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Old 07-03-2006, 03:58 PM
  # 61 (permalink)  
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Yes I do reject the christian 'explanation'.

But I have given it aLOT of thought over the years, have been part of 'Alpha' groups, read and reread the Bible, and enjoyed long discourse with Christian friends.

What do you mean 'there are others too?' could you elaborate?

If you mean there are other faiths, it hadnt escaped me. Im really interested in religion and have investigated many different faiths.It takes along time though...years. Iam most impressed with Buddhism so far, It feels wise and compassionate, although deeper than I could ever imagine. I have soft spot for Hinduism having done a lot of growing up in India (still more to be done...sigh).
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Old 07-03-2006, 04:03 PM
  # 62 (permalink)  
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However having said I reject the christian 'explanation' I am still interested in whatyou have to say best.

Most of the reason why I reject the christian 'explaination' is because I have never recieved satisfying answers to questions such as these.
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Old 07-03-2006, 04:47 PM
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Talking

What IF doing the Hokey Pokey IS what IT'S all about????
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Old 07-03-2006, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by michski
What IF doing the Hokey Pokey IS what IT'S all about????
You put your left foot in...Wait...I get my foot in the door, I am Not taking it out *LOL*
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Old 07-03-2006, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by clancy
However having said I reject the christian 'explanation' I am still interested in whatyou have to say best.

Most of the reason why I reject the christian 'explaination' is because I have never recieved satisfying answers to questions such as these.
On faith, hope and with trust in God, I accept what His word tells me.
What brought me to such a place?
I stepped out in faith and put my life in God's hands. I bought and started reading the bible for the very first time June of 98.
My whole life has changed and continues to change in ways that amaze me.
Areas that i have tried changing for many years were changed over night.
I accepted and from that point on, God has and continues to prove Himself to me. With all that has happened and with all I have seen over the past 8 years, I have found no reason at all to doubt God.
I take nothing that others tell me as fact. I study and look for answers for myself. In every area that I have looked for answers to find the truth or disprove what others have told me... I always end up with the same answers in my life... God is real and I have no reason to doubt what His word says through the bible. the Old Testsament as Christians call it, is the Jewish bible (Torah) The New Testament follows along with the old plus explains the life of Jesus as he lived in the flesh. Through my college studies as well as my personal studies, I have not found error or reason to doubt.
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:55 PM
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"Next time somebody tells you something that sounds important, think to yourself: "Is this the kind of thing that people probably know because of evidence? Or is it the kind of thing that people only believe because of tradition, authority, or revelation?" And, next time somebody tells you that something is true, why not say to them: "What kind of evidence is there for that?" And if they can't give you a good answer, I hope you'll think very carefully before you believe a word they say."
Richard Dawkins
(evolutionary biologist; reader in the Department of Zoology at Oxford University; fellow of New College.)
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Old 07-04-2006, 12:58 AM
  # 67 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by best
On faith, hope and with trust in God, I accept what His word tells me.
What brought me to such a place?
I stepped out in faith and put my life in God's hands. I bought and started reading the bible for the very first time June of 98.
My whole life has changed and continues to change in ways that amaze me.
Areas that i have tried changing for many years were changed over night.
I accepted and from that point on, God has and continues to prove Himself to me. With all that has happened and with all I have seen over the past 8 years, I have found no reason at all to doubt God.
I take nothing that others tell me as fact. I study and look for answers for myself. In every area that I have looked for answers to find the truth or disprove what others have told me... I always end up with the same answers in my life... God is real and I have no reason to doubt what His word says through the bible. the Old Testsament as Christians call it, is the Jewish bible (Torah) The New Testament follows along with the old plus explains the life of Jesus as he lived in the flesh. Through my college studies as well as my personal studies, I have not found error or reason to doubt.

ARGH! This is the sort of evvasive answer I have ALWAYS GOTTEN every time I have asked these questions!

This illustrates beautifully why im not a christian.
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:11 AM
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:38 AM
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I don't think it's evasive, clancy. I think it's an answer based on revelation, which IMO is not something that can be described in a 'reasoned' manner. Not that people haven't tried to 'reason' the existence of god! But that's a whole 'nother topic....
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:44 AM
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Well I must be missing something then.....how does what best said address what I asked??
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:57 AM
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Oh, I see. No, you've got a point there: the 'why do bad things happen to good people?' question. I won't speak for best, but in my experience this is usually just answered with something like...
'god works in mysterious ways'
or
'god is all-knowing, we aren't' (i.e., we don't always know what god's will is).

My favorite was what the pastor said in a comparative theology class I took: 'Don, we'll leave that one to the Jesuits'.
He was a Lutheran....
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Old 07-04-2006, 02:32 AM
  # 72 (permalink)  
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Or, "It's a matter or test of faith." I have heard that soooo many times.

Hey Clance..... I used to ask those same questions, and I actually found a good answer once. I read somewhere that the reason bad things happen is so we can see the good. I sure wish I could recall the source. It was written so that it made very good sense to me at the time..... sort of like when bad things happen, it brings out the good in people. It may be in one of my books somewhere..... I'll try my best to find it. I have this book called How Can It Be All Right When Everything Is All Wrong? It might be in there...... that book is chock full of such explanations.

There are some really good posts on this thread..... I was here reading last night, and fell asleep with my keyboard in my lap. There just isn't enough time in a day! Hopefully I can hang out here for a few hours.

Thanks all for the wonderful responses..... I really love this thread.
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Old 07-04-2006, 03:11 AM
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The book I have describes "it" as the gift of Grace. Grace is a bit different than faith, I think. The whole 1st chapter is devoted to it, so there really isn't any one paragraph I can quote that will make sense out of it. But I suppose from the perspective of a person of faith, it would make very good sense. I would especially recommend this book to a person of faith who is struggling with worldly crises, tragedies, etc.

I believe Morning Glory has started a thread about Grace; I'll find it and post the link.
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Old 07-04-2006, 03:41 AM
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Grace:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...013-grace.html

I hope this helps somewhat. I didn't read it all..... it seems a rather intermediate read for someone who just wants to know "Why??"

I do think a lot of good events happen as a result of terrible ones. They unify people. Grace seems like the answer for accepting these occurrences..... which I think is really what it's all about rather than trying to understand why bad things happen. I understand Grace. I just can't put it into words. So don't mind me.

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Old 07-04-2006, 04:00 AM
  # 75 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DesertEyes
Hey gang,

Sorry I'm late to the party.

Death and dying are particularly intriguing subjects to me, thanx for starting this thread. My interest is strictly personal, I have no education or degrees in any of the relevant disciplines. All I have is a little bit of experience.

I have died 5 times so far. Officially. Heart stopped, EMT's or ER docs were about to write me off and surprise! Rusty ol' body cranked up, sputtered and I'm still here. There's a nasty little disease running thru my body and the docs have no clue why I'm still alive. Never mind how to fix the problem.

No Hollywood special effects for me. I saw no "white lights" or angels or souls of the dearly departed. Maybe I wasn't dead long enough. I have no idea how "long" is long "enough". Since I was brought back with minimal damage to the ol' nogging I couldn't have been too close to "enough".

Dying doesn't scare me. It doesn't hurt. If there's a heaven afterwards that would be great, and if there isn't, then I won't miss it.

Living scares me. There is so much pain, anguish and cruelty in the world. So many people suffering in misery. One of these days yours truly is going to have episode #6 and the world will no longer be my problem. In the meantime I've reached an acceptance about life and death. There is not a darn thing I can do about my dying. Nothing. Out of my control. However, there is a huge amount of things I can do about my living.

In my life there have been many people who reached out and made a difference. Those people did not change the world, but they changed mine. As was posted earlier, even a simple smile can change make a difference. So while I'm still around I intend to do what I can to make my little corner of the world the best it can be.

Don't want a mausoleum, or a funeral, or any of that stuff. (Leaves more flowers and marble for you guys ) The only place I want to be remembered is not in some building, or piece of art. I want to be remembered in the most eternal place there is, in the hearts and souls of those I touched.

Yesterday it rained, and some little frogs that live under my A/C came out to frollic. I took a little time to enjoy their company, and that of the warm rain. I met with some friends in the evening, and had a cuople very nice phone conversations. My world was beautiful and perfect yesterday, and today is looking great so far. That's all I have. No clue if I'll have a tomorrow. If I do that's great. If I don't, that's fine too cuz I've had the best life I could ever have dreamed of. One day at a time, sometimes with friends, sometimes with silly little frogs in the rain.

I have a running joke with some of my friends in a support group I attend for terminal folks like me: First person to discover an afterlife has to come back and give the rest of us the winning lottery numbers

Mike
((((Mike))))..... it is so good to see you again. I think of you a whole lot, and missed you too. Thanks for sharing your story. I am so very grateful to have been on the receiving end of your wisdom, and I hope someday that I can do the honor of passing it along to others as you would have intended. I want so much for you to know that it wasn't wasted on me.

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and time with me.....

and

I love You, my friend.....

xo
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Old 07-04-2006, 04:02 AM
  # 76 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by clancy
Well I must be missing something then.....how does what best said address what I asked??
The ills of the world are caused because of the sins of mankind.
I can't answer why God does or doesn't do but I can try with my tiny human brain to reason out as best I can what is beyond my understanding.

We all will die. Death is 100% No one gets away from death.

Everything has a purpose and when bad things happen, people react.
God uses the bad as He brings it to work for good.

A farmer plants a crop. He knows (within reason) that some plants will grow a good fruit/flower and some won't. Some plants may be culled out when they start to grow, some may be left because by pulling them, you would slow the developement of the good plant. Two plants growing side by side would cause a competition and cause them to each try harder. Removing all hardships could slow the developement because the competition isn't there.
In organic gardening, you can plant Marigolds among the tomato plants. The Marigolds will attract the insects or cause some insects to stay away, in either case, the tomatos are kept safer from insects going after them.
Does a farmer look less upon the Marigolds? He sees them as a necessity to a healthy garden. Each plant has a purpose and each plant will die in it's time.
Why God does things I can't say and my meger attempts through examples above may hold some solid reasoning but I am only human and I am limited in understanding because of that. God is beyond our understanding and that is why people will give answers like Don S said are given.
I won't speak for best, but in my experience this is usually just answered with something like...
'god works in mysterious ways'
or
'god is all-knowing, we aren't' (i.e., we don't always know what god's will is)
This brings me back to a point of faith. I accept and hope on faith as I place my life in God's hands and rely on His promises that no matter what comes my way, He will bring me to paradise when my time on this earth is finished.
Be I a marigold or a tomato plant, I will be with Him in heaven.
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Old 07-04-2006, 04:07 AM
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I find it useful to remove the value-laden words like 'good' and 'bad' from the discussion, and instead to be more direct if we are going to use adjectives about them. Tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes have occurred since long before there were people. They just happen.

It isn't the decision of a god that thousands will die when those happen. It may be the result of poor decisions over many years by people, or it may just be plain bad luck. It doesn't do us much good to try and read meaning into these events. It's more useful to try to deal with the aftermath.

The event is amazing (an island moved 100' in seconds last year), though completely explainable. The results to humans are scary, sad, ennobling, profound, and many other things. The results to the environment are dramatic, cataclysmic, etc. Not good, not bad, except perhaps with regard to a specific species or outcome.

Sometimes when tragedies occur to innocent ('good') people due to the actions of sociopaths, we have more trouble explaining or accepting it. It contravenes our values, it scares us because it could happen to us, it makes us question what people are capable of. But IMO the fact that some people are sociopaths is balanced by the fact that others--many others--are altruists. Being non-Christian, I don't think that people are innately good or bad, don't believe that people have fallen from grace or are filled with sin. I think human nature is complex and doesn't lend itself to easy characterization. In fact, it alarms me when people find it easy to make such characterizations and describe people or cultures as 'evil'.
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Old 07-04-2006, 05:36 AM
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Yuh, you speak a lot of sense Don.

I think the questions Iasked are unanswerable really, best has had a go, but he didnt really manage to prove the philosophical point I was interested in...

It just seems to me God cant control the forces of the earth....because there are just little instances i remember that seem SO cruel....I remeber seeing a photograph of a little girl who had been caught up to her neck in flood water for three days after a disaster.....the suffering in her face was almost too much to bear...she had been cying out to god...eventually she collapsed from a heart attack and sank in to the water.

When I looked at that girls face I felt SURE there was no god.i could accept the earthquake and the deaths with Gods presence,but, really guys, the religious amoung you, answer me this, why did she have die so cruelly? I can think of many more examples but that one sticks with me.

If God was all knowing, he would have known she was there, if he was all powerful, the very LEAST he could have done was kill her quickly...if he was good,he would have.

But he either didnt know of her suffering, couldnt help, or wouldnt. therefore he is either not all powerful,not all knowing,or not Good. there fore he is not GOD,therefore God doent exsist.

can you follow this reasoning? faith isnt enough.
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Old 07-04-2006, 05:50 AM
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I follow your reasoning.
I reject your premise, though.

I do NOT believe that G*D is all powerful, (though I do believe in G*D, personally). I struggled with this question for a long time. Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote of hisown struggle in When Bad Things Happen to Good People, the book I recommended earlier.

In it, Kushner rejects the all powerful G*D too. He shared his own story about his boy, who died from a very rare disease that causes children to die from old age.

Here's a review of the book:
Rarely does a book come along that tackles a perennially difficult human issue with such clarity and intelligence. Harold Kushner, a Jewish rabbi facing his own child's fatal illness, deftly guides us through the inadequacies of the traditional answers to the problem of evil, then provides a uniquely practical and compassionate answer that has appealed to millions of readers across all religious creeds. Remarkable for its intensely relevant real-life examples and its fluid prose, this book cannot go unread by anyone who has ever been troubled by the question, "Why me?"
G*D grieves with you and I over that little girl.
And all the others who suffer needlessly.
G*D gives us the strength to continue on.

I strongly recommend this book to those of us who have these questions.
(And who among us does not?)

Shalom!
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Old 07-04-2006, 06:07 AM
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I am suprised to hear you too reject the all powerful God. You still accept he is all powerful and benign though... Hmm I will order the book you sugest from Amazon.It sounds very interesting. Things like this bother me alot.

Since I have been studying photojournalism I have been wondering even more about God and why he allows stuff to happen like this....I had this childs picture to study for a ssignment...now i can never get her face out of my head...I was going to post the picture but then I thought maybe not...her eyes just haunt me.

sigh.life is sooooooo harsh.so harsh. I wish I fully understood why. Karma makes more sense to me...maybe your book will help too.
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