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Hguols

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PostSubject: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:19 pm

Have you guys heard about this site?

http://www.whywontgodhealamputees.com/

What do you guys think?





Discuss!!!


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Shamax

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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:46 pm

It's a great site for setting-up and knocking down straw men, but that's all the arguments seem to do. They say "Well, if *I* was God, here's what *I* would do, so why won't your God do what I want?" They do a marvelous job of ridiculing the "cosmic slot machine" view of God that plagues a lot of modern cultural Christianity, but it seems to pick and choose what it wants to do with the text of Scripture (like many Christians, unfortunately).
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olias

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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:00 pm

It's a good site for examination I'd say.
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:48 pm

I read it. The first time around, it's like, whoa, interesting, some of these arguments make sense. Then you realize they don't. Then you realize how lame the site is. Some of the arguments are downright terrible, and some of the questions are just plain old ridiculous. It's the same old out-of-context stuff I see nearly every day.

"Why won't God heal amputees?"

I didn't know He didn't. This is a fallen world, and we don't simply pray and get everything answered instantly. God has, does and will heal people, but that doesn't mean you insert a coin into God and automatically get a miracle. God's been caring about amputees since before the foundations of the world were laid. Don't mistake silence for ignoring.

"Why are there so many starving people in the world?"

Probably because people like you are too busy making snarky videos criticizing Christians and not doing your part to feed little children in Africa.

"Scientific nonsense."

Those were just stupid. But, interestingly enough, there are anicent accounts in nearly every culture in the world of an world-wide disaster...often depicted as a flood.

"Slavery."

God was not a proponent of slavery. It was acknowledged and rules were set down for it. Don't confuse silence for cheering the practice on. It was later abolished. By God. Slavery back then wasn't like the Civil WAR SLAVERY. It was either an employee/employer relationship or a punishment for a crime. Do some research.

"Why do bad things happen to good people?"

Who is good? Why do people, whom you say are "good" (based on what, I don't know) have a right to never have anything bad happen to them? This is Earth, homefry. Bad stuff happens. The rain falls on the just and unjust alike.

"Why didn't Jesus miracles leave any evidence?"

Aside from the historically reliable, written accounts? I don't know.

"How do you explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you?"

How do you explain the fact the no one's mind has ever appeared to you?

"Why would Jesus want you to eat his flesh and drink his blood?"

Yeah. That's exactly what He meant when he held up a cup full of wine and gave it the symbolism we associate with His blood and held up bread and did the same thig. He totally meant for us to be cannibals. Think, Mcfly, think!

"Why do Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-christians?"

I didn't know Christians weren't allowed to be normal people, who have problems, issues, differences and a tendency to screw up. Could you point me to the verse in the Bible that says, "Yea verily, your lives will be easy as all get out from here on out!"

I don't usually go for these stupid questions since they area all based on bad logic and really stupid positions, but I thought I'd have a bit of fun with them today (plus, if I remember right, this whole site and questions are set up the way they are so as to trick people onto the site and de-convert them).

As for the killing issue, which is the only one I'm going to have to work a response to, it certainly isn't black and white. I don't recall too many people ever being "innocent," in all of history. It wasn't pleasant, but it was a rough time, lots of wars, lots of bad people who were doing lots of bad things to Israel, God's chosen people. God doesn't order the deaths of people just for the heck of it. Sadly, there's no answer I can give on that question that will make it sound good to a non-believer. I'll leave it at that. The others are various legal affairs that carried quite a bit of weight anywhere in the ancient world; stuff like being a rebellious teenager or working on God's holy day was a big deal. It doesn't have too much bearing on Christianity today though, being that we're not under the Law anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:48 am

I actually sent the guy at this site an e-mail....
basically answering the name of the site.

Subject: "Why I believe God won't heal amputees."

Message:"One of the major (if not total) components of spirituality or religion is a faith in God.

"Faith (like many words) has multiple definitions, but in regards to Christianity, religion or even spirituality in general, there are some strict guidelines to how faith is defined.

"The entire faith concept is believing in something you can't see nor can prove. Oscar Wilde I believe is right. "Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions.". Point being, if you can prove it, it's not faith - its something else.

"There are many Biblical references about God/Christ wanting us to have faith. This is why God isn't walking around, easily seen, and restoring limbs, lives and performing other blatant miracles. If someone lost a limb, and "magically" has a limb again, or someone died and was buried, then is alive again, the jig is up! To many of those who already believe, it would be undeniable proof. That proof would essentially destroy their faith.

"What about other "miracles"? Brain disease, cancers, the example of rabies on your site..... It would be downright impossible to prove God removed a malady compared to proof of God restoring something that was completely destroyed.... like a leg or a life.

"Why does God want us to faith instead of proof? I can't answer that question. Perhaps is has to do with free will and the choices we make. ....perhaps it means more to God for us to believe in him despite tangible evidence, rather than everyone stopping by his house to tell Him "Hello" and thanking Him for magic-trick style miracles.

"Once again, I don't really know why God wants faith..... but I have faith that He does.

"Those are my comments...."


I do see his point on the "yes" "no" "wait" prayer answer optical illusion and giving God excuses. Those are human concepts, and since there's no proof, it's their own brand of faith.


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Walter Kovacs

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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:57 pm

I've heard of people who attempted to debate with anyone on that site being harrassed by atheists via email, so be careful. If i remember right, the better your answers are, the more harder questions you get aksed by more people until you just leave the site, deconvert or whatever else there is.
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Death over Life

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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:44 pm

I have something serious to consider of them. Are they just trying to disprove Christianity/Semitism, or are they trying to disprove God?

If the last one, then they are going to have A TON of answering to do, like disproving Odin and Thor for example by an Odinist, or Enki and the many other faiths of so many belief systems. If the 1st or 2nd, they should learn to stop acting like Nazis and start acting like atheists. Discrimination at it's finest when concerning that website.

Oh yeah, extra points if they can actually disprove the occult in it's entirety, especially with things like Voodoo.
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:36 pm

Death over Life wrote:
Oh yeah, extra points if they can actually disprove the occult in it's entirety, especially with things like Voodoo.

Thats a good point. I'd like to take them to Haiti, where the supernatural/occult not only is very real but will smack you in the head if you aren't prepared for it. You ain't experienced darkness until you've been woken up in the middle of the night by voodoo drums...that was an experience too eerie for words.
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:20 am

Lol, I like how insistent he is about his assumptions that you are a college graduate, at the least. You don't need a degree to think introspectively, rationally, and critically. I learned those things in highschool English and Social classes Suspect

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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:33 am

Walter Kovacs wrote:
I read it. The first time around, it's like, whoa, interesting, some of these arguments make sense. Then you realize they don't. Then you realize how lame the site is. Some of the arguments are downright terrible, and some of the questions are just plain old ridiculous. It's the same old out-of-context stuff I see nearly every day.

"Why won't God heal amputees?"

I didn't know He didn't. This is a fallen world, and we don't simply pray and get everything answered instantly. God has, does and will heal people, but that doesn't mean you insert a coin into God and automatically get a miracle. God's been caring about amputees since before the foundations of the world were laid. Don't mistake silence for ignoring.

"Why are there so many starving people in the world?"

Probably because people like you are too busy making snarky videos criticizing Christians and not doing your part to feed little children in Africa.

"Scientific nonsense."

Those were just stupid. But, interestingly enough, there are anicent accounts in nearly every culture in the world of an world-wide disaster...often depicted as a flood.

"Slavery."

God was not a proponent of slavery. It was acknowledged and rules were set down for it. Don't confuse silence for cheering the practice on. It was later abolished. By God. Slavery back then wasn't like the Civil WAR SLAVERY. It was either an employee/employer relationship or a punishment for a crime. Do some research.

"Why do bad things happen to good people?"

Who is good? Why do people, whom you say are "good" (based on what, I don't know) have a right to never have anything bad happen to them? This is Earth, homefry. Bad stuff happens. The rain falls on the just and unjust alike.

"Why didn't Jesus miracles leave any evidence?"

Aside from the historically reliable, written accounts? I don't know.

"How do you explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you?"

How do you explain the fact the no one's mind has ever appeared to you?

"Why would Jesus want you to eat his flesh and drink his blood?"

Yeah. That's exactly what He meant when he held up a cup full of wine and gave it the symbolism we associate with His blood and held up bread and did the same thig. He totally meant for us to be cannibals. Think, Mcfly, think!

"Why do Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-christians?"

I didn't know Christians weren't allowed to be normal people, who have problems, issues, differences and a tendency to screw up. Could you point me to the verse in the Bible that says, "Yea verily, your lives will be easy as all get out from here on out!"

I don't usually go for these stupid questions since they area all based on bad logic and really stupid positions, but I thought I'd have a bit of fun with them today (plus, if I remember right, this whole site and questions are set up the way they are so as to trick people onto the site and de-convert them).

As for the killing issue, which is the only one I'm going to have to work a response to, it certainly isn't black and white. I don't recall too many people ever being "innocent," in all of history. It wasn't pleasant, but it was a rough time, lots of wars, lots of bad people who were doing lots of bad things to Israel, God's chosen people. God doesn't order the deaths of people just for the heck of it. Sadly, there's no answer I can give on that question that will make it sound good to a non-believer. I'll leave it at that. The others are various legal affairs that carried quite a bit of weight anywhere in the ancient world; stuff like being a rebellious teenager or working on God's holy day was a big deal. It doesn't have too much bearing on Christianity today though, being that we're not under the Law anymore.

Great post - simple answers to questions that might throw one off if they're not prepared for them.
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Hguols

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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:46 pm

Walter Kovacs wrote:
I've heard of people who attempted to debate with anyone on that site being harrassed by atheists via email, so be careful. If i remember right, the better your answers are, the more harder questions you get aksed by more people until you just leave the site, deconvert or whatever else there is.

Well, they posted my e-mail on their forum site.

They looked like dogs getting after a piece of meat.

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=16904.0

Heh. I have this urge to just dive into the fray.
I don't care of they e-mail me or not.

I'll see if I can actually get anywhere with these people..... they don't seem like trolls.

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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:40 pm

wow, thats a lot of responses...
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:32 pm

I've replied a few times too.

For the time being, it's fun. ^ _ ^

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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:56 pm

Heh. Holding your own quite nicely so far. I'll be following this one for a while. Some stupid people, some smarter people, a troll or two, but still yet to see an argument or question from someone there that will give you serious trouble. I do doubt that you'll get anywhere though, these folks seem purdy set in their beliefs. If you do, however, need a hand or want to hammer out a few of the questions, gimme a shout Wink
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:01 pm

Alright, reading the thread, I think I myself might consider joining as well. However, something of mind, I would like to know what kind of perspective of God are they denying?

They claim that they were theistic before becoming atheists, so what views of God were they taught?

Were they taught traditional views? Were they Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Mormon?

That thread is currently to broad of a thread to properly delve into atm, but I would personally respond to posts like Aaron123, Alzael, and wrights.

I will respond to the proofs they are asking for. Perhaps they should really think upon this concept, and I'll even use the quote from a Satanic band:

Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice.
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:04 pm

Deathspell Omega didn't come up with that quote.
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:33 pm

Very True. Perhaps I should have worded it: I'll even use a quote that a Satanic band uses for their views.

I know it originated from (or at least existed within) the 1st Latin Bibles when translating from Greek and Hebrew to Latin.

The quote still rings True however.
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:36 pm

Just checkin homie Wink Though for my purposes I was referring to the epitaph on the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren.
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:18 am

Here's a post from one of the smartest guys I've ever known on the subject of faith, proof, and multiple gods. This should give you some solid ammo fire back with. The italics are the atheist with whom the debate was happening. The normal font is SirHemlock, also the admin of Firestream.




Quote:
are you [OP] implying that faith can be destroyed by atheist's arguments'? cause if it can... then faith is futile. +++

I quite agree. If our faith was actually false, rather than maintaining it as long as possible I personally would rather have relocated it in the circular file with the rest of the garbage as early as possible (I am light years away from such a move personally and do not really see it ever happening for me). As often as not today, faith can merely seem false for patently inadequate reasons IMO.




Quote:
I believe He exists to you, but you are delusional, just like a child with an imaginary friend." And just like a child who says his imaginary friend is real, you can say, "OK show me... Can't show me? Your friend must be imaginary then!" QED.

Q.E.D. stands for “it is demonstrated.” But the conclusion offered is merely asserted, not demonstrated. Consider the propositions (A) “God is hidden” and (B) “God is imaginary.” "Can anyone show me how" the above objector “demonstrated” the explanation for his state cannot be (A) to warrant the supposition that it “must” be (B)? Can’t show me? The Q.E.D. must be imaginary then.

"Let them at least learn the nature of the religion they are attacking, before they attack it. If this religion boasted of having a clear vision of God, and of possessing Him plain and unveiled, then to say that nothing we see in the world reveals Him with this degree of clarity would indeed be to attack it. But it says, on the contrary, that man is in darkness and far from God, that He has hidden Himself from man's knowledge, and that the name He has given Himself in the Scriptures is in fact The Hidden God (Is 45:15). Therefore if it seeks to establish these two facts: that God has in the church erected visible signs by which those who sincerely seek Him may recognize Him, and that he has nevertheless so concealed them that He will only be perceived by those who seek Him with all their hearts, what advantage can the attackers gain when, while admitting that they neglect to seek for the truth, they yet cry that nothing reveals it? For the very darkness in which they lie, and for which they blame the Church, establishes one of her two claims, without invalidating the other, and also, far from destroying her doctrine, confirms it" (Blaise Pascal, Pensees, 335).

Biblically God hides Himself to all except to those who by His grace seek him with their whole heart, mind, soul, and strength sincerely and in truth. Not just the mind!!! If we seek Him fully He has promised to meet us on the road. There is no burden of proof, but a burden of seeking, not just with the mind, but with the whole being, a burden which cannot find fulfillment without grace. Grace not just to know, but to follow. Not just to enrich one's life, but to lose it.

"To obtain anything from God, the outward must be joined to the inward; that is to say we must kneel and pray alone, etc. so that proud man, who would not submit to God, may now be subject to the body. To expect any help from this outward act is superstition; a refusal to join it to our inward acts is pride. For we must not misunderstand ourselves; we are as much machines as mind. And hence the means by which a man is persuaded are not demonstration alone. How few things are demonstrated! Proofs convince only the mind. It is habit that produces our strongest and most accepted proofs; it guides the machine, which carries the mind with it unconcsiously. Who has proved that there will be a morrow and that we will die?" -Blaise Pascal

Quote:
Nor does the Bible seem to line up with observable phenomena, which we established in the efficacy of prayer thread when people said, "Well, you can't test God. He'll hide." i.e. No good empirical evidence was put forward. I still say that's a "cop-out."

This is an interesting comment which I may say more on later when I get to prayer –I would eventually like to go through most or all of the points David has raised here, even if merely stated in passing (which I have decided may be worth doing since it is representative of the kinds of issues that are raised with increasing frequency today). But for now we might reasonably ask –perceived “cop out” or not- if God’s “hidden-ness” forms a significant strand of biblical teaching (which it does) how any account (positive or negative) of the biblical portrayals of God can do their subject reasonable justice without taking this fully into account.

“A religion which does not affirm that God is hidden is not true.” –Blaise Pascal

2 Chronicles 32:31 “…God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.”

Quote:
e.g. there's a goblin behind you, but if you turn around to look he's good at hiding and you won't see him.

Which is more likely:
A. The goblin really exists and is a good hider?
B. The goblin does not exist?
Probability cannot lead us to logical necessity. If we fail to achieve logical necessity which warrants a “the goblin is imaginary. Q.E.D.”, perhaps we can rely on probabilistic induction. But uncertain inductive arguments, however persuasive they may seem, cannot trump an incorrigible datum. If someone presents a claim as an incorrigible datum to someone else who considers that datum unlikely on the basis of inductive probabilism, the trustworthiness of the testimony, and the person or persons presenting it becomes a factor which can also be weighed in the larger probability matrix. In and of themselves, neither the absolute truth nor the absolute falsehood of the existence of the alleged goblin is established by inductive probabilism of the doubter on the one hand or the testimony of the believer claiming as an incorrigible datum or data to have seen such a creature. On both sides we would have at best pointers rather than slam dunk arguments per se.



This brings to mind the scene in C. S. Lewis’ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe where the “old Professor” chides the children for being so certain there cannot be more than one ‘time’ and one ‘world’ and therefore that their sister Lucy’s testimony was unreliable:

“I don’t care what you think, and I don’t care what you say. You can tell the professor or you can write to Mother or you can do anything you like. I know I’ve met a Faun in there and – I wish I’d stayed there and you are all beasts, beasts.”

It was an unpleasant evening. Lucy was miserable and Edmund was beginning to feel that his plan wasn’t working as well as he had expected. The two older ones were really beginning to think that Lucy was out of her mind. They stood in the passage talking about it in whispers long after she had gone to bed.

The result was the next morning they decided that they really would go and tell the whole thing to the professor. “He’ll write to father if he thinks there is really something wrong with Lu,” said Peter; “it’s getting beyond us.” So they went and knocked at the study door, and the Professor said, “come in,” and got up and found chairs for them an said he was quite at their disposal. The he sat listening to them with the tips of his fingers pressed together and never interrupting, till they had finished the whole story. After that he said nothing for quite sometime. Then he cleared his throat and said the last think either of them expected: “How do you know,” he asked, “that your sister’s story not true?”

“Oh, but –“ began Susan, and then stopped. Anyone could see from the old man’s face that he was perfectly serious. Then Susan pulled herself together and said, “But Edmond said they only been pretending.”

“That is a point,” said the professor, “which certainly deserves consideration, very careful consideration. For instance – if you will excuse me for asking the question – does your experience lead you to regard your brother or your sister as the more reliable? I mean which is the more truthful?”

“That’s just the funny thing about it, sir,” said Peter. “Up till now, I’d have said Lucy every time.”

“And what do you think, my dear?” said the Professor, turning to Susan.

“Well,” said Susan, “in general, I’d say the same as Peter, but this couldn’t be true – all this about the wood and the Faun.”

“That is more than I know,” said the Professor, “and a charge of lying against someone whom you have always found truthful is a very serious thing; a very serious thing indeed.”

“We were afraid it mightn’t even be lying,” said Susan; “we thought there might be something wrong with Lucy.”

“Madness, you mean?” said the Professor quite coolly. “Oh, you can make your minds easy about that. One has only to look at her and talk to her to see that she is not mad.”

“But then,” said Susan, and stopped. She had never dreamed that a grown-up would talk like the Professor and didn’t know what to think.

“Logic!” said the Professor half to himself. “Why don’t they teach logic at these schools? There are only three possibilities. Either your sister is telling lies, or she is mad, or she is telling the truth. You know she doesn’t tell lies and it is obvious that she is not mad. For the moment then and unless any further evidence turns up, we must assume that she is telling the truth.”

Susan looked at him very hard and was quite sure from the expression on his face that he was not making fun of them.

“But how could it be true, sir?” said Peter.

“Why do you say that?” asked the Professor.

“Well, for one thing,” said Peter, “if it was real why doesn’t everyone find this country every time they go to the wardrobe? I mean, there was nothing there when we looked; even Lucy didn’t pretend it was there.”

“What has that to do with it?” said the Professor.

“Well, sir, if things are real, they’re there all the time.”

“Are they?” said the Professor; and Peter did not know quite what to say.

“But there was no time,” said Susan. “Lucy had had no time to have gone anywhere, even if there was such a place. She came running out of the room. It was less than a minute, and she pretend to have been away for hours.”

“That is the very thing that makes her story so likely to be true,” said the Professor. “If there really is a door in this house that leads to some other world (and I should warn you that this is a very strange house, and even I know very little about it) – if, I say, she had got into another world, I should not be at all surprised to find that the other world had a separate time of its own; so that however long you stayed there it would never take up any of our time. On the other hand, I don’t many girls of her age would invent that idea for themselves. If she had been pretending, she would have hidden for a reasonable time before coming out and telling her story.”

“But do you really mean, sir,” said Peter, “that there could be other worlds – all over the place, just round the corner – like that?”

“Nothing is more probable,” said the Professor, taking off his spectacles and beginning to polish them, while he muttered to himself, “I wonder what they do teach them at these schools.”

Why would the Professor say nothing is more probable? Because he had himself been to Narnia.



"The will is one of the principle agents of belief; not because it creates belief but because things are true or false according to the aspect in which we look at them. The will, preferring one aspect to another, deflects the mind from considering the qualities of what it does not care to see; and so the mind, keeping step with the will, stays to consider the aspects it likes; and so it forms judgments on what they show it" (Blaise Pascal, Pensees, 472)

Quote:
But to be completely honest I don't know how fully right now that I actually believe in Abraham.




That’s one of the very last thing I would lose any sleep over personally.

“The giving of handmaidens to husbands whose wives were barren (Gen 16; 30:3-12) was normal and normative in the first half of the second millennium, when a wife might come with her own maidservant precisely to serve as an insurance policy against possible inability to have offspring. Already in the nineteenth century we find that in the Assyrian ‘colony’ at Anatolian Kanesh, when Laquipum married the lady Hatala, the provision was made that ‘If within 2 years she does not produce children for him, she herself may buy a slave-woman Then after she [the latter] has had a child by him, then she may sell her off where he wishes” (Pritchard, ed., ANET, 3rd ed., Supp, p. 543). A similar basic arrangement underlay legal usage in a variety of circumstances where a man and wife did not or could not have offspring. So as a naditum (hierodule) priestess could not have children, her husband could marry also another woman for children (second wife) or have children by the priestess’s slave-woman (Hammurabi Code, 144-146). Later, circa 1500 at Nuzi, the same tradition was followed whereby a childless wife might give her husband a servant girl to bear him children. All manner of details find correspondences in both the biblical and external documents. Thus Jacob had to keep both Leah and Rachel, his two wives; he could not just get rid of Leah. So too, in the Laws of Lipit-Ishtar, 28, and (in a particular case) Hammurabi’s laws, 148. The sons of both wives had to be acknowledged, with rights of inheritance, which is again a feature seen in Lipit-Ishtar, 24, and Hammurabi, 170. We find this still later in the second millennium in Deuteronomy (21:15-17), obviously based on ancient usage” Kenneth A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), pp. 326f).

“Through the centuries changes can be seen. In the twentieth/nineteenth century Lipit-Ishtar’s laws envisage equal shares of paternal inheritance for children of both wives. In the eighteenth/seventeenth century, Hammurabi’s laws agree but specify a “first choice” to the firstborn of the first wife, and a case at Mari grants a double portion to the declared heir (even though an adoptee; cf. Yahatti-el, p. 325 above). By the fifteenth century the Nuzi documents also grant a double portion to a natural firstborn son (but not an adoptee); Deut 21:15-17 goes with this for a firstborn son. By contrast, 700 years later, the Neo-Babylonian laws assigned two-thirds to the ‘sons’ (plural) of the first wife and one-third to those of a second wife” (ibid, p. 326).

When one considers the evidence overall -if one doesn’t have the rabid unquenchable “deconstructionist mentality” so prevalent today which dismisses any evidence no matter how strong it is!- there are overwhelming reasons for the careful student to side with Kitchen’s conclusion:

“We are compelled, once and for all, to throw out Wellhausen’s bold claim that the patriarchs were merely a glorified mirage of/from the Hebrew monarchy period. For such a view there is not a particle of supporting factual evidence, and the whole of the foregoing indicative background material is solidly against it. It should be clear, finally, that the main features of the patriarchal narratives either fit specifically into the first half of the second millennium or are consistent with such a dating; some features common to that epoch and to later periods must be taken with the earlier second-millennium horizon. In contrast to this, data in these narratives that do clearly originate from well after c. 1600 are relatively few and are merely later updates [by legitimate later editing to enhance readability] …the old Wellhausen-type view is ruled out by a horde of contrary facts unearthed since 1878 and 1886. We have here the Canaan of the early second millennium and not of the Hebrew monarchy period, in any wise. The oft-stated claim of a ‘consensus’ that the patriarchs never existed is itself a case of self-delusion on the data presented here, and (if one may be forgiven for saying so) in fact a ‘con-nonsense-us’! We do not actually need firsthand namings of the patriarchs in ancient records; plenty of historical characters are in the same case. The tombs of Early, Middle, and Late Bronze Canaan have yielded countless bodies of nameless citizens of Canaan; but their anonymity (no texts!) does not render them non-existent. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander” (Kitchen, Kenneth, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), pp. 371-72).

There is a great deal more to be said on this, but we should probably move along.



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we know that people don't get turned spontaneously into pillars of salt. It just doesn't happen. They are just stories."

There is every indication that even the more incredible details of this story (e.g. fire falling from heaven) –not to mention the time and the place- reflects genuine ancient historical memory. http://kata-aletheia.blogspot.com/2007/01/travel-photos-from-sodom.html And why should we suppose, especially given the information presented in that link, that we can know Lot’s wife, turning back, did not actually fall to die on shore of the Dead Sea in the time and place described to become entombed in a pillar of salt? Such events are perfectly at home in the world of second millennium BC Mesopotamia from all indications.

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there is a severe problem here. The Biblical worldview (which as you say, sets the stage) is an ancient one. One can just as easily dismiss out of hand a god who decides willy-nilly who will die and who won't, as any other ancient deity. Take your pick. I like the Hindu ones. They are easy to pick on. Who believes in a six armed-blue woman god? It's just rediculous.

The Bible presents a very ancient historical trajectory which witnesses to the revelation of God in a manner which runs through many different cultures and generations. On the hypothesis that there is a God who is intimately concerned with human beings and their history, the fact of an ancient trajectory with clear roots traceable to second and third millennium BC Mesopotamia and beyond (recall the advent of written history itself is c. 3500 BC Sumeria and Egypt!) is from another point of view a strength rather than a weakness. And it is, after all, in Mesopotamia, the “Cradle of Civilization” where the events of Genesis take place that recorded history begins (Seven Mesopotamian Origins: (1) First Agriculture; (2) First Cities (Jericho/Catal Hayuk); (3) First Civilizations (Sumer/Egypt, c. 3500 BC); (4) First Writing; (5) First History; (6) First Law; (7) First Narrative of Universal Redemption). Some members of this forum, like Alveus, have indeed affirmed the presence of an ancient and unbroken trajectory may actually be considered a “pointer” of sorts (I tend to agree). The ancient nature of our faith does not automatically “prove” it true, of course, yet ancient wisdom is certainly not any less believable per se merely by virtue of its age. C. S. Lewis gave the colorful label Chronological Snobbery to the latter presumption, whether it be tacitly or explicitly maintained. And it is natural to suppose that if the kind of God we believe in is real we might expect some evidence of an “ancient” trajectory.

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So anyway, over time there, they'd use repetiton (and this is where the cleverness is apparent). So while you are there debating, you are getting phrases (suggestions) thrown at you like "God is imaginary." Repeated messages like that affect the mind. That is why advertising works. There were lots little tricks like that, that I've since learned about looking into NLP. They aren't fools.

Perhaps this will serve to persuade you of the contrary proposition then. Be sure to read each line for the full effect. ;-)

God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real God is real.

Still unconvinced? Read each line again for the full effect, then return to this line. ;-)





Quote:
To quote Ned, "It's a dilly of a pickle!" You see, I was always taught that God allowed evil to happen (eg Job), but there are parts of the Bible where God contradicts Himself by ordering mass murder…

Biblical it is, but pickles and contradictions are often in the eye of the beholder.

“The sixth commandment in its original meaning indubitably referred to murder, not war.” –Donald Bloesch

“The sixth commandment forbids murder. The ethical theology that lies behind this prohibition is the fact that all men and women have been created in the image of God (Gen 1:26-26; 9:6). While Hebrew possesses seven words for killing, the word used here, rasah, appears only forty-seven times in the OT. If any one of the seven words could signify “murder” where the factors of premeditation and intentionality are present, this is the verb… Without exception, however, in later periods (e.g. Ps 94:6; Prov 22:13; Isa 1:21; Hos 4:2; 6:9; Jer 7:9) it carries the idea of murder with intentional violence. Every one of these instances stresses the act or allegation of premeditation and deliberateness –and that is what is at the heart of this verb. Thus this prohibition does not apply to beasts (Gen 9:3), to defending one’s home from night-time burglars (Ex22:2), to accidental killings (Deut 19:5), to the execution of murderers by the state (Gen 9:6); or to involvement with one’s nation in certain types of war as illustrated by Israel’s history. It does apply, however, to self-murder (i.e. suicide), to all accessories to murder (2 Sam 12:9), and to those who have authority but fail to use it to punish known murderers (1 Kings 21:19)” Kaiser, Walter C., Exodus, in Gaebelein, Frank E., ed., EBC, vol. 1, pp. 424f.

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Also, moral standards change over the OT, but God is supposed to be unchanging (the same yesterday, today and tomorrow)..

You might consider taking another peek at the Ananias and Saphira narrative in Acts or the book of Revelation before supposing there is any real disparity between OT and NT pertaining to divine wrath.

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Don't even watch it [the skeptic video he posted]… I want to be careful not to plant seeds of doubt in anyone else's mind…

I can’t help if you are saying some of this with a smile, given a conversation we shared long ago by PM. I could be wrong.

Thanks for raising these issues in any event, DD. I personally have always considered thinking such matters through highly enjoyable; that is something Christians and skeptics have in common. The last thing I think Christians should do is try to hide from such things. We will be seeing more of such in the years to come rather than less if current trends are any indication. No point in burying our heads in the sand; where’s the fun in that? To present Christ before culture requires we apply serious effort to understand contemporary culture as much as it does genuine effort to grapple with coming to terms with Christ and His message. This hardly seems like the best approach:
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Death over Life

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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:40 pm

Alright, I'm going to probably be creating an account there and going at it myself. Now, maybe not perhaps proving Christianity, but at least some form of higher power (good or evil it's in the eyes of the beholder), but how much validity would Eucharistic Miracles that happened inside Catholicism hold?

Perfect example is the Miracle of Lanciano.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharistic_miracle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_Lanciano

and here is a photo for proof that this wasn't made up:



and a miracle of own I've heard is that this thing is still just like you see in the picture. To last that long is something miraculous of it's own since real flesh and blood do decompose after a while.
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:55 pm

Not too burst your bubble, but I'd be willing to bet vast sums of money that you could literally prove the existence of God and they'd still find somehting wrong with it. No matter what proofs or arguments you offer, they'll pick it apart.
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:01 pm

And that is probably the paradox of faith. It takes faith for salvation, but it takes God to reveal it to them.

This whole thing is going back to a discussion I was and am currently having with Lord Voldemort via email about.

Ignorance will always be a trait of the ignorant. Under their eyes, perhaps they should see the light in: accept Truth as lies and lies as Truth.

Denying Christianity at one point in my life is a great eye opener. Perhaps this shouldn't be approached at as a Christian, but instead as an atheist, since atheism is their language.
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:08 pm

I wonder what the great saints like Augustine, Aquinas, Paul or even Luther and Calvin would say to these guys...those great men would tear apart any atheist argument or any stupid Richard Dawkins book. I think it's ironic that they claim that "faith" and "delusion" have the same definition...but more of the great thinkers, artists, speakers and leaders since Christs death have done so from a position of faith. I mean, Augustine's writings affected philosophy as a whole, even to this date..and there are few people in history who have had the kind of faith he had. Ditto with Aquinas.
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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:00 am

Its official. I'm a troll on their forum now.

I kind of like it though, and apparently one of them there atheist people likes it too cause he repped me up for being "smug and arrogant".

Lets see if I can have some REAL fun or get banned from that mofo.

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PostSubject: Re: The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God   Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:49 pm

make some richard dawkins, steven hawking and christopher hitcens jokes.
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