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God is love. God is just. God is merciful.
#1
God is love. God is just. God is merciful.
These are claims that the bible and quran make, right? But the ations of this god don't seem to line up with most modern audience's opinion of those words. If he was just a person, and did the kind of things to other people that he does in the bible, he'd be called evil. I have been told that he's not a person, yet if we can't compare him to anything, how do we tell he is good?

How do religious people define love, justice, and mercy. Given the actions of this god, how do you tell if he really is these things? For every verse about loving your neighbor as yourself, there's a verse about hating yourself and everyone you would normally care about. Turn the other cheek, yet take up a sword? Don't kill, but execute anyone who doesn't worship Yahweh? Punish the Egyptians for enslaving the Jews, but allow the Jews to enslave everyone else?

I'd like to know how you define the virtues this deity claims to have, and why you think he actually has them.
Poe's Law: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."

10 Christ-like figures that predate Jesus. Link shortened to Chris ate Jesus for some reason...
http://listverse.com/2009/04/13/10-chris...ate-jesus/

Good video to watch, if you want to know how common the Jesus story really is.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50

A list of biblical contradictions from the infallible word of Yahweh.
http://infidels.org/library/modern/jim_m...tions.html

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#2
RE: God is love. God is just. God is merciful.
Maybe the question should be to whom God is loving, merciful and just?
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#3
RE: God is love. God is just. God is merciful.
(October 3, 2014 at 8:48 pm)Drich Wrote: Maybe the question should be to whom God is loving, merciful and just?

I don't think that changes much. You would still need to define the terms, and make a case that he loves anyone but himself, and that he's merciful and just.
Poe's Law: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."

10 Christ-like figures that predate Jesus. Link shortened to Chris ate Jesus for some reason...
http://listverse.com/2009/04/13/10-chris...ate-jesus/

Good video to watch, if you want to know how common the Jesus story really is.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50

A list of biblical contradictions from the infallible word of Yahweh.
http://infidels.org/library/modern/jim_m...tions.html

Reply
#4
RE: God is love. God is just. God is merciful.
Chad

I think when we talk about love, justice and mercy, then those words should have a consistency when we use them, whether we are talking about God or a person. So I would say the love of God reflects God's desire for goodness for us, God's justice reflects fair judgement of our actions, and God's mercy allows for justice to be tempered in response to genuine contrition by the guilty. For the Christian, we see and experience these attributes most clearly through walking in faith in the person and teachings of Jesus Christ, the clearest 'avatar' of God.
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#5
RE: God is love. God is just. God is merciful.
I've always failed to understand how theists can support the claim that God is both merciful and just. Aren't these two terms mutually exclusive?

By way of analogy, suppose I rob a bank. The judge sentences me to five years - this is what the law calls for and is, in the only sense that makes sense, justice. Alternatively, the judge imposes a lesser sentence - eighteen months, community service, binding over or some such. The law makes no provision for these lesser sentences, but judges (here, at least) have wide latitude in what they can impose. In this case, the judge has been merciful but not just.

It is the same way with God. If he wishes to be just, he can't forgive sins. If he wishes to be merciful, he would pardon all sinners for everything.

Which'll it be?

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#6
RE: God is love. God is just. God is merciful.
Boru. The way I see it is that mercy must always start from a position of justice. Without justice, mercy means nothing. So mercy is a layer on top of justice, or as Shakespeare so poetically put it, 'mercy seasons justice'. Justice starts with an eye for an eye, a life for a life. Mercy then seasons that justice and gives a new opportunity, especially to those who genuinely want to live a new life. I think we can see that layering of mercy on top of justice in our penal justice systems, certainly here in the UK.

Here is Shakespeare' beautiful soliloquy from Portia, appealing to Shylock to show mercy to Antonio for a debt he has secured with his life (a pound of flesh, to be cut form close to the heart). Shakespeare says it so much better than me...

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.
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#7
RE: God is love. God is just. God is merciful.
Once you stop thinking of god as an eternal being and see him from the perspective of a few people in a specific point in time and situation, those virtues make a little more sense. Justice, mercy, good, evil don't really exist in nature, rather these are all human perceptions which change with time and society.

Let's say you get mugged and the perpetrator gets a few years in prison. Now you being the victim, this can seem to be the perfect justice. But let's say that mugger has a 4yr old child, from that childs perspective, some people just took away his mom/dad and thus it would feel like injustice to him. From a bystanders perspective, it would be justice towards you, and injustice towards the child.

Similarly to people who have been oppressed and tortured, any form of pain towards the oppressor will feel moral and just. In times of peace, that same thing will feel immoral and unjust.
Quote:To know yet to think that one does not know is best; Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.
- Lau Tzu

Join me on atheistforums Slack Cool Shades (pester tibs via pm if you need invite) Tongue

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#8
RE: God is love. God is just. God is merciful.
Quote:The way I see it is that mercy must always start from a position of justice.

And the way I see it, justice negates mercy. One cannot be both merciful and just.

Quote:Without justice, mercy means nothing.

To that extent, I agree.

Quote:So mercy is a layer on top of justice, or as Shakespeare so poetically put it, 'mercy seasons justice'.

I suppose that's another thing we can add to the list of what Shakespeare got wrong.

Quote:Justice starts with an eye for an eye, a life for a life.

lol, who says so? That isn't justice, that's savage brutality.

Quote:Mercy then seasons that justice and gives a new opportunity, especially to those who genuinely want to live a new life.

Moving from savagery to justice is hardly the same thing as tempering justice with mercy (at which point - I repeat - it is no longer justice). Don't get me wrong: I'll take mercy over justice any day, but I think the notion that an admixture of these two is impossible.

Quote:I think we can see that layering of mercy on top of justice in our penal justice systems, certainly here in the UK.

As someone who has been treated pretty shabbily by the UK penal 'justice' system, I respectfully disagree. What happened to me (and has happened to people I know personally) was neither merciful nor just.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#9
RE: God is love. God is just. God is merciful.
(October 4, 2014 at 5:27 am)Michael B Wrote: So I would say the love of God reflects God's desire for goodness for us, God's justice reflects fair judgement of our actions, and God's mercy allows for justice to be tempered in response to genuine contrition by the guilty.

God didn't want humans to know about good and evil, according to Genesis; he forbade them to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. So how can he have desired goodness for us? He did not want us to know what good even is.

God's fair judgement includes holding us guilty for our flawed human nature (that he himself created) giving into temptation to Satan (whom he himself created) and doing evil (which he himself created). How is it justice, unless he punishes himself for his own actions in that chain of events -- or is subject to a higher moral authority than himself?

As for mercy, Hell puts paid to that notion.

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#10
RE: God is love. God is just. God is merciful.
(October 4, 2014 at 5:27 am)Michael B Wrote: Chad

I think when we talk about love, justice and mercy, then those words should have a consistency when we use them, whether we are talking about God or a person. So I would say the love of God reflects God's desire for goodness for us, God's justice reflects fair judgement of our actions, and God's mercy allows for justice to be tempered in response to genuine contrition by the guilty. For the Christian, we see and experience these attributes most clearly through walking in faith in the person and teachings of Jesus Christ, the clearest 'avatar' of God.

He desires a goodness within us, but his definition of good is perfection. He allows us no means of obtaining perfection by ourselves. One of the clearest signs of love, according to most people's definiton of love, is to put the other person before yourself. Yahweh never does that, though. In fact he demands the opposite.

Saying that all actions carry the same weight and punishment is not just. A petty thief will be punished in exactly the same manner as a mass murder, and for the same amount of time. That is not justice by any stretch of the word. People would be livid if some judge sentences a guy to death for stealing a candy bar.

As for mercy, it falls rather flat when the whole reason someone is expected to beg for mercy against disproportionate retribution. Eternity in a lake of fire for finite crimes, as far as mainstream christianity is concerned.
Poe's Law: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."

10 Christ-like figures that predate Jesus. Link shortened to Chris ate Jesus for some reason...
http://listverse.com/2009/04/13/10-chris...ate-jesus/

Good video to watch, if you want to know how common the Jesus story really is.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50

A list of biblical contradictions from the infallible word of Yahweh.
http://infidels.org/library/modern/jim_m...tions.html

Reply



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