Why Must Children Suffer?
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13-08-2013, 09:41 AM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2013 09:45 AM by PleaseJesus.)
Why Must Children Suffer?
I’m genuinely interested in your thoughts touching my line of reasoning...

“Children having pain” is a frequently heard objection to the Christian God or indeed, there being any God at all. Is this a valid objection? I’d like to start from the naturalist’s perspective to free myself from assumptions.

Pain, whether physical or emotional, is a conditioned evolutionary response to stimulus. It is helpful and enhances survivability. Rotten foods produce loathing when smelled or consumed. A child who touches a hot stove to satisfy curiosity should feel pain and that as quickly as possible so that they will not linger touching the stove--so a first-degree burn does not become a second- or third-degree burn. The memory of this pain of burning will never be as strong as the actual event which triggers autonomic response, but the trace memory will help the child to not burn themselves once again.

Emotional pain is also a helpful conditioned stimulus, e.g. incest guilt helps keep families from pursuing incest and destroying their relationships emotionally, and a lack of incest helps maintain a diverse gene pool in play among the human species.

In other words, pain is a necessity to help children survive to adulthood, whether the pain of the children themselves or those who must experience guilt pangs when they try to hurt children. From a naturalist’s perspective, wanting children to not experience pain or suffering is actually an immature or neurotic response, although it is prompted by human compassion.

Therefore, saying “God ought to prevent the suffering of children” is asking for a supernatural intervention which breaks several natural laws:

*perhaps the event never occurs (which may necessitate abrogating someone’s free will, if free will exists)

*perhaps the experience is held supernaturally without pain (and the child continues to touch the stove and sear and scar their flesh because there is no pain felt)

*no benefit is gained from pain caused by eustress-inducing events (the child does not know it is benefiting from exercise or learning, there is no gain and no attendant pain)

This style of action would make a God spurious (miracles would now be used hurt and not help the recipient), a poor parental model (go ahead, kid, stick your face on the stove and sear it), and also determinist and unfair (a potential child abuser would have their free will removed but a child would still have free will).

I still arrive at my earlier assumption. The person who uses the suffering of children as an anti-God objection must therefore be:

1. Not understanding the meaning and purposes of suffering or else not wanting to understand them

2. Judging God by arbitrary and indulgent choices (“I say pain is bad even though it was created or evolved for protection.”)

3. Etc.

Please tell me where you find my line of reasoning illogical or can add clarification.

Thanks sincerely, PJ.
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13-08-2013, 10:26 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(13-08-2013 09:41 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  In other words, pain is a necessity to help children survive to adulthood...

When I talk about suffering I am referring to the many, many infants and young children who do not survive to adulthood due to genetic flaws and incurable diseases. Touching a hot stove does indeed teach you a valuable lesson. Dying a slow painful death at the age of five does not. Dying immediately after you're born does not. These deaths make sense in a world subject to the simple and uncaring rules of nature. They do not make sense when you try to find a way for them to coexist with a world created by a loving creator.

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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13-08-2013, 10:44 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(13-08-2013 09:41 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Please tell me where you find my line of reasoning illogical or can add clarification.

I sure can tell you:

Kids feel pain, kids learn from it. A largely logical statement, provided you include the proviso's raised by guitar_nut

Kids feel pain (becuase of god/fairies/whatever masterplan), kids learn from it. An illogical statement...becuase these things don't exist.

It's a farily standard arguement...why beleive in a merciful, loving, fluffy god when he/she is happily allowing 1 child to die every 10 seconds from HIV in Africa? They ain't "learning from thier pain" much becuase they dead. Jesus/Shiva etc is letting them die. Which means he is either not very capable or perhaps (gasp) doens't actually exist. Shocking

If you're a thiest (presume so) then you can expect your cognitive dissonance filter to fire up in 3, 2, 1....there you go...start typing more blarney.

"Christianity is like a diet where you eat lots of chocolate cake all week, and then on Sunday you mentally scold yourself and "try again" only to repeat the cycle." - Buddy Christ
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13-08-2013, 10:58 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Once again PJ you kind of miss the point of the argument. Pain is not the problem pointless suffering is. From an evolutionary standpoint yes pain is necessary and indeed there are people who are born without pain receptors (or the transmitters are funky or whatever) who cannot feel pain, they tend to die very young unless they are watched constantly as they don't realise when something is wrong. Pain is a warning system. However if there was a loving personal interventionist God then it does not make sense for there to be pointless suffering ie:5 year old's dying from malnutrition or disease.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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13-08-2013, 11:18 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
What I'm wondering is why we must suffer you. Tongue

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13-08-2013, 11:23 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Suffer little children...

... said the catholic priest fumbling with his cassock.

Ohmy

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13-08-2013, 11:30 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(13-08-2013 09:41 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Pain, whether physical or emotional, is a conditioned evolutionary response to stimulus. It is helpful and enhances survivability.

Correct which is why you would expect to see children suffer in a Godless universe based on natural law rather than a world crafted by an all loving, caring God.

Also thanks for conceding the evolution debate, now doesn't that feel better?

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13-08-2013, 11:42 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(13-08-2013 09:41 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  .

Therefore, saying “God ought to prevent the suffering of children” is asking for a supernatural intervention which breaks several natural laws...
Thanks sincerely, PJ.

Ok, but don't you also believe that the god you worship stands outside of time? What about the people he (or she) allegedly saves through a "miracle" are you also saying that doesn't happen -- and isn't the point of prayer to.not only kiss god's ass but to ask him to break natural laws to grant your specifiic wish?

What of the people who believe their "prayer" was answered? That god really does love them and broke natural law to intervene on their behalf?

It seems to me if god were perfect, omnipotent and omniscient, he wouldn't want children to suffer endlessly until they died.

Unless of course god is like Mother Theresa and believes that suffering until death is a good thing.

Finally I'm now completely convinced you PJ are completely inane.

Shoo fly!


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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13-08-2013, 12:55 PM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2013 01:09 PM by Raptor Jesus.)
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(13-08-2013 09:41 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Emotional pain is also a helpful conditioned stimulus, e.g. incest guilt helps keep families from pursuing incest and destroying their relationships emotionally, and a lack of incest helps maintain a diverse gene pool in play among the human species.

Incest is not a “guilt” emotional pain. That would imply that we all want to have sex with our siblings, parents and children, but are only stopped by the guilt associated with it. I really hope that’s not how you personally feel, and I hope you see the obviousness of why what you wrote there was wrong. There actually have been many studies conducted on this involving rats and various other animals. An example of one I can recall showed lab rats raised together. When given the choice of other rats to mate with chose those different than the ones they were littered with. In some cases they sprayed the rats with certain scents, such as a lemon scent so that they associated that sent with their siblings. The rats avoided matting with any rats sprayed with that scent, wither a littermate or not. They even took baby rats from a different litter and put them with the new one. When raised as siblings they had the same response and would not mate with its’ littermates. But when exposed to its’ true biological siblings of which they were not raised with they were equally likely to mate with that sibling as any other non-litter mate, and more so than with its’ false siblings with whom they were raised. The rats obviously did not know that the other rats were really their true siblings or not. It is part of our biology to not see those we were directly raised with as options for mates, and the response to the idea of incest is not “guilt” it is disgust. That response does not come from God’s law or commands; it comes from your DNA and evolution.

There have also been studies on people's attraction to other people, and it has been noted that people tend to be more attracted to a sort of average of the faces the grow up seeing in their community, but when those faces start to more closely resemble siblings the less attraction they experience, even if that person is clearly not their sibling. This show that we base our attraction to those we grow up with, but not if they are too ‘familiar’ growing up.

It is true that pain plays a role in learning about avoiding harmful things. Exercise does not count in this as exercise is a modern concept do to the fact that we don’t live natural lives in the wild and need to get artificial exercise. Exercise would have been an unavoidable reality of live for hunter and gatherer types as it would happen simply trying to find food, water, and defending themselves from predators. The pain of exercising would have been to warn the brain when they may be working the body too hard, endangering there chance of survival the following day.

But as far as everything else you said, it can all be cleared up by God having just made everything perfect in the first place, instead of this bullshit charade that Theist like to make up of needing to suffer in order to enjoy heaven. Just start with it. If “he” makes the rules and laws of physics then just make it work right to began with. That fact that we live in a world that has pain in it, and in fact requires it as biologically beneficial is a sign that there is no God. Pain only make sense outside of a god concept, and if we are ruled by the natural laws of physics and need to have a way to perceive those laws, benefits and risk alike, only then does the existence of pain make sense. It would be pointless to have pain if God has to power to do away with the need for it. After all are ‘people’ expected to have pain in ‘heaven’? Can one still burn their face on a hot stove in heaven, or will fire simply not burn anyone who touches it? If not then why not simply create a reality like that here, now? If “God” is capable of that and chooses not to…or rather chooses to create a world in which you need pain to warn you you may burn yourself, then he is a dick, and no God worth following.

Make there be no pain because there is no burning and you solve both problems. Why not not make food that rots or is poisonous and that can make you sick, or make our bodies not even responsive to such things. But no, your idea of “God” wants us to burn and feel pain because “he” is a sadistic dick. It’s a good thing “he” is not real.

...
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13-08-2013, 12:56 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:When I talk about suffering I am referring to the many, many infants and young children who do not survive to adulthood due to genetic flaws and incurable diseases. Touching a hot stove does indeed teach you a valuable lesson. Dying a slow painful death at the age of five does not. Dying immediately after you're born does not. These deaths make sense in a world subject to the simple and uncaring rules of nature. They do not make sense when you try to find a way for them to coexist with a world created by a loving creator.

Naturalist: So? Death is a part of life, those with genetic flaws and incurable diseases are supposed to die before reproduction. This is a helpful mechanism.

Christian: The five-year-old who goes to Heaven for 1,000,000 years of joyful life will account the suffering and sickness as lightweight:

2 Cor 4: "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
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