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  #46  
Old Dec 29, '12, 6:27 pm
Bob Crowley Bob Crowley is offline
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

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Originally Posted by WoundedIcon View Post
It's not like God's hiding. We're just too impure in our fallen state to see Him. I mean, Adam and Eve could see Him, and after Purgatory your average person can too. It's just that we're too disordered.

And also, there is evidence of His existence, but it's not of the empirical variety. Not all evidence is empirical, some of it is purely logical. In God's case, philosophy shows His existence to be pretty much certain.
I suspect your first paragraph has a lot to do with it. The Bible states that no man may look on God and live.

I remember myself, when early in my Christian walk, I got a bit too pally in my mind with Him. Next thing I knew this sense of anger descended on me, and I literally felt like I was going to disintegrate. I was driving at the time, and I had to pull over into a side street until the whole thing passed. Very uncomfortable.

I still remember it vividly - I was on my way to a gym under our Presbyterian Church; the road was one Kedron Brook Road, and the side street was either Main or Fifth Avenue. And this was probably nearly 30 years ago now.

Our spirits are not destroyed, but if we were to see God in our physical bodies, we'd die.

I don't think any of us comprehend the frightening holiness of God. It's deadly.

So He hides himself. We are only permitted to see Him after we die, and we exist in spiritual form only.
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  #47  
Old Dec 29, '12, 6:54 pm
ColdComfort ColdComfort is offline
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

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Originally Posted by Linusthe2nd View Post
We all love you Bradski even if get upset from time to time. It is just that your ideas are so strange. Now ask a straight foreward question, one that is serious.
Hey! I answered him.
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  #48  
Old Dec 29, '12, 7:09 pm
ColdComfort ColdComfort is offline
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

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Originally Posted by kelner View Post



It only fails, because it is a straw man. Vacuum, at quantum level, is not nothing.

Universe from nothing is actually a very elegant idea, because it only needs unstructured spacetime and laws of physics to produce a structured universe.
Then it something from something not something from nothing.

Quote:
The reason people don't like it, is that common sense dictates that order cannot arise out of chaos. However, once you observe that self-organizing systems exist in nature, you have to admit that producing order out of chaos does not necessarily require intelligent action:
Same thing.
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  #49  
Old Dec 29, '12, 7:26 pm
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robwar robwar is offline
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

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Originally Posted by Bradski View Post
Why do so few people read what I write? Is it the fact that I class myself as an atheist and that therefore whatever I say must be wrong?
I did read what you wrote and responded to what you wrote. I didn't make any judgement good or bad but responded to your comments which is looking at the world in a negative light and responded to your somewhat sarcastic post. There is no comment on your atheism and why or what you believe.
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  #50  
Old Dec 29, '12, 8:24 pm
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Anthony V Anthony V is offline
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

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Originally Posted by wittgenstein View Post
Why is believing in a proposition (that God exists) without evidence (faith is different than knowing) more important then knowing?
It's not. Faith is a knowledge of a higher order. God's existence is objectively axiomatic, and does not require blind trust. One might ask, "then why isn't everybody a theist?" And I would reply, "because we humans are subjective, not objective." Allow me to further explain:

God, in his entirety of knowledge, is the Logos. His being is eternally expansive, yet eternally simple in essence. The Logos is known fully only by itself, as it knows itself. The next question arises, "how do human beings understand knowledge as a principle?" The Logos, infinitely expansive, cannot fit inside a finite understanding (as Logos is Understanding itself). We understand God by abstracting him into logoi--that is, smaller principles we can understand. But because we know that whatever the Logos is, it is an irreducible substrate, we attempt to conform all the possessed logoi into a single system of information, which we subjectively call Truth. This is why God appears very complex and confusing, and why we write millions of books and spill barrels of ink. In fact, even if we wrote an infinite number of books and spilled an infinite number of barrels of ink (with an infinite amount of information that was all true), we still wouldn't understand the Logos through any form of finite natural knowledge. This is where faith comes in.

Faith is not a blind trust. It is a participation in God's eternal understanding of himself in a way that is not axiomatic to natural knowledge. Obviously, you can gather where the societal connotation of faith was derived. For our purposes, however, that connotation does not fit, as it is not an object of natural reason. This is not to say it isn't practical or pragmatic, however. That's the entire message of the Gospel, to reveal that God does want us to see him, and we are given the means to practice supernatural Love.
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"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part [in faith]; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:12-13
And in fact, faith is not different than knowing. Faith is a metaphysical and transcendental knowledge with absolute certainty. While you can discredit a particular existent, you cannot discredit a principle of being simply by virtue of the limitations of sense knowledge (or natural knowledge, for that matter). All that to say, we can intuitively say that God exists as an imperative; axiomatically.
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  #51  
Old Dec 29, '12, 8:52 pm
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Anthony V Anthony V is offline
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

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Originally Posted by kelner View Post
Universe from nothing is actually a very elegant idea, because it only needs unstructured spacetime and laws of physics to produce a structured universe. The reason people don't like it, is that common sense dictates that order cannot arise out of chaos. However, once you observe that self-organizing systems exist in nature, you have to admit that producing order out of chaos does not necessarily require intelligent action:

I AM WHO I AM. I am existence.

Universe exists. You exist.

Why are you looking for God outside existence?
God is existence. We are not existence as a principle--we are existents, XYZ's that exist. That's been thoroughly written upon. He is outside creation, but factoring that variable requires a decent amount of metaphysical thinking. Now, "producing order out of chaos" is an abstraction, not a sensible proposition. "Order" is not a thing, so to speak. It is a positive principle. "Chaos" is neither a thing. It's a negative principle; lack thereof. It's a metaphysical question over and above pragmatism. It cannot be answered by physics.

Apart from that, I think science is heading in a rather decent direction with the "nothing" theory (or whichever you should like to call it). I'm not joking. It's getting closer to the concept of God as an ontological principle. Why do physicists think it might be nothing? Because it is simple. Complexity arises out of simplicity.That's a basic law of physics. The universe expanded out of singularity. Molecules form out of interacting atoms. The first cells probably formed out of lipid bubbles, inside of which simple proteins formed. Additionally, it's a basic law of metaphysics: the question of existence as a principle. Nothing exists necessarily, and no things exist necessarily, yet things do, and nothing doesn't [absolutely]. I am not insisting that God is "nothing" in the least bit, but that there is at least credence given to the fact that a positive something can be scientifically recognized as a singular principle in cosmology.
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  #52  
Old Dec 29, '12, 10:37 pm
meltzerboy meltzerboy is offline
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

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Originally Posted by kelner View Post
Only if you are quote mining.

First, Genesis omits a critical piece of information: that the Sun in a star. Forget DNA. Ancient Israelite would have no vocabulary to describe DNA. However, the text in Genesis mentions both Sun and stars, yet never makes connection between the two. This is actually a very serious omission. Because once you admit that Sun is a star (i.e. its not unique), then you have to conclude that Earth is not unique, and hence, humans are not unique (i.e. you have aliens). Once you have aliens, then you have the problem of salvation of the aliens. At this point, one Giordano Bruno would like to have a word with you.

Next, both Old and New Testament refer to a 3-level universe; God's dwelling is on the top floor (heaven), we live on the ground floor, and Sheol/Hell is down in the basement. Mind you, in the Bible, heaven is literally up; Satan is cast from Heaven and falls down. Even Apostle's Creed (8th century) says that Jesus descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven. Of course, that makes no sense in light of actual astronomy. No wonder that this Galileo guy got in trouble...Modern theology escapes this by declaring that Heaven and Hell are not places, but states. However, if it is so, then one has to wonder why the Bible does not say so explicitly.

In short, you are trying to tell me is that when Divine Truth was revealed to the writers of Genesis, they understood the Big Bang all right, but at the same time failed to understand a round Earth moving around a star, and all that follows...



It only fails, because it is a straw man. Vacuum, at quantum level, is not nothing.

Universe from nothing is actually a very elegant idea, because it only needs unstructured spacetime and laws of physics to produce a structured universe. The reason people don't like it, is that common sense dictates that order cannot arise out of chaos. However, once you observe that self-organizing systems exist in nature, you have to admit that producing order out of chaos does not necessarily require intelligent action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1TMZASCR-I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPP-4-LEHXQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it2nKg2hTAo

Now, ask yourself this. Aren't you simply doing God of the Gaps, invoking God to explain things you don't know today? Aren't you putting yourself down the path where, as your knowledge grows, and gaps shrink, then your God will shrink as well?

I AM WHO I AM. I am existence.

Universe exists. You exist.

Why are you looking for God outside existence?
A few points concerning your remarks. Maimonides as well as the Lubavitcher Rebbe and other sages and scholars have pointed out that in the Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible, there is a suggestion of extraterrestrial life. Maimonides also talked about the consciousness of the heavenly bodies as well as its inhabitants. However, from a Jewish perspective, even though that alien life may be intelligent, it would not be bound by the same moral principles found in the Torah. It would not even necessarily have free will. Since salvation is not a key issue in Judaism--although the belief in an afterlife is present--the existence of aliens as another life form created by G-d would not be a problem. Likewise, the fact that the Sun is merely a star does not rob the Earth or the humans who inhabit it of their uniqueness. Our uniqueness as human beings is defined according to Judaism not even with respect to our higher order of consciousness, but rather our free will to choose the good bestowed upon us by G-d, which He gave to neither the beasts nor the angels. (The issue you presented concerning Satan is not a problem for Judaism in the sense of willful rebellion against G-d since Satan, the same as the other angels, does not have free will and is thus not our enemy.) Further, for Jews our uniqueness is also that G-d gave us His Law, which we are to follow in spirit and deed and, by doing so, set an example for other nations to follow. One final point, with regard to the language in the Bible, including the words ascending and descending, is that the various biblical texts are written according to different literary styles, some of which incorporate more figurative language. Such is most likely the case for the passages you have in mind that speak about Jesus descending into Hell and ascending into Heaven. The same kind of figurative language is used when describing Jesus as seated at the right hand of the Father.
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  #53  
Old Dec 30, '12, 6:56 am
ColdComfort ColdComfort is offline
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

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Originally Posted by kelner View Post
That's the whole point. "Universe from nothing" is catchy, but incorrect.
Incorrect in what way? Nothing can come from nothing. You described a universe arising from "unstructured space time and the laws of physics". Where do these things come from?
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  #54  
Old Dec 30, '12, 7:00 am
ColdComfort ColdComfort is offline
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

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Originally Posted by kelner View Post
Tell me if this makes sense:

Imagine you are sitting in a movie theater. You see some characters projected on the screen. To you, they are mere phantoms, brought into existence by the action of the movie projector.

Yet, somehow, these phantoms are sentient. They exist in the world of the screen. Whatever you see on the screen, they see as well. Except that they cannot see the world outside the screen.

Two characters on the screen are arguing. One says that their existence suggests the existence of the projector. The other says: But if the projector exists, why doesn't it reveal itself to us?

You hear the projectionist asking you from the back: Any idea how we show these guys that we exist?
God has revealed Himself to us.
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  #55  
Old Dec 30, '12, 7:07 am
wittgenstein wittgenstein is offline
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

Post 37 gave me a lot to think about. Thanks!
PS: the other posts are great also! Thanks!
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  #56  
Old Dec 30, '12, 7:35 pm
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Peter Plato Peter Plato is online now
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

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Originally Posted by kelner View Post
Likewise, the projectionist could show something on the screen to communicate to on-screen beings that he exists. Say, project a prophet and a miracle.

How can those on the screen prove that the prophet and miracle are actually legit, without looking outside the screen, which the cannot do?
So it comes down to trusting that the projectionist is not deceptive in the least, right?

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. The truth is right in front of us provided the clouds of deception are brushed away or simply ignored.
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  #57  
Old Dec 30, '12, 8:31 pm
ColdComfort ColdComfort is offline
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

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Originally Posted by kelner View Post
Incorrect in a way it is used in (counter-)apologetics.

The main claim of theism is that since something cannot come out of nothing, then universe cannot come out of nothing by itself, and you need God to create universe.

Then, someone discovered that it is possible for a universe to be spontaneously generated out of quantum vacuum. This is a scientific fact. Since quantum vacuum is the closest thing to nothingness there is (although, remember, vacuum at quantum level is not empty!), this was called "universe from nothing".

At this point, the idea was seized by the atheist camp, which claimed that since universe can be generated out of nothing, then the main proposition of theism is falsified. (Krauss and Dawkins being the main offenders here). Of course, this is a straw man, because, as you have observed, vacuum + laws > nothing.

But, once that straw man was set up, the apologetic crowd countered that the "universe from nothing" proposition is absurd. In reality, this is another straw man. The problem is that the apologists use the word "nothing" to mean philosophical non-existence, while Krauss etc. use it to describe quantum vacuum. That leads to both sides attacking their own straw men.
I agree with everything up to this point. I misunderstood your original meaning.

Quote:
In reality, it is trivial to reconcile "universe from nothing" with theism. Just say that God made the laws in the first place, and you're fine. Well, almost: generation of universe through a quantum process involves statistics, so instead of God creating the universe in a conscious act, you have God playing dice and winning a universe
Not so much but maybe another time.
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  #58  
Old Dec 31, '12, 4:51 am
123Strontium 123Strontium is offline
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

If there was solid evidence for God, would there be such a thing as faith? Faith is only faith if one takes a leap. If you do not have faith, then perhaps that was pre-ordained?
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  #59  
Old Dec 31, '12, 5:51 am
surritter surritter is offline
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

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Originally Posted by Bradski View Post
If there was proof that could be from God, then there'd be no reason not to exclude intelligent aliens.
What nonsense! This is someone's basis for not believing in God?
It's an illogical statement because the person or concept of God is that of a "first cause," who created everything around us. Perhaps you don't believe that things around us were created but merely came out of nothingness, which itself is another illogical position to hold.

Or, if the implication of the statement is that the intelligent aliens were the ones who created our world (as we claim God did), then we can conclude one of two things: the original intelligent alien is God, or that those intelligent aliens were themselves created by a higher being, who is God, and we are their colony, in a sense. That fact would still not remove God from the equation, because those aliens came from a higher source.

Either way, the statement you gave is not a sound argument; it needs to be pursued to the first cause.
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  #60  
Old Dec 31, '12, 12:12 pm
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Default Re: why is God so secretive about his existence?

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Originally Posted by wittgenstein View Post
Why is believing in a proposition (that God exists) without evidence ( faith is different then knowing) more important then knowing?
I don't think that God keeps His existence a secret from anyone. As Blaise Pascal says, “God has given us evidence sufficiently clear to convince those with an open heart and mind, yet evidence sufficiently vague so as not to compel those whose hearts and minds are closed.”
Quote:
Why (just one example) didn't God simply describe DNA in the Bible? Even a small paragraph would be irrefutable evidence of his existence since no one 2,000 years ago could possibly have known about the double helix.
I expect to be misunderstood and attacked. I do not care, except that I want answers and not name calling (I'm an evil atheist etc. Actually I'm neither.).
Is it because if we know ( rather then merely believe). that God exists, we cannot be good. Because all our actions instead of being altruistic would be done out of a desire for reward and a fear of punishment?
The Bible is not meant to be a book on DNA; rather the Bible is a book about wisdom, love, and revelation from God. The Bible touches upon science here and there, though. In biology, for instance, the Bible mentions that "the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Leviticus 17:11) many years before scientists recognized the value of blood. In regard to astronomy, Job 26:7 describes the suspension of the Earth in space: "He stretched out the north over the empty space, and hangeth the earth upon nothing." Concerning meteorology, the Bible describes the flow of air that produces weather patterns (Jet Streams): "Southward goes the wind, then turns to the north; it turns and turns again; then back to its circling goes the wind" (Ecclesiastes 1:6).
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