The Problem of Natural Disasters

steve7150
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Re: The Problem of Natural Disasters

Post by steve7150 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:44 pm

The difference b/w you and I, it seems, is that I think God accomplishes divine purposes in spite of these things (They are not part of God's ideal will) and you think God accomplishes divine purposes with these things (They are part of God's original plan).












Exactly right.

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dizerner
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Re: The Problem of Natural Disasters

Post by dizerner » Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:33 pm

steve7150 wrote:I think it makes a lot of difference, because then we see the evil in this world as a consequence of free actions and resultant punishment and not a reflection of God's intrinsic initial desire for his creation, same problem I have with Calvinism.

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dizerner

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I think Calvinism is very different in that it believes God makes man commit evil. When God allows evil the usual response is that God will simply not interfere with our free will. But in the bible God intervened numerous times if that suited his purposes, so God's purposes are the main theme of the bible, not our free will. So the concept that Adam and Eve sinned and only because of their sin evil entered the world is a flawed concept IMHO. Whatever happens in this age is not happenstance, it happens because it serves God's purposes.
Surely you realize the Bible is full of God not getting things he wanted? (It's very interesting to see Calvinists try to deal with this.) If the Bible is about only God getting his purposes, why is God so often described as deeply sad (even to the point of weeping) or even incredibly angry (to the point of killing) at the free choices of people. It seems to me, it's not us putting so-called "free will" in such a prominent place but the narrative of Scripture itself...

And this idea of Adam and Eve being ignorant, innocent little babies morally, who stumbled into evil and couldn't possibly know better just doesn't fly Biblically... they were created with full knowledge of God and mental faculties that surpassed ours; and the command was crystal clear. You usually only see this kind of tripe objections from atheists...
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mattrose
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Re: The Problem of Natural Disasters

Post by mattrose » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:03 pm

dizerner wrote:And this idea of Adam and Eve being ignorant, innocent little babies morally, who stumbled into evil and couldn't possibly know better just doesn't fly Biblically... they were created with full knowledge of God and mental faculties that surpassed ours; and the command was crystal clear. You usually only see this kind of tripe objections from atheists...
Actually, I think you are swinging the pendulum too far the other way here.

While the western church has tended to view Adam & Eve as perfectly whole/completed in their maturity at the time of the Fall, the eastern church has tended to view Adam & Eve as pure, but innocent at the time of the Fall. I think there is a lot of merit to the latter view.

Were they ignorant? Well, certainly in 1 sense! They hadn't yet eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Were they innocent? Yes
Were they little babies? Obviously you are referring to their maturation levels. I think a good case can be made.
Did they stumble into evil? Yes, that's the way the narrative reads
Couldn't they have known better? Yes, the texts says they did know better.
Were they created with full knowledge of God? I don't see where you get this assumption from.
Did their mental faculties surpass ours? Perhaps. I'd guess so, but they also hadn't accumulated much info yet

steve7150
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Re: The Problem of Natural Disasters

Post by steve7150 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:09 pm

And this idea of Adam and Eve being ignorant, innocent little babies morally, who stumbled into evil and couldn't possibly know better just doesn't fly Biblically... they were created with full knowledge of God and mental faculties that surpassed ours; and the command was crystal clear. You usually only see this kind of tripe objections from atheists...
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I looked up "tripe" since i was unfamiliar with the word. Two meanings were worthless and rubbish. Since you think my argument is worthless rubbish there is no need for my response or for you to think about anything, you already have your answers.

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dizerner
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Re: The Problem of Natural Disasters

Post by dizerner » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:11 pm

mattrose wrote: Actually, I think you are swinging the pendulum too far the other way here.

While the western church has tended to view Adam & Eve as perfectly whole/completed in their maturity at the time of the Fall, the eastern church has tended to view Adam & Eve as pure, but innocent at the time of the Fall. I think there is a lot of merit to the latter view.
Let's just throw out whatever church history for now and look at what we can see in the Bible. Some churches and some groups may have read the passage and interpreted better or worse, so I don't see what old churches believed what as having any relevance to the truth of reading Scripture correctly.
Were they ignorant? Well, certainly in 1 sense! They hadn't yet eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
This is a major, major error in reading. That tree is not what caused them to know that an action is right or wrong. If God tells you something you know that it's right, period, and this is a (surprisingly common) mistaken view of what "knowledge of good and evil" meant, as if Adam and Eve had absolutely no way to determine what was a right or wrong thing to do morally, which is preposterous. God did not create them with no sense of being able to determine an action might be a wrong or right thing to do. The knowledge of good and evil here, as Adam "knew" Eve, is an experiential knowledge of both good and evil. Obviously in a perfect garden they both already knew good. And if God commands them cleary, oh so crystal clearly, "Do not do this," there really is no way to misunderstand that or think that it is somehow "not a bad" thing; to say that, is to say God deliberately stunted their mental and moral faculties which, even with an extreme stretch of the imagination, can't possibly fall under "the knowledge of good and evil."
Were they innocent? Yes
Not after they committed treason; you realize that, right? The very definition of innocent is "committing no crime." If you were to insist that they were unjustly punished because they had stunted knowledge or foggy morality about obeying God, or were created simply incapable of resisting that temptation, you are ultimately blaming God for deliberately setting them up and then making sure they get punished, which is the ludicrous position of Calvinism. Free will, full responsibility, these imply full ability to obey or disobey, without God having impeded them in someway (indeed Satan would again love to blame God as he did there).
Were they little babies? Obviously you are referring to their maturation levels. I think a good case can be made.
Seriously? A good case? For people that walked and talked with God and were created perfect creatures with an intelligence above any of us today and an extensive knowledge of many things?
Did they stumble into evil? Yes, that's the way the narrative reads
In absolutely no way could it be described as stumbling. First thing upon temptation, Eve clearly restates the command of God with full knowledge. That's not stumbling, to know exactly what to do, and deliberately decide not to do it. There was no misunderstanding of the command of God, there was no blindness that maybe God meant something else or didn't exist or care.
Couldn't they have known better? Yes, the texts says they did know better.
If they knew better, it completely contradicts your above four points about being ignorant, about being innocent, about being babies, and about stumbling.
Were they created with full knowledge of God? I don't see where you get this assumption from.
They walked in daily fellowship with God in full, broad daylight, seeing him and talking with him openly. You know only Moses got something like that in this life, right? I'm not pulling this out of my bottom. I mean you can take the word "full" and try to put some meaning into it that I didn't mean, since no one has full knowledge of God.
Did their mental faculties surpass ours? Perhaps. I'd guess so, but they also hadn't accumulated much info yet
There is no perhaps. And where do you get the assumption they hadn't accumulated much info yet? That's entirely extra biblical you realize? Doesn't it seem far more likely, having been given the command to rule over all the earth, that they had immense knowledge of the earth they ruled over? And also, wouldn't it make more sense biblically if a perfect creation created very good without any mar of sin or death, worked better than our brains do today? I really don't see how you can twist the passage to say anything else except perhaps by either not thinking it through, or accepting some tradition over simply the Word.
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dizerner
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Re: The Problem of Natural Disasters

Post by dizerner » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:25 pm

steve7150 wrote:And this idea of Adam and Eve being ignorant, innocent little babies morally, who stumbled into evil and couldn't possibly know better just doesn't fly Biblically... they were created with full knowledge of God and mental faculties that surpassed ours; and the command was crystal clear. You usually only see this kind of tripe objections from atheists...
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I looked up "tripe" since i was unfamiliar with the word. Two meanings were worthless and rubbish. Since you think my argument is worthless rubbish there is no need for my response or for you to think about anything, you already have your answers.
If you feel you can show your position with the Word of God I would love to see it, literally.

Please don't make the mistake of thinking that an argument or a position described as being worthless means that the person behind it is. I don't think we can have much dialogue if we can't say what we think about a stated position without taking offense at it. I do not say that I do not respect what you have to say, or that I don't think deeply about the logic of what you have to say, or that I don't eagerly look in the Word of God to see if what you have to say matches up with what I read there. I do all those things. I'm sorry if my expression of distaste at a logical statement of doctrine somehow made you feel that I disrespected you personally, that was not my intention. Feel free to call anything I say that doesn't match up with the Word of God as tripe, worthless, rubbish, crap, poop, even as Paul might say, anathema, cursed of God. Everything within me wants to get this right... I don't know if some people come on here to just casually "shoot the breeze" about what might be Truth or what might be lies, but that's just not my attitude and that intensity comes out in ways people can easily misunderstand as being personally insulting. For that, I'm truly sorry.
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Paidion
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Re: The Problem of Natural Disasters

Post by Paidion » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:27 pm

Steve 7150 wrote:When God allows evil the usual response is that God will simply not interfere with our free will. But in the bible God intervened numerous times if that suited his purposes, so God's purposes are the main theme of the bible, not our free will.
What fraction of all evil acts has God prevented, or intervened in any way? I suggest his intervention is so infrequent as to be described as "seldom".
Of course, the Bible records God's intervention numerous times. But that is because the Bible is ABOUT God's intervention. Hundreds of years passed when there was almost no intervention by God. So of course, little or nothing was recorded about God's doings during those years. The periods of his non-intervention were ignored or people's acts during those periods were just reported in the same way as any historian might report them.

So, though it seems to us that God was continually acting in the Biblical record, it may be that only the cases in which He acted were recorded.
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mattrose
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Re: The Problem of Natural Disasters

Post by mattrose » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:21 pm

dizerner wrote:Let's just throw out whatever church history for now and look at what we can see in the Bible. Some churches and some groups may have read the passage and interpreted better or worse, so I don't see what old churches believed what as having any relevance to the truth of reading Scripture correctly.
The reason it has relevance is b/c those 'old' churches loved the Bible and were closer to its context than we are. We should remain humble enough to not casually cast aside huge chunks and branches of church history as irrelevant to Scriptural interpretation. I'd be glad to look at these Scriptures with you, but it would be next to impossible for either of us to look at them without having already been influenced by church tradition.
This is a major, major error in reading. That tree is not what caused them to know that an action is right or wrong. If God tells you something you know that it's right, period, and this is a (surprisingly common) mistaken view of what "knowledge of good and evil" meant, as if Adam and Eve had absolutely no way to determine what was a right or wrong thing to do morally, which is preposterous. God did not create them with no sense of being able to determine an action might be a wrong or right thing to do. The knowledge of good and evil here, as Adam "knew" Eve, is an experiential knowledge of both good and evil. Obviously in a perfect garden they both already knew good. And if God commands them cleary, oh so crystal clearly, "Do not do this," there really is no way to misunderstand that or think that it is somehow "not a bad" thing; to say that, is to say God deliberately stunted their mental and moral faculties which, even with an extreme stretch of the imagination, can't possibly fall under "the knowledge of good and evil."
I didn't say the tree was what caused them to know that an action is right or wrong. I am not sure who you're responding to b/c you're assuming a lot of things about my statement that I didn't say. I actually agree with you that the knowledge of good and evil refers to an experiential knowledge. So be careful not to assume things about what you read that aren't actually written (it seems to me you have a tendency to do this with other people's posts and with the Bible). My point was that Adam&Eve clearly were ignorant about many things, broadly speaking. They were ignorant about the speed of light, combustion engines, and plate tectonics.
Not after they committed treason; you realize that, right? The very definition of innocent is "committing no crime." If you were to insist that they were unjustly punished because they had stunted knowledge or foggy morality about obeying God, or were created simply incapable of resisting that temptation, you are ultimately blaming God for deliberately setting them up and then making sure they get punished, which is the ludicrous position of Calvinism. Free will, full responsibility, these imply full ability to obey or disobey, without God having impeded them in someway (indeed Satan would again love to blame God as he did there).
What an odd response! Are you seriously suggesting that I was saying they were innocent AFTER their disobedience? Your paragraph here demonstrates an incredible amount of assumption on your part. From a 1 word answer you made all sorts of conclusions about my position.
Seriously? A good case? For people that walked and talked with God and were created perfect creatures with an intelligence above any of us today and an extensive knowledge of many things?
I don't understand your objection to my point of view, here. Are you a parent? I know when I saw my baby girls for the first time I wasn't disappointed with them for being immature! They were as mature as they were supposed to be at that point. I know it is not a direct parallel. I think the fact that they gave in so quickly to temptation shows clearly that they weren't very mature.
In absolutely no way could it be described as stumbling. First thing upon temptation, Eve clearly restates the command of God with full knowledge. That's not stumbling, to know exactly what to do, and deliberately decide not to do it. There was no misunderstanding of the command of God, there was no blindness that maybe God meant something else or didn't exist or care.
To stumble is to fall through a series of steps. Eve did exactly that. The serpent didn't just say, "Hey, rebel against God!" She fell by not knowing God's word clearly (her quote of the command is not the same as what God actually said) and then beginning to question God's character and then seeing the fruit and then taking it and then tasting it and then sharing it.
If they knew better, it completely contradicts your above four points about being ignorant, about being innocent, about being babies, and about stumbling.
Generally, if you read an individual post by a sane person and you find that it contradicts itself, you have either not read it carefully or you have assumed something that wasn't actually there.
They walked in daily fellowship with God in full, broad daylight, seeing him and talking with him openly. You know only Moses got something like that in this life, right? I'm not pulling this out of my bottom. I mean you can take the word "full" and try to put some meaning into it that I didn't mean, since no one has full knowledge of God.
Oh. I didn't realize I wasn't allowed to interpret the word full according to its definition. Just b/c they walked and talked with God doesn't mean they understood everything they could possibly understand with God! They were BEGINNING their relationship.
There is no perhaps. And where do you get the assumption they hadn't accumulated much info yet? That's entirely extra biblical you realize? Doesn't it seem far more likely, having been given the command to rule over all the earth, that they had immense knowledge of the earth they ruled over? And also, wouldn't it make more sense biblically if a perfect creation created very good without any mar of sin or death, worked better than our brains do today? I really don't see how you can twist the passage to say anything else except perhaps by either not thinking it through, or accepting some tradition over simply the Word.
I do happen to believe that Adam&Eve would have been considered intuitively genius by modern standards. Their minds were not clouded by thousands of years of human sin. That being said, it is YOU who are being very extra biblical (which isn't ALWAYS a bad thing, by the way, the Bible leaves many things unexplained. It is only wrong to be ANTI-Biblical). Your entire argument is extra-biblical! You're assuming that they had immense knowledge of the world they [were to] rule over. Not only does this assume a decent gap of time b/w their creation and their disobedience (which is extra-biblical), but it assumes that ruling is impossible without immense knowledge (which is extra-biblical). So while I do think their brains worked better than ours do today, I also think they hadn't been around long enough to accumulate a lot of knowledge.

steve7150
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Re: The Problem of Natural Disasters

Post by steve7150 » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:37 am

What fraction of all evil acts has God prevented, or intervened in any way? I suggest his intervention is so infrequent as to be described as "seldom".
Of course, the Bible records God's intervention numerous times. But that is because the Bible is ABOUT God's intervention









Agreed. The bible is about God's purposes.

steve7150
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Re: The Problem of Natural Disasters

Post by steve7150 » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:58 am

why is God so often described as deeply sad (even to the point of weeping) or even incredibly angry (to the point of killing) at the free choices of people. It seems to me, it's not us putting so-called "free will" in such a prominent place but the narrative of Scripture itself...

And this idea of Adam and Eve being ignorant, innocent little babies morally, who stumbled into evil and couldn't possibly know better just doesn't fly Biblically... they were created with full knowledge of God and mental faculties that surpassed ours; and the command was crystal clear. You usually only see this kind of tripe objections from atheists...







Sometimes the bible sounds like it contradicts itself in that it seems to indicate God can see the future or at the very least predict the future based on his omniscience yet we also see descriptions where God seems surprised by something. I have to conclude the descriptions of God being surprised are literary devices used by the authors to benefit their readers. Again i think our free will is greatly overestimated as to it's importance and is given to us by God to the extent it serves his purposes.

I judge Adam and Eve by their reactions. As soon as Eve saw the tree she committed all the sins of the world before she took a bite of the apple. Lust of the flesh and eyes and pride of life. Adam standing right with her partook also. You claim they had this knowledge and maturity but i can't see it.

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