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HolyGround >> What could God do to convince you he exists?


7/12/13 5:15 PM
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770mdm
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Kung Fu Joe -  1. It doesn't matter whether they understand us or know. They know we exist, which is more than we can say for any sort of deity.

2. So are you saying that God could not openly reveal himself to the world without everyone turning into douchebag zealots?

3. Yes, people I trust. Call me crazy, but I don't think I have any reason to trust the highly edited words of anonymous men who died three thousand years ago in a far less knowledgeable culture, which are demonstrably incorrect in many places.

4. Psalm 14 is not law, in and of itself, but it very clearly states that an atheist cannot possibly follow the law or be a good person. How could that not be interpreted as a prohibition? Phone Post

KFJ:

1)  What, we don't act in ways of divine calling?  We have a 7 day work week, we have a court justice system much like they way it was described in Scripture.  We argue & debate and challenge.  All that, in my belief, is Biblical. 

2) I'm not exactly sure what would happen.  You wonder though what would happen.  Consider any likeness of Jesus anywhere.  It becomes a shrine.  Some people are already nuts, dancing with snakes - speaking in tongues etc.

3) Okay but these same scriptures have been taught througout the ages.  I can't speak for Christianity but the Hebrew scriptures sense of truth is validating in of itself.  People I know have learned these scriptures and they learned it from their teachers and so on.  Our American Constitution is largely based on the teachings of these religious scriptures - All men created equl - Formulate a justice system - balance of power.  All that is Biblical.  Too much & detailed to list -

4) I am not going to believe that all atheists are inherently bad people.  I don't believe the point of the Psalm is instructional - To me it seems I'm not a fan of the road rage atheists but the really good ones challenge us to think and have more realistic interpretations.  "The thrust of the line "There is no God" is more moral than Theological.  The concern is not a philosophical question of God's existence but the scoundrel's lack of concience, his feeling that he can act with impunity, because he thinks he need not fear divine retribution.  This psalm, then, is a 'prophetic' psalm, lacking any element of supplication because the speaker who denounces the society he observes does not put himself forth as victim."  Robert Alter-

7/15/13 10:10 AM
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Kung Fu Joe
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1. Everything you listed consists of things which arose independently of the Bible. The 7 day week cycle existed in Babylonian culture, as well. Court justice, argument, and debate pre-existed Judaism, and arose independently of Judaic influence throughout the world.

2. Snake handling and speaking in tongues are both Biblical, at least in terms of Christian scripture. But my point is, if God cannot reveal himself without also being able to prevent douchebaggery, what kind of a god is he? I'm supposed to accept the idea that he can speak the universe into existence, but he can't say "Hey, bros, I'm totally right here" without unleashing hell and chaos?

3. If you want to get into the whole fallacy of American values being Biblical, we can break that out into its own thread. However, addressing your point on the transmission of scripture: no, it has NOT been the same scripture, passed and taught since its writing. There is plenty of evidence that the Hebrew Scriptures were composed of several different-- and theologically differing-- sources, which were subsequently edited together and redacted. Furthermore, even after this occurred, scribes and copyists continued to make changes to the texts over the centuries, some minor, others quite significant. Finally, the understanding, interpretation, and teaching of these texts has varied wildly over the millennia, even within Judaism.

4. So even though the text specifically discusses people who say, "There is no God," and even though it explicitly states that not a single one of these people has been a good person, you're saying Psalm 14 is NOT talking about people who don't believe in God, and that it's NOT saying they are bad people? That's pretty much a textbook example of isogesis. You're claiming that the text means the opposite of what it says. Phone Post
7/16/13 1:02 PM
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770mdm
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1) It's not THAT we operate on a 7 day work week it's HOW.  Yes other Mesopotamian societies operated within 7 day cycles based on cycles of the planets- but their 7th days were of negativity & bad luck, many communities fasted.  Incidentally the cycle of seven was not consecutive; the seventh day of a new moon cycle comes either eight days (in a defective, twenty-nine-day month) or nine days (in a full, thirt-day month) after day twenty-eight of the previous lunar month.  So it didn't really work right.  In contrast the Biblical 7th day is a day of rest.  Leon Kass "The Beginning of Wisdom"  Which is how we observe it in the US and around much of the world to the extent the US initiated Blue Laws to prevent people from violating the Sabbath.  (Even though Blue Laws are Sunday not Saturday - Which is another discussion). 

Also, in slave regimes like Egypt there was no day of rest they were worked & over worked to the point the women had to entice the men back into their good graces.  The society in Egypt would never have rebelled against their taskmasters if it wasn't for Moses.  Let alone some other society stepping in and holding Egypt responsible for mans inhumanity to man.  We do things like that now.   I believe the origins for this line of thinking are Biblical. 

Judaism arose from within the blast-furnace of Mesopotamian and Egyptian idol worship in the time of Abraham as a reaction against what was then considered civilization.  The flaw of idol worship lies not in the idolater's willingness to accept falsehood, but his unwillingness to consider causes and effects (truths) other than the most local ones visible to him within his own perspective.  The idolatrous farmer believes that his need for rain can be alleviated through murder (sacrificing a first born child), because no other causes for rain are considered beyond the most local one - his own actions and those of his priest: Idolatry is thus in its core arrogance; The belief that the local truth of one's own perspective comprises truth as a whole - that one seventieth of the truth is the truth itself, when this one-seventieth amounts to a barren lie. 

So dark were the demands for the destruction of property, sex crimes, mutilation and murder made by the false-gods, that their overall effect was not to ameliorate human suffering, but to embitter life even beyond what it might have been without them.  Both in thought and in action, the system of the idolaters was what we refer to in today's terms as moral relativism:  The belief that in every place and time, human suffering is governed by local truths relevant to each place and each people, and ultimately emanating from the perspective and will fo local, individual men.  Judaism came into being as the categorical denial of the effectiveness of such local prescriptions, as well as of the desireability and permissibility of acticng on the basis of such claims.  Instead, it insisted that the appearance of evil is governed by universal principles determined by the nature of mankind and creation as established by the Eternal, God of Israel, whos decalogue opens with a comprehensive rejection of the relativistic epistemology of idolatry:

a) I am the Eternal your God

b) You will have no other gods beside me:

c) I, the Eternal your God, am a zealous God, returning the errors of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me:

d) But showing mercy to thousands of generations of those who love me and keep my commandments;

e) I am the Eternal your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of bondage;

f) You will not make yoursef a carved idol

g) You will not bow down to them and serve them.

These first claims serve as the substructure on which were built the first universal laws of morality;  That righteousness consists first of seeking the good of man - respecting his life, his family, his property, his dignity, his right to respite, his right to privacy, his right to justice, these being the remaining seven of the ten commandments; and that evil is caused by men who ignore these universal principles, instead doing what appears right in their own eyes according to their own local perspectives. 

There is little in our own experience which can approach the circumstances being described here, or the war that the Jews are expeced to wage against idolatry.  Certainly, even contemporary democracies engage in "unconditional" warfare; the nucliear targeting doctrine of "countervalue" warfare also aimed to destroy the largest possible civilian population, naturally including children and the aged, all in the hope of ending war more quickly.  But the purpose of the wars of Judaism against idolatry was not to protect Jewish lives by ending the war more rapidly.  It was to protect the Jewish people, and ultimately all of mankind, from infection by an idea - an idea wihich, once accepted, duped men and drugged them into moral insensibility, justifying in their minds every conceivable darkness.  Idolatry was amnesia, and against it Judaism strove to make men remember:  That murder was evil, that perversion was evil, that right was a tree of life to those who embnrace it, that wrong would bring certain ruin.   Yoram Hazony "The Dawn - Political Teaching of the Book of Esther"

 

 

 

 

7/16/13 1:18 PM
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gord96
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Perhaps knowing God exists doesn't matter. Perhaps God doesn't work in a way where he is some external force that needs to be revealed. Perhaps every religion is just mans futile attempt to know the unknowable. Just electrons bouncing around our minds, no different then pondering what player your team should take in the next draft. Maybe when we clear our heads, the noise stops, and we might catch a glimmer of 'God'. We might find wisdom, patience and compassion increase naturally, without 'God' telling us, but by realization or our true nature.

Maybe.
7/16/13 1:49 PM
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770mdm
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2)  I am not Christian and don't consider snake handling or speaking in tongues something God want's us to participate in for any reason.  It's not Biblical in my mind at all.  Sorry.  Your expecting God to jump through hoops here.  You know as well as I do that at the slightest hint of perceived divinity people freak out.  They act in abnormal ways.  If you are going to expect God to reveal himself in some way that would prevent any of that well he has!  To me - not to you.  Or to you & Not to me.  See, it would be individual.  You'd be asking God to despence of our humanness in order for him to appear.  Well, I don't believe God wants us to loose any of our humaness.  For him to do that would make him tyrannical not Godly.  He doesn't want to control our beings - if he did then why not just make us all obey his word?  Why would we have any choice about things at all?

3) I would agree that some books of the 5 in Torah were comprised before others.  But to say that in its finalization that its teachings werent handed down from teacher to student I'd say your missing a pretty big chunk of history.  Was there an Abraham that took his 1st born son to Mount Moriah for slaughter for God?  I don't know but I will say that the message resonated in the surrounding communities to the point where we see that child sacrifice for idolotrous purposes are no longer practiced.  I'd still say the lessons carries even more weight that modern terrorists utilize children to carry out their political/ideological/religious purposes.  The story of Abraham teaches us NOT to sacrifice our children and that's a lesson still needing to be taught today. 

Also, I know there is are similar biblical stories out there - even stories that are shown to be written earlier than the stories in the Bible but the stories in the Bible carry the stronger more powerful messages!  These are the definitive stores that carry the deepest message and stood the test of time.  It's not that the other stories don't carry messages worth teaching it's just the Torah were the deeper better ones.

Incidentally a Sumarian in Israel just completed his English translation of the Sumarian Bible which is claimed to be the definitive Bible of the past.  In fact they found more renditions of the Sumarian Bible than the one we use today with the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The notion is that scholars back then used both to derive meanings.  But they're not that different - it has a lot of extra words that make certain stories make more sense.  But I'm not discounting other texts - the main points and themes and messages in the OT are just the strongest.

If the OT of what we read today and the Sumarian Text were studied alongside of each other in Cumran back in ancient times - that's like 2500 years ago right?  So - I would say that the teachings from the cannon, as it was completed, was passed down in communities throughout the ages pretty similar.  Each generation from then until now has grasped and grappled with its teachings and it still holds value.  I don't believe that can be disputed.

4)  I'm saying the text is calling you a fool for not believing in God.  The fact it says you can't be a good person because you're an athiest is a testament to what the Torah is about.  It's about the Calling of God.  If we don't like a law in the Constitution we Amend it - if we feel something in Torah doesn't make sense we are actually free to Not listen to it.  That's the reality of it.  We don't operate our lives in Biblical times no matter how much we try to recreate it.  We have to appreciate the era it was written in.  I know Biblical understanding shouldn't be a cafeteria - Something A.J. Jacobs says in "The Year of Living Biblically" For me to understand that passage if I can't make sense of it today I can say who they were talking about weren't the athiests of today.  It was the athiests of ancient times.  When I see road raged athiests I would say to myself that passage does carry weight.  Also, the athiests this passage talks about don't exist today.  Remember it what Hazony is saying - people carried out Justice in pretty messed up ways back then.  I would think any sensible person would agree with the psalmist of those times if you saw what he was writing about. 

7/16/13 1:49 PM
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Kung Fu Joe
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770mdm -

1) It's not THAT we operate on a 7 day work week it's HOW.  Yes other Mesopotamian societies operated within 7 day cycles based on cycles of the planets- but their 7th days were of negativity & bad luck, many communities fasted.  Incidentally the cycle of seven was not consecutive; the seventh day of a new moon cycle comes either eight days (in a defective, twenty-nine-day month) or nine days (in a full, thirt-day month) after day twenty-eight of the previous lunar month.  So it didn't really work right.  In contrast the Biblical 7th day is a day of rest.  Leon Kass "The Beginning of Wisdom"  Which is how we observe it in the US and around much of the world to the extent the US initiated Blue Laws to prevent people from violating the Sabbath.  (Even though Blue Laws are Sunday not Saturday - Which is another discussion). 

Also, in slave regimes like Egypt there was no day of rest they were worked & over worked to the point the women had to entice the men back into their good graces.  The society in Egypt would never have rebelled against their taskmasters if it wasn't for Moses.  Let alone some other society stepping in and holding Egypt responsible for mans inhumanity to man.  We do things like that now.   I believe the origins for this line of thinking are Biblical. 

Judaism arose from within the blast-furnace of Mesopotamian and Egyptian idol worship in the time of Abraham as a reaction against what was then considered civilization.  The flaw of idol worship lies not in the idolater's willingness to accept falsehood, but his unwillingness to consider causes and effects (truths) other than the most local ones visible to him within his own perspective.  The idolatrous farmer believes that his need for rain can be alleviated through murder (sacrificing a first born child), because no other causes for rain are considered beyond the most local one - his own actions and those of his priest: Idolatry is thus in its core arrogance; The belief that the local truth of one's own perspective comprises truth as a whole - that one seventieth of the truth is the truth itself, when this one-seventieth amounts to a barren lie. 

So dark were the demands for the destruction of property, sex crimes, mutilation and murder made by the false-gods, that their overall effect was not to ameliorate human suffering, but to embitter life even beyond what it might have been without them.  Both in thought and in action, the system of the idolaters was what we refer to in today's terms as moral relativism:  The belief that in every place and time, human suffering is governed by local truths relevant to each place and each people, and ultimately emanating from the perspective and will fo local, individual men.  Judaism came into being as the categorical denial of the effectiveness of such local prescriptions, as well as of the desireability and permissibility of acticng on the basis of such claims.  Instead, it insisted that the appearance of evil is governed by universal principles determined by the nature of mankind and creation as established by the Eternal, God of Israel, whos decalogue opens with a comprehensive rejection of the relativistic epistemology of idolatry:

a) I am the Eternal your God

b) You will have no other gods beside me:

c) I, the Eternal your God, am a zealous God, returning the errors of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me:

d) But showing mercy to thousands of generations of those who love me and keep my commandments;

e) I am the Eternal your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of bondage;

f) You will not make yoursef a carved idol

g) You will not bow down to them and serve them.

These first claims serve as the substructure on which were built the first universal laws of morality;  That righteousness consists first of seeking the good of man - respecting his life, his family, his property, his dignity, his right to respite, his right to privacy, his right to justice, these being the remaining seven of the ten commandments; and that evil is caused by men who ignore these universal principles, instead doing what appears right in their own eyes according to their own local perspectives. 

There is little in our own experience which can approach the circumstances being described here, or the war that the Jews are expeced to wage against idolatry.  Certainly, even contemporary democracies engage in "unconditional" warfare; the nucliear targeting doctrine of "countervalue" warfare also aimed to destroy the largest possible civilian population, naturally including children and the aged, all in the hope of ending war more quickly.  But the purpose of the wars of Judaism against idolatry was not to protect Jewish lives by ending the war more rapidly.  It was to protect the Jewish people, and ultimately all of mankind, from infection by an idea - an idea wihich, once accepted, duped men and drugged them into moral insensibility, justifying in their minds every conceivable darkness.  Idolatry was amnesia, and against it Judaism strove to make men remember:  That murder was evil, that perversion was evil, that right was a tree of life to those who embnrace it, that wrong would bring certain ruin.   Yoram Hazony "The Dawn - Political Teaching of the Book of Esther"

 

 

 

 

That's rather a lot of different points, and very few in the direct line of our discussion, but I will do my best to address some of them.

As to the 7-day week, it developed as it was roughly a quarter of a lunar cycle. It developed independently of Judaism, and it is far more likely that the Creation account was influenced by the primitive calendar than that the calendar was influenced by the myth.

As for the influence of Moses on Egypt, you'd be rather hard pressed to show that Moses even existed, let alone that he caused massive sociopolitical upheaval. There is no contemporaneous record anywhere outside the Hebrew Scriptures which even mentions an event like the Exodus. None from Egypt, none from any of Egypt's allies, none from Egypt's enemies, none from anywhere. There is no archaeological evidence for the Exodus, no literary evidence (excluding the Torah), and no anthropological evidence.

I'm really not sure what the point of the rest of your post was, in light of the topic. It has nothing to do with what God can do to reveal himself to nonbelievers, instead discussing how strongly early Hebrews may have taken their beliefs. Phone Post
7/16/13 2:20 PM
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Kung Fu Joe
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770mdm -

2)  I am not Christian and don't consider snake handling or speaking in tongues something God want's us to participate in for any reason.  It's not Biblical in my mind at all.  Sorry.  Your expecting God to jump through hoops here.  You know as well as I do that at the slightest hint of perceived divinity people freak out.  They act in abnormal ways.  If you are going to expect God to reveal himself in some way that would prevent any of that well he has!  To me - not to you.  Or to you & Not to me.  See, it would be individual.  You'd be asking God to despence of our humanness in order for him to appear.  Well, I don't believe God wants us to loose any of our humaness.  For him to do that would make him tyrannical not Godly.  He doesn't want to control our beings - if he did then why not just make us all obey his word?  Why would we have any choice about things at all?

3) I would agree that some books of the 5 in Torah were comprised before others.  But to say that in its finalization that its teachings werent handed down from teacher to student I'd say your missing a pretty big chunk of history.  Was there an Abraham that took his 1st born son to Mount Moriah for slaughter for God?  I don't know but I will say that the message resonated in the surrounding communities to the point where we see that child sacrifice for idolotrous purposes are no longer practiced.  I'd still say the lessons carries even more weight that modern terrorists utilize children to carry out their political/ideological/religious purposes.  The story of Abraham teaches us NOT to sacrifice our children and that's a lesson still needing to be taught today. 

Also, I know there is are similar biblical stories out there - even stories that are shown to be written earlier than the stories in the Bible but the stories in the Bible carry the stronger more powerful messages!  These are the definitive stores that carry the deepest message and stood the test of time.  It's not that the other stories don't carry messages worth teaching it's just the Torah were the deeper better ones.

Incidentally a Sumarian in Israel just completed his English translation of the Sumarian Bible which is claimed to be the definitive Bible of the past.  In fact they found more renditions of the Sumarian Bible than the one we use today with the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The notion is that scholars back then used both to derive meanings.  But they're not that different - it has a lot of extra words that make certain stories make more sense.  But I'm not discounting other texts - the main points and themes and messages in the OT are just the strongest.

If the OT of what we read today and the Sumarian Text were studied alongside of each other in Cumran back in ancient times - that's like 2500 years ago right?  So - I would say that the teachings from the cannon, as it was completed, was passed down in communities throughout the ages pretty similar.  Each generation from then until now has grasped and grappled with its teachings and it still holds value.  I don't believe that can be disputed.

4)  I'm saying the text is calling you a fool for not believing in God.  The fact it says you can't be a good person because you're an athiest is a testament to what the Torah is about.  It's about the Calling of God.  If we don't like a law in the Constitution we Amend it - if we feel something in Torah doesn't make sense we are actually free to Not listen to it.  That's the reality of it.  We don't operate our lives in Biblical times no matter how much we try to recreate it.  We have to appreciate the era it was written in.  I know Biblical understanding shouldn't be a cafeteria - Something A.J. Jacobs says in "The Year of Living Biblically" For me to understand that passage if I can't make sense of it today I can say who they were talking about weren't the athiests of today.  It was the athiests of ancient times.  When I see road raged athiests I would say to myself that passage does carry weight.  Also, the athiests this passage talks about don't exist today.  Remember it what Hazony is saying - people carried out Justice in pretty messed up ways back then.  I would think any sensible person would agree with the psalmist of those times if you saw what he was writing about. 

2. You brought up Snake Handling and Tongues as examples of things which people do which are not Biblical. However, these things ARE Biblical for those who practice them. The fact that you do not subscribe to their faith does not alter that fact. If an Asatruar said that respecting the Sabbath is not Biblical, because it appears nowhere in the Eddas, you'd rightly point out that it IS a commandment in your Bible.

As to divine revelation, you're basically saying that God WANTS people to not believe in him; in which case, this whole thread is moot, anyway.

3. You misunderstood some of what I said. I wasn't simply saying that some books were written before others. I was saying that each of the books is, itself, highly edited and redacted from multiple earlier sources. Genesis wasn't written all at once. It was compiled from the stories and beliefs of several different earlier accounts.

Then, after the books WERE written, it continued to be altered as it was copied, through the centuries. Some changes were minor, others were quite significant.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "Sumarian Bible." The Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest manuscripts which we have for the Hebrew Scriptures, by around 1000 years. You'll have to be more specific, I'm afraid.

4. Look, you were wrong when you said the Hebrew Scriptures have no proscription against atheism. Psalm 14 is clearly against atheism. And while the Psalms are not Law, Deuteronomy 6:5 IS Law. Tell me: how can an atheist love God with his whole mind, being, and strength?

Unless you are saying we can pick and choose the laws we want to follow, in which case the whole Torah is just pointless. Phone Post
7/16/13 4:20 PM
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770mdm
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KFJ:  As to the 7-day week, it developed as it was roughly a quarter of a lunar cycle. It developed independently of Judaism, and it is far more likely that the Creation account was influenced by the primitive calendar than that the calendar was influenced by the myth.

MDM:  What's wrong with saying Scripture outlines a way How to observe the 7 day week?  It was totally against the ways of the surrounding societies.  I'm willing to agree and say the 7 days were part of cultures but what the Judaic way was saying about it was much more.  Nature is moraly neutral - God's way is moral in relation to divinity. 

KFJ: 2. Snake handling and speaking in tongues are both Biblical, at least in terms of Christian scripture. But my point is, if God cannot reveal himself without also being able to prevent douchebaggery, what kind of a god is he? I'm supposed to accept the idea that he can speak the universe into existence, but he can't say "Hey, bros, I'm totally right here" without unleashing hell and chaos?

MDM: I'll also agree that some people interepret scripture to speak in tongues and play with snakes.  I think they're missing the point but okay.  I'll also say because God doesn't reveal himself it just might be that he can't for some reason.  Who knows.  but also God created planets who have fixed paths, God created animals with fixed ways and a host of other things - Humanity - man - is the one being that can alter his paths and ways.  In order for Humanity to survive man will have to get along with each other but not under tyrannical rule it will be under free societies who are free to choose.  He has stuck us in an non-developed world to buld it up.  I'm saying him being out of our grasp has allowed us to keep reaching further because he will always be out of our reach. 

KFJ:  If you want to get into the whole fallacy of American values being Biblical, we can break that out into its own thread. However, addressing your point on the transmission of scripture: no, it has NOT been the same scripture, passed and taught since its writing. There is plenty of evidence that the Hebrew Scriptures were composed of several different-- and theologically differing-- sources, which were subsequently edited together and redacted. Furthermore, even after this occurred, scribes and copyists continued to make changes to the texts over the centuries, some minor, others quite significant. Finally, the understanding, interpretation, and teaching of these texts has varied wildly over the millennia, even within Judaism.

MDM:  Again, what's wrong with saying the finished cannon was put together being the strongest casses and stories and accounts Then were disseminated from teacher to student.  I'm not going to get into the Documentary Hypothosis debate because that's a whole other discussion.  But teachings from that finished product has stood the test of time. 

KFJ:  4. Look, you were wrong when you said the Hebrew Scriptures have no proscription against atheism. Psalm 14 is clearly against atheism. And while the Psalms are not Law, Deuteronomy 6:5 IS Law. Tell me: how can an atheist love God with his whole mind, being, and strength?

MDM: I've never said there are no proscriptions against atheism.  I'm saying there is NO LEGAL obligation in the Torah against it.  Just against Idolatry and Strange Gods.  But I will agree by saying if you want me to accept that talking in tongues and snake handling is Biblical - because it is in some Christian communities then you'll have to take that same logic and apply it here.  You have already agreed it's not LAW like in Torah but a proscription.  Some communities might say it is a Law, I don't know, but you seem to think it is.  I've understood this notion from A modern Rabbi - Rabbi David Wolpe has published this assertian - If you need me to dig out the article I will though. 

7/16/13 11:36 PM
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RoidsGracie
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Edited: 07/18/13 12:00 AM
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Is there a way for God to make sure everyone believes in him without violating their free will? In other words, doing so without just snapping his fingers and having everyone instantly believe in him - or just by ensuring that everyone who is born already has belief in him imprinted in their mind with no possibility of them altering that belief.
7/17/13 9:25 AM
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770mdm
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I'd like to believe that he has.  God is absolutely real to those who belive in him, individually & collectively.  Are there religious wackos?  Yep.  Are there serious minded well thought out thinkers who believe in God?  Yep and everyone in between.  I do think there are more wackos and people who miss the mark than people who get it.  It's a constant struggle though.  I guess it's all where you feel comfortable.  I do believe it's good to be challenged. 

7/17/13 6:21 PM
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jrrrrr
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hi,

I don't think its an issue of god wanting to force people into believing in him. Its an issue of us using free will to believe in him.

Does the creation of Israel 2000 years after its destruction prove God or just a really unusual historical happening. If memory serves historically the 1st and 2 nd temple were destroyed on the same day(?)....does that make one question if something more than natural is involved?
7/18/13 3:33 PM
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JitsuGuy
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RoidsGracie - Is there a way for God to make sure everyone believes in him without violating their free will? In other words, doing so without just snapping his fingers and having everyone instantly believe in him - or just by ensuring that everyone who is born already has belief in him imprinted in their mind with no possibility of them altering that belief.

It's all a matter of perspective. The problem isn't whether free will would still exist (I don't believe it exists in the first place), the problem is using something as silly as belief as the mechanism for some eternal reward... Statistically, where you're born on a map has a huge impact on what you believe and of course this is something we have no control over.

It's just so, well, unjust. And this was setup by an alleged all-knowing and "just" god?

Even in my finite knowledge, I can see the flaws.
8/19/13 12:40 AM
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Juijitsuboxer
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1 Corinthians 1:20-30

New International Version (NIV)

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
8/19/13 9:09 AM
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770mdm
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Man, do I dislike statements saying Jews are this or that.  Blanket statements, I feel, are just ignorance.  It says a lot about the writers and a lot more about the people that believe in those writers. 

8/19/13 12:35 PM
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gord96
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770mdm - 

Man, do I dislike statements saying Jews are this or that.  Blanket statements, I feel, are just ignorance.  It says a lot about the writers and a lot more about the people that believe in those writers. 


I see that a lot on some other forums i post on where various faiths debate. Christians are always telling Jews how wrong they are and how they just don't understand the Torah or how they somehow missed Christ's fulfillment of prophecy. As you said, it's just ignorance.
8/26/13 9:30 AM
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paradigmer
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What could God do to convince me that he exists? 

He would manifest his presence in a manner acceptable to and in line with the way that I experience and know all other objective things--namely through representation systems, also known as our five senses.  

If God exists, and is responsible for my creation, it implies that he is responsible for the way in which I experience reality.  He would have to manifest himself in a manner that operates within the known physical laws of how, the humans he created, experience reality.  

8/27/13 9:42 PM
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770mdm
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Sooo, What exactly are you asking God to do here if it's a revelation taylored to your fitting what exactly would suit you?

8/29/13 11:27 PM
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paradigmer
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770, I'm not asking for anything "taylored to my fitting."  I am simply engaging, in what I find to be, the reasonable expectation that God allow his existence to be experienced through the way that humans experience all forms of objective reality. 

For example, if you are were walking together and came upon a big hole in the sidewalk, we would both, see the hole and step around or over it.  If only one of us saw the hole in time, and noticed the other about to fall or trip due to the hole, we ould instinctively try to redirect the other.  If you redirected me from falling due to my non-observation of the hole, you might even say afterwards, "man, you almost fell into that hole."  I would then observe the hole and say thanks.  

We both would then be in agreement of a mutual, internal representation of an objective reality.  In this case, the mechanism which allowed that representative agreement was sight. 

We have five senses which allow us to experience objective reality.  God then, would have to manifest in a way that consensual internal representational agreement would occur.  The preferred mechanisms would be no different than our two primary representational systems--visual and auditory. 

So, no sort of "tailor made" manifestion is being asked at all.  I'm simply answering the question in the most fair way possible--God needs to simply show himself.  Allow his creation to experience him through the same way we experience everything else, by seeing and hearing. 

If God created this mechanism for experiencing the world, it shouldn't be too hard for him/it to understand that manifesting in a way that is in alignment with how we experience reality on a daily basis is the only acceptable way for him to do so.

8/29/13 11:27 PM
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paradigmer
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Edited: 08/29/13 11:28 PM
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dbl

9/2/13 3:21 PM
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770mdm
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By doing so, manefesting himself in some way we could perceive him he would violate one of his 10 Commandments.  We shall not worship idols.  By becoming tangible - even God - he would immediately become an Idol to be worshiped.  I do believe there are laws God doesn't or can't violate.  I'm not sure he's perfect and can do anything.  By God violating one of his own laws certainly would weaken his status as God.  Giving in to the whims of humanity.  Anything other than how we can access his greatness now would mean he would either have to change something in himself or change something in us.  By changing himself or us would defeat the point of our reality.  What would prevent him from doing other things good or bad? 

9/2/13 7:08 PM
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prof
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770mdm - 

By doing so, manefesting himself in some way we could perceive him he would violate one of his 10 Commandments.  We shall not worship idols.  By becoming tangible - even God - he would immediately become an Idol to be worshiped.  I do believe there are laws God doesn't or can't violate.  I'm not sure he's perfect and can do anything.  By God violating one of his own laws certainly would weaken his status as God.  Giving in to the whims of humanity.  Anything other than how we can access his greatness now would mean he would either have to change something in himself or change something in us.  By changing himself or us would defeat the point of our reality.  What would prevent him from doing other things good or bad? 



Ok, I've seen tortured rationalizations for why God appears non-existent, but that might take the cake.

So...a REAL God appearing to us so we could worship THE REAL GOD would somehow become an idol and that's bad?

Wait...a better idea must be for God to not appear to anyone and just leave old stories, so that people, desperate for some tangible, visible thing to interact with will be forced century after century to make...you guessed it...idols of God
to worship (e.g. Crucifixion scenes, crosses, religious art, cracker ceremonies, mother Mary statues, you name it).

It's amazing how Christians in their attempts to answer these problem end up making a God who is just about the most stupid Being imaginable.

Prof.



9/2/13 8:53 PM
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gord96
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i agree with prof. i see what 770's trying to say but it's all a bit convoluted.
9/3/13 9:56 AM
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Kung Fu Joe
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prof -
770mdm - 

By doing so, manefesting himself in some way we could perceive him he would violate one of his 10 Commandments.  We shall not worship idols.  By becoming tangible - even God - he would immediately become an Idol to be worshiped.  I do believe there are laws God doesn't or can't violate.  I'm not sure he's perfect and can do anything.  By God violating one of his own laws certainly would weaken his status as God.  Giving in to the whims of humanity.  Anything other than how we can access his greatness now would mean he would either have to change something in himself or change something in us.  By changing himself or us would defeat the point of our reality.  What would prevent him from doing other things good or bad? 



Ok, I've seen tortured rationalizations for why God appears non-existent, but that might take the cake.

So...a REAL God appearing to us so we could worship THE REAL GOD would somehow become an idol and that's bad?

Wait...a better idea must be for God to not appear to anyone and just leave old stories, so that people, desperate for some tangible, visible thing to interact with will be forced century after century to make...you guessed it...idols of God
to worship (e.g. Crucifixion scenes, crosses, religious art, cracker ceremonies, mother Mary statues, you name it).

It's amazing how Christians in their attempts to answer these problem end up making a God who is just about the most stupid Being imaginable.

Prof.



770mdm is Jewish, not Christian, I believe.

In fact, the entire post you quoted would seem to be diametrically opposed to one of the principle tenets of Christianity. If God could not manifest himself without threatening one of his own commandments, then Jesus could not have been God made manifest in the flesh.

That said, I do disagree with 770mdm's assertion that any divine manifestation immediately equates to an idol. Phone Post
9/3/13 10:46 AM
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prof
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Thanks, I didn't know 770mdm was coming from Judaism.
Not that it alters the point I made.

Prof.

9/3/13 3:30 PM
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770mdm
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prof - 
770mdm - 

By doing so, manefesting himself in some way we could perceive him he would violate one of his 10 Commandments.  We shall not worship idols.  By becoming tangible - even God - he would immediately become an Idol to be worshiped.  I do believe there are laws God doesn't or can't violate.  I'm not sure he's perfect and can do anything.  By God violating one of his own laws certainly would weaken his status as God.  Giving in to the whims of humanity.  Anything other than how we can access his greatness now would mean he would either have to change something in himself or change something in us.  By changing himself or us would defeat the point of our reality.  What would prevent him from doing other things good or bad? 



Ok, I've seen tortured rationalizations for why God appears non-existent, but that might take the cake.

So...a REAL God appearing to us so we could worship THE REAL GOD would somehow become an idol and that's bad?

Wait...a better idea must be for God to not appear to anyone and just leave old stories, so that people, desperate for some tangible, visible thing to interact with will be forced century after century to make...you guessed it...idols of God
to worship (e.g. Crucifixion scenes, crosses, religious art, cracker ceremonies, mother Mary statues, you name it).

It's amazing how Christians in their attempts to answer these problem end up making a God who is just about the most stupid Being imaginable.

Prof.




Yes, I do believe that human behavior would dramatically change for the worse if God appeared.  I believe God want's to be worshiped freely by a free people that would disapear completely. 

Those old stories have stood the test of time giving people access to truths about life that would otherwise be overlooked. 

I also don't necesarily believe God is the ultimate point of scriptures it's also about truths between people & nations and how we should live together allowing a freedim to flourish in a way that would allow a person to align him/herself with righteous ways in relation to God by way of a self perceived free choice. 

Fixating on things cannot ever replace understanding Gods words or scriptural words.  So even if there is no God - God forbid! - there is deep benefit to understanding the scripture - not religion, certainly not institutionalized religions but the scriptures. 


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