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Old 14th February 2013, 02:05 PM   #281
Akri
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
God would have to be the standard of perfection, since there is nothing higher than God that rules Him. What He does is perfect not merely because He does it, but because He embodies the ideal that humans aspire to.
This is a contradiction. In the first sentence you say that God is the standard of perfection, but in the second you say that something isn't perfect just because God is the one doing it. Those can't both be true at the same time.

Let me try phrasing it differently. You've said that God doesn't lie because he is perfect. Hypothetically if God did lie, would that mean a perfect being can lie, or would it mean God is not perfect?

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According to the Catholic Church, God has made numerous miracles down through the ages, but aside from that we should realise that Christ will only come once in history, so it had better be a point of maximum alteration for society. All I can offer beyond this is that God is a God of parsimony.
I think the idea of parsimony actually hurts your case here (note that I'm guessing "parsimony" refers to thriftiness, and not the law of parsimony, which really wouldn't work in your favor). If God has a message he wants to send, giving that message to people already around is much faster and easier than impregnating a woman, waiting nine months for her to give birth, and then waiting two or three decades for the kid to actually grow up and start preaching the message (I think Jesus was in his thirties, but I'm too lazy to check--he was an adult in any case). Now admittedly I don't know what the resource cost is for God to send someone a divine message, but considering how frequently he did it in the OT it can't be prohibitive. God could have tacked on "and love they neighbor" to all of those messages, like how cheesy cartoons will include "and remember to brush your teeth!" or something like that. "Noah, build me an ark--and remember to love they neighbor!"

And it's not like he couldn't give that message to influential people capable of making it spread throughout cultures. Instead of hardening Pharaoh's heart, why not open it to love and tolerance?

Quote:
Well, I understand it to be mental image. We are the only species capable of reading a book.
For now. Other species seem capable of comprehending language to a certain extent (I could talk your ear off about Alex the parrot) which means at some point reading books may not be out of the question. Actually, some apes might be able to do that now (albeit with simplified words/symbols). Animal cognition is a really cool subject.

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Itís inconvenient for us, but, that seems to be the human lot.
It's not just that it's inconvenient, but that it doesn't make sense if we assume that God wants people to practice love and forgiveness and all that. It makes perfect sense if we assume that originally God didn't care about love and forgiveness, and that he changed moral codes later on. But then we have a conflict with the idea that God is morally perfect, since a morally perfect being wouldn't need to change moral codes.
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Old 15th February 2013, 03:31 AM   #282
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear pakeha,

The correctness of Judaism I canít speak to. The correctness of Christianity comes from the concept of God sacrificing Himself to save His creatures from His wrath. No other religion to my knowledge features this. Without this concept Christianity is just another human sacrifice cult. That it borrows tropes from other religions is of no more concern than the fact it borrowed the idea of writing from other cultures.

Cpl Ferro
I'm not sure why my question is so difficult to answer:
Why does the creator of all that is seen and unseen need a blood atonement to avert their wrath?
And yes, Christianity is another human sacrifice cult. You find it suits you and that's great, Cpl Ferro.
However, we DO have other examples of deities who sacrifice themselves for many different reasons.

But my question remains: why blood sacrifice?
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Old 15th February 2013, 06:48 AM   #283
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear pakeha,

The correctness of Judaism I canít speak to. The correctness of Christianity comes from the concept of God sacrificing Himself to save His creatures from His wrath. Without this concept Christianity is just another human sacrifice cult. That it borrows tropes from other religions is of no more concern than the fact it borrowed the idea of writing from other cultures.

Cpl Ferro

Oddly enough He manages to sacrifice Himself to Himself to save His creatures in a manner that heaps more guilt on His creatures.



The FSM sacrificed himself to create the universe no other religion to my knowledge features this.
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Old 15th February 2013, 07:10 AM   #284
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@CplFerro

The concept of God sacrificing Himself to save His creatures from His wrath doesn't establish the "correctness" of Christianity, because this concept is plainly insane! It is laughable. Anyway, it wasn't a sacrifice of himself to himself (what a crazy notion!) merely a formality. Because a sacrifice entails the destruction of the thing sacrificed, and God was not destroyed, according to theist belief. Not the soul, and not even the body of Jesus (and that body is not God, unless you're nuts) was destroyed, as it was revived and later physically taken up into Heaven, where no doubt Jesus encountered his mum also present in bodily form, as her physical assumption into heaven was proclaimed a dogma by the RCC in 1950. But enough ... I can't go on; it's too much!
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Old 15th February 2013, 10:48 AM   #285
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
@CplFerro

The concept of God sacrificing Himself to save His creatures from His wrath doesn't establish the "correctness" of Christianity, because this concept is plainly insane! It is laughable. Anyway, it wasn't a sacrifice of himself to himself (what a crazy notion!) merely a formality. Because a sacrifice entails the destruction of the thing sacrificed, and God was not destroyed, according to theist belief. Not the soul, and not even the body of Jesus (and that body is not God, unless you're nuts) was destroyed, as it was revived and later physically taken up into Heaven, where no doubt Jesus encountered his mum also present in bodily form, as her physical assumption into heaven was proclaimed a dogma by the RCC in 1950. But enough ... I can't go on; it's too much!
Dear Craig,

The understanding is that Jesus was to suffer and die, not to be a burnt offering.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 15th February 2013, 10:54 AM   #286
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Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
I'm not sure why my question is so difficult to answer:
Why does the creator of all that is seen and unseen need a blood atonement to avert their wrath?
And yes, Christianity is another human sacrifice cult. You find it suits you and that's great, Cpl Ferro.
However, we DO have other examples of deities who sacrifice themselves for many different reasons.

But my question remains: why blood sacrifice?
Dear pakeha,

Because sin needs to be punished. I don't understand why you find that missing the point of your question. Or do you mean, why the cross and not a stake or drowning or bludgeoning or stoning? That I can't answer. But the premise that sin needs to be punished, so someone steps up and takes it whether man or God, that's foundational.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 15th February 2013, 11:34 AM   #287
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear pakeha,

Because sin needs to be punished. I don't understand why you find that missing the point of your question. Or do you mean, why the cross and not a stake or drowning or bludgeoning or stoning? That I can't answer. But the premise that sin needs to be punished, so someone steps up and takes it whether man or God, that's foundational.

Cpl Ferro
Again, blood sacrifice existed long before the OT definition of sin.
How can blood sacrifice be pivotal to Christianity if it's something that existed long beforehand?
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Old 15th February 2013, 11:35 AM   #288
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Dear Akri,

If God lied He would be an imperfect being.

Quote:
According to the Catholic Church, God has made numerous miracles down through the ages, but aside from that we should realise that Christ will only come once in history, so it had better be a point of maximum alteration for society. All I can offer beyond this is that God is a God of parsimony.
Quote:
I think the idea of parsimony actually hurts your case here (note that I'm guessing "parsimony" refers to thriftiness, and not the law of parsimony, which really wouldn't work in your favor). If God has a message he wants to send, giving that message to people already around is much faster and easier than impregnating a woman, waiting nine months for her to give birth, and then waiting two or three decades for the kid to actually grow up and start preaching the message (I think Jesus was in his thirties, but I'm too lazy to check--he was an adult in any case). Now admittedly I don't know what the resource cost is for God to send someone a divine message, but considering how frequently he did it in the OT it can't be prohibitive. God could have tacked on "and love they neighbor" to all of those messages, like how cheesy cartoons will include "and remember to brush your teeth!" or something like that. "Noah, build me an ark--and remember to love they neighbor!"

And it's not like he couldn't give that message to influential people capable of making it spread throughout cultures. Instead of hardening Pharaoh's heart, why not open it to love and tolerance?
I donít know. Iím amused, but, I donít know. See my last answer, below.

Quote:
Well, I understand it to be mental image. We are the only species capable of reading a book.
Quote:
For now. Other species seem capable of comprehending language to a certain extent (I could talk your ear off about Alex the parrot) which means at some point reading books may not be out of the question. Actually, some apes might be able to do that now (albeit with simplified words/symbols). Animal cognition is a really cool subject.
When you find a fish that can read Macbeth, Iíll give it a ribbon of honourary humanity.

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[Godís reliance on slow historical forces to spread His message is] inconvenient for us, but, that seems to be the human lot.
Quote:
It's not just that it's inconvenient, but that it doesn't make sense if we assume that God wants people to practice love and forgiveness and all that. It makes perfect sense if we assume that originally God didn't care about love and forgiveness, and that he changed moral codes later on. But then we have a conflict with the idea that God is morally perfect, since a morally perfect being wouldn't need to change moral codes.
This argument could be extended to history itself. Why have history? Why not just create beings, let them loose for one second each with whatever knowledge they need to make a moral decision, and then, ding, judge them and serve them to Heaven or Hell?

It must glorify God to do it the hard way.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 15th February 2013, 11:37 AM   #289
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Craig,

The understanding is that Jesus was to suffer and die, not to be a burnt offering.

Cpl Ferro
But the expression was sacrifice, not specifically burnt offering. My point is that Jesus' death was only temporary, that both his soul and his body were restored, and he went off alive and in possession of both in the direction of Heaven. I agree with you that a burnt offering goat doesn't do that, but neither should any other kind of sacrifice, if it's to be taken seriously.

ETA While we're at it, your
Quote:
But the premise that sin needs to be punished, so someone steps up and takes it whether man or God, that's foundational.
looks pretty odd too. If people do bad things it is the perpetrators of the bad things that need to be punished, not some other "man or God" who happens to be available nearby. If you (Heaven forbid) were to be sentenced to ten years in prison, the Judge wouldn't be too happy if someone else stepped up to take the punishment in your place. You did the crime, you do the time. That's foundational.

Last edited by Craig B; 15th February 2013 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 15th February 2013, 11:38 AM   #290
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Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
Again, blood sacrifice existed long before the OT definition of sin.
How can blood sacrifice be pivotal to Christianity if it's something that existed long beforehand?
Dear pakeha,

But what of it? Air existed prior to the OT, too. Does it matter if the OT prophets breathed air? Blood sacrifice is simply an element of culture that the OT culture, presumably under guidance from God, latched on to.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 15th February 2013, 11:39 AM   #291
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
But the expression was sacrifice, not specifically burnt offering. My point is that Jesus' death was only temporary, that both his soul and his body were restored, and he went off alive and in possession of both in the direction of Heaven. I agree with you that a burnt offering goat doesn't do that, but neither should any other kind of sacrifice, if it's to be taken seriously.
Dear Craig,

It's up to God what should be taken seriously or not.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 15th February 2013, 11:48 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Craig,

It's up to God what should be taken seriously or not.

Cpl Ferro
He has evidently granted this ability also to his human creatures. And see my ETA edit please.
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Old 15th February 2013, 03:50 PM   #293
Akri
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
If God lied He would be an imperfect being.
OK, so God doesn't lie, because he chooses to be perfect (or because he's incapable of imperfection? Not sure the distinction matters, but it's an interesting question). We're still left with the problem of an imperfect human assuming that he can't be wrong about something which many many many other people routinely get wrong. What if your faith isn't entirely correct (not because God lied, but because you're a human and sometimes we believe the wrong things) and God hasn't corrected you because he wants to see if you're humble enough to recognize your own shortcoming?

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When you find a fish that can read Macbeth, Iíll give it a ribbon of honourary humanity.
Nice strawman you've got there.

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This argument could be extended to history itself.
No, it can't. I'm not just asking "why do things this way?" I'm asking "why do things in a way that contradict God's supposed goals?" I can come up with reasons for God not to just have people alive for a split second before passing judgement (maybe he simply likes to watch us live our lives) but I can't come up with a reason for not sharing his moral lessons in a better manner without abandoning either the premise that God wants people to act morally, or the premise that God is perfect.
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Old 15th February 2013, 04:03 PM   #294
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Craig,

It's up to God what should be taken seriously or not.

Cpl Ferro
I reject this because no one can know and it's easy to think you know. Scott Roeder believed that god thought it was serious for him to kill Doctor Tiller. The 9/11 hijackers believed that their faith that god took the destruction of the twin towers seriously. We have hundreds of years of religious wars and persecution. If you want a religion keep it between you and your god. Leave the rest of us out of it. All I see in religion is ignorance and genuflection for a being that will not intercede to protect the innocent. If I thought there were a god, I could not take it seriously because god does not take this world seriously. We are not pawns in a game. We are living breathing human beings.
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Old 15th February 2013, 04:07 PM   #295
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear pakeha,

But what of it? Air existed prior to the OT, too. Does it matter if the OT prophets breathed air? Blood sacrifice is simply an element of culture that the OT culture, presumably under guidance from God, latched on to.

Cpl Ferro
What does air have to do with the discussion?
"presumably under guidance from God" seems like a backpedalling from considering blood sacrifice to a pilar of Christianity?

And again, how is it the OT creator of the Universe desired the spilling of blood?
What makes this figure different from any of the many other divinities with the same demand?
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Old 15th February 2013, 06:22 PM   #296
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear pakeha,

Because sin needs to be punished. I don't understand why you find that missing the point of your question. Or do you mean, why the cross and not a stake or drowning or bludgeoning or stoning? That I can't answer. But the premise that sin needs to be punished, so someone steps up and takes it whether man or God, that's foundational.

Cpl Ferro
How does making someone suffer help reduce suffering.
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Old 15th February 2013, 06:28 PM   #297
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Akri,

If God lied He would be an imperfect being.



I donít know. Iím amused, but, I donít know. See my last answer, below.



When you find a fish that can read Macbeth, Iíll give it a ribbon of honourary humanity.



This argument could be extended to history itself. Why have history? Why not just create beings, let them loose for one second each with whatever knowledge they need to make a moral decision, and then, ding, judge them and serve them to Heaven or Hell?

It must glorify God to do it the hard way.

Cpl Ferro
So finally god works in mysterious ways.
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Old 15th February 2013, 06:38 PM   #298
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Akri,

If God lied He would be an imperfect being.



I donít know. Iím amused, but, I donít know. See my last answer, below.



When you find a fish that can read Macbeth, Iíll give it a ribbon of honourary humanity.



This argument could be extended to history itself. Why have history? Why not just create beings, let them loose for one second each with whatever knowledge they need to make a moral decision, and then, ding, judge them and serve them to Heaven or Hell?

It must glorify God to do it the hard way.

Cpl Ferro
You're beginning to see the god problem.
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Old 15th February 2013, 07:03 PM   #299
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Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
What does air have to do with the discussion?
"presumably under guidance from God" seems like a backpedalling from considering blood sacrifice to a pilar of Christianity?

And again, how is it the OT creator of the Universe desired the spilling of blood?
What makes this figure different from any of the many other divinities with the same demand?
Dear pakeha,

Blood sacrifice is one part of the world, like many parts. God can use whatever parts He wishes for whatever ends He wishes.

Other than the OT culture produced Jesus, and therefore was guided by God, I don't know of any other differences.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 15th February 2013, 07:05 PM   #300
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
How does making someone suffer help reduce suffering.
Dear tsig,

Is reducing suffering the point of justice?

Cpl Ferro
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Old 15th February 2013, 07:10 PM   #301
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
ETA While we're at it, your
Quote:
But the premise that sin needs to be punished, so someone steps up and takes it whether man or God, that's foundational.
looks pretty odd too. If people do bad things it is the perpetrators of the bad things that need to be punished, not some other "man or God" who happens to be available nearby. If you (Heaven forbid) were to be sentenced to ten years in prison, the Judge wouldn't be too happy if someone else stepped up to take the punishment in your place. You did the crime, you do the time. That's foundational.
Dear Craig,

I'm not talking about human justice and crime, I'm talking about sin. Sin is a dishonour to God, Who demands that damage to His honour be repaired. What does the repairing is someone suffering. Comparisons with human justice systems is analogous, not direct.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 15th February 2013, 07:28 PM   #302
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Dear Akri,

Quote:
If God lied He would be an imperfect being.
Quote:
OK, so God doesn't lie, because he chooses to be perfect (or because he's incapable of imperfection? Not sure the distinction matters, but it's an interesting question). We're still left with the problem of an imperfect human assuming that he can't be wrong about something which many many many other people routinely get wrong. What if your faith isn't entirely correct (not because God lied, but because you're a human and sometimes we believe the wrong things) and God hasn't corrected you because he wants to see if you're humble enough to recognize your own shortcoming?
That's in part why I came here, to refine my faith.

(To your parenthetical question, Iíd say God is necessarily perfect. There are certain things He canít do, such as commit suicide, etc..)

Quote:
When you find a fish that can read Macbeth, Iíll give it a ribbon of honourary humanity.
Quote:
Nice strawman you've got there.
And, Iíll stand by that strawman, too. Find me any animal capable of reading Macbeth and Iíll award them a ribbon of honourary humanity. I jest not.

Quote:
This argument could be extended to history itself.
Quote:
No, it can't. I'm not just asking "why do things this way?" I'm asking "why do things in a way that contradict God's supposed goals?" I can come up with reasons for God not to just have people alive for a split second before passing judgement (maybe he simply likes to watch us live our lives) but I can't come up with a reason for not sharing his moral lessons in a better manner without abandoning either the premise that God wants people to act morally, or the premise that God is perfect.
This suggests the question of whether God had any choice in creating the universe, or if this one is the only logically consistent one. All I can appeal to to your point is that the universe is evolutionary, developing slowly and painfully across large spans of time, and God appears content to play the game in this way, for whatever reason.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 15th February 2013, 07:45 PM   #303
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
That's in part why I came here, to refine my faith.
But doing so doesn't include questioning whether or not your faith could be incorrect?

Quote:
And, Iíll stand by that strawman, too. Find me any animal capable of reading Macbeth and Iíll award them a ribbon of honourary humanity. I jest not.
I don't expect it to happen in our lifetime (but I'd be ecstatic if it did) but I do think it will happen in the future.

Quote:
This suggests the question of whether God had any choice in creating the universe, or if this one is the only logically consistent one.
I don't see how "God's actions don't fit his supposed goals and perfection" suggests the question of if God had any choice in creating the universe.
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Old 15th February 2013, 08:31 PM   #304
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
I'm not talking about human justice and crime, I'm talking about sin. Sin is a dishonour to God, Who demands that damage to His honour be repaired. What does the repairing is someone suffering. Comparisons with human justice systems is analogous, not direct.
So God wouldn't agree with "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us"?
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Old 15th February 2013, 08:39 PM   #305
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Originally Posted by CplFerro
Sin is a dishonour to God, Who demands that damage to His honour be repaired.
So God is an exagerated version of the Taliban. Good to know--I knew there was something I didn't like about that guy. Of course, God's even worse: at least the Taliban is willing to explain their morality, and their twisted and corrupt logic. God can't even be bothered to do that.

Quote:
What does the repairing is someone suffering.
What sense does this make? "You insulted my honor--I'm going to make you burn for eternity"? That's beyond barbaric.

Quote:
This suggests the question of whether God had any choice in creating the universe,
You DO realize that this implies that there's something greater than God, right?
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Old 16th February 2013, 12:59 AM   #306
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
What sense does this make? "You insulted my honor--I'm going to make you burn for eternity"? That's beyond barbaric.
It's even worse than you describe it. "You insulted my honour! I'm going to make SOMEBODY suffer for this!" Not necessarily the offender. Jesus, according to Christian belief, never committed any of the sins for which he was required to suffer.
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Old 16th February 2013, 07:01 AM   #307
Dinwar
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
It's even worse than you describe it. "You insulted my honour! I'm going to make SOMEBODY suffer for this!" Not necessarily the offender. Jesus, according to Christian belief, never committed any of the sins for which he was required to suffer.
A good point. Christianity's view of justice is worse than Hamurabi's--at least his code punished the guilty party.
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Old 16th February 2013, 09:26 AM   #308
CplFerro
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Originally Posted by Akri View Post
But doing so doesn't include questioning whether or not your faith could be incorrect?
That's right, Akri.

Quote:
I don't see how "God's actions don't fit his supposed goals and perfection" suggests the question of if God had any choice in creating the universe.
I mean that if there's only one way to create a universe, God may be stuck creating that one, even it hampers His moral agenda. Who knows? A passing thought.

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Old 16th February 2013, 09:27 AM   #309
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Dear Pup,

Originally Posted by Pup View Post
So God wouldn't agree with "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us"?
That only applies in light of the Passion. Without the Passion there would be no forgiveness.

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Old 16th February 2013, 09:34 AM   #310
CplFerro
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Dear Dinwar,

Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
So God is an exagerated version of the Taliban. Good to know--I knew there was something I didn't like about that guy. Of course, God's even worse: at least the Taliban is willing to explain their morality, and their twisted and corrupt logic. God can't even be bothered to do that.
As He says Himself in the OT, God is what He is.

Quote:
What sense does this make? "You insulted my honor--I'm going to make you burn for eternity"? That's beyond barbaric.
Yes, I don't like it either. I'm hoping hellfire is a consuming fire that annihilates its victims rather than tortures them. But, what can you do?

Quote:
You DO realize that this implies that there's something greater than God, right?
Logical necessity? Cause and effect?

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Old 16th February 2013, 09:38 AM   #311
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
That's right, Akri.



I mean that if there's only one way to create a universe, God may be stuck creating that one, even it hampers His moral agenda. Who knows? A passing thought.

Cpl Ferro

Apparently godlike powers aren't what they used to be.
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Old 16th February 2013, 10:09 AM   #312
Pup
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
That only applies in light of the Passion. Without the Passion there would be no forgiveness.
The prayer I quoted was spoken by Jesus well before he was undergoing crucifixion. He was setting an example during his lifetime, not after the Passion.

My point is that if Jesus's teachings are correct and unconditional forgiveness is morally good, and God is good, God should be following Jesus's example of forgiving people, not demanding conditions first.

One can't have it both ways (well, one can, but it sounds like a desperate attempt to reconcile the random stories that Christians are stuck with): that Jesus-style forgiveness is good, but God can be angry and petty and unforgiving about insults to his honor, and also good.
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Old 16th February 2013, 10:39 AM   #313
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
I'm not talking about human justice and crime, I'm talking about sin. Sin is a dishonour to God, Who demands that damage to His honour be repaired. What does the repairing is someone suffering. Comparisons with human justice systems is analogous, not direct.
Sin is a human construct. It is a way to control followers. If you tell a follower that breaking a window will result in an eternity of punishment they will avoid breaking windows.

The concept of "sin" is perhaps one of the greatest means of controlling humans ever devised. You can externally control a person against his her will but it requires lots of resources and the person will always hold you in contempt and unless punished or the threat of punishment (whipping, beating, branding, hanging to make an example for others), will work to subvert your wishes. With sin the individual is his own slave master. The individual constantly worries that he or she is breaking some rule. Rules like what to eat or what to wear. When you can have sex and with whom. What kinds of sex you can have. All of these have been shown to be powerful means of controlling people. Better than democracy. Whoever claims to be god's chosen rules by fiat. Don't forget, it's good to be the king.
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Old 16th February 2013, 11:19 AM   #314
Akri
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
That's right, Akri.
How do you refine your faith without questioning it? I don't understand how that works.

Quote:
I mean that if there's only one way to create a universe, God may be stuck creating that one, even it hampers His moral agenda. Who knows? A passing thought.
How would it be impossible for God to have told people "love they neighbor" prior to Jesus coming along? It's not that he couldn't talk to people, because he did that all the time. It's not that he couldn't interfere with history, because he did that as well (killing every firstborn son in a nation is going to have an effect on their history--at the very least it changes lines of succession). It's not that humans couldn't handle the idea of a peaceful morality (the Buddha was preaching about peace before Jesus was born--and since the Buddha was just a man, not a deity, that means a human did a better job of teaching morality than God did).

Edit:
Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Yes, I don't like it either. I'm hoping hellfire is a consuming fire that annihilates its victims rather than tortures them. But, what can you do?
Refusing to accept such barbarism as "moral perfection" springs to mind.

Seriously, lying would make God imperfect, but torturing people because they insult his honor makes God perfect? Given the choice between a God who occasionally lies, and a God who sets people on fire for wronging him (I don't care if it's for eternity or just until they burn up--it's torture either way) I would rather have the first one. Your 'perfect' God sounds more like a devil.

Last edited by Akri; 16th February 2013 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 16th February 2013, 03:13 PM   #315
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear pakeha,

Blood sacrifice is one part of the world, like many parts. God can use whatever parts He wishes for whatever ends He wishes.

Other than the OT culture produced Jesus, and therefore was guided by God, I don't know of any other differences.

Cpl Ferro
You realise that's no answer to my question?

Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
Dear Craig,

I'm not talking about human justice and crime, I'm talking about sin. Sin is a dishonour to God, Who demands that damage to His honour be repaired. What does the repairing is someone suffering. Comparisons with human justice systems is analogous, not direct.

Cpl Ferro
"What does the repairing is someone suffering."
We're talking about the creator of the Universe as a figure who requires suffering?
Do you understand how silly that sounds, given the the size of the Universe?
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Old 16th February 2013, 03:32 PM   #316
CplFerro
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Quote:
That only applies in light of the Passion. Without the Passion there would be no forgiveness.
Quote:
The prayer I quoted was spoken by Jesus well before he was undergoing crucifixion. He was setting an example during his lifetime, not after the Passion.

My point is that if Jesus's teachings are correct and unconditional forgiveness is morally good, and God is good, God should be following Jesus's example of forgiving people, not demanding conditions first.

One can't have it both ways (well, one can, but it sounds like a desperate attempt to reconcile the random stories that Christians are stuck with): that Jesus-style forgiveness is good, but God can be angry and petty and unforgiving about insults to his honor, and also good.
Dear Pup,

We must remember God and man are species apart. We are made in the image of God, we are not Gods ourselves. So the rules that apply to perfect moral dealings between ourselves do not necessarily apply to our dealings with God.

What is the point of forgiveness, for example? Is it just to prove how chilled out Jesus is? No, Jesus talks about One who will judge men, and describes what will be forgiven and what wonít. The implication isnít just ďyouíre forgiven for whateverĒ itís ďgo and sin no more.Ē

Jesus outside the framework of God the Fatherís judgement is a moral monster by virtue of his lassitude with regards to evils men visit on one another. Most thinking, feeling people will tell ďjudge notĒ to go to hell when faced with human monsters in their midst.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 16th February 2013, 03:39 PM   #317
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Dear pakeha,

Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
You realise that's no answer to my question?
I have attempted to answer your question multiple times. Perhaps one or both of us misunderstanding the other?

Quote:
"What does the repairing is someone suffering."
We're talking about the creator of the Universe as a figure who requires suffering?
Do you understand how silly that sounds, given the the size of the Universe?
Yes, it's a bitch. Seriously. God is hard-core.

The size of the universe is amazingly irrelevant. Do you love your family less or more because of the size of the universe? Does a stubbed toe hurt less or more because of the size of the universe? Do starving people care about the size of the universe? Is 1 + 1 = 2 dependant on the size of the universe? Come on, man!

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Old 16th February 2013, 03:45 PM   #318
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Dear RandFan,

Quote:
Sin is a human construct. It is a way to control followers. If you tell a follower that breaking a window will result in an eternity of punishment they will avoid breaking windows.

The concept of "sin" is perhaps one of the greatest means of controlling humans ever devised. You can externally control a person against his her will but it requires lots of resources and the person will always hold you in contempt and unless punished or the threat of punishment (whipping, beating, branding, hanging to make an example for others), will work to subvert your wishes. With sin the individual is his own slave master. The individual constantly worries that he or she is breaking some rule. Rules like what to eat or what to wear. When you can have sex and with whom. What kinds of sex you can have. All of these have been shown to be powerful means of controlling people. Better than democracy. Whoever claims to be god's chosen rules by fiat. Don't forget, it's good to be the king.
A passing thought: When you put it that way it seems like the perfect complement to an anarchy, as a decentralised way of ensuring decent behaviour.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 16th February 2013, 04:17 PM   #319
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Dear Akri,

Quote:
How do you refine your faith without questioning it? I don't understand how that works.
One, I may be adding on lots of traditional baggage (e.g. creation myths) to the things I truly have faith in.

And two, the ďthings I truly have faith inĒ may not be what I expect them to be; i.e. the words that I use to describe them may be distorting the matter.

Quote:
How would it be impossible for God to have told people "love they neighbor" prior to Jesus coming along? It's not that he couldn't talk to people, because he did that all the time. It's not that he couldn't interfere with history, because he did that as well (killing every firstborn son in a nation is going to have an effect on their history--at the very least it changes lines of succession). It's not that humans couldn't handle the idea of a peaceful morality (the Buddha was preaching about peace before Jesus was born--and since the Buddha was just a man, not a deity, that means a human did a better job of teaching morality than God did).
No, it doesnít appear to make a lot of sense, does it? It appears God spent all His time messing with the Israelites, only to derive from them a superhero who goes on to create a universal religion, the foundation for which is a God who apparently could have started the religion earlier, but didnít. I donít have an answer to that one. Let me think about it.

Quote:
Yes, I don't like it either. I'm hoping hellfire is a consuming fire that annihilates its victims rather than tortures them. But, what can you do?
Quote:
Refusing to accept such barbarism as "moral perfection" springs to mind.

Seriously, lying would make God imperfect, but torturing people because they insult his honor makes God perfect? Given the choice between a God who occasionally lies, and a God who sets people on fire for wronging him (I don't care if it's for eternity or just until they burn up--it's torture either way) I would rather have the first one. Your 'perfect' God sounds more like a devil.
The idea in play is that God is just, and so must punish evil. Few people donít desire to see evil punished, and thatís one way the religion is sold. The real problem isnít that God will punish evil for eternityómost people enjoy sadistic fantasies of such when applied to the people they hateóitís that God is of such goodnessóof such gloryóthat His response to our sins against Him appear an overreaction, especially in light of His declared overwhelming attribute of love for man.

In other words, God appears to do everything primarily for His glory, and secondarily for love of man. Great and terrible, indeed.

Cpl Ferro
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Old 16th February 2013, 04:34 PM   #320
Akri
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Originally Posted by CplFerro View Post
One, I may be adding on lots of traditional baggage (e.g. creation myths) to the things I truly have faith in.

And two, the ďthings I truly have faith inĒ may not be what I expect them to be; i.e. the words that I use to describe them may be distorting the matter.
Wait, you don't know what you have faith in?

Quote:
No, it doesnít appear to make a lot of sense, does it? It appears God spent all His time messing with the Israelites, only to derive from them a superhero who goes on to create a universal religion, the foundation for which is a God who apparently could have started the religion earlier, but didnít. I donít have an answer to that one. Let me think about it.
Alright.

Quote:
The idea in play is that God is just, and so must punish evil.
I don't subscribe to the idea that justice should be about punishing evil (nor do I agree that all of the things God considers punishable are evil acts). Justice is about protecting the innocent, making reparations where possible, and attempting to reform the wrongdoers. And no, the wrongdoer dying is not a reparation, because it doesn't actually help to reverse the damage done.

Quote:
The real problem isnít that God will punish evil for eternity
The problem is that God tortures people at all. I don't care if it's for eternity or just 30 seconds--setting people on fire is evil.

Quote:
most people enjoy sadistic fantasies of such when applied to the people they hateóitís that God is of such goodnessóof such gloryóthat His response to our sins against Him appear an overreaction, especially in light of His declared overwhelming attribute of love for man.
They don't merely appear to be overreactions, they are overreactions. And punishing people disproportionate to their crimes is not just.

And arguing that God is morally perfect because his actions fit with the morals of imperfect humans doesn't exactly help your case any. I would expect an advanced being like a god to have morality that surpassed that found in human cultures from centuries ago.

Quote:
Great and terrible, indeed.
Emphasis on "terrible".
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