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Reconciling the attributes of God

gr33k_fr33k5
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12/4/2009 5:09:55 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I am aiming this topic at Christians on this site, as a Christian I just want to see some good ideas about how to reconcile God's attributes, namely his mercy and his wrath. Both of which are clearly shown in the Bible, and I want to know some arguments regarding said attributes.

Any non-Christians, feel free to post but don't say anything . .. . stupid
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DevinKing
Posts: 206
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12/4/2009 5:24:56 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I think that before we can have any sort of meaningful discussion on this topic, we must first establish the exact attributes which we are going to reconcile.
After demonstrating his existence with complete certainty with the proposition "I think, therefore I am", Descartes walks into a bar, sitting next to a gorgeous priest. The priest asks Descartes, "Would you like a drink?" Descartes responds, "I think not," and then proceeds to vanish in a puff of illogic.
gr33k_fr33k5
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12/4/2009 7:01:32 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/4/2009 5:24:56 PM, DevinKing wrote:
I think that before we can have any sort of meaningful discussion on this topic, we must first establish the exact attributes which we are going to reconcile.

mercy and wrath/judgement
I am free, free indeed!

ignorance is bliss
IndigoVagabond
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12/4/2009 8:47:49 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
As with any discussion dealing with God, it's important to keep in mind that He isn't bound by the limitations of our reality. When I say this I am specifically referring to God's 'personality'. He doesn't have moods. He exists in a perpetual state of perfection; therefore, emotions cannot have any measure of control over his perception like they would with any of us.

God's love for his children is never ending. He never stops loving us; however, He also cannot tolerate our sin. It goes against His very nature - he hates it. This does not mean he stops loving us. On the contrary, that's where his infinite mercy comes in.

Mercy:
"If someone in authority shows mercy, they choose not to harm someone they have power over, or they forgive someone they have the right to punish."

God's mercy could not exist without His wrath. His wrath is a result of His hate towards sin. Those that follow Him are able to experience His mercy because Jesus already experienced God's wrath for them. Those that choose not to follow Him, must suffer His wrath for themselves. Judgment is unavoidable.

Wrath is often viewed as negative by people, because nobody likes the thought of pain and suffering. Subsequently, they make excuses. They will try and find loopholes around God's wrath or right out deny He even exists at that point. If God is wrathful, He must be evil. Wrath is necessary. Without it, He would be evil. That would mean that God has no negative view of that which is evil.

God's wrath is cleansing. He seeks to rid the world all that is tainted. We are to have a guilty conscience, knowing full well we deserve every bit of His wrath. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Prov. 1:7)

In a world filled with a mankind that desires only instant-gratification and not hard work, reward without suffering, pleasure without sorrow, when will they stop to consider how it will all catch up with them? Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
gr33k_fr33k5
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12/5/2009 3:03:07 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
and I really like the part about without wrath he would be evil . .. . never thought about it that way. . .
I am free, free indeed!

ignorance is bliss
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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12/5/2009 3:14:01 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/4/2009 8:47:49 PM, IndigoVagabond wrote:
As with any discussion dealing with God, it's important to keep in mind that He isn't bound by the limitations of our reality.

When I say this I am specifically referring to God's 'personality'. He doesn't have moods. He exists in a perpetual state of perfection; therefore, emotions cannot have any measure of control over his perception like they would with any of us.

God's love for his children is never ending. He never stops loving us; however, He also cannot tolerate our sin. It goes against His very nature - he hates it. This does not mean he stops loving us. On the contrary, that's where his infinite mercy comes in.

You don't even know if he exists, so how can you claim to know what God wants, what he feels, and what he dislikes?
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
IndigoVagabond
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12/5/2009 3:59:53 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
My explanation is based on the assumption that the bible is the divinely inspired word of God, therefore, infallible. I view my claims not as opinion but an interpretation of what the bible says. Challenging the legitimacy of what I said is more of a challenge to the bible containing truth about God's nature.

Of course I'm an imperfect human being and I could very well be wrong. I do the best that I can based on my research.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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12/5/2009 4:13:44 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/5/2009 3:59:53 PM, IndigoVagabond wrote:
My explanation is based on the assumption that the bible is the divinely inspired word of God, therefore, infallible.

First of all, assumptions aren't valid. Second of all, there's no good reason to choose the Bible over any other religious doctrine.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
IndigoVagabond
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12/5/2009 4:22:35 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I know the bible is the word of God. The word assumption was thrown in for the sake of your perspective. If you assume A is true, then B must be true. You asked 'how', and I explained it.

Also, if assumptions are invalid, why did you just make one? A rather absolute one at that. To prove you wrong I wouldn't even have to prove the bible is superior to any other religious doctrine, just that there exists a good/reasonable basis for believing that it is. What is considered 'good' is also subjective.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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12/5/2009 4:33:36 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/5/2009 4:22:35 PM, IndigoVagabond wrote:
I know the bible is the word of God.

"Believe" is more like it.

The word assumption was thrown in for the sake of your perspective. If you assume A is true, then B must be true. You asked 'how', and I explained it.

That's true, given the topic of this thread, but anywhere else, premise A is never assumed to be true.

Also, if assumptions are invalid, why did you just make one? A rather absolute one at that.

I don't see where I made an assumption.

To prove you wrong I wouldn't even have to prove the bible is superior to any other religious doctrine, just that there exists a good/reasonable basis for believing that it is.

If there is a good/reasonable basis to believe the Bible over any others, that would already make the Bible superior to any other doctrine.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
IndigoVagabond
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12/5/2009 5:13:18 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
"Believe" always makes it sound like there's no evidence or logical reasoning supporting the truth of what's in question.

Believe
1. If you believe that something is true, you think that it is true, but you are not sure.

I am very sure. While I have a dictionary handy anyway:

Assume
1. If you assume that something is true, you imagine that it is true, sometimes wrongly.

To me, it is a clear assumption to think there is no good reason to prove the bible is more believable than any other religious doctrine. If I have a reason to believe the bible over one other doctrine, it doesn't automatically mean that reason applies to all others. It could be evidence within the bible that is a proven fact, which creates fallacies in another doctrine.

Unless I'm mistaken, you think no religious doctrine has any shred of evidence so they are all at the bottom together - not one better than any other. So, if my doctrine had even one piece of evidence that proved that, it would put it above all others. I'm positive you haven't studied every single religious doctrine in the history of mankind, inspecting everything claimed to be evidence, to validate that they are all equally baseless.
Alex
Posts: 2,058
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12/9/2009 9:41:55 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/5/2009 4:13:44 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

First of all, assumptions aren't valid. Second of all, there's no good reason to choose the Bible over any other religious doctrine.

Debate? =D
Why kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?
gr33k_fr33k5
Posts: 321
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12/9/2009 3:21:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/5/2009 4:33:36 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

If there is a good/reasonable basis to believe the Bible over any others, that would already make the Bible superior to any other doctrine.

this basis may not be good/reasonable, however out of personal expirience with the mormon religion and christianity. . . . I know without a doubt that the Christian religion (and the Bible its based on) is "superior" to the mormon doctrine
I am free, free indeed!

ignorance is bliss
MistahKurtz
Posts: 400
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12/9/2009 7:51:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
You can't say what god is without understanding that god is defined by the adjective

E.G. God is the definition of intelligence. That girl is intelligent, but only insofar as she's vaguely similar to the godlike image of intelligence.

But this gets you nowhere, because you're defining god's attributes with god, so you then must narrow down exactly god is by saying what god is not

E.G. God is not that rock

But then, of course, you're limiting god. God, if nothing else, must be omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscience, therefore he must be present in that rock. We therefore must rid our theology of any limitations or contradictions.

E.G. God is not NOT that rock.

We cannot say that god IS that rock, because he would be defined by it. If we understand that god is the highest possible form of that rock, that would be acceptable but useless to define god. We know that god may define that rock, but he is not defined by it but he is also interacting with it. He is therefore the perfection of everything, apart from everything and within everything.

This has been a summary of my favourite philosopher (Pseudo-Dionysius)
Alex
Posts: 2,058
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12/9/2009 11:24:52 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/9/2009 3:21:59 PM, gr33k_fr33k5 wrote:
At 12/5/2009 4:33:36 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

If there is a good/reasonable basis to believe the Bible over any others, that would already make the Bible superior to any other doctrine.

this basis may not be good/reasonable, however out of personal expirience with the mormon religion and christianity. . . . I know without a doubt that the Christian religion (and the Bible its based on) is "superior" to the mormon doctrine

Haha Mormonism is a joke. (No offense) but anyone who believes that they can still achieve God status, after the devil told Eve to take the apple and she would ACHIEVE GOD STATUS, AND GOD PUNISHED THEM FOR IT, is a little silly.
Why kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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12/9/2009 11:35:30 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/9/2009 11:24:52 PM, alex_hanson911 wrote:
Haha Mormonism is a joke. (No offense) but anyone who believes that they can still achieve God status, after the devil told Eve to take the apple and she would ACHIEVE GOD STATUS, AND GOD PUNISHED THEM FOR IT, is a little silly.

Mormonism is no more of a joke than Christianity. They both have talking snakes, space daddies, virgin births, and zombies.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Alex
Posts: 2,058
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12/9/2009 11:37:54 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/9/2009 11:35:30 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 12/9/2009 11:24:52 PM, alex_hanson911 wrote:
Haha Mormonism is a joke. (No offense) but anyone who believes that they can still achieve God status, after the devil told Eve to take the apple and she would ACHIEVE GOD STATUS, AND GOD PUNISHED THEM FOR IT, is a little silly.

Mormonism is no more of a joke than Christianity. They both have talking snakes, space daddies, virgin births, and zombies.

All which are explained =)
Why kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?
MistahKurtz
Posts: 400
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12/10/2009 10:21:29 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/9/2009 11:37:54 PM, alex_hanson911 wrote:
At 12/9/2009 11:35:30 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 12/9/2009 11:24:52 PM, alex_hanson911 wrote:
Haha Mormonism is a joke. (No offense) but anyone who believes that they can still achieve God status, after the devil told Eve to take the apple and she would ACHIEVE GOD STATUS, AND GOD PUNISHED THEM FOR IT, is a little silly.

Mormonism is no more of a joke than Christianity. They both have talking snakes, space daddies, virgin births, and zombies.

All which are explained =)

Go on.
Sylux
Posts: 290
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12/10/2009 10:34:04 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
http://migration.files.wordpress.com...
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The string behind you, it's shiny and pretty.
Where is my string.
Give me because I don't know.
Give me your string.
Give me everything."
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Marauder
Posts: 3,271
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12/10/2009 11:07:23 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I like the daddy's hands song for explaining this one.
Plus if Christians like pretending they suffer so much for their god shouldn't they want god to use his wrath every now and then if only to keep their lives from going on without something they can take pride in that they persevere?
Its part of a related opposing views about god and how living for him should bring happiness or that its supposed to bring suffering.

perhaps there is a way to be happy while suffering though they sound the opposite to me. And likewise have overall merciful judgement from what you truly deserve but at the same time have consequences for your actions that are a lesser degree than what his mercy saved you from.
One act of Rebellion created all the darkness and evil in the world; One life of Total Obedience created a path back to eternity and God.

A Scout is Obedient.
gr33k_fr33k5
Posts: 321
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12/10/2009 6:40:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/10/2009 11:07:23 AM, Marauder wrote:
I like the daddy's hands song for explaining this one.
Plus if Christians like pretending they suffer so much for their god shouldn't they want god to use his wrath every now and then if only to keep their lives from going on without something they can take pride in that they persevere?
Its part of a related opposing views about god and how living for him should bring happiness or that its supposed to bring suffering.

perhaps there is a way to be happy while suffering though they sound the opposite to me. And likewise have overall merciful judgement from what you truly deserve but at the same time have consequences for your actions that are a lesser degree than what his mercy saved you from.

I absolutely agree with you . . .. our lives are full of suffering regardless of religion, and the love of God provides joy in times of suffering. . . .
I am free, free indeed!

ignorance is bliss