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Old 12-31-2004, 07:31 PM   #31
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If it weren't New Year's Eve, and a delicious enchilada dinner with my husband weren't imminent, I could explain my views more clearly than I can now.


oops



Dinner is served. I'll be back later.
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Old 12-31-2004, 07:39 PM   #32
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I don't believe in God.

There are dictators that won't allow their own people to be free.
The leading cause of death for pregnant women in the USA is murder, most of the time by their husbands.
AIDs is taking hundreds of thousands, millions, of lives, in Africa every week/month/year
People commit suicide at an alarming rate
There are countless homeless people in every city on Earth
People kill innocent people in the name of their religion on a daily basis. More people kill in the name of their religion than for any other cause.
9/11 happened
This tsunami happened
Over a thousand young people have died in Iraq

To scratch the tip of the iceburg. And I'm supposed to believe in God? No thanks.

I believe in no religion. I believe in a greater being, but not one with any kind of conciousness, no deity, nothing even close. What I believe in is more of a spiritual thing, a lifestream kind of thing. When a person dies, their soul goes into this lifestream, and meshes, mixes, into all of the other departed souls. Then, when someone is born, their soul is taken from this pool of souls, and because 1/1000 of that soul could be taken from the remnants of 1000 different souls, every single soul will be unique. And if any one departed soul's portion of this new soul is larger than than the other departed souls' portions...that's re-incarnation. I hope I haven't confused you all. But that's what I believe in. A lifestream, where souls begin and end. And it has no conciousness, it doesn't cause anything that happens on Earth, it's not even aware of anything that happens because it has no conciousness.
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Old 12-31-2004, 07:44 PM   #33
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From the perspective of a person who does believe in a kind and loving God--

I'm not surprised by events like the tsunami. The world was not created by God in a fallen state -- it became that way because God is not the only force at work in nature and creation. God's plan is always for life to prevail, but His are not the only purposes. The Bible teaches that the Devil seeks to thwart God's purposes, and is a thief, liar, and murderer.

My father, a preacher, says it best -- if you attribute even half of the things to the devil that you ordinarily attribute to God, you might begin to get a better sense of how the world works.

And has it occurred to people that the sign of God's presence is not in the tragedy, but in the survival? More people could have died than did -- this is not in any way to minimize the shocking loss of life, but to say that God may have been working alongside those who survived.

So far as karma is concerned, it's my view that the only force stronger than karma is grace. ("She moves outside of karma.") It may have been Grace working that allowed anyone to survive at all, because in reality, considering the pace of the tsunami, the time of day, and all of that, then more people probably SHOULD have died than did.

IMHO, we give God too much credit when bad things happen, and too little when good.
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Old 12-31-2004, 09:13 PM   #34
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I do not believe that God 'caused' this to happen nor that it was a part of his/her/its plan. This was a NATURAL disaster, easily explained by science, I do not believe God played a part in it. From what I believe, ever since Jesus God has essentially sat back and is watching over us.
What she said.

Angela
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Old 12-31-2004, 09:27 PM   #35
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From the perspective of a person who does believe in a kind and loving God--

I'm not surprised by events like the tsunami. The world was not created by God in a fallen state -- it became that way because God is not the only force at work in nature and creation. God's plan is always for life to prevail, but His are not the only purposes. The Bible teaches that the Devil seeks to thwart God's purposes, and is a thief, liar, and murderer.
What always interested me about this explanation of how the world works is, why does God allow Devil to exist in the first place?
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Old 12-31-2004, 10:31 PM   #36
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Before you go on, may I suggest some study of the subject on your part. And after that, years of thought and further study. It's so much more complicated than you think. If you prefer to keep your understanding simple, fine, but please don't dismiss the concept because you don't want to know more about it.
The tone of this is condescending, and I apologize for it.
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Old 12-31-2004, 11:46 PM   #37
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What always interested me about this explanation of how the world works is, why does God allow Devil to exist in the first place?
Lately, after taking some theology courses and studying the creation narratives, I've come to believe that there is no such "Devil" as a "Satan" that is the opposite of God. I think it's more of a cold-is-the-absence-of-heat type thing. There is only God and not-God.
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Old 01-01-2005, 02:52 AM   #38
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there isn't anything bad that happens because of the will of god, god promised to us he will bring HIS reign at the right time, and when this will happen all the innocent people will come back to life, the suffering, the evil and the death will be flush away. everytime when something bad happens we must make our faith stronger and stronger, because it's the only salvation way, god didn't create us like toys, he created us because of love, and we must believe in what he's saying to us. don't give any guilt to god, trust his word, even when it seems to be the hardest thing to do, we must never doubt about god, never
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Old 01-01-2005, 03:03 AM   #39
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What always interested me about this explanation of how the world works is, why does God allow Devil to exist in the first place?

the devil threw a challenge to god rebelling against him, he said that he had the same power to take his place, and that god was false and stuff like that. but god didn't cancel him because otherwise the other angels would have believed that the devil was right, but he will cancel the devil in the apocalypse, the devil knows that he's gonna be destructed, and the evil that you see it's only the devil's fury, all the catastrophes happen because of the devil. but god will resurrect all the deaths in the days of the apocalypse, he will make all the things clear, there will be no evil more, no death, no sorrow or pain, there will be only god's reign and an eternal life...........this isn't fiction, or preacher's speeches.......this is the truth, the only one
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Old 01-01-2005, 03:28 AM   #40
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Well, Irvine was looking for personal reactions, so I won't go on about scripture and what I'm supposed to believe.

I do believe in God, (or at least, used to) but my belief of It has been shaped and reshaped over the last few years many times and I still don't have a fixed idea of it. I don't think thats particularly wrong, as God is so much bigger than my biggest idea to begin with, should It exist, and so, why shouldn't my idea of It constantly change. I have never been given a direct experience of It, I can't speak in anything more than intellectual concepts.

But above everything else, I'm an emotional person. I can tell you all that the last few days have depressed me terribly, as with many others, and more so with my entire being screaming out that there is no God. I neither have the strength nor the will to refute those emotions. Its the age-old classic notion that 'if there is so much pain in the world, how can there be a God?', but its perhaps even worse, because I have always tried to make the idea of God so flexible. I have never believed in a God that judges or tests, nor have I ever bought the idea that God isn't in control of all things. It is God, if It can't control everything, then what on Earth, or Universe, is Its function? I don't believe in the Devil or that It is the cause of all pain, but rather, I believe that if there is a supreme being, this being is in charge of both love and hate, joy and pain. C.S Lewis used to say that he didn't think that God particularly wanted Human Beings to be happy, but that It wanted them to love and be loved - 'to grow up'. God was therefore, in charge of the pain in our lives as well as our joy. I did, for a while, subscribe to the idea of Karma - that we do reap what we sow, whether its in this life or the next... but ultimately; that is not good enough for me.

That is what is perhaps, most disheartening and angering for me; no idea or concept of God is good enough to provide an explanation for the sheer loss of life. I hate it. I fear the idea of Death even more and the idea of God disheartening as patronizing.

Ant.
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Old 01-01-2005, 03:57 AM   #41
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This whole thread disturbs me, frankly. There ARE such things as natural disasters. I don't perceive that notions of God's will or a Godly life as lived by people on earth, should be tied to natural events in this way. We know why the tsunami happened, it happened because of a shift in plates under the ocean floor. A similar shift happened last week south of Tasmania but since it moved in a different manner, nobody was affected.

Storms and droughts also bring their own afflictions. Asteroids can and may hit the planet. None of these things are directly God's doing, and I don't think they should have any implications for our belief in a loving God. The only real significance I guess is how people deal with events that come along.

I guess, simplistic as it may be, I subscribe to the idea that the world is a stage, and God may have put the stage there and us on it, but he doesn't write the script.
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Old 01-01-2005, 04:08 AM   #42
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It's interesting to see so many different ideas about God and life. I've already posted my personal response but I wanted to just add this.

Perhaps our understanding of these things is skewed by our limited perspective. If the concept of God means anything, surely he must be far beyond the comprehension of our little brains. Just like the back of a beautiful cross-stich can look ugly and chaotic so our perspective of life may only be a small part of a yet to be completed work. I remain confident that one day all this will make sense.
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Old 01-01-2005, 06:32 AM   #43
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Originally posted by Kieran McConville

I guess, simplistic as it may be, I subscribe to the idea that the world is a stage, and God may have put the stage there and us on it, but he doesn't write the script.
I agree, very well said

The apocalyptic notion that the tsunami is some sort of vengeful act perpetrated by God is so sick and twisted. I know you didn't mean to suggest that in any way Irvine, but I'm sure someone somewhere in this world might actually believe that way.

It is natural to question God in a time like this, I happen to think he wants us to.

We can and will see God reflected in the outpouring of help and in the glimmers of hope in an unbelievable tragedy like this. He has given us the hearts and the minds and the love to deal w/ tragedy. That's just how I prefer to look at it.

It is a struggle to find peace w/ tragedy in the world and in our personal lives, if you believe in God it's probably the ultimate struggle. But I do think it is possible.
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Old 01-01-2005, 06:48 AM   #44
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Originally posted by Kieran McConville
This whole thread disturbs me, frankly. There ARE such things as natural disasters. I don't perceive that notions of God's will or a Godly life as lived by people on earth, should be tied to natural events in this way. We know why the tsunami happened, it happened because of a shift in plates under the ocean floor. A similar shift happened last week south of Tasmania but since it moved in a different manner, nobody was affected.

Storms and droughts also bring their own afflictions. Asteroids can and may hit the planet. None of these things are directly God's doing, and I don't think they should have any implications for our belief in a loving God. The only real significance I guess is how people deal with events that come along.

I guess, simplistic as it may be, I subscribe to the idea that the world is a stage, and God may have put the stage there and us on it, but he doesn't write the script.




but God created the stage that just swallowed up 200,000 of his actors. this is why natural disasters must be viewed in a different light than things like genocide or war or whatever. this is a flaw in the design of the thing itself, not what people have done with the thing.

if you take the view that the universe, and necessarily all things in it from emotions like love to supernovas to tsunamis to the coconut falling from the tree, was created with love and logic, then natural disasters are directly linked to that love and logic -- what we call God -- and we must then hold that responsible. storms and drought and earthquakes are, therefore, God's doing. the asteroid that will one day hit the planet was, theoretically, sent by God. this is the train of logic that i don't necessarily subscribe to, but it strikes me as 100% consistent if one is to believe that there is such a thing as God's plan and that God created the universe. the tsunami was directly God's doing. to call things like natural disasters the work of Satan, or some such bullshit, is to make pathetic excuses. and it is precisely because of consistency and logic that i always arrive at agnosticism.

basically, if God has ordered and designed the universe, there can be no such thing as the inexplicable. this, however, strikes me as 100% inexplicable, and i don't think i'd buy any explanation offered to me for such mass tragedy even if it came from the lips of this God itself. it's things like this, combined with silly insistancies upon specific checks and balances of human behavior so righteously delivered by the devout, that make me want to reject this particular God -- if this is his world (and natural disasters are different from human-on-human tragedy) and these are his rules (as the literalists of the Bible so insist), then the moral thing to say is that i don't want any part of it. what drives me crazy are silly self-affirmations of "at least it wasn't me" to "we need to realize our common humanity" and "life each day like it's your last." these Hallmark-style, gooey statements make me want to vomit.

i guess i really want to hear from the devout, literal, highly articulate Christians on FYM. i need to hear defenses, not excuses, of God in the face of something like this. how can you continue to subscribe to a belief system that logically indicts the Creator as the cause of mass death and suffering?

gosh, hope i'm making some sense. quite a night last night. happy 2005, y'all. donate to the Red Cross.
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Old 01-01-2005, 06:51 AM   #45
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just want to add that i'm not trying to point fingers -- i really do want (and need) to hear other viewpoints.
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