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Christianity, Atheism, and the Problem of Evil

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Gondwanaland View Post

    Okay..... as interesting as morality of Christianity vs atheism, problem of evil, etc., is to discuss, I not sure how things got there from my OP, which is about none of those things.....
    Derailment
    tenor (4).gif
    Tis the Tweb way



    I'll put in a request for a split.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
      Derailment
      tenor (4).gif
      Tis the Tweb way



      I'll put in a request for a split.
      Will the off-topic posts be relocated, or deleted?

      Just as a by the way, Gondwanaland's thread isn't updating the new posts in the index.

      And

      What did that train hit?
      Last edited by tabibito; 07-25-2021, 08:53 AM.
      sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by tabibito View Post

        Will the off-topic posts be relocated, or deleted?

        Just as a by the way, Gondwanaland's thread isn't updating the new posts in the index.

        And

        What did that train hit?
        Already split into a separate thread when you posted.

        The indexing updates is an ongoing problem. Not too long ago, in one particularly active thread it was still linking to a post a day old and nearly a hundred posts back!

        The accident was in Spain and IIRC was blamed on going too fast around a turn.

        I'm always still in trouble again

        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
        "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

          Simple example:

          Well, lets say a mugging and murder would happen in 15 minutes. It could be stopped by merely delaying the victim. So, their car has a dead battery, delaying them.

          Or, perhaps it's that the mugger and murderer would have decided to not do the mugging if only the streetlights in the area were brighter or working. That would be a simple thing for God to fix, without violating the mugger's free will.

          That's the thing as an all-knowing God, he knows the exact sequence of "natural" events that would lead someone to freely choose (or not to choose) X. He has the power to enact that exact sequence of events.

          He's like that scene in endgame where Dr. Strange looks at over 14,000,000 possible futures, and sees one winning outcome, then takes the one action he needs to do to set that timeline in motion.
          It seems to me that God would have to be constantly interfering on every level on your model. And again, suffering will end and who knows what lessons will be learned through this temporal situation. The love and forgiveness and justice of God displayed in a concrete way through the passion of Christ. Or our ability to love and forgive being tested and forged through a sinful milieu. Real significance to our acts. There may be many reasons why God allows a season of pain. The bottom line, as a Christian, I trust that He knows what He is doing. Of course if atheism is true there ultimately can be no redeeming quality in suffering... Just the pitiless indifference from an amoral universe.
          Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by seer View Post

            It seems to me that God would have to be constantly interfering on every level on your model. And again, suffering will end and who knows what lessons will be learned through this temporal situation. The love and forgiveness and justice of God displayed in a concrete way through the passion of Christ. Or our ability to love and forgive being tested and forged through a sinful milieu. Real significance to our acts. There may be many reasons why God allows a season of pain. The bottom line, as a Christian, I trust that He knows what He is doing. Of course if atheism is true there ultimately can be no redeeming quality in suffering... Just the pitiless indifference from an amoral universe.
            Maybe, maybe not. After all, God is all-knowing and all-powerful. My example is one in which suffering already exists in the world, and god would therefore have to constantly interfere to keep suffering out. But, that's merely an example of what he COULD do.

            However, that complaint is like complaining that to keep a house from falling down, the contractor has to do be constantly interfering with the house (shoring up falling walls, supporting the ceiling, etc.) where if he had built the house properly at the beginning, those problems wouldn't manifest in such a way as to need constant intervention.

            I'll give you a biblical example of this problem, right from the beginning.

            The Tree of Knowledge.
            God could build the garden however he wanted. He had absolute power to plant and design the shape of it as he wanted.

            God knew he did not want Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree.
            God knew that they would.
            God knew that he would then punish them with suffering for that action, and he knew that suffering would enter the world on a greater scale because of it.
            God knew he would have to flood the entire world, killing off all the population except for Noah's family and the pairs of creatures, including children and newborns because of the evil that would enter the world.

            A God who wanted that suffering to not happen could easily have placed the tree in a place/area that would be inaccessible to Adam/Eve. Sheer cliff, behind a wall, etc.

            There's no violation of free will with this.

            The Tower of Babel shows that god can take action to prevent Man from "doing something" without affecting their free will.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Dimbulb View Post
              Commonly the Problem of Suffering is formulated in such a way to focus on environmentally-caused suffering that God doesn't mitigate, rather than on the direct actions of free-willed beings, in order that 'free will' not provide any obvious logical defense.
              Which is essentially an argument from ignorance, because it assumes that finite man can know for a fact that an omniscient, omnipotent, and morally perfect God could never have a morally good reason for allowing evil to exist, which is obviously something we couldn't possibly know. Frankly, I don't find "God doesn't act the way I expect; therefore, God doesn't exist" to be a very compelling argument in general because it ignores the possibility that your expectations are simply wrong.
              Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
              But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
              Than a fool in the eyes of God


              From "Fools Gold" by Petra

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                Maybe, maybe not. After all, God is all-knowing and all-powerful. My example is one in which suffering already exists in the world, and god would therefore have to constantly interfere to keep suffering out. But, that's merely an example of what he COULD do.

                However, that complaint is like complaining that to keep a house from falling down, the contractor has to do be constantly interfering with the house (shoring up falling walls, supporting the ceiling, etc.) where if he had built the house properly at the beginning, those problems wouldn't manifest in such a way as to need constant intervention.

                I'll give you a biblical example of this problem, right from the beginning.

                The Tree of Knowledge.
                God could build the garden however he wanted. He had absolute power to plant and design the shape of it as he wanted.

                God knew he did not want Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree.
                God knew that they would.
                God knew that he would then punish them with suffering for that action, and he knew that suffering would enter the world on a greater scale because of it.
                God knew he would have to flood the entire world, killing off all the population except for Noah's family and the pairs of creatures, including children and newborns because of the evil that would enter the world.

                A God who wanted that suffering to not happen could easily have placed the tree in a place/area that would be inaccessible to Adam/Eve. Sheer cliff, behind a wall, etc.

                There's no violation of free will with this.

                The Tower of Babel shows that god can take action to prevent Man from "doing something" without affecting their free will.
                Again, if as I believe that God allows temporal evil for a greater good - or goods, as I described above, then I simply don't see the problem.
                Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                  Maybe, maybe not. After all, God is all-knowing and all-powerful. My example is one in which suffering already exists in the world, and god would therefore have to constantly interfere to keep suffering out. But, that's merely an example of what he COULD do.

                  However, that complaint is like complaining that to keep a house from falling down, the contractor has to do be constantly interfering with the house (shoring up falling walls, supporting the ceiling, etc.) where if he had built the house properly at the beginning, those problems wouldn't manifest in such a way as to need constant intervention.

                  I'll give you a biblical example of this problem, right from the beginning.

                  The Tree of Knowledge.
                  God could build the garden however he wanted. He had absolute power to plant and design the shape of it as he wanted.

                  God knew he did not want Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree.
                  God knew that they would.
                  God knew that he would then punish them with suffering for that action, and he knew that suffering would enter the world on a greater scale because of it.
                  God knew he would have to flood the entire world, killing off all the population except for Noah's family and the pairs of creatures, including children and newborns because of the evil that would enter the world.

                  A God who wanted that suffering to not happen could easily have placed the tree in a place/area that would be inaccessible to Adam/Eve. Sheer cliff, behind a wall, etc.

                  There's no violation of free will with this.

                  The Tower of Babel shows that god can take action to prevent Man from "doing something" without affecting their free will.
                  You're rather missing the point about the tree. It wasn't the tree in and of itself, it was Adam and Eve having the ability to defy God if they so chose. Certainly God could have made the tree inaccessible, at which point it would have represented no real choice at all, but there were still other ways they could have sinned, and the only way to prevent it would have been to eliminate their freewill.

                  Earlier you described a world where God prevented people from doing evil by shaping reality in such a way that they would make a different choice, such as a mugger choosing not to commit a crime because a certain street light was functioning. My question is, would that person ever have any hope of redemption if the only reason he didn't do evil is because circumstances outside of his control prevented it?
                  Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                  But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                  Than a fool in the eyes of God


                  From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                    You're rather missing the point about the tree. It wasn't the tree in and of itself, it was Adam and Eve having the ability to defy God if they so chose. Certainly God could have made the tree inaccessible, at which point it would have represented no real choice at all, but there were still other ways they could have sinned, and the only way to prevent it would have been to eliminate their freewill.
                    So, you are placing limits on Gods power?
                    Earlier you described a world where God prevented people from doing evil by shaping reality in such a way that they would make a different choice, such as a mugger choosing not to commit a crime because a certain street light was functioning. My question is, would that person ever have any hope of redemption if the only reason he didn't do evil is because circumstances outside of his control prevented it?
                    Would he need redemption?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Seer, those were EXCELLENT points in your #19 reply. We can trust that God is the hero of this entire drama since creation, and will finally be acknowledged as such by all when "every knee shall bow".

                      For CivilDiscourse, YES, redemption would still be necessary if someone's evil acts were restricted from happening, simply because the very nature of the individual who was restrained from committing evil still needs to have his evil nature redeemed also (that being his predisposition to commit evil, if given the opportunity.) In due time, God will ultimately fix the root cause of the problem by exterminating the origin of human evil from this planet altogether. Until then, God is giving a continual display to us over the millennia of what results when free will is given and runs amok, as it inevitably does in any created being who is given the option of good or evil. Ideally in heaven, even the option of choosing evil will be removed.

                      Free will is a double-edged sword which can become our worst enemy - not the sacred cow it is usually assumed to be.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
                        So, you are placing limits on Gods power?
                        Only those limits that logic demands. It would be logically impossible for God to make a square circle, for instance, just as it would be logically impossible for God to create a universe where freewill has moral value without the ability to freely choose.

                        Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
                        Would he need redemption?
                        Yes, because evil starts in the heart, and unless there is a change of heart, rather than one's hand being forced by circumstances, then there is need for redemption, and if it is impossible for someone to cause harm, then there is no reason to have a change of heart.

                        For instance, suppose a person becomes so angry at someone that he wishes to break the other's nose. Suppose he succeeds and sees the pain and suffering he caused which compels him to have a change of heart, forgive the person for whatever grievance he committed, offer to pay his medical bills, and vow to refrain from ever again lashing out in anger. His original intent was evil, but it caused him to grow morally for the better.

                        Now let's imagine a different universe where he swings at his antagonist's face, but God creates a supernatural force field that stops the hit from landing. He swings again and again with the same result, becoming increasingly frustrated and cursing his antagonist in his heart. Eventually he realizes the futility of his actions and walks away seething with bitterness and hatred. In this scenario, while he was stopped from harming another, he is considerably worse off than he was before.
                        Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                        But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                        Than a fool in the eyes of God


                        From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                          Would he need redemption?
                          Without the fall perhaps we would never know the depth of God's love, forgiveness and justice in actuality. And if this whole exercise is about anything, it is about coming to know God.

                          Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                            I generally see the problem of suffering as a calling out the paradox of the three omni-s of God, while suffering still exists in the world.

                            I.e. God is supposedly all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good.

                            The fact that suffering exists in the world (natural or man made) is proof that one of the three characteristics must be wrong..

                            An All knowing God would know how to stop the suffering without violating free will..
                            An all powerful God would be able to stop the suffering (likely without it ever starting)
                            An all good God would want to stop suffering in the world.

                            Suffering exists. This means God either cannot stop it, does not know how, or does not want to.
                            We have an agreed position, although you left out the question premised on your last sentence "Why call him god?"
                            "It ain't necessarily so
                            The things that you're liable
                            To read in the Bible
                            It ain't necessarily so
                            ."

                            Sportin' Life
                            Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                              You're rather missing the point about the tree. It wasn't the tree in and of itself, it was Adam and Eve having the ability to defy God if they so chose. Certainly God could have made the tree inaccessible, at which point it would have represented no real choice at all, but there were still other ways they could have sinned, and the only way to prevent it would have been to eliminate their freewill.

                              Earlier you described a world where God prevented people from doing evil by shaping reality in such a way that they would make a different choice, such as a mugger choosing not to commit a crime because a certain street light was functioning. My question is, would that person ever have any hope of redemption if the only reason he didn't do evil is because circumstances outside of his control prevented it?
                              CivilDiscourse is right. If this deity is believed to omniscient it already knew that Eve would be tempted and both she and Adam would eat the fruit and that as a result of those actions humans would endure the Fall and all the misery resulting from that.
                              "It ain't necessarily so
                              The things that you're liable
                              To read in the Bible
                              It ain't necessarily so
                              ."

                              Sportin' Life
                              Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                                CivilDiscourse is right. If this deity is believed to omniscient it already knew that Eve would be tempted and both she and Adam would eat the fruit and that as a result of those actions humans would endure the Fall and all the misery resulting from that.
                                Omniscient simply means knowing everything that it is possible to know. If we truly have freewill, then it is not possible for God to know the decisions we will make until we make them. That is to say that our freewill decisions are the cause of God's knowledge of those decisions.
                                Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                                But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                                Than a fool in the eyes of God


                                From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                                Comment

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