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Passions in Poetry

Would you?

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Grinch
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0 posted 12-20-2008 04:33 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


If an entity appeared before you offering indisputable evidence that she was god and ordered you to kill every child you see under the age of two, would you?

nakdthoughts
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1 posted 12-20-2008 05:14 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

what a strange question...and of course not!

M
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2 posted 12-20-2008 05:23 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Interesting.

I have a friend who is schizophrenic, and very religious. When he doesn't take his meds, he sees God. (Can you imagine how hard that must be? *shaking my head* It would be like taking meds so you don't see the love of your life. So sad...)

But I watched him one day, talking to the sky. I asked him who he was talking to, and he told me, "God."

As gently as I could, I did ask,

"If 'God' tells you to hurt anyone, you do know that isn't God, okay?"

I told him that a God that isn't about love is a bad God, and should be avoided.

So hopefully, if I start seeing 'Gods' in whatever form, giving bad instructions, I would take my own advice, and whatever meds necessary to make bad gods go away.  

Stephanos
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3 posted 12-20-2008 08:22 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

No.

Grinch, what would "indisputable evidence" be?

I for one would at least note the similarity between your scenario, and the satanic spirit of Herod when, according to the Gospel of Matthew, he did the very same thing during the time when Jesus Christ was born.  Thus, the "indisputable" would have fallen into serious doubt.

Stephen
Ron
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4 posted 12-20-2008 08:50 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I agree with Stephen, but would go even further. Indisputable evidence would be proof to me it wasn't God. Faith is more than just a requirement of Christianity; it's a foundational bedrock.

Coincidentally, I'm reading an older novel by one of my favorite authors, Steve Perry, that I apparently missed the first time around. In The Trinity Vector, a silver box mysteriously appears and accurately answers almost any question put to it (including tomorrow's lottery numbers). The story is still unfolding for me, but religion plays a pivotal role in Perry's plot.

Playing advocate to your devil, Grinch, let's rephrase the question.

If a similarly authoritative entity had told you to kill a two-year-old Adolph Hitler in the distant past, do you think you would have acquiesced? Or perhaps we should ask, should you have acquiesced?
Bob K
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5 posted 12-21-2008 01:46 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     What's your tradition, guys?

     I'm not sure I'd trust any tradition that said, "Yes" to murdering two year olds because somebody said they should, especially if that somebody said they were God.

     The whole notion of Abortion is difficult enough as is.  Now the question is stretching to children whom pretty much everybody understands are living, and where there is no debate about the issue at all.

     I'm not happy with Abraham for saying, "Yes" to God's request to kill Isaac.  I wouldn't have.  At least I don't think I would have.  I guess if God every talks to me that directly, I'd have to give you a more direct answer then.  
I've refused to open doors for people whom I actually believed would kill me for refusing to do so, but then I suppose there's nothing like a nimbus of divine fire to tip the scales one way or another.

     Haven't seen one yet, though.

     Jonah has always made much more sense to me for daring to ask God if he was, in effect, out of his cotton-picking mind when God asked him to go preach to a tough, out of town crowd.  "I don't think so," he said, roughly speaking.  "You may scare me, but I don't know that's a good enough reason to do things that make no sense to me."

     While you find lots of Anything-you-say-Sir-ing in the Hebrew Bible, you also have a healthy amount of Yeah, sure, right-ing to balance it off.  The theme continues into the modern day as well.  If you consent to hurt other people other than to save the life of another or for some overriding other concern (the ransom of captives is sometimes considered one of these, but I'm frankly not all that up on the details, and I couldn't say for sure) you're supposed to be the equivalent of a religious idiot in the Jewish Tradition, somebody who stands up for form over substance.  A dork.

     My understanding of what Jesus preached is that he came out of this same tradition, somewhat like Hillel and Akiva.  That's my current understanding.

     Somebody says that they're God and that you should kill Children, basically your duty (I believe) in the Jewish tradition is to suggest that the entity claiming to be God go climb a rope.  As man is bound by the covenant, God has made promises to man as well.  It is as a substitute for the sacrifice of Abraham that God made the covenant with the Jews; and, within the Christian tradition, with man in general as well.  Some would say that the agreement was only extended to those who accepted Jesus as a personal savior.  I would say that such a statement discredits the Christian notion of God and the Christian notion of Christ in an appallingly cynical fashion, and assumes that the compassion of God is as limited as that of  Man.   I find this assumption highly unlikely.  This seems a highly limited sort of God, one that hasn't really gone beyond His Learner's Permit yet, and not at all like the God of The First Commandment, or the God of Universal Love and Compassion of the Christian bible.

     But then I suspect that other people have very different and probably more interesting views of the issue than I do.  And I know that some folks certainly lead lives that I admire more than I do my own.  What can I say?  What do I know?  


Marc-Andre
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6 posted 12-21-2008 02:55 AM       View Profile for Marc-Andre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marc-Andre

I'm currently working on a poem on a similar theme, which will be posted as soon as completed. Mark
moonbeam
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7 posted 12-21-2008 04:50 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Lol @ Grinch.  

What the question is asking is: "would you allow God's omniscience and perfect goodness to override your own human view of right and wrong?"

Stephen tries evades the issue by focussing on the quality of the evidence, but by calling into doubt any evidence as to God's veracity which ran counter to his personal sense of right and wrong he is effectively answering in the negative to the first question.

The conclusion is that either you know better than God Stephen, or alternatively there is nothing God could say or do to make you trust Him.

Or maybe I am wrong?  Perhaps there is a benign proof he could offer you so that you accepted Him over a coffee and burger on Monday, thus allowing you to acquiesce to His instruction to kill 2 years olds on Tuesday?

..........

and ...

Genesis

Chapter 22

1  And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2  And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
9  And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10  And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.


[This message has been edited by moonbeam (12-21-2008 08:59 AM).]

Grinch
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8 posted 12-21-2008 08:23 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch



quote:
Grinch, what would "indisputable evidence" be?


It doesn’t really matter, as long as there’s absolutely no doubt that the entity that speaks to you is god. Surely it’s not hard for you to believe god exists - all you have to do is imagine that entity making the request, use whatever evidence takes your fancy or works for you.

Or are you saying that god couldn’t convince you that she is in fact god? Where’s your faith Stephen?

quote:
If a similarly authoritative entity had told you to kill a two-year-old Adolph Hitler in the distant past, do you think you would have acquiesced?


Yes, if god convinced me she was in fact god I’d have no reason not to.

quote:
Or perhaps we should ask, should you have acquiesced?


Again, yes, god is god after all, who am I to question her motives or reasons, I should do absolutely everything she tells me to do and have faith in the fact that she knows what she’s doing. If I accept an entity as god and that entity asks me to kill children surely I’d have to be stupid not to.

You shouldn’t deny requests made by god.

rwood
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9 posted 12-21-2008 09:49 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Why would God ask me to do something that I would never do for anything on anyone’s behalf? This would be indisputable proof to me that it wasn’t God doing the asking.

But let’s say for kicks that God really has appeared and made such a request of me. That would ultimately force me to be a failure within my faith, force me out of my belief, and cause me to be lost from God and anything God ever promised.

It wouldn’t be very “supreme being” for God to request something of me that would equal a ZERO. I’d reject the request and God and be rejected by God in return. Not a very good formula for everlasting life. Not a very good formula for any kind of life, is it? The only faith I’d have left is in other humans who would hopefully KILL ME to keep me from slaying beloved children if I was so cruel to even entertain the thought.

Besides, that’s a tricky question in numerical providence because no one’s sure what God years are, so that might mean I’d have to kill myself. If “two” = 20 x 2 + 2. I’m a goner too, by twos. So I’d want some clarification on that before I accepted my already inevitable faithless fate.
moonbeam
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10 posted 12-21-2008 10:56 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
Why would God ask me to do something that I would never do for anything on anyone's behalf?

That's the whole point Regina.  You don't KNOW why he would.  He knows everything, you know nothing; ergo he tells you what to do for your own good and that presumably of mankind, even if that action is killing 2 yr olds.
quote:
This would be indisputable proof to me that it wasn't God doing the asking.


No it wouldn't.  It would indicate that you are unlikely to trust God when He tells you to do something you don't want to do.  
quote:
But let's say for kicks that God really has appeared and made such a request of me. That would ultimately force me to be a failure within my faith, force me out of my belief, and cause me to be lost from God and anything God ever promised.


So you are saying that YOU dictate YOUR faith?  In other words God exists only as a construct of YOUR mind?
quote:

It wouldn't be very "supreme being" for God to request something of me that would equal a ZERO.

Why not?  Surely that's the whole point of a Supreme Being, he can request anything?
Grinch
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11 posted 12-21-2008 11:08 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
Why would God ask me to do something that I would never do for anything on anyone’s behalf?


No idea, she moves in mysterious ways, or so I’m led to believe. Perhaps it’s a test of your faith, maybe she’s short of under two year olds in heaven, whatever the reason would you just ignore the request?

I definitely wouldn’t - I mean it’s no big deal is it? God created all the kids doesn’t she get a say in what happens to them? In any case she could just as easily click her beard and bring them all back afterwards couldn’t she?

I get the feeling you lot aren't very good at this faith lark, it's a sad state of affairs when an atheist is more willing to follow the will of god than so called believers.

  
Essorant
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12 posted 12-21-2008 11:38 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

No, who does a deed has nothing to do with how I judge it.  If a beautiful woman does an evil deed it doesn't become beautiful, nor does an evil deed become right if a god does it or says we should do it.  

moonbeam
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13 posted 12-21-2008 11:52 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Ess

We're* not talking about "a god", we're talking about THE GOD.  The "almightly invisible God only wise" God. Stephen's God. The God of Protestantism and Catholicism.

He CAN'T be wrong or evil.

* Well I am anyway - can't speak for Grinch of course.

And anyway Ess who are you to judge what is evil? God does that.
Essorant
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14 posted 12-21-2008 12:22 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Moonbeam,

Grinch did say "god" not "God". In any case when I said "god" I vaguely meant any "god" (including "God").  

I never said anyone is wrong or evil.  The distinction I was making was this: an action is not good or evil because of who does it, but because of what the deed is as a deed and how it treats someone or something.  And that remains for me whether a God is doing the deed or not.


moonbeam
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15 posted 12-21-2008 12:33 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Yes Ess I saw what he said which is why I added the note.  However his question doesn't make a lot of sense unless he does mean the Almighty or some such equivalent, for otherwise he might as well have said "Joe Bloggs".

I think it's a pretty fine distinction to say that God can order up an evil deed and yet be pure as the driven snow.  In fact I'm not sure I accept that distinction.  But in any case you're sidestepping the important point which is that by saying what you are saying you are setting yourself up as the arbiter of what is good and what is evil rather than God.

Perhaps that's what you intend?  If so that's fine, I can accept that.
Grinch
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16 posted 12-21-2008 12:33 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Moon,

god

Yep, you got it - the creator, he of the angels and miracles, the all seeing all powerful, the alpha and omega.

That bloke with the beard (no not Charlton Heston - the REAL deal).

rwood
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17 posted 12-21-2008 12:45 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
That's the whole point Regina.  You don't KNOW why he would.  He knows everything, you know nothing; ergo he tells you what to do for your own good and that presumably of mankind, even if that action is killing 2 yr olds.


So, even you recognize the fact that God knows ME. So that little detail pretty much ruins the entire argument. Darn.


And I believe that God wouldn’t take the time to create a being who knows nothing or are you suggesting that believers are nothing but play toys for God or puppets?

quote:
No it wouldn't.  It would indicate that you are unlikely to trust God when He tells you to do something you don't want to do.


So? I trust God to expect me to adhere to the commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.” But hey, you’re right. My trust in God is a very human trust. Which means it's not infallible, and since we both know that God knows that too. I won’t put any faith in God finding me insolent for not killing children.  

quote:
So you are saying that YOU dictate YOUR faith?  In other words God exists only as a construct of YOUR mind?


Dictate? No, since that requires an unconditional command. Are you saying that there aren’t any choices?? There are conditions, particularly of the heart, and choices within my faith and belief in God. Or else I’d feel a little left out since I didn’t catch that last Halley’s Comet!! Come on. I think trying to be sound of mind is an integral offering in any relationship, but so are matters of the heart. And since I already know that you know that you are not your brain, well then, there’s just so much more involved to faith and belief than we can sum up in an online forum, yeah? Let’s co-author a book!! Representing our beliefs. I think we’d have a heck of time together, with what time we have, sharing and comparing in good faith? And everyone else can spend what time they have debunking us? Or we can just all co-exist like we do now and keep thinking the thoughts and feeling the foughts. (that should be a word).

quote:
Why not?  Surely that's the whole point of a Supreme Being, he can request anything?


Sure, and I can turn it down. Which is between me and God. I believe there are many life stories that didn’t make it into the bible. I mean it just doesn’t make sense that not one person outside those mentioned were ever touched in any way by God. Hmmm. Maybe they weren't writers or they were shy about it??
Marc-Andre
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18 posted 12-21-2008 12:54 PM       View Profile for Marc-Andre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marc-Andre

I've posted this in the open forum, but I think it is pertinent to this thread.

Indeed I’ve failed in duty; castigate
Me if you will. To Rome a traitor proved,
My disobedience most deliberate,
When Herod barbarously troops commoved
With make-belief that killing babes behooved,
Deserted post, a child from slaughter save,
As Bethlehem was made its infants’ grave.

I overheard three magi warn a man
Whose wife had given birth the previous night
Of Herod’s hideosity-sprung plan
For troops to raid where newborns brought delight,
To plague those homes with most disgraceful blight;
Deranged with superstitious prophecy
He made of genocide his policy.

Of Herod’s humor, rumours had been rife
His subjects latent gallows bird, he’d pelt
At anytime to satisfy his wife.
In Eunuchs lechery he had oft smelt,
An empathy for victims never felt.
In Israel he could become Augustus
If only he could kill a babe named Jesus.

As many infants as I could, I hid
In quarters of my slaves until night fell;
Once duly of betraying day light rid,
We then made tracks for Egypt where they’d dwell
Until the Fates would Herod send to hell.
I’m now impervious to all your jeers
For then I was baptised in Jesus’ tears.
Grinch
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19 posted 12-21-2008 01:03 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Marc,

A simple yes or no would have sufficed, with perhaps a brief explanation explaining why.

Ron
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20 posted 12-21-2008 01:07 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
He knows everything, you know nothing; ergo he tells you what to do for your own good and that presumably of mankind, even if that action is killing 2 yr olds.

Is that the criteria for the question? If you're trying to create a paradox based on omniscience, it's certainly not hard to do. In fact, it's pretty much inevitable. In this light, the question is little more than a rephrasing of some very old saws. Can God lie? Can God lift a rock too heavy for him lift?

ANY absolute -- be it knowledge, power, or even obedience -- is a self-referencing paradox just waiting to happen. Uh, including that statement.
quote:
Ron: This would be indisputable proof to me that it wasn't God doing the asking.
Moon: No it wouldn't. It would indicate that you are unlikely to trust God when He tells you to do something you don't want to do.

Again, this is simply circling the "Can God lie?" paradox.

Any being of absolute knowledge and power must exist outside the flow of time (space, too). There is no past or future, there is only God. Therefore, the question isn't "Can God lie?" but rather "Does God lie?" To a Christian, the answer is obvious.

Similarly, if we eliminate time from this hypothetical, the question becomes "Does God want me to kill little kids?"

The answer is equally obvious.


Essorant
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21 posted 12-21-2008 01:34 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

As far as the most powerful god:

"You rule the gods and Jove himself..."

Venus to her son Cupid, in Book Five of Metamorphoses.




Grinch
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22 posted 12-21-2008 01:35 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
"Does God want me to kill little kids?"


Why not?

She lets lots of them die every day so she’s can’t be that attached to them plus they’re going to a better place, aren‘t they? As I understand it death is just the beginning.

Besides she might have a very good reason for wanting them dead.

If she asked me to I’d be terminating toddlers quicker than you could say “hallelujah”.

moonbeam
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23 posted 12-21-2008 01:38 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam


quote:
Why not?  Surely that's the whole point of a Supreme Being, he can request anything?

Sure, and I can turn it down.

That's fine Regina.  You answered the question, you are prepared to defy a command from the Supreme Ruler of the universe in the full knowledge that by doing so you are probably causing harm (because God would never ask you to do something unless he had a pure reason for doing so - even killing 2 years olds), simply because you personally think it's wrong.

Good for you.  

(Btw I didn't mean you (as in humans) know "nothing", I was making a comparative - in comparison with God - bit unclear sorry.)  
rwood
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24 posted 12-21-2008 02:30 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Request and command are two different things, Moonbeam. Check your usage.

No, I don't personally think it's wrong to kill toddlers. It is wrong and against the law, and if taken out of context Grinch's statement could land him a visit from a cyber-crime division, especially if an alarming amount of toddlers fell subject to harm in his immediate area of IP.

And the title holder for disobedience will never be Me. Eve has been blamed for the downfall of all since the beginning of time.

So yeah, get ready for a new breed of harm if I'm ordered to kill kids by God. I will not comply and we'll just all have to deal with it.
 
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