Problem of suffering....
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25-10-2016, 10:18 PM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2016 10:26 PM by Velvet.)
RE: Problem of suffering....
(25-10-2016 03:15 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  That works tolerably well for certain types of suffering that humans cause. If you're willing to overlook the way that the Biblical God seems to have not the slightest regard for free will and causes more than a little suffering himself. We go against His Will, He drowns the planet.

That still leaves you with the grotesquerie that is all the suffering that has nothing to do with human choices. Loved one being devoured by cancer? Oriiginal sin. Wasps that lay eggs in living hosts so their larvae can chew their way out? Mysterious ways.

It's bad excuses all the way down and much more easily explained as the result of impersonal and uncaring natural phenomena than any sane, caring or competent deity.

Yeah I know, but I can only go so far in the attempt to inject logic on the choices of a character like Yahweh, and ihmo, while your critique certainly holds, my theodicy still stands way more than most attempts by actual christian debaters (and even philosophers) that i've seen.

Its like, my scenario can avoid SOME of the classic refutes to the free will argument, but it still falls short on some others (like the ones you and Chas presented), and ofc, the fact that Yahweh arguably couldn't wish into reality something that its the opposite of his own will, he would just be changing his will to ''the will of creating the opposite of what was my will before''

Also, he creating a concept that its the opposite from his own, if he succeeded, could arguably lead to the conclusion that God its no longer in control, and if he somehow remained in control, that arguably means he failed in trying to simulate freedom anyways.

Well, as I said I can only go so far as i'm not a Thomas Aquinas of 21 century Laugh out load

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26-10-2016, 05:21 AM
RE: Problem of suffering....
(25-10-2016 10:18 PM)Velvet Wrote:  Yeah I know, but I can only go so far in the attempt to inject logic on the choices of a character like Yahweh, and ihmo, while your critique certainly holds, my theodicy still stands way more than most attempts by actual christian debaters (and even philosophers) that i've seen.

Why is there a need to come up with a possible explanation of something that is obviously mythological? Other than setting up the basis for a sci-fi/fantasy story about an incompetent god and in that case the bible already has that down pat.

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26-10-2016, 08:43 AM
RE: Problem of suffering....
(25-10-2016 12:05 PM)Velvet Wrote:  I actually have my very own attempt of theodicy that I find particulary satisfying (I was trying to emphathise with theists perspective to improve my rhetoric skills, which is what I'm trying to do most of the time)

It goes like this:

Yahweh being omnibenevolent would want the greater achievable good for his creation, he then noticed that freedom its the best thing he could offer and maximizing freedom, and I mean giving the highest freedom he could conceive, was the most benevolent creation he could do.

He observed that due to his omnipotence, his will was the absolute law on his universe, and thus he had never conceived anything that wasn't according to his will and nature.

And that the way to maximize freedom would be allow his creation to defy, and more importantly be intrinssicaly indiferent to his will.

But as there was not such a thing as "something against the will of the only omnipotent being in the universe" Yahweh sort of faced a dillema, granting the maximum freedom would necessarily imply a sacrifice on the reach of his power, changing his will would still make things only go according to his (new) will, so no freedom anyways.

He decided then to create something, a concept, aside from him, and completely against will own will and nature, something alternative to his will and nature.

Yahweh then (willingly) created evil, and infused humans with the ability to fluctuate towards and against his will and this alternative according to their own desires.

He knew ofc this would mean people will suffer a lot and shit would get real on earth really fast, he knew this meant to watch kids getting raped with indifference, that he wouldn't intervene to save little kids from getting hit by a drunk truck driver, otherwise he would himself defeat the purpose of creating evil.

But the alternative was even less benevolent, giving any less freedom would be less benevolent, at all cases.

So, basically, his priority was maximizing freedom and the way to do it was creating evil.

Follow? = ]

This is kind of what churches teach. I remember my pastor saying things like God didn't want robots, which is why he created free will. I also remember the pastor saying things like God allows sin (which was a result of our actions) as both a punishment and an entry point for free will.

We can choose to defy God or not--unfortunately sometimes that means that innocent people get hurt. God and the angels cry, but do nothing to prevent it. But that's okay because God will protect those who are abused/murdered/raped in heaven. Hobo

Omnibenevolent: The idea that God *sometimes* helps those in need is why some True Believers view him as a friendly force. When shit hits the fan and God does nothing, these same people will say things like, "Well if these xyz horrible things didn't happen, I wouldn't have started this foundation (etc.) to help others." "God wanted me to go through such immense horrors so I could help others" type of mentality. In this way of thinking, they are still able to look at God as a friend or helper or as inherently "good."

Omniscient: God is all-knowing, but He lets horrific shit happen 'cause it's all part of His plan, His mysterious ways, to teach us a lesson, He closes one door and opens another...

Omnipotent: He can remove evil and suffering, but chooses not to because doing so would remove free will. Also, sometimes he lets things happen *as a loving father* to teach us a lesson.

My issue isn't so much with Christians who use the above mentality to explain away God's behavior, my issue is more with the fact that the Bible does not support the idea (flood, rapes, murders, illness, disease, famine) of God being "infinitely good." Unless of course, the biblical writers were being tongue in cheek when saying He was "infinitely good." Wink

As for omniscient and omnipotent, the Bible doesn't support that in some cases either. In Judges 1:19, for example, God has trouble driving out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron. In Genesis 3:9-3:11, God doesn't seem to be able to find Adam--one of only two people in the garden. He also asks How they would know they were naked and asks if they ate from the no-no tree.

3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
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26-10-2016, 09:28 AM (This post was last modified: 26-10-2016 11:27 AM by Velvet.)
RE: Problem of suffering....
I do (theist) philosophy to practice rhetoric, also sometimes as a way to try to empathise better with my target's perspective because its simply required as a rhetorician, the following wall of text its rhetorical strategy (its needed to explain why its good to try to think about a mith deeply)

An argument must be logically valid, but not only that, its must also be appealing to your audience, otherwise your argument is useless, he might be a correctly engineered tool, but can't do the job nonetheless.

In case of theists I learned that you can't (ever) attack the god figure, if you do so, the theist will label you, at best you will be "a misleaded person that need the light of the lord to be saved"; and at worst, you will be "an evil and arrogant person touched by the devil", after he sticks any of those labels on you there's no way you can reach him to help him anymore.

After this label your arguments will never have any real consideration by his part, they are just wrong even before you open your mouth to say then, this is a extreme defensive stance but in case of theists I like to call it "faith mode".

My rhetorical strategy is to always avoid faith mode, my objective is to invite the theist to be a critical thinker, but if he ever enters faith mode i'm dead, mission failed, I lost this guy.

So (and sorry that I took so long), not necessarily knowing and using theist philosophy, but generally arguing using his god figure in your favor has worked for me so much that it quickly became my favorite strategy.

I learned that its feasable to make his perception of god's go against the bible and allow him to conclude that the bible its not really a reflection of his perfect god word, but he only can do that because he must protect his god figure integrity, and right now you showed that it conflicts with the bible.

After defeating the bible you go slowly making him realize that god its better, and better, and better than what he ever could dream of, the goal its make him a Deist, and then (only then), introduce skepticism (without trouching on the god figure), after he learns skepticism he might reason unbiasedly for the first time in his life.

Perhaps he stays a Deist or he adopts skepticism and notice that agnostic-atheism has even less assumptions than Deism and will progress towards that, regardless of that he is not threatening anyone with eternal torment anymore, "in practice" deism its indistinguishable from atheism.

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26-10-2016, 09:43 AM (This post was last modified: 26-10-2016 09:56 AM by Velvet.)
RE: Problem of suffering....
(26-10-2016 08:43 AM)jennybee Wrote:  This is kind of what churches teach.

No, its not... perhaps you missunderstood what I propose, but on this scenario Yahweh *does* craft evil himself (not us), and he IS responsible for that (not us), and I managed to invent a logical reason for him doing so while keeping his supposedly benevolence intact.

I'm 100% aware this is not compatible with several of his attitudes in the bible, and also doesn't even try to explain suffering that doesn't come from human acts, but current theist refutes for problem of evil argument also don't.

And Chrisitians are the masters of ad hoc-ing the bible to suit their agenda, they could do that once more to make my scenario not contradict the bible (easily, they are really really good at it).

But thinking more about the subject they might prefer more logically flawled theodicies that are more compatible with hell concept, because hell its just so useful to them, and logic is just not.

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26-10-2016, 10:04 AM
RE: Problem of suffering....
(26-10-2016 09:43 AM)Velvet Wrote:  
(26-10-2016 08:43 AM)jennybee Wrote:  This is kind of what churches teach.

No, its not... perhaps you missunderstood what I propose, but on this scenario Yahweh *does* craft evil himself (not us), and he IS responsible for that (not us), and I managed to invent a logical reason for him doing so while keeping his supposedly benevolence intact.

I'm 100% aware this is not compatible with several of his attitudes in the bible, and also doesn't even try to explain suffering that doesn't come from human acts, but current theist refutes for problem of evil argument also don't.

And Chrisitians are the masters of ad hoc-ing the bible to suit their agenda, they could do that once more to make my scenario not contradict the bible (easily, they are really really good at it).

But thinking more about the subject they might prefer more logically flawled theodicies that are more compatible with hell concept, because hell its just so useful to them.

The first part of your post re: "Yahweh being omnibenevolent, would want the greater achievable good for his creation, he then noticed that freedom its the best thing he could offer and maximizing freedom, and I mean giving the highest freedom he could conceive, was the most benevolent creation he could do...And that the way to maximize freedom would be allow his creation to defy, and more importantly be intrinssicaly indiferent to his will."

This is what churches teach about God not wanting robots for children. This is one of the veins of teaching they use to explain the idea of free will. This is what I was referring to.
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26-10-2016, 10:21 AM
RE: Problem of suffering....
The problem with an omniscient god who is also merciful and forgiving is that he knew from the get-go every choice, path and endpoint of each person's life. He has pre-knowledge of all things. He knows in advance, even before he starts to create the universe, that billions of people will end up roasting and suffering in hell for eternity yet he goes ahead and creates people anyway. How is this merciful?

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26-10-2016, 10:25 AM (This post was last modified: 26-10-2016 10:28 AM by Velvet.)
Big Grin RE: Problem of suffering....
I know Jenny, actually my theodicy is almost identical to the classic "free will" refute, I just shifted the responsibility to God and granted him a logical good reason to craft evil, an alternative to his will.

But as I said, now, thinking about it a bit more, my theodicy can be more logical but it defeats the purpose of hell, and as I said hell its a very important concept on Christianity they probably rather keep the blame on us so that we can go to hell.

errr, and now that I think of it a bit more once again shifting the responsibility to god also deny the purpose of christ sacrifice, if god holds responsibility for evil then there's no need for redemption.

Well, perhaps thats why the problem of evil is such strong argument Laugh out load , now I'm a bit embarassed.

Anyways, my point about why its needed to think about such miths so deeply still holds (hopefully).

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
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26-10-2016, 10:29 AM
RE: Problem of suffering....
(26-10-2016 05:21 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Why is there a need to come up with a possible explanation of something that is obviously mythological? Other than setting up the basis for a sci-fi/fantasy story about an incompetent god and in that case the bible already has that down pat.

I agree totally with this question. After spending my entire adult life as an atheist, I seriously fail to understand why normally logical, philosophically-minded people, grounded in modern scientific principles see the need to (i) fruitlessly engage with theists in any attempts to "prove" their mythological gods do not exist, and (ii) waste their otherwise more valuable time debating the merits—or contrarily-wise—of theism/deism as a whole.

I can't even be bothered debating the pros and cons of religion with the theists on this forum at any philosophical or exhaustive level simply because I know in advance I'll ultimately be wasting my time. Any commonsense logic I suggest will be bound to fall on deaf ears and a gullible, closed mind.

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26-10-2016, 10:32 AM (This post was last modified: 26-10-2016 10:50 AM by Velvet.)
RE: Problem of suffering....
(26-10-2016 10:21 AM)dancefortwo Wrote:  The problem with an omniscient god who is also merciful and forgiving is that he knew from the get-go every choice, path and endpoint of each person's life. He has pre-knowledge of all things. He knows in advance, even before he starts to create the universe, that billions of people will end up roasting and suffering in hell for eternity yet he goes ahead and creates people anyway. How is this merciful?

This pre-knowledge argument its actually my favorite, it should be nail in the coffin for christianity, but unfortunally I can't seem to have any success with it, it just hits the theist and drops on the ground like it was nothing, I'm not sure why they are impervious this way but I just gave up using arguments that attack the god figure because it wasn't effective.

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
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