A STUNNINGLY simple question about JOHN 3:16 "For God so Loved the world."

by Terry 384 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • hamilcarr
    Reality really exists. Thoughts about reality exist - but only in the mind.

    I strongly believe God exists, but not in the theistic definition. Because theists want everyone to believe God is necessarily a personal creating God, many non-theists are reluctant to use the term God in referring to realities. Theists, however, have no dominance over the term God.

  • trevor

    This the difficulty with the word - God. Unfortunately parts of the bible have given the impression that God is an improbable vengeful male deity. Other people see God as a non-judgemental universal energy.

    God means so many different things to different people that many people find it is best to use other words that have more clarity to describe what they believe their idea of God to be.

  • quietlyleaving


    Only in the human mind. Hence the treachery of our mind which has come to mistakenly accept symbols as reality.

    Reality really exists. Thoughts about reality exist - but only in the mind.

    Hence the world we live in where thoughts and beliefs are confused with reality.

    What is reality?

    when we say reality really exists isn't that the same as saying God really exists. I'm confused.

  • AuldSoul
    hamilcarr: I wouldn't agree with this. The "clear moral norm" is a reality on which our civilisation is built. Morality isn't the product of our culture and civilisation, but rather the opposite: civilisation is the result of our biologically rooted moral potential (which may be emprically confirmed by comparative behavioral studies).

    There is no "clear moral norm" upon which all mankind agrees; it is, in that case, no more real than "respect". Comparative behavioral studies always show the bell curve ranges of human behavior and analysts, looking at the statistical breadth of the bell, draw an arbitrarily determined line through it and say, "Above this line is normal as it pertains to this specific aspect of comparative behavior, below is abnormal."

    Who, outside their arbitrary selves, determines they are right about normalcy? It is an important question to answer because empirical proof is the stuff of hard science.

    But let us put your statement to the test: "Clear moral norm" is the reality upon which our civilization is built.

    Are you pro-choice or pro-life? Are only theists pro-life? Are all theists pro-life in all contexts? If not, why not?

    Are you opposed to homosexuals being allowed to get married or are you in favor of it? Are only theists opposed to it? Are all theists opposed to it? If not, why not?

    Side-question pertaining to the following question: Is China part of "our" civilization?
    Should people be allowed to own slaves? Are all atheists opposed to it? Are all theists in favor of it? If not, why not?

    Who is part of "our civilization"? Do all atheists agree? Do all theists disagree? If not, why not?

    Should adults build long-term committed relationships or should the stronger evolutionary drives to multiply for special preservation be heeded? Do all atheists agree? If not, why not?

    Our nation is not built upon a "clear moral norm" and our world civilization is certainly not. The United States of America has been struggling to develop moral normalcy as a direct result of its contractual civilization ever sense its founding. I say again, putting your statement to the simplest real-world challenges crumbles it to dust immediately.

    Moral schmoral: morality either exists outside of humanity and is something we are all struggling toward or it only exists in our minds, and is a concept easily dispelled on simple questioning. In the former case, it is real but not our own. In the latter; it is no more real than hate, and is just as constant. In the former case there may be something stable upon which to build . . . anything. In the latter, morality is as fickle and whimsical as an individual's momentary choices.

    Our "biologically rooted moral potential" has a darker conjoined sibling called "biologically rooted immoral potential". Who's to say which is which in any given instance?


  • Perry

    Every time I dig a little bit I come up with the proof (for me) that the 47 King James scholars got it right and the modern translations are vastly inferior. I believe the differences between futility and vanity are more than just nuances, because I believe this scripture captures the fundamental character of fallen man.

    Read for yourself which English word fits best.... futility or vanity.

    Nave's Topical Bible

    Vanity [T][B]

  • hamilcarr

    Auld Soul,

    The realisation that people with totally different beliefs and divergent political systems have the same elementary moral codes, points at the fact that morality somehow is part of our "nature" in whatever shape or form. Theft, rape and murder are never considered virtues, while generosity, altrutistic behavior and willingness to cooperate are seen as virtues in almost all societes, even in more "primitive" cultures (cf. potlatch).

  • AuldSoul
    hamilcarr: The evolutionary endowed need for cooperation. Throughout mankind's history, one may remark a broadening of the sphere with which one cooperated, from family, tribe, nation to entire humanity and for some even entire creation. Organised religion got stuck in the tribal-national phase (a fortiori those who accept the OT as a divine revelation).

    Let's go with the theory that evolution is the "moral" driver. That means a blind dice-thrower, devoid of emotion, is at the helm of our morality. And you term that a basis for civilization?

    If it is just evolution that forms the basis, how can we possibly know the eventual effects of rapid expansion of the sphere of cooperation since it is clearly outstripping evolution's ability to keep up?

    In other words, how do you or I know that expanding the sphere of cooperation is a morally good thing?

  • oompa

    Terry, I like your post, and you have given us much to think about. I will take a stab at answering your question, and point out a possible flaw in your reasoning, but I still agree with the gist of your argument.

    You: In a court of law the only mercy from a judge or jury comes from EXTENUATING circumstances such as lack of intent to commit harm or accidental homicide or mental illness.

    Other extenuating circumstances could also apply to the God/mankind thingy....for instance, the background of the criminal....abused, harsh life, deprived of education, raised in a cult etc. Background is taken into account.

    If God does that, God could have a basis for his love of mankind (his children). He could view his children as damaged goods, damaged by Satan, damaged by what Adam and Eve did.....this not only brings out mercy, but pity, and that can bring out love...Eh?................oompa

  • trevor
    QuietlyLeaving you asked: What is reality?
    When we say reality really exists isn't that the same as saying God really exists. I'm confused.

    To keep things simple because they are really.

    The squirrel in the garden really exists. It eats the nuts they put out and digs holes in their lawn.

    The Elf someone believes is in their garden, may exist in reality or may be a figment of their imagination.

    They have never seen an Elf but they read in a book that flowers only grow because Elves come out at night and make flowers grow. And there was a picture of an Elf in their special book..

    In their mind the Elf has become a reality. It is called an Elf. Why would it have a name if it does not exist? If they wait in the garden for enough nights they may even claim to have seen it.

    Maybe demons have entered their furniture? Is the Devil waging war on them? Is God watching them?

    The human mind is capable of believing whatever it wants to. Hence the treachery of our mind which has come to mistakenly accept symbols as reality.


  • Perry
    If the situation wasn't hopeless what do you need Jesus for? All men could would save themselves

    Deputy Dog,

    Certainly man cannot save himself, I agree But, that isn't the same as saying mankind as a whole was hopeless. The hope extended in Genesis 3:15 was no doubt a basis for Abraham's faith and it was issued before the sentence was executed. Doctrianlly, the wording of the KJV seems superior to me. God Bless

    Ro 4:3 - Show Context

    For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

    Ga 3:6 - Show Context
    Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

    Jas 2:23 - Show Context
    And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Share this