Some questions and thoughts - *Long post

Josh, you are asking a lot of question that can not be answered with in a few sentences. "Happiness" is based on the "circumstances" of life. If every thing is going your way, you are happy. If every thing is not going your way, you are unhappy. Christians deal with "joy" which has nothing to do with the circumstances of life. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit that a person gets when they accept Jesus Christ as their savior. A person can have joy even when every thing in their life is going wrong. God does not have "happy" he has "joy" which is where our joy comes from. Even though the Lord has joy, he also takes no "pleasure" in the death of the wicked when they perish. The Lord God does have senses, that are very similar to our feelings as human beings. The reason why we have "emotions" is because we made into God's image and in his likeness. God is not like man, man is like God.
The Lord wants (desires) all men to be saved, but not all men will be saved, because the Lord has given man a free will choice to either choose life or death, and man will suffer the consequences of his own decisions weather it be good or bad. God is perfect because he already knows all of your actions, and thoughts you will have before you were born. Since God lives outside "time", yet he is very aware of our situations in this time based world, and he desires you to discover every thing he has prepared for you before the world began. I want to know what these things are for me, so I search the scriptures until I find what these things are and then believe them so I can have them. The Lord gets great joy when his children prosper, and have joy, just like any other earthly father with their own kids.
CCW95A
Thank you for your response, unfortunately your answer kind of confused me more..
You didn't seem to answer my question as to how a perfect being can have happiness and instead replaced happiness with joy, and redefined joy from a singularly Christian perspective, as opposed to the definition the rest of the world accepts for the word. Now please let me rephrase, as with all things in this world, there are dichotomy: light and dark, good and evil, happiness and unhappiness. So if a being can have happiness, then it can also have unhappiness, unless of course all of the rules of the universe that we have as of now found mean nothing to the creator of said universe. In which case how can we say anything for certain about God? I get the feeling that we determine the features of God based both on the scriptures written and how we as humans interpret the world. If we start saying that God cannot be defined in any fashion, and/or does not exist by any of the rules that He created, there really can't be any answers..
I'm sorry but could you please elaborate on the contradiction that appeared in your answer:
1. "God does not have happy, he has joy, which is where our joy comes from...". If we get joy from God, then where do we get happiness from? God? If so, then wouldn't God also have happiness? In which case, my original question remains unanswered. If not, then where does our happiness come from? You said before that the reason we have emotions is because God sense "that are very similar to our feelings as human beings..." and is the reason that we have emotions. Our happiness must come from somewhere, but where..
Please do not take my questioning as an insult to your response, I mean only to directly answer the questions that I have and avoid becoming more confused.
 
Joshua Warner

Welcome to this forum Joshua

bear with me
Happiness is considered the “highest good” in many philosophic circles, and even more pronounced with Aristotelean influences; for his influences have had a lasting influence in philosophy to argue that happiness “is an end,” yet in the Christian faith happiness in not an end of itself.

For example: Aristotle believed that “happiness” in its best form was Eudaimonia, which meant also well being. The philosophical argument goes:

Why do you do you fish? I like catching fish
Why do you like catching fish? They are good to eat
Why do you like to eat fish? They taste good
Why do you like eating fish that taste good? Its pleasurable
Why do you like pleasure? It makes me happy
Why do you like being happy? I don't know I just do

Thus its philosophically sound to say that “happiness can be the highest good;” however to a Christian that does not “answer how happiness is internally sourced.”

Aristotle would argue that appropriation of happiness is ones ability to be “excellence in life” by building character, which can bring about “Eudaimonia;” however as Christians we argue that “excellence, or Eudaimonia is not enough.” The Christian argues that “well being is sourced in a relationship with our creator." The Christian will argue that “fishing” does not truly make someone happy.

Now to formulate an answer to your post

If by scripture “we are created in Gods image” and our source of happiness is to “know and love our Creator,” is it then possible that God finds happiness in “loving His creation?”

A relationship with Jesus Christ is our source of happiness, yet no philosophical approach can apprehend it. A relationship with Him requires one to “totally dedicate in faith,” and “love.” Thus is it reasonable to embrace that Christ is a “real person” who is happy also because He too has relationships in “love.”

Love realized is happiness, yet no formulated premise in the world can measure it.

In our natural world how do you “grow to love someone who also loves you?” Christianity is not about rules Per Se, its about love-relationship that has rules, and if one can “draw close to Him,” then they will “realize Him.” When Christ manifests as a “tangible presence” inside you, then there is no force on earth that can convince you that He is not real. Yet this “drawing close” requires a contract to be signed in your heart, a contract of love, faith and voluntary slavery; a contract where everything you own, and everything you are, is given to Him. Its a total forfeiture of what you want and a total dedication to what He wants, which will by communion with Him discover that He will give you the honest desires of your heart. Without this heart-signature of dedication, its then only by His grace that He will be revealed to you; yet technically all thing are by His grace. Thus it requires “faith” to sign your life away to Him and discover why you and Him can be happy together.

Great Fiction, thank you for answering my question, I really appreciate your inclusion of Aristotlean theory but unfortunately many of Aristotle's treatises on happiness lacked the soundness of logic, and instead where circular in nature; eg. Aristotle said happiness is the highest good, and that the way that a person can be happy is to be good.
As far as why I like to be happy, that is simply a chemical process that we've gained through evolution and artificially named happiness. I think the question of why I like to be happy is irrelevant to the question of whether God can be happy. I was trying to approach rather the dichotomy of happiness and unhappiness, how a being can be happy and also unhappy, and be perfect at the same time. Redefining how humans achieve happiness doesn't really seem to answer that question and only serves to complicate the question of what exactly happiness is. It forces Christian's to redefine happiness and joy in such a way that can only be supported by scripture. I would really like to find answers to my questions with as many sources as possible, because at times the scripture itself can seem to me to contradict itself; so in the same light that Aristotle gave a definition of happiness that was unsound via contradiction the same could be said about the scripture. I have always become more confused when reading through scripture and thus have tried to rely on logic to come to my conclusions about the world.
I want to say that I appreciate your insight and any advice you could provide, and don't want it to seem that I am purposely throwing a wrench into your response. I mean only to as directly as possible answer the questions that trouble me as to the nature of God and our relation to Him.
 
CCW95A
Thank you for your response, unfortunately your answer kind of confused me more..
You didn't seem to answer my question as to how a perfect being can have happiness and instead replaced happiness with joy, and redefined joy from a singularly Christian perspective, as opposed to the definition the rest of the world accepts for the word. Now please let me rephrase, as with all things in this world, there are dichotomy: light and dark, good and evil, happiness and unhappiness. So if a being can have happiness, then it can also have unhappiness, unless of course all of the rules of the universe that we have as of now found mean nothing to the creator of said universe. In which case how can we say anything for certain about God? I get the feeling that we determine the features of God based both on the scriptures written and how we as humans interpret the world. If we start saying that God cannot be defined in any fashion, and/or does not exist by any of the rules that He created, there really can't be any answers..
I'm sorry but could you please elaborate on the contradiction that appeared in your answer:
1. "God does not have happy, he has joy, which is where our joy comes from...". If we get joy from God, then where do we get happiness from? God? If so, then wouldn't God also have happiness? In which case, my original question remains unanswered. If not, then where does our happiness come from? You said before that the reason we have emotions is because God sense "that are very similar to our feelings as human beings..." and is the reason that we have emotions. Our happiness must come from somewhere, but where..
Please do not take my questioning as an insult to your response, I mean only to directly answer the questions that I have and avoid becoming more confused.

Man is not just a single part, he is made up of three parts, spirit, soul, and body. My physical (body) man is made up of five physical senses that connect to my brain. I can see, feel, hear, taste, and touch my surroundings using these senses. As long as my senses are detecting things to me that I like I am an happy. The spirit of man also has five spiritual senses, but they do not connected to the human brain but the spirit of man. These senses contact the spiritual world. This is what Adam and Eve lost when they sinned, but we can say they became reactivated when a man becomes a child of God. This spiritual realm is where God dwells. The spirit man uses his spiritual senses and through them gains "joy" from what he senses. I can go through a lot of turmoil in my physical body which causes a sense of unhappiness to me, but at the same time I have the Joy of the Lord which is eternal, and is not determined by the circumstances of life in the physical. As a Christian we are told walk not after the "flesh" (body), but after the "Spirit". God lives outside of time, yet he is well aware of what is going on minute, by minute. The Lord God is not subject to the physical laws in which he created. Physical laws are subject to him. He can do things that are impossible to man, and or to physics. this is why he is God.
 
As far as why I like to be happy, that is simply a chemical process

Ahh... Mr. Joshua Warner... , that is very "dangerous” mistake, although it is common mistake in logic.

First: One common mistake is mixing up concepts.
A good example is what was quoted in statement above : how happiness used in the OP, but now the focus is now on only one aspect of the word “happiness” as chemical (physical) concept.

And took notice of how the usage of the word "simply", it denotes something: something of a finality or reducing a word to only one concept when there are lot of other concept available. another dangerous stand point: faulty generalization.

see this flow: “In our Pursuit of Happiness” can now be reduced to “In our pursuit of the Chemical that induces Happiness”?

Similar to pain, in the Physical sense, there is pain reliever, but there are other concept of "pain."
 
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I was trying to approach rather the dichotomy of happiness and unhappiness, how a being can be happy and also unhappy, and be perfect at the same time.

Another thing that am trying to show in previous post, maybe I will specifically pinpoint it:

I may be misconstruing how perfection, want, and happiness operates, but how I understand

it is that in order to want something, you must not already have it,

if there is something that you don't have that you would want, how can you be perfect;

Already have in the first place, see the concept of Justice mentioned earlier.

Now, if one got lost, then that will cause unhappiness, and the Heaven rejoice if one lost, and now found.

Now, if one got lost, is Heaven’s perfection affected? No, I don’t think: an Injustice was done.

Thus, Heaven rejoice when Justice prevails.
 
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Great Fiction, thank you for answering my question, I really appreciate your inclusion of Aristotlean theory but unfortunately many of Aristotle's treatises on happiness lacked the soundness of logic, and instead where circular in nature; eg. Aristotle said happiness is the highest good, and that the way that a person can be happy is to be good.

I would ask for more leniency to give more credence to my comment, that Aristotle was indeed lacking my friend. For Aristotle a champion of reason was not a champion of faith or relationship. Therefore we are in agreement that Aristotle does not offer “true happiness.” For my comment would insinuate that our relationship with God and His relationship with us is the cornerstone of happiness. Aristotle simply gave us a methodology.

As far as why I like to be happy, that is simply a chemical process that we've gained throughevolution and artificially named happiness. I think the question of why I like to be happy is irrelevant to the question of whether God can be happy.

In kindness, as a Christian do you extract all happiness to be simple compounds manifesting in our physiology? Do you believe in Godless dialectical materialism void of spiritual belief (this is not to be confused with consumerism)? Do you also believe that dialectical materialism is compatible with Christianity?

I should be quick to point out that Godless philosophic materialism which is void of sound metaphysics would elect that our conscience “is god” and that our goal as a society is to morph into a giant collective amoeba that denounces Christ to even exist. Thus in sincere kindness do you believe in more than chemical compounds?

I was trying to approach rather the dichotomy of happiness and unhappiness, how a being can be happy and also unhappy, and be perfect at the same time. Redefining how humans achieve happiness doesn't really seem to answer that question and only serves to complicate the question of what exactly happiness is.

It forces Christian's to redefine happiness and joy in such a way that can only be supported by scripture. I would really like to find answers to my questions with as many sources as possible, because at times the scripture itself can seem to me to contradict itself; so in the same light that Aristotle gave a definition of happiness that was unsound via contradiction the same could be said about the scripture. I have always become more confused when reading through scripture and thus have tried to rely on logic to come to my conclusions about the world.

I want to say that I appreciate your insight and any advice you could provide, and don't want it to seem that I am purposely throwing a wrench into your response. I mean only to as directly as possible answer the questions that trouble me as to the nature of God and our relation to Him.

I contend that Christians are not forced to any such position Joshua.

Your pointing out an old and classical philosophical argument (The Free Will Argument)

The argument in this "part" states that, “if God can be unhappy then He is also imperfect to prevent His own unhappiness;” therefore if God is not perfect to prevent His own unhappiness, then He is not the God of the bible and is subject to limitations amidst His own choices.

Is this the philosophical antagonist that would intervene with perplexity? If so here is an answer.

If God is immutable (never changing) and omnipresent (enveloping all spaces though time) and omniscient (knowing all things in every linear time envelope), then He has not invested a single unwanted second upon those who are inherently evil, yet also if He uses evil for His own cause to manifest a culmination which seasons a growing remnant to maturity, then also no unwanted emotions are manifest with an ever-present God. Thus if God is “unhappy” with the wicked and destroys them justly with unfettered violence, then it’s “His happiness to do so.”

Thus what is the concept of “unhappiness with God?” I should say “constant happiness;” for His culmination regarding His maturing remnant amidst despotism matures to adopt the mind of Christ as we negotiate this life, yet the wicked shall know violence as their just-end, but also amidst His constant interaction.

Is it possible that there are two ways the eggs can be spoiled in the hen-house? One where a fox breaks through in plain-sight to destroy openly and another where the strategy slithers slowly beneath the straw in the dark to consume an egg undetected; for though the antagonism can cause the question to move to an answer, can it not also become a clandestine utility to spoil unaware?

God bless you Joshua
 
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happiness, like many things, operates in a dichotomy, where there is happiness, there is unhappiness, so if God can be happy about our faith and going to Heaven, it must be the case that God can be unhappy about something. If that is the case, how can God be perfect?
Hi Joshua. It's great to see honest seeking of the truth.
I think logically this can be answered by the view that God is Love. That is His essence. Now we know from our lives that if you truly have love for someone, there will be happiness and unhappiness. When you gain love, there is true happiness. When you lose love, as in a death of a loved one or a divorce brought by lost love, true unhappiness, pain and suffering occurs. Are you not perfect because you love? Having no love and remaining an island to one's self is surely not perfection. So love is risky, and perfection must be willing to take the risk of gaining love or losing it. Happiness levels are just the byproduct of the willingness to love.
What is the opposite of love? Most automatically say "hate", but that is wrong. If you hate, you still care, or love, something enough to have this feeling. Ambivalence and indifference are the opposite of love. I don't know about you, but to me, indifference would never be an element of perfection. And I believe you said as much when stating "I always hope that if I simply do everything in my power live as a good person, respecting everyone around me, at least believe that there is a god that created everything and remain grateful for the good things that occur in my life, that I should be ok."
What purpose do the varying denominations of Christianity and even all monotheistic (Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, and any others that I've missed) serve?
As beings made with love and to love, we will always want to stand up for what we love, such as revelations from scripture, global warming effects or non-effects, theories in science, and anything that matters to the individual. Now if you wish for God to settle differences for clarity sake, which He will do eventually, then the need for faith and creativity go out the door. The power of love is dynamic and affects humanity in countless ways. One man died on a cross 2000 years ago for love's sake and changed the world forever.
I wish that only the only necessity to reach heaven, or whatever afterlife ends up being true among the several interpretations we have, would be to live in that way, being good to one another, not turning yourself into a servant of another, forfeiting the life you were given, and the lives that were given to others.
What is wrong with serving others? If no one serves, then it is everyone for themselves. Back to the lack of love thing again. Serving is not painful or detrimental. In fact it is quite liberating. You don't owe any repayment of any kind when you are serving others. It also tears down barriers of division and mistrust. Faith and love will grow and we move one step closer to perfection.

As far as understanding the Bible, start with Jesus' answer to what is the greatest law? This is the overarching concept of the Bible and key to understanding.
 
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