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Featured The depiction of God, and morals

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Raphael4, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Raphael4

    Raphael4 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm going to say something very controversial and then regret it later. Our human understanding of God depicts Him in such a light that He is worse than the most righteous humans. For example, most humans would never think to send a person to hell. Unless they got that from the Bible.

    If we seek to emulate God according to our own understanding, not necessarily what God actually is, do we limit our moral ability? If so, how can we stop ourselves from doing just that?
     
  2. Strivax

    Strivax Pilgrim on another way Supporter

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    So, some 4000-2000 years ago Jews wrote the Old Testament. 2000-1500 years ago Christians wrote the New Testament. Are we to assume humanity has made no moral progress since those ancient writings? I don't think so. Of course we should treat the scriptures with respect. And one way to respect them is to treat them neither cynically nor credulously, but sceptically and within the context of the ages that generated them.

    Best wishes, Strivax.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  3. JoeP222w

    JoeP222w Well-Known Member

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    Apart from God and His grace, mankind has no ability whatsoever to be moral or even define morality.

    Apart from God's work of grace, there are no "righteous humans". Man is depraved by nature and man does get the right to define who God is, or how He operates in His morality. He is holy and perfect. His holiness defines His morality. Man has no grounds on which to judge God's morality.
     
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  4. Raphael4

    Raphael4 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Did you fully understand what I was saying though? Your reply seems a little distant for someone who does ;).
     
  5. Raphael4

    Raphael4 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Interesting.
     
  6. Victory-N-Christ

    Victory-N-Christ God:Mighty -N-Power!!

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    Hitler was a human that thought of doing worse than sending people to hell. Ted Bundy,Jeffrey Dahmer, the killer clown dude...God had nothing to do with the evil that those men did. I have accepted the fact that hell exists for those in rebellion and disobedience to God.Wasn't hell originaly created for the devil and his angels? Correct me if I'm wrong about that.But anyway God is not evil and neither can He be tempted with such but He does create evil as scripture has stated. He will harden people's hearts (Pharoah) and use that to demonstrate His power.If I'm wrong about any of this then please set me straight.
     
  7. Strivax

    Strivax Pilgrim on another way Supporter

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    I think so. I was trying to be as generally supportive as I felt I honestly could be, without needlessly trashing the genuine beliefs of others, here.

    Best wishes, Strivax
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  8. Raphael4

    Raphael4 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hmm, you seem to be right about... well, about all of it.
     
  9. Strivax

    Strivax Pilgrim on another way Supporter

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    I think this is an entirely wrong-headed and extreme point of view. God is perfect; I think we can agree on that. Humanity in general is not perfect, and neither is any human in particular; I think we can agree on that. But the fact that we are none us perfect does not mean we are all of us depraved and immoral. Indeed, as I look around the world, I see there are plenty of good works being done by plenty of good people, of all faiths and none, who, while not perfect, are still evidently to some greater or lesser extent moral.

    And if they are moral, and know the cost of virtue, how much more likely are they to appreciate and love a perfectly moral God who is ultimately virtuous, than some wretch who really is completely depraved and does not know the meaning of the words moral and virtue, at all?

    Best wishes, Strivax.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  10. Emli

    Emli Growing daughter of God Supporter

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    I feel like I agree with both of you, and I can take the middle ground. Apart from God, there are no morals and nothing good. We love, because He is love. He has written His law in our hearts. In all of us, in our DNA, not just when we are born again. We just usually choose not do follow it by our fallen nature.

    There is a difference between measuring good and evil, and righteousness ans sin.

    We can't do anything righteous by ourselves, because righteousness has to come from a deep love of God. We can do good works, even apart from Him, but they are still are like filthy rags compared to His goodness.

    The problem is our intentions, not our actions, which could me measured as good or evil, according to the moral law. Do we do it for God, with and through God, to His glory, or for our own glory? That's the difference between righteousness and sin.
     
  11. Raphael4

    Raphael4 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm kind of torn on some of the replies in this thread. On the one hand they make really good points, and I congratulate them on that, on the other hand, I get a slight whiff of a Straw Man fallacy. It's like Christians don't think my OP questions apply in their current state, when I think they do.
     
  12. Emli

    Emli Growing daughter of God Supporter

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    The problem is, I believe, that we measure goodness with the wrong measurements. Please, read my previous post.

    We humans value freedom to choose for ourselves, and thus, God seems evil in our eyes. However, when we come to understand that God is love, and that everything He does is to get us closer to Him, this view goes out the door.

    "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
    "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

    God has used these passages often, to remind me of how much bigger, higher and different He really is from us humans.

    I believe that this is a foundation we all need to have, in order to understand that His ways are truly righteous and good.
     
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  13. Emli

    Emli Growing daughter of God Supporter

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    Exactly to what are you referring then?
     
  14. Raphael4

    Raphael4 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was saying that a couple other posters on here may have, instead of directly answering my question, created a side argument in their heads and then tried to refute that, instead of my actual argument.

    I'm not mad. But if you think anyone ever creates a "Straw Man", in a debate, it's good debate practice to potentially point it out.

    For example, Victory-N-Christ used evil people as an argument, when I was talking about righteous people (no offense).

    I just want people to answer the question the best way they know how. And I don't actually think anyone commited a full Straw Man, I am just making an observation for purpose of this thread. Sorry people.
     
  15. Strivax

    Strivax Pilgrim on another way Supporter

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    God is the best we can conceive. If we emulate that conception, we can't go far wrong. And if, in emulating it, we come to a better conception still, and decide to emulate that instead; why, that is spiritual progress.

    Best wishes, Strivax.
     
  16. Raphael4

    Raphael4 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Now that's a perfect example of the quality and type of statements/arguments I'm looking for.
     
  17. Emli

    Emli Growing daughter of God Supporter

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    Oh, I agree. The thing is though, you kind of just answered you own OP (if I understood that correctly). We limit God, because we humans have a tendency to do just that, create a straw man instead of focusing on His true qualities. Why? Because we don't want to change. It's the most common theme in atheist vs apologetics debates. As Christians, we tend to create a watered down or more judging version of Him in our heads, that fits our ways better. It's the sin of idolatry.
     
  18. Raphael4

    Raphael4 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Strivax gave me exactly the answer I was looking for to my thread.
     
  19. Raphael4

    Raphael4 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Great answer!
     
  20. Emli

    Emli Growing daughter of God Supporter

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    I read this as if though God is something we humans have conceived (meaning given birth to). That is the problem. Then we limit Him to our own understanding, and emulate a false version of Him. That is idolatry, and the opposite of spiritual progress (which per definition is growing closer to the real God).
     
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