05 am

GrahamKennedy wrote:I'm being blunt about it because it really is a very simple thing. The bible is littered with atrocities either ordered by or directly caused by god. If you think god is good then you must either class these things as good or you must believe that they didn't happen. I'm sorry, but those are your choices and there are no others. Dress them up in whatever language you like, but you'd do well to realise that that's what it comes down to.


Sorry to interrupt, but you left out the choice that things did really happen but where -contrary to what the bible claims - not ordered by god.

Two examples: The great flood. Did probably happen (there is evidence of such an occurence and I believe it is even mentioned in other sources like the gilgamesh epos). but was surley just a natural catastrophy for which people had no explanation, so naturally god did it.

The murdering of the firstborn children. I could easily see this as a terrorist action of enslaved people against their masters but since terrorism is bad PR no matter what they pinned it on god to sugarcoat it and justify their actions.

So their are plenty of instances where you cannot just say "It was god which proves he is evil or it didn't happen". It is extremly difficult to read the bible and filter out alegories, historical facts, symbolism etc which is why there are bible scientist comparing it with other sources etc. It is not nearly as simply as you paint it.

Also accepting everything which is writter in the bible at face value is not a requirement of having faith. Maybe I am wrong here but I do have the feeling you are mixing religion a bit with faith, two things which ironically don't have that much in common imho.
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Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby sunnyside » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:26 pm

Probably still too late to the party. I suppose I should find something to quote.

Well lets just try this:

GrahamKennedy wrote:stuff



Anyway two points I want to make.

First, would expelling a student or sending them home early make you a horrible person? Because you can't apply an atheistic interpritation of death in an argument about God killing someone. It is less the ultimate destruction of a being and more like sending a kid home early.

This does not mean that Christians/Jews should regard murder as trivial. In part because they are commanded not to, but also because of the transient pain it inflicts on those left behind, and that bit of doubt we all have, or at least uncertainty in what the afterlife is like and who "gets in" etc. But God by definition wouldn't have that doubt or uncertainty.

Given a view from a near or fully eternal timescale, and the knowledge of the afterlife that awaits after a brief period on earth, I would think a God would view much of what we whine about, even things like starvation, as I might my daughter whining for cookies before dinner. It isn't that she isn't uncomfortably hungry or that I don't love her. It's that I know her mom will have dinner ready in a half hour so she's just going to have to wait.

Secondly I think people want to turn God into an all powerful version of Barney the dinosaur with a beard. However God the father describes themselves as jealous and at times is said to change his mind. He is not a saturday morning cartoon of a God and He does not claim to be one.
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Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby Vic » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:21 am

This would require a belief in an after life which atheists do not profess, Sunny.
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Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby sunnyside » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:59 pm

Vic wrote:This would require a belief in an after life which atheists do not profess, Sunny.


*sigh* They also don't believe in God, which is who we're talking about.


My point was that some of the people here are arguing something roughly along the lines of "Suppose there was a God, but there was no afterlife under his control, in that case some of the actions described in the text that also specifically mentions the existance of an afterlife would be heinous, how can religious people support such a being?"
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Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby Vic » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:12 am

It does seem to be a valid tactic to cherry pick a bit of minutia and bash it rather than argue against the whole cloth. :roll:
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Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby Mikey » Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:09 pm

sunnyside wrote:
Vic wrote:This would require a belief in an after life which atheists do not profess, Sunny.


*sigh* They also don't believe in God, which is who we're talking about.


My point was that some of the people here are arguing something roughly along the lines of "Suppose there was a God, but there was no afterlife under his control, in that case some of the actions described in the text that also specifically mentions the existance of an afterlife would be heinous, how can religious people support such a being?"



:wave: I believe in G-d, and I don't believe in any type of afterlife after the fashion of other monotheisms or other major faiths. The idea of an afterlife in Judaism was an invention of later, messianistic Judaism... and even then, a vague idea at best. I believe that death is the end of life. Period.
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Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby sunnyside » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:02 am

Mikey wrote:
:wave: I believe in G-d, and I don't believe in any type of afterlife after the fashion of other monotheisms or other major faiths. The idea of an afterlife in Judaism was an invention of later, messianistic Judaism... and even then, a vague idea at best. I believe that death is the end of life. Period.


Wait what? I thought the Jewish branch that didn't believe in an afterlife was wiped out around the time the Temple was destroyed nearly 2000 years ago. There are still some of you around? Many?
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Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby Mikey » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:01 pm

It's not so much of a branch as a personal belief. Even modern messianistic Jewry doesn't have a clearly-conceived afterlife the way that Christians do, in part because we don't have/require sacraments like baptism. In a very strange juxtaposition, I grew up a Conservative Jew, with a rabbi who was an Orthodox Jew, who himself was a student as a young man of the late famous Hassidic scholar Menachem Schneerson. With all of that, the clearest picture I could get of an afterlife was called Olam Ha-Ba - that is, "the world to come." We believe in more of a kami-esque spirit rather than the Catholic idea of a soul. The word for this animating spirit is ru'ach, which like the Japanese word also indicates "breath or wind." It is said to be G-d's influence over his creations - the thing which differentiates a living person from the simple inanimate physical lump of stuff. When a person dies, the ru'ach returns to the lungs that originally breathed it.

Now, let me say this: my religious experience is firmly rooted in ha'skalah. I of course have experience with the Pentateuch and (to a slightly lesser extent) the rest of the Old Testament. I have very little with the Midrash, Talmud, Tanach, or Haggadic traditions; and almost zero with the Zohar or other Kabbalistic philosophies, either from the Babylonian exile or medieval Kabbalh. The apocrypha of the Old Testament is interesting to me, but I likewise have little more than a cursory familiarity with it. I can't tell you the positions of the six thousand angels, nor their names, nor the sephiroth; and it is from these sorts of traditions that much of the folkloric and imitative aspects of Judaism come. In other words, I didn't really lose any sleep over the thought of Lilith coming for my son before he was circumcised. ;)
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Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby Vic » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:56 am

Fascinating Mikey, I was under the impression that an after life for most Jews was more akin to the Greek idea of Hades.
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Re: Justification Of God's Dubiously Just Acts

Postby Mikey » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:43 pm

Vic wrote:Fascinating Mikey, I was under the impression that an after life for most Jews was more akin to the Greek idea of Hades.


Well, with the advent of the messianic tradition in Judaism (messianic ideas didn't enter Judaism until the Roman occupation of Palestine) there was more of an idea of an afterlife, Day of Judgement, etc., such as the "dry bones" passage in Isiah. However, there is no bodily concept of specific places in the afterlife such as Hades, Elysium, heaven, hell, limbo, or purgatory; nor is there any sort of list of specific conditions for such rewards or punishments. There might be more substance to afterlife ideas in the medieval kabbalh or haggadic traditions, but I don't believe so. The closest I've ever heard of in liturgy or Scripture was the idea of "returning to G-d."
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