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Vagabond
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since 01-23-2004
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0 posted 01-23-2004 04:01 PM       View Profile for Vagabond   Email Vagabond   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vagabond


As one person once said, "A man in himself will not tell but lies, give him a mask and he shall tell all."

Another (wishfull thinking) wise man said, "When you are sad you know why, but when you are happy you do not now why. This is because happyness is embued in us humans."

I agree on the frist one for i know it is true on personal bases.

The second one though i disagree strongly. sad is the oppisaite of happy or vise versa.
If there is happyness there will definatly be sadness because for every action there is a recation or oppisite. acording to Newtons third law.

What do you think of this?
Do you agree or disagree?
Should this have been posted in the phlosiphy section (I thought that this was better suited)?

Vagabon the Lost One

Endlessecho
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1 posted 01-23-2004 04:54 PM       View Profile for Endlessecho   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Endlessecho

I'm really not sure - there are times that we know why we're happy and then times when we are happy just because we are - no reason.  But the exact same can be said for sadness.  Anyway.. this made me think of something I wrote before - part of my attempt at an autobiography.  Anyway.. this was the chapter I wrote that it made me think of:

I love the days when Iím happy.  I especially love the days when Iím happy for no apparent reason.  Happiness is strange and elusive.  Sometimes, when I should be happy; when happiness would make complete sense, I donít feel it.  I canít no matter how hard I try.  Then I get frustrated and angry.

Life is full of vicious cycles like that.  Happy, but you canít be, get angry, then even more unhappy and so begin again.

But, I was talking about happiness, not vicious cycles.  Iím happy today.  Today is beautiful.  Yesterday was beautiful.  Donít ask me why.  It just was.  It just is.  

Every day remains to be seen and so why donít we look forward to it more?  Donít expect everything the same.  Donít want everything the same.  Boring.  I never want to be boring.  And I never want to stay the same.  Iím in constant metamorphosis.  Iím in constant growth of becoming more and more.  Every piece added may not all be upward, but it gives me that extra strength that comes with size and volume.  

I may not be everything I say.  And I may not say everything that I am.  You can know me and never really know me.  You can talk to me and never really hear me.  Do you think itís all a waste of time?  Can you stand the test of time?  Some people think itís worth it.  Those who now understand what I donít say and know me even when Iím not being me.  Now, they do.  They shocked me.  They stayed by me.  Now, they are a part of me.  It takes time.  So, donít jump to conclusions too quickly.  The picture may not be finished being painted and itís definitely not dry yet.  So please donít smudge the colors in your rush to leave.  Understand that the parts of me that you see may not be who I am.  Not as a whole.  Not once you have the full picture.  It may change the way the parts you saw look.  It may change how you feel.  But, you may never know.  

Is everyone like this?  Or are you happy when youíre supposed to be and sad when youíre supposed to be?  Is the person I first meet the true you?  Is there only one picture of you?  Does it ever change?  Or is it always sharp and dry and ready for itís museum display?        

Masked Intruder
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2 posted 01-23-2004 05:35 PM       View Profile for Masked Intruder   Email Masked Intruder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Masked Intruder

Transferred to Philosophy 101.
Aenimal
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3 posted 01-23-2004 09:56 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

I agree and if anything it's sadness that's an inherentely human trait. All life is suffering, so say the buddhists, it's in realizing this and transcending this emotion one finds true happiness
Stephanos
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4 posted 01-23-2004 10:46 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I too believe that capacity to be happy and sad, are polar aspects of our nature.  Because we are human (created in the image of God) we are happy, experience joy, fulfillment, industry, laughter, fascination, love, etc ...  Because we are fallen, and infected with sin, we are sad, and experience misery, boredom, futility, tears, disinterest, hatred, etc...  

I think we are created so dangerously close to God, we are capable of a god-like triumphant joy, or of eternal depair.  Because even if we choose to turn away from God, in the end it is our basic nature that he wii refuse to remove from us.

In the meantime, this fluctuation between happiness and sadness reminds us of our tremendous potential for good or ill, and also of the solemn importance that we hold by our very existence.  


Stephen.
Aenimal
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5 posted 01-23-2004 11:04 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

"Because we are human (created in the image of God) we are happy, experience joy, fulfillment, industry, laughter, fascination, love, etc ...  Because we are fallen, and infected with sin, we are sad, and experience misery, boredom, futility, tears, disinterest, hatred, etc..."

I really don't mean to be, but I'm not sure how to say this without sounding offensive. That's some of the most painfully dogmatic/religious 'propaganda'(edited the real word I wanted to use) I've ever had the horror of reading. If you believe we are created in the image of god then the latter traits are a part of him as well. In fact reading the bible I'd say there's more evidence of God suffering from the latter, especially if you add vindictive, vengeful and narcissistic to the mix. In my opinion it's more a case of:

Because we are human (in creating an image of god)we are guilty, miserable etc..
Stephanos
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6 posted 01-23-2004 11:59 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Despite your comments, you also are made in the image of God, which I will continue to respect by not commenting in a similar fashion to your posts.
Let me however analyze your reply...


quote:
If you believe we are created in the image of god then the latter traits are a part of him as well.


How is this necessarily so?  That's like saying the dents and bad paint job on a '57 Chevy, had to also come from the factory production line.  You cannot rule out subsequent changes ... which is exactly what the Bible describes in "the fall".  You can say you don't believe it.  But can't say it's foolish to believe ... at least using this kind of reasoning.  


quote:
In fact reading the bible I'd say there's more evidence of God suffering from the latter, especially if you add vindictive, vengeful and narcissistic to the mix.



I'm sorry you feel this way.  I simply disagree.  God has a right to be angry at sin.  And a God who became a man to die for our rebellion is anything but narcissistic.  


quote:
In my opinion it's more a case of:
Because we are human (in creating an image of god)we are guilty, miserable etc..



Since I consider it utterly impossible (in reality, not merely theoretically) that we should exist without a Creator, I also consider it to be impossible for us to have created him.


Stephen


      

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (01-24-2004 12:07 AM).]

Severn
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7 posted 01-24-2004 06:52 AM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

'In all the history of human thought there exists no other example of two categories of things so profoundly differentated or so radically opposed to one another. The traditional opposition of good and bad is nothing beside this; for the good and the bad are only two opposed species of the same class, namely morals, just as sickness and health are two different aspects of the same order of facts, life, while the sacred and the profane have always and everywhere been conceived by the human mind as two distinct classes, as two worlds between which there is nothing in common.'

'Moreover, if it is true that man depends upon his gods, this dependance is reciprocal. The gods also have need of man; without offerings and sacrifices they would die.'

Emile Durkheim, from 'The Elementary Forms Of Religious Life.'

Key concept - opposition. Where, I wonder, are the greys of life within traditional Christian thought?
Vagabond
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8 posted 01-24-2004 07:15 AM       View Profile for Vagabond   Email Vagabond   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vagabond

You guys don't argue, i just wanted your thoughts. I do love a good argument.

Vagabon the Lost One

Denise
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9 posted 01-24-2004 10:13 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

The greys in traditional Christian thought, alone, Kamla, or the greys in any number of traditional religious systems, or societal systems of any sort? I'm not sure that traditional Christian thought can be fairly singled out for its belief in 'opposites'. And an underlying belief in opposites does not necessarily negate the possibility of grey areas.

Despite our finate ability to fully comprehend the mind of God, I do believe that God is all-powerful and therefore I believe that all of the 'opposites' of humanity ultimately are under His control and serve His ultimate purposes.
Aenimal
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10 posted 01-25-2004 03:24 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Stephanos my apologies if it came off as aggressive or angry but if I may explain or analyze in turn:

How is this necessarily so?  That's like saying the dents and bad paint job on a '57 Chevy, had to also come from the factory production line.  You cannot rule out subsequent changes ... which is exactly what the Bible describes in "the fall".  You can say
you don't believe it.  But can't say it's foolish to believe ... at least using this kind of reasoning.


No it's more like saying a '57 Chevy has horrible fuel efficiency, is incredibly heavy and has little aerodynamics due to poor
engineering by the manufacturer. If we are indeed created in the image of god then the faults that contributed to the 'fall' of man
were already within us, just exploited by the serpent. Most deities have both beautiful/destructive aspects entwined just as
humans have. It is a fault in Jewish/Christian theology that they have been seperated. I find it much more comforting to believe
in a flawed god then a perfect one. In Genesis 6:7 god states:

"...for I am sorry I have made them."

God admits he's made a mistake in creating humans, or at least shows he has doubts about his own work, and that I can appreciate.
But your vision of God, being perfect, all powerful and all knowing should easily have been able to create a flawless, loyal, intelligent being but he created humans instead..in his own image.

I'm sorry you feel this way.  I simply disagree.  God has a right to be angry at sin.  And a God who became a man to die for our rebellion is anything but narcissistic.

I still maintain he's been incredibly narcissistic/ego-centric from day one. He created man in his own image, then he demands man obey and worship him (not exactly altruistic is he?)

As for being angry at sin..well explain that to the people of Jericho. There's no mention of any sin against God from Jericho, at
least none that I have read, only that God helps destroy and turn the city over to the Jews.

"and they utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the
edge of the sword"  (Joshua 6)

overkill no? And of course while he was at it

"..but all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the Lord; they shall go in the treasury of the Lord"

Lovely.

As for becoming a man, it was his offspring not he that suffered the death, not that I personally believe in that tale anyhow as
Jesus was in my opinion a normal(though interesting) human.

Since I consider it utterly impossible (in reality, not merely theoretically) that we should exist without a Creator, I also
consider it to be impossible for us to have created him.


I'm not saying I don't believe in a creator, it's the images and words surrounding the creator(s) that we have created Stephanos.
The Sumerians, Greeks, Egyptians, Celts believed just as strongly in their gods as you do and yet we now relegate their beliefs to mythology. In my opinion it's shame we don't have half the sense our ancestors did and do the same now with some current ones.
Opeth
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11 posted 01-25-2004 08:19 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Raph,

Common sense and critical thought rule!

Let's look at the devil issue one more time here. God created us in his own image, but allows a devil, whom he could have destroyed, to tempt us into performing "evil" actions that are against his will. And the argument I hear to defend this (ad nauseum) is that god allows this because he gave us free-will.

What does a devil have to do with our free-will? Nothing!

Just this morning, I utilized my free-will without the need to make a "good" or "evil" decision:

1. Should I stay in bed an extra 15 minutes or get up now?
2. Should I eat my breakfast first, or read the paper, or do both at the same time.

... those 2 thoughts happened in about the first 2 seconds upon my awakening.

Vagabond
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12 posted 01-25-2004 08:32 AM       View Profile for Vagabond   Email Vagabond   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vagabond

I agree with Opeth. If god had created us perfect live him then utopia it would be, and so it seemed for a will in the garden. I think they ate the fruit because they were tired. Tired of have a utopia, utopia is immposiable without the removal of free will.

Remeber the law of Evalution

Smile Darwn loves you

Vagabon the Lost One

Aenimal
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13 posted 01-25-2004 02:51 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Aye Opeth it does, besides we heathens have to stick together lol

I'll tell you makes me absolutely livid. The story of Job. It's absolutely awful what was done to this man for the sake of what comes down to a bet between God and the Adversary. Now somehow with believers(the selective collective), God gets off scot free, and all the wickedness of the tests fall instead into the hands of the Adversary. Yet I don't see how anyone can justify God's role in Job's horror. He does nothing to stop the Adversary, in fact, he gives him free reign to prove his point:

"Behold all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him."

What a great guy.

As for free will, well that's one of the most absolutely horrid and inconsistent concepts in the history of philosphy. If our actions and their results are of our own free will then why pray to God for assitance? For example the line "deliver us from evil." If we're left to our own choices and suffering their consequences than any intervention/miracle is basically negating his own plan, of free will.

And come to think of it, why thank god when something goes right? If something goes right it's because our free will allowed us to determine a choice or course of action based on our personal experiences and intellect. God hasn't intervened so why thank him for something like that award winning album or spectacular catch in the big game?

I...i..Oh no...it's degraded into a free will conversation, what have I done...
Opeth
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14 posted 01-25-2004 03:02 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Raph,

For sure!

Okay... here is what I choose since I have free-will, afterall.

I choose not to have free-will and blindly succumb to the will of the Creator.

I guess the devil has duped me into believing what I believe, although I have prayed to the Christian god on countless occasions and what I believe now was the answer I received. Like the athlete who made the great catch, I guess I should say, thank you, God for allowing my mind to work the way it does.

I have said this before... when an athlete thanks god for his/her team winning a game and making the big plays, what about the players on the other side who lost?

How about thanking your mom, dad (also for the genetic ability), teachers and others who influenced you in your life and kept you on the path to become a professional athlete?
Aenimal
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15 posted 01-25-2004 03:31 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

grins

Some other questions on a dogmatic theory.

As I understand Jesus died for my sins and all men(even on death row)can be redeemed if they believe.

If it's all a matter of believing in Jesus to redeem myself. Essentially, I could then, commit as many sins and transgressions as I like as long as I realize that they are and in the end confess and repent, correct?
Jason Lyle
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16 posted 01-25-2004 03:45 PM       View Profile for Jason Lyle   Email Jason Lyle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jason Lyle

I talked to a buddist today, and prayed to his God, I talked to a muslim today, and he prayed to mine, I walked with a Jew today, and Jesus watched over us.I talked with God today, and got put on hold.He was too busy talking to us all.

Jason
Jason Lyle
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17 posted 01-25-2004 03:46 PM       View Profile for Jason Lyle   Email Jason Lyle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jason Lyle

Miss you in open Raph.

Jason
Opeth
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18 posted 01-25-2004 03:52 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"If it's all a matter of believing in Jesus to redeem myself. Essentially, I could then, commit as many sins and transgressions as I like as long as I realize that they are and in the end confess and repent, correct?"

~ According to how I am interpreting what Denise states, I would say, yes, you are correct. However, since Jesus fulfilled the law and that we are no longer under the law, there is no such thing as a sin because the bible states "sin is the transgression of the laws of god" and since those laws are fulfilled, sin cannot occur.

So, eat drink and be merry and repent on your death bed - and I am talking about a sincere repenting  - just hope you don't die without having the chance, eh?  

PS. I have an idea. Let's change biblical verses in order to support our interpretation of the bible. For example:

"From dust you were created and to dust you shall return."

to

"From dust your body was created and to dust your body shall return."

~ That way, the immortal soul theory can be better supported. I mean, seriously, if that passage was talking only about our bodies, why didn't the author just add the word "body?"
Denise
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19 posted 01-25-2004 08:42 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Nope, I'm not being misunderstood. The Scripture is being misunderstood.

Someone with the intention to "eat, drink and be merry, what the heck, Jesus paid for my sin" has not been overwhelmed by the love of God. You see, what you are leaving out of the equation is the transforming power of God on a person's heart when they see, actually come to believe, what Christ has done for them. And the more they meditate on that unconditional love("renewing the mind"), the more they love in return, and the more in love with Him that they become, the more they desire what He desires. And it's all of Him:

"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." (Phil.2:13)

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Eph.2:8-10)
Stephanos
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20 posted 01-27-2004 01:25 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Raph:

quote:
No it's more like saying a '57 Chevy has horrible fuel efficiency, is incredibly heavy and has little aerodynamics due to poor
engineering by the manufacturer. If we are indeed created in the image of god then the faults that contributed to the 'fall' of man
were already within us, just exploited by the serpent.


Not really.  The Bible gives an account of the pristine conditions of "man" in the beginning.  If you want to call it a "fault" to have the freedom to obey or disobey, to either choose simple childlike trust or to go on humanistic autonomy, that's your prerogative.  It was actually a glorious opportunity for us to repress temptation, and to choose love and life over rebellion (we still have that opportunity in Christ).  The pathological conditions of mankind came into play after the choice was made.

You can also claim that God was at fault for giving us this capacity, but again that's your prerogative to think so.  Criticizing God is like hacking at the very limb you are standing on, but we are still (in the spirit of Adamic autonomy) free to do so.  And you can't really say it was a bad move on God's part to give us this freedom, until all of the returns are in ... until the final outcome of what mankind is.  Some feel (not contrary to reason, though perhaps contrary to pessimism) there is a redemption that is and will prove to be more manifestly worth the fall, at least scripture leads us to believe and hope so.  


Whenever omniscience chooses a path, a human cerebrum just so many inches in diameter, is not really equipped to make such sweeping condemning judgements.  So I've found that certain refrain, trust, and optimistic hope has been helpful.  Mind you, I'm not ruling out use of the brain but encouraging it.  Faith and Reason, despite the commonly believed lie, are not mutually exclusive.  It's two types of thinking that we are contrasting ... not a quantitative comparison.


This attitude is evident in Opeth's quip that "common sense and critical thought rule".  Well who doesn't agree with that statement?  But we can be equally critical of hyper-rationalism, as we can of faith.  For one, it destroys itself.  Consider a naturalist philosophy like David Hume's.  Remember he told us that if a text wasn't quantitatively measurable, or if it wasn't purely empirical, to "commit it to the flames"?  As someone else has said, Hume couldn't find anywhere to store his universal solvent, because it destroyed whatever form he tried to carry it in.  Self-refuting, his statement was purely philosophical, neither mathematical, nor scientific.  So I took his advice ... I pitched it in the fire.  


Consider this quote, which is most suggestive coming from the mouth of an atheist:

quote:
In speaking of the fear of religion, I don't mean to refer to the entirely reasonable hostility toward certain established religionsÖin virtue of their objectionable moral doctrines, social policies, and political influence. Nor am I referring to the association of many religious beliefs with superstition and the acceptance of evident empirical falsehoods. I am talking about something much deeper - namely, the fear of religion itselfÖ. I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God and naturally, hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that.

(Thomas Nagel, Professor of Philosophy and Law at NYU)



The point is, that we all must decide what we believe about these issues, but there is nothing intellectually deficient in believing that God created mankindís possibility of a fall, with a higher purpose in mind ... and with a justification that will most fully show itself in the future, when the fulness of redemption is realized.

but it is hard for me to see the reasonableness of a moral relativism, that will still attempt to impose ďmoralityĒ upon God, and get offended whenever God hasnít acted according to oneís idea of morals.  For example, how inconsistent is it for someone to defend ďThe right to chooseĒ, and then turn around and blame God for his?  


quote:
In Genesis 6:7 god states:
"...for I am sorry I have made them."
God admits he's made a mistake in creating humans, or at least shows he has doubts about his own work, and that I can appreciate.
But your vision of God, being perfect, all powerful and all knowing should easily have been able to create a flawless, loyal, intelligent being but he created humans instead..in his own image.



Because we as humans, have grief, and are made in the ďimageĒ of God, our emotions relate, though in some dim and imperfect way, to Godís own emotions.  Sure, you can think of this scripture as over-anthropomorphizing.  But I think it is necessary.  Letís use an example of a teenage rapist and murderer.  Do you really think that the parent, who is driven to the point of saying ďI wish my child had never been bornĒ, is really questioning the wisdom of their decision to have a child?  No, it is simply an expression of intense sorrow, regret, and moral indignation.  


Of course this analogy isnít perfect (what analogy CAN be with an eternal being?).  Admittedly, God didnít beget, but created the human race.  But that is neither here nor there, because it is beyond our grasp.  God was simply communicating a reality to us, to show us how he feels about sin and rebellion which gradually corrodes his image from our faces, and replaces it with something like that of a ghoul.


You want evidence that God didnít really regret his decision to create the human race?  Well, he didnít end it right there did he?  A remnant survived, which he foreknew.  He must have been merely communicating an emotion to us when he spoke of his regret.  If he seems double-minded, it is so that the double-minded (since the fruit was eaten) like ourselves could understand.  He wasnít giving us a theological exposition of himself, but a glimpse of his own tears.  You seem to be mistaking something quite poetic (with admittedly some doctrinal implications), for something coldly theoretical and purely systematic.  


quote:
I still maintain he's been incredibly narcissistic/ego-centric from day one. He created man in his own image, then he demands man obey and worship him (not exactly altruistic is he?)



So he created man in his own image.  Thatís not at all selfish if his was indeed a good image.  I freely feel that it is.  Who ever censured a man for giving a shirt off of his back, simply because it belonged to him?  He does require obedience and worship.  Thatís because man is not an autonomous being.  Yet man is also an inherently religious being.  He will always end up worshipping something, whether it be the true God, nature, or just himself.  And God, knowing of the horror of worshipping something that was never meant to be worshipped, has benevolently decreed that we find our rest in himself.  As Augustine said ďOur hearts are restless until they find their rest in theeĒ.  Isnít this like getting mad a car manufacturer for insisting that its gasoline engines run on gasoline only?  If God is our reference point ... if we are really contingent upon him, then I donít see where selfishness applies.  What you call selfish, I call desiring the best for us.  


Not exactly altruistic?  I still hold up the cross to you.  One who would die for you might suffer from an undying love which would blind his reason, but certainly not from narcissism.  And I understand that you do not accept the biblical claim that Jesus is in reality the incarnation of God, that God suffered for our sins in Christ, but the bible teaches it all the same.  


quote:
As for being angry at sin..well explain that to the people of Jericho. There's no mention of any sin against God from Jericho, at
least none that I have read, only that God helps destroy and turn the city over to the Jews.



You need to read some more then.  Consider Genesis 15:16: ďIn the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measureĒ


Amorite: n.  A member of a people inhabiting Canaan before the Israelites, mentioned frequently in the Old Testament.
(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)


ďThe Old Testament frequently uses ĎAmoritesí as a synonym for Canaanites in general.  The book of Genesis cites Canaan as the ancestor of the Amorites (Gen 10:16).Ē
(Nelsonís Illustrated Bible Dictionary)


Now Iím sure thereís no need to remind you that the inhabitants of Jericho were indeed Canaanites.  But I will mention it just in case.  Hereís some more information which might interest you:


ďJust how sinful many Canaanite religious practices were is now known from archaeological artifacts and from their own epic literature, discovered at Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit) on the north Syrian coast beginning in 1929.  Their Ďworshipí was polytheistic and included child sacrifice, idolatry, religious prostitution and divination.(c.f. Dt. 18:9-12).Ē


So even if the bible doesnít specifically mention the sins of Jericho, it abundantly mentions the sins of the Canaanites, of whom they were part.  But, let me ask ... if Jericho hadnít been part of Canaan, and the bible didnít so much as hint in the text what they had done to deserve punishment, God would not be obligated to let us know would he?  Is God somehow accountable to you?  If a man had a track record of just dealings for the past 10 years, would not he be trusted even without documentation?


The rub lies here.  The Bible is not written as if God is subject to our judgement.  God is not accountable to our endless scrutiny.  Itís the other way around.  The Bible was written to a people who understood the truth that God is not in the dock.  We are.  Since the Bible is written with this understanding, it is no surprise that it doesnít read as if it was penned by a defense lawyer.    


quote:
I'm not saying I don't believe in a creator, it's the images and words surrounding the creator(s) that we have created Stephanos.
The Sumerians, Greeks, Egyptians, Celts believed just as strongly in their gods as you do and yet we now relegate their beliefs to mythology. In my opinion it's shame we don't have half the sense our ancestors did and do the same now with some current ones.



Well, when you believe in a Creator, but hold no definite beliefs, then you are conveniently safe from the Charge of mythology, right?  But by doing this, you only escape scrutiny by surrendering all claims to truth.  Throw out dogmatism, and you can be glad that your god canít be hurt ... because a spectral, agnostic, or extreme deist god, doesnít have any toes inside of reality to be stepped on.


Of course I may be judging you wrongly.  You may have a well defensible theology, or revelation, or system of belief.  Would you mind sharing it, since you are so wont to be critical of the Christian view?  I think a comparison would be great.  I might learn something from you, too.

quote:
God gets off scot free, and all the wickedness of the tests fall instead into the hands of the Adversary. Yet I don't see how anyone can justify God's role in Job's horror. He does nothing to stop the Adversary, in fact, he gives him free reign to prove his point:



Youíre not taking into account, the same thing you missed in discussing ďthe fallĒ ... that something might rest at the end which would justify the whole ordeal.  Read the context of Job.  Jobís ďfaithfulnessĒ and ďblamelessnessĒ is noted by God as the highest form of praise and honor.  In other words, it is even more important that mere temporal blessings, even temporal health.  Satanís accusation is that it is all a sham.  He jeers that when trouble comes, Jobís piety will vanish like a wisp of smoke in a wind storm.  God, knowing Jobís character, agrees to this challenge, while placing limits.  There is something at the end, which apparently justifies this whole process.  You say it doesnít.  But neither are you Job.  How are you going to call his judgement wrong, when he, not you was the receiver of these sufferings and the rewards?


I want to ask ... why should it be that the sufferer himself is aware (though dimly at first) of some kind of purpose and blessing beyond the suffering, and finally comes to experience that purpose and blessing, while you remain offended?  Itís like you are offended for Jobís sake, but he (the party concerned) doesnít seem to agree with your estimation.  On the other side of the trial, where the sun was shining, he was changed inside and was joyful.  When it comes to arguing about the justice of God in Job, Iíll let you take it up with Job.  In the end, I think maybe even his wife ended up repenting of her sullen mindset.


quote:
If it's all a matter of believing in Jesus to redeem myself. Essentially, I could then, commit as many sins and transgressions as I like as long as I realize that they are and in the end confess and repent, correct?



Incorrect.  By ďcommitting as many sins and transgressions as you likeĒ one is not demonstrating the biblical definition of belief.  You are essentially saying, why couldnít I just not repent until Iíve had my fill, and then try to fake it at the end.  That like suggesting that someone can not repent, and yet also repent.  Itís one or the other.  The mindset that has this knowledge, and yet plots to ďpull one overĒ on God for as long as possible, is not even guaranteed the ability to repent ... in fact it wouldnít be likely.

              


Stephen.  
Stephanos
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21 posted 01-27-2004 11:51 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
As for free will, well that's one of the most absolutely horrid and inconsistent concepts in the history of philosphy.



So is determinism, by the way.  

So I guess you would rather go with idea that you wrote your above reply without your will?  You were forced by cause and effect?  If what we do / believe is dependent only upon cause and effect ... and therefore not upon ground and consequent, then why are you writing to convince others to change their minds?  They are deterministically bound (by molecular biology) to think what they think right?


Your quick rejection of "freewill" as a bad concept, shows me that you really don't understand the philosophical arguments for or against it.  Because even those who reject it for determinism, see that absolute determinism is problematic too.  And those who believe in free will, certainly see it's flaws.  


Stephen.
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22 posted 01-27-2004 12:41 PM       View Profile for Vagabond   Email Vagabond   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vagabond

what is reality?
What if this is all a persons dream and we will vanish when they wake up?
And don't tell me "I think therefor I am"

Vagabon the Lost One

Stephanos
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23 posted 01-27-2004 06:10 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
what is reality?
What if this is all a persons dream and we will vanish when they wake up?
And don't tell me "I think therefor I am"

What reason would we have to think this is all a dream?  Dreams are somewhat Life-like, and so appear to be derived from life.  They present themselves as creative copies, that mix up different elements of a much more public and objective world, in a private subjective drama.  It's counter-intuitive to think that life appears to be derivative from dreams, and not the other way around.


And "I think therefore I am" has a profound truth in it, that you can't explain away.

Anyone who questions their own reality, asserts it at the same time.  If you ask me "How do I know I exist"?  I will always answer with another question ... "If you don't, then who is doing the asking"?  The question itself presupposes existence.


Stephen.
Vagabond
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24 posted 02-03-2004 03:47 PM       View Profile for Vagabond   Email Vagabond   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vagabond

how do you know that dreams are not the real world and that this is just a dream, how do you know it's not reversed?

Vagabon the Lost One

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