I think part of the problem is a lot of people dont just say “I dont know” when it comes to the ‘hard’ questions. They start cherry picking and obfuscating. So then you have questions about those arguments. I posit that we dont know and will never know because the entire premise fails.
Orrrrrrrrr…one can use the same deductive reasoning we use to solve every other problem we encounter to come to the conclusion that God as depicted in the Bible simply doesn’t exist and the Bible is a great work of fiction.
I do think that that atheists should consider the Bible fiction and be done with it. Atheists believe God is fiction–therefore everything else that follows is fiction by definition…isn’t it?
Those of us who love and revere the Bible is because of the truths it contains, and the relationship we see God establishing between Himself and those who love Him.
That’s all you seem to want to talk about, so atheists ask questions about it. But you pretty much just said you wish atheists would stop asking so many questions!
If you only want to talk to Christians here, or preach your views to like minded Christians, then you can make that perfectly clear right now.
What deductive reasoning did you use to conclude that God as depicted in the Bible simply doesn’t exist?
The same deductive reasoning that tells me other mythical beings don’t exist.
What about “PRACTICE?”
Your own practice to know for yourself?
Real religion teaches one must practice. Practice includes faith, meditation, prayer, awakening within. Visionary experience. Enlightenment, Buddhahood.
Here is a Buddhist guidance letter from Nichiren the Prophet in 13th centry Japan, to a follower, practitioner. See if you see any further explanation here. This is talking about practice of the teachings and attainment of deep awakening.
"A passage from the “Teacher of the Law” chapter (of the Lotus Sutra) reads:
“If one of these good men or good women [in the time after I have passed into extinction is able to secretly expound the Lotus Sutra to one person, even one phrase of it, then you should know that] he or she is the envoy of the Thus Come One.”
This means that anyone who teaches others even a single phrase of the Lotus Sutra is the envoy of the Thus Come One, whether that person be priest or layman, nun or laywoman. You are already a lay practitioner and therefore one of the “good men” described in the sutra.
One who listens to even a sentence or phrase of the sutra and cherishes it deep in one’s heart may be likened to a ship that crosses the sea of the sufferings of birth and death.
The Great Teacher Miao-lo stated, “Even a single phrase cherished deep in one’s heart will without fail help one reach the opposite shore. To ponder one phrase and practice it is to exercise navigation.” Only the ship of Myoho-renge-kyo (The Lotus Sutra) enables one to cross the sea of the sufferings of birth and death.
The Lotus Sutra speaks of “someone finding a ship in which to cross the water.” This “ship” might be described as follows:
As a shipbuilder of infinitely profound wisdom, the World-Honored One of Great Enlightenment, the lord of teachings, gathered the lumber of the four flavors and eight teachings, planed it by honestly discarding the provisional teachings, cut and assembled the planks, forming a perfect unity of both right and wrong,mand completed the craft by driving home the spikes of the one true teaching that is comparable to the flavor of ghee.
Thus he launched the ship upon the sea of the sufferings of birth and death. Unfurling its sails of the three thousand realms on the mast of the one true teaching of the Middle Way, driven by the fair wind of “the true aspect of all phenomena,” the vessel surges ahead, carrying aboard all people who can “gain entrance through faith alone.”
The Thus Come One Shakyamuni is at the helm, the Thus Come One Many Treasures takes up the mooring rope, and the four bodhisattvas led by Superior Practices row quickly, matching one another as perfectly as a box and its lid.
This is the ship in “a ship in which to cross the water.” Those who are able to board it are the disciples and lay supporters of Nichiren. Believe this wholeheartedly. When you visit Shijō Kingo, please have an earnest talk with him. I will write you again in more detail.
With my deep respect,
The twenty-eighth day of the fourth month
To Shiiji Shirō
One has to practice to find answers and what they are looking for.
Maybe she’d just like to talk to polite people?
I’m curious about your screen name. Did you pick it because you actually believe it and want to put people on the defensive at once?
Why does God make it so unclear you have to practice? Why not just lay it out there?
It is completely “laid out.” It only responds to a beings seeking mind. If the being already scorched their seed of enlightenment, they can still revive it,
The path is there. It is only hidden by incorrigible disbelief.
Was the same deductive reasoning process done each time for each mythical being? If not then you used another and equally valid form of reasoning. Scientist do it all the time.
I dont think I’ve been impolite. Maybe you’re projecting due to my screen name. Asking tough questions isnt being impolite. I would argue Meri and others are impolite sometimes by dodging questions and treating atheists like fleas, instead of directly answering questions. We arent 5 year olds in Sunday school. Maybe Christian’s here could make an effort to discuss beliefs other than their own, then they wouldn’t feel defensive. Otherwise, it will remain an echo chamber.
Atheists here are constantly told how wrong we are here, how we dont understand. But it’s only us being rude. After all were just pesky atheists!
Have you ever wondered why you have to use your muscles in order to keep them strong and fit? Isn’t the same true about relationships if we wish to keep them strong and vibrant? If we want to clearly understand any subject, we have to pursue studies. Do you ever ask why we have to do so much studying if we want to clearly understand engineering, genetics, history, mathematics, etc?
Why not seek/pursue God with that same level of enthusiasm and interest?
Grin. Isn’t it clear that he already knows me inside out; knows what I am thinking before it enters my mind; knows exactly what I am feeling at any given moment? Osmosis. No need for words!
And a lot of people never understand engineering. Wouldn’t you think something as important as an eternal afterlife would be made crystal clear? And since God can apparently see the future He knows exactly how to make it so everybody can see it, but He chooses not to.
I don’t see it that way, nor do many others. ‘Eternal’ life, by definition, does not begin with the afterlife. You might be aware that some non-Catholics accuse Catholics of trying to earn the afterlife. They do not understand what we are doing is living The Way of Eternal Life. (Also known as loving God above all else, and loving one’s fellowman as highly as oneself.)
Once more, the Bible does not say that God, at this instant, knows everyone’s future. The Bible says that God knows the beginning and the end of His own plans. I have no doubt that God can see the handwriting on the wall more clearly than any other being, but that is not the same as knowing what individual futures hold at each moment in eternity. We can hypothesize, reason, deduce–but the Bible does not address that specific question.
Which moment holds more value: A moment you lived through on April 17, 2001; the moment you will live through at 3:06 p.m. today; the millionth and one moment of your afterlife? Will that millionth and one moment have greater value than the 17 billionth and 32nd moment of your afterlife?
Is this moment clear to you?
God’s presence is in each moment.
You merely prove my point. It’s murky and unclear.
Why would a loving God do this to us? Would you make your kids guess at what the rules mean and then punish them if they get it wrong?
I suspect our experiences are so different we can’t truly relate. I can’t see it as murky and unclear. Math Analysis B on the applications of Hilbert Spaces at this moment is murky and unclear to me. Yet I am confident if I devoted as much time to it as I do to God and the Bible, it just might become clearer. It never will become clearer to me because…I’m not interested in spending that much time on math.
Another reason you may find God murky and unclear is because of the the perception that God is a being who punishes people who break rules. That’s like saying quicksand punishes people because they ignored the Danger! Quicksand! notice. The Commandments were not given to us with the intent to punish. They were presented to us so that we might avoid situations that might result in a less happy, less fulfilling life. God is a loving guide. He is not a thunderous administrator of punishment. That type of god would be murky and unclear to me as well.
Obviously I dont if I have questions about why you believe certain things