Hello...I'm one of those dreaded agnostics.
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I'm most certain that's a loach not an eel.
You're most certainly half right, John. One's a loach. The other's an eel.
Re: honest eels
No. But they're honestly slippery. It makes me them buggers to get off a hand line.
I know, they're quite nice to eat paradoxically. When night fishing I never tried to unhook them, I always took a spare dry towel to hold them and just cut the line, they're buggers to kill as well, and skinning them is hard work.
My response would be that a description of God is more useful than a definition of God. Defining the word lion is great, but a description of a lion is much more helpful. If you're interested in my personal description of God, I get it from Scripture; though once again, when it comes to atheism vs theism, much broader descriptions exist.
I do however question your objection to Webster's definition. Presumably you've never met or seen evidence of my brother's existence; you probably didn't know I had one until just now, and had you concluded that I didn't had one you'd be wrong.
I will write a longer reply later but have to keep this one short.
Did not know your brothers existence, you say he exists, great, you could probably quite easily prove your bro's existence with real world evidence that is VERY compelling. Also it not an extraordinary claim to say you have a brother.
I was looking for definition, to me, in this conversation it is more useful then description.
Told ya so. Some animals have evolved to survive by extruding lubricants that either prevent their capture or facilitate their escape when their existence is threatened. BEHOLD the J6ix.
I was looking for definition, to me, in this conversation it is more useful then description
Well you found your definition in the dictionary; I don't define the term much differently. You say that's what you want, but its not. Its like asking me to define the term human, when you want to know about John specifically. It doesn't make much sense to look up the definition of John.
" If you're interested in my personal description of God, I get it from Scripture."
That doesn't help much, John. Some of god's attributes described in Scripture are so utterly abhorrent, no right thinking, decent human being could possibly believe in them, let alone praise them. Could you give us chapter and verse please? And a brief summary of why you find them compelling?
I'm not fond of broad descriptions, myself. I've seen the chaos they cause. Could you be a little more specific, please?
Totally disagree, John. If someone tells me they believe in a Higher Power, I need more information- they could mean anything from The Universe and karma to Allah and Yahweh and back again. If they clarify by telling me they believe in God, I still need more information- do they mean Allah, Yahweh, who? Who is this god and what does it do or not do? If they try to settle it by telling me they're a Christian, it just makes things worse. What kind of Christian? Moderate Australian Catholic? Witch burning African Catholic? Quaker? Young Earth Creationist? Westboro Baptist church guy picketing a serviceman's funeral?
We have to have both conversations, and it has to start with a definition of god first. I can't help but think you want it the other way round for reasons of your own. Reasons like knowing the omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent god doesn't stand up to scrutiny, so if you can just get atheists to concede an omniscient or omnibenevolent or omnipotent deity might exist - some First Cause entirely indifferent to us who then walked away- you can shut atheists up all together and stop any scrutiny of your god at all.
And they are fascinating conversations to have. Some of the beliefs I've been told are truly beautiful - and if the individual holding those beliefs bases his conduct on those beliefs, I'm fine with it and wish more believers thought that way. Some beliefs are truly horrible- harsh, crueI, intolerant, vindictive and exclusive- and I'm relieved the individuals holding those beliefs are the minority. There is such diversity in what people mean when they say they're Christians. I was raised Catholic, my family are still Catholic, with Catholic extended family and friends, and the diversity of belief amongst these Catholics is astounding! The RCC wouldn’t recognise much of it, believe me. :-)
No. The conversation about what god IS has to come first. How I can tell if I believe in your god or not if you won’t tell me what it is?
I'm not sure in what way you're disagreeing with me. When someone tells you they believe in a Higher Power (first question) you then proceed to ask for specifics (second question).
For chapter and verse start with Genesis 1:1.
*schlooooop* the sound of an escaping breezy....and the sales of KY escalate.
Sorry John. I should have been clearer. You said:
"Well no; that is why I said the first question to ask has to be a broad one, since theism encompasses a broad territory. After that, once the dust has settled and the theism vs atheism debate is over, you have to ask the second question about the specifics of theism"
which I took to mean you're saying the theism vs atheism question must be asked first, and only after "the theism vs atheism debate is over" do we move onto " the second question about the specifics of theism", like who is this god person anyway? That's how it reads: cart before horse, from where I'm standing. That's why I disagreed.
Thanks for the one chapter and verse. I'm surprised your faith rests on such a slender reed. Perhaps one day you'll stop evading the question and tell us honestly what you do and don't believe, but I won't hold my breath. I really don't understand why you won't. If you're secure in your faith and find it of value, why not share it?
How much more specific can I get, how much more direct can I be, than to point you to the very source whose description I find to be correct?
To give any other answer, in my opinion, is to be evasive. The point of almost every religion, isn't that man discovered God, but that God revealed Himself to man. I don't get to make up my own definitions. I have to accept the ones that exist, and either find them credible or not.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
So your answer is God is the Creator because Creation because the Creator. Got it. And if I asked you how God did that, you'd probably recite Robert Frost:
We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
Is the God you believe in omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient?
If you can find those terms in scripture then yes, and if not, then no. From what I have seen those terms are shortcut philosophical descriptions. Scripture rarely defines God, rather, it describes him. Looking at them is the best way to know whether He is omnipotent and in what way.
And omnibenevolent, John? Omniscient? If he's not omnibenevolent, should I fear him rather than love him? Scripture seems to say so, quite a lot. If he's not omniscient, it would explain free will, but it would leave a lot more questions than it answered all up. It would reduce his omnipotence down to superhero level, in my opinion.
So. Anyway. What do you think? Is he omniscient, omnibenevolent and omnipotent? Scripture would suggest he isn't the first or the second- actions speak louder than, and all that. What's your opinion on his omniscience and omnibenevolence?
Edit: missed a word
My opinion is that all the omni-words tend to be cartoonish. They are not, in their most abstract sense, compatible with Scripture.
In the omnipotence category you'll find people which suggest that unless God can create a rock so large that He cannot move it, then He's not omnipotent. To me that's flawed thinking and incompatible with Scripture.
Yes, John. The heavy rock story was, is and always will be bloody stupid. I'm surprised you brought it up, to be honest. I haven't heard it for years.
You said a few comments back you think it better to describe God than to define it. Well, omnibenevolent is an adjective. So is omnipotent and omniscient. They are also the three adjectives most commonly used to describe the Christian God in Christian theology and apologetics.
The notion of a being who is all good and all knowing is no more cartoonish than the notion of it being all powerful, yet you have no trouble talking about God's omnipotence- you referred me to Genesis 1:1. I'm not interested in what Scripture says, John- I don't accept its authority- I'm interested in what YOU think: do YOU believe God is omnibenevolent and omniscient as well as omnipotent? All three, at once? It's a pretty straightforward question. And if you don’t believe in an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent God, why not? You clearly believe in the omnipotence- Genesis 1:1: what about the other two? Especially the last one.
If the only response you can give me is Genesis 1:1 and old apologetics about heavy rocks, I'll be forced to conclude you've either given no more thought to your faith than you have to your multiplication tables or you're evading the question.
I just told you my opinion of those words. Whatever those words might mean, I'm basing it on Scripture, not philosophy, not apologetics.
That is where those words come from after all, from philosophy and apologetics.
Ok John. You dislike the omni adjectives and prefer to take your descriptions straight from Scripture.
Here’s 61 verses on God’s lovingkindness:
And here’s 13 about His infinite understanding:
And here’s 13 verses about Almighty God:
So Scripture tells us God is Almighty. That with Him, all things are possible. That no purpose of His can be thwarted and He can raise the dead. His lovingkindness is everlasting and no one is good except God alone. His understanding is infinite, He knows all things, He knows the hearts of all men.
Is this the God you believe in, John?
So long as the context is understood, along with the intent of the speaker, yes.
John, you wrote, “So long as the context is understood, along with the intent of the speaker, yes.”
Who is the arbiter when there are conflicts in the understanding of context or intent of the speaker? You?
Linguistics, history, anthropology, psychology, the same tools and methods we use to interpret and understand written language everywhere else.
And who is the arbiter when these are interpreted in ways with which you disagree?
John, really, even you should be able to see the slippery component to your (non)answer.
Does that mean you agree with Scripture except when you don’t agree with Scripture, John?
Does that mean you think Scripture's descriptions of God are the way to understand God except when you don’t agree with Scripture's descriptions of God?
Edit: Add second question.
It means I agree with Scripture, expect for when it is taken out of context, and the authors intent misinterpreted.
Who, as in which person, determines when something is out of context?
I'm not sure I understand what you're asking.
I'm a Protestant; at the end of the day it is the responsibility of the individual to determine for themselves what makes sense and what doesn't. That doesn't mean there aren't right and wrong answers, but you already know my position on authority.
So, you are responsible for determining context for yourself, correct?
Are you also responsible for determining context for others?
So no one in particular determines the right / wrong answers for everyone on issues of context dispute?