My only concern here is why are you so bothered by my(and other Christians) beliefs? There are rational explanations that can be given for every one of your concerns(if there were not the religion would have been vanquished long before either of us came along) but I'm not even sure that is your point. And I am almost certain that it would be outright rejected as a nonsensical answer even if I did give my explanations(I will though). I don't know that I've ever been upset enough with a persons religious beliefs to feel the need to attack them.
I have shared the gospel with people I've felt led to do so with but never once have I felt the need to call their beliefs "silliness" or any other term of the sort. Typically I share what I believe and why I believe it and let them decide. Part of me always feels compelled to answer any questions(such as these) that people raise because I think the bible says we should be willing to defend the gospel but at point it becomes less about a mutual respect and more about lampooning what you consider 'silliness' and that is disheartening.
I would wonder why it is or rather where it is that you have acquired such certainty about spirituality as to be able to criticize anther's religious beliefs.
I know I personally have a spiritual nature. I have a desire for such things. I've always had a desire for such. I've always had a curiosity about God and an existence that transcends this one. As C.S. Lewis once said "Creatures are not born with [natural]desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." (Note: I added the natural) And it seems rather egotistical for someone to boldly state that such things are nonsense when I know better. I know I've personally been enriched through my spirituality and I can't imagine existing without it.
---------- Post added 04-24-2010 at 07:33 PM ----------
Nevertheless my responses:
what was the point of casting the people out?
The bible explicitly states they were 'cast' out because the tree of life was there and God did not want man to live forever in their sin. Tell me what's worse.....being wrong or being wrong and not knowing it? IMO, I might would say the latter because at least if you know you're wrong there's the chance you can correct it.
Shouldn't God have seen it coming from a mile away?
He did! God knew from the beginning it would happen. Not because He wanted it to happen but because He had foreknowledge of their free-willed choice. God's only option was to figure out a way to rectify the situation. But it goes even deeper than that. God, knowing our psychology, had to let us fail first because otherwise we would think that we could make it on our own strength or that we 'deserved' everything we were getting or that we were entitled to it. We probably would have even placed ourselves ahead of God or equal with God. Same thing with Old Testament law. OT law was supposed to make us ''righteous before God'', but it failed to do that according to Paul(Romans 8:3 etc..), so it's quite obvious that, failure, was the point all along. That attempting to obey laws alone was not the path to righteousness.
Or was it planned all along and set up for man to purposely fall?
You fail to realize that God could both know ahead of time that it was going to happen, while also not causing it to happen. Free will and that whole thing. As I said, if God wishes to maintain our free will then His goal should not be preventing the fall but rescuing us from the fall. And Hallelujah that He has.
what is the point in letting it continue then?
so that we could learn. . . why do we fall off the horse? Why let anything 'difficuly' occur? Because it is through such things that we learn who we truly are. Without the 'trials' of this life, how could anyone know what they were truly capable of...what they were made of? What kind of person they were? As Arjuna said in a thread once, the trials are only a medium by which greatness can be known.
He lets Noah and his family live, for what purpose?
Because Noah's faith was counted as righteousness before God. And because through his bloodline the savior of the world would come. Let us not forget that Noah warned everyone for 120 years that a flood was coming and to repent.