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Spirituality Can God witness murder? And what about the after life?

FortyTwo

Custom Title
well wouldn't the scientific approach be to treat the idea of God as a hypothesis?
Rather than say God has to be this or that, assume there is a God and then think about what he might be.
The scientific approach would be to start by looking for evidence for any sort of gods. That hasn't really gotten anywhere. We're not really having a scientific discussion by any means, as it assumes the existence of something that isn't proven. It's like some of the stuff in the Theories thread - we can speculate about wormholes and parallel dimensions, but unless there's something to back it up, it's not really science. Similarly, all we are doing here is having a hypothetical discussion about a hypothetical situation.

Approaching God as a hypothesis is what's already being done by those who take the matter seriously (as well as those who don't - a hypothesis just means an educated guess, even if your education took place in the B.C.s and consisted purely of "sun goes up, not sure why" and your hypothesis stated "someone pushes it, I guess"). But that's entirely barring the issue of just assuming there is a God. That's why we're purely hypothesizing when we think of how He/She/It might be.

You wouldn't approach dark matter by saying it has to be this or that; all you know is that there is an effect, of which you don't know what the cause is, and that is sort of what believers in God do, and they try to fill in the gaps with their own ideas.
And this is why the whole Dark Matter thing is getting nowhere, also - people are taking what they know and going wild with assumptions, as well as what they think might be cool. That's why some people still think that Black Holes are portals to another Universe or something weird like that. We took a concept we did not yet fully understand and ran with it. That's also my sincere belief as to how Religion started - people looked around and went huh, this is weird, there's got to be some way of explaining this. But instead of carefully observing with the satellites they didn't have and the math they hadn't developed, they started talking about how cool it would be if there were supernatural forces controlling nature. Fast forward to a time where we have the answers to many of these things, and people are still going "okay, that's not God, but what if the other stuff is?" until that stuff gets explained, and the process repeats itself.

Keep in mind that the Catholic Church now accepts the heliocentric model of the Universe as well as evolution (in a somewhat acceptable form), but only because science keeps backing it into a corner. I think that the same thing is happening with all organized religion, though the Catholic Church is a good example since it's so universally recognizable for being anti-science and anti-truth for centuries.

I don't think it is particularly a good approach to say: God has to be omnipotent, and if he is omnipotent then he must be an a-hole, and if he is not omnipotent, then he's not much of a god. It just seems like a let-out clause for atheists. Like I said before, all based upon a very human concept of what power is.
I don't think anyone's saying God has to be omnipotent. If He is, then yes, He's an a-hole. If He's not, then He could still be a God, but very much not in the light that Christianity represents Him.

The quote rings true not in its respect to levels of omnipotence, but in that it reflects the contradiction of an omnipotent, kindly God, which is an image embraced by most Christians.

yes, that seems like a very human based argument, a human concept of what power God should have.
The Bible represents God as very human, which makes sense considering He designed humans in His image. God feels human emotion. Wrath, anger, pity, anger, wrath, happiness, jealousy, wrath, anger. All things experienced by humans and claimed to be experienced by God.
 

Dropkick

the best half of a great wit
Location
Montana
It seems to me that many of you seem to be saying this:

You have a bunch of puppies.
Benevolent god.​
You take 1/2 of the puppies and separate them each into small padded rooms where you water them, feed them, and keep them safe from all harm. They don't get to run and play, their mental capabilities aren't great, as they had no stimulation, they are neither happy or unhappy as this is all they've ever known so they have no reference to compare it too, and they don't live long, but they're safe.

Malevolent god​
You take the other 1/2 and set them free. They run and play, but unfortunately occasionally fight each other and are also exposed to dangers, possible famine, and disease. They live lives with both joy and sorrow. Their mental capabilities are much greater than their caged brethren, and those that don't die from mischance normally live longer lives, but they aren't safe.
 

beancounter

The Fire That Burns Within
It seems to me that many of you seem to be saying this:

You have a bunch of puppies.
Benevolent god.​
You take 1/2 of the puppies and separate them each into small padded rooms where you water them, feed them, and keep them safe from all harm. They don't get to run and play, their mental capabilities aren't great, as they had no stimulation, they are neither happy or unhappy as this is all they've ever known so they have no reference to compare it too, and they don't live long, but they're safe.

Malevolent god​
You take the other 1/2 and set them free. They run and play, but unfortunately occasionally fight each other and are also exposed to dangers, possible famine, and disease. They live lives with both joy and sorrow. Their mental capabilities are much greater than their caged brethren, and those that don't die from mischance normally live longer lives, but they aren't safe.
Keeping someone from harm doesn't necessarily limit their growth. In addition, if they are kept from harm, they will probably live longer, not shorter.

Also, I think you Malevolent category should really be "ambivalent".

But anyway, it's just mental acrobatics, because there is no god.
 

FortyTwo

Custom Title
It seems to me that many of you seem to be saying this:

You have a bunch of puppies.
Benevolent god.​
You take 1/2 of the puppies and separate them each into small padded rooms where you water them, feed them, and keep them safe from all harm. They don't get to run and play, their mental capabilities aren't great, as they had no stimulation, they are neither happy or unhappy as this is all they've ever known so they have no reference to compare it too, and they don't live long, but they're safe.

Malevolent god​
You take the other 1/2 and set them free. They run and play, but unfortunately occasionally fight each other and are also exposed to dangers, possible famine, and disease. They live lives with both joy and sorrow. Their mental capabilities are much greater than their caged brethren, and those that don't die from mischance normally live longer lives, but they aren't safe.
More like:

You have a bunch of puppies. Also you can bend the Universe to your will.

Benevolent God​
You bend the Universe so puppies can run around in peace, don't die, and still have all this room to roam around.​
Malevolent God​
One of the puppies pees on your rug. You kick it out of the house, shoot it in the ribcage, and leave it on the streets. You then say to all the puppies that because one of the puppies peed on the rug, all of them must suffer the inevitability of death, and subject them to all kinds of terrible things. When asked why, you tell everyone that the puppies can't possibly understand the mysterious ways you work because they're dogs and you're a Universe-bending person or whatever. When asked why you didn't just bend the Universe to be kinder to the puppies, or maybe even so the puppies don't pee on the rug in the first place since that is entirely within your ability, you get angry and start raining fire and brimstone from the sky.​
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
More like:

You have a bunch of puppies. Also you can bend the Universe to your will.

Benevolent God​
You bend the Universe so puppies can run around in peace, don't die, and still have all this room to roam around.​
For the sake of argument: Is this really a universe which is compatible with what we understand as free will? I agree with you on the other point tho, that the God of the Bible doesn't seem like a very nice character.​
 

Blobbenstein

.......
Location
UK.
But anyway, it's just mental acrobatics, because there is no god.
perhaps you could start a thread that debates whether there is or isn't a God.

This thread is in the religion section, and the discussion is more based upon the assumption, or premiss, that God exists.
 

Blobbenstein

.......
Location
UK.
sorry if you felt that.

I just think it's reasonable that someone could start a thread about X belief, or religion and then not have people post in that thread that X isn't real, or doesn't exist.

It seems a shame that any thread about God should devolve into a debate about whether he exists or not. It seems a bit restrictive to discussion, so I really think it would be better to have a separate thread about that debate.


I'm sure, if you started that thread, people would post in in. Personally I'm a bit tired of that debate.
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
Yes, we probably need to develop some guidelines for this forum. I've heard of religious discussions on the Internet going horribly wrong to the extent that some boards ban them completely. Anyway, in the meantime, in this thread for the sake of argument, maybe we can just assume at least that a god exists?
 

FortyTwo

Custom Title
For the sake of argument: Is this really a universe which is compatible with what we understand as free will? I agree with you on the other point tho, that the God of the Bible doesn't seem like a very nice character.​
My angle was that if you truly were omnipotent, you could bend the definition of free will. If you just make living creatures not have any desire to do violence, or any physical ability to do violence, without them knowing that such a thing exists, then you have a world where things don't get hurt. The same goes for death.

Yes, we probably need to develop some guidelines for this forum. I've heard of religious discussions on the Internet going horribly wrong to the extent that some boards ban them completely. Anyway, in the meantime, in this thread for the sake of argument, maybe we can just assume at least that a god exists?
Yeah, that's what I've been doing for the sake of argument. And it probably isn't best to have a "does God exist" debate in this thread, since the subject is something totally different. That's not to say I wouldn't participate in a thread concerning that subject, just that it doesn't really seem appropriate here.
 

beancounter

The Fire That Burns Within
but how can you be sure of that?
Until god himself comes to Earth and explains his actions, no one can be sure of anything regarding his motivations.

But from my perspective, a benevolent god wouldn't allow evil to happen. So assuming he himself is not maleveloent, then the only explanation for evil in the world is a "hands off" god.

Little off topic, but I beleive still relevant to my idea of a "hands off" god - is that many people seem to regard him as some sort of celestial switchboard operator/helicopter parent/Santa Claus. But I don't think that's the case. He's omnipotent. Therefore he is to us, as we are to a flea. Do you care about the daily life of a flea? Do keep track of all of the "sins" committed by fleas. No of course not, and I seriously doubt an onipotent being would waste his time concerning/involving himself in all of the in and outs of our lives.
 

FortyTwo

Custom Title
Little off topic, but I beleive still relevant to my idea of a "hands off" god - is that many people seem to regard him as some sort of celestial switchboard operator/helicopter parent/Santa Claus. But I don't think that's the case. He's omnipotent. Therefore he is to us, as we are to a flea. Do you care about the daily life of a flea? Do keep track of all of the "sins" committed by fleas. No of course not, and I seriously doubt an onipotent being would waste his time concerning/involving himself in all of the in and outs of our lives.
I totally would do that.

Just saying.
 

jeneticallymodified

Veteran Member
Location
Canada
yes, that seems like a very human based argument, a human concept of what power God should have.
'god' is a human word, for a human construct. whatever creature any particular god may or may not be, he/she/it is one perceived by humans, and labelled by them, using their own terms, perceptions, beliefs, ideas and concepts.

'god' him/herself may not believe in the concept of god/s as we do, let alone fit within the construct we've build for him/her/it/them. :p
 
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