"Everything is God's fault."

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#31

Post by happycynic » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:40 am

For his ultimate happiness? Maybe he's right and that would make him really happy. Could also blow up in his face when law enforcement shows up, but there you go.

For the girls' ultimate happiness though, it's a clear loss. Their loss is a lot worse than his gain. He gets his jollies, they get a lifetime of horrible traumatizing issues. The family also loses out, cuz they're clearly not gonna be happy about it. Clearly, Clyde fulfilling his carnal desires in this way is a very bad thing.

And in the long term, if such a thing were to become common and widespread, the abuse (and therefore unhappiness) caused would be staggering. So to prevent such a thing, Clyde oughtta be stopped, even if he can find a way to fulfill his carnal desires without traumatizing or hurting the poor girl and her family.

The real disagreement between utilitarian morality and... the technical term eludes me, but we'll say divine rules morality. The real disagreement is in victimless crimes, like premarital sex where both people walk away satisfied and happy and not at all regretful. Or "thought-crimes" like non-belief, or cussing where nobody else minds at all. Or drug use where the user isn't actually harmed and nobody else is (although it's hard to think of a realistic example of this).

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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#32

Post by Byblos » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:55 am

happycynic wrote:For his ultimate happiness? Maybe he's right and that would make him really happy. Could also blow up in his face when law enforcement shows up, but there you go.

For the girls' ultimate happiness though, it's a clear loss. Their loss is a lot worse than his gain. He gets his jollies, they get a lifetime of horrible traumatizing issues. The family also loses out, cuz they're clearly not gonna be happy about it. Clearly, Clyde fulfilling his carnal desires in this way is a very bad thing.

And in the long term, if such a thing were to become common and widespread, the abuse (and therefore unhappiness) caused would be staggering. So to prevent such a thing, Clyde oughtta be stopped, even if he can find a way to fulfill his carnal desires without traumatizing or hurting the poor girl and her family.

The real disagreement between utilitarian morality and... the technical term eludes me, but we'll say divine rules morality. The real disagreement is in victimless crimes, like premarital sex where both people walk away satisfied and happy and not at all regretful. Or "thought-crimes" like non-belief, or cussing where nobody else minds at all. Or drug use where the user isn't actually harmed and nobody else is (although it's hard to think of a realistic example of this).
But he lives in a society where such acts are permitted and he has no fear of law enforcement whatsoever. And the girl he practices his acts with says she is ok with it. Who are you to tell him or her they are wrong?
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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#33

Post by jlay » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:06 pm

Byb,

I can't say that I see it as reasonable to ask someone to stay out of something that is part of a public thread? I'm glad to stay out of things. Perhaps I'm not being reasonable, but it seems pmail would be a better place to hash such things out.

Just seems completely over the top considering what we've recently gone through. Smiley's post have frustrated me at times as well. He could definately ammend his style, but I don't question whether he is a Christian.
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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#34

Post by happycynic » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:08 pm

Whoops, a reply slipped past me. Sorry, CeT-To; I'll take care of it now :) Here's his post for reference.
CeT-To wrote:LOL hahah damn thats huge wall of text :P

But anyway, you said aaalll that yet you never thought to yourself " hmmm hang on maybe there is a plan in all of this suffering?" Look at this: Luke 15:11-32 the whooole point of this parable is that God allows you to pervert your free will but it will only result in suffering, thus this suffering makes you understand that something is wrong like maybe what person is doing and then it will result in him seeking forgiveness. Another reason is maybe that the death of a person is part of His plan to bring some one else close to him, considering that the person who died IS christian or a person who will never ever believe ( not sure on the unbelievers death tho maybe some one else could fix that up) See God has every right to bring judgment and to raise up anyone.

In a nut shell tho the whole suffering deal is to bring you back to the Lord. Its not that hard to understand but i do admit that there is more to it that we as finite beings cannot comprehend.

You also states -"Free will isn't an excuse if he's omnipotent--he could negate suffering and preserve free will if he were omniscient, even if that's impossible by defintion. If he can't, then that means the definition of free will is more powerful than God."

If God were to stop every evil action that were to occur that would eliminate free will, this is why there is suffering because God is Just, so he writes the the end from the beginning meaning every thing has been planned already. Free will isn't more powerful than God, God restricts himself purposely so that his creation could make decisions on their own and choose whether to be with him or not. Don't you know that self control is part of being omnipotent? If he couldn't be able to restrict himself how could he be omnipotent ? how can he allow free will? Don't get me wrong, he DOES have the power to do what he likes but he doesn't do so because is fully Just.
For the "larger plan" thing, an omnipotent God could create a plan that does just as much good stuff, but doesn't make us suffer to get there. In the parable, you say that God let's the guy screw up so that he understands the mistake. Why not just tell him? He can do that. Someone's death is his plan to bring a guy closer to him? He's omniscient and omnipotent, he can come up with a better plan that doesn't involve someone dying, and make it happen.

The "god has a right to judge us" point is perhaps debatable; depends greatly on the specifics of how we view god and judgement and the rights of who gets to judge whom. Which is a big can of worms, bigger than the entire POE in my opinion. But for expedience, let's say he has the right to judge us. Say that you're an omnipotent, omniscient judge. You can stop Clyde from raping Suzy, but don't because you have a right to judge him and has a right to free will. would you consider that to be benevolent, or vengeful and neglectful? And how does delivering judgement justify, say, the Haiti earthquake? Unless you think every 2-year-old orphan in Haiti deserved to have their parents killed, Judgement doesn't do much for this case.

You say that if God were to stop every evil action that would eliminate free will. Forgetting for a moment about random evil (i.e. earthquakes and appendixes) that aren't from humans being nasty, this would mean that God couldn't, or wouldn't, keep free will around and still stop us from being evil. which means he's not omnipotent. If it's set up that way because God created the way free will and evil work, then God still is left holding the hot potato. If it's fundamentally that way, God's omnipotent and he could change the rules. If he doesn't feel like it he's not Omni-benevolent, if he can't he's not omnipotent. If being "fully Just" mandates that God has to allow us to kill and rape each other, then he could just change that rule--he's the one that made it in the first place anyhow, if he's a creator god.
Last edited by happycynic on Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#35

Post by happycynic » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:14 pm

Byblos wrote:But he lives in a society where such acts are permitted and he has no fear of law enforcement whatsoever. And the girl he practices his acts with says she is ok with it. Who are you to tell him or her they are wrong?
If nobody's hurt, then yeah, I'd say it's not wrong. But that's a far-fetched example. We're gonna disagree on some weird cases. I could gladly argue the merits and demerits of utilitarian morality on another thread. But for the purpose of problem of evil, all that matters is that we both agree that in this world that we live in, where raping children causes trauma, raping kids is bad. And we can both agree that it DOES happen. there's probably 5 million other thigns we agree on that are bad and do, indeed, happen. All that's needed for the POE to work is one of them. My personal preference is for exploding appendixes, both because it's flippant and humorous (and therefore adds lightheartedness to an otherwise touchy topic) and because it removes the issue of free will (the appendix doesn't DECIDE to explode, after all).

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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#36

Post by Byblos » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:25 pm

happycynic wrote:
Byblos wrote:But he lives in a society where such acts are permitted and he has no fear of law enforcement whatsoever. And the girl he practices his acts with says she is ok with it. Who are you to tell him or her they are wrong?
If nobody's hurt, then yeah, I'd say it's not wrong. But that's a far-fetched example. We're gonna disagree on some weird cases. I could gladly argue the merits and demerits of utilitarian morality on another thread. But for the purpose of problem of evil, all that matters is that we both agree that in this world that we live in, where raping children causes trauma, raping kids is bad. And we can both agree that it DOES happen. there's probably 5 million other thigns we agree on that are bad and do, indeed, happen. All that's needed for the POE to work is one of them. My personal preference is for exploding appendixes, both because it's flippant and humorous (and therefore adds lightheartedness to an otherwise touchy topic) and because it removes the issue of free will (the appendix doesn't DECIDE to explode, after all).
So much for objective evil. You can dodge the implications if you wish but no there aren't 5 million things we can agree on that are bad simply because to agree something is or is not bad we would need an objective arbitrator to decide who is right and who is wrong when we disagree. If there is no objective decider then nothing is right and nothing is wrong, it is all a matter of preference. I prefer chocolate, you prefer vanilla. I prefer adult, marital, consensual sex and he prefers sex with minors. Six of one and half a dozen of the other.

In any case, since you initially claimed to have shown why an omni^3 God is inconsistent with the existence of evil and suffering, I'd like to revisit your first post and point out a few inconsistencies, if you permit me. I'll post them shortly (or maybe tomorrow, depending on how busy I get).
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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#37

Post by happycynic » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:37 pm

sounds good.

a few things though, about disagreeing on morality. I believe in objective morality, but not objective as in handed down in a complete list of do's and don'ts. It's objective because there's an objective equation to figure out whether something is moral or not, and it's an equation with only one answer for each situation.

Also, there is no objective deciding judge for the atomic mass of hydrogen, or for which way up is. These things exist in reality; that we can't always agree on them doesn't make them any less objective or real. Morality (IMO) is objective, but harder to get a firm grip on than figuring out which direction "up" is.

Do you see anything wrong in the world? If so, then Premise 2) of my original argument--that there's room for improvement--holds true as far as you're concerned. Whether or not we agree really doesn't matter.

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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#38

Post by jlay » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:40 pm

For the "larger plan" thing, an omnipotent God could create a plan that does just as much good stuff, but doesn't make us suffer to get there. In the parable, you say that God let's the guy screw up so that he understands the mistake. Why not just tell him? He can do that. Someone's death is his plan to bring a guy closer to him? He's omniscient and omnipotent, he can come up with a better plan that doesn't involve someone dying, and make it happen.
The "god could create a plan" thing just doesn't hold water. Most people on earth can't even balance a check book and we suddenly know how God could create a plan. Please.
Ceto said
In a nut shell tho the whole suffering deal is to bring you back to the Lord. Its not that hard to understand but i do admit that there is more to it that we as finite beings cannot comprehend.
Just to let you know. I disagree with this. Suffering isn't to bring us back to the Lord. This isn't the point of the parable. In fact, obedient Christians suffer. And the bible tells us we will. Suffering is because there is an enemy (Satan) and because something is terribly wrong between God and man.
You can stop Clyde from raping Suzy, but don't because you have a right to judge him and has a right to free will.

This really misses the whole thing. In fact your whole statement demonstrates a basic lack of understanding the nature and character of God as revealed in the Bible.
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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#39

Post by happycynic » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:52 pm

jlay wrote:This really misses the whole thing. In fact your whole statement demonstrates a basic lack of understanding the nature and character of God as revealed in the Bible.
*shrug* the only traits of the deity I'm arguing against are Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omnibenevolence. Perhaps I don't understand the full qualities of the deity you describe; on the other hand, there's quite a difference of opinion among christians. So I prefer to keep it just to those three for now.
jlay wrote:The "god could create a plan" thing just doesn't hold water. Most people on earth can't even balance a check book and we suddenly know how God could create a plan. Please.
We don't know, because it's hard to pin down any facts about God. So what I'm doing here is just taking those three traits--omniscience, omnipotence, and omni-benevolence--and extrapolating from there. It's a thought experiment, where we start out with that supposition and see what things would like like if that were true.

So, I don't know what sort of master plan he would come up with. I'm not omnipotent or omniscient. But I do know what omnipotent and omniscient mean. Being able to do literally anything means you can make an awesome plan that keeps everyone happy. Omnipotence means you can do "anything", "Making plans" falls under the category of "anything".

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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#40

Post by Byblos » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:58 pm

happycynic wrote:a few things though, about disagreeing on morality. I believe in objective morality, but not objective as in handed down in a complete list of do's and don'ts. It's objective because there's an objective equation to figure out whether something is moral or not, and it's an equation with only one answer for each situation.
And who decides whether or not the objective equation is the right equation? You really need to brush up on the definition of objective. There cannot be anything objective unless an independent decider who is outside of the realm of objectivity decides who is right and who is wrong. In the absence of that the inevitable result is utter anarchy. Every man to his whims.
happycynic wrote:Also, there is no objective deciding judge for the atomic mass of hydrogen, or for which way up is. These things exist in reality; that we can't always agree on them doesn't make them any less objective or real. Morality (IMO) is objective, but harder to get a firm grip on than figuring out which direction "up" is.
Now you've branched into ontology vs. epistemology, which is fine with me if you wish to pursue that further but the premises of the argument are the same, i.e. evil exists (ontologically), and who decides what is evil (epistemologically).
happycynic wrote:Do you see anything wrong in the world? If so, then Premise 2) of my original argument--that there's room for improvement--holds true as far as you're concerned. Whether or not we agree really doesn't matter.
Of course I see things that are wrong in the world. Your inconsistencies are not in pointing that out in premise 2, they are in the erroneous assumptions you liberally and haphazardly apply in the first premise and how it relates to the second one. More details later.
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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#41

Post by happycynic » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:09 pm

I probably should brush up on those. Just for now though, I'd like to clarify that I'm using objective to mean "exists as the same real thing independent of what people think about it". Either way, I view the morality debate as a tangent; I await your later posts with curiousity

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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#42

Post by A Y323 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:19 pm

happycynic wrote:But I do know what omnipotent and omniscient mean. Being able to do literally anything means you can make an awesome plan that keeps everyone happy. Omnipotence means you can do "anything", "Making plans" falls under the category of "anything".
Hey, I'm more of a lurker around here but occasionally I have something to say. So if you don't mind me jumping in here, I'd just like to say that I disagree with your definition of omnipotence in relation to the Christian God. God being omnipotent means He can do anything that He wills to do, not necessarily that He can do "literally anything". There is at least one thing that Christians have always said that God cannot do, namely sin (or go against His nature). Also, God is a God of order and reason, so it is also my belief that God cannot do the logically impossible (this would include the typical useless paradoxes such as "can God make a square circle?").

Also, it might be helpful to note that God being able to do certain things does not necessarily mean that He must do them. If it is for our benefit that He restrain Himself, even if we don't understand why, then He will.

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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#43

Post by happycynic » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:38 pm

A Y323 wrote:Hey, I'm more of a lurker around here but occasionally I have something to say. So if you don't mind me jumping in here, I'd just like to say that I disagree with your definition of omnipotence in relation to the Christian God. God being omnipotent means He can do anything that He wills to do, not necessarily that He can do "literally anything". There is at least one thing that Christians have always said that God cannot do, namely sin (or go against His nature). Also, God is a God of order and reason, so it is also my belief that God cannot do the logically impossible (this would include the typical useless paradoxes such as "can God make a square circle?").
Which is the "solution" to the problem of evil, sort of. It only really works against an Omni^3 deity as described in my original statement. If Omnipotent doesn't mean "can do anything" then things aren't as cut-and-dried simple.

But it's not a clear-and-away solution. Whatever you end up settling on for god's properties, if he's capable of fixing something, and morally should fix it, and it's not fixed, then either god isn't fulling his "morally should"s, or isn't capable, or isn't there. I'd be interested in your answer to exploding appendixes, or earthquakes.

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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#44

Post by A Y323 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:43 pm

happycynic wrote:Whatever you end up settling on for god's properties, if he's capable of fixing something, and morally should fix it, and it's not fixed, then either god isn't fulling his "morally should"s, or isn't capable, or isn't there.
Or there is another reason for it that we don't understand because we are fallible humans and an omniscient God is infinitely smarter and wiser than us.

And my answer would be basically what is outlined in the following articles from the main site:
http://godandscience.org/apologetics/ev ... ering.html
http://godandscience.org/apologetics/na ... icity.html
http://godandscience.org/apologetics/ev ... _will.html

Oh yeah, did you realize there is a main site behind this forum with lots of good articles?

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Re: "Everything is God's fault."

#45

Post by smiley » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:46 pm

Byblos wrote: We can go this route (suffering) also if happycynic wishes but this reminds me of a story of this guy who went into a barbershop to get a haircut and was having a conversation with the barber about why there is so much pain and suffering in the world. The barber said well you know that's why I don't believe in any god. Look at how much poverty we have, how many people are homeless or sick and ain't no god doing anything about it. The guy felt bad but he didn't want to debate the guy so he left. On the way out he sees this homeless guy with dirty long hair and immediately runs back into the barbershop and tells the barber, look this guy has long hair, that is proof that barbers don't exit. The barber says of course we exist, after all here I am, the problem is guys with long hair just don't want to come to me.
And then there was this third guy who entered the barbershop. He listened to their conversation, and decided to intervene. He told the first guy "Wait, wait, wait, you are acknowledging the existence of people in need of a barber. You are, therefore, acknowledging an objective standard for judging whether people are in need of this person called "barber" or not. Therefore, a barber exists". That's basically what you are saying.
Smiley,

Do you believe in God and resurrection of Christ? Please do not post anything else until you answer the question. All other posts will be deleted.
Yes. I already answered this numerous times.

But let's not derail the thread about that. If you want, PM me.
jlay wrote: Smiley. I agree with that as well. So, I guess you see conflict in many of the other explanations given for evil and suffering. That still doesn't tell me why you feel they are all incompatible with that argument? I'm not sure what the source of evil has to do with how it is measured?
They are not necessarily incompatible. I am criticizing it because I do not think it is applicable here.

I do not see how the non-theist who uses the problem of evil is doing anything other than saying "If you believe that action A is evil, and there is a God who wants to eliminate evil, then we have an internal problem". He is not saying that action A is evil, he's saying that if you believe that it is evil, then you need to develop reasons for why God would permit it.

Since the theist does believe that there is terrible evil in the world (and the Bible itself affirms this many times), then it seems to me that the non-theist is justified in using it as evidence against the theist's beliefs.
"Imagine if we picked the wrong god. Every time we go to church, we're just make him madder and madder." - Homer Simpson

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