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User avatar #59 - theologyexplain (04/08/2014) [-]
Alright, people, listen up. Every biblical story must be read in light of the larger context and teachings of Scripture. While one could go into the individual aspects of the justness of this act, it is really only necessary to recall, aside from the facts from the story itself, the fundamental teachings on the nature of God and the human condition:

1. God is (among other things) good, loving, and just.
2. Death, in Christianity, holds little fear for those who are saved.
3. The Bible says in Gen. 6:5 that "The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that the intentions of the thought of his heart was only evil continually.

Thus, several resolutions present themselves:
1. One could assume that God somehow prevented all wicked people from reproducing before sending the flood, thus all who died in it would have willfully assented to and confirmed their own wickedness. Conclusion: unlikely.
2. Although difficult for us to understand, it may be that even the hearts of the unborn children were already wicked and damnable. Conclusion: Not desirable and/or difficult.
3. In agreement with the common argument, "Why make humanity if they will only sin (or, in this case, will surely and only sin)?" one might say that God, (eternally) knowing that all these children would sin, prevented them from increasing their own damnation. Conclusion: Maybe a little better.
4. Comparable to #3 above, (but) if one instead holds to the view (which is commonly held today) that humans are not damnable unless willfully consenting to their own sin, and if one also considers the biblical teaching, stated above, that death is of little consequence for those who are saved, then God not only preserves these children from increased damnation but even saves all who are not yet capable of willfully separating themselves from His love. Conclusion: Preferred interpretation(?)

I fully expect, and so will now entertain, your responses:
#141 to #59 - anonymous (04/08/2014) [-]
Thanks for the explanation. I dunno why you're being so downvoted, I don't see any problems with what you've written since it's an explanation rather than necassarily a viewpoint. I agree with #4 myself, but I guess you'd have much more of an understanding of what God is to understand his actions (of the little amount we'll be able to know of him that is)
#122 to #59 - spleed ONLINE (04/08/2014) [-]
Oh boy, another explain.
#112 to #59 - anonymous (04/08/2014) [-]
Watched an episode of South Park today talking about how people try to get some deep meaning from books they read... biggest example of this is... well, I think we all know that answer.
#86 to #59 - popeflatus (04/08/2014) [-]
The story of Noak's flood is just a re-telling of previous Mesopotamian myths and never actually happened.
1) Wooden boats cannot be made that large
2) People do not live to be 950
3) There would be a massive genetic bottleneck about 4000 years ago with incest going wild. There is no evidence for this at all
4) All the animals had to get to the ark (several million species) and then return to their normal habitats, like getting all the koalas and kangaroos back to Australia for example.
5) The ark would need to have climate controlled regions and enough food to supply all the animals for the many months afloat.
6) Civilizations such as Egypt lasted through this alleged flood
7) There is not a scrap of geological evidence or otherwise that this event ever occurred.

It is pure fiction.
User avatar #96 to #86 - coolcalx (04/08/2014) [-]
some of your points are incorrect.

>1) Wooden boats cannot be made that large
yes they can. Check out the ships used by Zheng He. they were even bigger.

>2) People do not live to be 950
they were using a Lunar calendar, not a Solar one.

>3) There would be a massive genetic bottleneck about 4000 years ago with incest going wild. There is no evidence for this at all
1. by dating back 4,000 years, you're using the same logic as young-Earth creationists, which is beyond illogical.
2. There were multiple genetic bottleneck events, just not to the degree involved with every animal going extinct. so yes, you're correct here, I just wanted to point out your faulty logic in the first part.

>7) There is not a scrap of geological evidence or otherwise that this event ever occurred.
that depends on what you think happened. there WAS a massive flood event near the Mesopotamian region, and it was recorded by many civilizations, as evidenced in the presence of the great flood story in many different religions from the region, and geological evidence of this flood event does exist.

it did not cover the entire world, obviously, but this flood was massive, and as far as the people who lived in the region, seemed to cover everything in existence.

You have to realize the historical context behind early religious documents. most of the stories in the Old Testament are meant to explain physical occurrences, and shouldn't be taken literally. The story of Noah's Ark is one of these stories: it was an explanation for a giant geological event, which was then used to teach a moral lesson.
User avatar #97 to #96 - coolcalx (04/08/2014) [-]
for the record, I'm an agnostic atheist.
User avatar #89 to #86 - theologyexplain (04/08/2014) [-]
I'm not here to argue, only to explain things, to the best of my ability, according to the Christian tradition.

And while you are correct in many of your points, you are only correct if saying so under the presumption of a naturalistic worldview. If one discounts the possibility for supernatural intervention, then of course the flood story never happened. There is no need to point out that kangaroos can't swim when you can simply say that God doesn't exist, so He could not have spoken to Noah or caused a flood.

If, however, one allows for supernatural intervention, then there is little need to explain things that otherwise seem impossible. Forget kangaroos and let us go straight to the heart of the matter: virgin birth, healings, the resurrection of the dead? Now that's pretty easy to "disprove"!

As stupid as it might well sound to you or others, the fact remains that each and every facet of the Flood story remains quite possible within a supernaturalistic framework; indeed, they are quite easy for an omnipotent being to accomplish.
User avatar #63 to #59 - wheretheheartroams (04/08/2014) [-]
i would've just assumed that god, as an all powerful and creator of everything, seeing humans being bad, would've just removed evil or all things bad from humans. also confused why he'd give humans the ability to hate or be evil
User avatar #70 to #63 - theologyexplain (04/08/2014) [-]
The answer to your first comment is somewhat contained in the answer to your second.

Consider, first, the doctrine of divine simplicity, that is, "God is His attributes (such as goodness, justice, love, etc.)."

Now, humans have the ability to hate or be evil inasmuch as they exist as rational entities that are separate from God. When Adam and Eve desired independence from God in the Garden of Eden (by eating the proverbial "apple") they chose to separate themselves not only from Him, but from His attributes (via divine simplicity). Therefore, perhaps unwittingly, humanity chose evil (sin). And, ultimately, the consequence of that decision is death--full separation from God (whatever that means--we can't fully understand).

Now, you might be wondering how any of this applies to your first comment/question: why doesn't God just purge the sin from us now that we are evil? But consider this, Christianity in effect teaches that God has done exactly that, only, (and, truly, unfortunately) that process is only made complete in death. For, on the cross, Jesus Christ redeemed death itself--for those who desire redemption.

The Bible teaches that all who put their trust in Him will be made new through death, by condemning their sinful nature and leaving it behind in their new birth, now once again in full communion with God, as it was originally meant to be. Of course, this does not help those who continue to desire separation from God, for when they die they will receive just that, having chosen not to turn back to God.

So, in conclusion, it is logically impossible for God to redeem humans unless they first pass through death, for, as they currently are, they have chosen death. But if they repent, they are made new, and in that death they will leave only their sin behind while they, redeemed, will return to full communion with God. The power of the cross is this: that God redeems the purpose of the very curse which otherwise keeps humans from God.
User avatar #71 to #70 - wheretheheartroams (04/08/2014) [-]
a few things im still confused about though
1) even if they did separate from god, why did god have evil and hate and all the other bad things created?
2) when they ate the apple, they supposedly gained knowledge right? if they did, what was it?
3) if it is logically impossible for god to redeem human this honestly sounds like he's redeeming them like tickets at chuckie cheese's then wouldn't that kind of contradict the whole "all-mighty and all powerful" thing?
User avatar #79 to #71 - theologyexplain (04/08/2014) [-]
1. I'm not sure what you mean by "god have evil," but I'll assume it has something to do with "Why did God punish other creatures for man's sin?" This question has a couple possible answers, but, most simply: the Bible states that not only man, but all of creation was distorted by the Fall of man. Although this seems weird to modern sentiment, man is portrayed in the Bible as intended to be the proper ruler of the created world and so His decisions do actually have a significant impact on creation. However, there are further aspects of this that should be considered: (1) It is possible to see creation as already fallen before humanity's sin--perhaps something to do with the fall of Satan though we are told almost nothing of this in the Bible -- in which case, incidentally, humanity would have been intended to subdue this fallen world and bring God's peace to it thus, condemnation of creation is not an immoral act but simply the enactment of justice. Furthermore, we are told in Rom. 8 that all creation yearns for the Day of Judgment, in which it too will be redeemed, and, along with that, we are not told anything about the future state of animals, so we cannot say one way or another whether they go to some (or any) form of heaven or hell. Or, though highly unlikely in my opinion: (2) as nothing in creation is rational, there may be nothing wrong with destroying it.

2. "Knowledge" in the original Hebrew connotes a since of intimate experience, and thus might well suggest the fact that after eating the fruit they would have an experiential understanding of the pains of evil as well as the joys of goodness.

3. Being "all powerful" does not mean that one can do that which is logically impossible. For example, one cannot create a round square since by definition it is impossible. Similarly, death is by definition the consequence of sin, so it must in some sense still occur before salvation.
User avatar #81 to #79 - wheretheheartroams (04/08/2014) [-]
when i said "god have evil", i meant more along the lines of, why was evil created to begin with? also with satan/lucifer, whichever name he goes by, if he was also created by god, why did he disobey god, shouldn't have god had control over him?

and why couldnt he do what the logically impossible is? if god created everything, shouldnt god decide what is logically impossible? not us?
User avatar #87 to #81 - theologyexplain (04/08/2014) [-]
Well, to answer your first question, evil is not a thing that can be created, it is merely the by-product of the existence of rational creatures. By definition God cannot create evil because evil is "that which is not God."

As for the existence of Satan, we are not told why he exists. Indeed, we are told very little about him at all, so I won't answer much on that. However, it is also true that God does even now have control over the extent and effect of his wickedness. See, e.g., the Book of Job. As for why or how he disobeyed God, we cannot know, but, again, if he is a rational creature then by definition he has that capacity.

Christianity, at least, unlike other monotheistic faiths, does have one advantage in the consideration of evil, if not its explanation, and that is the fact that an all-wise God allowed for the existence of some who would reject him (i.e., those who cause "evil") knowing full well that He himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, would suffer and die for it. And, again, while it doesn't explain evil, it makes a person seriously reflect before daring to accuse that all-wise being that he made that decision light-heartedly, or without good reason.

Finally, perhaps God could have created a world in with there was no such thing as "logically impossible," but the fact is that He did not. He chose to allow things to operate according to set principles (indeed, I am inclined to think that there is no way in which He could have created a universe that undermined logic and order, as He himself is the basis for those things). And though some might think the contrary, this is not a weakness or a bad thing. Just as God cannot act wickedly, and that is not a bad thing. He is Who He is. There is, indeed, one true path, and the only real freedom is the enjoyment of that truth, not the "freedom" to choose another path, which instead only results in pain and misery.
User avatar #88 to #87 - wheretheheartroams (04/08/2014) [-]
"God cannot create evil because evil is "that which is not God"- but then why do most scriptures claim that god is "everything"?

satan's story must be explained somewhere, theres no way he couldve just gone bad, or else his story is basically just another way people abuse the bible and its writing to make excuses of why things are bad.

and also if god did give us free will, why punish us when we were given the ability to do what we want, doesnt really seem "all-loving" to me
User avatar #90 to #88 - theologyexplain (04/08/2014) [-]
1. Show me the purported scriptures and I will do my best to explain them.

2. I am not saying that Satan's story is inexplicable, but that it is not explained within the Christian scriptures. That is a fact that cannot be helped, I'm afraid, and we are left to speculate the details and motivations.

3. Once again, you are overlooking the doctrine of divine simplicity. Death is not an arbitrary punishment imposed by God on humans, it truly is the inescapable consequence of sin, just as much as a sore stomach is the inescapable consequence of eating too much candy. Certainly, you might ask why, then, anyone would want to sin... All I can say in response is, "Why, indeed?" And that, you see, is the very point. God truly does not want humanity to suffer; it is they who seek it out.
User avatar #92 to #90 - wheretheheartroams (04/08/2014) [-]
it'll take forever to find the scriptures, this was in 10th grade when i read it, 4 years ago

darn the satan story eludes me yet again

mmmm i guess im getting what you mean, then explain the whole "hate the gays" thing, please tell me thats a misinterpretation
User avatar #95 to #92 - theologyexplain (04/08/2014) [-]
1. Sorry, then, I am afraid I am of no help to you.

2. Don't misunderstand me--there is definitely a reference to Satan's fall from heaven, as well as some other hints at it, but that is about the full extent of it in the Bible. Trust me at least on this one--I've read it fully three times and have a B.A. in Biblical Studies.

3. To an extent, yes, it is certainly wrong to hate gay people as much as at least many Christians do. Nevertheless, biblically speaking, homosexuality remains a sin. Even Christians who accept homosexuality do not appeal to the Bible for help in that argument, they simply think the Bible is wrong. So, I would contend that the proper response to homosexuality from a biblical perspective should be the same as the response to anyone, say, struggling with pornography: the sin should be rejected, but the person should be loved and helped. Both of them have innate inclinations to their sin, but that does not make it acceptable. Finally, while it is a "sin," I also realize that it is not as culturally damaging as, say, murder, rape, etc. But a sin is not based on "if it's really bad" but rather if it is "not how God intended things to be." So, basically, yes: "hate the gays" is bad.
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