God was not in Sandy Hook
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03-01-2013, 04:06 PM
RE: God was not in Sandy Hook
(03-01-2013 01:52 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  
(03-01-2013 01:36 PM)DylanC Wrote:  How would God proving he exists, something that the Bible is apparently supposed to do, take away free will? People would be confronted by facts, but they would still have an option of following or breaking rules. Even though the concept of free will actually makes no sense in the Universe that we live in, the illusion of free will would remain as perfectly intact in every aspect of our lives besides than the guesswork relating to whether or not a celestial overlord exists.
Would you have freewill, at least where religion and all the rules and rituals and rigmarole apply?

Hypothetically, if Yahweh came to you today and proved, PROVED himself to be real in such a way that you yourself are left with no doubt at all, he proves himself and tells you that you must become a baptist and do all the baptist stuff or thou wilt surely burn in hellfire for all eternity - if that happened, would you exercise freewill and ignore god's instructions?

Of course not. No sane person would. I despise Yahweh (or more accurately, I despise what the imaginary Yahweh construct represents). If he were real, I would despise him all the more. But if he revealed himself to me today and told me to become a baptist, I would make a beeline for the nearest baptist church (they're a little sparse here in Utah) and get indoctrinated right away - no amount of disgust or despise or disapproval of Yahweh would convince me to choose an eternity in hell.

Eternity is a long time. A really long time.

I have maybe another 30 or 40 years, max, of debasing myself in a baptist church and then heaven forever. Or 30-40 years of freewill and then hell forever. That's an easy choice. I would even follow every single rule, show up for every ritual, go on missions, say hallelujah, never miss a prayer, etc., just to be sure I dot every T and cross every I to get myself into heaven. (I did that on purpose, of course).

That's the freewill that god is supposedly letting us have by hiding from us.
How does more knowledge preclude free will? Actually, it should support free will. If I absolutely knew beyond any doubt that a god existed, I might exercise my free will and follow him. I might follow him not because I would have suddenly lost my free will, but because I would be in a better position to make an informed choice about how to best exercise my free will. I still COULD disobey god even if I wouldn't do so because common sense in the light of higher education told me I shouldn't do so. Then again, in light of all the atrocities he is guilty of, I very well still might not choose to follow him. But, the point is, if I did follow him, it wouldn't be out of enslavement, but still very much from free will.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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03-01-2013, 04:25 PM
RE: God was not in Sandy Hook
(03-01-2013 04:06 PM)Impulse Wrote:  How does more knowledge preclude free will? Actually, it should support free will. If I absolutely knew beyond any doubt that a god existed, I might exercise my free will and follow him. I might follow him not because I would have suddenly lost my free will, but because I would be in a better position to make an informed choice about how to best exercise my free will. I still COULD disobey god even if I wouldn't do so because common sense in the light of higher education told me I shouldn't do so. Then again, in light of all the atrocities he is guilty of, I very well still might not choose to follow him. But, the point is, if I did follow him, it wouldn't be out of enslavement, but still very much from free will.
You might call it freewill, but I don't.

Sure, I COULD choose an eternity in hell. That would be utterly insane. No matter how awful and despicable Yahweh is, eternity in heaven occasionally singing hosannas and kissing his divine ass while enjoying eternal bliss and happiness the rest of the time is INFINITELY preferable to eternity of constant, inescapable suffering in hell.

That's not a choice. It's merely the illusion of one.

At best you have the freewill to choose enslavement over torture. Everyone will choose enslavement. Everyone. Anyone who doesn't has to be completely insane, unless they really don't understand the what eternity means, or what torment means, and anyone who makes the wrong choice from lack of understanding never really was in a position of having god take away his freewill - this automatically assumes that god proves his existence and makes his demands (and their consequences) perfectly clear which leaves no gray area of misunderstanding.

Theoretically (and some doctrines support this), the insane are exempt from hell. If the rest of us are granted perfectly clear choice with full understanding of what it means, absolutely everyone will choose heaven over hell. Once we do that, we'll talk the talk and walk the walk, the whole schmear of rules and rituals from a to z for anything less might cause us to slip into hell.

We would have no actual choice at all.

No free will.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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03-01-2013, 04:56 PM
RE: God was not in Sandy Hook
(03-01-2013 04:25 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  
(03-01-2013 04:06 PM)Impulse Wrote:  How does more knowledge preclude free will? Actually, it should support free will. If I absolutely knew beyond any doubt that a god existed, I might exercise my free will and follow him. I might follow him not because I would have suddenly lost my free will, but because I would be in a better position to make an informed choice about how to best exercise my free will. I still COULD disobey god even if I wouldn't do so because common sense in the light of higher education told me I shouldn't do so. Then again, in light of all the atrocities he is guilty of, I very well still might not choose to follow him. But, the point is, if I did follow him, it wouldn't be out of enslavement, but still very much from free will.
You might call it freewill, but I don't.

Sure, I COULD choose an eternity in hell. That would be utterly insane. No matter how awful and despicable Yahweh is, eternity in heaven occasionally singing hosannas and kissing his divine ass while enjoying eternal bliss and happiness the rest of the time is INFINITELY preferable to eternity of constant, inescapable suffering in hell.

That's not a choice. It's merely the illusion of one.

At best you have the freewill to choose enslavement over torture. Everyone will choose enslavement. Everyone. Anyone who doesn't has to be completely insane, unless they really don't understand the what eternity means, or what torment means, and anyone who makes the wrong choice from lack of understanding never really was in a position of having god take away his freewill - this automatically assumes that god proves his existence and makes his demands (and their consequences) perfectly clear which leaves no gray area of misunderstanding.

Theoretically (and some doctrines support this), the insane are exempt from hell. If the rest of us are granted perfectly clear choice with full understanding of what it means, absolutely everyone will choose heaven over hell. Once we do that, we'll talk the talk and walk the walk, the whole schmear of rules and rituals from a to z for anything less might cause us to slip into hell.

We would have no actual choice at all.

No free will.
You would choose whether to follow god or not. God would choose whether you go to hell or not. Your choice would be freely made. It doesn't make any difference what you choose; only that you are free to make the choice.

Are you so sure that heaven would be bliss? What if the knowledge you received is not only that god absolutely exists, but also that heaven is actually more horrible than hell. With all the atrocities god has committed, it's not so far fetched. Maybe hell is bliss and heaven is suffering and you learn that god really presides over the suffering, not the bliss. Now which would you choose? I'm guessing you'd say hell. And would god still be enslaving you by providing you with that knowledge or would he be freeing you by giving you the knowledge that you need in order to make a truly free choice? Consider

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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03-01-2013, 05:32 PM
RE: God was not in Sandy Hook
(03-01-2013 04:56 PM)Impulse Wrote:  You would choose whether to follow god or not. God would choose whether you go to hell or not. Your choice would be freely made. It doesn't make any difference what you choose; only that you are free to make the choice.

But god has already made that choice and there are no exceptions, no reprieves. It's not like I would be choosing whether to be religious or not and wondering what the outcome of my choice might be. I would be choosing to either a, worship god AND go to heaven for eternity or b, ignore god AND go to hell for eternity.

Still not a choice.

(03-01-2013 04:56 PM)Impulse Wrote:  Are you so sure that heaven would be bliss? What if the knowledge you received is not only that god absolutely exists, but also that heaven is actually more horrible than hell. With all the atrocities god has committed, it's not so far fetched. Maybe hell is bliss and heaven is suffering and you learn that god really presides over the suffering, not the bliss. Now which would you choose? I'm guessing you'd say hell. And would god still be enslaving you by providing you with that knowledge or would he be freeing you by giving you the knowledge that you need in order to make a truly free choice? Consider

Now you're changing the rules, but I'll play along.

If God revealed himself and insisted that I become a baptist and told me my consequences so that I had a clear understanding of heaven and hell, assuming that clear understanding is exactly what the bible teaches us, then I stand by my statement that there is no sane choice here; just one and only one thing to do - be a baptist. On the other hand, if that clear understanding shows me that heaven sucks but hell doesn't (or hell sucks less), then there is still no sane choice here; just one and only one thing to do - whatever it takes to get sent to hell.

Ultimately, all sane people who truly understand what "eternity" means will choose whichever afterlife is the most pleasurable, or least miserable. An eternity is a really long time, might as well spend it with the maximum amount of pleasure rather than maximum amount of suffering.

Now, if that clear understanding shows me two distinct afterlives that are different but equally balanced, one that involves kissing god's divine ass and one that does not, but they are otherwise equally acceptable (same amount of bliss or same amount of hellfire, or same amount of whatever), then we actually do have a choice. Some may want to kiss god's ass and be thankful for the wonderful afterlife he's giving them while others may choose not to. As to which I would choose, well, we're changing the rules here anyway, so can I assume that Yahweh is also not what the bible says he is? I would evaluate whether this Yahweh is a cool dude or a wretched dickhead and decide whether I wanted to spend eternity with him which fortunately would still be a choice made of my freewill - but if he's the Yahweh of the bible, then I would definitely pick the other afterlife (however, this is a "Catch 22" since the bible Yahweh wouldn't offer such a choice).

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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03-01-2013, 06:59 PM
RE: God was not in Sandy Hook
I've avoided talking about Sandy Hook to my friends simply because it's a argument that's not worth fighting. I've noticed a lot of people around my area have the idea that, "If you just trust God it'll work out."

Well it didn't. It's sad, but if the family needs to have religion to cope then I say let them, but for the outside world they to realize how precious life is before it's too late.

Bury me with my guns on, so when I reach the other side - I can show him what it feels like to die.
Bury me with my guns on, so when I'm cast out of the sky, I can shoot the devil right between the eyes.
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03-01-2013, 08:08 PM (This post was last modified: 03-01-2013 08:12 PM by Impulse.)
RE: God was not in Sandy Hook
(03-01-2013 05:32 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  
(03-01-2013 04:56 PM)Impulse Wrote:  You would choose whether to follow god or not. God would choose whether you go to hell or not. Your choice would be freely made. It doesn't make any difference what you choose; only that you are free to make the choice.

But god has already made that choice and there are no exceptions, no reprieves. It's not like I would be choosing whether to be religious or not and wondering what the outcome of my choice might be. I would be choosing to either a, worship god AND go to heaven for eternity or b, ignore god AND go to hell for eternity.

Still not a choice.

(03-01-2013 04:56 PM)Impulse Wrote:  Are you so sure that heaven would be bliss? What if the knowledge you received is not only that god absolutely exists, but also that heaven is actually more horrible than hell. With all the atrocities god has committed, it's not so far fetched. Maybe hell is bliss and heaven is suffering and you learn that god really presides over the suffering, not the bliss. Now which would you choose? I'm guessing you'd say hell. And would god still be enslaving you by providing you with that knowledge or would he be freeing you by giving you the knowledge that you need in order to make a truly free choice? Consider

Now you're changing the rules, but I'll play along.

If God revealed himself and insisted that I become a baptist and told me my consequences so that I had a clear understanding of heaven and hell, assuming that clear understanding is exactly what the bible teaches us, then I stand by my statement that there is no sane choice here; just one and only one thing to do - be a baptist. On the other hand, if that clear understanding shows me that heaven sucks but hell doesn't (or hell sucks less), then there is still no sane choice here; just one and only one thing to do - whatever it takes to get sent to hell.

Ultimately, all sane people who truly understand what "eternity" means will choose whichever afterlife is the most pleasurable, or least miserable. An eternity is a really long time, might as well spend it with the maximum amount of pleasure rather than maximum amount of suffering.

Now, if that clear understanding shows me two distinct afterlives that are different but equally balanced, one that involves kissing god's divine ass and one that does not, but they are otherwise equally acceptable (same amount of bliss or same amount of hellfire, or same amount of whatever), then we actually do have a choice. Some may want to kiss god's ass and be thankful for the wonderful afterlife he's giving them while others may choose not to. As to which I would choose, well, we're changing the rules here anyway, so can I assume that Yahweh is also not what the bible says he is? I would evaluate whether this Yahweh is a cool dude or a wretched dickhead and decide whether I wanted to spend eternity with him which fortunately would still be a choice made of my freewill - but if he's the Yahweh of the bible, then I would definitely pick the other afterlife (however, this is a "Catch 22" since the bible Yahweh wouldn't offer such a choice).
Speaking only about the heaven vs. hell situations that are unequal and opposite, one pure bliss, the other pure suffering, the fact that you would not choose to follow god in both situations should be enough to show you that you do in fact have a free choice. The only thing that changes between the two are the consequences of your choices. You have provided arguments (that I agree with) for what would be the most likely choices people would make in each situation, but those aren't evidence of not actually having the free will choices to make.

It's not that different from standing at the top of a cliff. One certainly could choose to jump off. There is nothing about standing there or the knowledge that it means certain death that removes one's free will ability to jump if one was to choose that. But, of course, one would most likely choose to walk away and live. (And, of course, some have chosen to jump.)

Edit:
Oh, almost forgot, on your first point, yes God made the consequences of your choices very clear so you do essentially choose heaven or hell. However, I think the distinction I made is important because of theists who say that, when you go to hell, you chose it. I disagree with that. What I chose is not to follow a god. From there, the god could have simply cast me out of heaven. The whole idea of eternal suffering is his choice even if I knew that was the choice he would make for me due to my not following him.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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03-01-2013, 08:52 PM
RE: God was not in Sandy Hook
I heard this same 'Put God back in schools' crap from a family member the other day. It enrages me that people actually think this way for two reasons: First, it says quite a bit about the nature of god. It shows him to be an apathetic and insecure child who lets terrible things happen simply because he doesn't get his way. Second, it shows complete disregard for the first amendment. When people say that we need to put God back in schools, they're really saying that YOU should unconditionally worship their particular god of choice. These people have absolutely no respect for the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs of others. All they want to do is shove their religious agenda down your throat, and that is truly disgusting.
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06-01-2013, 03:27 PM (This post was last modified: 06-01-2013 03:31 PM by cjs.)
RE: God was not in Sandy Hook
I hear that bs argument here too. How dare these ppl make this horrible tragedy about their religion or other ppl's or the schools' lack thereof. That's unconscionable.

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06-01-2013, 03:27 PM
RE: God was not in Sandy Hook
I hear that bs argument here too. How dare these ppl make this horrible tragedy about their religion or other ppl's or the schools' lack thereof. That's unconscionable.

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06-01-2013, 03:30 PM
RE: God was not in Sandy Hook
Sorry I triple posted. Trying to delete the extras but I apparently don't have permission.

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