The Evangelical Universalist Forum

God does not create, commit, or allow evil!


#341

A tendency that most of us have, it appears, is to fall prey to the very easy but misleading ‘either-or’ fallacy. Wiki defines it like this:
“A false dilemma is a type of informal fallacy in which something is falsely claimed to be an “either/or” situation, when in fact there is at least one additional option.[1]
A false dilemma can arise intentionally, when a fallacy is used in an attempt to force a choice or outcome. The opposite of this fallacy is false compromise.
The false dilemma fallacy can also arise simply by accidental omission of additional options rather than by deliberate deception.”

I am always suspicious of an either-or situation; of course, some of those situations are warranted: “Either you told a lie or you did not”.

(1) “Either you believe the bible is the word of God or you don’t.”
If ‘believe the bible’ is a CODE for “believe every single word of the KJV of the protestant bible is infallible, to be taken literally regardless of obvious literary technique (genre, symbolism, metaphor etc.)” , then the question would be more accurately put:

(2)“Either you believe every single word of the KJV of the protestant bible is infallible, to be taken literally regardless of obvious literary technique (genre, symbolism, metaphor etc. or you don’t” - THEN it ceases to be fallacious.

(3) “You are either a Unitarian or you are not” - I think we all see through that fallacious question, no?

(4) “Either you believe the bible or not” - can be CODE for “that Adam and Eve were literally the first two human beings, there was a literal snake in the Garden, that spoke words” then the question really is:
(5) “Either you believe that Adam and Eve were literally the first two human beings, there was a literal snake in the Garden, that spoke words, or you don’t” - that’s a a well-put question, I think.

We have MANY ‘code-words’ that IMPLY much more than they state: Inspiration, Inerrancy, Reliability, Word of God, Divinity, True Man - there’s a long list, and using those code words in an either-or situation is just not fair, and not logically ‘honest’. In other words, if there is an hidden agenda behind the question, then asking someone to answer the question in an either-or manner using code words is, at minimum, not conducive to real communication or to a sincere quest for the truth.

My $.02


#342

I am always suspicious of an either-or situation; of course, some of those situations are warranted: “Either you told a lie or you did not”.

I don’t know if you are including my comments about Jesus referencing 40 legions of Angels and he also said “we will be like the Angels in Heaven” talking about marriage in the afterlife.
Sometimes “either or” is a false dichotomy but IMHO in this case if Jesus is wrong about Angels , i don’t see how he could be trusted about much else.

If i missed something i’m open to correction however.


#343

I was not referring to you at all Steve, I always appreciate your comments. My post was based on observations over the years of all sorts of arguments based on fallacious ‘either-or’ arguments.

I was not referring to anyone in particular. It was a general observation.
I"m sorry if you thought I was aiming at you. :smiley:


#344

I was not referring to you at all Steve, I always appreciate your comments. My post was based on observations over the years of all sorts of arguments based on fallacious ‘either-or’ arguments.

No problem but a profound question just flew into my mind, do you like your fish fallacious or whole??


#345

Filet-ious. You are on a roll today. :lol

But it is hard to tune a fish…


#346

Dave, my bad. Forgive me. Yes, the “slippery slope” argument does make generalizations, and you and qaz are definitely exceptional people who I would not try to force into any box.

I used to work in an office that helped clients design valid and reliable surveys, and then we processed and analyzed the completed surveys, and reported the results and discussed conclusions.

There are techniques to help hone and amp up the discriminating power of each question of a questionnaire, and statistical tests to analyze the results, and draw valid conclusions. Sometimes there is predictive power in people’s answers to some questions, from which one can reliably infer or predict their answers to other unasked questions.

-So, for example, if a person favors legalized abortion, they are more likely to also support legalized euthanasia. These positions are highly correlated.

-Being in favor of easy drugs/ being in favor of easy gambling.

-Involvement in drugs and gambling/ higher rate of addiction / higher rate of incarceration.

Slippery slopes. One thing predictive of another.

But as to not trying to convince each other, well. We are to *“earnestly contend.” * We are to try to *“win people over.” * To "turn people back who stray.” So, of course I’m trying to convince people to come over to my viewpoints. I may not be right about the things I choose to argue, but I honestly think I am, and that they are important. Obviously I am no Paul, but I want to be like him (and even more, to manifest Jesus himself in 2018):

-All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16.
*
-…With gentleness correcting those who are in opposition…2 Timothy 2:25.
*
-As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures…
.Acts 17:2.

Much of the Bible is corrective. Jeremiah, Isaiah, and so forth - they are correcting, and Paul is correcting, and he is weeping and warning night and day for three years!

Blessings.


#347

Hermano - honor where honor is due: you’ve always been upfront and encouraging and I am appreciative of that. Even if we don’t convince one another, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”, right? Let’s stay sharp! :smiley:


#348

Yeah, Jesus certainly seemed to affirm angels’ existence, but I still find them (and demons) totally implausible. You really believe that outside of our universe there has existed these metaphysical beings? When do you think they were created? When was their universe created? Why don’t they intervene in our world any more now that we have video cameras? What have they been doing when they haven’t been in our universe (which, of course, is most of the time)? I’m sorry, but I can’t force myself to believe in something that goes against my intuition. The stuff in the Bible about angels and demons is part of my crisis of faith.


#349

Why don’t they intervene in our world any more now that we have video cameras?

I don’t suppose you would believe me but i did have an encounter with one in a Post Office parking lot. Re your other questions we are not told that info so any answers would just be speculation. I don’t really understand why it would be harder for God to create Angels then Universes or stars or planets or humans or insects?


#350

Why don’t angels intervene now? Well how do you know they haven’t? There are countless encounters of miracles where strangers happen to show up at the right moment to save someone’s life and then disappear. Also it says we can be entertaining angels and not even know it:

Hebrews 13:2-Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it.


#351

No Steve, I don’t believe you.

When I think about our universe running its course for 14 billion years, I find it extremely hard to believe that while stars and planets have been forming and life has been evolving, there have been persons in an alternate level of reality just waiting for human life to evolve so that they could on rare occasion intervene.

You say my questions are speculative. That’s true. But if the possible answers aren’t reasonable, then that’s a good indicator that the narrative needs to be rethought.


#352

I like it. Especially the KJV bible stuff :unamused: These are things we all have to deal with… And thus why we come to forums like this to beat each other up :laughing: :laughing:

If we can really accept other views, even if we don’t embrace them, we will go a long, long way to helping humans understand each other.

Good post :laughing:


#353

qaz said:

Hmm, can you elaborate on why? I am interested.

So you do not think that angles or demons are active today? In other word is it possible that believing that the second coming was fulfilled and Satan and all the cohorts (demons) were thrown into a fiery lake :laughing: and we are now living in a time of grace where angels do not tread?


#354

MM, two posts above yours I explained why I find angels implausible:

My answer may not satisfy you, but there it is. Call it intuition. I can’t buy into angels or demons.


#355

I’ll say I think God is still working. I think he uses Angels and I think because of my understanding of history, Christ came back to judge Israel. After that, I think God is continuing to work and influence people here on his creation. :open_mouth:


#356

No Steve, I don’t believe you.

When I think about our universe running its course for 14 billion years, I find it extremely hard to believe that while stars and planets have been forming and life has been evolving, there have been persons in an alternate level of reality just waiting for human life to evolve so that they could on rare occasion intervene

If i understood you correctly i think it had to do with Angels being metaphysical but isn’t God too? Didn’t John call God “Spirit” plus the “Holy Spirit” is metaphysical too? Why would you believe in one and not the other?


#357

Steve, because God is the ground of all reality. The idea of a sentient ground of reality is plausible to me. Metaphysical creatures who have existed outside the universe and sometimes teleport into the universe to intervene is not.


#358

Metaphysical creatures who have existed outside the universe and sometimes teleport into the universe to intervene is not.

Of course you’re entitled to your belief but it seems to me if God decided He wanted to create metaphysical creatures that existed outside the universe and sometimes travel into the universe to intervene then God would have created these beings called “Angels.” Jesus certainly referred to Angels as did Daniel and Moses and Paul and others.


#359

I’m not saying angels are impossible, just that I find them implausible. It’s like if someone told me that when people aren’t around toys come to life like in the movie “Toy Story”, I wouldn’t buy it. It simply goes against my intuition.


#360

That is interesting qaz. To believe in God and to think He would not have agents working on his behalf is quite remarkable.

I totally believe in God’s not only ability to work within our 2018 world but to work in ways that we can never even fathom.

How can I say this delicately, Enjoy the understanding of who God is and what Jesus did for
us and humanity. Go on… Enjoy :laughing: