Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
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08-12-2014, 04:14 PM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
(06-12-2014 02:46 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.

While your argument may be applicable to the generally heldone lifescenario of Juaeo/ christianity/ Islam, not so reincarnationism IMHO.........
of course that's a whole new ball game abounding with other problems.Bowing
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08-12-2014, 05:05 PM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
I think I see the problem here.

Tomasia is maintaining, somewhat correctly, that moral relativists don't have a hard and fast definition of what benevolent means. He then erroneously extends this to mean that we have no definition of what benevolence means. This is the sort of falsehood that comes from the school of thought that if you don't have black and white thinking you don't have any thinking at all.

While moral relativism does operate from a variety of points of view, all this means is that we have to avoid the grey areas when discussing matters such as this. Why doesn't god prevent suffering by doing children's homework for them? Because this may or may not be benevolent.

Examples outside these grey areas are depressingly abundant. Children maimed or killed in natural disasters or born with horrifying physiological defects are just two such examples. In both cases the children are suffering through no fault of their own or that of any human act. No matter how relative your morals are, there is no definition of benevolence where an entity could prevent that suffering at a whim but fails to do so. Such an entity is uncaring at best and most likely malevolent.

Ironically, the moral absolutists declare that god is the ultimate moral authority and that anything that god does is moral up to and including all of the atrocities detailed throughout the bible. Thanks, but you can keep your morals. I've got my ethics.

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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08-12-2014, 05:14 PM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
Human: God if you are omnipotent but haven't destroyed evil does that make you malevolent?

God: Shut you you annoying spec of inconceivably irrelevant dust, wow, do you think I actually care about you and your petty human Problems??? HAHAHAHA, start a hospital for ants and I might reconsider, I've got more important things to do such as exist in a catatonic state outside of space and time despite being omnipresent and beyond logic despite my believers using logic to try and prove I exist in the first place, later loser, enjoy your disease and filth, WOOOOOOO.

That's basically Deist theology summed up.

"A witty quote means nothing"
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08-12-2014, 05:15 PM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2014 05:31 PM by Hafnof.)
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
The choice isn't between divine command theory (It's good because I said it's good) and moral relativism (whatever anyone says is good is good for them, no matter what). Those systems are closer to each other than to a valid theory of morality. In truth morality is a synthesis of subjective values and objective reality.

- I value human life (subjective)
- Killing people ends human life (objective)
- I value human happiness (subjective)
- Torturing people reduces their happiness
- I value truth, that is peoples' beliefs corresponding to reality (subjective)
- Religion reduces correspondence between people's beliefs and reality, at least if you believe the wrong one (objective)

Benevolence, the property of doing good to others is strongly dependant upon this sort of model of morality. Our dear theist friend here would like the "good" that benevolence refers to here to mean the "good" of divine command theory, in other words God is by definition benevolent because what its does in this world no matter its consequences is defined as being good. He then argues a strawman that since we are all moral relativists we have no basis for calling anything good, and therefore no basis for describing someone as benevolent or not benevolent. Even if he were to agree that there is a god-independent standard for "good" he can claim that god knows more about that standard than we do, and his actions are likely to be consistent with the standard in a way that we can't understand due to the timeframe and perspective we inhabit.

The theist's view of benevolence is unfalsifiable. No matter how evil god's act is, it must be good. It must be benevolent. Because that's what the theist wants to believe. And anyway: Old Book says it, so it must be true.

For the record, when I say "unfalsifiable" I am not merely stating that the matter cannot be settled. I am asserting that the unfalsifiable statement has no predictive power, and therefore communicates no information. Arguing about whether their unfalsifiable statement is true or false is like arguing with someone over the color of their aura. The statement is meaningless, so the debate is pointless. The debate therefore should shift towards falsifiability: "what do you mean specifically by benevolent?", "what would God do or never do under your model?", and "are you aware that you are conveying no meaningful information and instead are repeating the platitudes recited to you in your youth?"

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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08-12-2014, 06:00 PM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
(08-12-2014 05:15 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  The choice isn't between divine command theory (It's good because I said it's good) and moral relativism (whatever anyone says is good is good for them, no matter what). Those systems are closer to each other than to a valid theory of morality. In truth morality is a synthesis of subjective values and objective reality.

- I value human life (subjective)
- Killing people ends human life (objective)
- I value human happiness (subjective)
- Torturing people reduces their happiness
- I value truth, that is peoples' beliefs corresponding to reality (subjective)
- Religion reduces correspondence between people's beliefs and reality, at least if you believe the wrong one (objective)

Benevolence, the property of doing good to others is strongly dependant upon this sort of model of morality. Our dear theist friend here would like the "good" that benevolence refers to here to mean the "good" of divine command theory, in other words God is by definition benevolent because what its does in this world no matter its consequences is defined as being good. He then argues a strawman that since we are all moral relativists we have no basis for calling anything good, and therefore no basis for describing someone as benevolent or not benevolent. Even if he were to agree that there is a god-independent standard for "good" he can claim that god knows more about that standard than we do, and his actions are likely to be consistent with the standard in a way that we can't understand due to the timeframe and perspective we inhabit.

The theist's view of benevolence is unfalsifiable. No matter how evil god's act is, it must be good. It must be benevolent. Because that's what the theist wants to believe. And anyway: Old Book says it, so it must be true.

For the record, when I say "unfalsifiable" I am not merely stating that the matter cannot be settled. I am asserting that the unfalsifiable statement has no predictive power, and therefore communicates no information. Arguing about whether their unfalsifiable statement is true or false is like arguing with someone over the color of their aura. The statement is meaningless, so the debate is pointless. The debate therefore should shift towards falsifiability: "what do you mean specifically by benevolent?", "what would God do or never do under your model?", and "are you aware that you are conveying no meaningful information and instead are repeating the platitudes recited to you in your youth?"

I also think he's appealing to ignorance, he has no idea what god's ultimate motive is, but is sure it must be good whatever it is. So basically, "his ways are higher than our ways" or "god moves in mysterious ways" and throw in a "who are we to question god?" for good measure.

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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09-12-2014, 07:17 AM (This post was last modified: 09-12-2014 07:22 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
(08-12-2014 05:05 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  Tomasia is maintaining, somewhat correctly, that moral relativists don't have a hard and fast definition of what benevolent means. He then erroneously extends this to mean that we have no definition of what benevolence means. This is the sort of falsehood that comes from the school of thought that if you don't have black and white thinking you don't have any thinking at all.

No, that's not it. Folks here have defined benevolence, they define it to mean that meaningless suffering negates it, such as someone who defines benevolence to mean that children having to do homework negates it, or that acne negates it.

The problem is not they are unable to define it, but they are unable to make this definition mutually binding, I see no reason to accept their definition, in fact theist define benevolence differently, so that the existence of meaningless suffering, acne, homework don't negate it. Since the atheists is referring to relative standard, and not some objective moral framework, they are unable to cross this divide, the best they are able to, as has been displayed is to accuse the theist of improper grammar usage.

I'm surprised that after beating this point for several post now, that someone such as yourself hasn't gotten this.
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09-12-2014, 07:24 AM (This post was last modified: 09-12-2014 07:32 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
(09-12-2014 07:17 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(08-12-2014 05:05 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  Tomasia is maintaining, somewhat correctly, that moral relativists don't have a hard and fast definition of what benevolent means. He then erroneously extends this to mean that we have no definition of what benevolence means. This is the sort of falsehood that comes from the school of thought that if you don't have black and white thinking you don't have any thinking at all.

No, that's not it. Folks here have defined benevolence, they define it to mean that meaningless suffering negates it, such as someone who defines benevolence to mean that children having to do homework negates it, or that acne negates it.

The problem is not they are unable to define it, but they are unable to make this definition mutually binding, I see no reason to accept their definition, in fact theist define benevolence differently, so that the existence of meaningless suffering, acne, homework don't negate it. Since the atheists is not referring to relative standard, non some objective moral framework, they are unable to cross this divide, the best they are able to, as has been displayed is to accuse the theist of improper grammar usage.

I'm surprised that after beating this point for several post now, that someone such as yourself hasn't gotten this.

110 % false. Nice try. Liar. We have defined it as CHILDREN SUFFERING.
I asked if YOU want children to suffer.
If you don't then it is "mutually binding", (and no one accepted that it HAS to be "mutually binding".)

Is there NO END to the mental gymnastics you religious fools will go to to attemot to make a non-existent deity look reasonable ?

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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09-12-2014, 07:30 AM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
^I don't think anybody here gives a shit about acne or homework on the "pointless suffering scale." People are more talking about people torturing each other, AID's and massive "oh shit" earthquakes.

And as far as I've read you still haven't provided a definition of benevolence that does allow for pointless suffering. You've just said that pointless suffering doesn't negate that definition.

Soulless mutants of muscle and intent. There are billions of us; hardy, smart and dangerous. Shaped by millions of years of death. We are the definitive alpha predator. We build monsters of fire and stone. We bottled the sun. We nailed our god to a stick.

In man's struggle against the world, bet on the man.
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09-12-2014, 07:37 AM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
(08-12-2014 05:15 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  He then argues a strawman that since we are all moral relativists we have no basis for calling anything good, and therefore no basis for describing someone as benevolent or not benevolent. Even if he were to agree that there is a god-independent standard for "good" he can claim that god knows more about that standard than we do, and his actions are likely to be consistent with the standard in a way that we can't understand due to the timeframe and perspective we inhabit.

You seem to have it all wrong. The moral relativist does have a basis for calling something good, but this is relative. For him to call something good, is in essence no different that calling a particular dish, film, song, good. When he claims something is good, he is merely stating his own personal preference.


Quote:Even if he were to agree that there is a god-independent standard for "good" he can claim that god knows more about that standard than we do.

No, if could agree on a standard of good, than we could say that this person, or this god doesn't meet it. The problem is we don't agree on this standard. Folks here hold a standard that meaningless suffering negates benevolence, while theist don't.

In fact this view is one I would equally apply to God, or some brilliant computer programmer who was able to replicate human existence in a computer program. If meaningless suffering existed in this program of his, I wouldn't be able to accuse the programmer of not being benevolent on this alone.
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09-12-2014, 07:45 AM
RE: Is Suffering Compatible With God's Existence?
(09-12-2014 07:37 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  In fact this view is one I would equally apply to God, or some brilliant computer programmer who was able to replicate human existence in a computer program. If meaningless suffering existed in this program of his, I wouldn't be able to accuse the programmer of not being benevolent on this alone.

Completely irrelevant and false analogy. Yeah, you have an omnipotent loving god. Sure you do. Idiot.

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Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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