1. Felicific Forest
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    17 Dec '05 03:06
    God is Truth ... then how can some accuse Him of being a liar ?

    God is Life ... then how can some accuse Him of being a murderer ?

    God is Peace ... then how come some accuse Him of being a warmonger ?

    God is Justice ... then how can some accuse Him of being an unjust monster ?

    God is Love ... then how can some accuse Him of being a hater ?


    God is Peace, God is Truth, God is Justice, God is Love ..... then how can He be "subjected" to or "subjugated" to or being judged on the basis of these notions like men are subjected to or subjugated to or judged on the basis of Them ? How is it possible that He is being accused of being the opposite of what He is ? How is it possible He can be accused of not being Himself ?
  2. Donationkirksey957
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    17 Dec '05 03:17
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    God is Truth ... then how can some accuse Him of being a liar ?

    God is Life ... then how can some accuse Him of being a murderer ?

    God is Peace ... then how come some accuse Him of being a warmonger ?

    God is Justice ... then how can some accuse Him of being an unjust monster ?

    God is Love ... then how can some accuse Him ...[text shortened]... f being the opposite of what He is ? How is it possible He can be accused of not being Himself ?
    Free will?
  3. Hmmm . . .
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    17 Dec '05 04:271 edit
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    God is Truth ... then how can some accuse Him of being a liar ?

    God is Life ... then how can some accuse Him of being a murderer ?

    God is Peace ... then how come some accuse Him of being a warmonger ?

    God is Justice ... then how can some accuse Him of being an unjust monster ?

    God is Love ... then how can some accuse Him ...[text shortened]... f being the opposite of what He is ? How is it possible He can be accused of not being Himself ?
    The “Problem,” Ivanhoe, is that you’re not a Biblical literalist. πŸ™‚ When a literalistic/historicistic reading becomes normative—which I think is a fairly recent development (I’m guessing since the 18th century)—and God is seen as the actual, historical agent for the killing of infants, then those questions get legitimately raised. It has been interesting to me on here how both some theists and some non-theists sometimes assume that a literalistic/historicistic reading is, always has been and ought to be the normative one. When one reads the scriptures in some other way (midrashically, for example, or allegorically, or whatever) he might find himself criticized for reducing the scriptures to “mere myth” (two words I would never put together for myself) on the one hand, or for trying to make a lame apology for God on the other. Things like Ignatian lectio divina are simply thrown out of court.

    Now, I happen to think—though I’m far from any kind of scholar on the matter—that lectio divina ( and midrash) come a lot closer to how the original tellers of these stories meant them to be read and searched out. If, for example, Joshua claims (or the author claims on his behalf) to have been commanded by God to kill innocents, maybe we are meant to ask the critical question: “Is that really the nature of God?” Maybe the story is there as a kind of warning for people who “hear the voice of God” commanding them to do horrendous things. For a non-Christian example, look at Ghandi’s love for the Baghavad Gita: Ghandi, the proponent of non-violent resistance, read that book, set against the backdrop of violent warfare, allegorically. Did he “read it wrong?” Or the rabbi I mentioned once before who said (in a talk I heard) that, yes, Abraham was tested by God—in the story!—when he was commanded to sacrifice Isaac; and that Abraham failed the test: no tsadiq (just man) would willingly commit child sacrifice, even if commanded by God (and this the very Abraham who argued with God about Sodom and Gomorrah!). Another rabbi I read pointed out, in discussing that story, that we should all beware about what we hear as divine commandments, and that Abraham’s “saving grace” was that, in the end, he was able to hear another voice. Nevertheless, if we insist on reading that story literally as a historic event, it still seems like a cruel test, and God seems monstrous.

    Also, these ancients told stories the way we go to movies (and some of us read novels)—all kinds of stories, with all kinds of lessons and morals. Does the fact that The Lord of the Rings is mythological fiction diminish the depth and richness of its lessons? Is The Agony and the Ecstasy less worth the read because it is “historical fiction?”

    Is your (understanding of) God monstrous? I don’t think so. Can you find the God that you know in those stories? I think so. Can you do it by reading them literalistically/historicistically? I don’t think so. But that is not how either the rabbis or the early Church fathers, for example, read them. Any more than it was how Ghandi read the Gita.

    Because of the very nature of these writings, it is perhaps more difficult to sort such things out than it is with, say, the Tao Te Ching or the Upanishads (though both of those are challenging reads). But I think that is our challenge if we find any spiritual meaning in them—as I think the authors intended us to do.
  4. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    17 Dec '05 05:00
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    God is Truth ... then how can some accuse Him of being a liar ?

    God is Life ... then how can some accuse Him of being a murderer ?

    God is Peace ... then how come some accuse Him of being a warmonger ?

    God is Justice ... then how can some accuse Him of being an unjust monster ?

    God is Love ... then how can some accuse Him ...[text shortened]... f being the opposite of what He is ? How is it possible He can be accused of not being Himself ?
    Maybe your 5 questions seem hard too answer, however they all have the same root cause, and comes from a xenophobic telling of ancient history and the retelling of Sumerian mythology from that perspective.
    No one truely knows, for instance, if Noah actually existed because a much earlier story about Xiusudra and his flood, or even that Moses himself wasn't a mixture of Sargon and the tribal leader of the Israelites.
    My own answers to your questions actually cast no dispersions on God simply because I don't take the distorted history in the Old Testament serious.
    The Old Testament is told in much the same way as Von Manstein told the battle of Kursk in his auto-biography, with the caveat that the Old Testament wasn't written by God.
    In truth , there is another explaination, but I hesitate to produce it publicly; at least not until I'm certain.
  5. Not Kansas
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    17 Dec '05 05:13
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    God is Truth ... then how can some accuse Him of being a liar ?

    God is Life ... then how can some accuse Him of being a murderer ?

    God is Peace ... then how come some accuse Him of being a warmonger ?

    God is Justice ... then how can some accuse Him of being an unjust monster ?

    God is Love ... then how can some accuse Him ...[text shortened]... f being the opposite of what He is ? How is it possible He can be accused of not being Himself ?
    But you are just posting as if the stuff on the left hand of the page is settled.
    I could as easily say: God is everything, how can you deny Him?
  6. Felicific Forest
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    17 Dec '05 06:56
    Originally posted by vistesd
    The “Problem,” Ivanhoe, is that you’re not a Biblical literalist. πŸ™‚ When a literalistic/historicistic reading becomes normative—which I think is a fairly recent development (I’m guessing since the 18th century)—and God is seen as the actual, historical agent for the killing of infants, then those questions get legitimately raised. It has been interesting t ...[text shortened]... our challenge if we find any spiritual meaning in them—as I think the authors intended us to do.
    Thanks, rec-ed .... πŸ™‚
  7. Felicific Forest
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    17 Dec '05 06:581 edit
    Originally posted by KneverKnight
    But you are just posting as if the stuff on the left hand of the page is settled.
    I could as easily say: God is everything, how can you deny Him?
    KK: "I could as easily say: God is everything, how can you deny Him"


    You could say this easily, but I certainly not ..... πŸ˜‰

    God is not everything ..... πŸ˜›
  8. Donationrwingett
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    17 Dec '05 13:23
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    God is Truth ... then how can some accuse Him of being a liar ?

    God is Life ... then how can some accuse Him of being a murderer ?

    God is Peace ... then how come some accuse Him of being a warmonger ?

    God is Justice ... then how can some accuse Him of being an unjust monster ?

    God is Love ... then how can some accuse Him ...[text shortened]... f being the opposite of what He is ? How is it possible He can be accused of not being Himself ?
    Claiming that god IS all these things does not make it so.

    How can you claim that god is life, for example, when the bible clearly states that he personally killed all the firstborn of Egypt? Not only them, but their poor cattle as well.
  9. Felicific Forest
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    17 Dec '05 13:57
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Claiming that god IS all these things does not make it so.

    How can you claim that god is life, for example, when the bible clearly states that he personally killed all the firstborn of Egypt? Not only them, but their poor cattle as well.
    Please, read vistesd's post πŸ™‚
  10. Donationrwingett
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    17 Dec '05 14:05
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    Please, read vistesd's post πŸ™‚
    Vistesd's posts are too long and generally of too little interest. If they're not addressed directly to me I seldom read them.

    Sorry, Vistesd. 😳
  11. Felicific Forest
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    17 Dec '05 14:08
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Vistesd's posts are too long and generally of too little interest. If they're not addressed directly to me I seldom read them.

    Sorry, Vistesd. 😳
    Visteds's post answers your question.
  12. Donationrwingett
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    17 Dec '05 14:17
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    Visteds's post answers your question.
    He seems to be saying that any text can be interpreted to mean anything you want it to.
  13. Felicific Forest
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    17 Dec '05 14:303 edits
    Originally posted by rwingett
    He seems to be saying that any text can be interpreted to mean anything you want it to.
    I'll better let him handle this "interpretation" of his post ...... ha ha ha ........πŸ˜€
  14. Hmmm . . .
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    17 Dec '05 14:524 edits
    Originally posted by rwingett
    He seems to be saying that any text can be interpreted to mean anything you want it to.
    Sorry, Vistesd.

    No offense taken (my wife says my posts are always too long, too). πŸ™‚ Also, I have been limiting my recent posts to a pretty narrow area, monistic Judaism.

    He seems to be saying that any text can be interpreted to mean anything you want it to.

    I don’t push it quite that far—but I push it further than most. There is the text on the page, and that provides some limit. Since apparently the Torah scrolls have no punctuation, and the letters are more or less evenly spaced, according to Marc-Alain Ouaknin, in The Burnt Book: Reading the Talmud

    “The Book of the beginning is illegible and meaningless. Before the book can be read, it must be composed; the reader is actually a creator. Reading becomes an activity, a production. And so an infinity of books are constantly present in the Book [Torah]. There is not one story but many stories.

    “The first function of the reader is to introduce breaks between the letters to form words; between certain words to produce sentences….”

    I seldom push it that far, but sometimes…

    The Hebrew Scriptures appear to be a wonderful tapestry of interwoven story, myth, symbol, parable, poetry and , yes, some history (often embellished in the re-telling). Rabbinical Judaism has never rested on a literalistic reading of the Hebrew Scriptures, not even those rabbis who believed that the Torah was communicated directly by God (not a universal Jewish position). Multi-layered interpretation is not only permitted but required. Every student must “unpack” the meaning of Torah for her/himself in collaborative argument with other students called talmid torah (Torah study).

    Jews have varying concepts of God: transcendent/immanent, personal/impersonal, theistic/monistic, masculine/feminine, etc., etc. Jewish scholar David S. Ariel, in his What Do Jews Believe, says: “Each of these views is an authentic Jewish view. They are authentic because they are honest attempts by Jewish thinkers to explore ideas about God within the context of Jewish tradition….Perhaps the diversity of Jewish points of view on God demonstrates that genuine certainty and knowledge of God are impossible….Judaism is a spiritual force whose sacred myths and ritual; are based on successive attempts throughout the course of human history to find answers to the fundamental questions of human life and its meaning. Each generation understands God in its own terms and based on what it has received from earlier generations. The sacred myths generated by Jews throughout history are the ways in which our people have struggled to make sense of God and how God relates to us. The sacred myths, the bedrock of our deeply held beliefs and convictions, will continue to be refined, modified, revisited, and reformulated.” (p. 14; my italics)

    Yes, another over-long post, I know…😳
  15. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    17 Dec '05 14:54
    Originally posted by rwingett
    He seems to be saying that any text can be interpreted to mean anything you want it to.
    But you have to know how.
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