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Thread: Does God Exist?

  1. #91
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    When claiming that evil is something whose pure form and real nature is not entirely discernible to us, I am not talking about it being recognized as manifested within individual acts or in the mundane form that it pervades our world generally: I mean its origin and how it got into the world at all. If we can hypothetically say that there really was a fall of man and an infection of an otherwise perfect world, then it becomes normative for these things to be something we consequently recognize. Why they are that way, how evil (as a metaphysical postulate) originated; really is not something anyone can pretend to appreciate and understand with confidence. Even the most sincere Christian isn’t given much in the way of answering this in the Bible. (It was recognized, for instance, even in the 16th century by John Calvin and Martin Luther that Lucifer’s fall from heaven, often taken to be a reference to Satan, written about in Ezekiel was a political reference to the Babylonian king, and they didn’t lack for zeal.) Atheists simply aim to deny its real existence (though I do not think that anyone really does this with complete conviction, honestly) and instead treat suffering as an unpleasant reality simply to be mitigated, all the while adhering to an “oughtness” about things which they retain in their judgments of others and the world at large. So, what you seem to be saying is that, because we can see shadows on the wall of the cave, the forms casting them are therefore entirely intelligible; that’s what I’m claiming isn’t something anyone really knows, even if the gravity of the question is felt by all.

    Going forward:

    a) Once again - for all of these, actually - I think you are getting too hung up with a near-sighted assessment. If this life really is - on the same hypothetical basis that we postulate the existence of God so as to evaluate his intentions - just a short blip on the radar, after which follows an eternal existence only referable to by analogy and metaphor - “streets of Gold, fire and brimstone, etc.” - of which we’re necessarily highly ignorant of the exact nature, but of which both are necessary to consider when factoring the justice of someone’s fate, how can you really know? Seriously dude, how do you know that the same kids dying at the age of 8 at St. Jude’s which are used as arguments against the just nature of God aren’t waking up from a temporary bad dream into an eternal bliss? -- For an actual example from the Bible, Luke 16 is rather interesting; you have a presumably righteous rich man who lives all his life in comfort and then dies to go an eternal torment, and then a beggar whose sores stray dogs licked, making no mention of him otherwise, who ends up with the faithful in bliss. - I’m not claiming to know how to assess these things myself, and so therefore I wouldn’t presume to have the confidence to shake my fist either, being increasingly aware of my inability to assess all. I do know from my own education in history, however, that some real light from serious study, even in the confines of a human mind, really does often have the ability to clarify immense amounts of misunderstanding which result in entrenched positions about things which ultimately don’t have a basis from the facts, so once again, a God who knows all presently and of the eternity to come is not someone whose intentions I can do anything but guess at from the thin pale of things I can see and know. If we are given the gift of volition and have free will to choose to seek God or to live selfishly and follow evil, then a testing of our faith is to my mind both valid and very meaningful in this context. Perhaps God wanted to make little creatures fashioned after him and give them this ability to see what they do, and maybe wouldn’t find this meaningful or worthwhile if we were simply automated wind-up clocks or to put us in a stupor of pleasure unrelated to any actions or decisions we made?

    b) Oh, it’s wrong? “From whence comes evil,” then? Even just hypothetically, a God presumably owes us anything? You know not only the whole range of prophecies about Israel that are delineated and detailed in the Bible and how they’ve played out historically, but also his purposes for everything, other peoples and nations which are also referenced askance: “’Are you not like the Ethiopians to me, O people of Israel?’ declares the Lord. ‘Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Syrians from Kir?” (Amos 9:7) If God has a plan and a purpose for these other nations which are not otherwise detailed at all, how then could you claim that all of his intentions are entirely clear and simplistic?

    c) Well, that’s an overgeneralization. Again, I would urge you to consider these things in an eternal perspective, which I don’t think you’re doing, and again, for us to be questioning the nature and purposes of an eternal God at all, you ought to. This question is frequently asked in the Bible as well. Read the Psalms again, and that’s a very prominent theme. I think there’s also a meaningful difference here between people in general, and the bad consequences which generally follow foolishness and wrongdoing (being obese is an abuse that is wrong, and congestive heart failure is a natural consequence of that, as is cirrhosis for alcoholism, damaged trust or severed relationships from dishonesty or betrayal, boredom and atrophy from laziness, etc., but that doesn’t mean that there is no revelry, temporary prosperity, or even apparent lack of consequence to these things for many people), and then people who are deliberately seeking after God, who “disciplines the one he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights” as it says in Hebrews; and additionally, evil being punished obviously happens also, which you’re aware of having read the Old Testament. I don’t really see how this one is an issue for you, conceptually. Wrongdoing and foolishness tends towards negative consequences. They don’t always follow, but aside from the existential weight we bear in this life, in an eternal perspective, how important is the temporary pleasure or triumph of people who are destined for the opposite?
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  2. #92
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    Access Denied problems... continuing in new post.

    d) Well, it actually records God as saying “By the sweat of your brow you shall eat of [the earth].” And even in the parlance of modern biology, the food energy from game still ultimately derives from “the earth” and those societies still had to labor to hunt. It’s not like that wasn’t arduous or that the animals didn’t run away and have to be pursued. Are you saying that this story doesn’t constitute the same “fall of man” as it was understood later in theology? In lieu of that, I don’t see the interpretive difficulty here. Also, while this is a valid and important question, it’s important to remember that here we are dealing with a question of Christian particularism, not strictly the philosophical argument about God; though I still believe that this God is the one in question, but want to clarify the difference, lest you suppose that any challenges here apply to everything else generally. I admit that this is quite challenging from the perspective of history and science over such a vast gulf of time and culture as is between some of the earliest literature and today, but I’ll do my best to take it on. In fact, I’m reading a challenging book about the concept of the historical Adam written by a Christian who is a secularly educated PhD (university of Munich) interdisciplinary philosopher (strong in the literature of and acquainted with the frontliners in astrophysics, fluently reads Greek, among other scholarly accomplishments), and he is actually not even a creationist. I don’t entirely agree so far, but this isn’t a strong point on my own, and I’ll probably have better answers about things in Genesis relatively soon. That said, I’ll still do my best in the meantime.

    To your final point, you assume that God is vain because he expects all of these things, but I think it is a reversed view of God which leads you to this conclusion: you see God as an anthropomorphized fragile ego much like one would expect a human being in a primitive society to imagine, something made after man’s image. Well, if conversely God really did make man in his own image, and God really is the most powerful, glorious, majestic being imaginable, the greatest conceivable thing, and people initially had exposure to this God, in their sinless state walking with him, and then quickly forgetting this after being banished and in seeing his powerful works among them and on their behalf, that doesn’t even seem like an unreasonable reaction even from my human vantage. Notwithstanding the fact that such a God rightly does deserve all of these things (and every time that God, his glory, or an angel from him has any kind of visitation on someone, they are terrified in the undeniable recognition of this), imagine that Adam was your great great grandfather and told stories of walking with God; the concept of him wouldn’t be vague or distant as it often is today. Or imagine that you actually saw one of the mighty things God did, like parting the Red Sea or causing manna to form on the ground, and then you chose to bow down to Baal or Molech instead, and had the free will to do either? God being angry about that is in no way comparable to a tantrumy or sadistic child.

    A2) I’ve entertained the possibility that God created other humans after Adam and Eve, separately. That interpretation isn’t without difficulty of its own, because references to our ultimate lineage from Adam are implicit everywhere else, but considering that “Adam” literally just means “Man” in Hebrew, and that the creation of man is listed twice and separately, I think it’s possible – though again, I haven’t studied this one as hard as other topics and am just speaking from what I think is plausible from what I already know. It’s also important to bear in mind the chiastic narrative pattern of ancient literature. Modern, linear historiography, where events follow a strict chronological order was actually not normative until relatively recently. At least in western historiography, “chiasms” (Greek for “rings”) would follow through in their own thematic loops until coming to the resolution of a point which wasn’t primarily a function of ordinal time. (This was even true in classical Greek historiography, and thus you have stories from Herodotus such as the rise of the Achaemenid dynasty being recounted in an unbroken fashion until the resolution of that theme was complete, which ended chronologically well into the events recounted elsewhere in other “rings” which are treated separately – this strikes our modern minds conditioned with instant and constant time keeping devices as dissonant and contradictory, but oftentimes it’s just because these patterns aren’t understood in the first place.)

    Thus, you otherwise have silly things happening in seemingly illogical order in the creation narrative otherwise, which don’t pose the same problems when understood in the way an ancient audience would likely have taken it, given literary conventions we know of elsewhere. Also, on that same note, it’s important that the named sons in the genealogies are not exhaustive. You make it sound like their only children were the lines listed, but that is not necessarily true at all. Given the immensely long lives of the first people detailed in the Bible (very similar to the Sumerian Kings list in that regard), the number of people that would have been born in only a handful of generations would have been enormous. Interestingly to me, though, if I had said that it was likely that Cain married his sister and that this was fine given the completely pure state of the human gene pool, I have no doubt you all would not hesitate to pounce on me with incest jokes, but even from an evolutionary perspective, it’s hard to see this occurring all too differently among primates who live in nuclear family communities oftentimes today anyway. That said, I think the former hypothesis is more plausible (and one might postulate that something similar happened to Cain as happened to Adam with respect to Eve’s creation being separately, but that is an argument from silence), but if it really was his sister, I think it’s abundantly clear that is a far cry from anyone doing this today, or advocating for it on this basis…
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  3. #93
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    b) This one has always been very interesting to me. The Nephilim are only mentioned twice in the Bible: here, and in Numbers 13, in both cases very obliquely. In both cases also connotated in a kind of “glorious” way, higher than man, and ultimately separate to him and his purpose. Long and short, I believe that these were the heroes of antiquity, and that the “sons of God” were plausibly the likes of what came to be worshiped in Hellenic mythology. The overlap and consistency between these within this postulation seems increasingly compelling, the more I learn. The etymology between Zeus and God (referenced separately in the Homeric epics, for instance) the former being like some kind of perversion of a residual understanding of the former, who in classical mythology literally is the father of many of these gods, who in turn were the fathers with mortal women of specific legendary heroes. I’d like to go into more detail on this point later because I’m running out of time right now, but that is what I tentatively think on this one, hence my claim earlier in the thread about “henotheism.” None of these are gods in any comparable way to the uncreated One who is omnipotent and made the universe, but I think that there are still created divine beings which exist in some cases, and this reference in particular seems to corroborate that.

    c) As someone who has not formally studied nor is decently strong in biology unlike some other topics I feel more equipped to debate about, this isn’t something I think is wise to make a primary talking point of myself, though that doesn’t mean that I don’t have critical reservations of it as received in my public education and in the popular narrative, as a layperson, as many who engage in these discussions are. I find that what is often mandated as a “literal” interpretation of Genesis isn’t often in tandem with what was intended as it was penned, but I also do not find a macroevolutionary paradigm compelling or even plausible, even in the midst of accepting something like geologic time and morphological changes observed in species, undeniably, but again, this isn’t the hill I would choose to die on. While my objections as a layperson are compelling against what I understand and such opinions are not wrong to have (in fact, are necessary, unless you uncritically accept everything in an appeal to authority or are, impossibly, an expert on every matter which has academia behind it), I’d hope to have the humility not to balk at something I’m not versed in, so I concede that I may be wrong, though from what I know presently, I wouldn’t guess so. We can’t be an expert in everything, and this isn’t a topic I would choose to spend my efforts becoming adept in. I actually had a discussion about this with someone else who is more educated on it not too long ago, and what I had said then still holds as my position on it:

    “While as it pertains to the hard sciences (and especially to biology and medicine) I am completely a layperson and my entire education in that regard was the school system and my gen eds in college, many tenets of evolution as an explanatory model for the existence of the present state of biodiversity on earth strike me as quite implausible and unrealistic, particularly the farther back one considers.

    Abiogenesis aside, or even from this the mere development of prokaryotic organisms with protein coding, many various interrelated and multifaceted organelles, how such protozoa and even primitive eukaryotes progressed to become even something intermediate to the currently living "extant" creatures from such a hypothetical time, seems quite an ambiguous stretch.

    There are two particular problems that I observe, to the best of admittedly limited knowledge:

    1.) Evolutionary theory was established as academic orthodoxy at a time of very rudimentary or altogether nonexistent understanding of microbiology (and many other major disciplines of modern science which are less immediately relevant, for that matter). In light of that ignorance, the theory is more plausible; but the subsequent discovery of many things which had no conceptual basis originally but are crucial to the actual postulated processes of evolution - particularly, genetics - seem to have been immediately subsumed within the accepted theory, with all problems and challenges that these potentially pose, ruled out by default. This strikes me as odd and unscientific to the extent that this is true, but, I am a layperson so obviously have not read the scholarly literature; nevertheless this seems to be what the popular argument exposes, from both sides of the debate.

    2.) This is more technical, but, the proposition of unguided mutation as the vehicle for generating meaningful information in the genetic profile of organisms, appears extremely problematic to me. The emphasis is key here, as the reward and punishment of already existing genetic information is observed science and an undisputable fact, but it seems that in every case, there's already a replete organism in question, and the trait in question draws upon existing genes which are dormant and haven't been activated - "junk DNA" - or is in the context of a presupposed universal functionality of that organism, which begs the question of how such systems came to be interdependently, but especially of how the correct, beneficial information itself was originally created.”
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  4. #94
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    And from another conversation...

    “To what degree do you regard abiogenesis and evolution as unrelated? Clarifying that distinction should aid this discussion, because to some extent, evolution itself is undeniably true and I don't have qualms admitting that, but importantly, the conventional claims made by it are that it is the explanative process for all life, not merely that organisms genetically adapt to their environments within an already diverse ecosystem. My clear objection has to do with the fact that in all of these examples, we're already dealing with genetically replete organisms of a high zoological order which already contain the high-trim mechanisms of replication and apparently much of the coding for these systems already. The structure of that "operating system" if you will, and how things like organ systems could emerge interdependently in this manner, is what I am quite hesitant to accord to mutative natural selection.

    Even more so, cell biology is amazing and poses these issues more loudly, to my mind. If you think abiogenesis is a separate matter, then it seems that you could regard a design argument for the cell itself as possible. If not, how do you differ with respect to this question, given your statement viewing abiogenesis as not indelible to evolution itself?

    To answer your question about geologic time, I am not persuaded by the conventional 6,000 year old "young earth" (which even what we know about optics via astronomy would make absurd, unless the various lifecycles of stars were created still-frame, with no warrant for thinking so) and also don't find an endorsement of geologic time as incompatible with creationism at all, nor do I find this to be a concession to macroscopic evolution, as protecting a literal understanding of the Genesis narrative and its timeline are not relevant to my objections.

    I am however somewhat amused and puzzled by the artistic license taken with the depictions of such things as a single tooth believed to be australopithecine, from which artists were commissioned to create ornate models of flesh and blood communities of the supposed creatures displayed in a museum. I literally saw that very thing happen in a documentary about paleoanthropology, and the featured scientist himself said that scarcely more than teeth are ever found in entire careers in this field!

    The fact that a large chunk of the more complete evidence for the hypothesis of early humans were mistaken modern ape skeletons or outright forgeries is testament to my impression that this model became scientific orthodoxy right away, and has since then been protected by an academic elitism which doesn't even consider questioning it as dogma. There's also something suspicious about the readiness to assume speciation on the basis of the few finds which weren't. We in the lifting world are of course conscious that considerable skeletal proportion differences exist, even among people of the same family, and modern humans exist in many different races with more considerable genetic difference. Why are these sorts of minute differences which absolutely exist in the phenotypes of living humans right now taken as the basis for such extreme assumptions, if not because the tree has been assumed and its branches must be populated?

    It doesn't seem scientific to me, and I recognize the inherent persuasion in such elaborate diagrams of speciation, artistically flourished with much assumptive detail as they are. Even in geology, some of the early science was spurred by a strong anticlericalism associated with the atheism of the French Revolution (Alexandre Brongniart, who was a pioneer of the fossil record, comes to mind), which, while not the basis for rejecting an argument, does correlate with this academic motive to fantasize about assumptive hypotheses.

    The point of this is not to attempt to refute an old earth (which I think is plausible if not almost certain), but to say that there are some concerning trends in the actual record of research for these claims by which such unbending confidence is elicited. I'm interested in actual pursuing these questions, and a lot of the answers really do seem to be dogmatic and speculative at these deeper levels.

    Two questions for you [the original person I was talking to, but I suppose they stand here as well]:
    1.) Have you heard about the dating error with Polonium 14, which does argue for much earlier dates than carbon?
    2.) Why do you think the Cambrian explosion demonstrates such a sudden diversity of life, if the fossil record is a reliable basis?”

    --

    I’ll have to get to the rest of these a little later.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Eli…. R u serious right now?

    I’d love to converse in this… but it’s literally becoming an essay each time.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Eli…. R u serious right now?

    I’d love to converse in this… but it’s literally becoming an essay each time.
    Yes, I really am. I'm being directly asked personally for my views on a number of really big and multifaceted questions. I don't think it's possible to answer them all (or really to have these sorts of discussions in a meaningful manner) in a brief way, at least if I'm also expected to clarify against anticipated objections or provide warrant for why I think so. I also caveated that before replying in the first place.

    I don't think it would do very much good to answer a question like "Do you believe that the theory of evolution is true?" only to say "Probably not, at least in the conventional way that it's taken to mean that all life evolved from prokaryotes to the current biosphere by means of random mutation, but I'm not a scientist and willing to concede that this isn't really what I'd choose to focus on." Because that doesn't qualify what reason I have and doesn't really give anyone a chance to consider why I think that way, and it likely just would invite follow up questions asking for elaboration anyway.

    And again, my intention is just to answer earnestly and thoroughly with what I find compelling in response to direct questions asked of me personally. I'm not trying to force anyone to agree with me or shoot down others' thoughts on the matter.
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    You can bet ur entire cuckold ancestral lineage that he does.
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    Originally Posted by pandaboy89 View Post
    You can bet ur entire cuckold ancestral lineage that he does.
    I mean how can anyone argue with this brilliant comment? I'm convinced now.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Yes, I really am. I'm being directly asked personally for my views on a number of really big and multifaceted questions. I don't think it's possible to answer them all (or really to have these sorts of discussions in a meaningful manner) in a brief way, at least if I'm also expected to clarify against anticipated objections or provide warrant for why I think so. I also caveated that before replying in the first place.

    I don't think it would do very much good to answer a question like "Do you believe that the theory of evolution is true?" only to say "Probably not, at least in the conventional way that it's taken to mean that all life evolved from prokaryotes to the current biosphere by means of random mutation, but I'm not a scientist and willing to concede that this isn't really what I'd choose to focus on." Because that doesn't qualify what reason I have and doesn't really give anyone a chance to consider why I think that way, and it likely just would invite follow up questions asking for elaboration anyway.

    And again, my intention is just to answer earnestly and thoroughly with what I find compelling in response to direct questions asked of me personally. I'm not trying to force anyone to agree with me or shoot down others' thoughts on the matter.
    Fair enough. And perhaps it's moreso your writing style I find difficult to read through than anything else... there's so many long sentences it becomes difficult to understand the actual points being made.

    I'm not sure if you listen to podcasts etc, but i think you might enjoy these on youtube... they talk about a lot of the same stuff.




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    Sorry for replying late

    1. The Evil

    a)
    So he gave us free will, because he didn't want to make us automated wind-up clocks, but he also gets angry when someone uses his free will?
    Again, God sounds human. You get a dog, the dog destroys your shoe, you get angry.

    b)
    I would ask the same thing. From whence comes evil, then?
    God exists since forever.
    God is good.
    God made humans in his own image so they are good.
    Then, has evil existed forever or God created evil?
    I think the story consists in the fallen angel.
    But how did he become evil, since God can see the future and is all powerful?
    It means that God knew about it and waited to happen, so he can have an enemy.

    c)
    I don't have an eternal perspective, because I am a human being. I know some people suffer harsly most of their lives and you are telling me that this is nothing compared with an eternity that I have no idea if it exists or not.
    For me this "think about it from an eternal perspective" quote is similar with "don't hate the rich, but try to do what they do"
    These are quotes created for the 99% of people to not rebel against the leaders and the ones who spend millions on a yacht, while others die of hunger.
    "Hey, are you a good person, but surrounded by sinners and evil ****s who live 10 times better than you, because they are much richer than you? Don't rebel against them, because you will receive an eternity of goodness and 49 virgins, while they will get raped by Satan"

    d)
    Actually it says "It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat field plants. 19You will eat bread by the sweat of your forehead till you return to the ground"
    From my understanding it is clearly agriculture, especially since both their sons started raising sheep and planting seeds. Abel offered God animals and Cain offered God plants. God received the animals from Abel, but not the plants from Cain. Because the plants have no blood.
    Also, let's not forget that Cain went to Nod, build a city, although he should have been a wanderer forever, and his ancestors invented harpes, pipes, also instruments from brass and iron. So they were pretty advanced. While history tells us that humans had a much longer road until agriculture and metal use.
    Adam and Eve’s descendants were very intelligent people. We are told that Jubal made musical instruments, such as the harp and organ (Genesis 4:21), and Tubal-cain worked with brass and iron (Genesis 4:22). They didn't need much time to progress.

    It differs from region to region, of course, but hunting wasn't such a bourdain like agriculture. Sure, agriculture got us where we are now, because it can maintain a huge population in one place, but for most people it was a lot harsher than hunting. Slaving 12 hours a day, each day, from a very young age, producing food for you and for the priests and blue bloods {the authority the Bible tells you to listen} vs being in a tribe and hunting animals. Sure, sometime the hunting went bad and some had to starve. Also, agriculture went bad and some had to starve. But not the priests and the blue bloods, of course, only the suckers who worked on the land had to starve. But no worries, because they will be rewarded with that good eternity.
    Agriculture? Great for society, not that great for the individual who was born from the wrong vagina... so most individuals, actually.

    "you see God as an anthropomorphized fragile ego much like one would expect a human being in a primitive society to imagine, something made after man’s image" - well, the Bible is his word to the people.



    a2)
    I believe it started as a Jewish local story, because wanted to believe they were special {just like any other nation, actually}. God created Adam and Eve and made them special. Cain married a Goim from another land.
    Later, the Sons of God (The Jewish people) craved and had sex with Goim females.
    God got angry, he decided to drown them all, changed his mind {because this is what all powerful omnipotent creatures do: they have a second thought} and spared Noah and his family, also the penguins and the camels, the platypus and cat, all together.

    b2.
    Sons of God
    I find it weird that the first 3 Genesis chapters are very short but not concise, unlike many other chapters from Genesis, where the information is abundant.
    The Vikings were also considered Giants by the British, even though they weren't some WWE freaks.

    1. And yet the evolutionary theory is still valid today. We can think that scientists just went with it, even though it is wrong, or that, in time, more and more proof appeared and cemented it.

    2. Too technical for me!

    Do you actually believe Noah gathered penguins and camels and kangoroos on his boat?
    How do you explain all the other planets and galaxies?
    Can God see the future? Did he know, before deciding to flood the Earth and kill them all, that he will change his mind and save Noah? Did he know Cain will kill and Eve will eat?
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    @Adam, thanks for the references. I'll check those out sometime.

    1.

    a) You're going to have to be a little more clear, because that doesn't make sense. You mean that he gets angry when people have the choice to be evil and then they choose that? That doesn't sound problematic to me. There's also the ontological aspect of this, of whether true good is even possible in the absence of evil. What non-theistic people often mean when they apply the term "evil" is pretty obviously just suffering itself, without any consideration of what it actually could be as a metaphysical reality beyond this, but through which suffering is concomitant. From that angle, the question "why is there suffering?" takes on an entirely new layer which is not as simplistic as claiming that it shouldn't exist merely because it's unpleasant, and there is no higher meaning or purpose for things in the alternative nihilistic framework than that pleasure be maximized and suffering mitigated. If you don't see past that in any way, then this entire question is moot in the first place.

    b) First of all, why are you being so assumptive about these questions? This subject matter is not simple or easy, and it really doesn't seem like you're honestly considering these things or trying to parse out what is reasonable or plausible, instead throwing out what seem to be bitter accusations one after the other. If these questions had such obvious answers, they wouldn't be perennially debated extensively throughout history.

    From a book I'm currently reading (not the same one mentioned earlier), from a Hebrew scholar and doctorate in ancient history:

    [Book]Acknowledging God's foreknowledge and also the genuine free will of humankind, especially with respect to the fall [of man], raises obvious questions: Was the fall predestined? If so, how was the disobedience of Adam and Eve free? How are they truly responsible?

    Since we aren't told much in Genesis about how human freedom works in relation to divine attributes like foreknowledge, predestination, and omniscience, we need to look elsewhere in Scripture for some clarification. Let's look at 1 Samuel 23:1-13. Note the bold words carefully.

    "Now they told David, 'Look, the Philistines are fighting in Keilah and they are raiding the threshing floors.' So David inquired of Yahweh, saying, 'Shall I go and attack these Philistines?' and Yahweh said to David, 'Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.' But David's men said to him, 'Look, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more if we go to Keilah to the battle lines of the Philistines?' So David again inquired of Yahweh, and Yahweh answered him and said 'Get up, go down to Keilah, for I am giving the Philistines into your hands.' So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines. They drove off their livestock and dealt them a heavy blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah. Now when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, he went down with an ephod in his hand. When it was told to Saul that David had gone to Keilah, Saul said, 'God has given him into my hand, because he has shut himself in by going into a city with two barred gates. Saul then summoned all of the army for the battle, to go down to Keilah to lay a siege against David and his men. When David learned that Saul was plotting evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, 'Bring the ephod here.' And David said, 'O Yahweh, God of Israel, your servant has clearly heard that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to destroy the city because of me. Will the rulers of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down as your servant has heard? O Yahweh, God of Israel, please tell your servant!' And Yahweh said, 'He will come down.' Then David said, 'Will the rulers of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?' And Yahweh said, 'They will deliver you.' So David and his men got up, about six hundred men, and went out from Keilah and wandered wherever they could go. When it was told to Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he stopped his pursuit.[/i]

    [i]In this account, David appeals to the omniscient God to tell him about the future. In the first instance (23:1-5), David asks God whether he should go to the city of Keilah and whether he'll successfully defeat the Philistines there. God answers in the affirmative in both cases. David goes to Keilah and indeed defeats the Philistines.

    In the second section (23:6-13), David asks the Lord two questions: (1) will his nemesis Saul come to Keilah and threaten the city on account of David's presence? And (2) will the people of Keilah turn him over to Saul to avoid Saul's wrath? Again, God answers both questions affirmatively: "He will come down," and "They will deliver you."

    Neither of these events that God foresaw ever actually happened. Once David hears God's answers, he and his men leave the city. When Saul discovers this fact (v. 13), he abandons his trip to Keilah. Saul never made it to the city. The men of Keilah never turned David over to Saul. Why is this significant? This passage clearly establishes that divine foreknowledge does not necessitate divine predestination. God foreknew what Saul would do and what the people of Keilah would do given a set of circumstances. In other words, God foreknew a possibility - but this foreknowledge did not mandate that the possibility was actually predestined to happen. The events never happened, so by definition they could not have been predestined. And yet the omniscient God did indeed foresee them. Predestination and foreknowledge are separable.

    The theological point can be put this way:

    That which never happens can be foreknown by God, but it is not predestined, since it never happened.

    But what about things that do happen? They can obviously be foreknown, but were they predestined?

    Since we have seen above that foreknowledge in itself does not necessitate predestination, all that foreknowledge truly guarantees is that something is foreknown. If God foreknows some event that happens, then he may have predestined that event. But the fact that he foreknew an event does not require its predestination if it happens. The only guarantee is that God foreknew it correctly, whether it turns out to be an actual event or merely possible event.

    The theological point can be put this way:

    Since foreknowledge doesn't require predestination, foreknown events that happen may or may not have been predestined.

    This set of ideas goes against the grain of several modern theological systems. Some of those systems presume that foreknowledge requires predestination, and so everything must be predestined - all the way from the fall to the holocaust, to what you'll choose off a dinner menu. Others dilute foreknowledge by proposing that God doesn't foreknow all possibilities [Open Theism], since all possibilities cannot happen. Or they posit other universes where all the possibilities happen [Molinism]. These ideas are unnecessary in light of 1 Samuel 23 and other passages that echo the same fundamental idea: foreknowledge does not necessitate predestination.[Book continued...]
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    [Book continued]Things we discussed earlier in this book allow us to take the discussion further. God may foreknow an event and predestine that event, but such predestination does not necessarily include decisions that lead up to that event. In other words, God may know and predestine the end - that something is ultimately going to happen - without predestining the means to that end.

    We saw this precise Relationship when we looked at decision making in God's divine council. The passages in 1 Kings 22:13-23 and Daniel 4 informed us that God can decree something and then leave the means up to the decisions of other free-will agents. The end is sovereignly ordained; the means to that end may or may not be.[/Book]

    From "The Unseen Realm" by Michael Heiser, pages 63-65; Lexham Press 2015 (brackets mine)

    That whole book is fantastic and gets right to the meat of several of your questions by seeking to thoroughly examine the Hebrew philology and historical context of several particular passages pertaining to the specifics of allusions to gods, angels, and other supernatural phenomena. I highly suggest you read it, actually. It's quite compelling and interesting that secularly educated scholar with some of the highest credentials both takes these on and makes a cogent argument relating them one to another and believes them sincerely, since many of these topics are either marginalized or dismissed outright. A lot of literature on things like this is not very intellectually satisfying to one's honest skepticism, but this is. If you have interest, you can even PM me a shipping address and I'll buy it for you.

    It definitely addresses the fall from heaven and has touched on the topic, but I'd like to wait to tackle that one until after I've finished the book.

    c) So you're unable to hypothesize an eternal fate due to your finite humanity in spite of being aware of such concepts and able to reason with them, but you are able to point your finger at God in judgment and presume to know his purposes for everything?

    d) They didn't need much time to progress? Could you clarify what you mean here? I don't think there's much historical warrant for supposing that ancient people were stupid or that things like metal casting would have been long-impossible. I also don't understand some of the other things you seem to be trying to say, like how saying that the Bible is his word to his people has anything to do with the argument I suggested in D on the previous post.

    A2 - B2) That's a weak argument drawn from a bunch of whimsical assumptions. You're going to need to substantiate that with something on the basis of historical evidence. From the philology, "sons of God" here patently does not mean Jews, by the way. Beney elohim are clearly divine everywhere that that term is used.

    I suggest you actually try to study these terms, what they mean in the original language and how they're applied contextually, instead of walking away with firm conclusions about them from casual assumptions.

    1. That's possible. My suspicions and reservations doubting it as a layperson from what I know of the popular debate remain the same from what I'm aware of, and I know otherwise that the willingness with which some things are concluded in academia sometimes belies its own strong wishes for a certain conclusion in spite of whatever warrant it has. It should raise more questions I think that it was concluded by the scientific community before its mechanisms were at all understood, so that all subsequent data is required to fit this paradigm. In fact, no one would even be able to publish anything at odds with it without ruining their careers as biologists, and I wonder how many have private doubts. However, I really don't know. I have my honest reservations, but I'd rather not choose something I'm not well-versed in to challenge in-depth beyond setting out why I think the way I do in answer to your question. So, I remain in doubt of it macroscopically for the above reasons, but this is not the topic I would choose to debate beyond what I've reasoned for above, because it's not something I'm trained or especially educated in. Doesn't mean that things about it can't plainly seem concerning in a way that the popular debate at least doesn't rectify.

    2. Some of this is addressed above, and I'll pend the answer about Noah's ark until after I finish the book, as well. Short answer in the meantime is that I do not believe that all animals were in the ark and am more inclined to think that the flood was local, but still enormous. Other references to "the entire earth" are clearly hyperbole, for instance, when Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that he rules the entire earth, but we know that Babylon was only a Mesopotamian empire. Also, God saying that he will end "all life" by a flood also clearly isn't literal unless sea creatures were somehow killed by something else besides water.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    It's interesting that people bring up 'free will' as an argument in favor of God's existence.

    I'm curious why people think free will actually exists, or why - even if it did - that would necessitate God 'giving' it to us...

    I can't, for example, 'will' myself into believing something, or preferring one flavor over another, nor can I actually will myself to have feelings or preference of any kind. Even though that ability would improve my existence, I am not in control of those outcomes whatsoever.

    Another thing I want to point out is that unless a non-theist/atheist/agnostic makes some active claim to the origins of the universe or the moral standards by which we should model our behaviors, the burden of prove in these matters is in fact with the believers.

    I, for example, don't "believe there is no God" - in other words, I am not actively claiming I believing God does not exist - I am simply not accepting that there is sufficient reason to believe he/she/they does exist. I have never heard or experienced anything which drives me to actually believe it. I accept the possibility of it in some form, but I don't actively believe it. We may also live in a simulation made by an AI... could be.


    In a way, you could even argue that most 'believers' are, in a sense, agnostic, because 'believing' is not the same as knowing. If you don't actually know, unequivocally, that God exists, then you must recognize there is a chance he doesn't.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    It's interesting that people bring up 'free will' as an argument in favor of God's existence.

    I'm curious why people think free will actually exists, or why - even if it did - that would necessitate God 'giving' it to us...

    I can't, for example, 'will' myself into believing something, or preferring one flavor over another, nor can I actually will myself to have feelings or preference of any kind. Even though that ability would improve my existence, I am not in control of those outcomes whatsoever.

    Another thing I want to point out is that unless a non-theist/atheist/agnostic makes some active claim to the origins of the universe or the moral standards by which we should model our behaviors, the burden of prove in these matters is in fact with the believers.

    I, for example, don't "believe there is no God" - in other words, I am not actively claiming I believing God does not exist - I am simply not accepting that there is sufficient reason to believe he/she/they does exist. I have never heard or experienced anything which drives me to actually believe it. I accept the possibility of it in some form, but I don't actively believe it. We may also live in a simulation made by an AI... could be.


    In a way, you could even argue that most 'believers' are, in a sense, agnostic, because 'believing' is not the same as knowing. If you don't actually know, unequivocally, that God exists, then you must recognize there is a chance he doesn't.
    Yea they're making a bad argument. I'm really not sure if free will exists. There's a good case it doesn't, and an even stronger case it's extremely limited. Even if it did exist, it in no way would imply there's a God.

    That being said, I'd say I believe in God and that belief is more powerful than knowledge. I no know logical argument for the existence of God, but I had a NDE that just completely blew my entire scope of reality. It was the most "real" thing I've ever experienced, and I've never been the same since. Yoga, meditation, etc. is the best way to know "God" because the mind can't. God is an experiential thing: oneness, connection with all things, unconditional love. Words can't really describe it. I of course use "God" here to mean whatever seemingly all-powerful light I came into contact with & "felt" as much as I saw. Whatever the fuk that was, I know I can't really wrap my little pea brain around it. I was an agnostic growing up and an atheist when I experienced this. Had this not happened to me first hand, I'd think it's pure fuking nonsense.

    Compare my life changing and visceral experience to even the knowledge and thoughts I'm most certain of, and it doesn't hold a candle to them.

    All said and done, debating God logically actually misses the mark. Faith and belief are very different from logic and reason. The best "logical" argument is that there are things out there that our thinking minds alone will never understand. No reason to believe any of it if you haven't felt it.
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    Originally Posted by Strawng View Post
    That being said, I'd say I believe in God and that belief is more powerful than knowledge. I no know logical argument for the existence of God, but I had a NDE that just completely blew my entire scope of reality. It was the most "real" thing I've ever experienced, and I've never been the same since. Yoga, meditation, etc. is the best way to know "God" because the mind can't. God is an experiential thing: oneness, connection with all things, unconditional love. Words can't really describe it. I of course use "God" here to mean whatever seemingly all-powerful light I came into contact with & "felt" as much as I saw. Whatever the fuk that was, I know I can't really wrap my little pea brain around it. I was an agnostic growing up and an atheist when I experienced this. Had this not happened to me first hand, I'd think it's pure fuking nonsense.

    Compare my life changing and visceral experience to even the knowledge and thoughts I'm most certain of, and it doesn't hold a candle to them.

    All said and done, debating God logically actually misses the mark. Faith and belief are very different from logic and reason. The best "logical" argument is that there are things out there that our thinking minds alone will never understand. No reason to believe any of it if you haven't felt it.
    That's really interesting. I find NDE stories very fun to hear because I simply haven't had anything close to that, ever... nor have I had any experience where I could truly point to an acute impression of 'God' being the cause, or something where my mind wandered in that direction.

    I would say the only exception would be perhaps a few times taking 'magic' mushrooms, or times where I simply felt very close to a significant other and that sensation itself was something I couldn't quite grasp intellectually, but again I cannot say it's anything beyond hormones and conditioned feelings.

    Now on one level, there are aspects of the physical universe and arguments for an all-powerful being that I do find kind of... impossible (for me) to imagine being the result of anything else, but when considering the totality of what I have learned I'm still not pushed in either direction. The only thing I can say, though, is the problem of suffering and many other critical arguments against an 'all-good' or 'all-loving' God make it impossible for me to accept what is usually described as the Christian God or something similar... I just cannot fathom a God who could be "all loving" and yet not use his "all powerful" capacity to stop children from dying of starvation, or stop any other innocent deaths or needless pain... I can't square that one.

    IMO, if God does exist, he either isn't "benevolent" or doesn't even recognize our experience of suffering as being worthy of his attention or alteration.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    IMO, if God does exist, he either isn't "benevolent" or doesn't even recognize our experience of suffering as being worthy of his attention or alteration.
    We are God. God is us. I believe God is benevolence and love itself. The times we truly care or truly take action in the case of the suffering you describe...I'd consider that "God". It makes more sense to me to say "God is all loving" than "God is all-loving". During my NDE, I saw everyone I loved before I was pulled into the light. By the time I was in the light, "I" was gone.
    I think the world after this is likely an equalizer of sorts. I also am not in a rush to go there, which is good, because I had been suicidal off-an-on for the decade prior. As amazing as it was, it was absolutely terrifying to peel back what felt like the layers of reality. "Awe" doesn't even begin to describe it.

    I'm not a Christian, but I think that's what Jesus actually meant when he said "we're all sons of God". AFAIK, the only way God can intervene in this senseless world is through us. I thought that was the whole point of the man being strung-up naked on a fuking plank of wood to die in agony after a life of poverty in the desert. The dude championed poor and sick people by saying they weren't being punished by God. Everyone else believed they deserved it. He said it was the opposite, and that these people were both loved by God and likely to experience a better life beyond this one. I mean, Buddha was a rich man who had to cut ties with royalty and live a life of poverty to connect with life beyond the trappings of the ego. This world fuks us all, and the miracle of God is being able to have compassion/empathy/faith even in life after this one in spite of all that.

    Let's say it was all just hormones. One drip of hormones was powerful enough to get a violent, suicidal, anorectic young man to fully understand love for the first time and change his ways. It also just-so happened to line up with what people in cultures the world over have described as "God", and caused more lasting change than anything else he's ever experienced. EVERYONE better get on those God hormones right fuking now!
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    Originally Posted by Strawng View Post
    We are God. God is us. I believe God is benevolence and love itself. The times we truly care or truly take action in the case of the suffering you describe...I'd consider that "God". It makes more sense to me to say "God is all loving" than "God is all-loving". During my NDE, I saw everyone I loved before I was pulled into the light. By the time I was in the light, "I" was gone.

    I'm not a Christian, but I think that's what Jesus actually meant when he said "we're all sons of God". AFAIK, the only way God can intervene in this senseless world is through us. I thought that was the whole point of the man being strung-up naked on a fuking plank of wood to die in agony after a life of poverty in the desert. The dude championed poor and sick people by saying they weren't being punished by God. Everyone else believed they deserved it. He said it was the opposite, and that these people were both loved by God and likely to experience a better life beyond this one. I mean, Buddha was a rich man who had to cut ties with royalty and live a life of poverty to connect with life beyond the trappings of the ego. This world fuks us all, and the miracle of God is being able to have compassion/empathy/faith even in life after this one in spite of all that.
    The conflict I see with that would be that God typically refers to a creator, and we as humans didn’t create the universe AFAIK, and most theists also wouldn’t say that. God is usually described as the singular source of everything. All knowing, powerful, and good.

    As for historical figures, we don’t actually have physical evidence of Jesus ever existing, and the further back in time we go, the less reliable the historical record is. Could Jesus have existed? Sure. Do we know he did? No… which doesn’t mean he didn’t, but certainly many people would have benefitted over the centuries to either make up or embellish the stories surrounding his life (if he was actually real)

    I would certainly agree our consciousness seems to interact in a truly beautiful way with the vibrations and complex systems around us, and leads to sensations which can leave us feeling touched by something behind the physical… but I guess that wouldn’t be what I call “God”… that’s more like the definition of love and connectedness.

    When I’m reverting to God I’m meaning the traditional sense of creator, divine, all powerful, knowing, all good… etc…. gotta believe in him or you’ll never be saved… all that jazz.

    You brought up something which is also a common, and seemingly contradicting, point in most faiths: divine hiddenness. Basically, it asks “why is God hidden from us?” You mentioned an NDE leading to these beliefs, but surely not everyone has that… and some will die never being exposed to anything they see as supernatural. God apparently, thousands of years ago before we could fact check anything, interacted with people on earth directly… but not now? Seems like we need him more than ever if the objective is salvation. Also seems very convenient that now with all our ability to do research on the claims in religious texts, we get no more direct claims of God showing up on earth. Not to mention, so much of most religious texts dont hold up or is outright morally terrible. Hell, even the Bible condoned many versions of slavery….
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    but I guess that wouldn’t be what I call “God”… that’s more like the definition of love and connectedness.

    When I’m reverting to God I’m meaning the traditional sense of creator, divine, all powerful, knowing, all good… etc…. gotta believe in him or you’ll never be saved… all that jazz.
    You're taking it too literally, as are many religious people. If you don't believe in the PRIMARY IMPORTANCE of the first part of what you said (i.e. "love and connectedness"), then you'll never be saved. Let's say "God" is the primary & everlasting source for our consciousness, love, and connectedness. A power that outlasts our own ego and potentially physical death...I'd still consider that all-powerful without having to dictate whether a hurricane's gonna hit or if you'll win the fuking lotto. It's all powerful in a different way.


    Also, it doesn't matter if Jesus existed or not. The damn story stood the test of time for a reason. It spoke to something in us as a species. All of Western literature uses the same damn tropes from the Bible ad nauseam. Eastern culture is shaped fundamentally by Buddhism. These stories speak to people.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    You brought up something which is also a common, and seemingly contradicting, point in most faiths: divine hiddenness. Basically, it asks “why is God hidden from us?” You mentioned an NDE leading to these beliefs, but surely not everyone has that… and some will die never being exposed to anything they see as supernatural. God apparently, thousands of years ago before we could fact check anything, interacted with people on earth directly… but not now? Seems like we need him more than ever if the objective is salvation. Also seems very convenient that now with all our ability to do research on the claims in religious texts, we get no more direct claims of God showing up on earth. Not to mention, so much of most religious texts dont hold up or is outright morally terrible. Hell, even the Bible condoned many versions of slavery….
    The Bible is a collection of stories, and there's no reason to think it's all divine. Also, I'm not Christian, dude. I just used Jesus as an example.

    As for God's "hiddenness"? Our sense of self is an illusion. I don't know how familiar you are with meditation, but once you shed the layers of your constructed identity, you can feel some very profound things. Why are these things hidden by the ego? Well, ego or identity is an important survival adaptation (an adaptive "illusion" perhaps arguably not unlike the illusion of free will) that help us make its through the world. A higher level of awareness, perhaps of things beyond this life or even of simple things like altruism or love, can get your ass killed. God is hidden under the veil of the fear that's necessary for our species survival. The veil will slip at times (maybe near death, perhaps psychedelics, deep meditation), and then we can see the true nature of things. More people are disconnected from God because technology and bullchit makes it easier than ever to never realize there's anything beyond our own little egos. Spirituality is a personal journey.

    You're asking where God was hiding, but if God is love, then God was hiding the same place my love was. Fear covers God and fear covers a lot of things from consciousness. Fear covered all my hunger cues, my need for sleep as a kid, my other emotions, and my belief in love itself. Fear can absolutely cover God when God is an experience of conscious awareness itself.



    I think you're trying to apply orthodox Christianity to "God". They're different things.
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    Originally Posted by Strawng View Post
    You're taking it too literally, as are many religious people. If you don't believe in the PRIMARY IMPORTANCE of the first part of what you said (i.e. "love and connectedness"), then you'll never be saved. Let's say "God" is the primary & everlasting source for our consciousness, love, and connectedness. A power that outlasts our own ego and potentially physical death...I'd still consider that all-powerful without having to dictate whether a hurricane's gonna hit or if you'll win the fuking lotto. It's all powerful in a different way.


    Also, it doesn't matter if Jesus existed or not. The damn story stood the test of time for a reason. It spoke to something in us as a species. All of Western literature uses the same damn tropes from the Bible ad nauseam. Eastern culture is shaped fundamentally by Buddhism. These stories speak to people.
    That’s fair enough. Yours seems to be a more eastern version of God not rooted in the notion of specific creation or the aspects of good/evil/right/wrong espoused in western religions.

    I still have a lot of trouble grasping certain aspects of both, but I’m much closer to accepting the general themes in Buddhism.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    That’s fair enough. Yours seems to be a more eastern version of God not rooted in the notion of specific creation or the aspects of good/evil/right/wrong espoused in western religions.

    I still have a lot of trouble grasping certain aspects of both, but I’m much closer to accepting the general themes in Buddhism.
    Yes. I also definitely only believe it because of what happened. There's absolutely zero reasons to believe from a purely logical standpoint. Quite the contrary IMO.
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    Just to clarify one thing that seems to have been misunderstood from my post: I'm not arguing for the existence of God on the basis of human free-will. That was an attempt to answer Jaxqen and Adam's rebuttal regarding the problem of evil, which was a separate question having more to do with choosing to believe than anything else, as I saw it at least.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Just to clarify one thing that seems to have been misunderstood from my post: I'm not arguing for the existence of God on the basis of human free-will. That was an attempt to answer Jaxqen and Adam's rebuttal regarding the problem of evil, which was a separate question having more to do with choosing to believe than anything else, as I saw it at least.
    Yeah I wasn't saying you were, moreso just commenting generally that the argument from free-will often comes up.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Just to clarify one thing that seems to have been misunderstood from my post: I'm not arguing for the existence of God on the basis of human free-will. That was an attempt to answer Jaxqen and Adam's rebuttal regarding the problem of evil, which was a separate question having more to do with choosing to believe than anything else, as I saw it at least.
    "Choosing to believe" seems to be a direct contradiction really.

    If you can choose to believe something, then logically you should be able to choose not to believe something as well. But you can't.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    "Choosing to believe" seems to be a direct contradiction really.

    If you can choose to believe something, then logically you should be able to choose not to believe something as well. But you can't.
    You brought it up yourself as an objection towards "assenting to the claim that God exists," if you prefer to use that language instead.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Yeah I wasn't saying you were, moreso just commenting generally that the argument from free-will often comes up.
    Just saw this one also. Gotcha.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    You brought it up yourself as an objection towards "assenting to the claim that God exists," if you prefer to use that language instead.
    huh? I don't see what you mean here...
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    Originally Posted by Strawng View Post
    Yes. I also definitely only believe it because of what happened. There's absolutely zero reasons to believe from a purely logical standpoint. Quite the contrary IMO.
    I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on a concept I was thinking about a while ago.

    I'm sure you're familiar with the time paradoxes that exist in dreams; something that seems like hours in a dream my only equate to mere seconds in 'real' time. For example, you could take a 5 minute nap and have a dream which spans a timeline of hours or days.

    What if, when you're at horizon of death, instead of your mind experiencing an 'end' (aka the actual death), time in your mind becomes similarly dilated as it does in dreams, such that you're essentially in a permanent suspension of experiencing that moment at the border between physical life and physical death.

    So in that case, it's not even an 'after life', but rather an extension of perceived time into infinity which your consciousness enters... effectively, it's eternity insofar as we can actually perceive.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on a concept I was thinking about a while ago.

    I'm sure you're familiar with the time paradoxes that exist in dreams; something that seems like hours in a dream my only equate to mere seconds in 'real' time. For example, you could take a 5 minute nap and have a dream which spans a timeline of hours or days.

    What if, when you're at horizon of death, instead of your mind experiencing an 'end' (aka the actual death), time in your mind becomes similarly dilated as it does in dreams, such that you're essentially in a permanent suspension of experiencing that moment at the border between physical life and physical death.

    So in that case, it's not even an 'after life', but rather an extension of perceived time into infinity which your consciousness enters... effectively, it's eternity insofar as we can actually perceive.
    That very well could be. When I was "dead", time was absolutely gone. As soon as I was coherent enough, I remember finally seeing my phone and being absolutely dumbfounded at how little time had passed. I would've believed you if you said I was gone for hours, days, or even dead for decades and revived. It's very strange how only one part of the waking mind seems capable of perceiving linear time.
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    Originally Posted by Strawng View Post
    That very well could be. When I was "dead", time was absolutely gone. As soon as I was coherent enough, I remember finally seeing my phone and being absolutely dumbfounded at how little time had passed. I would've believed you if you said I was gone for hours, days, or even dead for decades and revived. It's very strange how only one part of the waking mind seems capable of perceiving linear time.
    Yeah I think that is the one area where my spiritual acceptance becomes most generous… the fact that we can experience such vivid memories and basically distort time through meditation and dreams is hard to explain by logic or mathematics and/or biology.
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