The Pastor of my Old Church Tried to Re-Convert Me Yesterday
Are you truly that dishonest Cofty, or do you truly just not get it?
Dishonest in the quote mining at least.
Poor us…we war and pollute and destroy the earth but God allows the winds and the earth to have its way with us, what a travesty that is
I'm late for the discusssion, but I'll throw the opinion I've come to:
There's no "evil" in nature, for "evil" implies an intention, a design. There's no such thing in the natural world, an intent to hurt, to cause pain and destruction. Nature is what it is, there is pain, there is fear, there is anxiety, bad things happen, disasters happen, living beings get caught in it. Although irrational beings such as mammals can certainly feel pain and fear and stress, they don't question "why am i suffering?", or "is there a purpose to my troubles?". Only an intelligent being like man with the capacity to think in abstract terms, would question himself about that. Death, ageing, illness, disaster, always have been present in nature. God didn't "create" them, they are the random part of the game of life.
When mankind developed enough intelligence to become interesting to God, He decided to elevate this species to a higher status, that of "sons of God". hence, he created the first "homo Sapiens" couple gifted with that ability, Adam and Eve, who would eventually propagate such gift to all mankind. Thus, the life that God intended for man, once his earthly life was naturally over, was to live the true life in the spiritual realm as one of the spiritual sons of God. When that purpose was messed up by the disobedience of that couple who lost their sonship status with God, He has found an alternative means to still accomplish his purpose for his earthly children. In the meantime, God stepped aside, and refreined from interfering with the free will of man. He has put in motion his plan for reconciling mankind with himself, through faith in Jesus.
I don't know if my view deserves a number in Cofty's list, but the way I see it, God has nothing to do with natural disasters; they aren't a "design flaw", because God never intended for material life to be "perfect", in the sense of being optimal, eternally enjoyable, eternally good. It happens to people what happens to every other living being in nature: they are born, they grow up, they mature, they reproduce, they age and then die. Accidents happen all the time, in every place, and God doesn't cause them, doesn't stop them, no one is to blame for them. Life happens. Death happens. What God ensures is salvation for those who put faith in his salvation through Christ. The true life will be attained in the spiritual realm. Until then, we can make the most of the time we live on the face of the earth to learn about love and compassion, enjoy this life and its gifts the best we can, and prepare ourselves for what comes in the realm where natural disasters don't happen - the heavenly realm.
It's not that God doesn't care. He does. He simply decides not to intervein and let life happens and people handle its challenges. He gives hope to those intelligeng enough to grasp it and those faithful enough to want it.
A xian lady said to me the day after that tsunami, "Those people were irresponsible. They should have watched The Weather Channel."
Tammy - what a travesty that is! " Is sarcasm about real human suffering.
Others can read the context and see for themsleves.
Now back to the topic.
Rebel8 - That is astonishing! I am tempted to make that number 21.
God doesn't cause them, doesn't stop them, no one is to blame for them. Life happens. Death happens.
Eden - Please see numbers 8 & 15...
Your god is criminally wreckless.
We agree he doesn't stop natural disasters. The question is why?
According to you he just doesn't give a shit about this life.
The true life will be attained in the spiritual realm
Christianity is a cult of death.
You assert that god exists
I tried to avoid using the word "god" because it is generally understood differently eg the Bible
and that he is personal, takes an interest in your life and circumstances
Where did I say that? Answering questions was all I've claimed
and cares enough to give you "specific" help with your sums
Where did I mention caring? Answering questions was all I've claimed
That is a massive claim of knowledge about your deity.
Which I haven't made
But when faced with a very simple question like, "why would he help you with your maths but not save the life of a quater of a million men, women and children?" you move the goalposts
If you understood that I was arguing for a personal and caring anthropomorphic God, despite all I've written, your comprehension skills are weak. So hopefully now you see I didn't move any goalposts
and pretend that you couldn't possibly know about god because he is greater than you.
More insult in place of logic. Show where I've pretended anything.
Look, our positions are miles apart. I'll read carefully and hope you will try too. Back later.
Cofty, i disagree that my observation falls under #8 or #15
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?
I don't say God will EVER act to stop a natural disaster. It's not about HIS timing nor OUR timing. He just decided that he won't, and let living beings deal with it.
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.
Suffering does matter to God, and all the more the suffering of those he loves. The fact that God doesn't intervein to stop natural calamities has nothing to do with a relative importance of present life suffering versus the "eternal reward". Yes, it is of relative importance, but that doesn't implicate that God is causing it to teach us a lesson or to better us as people. God offers hope which helps us a great deal to cope with the horrific outcomes of some natural disasters. that's enough for me to have a sense of gratitude towards Him. And, as a colateral result of natural disasters, sometimes natural calamities bring out the best in people, which is a testimony to the goodness and altruism that we usually don't see much of it in nature, and is a reflexion of the divine spark within each one of us.
Retro - How could god be aware of you and your need for help with your sums, and successfully communicate that help to you at the right time, unless he was personal, intelligent and caring of your needs?
That is a massive claim of knowledge of the deity. You can't then hide behind inscrutibility when faced with an inconvenient question. That is special pleading and its intellectually dishonest.