Spiritual Question 2

Does God exist ?

Possible answers:

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Maybe
  4. Lots of gods exist; which one do you mean?
  5. I am God.
  6. We are all gods.
  7. Some of us will become gods.

We are still a long ways from my conception of God. I am simply probing about the other potential replies. Did I miss any options?

There are lots of people who would answer “yes” to Spiritual Question 1 (is there such a thing as a spiritual aspect to human existence?), but would answer “no” to this question.

I think Buddhists would answer “no,” possibly with qualifications. Jedis would give a similar answer. So would many New-Agers.

Agnostics and lots of New-Agers and “seekers” would answer “maybe.”

Pagans would give answer # 4, though some Neo-Pagans might answer #6, or even perhaps # 7. Mormons would be likely to answer both # 1 and # 7.

Theists and Deists answer “yes.” Is there anyone who would answer “yes” who could not be described as a Theist or a Deist?

What do y’all say ?

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127 thoughts on “Spiritual Question 2”

  1. Hypatia:
    So here’s the thing:  there IS a simple explanation for Job’s troubles!  It’s that God allowed Satan to torture Job, to see whether he  could be induced to curse God.

    So why not just tell Job that when he asks, instead of responding with a series of rhetorical questions like, can you make a leviathan or a horse!? Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth?!?   I think after all the poor guy has been through at God’s hands ( cuz it’s clear Satan cannot touch him without God’s express permission)  he deserved a straight answer.

    Do you think you deserve a straight answer from God?

    If you say that we cannot know whether or not God exists, then why such an interest in God ?

    Why did Satan want to make Job renounce God ?

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  2. EThompson:
    The Deist perspective: a belief in a God who created the world and inspired important Judeo-Christian values but has remained removed from our actions and expects us to carry the load henceforth.

    This just makes sense to me so my answer is yes.

    What makes you think that the God who designed and built creation has no interest in what happens to His creatures or how it turns out ?

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  3. Robert A. McReynolds:
    Some may not know but I know there is a God and He is a very loving God. I can’t think of the many blessings in my life, look at my son, or see a beautiful sunset and come to any other conclusion.

    Good.

    Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.

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  4. Hypatia:

    Robert A. McReynolds:
    Some may not know but I know there is a God and He is a very loving God. I can’t think of the many blessings in my life, look at my son, or see a beautiful sunset and come to any other conclusion.

    I get that.  One thing I cannot do without is gratitude.  I must thank someone, I have been so fortunate!

    Gratitude?   Gratitude for what?   Don’t you believe that you deserved your good fortune?

    (So far, that is:  as some Chinese sage said, call no man happy until he is dead…)

    But, the flip side of that is that it’s really deliverance, from the pain and misery visited on so many other people.

    That’s why it’s said that the world makes sense if there is a good, benevolent  God but He’s not all powerful; or if there is an all-powerful God but He’s not all good.

    Do you think this saying is intended to explore the nature of God?

    I think it is simply meant to annoy Christians.

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  5. That’s why it’s said that the world makes sense if there is a good, benevolent  God but He’s not all powerful; or if there is an all-powerful God but He’s not all good.

    ———————————————

    Do you think this saying is intended to explore the nature of God?

    I think it is simply meant to annoy Christians.

    ———————————————————-

    I think that is a sincere quandary, not an effort to annoy.

    One way of attempting to resolve it is to consider the effect of cursing God for misfortune and pain, versus looking to God with gratitude for strength, endurance and wisdom to bear the unbearable.

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  6. Jojo:

    That’s why it’s said that the world makes sense if there is a good, benevolent  God but He’s not all powerful; or if there is an all-powerful God but He’s not all good.

    ———————————————

    Do you think this saying is intended to explore the nature of God?

    I think it is simply meant to annoy Christians.

    ———————————————————-

    I think that is a sincere quandary, not an effort to annoy.

    One way of attempting to resolve it is to consider the effect of cursing God for misfortune and pain, versus looking to God with gratitude for strength, endurance and wisdom to bear the unbearable.

    I think it is both, but it depends upon whose hands hold it.

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  7. MJBubba:

    EThompson:
    The Deist perspective: a belief in a God who created the world and inspired important Judeo-Christian values but has remained removed from our actions and expects us to carry the load henceforth.

    This just makes sense to me so my answer is yes.

    What makes you think that the God who designed and built creation has no interest in what happens to His creatures or how it turns out ?

    Too much evil in the world and I don’t really believe in Satan. I believe evil is created by humans alone who fail to follow moral doctrine and worship power alone.

    And I couldn’t say God specifically has no interest but is simply placing the responsibility upon humans to carry out his will. There are rewards right here on Earth for doing so- good friends, strong families, successful careers, etc.

    Wowser MJB, nobody has ever gotten me to speak my mind on religion before! I’ve always been hesitant to do so for offending both devout Christians/Jews and Atheists.

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  8. EThompson:

    MJBubba:

    EThompson:
    The Deist perspective: a belief in a God who created the world and inspired important Judeo-Christian values but has remained removed from our actions and expects us to carry the load henceforth.

    This just makes sense to me so my answer is yes.

    What makes you think that the God who designed and built creation has no interest in what happens to His creatures or how it turns out ?

    Ms. ET, your response provokes more questions.

    Too much evil in the world and I don’t really believe in Satan. I believe evil is created by humans alone who fail to follow moral doctrine and worship power alone.

    But not all evil is created by humans.   Fires, plagues, famines, earthquakes, storms, floods, birth defects, diseases, etc. &tc.    Can these things be called evil?   Is there a reason for them?

    Where does moral doctrine come from ?

    And I couldn’t say God specifically has no interest but is simply placing the responsibility upon humans to carry out his will.

    Does God care if His will gets carried out at all?   Has God communicated anything about His will to humankind?   Are there spiritual consequences for neglecting our responsibilities?

    There are rewards right here on Earth for doing so- good friends, strong families, successful careers, etc.

    Yes; Solomon pointed this out 900 years before Jesus.   (500 years later, Plato said something similar about doing good in life, and he was a Pagan.)

    Wowser MJB, nobody has ever gotten me to speak my mind on religion before! I’ve always been hesitant to do so for offending both devout Christians/Jews and Atheists.

    I don’t think any of our Ratburghers would be likely to take offense.   We are generally all able to disagree vehemently but without rancor.

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  9. MJBubba:
    But not all evil is created by humans.   Fires, plagues, famines, earthquakes, storms, floods, birth defects, diseases, etc. &tc.    Can these things be called evil?   Is there a reason for them?

    They would be defined as tragedies/misfortunes that are inherent to an imperfect world.

    MJBubba:
    Where does moral doctrine come from ?

    Judeo-Christian principles that were formulated centuries ago from divinely inspired individuals. That’s as educated a response as I can give a religious scholar such as yourself. I believe there was a divine plan, it was recognized and formed the foundation for many good things- America for instance.

    MJBubba:Are there spiritual consequences for neglecting our responsibilities?

    I can’t say but there are certainly earthly consequences.

    Now don’t make me nervous with more questions. 🙂 I have the sense to know I’m in way over my head in this department; talking to you about religion is akin to discussing physics with John Walker!

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  10. EThompson:

    MJBubba:
    But not all evil is created by humans.   Fires, plagues, famines, earthquakes, storms, floods, birth defects, diseases, etc. &tc.    Can these things be called evil?   Is there a reason for them?

    They would be defined as tragedies/misfortunes that are inherent to an imperfect world.

    What makes you call the world “imperfect”?

    MJBubba:
    Where does moral doctrine come from ?

    Judeo-Christian principles that were formulated centuries ago from divinely inspired individuals. That’s as educated a response as I can give a religious scholar such as yourself. I believe there was a divine plan, it was recognized and formed the foundation for many good things- America for instance.

    If Judeo-Christian principles are part of the divine plan, then why are Jewish or Christian religion not part of the divine plan ?

    MJBubba:Are there spiritual consequences for neglecting our responsibilities?

    I can’t say but there are certainly earthly consequences.

    Well, yes, but there are plenty of exceptions.   We all know or know of gross sinners who thrive and prosper, and we all know of good hearted humble people who suffer all sorts of calamities.

    Now don’t make me nervous with more questions. 🙂

    Oh, no.   You are too well known for opinions.   Questions will continue.

    I have the sense to know I’m in way over my head in this department; talking to you about religion is akin to discussing physics with John Walker!

    Well, at Ratburger.org you have the option to discuss religion with John Walker and talk physics with me, but if you choose that option you will end up more confused than before.

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  11. MJBubba:
    What makes you call the world “imperfect”?

    With all due respect Mssr., this is a question that does not need answering!

    MJBubba:
    If Judeo-Christian principles are part of the divine plan, then why are Jewish or Christian religion not part of the divine plan ?

    Je ne comprends pas?

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  12. EThompson:

    MJBubba:
    What makes you call the world “imperfect”?

    With all due respect Mssr., this is a question that does not need answering!

    The point of the question is to get at the idea that the world is not how it ought to be.   Why is it that this is a near-universal view?   Why do people think that the world ought to be different than it is?

    MJBubba:
    If Judeo-Christian principles are part of the divine plan, then why are Jewish or Christian religion not part of the divine plan ?

    Je ne comprends pas?

    This was in response to your statement:

    “Judeo-Christian principles that were formulated centuries ago from divinely inspired individuals.” 

    How can it be that those individuals were divinely inspired when they articulated their principles, but then wrote integrally about God and worship in ways that are not only not inspired, but should be positively jettisoned?

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  13. MJBubba:
    Why do people think that the world ought to be different than it is?

    I don’t think this; I just accept the imperfections as part of a reality we must deal with by celebrating and embracing the good.

    MJBubba:
    How can it be that those individuals were divinely inspired when they articulated their principles, but then wrote integrally about God and worship in ways that are not only not inspired, but should be positively jettisoned?

    We’ll have to agree to disagree here. There was no jettison of moral principles in the Declaration:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights …

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  14. The story of Job is not scripture, it is just a story, which revels some truth about our Creator. The person who can explain it best is Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” At the end of the story, Job is left in a quandary. He knows he is good and hasn’t sinned therefore: is God just mean; or all his torment was Gods fault as God is all Powerful, or does God not have the power to control everything. Job decides that God is not all powerful after the rant about “where were you when I was creating everything” if you think is it easy, then you try it.

    I agree with ET, that God put the planets, earth, and life in action and left it to us to make the world better. As a Jew, I don’t believe in heaven or hell, but I do believe there is an after life, as I’ve had too many ESP experiences not to. Then just before Mother’s day all of you saved me from doing something very stupid. I cannot not believe.

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  15. Kay, I’ve always thought I might have been Jewish in a previous life because I, too, do not believe in heaven or hell and I believe that Christ was a great man/prophet but not the son of God. In other words, I’m Old Testament.

    So glad to have you back where you belong!

    P.S. D***it MJB, you’ve got me talking about religion again when I’d much prefer to discuss what I know- the market. 🙂

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  16. EThompson:

    MJBubba: Why do people think that the world ought to be different than it is?

    I don’t think this; I just accept the imperfections as part of a reality we must deal with by celebrating and embracing the good.

    Well, OK, but you did refer to an “imperfect world.”

    I thought you had in mind some imperfections that should be improved upon?

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  17. EThompson:

    MJBubba: How can it be that those individuals were divinely inspired when they articulated their principles, but then wrote integrally about God and worship in ways that are not only not inspired, but should be positively jettisoned?

    We’ll have to agree to disagree here. There was no jettison of moral principles in the Declaration: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights …

    Oh, I was thinking that you are accepting the moral principles of the Bible, but then jettisoning everything the Bible teaches about religion.   I thought that is a striking and puzzling choice of how to treat the Bible.

    So, when you talk about “Judeo-Christian principles,” you don’t mean principles from Jewish or Christian sources, you are simply talking about the Declaration?

    It seems to me that the Declaration is not putting itself forward as a moral authority.   Rather, it is appealing to a higher Authority.

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  18. EThompson:
    Kay, I’ve always thought I might have been Jewish in a previous life because I, too, do not believe in heaven or hell and I believe that Christ was a great man/prophet but not the son of God. In other words, I’m Old Testament.

    “I’m Old Testament” ?

    The Old Testament is a thoroughgoing religion with real demands on its adherents.

    Rather say “I’m Old Testament-ish, in a very non-Old Testament sort of way.

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  19. KayofMT:
    As a Jew, I don’t believe in heaven or hell, but I do believe there is an after life….

    Hi, Ms. Kay, we are all glad to have you join the ‘Conversation on the Right.’

    I would like to hear you expound on your thoughts about the afterlife.

    (I disagree with your thoughts on Job, but I learned after many quarrels at R> not to argue with a Jew about Old Testament books.)

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  20. MJBubba:
    So, when you talk about “Judeo-Christian principles,” you don’t mean principles from Jewish or Christian sources, you are simply talking about the Declaration?

    Don’t put words in my mouth, sir. I believe in #5-10 of the Commandments that also appear in Jewish scripture. The Declaration should be Commandment #11.

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  21. I have no real thoughts about an afterlife, but my grandmother came to visit me one day about a year after she had died. I was astonished about her appearing to me, asked her if she could do that whenever she wanted, she said “no as it takes to much energy”, she said she had things to do on this earth before she would be at peace, wanted to let me know that I was loved. Then she faded out, this was about 2 p.m., my first child was taking a nap, I was about 5 months pregnant with my second child.

    My mother died in my arms at 10:30 a.m. and 15 minutes later my oldest daughter called from her home, several hundred miles away, asking if her gram had died, as gram had just been there to say good-by. The Hospice folks were with me, and I let one of them talk to my daughter, and heard the Hospice lady tell my daughter it wasn’t unusual for that to happen. So we will still have a soul that lives when we die. Where we go, what happens, I have no idea.

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