God's Omnipotence; FB Discussion
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11-08-2013, 11:14 PM
God's Omnipotence; FB Discussion
So I posted a quote on my FB timeline earlier today and was waiting for some interesting reactions. I finally got one. From my cousin. Here is the quote.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God. – Epicurus

And the response I got....

In the Garden of Eden, good and evil are foundon the same tree, not in separate orchards. Good and evil give meaning and definition to each other. Life in the absence of evil is like finding traction to run, or breath to sing, in the vacuum of space. God does not instigate pain or suffering, but He can weave it into His purposes. God's power rests not on totalizing omnipotence, but on His ability to alchemize suffering, tradedy, and loss into wisdom, understanding, and joy.

Unnaceptable answer for me but it seemed to but adequate for her. She then posted the quote and her response on her timeline and asked for any more reactions so that she could continue posting them on my page. Uhhh. So I figured I would head to the Thinking Atheist and see what you all thought.

For me its not even about my belief in god. Even if god existed I would not want to follow this god that allowed all the suffering in the in the world today. If he is all powerful and knows everything that has happened and will happen and yet still allows that suffering and pain to occur....that sounds cruel. It does not sound like something a parent would do for their children.

I have a feeling I am going to witness a back and forth between myself and her entire christian community. This should be interesting.
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12-08-2013, 08:21 PM
RE: God's Omnipotence; FB Discussion
(11-08-2013 11:14 PM)riseinside Wrote:  In the Garden of Eden, good and evil are foundon the same tree, not in separate orchards. Good and evil give meaning and definition to each other.

It sounds like either she is suggesting that God could not choose to create good without evil, which would mean he is not omnipotent but is restricted in some way by forces outside his control (limitations on god's powers is also suggested by many parts of the bible by the way).

Or she suggests that god created evil on purpose for some reason, knowing in advance the pain and suffering that it would bring.

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"If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are." - Captain Picard
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12-08-2013, 08:51 PM
RE: God's Omnipotence; FB Discussion
I love the omnipotence angle. No one can ever argue their way out of it. I've actually managed to stump quite a few theists with the omnipotence angle. One of them actually admitted that I caused a few sleepless nights because he couldn't stop thinking about an answer.

As for your situation...

Good and evil define each other? Why? Under who's rule? God's? If god chooses to have these words define each other, then god is intentionally creating evil. So what does that say about god's morality? Is he not omnipotent? Because an omnipotent being can't be bound by any set of rules... they create them. A moral, omnipotent god could and should only create good. How would we know what is good without evil you ask? Simple... this omnipotent god could make this knowledge possible without any evil.

Let's say you are the god of your children. You have the power to never introduce evil in their lives. Would you introduce evil in their lives as a tool to make them understand what's good?

Omnipotence is nonsense. Classic question, "Can god create a rock that he cannot lift?" If god can, then he is limited. If god can't, he's limited. If god can, but chooses not to, he is limited. This is logical proof that if god exists, he is not omnipotent. And since he's not omnipotent, he is bound by some outside forces. If there is something beyond god, then that means something precedes god.

“We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.”

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12-08-2013, 11:28 PM
RE: God's Omnipotence; FB Discussion
These arguments go round and round until logic itself becomes seemingly non sequitur.

Here's the deal, if god is the ultimate creator of everything in the universe, he is ultimately the creator of every trait of the universe, and sole arbiter of good and evil, both obvious traits of the universe that he has created. If he is omnipotent, he is ultimately responsible for every soul that ends up in the hell that he himself prepared for his beloved creations. Period. Why would an all loving god create a place of eternal suffering for souls yet created if part of him was not able or willing to create evil in the first place?

I have never once heard an apologetic argument that can overcome the overwhelming logic of this argument.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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13-08-2013, 02:40 PM
RE: God's Omnipotence; FB Discussion
(11-08-2013 11:14 PM)riseinside Wrote:  So I posted a quote on my FB timeline earlier today and was waiting for some interesting reactions. I finally got one. From my cousin. Here is the quote.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God. – Epicurus

Epicurus' question is quite the profound proof by contradiction of the non-existence of the god that christians hold to exist, in that no matter which logical direction you take, you contradict some aspect assigned to that god. No apologist will be able to get around the implications because there is simply no way to do it.

"I like theories you can test."
-- Sheldon Glashow

When in doubt, eat chocolate.
If doubt persists, have a hot fudge sundae.
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21-08-2013, 11:33 AM
RE: God's Omnipotence; FB Discussion
I never did get an answer that directly tied to the question I asked. She did come the closest to saying god created evil. Which is something I had not seen. The discussion ended pretty abruptly and to be honest I think I may gave been deleted. Despite the fact I said we should agree to disagree. I am all for a good discussion but try not to let it ruin a friendship. Some don't care though.
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23-08-2013, 06:47 PM
RE: God's Omnipotence; FB Discussion
I'm glad you were brave enough to post something like that on facebook. A lot of my in-laws are Christian - one of them is even a Pastor - and it's not that I hide my atheism on facebook, but I kind of keep it to myself. I don't talk about religion or my disbelief in it at all, but perhaps some of my status updates may elude to it. Somedays I feel like a coward and others like I'm keeping the peace. The humor in your cousin's explanation compared to your original status though seems well worth a post like that. I agree with others...Epicurus said it right.
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24-08-2013, 02:48 PM
RE: God's Omnipotence; FB Discussion
(23-08-2013 06:47 PM)trekker4ever Wrote:  I'm glad you were brave enough to post something like that on facebook. A lot of my in-laws are Christian - one of them is even a Pastor - and it's not that I hide my atheism on facebook, but I kind of keep it to myself. I don't talk about religion or my disbelief in it at all, but perhaps some of my status updates may elude to it. Somedays I feel like a coward and others like I'm keeping the peace. The humor in your cousin's explanation compared to your original status though seems well worth a post like that. I agree with others...Epicurus said it right.

I've done that as well. Kept it to myself. I have come to the conclusion that I don't need those people who will not accept me for who I am in my life. Its not an attitude that everybody can have though. I am lucky enough to not face a lot of hatred and people threatening to disown me for my non belief. Sure I lose a few friends every once in awhile but were they really friends in the first place?

I keep it respectful. At least I try to. I figured since I read religious updates on FB each day I was free to be myself lol.
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24-08-2013, 02:50 PM
RE: God's Omnipotence; FB Discussion
(13-08-2013 02:40 PM)dclarion Wrote:  
(11-08-2013 11:14 PM)riseinside Wrote:  So I posted a quote on my FB timeline earlier today and was waiting for some interesting reactions. I finally got one. From my cousin. Here is the quote.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God. – Epicurus

Epicurus' question is quite the profound proof by contradiction of the non-existence of the god that christians hold to exist, in that no matter which logical direction you take, you contradict some aspect assigned to that god. No apologist will be able to get around the implications because there is simply no way to do it.

I've noticed that I never get a direct answer. They tend to tiptoe around the question. Honestly though I think they believe they are answering the question. But they really aren't. In the end they cross their arms and act as if they just layed out discussion ending evidence.
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