The Will of God

A Forum for Fair and Respectful Discussion of Religion and Faith
blackirishkarma
Joined: 09 Aug 2013, 03:20

24 Mar 2017, 17:21 #1

https://www.yahoo.com/news/gop-lawmaker ... 42228.html

It's really not that silly of a question. If God is all powerful then a lot of terrible things that happen to people are his will. You have to split a lot of hairs to get around this conclusion. At least this guy is consistent in his belief.
The increase of misery in the present state of society is parallel and equal to the increase of wealth..... Unknown member of Parliament 1840's
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Flattop
Joined: 17 Nov 2008, 18:31

24 Mar 2017, 23:52 #2

blackirishkarma wrote:
https://www.yahoo.com/news/gop-lawmaker ... 42228.html

It's really not that silly of a question. If God is all powerful then a lot of terrible things that happen to people are his will. You have to split a lot of hairs to get around this conclusion. At least this guy is consistent in his belief.
Then there would be no such thing as sin.  No right and wrong.  No good, no bad.  And no God.
"It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view."
-- Oscar Levant
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blackirishkarma
Joined: 09 Aug 2013, 03:20

24 Mar 2017, 23:57 #3

Flattop wrote:
blackirishkarma wrote:https://www.yahoo.com/news/gop-lawmaker ... 42228.html


It's really not that silly of a question. If God is all powerful then a lot of terrible things that happen to people are his will. You have to split a lot of hairs to get around this conclusion. At least this guy is consistent in his belief.
Then there would be no such thing as sin.

I don't believe there is....

  No right and wrong.  No good, no bad. 

I don't think these conclusions follow from that.....

And no God.

But then what would Muslims, Christians, Bhuddists, and Jews have to fight about?
 
 
The increase of misery in the present state of society is parallel and equal to the increase of wealth..... Unknown member of Parliament 1840's
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Flattop
Joined: 17 Nov 2008, 18:31

25 Mar 2017, 00:59 #4

You don't believe there is a God, yet you posted as if there is:
"If God is all powerful then a lot of terrible things that happen to people are his will."
So why do you feel the need to point out that you do not believe there is such a thing as sin?
If all things that happen are God's will then there can be no distinction of right and wrong, good or bad.
At the risk of quoting the Book of Mormon, which you do not believe in:
"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.  If not so . . . righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.  Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one: wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. . . .  And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness.  And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness.  And if there is be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery.  And if these things are not there is no God.  And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there would have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished a way."
No, it's not true just because the BoM says it.  No, I'm not quoting it because it necessarily proves anything.  No, it's just a thesis.
"It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view."
-- Oscar Levant
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blackirishkarma
Joined: 09 Aug 2013, 03:20

25 Mar 2017, 16:27 #5

Flattop wrote:You don't believe there is a God, yet you posted as if there is:

I don't know if there is or not. I see no evidence that there is. I see a LOT of evidence that the Bible was written by men for all too human purposes. If there is a God I believe he/she/it has very little in common with the raging lunatic described described as "god" in the Bible. 

"If God is all powerful then a lot of terrible things that happen to people are his will."

This is self evident and undeniable. One literally cannot believe in an all powerful being and logically believe anything else.

It is not even questioned in the Bible. The god described in that group of books was quite happy to cause all manner of suffering and horrifying human activity as his will. 

So why do you feel the need to point out that you do not believe there is such a thing as sin?

I was responding to your post. 

If all things that happen are God's will then there can be no distinction of right and wrong, good or bad.

How can anyone on one hand claim there is an all powerful, all knowing being; yet on the other hand say that anything that happens is not his will? It seems pretty obvious that either such a being wills all things good and bad or his will is not all powerful. You can't have it both ways. 

I posted the article because I think it is ridiculous for someone to claim that "god's will" should have anything to do with what is legal in this country. The argument that ensued on this issue is just one example of the ridiculous nature of such claims. 

At the risk of quoting the Book of Mormon, which you do not believe in:

"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.  If not so . . . righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.  Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one: wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. . . .  And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness.  And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness.  And if there is be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery.  And if these things are not there is no God.  And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there would have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished a way."

No, it's not true just because the BoM says it.  No, I'm not quoting it because it necessarily proves anything.  No, it's just a thesis.

It is quite demonstrably untrue. It is up to men to decide what is right and wrong, good or bad. We have no need of an all powerful being to know right from wrong. The golden rule of do unto others as you would have them do unto you suffices quite nicely for that purpose. There are in fact any number of moral precepts from any number of human societies that have been formulated along those lines. 

It is in fact quite ridiculous to put forward the argument that no right or wrong would exist without "god" when in fact there are literally thousands of examples of societies of men throughout history developing such ideas without reference to supernatural beings.  
 
 
The increase of misery in the present state of society is parallel and equal to the increase of wealth..... Unknown member of Parliament 1840's
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Flattop
Joined: 17 Nov 2008, 18:31

26 Mar 2017, 00:15 #6

You don't believe there is a God, yet you posted as if there is:
I don't know if there is or not. I see no evidence that there is.
Right, you don't believe there is a God.  Not denying the possibility is not the same as believing there is a God.
How can anyone on one hand claim
there is an all powerful, all knowing being; yet on the other hand say
that anything that happens is not his will? It seems pretty obvious that
either such a being wills all things good and bad or his will is not
all powerful. You can't have it both ways.
Define "wills."  If we say God created a world where he allows bad things to happen (opposition in all things), then to a certain extent we can say it is by his will that these things happen.  That, however, is different, imo, than saying bad things happen because he wants them to.  A parent might allow their child to do something they would rather the child not do, is it their by their will that the child does it?
It is up to men to decide what is right and wrong, good or bad.
Yet what men decide appears to be transitory; some things once considered wrong are now considered right, and vice versa.  If right and wrong are subject to change, are they really right and wrong?
"It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view."
-- Oscar Levant
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blackirishkarma
Joined: 09 Aug 2013, 03:20

26 Mar 2017, 15:57 #7

Flattop wrote:
You don't believe there is a God, yet you posted as if there is:
I don't know if there is or not. I see no evidence that there is.
Right, you don't believe there is a God.  Not denying the possibility is not the same as believing there is a God.

This is true. None of which changes the fact that if there is a god that is all-knowing and all-powerful it is quite impossible for anything to happen that is beyond his ability to keep from happening. Hence, both good and bad that humans do is "god's will". This seems logically impossible to deny. 

Let's look at if from another direction. If this same god thinks something is evil and will it not to happen, what is to keep him from allowing it to happen? I have always been fascinated with christian's ability to blithely justify terrible results of man and nature as "god's will". This is usually followed by some allusion to the fact that it is not for man to understand the mysteries of god's plan. 

If such a being exists and such a being regularly allows his "children" to suffer terrible disease, painful maiming, and unending torment this being seems more deserving of our scorn and hatred than love and devotion.

Reading through the Old Testament, the "god" of Abraham was a sadistic monster, someone I wouldn't care to meet or spend any amount of time getting to know. We would much more correctly lock up such a monster to keep him away from civilized society than offer him our devotion.  



How can anyone on one hand claim
there is an all powerful, all knowing being; yet on the other hand say
that anything that happens is not his will? It seems pretty obvious that
either such a being wills all things good and bad or his will is not
all powerful. You can't have it both ways.

Define "wills."  If we say God created a world where he allows bad things to happen (opposition in all things), then to a certain extent we can say it is by his will that these things happen. 

To a certain extent? If he has the power to control all things (which is necessarily what an all-powerful being would have) anything that happens is undeniably his will. There is no question about this unless we confuse the meaning of all-powerful or fall back into some mysterious phallacy that "it is not for us to know the will of god" or some such other logically ludicrous explanation. 


That, however, is different, imo, than saying bad things happen because he wants them to.  A parent might allow their child to do something they would rather the child not do, is it their by their will that the child does it?

If the parent is all-powerful they would neccessarily have complete control over the situation. So.... YES it would absolutely be their will if it happens. Logic dictates that all-powerful parents would be completely responsible for the actions of their children. 

It is up to men to decide what is right and wrong, good or bad.

Yet what men decide appears to be transitory; some things once considered wrong are now considered right, and vice versa.  If right and wrong are subject to change, are they really right and wrong?

It seems to me that we have had this same discussion about the rulings of the elders of your church who supposedly get their information from this same god. It was once not wrong to have multiple wives in your faith. It was for a very long time correct not to allow black members. According to my understanding of your explanation for changes in the rulings within your church things are often right and then later wrong according to your church. So..... "if right and wrong are subject to change, are they really right and wrong?" seems a question that the LDS itself might consider as they seem to have a long history of transitory rights and wrongs within their own rulings. 

I see the same process carried out in almost all organized religion so don't think I am throwing stones at your particular faith. As a matter of fact, the world religion we seem to be having the most trouble with at the moment on an international level happens to be the one that has evolved the least. I don't think that is an accident either. The social norms of 7th century Saudi Arabia don't seem to fit very well with the 21st Century world. I suspect this faith will either adapt or find itself ostracized to the point that it no longer exists eventually. 

For my own part, I believe that right and wrong are obviously construed according to context and understanding. That, I am afraid is human nature itself. Civilized society is constantly adjusting its ideas about right and wrong according to social norms. The history of humans suggests this a continous process. Incidentally, the history of organized religions suggests much the same thing; which also lends itself to my conclusion that they have the same source. I see no evidence that source is a supernatural being, but a lot of evidence it is man himself. 

 
 
 
The increase of misery in the present state of society is parallel and equal to the increase of wealth..... Unknown member of Parliament 1840's
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Flattop
Joined: 17 Nov 2008, 18:31

26 Mar 2017, 17:57 #8

Right, you don't believe there is a God.  Not denying the possibility is not the same as believing there is a God.
This
is true. None of which changes the fact that if there is a god that is
all-knowing and all-powerful it is quite impossible for anything to
happen that is beyond his ability to keep from happening. Hence, both
good and bad that humans do is "god's will". This seems logically
impossible to deny.
You're jumping the gun here, I was only addressing your statement that you did not know if there is a God or not.
To a certain extent?
If you are just going to parse words then you can have a nice day.
If he has the power to control
all things (which is necessarily what an all-powerful being would have)
anything that happens is undeniably his will.
There is no question that this being would have the power to make anything happen.  Having that power and exercising that power, however, is not the same thing.
"it is not for us to know the will of god"
Parenthetically, it is our prerogative to seek his will so that we may obey it.  I believe in personal revelation, and that God will reveal his mysteries to those who honestly seek him.
If the parent is all-powerful they would necessarily have complete control over the situation.
Again, having complete control and exercising that control are two different things.  Unquestionably, God has the power to control all things, he could stop us as individuals from doing wrong, but he does not.  Does that mean we are not responsible when we do wrong because God is responsible?
Logic dictates that all-powerful parents would be completely responsible for the actions of their children.
Doe logic dictate that fallible parents are responsible for the limited things that they could control?  If so, logic might dictate putting some parents in jail for the actions of their children.
It seems to me that we have had
this same discussion about the rulings of the elders of your church who
supposedly get their information from this same god. It was once not
wrong to have multiple wives in your faith. It was for a very long time
correct not to allow black members. According to my understanding of
your explanation for changes in the rulings within your church things
are often right and then later wrong according to your church.
I do not believe that I have said any such thing.  I have said that some things are given only for a season, and that some things are subject to change as the church grows in size
A couple of months ago, my bishop
talked about the difference between policy and doctrine. He was a
missionary in Texas before 1978, and he related a story where a member
was upset when a black member was invited to the chapel for the general
priesthood session broadcast. This individual stated that if blacks
were ever given the priesthood, he would leave the church. Within in a
matter of months, the policy was changed. My bishop made the point that
while the policy had changed, the doctrine of the priesthood had not.  It was the same with plural marriage, the policy changed in that the practice was stopped, but the doctrine did not change.
"It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view."
-- Oscar Levant
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blackirishkarma
Joined: 09 Aug 2013, 03:20

27 Mar 2017, 14:05 #9

Flattop wrote:
Right, you don't believe there is a God.  Not denying the possibility is not the same as believing there is a God.
 
This
is true. None of which changes the fact that if there is a god that is
all-knowing and all-powerful it is quite impossible for anything to
happen that is beyond his ability to keep from happening. Hence, both
good and bad that humans do is "god's will". This seems logically
impossible to deny.
 
You're jumping the gun here, I was only addressing your statement that you did not know if there is a God or not.

And I was only pointing out that it makes little difference in the discussion at hand. For example, I don't have to believe in Islam to study it and seek to understand why others do. The same can be said for any number of subjects. I am simply pointing out the illogic of saying that god is all-powerful and then suggesting that there are things that happen that is not his will. Such a  god cannot be all-powerful and all-knowing without at the same time accepting responsibility for everything that happens. You simply can't have it both ways without violating the laws of common logic. 
To a certain extent?
If you are just going to parse words then you can have a nice day.

Not sure why this bothers you. See above.
If he has the power to control
all things (which is necessarily what an all-powerful being would have)
anything that happens is undeniably his will.
There is no question that this being would have the power to make anything happen.  Having that power and exercising that power, however, is not the same thing.

It is a distinction that makes no difference. If I have the power to keep things from happening but don't use that power I am in effect causing it to happen. I cannot then claim that because I refused to act I have no blame for what happened. Any time one has the power to completely control events they will always be responsible for those events. It goes with the territory logically speaking. 
"it is not for us to know the will of god"
Parenthetically, it is our prerogative to seek his will so that we may obey it.  I believe in personal revelation, and that God will reveal his mysteries to those who honestly seek him.

It really isn't that mysterious. If there is an all-knowing, all-powerful being; everything that happens is his will. We can question why it his will but we can't very well suggest that such a being exists and then decide he doesn't control what happens; that is logically impossible. 
If the parent is all-powerful they would necessarily have complete control over the situation.
Again, having complete control and exercising that control are two different things.  Unquestionably, God has the power to control all things, he could stop us as individuals from doing wrong, but he does not.  Does that mean we are not responsible when we do wrong because God is responsible?

If we as all-powerful parents have complete control over what our children do and then allow them to do harmful things then YES we are responsible for the outcome. They are responsible for exercising their free will (if they have such a thing) and we are responsible for allowing them to do so. 
Logic dictates that all-powerful parents would be completely responsible for the actions of their children.
Doe logic dictate that fallible parents are responsible for the limited things that they could control?  If so, logic might dictate putting some parents in jail for the actions of their children.

When we find some all-powerful parents we can have that discussion. Until then, as far as I know such a thing doesn't exist except in the fantasy world of organized religion where an all-powerful being runs things.

In other words, parents are responsible for attempting to teach their children right from wrong. Because they are not all-powerful they can not be held responsible when their children do things against their teaching. Of course this would be different if they were all-powerful because it would mean they allowed bad things to happen that they could have kept from happening. 
It seems to me that we have had
this same discussion about the rulings of the elders of your church who
supposedly get their information from this same god. It was once not
wrong to have multiple wives in your faith. It was for a very long time
correct not to allow black members. According to my understanding of
your explanation for changes in the rulings within your church things
are often right and then later wrong according to your church.
 
I do not believe that I have said any such thing.  I have said that some things are given only for a season, and that some things are subject to change as the church grows in size

Were these things right or wrong? You are the one suggesting that things are essentially permanently right or wrong in your statement I reacted to. I tend to believe that right and wrong is indeed variable depending on societal norms. If I have used the wrong terminology in describing changes in the LDS doctrine I apologize. My point is that it seems to me that polygamy is either right or wrong. It seems to me that discrimination based upon race is right or wrong. Both of these ideas are ones that the LDS has taken different positions on at different time periods. That tends to suggest that the right or wrong of them is indeed transitory and not permanently right or wrong. 

A couple of months ago, my bishop
talked about the difference between policy and doctrine. He was a
missionary in Texas before 1978, and he related a story where a member
was upset when a black member was invited to the chapel for the general
priesthood session broadcast. This individual stated that if blacks
were ever given the priesthood, he would leave the church. Within in a
matter of months, the policy was changed. My bishop made the point that
while the policy had changed, the doctrine of the priesthood had not.  It was the same with plural marriage, the policy changed in that the practice was stopped, but the doctrine did not change.

I would ask you to explain this further. Specifically, the difference between doctrine and policy in the LDS as I am not that familiar with the inner workings of your church leadership.
 
 
The increase of misery in the present state of society is parallel and equal to the increase of wealth..... Unknown member of Parliament 1840's
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Flattop
Joined: 17 Nov 2008, 18:31

28 Mar 2017, 00:02 #10

And I was only pointing out that it makes little difference in the discussion at hand.
And I never said that it did, nor did I mean to imply that it did.  There was a reason, after all, why I quoted only these two sentences:
I don't know if there is or not. I see no evidence that there is.
Silly me.
Not sure why this bothers you.
You're not sure why this bothers me?
See above.
See above?
Okay, I went back an re-read "above" and I don't understand what it has to do with the idea of word parsing bothering me.  Now, even as I used the phrase "parse words" I was not sure it was the correct phrase for what you did.  "Jumping on my choice of words" might be more accurate, but not as short.
If I have the power to keep
things from happening but don't use that power I am in effect causing it
to happen. I cannot then claim that because I refused to act I have no
blame for what happened. Any time one has the power to completely
control events they will always be responsible for those events. It goes
with the territory logically speaking.
Blame?
Now that we are a few days into this discussion I have reached the point where I start wondering how I get myself into these things.  It's simple, really; I saw a comment, had a thought or two and posted what I thought.  The result seems to be this trip down a rabbit hole.
Backing up.  It is the will of the God I believe in that we have agency, the ability to act and not be acted upon.  So, then, It is God's will that we have the ability to make choices without his interference.  By extension, then, the bad things that happen are his will because they flow from his will that we have agency.
Parenthetically, it is our prerogative to seek his will so that we may
obey it.  I believe in personal revelation, and that God will reveal his
mysteries to those who honestly seek him.
It
really isn't that mysterious. If there is an all-knowing, all-powerful
being; everything that happens is his will. We can question why it his
will but we can't very well suggest that such a being exists and then
decide he doesn't control what happens; that is logically impossible. 
Do you not understand the point of speaking parenthetically?
By making the statement that I believe God will reveal his mysteries it was not my intent to suggest that anything in particular was mysterious, hence the word parenthetically.
Perhaps you didn't grasp this because you thought I might wish to hide behind the idea of something being mysterious.  (I like being unpredictable.)
If we as all-powerful parents
have complete control over what our children do and then allow them to
do harmful things then YES we are responsible for the outcome. They are
responsible for exercising their free will (if they have such a thing)
and we are responsible for allowing them to do so.
See above.
Sounds like a great argument for a police state, btw.
Does logic dictate that fallible parents are responsible for the limited
things that they could control?  If so, logic might dictate putting some
parents in jail for the actions of their children.
When
we find some all-powerful parents we can have that discussion. Until
then, as far as I know such a thing doesn't exist except in the fantasy
world of organized religion where an all-powerful being runs things.
Fantasy world?
Actually, we can indeed have a discussion regarding the limited things fallible parents can control.  Example: A kid takes his father's gun to school.  What was in the father's control that could have prevented his kid from taking his gun to school?  The parent, though fallible, had the ability to lock the gun away so that his kid not access it and take it to school.
In other words, parents are
responsible for attempting to teach their children right from wrong.
Because they are not all-powerful they can not be held responsible when
their children do things against their teaching. Of course this would be
different if they were all-powerful because it would mean they allowed
bad things to happen that they could have kept from happening.
Interesting.  The God I believe in has certainly attempted to teach us, his children, right from wrong.  Additionally, he gave us a conscience, the ability to discern right from wrong.  Yes, he can stop us -- compel us -- from doing wrong, but he does not do so.  We cannot learn and grow if we are compelled to obey.
Of course, this is all a fantasy to you, and your not really that interested, so whatever.
"It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view."
-- Oscar Levant
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