Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
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26-08-2013, 01:49 PM
Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:



*All suffering is contextual, that is, bolts of light do not come down from God and make people suffer on random bases. All human suffering is due to natural or free will agent causality (disease, human abusers, etc.)



*Some suffering is eustress or a positive item, some is distress. Examples of suffering with meaning:

-things that promote correction, rehabilitation and learning or a “no pain, no gain” rubric for rote education and thinking out-of-the-box, exercise, dieting, etc.

-pain as a evolved stimulus response that enhances survivability

-denials that increase pleasure (the best meal I’ve eaten was when I was very hungry before I ate it, I’m sure your experience was similar, etc.)

-suffering prevents children from becoming “greenhouse plants that cannot thrive in the wild”, in other words, suffering hardens and matures someone on the path to becoming an adult

-suffering becomes a catalyst for extraordinary human achievement and positive change (the Special Olympics, Helen Keller’s work, American Sign Language, a Marshall Plan and Israel rebirth following WW II, etc, etc.)

-somehow not one freethinker on the former thread was able to ascribe any positive meaning for any kind of suffering, etc. That kind of gobsmacks me!

-if one is spiritual, suffering has volumes of meaning from refinement and judgment for sin to a witness of Heaven, Hell and man’s fallen state, etc.



*Suffering seems to be temporal and defined whether one is a naturalist or a spiritual person:

-Disease causes suffering and (usually) “terminal disease”, though to be a god-affliction, means “disease over soon”

-the most horrible sufferings can actually ease the sting of death (the person’s pain has ended now , etc.)

-There are levels of judgment in Heaven and Hell in many religious traditions



Observations:

*The typical “a loving God would not cause suffering” resolution should be amended to “a loving God would place limits and restrictions on necessary suffering”



*Atheists don’t always maintain a level playing field regarding free will issues, of which suffering and pain is surely a subset. For example, (and I can’t imagine this is intentional so I don’t blame anyone here specifically) an atheist will vigorously argue that if the Christian God does only good they have no free will, then later that same person argues that human evil deeds that cause suffering are caused wholly by that same God, which implies God has free will whether or not the humans do!



*Atheists have continued on this forum to do what I call “Put God in a people box”, abstractly blaming God for things like suffering (which makes sense since God is an abstraction to a skeptic) while continuing to express emotional traumas caused by people (deconversion testimonies that touch briefly on the inaccuracy of religious texts while waxing long about the hypocrisy of family and friends who are religious)
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26-08-2013, 02:33 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
At least you learned something. Glad I could help.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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26-08-2013, 03:38 PM (This post was last modified: 26-08-2013 03:41 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
(26-08-2013 01:49 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Atheists don’t always maintain a level playing field regarding free will issues, of which suffering and pain is surely a subset.

Don't see how pain and suffering are subsets of "free will". Seem orthogonal to me.

(26-08-2013 01:49 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  For example, (and I can’t imagine this is intentional so I don’t blame anyone here specifically) an atheist will vigorously argue that if the Christian God does only good they have no free will, then later that same person argues that human evil deeds that cause suffering are caused wholly by that same God, which implies God has free will whether or not the humans do!

This atheist follows the neuroscientists with respect to free will. That's kinda like their fucking job. ... My own opinion? Free will ain't what you think it is. Drinking Beverage

Breathing - it's more art than science.
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26-08-2013, 04:11 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Why must we suffer through the second coming of this thread?

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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26-08-2013, 04:44 PM (This post was last modified: 26-08-2013 04:59 PM by Raptor Jesus.)
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
(26-08-2013 01:49 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
*Atheists don’t always maintain a level playing field regarding free will issues… For example…an atheist will vigorously argue that if the Christian God does only good they have no free will, then later that same person argues that human evil deeds that cause suffering are caused wholly by that same God, which implies God has free will whether or not the humans do!
*Atheists have continued on this forum to do what I call “Put God in a people box”, abstractly blaming God for things like suffering (which makes sense since God is an abstraction to a skeptic) while continuing to express emotional traumas caused by people (deconversion testimonies that touch briefly on the inaccuracy of religious texts while waxing long about the hypocrisy of family and friends who are religious)
Those Atheist you refer to don’t believe in "God". They honestly don’t, that's a thing you need to understand.

They do not blame “God” for anything, because “God” does not exist. When an atheist refers to “God” doing “good” or “evil” what they are referring to is not an actual, real, existent god, but Christian’s, or other religious people’s, belief in “God”.

They are referring to those people's concept of "God" in the context of if it were real. You pointed out that atheist have a contradictiory view of "God". They do not. Atheist's view of "God" is that "God" does not exit, and that's all. The contradictory view is based on the contradiction inharent in the belief in a god. That is not a fault an atheist, that's a fault of the believer, and atheists point it out. The contradictory nature of "God" is a flaw in the belief of a Christian "God" that is being pointed out to you. Not a belief of the atheist.

In other words, if “God” were real then these things could be said about “God”...if he were real…but he is not. As a caveat* with an atheist, regardless of whether he or she speaks of “God” as doing something, feeling something, intending something, being either “good” or “evil”, remember they are talking about the religious believers idea of “God”, not an actual real god, as “God” or gods do not exist.

Blaming “God” for the suffering caused by “trauma” induced by other people is not atheist blaming “God” (remember the caveat*). They are blaming the “trauma” cause by those people’s belief in a non-existent “God”. It’s people’s belief in “God” that is the problem. Belief in “God” is a real thing, “God” is not. Belief in "God" has the power to do terrible things in this world. "God" himself does not, because "God" is not an actual thing.

...
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26-08-2013, 06:05 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
(26-08-2013 04:11 PM)Impulse Wrote:  Why must we suffer through the second coming of this thread?

+1

Brave brave brave brave Sir Robin!

I want to change this thread to "Why do Children Have to Suffer [Genocide at the Hands of the Abrahamic God?]"

"Never!"

"I did not!"

Oh shit I must be going crazy, I'm starting to type like Mark Dreher.... FUCK.
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26-08-2013, 08:28 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Taking this point for point.

(26-08-2013 01:49 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  *All suffering is contextual, that is, bolts of light do not come down from God and make people suffer on random bases. All human suffering is due to natural or free will agent causality (disease, human abusers, etc.)

Agreed. Pain, privation, and other forms of suffering arrive from natural causes. Neither your God nor any other causes them. This may have something to do with those gods not existing.

(26-08-2013 01:49 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  *Some suffering is eustress or a positive item, some is distress. Examples of suffering with meaning:

-things that promote correction, rehabilitation and learning or a “no pain, no gain” rubric for rote education and thinking out-of-the-box, exercise, dieting, etc.

-pain as a evolved stimulus response that enhances survivability

-denials that increase pleasure (the best meal I’ve eaten was when I was very hungry before I ate it, I’m sure your experience was similar, etc.)

-suffering prevents children from becoming “greenhouse plants that cannot thrive in the wild”, in other words, suffering hardens and matures someone on the path to becoming an adult

-suffering becomes a catalyst for extraordinary human achievement and positive change (the Special Olympics, Helen Keller’s work, American Sign Language, a Marshall Plan and Israel rebirth following WW II, etc, etc.)

-somehow not one freethinker on the former thread was able to ascribe any positive meaning for any kind of suffering, etc. That kind of gobsmacks me!

-if one is spiritual, suffering has volumes of meaning from refinement and judgment for sin to a witness of Heaven, Hell and man’s fallen state, etc.

... as far as I can tell, this is basically you saying, "hey, some of this suffering I can find a silver lining for and say that there is at least some small positive benefit in it." And I won't disagree in general, because most things are beneficial in one way or another if we look hard enough and don't focus on how crappy they are overall. Whether this benefit is WHY they are there in some causal sense, we seem to disagree on. But that's not to say that the suffering itself is a good thing. And in the hypothetical case of an omni-lots Creator deity, it becomes meaningless, because said deity could have prevented the suffering from ever happening while either achieving those same goals, or obviating the need for them. (Sure, the development of ASL is a great human accomplishment, but who would need ASL if the human ear was intelligently designed so that it could never be deafened in the first place, if reproduction were intelligently designed so as to eliminate birth defects preventing the ear from forming properly, etc?)

(26-08-2013 01:49 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  *Suffering seems to be temporal and defined whether one is a naturalist or a spiritual person:

-Disease causes suffering and (usually) “terminal disease”, though to be a god-affliction, means “disease over soon”

-the most horrible sufferings can actually ease the sting of death (the person’s pain has ended now , etc.)

-There are levels of judgment in Heaven and Hell in many religious traditions

Kinda incoherent, you might want to proof this section and clarify it. I wouldn't say that the sting of death is lessened by suffering leading up to it, so much as it can become a lesser of evils.

(26-08-2013 01:49 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Observations:

*The typical “a loving God would not cause suffering” resolution should be amended to “a loving God would place limits and restrictions on necessary suffering”

Maybe. Depends on the type of God. Some of the limited polytheistic types, that could make sense. But if we're talking an omnipotent creator deity as in the typical Christian tradition, then no. Any need for suffering you might posit, to justify that suffering or give it "purpose" or "meaning", would have been placed there solely at this hypothetical Creator's whim, and could just as easily have been done away with. A loving God in the Christian vein would not have to allow necessary suffering, because said being could have made it so that suffering was not necessary at all. Unless you can address this point, which I and many others raised repeatedly in the previous thread, and which you seem to have ignored in this one, your amendment falls short of the mark.

(26-08-2013 01:49 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  *Atheists don’t always maintain a level playing field regarding free will issues, of which suffering and pain is surely a subset. For example, (and I can’t imagine this is intentional so I don’t blame anyone here specifically) an atheist will vigorously argue that if the Christian God does only good they have no free will, then later that same person argues that human evil deeds that cause suffering are caused wholly by that same God, which implies God has free will whether or not the humans do!

Even in a deistic model, a hypothetical creator God would still be responsible for the context which makes suffering possible. If I put three rats in a cage together and decline to feed them, then they will resort to cannibalism or starve. (Possibly both.) If they do eat each other, it will be by their free actions, but free actions in response to, and constrained by, the context I'd placed them in. How much more power would an omnipotent deistic creator have had to, say, make it unnecessary for them to eat at all when they were first created?

In a theistic model with all the omnis attached, a hypothetical God would have even more freedom. Miracles, for example. If food spontaneously appears in my pantry, I would be able to react to it or not according to my own free will. My free will would not be diminished. But I'd also be fairly immune to starving.

Suffering and pain is not a subset of free will. There is some overlap, to be sure. But some types of suffering are not the product of free choice -- consider a child born with a painful, terminal condition, for example. Where is the free will that caused that?

Frankly, the question of free will is more your schtick than mine. We view the world through different lenses, and I spend a lot less energy than you seem to focusing on the subject of free will. I'm not entirely sure what it means, and the more people define it, the fuzzier it becomes.

(26-08-2013 01:49 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  *Atheists have continued on this forum to do what I call “Put God in a people box”, abstractly blaming God for things like suffering (which makes sense since God is an abstraction to a skeptic) while continuing to express emotional traumas caused by people (deconversion testimonies that touch briefly on the inaccuracy of religious texts while waxing long about the hypocrisy of family and friends who are religious)

... soooo not getting what you're saying here. The caveat needs to be asserted that an atheist will only blame God for something either in a hypothetical discussion, or when talking about the concept of God at large in society rather than any actual entity. Atheists don't blame God for anything outside of fiction or a hypothetical, just like (most) atheists don't blame Voldermort for anything. I can't figure out whether you get that or not, and if not, you need to take a step back and do some remedial study on what it means to be an atheist in the first place. It's so basic, I just want to assume that you do know it, but you consistently act as if you don't, right down to the arguments you present to this forum. I'm starting to question whether you're in so deep that you can't even wrap your brain around what it would mean for someone to not believe that any god exists. But in any case, with that caveat in place, your objection becomes... almost a whine of "why are you so critical?" I don't get where you're going with it.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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27-08-2013, 12:51 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Quote:Don't see how pain and suffering are subsets of "free will". Seem orthogonal to me.

They don’t need to be, but see my response to you below, please.

Quote: This atheist follows the neuroscientists with respect to free will. That's kinda like their fucking job. ... My own opinion? Free will ain't what you think it is.

Here’s the issue we’re having. If you are saying people do not have free will, then when they do evil and cause suffering, it’s god’s fault. Therefore, god can do evil and god has free will. Of course, this means it further becomes hard to blame a person for causing suffering. Why I think this scenario is unneeded is because no person can possibly use a “god made me do it” or “neuroscientists proved this premeditated crime was also predetermined behavior” as a defense of any kind.

If on the other hand, people do have free will, well, then we can discuss how both god and man are moral agents who each play a role in causing suffering. That would be a fair discussion.
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27-08-2013, 12:52 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Quote: Why must we suffer through the second coming of this thread?

Your remarks are in the record, Captain Spock, thank you. Might I suggest an old Vulcan proverb, “Don’t read the thread if you can’t do the time.”
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27-08-2013, 12:55 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
I find the following line from Bob Dylan's Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again to be appropriate.

"And here I sit so patiently
Waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of
Going through all these things twice"

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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