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Moral Argument For Existence Of God


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I think I find William Lane Craig so helpful in dealing with my religious "skeletons in the closet" because he thinks so much like my mother did, and is far more articulate and educated. He argues the way she probably would have if she had the education. That allows me to know what it is I am disagreeing with, rather than just this vague feeling that "IT MAKES NO SENSE!" but nobody condescends to tell me WHAT they are talking about.

 

At last I found his argument for God's existence, Craig vs. Eddie Tabash.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=Tabash+vs+Craig&emb=0&aq=f# ://http://video.google.com/videosearch...mb=0&aq=f# ://http://video.google.com/videosearch...mb=0&aq=f# ://http://video.google.com/videosearch...mb=0&aq=f#

 

He provides several: Moral Argument, Kalam Cosmological Argument, Argument From Contingency, and the Resurrection.

 

(I'm not kidding. The man thinks the resurrection of Jesus is historical on a level that atheists should find convincing. :shrug: )

 

The Moral Argument is the only one I plan to take apart here because I've looked at the Kalam earlier (here). (I consider the Contingency and Resurrection arguments to be too silly to take apart because they depend on presuppositions that need further evidence that we don't have. In case you're interested, here's an excellent refutation of the resurrection:

(2 hr).)

 

Tabash vs Craig

 

1 hr, 45 min. Sound is not good and video is fuzzy but I was able to transcribe the main gist of the Moral Argument below.

 

Ed Tabash spoke first. Roundly refuted god and christianity. Told about his mother being forced to shovel the ashes of her parents at Auschwitz, and how he as her son witnessed the psychological impact of this on her in such a way as to cause him to conclude there is no god. He used this to refute the argument that calamity serves to strengthen the faith of victims; it weakened his mother and it killed any chance that he might have faith.

 

Craig begins with the question, "is there any good reason to think atheism is true?" and says, "Ed claims that evil and suffering in the world disproves God." He responds:

  1. First of all, it is generally agreed among philosophers today that there is no demonstrable inconsistency between the existence of God and evil so long as it is even possible that God has morally sufficient reasons for permitting evil it follows that God and evil are logically compatible. Eddie just thinks that if God has such reasons they must be evident to us. But there is no reason to think that should be true (transcribed by me from YouTube).
  2. Secondly, evil actually proves the existence of God. The arguments goes like this.

Step 1 (highlights I transcribed from YouTube; blue is my questions and comments). If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist. Objective moral values do not necessarily derive from a deity. In the absence of God there is no reason to think that human beings are objectively valuable. What does the presence or absence of God have to do with it? To think that we are intrinsically valuable, or that human morality is objective, is to be guilty of...thinking that your own species is the basis of goodness. Why does this matter? If someone, such as aliens, who is superior in intelligence to us as we are to pigs and cows, were to visit the earth, they would have no reason to regard us as the foundation for moral values any more than we do pigs and cows. No, this is not the way I see it. Nor do any humanists that I know of. If there is a "foundation" for humanist moral values--and I hesitate to speak for other than my own self, I would suggest that it might be compassion and survival. This is not limited to humans. It is observed across species. Dogs risking their lives to save humans is a common example. Parents of many species will risk their own lives to save their young. Though the intellectual and verbal expression of morals may be limited to humans, the practice of morals is not. "Laws" like thou shalt not murder and thou shalt not steal are practiced by practically all the higher species within their own species. Humans do not necessarily extend these practices beyond their own species, either. Thus, without God everything becomes relative. I object. Cows and pigs are sentient beings and have the right to food, shelter, and a comfortable existence.

 

Step 2. Evil exists. This is the premise furnished by the atheists.

 

Step 3. Therefore objective moral values exist. Namely, some things are evil.

 

Step 4. Therefore God exists. Objective moral values do not necessarily derive from a deity. Therefore it does not logically follow from Step 3 that God exists. If objective moral values cannot exist without God Some atheists have proven that objective moral values exist without God., and objective moral values do exist as is evident from the reality of evil, then it follows logically and inescapably that God exists. No, God's existence does not logically and inescapably follow because objective moral values can and do exist without God.

 

Most of that was posted here, and the atheist referred to is a member on those forums. I am not familiar enough with formal philosophy to know if his claims exist in the philosophical literature or not. One or two atheists on those forums argue that the objective value of survival, combined with the feeling of empathy objectified (into social mores, customs, and laws against things like theft and murder) are the objective moral values of atheism. For this reason, I suggest the foundation of humanist moral values is compassion and survival.

 

Craig on the Test

 

Tabash raised the issue about his mother about four times. He also pleaded to know why God would speak to Craig and not to him? In the question and answer period a person asked Craig how God would judge a person who genuinely searched all his life for evidence of God but could not find any? This person also challenged Craig about the justice of eternal hell. To all of these tragedies, questions, and challenges, Craig had one standard answer: God is a loving and merciful God and anyone who ends up in hell chooses to go there, etc.

 

Finally Tabash put it in terms of his mother's hellish sufferings on this earth--what would be the justice of condemning her for eternity? Same rote answer.

 

I think Craig had sort of given up because he knew Tabash was never going to change his mind and that nothing he said would ever convince Tabash. I think Tabash was intentionally high-profiling the case of his mother to convince any would-be apostate in the audience what a monster this Christian god was. Craig had set himself up by repeatedly using his "slaughter of the Canaanites" argument.

Existence of God

 

Even my mother admitted once in my hearing that she had a problem with "all that killing" in the OT. Craig uses it as part of an argument for an all-loving, all-merciful God. :twitch:

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A question to ask here is:

 

If we (general consensus) consider an act to be evil, and a person does that evil thing, does this person do it knowingly against this knowledge, or does he do it in the belief that he is not doing something evil. Put it this way, a sociopath who kills an innocent woman, did he do it knowing it was evil, or did he do it without knowing--truly knowing to the full extent--that it was evil? If he didn't know or believed it was evil, then the evil act isn't known universally and isn't an absolute fact obvious to all humans. Evil exists, because we as humans define what it is. It's not evil to kill animals today, but it might be in the future. It was not evil to torture animals 100 years ago, but it is today. We kill people in wars without feeling guilt or thinking it's immoral. So not even killing is an absolute or universal act of evilness. We judge moral acts depending on culture and context, and sometimes the line can't even be drawn fairly. So if "evil" isn't something that exists outside of human knowledge, culture, context, or history, then "evil" isn't innate in nature.

 

And if good v evil was some kind of timeless, universal truth, then why all the immoral laws in the Old Testament? Is it morally right, or "good", to execute unruly kids? According to Moses it was the "good" law in those days. He was either deluded, or morality isn't a fixed law we all can just know. Besides, morality can only exist between two or more people. One person living on a desolate planet somewhere, can't be "good" or "evil" or "immoral", since those concepts include how we treat other people. It's all about co-operation and survival, and that's where the moral code grows from.

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Besides, morality can only exist between two or more people. One person living on a desolate planet somewhere, can't be "good" or "evil" or "immoral", since those concepts include how we treat other people. It's all about co-operation and survival, and that's where the moral code grows from.

 

I think you are right about cooperation and survival, Hans. I would add that other animals should be considered according to their brain capacities and emotional capabilities. We share more than is traditionally assumed. Researchers are working on pinning this down.

 

"Evil" is a religious term which many times has nothing to do with morality. The non-believer is evil because of his non-belief, for one example. I don't think "evil" is usable apart from the supernatural belief system. ", "Harmful" and "bad" are more useful and descriptive IMHO.

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I think you are right about cooperation and survival, Hans. I would add that other animals should be considered according to their brain capacities and emotional capabilities. We share more than is traditionally assumed. Researchers are working on pinning this down.

True. I know about that, but didn't want to write a whole bunch of stuff... I tend to go on, and on anyway. :grin:

 

If we consider Wittgenstein's idea of the Language Game, we can also consider the "Moral Game" which means that our expression of moral codes and rules are extensions of the innate do-good function in our brain. Just the same way as "my head is hurting" is the extension of "buah-buah-buah" and pointing to the head.

 

"Evil" is a religious term which many times has nothing to do with morality. The non-believer is evil because of his non-belief, for one example. I don't think "evil" is usable apart from the supernatural belief system. ", "Harmful" and "bad" are more useful and descriptive IMHO.

Also very true. I don't like the term evil of the same reason. The word already in its definition somehow encapsulates the idea of a planned "evil" idea from the supernatural world. Evil as the Devil has made it. Evil as in "Not God Good." And with those connotations it easily becomes a battle of keeping the right ideas in check while discussing it. It's like trying to argue if Heaven exists or not and point to the sky and say: "Look the sky is heaven, so Heaven must exist." And it's on the borders of unclear definitions where the apologists makes their little tap-dance and "prove" their points.

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:jesus: (alittle soft shoe). "For my next number, I'll tap dance my way through hell and back. Enjoy!"
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Thanks for your responses, Agnosticator and Hans. I knew there was an argument about there being no evil but I couldn't pull it together. Craig very clearly says the part about evil comes from the atheists....Okay, I'm listening to the first part again.

 

Tabash does not use the term "evil." The only time he uses the word "evil" is when talking about, and refuting, the Christian arguments for the value of evil, i.e. it's supposed to make people stronger. It made his mother weaker and left him a strong atheist activist. The Holocaust did not manage to convert the Jews to Christianity, something an omnipotent god should have known, so this god ("if he existed" is implied) might as well have saved them the trauma. I think Tabash allows the Holocaust to be called evil for the sake of argument. Craig wanted to debate specifically the existence of the Christian god--not a generic god.

 

And he based his to arguement specifically from the argument of evil. So I suppose for the sake of argument, the concept of evil had to be allowed for this debate. I'm not sure how else to understand Tabash. Also, it seems to me that this may have been a way to address a socio-religious problem that could not be addressed otherwise. Holocaust=evil. Hell=Holocaust. Holocaust/hell/evil--all are one and the same in the minds of many people. Most of the audience might not have come through the Holocaust but according to the Q&A many had some brush with fundamentalist ideas of hell.

 

I'm listening to Tabash again. Tabash is a judge and attorney with a private practice in Beverly Hills, so I guess he knows his stuff. He is laying out how Jesus should arrange his death and resurrection again in order for us to know he's for real.

  1. He should come back to earth and be crucified again.
  2. He should spend his three days dead in the lab of a top scientist who can make sure he's really dead.
  3. When he rises, he should hang around a few days and visit all the important national places so everyone knows for sure that he's alive.
  4. When it comes time to ascend to heaven, he must arrange to have the best media coverage so the event is verifiable for later times.

He says this in the first seven minutes or so. It's so funny. Imagine Jesus posing for TV cameras. And Tabash is dead serious as he says it, indignant, even. I can imagine the horrified fundies gasping, esp. my own people who consider TV the very handiwork of the devil himself.

 

And that brings us back on topic. Yeah, the argument that evil does not exist knocks the props right out from under Craig's Argument from Evil.

 

Craig also accuses humanists or relativism when it comes to morals. How do we counter that? Or do we? I'm not sure what is wrong with it. What are the fundies afraid of? Slippery slope? Sand and salt works pretty good on the icy slopes here in Canada. The grit of logic tends to work fine on the slopes of relative morals, unless I'm totally off-track. Seems Craig has lived in Europe. He should know all about different rules for different places, such as which side of the road to drive depending which country you're driving in.

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Also very true. I don't like the term evil of the same reason. The word already in its definition somehow encapsulates the idea of a planned "evil" idea from the supernatural world. Evil as the Devil has made it. Evil as in "Not God Good." And with those connotations it easily becomes a battle of keeping the right ideas in check while discussing it. It's like trying to argue if Heaven exists or not and point to the sky and say: "Look the sky is heaven, so Heaven must exist." And it's on the borders of unclear definitions where the apologists makes their little tap-dance and "prove" their points.

 

You posted while I was writing. It's good to see there's various positions because I'm quite sure I did not misunderstand Tabash so badly. And he makes a lot of sense. Not that I'm going to base the rest of my life decisions on one man's ideas but it's good to know which ideas come from whom, etc.

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A question to ask here is:

 

If we (general consensus) consider an act to be evil, and a person does that evil thing, does this person do it knowingly against this knowledge, or does he do it in the belief that he is not doing something evil.

 

Whatever is evil is considered on different levels. The individual, social, and governing spectrum. A man may say this or that is evil, yet another may not; as to the man you mentioned. On a social level, something may be considered evil and outlawed; making these people of outlaw, evil, in society. That goes to the governing part were a law is ordered it to be evil. In all levels, evil is only painted through the person painting the picture. Whether that be from a parent to a child, a organization to a community, or a leadership to a country.

 

Evil may have been expounded by the Bible, things ordained as 'evil', outlawed, and confined; but the general concept of evil itself would be fair to say started in the mind of humans. The concept is on many levels as well, in their respected spectrum of evil divisions. A government may think x is evil, while a organization thinks this x isn't evil, and the individual thinks likewise. That makes this x evil to the governing country and in law, which the individuals abide.

 

Israel had no country. They had Moses and the God of their ancestors. Could God have established Moral law in that time because of the immorality of the surrounding countries? Did the leaders of Israel think it up on their own, to establish what already existed of their people? That question couldn't be, because they broke the laws countless times. Did Moses, or Aaron think it up?

 

Moral laws from the Bible aren't all that absurd of a thought; In that time, for a specific people, for a specific reason. That would be the governing act of painting evil to a group, which bound Jews to God's law. Society being society, certain people began to create their own beliefs on the laws, causing division in Israel. Then you have the individual. For me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

 

So, even God as a governing factor, evil was created in the mind of humans, by their sect of society, and stand individually. Moral laws of the Jews were embedded in Rome, as was Christianity; however it came about. Hence, the continuing effect of Moral Law in our country today. Whether that was implemented by God, Moses, Aaron, a branch off of Israel, a prophet individually, a man of God individually, a Messiah, or a group of religious folk seeking a unified One religion ruled empire/country. It happened, and still is in effect today.

 

It doesn't necessarily prove God, but does give a good account for a God by the Jews.

 

My 2 cents anyway :phew:

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What, exactly, are the rules for this theology section? I had hoped to discuss this crazy doctrine in the shelter of exChristian. Now we have a Christian coming onto the thread reiterating Craig's divine command theory that it was okay for the Israelites to go slaughter all these people because they deserved it, ad nauseum.

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What, exactly, are the rules for this theology section? I had hoped to discuss this crazy doctrine in the shelter of exChristian. Now we have a Christian coming onto the thread reiterating Craig's divine command theory that it was okay for the Israelites to go slaughter all these people because they deserved it, ad nauseum.

 

Do you believe in war?

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What, exactly, are the rules for this theology section? I had hoped to discuss this crazy doctrine in the shelter of exChristian. Now we have a Christian coming onto the thread reiterating Craig's divine command theory that it was okay for the Israelites to go slaughter all these people because they deserved it, ad nauseum.

 

Do you believe in war?

 

I do, and I find it to be an immoral state of affairs. I am a materialist and I find war to be offensive, and yet I find self-defense to be ethical in limited contexts.

 

Let me ask you this: how are those assertions inconsistent with my worldview? Pain is both a physical and emotional measurement, and since war causes a boatload of pain, I would assume logically that we would avoid war. So, I believe in a material existence and I think humans are basically good, how am I being inconsistent and how am I being a parasite?

 

What say you, YoYo?

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Nietzsche said that morality is the herd instinct in the individual. I don’t know, but there might be a grain of truth to that.

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Let me ask you this: how are those assertions inconsistent with my worldview? Pain is both a physical and emotional measurement, and since war causes a boatload of pain, I would assume logically that we would avoid war. So, I believe in a material existence and I think humans are basically good, how am I being inconsistent and how am I being a parasite?

 

What say you, YoYo?

 

I say that the link between Moral Laws and the existence of God is a reasonable thought, especially to a Jew. As far as war, I don't recall mentioning that in my post. Assume away though. I believe war is a constant, good or evil; moral or immoral. People war against each other from small reasons to great. I have a simple philosophy about war and power. Whoever has the bigger stick wins. Thats just the way it is.

 

War being brought up gives a good example of my previous post though. America considers terrorists to be a threat, they are thought of as evil people; our country has exhausted itself in efforts overseas to rid the world of these people. Are we slaughters? These people killed Americans on 9/11; and I would challenge any person that is against war to speak their mind to the victims of these families.

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Let me ask you this: how are those assertions inconsistent with my worldview? Pain is both a physical and emotional measurement, and since war causes a boatload of pain, I would assume logically that we would avoid war. So, I believe in a material existence and I think humans are basically good, how am I being inconsistent and how am I being a parasite?

 

What say you, YoYo?

 

I say that the link between Moral Laws and the existence of God is a reasonable thought, especially to a Jew. As far as war, I don't recall mentioning that in my post. Assume away though. I believe war is a constant, good or evil; moral or immoral. People war against each other from small reasons to great. I have a simple philosophy about war and power. Whoever has the bigger stick wins. Thats just the way it is.

 

War being brought up gives a good example of my previous post though. America considers terrorists to be a threat, they are thought of as evil people; our country has exhausted itself in efforts overseas to rid the world of these people. Are we slaughters? These people killed Americans on 9/11; and I would challenge any person that is against war to speak their mind to the victims of these families.

 

Say the same thing to the people that have lost lives in other parts of the world where the USA has had a role to play in destabilizing governments of other countries. The USA is just as guilty of being terroristic in some cases when they could've been humanitarian in others. In fact, some liberal critics have gone as far as to call US "humanitarian involvement" "terrorism".

 

I would speak my mind, but it's hard for a family that's lost a loved one to terrorism to get them to think that the country that is avenging the death of their loved one is engaging in the same action. I consider "collateral damage" "terrorism".

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Yoyo, couple of points:

 

1) There were survivors from 9/11 who spoke up against the war. I saw one interviewed by "no spin" Bill O'Reilly, and Bill was rude and disrespectful to this guy who just had lost someone in 9/11, and told the survivor that the war was justified anyway because of all the other victims. So no, there were and are survivors who are against the war.

 

2) Iraq didn't have anything to do with 9/11. Saddam was contacted twice by Osama and asked for co-operation, but Saddam refused.

 

3) For 3,000 dead innocent Americans, it is not worth to kill 100,000 Iraqis. It's not a moral view to say that one American is worth 30 Iraqis.

 

4) The war in Afghanistan was justified in my opinion because of 9/11. We brought the terrorist camps down, and we even captured Osama, but he managed to escape. So we did retaliate, but we continued to attack a country which was not part of it. In our anger, and hunger for blood and revenge, we started to beat on the by-stander. Is revenge, blood-lust, hate, and leaders lying on TV moral?

 

5) The terrorists consider us evil, and they believe they are doing a good thing by attacking us. So what is really absolute, universal good/evil? Do you think the terrorists know that what they do is evil, but they do it anyway because they get to wear cool sunglasses and a turban? Of course not. They believe they do God's work. Just like Bush thought he was doing God's work by invading Iraq.

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Craig also accuses humanists or relativism when it comes to morals. How do we counter that? Or do we? I'm not sure what is wrong with it. What are the fundies afraid of? Slippery slope? Sand and salt works pretty good on the icy slopes here in Canada. The grit of logic tends to work fine on the slopes of relative morals, unless I'm totally off-track. Seems Craig has lived in Europe. He should know all about different rules for different places, such as which side of the road to drive depending which country you're driving in.
One thing I don't get about this argument for moral absolutes is that if morals were absolute rather than relative, why is it that even fundies can't agree with each other on what's moral and what's immoral? If fundies truly believed in moral absolutes, they wouldn't have split up into so many different denominations. The fact that fundies are divided rather than united should be proof enough that morals are not absolute but for some reason, they can't see this. I also don't get why fundies just don't admit they worship a dictator and that they think dictatorship is justified cause that's frankly what Craig is admitting. When Craig argues that if we can objectively identify God as being evil, we should worship him anyway because the fact we know he's evil makes it somehow right that means Craig thinks torture and suffering is justified. I just don't see how they can make the leap from "objective morality means God exists" to "this means we should worship him." Even if our understanding that God's actions are evil somehow "proves" the existence of God, I don't see why this meas we should worship him. If it "proves" his existence, then this should mean God should somehow be dethroned instead of worshiped the same as with any dictator. If Hitler said you should follow him or be tortured, we would think it's moral to rise up against him, yet for some reason when it comes to God, if he threatened us with torture, we're supposed to bow down and worship him even though God is little different or even worse than Hitler.
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Nietzsche said that morality is the herd instinct in the individual. I don’t know, but there might be a grain of truth to that.

 

I agree there lies the beginning of ethics in that truth.

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Neon Genesis:

One thing I don't get about this argument for moral absolutes is that if morals were absolute rather than relative, why is it that even fundies can't agree with each other on what's moral and what's immoral? If fundies truly believed in moral absolutes, they wouldn't have split up into so many different denominations. The fact that fundies are divided rather than united should be proof enough that morals are not absolute but for some reason, they can't see this.

 

BINGO!!!

 

I just don't see how they can make the leap from "objective morality means God exists"

 

I don't see how an objective morality could be linked to any supernaturalistic religion. Everything stems from the subjective imagination. They would have to tack on an ethical system from "the world".

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Craig also accuses humanists or relativism when it comes to morals. How do we counter that? Or do we? I'm not sure what is wrong with it. What are the fundies afraid of? Slippery slope? Sand and salt works pretty good on the icy slopes here in Canada. The grit of logic tends to work fine on the slopes of relative morals, unless I'm totally off-track.

 

Christianity is most guilty of moral relativism. Their stance is hypocritical in that the bible is loaded with relativistic morality and so are christians' lives! It is inescapable for us humans.

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Hey, excellent discussion while I dealt with my sister's letter today. I love the responses Hans and Mathgeek gave Yoyo about war. I agree 100%. As a Canadian I don't always get to say all of this stuff.

 

In direct answer to your question, Yoyo, do I believe in war? Of course, war exists; there's no if, perhaps, or maybe about it, so your question is beside the point. Do I believe it's morally correct to solve problems with force and violence? Of course not! Is it the ultimate way brute animals and some bipeds, aka humans, do it? I acknowledge begrudgingly that it is. As a former Mennonite, I am a formal pacifist. Mennonites do not believe that it is scripturally correct to use armed defense. Jesus forbids it. Or does he? Read on.

 

Maybe I'm taking things too far here but I'm looking at your name. The topic of hypocracy came up, of relativity, and slipery slope. You personally make some slippery arguments. A yo-yo is a toy that swings back and forth, like a pendulum that can never decide which side is right. Paul says to obey the government because it is ordained of God. Most Christians understand that to be an order to take up arms if their government issues the command. Jesus said for his followers to beat their swords into plowshares. Is the Prince of Peace for or against violence/war? Take into consideration that he uses as a model for one of his parables a man who commanded the death of the people who voted against him (Luke 19:12-27).

 

Obviously, it was the popular vote because there was no such thing as the electoral vote.

 

Men like him have no enemies because they kill them all. Jesus used that man as a model for Christian behaviour.

 

Is the Prince of Peace for or against violence/war?

 

:crucified::fdevil::ouch:

 

 

 

[My apologies for using your name like that but your question sort of begs for it to be used this way...]

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In direct answer to your question, Yoyo, do I believe in war? Of course, war exists; there's no if, perhaps, or maybe about it, so your question is beside the point. Do I believe it's morally correct to solve problems with force and violence? Of course not! Is it the ultimate way brute animals and some bipeds, aka humans, do it? I acknowledge begrudgingly that it is. As a former Mennonite, I am a formal pacifist. Mennonites do not believe that it is scripturally correct to use armed defense.

 

So we should have a uniformity of peace that is widespread throughout the world? How would that work?

 

Your answer is not yes to the question. It is the 'of course not!'; thats like me saying I'm a Christian because it exists, but I'm not a Christian.

 

I, before God and after God, always had a set common sense about war. We are free people because of war. Yes, war is made for wrong reasons. But, war is why Americans have freedom. We also protect our neighbors :wicked:

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Paul says to obey the government because it is ordained of God. Most Christians understand that to be an order to take up arms if their government issues the command. Jesus said for his followers to beat their swords into plowshares. Is the Prince of Peace for or against violence/war? Take into consideration that he uses as a model for one of his parables a man who commanded the death of the people who voted against him (Luke 19:12-27).

 

Obviously, it was the popular vote because there was no such thing as the electoral vote.

 

Men like him have no enemies because they kill them all. Jesus used that man as a model for Christian behaviour.

 

Is the Prince of Peace for or against violence/war?

 

That would be a topic of debate. Jesus chastised his followers for acting in violence at times; as far as the parable, I think thats more geared toward when Christ is suppose to return in Armageddon.

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I can't make sense of your answers, Yoyo. You say you're not a Christian but you say you believe in the Christian God. If that doesn't make you a Christian, I don't know what it makes you. Nor do I understand why you have a problem with world peace that has no need for violent settlements of differences. And the idea that Jesus was referring to Armagedon sounds suspiciously like the Christian habit of relegating to metaphor whatever does not suit their favourite interpretation of scripture. The disciple is not above his master. The master was violent and so is the disciple. And the god both serve is the supreme monster. He is not even the sole god, according to the ancient Gnostics. He just thinks he is because his mother concealed from him his perverse and shameful origins.

 

I should not have responded to your post.

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That would be a topic of debate. Jesus chastised his followers for acting in violence at times; as far as the parable, I think thats more geared toward when Christ is suppose to return in Armageddon.

Jesus acted like an ill tempered child when he drove out the mongers in the temple, he cursed a tree for not having fruit in the off-season (IIRC), and he said he came to bring swords and war, and not peace... it's a mixed message. I think that is the problem with the Bible, it is not distinctly and succinctly in one direction. The message is all over the place, and you--as the interpreter--make the Bible fit your views, instead of you conforming to the Bible. The Bible has been the foundation and argument for warfare and slavery, all the way to pacifism and universal inclusion. It is too vague and undefined to be an absolute.

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