God, Death and the Devil
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22-12-2012, 02:13 PM
RE: God, Death and the Devil
This is another form of the age old "Problem of Evil" that theists have yet to solve. Most of their answers are trite, as you observed, but that's because there simply isn't a good answer.

If a little girl was walking down the street and suddenly got kidnapped and was later raped and killed then that would be a tragedy. It would be worse if you watched it all happen and did nothing. There is no excuse that you could give the rest of us that would allow us to shrug it off. However, this is the situation God's in at any time that this happens. God supposedly has the power to observe it happening as it happens, has the power to intervene, and it costs nothing and risks nothing for Him to stop it... but He doesn't. There's a clear double-standard here. The theists may argue that it's part of God's plan, but would not accept if you merely watched it and did nothing because it was "part of your plan". The theists may argue that God works in mysterious ways, but would not accept that you were rescuing the girl "in mysterious ways". The theists may argue that the little girl deserved it, but would find it very offensive if you didn't help for that reason. And blaming the devil is stupid... it's like blaming the kidnappers in this hypothetical situation. If you *can* overpower the kidnappers, then pointing the finger at them is just needless blame-shifting (as you also already said).

The easy answer to this is to say that God isn't omnipotent (and there's plenty more evidence to back that up), but that creates more problems for the theists than it solves.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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22-12-2012, 02:28 PM
RE: God, Death and the Devil
(22-12-2012 02:13 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  This is another form of the age old "Problem of Evil" that theists have yet to solve. Most of their answers are trite, as you observed, but that's because there simply isn't a good answer.

If a little girl was walking down the street and suddenly got kidnapped and was later raped and killed then that would be a tragedy. It would be worse if you watched it all happen and did nothing. There is no excuse that you could give the rest of us that would allow us to shrug it off. However, this is the situation God's in at any time that this happens. God supposedly has the power to observe it happening as it happens, has the power to intervene, and it costs nothing and risks nothing for Him to stop it... but He doesn't. There's a clear double-standard here. The theists may argue that it's part of God's plan, but would not accept if you merely watched it and did nothing because it was "part of your plan". The theists may argue that God works in mysterious ways, but would not accept that you were rescuing the girl "in mysterious ways". The theists may argue that the little girl deserved it, but would find it very offensive if you didn't help for that reason. And blaming the devil is stupid... it's like blaming the kidnappers in this hypothetical situation. If you *can* overpower the kidnappers, then pointing the finger at them is just needless blame-shifting (as you also already said).

The easy answer to this is to say that God isn't omnipotent (and there's plenty more evidence to back that up), but that creates more problems for the theists than it solves.
Also - free will. We are responsible for everything that happens to us in this world. Because he loves us so much, he gave us the ultimate gift of free will and the ability to choose for ourselves... Unless one of a million things that can go wrong in our brains and bodies does go wrong and then we are screwed. But hey, it's our own fault we were born sociopaths or paedophiles. It's our fault there so many things wrong with the world. He really wants to help, but if he helps one, then he will have to... wait... that doesn't make sense.

No part of religion makes sense.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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22-12-2012, 02:29 PM
RE: God, Death and the Devil
(22-12-2012 02:13 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  The easy answer to this is to say that God isn't omnipotent (and there's plenty more evidence to back that up), but that creates more problems for the theists than it solves.
It's even easier to say that god isn't omnibenevolent.

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22-12-2012, 02:32 PM
RE: God, Death and the Devil
(22-12-2012 02:29 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(22-12-2012 02:13 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  The easy answer to this is to say that God isn't omnipotent (and there's plenty more evidence to back that up), but that creates more problems for the theists than it solves.
It's even easier to say that god isn't omnibenevolent.
And easiest of all - that's he's a figment of our imagination. Or at least of the imagination of a particularly nasty, vicious, hateful bunch of bigots.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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22-12-2012, 03:28 PM
RE: God, Death and the Devil
(22-12-2012 12:11 AM)Bryce Fleming Wrote:  Here is a little known secret: there are no phases of grieving. Its a myth. There are just two stages: the shock stage where you are protected from complete break down simply by being in shock, and then there is the rest of your life.

This is true. Tragedies, like the one that befell you, have no cure. Even if you find comfort in some way or form, be it in another human being or in your work or in finding truth, you'll never stop feeling grief. You can, however, feel more than just grief. How you do that is your choice. I hope you find peace someday.


All this talk about people dying because God needed them in Heaven makes me sick. It reminds me of the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who. To those unfamiliar with the show, the Weeping Angels send people back in time in order to feed off their potential futures. Even that sounds more merciful than the God many people believe in. These people are delusional and ignorant of what's staring us in the face. Life is precious. It's a gift that wasn't given to us. Believing in an afterlife makes us less prone to take this life, the only life there is, seriously. That's a dangerous philosophy.

If you think Superman is real, comics are historical events,
and a bite from a radioactive spider will give you superpowers,
congratulations! You're on the same playing field as a theist.
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22-12-2012, 09:27 PM
RE: God, Death and the Devil
"Believing in an afterlife makes us less prone to take this life, the only life there is, seriously"
There is a real truth there. Living for the afterlife dilutes this life. That is one of the major reasons I tried to get my daughter to embrace atheism; live in the now fully and completely. I was successful because everyone that knew her said that she lived absolutely and completely every moment. That I take pride in.
Perhaps that is one reason I sort of like the idea put forth in Bach's Seagull story: you only progress to the next levels of existence if you lived fully in the life you have now. So many people spend there life on bended knee bowed in prayer when they could raise their eyes and see the beauty around them.
Here is some humour: I enrolled my daughter in Catholic school for fear she would never get exposed to traditional religion otherwise and may get sucked into some silliness as a young adult. Thirteen years of Catholic school later she was probably the most aggressive and outspoken atheist I ever met. She was so cynical and sarcastic about organized religion she was the brunt of many of her friend's jokes: a couple of them were hard-core baptists and she used to torment them mercilessly. I felt kind of bad after she died: one of her closest friends was not allowed to attend her memorial because Calista was not a christian and we were holding an art show as her memorial rather than a churchy religious memorial. I had mixed feelings about skipping the church memorial: in my mind I thought she might rise from the dead if I had her memorial in a church. I thought that might just be worth it. On the other hand, she would never have forgiven me.
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