It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

God as a Father

page: 1
3
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 02:44 AM
link   
Many Christians believe that God is a Father. Jesus instructs his followers to refer to God as 'Our Father who art in heaven'. What if Yahweh, the God of the Bible, is a Father? Most of us have heard of the idea that 'we're ALL God's children' (despite the fact that the Gospels say he has only ONE begotten son).

So how does God treat his children in the Bible? How loving and merciful is he to Adam and Eve after they disobey? Most parents can forgive their children but not only does Yahweh fail to patch things up with Adam and Eve but he allows them to pass their sins onto their offspring. The sins of the Father are passed to the son.

We can see that the God of the Bible is a reflection of the primitive and horrible morality that Yahweh's creators had as evidenced in Old Testament law. The reason the God of the Bible readily murders his rebellious children is quite clear when you read Leviticus 20 verse 9:


“‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head.


Source

This subject got under my skin at first when I read the Bible as a Christian but when I read the Bible as an atheist it became even disturbing. I even made a video that condenses my analysis of Yahweh's lack of good parenting skills:



God's creators are primitive and thus God is primitive.

So what do you think? If God is a parent, how would you rate his performance either Biblically or in your actual life?




posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 02:53 AM
link   
reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 


In my view, I owe the creator everything. Its not about good or bad treatment from him.

Here is a way to look at it. God made a fish tank and allowed us to enter it, it has its own set of rules and god is only able to observe through the glass, perhaps sending in others to assist us deal with the rules of the tank.

The irony is. God is the fish tank and all that exists inside of it.

The truth of truth will drive us mad I think... In a journey I had recently a phrase came to mind;

The complexity of the problem, can no longer be afforded.

Looking forward to see how the world unfolds in the next few years. were ready to stride forward into whatever comes.



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 03:01 AM
link   
reply to post by Gradius Maximus
 




The irony is. God is the fish tank and all that exists inside of it.


Sort of like pantheism eh? The Universe is God and God is the Universe? I remember believing something similar for a time but eventually I came to realize that the idea served no use. It comforted me at the time because it was just after I deconverted from Christianity and I thought I still needed religious or "spiritual" ideas to fill the gap. However I soon found the idea to be irrelevant to my daily life and, like the God of Christianity, it didn't really have any evidential support.

It's certainly a more attractive idea than the Biblical "Father" God, there's no horrific floods or God sending people out to commit genocide and there's probably no eternal punishment in that sort of mindset which is why it attracted me early on.



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 03:20 AM
link   
reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 


It seems like there is something holding you back from God. In the name of Jesus I ask that you have your faith restored. Friend God is Love! We sinned against Him, and it's not His fault! However He loves us so much that He sent His only son to DIE for us! He loves you so much, more than you could ever imagine. If you give Him a chance He will not let you down.



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 03:35 AM
link   
reply to post by freedish
 




Yeah there are some things holding me back from a belief in god(s), namely logic and the complete lack of credible evidence supporting their existence.

You bring up an excellent point about God as a Father though, his only actual begotten son is sent to die. So God really really is a bad parent if the best idea he can come up with to redeem humanity is to kill his own offspring.

What is Jesus saving us from exactly?



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 04:39 AM
link   

despite the fact that the Gospels say he has only ONE begotten son

Yes, John 3: 16. The football gospel.

So, all other Biblical uses of the phrase, for example in Job 1: 6, are held by Christians to be figurative. God is not literally the father of the angels (they have none), nor literally the father of the Hebrew nation (they have a legendary human ancestor, Abraham).

The figure of speech is widespread. George Washington is America's father. Invention's mother is necessity. No serious person misunderstands what is being said. Nobody asks whether necessity has good parenting skills.


How loving and merciful is he to Adam and Eve after they disobey?

That depends on what you think happened in the story. We have a thread about it currently. We often do.


... he allows them to pass their sins onto their offspring. The sins of the Father are passed to the son.

Actually, that is one of the elements of the current schism in the Christian Church. The Eastern Orthodox believe that a person can only be held accountable for their own actions. The Roman Church believes otherwise, at least for Original Sin. Protestant churches take whichever position they choose, or no position at all.

Off-hand, I don't see how godlessness is advanced by taking sides in a matter currently being disputed among the godly. You end up with an argument to join one church instead of another. Personally, I'd be looking for arguments that urge joining no church at all. That is, I would if I were an atheist.


We can see that the God of the Bible is a reflection of the primitive and horrible morality that Yahweh's creators had as evidenced in Old Testament law.

That is an excellent argument for not living in the Bronze Age. But we know that by the Iron Age, Jews themselves divided on the nature of the Law. It is especially debatable whether the usual sections of atheist concern profess to teach morality, or whether they are what they say they are, the penal code for military occupation of hostile territory.

Martial law is a four-star ladydog. Two thousands years from now, people will consider us moral lepers for allowing soldiers to shoot unarmed looters. They will be right.


God's creators are primitive and thus God is primitive.

So you say, because in your religion, God is made up. In my religion, there are many possible origins for God. Among the people whose religion you are most directly criticizing, God exists apart from human understanding of him, but there are many who believe that human understanding of God develops over time.

Personally, I think that any progress in that department is, at best, "two steps forward, one step backwards." But, from age to age, the secular trend emerges. There is no living religious constituency for murdering lippy children in the developed world. That's yet another compelling argument for not living in the Bronze Age.

It is uninformative, however, about the question of God. In the end, it tells me only that people have changed. When the society you live in gets rich enough, you can send lippy children to a therapist. So you do that.

At the moment, we are that wealthy, in the First World, anyway. Not quite rich enough not to shoot looters, though. But in two thousand years, good Lord willing, and the water don't rise, our descendants will be.

-
edit on 3-1-2011 by eight bits because: I requalified a formerly disqualified qualifier, in order to appear more qualified than I otherwise would have.



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 12:57 PM
link   
reply to post by eight bits
 




Nobody asks whether necessity has good parenting skills.


Please note that nowhere was I suggesting a fully literal analysis. I too was being figurative. I didn't mean for people to sit down and wonder whether God had taken them to ball games or been to their first recital or things like that. But if God is an omnipotent sky daddy in a sense how do we rate his performance when it comes to the whole human race as a species? Your statement is a straw-man because necessity isn't considered a person even though it is being personified. Most Christians I've run into believe that God is an actual thinking feeling being, a person. You might not be able to judge whether necessity has good parenting skills but we can judge whether the Founding Fathers did, in a figurative sense.




You end up with an argument to join one church instead of another.


The God of the Bible is quite clear that the sins of the Father pass on to the sons, its in the Ten Commandments.


4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.


This could be argued to only apply to people actually breaking the commandment, people who worship other gods or who worship idols of animals, etc. It, of course, could also be argued that none of the Old Covenant even applies to Christians. In the context of a discussion of God as a "Father" though it makes sense. God's actions in the story of the Flood or in the final plague in Egypt are a reflection of the moral standards of the day. As seen in Leviticus 20:9 rebellious children were dealt with very severely.



It is especially debatable whether the usual sections of atheist concern profess to teach morality, or whether they are what they say they are, the penal code for military occupation of hostile territory.


To be fair the only reason it concerns me as an atheist is because of what I was taught as a Christian. We were taught that the entire Bible was God's word and contained God's morality. I understand that there are much smarter theological discussions about the material going on but that doesn't stop the oblivious fundamentalists from making their blanket claims that the text is entirely inerrant.



So you say, because in your religion, God is made up.


I have no religion.

Looking at the God of the Bible I can see no feasible way for such a being to exist especially if the text is taken, for the most part, literally. If you read Mosaic law and then look at the behavior of the Old Testament God you'll see what I mean. The Bible is also full of contradictions. Given the Bibles unreliability and the fact that no evidence for its God exists I think its fairly safe to say no such being exists, although I wouldn't profess absolute certainty on the matter.



There is no living religious constituency for murdering lippy children in the developed world. That's yet another compelling argument for not living in the Bronze Age.


Agreed. Our moral progress has continued despite many religious institutions fighting it on every front. Christianity has become far more moderate and liberal which is a very good thing. Yet I've seen fundamentalists quote from the same chapter of Leviticus about how homosexuality is an abomination, although few of them want to see the death penalty as punishment for it (at least in first world countries). Generally it isn't the moderate normal Christians who I take issue with it is the fundamentalists who take the Bible literally. If taken at face value the God of the Bible is a Bronze Age deity who plans on casting most of humanity into a lake of fire (if taken literally) for the simplest of sins. That sort of Christianity will hopefully die out, along with the shooting of unarmed looters



edit on 3-1-2011 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 01:07 PM
link   
Its useless debating the existence of god in our current level of consciousness.

Once a person has had a mystical experience or has expanded their consciousness through practice or substance there can be little doubt of the existence of God.

At the moment, we are seeing without truly seeing, so that we can focus on each other, as opposed to being overwhelmed by the sheer WOW factor of the spirit world.



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 01:15 PM
link   
reply to post by Gradius Maximus
 




Once a person has had a mystical experience or has expanded their consciousness through practice or substance there can be little doubt of the existence of God.


That isn't how we know things. Mystical experiences have been with us pretty much forever and each person's mystical experience is as different and varied as each persons dreams while they're asleep. We can only know something if its testable, repeatable and observable. In other words if science can't find it than you can't claim to KNOW it other than in a subjective "I know I'm in love" sort of way. Furthermore there are studies going on into just this subject looking at the brains of people who have had "mystical" experiences and right now it looks as if its all tied to brain function. One person's personal experience cannot objectively prove the existence of anything



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 02:08 PM
link   
reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 


All too true - Are you believing that they will find anything in the tests?

It would be great if the results at least perplexed them a bit. I'd hate to say it but I'm starting to think that something as constantly enriched in change as the spirit world will not be repeatedly testable to the degree of singling out God itself.

I can only vouch for my own experiences and state that from the vantage point of expanded consciousness through meditation and sacred ceremony - I've seen, heard and touched entities far beyond the potency of the human race. I can't say with any accuracy that it was god or a god.

But there is something exciting that we are on the brink of discovering and I truly hope science has found a way to prove it to the community at large so that everyone can benefit from the peace that comes in the realization of finding ones father, or even for arguments sake - An older brother.

-G



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 02:21 PM
link   
While its hard for me to actually speak directly on a topic like this... As i dont necessarily view god in this way..

When your father was disciplining you as a child, or mother, or whoever raised you.. did you always understand why they were doing what they were doing? Obviously not. And now, if we bring that allegory to a being that exists in the "sky," who has the capabilities to actually create life on a planet.. how much insight do you think we can really have on such a being, their intentions, and their actions?



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 02:59 PM
link   
reply to post by sinohptik
 


Certainly God is able to be beyond our understanding and in fact many theists see god(s) that way. The Bible paints a picture of a very limited God who often decides the best way to deal with his rebellious creations is to kill them. It seems to me that whether you're a god or a human being you should understand that such harsh actions are not required. If there is a god and he/she/it created us to have free will than that being should respect said free will rather than impose its will and its own morality upon us. Taken literally the Biblical God seems to have given us free will but then demands that we only use our freedom as it sees fit or else we will be killed or tortured for eternity after death.

If God is a figurative father for the human race he's done a pretty piss poor job. If, however, we inject the deistic or pantheistic idea of God it makes sense because human beings are left essentially on our own in those views. Its kinda my entire point, that if God is a surrogate father figure he's done a pretty bad job.
edit on 3-1-2011 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 03:14 PM
link   

Your statement is a straw-man because necessity isn't considered a person even though it is being personified.

God the Father seems mighty abstract to me. Calling some entity a Father, an entity with no body, never born, never seen, and never to die, sounds like personifying that abstraction to me.


Most Christians I've run into believe that God is an actual thinking feeling being, a person.

Most Christians I've run into think an actual person, Jesus, is God. He and his father are one, they say. It sounds to me like being your own father would complicate evaluation of someone's parenting skills at least as much as personifying necessity would.


You might not be able to judge whether necessity has good parenting skills but we can judge whether the Founding Fathers did, in a figurative sense.

Well yes, anyone can express their opinion of someone using figures of speech.

So, your usual "God is bad, IMO" is artfully transformed to "Skydaddy is, IMO, a bad daddy." Great. So what's changed? What does your reader know now that she didn't know before?


The God of the Bible is quite clear that the sins of the Father pass on to the sons, its in the Ten Commandments.

Fascinating, as Spock might say. But, as you know, the Eastern Orthodox Church isn't sola scriptura. And the Roman Catholics, who agree with the Orthodox about all sins except Original Sin, aren't sola scriptura, either. And, of course, most professing Christians worldwide, about 2:1, belong to one or the other of those two churches.

It's not that these Christians, the clear majority of Christians, aren't impressed with the Old Testament. They are. It's the inspired word of God, according to them. It's just that they aren't convinced that your interpretation of the Old Testament is more reliable than theirs.


I have no religion.

Whenever one of you guys says that, in the middle of a religious discussion, where you're presenting your views about God, and instructing all of us how to read scripture correctly... well, it just gets funnier and funnier every time.


Looking at the God of the Bible ... full of contradictions.

I guess that explains why the majority of Christians aren't sola scriptura. And so, while of course I agree that you may base your personal religious opinions on anything you like, there is nothing in all of that which even bears on whether the majority of Christians are right or wrong.

But it's a hell of an argument for not being a fundie, I'll give you that.


Generally it isn't the moderate normal Christians who I take issue with it is the fundamentalists who take the Bible literally.

And yet this thread is about God. So, when you propose that "God is a bad father," you are taking issue with all Christians. Or, for example,


God's creators are primitive and thus God is primitive.

Where is the distinction between literalists and other Christians in that statement? Where is any distinction made between literalists and others in your OP?

-

edit on 3-1-2011 by eight bits because: I rounded up a stray word and stashed the little doagie in the barn.



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 03:31 PM
link   
reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 


Well, i think taking things "literally" from anything, including the bible, can be a very deceptive thing.

What is "literal" to one may be entirely "figurative" to the next.

Well, i typed out a long discourse about it, but when it really comes down to it, this particular discussion (and many, many others like it) is tired and worn out. I dont intend that in a mean way, just that it seems to be the "same ol, same ol" time and time again, from both sides. One side thinks their "literal" subjectivity of what is far, far beyond us shows us "X" and the other side thinks their "literal" subjectivity of what is far, far beyond us shows us "X." Without ever actually discussing the matter, both will just start using "logic" on something that is far, far beyond us. When that fails, both or either sides will start to nit pick semantics and the other sides "logic and reasoning" or "lack of faith." When that fails, both or either side will start to attack things like spelling, personal character, education, level of intelligence, and the perennial "you prove it! no, you disprove it!".

I think that about sums it up, though im sure i missed some parts! Thus i have spoken my prophecy! (seems to be popular lately
)

Ill jump out now

edit on 3-1-2011 by sinohptik because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 09:04 PM
link   
reply to post by sinohptik
 




I dont intend that in a mean way, just that it seems to be the "same ol, same ol" time and time again, from both sides.


I fully agree, however while you and I may have heard similar arguments before there are those who are not involved in the debate or who are just becoming involved. That's the thing about religion, it is constantly churning out a new generation of wet-behind-the-ears believers many of whom haven't encountered any opposition. As a former fundamentalist I learned this first hand. There are those who haven't heard these arguments and there are still theists utilizing arguments that have been laid to rest for centuries (such as Pascal's Wager).

I don't think I'm going to upset the faith of any hardcore fundies but there are those online who are like I was, open to new ideas and ready to question what I'd been told. And, to some extent, any discussion the two sides can have will be a good thing. Even if it isn't highly productive if someone comes across it and ends up thinking that's a good thing.



Ill jump out now


Just don't forget your parachute


reply to post by eight bits
 




God the Father seems mighty abstract to me. Calling some entity a Father, an entity with no body, never born, never seen, and never to die, sounds like personifying that abstraction to me.


Most Christians I've encountered most certainly believe God has a physical presence. He walks in the Garden with Adam and Eve, he sits on a throne and we are made IN HIS IMAGE. That all could be interpreted as mere personification I suppose but it seems to me that God is an actual person and certainly has some sort of visual presence that can be seen.



What does your reader know now that she didn't know before?


Nothing. The point is to get people to reevaluate the idea that God is a Father. If people are going to view God as a Father either literally OR figuratively than they can evaluate the Biblical God in that light and see whether he was a good parent. Its just another way to look at it that might get the point across. Many Christians accept the idea that God is a sort of Father and so getting them to interpret his actions through that lens and compare it with their own interactions with their children may be a way to get through to them.



It's just that they aren't convinced that your interpretation of the Old Testament is more reliable than theirs.


The angle I take with most of my criticisms is the one I was raised with, the idea that Bible, even the Old Testament, might as well have been coming directly out of the mouth of God. I remember getting fed the extreme apologetics of how slavery was okay back then and God made sure that the slaves were treated well and how the wages of sin is death so stoning a woman to death for fornication was okay, etc. There are certainly kinder gentler more liberal interpretations of scripture to be found and in no way do I think the fundamentalists are correct... which is why it is their views I am attacking.



Whenever one of you guys says that, in the middle of a religious discussion, where you're presenting your views about God, and instructing all of us how to read scripture correctly... well, it just gets funnier and funnier every time.


How does discussing a book and its interpretation translate into being religious? I don't need to believe in Darth Vader to criticize his actions, the same goes for Yahweh - he's a character in a story.



But it's a hell of an argument for not being a fundie, I'll give you that.


I really have very little reason to refute any other belief system. While obviously I disagree with any gnostic-theist I have no reason to get into debates with those who are agnostic-theists and don't claim to know there is a god. Given that I was raised a fundamentalist and escaped its definitely the viewpoint I am most opposed to.



Where is the distinction between literalists and other Christians in that statement? Where is any distinction made between literalists and others in your OP?


I didn't add one. Perhaps I should have. The question at the end clarifies a bit by asking how they would rate God's performance Biblically although it never explicitly states literally I think it could be inferred. Unfortunately its too late for me to edit the OP.
edit on 3-1-2011 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)

edit on 3-1-2011 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 10:15 PM
link   
reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 



The God of the Bible is quite clear that the sins of the Father pass on to the sons


Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.-Heb7



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 10:18 PM
link   
reply to post by Rustami
 


Why does God require bloodshed for the forgiveness of sins? Why is it so hard for God to forgive that something must die in order for him to do it? And how exactly would Jesus's sacrifice excuse the horrific morality in Mosaic law?



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 11:09 PM
link   

Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
reply to post by Rustami
 
Why does God require bloodshed for the forgiveness of sins? Why is it so hard for God to forgive that something must die in order for him to do it? And how exactly would Jesus's sacrifice excuse the horrific morality in Mosaic law?


do these words help answer any of those questions for you?

What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.-Luke5

For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.-Matt11

he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.-John11

What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made-Gal3

(Jesus speaking to them) Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.-John5

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.-John1

As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.-Rom11

for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.-Gal2

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty-2Cor3
edit on 3-1-2011 by Rustami because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 11:19 PM
link   
reply to post by Rustami
 


No they don't. In fact they seem to be an early form of apologetics claiming Mosaic law no longer applies while also claiming it was still of divine origin. Anyone who's read the passages condoning slavery, or saying that adulterers, witches, people who work on the sabbath and girls who aren't virgins on their wedding night should be stoned knows that the laws of Moses are not of divine origin... or, if they are divinely inspired, than the God that wrote them is barbaric and evil. Again Jesus's sacrifice does not somehow excuse the vile nature of the Old Testament God, in fact it makes it worse because it shows that God can't come up with a better plan for forgiving sins than to allow one third of himself to be brutally murdered. What is stopping Yahweh from forgiving sins via some other method? Don't you find it odd that animal and eventually human sacrifice would be required?



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 11:34 PM
link   
reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 


well don't really know what to tell you then, I could keep pointing out scripture after scripture that addresses your scriptural concerns (I think anyway) yet not good enough? so all you've left me is my testimony and believe have already told you correct? here are just a few more anyway, adios

And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.-Gal3

Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.-Heb7

For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

edit on 3-1-2011 by Rustami because: (no reason given)



new topics

top topics



 
3
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join