Saturday, February 10, 2007

Zach, I believe you may have a point on when to post. There should be a rule that comments have to be cut off after 20. Of course I have not helped by not posting more often, but then I have a life beyond blogging.

Because of the course of the comments I want to briefly deal with the experiential relevance of the Biblical world view. Is human caused suffering consistent with the existence of God? Yes, provided you understand who God is. Just as the Bible presents God as being omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent; the scriptures also declare Him to be personal, just, loving, good, immutable and so on. Additionally, these attributes are as equally present and part of His essential being as the 3-Os.

Man was given freedom of will at the creation and God being who He is, does not renege on His gifts. Additionally, in Genesis chapter 9 we find that God put the responsibility to govern on man as well. Have we governed poorly? Yes. Have people suffered because of this? Yes. Is God indifferent to that suffering? No. He has promised to judge evil. Does He act justly in doing so? Yes, because He does not judge before the fact. Stopping evil before the fact would be inconsistent with His just nature. It would also violate His gift of a free will. At least that is my understanding of the matter.

It makes sense, but is still leaves us with enduring the acts of evil men. I admit I don't like that much. At the same time I like the fact He gives me the chance to make amends for the wrongs I commit. Would we all like to see suffering eliminated? Yes, but would you like God to take you out because of something you have not done? The issue is not so much God's nature as it is His working out His sovereignty within a frame work of man's freedom and self govnerance.

I am not completely satisfied with my understanding of the matter which is much more complex than this brief post. It is, however; more consistent with reality than any over view I have investigate. I also believe free will and self governance factor into suffering from natural events. I will post on that next.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

If I want to examine other religious views or even my own I need to have a template to test them with. The three principles I listed in my last post is the template I believe best fits the task. So, I want to first evaluate them from a stand point of logical consistency. One does not need to have a complete understanding of logic to do this. Two of the basic laws of logic are sufficient to the task.

These are the laws of noncontradiction and the excluded middle. Noncontradiction simply says a statement that contradicts itself cannot be true. Another way of saying that is something is either what it is or it is something else. The law of the excluded middle simply builds on that by stating something cannot be itself and something else at the same time. I suppose we need to make note of identity as well. This princple of logic simply means something is what it is. If I tell you I have a motorcycle you know what that is. You do not think I am talking about a truck.

When I examine a belief system I use these laws of logic to determine if it is not true. There are limitations to logic. While I can determine if something is not true, logic will not identify something as true. Star Trek fans the Vulcans had it wrong; you cannot build a culture on logic alone becasue you will not be able to find truth.

Mical used these laws in one of her comments several posts back. Take Hinduism as an examle. This religion is loaded with contradictions, a fact even some Hindu scholars (if I can use that term) acknowledge. An example is their view of God is both one of many personal gods and that God is impersonal and one with the universe. Both views cannot be true. This is why I don't believe in Hinduism or any of it's off shoots.

OK, the fair one is at the hospital with our grand daughter for the night. That means I did not get her proof read of this. If you see a typo feel free to point it out and even make fun of it if you like. Today I am too tried to fight back.

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