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Old 20th February 2013, 04:29 PM   #361
JoeTheJuggler
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
No, Joe, I don't see the irony.

I mentioned the KJV because it is reasonably popular.
The irony is that you're attempting to prove that the Bible wasn't altered but you have to choose one of many very different versions of the Bible to compare to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

As I said, the fact that there are different versions of the Bible disproves what you're attempting to prove. Of course the Bible has changed over the centuries. In fact, there's plenty of evidence that there were multiple conflicting versions of much of it even before the parts that existed as an oral tradition were written down.
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Old 20th February 2013, 04:41 PM   #362
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Dear Norseman,

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God decides what is or is not a sin. They need to be punished because God is just. If someone killed your loved ones would you let him or her go unpunished?
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If we profess to follow Yeshua's teachings, then yes we would.
That's because we're handing the problem over to God. If there were no one to hand the problem to, wouldn't you want a killer of your loved ones to be punished?

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As to God being ďpetty,Ē perhaps Heís paying attention to what matters. Wouldnít you prefer your loved ones to the rest of the universe?
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If we followed Yeshua's teachings, we would prefer the everlasting glory of heaven over our family in this life.
You're right. But, aside from Heaven, wouldn't you sacrifice the universe to save your loved ones? (Presuming there are no other intelligent life forms out there to worry about.)

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Old 20th February 2013, 10:45 PM   #363
Craig B
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
But, aside from Heaven, wouldn't you sacrifice the universe to save your loved ones? (Presuming there are no other intelligent life forms out there to worry about.)
I can't make sense of this. If the universe was "sacrificed" then my loved ones, and I myself, being part of the universe, would be destroyed along with the rest of it. How my loved ones could be "saved" by universal annihilation is not clear to me.
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Old 21st February 2013, 11:38 AM   #364
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Dear Akri,

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If I spurn logic, then A =/= A. Which means faith isnít necessarily faith and God isnít necessarily God. The core parts of my faith would then be drifting into waters indistinguishable from insanity, even to me. Since I donít fancy being insane, I would have to paddle back towards logic again.
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Is it logical to believe that your faith cannot possibly be wrong?
This question has stumped me. All I can think to say is that since other people can be incorrect in their faiths, by analogy I could be as well, but I donít really believe this, and Iím not sure itís logic thatís being applied in that case.

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Yes, itís based on Godís preferences. If God were not perfect, no, it wouldnít be right.
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I don't think you quite understood what I was asking. Pretend for a moment that you were not convinced either way about God's perfection or imperfection. Would the idea that divine justice is based on God's preferences sway you more towards thinking God is perfect, or imperfect?
It wouldnít sway me one way or another. They donít appear connected.

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The historical sweep and unkillability of Christianity aids my case, to my mind.
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That's not terribly logical. Even if Christianity is unkillable (something which you could only know if you could see the future) and even if it's "historical sweep" were unique (even without knowing precisely what you mean by this phrase I can be certain that it's not unique) that still is no reason to assume that your faith has to come from God. The simplest solution is usually the correct one, and the simplest solution here is that your faith, like the faith of all those people you believe to be wrong, is a product of your own brain.
Scientific hypotheses arenít logical, theyíre imaginative, and when tested properly they prove either true or false. I canít think of any way to test my hypothesis that my faith is more than a product of my brain. If I experienced some kind of transformational event, say, but I havenít. I donít feel any different than I did before I acquired this faith. Then again, I didnít feel any different after I found out the Magna Carta was signed in 1215 either.

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These kinds of thing add weight to the faith in my mind, though obviously many others donít see that.
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It's not about whether or not things "add weight" to your faith. It's about whether or not it is reasonable to think that your faith can only be sent from God. And this simply isn't the case.
From your perspective, I agree. I see nominal Christians in the world who act veryÖwhatís the termÖunliterary? Ironic, given the holy artefact of their religion is a book. So there are people who claim to be Christians whom I would point to and describe as being insane or insincere.

For my part Iíve had my belief systems bungled up before, so standing as an outside observer to myself I would say that if it happened once it can happen again.

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Do I desire for my belief to be true? I donít think I do. I desire an answer, a gnosis, no matter what it is. Something that will stop the carousel ride.
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You don't desire your faith to be true, yet there are parts of it that you will not even consider being wrong about. I've never known someone to do that except when they wanted something to be true and were afraid of finding out it wasn't. Maybe you're an exception, but it's something you might want to think about.
If I were wrong, I would want to know about it, but in terms of my heart I canít see how I could be wrong. If faith is a gift from God, then I am powerless to disprove it. If God did not exist, then that would be a rock in my mental gearbox, but no one has yet proved that to me, though some have tried. PerhapsÖperhaps my mental capacity is insufficient to comprehend the proof of Godís nonexistence, but I donít believe that, I retain faith in my ability to think.

Do you have any beliefs or allegiances that go beyond logic?

Cpl Ferro
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Old 21st February 2013, 11:40 AM   #365
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I can't make sense of this. If the universe was "sacrificed" then my loved ones, and I myself, being part of the universe, would be destroyed along with the rest of it. How my loved ones could be "saved" by universal annihilation is not clear to me.
I mean the rest of the Universe, Craig. Wouldn't you sacrifice all that "out there"--all that space rock and hydrogen and what-have-you--to save your loved ones?

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God decides what is or is not a sin. They need to be punished because God is just. If someone killed your loved ones would you let him or her go unpunished.
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So, killing people's loved ones is a sin simply because God has so decided - not because of some intrinsic quality of the act. And of course, "somebody has to suffer" if sin is to be punished. But not necessarily the perpetrator. Indeed, Jesus who suffered for our sins did not himself ever commit any sins according to Christian belief. I would make a killer of loved ones suffer. But God makes the innocent suffer for the guilty. So maybe Jesus atoned for the loved one killer and he or she will not be punished at all.
To be accurate, Jesus was a willing victim, and technically God, so it's God taking on the chin for the rest of humanity.

That the guilty might seem to be "getting away with it" is why Purgatory was invented.

Cpl Ferro

Last edited by CplFerro; 21st February 2013 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 21st February 2013, 11:45 AM   #366
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
The irony is that you're attempting to prove that the Bible wasn't altered but you have to choose one of many very different versions of the Bible to compare to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

As I said, the fact that there are different versions of the Bible disproves what you're attempting to prove. Of course the Bible has changed over the centuries. In fact, there's plenty of evidence that there were multiple conflicting versions of much of it even before the parts that existed as an oral tradition were written down.
Dear Joe,

Can you point me towards a list of these different versions of the Bible? As far as I know, they all say pretty much the same thing.

Also, do you have a link to the plenty of evidence you cite regarding multiple conflicting versions?

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Old 21st February 2013, 11:54 AM   #367
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
Millions of Hindus believe they exist. Why should your god exist? Why are their gods non-existent? Whom should I believe, Christians or Hindus?
Dear dafydd,

I'm not prepared to address this question. Could we defer it to another time? I'm still struggling with whether or not I'm insane and don't know it, or whether God is having one over on me. It's splitting my focus too much to comment on which God exists and why.

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Old 21st February 2013, 12:07 PM   #368
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
I mean the rest of the Universe, Craig. Wouldn't you sacrifice all that "out there"--all that space rock and hydrogen and what-have-you--to save your loved ones?

To be accurate, Jesus was a willing victim, and technically God, so it's God taking on the chin for the rest of humanity.

That the guilty might seem to be "getting away with it" is why Purgatory was invented.
"Invented" is right. Now Limbo has been dismantled because it is ridiculous. But tell me this: if, for example, Herod kills my loved ones, what good does it do to kill Jesus? Why not kill Herod, and leave it at that.

So God took it on the chin. What permanent or even temporary hurt or damage did the Divinity suffer? Some chin! Cheek, more like, to call that a "sacrifice". And anyway sacrifice is not justice. It is primitive nonsense with no place in the modern world.
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Old 21st February 2013, 12:07 PM   #369
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
This question has stumped me. All I can think to say is that since other people can be incorrect in their faiths, by analogy I could be as well, but I donít really believe this, and Iím not sure itís logic thatís being applied in that case.
It may be a good idea to evaluate your beliefs a little closer in that case.

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It wouldnít sway me one way or another. They donít appear connected.
God is declaring what actions are right or wrong, not based on some objective criteria, but based on his own personal preferences. What if God decided that wearing blue shirts was a sin deserving of punishment purely because God doesn't like the color blue. Would that be moral? If the answer is "no", then God not liking something is not, itself, an argument for why something should be punishable.

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Scientific hypotheses arenít logical, theyíre imaginative
This is a false dichotomy. I'd be interested to see an example of an illogical scientific hypothesis.

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I canít think of any way to test my hypothesis that my faith is more than a product of my brain.
I'm not sure either--this may be an untestable claim (in which case you can't rule out either possibility). With enough specific information it might be possible to come up with some kind of test protocol, but I doubt it.


If I experienced some kind of transformational event, say, but I havenít. I donít feel any different than I did before I acquired this faith. Then again, I didnít feel any different after I found out the Magna Carta was signed in 1215 either.

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If God did not exist, then that would be a rock in my mental gearbox, but no one has yet proved that to me, though some have tried.
Just to make one thing clear, even if your faith was not sent from God that doesn't mean God doesn't exist. And while I don't believe there are any deities, that's not what I've been trying to argue here. Though we could have that argument if you want

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Do you have any beliefs or allegiances that go beyond logic?
Sort of. I have things that I believe (meaning I tend to think about/act on them as though they were true) despite knowing logically that they're false. However these beliefs are pretty much all negative, so I'm working on dispelling them.
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Old 21st February 2013, 03:27 PM   #370
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Originally Posted by CplFerro
Scientific hypotheses arenít logical, theyíre imaginative
Wrong. Scientific theories are logical. They logically follow from the data. They may be right, wrong, or some combination of the two, but they MUST logically follow from the data. Non-sequiturs are the second-fastest way to get a paper rejected from a journal (the fastest being screwing up your references).

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and when tested properly they prove either true or false.
How, pray tell, does this work? Scientists make stuff up (if hypotheses aren't logical that's the only option), then test them. Test them how? Then we evaluate them. Evaluate them how? Science is little more, once you get into the nitty-gritty of it, than the consistant and rigorous application of logic. Why do you think so many scientists focus so much on math?

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I canít think of any way to test my hypothesis that my faith is more than a product of my brain.
While this statement wouldn't necessarily get a paper thrown out of a journal, it certainly would raise so many red flags that you'd have to spend the rest of the article defending it. Possibly the rest of your career. If you can't answer "What would it take to prove you wrong?" you simply have not given your stance adequate thought.

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All I can think to say is that since other people can be incorrect in their faiths, by analogy I could be as well, but I donít really believe this, and Iím not sure itís logic thatís being applied in that case.
It's not. It's a fallacy called Special Pleeding, and has been known to be a fallacy since Ancient Greece.

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God decides what is or is not a sin. They need to be punished because God is just.
The consistent application of immoral laws is not justice. It is evil. Many despotic regimes are very consistent in how they apply their laws (bear in mind that the distinction between the regime and the populace is typically part of the law). That doesn't make them any less despotic.
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Old 21st February 2013, 05:10 PM   #371
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Dear Akri,

Quote:
This question has stumped me. All I can think to say is that since other people can be incorrect in their faiths, by analogy I could be as well, but I donít really believe this, and Iím not sure itís logic thatís being applied in that case.
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It may be a good idea to evaluate your beliefs a little closer in that case.
The phrase, ďYe of little faith,Ē comes to my mind. But, I appreciate this discussion.

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God is declaring what actions are right or wrong, not based on some objective criteria, but based on his own personal preferences. What if God decided that wearing blue shirts was a sin deserving of punishment purely because God doesn't like the color blue. Would that be moral? If the answer is "no", then God not liking something is not, itself, an argument for why something should be punishable.
Based on my understanding of God, which is of course limited, if God said blue shirt-wearing was sinful Iíd have to believe it, intellectually at least. But, that's an easy one, because I have little emotional attachment to wearing blue shirts. If I were told I, say, couldn't eat my favourite foods, that might lead me to harbouring secret beliefs contradicting my religion.

The real trick is finding out what God thinks of anything, of which the Bible is exemplary for being both putatively informative and a stumbling block.

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Scientific hypotheses arenít logical, theyíre imaginative
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This is a false dichotomy. I'd be interested to see an example of an illogical scientific hypothesis.
Youíre right. I should have said, ďscientific hypotheses arenít solely logical, theyíre also imaginative.Ē No ones-and-zeroes machine, however deft it is at processing logic, will come up with a creative hypothesis. Doing that takes a creative, imaginative human mind.

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I canít think of any way to test my hypothesis that my faith is more than a product of my brain.
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I'm not sure either--this may be an untestable claim (in which case you can't rule out either possibility). With enough specific information it might be possible to come up with some kind of test protocol, but I doubt it.
Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
--Mat 4:7

Test everything. Hold on to the good.
1 Th 5:21

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If God did not exist, then that would be a rock in my mental gearbox, but no one has yet proved that to me, though some have tried.
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Just to make one thing clear, even if your faith was not sent from God that doesn't mean God doesn't exist. And while I don't believe there are any deities, that's not what I've been trying to argue here. Though we could have that argument if you want
Why not? In the name of Western Civilisation if nothing else, let the truth be told. Here or in a new thread?

Cpl Ferro
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Old 21st February 2013, 05:19 PM   #372
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Dear Dinwar,

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Scientific hypotheses arenít logical, theyíre imaginative
[quote[Wrong. Scientific theories are logical. They logically follow from the data. They may be right, wrong, or some combination of the two, but they MUST logically follow from the data. Non-sequiturs are the second-fastest way to get a paper rejected from a journal (the fastest being screwing up your references).
I agree; see my response to Akri, above.

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I canít think of any way to test my hypothesis that my faith is more than a product of my brain.
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While this statement wouldn't necessarily get a paper thrown out of a journal, it certainly would raise so many red flags that you'd have to spend the rest of the article defending it. Possibly the rest of your career. If you can't answer "What would it take to prove you wrong?" you simply have not given your stance adequate thought.
By whose standard?

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All I can think to say is that since other people can be incorrect in their faiths, by analogy I could be as well, but I donít really believe this, and Iím not sure itís logic thatís being applied in that case.
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It's not. It's a fallacy called Special Pleeding, and has been known to be a fallacy since Ancient Greece.
If I witnessed a murder and no one else had, and I had no way to prove Iíd seen what Iíd seen, would my claiming to have witnessed a murder be special pleading?

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The consistent application of immoral laws is not justice. It is evil. Many despotic regimes are very consistent in how they apply their laws (bear in mind that the distinction between the regime and the populace is typically part of the law). That doesn't make them any less despotic.
True, but that fact doesnít speak to whether God is good or evil.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 21st February 2013, 05:26 PM   #373
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
The phrase, ďYe of little faith,Ē comes to my mind. But, I appreciate this discussion.
If you want to make sure that your faith is indeed based in logic then evaluating those concepts as if you didn't have faith in them would be the way to do it. Similar to how a good scientist evaluates his beliefs by trying his best to prove them wrong.

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Based on my understanding of God, which is of course limited, if God said blue shirt-wearing was sinful Iíd have to believe it, intellectually at least.
But if it's based purely on God's preference then it isn't immoral, it's just something God dislikes. If it's actually immoral God would have a reason for it other than "I don't like it." Remember, you already agreed that God does not set the moral standard.

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Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
--Mat 4:7

Test everything. Hold on to the good.
1 Th 5:21
How do you reconcile those two quotes?

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Why not? In the name of Western Civilisation if nothing else, let the truth be told. Here or in a new thread?
Maybe it's because I've been frying my brain learning about computer hardware, but saying we should have that argument "in the name of Western Civilization" has me laughing

And one of the biggest arguments for atheism is the lack of any evidence for theism. So ball's in your court New thread may be in order--this one is already firmly into "topic? what topic?" territory
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Old 21st February 2013, 05:38 PM   #374
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Originally Posted by CplFerro
By whose standard?
The standards of rational thought. If you're so blind to the topic you can't even figure out what evidence would prove your arguments wrong, you have only a superficial understanding of the topic.

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If I witnessed a murder and no one else had, and I had no way to prove Iíd seen what Iíd seen, would my claiming to have witnessed a murder be special pleading?
Irrelevant. Witnessing a murder doesn't violate any fundamental laws of physics, nor does it contradict logic. It's merely a unique event within the realm of the physically possible. Your "communication" with God, on the other hand, is entirely miraculous if true. You aren't proposing that something fully possible occurred once; you're arguing that the laws of physics temporarily shut down for you.

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True, but that fact doesnít speak to whether God is good or evil.
You do know that goal posts aren't supposed to move, right? You said that God decides good and evil--AND that he's just, meaning (given the rest of your quote) that he punishes evil. That's dictatorship, and is evil.

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The phrase, ďYe of little faith,Ē comes to my mind.
You ever hear of Eurasmus? Aquinus? Abulard?
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Old 21st February 2013, 06:36 PM   #375
Akri
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
If I witnessed a murder and no one else had, and I had no way to prove Iíd seen what Iíd seen, would my claiming to have witnessed a murder be special pleading?
If other people claimed to have witnessed murders under similar circumstances, and you insisted that they had to be wrong but you were right, then it would be special pleading. Special pleading means you're applying a certain criteria differently when it helps your argument to do so, for no reason other than "it helps my argument."
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Old 22nd February 2013, 09:29 AM   #376
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Dear Dinwar,

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If I witnessed a murder and no one else had, and I had no way to prove Iíd seen what Iíd seen, would my claiming to have witnessed a murder be special pleading?
Quote:
Irrelevant. Witnessing a murder doesn't violate any fundamental laws of physics, nor does it contradict logic. It's merely a unique event within the realm of the physically possible. Your "communication" with God, on the other hand, is entirely miraculous if true. You aren't proposing that something fully possible occurred once; you're arguing that the laws of physics temporarily shut down for you.
What fundamental laws of physics does God giving me faith violate?

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True, but that fact doesnít speak to whether God is good or evil.
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You do know that goal posts aren't supposed to move, right? You said that God decides good and evil--AND that he's just, meaning (given the rest of your quote) that he punishes evil. That's dictatorship, and is evil.
I also said God was good, as in the standard of all goodness. How can a dictatorship of the Good be evil?

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The phrase, ďYe of little faith,Ē comes to my mind.
Quote:
You ever hear of Eurasmus? Aquinus? Abulard?
I was referring to myself.

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Old 22nd February 2013, 09:38 AM   #377
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
That's because we're handing the problem over to God. If there were no one to hand the problem to, wouldn't you want a killer of your loved ones to be punished?
I would, certainly. But that's not what Yeshua taught.



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You're right. But, aside from Heaven, wouldn't you sacrifice the universe to save your loved ones? (Presuming there are no other intelligent life forms out there to worry about.)
I'm not sure I'm understanding the question. Could you try and rephrase?

Also, I'm interested in knowing, if you will, why you discard stories of Yeshua that tell of his life before his ministry. Is it because it shows him doing things which we consider to be immoral or imperfect? Maybe because it shows him doing things which it can no longer be said that he lived a sinless life?
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Old 22nd February 2013, 09:38 AM   #378
Dinwar
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Originally Posted by CplFerro
What fundamental laws of physics does God giving me faith violate?
How does he do it?

And why is it logical and rational to accept that your god did it for you, but it's irrational and illogical to accept that, say, a Hindu's deity did so, or a Muslim's, or Wiccan?

The laws of physics was a side issue to the real one: there is no fundamental difference between your argument and the argument of the members of every other religion. I'm expected to treat one event different from how I treat every other identical event. THAT is special pleading: "This case is different from all the identical ones, for no reason."

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I also said God was good, as in the standard of all goodness.
So has every single dictator in history. You've said that, and I give you full credit for limiting yourself to merely stating the truth in this. What you have utterly failed to do is to DEMONSTRATE this. Therefore I am under no obligation to assume it is true.

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I was referring to myself.
I'm suggesting that if you haven't read at least some of these guys, you probably are fairly ignorant on the subject of theology. I have, and I don't consider myself well-versed.
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Old 22nd February 2013, 09:41 AM   #379
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
What fundamental laws of physics does God giving me faith violate?
That this god exists at all, for one.
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Old 22nd February 2013, 10:55 AM   #380
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Dear Akri,

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If I witnessed a murder and no one else had, and I had no way to prove Iíd seen what Iíd seen, would my claiming to have witnessed a murder be special pleading?
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If other people claimed to have witnessed murders under similar circumstances, and you insisted that they had to be wrong but you were right, then it would be special pleading. Special pleading means you're applying a certain criteria differently when it helps your argument to do so, for no reason other than "it helps my argument."
And you would apply this to all who claimed faith in whatever religion.

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The phrase, ďYe of little faith,Ē comes to my mind. But, I appreciate this discussion.
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If you want to make sure that your faith is indeed based in logic then evaluating those concepts as if you didn't have faith in them would be the way to do it. Similar to how a good scientist evaluates his beliefs by trying his best to prove them wrong.
If so, then to be logical I should endeavour to disprove the existence of God.

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Based on my understanding of God, which is of course limited, if God said blue shirt-wearing was sinful Iíd have to believe it, intellectually at least.
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But if it's based purely on God's preference then it isn't immoral, it's just something God dislikes. If it's actually immoral God would have a reason for it other than "I don't like it." Remember, you already agreed that God does not set the moral standard.
If God is perfectly good, then ďsomething God dislikesĒ carries the weight of that goodness like a gold standard. And, Iím not sure God is under any obligation to explain Himself.

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Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
--Mat 4:7

Test everything. Hold on to the good.
1 Th 5:21
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How do you reconcile those two quotes?
They rather resemble the exhortation, ďThink for yourself!Ē If I then think for myself, Iím obeying someone else. If I donít think for myself, Iím obeying someone else.

Likewise, if I test God, I should also test the exhortation to ďtest everything.Ē If I donít test God, Iím not obeying God.

So, I think the paradox is resolved by considering they are two different meanings of the word ďtest.Ē We are not to test God in terms of demanding miracles, but we are to test everything to see if it conforms to the Good (or the Spirit, or what-have-you).

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Why not? In the name of Western Civilisation if nothing else, let the truth be told. Here or in a new thread?
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Maybe it's because I've been frying my brain learning about computer hardware, but saying we should have that argument "in the name of Western Civilization" has me laughing
[quizzical eyebrow]

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And one of the biggest arguments for atheism is the lack of any evidence for theism. So ball's in your court New thread may be in order--this one is already firmly into "topic? what topic?" territory
Alright, letís wind this one down and then move on to the new one.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 22nd February 2013, 11:22 AM   #381
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Dear Norseman,

Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
I would, certainly. But that's not what Yeshua taught.
No, He didn't teach human vengeance.

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I'm not sure I'm understanding the question. Could you try and rephrase?
I'm debunking the notion that the size of the universe has any moral relevance to mankind, by asking you if there is any amount of space rocks you would not destroy to save those people's lives you value.

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Also, I'm interested in knowing, if you will, why you discard stories of Yeshua that tell of his life before his ministry. Is it because it shows him doing things which we consider to be immoral or imperfect? Maybe because it shows him doing things which it can no longer be said that he lived a sinless life?
Yes, they're out of character compared to what we know of Jesus from the Bible. I remember reading part of the Gospel of Thomas and it has its Jesus saying things that simply aren't the same character.

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Old 22nd February 2013, 11:26 AM   #382
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
And you would apply this to all who claimed faith in whatever religion.
If they claimed that everyone else with faith had to be wrong, without offering a reason why (aside from "because otherwise I'm wrong") then yes. However if a person has faith in a religion, but also believes that other religions can be true at the same time, it would not be special pleading.

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If so, then to be logical I should endeavour to disprove the existence of God.
Sort of. It's not that you must attempt to disprove things in order to be acting logically, but that attempting to disprove things is a good way to find out if you've got errors.

I should note that I'm not being terribly strict with my language, here. Your belief can be perfectly logical, but if it's based on a faulty premise your result will be wrong (logic is GIGO--Garbage In = Garbage Out). By attempting to disprove your belief you stand a better chance of finding problems with it (either errors in logic, or in your starting premises) then you would if you simply accepting the beliefs as true.

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If God is perfectly good, then ďsomething God dislikesĒ carries the weight of that goodness like a gold standard.
Except I'm questioning the premise that God is perfectly good, so you can't use that premise as evidence that his actions are good (it's a circular argument).

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So, I think the paradox is resolved by considering they are two different meanings of the word ďtest.Ē We are not to test God in terms of demanding miracles, but we are to test everything to see if it conforms to the Good (or the Spirit, or what-have-you).
That makes sense.

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[quizzical eyebrow]
I have never claimed to be normal
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Old 22nd February 2013, 11:34 AM   #383
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Dear Dinwar,

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What fundamental laws of physics does God giving me faith violate?
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How does he do it?
I don’t know.

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And why is it logical and rational to accept that your god did it for you, but it's irrational and illogical to accept that, say, a Hindu's deity did so, or a Muslim's, or Wiccan?

The laws of physics was a side issue to the real one: there is no fundamental difference between your argument and the argument of the members of every other religion. I'm expected to treat one event different from how I treat every other identical event. THAT is special pleading: "This case is different from all the identical ones, for no reason."
Perhaps it is. Escaping from your trap demands more apologetics ability than I possess. Perhaps the historical and prophetic nature of the OT and the psychological truth of the Atonement from the NT answer you, but I am unable to open them up at present.

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I also said God was good, as in the standard of all goodness.
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So has every single dictator in history. You've said that, and I give you full credit for limiting yourself to merely stating the truth in this. What you have utterly failed to do is to DEMONSTRATE this. Therefore I am under no obligation to assume it is true.
The testimony in your own heart would have to demonstrate it for you at some point. Beyond that I say again my apologetics power is insufficient here.

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I'm suggesting that if you haven't read at least some of these guys, you probably are fairly ignorant on the subject of theology. I have, and I don't consider myself well-versed.
Paul probably wouldn't have been thought well-versed in theology either. I'm not Paul, but I recognise that no amount of reading will replace conversion itself.

How much reading would someone have to have for you to consider them well-versed in theology?

Cpl Ferro

Last edited by CplFerro; 22nd February 2013 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 22nd February 2013, 11:42 AM   #384
Akri
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
The testimony in your own heart would have to demonstrate it for you at some point.
That shouldn't be necessary. If God is adhering to a moral standard (rather than setting the standard himself, which we've already agreed is not the case [if it was then God could lie and that would simply make lying moral]) then demonstrating that God is good would merely require setting out the standards for goodness, and then seeing if God's actions comply or not.
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Old 22nd February 2013, 11:48 AM   #385
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Dear Akri,

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If they claimed that everyone else with faith had to be wrong, without offering a reason why (aside from "because otherwise I'm wrong") then yes. However if a person has faith in a religion, but also believes that other religions can be true at the same time, it would not be special pleading.
See my response to Dinwar, above.

[quote]If so, then to be logical I should endeavour to disprove the existence of God.
Quote:
Sort of. It's not that you must attempt to disprove things in order to be acting logically, but that attempting to disprove things is a good way to find out if you've got errors.

I should note that I'm not being terribly strict with my language, here. Your belief can be perfectly logical, but if it's based on a faulty premise your result will be wrong (logic is GIGO--Garbage In = Garbage Out). By attempting to disprove your belief you stand a better chance of finding problems with it (either errors in logic, or in your starting premises) then you would if you simply accepting the beliefs as true.
Okay.

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If God is perfectly good, then “something God dislikes” carries the weight of that goodness like a gold standard.
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Except I'm questioning the premise that God is perfectly good, so you can't use that premise as evidence that his actions are good (it's a circular argument).
Well, it will be a difficult case to try, putting God on trial. Better to establish that He exists first before we put Him in the prisoner’s box.

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The testimony in your own heart would have to demonstrate it for you at some point.
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That shouldn't be necessary. If God is adhering to a moral standard (rather than setting the standard himself, which we've already agreed is not the case [if it was then God could lie and that would simply make lying moral]) then demonstrating that God is good would merely require setting out the standards for goodness, and then seeing if God's actions comply or not.
I’m not sure we agree here, nor am I sure I said what you think I did. If God is the source of morality, morality would simply be that which conforms to His nature as revealed by His commandments. He is what He is, whether we like it or not. God can’t lie because it’s not in His nature, e.g..

I think I misunderstood--see my reply to Craig, below.

Cpl Ferro

Last edited by CplFerro; 22nd February 2013 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 22nd February 2013, 11:55 AM   #386
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
If God is perfectly good, then ďsomething God dislikesĒ carries the weight of that goodness like a gold standard. And, Iím not sure God is under any obligation to explain Himself.
If the standard of "Good" is "What God Likes" then it is meaningless to call God good, let alone perfectly good. All that is saying is that "God likes what he likes". So do I. And so would Satan, if he existed.
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Old 22nd February 2013, 12:00 PM   #387
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
If the standard of "Good" is "What God Likes" then it is meaningless to call God good, let alone perfectly good. All that is saying is that "God likes what he likes". So do I. And so would Satan, if he existed.
Dear Craig,

So you're saying we need a human standard of goodness to compare with God's nature to see whether or not it holds any meaning to call God good? If so that's what Akri is saying in his last post, is it not?

Cpl Ferro
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Old 22nd February 2013, 12:12 PM   #388
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
...
Well, it will be a difficult case to try, putting God on trial. Better to establish that He exists first before we put Him in the prisonerís box.
...

Cpl Ferro
It's been done:

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Old 22nd February 2013, 12:14 PM   #389
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Well, it will be a difficult case to try, putting God on trial. Better to establish that He exists first before we put Him in the prisonerís box.
That's actually not necessary. I've had plenty of conversations about the morality of fictional characters. It can get a bit tricky (especially with a text like the Bible, where you might consider some parts to be literal historical accounts and others to be metaphorical, or inaccurate due to human errors in repeating, translating, and copying the stories) but it's not really an insurmountable problem. Come to think of it, the limitations here are similar to those you would encounter if you wanted to discuss the morality of any figure from ancient history.

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Iím not sure we agree here, nor am I sure I said what you think I did. If God is the source of morality, morality would simply be that which conforms to His nature as revealed by His commandments. He is what He is, whether we like it or not. God canít lie because itís not in His nature, e.g..
If it was in God's nature to lie, would that make lying good, or would that mean God was capable of being immoral? If it's the first case, then the statement "God is good" is true by definition (you've defined "good" as "whatever God does") in the same way that if I defined "good" as "anything God doesn't do" then I could say that God is not good and I'd be right by definition. If you go with the second case then God does not define what is moral, but rather he adheres to a separate moral code (and thus showing that God is good requires actual evidence).
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Old 22nd February 2013, 12:35 PM   #390
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
No, He didn't teach human vengeance.
Cursing the fig tree seems to be an example of vengeance.
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Old 22nd February 2013, 12:49 PM   #391
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Originally Posted by CplFerro
I donít know.
Well, find that out and get back to me.

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Perhaps it is. Escaping from your trap demands more apologetics ability than I possess.
This is quite revealilng. It shows that you accept that your conclusion is true, and consider logic to be seeking reasons to believe. I doubt it ever occures to you to doubt the validity of your conclusions.

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Perhaps the historical and prophetic nature of the OT and the psychological truth of the Atonement from the NT answer you, but I am unable to open them up at present.
They don't. They still boil down to "For no reason, MY holy book is right and all others are wrong".

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The testimony in your own heart would have to demonstrate it for you at some point. Beyond that I say again my apologetics power is insufficient here.
My heart pumps blood. If you want to convince me, convince my mind. Give me some reason to believe you--because thus far, you haven't.

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Paul probably wouldn't have been thought well-versed in theology either. I'm not Paul, but I recognise that no amount of reading will replace conversion itself.
So your argument is that once you've been born again or been converted or whatever, you no longer need to learn anything on the topic. I'll leave my reaction to that argument to your imagination. And my reaction would be mild compared to any theologian's.

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How much reading would someone have to have for you to consider them well-versed in theology?
A fair question. I'm not entirely sure. ANTpogo is an example of a poster here I consider well-versed in Islamic theology--ANTpogo's posts include a detailed knowledge of names, historical events, historical arguments, etc. At the very least, you should know the basics. If I asked what theodicy was, you should know that. If I said I prefer Aquinus, you should know what that means and what I'm preferring it over. You should at least have a familiarity with the schools of thought within the religion you're discussing--and, preferably, those outside of it.

There's about 2000 years of theology focused on Christ. This is going to take a great deal of work on your part.

At a bare minimum, you should be able to answer the question "What would it take to prove me wrong?" If you can't, you've only considered your possition in a very superficial manner. If you insist that your conclusions cannot be wrong, you're at minimum very foolish, and in my experience almost certainly dishonest. If you can, you have met the minimum standard for rational discussion, regardless of how much you've read.
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Old 22nd February 2013, 05:46 PM   #392
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Craig,

So you're saying we need a human standard of goodness to compare with God's nature to see whether or not it holds any meaning to call God good? If so that's what Akri is saying in his last post, is it not?

Cpl Ferro
Yes. It's a version of an issue already discussed long ago by the ancient Greeks. See http://www.str.org/site/News2?id=5236 .
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Old 22nd February 2013, 08:40 PM   #393
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
Cursing the fig tree seems to be an example of vengeance.

Plus transferring evil spirits into innocent pigs and then causing them to run for hundreds of miles to find a cliff high enough to jump over to commit suicide.

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Old 23rd February 2013, 01:24 AM   #394
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Craig,

So you're saying we need a human standard of goodness to compare with God's nature to see whether or not it holds any meaning to call God good? If so that's what Akri is saying in his last post, is it not?

Cpl Ferro
In addition to my last observations on this: God Himself distinguishes between His own good and evil deeds in the OT.
Quote:
Isaiah 45:7
"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things". Joshua 23:15 "Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things". Judges 9:23 "Then God sent an evil spirit". 1 Kings 9:9 "therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil".
So good cannot be defined as "what God does". (And therefore cannot be defined as "what God wishes", because an omnipotent being does what it wishes.) God by His own assertion does evil. There therefore must be some independent criterion of good and evil, which God Himself recognises.

Note that the above citations are of passages composed before the Devil was invented. Later on, the Devil was made to do the bad stuff. But originally YHWH did it Himself.
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Old 23rd February 2013, 07:04 AM   #395
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Plus transferring evil spirits into innocent pigs and then causing them to run for hundreds of miles to find a cliff high enough to jump over to commit suicide.

A waste of bacon.
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Old 23rd February 2013, 10:34 AM   #396
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Originally Posted by Akri View Post
That's actually not necessary. I've had plenty of conversations about the morality of fictional characters. It can get a bit tricky (especially with a text like the Bible, where you might consider some parts to be literal historical accounts and others to be metaphorical, or inaccurate due to human errors in repeating, translating, and copying the stories) but it's not really an insurmountable problem. Come to think of it, the limitations here are similar to those you would encounter if you wanted to discuss the morality of any figure from ancient history.

If it was in God's nature to lie, would that make lying good, or would that mean God was capable of being immoral? If it's the first case, then the statement "God is good" is true by definition (you've defined "good" as "whatever God does") in the same way that if I defined "good" as "anything God doesn't do" then I could say that God is not good and I'd be right by definition. If you go with the second case then God does not define what is moral, but rather he adheres to a separate moral code (and thus showing that God is good requires actual evidence).
Alright, Akri, let's discuss God's goodness, but in a new thread. And, so I'm not splitting my attention too much let me resolve this one first.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 23rd February 2013, 10:35 AM   #397
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
In addition to my last observations on this: God Himself distinguishes between His own good and evil deeds in the OT. So good cannot be defined as "what God does". (And therefore cannot be defined as "what God wishes", because an omnipotent being does what it wishes.) God by His own assertion does evil. There therefore must be some independent criterion of good and evil, which God Himself recognises.

Note that the above citations are of passages composed before the Devil was invented. Later on, the Devil was made to do the bad stuff. But originally YHWH did it Himself.
I'm going to discuss this in a new thread, Craig, so stay tuned.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 23rd February 2013, 10:38 AM   #398
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
I'm going to discuss this in a new thread, Craig, so stay tuned.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 23rd February 2013, 10:58 AM   #399
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Dear Dinwar,

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I donít know.
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Well, find that out and get back to me.
When I find out Iíll tell everybody!

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Perhaps it is. Escaping from your trap demands more apologetics ability than I possess.
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This is quite revealilng. It shows that you accept that your conclusion is true, and consider logic to be seeking reasons to believe. I doubt it ever occures to you to doubt the validity of your conclusions.
I doubted for ages, until I found this irreducible faith.

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Perhaps the historical and prophetic nature of the OT and the psychological truth of the Atonement from the NT answer you, but I am unable to open them up at present.
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They don't. They still boil down to "For no reason, MY holy book is right and all others are wrong".
I donít know.

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The testimony in your own heart would have to demonstrate it for you at some point. Beyond that I say again my apologetics power is insufficient here.
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My heart pumps blood. If you want to convince me, convince my mind. Give me some reason to believe you--because thus far, you haven't.
Nothing I can offer would convince you at present.

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Paul probably wouldn't have been thought well-versed in theology either. I'm not Paul, but I recognise that no amount of reading will replace conversion itself.
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So your argument is that once you've been born again or been converted or whatever, you no longer need to learn anything on the topic. I'll leave my reaction to that argument to your imagination. And my reaction would be mild compared to any theologian's.
And yet Paul was the chief Apostle, in terms of zeal and presumably effectiveness. He said at one point that he would know ďnothing but the cross.Ē One can hardly get a deeper foundation for Christian belief, regardless of how many zillions of theological books one has read--of course, he benefited from a dramatic conversion experience and we have not.

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How much reading would someone have to have for you to consider them well-versed in theology?
Quote:
A fair question. I'm not entirely sure. ANTpogo is an example of a poster here I consider well-versed in Islamic theology--ANTpogo's posts include a detailed knowledge of names, historical events, historical arguments, etc. At the very least, you should know the basics. If I asked what theodicy was, you should know that. If I said I prefer Aquinus, you should know what that means and what I'm preferring it over. You should at least have a familiarity with the schools of thought within the religion you're discussing--and, preferably, those outside of it.

There's about 2000 years of theology focused on Christ. This is going to take a great deal of work on your part.

At a bare minimum, you should be able to answer the question "What would it take to prove me wrong?" If you can't, you've only considered your possition in a very superficial manner. If you insist that your conclusions cannot be wrong, you're at minimum very foolish, and in my experience almost certainly dishonest. If you can, you have met the minimum standard for rational discussion, regardless of how much you've read.
Thanks. From your perspective, what would it take to prove me right? Would Paul's experience persuade you?

Cpl Ferro
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Old 23rd February 2013, 11:27 AM   #400
Craig B
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Dinwar,
When I find out Iíll tell everybody!
I doubted for ages, until I found this irreducible faith.
I donít know.
Nothing I can offer would convince you at present.
And yet Paul was the chief Apostle, in terms of zeal and presumably effectiveness. He said at one point that he would know ďnothing but the cross.Ē One can hardly get a deeper foundation for Christian belief, regardless of how many zillions of theological books one has read--of course, he benefited from a dramatic conversion experience and we have not.
Thanks. From your perspective, what would it take to prove me right? Would Paul's experience persuade you?

Cpl Ferro
On the basis of these remarks, nobody ought to be convinced of anything you propose. How can a private experience of Paul, which neither you nor I have shared in, and which has all the appearance of an epileptic seizure, persuade me of anything?

And your other remarks are simply honest professions of ignorance and faith, that woeful combination. You should say: I have no evidence, so I don't know. Or as an American child is supposed to have stated a century ago or more: Faith is believing what you know ain't so.
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