The Pastor of my Old Church Tried to Re-Convert Me Yesterday
When you read the OT, God happily takes credit for many such natural disasters. And he's taken credit for killing thousands of random Jews because David took a census. There are plenty of Christians that believe that god is actively killing people because of the sins of others.
He took credit... or people gave him credit?
There is a difference.
Tammy, sorry about the botched post.
In any case you salvaged what I meant to say.
Thanks for your reply.
Billy, yes, it is. Even when I was a JW, I was always science-minded, I have been since I was a child. I recall studying the "Life, How Did it Get Here?" book when I was around 10, I think, and realizing that a lot of it was bunk. Since I've been out for about five years, I've really allowed myself to study science. While my situation doesn't really allow me to attend university likeI should have, I do enjoy taking free online courses from universities in math, physics, astronomy, statistics, etc. I tried chemistry, but that was.... no. It was just, no, not working for me.
So, yes, it does amaze me that we ever bought into. For instance, last night I was reading an article from a young earth creationist about why radiometric dating is flawed and immediately went and read articles from actual scientists explaining how it does. While I will admit I didn't understand all of it, what I did understand makes infinitely more sense than "scientists are lying". I cannot imagine living my life any longer tying my brain in knots trying to defend the patently absurd, trying to justify all of the special pleading, trying to ignore the obvious, to make any sort of theology work. "I don't know" is a FAR more honest answer AND an impetus to go find out or, at least, support those who do.
Bohm, someday I might, I am not much of a "hey, look at me" type person. But, since you asked, I'm an ex-JW, in my 30s, an amateur lockpick (legally, of course) and I am trying to re-model my house, I like hiking and camping and I think reality is far more astounding than anything humans can make up.
Cofty, sorry for hijacking the thread, I am done talking about me....
Tammy, sorry about the botched post.
In any case you salvaged what I meant to say.
LOL.. its not like I have never botched a post or pm to you ; )
Peace my friend,
Bohm: Would me leaving the person to die in the forrest lead you to conclude I was (with very high probability) not the most moral person on earth? (ie. you would be far more sceptical of that claim than you might be of other reasons?)
PelicanBeach: I think you may like this answer: It all depends on how much I trust that you are who you claim to be
So me leaving someone to die in the forrest would not affect your view on me to a large degree? Ie. if you felt i was a no-good person, you would continue to think so, but if you had other people saying i was a good person and writing good things about me (such as the case of jesus), you would continue to think i was a good person?
A while back I posted one of many links to the account of indigenous, uncivilized, NON-christian islanders of Indonesia who survived the Tsunami.
What saved (if the term is not too loaded) the primitive islanders from death?
Is it relevant to the discussion to mention that a whole class of people survived who had lived in a virtually unbroken line of natural/traditional relationship with the ocean and the land? The ones who refused conversion to Christianity lived, as I mentioned. Another group of the islanders had been christianized,westernized and they died by the hundreds in the tsunami.
I would ask the pastor what he makes of that.
FHN said- Adam, your long winded posts are too boring to read past the first two words.
Since you are avoiding the points I made (as if thinking that'll make them just go away?), I can assure you that your posts are no bed of roses to wade through, as it's rather painful to fathom what apparently passes for 'common sense' in your head.
FHN said- I'm not a bible person dahling, though I do find some wisdom in the book, from time to time.
Huh? You're "not a Bible person"?
That claim only raises questions:
1) why have you bothered to offer up a botched theodicy for Jehovah, the God character of the Bible and the topic of this thread?
2) And if not from the Bible, where exactly did you come up with your customizable shaping-shifting concepts of God's character, in the first place?
See, I'm not buying it: when the going gets tough, you now want your God to become another all-powerful deity, except with a different name than the Hebrew name, YHWH. Move those goalposts!
FHN, whether you realize it or not, you're relying on multiple permutations of an "appeal to personal ignorance" argument, which is the same dynamic that has fueled the perpetuation of belief in Gods for thousands of years now, being expressed with such thought-stopping phrases like, "God works in mysterious ways", or "We cannot answer why, since we lack the vantage point of Holy God", or "Who are we as mere mortals to question the wisdom of God?" etc. ALL are classic 'thought-stoppers' (and despite what you may read on JWN, JWs actually didn't invent the concept, the name 'thought-stopper', or its usage: JWs are merely one of the Xian religions that rely on the technique).
All such "answers" are actually non-answers.
Further, the problem with all such weak-sauce kiss-off answers is that it's simply not the case, since the question at hand is a MORAL/ETHICAL one, and even the Bible itself (which you claim not to believe in) admits that humans DO possess a sense of morality and ethics (as retarded and atropied as it may be in some believers) since Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit that magically bestowed wisdom to humanity. Hence, per the Bible, humans DO have the capability to address ethical questions, and we DO IT, all the time.
Thus, I, just like any other human, have the capability to reach ethical conclusions eg recognizing that owning other humans is simply wrong, since it violates the human rights of others (their sense of self-autonomy and self-determination). See, I'm actually more moral and ethical than Jehovah and Jesus, combined, since 2,000 yrs later it turns out they ended up on the wrong side of the slavery issue, and God's braggidocious claims of being perfect and immutable sets him in concrete on the issue, so He's mired in his own mud.
Granted, some people may be personally ignorant of such philosophical (ethical) concerns addressed in the works of Bentham, Schopenhauer, etc over the past millenia, but don't expect the rest of us to be dragging into the mire of your personal ignorance of ethics.
The problem with the Bible is that it actually suppresses a believer's sense of morality, in essence encouraging people to become passive followers of the rules laid down in it vs developing their own ethical sensibilities, allowing them to grow stronger via wrestling with painful questions of right and wrong. The Bible teaches believers to FOLLOW, but not to internalize what actions are proper.
Perhaps the attraction of being told what we should do, and backed with assurances of why it's correct and true suffices for many: that's a personality trait that groups like the JWs will willingly exploit.
Many apparently don't really care about WHAT they believe, instead picking and choosing beliefs based on HOW what they believe makes them feel. That's the functional definition of someone who is egocentric and self-centered, who believes in their own personal fable.
How did evil get here then? Like a virus itself perhaps... from our choices. Anything that does not come FROM love can and does cause harm to someone or something, even if we do not see that ourselves.
Most scientifically-literate believers have to accept the existence of viruses, and many also won't deny that God had to make them. However, TEC hasn't tired of "blaming the victims" yet, since there's no reasonable explanation for what possible poor choice this baby could've possibly have made (except possibly the extremely poor choice to be born into a World where believers like TEC would blame him for a viral condition that was completely beyond his ability to decide).
Just in case anyone is interested, but this is the longest thread (75 pages) I think JWN has, on this question... why does God allow suffering. It had its good points and bad points, friendly times and not-so-friendly times, lol. But it was a pretty epic discussion.
First, let me say, that in the Gospels it was only with Lazarus that Jesus, knowing before hand what was happening, allowed the natural course of disease and death to continue with later the resurrection of Lazarus that followed.
But as I said, I was handing you a good answer, one that you could find fault with. A Christian answer. It is what it is.