Jump to content


Photo

Problem Of Evil?


  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#1 joe

joe

    Newcomer

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Age: 31
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • UK

Posted 11 October 2012 - 05:54 AM

Hello all, just signed up to ask a question which I've never had a satisfactory answer to. I'm sure it's an issue you've all heard a thousand times before so sorry if I'm going over old ground, but I really want to know what the Christian perspective on this is. If you're not familiar with the problem of evil please see here .

Basically put there is evil in the world, if a god or gods exist then they could stop evil. Evil still exists so either there are no gods or they allow evil, and therefore are not good/moral. Genuinely interested to hear what your views on this are, I'm sure most Christians must have dealt with this problem somehow, I'm just curios to know how. Again, apologies if I'm dragging over ground that's well covered but I'm not particularly well versed in Christian theology.

#2 JayShel

JayShel

    Former Atheist

  • Moderator Team
  • PipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Florida
  • Age: 36
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Saved July 12, 2007

Posted 11 October 2012 - 04:58 PM

Hello all, just signed up to ask a question which I've never had a satisfactory answer to. I'm sure it's an issue you've all heard a thousand times before so sorry if I'm going over old ground, but I really want to know what the Christian perspective on this is. If you're not familiar with the problem of evil please see here .

Basically put there is evil in the world, if a god or gods exist then they could stop evil. Evil still exists so either there are no gods or they allow evil, and therefore are not good/moral. Genuinely interested to hear what your views on this are, I'm sure most Christians must have dealt with this problem somehow, I'm just curios to know how. Again, apologies if I'm dragging over ground that's well covered but I'm not particularly well versed in Christian theology.


Welcome to the forum joe. Evil arises from our free will as human beings. We can choose to behave morally or immorally (side note: our actions can be also be amoral). God gave us this free will so that we could freely choose to love and worship Him, the source of all things good. Love cannot exist without free will.

You imagine a perfect world without evil which we all agree would be a good thing. What does this mean? No evil would mean no evil actions, no evil words, no evil thoughts. Since we have all committed evil in our lifetimes, and are incapable of getting rid of all evil words, thoughts, or deeds, it logically follows that we should be gotten rid of. While I agree with this, I am grateful that God paid for the sins of all those who accept Him. As for those who reject God's payment for their sins, there will be Hell to pay, As unfortunate as that sounds, justice WILL be served eventually. I am thankful for this also because no God claiming to be good could let evil go unpunished.

Cheers.

#3 usafjay1976

usafjay1976

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 308 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Interests:Religion, Creation, Air Force, Traveling, Cooking, Movies
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • New Jersey

Posted 11 October 2012 - 11:31 PM

Hello all, just signed up to ask a question which I've never had a satisfactory answer to. I'm sure it's an issue you've all heard a thousand times before so sorry if I'm going over old ground, but I really want to know what the Christian perspective on this is. If you're not familiar with the problem of evil please see here .

Basically put there is evil in the world, if a god or gods exist then they could stop evil. Evil still exists so either there are no gods or they allow evil, and therefore are not good/moral. Genuinely interested to hear what your views on this are, I'm sure most Christians must have dealt with this problem somehow, I'm just curios to know how. Again, apologies if I'm dragging over ground that's well covered but I'm not particularly well versed in Christian theology.


The problem is with your 'evil still exists so either there are no gods or they allow evil and therefore are not good/moral' statement.

When God created man, He gave man free will. Simply said, we can make choices. We can choose to murder someone or not. We can choose to have premarital s@x, do drugs, and 'live life to the fullest because we only go around once', right?

I'm not saying atheists live by these choices, however they don't believe there are eternal consequences for those actions. As Christians, we most certainly believe we sin everyday. It might not be something as severe as murder but it is still sin. We do believe that God sent His Son to die for all sins, the sins of the world, and we are forgiven by Christ's death on the cross.

I understand this can be a confusing topic and the whole 'God thing' can be very confusing to someone who doesn't know much about God. I challenge you to read around this forum. There are some spectacular discussions here.

I also challenge you to look around your surroundings. When you look at a skyscraper, do you see evolution? How about a fancy car? A cathedral? I see intelligent design behind these things. When it comes to our amazing planet, the animals, humans, the universe, etc., I also see intelligent design behind it. The ultimate 'Intelligent Designer'! There are many, many issues with the theory of evolution and many of them are addressed on this site. I encourage you to read them and ask questions. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Best of luck as you seek the truth.

#4 joe

joe

    Newcomer

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Age: 31
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • UK

Posted 12 October 2012 - 03:08 AM

Free will explains human evils, that's fine. However, what about natural evils? For instance a tsunami killing thousands, the good and the bad alike, including infant children who cannot have chosen to commit sins, Is this a gods doing? Does god allow it happen? How can this be described as moral or good? And with regards to your design comment, what about parasites that dig into the eyes of children and blind them? Did god design them? If so how can this be described as moral or good?

#5 gilbo12345

gilbo12345

    Honorable Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5234 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Completed BBiotech (Honours)

    Currently studying Masters of Teaching.

    Enjoys games of tactics and strategy.
  • Age: 25
  • (private)
  • Creationist
  • Australia

Posted 12 October 2012 - 04:32 AM

Free will explains human evils, that's fine. However, what about natural evils? For instance a tsunami killing thousands, the good and the bad alike, including infant children who cannot have chosen to commit sins, Is this a gods doing? Does god allow it happen? How can this be described as moral or good? And with regards to your design comment, what about parasites that dig into the eyes of children and blind them? Did god design them? If so how can this be described as moral or good?


Personally I wouldn't call such evil since a natural event isn't sentient, ie an earthquake cannot think.

#6 joe

joe

    Newcomer

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Age: 31
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • UK

Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:07 AM

Personally I wouldn't call such evil since a natural event isn't sentient, ie an earthquake cannot think.


I agree, but if there is an omnipotent god then it causes these events, or at the very least allows them to happen. Doesn't that make god evil or at least amoral?

#7 miles

miles

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 227 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 35
  • no affiliation
  • Agnostic
  • america

Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:30 AM

Welcome to the forum joe. Evil arises from our free will as human beings. We can choose to behave morally or immorally (side note: our actions can be also be amoral). God gave us this free will so that we could freely choose to love and worship Him, the source of all things good. Love cannot exist without free will.

You imagine a perfect world without evil which we all agree would be a good thing. What does this mean? No evil would mean no evil actions, no evil words, no evil thoughts. Since we have all committed evil in our lifetimes, and are incapable of getting rid of all evil words, thoughts, or deeds, it logically follows that we should be gotten rid of. While I agree with this, I am grateful that God paid for the sins of all those who accept Him. As for those who reject God's payment for their sins, there will be Hell to pay, As unfortunate as that sounds, justice WILL be served eventually. I am thankful for this also because no God claiming to be good could let evil go unpunished.

Cheers.


I think there's some problems with the free will defense from the christian perspective that considers heaven as a place without evil.

Your argument includes the following statements:
1. Love cannot exist without free will.
2. Evil arises from our free will as human beings.

Does love for god exist in your concept of heaven?
If yes, then item 1 requires free will to exist in heaven.
If free will exists in heaven then item 2 would require that evil occurs in heaven. This is contrary to the standard christian view of heaven.

If you want to argue that free will exists in heaven but there is no evil in heaven then you have to accept that free will does not logically require the existence of evil choices. This means that item 2 does not have to be true. If it's possible for free will to exist without evil then the need for free will can't be a justification for the existence of evil.

#8 usafjay1976

usafjay1976

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 308 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Interests:Religion, Creation, Air Force, Traveling, Cooking, Movies
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • New Jersey

Posted 12 October 2012 - 03:42 PM

Free will explains human evils, that's fine. However, what about natural evils? For instance a tsunami killing thousands, the good and the bad alike, including infant children who cannot have chosen to commit sins, Is this a gods doing? Does god allow it happen? How can this be described as moral or good? And with regards to your design comment, what about parasites that dig into the eyes of children and blind them? Did god design them? If so how can this be described as moral or good?


Joe,

Natural evils are explained in the Bible. We are all sinners in God's eyes, so we as humans suffer. There is nothing in the Bible that says if you are a follower of Christ, your life will be a bed of roses. Why do babies die? Why do 'good' people get sick/die early? The questions go on and on.

A short but good article 'why bad things happen' here: http://whatthebibles...ingsHappen.html

#9 joe

joe

    Newcomer

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Age: 31
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • UK

Posted 12 October 2012 - 05:52 PM

We are all sinners in God's eyes, so we as humans suffer.


So natural evils are god's punishment for sins we may or may not have committed yet?

#10 gilbo12345

gilbo12345

    Honorable Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5234 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Completed BBiotech (Honours)

    Currently studying Masters of Teaching.

    Enjoys games of tactics and strategy.
  • Age: 25
  • (private)
  • Creationist
  • Australia

Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:18 PM

My opinion is this, if there were no disasters, no turns of bad luck then people wouldn't be capable of appreciating the good luck that does happen. Life is a roller coaster we go through the lows to appreciate the highs, therefore using this logic if God did everything for us how can we come to appreciate it if there is nothing to contrast?

#11 JayShel

JayShel

    Former Atheist

  • Moderator Team
  • PipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Florida
  • Age: 36
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Saved July 12, 2007

Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:45 PM

So natural evils are god's punishment for sins we may or may not have committed yet?


People die all the time of natural causes, and natural disasters just cut short our expectation of living a long life. Is death "evil"? No. Death is an inevitable result of the fall, since we have been fundamentally cut off from God by our actions.

I don't consider all natural disasters punishment, but rather that the fall changed God's creation into a volatile place, and since we live ALL OVER it's surface, we are bound to get in the way of some serious shifting around of matter that can kill us.

Is all suffering "evil"? No. Suffering can lead to humility, compassion, motivation, etc. Also, suffering gives us a taste of Hell so we can know that we don't want to choose it.

#12 JayShel

JayShel

    Former Atheist

  • Moderator Team
  • PipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Florida
  • Age: 36
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Saved July 12, 2007

Posted 12 October 2012 - 10:02 PM

I think there's some problems with the free will defense from the christian perspective that considers heaven as a place without evil.

Your argument includes the following statements:
1. Love cannot exist without free will.
2. Evil arises from our free will as human beings.

Does love for god exist in your concept of heaven?
If yes, then item 1 requires free will to exist in heaven.
If free will exists in heaven then item 2 would require that evil occurs in heaven. This is contrary to the standard christian view of heaven.

If you want to argue that free will exists in heaven but there is no evil in heaven then you have to accept that free will does not logically require the existence of evil choices. This means that item 2 does not have to be true. If it's possible for free will to exist without evil then the need for free will can't be a justification for the existence of evil.


Freedom to sin does not mean we must sin. Let me be specific: in our current state, sinning is inevitable due to our sin nature. (The only question being will we accept God's grace and sacrifice on the cross.) In Heaven, our sin nature will be replaced by a divine nature which was earned for us by Jesus Christ. This means that our desire to sin will be all but non-existent. Now with Satan locked in Hell, unable to tempt us, and with a hard earned, incorruptible trust in the goodness of God, a hard earned experiential knowledge of just how bad sin can be, and with a new divine nature, we are immunized against choosing sin. Adam and Eve didn't have this. You can't create someone with trust and experiential knowledge. Divine nature had to be earned for us by Jesus Christ.

I think the reason God allowed Satan to tempt Adam and Eve was because He knew if they chose to sin, He would turn it around and make things better in Heaven.

#13 usafjay1976

usafjay1976

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 308 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Interests:Religion, Creation, Air Force, Traveling, Cooking, Movies
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • New Jersey

Posted 12 October 2012 - 10:06 PM

So natural evils are god's punishment for sins we may or may not have committed yet?


That's the thing. We all have sinned in God's eyes.

Ephesians 2: 8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

This is the heart of Christianity. No one is 'good' in God's eyes. If we were good, then His Son's death on the cross would be meaningless.

The world is full of people that are anti God, pro abortion, doing drugs, murder, lust, P*rn*gr*phy, and the 'YOLO' (You Only Live Once) attitude. After all, if we are just a bunch of random floating particles, why should it matter what we do? There is no after life, you only go around this crazy merry go round once, right? Give it all you got and live like there is no tomorrow!

I think this forum is fantastic. I unfortunately do not have the techinical background like many of the members here but I enjoy trying to chip in where I can and profess my faith and beliefs. I do believe 100% in God and the marvel of His creation proves just that.

If I'm wrong though, and when it's my time to leave this earth... well, no harm done, right? I'll just rot in the ground. However, for those that don't believe...

I would encourage any and all evolutionists to consider this. What is your biggest hurdle in believing in God? I've seen so much on here from what appears to be sound rebuttals to evolution. What keeps you from believing in God?

#14 gilbo12345

gilbo12345

    Honorable Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5234 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Completed BBiotech (Honours)

    Currently studying Masters of Teaching.

    Enjoys games of tactics and strategy.
  • Age: 25
  • (private)
  • Creationist
  • Australia

Posted 12 October 2012 - 10:20 PM

The world is full of people that are anti God, pro abortion, doing drugs, murder, lust, P*rn*gr*phy, and the 'YOLO' (You Only Live Once) attitude. After all, if we are just a bunch of random floating particles, why should it matter what we do? There is no after life, you only go around this crazy merry go round once, right? Give it all you got and live like there is no tomorrow!

I think this forum is fantastic. I unfortunately do not have the techinical background like many of the members here but I enjoy trying to chip in where I can and profess my faith and beliefs. I do believe 100% in God and the marvel of His creation proves just that.

If I'm wrong though, and when it's my time to leave this earth... well, no harm done, right? I'll just rot in the ground. However, for those that don't believe...

I would encourage any and all evolutionists to consider this. What is your biggest hurdle in believing in God? I've seen so much on here from what appears to be sound rebuttals to evolution. What keeps you from believing in God?


I agree, and I believe the root of the "YOLO" attitude is from the belief that we "evolved" from animals, as you put this makes humans mere molecules of matter therefore there is no reason to care about whether what we do is moral or not.

I think the biggest hurdle many see with belief in God are the so-called "extra rules" imposed. However I'm beginning to come to terms with the fact that these rules are in place to keep us from being slaves to other things instead. Like the sin of lust, greed etc, people may think that they want to do X but its their slavery to sin that makes them do thus. People may regret doing these things later in life as they realise that it wasn't the right thing to do. Deep down I'd rather live conservatively and be good to all rather than living like an animal and doing whatever I pleased.

This has been my own challenge, and whilst I'm not and never will be 100% right / understand it all, I can appreciate it from my own viewpoint.

#15 usafjay1976

usafjay1976

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 308 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Interests:Religion, Creation, Air Force, Traveling, Cooking, Movies
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • New Jersey

Posted 12 October 2012 - 10:30 PM

I agree, and I believe the root of the "YOLO" attitude is from the belief that we "evolved" from animals, as you put this makes humans mere molecules of matter therefore there is no reason to care about whether what we do is moral or not.

I think the biggest hurdle many see with belief in God are the so-called "extra rules" imposed. However I'm beginning to come to terms with the fact that these rules are in place to keep us from being slaves to other things instead. Like the sin of lust, greed etc, people may think that they want to do X but its their slavery to sin that makes them do thus. People may regret doing these things later in life as they realise that it wasn't the right thing to do. Deep down I'd rather live conservatively and be good to all rather than living like an animal and doing whatever I pleased.

This has been my own challenge, and whilst I'm not and never will be 100% right / understand it all, I can appreciate it from my own viewpoint.


Well said, Gilbo.

From reading things on this forum, many see God as a hateful being that allows bad things to happen, why doesn't He stop them, why doesn't He show Himself? Why is there a hell? The list goes on and on. It makes me wonder how many of the atheists have actually read the Bible as the answers are there. Fred's site (the Bible evidences) one is fantastic and I would even find it hard for a true skeptic to ignore or refute. I wonder what their thoughts would be on the matter.

#16 miles

miles

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 227 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 35
  • no affiliation
  • Agnostic
  • america

Posted 13 October 2012 - 09:02 AM

Freedom to sin does not mean we must sin. Let me be specific: in our current state, sinning is inevitable due to our sin nature. (The only question being will we accept God's grace and sacrifice on the cross.) In Heaven, our sin nature will be replaced by a divine nature which was earned for us by Jesus Christ. This means that our desire to sin will be all but non-existent. Now with Satan locked in Hell, unable to tempt us, and with a hard earned, incorruptible trust in the goodness of God, a hard earned experiential knowledge of just how bad sin can be, and with a new divine nature, we are immunized against choosing sin. Adam and Eve didn't have this.

Many christians feel the bible describes a age of accountability for children where before that age they cannot be expected to know or choose between good and evil.
1. Do you believe that infants go to heaven?
1a. If yes to 1, do you believe infants have hard earned experiential knowledge of evil?
1b. If no to 1, please explain what you think happens to dead babies.

2a. If no to 1a, then that means infants don't meet your proposed conditions for not sinning in heaven. (unless you think they remain unaccountable in heaven)
2b. If yes to 1a, could you explain how this is possible

If you argue that evil is necessary, that simply changes the problem of evil to the problem of above minimal evil. If it's impossible to 'immunize' someone against being evil without them experiencing evil then a benevolent god should be limiting evil to the minimum necessary (whenever possible, we do not vaccinate children by exposing them to the full blown illness). If there were X instances of evil last year, would the immunization effect have been greater, less than, or the same if there had been X-1 instances of evil? Did everyone in history who was tortured and murdered need to experience both torture and murder or would simply being called mean things have been enough to immunize them against being evil in heaven?

You can't create someone with trust and experiential knowledge.

This seems contrary to the literal story of genesis. I'm also not clear on why god would be incapable of creating someone with built in memories and experiences. Do you think Adam needed to learn how to walk and talk or was he created with the experiential knowledge of how to walk and talk? From a purely biological standpoint, the brain requires certain experiences in childhood to develop. For example, there are neurons that develop during infancy that respond to vertical or horizontal lines. Without seeing vertical or horizontal lines as a child, an adult will be effectively blind to anything vertical or horizontal. This has been done with kittens raised in specially designed rooms, the adult cats were blind to any visual stimulus they didn't experience as a kitten. Unless you believe adam and every other animal was blind, the physiological state of a functioning adult brain requires they were created in a state indistinguishable from having experienced childhood. If god can build-in the effects of non-existent childhood experiences why would it be impossible to build-in the effects of other non-existent experiences?

Kitten experiment:
http://books.google....0stripe&f=false

#17 joe

joe

    Newcomer

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Age: 31
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • UK

Posted 13 October 2012 - 11:05 AM

My opinion is this, if there were no disasters, no turns of bad luck then people wouldn't be capable of appreciating the good luck that does happen. Life is a roller coaster we go through the lows to appreciate the highs, therefore using this logic if God did everything for us how can we come to appreciate it if there is nothing to contrast?


These seems to me to be a callous and immoral statement of the worst kind. A child born with a debilitating disease that leads a short and painful life exists so that others can enjoy sunshine and bunny rabbits? Despicable

I don't consider all natural disasters punishment, but rather that the fall changed God's creation into a volatile place, and since we live ALL OVER it's surface, we are bound to get in the way of some serious shifting around of matter that can kill us.

.

But god is omnipotent, so he choose to make the world like this, as a reaction to our original sin? This seems to me to be collective punishment, something humans have, on the whole, pronounced to be immoral. Why is moral for god to enact collective punishment on us for the sins of one person?


I agree, and I believe the root of the "YOLO" attitude is from the belief that we "evolved" from animals, as you put this makes humans mere molecules of matter therefore there is no reason to care about whether what we do is moral or not.


I care about what happens to other people because some of my favorite people are peoplePosted Image . I don't want to see other people suffer because of my ability to empathize.



What is your biggest hurdle in believing in God? I've seen so much on here from what appears to be sound rebuttals to evolution. What keeps you from believing in God?


Firstly I am very confused by the dichotomy presented by many of you between god and evolution, plenty of people accept both, some neither. As to my reasons for not believing in any gods, there are several but I suppose the main ones are:
  • People from many different religions make claims to special revealed knowledge, and claim to know the truth about god/s. How am I to differentiate between those claims? It seems arbitrary to pick one over the others, so until evidence is presented to give weight to one particular religion I remain equally skeptical about them all.
  • The idea of god seems to be projection to me. We experience the world as a conscious, purposeful entity, so when we look at the universe and wonder about it's mysteries we project are selves onto it and see a universal conscious, purposeful entity. There seems to me to be no reason why this projection should be true.
  • Everything that has ever been ascribed to gods, eg lightening, volcanoes, earthquakes, formation of stars, diversity of life etc, that we have developed a better explanation for has turned out to not be supernatural but part of a natural process. Why should the remaining mysteries be any different.
  • Ideas of a benevolent, loving, all powerful father figure and an eternal, blissful afterlife seem to be pure wish-thinking to me. I can see why people would want them to be true but can see no reason to believe they are.
  • Along with vaguely deistic philosophical beliefs about a 'prime mover' or 'uncaused cause' most religions have much more specific ideas about what gods like or dislike, which I find, to be frank, laughable. If there is a god, for anyone to claim to understand the mind of that god seems beyond ridicules to me. And it seems this likes/dislikes of god always coincidentally seem to align very closely with those of the believers
Anyway, bit of a tangent there, sorry. Back on topic, it seems the main argument is that we sinned against god and caused 'the fall' which brought evil into the world, which as I said above seems like collective punishment to me. The other idea, that gratuitous suffering serves some sort of greater purpose seems wholly immoral to me. If god is omnipotent that surely he could have found some other way to correct our sins or teach us about love, humility, compassion etc that didn't involve starving children and debilitating diseases. If not then surely he is not omnipotent?

#18 gilbo12345

gilbo12345

    Honorable Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5234 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Completed BBiotech (Honours)

    Currently studying Masters of Teaching.

    Enjoys games of tactics and strategy.
  • Age: 25
  • (private)
  • Creationist
  • Australia

Posted 14 October 2012 - 04:35 PM

1. These seems to me to be a callous and immoral statement of the worst kind. A child born with a debilitating disease that leads a short and painful life exists so that others can enjoy sunshine and bunny rabbits? Despicable

.

2. But god is omnipotent, so he choose to make the world like this, as a reaction to our original sin?

3. This seems to me to be collective punishment, something humans have, on the whole, pronounced to be immoral. Why is moral for god to enact collective punishment on us for the sins of one person?




4. I care about what happens to other people because some of my favorite people are peoplePosted Image . I don't want to see other people suffer because of my ability to empathize.




5. Firstly I am very confused by the dichotomy presented by many of you between god and evolution, plenty of people accept both, some neither. As to my reasons for not believing in any gods, there are several but I suppose the main ones are:

6. People from many different religions make claims to special revealed knowledge, and claim to know the truth about god/s. How am I to differentiate between those claims? It seems arbitrary to pick one over the others, so until evidence is presented to give weight to one particular religion I remain equally skeptical about them all.

7. The idea of god seems to be projection to me. We experience the world as a conscious, purposeful entity, so when we look at the universe and wonder about it's mysteries we project are selves onto it and see a universal conscious, purposeful entity. There seems to me to be no reason why this projection should be true.

8. Everything that has ever been ascribed to gods, eg lightening, volcanoes, earthquakes, formation of stars, diversity of life etc, that we have developed a better explanation for has turned out to not be supernatural but part of a natural process. Why should the remaining mysteries be any different.

9. Ideas of a benevolent, loving, all powerful father figure and an eternal, blissful afterlife seem to be pure wish-thinking to me. I can see why people would want them to be true but can see no reason to believe they are.

10. Along with vaguely deistic philosophical beliefs about a 'prime mover' or 'uncaused cause' most religions have much more specific ideas about what gods like or dislike, which I find, to be frank, laughable. If there is a god, for anyone to claim to understand the mind of that god seems beyond ridicules to me. And it seems this likes/dislikes of god always coincidentally seem to align very closely with those of the believers

11. Anyway, bit of a tangent there, sorry. Back on topic, it seems the main argument is that we sinned against god and caused 'the fall' which brought evil into the world, which as I said above seems like collective punishment to me. The other idea, that gratuitous suffering serves some sort of greater purpose seems wholly immoral to me. If god is omnipotent that surely he could have found some other way to correct our sins or teach us about love, humility, compassion etc that didn't involve starving children and debilitating diseases. If not then surely he is not omnipotent?


1. You've totally taken me out of context! I was meaning the highs and lows of the individual so that ONE individual can do as I said. I never said that people have bad things happen to them so that others can feel good. I ask that you retract your statement.

2. Yes

3. No its not a collective punishment it is what is. You can't get gold from excrement. We live in this flawed world because we ourselves are flawed, or would you claim that we are perfect and thus deserve automatic heaven?

4. How does this have anything to do with what I said?

5. I thought it was self explanatory before

"I agree, and I believe the root of the "YOLO" attitude is from the belief that we "evolved" from animals, as you put this makes humans mere molecules of matter therefore there is no reason to care about whether what we do is moral or not."

if you believe you are an animal, what is to stop you from acting like one?

6. Just because the real nature of God can be in contest doesn't mean there is no God at all... Perhaps each Religion is only glimpsing a small part of God (since God is infinite, which would be too much for our limited minds to comprehend). Therefore your argument here fails since such contestation doesn't mean there is no God it merely means that the nature of God is contested.

7. So your argument here is that because you don't think God is real.... Fail.

8. Argument to the future, additionally yes we know the natural phenomena however that still doesn't exclude God as an agent to induce natural phenomena. There is no way to test this therefore it is unknown, however since its an unknown your point fails.

9. This is the same as 7, your opinions are not valid arguments, they are merely your opinion, (which you are entitled to, but don't think that its a point to argue on).

10. This is the same as 6. The nature of God is in contest, this doesn't mean there is no God.

Quite frankly your "arguments" point that you should be agnostic... yet you choose atheism, that is a position of faith too ;) since you are claiming (with the same certainty as the theist) that there is no God.

11. Again, opinions aren't arguments.

#19 JayShel

JayShel

    Former Atheist

  • Moderator Team
  • PipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Florida
  • Age: 36
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Saved July 12, 2007

Posted 14 October 2012 - 06:27 PM

Many christians feel the bible describes a age of accountability for children where before that age they cannot be expected to know or choose between good and evil.
1. Do you believe that infants go to heaven?
1a. If yes to 1, do you believe infants have hard earned experiential knowledge of evil?
1b. If no to 1, please explain what you think happens to dead babies.

2a. If no to 1a, then that means infants don't meet your proposed conditions for not sinning in heaven. (unless you think they remain unaccountable in heaven)
2b. If yes to 1a, could you explain how this is possible


Yes they experience sin when they die due to a sin-shattered world, regardless of if they were born. Also, the collective experiential knowledge of sin would factor in despite not quite being good enough to prevent sin in the first place.

If you argue that evil is necessary, that simply changes the problem of evil to the problem of above minimal evil. If it's impossible to 'immunize' someone against being evil without them experiencing evil then a benevolent god should be limiting evil to the minimum necessary (whenever possible, we do not vaccinate children by exposing them to the full blown illness). If there were X instances of evil last year, would the immunization effect have been greater, less than, or the same if there had been X-1 instances of evil? Did everyone in history who was tortured and murdered need to experience both torture and murder or would simply being called mean things have been enough to immunize them against being evil in heaven?


And who would be the expert on minimum sin necessary? God. The world is terrible, and you want to blame God. I am not surprised because that has been the case since the beginning of humanity. People can't take responsibility for their own bad decisions, they want to blame their creator for allowing them to make their own decisions.

This seems contrary to the literal story of genesis. I'm also not clear on why god would be incapable of creating someone with built in memories and experiences. Do you think Adam needed to learn how to walk and talk or was he created with the experiential knowledge of how to walk and talk? From a purely biological standpoint, the brain requires certain experiences in childhood to develop. For example, there are neurons that develop during infancy that respond to vertical or horizontal lines. Without seeing vertical or horizontal lines as a child, an adult will be effectively blind to anything vertical or horizontal. This has been done with kittens raised in specially designed rooms, the adult cats were blind to any visual stimulus they didn't experience as a kitten. Unless you believe adam and every other animal was blind, the physiological state of a functioning adult brain requires they were created in a state indistinguishable from having experienced childhood. If god can build-in the effects of non-existent childhood experiences why would it be impossible to build-in the effects of other non-existent experiences?

Kitten experiment:
http://books.google....0stripe&f=false


Memories and experiences are different from knowledge. People can reject learned knowledge, but they won't soon forget experience and memories. If I tell you that if you touch a hot stove, you will get burned, it is different than you burning your hand on a stove.

#20 JayShel

JayShel

    Former Atheist

  • Moderator Team
  • PipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Florida
  • Age: 36
  • Christian
  • Creationist
  • Saved July 12, 2007

Posted 14 October 2012 - 07:05 PM

But god is omnipotent, so he choose to make the world like this, as a reaction to our original sin? This seems to me to be collective punishment, something humans have, on the whole, pronounced to be immoral. Why is moral for god to enact collective punishment on us for the sins of one person?


You misconstrued my argument since I said natural disasters are not punishment, but let me amend my argument slightly; not all natural disasters are punishment. The Bible records some natural disasters that were punishments (the flood off the top of my head). When a natural disaster is used as a punishment, it is not due to the original sin, but rather is justice being delivered by the hand of God against sinners.

I think I know why you are struggling here. There is a different standard (not a double standard) for God taking a life than human beings taking a life because God gave these people life, and He has the power, authority, and knowledge necessary to judge everyone.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users