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Thread: One on One: The God of Allsmiles vs. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

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    One on One: The God of Allsmiles vs. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

    My young friend Allsmiles has graciously agreed to participate in this one on one, the purpose of which is to explore his concept of god, to the extent that he actually has one. For those unaware of young smiles, he often claims to believe in a god other than that described in the Bible, or any other known religious text. I am sure that he is not alone in this, so I thought it might be interesting to explore such a belief system.

    My understanding is that this discussion will be open for one week. I suggest no rules other than that we take turns. I pledge to be respectful to smiles in this discussion, at least I will avoid name calling and expletives, and I trust that Allsmiles will do the same.

    As a starting point, I would ask Allsmiles to tell us how he perceives of his god, to the extent that he actually believes in a god, and to evaluate his certainty in that belief.
    God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


    A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob57
    As a starting point, I would ask Allsmiles to tell us how he perceives of his god, to the extent that he actually believes in a god, and to evaluate his certainty in that belief.
    no expletives? i'm outta here.

    but seriously folks...

    how i perceive "my" god...

    1st) it's not my god, i don't pledge allegiance to it, i don't consistently worship or venerate it... there are some pagan holidays i embrace, the solstice (winter and summer), easter, things like that. as it stands i'm a lousy pagan but that's neither here nor there, i'm kinda lazy by nature... but as for these holidays i don't necessarily worship what i consider to be "god" for lack of a better word.

    if you want further clarification on what i do venerate i'll expand, but i don't think it's necessary now.

    2nd) "god" is perceptible through it's creation. hug a tree, kiss a lady, hit your thumb with a hammer, smell the roses, taste the strawberry, there's really no getting away from it. i would say god is reality and all power, life, energy and sensations associated with it. god was the force behind katrina and the power behind the heart beats of the 9/11 terrorists, just as god is the sound of a child's laughter, the miracle of birth, the heat of the sun, etc.

    the extent to which i actually believe in this "god"...

    as much as anyone can believe in anything that cannot be measured or comprehended. i fully accept the possibilities that there is no god, that there is the christian god, that allah is the creator, that krishna was the 8th avatar of vishnu, etc. i believe my description of god is the most logical and realistic, it's not hindered by literary embellishments or the boundaries of human imagination. god as i see it is in everything, is everything and all things are in it's image and it is in the image of all things. it is anonymous, emotionless, impersonal, unmotivated by gain or loss, infinite and immeasurable as a whole, separate individual entity. it is in all and is all.

    but i could be wrong, i'm comfortable with that. the literary depiction of god according to the hebrews could be the true god.

    my certainty...

    as above, i'm only certain in my assertion in that it is the simplest explanation. it requires no struggle between good and evil (humans struggle with this moral cunundrum), it requires no atonement (humans struggle with guilt), it does not attribute finite, human conditions to an infinite, inhuman force, such as jealousy, wrath, fatherhood, etc.

    i don't really have any questions for you doc... i'm not entirely sure what to expect from you in return. questions i suppose, but i don't know what biblical case you could make against this.

    i'll be here all week folks...
    The most important thing anyone can learn from 1st century greco-roman mystery cults is that complex religious systems can arise and develop without an historical founder.

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    So it appears that you would agree with Paul who wrote in Romans 1:

    what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead
    True? If not, to what extent do you disagree?

    A couple of other questions, as we establish our framework here.

    Is god conscious?
    Is god amoral, or does morality not exist, making the question irrelevant, or is god bimoral, both good and bad?
    God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


    A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob57
    So it appears that you would agree with Paul who wrote in Romans 1:
    kind of... remember, i never said the bible doesn't contain spiritual truths, just very few literal ones... i don't believe in applying a gender to god, and i don't believe it has any authority in a human sense as paul did.

    "god" is visible to an extent through what it has created, how the creation manipulates it, and how we experience the creation, but it does not have authority, just power.

    A couple of other questions, as we establish our framework here.

    Is god conscious?
    as a neutral life force, i would say no... it doesn't feel emotions, but it is emotions, it doesn't think, but it's the power behind our minds. like i said before we manipulate the life force in that it is necessary for the miracle of life, but my father and mother "manipulated" it when they conceived me.

    Is god amoral, or does morality not exist, making the question irrelevant, or is god bimoral, both good and bad?
    god is not motivated by human standards of good and evil. it powers all things, the compassion of the compassionate and the fury of a madman. rainbows and hurricanes.
    The most important thing anyone can learn from 1st century greco-roman mystery cults is that complex religious systems can arise and develop without an historical founder.

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    Gotta work now . . . back later . . . thanks for the responses smiles, feel free to elaborate if you so choose. One quick question, is god the creator, or the creation?
    God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


    A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob57
    Gotta work now . . . back later . . . thanks for the responses smiles, feel free to elaborate if you so choose. One quick question, is god the creator, or the creation?
    both.
    The most important thing anyone can learn from 1st century greco-roman mystery cults is that complex religious systems can arise and develop without an historical founder.

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    So god created nature, and is nature, and god, not being conscious, or possessing self-consciousness, did this without any plan, is this correct?
    God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


    A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob57
    So god created nature, and is nature, and god, not being conscious, or possessing self-consciousness, did this without any plan, is this correct?
    without being too dogmatic...

    Last edited by allsmiles; September 27th, 2005 at 10:45 AM.
    The most important thing anyone can learn from 1st century greco-roman mystery cults is that complex religious systems can arise and develop without an historical founder.

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    Would it be fair to say that, in essence, you are simply using the term "god" as a synonym for "nature?" Or is there more to it than that?
    God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


    A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob57
    Would it be fair to say that, in essence, you are simply using the term "god" as a synonym for "nature?" Or is there more to it than that?
    god's familiar, it's all encompassing, nature's part of it, but it also includes emotions, thought, energy, etc.

    i would say that "god" is more synonymous with "reality".
    The most important thing anyone can learn from 1st century greco-roman mystery cults is that complex religious systems can arise and develop without an historical founder.

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    Going back to Romans 1, then, we could infer that you might fall within the class of people that Paul described as . . .

    22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    Why to you consider your concept of God superior to the Christian concept?
    God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


    A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob57
    Going back to Romans 1, then, we could infer that you might fall within the class of people that Paul described as . . .
    if by "we" you mean yourself and fellow christians, than yes, i suppose it would be your duty to label according to what your holy book dictates. i was wondering though:

    could you cite words of christ that support paul's assertion?

    Why do you consider your concept of God superior to the Christian concept?
    for starters it does not require fear or guilt. it does not entail eternal consequences, it leaves the responsibility for our goodness or evil on ourselves as individuals.

    i believe that any system that "reveals" the origin of evil from a source other than the individual minds of individual humans to be in error. the same goes for goodness. we are the source of our own morality and the source of our own actions. in my system no blame exists, none for the serpent, woman, man, etc. my system is free of the moral conundrums that have been the subject of fierce debate for thousands of years amongst the religious community.

    i'm of the opinion, from everything i have gathered in what studies i have done, that the moral dilemmas forced on the world by the religious community (whether it be christian or not) are ficticious in nature and create more problems than they solve.
    The most important thing anyone can learn from 1st century greco-roman mystery cults is that complex religious systems can arise and develop without an historical founder.

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    if by "we" you mean yourself and fellow christians, than yes, i suppose it would be your duty to label according to what your holy book dictates. i was wondering though:

    could you cite words of christ that support paul's assertion?
    No, but given that I believe that the entire Bible is inspired by God, this does not create a problem for me



    for starters it does not require fear or guilt. it does not entail eternal consequences, it leaves the responsibility for our goodness or evil on ourselves as individuals.
    I would quarrel with the notion that Christianity requires fear and guilt, but, laying that aside, fear and guilt are not, per se, bad are they? I can see why you would be uncomfortable with the idea of eternal consequences, but you would not argue that your discomfort means that they don't exist, I assume. And, certainly, Christianity does not lift the responsibility for good and evil from us. If so, please explain how.

    i believe that any system that "reveals" the origin of evil from a source other than the individual minds of individual humans to be in error. the same goes for goodness. we are the source of our own morality and the source of our own actions. in my system no blame exists, none for the serpent, woman, man, etc. my system is free of the moral conundrums that have been the subject of fierce debate for thousands of years amongst the religious community.
    It would appear that blame would exist for the individual in your system. Or, returning to a previous question, does morality actually exist, or is this a man-made illusion?


    i'm of the opinion, from everything i have gathered in what studies i have done, that the moral dilemmas forced on the world by the religious community (whether it be christian or not) are ficticious in nature and create more problems than they solve.
    Examples, please.
    God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


    A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

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    Quote Originally Posted by docrob57
    No, but given that I believe that the entire Bible is inspired by God, this does not create a problem for me
    so your faith is not entirely dependant upon the words of christ?

    I would quarrel with the notion that Christianity requires fear and guilt, but, laying that aside, fear and guilt are not, per se, bad are they?
    no, fear and guilt aren't necessarily a bad thing, it's a case by case basis though.

    I can see why you would be uncomfortable with the idea of eternal consequences, but you would not argue that your discomfort means that they don't exist, I assume.
    uncomfortable isn't the word i would use. disgusted is more like it. i have accepted the slim possibility that what you folks preach is true, and i'm comfortable with that, so discomfort really isn't a word that describes how i feel about your doctrine.

    And, certainly, Christianity does not lift the responsibility for good and evil from us. If so, please explain how.
    if i do wrong, i have to deal with it. i don't have a savior to look to for forgiveness, i have to deal with real world issues in the real world, not a world that exists 2000 years ago between the covers of a book. i don't believe that one can have true, personal responsibility for his deeds, good or evil, if such a savior actually exists.

    It would appear that blame would exist for the individual in your system. Or, returning to a previous question, does morality actually exist, or is this a man-made illusion?
    everything's man made doc at least in the realm of human morality.

    Examples, please.
    i dunno, on a level of ideals i would have to say that death to infidels, the dominion of the planet, the murder of witches, the murder of heretics, the existence of heresy to begin with, the mandated desolation and desecration of pagan sites, christianization in general (i.e., the rape of the american indian, prohibition, the assimilation of pagan rites and holy days, etc.) and spiritual elitism in the form exclusivity.

    all of these are problems inspired and acted upon by organized religion. i suppose this goes a little bit beyond the confines of christianity itself as islam is more than guilty for the suppression and persecution of other religions as well (look into the oppresion and dispersal of zoroastrianism).
    The most important thing anyone can learn from 1st century greco-roman mystery cults is that complex religious systems can arise and develop without an historical founder.

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    so your faith is not entirely dependant upon the words of christ?




    everything's man made doc at least in the realm of human morality.



    i dunno, on a level of ideals i would have to say that death to infidels, the dominion of the planet, the murder of witches, the murder of heretics, the existence of heresy to begin with, the mandated desolation and desecration of pagan sites, christianization in general (i.e., the rape of the american indian, prohibition, the assimilation of pagan rites and holy days, etc.) and spiritual elitism in the form exclusivity.

    all of these are problems inspired and acted upon by organized religion. i suppose this goes a little bit beyond the confines of christianity itself as islam is more than guilty for the suppression and persecution of other religions as well (look into the oppresion and dispersal of zoroastrianism).
    I consider the Bible to be the Word of God. I do not look at it as the word of Paul, the word of Peter, etc.

    The fact that you are disgusted by eternal life would seem to necessarily acompany your rejection of the Savior. You are intellectually honest enough to recognize that you are not worthy of salvation. On that I congratulate you. However, it appears that you reject the Savior in the hope that there is no eternal life so that you can maintain your "autonomy" relative to God without worrying about the consequences. Of course, you do worry about the consequences, otherwise you wouldn't be here.

    The fact that atrocities have been committed in the name of organized religion seems to be particularly bothersome to you. Do you think that the Bible contains specific instruction to commit these atrocities, or is it possible that these things are committed by people, acting on their own, trying to justify their actions in the name of religion. Keep in mind that Christianity was also used as a basis for the abolitionist and civil rights movements.
    God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


    A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

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