the universe was created by an act of love.

Discussion in 'Religion' started by leopold, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    Do ya think? I guess that truism about "Power corrupts..." is standing firm here.
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  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Why not offer God's children a variety of good choices? Why do some choices have to be seriously bad in order for free will to exist? Why do some of our choices have to cause undeserved suffering to innocents?

    We make choices from restaurant menus, we choose where to go on vacation and what books to read. Those are all occasions where individuals may exercise freedom. These might even be very important choices, as when we choose college majors and from among several good job offers. Some decisions can alter the direction of one's whole life. Nevertheless, they might all be good choices in their own ways. Einstein might have chosen to attend the music conservatory and become a violinist. He gave it some thought but decided to study physics instead.

    Historically, I don't think that one can talk about "the solution" to the problem of evil. There have been no end of proposed solutions, variants on the free-will argument among them. None of the proposed solutions has ever been a slam dunk and the problem of evil is just as much a topic of conversation today as it ever was. There's a huge theological literature on it.
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  5. leopold Valued Senior Member

    blowing the cosmic load.
    OMG ! !
    um, well, anyway . . .
    it's an interesting topic, not that i believe it, but i sho' wudda liked to been there.
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  7. Mazulu Banned Banned


    It makes more sense than 99.9% of everything else that gets posted on this forum.
  8. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Mod Hat

    Okay guys... I know this isn't my sub forum, but I felt it necessary to step in and lay something to rest.

    No, Syne is NOT "power tripping" at all. In fact, it is quite the opposite - in the mods-only forum, he has been VERY vocal about getting second opinions and asking how the rest of us deal with things. The Religion forum is going to be one of the absolute most difficult to moderate because its very nature is incredibly volatile (not to mention passionate) for many members.

    Cut Syne some slack here an let him get settled in. This sub-forum has gone largely unpoliced for a long time and now that someone is actively paying attention to it, it may seem like an overreach of power, but it isn't. It's simply bringing the sub-forum back under control an back in line with what we are trying to envision for these forums

    @Syne - don't let it get under your skin mate! You're doing good, but you have one helluva task ahead!
  9. leopold Valued Senior Member

    the mods chose you because they liked your vision and seemed to know the job.
    so DO it, let the chips fall where they may.
  10. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    I am going to post a sticky detailing new policy for the Religion forum. I am giving the SciForums staff/admin a chance to raise any objections before posting it. After that, everyone will have been informed and I expect things to run a bit more smoothly. But I am new to this and not complete familiar with all the mod tools at my disposal. Some of the staff have already given me some good advice, and when I start implimenting new policy in full, I expect that will be evident.

    Bear with me. It should not take long to get on my feet proper.
  11. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Wouldn't it be best for you to sound out the posters too?
    They might have some good ideas.
    I'm not talking about myself. I rarely post on this subforum.
    (That probably won't stop me butting in though

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    What sort of policies do you want to implement?
    Maybe you could open a few threads for discussion.
  12. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Love unites and brings together as one. But the formation of the universe initially differentiated, separated and divided the universe from a singularity; boom, let there be light. A little later quarks united to form protons and electrons and gravity begin to combine mass which is the direction of love.

    Relative to the big boom, a saying goes if you love someone, you will release them and let them go free. If they love you they will return. Maybe an act of love freed the universe, so it could separate and then return via love.

    I am arguing within the parameters of the theme and topic.
  13. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    I have no intention to open up policy discussions to the posters. The variety of their opinions seem to be fairly well-represented by the staff/admins. Everyone will see the policy when i post it (and it would be reasonable to allow one thread to discuss any concerns with how I intend to implement it, although that will shake out over time anyway).
  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    One difficulty that Syne's been having is that he loves to argue and gets pretty passionate himself.

    So he's going to have to dial that in if he wants to be a good moderator.

    Fair enough. He's not a bad guy and might turn out to be an excellent moderator.

    I'm not sure what that task is. There wasn't anything seriously wrong with the religion forum as it was.

    Adding a new moderator probably isn't going to raise the intellectual level of the religion discussions perceptibly, seeing as how most participants seemingly have little formal academic exposure to the subject of religious studies. These are always going to be laymen's discussions.

    That's perfectly fine. Sciforums serves a valuable function in hosting them. One of the reasons why the religion forum is so active is that it's much easier for intelligent laypeople to discuss religion (everyone has ideas on the subject) than it is for laypeople to discuss higher mathematics or comparative genomics.
  15. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Isn't that a little dogmatic?
    I hope you aren't going to let power go to your head.
  16. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Well love considers all things. Did all which is come from the greatest thing?
  17. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Syne -

    How is your screen name properly pronounced?
  18. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    I suppose it is bound to be perceived that way with anyone but an atheist at the helm. Probably best to see what they are before judging sight unseen.

    Like "sign".
  19. scorpius a realist Valued Senior Member

    thats just an unsuported ASSertion,
    unless you can prove theres exist a Loving creator
    you know what that makes you (≧∇≦)
    the xian one isnt real
  20. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Mod Note

    Warning: "ASSertion" is unnecessarily inflammatory and will be treated as trolling.

    There is also nothing to "prove" in the OP, as it merely asks a question, assuming a premise. That does not mean the premise is necessarily true, only the departure point for discussion.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  21. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    You seem to be including that in your mod comments. Are you sure that's the proper place for debated points?
  22. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Sorry, there was a typo.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    I meant to say, "That does not mean the premise is necessarily true...". I have corrected the original note.

    Thanks for catching that.
  23. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    That's a common theme in religious mythology. There's certainly a widespread cross-cultural (but certainly not universal either) image of the divine as Oneness, as primordial unity of some kind. That's often thought of as something very desirable indeed, as literally the best thing.

    The religious traditions commonly imagine the differentiation and fragmentation of being away from Unity to multiplicity as a fall of some kind. All the little pieces, which include human beings like ourselves, are isolated and estranged and cut off from each other and from the All. We see ideas like this in Kabbala, in gnosticism, in Neoplatonism, in India, and all over. So one's religious path and the goal of salvation would seem to be obvious, to return to and perhaps to finally merge with the Unity, with God.

    Kabbala is especially interesting in this regard, since some Kabbalists took this imagery very literally. They imagined that God literally broke himself into pieces at creation, he flew apart into phenomenal reality, and that the mystical role of the Jews is to literally put God back together again.

    That neatly accounts for the problem of evil and for the hiddenness of God. (God is literally gone.) But I suspect that most conventional monotheists will be repelled by the idea.

    Yeah, it's possible to imagine that as long as all of reality exists as one undifferentiated unity, it would be impossible for individual consciousness like our own and for interpersonal relationships to exist. So to make us possible, God had to separate us from himself.

    If we push that idea harder, we can say that in order for diversity to exist, unity had to go away, meaning that God had to more or less commit suicide so that we can be. It's even possible to imagine that event as some kind of Christ-like divine self-sacrifice in which God died to release us.

    And it's possible to imagine the task of all of the universe's finite intelligences to be the mirror image of that, to reascend, to put God back together again, which would necessarily involve their own self-sacrifice as they give up their individual existence so as to merge everyone and everything into One.

    Then the reconstituted One can once again sacrifice himself for us, so that individuals might once again exist, in what might be a never-ending cycle of cosmic expansion and contraction, like a giant heart.

    I don't literally believe any of that, but it's fun to exercise one's mythical imagination sometimes.

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