I am not particularly knowledgeable about opera, but I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed the performance.
I especially appreciated the commentaries and behind-the-scenes looks before the performance and during the intermissions, because the people they speak to ARE knowledgeable and enhance the experience for those of us who are not in the know. I think it's quite tragic that Berlioz himself never got to see a full production of the opera (one of the tidbits they told us in the intro), although he undoubtedly experienced it internally, or how would he have been able to write it? To have that scope of imagination is genius.
I enjoyed the story, not having read the Aeneid myself, and being familiar only with the bare bones of its plot.
Another thing I liked about this particular production was the sets, which are once again innovative, creative, evocative, and almost a character in their own right, though perhaps not quite to the extent that the Ring sets were. That's the benefit of a top opera company; it can afford to do the elaborate mechanical designing to create such stunning sets.
The production was long, and took over 5 hours to perform from beginning to end, but it was not tiresome. I even enjoyed the sideward glances, such as the aria of the fellow who sang in praise of the fields. It's a way to showcase the music and the dancing. I liked that it had quite a bit of dancing in it; I can appreciate the dance forms even though I don't "get it" personally.
I was very impressed by the duets in particular, because the complexities of having two people sing two different things and have it be harmonious is just stunning. If I could have created one of the duets, I would feel like my career had been fulfilled. to have created an entire additional opera is simply beyond belief. the initial duet between Chorebus and Cassandra was very beautiful, but I think the sisters, Dido and Anna, were the best. I can't really tell you why I liked that one so much, maybe it was just the quality of the voices.
All I have at the moment ... just brain droppings as it were.
so we will take the notions of "just" and "justice" to imply or connote fairness, and that they embody a moral quality. ok. Your modified definition no longer contains any statements concerning whether or how the characteristics of "giving life" or "creating" something have any relationship to the idea of justice or the quality or characteristic of justice or what is just. Good, because it was hard for me to see what one has to do with the other. So we now have a revised characteristic number 3, which might be restated in this fashion:
"3. God is 'Just,' which is defined as a moral discernment based upon treating people with fairness."
See what you think of this refinement, Alexander.
As an aside, I might steer clear of statements such as "I can't think of a time when god has been unfair so, yes the notion of justice ascribed to god should include fairness.". It is making it sound as if you are deciding what "just" means, based on personal credulity, rather than as a result of reasoned consideration about what qualities a word like "just" or "justice" logically implies or contains.
I am also withholding judgment for the moment about "doing what is right regardless of the consequences." I am not sure whether there mightn't be some few cases in which what the consequences are helps us determine what is right or just.
Ok this comports fairly well with how I understand love also, I.e., it is not merely an emotional state experienced internally, but also, and perhaps more importantly, as consisting in loving actions toward another.
This could lead us to modify characteristic no. 4:
"4. God is 'Loving,' in that he feels love for human beings, and he is loving toward human beings in his actions."
Ok, this part is confusing. Omnipresent is defined as in all places and at all times. Therefore god must necessarily exist within time; indeed at all times within time, would that not be so? Christian believers claim that their god acts many many many times with physical, I.e., spatial and temporal, interventions and consequences. Spatial and temporal acts and effects necessarily take place in space and time. God is clearly claimed to exist, as we know of anything which exists, in space and time. Are you now claiming otherwise? Are you claiming that god existed at all times EXCEPT the Big Bang? That would then defeat omnipresence, as there would be some time in which god did not exist.
I am also still not clear on what you mean by "outside space and time." You neglected the critical point of "how would you know?" afaik no one has any access to or ability to perceive what conditions might have been in any context which preceded the Big Bang event. People can imagine or speculate, but no one can know anything about anything until after the Big Bang took place.
What does it mean to "exist" outside space and time? How could anyone tell? The word "exist" in english refers to a state of being in space and in time, which is perceptible or detectible in some manner. If it is not perceptible or detectable in any way or by some means, then how is it possible to distinguish between that which does exist and that which does not exist?
These are classic defensive projections. No need to do that.
If people want to discuss, they will discuss.
For example, I believe that our Pascal's Wager discussions have shown, and I think you agree, that the Pascal's Wager comment you made is not a very good or strong argument for or toward belief in Christianity. I posed the question, all right, then, what *IS* the argument or evidence that actually convinces you? IOW, what is the BEST argument, in your view? You replied that that was "a good question," but so far have not elected to share that with us.
You suggested in a portion of the discussion that, if Pascal's Wager has been shown not to be particularly effective, what your thoughts were about the discussion so far. You said that Romans outlined your thoughts. I'm willing to examine that with you (I posted that I would take your suggestion) if you want. But discussion is a two-way street. It takes exchange of ideas, some back and forth, willingness to engage.
We always have the choice to bring it back to topic; indeed, at several points I have related what has been said to the Pascal's Wager formulation. I'll take your recommendation, and appreciate your further reply.
That's a shame, as the invitation of the thread was primarily to you. Do you have any further thoughts or reflections, as a result of the thread discussion so far, on the C.S. Lewis version of Pascal's Wager, that it's good to be a believer, because then you are "safe"?
I think that is a little inconsistent. If God WANTS something to happen, then "it is God's will" isn't it? If God "allows" something to happen then that must be the way he wants/wills it, isn't that right? Anything that God "allows" is an exercise of God's power to do/not do, to happen/prevent. Human beings only have "free will" if God WANTS (i.e., "wills") them to have it.
So, in your example, God wills that Lucifer/Satan has free will. Lucifer/Satan exercises his free will, and then, you say, "this does not mean that when Satan attempted his coup, that God should have allowed it. To do so would be denying His Omnipotence ..." But God DID (according to the story) allow Satan his attempted coup. Thus, according to your statement, this denies God's omnipotence (all-powerfulness). I'm confused. Is God all-powerful or not?
Regardless of the story (and that's all we have so far, is a story) about Lucifer/Satan, and how a limited hell was some place to put a rebelling angel, that still does not explain why there has to be a hell for human beings. Your God seems to have only one idea, only one response, to all problems, a one-size-fits-all solution to everything in the human condition. We human beings are much more creative than that. We punish sometimes, but that is when other methods fail. Our other methods include teaching, training, education, coaching, helping, mentoring, providing aid, etc. And if we were as powerful as God, we could do a lot more than we do now. We could fix mental illness, for example, which we are unable to do now. Why doesn't God?