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Aaron
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PostSubject: Providence   Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:40 pm

A number of the "classical deists" believed in a concept known as "divine providence".

Is the idea compatible with your beliefs? Do you think such a thing is even possible?

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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: Providence   Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:38 am

I don't hold their classical view of it, but it's hard to be spiritual without believing in some form of purpose to the how and why of existence, and our experiential endeavor.
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PostSubject: Re: Providence   Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:30 pm

"Providence" has two basic meanings : 1> foresight, and 2> providing for special needs. The first definition certainly applies to a deity who can create complex, evolving universes. But the second only fits an anthro-morphic deity with human-like care and concern for his beloved children.

For me, that latter god-concept faded-away with my faith in the human-authored Bible. The provident father-in-heaven is a common mythical figure. For example : Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu deity, who is the Santa Claus of Hinduism, bestowing gifts and answering prayers.

The god-concept that I derive from observing the real world is provident in the first manner. Instead of suspending the laws of nature here-and-there in order to help-out a needy human, G*D had the foresight to create a dynamic evolutionary system that treats all persons equally, but with enough freedom to be independent providers of goods. Charity is not natural, it is cultural.

No special dispensations in nature. But nature has endowed all humans with an altruistic module in the brain, which obliges them to help each other. So yes, G*D is provident, but S/he uses a local distribution system.
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PostSubject: Re: Providence   Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:50 am

I don't think that the deistic God can be attributed with providence in the third person sense (It). In a way; it was God's providence when it created the universe. However, I don't believe God intervenes in the third person sense. In the first and second person sense; God may provide providence. So God's providence is a result of the human race caring for one another.
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Paul Anthony

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PostSubject: Re: Providence   Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:37 pm

And down the rabbit hole we go...

It sounds reasonable to say that God was benevolent enough to create a universe in which evolution might eventually produce the human race, and that we should thank God by being benevolent to each other. Yup, it sounds good, but...

Saying it requires that we jump to the conclusion that God had a benevolent intent when creating the universe! That would seem to be a possibility, but it is one of many possibilities, and choosing that option without any evidence to support the supposition is no better than choosing to believe in a gray-haired white guy who micromanages our everyday lives.

"It's not what we don't know that gets us in trouble. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so."
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PostSubject: Re: Providence   Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:00 pm

If the existence of synchronisicty could be considered "divine providence".... eh, perhaps Cool
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Providence   Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:13 pm

Perhaps providence is just a matter of being in tune with nature or "the way".

39

In harmony with the way,
the sky is clear and spacious,
the earth is solid and full,
all creature flourish together,
content with the way they are,
endlessly repeating themselves,
endlessly renewed.

When man interferes with the way,
the sky becomes filthy,
the earth becomes depleted,
the equilibrium crumbles,
creatures become extinct.

The Master views the parts with compassion,
because he understands the whole.
His constant practice is humility.
He doesn't glitter like a jewel
but lets himself be shaped by the way,
as rugged and common as stone.

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Mechajutaro



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PostSubject: Re: Providence   Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:51 am

Paul Anthony wrote:


Saying it requires that we jump to the conclusion that God had a benevolent intent when creating the universe!

Not to mention the pitfall of assigning human motives, an assumption that seems oppositional to the concept of God bounce
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