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MOM4Evr
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Post by MOM4Evr »

Eros wrote:i thought creators were supposed to be unbiased and equally love all of its creations. guess not.
I don't quite follow. Could you elaborate?
Eros wrote:as you can see from this 2-second chart i made, it shows why most people are 'motivated to believe'. this is the kind of fence-sitting logic that religion is supposed to be the opposite of! who is being fooled? if the entity being followed is omnipotent, such treachery would be detected in an instant!
Actually, I don't personally believe in God simply because of Pascal's Wager, although that is a very good point.

Re: age of the universe as it applies to distant starlight:
Thing is, in a lot of science, there's no one way to look at things that's obviously correct. All evidence will point any way you personally want it to point. See here for a discussion of distant starlight and the problems it poses for Creation and Evolution: http://www.answersingenesis.org/article ... ight-prove

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Eros wrote:i thought creators were supposed to be unbiased and equally love all of its creations. guess not.
Not so. At least, I definitely like some of my drawings, writings, Doom maps and Keen mods more than others. :P
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Post by Levellass »

LL has chimed in at least to me, she has some lovely pamphlets explaining how the bible says the universe is billions of years old and that creative acts spread over several days which were not literal 24 hour days. They're also available worldwide, just go ask a Jehovah's Witness for the tract 'Was life created?'

I mention this to avoid another lecture. Do it or I will give her your addresses.

i thought creators were supposed to be unbiased and equally love all of its creations. guess not.
God is love.Therefor he must love everything the same and no judge anyone and in general have no standards at all, since making something 'wrong' is not loving it. This ignores 'love the sinner hate the sin' and the fact that God is a complete being that can in fact get pished off.

It just seems like everywhere we turn, you try to make things sound like God is a bad person and I don't think I will be able to convince you in my own human understanding otherwise.
Man, I get this a lot with people, it's really weird. It's like they're running on a logic totally incompatible with mine. I think I realized this when I met someone who blamed God for all the evil basically saying 'If God were truly good he'd make us unable to be bad, even if that meant no free will.' The bible says there are three reasons for bad stuff, dumb luck (What are the chances? Lightening hit you.), stupidity (Let us build this city on the flood plain and dam the river so it can't flow!) and the devil\inherent imperfection in the world (Satan is apparently the spirit of the air, one misleading the entire inhabited earth.)

I can see arguing for/against God on rational grounds but so often you meet people who aren't willing to consider anything but the image of God they already have. I can vaguely understand this in fundamentalists who must by their own logic believe their holy writ or interpretations of it, but it's strange to see it in atheists, with them going 'No God can't be like that because I believe you believe that.'

This usually becomes evident with the 'Did God create evil?' argument, some people seem to refuse to believe that God might just want not just robotic creations that follow him naturally but free willed beings. (Usually it's a dressed up version of 'making something that can choose to be evil, that is, have free will, is as bad as making evil itself!' I hate to rant, but it really annoys me.
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Post by RoboBlue »

Pokota wrote:So he lost his first wife and kids. So what? If they weren't already Sealed, they will be.
I don't know what you mean by "Sealed", but if you ask anyone who's ever had a marriage end in death, I'm sure that person will still be scarred in some way, no matter how much time has passed. God didn't just destroy Job's house and agree to rebuild it, he killed innocent people and gave Job reason to subconsciously hate and doubt God for the rest of his existence.
Pokota wrote:Yes, God will allow bad things to happen to us. He won't allow unbearably bad things to happen to us, nor will He allow any temptation that we cannot overcome fall upon us. Largely so that we always have the choice to avoid the temptation. He allows these bad things to happen to humble us and to prove to ourselves whether we are faithful.
How does the story of Job not qualify as "unbearably bad"? What about natural disasters and genocide?
Pokota wrote:He's not going to protect us from the consequences of our own actions, and he's only going to protect us from the consequences of the actions of others up to a certain point. Once we get to Judgment, do you really think he's going to go lightly on those who kill, or enslave, or rape? Or are you all so convinced that everything has to happen on YOUR time that you insist on God dealing out punishments and healings the moment something bad happens?
God can't be said to protect us from the actions of others on any regular basis, because terrible things happen every day. Every once and a while, there will be something on the news about how "God saved my kids" or something, but it seems far too rare for anyone to claim that God is actively looking out for anyone.
I cannot disprove the belief that God only judges people in the afterlife, but you can't prove it either. However, nothing I have ever seen in nature has led me to believe that we live in a human-centric universe, and although it's understandable to believe that we are special as a species in God's eyes, there's plenty of evidence to dispute that belief. If killing in cold blood is a sin, are these Chimps sinning? Will they be subject to some sort of judgment?
Lava89 wrote:No, not at all. God does not create our suffering. There is suffering in this life because we live in a fallen world, thanks to the actions of Mankind and creation (such as man, demons and the devil), which has a free will, causes it; not God. And the story of Job shows that God understands our suffering and that he will pull us through in the end.
I said he was responsible for this specific incident of suffering, not that he created it. God gave permission for this suffering to occur, and he is responsible for it in the same way the White House was responsible for waterboarding. You didn't see George W Bush torturing terrorism suspects himself.
What "free will" did Satan show in that story, anyway? Everything he did was with God's freely given permission.
Lava89 wrote:I think I am going to have to stop here in this discussion, about Job at least. It just seems like everywhere we turn, you try to make things sound like God is a bad person and I don't think I will be able to convince you in my own human understanding otherwise. Its almost like you're trying to prove to yourself that what you think about God is true.
I would be willing to believe that there is a loving God who looks out for us (if there was conclusive evidence that withstood skepticism), but my main problem is with the Bible itself. If the story of Job (along with a few others) was removed or revised, I wouldn't be comparing God to Hitler, and I may never have left Christianity to begin with. I certainly don't believe that, if the Christian God does exist in some form, he is as flawed and illogical as the Old Testament makes him out to be.
MOM4Evr wrote:I actually would think that the Job account would be more like God tempting Satan than vice versa because of the way it begins. God brags about Job in front of Satan's face, and Satan takes the bait. Everything bad that happens there is entirely Satan's doing.
In that case, I still feel that what happened is God's fault, for the same reason that a parent would punish an older brother for goading a younger sibling into doing something wrong.
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Post by Ceilick »

RoboBlue wrote:God didn't just destroy Job's house and agree to rebuild it, he killed innocent people
Concerning the 'innocent people' caught in the middle: are they innocent? It's been years since I read any of the Book of Job, but just looking at wikipedia now, "Constantly fearing that his sons may have sinned and "cursed God in their hearts", he habitually offered burnt offerings as a pardon for their sins." Job's sons are the 'innocents' that were killed. Doesn't sound farfetched to think these people were on bad terms with God already. And even they didn't "curse God in their hearts", everyone dies at some point, sometimes unexpectedly, and would be judged by God all the same.

Just because they're minor characters in the story, that their deaths are mentioned only because of the affect on Job and their status after death isn't mentioned (to my limited knowledge), doesn't make them innocent casualties or discarded lives.
RoboBlue wrote:....and gave Job reason to subconsciously hate and doubt God for the rest of his existence.
Just like anyone can decide to hate God if bad things happen to them.
RoboBlue wrote:However, nothing I have ever seen in nature has led me to believe that we live in a human-centric universe
Is the status of other beings, in terms of their relationship to a God, really a concern to us though?
Lava89 wrote:There is suffering in this life because we live in a fallen world, thanks to the actions of Mankind and creation (such as man, demons and the devil), which has a free will, causes it; not God.
Is there a justification, in the Bible or in Christian thought, for why Satan/demons, beings that seem to be presented as having some supernatural power over the world and people, are allowed by God to use that power over us? Is this somehow a consequence of the fall of man?

It seems kind of...cruel...for God to allow these more powerful beings to harm people or kill them at will, presumably with calling to God being the only escape, a seemingly unreliable one (Job at the hands of Satan).

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Post by Dynamo »

Ceilick wrote:It seems kind of...cruel...for God to allow these more powerful beings to harm people or kill them at will, presumably with calling to God being the only escape, a seemingly unreliable one (Job at the hands of Satan).
whetever it's cruel or not, it still happens. in situations like ours everyone dies, not only "innocents" but humans in general. the annals of history contain endless records of violence and deaths. the "madness" will never end. I have absolutely no idea what god or religion have to do with all of this. as I've said 50000 times already (and I'm sure everyone hates me for that but w/e), these moralistic arguments are absolutely empty of any real content imho.
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Post by KeenEmpire »

Levellass wrote:Man, I get this a lot with people, it's really weird. It's like they're running on a logic totally incompatible with mine. I think I realized this when I met someone who blamed God for all the evil basically saying 'If God were truly good he'd make us unable to be bad, even if that meant no free will.' The bible says there are three reasons for bad stuff, dumb luck (What are the chances? Lightening hit you.), stupidity (Let us build this city on the flood plain and dam the river so it can't flow!) and the devil\inherent imperfection in the world (Satan is apparently the spirit of the air, one misleading the entire inhabited earth.)

I can see arguing for/against God on rational grounds but so often you meet people who aren't willing to consider anything but the image of God they already have. I can vaguely understand this in fundamentalists who must by their own logic believe their holy writ or interpretations of it, but it's strange to see it in atheists, with them going 'No God can't be like that because I believe you believe that.'

This usually becomes evident with the 'Did God create evil?' argument, some people seem to refuse to believe that God might just want not just robotic creations that follow him naturally but free willed beings. (Usually it's a dressed up version of 'making something that can choose to be evil, that is, have free will, is as bad as making evil itself!' I hate to rant, but it really annoys me.
Obviously, they think there's a blatant contradiction between "good" and "God's apparent actions". I don't blame them either; in order to reconcile the two, religious believers have to be willing to call extremely crazy things "good", and people who take a stand against what they see as "2 + 2 = 5" are to be expected.
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Post by MOM4Evr »

Ceilick wrote:Is there a justification, in the Bible or in Christian thought, for why Satan/demons, beings that seem to be presented as having some supernatural power over the world and people, are allowed by God to use that power over us? Is this somehow a consequence of the fall of man?
Good question. Let me do a bit of research into that.
Levellass wrote:LL has chimed in at least to me, she has some lovely pamphlets explaining how the bible says the universe is billions of years old and that creative acts spread over several days which were not literal 24 hour days. They're also available worldwide, just go ask a Jehovah's Witness for the tract 'Was life created?'
MOM4Evr has chimed in at least to me, he has some lovely articles explaining how the Bible says the universe is only thousands of years old and that Creation was spread over six days which were literal 24 hour days. They're also available worldwide, as they're online.

And MOM4Evr is a Christian, not a Jehovah's Witness. There's a big difference. (Here we go again! YAY! :D)

There's one thing I do want to mention on the Christian-Mormon-Muslim-Jehovah's Witness-any other religion issue. It seems to me that people would rather stick labels on other people than actually understand what makes up their personalities, and where they're coming from with their mindset. Case in point: the Shiites and Sunnis that are all battling against one another. Both groups are "Muslim," right? So why do they kill each other? Imagine going into the middle of the fray and saying "Hey! You both are Muslims and believe the same thing, even believe in the same Allah. You are all exactly the same." That'd be a good way to get yourself killed. Obviously, they have differences that they think are important enough to kill each other over. And I doubt most rational, non-terrorist Muslims (like the kind that live around here where I live) would want either group called "True Muslims" at all.

So I would just caution against saying "Oh, he's a Jehovah's Witness, thus he's a Christian" without actually understanding all the beliefs of both religions and what the differences/similarities are. A lot of times everything sounds all the same to an outside beholder, but that's only because they use the same words in the same places. They use them to mean different things, though. I would imagine that a peaceful Muslim would have quite a different definition of Allah's justice than a terrorist Muslim would.

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Post by Flaose »

MOM4Evr wrote:MOM4Evr has chimed in at least to me...
When Levellass speaks of LL, she is referring to her friend Levellord, not to herself in the third-person. However, this is an understandable mistake.
MOM4Evr wrote:And MOM4Evr is a Christian, not a Jehovah's Witness. There's a big difference....A lot of times everything sounds all the same to an outside beholder, but that's only because they use the same words in the same places. They use them to mean different things, though. I would imagine that a peaceful Muslim would have quite a different definition of Allah's justice than a terrorist Muslim would.
But that's the thing, if a person (let's say a Shiite) considers himself a Muslim, and the majority of the world would consider them Islamic, then who are the Sunnis to say that it isn't true? If Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons consider themselves Christians, and the majority of the world would consider them Christians, then who are a billion-or-so people to say otherwise?

Sure, you take issue with the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses, but the thing is all of their beliefs are rooted directly in the Bible. Some passages may be interpreted differently than you think they should be, but Jehovah's Witnesses have made it their business to study (and I mean study, like a school subject) and understand what the Bible says. You may be surprised that some of your beliefs are due to tradition only, and are not scripturally sound. For example, the Sabbath, why do you still keep it (and on the wrong day, no less)? You don't offer burnt offerings, you don't stone adulterers, you don't (have to) get circumcised, so why abstain from labour every seven days? The New Testament speaks of early Christians getting together on Sundays, but it doesn't mention that they hadn't been fishing and collecting taxes all day.
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Post by RoboBlue »

Ceilick wrote:Concerning the 'innocent people' caught in the middle: are they innocent? It's been years since I read any of the Book of Job, but just looking at wikipedia now, "Constantly fearing that his sons may have sinned and "cursed God in their hearts", he habitually offered burnt offerings as a pardon for their sins." Job's sons are the 'innocents' that were killed. Doesn't sound farfetched to think these people were on bad terms with God already. And even they didn't "curse God in their hearts", everyone dies at some point, sometimes unexpectedly, and would be judged by God all the same.

Just because they're minor characters in the story, that their deaths are mentioned only because of the affect on Job and their status after death isn't mentioned (to my limited knowledge), doesn't make them innocent casualties or discarded lives.
You're making an assumption based on something vague, though. The wikipedia article links to this passage referencing Job's paranoia about his sons' piety, but the passage is vague and there is no evidence to support the assumption that they were bad people. There may be more later on in the Book of Job (I haven't read the full thing in almost ten years), but God's actions were not primarily motivated by their possible sins. If they had been, I think the story would have been much closer to Noah's, and God would almost certainly have been upfront with Job about why he took action.
Ceilick wrote:Just like anyone can decide to hate God if bad things happen to them.
Maybe, but not just anyone gets a lecture from God himself. I just re-read the epilogue to Job, and it reminds me a lot of this scene in Goodfellas (warning: vulgar language) except Job was far more submissive. Even if Job never spoke to God, the reader learns that God is willing to encourage his celestial peers to do harsh and terrible things for seemingly no other reason than to prove a point, a far more specific and personal reason to doubt God than "I hate my life".
Ceilick wrote:Is the status of other beings, in terms of their relationship to a God, really a concern to us though?
I believe it is, if we want to understand how the universe works.
Flaose wrote:But that's the thing, if a person (let's say a Shiite) considers himself a Muslim, and the majority of the world would consider them Islamic, then who are the Sunnis to say that it isn't true? If Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons consider themselves Christians, and the majority of the world would consider them Christians, then who are a billion-or-so people to say otherwise?
Sure, you take issue with the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses, but the thing is all of their beliefs are rooted directly in the Bible. Some passages may be interpreted differently than you think they should be, but Jehovah's Witnesses have made it their business to study (and I mean study, like a school subject) and understand what the Bible says. You may be surprised that some of your beliefs are due to tradition only, and are not scripturally sound. For example, the Sabbath, why do you still keep it (and on the wrong day, no less)? You don't offer burnt offerings, you don't stone adulterers, you don't (have to) get circumcised, so why abstain from labour every seven days? The New Testament speaks of early Christians getting together on Sundays, but it doesn't mention that they hadn't been fishing and collecting taxes all day.
I agree with this, and I'd also like to add that there seems to be a lot of artificially produced anger towards these kinds of mistakes. If I stupidly call a Korean woman Chinese, does it help if I politely allow her to scream her head off at me for making a mistake that I had no understanding of? If I make an honest mistake, that does not give the victim good reason to punish me, and I honestly don't believe that we as a society should tolerate or sympathize with these types of outbursts.
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Post by MOM4Evr »

Flaose wrote:But that's the thing, if a person (let's say a Shiite) considers himself a Muslim, and the majority of the world would consider them Islamic, then who are the Sunnis to say that it isn't true? If Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons consider themselves Christians, and the majority of the world would consider them Christians, then who are a billion-or-so people to say otherwise?
Majority doesn't rule. And if the differences between the Shiites and Sunnis are big enough for them to kill each other over, can you really make the argument that they're the same?
Flaose wrote:Sure, you take issue with the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses, but the thing is all of their beliefs are rooted directly in the Bible.
Actually, no. All their beliefs are based on twisted interpretations of the Bible. A lot of times, they directly endorse the Bible, then blatantly contradict it. Anything that has an alternate view of Jesus Christ than what the Bible teaches can't be called a CHRISTian, since they're trying to redefine Who Christ is. What's the difference here between this and saying "I'm an Atheist, but I believe Jesus came and He was a nice person"? Can you really call yourself "Christian" just because you believe that Jesus Christ was a person Who existed?
Flaose wrote:Some passages may be interpreted differently than you think they should be, but Jehovah's Witnesses have made it their business to study (and I mean study, like a school subject) and understand what the Bible says.
...
Like Christians don't?
Flaose wrote:For example, the Sabbath, why do you still keep it (and on the wrong day, no less)?
Actually, we go to church on Sunday to celebrate Christ's resurrection, which happened the day after the Sabbath (Which would be Sunday). As far as keeping it vs. not, I thought we had gone over that.
Flaose wrote:You don't offer burnt offerings
No need to. Christ was the Sacrifice to end all sacrifices. That's why He came in the first place (As a side note, Jews can't offer sacrifices either, as Muslims built a mosque on top of the site of the temple).
Flaose wrote:you don't stone adulterers
Quite not. Did Jesus?
Flaose wrote:you don't (have to) get circumcised
Yep. Paul went over this in Galatians 6:12-16.
Flaose wrote:so why abstain from labour every seven days?
No idea. (tongue-in-cheek)
Flaose wrote:The New Testament speaks of early Christians getting together on Sundays, but it doesn't mention that they hadn't been fishing and collecting taxes all day.
I would tend to imagine that the early Christian believers got together for the entire day for the early church services, but that's just me.
RoboBlue wrote:There seems to be a lot of artificially produced anger towards these kinds of mistakes. If I stupidly call a Korean woman Chinese, does it help if I politely allow her to scream her head off at me for making a mistake that I had no understanding of? If I make an honest mistake, that does not give the victim good reason to punish me, and I honestly don't believe that we as a society should tolerate or sympathize with these types of outbursts.
Quite a good point. I apologize if I have come across as angry (vocal intonation and body language are hard to communicate over teh internets, and these comprise more than half of human communication!), because I didn't mean to. My major point here was to not try sticking different people in the same box ("Oh, well Mormons believe this, so you must believe it too"), because that's clearly a bad way to go about things. I could go around saying "Oh, this neighbor of mine is a Democrat, that must mean she likes healthcare reform." In reality, I have a neighbor who is a flaming Democrat, and hates the healthcare bill with all her guts. Can you stick her in the standard "Democrat believes this" box? No indeed. If you stuck me in the same room with a Muslim terrorist for a few hours, someone wouldn't survive the encounter (probably me). Can you honestly say that Muslims and Christians believe the same things in this case? You're trying to stick us both under the same "religious" sign, and it just doesn't work. Everybody is different, so just let them speak for themselves.

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Post by RoboBlue »

MOM4Evr wrote:Quite a good point. I apologize if I have come across as angry (vocal intonation and body language are hard to communicate over teh internets, and these comprise more than half of human communication!), because I didn't mean to. My major point here was to not try sticking different people in the same box ("Oh, well Mormons believe this, so you must believe it too"), because that's clearly a bad way to go about things. I could go around saying "Oh, this neighbor of mine is a Democrat, that must mean she likes healthcare reform." In reality, I have a neighbor who is a flaming Democrat, and hates the healthcare bill with all her guts. Can you stick her in the standard "Democrat believes this" box? No indeed. If you stuck me in the same room with a Muslim terrorist for a few hours, someone wouldn't survive the encounter (probably me). Can you honestly say that Muslims and Christians believe the same things in this case? You're trying to stick us both under the same "religious" sign, and it just doesn't work. Everybody is different, so just let them speak for themselves.
I don't think you've come across like that, and in my experience, these explosions tend to happen in public more often than on internet forums (despite belief to the contrary). Then again, I don't hang out in places where people are likely to explode at the drop of a hat.
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Post by Ceilick »

RoboBlue wrote:You're making an assumption based on something vague, though...but the passage is vague and there is no evidence to support the assumption that they were bad people. There may be more later on in the Book of Job (I haven't read the full thing in almost ten years), but God's actions were not primarily motivated by their possible sins.
I agree that the good/bad status of the people killed isn't specific, but my point was that while we don't know, I don't think it's unreasonable to think that these people aren't merely pawns in this story between God, Satan, and Job; that it's conceivable that they all had their own stories between themselves, God, etc that somehow culminated here and all this isn't mentioned because the story is about Job, not them.

God's actions not being 'primarily' motivated by their possible sins" seems to assume that the whole situation doesn't come together like clockwork; God's motivation could be comprehensive (motivated not just by Job by by Job and his whole family). The book doesn't say this, but again, the story is only about Job.
RoboBlue wrote:Even if Job never spoke to God, the reader learns that God is willing to encourage his celestial peers to do harsh and terrible things for seemingly no other reason than to prove a point,
I don't know that God is encouraging harsh and terrible things, but he does seem to be passively allowing these powerful beings to mess with lesser beings, which is questionable to me as well.
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Ceilick wrote: Is the status of other beings, in terms of their relationship to a God, really a concern to us though?
I believe it is, if we want to understand how the universe works.
I can agree with this in respect to the universe as a whole, but concerning our own place in the universe and our relationship with God, it seems necessary to do so with human centricity in mind. Not saying our theology should somehow exclude other beings, just that it seems logical for us to approach it with ourselves in mind.

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MOM4Evr wrote:So I would just caution against saying "Oh, he's a Jehovah's Witness, thus he's a Christian" without actually understanding all the beliefs of both religions and what the differences/similarities are. A lot of times everything sounds all the same to an outside beholder, but that's only because they use the same words in the same places. They use them to mean different things, though. I would imagine that a peaceful Muslim would have quite a different definition of Allah's justice than a terrorist Muslim would.
My ex-girlfriend is a Sufi but considers herself a Muslim as well. There are lots of Muslims who would argue that Sufism isn't an Islamic faith, and it comes down to the same argument as the Mormons/Jehovah's Witnesses as Christians argument: it has a lot of traditions and beliefs which aren't present anywhere else in Islam, but it uses the same prophet, same deity, and same sacred text that all Muslims use. It all depends on how narrow one's definition of Islam is, much as how the other debate depends on one's definition of Christianity.
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Post by RoboBlue »

Ceilick wrote:I agree that the good/bad status of the people killed isn't specific, but my point was that while we don't know, I don't think it's unreasonable to think that these people aren't merely pawns in this story between God, Satan, and Job; that it's conceivable that they all had their own stories between themselves, God, etc that somehow culminated here and all this isn't mentioned because the story is about Job, not them.
God's actions not being 'primarily' motivated by their possible sins" seems to assume that the whole situation doesn't come together like clockwork; God's motivation could be comprehensive (motivated not just by Job by by Job and his whole family). The book doesn't say this, but again, the story is only about Job.
The story begins with a first-hand account that could only have come from God or Satan, and if God was the author (or reciter) of this neatly edited story with a clear beginning, middle, end, and moral, he had plenty of opportunity to explain and justify his actions. However, this also leaves the possibility that the story was written by Satan, and it could be taken as a firsthand account of how Satan tempted God and spread word of his perceived victory. If this is true, the details you're suggesting would understandably be left out of the story.
Ceilick wrote:I can agree with this in respect to the universe as a whole, but concerning our own place in the universe and our relationship with God, it seems necessary to do so with human centricity in mind. Not saying our theology should somehow exclude other beings, just that it seems logical for us to approach it with ourselves in mind.
I'm not sure if it's necessary, but Christianity seems unreasonably certain that the universe is human-centric. Man was made in God's own image, after all.
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