Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
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06-12-2014, 02:49 PM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
(06-12-2014 10:15 AM)KnowtheSilence Wrote:  In a philosophy of religion context, something like omnibenevolence is almost always implied in the definition of the word "God." It's usually explicitly stated in academic papers, like the one in the second link, but even if it's not, it's safe to assume that something like "maximal goodness" or "moral perfection" are implied when someone talks about God in the general sense.


Ooooh, I want to play:

(1) If an evil god exists, then there would be pointless suffering.
(2) There is pointless suffering.
(3) Therefore, an evil god does exist.

And I'll support this with these facts:

1. All living beings die
2. All living beings experience suffering in their lives.

Crap! I just provided a better explanation of the world than any theologian, now I'm sad. Big Grin

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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06-12-2014, 03:41 PM (This post was last modified: 06-12-2014 06:37 PM by Airportkid.)
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
Suffering much of the time involves pain, either physical or psychological.

However the pain is experienced, it can only be experienced because the neurological system has evolved to make such discomforts felt. We respond to what we're feeling by taking actions to relieve the discomfort, which generally remove us from harm. In that regard the ability to "suffer" is therefore live-saving.

None of that seems to me to be pointless, even acknowledging that the neurological "suffering" mechanism will misfire, or be triggered inappropriately, or malfunction, just as any mechanical system breaks down or wears or becomes obsolescent.

If some god were to make suffering impossible, what would prevent us from burning our hands off at the stove? I think it is misguided to attach a supernatural component to suffering in any context, either to relieve it or exacerbate it or consider it so-called "pointless". It is at all times simply an evolved biological reaction to particular stimuli that serves to drive us to safety, or at least perceived safety.

Safety is not always attainable, but that doesn't make the suffering "pointless", it spurs us to build bridges that don't yet exist to safety, which we wouldn't do except for the prod of suffering.
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06-12-2014, 04:17 PM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
Sure, if God's a dick. Drinking Beverage

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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06-12-2014, 05:56 PM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
(06-12-2014 04:17 PM)Chas Wrote:  Sure, if God's a dick. Drinking Beverage

I was literally about to post that exact comment Sad

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06-12-2014, 05:57 PM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
(06-12-2014 02:49 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(06-12-2014 10:15 AM)KnowtheSilence Wrote:  In a philosophy of religion context, something like omnibenevolence is almost always implied in the definition of the word "God." It's usually explicitly stated in academic papers, like the one in the second link, but even if it's not, it's safe to assume that something like "maximal goodness" or "moral perfection" are implied when someone talks about God in the general sense.


Ooooh, I want to play:

(1) If an evil god exists, then there would be pointless suffering.
(2) There is pointless suffering.
(3) Therefore, an evil god does exist.

And I'll support this with these facts:

1. All living beings die
2. All living beings experience suffering in their lives.

Crap! I just provided a better explanation of the world than any theologian, now I'm sad. Big Grin

1. If rainbow unicorns who could bring life to small amoebae' existed, then life would exist on earth

2. Life exists on earth

3. Rainbow unicorns exist

1. A implies B

2. B

3. Therefore A

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06-12-2014, 06:31 PM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
(06-12-2014 02:46 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Ooooh, I want to play:
(1) If an evil god exists, then there would be pointless suffering.
(2) There is pointless suffering.
(3) Therefore, an evil god does exist.

3 does not follow from 2 unless you can show that the evil god is the only cause for suffering

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06-12-2014, 09:00 PM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
(06-12-2014 06:31 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(06-12-2014 02:46 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Ooooh, I want to play:
(1) If an evil god exists, then there would be pointless suffering.
(2) There is pointless suffering.
(3) Therefore, an evil god does exist.

3 does not follow from 2 unless you can show that the evil god is the only cause for suffering

Yeah, but if I were to compare it to the syllogism of a good god, I think the evil one would win out, the evidence seems to mesh better with the real world.

Perhaps a theist would be better off using the evil syllogism?

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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06-12-2014, 09:01 PM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
I'm enjoying these responses. I might just copy some next week?

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07-12-2014, 12:37 AM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
(06-12-2014 03:41 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Suffering much of the time involves pain, either physical or psychological.

However the pain is experienced, it can only be experienced because the neurological system has evolved to make such discomforts felt. We respond to what we're feeling by taking actions to relieve the discomfort, which generally remove us from harm. In that regard the ability to "suffer" is therefore live-saving.

None of that seems to me to be pointless, even acknowledging that the neurological "suffering" mechanism will misfire, or be triggered inappropriately, or malfunction, just as any mechanical system breaks down or wears or becomes obsolescent.

If some god were to make suffering impossible, what would prevent us from burning our hands off at the stove? I think it is misguided to attach a supernatural component to suffering in any context, either to relieve it or exacerbate it or consider it so-called "pointless". It is at all times simply an evolved biological reaction to particular stimuli that serves to drive us to safety, or at least perceived safety.

Safety is not always attainable, but that doesn't make the suffering "pointless", it spurs us to build bridges that don't yet exist to safety, which we wouldn't do except for the prod of suffering.

This isn't meant to derail ... it just reminded me of congenital analgesia. It's a serious and dangerous condition.

This is a great article about people who suffer from the inability to feel pain.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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07-12-2014, 12:48 AM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
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