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How Has God -- Or Virtue -- Changed Your Life?  
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 2 months 1 hour ago) and read 1801 times:

Regardless of your belief in God, do you think that God has had, or could have had, or could have, an effect on your life?

I'm not a typical conservative-leaning individual; there are things, as I've always said, that I've found to be ridiculous with right-wing ideologies, especially insofar as religious fanatics seem to deny the reality of evolution. To those deniers, I say: Pishposh! Your limitation of God's powers speaks ill of your beliefs, and I say this with all due respect.

I believe in evolution and I believe in God.

For all my doubts about the existence of God, I remain, as I've said, a believer in spite of myself. And part of why is what belief in God has done for people of good will, or who at least try.

But this is not a thread merely about whether God exists. There's already a thread for that. Nor is this an invitation to theodicy, any more than it is for "New Ageism" or even atheism. It is, rather, a thread on what God, or God-like qualities, have done to affect our lives, in any way, in our own experience.

The God who changes lives, who helps everyone, is not the vindictive God of the Old Testament, and thus I cannot agree with the fundamentalists live and bleed fire and brimstone. They have no special insight into God.

God acts out of the changes He makes in the lives of people -- every day, and in small and significant ways. Is it God who does this? Or is it virtue?

As I think about it, God -- if He exists -- has had a gradual transformative role in my life. It's made me question the aims of science when unchecked by ethics; and on a personal life, I think that it's made me believe that there is a force out there that protects me, when I protect myself. I don't want to get too personal, but there have been several occasions when I've been convinced that, if not for God, I would not be here to write this message to any of you, today.

In other words, I believe in miracles -- not of the great, big kind, mind you, but of the littler kinds... the kinds that apply to people, and that people can help come to existence, merely by being the best of who they are.

I'm starting to sound a bit like a religious nut, I realize; but please remember what I've said before: That God, if He exists, has done a poor job of creating our universe, unless it's true that our concenption of Him has nothing to do with the ultimate reality of What Is.

In any event, my belief in God has indeed had an effect on my life; because there's never been a time when I haven't belief in the Creator, I suppose that I have fewer dramatic stories to tell.

I am interested, therefore, in other people's ideas and experiences regarding how they process the possibility that God has had an effect on their lives, or the lives of those close to them.

I am a true believer in the idea that God exists in every good and selfless act, which is one of the motivations I say causes men and women to do what is right, rather than what is good.

I'm interested in your comments, with all humility.

God bless!

[Edited 2006-08-27 02:27:49]

48 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8726 posts, RR: 43
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 1 hour ago) and read 1779 times:

nuffin'

I usually try to do what I can for others anyway, with the exception being people who have just put a lot of effort into getting on my nerves. No need for threats of hellfire or promises of paradise, I'm busy enough getting by in the here-and-now to be worrying where I might end up in an uncertain afterlife.

Anyhow, doing good so's you'll not go to hell is one big load of egocentric bullshit. Be nice for the sake of helping someone else and let that be the end of it; if you're lucky it'll pay back in the future.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 months 1 hour ago) and read 1779 times:

Quoting Aloges (Reply 1):
Be nice for the sake of helping someone else and let that be the end of it; if you're lucky it'll pay back in the future

But don't you think, Aloges, that there is a "real deal" behind the entire thing? There are unknowns to what we do. Even if you think that doing what is good because of fear of God is less meritorious than pure altruism, of what use is denigrating it when the results may be so positive?

When a helping hand is given that does nothing but good, does the recipient have grounds to question the motives, so long as he and others are genuinely helped? By this question, I'm not suggesting one thing or another; I'm merely asking.

For it seems to me that all of us, left and right alike, fail to see the "bigger picture", and concentrate on merely rational utility rather than selfless devotion -- of any kind.

Are any of us really in a position to discount the virtuous acts of believers, merely because we may believe them "adulterated" by fear of the unknown?

Suppose that there is knowledge that there is no God; would this make selflessness of a practical kind more, or less, likely?

[Edited 2006-08-27 02:32:58]

User currently offlineBezoar From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 807 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 months 1 hour ago) and read 1776 times:



Sorry, I couldn't resist. Now I'll go to work on a real post.



"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 months 1 hour ago) and read 1768 times:

Quoting Bezoar (Reply 3):
Sorry, I couldn't resist. Now I'll go to work on a real post.

LOL! That photo of a helmeted baby is very cute, indeed!  Smile

As I say, God may exist, in spite of ourselves, and if so, maybe humor does, as well!

 Big grin


User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8726 posts, RR: 43
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 months ago) and read 1759 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 2):
But don't you think, Aloges, that there is a "real deal" behind the entire thing?

Could be, could not be. If you want to call it "faith", I have some of that but it certainly doesn't make me a deeply religious person. Actually, some parts of religion need a lot of faith to be borne, but that's a different issue.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 2):
There are unknowns to what we do.

Oh dear, yes there are.  Silly

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 2):
When a helping hand is given that does nothing but good, does the recipient have grounds to question the motives, so long as he and others are genuinely helped?

Grounds? That depends on so many variables it's impossible to give an answer. If the help is a glass of water on a hot day, version A being the glass handed to a homeless person is all fine and dandy but version B being the glass given to a seamstress in a Far-Eastern sweat-shop by her exploitive employer isn't nearly as nice - yet both are still genuinely helped.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 months ago) and read 1756 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
I'm not a typical conservative-leaning individual; there are things, as I've always said, that I've found to be ridiculous with right-wing ideologies, especially insofar as religious fanatics seem to deny the reality of evolution. To those deniers, I say: Pishposh! Your limitation of God's powers speaks ill of your beliefs, and I say this with all due respect.

I may look at some aspects of this question from a somewhat different perspective (see other threads to similar topics), but in the essence I think I can agree with most of what you wrote.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
The God who changes lives, who helps everyone, is not the vindictive God of the Old Testament, and thus I cannot agree with the fundamentalists live and bleed fire and brimstone. They have no special insight into God.

Oh yes, they do - but they imagine a different god!

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
As I think about it, God -- if He exists -- has had a gradual transformative role in my life. It's made me question the aims of science when unchecked by ethics;

It does not take religion to get there - any human being should realize that; And more importantly, every scientist should!

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
and on a personal life, I think that it's made me believe that there is a force out there that protects me, when I protect myself. I don't want to get too personal, but there have been several occasions when I've been convinced that, if not for God, I would not be here to write this message to any of you, today.

There are certainly mechanisms at work in our lives which are a bit more complex than what we normally think of, but this kind of claim always provokes a question for me:

What about all the people who ended up not "being protected"? The ones massacred, murdered, tortured, dying in accidents or starving to death?

If one assumes the "good" things happening with the "hand of god" in play, the same would have to be assumed in the other cases just as well - cruel coincidences included.

My own perspective: Life is not fair - but people can try to make it a bit more fair. And some coincidences appear to be - as long as we happen to come across the positive side of coincidence...!

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
I am a true believer in the idea that God exists in every good and selfless act, which is one of the motivations I say causes men and women to do what is right, rather than what is good.

I'd rather say that those positive acts have been projected by humans onto an easily imaginable humanoid form; Buddhism is in many ways very similar, but more abstract. And even in that case people have often found ways to imagine personalized beings in connection with this philosophy... It seems to be a constant in human culture that we tend to paint faces onto every complex or abstract concept...

But even though my idea of what god(s) can be may differ from yours, I think they ultimately converge in what they should mean in real life.


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 months ago) and read 1753 times:

Quoting Aloges (Reply 5):
Grounds? That depends on so many variables it's impossible to give an answer. If the help is a glass of water on a hot day, version A being the glass handed to a homeless person is all fine and dandy but version B being the glass given to a seamstress in a Far-Eastern sweat-shop by her exploitive employer isn't nearly as nice - yet both are still genuinely helped.

That's a good point -- the latter would suggest ulterior motives that inure to the detriment of the person allegedly helped.

I think, though, that I was referring by "genuine helped" a larger sense of helping, as in the first instance you mentioned. Would the glass to the homeless person be less praiseworthy from a right-winger who believed in Divine retribution, than from someone who, in the same act, didn't think of God at all?

Nor, really, is there are rational-utility calculation that applies, here, and that's part of my point. In neither case -- believer or not -- did the virtuous act contribute in and of itself to anything but an infinitesimal blip in the calculus of rational good. It's not necessary that altruism, or quasi-altruism, do so, and yet the homeless person mentioned in your example was in fact helped.

I think the fear is that both reductionism -- the kind that analyzes every act for egoism -- and utilitarianism miss the point: That God, or virtue, bundles with it a more intangible reward. Does, after all, an otherwise good person not experience temptatation to rationalize away a callous act even if there is a God that watches and punishes?

The alternative is that what Kant said of the will -- that the most valuable thing in ethics is good will -- lacks any context that encourages and ennobles it at all.

[Edited 2006-08-27 02:53:42]

User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 months ago) and read 1744 times:

I just took a class last semester on religion. I have never heard so much bullshit in my life, I felt like getting up in the middle of class and punching the professor. I knew for sure others wanted to the same in that class. No offense, but more people have died in the name of god than any other form in the world. I find that as technology and science improves, religion will be reduced. I wish I can say that religion is good because it teaches people to have kindness but the negatives far outweigh the benefits of religion. I find that you really have to be either stupid or helpless to seek someone to tell you to be kind to your neighbors, you should be doing that already.

[Edited 2006-08-27 03:01:00]

User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 months ago) and read 1744 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 2):
But don't you think, Aloges, that there is a "real deal" behind the entire thing?

I'd think it is much more challenging, but also much more fascinating if that is the real deal!  bigthumbsup 

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 2):
Are any of us really in a position to discount the virtuous acts of believers, merely because we may believe them "adulterated" by fear of the unknown?

Discount? No.

Being very, very careful with assuming that it's more than just skin-deep? Absolutely!

The self-righteous and letter-of-the-rules-obsessed behaviour of many self-professed religious people (christian or otherwise) speaks volumes here, I'd say.

Acting selflessly and kind is by no means a monopoly of religious people, even though many religions attempt to persuade you of that belief.


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 months ago) and read 1736 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 9):
Discount? No.

Being very, very careful with assuming that it's more than just skin-deep? Absolutely!

That's quite true, Klaus, and I think that your previous message is also food for thought.

I think that the transformative nature of God, or virtue, -- and, in either case, not merely belief -- is nevertheless important to consider. If God is merely virtue personified, does this speak less of virtue?


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 months ago) and read 1728 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 7):
Would the glass to the homeless person be less praiseworthy from a right-winger who believed in Divine retribution, than from someone who, in the same act, didn't think of God at all?

Yes, absolutely!

The former acts in order to rescue himself from horrible torture in hell; The latter actually wants to make a difference for you.

Consequently, the former will leave you dying or suffering if his formalized rule book should allow or even demand it, while the latter will probably help you when you should need his help.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 months ago) and read 1718 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 10):
I think that the transformative nature of God, or virtue, -- and, in either case, not merely belief -- is nevertheless important to consider. If God is merely virtue personified, does this speak less of virtue?

Not really; But organized religion is a different matter.

When you're looking at the mystical side branches of all the major religions, they all have in common the belief that the "normal" authoritarian rule-based mainstream religions are too fixated on rules and authority and that the true nature of spirituality transcends the accidental outer form of those religions. They generally come to very similar conclusions, and they generally think of "god" more as a concept than a physical entity as the fanatics do.

My impression is that this is the part which will survive, but the aggressively authoritarian doctrines and organizations will just continue to wither and die. And hardly anybody will mourn them any more than we do the weird religions of antiquity.


User currently offlineBezoar From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 807 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 months ago) and read 1713 times:

One thing I discovered with my faith is that if one acts out of guilt or fear, one can never do enough to be rid of that guilt or fear. If one acts out of sheer obedience, it becomes very tiresome. However, if one acts out of gratitude and love, one can enjoy every moment of it.

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." 1 Cor 13:1-3



"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
User currently offlineJamincan From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 776 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 2 months ago) and read 1709 times:

Has God changed me life? It's hard to say since God is so messily intertwined with religion, which has without a doubt changed me life. I guess I recognize that God could possibly exist; however, I realized that there wasn't really any basis for me to believe in him when I realized that the only reason to believe in him is the traditions of a religion that, quite frankly, I feel has done me, and many other people, far more harm than good, The idea of believing in an invisible being is ludicrous on its own without the support of religious texts and a community of believers. It's simply too arbitrary.

Anyway, to answer your question, I suppose that my ethos have been heavily shaped by the religion I was raised in. More directly though, when I was a lot younger, I was quite a bit more spiritual. I think that has really influenced me now to be far more introspective, and to appreciate things like nature, space and solitude far more than I otherwise may have.


User currently offlineBristolFlyer From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 2302 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1702 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Regardless of your belief in God, do you think that God has had, or could have had, or could have, an effect on your life?

I'm pretty sure that those that don't believe in god will also think that he hasn't had an effect on their lives. It would be quite hypocritical to say that on one hand you don't believe but on the other hand he is responsible for doing things to change someone's life.

As for my own opinion, I don't think that god has done anything to effect my life. I don't believe in god, just for the record.

BF



Fortune favours the brave
User currently offlineJamincan From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 776 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1693 times:

Quoting BristolFlyer (Reply 15):
I'm pretty sure that those that don't believe in god will also think that he hasn't had an effect on their lives. It would be quite hypocritical to say that on one hand you don't believe but on the other hand he is responsible for doing things to change someone's life.

Not necessarily. Many of us were raised in religious homes and only really went our own way after we left home. It'd be awfully blind of me to claim that my belief in God (albeit it temporary, and at a young age), didn't affect me somehow. While not necessarily God affecting me, I think the belief in God affecting me is sufficiently similar to fit the line of AerospaceFan's questioning.


User currently offlineKorg747 From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 549 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1676 times:

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 8):
I just took a class last semester on religion. I have never heard so much bullshit in my life, I felt like getting up in the middle of class and punching the professor. I knew for sure others wanted to the same in that class. No offense, but more people have died in the name of god than any other form in the world. I find that as technology and science improves, religion will be reduced. I wish I can say that religion is good because it teaches people to have kindness but the negatives far outweigh the benefits of religion. I find that you really have to be either stupid or helpless to seek someone to tell you to be kind to your neighbors, you should be doing that already.

I'm sick and tired of hearing people saying "More people have died in the name of god than any other form" really, you gotta be either stupid of helpless to actually blame God for a bunch of morons who think they should die in the name of God. God never interferes with free will or free thinking or opinion, he would be one controlling God if he did. Wake up and look at who is doing what, I see your young like me, you should already see and realize how crazy people are and they will get even crazier the more you experience them, but if you still want to blame God anyway then you need good glasses. Oh and why God doesn't come down and settle all this conflict of thinking? It's all in the bible. God's history with man when he was showing him self and making appearances. didn't go that great did it now? he gave us free will, and he will not interfere with it.

You have to also understand that God is the love side of people. I truly believe that the current ethics and morals have originated from God and religion and it doesn't matter if you believe in him or not. just think about it for a min. Tell me where people were morally or ethically before God and the bible came to people's lives? just answer that question for me. Don't even start the argument that if religion were to be taken out NOW out of people's lives, people would be just fine, people now are different from the past because alot of the cultures are based on good morals and ethics that originated from religion and so many morals and ethics have become standard between many families and not just the word of God.



Please excuse my English!
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1670 times:

God does NOT have the time for me. Trust me when I tell you I don't begrudge them for this. If there really is a god what kind of moron am I to think for a second that my wishes for a winning lotto ticket, good health in the face of blatantly unhealthy behaviors, and a good looking rich bisexual redhead (who's not into anal) are worth even listening too?

It's farcical to believe that one being can be biblically omnipotent for 6 BILLION people all the time. If everyone ONLY made one request a day, that would be over 90,000 requests a second. Now if god is a good programmer, cool, they have it under control, but presuming each request requires at least 5 seconds to think about it that's 450,000 seconds. A Day is 86400 seconds that would be 5.2 days to properly process a days work. Don't give me this  redflag  about god's time is diferent then ours. With very FEW exceptions time is time is time. Even then I have my own theories which Einstien would laugh at.

God might exist, and he might have some influence in some EXTRAORDINARY circumstances. But in all likelyhood he has MUCH bigger fish to fry then our dumb selves.


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1646 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 11):
Yes, absolutely!

The former acts in order to rescue himself from horrible torture in hell; The latter actually wants to make a difference for you.

I see what you mean, but from an objective standpoint, I cannot agree. Both acts result in great assistance to the homeless individual, after all.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 11):
Consequently, the former will leave you dying or suffering if his formalized rule book should allow or even demand it, while the latter will probably help you when you should need his help.

To me, this analysis is too formal -- it relies on process overmuch. Process is good, but if it drains the substance of content, it tends to substitute for, and therefore usurp, it.

I would say that the fact is that the rulebook in question does not require anyone to leave the homeless person without recourse, or, at any rate, the person has willingly interpreted it to provide for the result that actually obtained. Therefore, the act of giving itself resulted from what actually occurred. The fact that, hypothetically, the benefactor could have done something else if, contrary to fact, either the rulebook required, or he himself decided, otherwise, is not an argument that what he did was less meritorious. At best, it is an argument that it was more prone to not having been done.

Let's keep in mind that it's the act that occurred, not the act that did not occur, that is in question here.

[Edited 2006-08-27 13:31:43]

User currently offlineBezoar From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 807 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1638 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 18):
God does NOT have the time for me.

Unless 'time' is merely something created by man in order to help understand his circumstances. As an eternal being, He has 'all the time in the world.'

Also, many people want to see God as a cosmic vending machine. While appeals to God can be made, the transformation that ultimately occurs through prayer is not within God, but within us. Sometimes His answer is 'no' or 'not now.' Sometimes we have to be knocked to our knees before we will look to Him.



"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1632 times:

Quoting Bezoar (Reply 20):

Unless 'time' is merely something created by man in order to help understand his circumstances.

In a MANNER of speaking I agree with you... BUT only in the sense that time is arbitrary. For exmple Standard time versus daylight time. Local versus zulu, and and rose is a rose even if you call it something else. BUT the reality is no matter how non linear you think, things happen in an order over something that can measured in some relational form or another.

The perception of that is imeasurable IE NY Minute versus a long lazy summer day in the country. For some 9/11 was yesterday, for others it's a lifetime. The thing is though; the things we use as markers are constants. It has almost been 5 years, it has been almost 1825 days, it has almost been 43800 hours, 2628000 minutes, 157680000 seconds. Those markers exist for everyone and are indisputable.

Now if you also think about my backlog question... isn't it 'bad enough' that god is ethemeral, but given time over the course of all human history don't you think it a bit ludicrious that he'd be making decisions 5,000 years from now about something that happened today?


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1615 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 19):
I see what you mean, but from an objective standpoint, I cannot agree. Both acts result in great assistance to the homeless individual, after all.

If someone has to basically be forced at gunpoint to do something good, it is most definitely less praiseworthy as asked above.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 19):
To me, this analysis is too formal -- it relies on process overmuch.

No. It only deals with the plausible expectation of how someone would react in a critical situation. If someone must be expected to happily burn others at the stake should his religion tell him so it most certainly paints a rather bleak picture of that person's ethics. And yet that has often been the case and still is, from all appearances.


User currently offlineBezoar From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 807 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1612 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 21):
n't you think it a bit ludicrious that he'd be making decisions 5,000 years from now about something that happened today?

Hey, Ted. I hope this finds you doing well.

Replying from what I know and understand of Christian theology, God in His omniscience knew in the beginning how it all would turn out, including that for each of our lives.

If you throw in our own God-granted free will into the mix, however, variations upon His plan would become possible. The lesson to be learned from story of Adam and Eve is God's said that man would receive God's blessings as long as he always obeyed the Lord. However, man chose to disobey, and suffered severe consequences as he had been warned. The rest of the Bible illustrates man's inability to rectify the situation, and illuminates God's plan to provide each of us with a way to become reconciled with Him again. Some have said the Bible is irrelevant now, but it is more important now than ever.

One might ask: If God knows everything about our lives before we are born, are we just puppets of God's will? If so, the consequences would be identical to the belief that we are all simply masses of protoplasm guided by chromosomes in response to the environment, and that our behaviors are ultimately completely predictable once we know and understand enough. One couldn't then call it free will.

However, knowing what will happen is not the same as making it happen. For instance, I know my son will be sharing some of his new photos with me. I know this because I know my son, not because I will make him do it. (That may be a weak analogy, but I'm not omniscient! I suspect there are better analogies out there, though.)

Interestingly, there is debate over whether one can fall from grace and have his/her name erased from the 'Book of Life.' I don't know the answer, but I am comforted by the following scripture: "...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6



"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
User currently offlineJamincan From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 776 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1608 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 21):
The thing is though; the things we use as markers are constants. It has almost been 5 years, it has been almost 1825 days, it has almost been 43800 hours, 2628000 minutes, 157680000 seconds. Those markers exist for everyone and are indisputable.

Well, I wouldn't be so quick to say that. Time is far from the flowing constant you describe it as. The best examples of course are the effects of gravity and velocity on time. If you live on top of a mountain, you will actually age (almost inperceptably) slower due to the stronger gravitational field there. As well, the faster one's velocity, the slower the passage of time will be. The effects are strong enough that they have to be taken into account in, for example, GPS) Basically time and space are inseparable; time is simply a fourth dimension. We perceive it as a progression in a specific direction, but there is really no reason to believe that those restrictions would apply to God, especially when we apply qualities like omnipotence, and the idea that he created the whole damn thing.

As an analogy, if we view a three-dimensional object as a series of two-dimensional slices (like many CT scans for example), could we not also argue that we're simply perceiving a 4-dimensional world as a series of 3-dimensional ones? Who's to say that an omnipotent being couldn't 'see' in all four dimensions as we can see in 3?

This gets into some stickier philosophical problems. Like for example, if God is omniscient, that would suggest that our destiny is predetermined (and in fact, many people do believe in predestination); however, how can we possibly have free will then? One might argue that although God knows everything, it is ultimately our choice that determines the outcome in the end (keeping in mind that time isn't necessarily a sequential medium like we perceive it). And then, for the real sticky problems, you can always fall back on saying that God is omnipotent and made it so! :P

With all that out of the way, it certainly puts a bit of perspective on things like evolution and the Big Bang. While many might criticize the supposed unlikelihood of evolution (another argument entirely), the simplicity as compared to something like omnipotence or omniscience has me convinced. I have a much easier time believing God is something like Zeus, who's jealous and angry and horny and everything that the Christian God isn't; however, I'm pretty certain there isn't a Pantheon of Gods up on Mount Olympus, so I'll stick with my atheism for the time being.  Wink


25 Klaus : There were plenty of decent people all through history way before the bible was written and even after that who didn't know or care about its existen
26 AerospaceFan : That's a completely different issue. The question is whether the act resulting from virtue is praiseworthy because someone believes that a rulebook t
27 Klaus : Exactly what I was answering. That was Aloges' example. Praise is not deserved for something somebody is forced to do. Praise should be the response
28 HAWK21M : I believe in Miracles cause I've seen them occur.In times of no hope when theres a miracle to help out.I believe there is some superpower as these thi
29 QXatFAT : Yes God has changed my life. I see my life before Him and after Him and see a wreck that I was in. He has brought me to many levels that I thought I c
30 Klaus : I would agree if the opposite side wasn't represented pretty much to the same extent - if not more frequently. You can't just rave about presumable m
31 AerospaceFan : That's a very curious thing to say, Klaus. (By the way, I misattributed Aloges' example to you -- thank you for noting that. I apologize for the erro
32 Redngold : How has God changed my life? In one word: HOPE. Before I embraced God's presence in my life, I always knew He was there. That's why I couldn't commit
33 Post contains images TedTAce : I have heard of planning in advance but don't you think that's a touch ridiculous? I have and do. Nothing on this planet will ever convince me that t
34 Sean1234 : Why is God an interventionalist? It seems most people feel that God has some impact on the daily affairs of the world. Could it be that the tree was p
35 AerospaceFan : I, too, have heard the complaint that God cannot be deemed a "cosmic butler", out there to do everyone's bidding. Anyone who believes that He is, it
36 AerospaceFan : Erratum: The relevant paragraph in the first message thread was intended to read as follows: Further comments: Delusional or not -- and if God doesn't
37 Bezoar : One of the difficulties we all face in life is in regards to what we consider 'good' in terms of our thoughts and actions. One could take it all the
38 TedTAce : Evil is good and good is evil. ad absurdum. The only diference in reality is PERCEPTION. For a thief, stealing is good, products are transferred to h
39 HAWK21M : When times are real tough & theres no hope ahead....Most people give up/go the wrong way/desert their loved ones/think of themselves only. Thats when
40 AerospaceFan : Well put, HAWK21M. I'm not sure I could agree. I will have to think about this further and hope to post about it later when I have the time.
41 AirxLiban : It's very difficult for a modern, secular person to subscribe to many of the basic traditions - particularly anecdotal ones - that are at the core of
42 AerospaceFan : It is, indeed. I thank you for your kind consideration of this topic. Unlike many other people who believe in God, I find myself completely revolted
43 AirWillie6475 : If you deny that more people have died in the name of god then you better check your history. However, it is true that this has not been the case in
44 Post contains links AerospaceFan : I think that most of the wars in Asia were caused by more mundane factors than religion. Since Asia contained a very large portion of humanity throug
45 Post contains links Dougloid : You've put your thumb squarely on an ethical pressure point, Klaus. There's always been something of a disconnect between science and ethics but I be
46 Dougloid : I forgot what I was going to say. I'm not sure about the existence of G-d, although I am scared enough not to say his name aloud or spell it out. Some
47 AndesSMF : Perfect, just damn good way of saying it. No, it doesnt take religion to get there, but sometimes it helps. I am not in any way considered a religiou
48 CastleIsland : Spirituality and a cold dose of reality has molded my life. I don't really need to be told what is right and what is wrong. I have done some things ri
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