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Is it rational to believe in God?
Jakarta Post/Yahoo Philippines ^ | Giovanni Serritella

Posted on 12/22/2011 4:54:48 PM PST by WilliamIII

The world's most famous physicist Prof. Stephen Hawking has declared that God does not exist.

Hawking joins the opinion of several other world-class scientists like Richard Dawkins, Peter Atkins, James Watson, Victor Stenger and many others who deny the existence of God in the name of the latest advancements in physics, biology and other scientific domains. The so-called "New Atheism" (championed by Richard Dawkins) sees God as a delusion, a by product of the mind of superstitious and scientifically uneducated people. "Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing ... Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists and why we are here". This is the conclusion of The Grand Design, Hawking's latest book.

...Hawking states that a "law of gravity" exists and this (not God) creates the universe. Hawking surely also believes that gravity itself exists (since a law of gravity without "gravity" to describe would be meaningless). Now, if we say that X creates Y, we must presuppose the existence of X in the first place to bring Y into existence. Likewise, we must presuppose the existence of gravity to bring the universe into existence.

But Einstein's theory of relativity shows that this is illogical because it is like saying that gravity existed "before time" which is absurd. Did gravity spontaneously generate itself then?

(Excerpt) Read more at ph.news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: faith
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To: WilliamIII

Is it rational to believe that we are all here ‘just because’, or that this planet and human beings are some kind of random happening?


51 posted on 12/22/2011 5:43:51 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: MHGinTN
Despite Hawking talking thingy he uses, I cannot quite believe its his thoughts. He is the dummy and the assistant is the ventriloquist with the idea's...sorry about his physical condition, but he's not too smart and disturbing to listen to....
52 posted on 12/22/2011 5:44:15 PM PST by goat granny
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To: WilliamIII

You’d be crazy not to.


53 posted on 12/22/2011 5:44:49 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: Graybeard58; sillipuddi
To me it's not a difficult choice. Steven Hawking has his super brain power and I have my Savior.

I think Poster 25 cuts right to the heart of the matter and puts the "universe creates itself" theory in perspective:

"It's kinda like a tornado .. tearing through a salvage yard and creating a corvette in it's wake!"


54 posted on 12/22/2011 5:46:06 PM PST by Iron Munro ("Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight he'll just kill you." John Steinbeck)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Hermetically sealed “rationality” that refuses to consider evidence that demands a verdict is, of course, irrational. We are witnesses to the Age of Rationality producing the Age of Irrationality.


55 posted on 12/22/2011 5:49:51 PM PST by PapaNew
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To: Iron Munro

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-say-turin-shroud-is-supernatural-6279512.html

The evidence keeps mounting that something happened in Israel about 2000 years ago.


56 posted on 12/22/2011 5:51:24 PM PST by Bill C of BDroppings (bdroppings.blogspot.com)
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To: MHGinTN

The example I like to use is “throwing a stick of dynamite into a bauxite mine, and when the dust clears there’s a fully functional Boeing 747 sitting there fuelled up.”

Entropy by definition precludes the entire “self forming” idea of the universe, because order CANNOT come from disorder. There MUST BE an intelligence guiding material for it to make any sense.


57 posted on 12/22/2011 6:01:06 PM PST by Don W (You can forget what you do for a living when your knees are in the breeze.)
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To: Sudetenland
The "great" Stephen Hawking's model for the "spontaneous" creation of life and the universe around us contains about eight or so "coincidences" to which he admits and fluffs off.

And then of course we ask:

"How does Hawking know that God didn't create the conditions and coincidences that make the creation of the universe and life appear to be spontaneous?"

Think of an aborigine contemplating an automatic manufacturing machine churning out thousands of donuts an hour with no visible human intervention. Once the machine is tuned up and ready to go the operator can stand back and let the machine do its job. But to the aborigine the operation of the machine is unfathomable - it appears to "spontaneously create" donuts.


58 posted on 12/22/2011 6:02:04 PM PST by Iron Munro ("Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight he'll just kill you." John Steinbeck)
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To: mylife

If you REALLY want to cut through the pure blather of guys like Hawking, and the dear departed, now sizzling and frying Chris Hitchens, forget about ooze and primorial “soup” and think about how such elegant, and intricate miracles as sight, taste and smell “just happened.

Everybody conveniently “forgets” that even Darwin, in “The Origin...” admitted that unless definite examples could be found which prove the evolution of the eye, his theory of evolution could not stand up. He realized the folly of claiming that something of so complicated and technical composition had just happened, unless one had “Exhibits A, B & C, etc. to substantiate it.

But old Darwin died and went on to face the God he’d denied, and his God hating, God denying accolytes ignored the above-cited admission of Darwin in his unscientific book, and continue to perpetuate the totally fabricated farce of evolution.

Also; poor, bumbling, lost-as-a-goose-in-an-ice-storm Darwin and his contemporaries; lacking the optics and electronic magnification to see the wonders and grandeur of the microscopic world, based their entire “chewing gum, spit and baling wire” lash-up of evolution, on the belief that a single “simple” cell was nothing more nor less than a glob of protoplasm very much like a tiny morcel of gelatin.

Modern technology has revealed how pathetically far they were from the truth, or any clue of actual science! Any ONE living, so-called “simple cell contains so much code within its DNA, that if it were unwound and printed out in normal typeface, the code in ONE cell would fill 1000 volumes of 600 pages each! So forget about slime and ooze. Answer the question of WHO WROTE THE CODE which DIRECTS cells to reproduce themselves! IMHO, that’s the MONEY question.


59 posted on 12/22/2011 6:04:37 PM PST by Tucker39
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To: eddie willers

lol I remember that.


60 posted on 12/22/2011 6:04:56 PM PST by ecomcon
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To: Tucker39
And proponents of the "evolution trumps God" school of thought conveniently ignore the consideration that evolution (if true) would not preclude the existence of God. God has created a universe and world that change in many ways.

Would not God also give to life forms he created the power and ability to adapt to that changing universe?


61 posted on 12/22/2011 6:18:43 PM PST by Iron Munro ("Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight he'll just kill you." John Steinbeck)
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To: Carry_Okie
God miraculously preserved the people and nation of Israel, who obsessively maintained the Word, which prophesied the coming of a Savior. Atheists can't explain that kind of thing, nor can they explain how the Savior, precisely predicted in prophecy, nevertheless did not meet the human expectations of the keepers of the Law and Prophets, but turned out to be the living incarnation of the passover, and not a selfish king but a sacrificial suffering servant. Clearly Jesus is not of this earth.

There is nothing in the materialistic view of the world which gives us hope. Hope comes only through the miracle of the Gospel.

62 posted on 12/22/2011 6:24:56 PM PST by hellbender
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To: WilliamIII

There’s no need to prove God’s existence to Hawking or anyone else. He and they will eventually find out for themselves. That is why He says those who do not believe in Him are fools.


63 posted on 12/22/2011 6:34:37 PM PST by righttackle44 (I may not be much, but I raised a United States Marine)
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To: Iron Munro

Hoyle’s Fallacy: the junkyard tornado, is a term for mathematician Fred Hoyle’s flawed statistical analysis applied to evolutionary origins.


64 posted on 12/22/2011 6:41:21 PM PST by tumblindice
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To: righttackle44

I pray that men like Hawkings see the truth sometime prior to their earthly demise; repent; and accept Jesus as their Lord. Otherwise, he will be pontificating throughout eternity on questions like: Will time end? and How long can Hell burn before its source of fuel is exhausted?


65 posted on 12/22/2011 6:42:34 PM PST by Brownie63
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To: Doe Eyes

“Some of us are content in not knowing how everything was created. We don’t have to cling to some made up story to get through the day.”

No you don’t. It’s the God given free will that allows you to do so.


66 posted on 12/22/2011 6:43:24 PM PST by kickonly88 (I love fossil fuel!)
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To: WilliamIII

Oh it’s rational to not believe in God I guess - that is - if you can describe what happens one second past the end of time and one inch past the end of space. If you can handle those questions - then I guess it’s ok to not believe in God.

As for me, I can’t even understand those questions, let alone answer them, so I’ll stick with God.


67 posted on 12/22/2011 6:48:24 PM PST by C. Edmund Wright (Moderator of Florida Tea Party Convention Presidential Debate)
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To: WilliamIII

How is it that people who gain so much earthly knowledge eventually start oozing stupid like a Hollywood trollop?


68 posted on 12/22/2011 6:51:15 PM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: WilliamIII

I couldn’t even read the article because the title made me throw up in my mouth a little.

I wonder why the world is is such dire straights?


69 posted on 12/22/2011 6:59:16 PM PST by NoGrayZone (Stay involved..because stupid people are running America! - Herman Cain - Amen!!!)
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To: WilliamIII

What IS Rational? Is Love rational? Is Hate rational? Is an emotionally affected person rational? Of course belief in God is not rational, God cannot be defined in human terms. Can anyone say what infinity is? Can anyone say what lies beyond the edges of the universe? Nothingness? Endless space? A place from where eternal watchers observe the lives of humans? “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” Faith in an heavenly abode is a substance that cannot be rationally quantified. Rationality can perceive the eternal if faith is allowed into the equation... it becomes a matter of personal preference. The unbeliever spends the rest of his life trying the prove his unbelief, while the believer spends the rest of his life contemplating eternal life.


70 posted on 12/22/2011 7:24:54 PM PST by dps.inspect (the system is rigged...)
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To: varmintman


Then who created Legos?
71 posted on 12/22/2011 7:32:01 PM PST by lunarville (Common sense ain't so common anymore...)
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To: varmintman


Then who created Legos?
72 posted on 12/22/2011 7:32:05 PM PST by lunarville (Common sense ain't so common anymore...)
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To: WilliamIII

It is irrational to believe we are here by accident.


73 posted on 12/22/2011 7:40:51 PM PST by cookcounty (2012 choice: It's the Tea Party or the Slumber Party.)
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To: WilliamIII

I don’t think rationality has anything to do with it, it’s just something one is born with or without. Afterall, how does someone force themselves to believe? It’s either there or it ain’t.


74 posted on 12/22/2011 7:50:06 PM PST by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: tumblindice
Hoyle’s Fallacy: the junkyard tornado, is a term for mathematician Fred Hoyle’s flawed statistical analysis applied to evolutionary origins.

The flaw was that goo-to-you evolution is so unlikely it makes the junkyard tornado thing look like a sure bet.

One thing I find amusing is that atheists often compare a belief in God to a belief in Santa Claus. While this comparison in itself is ludicrous even if there is no God (it's sort of like comparing the Laffer curve to a business plan to sell unicorn poop) what is really interesting is that belief in macroevolution requires such faith in so many things lining up perfectly that it's like believing the jolly old elf can visit all the world's children in 24 hours. I mean, really, if getting from the first microbe to you and me took 500 different mutations, what are the odds that they would all work out not only correctly, but in the way they did?

Even if there was no other evidence of a God, Hawking would be silly to call people of faith irrational, because it's completely rational to say "I'm playing the odds, because they're rather immense." If Pascal's wager was rational in the seventeenth century, how much more rational is it now when we know that the odds of being here in this form are trillions to one?

75 posted on 12/22/2011 7:55:57 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (I want a hippopotamus for Christmas! Only a hippopotamus will do!)
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To: stuartcr
I don’t think rationality has anything to do with it, it’s just something one is born with or without. Afterall, how does someone force themselves to believe? It’s either there or it ain’t.

A lie.

God offers. We choose or reject.

76 posted on 12/22/2011 8:00:26 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (I want a hippopotamus for Christmas! Only a hippopotamus will do!)
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To: stuartcr
I don’t think rationality has anything to do with it, it’s just something one is born with or without. Afterall, how does someone force themselves to believe? It’s either there or it ain’t.

A lie. God offers. We choose to accept or reject.

77 posted on 12/22/2011 8:08:17 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (I want a hippopotamus for Christmas! Only a hippopotamus will do!)
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To: WilliamIII
This is the conclusion of The Grand Design, Hawking's latest book.

Has anyone here read (or does anyone plan to read) Hawking's latest book mentioned here?

(I know I haven't, and don't intend to.)

78 posted on 12/22/2011 8:19:57 PM PST by Heart-Rest (Merry and Blessed Christmas to All!!!)
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To: Iron Munro

In God’s Creation we see all the time how various life forms are able to adapt to changing conditions. But wolves NEVER “adapt” or evolve into bears; and Mallard ducks NEVER adapt or evolve into pea fowl; nor do salamanders adapt or evolve into alligators. MICRO evolution, more accurately, adaptation, occurs all the time within the confines of any given life form. But MACRO evolution, the changing from one species to another, IS A GIGANTIC CROCK.

It is the epitome of arrogance, in my mind, to ignore what God has clearly told us in His Word, and to go about concocting contrary scenarios in an attempt to appear to be the proverbial “smartest guy in the room.” MERRY CHRISTMAS.


79 posted on 12/22/2011 8:26:49 PM PST by Tucker39
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To: Doe Eyes

The “who created God” question is answered in a fashion by Acquinas.

The problem of infinite regress of dependent causes, is solved by something which is uncaused.

Else you still have the problem.

The uncaused first cause argument is still used and has never been unproven.

It does not ‘prove’ the God of any religion of course. But it and other of Aquinas’s work come as close to the primary attributes of what most call “God.”

It’s an interesting study, and I recommend it to anyone interested in Reason and Religion and how the two do and don’t mix.


80 posted on 12/22/2011 9:00:23 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: Graybeard58
Steven Hawking has his super brain power

But his knowledge is quite limited, mostly to math and cosmology. As either a philosopher or theologist he is very very much over his head. As is Dawkins.

It's a shame really. In times past there used to be great debates on this topic by folks who were equally matched.

81 posted on 12/22/2011 9:03:42 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: WilliamIII

Imagine a symphony, a grand symphony. Every note, exquisite, infinitely complex, and yet perfect in every way. Melodies are completely satisfying, everything works in a seemless, unimaginable way.

Now imagine this symphony coming into existence without a composer. Poof, the sheet music just appeared one day.

Doesn’t sound plausible to me.


82 posted on 12/22/2011 9:05:20 PM PST by Hoosier-Daddy ( "It does no good to be a super power if you have to worry what the neighbors think." BuffaloJack)
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To: Mr. Silverback

I disagree


83 posted on 12/22/2011 9:21:40 PM PST by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: WilliamIII

Read the Science of God by Gerald Schroeder. Dr. Schroder earned his B.S.,M.S., and PhD in Physics from the Mass. Institute of Technology. He reminds us how rich is our science and how true the Bible.


84 posted on 12/22/2011 9:24:33 PM PST by littlesorrel
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To: sillipuddi
I don't believe that Stephen Hawkings exists!

That's what I wanted to say! Hawkings is a legend in his own mind, similar to Obama thinking he's one of the best four presidents of all time. Simply delusional. I've read some of Hawkings work, much of which is done by his handlers who "interpret" his mutterings. As such, Hawkings does not exist. He is a blithering dreamer, lost in a make-believe universe in his mind.

85 posted on 12/22/2011 9:26:16 PM PST by roadcat
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To: WilliamIII
Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists and why we are here"....so we're here because there's "spontaneous creation", and we know there's spontaneous creation because we're here - it's called circular reasoning, and every first year general science student knows to be on the lookout for it - so much for big shot physicists......
86 posted on 12/22/2011 9:48:24 PM PST by Intolerant in NJ
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To: WilliamIII
Is it rational to believe in God?

"...Hawking states that a "law of gravity" exists and this (not God) creates the universe."

Hawking the atheist has no explanation for and cannot give an account of those things which are necessary for rationality itself; namely, universal, invariant, abstract entities.

The laws of logic are not material in nature - they do not extend into space. As universal, they are not experienced to be true. As invariant, they don't fit into what materialists like Steven Hawking tell us about the constantly changing nature of the universe. Since an atheist universe cannot account for the laws of logic in the first place, Hawking has no rational basis for his claims about laws, of gravity or any other kind.

Cordially,

87 posted on 12/22/2011 9:55:43 PM PST by Diamond (He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people,)
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To: WilliamIII

I don’t have the faith it would take to be an atheist.


88 posted on 12/22/2011 10:06:34 PM PST by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: Diamond

Well and truly stated ... as usual.


89 posted on 12/22/2011 10:06:38 PM PST by MHGinTN (Some, believing they cannot be deceived, it's impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: zeugma
I don’t have the faith it would take to be an atheist.

Neither do I.



Where there's a shell, there's a way.

25 years ago, we had Ronald Reagan, Johnny Cash, and Bob Hope.
Today we have Obama, no cash, and no hope!

If you can't appreciate the pure beauty of the violin after hearing this, something's wrong with your ears.

Or you can get raw with these strings.

How about this gamechanger from America's Got Talent (which they SHOULD have won).

Either way, the violin is sweet yet lethal.

Do it!

90 posted on 12/22/2011 10:23:06 PM PST by rdb3 (><>The mouth is the exhaust pipe of the heart. <><)
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To: sillipuddi

I just saw a corvette today. If it didn’t come from a tornado, where did it come from?


91 posted on 12/22/2011 10:44:50 PM PST by Tramonto (Draft Palin)
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To: WilliamIII


“Is it rational to believe in God?”

I come from five generations of Lutheran ministers.

Faith - not rational analysis - is the foundation of religious belief.

“Free Will” is a fundamental part of Lutheran doctrine.

Yet, man has been denied the ultimate act of “Free Will.”

Man has no choice as to whether he will - or will not - exist.

God makes that decision, and places a man’s soul inside the helpless body of an infant who has no power to control external circumstances or to even think rationally.

True “Free Will” would require that God ask each man whether he does - or does not - wish to be created.

It also requires that the man has the judgment, knowledge, and life experience of a mature adult, not an infant.

Many people would choose to be created.

Personally, I wouldn’t gamble with my life or my soul, and I would choose not to be born.

Lutheran doctrine also emphatically states that God is all powerful and all knowing.

Once again, rationally, this violates “Free Will.”

If God is my creator, but God also knows everything I will do or believe in my life, then God knows whether or not my soul will go to Hell - BEFORE he creates me.

Ouch!

A God that willfully creates souls he knows will spend all eternity in Hell?

That’s not rational.


92 posted on 12/23/2011 2:38:35 AM PST by zeestephen
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To: zeestephen; Cronos
Lutheran doctrine also emphatically states that God is all powerful and all knowing.

Once again, rationally, this violates “Free Will.”

If God is my creator, but God also knows everything I will do or believe in my life, then God knows whether or not my soul will go to Hell - BEFORE he creates me.

Ouch!

A God that willfully creates souls he knows will spend all eternity in Hell?

That’s not rational.


It would be more correct to state that Lutheran doctrine denies a place to Luther's definition of "free will." You don't have to go any farther than his "On the Bondage of the Will" to realize that in the vision of the world created by Luther and later by Luther-on-steroids John Calvin (both devotees of Augustine) there is no place either for free will or reason and rationality. There is only will, God's will and nothing else.
Question: is the thing that God executed, according to Luther, the free will of the individual, or predermination [sic] to hell? If you could indicate from these verses, I would be grateful.

The thing that God executed, according to Luther in the selection I quoted, is every single thing that has, does, or ever will exist. In the selection I quoted earlier from The Bondage of the Will, written when Calvin was a young teen, Luther declared:
1. that there was no will but God’s will

…by this thunderbolt, Freewill is struck to the earth and completely ground to powder….

2. that the appearance of contingency is an illusion

…all which we do, and all which happens, although it seem to happen mutably and contingently, does in reality happen necessarily and unalterably, insofar as respects the will of God. [emphasis added]

3. that everything in creation that happens involving man or apart from man is a product of God’s will

Hence it irresistibly follows, that all which we do [everything in which man has a part], and all which happens… [everything else in creation] does in reality happen necessarily and unalterably, insofar as respects the will of God.

4. that God is not limited either in will or in knowledge

If God does not foreknow all events absolutely, there must be defect either in his will, or in his knowledge ; what happens must either be against his will, or beside his knowledge

5. that everything that has happened since creation and that God is executing now in creation is identical with what God had planned since before the beginning of creation and had yet to execute at the time of creation

But the truth is, what he willed in past eternity, he wills now; the thing now executed is what he has intended to execute from everlasting; for his will is eternal: just as the thing which has now happened is what he saw in past eternity; because his knowledge is eternal.
This is iron-hard determinism that substantively is no different than what Calvin, then 14, would later develop with bigger tail fins, and massive chrome bumpers and grills. Luther's appeal to theological determinism probably had more to do with his polemical needs at the moment in his battle with Erasmus. I’m sure that later, upon reflection, Luther probably thought something along these lines:
“Oh, crap. This makes everything in human existence and even in scripture that appears to depend on contingency, or choice, a complete illusion within a totally deterministic universe where even my thoughts about illusion, determinism, and choice are determined, and even worse than that because what would have been the point of it all to begin with? For God’s praise and glory? Praise and glory from whom? From some sort of intra-trinitarian blackslapping? Or from automata who, like the cuckoo popping out of the clock on the hour, say “Praise and glory. Praise and glory” with no more awareness or understanding or will than the wooden cuckoo has of clock-making and timekeeping?”
Both guys devised a theology that they wanted to believe protects God's holiness and righteousness but just ended up making God into an a-hole. Judging from the way they dealt with their adversaries, their theology was probably more an example of projection than it was anything else. Though it may be rational in some systems of thought to believe in God, that's not the case with Calvin or Luther.
93 posted on 12/23/2011 3:10:27 AM PST by aruanan
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To: stuartcr

Of course you would.

If I were a troll, I’d say it was just the way I was made, too.


94 posted on 12/23/2011 6:51:27 AM PST by Mr. Silverback (I want a hippopotamus for Christmas! Only a hippopotamus will do!)
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To: WilliamIII

SFL.


95 posted on 12/23/2011 6:53:36 AM PST by New Jersey Realist (America: home of the free because of the brave)
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To: Tucker39
It is the epitome of arrogance, in my mind, to ignore what God has clearly told us in His Word, and to go about concocting contrary scenarios in an attempt to appear to be the proverbial “smartest guy in the room.”

Well said!

96 posted on 12/23/2011 6:56:12 AM PST by Iron Munro ("Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight he'll just kill you." John Steinbeck)
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To: txhurl

A better question is: is it rational to behave as a Christian?


Absolutely one of the best philosophical propositions I have ever heard. Going to do some thinking.


97 posted on 12/23/2011 8:36:33 AM PST by cornfedcowboy (Trust in God, but empty the clip.)
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To: WilliamIII

Historically, people who are fat, dumb and happy eschew religion, in the same way they eschew hard work, morality and everything honorable. Unfortuately, people are at their best only when times are hard, and they’re ruined by prosperity.


98 posted on 12/23/2011 12:14:50 PM PST by Spok (From hope and change to change is hopeless. In just the first term.)
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To: aruanan

Thanks for your essay.

I haven’t read deeply into Luther.

I didn’t realize he dealt so thoroughly with questions about determinism.

Loved your description of “cuckoo clock” style worship, another issue I’ve thought about frequently.


99 posted on 12/23/2011 12:23:01 PM PST by zeestephen
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To: zeestephen
I didn’t realize he dealt so thoroughly with questions about determinism.

Thanks. According to some, he was supposed to have eased up on his determinism throughout his life. I don't think Calvin ever did. If everything is as determined as Luther described in On the Bondage of the Will and as Calvin did in his Institutes (and other Calvinists have since then, such as Pink and Piper), then it really does call into question everything having the appearance of freedom and choice and will and love and makes one wonder whom God was trying to demonstrate anything to concerning his nature, there being nothing outside of himself that wasn't a wholly determined creature of his will incapable of knowing or responding.
100 posted on 12/23/2011 1:07:57 PM PST by aruanan
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