For its nature is to love nothing so much as its own interest; this to it is father and brother and kinsmen and country and God. When, for instance, we think that the gods stand in the way of our attainment of this, we revile even them, cast their statues to the ground, and burn their temples, as Alexander ordered the temples of Asclepius to be burned when his loved one died.
For where one can say "I" and "mine," to that side must the creature perforce incline; if they  are in the flesh, there must the ruling power be; if they are in the moral purpose, there must it be; if they are in externals, there must it be. For then this will be my interest—to keep my good faith, my self-respect, my forbearance, my abstinence, and my co-operation, and to maintain my relations with other men. But if I put what is mine in one scale, and what is honourable in the other, then the statement of Epicurus assumes strength, in which he declares that "the honourable is either nothing at all, or at best only what people hold in esteem.
It was through ignorance of this that the Athenians and Lacedaemonians quarrelled, and the Thebans with both of them, and the Great King with Greece, and the Macedonians with both of them, and in our days the Romans with the Getae, and yet earlier than any of these, what happened at Ilium was due to this. Alexander was a guest of Menelaus, and if anyone had seen their friendly treatment of one another, he would have disbelieved any man who said they were not friends. But there was thrown in between them a morsel, a pretty woman, and to win her war arose. Nay, do not make the same enquiry that most men do, asking whether two men are of the same parents, or were brought up together, or had the same school attendant, but this, and this only: Where do they put their interest—outside themselves, or in their moral purpose?
If outside, call them not friends, any more than you would call them faithful, steadfast, courageous, or free; nay, call them not even human beings, if you are wise.
Foundations of Faith
For it is no judgement of human sort which makes them bite that is revile one another, and take to the desert that is, to the market-place as wild beasts take to the mountains, and in courts of law act the part of brigands; nor is it a judgement of human sort which makes them profligates and adulterers and corrupters; nor is it any such thing which makes men guilty of any of the many other crimes which they commit against one another; it is because of one single judgement, and this alone—because they put themselves and what belongs to themselves in the category of things which lie outside the sphere of moral purpose.
How do you know but that, when you have lost your utility, as that of some utensil, he will throw you away like a broken plate? But a necklace came in between them. And what does a necklace signify? One's judgement about things like a necklace. That was the brutish element, that was what sundered the bond of love, what would not allow a woman to be a wife, a mother to remain a mother.
So let every one of you who is eager to be a friend to somebody himself, or to get somebody else for a friend, eradicate these judgements, hate them, banish them from his own soul. According to Mr. Aslan, Jesus was born in Nazareth and grew up a poor laborer. Like John, Jesus preached the imminent arrival of the kingdom of God, which would be an earthly, political state ruled by God or his anointed, a messiah. Jesus never intended to found a church, much less a new religion. He was loyal to the law of Moses as he interpreted it.
Jesus opposed not only the Roman overlords, Mr. Aslan writes, he entered Jerusalem with his disciples in a provocative way that recalled royal entrances described in Jewish scripture. He then enacted a violent cleansing of the Temple: something like radical street theater, except that it took place in a site of supreme holiness. Provoked by that action and his other rantings against the Temple and its caretakers, the authorities arrested Jesus.
The Romans crucified him as a rebel, a zealot and a pretender to the Judean throne. The charge on the cross is historical: the Romans took Jesus as claiming to be the messianic king of the Jews. Since only the Roman Senate could appoint kings within the Empire, claiming to be a king was treasonous and punishable by the worst kind of death: torture and crucifixion.
Nor is it as outlandish as described by his detractors. The most famous case for the thesis is the book by S. Aslan follows Mr. Brandon in his general thesis as well as in many details, a borrowing that should have been better acknowledged. Brandon gets only a cursory mention in the notes. And the basic premise that Jesus was zealous for the political future of Israel as the kingdom of God on earth is neither new nor controversial.
Aslan does not fall into the anachronism of making Jesus a member of the Zealot Party as described by Josephus. After the holocaust, after great, great loss, because of it they gained back their homeland and then their capital and holy city. After thousands of years of exile, they made a great gain followingtheir great loss. Look at the life of Joseph.
He went through tremendous tragedy and set back and in the end he said what you meant for evil, God meant for good.
That is the final answer. We obviously live in a fallen and wicked world.
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Why should that keep us from faith? It should actually increase our faith!!
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Because the bible doesnt say not to expect trouble, it actually promises it. But Christ defeated him at the cross and promises to dispose of him for good at the end of the age. Until then, we have to live in the world that he is ruler of and embrace the love of God and the promise that our pain may endure through out our lives, but joy will be ours through Christ, eternally.
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Ultimately, faith is listed as one of 9 fruits of the spirit. It is a supernatural thing to believe. It is not in our nature or in our surroundings, it is of God himself. For more on this, please watch this video. Are you under the impression that suffering is of no worth? I would say that it is of little to no worth, yes. Especially when one has no idea why they are suffering inexplicably. God can, will and does intervene, especially when we seek Him. They are being the hands and feet of God, being his love in action! To believe in good, does not mean to deny evil!!
It is a very real and obvious fact of life in this world. But it does not help those who lost their lives or were permanently maimed. Heather, please ask God to cure all cancer patients in the country of Australia? Have him do it at midnight tonight. If that happens, I think a lot of atheists will become believers. Jesus and the Apostles already healed thousands and only a few were convinced.
You only have anecdotal accounts. That is wholly insufficient to support such claims. There are no medical records to consult, and no witnesses to talk to. If Jesus wanted to impress the world, he should have eliminated disease.
Book of Mormon
Now that would have still resonated throughout the world. I am sorry he is not an amputee. Thousands of these on the internet. But thanks for the effort. What makes this a miracle rather than a rare event? Yes Heather like the Salvation Army who indeed have been trying to compete with the Catholic Church when it comes to child abuse. I appreciate the good that some religious organizations do. There is no denying it, nor would i wish to.
But the question of a god preventing evil is quite apart from the question of people helping others recover because he chose to allow it to happen. All of that merely proves the existence of Satan in a fallen world. There was no such in Eden and there will be none in the New Earth.
God has given us the free will to choose evil or to choose good.
Archaeology and Jesus
Which have you chosen? No, it proves much more. Your statement implies one of two possibilities exist. The free will question does not come into play. One cannot choose not to get cancer, or not to go blind because of a parasite infection, or choose not to be swept away by some natural disaster. A child cannot choose not to starve to death because there is no food. I am nowhere addressing whether one chooses to believe in a god or practice a religion. His ways are perfect.
I do not understand them. I am not God. But the more I study His character, the more complex He becomes. I love your thought process. I wish you Shalom.
When you figure out how a supposedly completely benevolent being can commit immoral things, get back to me. I wish you well. Milton, You seem to believe that you have a unique point of view. Were you seriously seeking the answer — several people have given you suggestions for finding it.
So I believe that you are not actually seeking an answer — but rather merely seeking to destroy the faith of others. Christ came to earth.