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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:33 pm
 


I don't intend this to be a post that starts a long discussion and invites people to go into proselytizing mode. It's just intended to get something off my chest.

The awful tragedy of the school shooting in Connecticut just drives home to me again the futility of believing in a merciful God, one who can make a difference in your life.

It's all well and good to believe in the teachings of Jesus, as far as how people should treat each other. It's a fine moral example and one most of us attempt in good conscience to follow, even if it were divorced from the idea of Christianity God and heaven.

But when did prayer and belief ever do any good, in an objective sense? People can fool themselves into believing in God, and in appealing to him, but a God that grants or ignores prayers with absolutely no predictability at all isn't of any use to anybody, except in lending some kind of fatalistic strength to people who have "faith".

"God's will", or "I didn't pray hard enough" or "There is something wrong with me that caused God to ignore my prayers" are all rationalizations that hide the truth --- If there really is a God, he doesn't care.

The parents of those poor murdered children may derive some sort of strength from faith: I hope they do, because they need any help they can get to go on with their shattered lives. But it's not something I can believe in.

I hope those parents find whatever comfort they can. I can't say my prayers are with them, obviously, but as a parent my heart is with them. I know first hand about that kind of loss, and it is truly hard, almost impossible, to bear.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:52 pm
 


Jonny_C wrote:
I don't intend this to be a post that starts a long discussion and invites people to go into proselytizing mode. It's just intended to get something off my chest.

The awful tragedy of the school shooting in Connecticut just drives home to me again the futility of believing in a merciful God, one who can make a difference in your life.

It's all well and good to believe in the teachings of Jesus, as far as how people should treat each other. It's a fine moral example and one most of us attempt in good conscience to follow, even if it were divorced from the idea of Christianity God and heaven.

But when did prayer and belief ever do any good, in an objective sense? People can fool themselves into believing in God, and in appealing to him, but a God that grants or ignores prayers with absolutely no predictability at all isn't of any use to anybody, except in lending some kind of fatalistic strength to people who have "faith".

"God's will", or "I didn't pray hard enough" or "There is something wrong with me that caused God to ignore my prayers" are all rationalizations that hide the truth --- If there really is a God, he doesn't care.

The parents of those poor murdered children may derive some sort of strength from faith: I hope they do, because they need any help they can get to go on with their shattered lives. But it's not something I can believe in.

I hope those parents find whatever comfort they can. I can't say my prayers are with them, obviously, but as a parent my heart is with them. I know first hand about that kind of loss, and it is truly hard, almost impossible, to bear.


It appears you assume that the only relationship with God is based on him doing stuff for you.

Not always the case.

The old stand by of God hears all prayers but doesn't answer them is the challenge of faith that religious people have.

I'm not quite sure why you care enough to post this since it does not appear you have faith or a relationship with a divine being.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:53 pm
 


Events like this are the reason a lot of people need to believe.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:59 pm
 


This should be interesting.

Personally, I don't understand faith, and I never will. But if someone wants to privately practice it, have at er. Try to influence policy with it, and then we got problems. I used to be pretty rabid in my anti-religion, but I'm trying to tone it down. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:00 pm
 


Perhaps God just created the universe and gave its creations free will. Evil results from man exercising his free will, and has nothing to do with the Creator.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:02 pm
 


raydan wrote:
Events like this are the reason a lot of people need to believe.


And a lot of people begin to question their beliefs. 800,000 children die of diarrhea every year. Children die of cancer and other horrible diseases. Children are born with horrible birth defects. The idea of a personal, loving God just doesn't seem to hold water, and in those cases there is no human evil involved - well not directly anyway, tho we could do a lot more about the diarrhea and malnutrition. If there is a personal God, He's either a psychopath or, more likely, we're way short on information about him and His plan - in which case the religions that pretend to know it should just STFU.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:03 pm
 


raydan wrote:
Events like this are the reason a lot of people need to believe.


Reminds of a great little song by Randy Newman, "God's Song."

Quote:
And the Lord said:

"I burn down your cities--how blind you must be
I take from you your children and you say how blessed are we
You must all be crazy to put your faith in me
That's why i love mankind
You really need me
That's why i love mankind"


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:03 pm
 


ShepherdsDog wrote:
Perhaps God just created the universe and gave its creations free will. Evil results from man exercising his free will, and has nothing to do with the Creator.


See my post below yours. No evil involved in innocent children (and adults for that matter) getting horrible diseases and suffering. How about locked in syndrome - anybody deserve that?


Last edited by andyt on Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:04 pm
 


ShepherdsDog wrote:
Perhaps God just created the universe and gave its creations free will. Evil results from man exercising his free will, and has nothing to do with the Creator.


My general interpretation of God's will. We all have the ability to do great evil or great good. We all have our personal challenges, be it physical, mental, emotional, etc, that might make evil feel more tempting, but we as human beings must overcome our personal demons and challenges be good, decent human beings to one another. Without free will, why bother with having a corporeal existence, even though it exposes us to the sheer evil nature of some human beings?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:14 pm
 


Well, if we truly have free will, God cannot be omniscient, because the choice of futures is that of those who have free will. If the future is preordained according to God's plan, then we cannot truly have free will. Bit of a philosophical conundrum there.

That said, I'm not a religious man, but I've always appreciated God as a perfection for which to strive.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:26 pm
 


Perhaps God sees all outcomes of all the choices made, but doesn't interfere with the choice, or even know which possibility we will choose. Who knows? People have been debating this for uncounted years. Add quantum theory and the mutiverse....why worry. Do good to one another.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:31 pm
 


raydan wrote:
Events like this are the reason a lot of people need to believe.


And yet people still reach out to the religion of humanity.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:31 pm
 


Tricks wrote:
This should be interesting.

Personally, I don't understand faith, and I never will. But if someone wants to privately practice it, have at er. Try to influence policy with it, and then we got problems. I used to be pretty rabid in my anti-religion, but I'm trying to tone it down. :lol:


You continue to be da man!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:33 pm
 


andyt wrote:
raydan wrote:
Events like this are the reason a lot of people need to believe.


And a lot of people begin to question their beliefs. 800,000 children die of diarrhea every year. Children die of cancer and other horrible diseases. Children are born with horrible birth defects. The idea of a personal, loving God just doesn't seem to hold water, and in those cases there is no human evil involved - well not directly anyway, tho we could do a lot more about the diarrhea and malnutrition. If there is a personal God, He's either a psychopath or, more likely, we're way short on information about him and His plan - in which case the religions that pretend to know it should just STFU.


SInce you don't believe it's irrelevant. Since you feel the need to engage, it appears you just might be seeking to understand.

Try to be honest for once.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:36 pm
 


Tricks wrote:
I used to be pretty rabid in my anti-religion, but I'm trying to tone it down. :lol:

I'm just starting to tone mine up. A woman I know who's a catholic posted an "inspirational" message on facebook that basically said the reason there is violence in schools is because we don't let God into them. I had to ask her if she really though that God was allowing children to be murdered because we won't allow bibles and prayer into schools. She took the message down soon after.


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