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Thread: Justice and mercy with God?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    There is no original sin in Judaism either.
    http://www.aish.com/atr/Original_Sin.html
    The way Jews understand their Torah and the way Christians interpret the Old Testament are different. That is why Judaism and Christianity are 2 different religions.

    Good people can do bad things---why? because God gave us this potential when he gave us limited free-will.
    Its not a matter of "limited" free-will.

    James 1: 12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.


    16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

    Listening and Doing

    19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

    22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

    26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    How is God according to Islam both truly Just and truly Merciful?

    In Islam---Justice, compassion and mercy are concepts that have relevance to both the relationship between Man and God (vertical axis) and the relationship between Man and Man (horizontal axis).......However, the question posed, concerns the relationship between Man and God only (vertical axis)...so, let us explore the difference between the 2 axis...God and Man and Man and Man.

    Tawheed (Unity) = One God. This means that allhumanity is created by the One God. All worship (from humanity) is heard by the One and Only God. This also means that all blessings and trials to (all) humanity come from the will of the One/Only God.---no other. Therefore, justice, compassion, mercy apply to all humanity---not a selected/chosen few. This leads into the concept that all humanity is equal before God. (Only God is most superior, all humanity is equally inferior to God).
    Creation is created inherently good. The creation of humanity is also good, therefore human beings possess a natural capacity for good. When they rebel against their own "self"/human nature, they have the capacity to do bad. Therefore, humanity has the capacity and the inclination towards good unless they choose of their own free will to do bad. Another way to phrase this would be---humanity is innocent until they choose otherwise. Yet, this is not enough. it is too abstract. There needs to be evidence/proof of guilt(bad intentions/actions.) Which means---humanity is innocent until proven otherwise.
    (At Judgement "day", the human soul is shown evidence so that they are without a shadow of doubt as to their status)

    The above aspects of Justice applies to both the vertical and horizontal axis---where the 2 axis differ is in the power relations.
    (Only God is most superior, all humanity is equally inferior to God)

    Qadr (to measure/destiny)
    On earth, humanity has different destinies (measures)---some have little wealth, others have much, some do not have access to knowledge, others do, some have more strength than others, some have a higher capacity for spirituality than others....etc. In spite of these differences, all humanity is inherently of equivalent value before God. (All are equally creations of One God). Our time on earth is a test. Some human beings live longer than others...to give life, or death, or to determine its length (on earth) is a privilege of God. The different measure of trials and blessings God wills to human beings is a privilege (right) of God.

    how does compassion and mercy fit into this framework?

    There is a saying of the Prophet(pbuh) ---" God's mercy takes precedence over His wrath" (this is also a privilege of God)
    In the horizontal axis (man to man), justice, compassion and mercy are bi-directional because all humanity is of equal value to one another.
    But in the vertical axis, it is unidirectional---God has no need for justice, compassion and mercy from humanity with regards to himself---it is humanity that is dependent upon God.
    Therefore, trials (on earth) are tests and can be both punishment or reward. When a person has been given trials and is patient and remembers God--this trial becomes a blessing (virtue) but when the person becomes arrogant and forgets God (or gets angry at God) this can become a punishment (sin). Abundance (blessings) can also be a punishment or reward---A person who has been given much and is grateful and shares what God has given---this can become a reward (virtue) but if he is ungrateful and forgets God or is arrogant---this can become a punishment (sin).
    In this context, "want"(trials) and abundance(blessings) are neither good nor bad but take on the color/hue depending on human intentions/actions. (Arabic= Sharr/Khair)

    Human beings are each given a measure of life-span---long or short----within this life-span we may do good and/or bad---whatever good we do will be rewarded, whatever bad we do will be punished. BUT God, most merciful, most compassionate will give every opportunity for us to be remorseful and ask forgiveness during our life-span. This opportunity comes to an end at death.
    The way to heaven is wider than that to hell. While we are on earth, we can have right belief that can promote right intentions that lead to right actions orif we fall into error, then to repent, ask forgiveness and strive to reform (jihad). Only those who persist in wrong belief that promote wrong intentions that lead to wrong actions, despite knowing it is wrong---will be punished.

    How does (divine) justice fit into this framework?

    God has given Guidance (scriptures/Wisdom teachings), sent teachers (Prophets, Sages..etc) and created humanity with a capacity for Good and human nature that inclines towards good. God has also provided intelligence and reason so that even if guidance and teachers were unavailable, we would be able to use our intelligence to reason about these matters. But to those who may have less measure of this capacity, God has also given us eyes to see the "signs of God" (in nature) and the intuition to feel awe.
    If, despite all these favors, human beings persist in intentionally doing wrong, then it is just and fair that there be consequences for the harm they cause (to God's creations and to their own souls)
    (...to not have consequences for the intentional harm caused, would be unjust)


    We all come from God and will return to God.
    The last of the seven pillars is struggle. When understanding (and from a human point of view) the internal struggle, we struggle with both the divine and with man, in our trials. Even when we read the story of Ishmael, and speaking from the view point of Hagar, Hagar runs away from Sarah - why? because of the tension between the two woman. Hagar ran away from Sarah and fled into the desert on her way to Shur. As she runs, at a spring en route, an angel appeared to Hagar, who instructs her to return back to Sarai and to submit to her cruelty or in other words, persevere (definition of preserver:even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success). Again, its a internal struggle with what God wants out of us verses what we can not face ourselves (again - Moses, and his fears to face Pharaoh or even Jacob, facing Esau). However, like Moses - God tells him that He will be with him or better said, "I will be with you". See Genesis 31:

    Jacob Flees From Laban

    1 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.” 2And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.

    3Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”

    4 So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. 5 He said to them, “I see that your father’s attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength, 7 yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me.

    God makes us face our own fears! with the understanding that He is with us in our struggle..

  3. #13
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Do you want to see what's scarier:

    NK%20army_0.jpg

    "Failing to act now on the most pressing security issue in the world may bring catastrophic consequences," Tillerson said in his first remarks to the council as secretary of state."

    U.S. Says Failure to Act on North Korea Could Be Catastrophic

    That picture will remind you of Germany during WW2:

    bebef8dcdbf0c4aea42ee68067c8e3d1.jpg

    Nazi soldiers marching in Wenceslas Square, Prague 1938

    history.jpg
    Adolf Hitler reviewing a Reich Labor Service (RAD) parade Zeppelin Field Nürnberg Germany Sep 1937

    I still say that wickedness can spread but also, so can good when we fight to reduce the strength of wickedness with God's help.
    Last edited by Marta; 06-07-2017 at 07:32 AM.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta View Post

    1) So, what makes people so wicked to do bad things and others righteous to do good? and what makes another look away to the bad? Like Moses, they become afraid.

    2) In Judaism, there is this thought of both good inclinations and bad ones:

    "There is a biblical basis to the idea of the existence in man's nature of an instinctive tendency or impulse (yeẓer as in Ps. 103:14 from yaẓar, i.e., to "form" or "create" as in Gen. 2:8), which, left to itself, would lead to his undoing by prompting him to act in a manner contrary to the will of God (whence the term yeẓer ha-ra or "inclination to evil"). Thus, in Genesis 5 it is stated that "every inclination of the thoughts of his – i.e., man's – heart is only evil continually" and again in Genesis 8:21 "for the inclination of man's heart is evil from his youth." The doctrine of the two inclinations (or drives) is a major feature of rabbinic psychology and anthropology. As a personification of the permanent dualism of the choice between good and evil, the rabbinic notion of the two inclinations shifts this dualism from a metaphysical to a more psychological level (i.e., two tendencies in man rather than two cosmic principles)." Inclinations Good and Bad

    3) In thought, you can make those inclinations (bad or good) become real - in the flesh and blood. If I do something very bad, that "action" becomes flesh and blood, as well as, if I do something good. You can (as the saying goes) become the devils advocate to that inclination but also, you can be God's servant by fighting it.

    Does this make sense? It becomes a process of thought and that thought can become real - like the story (chapter on creation) Eve "picks" of the forbidden fruit and those actions from that point become "flesh and blood".

    John 1: The Word Became Flesh: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
    Some interesting thoughts and connections.

    1) Fear--- I agree---but---from the Quranic perspective, the (Arabic) word Taqwa, often translated as love of God/God-consciousness, corresponds better with the English word "awe" which has connotations of both love and fear. Therefore, "fear" could be an element in prompting both good and bad action. The difference would be between non-selfish/altruistic fear---the fear of disappointing God vs selfish fear---the fear for ones self.....?...

    2) Yetzer hara and Yetzer hatov---The human soul is called nefesh (Arabic = nafs) and there are 3 categories, a) nefesh b) ruach 3) neshama. Neshama could be equated somewhat to (spiritual) "enlightenment".
    In the Quran the human being is made of 3 components, a) the body (bio-chemistry), b) the nafs (soul) and c) the ruh (spirit).....of this, the soul/nafs has 3 levels...nafs ammara (animal/egoic soul), nafs lawama (transegoic soul), and nafs mutmainna (soul at peace). Nafs mutmainna is the highest spiritual level and could be equated somewhat with neshama/spiritual enlightenment......

    more info on Jewish ideas---
    http://www.aish.com/jl/sp/bas/48942091.html
    https://ohr.edu/ask_db/ask_main.php/220/Q4/

    3) Interesting connection between thought and action and the role of language (word)/ideas in the transition of thought to action.
    My opinion is that generally thoughts/ideas are abstracts and cannot cause harm unless used/abused to justify/promote harmful action. (with the exception of libel/defamation....) Therefore, I would be cautious of any tendencies to restrict thoughts/ideas (though with some exceptions) within human societies. However, God is most knowing---therefore God can judge beliefs and intentions.

  5. #15
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta View Post
    Its not a matter of "limited" free-will.

    James 1: 12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.


    16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

    Listening and Doing

    19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

    22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

    26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
    Desire---from the Islamic perspective, the desire for food, shelter, love, safety, society...etc are not "bad"---they are simply a normative condition of being in a "body" on earth. Such desires are necessary for the body to survive on earth and for human flourishing. Desires become "bad" when in excess....for example greed, gluttony...etc....Therefore the purpose of ethics/morality (rules/laws) is to "manage" so as to restrict harm and promote good/benefit.

    The purpose/test of our creation is "to choose" to do God's will (submission) of our own free-will. (Ibadah (worship) = "to do for God")

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Desire---from the Islamic perspective, the desire for food, shelter, love, safety, society...etc are not "bad"---they are simply a normative condition of being in a "body" on earth. Such desires are necessary for the body to survive on earth and for human flourishing. Desires become "bad" when in excess....for example greed, gluttony...etc....Therefore the purpose of ethics/morality (rules/laws) is to "manage" so as to restrict harm and promote good/benefit.

    The purpose/test of our creation is "to choose" to do God's will (submission) of our own free-will. (Ibadah (worship) = "to do for God")
    Genesis 1:

    26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

    Man was not created to preserve one's own existence. Moses even announced this to the Israelites in the desert in Deuteronomy 29:

    "Your eyes have seen all that the Lord did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land. 3 With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those signs and great wonders. 4 But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. 5 Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. 6 You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.”

    Man as it is written was made in the image of God - created. Both man and woman were given two commandments, to be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. To rule - to know how to rule over it. Lacking in that regard, due to the fall of man - since man was tempted to eat of the forbidden fruit, how could man rule? Out of the punishment - as it is stated:

    “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken;for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

    Man was punished - sinned but (as stated) he had knowledge of "good" from "evil". As the serpent said, "You will be "like" God" knowing good and evil - right? Question being - if God created man to rule and subdue the earth, how was he to rule it? With what knowledge?

    4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

    At the temple dedication Solomon asked God, 2 Chronicles 1: "10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” It was God's word and guidance even at the time of the Exodus, that lead the Israelites out into the desert to the promise land, which that was apparent - as to know that it was God who lead the Israelite out of Egypt. The key word is, "To Know" - As we both know "man" can not save himself (Matthew 19, " “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ).


    “For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
    on them he has set the world.

    9
    He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
    but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta View Post
    Adolf Hitler...
    You win!

    I still say that wickedness can spread but also, so can good when we fight to reduce the strength of wickedness with God's help.
    I hope you're not expecting an argument on that.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  8. #18
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    There is no original sin in Judaism either.
    http://www.aish.com/atr/Original_Sin.html
    The way Jews understand their Torah and the way Christians interpret the Old Testament are different. That is why Judaism and Christianity are 2 different religions.

    Good people can do bad things---why? because God gave us this potential when he gave us limited free-will.
    Look at the site you quoted and tell us how Judaism differs from the Islam belief.

    "Adam and Eve were punished according to their actions. In other words, God laid down the conditions for Adam and Eve to live in the garden, provided they would not eat from the Tree of Knowledge. However, if they were to eat from that tree they would be punished by experiencing death. (If they had not eaten from the tree, they would have remained immortal.)"

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta View Post
    Genesis 1:

    26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

    Man was not created to preserve one's own existence. Moses even announced this to the Israelites in the desert in Deuteronomy 29:

    "Your eyes have seen all that the Lord did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land. 3 With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those signs and great wonders. 4 But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. 5 Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. 6 You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.”

    Man as it is written was made in the image of God - created. Both man and woman were given two commandments, to be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. To rule - to know how to rule over it. Lacking in that regard, due to the fall of man - since man was tempted to eat of the forbidden fruit, how could man rule? Out of the punishment - as it is stated:

    “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken;for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

    Man was punished - sinned but (as stated) he had knowledge of "good" from "evil". As the serpent said, "You will be "like" God" knowing good and evil - right? Question being - if God created man to rule and subdue the earth, how was he to rule it? With what knowledge?

    4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

    At the temple dedication Solomon asked God, 2 Chronicles 1: "10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” It was God's word and guidance even at the time of the Exodus, that lead the Israelites out into the desert to the promise land, which that was apparent - as to know that it was God who lead the Israelite out of Egypt. The key word is, "To Know" - As we both know "man" can not save himself (Matthew 19, " “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ).

    ......
    Dominionism?---A Christian concept/doctrine? that encourages the belief that Christians are biblically mandated to control all earthly institutions until the second coming of Jesus.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_945601.html

    That concept is not Quranic....the Quran talks of Trusteeship, which is about the responsibility to care for all of God's creations.
    The Pursuit of happiness/tranquility/peace is a God-given right/responsibility---within relationships and with the community. Both sadness and happiness---like trials and blessings are tests.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    You win!



    I hope you're not expecting an argument on that.
    I was honored to have meant the men (the last remaining) who survived the death march in the Korean War. There wasn't many left but I had talked with a few of them as everyone around gathered around to listen. A very few - who had reunited for dinner. I wonder what they would say about this incident with North Korea today.

    During the Korean War, in the winter of 1951, 200,000 South Korean National Defense Corps soldiers were forcibly marched by their commanders, and 50,000 to 90,000 soldiers starved to death or died of disease during the march or in the training camps.[13] This incident is known as National Defense Corps Incident.

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