1. Graceland.
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    23 Mar '05 01:091 edit
    Abraham almost sacrifised his son. He did this for a God he knew was almighty, a God he knew personally to be the creator of the universe. In many Biblical accounts we come across worshippers of Baal sacrifising their children in the fire, or performing many other rituals only referred to in the Bible as disgusting. There are many accounts of ritual sacrifises in the Bible, which were performed not to God's but Idols. e.g. The sacrifise of a child for good rains, good harvest ect.

    My question to those that are disgusted at God's command for the Israelites (in many cases) to entirely destroy their enemies, sparing nothing, taking no loot ect, is the following : Is it truely that surprising, disgusting that God instructed His people to do this ? Where do you draw the line ? Is it ok to kill a person just because their customs happen to involve sacrifising their children ?

    There is an example in Kings 2, where we know the Israelites went off the rail, following foreign customs, worshiping foreign Gods ect. We come across this verse 2 Kings vs 6 "28 And the king asked her, “What is your trouble?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29 So we boiled my son and ate him. And on the next day I said to her, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him.’ But she has hidden her son.”

    Can we blame God for wanting to prevent such behaviour amongst the Israelites ? Do we as human beings not hide of faces in disgust for what we are capable of, what we have done in the past ? When my copy of Win 95 gave me problems, I'd format my HD and re-install it. How much more patience must God have to witness man's behaviour yet give up His son to forgive us ? Simply put I ask, had you been God, would you be able to love man knowing the evil we are capable of ?

    pc

    EDIT: PS sorry, wrong forum..
  2. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
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    23 Mar '05 02:03
    Originally posted by pcaspian
    Abraham almost sacrifised his son. He did this for a God he knew was almighty, a God he knew personally to be the creator of the universe. In many Biblical accounts we come across worshippers of Baal sacrifising their children in the fire, or performing many other rituals only referred to in the Bible as disgusting. There are many accounts of ritual sacrifi ...[text shortened]... be able to love man knowing the evil we are capable of ?

    pc

    EDIT: PS sorry, wrong forum..
    If you believe that god created us, then we are behaving just as god progammed us to behave. In fact, an omniscient god would have known in advance that we would behave in just such a fashion.

    Are you telling me that an omnipotent god could come up with no better way to change someones behavior than to have them exterminated? I should think he'd be able to come up with something more clever than that. God's behavior mirrors that of the mere mortals who wrote the bible and is in no way indicative of an omnipotent, omniscient god.
  3. Graceland.
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    23 Mar '05 02:08
    Originally posted by rwingett
    If you believe that god created us, then we are behaving just as god progammed us to behave. In fact, an omniscient god would have known in advance that we would behave in just such a fashion.

    Are you telling me that an omnipotent god could come up with no better way to change someones behavior than to have them exterminated? I should think he'd be able to come up with something more clever than that. God's behavior mirrors that of the mere mortals who wrote the bible and is in no way indicative of an omnipotent, omniscient god.


    How would you prefer God to have given us free choice, if we were limited in our sins ?

  4. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
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    23 Mar '05 02:251 edit
    Originally posted by pcaspian
    Originally posted by rwingett
    If you believe that god created us, then we are behaving just as god progammed us to behave. In fact, an omniscient god would have known in advance that we would behave in just such a fashion.

    Are y ...[text shortened]... to have given us free choice, if we were limited in our sins ?

    If you believe that god designed us then we are behaving just as he designed us to. For example, if man acts according to god's wishes only 25% of the time, then it is because god programmed us for a 75% failure rate. God could have designed us so that we would freely act according to his wishes 75% of the time, instead, without impeding our free will at all.
  5. Standard memberDarfius
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    23 Mar '05 05:50
    Originally posted by rwingett
    If you believe that god designed us then we are behaving just as he designed us to. For example, if man acts according to god's wishes only 25% of the time, then it is because god programmed us for a 75% failure rate. God could have designed us so that we would freely act according to his wishes 75% of the time, instead, without impeding our free will at all.
    Uh, did you just say God could have 'programmed' us to have a certain amount of free will?

    ...
  6. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
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    23 Mar '05 11:04
    Originally posted by Darfius
    Uh, did you just say God could have 'programmed' us to have a certain amount of free will?

    ...
    Programmed or designed.

    The theist believes there is an absolute moral standard that god endorses. If we were designed by an omnipotent god then he could have made us so that we followed that standard 100% of the time. But he deliberately made a flawed product by giving us "free will". This means that he designed us specifically to be capable of choosing actions that were contrary to his moral dictates. He also designed us (or programmed us) so that we would choose actions which displeased him a certain percentage of the time. In fact, your god seems to enjoy a challenge because he designed us so that we choose his endorsed course of action an appalingly small percentage of the time. But he could have designed us so that we would naturally choose his desired course of action up to 99% of the time without impeding our "free will".

    Free will means that we are capable of choosing a course of action displeasing to god and that we occasionally do so in practice. He could have designed us to choose his desired course of action anywhere from 1% of the time upward to 99% of the time. Anywhere within that range we still have free will.

    I have no choice but to conclude that if we are designed by an omnipotent being then we are behaving exactly as he designed us to behave.
  7. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    23 Mar '05 18:27
    Originally posted by pcaspian
    Abraham almost sacrifised his son. He did this for a God he knew was almighty, a God he knew personally to be the creator of the universe. In many Biblical accounts we come across worshippers of Baal sacrifising their children in the fire, or performing many other rituals only referred to in the Bible as disgusting. There are many accounts of ritual sacrifi ...[text shortened]... be able to love man knowing the evil we are capable of ?

    pc

    EDIT: PS sorry, wrong forum..
    God didn't seem to mind when Jepthah vowed to sacrifice his own daughter to God as a burnt offering. Nor did he stop Jepthah as he did Abraham, according to the story.

    God killed the child of David and Bathsheba because of David's adultery and murder. Could it be that God is pro-choice?!

    God has no moral high ground on the other pagan gods if he also accepts human sacrifices, and kills innocent children himself.
  8. Standard memberDarfius
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    23 Mar '05 18:51
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Programmed or designed.

    The theist believes there is an absolute moral standard that god endorses. If we were designed by an omnipotent god then he could have made us so that we followed that standard 100% of the time. But he deliberately made a flawed product by giving us "free will". This means that he designed us specifically to be capable of choos ...[text shortened]... e are designed by an omnipotent being then we are behaving exactly as he designed us to behave.
    How, if you are programmed to obey God, do you still have free will? That's more like a robot being programmed to think it has free will at times.

    Christians do not believe God did 'tweaking' in regards to who would ultimately come to Him. I believe He made us all with love and hoped we would all come to Him, and when He saw the future...knew who would.
  9. Donationbbarr
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    23 Mar '05 19:45
    Originally posted by Darfius
    How, if you are programmed to obey God, do you still have free will? That's more like a robot being programmed to think it has free will at times.

    Christians do not believe God did 'tweaking' in regards to who would ultimately come to Him. I believe He made us all with love and hoped we would all come to Him, and when He saw the future...knew who would.
    Here's another way of putting Rwingett's point:

    Suppose that my sister is by natural temperment much nicer than I am. She is naturally inclined to help people, and does so often, yet on rare occasions she acts callously. I, on the other hand, am naturally disinclined to help others, and am often less charitable than I should be. Whereas my sister has a natural gentleness of spirit to her (though on rare occasions she gets angry, and may even push or swear), I am much more rough and can be driven to lash out violently when anxious or insulted or threatened.

    Both my sister and I have free will. We both choose freely to help or not help others, to be charitable or callous. Over the course of our lives, my sister brings about more good in the world than I do, she more often acts in accord with her moral obligations, etc.

    Now, God have brought it about, prior to my being born, that when I was born I would have a natural temperment more like my sister. Notice that were He to do so it would not constitute a violation of the freedom of my will, because 1) I would not be born yet, 2) my sister would have the same sort of temperment God could give me, and by hypothesis her will is free, and 3) there are often causal influences upon an early fetus that affect the temeperment of the person that fetus will eventually become, and yet we do not take this to be an indication of any lack of freedom of the eventual person's will.

    Thus, God could have brought it about at the very beginning that humans had natural temperments more like my sister's. If He had done this, the world would plausibly have been a substantially better place. That he designed human being such that their temperments ranged from those similar to my sister's to the those of rapacious and murderous scoundrels, indicates that God must have preferred a large section of the human population to be far less good then they could have possible been (again, with their freedom of the will intact).

  10. Graceland.
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    23 Mar '05 20:23
    Originally posted by rwingett
    If you believe that god designed us then we are behaving just as he designed us to. For example, if man acts according to god's wishes only 25% of the time, then it is because god programmed us for a 75% failure rate. God could have designed us so that we would freely act according to his wishes 75% of the time, instead, without impeding our free will at all.

    Excelent response Rwing. In fact I've on many occasions pondered the same question. What does make me different from another person, given that we are a product of 1. Environment + 2 Genetic makeup. Thus having said that, had I been born in your body instead of my own, would I be exactly who you are ?

    Thus I suppose we can compare it to the parable of seeds. Some fell on hard ground, some of rocks, other amongst weeds. Are we entirely a product of our environment and genetic material or does our souls make the difference.

    Put this way, my dad is an identical twin. They both grew up in pretty poor conditions, both studied medicine, however through the smallest environmental influences, they have become very different people. My uncle is a recovered alcoholic, onto his second wife, and suffering from leukemia, my father on the other hand very successfull, top of his game ,still married and healthy. The question is thus what seperates them. The slightest genetic mutation (my uncle can draw really well, my dad's handwriting quite poor), or the smallest environmental change, or something else ?

    As man sinned, and we all fall short of the grace of God, what is it that cause some individuals to find God and others not ? Put this way, if you create 20 men, give them all the chance to reach you, if you know the future, does that imply that you should never have created those that did not reach you ? Does God knowing the future, mean we do not really have free will ?

  11. Arizona, USA
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    24 Mar '05 03:211 edit
    Originally posted by bbarr
    ...Now, God have brought it about, prior to my being born, that when I was born I would have a natural temperment more like my sister...
    Something for believers to ponder: some human males are born with an extra Y chromosome. That is, they have a 23rd chromosome triplet XYY. Such males are (statistically speaking) particularly aggressive and (I would think--though maybe you can show me to be wrong) less likely than average to be the sort of person who would find it tolerable to sit still in a church setting and subject himself to Biblical teachings. Do believers think that God deliberately places an extra Y in certain embryos? Or does God not dirty His hands with such things?
  12. Joined
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    25 Mar '05 00:13
    Originally posted by rwingett
    If you believe that god created us, then we are behaving just as god progammed us to behave. In fact, an omniscient god would have known in advance that we would behave in just such a fashion.

    Are you telling me that an omnipotent god could come up with no better way to change someones behavior than to have them exterminated? I should think he'd be able ...[text shortened]... mere mortals who wrote the bible and is in no way indicative of an omnipotent, omniscient god.
    Why do you blame man's mistakes on GOD? GOD, gave man the right path to travel, man decided to travel his own road. There are three forces in play now. The forces of good, the forces of evil, and the forces of man. True GOD created all these forces,but he only wanted one force, the forces of good. We cannot blame him for our wrong choices.
    Unless you are saying that GOD is not entitled to all of our Love and attention.
  13. Joined
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    25 Mar '05 00:21
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Programmed or designed.

    The theist believes there is an absolute moral standard that god endorses. If we were designed by an omnipotent god then he could have made us so that we followed that standard 100% of the time. But he deliberately made a flawed product by giving us "free will". This means that he designed us specifically to be capable of choos ...[text shortened]... e are designed by an omnipotent being then we are behaving exactly as he designed us to behave.
    Why design us with 0%-99& of free will? Why should GOD accept less than HE wants? Would you like to recieve 75% of the air you need to breath. That would mean you would be dead 100% of the time. Yet GOD provides 100% of the the air we need. GOD created us to worship HIM, 100% of the time, not 75% or what percentage we want to give HIM.
  14. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
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    25 Mar '05 00:30
    Originally posted by blindfaith101
    Why design us with 0%-99& of free will? Why should GOD accept less than HE wants? Would you like to recieve 75% of the air you need to breath. That would mean you would be dead 100% of the time. Yet GOD provides 100% of the the air we need. GOD created us to worship HIM, 100% of the time, not 75% or what percentage we want to give HIM.
    There's an old saying:

    There are those who remain silent and let people think they are fools, and there are those who open their mouths and remove all doubt.
  15. Standard memberColetti
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    25 Mar '05 00:501 edit
    Originally posted by bbarr
    ... That he designed human being such that their temperments ranged from those similar to my sister's to the those of rapacious and murderous scoundrels, indicates that God must have preferred a large section of the human population to be ...[text shortened]... ossible been (again, with their freedom of the will intact).

    Hey bbarr.

    Good insight.

    I'm still around, getting back to the game a little. Popping in every now and again.

    Free will is a hard issue. It's hard to even develop a satisfactory definition of free will and how it (if indeed it is) is linked to responsibility.

    But I think you a generally correct, given that God is omnipotent and omniscient , He must have purposely created man to be sinfully. I think this is implied by scripture also.

    Anyway, glad to see everyone is still about.

    Later, 🙂

    P.S. Hey rwingett, Glad to see you're not cutting anyone any slack. I always enjoy debating you too.
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