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The handiwork of God

 
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 03:09 pm
@Emil,
Pyrrho;123246 wrote:
In other words, people need to take precautions against attacks on their safety by god.


Not at all. In other words, people need to realize that the Earth is exactly as it is - that the tide moves in and out, ect.

How can you move from earthquakes being a natural feature of planet earth to earth quakes being an aggressive assault upon humans by God? The earth having natural feature X is not the same as natural feature X being a weapon used by God against human kind.

And there is also a great deal of trouble saying God can attack human kind, a great deal of trouble even saying that God is the creator. The matter is not so simple.

Pyrrho;123246 wrote:
You see, the only reason people need to take precautions against earthquakes is because the earth is such that there are earthquakes. If there were a good and powerful god, then it would not make the world so dangerous for people to live in.


How? Can you imagine what the earth would be like if earthquakes were not possible? The ramifications of an earthquake free world upon the process of evolution, for example?

Now let's get into the trouble with calling God the creator, saying of God that He can attack humans, even saying that He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. Because this is the heart of the matter. God is not any of these things - when we say that God is omniscient, et al, we are using fallible human language to describe God, and God is simply beyond human language. All human language can do is point to the reality of God, but that language cannot adequately describe God - so God is the creator, but not really, He is greater than that. The reality of God being beyond human language, rests in the experience of God. This is why the spiritual path is not merely an intellectual exercise, but a practice of rituals and prayer.

So, to say that 'God is the creator, thus earthquakes are his fault' is to criticize a human concept based upon another insufficient human concept. At best, it is objecting to the language, but the language of God is, obviously, not God Himself.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 03:22 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;123315 wrote:

So, to say that 'God is the creator, thus earthquakes are his fault' is to criticize a human concept based upon another insufficient human concept. At best, it is objecting to the language, but the language of God is, obviously, not God Himself.


So, I suppose that to say that God is the creator and it is his doing that we have lovely sunsets, and rain to slake our thirst, and the Sun to warm us is to praise a "human concept based on another insufficient human concept". For if we do not condemn God for earthquakes and the evils that arise from them, then why should we praise God for the Sun and the good that comes from the Sun? Fair is fair.
0 Replies
 
Emil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 03:24 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;123315 wrote:
Not at all. In other words, people need to realize that the Earth is exactly as it is - that the tide moves in and out, ect.

How can you move from earthquakes being a natural feature of planet earth to earth quakes being an aggressive assault upon humans by God? The earth having natural feature X is not the same as natural feature X being a weapon used by God against human kind.

And there is also a great deal of trouble saying God can attack human kind, a great deal of trouble even saying that God is the creator. The matter is not so simple.



How? Can you imagine what the earth would be like if earthquakes were not possible? The ramifications of an earthquake free world upon the process of evolution, for example?

Now let's get into the trouble with calling God the creator, saying of God that He can attack humans, even saying that He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. Because this is the heart of the matter. God is not any of these things - when we say that God is omniscient, et al, we are using fallible human language to describe God, and God is simply beyond human language. All human language can do is point to the reality of God, but that language cannot adequately describe God - so God is the creator, but not really, He is greater than that. The reality of God being beyond human language, rests in the experience of God. This is why the spiritual path is not merely an intellectual exercise, but a practice of rituals and prayer.

So, to say that 'God is the creator, thus earthquakes are his fault' is to criticize a human concept based upon another insufficient human concept. At best, it is objecting to the language, but the language of God is, obviously, not God Himself.


"Look at me. I can write meaningless nonsense about something which is beyond human language."
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 03:32 pm
@Emil,
kennethamy;123319 wrote:
So, I suppose that to say that God is the creator and it is his doing that we have lovely sunsets, and rain to slake our thirst, and the Sun to warm us is to praise a "human concept based on another insufficient human concept".


Sure.

kennethamy;123319 wrote:
For if we do not condemn God for earthquakes and the evils that arise from them, then why should we praise God for the Sun and the good that comes from the Sun? Fair is fair.


Go back to your own post, regarding Leibniz and Pope. Why ask me when you already know the answer?
Amperage
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 03:34 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;123315 wrote:
How? Can you imagine what the earth would be like if earthquakes were not possible? The ramifications of an earthquake free world upon the process of evolution, for example?

Consider that earthquakes are the result of plate tectonics and tectonic activity. Without continuing tectonic activity the world would covered with water due to erosion.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 03:36 pm
@Amperage,
Amperage;123327 wrote:
Consider that earthquakes are the result of plate tectonics and tectonic activity. Without continuing tectonic activity the world would covered with water due to erosion.


Exactly right. How presumptuous is it for man to bash God over the nature of this planet, as if we could have done a better job! We can't even seem to take care of this planet, so I doubt we could one up God with a better globe altogether.
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 04:23 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
We really need to get off the blame god-thing here. In its best form, such a discussion is disjointed and juxtaposed - simply by virtue of the different definitions/conceptions at hand (read: worthless bickering; and will always digress to just that).

One of the most difficult realities to come to terms with, I believe, is the understanding that horrible things happen (human caused or not) and no motive, no myth, no slogan or ritual can delude the pain they cause. Reality has a rather harsh disposition; I believe, and the reality here is such things happen as a result of tectonic movement and population concentration - to attribute anything more is spurious at best.

And for my fellow atheists, don't use this as a petty example of how bad god is; I find it embarrassing. I would; however, suggest that you try to empathize with those theists who do try to find purpose and meaning in even these terrible events (knowing also that many conceptions of god don't have anything to do with ordaining events, dictating fate or crashing buildings). In any case, I think it forgivable - perhaps even admirable - to look for 'lessons' or 'meaning' in such things. Don't poop on their parade - their most tender feelings - by using such a tragedy to imply their god (or any god - perhaps the one we don't believe in) is to blame. All you're going to do is spawn yet another session of hit-and-miss bickering; who thinks this is a good idea?

Thanks - I hope this adds well
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 04:44 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;123323 wrote:
Sure.



Go back to your own post, regarding Leibniz and Pope. Why ask me when you already know the answer?


If our fault-finding with God is unjustified because of the insufficiency of our conceptions, then how is our praise of God justified. Are you saying that our conceptions concerning God are sufficient for praise, but that they are insufficient for blame. How could that be? If we do not know enough to blame God, then how do we know enough to praise him. It looks as if God is neither moral nor immoral. And, in that case, why is God worthy of worship?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 05:27 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;123341 wrote:
If our fault-finding with God is unjustified because of the insufficiency of our conceptions, then how is our praise of God justified.


We can be upset with God, and we can be thankful of Him.

It is perfectly fine to be upset with God over disaster - it's an understandable emotional reaction to tragic events. But our knee-jerk emotional reactions are not always so insightful; our considerations are typically clouded.

Yes, earthquakes happen. And a person can be upset about that fact. But upon reflection, after looking deeply, a person should also begin to realize what Leibniz and Pope realized, and many others have realized, too.

Jesus went to the desert, had doubt - to be upset with God is to doubt his greatness, his love. To blame Him as a malign culprit for tragic events is this doubt, too. Doubt is perfectly fine, natural, healthy. But what do we do when we doubt? We think. Hopefully we do not think like angry little children, but instead rise to the occasion and get over our egotistical tendency to think we know better than God.

God should be humbling for us, He should not be humbled to us. Otherwise we're misunderstanding this concept called God. Which is easy to do, misunderstand. But then again, God isn't supposed to be easy to understand, God is suppose to challenge. That disturbs many people, especially people who like to think of themselves as being so damn smart. Instead of taking the challenge, instead of humbly accepting that they do not understand something and that they will have to work hard, with honest diligence, they call it all nonsense and dismiss.
Justin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 06:04 pm
@Pyrrho,
OP: Hey, that's the handi-work of humankind not God. Get it right if you're going to blame someone.
Pyrrho
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 06:35 pm
@Justin,
Justin;123358 wrote:
OP: Hey, that's the handi-work of humankind not God. Get it right if you're going to blame someone.


You imagine that humans cause earthquakes?
0 Replies
 
Justin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 06:36 pm
@Pyrrho,
According to my understanding of Balance, yes. They just don't know it.
Jebediah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 06:38 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Amperage wrote:
Consider that earthquakes are the result of plate tectonics and tectonic activity. Without continuing tectonic activity the world would covered with water due to erosion.


Most religions have an omnipotent god, yes?

Didymos Thomas;123354 wrote:


God should be humbling for us, He should not be humbled to us. Otherwise we're misunderstanding this concept called God. Which is easy to do, misunderstand. But then again, God isn't supposed to be easy to understand, God is suppose to challenge. That disturbs many people, especially people who like to think of themselves as being so damn smart. Instead of taking the challenge, instead of humbly accepting that they do not understand something and that they will have to work hard, with honest diligence, they call it all nonsense and dismiss.


The hardest riddles to understand are the ones without any answer. Or perhaps the question of "what is the nature of god?" is like one of those zen koans, which have disconcertingly simple answers. Maybe the most challenging answer to accept is that there is no god.

Of course some people have no problem with rejecting god specifically, so you could replace god with "ulterior meaning".

---------- Post added 01-28-2010 at 07:39 PM ----------

Justin;123365 wrote:
According to my understanding of Balance, yes. They just don't know it.


There are many earthquakes on other planets, yes? Venus is quite out of balance (although the crust has thickened to the point where there aren't any earthquakes), and there haven't been any people living there. Of course, I don't know what you mean by balance.
Pyrrho
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 06:40 pm
@Amperage,
Amperage;123327 wrote:
Consider that earthquakes are the result of plate tectonics and tectonic activity. Without continuing tectonic activity the world would covered with water due to erosion.


You are imagining an impotent god if it could not make a planet that does not have those problems. For one thing, there need not be so much water on a planet. A being too stupid to think of something better than this planet isn't much of a god.
Justin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 06:46 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;123366 wrote:
There are many earthquakes on other planets, yes? Venus is quite out of balance (although the crust has thickened to the point where there aren't any earthquakes), and there haven't been any people living there. Of course, I don't know what you mean by balance.

There's a lot to understand about universal balance and energy. There are no people on Venus though. There are here..
0 Replies
 
Emil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 07:01 pm
@Justin,
Justin;123365 wrote:
According to my understanding of Balance, yes. They just don't know it.


Right..............
0 Replies
 
Amperage
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 07:10 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;123368 wrote:
You are imagining an impotent god if it could not make a planet that does not have those problems. For one thing, there need not be so much water on a planet. A being too stupid to think of something better than this planet isn't much of a god.
lol the burden of proof will have to be on you for this one.

Consider also that plate tectonics are the way they are because of our molten mantel, which mean our continents are essentially floating. If not for this independent rotation we would not have our magnetosphere (Magnetosphere - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Without the magnetosphere life on earth could not exists due to radiation.

Why not get rid of radiation? radiation is necessary to the functioning of the universe. Nuclear fusion. In addition, the materials needed to produce rocky planets is produced through this process. So, changing this would prevent the formation of rocky planets and life altogether. In addition, it is the decay of radioactive materials that keep the earth's interior molten, allowing for the existence of the magnetosphere to protect the earth from deadly radiation.

So until you can prove that God could have created it differently the assumption must be that God created it exactly as was necessary.

For a deeper look into some of these issues check out this site: Does the Presence of Natural Evil Argue Against the Existence of God? Why Natural Evil Must Exist
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 07:40 pm
@Amperage,
Jebediah;123366 wrote:

The hardest riddles to understand are the ones without any answer. Or perhaps the question of "what is the nature of god?" is like one of those zen koans, which have disconcertingly simple answers.


Not in the bulk of theology. Generally, the nature of God is understood to be inexplicable in human language, and that this impotency of language to adequately express God intellectually is taken as evidence of His ultimate reality.

Jebediah;123366 wrote:
Maybe the most challenging answer to accept is that there is no god.


But that's so easy.

Jebediah;123366 wrote:
Of course some people have no problem with rejecting god specifically, so you could replace god with "ulterior meaning".


I'm not sure that would work. Ulterior designating the meaning as intentionally kept a secret, except that we have volumes of scripture with direction in them - love your neighbor, ect. These are not ulterior meanings.

I really appreciate your willingness to discuss these subjects, Jebediah. There are others who refuse, preferring to simply give angry assertions, unproductive expressions of their refusal to seriously approach such subjects. I'm all for atheism - nothing against it; if you don't need the concept of God, that's great. And then to come from such a background with an open, honest, and genuinely curious interest, well, it's commendable.
[/COLOR]
0 Replies
 
Pyrrho
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 07:41 pm
@Amperage,
Amperage;123377 wrote:
...
So until you can prove that God could have created it differently the assumption must be that God created it exactly as was necessary.



Not at all. There is no reason to suppose that there is a god at all.


Amperage;123377 wrote:
For a deeper look into some of these issues check out this site: Does the Presence of Natural Evil Argue Against the Existence of God? Why Natural Evil Must Exist



That is a very shallow look at these issues. For example it says:

Quote:
The universe must operate through reliable physical laws, since it would be impossible for sentient creatures to make sense of a universe in which the physical laws were randomly applied. The Bible explicitly says that God fixed the laws that govern the universe.



No one has proposed that it should be decided randomly when god intervenes and when god does not. If god prevented earthquakes that harm people, no one would even know that he was intervening, so it would not impact our ability to make sense of the world. Also, even if intervening were really a problem, then the Bible stories about god intervening must be false. The fool who wrote that article though does not see that he is taking a self-contradictory approach, as he uses the Bible to support his ideas, when the Bible tells us that he is in fact wrong about God intervening.

And that is just one of the many stupid claims at that site. What it shows is that Rich Deem does not want to give up his beliefs, when he hasn't got a leg to stand on. But, he pretends, and people who want to believe usually don't bother to really examine what he is saying, so they will likely be satisfied with such tripe.
Amperage
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2010 07:47 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;123380 wrote:
No one has proposed that it should be decided randomly when god intervenes and when god does not. If god prevented earthquakes that harm people, no one would even know that he was intervening, so it would not impact our ability to make sense of the world. Also, even if intervening were really a problem, then the Bible stories about god intervening must be false. The fool who wrote that article though does not see that he is taking a self-contradictory approach, as he uses the Bible to support his ideas, when the Bible tells us that he is in fact wrong about God intervening.
I don't agree with a lot of things on that site but that article I feel like is spot on.

So now your arguing that since you can't distinguish which stories are literal and which are figurative then the entire bible is invalidated?
 

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