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I Need Help With Philosophy Class Questions, Part 2
Homeschool Blogger--Eaglesnest ^ | 4/12/2013 | Eaglesnesthome

Posted on 04/12/2013 10:59:53 AM PDT by EaglesNestHome

Thank you, everyone in my previous post, who gave well thought out, articulate answers to these important questions of life (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2998030/posts )! Now, in philosophy class, we are exploring these questions in even more detail, and with an additional assignment of follow-up questions:

What do you believe, regarding ultimate reality? God? Matter? Something else?

Do you believe in God? If so, why? Why are you here on earth, and where are you going, for eternity?

If you believe in God, what is the most convincing evidence, for you personally? Is there any possibility that you may be wrong about the existence of God? If so, what are the consequences of being wrong, and believing in a God who doesn’t exist?

If you do not believe in God, why not? If you do not believe in God, is there any possibility that you might be wrong—no matter how small the possibility? If you are wrong, what are the consequences of being wrong?

What is truth; Are moral values absolute or relative? Are at least some moral values absolute? If so, where do these absolute moral values come from? Is the possibility of evil necessary, in order for human beings to be allowed free will?

I’ll start. I believe in God as the ultimate reality and first cause of the universe. I believe in God because of the convincing evidence of Christ’s perfect life, given for me, as well as the evidences of my own personal experiences. In addition, I find further support in my belief, from considering cosmological arguments; Everything which begins to exist requires a cause--the universe did not come from nothing. Why am I here? My answer is that I am here to have a love relationship with God and serve him by serving others. I can only have a relationship with God, through accepting Christ as my Savior. Where am I going? I have accepted Jesus as my Savior, because I cannot save myself. He is my King, and I will eventually join Him in His Heavenly Kingdom. Without Christ, I cannot save myself, because I am guilty of what the Bible calls sin—anything less than perfection. Not one of us can honestly claim perfection, yet if God allows anything less than perfection into heaven, it would be just as bad as earth. That’s why we need a Savior, Christ. (If you don’t know what I mean here, it is all in the Bible; a good place to start is reading the book of John.) What is truth; is there such a thing as moral values that are absolute, for all people? Yes, we all know instinctively that there are moral values that are absolute—every one of us will draw a “moral line” somewhere—usually when it comes to those people that we love. Each of us knows how we would like to be treated by others, although we may have a hard time recognizing when we don’t treat other people right. For instance, which one of us would not object, to the idea of someone breaking into our house and stealing all of our children’s toys? Clearly, there are moral absolutes, such as stealing is wrong—at least when it comes to our own property! (Some people could argue that it is okay to steal if your children are starving, but not if you want a new electronic gadget—but these are exceptions.) Not one of us can claim to be perfect, and yet we all know that certain things are wrong. Ravi Zacharias, in Addressing the Problem of Evil, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9b0PJDDof4 , eloquently and lovingly affirms the philosophical case that the question of evil; the recognition of the question of evil reveals the obvious existence of moral good. Zacharias noted that "When you say something is evil you assume something is good...a moral law...a moral Law Giver." C.S. Lewis also presents a well-reasoned explanation, here: In Mere Christianity, Book 1 (http://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/documents/apologetics/mere-christianity/Book1/cs-lewis-mere-christianity-book1.php ), Chapter 1, C.S. Lewis states that "human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in." Without the possibility of evil, there cannot be free will, to choose to do evil or good. If we were not allowed free will (the possibility to do evil) and our Creator forced us to do good, then the resulting (forced) good would be an evil. It is clear that this idea of good and evil is in all of us. Stories of good and evil are the mainstay of classic literature. This moral argument points to the existence of a Creator, who I have experienced as the risen Christ.


TOPICS: Apologetics; General Discusssion; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: christianity; jesus; philosophy; salvation
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Now, it is your turn. What is your answer to these important questions? Again, thank you so much, everyone who makes an attempt to answer in a serious, reasoned and courteous manner, and may God bless you!
1 posted on 04/12/2013 10:59:53 AM PDT by EaglesNestHome
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To: EaglesNestHome

The answer is “42”


2 posted on 04/12/2013 11:01:20 AM PDT by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: EaglesNestHome

It’s all mind over matter. If you don’t mind it don’t matter. :-)


3 posted on 04/12/2013 11:02:56 AM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin (Obama is the Chicken Little of politics)
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To: Mr. K

No, no. 42 is the ultimate answer to the ultimate question. The ultimate question was, indeed, what is 6x7?


4 posted on 04/12/2013 11:06:04 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: EaglesNestHome

Hebrews 11:1: Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.

“I believe in God as I believe the sun has risen, not because I can see it, but because by way of it, I can see everything else.” - C.S. Lewis


5 posted on 04/12/2013 11:07:23 AM PDT by cotton1706
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To: EaglesNestHome

What do you believe, regarding ultimate reality?
God?
Matter?
Something else?

First of all, the assumptive premise of the first question is incorrect for a believing Christian, since there is no ‘ultimate’ that must be differentiated between “God” and “Matter”. To a believing Christian, they are both one and the same in terms of ultimate “reality”. It is the old ‘trick’ question... “When did you stop beating your wife”.

Do you believe in God? If so, why? Why are you here on earth, and where are you going, for eternity?

If you believe in God, what is the most convincing evidence, for you personally? Is there any possibility that you may be wrong about the existence of God? If so, what are the consequences of being wrong, and believing in a God who doesn’t exist?

If you do not believe in God, why not? If you do not believe in God, is there any possibility that you might be wrong—no matter how small the possibility? If you are wrong, what are the consequences of being wrong?

What is truth; Are moral values absolute or relative? Are at least some moral values absolute? If so, where do these absolute moral values come from? Is the possibility of evil necessary, in order for human beings to be allowed free will?


6 posted on 04/12/2013 11:16:06 AM PDT by LibFreeUSA
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To: EaglesNestHome

Since when did philosophy class become an inquiry into ones beliefs? In my classes, we studied what other folks believed and how they came to believe.

I was graded on how well I had learned. This assignment sounds just wrong.


7 posted on 04/12/2013 11:16:20 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory, and He will not be mocked! Blessed be the Name of the Lord forever!)
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To: EaglesNestHome

What do you believe, regarding ultimate reality?
God?
Matter?
Something else?

First of all, the assumptive premise of the first question is incorrect for a believing Christian, since there is no ‘ultimate’ that must be differentiated between “God” and “Matter”. To a believing Christian, they are both one and the same in terms of ultimate “reality”. It is the old ‘trick’ question... “When did you stop beating your wife”.


8 posted on 04/12/2013 11:16:54 AM PDT by LibFreeUSA
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To: EaglesNestHome
For consideration
9 posted on 04/12/2013 11:18:28 AM PDT by Heartlander (Practice makes perfect if you mess up a few letters)
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To: Gen.Blather

Didnt he make a mistake and write 6 x 9?


10 posted on 04/12/2013 11:18:38 AM PDT by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: EaglesNestHome

The greatest proof of God are the miracles, including the resurrection. Only God could suspend the laws of nature in such a way as to, for instance, raise Lazarus after his being four days dead in a hot environment. Consider Jesus’ own reply to this question:

24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me,

[From John 10]

If Jesus Himself says the miracles are the key to faith, we can take it to be that was their purpose. Also notice the miracles themselves were never disputed in Jesus’ day. The Pharisees condemned him for working miracles on the Sabbath, while the multitudes flocked to Him in hopes of seeing miracles. When it comes to Lazarus, here is the Pharisees’ & Sadducees’ response:

47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

[From John 11]

Note that no one disputed the miracles—not even the raising of Lazarus. Rather, they realized that if Jesus kept it up, the whole world would believe.

God the Father cited miracles in a similar context:

Numbers 14:11

The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?”

If God Himself argued His existence on the basis of miracles/the suspension of the physical laws of the universe, then it is the case that faith is meant to be founded upon them.

In other words, if the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead were not so historically sound, we would not believe. But the evidence for His resurrection is overwhelming, & it is the cornerstone of our faith.


11 posted on 04/12/2013 11:19:25 AM PDT by Fantasywriter
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To: LibFreeUSA

“I think, therefore Obama gives me a headache”


12 posted on 04/12/2013 11:19:39 AM PDT by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: cotton1706

Great verse, and quote! Lewis was the original skeptic, but instead of silly mocking, he sought truth in a serious, logic way.


13 posted on 04/12/2013 11:24:13 AM PDT by EaglesNestHome
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To: Mr. K

They did get it wrong, yes. All of that, a five book “trilogy”, destroying he Earth for a hyper-space bypass and they got the answer wrong. The best laid plans of mice...


14 posted on 04/12/2013 11:27:34 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: don-o

“Since when did philosophy class become an inquiry into ones beliefs? In my classes, we studied what other folks believed and how they came to believe.”

Yes me too. Nobody asked me what I believed.


15 posted on 04/12/2013 11:28:22 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: don-o

I like your sig! The assignment is to find out what you believe—you are one of the “folks,” and I care what you think. I’m not sure why that would be wrong, to post what I think, and ask you what you think? So, what do you think? Would you like to answer?


16 posted on 04/12/2013 11:29:36 AM PDT by EaglesNestHome
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To: EaglesNestHome
If you believe in God, what is the most convincing evidence, for you personally?

Go out into the world and live, as you make mistakes and learn you'll begin to see the Hand of God working.
17 posted on 04/12/2013 11:30:11 AM PDT by Vision (Obama is king of the "Takers." Don't be a "Taker.")
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To: Georgia Girl 2

Why, isn’t this still America? Okay, here’s your chance. What do you believe?


18 posted on 04/12/2013 11:30:25 AM PDT by EaglesNestHome
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To: EaglesNestHome

“The Truth Is Out There”


19 posted on 04/12/2013 11:31:00 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: EaglesNestHome

Yikes. This needs cleaning up!

 

I’ll start. I believe in God as the ultimate reality and first cause of the universe. I believe in God because of the convincing evidence of Christ’s perfect life, given for me, as well as the evidences of my own personal experiences. In addition, I find further support in my belief, from considering cosmological arguments; Everything which begins to exist requires a cause--the universe did not come from nothing.

Why am I here? My answer is that I am here to have a love relationship with God and serve him by serving others. I can only have a relationship with God, through accepting Christ as my Savior.

Where am I going? I have accepted Jesus as my Savior, because I cannot save myself. He is my King, and I will eventually join Him in His Heavenly Kingdom. Without Christ, I cannot save myself, because I am guilty of what the Bible calls sin—anything less than perfection. Not one of us can honestly claim perfection, yet if God allows anything less than perfection into heaven, it would be just as bad as earth. That’s why we need a Savior, Christ. (If you don’t know what I mean here, it is all in the Bible; a good place to start is reading the book of John.)

What is truth? Is there such a thing as moral values that are absolute, for all people? Yes, we all know instinctively that there are moral values that are absolute—every one of us will draw a “moral line” somewhere—usually when it comes to those people that we love. Each of us knows how we would like to be treated by others, although we may have a hard time recognizing when we don’t treat other people right. For instance, which one of us would not object, to the idea of someone breaking into our house and stealing all of our children’s toys? Clearly, there are moral absolutes, such as stealing is wrong—at least when it comes to our own property! (Some people could argue that it is okay to steal if your children are starving, but not if you want a new electronic gadget—but these are exceptions.) Not one of us can claim to be perfect, and yet we all know that certain things are wrong. Ravi Zacharias, in Addressing the Problem of Evil, eloquently and lovingly affirms the philosophical case that the question of evil; the recognition of the question of evil reveals the obvious existence of moral good. Zacharias noted that "When you say something is evil you assume something is good...a moral law...a moral Law Giver."

C.S. Lewis also presents a well-reasoned explanation, here: In Mere Christianity, Book 1, Chapter 1, C.S. Lewis states that "human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.

Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in." Without the possibility of evil, there cannot be free will, to choose to do evil or good. If we were not allowed free will (the possibility to do evil) and our Creator forced us to do good, then the resulting (forced) good would be an evil. It is clear that this idea of good and evil is in all of us. Stories of good and evil are the mainstay of classic literature. This moral argument points to the existence of a Creator, who I have experienced as the risen Christ.


 

20 posted on 04/12/2013 11:32:13 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: EaglesNestHome
"Now, it is your turn. What is your answer to these important questions?"

Great questions. But, more than can be addressed in my short time available. I will take a small stab at one of these...

In the Scriptures, believing in God is not like believing in anything else. It is not like believing in UFOs, or believing in taking care of children, or believing in the principals of the Constitution. These English uses of the word have smeared the edges of the use of the word in the Scriptures.

Within the Scriptures, the use of the word "believe" is more akin to "be persuaded to trust God". It is not "philosophical" belief, nor mere "intellectual" belief, nor is it an "emotional" belief, although it touches all of these when it happens. But, this persuasion to trust Him is a gift granted to those who are called His elect. They cannot hurry it up, they cannot slow it down. It is what we call "faith" and is not a human commodity.

While every human is guilty of rebelling against Him and as such no one begins with "belief" or "faith" in Him, some are granted eyes to see that He exists and are drawn to Him by Him. And, when they are drawn, they find the only God who exists is the Triune God of Israel, the Rescuer of souls, the Great I AM.

The rest will flail about, some manufacturing gods of their own, some denying any existence of God, some wishing that He were there...but unable to find Him. In reality, they are not actually pursuing Him, but they are pursuing (as I believe Luther noted) a relief from the pain in their soul. As Paul wrote, "No one seeks God, not even one." Until He draws a person, they are contemplating imaginary beings, nothingness, errant philosophies, false religions.

This may not be pretty to the whole world, but it is the situation as it exists. And, it is good news to those who are adopted into His family.

21 posted on 04/12/2013 11:35:55 AM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: EaglesNestHome

OK, it’s great to put on display a BA in philosophy: first, you need to define terms.The questioner needs to define “God”. If God = an impersonal supreme force, all the subsequent questions are meaningless. If God = a personal governing creator, the next question is: does the questioner attribute virtue(goodness) to God or just power. If just power, see question 1. If virtue then, logically, all human decisions either are, or are not, in harmony with God’s virtue. Following that path we exist, and all we do, must reflect God’s virtue (goodness) or reject it.If our lives reflect God’s virtue we choose harmony with God; if not we choose dissonance from God. If we choose harmony with God we live the Paschal Mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection. If we choose dissonance, we cut ourselves off from that mystery and from God’s grace.


22 posted on 04/12/2013 11:37:15 AM PDT by Repulican Donkey
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To: EaglesNestHome

I believe in God. God created us all, we existed prior to our birth, in heaven with him - as part of the heavenly host. (see Jer. 1:5).

In heaven, we KNEW of God, thus our true nature was influenced. We didn’t truly have the free will to do as we would.

On earth, we have free will. If our souls have tendencies towards evil, we will gravitate to do evil things, we will hurt others, steal, beat and kill. If we are good, we will resist evil and strive to promote evil and will naturally seek the light of Christ (and if not Christ, due to geographic/religious boundaries- we will strive to be righteous).

For our actions on earth, we will be judged. Earth and our time here is a test, our mortal existence is a filter, some will pass - others will fail. But, each will pass or fail based upon the decisions they made and the actions they took of their own free will. Those actions will have eternal consequences - for better or worse.

Personally, I hope God grades on a curve. (that’s humor). All of us will sin, and for those transgressions we depend upon our faith in Christ as well as our actions of goodness to be granted forgiveness for these transgressions - for without them, we are all doomed.


23 posted on 04/12/2013 11:42:57 AM PDT by Hodar (A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.- Burroughs)
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To: EaglesNestHome

I did not mean to indicate it was wrong. It seems odd - like a People Magazine version of a real philosophy class. Polling the general public seems random.

Is this a college level course?


24 posted on 04/12/2013 11:45:59 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory, and He will not be mocked! Blessed be the Name of the Lord forever!)
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To: EaglesNestHome

I believe in God. He is the source of all reality and all matter. As you say, everything requires a cause. Nothing can truly be destroyed or created, except by God. We can only convert one thing into something else. Why am I here on Earth? I’m here because God decided to give me life. He has given me the ultimate gift of existence. For eternity, I am going to Heaven. I have absolute faith in what Christ did for me and have absolute faith that I will be forgiven for my sins.

The most convincing case for God is a hard thing to explain, because there is an unexplainable draw to Christ when you read about Him and what He did.
I think one of the most compelling things about it is the lack of the extraordinary that exists in the story of Christ. Yes, Christ walked on water, raised the dead, and was born of a virgin, but he appeared and bled a man. Unlike other faiths, God was never described as some creature of incredible size with multiple arms and the heads of animals. God Himself was a force whose only physical representation was Jesus Christ. Someone who seemed unremarkable to those who saw him in passing glances.He was humble. The King of Kings was unlike any king before Him. Has there been any other figure, let alone a god, who was so selfless, who gave so selflessly for humanity? No. This is what sets God apart from other divine beings. He does not view humanity as an amusement, something to play with. He sees it as an object of devotion. He loves us. That is the sign of a true creator.

For me, I believe in no chance that God does not exist. In his absence, nothing makes sense. Sense is only found through Him. Consequences? What consequences could their be? If you want to take it to a proven, science textbook fact issue, it has been proven that those with no faith are more unhappy than those with faith. Societies built around no faith have all been failures, without exception, and have usually ended in mass slaughter. The consequences of being wrong about God? Ask anyone who lived in Soviet Russia. That is a type of world in which God was just kept behind closed doors and in secret. Imagine a society completely devoid of God. Perhaps too horrific for us to imagine, and impossible, since even in foolish denial, He is here. He is everywhere, at all times.

Morality is absolute. There is no question. Someone once said, without an absolute nature, morality is just a man’s opinion, waiting to be crushed by a more powerful man’s opinion. Morals come from God. Some are hardwired into our nature and hard to override. Most are not. This is due to free will, yes. Man has to make the decision to follow God, to knock on the door. If he is not free to make that decision, his existence is meaningless. It has been said, many will fall and many will deny God, to indulge in the fleeting pleasures of sin. These people may find shelter in moral relativism, and they may find shelter in their disbelief in Satan as well. But then again, the deceiver does not want you to believe in him. If you don’t believe in him, you’re unable to fight him.

An atheist relative of mine once asked me why I believed in God and the afterlife. I told him that if all you believe in beyond this life is the cold, wintery earth, then whichever of us is right, that’s all you will ever receive. And perhaps Hell is not as artists depict it, but is instead a simple absence of existence, no past, no future, no present. Atheists may in fact believe in Hell and not even realize it. I believe in it, I just know I’m not going there.

Interesting topic.


25 posted on 04/12/2013 11:46:57 AM PDT by Viennacon
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To: LibFreeUSA

Good point, about “ultimate” reality. However, I don’t take it to mean that “it must be differentiated between “God” and “Matter,” so I didn’t see it as a “trick” question at all—but I could be wrong. I’m not a philosopher. If you like, we could take out the word “ultimate,” and just as “What do you believe, regarding reality? God? Matter? Something else?”

Semantics aside, the point here is do you think that there is something beyond ourselves—do you believe, like the materialist, that we simply made up of matter, or are we created in the image of God, with a spirit that will never die? (I hope I made it clear that I am a believing Christian, and that we are created in the image of God—we are more than just matter—we have a soul.)


26 posted on 04/12/2013 11:48:26 AM PDT by EaglesNestHome
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To: don-o

Yes, at a regionally accredited Christian college, which in addition to requiring students to read extensively in ancient and modern philosophers, also encourages students to think about and engage in other worldviews. So, I’d still like to know how you would answer. What’s your answer, as you must be very knowledgeable about a real philosophy class.


27 posted on 04/12/2013 11:55:34 AM PDT by EaglesNestHome
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To: EaglesNestHome

“I yam what I yam and dats all dat I yam!”

Popeye the Naval Gazer....


28 posted on 04/12/2013 11:56:07 AM PDT by wxgesr (I want to be the first person to surf on another planet.)
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To: EaglesNestHome

These are not philosophical questions. By my lights, they are not academic questions, either.


29 posted on 04/12/2013 11:56:49 AM PDT by Unknowing (Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.)
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To: Viennacon

Thank you for your thoughtful and extensive answers. I really appreciate the time you put into your post. Most people go though life, and just accept what they are told in their college classes, or what they hear from their relatives and friends. I see that you have put a lot of logical study into your views. Thanks again.

I agree that it is hard to explain about the miracles of Christ. Although I was raised in church, I didn’t actually have a personal relationship with Christ until I was in my teens, and considered the testimony of the martyrs who died, still confessing the truth of Christ’s resurrection. No man will die for something that they know is a lie—so this convinced me of the truth of the Bible. So although there are many convincing proofs of God arrived at through philosophy (and until recently, most philosophers, even if they were not Christians, at least believed in God)for me the most convincing proof of God (and Christ), besides cosmological, is historical and experiential evidences.


30 posted on 04/12/2013 12:03:33 PM PDT by EaglesNestHome
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To: Gen.Blather

I love the 5th book in the “increasingly misnamed” trilogy


31 posted on 04/12/2013 12:05:33 PM PDT by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: cotton1706

whoah! thats a great quote


32 posted on 04/12/2013 12:06:38 PM PDT by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: EaglesNestHome

St. Thomas Aquinas’ five proofs of the existence of God.


33 posted on 04/12/2013 12:07:01 PM PDT by frogjerk (We are conservatives. Not libertarians, not "fiscal conservatives", not moderates)
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To: EaglesNestHome

I was raised without going to church. My parents never discussed God at all. I found Him in my late teens, and I never looked back. The historical evidence for the Bible is insurmountable. I remember there was a time when atheists argued that Jesus Christ never even existed. Of course, they’ve backed down on that now, as even non-Christians wrote about His presence and crucifixion.

I’m no fan of mathematics, but it is an often overlooked science when it comes to faith. For all the changing fads of astronomical and evolutionary theory, math remains pretty consistent and has concluded that spontaneous life is a mathematical impossibility. There is an old analogy about an explosion in a printing factory resulting in a complete copy of the dictionary. Life could not have occurred, especially in the time scientists conclude Earth has existed. The only explanation is design, and while I find those ‘Ancient Astronaut’ theories interesting, centuries of people did not pray, martyr themselves, obey moral codes .etc. for an asteroid or an alien. They did those things for a man who was not a man. A divine being who gave everything to free us from the evil in man’s heart through Him and through His forgiveness.


34 posted on 04/12/2013 12:14:39 PM PDT by Viennacon
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To: frogjerk

I assume you are referred to the Cosmological argument. Here’s how I understand the Cosmological Argument from Aquinas:
The world (universe) could not be the cause of itself. The world could not come from nothing. The world could not be an effect in an infinite series of causes and effects. Therefore, the world must be caused by a transcendent, cause (a cause independent of, or outside of, material universe). By definition, that transcendent cause is God.


35 posted on 04/12/2013 12:15:50 PM PDT by EaglesNestHome
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To: EaglesNestHome

“Do you believe in God,” Yes, I do, because I have met Him. I believe in His existence just like I would believe in the existence of every other person I’ve met. He entered my soul and revealed Himself to me, so that I not only believe He exists, I know (imperfectly, but truly) who He is.

Yes, because I am made in His image, and so have an innate knowledge of Him.

Yes, because He is revealed in the design of ourselves and all creation. We all testify of Him by our very existence. Life does not create itself.

So many philosophy courses teach abstract sort of ways of belief, yet, belief in Jesus is personal, because He is a person who knows you who you can also know.


36 posted on 04/12/2013 12:17:22 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Persevero

“Is there any possibility that God does not exist?”

No.


37 posted on 04/12/2013 12:18:03 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: EaglesNestHome

To find these answers, read the Bible, attend a good church, and listen.


38 posted on 04/12/2013 12:20:15 PM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: EaglesNestHome

“What is truth; Are moral values absolute or relative? Are at least some moral values absolute? If so, where do these absolute moral values come from? Is the possibility of evil necessary, in order for human beings to be allowed free will? “

Jesus, Himself, is truth. He is the standard by which all things are measured.

John 14:6 “ Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. “

Moral values are absolute. Truth is also absolute.

As I said in my previous post, unbelievers try to make it an abstract concept. It is a personal concept.


39 posted on 04/12/2013 12:20:39 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Mr. K

You might like mine as I took a riff off Adams’ style. I especially had a ball writing Havelock’s Corpse. (Not his corpse, but he does have possession; most of the time.)

“A Myth for the Reality Challenged” Three cantankerous witches are out to save the universe; whether it wants saving or not. Humor.

http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Reality-Challenged-Series-ebook/dp/B00B6ENZ38/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1363874051&sr=1-1&keywords=bern+pearson

“Havelock’s Inheritance” Havelock ne’er-do-well uncle sends him a hot statue. Whether it’s worth anything is debatable, but somebody wants it and the bodies are hip deep. Humor.

http://www.amazon.com/Havelocks-Inheritance-Havelock-Pigeon-ebook/dp/B00BFVRCK4/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1363874051&sr=1-3&keywords=bern+pearson

“Havelock’s Corpse” While not technical Havelock’s corpse, it’s in his possession and he has to keep it hidden. But it keeps showing up at the damnedest times. Humor.
http://www.amazon.com/Havelocks-Corpse-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00BGT9OVK/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1363874051&sr=1-2&keywords=bern+pearson


40 posted on 04/12/2013 12:22:15 PM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: EaglesNestHome

Heinlein summed it best for me:

“The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H.Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history.”

Dont be offended. You asked for opinions. If you’re lucky you get about 80 years on this rock. Be kind, fall in love, raise a family. Or not. Most of all, decide for yourself.

In the end, all is dust.


41 posted on 04/12/2013 12:25:51 PM PDT by strider44
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To: Hodar

That is a very Platonic interpretation of Jer 1:5. The next step is to say we knew the Forms in Heaven, forgot everything because of sin, and throughout life are remembering what we forgot.

I can’t remember if Augustine followed this logic... I have read Confessions and The Trinity, and he does lean more toward Plato and did not like Aristotle at all, but I am not sure if he went as far as a pre-existence of the soul in Heaven. Certainly Roman Catholics have not held that since Aquinas reconciled Augustinian and Aristotelian philosophy.


42 posted on 04/12/2013 12:33:35 PM PDT by Seraphicaviary (St. Michael is gearing up. The angels are on the ready line.)
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To: EaglesNestHome

The reason humanities (as compared to science) has hardly progressed at all in the milleniums that man has existed is because the terms it deals with are either not defined or vaguely defined.

Define for me what God is and I’ll tell you if:
1. he exists
2. he doesn’t exist
3. I’ll take a wild guess
4. I have no clue

And that is true of all the other terms you bring up.

Note that in asking your questions, not only have you not defined your terms, you have also omitted choice 3 and 4 in the list of possible answers.

For most of the questions you pose the best answer is 3 or 4, given our current state of knowledge

Asking about beliefs doesn’t get to the ultimate factual answers, only to someone’s opinion.

And by that I don’t mean to minimize beliefs, because they constitute our world view, through which we filter all our sensual input and thoughts, and which guide us in making the thousands of decisions we make each day. So beliefs are extremely important.

And so which beliefs are the best to hold? The ones that correlate best with reality as provided by our senses and rational mind and the ones that lead to a happier life in the long run.

Just as an example of how a belief that doesn’t reflect reality can cause untold human misery, consider the belief that everyone is equal or that everyone should be treated equally or be given equal opportunity. This is the belief of socialists and progressives. If you wonder what progressives are “progressing” toward, it is equality. Think of all the death and misery that such a belief has caused humanity. (The USSR, China, Cuba, Eastern Europe, NK). And now it’s encroaching in the US as well, as the reference to equality in the declaration of independence is exploited to push for “forced equality”.

The REALITY is that people are not equal, and you can force such an outcome only with tyranny and misery. The better solution is to accept and even embrace the reality that people are NOT equal and make the most of the differences by allowing them to flourish through freedom and individual compassion.

To help me make the point, I’ll leave you with this short story from Kurt Vonnegut:

http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html


43 posted on 04/12/2013 12:42:42 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: Mr. K
The answer is “42”

Perfect answer, now if we could just recall the question...!

44 posted on 04/12/2013 12:52:54 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: EaglesNestHome
The answer is here.
45 posted on 04/12/2013 1:01:10 PM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: EaglesNestHome
It sounds to me like this professor could be "trolling" for what he or she deems to be "weak" philosophical answers; i.e., answers that can be refuted through the use of logic.

For example, If A then NOT B. "If your God is all powerful, could he create a stone so large that not even HE could move it? If he can't create such a stone, he must not be all powerful."

There are all kinds of variations on this--perhaps the professor wants to show how superior he is with logical arguments, but they are moot from a theological standpoint. As Christians, we have faith, which cannot be expressed in logical terms.

46 posted on 04/12/2013 1:07:18 PM PDT by Lou L (Health "insurance" is NOT the same as health "care")
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To: EaglesNestHome

Good thanks for clarifying, but I didn’t take to mean that the question was precisely coming from you, rather the professor or the lesson material. In your revised format, then it’s all open to discussion from several points of view of course. I have to believe that man/intelligence/soul came from something beyond man himself, it did not evolve solely from an insect form. This is where God comes into the picture, as brought to us in the Bible.


47 posted on 04/12/2013 1:26:07 PM PDT by LibFreeUSA
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To: EaglesNestHome

some paragraphs would be nicer than one run-on paragraph


48 posted on 04/12/2013 1:31:35 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: EaglesNestHome
What do you believe, regarding ultimate reality? God? Matter? Something else?

God is the Ultimate Reality, the All in All, expressing as, through, in, and around all that exists.

Do you believe in God? If so, why? Why are you here on earth, and where are you going, for eternity?

Yes. While there is a nonzero probability that all the factors necessary for life as we know it to exist on this planet, the chance of that happening was so minimal that it might as well be zero -- so some driving force made it this way. Call it The Thing Itself. Whatever The Thing Itself is, that's God.

Each of us is here on Earth for a unique purpose and when we have completed that mission, we move on to the next phase of life.

If you believe in God, what is the most convincing evidence, for you personally? Is there any possibility that you may be wrong about the existence of God? If so, what are the consequences of being wrong, and believing in a God who doesn’t exist?

Possibility? Yes, extremely minimal. I discussed the best evidence above.

No consequence to being mistaken about that, as I see it.

If you do not believe in God, why not? If you do not believe in God, is there any possibility that you might be wrong—no matter how small the possibility? If you are wrong, what are the consequences of being wrong?

I don't see much in the way of consequences for those who don't believe in God either.

49 posted on 04/12/2013 1:41:57 PM PDT by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: LibFreeUSA

Yes—the questions in the assignment are open to interpretation, and the vocabulary terms (including the definition of God) may be defined differently, depending upon your worldview as well as various backgrounds. I see no reason to limit discussion, as long as it is honest and respectful, but if a term is confusing, it does make it difficult to share a common frame of reference. So at the simplest, Lewis says this, about coming to a logical conclusion that “God” exists:
“Do not think I am going faster than I really am. I am not yet within a hundred miles of the God of Christian theology. All I have got to is a Something which is directing the universe, and which appears in me as a law urging me to do right and making me feel responsible and uncomfortable when I do wrong. I think we have to assume it is more like a mind than it is like anything else we know-because after all the only other thing we know is matter and you can hardly imagine a bit of matter giving instructions. But, of course, it need not be very like a mind, still less like a person. In the next chapter we shall see if we can find out anything more about it. But one word of warning. There has been a great deal of soft soap talked about God for the last hundred years. That is not what I am offering. You can cut all that out.

Note -In order to keep this section short enough when it was given on the air, I mentioned only the Materialist view and the Religious view. But to be complete I ought to mention the In between view called Life-Force philosophy, or Creative Evolution, or Emergent Evolution. The wittiest expositions of it come in the works of Bernard Shaw, but the most profound ones in those of Bergson. People who hold this view say that the small variations by which life on this planet “evolved” from the lowest forms to Man were not due to chance but to the “striving” or “purposiveness” of a Life-Force. When people say this we must ask them whether by Life-Force they mean something with a mind or not. If they do, then “a mind bringing life into existence and leading it to perfection” is really a God, and their view is thus identical with the Religious. If they do not, then what is the sense in saying that something without a mind “strives” or has “purposes”? This seems to me fatal to their view. One reason why many people find Creative Evolution so attractive is that it gives one much of the emotional comfort of believing in God and none of the less pleasant consequences. When you are feeling fit and the sun is shining and you do not want to believe that the whole universe is a mere mechanical dance of atoms, it is nice to be able to think of this great mysterious Force rolling on through the centuries and carrying you on its crest. If, on the other hand, you want to do something rather shabby, the Life-Force, being only a blind force, with no morals and no mind, will never interfere with you like that troublesome God we learned about when we were children. The Life-Force is a sort of tame God. You can switch it on when you want, but it will not bother you. All the thrills of religion and none of the cost. Is the Life-Force the greatest achievement of wishful thinking the world has yet seen?”

Lewis goes on to explain how he came to believe in the God “as brought to us in the Bible,” as you also say (and I agree!) Those who claim that God is unknowable should consider His autobiography, written in nature, in His Word (the Bible) and in His children. Thank you everyone, who has taken time for a thoughtful response!


50 posted on 04/12/2013 2:00:36 PM PDT by EaglesNestHome
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