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6/19/2017 6:34 pm  #21


Re: Role of prayer in Christian thought

nojoum wrote:

The reason for mentioning the dictators: The mere fact that you have power does not earn you any respect. Absolute NO respect. I respect and honor God not because he is almighty but because he has a loving nature and he is just.

 

I think we are on the same page here but saying that just because God has no obligation to answer my prayer He is like a dictator is stretching it to far.

nojoum wrote:

The reason that I did not accept your original post is that you failed to mention that God is kind enough to answer your prayers but it would be better for you if he ties everyone's prayers to each other. 

Yes it would be better for sure and I agree.

nojoum wrote:

Let's say God has no obligation to answer our prayers. Why should he then care if we are a community or an individual? In any case he can ignore us and there is no moral consequence for him. I actually now a have good reason to avoid church because either case God is not obliged to answer our prayers.

He cares because being in a community is a higher good for an individual and God's Love is your highest good.

nojoum wrote:

But that's not how I think.
If God wants to claim that he is perfect in terms of loving, then he has to answer our prayers in a perfect manner (it does not mean that he has to provide exactly what we ask but provide what we exactly need) (this is just a logical reasoning).

I think you are mistaken here, God does not "want" to claim that He is perfect in loving. He does not want or need anything. He does however shows His Love to the world through the sacrificial death of His son Jesus Christ.

nojoum wrote:

For how can you claim that your loving nature is perfect and yet do not perfectly address the needs of human beings. God has the choice not to answer, but once he makes that choice he loses his title as the perfect being (at least in terms of Love). So since everyone agrees that God is perfect, then from his perfectness we know assuredly that he will answer our prayers.

Note: But I am putting the bar of perfectness too low. Because if God provided us what we need even before we ask him, it would mean that his love is more perfect and indeed to me he does that. He does not wait for me to pray to him.

God does not need for your or me to give Him the title as a perfect being. He would have been Perfect even if no other being ever existed because of who He is.

 

6/19/2017 6:41 pm  #22


Re: Role of prayer in Christian thought

I think we need to have a chat on Discord. It would be way easier!

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6/25/2017 8:30 am  #23


Re: Role of prayer in Christian thought

I have sent you a PM Jason.

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6/27/2017 1:37 pm  #24


Re: Role of prayer in Christian thought

Jason wrote:

I think we are on the same page here but saying that just because God has no obligation to answer my prayer He is like a dictator is stretching it to far.

 
 
Of course, I did not mean that; I used exaggeration to get my point across.


Jason wrote:

He cares because being in a community is a higher good for an individual and God's Love is your highest good.

Sorry my choice of words was not clear. I meant that he would not be still obliged to answer the prayers. But then are you suggesting that God is obliged to bring forth the highest good which would can happen in a community? And If God is indeed obliged to do so, could you please provide the reasons as well?
 
Or if he is not fully obliged but more obliged compared to the individual, again can you give me the reason? Because then probably we can argue that if the more something is good, the more God is obliged to it, then probably there is a certain good that God is fully obliged to it.
 
 Besides, this would also bring another issue, how big the community should be? At least we can see the bigger the better. So, does this mean God does not even answer the entire catholic church since they don’t encompass the entire human beings? They do not even contain all the Christians.

Jason wrote:

I think you are mistaken here, God does not "want" to claim that He is perfect in loving. He does not want or need anything. He does however shows His Love to the world through the sacrificial death of His son Jesus Christ.
God does not need for your or me to give Him the title as a perfect being. He would have been Perfect even if no other being ever existed because of who He is

Sorry again for my poor choice of words. If God is to qualify as the perfect, he is forced to act in a certain way (this is a logical necessity which God cannot avoide); one which is to provide the needs of the human beings in the perfect way. So if that means that he has to answer my every prayer, he has to answer it if he wants to qualify as a perfect being. If that means to answer the prayers of the community, he must answer their prayers and so on. So in the same way, if sacrifice of Jesus was the best possible good, he had to do it.

Last edited by nojoum (6/29/2017 5:10 pm)

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6/30/2017 5:51 pm  #25


Re: Role of prayer in Christian thought

I have been really busy the last couple of days so that is why I could not respond earlier but here goes.

nojoum wrote:

Jason wrote:

He cares because being in a community is a higher good for an individual and God's Love is your highest good.

Sorry my choice of words was not clear. I meant that he would not be still obliged to answer the prayers. But then are you suggesting that God is obliged to bring forth the highest good which would can happen in a community? And If God is indeed obliged to do so, could you please provide the reasons as well?

No please read again I said God is not obliged to answer our prayer and He does not need to bring forth the highest good, since He is our Highest Good. He can choose to answer our prayers but not obliged in anyway. 

nojoum wrote:

Or if he is not fully obliged but more obliged compared to the individual, again can you give me the reason? Because then probably we can argue that if the more something is good, the more God is obliged to it, then probably there is a certain good that God is fully obliged to it.

 
Not sure what you are getting at here but the simple point is this that God is our Highest God and so we are to seek Him NOT for Him to provide it to us.

nojoum wrote:

 Besides, this would also bring another issue, how big the community should be? At least we can see the bigger the better. So, does this mean God does not even answer the entire catholic church since they don’t encompass the entire human beings? They do not even contain all the Christians.

I think I already answered how big the community should be by quoting Jesus "where two or three are gathered in my name there will I be also".

nojoum wrote:

Jason wrote:

I think you are mistaken here, God does not "want" to claim that He is perfect in loving. He does not want or need anything. He does however shows His Love to the world through the sacrificial death of His son Jesus Christ.
God does not need for your or me to give Him the title as a perfect being. He would have been Perfect even if no other being ever existed because of who He is

Sorry again for my poor choice of words. If God is to qualify as the perfect, he is forced to act in a certain way (this is a logical necessity which God cannot avoide); one which is to provide the needs of the human beings in the perfect way.

That is incorrect, God's Perfection has nothing to do with providing human beings in the perfect way since God would still be Perfect even if there were no beings. There is no logical necessity for God's Perfection to be "Perfect" that is tied to human beings in anyway. If it was the case then we are merely reducing God Perfection to be dependant on fulfilling something for humans and hence would in principle not be the Highest Perfection that we attribute to God. That is like reducing the cause to its effect.

nojoum wrote:

So if that means that he has to answer my every prayer, he has to answer it if he wants to qualify as a perfect being. If that means to answer the prayers of the community, he must answer their prayers and so on. So in the same way, if sacrifice of Jesus was the best possible good, he had to do it.

God will only answer prayers even of most pious person(s) if it is God's Will to do so nothing more and nothing less. 
 

 

7/01/2017 5:19 am  #26


Re: Role of prayer in Christian thought

I think the quote from Jesus actually goes against what we have been discussing but I leave it be for the time being.

Your arguments are missing the essence of my arguments. I'm not saying that God needs to create us so that he may be perfect; Rather considering that we exist, one criterion for qualifying having perfect love is that human beings must be treated perfectly!

Last edited by nojoum (7/01/2017 5:33 am)

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7/01/2017 10:31 am  #27


Re: Role of prayer in Christian thought

nojoum wrote:

I think the quote from Jesus actually goes against what we have been discussing but I leave it be for the time being.

Your arguments are missing the essence of my arguments. I'm not saying that God needs to create us so that he may be perfect; Rather considering that we exist, one criterion for qualifying having perfect love is that human beings must be treated perfectly!

I am also not saying that God created us so that He may be perfect but rather that God is Perfect even if He did not create any human being because of who He is (i.e. by His Nature). There is no dependency of God's Perfection on anything other than Himself, if it was He would not be God.

Intrinsically woven into love is free will, without it there is no love let alone perfect love. If God is to have Perfect Love then treating human beings perfectly will go nowhere without God giving humans free will to choose it. God did provide a perfect environment for humans before the fall and He does so in Heaven but we need to choose it freely.

 

7/03/2017 4:02 am  #28


Re: Role of prayer in Christian thought

Jason wrote:

I am also not saying that God created us so that He may be perfect but rather that God is Perfect even if He did not create any human being because of who He is (i.e. by His Nature). There is no dependency of God's Perfection on anything other than Himself, if it was He would not be God.

Intrinsically woven into love is free will, without it there is no love let alone perfect love. If God is to have Perfect Love then treating human beings perfectly will go nowhere without God giving humans free will to choose it. God did provide a perfect environment for humans before the fall and He does so in Heaven but we need to choose it freely.

I'm sorry I had a very bad day and I was angry so could not control my feelings.
You are right in saying that God's perfectness is independent of us human beings. But it does not mean that God can treat human beings unfairly and still qualify as being just. Regarding prayers, you can argue in very simple way why God would not answer every prayer. You can say God has always the intention to provide perfectly for every single human being (since he is perfectly loving) but when it comes to practice, he also has to consider how answering this prayer fits within his grand scheme (or any other reason, e.g. God Is just so he cannot grant the prayers of  sinners but still even in this case a loving God should be sad about the mere fact that some people lost their status and can no longer receive any answer for their prayers ) and that is why your prayers are not answered at all times . But still realize I am saying that since we assume God to be perfect, we also expect him to act perfectly which at least should translate to having the intention to provide perfectly for human beings. Anyway you would have to reason why God's behavior towards human beings have no implication on his perfectness. At least, on the appearance it seems that if a person mistreats you all the time,regardless of the circumstances, then he is a not perfect person. So how is it that reasoning does not apply to God? If I tell you that a particular person has a loving nature, you rationally expect him to behave in a certain way? In what ways, these kind of reasoning dont apply to God?
If you try to say that indeed there is no implication from being perfect on behavior, we run into problems. Let's take a hypothetical scenario, one can say God is perfect and therefore his command to kill every other human being who does not believe in a certain religion is justified regardless of any circumstances and motivations. Basically once you separate these two, God can command to anything and it would bear nothing on his perfectness. But the example that I gave you is the beginning of the problems. This will change religion into blindly following commandents for there is not content to religious commandemts other than God's shear will which is not necessarily rooted in good and justice. Moreover, How do you manage to compare Gods of different religion when God's perfectness has no bearing on his actions. In this way, Gods of all religions stand equal in terms of morality. and so the list of problems continues....

You might want to ask how is this then possible that God's perfectness is independent of us human beings. I would understand in the way that God has the intention and inclination to perfectness. So in terms of Love, there is no need for human beings exist so that we can say God is loving. The mere intention and having the ability to act according to your intention is enough. Although I'm not sure but I think thomists would be against such notion because they believe God is pure actuality and intentions are potentiality so there should be a object of Loving which in our case is Jesus Christ before descending into world. I actually think that it is one of their reason for justifying trinity.

Your point on human's free will and choosing God freely seems to me to be unrelated to the point of discussion.

Last edited by nojoum (7/03/2017 4:38 am)

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7/04/2017 11:59 am  #29


Re: Role of prayer in Christian thought

nojoum wrote:

Jason wrote:

I am also not saying that God created us so that He may be perfect but rather that God is Perfect even if He did not create any human being because of who He is (i.e. by His Nature). There is no dependency of God's Perfection on anything other than Himself, if it was He would not be God.

Intrinsically woven into love is free will, without it there is no love let alone perfect love. If God is to have Perfect Love then treating human beings perfectly will go nowhere without God giving humans free will to choose it. God did provide a perfect environment for humans before the fall and He does so in Heaven but we need to choose it freely.

I'm sorry I had a very bad day and I was angry so could not control my feelings.

Hey no worries, we all have bad days. No harm done.

There is a lot you have mentioned in this so hopefully I can cover all the topics.

nojoum wrote:

You are right in saying that God's perfectness is independent of us human beings. But it does not mean that God can treat human beings unfairly and still qualify as being just. Regarding prayers, you can argue in very simple way why God would not answer every prayer. You can say God has always the intention to provide perfectly for every single human being (since he is perfectly loving) but when it comes to practice, he also has to consider how answering this prayer fits within his grand scheme (or any other reason, e.g. God Is just so he cannot grant the prayers of  sinners but still even in this case a loving God should be sad about the mere fact that some people lost their status and can no longer receive any answer for their prayers ) and that is why your prayers are not answered at all times .

I agree with you here which is why Christians pray that Thy Will be done not my will be done. Although bringing in God's Justice adds another layer to this talk which I am afraid I do not want to get into in this topic.

nojoum wrote:

But still realize I am saying that since we assume God to be perfect, we also expect him to act perfectly which at least should translate to having the intention to provide perfectly for human beings. Anyway you would have to reason why God's behavior towards human beings have no implication on his perfectness.

Again like you mentioned above in your example we can think of many reasons why God would not answer your prayer and none of them would have any implications on His Perfection. God acts perfectly all of the time and I think it is just our own expectations of what acting perfectly really means is what you are projecting on God.

nojoum wrote:

At least, on the appearance it seems that if a person mistreats you all the time,regardless of the circumstances, then he is a not perfect person. So how is it that reasoning does not apply to God? If I tell you that a particular person has a loving nature, you rationally expect him to behave in a certain way? In what ways, these kind of reasoning dont apply to God?

Simply because God is not person. So you cannot project what you expect from a person onto God. He is ontologically much bigger than that. All perfection that you see in this world or in relationships are a mere shadow to God's Perfection. If God is in His infinite Wisdom seems to lay misfortune upon anyone there is a reason for that. Something you and I cannot see but He does. Maybe God is building that persons character (I can personally attest to that in my life, and would not change that for a second).

I will get to the other points soon.

 

7/04/2017 1:00 pm  #30


Re: Role of prayer in Christian thought

God being just is only one example so you could replace justice with any other attribute of God and have the same argument.

And actually there is no need for you to answer to other point (maybe except the last one), the point is God can reject your prayers if your prayer is in conflict with his other attributes or with grand scheme which is better than what you are wishing for. The bottom line, God is obliged to provide you with highest good possible which fits into his grand scheme and is not at odds with his attributes.

Last edited by nojoum (7/04/2017 1:05 pm)

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