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God is Perfect





Bluedoll
I like discussions about God and I am open to hearing all viewpoints even if they are not the same as mine. All I ask is respect be shown to God. Often, I read, sometimes really angry slurs towards God. This is so unfair. I am open to any opinion regardless of belief.

I like reading all perspectives but without contempt. I say express yourself but just have some regard to almighty God. This does not mean that a persons opinion or idea need be sacrificed. It just means to have a little consideration about God.

For me discussion, does not mean, don’t question or state other views, it just means well *. . Sometimes, I think people are so caught up in religous topics that they fail to understand that the religion is not God.

In the story of Adam and Eve they had two sons Cain and Abel. Cain laid out crops of cultivation and in his mind was appreciative of God but jealousy and anger filled Abel’s heart. This was the first religion and later the first murder.

I am opening to a discussion but God should not be disrespected because of the hand of mankind.

*http://www.frihost.com/users/Bluedoll/blog/vp-120733.html
c'tair
Uhm, wasn't it Cain who slew Abel because of jealousy and not the other way around?
watersoul
Bluedoll wrote:
I like discussions about God and I am open to hearing all viewpoints even if they are not the same as mine. All I ask is respect be shown to God. Often, I read, sometimes really angry slurs towards God. This is so unfair. I am open to any opinion regardless of belief.

I like reading all perspectives but without contempt. I say express yourself but just have some regard to almighty God. This does not mean that a persons opinion or idea need be sacrificed. It just means to have a little consideration about God.

For me discussion, does not mean, don’t question or state other views, it just means well *. . Sometimes, I think people are so caught up in religous topics that they fail to understand that the religion is not God.

In the story of Adam and Eve they had two sons Cain and Abel. Cain laid out crops of cultivation and in his mind was appreciative of God but jealousy and anger filled Abel’s heart. This was the first religion and later the first murder.

I am opening to a discussion but God should not be disrespected because of the hand of mankind.

*http://www.frihost.com/users/Bluedoll/blog/vp-120733.html


Whilst keeping in mind that this is a new forum so format precedents/mod decisions could possibly be set through the new discussions, I do have some questions in my own mind regarding the perfection of God.
Again though, I will first state I don't believe myself, but I do hold an open mind to any new evidence becoming available that could convince me to believe.

Regarding the perceived perfection of God though...

If I were on his management team I would be troubled by his marketing strategy, too much competition being allowed to develop over the years causing much confusion, plus a vague/mysterious message that is incompatible with the intelligent and questioning mind "God allowed us to develop".
I would suggest that he could have sold himself a little more tangiably and publicly, to help out the people who are understandably drawn to question the mysterious enigma that has become the "modern face of God".

I would also strongly question why he doesn't appear to protect good lives in a public way and instead appears to let most people who treat the world with hate remain unpunished.
Many others struggle with the "message", when people who live kindly lives of love to fellow man are forced to suffer horrible illness or death, while absolutely horrible people live a life of riches and good health.

As I said, I don't believe myself, but I'm respectful of anyone who does as long as it harms no others.
I am interested in a believers view of that perfection though, perhaps there is a concept I haven't considered before now?

*edit*
I had actually forgotten myself which biblical son killed the other, I was just reminded of my thoughts as a boy of how horrible I thought the killing of any brother was when I read that story - I had 3 older bro's back then, and although we fought physically causing scars, bruises and break's (nose mainly), killing was never on the agenda, and certainly wouldn't ever have been considered by any of us even after reading what Cain did.
Maybe if I had been an only child I'd have thought God was perfect, but with brothers myself, I instantly saw a potential flaw in the story - I would never kill my brother through jealousy. Beat him up a bit and cry a few quiet tears afterwards because I'd hurt him? Possibly, but kill him, no, ever, even if a magical force was happier with him than me - again a possible marketing issue maybe?
(with absolutely no disrespect intended)
Bluedoll
@watersoul
You know it was long time ago and I just forgot the guy's name? Maybe it was some mean ole biker guy that did it, you think?
Laughing
Yep, this is new section and not sure how it is going to go as well but you know just that mistake got me thinking and you know what else, watersoul? It may be kind of along the same lines as with what you wrote.
Well, I could go back and edit it out but I think I’ll leave it there. And make a note that when a person makes a mistake in this section you may not get the “well that’s a stupid mistake woman, now we know you are off your rocker” response? We can just stick a pin it and go on.
The only personal objection I could ever have with all you wrote, the one little word perceived. I am not perceiving. I know God is perfect. I just need to explain it. Wow, wish I could. Can only try. The management thing was funny.
Smile

As for mistakes, there sure are lots of them. The bible is one, pull, whoosh, bang, target. The world is full of mistakes too but what got me thinking was maybe it is the mistakes which make it so unique and so wonderful.

I know we do not want certain mistakes going on, like mid-flight pilot mistakes on our trip to the islands but in everyday life, mistakes are just another part of life and they can actually be a bonus if you know what I mean.

I liked your reasoning watersoul. What is with that low profile, right?

My view of perfection, starts with the universe I guess, no small accomplishment and life itself although we take it for granted is really something. Awe is the word for anyone that can appreciate life regardless of belief. I can understand, if someone questions the existence of God that may not mean much to them but with a little consideration that it might be possible there is a God and suddenly it does make sense. It does not stop there for when you see everything that is going on behind the scenes it just adds to the wonderment.

A world of mistakes made with perfection. Now that’s has to sound like a killer contradiction but it is not the way I mean to display it. I suppose, if we could envision a lovely work of art all smudged by handlers, scared by elements over time, is still a work of art. Mona Lisa your smile still delights me. Even if a work of art has a brush stoke that has gotten displaced by the artist it still is a fantastic work of art. That kind of perfection.

This is becoming long but I still want to touch on the really good thought out questions you presented. Why allow us to develop this way and then for God to be aloof? I wonder too? Maybe others have thoughts to share? I certainly could never claim to having all these answers that is for sure. I can only share my shaky thoughts about those kinds of questions.

One thing is clear to me. We have so much potential (with God’s help of course from far off in that strange spiritual realm) to solve all our problems and live in peace and security. What stops us? We can do anything we want. We just need the right judgement (direction) in place. There is at least hope and if we do make it to the islands, then perfect.
watersoul
Bluedoll wrote:
The only personal objection I could ever have with all you wrote, the one little word perceived. I am not perceiving. I know God is perfect. I just need to explain it. Wow, wish I could. Can only try. The management thing was funny.
Smile


The "if I was on his management team" thing was meant with total respect though, from a non believer who can see suggestions where the perfection message could be more publicly improved than it is at present.

But the bold text where you "know God is perfect" is something I can't personally share I'm afraid, I don't even "know" that god does or doesn't exist so to "know" he's perfect would be a concept I'd have to consider only after accepting a few other concepts I haven't been convinced of so far in life.
Ankhanu
watersoul wrote:
But the bold text where you "know God is perfect" is something I can't personally share I'm afraid, I don't even "know" that god does or doesn't exist so to "know" he's perfect would be a concept I'd have to consider only after accepting a few other concepts I haven't been convinced of so far in life.


This is kinda where I am too, and why I find topics like this exceedingly difficult to discuss without questions.
It seems pretty implicit to me that a perfect concept would be impossible to refute, would be clearly existent, and understood or recognized by all.

Putting that aside, let's run with the idea that God exists... If God were perfect, why would there be so many religions? Why are there so many different interpretations on the concept of what God is? Why has God changed over time? Is perfection not eternal, is it subject to change? If perfection changes, how can it be understood or identified through time?
deanhills
If we are imperfect, which we most certainly are, how can we ever conceive of anything outside ourselves in the first place and anything outside ourselves as perfect? We could through faith believe in a God who is perfect, but would never be able to visualize it as our senses are too limited to be able to fathom the beginning and end of the Universe.
Ankhanu
We are imperfect, as are our perceptions... but it seems to me that a perfect god would know exactly how to impart knowledge upon imperfect beings to illustrate its perfection... or in the very least solidly identify its existence (unless it didn't want to be known to exist).

It's a really convoluted concept, with a lot of circular reasoning... pretty tough to get to the bottom of.
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
It's a really convoluted concept, with a lot of circular reasoning... pretty tough to get to the bottom of.
Agreed. Except of course if a person accepts it on the basis of faith, and there is some logic for me in it as well. Perhaps we see ourselves also much bigger than we are. Our intellect in a way stands in our way, as it can make us arrogant along the lines of thinking that we know some things, whereas when we finally get to the dying part, we would perhaps see the "knowing" as very insignificant versus the actual living and connection with others.
Bluedoll
Quote:
God is perfect – Deuteronomy 32:4

I know God is good without doubt because it is true. It is not just a belief based on my perceptions or even a faith but because I know God personally. Experiences in my life have demonstrated truths over and over again God’s existence and greatness.

God is not something that can be proven in a laboratory, one has to approach God in their mind privately and respectfully and wait for proof to be provided. To do so, requires first the desire, and secondly the reason to learn, needs to be with good intentions. Then and only then is the information that you are seeking provided.

Pray
With every new day, I am understanding more and more about the views of other members and this helping me in terms of relating to people here. I am not sure the same effort is being given back to me, however.

My intentions here on this forum has never been to force, convert people into some kind of religion or do I have any hidden agenda but only have wanted to help in some small way, find some way to discuss reasonably with others.
I am finding it increasingly difficult to discuss these subjects reasonably when the kind responses I get back is that God is an it and terms applied like convoluted concepts.

I can write boldly because I do know God.

No respect you say? Then no table will be set for you in my house!
Ankhanu
Bluedoll wrote:
I am finding it increasingly difficult to discuss these subjects reasonably when the kind responses I get back is that God is an it and terms applied like convoluted concepts.


Sorry, but, it is a pronoun that is gender neutral. As far as I know, the modern concept of God is gender neutral, though some refer to God as male and others refer to God as female. It seems pretty apt... unless there is conclusive reasoning as to why a specific gender should be used.
Of course, using the idea of gender and perfection together is also a fantastic way to support or encourage sexism... if the All Mighty is perfect and of a specific gender, then, by default, that gender is superior to the other.

As for convoluted concepts (this seems specifically aimed at me, if it's not, please clarify), obviously there is some convolution... if there were not, there would be no confusion (and subsequently no discussion). I can hardly see where any objection to this concept could come from, nor why it would be offensive. There are many nuances to religious understanding, those nuances do not seem universal, and they contribute to the confusion.
If there was no convolution, there would be clarity, there would be no schisms within the Christian religion. I'm sorry if it offends you that there are different interpretations, but, well... I dunno what can be done to resolve it.
liljp617
Ankhanu wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
I am finding it increasingly difficult to discuss these subjects reasonably when the kind responses I get back is that God is an it and terms applied like convoluted concepts.


Sorry, but, it is a pronoun that is gender neutral. As far as I know, the modern concept of God is gender neutral, though some refer to God as male and others refer to God as female. It seems pretty apt... unless there is conclusive reasoning as to why a specific gender should be used.
Of course, using the idea of gender and perfection together is also a fantastic way to support or encourage sexism... if the All Mighty is perfect and of a specific gender, then, by default, that gender is superior to the other.

As for convoluted concepts (this seems specifically aimed at me, if it's not, please clarify), obviously there is some convolution... if there were not, there would be no confusion (and subsequently no discussion). I can hardly see where any objection to this concept could come from, nor why it would be offensive. There are many nuances to religious understanding, those nuances do not seem universal, and they contribute to the confusion.
If there was no convolution, there would be clarity, there would be no schisms within the Christian religion. I'm sorry if it offends you that there are different interpretations, but, well... I dunno what can be done to resolve it.


Obviously the only thing that can resolve it is bowing down and accepting every single thing stated without a single question or doubt. Which is nonsensical as any sane person would conclude.
Bluedoll
@liljp617
I am not sure who you are bowing down to? If it is to God I can see no fault in that. Is it to someone or the post? For me, I only want reasonable discussions.

@Ankhanu
This is going off topic regarding the op. I didn’t say I was offended (at least not yet) but do find it difficult to discuss with anyone that is not willing to read and understand my point of view. I do want discussion but asking you for something more reasonable, please.

In this post, I am not really interested in discussing God’s gender though it could be an interesting topic for another discussion. It is reasonable, I would think, after reading the op or even the title that one could conclude that calling God an ‘it’ would be inappropriate. In this post, I am asking you politely to cease and desist with these kinds of remarks or I’ll ask for moderation to sort it out.

This post is about God not about worldly religions. Again that would be better suited in another topic. You can resolve this by sticking to the topic. I am sorry you are confused but I am not confused about this topic.

There is always room for discussion and different points and views gathered but I also think in this section a reverence to the op will enhance discussions not inhibit them.
Bikerman
Quote:
In this post, I am asking you politely to cease and desist with these kinds of remarks or I’ll ask for moderation to sort it out.

It might help if I tell you how I would view a complaint, as a mod - and I'm pretty sure it would be the general view (I'm not modding this particular forum - I think Vrythramax is taking a lead role on that).

There is nothing to moderate. The OP sets the discussion on God being perfect. Since we do not know what, if any, gender this God would be, then it is perfectly reasonable, as well as grammatically correct, to refer to God as 'it'. I see no deliberate side-tracking or personal comments, and I see nothing remotely offensive in any of the postings.
Ankhanu
Bluedoll wrote:
@Ankhanu
This is going off topic regarding the op. I didn’t say I was offended (at least not yet) but do find it difficult to discuss with anyone that is not willing to read and understand my point of view. I do want discussion but asking you for something more reasonable, please.

In this post, I am not really interested in discussing God’s gender though it could be an interesting topic for another discussion. It is reasonable, I would think, after reading the op or even the title that one could conclude that calling God an ‘it’ would be inappropriate. In this post, I am asking you politely to cease and desist with these kinds of remarks or I’ll ask for moderation to sort it out.

This post is about God not about worldly religions. Again that would be better suited in another topic. You can resolve this by sticking to the topic. I am sorry you are confused but I am not confused about this topic.

There is always room for discussion and different points and views gathered but I also think in this section a reverence to the op will enhance discussions not inhibit them.


I'm pretty sure I understand your point of view, but please, feel free to clarify any points you think I am deficient in understanding.

As for this post being about God and not worldly religions... perhaps I am again misunderstanding, but, aren't the worldly religions the frameworks with which to understand God? I have limited my reference to religion to the Christian religion, which focus on your meaning of God, and their various interpretations of what God is, I have not attempted to confuse the topic by visiting other religions and other god concepts. If I cannot use the framework of religion to discuss God, please, inform me how I might know of God to continue the discussion.

Religion, theism and atheism are very interesting topics to me, no matter what my belief structure actually is. I would like to join the conversation... sometimes that requires clarification on the framework.
Bluedoll
@Ankhanu

There are many ways to learn about God. They include looking at the creation, having personal experience and the bible. For a discussion about God and more specifically the topic God is Perfect, I would suggest the bible. Matthew 5:48 Cool

In general there are many religions in the world that people go to for social, resources and support to learn however this is not the only route. As far as the topic goes I have specifically asked for discussion to be about God and not religion.

The reason I have taken this direction Ankhanu is to demonstrate that God is above all these things and can talked about without discussing worldly religions. God is not a religion. There is only one God and God does not need to submit to anyone.




@Bikerman
I find your post intrusive for these reasons. 1.You are not in any way contributing to the op. 2. Since you are not a moderator of this section but hold moderator status your presence and opinion on how a moderator (Vrythramax)
should be considering a complaint should not really be appearing here as to date no complaint has been issued. It is in itself disruptive so I will you report your post and let the decision and the result of the moderation stand.

3. Not only is the post disruptive to the discussion but continues to taunt the issue of whether or not it is ‘ok’ to flame it up in this section with more insults pertaining to the original post asking that a little respect be given to God.

I can see what you are doing. It is obvious. You are using court room like quibbles that generate into aggressive debate like arguments. It is obvious that I believe in God Almighty. The one and only God of all the universe. I know it. You know it. Anyone that reads this forum knows it.

You are attempting to devalue the post and the whole intention of this section that the op sets the viewpoint and discussions can go from there. Anyone with half a brain can see that you want to use loop holes to turn a potentially non-aggressive section into the same kind of hostile debate forum you like to promote elsewhere.

With your kind of reasoning every post ever made in the faith section would have to specify in the greatest of detail every possible loop hole and that is just ridiculous.

All I asked for in this post and stated clearly is for God to be respected and for discussion to revolve around this. God is not an ‘it’. God in this topic is to be respected. This is my belief, I’ve stated an adequate viewpoint in the op so that discussion can take place with a view to .

I realize this section is new and is undergoing some assessments and will evolve into something. What that something will be can be determined by many or one very stubborn man’s viewpoint that nothing should be respected. You are without compromise.

I’ve read all about the subject of respect in many places within the forum. I understand the principals involved. I understand the difference between respecting the right of people to ‘practice’ their religion and respecting a viewpoint. I do not even profess a religion. I just belief in God.

Unfortunately your determination to keep persistently arguing inside topics (in this case God is an ‘it’) goes even beyond simple views. You are obviously trying to set a standard as to what will be acceptable in this section. Well I want to know what it will be too?

All I have ever asked for here in Frihost is a little personal respect. You know I love God dearly, yet you continually want to denying me the right to post here in a reasonably friendly manner by interfering with my posts like you are now demonstrating.

What is wrong with you? Can you not allow one member, to simply write what she loves and discuss this with others? Even UN resolutions on human rights allow us to have some rights. I am not hurting anyone. I am not demanding they join some religion or telling them what to do. The only things I have ever said is to understand and learn about God, pray. You certainly can not learn by being disrespectful or doing science experiments! Yet, this is somehow not acceptable to you. Instead of letting me post and share my beliefs with others, you are determined to undermine every effort for anyone to have a discussion by being as stubborn as you can be.

I can agree that in debates in the p/r section on many subjects. But God is Perfect in the faith section is not a place for unreasonable nit picking of terms. It is not unreasonable, if one stands back and looks at the op to understand that the poster in this case me just wants a little respect shown to God. Your post is borderline harassment. If it was just this one post, I could over look it but since I have joined Frihost Forum I have watched you bitterly argue here about this one topic relentlessly. I have a right to believe in God and I have a right to post about God with the expectation that I can discuss God without slurs or opposition from an atheist moderator.

The greatest question on my mind is why the opposition? It seems to me that if someone is an atheist, unless they want to explore more, or learn about God which you have made clear, this is not what you want to do, would have little interest in these kinds of topics. Instead you do and have stated that you need to stop the ‘propaganda’! The fact is many people (potential members as well) do believe in God and would are keen on friendly discussions but it will never happen because here in this forum, there is a moderator that jumps on each and every Godly post to refute it.

In conclusion, I will only say that I have grave doubts anyone will even try to see this post as an appeal for my freedom to post my beliefs and have a reasonably respectful friendly discussion. If someone actually does I will be very surprised.

For the benefit of the moderator and the reader let me say that I promise I will not add to, nor continue any more discussion about God is an ‘it’ but am turning it over for moderation.

I only want to talk about God, peacefully!
liljp617
Bluedoll wrote:
@liljp617
I am not sure who you are bowing down to? If it is to God I can see no fault in that. Is it to someone or the post? For me, I only want reasonable discussions.


I'm not going to get into a full-blown discussion over this as it's not the point of the thread or forum, but everyone who has replied to you has danced around your feelings and been completely tolerant of what you say. Nothing even slightly offensive has been said by anyone in the whole thread. And yet you still find a way to take offense. It's annoying, grow some thicker skin. If you have an issue with someone referring to your god as "it," then that's your problem -- nobody knows the gender of god (no, you don't). It was simply the correct grammatical approach. You can't be offended by correct grammar...if you are, then you have a serious issue.

That's all I will say. Respond if you wish.
Vrythramax
Bluedoll wrote:

@Bikerman
I find your post intrusive for these reasons. 1.You are not in any way contributing to the op. 2. Since you are not a moderator of this section but hold moderator status your presence and opinion on how a moderator (Vrythramax)
should be considering a complaint should not really be appearing here as to date no complaint has been issued. It is in itself disruptive so I will you report your post and let the decision and the result of the moderation stand...


I believe what Bikerman was attempting here was to let our users know that he would not be taking an active part in the moderation of this particular forum. The fact that he mentioned me by name shows that the staff has been discussing the matter in the staff forums.

A point to remember is that Bikerman, even though he is a Staff member, he is still a user and he is just as entitled to his opinions as is every other user on these forums.
LittleBlackKitten
@Bluedoll:

Simply because Chris calls God an "It" doesn't mean that he is disrespecting anything. It's just that Chris doesn't want to define God as a He or She because there's no definite proof either way. Actually, I find your response to Chris unfair and angry where anger and judgment is not due. Simply because he calls God an it doesn't mean he is disrespecting, he is simply reserving final judgment on the gender of a deity no one can truly confirm. He does not have to define gender.

As a matter of fact, if God truly IS perfect, He would not HAVE a gender, because gender is solely a definition for reproduction and are each two halves to one whole. So in a matter of actual fact, God does NOT have any gender as He does not need to breed by any sense of the term. For a deity that can create everything with a mere twitch of His celestial power, breeding is completely pointless, and being a He or She would DETRACT from perfection because it would be HALF of a whole.

As we have been created IN God's image, we are created to breed and worship Him, we are all two halves of the same whole (hence the institution of marriage) and thus NEED to be halves. God does not.

So by calling God it, Chris is far more accurate than most Christians would like to believe.

Installing God as a "He" makes it easier for humanity to feel familiar to, close to, and understand. But, the issue here is God's PERFECTION, not his GENDER, so by taking contempt to his "it" comment, you're off topic.
Bikerman
Vrythramax wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:

@Bikerman
I find your post intrusive for these reasons. 1.You are not in any way contributing to the op. 2. Since you are not a moderator of this section but hold moderator status your presence and opinion on how a moderator (Vrythramax)
should be considering a complaint should not really be appearing here as to date no complaint has been issued. It is in itself disruptive so I will you report your post and let the decision and the result of the moderation stand...


I believe what Bikerman was attempting here was to let our users know that he would not be taking an active part in the moderation of this particular forum. The fact that he mentioned me by name shows that the staff has been discussing the matter in the staff forums.

A point to remember is that Bikerman, even though he is a Staff member, he is still a user and he is just as entitled to his opinions as is every other user on these forums.

Indeed. You (Bluedoll) mentioned asking a moderator to intervene if the tone did not change. I merely wanted to point out that I would not be moderating, even though I am a mod (otherwise people might think it odd that I occasionally post in threads and don't enforce TOS as a mod). I also wanted to give you a fair summary of whether there was a genuine complaint to be made.
Max has been here longer than me and is 'senior' to me in staff terms. I would not try to influence him or sway his decisions because that would be insulting, as well as futile. Max is perfectly capable of moderating without my help, and my posting was aimed simply at informing you. There was no ulterior or hidden agenda.
Ankhanu
Bluedoll wrote:
@Ankhanu

There are many ways to learn about God. They include looking at the creation, having personal experience and the bible. For a discussion about God and more specifically the topic God is Perfect, I would suggest the bible. Matthew 5:48 Cool

In general there are many religions in the world that people go to for social, resources and support to learn however this is not the only route. As far as the topic goes I have specifically asked for discussion to be about God and not religion.

The reason I have taken this direction Ankhanu is to demonstrate that God is above all these things and can talked about without discussing worldly religions. God is not a religion. There is only one God and God does not need to submit to anyone.


Bluedoll wrote:
I like discussions about God and I am open to hearing all viewpoints even if they are not the same as mine. All I ask is respect be shown to God. Often, I read, sometimes really angry slurs towards God. This is so unfair. I am open to any opinion regardless of belief.

I like reading all perspectives but without contempt. I say express yourself but just have some regard to almighty God. This does not mean that a persons opinion or idea need be sacrificed. It just means to have a little consideration about God.

For me discussion, does not mean, don’t question or state other views, it just means well *. . Sometimes, I think people are so caught up in religous topics that they fail to understand that the religion is not God.


Surely you can see how I'm having difficulty here, regarding the OP and the following material.

Being someone who has not had personal chats with God, and being someone who has many friends who believe in God who, likewise, have not had personal chats with him/her/it, I'm at a bit of a loss on how to proceed to discuss God to your liking.

You said you are open to hearing all viewpoints, but you're getting angry that I have a viewpoint that does not clearly demonstrate God's perfection. I am trying to enter this discussion with no contempt and I have quite clearly attempted to work within the frame/spirit of the thread,

I understand that religion is not God. I understand that God transcends religions and is not bound to any given religion. I understand that God God submits to none (God clearly brings this to bear with the first commandment). However, without having immediate experience interacting directly with God, religion is how people try to understand God... that's, conceptually, the entire idea behind religion, isn't it? Without some sort of method to discuss apart from I just know, I'm at a bit of a loss for how to proceed. You say not to deal with religion, yet point me to a religious text... worse yet, you point me to a religious text that even the adherents of God can't agree how to interpret... What am I to do here?!?!?!

Tell you what, I'll just stop posting in this topic, and urge everyone else to do likewise, until I've had a chat with God myself and have personal knowledge of exactly how perfect he/she/it is. I can see no other route to discussion that would be seen as appropriate for you.

*This is me throwing my hands in the air in defeat.*
SonLight
@Bluedoll

I think you and I agree in large measure about who God is, but in the opening post you did not specify His nature. I too find referring to God as an "it" inappropriate, because to me God is a __person__ and should not be addressed or treated as if He were a lifeless object. In English, there is no easy way to refer to a person without also specifying gender.

You did ask for other opinions about God, which I understood to include discussion of what the nature of God is. It appears you want to limit discussion to a God who is personal. A simple statement to that effect (if it is your desire) should be enough to indicate what is and is not appropriate.

Some might want to consider the concept of a god who is identical with the universe, a god who is one among many similar beings, or a god who (which?) might be and automaton or some other non-personal concept. (I am using lower-case "g" when identifying a so-called god that I would not accept as valid).

I would rather discuss the God who is personal, creative, and loving, and I hope that is consistent with your intent. I hope we can do so without needing to either post a detailed creed of what we believe or wandering too far from His characteristics. In my opinion God is awesome; I have no doubt of His existence; and God is so far above our ability to fully understand that we can be forever discovering new aspects of His nature.
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
*This is me throwing my hands in the air in defeat.*
Hope you don't give up Ankhanu. You've made a great contribution to the Forum so far and I would miss your postings if you should give up on further contributions.

I get it that for Bluedoll God is a deeply personal matter, which means that any criticism of God, especially in a less than respectful tone, would be insulting to her as well. I must say that I am similarly inclined when for example someone says God is a murderer and discussions along those lines. I don't see the relevance of that as well in any discussion. Neither does it necessarily have to be along "Praise the Lord" lines either.
Bluedoll
Quote:
Putting that aside, let's run with the idea that God exists... - Ankhanu
religion is how people try to understand God... that's, conceptually - Ankhanu

I understand your viewpoint, God is a concept, an idea that someone dreamed up, correct? If so discussions are just a theory, a hypothetical discussion. Tell me if I am wrong please?
This is not the way for me. I know God exsists without any doubt in my mind. This is the difference here between us. God has a personal identy.

Quote:
You say not to deal with religion, yet point me to a religious text... worse yet, you point me to a religious text that even the adherents of God can't agree how to interpret... What am I to do here?!?!?! - Ankhanu

I can appreciate your comparson. You think to learn about God it must be through a religion? Correct? I am saying clearly that worldly religions, nor religious concepts are not the only way to approach God. We can use them but it is not the only way.
Pointing to a bible is one way to study. Interpretions vary, in fact you will find perhaps many ways of looking at a scripture. That can be good too and it is where discussion can come in. Why not?
Do as you please, Ankhanu but so you know I was more disappointed with where the threads go and not angry with your viewpoints though I am asking that God be respected.
Quote:
If God were perfect, why would there be so many religions? - Ankhanu
It is mankinds doing.
Quote:
Why are there so many different interpretations on the concept of what God is? - Ankhanu
God is not a mere concept but very complex – so many interpretations
Quote:
Why has God changed over time? - Ankhanu
God has not changed. Have you?
Quote:
Is perfection not eternal, is it subject to change? - Ankhanu
Defining perfection here are we, perhaps there is another interpretation in connection to God?
Quote:
If perfection changes, how can it be understood or identified through time? - Ankhanu
God makes his decisions and judgements know.

Is it better to ask one question than many?

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entitled as is every other user on these forums - Vrythramax
Thank you for responding so quickly.
Quote:
It's annoying, grow some thicker skin. - liljp617
Too bad for you that you are annoyed however I do not need to do anything at all, just to please.
Quote:
you're off topic. – LittleBlackKitten
Perhaps, you might like to bring it back on topic, please?
Quote:
I would rather discuss the God who is personal, creative, and loving, and I hope that is consistent with your intent. - SonLight
Yes it is my intent and thank you for your post. I like different views, ideas about topics but understanding more and more too how a post like this is much to difficult for unbelievers to accept or discuss. I wonder what Jesus would do?
Quote:
I get it that for Bluedoll God is a deeply personal matter, which means that any criticism of God, especially in a less than respectful tone, would be insulting to her as well. – Deanhill
Thank you for expressing this and I agree although praise the lord lines might be trying to fulfill, I can see how it could be as distracting as disrespectful slurs to a discussion.
jeffryjon
I agree Bluedoll that religion is not God - it's man's attempt to define God, how He functions or how we should function with Him. God is perfect as you say and as a perfect teacher/mentor, He'll relate to and be related to in such a way that the person can understand. This leads to many definitions and sometime contradictions as the person who chooses to formalize their relationship writes it down and tries to show it as an absolute that should be followed by others.

The 'perfect' angle on things is always interesting to me as when we strive to meet that perfection, our limited ideas on what perfection is changes.
Bikerman
If God is indeed perfect (and I'm sticking to the Christian God as per OP), then why are there thousands of different Christian sects (38,000 or more if we include the smallest*) - all of them finding something different in the same scripture? Would a perfect being not be able to represent itself clearly and unambiguously so that its followers could not be confused by the bible? Or did God intend for its followers to be at odds with each other?

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations
jeffryjon
jeffryjon wrote:
He'll relate to and be related to in such a way that the person can understand. This leads to many definitions and sometime contradictions as the person who chooses to formalize their relationship writes it down and tries to show it as an absolute that should be followed by others.

The 'perfect' angle on things is always interesting to me as when we strive to meet that perfection, our limited ideas on what perfection is changes.


As stated, the problem is not with God's perfection but people's attempts to define God, sometimes even claiming to have THE absolute truth about God. In today's world, many still try though are more likely to be challenged by others who have their own understandings and are indeed better educated. Personally I don't believe God wrote any of those books. He quite possibly communicated with people as He does now and some of those people claimed to have greater understanding than others and were heavily marketed. Even with a case like Jesus, I'm not aware that He wrote anything down for others and possibly because He knew that the context could be lost and many misunderstandings would arise.
deanhills
jeffryjon wrote:
As stated, the problem is not with God's perfection but people's attempts to define God, sometimes even claiming to have THE absolute truth about God. In today's world, many still try though are more likely to be challenged by others who have their own understandings and are indeed better educated. Personally I don't believe God wrote any of those books. He quite possibly communicated with people as He does now and some of those people claimed to have greater understanding than others and were heavily marketed. Even with a case like Jesus, I'm not aware that He wrote anything down for others and possibly because He knew that the context could be lost and many misunderstandings would arise.
Well said jeffryjon. In my own opinion I also can't see how people who are basically imperfect beings be able to give a perfect definition of God. I believe in God, however I think it has to be wrong to attribute human characteristics to Him. That has to be more of a reflection of the humans than of what He is.
catscratches
How could a perfect being with good intentions (God) create imperfect beings (us)?
jeffryjon
Is a caterpillar imperfect? It just munches away at the plants in our garden - though we all adore it more once it becomes a butterfly. Humans aren't imperfect in the sense of defective - we are works in progress. Of course, those who choose to keep 'skipping class' may be sent for recycling Speak to the hand - don't worry though, it's a hell of a place Twisted Evil Laughing Laughing

Seriously though. WHy do people think God allows imperfections? Everything is a perfect example of what it is in a particular set of circumstances - what a perfect learning aid.
deanhills
catscratches wrote:
How could a perfect being with good intentions (God) create imperfect beings (us)?
Since we are unable to even contemplate perfect, it is probably a question that could never be answered.
jeffryjon wrote:
Is a caterpillar imperfect? It just munches away at the plants in our garden - though we all adore it more once it becomes a butterfly. Humans aren't imperfect in the sense of defective - we are works in progress. Of course, those who choose to keep 'skipping class' may be sent for recycling Speak to the hand - don't worry though, it's a hell of a place Twisted Evil Laughing Laughing

Seriously though. WHy do people think God allows imperfections? Everything is a perfect example of what it is in a particular set of circumstances - what a perfect learning aid.
The caterpillar will die. It does not have eternal life. So in that sense it is not perfect. The caterpillar is also vulnerable as it is prey for other members of nature. It cannot run, only crawl etc. etc.
jeffryjon
deanhills wrote:
jeffryjon wrote:
Is a caterpillar imperfect? It just munches away at the plants in our garden - though we all adore it more once it becomes a butterfly. Humans aren't imperfect in the sense of defective - we are works in progress. Of course, those who choose to keep 'skipping class' may be sent for recycling Speak to the hand - don't worry though, it's a hell of a place Twisted Evil Laughing Laughing

Seriously though. WHy do people think God allows imperfections? Everything is a perfect example of what it is in a particular set of circumstances - what a perfect learning aid.


The caterpillar will die. It does not have eternal life. So in that sense it is not perfect. The caterpillar is also vulnerable as it is prey for other members of nature. It cannot run, only crawl etc. etc.


That's the point I'm making Deanhills. Everything is perfect as it is, though that doesn't mean it has to be an eternal state. A hangover is a perfect thing to tell us not to drink so much next time - a thief is a perfect example that we need to take more care of those things we value. Everything is perfect in some kind of redressing of balance - a sort of every force has an equal and opposite - as we sow so shall we reap etc etc. Of course it's hard for us to be aware of that all the time unless we look at the bigger picture. For example, I'm still working out the perfection of mosquitoes in the greater scheme of things, though have a few theories, they're by no means substantiated enough to share yet.
catscratches
If that's the case, then perfection is really nothing special. "God is perfect". Sure, but so what? The whole concept of perfection becomes meaningless if it has no value. The notion that "God is perfect" is meaningless unless you specify in which way he/she/it/they are perfect.

Is rape also perfect? Murder? Genocide?
jeffryjon
Of course there's a value - such a wonderful value - if we find something we don't like then it allows a way to figure things out and learn how to change it. If there were any absences of perfection, we wouldn't be able to find anything reliable as a way to change it - perfection relies on a certain order to everything.That's what allows us to recreate scenarios that we like and move beyond what we don't.
deanhills
jeffryjon wrote:
That's the point I'm making Deanhills. Everything is perfect as it is, though that doesn't mean it has to be an eternal state. A hangover is a perfect thing to tell us not to drink so much next time - a thief is a perfect example that we need to take more care of those things we value. Everything is perfect in some kind of redressing of balance - a sort of every force has an equal and opposite - as we sow so shall we reap etc etc. Of course it's hard for us to be aware of that all the time unless we look at the bigger picture. For example, I'm still working out the perfection of mosquitoes in the greater scheme of things, though have a few theories, they're by no means substantiated enough to share yet.
I think every perfection has an opposite offsetting imperfection. If everything were only perfect, then we all would have been in heaven? I can deal with mosquitoes but I have never been able to see one good aspect of a fly. Maybe they are there to test us so that we can become more perfect? Smile
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
I can deal with mosquitoes but I have never been able to see one good aspect of a fly.

Flies -- even mosquitos -- are living creatures, intrinsically works of art. More importantly, they form a part of the artwork that is the universe.
What else do you need?
Sometimes you need to look past your own revulsion or dislike, and see the value of just being alive.

*takes off guru hat*
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Sometimes you need to look past your own revulsion or dislike, and see the value of just being alive.

*takes off guru hat*
I definitely do, especially at lunch time these days when I can go out and breathe some fresh air. At one time (and for most part of the year) it was impossible to get out for a breath of fresh air because of the very high heat. It's winter here and at least nice to be around here for a change. The flies here in the UAE are really different from the ones in North America. They are completely focussed on trying to get into your nostrils, ears, face, they are really aggressive creatures. I still can't see the good parts of them. But yes, perhaps you are right, maybe they have a special role on earth to challenge people who don't like them ....?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
But yes, perhaps you are right, maybe they have a special role on earth to challenge people who don't like them ....?

Confused
Not sure I got through...

They don't need a special role. They exist - they don't need any external purpose to validate that existence.
Taken from a larger view, such is true of you and me as well. What purpose do we serve? What is the meaning of our existence?
If one asks such questions of a fly, the answer will be the same as the answer for you or me.
SonLight
ocalhoun wrote:

They [flies and mosquitos] don't need a special role. They exist - they don't need any external purpose to validate that existence.
Taken from a larger view, such is true of you and me as well. What purpose do we serve? What is the meaning of our existence?
If one asks such questions of a fly, the answer will be the same as the answer for you or me.


This could be true, but in the absence of a place to stand as a somewhat impartial observer, it seems pointless to postulate whether one life form is more significant than another or not.

If, however, there is a God who is perfect, and He created one of these life forms in His own image, and gave beings of that life form dominance over all other life forms, then the others do not have as important a purpose.

If God did all that, each life form no doubt has some inherent beauty and purpose, even if their beauty is ugliness and their most significant purpose is to be a pest, but no, the answer is not the same as for you or me.
Bluedoll
We can learn or we can pick things apart until we destroy our opportunity to learn. It is like observing life by looking at a fly by interacting with it, not dissecting it to death. We can learn more if we choose to.

If we look at something not just logically but logically and with our heart as well, we can learn to appreciate something. The fly we can examine closely using science for example to learn and explore the world.

If only for a minute, from the perspective of appreciation, if we can revel at how beautiful everything is and how our science enables us to appreciate how everything is made, we can learn something much greater. If we do not glorify science but appreciate it, we just might begin to see a connection, on how all things are in harmony with something else.

If we can appreciate not just lean on what we know but also consider what we do not know, we can marvel at everything in existence. This is a feeling. We learn about life, then cells, then DNA but look there is more and more and more and all of it is bound together in one perfect design.

If we use our mind and our heart together we can feel how wonderful everything is and appreciate it and if we care to explore the possibility of a creator, then we will know God’s greatness.
Bikerman
Do you see harmony and beauty in nature? I see a cruel, heartless struggle for survival going on all around. Evolution is a very effective method of driving adaptation and change, but it is not for the squeamish. Animals don't generally live until old age and their existence is often nasty, brutish and pain-filled. I certainly agree that nature is awe-inspiring, but it isn't 'nice', and it very often isn't beautiful.

Here's a couple of examples of nature at work:


Amazing? Certainly, but as Dennett says, you do have to wonder at any creator who would pull such cruel tricks. And that's the point really - I can see how we arrive at such 'cruel tricks' from a standpoint of evolution - it makes perfect sense. To arrive here from the notion of a creator though...that seems to require a level of cruelty, or at least indifference, which doesn't easily square with the notion of an all-loving creator...

PS - You won't learn a huge amount trying to interact with a fly. You may certainly learn some things, but you learn much more by 'taking them apart'.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Do you see harmony and beauty in nature? I see a cruel, heartless struggle for survival going on all around.
Both are true through their opposites as well. There can only be beauty if ugliness also exist, and there can only be ugliness if beauty also exists. One can't have the one without the other.
watersoul
I've always believed that you cannot truly know the beautiful bits of life if you never experience the painful times, so yep, I agree with that (it's got me through some dark times thinking it anyway)

But the action of 'nature' is an amoral issue to me. Tsunamis don't choose to kill people and animals only want to survive and pass some genes on along the way.
There's beauty in the roughest of storm waves, yet there is also a beauty in the battles between species for survival, tactics evolved in time, such as the beauty and death found equally in a spiders web at the same time, all in a purely clinical way, unobscured by ethics or morals.
Nope, to me nature is in equilibrium with beauty and pain everywhere at the same time, it all just depends on which side of any situation you empathise with when looking at it.
deanhills
watersoul wrote:
Nope, to me nature is in equilibrium with beauty and pain everywhere at the same time, it all just depends on which side of any situation you empathise with when looking at it.
Good point. Also depends on the lenses with which you are looking? But I must say, they can be as dark as they want to be, but there is nothing like birds to lighten up my lenses. There is lots of beauty to behold in nature, and they seem to have a great affect on how I look at them as well.

With regard to tsunamis. I've only seen them of course as photographed, but that is quite an awesome and spectacular event to observe. Even when it is cruel.
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
watersoul wrote:
Nope, to me nature is in equilibrium with beauty and pain everywhere at the same time, it all just depends on which side of any situation you empathise with when looking at it.
Good point. Also depends on the lenses with which you are looking? But I must say, they can be as dark as they want to be, but there is nothing like birds to lighten up my lenses. There is lots of beauty to behold in nature, and they seem to have a great affect on how I look at them as well.

I don't think the lenses matter too much with nature. An atheist can see the beauty in evolutionary paths & progress, while a theist can see the beauty in their gods plan to make it happen. It's overall neutral either way at the same time, with good situations perceived for some sides at the expense of others.
agbor
Having faith in christ can help us live life of great blessings. we serve a good GOD who loues his kids.
achowles
Define "God". Define "perfect".

There have been countless interpretations of what exactly (a) god is and I don't see the point in discussing whether or not this god is perfect before we've first established what exactly it is we're supposed to be discussing.

You refer to the Bible, yet the God of the Bible is an extremely flawed god, even by its (or his?) own admission.

That said, you've already taken offence that the idea of the god in question being an 'it'. The only alternative is polytheistic in nature as where you have one gender you have the other. Religious historians are debating the possibility that there was a Mrs God at some point who was erased from biblical texts, but I'm guessing you're not so keen on that idea. So it's already getting very confused. Hence the need for some clarification on what exactly you believe.

I don't see the point in debating the perfection of something when we don't even know what it is.

As for perfection, there is the small matter of what exact qualifiers do we have to determine this?
Bluedoll
achowles wrote:
Define "God". Define "perfect".

There have been countless interpretations of what exactly (a) god is and I don't see the point in discussing whether or not this god is perfect before we've first established what exactly it is we're supposed to be discussing.

You refer to the Bible, yet the God of the Bible is an extremely flawed god, even by its (or his?) own admission.

That said, you've already taken offence that the idea of the god in question being an 'it'. The only alternative is polytheistic in nature as where you have one gender you have the other. Religious historians are debating the possibility that there was a Mrs God at some point who was erased from biblical texts, but I'm guessing you're not so keen on that idea. So it's already getting very confused. Hence the need for some clarification on what exactly you believe.

I don't see the point in debating the perfection of something when we don't even know what it is.

As for perfection, there is the small matter of what exact qualifiers do we have to determine this?


I suggest you read what the Faith section is suppose to be about achowles and how it is suppose to be used. You could also read the op achowles, I will put it here also into quotes for your convenience. Also, I will make another helpful suggestion. You might like to state who you are addressing when you use the word ‘you’ in your posts. It is not always apparent.

For my postings, in this faith section, it is all about discussion and not about debate. I desire that respect be shown to God for the purpose of some quality discussion. Do that and I will return the same. I do not have to define things for anyone, the reader can make there own deductions. I will say only achowles, I will not agree or appreciate your reasoning of how God is depicted in the bible but can see flaws in mankind!


Quote:
like discussions about God and I am open to hearing all viewpoints even if they are not the same as mine. All I ask is respect be shown to God. Often, I read, sometimes really angry slurs towards God. This is so unfair. I am open to any opinion regardless of belief.

I like reading all perspectives but without contempt. I say express yourself but just have some regard to almighty God. This does not mean that a persons opinion or idea need be sacrificed. It just means to have a little consideration about God.

For me discussion, does not mean, don’t question or state other views, it just means well *. . Sometimes, I think people are so caught up in religious topics that they fail to understand that the religion is not God.

In the story of Adam and Eve they had two sons Cain and Abel. Cain laid out crops of cultivation and in his mind was appreciative of God but jealousy and anger filled Abel’s heart. This was the first religion and later the first murder.

I am opening to a discussion but God should not be disrespected because of the hand of mankind.


http://www.frihost.com/users/Bluedoll/blog/vp-120733.html
achowles
Bluedoll wrote:
I suggest you read what the Faith section is suppose to be about achowles and how it is suppose to be used. You could also read the op achowles, I will put it here also into quotes for your convenience. Also, I will make another helpful suggestion. You might like to state who you are addressing when you use the word ‘you’ in your posts. It is not always apparent.

For my postings, in this faith section, it is all about discussion and not about debate. I desire that respect be shown to God for the purpose of some quality discussion. Do that and I will return the same. I do not have to define things for anyone, the reader can make there own deductions. I will say only achowles, I will not agree or appreciate your reasoning of how God is depicted in the bible but can see flaws in mankind!

Unless I'm quoting someone else, my first post in a thread would be replying to the OP. But I'll keep that in mind for future reference.

As for the rest, I've got to wonder exactly what you're expecting out of this thread. Yes this should be focussed on the faith outlined in the OP. But unfortunately no effort on your part was made to outline the exact nature of the faith.

There are thousands of gods that mankind has created throughout our history. It would be improper to merely assume that you're referring to the most popular interpretation in Western society. You want a discussion about the perfection of God, yet you reject any request to actually define God. The issue of gender, for instance, is actually rather significant.

Furthermore you demand respect for your chosen faith, which would be fair enough. That is if you demonstrated any respect at all towards other faiths yourself. But I have seen clear evidence in other posts you have made which indicate you clearly do not. Essentially there is your beliefs then there is evil Satan worshipping with nothing more to it than that. You're not exactly shy about making that nice and clear. I would not call that respect of other's views or even polite acknowledgement.

If you can't overcome the hypocrisy of your stance one way or another than there is little hope of this thread turning out as you envisioned it. So you are going to have to tolerate a certain lack of respect because as of right now your stance does not command it.

To be clear about this, if you were among the millions of Christians who aren't hypocrites and can respect other's views then my responses would be vastly different.
deanhills
Must be a sign of Frihost addiction, as when I read a post as the one before this one by achowles, then it makes posting around here really worth my while. Apart from being well written, it makes me happy when someone can be tolerant and firm all at the same time.

That said, I believe humans are imperfect. And since they are imperfect, I can't imagine any of them being able to create a perfect religion, perfect belief system, or a perfect god. That is why I also believe that no religion could ever provide an accurate description of God, as no human being is perfect enough to transcend time, space, and all the limitations that we have to go through when we are born and die as we are designed to do. We seem to just get to the point of wisdom (well some people do) in our ripe age, when it's time to die again. To say God is perfect can't be true, as no one can really know God, and if we claim we do know God, then perhaps we have to be a god ourselves. For me God is infinite and completely incomprehensible. The closest I can ever get to the perfection of God is in art, nature, love, and being able to do something really great for someone else. But then I always find that the price that one pays for any of these wonderful experiences, can be just the flip side of perfection, as love always has hate on its flip side, art can turn into ugly, nature can take its revenge in earthquakes and people can spit in your hand.

Perhaps perfection is when we can marry the good with the bad, and all of the opposites. For example one can only love someone if one can hate them as well. One can only really have faith when one has progressed through doubt as well. And one can also only really trust someone, if one has distrusted that person as well. So perhaps God has to be both perfect and imperfect rolled into one supreme being that is unfathomable to earthly beings.
jeffryjon
Or maybe our human idea of perfection is limited by our awareness. If something doesn't conform to our ideas of what perfection is then the mind may term it imperfect. We are limited by the lenses we use to view and review everything we experience. One thing I found beneficial was accepting the possibility that God and everything in God is perfect and combining that possibility with my perceptions. It opened me up to noticing more factors involved in a situation and in realising that the more we look at things which seemed like side issues, the more we start to see perfection in process. Not professing to be all-knowing, though I'm convinced now that everything is perfect and what we need to do is to decide which version of perfection we wish to experience.
deanhills
@jeffryjon. I've never seen anything .... yet .... that is absolutely perfect. As there will always be something that it can be compared with that could be greater. Real perfection for me goes beyond visuals or comparisons that are based on the senses. I'd say it is a step beyond my physical existence.
Bikerman
The idea of a circle with radius r and circumference 2pi*r is perfect.
The idea of a triangle with angles = 180 degrees is perfect.
We are full of perfection Smile
jeffryjon
My point Deanhills is that perfect doesn't have to conform to our individual idea - we have to accept it as an example of what it is. If we beat an egg and expect to get a roast rabbit then we have 2 or maybe 3 perfects. The perfect yet unattainable idea, the perfect scrambled egg and the perfect representation to show us that the idea is not in control of the reality. Bikerman's examples are perfect as ideas - whether we can create them as realities depends on having the ability to measure the accuracy of the idea when it is portrayed. As humans, we accept calling something as perfectly fitting an idea when it falls within certain tolerances of error - this simply shows that we're willing to alter our ideas to fit what is. Nonetheless - what really happens is still perfect - it can't be anything else - and when our ideas are in aligment with real objectives we have a perfect match.

For me the 'imperfection' idea isn't allowing for God being perfect and everything created by God being perfect - that's what allows us to learn when the result fails to match the idea of the result
Bluedoll
achowles wrote:
So you are going to have to tolerate a certain lack of respect because as of right now your stance does not command it.
Well, I did not choose the words command and demand you did! I asked for a little respectful discussion but may not get it, this may be true. I do understand your reasoning but you fail to understand my belief.[/quote]


Quote:
My belief is there is only one God. I will denounce satan and declare this to anyone choosing to follow him. I have a right to believe and express this. To show acknowledgement on my part that it is ‘ok’, reasonable or alright to defile God and follow some false satanic claim to world dominance is not what I choose and giving under to some kind of ridicule pressure to conform to this line of thinking will not be my end. - Bluedoll



In regards, to perfection concerning world sovereign. You show me one man, one leader, one dominating ruler that will try to manage and control the world and I will show you an eventual disaster. Show me a man that can produce a universe. Show me a man that can make a planet come to life. All these men after they are done with their dictatorships end up down in the earth as worm food. Show me one man that will not be in the end?

When it comes to proper guidance and rescue, God’s decisions is what will count, and those decisions will be PERFECT!
achowles
Bluedoll wrote:
My belief is there is only one God.


Please tell me you can see what's wrong with this? No, not your beliefs. I'm referring to the total lack of any detail here. My first words in responding to this topic where asking you to define exactly what the word "God" meant to you when you used it. The fact that you believe there is only one is a start. But if we're to debate the perfection or lack thereof of God then we need to know a bit more than this.

For instance the Bible claims God is omniscient. Then it goes on to list instances where God demonstrates no foresight whatsoever. The Bible tells us the that God is omnipotent. Then it goes on to list the things that God seemingly can't or won't do.

Then there is the old favourite of whether God has left us to our own devices or whether he still exerts an influence over us. The latter being a veritable smorgasbord of problems unto itself but one that many Christians consider to be the case regardless.

But you see, there's not much point in that if you don't actually take the Bible word for word anyway. Of course that would open up a lot of other issues instead, but I'd rather stick to addressing the relevant ones.
jeffryjon
achowles wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
My belief is there is only one God.


Please tell me you can see what's wrong with this? No, not your beliefs. I'm referring to the total lack of any detail here. My first words in responding to this topic where asking you to define exactly what the word "God" meant to you when you used it. The fact that you believe there is only one is a start. But if we're to debate the perfection or lack thereof of God then we need to know a bit more than this.

For instance the Bible claims God is omniscient. Then it goes on to list instances where God demonstrates no foresight whatsoever. The Bible tells us the that God is omnipotent. Then it goes on to list the things that God seemingly can't or won't do.

Then there is the old favourite of whether God has left us to our own devices or whether he still exerts an influence over us. The latter being a veritable smorgasbord of problems unto itself but one that many Christians consider to be the case regardless.

But you see, there's not much point in that if you don't actually take the Bible word for word anyway. Of course that would open up a lot of other issues instead, but I'd rather stick to addressing the relevant ones.


I wonder whether you've ever experienced seeing the perfection in something whilst another who's more of a novice in a certain field fails to see the same. Many things do not make sense until we have enough relevant information, though we must accept that if it happened it must by definition make sense. As such, if something is really happening and doesn't make sense to us, it is we who fail to understand how it came about.
achowles
jeffryjon wrote:
I wonder whether you've ever experienced seeing the perfection in something whilst another who's more of a novice in a certain field fails to see the same. Many things do not make sense until we have enough relevant information, though we must accept that if it happened it must by definition make sense. As such, if something is really happening and doesn't make sense to us, it is we who fail to understand how it came about.


Or it could be seen as a delusion. I see no reason to accept another's understanding of a subject if they do absolutely nothing to explain it. Bluedoll has offered no insight into their God at all. I'm therefore not seeing any great insight and understanding on their part simply because they're doing nothing to convey it.

Furthermore, it tends to be more often the case that novices are the ones who see perfection in something in which those who look closer can see the cracks in the façade.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
The idea of a circle with radius r and circumference 2pi*r is perfect.
The idea of a triangle with angles = 180 degrees is perfect.
We are full of perfection Smile
The radius and triangle may be perfect, but human beings aren't perfect by a long shot. We aren't completely symmetrical, our faces are not perfectly round, the eyes are not always of an identical strength, etc. etc. Our power of observation vary from the real to the obscure. Our thinking is also not perfect.
jeffryjon
achowles wrote:
jeffryjon wrote:
I wonder whether you've ever experienced seeing the perfection in something whilst another who's more of a novice in a certain field fails to see the same. Many things do not make sense until we have enough relevant information, though we must accept that if it happened it must by definition make sense. As such, if something is really happening and doesn't make sense to us, it is we who fail to understand how it came about.


Or it could be seen as a delusion. I see no reason to accept another's understanding of a subject if they do absolutely nothing to explain it. Bluedoll has offered no insight into their God at all. I'm therefore not seeing any great insight and understanding on their part simply because they're doing nothing to convey it.

Furthermore, it tends to be more often the case that novices are the ones who see perfection in something in which those who look closer can see the cracks in the façade.


Take your point, though I was actually referring to your own experience rather than judging another's. Maybe I was perfectly unclear in my previous post. Maybe Bluedoll's unable to adequately express God's perfection in words - I know I am.
achowles
jeffryjon wrote:
Maybe Bluedoll's unable to adequately express God's perfection in words - I know I am.


If that's the case then it does somewhat render this thread pointless.
jeffryjon
achowles wrote:
jeffryjon wrote:
Maybe Bluedoll's unable to adequately express God's perfection in words - I know I am.


If that's the case then it does somewhat render this thread pointless.


Threads are not pointless, just because one or two people are unable to put a complete story into words. I couldn't even describe the taste of an apple adequately to replicate the experience for another. That wouldn't necessarily mean I wouldn't encourage someone to eat an apple and find out for him/herself. Words are an inadequate medium for expressing anything which has to be experienced. Some people, or in other cases groups of people, come up with a composite which would be appealing enough for others to have their own experience and then words are no longer necessary.
menino
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Sometimes you need to look past your own revulsion or dislike, and see the value of just being alive.

*takes off guru hat*
I definitely do, especially at lunch time these days when I can go out and breathe some fresh air. At one time (and for most part of the year) it was impossible to get out for a breath of fresh air because of the very high heat. It's winter here and at least nice to be around here for a change. The flies here in the UAE are really different from the ones in North America. They are completely focussed on trying to get into your nostrils, ears, face, they are really aggressive creatures. I still can't see the good parts of them. But yes, perhaps you are right, maybe they have a special role on earth to challenge people who don't like them ....?


lol deanhills, I think the flies in the middle east are like that.
They really are aggressive and irritating, most times. Sometimes I have to walk through a building to get to my bus stop, and in that building there are a swarm of flies in the pathway.... fortunately they don't follow me to the bus stop.

I think flies are there because of the filth around us... the more filth we spread around or don't clean up, they are there to remind us of the mess we've made.
I think the world is immensely beautiful, and each living thing has its purpose, no matter how irritating. Flies just buss around you... now there are mosquitoes in the middle east who really bite, and that's more irritating.
menino
catscratches wrote:
How could a perfect being with good intentions (God) create imperfect beings (us)?


Actually, we have the ability to pusue perfection, even though we may never reach it, and most of us will probably get frustrated in this cause. This doesn't mean we should not strive for perfection. We must endure on.
God has given us free will to do as we please.... including posting in this thread. Laughing
Bluedoll
deanhills wrote:
Personally, and hopefully this will not offend you Bluedoll, I find it almost an equivalent of blasphemy to say "God is perfect", as God is too omnipotent to fit any comparison, template or description. For me God transcends perfect and imperfect, right and wrong, all of the opposites. God most certainly transcends reason. But that is my own personal point of view. I can't provide evidence for it, so therefore won't make it into a discussion point, as I would most certainly be challenged on it.
I do not feel that way Deanhills and I am not offended by different points of view and beliefs. I think it is perfectly alright to say God is perfect.

Quote:
For I shall write and publish about God. Do you attribute greatness to our God? The Rock, perfect is God’s activity. For all God’s ways contain justice. – from Deuteronomy 12:4


It is not that words can not be respectfully questioned or that different viewpoints can not be discussed that is a problem. The problem is how this occurs.

achowles wrote:

For instance the Bible claims God is omniscient. Then it goes on to list instances where God demonstrates no foresight whatsoever.

<snip>
When it concerns religious discussions, we not have to answer to others, even if they are demanding we write definitions, or debate in their style of board writing. In some cases our spirtuality, and our right as human beings can be affected if we do. We do not have to answer to others, nor enter into any deceitful reasonings of debaters even if they falsely declare our posts to be pointless, or insulting.
achowles wrote:

For me the 'imperfection' idea isn't allowing for God being perfect and everything created by God being perfect - that's what allows us to learn when the result fails to match the idea of the result
According to one way of reasoning, for example scientific, perfect could be considered an equation with reasoning both for or against perfection.

When it comes to God however, the romans might be a good example of a perfect relationship?

Moderator - post edited in line with TOS
Bikerman
Ankhanu
Bluedoll wrote:
When it comes to God however, the romans might be a good example of a perfect relationship?


Care to explain how? It's unclear, at least from my education and research, how they really differed from other cultures in their relationships to their gods.
kingvidbina
Didn't have time to read the entire thread, but anyways...

I see God as something that is beyond us. A concept we cannot envelop with out limited perceptive capabilities. Our understanding of God is something that grows and the souls who know most about it might come to the conclusion that they know nothing at all. Simply because it is too big for us. Labeling God, defining God and other such activities are often futile efforts to describe something that is, in being, indescribable.

Look at science for instance. It is something of such greatness that we have been spending every second since our Genesis to get a better understanding of it and behold... we've barely scratched the surface. Every time we discover something new and throw theorems off the speculation table we realize that there is a certain integrity to it's (science) nature that might at first appear contradictory, but at the end prove to be completely logical. This moment of enlightenment only comes when we put everything in greater perspective.

The earth was flat at first, bizarre idea nowadays but back then there probably were some amazing theories of that which could be found at the end of the earth. We've seen things happen in history which we at first deemed magical or mystical. After finally mustering some added understanding of the occurring phenomena we often discovered that there were some other forces at work all along. Nowadays we might know of a lot of things in science that look like exceptions to the rules, imperfections, flaws -- but tomorrow we might understand the origin of those "errors" when brought into greater perspective.

There are just some things we don't know, don't understand... and I guess that is what we often call "imperfection".

There is a lot about God that I don't understand and sometimes that could lead me to think that He's strange/imperfect/mistaking at some points. But I guess I might never understand until we meet. Smile

Sure, God looks along while this world kills itself but then again -- He wanted us to be free! And guess what?!? We have true freedom. True freedom from the Creator should also means not interfering when something doesn't go His way right? The biggest imperfection lies in man. I haven't seen God walking around hurting people. I just see people hurting people, but it's part of my human nature to shift the blame. Maybe I should take another look...

My 2 cents Wink

have a nice weekend
Bikerman
kingvidbina wrote:
Didn't have time to read the entire thread, but anyways...

I see God as something that is beyond us. A concept we cannot envelop with out limited perceptive capabilities. Our understanding of God is something that grows and the souls who know most about it might come to the conclusion that they know nothing at all. Simply because it is too big for us. Labeling God, defining God and other such activities are often futile efforts to describe something that is, in being, indescribable.
So you presumably regard those churches which DO claim to know what God wants, to be dishonest or arrogant or both? If God is indescribable then much of Christian religion is based on a lie - since it is central that we are made in the image of God and that one manifestation of God is in human form.
Quote:
The earth was flat at first, bizarre idea nowadays but back then there probably were some amazing theories of that which could be found at the end of the earth.
Not really. The ancient greeks knew it was not flat and no educated person has thought so since then. The earth was never flat, and it is a very long time (if ever) since 'most' people thought otherwise.
Quote:
We've seen things happen in history which we at first deemed magical or mystical. After finally mustering some added understanding of the occurring phenomena we often discovered that there were some other forces at work all along. Nowadays we might know of a lot of things in science that look like exceptions to the rules, imperfections, flaws -- but tomorrow we might understand the origin of those "errors" when brought into greater perspective.
That is how science progresses. It makes the central assumption that it is POSSIBLE to explain and proceeds from there.
Quote:
There are just some things we don't know, don't understand... and I guess that is what we often call "imperfection".
No that cannot be correct. To label something 'imperfect' means that you know what 'perfect' is. Scientists never do that. Imperfection is not at all the same as 'not understood'.
Quote:
There is a lot about God that I don't understand and sometimes that could lead me to think that He's strange/imperfect/mistaking at some points. But I guess I might never understand until we meet. Smile
So, after praising the scientific method for all the success it has had, you now appear to be saying that God is unknowable and therefore not available to logic and reasoning?
Quote:
Sure, God looks along while this world kills itself but then again -- He wanted us to be free!
Err, he doesn't just look on - remember the Flood? The plagues on Egypt? The numerous examples from the Old Testament where God is actively killing people in very large numbers?
Quote:
And guess what?!? We have true freedom. True freedom from the Creator should also means not interfering when something doesn't go His way right?
No, wrong and completely illogical. Firstly it is wrong, factually, from a Christian perspective. Read the bible. God doesn't want people to be free - he DEMANDS that they worship him, obey HIS laws and kill those who don't.
God interferes all the time in the lives of man - right through the Old Testament and right through the New Testament, come to that. The notion that God is a benevolent observer is completely at odds with basic Christian scriptures and teachings.

Secondly it is logical nonsense. God is omniscient and omnipotent. We CANNOT go against him without his participation, since he knows in advance what we will do, from the moment of creation. At the moment God created the universe he already knew every action you would perform and yet, (and this is the important bit, so pay attention) HE STILL CHOSE TO CREATE A UNIVERSE IN WHICH YOU WOULD DO THOSE ACTIONS. He COULD have created any of an infinite number of universes in which you acted differently, but he CHOSE this one.

It is also a logical nonsense to propose that the reason for bad things in the world is so that humans can have free will. In what way did the Japanese Tsunami help human free will? Would our free will have been somehow damaged if God had NOT chosen to kill all those people?

In other words you were NEVER free - you were ALWAYS going to do what you do - whether good or bad.
Quote:
The biggest imperfection lies in man. I haven't seen God walking around hurting people. I just see people hurting people, but it's part of my human nature to shift the blame. Maybe I should take another look...
You MUST be joking. We once calculated how many people Yaweh kills in the Old Testament. I came up with a figure of about 2.5 million - and that is a pretty well supported and dependable number, based on the various events described in the bible. That puts God right up there with monsters like Stalin, Pol Pot etc. But God does not have the excuse that he is 'imperfect' and subject to an imperfect human nature. God's nature is, by definition, perfect. So that surely makes him much more of a monster than any human, since Stalin et al were certainly mentally driven by paranoia, fear, greed and other human weaknesses. God has no such justification for his murderous acts.
deanhills
kingvidbina wrote:
Didn't have time to read the entire thread, but anyways...

I see God as something that is beyond us. A concept we cannot envelop with out limited perceptive capabilities. Our understanding of God is something that grows and the souls who know most about it might come to the conclusion that they know nothing at all. Simply because it is too big for us. Labeling God, defining God and other such activities are often futile efforts to describe something that is, in being, indescribable.

Look at science for instance. It is something of such greatness that we have been spending every second since our Genesis to get a better understanding of it and behold... we've barely scratched the surface. Every time we discover something new and throw theorems off the speculation table we realize that there is a certain integrity to it's (science) nature that might at first appear contradictory, but at the end prove to be completely logical. This moment of enlightenment only comes when we put everything in greater perspective.

The earth was flat at first, bizarre idea nowadays but back then there probably were some amazing theories of that which could be found at the end of the earth. We've seen things happen in history which we at first deemed magical or mystical. After finally mustering some added understanding of the occurring phenomena we often discovered that there were some other forces at work all along. Nowadays we might know of a lot of things in science that look like exceptions to the rules, imperfections, flaws -- but tomorrow we might understand the origin of those "errors" when brought into greater perspective.

There are just some things we don't know, don't understand... and I guess that is what we often call "imperfection".

There is a lot about God that I don't understand and sometimes that could lead me to think that He's strange/imperfect/mistaking at some points. But I guess I might never understand until we meet. Smile

Sure, God looks along while this world kills itself but then again -- He wanted us to be free! And guess what?!? We have true freedom. True freedom from the Creator should also means not interfering when something doesn't go His way right? The biggest imperfection lies in man. I haven't seen God walking around hurting people. I just see people hurting people, but it's part of my human nature to shift the blame. Maybe I should take another look...

My 2 cents Wink

have a nice weekend
Welcome to the Faith Forum kingvidbina Very Happy Nice to have someone posting from Rotterdam. I agree with most of what you have said, including that there are some things that are beyond our understanding. But that which is beyond understanding may not necessarily be imperfect, we're just not perfect enough to get to that understanding.

Bikerman wrote:
Firstly it is wrong, factually, from a Christian perspective. Read the bible. God doesn't want people to be free - he DEMANDS that they worship him, obey HIS laws and kill those who don't.
God interferes all the time in the lives of man - right through the Old Testament and right through the New Testament, come to that. The notion that God is a benevolent observer is completely at odds with basic Christian scriptures and teachings.
The Bible was not written by God. It was written by human beings who are everything but perfect and a large number of whom used fear in their description of God in order to get people to comply with their rules. If theists and non-theists can't agree on the interpretation of the various versions of the Bible and translation of words, how can you pretend to be an expert on how Christians are supposed to read and interpret their Bible? There is always something that all of us don't know and can't understand and I refuse to believe that you are an exception to this.

Furthermore, Christians usually look at the Bible from a position of faith, whereas someone like you, who claims a position in science looks at the Bible from a purely empirical fact point of view. If you are going to look at the Bible from a pure fact point of view, then obviously you are going to find plenty of anomalies as the Bible can hardly be described as a book of science; it is a book of faith.
Bluedoll
deanhills wrote:

The Bible was not written by God. It was written by human beings who are everything but perfect and a large number of whom used fear in their description of God in order to get people to comply with their rules. If theists and non-theists can't agree on the interpretation of the various versions of the Bible and translation of words, how can you pretend to be an expert on how Christians are supposed to read and interpret their Bible? There is always something that all of us don't know and can't understand and I refuse to believe that you are an exception to this.

Furthermore, Christians usually look at the Bible from a position of faith, whereas someone like you, who claims a position in science looks at the Bible from a purely empirical fact point of view. If you are going to look at the Bible from a pure fact point of view, then obviously you are going to find plenty of anomalies as the Bible can hardly be described as a book of science; it is a book of faith.


Bikerman is not approaching this topic very scientific. It is not a road to discovery. It is set position (his) from a purely religious point of view. It is neither an impartial atheist point of view, nor is it very scientific. This is not a man who is reasoning anything with anyone. It is a conviction.

This is someone that comes into a post with an op which clearly states, lets discuss this in a respectful manner towards the subject (God), and posts to show others what he thinks God is all about. What he writes is not respectful but displays hate towards God. It is a religious subject. He is stating what he believes is the truth and is doing what any minister or religious leader would do. Only in his case his aim is to defile and display God as evil.

I agree with you Deanhills, on the fact that the bible was written by imperfect men, but disagree with you that Bikerman is interpreting the Christian bible. It is his bible just as much as it is anyone else’s. He has read it. He interprets it. Then he publicizes it. How can you not call this a religious topic?
Ankhanu
I'm not taking "Bikerman's side" here, but it does come down to a question that I've asked many times and have yet to receive an answer for: How can we know God outside of what is said in the Bible? I mean this in a sense in which knowledge can be passed from one person to another; you can't pass along personal revelation and have it meaningful to anyone else, even other believers.

It seems to me that any discussion of the nature of God hinges on clear communication of what is God. The Bible is used frequently to support the ideas of God's perfection, but is tossed aside when it demonstrates an imperfect being… What is the frame of reference from which to work to discuss the topic of God's nature??

i.e. How can people like me, whom God has not chosen to personally reveal himself to, take part in this discussion without being simply tossed aside as having an irrelevant frame of reference?

This is why I've largely abstained from this thread in the past.
Bluedoll
@Ankhanu
You keep asking . . . to know God is the same as knowing anyone else. You approach that person, you communicate with them and then you work on a relationship.

Maybe, we do not need to take anyone’s side? Is this a game? Is it a battle of supremacy? I say just go with your instincts. I keep trying to understand your point of view but do you keep rejecting my view.

I have never commanded or demanded anyone to do anything but only asked from them a little respect towards God. We are free to do what we want but if a person really means what they say and wants to know about God through a discussion, then we need to approach God, not the other way around. It does not work in reverse.

The bible can be used in a discussion of God of course, but you are considering it a truth that the bible is tossed aside when it demonstrates an imperfect being. The bible does not do this! Men do this for their own selfish reasons, with their own interpretations. They are wrong.

I would never toss a person aside because of different point of view. Disrespect is another story all together. You are right about this topic, this topic is not about social studies. You can not study, or look at God through a microscope.


The frame of reference belongs to God.[/quote]
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
I'm not taking "Bikerman's side" here, but it does come down to a question that I've asked many times and have yet to receive an answer for: How can we know God outside of what is said in the Bible? I mean this in a sense in which knowledge can be passed from one person to another; you can't pass along personal revelation and have it meaningful to anyone else, even other believers.
Through faith. Also, I'm not negating the Bible. I'm saying that it is not a book of science. If you are going to look for scientific proof of God in the Bible, then you obviously won't find it. If you are going to use the content of the Bible as scientific proof that God is a murderer, then the same argument applies.

Ankhanu wrote:
It seems to me that any discussion of the nature of God hinges on clear communication of what is God. The Bible is used frequently to support the ideas of God's perfection, but is tossed aside when it demonstrates an imperfect being… What is the frame of reference from which to work to discuss the topic of God's nature??
I'm unaware of anyone using the Bible as a reference for God's perfection in this discussion. Perhaps I have missed it? From my own point of view, if human beings are imperfect, how can they see God as perfect? They can have a sense of God's omnipotence, but it would be impossible to comprehend it.

Bluedoll wrote:
How can you not call this a religious topic?
I'm a little confused here Bluedoll as I don't understand where this question comes from as I did not say anything about it not being a religious topic. What I believe in from a religious point of view is based on faith, not science. I don't read the Bible to find scientific proof. I read it for guidance and inspiration.

With regard to respect, I think it is unfair to expect someone who has no belief in the existence of God, to have respect for God. You could perhaps ask the person to have respect for your faith in God, as that is obviously real. But if you are going to make a statement that God is Perfect, and expect those who do not believe in God to have respect for "God is Perfect", then that has to be an unrealistic expectation. For me personally God is everywhere, and it is crystal clear for me, but I can't provide scientific proof. If I can't provide scientific proof, I can't expect those who insist on scientific proof as a condition of truth, to accept or respect my point of view.
Ankhanu
Bluedoll wrote:
@Ankhanu
You keep asking . . . to know God is the same as knowing anyone else. You approach that person, you communicate with them and then you work on a relationship.

Maybe, we do not need to take anyone’s side? Is this a game? Is it a battle of supremacy? I say just go with your instincts. I keep trying to understand your point of view but do you keep rejecting my view.

I have never commanded or demanded anyone to do anything but only asked from them a little respect towards God. We are free to do what we want but if a person really means what they say and wants to know about God through a discussion, then we need to approach God, not the other way around. It does not work in reverse.


This makes the assumption that such efforts have not been attempted. Personally, I've sought God, with no answer. I'm certainly not alone in this experience, based on many accounts, contemporary and historic.
The trite response is that we were not honest in our efforts (I've been accused of this one personally)... personally, I find that ridiculous to the point of offensive. There are people who have ended their lives from not receiving an answer, there are people who've gone mad in the effort… There are people who's entire way of knowing the world crumbled around them as they came to the conclusion that God wasn't there. There are people who's families have cast them aside due to their failed quests to find God and subsequent belief that God wasn't there… Some people are desperate to find God, and yet, do not find Him.

Bluedoll wrote:
The bible can be used in a discussion of God of course, but you are considering it a truth that the bible is tossed aside when it demonstrates an imperfect being. The bible does not do this! Men do this for their own selfish reasons, with their own interpretations. They are wrong.


I did not imply that the the Bible tosses itself aside when it details God behaving imperfectly, I was referring to a phenomenon we've seen in many threads here, including this one, and other forms of media. The Bible tends to be accepted as a proof of the positive aspects of God, but is dismissed as a proof of the negative aspects. The example from above would be Bikerman pointing out the inconsistencies within the Bible on God's "perfect" character; the result, we're told that he's not reading the real Bible, and his views are invalid.

Bluedoll wrote:
The frame of reference belongs to God.


That's all fine and good, but, the root of my question is how can I recognize this reference? How can I know what is true? I've sought, I've asked, I've contemplated, and am no closer to an answer now than I was as a child, a teen, a 20-something and now. God doesn't always seem too chatty on the subject of his nature, or even his existence… hence seeking a meaningful frame with which to have a chat with you that's not discarded as flawed, rooted in religion, "science" or disrespect. Not all questions imply disrespect, many are quite honest in their intent.

deanhills wrote:
I'm saying that it is not a book of science. If you are going to look for scientific proof of God in the Bible, then you obviously won't find it. If you are going to use the content of the Bible as scientific proof that God is a murderer, then the same argument applies.


There is nothing being sought in terms of "science" in the Bible (in the majority of cases and certainly not in this thread). What is being brought up is factual, black and white statements that are written of in the Bible. You confuse seeking facts with science... but it's no more science than the pursuit of history or literature studies. Science is not the only field interested in having its facts straight... or even examining internal consistencies. We're not talking about testable ideas or conclusions with predictive capability here at all, there's been no reference to science whatsoever. Forget about "science".

Faith is all fine and good here, but, what is basically being implied is that you cannot discuss this topic honestly without having faith. I think that's silly. There are myriad versions of faith, each person's faith is personal, there's far from any kind of universal understanding of what God is. If there's to be discussion on the topic of God's perfection, there needs to be some sort of standard by which the discussion can occur; otherwise it's just people stating opinions with no real recourse for those opinions to be validated... it's one of those rare instances where all opinions are equal, as there's nothing solid against which they might be judged.

deanhills wrote:
Ankhanu wrote:
It seems to me that any discussion of the nature of God hinges on clear communication of what is God. The Bible is used frequently to support the ideas of God's perfection, but is tossed aside when it demonstrates an imperfect being… What is the frame of reference from which to work to discuss the topic of God's nature??
I'm unaware of anyone using the Bible as a reference for God's perfection in this discussion. Perhaps I have missed it? From my own point of view, if human beings are imperfect, how can they see God as perfect? They can have a sense of God's omnipotence, but it would be impossible to comprehend it.


"From my own point of view, if human beings are imperfect, how can they see God as perfect?" - Well, that's one of the big questions of this entire topic, isn't it? Again, by what standards are we judging the idea? What reference do we have to even begin considering the scope and character of God? How are we to begin looking at what could be perfect or imperfect about something to which there is no communicable way of understanding? If it is completely beyond us, statements like God is perfect are completely meaningless. If it's to be discussed, there has to be a frame of reference available to everyone in the discussion. Without it, the only thing that can be said with any certainty is that God is unknown.

The Bible has been quoted for both the perfection and imperfection of God in this thread. It has been used because it is the reference manual for determining the character and history of God… it is where God is described.

deanhills wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
How can you not call this a religious topic?
I'm a little confused here Bluedoll as I don't understand where this question comes from as I did not say anything about it not being a religious topic. What I believe in from a religious point of view is based on faith, not science. I don't read the Bible to find scientific proof. I read it for guidance and inspiration.

This hearkens back to her thread on Satanic Atheism and her definition of religion, that's all. It was still left as an open question last I looked, however.

deanhills wrote:
With regard to respect, I think it is unfair to expect someone who has no belief in the existence of God, to have respect for God. You could perhaps ask the person to have respect for your faith in God, as that is obviously real. But if you are going to make a statement that God is Perfect, and expect those who do not believe in God to have respect for "God is Perfect", then that has to be an unrealistic expectation.


I dunno. I think we're capable of discussing the topic with respect… but it's tough when any kind of dissent to the idea is referred to as disrespect, whether the source is well reasoned or even with solid basis in the very texts that are said to define Gods characteristics!
I do approach the Faith forum with its intended spirit. I try to put my own biases aside and work within the perspective of the OP… sometimes it's easier than others, but I concede many points of contention to engage in the chat in a meaningful way. In terms of this discussion, the absolute truth or even personal belief in God's existence and nature are kind of immaterial. What's important is the way that God is characterized and the source of that characterization. Without a common frame, it is impossible to meaningfully discuss, especially if you choose a frame of reference that does not match the OP's… but without that reference really being apparent, it's all too easy to fall into that trap of being "disrespectful". *shrug* I'm really uncertain of how to proceed.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It's amazing that we're holding a discussion to determine how people like me can be part of this discussion and offer insights that aren't pushed aside out of hand because we don't hold either any faith, or the same faith as that expressed in the OP.
Personally, I think I'm up to the challenge of having a discussion in which I am not operating from my native perspective. In fact, I quite enjoy exploring these avenues… but sometimes I need a little help. I find it very discouraging (both in my sense of involvement and in my sense of having some faith in the community) when I cannot get help to understand when I point blank ask for it.

"How can I understand?" "You can't unless you do some things that you've done before…"

This is why I threw my hands up in this thread before, and it looks like it was the right choice at the time, and continues to be so Razz
So frustrating!
Bikerman
With regard to various suggestions that I am 'interpreting' the bible in a particular way, or that I am making 'unscientific' statements - tosh!
a) The only interpretation I have used is to assume that the things described are true. So when it says, in Genesis, that a global flood drowned all but Noah and family, then I have assumed that is true and that God has therefore just 'destroyed' the population of the world.
b) The estimate of the number that God kills is based DIRECTLY on the contents of the bible.
Indeed a couple of people have extended this and counted every killing mentioned in the bible and arrived at an accurate number - 2,476,636 *

* That is the number God kills in the OT and NT but does not include the flood and other events where no number is specified. If we include those, then a reasonable estimate would be around 25 million.
Bluedoll
I am pressed for time at the moment but do want to respond in the future to your long post Ankhanu (God is talking – they were just not listening) and Deanhills I want also to comment briefly on your comments as well. (perhaps that is true but is it not thier problem no mine?)

I do want to make one short comment on Bikerman’s negative contributions in this thread to say that they are preposterous and disruptive to any kind of mature discussion. In terms of accuracy, these kinds of statements I think are total hogwash and backbenching raillery!

Bikerman's statements assume that what the bible is saying, fits only to his understandings and are truth. In fact what is happening is he is failing to understand the real truth of the bible because he has blinded his vision with preposterous inaccuracies and extreme bias because of his religious belief's.

The events of ‘the flood’ is not the topic by the way and is so far back in time to report any accurate numbers of anything. Perhaps, someone can report an accurate number of dinosaurs breeds, as well the total of number of raindrops that fell? Simply ridiculous to say the least.

__________________________________


More importantly, who is going to say that a flood is not a natural event to even begin with? Volcano’s, earthquakes even meteorite incursions from outer space are all natural events of destruction to human life. As we gain scientific knowledge of our world, we then gain the ability to predict and warn people of upcoming disasters so that they can take precautionary measures.

The real important question is will they listen?
Bikerman
LOL..so now you think the flood was a natural disaster? I'm afraid that is just silly. The only reason one could possibly have for postulating any such flood is religious - we KNOW from the natural evidence that it never happened, but people can 'believe' whatever they like. Now you suggest that it isn't a matter of faith, but a natural event. If that is so there is no need for any religiously inspired certainty that it did happen and one can simply accept the overwhelming physical evidence that it did not happen.

As for the prattle about getting things wrong - 'fraid not. Why not give a few examples of what I have misquoted or misunderstood? Oops, I forgot - I've already shown before, quite a few times I remember, that your knowledge of scripture is sketchy at best - which is probably why you keep bleating about 'not having to answer', rather than demonstrate the lack of knowledge again.

I guess you didn't follow the helpful link I provided, That's a shame, because if you had you would see that every killing counted in the total is referenced and can be looked-up via the hyperlink.
No 'reinterpretation' required from me.
achowles
jeffryjon wrote:
I couldn't even describe the taste of an apple adequately to replicate the experience for another.


Whatever the nature of God, God isn't inanimate. There is not just the matter of "taste" - the essence of something - here. We can look to God's actions determine perfection or lack thereof.

Which brings us back to what exactly is believed to be attributed to God. What has God actually done? What has God created? What does God directly or indirectly influence?

Now one thing we can say for sure is that Bluedoll believes there is a Satan. Depending on how you interpret the Bible, Satan is either a mistake or a deep rooted flaw in God's personality. If we are to take it that God is omniscient then that rules out the possibility of a mistake as the consequences of creating Satan would have been known beforehand.

As to why Satan represents a flaw in God's personality, that should be obvious enough. God creates a technicality as the basis for entry into heaven. Not doing good deeds. But accepting Jesus' sacrifice for your sins. As if that's not bad enough he has also created Satan to lead people off this narrow path he's expecting them to walk.

Which of course says nothing of all those who died before Jesus was crucified or indeed those who lived in elsewhere and just generally had no chance of being saved. Now to say that this is a bit of a flaw is an understatement. It's as if God saw a gaping wound in the soul of mankind and tried to stick a Band-Aid on it. Then employed someone to try and rip it off.
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
There is nothing being sought in terms of "science" in the Bible (in the majority of cases and certainly not in this thread). What is being brought up is factual, black and white statements that are written of in the Bible. You confuse seeking facts with science... but it's no more science than the pursuit of history or literature studies. Science is not the only field interested in having its facts straight... or even examining internal consistencies. We're not talking about testable ideas or conclusions with predictive capability here at all, there's been no reference to science whatsoever. Forget about "science".
OK I understand Ankhanu? Since you are a scientist, I should be careful when I use the word science. Hopefully you understood what I meant however?

Ankhanu wrote:
Faith is all fine and good here, but, what is basically being implied is that you cannot discuss this topic honestly without having faith.
I'm not the only person in the world who holds this fatalistic position. You're always going to argue fact, demanding empirical evidence (if I got the terminology wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me), and so you would like me to go and study your empirical evidence so that I can defend myself against it. Is that honest? Or is it more honest to say that I believe in God. I don't feel a need to prove to you that God IS. If you don't agree with it, then I have an understanding for it, as best as I can as we are obviously coming from vastly different points of view. I'm sure there are Christians who are excellent at debate, and who study all the counter arguments to atheist quotes from the Bible. I'm not one of those. I find those arguments mostly futile and divisive. But that is my own personal point of view.
Ankhanu wrote:
In terms of this discussion, the absolute truth or even personal belief in God's existence and nature are kind of immaterial.
We're getting in the realm of futility again Ankhanu. For any Christian belief in God's existence is personal, it can never be immaterial.
Ankhanu wrote:
What's important is the way that God is characterized and the source of that characterization. Without a common frame, it is impossible to meaningfully discuss, especially if you choose a frame of reference that does not match the OP's… but without that reference really being apparent, it's all too easy to fall into that trap of being "disrespectful". *shrug* I'm really uncertain of how to proceed.
You've lost me here. It sounds very intellectual and very good (and I don't mean this sarcastically), but you are miles ahead of me, what frame of reference could be a common one?
Ankhanu wrote:
It's amazing that we're holding a discussion to determine how people like me can be part of this discussion and offer insights that aren't pushed aside out of hand because we don't hold either any faith, or the same faith as that expressed in the OP.
I can't recall anyone every really pushing your insights aside. I've always valued your insights, I'd have to be an idiot if I did not, as you write excellent postings. You're obviously a much more seasoned and accomplished debater than I am. And that has never bothered me before, as you always approach the people you debate with, with lots of patience and respect. And I appreciate that.
Ankhanu wrote:
Personally, I think I'm up to the challenge of having a discussion in which I am not operating from my native perspective. In fact, I quite enjoy exploring these avenues… but sometimes I need a little help.
I have never seen you debating in that direction however. What help would you need to explore those avenues?
Ankhanu wrote:
I find it very discouraging (both in my sense of involvement and in my sense of having some faith in the community) when I cannot get help to understand when I point blank ask for it.
What help were you asking for. Again, this is sincerely asked, as I was unaware you were asking for help. If you were, and I did not respond as I should have, my apologies, perhaps I did not understand, and still don't understand what you were asking for.
deanhills
achowles wrote:
As to why Satan represents a flaw in God's personality, that should be obvious enough. God creates a technicality as the basis for entry into heaven. Not doing good deeds. But accepting Jesus' sacrifice for your sins. As if that's not bad enough he has also created Satan to lead people off this narrow path he's expecting them to walk.
But is Satan really an evil being with horns and a tail? Or the darker side of ourselves that we do battle with on a daily basis?
achowles
deanhills wrote:
But is Satan really an evil being with horns and a tail? Or the darker side of ourselves that we do battle with on a daily basis?


I would choose something closer to the latter interpretation. But this isn't really about my interpretation. The Bible depicts Satan as a fallen angel. A being capable of independent thought (even though how independent his actions are is up for debate). So that's what I'm working with.
Ankhanu
deanhills wrote:
OK I understand Ankhanu? Since you are a scientist, I should be careful when I use the word science. Hopefully you understood what I meant however?

You should be careful to use the correct words to convey the correct meaning all the time, no matter who you're speaking to. Only refer to something as being science if it is. Likewise, only refer to something being orange if it is, etc. etc.
I think you were referring to facts when you used "science", but I'm not certain. Either way, science is not facts, though it is a means by which one might discover them. It's also not the only discipline that relies on them… most forms of knowing rely on factual information, not just science. Please stop using it in that manner, it's simply wrong and conveys that you simply have no idea as to what science is (despite having it previously explained).

deanhills wrote:

I'm not the only person in the world who holds this fatalistic position. You're always going to argue fact, demanding empirical evidence (if I got the terminology wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me), and so you would like me to go and study your empirical evidence so that I can defend myself against it. Is that honest? Or is it more honest to say that I believe in God. I don't feel a need to prove to you that God IS. If you don't agree with it, then I have an understanding for it, as best as I can as we are obviously coming from vastly different points of view. I'm sure there are Christians who are excellent at debate, and who study all the counter arguments to atheist quotes from the Bible. I'm not one of those. I find those arguments mostly futile and divisive. But that is my own personal point of view.

I've demanded nothing resembling empirical evidence, I've only requested a meaningful frame of reference with which to approach the discussion on Bluedoll's terms, as the OP. As such, the frame is entirely of her choosing, and thus, unlikely to be empirical. I'm trying to put my belief aside and discuss the topic from the perspective of the intent of the topic.

As I said back on page 1, I'm taking this subject from the standpoint that God exists. There need be no proof of it, it's simply being accepted for sake of argument. I know that we're dealing with some idea of the Christian God, but outside of that, things start to fall apart for me to discuss the perfection and/or imperfection of God... as I don't know what God is apart from what Christian teaching has told me. Apparently this is not enough to meaningfully engage in the discussion. It has nothing to do with measurable, observable phenomena, and everything to do with how God is defined and characterized. These aspects are absolutely crucial to a discussion of what God is and whether what God is is perfect or not.
This, for example, on page 1 in reference to a question I posed about perfection is a fine example:
Bluedoll wrote:
Defining perfection here are we, perhaps there is another interpretation in connection to God?

I mean, yes, of course I'm trying to understand what it is to be "perfect" and understand what the word is supposed to mean... taking on the discussion without a definition for the key word of its initial statement is pretty much impossible. Of course I want a definition.
If there is another interpretation in connection to God, why not provide it so that the topic can be discussed rather than continuing a fruitless guessing game? I guess, get to "nope, that's not it, try again" and the process repeats. It's a silly way to encourage discussion.

deanhills wrote:
Ankhanu wrote:
In terms of this discussion, the absolute truth or even personal belief in God's existence and nature are kind of immaterial.

We're getting in the realm of futility again Ankhanu. For any Christian belief in God's existence is personal, it can never be immaterial.


You misunderstood. All I was saying was that in the context of the discussion, whether true or not in reality, a definition of God is being accepted as being true. Other thoughts on the subject of God need not apply. In this thread, God exists, no matter what your personal belief or absolute truth may be.

deanhills wrote:
Ankhanu wrote:
What's important is the way that God is characterized and the source of that characterization. Without a common frame, it is impossible to meaningfully discuss, especially if you choose a frame of reference that does not match the OP's… but without that reference really being apparent, it's all too easy to fall into that trap of being "disrespectful". *shrug* I'm really uncertain of how to proceed.

You've lost me here. It sounds very intellectual and very good (and I don't mean this sarcastically), but you are miles ahead of me, what frame of reference could be a common one?

Sorry, this is a symptom of my poor communication skills; I have a tendency to over complicate things; it's something my editors have to beat out of me when I draft things.
The entire point of what I was trying to say there is nicely summed up in your reply: what frame of reference could be a common one? I am asking, not offering up an answer. Without an answer to this question, I, and those like me, can't engage in the discussion.


deanhills wrote:
I can't recall anyone every really pushing your insights aside. I've always valued your insights, I'd have to be an idiot if I did not, as you write excellent postings. You're obviously a much more seasoned and accomplished debater than I am. And that has never bothered me before, as you always approach the people you debate with, with lots of patience and respect. And I appreciate that.

Thank you for the compliments.

deanhills wrote:
Ankhanu wrote:
Personally, I think I'm up to the challenge of having a discussion in which I am not operating from my native perspective. In fact, I quite enjoy exploring these avenues… but sometimes I need a little help.

I have never seen you debating in that direction however. What help would you need to explore those avenues?

Ankhanu wrote:
I find it very discouraging (both in my sense of involvement and in my sense of having some faith in the community) when I cannot get help to understand when I point blank ask for it.

What help were you asking for. Again, this is sincerely asked, as I was unaware you were asking for help. If you were, and I did not respond as I should have, my apologies, perhaps I did not understand, and still don't understand what you were asking for.


I am asking to know the angle and background information for approaching the discussion of God's perfection.
There are many definitions of God within the Christian perspective, there are conflicting descriptions of God's character within the Bible... there are conflicting reports from believers as to God's nature, desires, and power... I've asked which definition of God is being used; I have not been given an answer other than "God will tell you if you ask", but God hasn't told me yet, so I'm asking the humans engaged in the discussion too.

To use the avenue metaphor, I can't drive along the avenue if I'm not even told what city it's in. I need help finding the avenue.
Bluedoll
Ankhanu wrote:
I've demanded nothing resembling empirical evidence, I've only requested a meaningful frame of reference with which to approach the discussion on Bluedoll's terms, as the OP. As such, the frame is entirely of her choosing, and thus, unlikely to be empirical. I'm trying to put my belief aside and discuss the topic from the perspective of the intent of the topic. . . I've asked which definition of God is being used; I have not been given an answer other than "God will tell you if you ask", but God hasn't told me yet, so I'm asking the humans engaged in the discussion too.


I will not discuss God in this way! First of all I refuse to ‘define’ God or ‘engage’ in some hurtful, sarcastic, negative, insulting debate. What I asked for in the op was meaningful discussion with respect shown to God. I did not get this request. I do not see much respect being displayed by many of the people that have posted into this topic. As one poster wrote, do not expect to get it.

I will however give reason why I do not wish to provide more than I already have.

    1. I do not have to. I am not required to respond, write, discuss anything under other peoples terms despite any kind of orders or critical slurs from them.

    2. I am not responsible for someone else’s relationship with God almighty. If they wish to denounce God and define God like some other kind of silly debate topic or declare that God is not sufficient or simply disrespect God then that is their problem not mine. They are being careless in my opinion.

    3. It is not to my advantage to feel lousy at the end of the day because I am human and interacted with people that use message boards in a hurtful way. It is obvious to me that these discussions hover around a macho power struggle, silly message board game or possibly by 'definition' some kind of religious cult that is more satanism than anything else.

    4. Knowledge and wisdom are like pearls. I am not required to hand over all my precious gifts, if I do not wish to. I will however always give freely a portion because I always have hope that people can see some good in themselves and others and see that respect is the best route in everything.
Ankhanu
Wow.

Ok, I'm definitely out then. Later.

Sorry to have caused so much apparent harm, it was entirely unintended.
achowles
Bluedoll wrote:
I will not discuss God in this way!


You seem to refuse to discuss God at all. You started a thread about God's perfection. Surely you realised there would be at least two factors to that weren't going to take this thread in the direction you clearly wanted.

Firstly there's the fact that even a theist would be wise to be cautious about agreeing with your statement. While they may agree with the basic premise, they may in fact be applying the word "God" to an entirely different understanding of a supreme being than you. Therefore God's perceived perfection would also be different.

Secondly there is the fact that a discussion about perfection would require no shortage of analysis.

Plenty of religious people are more than happy to discuss the nature of the divine. It is not disrespectful of their faith do so. The only reason to be so cagey about your beliefs is if you do not understand them yourself.

Furthermore I have to note that again you have called for respect to your faith and again you have lumped everyone that doesn't share it into the burn in Hell devil worshippers category. Continuing with this kind of hypocrisy is only going to make matters worse and further alienate you from anyone who does not share your seemingly quite cagey and nebulous outlook.
Bluedoll
achowles wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
I will not discuss God in this way!


achowles seem to refuse to discuss God at all. You started a thread about God's perfection. Surely you realised there would be at least two factors to that weren't going to take this thread in the direction you clearly wanted.

Firstly there's the fact that even a theist would be wise to be cautious about agreeing with your statement. While they may agree with the basic premise, they may in fact be applying the word "God" to an entirely different understanding of a supreme being than you. Therefore God's perceived perfection would also be different.

Secondly there is the fact that a discussion about perfection would require no shortage of analysis.

Plenty of religious people are more than happy to discuss the nature of the divine. It is not disrespectful of their faith do so. The only reason to be so cagey about your beliefs is if you do not understand them yourself.

Furthermore I have to note that again you have called for respect to your faith and again you have lumped everyone that doesn't share it into the burn in Hell devil worshippers category. Continuing with this kind of hypocrisy is only going to make matters worse and further alienate you from anyone who does not share your seemingly quite cagey and nebulous outlook.


achowles, do you understand much of what I write at all? How can I make it any clearly. STOP misquoting me. Did I say anywhere, “ I call for respect to my faith?” No, I did not!

Stop misquoting me, and read what I write. I can write for myself and do not need anyone to put a different spin on it. Make your own posts! Comment on what I write with your own thoughts, or put it in quotes if you like, but stating what I said in a completely different way is very dishonest.

What I wrote is,
Quote:
I will not discuss God in a disrespectful way with anyone.
That is what I stated and that is what I will stick to. If that alienates me fine. So be it.

I do not want to focus on agreeing or disagreeing with anyone at all. In fact I welcome different points of view. What I do ask for clearly would be accepted by anyone interested in this topic that is not here just for aggressive debates. Everyone has questions including people that trust, love and appreciate God but they wish to show respect for God and those that do not in connection with the latter could anyway out of consideration but they choose not to.


For your information, this post was not about an analysis of perfection at all. Rather this post was intended to be a purely religious post about God. The bible declares and I will declare that God is perfect in his decisions.

I am not as you say cagey in my beliefs by saying that I will not enter into a kind of discussion that is without respect for God because that is what I believe should occur and I will hold fast in my beliefs.

___________________________________________________________

I never said burn in hell devil worshippers you did that, but while we are on that topic.....if you want to rave on about perfection so much and analyze it to death, why not start a post on it?
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
As I said back on page 1, I'm taking this subject from the standpoint that God exists. There need be no proof of it, it's simply being accepted for sake of argument. I know that we're dealing with some idea of the Christian God, but outside of that, things start to fall apart for me to discuss the perfection and/or imperfection of God... as I don't know what God is apart from what Christian teaching has told me. Apparently this is not enough to meaningfully engage in the discussion. It has nothing to do with measurable, observable phenomena, and everything to do with how God is defined and characterized. These aspects are absolutely crucial to a discussion of what God is and whether what God is is perfect or not.
This sounds a bit like a contradiction though doesn't it? You want to start from a position that God exists, but cannot do so when you want to define God in terms of perfection or imperfection as you cannot find observable and measurable phenomena in order to do so. You're lost without measurable and observable phenomena. Whereas someone like Bluedoll or myself work on faith. How on earth are we going to reach one another on that basis?

Also, I was unaware we were focusing on Christianity. There are many more belief systems that focus on God as perfect.
Ankhanu wrote:
The entire point of what I was trying to say there is nicely summed up in your reply: what frame of reference could be a common one? I am asking, not offering up an answer. Without an answer to this question, I, and those like me, can't engage in the discussion.
OK, thanks for the explanation. I have a better understanding now. I can't see a common frame of reference though. Can you? You are trying your best to start with the standpoint that God exists, but don't seem to be able to succeed in it, as you need observable and measurable facts with regard to God's perfection and imperfection that you are never going to find anywhere.

Some people would use the Bible as a common reference point, or the Koran, etc. but in my opinion the information in for example the Bible would not withstand your proof of observable and measurable facts. Unless you assume that everything that is written in the Bible is 100% fact. And then of course one can do the typical tug of war quotes from the Bible.
achowles
Bluedoll wrote:
Did I say anywhere, “ I call for respect to my faith?” No, I did not!


Semantics. This is just another matter of differing perspectives. To me there is no God. There is just your belief that there is a God. Your faith. So to me it's a matter of your faith; not God. Hence why I refer to it as you asking people to respect you faith.

I have no intention of misquoting you, and nothing to gain from doing so. If nothing else there's the fact that your posts are there for everyone to see. So what can I hope to gain?

Bluedoll wrote:
The bible declares and I will declare that God is perfect in his decisions.


So do you take the Bible literally? That could have been useful to know if any chance of a decent debate hadn't been shot to hell in the meantime.

Bluedoll wrote:
I never said burn in hell devil worshippers you did that...


This much is true. That is purely my interpretation of what you wrote rather than the actual words you used. But then you've done absolutely nothing to correct me on this either time that I've called you on it. Sometimes what isn't said is more telling than what is.
achowles
deanhills wrote:
Also, I was unaware we were focusing on Christianity. There are many more belief systems that focus on God as perfect.


Yes, it's unfortunate that such vital information wasn't provided sooner. Then again such a claim as that made in the thread title would perhaps not have resulted in a very productive debate regardless.
Bluedoll
deanhills wrote:
OK, thanks for the explanation. I have a better understanding now. I can't see a common frame of reference though. Can you? You are trying your best to start with the standpoint that God exists, but don't seem to be able to succeed in it, as you need observable and measurable facts with regard to God's perfection and imperfection that you are never going to find anywhere.
Regarding Deanhills post in reference to achowles comment, I think he won a writing contest in frihost for a very good reason. This is certainly quality writing and it does make perfect sense to me! Very very true! I am also interested in reading achowles comment on this subject, if any?

achowles wrote:
Semantics. This is just another matter of differing perspectives. To me there is no God. There is just your belief that there is a God. Your faith. So to me it's a matter of your faith; not God. Hence why I refer to it as you asking people to respect you faith.


Semantics, I agree and that is entirely the point! You are studying what someone else writes and giving it your own interpretation. I am saying your interpretation is wrong! What I wanted to post was to be entirely about God and not about myself. You are making it personal. I asked for respect for God. You turn that around to mean respect for me.

I feel you are also wrong to make a decision as to what this post is do (debate) when I am a part of it and clearly making a distinction between discussion and debating. I do not want to debate with you on this topic but can debate with you on many other topics including why topics like this one are “shot to hell” as you so eloquently put it.
_________________________________________

Bluedoll’s definition of hell:

    A place on earth where people took bodies of deviants and tossed them in with the rest of the garbage on fire as they thought they did not deserve recognition or honour of remembrance.

    Hell can be used in sentence structure (hellish) to define crud and wasteful conditions.

    To burn in hell means to be tormented in ones own heart.
achowles
Bluedoll wrote:
I am also interested in reading achowles comment on this subject, if any?


You keep saying that you don't want this to be about you and you want this to be about God. Unfortunately however there have been a great many interpretations of God. Or perhaps more accurately: there have been a great many creations of man that have been labelled as gods.

Even within Christianity there are vastly different perspectives on even the most intrinsically fundamental aspects of the faith. Take your interpretation of Hell for instance - that is not the most common one.

Equally there are those who believe that God is very hands off these days. They might not believe Noah's flood happened. But for whatever reason they don't believe that God is behind every positive and negative occurrence. Then of course there are those who believe these things are God's judgements. Funnily enough in my experience these people tend to be the ones who take the Bible more literally.

So we could determine the perfection of God by looking at the nature of God - in what form God exists and what God is capable of. Which would inevitably lead to also looking at God's actions. God's actions could also be analysed on their own merits. For instance, how necessary and appropriate those actions where and what the results of those actions were. Also what God decides not to do, despite still influencing mankind to a similar degree in other ways. A perfect judgement would be a clear indication of perfection as such things are not easy for us mortals.

In either case, despite you fighting me at every turn about this, it does boil down to you. If we look at the nature of God then we must know what you believe that to be. If we look at the actions of God we need to know what you think that God was actually responsible for (and in some cases how).

We don't really have anything else to work with here.

achowles wrote:
What I wanted to post was to be entirely about God and not about myself. You are making it personal. I asked for respect for God. You turn that around to mean respect for me.


This isn't really a reconcilable difference in perspectives on the matter. I accept that you want this to be about God. That's fine. But to me that's your faith. To you God may exist universally. To me God only exists within the faith of believers, such as yourself. Hence why I refer to it as such. I'm not trying to make you sound self absorbed about this. But I can see how it could be interpreted that way.

Bluedoll wrote:
I feel you are also wrong to make a decision as to what this post is do (debate) when I am a part of it and clearly making a distinction between discussion and debating.


But such things are impossible to maintain, or in this case impossible to start. Even if there were ultimately no opinions to the contrary it would first have to be established exactly what the claim of perfection is based upon.

Bluedoll wrote:
Bluedoll’s definition of hell:


So what of the afterlife? If Hell isn't an alternative destination to Heaven then what, if anything is? If there are no alternatives then what purpose does Satan serve?
Bluedoll
achowles wrote:
You keep saying that you don't want this to be about you and you want this to be about God.
No, incorrect, I said this post was to be about discussion about God and what I was asking for was respect for God. What I want is to be understood.
achowles wrote:
there have been a great many interpretations of God
That is a true statement however in this post I will be stating what I believe and how I do this is my business and no one else’s.
achowles wrote:
To you God may exist universally. To me God only exists within the faith of believers, such as yourself. Hence why I refer to it as such.
If you understand this much, then you must understand as well how much your definition of God is so very disrespectful. God is not an it! I do understand how difficult it is for you to understand what you can not see or touch but that to me is no excuse for slanderism.

“yes we could appreciate the perfection of God by looking at the nature of God” – but I will not analyze God and it is there, where we will part company.

deanhills wrote:
OK, thanks for the explanation. I have a better understanding now. I can't see a common frame of reference though. Can you? You are trying your best to start with the standpoint that God exists, but don't seem to be able to succeed in it, as you need observable and measurable facts with regard to God's perfection and imperfection that you are never going to find anywhere.


I am amazed at how people can analyze so intimately what they do not understand or believe in. Then, say they do not acknowledge existence, yet keep resorting to blame seeking. People do get killed, so let us blame this all on God, they say! The truth is bad things do happen.

The more important questions which should be asked are why do people continue to mock, as the people in Noah’s day did. They are not willing listen. If someone were to explain to me it is ignorance, I could accept that as reason, but I feel the correct answer is they have decided not to - all on their own.
achowles
Bluedoll wrote:
That is a true statement however in this post I will be stating what I believe and how I do this is my business and no one else’s.


Fine. But the sooner it is done the better the chance of salvaging something from this thread. I notice again that you've neglected to answer anything that would advance this thread in any meaningful direction.

Bluedoll wrote:
If you understand this much, then you must understand as well how much your definition of God is so very disrespectful. God is not an it!


Well, yes. But I was not referring to God as an it in that sentence, but rather your faith in God. That's the "it" in question here. After all I was talking about my own terminology there; and as has already been established what I see is your faith in God, rather than God.

That said I don't understand why you're so keen to insist that God has a gender when the only thing you're willing to say about God is that there certainly isn't a Mrs God. I can understand gods having genders or a single omnipotent god. But a single omnipotent god with a gender doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. But then I suppose it's not like it has to.

Bluedoll wrote:
but I will not analyze God and it is there, where we will part company.


No, I thought perhaps not. Which is why I did offer the alternative of defining exactly what actions are attributed to God. That's surely not something that could possibly be considered offensive to anyone on any level. The only reason to shy away from that is if you're not sure yourself what you believe God is responsible for, or you are on some level aware of clear imperfections in actions you believe God has undertaken.
deanhills
Bluedoll wrote:
deanhills wrote:
OK, thanks for the explanation. I have a better understanding now. I can't see a common frame of reference though. Can you? You are trying your best to start with the standpoint that God exists, but don't seem to be able to succeed in it, as you need observable and measurable facts with regard to God's perfection and imperfection that you are never going to find anywhere.
Regarding Deanhills post in reference to achowles comment, I think he won a writing contest in frihost for a very good reason. This is certainly quality writing and it does make perfect sense to me! Very very true! I am also interested in reading achowles comment on this subject, if any?
Thanks for the compliment Bluedoll, but I can't take the credit for this entirely. I've learned a lot from Ankhanu in this thread, particularly with regard to use of the right wording. He also helped me shape some of my thoughts.
Bluedoll wrote:
To burn in hell means to be tormented in ones own heart.
This is a good definition. Smile
achowles wrote:
So what of the afterlife? If Hell isn't an alternative destination to Heaven then what, if anything is? If there are no alternatives then what purpose does Satan serve?
For myself, I don't believe in the typical Heaven where the few chosen get to go to and Hell where your many sinners are sentenced to. I also don't know what will happen when I die. I'm almost certain however there is no after"life" the way we know it, and it is something we cannot fathom in our physical existence. Maybe there are some gurus who dedicate their whole lives to spirituality who get glimpses now and then (or maybe not), I don't know. Except, when I die, I believe there is a part of me (spirit) that continues. I don't see it as the doomed or reward variety, and don't have any theories of how it works. I can imagine it has to be an enormous relief and release from the physical body, once we have passed on.
Bluedoll
Deanhills wrote:
I've learned a lot from Ankhanu in this thread, particularly with regard to use of the right wording. He also helped me shape some of my thoughts.
Not really sure what you meant?
achowles wrote:
Fine. But the sooner it is done the better the chance of salvaging something from this thread. I notice again that you've neglected to answer anything that would advance this thread in any meaningful direction.
I am not sure exactly what is meant by advancement here? I do know, I do not have to answer any questions directed to me if I do not choose to. I will not directly, if I find the tone of them to be repulsive.
achowles wrote:
was not referring to God as an it in that sentence, but rather your faith in God.
Alright, then I misunderstood, sorry about this misunderstanding! This post was intended to be about God, not about my faith but I will no longer state this.
I do know for a fact that God exists, has a loving and kind personality and do trust God's decisions will be perfect in everyway. I do not have to debate this, nor observe counter arguments. With trust, I am very able to discuss alongside posts that are keen to advance in God's direction.
achowles wrote:
That said I don't understand why you're so keen to insist that God has a gender when the only thing you're willing to say about God is that there certainly isn't a Mrs God.
I never said this!
achowles wrote:
The only reason to shy away from that is if you're not sure yourself what you believe God is responsible for, or you are on some level aware of clear imperfections in actions you believe God has undertaken.
This might be guess on your part but you are incorrect. I will not judge God. Obviously, you want to judge God. I will accept any judgements and decisions from God.
What I have found inside posts in the forum concerning, what a lot of people think about God is hate induced. Not only do I find words of untruth but appalled at the aggressive attempt to bring others into that line of thinking. What some people are failing to understand in my dialogue is that I believe, these kinds of reasoning (People saying, “God’s actions are incorrect”) are very misleading.

Achowles, you are obviously not content to accept my writing style and keep insisting that I answer your questions directly and go inline with an angry debate for the purpose of discrediting God instead of mutual learning about God in discussion .. This I feel in itself is wrong on a subject for spirituality and to be avoided.

This is the direction, I think this post has traveled to and it is a truth (see above) that I will salvage from it.
deanhills
Bluedoll wrote:
Deanhills wrote:
I've learned a lot from Ankhanu in this thread, particularly with regard to use of the right wording. He also helped me shape some of my thoughts.
Not really sure what you meant?
When I started the discussion I was not using the right terminology, and Ankhanu helped me with that. Also, the discussion was completely messy and disjointed until he suggested that we needed a framework of reference. He then took great trouble to explain exactly what that was. While I was asking questions and he was patiently providing answers to those, I managed to shape my own thoughts about the discussion. Both Ankhanu and achowles are hoping to get a framework of reference from you, which is a description of what you mean when you say God is perfect.

My own response is that God is neither perfect nor imperfect as God transcends perfect and imperfect for me. In my opinion when I say that, I move into the realm of unmeasurable phenomena that cannot be observed. So probably cannot enter into a meaningful discussion with someone who requires measurable and observable phenomena in an explanation.

However, I think achowles and Ankhanu are interested to hear what your framework of reference is. Exactly what do you mean when you say God is perfect, and what would you compare this perfection with? What is "perfect" when you say God is "perfect", and what is imperfect? This is a discussion Forum, so if you discuss a topic like God is perfect, then you need to provide the discussion with something to work with. In my opinion, if you feel uncomfortable to the extent of viewing probing questions as destructive to your belief, then it would be better to put this in a blog, rather than in a public discussion.
Bluedoll
What do I mean when I say God is perfect? Well actually it is not little ole me that says, God is perfect. It is anyone that loves and wants to learn about God who will understand God’s relationship. It is even for all the heavens to determine how God is perfect in his ways. I would for the purpose of discussion focus on God’s Decisions as perfect, if I was actually in a reasonable discussion.

Quote:
A decision from God is perfect, refreshing the soul. The judicial decision of God are trustworthy, making his children wise.-Psalms 19:7
When it comes to deciding the fate of the world (or your world) – who are you going to trust?
Strive to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.-Matthew 5:48
I like the relationship between father and child the best. Did you ever see a perfect human dad? No, I think not. But I think the love that exists (or should exist) makes the relationship perfect from that perspective. God = love.


Providing some kind of framework is possible Deanhills, I think the very first paragraph in this very long post (please excuse me for it, I always thought reasonably sized posts touching on one point were much better for discussion) does give a framework for a religious discussion on God? If I am wrong let me know. The last paragraph in this post describes what this topic is about as well.

In terms of discussion however a topic like this could go in many directions I realize that. What I provided in the op was more than just one focused analytical topic. The op was not centering in on debate style arguments that are so predominate on forums where one party presents a point and then the other party counters the post attempting to win a debate.
In religious discussions the debate way is a fools journey. It needs not be that way. I also left a link there where I did blog as I did want to make this reference point though it was not the main theme of the post. What I am saying is a frame of reference, if you need one, is definitely not very scientific. I stress that it can not be in this kind of subject.
Many people who post on religious topics are not capable of showing much respect to other members, let alone a religious topic. I will repeat this point over and over on respect because it is not about different viewpoints or ideas. It is about how they are expressed.

Dean, you expressed a viewpoint that I disagree with in regards to how I post but you did so in such a way that warrants a reply directly. Even though we might disagree on key points it does not mean we need to resort to a hostile debate but can display our points and discuss them without insults.
This is not the case for many with religious topics nor if I can make note here was it in the case with Cain and Able. Do you remember Dean, a post “God is Good”. You had the same kind of response to that post. I believe you said and correct me if I am wrong that it should have been removed? Though I did admit that what I wrote . . (This is post is for anyone that believes that God is good. Please do not post under this thread if you do not believe God is good.)http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-115326.html#954354. . . was incorrect from a forum policy point of view, at that time I was not aware nor for that matter did I really wish the post to imply anything other than honestly making a request because I thought it would actually help the post. That post and others seemed to create a muddle and well you know the rest of that story.

My point for bring this up is that post and this post and perhaps future posts I feel should be expressed because it is relevant. I think you understand most of the reasons. For one, I believe that a religious discussion anywhere, not just in forums where only Christians or church groups go or for that matter in a public settings whether it be a university or anywhere should be allowed.

So no, I do not agree with you on the post should have been deleted as I do not agree with you that this post would be better off in a blog. I do not think this post is disruptive to the board, I just think that is hard for many people to accept change. The “I come here to argue, fight, debate attitude” is so deeply imbedded that it is the only way they know. Do I perhaps emulate some of this, yes I do, I am human too. It is God that is good, not me. The bible warns believers not be evenly yoked with unbelievers and for good reasons. A post like this one could be educational for some readers but the danger of being influenced from all the hostility, so predominate in forum boards in general is a danger to the heart. The only way to learn about and understand God is to open our hearts and anger, frustration and hostility is definitely not welcome. I do not think learning about God is possible in that kind of environment? Unbelievers bring these mentioned qualities to a thread (this post is no exception) because of their hateful beliefs. If you re-read the op again you might have seen this point? Do I want to write about this subject in my blog, perhaps, but I also think it belongs in the public domain.

Why do unbelievers post in the first place into a religious discussions? I think some unbelievers are skeptical but willing to extend some respect to the subject. I would never relate badly to an unbeliever for example for saying they do no believe in God. It is almost incomprehensible to accept for many people and since it is difficult to relate to God from a physical perspective, for anyone to say, “I just can not see this!” is more than acceptable. The one thing that is unacceptable is first disrespect, then an all out hate of God and then constant preaching by non-believers to win the arguments so that the reader becomes absorbed in the trend. This is a religion, that is publishing (anti-God) and this too needs to be identified.
achowles
Bluedoll wrote:
I never said this!


Which part? That God should not be considered a genderless it or that there is only one God? For you have stated both very plainly in this very thread. In fact those two bits of information have been about the only aspects of your faith that you have been very forthcoming about.

So my question still stands - does God have a gender or not? You insist on making an issue of this point time and time again. Even when it's not at all relevant to do so. Yet you've thus far refused to clarify the matter.

You consider it an important factor in people showing respect to your faith (AKA God). So perhaps -by your own standards on what is and is not disrespectful towards God - it should be considered disrespectful to God that you refuse to clarify the matter so that others can avoid making remarks that could be deemed offensive. You see, you're effectively setting people up to be offensive to God by not telling them what you consider the truth of the matter to be.

Right now it seems to me that ascribing gender to "the one and only God" and thus implying that God isn't the one and only God and in fact he is not wholly perfect unto God's own self - that he effectively needs another to be complete - is something that would be very offensive. It's practically dragging God down to our own carnal level, isn't it?

Yet while referring to God with genderless terminology would seem to be the right and proper thing to do, it's something you've been up in arms about from the outset.

So please, which is it to be?
Bluedoll
achowles wrote:
That said I don't understand why you're so keen to insist that God has a gender when the only thing you're willing to say about God is that there certainly isn't a Mrs God. – Which part?
I meant, I never said there certainly isn’t a Mrs God, that was your statement achowles, nor for that matter did I ever say God has a gender or does not have a gender.

achowles wrote:
That God should not be considered a genderless it or that there is only one God?
I have not commented on gender. I do say there is only one God. God has a name. Achowles is your pen name. We could also use person, or husband (if you were married), or member or other names but I do think it would be disrespectful to refer to you as an ‘it’.
This has been my point all along in all my posts anytime, I've made referrence with any other posters and has nothing to do with gender. As you are not merely a concept or an it, neither is God a concept. God is real. Yes, I think this is a reasonable thing to ask for in a religious discussion.

achowles wrote:
So my question still stands - does God have a gender or not?
God is a spirit and gender does not relate in the same terms as we as human beings relate to gender. Certainly, in my mind at least, gender has very little to do with perfection.

achowles wrote:
. . . what is and is not disrespectful towards God
As we are respectful or not, to each other, so the same would apply to how we discuss God.
I think, it is offensive to refer to God like a math equation. I also think, this is what differentiates a religious discussion from a meaty debate - consideration for the other. I exist. You exist. God does exist. In the op, perhaps a simple statement such as, for the purpose of this discussion God does exist would have done it?

achowles wrote:
It's practically dragging God down to our own carnal level, isn't it?
I can not answer this question because I truly have no idea what the paragraph is implying.

achowles wrote:
So please, which is it to be?
God is God period. The bible uses the male gender, but I think this is only because most of the bible was written in this style (male domination of the writings) in reference to The Creator. In writing, I find by habit and also by reading so many references to he or him, that I use he, as well, but do not consider gender, when I think of God. The son of God, Jesus Christ on the other hand was male gender but gender is not an issue.

Deanhills wrote:
Exactly what do you mean when you say God is perfect, and what would you compare this perfection with?
God is perfect in his decisions and ways. I would compare this to the universe.

Deanhills wrote:
What is "perfect" when you say God is "perfect", and what is imperfect?
Jesus looked at them in the face and said, “with men this is impossible but with God all things are possible.”

achowles wrote:
So what of the afterlife? If Hell isn't an alternative destination to Heaven then what, if anything is? If there are no alternatives then what purpose does Satan serve?
I can not find “afterlive” in the bible. Once a man dies he is dead dead dead dead dead dead. If you are referring to a spirit which might reside with God, then I suspect this will be between you and God. Hell can be a lot of things. I do not believe hell is an actual place but it can be a state of mind. Satan serves himself selfishly.
Bluedoll
Fri day!
deanhills wrote:
My own response is that God is neither perfect nor imperfect as God transcends perfect and imperfect for me. In my opinion when I say that, I move into the realm of unmeasurable phenomena that cannot be observed. So probably cannot enter into a meaningful discussion with someone who requires measurable and observable phenomena in an explanation.
I do not hold this viewpoint.

I see God making perfect decisions. For me, this is measurable. For example, in dealing with the romans in the time of Jesus Christ, God left them to their own badness. Yes, God could have intervened, this may be logical. God could have forced something on them. That is possible. However in truth, God choose to leave them to their own stubborn and disrespectful ways. We now in our present day have the very same choice to make.

Deanhills, since we did not seem to be able to achieve much I thought in a private discussion on this topic, I will bring it back to a public one. You have continued to state elsewhere on the forum, that a thread like this one should not exist in this forum. I personally believe you are wrong and want to leave it open for discussion.

I also do not agree this thread is in need of a framework of reference. I do not believe that every post has to fit some pre-designed bill and deliver all the parts as it is being described in this thread.

In my opinion, every post does not need to debate laboriously where there are winners and losers or that every point being made must be thoroughly debated until the topics are totally exhausted. So what, if a person asks a question and it does not get answered? This is not a big a deal as it is being laid out to be. Sometimes questions can serve on their own, as thought provoking and if those same questions are directed at one person and the questions are not answered does that mean the person needs to be discredited or humiliated for their lack of response?

As far as framework is concerned, I am dismayed at an attitude of authoritarian currently being presented in this thread. I do not believe I have to follow a framework, be required to establish one for the benefit of someone else or work within the confines of a peer system, I may not agree with. Nor do I wish to or need to or want to be encouraged to “make headway’ in a debate system! (on these kinds of topics)

I do, however, see merit in communication. Communication does present a message, regardless, can have some merit for the reader and can be of value even if it is in a slightly different discussion type format. I described what I thought here about formats

http://www.frihost.com/users/Bluedoll/blog/vp-120733.html

I felt that way when I wrote it and my feelings on this subject have not changed. When I find respect very low on the totem pole and insufficient excuses are given other than well this is the way it is done around here in debate land so live with it, then I do not agree.

In your opinion, I do not feel comfortable with probing questions and they might be possibly destructive to my belief but I want to keep you informed that both things are not true.

I consider questions to be communication. This thread is still open and I think deserves more recognition than what it has received. People can post to it if they want or not if they do not wish to.

“I believe, it is possible to have a discussion about God but my discussion will not tolerate disrespect for God”
Bikerman
Bluedoll wrote:
Fri day!
deanhills wrote:
My own response is that God is neither perfect nor imperfect as God transcends perfect and imperfect for me. In my opinion when I say that, I move into the realm of unmeasurable phenomena that cannot be observed. So probably cannot enter into a meaningful discussion with someone who requires measurable and observable phenomena in an explanation.
I do not hold this viewpoint.

I see God making perfect decisions. For me, this is measurable. For example, in dealing with the romans in the time of Jesus Christ, God left them to their own badness. Yes, God could have intervened, this may be logical. God could have forced something on them. That is possible. However in truth, God choose to leave them to their own stubborn and disrespectful ways. We now in our present day have the very same choice to make.
This tells us absolutely nothing about the 'perfectness' of the decision. If we are to believe that not intervening is 'perfect' then the perfect system is one without God.
Bikerman
Bluedoll wrote:
I can not find “afterlive” in the bible. Once a man dies he is dead dead dead dead dead dead. If you are referring to a spirit which might reside with God, then I suspect this will be between you and God. Hell can be a lot of things. I do not believe hell is an actual place but it can be a state of mind. Satan serves himself selfishly.
Deary me. You are now adding heresy to your sins.

The bible contains many references to the afterlife, as anyone who has actually read it should know.
eg.
Quote:
Philippians 3:20-21:
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.


as Jesus himself said:
Quote:
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
Apparently you don't.....
deanhills
Bluedoll wrote:
“I believe, it is possible to have a discussion about God but my discussion will not tolerate disrespect for God”
Let's look logically at the topic of this thread. "God is Perfect". And consider the wording of this topic against the background of not tolerating disrespect for God. If there were to be a discussion, there would obviously be those who are of the opinion that even if God existed, that God is not Perfect. All they need to do is take the Bible and do the usual quoting game. And, the moment they start with quotes that God is not Perfect, they would be breaking your non-negotiable rule of not tolerating disrespect for God. Technically by your rule, anyone who says God is not Perfect, would be disrespecting God.

Exactly what did you want to be discussed that would guarantee not to break your rule of disrespecting God? Is it possible to provide a framework for the discussion?
Bluedoll
I suspect I was not making my position clear by saying “my discussion will not tolerate disrespect.” I am not making rules, sorry about that, if this is how you understood, Deanhills. I am saying, I would like to make posts that are more like discussions and simply want to write into the forum as a contributor. When I stated that I will not tolerate, I meant some questions or statements are not worthy of responding to and certainly I would not want to enter into yet another useless debate. That statement was totally about my perspective on these subjects (but not all subjects involving debate). Anyone else can do what they want. Think of it like a prayer.

Perhaps you are right mentioning quotes, if they are used to support arguments. The bible however will always remain a book of wisdom, like in psalms 115:17 for example, for there it says the dead themselves do no praise God but go down into the earth in silence. I think we have one chance in this life to do what we want to do. When we die are bodies return to the elements and we certainly then are dead. There is not one man that will not die. That is certain. We do not get a second chance in our present state, not on this earth anyway, plant food. Dust you are and to dust you will return.
deanhills
No probs Bluedoll. Except, we still don't have a framework for the discussion. Do you think we could go back a few posts to the one below by achowles as he made a good effort to try and create one. Unless you wish to recreate one out of the one he provided below? Your call.

achowles wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
I am also interested in reading achowles comment on this subject, if any?


You keep saying that you don't want this to be about you and you want this to be about God. Unfortunately however there have been a great many interpretations of God. Or perhaps more accurately: there have been a great many creations of man that have been labelled as gods.

Even within Christianity there are vastly different perspectives on even the most intrinsically fundamental aspects of the faith. Take your interpretation of Hell for instance - that is not the most common one.

Equally there are those who believe that God is very hands off these days. They might not believe Noah's flood happened. But for whatever reason they don't believe that God is behind every positive and negative occurrence. Then of course there are those who believe these things are God's judgements. Funnily enough in my experience these people tend to be the ones who take the Bible more literally.

So we could determine the perfection of God by looking at the nature of God - in what form God exists and what God is capable of. Which would inevitably lead to also looking at God's actions. God's actions could also be analysed on their own merits. For instance, how necessary and appropriate those actions where and what the results of those actions were. Also what God decides not to do, despite still influencing mankind to a similar degree in other ways. A perfect judgement would be a clear indication of perfection as such things are not easy for us mortals.

In either case, despite you fighting me at every turn about this, it does boil down to you. If we look at the nature of God then we must know what you believe that to be. If we look at the actions of God we need to know what you think that God was actually responsible for (and in some cases how).

We don't really have anything else to work with here.

Bluedoll wrote:
What I wanted to post was to be entirely about God and not about myself. You are making it personal. I asked for respect for God. You turn that around to mean respect for me.


This isn't really a reconcilable difference in perspectives on the matter. I accept that you want this to be about God. That's fine. But to me that's your faith. To you God may exist universally. To me God only exists within the faith of believers, such as yourself. Hence why I refer to it as such. I'm not trying to make you sound self absorbed about this. But I can see how it could be interpreted that way.

Bluedoll wrote:
I feel you are also wrong to make a decision as to what this post is do (debate) when I am a part of it and clearly making a distinction between discussion and debating.


But such things are impossible to maintain, or in this case impossible to start. Even if there were ultimately no opinions to the contrary it would first have to be established exactly what the claim of perfection is based upon.

Bluedoll wrote:
Bluedoll’s definition of hell:


So what of the afterlife? If Hell isn't an alternative destination to Heaven then what, if anything is? If there are no alternatives then what purpose does Satan serve?
Bluedoll
deanhills wrote:
No probs Bluedoll. Except, we still don't have a framework for the discussion. Do you think we could go back a few posts to the one below by achowles as he made a good effort to try and create one. Unless you wish to recreate one out of the one he provided below? Your call.
Actually it is your call too, Dean. If you need to use “a framework for the discussion” in order to have a discussion, so be it. As far as achowles is concerned, I see he is capable of writing himself. If he thinks, he knows God, let him introduce God to us, this might be interesting.

As for the topic “God is perfect” We could ask him for a frame of reference as to what this topic means or we could ask Jesus, God’s son as he might know as well. Yes, I think I want to use my time to also quote directly from the bible like so many frier’s do and not waste it so much in unrewarding careless debates.

Quote:
So then let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. He endured the cross, ignoring the shame, for the sake of the joy that was laid out in front of him, and sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.

Think about the one who endured such opposition from sinners so that you won’t be discouraged and you won’t give up. In your struggle against sin, you haven’t resisted yet to the point of shedding blood, and you have forgotten the encouragement that addresses you as sons and daughters:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=hebrews%2012&version=CEB
deanhills
Bluedoll wrote:
deanhills wrote:
No probs Bluedoll. Except, we still don't have a framework for the discussion. Do you think we could go back a few posts to the one below by achowles as he made a good effort to try and create one. Unless you wish to recreate one out of the one he provided below? Your call.
Actually it is your call too, Dean. If you need to use “a framework for the discussion” in order to have a discussion, so be it. As far as achowles is concerned, I see he is capable of writing himself. If he thinks, he knows God, let him introduce God to us, this might be interesting.
Achowles has already provided you with plenty of discussion points (refer the post of his I attached to my previous post to you as a good example). Yet you have not come up with anything meaningful to reciprocate his attempt to get the discussion going. Which is the point I was trying to make .... there is no constructive discussion possible from a topic like this that would meet your conditions for not disrespecting God.
Bluedoll wrote:
You have continued to state elsewhere on the forum, that a thread like this one should not exist in this forum. I personally believe you are wrong and want to leave it open for discussion.
So prove me wrong. Exactly what is it that you want to discuss under the heading of "God is Perfect" that won't result in people disrespecting God?
Bluedoll
@Deanhills
I think, for example, a discussion around trying to understand why God, when in making a decision not to intervene is both applicable in discussion and in acts. This applies very well here in this topic, to the romans and to those living around Noah’s ark that had a choice to do the best thing for themselves but choose to laugh at and taunt Noah, until the rains came. I see very clearly leaving it up to men to make up their own minds is a perfect decision and a fair way to deal with a very stubborn lot.

I am by the way, answering your post not to prove anything to you or anyone else for that matter, though you seem to want me to respond to your post so I will. I do however want to point out something that I think you do not seem to be understanding and I do hope I can improve the understanding.

Quote:
Which is the point I was trying to make .... there is no constructive discussion possible from a topic like this that would meet your conditions for not disrespecting God. - Deanhills



Unless I am wrong, in making your point you seem to be looking seriously at forum policy and suggestions. Although, I am not recommending breaking any of the rules, I do suggest not letting anyone, any rules or suggested methods, interfere with how you post, control the way you think about something, respond or affect how you write your thoughts down. In application, anyway, I do not see much difference where topics are placed on the forum, the results are usually the same. These conditions, you are referring to, Deanhills are not my conditions but there may be conditions set down by the managers of the forum you are getting my statements confused with.

I will add also, there is always room for positive constructive discussion and showing respect for God is not such a big deal (I do hesitate calling this quality, a condition, it is more like an attitude) unless you are so full of hate for God, in which case, it will not be much of discussion anyway, so rule out that kind, yes.

I can ask a question too, Deanhills. What do you want to express besides this one point, which is ‘one version of forum procedure’? Are you too afraid of expressing any kind of love for God in a public forum that is not in a debate style? Would that result in you loosing some of your debate friends? I disagree that a forum must be strictly for debate and nothing else. It can also be used for expression and exchange of expression. Jealous debaters like to taunt those that express thoughts that are not inline with their thinking. The op was asking for respect for God, in my view, is not a large request.

If you deliberate on this question Deanhills please consider that just because a member posts a question, demands ‘proof’ or attempts to man handle a thread, does it mean that we have to - row man, exactly the way we are being instructed to do so?
watersoul
I've been reading this topic since it started and every time the perfection claim is questioned there are cries of 'do not disrespect god' etc, even rather pathetically down to the gender issue.

As no-one seems allowed to debate anything regarding gods perfection (or lack thereof) I think this is a pretty poor topic and would have been better placed as a blog post with the replies turned off.

Sorry Bluedoll, but if you're not prepared to actually answer any specific questions (choosing instead to appear offended that the questions themselves are disrespecting your god) you might as well ask a mod to close the topic and leave it as a personal rant of your own beliefs.
Bluedoll
Anyone that wishes to post to this thread, please do so. I will shine some light, on my contribution to this thread and to frihost forum itself for having made these posts in this thread. The thread is serving as a testament.*
watersoul wrote:
I've been reading this topic since it started and every time the perfection claim is questioned there are cries of 'do not disrespect god' etc, even rather pathetically down to the gender issue.

As no-one seems allowed to debate anything regarding gods perfection (or lack thereof) I think this is a pretty poor topic and would have been better placed as a blog post with the replies turned off.

Sorry Bluedoll, but if you're not prepared to actually answer any specific questions (choosing instead to appear offended that the questions themselves are disrespecting your god) you might as well ask a mod to close the topic and leave it as a personal rant of your own beliefs.
I disagree that my posting in this topic is ranting and I do not always believe people actually mean they are sorry when they write it. Sorry, is used sometimes sarcastically.

Now, I have posted quite a bit in this thread but I do not think posting proficiently is a crime. This thread is a little different than what you see in forum generally but is being different a crime too? If anyone reads the posts in the thread, they will read clearly that I have stated and I will continue to state that anyone that wants to express their opinion is welcome to do so. I will not debate spiritual topics, though, I am open to respectful discussion. I am not forcing anyone to do anything, nor am I required to answer any specific questions and enter into yet another hostile debate of spirtual subjects!

*testament
This topic does serve as a perfect example of peer pressure that can be exerted, if topics to not meet with certain demands from certain factions that do not like specific spiritual topics. What I mean by this is what I have seen in general in many spiritual topics up for discussion (this discussion is - the op – “I am opening to a discussion but God should not be disrespected because of the hand of mankind.”) the act is that some, not all but some members attempt to shut down the discussion by exhibiting rants of their own!

So it is clearly understood, if I do not like a topic and trust me that I am telling you the truth, there are many topics I do not like and even some that I find disturbing, yet, I do not suddenly appear on the topic with a rant that says, "why don’t you shut it down, just because I do not personally like what has been written in it!"
Bikerman
Bluedoll wrote:
Perhaps you are right mentioning quotes, if they are used to support arguments. The bible however will always remain a book of wisdom, like in psalms 115:17 for example, for there it says the dead themselves do no praise God but go down into the earth in silence.
Completely misunderstanding the actual passage:
Quote:
17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.
18 But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.
The thing to note is that it is not 'the dead' that go down into silence - hence the 'neither any'. Note also there is no mention of 'into the earth'...
deanhills
Bluedoll wrote:
@Deanhills
I think, for example, a discussion around trying to understand why God, when in making a decision not to intervene is both applicable in discussion and in acts. This applies very well here in this topic, to the romans and to those living around Noah’s ark that had a choice to do the best thing for themselves but choose to laugh at and taunt Noah, until the rains came. I see very clearly leaving it up to men to make up their own minds is a perfect decision and a fair way to deal with a very stubborn lot.
Bluedoll. My point is not that a discussion of God cannot work. In fact, I've previously said that the discussion about whether God is Powerful was flowing, there was a discussion and meeting of minds, BUT the topic "God is Perfect" was not working, as there was no discussion happening, zero meeting of minds. If you make the statement that God is Perfect, and you want to have a discussion, then it is logical that you would have one party supporting the statement and others challenging the statement. If you don't, then there can't be a discussion. Quite a number of people in this discussion, Ankhanu included were willing to accept the presumption that God exists. And then from that point forwards attempted to provide you with evidence that God was not perfect. And every time they mentioned an imperfection or asked a question that you were unhappy with, you got upset and yes .... ranted. All you need to do is look through your postings, particularly the one that was completely bolded.

Exactly the same happened with the "God is Good" thread. Obviously there is a pattern here. And surely you must see it?

Bluedoll wrote:
I am by the way, answering your post not to prove anything to you or anyone else for that matter, though you seem to want me to respond to your post so I will. I do however want to point out something that I think you do not seem to be understanding and I do hope I can improve the understanding.

Quote:
Which is the point I was trying to make .... there is no constructive discussion possible from a topic like this that would meet your conditions for not disrespecting God. - Deanhills

Unless I am wrong, in making your point you seem to be looking seriously at forum policy and suggestions. Although, I am not recommending breaking any of the rules, I do suggest not letting anyone, any rules or suggested methods, interfere with how you post, control the way you think about something, respond or affect how you write your thoughts down. In application, anyway, I do not see much difference where topics are placed on the forum, the results are usually the same. These conditions, you are referring to, Deanhills are not my conditions but there may be conditions set down by the managers of the forum you are getting my statements confused with.
You got it absolutely 150% wrong. In fact, I can't understand that you got it so wrong. I'm very simply saying the topic is not working. You challenged me on it, and I asked you for proof. You still have not provided me with proof that the topic - God is Perfect - can lead to a meaningful discussion without disrespecting God.

Bluedoll wrote:
I will add also, there is always room for positive constructive discussion and showing respect for God is not such a big deal (I do hesitate calling this quality, a condition, it is more like an attitude) unless you are so full of hate for God, in which case, it will not be much of discussion anyway, so rule out that kind, yes.
Of course there is. But then have you thought about the possibility that you have set this discussion up for disrespect by choosing the topic that you have chosen? Think about it logically. This is a Forum for debate. If you make a statement that X is Perfect. Then you have to expect that someone is going to challenge that. And they are going to provide you with evidence and ask you questions that are going to appear disrespectful to you when you revere X, and those who do not revere X make their points.

Bluedoll wrote:
I can ask a question too, Deanhills. What do you want to express besides this one point, which is ‘one version of forum procedure’? Are you too afraid of expressing any kind of love for God in a public forum that is not in a debate style? Would that result in you loosing some of your debate friends? I disagree that a forum must be strictly for debate and nothing else. It can also be used for expression and exchange of expression. Jealous debaters like to taunt those that express thoughts that are not inline with their thinking. The op was asking for respect for God, in my view, is not a large request.
I thought I have been crystal clear a number of times. And you have challenged me on that as well. I don't think your topic - God is Perfect - is a good one for discussion. This has ZERO to do with Forum policies. Just plain and simple logic.

Bluedoll wrote:
If you deliberate on this question Deanhills please consider that just because a member posts a question, demands ‘proof’ or attempts to man handle a thread, does it mean that we have to - row man, exactly the way we are being instructed to do so?
Bluedoll, in almost all of my postings I've indicated that I'm uncomfortable discussing this topic. You were the one who suggested that I was wrong, and that this was a good topic, and I challenged you on that. No one is instructing you to do anything. As far as I can see you have been doing most of the instructing in this thread. The first instruction was no disrespect of God allowed. Then when anyone asked you questions or gave you their opinions, you got upset with them and again laid down the law as to what was not allowed. Achowles was correct when he said that you were not open to discussing God. I agree completely with Watersoul. It is probably better to write about your topic in a blog. And then allow those people who feel similar to what you feel, to comment on your statements, and discuss them with you. I'm not suggesting you do that, I'm just agreeing with Watersoul that that option may work, whereas your topic - God is Perfect - as a debate, may result in a discussion that will be upsetting to you.

I asked you a question, and you still have not answered me. Exactly what do you want to discuss under the topic: God is perfect? Assuming that the discussion would include opposing views of those who don't agree that God is Perfect, and who will obviously be quoting evidence and asking you for evidence/reasons why you consider God to be Perfect.
Bluedoll
Everyone is entitled to an opinion but then so am I.

deanhills wrote:
. . . to have a discussion, then it is logical that you would have one party supporting the statement and others challenging the statement. If you don't, then there can't be a discussion.
Discussions do not absolutely need to have challenging statements and debate characteristics to be discussions.
deanhills wrote:
You still have not provided me with proof that the topic - God is Perfect - can lead to a meaningful discussion without disrespecting God.
I do not believe that it is mandatory that proof’s must be provided but it is true that discussions require two or more to have one. Yes, I do agree with you that if I see God being disrespected, YOU WILL SEE A RESPONSE FROM ME! I do not however consider this response to be demanding or rule setting but just a response.
deanhills wrote:
. . . have you thought about the possibility that you have set this discussion up for disrespect by choosing the topic that you have chosen?
Are certain topics not allowed?
deanhills wrote:
Think about it logically. This is a Forum for debate. If you make a statement that X is Perfect. Then you have to expect that someone is going to challenge that. And they are going to provide you with evidence and ask you questions that are going to appear disrespectful to you when you revere X, and those who do not revere X make their points.
Where does it say that this is a forum for debate only? Perhaps it should also say that anyone with a belief in God is not allowed to post here? I disagree that it should. People can post as they choose but I do not have to agree with their philosophies or follow specific procedure relating to anyone's debate only rules?
deanhills wrote:
I don't think your topic - God is Perfect - is a good one for discussion. This has ZERO to do with Forum policies. Just plain and simple logic.
You are entitled to your opinion. I do agree it should have zero to do with forum policy.
deanhills wrote:
No one is instructing you to do anything. As far as I can see you have been doing most of the instructing in this thread. The first instruction was no disrespect of God allowed.
I do not make the rules here. I have clearly stated several times that if you want a reasonable discussion with me, I will not be tolerating disrespect in my discussions. That is not instructing that is demonstrating.

So what will be discussed under this thread, why, you decide?
Bikerman
This thread is going nowhere,
--closed--
Bikerman
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