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Post By
nadeem

In Reply To
seeker

Subj: Re: Some questions I'm looking for opinions on. Theology related
Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 at 11:11:10 am EST (Viewed 2 times)
Reply Subj: Some questions I'm looking for opinions on. Theology related
Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 at 10:43:53 pm EST (Viewed 2 times)

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This is just something I’ve been wondering different people’s opinions on for awhile. It is not intended to offend anyone or their religious beliefs nor is this being used for anything besides my own personal curiosity.

One justification for human dominion of the planet is that humans are a superior species or of a higher order of species than others. This gives humans dominion over the planet and depending on who you ask either the right to do with it and the animals, such as killing them for food or sport, on it whatever we want to other people who claim it gives us a greater responsibility to the planet. Support for this is found in the justification of different religions to humans being more intelligent in at least some sense and being higher up on the food chain. While this is an arguable point let us assume for a moment that humans are of a higher order than other animals.

This leads us into the theology part. Most modern definitions of the monotheistic god differ on wording and details, but usually describe G-d as:

“an anthropomorphic being of both creation and destruction who is aside from the highest being, the most powerful, all-knowing, and benevolent, and perfect.”

Then there is the idea of gods. Here the definition is less concrete and varies from a humanlike figure with great power such as control over nature to a being that is the personification of a concept or object with great power. The one thing nearly all descriptions of G-d or gods include is they are often considered to be beings of a higher order above humans.

With all of that in mind and assuming for a moment that gods are of a higher order above humans AND that G-d or gods are real what are your opinions/answers to the following questions:

Remember, for the sake of discussion assume that the being in the question is real, is a higher order of being, and what the claim is.

1.    Inspired by Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, is the greatest thing a human can achieve in life to die at the hands of G-d since doing so would serve a higher power and at the same time dispel any questions about the existence of such beings? What if it was dying at the hands of a polytheistic god such as Apollo?

2.    Since G-d created this world and everything in it, knows everything, and is perfect does G-d therefore have the right to do whatever He wants with this world? If G-d decided it was best for a world for a person to die without explaining why, even an infant or virtuous person would it be alright for G-d to kill that person? What about an entire people or nation if it was in the name of justice?

3.    Gods plural were rarely thought of as all-powerful, all-knowing or even all good, but they are still thought of as a higher order of being and sometimes the embodiment of whatever they represented. In ancient Greece Zeus was thought of as the dispenser of justice and knowing pretty much everything or at least most things were his will, if acting in this capacity of justice does Zeus have the right to kill a person even if to human eyes the man is an upstanding member of the community? What about sending a plague to strike an entire town to get at one murderer and letting the community figure out who the murderer is?

4.    What about a lesser god such as Ares, ancient Greek god of savage warfare or Tyr, Norse god of honorable warfare? Does he have the right to strike down a mortal who has offended him? What about an entire community? Would it depend on the god? (Ex. A more benevolent on such as Baldur or Athena)

5.    If G-d wanted you to die and told you it is for the good of Earth, but would not explain why would you do it?

6.    What if polytheistic god wanted you to die without explaining why and claimed it was for the good of Earth? Would you go ahead and die? What if they explained it to you? Would it depend on the god? (Ex. A more benevolent on such as Baldur or Athena)

7.    Should G-d be held to the same standards as humans? Or due to being beyond human are He/they beyond human concepts of good and evil or at least human judgment and morality?

8.    The same above except this time for gods instead of G-d.



Thank you for taking the time to respond to this.

Nice thread! I am muslim so will answer from that point of view.

>
> 1. is the greatest thing a human can achieve in life to die at the hands of G-d since doing so would serve a higher power and at the same time dispel any questions about the existence of such beings? What if it was dying at the hands of a polytheistic god such as Apollo?

Die at the hands of God? You mean, die because that is what God has decreed as fate, or die as in personally killed? I wouldn;t call that the highest achievement - everyone has to die! Highest achievement would be sacrificing all you have in God's service, which could include dying, or living with nothing. Dying at apollo;s hand, nah that would not seem cool.



> 2.    Since G-d created this world and everything in it, knows everything, and is perfect does G-d therefore have the right to do whatever He wants with this world?
>

In Islam we believe that He has 99 names, including things like The Most Merciful, The Most Just. Human ideas of mercy and justice are only pale imitations of the true aspects. While God could in theory be unjust, in Revelation He claims He never is, and in the end treats all beings with what they deserve. Since his knowledge and power surpasses ours, we can't really test that and have no choice but to trust Him.


> 3.    Gods plural were rarely thought of as all-powerful, all-knowing or even all good,
>
They were also subject to fate and certain laws, esp in Norse myths, there are plenty of examples where viking gods suffered because they too had rules they had to obey. I can't remember if this was as prevalent in greek myths, but there were the Fates in them too, I just don't remember the greek gods suffering for breaking rules.



> 4.    What about a lesser god such as Ares, ancient Greek god of savage warfare or Tyr, Norse god of honorable warfare? Does he have the right to strike down a mortal who has offended him? What about an entire community? Would it depend on the god? (Ex. A more benevolent on such as Baldur or Athena)
>

I would say no, because these gods never impressed me much, being so petty. Unfortunately they had the power to curse mortals and control our afterlife so if I disobeyed them or tried to tell them they were being evil, I;d get sent to Hades \:\(


> 5.    If G-d wanted you to die and told you it is for the good of Earth, but would not explain why would you do it?
>
Yes, assuming I could prove it was God and not schizophrenia \:\) God gave me life, He can take it as He pleases. Abraham and his son (peace be upon them) certainly thought so.


> 6.    What if polytheistic god wanted you to die without explaining why and claimed it was for the good of Earth? Would you go ahead and die? What if they explained it to you? Would it depend on the god? (Ex. A more benevolent on such as Baldur or Athena)
>

Again, I would have more problems with this as they were quite fallible.




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