I do believe a higher being might exist. However, I think God (in the traditional monotheistic sense) is either the weakest god in the cosmos or the cruelest one. I don’t know how to sum up my experience in words but I thought I’d ask anyway

This is just hubris. You can speak about your own mental state, and you’re welcome to do so. In claiming you have the right to speak about others’ mental states (when you know nothing about their thoughts and feelings) you give yourself a level of authority over others that you have not earned and do not deserve.

Based on your comments, it would seem your inability to let go of your “right to be right” makes it difficult for you to learn from the many and varied and fascinating viewpoints of the people who post on BioLogos. If you were able to listen and learn from them, instead of closing off your heart to those who have a viewpoint about God that differs from your own, there might be a possibility of your connecting with God’s love in the way you say you might like to. Has it occurred to you that some of the people who post here might know something about the process of connecting with God – something that might be of benefit to you?

Come to think of it, there’s no need for you to answer, as I’m pretty sure you’ve already told me what you have to say on the matter.

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But your lack of it does not yours.

The many and varied and fascinating viewpoints are all subject to rational challenge and reduce to stories. None of them relate to God as He is. How He actually operates. How that universal mechanism operates is truly fascinating.

Your hubris is not a legitimate measure of rationality. God works in providence in ways you do not know.
 

I had a similar occasion, but it was not bleak. It was a Father giving a fun gift to his child, a child who wishes he were more obedient than he is. Providence, please recall, is God’s revealing himself in miraculous timing and placing without breaking any natural laws, and ‘co-instants’ and ‘co-instance(s)’ are my replacement terms for ‘coincidence’, denoting ‘not a chance!’

In defense of my rationality, I was in the top one or two percent of all the classes that I took in the U.S. Navy (including electronics and nuclear propulsion, the latter including significant engineering elements of heat transfer and fluid dynamics, metallurgy, water chemistry, nuclear physics, reactor technology, steam, electrical and reactor plant control design and operation), I was a reactor operator on a nuclear submarine, I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in mathematics and I went to med school when I was 43. If I wanted to, I could join Mensa with no additional testing.

You wield the word “rationality” as if it were the flaming sword God placed at the east of Eden and you were the cherubim himself, protecting the purity of God’s Creation and the Tree of Life from those of us who have fallen short of the ultimate ideal of pure rationality. (It’s the very definition of the apophatic paradigm, though that’s perhaps a topic for a different thread.)

But the definition of rationality may be challenged as surely as all the words we speak – the words that, in your view, are reducible to mere stories when properly challenged by rationality. (I personally don’t believe stories are unimportant or untruthful, but again, that’s a topic for a different thread.)

So please enlighten me. Explain to me why your words and your beliefs about God and rationality should be considered purity and truth. Please define the word “rationality.” When doing so, please be sure to include valid explanations for all known and unknown phenomena in the universe.

Please explain why the mechanistic, Materialist theory of the universe should take precedence over all other theories, including assorted quantum theories.

Please list your credentials so we may better understand why you have a rightful claim of authority over other people’s relationships with God.

Please include proofs from God (not from your own human head, of course, because then you’d just be doing what you accuse others of doing) to justify God’s choice to give us free will and the power to love and forgive, but not (according to you) the right to exercise any of those gifts (since rationality and forgiveness/love are antithetical paradigms).

Please explain why you believe Jesus is the epitome of rationality rather than the epitome of love. I can see a logical argument for making a claim about Paul’s rationality, but I’m asking what proof you’re offering about the pre-Pauline Jesus.

Please explain, with irrefutable, scientific proofs, why your beliefs about “God as He is” and “how He actually operates” should not be challenged by anyone else and should be gratefully accepted by us based solely on your word.

In short, please explain, using only rational proofs (i.e. not words that can be reduced to mere stories), why you are right and everybody else is wrong.

Thank you for your time.

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Answering the title, it is kinda safe to believe in that manner as I suppose, as human lives are dominated and dependant on the metanarratives which an individual has no control on. Governments could be an example. They have a huge bearing on one’s life from groceries to travel. There are many such. So, if believing in this manner helps keep you afloat in the uncertainity of human life, I say why not. Cheers!

Why do you presume he could not, on occasion? Does your supreme rationality supersede his abilities? That sounds irrational to me!

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We’ve done this reel round the maypole before I feel Jennifer.

Rationality is equally used by the cataphatic. Nice rhetoric.

Stories are all we have, as Terry Pratchett capitalized on Walter Fisher, we’re Pan narrans, the story telling monkey.

So please do challenge my rationality. Rationally.

That can’t be done as you are not open to it. You’re not actually asking. If you were, you would have found. You’ve settled for something else. For perfectly normal existential, psychological but not rational reasons.

QM is materialist.

I have none whatsoever apart from the credential of rationality itself. Obtained through suffering for over 60 years.

I have no idea what free will is. Please show me. In your own life.

I don’t. I don’t know where you got that from. It’s in nothing I’ve said. What are you bringing to the party?

Why? I don’t believe that. As above.

Please explain where you got that idea from. See above. That’s your third straw man fallacy in a row.

After you.

Very good. I presume He does not as there is a simple rational explanation. I’m grateful for the provision of my sense of humour. If one deconstructs superstition and then reconstructs faith, that’s what one is left with. To paraphrase Holmes.

I leave the field to you.

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In other words, the mighty Klax’s unassailable rationality presumes to understand all of how God interacts with the natural world and can preclude miracles of any kind.

God interacts with the natural world by becoming natural once in a conscious species and establishing that point for a couple of ripples downstream. Then it’s over to us and the Holy Ghost. To fulfil the gospel. He’s waiting. No more party tricks. We’ll get tired of cognitive bias. Won’t we?

God still does party tricks – it’s called providence. It is sad for you that you don’t know.

You are outstanding in your field. By yourself.
 

You haven’t yet! You have plenty that is still in full use.

Thanks, Jennifer, for sharing the story of how you are coping with the grief of your son dying of leukemia.

I have shared on this Forum the story of my grandnephew, Jackie, who died in 1967 after a two year battle with leukemia. Like your son, his love and courage shone like a beacon to all who got to know him–family, friends, & the hospital staff who cared for him in his final days. It may seem strange, but true heroism–true saintliness– can be demonstrated in a very short lifespan.

Recently I had the opportunity to speak to Jackie’s surviving family. Some of them, including his Mom, were still dealing with a ‘scar’ to their Faith that Jackie’s death had left. I welcomed the chance to relate to them how, just witnessing a portion of his short life, changed my whole life forever–gave me the clarity to see my life’s purpose as joining in the research that has, over the years, greatly reduced the fatality of childhood leukemia. Your son’s short life might have had such a favorable effect on others that you may not be aware of. I’ll bet you are in for some pleasant surprises when you return to “your true home”.
God bless you,
Al Leo

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This is so very kind of you, Al. Thank you for your thoughts and for the example you’ve shared with others. Thank you, too, for joining in the leukemia research. Giving something back helps with the grief – a purpose you know well and have lived. Thank you.

God bless,
Jen

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I’m so sorry Jennifer. Even more so if I knew and had forgotten. My tears guarantee I won’t here ever again.

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@Vivi_O2, I am glad that your friend recovered from the virus. U want you to know that there is more than one way to be saved. One is temporary as others have said . To be saved from death is good, but it is temporary. I hope that your friend has been saved also from sin to eternal life which is permanent. That means that he has given his life to God so he can never lose it. If you don’t know this it would seem that you have not given it to Jesus. I hope that both you and him will get to know Jesus and give your lives to Him for save keeping.

But God is not about answering prayers to save people’s lives. God is about bringing people into God’s circle of Love. This does not mean that God does not56 love people unless they love .Jesus. God does love everyone very much, but God does not force anyone to love Jesus…

One would think that everyone would love God because God gives us all that we have and God the Father gives us the Son Jesus Christ to show us how to love, but people seem to have too many things to do rather the love Jesus.

In a real way Covid - 19 , like all events is a test to find out what we are made it as a test , not sent by God, but allowed by God to see if we really take life seriously and trust in God, or seek an alternate reality that suits our world view. Why aren’t some people willing to war a mask and practice social distancing to protect their own lives and the lives of others? Do unto others as… Are they too self important to to care about others.

God is not responsible for most of the deaths from Covid - 19, humans are. We could have stopped it cold, but we did not. How we act is on us and God will act accordingly. God is not mocked. What people sow is what they will reap. Wake up, America!

There was no monstrous compliance from Abraham.
There was total trust from Abraham.
And probably from Isaac too.
Abraham told his servants that he and the lad would go and sacrifice and that they would return!
He did not say, I will return, he clearly said we, plural, will return.
For Abraham knew that the God who created life can also raise the dead.
For Abraham knew that God had helped him, time after time and even blessed him when Abraham failed to even trust God.
While Abraham remembered that God had said, “It is through Isaac that your seed shall be numbered.”
So Abraham planned on killing and burning his son, regardless of the agony it cause to both, and then just waiting around for God to raise him from the dead!
But God had a better plan, that hurt Abraham less and hurt God more.
“For I will provide myself a sacrifice.”

As for why a sacrifice was necessary, you cannot see this unless you first see your own guilt before God.

Why did the brother of Johnny Cash die in a tragic accident while Johnny Cash lived on?

No one could understand this, while guilt over not being there for his brother plagued Cash for the rest of his life.

But which is better, to be here serving Christ or to be in Heaven?

Materialists who reject God believe that only here and now are important so of course they will never be able to understand that being with God might just be far better than staying here.

Ever hear this phrase that was made famous in a James Bond film, “Only the good die young?”

Those who are perfect hardly need to learn any more and the brother of Johnny Cash was apparently, from all accounts, pretty close to being perfect. But the rebel Johnny had a lot to learn and in the end, God used him too, despite his flaws as his older brother looked on from Heaven and cheered him on.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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