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Source: (consider it) Thread: Why did God create the universe, and us?
Brenda Clough
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(on evil) Well, then you get into the multiplicity of persons. If you have quite a lot of people/characters, then they cannot (if the work is written/created properly) be the -same- person. They are not CGI troops in the Peter Jackson Hobbit movie, all marching across the screen in lockstep. Every one of your creations has to be different, cool in his or her own way, if you are a good Creator.
And if they are different, then they have different goals, different personalities, different drives. With all these different atoms zooming around in your universe, a few collisions are inevitable. And they are good. In conflict character is built. A work in which all the characters agreed and lay on beaches with pina colada would be a dull book.

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LeRoc

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quote:
A Feminine Force: I think it's like being a writer.
I like the idea that when you're a very good writer, the characters take up a life of their own.

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I know why God made the rhinoceros, it's because He couldn't see the rhinoceros, so He made the rhinoceros to be able to see it. (Clarice Lispector)

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Evensong
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
The big theology answer to that question is, so that He could have other beings to love. <snip>

So if God needed these other things, was he in some way incomplete or imperfect?

K.

Always.
Yes.

Love is always the servant, as Jesus pointed out.

Which god is this? I'm not familiar with it.

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a theological scrapbook

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Martin60
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The one that follows from eternal, infinite creation.

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Love wins

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Love is always the servant, as Jesus pointed out.

Which god is this? I'm not familiar with it.
God is not a Servant?
quote:
Matthew 20: Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.


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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by LeRoc:
quote:
A Feminine Force: I think it's like being a writer.
I like the idea that when you're a very good writer, the characters take up a life of their own.
I have a friend who is writing her first novel. I doubt she would describe herself as a good writer, much less very good, but in talking to her a few months ago she said that she knew how her novel would end, but she was constantly being surprised by some of the things her characters did on the way.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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que sais-je
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
There's nothing wrong with enjoying doing good. In fact, you will do it with a much better attitude if you love your voluntary work.

I'm sure God loves all her voluntary work [Big Grin]

There is everything wrong with voluntourism.....
I've never understood this. I make my wife a cup of tea knowing she's thirsty. I can't help feeling pleased my wife is more happy.

Have you found a way of living with a person which involves not feeling good about them feeling good, not wanting to make them happy unless you think it won't make you happy?

Rum old life that seems to me.

I'm with boogie.

PS to boogie: I've just agreed to sponsor a guide dog puppy - thanks for giving me the idea. It make me feel good so I guess it's a bad thing.

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"controversies, disputes, and argumentations, both in philosophy and in divinity, if they meet with discreet and peaceable natures, do not infringe the laws of charity" (Thomas Browne)

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Brenda Clough
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That's the other reason there is evil in the world. Because the characters have free will. If they don't have free will, they're not really alive. And you can see it, on the screen or on the page. (Peter Jackson, looking at you and your CGI elves.) It is better for them to be alive, and possibly evil, than puppets. Why? Because it's a better work, when they're alive.
I wonder if that is not the answer to many of these questions. The work is better, and God's goal is to make it better. And He doesn't count the cost, to do it.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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Oh goodness. People are evil because it is enjoyable. It is fun to hurt others, to kill and otherwise be bad. We all have this potential within us.

Hasn't everyone relished feeding their inner asshole? poorly represented in movies by a devil on the predictable left shoulder, usually defeating the angel whispering into the right ear because of a pitchfork. (God should really give angels guns.)

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Clearly it is far far more -fun- for there to be a universe, than for there not to be a universe. God, being infinite, was going to do something with His infiniteness. Creation may not have been necessary, in the sense that breathing is necessary for us. But He was not going to pass this chance up, to do some keen stuff.

The thing is Brenda, God put up with having no fun for eternity before making the universe. What made Him change?

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Love wins

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Chorister

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He likes spinning tops and roundabouts. Roundandroundandroundandround...

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Clearly it is far far more -fun- for there to be a universe, than for there not to be a universe.The thing is Brenda, God put up with having no fun for eternity before making the universe. What made Him change?

Martin, like all of us bags of mostly water, you're stuck in time. Get unstuck and process all moments in an instant of perfect knowledge. I'm sure that would be fun. The creation orgasm of spirit.

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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Martin60
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So ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...mmmm.... has no direction, no mmmm precedes or follows another.

Yeah. Like hey, man.

Eternity is a bugger isn't it? Let's pretend it's transcended by something non-timy-wimy.

Existence is ineluctably ineffably strange.

And immutable.

Like God.

Funny that.

The eternal, infinite multiverse of entropic universes cannot go back in to the perfume bottle.

(I mean HOW infinite is God?)

God has ALWAYS done this. For eternity. Even in this universe Jesus CANNOT be the only incarnation.

Or God is even stranger than we can possibly imagine. Ever. We'll all know soon enough.

[ 19. April 2016, 22:04: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
God has ALWAYS done this. For eternity.
This bit I think is worded just a wee bit wrong.

God is[b] always doing it. God is the "I am" not "I was", not "I have been". God is no "has been". It's all a [b]now thing. Eternity isn't a past nor a future.

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
God has ALWAYS done this. For eternity.
This bit I think is worded just a wee bit wrong.

God is always doing it. God is the "I am" not "I was", not "I have been". God is no "has been". It's all a now thing. Eternity isn't a past nor a future.

[ 19. April 2016, 22:57: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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Brenda Clough
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Ooh, the nature of time! Another very knotty issue to which there are as yet no real answers. But you can see how quantum physics bends around to meet theology. It's all cunning knitted together, somewhere at the back where we can't see it so well, and that says craftsmanship to me.

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Martin60
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I'd agree there's only infinite now. To suggest otherwise is meaningless. That all PASTS right back to the beginning of eternity are echoes in infinite now and all FUTURES to the end of eternity are yet to echo with infinite now.

And God can be as transcendent as He likes. He ALWAYS has been. That's what immutability means. On one axis.

He is a tad BIGGER than we think. Which challenges any feeling of immanence, omnipresence admittedly. But it should have done anyway. His SIZE.

He is unbelievable, unnecessary.

But He is.

Was.

And shall be.

Revelation 1:8

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Love wins

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Komensky
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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
The big theology answer to that question is, so that He could have other beings to love. <snip>

So if God needed these other things, was he in some way incomplete or imperfect?

K.

Always.
Yes.

Love is always the servant, as Jesus pointed out.

Which god is this? I'm not familiar with it.
I had asked if God was imperfect. Those who answered, answered 'yes', he is imperfect. I was surprised too.

K.

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"The English are not very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity." - George Bernard Shaw

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LeRoc

Famous Dutch pirate
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I guess I can add "God is perfect" to my list of "this is a statement about God but I don't know what it means."

Also, going back to the human realm a bit, does needing other people make you less perfect? I'm not sure if I'd agree with that.

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I know why God made the rhinoceros, it's because He couldn't see the rhinoceros, so He made the rhinoceros to be able to see it. (Clarice Lispector)

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Komensky
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quote:
Originally posted by LeRoc:
I guess I can add "God is perfect" to my list of "this is a statement about God but I don't know what it means."

Also, going back to the human realm a bit, does needing other people make you less perfect? I'm not sure if I'd agree with that.

I think I agree with you, but then again, like you, I'm not sure what is meant by claims of perfection either (!).

K.

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"The English are not very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity." - George Bernard Shaw

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Evensong
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Love is always the servant, as Jesus pointed out.

Which god is this? I'm not familiar with it.
God is not a Servant?
quote:
Matthew 20: Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.

I'm familiar with God as servant and love etc. Just not how that relates to God creating us out of a need. Or God as in some way imperfect (needy in this example).

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a theological scrapbook

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Evensong
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quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
quote:
Originally posted by LeRoc:
I guess I can add "God is perfect" to my list of "this is a statement about God but I don't know what it means."

Also, going back to the human realm a bit, does needing other people make you less perfect? I'm not sure if I'd agree with that.

I think I agree with you, but then again, like you, I'm not sure what is meant by claims of perfection either (!).

K.

The "perfection" of God usually relates to God's completeness. Like the circle is complete and therefore a sign of perfection. i.e. God does not rely on anything outside of God for God's very being.

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a theological scrapbook

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A Feminine Force
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Here's a syllogism.

God is perfect.
The human was made by perfect God in His own image.
Therefore the human is perfect.

Personally, I get tired of excuses.

But then, I'm a Virgo, and you know how we stickle for perfection.

AFF

--------------------
C2C - The Cure for What Ails Ya?

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Evensong
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I too am a Virgo. [Biased]

But you're forgetting "The Fall".

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a theological scrapbook

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
I'm familiar with God as servant and love etc. Just not how that relates to God creating us out of a need. Or God as in some way imperfect (needy in this example).

I'm sure we agree on this. My only point here is that love is by definition "needy" if you want to look at it that way, since it requires an object.

The idea that any of this makes God "imperfect" is as nonsensical as asking whether God can create a rock so heavy that He can't lift it.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
I too am a Virgo. [Biased]

But you're forgetting "The Fall".

About time!

--------------------
Love wins

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Evensong
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
I'm familiar with God as servant and love etc. Just not how that relates to God creating us out of a need. Or God as in some way imperfect (needy in this example).

I'm sure we agree on this. My only point here is that love is by definition "needy" if you want to look at it that way, since it requires an object.

Not if God creates simply as a gift. The gift of existence.

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a theological scrapbook

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
I'm familiar with God as servant and love etc. Just not how that relates to God creating us out of a need.

Life is so unnerving for a servant who's not serving. He's not whole without a soul to wait upon.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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A Feminine Force
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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
I too am a Virgo. [Biased]

But you're forgetting "The Fall".

Like I said, I get tired of excuses.

How can something that is made perfect unmake its own perfection?

AFF

--------------------
C2C - The Cure for What Ails Ya?

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
Not if God creates simply as a gift. The gift of existence.

Yes. That's a better way to look at it. Existence is a gift from a loving God.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Evensong
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# 14696

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quote:
Originally posted by A Feminine Force:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
I too am a Virgo. [Biased]

But you're forgetting "The Fall".

Like I said, I get tired of excuses.

How can something that is made perfect unmake its own perfection?

AFF

We were made perfect?

--------------------
a theological scrapbook

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Evensong
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
Not if God creates simply as a gift. The gift of existence.

Yes. That's a better way to look at it. Existence is a gift from a loving God.
Well that's what I think. But some wonder if God didn't make a mistake in creating us.

(as per the other thread on this question) I think for most of us we would rather exist than not exist and are thankful for our existence. But there are some whose existence is so miserable they would rather not exist at all.

I don't like thinking of those as collateral damage. There must be something else.

[ 20. April 2016, 11:13: Message edited by: Evensong ]

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a theological scrapbook

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Komensky
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# 8675

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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
Not if God creates simply as a gift. The gift of existence.

Yes. That's a better way to look at it. Existence is a gift from a loving God.
So why the punishment? Some gift, by the way. "Even though I'm perfect and want for nothing, I'll create some creatures that I know will be nasty pieces of work. I'll create all of them 'broken', many of them deformed and riddled with pains and illness, some will be born dead. I'll then demand that they be well and that they worship me on no evidence and them send them to an eternity of conscious torment if they don't!"

'A gift from a loving God', as you say.

K.

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"The English are not very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity." - George Bernard Shaw

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A Feminine Force
Ship's Onager
# 7812

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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
quote:
Originally posted by A Feminine Force:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
I too am a Virgo. [Biased]

But you're forgetting "The Fall".

Like I said, I get tired of excuses.

How can something that is made perfect unmake its own perfection?

AFF

We were made perfect?
Refer to syllogism above.

AFF

--------------------
C2C - The Cure for What Ails Ya?

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fletcher christian

Mutinous Seadog
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How can we know? How can we hope to know anything about God as little finite creatures in some teeny weeny spot in the universe so vast it is beyond our imagining? Sure, we like to think of ourselves as big grown ups with minds that can work all sorts of things out and how we can get lots of answers about things from science, philosophy, art etc....but really, we are just tiny little things; microscopic little bacteria in a solar system, completely unnoticeable and probably considerably smaller than a quark in a universe yet for some reason we think we can have a concept of God that gives answers. Unless of course you think that Jesus was who he said he was, then everything changes. It doesn't answer everything because we are too restricted, too stupid, too tiny to ever hope to know even the smallest aspect of it all, but the simple activity of it changes everything.

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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Komensky
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# 8675

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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
How can we know? How can we hope to know anything about God as little finite creatures in some teeny weeny spot in the universe so vast it is beyond our imagining? Sure, we like to think of ourselves as big grown ups with minds that can work all sorts of things out and how we can get lots of answers about things from science, philosophy, art etc....but really, we are just tiny little things; microscopic little bacteria in a solar system, completely unnoticeable and probably considerably smaller than a quark in a universe yet for some reason we think we can have a concept of God that gives answers. Unless of course you think that Jesus was who he said he was, then everything changes. It doesn't answer everything because we are too restricted, too stupid, too tiny to ever hope to know even the smallest aspect of it all, but the simple activity of it changes everything.

At what point in the evolution of human beings did God start to love us?

K.

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"The English are not very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity." - George Bernard Shaw

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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
God is always doing it. God is the "I am" not "I was", not "I have been". God is no "has been". It's all a now thing. Eternity isn't a past nor a future.

According to Nigel M, who appears to know what he is talking about, the Hebrew word for God can be literally translated as "I am in various tenses with you." I was with you; I have been with you; I am with you; I will be with you.

Moo

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
Not if God creates simply as a gift. The gift of existence.

Yes. That's a better way to look at it. Existence is a gift from a loving God.
So why the punishment? Some gift, by the way. "Even though I'm perfect and want for nothing, I'll create some creatures that I know will be nasty pieces of work. I'll create all of them 'broken', many of them deformed and riddled with pains and illness, some will be born dead. I'll then demand that they be well and that they worship me on no evidence and them send them to an eternity of conscious torment if they don't!"

'A gift from a loving God', as you say.

K.

Yes, I was thinking about the arbitrariness of life. One woman has the breast cancer gene(s), and her mother had it, and her grandmother, and her daughter. One of my oldest friends is going into the dark night of dementia.

Well, I am going back to Epicurus, really, but why create this arbitrariness?

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
So why the punishment? Some gift, by the way.

As Fletcher Christian says above, "How can we know?"

My own thought is that we misunderstand what we are calling "punishment." We misunderstand suffering. We misunderstand the concept of hell.

If we start from the assumption of a loving God, and work it out from there, I think that it makes more sense.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Komensky
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# 8675

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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
[QUOTE]

If we start from the assumption of a loving God, and work it out from there, I think that it makes more sense.

Why on earth should you start with that assumption in answering questions about the origin of the universe? What a prejudicial approach to cosmology.

K.

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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What sense does suffering make, if you accept the premise of a loving God? Place yourself in the middle of Auschwitz, and explain the sense of it.

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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I am not a theologian, nor do I play one on TV. However, I am a creator, one of Tolkien's sub-creators wielding my little wand. And I can affirm that when you create, you do not create a paradise from beginning to end and east to west. This may be fun for you, the created creature, lazing on the beach fanning yourself and sipping a rum punch. But from the creator's point of view there has to be conflict, otherwise nothing happens. And the whole point of making it is so that something will happen.
In other words: God's ways are not our ways. He loves us, is obsessed with us, and is restless in His creation, fussing it here, tinkering it there as it runs off the rails. (Nothing else would explain the American presidential system.) But He does not coddle us. That would not make for a good work. And as in Genesis, He's not going to rest until it's very good.

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by Komensky:
Why on earth should you start with that assumption in answering questions about the origin of the universe? What a prejudicial approach to cosmology.

I didn't realize that it was possible to start with no assumptions.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
What sense does suffering make, if you accept the premise of a loving God? Place yourself in the middle of Auschwitz, and explain the sense of it.

I have heard from people who were at Auschwitz, and from people who have suffered terribly in other ways. My understanding is that they are not the ones who struggle with the concept of a loving God.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I am not a theologian, nor do I play one on TV. However, I am a creator, one of Tolkien's sub-creators wielding my little wand. And I can affirm that when you create, you do not create a paradise from beginning to end and east to west. This may be fun for you, the created creature, lazing on the beach fanning yourself and sipping a rum punch. But from the creator's point of view there has to be conflict, otherwise nothing happens. And the whole point of making it is so that something will happen.
In other words: God's ways are not our ways. He loves us, is obsessed with us, and is restless in His creation, fussing it here, tinkering it there as it runs off the rails. (Nothing else would explain the American presidential system.) But He does not coddle us. That would not make for a good work. And as in Genesis, He's not going to rest until it's very good.

So God builds in arbitrariness and suffering as a kind of light and shade? I will hasten to tell this to my friend slowly disappearing into dementia, and no doubt, she will feel transported.

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
What sense does suffering make, if you accept the premise of a loving God? Place yourself in the middle of Auschwitz, and explain the sense of it.

I have heard from people who were at Auschwitz, and from people who have suffered terribly in other ways. My understanding is that they are not the ones who struggle with the concept of a loving God.
Well, you said that we misunderstand suffering. So how do you understand Auschwitz in the light of a loving God?

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Well, you said that we misunderstand suffering. So how do you understand Auschwitz in the light of a loving God?

I see it from the point of view of the way that God would have had to create the world in order to prevent Auschwitz from ever happening.

Personally, I really don't like it when things happen that cause me to suffer. I would like to eliminate all of those things. But when I think of how I would design the universe in order to put that plan into action, the results are unacceptable. Or maybe someone has a suggestion for how that might work?

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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In creation, there is going to be suffering. There is no way to avoid it. Even if there were peace on earth and hunger were eradicated, we will still get old and die; even if that death were peaceful and painless there would be the pain of loss and bereavement. And even if you decree that we all live forever -- there is undeniable pain for some of us, when the beloved dog or cat dies. We are asking for what is clearly not going to happen.
It is obvious from Jesus's own life, that the avoidance of pain and suffering is not high on His agenda. There is something else that God is trying to accomplish, but keeping us from pain and suffering is not it.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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Except of course that Christian tradition hangs this promise of a new creation with no suffering or death in front of us. So it is possible. Or this promise is - erm - misunderstood?

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LeRoc

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# 3216

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quote:
quetzalcoatl: So how do you understand Auschwitz in the light of a loving God?
I find myself rather drawn to Moltmann's take on this: He is there in Auschwitz, suffering.

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I know why God made the rhinoceros, it's because He couldn't see the rhinoceros, so He made the rhinoceros to be able to see it. (Clarice Lispector)

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