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Old 03-23-2018, 03:09 PM   #276
walkby
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

Hey, Mightyboosh, maybe you could post a list of questions you'd like answered? I'll try my best but I might have to defer to other sources since I'm sort of a new Christian. I'll be trying to use Scripture too, and some questions I might not be able to answer.

Here's some Scripture that addresses the immortality of the soul.

1 Corinthians 15:12–19 (English Standard Version)
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 (English Standard Version)
7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Matthew 25:46 (English Standard Version)
46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

And here's a link to a gotquestions.org question and answer that talks about this. This is also where I found these Scripture verses.

Last edited by walkby; 03-23-2018 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:43 PM   #277
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

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Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
The conflation of "allowing" and "wanting" is highly problematic. Just because you allow something to happen even though you can stop it does not imply that you want it to happen.
Maybe. On the other hand, "allowing" can often be tantamount to "neglect". We even go to the extent that "allowing" can be criminal in all sorts of circumstances. It is to some extent a distinction without a difference. Boosh doesn't need to give God a pass even if he accepts your distinction.

I will say that I don't consider the PoE nearly as compelling as Boosh does.
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Old 03-23-2018, 09:03 PM   #278
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

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Maybe. On the other hand, "allowing" can often be tantamount to "neglect".
This is hedging.

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We even go to the extent that "allowing" can be criminal in all sorts of circumstances.
Still hedging.

Quote:
It is to some extent a distinction without a difference.
Hedging again.

In three sentences, you have three hedge phrases. (Four if I count your "Maybe" to start, but I view that as a summary sentence.) It's not really a good argument if you have to do that.

Quote:
Boosh doesn't need to give God a pass even if he accepts your distinction.
This is true. But he would have to actually argue some points that Howard was trying to point out to him. For example, "the mind of God" and some interpretation of intention would have to be dealt with.

But it's also true that he doesn't have to do anything. He doesn't even have to accept statements of fact to be true. It is in his freedom to think whatever he chooses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MB
...no matter who created satan's evil, god could stop it if he wanted to, but he doesn't stop it, so he obviously wants evil to exist.
Going from "this happened" to "obviously wants this to happen" is pretty much a failure no matter how you slice it. Acknowledging the distinction would be a first step towards a more honest conversation.
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:36 AM   #279
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

I should have died my first week of college.

I was driving home for Labor Day weekend with two friends from my hometown. We were about 90 minutes into a three hour drive across the Ozarks.

I was a fast driver in my younger days and had a vast appetite for marijuana which I shared with these friends.

We'd been smoking all the way. I was high AF.

Coming down a hill, I was turned around talking to the girl in the back seat.

I turned back to the wheel just in time to see we weren't going to make the curve to the left at the bottom of the hill.

I knew better than to brake as we went off the edge of the pavement. I tried to steer to the left.

Bang! We impact I didn't know what, spinning 180, coming to rest looking back up the hill, while cars I had earlier passed drove by.

We had no worse than bumps and bruises.

We got out, stashed the weed in the woods and started piecing together what had happened.

This would work better with some MS Paint magic, but here goes:

The road was banked somewhat but not enough. There was no shoulder, just a gravel slope to the edge of a hay field.

As we skidded on the gravel bank, the right rear wheel hit a rock about the size of two basketballs.

That threw the car in the air, at just the proper height to put the front bumper on the same plane as a flatbed trailer that was sitting in the field behind a fence.

We sandwiched a fence post against the trailer. That crumpled the hood into an 'A'. The bumper was almost undamaged. That was just enough to throw the car back, causing the 180 spin.

Speed was between 50 and 60 mph, my best guess.

If the rock hadn't been just where it was, throwing the car exactly the way it had to be to impact the trailer, we'd almost certainly have been beheaded as the car went under it.

That was nearly 40 years ago.

If there was any reason for me to be saved, it was only so I could have my kids, near as I can tell.

The guy in the front has also had an unremarkable life.

His sister, in the back, became a pediatric ICU nurse.

She's probably saved some lives. The three of us have totaled 8 children of our own.

*shrug* who knows why we lived and weren't seriously injured. Maybe someone in our respective downlines is destined for something and needed to be born. Or one of the kids she's worked with over the years, the same.

It's one hell of a coincidence that we hit the rock just the way we did.

That's what I tell myself when I have a nasty downswing. I used a lot of my life's luck allowance just to survive that afternoon.
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Old 03-24-2018, 07:40 AM   #280
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

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Originally Posted by Bladesman87 View Post
Maybe. On the other hand, "allowing" can often be tantamount to "neglect". We even go to the extent that "allowing" can be criminal in all sorts of circumstances. It is to some extent a distinction without a difference. Boosh doesn't need to give God a pass even if he accepts your distinction.

I will say that I don't consider the PoE nearly as compelling as Boosh does.
Well, talking about the evil of "god" is largely irrelevant.

Talking about the evil of "God" is more interesting.

When MB tries to fit every existing, conceivable and future "god" under his umbrella, the PoE is always doomed to failure. Because not all gods fit under the PoE's premises.

If you take an actual variant of God, one that is used and believed in, the PoE can become relevant, if that variant fits the premises. But even then it's largely reduced to a question of theology. That some believers' version of God seems wrong isn't necessarily evidence the god does not exist, it could merely be that their theology misses the mark.

I think the right way to discuss "god's existence" is evidence, not things like PoE.

I admit that the PoE can be a powerful tool versus outlier and extreme beliefs. But here in this post I'm talking about more intellectual discussions.
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Old 03-24-2018, 08:32 AM   #281
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

It is always a mistake to fall into the trap of telling people what you think they should believe and arguing against that than engaging with what they actually believe.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:22 AM   #282
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

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Originally Posted by Bladesman87 View Post
Maybe. On the other hand, "allowing" can often be tantamount to "neglect". We even go to the extent that "allowing" can be criminal in all sorts of circumstances. It is to some extent a distinction without a difference. Boosh doesn't need to give God a pass even if he accepts your distinction.

I will say that I don't consider the PoE nearly as compelling as Boosh does.
Have you considered that god is a unique context. In the moment of creating everything that there is, god, who is a perfect being and therefore cannot create something that is less than perfect, knew everything that will ever happen, because he created it that way. Don't forget that to resolve the problem of free will, god must exist in an eternal now, he doesn't experience time as we do, so he knew it all immediately.

We could say that there were things that god didn't want to happen, but that he allowed anyway, but that doesn't really make any sense, firstly, because at this point, the moment of creation, nothing exists yet, he is making it all, and he can decide everything, so why would he make something he didn't want? Second, he could have stopped them if he'd wanted to, and he didn't stop them, therefore he didn't want to stop them (because if he wanted to stop them but they happened anyway then he's not omnipotent), therefore he wanted them to happen.

So, can something happen that god didn't want to happen? I would say not. God is omnipotent and omniscient and everything that happens is his will, or he's neither of those things. I'm fine with either option.

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Old 03-26-2018, 10:00 AM   #283
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

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Have you considered that god is a unique context. In the moment of creating everything that there is, god, who is a perfect being and therefore cannot create something that is less than perfect, knew everything that will ever happen, because he created it that way. Don't forget that to resolve the problem of free will, god must exist in an eternal now, he doesn't experience time as we do, so he knew it all immediately.

We could say that there were things that god didn't want to happen, but that he allowed anyway, but that doesn't really make any sense, firstly, because at this point, the moment of creation, nothing exists yet, he is making it all, and he can decide everything, so why would he make something he didn't want? Second, he could have stopped them if he'd wanted to, and he didn't stop them, therefore he didn't want to stop them (because if he wanted to stop them but they happened anyway then he's not omnipotent), therefore he wanted them them to happen.

So, can something happen that god didn't want to happen? I would say not. God is omnipotent and omniscient and everything that happens is his will, or he's neither of those things. I'm fine with either option.
It seems to me like you're struggling with the idea that God allowed choice. It's pretty awesome if you think about it, when you consider that He is just and loving. What follows for me is whether or not it's just for people to be punished for their sins or to be saved for their faith, and both are just. I can accept that on faith. We're totally dependent on God one way or another. He wants a relationship with us and we can choose to be with Him or choose to go another way, Scripture explains the consequences of both choices clearly.
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:43 AM   #284
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

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It seems to me like you're struggling with the idea that God allowed choice. It's pretty awesome if you think about it, when you consider that He is just and loving. What follows for me is whether or not it's just for people to be punished for their sins or to be saved for their faith, and both are just. I can accept that on faith. We're totally dependent on God one way or another. He wants a relationship with us and we can choose to be with Him or choose to go another way, Scripture explains the consequences of both choices clearly.
I probably shouldn't be making definitive statements like this though because I'm a new Christian. I think it would be a good idea for you to look at Scripture though. Feel free to ask me questions too. (This post is addressed to Mightyboosh, but anyone else can ask me questions too. I might not be able to answer them though.)

Last edited by walkby; 03-26-2018 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:50 AM   #285
Aaron W.
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

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Have you considered that god is a unique context.
In other words, you're making a special plea that literally applies to no other context.

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In the moment of creating everything that there is, god, who is a perfect being and therefore cannot create something that is less than perfect, knew everything that will ever happen, because he created it that way. Don't forget that to resolve the problem of free will, god must exist in an eternal now, he doesn't experience time as we do, so he knew it all immediately.
There are many words here that don't mean what you think they mean. In particular, if you're going to introduce the "eternal now" then what does it even mean to be "in the moment" of something?

Also, who says that God could not create something "less than perfect"? You've also reiterated your basic underlying claim that because something happened that it was God's intention that it would happen. Such sloppy language does not advance your argument in any meaningful way.

You also seem unaware of the existence of what is sometimes called "open theology" which is (basically) a different framing of God's omniscience. It would state that God affirms all true statements, but that a true statement regarding a fact of history is not true until after it happens.
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:55 AM   #286
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

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It seems to me like you're struggling with the idea that God allowed choice.
MB is openly disdainful of all religion. So to say that he's struggling with "the idea that God allowed choice" is probably misdirected. He struggles with most anything that portrays religion in anything but the most negative of lights.

If you want to get some perspective, you should go read his argument as to why he thinks Billy Graham is a hypocrite. It comes down the fact that in the 1980s, Billy Graham was recounting a moment in the 1950s in which he felt as though he should have advocated harder for the poor, and it's based on the net worth of the Billy Graham organization in the 2010s.

There's also the time that he accused Thales of Miletus of being persecuted by Christians, despite the fact that Thales of Miletus is a Greek that lived around 600-500 BCE.

It's quite a fascinating study of self-delusion if you really want to get into it.

So don't worry yourself with trying to convince him of anything. To the extent that he might raise a valid criticism or challenge, you should think about it and come to a well-reasoned decision for the things you believe. But the fact that he objects to something doesn't immediately imply a significant intellectual hurdle for you to clear.
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Old 03-26-2018, 03:27 PM   #287
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

I think Mightyboosh is trying to reason things out.

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I probably shouldn't be making definitive statements like this though because I'm a new Christian. I think it would be a good idea for you to look at Scripture though. Feel free to ask me questions too. (This post is addressed to Mightyboosh, but anyone else can ask me questions too. I might not be able to answer them though.)
There are probably a lot of things I shouldn't be making definitive statements about. I should leave that to more experienced Christians. I'll try to be better about this going forward.
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Old 03-26-2018, 03:40 PM   #288
Aaron W.
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

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I think Mightyboosh is trying to reason things out.
You are free to believe what you want to believe.

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There are probably a lot of things I shouldn't be making definitive statements about. I should leave that to more experienced Christians. I'll try to be better about this going forward.
You also shouldn't be afraid of making statements. It's a good way to learn more. You will know (especially around here) if you say something that doesn't make sense. You might even get stuck sometimes, and that's okay.

Christianity isn't about having all the right answers to all of the theological questions.
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Old 03-27-2018, 04:03 AM   #289
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

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Originally Posted by walkby View Post
It seems to me like you're struggling with the idea that God allowed choice. It's pretty awesome if you think about it, when you consider that He is just and loving. What follows for me is whether or not it's just for people to be punished for their sins or to be saved for their faith, and both are just. I can accept that on faith. We're totally dependent on God one way or another. He wants a relationship with us and we can choose to be with Him or choose to go another way, Scripture explains the consequences of both choices clearly.
Seems to me that you're not really getting this omnipotence/omniscience thing. God literally created everything, there was nothing until he decided what there would be, he created everything that there is and all the conditions for everything that will ever happen, and in the moment of creation he knew literally everything and decided what would happen. He knew every single choice that you will ever make and allowed them to be made, you are literally unable to make a choice that god didn't know you would make and that he hasn't already allowed to happen.

Since he knew all those things, and had the power to not create any of them in the first place, but did create them, he is completely responsible for them existing. All the evil that exists, he created it and allowed it to exist. Why is that so difficult for you to accept? Alternatively, accept that he is not omnipotete/omniscient and that he couldn't stop evil existing. Either solution resolves the problem.
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Old 03-27-2018, 04:20 AM   #290
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

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You are free to believe what you want to believe.



You also shouldn't be afraid of making statements. It's a good way to learn more. You will know (especially around here) if you say something that doesn't make sense. You might even get stuck sometimes, and that's okay.

Christianity isn't about having all the right answers to all of the theological questions.
I've learned that the hard way!
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Old 03-27-2018, 03:35 PM   #291
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Re: Coincidence or Guardian Angel?

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Seems to me that you're not really getting this omnipotence/omniscience thing. God literally created everything, there was nothing until he decided what there would be, he created everything that there is and all the conditions for everything that will ever happen, and in the moment of creation he knew literally everything and decided what would happen. He knew every single choice that you will ever make and allowed them to be made, you are literally unable to make a choice that god didn't know you would make and that he hasn't already allowed to happen.

Since he knew all those things, and had the power to not create any of them in the first place, but did create them, he is completely responsible for them existing. All the evil that exists, he created it and allowed it to exist. Why is that so difficult for you to accept? Alternatively, accept that he is not omnipotete/omniscient and that he couldn't stop evil existing. Either solution resolves the problem.
He gave us the ability to choose knowing what would happen. We're still responsible for those choices though. We're definitely given the ability to choose, but when we choose to sin He hates it.

Psalm 5:4 (New International Version)

For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome.

Here's some of Romans which I think applies to this discussion.

Romans 9:19-24 (New International Version)

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

Through faith in Jesus Christ we have forgiveness for sin.
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