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Leo J. Mauler

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Jul 17, 1994, 10:56:46 PM7/17/94
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>> >Over here in alt.atheism, we've been told many times
>> >that god does *not* have free will, that he is bound
>> >by his own nature. Let me ask you this, does god
>> >have the free will to choose to do evil?

>No, God has a greater freedom: the freedom from evil,
>the freedom to always choose good.

Uhhh, my dictionary tells me that if you CAN'T do
anything EXCEPT one thing, then it isn't the defintion
of "freedom". Freedom implies only one thing: MANY
options. If God can only do good, this implies that
God is a slave whereas Earthlings are free. Which
implies that God is inferior to Humans, which goes
against nearly every major religion with a "God".

>We earthly creatures will have the opportunity to
>experience this freedom in the next life, but for
>now we must experience the moment-by-moment freedom
>of free will.

So what you're saying is that if I'm good and limit
myself in this life, my limitations will be even more
strict when I get into Heaven?

Is this an argument to win Atheists to your cause?
'Cause it doesn't seem to be phrased properly...
--
Never do this at home. Look how easily it killed this sig.
/\ ___/\ ___/\ _____________________________________________
\/ \/ \/ bx...@cleveland.freenet.edu (Leo J. Mauler)
DISCLAIMER: Everything I say is false, including this sentence.

Leo J. Mauler

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Jul 17, 1994, 11:25:56 PM7/17/94
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In article <2usnb1$k...@tadpole.fc.hp.com>,
r...@fc.hp.com (Rick Gillespie) writes:
>|->
>|->Tell me: how would you tell if God was talking to
>|->you and not, say, Satan?
>
>In the Bible, we are told to try every spirit. The way
>to try the spirit is to see if what you are hearing
>lines up with what the Bible says. God WILL NOT go
>against His own Word. Satan will at some point TRY to
>decieve you and pull you away from God.

But this goes against the Bible, in which God hands down
the Commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill" and then turns
around and tells the Hebrews to go attack and kill
neighboring races.

Essentially, then, there is no real difference between
God and Satan?

Kent Sandvik

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Jul 18, 1994, 1:21:27 AM7/18/94
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In article <anrwliasC...@netcom.com>, anrw...@netcom.com (A.X. Lias)
wrote:

> There are those who claims that Thereon Ware (a 19th centry occultist)
> had great mystical powers. They claims that he was able to perform
> miraculous feats of true magic. There are records of people who claim to
> have witnessed his astounding deads. Should I give him the same credance
> as you give Jesus?

To take one further step, Christian preachers (fundamentalist ones)
really believe that occultists in general have connections with Satan,
and are capable of doing evil deeds based on spiritual advice.

This is also mostly based on faith, rumors and assumptions. I've never
seen anything such as that happening, so until it's proven I don't
believe in occult powers.

Cheers, Kent

--
Kent Sandvik san...@apple.com. ALink: KSAND
-- Private activities on the net. "Infotainment wants to be free!"
Need free Multimedia music, contact me.

Steve Keppel-Jones

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Jul 18, 1994, 12:20:44 PM7/18/94
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Squinky Q. Maggot <squ...@tmok.com> elucidated:

>
>Wow.

Quit yawning and go to bed like a good little boy.


--
--GCS/E/MU -d+ p c++++ !l u++ e- m++ s n+ h f+ g+ w+ t+ r y?----DoD#1418--
Steve Keppel-Jones (ste...@bnr.ca) | For best way to open
Disclaimer? I don't even know 'er! | conversation... use cork-screw.

Ken Arromdee

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Jul 18, 1994, 1:41:43 PM7/18/94
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In article <30cso4$8...@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu>,

Leo J. Mauler <bx...@cleveland.Freenet.Edu> wrote:
>But this goes against the Bible, in which God hands down
>the Commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill" and then turns
>around and tells the Hebrews to go attack and kill
>neighboring races.

Please read the FAQ!
--
Ken Arromdee (email: arro...@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu)
ObYouKnowWho Bait: Stuffed Turkey with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

"You, a Decider?" --Romana "I decided not to." --The Doctor

Natalie Overstreet

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Jul 18, 1994, 3:33:44 PM7/18/94
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In article <30eesn$3...@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu>, arro...@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu (Ken Arromdee) writes:
> In article <30cso4$8...@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu>,
> Leo J. Mauler <bx...@cleveland.Freenet.Edu> wrote:
> >But this goes against the Bible, in which God hands down
> >the Commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill" and then turns
> >around and tells the Hebrews to go attack and kill
> >neighboring races.
>
> Please read the FAQ!

FAQ? There's an FAQ for talk.religion.misc? Enlighten me!

Blessed be,

Natalie

--
Natalie Overstreet...BNR, Inc./Atlanta...Standard disclaimers apply...
"Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of great spiritual power. We know
this because they are capable of being invisible and pink at the same time.
Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based
upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically
know that they are invisible because we can't see them." -- Steve Eley

Ken Arromdee

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Jul 18, 1994, 3:58:15 PM7/18/94
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In article <30eleo$n...@bmerha64.bnr.ca>,

Natalie Overstreet <1l26...@bnr.ca> wrote:
>> Please read the FAQ!
>FAQ? There's an FAQ for talk.religion.misc? Enlighten me!

No, for alt.atheism.

James G. Acker

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Jul 18, 1994, 6:19:16 PM7/18/94
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Gordon F. Ross (gfr...@netcom.com) wrote:
: James G. Acker (jga...@news.gsfc.nasa.gov) wrote:
: : Tony Lawrence (a...@world.std.com) wrote:
: : : James G. Acker (jga...@news.gsfc.nasa.gov) wrote:
:
: [chomp]
:
: : : Given his apparent disregard for religious tenets, why are you so
: : : sure that Christianity is the "correct" view of God?
:
: : Because of how I know God and how I came to know God.
:
: James, I imagine that if one were to substitute the word _Judaism_ or
: _Islam_ in the question asked you, a Jew or a Muslim could very
: well answer as you have. So could you be more specific? Thanks.

Sure, but the answer is short because I'm playing catch up to the
100's of posts on t.o.

I was convinced of the veracity of the Christian salvation plan.
Both inwardly and outwardly. With regards to Judaism, I'm convinced
Christ was the Messiah whom the Jews were/are waiting for. As for
Islam, Christ came to lessen the observance of numerous laws on
man's behavior as justification for God to allow you into heaven.
Islam imposes more laws (praying toward Mecca 5 times a day, fasting,
no alcohol, etc.). Thus, Christ fits the Messianic role best, in my
opinion, and I also received the inward testimony of the Holy Spirit in
support.

===============================================
| James G. Acker |
| REPLY TO: jga...@neptune.gsfc.nasa.gov |
===============================================
All comments are the personal opinion of the writer
and do not constitute policy and/or opinion of government
or corporate entities.

James G. Acker

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Jul 18, 1994, 6:23:37 PM7/18/94
to

To respondents who asked questions directly of me (JGA):

I have saved your questions and intend to respond. I'm
currently in the midst of a chaotic office furniture change-over
and t.o. access is limited. That's also why my reply to Andrew Lias
is delayed. I beg the forbearance of the audience.

Until next ursine,

James G. Acker

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Jul 18, 1994, 6:21:00 PM7/18/94
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Squinky Q. Maggot (squ...@tmok.com) wrote:

: Wow.

... which made me wonder if he had something substantive to
contribute to the discussion?

James G. Acker

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Jul 18, 1994, 6:12:55 PM7/18/94
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Norman Morin (nmo...@weber.ucsd.edu) wrote:
: In article <2vu8jo$7...@paperboy.gsfc.nasa.gov>, jga...@news.gsfc.nasa.gov
: (James G. Acker) wrote:
:
: > As I pointed out before, Christ was the only one
: > who successfully walked on water (according to the account, Peter
: > only made a couple of steps). Someone else pointed out that Christ
: > might only have been a good swimmer, something equally astonishing
: > to non-swimmers. All I can glean (for sure) is that Christ did something to
: > impress his disciples.
:
: Last meek a guy on Letterman during a Stupid Human Tricks segment "drank"
: milk through his nose and shot it out through the tear duct in
: his left eye in a great jet.
:
: This did, in some sense, impress me, but I won't be sending the guy mail
: asking him how to live my life.

I saw that too. Fortunately the guy who did it didn't claim to
be God and offer a few parables after performing his trick. I might've
had to listen.

James G. Acker

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Jul 18, 1994, 6:15:23 PM7/18/94
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A.X. Lias (anrw...@netcom.com) wrote:
: James G. Acker (jga...@news.gsfc.nasa.gov) wrote:
: : : James G. Acker (jga...@news.gsfc.nasa.gov) wrote:
: : : >: : Oh, I don't know. Kindness, humility, servitude, charity,
: : : >: : and the "L" word -- love of others.
: : :
: : : Tony's answer notwithstanding, are you suggesting that
: : : these qualities are absent in those without such belief
: : : and present in all those with it?
:
: : Not at all. However, they are supposed to present (or
: : develop) in all those with such a belief. There is no requirement
: : on their presence or absence in those not professing a belief in
: : the salvation plan, i.e. acceptance of Christ as Savior.
:
: A slightly different questions then: do you believe that these qualities
: are more common in christians than non-christians?

Unfortunately, my pessimism forces me to say no. My optimism
allows me to say that I have known some wonderful communities of
believers where the percentage of those possessing such qualities
seemed to exceed the "average" of the human population at large.
That's the kind of congregation I seek out.

A.X. Lias

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Jul 18, 1994, 11:46:35 PM7/18/94
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James G. Acker (jga...@news.gsfc.nasa.gov) wrote:

: To respondents who asked questions directly of me (JGA):

: I have saved your questions and intend to respond. I'm
: currently in the midst of a chaotic office furniture change-over
: and t.o. access is limited. That's also why my reply to Andrew Lias
: is delayed. I beg the forbearance of the audience.

As far as your responce to our thread, you can take your time James. You
were more than patient in waiting for my reply. Take a week, a month, or
however long you need. I'd rather have a thoughtful reply than a rushed
reply.


--
Andrew Lias | anrw...@netcom.com | Frobozz on IRC
*-------------------*-------------------------------*----------------------*
"Who you calling a black kettle? That should be an Afro-American Metallic
Cooking Aid, thank you very much!"

Squinky Q. Maggot

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Jul 19, 1994, 1:39:30 AM7/19/94
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> Quit yawning and go to bed like a good little boy.


Wow.


--------------------------------------------------
|* * * * * |______________________________________|
| * * * * |______________________________________|
|* * * * * |______________________________________|
| * * * * |______________________________________|
|* * * * * |______________________________________|
-----------|______________________________________|
|_________________________________________________|
|_________________________________________________|

Squinky Q. Maggot - A real American
squ...@tmok.com

Kevin B. Murphy

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Jul 18, 1994, 8:09:32 PM7/18/94
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In article <30cso4$8...@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu> bx...@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Leo J. Mauler) writes:
>
>In article <2usnb1$k...@tadpole.fc.hp.com>,
>r...@fc.hp.com (Rick Gillespie) writes:
>>|->
>>|->Tell me: how would you tell if God was talking to
>>|->you and not, say, Satan?
>>
>>In the Bible, we are told to try every spirit. The way
>>to try the spirit is to see if what you are hearing
>>lines up with what the Bible says. God WILL NOT go
>>against His own Word. Satan will at some point TRY to
>>decieve you and pull you away from God.

Very few christians are willing to try every spirit. Possible reasons are that
the foundations of the religion are too weak to stand up to critical review.
I wouldn't be submitting articles on the net if I could find people to share my
ideas with. And you being the exception to the rule are braver than you can
imagine. The problem with your system is twofold. First of all, you have to
interpret the bible before you can apply it. Most people let others interpret
for them. Criticism is rampent that religion exists so that it will give
people the opertunity to control his fellow man in this way. The other problem
is that it is more of a struggle to accept a lie than it is the truth. People
often *want* to struggle and suffer so that they can feel more deserving of
God's grace. How will you know if your pain that you feel is the result of
disobediance toward God (or required to draw nearer to God) or if it is the
pain of believing a lie.

Natalie Overstreet

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Jul 19, 1994, 2:59:04 PM7/19/94
to
I'm not removing talk.origins, even though I really should,
because I think that's where James is posting from...

In article <30ev54$i...@paperboy.gsfc.nasa.gov>, jga...@news.gsfc.nasa.gov (James G. Acker) writes:
> Gordon F. Ross (gfr...@netcom.com) wrote:
> : James G. Acker (jga...@news.gsfc.nasa.gov) wrote:
> : : Tony Lawrence (a...@world.std.com) wrote:
> : : : James G. Acker (jga...@news.gsfc.nasa.gov) wrote:
> :
> : [chomp]
> :
> : : : Given his apparent disregard for religious tenets, why are you so
> : : : sure that Christianity is the "correct" view of God?
> :
> : : Because of how I know God and how I came to know God.
> :
> : James, I imagine that if one were to substitute the word _Judaism_ or
> : _Islam_ in the question asked you, a Jew or a Muslim could very
> : well answer as you have. So could you be more specific? Thanks.
>
> Sure, but the answer is short because I'm playing catch up to the
> 100's of posts on t.o.
>
> I was convinced of the veracity of the Christian salvation plan.
> Both inwardly and outwardly. With regards to Judaism, I'm convinced
> Christ was the Messiah whom the Jews were/are waiting for. As for
> Islam, Christ came to lessen the observance of numerous laws on
> man's behavior as justification for God to allow you into heaven.
> Islam imposes more laws (praying toward Mecca 5 times a day, fasting,
> no alcohol, etc.). Thus, Christ fits the Messianic role best, in my
> opinion, and I also received the inward testimony of the Holy Spirit in
> support.
>

I think you're missing the point of Gordon's question, James.
Try this adaptation of the question:

James, I imagine that if one were to substitute the word _Hinduism_ or
_Paganism_ in the question asked you, a Hindu or a Pagan could very


well answer as you have. So could you be more specific? Thanks.

Your answer doesn't really seem to apply to this.

Blessed be,

Natalie (posting from t.r.m)

Unknown

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Jul 18, 1994, 4:50:27 PM7/18/94
to
In article <307qp1$m...@tadpole.fc.hp.com> r...@fc.hp.com (Rick Gillespie) writes:
>In article <CsxwM...@ecsvax.uncecs.edu>, Bob Coats <> wrote:
>>In article <301r6v$4...@tadpole.fc.hp.com> r...@fc.hp.com (Rick Gillespie) writes:
>>>I've read this 3 times now. You seem to be saying that faith involves
>>>using reason in some fashion. But, here in alt.atheism, we're pretty
>>>much constantly told that faith *excludes* reason. Please explain what
>>>you are saying a little better.
>>
>>I differentiate between belief which is usually based on empirical evidence
>>and faith which is not. People may have lots of different reasons for
>>having or not having faith.
>
>But having empirical evidence is *not* one of those reasons, right?
>BTW, "belief based on empirical evidence" is better known as "knowledge". :-)
>
>>There is no need for faith if God materializes everytime you call him. He
>>would be there physically for you to touch (i.e. empirical evidence). This
>>would move faith in God to belief in my sense. Free will becomes limited a
>>great deal when God is standing in from of you.
>
>This makes no sense at all. I would still be able to choose to call him
>a vain, petty, tyrant. KNOWING that god exists in no way restricts free
>will (if, indeed, free will even exists).
>
>>You can say I don't
>>believe that fire is hot, but that doesn't change the empirical evidence to
>>the contrary. If you've never seen fire, and you are told it is hot. This
>>is a question of faith. Does that clear up the ambiguity?
>
>One of the problems with analogies like this is that it is possible to
>define what fire is. I can understand, from the definition, that fire will
>be hot, and will burn. I can even create fire.
>None of these things apply to the notion of "god".
>
> Rick Gillespie
> "I speak only for myself"


Your final paragraph makes the point of my paragraph which you separated to
respond to. Why won't you put your hand in fire? Because you have the
evidence, you know, that it will burn you. No faith there. You can know
fire will burn you, and still say that it will not. If God were to
materialize whenever you call him. You could know, have evidence, that He
exists. You could still deny that He exists even after you had touched
Him, but that wouldn't change the evidence. So the difference between your
belief in God and disbelief is seeing the physical evidence. If you saw Him,
would you have the same knowledge that you have with fire? You limit your
choice, free will, on the basis of evidence. God doesn't limit your will
at all.

You mentioned that you can understand fire from its definition, and you can
create it. You have a definition of God, but you don't believe it because
you can't understand Him or can't create Him. You can understand Lincoln
through his writings and photos of him, but you can't create him. You can
dig up his bones and have evidence, but that places faith that those bones
are actually his. Does that mean Lincoln was a myth? My point being that,
all of us place a certain amount of faith in our senses, science, law, etc.,
every day. Faith in God doesn't have volumes of test results that say He's
there or not, but that is the nature of faith.

Bob Coats


James G. Acker

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Jul 19, 1994, 5:17:49 PM7/19/94
to
Natalie Overstreet (1l26...@bnr.ca) wrote:
: I'm not removing talk.origins, even though I really should,

So the question would be phrased,

Given his apparent disregard for religious tenets, why are you

so sure that (Hinduism/Paganism/etc.) are the "correct" view of God?

: Your answer doesn't really seem to apply to this.


:
: Blessed be,
:
: Natalie (posting from t.r.m)

I guess I missed who "his" applied to, which is why I answered
as I did (and I don't know who "his" applies to at this point, either.)
I attempted to answer the question of why I am sure that Christianity
is the correct view of God. So, 1) did I answer that question to
your satisfaction, and 2) what else should I add?

Hindus, pagans, Jews, Moslems may have similar experiences
inwardly. They may somehow be manifestations of the same God, too,
but that's a "more research" question I can't answer. I believe
Jesus Christ is the _best_ way to reconciliation with God (which is
at the core of most religions in which a deity or deities appear).
I also believe that Christ's character reflected God's character, so
that the "caring and forgiving" aspect of Christ should therefore
be characteristic of the Christian God, too.

I tried to cover all the bases. If not, ask again.

Steve Fritzinger - SE Sun Vienna Va.

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Jul 12, 1994, 12:39:13 PM7/12/94
to
In article 5...@access1.digex.net, che...@access1.digex.net (D Mc Intire) writes:
> If I said I was starting a faith in which god is completely impersonal,
> doesn't intervene in earthly affairs, has no practical utility, and
> life is a one shot affair, do you think I would have people flocking to my
> church?

Do you mean beside Einstin and Spinoza?

Steve

---
Steve Fritzinger "There oughta be a law, with no bail,
steve.fr...@East.Sun.COM smash a guitar and you go to jail.
With no chance for early parole,
you don't get out until you get some soul."

D Mc Intire

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Jul 19, 1994, 5:46:39 PM7/19/94
to
In article <ABOM0...@wremechko.msk.su>,
Mikhail Ramendik <ro...@wremechko.msk.su> wrote:
>
>
>This is not so. He is *not* responsible for the threat -- no more than a
>judge is responsible for a penalty if it is completely justified. The *core*
>here is that man deserves *death* by what he does.

A judge is not omnipotent and does not judge what he has created. God
could have created man non-agressive and monogamous by nature. He
could have made man with a pigeon's nature, for instance. God
did not have to make man sinful by nature. He had to know man would
sin because God is omnipotent. God is punishing man for what He
created. So how does man deserve death?

>1. There is much historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ.

Not independent of the Bible.


--
______
| \___? Lost and bewildered on
che...@access.digex.net |__________| the information highway
O O

Dan Meehan

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Jul 19, 1994, 1:05:48 PM7/19/94
to
In article <30hhjv$p...@access3.digex.net> che...@access3.digex.net (D Mc Intire) writes:
>From: che...@access3.digex.net (D Mc Intire)
>Subject: Re: And as for sleep...
>Date: 19 Jul 1994 17:46:39 -0400

>In article <ABOM0...@wremechko.msk.su>,
>Mikhail Ramendik <ro...@wremechko.msk.su> wrote:
>>
>>
>>This is not so. He is *not* responsible for the threat -- no more than a
>>judge is responsible for a penalty if it is completely justified. The *core*
>>here is that man deserves *death* by what he does.

>A judge is not omnipotent and does not judge what he has created. God
>could have created man non-agressive and monogamous by nature. He
>could have made man with a pigeon's nature, for instance.

I suppose this question has kept philosophers busy for a long time -
why is the world the way it is?
I suspect that the world is as difficult to deal with with a god as without
a god. (Maybe having God around just gives people someone to get
angry with?)

> God
>did not have to make man sinful by nature. He had to know man would
>sin because God is omnipotent.

He might know this because He is omniscient, but you may be thinking of
omniscient in a predictive sense. I don't think of omniscience as
'God knows that I will sin at 5:30 pm next Wednesday.' It's more like
'God knows that I am trying to live a better life.' It's more a knowledge
of character. (BTW the way I look at omnipotence, this allows God
to deal with anything I may choose to do. God defined all the consequences
of anyone's actions. So, God does not need to predict what I will do.)

>God is punishing man for what He
>created. So how does man deserve death?

There is a mindset that I will call 'reward/punishment' (R/P). This way of
looking at things is common in discussing God's relation with His creation.
There is another way of looking at things - I call it 'deed/consequence' (D/C).
Suppose you put your hand in the fire. It hurts.
R/P interprets this pain as 'punishment'. D/C interprets this as
'consequence'.
I have been following this thread for a while, and I get the feeling some
people is using D/C and the others are using R/P. They will never agree,
since they are using different ways of interpreting reality.

Dan Meehan (my 2 cents, if worth that much)

Bill Pursell

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Jul 19, 1994, 2:55:12 PM7/19/94
to
In article <30ev8c$i...@paperboy.gsfc.nasa.gov>,

James G. Acker <jga...@news.gsfc.nasa.gov> wrote:
>Squinky Q. Maggot (squ...@tmok.com) wrote:
>
>: Wow.
>
> ... which made me wonder if he had something substantive to
>contribute to the discussion?
>

Undoubtedly not. Rather than posting
responses to him though, we ought to send
him mail. (You guys did mail him as well
as post, didn't you?) He, she, or it (I
go with "it") is more likely to notice
if we send it mail.


++++
Bill Pursell


D Mc Intire

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Jul 20, 1994, 12:15:49 AM7/20/94
to
In article <dmeehan.23...@huey.csun.edu>,

Dan Meehan <dme...@HUEY.CSUN.EDU> wrote:
>In article <30hhjv$p...@access3.digex.net> che...@access3.digex.net (D Mc Intire) writes:
>>From: che...@access3.digex.net (D Mc Intire)
>>Subject: Re: And as for sleep...
>>Date: 19 Jul 1994 17:46:39 -0400
>
>>In article <ABOM0...@wremechko.msk.su>,
>>Mikhail Ramendik <ro...@wremechko.msk.su> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>This is not so. He is *not* responsible for the threat -- no more than a
>>>judge is responsible for a penalty if it is completely justified. The *core*
>>>here is that man deserves *death* by what he does.
>
>>A judge is not omnipotent and does not judge what he has created. God
>>could have created man non-agressive and monogamous by nature. He
>>could have made man with a pigeon's nature, for instance.
>
>I suppose this question has kept philosophers busy for a long time -
>why is the world the way it is?
>I suspect that the world is as difficult to deal with with a god as without
>a god. (Maybe having God around just gives people someone to get
>angry with?)

I don't think that question can so easily be dismissed if you believe man
*deserves* death. If Christians can't explain that I don't see how one
can accept a religion based on that precept.

>> God
>>did not have to make man sinful by nature. He had to know man would
>>sin because God is omnipotent.
>

>He might know this because He is omniscient, but you may be thinking of
>omniscient in a predictive sense. I don't think of omniscience as
>'God knows that I will sin at 5:30 pm next Wednesday.' It's more like
>'God knows that I am trying to live a better life.' It's more a knowledge
>of character. (BTW the way I look at omnipotence, this allows God
>to deal with anything I may choose to do. God defined all the consequences
>of anyone's actions. So, God does not need to predict what I will do.)

If God does not know you will sin at 5:30 pm next Wednesday, He
is not omnipotent.

>>God is punishing man for what He
>>created. So how does man deserve death?
>

>There is a mindset that I will call 'reward/punishment' (R/P). This way of
>looking at things is common in discussing God's relation with His creation.
>There is another way of looking at things - I call it 'deed/consequence' (D/C).
>Suppose you put your hand in the fire. It hurts.
>R/P interprets this pain as 'punishment'. D/C interprets this as
>'consequence'.
>I have been following this thread for a while, and I get the feeling some
>people is using D/C and the others are using R/P. They will never agree,
>since they are using different ways of interpreting reality.

D/C or R/P, the Christian God, being omnipotent, created it and could
change the situation. In the posts I read, Christians explanations
jump back and forth between God as omnipotent and God as limited.
It can't be both.

Rick Gillespie

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 12:50:22 AM7/20/94
to
In article <dmeehan.23...@huey.csun.edu>,
Dan Meehan <dme...@HUEY.CSUN.EDU> wrote:
>He might know this because He is omniscient, but you may be thinking of
>omniscient in a predictive sense. I don't think of omniscience as
>'God knows that I will sin at 5:30 pm next Wednesday.' It's more like
>'God knows that I am trying to live a better life.' It's more a knowledge
>of character. (BTW the way I look at omnipotence, this allows God
>to deal with anything I may choose to do. God defined all the consequences
>of anyone's actions. So, God does not need to predict what I will do.)

So I guess we can just dispense with "Revelations" then? :-)

1l26coop

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 12:06:24 PM7/20/94
to

You have now. It seemed to me your first answer presupposed the
truth of the Messiah myth, and I wanted to suggest that there are
religions quite outside the Messianic viewpoint, to whom suggesting
"Christ fits the Messianic role best" would be rather meaningless.

> Hindus, pagans, Jews, Moslems may have similar experiences
> inwardly. They may somehow be manifestations of the same God, too,
> but that's a "more research" question I can't answer. I believe
> Jesus Christ is the _best_ way to reconciliation with God (which is
> at the core of most religions in which a deity or deities appear).
> I also believe that Christ's character reflected God's character, so
> that the "caring and forgiving" aspect of Christ should therefore
> be characteristic of the Christian God, too.
>

So, (I think I'm understanding you correctly), Christianity is for
you the best way to achieve oneness with the Divine. Not "correct"
but rather best for you. I certainly respect that. :)

> I tried to cover all the bases. If not, ask again.
>

Good job!

Blessed Be!

Natalie

Xian the Desk Lizard

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 2:05:17 PM7/20/94
to
On Mon, 18 Jul 1994 20:50:27 GMT, Bob Coats gave us:
\ Your final paragraph makes the point of my paragraph which you separated to
\ respond to. Why won't you put your hand in fire? Because you have the
\ evidence, you know, that it will burn you. No faith there. You can know
\ fire will burn you, and still say that it will not. If God were to
\ materialize whenever you call him. You could know, have evidence, that He
\ exists. You could still deny that He exists even after you had touched
\ Him, but that wouldn't change the evidence. So the difference between your
\ belief in God and disbelief is seeing the physical evidence. If you saw Him,
\ would you have the same knowledge that you have with fire? You limit your
\ choice, free will, on the basis of evidence. God doesn't limit your will
\ at all.

So you are saying that we could still deny God even though we had
evidence. i think I smell a point being missed. The reason most of
us are atheists is nothing more complicated than the fact that there
IS no evidence! We could deny evidence if we had it, but I for one
could not bring myself to be so intellectually dishonest. We may
limit our choice on the basis of evidence... but I disagree wehemently
that it is any limitation of free will. Why? Because a choice was
made. You believe without evidence - I do not. Okay, so I cannot
believe without evidence - but once I had the evidence, I would not
deny it, which is the choice aspect.

Unfortunately, God and evidence seem to be mutually exclusive.

\ You mentioned that you can understand fire from its definition, and you can


\ create it. You have a definition of God, but you don't believe it because
\ you can't understand Him or can't create Him.

Ah, but Man did create God... unless, of course, you believe in Zeus
as well?

\ You can understand Lincoln


\ through his writings and photos of him, but you can't create him. You can
\ dig up his bones and have evidence, but that places faith that those bones
\ are actually his. Does that mean Lincoln was a myth?

No. There is such a thing as reasonable doubt. If you are unfamiliar
with the principle, I recommend a trip to a courtroom. Also, please
note that the line of reasonable doubt varies from person to person,
and is generally rather lower in theists with respect to supernatural
matters.

\ My point being that,


\ all of us place a certain amount of faith in our senses, science, law, etc.,
\ every day. Faith in God doesn't have volumes of test results that say He's
\ there or not, but that is the nature of faith.

Unfortunately everything else you list is either backed up by volumes
of test results, or is of an untestable nature (ie. a result of
individual perception). I hold my senses to be accurate because they
are consistent in themselves, and consistent generally with those of
the people around me. When the idea of a deity generally fails either
or both of those tests, there's no point in my holding it to be
accurate.
--
Xian the Desk Lizard | Email: c.d.a....@brad.ac.uk \ Phone 0274 579659
Mostly depressed, | finger cdah...@muser.brad.ac.uk|more \ for Christian
part-time thinker, | Fundamentalism today is what Americans claim they
full-time dosser | fled Europe to escape. -- jon on a.a

Warren vonRoeschlaub

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 5:59:12 PM7/20/94
to

In article <30iaee$p...@tadpole.fc.hp.com>, r...@fc.hp.com (Rick Gillespie)
writes:

Everyone is always attacking the concept of omnipotence with various
parodoxes that omnicience often gets overlooked. The traditional sense of
omnicience seems to fall into the same catagory as the halting problem.
While Dan's idea above would solve this, it does, as youpoint out,
contradict the Biblical interpretation.

The answer would probably have to lie somewhere inbetween.

> Rick Gillespie
> "I speak only for myself"

"I speak for the trees."

--
Warren Kurt | By virtue of being correct, the opinions expressed
vonRoeschlaub | above could not conceivably be those of ISU.
If Kurt says something weird, you might want to check
http://www.public.iastate.edu/~kv07/

Kent Sandvik

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 12:47:16 AM7/21/94
to
In article <1994Jul19.0...@tmok.com>, squ...@tmok.com (Squinky Q.
Maggot) wrote:

> > Quit yawning and go to bed like a good little boy.
>
>
> Wow.

I once read a conspiracy book where a religious order deliberately
shortened the attention span of the forthcoming generations of Americans.
This to kill the whole race due to a gnostic idea of releasing the
soul from the tyranny of Satan.

...maybe I should believe in that theory...

Squinky Q. Maggot

unread,
Jul 20, 1994, 9:00:24 PM7/20/94
to
> Undoubtedly not. Rather than posting
> responses to him though, we ought to send
> him mail. (You guys did mail him as well
> as post, didn't you?) He, she, or it (I
> go with "it") is more likely to notice
> if we send it mail.


What?

Do you think I don't notice all?

Of course I see this, and of course I read my mail.

James G. Acker

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 10:47:42 AM7/21/94
to
Squinky Q. Maggot (squ...@tmok.com) wrote:
: > Undoubtedly not. Rather than posting

: > responses to him though, we ought to send
: > him mail. (You guys did mail him as well
: > as post, didn't you?) He, she, or it (I
: > go with "it") is more likely to notice
: > if we send it mail.
:
:
: What?
:
: Do you think I don't notice all?
:
: Of course I see this, and of course I read my mail.
:
: Wow.

This is all well and good.


At what point do you start thinking?

David Halliwell

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 6:20:13 AM7/21/94
to
In article 200794...@17.205.4.47, san...@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:
>In article <1994Jul19.0...@tmok.com>, squ...@tmok.com (Squinky Q.
>Maggot) wrote:
>
>>
>> Wow.
>
>I once read a conspiracy book where a religious order deliberately
>shortened the attention span of the forthcoming generations of Americans.
>This to kill the whole race due to a gnostic idea of releasing the
>soul from the tyranny of Satan.
>
>....maybe I should believe in that theory...
>
>Cheers, Kent
>--
Hmm... American football, TV commercials, fast food. Yes, it all fits !

David


R A Godivala

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 5:18:28 PM7/21/94
to
In article <306u9b$1...@tusk.lm.com>, br...@telerama.lm.com (Brian E. Clark) writes:
|> Bob Coats () wrote:
|>
|> > God created the choices. We make the choices that bring us either closer
|> > to him or further separate us. God didn't throw us in the water. We did.
|>
|> God made 'the water,' though, in which we will drown. His responsibility
|> is not removed.
|>
|> -brian

Even more blatant example: A gunsmith makes a gun. A gun only has one purpose, to
shoot things. No "it wasn't intended for that", or "only use according to the
label", you can only shoot things with it. So, I buy this gun, and I go and kill
somone with it. How much blame lies with the gunsmith .... ???

Ragster
"sorry to disagree with you ... no, I take that back ... HAPPY to disagree with
you ... "

William Barwell

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 7:51:40 PM7/21/94
to
In article <30m1qe$d...@paperboy.gsfc.nasa.gov>,

James G. Acker <jga...@news.gsfc.nasa.gov> wrote:
>Squinky Q. Maggot (squ...@tmok.com) wrote:
>: > Undoubtedly not. Rather than posting
>: > responses to him though, we ought to send
>: > him mail. (You guys did mail him as well
>: > as post, didn't you?) He, she, or it (I
>: > go with "it") is more likely to notice
>: > if we send it mail.
>:
>: What?
>:
>: Do you think I don't notice all?
>:
>: Of course I see this, and of course I read my mail.
>:
>: Wow.
>
> This is all well and good.
>
>
> At what point do you start thinking?
>
>

As soon as he is old enough for his testicles to descend.

Pope Charles
Slack!

Brian E. Clark

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 6:39:35 PM7/21/94
to
R A Godivala (R.A.Go...@durham.ac.uk) wrote:

> Even more blatant example: A gunsmith makes a gun. A gun only has one
> purpose, to shoot things. No "it wasn't intended for that", or "only
> use according to the label", you can only shoot things with it. So, I
> buy this gun, and I go and kill somone with it. How much blame lies
> with the gunsmith .... ???

Your example is far too simple. One of the problems of such examples is
that they try to compare _human_ responsibility with _Godly_
responsibility by offering slimmed-down versions of the story.

Let's make the story more to me point: the Gunsmith not only makes the
gun, he makes the system of physics in which a gunshot causes pain. He
makes it possible that the gun can be used to kill even innocent victims.
He sets up the physiology of the players such that the piece of lead
exiting the gun barrel will, upon entering the body, cause agony and
gross distorition of form.

Then, he gives these guns to a group of three-year olds. These children
have no knowledge of what a gun is or what it can do, of course.
Nonetheless, he sets all about their play area. Soon enough, shooting
begins, death begins, pain begins.

Then the Gunsmith, in an act of charity, *refuses to collect the guns.*
He also *refuses to offer the freedom from pain* which is in his power to
grant. He shows a few children the dangers of the weapons, but
mysteriously hides from the rest, no matter how much they search for him.
He still supplies the guns, though, an endless stream of them.

Now! How much do you blame the gunsmith?

-brian

--
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Here the barriers that separate one reality from another are worn thin
with the passage of innumerable feet. -Clive Barker

Won Ho Kim

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 3:18:28 PM7/21/94
to
In article <1994Jul20.1...@bradford.ac.uk>

C.D.A....@bradford.ac.uk (Xian the Desk Lizard) writes:


> > So you are saying that we could still deny God even though we had
> evidence. i think I smell a point being missed. The reason most of
> us are atheists is nothing more complicated than the fact that there
> IS no evidence! We could deny evidence if we had it, but I for one
> could not bring myself to be so intellectually dishonest. We may
> limit our choice on the basis of evidence... but I disagree wehemently
> that it is any limitation of free will. Why? Because a choice was
> made. You believe without evidence - I do not. Okay, so I cannot
> believe without evidence - but once I had the evidence, I would not
> deny it, which is the choice aspect.
>
> Unfortunately, God and evidence seem to be mutually exclusive.

This is a bit puzzling to me here. You say that there is no
evidence for God, a statement I agree with, tohugh not wholeheartedly.
Based on a person's judgement and bias, "evidence" can always be
explained away for something else. So while I do belive that there is
no direct evidence that no rational being can deny, I do think there
are good reasons why there should be a God. Take, for example, the
origins of the universe. Surely, if you look at the evidence, and are
intellectually honest, you will believe in a Big Bang type beginning
for the universe. Let me ask you: who or what started the big bang?
When the universe had zero volume before time began, who or what first
brought it into existence? While the answers may not directly point to
a god, science has yet to come up with a reasonable answer. I believe
there is evidence, or at least some room for reasonable inquiry, for
the existence of God. But this evidence is severely limited by an
observer's presuppositions and assumptions.
I have one more question for you. While proving a negative may be
easier than to prove a positive, I wonder if you could convince me
beyond a reasonable doubt that God doesn't exist.


Won Ho Kim
wh...@husc.harvard.edu

Scott Gibson

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 11:23:37 AM7/21/94
to
In article <gfrossCs...@netcom.com> gfr...@netcom.com (Gordon F. Ross) writes:
>
>One attempt to make such a separation
>is that of those Christians who say, "Love the sinner but hate the sin,"
>an attempt to regard what one does as somehow separate from who one is.

Unfortunately, the success rate of this formula in practice doesn't
impress me. I find it is frequently indistinguishable from Mr.
Lawrence's kind of "regard."

>Why not simply refrain from judging them? Of course, at a deeper level,
>the anger you feel for the theist may be anger directed at the theist in
>yourself, if at some time you felt emotional pain (an ideal
>or relationship betrayed) in this area of your life.
>
>All atheists are vitally concerned about "god" in some way. The very
>term (a- the- ist) requires "god" to be at the heart of the issue.

This goes too far. I don't think Mr. Lawrence is unnecessarily rude
to theists because, deep down inside, he's got suppressed theist
leanings. On the contrary; I think he believes that their ideas are
pure folly. I think some of their ideas are pure folly, too, but I
try not to directly and personally attack them, because they frequently
seem to be otherwise reasonable people, and this gives me pause about
the value of _my_ conclusions. If, however, I _do_ find myself in a
position where it is impossible for me to have any respect for a
particular person (theist or otherwise), and I find myself being
deliberately rude to them, well, at least I hope I have the integrity
to admit that this behavior stems from a lack of respect.


--
*******************************************************************************
"Like most of his countrymen, he was carried away by the sound of fine words,
especially if uttered by himself." - Joseph Conrad, _Nostromo_
Scott Gibson sc...@anasazi.com
Disclaimer: These opinions are my own, and may change without prior notice.

D Mc Intire

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 9:46:50 PM7/21/94
to
In article <30mon4$h...@mercury.dur.ac.uk>,

R A Godivala <R.A.Go...@durham.ac.uk> wrote:
>In article <306u9b$1...@tusk.lm.com>, br...@telerama.lm.com (Brian E. Clark) writes:
>|> Bob Coats () wrote:
>|>
>|> > God created the choices. We make the choices that bring us either closer
>|> > to him or further separate us. God didn't throw us in the water. We did.
>|>
>|> God made 'the water,' though, in which we will drown. His responsibility
>|> is not removed.
>|>
>|> -brian
>
>Even more blatant example: A gunsmith makes a gun. A gun only has one purpose, to
>shoot things. No "it wasn't intended for that", or "only use according to the
>label", you can only shoot things with it. So, I buy this gun, and I go and kill
>somone with it. How much blame lies with the gunsmith .... ???

A gunsmith is not omnipotent. If the gunsmith had also created the
desire to murder and then made the gun, yes I would hold him
responsible.

Jon Livesey

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 8:42:56 PM7/21/94
to
R A Godivala (R.A.Go...@durham.ac.uk) wrote:
|>
|> Even more blatant example: A gunsmith makes a gun. A gun only has one
|> purpose, to shoot things. No "it wasn't intended for that", or "only
|> use according to the label", you can only shoot things with it. So, I
|> buy this gun, and I go and kill somone with it. How much blame lies
|> with the gunsmith .... ???

You are forgetting something very important. We recognize how
dangerous religion is, just as we recognize how dangerous guns
are.

That's why I don't own a gun, and I'm an atheist. And I care
about as much about what unemployed gunsmiths do to while away
their idle hours as I care about "god".

If you take care not to play with guns nor religion, you don't
have to agonize over whom to blame when it all ends in tears.

jon.

Steve Keppel-Jones

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 11:15:50 PM7/21/94
to
Won Ho Kim <wh...@husc.harvard.edu> wrote:
>
>are good reasons why there should be a God. Take, for example, the
>origins of the universe. Surely, if you look at the evidence, and are

True, we do not yet know what happened before roughly 10^-30 seconds
after the big bang. But saying that god did it only begs the question
of "who did god"? You have not really explained anything. If you are
intellectually honest, you will realize this.

> I have one more question for you. While proving a negative may be
>easier than to prove a positive, I wonder if you could convince me
>beyond a reasonable doubt that God doesn't exist.

Not likely. You seem to have a healthy skepticism to start with, though,
so it is worth posting what convinced me beyond a reasonable doubt,
and you can judge for yourself whether my reasons are valid:

- The concept of god is not needed to explain the universe (so why
invoke it?)

- There are lots of reasons for humans to have invented god (and sure
enough, they invented lots and lots of gods)

- If a god existed, and had any desire whatsoever for me to believe
in it, I probably would have heard from it by now.

- If a god existed, and had anything like the power ascribed to most
gods, it would have done a much better job of (a) Creation, (b)
keeping its followers in line.

Satisfied yet?


--
--GCS/E/MU -d+ p c++++ !l u++ e- m++ s n+ h f+ g+ w+ t+ r y?----DoD#1418--
Steve Keppel-Jones (ste...@bnr.ca) | Damned if I do, damned if I don't;
Disclaimer? I don't even know 'er! | so damn it, I will!

mco

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 12:59:46 AM7/22/94
to
Steve Keppel-Jones (ste...@bnr.ca) wrote:
> Won Ho Kim <wh...@husc.harvard.edu> wrote:
> >
> >are good reasons why there should be a God. Take, for example, the
> >origins of the universe. Surely, if you look at the evidence, and are

> True, we do not yet know what happened before roughly 10^-30 seconds
> after the big bang. But saying that god did it only begs the question
> of "who did god"? You have not really explained anything. If you are
> intellectually honest, you will realize this.

> > I have one more question for you. While proving a negative may be
> >easier than to prove a positive, I wonder if you could convince me
> >beyond a reasonable doubt that God doesn't exist.

> Not likely. You seem to have a healthy skepticism to start with, though,
> so it is worth posting what convinced me beyond a reasonable doubt,
> and you can judge for yourself whether my reasons are valid:

> - The concept of god is not needed to explain the universe (so why
> invoke it?)

Isn't it? Before the universe was created, there must have been
SOMETHING (or someone) to create it. There are a total of two
posibilities (that I can come up with).
1) SOMETHING always existed. The something could be whatever triggered
the big bang, or it could be a god who spacificly set off the big bang.
2) SOMETHING came out of nothing. This could be the thing that triggered
the big bang, or the being that made it happen. Or possibly something
that made something that triggered the big bang.

In either case, something either always existed, or something came out of
nowhere. Both defy all laws we know of. It is therefore left to each
person which to believe based on other evidence.

> - There are lots of reasons for humans to have invented god (and sure
> enough, they invented lots and lots of gods)

Correct. Not the least of these reasons, however, is that one actualy
exists.

> - If a god existed, and had any desire whatsoever for me to believe
> in it, I probably would have heard from it by now.

You haven't? How about the millions of Christians throughout the world
speaking his message? How about a book that describes the life of the
people of one such God, a book that happens to hold up to archeological
evedence, and was written by many different people in different places at
different times but still agrees with itself? The words of God's son
written down by people who who were alive when he was living (or very
shortly after)?

How much more communication should there be? Is God supposed to yell
down at each individual personaly and say "I'm here, the God that created
you. Believe in me!"?

> - If a god existed, and had anything like the power ascribed to most
> gods, it would have done a much better job of (a) Creation, (b)
> keeping its followers in line.

a) He did. There is evidence that places such as Antarctica and
Greenland were once habitable. The current state of affairs only came
when people sinned. God then destroyed the earth with a flood, and at
the same time the earth started shifting climate twards the current one.

b) God gave us freedom. He hoped that we would follow his way, but
instead of "keeping us in line" he let us do what we wish. At first he
told the people what he wanted, then he wrote it down. In any case, we
can choose to follow his guidelines or not to.

> Satisfied yet?

Not yet. Perhaps you have some other arguments? Or responses to my
statments. I will not blindly follow something, but with as much
evidence as there is, you will have to do more to convince me that God
does not exist (it is possible, though).

Matthew Orgass
m...@telerama.lm.com

Jon Livesey

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 12:55:52 AM7/22/94
to
In article <1994Jul21.1...@hulaw1.harvard.edu>, wh...@husc.harvard.edu (Won Ho Kim) writes:
>
> This is a bit puzzling to me here. You say that there is no
> evidence for God, a statement I agree with, tohugh not wholeheartedly.
> Based on a person's judgement and bias, "evidence" can always be
> explained away for something else.

What is the evidence that atheists are "explaining away"?

> So while I do belive that there is no direct evidence that no
> rational being can deny, I do think there are good reasons why there
> should be a God. Take, for example, the origins of the universe.
> Surely, if you look at the evidence, and are intellectually honest,
> you will believe in a Big Bang type beginning for the universe. Let
> me ask you: who or what started the big bang?

Ask all you like. In what way does asking this question add up to
"good reasons why there should be a God"? And how do "good reasons
why there should be a God" lead to evidence that there actually *is*
a God?

What you are doing here is what's sometimes called argument from lack
of imagination. You can't imagine a universe not created by something
or something, so you think asking this question is "evidence" for the
existence of God. But is it?

> When the universe had zero volume before time began, who or what
> first brought it into existence? While the answers may not directly
> point to a god, science has yet to come up with a reasonable answer.

What does "reasonable" mean? If by "reasonable" you mean science
ought to be able to produce an answer to a leading "who or what"
question, then all you are doing is restricting in advance the range
of answers you are willing to accept.

> I believe there is evidence, or at least some room for reasonable
> inquiry, for the existence of God.

Then why is asking tendentious questions the best you can do? If
there's evidence, why do you have to hide behind "who or what" questions
that presuppose the kind of answer you prefer? Why don't you just
produce this evidence you keep talking about?

> But this evidence is severely limited by an observer's presuppositions
> and assumptions.

*What* evidence is limited in this way? What is this evidence you
keep talking *about* but never produce?

> I have one more question for you. While proving a negative may be
> easier than to prove a positive, I wonder if you could convince me
> beyond a reasonable doubt that God doesn't exist.

I couldn't even convince myself beyond a reasonable doubt that the
mystical three-toed sloth that rules the Galaxy doesn't exist, if
I was really determined to be totally unreasonable about the meaning
of "reasonable".

Er, what does "reasonable" mean?

jon.

Bill Felton

unread,
Jul 21, 1994, 10:13:42 PM7/21/94
to
(Bob Coats) writes:
[massive snip]

>Him, but that wouldn't change the evidence. So the difference between your
>belief in God and disbelief is seeing the physical evidence. If you saw Him,
>would you have the same knowledge that you have with fire? You limit your
>choice, free will, on the basis of evidence. God doesn't limit your will
>at all.

>You mentioned that you can understand fire from its definition, and you can
>create it. You have a definition of God, but you don't believe it because
>you can't understand Him or can't create Him. You can understand Lincoln
>through his writings and photos of him, but you can't create him. You can
>dig up his bones and have evidence, but that places faith that those bones
>are actually his. Does that mean Lincoln was a myth? My point being that,
> all of us place a certain amount of faith in our senses, science, law, etc.,
>every day. Faith in God doesn't have volumes of test results that say He's
>there or not, but that is the nature of faith.

Equivocation alert! Once again, you are absuing the term "faith" by
conflating two different meanings. And setting up a rather incorrect
limitation on evidence as well.
But I thought the contradiction between the last line of the first
paragraph quoted above, and the last sentence of the second sentence worht
noting... On what appear to be your grounds, for god to provide *any*
evidence (not just volumes of it) would be to limit free will. Therefore,
if god has provided *any* evidence whatsoever, this god is not
who/what you think.
Evidence need not be direct empirical physical contact. There is a profound
difference between faith sense 1 (based on some evidence, but not
conclusive evidence) and faith sense2 (based on no evidence of any sort
whatsoever). Justified belief in god really seems to me to fail to meet either
standard.

Bill
bfe...@slc.com
"Standard disclaimers apply. My opinions, not necessarily my employer's"

D Mc Intire

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 8:26:15 AM7/22/94
to
In article <30njo2$6...@tusk.lm.com>, mco <m...@telerama.lm.com> wrote:
>Steve Keppel-Jones (ste...@bnr.ca) wrote:
>> Won Ho Kim <wh...@husc.harvard.edu> wrote:
>> >
>> >are good reasons why there should be a God. Take, for example, the
>> >origins of the universe. Surely, if you look at the evidence, and are
>
>> True, we do not yet know what happened before roughly 10^-30 seconds
>> after the big bang. But saying that god did it only begs the question
>> of "who did god"?

>> > I wonder if you could convince me


>> >beyond a reasonable doubt that God doesn't exist.

>> - The concept of god is not needed to explain the universe (so why

>> invoke it?)
>
>Isn't it? Before the universe was created, there must have been
>SOMETHING (or someone) to create it.

But that could be anything. An undefined God is no different than
no God. The weight of evidence seems to be against a personal God.

>You haven't? How about the millions of Christians throughout the world
>speaking his message? How about a book that describes the life of the
>people of one such God, a book that happens to hold up to archeological
>evedence

Really? Where is, was, Nazareth?

>a) He did. There is evidence that places such as Antarctica and
>Greenland were once habitable. The current state of affairs only came
>when people sinned. God then destroyed the earth with a flood, and at
>the same time the earth started shifting climate twards the current one.

I imagine it would not have hard for Noah launch his boat if there
were no ice caps in his time because the Biblical lands would have
been underwater.

Gordon F. Ross

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 9:15:26 AM7/22/94
to
Won Ho Kim (wh...@husc.harvard.edu) wrote:
: In article <1994Jul20.1...@bradford.ac.uk>

: C.D.A....@bradford.ac.uk (Xian the Desk Lizard) writes:


: > > So you are saying that we could still deny God even though we had
: > evidence. i think I smell a point being missed. The reason most of
: > us are atheists is nothing more complicated than the fact that there
: > IS no evidence!

It is your belief that "nothing more complicated" obtains. Do you really
believe that no emotions are involved here? If you DESIRED to accept the
concept of a god, then you would not take the stance of an atheist but
that of an agnostic, preferring to assert "I don't know" rather than "(A)
god does not exist."

It is my firm belief that your beliefs and attitudes create your
reality. If you desire NOT to become aware of (a) god, you will never
perceive/create phenomena as evidence in support of the existence of (a)
god. On the other hand, if you DO desire to become aware of (a) god, you
will have in mind some concept of what that god will be like, and you
will be open to perceiving/creating phenomena as evidence in support of
the existence of your god.

[chomp]

: > Okay, so I cannot


: > believe without evidence - but once I had the evidence, I would not
: > deny it, which is the choice aspect.

"Cannot"? That is your own limitation, by choice. Perhaps "choose not
to (believe without evidence)" is more accurate. Then, since it is a
matter of choice (of exercising one's will to decide one way or another),
you understand that you have the power to choose one way or the other.

Understanding that, you can then begin to examine the beliefs and
attitudes underlying the thoughts and feelings that make up your reasons
for having chosen (and continuing to choose) to believe that you must
have evidence (more accurately, perceive phenomena AS evidence in
support) of the existence of (a) god.

Having become aware of these beliefs, you will be able to change them, if
you wish, replacing ones that you no longer wish to hold with ones that
you do wish to hold. Or just trying out new beliefs. Playing with
them. Choose, for example, to believe that a loving, personal god does
exist, one who loves you and knows your name and wants you only to feel
joyful and be successful at whatever you decide to do, one who always
says YES to you, one who never judges or condemns you, one who loves you
"just as you are," one who loves you no matter what you say or do, one
who can guide and help you, if you wish, one who will not intrude in your
life ever, one who waits to be invited to share your life with you.
(This is a partial presentation of the god in whom I believe, which I
call "God/Goddess/All-That-Is"). Then choose to believe that you can
have (or, even more effective, that you DO already have but just are not
aware of it yet) a living, vibrant, fulfilling, loving relationship with
that god, that you can feel the love and encouragment and help and joy of
that god.

Having replaced your atheistic beliefs with these new theistic beliefs, you
will then begin to be aware of a "new" reality,
a reality different, perhaps even radically different, from the one of
which you had previously been aware.

Having gone from theism to atheism to agnosticism back to theism, I have
some experience with changing beliefs and the different realities that
ensue. :)

In any case, I firmly believe that you are your own best teacher and that
an atheistic stance is or can be as fruitful/meaningful a focus for
growth (expansion of awareness, letting go of limitations, expansion of
consciousness) as an agnostic or theistic one.

All the best --


--
Gordon
gfr...@netcom.com
We create our own reality according to our beliefs.

Cheezits

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 9:39:06 AM7/22/94
to
In article <30m1qe$d...@paperboy.gsfc.nasa.gov> jga...@news.gsfc.nasa.gov

(James G. Acker) writes:
>Squinky Q. Maggot (squ...@tmok.com) wrote:
>: Wow.
>
> This is all well and good.
>
>
> At what point do you start thinking?
>
Now, let's not be too hard on Mr. Maggot. Can't you just picture him,
sitting slack-jawed and stoned in front of his terminal, mesmerized by the
philosophical debates and brilliant repartee scrolling up his screen, his
three remaining neurons struggling valiantly to form the one word that
will express his awe at the stunning wit and sheer intellectual power
being revealed to him through the miracle of modern technology? Wow,
indeed!

Sue

R A Godivala

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 10:09:21 AM7/22/94
to
In article <30mtf7$1...@tusk.lm.com>, br...@telerama.lm.com (Brian E. Clark) writes:
|> R A Godivala (R.A.Go...@durham.ac.uk) wrote:
|>
|> > Even more blatant example: A gunsmith makes a gun. A gun only has one
|> > purpose, to shoot things. No "it wasn't intended for that", or "only
|> > use according to the label", you can only shoot things with it. So, I
|> > buy this gun, and I go and kill somone with it. How much blame lies
|> > with the gunsmith .... ???
|>
|> Your example is far too simple. One of the problems of such examples is
|> that they try to compare _human_ responsibility with _Godly_
|> responsibility by offering slimmed-down versions of the story.

Granted - but then so will every analogy be. No example in peerfect until it is
actually the subject itself, at which point it becomes useless.


[story of all-powerful gunsmith deleted]


|> Now! How much do you blame the gunsmith?
|>
|> -brian


I think that your analogy is also wrong. We do have a knowledge of the
consequenses of our actions, and we have opportunity to stop them. I don't
believe that our minds were made such that we will kill eachother purposely. I
believe that we have a free will. However if the guns were not supplied, how
would we prove that we could refrain from using them, as some of us do?

The consequences of our actions lie with us, and those that we affect. We cannot
blame somone else for them, and we cannot blame God for "making us this way". I
believe that He gave this opportunity to prove ourselves worthy of greater
things. If we didn't have the free will, and the ability to hurt, and be hurt,
then the whole exercise would be pointless.


Ragster

Bill Hamilton

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 9:03:39 AM7/22/94
to
In article <30hftt$8...@paperboy.gsfc.nasa.gov> James G. Acker,
jga...@news.gsfc.nasa.gov writes:
> : > ...and I also received the inward testimony of the Holy Spirit in
> : > support.

I've also tried to make this point. Christians claim a source of confirmation
that is not verifiable by objective scholarship -- the Holy Spirit. If you
don't accept that, all I can tell you is that the experience of the Holy
Spirit at work in my own life is very real -- because I have observed it.
But I understand that you can't necessarily observe what is going on
internally in my life. I think this is a point creationists forget in their
t.o. arguments, unfortunately. The reason they want to prove a young earth
and no evolution is that that's what a particular interpretation of Scripture
says. Why do they believe the Scriptures? I would say because the testimony
of the Holy Spirit has convinced them that the Scriptures tell us truly about
who God is and what man must do to be reconciled to Him In other words the
Holy Spirit is behind all of it. But the public stance of the creationists
seems to be that you can objectively conclude that the God of the Bible exists
and that their interpretation of the Bible is correct by studying nature.
There's quite a bit of Scripture and theology that contradicts that position.

Bill Hamilton | Vehicle Systems Research
GM NAO R&D Center | Warren, MI 48090-9055
-----------------------------------------------
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is
liberty. II Cor 3:17

Brian E. Clark

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 11:15:22 AM7/22/94
to
Gordon F. Ross (gfr...@netcom.com) wrote:

> If you DESIRED to accept the
> concept of a god, then you would not take the stance of an atheist but
> that of an agnostic, preferring to assert "I don't know" rather than "(A)
> god does not exist."

Many atheists "desired to accept the concept of a god," even longed for
it, only to find their hopes foiled.

> It is my firm belief that your beliefs and attitudes create your
> reality.

Solipsism rears it head again. Beliefs and attitudes affect one's
perceptions, but that's not at all the same as what you're describing.
Desires often conflict with reality.

> If you desire NOT to become aware of (a) god, you will never
> perceive/create phenomena as evidence in support of the existence of (a)
> god.

If I desire NOT to become aware of a rhinoceros, that won't stop said
animal from mashing me into the ground. Further, if I had never seen or
heard of a rhino, I cannot (through ignorance) have a 'desire' about its
existence one way or the other. Will the animal fail to appear if I lack a
desire to see it? Will the animal fail to appear if I have a terribly
strong desire _not_ to see it?

> On the other hand, if you DO desire to become aware of (a) god, you
> will have in mind some concept of what that god will be like, and you
> will be open to perceiving/creating phenomena as evidence in support of
> the existence of your god.

Do you mean all phenomena fall under this constriction, or are you
referring only to abstractions?

[...]

> Having become aware of these beliefs, you will be able to change them, if
> you wish, replacing ones that you no longer wish to hold with ones that
> you do wish to hold.

This causes serious trouble for your theory. What is doing the choosing
and the changing? What meta-desire creates the meta-reality in which this
change is possible? Beyond that, if I 'desire' to disbelieve what you
say, then (by your system), your system is wrong.

Some belief systems allow this. If you are a Richard Bach-esque
"Illusions" believer, then indeed one's desires literaly create reality.
However, without further explication, such systems strike me as
a) self-defining and b) epistemologically bankrupt. The westernized
versions, at least, seem like just another pleasant story that keeps the
'demons' of the real world from striking too deeply into the psyche.

[...]

> Having gone from theism to atheism to agnosticism back to theism, I have
> some experience with changing beliefs and the different realities that
> ensue. :)

Having gone from theism to agnosticism to atheism, I note that reality
never changed -- only my perspectives changed. The symbolic power of
different aspects of reality changed, of course, but I cannot deny a
continuity that followed my switch from believer to non-believer.

> In any case, I firmly believe that you are your own best teacher and that
> an atheistic stance is or can be as fruitful/meaningful a focus for
> growth (expansion of awareness, letting go of limitations, expansion of
> consciousness) as an agnostic or theistic one.

No no no! There is but one path to knowledge. I'll give you a clue,
though perhaps I shouldn't: think Pink. :)

Brian E. Clark

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 12:15:01 PM7/22/94
to
R A Godivala (R.A.Go...@durham.ac.uk) wrote:

> The consequences of our actions lie with us, and those that we affect.
> We cannot blame somone else for them, and we cannot blame God for
> "making us this way".

I agree that consequences flow from us. However I believe that Christian
explanations of God and man paint God as responsible for all the hurt in
the world, and as an immoral monster. I saw this _before_ I stopped being
a Christian. I don't think one can hold orthodox views of God's
omnipotence and goodness without resorting to doublethink. (Note how
often Christians credit God for the good they see in the world, but
impugn themselves and humanity for the evil. This is inconsistent.)

> I believe that He gave this opportunity to prove ourselves worthy of
> greater things. If we didn't have the free will, and the ability to
> hurt, and be hurt, then the whole exercise would be pointless.

As described, the exercise is pointless. I found it so pointless (so long
ago) that believing in it became impossible. It puzzles me that
Christians, who supposedly know the story best, don't call for God's
impeachment.

Steve Keppel-Jones

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 1:15:42 PM7/22/94
to
mco <m...@telerama.lm.com> wrote:
>Steve Keppel-Jones (ste...@bnr.ca) wrote:
>
>> - The concept of god is not needed to explain the universe (so why
>> invoke it?)
>
>Isn't it? Before the universe was created, there must have been
>SOMETHING (or someone) to create it.

Why? You then have to posit something (or someone) to create this
something (or someone). Then you have to posit something (or someone)
to create that, and then something (or someone) to create THAT, and
on it goes. Where to stop? I stop where deducible knowledge stops,
namely at the big bang itself. Beyond that, WE DON'T KNOW. Period.

> There are a total of two
>posibilities (that I can come up with).
>1) SOMETHING always existed. The something could be whatever triggered
> the big bang, or it could be a god who spacificly set off the big bang.

Or the universe itself. (Cyclically or otherwise)

>2) SOMETHING came out of nothing. This could be the thing that triggered
> the big bang, or the being that made it happen. Or possibly something
> that made something that triggered the big bang.

Or just the bang itself. This may be what your first possibility is, I
can't tell.

>In either case, something either always existed, or something came out of
>nowhere. Both defy all laws we know of. It is therefore left to each
>person which to believe based on other evidence.

There is no reason at all to believe anything other than "I don't know
what started the universe". Anything else is pure guesswork, along the
lines of "Maybe Santa Claus exists, I don't know. Maybe tooth fairies
do too. And who knows, perhaps goblins, and trolls, and pixies, and
leprechauns..."

>> - There are lots of reasons for humans to have invented god (and sure
>> enough, they invented lots and lots of gods)
>
>Correct. Not the least of these reasons, however, is that one actualy
>exists.

That is certainly possible. That is why this reason by itself is
insufficient for me to reach my conclusion. It is an explanation of
why all these gods got invented, IF one didn't actually exist.

>> - If a god existed, and had any desire whatsoever for me to believe
>> in it, I probably would have heard from it by now.
>
>You haven't?

No.

> How about the millions of Christians throughout the world
>speaking his message?

The problem is, they aren't speaking his message. They are all speaking
Paul's message. None of them are adding anything to that. Now how
reliable is Paul's message? Well, how reliable is David Koresh's? Or
Joseph Smith's? Or Muhammed's? Or any of the other zillions of
prophets'?

> How about a book that describes the life of the
>people of one such God,

The people of the O.T. God are not the same as the people of the N.T.
God, and the gods themselves are fairly radically different. The N.T.
God didn't go around leveling cities, causing mass floods, death,
destruction, and general havoc. I don't see how you can claim that
this is the same God.

> a book that happens to hold up to archeological
>evedence,

Where? Please cite references. Some parts of the bible are in
fact historically verifiable, in that some of the cities named
in it have been discovered to have existed. Fine. So it's a story
book based on some facts. That is insufficient to prove that the
whole thing is the literal truth.

> and was written by many different people in different places at
>different times but still agrees with itself?

Only rarely. There's a large list of contradictions I can mail you.

> The words of God's son
>written down by people who who were alive when he was living (or very
>shortly after)?

Shortly after, yes. According to modern scholars the words of "God's
son" were transcribed from oral folklore, which itself is likely at
least second-hand.

>How much more communication should there be? Is God supposed to yell
>down at each individual personaly and say "I'm here, the God that created
>you. Believe in me!"?

That would be a great start. What has your God got against doing this?
He's certainly powerful enough, if he exists...

>> - If a god existed, and had anything like the power ascribed to most
>> gods, it would have done a much better job of (a) Creation, (b)
>> keeping its followers in line.
>
>a) He did. There is evidence that places such as Antarctica and
>Greenland were once habitable.

That may be. The climatic evidence indicates that the world temperature
keeps going up and down, so those places may indeed have been habitable
once. I don't see any god's hand in this. Nor do you, at least not
directly.

> The current state of affairs only came
>when people sinned.

"Current state of affairs" being Antarctica and Greenland covered with
ice? You're on pretty thin ice here, so to speak.

> God then destroyed the earth with a flood,

Unfortunately there is no geological evidence to support this claim,
and lots against.

> and at
>the same time the earth started shifting climate twards the current one.

Earth is always shifting climate. The northern hemisphere has been
cooling down for the past couple of hundred years, and climatologists
believe the next ice age is coming within the next two hundred.
Are you going to tell me that humanity suddenly started sinning again?

>b) God gave us freedom. He hoped

An omnipotent, omniscient being does not "hope". Nor does it "wish",
nor "love", nor in fact possess any of the emotions we do. Those are
concepts derived from our limited knowledge and even more limited
power to affect our environment.

>instead of "keeping us in line" he let us do what we wish. At first he
>told the people what he wanted, then he wrote it down.

He didn't write it down. People wrote things down, and claimed to
have heard it from god. This is not unique to Christianity. Muslims
claim the same thing, and their views differ markedly from yours.
How do you expect me to believe that you are right and they are
wrong, just on your say-so?

> In any case, we
>can choose to follow his guidelines or not to.

Or at least the guidelines of the people who claim to be writing on
his behalf. Some of those guidelines are quite good, and I do in
fact follow them. Not because I believe they came from a supernatural
entity though. They are just overall good ways to live. On the
other hand, some of the guidelines are entirely arbitrary and quite
useless in modern society. Do you wear mixed fabrics? It's against
the laws in your holy book to do so.

I almost forgot one of the other important reasons that caused me
to reach my conclusion:
- There is no such thing as an immortal soul. Thus there is
no such thing as an afterlife.

>evidence as there is, you will have to do more to convince me that God
>does not exist (it is possible, though).

OK, this is the second attempt. Attempt to refute these, and I'll
make a third attempt, but after that it'll probably degrade to just
arguing.

Benjamin J. Tilly

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 1:29:54 PM7/22/94
to
In article <30njo2$6...@tusk.lm.com>
m...@telerama.lm.com (mco) writes:

> Steve Keppel-Jones (ste...@bnr.ca) wrote:
> > Won Ho Kim <wh...@husc.harvard.edu> wrote:

[...]


> > - The concept of god is not needed to explain the universe (so why
> > invoke it?)
>
> Isn't it? Before the universe was created, there must have been
> SOMETHING (or someone) to create it.

Why does there have to have been a something? Actually since time is
something that only makes physical sense within GR does there have to
have been a "before" either?

There are a total of two
> posibilities (that I can come up with).
> 1) SOMETHING always existed. The something could be whatever triggered
> the big bang, or it could be a god who spacificly set off the big bang.
> 2) SOMETHING came out of nothing. This could be the thing that triggered
> the big bang, or the being that made it happen. Or possibly something
> that made something that triggered the big bang.
>
> In either case, something either always existed, or something came out of
> nowhere. Both defy all laws we know of. It is therefore left to each
> person which to believe based on other evidence.
>

Actually the second does not violate the laws of physics that we know,
and the proposal that the universe started as a quantum fluctuation has
been put forward by Hawking.

> > - There are lots of reasons for humans to have invented god (and sure
> > enough, they invented lots and lots of gods)
>
> Correct. Not the least of these reasons, however, is that one actualy
> exists.
>

Your statement assumes that a god exists. I see absolutely no reason to
believe that one did. If communication is to be established then either
you should stop assuming that I disagree with you on points like this,
or you should attempt to establish these points.

If communication is not an issue then I would appreciate it if you said
so.

> > - If a god existed, and had any desire whatsoever for me to believe
> > in it, I probably would have heard from it by now.
>
> You haven't? How about the millions of Christians throughout the world
> speaking his message? How about a book that describes the life of the
> people of one such God, a book that happens to hold up to archeological
> evedence, and was written by many different people in different places at
> different times but still agrees with itself? The words of God's son
> written down by people who who were alive when he was living (or very
> shortly after)?
>

A book that happens to contradict itself in many places. A book that
was compiled after the fact (centuries after) out of a number of
seperate scriptures. We know for a fact that some were edited out, and
we know that those disagree with the Bible as it currently exists. I
could go on but I think that you get my drift.

> How much more communication should there be? Is God supposed to yell
> down at each individual personaly and say "I'm here, the God that created
> you. Believe in me!"?
>

Perhaps ensuring that His written word was not self-contradictory would
help. It would help for me if he had not, according to the OT,
instructed the Jews to commit genocide.

> > - If a god existed, and had anything like the power ascribed to most
> > gods, it would have done a much better job of (a) Creation, (b)
> > keeping its followers in line.
>
> a) He did. There is evidence that places such as Antarctica and
> Greenland were once habitable. The current state of affairs only came
> when people sinned. God then destroyed the earth with a flood, and at
> the same time the earth started shifting climate twards the current one.
>

The geological evidence clearly indicates that these areas have not
been inhabitable for longer than the Bible says that the Earth existed.
Let me choose one detail at random...oh yes. The ice in both places
forms layers each year (sort of like tree-rings). We can count those
layers and they tell us quite clearly that there has been unbroken
glaciation there for thousands of years. In fact part of the reason for
doing this is that the layers tell us about the climate, and this is
part of how we track what the climate has done in the past. Funny,
there have been NO major climatic shifts in the recorded period of
time...

Did God make those places uninhabitable and then go ahead and forge
evidence to confuse us? Not bloody likely IMO.

> b) God gave us freedom. He hoped that we would follow his way, but
> instead of "keeping us in line" he let us do what we wish. At first he
> told the people what he wanted, then he wrote it down. In any case, we
> can choose to follow his guidelines or not to.
>

On the one hand God is supposed to have given us freedom. On the other
God is supposed to know what will happen. I have never seen a good
reconciliation of those two.

> > Satisfied yet?
>
> Not yet. Perhaps you have some other arguments? Or responses to my
> statments. I will not blindly follow something, but with as much
> evidence as there is, you will have to do more to convince me that God
> does not exist (it is possible, though).
>
> Matthew Orgass
> m...@telerama.lm.com
>

I have no intention of even trying to convince you that God does not
exist. However if you would be convinced that it is possible to
disagree with your views on God despite having looked at the evidence,
then that would be nice.

Cheers,
Ben Tilly

Rick Gillespie

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 3:50:36 PM7/22/94
to
In article <30onqa$a...@tusk.lm.com>,

Brian E. Clark <br...@telerama.lm.com> wrote:
>Gordon F. Ross (gfr...@netcom.com) wrote:
>
>> If you DESIRED to accept the
>> concept of a god, then you would not take the stance of an atheist but
>> that of an agnostic, preferring to assert "I don't know" rather than "(A)
>> god does not exist."
>
>Many atheists "desired to accept the concept of a god," even longed for
>it, only to find their hopes foiled.

Any bets this devolves into "you didn't look (a) long enough, (b) hard
enough, or (c) sincerely enough"?

James G. Acker

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 5:20:28 PM7/22/94
to
Rick Gillespie (r...@fc.hp.com) wrote:
: In article <30onqa$a...@tusk.lm.com>,

Not necessarily. Some theological constructs in Christianity
require that some will never get it. There's the hard-core version
of this, in which some never get it and go to hell because they never
got it; and there's a softer version, in which some never get it except
under very special circumstances occurring near the end of time where
they are given one more opportunity, with a lot more of that "evidence"
so lacking now in abundant availability. Therefore, most do get it
eventually under that system. The latter position, I believe, is called
postmillenialism.

I have very little further knowledge in this subject area at this
time. Just wanted to point out that there are more alternatives than
those listed.

Bill Pursell

unread,
Jul 22, 1994, 2:23:16 PM7/22/94
to
In article <30njo2$6...@tusk.lm.com>, mco <m...@telerama.lm.com> wrote:
>
> Before the universe was created, there must have been
>SOMETHING (or someone) to create it.

Why? While this may by intuitively
obvious, that is not enough to support
the assertion.


++++
Bill Pursell

R A Godivala

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Jul 22, 1994, 10:03:07 PM7/22/94
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In article <30ora5$a...@tusk.lm.com>, br...@telerama.lm.com (Brian E. Clark) writes:
|> R A Godivala (R.A.Go...@durham.ac.uk) wrote:
|>
|> > The consequences of our actions lie with us, and those that we affect.
|> > We cannot blame somone else for them, and we cannot blame God for
|> > "making us this way".
|>
|> I agree that consequences flow from us. However I believe that Christian
|> explanations of God and man paint God as responsible for all the hurt in
|> the world, and as an immoral monster.

I don't. I see the hurt as coming from us, and also the good (most of both at
least). but we need to experience both.


|> I don't think one can hold orthodox views of God's
|> omnipotence and goodness without resorting to doublethink.

I do, if my view is orthodox. I was always hazy on that bit. Anyway .. I think
that by having the ability to feel hurt, and cause it, we have a chance to be
responsible for our actions - there is the idea behind it all.


|> (Note how
|> often Christians credit God for the good they see in the world, but
|> impugn themselves and humanity for the evil. This is inconsistent.)

Perhaps. Then again, it might be true. Depends if you believe in the devil or not
I guess. Well, thats one way of looking at it at least.


|> > I believe that He gave this opportunity to prove ourselves worthy of
|> > greater things. If we didn't have the free will, and the ability to
|> > hurt, and be hurt, then the whole exercise would be pointless.
|>
|> As described, the exercise is pointless. I found it so pointless (so long
|> ago) that believing in it became impossible.

Why is it pointless, if it is as I have described it? We are supposed to learn,
and demonstrate that we can be responsible. And here we are.


|> It puzzles me that
|> Christians, who supposedly know the story best, don't call for God's
|> impeachment.

Just a pragmatic note ... how exactly would we go about this? Someone said that
God should be on trial for murder .. (in absentia I guess) ... and how exactly
would such things be enforced? (this is a humourous bit, for all those who missed
it ... noone particular in mind ...)


Ragster
"Homna Homna Homna"

Cheezits

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Jul 23, 1994, 12:06:02 AM7/23/94
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In article <30og3c$2...@rcsuna.gmr.com> Bill Hamilton
<hami...@predator.cs.gmr.com> writes:
>[etc.]

>Why do they believe the Scriptures? I would say because the testimony
>of the Holy Spirit has convinced them that the Scriptures tell us truly
about
>who God is and what man must do to be reconciled to Him In other words
the
>Holy Spirit is behind all of it.

Don't creationists claim that the Holy Spirit leads them to believe in the
literal interpretation? How do you know when a belief is from the Holy
Spirit?

Sue

Richard Daniel

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Jul 23, 1994, 8:46:42 AM7/23/94
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Steve Keppel-Jones (ste...@bnr.ca) wrote:
: mco <m...@telerama.lm.com> wrote:
[...]
: >There is evidence that places such as Antarctica and
: >Greenland were once habitable.

: That may be. The climatic evidence indicates that the world temperature
: keeps going up and down, so those places may indeed have been habitable
: once. I don't see any god's hand in this. Nor do you, at least not
: directly.

[...]

Homework assignment for the day: look up "Continental Drift" in
the nearest encyclopedia.
--
Rich Daniel "What I tell you three times is true."
rwda...@erinet.com -- Lewis Carroll

James M. Thomas

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Jul 23, 1994, 12:13:32 PM7/23/94
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In a previous article, rwda...@erinet.com (Richard Daniel) says:

>Steve Keppel-Jones (ste...@bnr.ca) wrote:
>: mco <m...@telerama.lm.com> wrote:
> [...]
>: >There is evidence that places such as Antarctica and
>: >Greenland were once habitable.
>
>: That may be. The climatic evidence indicates that the world temperature
>: keeps going up and down, so those places may indeed have been habitable
>: once. I don't see any god's hand in this. Nor do you, at least not
>: directly.
> [...]
>

DUH. all the continents used to be one land mass called Pangea. The reason
Antartica used to be habitable is because it was much farther north than
it's current location. not because the entire earth was warmer.

Jim


--
Jim Thomas Case Western Reserve University jm...@po.cwru.edu :-)
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour
upon the stage, And then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full
of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." -William Shakespeare, Macbeth-

Ross W. Myers

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Jul 23, 1994, 3:57:04 PM7/23/94