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Destiny & God
Jan 2 2012, 5:53 pm
By: payne
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Jan 3 2012, 2:34 am FatalException Post #21



So God refuses to make the world perfect because then no one would need him, and he would just exist like the rest of us? That doesn't sound benevolent or merciful or just to me.



None.

Jan 3 2012, 2:51 am ubermctastic Post #22



Quote from FatalException
So God refuses to make the world perfect because then no one would need him, and he would just exist like the rest of us? That doesn't sound benevolent or merciful or just to me.
Hey, now you're getting somewhere. That's the reasoning that turned Lucifer into Satan.
Seems to work really nicely doesn't it?



None.

Jan 3 2012, 3:17 am MillenniumArmy Post #23



Quote from FatalException
Quote from The Problem of Evil
First, evil is not a thing, an entity, a being. All beings are either the Creator or creatures created by the Creator. But every thing God created is good, according to Genesis. We naturally tend to picture evil as a thing—a black cloud, or a dangerous storm, or a grimacing face, or dirt. But these pictures mislead us. If God is the Creator of all things and evil is a thing, then God is the Creator of evil, and he is to blame for its existence. No, evil is not a thing but a wrong choice, or the damage done by a wrong choice. Evil is no more a positive thing than blindness is. But it is just as real. It is not a thing, but it is not an illusion.
This section simply posits that God must not have created evil because evil is not a thing (or that evil is not a thing because God must not have created it; it's hard to tell which). Not much to say about this part until later.

Quote from The Problem of Evil
Second, the origin of evil is not the Creator but the creature's freely choosing sin and selfishness. Take away all sin and selfishness and you would have heaven on earth. Even the remaining physical evils would no longer rankle and embitter us. Saints endure and even embrace suffering and death as lovers embrace heroic challenges. But they do not embrace sin.
[...]
If the origin of evil is free will, and God is the origin of free will, isn't God then the origin of evil? Only as parents are the origin of the misdeeds their children commit by being the origin of their children. The all-powerful God gave us a share in his power to choose freely. Would we prefer he had not and had made us robots rather than human beings?
The problem with this section is that it assumes that the only two options for an "all-powerful God" would be to give us free will with sin or no free will at all. Again, if God is omnipotent, why isn't free will without sin an option? The first section states that evil is nothing but a bad choice. Free will is the ability to make choices. Because choices can be bad and all things God created are good, did God not create choices, and therefore free will, either? Or are we simply assuming that choices aren't things either, because all things are good?
First of all, remember that one attribute of God that's made clear through scripture is that he is a fair God, a God of justice (i can quote the specific verses if you want). Simply put, if you make a good choice, he will reward you. If you make a bad choice he will punish you.

That said, think about what you're saying here. You're saying God should've have made it so that we can only make good choices. Not allowing us to realize or have the capability of making bad choices is not fairness - it's bias.

Quote from FatalException
Quote from The Problem of Evil
A third part of the solution to the problem of evil is the most important part: how to resolve the problem in practice, not just in theory; in life, not just in thought. Although evil is a serious problem for thought (for it seems to disprove the existence of God), it is even more of a problem in life (for it is the real exclusion of God). But even if you think the solution in thought is obscure and uncertain, the solution in practice is as strong and clear as the sun: it is the Son. God's solution to the problem of evil is his Son Jesus Christ. The Father's love sent his Son to die for us to defeat the power of evil in human nature: that's the heart of the Christian story. We do not worship a deistic God, an absentee landlord who ignores his slum; we worship a garbageman God who came right down into our worst garbage to clean it up.
This section once again seems to overlook God's omnipotence. Why send his son to his death when he could just snap his fingers and rearrange the whole universe?
Once again, remember what I said - God is a fair God. We've all sinned, we all deserve to be punished. Punishment has to be handed out because that is justice. One may say "well that's stupid, showing no compassion and having to stick strictly to the rules." No, on the contrary, sending his son Jesus to take our place is an act of compassion. Snapping your fingers and making everything good is a horrible idea. It gives us no sense of right and wrong; only right. It's like your teacher/professor going through your tests and changing all the wrong answers into right ones.

Quote from FatalException
There are far better solutions; why would a benevolent god choose the one with the most torture involved?
The "torture" Jesus faced on Earth is nothing compared to what we all deserve - eternity in Hell. Temporal materialistic suffering to save everyone from eternal damnation is a benevolent act if you ask me.

Quote from FatalException
Quote from The Problem of Evil
Finally, what about the philosophical problem? It is not logically contradictory to say an all-powerful and all-loving God tolerates so much evil when he could eradicate it? Why do bad things happen to good people? The question makes three questionable assumptions.
First, who's to say we are good people? The question should be not "Why do bad things happen to good people?" but "Why do good things happen to bad people?" If the fairy godmother tells Cinderella that she can wear her magic gown until midnight, the question should be not "Why not after midnight?" but "Why did I get to wear it at all?" The question is not why the glass of water is half empty but why it is half full, for all goodness is gift. The best people are the ones who are most reluctant to call themselves good people. Sinners think they are saints, but saints know they are sinners. The best man who ever lived once said, "No one is good but God alone."
If God created man and all things God created are good, then man must be good. This is from the first section of the article. One may claim that Eve sinned in Genesis and therefore man is not good, but Mr. Kreeft has already rebutted this point in section two: He claims that God can't be blamed for evil anymore than a parent can be blamed for the sins of its child; by this logic a child shouldn't be blamed for the sins of its parent either, and therefore mankind should not be blamed for the sins of Eve.
You act as if mankind is sinless and shouldn't be held accountable for Adam and Eve's sin. Honest question: do you know what sin is?

Quote from FatalException
This section also avoids answering why either bad things happen to good people or why good things happen to bad people. This question is the problem of evil.
It avoids it because it was addressed in the other link I posted.

Quote from FatalException
Quote from The Problem of Evil
Second, who's to say suffering is all bad? Life without it would produce spoiled brats and tyrants, not joyful saints. Rabbi Abraham Heschel says simply, "The man who has not suffered, what can he possibly know, anyway?" Suffering can work for the greater good of wisdom. It is not true that all things are good, but it is true that "all things work together for good to those who love God."
This section argues that not all suffering is bad, which is true. However, it does not argue that all suffering is good. Why would a benevolent and omnipotent god not prevent useless suffering? This, again, is the problem of evil, and this section still does not offer an answer.
My previous responses have already answered these.

Quote from FatalException
Quote from The Problem of Evil
Third, who's to say we have to know all God's reasons? Who ever promised us all the answers? Animals can't understand much about us; why should we be able to understand everything about God? The obvious point of the Book of Job, the world's greatest exploration of the problem of evil, is that we just don't know what God is up to. What a hard lesson to learn: Lesson One, that we are ignorant, that we are infants! No wonder Socrates was declared by the Delphic Oracle to be the wisest man in the world. He interpreted that declaration to mean that he alone knew that he did not have wisdom, and that was true wisdom for man.
This kind of reasoning is obstructive to the growth of the wisdom that the previous section seemed to give as the only reason for suffering to be good. It's not an argument against the problem of evil, it's an argument against thinking about the problem of evil. If infants simply accepted that they were ignorant and refused to learn, there wouldn't be anyone left to make new infants.
You're missing the point. The point is that honestly we can't possibly know everything - Peter Kreeft made this clear in his writings. Even the Biblical authors acknowledge that we can't hope to know everything. However this does not mean "let's not think about this anymore and carry on with our lives." If you remember the Indiana Jones movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when the Nazis tried to obtain the treasures inside God's Ark, they all died. We can relate to this, God's complexity is beyond our comprehension but the key is that he chooses to reveal himself in a way understandable to us - letting us know too much (i.e. touching the possessions inside the Ark) will only blow our minds up. The whole point of religion (at least Christianity) is to continually seek after the Lord, developing a relationship with Jesus Christ. If God/religion is so simple as to be fully grasped within a day, why call it God/religion?



None.

Jan 3 2012, 5:00 am rayNimagi Post #24



Quote from MillenniumArmy
First of all, remember that one attribute of God that's made clear through scripture is that he is a fair God, a God of justice (i can quote the specific verses if you want).
You assume that the Abrahamic God is both a) existent and b) just. The Bible saying "God is just" is like saying "I am what I am." Of course a perfectly benevolent, omnipotent, omniscient being is just.

Quote
Simply put, if you make a good choice, he will reward you. If you make a bad choice he will punish you.
Why do some infants die after a few months, and other humans live for decades? How did the baby sin? It is not her fault that she can only communicate with unrefined gestures and sounds. Why was the baby punished for being born in the wrong place at the wrong time?

It gets more interesting if you wonder if a non-benevolent God (a non-Abrahamic god) created the universe. Is there a non-omnipotent God that created the universe, and he is influencing our every action, because he really doesn't know how it will turn out in the end? Or what if we are all just a dream, or a simulation, in some other being's mind or computer? Once the rules of the universe were set in place, all possible outcomes were calculated, and we are just a daydream or a byte of ones and zeroes (or sjui and kqtl, if we cannot comprehend the divine). Maybe we are a thought in God's mind as he calculates for a mere second all the possibilities of this universe.
sjui and kqtl = nonsense syllables

We do not have any concrete, undeniable knowledge of God, so how would we know for sure?



Win by luck, lose by skill.

Jan 3 2012, 6:13 am MillenniumArmy Post #25



Quote from rayNimagi
Quote from MillenniumArmy
First of all, remember that one attribute of God that's made clear through scripture is that he is a fair God, a God of justice (i can quote the specific verses if you want).
You assume that the Abrahamic God is both a) existent and b) just. The Bible saying "God is just" is like saying "I am what I am." Of course a perfectly benevolent, omnipotent, omniscient being is just.
Well it's good that you agree that this God is just. If you agree then the rest of my previous post should make perfect sense because what Fatal and many people argue is that this God should act in a biased and unjust way.

Quote from rayNimagi
Quote
Simply put, if you make a good choice, he will reward you. If you make a bad choice he will punish you.
Why do some infants die after a few months, and other humans live for decades? How did the baby sin? It is not her fault that she can only communicate with unrefined gestures and sounds. Why was the baby punished for being born in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Nobody is saying death is punishment. In theology, what's often discussed is the "age of accountability," that is the ability to make your choice (i.e. sinning). For more details, see here.

Quote from rayNimagi
We do not have any concrete, undeniable knowledge of God, so how would we know for sure?
That's a different matter altogether but what can be scrutinized is how people choose to take religious texts. Scores of both religious and non-religious claim to know a lot about said texts and yet when faced with issues, questions, or even counter arguments many of them choke or begin digging themselves into holes. Even I don't know everything there is to these texts but the key is unlike several others I'm willing to find the answer, I'm willing to do research and learn from the experts. Sites that simply takes quotes a bible verse or so (whether it's out of context or not) and say "LOL THIS IS <insert adjective>" are not going to cut it. Sure it's nice and tempting to make everything as simple as possible but sometimes it just isn't possible without leaving out important information.



None.

Jan 3 2012, 6:31 am FatalException Post #26



I'm completely incapable of understanding how the Christian God is just because I'm completely incapable of understanding just what someone, anyone, could possibly do to deserve an eternity of torture, let alone what EVERYONE apparently DID do. I don't even think people like Hitler could come close to deserving that.

Back to the problem of evil though. As I understand your position, you believe that God is fair first, benevolent second. What I wanted to know is why God defined fairness the way he did. The second sentence of your second paragraph is indeed exactly what I was saying, but I also asked why he didn't just redefine fairness and free will and all those other things so we could have a perfect existence. He's supposed to be completely capable of doing so, and I don't see how it would be unfair or malevolent for a universe full of good people to live good lives instead of what we have now (see the middle of rayNimagi's post).

As for Adam and Eve, I'm not acting as if mankind is sinless, but it just doesn't make sense for us to be accountable for what these original humans may have done. That's like saying all Volkswagens kill Jews because they're German and Germans made the Holocaust happen.

K_A, you didn't at all respond to what I said. Do you have a non-circular argument as to why it's bad to think the way I do?



None.

Jan 3 2012, 7:50 am MillenniumArmy Post #27



Quote from FatalException
I'm completely incapable of understanding how the Christian God is just because I'm completely incapable of understanding just what someone, anyone, could possibly do to deserve an eternity of torture, let alone what EVERYONE apparently DID do. I don't even think people like Hitler could come close to deserving that.
[...]
As for Adam and Eve, I'm not acting as if mankind is sinless, but it just doesn't make sense for us to be accountable for what these original humans may have done. That's like saying all Volkswagens kill Jews because they're German and Germans made the Holocaust happen.
Well given that the alternative is something pretty fucking awesome, to me it would be unfair if this alternative is excruciatingly harder to get into which isn't true according to scripture. Also, no one knows what Hell is truly like. Pastor Rob Bell wrote a book called "Love Wins" and expressed views similar to yours (watch his video, it's only three minutes). What we do know from scripture is that Heaven and Hell are opposites - what heaven is, hell isn't.

But most importantly, do you know what sin is? I can't reply to anything else you say unless I know what your thoughts about sin are.

Quote from FatalException
Back to the problem of evil though. As I understand your position, you believe that God is fair first, benevolent second. What I wanted to know is why God defined fairness the way he did. The second sentence of your second paragraph is indeed exactly what I was saying, but I also asked why he didn't just redefine fairness and free will and all those other things so we could have a perfect existence.
I've mentioned this earlier in the thread but I'll say it again: God chooses to work and reveal himself in a way we can understand. If like you said, he defined fairness, free will, and all of that into what you're saying it wouldn't make any sense to us. How do you make fairness that's not actually fair? How do you make free will that's not actually free will? Sure we are probably incapable of describing God's attributes with our own measures and senses but what he wants from/of us relationally is something we can grasp.

Quote from FatalException
He's supposed to be completely capable of doing so, and I don't see how it would be unfair or malevolent for a universe full of good people to live good lives instead of what we have now (see the middle of rayNimagi's post).
Something is "good" because we have something "bad" to relate to. Another important characteristic of this God, in fact one could say is one of the most important ones, is that he wants to have a personal relationship with us. Relationships are developed when there's conflict that makes us stronger and better people - if there are no conflicts or obstacles to overcome, how can there be any relationship? Again, we must think in terms we can understand. As for your ideal universe, that (according to scripture) is what Heaven is all about - we just have to prove we belong there (which IMO isn't that hard).



None.

Jan 3 2012, 8:17 am Oh_Man Post #28

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

Mercy is by definition a suspension of justice. So being utterly just and utterly merciful is impossible.




Jan 3 2012, 10:04 am Jack Post #29

>be faceless void >mfw I have no face

Quote from Oh_Man
Mercy is by definition a suspension of justice. So being utterly just and utterly merciful is impossible.
>impossible
>omnipotent



Red classic.

"In short, their absurdities are so extreme that it is painful even to quote them."

Jan 3 2012, 2:41 pm Oh_Man Post #30

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

We've discussed this in the shoutbox already Jack. If your god isn't constrained to logic then you can never prove it via logic. Your belief is essentially 'illogical'. Either come out and accept this fact, or try and defend yourself... using logical reasoning. There is no middle ground.




Jan 3 2012, 4:21 pm jjf28 Post #31

Cartography Artisan

The concept of hell as a place of eternal suffering may have been quite stretched from whats said in the bible... and yea, i've posted this before, how to read revelations

omni-? this verse gives reason to doubt, and, of course, is also open to interpretaion (see endnotes in the link).

(assuming god is omnipotent)

And our logic here is attempting to play with infinities and irreducibly complex systems (no, i'm not making an intelligent design referance) attempting to say an event is ultimately bad; is saying that it, and all its subsequent resultants will have a negative net effect, not something any of us could hope to conceive with finite brainpower. With this in mind we can avert placing God beyond human logic, and understand that we can't know for certain what happens at infinity :bleh:

Another method of thinking says that free will presents infinate possible outcomes (god gave us a piece of himself), despite gods immense, immesurable knoledge ∞/∞ may not play out exactly as we think, an interesting branch called proccess theism, a bit more adept to handle The Problem of Evil but the branch is heavily criticized (i'm not advocating one way or the other in this post)

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jan 3 2012, 4:34 pm by jjf28.



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Jan 3 2012, 7:28 pm Fire_Kame Post #32

a left leaning coexistence nut

I like how my post has been completely ignored. I doubt its because you all agree with me, and I'm more willing to believe a) you find it so ridiculous you can't respond or b) I'm actually making you think. :\




Jan 3 2012, 10:15 pm BiOAtK Post #33



Quote from Fire_Kame
I like how my post has been completely ignored. I doubt its because you all agree with me, and I'm more willing to believe a) you find it so ridiculous you can't respond or b) I'm actually making you think. :\
Mainly it was that I agreed with it so much I had to reason to post, because saying "This" makes people get angry :P



None.

Jan 4 2012, 1:35 am Bar Refaeli Post #34



@Payne: Were you under the influence of chemicals?!

@Topic at hand: I have a rather unique (imo) and abstract view on destiny and God, and most of you will probably totally disagree with me. I feel that to believe in something it doesn't have to make sense to exist, it just has to exist if it serves a purpose. Personally, I don't give a fuck if the universe is understandable or not, I just want the best universe money can buy.

God:
I believe in God because I would rather there be a God than there not be a god. Simple as that. I want to get to an awesome Heaven when I die, I don't want to go to enternal sleep or even get reborn again. Anyone who disagrees is a dumbass imo.

Destiny:
I believe in destiny because when your girlfriend/wife/significant other asks you, "If we didn't bump into each other in that coffee shop all those years ago, would you have been with someone else?" the most logical answer is probably "yes." But if you are a fellow destiny-believer like I am you can just say "No, I believe in destiny and that the stars would have put us together no matter what happened with our lives." Now please be honest, which one sounds better? And no, I'm not gonna lie and just pretend I believe in destiny.



Raccoon

Jan 4 2012, 3:32 am FatalException Post #35



Quote from name:Raccoon
Destiny:
I believe in destiny because when your girlfriend/wife/significant other asks you, "If we didn't bump into each other in that coffee shop all those years ago, would you have been with someone else?" the most logical answer is probably "yes." But if you are a fellow destiny-believer like I am you can just say "No, I believe in destiny and that the stars would have put us together no matter what happened with our lives." Now please be honest, which one sounds better? And no, I'm not gonna lie and just pretend I believe in destiny.




None.

Jan 4 2012, 1:30 pm Oh_Man Post #36

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

Quote from name:Raccoon
And no, I'm not gonna lie and just pretend I believe in destiny.
So I'm confused? Do you believe in destiny, or not?




Jan 4 2012, 8:07 pm Bar Refaeli Post #37



Quote from Oh_Man
Quote from name:Raccoon
And no, I'm not gonna lie and just pretend I believe in destiny.
So I'm confused? Do you believe in destiny, or not?
Someone might respond to my destiny argument:
"If this is all that destiny matters to you, why don't you just lie to your loved one and pretend to believe in destiny, while not actually having to believe in destiny?"
My response:
I wouldn't lie to a loved one (if they ask me said question) saying "Destiny would have brought us together!" while not actually believing in destiny.


Do you guys actually want to only believe in things that make 100% logical sense?



Raccoon

Jan 4 2012, 10:40 pm Oh_Man Post #38

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

Ah OK, just making sure I understood before I continued in full:

I think your outlook on this is nothing less than complete and utter intellectual bankruptcy.

I do not believe in things because of 'how it makes me feel', I believe in things because that is what the evidence shows, and what makes most 'logical sense'. Of course not being able to live for ever is a disappointing prospect, but it is a fact of life I must accept, because that is what the evidence points to.

If you start denying reality in order to appeal to your own wishes, then you are nothing less than a madman. Delusional. It's akin to me saying I don't like the fact the sky is blue, so I'm going to believe it's red. Utter insanity.




Jan 4 2012, 11:16 pm Lanthanide Post #39



Quote from Oh_Man
It's akin to me saying I don't like the fact the sky is blue, so I'm going to believe it's red. Utter insanity.
What if believing the sky is red lets you get through the day and live in modern society without a crippling anxiety or insecurity?

For example, Jack has said that he thinks if he didn't believe in god, he thinks he'd go on a murderous rampage and kill people because he had nothing to live for. I think that's rather sad and pathetic, but apparently he needs god as a crutch to live in modern society. What if you needed a red sky as a crutch? Is it illogical to believe in it then?



None.

Jan 4 2012, 11:32 pm Oh_Man Post #40

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

"It seems to me, a fundamental dishonesty, a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it's useful, and not because you think it's true." B, Russell, 1959.

There's nothing logical about deciding to believe in something you know to be false. If the evidence points to it, you should believe in it, if the evidence does not point toward it, you should not believe in it, if the evidence is ambiguous, you should withhold judgement.

"When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy; ask yourself only, what are the facts, and what is the truth that the facts bear out? Never let yourself be diverted, either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think would have beneficial social effects if it were believed. Look only and solely at what are the facts." Bertrand Russell.

Post has been edited 3 time(s), last time on Jan 5 2012, 3:36 am by Oh_Man.




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