Christian Theological/Philosophical Book Club discussion

37 views
The Forum - Debate Religion > Divinity and Attributes of God

Comments Showing 1-50 of 136 (136 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3

message 1: by Joshua (last edited Mar 01, 2016 03:01PM) (new)

Joshua Okello | 29 comments Dear fellow Christian theists, I have a question and it goes; what are some of the modern ways of defending Divine Command Theory a midst all evil that exists today?


message 2: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Great discussion Joshua.

Some info:
Equates the GOOD with whatever the god or deity commands.
According to DIVINE COMMAND THEORY

rape can be good
child molesting can be good
lies can be good
theft can be good
slaughter of thousands of innocent people can be good
All that matters is that the "god" commands it.

People claim that GOD has COMMANDED them to do X

Therefore doing X is a morally good act.

X can be ANY ACT AT ALL.

ANY ACT AT ALL can be good if GOD COMMANDS it!!!
__________________________________

End of info. lets discuss.


message 3: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle The problem is people keep abusing the terms: God, Good, moral acts - and they assume THEY have a better purpose to existence and decency than a loving deity who protects His children.

Before we can even begin: We have endless questions to straighten. Who gets to determine GOOD?
Who gets to determine GOD?

This would be a fun game to play with every conceivable religion. (or even atheism).


message 4: by Rod (last edited Mar 02, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Rod Horncastle I'll have a go at the basic scenario:

"People claim that GOD has COMMANDED them to do X"
Never trust people. That's a given.
How do you prove God has commanded anything? Tricky.
God often commands Justice and Wrath. So... or worse, He allows people to get their own worldview thrown back at them: fair justice.
God can also command tests: like with Job and or Elijah:
But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.


"Therefore doing X is a morally good act."
Here's the problem: who says God always commands pleasant morally good acts? Morally GOOD? YES indeed. But justice and protection are NOT nice. But in an evil world - they are good.
But this world is only a starter kit. Eternity will be GOOD.
God does morally good - NOT US.

"X can be ANY ACT AT ALL."
Why assume any? God has character and standards - only an idiot theologian would assume a defined God has no definition of purpose. Of course, Non-christian religions, can do whatever the hell they want.
So, there is the flaw: X cannot be any act at all... for anyone. Even Hosea had a purpose.

2When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.”
3So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4And the LORD said to him, "Name him Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.…

"ANY ACT AT ALL can be good if GOD COMMANDS it!!!"
Good for WHAT? Good in itself? NO.
Thankfully, everything God commands has purpose and later good.

I'm all for Divine Command. The problem is people don't understand the question/theory. They put the cart before the horse.


message 5: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments God told me everyone should send $10 to a guy named Lee Harmon. It is your moral duty, the Divine Command, and it therefore would be evil to send only $5.


message 6: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle :cD

Rule #1.
Never trust people.


message 7: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Good rule, Rod. It makes the point for me: Divine Command Theory, while interesting as a theological exercise, not only has no practical value, it has the potential to greatly disrupt civilization. Witness guys like Rubio and Cruz trying to get elected President on an evangelical ticket.


message 8: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle People should know their gods better. Always go to the source.


message 9: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Okello | 29 comments Thank you so much Lee and Rod for your insights and ideas. With due respect to your world-view (no religion or political stand), Do you believe that a divine being that is self caused must and in himself be inherently good? If this divine being is inherently good, can we say that He is the standard of all morality?

Now God has endowed us with free will to chose what is good or bad but that is a whole new topic, will we be wrong to say that this divine being who holds his attributes infinitum also holds the standard of goodness?


message 10: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments I'm not sure there is something inherent in self-causation that would define goodness or divinity, or even necessitate certain "attributes". All of this is pure speculation until we carefully define what divine means, what good means, what attributes such a being has, etc.

Which begs the purpose. It's not so much that God IS good but that he DEFINES goodness, right? I mean, if Jesus danced naked in the street, we'd all be frolicking about in our birthdays suits.


message 11: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Lee's partially correct (FReAkiN' WoW). You get a bronze star.

Goodness comes from God. He indeed defines what is good. What a relief. God IS the standard of morality - but we are not God. We can only make a foolish attempt to barely keep up.
And God is NOT human - He is a creator, death to him is just moving a person from phase 1 to phase 2. For God to kill is not the same as us killing each other. We cannot create.

Thanks for this important issue Joshua. I often have atheists bring this up. We need to ponder it before hand.


message 12: by Xdyj (last edited Mar 02, 2016 07:57PM) (new)

Xdyj Now that "good" is defined as the command of God, the tricky thing would be to decide what exactly is His command. For issues of that have been written about in the bible you can use the bible, but how about those that are not explicitly written there? Are you allowed to use analogous reasoning? Can you follow the judgement of a theologian you like? Or do you follow your gut feeling? Or just pray till there is an explicit divine revelation? Should human reason be used in the investigation of divine will? If yes, how?


message 13: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Well done Xdyj.

Good isn't defined as the command of God. Only the Endgame is necessarily good.

YES, what exactly is God's command? To which people group? AT which time? In which location? Dealing with which issue in particular?

It could be simple, but it's not: "Love God, and love your neighbor."

Love THE GOD, and Love those who will be His children (which we don't know - and many don't know who THE GOD is). Most don't even have the slightest idea what Love is. Or even worse - what GOD'S love is.

Best not to follow your gut feeling. Or blindly trust any theologian. Continually go back to God's word. (Evil will do what evil does).


message 14: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Okello | 29 comments Great comments and I like the interaction so far. I will direct you not towards putting your trust in a theologian but only in the word of God. The word is in the Holy Scripture and God can also communicate to us through revelations.

I am also not ruling out the idea of using our cognitive ability to know the truth. God designed us and endowed us with wisdom and intelligence. Since we were created in the image of God, we can therefore conclude that God has infinite intelligence and we can use the same to know Him more. However, as mere mortals, we cannot have the same intelligence as God's or else we will be gods ourselves. For a being to be God, He must hold his attributes in the greatest scale beyond any other being.

On Morality: I will say that a being that is inherently good which in this case is God has created with perfection and we cannot add anything to make His work more perfect than what it is today. We also need to understand that God has blessed us with free will to chose whether we want to be good or bad. But can we be good for goodness sake? My answer is NO! We must be good because we want to be like a being who holds this attribute in the greatest scale possible and that is God.

To whom is God's command directed? God's command is directed to any being with rational, logical, reasoning, intelligence, wisdom and that can only be human beings. The word of God is not for one tribe, or a nation, or a social class, or a continent. It is for all God's children.


message 15: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments God's command was to fly a plane into the World Trade Center towers. It is therefore good. Does everybody agree?


message 16: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Okello | 29 comments I DO NOT!


message 17: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Okello | 29 comments Do you? Lee?


message 18: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Lee why do you Assume and put forth a claim that God's command was to fly a plane anywhere? This is a good example of a nutjob or 10 following their gut-feelings based on: Pride - and bad theology... and zero understanding of Religious truth.

IF God said to fly a plane into the world trade centers: Should it agree with the rest of Holy Scripture? If we can't trust Holy Scripture - then everybody do whatever the hell you want. Just don't complain when it bites you in the Bummy.


message 19: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle But for the sake of conversation:

Lets move this over to the Israelite attack on the land of Canaan.-

Quote:
CONQUEST OF CANAAN. Various arguments have been adduced to justify the conquest of Canaan, and the extermination of its inhabitants by the Israelites; as, that the land had been allotted to Shem and his sons after the flood, and the sons of Ham were usurpers; that they first assaulted to the Jews; that Abraham had taken possession of the land ages before; that the Canaanites were akin to the Egyptians, and implicated in their guilt and punishment as oppressors of the Hebrews. Whatever justice there may be in any of these reasons, they are not those which the Bible assigns. The only true warrant of the Jews was, the special command of the Lord of all. They were impressively taught that the wickedness of those nations was the reason of their punishment, which the forbearance of God had long delayed, and which was designed as a warning to them and all mankind against idolatry and its kindred sins. It was these sins the Jews were to abhor and exterminate; they were to act as agents of God's justice, and not for the gratification of their own avarice, anger, or lust, the spoil and the captives being all devoted to destruction. The narrative of the conquest is given in Numbers 1:1-4:49 Joshua 1:1-24:33 Jude 1:1-36. The Canaanites were not wholly destroyed. Many of them escaped to other lands; and fragments of almost all the nations remained in Judea, subject to the Israelites, but snares to their feet and thorns in their sides. It must be observed also, that full notice was previously given them to quit their forfeited possessions; a solemn writ of ejectment had been issued by the great Proprietor, and if they resisted, they incurred the consequences.

Was this Godly command GOOD?

IF necessary equals good - then YES. If justice equals good - then YES.
Most people are really asking: "Is it kind and pleasant filled with blessings?" NO, but tolerance of evil is never GOOD.


message 20: by Xdyj (new)

Xdyj Rod wrote: "Well done Xdyj.

Good isn't defined as the command of God. Only the Endgame is necessarily good.

YES, what exactly is God's command? To which people group? AT which time? In which location? Dealin..."


My question is, you can "consult God's words" on issues on which God's command have been explicitly stated in the bible, but how about issues that did not exist in ancient times, like how one should define intellectual property or who one should side with in the conflict between Israel and Palestine? And how about issues the bible mentioned but did not provide an unambiguous answer, like whether it is preferable for one to get married or to remain celibate?


message 21: by Rod (last edited Mar 03, 2016 01:29PM) (new)

Rod Horncastle I believe the Bible does discuss all those issues Xdyj.

WE are in a fallen world - intellectual property is doomed. If you have 2 coats: share. Don't build up treasures on earth.

Israel and Palestine: 2 non-Christian nations fighting over dirt. Christians AND Humanists agree they should simply share and love their brothers and sisters. But it is a fallen world...endless war.

If you want to get married: Paul says "Get married".
If you don't want to get married: Paul says "Don't get married, but if you burn with desire - then save yourself by getting married".

Good points xdyj. I totally agree with where you are coming from. The problem is the CHURCH (whatever the hell that is at times?) keeps creating stupid traditions and power doctrines to oppress its very gullible NON-Bible reading people.


message 22: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Okello | 29 comments Rod, that is a good example up there. Xdyj, in one of my comments, I mentioned this: "On Morality: I will say that a being that is inherently good which in this case is God has created with perfection and we cannot add anything to make His work more perfect than what it is today. We also need to understand that God has blessed us with FREE WILL to chose whether we want to be good or bad. But CAN WE BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE? My answer is NO! We must be good because we want to be like a being who holds this attribute in the greatest scale possible and that is God. "

Paul in New Testament talks about celibacy.
The bible says that you cannot steal what another person owns and this includes intellectual rights. If it is not yours then respect it.

When it comes to siding with one party during conflict, I will chose to be diplomatic and raise the banner of peace.

The Bible also summarizes it all into one sentence: Love your neighbour as you love yourself. That covers the past, the present and the future.


message 23: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Joshua comment:
". But CAN WE BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE? My answer is NO!"

Outside of God - there really is no goodness. Just dying meaningless humanity with fleeting passions.


message 24: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments There must be a reason you guys reject that God told people to fly into the Trade Center. Is it because you reject their God? Are you anticipating that anyone not sharing your beliefs will accept your God, with what he says to do?

Since we are basically defining God=good, that means that everyone, everywhere, who believes they are doing the will of God are equally justified in thinking they are doing good.


message 25: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Okello | 29 comments Lee you said and I am quoting " Is it because you reject their God?" whose God? Say it. We only know one God! Maker of heaven and earth, the one who sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins. Is there any other God other than Him?

There can only be one truth and that truth is Jesus who is also the way to our divine God.

I am going to quote you again "Since we are basically defining God=good, that means that everyone, everywhere, who believes they are doing the will of God are equally justified in thinking they are doing good. "

A belief is not a justified truth and we need no proof to to defend our premise on belief. With that said, I can believe that New York is in Africa. That is what I believe and I do not need to prove it. It is simply a belief. Then there is JUSTIFIED, TRUE BELIEF or knowledge and that is where we need proof and justification.

What am I trying to say here? The fact that one believes that they are doing something good does not mean that it is good.


message 26: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Are you saying that you can prove you worship the one true God, Joshua? Because if you can't, there are plenty of extremist Muslims just as convinced as you that they do.

All I'm saying is that for civilization's sake, we must let go of our beliefs and use a more universally-accepted measure of goodness and morality. We cannot define God=good and then mandate a particular God. And we most certainly cannot mandate a particular interpretation of that God's Holy Word, or we'll argue about such things as whether blacks and women and gays are second-class citizens.

To do so would be to condone the events of 9-11, or the holocaust, or ancient Hebrew genocidal practices.


message 27: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Lee being funny:
"All I'm saying is that for civilization's sake, we must let go of our beliefs and use a more universally-accepted measure of goodness and morality."

Didn't the majorities keep black people slaves for centuries? Best NEVER to trust anything Universally accepted (or even slightly majority rules).
Without Jesus and Biblical Christianity there is NO measure of goodness and morality: even Buddhists and Muslims cannot define clearly their gods desires and plan - or even methods.

You cannot meet in the middle on these issues.

But once again; this is a fallen world - expect the worst. One man's sister/daughter is another man's prostitute - some women even help and make use of this system... for the greater good. Or like Islam: a man can have 4 wives according to Allah.

For Civilizations sake we must STAND UP for our Biblical Christianity. Blacks and Women are very safe and appreciated. The homosexual agenda is a whole nother issue though. There are a few things God does NOT appreciate. Take that up with HIM (and JESUS!)


message 28: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Lee's biggest concerns:
"To do so would be to condone the events of 9-11, or the holocaust, or ancient Hebrew genocidal practices. "

Why would a Christian condone 9-11? Like dealing with Baal and Jezebel --- A Christian society would put an end to that crap.
However, this world will never have a Christian society (not until Jesus is the King of Kings and established in HIS eternal Kingdom). So our fight isn't over dirt and civil-liberties --- we are fighting for people's very souls and eternal lives.

Of course we agree with what God told the Hebrews to do (in those very specific instances). Only a theological idiot would assume those issues applied today and to other random groups of people.

Lee, are you a theological IDIOT? I sure hope not... but?

Sadly, this is what happens when liberals have NOTHING to stand on, nothing to look forward to, no god worth following. Just humanistic despair and failure. Lee how do you deal with the endless frustration and failure?

The Biblical God/Jesus is looking better than ever. EVerything has meaning and purpose. All is explained perfectly.


message 29: by Lee (last edited Mar 03, 2016 05:24PM) (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Rod, are you not condoning theocracy? If so, who gets to pick the God we all worship?

IMO, you are the perfect example of how horrible our world would be if a particular religious brand (such as your fundy version of Christianity) were allowed to define our morals. I can no more condone your homophobia than you condone black slavery, though the Bible was used just as effectively to justify it too.


message 30: by Xdyj (last edited Mar 03, 2016 06:26PM) (new)

Xdyj Joshua wrote: " we cannot add anything to make His work more perfect than what it is today."

Sorry I'm a bit confused. Everything that exists is created by God, so do you mean everything that exists is perfect? Or were you only talking about the bible?

Joshua wrote: "The Bible also summarizes it all into one sentence: Love your neighbour as you love yourself. That covers the past, the present and the future. "

How should one define "love"? What kind of behavior can be considered loving? What is the line between love and indulgence?

Rod wrote: "even Buddhists and Muslims cannot define clearly their gods desires and plan - or even methods."

Some of them believe that they can though. Have you read any jihadi literature? They have some interesting theological arguments there.

Lee wrote: "Rod, are you not condoning theocracy? If so, who gets to pick the God we all worship?

IMO, you are the perfect example of how horrible our world would be if a particular religious brand (such as y..."


I think the problem here is whether one accept or reject religious pluralism, and whether or not people of other faiths are just as entitled to their beliefs as Christians.

p.s. just to be clear, I do not subscribe to divine command theory myself, being an atheist & materialist. I'm just trying to understand what other ppl believe & how they carry out moral reasoning. I hope I'm not offending anyone here.


message 31: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle I'm glad you are here Xdyj. Sometimes atheists ask the best questions and go right for the heart of an issue. WE Christians are sometimes too biased - can't see the trees through the forest.

I spent years answering all of my concerns about Christianity. Then I started chatting with 1000's of Atheists and started answering all of THEIR questions as well. For my satisfaction - often nothing will satisfy some of them. I have met a few brilliant atheists though - they usually become very honest agnostics: that's wonderfully fair.


message 32: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Lee comment:
"Rod, are you not condoning theocracy? If so, who gets to pick the God we all worship?"

The only person who can chose and rule is God himself. By human standards Atheists are no better than Buddhists or Homosexual Transvestite Vampire Baby-killing liberal Hippies. Mostly Satan gets to pick. As we've seen.

Lee again,
". I can no more condone your homophobia than you condone black slavery, though the Bible was used just as effectively to justify it too."

The Bible WASN'T used effectively to justify it - few bothered to read it and understand it. Nothing but people treating other people crappy (our very brothers and sisters in Christ).
Homosexuality - well, that's not the same as being a black slave. The Bible says this a few times. You should read it sometime - that bit about abominations and lusty immorality: Not a black issue at all.

Lee, SOMEBODY needs to define our morals. Or Satan ends up doing it. Tolerating sin isn't a good way of dealing with morals at all.


message 33: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle "Rod wrote: "even Buddhists and Muslims cannot define clearly their gods desires and plan - or even methods."

Xdyj asked:
"Some of them believe that they can though. Have you read any jihadi literature? They have some interesting theological arguments there."

They sure DO believe they can. They haven't even begun to prove it to me though. They mostly start crying like a baby when I don't blindly accept that their Quran is a miracle sent straight from heaven.
They do get upset when I mention allah only bothered to name one woman in all of the Quran. They refuse to discuss Allah's eternal tortures in hell, They don't like to discuss heavenly houris (Whores) as they try to defend Allah's understanding of love.

I agree, Muslims and Buddhists try to put forward some interesting arguments. But they easily get caught lying to themselves and us. They are actually embarrassed of their religions and their deities (or Cosmic oneness of Buddhism).
I've read over 30 books on Islam, and a few on Buddhism. Fun stuff.

Xdyj, there's absolutely nothing you could say that would offend me. I've dealt with 1000's of militant Atheists and Muslims and Cultish charismatics who have threatened all that is Holy and Good in my life, and family, and God. I sadly laugh at it all.
And I do love a challenge.


message 34: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Rod: Lee, SOMEBODY needs to define our morals. Or Satan ends up doing it. Tolerating sin isn't a good way of dealing with morals at all.

Of course. Civilization works when we come together in compromise and develop laws which protect the rights and well-being of each person...including your rights to worship and believe as you wish. But surely you see the havoc that would result if everyone decided to ignore civilized law and let their interpretation of God's law rule supreme. We'd have abortion clinic bombings and worse, right?


message 35: by Xdyj (last edited Mar 03, 2016 11:18PM) (new)

Xdyj Rod wrote: ""Rod wrote: "even Buddhists and Muslims cannot define clearly their gods desires and plan - or even methods."

Xdyj asked:
"Some of them believe that they can though. Have you read any jihadi liter..."


Idk, the ppl you described seem to be merely confused "moderates". You might find texts written by classical islamist theorists like Qutb, Khomeini etc. or contemporary jihadis more interesting as they all attempted to defend and refine divine command theory. :)


message 36: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Okello | 29 comments I have to say that I am learning a lot from this thread. You guys are amazing and great debaters.

So here are my response to some of the questions above:

Who is God? - Ravi Zacharias in his book “Why Suffering” explains that “In the Christian Worldview, He is the non-physical, intelligent, moral, and personal first cause of the universe who, in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, revealed himself to mankind.”

God - “For by him, all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, weather thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17).

Free Will - Free will is the aptitude of proxies to make choices unimpeded by certain prevailing factors such as metaphysical, social, physical, mental, religious, ethical, scientific or legal constraints.

Love - Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (Corinthians 13:4-8)

Now skeptics have always raised the issue of the problem of evil and it goes like this:

There is God
Evil exist
Therefore there is no God.

Based on the theory of non contradiction, this probabilistic problem could hold but let us find out why this problem fails:

Free Will - What is the importance of free will if we are not given a platform to exercise it? If we have been blessed with choices but not granted the opportunity to pick then how does that benefit us? What if God ruled out evil and gave us free will to choose serving him or him alone, is that not fallacious? For free will to be fully experienced by human beings, God had to allow evil to coexist with his goodness for us to fully express our freedom of choice. We can choose to serve God and be good to our fellow infinite beings or chose to be evil and inflict all kinds of pain in other people’s lives. Or chose to love one another (See definition of love above)

For free will to be fully experienced there must be a rational and moral being infinitum. This Supreme Being must be good beyond measure and his judgements must be the most sound and ethical and this being should be of and in itself self-sufficient. Free will is therefore one of his major attributes that defines His Omni-benevolence. According to this, God then is the ultimate holder of the best moral acts there is.

As finite beings, we are constrained in time, space, intelligence, wisdom and insight. But the transcendent and omnibenevolent God sees the end from the beginning and advantageously orders history so that His devotions are ultimately achieved through human free decisions.

This is a proof of a proposition which involves the demonstration that its negation entails a contradiction. Since a contradiction cannot be true, whatever entails it cannot be true. For example:
1. A proposition P is proved by taking as premise the negation of P and demonstrating that, in conjunction with previously established axioms, a contradiction follows. This is also called indirect proof.
2. The negation of proposition P is proved by taking P as a premise and demonstrating that, in conjunction with previously established axioms. A contradiction follows.
This would be presented in calculus as {(~P.Q)=>R} and {(~P.Q)=>~R} are provable and Q is a conjunction of an established premise, then a contradiction (R.~R) follows. This suffices for a reduction proof of P. This is the most abused principle in philosophy especially by skeptics who hold that simply because there is evil, pain and suffering; therefore God does not exist. This is an obvious FALSEHOOD rather than a contradiction since the opposite of God is not pain. The fact that humanity is going through pain does not mean that God is not there.


If God had ruled out evil in the world, and denied us free will, we would have been his puppets that he can control at his own will. He would have been marshalling our thoughts and holding it captive therefore no freedom of expression especially in terms of thoughts and actions. But since we are not God's puppets he gave us the freedom to chose to do right or wrong!


message 37: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Rod, in all of your arguments, you seem to think the Bible's instructions are crystal clear, nothing to discuss. The truth is, there are as many interpretations of the Bible as there are readers.

Homosexuality is actually a perfect example. I spent seven long posts a while back explaining scripture's stance regarding homosexuality, but you ignored it. To me, what the Bible says is crystal clear; to you, it's crystal clear that it says the exact opposite. We differ in opinion about what the Bible says, can you understand that? We cannot use the Bible as some sort of moral law until we learn to compromise, and to compromise, we need to share a basic law of morals. It's a circular puzzle.

The Bible is not a book of answers, it is a book of questions helping us form our answers.


message 38: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Nope, bible IS a book of answers.


message 39: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Okello | 29 comments Lee, where do we source our morality then if you say we cannot use the Holy Bible? You also refute the approach of morality from love. So can we run to the government to give us morals? mmmm looking out how governments operate, I will not affirm that. So my question to you is, can you please teach us the source of moral since according to you, not God, not the Bible and not love can give us morals.


message 40: by Joshua (last edited Mar 04, 2016 07:56AM) (new)

Joshua Okello | 29 comments Rod and I have been offering a solution while Lee, Xdyj are putting nothing on the table. You guys just attack our arguments yet you are offering no solution at all. We have presented:
1. The Bible
2. Love
3. God
4. Logic and reason
5. Morality and its source

But I have not read in the whole list what you guys are presenting. What is your thesis in this debate? empty attacks without a solution to present? Well then it is going to be a long talk. Present us with something we can consider and analyze.


message 41: by Rod (last edited Mar 04, 2016 09:41AM) (new)

Rod Horncastle Lee's comment:
". I spent seven long posts a while back explaining scripture's stance regarding homosexuality, but you ignored it."

Bhahahahaha!
I didn't ignore it - I couldn't stop laughing at it. Not only do you have to desperately Promote Gay sex, you have to endlessly attempt to undo the verses AGAINST Gay sex. You haven't even begun Lee.
But i'm all for having a thread fully about that. My Dogs gay - maybe we can get him to heaven.

If only the Apostle Paul would have said, "I was at a gay orgy last night, it was beautiful and blessed, God smiled down on it and a big THUMBS UP came down from the sky - then when our butts stopped being sore we had a spirit filled Bible study that will obviously be in The Bible Part II. Now finally, Sodom & Gomorrah will know how to be a better hosts to sexy angels."

Thankfully, we all KNOW He didn't. But I'm game. Let's discuss.

Lee wouldn't it be great if you took that energy and "Supposed" scholarly passion to dig for gay propaganda ENDLESSLY and used it to read just a few actual justifications for supposed Bible contradictions??? Your biases are showing again Lee.


message 42: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Sorry to interrupt your point Joshua.

To question things is a great reason for us to discuss. I enjoy long conversations where every issue gets put on the table. It's great to have Xdyj here for that.
I'm glad you seem to have Lee figured out. He's helpful too - but in a weirder way.


message 43: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Rod, I'm not going to repeat that exercise in studying homophobia in the Bible. I'm simply trying to make a point: any two people will interpret the bible different ways. What's crystal clear to you is the exact opposite to me.

Joshua, the Bible may be OUR moral source as Christians if we can ever agree on what it says, but we must be willing to set the Bible aside to live with others who do not share our beliefs. If we cannot do that, we have no basis to stand on in rejecting THEIR holy books. We'd be living under Sharia law.

My point is not where we believe morality ultimately is described, but that it is impractical beyond our own personal landscape. We cannot dictate Biblical morals in our neighborhood.

I haven't discussed love. A better model, IMO, is compassion. But even that fails. For example, some Christians honestly believe they are showing compassion on people by pointing out what they believe to be sins...witness Rod's constant harping on people about their sexual preferences. He'll say he's ruining lives by being compassionate.


message 44: by Xdyj (last edited Mar 04, 2016 07:28PM) (new)

Xdyj Joshua wrote: "I have to say that I am learning a lot from this thread. You guys are amazing and great debaters.

So here are my response to some of the questions above:

Who is God? - Ravi Zacharias in his book..."


Everyone knows 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. However, those are the attributes of love. I'm not asking for the attributes or properties of love, I'm asking for the definition. In other words, I'm asking for the exact criteria for an act to be deemed an act of love.

As to my thesis? I don't have one b/c I don't think it is productive to talk about my personal beliefs in a religious forum. :)

Lee wrote: "we must be willing to set the Bible aside to live with others who do not share our beliefs. If we cannot do that, we have no basis to stand on in rejecting THEIR holy books."

I'm sympathetic to your conclusion but I'm not completely following the argument. Can you elaborate more? Why can't two groups coexist peacefully if they disagree with each other on the source of morality? Are we not currently living with fundamentalist Christians quite successfully? Does religious tolerance require a secular source of morality? What exactly should be the proper relation between morality and politics?

Also, just curious, as a liberal Christian, what do you think should be a proper basis for moral reasoning?


message 45: by Lee (last edited Mar 04, 2016 07:36PM) (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Xdyz says: I'm sympathetic to your conclusion but I'm not completely following the argument. Can you elaborate more? Why can't two groups coexist peacefully if they disagree with each other on the source of morality? Are we not currently living with fundamentalist Christians quite successfully?

Not when one group seeks to infringe upon others. Do you live in the United States? Then one example you're aware of is the constant battle Conservatives feel they must fight to prevent marriage equality.

Xdyz says: Also, just curious, as a liberal Christian, what do you think should be a proper basis for moral reasoning?

The lowest common denominator is live and let live. We choose our laws to protect the rights and well-being of our citizens, not infringing our religious beliefs upon them. Can we do better, following the law of compassion? I think so. I find the life Jesus lived and taught to be an inspiration. Acts 10:38 tells of Jesus "going about doing good," so sitting on the sidelines isn't following his example.

Where we get twisted up is when we try to make morality out to be more than kindness and humanity, because when we do so, we actually begin to infringe on kindness and humanity. We always screw it up and go too far when we do that. We tell people to stick with an abusive marriage, or we tell gays they are not allowed to love someone, or we tell a young woman recently pregnant that she must let a rapist's seed grow into a child inside her.


message 46: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Joshua - Lee enjoys perverting the Bible for his own use which is completely secular. His only interest is in the prevailing culture with no desire to attain ethereal Truths. There is nothing wrong in "hearing out" his philosophy; indeed, it gives us a viewing window into the current age machinations of Satan and helps us with our necessary wiliness. Lee cannot offer any solutions that offer a pleasant aroma onto the Lord because he's outside the gates of the sanctuary and has no desire to enter the Kingdom.


message 47: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments As usual, I am happy to share a scholarly debate on ANY of the topics where we disagree, Robert. You making pronouncements as if you were God does not make it so.


message 48: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Lee - you can pull the wool over the eyes of the newbies, but our history goes back awhile. Your liberal code has been busted and all the fuzzy meaning buzzwords translated. Familiarity brings appreciation for your scholarship in certain areas, but as far as Spiritual Truth accumulation, your efforts constitute a total flop.


message 49: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments That's your way of saying that you still refuse to defend your opinions in a scholarly debate?


message 50: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Throwing liberal scholars at people does not equal a debate.

Lee it would be fun to watch you SHOW BOTH SIDES of a debate. Now that's scholarly and unbiased... (not necessarily scholarly - but BETTER!)


« previous 1 3
back to top