Need help with these questions from a Church of Christer
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28-01-2018, 08:33 PM
RE: Need help with these questions from a Church of Christer
There is no more evidence that his god exists than there is for Zeus, Shiva or Quetzlcoatl. His questions are thus pointless without evidence.

When he provides some....( and the bible is NOT evidence - it is the "claim" ) then tell him you will play his foolish theological games.

He is the one who believes in his fucking god. Let him provide the evidence. You cannot produce negative evidence for something which does not exist.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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28-01-2018, 08:42 PM
RE: Need help with these questions from a Church of Christer
(28-01-2018 12:09 PM)ChurchofChristerToAtheist Wrote:  What is my best way to answer these questions?
If you are an unbeliever you haven't thought your position through if you can't answer such questions.
(28-01-2018 12:09 PM)ChurchofChristerToAtheist Wrote:  1. Is there real objective right or wrong, good or evil? (yes or no)
Depends on your definition of all those terms and the presuppositions made by those definitions. No meaningful discussion can happen absent those definitions. Define your terms.

The rest of the questions will benefit from these clarifications as well.

Most of the subsequent questions assume the validity of the theological concept of evil, which presupposes the theological concept of sin. Sin, in turn, assumes an externally bestowed morality with a deity as its author and enforcer. Such a deity in turn requires substantiation. So your questioner must define his deity and substantiate in some intersubjective way that it exists. Given that his deity is likely invisible and ineffable, the deity is not even falsifiable and therefore is dismissed as unsubstantiated and, more importantly, unsubstantiatABLE.
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28-01-2018, 09:19 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2018 09:27 PM by Free.)
RE: Need help with these questions from a Church of Christer
(28-01-2018 08:13 PM)ChurchofChristerToAtheist Wrote:  
(28-01-2018 03:35 PM)Free Wrote:  Another hit-and-runner.

You are dismissed.

"Another hit-and-runner" "You are dismissed"

???????

No, I am not another hit-and-runner. I am being straight up on here. No funny business.

I am having a debate with a Church of Christ preacher and those questions came from him. I could email you some proof and you can check it out yourself. The preacher keep on asking those questions and I keep on putting them off. I need some help answering the questions.

Fine.

1. Is there real objective right or wrong, good or evil? (yes or no)

No good or evil.

2. Does anyone have a real obligation to do or not do anything? (yes or no)

Broad question. Ambiguous.

3. The evil that warrants the deduction that God does not exist is a mere subjective evil (yes or no)

There is no evil. The insistence on the answers only being yes or no is a typical theist trap. The very question itself insists that evil exists, yet no proof of evil is presented. Evil is symbiotic with a supernatural force (the Devil) that opposes another supernatural force (God), yet no evidence of either supernatural force has been presented, therefore evil is not qualified to exist.


4. The evil that warrants the deduction that God does not exist is a real objective evil (yes or no)

Same answer for 1 & 3.

5. The evil that warrants the deduction that God does not exist is a …. (check all appropriate answers)
a. Violation of Civil Law
b. Violation of International Law
c. Violation of an individual human being’s opinion
d. Violation of the opinion of the majority of people in a given society
e. Violation of God’s Law
f. Violation of something else (Explain)

Same answer for 1 & 3.

Your questions are clearly designed for theists, not atheists. The questions wrongfully assume that we, as atheists, subscribe to theistic concepts of "good and evil."

We do not.

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29-01-2018, 02:27 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2018 02:30 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Need help with these questions from a Church of Christer
(28-01-2018 12:09 PM)ChurchofChristerToAtheist Wrote:  What is my best way to answer these questions?

1. Is there real objective right or wrong, good or evil? (yes or no)
2. Does anyone have a real obligation to do or not do anything? (yes or no)
3. The evil that warrants the deduction that God does not exist is a mere subjective evil (yes or no)
4. The evil that warrants the deduction that God does not exist is a real objective evil (yes or no)
5. The evil that warrants the deduction that God does not exist is a …. (check all appropriate answers)
a. Violation of Civil Law
b. Violation of International Law
c. Violation of an individual human being’s opinion
d. Violation of the opinion of the majority of people in a given society
e. Violation of God’s Law
f. Violation of something else (Explain)

1) No. These are vague terms open to much interpretation.

2) A very vague question. I'd have to have more detail to answer, but generally I'd say no. We make our own choices. We may sometimes be physically forced to do things, or have many pressures and consequences which influence our decisions.

3 to 5) Loaded, garbled questions. Only applies to benevolent Gods, and you need more information to answer.

If you are to assume God is also all-powerful and all-knowing, then it appears to be a logical impossibility that God exists as described, because suffering happens. So unless the definition of benevolent allows causing unecessary suffering, then we have the answers No, Yes, it violates the laws of logic. I've replaced "evil" with "suffering" in the question, because "evil" is a vague, nebulous concept.

I made a video recently about this:




I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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29-01-2018, 06:28 AM
RE: Need help with these questions from a Church of Christer
(28-01-2018 12:09 PM)ChurchofChristerToAtheist Wrote:  What is my best way to answer these questions?

1. Is there real objective right or wrong, good or evil? (yes or no)
2. Does anyone have a real obligation to do or not do anything? (yes or no)
3. The evil that warrants the deduction that God does not exist is a mere subjective evil (yes or no)
4. The evil that warrants the deduction that God does not exist is a real objective evil (yes or no)
5. The evil that warrants the deduction that God does not exist is a …. (check all appropriate answers)
a. Violation of Civil Law
b. Violation of International Law
c. Violation of an individual human being’s opinion
d. Violation of the opinion of the majority of people in a given society
e. Violation of God’s Law
f. Violation of something else (Explain)

First of all you don't have to jump through hoops to answer an apologetic jackass, but if sticking a fork in your eye is an appealing hobby, then go right ahead. Christianity is a religion of rationalization, you might question why god wouldn't act in certain horrible situations and then a Christian will trot out their rationalizations why their god just sits with his arms folded while scolding us about being wicked for seeking a sign.

Let's point to your second question- God does have an obligation to act if he is to maintain any semblance of benevolence consistent to what we understand to be benevolent. Despite many Christian's assertion of free will, which is inconsistent. Jesus was moved with compassion many times in the New Testament to heal people and feed them. I'll point to this verse in Matthew:

Matthew 15:32 - Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.

So we can easily conclude a couple of things:

1. Jesus has compassion that matches human definitions.
2. Feeding hungry people is within his definition of compassion.

So when thousands of people suffer and die each day from hunger, why doesn't this god act? It's clearly within this god's definition of what compassion means. Jesus wasn't concerned about people seeking a sign and being wicked, he simply fed them out of compassion. So where is this god moved by compassion to feed people?

This alleged god even turns his back on greater evils, where was he when the Nazis exterminated almost 6 million of his "chosen" people? This was an event far beyond even the enslavement of the Jews by the pharaoh in Exodus. Yet he did nothing!

So we hear about a god that used to do great things but for some reason it won't manifest in any way in modern times. It's almost like the stories in the bible were a bunch of made-up nonsense. Consider

I already know what a pastor will say when challenged on this god's behavior, he'll blame it on a "fallen world" and how people cause their own suffering. Of course, tsunamis and volcanoes are our fault. Facepalm

No matter how much he spins and tosses out his lame excuses, there is one explanation that is much more plausible for why this god never acts- it doesn't exist.

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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29-01-2018, 07:30 AM
RE: Need help with these questions from a Church of Christer
(28-01-2018 08:26 PM)ChurchofChristerToAtheist Wrote:  
(28-01-2018 02:51 PM)Dom Wrote:  It's called "lying for Jesus".

No, I am not pretending to be an atheist and I am not lying for Jesus.

Do you want to know the name of the Church of Christ preacher that I am having a debate with and his phone number?

We often get theists here playing "atheist with questions" as an underhanded way to try to preach. Your initial post fits that pattern quite well so it raised a lot of red flags that will take time to clear.

1. Is there real objective right or wrong, good or evil? (yes or no)
This is not a simple yes/no question since it is not well defined. Any evaluation of right/wrong or good/evil has to be made within a context. Theists, particularly xians, often propose that things we see as evil are allowed by the god because there is some greater plan that we don't understand. They are proposing that their god has some context for judging but, even if they could show that were true, it (a) doesn't help us because we don't know the context and (b) is still subjective to the plan made by the god. They can't get around that with the "god's nature" dodge because that effectively eliminates the need for the god -- he becomes just the middleman acting on behalf of whatever defined his nature.

2. Does anyone have a real obligation to do or not do anything? (yes or no)
Again, within what context? How is "real" being defined. I have obligations based on what I have determined I want to get out of life and what is important to me and what I have agreed to. Obligations can't be imposed, only assumed. Of course, if I reject an obligation then others are not bound to respect their obligations towards me.

The rest of the questions are too incoherent to respond to. No single issue warrants the deduction that "God" does not exist and that conclusion is not required to be an atheist anyway. The baseline for atheism is "I don't accept any claims that a god DOES exist" and doesn't require affirming the claim "no god exists". Questions 3 and 4 deal with subjective vs objective evils which, as already explained, don't make sense without more context and question 5 entirely avoids the issue of "evils" that have nothing to do with people (e.g. earthquakes, floods, parasites, radiation, etc).

The reason I am an atheist is not because of any specific "evil" existing but because theists have not yet presented me with a good reason to accept the claim that one does. Every argument boils down to using "god" as a label to cover over something they don't understand. I'm willing to stop at "I don't know" and wait for the answer to be found rather than leaping to ANY conclusion, especially one for which there is no apparent existent referent.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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29-01-2018, 04:14 PM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2018 04:19 PM by Belaqua.)
RE: Need help with these questions from a Church of Christer
(28-01-2018 12:09 PM)ChurchofChristerToAtheist Wrote:  What is my best way to answer these questions?

1. Is there real objective right or wrong, good or evil? (yes or no)
2. Does anyone have a real obligation to do or not do anything? (yes or no)
3. The evil that warrants the deduction that God does not exist is a mere subjective evil (yes or no)
4. The evil that warrants the deduction that God does not exist is a real objective evil (yes or no)
5. The evil that warrants the deduction that God does not exist is a …. (check all appropriate answers)
a. Violation of Civil Law
b. Violation of International Law
c. Violation of an individual human being’s opinion
d. Violation of the opinion of the majority of people in a given society
e. Violation of God’s Law
f. Violation of something else (Explain)

It looks as if the argument you've posed to your friend is that the existence of really bad stuff in the world demonstrates that there is no God. This is a good set of questions to sharpen your thinking about this argument.

I'd say there are two purposes to what he's asking you. The first is to clarify what standards you have to determine that something is really truly bad. The second is to think about where we get such standards.

If you say that what we consider bad is only a personal preference, a subjective opinion, or social custom, then your argument works out this way:

1) The existence of really bad stuff shows that there can't be a God.
2) The standards I use to determine what is really bad are only my personal opinion.

You can see how the second of those two statements works against the first. It reduces the argument to a childish "there can't be a God because the world isn't the way I want it to be." As if our personal preferences had any weight.

If, on the other hand, you believe that standards of judging good and bad are objective, it does make sense to ask about where those standards come from -- how we can demonstrate them. A lot of people think that objective standards like that have to come from God. Not everybody does, of course -- currently most philosophers are moral realists, who believe that moral statements are statements about real things (not just opinion) and most of them are also atheists. But if you can't say why we have such standards, your argument isn't very strong yet.

Your interlocutor is doing you a favor here. Once you can answer all of these questions with confidence, whatever conclusions you come up with will be much more firmly grounded.
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29-01-2018, 04:20 PM
RE: Need help with these questions from a Church of Christer
(28-01-2018 12:39 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  [quote='ChurchofChristerToAtheist' pid='1298035' dateline='1517162956']
What is my best way to answer these questions...

First things first. Provide falsifiable evidence a god exists then we'll take it from there.

Agree totally. I'm guessing this person is a presuppositional apologetic.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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29-01-2018, 04:33 PM
RE: Need help with these questions from a Church of Christer
(29-01-2018 04:14 PM)Belaqua Wrote:  The existence of really bad stuff shows that there can't be a God.

That statement in your post grabbed my attention. Why is it that if any god exists the default position is that this god must be benevolent?

No gods necessary.
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29-01-2018, 04:47 PM
RE: Need help with these questions from a Church of Christer
(28-01-2018 08:42 PM)mordant Wrote:  
(28-01-2018 12:09 PM)ChurchofChristerToAtheist Wrote:  What is my best way to answer these questions?
If you are an unbeliever you haven't thought your position through if you can't answer such questions.
(28-01-2018 12:09 PM)ChurchofChristerToAtheist Wrote:  1. Is there real objective right or wrong, good or evil? (yes or no)
Depends on your definition of all those terms and the presuppositions made by those definitions. No meaningful discussion can happen absent those definitions. Define your terms.

The rest of the questions will benefit from these clarifications as well.

Most of the subsequent questions assume the validity of the theological concept of evil, which presupposes the theological concept of sin. Sin, in turn, assumes an externally bestowed morality with a deity as its author and enforcer. Such a deity in turn requires substantiation. So your questioner must define his deity and substantiate in some intersubjective way that it exists. Given that his deity is likely invisible and ineffable, the deity is not even falsifiable and therefore is dismissed as unsubstantiated and, more importantly, unsubstantiatABLE.

I don't think that the questions assume the validity of the theological concept of evil. I think that the questions assume that one dismisses the existence of a loving deity because of the problem of evil. That might be one reason that an atheist dismisses the existence of a loving deity, but it is not necessarily 'the' reason that an atheist dismisses the existence of a deity or deities.

The Original Poster of this discussion might have become an atheist because of the problem of evil, articulated that to the pastor, and that is why so many of the pastor's questions assume that one is an atheist because of the problem of evil.

My belief that people are basically good is sometimes crushed by the reality that people are basically bad
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