The Pastor of my Old Church Tried to Re-Convert Me Yesterday
In the Gospel accounts Jesus quelled a storm to save his followers, .... are you yet another christian who cherry picks your beliefs to suit your mood?
It's the typical interpretation from JW's that Jesus calmed down that storm to demonstrate that he will stop all natural disasters in the future paradise on earth, because he has the power over the elements. It's not how I see it, though. The fact that he has the power to do it, doesn't mean he intends to do it or even that it's his business to do it. He did it then simply to build up the faith of his disciples in him as the Son of God - in which, btw, he succeeded.
EdenOne said- Every theodicy that a believer may come up with will be always met with contempt by an atheist, for he has no intellectual respect for the theist.
Not for those who choose to talk nonsense, and expect to be given respect for their ability to offer puffery and fast-talking in lieu of demonstrating a respect for logic.
Fact is, Paul was correct in running from the marketplace of Athens in defeat, since the book of Acts records his failed attempts to debate the Greek philosophers of his day with weak-sauce arguments that got him laughed at, written off as a fool. Hence why Xians are told that such torment is persecution which reinforces their faith, and need to rely on FAITH (belief WITHOUT evidence, and even belief in the face of evidence to the contrary). It's exactly why the Bible pooh-poohs the foolish logic of secular mortals, and writes off the challenges as doing battle in the name of the Lord, Jesus.
Faith is an appeal to dogmatism, the belief-preserving strategy of covering one's ears with one's hands, and refusing to hear concepts which challenge one's cherished beliefs. It's a pretty slick self-reinforcing belief system, but it IS a psychological system of manipulation designed for shallow thinkers who are content NOT to think, since it's really hard and uncomfortable to consider that one may have been hoodwinked.
Cofty and many others had to moral courage to consider the uncomfortable question of WHAT IF everything I've believed up 'til now IS wrong, and you can too.... You wouldn't be the first, and you'd hardly be a genius for doing so since many figure it out when they're kids.
EdenOne said- I find it usually a waste of time to debate with those who don't respect my intelligence but demand that I am in awe of theirs in turn. That's utterly unstimulating and boring. Since faith isn't an item for the atheist, any argument that depends on faith will ultimately fail to convince the atheist. And that's ok. We don't have to agree in order that we may live peacefully with each other. Yet, my hope is better than your void.
Actually, if I were more cynical and unethical, I'd actually BE following in the family tradition of manipulating and profiting from the faith of others: I come from a long line of pastors and theologians (one who was president of a seminary college in the Midwest), and broke from family tradition by openly professing my atheism (and my brother is an elder in the JW).
Granted, my ancestors may have a good excuse for their ignorance (due to having lived in the past, when scientific knowledge wasn't AS readily available as it is now via the internet), but I'm certainly not proud of a familial tradition of a profession that's only one step removed from running a three-card Monte scam on some boardwalk, fleecing the suckers out of their money. And sure, those scammers might justify their actions by claiming they're only giving their marks the hope and dreams of winning, no one foreced them to play, they were greedy, etc, but it's no different from excusing religions by temporarily giving their marks hope of an eternal afterlife while taking their tithes in this life.
So... to boil this all the way down to brass tacks (okay, I don't really know what that saying means, lol).
Man can consider reasons why God did not stop that tsunami. Some good; some bad; some in keeping with examples from the bible, some in keeping with the nature of God as shown in His Truth: Christ. Also understanding that there are some reasons he has no clue about, since his perspective is quite limited.
But if man does not know why God did not stop that tsunami (or any natural events of the planet)... what does that actually tell anyone... other than... man does not know why God does not prevent natural events of the earth?
The default position of not knowing something does not equal - God is bad or weak or ineffectual. You would have to FIRST know the reason to be able to make ANY statement about God, based on the examples of death caused by natural events of this earth. If you do not know the reason... the most you can say is that the reason for this is UNKNOWN.
But as always, you may keep your thoughts on that question to be in line with the Truth we do know about God: seen and known in Christ.
If, that is, the Father of Christ is the God you are speaking of. If you are speaking about some other 'god'... then that does not really concern anyone who is in Christ because His Father is shown and known through Him.
So, because you're candid and ethical, you chose to despise faith? If you were intellectually honest now, you would acknowledge that there are millions, even billions of people whose faith isn't means to make a living, but means to lead a better life. I don't care how you view your ancesters, but if you accuse them of leading a less than honest trade based on faith, you're being no less dishonest by implying that every man of faith is in it for the material reward or the pleasure of manipulating others.
Because, Cofty, they have nothing but an ambiguous book and their feelings to go on. I suppose it would be nice if they could perform some type of independently verfiable experiment, like this one...
Edited: Ooops, wrong thread!
Consider the destruction at Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham was advised ahead of time, and an "escape plan" was arranged for the few righteous. Two cities and all their residents were destroyed. Certainly that's a huge devastation, but I doubt it was not as many as a quarter million people.
No warning, no intervention by God for a quarter million people. Does He care less in our day?
It's not God's business to exempt human beings from suffering that has always existed in nature. - EdenOne
But the god of theism made the world complete with earthquakes - it was his doing. Nature isn't a person. God booby-trapped the planet and then declined to do anything about it when a quarter of a million lives were at stake. Is he wicked, too busy, neglectful, powerless or what?
Your god is literally good for nothing. Its as if he has put up a sign in heaven that says "Gone Fishing".
Eden you are the most muddled apologist for god I have encountered.
Tammy - A lot of sophistry that boils down to "I have no idea".
This thread is a challenge to theism. The god and father of Jesus, the god of the bible and of Christianity.
Theists assert that this god is knowing, loving and powerful. On 26th December 2004 we can assume that this god would have known about the earthquake even before it happened. He would have had the power to simply calm the wave. And yet a quarter of million men, women and children perished.
I am still waiting for a sensible answer.
That is an individual choice that we all must make.
That I can agree with you, Gladiator.