A confused Atheist..
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
03-08-2011, 06:25 PM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(03-08-2011 02:51 PM)The_observer Wrote:  
(02-08-2011 05:57 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Close enough. "The ends justify the means."
I'll file this mentally. Tnx Girly.

That would make Machiavelli some sort of prophet, wouldn't it?

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
03-08-2011, 11:15 PM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(03-08-2011 06:25 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  That would make Machiavelli some sort of prophet, wouldn't it?
As an atheist, I rather see Machiavelli's in every ambitious theist thinking such stuff up and then attributing it to their God..

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Observer's post
04-08-2011, 10:07 AM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(03-08-2011 02:03 PM)monkeyshine89 Wrote:  Sorry but I'm calling a hefty dose of BS on that one. A parent 'created' a child, yet it is illegal for them to harm the child. If god is our 'parent' then Child Protection services are probably very interested in taking him on a ride downtown.
God created the first man out of the dust of the earth. Is that how parents create their children? If it is, then I was taught a lot of false information in biology classes when I was in school. Huh

The information in ancient libraries came from real minds of real people. The far more complex information in cells came from the far more intelligent mind of God.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes theophilus's post
04-08-2011, 10:53 AM
 
RE: A confused Atheist..
(03-08-2011 01:00 PM)theophilus Wrote:  This principle doesn't always work. It would be wrong for me to take a scalpel and cut someone open with it but the same action would be right for a doctor who needs to do that to perform a life saving operation. Sometimes superior knowledge gives someone the right to do things that would be wrong for others. Since God's knowledge is infinitely greater that ours he can do things we are forbidden to do because he knows how to do them is such a way as to bring about good results.

Another thing that gives rights is ownership. It would be wrong for me to go to my neighbor's house and destroy something that belongs to him but he has the right to destroy that object because he owns us. We all belong to God because he created us and his ownership gives him an absolute right to do whatever he wants with us. Our right is limited to what he permits us to do.

In your first example, there are two problems. A doctor has the patient's consent to cut them open, and the procedure is one that will help the patient. Knowledge of what is in someone's best interests does not justify whatever you do to a person. Your argument here seems to be that no matter how unfair, unjust, evil, cruel, and horrible God's actions appear to us that he ultimately has our best interests in mind, therefore those actions are acceptable. If this is the case, and we cannot determine anything about whether God is good or evil because we cannot understand him, where do you get off claiming he's good? If you want to cite scripture, then you've just allowed scriptural atrocities as proof of God's malevolence.

As for ownership, masters owned slaves. Are you saying that beating slaves is fine if the master owns them? Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're saying no matter how evil, cruel, harmful, unjust, etc. God's actions against a person are, they are perfectly acceptable because he believes he owns the person.

Another example: My family happens to own a dog and three cats. If we all agreed to torture one of them to death, would that be right because we own them? Destroying or abusing our own property is fine not because we own it, but because we own it and it lacks the capacity to feel pain, distress, etc. If a piece of my property is conscious and can feel pain, I'd be wrong to hurt it.

If you'd like to respond that God owns humans and sentient animals and therefore we can't own them, doesn't God own everything? If you take that route, we own nothing and pretty much anything we do is violating God's property rights.

If you want to start appealing to scripture and using it to determine something about God or what his wishes are for us, be prepared to defend and justify every contradiction and atrocity that is brought up by others. Trying to claim that your subjective interpretation of scripture is somehow better than anyone else's is a pointless argument. To do that, you need to propose an objective method to interpret the Bible.
Quote this message in a reply
04-08-2011, 11:16 AM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(04-08-2011 10:07 AM)theophilus Wrote:  God created the first man out of the dust of the earth. Is that how parents create their children? If it is, then I was taught a lot of false information in biology classes when I was in school. Huh
TeeHee...
When it's funny, it's funny Big Grin

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-08-2011, 12:10 AM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(29-07-2011 12:38 PM)gamutman Wrote:  Atheism is not a belief. It's basically the denial of the beliefs of others . . .

Right. The best rejoinder to the "Atheism is a religion too!" nonsense is something I saw recently, I think in a comment to a YouTube video:

"Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel."

Wish I had thought of that.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-08-2011, 10:12 AM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(04-08-2011 10:53 AM)Zach Wrote:  In your first example, there are two problems. A doctor has the patient's consent to cut them open, and the procedure is one that will help the patient. Knowledge of what is in someone's best interests does not justify whatever you do to a person. Your argument here seems to be that no matter how unfair, unjust, evil, cruel, and horrible God's actions appear to us that he ultimately has our best interests in mind, therefore those actions are acceptable.

My illustration was only intended to show that having superior knowledge can sometimes give people the right to do things they couldn't other wise. It isn't a perfect picture of our relationship with God. God owns us and doesn't need to get our permission for anything he does to us. Also, a doctor can make mistakes, but God can't.

Quote:If this is the case, and we cannot determine anything about whether God is good or evil because we cannot understand him, where do you get off claiming he's good? If you want to cite scripture, then you've just allowed scriptural atrocities as proof of God's malevolence.

God's character is the standard of good and evil. If something he does seems evil it is simply because we don't have all the information we need to judge it properly. We are capable of perceiving only a small part of reality. God knows not only what people do but their thoughts. He is also able to see the ultimate outcome of every action he takes and he also knows what would happen if he acted differently.

Quote:As for ownership, masters owned slaves. Are you saying that beating slaves is fine if the master owns them? Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're saying no matter how evil, cruel, harmful, unjust, etc. God's actions against a person are, they are perfectly acceptable because he believes he owns the person.

Another example: My family happens to own a dog and three cats. If we all agreed to torture one of them to death, would that be right because we own them? Destroying or abusing our own property is fine not because we own it, but because we own it and it lacks the capacity to feel pain, distress, etc. If a piece of my property is conscious and can feel pain, I'd be wrong to hurt it.

God's ownership derives from the fact that he is our creator. In your examples the slaves, masters, pets, and pet owners all belong to God.

Quote:If you'd like to respond that God owns humans and sentient animals and therefore we can't own them, doesn't God own everything? If you take that route, we own nothing and pretty much anything we do is violating God's property rights.

You are right. Ultimately we don't own anything. But he does allow us to use the things he has created and we can regard ourselves as owner as far as our relations with other people are concerned.

Quote:If you want to start appealing to scripture and using it to determine something about God or what his wishes are for us, be prepared to defend and justify every contradiction and atrocity that is brought up by others. Trying to claim that your subjective interpretation of scripture is somehow better than anyone else's is a pointless argument. To do that, you need to propose an objective method to interpret the Bible.

The best way is to interpret it as you would anything else you read. There are some parts that are hard to understand. Here are some suggestions for how to deal with these parts:

http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showt...t-passages

The information in ancient libraries came from real minds of real people. The far more complex information in cells came from the far more intelligent mind of God.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-08-2011, 10:54 AM
 
RE: A confused Atheist..
(05-08-2011 10:12 AM)theophilus Wrote:  God's character is the standard of good and evil. If something he does seems evil it is simply because we don't have all the information we need to judge it properly. We are capable of perceiving only a small part of reality. God knows not only what people do but their thoughts. He is also able to see the ultimate outcome of every action he takes and he also knows what would happen if he acted differently.
Why? For what reason should we consider God the standard for what is good and evil? You are making assumptions that have no basis and mixing up two very different arguments:

First, that anything God does to us is just fine, not matter what that is. God can send you and all the other believers to an eternal, literal hell while taking the thousand most despicable human beings that have ever existed and granting them eternal bliss in heaven. You're saying that if God did that, it would be right? Think before answering, because either answer destroys your position.

The other route you seem to be taking is that everything God does has to fit into of our innate view of right and wrong. This starts with the assumption that everything God does is just/right not because he did it, but because it fits in with the generally accepted definition of just/right. If something appears to contradict our view of justice or right and wrong, we should assume it does not because there could be more information, which we lack, that justifies it. The problem here is that you start with this assumption that God conforms to what we deem moral.

You seem to be trying to answer the Euthyphro dilemma both ways. Is God good because he conforms to some standard of morality? Or is whatever God does good just because he's God? The first answer either proposes some magical, independent moral absolutes that can exist without God, which you would not accept, or requires morality to be relative, which would make your position much easier to defend. The second answer renders morality meaningless, because it requires God's morality to be completely arbitrary. It also renders the second line of argument you're making meaningless as well.

Please try to clarify your position, or if you want to argue both of the previous positions, please don't combine them. It's simpler to address the two different claims you are making separately (That God creates morality and that God conforms to a morality). They aren't necessarily contradictory, but they are completely separate.

Quote:You are right. Ultimately we don't own anything. But he does allow us to use the things he has created and we can regard ourselves as owner as far as our relations with other people are concerned.

Again, how do you establish that? The Bible? If we're going to use the Bible to justify anything you're claiming, then is there a reason parents cannot murder their disrespectful children? This is a discussion for after we resolve what exactly it is we're arguing about though, I'd rather resolve the previous question before debating endless Bible atrocities.

Quote:The best way is to interpret it as you would anything else you read.

That's a pretty poor answer. If something is nonfiction, you interpret it by taking it at face value. It isn't really subject to much interpretation. If something is more along the lines of poetry, or a fictional story with a moral message, those are pretty much up to each person's subjective interpretation. Christians cannot agree on what various parts of the Bible are; some people take Genesis literally and others consider it poetry. How do we establish what is what?

Quote:There are some parts that are hard to understand. Here are some suggestions for how to deal with these parts:

http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showt...t-passages

The post starts off by saying to give it the benefit of the doubt. The burden of proof rests on whoever wants to put forth a claim, not on those skeptical of that claim.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Allow me to propose a more reasonable stance that would at least not be destroyed by its own logical inconsistencies:

God is good and loving, because he is concerned about our well-being and ultimately does what is in our best interest (In other words, whatever he does is not good because he does it, it is good because it is kind and selfless). This is a position that avoids the pitfalls of moral absolutes. However, it requires you to defend God's actions instead of hiding behind the excuse that he can do whatever he wants because he's God. You'll give up an easy cop-out answer, but actually have a position that can be defended.
Quote this message in a reply
05-08-2011, 02:03 PM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(05-08-2011 10:12 AM)theophilus Wrote:  God's character is the standard of good and evil. If something he does seems evil it is simply because we don't have all the information we need to judge it properly. We are capable of perceiving only a small part of reality. God knows not only what people do but their thoughts. He is also able to see the ultimate outcome of every action he takes and he also knows what would happen if he acted differently.

(bold mine) The same basic problem comes around again.
If god is the standard of good and evil by which humanity is expected to judge itself, and god does not set an example we can understand and follow, then, by what criteria are we to decide right action?

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-08-2011, 02:50 PM
RE: A confused Atheist..
(05-08-2011 10:12 AM)theophilus Wrote:  God knows not only what people do but their thoughts. He is also able to see the ultimate outcome of every action he takes and he also knows what would happen if he acted differently.

Then we do not have free will... If God knows all outcomes then how can we have free will? If God knows the ends why mess with the means? The whole thing becomes pointless. Your playing a game of circular reasoning.

If God is perfect why does "he" need or want to be worshiped? A perfect all knowing being by definition would not "need or want" anything.

“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” Orson Welles
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: