Character of God

wzedi
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Character of God

Just as many have misconceptions about physics many have misconceptions about the character of God and the meaning of scripture.

Even for those that hold the Bible to be (at least in part) fiction an effort should be made to understand the book before valid assertions can be made about its characters and meaning. Just as assertions in science require scientific evidence, assertions regarding the Bible should have Biblical evidence. Just as a less educated individual may believe there is evidence in physics to support a stance but be in error so may an individual believe there is evidence from the Bible to support a stance and be in error.

I've seen recent posts which repeat age old questions about the character of God as understood by Bible believers. Such questions as "if God is so good why does He let babies be born deformed" and "if God is so powerful why doesn't he intervene when there are accidents", etc. Generally these questions are not asked by an open minded individual in search for truth, but rather by one that has come to a conclusion and is attempting to bring others to the same conclusion.

Questions and statements like this simply show that such an individual has made no effort to understand the Bible. Even if it is treated as a work of fiction you must understand it before you can make any valid statement or ask meaningful questions. From what I understand an individual that sees themself as atheist has an open mind and is interested in truth. So many that call themselves atheists simply, and ignorantly, repeat assertions they have heard about the character of God without making any effort to find otu for themselves. That's just ignorance.

Even worse than the "luke warm atheist" is the luke warm "Christian". These are those that call themselves Christian but do not read the Bible, do not act in faith on the Word, do not attend church (or if they do it's for entertainment not to servce God), do not pray without ceasing. These are worse because they'll go around advertising how Christian they are then disaster strikes and everyone starts questioning the character of God.

It is common in Christian circles to attempt to find a reason for unanswered prayer. We hear things such as "God did answer but he said 'No'", or "Everything in it's season", or "All in God's time", or "It's not God's will", etc. I am yet to hear someone say "I just don't have the faith". It's human nature to blame God for our shortcomings. Look at Adam when God asked him what was going on in Gen 3:12 "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate." So as far as Adam was concerned it was ultimately God's fault that he did the wrong thing.  This still happens today.

The correct reason for unanswered prayer, in every instance, is a lack of faith. Look at Matthew 17:19-20. The disciples could not drive out a demon. Jesus told them directly they lacked faith. In Luke 17 the disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith. Jesus says in effect that if they had any faith at all they could speak to trees and have them planted in the sea. Again and again where prayer is answered Jesus advises that their faith has been effective. Where it is not answered we are informed there is no faith.

Look at 1 John 3:21-22: Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And again Mark 11:24: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Again John 14:12-14: I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Now back to the character of God. People question the goodness of God based on what is going on around us yet the Bible tells us if we follow Him all will be well, if we don't things will get bad for us. This is not because God makes it bad for us. It is a natural consequence of our actions. If we submit to God He gives us wisdom, we love one another adn we do well. If we do not submit to Him, we do what we feel is right and we get global warming, rampant rape, AIDS, etc.

So very few acknowledge God, let along trust Him or submit to Him and yet they ask "Where is God? Why doesn;t He do something?". He is ready, willing and able to do something. We have to ask Him and we have to believe He will do it. That'll be your evidence ladies and gents. Faith is the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for. Without it you will see nothing and we will continue to see chaos in this world.

If you won't even try it, if you won't even attempt to understand the character as portrayed in the book without a billigerent bias, then you will not see God. And that's your loss.


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wzedi wrote:  The correct

wzedi wrote:
 The correct reason for unanswered prayer, in every instance, is a lack of faith.

That's an ad hoc. 


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If the ability of a prayer

If the ability of a prayer to be answered is simply a case of how much the believer has faith then answer me something.

According to your post if one single christian had enough faith he could cure the world of disease, hunger, and war?

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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magilum wrote: wzedi

magilum wrote:

wzedi wrote:
The correct reason for unanswered prayer, in every instance, is a lack of faith.

That's an ad hoc.

Why is it ad hoc?


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Watcher wrote:If the

Watcher wrote:

If the ability of a prayer to be answered is simply a case of how much the believer has faith then answer me something.

According to your post if one single christian had enough faith he could cure the world of disease, hunger, and war?

Yes.

Edited to add: By the way "enough faith" is not a valid statement. You either have faith or you don't. There is no varying measure of faith.


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http://youtube.com/watch?v=jk

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wzedi wrote: Yes. Edited

wzedi wrote:

Yes.

Edited to add: By the way "enough faith" is not a valid statement. You either have faith or you don't. There is no varying measure of faith.

Well then, do you have faith, Wzedi?

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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wzedi wrote: Just as many

wzedi wrote:

Just as many have misconceptions about physics many have misconceptions about the character of God and the meaning of scripture.
How do you know there are  misconceptions about the character of this thing called god? What is god?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Watcher wrote: wzedi

Watcher wrote:

wzedi wrote:

Yes.

Edited to add: By the way "enough faith" is not a valid statement. You either have faith or you don't. There is no varying measure of faith.

Well then, do you have faith, Wzedi?

Sometimes. That doesn't change the truth of the Bible. I just quoted several passages (and there are more) in support of the argument. My faith or lack of it doesn't change the truth. 


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aiia wrote:wzedi

aiia wrote:
wzedi wrote:

Just as many have misconceptions about physics many have misconceptions about the character of God and the meaning of scripture.
How do you know there are misconceptions about the character of this thing called god? What is god?

Because His character is described to us in the Bible and the misconceptions become clear when compared with the character as decribed in the book.

Edit to add answer to "what is god?": 1 John 4:8 God is love. If you ask what is love see 1 Cor 13:4-7: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


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wzedi wrote: Sometimes.

wzedi wrote:

Sometimes. That doesn't change the truth of the Bible. I just quoted several passages (and there are more) in support of the argument. My faith or lack of it doesn't change the truth. 

So you are basically saying that it would only take one single christian with faith to cure all disease, hunger, and war?

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Watcher wrote: wzedi

Watcher wrote:
wzedi wrote:

Sometimes. That doesn't change the truth of the Bible. I just quoted several passages (and there are more) in support of the argument. My faith or lack of it doesn't change the truth.

So you are basically saying that it would only take one single christian with faith to cure all disease, hunger, and war?

Yes. 


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wzedi wrote: Yes.  Such

wzedi wrote:

Yes. 

Such a pity that the world has yet to see a christian with such faith.

All we have is a bunch of christians with no faith in their god.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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wzedi wrote:

wzedi wrote:
magilum wrote:

wzedi wrote:
The correct reason for unanswered prayer, in every instance, is a lack of faith.

That's an ad hoc.

Why is it ad hoc?

You have no basis to say whether a prayer is answered or not.

So you're begging the question that the distinction is necessary (i.e. that the phenomenon exists, but sometimes fails), and giving a baseless explanation for how this unsubstantiated dynamic "works."

You're working backwards, evidence-wise, so rationalize why something you've assumed "sometimes" fails. But this requires assumptions piled onto one another, first about the concept, then about the mechanics of the undemonstrated concept. Apply Occam's Razor, and a simpler explanation is that it never works, but we are sometimes correct in extrapolating simple outcomes. In this way, saying, "Please let so and so happen," is functionally identical to, "I expect so and so to happen."

{EDIT: ELABORATED}


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wzedi wrote: Just as many

wzedi wrote:

Just as many have misconceptions about physics many have misconceptions about the character of God and the meaning of scripture.

Even for those that hold the Bible to be (at least in part) fiction an effort should be made to understand the book before valid assertions can be made about its characters and meaning. Just as assertions in science require scientific evidence, assertions regarding the Bible should have Biblical evidence. Just as a less educated individual may believe there is evidence in physics to support a stance but be in error so may an individual believe there is evidence from the Bible to support a stance and be in error.

Sure people can be in error, but one needs to demonstrate how they are in error and simply saying because my interpretation is right and your's is wrong in not sufficient. And basing one's interpretation of the Bible on one's interpretation of the Bible is not sufficient. That is the problem. There needs to be some external objective criteria by which to determine correct from incorrect interpretations.   

Quote:
I've seen recent posts which repeat age old questions about the character of God as understood by Bible believers. Such questions as "if God is so good why does He let babies be born deformed" and "if God is so powerful why doesn't he intervene when there are accidents", etc. Generally these questions are not asked by an open minded individual in search for truth, but rather by one that has come to a conclusion and is attempting to bring others to the same conclusion.

I'm not sure how you can be certain of people's motives, but you are probably right that some people aren't open-minded. That doesn't negate the fact that those are legitimate questions that should be answered and that one need not accept your answer simply because you think it is correct. 

Quote:
Questions and statements like this simply show that such an individual has made no effort to understand the Bible. Even if it is treated as a work of fiction you must understand it before you can make any valid statement or ask meaningful questions. From what I understand an individual that sees themself as atheist has an open mind and is interested in truth. So many that call themselves atheists simply, and ignorantly, repeat assertions they have heard about the character of God without making any effort to find otu for themselves. That's just ignorance.

I have not had this experience. Without specifc examples I would have to think it is just as likely that you are simply ranting against atheists because they disagree with you.  

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Even worse than the "luke warm atheist" is the luke warm "Christian". These are those that call themselves Christian but do not read the Bible, do not act in faith on the Word, do not attend church (or if they do it's for entertainment not to servce God), do not pray without ceasing. These are worse because they'll go around advertising how Christian they are then disaster strikes and everyone starts questioning the character of God.

What is wrong with questioning? Sounds like you might be allergic to non-dogmatic thinking. 

Quote:
It is common in Christian circles to attempt to find a reason for unanswered prayer. We hear things such as "God did answer but he said 'No'", or "Everything in it's season", or "All in God's time", or "It's not God's will", etc. I am yet to hear someone say "I just don't have the faith". It's human nature to blame God for our shortcomings. Look at Adam when God asked him what was going on in Gen 3:12 "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate." So as far as Adam was concerned it was ultimately God's fault that he did the wrong thing. This still happens today.

The correct reason for unanswered prayer, in every instance, is a lack of faith. Look at Matthew 17:19-20. The disciples could not drive out a demon. Jesus told them directly they lacked faith. In Luke 17 the disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith. Jesus says in effect that if they had any faith at all they could speak to trees and have them planted in the sea. Again and again where prayer is answered Jesus advises that their faith has been effective. Where it is not answered we are informed there is no faith.

Look at 1 John 3:21-22: Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And again Mark 11:24: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Again John 14:12-14: I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

So because the Bible tells you that unanswered prayers are due to insufficient faith you take this as absolute truth without considering the alternative answer of non-existence of a deity. And you use the Bible to support what you read in the Bible. Can you really not see the problem with this line of thinking? How could you ever find outyou were wrong if you happened to be wrong? 

Quote:
Now back to the character of God. People question the goodness of God based on what is going on around us yet the Bible tells us if we follow Him all will be well, if we don't things will get bad for us. This is not because God makes it bad for us. It is a natural consequence of our actions. If we submit to God He gives us wisdom, we love one another adn we do well. If we do not submit to Him, we do what we feel is right and we get global warming, rampant rape, AIDS, etc.

Why do even the people who submit to him get global warming, rape and AIDS? Couldn't he just give those to the non-submitters? 

Quote:
So very few acknowledge God, let along trust Him or submit to Him and yet they ask "Where is God? Why doesn;t He do something?". He is ready, willing and able to do something. We have to ask Him and we have to believe He will do it. That'll be your evidence ladies and gents. Faith is the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for. Without it you will see nothing and we will continue to see chaos in this world.

I don't see chaos. My world is pretty good. I try to make it better through means that have been proven to bring about actual results. It often works, little by little.  

Quote:
If you won't even try it, if you won't even attempt to understand the character as portrayed in the book without a billigerent bias, then you will not see God. And that's your loss.

I can't lose what I've never had nor can I lose what doesn't exist. I'm afraid telling me its my lose is not something I consider a very rational tactic if you truly want me to believe in your God. 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Watcher wrote: wzedi

Watcher wrote:

wzedi wrote:

Yes.

Such a pity that the world has yet to see a christian with such faith.

All we have is a bunch of christians with no faith in their god.

 

Not so. The faith is for the particular event (i.e. cure all disease). There is plenty of faith for other stuff (salvation). Of course that isn't as useful to the world at large.

If I remember correctly, faith requires believing not only that something can happen, but that it should and is in god's will. I think it is fair to say that fundamentalists believe that god CAN heal the world of disease, but their faith fails when it comes to the question of it being god's will. And as we know from the arguments in this forum, determining god's will is not an easy thing.

Now don't ask me why a compassionate god would withold such healing. I'm only pointing out the dynamics of faith as I was taught.


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wavefreak wrote:Not so.

wavefreak wrote:

Not so. The faith is for the particular event (i.e. cure all disease). There is plenty of faith for other stuff (salvation). Of course that isn't as useful to the world at large.

If I remember correctly, faith requires believing not only that something can happen, but that it should and is in god's will. I think it is fair to say that fundamentalists believe that god CAN heal the world of disease, but their faith fails when it comes to the question of it being god's will. And as we know from the arguments in this forum, determining god's will is not an easy thing.

Now don't ask me why a compassionate god would withold such healing. I'm only pointing out the dynamics of faith as I was taught.

Oh the answer to that is quite clear don't you think?

god is sadistic.

Not a single christian has faith that god will cure disease if they pray for it.

Not a single christian has faith that god will stop hunger if they pray for it.

Not a single christian has faith that god will end war if they pray for it.

Wzedi is making christians look pretty pathetic.

I think I'm starting to like this guy.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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I wanted to add that even

I wanted to add that even if prayer were demonstrated to work, nothing could justifiably be said about how it's accomplished. You could, for instance, try controlled tests of identical circumstances with people praying to different gods or spirits, or even secular versions, like telekinesis. From that, you could gather which was most effective, but you'd still have absolutely no basis to speculate what determines the success of a particular prayer without further testing. And then you still would have no basis for speaking to the mechanics of a successful prayer.

So, yeah, OP was ad hoc. 


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Faith again? Pah...

wzedi wrote:

I've seen recent posts which repeat age old questions about the character of God as understood by Bible believers. Such questions as "if God is so good why does He let babies be born deformed" and "if God is so powerful why doesn't he intervene when there are accidents",

Skipping down a little further...

wzedi wrote:

So very few acknowledge God, let along trust Him or submit to Him and yet they ask "Where is God? Why doesn;t He do something?". He is ready, willing and able to do something. We have to ask Him and we have to believe He will do it. That'll be your evidence ladies and gents. Faith is the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for. Without it you will see nothing and we will continue to see chaos in this world.

So what you're saying is... if we don't want our babies to be deformed, we have to pray to god that he won't allow our babies to be born with deformities, and then we have a level of faith that is pleasing to god, and if he deems our amount of faith sufficient, he'll be nice enough to let us have an undeformed baby?

Or if we don't want to be in a car accident, we should pray to god each time we're about to get in the car, asking him to please not mangle us in a horrific car accident, and if he deems our prayer passionate enough, our faith in ample enough amounts, he may be nice enough to prevent us from getting in a car accident?

Unless this is what you mean, I'm not sure I see how you've answered that particular question.

Here are two better answers:

1) Sometimes the reproductive process doesn't go off without a hitch and we get genetic mutations. Sometimes this is a result of a mother's substance abuse, which interferes with the body's chemistry and screws up the reproductive process. (Read: not because god is punishing her for drinking too much). God has nothing to do with whether this does or does not happen.

2) Sometimes roads are slippery. Sometimes people drink and then go driving when they shouldn't. Or, probably most often, sometimes people are just shitty drivers. God has nothing to do with whether this does or does not happen.

Quote:

Faith is the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for. Without it you will see nothing and we will continue to see chaos in this world.

"The substance of things hoped for". I believe that our friend Stephen Colbert would refer to that as "truthiness", not faith. It's been added to the dictionary. You should look it up and see the similarity in the definitions. =)

(For the record, I think SC is actually a theist of some variety).

Faith is basically just a cop-out. This has been addressed on the forums at least a thousand times.

Here's two diatribes on why your faith spiel doesn't work:

 

---On Faith That God Exists---

General Atheist: "What objective proof do you have that your god exists?"

General Theist: "Objective evidence and philisophical arguments mean nothing when it comes to my belief in God. I have faith that he exists, and that's all I need."

 

The problem in GT's argument is that you could easily replace his god in that sentence with any other thing, regardless of its absurdity. Observe:

Remix: "Objective evidence and philisophical arguments mean nothing when it comes to my belief in talking penguins from the planet Broodax. I have faith that they exist, and that's all that I need.

You should, if you're honest, now realize that this sort of argument accomplishes nothing when it comes to establishing the existence of the thing in question. All that it means is that the person using this reasoning wishes to persist in their claim without---or even in spite of---any rational basis.

Whatever else a person using the faith argument believes the word "faith" includes, they can't deny that this, at the end of the day, is still what faith means.

And to that I say "no thanks".

 

---On Faith In "Miracles/Intervention/Works"---

Observe the following two scenarios to see why this explanation of faith is purely after-the-fact and meaningless.

Scenario:

General Theist is leading a huge praise and worship service for many of his family, friends, and church community members tomorrow. However, the sky is looking rather cloudy the night before and the meteorologist has forecast a good chance of rain. Not wanting to cancel this great opportunity to lead so many people he loves in worship, General Theist prays to god to put the rain off for another day, or at least by a few hours to let the praise and worship get underway. After all, it's for a good cause, right?

Ending A:

It doesn't rain.

Hooray! God answers prayers!

Ending B:

It rains anyway.

GT did not have enough faith.

-or-

God has a greater purpose.

Conclusion:

No matter what happens, the theist will perceive the outcome as reinforcing his beliefs.

In other words, faith is nothing more than a get out of jail free card. Whenever the theist runs into trouble, he can just drop the faith card and prance away, feeling untouchable.

 

---Another Problem---

Faith claims to know what reason cannot.

However, when reason works just fine, faith has nothing to do. For example, you don't need to have faith that the sun is extremely bright. It's perfectly clear that it is. But when it comes to things a person doesn't understand (i.e. it used to be the case that people didn't understand why there were different seasons with different weather), then some faith-based explanation can step in.

The problem here is that faith is parasitic. It must latch onto reason and wait for opportunities when a person doesn't have the rational answers, and then it steps in to fill the gaps. (Note: just because a person doesn't have the rational explanation doesn't mean that there is not one).

Reason, on the other hand, does not need faith.

In this way, faith is basically unnecessary BS. This is where you would hear many atheists invoking ockam's razor.

 

--Yet Another Problem---

 

When you tell an atheist that they would believe in God and his works, or that God would reveal himself to the atheist if he only had faith, the atheist is just going to laugh at you.

Basically what you're saying is that if we already believed in God, it would be very easy for us to believe in God.

Yeah, I bet it would.

 

I'm sure there is more to say about the meaninglessness of faith, but there is a start.

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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Watcher wrote: wavefreak

Watcher wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

Not so. The faith is for the particular event (i.e. cure all disease). There is plenty of faith for other stuff (salvation). Of course that isn't as useful to the world at large.

If I remember correctly, faith requires believing not only that something can happen, but that it should and is in god's will. I think it is fair to say that fundamentalists believe that god CAN heal the world of disease, but their faith fails when it comes to the question of it being god's will. And as we know from the arguments in this forum, determining god's will is not an easy thing.

Now don't ask me why a compassionate god would withold such healing. I'm only pointing out the dynamics of faith as I was taught.

Oh the answer to that is quite clear don't you think?

god is sadistic.

Not a single christian has faith that god will cure disease if they pray for it.

Not a single christian has faith that god will stop hunger if they pray for it.

Not a single christian has faith that god will end war if they pray for it.

Wzedi is making christians look pretty pathetic.

I think I'm starting to like this guy.

 

Maybe god just doesn't like us as much as Christians like to think. 


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wzedi wrote:   Because

wzedi wrote:

 

Because His character is described to us in the Bible and the misconceptions become clear when compared with the character as decribed in the book.

Edit to add answer to "what is god?": 1 John 4:8 God is love. If you ask what is love see 1 Cor 13:4-7: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

So here's the syllogism: if god is love, and love is patient, kind, unenvious, unboastful, humble, kind, unselfish, temperate, forgiving, prefers truth over evil, protectful, trusting, hopeful and optimistic, then god is necessarily all those things.

How do you reconcile that with cases where god is jealous, angry, etc? How do you reconcile the "keeps no record of wrongs" with eternal damnation?

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magilum wrote: I wanted to

magilum wrote:

I wanted to add that even if prayer were demonstrated to work, nothing could justifiably be said about how it's accomplished. You could, for instance, try controlled tests of identical circumstances with people praying to different gods or spirits, or even secular versions, like telekinesis. From that, you could gather which was most effective, but you'd still have absolutely no basis to speculate what determines the success of a particular prayer without further testing. And then you still would have no basis for speaking to the mechanics of a successful prayer.

THis is a little off topic but I disagree to the extent that I think psychology could probably cover most of any question of mechanics.

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wzedi wrote: Now back to

wzedi wrote:
Now back to the character of God. People question the goodness of God based on what is going on around us yet the Bible tells us if we follow Him all will be well, if we don't things will get bad for us.

Which raises the question of the problem of evil; specifically, the old question of why bad things happen to good people. Nothing bad should happen to a pious believer. Typical responses to this invoke the No True Scotsman fallacy, to say that if something bad did happen to you, you must not have been believing correctly. Then there's the ad hoc, "mysterious ways" argument: we eschew a simpler explanation for an elaborate and inscrutable chain of presumed god-logic.
wzedi wrote:
This is not because God makes it bad for us. It is a natural consequence of our actions.

That is an odd argument, considering you advocate an agent that would routinely violate causality. It's specious reasoning here: like dancing in a field to make it rain, and being certain that "it worked" when it finally does.
wzedi wrote:
If we submit to God He gives us wisdom, we love one another adn we do well. If we do not submit to Him, we do what we feel is right and we get global warming, rampant rape, AIDS, etc.

Ad hoc.
wzedi wrote:
So very few acknowledge God, let along trust Him or submit to Him and yet they ask "Where is God? Why doesn;t He do something?".

They don't acknowledge the thing they're asking about? That's a neat trick.
wzedi wrote:
He is ready, willing and able to do something. We have to ask Him and we have to believe He will do it.

Do you realize how much weird stuff should have happened already if that were the case?
wzedi wrote:
That'll be your evidence ladies and gents. Faith is the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for.

A typical Christian inversion of values. Death is a better kind of life, lack of evidence is a holier kind of evidence.
wzedi wrote:
Without it you will see nothing and we will continue to see chaos in this world.

Chaos? I think you're projecting. I think things are complex -- sometimes insurmountably so -- but I do see a potential for understanding them, even if it takes lifetimes to accumulate the knowledge and experience for some future generation to do so. This is precedented in spades. If I had to interpret events through an inscrutable causal agent, not only would I not understand many things, I wouldn't even see a potential for understanding them. All that would remain would be rationalizing... which is not even remotely satisfying to me.


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wzedi wrote: If you won't

wzedi wrote:
If you won't even try it, if you won't even attempt to understand the character as portrayed in the book without a billigerent bias, then you will not see God. And that's your loss.

I think if you don't even try to look at the Bible as a book of silly fairy tales and ancient laws and try to see just how absurd it is without billigerent bias you will not see reason and rationality. And then that's your loss.

 

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Quote:


Quote:

The correct reason for unanswered prayer, in every instance, is a lack of faith.

This is ad hoc, and a just-so story. Since you asked, an ad hoc s a proposition derived not from a solid foundation, but inserted into the equation to avoid it being falsified.

(A) People Pray

(B) Prayers are not answered

(C) For prayers to be answered requires faith

(D) Therefore, people don't have enough faith

It's an affirming the consequent fallacy:

P=>Q

Q

therefore P

Quote:

People question the goodness of God based on what is going on around us yet the Bible tells us if we follow Him all will be well

This is another piece of faulty logic:

(A) Bad things happen in the world (which God can prevent)

(B) God tells us that if we follow the Bible, bad things will not happen

(C) Therefore, because bad things are happening, people must not be following the Bible

It is again, faulty logic, except this time it is denying the antecedant:

If P=>Q

~P

~Q

Quote:

If we do not submit to Him, we do what we feel is right and we get global warming, rampant rape, AIDS, etc.

This is simply a repeat of the same fallacy:

(A) According to the Bible, If we submit to God, bad things will not happen

(B) Bad things are happening

(C) Therefore bad things are happening because of lack of submission to God

P=>Q

~P

~Q

It is also begging the question. You are presuming the premise in your conclusion. It would be analogous to saying:

(A) Our Village has not recieved any rain

(B) Accordingly, this is because we have angered the Rain Gods

(C) If we submit to the rain Gods, we will receive rain

(D) Therefore, we are not recieving rain because we are not submitting to the rain Gods.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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deludedgod wrote: This is

deludedgod wrote:

This is simply a repeat of the same fallacy:

(A) According to the Bible, If we submit to God, bad things will not happen

(B) Bad things are happening

(C) Therefore bad things are happening because of lack of submission to God

a) If, and only if, we do not submit to god, bad things will happen.

b) bad things are happening

c) therefore we are not submitting to god.

 

I think this is a correct construct. I offer it because while you correctly point out the problem with thestatements above, simply changing it around a bit conveys the meaning as the believer intends. Whether stated as a logical construct or not, the belief is that there is a causual link between following god and good or bad things happening.  


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wzedi wrote: He is ready,


wzedi wrote:
He is ready, willing and able to do something. We have to ask Him and we have to believe He will do it.

Wow. If only the ten million people that died in the Holocaust would have known this.

 

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Quote:

Quote:

If, and only if, we do not submit to god, bad things will happen.

 

But the insertion of an iff operator doesn't rectify anything because that the iff operator should be inserted is a premise which is derived from the conclusion. It would be like me claiming that since my lamp does not switch on, it must have a burnt out bulb, the reason it must have a burnt-out bulb is because if it didn't have a burnt out bulb, it would switch on. The reason it would switch on is because it wouldn't have a burnt-out bulb. Therefore the only explanation for it not switching on is a burnt out bulb. Since it does not switch on, it must have a burnt-out bulb. However, what has actually happened is that someone has cut the cable. 

Furthermore, it is ad hoc. The point was that he was inserting an ad hoc as well as denying the antecedant, and the insertion of the iff would not change that. The question begging took the form of reversed logic. This remains true with the iff operator:

(A) Iff we submit to God, bad things will not happen

(B) Bad things happen

(C) Therefore, bad things are happenning because we are not submitting to God.

It is ad hoc, of course, but begging the question, since the conclusion is also being derived from the premise:

(A) Bad things are happening because we are not submitting to God.

(B) Iff we submit to God, bad things will not happen

This is not sound. The premise is being presumed true because of the conclusion. The result is a vicious circle. Since we must submit to God for bad things to not happen, yet they do, we must not be submitting to God, because if we did submit to God, then bad things wouldn't happen since we would be submitting to God, therefore whenever bad things happen it means we are not submitting to God, which means that if we submitted to God, bad things wouldn't happen...

Over and over again.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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 Wzedi, Your first point

 Wzedi,

Your first point is a reasonably fair statement, not all people make a strong effort to comprehend a topic before forming an opinion on it, I think we can leave it at that. 

wzedi wrote:

The correct reason for unanswered prayer, in every instance, is a lack of faith. Look at Matthew 17:19-20. The disciples could not drive out a demon. Jesus told them directly they lacked faith. In Luke 17 the disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith. Jesus says in effect that if they had any faith at all they could speak to trees and have them planted in the sea. Again and again where prayer is answered Jesus advises that their faith has been effective. Where it is not answered we are informed there is no faith.

Like most who have replied I think this is a woefully unsatisfying and unreasonable answer. I won't reiterate the points already well made by everyone else, though I was going to, it would be better to follow my own line.

Lets assume that the bible premise is true - faith is intrinsically causal - if so then faith is part (or all) of the causal structure of the universe. The causal structure of the universe is identifiable via science thus faith, or lack thereof, is identifiable via science. 

Basically there is no need to resort to unscientific or ad hoc explanations, if faith is true, it will be found where the bible claims it can be found, in the study of the causal structure of the universe.  to believe anything less is a lack of faith, wouldn't you say?

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wzedi wrote:aiia

wzedi wrote:

aiia wrote:
wzedi wrote:

Just as many have misconceptions about physics many have misconceptions about the character of God and the meaning of scripture.
How do you know there are misconceptions about the character of this thing called god? What is god?

Because His character is described to us in the Bible and the misconceptions become clear when compared with the character as decribed in the book.

Because? But I didn't ask 'why'.
However, what is the character of this 'god' described in the bible? And what are the misconceptions?

Quote:
Edit to add answer to "what is god?": 1 John 4:8 God is love.
Love is an emotion. Why call it 'god'?

And John 4-8 is "For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat".

There is no "god is love" in the bible.

Quote:
If you ask what is love see 1 Cor 13:4-7: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
You seem to be confused:
That is not 1Cr 13:4-7

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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To take a different tack on

To take a different tack on this argument... 

wzedi says (correct me if I'm wrong)

When people pray for something but don't get it, the reason is (always) that they don't have enough faith. If a person has enough faith, they'll always get what they pray for.

wzedi also makes the sweeping generalization that "atheists don't read the Bible," as usual forgetting that large percentage of atheists who used to be Bible Christians, and who therefore know the Bible as well as any Christian does.

So, since the Bible is such a big font of truth, lets have a look at it and see if it can be used to test #1 above.  To start, I'm looking at the Book of Jonah now, the end of chapter 3 and beginning of chapter 4, and I'm seeing that, upon hearing about the Lord for the first time, the pagan Ninevites have decided to pray to God, asking him not to destroy their city.   They must have had sufficient faith, I guess, because God decided not to destroy them.

So then Jonah gets pissed off about this and prays "Lord, take away my life," in Jonah 4:3.  But God doesn't do what he asks, so that means Jonah didn't have enough faith, right?  This guy who we surmise was a prophet, and who had one-on-one conversations directly with God doesn't have enough faith to get a prayer answered.  That makes a lot of sense.

The Bible is full of examples of people who had had direct firsthand experience of God, but who didn't get what they asked for (or got things they didn't ask for).  David didn't have enough faith to build the temple.  Moses didn't have enough faith to enter the holy land. Abram/Abraham didn't have enough faith to just pray for God to protect him instead of telling the "she's just my sister" story and selling his wife as a prostitute to Pharoh and Abimelech to save his own skin, thus necessitating a divine bailout both times.

And what are you going to do with mark 14 in which Jesus asks God/himself not to crucify him/self three times?  Did he not have enough faith in himself not to grant his own prayer?  (And don't bother giving the lame excuse about the "nevertheless" clause, since that's a late addition not in the oldest/best manuscripts put in by scribes who saw the contradiction.)

So what happens if two people of equal faith pray for opposite, incompatable things?  Suppose two different, faithful couples want to buy the same house?  Does God check his faith-o-meter and award the house to the more faithful couple?  Suppose somebody with a ton of faith prays for someone to die horribly or become bankrupt or have a cloud of locusts come and eat his face off?

Let the backpedaling begin... 

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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magilum wrote: wzedi

magilum wrote:
wzedi wrote:
magilum wrote:

wzedi wrote:
The correct reason for unanswered prayer, in every instance, is a lack of faith.

That's an ad hoc.

Why is it ad hoc?

You have no basis to say whether a prayer is answered or not.

So you're begging the question that the distinction is necessary (i.e. that the phenomenon exists, but sometimes fails), and giving a baseless explanation for how this unsubstantiated dynamic "works."

You're working backwards, evidence-wise, so rationalize why something you've assumed "sometimes" fails. But this requires assumptions piled onto one another, first about the concept, then about the mechanics of the undemonstrated concept. Apply Occam's Razor, and a simpler explanation is that it never works, but we are sometimes correct in extrapolating simple outcomes. In this way, saying, "Please let so and so happen," is functionally identical to, "I expect so and so to happen."

{EDIT: ELABORATED}

Backwards is how it seems to the wisdom of men. You refuse to make any attempt to understand the concept of faith and yet you continue to question it and even directly refute the existence or effectiveness of it.

There are countless testimonies of answered prayer.You are in effect calling thopse people liars or, at the very least, implying that they are all deluded.

I'm not sure that you have any intention of discovering the truth and so I would say that you continue to rely on science and the wisdom of men, I'll stick with the Bible. 


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wzedi wrote: There are

wzedi wrote:

There are countless testimonies of answered prayer.You are in effect calling thopse people liars or, at the very least, implying that they are all deluded.

They are all deluded.  I could pray to a gallon of milk and get the exact same results as a christian praying to god.

Have you heard the time a small Lapis Lazuli rock got me a job because I had it in my pocket during the interview for it?  I took it for good luck, I got the job, it works!!!

wzedi wrote:

I'm not sure that you have any intention of discovering the truth and so I would say that you continue to rely on science and the wisdom of men, I'll stick with the Bible. 

Ok.  Stop relying on science.  Get rid of your computer, stop driving cars, if you get sick or seriously injured don't go to the hospital.

Pray for entertainment, transportation, and healing.

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Quote: You refuse to make

Quote:

You refuse to make any attempt to understand the concept of faith and yet you continue to question it and even directly refute the existence or effectiveness of it.

Nonsense. You are, in effect, trying to dismiss reasoned argument by appealing to whining. You cannot possibly hold a position as valid if your interlocutor has pointed out it has faulty reasoning in it. You are appealing to a second ad hoc: My belief is unreasonable therefore it should not be touched by reasoning. But the reason that you are arguing that it should not be reasoned is because the belief is unreasonable, and so you are trying to outflank the fact that you are holding an invalid position by trying to suggest that your interlocutor is close-minded because he is putting forth a reasoned argument. Your accusation could be bluntly reworded as: You (magilum) are thinking too much.

“Reason” is not an epistemological school that stands alongside emotion or faith. To suggest such would be to thoroughly misunderstand the application and power of reasoned argument. Without reasoned argument, there is no basis for discourse. If you hold an irrational position and defend it from evisceration on grounds that it should not be reasoned than your whole basis for discourse breaks down into meaninglessness. We might as well have a discussion where we hurl complete non sequitur at each other. They don’t even have to be syntactically correct. Your attempt to slip out of the reasoned evisceration of your argument is completely untenable. You cannot possibly call your interlocutor closed minded if there is no intellectual case that can persuade you that your belief is false.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Eloise wrote: Wzedi, Your

Eloise wrote:

Wzedi,

Your first point is a reasonably fair statement, not all people make a strong effort to comprehend a topic before forming an opinion on it, I think we can leave it at that.

wzedi wrote:

The correct reason for unanswered prayer, in every instance, is a lack of faith. Look at Matthew 17:19-20. The disciples could not drive out a demon. Jesus told them directly they lacked faith. In Luke 17 the disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith. Jesus says in effect that if they had any faith at all they could speak to trees and have them planted in the sea. Again and again where prayer is answered Jesus advises that their faith has been effective. Where it is not answered we are informed there is no faith.

Like most who have replied I think this is a woefully unsatisfying and unreasonable answer. I won't reiterate the points already well made by everyone else, though I was going to, it would be better to follow my own line.

Lets assume that the bible premise is true - faith is intrinsically causal - if so then faith is part (or all) of the causal structure of the universe. The causal structure of the universe is identifiable via science thus faith, or lack thereof, is identifiable via science.

Basically there is no need to resort to unscientific or ad hoc explanations, if faith is true, it will be found where the bible claims it can be found, in the study of the causal structure of the universe. to believe anything less is a lack of faith, wouldn't you say?

So we need to study the causal structure of the universe to find faith? I'm not sure I understand that statement. If you mean that science can only serve to confirm what the Bible says I agree. What's your argument for faith?


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wdezi wrote: There are

wdezi wrote:
There are countless testimonies of answered prayer.You are in effect calling thopse people liars or, at the very least, implying that they are all deluded.

I was once a Christian and believed as you do that prayers are answered. I believed that when I got what I prayed for that it was proof that praying worked. When my prayers were not answered I figured that God had other plans for me.

Through reason and rational thinking however, I saw the fallacy of this belief. I discovered that no matter what I did, shit happened, good and bad, regardless of prayers.

I don't see the people who say their prayers are answered as being liars. But I do think that they are delusional. There are millions of others who can testify that their prayers were not answered.

And yes, I will continue to rely on science and the wisdom of men. You can stick to the Bible.

Good luck with that.

 

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Quote: There are countless

Quote:

There are countless testimonies of answered prayer.You are in effect calling thopse people liars or, at the very least, implying that they are all deluded.

This is a post hoc fallacy.

Quote:

 I'm not sure that you have any intention of discovering the truth and so I would say that you continue to rely on science and the wisdom of men,

That is because science is a firmly established methodology for gleaning empirical truth. It is a useful methodology because it can gather truths about the empirical world, and it does so in an objective manner, whereas your belief relies on excacerbation of subjectivity, which means it is dubious as epistemologically valid.

Quote:

  I'll stick with the Bible.

In this regard, are you suggesting no intellectual case, no reasoned argument can dissuade you from the position you hold? In this case, you (a) have not the slighest right to call any interlocutor closed minded and (b) you are begging the question. You are presuming the Bible as the true word of God therefore any reasoned argument which points out this falsehood must be in error because the Bible is the true word of God. This is circular reasoning. You cannot hold this position. It is completely untenable. If no intellectual case can dissuade you from your position you are shooting yourself in the foot. 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Quote: If you mean that

Quote:

If you mean that science can only serve to confirm what the Bible says I agree.

This claim is explicitly false. The fact that you think this shows your knowledge of epistemology is non-existent. Science is held to no preexisting ideology. It cannot "serve to confirm" any holy text. And if it disproves a proposition held by such certain holy texts, then that is that. Science is science. Science is not an arm of Christianity. Science can back up propositions or eviscerate them. And a proper scientific methodology has explicitly eviscerated numerous empirical propositions from numerous mythologies, including the creation story of Christianity.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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wzedi wrote:

wzedi wrote:
Eloise wrote:

Wzedi,

Your first point is a reasonably fair statement, not all people make a strong effort to comprehend a topic before forming an opinion on it, I think we can leave it at that.

wzedi wrote:

The correct reason for unanswered prayer, in every instance, is a lack of faith. Look at Matthew 17:19-20. The disciples could not drive out a demon. Jesus told them directly they lacked faith. In Luke 17 the disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith. Jesus says in effect that if they had any faith at all they could speak to trees and have them planted in the sea. Again and again where prayer is answered Jesus advises that their faith has been effective. Where it is not answered we are informed there is no faith.

Like most who have replied I think this is a woefully unsatisfying and unreasonable answer. I won't reiterate the points already well made by everyone else, though I was going to, it would be better to follow my own line.

Lets assume that the bible premise is true - faith is intrinsically causal - if so then faith is part (or all) of the causal structure of the universe. The causal structure of the universe is identifiable via science thus faith, or lack thereof, is identifiable via science.

Basically there is no need to resort to unscientific or ad hoc explanations, if faith is true, it will be found where the bible claims it can be found, in the study of the causal structure of the universe. to believe anything less is a lack of faith, wouldn't you say?

So we need to study the causal structure of the universe to find faith? I'm not sure I understand that statement.

It's just a logical inference from your post, if faith 'causes' then investigation of causality will lead one to the definition of faith. Causality is investigated by science thus science can confirm faith, this goes to your original argument that:

wzedi wrote:

We have to ask Him and we have to believe He will do it. That'll be your evidence ladies and gents.

This is a affirming the consequent fallacy as DG pointed out already, it defies logic where defiance of logic is not necessary to answer the question. Moreover this answer implies that a person must abandon reason to understand faith which is an unfair demand marring the character of God and furthermore it implies that science and reason are an aspect of gods creation which he cannot deal with effectively or benevolently either affirming a poor character for god or a lack of faith in god on behalf of the claimant.

 

Quote:

If you mean that science can only serve to confirm what the Bible says I agree.

I am saying that logically if the bible is true then the science of causality must necessarily lead to faith. The conclusion therein is that noone need ask God for anything to see evidence of faith, noone need turn from scientific or reasoning inquiry to see evidence of faith, according to the bible faith is causal. If the bible is true then faith must necessarily be an identifiable aspect (or framework) of causality.

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Quote: Backwards is how it


Quote:

Backwards is how it seems to the wisdom of men.

You're proposing limitations to the wisdom (I assume you mean the ability to reason) of men, while you---a man---are trying to use the same faculty. You don't need me to tell you how that is problematic.

 

Quote:

You refuse to make any attempt to understand the concept of faith and yet you continue to question it and even directly refute the existence or effectiveness of it.

I personally don't think there is much to understand. I broke it down on page one. If you have any new twists on the definition of faith I haven't heard before, I'd be interested in hearing them.

Quote:
 

There are countless testimonies of answered prayer.

Counting the hits and ignoring the misses, no doubt.

Quote:
 

You are in effect calling thopse people liars or, at the very least, implying that they are all deluded.

Some are perhaps liars.

Some are perhaps deluded.

Some are perhaps misled.

Some are perhaps wishful thinkers.

I can't say what they are, but I know that the answered prayers bit is bull.

Quote:
 

I'm not sure that you have any intention of discovering the truth and so I would say that you continue to rely on science and the wisdom of men, I'll stick with the Bible.

Again, it's ludicrous to imply that man's ability to reason is inherently flawed.

1) You haven't shown that it's flawed; you've only asserted that it's flawed to make room for your "faith", which would otherwise be unnecessary. This goes back to much of what I said on page 1. I'll skip repeating it here.

2) By denying man's ability to reason, you are denying your own ability to reason.

3) Quoting the bible doesn't count as thinking.

 

This will all end in stalemate. The atheists won't accept faith because they know its logically meaningless. The theist won't stop to question faith because they feel to do so means they don't have any.

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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wzedi wrote: magilum

wzedi wrote:
magilum wrote:
wzedi wrote:
magilum wrote:

wzedi wrote:
The correct reason for unanswered prayer, in every instance, is a lack of faith.

That's an ad hoc.

Why is it ad hoc?

You have no basis to say whether a prayer is answered or not.

So you're begging the question that the distinction is necessary (i.e. that the phenomenon exists, but sometimes fails), and giving a baseless explanation for how this unsubstantiated dynamic "works."

You're working backwards, evidence-wise, so rationalize why something you've assumed "sometimes" fails. But this requires assumptions piled onto one another, first about the concept, then about the mechanics of the undemonstrated concept. Apply Occam's Razor, and a simpler explanation is that it never works, but we are sometimes correct in extrapolating simple outcomes. In this way, saying, "Please let so and so happen," is functionally identical to, "I expect so and so to happen."

{EDIT: ELABORATED}

Backwards is how it seems to the wisdom of men.

Compared to what? You're begging the question.

wzedi wrote:
You refuse to make any attempt to understand the concept of faith and yet you continue to question it and even directly refute the existence or effectiveness of it.

Ibid.

wzedi wrote:

There are countless testimonies of answered prayer.

Note that you used your special jargon rather than references to large scale controlled tests.

wzedi wrote:
You are in effect calling thopse people liars or, at the very least, implying that they are all deluded.

I "in effect" don't give a shit.

wzedi wrote:

I'm not sure that you have any intention of discovering the truth and so I would say that you continue to rely on science and the wisdom of men, I'll stick with the Bible.

Have fun typing away on your bible, driving your bible to work, and getting bible-biotics when you get sick. Stupid massive body of accumulated human knowledge! Who needs it?!


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P1: The bible tells us the

P1: The bible tells us the character of god.

P2: The bible is bullshit.

 ∴  God does not exist.


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Archeopteryx wrote:

Archeopteryx wrote:

.....

Quote:

I'm not sure that you have any intention of discovering the truth and so I would say that you continue to rely on science and the wisdom of men, I'll stick with the Bible.

....

2) By denying man's ability to reason, you are denying your own ability to reason.

O this is sweet I don’t think that wzedi have realize this however he just defined his reasoning is wrong and defined that he doesn’t understand the bible.

1)Human reasoning is wrong

2) wzedi is a human

3) wzedi reasoning is wrong

4) wzedi uses reasoning to understand the bible

5) wzedi’s understanding of the bible is wrong

Well wzedi aren’t you punching you self in the face ? You just defined that you are unable to understand the bible.

besides hers a next deduction

1) wzedi uses human reasoning to understand the bible .

2) wzedi is going to restrain from human reasoning .

3) wzedi is going to restrain from understanding the bible.

4) wzedi is unable to understand the bible .

Well I love the theists if they deny reason they deny their basis for understanding the bible gona love such funny people.

Warning I’m not a native English speaker.

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Archeopteryx
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carx wrote:

carx wrote:

Archeopteryx wrote:

.....

Quote:

I'm not sure that you have any intention of discovering the truth and so I would say that you continue to rely on science and the wisdom of men, I'll stick with the Bible.

....

2) By denying man's ability to reason, you are denying your own ability to reason.

O this is sweet I don’t think that wzedi have realize this however he just defined his reasoning is wrong and defined that he doesn’t understand the bible.

1)Human reasoning is wrong

2) wzedi is a human

3) wzedi reasoning is wrong

4) wzedi uses reasoning to understand the bible

5) wzedi’s understanding of the bible is wrong

Well wzedi aren’t you punching you self in the face ? You just defined that you are unable to understand the bible.

besides hers a next deduction

1) wzedi uses human reasoning to understand the bible .

2) wzedi is going to restrain from human reasoning .

3) wzedi is going to restrain from understanding the bible.

4) wzedi is unable to understand the bible .

Well I love the theists if they deny reason they deny their basis for understanding the bible gona love such funny people.

 

It's even sillier than that, frankly.

 

He's suggesting that human reasoning is flawed, but he is a human, and the only way he could have come to that conclusion is by some kind of reasoning. If he was using good reasoning, then the original assertion is wrong. If he was using bad reasoning, then we don't have to accept the original assertion.

To make it simpler, let's paraphrase: "Human assertions are always incorrect."

If that particular human assertion was incorrect, then human assertions are NOT always incorrect. But that assertion could not possibly be the truth without cancelling itself out.

You don't even have to bring the bible into it to know that's it's crazy self-contradiction.

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


ProzacDeathWish
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Archeopteryx wrote:

Archeopteryx wrote:
carx wrote:

Archeopteryx wrote:

.....

Quote:

I'm not sure that you have any intention of discovering the truth and so I would say that you continue to rely on science and the wisdom of men, I'll stick with the Bible.

....

2) By denying man's ability to reason, you are denying your own ability to reason.

O this is sweet I don’t think that wzedi have realize this however he just defined his reasoning is wrong and defined that he doesn’t understand the bible.

1)Human reasoning is wrong

2) wzedi is a human

3) wzedi reasoning is wrong

4) wzedi uses reasoning to understand the bible

5) wzedi’s understanding of the bible is wrong

Well wzedi aren’t you punching you self in the face ? You just defined that you are unable to understand the bible.

besides hers a next deduction

1) wzedi uses human reasoning to understand the bible .

2) wzedi is going to restrain from human reasoning .

3) wzedi is going to restrain from understanding the bible.

4) wzedi is unable to understand the bible .

Well I love the theists if they deny reason they deny their basis for understanding the bible gona love such funny people.

 

It's even sillier than that, frankly.

 

He's suggesting that human reasoning is flawed, but he is a human, and the only way he could have come to that conclusion is by some kind of reasoning. If he was using good reasoning, then the original assertion is wrong. If he was using bad reasoning, then we don't have to accept the original assertion.

To make it simpler, let's paraphrase: "Human assertions are always incorrect."

If that particular human assertion was incorrect, then human assertions are NOT always incorrect. But that assertion could not possibly be the truth without cancelling itself out.

You don't even have to bring the bible into it to know that's it's crazy self-contradiction.

 

"The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning." Voltaire. Philosophical Dictionary 1764

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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Textom wrote: To take a

Textom wrote:

To take a different tack on this argument...

wzedi says (correct me if I'm wrong)

When people pray for something but don't get it, the reason is (always) that they don't have enough faith. If a person has enough faith, they'll always get what they pray for.

There is a subtle correction to this. There is no concept of variable qualities or degrees of faith. One either has faith or one has it not. Of course one person can have faith in one instance and not in another. So you can't say that one individual has great faith and has many prayers answered while another has weak faith and has few asnwered. Consistency of faith comes with maturity in the believer. Other than that,if there is faith, the prayer is inline with the will of God and the answer is inevitable.

Quote:
 

wzedi also makes the sweeping generalization that "atheists don't read the Bible,"

I did? Where did I say that. I beleive no such thing so if I said it that was a mistake. First I know for a fact that many atheists read the Bible thoroughly. Second may conviction is not that people don't read it, just that they don't understand it.

Quote:
 

as usual forgetting that large percentage of atheists who used to be Bible Christians, and who therefore know the Bible as well as any Christian does.

Any person that claims to be atheist and says he was a "Christian" is mistaken and clearly does not understand the fundamental Biblical concepts. That person was never a Christian (bring on the objections). Many, very many, call themselves Christians and make no effort whatsoever to make Christ Lord in their life.

Quote:
 

 

So, since the Bible is such a big font of truth, lets have a look at it and see if it can be used to test #1 above. To start, I'm looking at the Book of Jonah now, the end of chapter 3 and beginning of chapter 4, and I'm seeing that, upon hearing about the Lord for the first time, the pagan Ninevites have decided to pray to God, asking him not to destroy their city. They must have had sufficient faith, I guess, because God decided not to destroy them.

Correction. They simply had faith.

Quote:
 

So then Jonah gets pissed off about this and prays "Lord, take away my life," in Jonah 4:3. But God doesn't do what he asks, so that means Jonah didn't have enough faith, right?

Right. Well, except that he simply wasn't acting in faith at that moment and again there's the no degrees of faith correction. I'll repeat this all the way through because it is an important fundamental concept that demonstrates a lack of basic understanding.

Quote:
 

This guy who we surmise was a prophet, and who had one-on-one conversations directly with God doesn't have enough faith to get a prayer answered. That makes a lot of sense.

 

Your point is moot. A person can have faith in one instance and not in another. You see the fundamental misunderstanding of the concept of faith here? You can't categorise people into those with lots of faith and those with little or none. One person can have faith for something at one time and then at another time be acting in fear and not faith.

Quote:
 

The Bible is full of examples of people who had had direct firsthand experience of God, but who didn't get what they asked for (or got things they didn't ask for). David didn't have enough faith to build the temple. Moses didn't have enough faith to enter the holy land. Abram/Abraham didn't have enough faith to just pray for God to protect him instead of telling the "she's just my sister" story and selling his wife as a prostitute to Pharoh and Abimelech to save his own skin, thus necessitating a divine bailout both times.

Obvious demonstration of lack of comprehension of the fundamental concepts. Youa re reading the stuff but not undertanding it. I believe I have explained how these thigns are not contradictions.

Quote:
 

And what are you going to do with mark 14 in which Jesus asks God/himself not to crucify him/self three times? Did he not have enough faith in himself not to grant his own prayer? (And don't bother giving the lame excuse about the "nevertheless" clause, since that's a late addition not in the oldest/best manuscripts put in by scribes who saw the contradiction.)

You continue to demonstrate a shallow understanding of scripture. Jesus was 100% man and 100% God. His flesh was warring against the spirit, a perfectly consistent Biblical concept. Of course he did not want to suffer the crucifixion and everything associated with it, particularly separation from God. That just demonstrates the extent of the suffering (a little preview of hell perhaps?). The late addition makes no difference.

Quote:
 

So what happens if two people of equal faith pray for opposite, incompatable things? Suppose two different, faithful couples want to buy the same house? Does God check his faith-o-meter and award the house to the more faithful couple? Suppose somebody with a ton of faith prays for someone to die horribly or become bankrupt or have a cloud of locusts come and eat his face off?

Again, there are no degrees of faith. You have great misconceptions about faith and prayer. You're not alone, many Christians think this way too. There is no more faithful couple in your scenario since there are no degrees of faith. A prayer of faith is based on the Word of God. One cannot have faith for something one does not know is in the will of God.

Quote:
 

Let the backpedaling begin...

Backpedaling? Heh, it seems to be in your nature to jump to conclusions. You might want to check the conclusion that there is no God.


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Watcher wrote: wzedi

Watcher wrote:

wzedi wrote:

There are countless testimonies of answered prayer.You are in effect calling thopse people liars or, at the very least, implying that they are all deluded.

They are all deluded.

I note how you require evidence for everything a Christian will say and then you make a blanket statement like this without any idea what the testimonies are or the circumstances.

Quote:

I could pray to a gallon of milk and get the exact same results as a christian praying to god.

Have you heard the time a small Lapis Lazuli rock got me a job because I had it in my pocket during the interview for it? I took it for good luck, I got the job, it works!!!

You continue to pray to your rock and let us know how it goes for you. 

Quote:
 

wzedi wrote:

I'm not sure that you have any intention of discovering the truth and so I would say that you continue to rely on science and the wisdom of men, I'll stick with the Bible.

Ok. Stop relying on science. Get rid of your computer, stop driving cars, if you get sick or seriously injured don't go to the hospital.

Pray for entertainment, transportation, and healing.

Heh. Amen. It seems you're coming around to the truth then. I did not say abandon science altogether. The point is that an atheist has a deep conviction that men, in their pursiuit for knowledge can ultimately solve all problems. That is a joke. Men in their pursuit of knowledge through science have made more of a mess than they have made things better. That is not to say we should stop learning or abandon science. What we do need to do is acknowledge our inability to understand the consequences of having such knowledge.

So transportation, industry and electricity are great - global warming is not so cool (heh).

Medical science is fantastic. Longevity contributing to unmanagemable population growth is not so good.

Studies into atomic energy are great , the atomic bomb not so good.

Science is not the problem, relying on it and our own wisdom to solve problems is a problem and the evidence is all around us. 


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magilum wrote: wzedi

magilum wrote:

wzedi wrote:
You are in effect calling thopse people liars or, at the very least, implying that they are all deluded.

I "in effect" don't give a shit.

How very scientific of you.

Quote:
 

wzedi wrote:

I'm not sure that you have any intention of discovering the truth and so I would say that you continue to rely on science and the wisdom of men, I'll stick with the Bible.

Have fun typing away on your bible, driving your bible to work, and getting bible-biotics when you get sick. Stupid massive body of accumulated human knowledge! Who needs it?!

You see how you believe so totally in your own wisdom? It'll trap you in the end. I am talking about relying on science and the wisdom of men to solve problems. I have posted earlier regarding the ample evidence on how science and the wisdom of men combine to make a fine mess of things. The longer we rely on ourselves to fix things the deeper we'll get into the mess.

I am not saying abandon science and the pursuit of knowledge. If you believe the more knowledgeable men get the better things will be for mankind you are mistaken. Once again, I point to the ample evidence we already see in nature and history.


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Yeah, I was expecting the

Yeah, I was expecting the backpedal into the no true scotsman fallacy.  We also learned this one in Sunday school:

 "One cannot have faith for something one does not know is in the will of God."

So rather than showing that prayer and faith make a difference in life, your whole representation of prayer doesn't solve the contradiction that it doesn't really matter what you pray for because God is going to do what he wants anyway. 

 "Jesus was 100% man and 100% God."

Um, that's 200%.  This isn't "understanding" scripture; it's just dogma--an attempt to dispel one contradiction by substituting another one.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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wzedi wrote: magilum

wzedi wrote:
magilum wrote:

wzedi wrote:
You are in effect calling thopse people liars or, at the very least, implying that they are all deluded.

I "in effect" don't give a shit.

How very scientific of you.

What does that even mean?

wzedi wrote:

Quote:
 

wzedi wrote:

I'm not sure that you have any intention of discovering the truth and so I would say that you continue to rely on science and the wisdom of men, I'll stick with the Bible.

Have fun typing away on your bible, driving your bible to work, and getting bible-biotics when you get sick. Stupid massive body of accumulated human knowledge! Who needs it?!

You see how you believe so totally in your own wisdom? It'll trap you in the end. I am talking about relying on science and the wisdom of men to solve problems.

I'm cutting you off here, since you say the same thing three different ways. If things like longer life spans, cures for diseases, global communications, a gradual improvement in social conditions and tolerance, and all the fruits of progress don't appeal to you, then you're on the right track. Go Dark Ages!


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Textom wrote: [...]"Jesus

Textom wrote:

[...]"Jesus was 100% man and 100% God."

Um, that's 200%.  This isn't "understanding" scripture; it's just dogma--an attempt to dispel one contradiction by substituting another one.

Why do theological discussions always sound like hypothetical fight scenarios between Superman and Mighty Mouse to me?