The Pastor of my Old Church Tried to Re-Convert Me Yesterday
Adamah, when did God or Christ ever say to throw away knowledge?
"Caliber said- Are we on an equal bases with God so as to issue an ultimatum?"
Yes. ~~ Adamah said
Wow. . I am truly shocked that this is how you feel but OK... go for it I guess
"Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth"
How did the tsunami break this promise ?
Caliber you are ignoring at least 2 if not 3 of my responses to you.
TEC said- Adamah, when did God or Christ ever say to throw away knowledge?
Puleeze, TEC: have you read the Bible where it says to turn one's back away from 'false foreign Gods'? What do you think those Xian missionaries who came over the past few hundred years encouraged those islanders to do, but give up their 'pagan' native religious practices for Jehovah, the Ancient Near East God who's 'wisdom' had NO survival value to a group of people living in the region?
That story has been repeated thoughout the World, eg with Native American Indian tribes being converted to Xianity by priests, often at the end of a barrel of a gun.
As just pointed out by humbled:
It is interesting to note that the islanders drive civilized humans away from their land with bows and arrows. Apparently they are content to deal with their ruthless sea-god on their own terms--and live.
Such indigenous religious practices may contain traditional wisdom and thus offer benefit in the regions in which they developed, eg local wisdom is passed down via oral traditions to the next, since they had survival value.
TEC, you and many others really need to take a course in 'basic cultural anthropology', since you seem unaware of other cultural values and how such values are passed on.
1 Timothy 6:20–21
20. O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,”
21. for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.
So apparently the tribal "knowledge" that should have been avoided, is what ended up saving the islanders who rejected the path of Christianity. Interesting, gee what a useful book of "true knowledge" the bible is.
You're still talking about man and what man applied to God. When did God or Christ ever say to throw away knowledge? That is the part you highlighted in my quote.
Time for an update. There is some overlap with the various apologetics.
1. God does good things, Satan does bad things.
Response - If Satan caused the tsunami and god did nothing that makes god look weak as well as wicked.
2. Calamities can be prevented by intersessionary prayer
Response - So god would have saved 250 000 lives if only a christian had remembered to pray?
3. There are lots of stories of christians who were saved from death in the tsunami. (this is a way of saying those who died basically had themselves to blame = prosperity teaching)
Response - I'm sure there are lots of stories of atheists and Muslims who were saved from death in the tsunami. There were also many thousands of christians who died. If god picked a few favourites that only makes him look even more nasty and capricious.
4. Humans cause suffering.
Response - The tsunami was caused by an earthquake under the Indian Ocean. There was absolutely nothing any human could do to cause it or prevent it.
5. Free will.
Response - I am deliberately not talking about human actions. I am only interested in "natural evil". If god had prevented the tsunami no free will would have been involved.
6. All creation including the planet was harmed by the "fall".
Response - I t was casued by the movement of tectonic plates. Earthquakes are an intrinsic part of how the earth was made. They have been happening for billions of years. It would have been trivially easy for him to quell the beginning of the tsunami wave long before anybody even knew it had happened. He chose to do nothing except watch the wave wipe out a quarter of a million lives.
7. Yes its a pity that 250 000 lives were wiped out needlessly but humans do bad things too.
Response - Measuring the morality of god against that of a human tyrant is setting the bar rather low for god. This is an example of the tu quoque fallacy.
8. It wasn't god's time to act
Response - Is there a better time for a loving god to act than before the tsunami kills a quarter of a million innocent people?
9. God was seen in the actions of christians who worked to relieve the suffering of survivors
Response - Human efforts to clear up god's mess does not excuse his passivity
10. God caused the tsuanmi because he is judging people for sin.
Response - The problem for theism is that god cannot be powerful, knowing and loving if he passively observes the violent death of a quarter of a million people.
You have chosen to resolve the dilemma by ditching the claim that god is love. In doing so you are in harmony with pre-exile worhsippers of Yahweh but you are left with a god who is all-powerful, all-knowing and a total tyrant. You still have theism but as far as ethics go your god is on a par with Zeus or Thor. Surely the whole point of being god is being worthy?
11. Who are we to judge god?
Response - You have unhitched the word "love" from any meaningful definition. We may think we know what love means but god demonstrates that we have not the slightest idea. Love could just as easily mean the capricious anihilation of a quarter of a million innocent people. You destroy our ability to make moral judgements. "Good" is whatever pleases god from moment to moment. Mass destruction is just as morally good as altruism and self-sacrifice.
Ethics are a matter of divine fiat. The value of human life is trivialised.
In defending god you have reduced him to a celestial Pol Pot who may choose on a whim to eradicate our lives in the manner of the killing fields of Cambodia. With apologists like you who needs atheists?
12. Suffering is good for us
Response - Lets try that out with a real tsunami victim. Please take a few moments to get down out your ivory tower and try to imagine what suffering really feels like for this woman. Perhaps this dead child is the only body she managed to recover from the aftermath. Lets imagine she has lost everything. Every family member, every possession every hope and dream and ambition she ever had. She is now condemned to months of living among devastation without adequate food or water or shelter.
Now go and tell her that your god sent the tsunami because she needed to learn empathy and compassion. You need to show in what way the tsunami was a benefit to the victims.
13. Suffering provides us - the observer of suffering - with the opportunity to learn compassion and empathy.
My response - Please refer to the answer to number 12 above. Try telling the victim that your god sent the tsunami so that you could learn to be a better christian. What astonishing hubris that diminishes the lives of a quarter of million people into a comodity to be used for your benefit.
14. Its a mystery.
Response - This is a non-answer so response required. The intellectual dishonesty of faith is self-evident.
15. Suffering will be unimportant compared to eternal rewards
Response - This is ethically repugnant. It is an extreme example of "the end justifies the means" defense, so beloved of tyrants.
Like other theodices it is dehumanising by reducing humans to pawns in god's game.
Imagine that scientists developed a pill that would eradicate all unwelcome memories and create a feeling of bliss.
How would you judge a scientist who imposed the most horrific suffering on millions of people, as unwilling subjects of his experiment, but who gave all of them one of the magic pills when it was over?
16. We just need to trust that god always does what is for the best
Response - If god's lack of willingness to save the 250 000 victims of the Asian Tsunami doesn't give you pause to reflect on that trust, what would?
17. He chose not to. Why? He is a free agent just as we are.
Response - So if you could prevent a great evil at no cost to yourself but chose not to, and your only defense was "I chose not to; I am a free agent", what would that say about your ethics?
Your god is a moral reprobate.
18. How do YOU know that God intervening in that tsunami would not have been the cause of anothers' death...from a human reaction to God having stopped that tsunami?
Response - An all-knowing god would be aware on the earthquake under the Indian Ocean before it happened and could have quelled the wave at its source without any human ever being aware. Not in order to impose his presence any anybody but purely as an act of love. That's what I would have done which makes me far more moral than your god.
19. it's a bit more like you allowed (not caused ) your child to suffer a painful operation... and then give comfort and gifts afterwards
Response - There is a direct benefit from a painful operation to the person who endures the pain. You need to explain what the benefit was to the victims of the Asian tsunami
20. God is not all powerful
Response - Then how does a world with a helpless god look any different from a world with no god?
I think number 20 as proposed by jgnat needs more investigation. It may be suggested by open theism or process theology.
So apparently the tribal "knowledge" that should have been avoided, is what ended up saving the islanders who rejected the path of Christianity. Interesting.
Maybe a good thing to remember those who died in the 2004 tsunami, and that some of the people who died were foreign tourists who didn't recognize the classic tsunami warning sign: seeing a receding tide that exposes the tidal sea floor is NOT the sea god inviting you to become a budding marine biologist or gather "fruits of the sea" (note the person who is seen at 2:37 in this video who didn't get the memo and was never seen again, and see all the tourists in bathing suits acting as if it's just another day on the beach until it was too late):
Just caught up with this thread. It's brilliant and a case in point as to why learning about logical fallicies should be in the top 5 of things those learning TTATT should do.
As much as I respect the right of individuals to believe in God there is little escape from one of two ultimate conclusions if you remain convinced about the existance of God.
1 - If God has a plan, a purpose and will intervene in man's affairs using a perfect combination of love, justice, wisdom and power then what possible benefit is there to the continued suffering of humanity? The 2004 tsunami is a object lesson in the inexplicable lack of action by a God which believers are then perfectly happy to then assume blessed them with a new job or good weather so more Bibles could be published. There is no scriptural explaination for this so you are left resorting to "it's a mystery, God knows best".
2 - If God is defined as more of an intelligent force or power with a completely hands off approach then he has no purpose, no plan and therefore is of little relevance. What point is there in worshiping an entity that is benign, impersonal and unable/unwilling to intervene to the benefit of it's creation.
Clearly the arguments can run much deeper than this however the God of the Bible certainly is portrayed in the vein of position 1. God is said to be deeply interested in the affairs of man, has a purpose and, most importantly, has endowned mankind with attributes that reflect his own. If we are moved by the plight of those suffering through empathy, love, morality, compassion and so on then what purpose is there in permitted natural disasters?
If man is destined for another place then why not just put him there straight away? If the earth is to be restored to a paradise then why wait so long? What possible spiritual benefit is there to individuals having to endure so much?
Having read 26 pages of discussion on Cofty's original post I can see nothing that does not fit into the falacious responses he has documented. There has been nothing in support of God that has made any kind of sense or offers any kind of reasonable explaination.
Caliber you are ignoring at least 2 if not 3 of my responses to you. ~~Cofty
Why do you add in words like "direct blessing" to a misfortunate situation ? Why do you expect every illustration to apply perfectly ? I inferred my answer by saying there was no direct blessings for my uncles upon dieing in the war
When I was a children my father taught me a valued lesson . He said .." Why do you take statements that I make try to make me look like "a monkeys ass ?"
Is logical to deliberately (it seems to me ) misunderstand or misapply or add to someones statements ?
Another expression my father used to use " anyone with an eye and an asshole knows I did meant and didn't mean ...."
I try not to be blunt like my father but it doesn't mean I didn't understand what he was trying to teach me which was... communication involves earnestly trying to understand the other person's point of view not to hold them up for mockery and laughter or to look like a moron
On this thread alone several persons have said to you" I didn' say that or I didn't mean to refer that"
Who in their right mind would talk about blessings in death and destruction ?
The blessings people speak about here are inspite of death and destruction... not a direct part of it.. it's about hope after disaster
But I'm sure you see that too... if you truly wanted to