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June 25, 2005

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"For example, if God is omniscient then the future is an open book to this being, or power. God knows what has happened, is happening, and will happen. However, if God is omnipotent then anything is possible. God can do whatever pleases the divine will. So God can’t know what is going to happen in the future if God has the power to change the future. Thus God can’t be both omniscient and omnipotent."

Let me play devil's advocate. I used to agree with this line of analysis, but then I realized that I was thinking too linear.

Because our human brains can only translate information in a certain way, we view time as fixed. Therefore, from the level of human comprehension, you are right on target.

But let's say time is neither linear nor fixed. Couldn't the current self of God see the future while the non-current self was making it? In other words, just because God can see everything that will happen, this doesn't mean that he can't see the changes he has/will make to the future as he makes them.

Hopefully, that makes a bit of sense -- It does inside my head. ;-)

Brian,
You know as well as I that the confirmed Christian -- the ones who believe God talks to them -- will merely say that God wants to talk to you directly, but you have a problem with your receiver. It's not God's fault that you won't take his calls.

That said, I strongly agree with your premise and analysis. Of course, maybe that is just an indication that something's wrong with my reception too ;->

Hi Trey, Great blog.
My opinion and experience from years of having two way communication with God is that He has lots to say to us but as the previous post pointed out we don't usually have Him tuned in or we don't recognize His voice.
That said, it will always, always (did I say always?) be a matter of faith in hearing the voice of God. Whether as an inner voice or in the signs around us or whatever, it takes faith to say, "Hey, God just talked to me".

And when it comes to hearing the voice of the Almighty it must be said that timing is everything, and His timing most often does not match our timing.

I have LOTS of stories from over two decades of hearing God's voice on personal matters of guidance, encouragement and other things. I find that the Lord is really quite the talker if we can quiet our souls long enough to tune in and recognize what He is saying.

I think it's great you are blogging about such things.

I've popped into your blog before via Orblogs.com. I'll likely pop by again. Come visit mine anytime. Bless ya!
Pam
www.pamhogeweide.blogspot.com

If God really wanted that we understood her replies then she'd surely communicate them in such a way that we could understand them.

And when we get something that sounds or feels like a reply how do we know who replied? There is more certainty in a confirmation email from Amazon as Brian mentioned than in a prayer communication.

Having said that I also like to mention that I am quite sure that prayers have beneficial effects. Be the explanations for that whatever they may be.

I find that deism/theism as Thomas Paine has described makes a lot of sense.

A commenter wrote, "I would submit, that the "problem" begins with the supposition that there is some separation, some difference, between one's self and God, as if individuals and God are somehow separate entities. If in truth there is no real separation, then there are not two separate and different entities, then there is no need for any communication, because there is no one apart such as God to communicate with."

Well put! I couldn't have written this any better myself.

What makes you think that there is no real separation? Just curious.

Whatever I think about God does indeed not matter but that was not the issue. I asked you a simple question. To speculate about my understanding of anything is quite besides the point but be my guest if you feel the need to do so.

To aid you in guessing about me at least in the right direction know that I am open to anything about God and therefore have no bias this way or that. I am simply curious because you appear to be so sure about God.

Stating that God is totality, omni-something etc. and therefore this and that must be so and so only holds water as long as the premise is true. I detect no evidence of that.

If the word "think" puts you in a counterproductive mode, as it seems to do then let me re-phrase the question so that you find it easier to answer.

How do you know that there is no real separation?

Thanks for your replies, Swami.

No word games. I had the same impression of you. You surely didn't intend so either.

Best wishes, m8.

My two cents worth which I stole from Poe, but seems to have bearing on this conversation:

"He impaired his vision by holding the object too close. He might see, perhaps, one or two points with unusual clearness, but in so doing he, necessarily, lost sight of the matter as a whole. Thus there is such a thing as being too profound. Truth is not always in a well. In fact, as regards the more important knowledge, I do believe that she is invariably superficial. The depth lies in the valleys where we seek her, and not upon the mountain-tops where she is found. The modes and sources of this kind of error are well typified in the contemplation of the heavenly bodies. To look at a star by glances --to view it in a side-long way, by turning toward it the exterior portions of the retina (more susceptible of feeble impressions of light than the interior), is to behold the star distinctly --is to have the best appreciation of its lustre --a lustre which grows dim just in proportion as we turn our vision fully upon it. A greater number of rays actually fall upon the eye in the latter case, but, in the former, there is the more refined capacity for comprehension. By undue profundity we perplex and enfeeble thought; and it is possible to make even Venus herself vanish from the firmament by a scrutiny too sustained, too concentrated, or too direct. "

Quotes from the article, comments and/or referrenced in the comments:

"It just isn’t in a language that we can understand. If we think we hear God talking to us, that isn’t God; it’s us"

"Sadly, people who believe that they are talking with God don’t realize that they’re carrying on both ends of the conversation."

“God, can you hear me now?” After saying this it’s better to listen to an honest silence than imagine a false reply."

My thoughts:
If God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, ubiquitous--and if we are all part and parcel of God--with God being a manifestation of humanity (or vice versa), then wouldn't the "false reply"--that could very well be our own selves talking--be the voice of God? And couldn't the "one sided conversation" still be seen as communication with God?

heey
this articel does in fact point out that we can't understand God doesn't it?
if we look at this subject closely God is a contrediction in itself for us humans. but this does not deny the verry existens of God himself. in fact it only tels us that God is so big/good that we can't get a hold of him.
anyway, I think talking with God is possible, but only by praying and trough Jesus. and yes, he will answer you on his own Godly way!

i dont know man, if you do believe in God then be careful, dont think that jsut becuz God doesnt come to you in a vision of visions, with fire and lightning and thunder that jsut makes you fall face forward with awe and amazement, that he isnt real. I personally have received God's replies, im not saying i have spoken directly one on one with him, like a telephone or that i am some amazing follower of God, but seriously when you follow him, you learn to listen to his voice nad you know when its Him and not jsut your morality concept coming into play (or your conscience or some sort) ya know? you just... know, i guess :)

I would just like to say that God does speak to you. I have proof. Lots of it. But one that I will share with you is one is the one of my willed suicide. My life was pretty much in a hole. I felt empty and alone. And the thoughts of suicide rushed my head. I grew up in a broken home but my grandparents pretty much raised me and took me to church. I knew God was real I just didn't know a whole lot. As I sat there contemplating suicide I knew that it was wrong. I knew that someone who commits suicide couldn't go to heaven because they couldn't ask for forgiveness and be saved. And as I sat there with the feelings overwhelming me I cried out to God. I told him that I know the suicidal thoughts were not from him and I needed him to take them away. I'm not a patient person so I gave God about thirty seconds maybe a minute and I got up from my chair, and headed out the door. My dog shoved his head between the door and the wall so I couldn't close it then my telephone rang. I should mention I was leaving my house to run my car into a tree or a pole. I dont know why but I answered the phone. It was my boyfriend. I was going to be talking to him in an hour or so. He said that he ran home for a minute and he didn't really know why he called since he would be talking to me in a little while but he did. There is no doubt. None whatsoever that it was God. I prayed. I asked him to stop me. And he did. It's Proof. Believe it or not. It's proof. When you feel like you are talking a one way conversation with God maybe you are to be patient and wait to receive what he has in store for you. He is answering you.

To the commenter named A:

You wrote: "I would just like to say that God does speak to you. I have proof. Lots of it."

-- Thats baloney. Let's see it.

"I knew God was real"

-- You only think, you do not know anything for sure.

"I cried out to God. There is no doubt. None whatsoever that it was God. I prayed. I asked him to stop me. And he did. It's Proof."

-- There is no proof of anything here. So you are as full of nonsense now, as you were then.

"Believe it or not. It's proof."

-- No, its not "proof", its just your belief.

"When you feel like you are talking a one way conversation with God ... He is answering you."

-- You are delusional. Go get some professional help. Seriously.


Beautiful story A!:
Don't let the mean bastards get you down!
Best wishes,
D.J.

Don't let the nice bitches like D.J. fool ya.


Another mean bastard here.

Tao is right. While the experience may have increased her personal faith due to convoluted logic and events that could just as easily be explained away as coincidence, there is nothing in what "A" said that is 'proof' of the existence of God.

Who knows, if you can believe God put a dog's head between you and the door, maybe it would also be God's intervention when you blow your brains out. Maybe God wants you to get relief and reach heaven sooner.

God works in mysterious ways.

Mean Bastard Tucson,

And mean bastards work mysteriously in Godly ways.


Those who believe in God do not require a testimony to the fact that they have been heard of or not. They pray only as a part of their efforts to do a work. If they achieve. they attribute it to God otherwise their fate.

Whether it is right or wrong they continue to do it and as a matter of fact they have been continuing to do so from ages. Sometimes they feel near to God and other times away from Him.

I am myself not an exception to it. But it is a nice feeling to pull along in life. There are hundred and one things in life which remain unanswered. Till date if no satisfactory answer to presence or absence of God has been tangibly put forth. Well if somebody has it .............., to me it appears a faith and conviction.

In any case, it is bliss from unknown to believe in some supernatural power which is running this universe. There is virtually nothing on this earth which does not belong to somebody or some country or other, I do not see a reason to believe this universe to run at its own. What a human being's mind can believe about of his prayers being heard or not depends upon individual development, exposure and faith ? No sweeping statement can be made.

God can only exist in you or for you. One can only prove God to ones self. Never to others. If you find God, then you have found a good thing. Those who want to find God will and those who dont want to find God wont. Those who hear God listen for him and those who dont hear God, dont listen for him. God is a choice.

The Father does not require your permission to exist. Faith is not learned, it is a gift. Ask for it and He will answer you. Your Father loves you. Has your dis-belief brought you to happiness? Really? How is your life going? Pray, my brothers and sisters. You are not alone. You have wondered why you are here. I'll tell you. You are here to make a choice. Because God loves you, he will not compell you in your decision. Choose Him, and eternal life is yours. Choose against Him, and eternal darkness and separation is your lot.

Humble yourself, and try prayer.

A fellow past doubter.

Eric, my life is going just fine without God. But thanks for asking. This shows that some people are happy believing in God and some people are happy not believing in God.

On the whole, I'm happier now than when I was a true believer. I don't worry so much about whether I'm doing the right thing. I don't fret about falling out of God's favor. I just enjoy life as best I can.

I'll take my chances on eternal life vs. eternal darkness. How do you know, Eric, that God isn't really "Allah" and is going to sentence you to eternal perdition for not bowing down to Him? Or that the Spaghetti Monster isn't going to wrap you in his pastafarian limbs and make you into sauce for disbelieving in his noodleness?

Eric, your comment reflects the same stale old religious rheoric that has been proferred and used to pacify the fearful and ignorant masses for centuries. Sorry, but it just don't fly.

All of your supposed well intentioned talk about "Father", "God", "Faith", "Pray", "Humble", and uhhh... "eternal darkness and separation", is just too damn childish and lame. Get a god-damn clue why don't you.

Furthermore, you know nothing about the "happiness" of others, not to mention your self-assured claim to knowing what it is all about, simply shows the rest of us us just how very little you actually do know.

You sound like some litte boy in Sunday school... which is probably exactly what you are. Later for you dude.


Eric,

Could you write a comment that describes the difference between, Eternal life and Eternal darkness? How are you using the word, "separation" in relation to the above?

Thanks for a reply,
Roger

Brian and tAo (or dao: "the way"):

Your anger and obvious condescension say more about you and your "happiness" than any words I could write. If you are so certain of the absence of God, why do you waste your time debating Him? What could you possibly have to gain? Unless I miss my guess, you are looking to be convinced. You are "fishing for faith." You will not find faith on the internet. It is a gift from God. Humble yourself and ask Him for it.

I am aware of how infantile my arguments must seem to you, because I once held your point of view. It took me many years of experience and thought to evolve an intellect that could conceive of a power greater than myself. That is, indeed, the great challenge of our time. I will pray that you are as fortunate.

Roger, "eternal life" is life beyond death, forever in the presence God. A choice. Go to Mass and learn how to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. "Eternal darkness" is to be eternally separated from Him that created you. Also a choice. There is no worse thing. "Hell" is eternal separation from God.

People, why do you think you are here on Earth? We've all asked this question. God could compell your love, but He loves you too much for that. He loves you, and wants you to choose Him. That is why we are here. The meaning of life is no more complicated than that. You are here to make a choice. Simply pray to God. Ask Him for direction, and He will answer you in His time, in His way. I promise.

I hope this clarifies my point of view. God bless you, all.

Eric, give it up. I've been there and done that -- the true believing, blind faith thing. You're welcome to your beliefs, but they're not for me, or for others who don't want them.

You haven't clarified your point of view, because it already was evident: fundamentalist religion. No thanks, the world already has way too much of that.

Eric,

Thanks for your reply.

You stated,

"If you are so certain of the absence of God, why do you waste your time debating Him?"
---I never made such a claim. Rather judgemental of you.


"I am aware of how infantile my arguments must seem to you, because I once held your point of view."
---Eric, could you describe what your "once held" point of view was?


"eternal life" is life beyond death, forever in the presence God.
---any further information on what "ethernal life" means?


"Eternal darkness" is to be eternally separated from Him that created you. Also a choice. There is no worse thing. "Hell" is eternal separation from God.
---any further information on what "Hell" is? What is it about "darkness" that is bad? Is it possible that constant "light" can be harmful? Eric, based on your extensive knowledge, explain more.

Thanks,
Roger

Eric, you just proved what a disgustingly arrogant fool you are.

A.) You know nothing about the happiness or the anger of others.

B.) No one here said anything about being "certain of the absence of God".

C.) This is a Blog, as well as a comment forum. And debate is one thing which folks do in this comment forum. If you don't like that, then don't come here.

D.) What do YOU think you have to gain by preaching fundamentist religion to those who are not "convinced", and not interested in it?

E.) YOU are the one who is "fishing for faith."

F.) If YOU yourself were humble, then you would not be telling others here to be "Humble".

G.) Your arguments are not only "infantile" and lame, but terribly presumptuous.

H.) You can not say "I once held your point of view", simply because you do NOT know what my point of view is.

I.) I dare say that your so-called "many years of experience and thought" and "intellect" is no comparison to mine. Otherwise you would not claim things that you have no evidence or knowledge of.

J.) I don't need your prayers.

K.) You clearly know nothing about what it is, and what it means to "walk in the footsteps of Jesus".

L.) Nothing and no one is "eternally separated from Him" [God].

M.) There is no such "eternal separation from God", and "Hell" is merely an idea in your mind.

N.) Why do you think that you are "on Earth"?

O.) God can not "compell" anything. Everything happens only according to a kind of cosmic law.

P.) You have no insight as to "why we are here". Because you do not even know who and what YOU are.

Q.) YOU should just tell yourself to "simply pray to God". YOU should just tell yourself to "ask for direction". You have no business telling others what they need to do.

In conclusion, I must certainly agree with Brian... "give it up" Eric. Regardless of what you want to think and believe for your own self, you are not wiser nor ahead of anyone here. And its actually guys like you who give religion and belief in God a bad reputation.

If you really want to live a Godly life, then mind your own damn business, don't preach, and be respectful and tolerant of others.


All men worship a god. For some it's money, power or a career. Many of you, here, seem to be seeking a god within your own persons. One of the oldest forms of self-dillusion.

I wonder what it is about organized religion and faith that so repulses you that you feel you must lash out at it? Certainly intellects such as yours might be better employed to a more constructive end? Good luck in life, bros. (and God bless you!)

Eric, I'll echo you:

I wonder what it is about churchlessness and faith without God that so repulses you that you feel you must visit this blog and lash out at it?

Didn't Jesus, who you supposedly believe in, say "Judge not." You sure seem judgmental. Why aren't you practicing your own religion rather than wasting your time on the Internet preaching to people who don't want to hear your message?

Oh, I forgot. Christians are supposed to evangelize. Thanks, you've helped remind me why I'm so happy I'm not a Christian. Good luck in life. May the Tao look after you.

Eric,

If you could, in your own words,

Explain what Hell is.

Explain in detail what is Eternal darkness and Eternal life.

Your answers are your answers, nothing right or wrong.

Thanks for a reply,
Roger

Roger: You know I cannot answer your questions. Neither can you. Faith is a gift that cannot be realized on the internet. Ask for it. Socrates would be proud of you, if that gives you any comfort.

Tao: I do not think you are a "disgustingly arrogant fool," as you rate me. I think you are a fellow soul seeking truth. I pray you will find it . . . the same I pray for myself. Do you wish the same for me?

Brian: You purposely misinterpret Jesus. A simple reading of the Bible will prove this. You are an arrogant fool, and a dishonest one. The one truth you speak is that Christians are to evangelize. Are you and I unique in this respect?

What do you think is the purpose of this website?

Peace and faith, brothers.

Eric

Eric,

Thanks for your reply.

Eric, don't give up on definitions or descriptions for Hell, Eternal darkness and Ethernal life, those were your words, remember. Since, those were your words, I suggest you find the time to provide the requested information. Don't give up so easily. I don't have any descriptions, never said I did.

Again, thanks for your help in my request.
Roger

Eric, I don't evangelize. I share my ideas here and people are free to consider them.. ...reject them ...argue them ...ignore them.

I don't go onto Christian web sites and say "Give up your belief!" But you feel a desire to come onto my blog and preach your fundamentalism.

Your Christian "love" calls me an arrogant, dishonest fool. Wow, you're a great example of why I reject religion. If it would turn me into someone judgmental and hateful like you, I don't want it.

Saying "Peace and faith, brothers" is just words. Eric, you've confused words with reality.

Eric writes:

"Faith is a gift that cannot be realized on the internet. Ask for it."

-- Does it not occur to you that others are not looking for any faith, even as a "gift"? Why do you assume that others think the way you do? Why do you assume that others are seeking faith? Because... You are so intent on preaching, that you never bother to listen to others.


"I do not think you are a "disgustingly arrogant fool," as you rate me."

-- Yes, I think you are arrogant because you don't respect others views and feelings; and you are a fool because you believe and trust in unfounded myths and childish fantasies.


"I think you are a fellow soul seeking truth."

-- Then you think wrong. I am not seeking anything. I am simply living the wonder of my life and allowing it to unfold naturally without burdening or imposing unnecessary and useless religious nonsense upon myself.


"I pray you will find it"

-- I don't need to "find" anything. I already have and am supplied with everything that I need at all times. YOU are the one who is searching for, but have not yet found yourself, your life... not yet found what is real.


"the same I pray for myself"

-- Pray for who? It would help if you would first determine who YOU really are... then see if you need any prayers.


"I think you are a fellow soul seeking truth. I pray you will find it . . . the same I pray for myself. Do you wish the same for me?

-- No. I don't. I don't pray for you because I don't pray period. Also, b because unlike you, I am not "seeking truth", and so I don't need to find "truth". But if you seek the truth, then you should seek it where it really is, and not in religion where it is absent. And if you are really seeking truth, then why are you preaching falsehood to others?

You are confused. You need to get your facts straight. You need to find out who YOU are, and what is actually real in life, and what is just mere fantasy that you acquired from some other confused fool.


"Brian: You purposely misinterpret Jesus."

-- Who says? You say? So you think that your intrepretation of Jesus is more right than Brians? Because that is exactly what you are implying. What makes your interpretation correct? How presumptious.


"A simple reading of the Bible will prove this."

-- "A simple reading"? Thats blatant bullshit. The Bible has been intrepreted countless ways. And there is no proof anywhere.


"The one truth you speak is that Christians are to evangelize."

-- Which is exactly what you are doing here... and that is exactly what you have no business doing here. This is not a Christian preaching site. So why do you disrespect that and continue to preach an "evagelize" when it is not welcome? ...Because you have no respect or consideration for other peoples truth or views or lives. You think that you have some right to dump your shit upon other people, and they are supposed to eat your shit.

The truth is that you are a god-damn fucking jerk Eric. And its people like you who make a bad name for Christ and Christianity.

But you don't have to remain that way. You CAN become a sane and rational human being, if you really want to. Its up to you.


"What do you think is the purpose of this website?"

-- The pourpose of this website is explained at the top of the left side-bar menu, where it says "About this site--start here". So why don't you just go read that section?


"Peace and faith, brothers."

-- Considering your over-all disrespect and self-righteous bullshit, these are merely empty words which do nothing but signify your hypocrisy.

I am not interested in any part of your belief or your faith or your religion Eric. So get a clue why don't you. You might then actually learn something here.


Such anger. Sad.

Sad you say? How lame.

Eric... you're such an naive asswipe... an asswipe of Biblical proportions.

Get a friggin clue, you dimwitted juvenile twerp.


Well I personally have heard God speak and then the very thing he told me actually came to pass. I had a dream where God told me he was going to purpose me to have a son. Then the next day God told me that the next girl I slept with was going to become pregnant. 2 years later it all came to pass just as he had spoken. Another time he told me that someone was going to reject me at first, but when he told that person to come to me, that they would come. 7 years later that person told me in a phone conversation that they felt that they needed to come to me, that it was time. I had never told the person what God had spoken. I never heard Gods voice untill he revealed his exsistance to me. After that, the door was open. God is not a he or she btw, god is spirit and has no sexual organs to be called male or female. Sometimes God answers me in an experiential way as well because he wants me to learn something about whatever issue I am dealing with. Sometimes I just need to really take a good hard look at reality and the answer is apparent within the truth. God most certainly speaks through the truth, so if you believe that there is no absolute truth, or that truth is subjective, or that there is no truth, how can you hear God anyway?

mike, go see a shrink asap.


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