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"My Ways Are Higher Than Your Ways..."

popculturepooka
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2/18/2013 11:58:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've noticed something strangely curious that seems to regularly come up with large swathes of the Christian population (and may be other Abrahamic theists). When confronted with images of God that seem to be cruel, vindictive and morally offensive to the nth degree (i.e. God committing genocide/ordering humans to commit genocide, torturing people for all eternity, etc, etc) some will punt to the "my ways are higher than your ways, my thoughts are higher than your thoughts" argument. As if to say," I don't how such a seemingly cruel depiction of God could be true, but his understanding and actions are so different in kind from humans' that it would be the height presumptousness and arrogance to 'judge' God's character. We are like infants compared to God so of course things that seem wrong to us on the deepest level have no bearing on determining whether God is actually ike that." (Many will, of course, admit that these images trouble them - at least in their "weaker" moments.)

My question is this: have people read the passage and the book of Isaiah this quote comes from in full?

The book of Isaiah is all about God showing his mercy and love to Israel's enemies and them coming to repentance - it does nothing to bolster the argument that seemingly evil actions attributed to God can be "defended" by appealing to this passage. If anything, it shows that his mercy and love far exceed human capacity, and in that particular sense in context his ways and thoughts are higher than ours.

"Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:6"9)"

I don't get it. Someone want to enlighten me?
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philochristos
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2/18/2013 12:15:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It seems to me that Isaiah is invoking a general principle about God's ways and thoughts being different than ours, and he's applying it to God's compassion in fulfilling his promises. But that doesn't mean that's the only situation the general principle can be applied to. It seems to me that it could apply to any situation in which God's actions are inexplicable to us.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Pennington
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2/20/2013 12:50:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:6"9)":

I don't get it. Someone want to enlighten me?:

It means you should find God while you are able. While you are close enough to Him to repent then you should before your ways blind you from God. It is clear that we can not and do not act or think as God does. This means that the greatest, morally speaking, person to ever live becomes 100% wicked to God's moral. This means that the most intelligent person who ever lived is a imbecile compared to God.
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Polaris
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2/20/2013 1:05:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I have no problem with someone stating that God's ways are incomprehensible to man as long as it is argued consistently, however the problem I see is that this argument isn't applied consistently. Generally speaking Christians don't purport any such incomprehension when making other assertions about what God wills, or about what God would or would not do (see Problem of evil thread). Applied inconsistently this way, the argument becomes a sort of thought-terminating cliche` when cornered by atheists.
philochristos
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2/20/2013 1:40:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Polaris, why is it inconsistent to say there are something we understand about God and some things we don't?
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Pennington
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2/20/2013 1:59:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/20/2013 1:40:26 PM, philochristos wrote:
Polaris, why is it inconsistent to say there are something we understand about God and some things we don't?
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popculturepooka
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2/20/2013 2:11:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/18/2013 12:15:19 PM, philochristos wrote:
It seems to me that Isaiah is invoking a general principle about God's ways and thoughts being different than ours, and he's applying it to God's compassion in fulfilling his promises. But that doesn't mean that's the only situation the general principle can be applied to. It seems to me that it could apply to any situation in which God's actions are inexplicable to us.

Suppose this were true and one could invoke this defense and make God's character inexplicably compatible with any claim - wouldn't this strip properties like God's "goodness" of ANY meaning?
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philochristos
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2/20/2013 2:18:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/20/2013 2:11:01 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 2/18/2013 12:15:19 PM, philochristos wrote:
It seems to me that Isaiah is invoking a general principle about God's ways and thoughts being different than ours, and he's applying it to God's compassion in fulfilling his promises. But that doesn't mean that's the only situation the general principle can be applied to. It seems to me that it could apply to any situation in which God's actions are inexplicable to us.

Suppose this were true and one could invoke this defense and make God's character inexplicably compatible with any claim - wouldn't this strip properties like God's "goodness" of ANY meaning?

There would be no reason to invoke the principle unless you were trying to reconcile to claims you knew to both be true. So I don't think it makes sense to apply it to just any claim. So no, I don't think it would strip God's "goodness" of meaning, although it might strip us of false assumptions about what God's goodness entails.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Polaris
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2/20/2013 2:22:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/20/2013 1:40:26 PM, philochristos wrote:
Polaris, why is it inconsistent to say there are something we understand about God and some things we don't?

It isn't unless we are asserting the incomprehensibility of God not simply in instances where information is lacking, but where information is present but that it is unfavorable information. Either you can know God through scripture, or you can't. There is no having it both ways, otherwise it's merely self-imposed incomprehensibility.
Pennington
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2/20/2013 2:29:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/20/2013 2:22:49 PM, Polaris wrote:
At 2/20/2013 1:40:26 PM, philochristos wrote:
Polaris, why is it inconsistent to say there are something we understand about God and some things we don't?

It isn't unless we are asserting the incomprehensibility of God not simply in instances where information is lacking, but where information is present but that it is unfavorable information. Either you can know God through scripture, or you can't. There is no having it both ways, otherwise it's merely self-imposed incomprehensibility.:

What is incomprehensible is to say that we either know all about God or we do not. We do know God through scripture but scripture can not gives us everything that entails God. There are things that are evident about God, somethings that could or could not be true about God(its up to interpretation.) Then there are things that the Bible just does not say about God or we can not understand what it says about God because of our inferior mental capacity.
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philochristos
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2/20/2013 3:45:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/20/2013 2:22:49 PM, Polaris wrote:
Either you can know God through scripture, or you can't.

I think you can know some things about God through scripture, but you can't know all things about God through scripture. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Polaris
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2/20/2013 3:55:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/20/2013 3:45:25 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 2/20/2013 2:22:49 PM, Polaris wrote:
Either you can know God through scripture, or you can't.

I think you can know some things about God through scripture, but you can't know all things about God through scripture. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

The question isn't a question of knowing about God but rather comprehending his ways, wills, and motives through scripture. Why is it that we may infer god's motives in Verses X but not in verses Y? It amounts to picking and choosing when we want Gods' ways, wills, and motives to be clear, and when we want it to be shrouded in mystery when seemingly contradictory characteristics are apparent. It's a cop out.
Paradox_7
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2/20/2013 4:13:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/20/2013 3:55:15 PM, Polaris wrote:
At 2/20/2013 3:45:25 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 2/20/2013 2:22:49 PM, Polaris wrote:
Either you can know God through scripture, or you can't.

I think you can know some things about God through scripture, but you can't know all things about God through scripture. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

The question isn't a question of knowing about God but rather comprehending his ways, wills, and motives through scripture. Why is it that we may infer god's motives in Verses X but not in verses Y? It amounts to picking and choosing when we want Gods' ways, wills, and motives to be clear, and when we want it to be shrouded in mystery when seemingly contradictory characteristics are apparent. It's a cop out.

We'll never understand what Gods will is in full, but we may understand it in part. This doesn't mean we are wrong, but that our understanding is rather incomplete.

This isn't picking and choosing, this is acknowleding that some things in scripture are either meant for a more learned person to teach to us, or for God to reveal to us in his own good time and pleasure.

Just because I may not be able to explain it, and say that it's a mystery of God ways being higher then mine, doesn't mean a more wise person cannot explain it.

Do you have any examples of scripture which Christians tend to say are incomrehensible?
: At 10/23/2012 8:06:03 PM, tvellalott wrote:
: Don't be. The Catholic Church is ran by Darth Sidius for fvck sake. As far as I'm concerned, you're a bona fide member of the Sith.
Polaris
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2/20/2013 4:41:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/20/2013 4:13:07 PM, Paradox_7 wrote:
At 2/20/2013 3:55:15 PM, Polaris wrote:
At 2/20/2013 3:45:25 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 2/20/2013 2:22:49 PM, Polaris wrote:
Either you can know God through scripture, or you can't.

I think you can know some things about God through scripture, but you can't know all things about God through scripture. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

The question isn't a question of knowing about God but rather comprehending his ways, wills, and motives through scripture. Why is it that we may infer god's motives in Verses X but not in verses Y? It amounts to picking and choosing when we want Gods' ways, wills, and motives to be clear, and when we want it to be shrouded in mystery when seemingly contradictory characteristics are apparent. It's a cop out.

We'll never understand what Gods will is in full, but we may understand it in part. This doesn't mean we are wrong, but that our understanding is rather incomplete.

This isn't picking and choosing, this is acknowleding that some things in scripture are either meant for a more learned person to teach to us, or for God to reveal to us in his own good time and pleasure.

Just because I may not be able to explain it, and say that it's a mystery of God ways being higher then mine, doesn't mean a more wise person cannot explain it.

Do you have any examples of scripture which Christians tend to say are incomrehensible?

Then you exclude even the possibility of contradiction of character by design.
sadolite
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2/20/2013 4:50:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It means that there is a being or creator smarter than you.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
Polaris
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2/20/2013 5:47:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/20/2013 4:50:48 PM, sadolite wrote:
It means that there is a being or creator smarter than you.

This would mean that absolutely anything you Believe about the ways, will or motives of Yahweh could be wrong, and not simply that which you disagree with.
Paradox_7
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2/20/2013 8:52:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/20/2013 4:41:06 PM, Polaris wrote:
Then you exclude even the possibility of contradiction of character by design.

You mean, that I deny any possibility of contradiction being on purpose? So more like a paradox?
: At 10/23/2012 8:06:03 PM, tvellalott wrote:
: Don't be. The Catholic Church is ran by Darth Sidius for fvck sake. As far as I'm concerned, you're a bona fide member of the Sith.
MouthWash
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2/21/2013 12:31:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Yeah, I grew up reading stories of how the Israelites offered treaties to any people willing to make peace, not the genocidal invasion Richards Dawkins loves.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
Polaris
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2/21/2013 8:09:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/20/2013 8:52:56 PM, Paradox_7 wrote:
At 2/20/2013 4:41:06 PM, Polaris wrote:
Then you exclude even the possibility of contradiction of character by design.

You mean, that I deny any possibility of contradiction being on purpose? So more like a paradox?

No, I can how what I said might be confusing. Let me put it in another way:

Whatever God's character, whether Benevolent or malevolent, whether peaceful and loving or capricious and genocidal it can always be rationalized. Whenever God is described as acting in a way contrary to what a benevolent deity would, we can always rationalize it as "God's ways are not our ways", it's a thought-terminating cliche`and is only ever invoked when contradiction is found. Anything can be rationalized in this way and so when you pick and choose when God is mysterious and when he's not, it ceases to be a useful or honest explanation.
YYW
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2/21/2013 8:20:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/18/2013 11:58:41 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
I've noticed something strangely curious that seems to regularly come up with large swathes of the Christian population (and may be other Abrahamic theists). When confronted with images of God that seem to be cruel, vindictive and morally offensive to the nth degree (i.e. God committing genocide/ordering humans to commit genocide, torturing people for all eternity, etc, etc) some will punt to the "my ways are higher than your ways, my thoughts are higher than your thoughts" argument. As if to say," I don't how such a seemingly cruel depiction of God could be true, but his understanding and actions are so different in kind from humans' that it would be the height presumptousness and arrogance to 'judge' God's character. We are like infants compared to God so of course things that seem wrong to us on the deepest level have no bearing on determining whether God is actually ike that." (Many will, of course, admit that these images trouble them - at least in their "weaker" moments.)

My question is this: have people read the passage and the book of Isaiah this quote comes from in full?

The book of Isaiah is all about God showing his mercy and love to Israel's enemies and them coming to repentance - it does nothing to bolster the argument that seemingly evil actions attributed to God can be "defended" by appealing to this passage. If anything, it shows that his mercy and love far exceed human capacity, and in that particular sense in context his ways and thoughts are higher than ours.

"Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:6"9)"

I don't get it. Someone want to enlighten me?

I don't get it either... but then again my mind is blown when I see most people on DDO talk about Christianity or religion in general, such that it fascinates me how people form the beliefs that they have and how strangely some people interpret things.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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2/21/2013 8:23:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/20/2013 3:45:25 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 2/20/2013 2:22:49 PM, Polaris wrote:
Either you can know God through scripture, or you can't.

I think you can know some things about God through scripture, but you can't know all things about God through scripture. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

This.

There are degrees of understanding.
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Paradox_7
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2/21/2013 11:48:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/21/2013 8:09:52 AM, Polaris wrote:
At 2/20/2013 8:52:56 PM, Paradox_7 wrote:
At 2/20/2013 4:41:06 PM, Polaris wrote:
Then you exclude even the possibility of contradiction of character by design.

You mean, that I deny any possibility of contradiction being on purpose? So more like a paradox?

No, I can how what I said might be confusing. Let me put it in another way:

Whatever God's character, whether Benevolent or malevolent, whether peaceful and loving or capricious and genocidal it can always be rationalized.

Well, the God I believe in isn't just Love and Peace. He's Just, Righteous, Holy, and hates sin. So, if we find judgement within the scriptures, it's completely within his nature to do such things, and its completely within his rights as creator. This isn't a contradiction.

Whenever God is described as acting in a way contrary to what a benevolent deity would, we can always rationalize it as "God's ways are not our ways", it's a thought-terminating cliche`and is only ever invoked when contradiction is found.

Well this is just the thing, you assume that God commanding men to slaughter an entire race isn't benevolent. I understand how counter-intuitive this may be, but God in his perfect knowledge, determined that to bring about the purpose of his good will, this needed to be done. If God is real, and he is this God, do you think it's possible that he has a better idea of what is good and what isn't than us? Or would you trust your own inuitive moral nature over his? The author.

Anything can be rationalized in this way and so when you pick and choose when God is mysterious and when he's not, it ceases to be a useful or honest explanation.

It's all a big mystery polaris. There is nothing that we understand completely, and yes we could very well be wrong about a lot of things. However, he has given us baby-food of truth, something that we could digest and grasp of the concept of his glory. He could reveal all the truth to us, because we would die; as it goes "You can't handle the truth!".. lol

So, this can be very dissatisfying to those who expect that all answers are owed to them, but to me, this is an exercise in humility and sober-mindedness.
: At 10/23/2012 8:06:03 PM, tvellalott wrote:
: Don't be. The Catholic Church is ran by Darth Sidius for fvck sake. As far as I'm concerned, you're a bona fide member of the Sith.
Polaris
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2/21/2013 2:54:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/21/2013 11:48:22 AM, Paradox_7 wrote:
Well, the God I believe in isn't just Love and Peace. He's Just, Righteous, Holy, and hates sin. So, if we find judgement within the scriptures, it's completely within his nature to do such things, and its completely within his rights as creator. This isn't a contradiction.

It's not a question of "rights" it's a question of what is morally good. If there is no extent to which a will can be exerted that would encompass something "morally bad" then any claim of goodness is negated. If God cannot (not will not, but cannot) act in a way that is bad, then any claim that he is good becomes instantly meaningless. Good can only be an attribute where bad is possible. This merits repeating:

Good can only be an attribute where bad is possible.

Well this is just the thing, you assume that God commanding men to slaughter an entire race isn't benevolent.

...and here comes the gratuitous mental gymnastics.

I understand how counter-intuitive this may be, but God in his perfect knowledge, determined that to bring about the purpose of his good will, this needed to be done. If God is real, and he is this God, do you think it's possible that he has a better idea of what is good and what isn't than us? Or would you trust your own inuitive moral nature over his? The author.

This epitomizes precisely everything I said was wrong with this line of reasoning. Not only must pick and choose where to apply this apparent incomprehensibility, but even if true there is no reason to assert that whatever unknown motive there is, could just as easily be a good motive as a bad one. You assume there must be some unknown good reason, but you do not know what it is, and cannot prove that there even is one, and yet you assume it nevertheless, and you do this to avoid the inevitable realization. The realization that the bible represents the cultural mores, and beliefs of the people who wrote it. To argue anything else is untenable.

It's all a big mystery polaris. There is nothing that we understand completely, and yes we could very well be wrong about a lot of things.

Then preachers have nothing left to preach. If we cannot even be certain that genocide is evil, then we cannot be certain of much of anything. If everything is a mystery then you cannot rationally assert anything. Your theology is self-defeating. Are you sure you want to commit to this argument?

So, this can be very dissatisfying to those who expect that all answers are owed to them, but to me, this is an exercise in humility and sober-mindedness.

The problem isn't that we expect answers where there are none, but rather that we already have answers that are not congruous with customary beliefs.
popculturepooka
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2/21/2013 6:47:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/20/2013 2:18:17 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 2/20/2013 2:11:01 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 2/18/2013 12:15:19 PM, philochristos wrote:
It seems to me that Isaiah is invoking a general principle about God's ways and thoughts being different than ours, and he's applying it to God's compassion in fulfilling his promises. But that doesn't mean that's the only situation the general principle can be applied to. It seems to me that it could apply to any situation in which God's actions are inexplicable to us.

Suppose this were true and one could invoke this defense and make God's character inexplicably compatible with any claim - wouldn't this strip properties like God's "goodness" of ANY meaning?

There would be no reason to invoke the principle unless you were trying to reconcile to claims you knew to both be true. So I don't think it makes sense to apply it to just any claim. So no, I don't think it would strip God's "goodness" of meaning, although it might strip us of false assumptions about what God's goodness entails.

Suppose the following

A) I truly believe God wants me to drown my children to save their very souls ala Andrea Yates
B) I believe God is good.
C) I'm not sure how to reconcile the claims in any explicit way, but "God's ways and thoughts are higher than me" so A) must be compatible with B).

Why couldn't I make use of C)?
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1Devilsadvocate
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2/21/2013 8:05:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/18/2013 11:58:41 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
I've noticed something strangely curious that seems to regularly come up with large swathes of the Christian population (and may be other Abrahamic theists). When confronted with images of God that seem to be cruel, vindictive and morally offensive to the nth degree (i.e. God committing genocide/ordering humans to commit genocide, torturing people for all eternity, etc, etc) some will punt to the "my ways are higher than your ways, my thoughts are higher than your thoughts" argument. As if to say," I don't how such a seemingly cruel depiction of God could be true, but his understanding and actions are so different in kind from humans' that it would be the height presumptousness and arrogance to 'judge' God's character. We are like infants compared to God so of course things that seem wrong to us on the deepest level have no bearing on determining whether God is actually ike that." (Many will, of course, admit that these images trouble them - at least in their "weaker" moments.)

My question is this: have people read the passage and the book of Isaiah this quote comes from in full?

The book of Isaiah is all about God showing his mercy and love to Israel's enemies and them coming to repentance - it does nothing to bolster the argument that seemingly evil actions attributed to God can be "defended" by appealing to this passage. If anything, it shows that his mercy and love far exceed human capacity, and in that particular sense in context his ways and thoughts are higher than ours.

"Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:6"9)"

I don't get it. Someone want to enlighten me?

I'm not sure that I see the problem.
Some times context changes the meaning of somthing, but I don't see how that applies here.
The fact of the matter remains the same we cannot fully understand all of gods way.

Furthermore, I don't see why a verse is even required.
I cannot write in English, because of the treacherous spelling. When I am reading, I only hear it and am unable to remember what the written word looks like."
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mattrodstrom
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2/22/2013 4:05:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/21/2013 6:47:30 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 2/20/2013 2:18:17 PM, philochristos wrote:
A) I truly believe God wants me to drown my children to save their very souls ala Andrea Yates
B) I believe God is good.
C) I'm not sure how to reconcile the claims in any explicit way, but "God's ways and thoughts are higher than me" so A) must be compatible with B).

Why couldn't I make use of C)?

B/c (in asserting A) you'd be a liar :P

God, being all-powerful, and Truly Good, wouldn't allow you to think he really wanted you to kill your children...

He'd intercede....
He'd show you the right path.
People like miss Yates have turned from god, and they make excuses and lie, perhaps even to themselves :P

Just like how, though the pope's not God, when the pope invokes whatever the thing is which means That he speaks God's perspective, that you can Trust that he truly does...
B/C god wouldn't allow such an important figure to lie to God's flock like that, it would be a horrible travesty, and so is, of course, Impossible.
(least that was how it was explained to me)
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Paradox_7
Posts: 1,870
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2/22/2013 8:01:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Sorry Polaris..

I've spent a lot of time responding to your post only to have a stupid f*cking missed key completey close the window twice!!

You're assertions are very interesting and rather true to and extent, and I'd like to continue our discourse, but I probably won't have the patience to re-type all of it out until this weekend.. lol
: At 10/23/2012 8:06:03 PM, tvellalott wrote:
: Don't be. The Catholic Church is ran by Darth Sidius for fvck sake. As far as I'm concerned, you're a bona fide member of the Sith.
Polaris
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2/22/2013 9:26:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/22/2013 8:01:03 PM, Paradox_7 wrote:
Sorry Polaris..

I've spent a lot of time responding to your post only to have a stupid f*cking missed key completey close the window twice!!

You're assertions are very interesting and rather true to and extent, and I'd like to continue our discourse, but I probably won't have the patience to re-type all of it out until this weekend.. lol

No worries. It's happened to me before. Quite frustrating it is.
Paradox_7
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2/23/2013 4:25:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/21/2013 2:54:41 PM, Polaris wrote:
It's not a question of "rights" it's a question of what is morally good. If there is no extent to which a will can be exerted that would encompass something "morally bad" then any claim of goodness is negated.

It's a matter of Nature, as I will explain a bit more below. If God cannot commit evil, then by direct result all things he has a "right" to do, are good.

If God cannot (not will not, but cannot) act in a way that is bad, then any claim that he is good becomes instantly meaningless. Good can only be an attribute where bad is possible. This merits repeating:

Good can only be an attribute where bad is possible.

If God cannot act in a bad/evil way, then good isn't meaningless; it is defined. What is good? Things of God (his nature). What is bad? Things outside of God (his nature). There is no such abstract deffinition of good outside of God.

This is where we're at an impasse. The source of my understanding of good, comes from God's word (what I believe is his word, that is), and your understanding of good comes from your own opinion; things that are the least bit counter-intuitive, and the most appealing.

It is quite the opposite: Bad can only be an attribute, where God is not.

Well this is just the thing, you assume that God commanding men to slaughter an entire race isn't benevolent.

...and here comes the gratuitous mental gymnastics.

Lol, if that is gymnastics, then your response is olympic dodgeball..

This epitomizes precisely everything I said was wrong with this line of reasoning. Not only must pick and choose where to apply this apparent incomprehensibility, but even if true there is no reason to assert that whatever unknown motive there is, could just as easily be a good motive as a bad one.

I understand, what you mean, and I believe many people are guilty of this. However, there has to be some sort of appeal in it. There is almost none for me. My beliefs are the exact opposite of every religion in the world. I don't pick and choose when I don't understand something, and I certainly would lie and say it's a mystery simply because I don't want to admit that scripture is contradicting somthing essential to what I believe.

This is usually impossible for a monergist (imo).

But, I'm wondering if you actually have some example of scripture that tends to be unreasonably labeled "a mystery". I'd like to see them if you do.

You assume there must be some unknown good reason, but you do not know what it is, and cannot prove that there even is one, and yet you assume it nevertheless, and you do this to avoid the inevitable realization. The realization that the bible represents the cultural mores, and beliefs of the people who wrote it. To argue anything else is untenable.

No. Though we may be ignorant to the full extent of good which God purposed, we can certainly convieve of it in part. There is nothing to avoid.

I wouldn't argue against the bible representing that, at all, thats completely true. Whats untenable though, is to assert that it ONLY represents them. There isn't a useless word in the bible... its timeless, and it's teachings are painfully true.

Then preachers have nothing left to preach. If we cannot even be certain that genocide is evil, then we cannot be certain of much of anything. If everything is a mystery then you cannot rationally assert anything. Your theology is self-defeating. Are you sure you want to commit to this argument?

Lol, I'm sure. because my pastor doesn't get up at the puplit and say: "today we're gonna talk about murder", or "our lesson today is on lying". We focus on the word of God, and Christ in every page. My theology God/Christ centered, not man centered. Only time a human will is mentioned, is when we're talking about evil.

There is no moral lesson in my church bro. We learn about God, and all the things HES done.

Look up 5-point calvinism: TULIP.

The problem isn't that we expect answers where there are none, but rather that we already have answers that are not congruous with customary beliefs.

Hmm.. So you choose the most appealing answers. I think I said this already.
: At 10/23/2012 8:06:03 PM, tvellalott wrote:
: Don't be. The Catholic Church is ran by Darth Sidius for fvck sake. As far as I'm concerned, you're a bona fide member of the Sith.
Polaris
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2/24/2013 10:28:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/23/2013 4:25:19 PM, Paradox_7 wrote:
At 2/21/2013 2:54:41 PM, Polaris wrote:
It's not a question of "rights" it's a question of what is morally good. If there is no extent to which a will can be exerted that would encompass something "morally bad" then any claim of goodness is negated.

It's a matter of Nature, as I will explain a bit more below. If God cannot commit evil, then by direct result all things he has a "right" to do, are good.

If God can command rape, murder, and infanticide, then he is not good in any meaningful sense.

If God cannot (not will not, but cannot) act in a way that is bad, then any claim that he is good becomes instantly meaningless. Good can only be an attribute where bad is possible. This merits repeating:

Good can only be an attribute where bad is possible.


If God cannot act in a bad/evil way, then good isn't meaningless; it is defined. What is good? Things of God (his nature). What is bad? Things outside of God (his nature). There is no such abstract deffinition of good outside of God.

Then you have another problem. If you were to define "good" in this way, then genocide and infanticide suddenly become "good", but also other things which you may believe to be good, such as helping the elderly to cross the street, would have no basis. Anything that has not been explicitly done or said by God would be morally ambiguous. It would be a pragmatically and ethically indefensible understanding of "good".

If our reading of the old testament is to be believed, the book of Joshua in particular, we come to a sort of dilemma. Either God acts and commands actions, of things that would be intuitively immoral for man to do, or God himself is immoral for such things, or Pillaging, Genocide, and Infanticide are morally acceptable despite the fact that they violate other commandments and our basic sense of shared intuition or morality itself is relative and changes from one time to the next, and from one people to the next.

This is where we're at an impasse. The source of my understanding of good, comes from God's word (what I believe is his word, that is), and your understanding of good comes from your own opinion; things that are the least bit counter-intuitive, and the most appealing.

There isn't even any agreement amongst Christians of what is moral. Whether you want to admit it or not, your understanding of Good still constitutes your opinion.

I understand, what you mean, and I believe many people are guilty of this. However, there has to be some sort of appeal in it. There is almost none for me. My beliefs are the exact opposite of every religion in the world. I don't pick and choose when I don't understand something, and I certainly would lie and say it's a mystery simply because I don't want to admit that scripture is contradicting somthing essential to what I believe.

Well at least you are consistent.

But, I'm wondering if you actually have some example of scripture that tends to be unreasonably labeled "a mystery". I'd like to see them if you do.

The gruesome massacre of all men, women and children at Jericho.

Lol, I'm sure. because my pastor doesn't get up at the puplit and say: "today we're gonna talk about murder", or "our lesson today is on lying". We focus on the word of God, and Christ in every page. My theology God/Christ centered, not man centered. Only time a human will is mentioned, is when we're talking about evil.

If everything is a mystery, as you've said, this would include even the things your preacher does teach.