Author Topic: Could "the real god" convert you?  (Read 1669 times)

Could "the real god" convert you?
« on: June 23, 2019, 12:10:07 PM »
We all know or should know Paul's conversion story in Acts 9:1-18. The monster Saul (Paul's name at that time) "still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord" was traveling to Damascus on a mission from the high priest to capture Christians there and bring them bound to Jerusalem. Jesus evidently had had enough of this mistreatment of his followers and met Paul on the road blinding him with a flash of light and knocking him from his horse to the ground. After Jesus identified himself and asked Paul why he was persecuting him (an odd question coming from an all-powerful being), poor Paul got to his feet still blind. As commanded by Jesus, Paul went to Damascus to await further orders from Jesus. Once there, he neither ate nor drank while remaining blind three days. Finally, Ananias, a Christian in Damascus, converted Paul without Paul's consent and restored his sight.

There's much we might discuss about this strange story, but to start allow me to point out that Paul had very strong religious convictions at the time immediately prior to his conversion, and it took a direct intervention on the part of Jesus himself to "correct" Paul. So...

If you like Paul were wrong about your religious beliefs, would a direct intervention on the part of God change your mind, or would you defy God believing he wasn't real (assuming you are an atheist) or think he was the Devil (if you are a Christian)?


Re: Could "the real god" convert you?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2019, 12:37:39 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
We all know or should know Paul's conversion story in Acts 9:1-18. The monster Saul (Paul's name at that time) "still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord" was traveling to Damascus on a mission from the high priest to capture Christians there and bring them bound to Jerusalem. Jesus evidently had had enough of this mistreatment of his followers and met Paul on the road blinding him with a flash of light and knocking him from his horse to the ground. After Jesus identified himself and asked Paul why he was persecuting him (an odd question coming from an all-powerful being), poor Paul got to his feet still blind. As commanded by Jesus, Paul went to Damascus to await further orders from Jesus. Once there, he neither ate nor drank while remaining blind three days. Finally, Ananias, a Christian in Damascus, converted Paul without Paul's consent and restored his sight.

There's much we might discuss about this strange story, but to start allow me to point out that Paul had very strong religious convictions at the time immediately prior to his conversion, and it took a direct intervention on the part of Jesus himself to "correct" Paul. So...

If you like Paul were wrong about your religious beliefs, would a direct intervention on the part of God change your mind, or would you defy God believing he wasn't real (assuming you are an atheist) or think he was the Devil (if you are a Christian)?


This is not a real question.  I mean, why not ask what I would say if Bugs Bunny knocked on my door?  Or what I would feed the Invisible Pink Unicorn?   It's not possible for me to suspend my disbelief long enough to contemplate such a happening.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline SGOS

Re: Could "the real god" convert you?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2019, 01:06:44 PM »
Now that's an old time religion kind of miracle.  It would convince me back then, but things are different today.  Now we have big ass halogen headlights that can blind you for three days.  And a good car audio system with an optional public address can kick out enough decibels to shatter windows.  A little wimp could tell you he was God on that thing, and be damn convincing.  But the main reason it wouldn't work to day is that Jesus has been dead for a long time, and his miracles aren't what they used to be.  Today, the best he can do is create an image on a piece of French toast, and that just ain't that spectacular.

Re: Could "the real god" convert you?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2019, 01:38:17 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
This is not a real question.  I mean, why not ask what I would say if Bugs Bunny knocked on my door?  Or what I would feed the Invisible Pink Unicorn?   It's not possible for me to suspend my disbelief long enough to contemplate such a happening.

I realize that some people say they have trouble imagining what "is not real." As far as Paul's alleged conversion experience is concerned, I have no trouble at all imagining a loud voice and bright light from the sky (the latter is known as "the sun") and being blind for three days (I can shut my eyes). For that matter I can easily imagine Bugs Bunny at my door or feeding a unicorn although if he was invisible, then he wouldn't be pink!

In any case, one factor that may separate the religious from the nonreligious is the use of the imagination. Although some atheists like me can make good use of their imaginations, other atheists may not be able to imagine gods or miracles, and that's why they are atheists!

Re: Could "the real god" convert you?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2019, 01:51:12 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Now that's an old time religion kind of miracle.  It would convince me back then, but things are different today.  Now we have big ass halogen headlights that can blind you for three days.  And a good car audio system with an optional public address can kick out enough decibels to shatter windows.  A little wimp could tell you he was God on that thing, and be damn convincing.  But the main reason it wouldn't work to day is that Jesus has been dead for a long time, and his miracles aren't what they used to be.  Today, the best he can do is create an image on a piece of French toast, and that just ain't that spectacular.

I think it was Arthur C. Clarke who said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, so you are correct that apparent miracles can have a naturalistic origin in technology. This fact may make it hard to distinguish miracles from that technology. So even if a real god exists, she may face the difficulty of convincing people who conclude that her magic is some kind of gadgetry.

Is it safe then to conclude that your answer is no, a real god could not convert you?

Offline aitm

Re: Could "the real god" convert you?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2019, 02:09:35 PM »
Won't say a "real" God could not convert me but, convert me from what? A "real" God would not resemble any of our versions of God so would most likely not need to be ass kissed so no need for conversion.



A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline Baruch

Re: Could "the real god" convert you?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2019, 04:03:07 PM »
I am a theist from childhood.  So I am easy to convince ;-)  Jesus said that miracles are not going to be provided ...

"Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law answered Jesus. They said, "Teacher, we want to see you do a miracle as a sign (proof)." Jesus answered, "Evil and sinful people are the ones that want to see a miracle for a sign (proof). But no miracle will be given as a sign to those people. The only sign will be the miracle that happened to the prophet Jonah. Jonah was in the stomach of the big fish for three days and three nights. In the same way, the Son of Man will be in the grave three days and three nights."" - Matt 12:38-40

So what does that mean?  One, the Gospels are inconsistent.  Two, in Jewish law, you aren't legally dead, until you are dead for 4 days.  Three, a day consisted of from sundown to sundown.  Jesus was in the grave before sundown on a sabbath (Friday) and was up after dawn on the following Sunday.  That is 1.5 days.  Subsequent analysis of the Jewish calendar shows that Good Friday was on a Thursday.  so that is 2.5 days.  Either way, Jesus wasn't legally dead.  So what is the whole execution and burial and resurrection about?

Jesus' story is connected to Jeremiah (prior destruction of Jerusalem) ... and prophets did "sign acts" ... live symbolic acts.  Jeremiah did a sign act regarding figs, which should remind us of the fig tree incident with Jesus.  Isaiah also did "sign acts", and is connected via Isaiah 53 to Jesus as well.  Here's a reference ...

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Now what about Paul?  He admits he persecuted Jesus' followers to death.  His conversion is held in question by the followers of Jesus.  He never admits he met the living Jesus, just the celestial Christ.  Completely incompatible mish mash of the NT.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

This is why Nikos Kazantzakis was excommunicated.

Now as to my own experience.  I have had paranormal experiences, mostly eidetic dreams.  But that isn't what convinced me.  If I did experience some crazy miracle, I would think I was crazy ;-)  Really, resurrected dead ... kosher zombies is a completely self contradictory idea.

No miracle, as defined by atheists, or by naive theists ... has ever occurred or will occur.  G-d made the world that way for a reason.  Makes a great story for children however.  The miracle is internal (as implied by your OP).  When you perceive something about some natural event, in a new way.  And that is why I am a theist, everyday events, life itself, consciousness, are miraculous for me, just not in the way you might think.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 04:55:13 PM by Baruch »
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Shiranu

Re: Could "the real god" convert you?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2019, 04:14:48 PM »
Note: I am an atheist, I only say this from a story-telling point of view.

Quote
After Jesus identified himself and asked Paul why he was persecuting him (an odd question coming from an all-powerful being)...

Jesus isn't asking for his sake, he is asking for Paul's sake. People do this all the time, asking a question they know the answer to just to make the other person think.











Anyways, to answer the question; yes, I would believe in god if showed himself to me. I wouldn't be happy about it given the amount of suffering he allows, but if I know sky daddy is watching me you best believe I'm going to kiss his ass as much as I must to avoid damnation.


Of course, that is never going to happen, so...
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 04:16:22 PM by Shiranu »
Quod est inferius, est sicut quod est superius.
Et quod est superius, est sicut quod est inferius.

Offline Baruch

Re: Could "the real god" convert you?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2019, 04:22:34 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Note: I am an atheist, I only say this from a story-telling point of view.

Jesus isn't asking for his sake, he is asking for Paul's sake. People do this all the time, asking a question they know the answer to just to make the other person think.

Anyways, to answer the question; yes, I would believe in god if showed himself to me. I wouldn't be happy about it given the amount of suffering he allows, but if I know sky daddy is watching me you best believe I'm going to kiss his ass as much as I must to avoid damnation.

Of course, that is never going to happen, so...

G-d already has.  That is why all are guilty.  You were shown G-d at your conception, and at every moment you are alive.  But that means you are not autonomous, you are a creature, not a Creator (more or less).  Humans are only creators, whereas rocks are not, because we are children of G-d, and rocks are not.

BTW - this life is Hell.  We are all damned.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 04:59:22 PM by Baruch »
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline aitm

Re: Could "the real god" convert you?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2019, 05:14:49 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Jesus said that miracles are not going to be provided ...

"and if you pray, believing, you can tell a mountain to move and it will, and nothing will be impossible to you."


That is literally a definition of a miracle....so....
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Re: Could "the real god" convert you?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2019, 05:44:28 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
If you like Paul were wrong about your religious beliefs, would a direct intervention on the part of God change your mind, or would you defy God believing he wasn't real (assuming you are an atheist) or think he was the Devil (if you are a Christian)?

Any sufficiently miraculous event would be indistinguishable from a divine act. Satan must be assumed to be able to create apparently miraculous events.  So, how could anyone ever be truly certain that it was, indeed, God, and not Satan? 


[edit}
I see I should've read some more posts before I posted, you guys are way ahead of me!
[/edit]
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 05:47:50 PM by Unbeliever »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
"An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature's answer."
Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers (1949)

Re: Could "the real god" convert you?
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2019, 05:50:00 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Jesus said that miracles are not going to be provided ...

Yeah, then he did some miracles...
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 05:55:16 PM by Unbeliever »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
"An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature's answer."
Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers (1949)

Offline Munch

Re: Could "the real god" convert you?
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2019, 06:23:55 PM »
Simply if god was real, I'd destroy him with logic.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Offline Baruch

Re: Could "the real god" convert you?
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2019, 06:42:10 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
"and if you pray, believing, you can tell a mountain to move and it will, and nothing will be impossible to you."


That is literally a definition of a miracle....so....

Poetry is a miracle.  You must take poetry literally or not at all.

That and it was a common epigram by Middle Eastern people, not original to Jesus.

What could poetry mean?  Take a class in poetry appreciation.

Or do you think the Ancient Mariner was a real person who shot an albatross?
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Baruch

Re: Could "the real god" convert you?
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2019, 06:43:02 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Any sufficiently miraculous event would be indistinguishable from a divine act. Satan must be assumed to be able to create apparently miraculous events.  So, how could anyone ever be truly certain that it was, indeed, God, and not Satan? 


[edit}
I see I should've read some more posts before I posted, you guys are way ahead of me!
[/edit]

If there are two gods, then you need to tithe twice (aka 20%) please.
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk