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God’s role
Posted: 13 November 2013 05:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Lois - 11 November 2013 02:33 PM

What is god’s role in the Philippine disaster? What is god’s role in helping the victims

First, to ask if god had a role you have to assume an all knowing and loving god exists.  Since nothing was done, I think that puts an end to any such assumption.

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Posted: 13 November 2013 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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deros - 13 November 2013 05:50 AM
Lois - 11 November 2013 02:33 PM

What is god’s role in the Philippine disaster? What is god’s role in helping the victims

First, to ask if god had a role you have to assume an all knowing and loving god exists.  Since nothing was done, I think that puts an end to any such assumption.

Yeah, well, there is that. Kinda makes the rest of the discussion moot.

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Posted: 13 November 2013 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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LilySmith - 12 November 2013 08:35 AM
garythehuman - 12 November 2013 08:02 AM

The god you are crating is an evil god according to your view it uses mass slaughter of innocents to get hits point across;  can’t get much more evil than that.

In my view of God, He is the creator of all life and has determined when, where and how long each life exists on this earth.  Everyone dies.  That’s not slaughter nor is it evil, it is by design.  What is evil is a created man who thinks he knows better than God and can judge his Creator.  I believe that’s called arrogance—an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.

Actually what you are talking about is biology.  No god is directing it, although some scientists are figuring out how to do it through studying the workings of DNA.

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 13 November 2013 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Here’s an article about god’s hand in disasters. It’s generally as wishy washy a position as anyone could imagine, but it does quote Sam Harris:


“Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil or imaginary,” Harris said after Japan’s tsunami. “Take your pick, and choose wisely.”

Where was God in the Philippines?
By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) – The disasters are always different and often devastating. But the questions they raise are hauntingly familiar.

In the days since Super Typhoon Haiyan sweptthrough the Philippines on Thursday, survivors are frantically searching for lost family members and international aid groups are springing into action.

Officials say the death toll may rise to 10,000 in the heavily Catholic country. Meanwhile, many people are asking: How should we make sense of such senseless death and destruction? Was God in the whirlwind itself, as the Bible hints, or present only in the aftermath, as people mobilize to provide food, water and shelter?

These questions may not be new, but we keep asking them, perhaps because the answers remain so elusive.
For many Americans, a paradox sits at the heart of their thinking about natural disasters. According to a survey taken after 2011’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan, most Americans (56%) believe that God is control of everything.

But more Americans blame hurricanes, earthquakes and other storms on global warming (58%) than on an angry and punishing deity (38%), according to a 2011 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute.

“These kind of questions about God being in control and there simultaneously being suffering are the kind of things that keep seminarians up at night,” institute CEO Robert P. Jones said in 2011.
“They’re thorny theological issues.”

READ: Typhoon Haiyan: Survivors in Philippines face grim struggle as death toll rises

The Bible’s Psalm 107 says that “For (God) commands, and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves thereof. ... He turns rivers into a wilderness, and the water springs into dry ground.”

But, as the poll shows, most Americans have moved past the idea that God causes natural disasters, wrote Stephen Prothero, a frequent CNN contributor, in a 2011 column.

“When it comes to earthquakes and hurricanes, our authorities are geologists and meteorologists,” Prothero said as he rode out Hurricane Irene on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. “Most of us interpret these events not through the rumblings of the biblical prophet Jeremiah or the poetry of the Book of Revelation but through the scientific truths of air pressure and tectonic plates.”
For atheists, storms like Haiyan are proof that God doesn’t exist, author and activist Sam Harris said.

“Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil or imaginary,” Harris said after Japan’s tsunami. “Take your pick, and choose wisely.”
God may or may not be in withering storms, but many religious leaders say they sense a divine presence in the aftermath, as people across the world mobilize to lend a hand.

Rabbi Harold Kushner is one of the most famous names in the realm of theodicy, a branch of theology that tries to explain the unexplainable: why a good God would allow bad things to happen.
After Japan’s tsunami, Kushner called nature “an equal-opportunity destroyer,” making no distinctions between sinners and saints.

But Kushner, author of the bestselling book “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” said he sees God’s hand in the resilience of people whose lives have been destroyed and in the “goodness and generosity” of strangers who donate and pray for the survivors.
READ: How to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan 

That still leaves a tricky question, though: Why do humans suffer, sometimes terribly, in the first place?

There’s no good answer, says the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and best-selling author.

“Each person has to come to grips with that,” Martin said. “It’s not as if some magic answer can be found. But the idea of God suffering along with us can be very helpful.”
Muslims, on the other hand, see stormy trials as tests from God, said Sayyid Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances.

“Muslims believe that God tests those he loves, and these tragedies also serve as a reminder to the rest of us to remain grateful to God for all our blessings and cognizant that we must support those in need,” Syeed said.

Vietnamese Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh, whose native country remains in Haiyan’s path, said such storms remind us that our lives are impermanent and the importance of treasuring each moment.

“This is the best that we can do for those who have died: We can live in such a way that they can feel they are continuing to live in us, more mindfully, more profoundly, more beautifully, tasting every minute of life available to us, for them,” Hanh said
 

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Posted: 13 November 2013 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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“This is the best that we can do for those who have died: We can live in such a way that they can feel they are continuing to live in us, more mindfully, more profoundly, more beautifully, tasting every minute of life available to us, for them,” Hanh said

Affectionately called Thay, Thich Nhat Hahn is a great man. Without him, we may never have had an anti-Vietnam movement. He is the rare religious leader who says, you can practice my rituals or not, it doesn’t make you a better person. He knows there is value in meditation and mindfulness, but makes no claim about it being the only right way. If all religion was like that, we’d have a lot fewer problems. We could just work together and clean the mess and move on.

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Posted: 13 November 2013 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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CuthbertJ - 12 November 2013 11:15 AM

I mean let’s say there were two men. One was loving to some of his children, but allowed others to suffer horribly even though he could easily do something about it (let’s say he’s rich and mitigating the suffering was only a matter of purchasing the right medication).  Then there’s another man who loves all his children, and whenever one is suffering, he does whatever it takes to alleviate the suffering. 

Which of these two men would you choose to befriend?

The problem is your analogy doesn’t describe God and what he is doing.  A better analogy is a being who creates men and women with a will of their own and puts them in a temporary setting where they can act according to their will.  They begin stealing, lying and killing each other.  Their creator reaches out to them and gives them a way to live in peace and prosperity.  Some accept his offer while others curse at him and reject him.  Those who accept his offer he makes his children.  Those who reject him and choose instead to continue to live contrary to his purpose for them, he destroys.  They are of no use to him and were never his children.  Those who are now his children he brings into his eternal home where there is no pain or suffering and they will inherit all that he owns.  Having lived among evil and experiencing its consequences, the children of God will never look back.

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Posted: 13 November 2013 09:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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So, to refine CuthbertJ’s analogy, the first father offers help when his kids are suffering, but he requires that they accept it an particular way. LilySmith only says “gives them a way” and “contrary to his purpose” so I can’t know exactly what she means, other than what I’ve read in the Bible, which argues about faith and works, but anyway… So, let’s assume the rich guy requires that his children actively campaign for Democratic politicians. If they do that, then get sick, he helps them. If they don’t, let ‘em suffer.

Apparently, he even believes in some sort of euthanasia. I guess that’s what Lily means by “destroy”.

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Posted: 13 November 2013 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Write4U - 12 November 2013 04:32 PM

“God kills people to remind other people how lucky they are to be alive and therefore should worship God.”  Is that not the point of your story?

No.  The point is this life has always been temporary for everyone.  No one lives forever on this earth.  Christianity has never taught that our hope is in making this world a Utopia so we can stop suffering and dying.  Christianity seeks to explain why we suffer and die, and gives a hope for better things to come. 

Atheists like Sam Harris will take the opportunity of a natural disaster and proclaim that no God exists and there is no more to life.  Christians will continue to trust God even through the difficult times knowing that life has an ultimate purpose beyond death and suffering.

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Posted: 13 November 2013 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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LilySmith - 13 November 2013 09:42 AM

Atheists like Sam Harris will take the opportunity of a natural disaster and proclaim that no God exists and there is no more to life.  Christians will continue to trust God even through the difficult times knowing that life has an ultimate purpose beyond death and suffering.

I know you disagree with Sam Harris, but do you disagree with this guy too?

“These kind of questions about God being in control and there simultaneously being suffering are the kind of things that keep seminarians up at night,” institute CEO Robert P. Jones said in 2011.
“They’re thorny theological issues.”

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Posted: 13 November 2013 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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LilySmith - 13 November 2013 09:25 AM
CuthbertJ - 12 November 2013 11:15 AM

I mean let’s say there were two men. One was loving to some of his children, but allowed others to suffer horribly even though he could easily do something about it (let’s say he’s rich and mitigating the suffering was only a matter of purchasing the right medication).  Then there’s another man who loves all his children, and whenever one is suffering, he does whatever it takes to alleviate the suffering. 

Which of these two men would you choose to befriend?

The problem is your analogy doesn’t describe God and what he is doing.  A better analogy is a being who creates men and women with a will of their own and puts them in a temporary setting where they can act according to their will.  They begin stealing, lying and killing each other.  Their creator reaches out to them and gives them a way to live in peace and prosperity.  Some accept his offer while others curse at him and reject him.  Those who accept his offer he makes his children.  Those who reject him and choose instead to continue to live contrary to his purpose for them, he destroys.  They are of no use to him and were never his children.  Those who are now his children he brings into his eternal home where there is no pain or suffering and they will inherit all that he owns.  Having lived among evil and experiencing its consequences, the children of God will never look back.

No, the problem is you never answer my questions, but wriggle out of them by redefining them.  JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION! Which of those two men would you befriend?

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Posted: 14 November 2013 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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CuthbertJ - 13 November 2013 11:26 AM

No, the problem is you never answer my questions, but wriggle out of them by redefining them.  JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION! Which of those two men would you befriend?

Your question as written does not represent anything I believe about God or his will for mankind and the world.  Therefore, there’s no reason for me to answer it. 

Straw man Fallacy—A straw man argument is a rhetorical device that is meant to easily prove that one’s position or argument is superior to an opposing argument. However, the straw man argument is regarded as a logical fallacy, because at its core, the person using the device misrepresents the other person’s argument.

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Posted: 14 November 2013 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Lausten - 13 November 2013 09:44 AM

I know you disagree with Sam Harris, but do you disagree with this guy too?

“These kind of questions about God being in control and there simultaneously being suffering are the kind of things that keep seminarians up at night,” institute CEO Robert P. Jones said in 2011.
“They’re thorny theological issues.”

No, I don’t disagree with Mr. Jones, but he said something very different from Sam Harris, who used a weak version of David Hume’s question about God and evil.  ““Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil or imaginary,” Harris said after Japan’s tsunami. “Take your pick, and choose wisely.”

Mr. Harris doesn’t give all the options.  As a Jew, he uses the view of some Jews after the Holocaust—“God is dead. If there were a God, he would surely have prevented the Holocaust. Since God did not prevent it, then God as traditionally understood either does not exist or has changed in some way. For some this means that God has abandoned them, while for others it means God never did exist. Jews must be in the world for themselves.  This may mean a turn to atheism or perhaps a turn to some more like pantheism.”

The Christian view, however, has the promise that God is with us in suffering and death, and though we all go through it, we will triumph over death in Christ.  Jesus said,  “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Christians have the trust that God will restore all things.

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Posted: 14 November 2013 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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LilySmith - 14 November 2013 01:23 PM

No, I don’t disagree with Mr. Jones, but he said something very different from Sam Harris, who used a weak version of David Hume’s question about God and evil.  ““Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil or imaginary,” Harris said after Japan’s tsunami. “Take your pick, and choose wisely.”

 

If you’re just going to answer the questions you want, rewriting them as you go, then you should start a blog. This is a discussion forum. You don’t have to answer everything, but some participation would be nice.

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Posted: 14 November 2013 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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LilySmith - 14 November 2013 01:02 PM
CuthbertJ - 13 November 2013 11:26 AM

No, the problem is you never answer my questions, but wriggle out of them by redefining them.  JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION! Which of those two men would you befriend?

Your question as written does not represent anything I believe about God or his will for mankind and the world.  Therefore, there’s no reason for me to answer it. 

Straw man Fallacy—A straw man argument is a rhetorical device that is meant to easily prove that one’s position or argument is superior to an opposing argument. However, the straw man argument is regarded as a logical fallacy, because at its core, the person using the device misrepresents the other person’s argument.

Again with the sidestepping. Just answer the question. Forget it, I’ll answer it for you. You’d pick the 2nd guy, the nice guy who always takes care of his kids and doesn’t come up with excuses or “reasons unknowable” to not help them.  My point is, folks like you can get away with your beliefs because there are no consequences here and now. You just put off the consequences til after death, which is the same as not having consequences.  Same with the “jumping off the bridge” question I asked on another thread. When it comes down to acting on your beliefs, you don’t.  You only believe what you do because there are no real consequences to you personally, other than feeling good about yourself, which is pretty selfish.  This is also why I actually admire in a certain way those nutjobs who play with deadly snakes as part of their religion. There are direct consequences to their actions in terms of personal well-being AND they still believe, nutty as those beliefs are. Folks like you just pretend.

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Posted: 14 November 2013 05:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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deros - 13 November 2013 05:50 AM
Lois - 11 November 2013 02:33 PM

What is god’s role in the Philippine disaster? What is god’s role in helping the victims

First, to ask if god had a role you have to assume an all knowing and loving god exists.  Since nothing was done, I think that puts an end to any such assumption.

But believers do make that assumption and I wondered how they reconciled it to a disaster such as that in the Phillipines. They claim their god exists and is all powerful and all good, yet such disasters show a serious contradiction in their claims.  I felt I was asking a rational question given their beliefs. Sometimes you have to ask a question with the assumption that their beliefs are correct to get an answer to a logical quesion. If they can’t answer logically their beliefs are suspect.

Lois

[ Edited: 14 November 2013 05:57 PM by Lois ]
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