: :Frenchy: If you do believe in God, isn't it sort of foolish to judge his actions by our standards?
: 1) Why? Because God is perfect and I’m not? Ok, let’s go there. God is perfect. Since God is perfect then HIS actions are perfect, no? And if his actions are perfect then aren’t they also “good”? Isn’t perfection a good thing?
:Frenchy: Sure, as long as we understand that what seems "good" to us may not be what is "good" to God. Ditto "perfect".
DDN: But that’s my point. The absence war and calamity might seem “good” to us but not good to God. War and calamity might, in God’s mind, be a good thing. And if war and calamity are good things from God’s point of view then can it not be truthfully stated that war and calamity are in fact sometimes a good thing? Phew! (I think I’m beginning to repeat myself here which, to me, generally indicates that I am not getting my point across somehow. Is it ME or is it Frenchy? I honestly can’t tell.)
:DDN: 2) If you’re a Christian, like Stuart, you are obliged to judge God’s actions in order to avoid burning in hell for all eternity. Let me explain: According to the Bible, God sent His only Son down here to die for our sins. One must accept this “gift” from God to achieve “salvation” and avoid hellfire eternal. How does one accept this gift from God if one does not judge this gift, and the giving of this gift, to be a GOOD thing? You wouldn’t accept this gift if you thought it was a BAD thing, would you? And if one DOES judge the giving of this gift as a good thing then isn’t one “judging the actions of God”?
:Frenchy: Uh, you can put it that way if you like. I simply accept it.
DDN: Which means you must have judged it as acceptable, correct? You are using YOUR standard to judge the actions of God, a judgement you have referred to above as being foolish.
: :Frenchy: I'm reminded of the story of Sodom and Gommorah. Yes, God did destroy the cities, but only after multiple warnings of what He expected of the citizens of those cities.
: It wasn't an unprovoked leveling of two towns without a reason.
: DDN: Of course not. What would have been “good” about THAT? Doesn’t that just reinforce my point: that God’s mass killings were righteous? Then again, as you’ve pointed out, who are we to judge? How do we know that God was justified? Maybe he doesn’t NEED justification. Who are YOU to suggest that he does? If its erroneous of ME to judge God’s actions then its erroneous of you also. Otherwise, our only other choice is to say that He was WRONG for dropping nukes on Sodom and Gommorah. So, my original point still stands with a slight modification. Either:
: 1) God’s bombing of Sodom and Gommorah was a GOOD thing and hence, sometimes calamity and war are GOOD.
:DDN: OK? So you’re conceding this entire debate to me then? What’s the point of proceeding? You’ve just surrendered to my main point. Great. Thank you.
:DDN: 2) God’s bombing of Sodom and Gomorrah was a BAD thing and hence, God makes mistakes.
DDN: Uhhh, what? This isn’t one of the possible inferences? This entire debate was spawned by Stuart’s claim that war and calamity were ALWAYS bad things, a position I disagreed with and found to be incompatible with christianity and the Holy Bible. If you are disagreeing with Stuart’s position here then you are, in all likelihood, agreeing with me. I’ll take this as a confirmation of the concession you just made above.
: DDN: 3) We’re not capable of accurately assessing whether God’s actions were good or bad hence, whether or not God preempted his strikes on those cities with warnings ultimately has no baring on any human assessment of his actions.
:Frenchy: Mais non, mon amis! Our assesment of what happened at Sodom and Gommorah should be "It's not wise to disobey God, otherwise I'll be made an example of what that can result in too."
DDN: There you go again, judging God’s actions. How do YOU know how to assess God’s actions? Do you know God’s mind? Are you God? Oh, the hypocrisy! Its shameful.
:DDN: Also: Remember, God didn’t always deliver the blows in person. He often sent humans to do His dirty work. Didn’t God expect those humans to consider such actions to be GOOD? Would it have been good for them to have disobeyed God because of some candy-ass moral dilemma they had with chopping people up with swords and destroying/looting their cities? What generally happened to people who disobeyed God in the Holy Bible, hmmm?
:Frenchy: Your getting off topic here. Humans can use religions and ideologies and cults and whatever to further their own aims. Those aims may or may not be the will of God.
DDN: No, I’m not off topic; You PERCEIVE me to be off topic because YOU are out of context. The context is Stuart’s (and perhaps yours as well) frail christianity that teeters ever precariously on the whacked out, random contents of the Holy Bible which includes specific instructions from God for “his people” to war with other nations, cities, races, etc. They ARE the will of God, according to the bible. If Stuart believes that war is always bad then it directly follows that he also believes that God commands us to do bad things. Either that or he must retract his original claim and admit that sometime war is good. Please try to pay closer attention if you are going to engage me in this conversation.
: :Frenchy: When Jesus cleared out the temple of the money changers, He wasn't doing it just to raise hell, so to speak, but because he expected certain forms of behavior. What many would call right behavior.
: DDN: Isn’t a GOOD thing to encourage people to engage in “right behavior”? Was there a better way Jesus could have gotten his point across? If there was, then are we not saying that Jesus was at fault to some degree? John 1:1 says Jesus and God are one in the same, so if Jesus screwed up, that means God screwed up. Either that or Jesus/God’s actions were PERFECT in the temple that day. And again, isn’t it fair to say that something that’s perfect is also “good”? Either this temper tantrum was GOOD or God f_cked up AGAIN.
:Frenchy: Perfect hubris. Second guessing Jesus? I suppose you could also say that Jesus screwed up because he was incarnated as a male instead of a female. Or that He screwed up because he was born in a land destined to be torn by war. But the fact is that this was the way he chose to instruct us. Your choice is simple; take it or leave it.
DDN: You're spinning out into some sort of delirious Christian daydream. “Ground control to major Frenchy. Are you there Major Frenchy? Over.” Here are the relevant choices:
A) Either Jesus/God screwed up or B) He did NOT screw up
If He didn’t screw up then he did the right thing. Would you agree that it is “GOOD” to do the right things? If so, then it follows that you believe the calamity caused by Jesus in the market place that day was GOOD, which flatly contradicts Stuart’s position of war and calamity NEVER being good. If He did screw up then you’ve got a major theological dilemma on your hands, that being: sometime God screws up.
THESE are the choices. I’m recommending choice B (in the context of Christianity), so, if anything, I’m saying that Jesus did a GOOD thing in the temple that day, which means you have completely and utterly missed my point and are not really participating in a real debate here, you’re just using this debate to trigger delusional christian dream states where you can engage in listless, idle worship. Its kind of insulting, really.
: :Frenchy: Can you name any such occurances in the Bible where violence on the part of God is gratuitous?
: DDN: Well, actually I……
: :Frenchy: I expect you may cite some examples. Great. But again, if you grant the existance of God, how do we know with certainty that those examples are in fact gratuitous? How, if this is your decision, did you get to know God's mind?
: DDN: Well, if His mind is perfect, then I have NOT gotten to know it and I refer you to my argument above that perfect actions are “good”, but if His mind is flawed, then I have gotten to know it quite well having been endowed with a flawed mind of my own that was “created in His likeness”.
:Frenchy: Nice play on words; no cigar. "In his likeness" is different than "the same as Him", no? Besides, this sounds like the sort of self-worship that humanism is. The sort that says "God is within me, I am God." Really, there are people who believe this sort of thing. Wacky, huh?
DDN: I’m sorry, are you being facetious? The Bible DOES say that God is within us. It also says that we are to be “as god (jesus) is”. It doesn’t seem like a wacky concept to me at all. In fact its about the only thing IN the Holy Bible that is useful and makes any sense to me.
:Frenchy: Man is the ultimate being in the physical universe…….
DDN: How the hell would YOU know? Are you God? Have turned over every stone in the universe and found that there was no other “intelligent” life? How is it that YOU know all of these profound things and yet constantly remind me that I am an imperfect human that can’t know anything of substance for an absolute certainty? When did you decide that you were so much “higher” than me? How and can you maintain such a position when you can’t even follow the main points of this conversation?
:DDN: I think there is an intelligence in the universe that is, for all intents and purposes, infinite. If we are not synonymous with that ultimate intelligence or we cannot tap into that intelligence then there is simply no point in getting out of bed in the morning.
:Frenchy: I sort of agree. Except that to think we are synonomous with that intelligence is demonstrably false. Try raising some one from death.
DDN: How did you determine that to be a measure of infinite intelligence? Are you infinitely intelligent? If you are not yourself infinitely intelligent then who are YOU to determine what the parameters of infinite intelligence are? All you’re doing here is judging “God” by YOUR standards. Again, why is it ok for YOU to do this, but not ME? You’ve just insulted me again. Are you done yet?
: :Frenchy: PS, War, under the correct conditions is sanctioned by such people as St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, but those sanctions don't include an appetite for a steak dinner.
: DDN: Noted. Allow me to summarize with the following:
: The desire for War and calamity is GOOD to the extent that it is influenced by the infinite organizing power of the ultimate universal intelligence and not from the mad, random, lunatic ravings of psychopaths.
:We all probably fall somewhere inside of this scale and we probably don't remain stagnant upon this scale i.e Sometimes we can see more clearly than other times. Where on this scale is Stoller coming from when he implies that he is thirsty for violent revolt? Who knows for sure, but somewhere beneath him are hordes of putrid, wishy-washy sheep that are too lazy, frightened, and willfully missinformed to have revolutionary desires of ANY kind.
:Frenchy: These are all very good points, but nevertheless, they are made by a human. Pickayune compared to God, no?
DDN: How should I know how my points rank in comparison to “God”, I’m only human. But apparently you are above my human status somehow since you know how God feels about my points.
:Frenchy:…..The things that seem logical and wise to humans, such as the revolutionary desires of people like Mao etc, may in fact be the road to hell……
DDN: The things that seem logical to humans, like the desire to avoid any type of war or calamity, may in fact be the road to hell.
:Frenchy: Hey, by the way, have you read Mark Twains "Letters from the Earth"? I did when I was in High School. That was part of the reason I lapsed into Humanism. He (Twain that is) is good, really really good.
DDN: Yep, well Frenchy, that’s how the demons getcha…….with good writing.