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Also, you seem to have a problem with the rules that God made, yet you don't have a problem in judging them wrong and, in essence, putting yourself in the position of authority. So, may I ask, who made you god?

 

LNC, if you're just going to cop out and not answer the question then do not even respond. You are basically saying that god's ways are not our own, so who are we to dare and question it. The same old tired, worn out statement that you christians always throw out there. More often than not, you end the statement with the asking of whether or not that person is god. Ken Ham did this to Bill Mayer in 'Religulous' when he fell short of an actual answer to Bill's question.

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Actually I find the "Who made you god?" attack sad...imagine if we held that same standard to other authorities.... "Who made you president?", "Who made you governor?", "Who made you mayor?", "Who made you school superintendent?", "Who made you the boss?", "Who made you police commissioner?", "Who made you someone who can even dare call out authority figures and hold them accountable for their actions?"

 

I made me that person, and if God or anyone else does not like it, TOUGH....I hold those in authority to a higher standard than I hold myself, and my own standards are very high....you want to lead me, even a god, you better hold yourself to a high standard, or I will question it, and demand accountability.

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Actually I find the "Who made you god?" attack sad...imagine if we held that same standard to other authorities.... "Who made you president?", "Who made you governor?", "Who made you mayor?", "Who made you school superintendent?", "Who made you the boss?", "Who made you police commissioner?", "Who made you someone who can even dare call out authority figures and hold them accountable for their actions?"

 

I made me that person, and if God or anyone else does not like it, TOUGH....I hold those in authority to a higher standard than I hold myself, and my own standards are very high....you want to lead me, even a god, you better hold yourself to a high standard, or I will question it, and demand accountability.

 

Yeah. There are two issues here: (1) Does God's justice have to be similar to human justice? (2) How different can it be before we become suspicious about the whole thing?

 

The answer to the first question has to be that, assuming a diety like God exists, His justice does not have to be exactly like our justice.

 

But the answer to the second question is the real problem. It can't be that different, otherwise it would make no sense to say that God is good or just or kind or merciful or anything else. This is an important point. If God's justice is supposed to be better than human justice, then why does it so often seem to be more arbitrary, more partial, and more harsh than ordinary human justice. The two hallmarks of human justice are notice and an opportunity to be heard. But according to evangelicals, a hypothetical Native American man living in the 2nd Century A.D. would wind up before the judgment throne of God without either notice or an opportunity to be heard.

 

Yet this sort of thing is routinely called "perfect justice" and "divine justice."

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I've said this before, but I'm just bringing it up again, which is that when we use the word justice, it is about being accountable to someone, and if God is the highest being who can exist, then he isn't accountable to anyone, and therefore justice doesn't apply. But that means words like "good" or "righteous" etc doesn't apply either, because any kind of comparative attribute can only be used if there is a measure to weigh against. Morality, justice, accountability, and so on are the scale on which good, evil, and bad is tested. In other words, for God to be good, he must be accountable to someone, and he must have a contrasting element--the devil--and to for this to work, there must be a higher power than God.

 

Or to put it in other words, when I hear the argument that humans can't be good or moral unless God exists, it follows that God can not be good or moral either unless God has a God. Or the alternative is, God can't be said to be good or evil, but only that he can be whatever he wants. This means that goodness, moral, and justice isn't something that is part of God's innate behavior or character, but something that is created by him. This also means that none of these attributes are by themselves completely absolute, since they are made, not just existing. Or we can put it this way, words and attributes can not apply to God (if God exists), especially not the word and attributes we in daily use apply to humans. We can't say "God is blond" or "God had a good day at the office and is happy for his girlfriend moved in with him." Neither can we say, "God is good" or "God is just" or "God is gracious", not if he/she/it is supposed to be the highest existing being of everything. This means, explaining God or making a religion around God, or even worshiping God in the believe he likes it, are all the wrong things to do.

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I've said this before, but I'm just bringing it up again, which is that when we use the word justice, it is about being accountable to someone, and if God is the highest being who can exist, then he isn't accountable to anyone, and therefore justice doesn't apply. But that means words like "good" or "righteous" etc doesn't apply either, because any kind of comparative attribute can only be used if there is a measure to weigh against. Morality, justice, accountability, and so on are the scale on which good, evil, and bad is tested. In other words, for God to be good, he must be accountable to someone, and he must have a contrasting element--the devil--and to for this to work, there must be a higher power than God.

 

Or to put it in other words, when I hear the argument that humans can't be good or moral unless God exists, it follows that God can not be good or moral either unless God has a God. Or the alternative is, God can't be said to be good or evil, but only that he can be whatever he wants. This means that goodness, moral, and justice isn't something that is part of God's innate behavior or character, but something that is created by him. This also means that none of these attributes are by themselves completely absolute, since they are made, not just existing. Or we can put it this way, words and attributes can not apply to God (if God exists), especially not the word and attributes we in daily use apply to humans. We can't say "God is blond" or "God had a good day at the office and is happy for his girlfriend moved in with him." Neither can we say, "God is good" or "God is just" or "God is gracious", not if he/she/it is supposed to be the highest existing being of everything. This means, explaining God or making a religion around God, or even worshiping God in the believe he likes it, are all the wrong things to do.

 

I'm not sure I agree with this. Use the government analogy for example. Sometimes governments will set up rules by which their future actions can be evaluated. So the U.S. can anounce a process for bidding for goverment contracts. The government might be justified in just awarding the contracts arbitrarily, but instead of doing that it sets up a process for competitive bids. In fact, it's one of the signs of good government that governments hold themselves accountable to standards that they themselves create.

 

So I don't see why God could not establish justice and then hold Himself accoutable to justice. That doesn't make justice above God any more than the open bidding process is "above" the federal government.

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I'm not sure I agree with this. Use the government analogy for example. Sometimes governments will set up rules by which their future actions can be evaluated. So the U.S. can anounce a process for bidding for goverment contracts. The government might be justified in just awarding the contracts arbitrarily, but instead of doing that it sets up a process for competitive bids. In fact, it's one of the signs of good government that governments hold themselves accountable to standards that they themselves create.

 

So I don't see why God could not establish justice and then hold Himself accoutable to justice. That doesn't make justice above God any more than the open bidding process is "above" the federal government.

True, it's a good point, but still it makes the standard a created standard, not an innate standard. If the government hold themselves accountable to a standard, it is because they make a standard they will hold themselves accountable to. In other words, they made it so, it was not that they were accountable because the standard already existed.

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The two hallmarks of human justice are notice and an opportunity to be heard. But according to evangelicals, a hypothetical Native American man living in the 2nd Century A.D. would wind up before the judgment throne of God without either notice or an opportunity to be heard.

 

Yet this sort of thing is routinely called "perfect justice" and "divine justice."

 

I brought this topic up in another thread, God's justice. What would be the reward of a Godly justice in comparison to human justice. Human justice, we live peacefully( or at least are able to create peace), free, individualistic etc.; and Godly justice to me would be the peace of mind of knowing that life would continue after were dead, and also....the separation of good and evil, spiritually and physically.

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I'm not sure I agree with this. Use the government analogy for example. Sometimes governments will set up rules by which their future actions can be evaluated. So the U.S. can anounce a process for bidding for goverment contracts. The government might be justified in just awarding the contracts arbitrarily, but instead of doing that it sets up a process for competitive bids. In fact, it's one of the signs of good government that governments hold themselves accountable to standards that they themselves create.

 

So I don't see why God could not establish justice and then hold Himself accoutable to justice. That doesn't make justice above God any more than the open bidding process is "above" the federal government.

True, it's a good point, but still it makes the standard a created standard, not an innate standard. If the government hold themselves accountable to a standard, it is because they make a standard they will hold themselves accountable to. In other words, they made it so, it was not that they were accountable because the standard already existed.

 

I agree. We have to assume that God exists to make sense of the contradictions in the Bible. If the Biblical view is correct then God established justice, much as he established the speed of light and other constants. These constants are beneath God--he could have made them otherwise or made none at all. However, once He creates them, at least from our perspecive, he can only be understood in terms of those constants.

 

So justice is a creation of God, but it's also the tool by which we understand God. But on it's own terms, I think the Bible is a failure because God seems to act in ways that are unjust. I don't expect that God has to always act in ways that comport with human conceptions of justice, but can God's operations in our world so regularly defy the standards that He Himself created?

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Shantonu,

 

I thought a little more about what you said, and actually I think that's a good point you're making. Because I consider my own standards to a certain degree stem from the idea that I am accountable to myself. What will I be in 10 years? Who will I be? What will I have? And how will my life be like? Will I in 10 years reflect on today and be upset with myself and blame myself for the actions I did, or can I look back and say: "I did what I could to make a better life." Will I have family who loves me? Will I have friends? Will I have some level of independence and security? All those questions will be asked and answered in the future, and I will be the judge of it. So it ends with if I will be pleased with who I am today, or not. And God-the-super-being could potentially be the same way.

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The two hallmarks of human justice are notice and an opportunity to be heard. But according to evangelicals, a hypothetical Native American man living in the 2nd Century A.D. would wind up before the judgment throne of God without either notice or an opportunity to be heard.

 

Yet this sort of thing is routinely called "perfect justice" and "divine justice."

 

I brought this topic up in another thread, God's justice. What would be the reward of a Godly justice in comparison to human justice. Human justice, we live peacefully( or at least are able to create peace), free, individualistic etc.; and Godly justice to me would be the peace of mind of knowing that life would continue after were dead, and also....the separation of good and evil, spiritually and physically.

 

But the God of the Bible, in particular the God of the Old Testament, seems to act in ways that are immoral and unjust, for example allowing slavery and prescribing rules for the treatment of slaves etc.

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I've said this before, but I'm just bringing it up again, which is that when we use the word justice, it is about being accountable to someone, and if God is the highest being who can exist, then he isn't accountable to anyone, and therefore justice doesn't apply. But that means words like "good" or "righteous" etc doesn't apply either, because any kind of comparative attribute can only be used if there is a measure to weigh against. Morality, justice, accountability, and so on are the scale on which good, evil, and bad is tested. In other words, for God to be good, he must be accountable to someone, and he must have a contrasting element--the devil--and to for this to work, there must be a higher power than God.

 

What if evil is contained in His omni-everything, as to death; yet God has higher knowledge of death, and higher knowledge than Satan. Could it be possible in that light?

 

Or to put it in other words, when I hear the argument that humans can't be good or moral unless God exists, it follows that God can not be good or moral either unless God has a God. Or the alternative is, God can't be said to be good or evil, but only that he can be whatever he wants. This means that goodness, moral, and justice isn't something that is part of God's innate behavior or character, but something that is created by him.

 

Why not? Who says Hans? It's possible, that God is everything to us like we as parents are everything to a child. I don't tell my 8yr old that she needs to use protection when having sex; because she's 8.

 

This also means that none of these attributes are by themselves completely absolute, since they are made, not just existing. Or we can put it this way, words and attributes can not apply to God (if God exists), especially not the word and attributes we in daily use apply to humans. We can't say "God is blond" or "God had a good day at the office and is happy for his girlfriend moved in with him." Neither can we say, "God is good" or "God is just" or "God is gracious", not if he/she/it is supposed to be the highest existing being of everything. This means, explaining God or making a religion around God, or even worshiping God in the believe he likes it, are all the wrong things to do.

 

I agree that attributes to God are usually made by people. In the Bible, the attributes to God by writers; such as angry, jealous. Were this attributes to God made by the writers?

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So justice is a creation of God, but it's also the tool by which we understand God. But on it's own terms, I think the Bible is a failure because God seems to act in ways that are unjust. I don't expect that God has to always act in ways that comport with human conceptions of justice, but can God's operations in our world so regularly defy the standards that He Himself created?

Very true. I think the problem for me isn't that God creates his own laws and give them as dicta to us, but rather that we give him labels and definitions which are for the use of judging character. Saying "God is just" or "good" doesn't render any meaning when they really mean: "Whatever God does is 'just' or 'good'." It's like saying, whatever I find to eat, tastes good, because I say so. And then eat something terrible and even throw up, and saying that tasting terrible really means the same as tasting good. It becomes completely meaningless. If God does exist, God is only what God is, and nothing more, and nothing less. To give God a profile, is to make God smaller. To say God is Jesus, or God is YWHW, or God is this or that, or God demands this thing or that thing to be happy or pleased, is to make God into a being, a thing. So I find it quite silly how hard Christians and other religious people work to prove God by making him/her/it being such-and-such, because how can they know, and if it's true most of the time they end up in paradoxical statements. If God exists, then God can't be explained or described. It's better if they stick to the idea that God can only be experienced, and then leave the debate of trying to define him/her/it.

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So I don't see why God could not establish justice and then hold Himself accoutable to justice. That doesn't make justice above God any more than the open bidding process is "above" the federal government.

 

Just as America implements justice in governing the country, for the people. Maybe, God's justice is governing for the people. He always said how He 'heard' our cries in the Bible. Egypt, Cain's brother, Sodom etc.

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What if evil is contained in His omni-everything, as to death; yet God has higher knowledge of death, and higher knowledge than Satan. Could it be possible in that light?

Yes. That would make God good+evil, knowing and be able to do both, only accountable to himself.

 

There is a reason to why the Gnostics invented 3 gods. One, which is the ultimate power, neither good, nor evil. Then you have two opposing forces under God, one good, one evil.

 

Or to put it in other words, when I hear the argument that humans can't be good or moral unless God exists, it follows that God can not be good or moral either unless God has a God. Or the alternative is, God can't be said to be good or evil, but only that he can be whatever he wants. This means that goodness, moral, and justice isn't something that is part of God's innate behavior or character, but something that is created by him.

 

Why not? Who says Hans? It's possible, that God is everything to us like we as parents are everything to a child. I don't tell my 8yr old that she needs to use protection when having sex; because she's 8.

Eh. Is it a moral question to use protection during sex? I'm not sure what you mean, can you please explain it a little better.

 

I agree that attributes to God are usually made by people. In the Bible, the attributes to God by writers; such as angry, jealous. Were this attributes to God made by the writers?

Just like we are right now. Words are references to ideas, and those ideas are usually very fragile and not always have clear borders. By writing about our ideas, we are trying to transfer our inner meanings and images of things, so when writers write about their idea of God, it will be with the only words they know, and with faulty images. We can't even know exactly what an author means, but we kind of guess and get close the ideas. In the end, how can we trust any "word" description of something that can't be explained?

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Shantonu,

 

I thought a little more about what you said, and actually I think that's a good point you're making. Because I consider my own standards to a certain degree stem from the idea that I am accountable to myself. What will I be in 10 years? Who will I be? What will I have? And how will my life be like? Will I in 10 years reflect on today and be upset with myself and blame myself for the actions I did, or can I look back and say: "I did what I could to make a better life." Will I have family who loves me? Will I have friends? Will I have some level of independence and security? All those questions will be asked and answered in the future, and I will be the judge of it. So it ends with if I will be pleased with who I am today, or not. And God-the-super-being could potentially be the same way.

 

It's possible that God could be like that. And what is the implication of this? I think that it is this: God wants to be called out. He want's us to rebel and to critique him because only by doing so can we be truly loyal. I owe this idea to John Wilcox who wrote a really great book called The Bitterness of Job, where he analyzes the Book of Job from a philosophical point of view. In that book he points out that sometimes the best form of loyalty is open criticism. For example, in King Lear, the Earl of Kent proves to be far more loyal to Lear by his open criticism than the sycophants who merely praise (Wilcox's example).

 

Of course, I don't believe in God, but seeing the question in this light leads to a deeper spirituality (I think) and a better understanding of who we humans are and where we might be going.

 

We are not "rags at the feet of God" as some evangelicals hold, but capabable of some understanding of the divine nature. Thus the Bible asks:

 

"What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour."

 

Psalm 8:4-5

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But the God of the Bible, in particular the God of the Old Testament, seems to act in ways that are immoral and unjust, for example allowing slavery and prescribing rules for the treatment of slaves etc.

 

Slavery is a broad term. I grew up in a predominantly African-American town. Slavery as most understand it today brings that ethnic group to mind first. What about servants for the rich? Was the cruel, forced slavery of then, the slavery we view regarding African-American slavery? Did these 'slaves' make wages, or were they forced? I don't think it was the same situation.

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We are not "rags at the feet of God" as some evangelicals hold...

My dad is one of these. He says that even the greatest good that people can do is a stench in the nostrils of God.

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To give God a profile, is to make God smaller. To say God is Jesus, or God is YWHW, or God is this or that, or God demands this thing or that thing to be happy or pleased, is to make God into a being, a thing. So I find it quite silly how hard Christians and other religious people work to prove God by making him/her/it being such-and-such, because how can they know, and if it's true most of the time they end up in paradoxical statements. If God exists, then God can't be explained or described. It's better if they stick to the idea that God can only be experienced, and then leave the debate of trying to define him/her/it.

 

Isaiah stated both :grin: God was tired of our sacrifices, and that He can't be explained.

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Assorted excerpts from the other thread:

LNC:

...Jesus commanded the rich young ruler to sell everything and to come follow him. That was not a general command.

 

I suppose this wasn’t a general command either:

Luke 12:32-33

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

 

No, Jesus did not die for the animals as he did not come in their form, nor does God hold them accountable for their actions as they were not created in his image. It is very fortunate for the animals since for every apparent moral action we see from animals, there are a lot more that we could call immoral.

 

How many animals were killed in the flood?

Couldn’t an all-powerful deity simply wipe out the human elements without causing animals to suffer?

Are animals basically stage props to be disposed of because of human “sin”?

 

People go to hell for rebelling against God. Besides, accepting Jesus is nowhere taught in the Bible, we are called to trust in Jesus.

 

Not accepting Jesus is equated to rebelling against God.

People are told to believe in Jesus and accept him as “Christ”.

If you don’t, you’re damned.

 

1 John 2:22-23

Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

 

John 3:18

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

John 3:36

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

 

God is just, we are deceived into thinking that we are more just than he, but that is called self-righteousness and pride.

 

Claiming that God is “just” is simply your projection of what you think “just” is.

Mainstream Christianity practices that which you condemn because it takes the Hebrew deity and morphs it into a "Trinity", and proceeds to tell people that the rules of the game changed.

 

God doesn't punish anyone for unbelief, he sends people to hell for their rebellion.

 

Unbelief is equated to rebellion.

Heb 3:12

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

 

Any sovereign has the right to impose judgment on those who seek to usurp his authority, and that is what God punishes those who rebel against him for doing.

 

This is an endorsement for the divine right of kings, dictators, and other assorted despots.

As an aside, you haven't established that your version of God is actually "God", it could just as easily be an alien posing as "God".

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But the God of the Bible, in particular the God of the Old Testament, seems to act in ways that are immoral and unjust, for example allowing slavery and prescribing rules for the treatment of slaves etc.

 

Slavery is a broad term. I grew up in a predominantly African-American town. Slavery as most understand it today brings that ethnic group to mind first. What about servants for the rich? Was the cruel, forced slavery of then, the slavery we view regarding African-American slavery? Did these 'slaves' make wages, or were they forced? I don't think it was the same situation.

 

Forget slavery then, take 1 Samuel 15:3, wherein God orders the killing of small children and babies. Wasn't that immoral?

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Yes. That would make God good+evil, knowing and be able to do both, only accountable to himself.

There is a reason to why the Gnostics invented 3 gods. One, which is the ultimate power, neither good, nor evil. Then you have two opposing forces under God, one good, one evil.

 

I believe that except I believe the others are just entities like unto God, except God is the ultimate power; like angels.

 

 

Eh. Is it a moral question to use protection during sex? I'm not sure what you mean, can you please explain it a little better.

 

Sorry Hans. Disregard that comment. Read it the wrong way. :thanks:

 

In the end, how can we trust any "word" description of something that can't be explained?

 

We can't, and I usually don't when I'm reading the Bible. I just consider it the Jews thoughts; on whatever situations they are attributing descriptions to their God. For me, that doesn't mean God is angry, or jealous. Even though they said, God said.... :scratch: Hell, maybe they God said..... about the whole Levitical Law. Makes sense.

 

:grin: Hey Hans. Here's the left out story. Then God said.... Why did you make all these stupid laws that nobody would follow? Here I send Jesus, Him you will hear!

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Forget slavery then, take 1 Samuel 15:3, wherein God orders the killing of small children and babies. Wasn't that immoral?

 

That falls into the God having attributes attached to Him. They said God did it, but did He really? Just like Satan moved David to number Israel in Chronicles, and it's not mentioned in Samuel. Why would God kill infants? The same God that supposedly had protected, followed Israel around in clouds, and tabernacle's, helped them against giants, destroyed Sodom, but first letting the justified escape.

 

See my point.

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LNC Any sovereign has the right to impose judgment on those who seek to usurp his authority, and that is what God punishes those who rebel against him for doing.

 

 

Yeah, I know. Arguing with another Christian of Ex-C is ridiculous! :grin:

 

The sun sets on the just and unjust. Authority He may have, but punishment in the here and now is questionable.

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