Stephen Fry on meeting God
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28-03-2015, 03:40 PM
Stephen Fry on meeting God
I was watching this clip of Stephen Fry interview by irish talk show host gay Byrne :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-suvkwNYSQo

Gay asks him, if he met God, what would he ask him?

Well, he gets angry at God, saying that what he allows is not right. He says that it's evil and stupid for creating a world full of injustice and pain.

But that doesn't really make any sense in my view. Here's why :

1) The definition, or should I say, the idea of God, in other words, what theists believe God to be, is that he is the creator of the universe. They also believe that he is benevolent, loving, fair and just, and infinitely intelligent. That is what God is (if he exists, that is - this is not a discussion of whether or not he exists).

Whether one is a theist or an atheist, that is the description of this being or spirit which one either believes exists, or does not.

So, if it did turn out that this god does in fact exist, it would be the creator of the universe, and it would be benevolent and loving. Whether or not one believes it exists is another matter, but if it does, then that is what it is.

Therefore to accuse God of being evil or stupid would be to miss the point entirely. If you are faced with this thing that you previously didn't believe existed but whose hypothetical attributes you were aware of, then you would have to concede that it is benevolent and intelligent etc etc.

The intelligent question to ask would be "I don't understand why you seem to contradict the attributes of benevolence, etc, can you explain?"

2) If God exists, and you were faced with him, you would know it. It wouldn't be like someone walking in the room claiming to be Donald Trump. It would be God, and therefore if you're faced with your creator, the very origin of your existence, you would immediately, deeply, instinctively feel it. There would be no doubt in your mind. And because of that, it is an absolute fact that you would not doubt his attributes. You simply wouldn't even have any doubts, or any questions based on doubts.

I'm a theist, but even if I was an atheist, I would still think the same. His response makes no sense at all. If God exists and he met him, he simply wouldn't ask such a question. He would absolutely know who he's talking to and what his attributes are. If anything, he would ask for clarification, but he wouldn't have any doubts.
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28-03-2015, 04:00 PM
RE: Stephen Fry on meeting God
(28-03-2015 03:40 PM)illinoisman Wrote:  I was watching this clip of Stephen Fry interview by irish talk show host gay Byrne :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-suvkwNYSQo

Gay asks him, if he met God, what would he ask him?

Well, he gets angry at God, saying that what he allows is not right. He says that it's evil and stupid for creating a world full of injustice and pain.

But that doesn't really make any sense in my view. Here's why :

1) The definition, or should I say, the idea of God, in other words, what theists believe God to be, is that he is the creator of the universe. They also believe that he is benevolent, loving, fair and just, and infinitely intelligent. That is what God is (if he exists, that is - this is not a discussion of whether or not he exists).

Whether one is a theist or an atheist, that is the description of this being or spirit which one either believes exists, or does not.

So, if it did turn out that this god does in fact exist, it would be the creator of the universe, and it would be benevolent and loving. Whether or not one believes it exists is another matter, but if it does, then that is what it is.

Therefore to accuse God of being evil or stupid would be to miss the point entirely. If you are faced with this thing that you previously didn't believe existed but whose hypothetical attributes you were aware of, then you would have to concede that it is benevolent and intelligent etc etc.

The intelligent question to ask would be "I don't understand why you seem to contradict the attributes of benevolence, etc, can you explain?"

2) If God exists, and you were faced with him, you would know it. It wouldn't be like someone walking in the room claiming to be Donald Trump. It would be God, and therefore if you're faced with your creator, the very origin of your existence, you would immediately, deeply, instinctively feel it. There would be no doubt in your mind. And because of that, it is an absolute fact that you would not doubt his attributes. You simply wouldn't even have any doubts, or any questions based on doubts.

I'm a theist, but even if I was an atheist, I would still think the same. His response makes no sense at all. If God exists and he met him, he simply wouldn't ask such a question. He would absolutely know who he's talking to and what his attributes are. If anything, he would ask for clarification, but he wouldn't have any doubts.

You're not likely to get much agreement with that view around these parts. No

I, for one, thought his answer right on point and quite eloquently spoken. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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28-03-2015, 04:30 PM
RE: Stephen Fry on meeting God
(28-03-2015 03:40 PM)illinoisman Wrote:  ---- If you are faced with this thing that you previously didn't believe existed but whose hypothetical attributes you were aware of, then you would have to concede that it is benevolent and intelligent etc etc.

Why would you have to concede this thing's benevolence and/or intelligence? Could one concede a thing to be evil... especially in light of prior and historical experience?

(28-03-2015 03:40 PM)illinoisman Wrote:  ---
It would be God, and therefore if you're faced with your creator, the very origin of your existence, you would immediately, deeply, instinctively feel it.

Would you? How do you know such a thing?
Have you ever met a murderer? Are you absolutely certain?
Did you immediately, deeply, instinctively feel it? Did you feel evil, intelligence, etc., from the experience? Are you certain?

(28-03-2015 03:40 PM)illinoisman Wrote:  There would be no doubt in your mind. And because of that, it is an absolute fact that you would not doubt his attributes. You simply wouldn't even have any doubts, or any questions based on doubts.

Humans do and always have had doubts and questions. It appears you may see faith as some kind of magic.

Magic can be entertaining to a certain extent but, I don't think it rational to base my life on it. I have to rely on and get my knowledge in nonmagical ways. I'm a human being, I am all I have.

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28-03-2015, 04:34 PM
RE: Stephen Fry on meeting God
(28-03-2015 03:40 PM)illinoisman Wrote:  So, if it did turn out that this god does in fact exist, it would be the creator of the universe, and it would be benevolent and loving.

Serious question (not sarcastic): Do you think that this world is compatible with the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent and all-loving deity?

孤独 - The Out Crowd
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28-03-2015, 04:46 PM
RE: Stephen Fry on meeting God
(28-03-2015 03:40 PM)illinoisman Wrote:  1) The definition, or should I say, the idea of God, in other words, what theists believe God to be, is that he is the creator of the universe.

So, you're wrong right away: there have been plenty of theists throughout history who believed in gods that did not create the universe. Greek mythology, just off the top of my head, features a whole pantheon of gods, very few of them involved with the inception of reality. Godhood, in many such cases, was a hereditary trait, not something one attained via past actions.

But leaving aside that you're wrong, are you saying that because you and some others believe that what you said was right, that this is the only possible definition?

Quote:They also believe that he is benevolent, loving, fair and just, and infinitely intelligent. That is what God is (if he exists, that is - this is not a discussion of whether or not he exists).

Also not true, and in fact Fry brings up those same ancient gods I mentioned before in the video you're talking about here, in exactly this context, so it's particularly interesting that you're ignoring that example in order to argue from definition like this. There are other gods, believed in by others, that are not benevolent, loving or fair; the fact that you're unaware of them does not give you license to inflict your definition on absolutely everybody.

I mean, that's leaving aside the obvious inanity of arguing that Fry claims god is bad, but since you believe god is good by definition, Fry must be wrong... Angel

Quote:Whether one is a theist or an atheist, that is the description of this being or spirit which one either believes exists, or does not.

Nope. Seriously, I'm gonna peg this one on innocent ignorance, rather than the arrogance it could also be construed as.

Quote:So, if it did turn out that this god does in fact exist, it would be the creator of the universe, and it would be benevolent and loving. Whether or not one believes it exists is another matter, but if it does, then that is what it is.

And where, exactly, do you get off making this pronouncement? It isn't what you believe god to be, therefore it can't possibly be the god that exists? Or are you going for the even worse reasoning that, since you're defining god one way, and Fry isn't matching that definition, he must be using your definition and is just wrong?

Either way, it's ridiculous.

Quote:The intelligent question to ask would be "I don't understand why you seem to contradict the attributes of benevolence, etc, can you explain?"

Or you could loosen your grip on the definition of god, since it doesn't belong to you anyway. Dodgy

Quote:2) If God exists, and you were faced with him, you would know it. It wouldn't be like someone walking in the room claiming to be Donald Trump. It would be God, and therefore if you're faced with your creator, the very origin of your existence, you would immediately, deeply, instinctively feel it. There would be no doubt in your mind. And because of that, it is an absolute fact that you would not doubt his attributes. You simply wouldn't even have any doubts, or any questions based on doubts.

So, you make up a scenario in which Fry is wrong, and therefore that scenario is viable, without any evidence or justification?
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28-03-2015, 04:54 PM
RE: Stephen Fry on meeting God
(28-03-2015 04:34 PM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  
(28-03-2015 03:40 PM)illinoisman Wrote:  So, if it did turn out that this god does in fact exist, it would be the creator of the universe, and it would be benevolent and loving.

Serious question (not sarcastic): Do you think that this world is compatible with the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent and all-loving deity?

I would even ask: Do you think this world reflects the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent and all-loving deity?

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28-03-2015, 04:58 PM
RE: Stephen Fry on meeting God
Yeah well, isn't that what I said? Tongue Or were you suggesting a better wording?

孤独 - The Out Crowd
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28-03-2015, 05:00 PM
RE: Stephen Fry on meeting God
(28-03-2015 04:54 PM)kim Wrote:  
(28-03-2015 04:34 PM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  Serious question (not sarcastic): Do you think that this world is compatible with the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent and all-loving deity?

I would even ask: Do you think this world reflects the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent and all-loving deity?

Yes on both counts. This is off topic of course, but since you ask, yes. God creates and maintains the universe and everything in it, but it's up to us to decide how we choose to live. That's what free will is for. God doesn't like bad things any more than you and I do, but when you create a universe, you kind of have to let it play out, even though you do have the power to stop or change anything. What I see over and over is atheists arguing that if there's a creator, that it must also be caretaker. That's not how it works. Also don't forget that being benevolent means giving people freedom. What we choose to do with that freedom is our responsibility. I'm sure we would all resent anybody who doesn't let us have freedom.
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28-03-2015, 05:18 PM
RE: Stephen Fry on meeting God
Quote:What I see over and over is atheists arguing that if there's a creator, that it must also be caretaker. That's not how it works.

Why go to the trouble of creating anything at all if it's too much trouble to look after?
Why hand out rules?
Why sacrifice his son?
Why punish, or reward us after death?
Actually, why is it only you know how it works?
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28-03-2015, 05:22 PM
RE: Stephen Fry on meeting God
(28-03-2015 05:00 PM)illinoisman Wrote:  
(28-03-2015 04:54 PM)kim Wrote:  I would even ask: Do you think this world reflects the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent and all-loving deity?

Yes on both counts. This is off topic of course, but since you ask, yes. God creates and maintains the universe and everything in it, but it's up to us to decide how we choose to live. That's what free will is for. God doesn't like bad things any more than you and I do, but when you create a universe, you kind of have to let it play out, even though you do have the power to stop or change anything. What I see over and over is atheists arguing that if there's a creator, that it must also be caretaker. That's not how it works. Also don't forget that being benevolent means giving people freedom. What we choose to do with that freedom is our responsibility. I'm sure we would all resent anybody who doesn't let us have freedom.

How is human choice involved when a lion eats a zebra?

[Image: what-do-lions-eat-450px.jpg]

Why does god have to let it play out? Is this really the best way? Could lions maybe eat plants? Wouldn't that be a better design that reduces the suffering of zebras?

Could god have changed one person's mind to save millions? If this god simply gave Hitler other choices other than blaming Jews, then millions would have been saved.

He didn't even have to take Hitler's choice away, simply make OTHER choices more attractive, yet he did nothing.

You describe a world where god is not there, there is no indication that god does anything under any circumstance, this is indistinguishable from a god that 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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