assateague wrote:Glimmerjim wrote:assateague wrote:Glimmerjim wrote:This is the same God that apparently condones, no, causes, stillbirths?
This is the same God that births all children in an environment of equal liberties?
This is the same God that has allowed the systemic elimination of those of different religions, skin colors, sexual preferences, ethnicities, and genders?
I see what you're getting at, but it falls short. Here's why- because for those who choose not to believe in God, statements like the ones you made above seem to support their position. But the reality is that statements such as those ignore the human actions which are most often the cause. God does not exist in a vacuum. He created us, and gave us free will. Specifically, in your third example, the Christian response would be "how did WE allow the systemic elimination of those of different religion?", because ultimately, humans are at fault.
There was no bolt of lightning which came from the sky and smote 6 million Jews. It was the actions of people which did that. Actions which other people allowed to happen. There was no flood tide of blood which washed blacks across the Atlantic ocean and placed them on plantations in the South. Those were the actions of people.
Even "acts of God" have consequences which are most likely human-based, albeit not always avoidable. For example, a hurricane which kills 1,000 people. It's easy to say "how can God let this happen?", when the reality is that God did not force people to build their houses on the beach. When a tornado flattens a town, it's just as easy to say the same thing, but people were the ones who chose to not build a concrete block house or something like that. I'm certainly not saying that people need to live in a concrete tube in the middle of Wyoming, 50 feet underground, but what I am saying is that we all make decisions, and those decisions have consequences. To blame those consequences on God, whether it is loss of a job, destruction of a house, or the Holocaust, is disingenuous. It is an attempt to remove all blame from the decisions made by people.
In regard to sickness and disease, there is no guarantee as to how long one gets to live. We all die- that is a simple fact. Honestly, does it matter if it happens in 100 years, 50 years, 10 years, or 1 year? Yes, it is sad, but what really does that mean? To a believer, death is not a bad thing, as we get to experience eternal life. To a non-believer, it shouldn't matter, because they feel you are just unfeeling worm food with no hereafter. In either case, death shouldn't seem to matter, should it? Yet it is trotted out quite often in the "how could God let this happen?" scenarios.
Nowhere does belief in God guarantee you an easy, pain-free life. Quite the contrary. So when I see statements such as those you made, it just makes me realize that there is a very large perception gap.
Yes there is, AT, yet I think you presented your case well. You, quite frankly and admittedly, are so much more conversant with the Christian religion than I that my arguments are not worth the ether this "net" resides in I have questions about religion, not answers. I form a few half-assed conclusions from some responses to these questions (not from you), that I really feelof adherents.
Someday, with your agreement, I'd have to have a "question and answer" period with you about the things that absolutely baffle me in the Christian religion. It would not be a contest, nor an attempt to slyly prevail. It would be a sincere informational exercise with someone I consider as bright and well-spoken. I have tried with many in the past and walked away more confused than I started. In addition, I fully realize that you do not have all the answers, nor would I expect you to. I would, however, consider you as one who has given thought to many of the questions. Not right away. I would want to think of the essence of my questions so as not to come across as either over-zealous in my preconceptions, woefully ignorant (though I think I've probably already earned that crown!), or petulant.
While I appreciate the sentiments, I'm probably not the best guy for it. Whenever I ponder on it, I'm left with probably more questions than you have. I simply believe, and while we do belong to a church, and enjoy going, I find those times in a tree stand or duck blind, or simply offering up some quiet prayer in the morning or evening to be more "satisfying".