I believe God has a dream for people today. - Page 3 - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-29-2010, 12:34 AM   #31
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 05:05 PM
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?
__________________

__________________
A_Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2010, 12:45 AM   #32
Blue Crack Addict
 
deep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: A far distance down.
Posts: 28,501
Local Time: 11:05 PM
it's a mystery

__________________

__________________
deep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2010, 03:43 AM   #33
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Strong Badia
Posts: 3,430
Local Time: 07:05 AM
I like Epicurus too, A_Wanderer. These are heady philosophical prospects, no doubt, ever since he first posited them three hundred years before Christ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Unless He has chosen to weld His will to ours, and to let us choose good or evil, and to adjust His will to what we choose. Which makes Him loving.

Quote:
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Unless -- like a good parent -- He understands that sometimes the slings and arrows of life are the places we learn the most. Which makes Him patient.

Quote:
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Unless God isn't the only active force in a universe created by Him but corrupted by rebellion -- the existence of which makes Him open-handed.

Again, heady stuff...
__________________
nathan1977 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2010, 07:17 AM   #34
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 05:05 PM
But the answers rest very heavily upon free-will and I find it unclear how it reconciles with the universe which we live in. The choices which an individual make are ultimately determined by interactions beyond their control. If the universe which we live in, with its laws of causality, is created by a deity then it has made a world in which many people are destined to commit evils. It isn't at all obvious that it has given us any choice in our actions and if it has the attributes ascribed to it then would know the consequences in advance. One can answer that the suffering brings faith and experience but what of unnecessary suffering? What of the whole pitiless process of life which generates suffering without any higher cause beyond replication? Is God responsible for every sparrow which falls from the sky and the life of every creature which this universe has spawned?

The trilemma brings the major problems into focus and I am not sure how free-will can resolve them. What would be a free choice? Are there ever choices where one could act differently?
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 04:19 AM   #35
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Strong Badia
Posts: 3,430
Local Time: 07:05 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
The choices which an individual make are ultimately determined by interactions beyond their control.
True, but usually those choices are made in reaction to other choices. So one choice still leads to another. The notion of collective responsibility -- of being each other's keeper -- means that our choices affect others. Hopefully, it makes us think a little harder about the power of such choices.

Quote:
If the universe which we live in, with its laws of causality, is created by a deity then it has made a world in which many people are destined to commit evils.
I don't know how much I buy into the whole notion of predestination. I think it breeds a certain amount of fatalism. Nor do I think that the notion of an omniscient God is necessarily contradicted by free will. Again, a good parent can see the possibilities in his or her children -- possibilities for good or not. We can't make the decisions for our children -- we can only try to influence them the best we can.

As a result, I don't think we were destined for evil. We were destined to choose. Over and over again in the Scriptures, we see the image of a God who asks His people to choose, who stands at the doors of hearts and knocks. This is not a God who forces women and men to bend to His will, but meets them in theirs. The power and the tragedy of the fall is that we would be presented with ultimate goodness and choose something else instead, but I don't think this is such a shocking revelation, since anyone who knows an addict -- or who has struggled with addiction themselves -- knows how easy it is to succumb to the easy than hold fast to the good.

Quote:
Is God responsible for every sparrow which falls from the sky and the life of every creature which this universe has spawned?
Over and over, in the Scriptures, God is painted as a redeemer -- the one who makes right what was wrong, who heals the sick, who restores the broken. This image of God makes sense to me -- He allows us the freedom to choose, even when the results are reprehensible -- but He doesn't leave us in the misery of our choices. He tries to bring hope afterwards. If He were to block our choices, or intervene, it would minimize the power of our choice.

Quote:
What would be a free choice? Are there ever choices where one could act differently?
Uh-oh, I've just gone cross-eyed.
__________________
nathan1977 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2010, 05:03 AM   #36
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 05:05 PM
It's not necessarily fatalistic to acknowledge that the type of free will that theology rests upon is tricky to justify. Even the process of acknowledging and reasoning in regards to other peoples interests is at base physical interactions upon which our selves don't control. We are organic robots.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2010, 05:47 AM   #37
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
BonosSaint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,566
Local Time: 03:05 AM
NY Times

Quote:
December 30, 2010
The Arena Culture
By DAVID BROOKS

Academic life encourages specialization and technical thinking, and, oddly, there are few fields in which this is more true than philosophy. The discipline that should be of interest to everybody is often the most impenetrable.

But occasionally brave philosophers do leap out of their professional lanes and illuminate things for the wider public. Hubert Dreyfus of Berkeley and Sean Dorrance Kelly of Harvard have just done this with their new book, “All Things Shining.” They take a smart, sweeping run through the history of Western philosophy. But their book is important for the way it illuminates life today and for the controversial advice it offers on how to live.

Dreyfus and Kelly start with Vico’s old idea that each age has its own lens through which people see the world. In the Middle Ages, for example, “people could not help but experience themselves as determined or created by God.” They assumed that God’s plans encompassed their lives the way we assume the laws of physics do.

For the past hundred years or so, we have lived in a secular age. That does not mean that people aren’t religious. It means there is no shared set of values we all absorb as preconscious assumptions. In our world, individuals have to find or create their own meaning.

This, Dreyfus and Kelly argue, has led to a pervasive sadness. Individuals are usually not capable of creating their own lives from the ground up. So modern life is marked by frequent feelings of indecision and anxiety. People often lack the foundations upon which to make the most important choices.

Dreyfus and Kelly suffer from the usual Cambridge/Berkeley parochialism. They assume that nobody believes in eternal truth anymore. They write as if all of America’s moral quandaries are best expressed by the novelist David Foster Wallace. But they are on to something important when they describe the way — far more than in past ages — sports has risen up to fill a spiritual void.

Spiritually unmoored, many people nonetheless experience intense elevation during the magical moments that sport often affords. Dreyfus and Kelly mention the mood that swept through the crowd at Yankee Stadium when Lou Gehrig delivered his “Luckiest Man Alive” speech, or the mood that swept through Wimbledon as Roger Federer completed one of his greatest matches.

The most real things in life, they write, well up and take us over. They call this experience “whooshing up.” We get whooshed up at a sports arena, at a political rally or even at magical moments while woodworking or walking through nature.

Dreyfus and Kelly say that we should have the courage not to look for some unitary, totalistic explanation for the universe. Instead, we should live perceptively at the surface, receptive to the moments of transcendent whooshes that we can feel in, say, a concert crowd, or while engaging in a meaningful activity, like making a perfect cup of coffee with a well-crafted pot and cup.

We should not expect these experiences to cohere into a single “meaning of life.” Transcendent experiences are plural and incompatible. We should instead cultivate a spirit of gratitude and wonder for the many excellent things the world supplies.

I’m not sure this way of living will ever prove satisfying to most readers. Most people have a powerful sense that there is a Supreme Being over us, attached to eternal truths. Though they try, Dreyfus and Kelly don’t give us a satisfying basis upon which to distinguish the whooshing some people felt at civil rights rallies from the whooshing others felt at Nazi rallies.

But Dreyfus and Kelly might help invert the way we see the world. We have official stories we tell about our culture: each individual is the captain of his own ship; we are all children of God. But in practice, willy-nilly, the way we actually live is at odds with the official story. Our most vibrant institutions are collective, not individual or religious. They are there to create that group whoosh: the sports stadium, the concert hall, the political rally, the theater, the museum and the gourmet restaurant. Even church is often more about the ecstatic whoosh than the theology.

The activities often dismissed as mere diversions are actually central. Real life is more about serial whooshes than coherent meaning.

We can either rebel against this superficial drift, or like Dreyfus and Kelly, go with the flow, acknowledging that the autonomous life is impossible, not seeking totalistic theologies, but instead becoming sensitive participants in the collective whooshings that life offers.

This clarifies the choices before us. This book is also a rejection of the excessive individualism of the past several decades, the emphasis on maximum spiritual freedom. In this, it’s a harbinger of future philosophies to come. Our culture is defined by arenas. Our self-conception just hasn’t caught up.
__________________
BonosSaint is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2010, 09:26 AM   #38
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
BonosSaint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,566
Local Time: 03:05 AM
I became indifferent to what I saw as an indifferent god. I was never convinced by people telling me that it only looked as he was indifferent. I'm practical--if it looks like indifferent, smells like indifferent, tastes like indifferent than I'm pretty sure it might be indifferent. And an indifferent god holds no interest for me except in the abstract. Certainly nothing I would trust nor grant any moral authority.

But I don't expect my experience to be an answer for anyone else. I think the idea of god (or maybe god) is a comfort to many people, a grounding, an exhilaration.

I make no decision on anyone's moral character by what they say they believe. That doesn't tell me very much. Only what they do does.
__________________
BonosSaint is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2011, 11:12 PM   #39
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
the iron horse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: in a glass of CheerWine
Posts: 3,251
Local Time: 02:05 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?


I believe God took the biggest gamble in the universe
when he created beings with a free will.

Please post an alternative to this freedom.
__________________
the iron horse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2011, 11:53 PM   #40
Blue Crack Addict
 
PhilsFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Standing on the shore, facing east.
Posts: 18,890
Local Time: 02:05 AM
I believe his last question addresses that idea. Why call him God if he doesn't do anything?
__________________
PhilsFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2011, 12:39 PM   #41
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Pearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 5,653
Local Time: 03:05 AM
I've been meaning to post this for some time, so here I go:

Quote:
The word "God" has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. I use it sometimes, but I do so sparingly. By misuse, I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what they were talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what it is they are denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, such as "My or our God is the only true God, and your God is false," or Nietzsche's famous statement "God is dead."

The word "God" has become a closed concept...Neither God nor Being nor any other word can define or explain the ineffable reality behind the word, so the only important question is whether the word is a help or a hindrance in enabling you to experience That toward which it points. Does it point beyond itself to that transcendental reality or does it lend itself too easily to becoming no more than an idea in your head that you believe in, a mental idol?"
This is from "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, page 13 - 14, a book I feel explains what God is better than anything I've read.

I don't know if this was the right time to post this, but I've been wanting to do it. And besides, since we are discussing God here, I might as well...
__________________
Pearl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2011, 06:54 PM   #42
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Strong Badia
Posts: 3,430
Local Time: 07:05 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilsFan View Post
I believe his last question addresses that idea. Why call him God if he doesn't do anything?
Who says He doesn't? I think a lot of times we look for God to be the one who stops the world from spinning. A lot of times we miss the fact that we're the ones responsible for stopping the world; He's the one who starts it up again.

I think that the notion of free will plays much more into a vastly undervalued characteristic of God that people don't talk much about -- redemption. Romans 8:28 describes a god who works all things together for good. There is no need for such a god if He merely prevents bad things from happening. But there is indeed a need for such a god if, having allowed us to reap the consequences of our actions, He then can make things right again. Over and over again, the Scriptures describe God as the one who restores things that have gone awry, who makes all things new. As a disgraced slave who became second in the Egyptian empire put it in Genesis 50, "you meant this for evil, but God meant it for good."

Or, as the lead singer of a sometimes-popular Irish rock band put it, "at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that 'as you reap, so you will sow' stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff."
__________________
nathan1977 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2011, 08:08 PM   #43
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
maycocksean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The Most Important State in the Union
Posts: 4,882
Local Time: 02:05 AM
^
__________________
maycocksean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 03:24 PM   #44
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 08:05 AM
It's beneath the noise, below the din:

Quote:
Tennyson's In Memoriam: a farewell to religious certaintyThe lyrics teach that the false certainties of evangelical Christianity are as arid as shrill, negative materialism.

Since Einstein developed his theory of relativity, and Rutherford and Bohr revolutionised physics, our picture of the world has radically changed. Yet no poet, to my knowledge, in any European language, has really explored the implications of all this for the way in which we view the world. Tennyson, by contrast, was immediately alive to the imaginative implications of the revolution in the study of geology at the beginning of the 19th century.


We tend to think it was Charles Darwin and the theory of natural selection that began the process of unbelief, first among 19th century intellectuals, later among the world at large – so that by the end of the century, as GK Chesterton observed, "atheism was the religion of the suburbs". But, really, it was Charles Lyell's pioneering work in geology, and the popularised versions of it published in Robert Chambers's Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), that shook faith.


On the one hand, the readers of Lyell were confronted with concrete scientific evidence that this planet was of infinitely greater antiquity than the Bible would suggest. So bang went any possibility in believing in the literal truth of every word of scripture. At the same time, there came the even more troubling revelation of the fossils, that the species, far from being created whole and finished, as in Milton's evocation in Paradise Lost, in fact came and went. There were many obsolete animal forms revealed in the fossils. What did this revelation do to the hope that not a sparrow falls to the ground unseen by a loving providence?



From scarped cliff and quarried stone
She [Nature] cries, "A thousand types are gone:
I care for nothing, all shall go."


Tennyson imagines Nature looking at "Man, her last work" and being bemused by his faith in a god. The reality of things, as he contemplates the life of prehistoric monsters, is of unthinking violence, and the struggle for the "survival of the fittest" long before the term was coined. The whole history of religion, with Man building "fanes of fruitless prayer" seems pathetic and vain.


A clergyman's son, depressive, heavy-drinking, heavy-smoking, Alfred Tennyson suffered an appalling emotional blow when he lost his best friend Arthur Hallam on 15 September, 1833. Many of Hallam's friends, including Gladstone, who had been all but in love with him at Eton, had seen him as the white hope of his generation. In a series of lyrics, written piecemeal over a number of years, Tennyson confronted not merely his personal bereavement, in the loss of his friend, but the collective bereavement felt by all thinking people of that generation as they said farewell to the religious certainties of the past.


In Memoriam is sometimes thought of, by those who have not read it, as a cosy, or sentimental work. It is the reverse. Although it is so firmly located in the time and place in which it was written, it is absolutely of relevance today. It almost beggars belief that there are still "creationists" in English and American schools who wish to teach young students that the world is only 6,000 years old. Yet it is surely equally staggering that so many clever people suppose that these scientific facts somehow dispose of the ancient mysteries – of love, of moral obligation, of the all but universal sense of God – which have been part of all civilised discourse in every part of the world.


This dialectic is at the centre of Tennyson's great poem. On the one hand, he confronts the raw pain of losing the false certitudes still peddled today by creationists. On the other, with immense delicacy and intelligence, he listens to the intuitive and what some would think of as "female" part of his imagination. He recounts dreams, idle thoughts on his walks, glimpses of nature, as well as the common experiences of bereavement – the sudden, awful remembrance that the beloved is no longer there.


In Memoriam has been my companion for all my grownup life. I have found it a good "self-help" book in bereavement. And of all the 19th century books about faith and loss of faith – John Henry Newman's Grammar of Assent, Ernest Renan's Vie de Jesus, Leo Tolstoy's Confession and The Gospel in Brief, I have found it "answered", both the condition of despair and doubt, which must invade any sensitive soul contemplating an apparently pitiless universe and the raw pain of bereavement; and, yet, which acknowledges the reality of religious experience. The intuitive sense that there is something "behind the veil, behind the veil" is equally honestly confronted. Though "something sealed" the lips of the evangelist when it came to explaining or proving Christ's divinity, it is not purely contemptible to believe where "we cannot prove".


Tennyson seems to be the patron saint of the wishy washies, which is perhaps why I admire him so much, not only as a poet, but as a man. But what the robust, sharp lyrics of In Memoriam teach me, every time I return to them, is that the false certainties of evangelical Christianity are as arid as the shrill negativism of the materialist outlook. Truth comes to us mediated by human love. That message Tennyson found from experience, as well as from his frequent rereading of Dante. He had nothing but scorn for religious controversialists of his day – whether Romanisers or Prots – "To cleave a creed in sects and cries/To change the bearing of a word"… But it was not merely wishy-washy wishful thinking that made his trust in the experience of love.



The love that rose on stronger wings,
Unpalsied when he met with Death,
Is Comrade of the lesser faith
That sees the course of human things.
__________________

__________________
financeguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:05 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com