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  #1  
Old 09-04-2002, 02:51 PM
robertliguori robertliguori is offline
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Will God ever intervene in a large, direct, videotapable way?

Under what circumstances will God start screwing with the natural order in a way scientists can't explain? He more or less let the Holocaust slide. He's let innumerable atrocites ocurr. Bloody hell, he won't even answer e-mail.
So, what would it take for God to intervene noticably with human affairs. Or, to put it another way, what event happening unchecked by divine agency would convince you that Elvis Has Left, and probably Never Was In, the Building?
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2002, 03:05 PM
bhb bhb is offline
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According to some of my Christian friends God doesn't actively interact with us due to our "wickedness" and he had to withdraw from us because we are not pure... then again I thought accepting Jesus was supposed to make you pure, so why he doesn't show himself to Christians(physically show himself that is), who knows.

My guess is, the generally response from the religious type to this post would be, that God does reveal himself physically but, you can "feel" him.
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2002, 03:16 PM
blowero blowero is offline
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It doesn't work that way. God doesn't intervene to PREVENT bad things from happening, He only intervenes to CAUSE bad things to happen, like plagues and floods and stuff.
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  #4  
Old 09-04-2002, 03:20 PM
photopat photopat is offline
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Well, if the a crack appeared in the sky and a huge hand came out of it, then I might be prepared to reconsider my opinions. Unless of course another explanation was readily apparent, like David Copperfield being in the area.
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2002, 03:35 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Most of the devout Christians I've known have felt that they see the active hand of god in every sunrise, every flower, child's laugh, ray of sunshine, rainbow, etc.

Must get kind of exhausting after a while.
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  #6  
Old 09-04-2002, 04:14 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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While Ethilrist meant to be witty, that's the answer, in a nutshell.

"Why should *I* have to take care of all that crap? You kids made the mess, now clean it up!"

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  #7  
Old 09-04-2002, 05:56 PM
Cervaise Cervaise is offline
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Quote:
what would it take for God to intervene noticably with human affairs
--shakes magic 8 ball--

"Cannot tell now. Ask again later."
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  #8  
Old 09-04-2002, 06:49 PM
photopat photopat is offline
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I respect the feeling you're talking about Ethilrist, I just don't share it. I do think the world is an amazing place. I just think it's even more amazing that it happened on it's own.
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  #9  
Old 09-04-2002, 06:59 PM
ResIpsaLoquitor ResIpsaLoquitor is offline
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:::looks up from his pile of paperwork::::

Catholic Mass. Transubstantiation. You can bring a video cam, but it'd be considered rude.

:::::looks up again:::::

Why's everyone staring at me like that?

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  #10  
Old 09-04-2002, 07:17 PM
interface2x interface2x is offline
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Re: Will God ever intervene in a large, direct, videotapable way?

Quote:
Originally posted by robertliguori
Bloody hell, he won't even answer e-mail.
Care to enlighten me as to his address? He and I have some things we need to work out.
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  #11  
Old 09-04-2002, 08:00 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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Re: Re: Will God ever intervene in a large, direct, videotapable way?

Quote:
Originally posted by interface2x

Care to enlighten me as to his address? He and I have some things we need to work out.
http://www.god.org/

------
On the OP, surely God would act to prevent a disgruntled physicist from using a "charge-inversion ray" to convert a couple of cubic kilometers of Montana range land into its antimatter equivalent. Otherwise, the utter destruction of humanity and the earth itself would put a crimp in His plans.
-This is just meant as a starting point for discussion. I've no evidence that there are any disgruntled physicists in Montana, much less ones in possession of a diabolical device.
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  #12  
Old 09-04-2002, 09:09 PM
robertliguori robertliguori is offline
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[Smirks] So the only thing that God would stop are those that would prevent people from being alive to notice. How delightfully logical.
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  #13  
Old 09-04-2002, 09:10 PM
Genseric Genseric is offline
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Re: Re: Re: Will God ever intervene in a large, direct, videotapable way?

Quote:
Originally posted by Squink

------
On the OP, surely God would act to prevent a disgruntled physicist from using a "charge-inversion ray" to convert a couple of cubic kilometers of Montana range land into its antimatter equivalent. Otherwise, the utter destruction of humanity and the earth itself would put a crimp in His plans.
Well, how do we know he hasn't already? After all, we're still here aren't we?
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  #14  
Old 09-04-2002, 09:13 PM
Epimetheus Epimetheus is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polycarp
While Ethilrist meant to be witty, that's the answer, in a nutshell.

"Why should *I* have to take care of all that crap? You kids made the mess, now clean it up!"

Ahh, God is in the Union, eh?
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  #15  
Old 09-05-2002, 02:50 AM
blowero blowero is offline
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Originally posted by Epimetheus
Ahh, God is in the Union, eh?
Yeah, and He doesn't work on Saturdays.
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  #16  
Old 09-05-2002, 03:32 AM
Doc Nickel Doc Nickel is offline
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To answer the main subject line of this post directly, the answer is simply no.

You might as well ask if James Gardner from the book The Tommyknockers or Bart Mancuso from the book The Hunt For Red October will magically materialize and take care of them pesky starships or commie bastards.

Popular works of fiction are, after all, still fiction.
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  #17  
Old 09-05-2002, 06:35 AM
Steve Wright Steve Wright is offline
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What Ethilrist and Polycarp said.

God doesn't have to screw around with the laws of nature. He made them in the first place, they work just the way He wants them to.

Human wickedness, though it undoubtedly grieves Him, is not something He will intervene to prevent; to do so would be to violate the free will that He Himself gave us. (Thinkers of much higher calibre than myself have generally agreed that God is not big on self-contradiction).

As for what's called physical evil - natural disasters and the like - well, these things can be avoided or prevented if we come to a better understanding of God and His Creation. (Including, of course, the natural laws governing that Creation. I think it's part of my Christian duty to have faith and practice the scientific method.) So, the answer to the question "Why doesn't God do something about physical evil in the world?" is "He did; He made us."

So, that's why I'm not expecting any Industrial Light and Magic style special effects extravaganzas from the Almighty in the foreseeable future... and why the lack of them doesn't worry me.
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  #18  
Old 09-05-2002, 07:16 AM
Karellen Karellen is offline
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Re: Will God ever intervene in a large, direct, videotapable way?

Quote:
Originally posted by robertliguori
Under what circumstances will God start screwing with the natural order in a way scientists can't explain

What, the Patriots winning the Superbowl didn't do it for ya?
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  #19  
Old 09-05-2002, 07:51 AM
robertliguori robertliguori is offline
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Well, Steve Wright, I'm afraid that's a cop out. So, God created the world, with natural laws, and people to work things out for themselves. Congradulations, you're a deist. The problem be that if your observation of God is based on observation of the physical universe, you come up a little short. If you can find a holy scripture that backs up the assertion that God doesn't mess with physical reality given provocation, by all means submit it. Of course, you will then have to prove its veracity.
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  #20  
Old 09-05-2002, 08:01 AM
Pergau Pergau is offline
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I can see it now:

Deep voice: "Coming soon on SKY, When God intervenes....... 5"

Montage of buildings uncollapsing and small furry animals being rescued.
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  #21  
Old 09-05-2002, 08:30 AM
Steve Wright Steve Wright is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by robertliguori
Well, Steve Wright, I'm afraid that's a cop out. So, God created the world, with natural laws, and people to work things out for themselves. Congradulations, you're a deist. The problem be that if your observation of God is based on observation of the physical universe, you come up a little short. If you can find a holy scripture that backs up the assertion that God doesn't mess with physical reality given provocation, by all means submit it. Of course, you will then have to prove its veracity.
What constitutes holy scripture? Am I restricted just to the Bible? I don't believe the Bible contains a complete description of the nature of God... actually, I believe that, if it did, it would be incomprehensible to mortal man (and, since it was written by and for mortal man, that doesn't seem to me to be too likely.)

In fact... how do you (or I, for that matter) know that I'm not producing holy scripture myself, even as I type? After all, I'm as much God's creation and instrument as the next bloke, just as likely (or not) to be inspired by His Holy Spirit, He has chosen less worthy vessels to reveal Himself (though don't press me for examples of that). This may be the Gospel according to Steve; whatever it is, its authenticity is scarcely in doubt.

As for physical evidence... what, the whole of the universe isn't enough? It's all God's work, it's all miraculous, everywhere you walk is holy ground, all that background microwave radiation is just the echo of the original "Fiat Lux"...

OK, I'll stop being facetious. I'm quite happy to concede that my belief in God is not logical or scientific; there is no test I can think of that would distinguish (on an absolute, evidentiary basis) between the universe as I see it (God-created) and the universe as - I presume - you see it (the product of natural processes). Nonetheless, I continue to believe in God. It's not a belief founded in logic, it's partly intuitive, partly based on subjective experiences (which I doubt I could describe in any way that would be meaningful to you - no disrespect is intended here, just a recognition that you and I are, fundamentally, different people, and what means something to me won't evoke the same reaction in you.)

So, given that my belief is not arrived at through logic, it follows that you're not going to argue me out of it that way... nor will I be able to come up with a logical argument that satisfies you. Well, we can agree to differ. And we can, at least, continue to discuss our differences, and consider what, logically, proceeds from the premises we've chosen to adopt. We are both human beings, we can communicate. Increased understanding is a good thing, and I hope this glimpse into the murky world of a believer's thought processes helps you.
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  #22  
Old 09-05-2002, 08:55 AM
Siege Siege is offline
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Look, if you believe the Torah/Pentatuch/Old Testament, wholesale miracles didn't have that much long term effect anyway. People who had seen the Red Sea parted convinced not long after that God had deserted them. Mana was given as a response to human grumbling.

To take something utterly trivial, last night I realized the reason I haven't been feeling well is because I've got a cold. I asked God to send me a good night's sleep, but this devout Christian didn't get one, despite taking a couple of Benadryl as back up. In my book, that doesn't mean God doesn't care about me; it means I've got a cold.

Respectfully (and tiredly!)
CJ
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  #23  
Old 09-05-2002, 03:27 PM
blowero blowero is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Wright

God doesn't have to screw around with the laws of nature. He made them in the first place, they work just the way He wants them to.

Human wickedness, though it undoubtedly grieves Him, is not something He will intervene to prevent; to do so would be to violate the free will that He Himself gave us. (Thinkers of much higher calibre than myself have generally agreed that God is not big on self-contradiction).
So are you saying that God set the universe in motion, so to speak, and then simply lets it continue without interfering in any way? That would seem to belie the teachings of most religions. Not that you aren't allowed to disagree with the rest of the Christians in the world - I just want to make sure that's really what you're saying.
Quote:
As for what's called physical evil - natural disasters and the like - well, these things can be avoided or prevented if we come to a better understanding of God and His Creation. (Including, of course, the natural laws governing that Creation. I think it's part of my Christian duty to have faith and practice the scientific method.)
That makes sense, except that the part about God seems superfluous. I agree that we can gain some control over our environment by understanding its properties, but that can be done with or without belief in God. How does the God-belief help us control our environment?
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  #24  
Old 09-06-2002, 05:55 AM
Steve Wright Steve Wright is offline
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I don't think God ever interferes, but He may well intervene... the point is, though, that, since He's given us free will, so that we can freely choose to believe in Him (or not), He will not intervene in ways which would compel belief. God answers prayers in a manner consistent with the natural laws of the universe. (Note 1. I say "will not intervene", rather than "cannot intervene"; God can do anything, He's omnipotent, it's in His job description. 2. God answers all prayers, but sometimes the answer is "No.")

"How does the God-belief help us control our environment?" I'm not sure that it does... more the other way about; studying God's creation helps us (within our limits) to understand God. Though, I suppose, science originated out of religious thought - the desire to find the truth and the meaning of our existence is the basis of both. (And, despite what some fundamentalists will try and tell you, science and religion are not incompatible.) But, since God does not reveal compelling evidence of His existence, you can study nature as long and hard as you like, without any requirement to believe in God.
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  #25  
Old 09-06-2002, 07:34 AM
robertliguori robertliguori is offline
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Steve Wright's a deist, too. If God wants people to believe in him without proof, and thus does not answer prayer in a way distinguishable from the machinations of a cold, uncaring universe or let any sign of His presence be detected, how is He different than the absence of God?
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  #26  
Old 09-06-2002, 07:59 AM
Steve Wright Steve Wright is offline
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Well, as I said in an earlier reply, I can (to a small extent) subjectively and intuitively feel the presence of God, through prayer, worship and meditation (or just when He wants to reveal Himself). But, as I said, none of that constitutes objective, logical, scientific proof of His existence. That isn't forthcoming, and I have no reason to expect it ever will be, so long as the material world endures.

(and, yep, I'm still the same deist I was yesterday...)
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  #27  
Old 09-06-2002, 10:09 AM
vanilla vanilla is offline
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He will.
At the end of the Tribulation, He will return to the mount of Olives and "every eye will see him".
So.....I guess someone will be videotaping.
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  #28  
Old 09-06-2002, 10:31 AM
Beagle Beagle is offline
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Most of the devout Christians I've known have felt that they see the active hand of god in every sunrise, every flower, child's laugh, ray of sunshine, rainbow, etc.
I'm not very religious. I'm irreligious actually, and I have to admit that thoughts like this have crossed my mind. Usually around sunup and sunset I feel some sense of wonder and majesty. Maybe I worship the Sun God.

Does the ontological argument apply to the Sun God? I think so.

I think I mostly agree with Steve Wright on the basic issues. For further deep (or not, it's pretty funny) insights rent the movie "Oh, God!" (1977) starring John Denver and George Burns.
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  #29  
Old 09-06-2002, 12:00 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Look, out your windows! Quick, grab your videocam! It's a big bang! It started just 15 billion years ago. There was nothing, and now all this!
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  #30  
Old 09-06-2002, 01:04 PM
cmkeller cmkeller is offline
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Quote:
http://www.god.org/
Naturally his suffix is .org, since for quite a while, he's been a non-prophet organization.
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  #31  
Old 09-06-2002, 05:37 PM
blowero blowero is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Wright
Well, as I said in an earlier reply, I can (to a small extent) subjectively and intuitively feel the presence of God, through prayer, worship and meditation (or just when He wants to reveal Himself). But, as I said, none of that constitutes objective, logical, scientific proof of His existence. That isn't forthcoming, and I have no reason to expect it ever will be, so long as the material world endures.

(and, yep, I'm still the same deist I was yesterday...)
But meditiation and prayer have been shown to have a physical effect on brain waves; in fact, IIRC, that's how Alpha waves were discovered. In the absence of any objective proof, don't you think it more likely that these subjective feelings you have are due to the physical changes in your brain waves brought about by the act of meditating? In another thread, I linked to this article:
http://www.aetheronline.com/mario/Heretic/insearch.htm
Quote:
For several years, Persinger has been using a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation to induce all sorts of surreal experiences in ordinary people (New Scientist, 19 November 1994, p 29). Through trial and error and a bit of educated guesswork, he's found that a weak magnetic field--1 microtesla, which is roughly that generated by a computer monitor--rotating anticlockwise in a complex pattern about the temporal lobes will cause four out of five people to feel a spectral presence in the room with them.
In this case, wouldn't you agree that the subjects' subjective feelings are NOT evidence of the presence of another being?

I suppose it's possible that during meditation and/or prayer, the brain waves change in response to the influence of a supernatural entity, but doesn't Occam's Razor demand that we accept the simpler explanation, rather than add an unneccesary and unverifiable extra layer?
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  #32  
Old 09-07-2002, 02:47 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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At this point, the first videotape of God will probably show him whaling on a black man in South Central L.A.
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  #33  
Old 09-08-2002, 01:39 AM
EasyPhil EasyPhil is offline
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The first video tape will be of an alien from another universe that has the power to reach earth in their lifetime and also have the power to do something spectacular.
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  #34  
Old 09-08-2002, 02:56 AM
Neurotik Neurotik is offline
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The ability to travel from one universe to another in its lifetime doesn't have the power to do something spectacular already?

Man, you are one tough hombre to please.
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  #35  
Old 09-08-2002, 03:11 AM
JThunder JThunder is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by robertliguori
Steve Wright's a deist, too. If God wants people to believe in him without proof, and thus does not answer prayer in a way distinguishable from the machinations of a cold, uncaring universe or let any sign of His presence be detected, how is He different than the absence of God?
You're presenting a false dilemma. As I emphasized to you in previous threads, the absence of proof is not the same as the absence of evidence.
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  #36  
Old 09-08-2002, 10:34 AM
robertliguori robertliguori is offline
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And JThunder, you're missing that the evidence isn't evident. And you can prove a concept false, without going out and searching for every applicable instanciation and comparing them by hand. A triangle cannot have two sides, and an omnipotent omnicient omnibenevolent entitiy cannot permit the existence of unnecessary suffering. Just as the definition of a triangle disproves the existence of a two-sided one, the existence of suffering demonstrates that if God exists, he is what, say, the bible claims he is.
I'd be interested to hear about the evidence you've accumulated for God's existence. If it is, say, videotapable....
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  #37  
Old 09-08-2002, 12:35 PM
Dryga_Yes Dryga_Yes is offline
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Originally posted by cmkeller
Naturally his suffix is .org, since for quite a while, he's been a non-prophet organization.
::groan::

Why do I laugh so hard at this?
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  #38  
Old 09-08-2002, 12:57 PM
Absolute Absolute is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Wright
God answers prayers in a manner consistent with the natural laws of the universe.
The difference between doing that and doing nothing being what, exactly?
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  #39  
Old 09-08-2002, 08:13 PM
EasyPhil EasyPhil is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Neurotik
The ability to travel from one universe to another in its lifetime doesn't have the power to do something spectacular already?

Man, you are one tough hombre to please.
Yeah, now that you mention it, that would be pretty spectacular.
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  #40  
Old 09-09-2002, 12:55 AM
JThunder JThunder is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by robertliguori
And JThunder, you're missing that the evidence isn't evident.
Well first of all, I would disagree with that claim... but more importantly, it's an irrelevant objection.

Remember, we are discussing one very specific statement of yours, namely:
Quote:
If God wants people to believe in him without proof, and thus does not answer prayer in a way distinguishable from the machinations of a cold, uncaring universe or let any sign of His presence be detected, how is He different than the absence of God?
Your question assumes the absence of any PROOF for God is indistinguishable from the absence of God himself. I'm merely pointing out that this is a false dilemma, since "proof" is not synonymous with evidence. The question of what evidence currently exists, and how compelling it is, is a separate issue altogether.
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  #41  
Old 09-09-2002, 07:14 AM
robertliguori robertliguori is offline
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May we hear this evidence, please?
And you took issue with the wording of my question, and didn't answer it. So.... Assume that God didn't exist. How would the universe be different?
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  #42  
Old 09-09-2002, 07:39 AM
grimpixie grimpixie is offline
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Originally posted by vanilla
He will.
At the end of the Tribulation, He will return to the mount of Olives and "every eye will see him".
So.....I guess someone will be videotaping.
Actually, there's a webcam there already - MessiahcamTM

It wasn't working today, but has done in the past...

Grim
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  #43  
Old 09-09-2002, 08:40 AM
Steve Wright Steve Wright is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by blowero


But meditiation and prayer have been shown to have a physical effect on brain waves; in fact, IIRC, that's how Alpha waves were discovered. In the absence of any objective proof, don't you think it more likely that these subjective feelings you have are due to the physical changes in your brain waves brought about by the act of meditating? In another thread, I linked to this article:
http://www.aetheronline.com/mario/Heretic/insearch.htm

In this case, wouldn't you agree that the subjects' subjective feelings are NOT evidence of the presence of another being?
My subjective feelings are not evidence. Period.

I've heard of this research before, and I find it interesting... I'd like to know more about how the brain works (or, in my case, doesn't). I wonder, though, how a "religious experience" is being defined here. The article you quote talks about people experiencing a "feeling of oneness", a "sense of infinite space and eternity", or even a "spectral presence in the room". Fair enough, I can see how people would attribute religious elements to these feelings as described... but these descriptions don't match my own religious experiences, nor those of some other people who've described theirs to me. The realization of God's presence seems to come in a wide range of ways, and evoke a wide range of emotional responses - heck, William James got a whole book out of the subject. So, I'm inclined to wonder if the people who do get these feelings aren't thinking along the lines of "Wow, that was weird, and deep, it must have been God talking to me." Which, of course, it was, He's always talking to us... but He can talk to us through entirely mundane experiences too.

(And I worry, sometimes, about people who don't get this type of experience, but feel they ought to, somehow, so their faith suffers as a consequence... I dunno. The only time I've ever seen flashing lights and heard choirs of angels singing, it was down to eight pints of cider, half a bottle of Buckfast Tonic Wine, and a cup of magic mushroom tea: I'm sure God was present at the time, but I was in no state to pay attention to Him...)

Quote:
Originally posted by Mister V

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Steve Wright
God answers prayers in a manner consistent with the natural laws of the universe.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The difference between doing that and doing nothing being what, exactly?
Imperceptible, unless you have faith .
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  #44  
Old 09-09-2002, 02:29 PM
blowero blowero is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Wright
My subjective feelings are not evidence. Period.

I've heard of this research before, and I find it interesting... I'd like to know more about how the brain works (or, in my case, doesn't). I wonder, though, how a "religious experience" is being defined here. The article you quote talks about people experiencing a "feeling of oneness", a "sense of infinite space and eternity", or even a "spectral presence in the room". Fair enough, I can see how people would attribute religious elements to these feelings as described... but these descriptions don't match my own religious experiences, nor those of some other people who've described theirs to me.
I don't think that whether these experiments exactly match your own experience is really the point. The point I was making was that subjective feelings don't really tell us anything about the reality of the external world. If people can be made to feel a "presence" in the room as a result of nothing more than exposure to a magnetic field, it says to me that such feelings can originate in the brain itself, regardless of the state of reality outside of the brain. [This is intuitively obvious to anyone who has ever hallucinated]. The fact that the researcher didn't duplicate the precise pattern of electromagnetic waves that causes Steve Wright's particular experience doesn't change the fact that subjective feelings are not reliable evidence, and I think we agree on this point.

I suspect that the question: "How does a universe with God differ from a universe without God, if the two are indistinguishable", was meant to be rhetorical in nature. But you're really answering it literally - i.e., you said your subjective feelings are the difference. The question is, if these subjective feelings are the only information you are going on, and you admit that subjective feelings are not evidence, then how do you know you are right?
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  #45  
Old 09-09-2002, 05:30 PM
Keeve Keeve is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by robertliguori
A triangle cannot have two sides, and an omnipotent omnicient omnibenevolent entitiy cannot permit the existence of unnecessary suffering.
I'm glad you included "unnecessary" in there. We fancy ourselves to know a lot, but there could be pieces to the puzzle that aren't in our grasp.

I'm not sure what the point of this thread is. If I take the title at its word, "Will God ever intervene in a large, direct, videotapable way?", the answer would have to be "Who knows?" I suppose the Ten Plagues and splitting the Red Sea might count as things that could have been taped, and maybe comparable things might happen again someday. Or, for whatever reason, He might choose not to repeat them. Who knows?

Not that such a videotape would accomplish anything, of course. There would be plenty of people who would just chalk it up to the guys in the photo labs. And even among those who witnessed it live, plenty of people might be looking for David Copperfield, et al. Both of which ideas were mentioned above; I'm not citing anything new.

If the question is "Assume that God didn't exist. How would the universe be different?", well, speaking from my personal opinion that God does exist and did create the Universe, there would be an incredibly big difference between those two scenarios: If God didn't exist, neither would the universe. Hmmm. Humongous universe on one hand, no universe at all on the other hand. Yep, I'd say that a big difference!

But if what you're really looking for is absolute proof, my suggestion is to forget it. There are plenty of arguments which people call "proofs", but I haven't seen one yet that's absolutely bulletproof. Even a personal communication with God Himself can't be proven to another person. And even that person himself can convince himself that it was really an illusion or delusion.

If you are looking for absolute proof, forget it. But if you have a truly open mind (not so far open that your brains fall out, of course) then perhaps one argument or another will make sense to you.
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  #46  
Old 09-09-2002, 05:37 PM
Keeve Keeve is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Keeve
There are plenty of arguments which people call "proofs", but I haven't seen one yet that's absolutely bulletproof.
What I meant to say was that I have never seen a bulletproof "proof" for either side: There's no bulletproof proof that God does exist, but no such proof that He doesn't, either. It all comes down to which you as an individual think is more likely.

(In fact, it is my person opinion that it is categorically impossible for either of those proofs to ever exist, because the proof would have to be a tangible part of the physical world, and God is accepted as being totally outside of this physical world. There's no common ground for such a proof to exist in.)
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Old 09-10-2002, 03:08 AM
blowero blowero is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Keeve
There's no bulletproof proof that God does exist, but no such proof that He doesn't, either. It all comes down to which you as an individual think is more likely.
That's a no-brainer: Which is more likely?

(a) The universe is exactly as we observe it to be.
(b) The universe is as we observe it to be, PLUS it is controlled by an entity that exists outside of our ability to observe it, and (b)cannot be distinguished in any concrete way from (a).
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  #48  
Old 09-10-2002, 09:38 AM
Keeve Keeve is offline
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Good question, blowero. I agree that nowadays the Entity does not communicate with us directly, but that has not always been the case.

I look at the choices this way:

(a) A few million Hebrew slaves really did experience events in Egypt and Sinai, which they understood to be Divine Revelation en masse. They told their chidlren about it, and they told their children about it, until today. or

(b) Somewhere along the line, a group of Hebrews conspired to invent a story about that Revelation, and they convinced all the other Hebrews that this was something the whole nation had experienced.

You can't prove either one, but if out of the blue, someone tried to tell us that God spoke en masse to the entire U.S. population in 1776, I'd wonder why no one heard about it until now. The public is gullible, but some things are so hard to pull off that my person opinion is that A is the more likely one.
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Old 09-10-2002, 09:50 AM
Keeve Keeve is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by blowero
That's a no-brainer: Which is more likely?
(a) The universe is exactly as we observe it to be.
(b) The universe is as we observe it to be, PLUS it is controlled by an entity that exists outside of our ability to observe it, and (b)cannot be distinguished in any concrete way from (a).
Here's another answer, from a totally different angle: We already know for a fact that (a) is not true.

The universe is not exactly as Copernicus observed it to be.
The universe is not exactly as Newton observed it to be.
The universe is not exactly as Einstein observed it to be.

We are constantly learning more about the way the universe works. Perhaps we will have the whole picture someday, but until then, we have to admit that there is a lot that we don't know. Therefore, I suggest that (a) has to be reworded.

Try these two options:

(a) The universe is as we observe it to be, PLUS it is controlled by physical laws that exist outside of our ability to observe
(b) The universe is as we observe it to be, PLUS it is controlled by an entity that exists outside of our ability to observe
To the best of our scientifical and philosophical ability, B (an entity) cannot be distinguished in any concrete way from A (physical laws). We can lump them together as generic "Other forces" for all we know.

Sounds like more of a toss-up now, doesn't it?
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  #50  
Old 09-10-2002, 09:50 AM
Scylla Scylla is offline
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The short answer:

Never.

God presumably gave us free will, the ability to choose. By actively revealing his presence he coopts free will. So therefore God can only act in ways that can't be proven.

Because of this if by some chance you are able to videotape an act of God, then that will prove that God didn't do it.
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