A Conversation for Evil and the Christian God
Insight Started conversation Nov 20, 2001
There is, of course, a fatal flaw in your reasoning. Or rather several of them. Towards the bottom of the article, you said this:
There is one fault with this and it is that it relies on the idea of people being continuous beings before evil things happened, which science and the evolution theory disprove.
1. Religion doesn't assume that people were continuous, it states that they were created by God.
2. The evolution theory is just that - a theory. It hasn't been proven, and therefore it itself cannot prove anything.
Science is a wonderful thing and I am quite well read in it, but it has made many mistakes, usually because people believed that the things they had discovered were fact rather than theory. Don't rely on science too heavily.
Insight Posted Nov 20, 2001
There is more:
"God might not be all loving and so let evil exist."
Of the two possibilities stated, this is closer to being true, but it makes a few false assumptions:
1.That God is going to let evil exist forever.
2.That God is not going to make compensation for the evil.
If a person does something bad they must be punished to teach them that it is wrong. But the punishment does not last forever. (Remember that we are really talking about God here and Death needn't be forever as far as he is concerned.) And other people affected will have compensation made for it.
And finally, you are assuming that we, the inhabitants of earth, are the only ones really involved in this matter. The story of the Bible, as most churches have an appalling inability to either recognise or point out, is one of more-than-universal significance. The story from the Bible goes thusly:
NB: Stuff about time and space is not of course actually stated, but seem the most accurate and reasonable way of viewing things using information from both science and the Bible.
God exists. He has neither a beginning nor an end, but this isn't a problem as he exists outside the universe, where such things as space and time do not exist. God chooses the only hobby really available to him, that of creating things. What is certainly necessary is time, as he doesn't really want everybody else to be omniscient like him. Space may be created with it, but this is by no means necessary. Now he creates his son, Jesus (although he wasn't actually called that at the time), within time. Jesus is now known as the 'Master Worker', as he creates everything else that his father designs. The first (as time exists for Jesus) are other beings, known as angels. There are different ranks fo angels with different duties, all relating to serving God, which by now has been decided as the purpose of all life. Next is created the universe, woven into time. It is not stated how the universe was created, so in light of the evidence it is quite reasonable to assume that it was created through the Big Bang. This primordial universe is gradually shaped into a form that can support a new form of life. And once it is ready, a new form of life is indeed created. It is not stated whether Earth is the first planet to gain life forms or whether others were there first. What is well accepted is that we were most probably not created in six days. The Bible doesn't state this in literal language, and the scientific evidence is against it. What certainly is stated is that that we were not created through a process of evolution, although we were the last of Earths life forms to be created. The first man and woman were given a nice place to live, the conditional promise of everlasting life, and the mission of populating the earth (most enjoyable!) and turning it all into a paradise, and everyone was happy. And here is where it all went to pot for a bit.
Back up outside our universe, in the place, time or whatever that is generally referred to as heaven, a couple of beings were beginning to wonder about things. It had always been accepted that everyone should serve God, but at least one angel was questioning this. He didn't really like the idea. So he set out to prove himself right.
He was, of course utterly wrong.
Having selected men as the least numerous and therefore most easily persuaded beings in existence, he came down and inhabited a serpent, making it look as if it were talking. He persuaded the two existing humans that God, despite having given them life, had no right to tell them how to use it. The humans were persuaded, and violated the condition of Gods promise of everlasting life - they ate the fruit of a symbolic tree they had been told to leave alone, as a test of obedience.
They had chosen to abandon God and do what they wanted to do, and had lost the right to everlasting life. They had sinned, which meant to miss the mark of perfection. Those not perfect had to pay the penalty - death. But what of those who hadn't really earned death? God had already formulated a plan.
He would send his Son down. Jesus had no sin, and did not have to pay the penalty for himself. So instead, he could take the responsibility for everyone elses sin, and pay the penalty for them. He could then be resurrected, having done no wrong, as could everyone else who put faith in his sacrifice to rid them of sin.
This happened, but his sacrifice could not take effect immediately. The issue of Gods right to rule had been brought into question, and the question had to be answered - what would happen to a species if it refused to accept Gods leadership and was therefore no longer worthy of his protection. The accuser is Satan. The defendant is God. The audience is every being in existence who is aware of God. And Exhibit A is the earth and all who live on it.
But the case is almost over. It has been quite well proven that beings make a right pigs ear of it when left without Gods leadership. And soon, things can be returned to how they were supposed to be.
This is where the Bible story ends, at the last chapter of the last book, Revelation, speaking of how things will end. Or perhaps end is the wrong word. I for one couldn't care less what the right word for it is as long as I get there
So, Douglas Adams put it to us that we were part of a computer program. The truth, in fact, is almost as bizarre. We are part of a court case, and having in a way helped God out, we will be rewarded if only we can put up with the evil for a bit longer, and follow the command in the last two verses of the book of Matthew, to share it with others.
That is the truth of our existence. That is the meaning of life.
Share and enjoy.
White Hole (Write a Haiku!) Posted Apr 19, 2003
I don't know if you'll ever read this, Insight, seeing as you haven't posted since last November, but I'd like to tell you that your reply made my day. I really wish that every Christian could be such a witness to people who are misinformed about Jesus & God.
You mentioned something about the creation story, and that it was generally accepted that we weren't made in 6 days. I found a theory that says the world was made in 6 days, and evolution still did happen. It goes like this:
In the Bible, God creates the world in six days. Many people believe this is not literally true, but that leads to the question: When does Genesis stop being fiction and start being fact? The answer to this question lies in God's omipotence. If God has the power to create things, he also has the power to create things with the appearance of age. Therefore, dinosaurs may not be millions of years old, they may just appear to be millions of years old. The skulls of ape-men may appear to be as old as necessary for science to prove that we evolved from apes, but the skulls aren't really that old: they just appear to be that old. Thus, God did create the world in six days. (etc...)
[...] Posted Apr 23, 2003
Personally I don't believe in a creator being but a form of creation having been interpreted by the evolved brains of ourselves as an all-powerful unit to cope with the question of how we got here...
White Hole (Write a Haiku!) Posted Apr 23, 2003
this is not necessarily the case, as the existance of a creator being (which I will call "God" because I hate typing more) leads us to the question: Where did God come from? This neither solves nor worsens the problem of how we got here, but rather transforms it into another question. As for coping with our lives, God certainly does help there, and He is interpreted through our evolved brains, but that's where divine inspiration comes from. There is a definite difference between divine inspiration and human thought processes, some of which is evident in 'inspired writings' (across the board). What you have to look for is a different plane of thought that does not make logical sense (in the accepted sense of the term), but does in fact make sense in a way which is not commonly thought of. Either way, the Matrix may or may not exist...
[...] Posted Apr 23, 2003
The problem with either theory is that there is the question of what came before...
If a god made the universe then what made that god (a question I asked my teacher at school when I was six)?
The same goes for the evolution theory (bearing in mind that 'theory' has as many flaws as 'belief') where the question is asked: what was the force that put that ability into existence?
the problem with religious belief is that they, whatever religion they may be, follow rules that this 'creator' so-called put there meaning each answer is possibly particularly biased for what I call radicals who take the text of so-called words of gods as being true.
What created mankind? God
Okay then, what created that being? Nothing did, god has always been and is infinite.
[...] Posted Apr 23, 2003
Did that last bit make sense at all? What I'm trying to say is that many people don't bother thinking past the 'buts' when it comes to these kinds of questions which closes off their minds.. in other words..
God has always been and always will be. They take this as an answer, why? Because the human minds on a whole cannot cope with THE IDEA OF becoming nothing after death or never seeing their loved ones ever again... Why do animals not mourn (if at all) for the loss of a loved? Because they know that's how things go. But people: why do they not mourn too long after a person's death? BECAUSE THEY THINK THEY WILL SEE THEM AGAIN..
Will people question their religious beliefs? No? Why? Because (going by Christianity) if they question their god they will go to a 'Hell'
AND EVERY RELIGION IS BASED ON A REWARD SYSTEM. You do what this god tells you otherwise you'll get punished with eternal damnation.. and do what it (no, HE) tells you you'll get rewarded.
This leads my idea that 'gods' do not exist as:
Why would an all-powerful, all-knowing deity create mankind. Just 'cause it CAN? What does this prove? That gods have egos and are selfish?
Why would such a symbol for good create the existance of evil?
White Hole (Write a Haiku!) Posted Apr 23, 2003
I am really impressed with your analysis of this. You ask some really good questions, which, in fact, I have asked myself from time to time. The answer to the question of why God would create mankind is very touchy. The idea that He created us just because He could is a valid theory, and I don't see anything wrong with it. As for God having an ego, I don't think that is the correct term, so I'll redefine and hope I interpreted your meaning right. If I did, you meant that God believes that He is the best thing to ever happen to the universe, and He should not care about anyone or anybody because no one could hurt Him. This is true. God is the best thing to happen to this universe, and He doesn't need to care about anyone other than Himself, because (in a sense) there is no one else. Everyone and everything came from God. I realize this is avoiding the question, though. God does care about humans personally, which leads into your next question:Why would such a symbol for good create the existance of evil? The answer (based only on Christian theology) lies in the book of Revelation. Before I go on, though, I should note that the Book of Revelation is very constoversial and can be interpreted many different ways, depending on what you want it to mean. This is my own personal theory, but you are welcome to check to validity of it. First of all, God is full of mercy. That means that He is willing to forgive you of any crime you commit against Him, as long as you truly repent (=admit you were wrong and try to avois making the same mistake again) and ask for forgiveness. Simple enough. But, there are people who are not Christians (gasp!) who don't repent. According to the New Testament, these people will go to Hell. This doesn't seem all too merciful. In revelation, though, it tells what happens after hell. (This is where the theory begins)
The Dead Are Judged
11Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Note the huge lake of fire. That's the important part. First of all, everyone is judged by God (the great white throne and him who was seated on it) according to what he/she has done. Not a problem, since God is a perfect judge. Now, going chronologically, death was thrown into the lake first. That means that death does not exist any more. That would present a problem if God wanted to kill Hades (=Satan/hell). Then the passage says that the lake of fire is the 'second death.' I believe that the second death is actually when a person ceases to exist (see Atheism). So Hades doesn't exist anymore. Then, anyone whose name was not written in the book of life (=people who were judged as being evil by God) was thrown into the lake of fire (=second death = nonexistance). So, atheists do get just what they want-nonexistance. There is a couple thousand years of tourture first, but that's the punishment that you mentioned. Oh- if you're confused about the past tense in the Revalation passage, it's because John (Who wrote the book) saw it as a prophecy as if it were happening and then wrote it down later in past tense, because he had already seen it happen. Sorry about not explaining that earlier.
I hope you could follow all that. If not, just tell me and I'll try to clear it up. I hope this helps.
[...] Posted Apr 23, 2003
But "because I can" is not a valid reason.. that's the reason that bullies use when they hurt people...
If God is forgiving then why is the Old Testement all punishment?
How can you be that sure that the Bible is the 'Word'? I'm going to sound sarcastic here but take the Moses thing... here's a guy that's been walking the desert and sees a burning bush and it speaks to him.. Now I am the only person who sees that as being able to be heat stroke?
It's scientifically proven that dry bushes can catch fire in hot sun..
And the commandments... he disappears up a mountain and comes back with two tablets.. it's fully plausable that he sat up there for a while and grabbed a chisel and banged out a couple of laws...
The story of Job... God and Satan are making a BET! Now come Jesus.. who Christians seem to think is God in human form takes an angry rage against the gamblers inside a temple... Hypocracy?
Let's go back to Job... why does an almighty have to prove his point? Why does he let Job's family and cattle etc. get slaughtered to prove a point? Where is the compassion, love and HIS faith in the people he is said to have created?
He tortures the man!
White Hole (Write a Haiku!) Posted Apr 26, 2003
You bring up a good point. However, there is a very slim chance that Moses was suffering from heat stroke. At that time he was tending the flock of a man named Jethro, who was rather prominent in his community. And they had plenty of water and food. See Exodus 2:19-21. As for dry bushes catching fire in the sun, that is most likely exactly what happened. But for these bushes to catch fire in the sun, they would have to be very dry, and thus would burn rather quickly. Moses' bush did not burn quickly. Then there is the question of Moses' reliablility in this issue, as heat stroke could cause hallucinations. However, this 'hallucination' told Moses to take off his sandals because he was on holy ground, and told Moses his heritage, and also gave him an update on current events in Egypt.
Now Job. Satan and God did have a bet, in a sense, that involved God proving that Job did have faith in Him for a good reason; this set an example that saved millions of lives. The people that were gambling in Jesus' time, though, did not have such lofty goals. Also, they were breaking the law by using a temple for something other than worship. It's very similar to someone coming into your home while you were away and setting up a casino, from which you took no profit and could not participate in, which is not my idea of a fun time, especially if you have to clean up after them.
You also asked where God's compassion for Job is during Job's time of trial. The answer is: all throughout. First of all, God would not allow Job to be killed, which is mercy in itself. But being killed would probably have been a relief for Job. Job went through some very bad things. However, he kept in mind something that shows just how merciful and kind God isJob 1:21) "Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked I depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." Job realized that God did not actually attack Job or take anything away, because Job had been given everything by God in the first place. Also, Satan was the one that did all of these things to Job, not God. And the only reason Satan could have done all of these things is that he asked permission from God. Again, God allows Satan to deceive humans and make them suffer. This is because the world is NOT perfect! It is not, and will never be a utopia, and there will always be suffering. This is because this world is a test to determine whether or not you are willing to love God.
I'd just like to point out now that we can go on forever disputing different passages in the Bible, and I can say right now that there is an explanation for every one. However, they will never make any sense unless you stop reading them as though they are wrong. A critical mindset is very important when reading the Bible, but it is also important to understand that there is truth to the Bible. You must be willing to see both sides of the issue. Personally, I have read the bible with a critical mindset, originally looking at it as though it were wrong. Then, after thinking about everything I though was wrong, it did actually make sense. Therefore, I think it would be pointless to keep up this question and answer session, unless you truly have something that you have a problem understanding. Again, though, I'd like to point out that you are not my enemy, and I am not trying to put you down. You obviously are a very intelligent person, so please, do not take offense at my writing, as any offense that I have written is totally unconsciously.
[...] Posted Apr 27, 2003
Hey I don't take offence as long as it's challenging my opinion and not trying to change it...
But I believe the Bible, though it contains good morals and standards was a concept of people or persons who took advantage of the 'why are we here' question and created a story that could control an originally small sect of people with morals...
"You don't do things the way your creator says and you will be tortures for eternity etc. etc." and that people added to this book..
Though it's fully plausable that a man with a beard and sandals called Jesus walked around preaching the book actually existed... he could have been many of the prophosised messiahs at the end of the old testemant and was merely more believable...
I think that anyone used the book as a guide for morals is a good thing but for those that take it literally and let their lives be controlled through the promise of there being something at the end is not 'right' and is a waste if I'm actually right...
Antisocial Butterfly Posted May 2, 2003
So what if people who believe the bible die and find out that it's not right? After living their lives with the faith that one day they will go to heaven they die and cease to exist? Isn't is better to live life knowing that you matter and you have life after death, than to live with the underlying feeling that your nothing you do matters cause life has no meaning cause one day you're gonna die and stop existing, as if you never existed at all?
On the other hand, if you don't believe the bible, and you die and find out it's true, what have you lost...?
Antisocial Butterfly Posted May 3, 2003
You've lost heaven, which is better than the alternative place.
[...] Posted May 3, 2003
You haven't lost something if you haven't desired it... Granted it would be irritating... But if you spent your whole life taking the words of the Bible as truth and letting events in your life (oppurtunities) be missed out because it contrevenes a small detail or you're being told to stay in fellowship with other christians... you've lost a lot more even if you become nothing...
And if there is a divine being ruling our lives and an afterlife then I would prefer to be 'judged' on the basis of whether you're a good person or not... and not that a god is so arrogant that if you don't do exactly what it says you get punished..
What in a sense is a dictatorship..
Antisocial Butterfly Posted May 11, 2003
Yeah, i guess hell would be slightly irritating...
I guess u could call it a dictatorship, cause there's only one God, and there's no one else who could handling being in charge. The idea of the bible isn't that u hafta spend ur whole life watching that u don't screw up, cause u'll screw up regardless. The idea is that when u do screw up, there's someone who can take the penalty for you. People always say God is arrogant because he punishes people, but the whole point of Jesus was that he can take the punishment for us.
[...] Posted May 11, 2003
So why create that most severe punishment in the first place?
If God created Satan: Why?
Granted there is a clear diffeence between right and wrong but to people he supposedly loves, why create an ultimate torment?
Antisocial Butterfly Posted May 17, 2003
I think this is the biblical opinion - Satan started out as an angel, so he wasn't really created evil. He got power hungry, wanted to be God himself, so the whole division of Good and Evil kinda started there. The concept of hell is the absence of God. God created people with free will, cause he wanted people to freely choose to know Him instead of being mindless drones automatically following Him. But cause people aren't perfect we turned away from him, which is what 'sinning' technically means.
Ok, so i don't know if that really answers ur questions... I think the basic idea is that 'hell' is just the absence of God, which is the absence of life, and we were made to choose God, but cause we're flawed we didn't. Which leads into the Messiah concept, to save us from the 'hell' we chose. Sorry if that's confusing, i'm no bible scholar, that's just my understanding.
[...] Posted May 17, 2003
Ah but we wouldn't have been drones if the concept never existed...
If the whole thing is true than the whole of humanity is just a guinnea pig project...
it's just that as far as I'm concerned, one day in mankind's evolution we started to try a question where we came... result? God, the Hindu Gods, Jupiter/Zues, Ra which is a lot simple to think than we were created through a series of scientific phenmona...
The reason no-one believes in Ra, etc. is because science has proved stuff like the sun isn't carried by a god but an Earth's rotational pull..
The only reason Christianity/Judeism have survived is because the bible is written without specific content and therefore, instead of going cazy and thinking we're insignificant, pople came up with MEANING.
Tell me, unless it's a personal question, do you believe in the evolution theory?
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: Insight (Nov 20, 2001)
- 2: Insight (Nov 20, 2001)
- 3: White Hole (Write a Haiku!) (Apr 19, 2003)
- 4: [...] (Apr 23, 2003)
- 5: White Hole (Write a Haiku!) (Apr 23, 2003)
- 6: [...] (Apr 23, 2003)
- 7: [...] (Apr 23, 2003)
- 8: [...] (Apr 23, 2003)
- 9: White Hole (Write a Haiku!) (Apr 23, 2003)
- 10: [...] (Apr 23, 2003)
- 11: White Hole (Write a Haiku!) (Apr 26, 2003)
- 12: [...] (Apr 27, 2003)
- 13: Antisocial Butterfly (May 2, 2003)
- 14: [...] (May 2, 2003)
- 15: Antisocial Butterfly (May 3, 2003)
- 16: [...] (May 3, 2003)
- 17: Antisocial Butterfly (May 11, 2003)
- 18: [...] (May 11, 2003)
- 19: Antisocial Butterfly (May 17, 2003)
- 20: [...] (May 17, 2003)