1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Ask a Christian

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by puglover, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    23,090
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Sunshine and Lettuce Capital of the World
    I think Muslims may disagree on that point. Some of those I have talked with say that in the end everyone will be redeemed (even Satan), making Pascal's Wager pointless.
     
  2. classical_hero

    classical_hero In whom I trust

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    33,255
    Location:
    Perth,Western Australia
    Are we talking about what Muslims believe or what Christians believe? It is pointless bringing them into view since it is not what Christianity is about. Christianity has a clear definition that those who believe in Christ will live with him for all eternity and those who do not believe in him will suffer for all eternity. That is why Pascal's wager is important considering the message of Christianity. Which is what we are meant to be talking about.

    @Erik. What is the difference between almighty and omnipotent? I feel that these are one and the same thing.
     
  3. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    24,103
    Location:
    High above the ice
    It's not pointless since they entered the equation just a moment ago :confused:
     
  4. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    23,090
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Sunshine and Lettuce Capital of the World
    His point is, if one is to follow Pascal's Wager, that being Christian will get you into Heaven whether God is Muslim or Christian, whereas being Muslim will only get you into Heaven if God is Muslim.

    (A somewhat facetious oversimplification, of course.)
     
  5. scy12

    scy12 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,181
    You raise one good point and one not so good point.

    The ancient Romans , Aztecs or Igbo believe in God or Gods , several deities which are not omnipotent. This is correct. They are not omnipotent precisely because there are several Gods. There are several deities with different powers and fields from each other.

    Christianity on the other hand claims that everything is coming from one being. The God. In Christianity there is nothing else than the one God.
    I understand the meaning of the word God in Christianity to be entirely different than the one in other religions. If for example there was an evil god , God could not be called simply as God but he should be called as the Good God for example. Omnipotence is directly linked with how we recognize God in Christianity. This is what i am debating and you can see this in my last post . If you wish i can afterwards quote the exact passages. The Christian God is the only God and not just a God like those from other religions.

    You are all correct that you can use the word God to describe any deity but if there is a plurality of deities you can not call it simply as God.



    The bad point you raise is that
    .

    It is your opinion that you haven't seen it but i don't want to discuss , in such manner . That is because i do not have the exact knowledge of whatever any person that discussed such issues , has said and written and i trust that you don't either. Unless your omnipotent ofcourse.
    Even so , if i am wrong i would like it to be explained on how i am as i can't be convinced by claims of authority.

    Spoiler :
    Epicurus
     
  6. Cu Chulainn

    Cu Chulainn The Unoriginal

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,377
    I just can't stop coming back to this. Height of irony really. You clearly think that others should believe your faith, completely without evidence, yet you dismiss the faith of others outright? Hilarious, hypocritical, and exactly what I've come to expect from the religious.

    Fair enough, I wish most people were so honest. You can live well and treat others right without all the hokey magical stuff though.

    So if you could get an honest profession via deceit would that be OK? A small lie to save a soul, surely that's a fair trade.
    So Jesus doesn't want you to have anything to do with people who think for themselves and insist upon evidence before believing in the latest religious fad? It's one thing to have an open mind, it's quite another to accept a story as spectacular as the Bible without an once of proof.

    New question:
    Why should I accept your religious claims but deny those of every other faith?

    Very well, thank you!:)
     
  7. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    23,090
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Sunshine and Lettuce Capital of the World
    Okay, so you say that either God is omnipotent or He is not God, if there is only one entity that can thus be described.

    It still doesn't make any sense. You get the situation that either the universe is ruled by an omnipotent being, or that said being doesn't really matter if He/She/It/They don't have omnipotence. Well, I have to disagree with Epicurus here.
     
  8. scy12

    scy12 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,181
    Christianity's monotheistic God has a different meaning than the God's of others Religions which are characteristized by there special powers and selfish human like characters.


    Epicurus moves on step further in the road and speaks on what i would prefer to be debated. The problem of evil and omnipotence. If God is neither willing to interfere or able and thus the opposite of omnipotent then there is no reason to call him God as his powers/existence has no effect on our lives. And this is correct.

    I aknowledge that but i also make a different point regarding Christianity's views on Godhood. The Christian consept of God is based on omnipotence and his ability to control everything else he is not the Christian God and more equal to the Roman Gods and thuss , Evil or he is neither Willing or able to interfere and thus does not deserve to be thought of. Either way we are lead to the Epicurean argument that argues against Christianity's concept of God (that deals with omnipotence) before Christianity.

    So you understand that omnipotence is vital for the Christian God ?
     
  9. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    23,090
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Sunshine and Lettuce Capital of the World
    I would say that the statement "Christians believe that God is omnipotent" is rather descriptive than proscriptive; ie it may be true that all Christians think that God is omnipotent but I see no reason that one of the definitions of a Christian is someone who believes in an omnipotent God. In fact, there are plenty of people who don't believe that God is omnipotent (in the sense I think you mean) but I would not say that they are thus not Christian, because I don't think that is a necessary condition; I would focus more on their views of Jesus as Christ.
     
  10. scy12

    scy12 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,181
    You are correct that people may have different interpretations regarding any concept of Christianity and concentrate more on other subjects. Like Morality.I don't deny them the right of being called as a Christian. The teachings of Jesus Christ if we believe they can be attributed to him may be important and so on. But , this is just not important to me . At least in this discussion we are having right now. We are not discussing this issue.

    I am discussing (and you are discussing) about the logic of the religion of Christianity. And i believe that regarding omnipotence and Evil we are lead into two conclusions. Either God does never interfere or that God interferes like a God of a polytheistic system , like Zeus would.
     
  11. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    23,090
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Sunshine and Lettuce Capital of the World
  12. scy12

    scy12 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,181
    It has to do with a being that does not interfere in any point of our life and does not effect us in any way , can not be described as God.

    If the reason of Evil is that god does not interfere then there is the above conclusion.
    Which is against the Christian belief (that some Christians may not believe) that God is omnipotent.

    If the reason of Evil is because God interferes then there is the conclusion of God's Evil nature. Which is against the Christian belief (that some Christians may not believe) that God is good.
     
  13. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    23,090
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Sunshine and Lettuce Capital of the World
    I still don't see how God's omnipotence and God's noninterference are connected. The only way I could is if the solution to the problem of evil is that God doesn't interfere, but that seems to be the opposite of what you are saying.
     
  14. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    5,602
    Location:
    Canada
    I quote Jesus:

    And so on, and so on... Jesus unambiguously claims that He will answer prayer. However, this isn't what we observe. For example, in the above amputee example, probably 0 of those 1000 amputees will regenerate their lost limb. Not even if we wait throughout their whole lives. How come we can say "move this mountain from here to here", but we can't say "please regenerate this person's limb so that they may live a better life"?

    You've probably read the Bible, but now that you know (again) that Jesus has unambiguously claimed that He answer prayer, and you take the Bible literally and have faith in its message, then you could do a great good right now! Please pray for all cancer to be eliminated from the world by tomorrow! You have faith, and you know that if you pray, it will be answered! You can ease a lot of suffering with God's help... I know you're a good person and have faith in the power of the Lord, so please do this. Unfortunately I do not believe in your God, so I can't do what I ask you, otherwise I would have done it long ago.

    Well, I'm sure if we gather enough Christians, we're bound to get at least a few that have enough faith! Let's gather 10,000 and help some war veterans! You have the power and the faith to call upon God to help these people!

    If the problem is that we can't test the Lord, then I'll make sure that no non-believers come by and see this. As for me, I can assure you that no matter what ever happens, I will never truly believe in God, so we've got that covered.

    That fails with the introduction of Pascal inverse gods. What if a god will sentence you to eternal torment for not being an atheist? Just because we don't have any religions worshipping such a god doesn't mean it doesn't exist (although I can also provide a logical reasoning for such a god's wrath).

    And of course, the two reasons previously mentioned also apply. With Pascal's Wager you can't have faith, and faith is necessary for salvation.

    The Big Bang does not explain the creation of the entire universe. The Big Bang explains certain observations made in the observable universe.

    Unknown, unknowable, and irrelevant.

    That is an assumption. I make the assumption that the universe is eternal and was always there (I don't, but let's say I do). You make the assumption that God is eternal and was always there. It makes no difference and neither is more logically consistent than the other.
     
  15. scy12

    scy12 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,181
    The thing is i do not disagree with what you say but you are saying something entirely different than i did.

    It qualifies as a God if it does it alone but then it is an Evil God.

    If God does never interfere then he doesn't deserve to be described as a God.

    If there are several Gods then God can not be described just as the God.

    These are my three statements.
    (You asked your question in that thread and so there is no reason to continue that discussion there as that would be threadjacking)
     
  16. Erik Mesoy

    Erik Mesoy Core Tester / Intern

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    10,955
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    As I see it:
    "Almighty" means having supreme authority and unchallengeable power. No other being can dictate terms to or foil the actions of an almighty being. However, an almighty being is not necessarily able to create or lift a rock of arbitrary size.
    "Omnipotent" means having either all logically possible power or all imaginable power, depending on who you ask. The first runs into problems like whether there exists a particle so fundamental that an omnipotent being cannot split it (so far we're down from atoms, to protons, to quarks...), and if so, who dictated that it was to be this way, the second runs into even odder problems like whether such a being can deny its own existence without lying, and both of them run into problems generally filed under "Omnipotence paradox" (check Wikipedia if you like) and arguments over semantics. Also, saying "God is omnipotent" gets you in trouble with people who want to know why God wasn't powerful enough to create free will without evil.

    I disagree. One may debate the nature of omnipotence and run into problems whether or not one cares whether or not there is an omnipotent being.

    My answer is "God is not omnipotent".


    That's one possible reason.

    Doesn't this run counter to what you were recently saying, in that Zeus was clearly not omnipotent?

    Since I don't recall saying that the universe is the control of God, I hope you'll understand that I don't feel compelled to rebut this statement.
    I think that might depend on the hypothetical power level of this alternate Satan, but I agree with the general principle.
    Beware of oversimplification.
    And I say that (the problem of) evil does not coexist with (benevolent) omnipotence and that (benevolent) almightiness can coexist with evil because evil is a temporarily necessary means to other ends.

    Eran gave the simplified version already, let me quote the Sura I was referring to.
    "Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." (Al-Baqara 62, not sure what the correct quoting style for the Quran is, also Yusuf Ali.)

    If this helps you imagine it: Name me a few religions that do accept Christians into their local good afterlife, assuming that that other religion is true as specified. Now name me a few that don't. Now consider the reverse: following which of those get you to a good afterlife if Christianity is true?

    Lazybones. Read the Wager yourself. :p
    Here's the Pensees that it appears in. Section III, last part of number 233.
     
  17. scy12

    scy12 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,181
    The connection here is that one can't be all powerful and good if what he has created is Evil.

    The word , interferes here will always have an evil conclusion because of the state of the world.

    If God is Evil or selfish/human like in morality , he either interferes and causes the world to be evil , or either created an Evil world and then does not interfere to save it.

    If God is not Evil that means he can not interfere to save us for Evil and since he does not interfere , why call him God ?

    It is a pretty simple argument and what one can find against it is not it's logic which is correct but rhetoric which would make God and the world not to appear as evil.
     
  18. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    23,090
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Sunshine and Lettuce Capital of the World
    Actually, I think a debate on the nature of God in general (and what it means to be a god) is better suited for that thread, since it doesn't deal with Christianity in particular. At any rate, I am not sure I have anything more to say on the matter here.
     
  19. Erik Mesoy

    Erik Mesoy Core Tester / Intern

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    10,955
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Pascal inverse gods fail with the introduction of probabilistic weighting, or also fail with the application to everyday life. I gave a sketch of the former previously; the latter goes roughly like this: There might be a god that will sentence you to eternal torment for brushing your teeth. There might also be a god that will sentence you to eternal torment for not brushing your teeth. Because both of these threaten infinite (or "arbitrarily high", if you prefer) negative disutility, any local utility you gain by brushing or not brushing your teeth must be held to be irrelevant in comparison.

    Are you still going to brush your teeth?
     
  20. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    5,602
    Location:
    Canada
    Or the aribtrary assumption should be discarded. Logically, one should not assign any arbitrary infinite negative disutility, how you put it, because it leads to logical annulments as you've pointed out.

    Do you suggest that because of what you just said, Pascal's Wager is still valid? Why Pascal's Wager and why not my Inverse Wager?
     

Share This Page