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Is the 'Christian God' real?
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DayLight
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:14 am    Post subject: Is the 'Christian God' real? Reply with quote

[mod edit]The title of this thread was changed to sound more suitable[/mod edit]


Why the Christian God is Impossible
Why the Christian God is Impossible
by Chad Docterman
Introduction
Christians consider the existence of their God to be an obvious truth that no sane man could deny.
I strongly disagree with this assumption not only because evidence for the existence of this
presumably ubiquitous yet invisible God is lacking, but because the very nature Christians
attribute to this God is self-contradictory.

Proving a Universal Negative
It is taken for granted by Christians, as well as many atheists, that a universal negative cannot be
proven. In this case, that universal negative is the statement that the Christian God does not exist.
One would have to have omniscience, they say, in order to prove that anything does not exist. I
disagree with this position, however, because omniscience is not needed in order to prove that a
thing whose nature is a self-contradiction cannot, and therefore does not exist.
I do not need a complete knowledge of the universe to prove to you that cubic spheres do not
exist. Such objects have mutually-exclusive attributes which would render their existence
impossible. For example, a cube, by definition, has 8 corners, while a sphere has none. These
properties are completely incompatible: they cannot be held simultaneously by the same object. It
is my intent to show that the supposed properties of the Christian God Yahweh, like those of a
cubic sphere, are incompatible, and by so doing, to show Yahweh's existence to be an
impossibility.

Defining YHWH
Before we can discuss the existence of a thing, we must define it. Christians have endowed their
God with all of the following attributes: He is eternal, all-powerful, and created everything. He
created all the laws of nature and can change anything by an act of will. He is all-good, all-loving,
and perfectly just. He is a personal God who experiences all of the emotions a human does. He is
all-knowing. He sees everything past and future.
God's creation was originally perfect, but humans, by disobeying him, brought imperfection into
the world. Humans are evil and sinful, and must suffer in this world because of their sinfulness.
God gives humans the opportunity to accept forgiveness for their sin, and all who do will be
rewarded with eternal bliss in heaven, but while they are on earth, they must suffer for his sake.
All humans who choose not to accept this forgiveness must go to hell and be tormented for
eternity.
One Bible verse which Christians are fond of quoting says that atheists are fools. I intend to show
that the above concepts of God are completely incompatible and so reveal the impossibility of all
of them being true. Who is the fool? The fool is the one who believes impossible things and calls
them divine mysteries.

Perfection Seeks Even More Perfection
What did God do during that eternity before he created everything? If God was all that existed
back then, what disturbed the eternal equilibrium and compelled him to create? Was he bored?
Was he lonely? God is supposed to be perfect. If something is perfect, it is complete--it needs
nothing else. We humans engage in activities because we are pursuing that elusive perfection,
because there is disequilibrium caused by a difference between what we are and what we want to
be. If God is perfect, there can be no disequilibrium. There is nothing he needs, nothing he desires,
and nothing he must or will do. A God who is perfect does nothing except exist. A perfect creator
God is impossible.

Perfection Begets Imperfection
But, for the sake of argument, let's continue. Let us suppose that this perfect God did create the
universe. Humans were the crown of his creation, since they were created in God's image and
have the ability to make decisions. However, these humans spoiled the original perfection by
choosing to disobey God.
What!? If something is perfect, nothing imperfect can come from it. Someone once said that bad
fruit cannot come from a good tree, and yet this "perfect" God created a "perfect" universe which
was rendered imperfect by the "perfect" humans. The ultimate source of imperfection is God.
What is perfect cannot become imperfect, so humans must have been created imperfect. What is
perfect cannot create anything imperfect, so God must be imperfect to have created these
imperfect humans. A perfect God who creates imperfect humans is impossible.

The Freewill Argument
The Christians' objection to this argument involves freewill. They say that a being must have
freewill to be happy. The omnibenevolent God did not wish to create robots, so he gave humans
freewill to enable them to experience love and happiness. But the humans used this freewill to
choose evil, and introduced imperfection into God's originally perfect universe. God had no
control over this decision, so the blame for our imperfect universe is on the humans, not God.
Here is why the argument is weak. First, if God is omnipotent, then the assumption that freewill is
necessary for happiness is false. If God could make it a rule that only beings with freewill may
experience happiness, then he could just as easily have made it a rule that only robots may
experience happiness. The latter option is clearly superior, since perfect robots will never make
decisions which could render them or their creator unhappy, whereas beings with freewill could.
A perfect and omnipotent God who creates beings capable of ruining their own happiness is
impossible.
Second, even if we were to allow the necessity of freewill for happiness, God could have created
humans with freewill who did not have the ability to choose evil, but to choose between several
good options.
Third, God supposedly has freewill, and yet he does not make imperfect decisions. If humans are
miniature images of God, our decisions should likewise be perfect. Also, the occupants of heaven,
who presumably must have freewill to be happy, will never use that freewill to make imperfect
decisions. Why would the originally perfect humans do differently?
The point remains: the presence of imperfections in the universe disproves the supposed
perfection of its creator.

All-good God Knowingly Creates Future Suffering
God is omniscient. When he created the universe, he saw the sufferings which humans would
endure as a result of the sin of those original humans. He heard the screams of the damned. Surely
he would have known that it would have been better for those humans to never have been born (in
fact, the Bible says this very thing), and surely this all-compassionate deity would have foregone
the creation of a universe destined to imperfection in which many of the humans were doomed to
eternal suffering. A perfectly compassionate being who creates beings which he knows are
doomed to suffer is impossible.

Infinite Punishment for Finite Sins
God is perfectly just, and yet he sentences the imperfect humans he created to infinite suffering in
hell for finite sins. Clearly, a limited offense does not warrant unlimited punishment. God's
sentencing of the imperfect humans to an eternity in hell for a mere mortal lifetime of sin is
infinitely more unjust than this punishment. The absurd injustice of this infinite punishment is even
greater when we consider that the ultimate source of human imperfection is the God who created
them. A perfectly just God who sentences his imperfect creation to infinite punishment for finite
sins is impossible.
*Edit by DayLight: Infinate hell is under speculation by many Christains. Some believe, some
do not. The Bible holds passages the support both sides.
*

Belief More Important Than Action
Consider all of the people who live in the remote regions of the world who have never even heard
the "gospel" of Jesus Christ. Consider the people who have naturally adhered to the religion of
their parents and nation as they had been taught to do since birth. If we are to believe the
Christians, all of these people will perish in the eternal fire for not believing in Jesus. It does not
matter how just, kind, and generous they have been with their fellow humans during their lifetime:
if they do not accept the gospel of Jesus, they are condemned. No just God would ever judge a
man by his beliefs rather than his actions.

Perfection's Imperfect Revelation
The Bible is supposedly God's perfect Word. It contains instructions to humankind for avoiding
the eternal fires of hell. How wonderful and kind of this God to provide us with this means of
overcoming the problems for which he is ultimately responsible! The all-powerful God could
have, by a mere act of will, eliminated all of the problems we humans must endure, but instead, in
his infinite wisdom, he has opted to offer this indecipherable amalgam of books which is the Bible
as a means for avoiding the hell which he has prepared for us. The perfect God has decided to
reveal his wishes in this imperfect work, written in the imperfect language of imperfect man,
translated, copied, interpreted, voted on, and related by imperfect man.
No two men will ever agree what this perfect word of God is supposed to mean, since much of it
is either self- contradictory, or obscured by enigmatic symbols. And yet the perfect God expects
us imperfect humans to understand this paradoxical riddle using the imperfect minds with which
he has equipped us. Surely the all-wise and all-powerful God would have known that it would
have been better to reveal his perfect will directly to each of us, rather than to allow it to be
debased and perverted by the imperfect language and botched interpretations of man.

Contradictory Justice
One need look to no source other than the Bible to discover its imperfections, for it contradicts
itself and thus exposes its own imperfection. It contradicts itself on matters of justice, for the
same just God who assures his people that sons shall not be punished for the sins of their fathers
turns around and destroys an entire household for the sin of one man (he had stolen some of
Yahweh's war loot). It was this same Yahweh who afflicted thousands of his innocent people with
plague and death to punish their evil king David for taking a census (?!). It was this same Yahweh
who allowed the humans to slaughter his son because the perfect Yahweh had botched his own
creation. Consider how many have been stoned, burned, slaughtered, raped, and enslaved because
of Yahweh's skewed sense of justice. The blood of innocent babies is on the perfect, just,
compassionate hands of Yahweh.

Contradictory History
The Bible contradicts itself on matters of history. A person who reads and compares the contents
of the Bible will be confused about exactly who Esau's wives were, whether Timnah was a
concubine or a son, and whether Jesus' earthly lineage is through Solomon or his brother Nathan.
These are but a few of hundreds of documented historical contradictions. If the Bible cannot
confirm itself in mundane earthly matters, how are we to trust it on moral and spiritual matters?

Unfulfilled Prophecy
The Bible misinterprets its own prophecies. Read Isaiah 7 and compare it to Matthew 1 to find
but one of many misinterpreted prophecies of which Christians are either passively or willfully
ignorant. The fulfillment of prophecy in the Bible is cited as proof of its divine inspiration, and yet
here is but one major example of a prophecy whose intended meaning has been and continues to
be twisted to support subsequent absurd and false doctrines. There are no ends to which the
credulous will not go to support their feeble beliefs in the face of compelling evidence against
them.
The Bible is imperfect. It only takes one imperfection to destroy the supposed perfection of this
alleged Word of God. Many have been found. A perfect God who reveals his perfect will in an
imperfect book is impossible.

The Omniscient Changes the Future
A God who knows the future is powerless to change it. An omniscient God who is all-powerful
and freewilled is impossible.

The Omniscient is Surprised
A God who knows everything cannot have emotions. The Bible says that God experiences all of
the emotions of humans, including anger, sadness, and happiness. We humans experience
emotions as a result of new knowledge. A man who had formerly been ignorant of his wife's
infidelity will experience the emotions of anger and sadness only after he has learned what had
previously been hidden. In contrast, the omniscient God is ignorant of nothing. Nothing is hidden
from him, nothing new may be revealed to him, so there is no gained knowledge to which he may
emotively react.
We humans experience anger and frustration when something is wrong which we cannot fix. The
perfect, omnipotent God, however, can fix anything. Humans experience longing for things we
lack. The perfect God lacks nothing. An omniscient, omnipotent, and perfect God who
experiences emotion is impossible.

The Conclusion of the matter
I have offered arguments for the impossibility, and thus the non- existence, of the Christian God
Yahweh. No reasonable and freethinking individual can accept the existence of a being whose
nature is so contradictory as that of Yahweh, the "perfect" creator of our imperfect universe. The
existence of Yahweh is as impossible as the existence of cubic spheres or invisible pink unicorns.
Should any Christian who reads this persist in defending these impossibilities through means of
"divine transcendence" and "faith," and should any Christian continue to call me an atheist fool, I
will be forced to invoke the wrath of the Invisible Pink Unicorn:
"You are a fool for denying the existence of the IPU. You have rejected true faith and have relied
on your feeble powers of human reason and thus arrogantly denied the existence of Her Divine
Transcendence, and so are you condemned."
If such arguments are good enough for Yahweh, they are good enough for Her Invisible Pinkness.
As for me and my house, we shall choose reality.

This essay is from www.evilbible.com, and I would have to say, it sums everything up nicely. I'm sure there are imperfections in it, seeing as we are imperfect humans, but I think for the most part, this article is right on target.

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Sonia
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a bit of a long entry, but I managed to take my time in reading the whole thing. It has some very interesing points, and was well written, (despite any possible imperfections). Of course, the only problem is that all of the intelligent essays in the world can't destroy over two-thousand years of faith, and millions of Christians around the world. It would be nice if it could, but there are many people who are too stubborn to ever let go of their beliefs. neutral

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Contage
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While i actually dont beleive in god, i do see a few things, not wrong, but things that can easily be refuted in your argument.

Quote:
If something is perfect, it is complete--it needs
nothing else
But who are we, as "imperfect" humans to define perfection. Who is to say that justbecause god is perfect, he did not desire to create.

Quote:
What is
perfect cannot create anything imperfect, so God must be imperfect to have created these
imperfect humans.
Who says that perfetion cannot creat imperfection???? God is perfect, so he can do whatever he desires. IF he desires to create imperfection... than this is not a hole in his perfection. God wouldnt be perfect if he didnt have the ability to create not just perfection...but imperfection too......

Quote:
A perfect and omnipotent God who creates beings capable of ruining their own happiness is
impossible.
lol, i really dont understand how this is impossible. Absolutley NOTHING is an impossibility when it comes to perfection. If gods creation, which u say god attempted to create perfectly, did not have the capapbility of "ruining its own happiness" well now, this creation would not be perfect by human definition.

Quote:
the presence of imperfections in the universe disproves the supposed
perfection of its creator.
What about the rediculous christian beleif that god has a master plan that is seemingly incomprehindible to us. Even by human standards, to achive perfection, we must have a sense of imperfection. So in the midst of this imperfection, is it not possible that all of this imperfection will, through this "master plan," beget perfection??

Quote:
All-good God Knowingly Creates Future Suffering
totally agree.

Quote:
Surely the all-wise and all-powerful God would have known that it would
have been better to reveal his perfect will directly to each of us, rather than to allow it to be
debased and perverted by the imperfect language and botched interpretations of man.
But then according to christians, and religious logic, wouldnt there really be no point of living then. Life according to christians, is really to prove ourselves to god.

Quote:
A perfect God who reveals his perfect will in an
imperfect book is impossible.
While the reasons may be unfound, and more than likely over our "imperfect" heads, The imperfect book is imperfect, not the perfect will. THe prefect will still remains intact, and perfect.

And once again, you said youself, we are imperfect. How do we know that this elaborate never ending paradox isnt perfection. George claimed in 1984 "He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future." im not saying that because god controls the present he congrols the future, i am just showing this qoute becuase i wish to say this flawless representation of this chain. God controls all, and this mean that god controls the very definition of perfect.

All in all, i thought this was a great article. Though its nothing new.

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zero_saiyaman
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:46 am    Post subject: I'm really sorry this is going to be such a huge post... Reply with quote

Oh my, it seems I shall have to return despite my busy-ness these days to make a rebuttle to such a thing. Discussion is great, and the only way to sharpen ideas and to find truth is to face ideas against eachother. So let me disprove every point that this essay brought up with my own ideas/take, as I just can't stand to be silent when something is so blatantly wrong in its reasoning in my opinion, no matter my personal views. Contage made some awesome points too which hit off of this post (which I've been writing for the past few hours) and make even clearer some points I'm not going to fully elaborate on, so awesome kudos to you Con.

Unfortunatley, this post is going to be a monster, as the essay is... sorry everyone. If there is a cut function on this board, I'd love to know it.

Defining YHWH:

Key points left out is the God is utterly Holy (a pivotal characteristic in the Christian definition) and never in the raw bible is it said that people "suffer for His sake" while in this life (or any other). Infact, evil and suffering are best defined as the absence of goodness, as shadow is the absence of light (so would Plato argue anyways). Therefore, all evil and suffering and such are the results of turning away from God and godly ways (towards sin), and thus simple natural consequences. Since God could create automitons, but did not, and instead gave the freedom to choose against Him, the choice away from God is where evil and suffering lies in the Christian view, and God does not directly interfer lest due to His holy nature that which has broken His laws by choosing away from Him would be immediately destroyed (like shadows are destroyed when one turns on a light in a dark room (assuming no objects in the room to cast a shadow, as I don't want to get into that sort of nitpicking, thank you)).

Perfection Seeks Even More Perfection:

This is a strange argument, one which is assuming a definition of perfection that states that perfection has no interest in activity. In his argument, perfection equals an equilibrium state from which no change can occure: "If God is perfect, there can be no disequilibrium. There is nothing he needs, nothing he desires, and nothing he must or will do." This statement says the to desire is to be imperfect, and to act requires desire.
In the Christian bible, it is clearly stated that Man is not created out of any desire by God or lacking of anything, but simply as an act to display His glory. If one is perfect, how can one display their perfection and the aspects of their natures? To display such a thing is neither a lacking, nor even a wanting, but it is an act of nature. It must be displayed because it is perfect, such as a lewis base must react with a lewis acid due to the natures of both, not by choice and not out of imperfection. By the nature of being God, His natures must be displayed in some way, and to show off Grace and Mercy, which are necessary for perfection, one must make a system where Grace and Mercy are the only ways for it to survive (ala this world).
Therein, to create is not out of a lacking or imperfection, but a necessity of nature. It all goes back to the definition of perfection, what is perfection? For perfection to be known it must be fully displayed, thus just like an Sn2 reaction with a aldehyde group and a hydroxyl group yielding a carboxylic acid, or ester, is based on the properties of the two groups and never by an act of wanting or imperfection, so too would creation of a system that displayed God's goodness and Grace be a simple act of His nature.
Moreover, the argument of what was God doing before creation is one of relativity not absolutes. Obviously, God must be outside of time as we know and percieve it, thus He cannot be judged based on the same temporal concepts as we have. Frankly, humans cannot grasp such concepts that are above this dimensional plane anymore than a stick figure, were it conscious in some form, be able to grasp the concept of depth, which is beyond its plane. It cannot be done, but the lack of understanding higher dimensional issues has no bearing on their existance or extent. We hardly understand the laws of our own plane, let alone anything beyond which theoretical physics likes to play with.

Perfection Begets Imperfection:

Most of the arguments here are adressed above. Again, the entire point is missed by the author. In the Christian view, evil is a choice presented, as without it the conscious, free will choice to love God cannot be made. You cannot choose something without there being alternatives. If all you have to eat is apples, you aren't choosing to eat apples (though you may choose to participate in the act of eating verses many other acts you could do) as apples is all there is to eat. Choice means there are other options. To freely choose God means there must be other options. Moreover, for God's Grace and Mercy to be made known, He must, despite His holy nature, provide for and take care of an imperfect world and race till such time as He interceeds completely and erases that imperfection with perfection.
Moreover, if perfection is greater than imperfection, then were imperfection cannot rise to perfection, there is no reason to state that perfection cannot create imperfection. It is not a necessity of being perfect to have to create only what is perfect. An artist can put their all into one picture and make it hyper realistic, yet for compeletly other reasons, put little effort in another picture for the sake of a completely different and unrealistic look. If perfection is greater, the top of the mountain, then it most certainly can make imperfection, which is lesser, rolling to the base of the mountain (you can make a sculpture, which is imperfect in relation to you, but this imperfect sculpture cannot make you). But again, the real view in Christianity is not that but that of purpose due to the need for choice in the act of Love and the need of imperfection to display the Mercy and Grace characteristics of perfection; lest God cannot be seen as perfect since He has not displayed all that is perfection (of course, if God is God, then perfection is defined based on Him and His characteristics, which again leads to the need of showing off His characteristics).
So, this argument of the author's is entirely flawed from start to finish.

The Freewill Argument

Here the author makes a completely erroneous assumption of what "free will" is and what its purpose is. In no way does the bible state that free will is there for the purpose of happiness. Instead, it is the chief end of Man to bring glory to God and to enjoy Him. To love another means you must choose that other freely from all options, including the opposite option which is to not choose that being. So, free will has nothing to do with human based happiness directly, but everything to do with the ability of humans to love God, as without the ability to not choose God, humans could not love or enjoy or bring glory to God consequently. Moreover, as stated above, if God is creating a system where His natures--Grace and Mercy--must be displayed, then a system where the choice away from God, which is the choice for evil, must be made.
Infact this argument can go further: if choosing away from God is evil, then choosing away from God and God's natures is the very basis of imperfection. Now, the author also makes the false assumption that to be "created in the image of God" is to be created "perfect". Infact, the bible never at any time states that humans are perfect or ever were, nor does the bible state that creation was perfect! The most that is ever said is that God saw "it was good", meaning the original state of creation was one centered on God and His natures. When the act of free will allowed humans to choose away from that, it ceased to be good or "perfect" in that sense, and never once is that a contridiction of anything, but a simple consequence of natures and necessity.
The point to be made is that humans were never created "perfect", and being made in the image of God is a ubiquitous statement, which could simply mean being cognitant or able to love, which indeed requires true free will, and true free will means you can choose against God which is then the source of evil and suffering and imperfection.
Never once is God the source of imperfection, not that that would matter as the argument in the section above already points out. Also, robots can never choose to love, and free will is not the source of happiness beyond the act of choosing God which is a happiness of its own which cannot be replicated in an automiton.

All-good God Knowingly Creates Future Suffering:

More assumptions are made in this section of the author's essay. First off, he is assuming that suffering is something supremely against good, whereas suffering is the consequence of the lack of good, but does not create that lack itself. The decay of rubidium into strontium is a consequence of rubidium's instability, not a consequence of the formation of strontium. Also, even though there is suffering, there is joy. To cancel out all joy to cancel out all suffering is an imperfect, childish, response as we discover through maturity. Furthermore, if suffering is the act of choosing away from God, then eternal suffering is the realization of the choice to be serperate from God and eternal bliss is the act of choosing to God; but it is never a lack of compassion that allows this. You can have all the compassion in the world while you let your child try to learn to ride their bike, and it is the compassionate act to allow them to try and fall than to deny them the activity. This is because the child will grow and overcome their imbalances at first, and the gain is far greater than any temporary pain. Pain in this life is temporary, suffering is transcient; if people wish to choose away from God and thus to suffering, that is their choice and their perogative in the Christian view, nothing that should be avoided or perhaps even can be as due to the nature of things.

Infinite Punishment for Finite Sins:

If God is infinitely Holy, then any choice which goes against His holiness is infinitely bad. Thus, for infinite justice, complete destruction is perscribed, but Grace and Mercy act on the behalf of limiting justice from being completely reciprical. Sins, therefore, are never finite due to God's infinitely Holy character (something utterly missed by the author but highly stated throughout the bible).
Additionally, we are brought once again back to the issue of choosing or not choosing God. If "punishment" and "suffering" are the natural consequences, relatively or absolutely, of the lack of God's direct presence (as for choice to be real God cannot impose His direct nature on one who chooses against Him), then it is, once again, perfectly just and necessary out of justice to allow people their choice even if it means eternal suffering. They have the freedom to choose, and they chose it, for the choice to be real, they must be allowed the consequences.

Belief More Important Than Action:

Since all people sin, and since good deeds cannot override sin, the issue comes down to one of everyone deserves the same destruction. However, what about those people who came before Jesus? Abraham, David, Joseph, Isaiah? The problem again boils down to God being outside of time so the act of Jesus being present throughout all time even if it was a finite event at the moment of introjection; it ripples in all directions in the time line. The priciple, not the name, is important: the priciple being, and which is stated in the bible quite clearly both in the New and Old testaments, is simply that one cannot save themselves based on good works and deeds, but must look to God's Mercy and Grace and rely on Him. Thus, no matter the religion, background, location in the world spacially or temporally, anyone who awknowledges their need for intercession by God so they can be made pure (inshort anyone who Choses God and choses to love and trust and have faith in him) is saved. Just as Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness, and just as David had a heart after God's own heart, so too have others of other religions shared the same humility and realization and love for God and thus they are equally covered as anyone who accepts Jesus by name. That is the Christian doctorin and what is in the bible; most importantly is that actions cannot make up for sin, so all salvation is is the knowledge that one cannot save themselves by good deeds but only can be saved by God's Mercy and Grace. The name is unimportant (Jesus's name is different in every language, just as mine or your's or God's is).

Perfection's Imperfect Revelation

"The all-powerful God could have, by a mere act of will, eliminated all of the problems we humans must endure" since this seems the premise of so much of this author's arguments, I see fit to remind the reader that once again for Grace and Mercy to be displayed, and for humans to freely choose God and to love/enjoy Him, the alternatives must exist which includes suffering by the fact that without God is suffering. Therefore, once again, the author's theology is incorrect and misrepresentative of the Christian belief. Hell, again, is the fulfilment of the choice to be appart from God, and once again if we are to be human, then things must be exactly as they are. There is by no means that we can be us, with all our experiences and knowledge, unless we faced these choices and issues. We cannot understand good intotal or the greatness and glory of God without having felt the sting of the opposite; that is an absolute. God could give it direct, but it'd be felt all the same, but minus the joys or temporal/spatial aspects that modify and enrich such experiences; as well as breaking "free will". You cannot appriciate what hot feels like till you've felt cold, and infact, the memory of hot loses it's luster if one hasn't felt cold for some time.
The author gives no evidence for the supposed "self-controdictory" nature of the bible, and due to his arguments so far, I can see no reason to believe it is actually anything real or of his knowledge. Moreover, humans, being limited and finite, cannot fully understand God. Do we take a five year old child and try to read to them shakespear and expect them to grasp it all? Or read them Plato and expect them to understand the subtleties of his extrastential philosophies? The fact that all humans percieve things differently as a repercussion of being individuals with their own hearts and minds and not carbon copies or robots means that different interpretations of the exact same words will arise. Afterall, not everyone in a class will score 100% on a test, even though they all read and heard the same material, due to this difference in perceptions, carings, focuses, and understandings--it is not fault of the test questions. Furthermore, this argument by the author assumes that God cannot guard the meaning of His world despite humans or the limitations of language, and also assumes that the purpose of His word is to be a set of Laws that must be followed. Yes, the law is incorperated in the bible, but in the Christian view that is there to show how humans cannot measure up to God's standards, and thus highlights God's Grace and Mercy. In the end, it is not the book that is important either, but the knowledge of what I just stated. Afterall, since when has the bible existed and where? What about those who came before or had no contact? Since it is the priciple that is important, not the objects, the bible instead enriches one's experiences and gives more food for Faith. Also, since it's simply to see that God would know the conditions of each person's life and heart from beginning to end, it is obvious that He could place a person and the things around that person in ways that are optimal for that person's personality and growth and relationship to God; in lue of choices to be made.
Additionally, for God to interact directly once more takes on the issue of Holiness verses our unholy natures, and the actions of God imparing freedom of choosing or not choosing Him. Since life experiences and faith are critical in the choices, the bible is presented to many, and it itself is seen as more than enough convictional weight to leave no room for anyone to say they were not told. Infact, it is clearly stated in the bible that creation itself leaves no room for someone to say they were not told. Is it any surprise then that were creation comes to be seen as the end all, the bible is most persent? It seems, again, to be a provisioning; but again, God should not directly tamper with things if a person is to develop completely and choose or not choose Him freely. Moreover, it is stated that suffering and experiences are part of the sactification of Man, and thus are necessary for humans to become what they are ment to become. All these arguments, once again, have been stated in sections above.
If God chooses to do things through one method, who is anyone to critizise, says the Christian view also; just as many praise the president of the United States and many more condemn him, the differing in perceptions that are necessary for individuality skew things in light of humans being imperfect and not omniscient.

Contradictory Justice:

Because sin marks all as imperfect next to God's Holiness, there is no such thing as an innocent human. These "contradictions" that the author points out are quite not so when actually examined in detail. What does God actually say in the bible? God says those who are faithful to Him and keep His covenant will be blessed for many generations, and those who are unfaithful to him, go against His covenant (choose away from Him) will have to suffer the ramifications for no more than three generations. Despite the fact human beings deserve completely destruction 24/7, God skewes things heavily on the side of blessing and away from justice. In that way, yes, God is being unjust by giving more leniency to people than justice would allow; and this is through Grace and Mercy: giving people good things they don't deserve and sparing them the retribution they do deserve for any sin is infinitely afrontable against God's complete holiness.
The reference to David is especially interesting, as the answer for the reason is given directly in the bible in the first place. David acted against God, faithlessly against Him and not trusting in God's promises. Since he did not trust in God's might or promises, such might was seemingly temporarily removed and thus calamity befell David and the Isrealites. Afterall, all good and blessings only come from God as the bible states, so any reduction due to human choice in that will result in the opposite. This is not to say even that things are more complex than such a simple statement: it rains on the poor and the rich alike, so that suffering at times happens, alluding back to the necessity of it as part of the ongoing creation of humanity, clearly stated. If suffering is not such a horrible thing but actally a beneficial thing when in God's hands (i.e. as the bible states, God disciplins those He loves to their perfection and better enjoyment of the world, even though that means they must suffer a bit for a short time, just as a father disciplins his son. Any parent who does not disciplin their children are doing a terrible evil to their children and bringing no end of woe and troubles upon them once they have to deal with other humans and discover they innately lack any skills such as self control which are necessary for subsiding in society and this world in general).
The death of God's Son was a gift and sacrifice, through Love, to save humanity from the original choice against God and the subsequent choices of every individual to do the same through selfishness at times. The Grace and Mercy given through Christ, as explained in the Christian view, removes people from being under the law and covers over their sins, allowing them to exist in the presence of an utterly holy God without perishing. Thus, despite the horrible things humans have done, they are allowed complete access to God simply by choosing to rely on Him alone for salvation. Moreover, the act is beyond simply saving mankind from sin. The act covered humans in the "blood" and righteousness of Christ, making them like Christ in the eyes of God, thus like God Himself in His eyes. It is by this act that humans become Children of God and are not referred to as such in any other sense in the bible than because of the sacrifice of Christ. Therefore, the act had many more ramifications than simply being the ultimate display of Love, Grace, and Mercy. In Addition, though the act of killing a part of God Himself is the ultimate act of evil anyone can concieve, humanity was not punished for it as they should have been under justice, thus showing the ultimate level of God's Grace and Love in concert with His justice (the bible itself states that there is only one sin that cannot be forgiven, which is dying never having choosen God and His free salvation, thus simply this "unforgiveable sin" is the honoring of the choice to be apart from God, and life is the time period given to humans to make that choice after experiencing a large range of what it's like to be somewhat away from God--evil and suffering--verses the blessings and goodness and wonderful joys of life that only come from God. So then, this life and all its experiences means that humans are making their choice with a clear conscious and cannot say they did not know or anything against it as could be done if God skipped this life and the sacrifice of Christ and made robots or any other method of directly imputing the experiences into a person).
The only skewed sense of Justice here is that humans are not utterly destroyed as they should be, and this is due to Grace and Mercy and Love. Since the author missed the concept of holiness, it is easy to see how he arrived at such a conclusion however.

Contradictory History:

There are no real historical contridictions of the bible. The geneologies given for Jesus can be seen in two different lights: patrical and matrical lineages. Matrical means that the fathers of the wives to each man is listed (as would be a common practice back in the day the bible was written, and since there was no greek word for "son-in-law" the father of one's wife is reported as one's father). Since the jews were notorious genealogical keepers, there is no logical reason for a difference in the two genealogies besides this, as even a ficticious doctument would not be discrepent in such a way (but would plagerize between the books instead), and instead it seems highly resonable that Luke added Mary's line to prove that either way (by Mary or Joseph) Jesus was in the proper line to be the messaiah. Luke himself states "He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph" making it seem more likely that he is adressing those who doubted Jesus came from Joseph, but by some other man, and so was showing that through Mary Jesus met the requirements.
As for Esau, I inspected it all myself. There are only two wives not later mentioned in the account of Esau's offspring: Judith a hittite and Mahalath who was a descendant of Abraham. The later account of Esau's family is only that of the Canaanite women, and it is highly possible that Judith bore him no children and thus would of course not be included in an account of his offspring. Also, there is no trouble with Timna (not Timnah), being stated as a concubine and then the same Timna (not Timnah) being stated as the sister of Lotan who came from Seir who was living in the region at the same time as Esau and unrelated to Esau. There is no descrepency here as the author believes.
Also, what about the historic accuracies of the bibile? I would point the reader to this site http://www.probe.org/content/view/31/77/ which comes with a bibliography and much source support, but that is only the tip off of the iceberg so to speak. The secular journal Biblical Achaeological Review (http://www.bib-arch.org/bswb_BAR/indexBAR.html) is the best source for current info on all achealogical discoveries pertaining to the bible. Incidently, all the towns stated to have been burned and conquered by Joshua have indeed been found and found to be burned and destroyed all during the same time, consitant with the bible.

Unfulfilled Prophecy:

There is no issue with the prophecy in Isaiah 7 and what is stated in Matthew 1. The prediction of Immanuel's birth is stated to come after the destruction of the kingdom of isreal by Assyria, which indeed is the case. So here things are stated completely in proper context in the bible.
Nor is it impossible for God's will to be revieled in a book, or nature, anymore than directly. As was said above, can a human, being finite, understand the sum total of God's will? What parts are important for human life and conduct? To say the bible is imperfect for not containing all the will of God is the same as saying the encyclopedia Britanica is imperfect for it does not contain all the knowledge of the world. But does that negate the knowledge that is in Britanica? By no means. It is a fallacy to say that all that could be not being there negates what is there. A perfect God can indeed reveal some of His perfect will in an imperfect book.

The Omniscient Changes the Future :

This is a strange and errant argument. To know something from start to end does not say you are powerless to change it if it is by your actions you started it and modified it to its end. It's the same as taking a real time simulation, tweaking a few parameters, and getting the end result even before you've run through all the numbers in detail that occur between to see how the effects panned out between points A and B (see molecular analysis where the results of a reaction are known long before the processies of what happens between the two points are known). Knowing the end all, if one is God, is meaningless as that end all is what God created. Due to the difference in relation of time between Man and God, if all things happen instantly for God, it is by no means a lack of free will on God's part at all, even as we may see time as moving slowly and being between points A and B. God can make it all, plan it all, and set it in motion; He may know the end result, but by His will he crafted it as so, thus it makes no sense to say what the author did.

The Omniscient is Surprised:

I cannot even begin to imagine why the author stated that "A God who knows everything cannot have emotions". The knowledge of everything does not affect emotions. I may know many things and still feel emotions even contrary to my knowledge; I may know that a certain spider can not hurt me, yet still have a slight edgy fear of it. Knowledge has no bearing on emotions, and only will power directly effects emotions along with perception.
Humans do NOT experience emotions as only the result of new knowledge. If this was true, you could never experience the feeling of anxiety. Anxiety comes when you have experienced something before, and thus by old knowledge your emotions are modified by what you expect will be the outcome of a situation yet has not come to pass. Phobias are not based on new or old knowledge, nor is delight at the thought of eating an ice cream cone based on new knowledge but depends completely, and exclusively, on the taste experience from the last time the ice cream was eaten. I can remember a memory of something sad that happened and feel just as sad because of the meaning of it, not the newness, and seeing others in sad conditions makes me sad not because the knowledge is new, but rather, because the knowledge is old and complete so I understand the sorrow of such a situation and through empathy feel the same. If emotions were only felt through new knowledge there could not be empathy or sympathy. The author has made an insane statement in this section of his essay that is utterly, rediculously, false.
Furthermore, feelings of indignation and anger at situations that are unjust have no relation to not being able to act, and infact it is why people do act and move to undo injustice (see the civil rights movement). By talking with others we can effectively deal with and adress a situation another is creating that is angering us, thus negating the thought that anger and frustration only comes from things we cannot change; that is utterly false, as rather it comes from things we know should be one way but have become another way. If humans can choose against God and can choose to do what is against His laws, then God most certainly would feel that emotion.
The author's statements are impossible.

The Conclusion of the matter:

The author's arguments show flaws again and again, though not for lack of trying or interesting thoughts. The attempts to state that a perfect God in an imperfect universe is impossible are rediculous by any measure of rational thought. For instance, what of the philosophies of Plato which adress this issue directly in another manner? Also, what of physics which shows there are more dimensions than our three (four experienced, three affected)? Is not a two dimensional drawing imperfect compared to three dimensional space as it lacks a whole dimension, yet does a two dimensional drawing negate our existance?
Since imperfection is less than perfection, anything that is perfect can choose to make what is imperfect. We can make a prosthetic arm, but it is imperfect to a real one, yet we still made it even if we are more perfect than it. The natures of God needing to be displayed, Grace and Mercy, to describe what perfection even is, and thus to define God himself, demands a universe the same as ours. Moreover, to make creatures that will freely choose Him, to love Him as love must be freely given with the alternative in plain view, and to enjoy Him, humanity must be able to choose against God, and since God is the source of all good, to choose against God is to choose evil and suffering and pain. Hell then, is simply the absence of God, which is the final honoring of one's choice to choose against Him. In this, the Christian view states God is absolutely Just and perfect, and moreover reduces the punishment all humanity should have for afronting his infinite holiness, through the actions of His Grace and Mercy.
The contrary logic and contradictions that the author tries to bring up are easily shown as incorrect and lacking in light of both greater knowledge and extended logical reasoning. Although, most of this stems from missing the fact that God is also ultimately Holy in nature as well. This is not to say the author didn't try to make a good essay with good points, but there is no doubt in his failing in completely logically rationalizing his ideas in many points.

No rational man can agree with the faulty logic and theology of the statements presented by the author, be them of the Christian view, Platonic, Hindu, Athiest, or anything else.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've skimmed over all these posts.....honestly I don't think the author of this essay knows what he's actually trying to disprove.
Now, I know I just skimmed through it, but he seems to be arguing against some of the 'rules' when it comes to christianity....but c'mon, I know a lot of Christians who don't agree with those rules (ie; infinite punishment for finite sin, etc.)

This essay doesn't disprove God at all (this is comming from an agnostic mind you). You can't prove or disprove something you cannot see or impirically test.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zero_saiyaman wrote:
In the Christian bible, it is clearly stated that Man is not created out of any desire by God or lacking of anything, but simply as an act to display His glory.


Why would God need to display his glory if he is perfect? Perfection needs NOTHING, including display of power. Any entity displays power because of of a need to display and a need to have an outlet for glory, which is a need, and therefore must not be perfection. I am at school, and do not have the time to write a full arguement, and I will rebuttle your whole statement later. This just seemed easiest to make a comeback to.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daylight, I'll post just one argument against your article (which I also only had the time to skim over): Christians do not (or at least should not) believe God can be known as a whole. He does not have a personality or follows patterns as humans do. We simply cannot understand his designs, and that's quite good, actually, after all, if we did, we would be omniscient, but would have lost our free will—we would no longer be humans.

God can't be disproved on mere examples, for the examples were written by humans who were trying to explain just a glimpse of a bigger thing. It's like using a photo to demonstrate movement.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lol yahweh is a hewbrew not christian god
http://www.answers.com/topic/yahweh?method=22

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, the guy on the article clearly don't like to be called and "atheistic fool". But then why he goes saying that christians are fools for believing in god. You know, religions are just a "padronization" of simple moral rules, moral rules that we all follow, I don't see the point of atacking it. God or jesus or whatever it's not really the focus of christianity, they just exist to enforce the will to be good to others. If a person wants to make people turn away from religions, that person should just show proof that there's no problem in murdering and raping your neighbours. And that there's no problem in being raped or killed.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Josh Redstone wrote:
honestly I don't think the author of this essay knows what he's actually trying to disprove.


This would be evidenced by the fact that he consistently throws around words like "omniscience" and "omnipotence" but completely skips the part about digging through the complexity of their meaning.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so many of the arguments there rely on perfection, and he uses a differant definition than the bible, the bibles definition of perfection is lacking of sin or evil, and the bibles definition of sin and evil is anything that is against the will of god; therefore the first few arguments are not valid.
there is no evidence in the bible for an infinte hell, the bible refers to "the second death" many times and also a "lake of fire" but not an eternal hell. it is likely that a person who is evil will suffer in the fire for only a (realitivly) small time and then cease to exist (thus the second death).
the bible was writen by man so it wouldnt be perfect and god doesnt tell us all his will because he is perfect and if we were to come into his presence it would destroy us (it says that in the bible) and that is why he uses angels (literally "messanger" in greek) to communicate with us.
it doesnt matter how good a person is because all people have sinned at least once in their life so they are imperfect and must be punished, but god created a way for us to forego the punishment and all we have to do is belive that jesus was the son of god.
i would countinue with the rest of the post but im short on time right now.
id like to say that i am not a stubborn christian who holds onto his beliefs no matter what, im actually the opposite i am looking for a way to disprove god so that i can do the things i want (such as sex, stealing, lieing, anything i feel like) instead of the things i should. i want god to not exist but he is constantly proving his existance to me through many ways.
im sorry but even a person like me, who is trying to find enough reason to become atheist, can not except these week arguments

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruno, your point is exelent, and for someone who belives in the Christian God, I think your point could make this whole essay invalid. but as someone who does not believe in the Christan God, I think this essay still makes very valid points, some of which I will disscuss below.

dsystemofadownz wrote:
lol yahweh is a hewbrew not christian god
http://www.answers.com/topic/yahweh?method=22

God is called Yahweh in the Old Testament, which is still a part of the Christian faith. Yahweh is just another name for God, like the father of Jehova(which I think is just another translation of Yaweh). The web page you linked to does not say Yaweh is a hebrew god, but rather a hebrew word.

zero_saiyaman wrote:
Infact, evil and suffering are best defined as the absence of goodness, as shadow is the absence of light (so would Plato argue anyways). Therefore, all evil and suffering and such are the results of turning away from God and godly ways (towards sin), and thus simple natural consequences.


But a God who is perfect is perfect in all ways. A perfectly just God would not create a race of beings that he knows will suffer.

And going back the topic of a perfect being not needing to create:
zero_saiyaman wrote:
Therein, to create is not out of a lacking or imperfection, but a necessity of nature.


A perfect being has no necessities. A necessity is a need, and a perfect being has no needs. The being is already perfect.

zero_saiyaman wrote:
An artist can put their all into one picture and make it hyper realistic, yet for compeletly other reasons, put little effort in another picture for the sake of a completely different and unrealistic look.


Bad example. The artist is not perfect if he created imperfection. The hyper-real picture is, hypothetically, perfect, not the artist.

I understand your agruement that God must give freewill, but again, a perfect God is perfectly just and kind, and would not create a race of people doomed to fall away from him and suffer.

zero_saiyaman wrote:
In no way does the bible state that free will is there for the purpose of happiness. Instead, it is the chief end of Man to bring glory to God and to enjoy Him.


I may sound repetative, but a perfect God does not need glory. Perfection has no needs or wants.

zero_saiyaman wrote:
The most that is ever said is that God saw "it was good", meaning the original state of creation was one centered on God and His natures.


If it was centered on God's nature, which is perfect, it is also perfect.

zero_saiyaman wrote:
whereas suffering is the consequence of the lack of good


Suffering is not the consequence of the lack of good. I can prove it using your Bible. Look at Job. Job was considered by God to be the purest of all humans, and he suffered supremely.

As for your arguement about the infinite punishment for infinate sins, I do not agree with your reasoning, but the author, in my opinion is wrong. I believe that the lake of fire, or hell, at the end of the world is finite.

zero_saiyaman wrote:
Belief More Important Than Action:

Since all people sin, and since good deeds cannot override sin, the issue comes down to one of everyone deserves the same destruction. However, what about those people who came before Jesus? Abraham, David, Joseph, Isaiah? The problem again boils down to God being outside of time so the act of Jesus being present throughout all time even if it was a finite event at the moment of introjection; it ripples in all directions in the time line. The priciple, not the name, is important: the priciple being, and which is stated in the bible quite clearly both in the New and Old testaments, is simply that one cannot save themselves based on good works and deeds, but must look to God's Mercy and Grace and rely on Him. Thus, no matter the religion, background, location in the world spacially or temporally, anyone who awknowledges their need for intercession by God so they can be made pure (inshort anyone who Choses God and choses to love and trust and have faith in him) is saved. Just as Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness, and just as David had a heart after God's own heart, so too have others of other religions shared the same humility and realization and love for God and thus they are equally covered as anyone who accepts Jesus by name. That is the Christian doctorin and what is in the bible; most importantly is that actions cannot make up for sin, so all salvation is is the knowledge that one cannot save themselves by good deeds but only can be saved by God's Mercy and Grace. The name is unimportant (Jesus's name is different in every language, just as mine or your's or God's is).


Your explanation of that still does not cover how a perfectly just God can punish people for not believing in him who have never heard of him. That is not only not perfectly just, but very unjust.

zero_saiyaman wrote:
alternatives must exist which includes suffering by the fact that without God is suffering.


That is false. I have total absence of God in my life, and I do not suffer. IMHO, I am happier than most Christians I know.

zero_saiyaman wrote:
The author gives no evidence for the supposed "self-controdictory" nature of the bible, and due to his arguments so far, I can see no reason to believe it is actually anything real or of his knowledge.


Scholars have estimated that the Bible contains over two thousand explicit or implicit contradictions. I will list a few here.

Genesis 6:4 The Nephilim (Giants) lived on earth prior to the Flood.
Genesis 7:23 Only Noah and his family, and the animals on the Ark, survived the Flood.
Numbers 13:33 Long after the Flood, the Nephilim (Giants) still lived.

Exodus 20:13 Murder forbidden.
Leviticus 20:13 Commanded.

Leviticus 11:6 The Bible maintains that hares chew cud, like cows. They do not.

Deuteronomy 6:5: We must love God.
Deuteronomy 6:13 We must fear God.
I John 4:18 Perfect love cannot be mingled with fear.

zero_saiyaman wrote:
Moreover, humans, being limited and finite, cannot fully understand God.


True.

zero_saiyaman wrote:
there is no such thing as an innocent human.


According to the Bible, once a man has confessed his sins, All his sins are washed away, making him innocent until his next sin.

zero_saiyaman wrote:
Despite the fact human beings deserve completely destruction 24/7


Now that's just negitive thinking.

zero_saiyaman wrote:
God is being unjust by giving more leniency to people than justice would allow; and this is through Grace and Mercy: giving people good things they don't deserve and sparing them the retribution they do deserve for any sin


Thus god is not perfectly just, and is imperfect. Thank you for validating my arguement.

...Oh my god, I don't think I can write anymore. I think I have said enough, given sufficent rebuttle. My writing is exhausted.

Also, saiyaman, in the future, I would like it if you didn't use chemistry analogies. I had NO CLUE what you were talking about.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DayLight wrote:

But a God who is perfect is perfect in all ways. A perfectly just God would not create a race of beings that he knows will suffer.


But, that goes to the issue of "what is justice". Also, it can beg the question of what is suffering in God's view verses suffering in our view. We make children "suffer" to disciplin them, that suffering is not real suffering in our view on the flip side but to them is the most horrid thing at the time; however it is done so that they do not truly suffer later. Moreover, I made the argument that suffering would be a consequence of choosing away from God. God can certainly, in all justice, rightly create a creature that may or may not choose Him; and nor can suffering simply be equated with injustice unfortunately. If all suffering is injustice, then it is not unjust to punish a murderer for killing as that will make that one suffer?

Quote:
And going back the topic of a perfect being not needing to create:
zero_saiyaman wrote:
Therein, to create is not out of a lacking or imperfection, but a necessity of nature.


A perfect being has no necessities. A necessity is a need, and a perfect being has no needs. The being is already perfect.


I think you misunderstood what I ment by the word "need" there, and hence my analogies to chemistry. In chemistry chemicals react in a predictible manner not because they are doing it so they are more perfect, or because they lack something or have any need, but because it is the nature of the two groups when in a particular environment and conditions. It is the "need" of their nature that makes them react. Any chemical reaction is "perfect" in the sense as perfect is being thrown around here in these arguments because it occurs simply by the priciples of nature and never out of need, desire, or lacking. If God created because it is His nature to create within His perfection then it is a priciple of perfection, not a lack there of. Humans are intensely creative, and if God is all knowing and all powerful, then without a doubt one would think He would be given into creativity, thus creation, by the nature of having a mind, just as us lesser humans are. We humans do not do creative things because we lack, need, or desire anything, we do it simply to express our nature.

Quote:
Bad example. The artist is not perfect if he created imperfection. The hyper-real picture is, hypothetically, perfect, not the artist.

I understand your agruement that God must give freewill, but again, a perfect God is perfectly just and kind, and would not create a race of people doomed to fall away from him and suffer.


Incorrect on both counts really. For instance, nothing that is imperfect can create perfection. What is lesser cannot create what is greater. A reaction cannot run uphill spontenously, energy only flows one way and that is down into lesser energy states. Hypothetically speaking, the artist MUST be perfect to create a perfect picture. All of an artist's potential may be put into one picture, but the artist may not put all of his/her potential into another picture. It is not a lacking of perfection that an artist may choose to make a picture not at full potential, so a picture not done to their full potential can never be used to argue against perfection; but a picture that is perfect can be used to argue for the perfection of the artist in that art.

The second part of your statement I answered above. God can be completely just and create a creature that can and will suffer, it's strange to think that the ability to suffer is an indication of injustice. Injustice is wronging someone in a moral sense, and to be given the ability to feel a full range of feelings, including suffering, is being given something, not having something taken away or wronged. And again, that entire view comes from a presuposition of the definition of justice and injustice, and from an anthropocentric view. The entire book of Job adresses this issue directly, and God can certainly take any suffering and make it into a greater good, could He not? Really, suffering has nothing to do with justice or injustice, as my punishment example for crimes highlights.

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zero_saiyaman wrote:
In no way does the bible state that free will is there for the purpose of happiness. Instead, it is the chief end of Man to bring glory to God and to enjoy Him.


I may sound repetative, but a perfect God does not need glory. Perfection has no needs or wants.


Why is glory a need? What can glory give a person or God? Can it fulfill anything? No. The point of glory, as I stated, is to display the natures of God and make Himself more known. And making oneself known is also not a need or anything of imperfection. If something is perfect, it should be fully known so that perfection can be fully known and searched for and appriciated by others. There is not a single bit of this that can make God imperfect.

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zero_saiyaman wrote:
The most that is ever said is that God saw "it was good", meaning the original state of creation was one centered on God and His natures.


If it was centered on God's nature, which is perfect, it is also perfect.


I adressed how that is failed logic as far as I see. Creation is not centered on God's nature in the absolute of being perfect, as the entire thing of creativity from an artist shows. Aspects fill creation, but creation hardly needs be perfect in the absolute sense that God is perfect, or else creation would be God? Creation is not perfect, "good" is a completely different issue, meaning acceptible and having attained the goal that was set out for. That goal does not have to be "perfection". If God is God, He is also an infinite intelligence and mind, thus there are not such restrictions on a mind that also must be creative (since we are creative and creativity if it's created has to be perfectly exemplified by the creator). It's just... weird to say that creation must be perfect because God is perfect, and completely crazy as if God is allpowerful He can make something that is imperfect and that has no detraction from His perfect nature; not anymore than me making something less than my potential detracts from my nature--I don't lose a single thing by not putting my all in everything, thank you.

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zero_saiyaman wrote:
whereas suffering is the consequence of the lack of good


Suffering is not the consequence of the lack of good. I can prove it using your Bible. Look at Job. Job was considered by God to be the purest of all humans, and he suffered supremely.

As for your arguement about the infinite punishment for infinate sins, I do not agree with your reasoning, but the author, in my opinion is wrong. I believe that the lake of fire, or hell, at the end of the world is finite.


There is nothing ever wrong in disagreements, which I hope is understood in all this too.

Now, Job is not stated to be the "purest of all humans", nor is the "purest of all humans" perfect or without fault either. Even Job sinned. And yes, Job suffered supremely and was repayed for it double; so suffering is not where injustice comes from is it? Exersize is suffering to the body, is exersize injustice to the body? No, it is injustice to the body to not exersize! These arguments can go nowhere, as obviously the definition of injustice is not related to suffering alone.

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Your explanation of that still does not cover how a perfectly just God can punish people for not believing in him who have never heard of him. That is not only not perfectly just, but very unjust.


But, I also said even creation speaks of God. No one is born without having "heard" of God in one sense or another, and again, the entire argument showed that names are not important, thus one does not have to hear about God. So, it is perfectly just. All humans are measured by the same standard, if they like it or not, and that is justice. It would be unjust to exempt people who have not heard (though they have in other means than acousticly as the bible states) from the same measures as people who have heard; that would be supremely unfair to those placed in a possition where they do hear.
Finally, I reiterate, creation is said to be evidence enough to speak of God to a person, so no one is exempt of being confronted by the issue in the Christian view.

Don't you know that ignorance of the law is no excuse and you are just as in trouble if you broke a law you didn't know as if you knew it all along? Won't hold up in court to say you didn't know, I'm afraid. However, doing something you didn't know was wrong gives room for leniency.

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zero_saiyaman wrote:
alternatives must exist which includes suffering by the fact that without God is suffering.


That is false. I have total absence of God in my life, and I do not suffer. IMHO, I am happier than most Christians I know.


This goes into an issue of the level of the presence of God in the world ambiently at all times. All people suffer the same ammount according to what they can bear, the bible clearly states. You suffer no more than me, and I no less than you; all respectively to our perceptions and possitions. People simply react to things differently, as is the fact of individuality.

Even more so, one can get into the issue of "what is suffering" exactly. Frankly, I don't even want to bother with that. But I have a different view of what is suffering than you, and you have a different view than anyone else on the planet and so forth. Some ideas are shared, but the total is different; you are affected by things that don't affect me and vice versa.

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zero_saiyaman wrote:
The author gives no evidence for the supposed "self-controdictory" nature of the bible, and due to his arguments so far, I can see no reason to believe it is actually anything real or of his knowledge.


Scholars have estimated that the Bible contains over two thousand explicit or implicit contradictions. I will list a few here.

Genesis 6:4 The Nephilim (Giants) lived on earth prior to the Flood.
Genesis 7:23 Only Noah and his family, and the animals on the Ark, survived the Flood.
Numbers 13:33 Long after the Flood, the Nephilim (Giants) still lived.

Exodus 20:13 Murder forbidden.
Leviticus 20:13 Commanded.

Leviticus 11:6 The Bible maintains that hares chew cud, like cows. They do not.

Deuteronomy 6:5: We must love God.
Deuteronomy 6:13 We must fear God.
I John 4:18 Perfect love cannot be mingled with fear.


Let me show how each of these is not a contridiction:

The first three passages can go as such: what about the wives of Noah's seven sons? If niphilimism is a genetic trait, then all it had to do was be resessively in one wife and it would be preserved after the flood and for some time to come (especially because inbreeding brings out recessive traits, and abnormal height appears to indeed be a recessive trait, and giant's syndrom like Andrea the Giant is indeed recessive it appears). Though genetic drift and the destruction of the population of giants (which we have archealogical evidence of), giantism has been basically lost from the human population, though the aspect of huge height persists. The dominant gene for six fingers was also lost through genetic drift, but it's easier for a dominant to be completely lost than a recessive due to heterozygotes having the same fitness as homozygote dominants.

For the second set, did you even look up the passages?
Leviticus 20:13 "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."
Now, there are two ways that must be discussed. Firstly, killing and murder are two different things, for someone to be put to death for breaking a law is not murder if the law proscribes for that and (in our sensibilities) they are given due process (since the law is the moral standard of what is right in a society in the first place, and God's law would then be supremely right). Murder is killing on one's own perogative.
The second thing that must be adressed is the nature of full justice verses love and grace. An eye for an eye is the maximum that can be just, taking more is not just. But, taking less is not just in that sense of not being reciprical, but it is not unjust. Instead, justice is overrulled by grace and mercy. The maximum doesn't ever have to be given. Furthermore, as the christian view and the bible explains, the law is there to convict, not to be utterly lived by as no one can attain to such standards. The law shows no one can be perfectly good and thus are in need of Grace and Mercy so that they can be spared what the law proscribes, and thus, since God is that way with us, we are ment to be that way with eachother!
This is most expressed by Paul in his explanation of why eating unclean meat is not wrong if one has the faith for it. But, that is an entirely, and deeper, theological discussion than what is pertinant for this discussion.

Like cows and such, rabbits do digest food twice (through refection). http://www.nixonandmarshall.co.uk/rabbitdigestiontract.html Thus, they chew cud in the sense of re-eating already processed food (and is one of the few animals that do so besides the ruminants). This is not simply dung they are eating, and some of it is undigested material that is only processed through the second go (just like ruminants). Also, the hebrew here uses a word that we translate as "cud" that's used only twice in the bible (in this passage and another in Dueteronimy), and is not specific to the action that cows use. Nor is there a hebrew word for regergitation used here, but instead the generic verb that means to "take up" or "recover" and a number of other movement meanings. The hebrew then is not misleading, but instead it is simply the choice of words in our translation, or is it?

cud ( P ) Pronunciation Key (kd)
n.
Food regurgitated from the first stomach to the mouth of a ruminant and chewed again.
Something held in the mouth and chewed, such as a quid of tobacco.

So even in our language cud means more than what a ruminant does, and thus rabbits do indeed chew the cud!
Even more, Linnaeus himself classified rabbits as ruminants because they appear to chew the cud, since they are eating these refections and the movements of their jaw.
The bible is not wrong here, but instead wonderfully observant of rabbit behavior.

The final bit is simple. This is because fear has more than one meaning as well.
fear ( P ) Pronunciation Key (fīr)
n.

A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger.
A state or condition marked by this feeling: living in fear.
A feeling of disquiet or apprehension: a fear of looking foolish.
Extreme reverence or awe, as toward a supreme power.

Notice the last definition there, this is how "fear" is being used in that passage. In old english, fear ment to respect in an awe like way, it did not mainly have the connotation we commonly use now, but that old connotation is not lost; just like gay can mean a sexual preference, but it's old and still present definition means "happy". Remember the Flinstone's theme? Have a gay old time? There is no contridiction here in the bible, but a lack of appriciation of the richness of our own language which is a very common problem these days as the school system does not educate people well on language or definitions or logical reasoning anymore *sigh*.

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zero_saiyaman wrote:
there is no such thing as an innocent human.


According to the Bible, once a man has confessed his sins, All his sins are washed away, making him innocent until his next sin.


*blinks* Not at all! The blood of Christ cleanses a person in total for all time to come: past, present, and future sins, in the Christian view; it is not something that is ever repeated or just for the time "between two sins". And also, the person is not "innocent" even if they are made blameless. You can be completely guilty of something yet held blameless. All it takes is mercy and forgiveness so the blame for your crime is not held on your head and punishment is not given.

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zero_saiyaman wrote:
Despite the fact human beings deserve completely destruction 24/7


Now that's just negitive thinking.


Lol, in one view perhaps. But instead of taking it negatively, in the Christian view that is the fact for supreme rejoicing as God is so merciful as to not give humans what they deserve. Besides, breaking divine law demands utter distruction, so because God is Holy and humans have sinned, humans are indeed derserving of destruction at all times if it weren't for the intercession of Grace and Mercy. That's a pivotal concept in the Christian view; why humans cannot live up to the law; why Christ's sacrifice was necessary; and why salvation is from grace through faith and never by works. It also displays God's supreme goodness to put up with supreme transgressions.

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zero_saiyaman wrote:
God is being unjust by giving more leniency to people than justice would allow; and this is through Grace and Mercy: giving people good things they don't deserve and sparing them the retribution they do deserve for any sin


Thus god is not perfectly just, and is imperfect. Thank you for validating my arguement.

...Oh my god, I don't think I can write anymore. I think I have said enough, given sufficent rebuttle. My writing is exhausted.

Also, saiyaman, in the future, I would like it if you didn't use chemistry analogies. I had NO CLUE what you were talking about.


Lol, I'm sorry, I was doing a play on words. If you stole from me, would I be doing the unjust thing to not press charges? I wouldn't be doing the completely just thing as complete justice would be to seek absolute recipricocity, but it wouldn't be injustice either! I was trying to make a point built off of my foundation of the function of Grace and Mercy and why to display it such a system as our world and situations are necessary. By not following through with complete Justice, you aren't being unjust, instead you are overriding justice with Grace and Mercy which are greater things than justice. It is not a mark of imperfection, but even greater perfection. I'm sorry I did that play on words, it was a bit confusing.

And sorry for the chemistry analogy, that was a bit overly technical, heh.

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DayLight
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zero_saiyaman wrote:
Also, it can beg the question of what is suffering in God's view verses suffering in our view.


If you look up suffering in the index of your Bible(or search for it, like I do, I have a handy computer Bible), then many verses containing the word suffering will come up, and though none of them say anything directly like "I know your suffering" or "I view suffering the same as you do", an assumption can be made the God knows we suffer, and realizes this.

zero_saiyaman wrote:
If all suffering is injustice, then it is not unjust to punish a murderer for killing as that will make that one suffer?


All suffering is not injustice. I have suffered as a consequence of my actions, and i think in some cases, I deserved that suffering. But creating a race of people that God knew was going to fail, was destined to fail, is unjust. That would be like punishing a person with a broken leg for not running fast enough. You know the person with a broken leg cannot run, but you put him to the task anyway, and when he fails, as he is destined to, and as you knew he would, but you punish him anyway. That is not justice.

zero_saiyaman wrote:
I think you misunderstood what I ment by the word "need" there, and hence my analogies to chemistry. In chemistry chemicals react in a predictible manner not because they are doing it so they are more perfect, or because they lack something or have any need, but because it is the nature of the two groups when in a particular environment and conditions. It is the "need" of their nature that makes them react. Any chemical reaction is "perfect" in the sense as perfect is being thrown around here in these arguments because it occurs simply by the priciples of nature and never out of need, desire, or lacking. If God created because it is His nature to create within His perfection then it is a priciple of perfection, not a lack there of. Humans are intensely creative, and if God is all knowing and all powerful, then without a doubt one would think He would be given into creativity, thus creation, by the nature of having a mind, just as us lesser humans are. We humans do not do creative things because we lack, need, or desire anything, we do it simply to express our nature.


I understand what you are saying a bit better now. Allow me to throw this idea out there. One aspect of human(and all animals) nature is to eat. This is not just eating for no reason, this nature arises out of a need. You are hungry and need food for energy and to stop feeling hungry. So one could say that nature is created out of need, but I think my idea here could be easily shot down, and is not very strong, and I do understand what you are saying. Good point.

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Why is glory a need? What can glory give a person or God? Can it fulfill anything? No. The point of glory, as I stated, is to display the natures of God and make Himself more known


It fufills the need to be known. If God was perfect, he would already have glory and would alredy be known by all. Glory fufulls the need to be known.

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Now, Job is not stated to be the "purest of all humans", nor is the "purest of all humans" perfect or without fault either.


"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil."
-Job 1:1(KJV)
I was about to reword that and say I was wrong, but then I decided to actually look in the book of Job, and the first verse said he was perfect. grin1

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But, I also said even creation speaks of God. No one is born without having "heard" of God in one sense or another,

I assume you are talking about hearing about the Christian God, and not just the concept of God, so I will adress it as such. That is bullshit. Ancient Mayans, Native Americans, babies that have died hours after birth. None of these people have ever heard of the Bible(until europeans came over, but I am reffering to the times before that).

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All humans are measured by the same standard, if they like it or not, and that is justice. It would be unjust to exempt people who have not heard


True, but it would be unjust to create a person in the first place who will never hear about God and be punished for someting he or she could not control.

[/quote]Though genetic drift and the destruction of the population of giants (which we have archealogical evidence of)[quote]

I find this hard to believe(not to mention insane crazy ). Could you direct me to a web page explaining this evidence?

I see your point on the second set. Let me show you this verse then.
"(Moses) stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, "All of you who are on the LORD's side, come over here and join me." And all the Levites came. He told them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Strap on your swords! Go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other, killing even your brothers, friends, and neighbors." The Levites obeyed Moses, and about three thousand people died that day. Then Moses told the Levites, "Today you have been ordained for the service of the LORD, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Because of this, he will now give you a great blessing." (Exodus 32:26-29 NLT)

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Food regurgitated from the first stomach to the mouth of a ruminant and chewed again.


re·gur·gi·tate (r-gūrj-tt)
v. re·gur·gi·tat·ed, re·gur·gi·tat·ing, re·gur·gi·tates

To rush or surge back.
To cause to pour back, especially to cast up partially digested food.

The rabit eating it's own poo-poo does not sound like an example of chewing cud. The metod in which the rabbit does this does not seem like regurgition, but rather eating poo-poo.

...This extensive quoting sucks overspannen . I think we need to decide on one point of this essay to debate, so we do not need to post these long, unreadable posts.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DayLight wrote:
zero_saiyaman wrote:
Also, it can beg the question of what is suffering in God's view verses suffering in our view.


If you look up suffering in the index of your Bible(or search for it, like I do, I have a handy computer Bible), then many verses containing the word suffering will come up, and though none of them say anything directly like "I know your suffering" or "I view suffering the same as you do", an assumption can be made the God knows we suffer, and realizes this.


Hm, I didn't say God didn't know people "suffered" as omniscience cannot not know. But I did explain, as with the parent/child analogy, that suffering is based on perceptions not absolutes. So what is actual, real, true suffering? What is real suffering as God would see it? And then, what is our view of suffering the moment it's happening? But by no means did I mean to imply that God didn't know people suffered, if it sounded like that?

Interestingly to note too, is that, once again, suffering and injustice are not directly interrelated, nor is suffering a "horrible" thing. Afterall, we suffer through school. We suffer through work. We suffer through exersize, through self-control. Heck, any denying of wants can be viewed as "suffering". I suffered when I got my upper two wisdom teeth pulled just 8 days ago; my grandmother suffering horrendously at the hands of doctors through a process called quadrupal-bypass when a whole half of her heart gave out, and had to go through a long, extremely painful recovery. We suffer taxes out of our incomes against our wills; an act that is basically robbery in that classical sense then? Yet are any of these things injustice? I dunno. I guess I have a greek view on suffering (pasko): suffering = to experience. If that experience is a bad experience in our view or a good one, that is completely our own judgement. I don't think suicide bombers think their own death is a terrible thing, so even death is not a horrible suffering to some; nor would a buddhist monk think starving in a fast is horrible suffering (or... anything actually lol). All comes down to our own personal perceptions in the end.

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zero_saiyaman wrote:
If all suffering is injustice, then it is not unjust to punish a murderer for killing as that will make that one suffer?


All suffering is not injustice. I have suffered as a consequence of my actions, and i think in some cases, I deserved that suffering. But creating a race of people that God knew was going to fail, was destined to fail, is unjust. That would be like punishing a person with a broken leg for not running fast enough. You know the person with a broken leg cannot run, but you put him to the task anyway, and when he fails, as he is destined to, and as you knew he would, but you punish him anyway. That is not justice.


But, isn't that why God makes a way out, the provision of Grace and Mercy in the Christian view? That completely negates that entire argument. It doesn't matter if God knew people would fail, as God did and provided the way to have all that undone. Thus, since the issue is not about humans failing or not failing, but about humans choosing to follow the way out or not, in the Chrisitan view, it is totally justice. Humans make their own choice about it, but the way is provided, failure means nothing.

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Why is glory a need? What can glory give a person or God? Can it fulfill anything? No. The point of glory, as I stated, is to display the natures of God and make Himself more known


It fufills the need to be known. If God was perfect, he would already have glory and would alredy be known by all. Glory fufulls the need to be known.


But are humans perfect? And if humans are not perfect, how can they fully know what is perfect? Moreover, if God is infinite, how can anything know God in complete total? Thus for any parts of God to be made known, He would have to actively do so. Therefore, it has no relation to perfection or not perfection.

If I discovered the cure for cancer, would I become more imperfect by relating and making known this cure? If God is the highest standard of all that is good, then to be perfect and just He should make known as much of Himself as whatever He creates is ment to see and be intruicately related with; as only then is what He created going to be best benefited, and able to aspire to the highest good and aim for what will actually be truly rewarding and fulfilling in that case.

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Now, Job is not stated to be the "purest of all humans", nor is the "purest of all humans" perfect or without fault either.


"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil."
-Job 1:1(KJV)
I was about to reword that and say I was wrong, but then I decided to actually look in the book of Job, and the first verse said he was perfect. grin1


"In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright: he feared God and shunned evil." Job 1:1 (NIV)
Now I want to see what the actual hebrew says, so I'll have to talk to my language professor tomorrow. I also want to see what the word "perfect" means in the middle english that the KJV is in, which is not the same as our own now a days. But, it is clear in the book that Job is not perfect in the absolute sense, and fails even; instead it is made clear that Job is attributed greatness because of his fear (respect) for God, which is indeed the very point I made a few times about all one has to do is look to and trust God for salvation and blamelessness in the Christian view, and name doesn't matter. So that points to that point. Therein, a "perfect" human is different than "perfection" as we use to describe God, as what is considered greatest for a human in the Christian view, and thus most perfect, is to revere, love, and trust in God. Anyone who does that is then "perfect" in regards to fulfilling what a human is supposed to do/be, it seems.

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But, I also said even creation speaks of God. No one is born without having "heard" of God in one sense or another,

I assume you are talking about hearing about the Christian God, and not just the concept of God, so I will adress it as such. That is bullshit. Ancient Mayans, Native Americans, babies that have died hours after birth. None of these people have ever heard of the Bible(until europeans came over, but I am reffering to the times before that).


Actually, my point isn't being communicated along. I put "heard" into quotation marks on purpose to not be anything accoustic or directly by name, as the context of my argument in the post previously and in that post later on should have elucidated (Abraham and Moses never heard the bible either). Sorry if it was obscure. The point was, no matter how God is made known, or by what name He is known, He is still intrinsicly known by the simple fact of existance in the Christian view; any Mayan who understood they could not be blameless on their own but had to trust in "the Maker's/Supreme/Highest god's" grace would then be covered in the Christian view. Furthermore, there are instances of philosophical writers attesting to such throughout history, long before Christ, so it is a common enough occurrance and seems to be in the same proportions thoughout history including present day, but that is impossibly hard to guage (many "Christians" do not seem to follow these things so even being called a "Christian" does not mean one falls into this catagory. We simply can't know a person's heart to that depth).

As for children, unborn or too young to know the difference between good and evil, they are viewed and fall into a completely different catagory in the Christian view and are not judged along with everyone else the same because they had no chance to experience even that basic conviction.

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All humans are measured by the same standard, if they like it or not, and that is justice. It would be unjust to exempt people who have not heard


True, but it would be unjust to create a person in the first place who will never hear about God and be punished for someting he or she could not control.


Not at all is that unjust, and they are convicted by existance, but again that's answered above.

Infact, I can throw another argument out, and that is: if you create something utterly, and it is your's, how can you ever be unjust to it? Can you treat anything you make with your hands unjustly? Can you not do whatever you want to anything you build? Are you not morally superior and the definer for what is moral and not to your creation, thus unerrable in relation anyways?

But, that is an unnecessary argument, just something interesting to toy with I just thought up at this moment.

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Though genetic drift and the destruction of the population of giants (which we have archealogical evidence of)


I find this hard to believe(not to mention insane crazy ). Could you direct me to a web page explaining this evidence?


Here ya go: http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/tv_guide/full_details/Ancient_history/programme_703.php

Modern day information on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigantism

An interesting paper written on this matter: http://peter.chattaway.com/articles/giants.htm

Also, here's something a little different, dealing with medicine and giantism, but still interesting: http://www.ima.org.il/imaj/ar00sep-15.pdf

Here's some actually unrelated links to our discussion but interesting on recent findings about the historic times that give other indirect support to the account with Goliath as well: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2005-11-10-goliath_x.htm
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20051114/goliath_arc.html

Now, being a giant is a matter of relativity, and there is no measure that makes a person a giant or not, there is no line directly to cross; one simply must be of a certain size larger than the common height to be a giant (our highly stringent, contrived definition is they must be taller than the tallest 1% of the population). Any of our basketball players would be a giant in antiquity (or even now you could argue, but we distinguish tallness and gigantism from eachother due to other issues with gigantism, and a lack of porportional girth in tallness, or at least that is my own idea of discriminating between the two). So, how tall does a giant have to be? What about the scandinavians who average 6 feet (so some even larger) and were called giants by the romans? Gigantism happens (even by our modern day definitions and antiquity would not have been so stringent in defining things), and it has both pathological and genetical sources, and thus can easily be before and after a bottleneck event (the Great Flood in the Christian View).

So, what are you looking for when someone says giant? Something the size of Colossii in that Shadows of the Colossus game? (sorry, had to do it lol)
I found alot of scientific journals that seem to talk about this all too (google scholar using archaeological evidence giants) but they are locked behind JSTOR and my university doesn't subscribe to archaeological journals, so I'm sorry I cannot review this point or evidence to any greater extent. I guess we are both locked to a very limited window.

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I see your point on the second set. Let me show you this verse then.
"(Moses) stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, "All of you who are on the LORD's side, come over here and join me." And all the Levites came. He told them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Strap on your swords! Go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other, killing even your brothers, friends, and neighbors." The Levites obeyed Moses, and about three thousand people died that day. Then Moses told the Levites, "Today you have been ordained for the service of the LORD, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Because of this, he will now give you a great blessing." (Exodus 32:26-29 NLT)


The only problem is the context of this passage. What is going on? What words appear as the header to Chapter 32? "The Golden Calf".

"When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, 'Come, make us gods who will go before us'." -Exodus 32:1 (NIV, as all my quotes will be in).

"Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies" -Exodus 32:25

"The next day Moses said to the people, 'You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.' So moses went back to the Lord and said, "Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin--but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.'" -Exodus 32:30-31

And, let us not forget:

"'I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. you shall have noother gods before me.'" -Exodus 20:2 and the first of the 10 commandments.

"Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold." -Exodus 20:23

Thus, as you see, the context of this passage is clear: the people broke the first of the Ten commandments and violated God's covenant; so under the law Moses reacted and did so to gather people who were not out of control to his side to go back and regain control of countless that were out of control; and he did so completely within the right of the law as far as it seems (if you're the captain of a ship and your crew throws a mutany, you have every right, and even duty when in wartime, to shoot them; same thing here, and they were in wartime here too). Murder is not being commended, sanctioned, or even committed; as it was a direct command, a one time order, under the law during a period of insane behavior (mutany). (Idolitry was not the only sin being committed, but basically every single law given before the event was being broken during the whole Golden Calf fiasco)

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Food regurgitated from the first stomach to the mouth of a ruminant and chewed again.


re·gur·gi·tate (r-gūrj-tt)
v. re·gur·gi·tat·ed, re·gur·gi·tat·ing, re·gur·gi·tates

To rush or surge back.
To cause to pour back, especially to cast up partially digested food.

The rabit eating it's own poo-poo does not sound like an example of chewing cud. The metod in which the rabbit does this does not seem like regurgition, but rather eating poo-poo.


Well, don't forget the other definition also listed. "Something held in the mouth and chewed, such as a quid of tobacco." That too is a cud. When you chew a stick of gum, you're chewing a cud. Moreover rabbits are considered pseudo-ruminants http://www.admani.com/AllianceRabbit/RabbitProduction.htm due to this very process. I've raised three rabbits myself, and they are often seen simply sitting and chewing, on what I don't know, but just chewing for long swaths of time which would be "cud chewing" if the diagnostic characteristic given for "chewing a cud" is the motions that are seen.

Now, this kinda explains the pellets part best:
"Lagomorphs are herbivores that practice coprophagy, the re-ingestion of fecal droppings. On first "pass", these soft, green pellets pass through the digestive system only partially digested. These pellets, rich in protein and B vitamins, are re-ingested directly from the anus. After reingestion, the pellets are a drier brownish in nature. This practice allows the animals to spend relatively little time exposed to predators while in the field actually feeding. They consume green vegetation rapidly and then make optimum use of it in the safety of their cover. This process is also called "pseudo-rumination", since it is functionally the same as cows chewing their cud. " http://www.bobpickett.org/order_lagomorpha.htm

As I pointed out with the hewbrew words themselves "ma'aleh gerah", gerah (the noun) is only used in these passages of Leviticus and Dueteronimy, and not elsewhere even when dealing with livestock and chewing; alah is also a ubiquitous verb (aleh is participle form, meaning an 'ing at the end in english) meaning bringing up anything, such as lifting up, rising up, so forth and is used in the bible in such places as "...brought up the ark of the Lord..." -2 Sam. 6:15; so the word does not mean regurgitate and there is a completely other hebrew word for that. The bible is not saying the process is the same as what ruminants use, nor are these terms used for that process elsewhere either. But, rabbits certainly do look like they do chew their cuds, the jaw motions are identical, and they have a process that is functionally identical and a stomach system of fermentation that is unique between rabbits and ruminants earning rabbits that term of pseudo-ruminants.

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...This extensive quoting sucks overspannen . I think we need to decide on one point of this essay to debate, so we do not need to post these long, unreadable posts.


I agree completely, as does staying up till 3:30am in the morning digging through scientific journals and trying to weed through annoying UFO sites. So... yeah, I think we've wittled things into the ground on almost every issue, but is there one that is most interesting to you that you'd like to further debate about? I must say, I've been enjoying this immensely and love debating with you; your ideas are refreshing and challenge me to put effort into defending the possition I've sided with, so thank you for this fun ^^.

Oh, and since I'm a biologist and not a theologin, I can't argue all these things as well as people who actually study it all in depth, so here's a site that kinda covers everything you could ask for beyond anything we've talked about http://www.rationalchristianity.net/apol_index.html from a theological point of view I think.

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