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Author Topic: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...  (Read 1319 times)

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Offline Ironwolf85Topic starter

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What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« on: October 29, 2012, 01:55:39 AM »
This came up in the athiest board oddly enough, and Vanity Evolved thought my point should be discussed further.
So here I am dedicating this to the subject.
While this goes against every fundie religious group... here's my thought...

What if the reason god, and our preception of him, namely things like the vast diffrence between the Old and New Testiment.
One way to view christ's sacrifice and the new covenant thus forged is not only as a fullment of messanic promise, but also a moment of "hmmm... the old ways of law and doctrine are not working, I'll embrace everyone instead of a small group... but that means someone'll have to be punished for their sins... I'll do it myself, moreover I'll live a human life and fufill the old prophies while I'm at it."

Is that because we are made in the image of god, and we learn, so does god, that like any person his views evolve.
This actually casts stuff in a new light.

Also as someone more capable than myself posted

The Constitution of the United States is a guiding document for nearly all decisions of law.  This is enforced by the Supreme Court which is supposed to house some of the brightest legal scholars for the Constitution, striking down laws that are not constitutional.  The words used in that document are some of the wisest and articulate of any in the history of the United States, written by men who were flawed and great at the same time.  Their words are interpreted, applied and expanded to suit modern needs that were not imagined at their time.  Why then is the Bible’s wisdom so hard to see evolve and become applied to the times now?

Perhaps God has done as many instructors do for their people.  The lesson is there, but must be learned a piece at a time.  Tools and instruments for us to become better, to rise above our base roots are in our grasp but we must learn to use them.  Maybe God has given us room to grow, to develop and become something better.  Handing the keys of the universe to a child is meaningless because the child did not work for those keys, does not respect the awesome power of them.  Perhaps we are learning and growing into our roles, learning and growing to His image.

I do not see the problem with ethics evolving, with our understanding of this world evolving as we learn more.
I agree with this... I'm nost not eloquent enough to say it right.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 02:21:13 AM »
Just before I head off to sleep, so it may not be perfect, but.

Because the Constitution of America was written by men, people we know existed which can only be enforced in as much as people, people who exist, enforce it.

The other is, apparently, the divine word of the supreme being of all Creation who can, after stating multiple things which are Definately Always Wrong can apparently take that all back and change it on a whim. A being who is superior to us in all ways, yet can apparently write down laws which make no sense, are very poorly worded or so open ended that people can interpret them anyway they want to justify any act they want. To put it in context; God being able to randomly change the rules he set down for all life is on par with Benjamin Franklin being able to, on a whim, suddenly decide that all people who eat pie, and have ever eaten pie, are unrepentant and corrupt beings who deserve an eternity of punishment in the stocks for something which was, only a few minutes ago, perfectly fine. He also decided the most efficient way to get this information across was to keep quiet and let people interpret 'His Will', and to tell eight different lawyers eight different stories about the law so that each person spreading his law gives out a completely different law.

Just to quote myself from the other board, in response to Pumpkin's quote.

The big question is, why would that be the case? And why would God choose this as the basic model for all life? It seems a very backwards way of doing things. Would these changes apply retroactively? Would this mean you have a Heaven where you have a mixture of unrepentent rapists and murderers, because 'in his time, this was good' alongside Joe, the guy who followed Christ and never really did anything wrong in his life? Does Hungar the Rapist now get retroactively sent to Hell, to suffer for the sins which he's now commited byproxy? If so, what is the point in trying to be a Good Christian(tm) if not only do you have to base your beliefs on a book written by man, translated over two thousands of years of revisions and changes, do you now have a God who also continues to move the goalposts? Following the Bible's guidelines is already like throwing a needle blindfolded to hit the perfect combination of Good Christian to get into Heaven. Now, God is constantly moving the target around and, depending on how his rules apply to those before or after revisions, he can just take the dart out of the target and say 'Sorry, I changed my mind. No, you don't get a second chance.'

If God is still learning, and has to learn like us, what do we gain by worshipping him? If we're following God, who has no other compass other than 'He has to learn', where is he learning this from? Don't you end up with a circle of the blind, worshipping the blind, who is also the mandate of righteousness except when he's wrong? It sets up this horrid presicident where God can change his mind at any time, because he's falliable. He's just as imperfect as you or I! Except we don't get that clause. If -we- fuck up, we roast for eternity. If he screws up, well, sucks to be you.

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Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2012, 02:34:58 AM »
Pretty sure the Bible shows God making a mistake and learning from it. When He flooded everything, after everything receded, I thought the story was that he looked at what he'd done and was like "Oh, my bad" and promised not to do it again in the form of a rainbow. I mean, I don't think it was explicitly said that he made a mistake, but I thought that was the general interpretation.

Which, on a side note, I always interpreted as "God is perfect, God makes mistakes. Perfection is making mistakes - if you don't make mistakes, you are flawed." and it seemed pretty cool to me as a kid.

Offline Vekseid

Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2012, 03:03:57 AM »
It's much deeper than that.

While I don't count myself an atheist per se, I certainly have more sympathy for the Gnostic perspective. There's a reason they presented him as the Demiurge:



The god of the Bible is afraid:
Quote from: Genesis 11:6, KJV
And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

-and proceeds to confound our languages in response.

The god of the Bible is jealous:
Quote from: Exodus 20:5
for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God

This gets echoed elsewhere, Psalm 78:58, 1 Corinthians 10:22.

The god of the Bible is petty
Quote from: 2 Kings 2
23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

Killed 42 youths for mocking his prophet.

The god of the Bible demands human sacrifice
Quote from: Numbers 31, KJV
29 Take it of their half, and give it unto Eleazar the priest, for an heave offering of the Lord.

30 And of the children of Israel's half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the Lord.

31 And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses.

32 And the booty, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught, was six hundred thousand and seventy thousand and five thousand sheep,

33 And threescore and twelve thousand beeves,

34 And threescore and one thousand asses,

35 And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him.

36 And the half, which was the portion of them that went out to war, was in number three hundred thousand and seven and thirty thousand and five hundred sheep:

37 And the Lord'S tribute of the sheep was six hundred and threescore and fifteen.

38 And the beeves were thirty and six thousand; of which the Lord'S tribute was threescore and twelve.

39 And the asses were thirty thousand and five hundred; of which the Lord'S tribute was threescore and one.

40 And the persons were sixteen thousand; of which the Lord'S tribute was thirty and two persons.

Oh right, heave offering. So they get offered to the Lord, then get raped by the priests. So much more civilized.

The god of the Bible can be defeated
Quote from: Judges 1:19, KJV
19 And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

The god of the Bible is eager to test the loyalty of his subjects (Isaac), but not so keen on being tested, himself (thou shall not put the lord the god to the test).

The god of the Bible is wrathful.



Jesus in the Gnostic tradition is not the Word, but rather the Serpent, who originally tried to free humanity from the grip of the Demiurge by leading man to the Tree of Knowledge. I find it far more compelling - if you take the stories in the Old Testament as true - than any Pauline Christian branch.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2012, 04:17:17 AM »

If you think of these biblical and mythical figures as archetypes, or reflections of what abstract thoughts are deep inside us, then yes, it makes sense that they would learn as the ones who wrote about them learned and matured. If you get rid of the good/evil stigma and just look at each figure - god, satan, lillith, whoever, as a representation of some aspect of self, then I think it can be beneficial to entertain thoughts of these archetypes through some creative process - whether it be in writing, play acting, dance, art, ritual, prayer, seance or whatever.

Offline Sabby

Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 04:27:28 AM »
Fearful, angry, vain, jealous, stubborn, rash, inconsistent. Yes, God is very much like his creations. But what is more logical, that the eternal being that created all of everything everywhere, past present and future, is also flawed, and this is reflected on only his most important creation, Man? Or did humans write a flawed concept, with no means at the time to do any better?

I've yet to see an even remotely convincing argument for the former. To argue against the latter is... too stupid for any person to do in plain words. So they spin circles of gibberish and call it doctrine.

But let's say I'm wrong. Let's say for the sake of argument that old Yahweh is just a guy like you and me. What the hell is he doing behind the cosmic wheel? o.O I don't care if he's been driving for 6000 to 10000 years, does he know how to drive it? No. He doesn't. He's still learning. Pull over and get out if you don't know how to drive. "I'm still learning" is not a valid excuse for the damage you're knowingly causing, and any one making excuses for the crazy person behind the wheel are enabling it.

Offline Silk

Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2012, 05:58:15 AM »
Now I can't help but think of suspect alien races representing other gods watching and laughing from a safe distance at a haphazard learner driver when they look at us xD.

Offline Serephino

Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 11:12:23 AM »
This may be an Atheist club, but let me offer another perspective...

Is God perfect?  No.  No one really knows much about him, or why he created the earth (I think he was bored and lonely), but I do think some mistakes were made.  Also, keep in mind Christianity isn't the only major religion, so don't try to tie God down into the Bible version.  That mess is just... *shivers*  It was written by man.  The Old Testament is Jewish law.  Everything in there is also in the Torah.  I once asked a Jewish person to make sure, and she told me that yes, the Old Testament and the Torah are practically the same book, with a few differences.  It was about control.  Fear is a very good motivator, and the ruling priests found it very effective to tell people they had to do x, y, and z, or God would smite them and torture them for all eternity.  I mean, look at what they did with Jesus.  They had him branded a criminal, and they crucified him all because he was making people not afraid of them.  Jesus taught that all people had to do was believe in him, and not follow all those insane laws.  They were losing control, and they really didn't like it.  The jealous two year old is not God, but the man who desires power over others.

I'm pretty sure the meaning of life is to learn and grow.  I believe in reincarnation, so even after we complete one lifetime, we are still a work in progress.  Just like we go through stages from infancy to being elderly, souls go through stages.  Jesus was probably a huge opportunity for people to learn and grow away from the broken system of fear that is the OT, but sadly, they only made it half way.  The more enlightened Christians I've come across completely disregard the OT, so hope is not completely lost. 

Forget Heaven and Hell for a minute, because Hell was just a scare tactic.  The goal is to evolve and learn the lessons you were meant to learn.  I liked the comment about not giving the keys to the kingdom to a child, because that pretty much hits the nail on the head.  Religious extremist are children who don't know any better, and refuse to learn, at least in this lifetime.  I believe we all go to the same place, and are judged on our own record rather than our religious beliefs.  Of course, extremism of any kind is bad.  But that is why I am a firm believer that it doesn't matter what you believe.  God doesn't care as long you believe in something and don't have the IQ of a rock. 

In short, God is not one of us.  The imperfections were created by man because the Bible, among pretty much every other holy book, was created by man.  We were all just dumped here so we could evolve, and this is what man has come up with.  It doesn't inspire much confidence, but maybe someday....     

Offline Ironwolf85Topic starter

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Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 11:26:35 AM »
This may be an Atheist club, but let me offer another perspective...

Is God perfect?  No.  No one really knows much about him, or why he created the earth (I think he was bored and lonely), but I do think some mistakes were made.  Also, keep in mind Christianity isn't the only major religion, so don't try to tie God down into the Bible version.  That mess is just... *shivers*  It was written by man.  The Old Testament is Jewish law.  Everything in there is also in the Torah.  I once asked a Jewish person to make sure, and she told me that yes, the Old Testament and the Torah are practically the same book, with a few differences.  It was about control.  Fear is a very good motivator, and the ruling priests found it very effective to tell people they had to do x, y, and z, or God would smite them and torture them for all eternity.  I mean, look at what they did with Jesus.  They had him branded a criminal, and they crucified him all because he was making people not afraid of them.  Jesus taught that all people had to do was believe in him, and not follow all those insane laws.  They were losing control, and they really didn't like it.  The jealous two year old is not God, but the man who desires power over others.

I'm pretty sure the meaning of life is to learn and grow.  I believe in reincarnation, so even after we complete one lifetime, we are still a work in progress.  Just like we go through stages from infancy to being elderly, souls go through stages.  Jesus was probably a huge opportunity for people to learn and grow away from the broken system of fear that is the OT, but sadly, they only made it half way.  The more enlightened Christians I've come across completely disregard the OT, so hope is not completely lost. 

Forget Heaven and Hell for a minute, because Hell was just a scare tactic.  The goal is to evolve and learn the lessons you were meant to learn.  I liked the comment about not giving the keys to the kingdom to a child, because that pretty much hits the nail on the head.  Religious extremist are children who don't know any better, and refuse to learn, at least in this lifetime.  I believe we all go to the same place, and are judged on our own record rather than our religious beliefs.  Of course, extremism of any kind is bad.  But that is why I am a firm believer that it doesn't matter what you believe.  God doesn't care as long you believe in something and don't have the IQ of a rock. 

In short, God is not one of us.  The imperfections were created by man because the Bible, among pretty much every other holy book, was created by man.  We were all just dumped here so we could evolve, and this is what man has come up with.  It doesn't inspire much confidence, but maybe someday....     


wow, Good point, this is why I posted this, to get other people's views and have a good debate, not an angry corus.
Also again I'm not the brightest bulb on the forum when it comes to theology, but at least we're coming up with good stuff.

Offline Sabby

Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2012, 11:52:32 AM »
Oops... I just wrote out a long reply to that and remembered this wasn't the Atheism topic xD My bad.

Interesting points Serephino :) The problem here is the same as there though. We're discussing the relationship of proven reality and unprovable supernatural concepts. An entire half of this discussion has no foundations. We can talk about the human mind and the assorted concepts of creator figures, but anything beyond that is pointless.

Basically, we're asking "What would X do, and why is Y like Z?" When we haven't even established what X is. We go on to ponder why X made Z at all, since Y was already working out so well. It's malformed until you have a basis for X. And we're not going to get a basis for X. This is a philosophical debate, and a vague one at that.

Posts like that Serephino are interesting and appropriate, and I enjoyed reading it, but it's still working on your own beliefs of a creator. Pumpkin may disagree with you on something. Her foundation is as valid as yours. Tom Cruise could sign in right now and challenge your foundation with his own, and he would be as right as you and Pumpkin. All three of you could spend your entire lives trying to establish a foundation for the argument, and not only will you never get one that doesn't exclude two of you, you'll never make a whole and complete foundation. Ever.

So I guess the question here isn't "What if God was one of us?" but "Can my God be one of us and still be Godly?"

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Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2012, 12:27:25 PM »
So far, not one of the gods that humans have worshiped has been perfect.  (Although the modern - feck it - monotheists would beg to differ.)  Veks has pointed out the flaws in the Biblical deity, and as far as my research goes, the deities of all other religions have their flaws as well. 

Here's a possibly radical theory:  God is the distillate of Man.  There might be enough internal conflict that there's a good 'distillate' and a bad 'distillate', but neither is completely purified.  As Man (as a whole) changes, that distillate also changes - becomes more refined as we do, or coarser, if we do.  Separation into individual elements isn't possible, because then the structure is lost - you can heat alcohol until it breaks down into hydrogen, oxygen, etc, but then it ceases to be 'distilled', and also ceases to be 'alcohol'.

Offline Grakor

Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2012, 12:37:51 PM »
So I guess the question here isn't "What if God was one of us?" but "Can my God be one of us and still be Godly?"

There have been plenty of faith systems and mythologies that presented gods as being very similar to us common humans, being flawed creatures themselves. Greek mythology has gods acting like squabbling teenagers much of the time, with Zeus being a shameless philanderer who will sleep with anything female (and some things male!), Hera venting her rage about Zeus on his illegitimate children for no fault of their own, Ares being simply axe-crazy, etc. etc. Norse mythology had all of the gods fated to die in one climactic battle in the future, with Odin being exceptionally paranoid and obsessed with avoiding his imminent demise, Loki being an amoral trickster, etc. etc. I could go on, but my point is that the idea of a god being "one of us" has never stopped them from being "godly" to the majority before.

In fact, I would say the idea of God as a completely perfect being that knows all, sees all, and has no faults is probably a very recent one. The radical shift in values and means of worship between the Old Testament to the New Testament aside, we're also left to ponder the inherent paradox of an all-loving God that would, nonetheless, punish people for eternity for not stroking his ego. So, ultimately, the idea of a God having to learn as he goes along doesn't strike me as particularly radical.

Now, the point about the Bible raised before is also a very valid one. It's honestly difficult to come up with a singular, solid view when what we have to go on is a very old book, written with a certain cultural perspective in mind, that has been translated hundreds of times and whose meaning is still hotly debated.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 12:42:41 PM by Grakor »

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Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 12:42:19 PM »
It's honestly difficult to come up with a singular, solid view when what we have to go on is a very old book, written with a certain cultural perspective in mind, that has been translated hundreds of times and whose meaning is still hotly debated.

Written by several different authors, as well, and mostly after the fact.  They haven't found a single copy of the canonical Gospels that dates to within a probable lifetime of the apostles.

Offline Serephino

Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2012, 12:50:25 PM »
I know this isn't really a topic on religion, I was just offering a different perspective for you to ponder.  All of you Atheist and Gnostic type people can kick around theories all day, but isn't another point of view on the topic a nice breath of fresh air?

You are right, Sabby, in that we will never all agree, but perhaps that is the beauty of the world.  Do you eat the same foods every day?  Do you wear the same clothes?  Do you watch the same repeated shows over and over again?  Somehow, I doubt it.  Variety is what makes life interesting.

I did sort of address the topic at hand, in a roundabout way.  God is not one of us, but rather the worlds' major religions have made him so in their text.  I guess it's easier to comprehend what we understand.  We understand being human, so we assign human traits to God.  When natural disasters happen people tried to explain it as God being angry.  Personally, I like to explain them as a nice slice of humble pie.  With all of our technology we still can't really predict or stop them.  All we can do is accept that it happens and prepare. 

Now, does God evolve right along with us?  I would say yes.  This is how I can say with confidence that God created the earth, but not be a Creationist that thinks fossils and whatnot were a plant to lead us off the path.  The Bible says it took seven days to create the earth.  For all any of us knows, a day for God is a million earth years.  I think evolution was an experiment.  Honestly, I think we're all one giant science experiment.  He created life, and little changes happened here and there until the reign of the giant dinosaurs.  Something made him decide that wasn't what he wanted after all, so he wiped those out and started over.  So, yeah...  He thought he wanted giant reptiles, but when he got them, decided he didn't anymore.  Of course, the laws he put into place stayed in place, so now we have evidence we can find and poke at. 

It's like any science experiment.  You add some kind of stimulus, then sit back and see what happens.  You think about it, then poke and prod a little more to see if you can get your subject to go a certain direction.  Subjects don't always do what you want them to, but it's still fun to see what comes of your poking and prodding.     

 

Offline Ironwolf85Topic starter

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Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2012, 01:03:30 PM »
WOOOO fresh perspective (I'm along the same lines as he and pupkin, just less articulate)

Offline Sabby

Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2012, 01:06:43 PM »
I wasn't attacking you... I was actually praising your post, because it seemed to understand how this whole thing goes down :) Sorry if you misunderstood. This new one, however... I have a knee jerk reaction to this kind of thing, and the first thing I want to ask for is your evidence. Then I remember your not making a claim .___. You don't need to present any evidence, because you understand that this is all just your personal belief and it can't stand up beyond that. Thing is, I don't hear this kind of thing spoken as 'just something I like to believe' nearly as often as it is a proven theory, or worse, an undeniable fact.

It is a silly world we live in, full of silly people, on that I think we can agree xD

Offline Serephino

Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2012, 01:38:41 PM »
I wasn't taking your post as an attack, so you don't have to worry about that.  I was just trying to elaborate a little further.  No, I don't have proof.  It's just how I see the world.  I completely understand that others have a different point of view.  This is just stuff I think about when I have nothing better to do.  The world being a giant experiment is really just a theory.  I'm not even sure it's true, and I have no way to test it. 

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Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2012, 02:11:45 PM »
I wasn't attacking you... I was actually praising your post, because it seemed to understand how this whole thing goes down :) Sorry if you misunderstood. This new one, however... I have a knee jerk reaction to this kind of thing, and the first thing I want to ask for is your evidence. Then I remember your not making a claim .___. You don't need to present any evidence, because you understand that this is all just your personal belief and it can't stand up beyond that. Thing is, I don't hear this kind of thing spoken as 'just something I like to believe' nearly as often as it is a proven theory, or worse, an undeniable fact.

It is a silly world we live in, full of silly people, on that I think we can agree xD

There's a little bit of that Torquamada voice in everyone, including you eh sabby, we have to learn to shut him up...

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Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2012, 02:24:59 PM »
There's a little bit of that Torquamada voice in everyone, including you eh sabby, we have to learn to shut him up...

'Do not implore him for mercy.  Let's face it, you can't Torquemada anything.'

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Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2012, 02:34:41 PM »
*grooooan*

Offline Ironwolf85Topic starter

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Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2012, 02:40:01 PM »
did I just miss an in joke?

Online Oniya

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Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2012, 02:44:05 PM »
Mel Brooks reference.  Although the pun itself can stand alone. (Torquemada  -> talk 'im outta)

Offline Sabby

Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2012, 02:46:36 PM »
Yeah, I'm completely lost. What voice am I shutting up?

Offline Trieste

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Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2012, 02:59:19 PM »
Sabby: Torquemada was a Spanish grand inquisitor.

This guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom%C3%A1s_de_Torquemada

Offline Tamhansen

Re: What if god was one of us... or at least thought and learned...
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2012, 03:13:08 PM »
Sabby This is the reference  Mel Brooks´ Spanish Inquisition

Basically if god is not infallible and changes his views, then what is the point of following him? Because what is right today is wrong tomorrow?