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Defending Religion Challenge

TheTruthAnalyst
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11/24/2011 1:00:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
If anybody is up for it, I'd like to try defending criticisms about religion. They can be historical arguments, specific arguments regarding any religious text, or teachings of any religion in particular.

My only request is to refrain from arguments regarding religions whose teachings and texts aren't readily available on the internet in English. If there is sufficient historic analysis, then I would consider that(for instance, beliefs of primitive tribes and such).
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rogue
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11/24/2011 2:12:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/24/2011 1:00:05 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:
If anybody is up for it, I'd like to try defending criticisms about religion. They can be historical arguments, specific arguments regarding any religious text, or teachings of any religion in particular.

My only request is to refrain from arguments regarding religions whose teachings and texts aren't readily available on the internet in English. If there is sufficient historic analysis, then I would consider that(for instance, beliefs of primitive tribes and such).

alright. Here's a rather underdeveloped argument that may or many not apply to you depending on what you believe.

Most people believe that God is all-good and all-knowing and all-powerful. I think that this is impossible.
If God was all-knowing, he must know the future yes?
Therefore he knew when he created Lucifer that Lucifer would bring evil and suffering into the world and try to destroy God's creations. He also would have known that Eve was going to screw up and eat the apple and that Adam would also. He must also know that all the evil people in the world will do the evil things they do.
If god is all-powerful, then in knowing these things he must have the power to change them before they happen. Yet clearly he let all these horrible things happen. That does not seem to me to be an all-good deity.
TheTruthAnalyst
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11/24/2011 3:25:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/24/2011 2:12:29 PM, rogue wrote:
At 11/24/2011 1:00:05 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:
If anybody is up for it, I'd like to try defending criticisms about religion. They can be historical arguments, specific arguments regarding any religious text, or teachings of any religion in particular.

My only request is to refrain from arguments regarding religions whose teachings and texts aren't readily available on the internet in English. If there is sufficient historic analysis, then I would consider that(for instance, beliefs of primitive tribes and such).

alright. Here's a rather underdeveloped argument that may or many not apply to you depending on what you believe.

Great. I don't care what I believe, my goal is to put myself in the shoes of other understandings.

Most people believe that God is all-good and all-knowing and all-powerful. I think that this is impossible.

I will assume this is the Abrahamic God of the OT, NT, and Quran? I'll approach the question from each set of scriptures. If you want I can approach it more specifically from different religions.

If God was all-knowing, he must know the future yes?

Therefore he knew when he created Lucifer that Lucifer would bring evil and suffering into the world and try to destroy God's creations. He also would have known that Eve was going to screw up and eat the apple and that Adam would also. He must also know that all the evil people in the world will do the evil things they do.
If god is all-powerful, then in knowing these things he must have the power to change them before they happen. Yet clearly he let all these horrible things happen. That does not seem to me to be an all-good deity.

Psalms 147:5
"Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite."

Infinite comes from the Hebrew 'Micpar', which can be translated as 'number', 'innumerable', 'abundance', or 'infinite'. God's understanding could be infinite in the sense that He understands everything that can be understood, but maybe some things can not be understood without being experienced.

God refers to himself as 'almighty' in the OT. The Hebrew word is 'Shadday' meaning 'almighty; most powerful'. Either God can do anything, or God can do anything that can be done. Why would God test Abraham if he knew Abraham would be willing to sacrifice his son, unless the test was designed for Abraham's benefit?

If God did know, and the test was for the benefit of Abraham, then it would seem that there is no way for God to teach that lesson to Abraham except to let Abraham experience it.(In other words, simply teaching the lesson without experience isn't something that can be done, and since God can only do things that can be done, it is something that He can't do.)

A parent has to let their children grow up, even when they would rather wrap up their children in bubble wrap and protect them from the world. It is through experience that we gain knowledge and wisdom. Perhaps mortality is God's way of letting us 'grow up'.

Isaiah 46:10-11
"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done , saying , My counsel shall stand , and I will do all my pleasure:
Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it."

God intervenes with men who execute his counsel to bring about his plans for us. It would seem that everything that happens on Earth, good and bad, is part of God's plan.

Can God stop bad people from doing bad things? Couldn't He just kill anyone before they hurt someone else? Perhaps, but it doesn't seem to be part of God's plan.

Moving on to the New Testament, we have the example of Christ for a guide.

1 Peter 2: 21
"For even hereunto were ye called : because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:"

We are called to follow Christ's example. What did Christ do? He taught others, helped the poor and sick, he was baptized, suffered persecution and temptation, and lived obedient until death. Apparently, God's plan includes suffering for our benefit. When presented with suffering, we can develop ourselves to be more like God.

Is God good? Would a good parent place their child in a padded room and protect them for life, or allow their child to go out and experience life. A good parent will do his/her best to teach their child as best as possible, and know that the difficulties are what allow their child to become a better person.

Another way to look at it. Have you ever been stuck in the heat with no water and become extremely thirsty? If so, you probably never enjoyed drinking water as much as when you had a chance after that. Have you ever had to refrain from a favorite food? The knowledge of what it means to go without allows us to appreciate what it means to have. Our measure of joy and happiness is limited by the inverse measure of unhappiness we have experienced.

I'm not going to go into the Quran right now, I don't know it as well but I"ll look later. I would imagine that a similar message would be contained in it.
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rogue
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11/24/2011 4:32:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/24/2011 3:25:09 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:
At 11/24/2011 2:12:29 PM, rogue wrote:
At 11/24/2011 1:00:05 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:
If anybody is up for it, I'd like to try defending criticisms about religion. They can be historical arguments, specific arguments regarding any religious text, or teachings of any religion in particular.

My only request is to refrain from arguments regarding religions whose teachings and texts aren't readily available on the internet in English. If there is sufficient historic analysis, then I would consider that(for instance, beliefs of primitive tribes and such).

alright. Here's a rather underdeveloped argument that may or many not apply to you depending on what you believe.

Great. I don't care what I believe, my goal is to put myself in the shoes of other understandings.

Most people believe that God is all-good and all-knowing and all-powerful. I think that this is impossible.

I will assume this is the Abrahamic God of the OT, NT, and Quran? I'll approach the question from each set of scriptures. If you want I can approach it more specifically from different religions.

If God was all-knowing, he must know the future yes?

Therefore he knew when he created Lucifer that Lucifer would bring evil and suffering into the world and try to destroy God's creations. He also would have known that Eve was going to screw up and eat the apple and that Adam would also. He must also know that all the evil people in the world will do the evil things they do.
If god is all-powerful, then in knowing these things he must have the power to change them before they happen. Yet clearly he let all these horrible things happen. That does not seem to me to be an all-good deity.

Psalms 147:5
"Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite."

Infinite comes from the Hebrew 'Micpar', which can be translated as 'number', 'innumerable', 'abundance', or 'infinite'. God's understanding could be infinite in the sense that He understands everything that can be understood, but maybe some things can not be understood without being experienced.

there is evidence to support that those scriptures assert that God thinks that "some thing s cannot be understood without being experienced."

God refers to himself as 'almighty' in the OT. The Hebrew word is 'Shadday' meaning 'almighty; most powerful'. Either God can do anything, or God can do anything that can be done. Why would God test Abraham if he knew Abraham would be willing to sacrifice his son, unless the test was designed for Abraham's benefit?

Because he was prideful and wanted to see how far his followers would go, although this is irrelevant.

If God did know, and the test was for the benefit of Abraham, then it would seem that there is no way for God to teach that lesson to Abraham except to let Abraham experience it.(In other words, simply teaching the lesson without experience isn't something that can be done, and since God can only do things that can be done, it is something that He can't do.)

First of all, how did Abraham benefit from the teachings? And also God cannot be all-powerful and not be able to do certain things because they "can't be done". There is no reason to believe that certain things "cannot be done". He is then not all-powerful. Also, if God is all-powerful he should be able to teach in better ways than making someone sacrifice their son. He should be able to make someone understand something just by willing it to be so. Is that experience really worth the lesson?

A parent has to let their children grow up, even when they would rather wrap up their children in bubble wrap and protect them from the world. It is through experience that we gain knowledge and wisdom. Perhaps mortality is God's way of letting us 'grow up'.

I'm so sick of hearing this parent-child comparison. Parents are not like God because they are not all-powerful or all-knowing. Parents would also not subject their child to horrible things such as making them sacrifice their son even if it gave them a greater understanding. I would not subject my child to rape even though it might make them a stronger person with more wisdom and understanding in the end. If I could make my child understand everything they needed to without putting them in harm's way, I would. God is all-powerful, he should be able to do this.

Isaiah 46:10-11
"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done , saying , My counsel shall stand , and I will do all my pleasure:
Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it."

God intervenes with men who execute his counsel to bring about his plans for us. It would seem that everything that happens on Earth, good and bad, is part of God's plan.

So he wants those starving people around the world? The rape and murder victims? I refuse to praise a God that plans for these things to happen to his children. I do not see how you can honestly say that that is a good deity.

Can God stop bad people from doing bad things? Couldn't He just kill anyone before they hurt someone else? Perhaps, but it doesn't seem to be part of God's plan.

Then God is evil.

Moving on to the New Testament, we have the example of Christ for a guide.

1 Peter 2: 21
"For even hereunto were ye called : because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:"

We are called to follow Christ's example. What did Christ do? He taught others, helped the poor and sick, he was baptized, suffered persecution and temptation, and lived obedient until death. Apparently, God's plan includes suffering for our benefit. When presented with suffering, we can develop ourselves to be more like God.

It is monstrous that someone should demand that his child suffer so that he doesnt make his other children suffer. Especially when he could have prevented all suffering by not bringing satan into the world or by destroying him. He should be able to do that since he is all-powerful.

Is God good? Would a good parent place their child in a padded room and protect them for life, or allow their child to go out and experience life. A good parent will do his/her best to teach their child as best as possible, and know that the difficulties are what allow their child to become a better person.

If a parent could teach their child everything they needed to know and never cause them to suffer, then a good parent would do so. God can do this because he is all-powerful.

Another way to look at it. Have you ever been stuck in the heat with no water and become extremely thirsty? If so, you probably never enjoyed drinking water as much as when you had a chance after that. Have you ever had to refrain from a favorite food? The knowledge of what it means to go without allows us to appreciate what it means to have. Our measure of joy and happiness is limited by the inverse measure of unhappiness we have experienced.

Sure, but that is because God created a universe in which this is so. If he is all-powerful he should be able to create a universe where one can enjoy everything infinitely. Or, in our universe, make us enjoy something more, every time we experience.

I'm not going to go into the Quran right now, I don't know it as well but I"ll look later. I would imagine that a similar message would be contained in it.
TheTruthAnalyst
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11/24/2011 4:51:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/24/2011 4:32:06 PM, rogue wrote:
At 11/24/2011 3:25:09 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:
At 11/24/2011 2:12:29 PM, rogue wrote:
At 11/24/2011 1:00:05 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:
If anybody is up for it, I'd like to try defending criticisms about religion. They can be historical arguments, specific arguments regarding any religious text, or teachings of any religion in particular.

My only request is to refrain from arguments regarding religions whose teachings and texts aren't readily available on the internet in English. If there is sufficient historic analysis, then I would consider that(for instance, beliefs of primitive tribes and such).

alright. Here's a rather underdeveloped argument that may or many not apply to you depending on what you believe.

Great. I don't care what I believe, my goal is to put myself in the shoes of other understandings.

Most people believe that God is all-good and all-knowing and all-powerful. I think that this is impossible.

I will assume this is the Abrahamic God of the OT, NT, and Quran? I'll approach the question from each set of scriptures. If you want I can approach it more specifically from different religions.

If God was all-knowing, he must know the future yes?

Therefore he knew when he created Lucifer that Lucifer would bring evil and suffering into the world and try to destroy God's creations. He also would have known that Eve was going to screw up and eat the apple and that Adam would also. He must also know that all the evil people in the world will do the evil things they do.
If god is all-powerful, then in knowing these things he must have the power to change them before they happen. Yet clearly he let all these horrible things happen. That does not seem to me to be an all-good deity.

Psalms 147:5
"Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite."

Infinite comes from the Hebrew 'Micpar', which can be translated as 'number', 'innumerable', 'abundance', or 'infinite'. God's understanding could be infinite in the sense that He understands everything that can be understood, but maybe some things can not be understood without being experienced.

there is evidence to support that those scriptures assert that God thinks that "some thing s cannot be understood without being experienced."

God refers to himself as 'almighty' in the OT. The Hebrew word is 'Shadday' meaning 'almighty; most powerful'. Either God can do anything, or God can do anything that can be done. Why would God test Abraham if he knew Abraham would be willing to sacrifice his son, unless the test was designed for Abraham's benefit?

Because he was prideful and wanted to see how far his followers would go, although this is irrelevant.

When you are trying to consider God from the standpoint of the bible, you can't compare what you think God is. To be fair, you need to compare what the scriptures say about God. The scriptures don't say He is prideful. So, why would God give tests to us, unless they are for our benefit?


If God did know, and the test was for the benefit of Abraham, then it would seem that there is no way for God to teach that lesson to Abraham except to let Abraham experience it.(In other words, simply teaching the lesson without experience isn't something that can be done, and since God can only do things that can be done, it is something that He can't do.)

First of all, how did Abraham benefit from the teachings? And also God cannot be all-powerful and not be able to do certain things because they "can't be done". There is no reason to believe that certain things "cannot be done". He is then not all-powerful. Also, if God is all-powerful he should be able to teach in better ways than making someone sacrifice their son. He should be able to make someone understand something just by willing it to be so. Is that experience really worth the lesson?

I can think of at least one lesson. Extreme humility. Having your only child, when you were expected to go through life without child, be offered as a sacrifice allows you to put aside your pride and submit yourself to God as a child would.

I already explained the word Shadday. It means most-powerful, not the same as all-powerful. Just because you have the most power out of any being in the universe doesn't mean you can do anything. There are universal laws that cannot be broken.

I think you would have to ask Abraham if the experience was worth the lesson. Could you imagine his appreciation for his son after that event? As I said, we can only appreciate to the degree we have suffered.

A parent has to let their children grow up, even when they would rather wrap up their children in bubble wrap and protect them from the world. It is through experience that we gain knowledge and wisdom. Perhaps mortality is God's way of letting us 'grow up'.

I'm so sick of hearing this parent-child comparison. Parents are not like God because they are not all-powerful or all-knowing. Parents would also not subject their child to horrible things such as making them sacrifice their son even if it gave them a greater understanding. I would not subject my child to rape even though it might make them a stronger person with more wisdom and understanding in the end. If I could make my child understand everything they needed to without putting them in harm's way, I would. God is all-powerful, he should be able to do this.

If. If is the key word. If God is most-powerful, then it doesn't mean He necessarily could. The parent-child comparison holds because we are God's children.

Also, if God is all-knowing, then how could we expect to understand His mind? Unless you claim to be all-knowing, then you can't claim to know what is universally best for mankind.

God intervenes with men who execute his counsel to bring about his plans for us. It would seem that everything that happens on Earth, good and bad, is part of God's plan.

So he wants those starving people around the world? The rape and murder victims? I refuse to praise a God that plans for these things to happen to his children. I do not see how you can honestly say that that is a good deity.

God doesn't make the bad things to happen. He plans to allow us to have free-will. If we didn't have free will, there would be no point to existence. We would be nothing more than machines or programs.

Christ admonished us to take on his yoke, and we could find rest. Interestingly enough, a yoke is an instrument of work, not rest. However, millions(billions?) of believers are happy to bear their burdens under the watchfulness of Christ. To them, although it is a burden, it is just a passing problem that leads to happiness that can't be known any other way.

Isaiah 46:10-11
"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done , saying , My counsel shall stand , and I will do all my pleasure:
Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it."

Can God stop bad people from doing bad things? Couldn't He just kill anyone before they hurt someone else? Perhaps, but it doesn't seem to be part of God's plan.

Then God is evil.

Why? God isn't the one that causes bad things to happen. That's the same erroneous cause/effect argument when people call guns evil.
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TheTruthAnalyst
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11/24/2011 4:56:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago

Moving on to the New Testament, we have the example of Christ for a guide.

1 Peter 2: 21
"For even hereunto were ye called : because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:"

We are called to follow Christ's example. What did Christ do? He taught others, helped the poor and sick, he was baptized, suffered persecution and temptation, and lived obedient until death. Apparently, God's plan includes suffering for our benefit. When presented with suffering, we can develop ourselves to be more like God.

It is monstrous that someone should demand that his child suffer so that he doesnt make his other children suffer. Especially when he could have prevented all suffering by not bringing satan into the world or by destroying him. He should be able to do that since he is all-powerful.

Again, you miss the meaning of the word almighty. Can God destroy spirit or matter? I don't know, but according to our understanding, matter cannot be destroyed. God didn't force Christ to suffer, Christ did that of his own free will. Everyone suffers, but we learn that suffering is truly a blessing that allows us to appreciate goodness.


Is God good? Would a good parent place their child in a padded room and protect them for life, or allow their child to go out and experience life. A good parent will do his/her best to teach their child as best as possible, and know that the difficulties are what allow their child to become a better person.

If a parent could teach their child everything they needed to know and never cause them to suffer, then a good parent would do so. God can do this because he is all-powerful.

Again, Shadday. No parent or teacher can teach a child 'life lessons'. Nobody can learn diligence, hard work, and strong character from a book. There are things that can't be taught, they can only be learned.


Another way to look at it. Have you ever been stuck in the heat with no water and become extremely thirsty? If so, you probably never enjoyed drinking water as much as when you had a chance after that. Have you ever had to refrain from a favorite food? The knowledge of what it means to go without allows us to appreciate what it means to have. Our measure of joy and happiness is limited by the inverse measure of unhappiness we have experienced.

Sure, but that is because God created a universe in which this is so. If he is all-powerful he should be able to create a universe where one can enjoy everything infinitely. Or, in our universe, make us enjoy something more, every time we experience.

You assume that it is possible to create such a universe. Nothing in the bible says there are no limits. If there is no mechanism to 'create' appreciation, then it can only be taught.
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JustCallMeTarzan
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11/24/2011 5:13:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/24/2011 3:25:09 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:

If God did know, and the test was for the benefit of Abraham, then it would seem that there is no way for God to teach that lesson to Abraham except to let Abraham experience it.(In other words, simply teaching the lesson without experience isn't something that can be done, and since God can only do things that can be done, it is something that He can't do.)

Unfortunately, this is pretty clearly wrong. We store information in our brains - it is an entirely physical process. Thus, new information is no more than a reorganization of existing matter. So in the end, experience is nothing more than many re-reorganizations of existing matter, and thus, the product of experience is just the final re-reorganization. God could impart experience by simply actualizing that specific organization of matter.

A parent has to let their children grow up, even when they would rather wrap up their children in bubble wrap and protect them from the world. It is through experience that we gain knowledge and wisdom. Perhaps mortality is God's way of letting us 'grow up'.

Though no doubt we would "grow up" (I use quotes because the term implies teleology, and there is no such thing in nature) "better" if God had chosen to make humans live, say, 400 years instead of 100.

God intervenes with men who execute his counsel to bring about his plans for us. It would seem that everything that happens on Earth, good and bad, is part of God's plan.

Then, as I believe rogue said at this same juncture, God clearly planned for evil to occur. The idea that God could not bring out the same outcome by different means is patently absurd and ignores the very definition of "omnipotent."

Can God stop bad people from doing bad things? Couldn't He just kill anyone before they hurt someone else? Perhaps, but it doesn't seem to be part of God's plan.

So you admit that God knows about the pending evil and has the power to stop it, yet chooses not to. I'm curious what you think the definition of "moral" is...

Moving on to the New Testament, we have the example of Christ for a guide.

Yes - socialism, magic-for-healthcare, and political revolution FTW. Occupy Jerusalem??

We are called to follow Christ's example. What did Christ do? He taught others, helped the poor and sick, he was baptized, suffered persecution and temptation, and lived obedient until death. Apparently, God's plan includes suffering for our benefit. When presented with suffering, we can develop ourselves to be more like God.

There's a HUGE disconnect here in that Christ was suffering for our sins. If the sins have already been suffered for, why should we suffer them again? Moreover, how is suffering going to ameliorate the sins themselves?

God's plan for our benefit seems to be: Pain of sin + Pain of suffering = good... What??

Is God good? Would a good parent place their child in a padded room and protect them for life, or allow their child to go out and experience life. A good parent will do his/her best to teach their child as best as possible, and know that the difficulties are what allow their child to become a better person.

Would a good parent tell their children that if another kid on the playground is using the Promised Swing that it's ok to kill them and take the swing?

Another way to look at it. Have you ever been stuck in the heat with no water and become extremely thirsty? If so, you probably never enjoyed drinking water as much as when you had a chance after that. Have you ever had to refrain from a favorite food? The knowledge of what it means to go without allows us to appreciate what it means to have. Our measure of joy and happiness is limited by the inverse measure of unhappiness we have experienced.

The "we need bad to know good" argument is, quite frankly, idiotic. The idea that we could not appreciate good without bad is like saying that if you only experienced pleasure, and never experienced pain, that you would develop a new conceptualization of pleasure/pain where minor pleasure was now "pain" and "pleasure" required major pleasure.

I'm sure you have a favorite food, perhaps several. And I'm sure there are other foods that you like, but not as much. And there are some that I'm sure you hate. Let's suppose that you hate lima beans (really, who doesn't?), like burgers, but you LOVE steak.

If you had never eaten a lima bean, would the burger taste good or bad?
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11/24/2011 5:14:22 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
If the Bible is divinely inspired, why isn't it completely timeless and perfect?
"Caitlyn Jenner is an incredibly brave and stunningly beautiful woman."

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TheTruthAnalyst
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11/24/2011 5:43:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/24/2011 5:13:30 PM, JustCallMeTarzan wrote:
At 11/24/2011 3:25:09 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:

If God did know, and the test was for the benefit of Abraham, then it would seem that there is no way for God to teach that lesson to Abraham except to let Abraham experience it.(In other words, simply teaching the lesson without experience isn't something that can be done, and since God can only do things that can be done, it is something that He can't do.)

Unfortunately, this is pretty clearly wrong. We store information in our brains - it is an entirely physical process. Thus, new information is no more than a reorganization of existing matter. So in the end, experience is nothing more than many re-reorganizations of existing matter, and thus, the product of experience is just the final re-reorganization. God could impart experience by simply actualizing that specific organization of matter.

We still don't have a strong grasp of just how the brain works, sorry. To say that we know there is nothing outside of physical connections is 'patently absurd'. In fact, the closest we 'know' is that we can only account for 20% of the matter in the visible universe. It is not only possible, but more likely than not that we are made up of matter that we can't see, and we don't know anything about the laws of that matter.

Could you transplant someone's brain and they would have all the memory and characteristics of the other person? We don't know that much about the brain.

A parent has to let their children grow up, even when they would rather wrap up their children in bubble wrap and protect them from the world. It is through experience that we gain knowledge and wisdom. Perhaps mortality is God's way of letting us 'grow up'.

Though no doubt we would "grow up" (I use quotes because the term implies teleology, and there is no such thing in nature) "better" if God had chosen to make humans live, say, 400 years instead of 100.

Who's to say we could live 400 year mortal lives?

God intervenes with men who execute his counsel to bring about his plans for us. It would seem that everything that happens on Earth, good and bad, is part of God's plan.

Then, as I believe rogue said at this same juncture, God clearly planned for evil to occur. The idea that God could not bring out the same outcome by different means is patently absurd and ignores the very definition of "omnipotent."

The word 'omnipotent' doesn't exist in the bible. (well, some versions translate the common almighty into omnipotent in some instances). The Hebrew word is Shadday and the Greek word is Pantokrator, meaning most-powerful and 'he who holds sway over all things'. The concept of omnipotence isn't founded in the bible. Can God create something out of nothing? According to our understanding, it is unlikely. The verb 'bara' used in Genesis is translated as 'shape, create, form'. It is the same word used when God 'creates' Israel through gathering, or during spiritual renewal(creating a new heart).

The idea that we could not appreciate good without bad is like saying that if you only experienced pleasure, and never experienced pain, that you would develop a new conceptualization of pleasure/pain where minor pleasure was now "pain" and "pleasure" required major pleasure.

No, not at all. When you experience lack of something, then you can appreciate it more. That's all.

I'm sure you have a favorite food, perhaps several. And I'm sure there are other foods that you like, but not as much. And there are some that I'm sure you hate. Let's suppose that you hate lima beans (really, who doesn't?), like burgers, but you LOVE steak.

If you had never eaten a lima bean, would the burger taste good or bad?

I ate a lot of oatmeal growing up. A lot of oatmeal. When we had pancakes and eggs, it was more of a treat.

I also had to go 3 years without eating wheat. First sandwich I had after 3 years(that wasn't rice bread), I cried a little, it was that good.
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TheTruthAnalyst
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11/24/2011 5:44:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/24/2011 5:14:22 PM, tvellalott wrote:
If the Bible is divinely inspired, why isn't it completely timeless and perfect?

One explanation can be that mankind has been in charge of copying it by hand, errors in translation, or willful changing of the text to suit the needs of a person...

What is so wrong about it?
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JustCallMeTarzan
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11/24/2011 11:42:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/24/2011 5:43:46 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:
At 11/24/2011 5:13:30 PM, JustCallMeTarzan wrote:
At 11/24/2011 3:25:09 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:

If God did know, and the test was for the benefit of Abraham, then it would seem that there is no way for God to teach that lesson to Abraham except to let Abraham experience it.(In other words, simply teaching the lesson without experience isn't something that can be done, and since God can only do things that can be done, it is something that He can't do.)

Unfortunately, this is pretty clearly wrong. We store information in our brains - it is an entirely physical process. Thus, new information is no more than a reorganization of existing matter. So in the end, experience is nothing more than many re-reorganizations of existing matter, and thus, the product of experience is just the final re-reorganization. God could impart experience by simply actualizing that specific organization of matter.

We still don't have a strong grasp of just how the brain works, sorry. To say that we know there is nothing outside of physical connections is 'patently absurd'.

We certainly know enough to conclude that the brain is a physical organ. Do you think that there is something more to the brain than electrical connections? I'm curious what that would be... Odd too, that it is clearly evidenced that causing physical damage to the brain can result in a loss of memory.

What is 'patently absurd' is to conclude that because we have no evidence to the contrary, there is something more than a physical process going on in the brain when we store information. Actually, there is a name for that - it's called "Argument from Ignorance."

In fact, the closest we 'know' is that we can only account for 20% of the matter in the visible universe. It is not only possible, but more likely than not that we are made up of matter that we can't see, and we don't know anything about the laws of that matter.

Again - argument from ignorance. It's actually pretty doubtful that humans contain dark matter or antimatter. The argument against antimatter is pretty self-evident. But humans have a strong electromagnetic field, and emit almost no radiation at all... so if we were comprised in part of dark matter, it would be pretty easy to spot. Also, there would be a very obvious disconnect between our apparent volume and mass.

Could you transplant someone's brain and they would have all the memory and characteristics of the other person? We don't know that much about the brain.

On the contrary - we know that all cognitive information is stored in the brain. If we were able to do such a procedure, it is highly likely that the recipient of the brain would think they were the donor, albeit in a different body.

A parent has to let their children grow up, even when they would rather wrap up their children in bubble wrap and protect them from the world. It is through experience that we gain knowledge and wisdom. Perhaps mortality is God's way of letting us 'grow up'.

Though no doubt we would "grow up" (I use quotes because the term implies teleology, and there is no such thing in nature) "better" if God had chosen to make humans live, say, 400 years instead of 100.

Who's to say we could live 400 year mortal lives?

Other organisms like trees can live more than four thousand years, never mind four hundred. Some animals, like coral and mollusks can live to be 400. Some species of fish and whales can live to be 200. So clearly, organic life can support long-living creatures. If we're operating under the assumption that God is responsible for creation, it's reasonable to ask why OUR organic matter is so flimsy.

God intervenes with men who execute his counsel to bring about his plans for us. It would seem that everything that happens on Earth, good and bad, is part of God's plan.

Then, as I believe rogue said at this same juncture, God clearly planned for evil to occur. The idea that God could not bring out the same outcome by different means is patently absurd and ignores the very definition of "omnipotent."

The word 'omnipotent' doesn't exist in the bible. (well, some versions translate the common almighty into omnipotent in some instances). The Hebrew word is Shadday and the Greek word is Pantokrator, meaning most-powerful and 'he who holds sway over all things'.

I'm curious what you think "omnipotent" means if not "he who holds sway over all things."

The concept of omnipotence isn't founded in the bible.

The question is not what "all-mighty" means to US - it is what it means to the people who WROTE it. It's pretty doubtful that the authors of Revelation, Genesis, Jerimiah, and Psalms thought "Shadday" (and the greek version thereof) meant "pretty darn powerful, but not quite totally completely powerful over all things."

Jer 32:27: "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"

Can God create something out of nothing? According to our understanding, it is unlikely. The verb 'bara' used in Genesis is translated as 'shape, create, form'. It is the same word used when God 'creates' Israel through gathering, or during spiritual renewal(creating a new heart).

The fact aside that English has easily about three times as many words as Hebrew to describe things, I thought it was the general consensus that God was indeed Creator ex nihilio...

The idea that we could not appreciate good without bad is like saying that if you only experienced pleasure, and never experienced pain, that you would develop a new conceptualization of pleasure/pain where minor pleasure was now "pain" and "pleasure" required major pleasure.

No, not at all. When you experience lack of something, then you can appreciate it more. That's all.

I've never tasted poop. Your position is that if I decided to eat from the toilet before eating a burger, that burger would taste better than if I had not munched on a juicy turd beforehand...

I'm sure you have a favorite food, perhaps several. And I'm sure there are other foods that you like, but not as much. And there are some that I'm sure you hate. Let's suppose that you hate lima beans (really, who doesn't?), like burgers, but you LOVE steak.

If you had never eaten a lima bean, would the burger taste good or bad?

I ate a lot of oatmeal growing up. A lot of oatmeal. When we had pancakes and eggs, it was more of a treat.

A clever way of not answering the question... but if you had not eaten any oatmeal, would the pancakes and eggs have still tasted good?

I also had to go 3 years without eating wheat. First sandwich I had after 3 years(that wasn't rice bread), I cried a little, it was that good.

Do you think your body got different sensory input because you hadn't eaten wheat in a long time?
TheTruthAnalyst
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11/25/2011 12:07:58 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/24/2011 11:42:38 PM, JustCallMeTarzan wrote:
At 11/24/2011 5:43:46 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:
At 11/24/2011 5:13:30 PM, JustCallMeTarzan wrote:
At 11/24/2011 3:25:09 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:

If God did know, and the test was for the benefit of Abraham, then it would seem that there is no way for God to teach that lesson to Abraham except to let Abraham experience it.(In other words, simply teaching the lesson without experience isn't something that can be done, and since God can only do things that can be done, it is something that He can't do.)

Unfortunately, this is pretty clearly wrong. We store information in our brains - it is an entirely physical process. Thus, new information is no more than a reorganization of existing matter. So in the end, experience is nothing more than many re-reorganizations of existing matter, and thus, the product of experience is just the final re-reorganization. God could impart experience by simply actualizing that specific organization of matter.

We still don't have a strong grasp of just how the brain works, sorry. To say that we know there is nothing outside of physical connections is 'patently absurd'.

We certainly know enough to conclude that the brain is a physical organ. Do you think that there is something more to the brain than electrical connections? I'm curious what that would be... Odd too, that it is clearly evidenced that causing physical damage to the brain can result in a loss of memory.

My point is, we can only see and detect 20% of the matter around us. It's very possible that there is matter that is part of us that we can't detect yet... maybe spirit, maybe a form of energy, maybe not. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if we found out that what we know of the brain is more of an effect than a cause.

What is 'patently absurd' is to conclude that because we have no evidence to the contrary, there is something more than a physical process going on in the brain when we store information. Actually, there is a name for that - it's called "Argument from Ignorance."

You're not listening. We know there is matter that we can't detect. We just don't know what it is. I'm not saying it's because we have no evidence to the contrary. I'm saying there IS evidence to the contrary. There could be a completely different type of matter that essentially mirrors us.

In fact, the closest we 'know' is that we can only account for 20% of the matter in the visible universe. It is not only possible, but more likely than not that we are made up of matter that we can't see, and we don't know anything about the laws of that matter.

Again - argument from ignorance. It's actually pretty doubtful that humans contain dark matter or antimatter. The argument against antimatter is pretty self-evident. But humans have a strong electromagnetic field, and emit almost no radiation at all... so if we were comprised in part of dark matter, it would be pretty easy to spot. Also, there would be a very obvious disconnect between our apparent volume and mass.

I never said antimatter. We know about antimatter, we can detect it, we can even create it. There is nothing to put dark matter into the realm of doubt, or you must claim to know something the rest of us don't know.

How would we spot dark matter? That's the point, we can't detect it yet. Do you actually know anything about dark matter or are you just thinking it's like anti-matter?

Could you transplant someone's brain and they would have all the memory and characteristics of the other person? We don't know that much about the brain.

On the contrary - we know that all cognitive information is stored in the brain. If we were able to do such a procedure, it is highly likely that the recipient of the brain would think they were the donor, albeit in a different body.

Wait. We know, so it is likely? The truth is we don't know, so don't pretend that we do. Everything science has discovered up until recently was done operating off a presumption about what exists and what doesn't exist. Everything we know about the body is based off that presumption. Now, we realize that it's just the tip of the iceberg, and we have no way of knowing the implications these new discoveries will have on cause/effect, religion, medicine, or just about anything else. The only thing we know, is that there is much more that we don't know than we do.
A parent has to let their children grow up, even when they would rather wrap up their children in bubble wrap and protect them from the world. It is through experience that we gain knowledge and wisdom. Perhaps mortality is God's way of letting us 'grow up'.

Though no doubt we would "grow up" (I use quotes because the term implies teleology, and there is no such thing in nature) "better" if God had chosen to make humans live, say, 400 years instead of 100.

Who's to say we could live 400 year mortal lives?

Other organisms like trees can live more than four thousand years, never mind four hundred. Some animals, like coral and mollusks can live to be 400. Some species of fish and whales can live to be 200. So clearly, organic life can support long-living creatures. If we're operating under the assumption that God is responsible for creation, it's reasonable to ask why OUR organic matter is so flimsy.

We were created in the image of God. Maybe it's not possible for a being who operates off of blood to live that long. God couldn't make us trees and still make us in his image.

God intervenes with men who execute his counsel to bring about his plans for us. It would seem that everything that happens on Earth, good and bad, is part of God's plan.

Then, as I believe rogue said at this same juncture, God clearly planned for evil to occur. The idea that God could not bring out the same outcome by different means is patently absurd and ignores the very definition of "omnipotent."

The word 'omnipotent' doesn't exist in the bible. (well, some versions translate the common almighty into omnipotent in some instances). The Hebrew word is Shadday and the Greek word is Pantokrator, meaning most-powerful and 'he who holds sway over all things'.

I'm curious what you think "omnipotent" means if not "he who holds sway over all things."

The best translation seems to be 'most powerful'. Now, let's assume that it can mean most powerful and all powerful. Which makes more sense? If you think it is all powerful, then can God make a rock too heavy for himself to lift? Either way, it breaks that definition. Most powerful, or being able to do anything that can be done, doesn't contain that paradox. That's why I think it's a better translation.

The concept of omnipotence isn't founded in the bible.

The question is not what "all-mighty" means to US - it is what it means to the people who WROTE it. It's pretty doubtful that the authors of Revelation, Genesis, Jerimiah, and Psalms thought "Shadday" (and the greek version thereof) meant "pretty darn powerful, but not quite totally completely powerful over all things."

That's a pretty big assumption. Seriously, consider it from the paradox situation. You have two possible definitions of a word. One definition can invalidate the story of the author. The other definition fits perfectly. Which do you think the author was more likely to have meant?
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TheTruthAnalyst
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11/25/2011 12:18:54 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Jer 32:27: "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"

Keep in mind that scripture is in reference to the siege of a city. It's the same word that is translated into wonders and marvelous. In other words, 'Would it really be that marvellous if I caused this to happen'.

Can God create something out of nothing? According to our understanding, it is unlikely. The verb 'bara' used in Genesis is translated as 'shape, create, form'. It is the same word used when God 'creates' Israel through gathering, or during spiritual renewal(creating a new heart).

The fact aside that English has easily about three times as many words as Hebrew to describe things, I thought it was the general consensus that God was indeed Creator ex nihilio...

General consensus meaning the largest Christian sect teaches that. It's a complicated topic, and there is no true consensus. It just makes more sense with our current understanding that it is better translated as 'formed'.

Even in English, you can create a work of art by putting paint on a canvas, but the word create doesn't necessarily mean from nothing.

The idea that we could not appreciate good without bad is like saying that if you only experienced pleasure, and never experienced pain, that you would develop a new conceptualization of pleasure/pain where minor pleasure was now "pain" and "pleasure" required major pleasure.

No, not at all. When you experience lack of something, then you can appreciate it more. That's all.

I've never tasted poop. Your position is that if I decided to eat from the toilet before eating a burger, that burger would taste better than if I had not munched on a juicy turd beforehand...

Probably not if you ate it right after. But whenever you compare two extremes, the greater the difference the more we notice. If all you ever had to eat for the next 10 years was lima beans, I bet the next burger you had would be the best burger you ever had. It's really not that hard of a concept, anybody who's ever gone without something should be able to understand.

I'm sure you have a favorite food, perhaps several. And I'm sure there are other foods that you like, but not as much. And there are some that I'm sure you hate. Let's suppose that you hate lima beans (really, who doesn't?), like burgers, but you LOVE steak.

If you had never eaten a lima bean, would the burger taste good or bad?

I ate a lot of oatmeal growing up. A lot of oatmeal. When we had pancakes and eggs, it was more of a treat.

A clever way of not answering the question... but if you had not eaten any oatmeal, would the pancakes and eggs have still tasted good?

They would have tasted exactly the same. But, I appreciated their taste much more. In my mind, they tasted better, even though that's not technically true. It's the appreciation of the taste that is amplified.

I also had to go 3 years without eating wheat. First sandwich I had after 3 years(that wasn't rice bread), I cried a little, it was that good.

Do you think your body got different sensory input because you hadn't eaten wheat in a long time?

Do you mean, did my taste buds change? I doubt it. You are trying really hard not to acknowledge the point. You've never been thirsty and appreciated water more than when you weren't as thirsty? You've never been hot and appreciated AC more than when you're not as hot?
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TheTruthAnalyst
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11/25/2011 12:22:59 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Sorry, I missed your question about lima beans(not bad if cooked correctly, horrible otherwise), burgers, and steak.

Yes, a burger would taste good if I had never been stuck eating crappy food. Yes, I appreciate it more(well, I don't eat burgers, but the point stands) because of what I've been through.

I appreciate so many mundane things, because I've had to go without. Before I went without, I never appreciated them.

Let me tell you, the first 18 years of my life, I don't think I ever appreciated being able to walk and run. One year, I got very sick and almost died. I couldn't get out of bed for over 4 months. It took 8 more months before I was able to hold down a 3-hour a day, 3 day a week job. 6 months after that, I was able to run, ski, etc, etc,

I'm much more appreciative now, and I enjoy things 10 times as much as I did before. That's what adversity does to us. It teaches us to really appreciate and enjoy the good stuff.
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Thaddeus
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11/25/2011 4:19:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Ok, so my question regards Jedi-ism; so emotions lead to the dark side right? And the function of the jedi is to be arbiters? Therefore the perfect jedi supposedly would have no emotions, which while allow them to be completely neutral, would also make them completely apathetic preventing them from being effective arbiters. The perfect jedi couldn't complete his function...
TheTruthAnalyst
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11/25/2011 5:15:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/25/2011 4:19:39 PM, Thaddeus wrote:
Ok, so my question regards Jedi-ism; so emotions lead to the dark side right? And the function of the jedi is to be arbiters? Therefore the perfect jedi supposedly would have no emotions, which while allow them to be completely neutral, would also make them completely apathetic preventing them from being effective arbiters. The perfect jedi couldn't complete his function...

Yoda alludes to the slippery slope of certain emotions, not all emotions, when he says "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering"

The Jedi taught that emotion shouldn't be the controlling force of our actions. Indeed, the original Jedi mantra stated "Emotion, yet peace." Acknowledging that emotion exists, but it is being able to act without being driven by emotion, aka, reckless action.

It is often said that the Force is The Way, meaning that the Force should actually be what drives our actions. It is clear that there are two Forces, or sides of the Force. The Light Side pushes towards peace, prosperity, and community. The Dark Side pushes toward individual gain and development. The Jedi adopted the Light Side of the Force precisely so they could act as arbiters, as it naturally pushes toward common prosperity.
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Dan4reason
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11/25/2011 5:45:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/24/2011 1:00:05 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:
If anybody is up for it, I'd like to try defending criticisms about religion. They can be historical arguments, specific arguments regarding any religious text, or teachings of any religion in particular.

My only request is to refrain from arguments regarding religions whose teachings and texts aren't readily available on the internet in English. If there is sufficient historic analysis, then I would consider that(for instance, beliefs of primitive tribes and such).

I am sorry to say this but the problem with religion is less of the bad things it has and more of the evidence it lacks. Not much of a discussion.

I will attack the idea of faith. Religious faith or the belief in things without evidence is irrational. Why would such irrationality and blindness even be considered?
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11/25/2011 6:12:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/25/2011 5:45:24 PM, Dan4reason wrote:
At 11/24/2011 1:00:05 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:
If anybody is up for it, I'd like to try defending criticisms about religion. They can be historical arguments, specific arguments regarding any religious text, or teachings of any religion in particular.

My only request is to refrain from arguments regarding religions whose teachings and texts aren't readily available on the internet in English. If there is sufficient historic analysis, then I would consider that(for instance, beliefs of primitive tribes and such).

I am sorry to say this but the problem with religion is less of the bad things it has and more of the evidence it lacks. Not much of a discussion.

I will attack the idea of faith. Religious faith or the belief in things without evidence is irrational. Why would such irrationality and blindness even be considered?

Personal belief isn't necessarily based on 0 evidence. Perhaps the mind is able to fake religious experiences, but many people claim to have had religious experiences. For them, it is more rational to have faith than to not.

When considering personal beliefs, we cannot define what is rational for somebody else by our own experiences. Our view of reality and what makes sense depends on our experiences.

If you had grown up on a tropical island, where it never got colder than 74 degrees F, never heard of or saw snow, the idea of water being a solid would be irrational to you. If someone was visiting and claimed to have held solid water, you would think they were crazy. Each of our frameworks for what we believe and think is based on experience.

So, how can you know what someone has or hasn't experienced? You can't, so you can't decide what is rational or irrational for them.

Aside from that, the belief that there are things that we don't know about is the key to all major discoveries and advancement.

Science is dedicated to discovering external truths. The best scientists are those who know they don't understand the smallest part of the universe.

Religion is dedicated to discovering internal truths. Just as with science, this is best done with an attitude of open-mindedness, or belief in that which you don't know yet.
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rogue
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11/26/2011 1:14:12 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/24/2011 4:51:10 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:
At 11/24/2011 4:32:06 PM, rogue wrote:
At 11/24/2011 3:25:09 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:
At 11/24/2011 2:12:29 PM, rogue wrote:
At 11/24/2011 1:00:05 PM, TheTruthAnalyst wrote:

Most people believe that God is all-good and all-knowing and all-powerful. I think that this is impossible.

If God was all-knowing, he must know the future yes?

Therefore he knew when he created Lucifer that Lucifer would bring evil and suffering into the world and try to destroy God's creations. He also would have known that Eve was going to screw up and eat the apple and that Adam would also. He must also know that all the evil people in the world will do the evil things they do.
If god is all-powerful, then in knowing these things he must have the power to change them before they happen. Yet clearly he let all these horrible things happen. That does not seem to me to be an all-good deity.

Psalms 147:5
"Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite."
God's understanding could be infinite in the sense that He understands everything that can be understood, but maybe some things can not be understood without being experienced.

there is evidence to support that those scriptures assert that God thinks that "some thing s cannot be understood without being experienced."

The Hebrew word is 'Shadday' meaning 'almighty; most powerful'. Either God can do anything, or God can do anything that can be done. Why would God test Abraham if he knew Abraham would be willing to sacrifice his son, unless the test was designed for Abraham's benefit?


If God did know, and the test was for the benefit of Abraham, then it would seem that there is no way for God to teach that lesson to Abraham except to let Abraham experience it.(In other words, simply teaching the lesson without experience isn't something that can be done, and since God can only do things that can be done, it is something that He can't do.)

First of all, how did Abraham benefit from the teachings? And also God cannot be all-powerful and not be able to do certain things because they "can't be done". There is no reason to believe that certain things "cannot be done". He is then not all-powerful. Also, if God is all-powerful he should be able to teach in better ways than making someone sacrifice their son. He should be able to make someone understand something just by willing it to be so. Is that experience really worth the lesson?

I can think of at least one lesson. Extreme humility. Having your only child, when you were expected to go through life without child, be offered as a sacrifice allows you to put aside your pride and submit yourself to God as a child would.

What? That has absolutely nothing to do with pride! When your only child is forced to be sacrificed, you aren't thinking "oh man, this is so embarrassing" you are thinking "im devastated because I just lost my only child!"

Just because you have the most power out of any being in the universe doesn't mean you can do anything. There are universal laws that cannot be broken.

So God is not all powerful? How are his powers defined? How do we know what he can and cannot do? Why can he do some things and not others? Didn't he create the universe? If it is within the laws of that universe he cannot do everything, didn't he make that so? So he was at one time all-powerful? Could he then change it?

I think you would have to ask Abraham if the experience was worth the lesson. Could you imagine his appreciation for his son after that event?

It seems to me that God made him sacrifice his son because he meant so much to him so that would not be the lesson learned. Since no lesson was clearly shown in the Bible to have been learned, we only know that God made abraham suffer, apparently for no reason.

A parent has to let their children grow up, even when they would rather wrap up their children in bubble wrap and protect them from the world. It is through experience that we gain knowledge and wisdom. Perhaps mortality is God's way of letting us 'grow up'.

I'm so sick of hearing this parent-child comparison. Parents are not like God because they are not all-powerful or all-knowing. Parents would also not subject their child to horrible things such as making them sacrifice their son even if it gave them a greater understanding. I would not subject my child to rape even though it might make them a stronger person with more wisdom and understanding in the end. If I could make my child understand everything they needed to without putting them in harm's way, I would. God is all-powerful, he should be able to do this.

If. If is the key word. If God is most-powerful, then it doesn't mean He necessarily could. The parent-child comparison holds because we are God's children.

But God clearly has powers that parents do not have. Knowing the future means he could have changed it and designed the world so that suffering wasn't necessary. If he could apparently not do this, that makes no sense because that would imply that he answers to some higher contingency and constraints which contradicts the idea that he created the universe and that he is the most powerful being. Unless there is something that exists outside our universe that God has to follow.

Also, if God is all-knowing, then how could we expect to understand His mind? Unless you claim to be all-knowing, then you can't claim to know what is universally best for mankind.

Then he is requiring us to put blind faith in him which I refuse to do.


God intervenes with men who execute his counsel to bring about his plans for us. It would seem that everything that happens on Earth, good and bad, is part of God's plan.

So he wants those starving people around the world? The rape and murder victims? I refuse to praise a God that plans for these things to happen to his children. I do not see how you can honestly say that that is a good deity.

God doesn't make the bad things to happen. He plans to allow us to have free-will. If we didn't have free will, there would be no point to existence. We would be nothing more than machines or programs.

Still, you have still admitted that rape, murder, and every horrible thing is part of his plan. If God creates us and can see the future, then he knows what we will do throughout our entire lives and could have changed us during creation so that we do other things yes? So everything we do must be what God wants us to do yes? So since he creates us knowing what we will do during our lives, he basically programs and it is all his will, therefore, no free will.

However, millions(billions?) of believers are happy to bear their burdens under the watchfulness of Christ. To them, although it is a burden, it is just a passing problem that leads to happiness that can't be known any other way.

This is because faith gives a lot of comfort. To think that there is someone who loves you, that you have purpose, that the evil will be punished, that there is life after death, are all comforting ideas. But I think truth is more important.


Can God stop bad people from doing bad things? Couldn't He just kill anyone before they hurt someone else? Perhaps, but it doesn't seem to be part of God's plan.

Then God is evil.

Why? God isn't the one that causes bad things to happen. That's the same erroneous cause/effect argument when people call guns evil.

If God allows evil to happen when he can stop it, he is evil. Bystanders are almost as bad as perpetrators. God has no excuse because unlike people bystanders, he has nothing to fear. Guns are completely different than people or God. Guns don't have consciousness or choice. God does.

Sorry I had to cut ou