God Loves You and Wants to Rip You Open

Angry BearHere’s an encouraging bible verse to start your day:

I will fall upon [my people]
like a bear robbed of her cubs;
I will tear open their breast,
and there I will devour them like a lion,
as a wild beast would rip them open.

I will destroy you, O Israel,
who can help you?

(Hosea 13:4-9)

What a kind, loving father the God of the Bible is! Let’s praise him for his wisdom in threatening to rip up his children like a wild beast!

Don’t you want to spend eternity with this charming being? Won’t you accept Jesus into your heart before his Father rips it out?

  • Mark T. Market

    More insanity here:

    http://www.evilbible.com/

    Still, it begs the question: how do the religious handle stuff like this?

    a. Reinterpret
    b. Revise
    c. Reject
    d. Reinterpret

  • PLMunn

    The next hit from the world’s hottest Christian Death Metal band.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    e. Avoid

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    Thats what kills me, how can the god of the bible be just if he inspires passages such as the one you just used in this post.

    I would love for one of the “believers” to explain how a just and loving god can threaten his beloved master creation (humans) with bieng devoured.

    I would love for one of the believers to explain why is the bible giving instructions on selling ones daughter?

    Question to the holy rollers (believers) why is document inspired by a perfect god so chauvinistic and sexist towards women?

  • Mark T. Market

    ^ Maybe the god changes with the times. Solves a lot of inconsistencies. Of course, no religious person would concede this.

  • Brian

    When I point out verses like this or the story about the Levite and his concubine in judges or the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts or any other from http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/ or http://www.evilbible.com I got these answers:

    1.I have no the right to judge god because I am not a god so I can’t understand.

    2.I did not go to a seminar to study theology, and then I should only ask a pastor.

    3.I have to understand the context of the whole story.

    4.There were different rules at that time.

    5.I can’t take those verses literally as they sound.

    6.The original Greek word for kill is really no kill but get man (this is an example). Lee Strobel in the case for faith asked an apologetic why god sent a bear to kill the kids that were making fun of some bald prophet. The apologetic’s explanation was that the real meaning of the word for kids in this passage meant angry gang, so in reality a mob or gang of vile men were going to kill the prophet.

    7.I, as an atheist, don’t have the knowledge of the lord, so no matter how much I study and read I will never gain a level of knowledge as a christian has.

    8.I have been blinded by satan.

    9.I can only read the bible with the literature of the watchtower society (jehova’s witnesses books) otherwise I don’t understand what the holy bible is saying with those verses.

  • Elemenope

    Maybe the god changes with the times. Solves a lot of inconsistencies. Of course, no religious person would concede this.

    Some do. There are two related approaches, one that concedes God actually changes (open theism), and one that argues the manifestation of God changes with reality (Molinism).

    Open theists argue that knowledge of future contingent events is an incoherent notion because the future does not exist. If the future does not exist, then there are no objects for which God can have knowledge. Under this conception, God’s understanding of the universe progresses with its temporal unfolding, much as our does. Implicit in this is the notion that his understanding can change.

    Molinists argue that God has what is called “middle-knowledge”, or knowledge of all contingently possible presents and futures, but does not know which contingent possible will become actual until it does. In this way, God’s *reactions* to the universe can change depending upon the contingent evolution of the actual universe, even if His overall character does not change. From the point of view of any entity inside that universe, God will have changed over time, because God’s orientation with the universe is contingently dependent on what happens next.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    More proof of gods morality. This passage is so retarded.

    “If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.’ If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever.” (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)

  • cello

    @ elmenope

    Are their current examples of both open theists and molinists? Either as a “demonination” or individual? Those descriptions sound new agey. Could those definitions be ascribed to anyone with an orthodox view?

    Aside from how we are looking at “God” here, I think many of our Biblical criticisms come through the lens of a modern American literal read of the Bible. IMO, some of the Bible stuff would only make any kind of sense when understood from a middle eastern cultural framework….under which storytelling suggested a bigger truth/myth and was never meant to be deciphered for “facts” in the details. I mean, a bunch of someones wrote the Bible and I doubt they were all nuts. What they were trying to say versus how moderns read it are often two different things.

  • Rynoos

    I have been a quiet lurker for about a month now. I am a Christian and no, this is not a horrible attempt at trying to convert. I have not spent much of my life around atheists, and so I am enjoying the banter and thoughts on this blogs. Some of the thoughts are really challenging. I have a question, that might be elementary for many of you, but I am young in your world.

    Would you consider yourself an atheist more because the facts or scientific method does not point to a God or that you don’t like the character or moral of the God of the Bible?

  • http://thebeattitude.com theBEattitude

    This is my statement to anyone who asks how I can regect Chrisitianity.

    “The Christian god is not someone I would want to spend eternity with. Even if he is real.”

    He is a threatening tyrant in the entire Old Testimant. Why would anyone want to spend eternity with someone that acts like Adolf Hitler?

    We are taught in the bible to love our enemies and forgive everyone. If only god would follow his own laws.

  • Question-I-thority

    Rynoos:

    I am atheistic because I have no adequate evidence of the exixtence of gods. Before I was an atheist I was christian. I became a non-christian through studying the Bible.

  • http://thinkingforfree.blogspot.com Eamon Knight

    Would you consider yourself an atheist more because the facts or scientific method does not point to a God or that you don’t like the character or moral of the God of the Bible?

    Primarily the former (which applies to pretty much all religions equally). However, the latter goes to the incoherence of “Biblical” religion, in that God enjoins all sorts of pro-social behaviour, while himself behaving like the Supreme Cosmic A**h***.

  • dead yeti

    Rynoos – scientific method and reason make me believe their is no god

    the bible would make me a non christian if i did believe in a higher being

  • Elemenope

    Are their current examples of both open theists and molinists? Either as a “demonination” or individual? Those descriptions sound new agey. Could those definitions be ascribed to anyone with an orthodox view?

    Open theism is thought to originate with A. N. Whitehead, which makes it a fairly recent school of thought (~100 years old). No orthodox denomination that I know of endorses it directly, though many do not anathematize it either. Only determinists have a real *doctrinal* problem with open theism, though many others don’t like it simply because they are not crazy about the effects that a doctrine of future non-reality has on the idea of prophecy.

    Molinism is much older, and has its origins in Catholicism (Molina was a Jesuit priest), and it is not a declared heresy (which makes it probable that many Catholics still hold it to be true). Alvin Plantinga, considered by many [make that "pretty much everyone"] to be the foremost living Christian theologian, is a Molinist, though he is a Protestant.

  • http://strawdog.wordpress.com/ strawdog

    Ah, that’s a true God of Love!

  • Jabster

    @Rynoos

    “Would you consider yourself an atheist more because the facts or scientific method does not point to a God or that you don’t like the character or moral of the God of the Bible?”

    Purely because of the lack of evidence pointing to a god as creator and the strong evidence against the god as described by mainstream religions … so I don’t like the character or morals of Stalin but this is no way means I don’t think he existed. The general ‘look what the Bible says’ posts and no more than a counter point to the god is all good, the morals of the Bible are correct etc. etc.

  • http://deusexeverriculum.wordpress.com/ Postman

    First of all, Brian – I’m terribly sorry to hear that Satan blinded you, but I’m sure He had a good reason. Supernatural beings work in mysterious ways and all that.

    Most importantly, though, Daniel, you forgot to include Hosea 13:10…

    “I mean that in a good way.”

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ rynoos

    “Would you consider yourself an atheist more because the facts or scientific method does not point to a God or that you don’t like the character or moral of the God of the Bible?”

    mark:Those are reasons for me, but also there was a point and time when I begged god for answers and recieved none. I would ask christians around me these questions and even though some of these folks were thoughtful in other subjects when it came to the questions I was asking about thier christian god the answers they gave were quite frankly unacceptable from an intellectual point of view. In other words Id have to suspend my brain to accept some of the non sense comming from the bible and religious folks.

    Plus I hate non sense more than anything else if god says he is just and moral then to me that would mean that everyone would have an equal chance to get into heaven.

    But this is not the case because thier are some athiest who wre terrific people who dont live past thier 20s but they go to hell but on the other hand thier are folks who were non believers and jack asses for 40 or 50 but if they convert to christianity on thier death bed they get to go to heaven.

    Thier are teenagers in other countries, never exposed to christianity who die before the age of 20 and those folks are going to hell for not beliving in the christian version of god but on the other hand god will allow nazis to convert and be saved. This is a concept that is quite frankly silly and I refused to believe that an all power and knowing god could be this silly. It adds up to non sense.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ rynoos

    mark: Also I have never recieved any proof from a christian for the existence of god that a muslim, jew or hindu couldnt produce. The same arguments for the existence of god I have seen for a christian god even on this blog could be used to prove the existence of Thor or any other god youd like to believe in. I refuse to believe that a god who wants his word to be known to all would make things so confusing.

    All cases I have ever seen arguing the existence of god are always based on the believers emotion not common sense.

    Christianity is not a legitimate explanation for the things I see going around me everyday.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Would you consider yourself an atheist more because the facts or scientific method does not point to a God or that you don’t like the character or moral of the God of the Bible?

    Because there’s no evidence that any god exists. Of course, if a god did exist, whether or not to worship them would be a moral decision based on the character of that god. But one has to be a theist before one can make that assessment.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Molinism is much older, and has its origins in Catholicism (Molina was a Jesuit priest)

    I suppose that means that my faint hope that is was named for Alfred Molina (best known as Doc Oc in Spiderman II) has been dashed?

  • cello

    Thanks elemenope. I did a wiki read on Molinism and didn’t quite get how God’s orientation to the world changes under this view, but then that was just a wiki read on the subject. I did see hundreds of reformed rebuttals to Monilism. LOL. Protestants sure like their certitude.

  • Elemenope

    I suppose that means that my faint hope that is was named for Alfred Molina (best known as Doc Oc in Spiderman II) has been dashed?

    LOL. Sadly, yes.

  • dr.R.

    Postman wrote: Daniel forgot to include Hosea 13:10: “I mean that in a good way.”

    Now, that is a relief! God is going to rip your heart out of your body, but he means that in a good way!

    Lucky us!

  • Sock

    @Rnyoos

    My views on God are due to the absolute lack of proof for his existence. My views on religion are due the fact that no other idea has been used (abused?) to spread more hate and intolerance in the world, coupled with the appalling arrogance of the faithful in their confidence that they have the right answer, and their willingness to pass judgment as if they were the God(s) that they supposedly worship.

    I have yet to learn of anything–short of natural diseases and plagues–that has been the idea/reason behind most of the sorrow, evil, hatred, and intolerance in this world than religion.

    And on the other hand, the most good that’s been done in this world has been done by scientists and doctors, firefighters and police officers. Humans who do what they do on their own, even if they attribute their good deeds to God (which, IMO, cheapens it). That’s not to say that religious people don’t do -some- good, but it’s always on their terms.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Elemenope:

    I’ve read through the Wiki article on Molinism (yeah, thorough research, I know), and I’m not sure what the point of it is.

    If God know all the starting conditions, and he knows what anyone is going to do given the exact circumstances in which they find themselves, how is this any different from pure determinism?

    I think my problem comes down to the way they’re using the term “free choice”; it seems to me that it would be as meaningful to state that if I enter “5×4=” into my calculator, it will freely choose to display the number 20, and thus it has free will, even though I can predict the result of any calculation I give it. If our actions are predictable based on our circumstances, we’re not free agents but simply a programmed set of responses to stimuli.

    What am I missing? Do you have a better source you can recommend that makes more sense of this?

    Addendum: Does God have contingent knowledge (or do I mean middle knowledge? I’m not quite sure) of how he will react in a given situation?

  • http://deusexeverriculum.wordpress.com/ Postman

    dr. R:

    Right? It makes it all okay. It’s like when Gawd had a couple of bears rip those 42 kids to bits for laughing at male-pattern baldness. I have it on good authority that He spoke through the bears while they were making Shredded Kid, “Just so you know, ” He said, “I actually like children. I’ve got one of My own. So it’s all good.”

  • Elemenope

    If God know all the starting conditions, and he knows what anyone is going to do given the exact circumstances in which they find themselves, how is this any different from pure determinism?

    Throw an extra word in there, and it might make more sense:

    If God knows all the possible starting conditions, and he knows what anyone is going to do given any given set of exact circumstances in which they find themselves, how is this any different from pure determinism?

    Think of God as a difference engine (machine designed for assigning probabilities), with infinite input bandwidth (it knows all relevant information) and the capacity for hypercomputation (there are no limits on how many calculations it may make over any given period of time).

    Such a machine would be able to, given the requisite knowledge of the starting conditions of all possible worlds, pick the world to realize that has a probability approaching one (certainty) of fulfilling any contingently possible conditions that the machine prefers. This is possible because human freedom is bounded and finite, and so given any set of circumstances can choose only from a finite list of possible actions. The idea is that God can choose to actualize the world where every element of the set of possible actions for each agent ends up actualizing the events he wishes to unfold, regardless of the specific choices that they make.

    It’s kinda like if you’re on a rooftop, and a person with a gun is coming to kill you. You have a choice to jump off the rooftop or be shot, but either way you choose, the entire set of actions from which you choose has only one ultimate outcome (namely, you die).

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    If God knows all the possible starting conditions, and he knows what anyone is going to do given any given set of exact circumstances in which they find themselves, how is this any different from pure determinism?

    I don’t know; how is it different? God still knows exactly what everyone’s going to choose. True, he can change the starting circumstances to alter what people choose, but I can press different buttons on my calculator and get a different result; my calculator is still a deterministic device.

    This is possible because human freedom is bounded and finite, and so given any set of circumstances can choose only from a finite list of possible actions.

    A single option counts as “a finite list”, I suppose, but it’s stretching the term. I mean, if it’s known that a person will choose a specific action when presented with a set of stimuli, what sense does it make to say that they could choose to do something different in those circumstances?

  • Barry

    @ wintermute

    Molinism is different than pure determinism in the sense that though the future is settled it is settled with “free will” in mind. Calvinism rightly understood means that all that ever happens has been foreordained by God. Molinism would say that God has knowledge of future contingents and then adjusts his eternal plan accordingly. William Lane Craig would be another famous Molinist.

    I think your right though in your determination that it still has deterministic implications. That’s what open theism sees and tries to address. So I would have to disagree with Elemenope in this regard, the God of Molinism still retains his classical attributes such as simplicity and impassibility so he doesn’t actually change. Of course many would explain it better than that, but I for one am still not convinced of the cohernce of Molinism. It’s still better than Calvinism.

    @ Elemenope

    Check out Greg Boyd, he sources some thinkers that have held to open theism principles in history, long before Whitehead and process thought. But what I think is more interesting is his work on the platonic influences on the early church fathers. Look at some of his posts on Plotinuss.

    As for the current thread, the imagery is colorful but it is merely a passage of judgement in the same vein as what happened to Israel in captivity. I just watched God on Trial the PBS special and found it fascinating and thought provoking in relation to some of the questions posted around here a lot about the character of God.

  • Ty

    “As for the current thread, the imagery is colorful but it is merely a passage of judgement in the same vein as what happened to Israel in captivity.”

    Translation: you aren’t reading it right.

  • Elemenope

    Check out Greg Boyd, he sources some thinkers that have held to open theism principles in history, long before Whitehead and process thought.

    Thanks. I shall!

    But what I think is more interesting is his work on the platonic influences on the early church fathers. Look at some of his posts on Plotinus.

    I’ve always been fascinated with the interchange of ideas from Judaism and Hellenic philosophy in the formation of early Christianity. Right now I’m reading Peter Watson’s “Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention”, and he goes in depth about the influence of Aristotle over the development of monotheism and the Christian and Muslim attempts to assimilate nominalism into their theologies.

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Philip

    @ markbey

    “All cases I have ever seen arguing the existence of god are always based on the believers emotion not common sense”

    The world as we know it is discovered and understood through experience is it not? For instance the existence of say gravity is discovered through experiencing gravity in a number of ways and seeing if they continue to be the same.

    That being so is it not fair to say that if someone experiences God in the same consistent way that it’s not an emotionally response but a response to a constant experience which is in essence the scientific method?

    Experience (test if you prefer), note the experience then repeat for consistency?

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    @Philip

    “The world as we know it is discovered and understood through experience is it not?”

    What exactly do you think we experience to determine the nature of the world around us?

    (I’m trying to answer your question with a question)

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Experience (test if you prefer), note the experience then repeat for consistency?

    You mean “I believed in God yesterday; I still believe in God today; therefore God exists”?

    Congratulations. You just proved the existence of every god who was ever believed in, from Asura Mazda to Zoroaster.

    Either that, or none of them. I’ll leave which as an exercise for the reader.

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Philip

    @ Mcbloggenstein

    You experience the world around us and it’s laws. We experience say the warmth of the sun to know it’s existence. Sight for instance is an experience and so when we see molecules and measure them we are experiencing them and validating their existence.

    @wintermute

    Your very right. This does mean that if you have experienced the Sun god or Zeus and continue to experience them then their reality is in some way validated.

    and if you’ve never experienced any god then you can’t say that this is one. I would never say it doesn’t work both ways.

    what it does come down to is who’s experiences do you believe? You believe the experiences of the scientist and believe that they can recreate that experience.

    The same is for a believer who has never experienced God’s healing lets say, but believes the experience of someone who has and believes that it could be recreated.

  • http://deusexeverriculum.wordpress.com/ Postman

    @Philip:

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but according to your argument, when I used to take a certain recreational drug in college and taste metal as it began to work – I really had metal in my mouth. The metal existed because I tasted it every time.
    Is that a fair representation?

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    @ Philip

    “The world as we know it is discovered and understood through experience is it not? For instance the existence of say gravity is discovered through experiencing gravity in a number of ways and seeing if they continue to be the same.

    That being so is it not fair to say that if someone experiences God in the same consistent way that it’s not an emotionally response but a response to a constant experience which is in essence the scientific method?

    Experience (test if you prefer), note the experience then repeat for consistency?”

    Let’s compare the scientific method to religion –

    Scientific method: Observe. Deduce hypothesis. Make prediction. Perform experiment. Analyze results. Repeat for consistency.

    Religious method: Observe. Deduce hypothesis. Do not make a prediction. Do not perform an experiment. Do not analyze results. Reject alternative explanations, even if they explain things in reality better than your hypothesis does. Or, revise hypothesis to accept alternative explanations. Then, either hold conflicting beliefs, or gradually define your hypothesis out of existence. Do not question. Repeat for consistency.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    This does mean that if you have experienced the Sun god or Zeus and continue to experience them then their reality is in some way validated.

    Care to expand on that “in some way”? Do you mean that Son of Sam was right that God wanted him to kill people?

    what it does come down to is who’s experiences do you believe? You believe the experiences of the scientist and believe that they can recreate that experience.
    The same is for a believer who has never experienced God’s healing lets say, but believes the experience of someone who has and believes that it could be recreated.

    And in which of those cases is the experiment truly repeatable, rather than “believed to be” repeatable? If a scientist says that performing experiment X will have measurable results Y to within five significant figures of accuracy, and a believer says that performing prayer A will reliably cause God to perform miracle B, which one do you think can really be repeatedly tested?

    When scientists perform experiments that aren’t successfully replicated by other scientists working in other labs with other worldviews, we assume that the experiment was flawed, and throw it out (cf. Pons and Fleischman’s cold fusion work). When believers have experiences that can’t be repeated, they say “God cannot be tested”, or “God works in mysterious ways”, or some such weaselling.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    @Philip

    “You experience the world around us and it’s laws. We experience say the warmth of the sun to know it’s existence. Sight for instance is an experience and so when we see molecules and measure them we are experiencing them and validating their existence. “

    Sorry, I didn’t word my question right. I didn’t mean “what” do we experience, I meant “how” do we experience it?

    The answer I was looking for is “through our senses”. You know… sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste.

    An emotional response to an experience does not constitute proof of something. Emotion is not a sense, it is our very personal and differing response to various incoming stimuli.

    Besides basic sensory experience, the only other way to describe an experience is through emotion.
    Do you propose that the fact that an emotional experience can be repeatable constitutes proof of something?

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ philip

    “@wintermute

    Your very right. This does mean that if you have experienced the Sun god or Zeus and continue to experience them then their reality is in some way validated.

    and if you’ve never experienced any god then you can’t say that this is one. I would never say it doesn’t work both ways. ”

    mark: Using this logic, anyone could have a personal expierence of:

    1) The easter bunny
    2)The invisible pink unicorn
    3) the flying spaghetti monster
    4)Amon Ra
    5) A cow
    6) a snake
    7) Or what about all the fictional characters that crazy people have running through thier mind.

    Anyone could have a signifigant personal expierence with any of the the things I listed.

    I have 2 questions for you phillip

    1) Would that personal expierence mean that the flying spaghetti monster was real or could be called god?

    2) IF what you said is true dont we have to give equal weight to all people personal beliefs?

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ phillip

    “That being so is it not fair to say that if someone experiences God in the same consistent way that it’s not an emotionally response but a response to a constant experience which is in essence the scientific method?”

    mark: No the response would still be emotion, because It is still based on how you feel and not what same theory to prove that the Great White buffalo is god.

    Phillip are you a christian? If the answer is yes what age do you think god starts sending people to hell for not bieng christians.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ phillip

    my last post had some words missing, here is what I was trying to say.

    “That being so is it not fair to say that if someone experiences God in the same consistent way that it’s not an emotionally response but a response to a constant experience which is in essence the scientific method?”

    mark: No the response would still be emotional, because It is based on how you feel and not anything that can be tested or proven. Using the same theory I could prove prove that the Great White buffalo is god.

    Phillip are you a christian? If the answer is yes what age do you think god starts sending people to hell for not bieng christians.

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Philip

    ok, wow there are a lot of questions for me here. I’ll do my best to wander through them and hopefully give you an appropriate response. if i miss one let me know and i’ll go back.

    @ Postman

    “The metal existed because I tasted it every time.”

    A good question. My response would be that for you in the moment you did experience the taste of metal. So, to an extent it did exist if only in the the form of taste.

    @ Teleprompter

    “Religious method: Observe. Deduce hypothesis. Do not make a prediction. Do not perform an experiment. Do not analyze results. Reject alternative explanations, even if they explain things in reality better than your hypothesis does. Or, revise hypothesis to accept alternative explanations. Then, either hold conflicting beliefs, or gradually define your hypothesis out of existence. Do not question. Repeat for consistency.”

    I don’t think that’s a fair representation of the believers I know. Many of them question and evaluate that it means to their faith. Constantly evolving their understanding of God and the world around them. to not change and grow would be irresponsible.

    @ wintermute

    “Do you mean that Son of Sam was right that God wanted him to kill people?”

    His experience told him He did but weather it was God or another force or mental state i don’t know.

    “When believers have experiences that can’t be repeated, they say “God cannot be tested”, or “God works in mysterious ways”, or some such weaselling.”

    I agree that is weaselling and a cop out. What it means is that it was real for that person and then it comes down to your choice to believe their word or not. It’s completely ok to not believe it.

    @McBloggenstein

    “Do you propose that the fact that an emotional experience can be repeatable constitutes proof of something?”

    A woman constantly feeling fear because her husband is aggressive in tone and motion but never takes actual action. Does that mean that their is no real danger?

    @ markbey

    “IF what you said is true dont we have to give equal weight to all people personal beliefs?”

    thats a good question. should a more educated persons beliefs mean more? i think that everyones beliefs should count and be discussed because everyone has value. Love doesn’t mean we have to agree but accept that they have a different view. I don’t know that i answered your question?

    Sorry this is all a lot more than i expected. Not that i’m bothered but surprised.

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Philip

    @markbey

    “Phillip are you a christian? If the answer is yes what age do you think god starts sending people to hell for not bieng christians.”

    I am and I’m not set on an age yet. There is talk in the bible about the someone under 20 being innocent so maybe it’s 20.

    It could also be completely different for every person. But I honestly don’t know. I can look deeper into it if you’d like?

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    me:“Do you propose that the fact that an emotional experience can be repeatable constitutes proof of something?”

    Phillip: A woman constantly feeling fear because her husband is aggressive in tone and motion but never takes actual action. Does that mean that their is no real danger?

    me: “Danger” is subjective, is it not? The feeling that the woman in your scenario has is toward a perceived threat. That threat can be real or imagined.

    Now, what makes the threat real? Sensory evidence.
    She hears him yelling at her. She sees him reacting negatively. She feels him hit her… etc…

    A person with a mental disorder (such as schizophrenia) can have very real feeling emotions towards perceived stressors. These stressors can be real or unreal, and there is a defined way to determine if it is real.

    An emotion does not make something real. An emotion is based on a perception of sensory input, which can be proved to be real or not real based on specific methods.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ philip

    “I am and I’m not set on an age yet. There is talk in the bible about the someone under 20 being innocent so maybe it’s 20. ”

    mark: Thank you for answering or attempting to answer my question. When I was a child I believed that anyone over the age of 13 and not baptized would ge to hell.

    Also I have a problem with what you believe because it is a fact that thier are peopole 30 years of age whohave the mental capacity of child. Would this mean that mentally challenged, retarded and Austic non believers over the age of 20 will burn in hell.

    Out of curiosity why does the christian god allow other religions (lies) to exist if the result of believing them is to burn in hell for ever and dont you think this is confusing?

    In some countries it is illegal to switch to christianity from Islam.Why would a chrisitan god who loves his masterpiece allow man to create laws that dictate death for people who switch to christianity?

    Do you consider god just? If you do why would a just god give instructions on how to sell ones daughter into slavery?

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    “ok, wow there are a lot of questions for me here.”

    I almost warned you before it happened.

    As with the nature of atheists, you can’t expect anything less when an idea is brought up that even remotely compares empirical evidence to a perceived experience, of which perceptions cannot be had without emotional ties.

    Good job responding though!

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com/ wintermute

    “Do you mean that Son of Sam was right that God wanted him to kill people?”

    His experience told him He did but weather it was God or another force or mental state i don’t know.

    So you don’t know what his experiences were evidence of, if anything at all?

    Well, I’m convinced.

    “When believers have experiences that can’t be repeated, they say “God cannot be tested”, or “God works in mysterious ways”, or some such weaselling.”

    I agree that is weaselling and a cop out. What it means is that it was real for that person and then it comes down to your choice to believe their word or not. It’s completely ok to not believe it.

    Whereas, it’s not completely OK to choose whether or not to believe repeatable scientific results. If someone didn’t believe that gravity varied as the inverse square of the distance it’s operating over, that’s not the same as choosing not to believe that Zeus exists, is it?

    People’s subjective, emotional experiences are not evidence of anything.

  • Ty

    I’d love to see a scientist publish a paper for a peer review journal that includes the evidence, “I know in my heart that my theory is true.” He’d be laughed out of the field, and rightfully so.

    And yet that is compelling evidence for the religious.

    Please, stop comparing your confirmation bias, wish fulfillment, and carefully cultivated delusions to science. Just stop.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    “People’s subjective, emotional experiences are not evidence of anything.”

    mark: Amen.

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Philip

    Sorry for questions i haven’t gotten too yet i’m still working so it’s hard. I am trying…

    @McBloggenstein

    “A person with a mental disorder (such as schizophrenia) can have very real feeling emotions towards perceived stressors. These stressors can be real or unreal, and there is a defined way to determine if it is real.”

    they can also have very real sensory data. Feel in their skin or hear voices.

    A lot of Christians would say they can physically feel God’s presence. Touch is a sense.

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Philip

    @ Mark

    “Would this mean that mentally challenged, retarded and Austic non believers over the age of 20 will burn in hell. ”

    That asumes there is a line and like i said i don’t know that there is. I can give more possibilities as to how God judges but i just don’t know and no one does.

    My thoughts are that he wouldn’t punish someone like that. Maybe it’s a mental age. I just don’t know and there is no way to know which i know will bother you. Sorry.

    “Out of curiosity why does the christian god allow other religions (lies) to exist if the result of believing them is to burn in hell for ever and dont you think this is confusing?”

    Yup real confusing but he gives us our free will so we can make a choice. Doesn’t want to control us. God doesn’t want to force himself on us and in the free will comes the option.

    “Do you consider god just? If you do why would a just god give instructions on how to sell ones daughter into slavery?”

    Don’t know.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com/ wintermute

    “A person with a mental disorder (such as schizophrenia) can have very real feeling emotions towards perceived stressors. These stressors can be real or unreal, and there is a defined way to determine if it is real.”

    they can also have very real sensory data. Feel in their skin or hear voices.

    A lot of Christians would say they can physically feel God’s presence. Touch is a sense.

    But as you point out, the fact that you can feel spiders crawling under your skin is not proof that the spiders are actually there.

    Equally, the fact that you can hear a voice in your head is not proof that someone is speaking to you.

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Philip

    @ Ty

    sorry i’ll stop wasting everyone’s time then.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    “A lot of Christians would say they can physically feel God’s presence. Touch is a sense.”

    Seriously with that?
    First, although I have never been an Xtian, I highly doubt that they literally mean that they “feel” him. They may think they feel physical contact (like a handshake or an embrace) but a claim such as that would have to be backed up with a more reliable sense.

    By that I mean this: A visual account of somone killing another would be much more admissible in a court, compared to a witness merely hearing the act happen.

    Also, the “feeling” of God is, again, a very personal thing.

    Person #1 and person #2 both say they “feel” God.
    Then person #3 says “I don’t feel him personally, but I would like to prove that this feeling is physical and real. Can you prove to me that this feeling is real?”

    Will persons #1 and #2 be able to prove it? No. This fact reveals that it is an emotion, because no other senses or testing will be able to reveal what they are saying to be true.

    NO OTHER aspect of learning knowledge about the world relies on a person’s unprovable emotional pleas.

  • http://www.vidlord.com vidlord.com

    this has always been my fav:

    “I will tread them in mine anger, and will trample them in my fury, and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.”

    the back and forth on what god knows is interesting. if he knows the future then he knew adam and eve would be tempted from the snake that he created then eat from the tree that he planted right? They were set up. So we’re left with a problem. How can we have free will if he already knows the future? And if he already knows the future why would he possibly get angry? why would he have emotions at all? As george carlin said ‘it’s all so confusing……’

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Philip

    i guess it’s all emotion then. again sorry for the waste of time everyone

  • http://www.vidlord.com vidlord.com

    markbey,

    great point: “There are teenagers in other countries, never exposed to christianity who die before the age of 20 and those folks are going to hell for not beliving in the christian version of god”

    from what i understand the catholic god would send these teenagers to limbo, but not before they cook for awhile in purgatory. Oh and for those that get to heaven, the super, duper good get to see god more clearly then the just so so good. it’s called the prismatic vision or something similar. So even when you get to heaven there are rankings….

  • Elemenope

    Person #1 and person #2 both say they “feel” God.
    Then person #3 says “I don’t feel him personally, but I would like to prove that this feeling is physical and real. Can you prove to me that this feeling is real?”

    Will persons #1 and #2 be able to prove it? No. This fact reveals that it is an emotion, because no other senses or testing will be able to reveal what they are saying to be true.

    Whoa, this is a leap! I agree that persons #1 and #2 will not be able to demonstrate to person #3 that their experience isn’t generated by something physical, but *all* sensory reports are by definition private to the experiencer, not just emotions.

    You can’t prove, for example, that your stomach hurts to anyone else; doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt!

    Your real issue seems to be not that the experience is generated by emotional states, but rather that the experiencer cannot point to any external referent that would allow another experiencer to experience the same phenomena directly.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    “…but *all* sensory reports are by definition private to the experiencer, not just emotions.”

    *all*??

    You see a tree. Can I not see that tree as well? And feel it? And taste it? Just as you? Maybe it tastes more salty to you, or the leaves look less green to you, but subtleties are irrelevant.

    The sensory reports you speak of that are only private are emotions, and feelings such as physical pain. If someone has a stomach ache, perhaps they have an ulcer, or they have gas, or they ate spicy foods and have acid reflux. These are all things that a medical professional can test for.

    How does this compare to claiming that a “feeling” that a being exists and touches them, means it is real???

    “Your real issue seems to be not that the experience is generated by emotional states, but rather that the experiencer cannot point to any external referent that would allow another experiencer to experience the same phenomena directly.”

    You’re exactly right about the latter point.

    But considering what I said about being able to prove a stomach ache, what else is there that provides an experience besides external sensory (which can be shared, tested, and proven), and physical feelings (such as pain or discomfort, that usually has a testable cause)?

    Emotion.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    @Philip

    “i guess it’s all emotion then. again sorry for the waste of time everyone”

    We don’t consider it a waste of time. That is why we responded to your inquiries. Just because some of us felt the need to point out why we think some of your points were incorrect, does not mean we think it was a waste of time. As you so humbly asked our opinions on these issues, recognize that some – more than others – have addressed similar points ad nauseam. Don’t take offense.

  • Elemenope

    You see a tree. Can I not see that tree as well? And feel it? And taste it? Just as you? Maybe it tastes more salty to you, or the leaves look less green to you, but subtleties are irrelevant.

    The sensory reports you speak of that are only private are emotions, and feelings such as physical pain. If someone has a stomach ache, perhaps they have an ulcer, or they have gas, or they ate spicy foods and have acid reflux. These are all things that a medical professional can test for.

    There’s a huge difference between an object and sensory impressions of an object. That an object produces similar impressions doesn’t make the impressions any less private. To wit, you can’t *experience* the subjective states that a person experiences when they see the tree. You can only experience your own subjective states. Since we have invented language (lucky us!), you can describe the subjective states to another, and that’s as close as we get to vicarious experience of sensory stimuli.

    The physical mechanism of sensory perception such as sight and the physical mechanism for nociception are for all practical purposes identical (nerve endings are excited, and cause an impulse to travel along the nerve to the brain where it is interpreted and integrated). So, the direct experience of sight is every bit as private as the direct experience of pain.

    We infer from inductive experience that some of our private sensory experiences correspond with an external world of objects. The correspondence is so strong that we tend to elide the difference between those objects and our impressions of them. But, we only ever experience our own experiences.

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Philip

    @ bloggstein

    Thanks, it just appeared from the comments that mine weren’t welcome(which is ok if that’s how people feel). Didn’t what to speak where I wasn’t wanted.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Philip,

    Your comments are welcome. I’m sure that most of us don’t feel that they are unwelcome.

    However, I hope you also feel that our criticism and suggestions are, in turn, welcome, as McBloggenstein was saying.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    “That an object produces similar impressions doesn’t make the impressions any less private. To wit, you can’t *experience* the subjective states that a person experiences when they see the tree. You can only experience your own subjective states.”

    Granted..
    But like I said about the tree tasting different to you, or my eyes seeing a slightly different green than you, or me saying the bark feels rough when you think it feels smooth, these subtleties make no difference as to whether the tree is there or not. Opinion, based from perception, and emotion, does not alter something concrete that everyone can agree on (unless there is something wrong with them) that the tree is there.

    “…are for all practical purposes identical (nerve endings are excited, and cause an impulse to travel along the nerve to the brain where it is interpreted and integrated)”

    Also granted.
    However, if we’re going to go down that road of whether or not anything is real because all they are are perceptions based on stimulated nerves, then why don’t we just throw our hands up and wonder if anything is real or not?
    Of course the only reason I have to believe this keyboard is real is because of what my brain tells me. Surely a machine could tickle the exact same nerves and make me believe that the keyboard is there, when it is not, but we make no other assumptions like this in reality.

    If I’m to go around wondering if things are really there, how is that a way to exist? We must exist in a world in which we rely on our collective sensory perceptions to tell us, and others… what is real. There is no reason to debate whether the tree exists, or that my parents exist.

    Is there a reason to debate whether God exists? Absolutely. I wonder why? Surely the fact that a lot of people “feel” Him gives the idea some validity, right? It doesn’t, and there’s a reason for that.

  • Elemenope

    McB –

    I’m not trying to assert that we should become skeptics of the external world; after all, I said that our experiences of sensory stimuli seem to correspond heavily with the reports of other people’s experiences of similar stimuli; it would be, at the least, weird, if it were not the case that these correspondences are generated by some objective thingamabobs (a very technical term :).

    My thing is, we privilege these sensory states as being somehow “better” in a truth-bearing sense than internally generated experiences, and my suspicion is we do this really only because it is epistemologically *convenient* to do so. It’s (comparatively) easy to have confirmation hypotheses about external stimuli, because we can share reports of their experiences and compare them with our own private experiences of the same phenomenon. We can’t test other people’s internal states, because we have no access to them. All I’m saying is it doesn’t follow that just because they suck from an epistemological point-of-view that they are necessarily weaker alethically.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    I would only say that it may be “easier” to rely on evidence based on external stimuli only because we seem to have based our methods for the collection of knowledge in a way that makes it as such.

    Did we base our methods on the fact that empirical evidence is “easy” to collect? Or is empirical evidence easy to collect because of the way our methods for collecting knowledge operate?

    Was the scientific method conceived so that we would feel good about collecting all the “easy” evidence as a shortcut to gaining knowledge? Because it was convenient to avoid the harder questions about internal experience because they are more difficult to answer?

    Long ago, people surely allowed their internal experiences to dictate their perceptions of the world much more than they do today, as there were no better explanations then.

    While the private, and harder to explain internal experience has diminished in it’s purpose to explain the world, it is only because empirical knowledge has been collected in such volumes that emotional response is no longer considered reliable to explain or prove anything.

  • Aor

    Solipsism is pointless. It is always a disapointment when someone brings it up. It never serves any constructive purpose in conversations.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Aor: Yeah, but you don’t exist, so why should I care what I imagine you think?

  • Elemenope

    Solipsism is pointless. It is always a disappointment when someone brings it up. It never serves any constructive purpose in conversations.

    I agree.

    Um, who brought it up? Nobody, so far…

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    “Um, who brought it up?”

    I could see how maybe you were starting to, with this:

    “The physical mechanism of sensory perception such as sight and the physical mechanism for nociception are for all practical purposes identical (nerve endings are excited, and cause an impulse to travel along the nerve to the brain where it is interpreted and integrated).”

    Perhaps I misinterpreted the road you were taking, but bringing up the idea that all perceptions are simply excited nerve endings could easily be doing just that… and asking “what is real?”

  • Elemenope

    Perhaps I misinterpreted the road you were taking, but bringing up the idea that all perceptions are simply excited nerve endings could easily be doing just that… and asking “what is real?”

    Nah, a solipsist would have to come to the (I think evidentially absurd) conclusion that the perception of externality is illusory.

    All I was saying is that experiences generated by internal states are created by the same mechanism as experiences generated by external states, and so the only reason we tend to privilege one over the other is because the first forms testable hypotheses about whatever it is that seems to be generating the external state (some object or other), and not for any other reason.

    The issue I was having with your line of questioning of Philip is that even though the Theist’s subjective experience of God seems to be generated by some internal mechanism, when two Theists compare their experiences of God by report their reports tend to have similarities…which is the same grounds that seeing people use (we compare notes, so to speak, on our visual experiences, and so conclude that we both see the same object when we look at the same location). A blind person couldn’t compare the same notes as you or I, and would be justified in being skeptical of the existence of the object on the basis of our reports of visual stimuli. A fruitful avenue of counterattack by a Theist would be to argue that there is an external referent to their experiences, but that the Atheist lacks the right “receptor” sense, in the same way that the blind man lacks the correct receptor sense for visual phenomena.

    It’s not an *entirely* fruitful line of attack, mainly because the sense we already use are highly triangulated, so to speak, with the other senses that we use. For most everyday experiences, we can expect that something we see also has corresponding tactile, olfactory, aural, etc. phenomena. The blind person may be convinced by the existence of the tree by touching it…though their report on the nature of the tree is likely to diverge significantly from the seeing person’s report.

    However, there are phenomena we take for granted that we imply exist only on the basis of one type of sensory data. Take the stars, for example…

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ philip

    mark: Philip no one from what I can tell is angry at your or dosent want you to dialogue with. I for one am enjoying this the intellectual gymnastics you are doing. I do have a few more questions for you however.

    philip:”That asumes there is a line and like i said i don’t know that there is. I can give more possibilities as to how God judges but i just don’t know and no one does.

    My thoughts are that he wouldn’t punish someone like that. Maybe it’s a mental age. I just don’t know and there is no way to know which i know will bother you. Sorry”

    mark: I respect the fact you admit you dont know. I just wish that the worlds religions would all admit that they dont know what is going to happen after we die. I wish all religions would admit that know that thier concept of god exist vs others. I also wish people of faith world wide would rencounce the clause that says if you dont believe you will burn in hell.

    Here are my questions

    1) Do you believe in the flood literally.

    2) If the answer to question #1 is yes, then how on earth did Noah get to the north pole, north america, the south pole and south america to collect a pair of polar bears, penguins (different species) and all of the other animals scattered thousands and thousands of miles all across the earth?

    3) Why do chrisitans pray for people after they are dead and exactly what good does it do?

    4)Also how long do you think it took for Noah to collect all of the animals that were on the earth?

    5) Do you overheard a grandfather giving his son instructions on how to sale the fathers child would you consider that moral.

  • cello

    @elmenope

    The issue I was having with your line of questioning of Philip is that even though the Theist’s subjective experience of God seems to be generated by some internal mechanism, when two Theists compare their experiences of God by report their reports tend to have similarities…

    I would assume this would be true across religious lines, meaning a Muslim reports the same experience as a Hindu and as a Christian? That would be consistent with what my anecdotal experience tells me from various friends. I have had experiences that I attributed to the presence of God and it felt somewhat similar to experiences where I have felt deja vu.

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Philip

    @ mark

    it appears i miss interpreted some of the comments from the people here so i’ll see what i can do with some of your questions.

    “I also wish people of faith world wide would rencounce the clause that says if you dont believe you will burn in hell.”

    There are lots of people who don’t think that. Some christians think that everyone goes that that people can get a second chance.

    this also brings up your view of what hell is. There are hundreds of different views when it comes to hell. there are those that think much like you would that when you die you just cease to exist and that is hell due to you know being with God. There are others that would think that hell is literally a burning lake of fire. My point is that you’ve zeroed in on one interpretation of hell (probably due to it being the most prevalent or loudest promoted)

    “) Do you believe in the flood literally.

    2) If the answer to question #1 is yes, then how on earth did Noah get to the north pole, north america, the south pole and south america to collect a pair of polar bears, penguins (different species) and all of the other animals scattered thousands and thousands of miles all across the earth?

    4)Also how long do you think it took for Noah to collect all of the animals that were on the earth?”

    I do think that the flood happened, but as to how he got them all i have no idea. Or how a polar animal would even survive in the warm climate. Maybe the write when he spoke of the world he spoke only of the world as he knew it to exist and as such it was the area surrounding the Mediterranean and not the entire planet? don’t know i’ve again not looked into this particular issue.

    as far as how long it would take him i guess a hundred years or more. The biblical account has him and his family being hundreds of years old if i recall properly.

    ” Why do chrisitans pray for people after they are dead and exactly what good does it do?”

    If they belive in limbo then they think that praying for the dead can help bring them to heaven if they are ‘on the fence’ now thats no my personal belief but it’s one that is held.

    the only other reason would be because they believe that prayer for someone can raise them from the dead (like lazarus) and i have friends who say they have expereinced this when doing work in Africa and so i believe them. And before anyone starts i realize the implications and arguments that could come but they were actually dead and then not so do with that as you will.

    “5) Do you overheard a grandfather giving his son instructions on how to sale the fathers child would you consider that moral”

    no but was it common place in the day? was the system being used abusive and so God placed in a system that protected the child? Consider when Abraham was told to sacrifice his son. From what i understand that was common place in that day. It was part of the society for people to sacrifice their best and that could mean their child and so when God asked it wouldn’t have been strange the strange part is him say he didn’t need to do it. My guess is a study of the culture would help but i can’t promise it will and i haven’t done that so i can’t say why it would happen.

    to actually answer you question it doesn’t seam moral to me or to be in line with the teachings of Jesus. I realize it’s there and so that means we have a contradiction and thats something that a believer has to deal with and try to understand how the relationship with God changed when Jesus came.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ philip

    mark: Thank you for bieng gracious enough to answer questions. Ill respond a little later. Mark

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Mark: In response to questions 2 and 4, the Bible says that God collected the animals and delivered them to Noah. Not that this makes any more sense, mind you.

    Phillip:

    Maybe the write when he spoke of the world he spoke only of the world as he knew it to exist and as such it was the area surrounding the Mediterranean and not the entire planet? don’t know i’ve again not looked into this particular issue.

    If the Noachian flood was a local phenomena that only affected a small region, then it can’t have achieved that stated aims of wiping out all of humanity. In addition, God’s promise never to flood the whole world again is patently false, if “the whole world” means “a few hundred square miles”.

    Also, if it was a local flood, deep enough to cover the tips of the mountains, why didn’t all the water just immediately drain into the Mediterranean and and Red seas? Did God put up giant walls of force to keep the water where it was supposed to be? Why didn’t the Egyptians notice this?

    In short, if the flood was anything other than totally global, the whole story is pointless and without meaning. Of course, if it does refer to a global flood, it’s trivially false, but those are really your only options.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ philip

    “Maybe the write when he spoke of the world he spoke only of the world as he knew it to exist and as such it was the area surrounding the Mediterranean and not the entire planet? don’t know i’ve again not looked into this particular issue.”

    mark: IF the bible is god inspired then it wouldnt make a difference if the actual writer saw it or not, because should have revealed that info.

    Dont you think so?

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ philip

    philip:”There are others that would think that hell is literally a burning lake of fire. My point is that you’ve zeroed in on one interpretation of hell (probably due to it being the most prevalent or loudest promoted)”

    mark: My point philip was that no one has any way of knowing anything about hell. It is all a matter of opinion with absolutely no basis. When you go around tell children scary stories of how they are going to hell that is over the top. Which is why I think all religions should renounce the clause. It is also a very divisive thing to say that people who dont think like you are going to hell for what they believe.

    When religious people tell me that god wants me to find him but then that same god allows conflicting views about him and about heaven and hell I wonder how bad does god he want me to find him and understand his word.

    Philip:”If they belive in limbo then they think that praying for the dead can help bring them to heaven if they are ‘on the fence’ now thats no my personal belief but it’s one that is held.

    the only other reason would be because they believe that prayer for someone can raise them from the dead (like lazarus)”

    mark: If what your saying is the case, it dosent matter what you did or believed in life as long as youve got enough folks praying for you. Where exactly would that Idea come from, isnt it made clear in the bible and through out christian theology that the individual must earn thier way into heaven by believing in Jesus christ and thier actions once they become believers?

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    the only other reason would be because they believe that prayer for someone can raise them from the dead (like lazarus) and i have friends who say they have expereinced this when doing work in Africa and so i believe them. And before anyone starts i realize the implications and arguments that could come but they were actually dead and then not so do with that as you will.

    If this is true, your friends have revolutionised everything we know about medicine. Hospitals will go out of business as doctors are replaced with preachers. I would strongly encourage you to invest everything you own with them, as that will surely pay you back a thousandfold.

    Unless you think that they might have exaggerated the situation, slightly? Like maybe the patients merely appeared dead, rather than being actually dead?

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ philip

    philip:”no but was it common place in the day? was the system being used abusive and so God placed in a system that protected the child? Consider when Abraham was told to sacrifice his son. From what i understand that was common place in that day. It was part of the society for people to sacrifice their best and that could mean their child and so when God asked it wouldn’t have been strange the strange part is him say he didn’t need to do it. My guess is a study of the culture would help but i can’t promise it will and i haven’t done that so i can’t say why it would happen.

    mark: How come god didnt just put in a system that said it 100% immoral to sell your daughter. Your statement sounds as if god came to the rescue, I think that is bogus because before he created those losers (folks would thier daughters) he knew they were going to sale thier daughters. I still dont get why your all loving and powerful god would allow the folks to sale thier children in the first place.

    philip:to actually answer you question it doesn’t seam moral to me or to be in line with the teachings of Jesus. I realize it’s there and so that means we have a contradiction and thats something that a believer has to deal with and try to understand how the relationship with God changed when Jesus came.”

    mark: How does a bielever reconcile the concept of a good god vs a god that is giving instructions on using a child as an item commerce. Also white southerners before and during the civil war used the bible to justify slavery and all kinds of crimes against african americans.

    Are you saying the old testament is invalid? If the OT is invalid then why not just stop using the OT?

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ philip

    Im reposting this because I had some missing words.

    philip:”no but was it common place in the day? was the system being used abusive and so God placed in a system that protected the child? Consider when Abraham was told to sacrifice his son. From what i understand that was common place in that day. It was part of the society for people to sacrifice their best and that could mean their child and so when God asked it wouldn’t have been strange the strange part is him say he didn’t need to do it. My guess is a study of the culture would help but i can’t promise it will and i haven’t done that so i can’t say why it would happen.

    mark: How come god didnt just put an end to the system of slavery and state somewhere in the bible that it is 100% immoral to sale your daughter. Your statement sounds as if god came to the rescue, I think that is bogus because before he created those losers (folks would thier daughters) he knew they were going to sale thier daughters. I still dont get why your all loving and powerful god would allow the folks to sale thier children in the first place.

    philip:to actually answer you question it doesn’t seam moral to me or to be in line with the teachings of Jesus. I realize it’s there and so that means we have a contradiction and thats something that a believer has to deal with and try to understand how the relationship with God changed when Jesus came.”

    mark: How does a bielever reconcile the concept of a good god vs a god that is giving instructions on using a child as an item commerce. Also white southerners before and during the civil war used the bible to justify slavery and all kinds of crimes against african americans.

    Are you saying the old testament is invalid? If the OT is invalid then why not just stop using the OT?

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Philip

    @ wintermute

    “Of course, if it does refer to a global flood, it’s trivially false, but those are really your only options.”

    fair enough, you seam better versed in this story than i am. To be honest it’s been a long time since i’ve studied Noah and was pondering and not researching so thats my fault, sorry. So a world wide flood it is. and no i don’t have evidence that can back up that it did happen.

    “If this is true, your friends have revolutionised everything we know about medicine.”

    that makes an assumption. one you have control over God and his decisions to heal, which i don’t believe. So, say these words and it happens isn’t true.

    The bible says that miracles es are done to bring glory to God and show His power and love. That being the case if you saw somone come back from the dead would you belive in God? probably not, you’d look to science to explain how it happend and if you didn’t find an answer i still doubt you come back and say ‘if must have been God.’ if you would then your a far better person than i because i’m not sure what i’d think if i saw it. i hope i could belive but i can’t know untill i experiecne it. The point is if no one would believe then God’s not going to do it, so that coudl be why a place that still acepts the work of gods and spirts like africa this happens where a society like ours that wouldn’t it doesn’t. and i could be wrong.

    @ mark

    “F the bible is god inspired then it wouldnt make a difference if the actual writer saw it or not, because should have revealed that info.”

    Yes, your completely right. i’m just trying to put forth views that i’ve heard and have been given to me that may or may not ring true with you. My opinion on the subject is it did flood the entire earth. But it’s just that my opinion and my belief which can’t be proven through science and i’m ok with that.

    “If what your saying is the case, it dosent matter what you did or believed in life as long as youve got enough folks praying for you.”

    again, a view held by others and not only i personaly hold so i can’t speak to it much beyond that. I’d suggest asking a catholic or someone versed in Catholicism.

    “How does a bielever reconcile the concept of a good god vs a god that is giving instructions on using a child as an item commerce.”

    because the God i have experienced is a good God. I don’t know why He let that happen or gave rules to it, i just don’t. What i do know is that the God i have experienced is loving, just and gracious. i’m sorry i know that doesn’t answer your question.

    “Also white southerners before and during the civil war used the bible to justify slavery and all kinds of crimes against african americans.”

    yup, the bible is used to prove and say a lot of things. just ’cause someone used it that way doesn’t mean thats how it’s to be used.

    “Are you saying the old testament is invalid? If the OT is invalid then why not just stop using the OT?”

    I’m not saying it’s invalid. i’m saying i don’t understand a lot of it and so i study and research to try and make sense of it. i never will understand it all and again i’ve come to grips with that. I would asume you have to do that when it comes to science as well? you can’t know everythign there is in science and rely on others to help you understand and explian things but still there are things in science no one knows and phenomena that can’t be explained but that doesn’t’ lessen your view of science. It’s simply the growth and evolution of knowledge.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    that makes an assumption. one you have control over God and his decisions to heal, which i don’t believe. So, say these words and it happens isn’t true.

    No, you (or your friends) are making the assumption that their prayers controlled God and made him bring someone back from the dead. If God cannot be controlled like that, then obviously these people would have been “raised” even if no-one prayed for them, right?

    So, if you believe that your friends prayers can have this effect, you’re the one who’s assuming God’s healing munificence can be controlled via prayer, not me.

    And if you believe that, invest everything you have in it. It’ll be a huge boon to mankind, and incidentally, you’ll become a multi-trillionaire.

    And if you don’t believe that your friends prayers did anything, then don’t do anything.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    The bible says that miracles es are done to bring glory to God and show His power and love. That being the case if you saw somone come back from the dead would you belive in God? probably not, you’d look to science to explain how it happend and if you didn’t find an answer i still doubt you come back and say ‘if must have been God.’

    I’d probably start by reasoning that, from a semantic point of view, they can’t have actually been dead in the first place, as that has a very strict definition which involves the inability to recover.

    but assuming they met all the diagnostic criteria for brain death with no possibility of misdiagnosis (their head had been sitting in a jar of formaldehyde for a month, for example), I’d probably look for a rational explanation. And if I didn’t find one, I’d settle with “I don’t know”.

    Why would “God must have done it” more likely than “Hermes must have done it”, or even “a leprechaun riding a unicorn must have done it”? Unless you have a good reason to discard all other possible supernatural events, it’s intellectually dishonest to assume that it must have been Jehovah.

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Philip

    @ wintermute

    “So, if you believe that your friends prayers can have this effect, you’re the one who’s assuming God’s healing munificence can be controlled via prayer, not me.”

    I think there is a distinct difference between controlling and a request. God is not required to do anything and so invest and the pray doesn’t mean he will bless that. He can if he chose to but doesn’t mean he has to. As your phrasing it he would have to.

    If i ask you for $20 you don’t have to give it to me but you can hear that request and act on it should you feel so inclined. Not controlled by it but responding to the request. Remembering the prayer is a conversation a two way discussion.

    “Why would “God must have done it” more likely than “Hermes must have done it”, or even “a leprechaun riding a unicorn must have done it”? Unless you have a good reason to discard all other possible supernatural events, it’s intellectually dishonest to assume that it must have been Jehovah.”

    i guess if there were people praying to a uicorn as well then i’d have an issue. you’d also have to remove the believe of most christians that God can and does communicate with them affirming his intervention and not a unicorn, unless again the unicorn said he did it too. then we have an issue and i guess you chose who you trust more.

    on another note, can i have $20?

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com/ wintermute

    I think there is a distinct difference between controlling and a request. God is not required to do anything and so invest and the pray doesn’t mean he will bless that. He can if he chose to but doesn’t mean he has to. As your phrasing it he would have to.

    So prayer is necessary for Jehovah to heal someone, but not sufficient, is that what you’re saying? Because if it’s not necessary to cause Jehovah to decide to intervene, then I don’t see why you bothered to mention it any more than you mentioned what they had for breakfast that day…

    i guess if there were people praying to a uicorn as well then i’d have an issue. you’d also have to remove the believe of most christians that God can and does communicate with them affirming his intervention and not a unicorn, unless again the unicorn said he did it too. then we have an issue and i guess you chose who you trust more.

    So, you’re saying that Jehovah has actively taken the credit for this healing? How can you be sure it was Jehovah and not, for example, Freya? Or The Buddha? Or a unicorn? Besides, Jehovah is an admitted liar, so why would you believe him over other gods?

    And you don’t believe in unicorns because people don’t pray to them? That literally makes no sense.

    I’m still wondering how qualified your friends your friends are to distinguish between true death and the several tropical diseases that closely resemble death, such as catalepsy. Were they tropical disease pathologists?

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Philip

    @ wintermute

    “So prayer is necessary for Jehovah to heal someone, but not sufficient, is that what you’re saying? Because if it’s not necessary to cause Jehovah to decide to intervene, then I don’t see why you bothered to mention it any more than you mentioned what they had for breakfast that day…”

    It’s not nessary, God is a being that can act of His own free will. in the same way you could just give me $20 (i’m guessing thats a no?) i don’t need to ask but i can. The point of prayer as i understand it is a conversation between you and God and as a way to build your relationship. so i ask him for help and it’s his choice but my asking is not required but does help to build our relatinoship and i think has an impact.

    “And you don’t believe in unicorns because people don’t pray to them? That literally makes no sense.”

    didn’t say that. i said if someone said they had payed to a unicorn and it said it healed this person i would have to at least discus their experience.

    “Were they tropical disease pathologists?”

    i have no intention of trying to convince you this happened. there’s nothing i could do or say that you would accept as it being God’s work so it seams like a discussion not worth having. They were dead, then they were back to full health. It’s your choice to accept the account or not and i’ll respect your choice either way.

  • Jimminy Christmas

    @Philip

    Is it really that difficult to understand that your subjective experience of “feeling” and “experiencing” god is just that…a feeling?

    I know it all may seem extremely real to you, but there are countless documented cases of people having totally convincing visual and auditory hallucinations (usually caused by mental illness, drugs, or brain surgery). The feeling of there being a “presence” near you is also a very common hallucination, and can even be easily induced artificially in a laboratory by exposing specific parts of your brain to focused electromagnetic radiation.

    Another example: a very common experience that many people have after taking the hallucinogenic drug LSD is that they will see flat surfaces like walls and ceilings undulate and move almost as if they were made of rubber or water. This has happened to thousands upon thousands of people. Does this mean that walls and ceilings are actually made out of rubber or water? It feels 100% real to the people who experience it, and many people have experienced it repeatedly.

    No, of course it doesn’t. It means their brain chemistry has been altered in such a way as to produce this illusion that seems 100% real. Your feelings about god are exactly the same thing. They are illusions. The only difference is that your brain chemistry changes are initiated internally by your wishful thinking, rather than externally by a hallucinogenic drug.

  • http://thinworker.wordpress.com/ Philip

    @ Jimminy Christmas

    “They are illusions.”

    i suppose you could make that argument but it could then be applied to all feelings you have ever had and said they are akin to a hallucinogenic and in no way real.

    hard to tell why someone else is feeling something. although if you hold there is no God i guess thats all you can say. people feelings though there are wrong all day every day as they experience God through out their lives.

  • Sock

    The difference is that all those other feelings–pain, joy, anger, etc… these are all shared feelings.

    The “touch of God” is something only felt by (and I’m being generous with this made up statistic) 1 in 10,000 people. That’s one in ten thousand who are absolutely 100% confident that they’ve felt the touch of God, and it could be nothing else.

    If you believe that, then you also have to believe in Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, and psychics, and and alien abductions, and any other number of odd, “unexplained” experiences and sightings. These are things that have a large cult following–large enough that we’ve heard of all of these things. They’re also ridiculous.

    The problem with God, is that people so often talk about him in a way that relates to what they “want”. Or what they “hope” for. In that sense, religious people aren’t really living in the same world that atheists are. We react to what we see and experience personally, and religious people react to what they want and hope to see.

  • Jimminy Christmas

    i suppose you could make that argument but it could then be applied to all feelings you have ever had and said they are akin to a hallucinogenic and in no way real.
    Well, in a solipsistic sense this is true. But solipsism is a useless philosophy. In reality, most people consider their everyday thoughts, feelings, and physical experiences to be “real” and not “illusions”. The reason they do this is because of what Sock said, and because we all share the same objective physical reality.

    If I stub my toe, it will hurt. If you stub your toe, it will also hurt. If I see something green, so will you. If I smell a rose, and you smell a rose, it will smell like a rose to both of us. As someone said earlier, there may be very slight variations in the shades or degrees to which our brains in experience these phenomenon, but we would both have no doubt and would agree on the fact that we are experiencing the same real phenomenon, and that it exists in reality to both of us in essentially the same way. Not only that, but we can run experiments which can objectively prove that our brains are actually experiencing the same thing.

    The problem with your self-generated God illusions is that yours will always vary wildly from every single other person who “experiences” god. Every single person who “experiences” god describes it in a totally different fashion from everyone else. This is indicative of a self-generated mental phenomenon (your imagination) utilizing the stories you have been told your whole life…not of a real phenomenon in an objective external reality. Your brain is creating these feelings and stories, and because you want them to be true (wishful thinking), you convince yourself that they are true and that they actually exist.

    I’m not doubting that the feelings and experiences you have about god feel entirely real to you. In fact I would be surprised if they didn’t. However, this does not change the fact that it is an illusion that you have created with your imagination in order to satisfy your desire for wish-fulfillment.

  • Farsider

    This is what how Hosea 13:2-9 reads in my bible.

    (2)”And now they commit additional sin and make for themselves a molten statue from their silver, idols according to their own understanding, the work of craftsmen, all of it. To them they are saying, Let the sacrificers who are men kiss mere calves. (3) Therefore they will become like the clouds of morning and like the dew that early goes away; like chaff that is stormed away from the threshing floor and like smoke from the [roof] hole. (4) But I am Jehovah your god from the land of Egypt, and there was no God except me that you used to know; and there was no savior but I. (5) I myself knew you in the wilderness, in the land of fevers. (6) According to their pasturage they also came to be satisfied. They became satisfied and their heart began to be exalted. That is why they forgot me. (7) And I shall become to them like a young lion. Like a leopard by [the] way I shall keep looking. (8) I shall encounter them like a bear that has lost it’s cubs, and I shall rip apart the enclosure of their heart. And I shall devour them there like a lion; a wild beast of the field itself will tear them to pieces. (9) It will certainly bring you to ruin, O Israel, against your helper.”

    This is from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, next time you post a comment about a verse from the bible, at least look up what is being quoted and maybe the few verses before it.

  • Jimminy Christmas

    @Farsider

    Oh my goodness me well that changes everything!

    *facepalm*

    Although, I do agree that Daniel should probably provide a link to the relevant passage when he posts bible verses…

    …primarily so people like you can’t try to claim he’s “taking everything out of context!@!!” Which, by the reading of the verse in your bible (it’s always been quite LOL that there is more than one version of the inerrant scripture) seems to be saying the exact same thing as the OP.

  • Elemenope

    Although, I do agree that Daniel should probably provide a link to the relevant passage when he posts bible verses…

    …primarily so people like you can’t try to claim he’s “taking everything out of context!@!!” Which, by the reading of the verse in your bible (it’s always been quite LOL that there is more than one version of the inerrant scripture) seems to be saying the exact same thing as the OP.

    If I could make a recommendation, this is an excellent translation for most purposes.

  • lookadistraction

    I laughed so hard at this that I fell off my chair.
    Keep up the good writing-you’ve got a great blog, here. :)

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  • http://www.tileraberdeen.com cum

    Found what I was looking for cheers


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