Shall we agree, then, for the sake of a more focussed discussion, that we are discussing the Abrahamic god? (As an aside, if you have any insight into why that god is not referred to as the Mosaic or Adamic god I would genuinely appreciate your sharing it!)
I am not really sure, as to I don’t think I have ever called God, Abrahamic God. Scripture seems to say “God of Abraham” about 17 times, but it also has “God of Shem”, “God of Isaac”, “God of Nahor”, and it also says “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” a few times. Where do you usually hear this phrase? It could be that Abraham is noted as the father of us all in faith [Romans 4].
If you prefer we can even exclude (or not, your choice) the Islamic view of that shared deity; I don't know your background but I will freely admit that I am far less familiar with the Koran and Hadith than with the Torah, Talmud, Mishnah and Midrash, and less familiar with any of those than with the Christian versions of the Old and New Testaments.
There is no need to include, Allah, the god of the Muslims, because this god is not the same as the God of Scripture, nor do they see Jesus Christ as a Savior of mankind from sin.
Since we are agreed that the non-revelatory deist god is not relevant to our conversation, we have to speak of oral or written religious traditions. I don't think either of us is heir to a predominantly oral tradition; you are a Christian, and I am an atheist of Christian (specifically Roman Catholic) extraction.
Even where there are unwritten 'grace notes' such as the Catholic Assumption of Mary heading straight into Heaven, the Christian faith like its Judaic forebears is primarily based on a written scripture. The only question, especially if we're relying on translations, is which undeniable literal written word of God we're to go by.
Since I am Baptist, Scripture is our authority over oral tradition, therefore I find no support of a “Catholic Assumption of Mary” contained anywhere in Scripture, so I am a little unclear as why you write of it and include, “primarily based on a written scripture”.
I'm not a linguist or archaeologist either, and I'm only truly familiar with the English translations. My greatest lack is the gift of tongues, alas... I do have a number of English translations of the Holy Bible, though, both Catholic and Protestant, as well as several of the apocryphal gospels.
What I don't have is access to the mind of your god to let me know which translation to use. If you could please pray and ask your god which one we should work with I'd be grateful. Should your god have a preferred version I don't already own I'll be happy to purchase a copy so that we'll be conversing about the same text.
Just let me know which one you and He likes. Oh, and not to be forward or anything, but while you're discussing the subject I wonder if you'd suggest he actually straighten that issue out for everybody else as well? It certainly would help tone down the violence due to misunderstandings in a number of places around the world.
This is where I find more sarcasm than actual discussion. The study of translations and manuscripts evidence and Greek Texts, etc. is a very broad topic which covers much more information than I have in my limited knowledge of all that encompasses the topic. I have done some reading on the subject, but am far from being an expert of it. You are free to view my section on Bibles/Translations and I have other information on the side bar under “Variants of Silver?”. As for me, I use the King James Bible. What “violence due to misunderstandings in a number of places around the world” comes from Bible translations?
Where exactly are you going with this line of questioning? Or, what exactly are you asking of me?
From the other post, you had the following:
The characteristics normally ascribed to that god, alone - omnipotence, omniscience, omnibenevolence - cannot logically exist together. Omnipotence is self-defeating; an omnipotent being cannot create a force which that same being cannot defeat, i.e. God can't make a rock so heavy even He can't lift it. Omniscience is incompatible with any power at all, because it includes the ability to foresee an action which can then be prevented, meaning the prophecy was invalid. Omnibenevolence, in conjunction with omnipotence and omniscience, is incompatible with the world containing needless suffering; a god which sees the suffering, is able to prevent it and does not do so is obviously not loving in any recognizable sense of the word, unless you are a particularly talented sado-masochist.
Omnipotence –Your question/statement, “God can't make a rock so heavy even He can't lift it.”
"What the above "paradox" lacks is vital information concerning God's nature. His omnipotence is not something independent of His nature. It is part of His nature. God has a nature and His attributes operate within that nature, as does anything and everything else.
Omnipotence is not the ability to do anything conceivable, but the ability to do anything consistent with His nature and consistent with His desire within the realm of His unlimited and universal power which we do not possess.”
Omniscience – Your problem, “incompatible with any power at all, because it includes the ability to foresee an action which can then be prevented, meaning the prophecy was invalid.”
Omnibenevolence – Your problem, “in conjunction with omnipotence and omniscience, is incompatible with the world containing needless suffering; a god which sees the suffering, is able to prevent it and does not do so is obviously not loving in any recognizable sense of the word”.
With that said, concerning your concern of a loving God, having the ability to see and stop suffering, but does not (at least not every time), how can God also be loving? Would that be a fair meaning of your question? Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Notice that it does not say, “all things are good”, but that “all things work together for good”. Notice it doesn’t say, “to the good of all”, but says, “for good to them that love God”. Yes, yes, I realize that bad things still happen to Christians. The issue is that it ultimately works out to their good and the good of others. One example is death. Death is the doorway for a Christian into a sinless, perfect, peace and rest without any sadness. It also moves others to consider their own souls and relationships with God and eternity, and how they interact with people each and everyday, etc.
I say suffering rather than evil because the doctrine of free will, which is the best answer theodicy has to offer, does not cover agentless suffering. In the specific case of the Abrahamic god, the distinction is largely superfluous, as most of the actions described as taken by the Abrahamic god in the sacred texts can only be described as deeply and directly malevolent. The unprevented agentless sufferings of humanity outside those texts are simply icing on the cake of disproving that notional omnibenevolence.
Freewill is a topic I usually find interesting, even when talking to Christians. One will argue freewill, demanding God allow mankind to make any and all decision in and of themselves without any (are merely initial or some influence by God toward salvation) direct persuading by God, yet when something bad happens (whatever each individual may deem as something bad enough God should have stopped) mankind demands that God should have withheld the freewill of the individual(s) which caused the incident to occur. Doesn’t that make us hypocritical? It is like saying, “Let me have my freewill, but limit their’s God.”
These are not new observations by any stretch of the imagination; the problem of suffering certainly predates Christianity and Islam, and probably Judaism but the archaeological record gets scarce that far back. Jewish, Christian and Muslim theologians have been struggling to answer the paradoxes for near enough the entire time the faiths have existed, and have not yet been able to do so.
The inability to explain fully all or some of the paradoxes of Christianity in no way allows mankind to completely dismiss the clear teachings of Scripture and the observance of God Almighty as Creator. God has many attributes besides your mentioned, (Omnipotence, Omniscience, Omnibenevolence) see here, and therefore they all work as one, not as individually contradicting each other. For example, God is love and merciful, but He is also holy and just. Scripture declares, God “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust, but Scripture also declares that God punishes both the just and the unjust when we disobey. His love cannot override His holiness whereby He can accept sin. Christ is the atonement for sin, whereby one may be saved from unrighteousness unto righteousness.
In science, it is perfectly permissible for a theory not to explain everything; at this stage of our development it would be ludicrous to expect anything else. The best and most mature theories will explain an abundance of observable facts, and that is enough to make a theory credible but not useful; to be useful a theory must predict facts before they are demonstrated. A complaint many physicists have about string theory is that while it explains many things it has not yet provided any disprovable predictions. The theory of evolution by natural selection is an example of a theory which is both mature and useful, and not just for enraging creationists either.
What is not permissible is for a theory (or even a hypothesis) to be internally inconsistent or to directly fly in the face of the evidence. The technical term for a hypothesis that does that is false.
Why then are unexplainable paradoxes and/or full knowledge concerning God (the Superior Being, our Creator, which is high above the mental capacity of His creation) such a discount to Christianity, when you admit to the same issue with science? The lack of the ability to know all there is concerning God, in no way removes God, but simply acknowledges man’s finite intelligence of such matters. The Scriptures clearly give what we need to know of God and the Savior Jesus Christ for salvation. It completely gives saving knowledge, for the rest is just extra.