Biological Clocks and God’s Good Creation

Any meaning one makes up is exactly what Frankl was talking about.

No. This is not a point you have made. Otherwise you would have my unreserved agreement. Nothing in theology is objective. Quite the contrary, the reality of the subjective is whole point of all this religion stuff as I see it. So I am often eager to make this point myself. Science is objective observation and that is a very useful tool, but life requires subjective participation and for this science cannot help you. But for that reason, I see no point whatsoever in pretending to any objectivity in regards religion and theology.

I never said anything of the kind. Nor have I made any such assumption. Theism is a choice I have made for the theology which serves a useful purpose. I was not raised theist or Christian. The word “God” meant nothing to me except as a character in tales of fantasy. It first became meaningful to real life for me when I made an identification between the existential faith that life is worth living and the religious faith in a being called God. From there the only question for me was what sort of understanding of God best served the existential faith.

Of course not. Nor will will you see any objective evidence regarding anything to do with God.

Nope. On that at least I agree with Klax. It is impossible. Objective evidence only exists because of the mathematical space-time laws of nature – and thus only applies to things which are a part of that mathematical space-time structure. No God I will ever see any point in believing in is any part of it. Anything within that mathematical space-time structure I will identify as aliens only.

Sounds like the sort of rhetoric I would expect to hear from a someone in human trafficking trying to justify what they do. I am not interested.

Shrug. Aware of the difference. Writing “pan(en)theism” demonstrates this. But don’t really care. They suffer from the same fatal flaws as far as I am concerned (which I have already stated). You on the other hand, have not stated these supposed problems you see in theism.

Ahhh… the god which is the slave of philosophy and theology unable to do that which they choose to proscribe. I say God CAN! I quite agree that it is not easy for an omni-being to create something independent of Himself. It is no small abracadabra finger snapping matter. No… I think it takes a very complex system of natural laws to accomplish such a thing. That is what it takes for an omni-being to have a real relationship with beings who are other than Himself.

You can say “ground of being” as many times as you want. But to equate God with being itself is to reduce God to a human concept which is a tiny thing worthy of less rather than more consideration than a real person who is present and actively involved in the events of our lives because He created us in order to share in those events in partnership. That is the difference between theism and pan(en)theism.

Of course it is. It presumes that God is a creator – someone who can create things… and not just some ground to walk on.

The carpenter is the reason the table and chairs exist and if he is competent they do so without him having to hold them up. I look to a God who is more rather than less – a God who CAN create beings apart from Himself in order to have an authentic relationship with them. That is because creating and relationships are where the value is and not in some ground or concepts of being.

I mean… I get it. You like Paul Tillich or at least his language. I can relate in so far as the existentialist philosophical framework… but I am not a fan of either his language or his conclusions. Not a fan of Whitehead either (understatement). As for Thomas Jay Oord, it depends… we have both common ground and differences – we agree with regards to open theism anyway.

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This not a “gotcha” or “so there!” question, a real “how” question.
How would one differentiate theism vibes from any other stimuli one experiences? How would one distinguish it if one were to experience it?

They’d have to be unnatural and not technologically possible. The entire sleeping world having the same dream at the same time. About a vast, unnatural astronomical event whose light cone hits eactly 24 sidereal hours later. That’d do it. Or if everyone got just the same positive, increasing vibe at the same time, without the sun having a distinct hiccup, sleeping or waking. So that we all stopped and looked at each other. Everyone stopped driving, working, walking, talking.

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So @Vinnie, what’s stopped you? Wedding plans?

There is no suffering in death. Only in life. Can we alleviate it at all? Especially the suffering of being helplessly privileged in the face of others’ suffering?

I never go round and round in discussions like many do here. I say what I think, reflect on the responses given, respond a few more times at max, then let go. I don’t do the 300 reply threads where people keep arguing around one another reiterating the same thing. Its usually not very productive. I try to also write solely for deconstructing Christians now. Its not my life’s mission to convince young earth creationists there weren’t polar bears on an ark. Others have taken up that task. But since you asked, I think @mitchellmckain and I have more common ground after his last response than disagreement but I still fundamentally find it impossible to distinguish between classical theism and panentheism based on how limited our perspective is. It is just philosophical babble about things we know next to nothing about. Philosophical skepticism still holds major sway in my thinking. As for your comments, we disagree:

Your previous response missed the point as did this follow up in my eyes. It is true there is no suffering in death (obviously for the dead person) assuming it is the end of existence but there is no justice in death either. That is the problem with your materialistic ideology. Where is the justice for the starving African child raped and abused who dies of AIDS after a short and brutal existence? Kids who die young of cancer? For the millions of people who have had brutal existences filled with suffering? No justice for her, no justice for the perpetrators of the crimes. “Sorry you drew the short straw” is hollow and empty to me. Atheism is bleak and empty. Its as cold and dark as the universe without God.

I see you defending a bankrupt worldview by articulating the notion that death is some sort of salvation from suffering? What are you even saying? Death isn’t salvation. God is salvation. I am only going to double down on the utter meaninglessness of life in the intellectual context of atheism if you are positing death as a reprieve to suffering. As you know this does not mean I think atheists are immoral or lead meaningless lives. I believe their worldview intellectually leads to that whether they admit it or not. But our beliefs and our actions don’t always mesh.

You also offered a moral system I happen to agree with but there is no reason outside of God why I should care about anyone but myself or my family. We might be conditioned to out of reciprocal altruism but if we are all just conditioned to think and believe what we do I have no interest in discussing that issue with you or anyone because a genuine discussion is impossible under those constraints. Others are conditioned to think and believe what they do. Some are conditioned to believe falsehoods are true and some are not. i am not sure why I should trust my thoughts and without free will, right and wrong lose their meaning. I have no idea why you help people or even criticize this forum as not having enough content about social justice when it can’t be any other way. Everything just is. Your brain is a bottle of coke shaking up and mine is just a bottle of Pepsi. All our babble is just us arguing and seeing which one of our brains filled with atoms and electrical processes can fizz the highest.

If your worldview doesn’t account for free will and justice, or allow us to actually live and exist without calling it all an illusion, I’d say it is detached from reality and you seem to have gotten there fallaciously through “parsimony.” Leave some Kool Aid for the other materialists to drink. If we can’t live by a worldview it needs to be dumped. William James was influential here for me.



I would put a like on this post except too much of this is focused on Klax and that is topic I mostly avoid. BTW (as was pointed out to me at one time) putting a like on someone’s post is a way of signaling (mostly) agreement without posting a comment. Helps that person accept that the discussion is finished and not leave them hanging.

Iron to iron Vinnie.

Justice is a story for children. And to aspire to socially. It is meaningless in the transcendent sense. If you want justice, the only meaningful justice, social justice, vote for it. Twitch a little finger in its direction where the dispossessed squat. Death is the only ultimate salvation from suffering that we know. I know that the worldview of Abrahamics leads to immoral and meaningless, hypocritical lives. It’s not a matter of belief. It’s a matter of historic fact. With Christianity the worst offender by far. Christian beliefs and actions mesh just fine. Virtually none pursue righteousness. No not one. Me when I was a paid up one and now post- in my helpless privilege. Point to any righteous Christian. Not merely credal sinners.

Your perverse constraints are my freedom. And I have touched your nerve here like no other.

Pony up cowboy. Live the worldview that everyone is worth it because we say so.

I’m okay with my children’s story.

Let the little children come to me , and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven

That is your answer to suffering? Casting a meaningless vote? One ballot among tens of millions. Voting does little today. For every vote in America today there will a thousand ignorant voters with coded responses influenced by nonsense on social media or Russian bot farms on both sides of the political spectrum. Voting is a farce and a person simply expressing themself in a self-patronizing fashion. A pretense to let you think social change is possible based on your choices or that those in power care about what you think. A vote is a water balloon trying to stop a tsunami.

All Christians are evil and more evil than any other group. Got it. You would make a good Calvinist. You got the total depravity down. But such a blanket assertion is hardly worth responding to. This is a general condition of humanity as a whole so we need to rely on repentance, not our own righteousness which is lacking. We have a lot of evolutionary baggage to overcome but a lot of good work to do. Luther didn’t want James in the Bible because it calls it like it is:

14 My Christian brothers, what good does it do if you say you have faith but do not do things that prove you have faith? Can that kind of faith save you from the punishment of sin? 15 What if a Christian does not have clothes or food? 16 And one of you says to him, “Goodbye, keep yourself warm and eat well.” But if you do not give him what he needs, how does that help him? 17 A faith that does not do things is a dead faith.

18 Someone may say, “You have faith, and I do things. Prove to me you have faith when you are doing nothing. I will prove to you I have faith by doing things.” 19 You believe there is one God. That is good! But even the demons believe that, and because they do, they shake.

20 You foolish man! Do I have to prove to you that faith without doing things is of no use? 21 Was not our early father Abraham right with God by what he did? He obeyed God and put his son Isaac on the altar to die. 22 You see his faith working by what he did and his faith was made perfect by what he did. 23 It happened as the Holy Writings said it would happen. They say, “Abraham put his trust in God and he became right with God.” He was called the friend of God. 24 A man becomes right with God by what he does and not by faith only. 25 The same was true with Rahab, the woman who sold the use of her body. She became right with God by what she did in helping the men who had been sent to look through the country and sent them away by another road. 26 The body is dead when there is no spirit in it. It is the same with faith. Faith is dead when nothing is done.

More importantly:

"Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” --Jesus

Im sure some of us who think otherwise will be really sad when our time for judgment comes.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Live the worldview yes, but not because we say so. We are nothing. Two drops in an endless ocean. We live the worldview because God became man, dwelt among us and lived it this way. We can’t change the world but we can change a person’s world.

Have the courage to surrender that mighty intellect. Pony up.



No, @Klax does not. Total depravity means that no action on the part of a person can be completely perfect and free from any taint of sin, and correspondingly, that no human action is sufficiently good to deserve salvation; not that people are as bad as they can be. “Total” has shifted in meaning over the last 400 years from “in all aspects” to “completely”.

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I was being facetious.

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I was guessing that, but I’ve encountered enough people with spectacular misconceptions of what it means that it can be hard to tell.

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Being childlike is certainly not a bad thing! (Besides, children make the best philosophers.)

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