Christian and atheist views on nature:

That’s great.
Howabout you make a religion now?
It would probably turn out to be allot better of a religion than the ones made by people who thought that they knew things about God.

:laughing: :laughing: No thank you. I am in the stepping away from everything ball of clay.

I am in the process of stripping away all knowledge of a God and understanding that I know nothing of God except that I know absolutely nothing of God and I suppose that would be a knowing in itself which I must also step away from…so gee where do I go…

God is in a process of total mystery to me and nothing more…until I have been shown otherwise. :unamused:
Perhaps this god knows though.

If you don’t want to make a religion, then that’s even better.

Creation and creativity destroys us.

You still must choose what you have faith in.

There are many things you could have faith in in the world. It seemed, given the quotations from the Bible earlier, that you have faith in the Bible, perhaps even to the degree that it is not a fallible source of knowledge about God, but a perfect one. It could be a good one with distortions, a bad one, the wrong one. But, if this is the case, you decided to have full faith in it, then you are trusting your intuition to an incredible degree. You could have faith and perform practices from many sources, but you chose that one. You could have faith that the core message - perhaps Jesus’ - is correct but that the psychology and culture of the writers affects and at times distorted many of the details. In this scenario you still have faith in God and try to have an improving connection via prayer, but do not conclude that everything in the Bible is correct. For example. To decide it is entirely correct is a decision based on intuition and speaks of a very, very high degree of trust in your own intuition.

And this acknowledgement on your part sets you apart from many Christians, if not most. You are taking reponsibility for choices you have made based on intuition.

This sets you apart from many, many Christians, if not most. It seems clear that God kills children in the OT. Further God would have to know that babies being born in areas with high starvation and disease rates are going to have high rates of death EVEN IF EVERYONE TRIES THEIR BEST TO BE GOOD.

Well, there are natural disasters that kill children. There are diseases that cause miscarriages and the deaths of children. We cannot blame all the deaths of children on evil acts of humans.

I appreciate you saying this, but you really cannot assert that your intution tells you absolutely nothing…I mean, how would you know?

I have faith in both in God and the Bible. I understand little of the Ways of God and I don’t understand the whole of the Bible. The Book of Revelations moreover. The accounts of the prophecies concerning the visions by John are vague for most Bible scholars I would assume. People interpreting that part of the Bible struggle with the writings there. Faith and prayer help with some of the aspects of God and the Bible. I believe no one can ascertain it all. Highly doubtful.

Not really a response to what I wrote.

Litenenbolt:

Hi.

And we can turn that around, can’t we - just because we think we understand something, at the same time, it doesn’t affirm it’s existence either.

Have you asked yourself if you are doing this, Litenenbolt? If you truly believe that god caused all of the things which this god is accused of in the old testament, where is that belief coming from? What are you basing that on? If you truly believe in a loving god and a loving universe, how can you at the same time have this belief? And if this belief of yours is coming from your christian faith that may have been handed down from your family and the church, then isn’t it also a preceived notion? Just some questions.

How do you go about determining the will of God, Litenenbolt? I think that one of the most dangerous statements in the universe to make is that “it is God’s will” or "it was God’s will? How can you possibly conceive of the notion that there is a good and loving god and at the same time this same god is capable of doing what god is accused of doing - killing the “first born of every child”.

There used to be a lot of things that I “believed” in - or that I just took for granted without question, or that was borrowed, because it was simply in my own best interest to “believe” and not to question or doubt. That could lead to total oblivion, which is the only good place to start from. At some point, these things began to make absolutely no sense to me. I intuit a loving universe and so how could it be possible that a god who could create one could at the same time be so utterly destructive and evil. It is not a god that creates the evil, it is us human beings. And yes at the same time there is natural evil. I see nature as being beautiful but that is my conception of it through my senses. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” as is nature. Nature is neither good nor evil, it is just nature.

For myself I would rather not believe that there is a god in the universe than to think one capable of the things in which we accuse this god. Having said all of this, you might find it strange that I might say, I don’t “believe” in god – I absolutely affirm the existence of a god…though of course in one respect, how could, though I do. I just have no idea of this god…god is just perfect mystery to me more and more I am discovering this.

And how can you possibly know what god advocates in our lives? All you can do is listen to what you feel god advocates in your life, is that not so?

I responded to what I felt you had relayed to me. If there is something specific you would like me to adress, then please ask.

One can have faith in many things, and in different ways. As I mentioned in the other post you could have faith in the core message of Jesus, but not faith in every word in the Bible. So you have responsibility not only for choosing intuitively which religion, which Bible, that is, and then in what way you choose to have faith in that Bible. To decide that the entire Bible is perfect and not distorted goes beyond faith in God, it is faith in many many humans. Or?

To cut to the chase, my faith, prayer, experiences, what I have read in the Bible, my pastor’s words speaking of God and witnessing things beyond my comprehension is what bolsters my strength in God. Whether this is sufficient to your questions, I don’t know. It’s that and possibly a few other things which tie me to the Lord.

It has been tapdanced around a little bit in this thread, but let’s make it nice and explicit: how do people feel about the Lynn White thesis?

I don’t know if the Bible is perfect or not. I have heard nothing from the Christian community that would allude to it being distorted, nor anything I have studied from it would suggest otherwise to me. Faith is the premise of Christianity and I would suppose that this is held by people who practice that faith.

I have never heard of that. :-k

clas.ufl.edu/users/bron/PDF- … Thesis.pdf

Well christians do believe that their God is superior to nature,
therefor doing something that God said, is more important to them than doing what is natural.

Liteninbolt,

Point taken. I understand. I had actually given what I wrote here to you some thought last night. Although I might not consider taking back the questions so much, I feel that the way I presented them, at least, to me, leaves something to be desired. So, if I have offended you in any way for the seemingly arrogant way in which I presented myself, and some of my words, I do apologize for that.

In re-reading this, I think I am guilty of something which I actually do not like to see in others, the unwillingness to allow people to think and to feel about their God and their faith as they do, and also judging others simply because I do not think and feel as they do, albeit at one time I did. This to me only serves to make it all the more arrogant on my part. So…

Thanks Liteninbolt.

As I understand it White blames Christian theology for our current ecological disaster. White asserted that Christian religion anthropocentrism gave historical impetus for the use of technology against nature. I have seen evidence of this. I think it’s a kind of theologic rationalization for selfish irresponsible and destructive behavior endemic to our species. Objectifying science, modern industrial and consumer trends picked up and carried the ball. It was by no means an inevitable product of biblical theology and its not the only stream flowing from it as demonstrated by the nature mysticism of Jesus and Francis of Assisi, Albert Schwietzer and many others.

Hi Arc, :smiley:
You did not offend me. I appreciate you take an interest about my faith. I felt rather than to answer every question it might save time to throw a blanket summary about God et al since pretty much my answer would encompass the whole of your questions. Iteration from me may have been a little tedious after a bit. I didn’t mean to come off as terse or annoyed, that would be the last thing I would want to do. I can offer opinions on some thing pertaining to the Bible and God and perhaps not get into regurgitative responses. :slight_smile: Plus, I certainly don’t want to discourage you from asking me questions. I like sharing thoughts and ideas with folks without the ‘gotcha’ situations popping up. I’m not here to try to be one up on people, but to see how they think and ask appropritate counter questions. Don’t give up on me…I’ll hang in there. O:)

Thank you Arc. :smiley:

Liteninbolt:

Well, I won’t give up on you if you don’t give up on me. :smiley: Well, I still won’t give up on you if you give up on me. :laughing:
Thank you for your graciousness. :banana-parachute:

Hello Dan:

First I’ll offer my reply to your original post and then read what has come after and respond to that if I feel it is warranted. Hope you have the time.

— Christians would explain that through free-will man chose to disobey God and thus,
mankind became bad/imperfect through this. This must assume that God’s commandments are all
good, and anything deviating away from God’s commandments is all bad, or at least neutral.
Appearantly eating a fruit from a tree that God said not to eat from, is bad enough that
it can cause the entire human race to become mortal, sick, stupid and all of that.
But the fruit of that tree in and of itself wasn’t the main poison. God’s anger was.
If God had not chosen to punish humanity for disobediance, he would not have allowed
or given all of man’s defects to him. Even here, according to christian literal…ism,
badness in man, came from God. It may have been claimed that our imperfection is our own
fault, and that the punishment from God was all righteous, it is still from God that this
badness in mankind came from…
O- There is not ONE consistent narrative about this. The issue of Free-will has divided christian religion and much as it has divided every other source of morality. The writer of Genesis, however, was a clear believer in freewill and in the value of free-will that God would choose to risk his immaculate create by inserting a free-agent rather than populate it with angels. But as the Bible tells us elsewhere, God is a hard who expects fruits from a tree even if it is out of season. But it is more valuable to be obeyed by a free-agent than by something designed to obey. I can program a robot to say “I love you”, but that cannot equate to when a woman says it freely.
So it was a chance God took and when He was disobeyed he had a choice to make, a choice that was informed by His justice. His Law was violated and someone had to pay for that- you could say He let us off easy.
“Badness” in man did not come from God. Freedom did. Now this freedom, as freedom, is neither good nor bad, just as a child is neither good or bad until he does something praise-worthy or blame-worthy; a usage of our freedom is what determines us as either, not the movement of God…if we believe like the writer in free-will. Luther has much different ideas.

— Normally i’d guess that the only thing bad about eating a fruit would be that you would
eventually have to shit it out. And nobody wants to step in that. But if God gets angry at
you or hates you after that, what are you going to do? Anger, hate, punishment and revenge
are much worse things, in my opinion, than apples and oranges.
O- God did not punish Adam and Eve, in the story, because they left apple dropping around His lawn. You’re taking a literalist position that not even a literalist would take. This is no ordinary apple. But it does merit a digression: Good is a point of view. God sees His Garden as perfectly good and that includes His Law, while man considered everything pefectly good, except for that pesky Law. There are several elements that are worthy of examination; for example their disobedience was a reliance on their senses. The serpent entices Eve by pointing to what is perfectly sensed (by her eyes and reason) by her, while God’s prohibition carries no comprehension or reason. She relied upon herself rather than trusting in God.

— Disobediance is also not as bad as anger. But christians claim that hate can be righteous, thus Hell is excusable from God.
O- Hell is the exageration of human punishment. All humans hate and punish, sometimes unjustly, but also, in some cases, justly. But again, don’t be taken by the language of these books as descriptive of what is infinite. God possesses the pronoun “He”, yet I doubt that you would think that God had use for a penis. God is everything and nothing. He can be a burning bush, a volcano, a storm, or take the form of a man…in the story. Disobedience is bad, but a lack of justice. We hate disobedience as much as we love justice. If you don’t have a care about justice then you’re indifferent to disobedience, for the possibility for disobedience is lost if you do not hold on to some law.
Now, again, we have here the opportunity to explore the nature of all laws as dependent on violence and not reason, even God’s laws and that while the law claims to be rational it is only an imposition dependent on force rather than reason. Thus disobedience is rebellion against a force, either stronger than us or weaker.

— If hate and eternal punishment/tourment are righteous, but at the same time these things
can and will come from God with the eventual result being that they make people worse,
then christianity has already contradicted itself in this type of… logic.
O- God “hates” in His own way, but we can examine why we hate and why we punish and torture people for the rest of their natural life or end their lives.
Let me take the case of a killer. human societies are possible because of unwritten laws, presuppositions that underlie human interaction. Under normal circumstances we for example do not carry weapons or sneak around people or hide from them or fear death from another. This is because there is this supposition in human society that within X society you should respect my life and I yours. Then we can live in peace. The killer takes advantage of the situation and disobeys the unwritten law thereby gaining an upper hand and killing those who didn’t expect to be killed. People are then dead that shouldn’t be, the scales are unbalanced, I obeyed/he disobeyed and this causes in us the desire for revenge, which romanticised becomes “Justice”. When a person breaks the unwritten law then he stands as if outside of the society, the community and is treated with the same hostility as someone from outside the community. Thus he has gained the right to be maimed, tortured or killed. This is what we define as “right”, what is “just”, our theory of “desert”, and the basis for our ideas of Justice. Taking someone’s liberty away is not wrong in itself; it is taking these away when a person doesn’t deserve it. Hell becomes problematic only when desert is put into question and desert is unobtainable without the freedom of the will.

— Through this i have come to the conclusion that christianity is cruel.
Many other people besides me have come to similar conclusions, that the christian ‘God’
is an asshole, or unreasonable, and that the bible is also unreasonable or bad in some way.
O- I have a similar conclusion but I certainly did not gain it because of the existence of hell or just punishment. Are we cruel people if we seek to jail a known killer? Are we cruel because we hung by their necks Hitler’s cabinet? In fact Hell is a means to justify God because without it He IS CRUEL, if we read the story of the suffering servant. Without Hell then there is no justice and all is meaningless, as Ecclesiastes puts it. People invented Heaven and Hell to retain the possibility for a theory of justice in God. If not for these, God would be a sadist or non-existent. Without in the existence of justice then the world, reality, is cruel, cruel to the disempowered. Christianity is cruel as the world was cruel to those that reached for it…They were dying, boiled alive and fed to their relatives. If this life was all that there is then this world and it’s master= God, would be cruel. But this world is not, according to Christian, the only world or even the real and so God becomes good again.
Again I speak of the disempowered because this is where the need for revenge begins. Hell exist not for God’s sake, but for the sake of the disempowered that they may be avenged. But this is not cruelty; this is retribution.

---- Now i wonder why do christians find their religion comforting instead
of finding it mortifying? How do concepts such as satan and hell find their appeal?
O- I hope that what I have written above helps you understand that.