Christians, how would you counter this quote by Epicurus?

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posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 06:31 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

Do you believe there is no God? How was that proven to your satisfaction? Or do you believe in a cosmic force that created the universe? That can't be proven either.

How would you demonstrate that the two things, cosmic force, and God, are mutually exclusive?




posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 06:44 PM
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reply to post by lightseeker
 


The thing that confuses me is that should I then study every single religion known to man to see if any of them open up God to me? It's well enough asking me to go on a journey to discover God in a Christian sense, but for someone who is unsure surely they would treat religions all relatively equally? Personally I was raised in a very religious school and even used to prey to God until I decided that this was not my way to reach God. I just don't see why if God is so perfect and holy would I have to set out like this to find that out? With all the religions in the world is it just down to luck that some of us are born in to Christianity? What about those raised in other religions? Is it really up to them to seek Jesus Christ? With all the religions out there how on earth are they suppost to know that Christianity is the one that they should be persuing and asking to be shown the truth from?

Btw people often get offended in these discussions, but I genuinely just wish to learn more about your religion and your beliefs. Thank you for your reply it was many many times more understanding and pleasant than the usual aggressive reply I would get to my question



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 06:50 PM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 

Dear jmdewey60,

It's always a pleasure to talk with you. I think we're going in slightly different directions though.

I didn't intend to argue that a cosmic force is distinguishable from God for the purposes of this discussion. (I think they are, but that's for another day.) I was simply responding to the idea that the OP required some proof for his beliefs.

My position is that you can't "prove" the existence of God, the existence of a creative cosmic force, nor can anyone prove that there is no God. Given all that, anything that anyone believes in this subject area must be based on faith.

I was planning to go on from there,but had just got back to ATS when I saw your response. Thank you for it.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 



My position is that you can't "prove" the existence of God, the existence of a creative cosmic force, nor can anyone prove that there is no God. Given all that, anything that anyone believes in this subject area must be based on faith.


You are incorrect my friend...

Though only you can prove God to yourself... No one can do it for you...

IF that is what you seek, God will give you "something" that is much more then faith.




posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 07:16 PM
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Originally posted by knightsofcydonia
reply to post by ShadowLink
 


so what exactly do you worship?

Like you said, anything I want.
In reality though, I have beliefs about certain things, but I don't worship anything.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 07:22 PM
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reply to post by Akragon
 

Dear Akragon,

Thank you for not letting me get away with sloppy language, but I'm not sure how to express myself more clearly.

I firmly believe in God and a goodly number of other things that go with Him, including His Son. I am completely convinced even though I don't have logical proof or anything that I can measure in a lab.

My understanding was that the OP wanted some formal, objective proof. I don't think that exists, but I agree with you that God gives the believer experiences that go beyond some vague, emotional "feeling."

I think, at base, we agree. I'm glad of that, for disagreeing with the famous Akragon is a risky proposition.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 07:40 PM
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reply to post by ShadowLink
 


you sound like you could use some direction.

let me ask you what is your worldview?



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 07:43 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

My understanding was that the OP wanted some formal, objective proof.

The OP seems strangely absent from the conversation.
It was about this question, and I have seen it asked a few times in a couple different places and it seems to never get adequately answered. The basic question I think is Why there is evil in the world and what is wrong with God anyway?
My answer is that God did not create the universe to start with and God exists in this universe and does the best He can with what He finds of this universe. I think that is what the philosophers came up with back when the question was asked. Christians it seems have gone away from that, apparently through Medieval superstitious thought, is all I can make of it, where there was heaven and hell and do as the church tells you or all-powerful God will get you. To say that God is not in complete control lessens their own position and threatens their seemingly having all the answers and power to make people saved.
edit on 2-1-2012 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 07:48 PM
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reply to post by ShadowLink
 

In reality though, I have beliefs about certain things, but I don't worship anything.

I find the idea rather distasteful myself, of a god who does things in order to be worshiped.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 07:55 PM
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reply to post by clintdelicious
 

What about those raised in other religions? Is it really up to them to seek Jesus Christ?

I think it is, and that is of course just my opinion. This is me taking a bit of a long view of things and that humanity over time should drift into that direction in order to make a better world. Also I don't mean specifically a denomination form of Christianity but a knowledge of Jesus and a recognition that he was right about the spirit of God and what we should be like, ourselves.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 08:00 PM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 

Dear jmdewey60,

Great response. I think you're right about the difficulty caused by the question of evil. Your post made me look at it in a different way than I usually do. What happens if we look at it from a sequential point of view? By that I mean, can we put these key events on a timeline?

I would think the key events would be:
God coming into existence. (G)
Evil coming into existence. (E)
The Universe coming into existence. (U)
Man coming into existence. (M)

I think Christians would list them as G, U, M, E.

My guess is that you would go U, E, G, M.


Christians it seems have gone away from that, apparently through Medieval superstitious thought, is all I can make of it, where there was heaven and hell and do as the church tells you or all-powerful God will get you. To say that God id not in complete control lessens their own position and threatens their seemingly having all the answers and power to make people saved.


There is a lot in this paragraph of yours. May I simply offer my position? Then you may decide if it's worth discussing further.

There is a Heaven and a Hell, the Church is a sure guide to Heaven (although there are other ways), God doesn't "get you," you choose to be with Him or not, and God is ultimately in total control but we have the power to make our own choices.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 08:30 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

. . . we have the power to make our own choices.

I doubt it.
If this was true, we would have no need for God.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 08:44 PM
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Originally posted by knightsofcydonia
reply to post by ShadowLink
 

you sound like you could use some direction.
let me ask you what is your worldview?


I need no direction from any book if that's what your implying. I don't mean that in a bad way.

Everyone is entitled to their beliefs and I have no problem with anyone who thinks differently than me. Even though they are wrong. jk


I welcome all points of view and will accept any I can agree with and will reject whatever view I disagree with. I am open minded and my views are every changing as new information and points of view are introduced.

My view of the world is not a good one. There is much pain and sadness and a severe lack of peace.
I am a strong believer that it has long been time for a revolution and for humanity to be set free and that is currently what I am fighting for.

Until we are free I fear my kids and yours cannot grow up and be safe and live the way they want. The way we all should, in peace.

I really don't know what else to say, I am just a person trying to make it through life, find my place, make the best of what I have, and fight for what I believe is right.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 11:11 PM
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reply to post by ShadowLink
 

Dear ShadowLink,

I like the way you're staying with this thread, it speaks to how seriously you take the issues involved.

Your most recent post left me a little confused, however.

I am a strong believer that it has long been time for a revolution and for humanity to be set free and that is currently what I am fighting for.

Until we are free I fear my kids and yours cannot grow up and be safe and live the way they want. The way we all should, in peace.

I really don't know what else to say, I am just a person trying to make it through life, find my place, make the best of what I have, and fight for what I believe is right.

This makes it seem like your goals are revolution, freedom, and living comfortably in the world. All good goals, but nothing you would have to go to Epicurus or Christianity for.

If you're not looking for a spiritual answer, then don't look in spiritual places, you'll just get more confused. Conversely, Christianity is no place to go to for advice on leveraged buy outs, which is the next growth industry, or what survival supplies to purchase.

I really wish you well.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 11:43 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

My comments about revolution and what not were in answer to knightsofcydonia's question on how I view the world.
I did not come hear for spiritual answers.

To be honest, and don't take me the wrong way, the thread title is what brought me here. As I said I have an open mind, but I also have kind of a beef with some Christians and how many, but not all seem to want to enforce their beliefs onto you.

Above all, the reason I am still here is cause I have an open mind and I like to hear the arguments. Who knows, one of you might just say the right thing the right way to change my point of view about something.

My views and beliefs are dynamic and ever changing, I never know where I will read the right wise words that sway my opinion of things.

I really wish you well also and will continue to watch the debate.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 11:54 PM
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reply to post by ShadowLink
 

Dear ShadowLink,

Thanks for straightening me out.

I was struck by something you said:

Above all, the reason I am still here is cause I have an open mind and I like to hear the arguments. Who knows, one of you might just say the right thing the right way to change my point of view about something.

My views and beliefs are dynamic and ever changing, I never know where I will read the right wise words that sway my opinion of things.
Without meaning to criticize any ATSer, why in the world do you think you'll hear great wisdom and brilliant arguments here?

I get a lot from reading the old books, or failing that, reading new books by people who love the old books. I find a lot of thought and wisdom there. That might be more profitable for you than anything you might get here. But I'd better get down from my soapbox now.

Good luck with your search.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 12:12 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

The key part of my response what that I "never know where" I will hear wise words.
Basically the more places you look the better your chances of finding what your looking for.

I do like to read books, old and new, and the Internet has a vast amount of information.

But my favorite place is ATS. I stay on the fire hose page and read pretty much every topic that pops up.
Often times I just skim, but I hover more on whatever seems interesting to me, and it often gives me ideas on something to look deeper into. Sometimes things I was unaware of before.

There are a lot of smart people on ATS and I have read a good share of wise things, to me at least. And debate on all topics is good.



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 12:19 AM
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Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by jmdewey60
 

Dear jmdewey60,

Great response. I think you're right about the difficulty caused by the question of evil. Your post made me look at it in a different way than I usually do. What happens if we look at it from a sequential point of view? By that I mean, can we put these key events on a timeline?

I would think the key events would be:
God coming into existence. (G)
Evil coming into existence. (E)
The Universe coming into existence. (U)
Man coming into existence. (M)


Hello Charles,

May I respectfully suggest that your timeline proceeds from a false assumption, at least as regards your first variable, (G)od. Christian scripture, Theology and Tradition teach that God did not "come into existance' but has always existed and always will exist. To prove otherwise is impossible and begs the question, "Who created God', which muddies the whole debate, As far as the origin of evil on your timeline, Christian Theology is quite clear and has not, to my knowledge, been a source of contention among those who hold and believe in a traditional Christian ethic: Evil came into existance at the time the Archangel Lucifer challenged God's authority and declared that he would be like God and even supplant God as the supreme diety, for which he was ejected from Heaven and renamed Satan. Satan and the angels that followed him and were cast out of heaven along with him are the main source of all evil in the world.

God created the universe after Satan's fall from grace and obviously man was created by God after the birth of the universe. Again, this is from a traditional, orthodox (small "o") Christian theology. So, on the question of evil in the world, I would put it this way, Satan became the original instigator of evil when he decieved Eve and subsequently Adam into disobeying God which resulted in man's fall from grace and the origin of sin. Since that time man has had no problem in following Satan's example and performing and participating in evil with enthusiasm and gusto. The Bible says that, "the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desparately wicked"(Jeremiah 17:9). Jesus said in Mark 7:21-23, that , “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

So if you are going to try to reconcile yourself and your worldview with that of Christianity you will have to admit that "evil" is not something that effects our world from outside but that evil comes from inside the heart and mind of man... and that leads right back to what Jesus' birth, death and resurrection were and are still all about; the overcoming of sin and evil which could only be accomplished by God Himself, in the person of His Son, Jesus, becoming flesh and living a sinless, holy life and then dying a sinners death; a criminals death, in our place. Anyone who sincerely wishes to know the truth and seeks the truth about Who God is will find that truth but no one will find the truth by using the old chestnut, "well. if God was a good God He wouldn't allow so much evil to happen." The truth is that God does not create evil or do evil things to us; we do a terriffic enough job of that, ourselves.

Please understand that I am not directing all of these arguments solely to you and I hope you will not take it as a personal rebuke of yourself but will receive it in the spirit in which it was intended, Blessings,

LS
.



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 12:39 AM
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reply to post by lightseeker
 

Dear lightseeker,

Thank you for your kind and gentle post. I do not take it as a personal rebuke at all. I'm honored that you took the time to address this.

I do take it as a reminder that I have to polish my writing skills. I frequently create the wrong impression, and it appears I have done so once again.

I was responding to jmdewey60 and, in particular, the following:

My answer is that God did not create the universe to start with and God exists in this universe and does the best He can with what He finds of this universe.
He gave me the impression that he believed God came into existence after the Universe did. Not surprisingly, I found his idea uncomfortable and I wanted to explore it to see if I understood him correctly. So, I proposed a sequence of events to see where our disagreement was.

I have no difficulty accepting your "timeline." I agree completely that God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit existed before time, as we know it, even began. That the Word created the Universe. That Adam and Eve accepted evil into the human race. I believe those things with my heart and with my mind.

I must repeat that I am very grateful to you for caring enough to keep me on the right track. Many thanks.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 01:01 AM
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Originally posted by ShadowLink

Originally posted by knightsofcydonia
reply to post by ShadowLink
 

you sound like you could use some direction.
let me ask you what is your worldview?


I need no direction from any book if that's what your implying. I don't mean that in a bad way.

Everyone is entitled to their beliefs and I have no problem with anyone who thinks differently than me. Even though they are wrong. jk


I welcome all points of view and will accept any I can agree with and will reject whatever view I disagree with. I am open minded and my views are every changing as new information and points of view are introduced.

My view of the world is not a good one. There is much pain and sadness and a severe lack of peace.
I am a strong believer that it has long been time for a revolution and for humanity to be set free and that is currently what I am fighting for.

Until we are free I fear my kids and yours cannot grow up and be safe and live the way they want. The way we all should, in peace.

I really don't know what else to say, I am just a person trying to make it through life, find my place, make the best of what I have, and fight for what I believe is right.


I like this guy... girl?

An open mind is always a good thing


Stay true to what's in your heart my friend... God will not steer you wrong






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