The holy bible...........or not so?

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mark noble
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 01:03 pm
@jack phil,
jack;172509 wrote:
So, the word is material? Or is the Gospel is material?

I guess there was some unspoken logical entailment in your post, but I didn't follow it.


Hi Jack,

Please excuse my terminology, I never meant to be cryptic. The DOCUMENTS referred to as "Gospels" Mathew to John - The texts of, not the (Good News) as interpreted.

Thank you for pointing the error out though, after re-reading my post, I would have rather omitted that.

Have a great day, Jack.

Mark...
 
Krumple
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 01:37 pm
@Klope3,
Klope3;172521 wrote:
Michael Behe? He wrote a book on irreducible complexity, and though I haven't gotten the chance to read it, I have heard that he presents scientific evidence to back up his claims. You may disagree with or think you can disprove the conclusions he drew from those claims, but there was still evidence to back him up.


Yes I am familiar with his work. I say that his claims are off base. The reason he has created these errors in reasoning is because he is doing the typical backward approach. He is trying to start from the conclusion and work backwards to find ways to support the conclusion. We all know that you will always have errors if you attempt to work this way. His errors have been well documented and discussed. Every example that Behe has used to explain IC has been refuted. There is not a single case that supports his claims accurately and reliably.

Klope3;172521 wrote:

And besides, there has also not been any evidence presented proving conclusively that a human can evolve from an ape. Sure, there are remarkable similarities between ape and human DNA and body structure. But that could mean a number of things (including that humans and apes had a common CREATOR, instead of a common ancestor).


That is true, there is nothing substantial, but that is why it is a theory. However I should remind you that there is also a plausable case that god created evolution as the tool in which to derive humans and intended for humans be a product branched from apes. Yet there are so few theists who accept that argument because they give more credit to the biblical creation story than they do for scientific findings. If humans were just sprung out of the dirt (clay) then why do we have DNA for things like tails? Or scales? Seems a little silly that god would include these bits of information in the human make up only to switch them off.

Klope3;172521 wrote:

Suppose a criminal is on trial after being accused of burglary. Muddy shoeprints are found on the carpet of the victim's house. This is evidence--of something. That "something" is the conclusion that must be agreed upon, and eventually this conclusion will be made BECAUSE there is evidence to support it. The shoeprints are a fact; they can only prove something if that "something" (a conclusion) is proposed. Evidence does not prove anything on its own. It is first found, and THEN a conclusion is drawn.


Yep, and the conclusion doesn't always fit with the evidence. However it is even more of a mistake to make a claim without a single piece of evidence to support that claim.

Klope3;172521 wrote:

The point is, you can't say that someone's evidence-based conclusion is invalid simply because they never had any evidence in the first place. If they cited empirical scientific findings, then they have evidence. The evidence may be good or bad, and the conclusion might be faulty, but both of these would be up for debate. The fact would still remain that evidence existed.


Fair enough, but I still have not been provided with anything I can use to support the theory that a god or gods exist.

Klope3;172521 wrote:

The terminology you use ("absolute morons") is strong, but it does come close to describing the situation. Humans were imperfect from the beginning. (You can't claim that humans don't make mistakes now.) This imperfection came through when Adam and Eve made the mistaken decision to disobey God. They let their desires (which, incidentally, they thought were good) get in the way of their obligation to God.


Obligation? You mean because god created them, they were obligated to obey god's every command? This is something in which I have a problem with. It implies slavery or indentured service. Why must a being be obligated to serve simply for being created? Did god ask them if they wanted to be created? No, so why should they be forced into obeying?

Same goes for me. My parents didn't ask me if I wanted to be born, so I am not obligated to them because they created me. Same goes for god, god did not ask if I wanted to be created, so I am not in any way obligated to obey any commands.

However do not mistake this for something that would be offered as a choice. If someone gives me a choice and I accept one of the choices then I am obligated accordingly to the agreed upon exchange. Otherwise this is unjust to force a being to be obligated simply because it was created.

Klope3;172521 wrote:

It doesn't logically make sense--but Genesis doesn't say that it was a logical decision, either.


I think you are the first theist to actually admit this. I give you credit for acknowledging it as a possibility. If it is not a logical decision then it could be said to be faulty. Are we sure we want to go down this path?

Klope3;172521 wrote:

The only conclusion I can draw from this is that you're not completely materialist (I hadn't understood that yet). You believe that things like thoughts and emotions are not comprised entirely of matter and/or energy. I'm not against that--I'm not a materialist either.


Well the thoughts themselves may not be material but they have materialism as their basis. If these chemicals do not interact then you won't have certain thoughts or feelings. So they are a byproduct of materialism. Thoughts and feelings don't just spontaneously arise for no reason. Which is why I think if there was an after life and you had some kind of soul, it stands to reason you wouldn't have any thoughts or emotions either because the things for which these thoughts and feelings arise wouldn't be present. If you could have thoughts and feelings without the material aspect, then why don't we have them now?

Klope3;172521 wrote:

Although, I would feel the necessity to go on to ask whether you're concluding this about thoughts and emotions because you have evidence (which you demand for IC and most other topics) to support that such things are indeed (partially) immaterial. It's hard to have material evidence to support the existence of immaterial things. (I know this sounds like your argument against the existence of God, but that's not what we're discussing here. I still think there's material evidence to support his existence.)


One aspect of my career deals with psychology of environmental chemical exposure. I have studied this field quite extensively because it was required to understand these things for the type of work that I do. I shouldn't profess that it dictates that my knowledge is correct though, but instead I have experienced cases where subjects were drastically altered from a "base" mental state to an "exaggerated" one purely by altering simple chemical functions. You can actually influence certain thought pasterns through the use of certain external stimuli without the subject even being aware that you were doing it. In fact illusionists do it all the time in their acts. You can actually influence someone to think something in which they would not normally do under other conditions.

Klope3;172521 wrote:

Sorry if I made this unclear. I am NOT a materialist/naturalist. I believe that eating another human would be very wrong. The point I am making is that there is no materialist that can conclude such a thing without being completely dishonest with themself. By believing that only material things matter but then choosing to believe in immaterial moral laws, they would be picking and choosing what they want to believe (as they accuse the "religious" of doing). The empirical evidence they demand for everything else is not there to support any sort of moral law.


I remember seeing a true story about a UN peace negotiator who was stationed in Somalia. His guide was a Muslim who was debriefing him on what to expect from the people and how to interact with the people so as not to create unnecessary disruption and gain the most possible acceptance with the local people. So they were talking about how some of the rebel gang leaders believe that eating your enemy is actually a custom for them. He was a little off put by that and asked the guide if he had ever eaten a human before. The guild said that he had. So he jokingly added, "So I hear it tastes like pork." The guide looked at him and said, "I wouldn't know, pork is forbidden to eat."

I thought this was incredibly funny that this Muslim would eat a human being but not a pig.

What you call wrong, someone else will find it completely acceptable. Just because some book says is right or wrong, does not mean that it is universally accepted. Therefore you must provide something that substantiates the claim that what you believe to be right, or wrong is accurate.
 
wayne
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 02:00 pm
@mark noble,
The very idea of any object being possessed with holiness seems ridiculous to me. It strikes me as an attempt to make a God that exists within our world. Not only do few Christians really read the Bible, the apparently turn off their brains too.

If God exists, and I think God does, such a God does not exist within our world, we exist within God's world.
If anything is holy, all things are holy.

The message holy? How can one tell what the message is?
Religion can't even agree on what the message is, there are more new churches, with different doctrines, popping up every day.
The message according to whom?

As far as the Bible as a book, it's a great book, filled with the wisdom of many different authors.

One of the better authors, IMO, suggests we use discernment, he also cautions against too much reliance on the written word and advises to let no man tell you that he knows, cause he can't.
Of course, that seems to get left out of the message by those who know.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 03:36 pm
@wayne,
wayne;172566 wrote:

If anything is holy, all things are holy.

Well put. Existence as a whole is holy, and the words are even related. Holy is all about feeling, in my un-book.

---------- Post added 06-03-2010 at 04:37 PM ----------

wayne;172566 wrote:

As far as the Bible as a book, it's a great book, filled with the wisdom of many different authors.

One of the better authors, IMO, suggests we use discernment, he also cautions against too much reliance on the written word and advises to let no man tell you that he knows, cause he can't.
Of course, that seems to get left out of the message by those who know.

Very true. A great collection of books. To read it well is so see not the book but life itself as holy.....just my opinion...Smile
 
wayne
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 03:43 pm
@Reconstructo,
---------- Post added 06-03-2010 at 04:37 PM ----------


Reconstructo;172596 wrote:
Very true. A great collection of books. To read it well is so see not the book but life itself as holy.....just my opinion...Smile


And mine as well. ....
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 03:44 pm
@mark noble,
Reconstructo wrote:
Very true. A great collection of books. To read it well is so see not the book but life itself as holy.....just my opinion...


What would it mean to see life as holy?
 
Jacques Maritain
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 04:27 pm
@wayne,
wayne;172566 wrote:

If anything is holy, all things are holy.

Care to explain what you mean by this?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 06:15 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;172603 wrote:
What would it mean to see life as holy?


Well, I like etymology, because I think all abstractions (or maybe just most) are dead or dying metaphors..

I know the word has questionable associations, but sometimes life is beautiful enough to deserve the term, I think. My lady's smiling face is holy. A tree full of noisy birds and their crazy music is holy. The sunrise is holy. Mathematics is holy. A tuna sandwich is holy. A good sh*t is holy.
Makes one's guts hum. :detective:
Quote:

holy http://www.etymonline.com/graphics/dictionary.gifO.E. halig "holy," from P.Gmc. *khailagas (cf. O.N. heilagr, Ger. heilig, Goth. hailags "holy"), adopted at conversion for L. sanctus. Primary (pre-Christian) meaning is not impossible to determine, but it was probably "that must be preserved whole or intact, that cannot be transgressed or violated," and connected with O.E. hal (see health) and O.H.G. heil "health, happiness, good luck" (source of the Ger. salutation heil).
This word doesn't break down into anything concrete though. So maybe it has been associated with an emotion for many many years.

This is better.
Quote:

The English word holy dates back to at least the 11th Century with the Old English word hālig, an adjective derived from hāl meaning whole and used to mean 'uninjured, sound, healthy, entire, complete'. The Scottish 'hale' (health, happiness and wholeness.) is the most complete modern form of this Old English root. The modern word 'health' is also derived from the Old English hal. As "wholeness", holiness may be taken to indicate a state of religious completeness or perfection. The word holy in its modern form appears in Wyclif's Bible of 1382.


Nietzsche wanted man to be hale, didn't he? He was a reformer. He saw that the human spirit was small and cramped. But he didn't do the job quite right....
 
wayne
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 06:58 pm
@Jacques Maritain,
Jacques Maritain;172636 wrote:
Care to explain what you mean by this?


The most basic description would be that either God is everything or he is nothing. All of his creation is holy, and should be revered as such.
Take one thing from this world and this world ceases to be.
 
Jacques Maritain
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 07:11 pm
@wayne,
wayne;172741 wrote:
The most basic description would be that either God is everything or he is nothing. All of his creation is holy, and should be revered as such.
Take one thing from this world and this world ceases to be.

This sounds alot like pantheism.
 
Klope3
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 07:12 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;172549 wrote:
Yes I am familiar with his work. I say that his claims are off base. The reason he has created these errors in reasoning is because he is doing the typical backward approach. He is trying to start from the conclusion and work backwards to find ways to support the conclusion. We all know that you will always have errors if you attempt to work this way. His errors have been well documented and discussed. Every example that Behe has used to explain IC has been refuted. There is not a single case that supports his claims accurately and reliably.


But I do believe there have been refutations OF those refutations, as well--some of them, at least. And yes, there can be refutations of refutations (since a refutation may be logical but is not necessarily true/accurate). I'm sure you know this.

Krumple;172549 wrote:
That is true, there is nothing substantial, but that is why it is a theory. However I should remind you that there is also a plausable case that god created evolution as the tool in which to derive humans and intended for humans be a product branched from apes. Yet there are so few theists who accept that argument because they give more credit to the biblical creation story than they do for scientific findings. If humans were just sprung out of the dirt (clay) then why do we have DNA for things like tails? Or scales? Seems a little silly that god would include these bits of information in the human make up only to switch them off.


I didn't think I'd say this, but--thank you! You may be the first atheist/"evolutionist" I've heard admit this. It is still a theory. A very complex, well-reasoned theory, but a theory nonetheless. Too often I hear evolutionists talking as if it's completely obvious that evolution HAPPENED, undeniably and unequivocally. If you can admit outright that evolution is still a theory, then I thank you once again--you're more open-minded than I thought you were.

It would indeed be a fascinating thing if God used evolution to intelligently create life. The main problem I have with that, though, is WHY he would do it that way. If he can create the universe in a trillionth of a second, then why would he want to take billions of years to create humans? I know this is once more quibbling over God's intentions, but I personally see it as even less plausible to combine creationism and evolutionism than to believe in one or the other. Neither have been proven with absolute, undeniable evidence, and it seems that combining them would require even more proof.

Krumple;172549 wrote:
Obligation? You mean because god created them, they were obligated to obey god's every command? This is something in which I have a problem with. It implies slavery or indentured service. Why must a being be obligated to serve simply for being created? Did god ask them if they wanted to be created? No, so why should they be forced into obeying?


The obligation would technically originate from both sides. Consider this (and please hear me out): You're Adam, and you've been created by God. This God is perfect, omniscient, and omnipotent. He's put you in paradise, and gifted you with not only an incredible body but also the opportunity to enjoy sights, sounds, smells, and all the other animals that live in harmony with you. He's even given you a companion, with whom you can share a relationship second in value only to that which you share with God. And, supposedly, you will rejoice in all this for eternity, eventually having a family and filling the world with billions of others who will never die and will rejoice as one in the presence of God.

Wouldn't you be thankful for all this? This is before any kind of hardship entered the world. According to the Bible, Adam and Eve didn't even have to WORK for their food. Can you think of any reason not to be thankful?

Now, when I am thankful to someone even for small things, I will occasionally muster up the obligation to make them happy as they have made me happy. That way I can show my appreciation, and they'll be made happy too, not only through the favor I do for them but through knowing they've pleased me. (This is at least somewhat similar to the empathy you've described concerning the issue of cannibalism.)

Now transfer this kind of obligation to the issue of obedience to God. Because I believe in God, I don't simply (try to) obey him because he threatens me with damnation--or even, entirely, because he tells me to. A big part of it has to do with how thankful I am to him for creating the vast universe, the beauty of nature, and the vast opportunities in the realm of relationships with other people--and, of course, for creating me to be able to enjoy all of this, flawed and unworthy as I am. And I'm thankful and obligated this way even in the presence of all the hardship that has come and will continue to come for the rest of my life. If I had all this wonder to enjoy AND I lived in a perfect world as Adam and Eve did, I can't imagine the feelings I would have toward God.

So this is probably why Adam and Eve would have felt an obligation to obey God. Unfortunately, they were imperfect from the beginning, and made a terrible mistake.

Krumple;172549 wrote:
I think you are the first theist to actually admit this. I give you credit for acknowledging it as a possibility. If it is not a logical decision then it could be said to be faulty. Are we sure we want to go down this path?


Your response makes me somewhat uncertain as to whether I made my point completely clear. All I meant was that I have been known to act illogically in the past, as have others, and that it's a distinct possibility that Adam and Eve were in a similar situation.

Krumple;172549 wrote:
Well the thoughts themselves may not be material but they have materialism as their basis. If these chemicals do not interact then you won't have certain thoughts or feelings. So they are a byproduct of materialism. Thoughts and feelings don't just spontaneously arise for no reason. Which is why I think if there was an after life and you had some kind of soul, it stands to reason you wouldn't have any thoughts or emotions either because the things for which these thoughts and feelings arise wouldn't be present. If you could have thoughts and feelings without the material aspect, then why don't we have them now?


I would suggest that perhaps some thoughts and feelings are a byproduct of material occurrences, and that some others are perhaps the cause of such occurrences. Such that, in an afterlife, we would think/feel only some of what we do now--or that we would think/feel in an entirely different way that we can't comprehend now. Again, no evidence, but I don't think there is evidence for the exact nature of the afterlife.

Krumple;172549 wrote:
One aspect of my career deals with psychology of environmental chemical exposure. I have studied this field quite extensively because it was required to understand these things for the type of work that I do. I shouldn't profess that it dictates that my knowledge is correct though, but instead I have experienced cases where subjects were drastically altered from a "base" mental state to an "exaggerated" one purely by altering simple chemical functions. You can actually influence certain thought pasterns through the use of certain external stimuli without the subject even being aware that you were doing it. In fact illusionists do it all the time in their acts. You can actually influence someone to think something in which they would not normally do under other conditions.


Sorry, but it seems almost as if you're arguing that thoughts ARE material, rather than that they're not.

Krumple;172549 wrote:
I remember seeing a true story about a UN peace negotiator who was stationed in Somalia. His guide was a Muslim who was debriefing him on what to expect from the people and how to interact with the people so as not to create unnecessary disruption and gain the most possible acceptance with the local people. So they were talking about how some of the rebel gang leaders believe that eating your enemy is actually a custom for them. He was a little off put by that and asked the guide if he had ever eaten a human before. The guild said that he had. So he jokingly added, "So I hear it tastes like pork." The guide looked at him and said, "I wouldn't know, pork is forbidden to eat."


Interesting. I would suggest that there is a universal moral law, but that in some cases certain parts of it have been buried/ignored throughout the course of societal development. At any rate, I fail to see how your response addresses my claim that a strict materialist cannot reasonably suggest the existence of immaterial morals.
 
wayne
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 07:18 pm
@Jacques Maritain,
Jacques Maritain;172750 wrote:
This sounds alot like pantheism.


Yes, it is similar, but I think we should stop short of defining God.
God remains outside of our human understanding and cannot be defined.
The creation in which we live is of God, and part of God, but is not all of God.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 10:25 pm
@wayne,
wayne;172741 wrote:
The most basic description would be that either God is everything or he is nothing. All of his creation is holy, and should be revered as such.
Take one thing from this world and this world ceases to be.



Damn, that's my view! If you reduce "God" to a concept or a ritual or an ethic, you have introduced "sin", "error", "imperfection" into something that ultimately is greater than any particular system of concepts. This also ties into Hegel, whose earlier work is much more direct than folks suppose.

---------- Post added 06-03-2010 at 11:29 PM ----------

wayne;172754 wrote:
Yes, it is similar, but I think we should stop short of defining God.
God remains outside of our human understanding and cannot be defined.
The creation in which we live is of God, and part of God, but is not all of God.


Right! Because to define is to delimit. To reduce. Concepts shrink God. Even the concept God is already a reduction, which encourages us to forget the passionate and sensual aspects of Life.
 
wayne
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 11:15 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;172798 wrote:
Damn, that's my view! If you reduce "God" to a concept or a ritual or an ethic, you have introduced "sin", "error", "imperfection" into something that ultimately is greater than any particular system of concepts. This also ties into Hegel, whose earlier work is much more direct than folks suppose.

---------- Post added 06-03-2010 at 11:29 PM ----------



Right! Because to define is to delimit. To reduce. Concepts shrink God. Even the concept God is already a reduction, which encourages us to forget the passionate and sensual aspects of Life.


People seem to have a hard time with this, we like to have something tangible to hang on to. I think this view tends to feel a bit like freefall, but you get used to it after awhile.
It leaves more room for what I think is real faith.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 11:24 pm
@wayne,
wayne;172815 wrote:
People seem to have a hard time with this, we like to have something tangible to hang on to. I think this view tends to feel a bit like freefall, but you get used to it after awhile.
It leaves more room for what I think is real faith.


Yes, real faith is the opposite of belief, in my opinion. Real faith is fearlessness, a trust in the nature of things, an acceptance of death that doesn't dwell on death. An ability to enjoy the here and now.
 
wayne
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 11:47 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;172819 wrote:
Yes, real faith is the opposite of belief, in my opinion. Real faith is fearlessness, a trust in the nature of things, an acceptance of death that doesn't dwell on death. An ability to enjoy the here and now.


Exactly, faith is fearlessness, much more to it than just believing something.
You are one of the very few I have met who understands this.
Solomon said he met one man in a thousand.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 11:48 pm
@wayne,
wayne;172832 wrote:
Exactly, faith is fearlessness, much more to it than just believing something.
You are one of the very few I have met who understands this.
Solomon said he met one man in a thousand.


I find it pleasant and eerie that we click on this. I have felt trapped between two camps....till now. Smile If you also like mathematics, I'm really going to lose it. Happily, of course.
 
wayne
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 12:04 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;172833 wrote:
I find it pleasant and eerie that we click on this. I have felt trapped between two camps....till now. Smile If you also like mathematics, I'm really going to lose it. Happily, of course.


Wow, that is amazing, I have felt caught out in the cold too. Don't worry about the math, it hates me.

There may be a few of us out there, but it's a hard road at times.
People like definitions and would rather be told how to believe.
Besides, it's not easy to describe, words just don't do it.

Your idea of love as the primary is great, we just don't need anything else.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 12:05 am
@Klope3,
Klope3;172751 wrote:
It would indeed be a fascinating thing if God used evolution to intelligently create life. The main problem I have with that, though, is WHY he would do it that way. If he can create the universe in a trillionth of a second, then why would he want to take billions of years to create humans?


Well this is a good question but I think it might have something to do with scope. The universe is incredibly large it would seem strange to me if you were god to create such a large place and only have these incredibly tiny humans as your point for making it? It would be like constructing a sports stadium to hold your six inch diameter fish tank with microscopic bacteria. It just doesn't add up unless you actually planned to have many different planets with many different forms of life all arising at different times. If you designed a set of rules then you could let the laws of the universe do the work for you. Then you wouldn't have to babysit all the details to make sure it turned out right. It's the most efficient method for large scale production. Make the rules do all the work so you don't have to.

But you would then have to accept that god planed for many hundreds of billions of other life forms in the universe on other planets. However very few theists would accept that. It would mean jesus is not special in any way and that we are not the only intelligent life in the universe.

Of course with all that said, it still doesn't lead us to an actual intelligence. It could just as well be that energy itself has no plan things just occur under certain conditions. If you have taken any form of chemistry, you would know what I mean here. How just the structure of atoms can alter their appearance and properties. Why is it some elements are transparent and others are not? Why are some dark black and others shiny gold? All you are doing is adding in a few protons and electrons, so why would it have such drastic effects on what the element looked like? Okay rambling a little bit there...

Klope3;172751 wrote:

I know this is once more quibbling over God's intentions, but I personally see it as even less plausible to combine creationism and evolutionism than to believe in one or the other. Neither have been proven with absolute, undeniable evidence, and it seems that combining them would require even more proof.


Well the biblical account of the creation days don't stack up to certain things as we know them and that is why I can't accept the bibles version of creation. For example the horizon problem. If god made the stars the light from some of those stars would have taken millions of years to reach the earth. So did he cheat and just bend the rule of light speed and make the light instantly travel the distance?

What about the element problem? We know that within stars heavier elements are formed through the process of fusion. We know this because the light given off by the star reveals their elements. We also know this because during the after effects of supernovas we can see rings of elements that have been shed from the exploding star which give off different spectrum bands identical to the elements we know.

So if god fashioned everything with these elements, why create stars that also form these elements. That seems like a little absurd back end details. I find it hard to believe that he would make the earth first, and then all the stars. When the earth is made up of many heavy elements. Why create all these heavy elements and then supply us with stars that will produce more heavy elements? Isn't that a little backwards?

Klope3;172751 wrote:

The obligation would technically originate from both sides. Consider this (and please hear me out): You're Adam, and you've been created by God. This God is perfect, omniscient, and omnipotent. He's put you in paradise, and gifted you with not only an incredible body but also the opportunity to enjoy sights, sounds, smells, and all the other animals that live in harmony with you. He's even given you a companion, with whom you can share a relationship second in value only to that which you share with God. And, supposedly, you will rejoice in all this for eternity, eventually having a family and filling the world with billions of others who will never die and will rejoice as one in the presence of God.

Wouldn't you be thankful for all this? This is before any kind of hardship entered the world. According to the Bible, Adam and Eve didn't even have to WORK for their food. Can you think of any reason not to be thankful?


Actually no I can't because I wasn't asked if this is what I wanted, it was just sprung on me. If I had never been created I would have never known these things at all. But to then turn around and place conditions on these things, then they really never were gifts or shared things but instead they are obligations without contract. It sounds more like entrapment than anything nice. More like a person trying to contrive some special offer by handing you a bunch of free things, vacations, new clothes, a new car, paid dinners to turn around and say well, now all you have to do is ... If that is the case I would rather of had nothing, because it isn't a gift if there is an attachment or condition.

god: "Welcome to life, now you must obey me or be cast out and suffer."

Klope3;172751 wrote:

Now, when I am thankful to someone even for small things, I will occasionally muster up the obligation to make them happy as they have made me happy. That way I can show my appreciation, and they'll be made happy too, not only through the favor I do for them but through knowing they've pleased me. (This is at least somewhat similar to the empathy you've described concerning the issue of cannibalism.)


No that is completely different. If someone does something nice for you, you are not obligated to do anything nice in return. However you are switching the case as if god placing a commandment on you is somehow a returned offer by you.

"Oh thanks god for giving me life and all these wonderful things. Now I will obey any command you give me no matter what it is or how difficult it might be to keep."

I don't think it would happen like that. Maybe you would, but I know I wouldn't. Call me selfish or inconsiderate but I don't immediately sign my life away because someone gave me something I didn't ask for. I might say thanks and not abuse them but I definitely wouldn't sign up for obey or else. If it would have been me. I would have said, why did you create me then if you didn't want me to do this? You knew that I would eventually do these things you dislike, so why even bother?

Klope3;172751 wrote:

Now transfer this kind of obligation to the issue of obedience to God. Because I believe in God, I don't simply (try to) obey him because he threatens me with damnation--or even, entirely, because he tells me to. A big part of it has to do with how thankful I am to him for creating the vast universe, the beauty of nature, and the vast opportunities in the realm of relationships with other people--and, of course, for creating me to be able to enjoy all of this, flawed and unworthy as I am. And I'm thankful and obligated this way even in the presence of all the hardship that has come and will continue to come for the rest of my life. If I had all this wonder to enjoy AND I lived in a perfect world as Adam and Eve did, I can't imagine the feelings I would have toward God.


Okay, well you might see it like that, but I see it as indentured servitude. To give someone all these things and then expect something from them, is not giving them anything other than a condition. It is a bait and switch tactic and the worst part is you entered into the game without even being allowed to accept the rules. If I would have known that these were the rules I would have chosen non-existence.

Klope3;172751 wrote:

So this is probably why Adam and Eve would have felt an obligation to obey God. Unfortunately, they were imperfect from the beginning, and made a terrible mistake.


Isn't that what you would expect from "imperfection"? But I find it strange that if a great all powerful god made something, that it would have been so imperfect. Why if you are perfect would you create something less than perfect? Unless your whole point is to purposely watch these beings suffer.

Klope3;172751 wrote:

Your response makes me somewhat uncertain as to whether I made my point completely clear. All I meant was that I have been known to act illogically in the past, as have others, and that it's a distinct possibility that Adam and Eve were in a similar situation.


Right, however there is a problem. Given enough time all things will eventually happen regardless of the consequences. Why? Boredom. No matter what the rules state, and no matter what the punishment is, if you are living in some place for eternity, eventually you will do that one thing that you were not suppose to do. It is all just a matter of time. It might take a billion years, but eventually you will do it. I guarantee that.

Klope3;172751 wrote:

I would suggest that perhaps some thoughts and feelings are a byproduct of material occurrences, and that some others are perhaps the cause of such occurrences. Such that, in an afterlife, we would think/feel only some of what we do now--or that we would think/feel in an entirely different way that we can't comprehend now. Again, no evidence, but I don't think there is evidence for the exact nature of the afterlife.


Well it would have to. On some level you would have to not have certain emotions and certain thoughts. I simply can not see how certain things would transpire. Many of the things you enjoy in this life simply could not exist in a heaven. I find it hard to believe that there would be this hardcore punk band show in heaven just waiting for you when you get there. Chalked full of beer bottles and cigarettes. Just would not happen so if I were to end up in heaven it would become a hell to me, because all the things I enjoy in this life which most people find repulsive just would not happen. How could they? Unless it was all just an illusion, not real just a make believe scenario. If it were just fake to place me into some blissful enjoyment, I wouldn't want it, because it was fake. That is only one problem with heaven. What about your feelings for the people who didn't get to go there? Would you really be able to enjoy yourself if some of the people you loved in this life ended up not going? How could you "live" with yourself? Heaven would turn into a hell, that is unless god would just fabricate that person. But then again that would be a lie, since it wouldn't really be them, it would just be an illusion of them to make you feel happy they were there. I wouldn't want that either. Sure I might not know the truth but that would make god a liar.

Klope3;172751 wrote:

Sorry, but it seems almost as if you're arguing that thoughts ARE material, rather than that they're not.


The thoughts themselves are immaterial however they have materialism as their basis. You can't have thoughts without their basis.

Klope3;172751 wrote:

Interesting. I would suggest that there is a universal moral law, but that in some cases certain parts of it have been buried/ignored throughout the course of societal development. At any rate, I fail to see how your response addresses my claim that a strict materialist cannot reasonably suggest the existence of immaterial morals.


Well not to offend you but I think you have been fed nonsense with that concept of immaterial morality. It simply does not exist. If it existed it would be clear as day to everyone but I can ask you some simple questions and could you answer them for me?

Is taking drugs morally right or morally wrong?
Is purchasing sex from a prostitute morally right or morally wrong?
Is eating an animal morally right or morally wrong?
Is stealing food so you don't starve, morally right or morally wrong?

See I can't even answer these questions. I have absolutely no idea what is what. If morality were innate I should be able to answer them. The only way in which I can even have a chance to answer them is by their impact on myself or those around me. If everyone around me is cool with it then what is the harm? It's not actually hurting anyone, why would it be morally wrong then? Can you answer them for me? Or does this prove that there are no universal morals?
 
prothero
 
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 12:12 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;172833 wrote:
I find it pleasant and eerie that we click on this. I have felt trapped between two camps....till now. Smile If you also like mathematics, I'm really going to lose it. Happily, of course.
The true definition of belief has been given as
"that on which a person is prepared to act"
People claim to believe all sorts of things that their actions indicate they do not really believe. The things we really believe are portrayed in our lives by our actions not by what we verbally profess. A lot of it is just word games and word play, what we really "believe" or have "faith in" is reflected in our actions.
 
 

 
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