Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
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29-08-2013, 03:52 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
(29-08-2013 11:52 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote: PJ, why are you even here? Do you get extra points if you come here and spew forth your religiobabble? You have to be smart enough to know you are going to win any converts, so that is the prize? What is the reward? What's the fucking point, if there is one?

Anjele, why are you even here? Do you get extra points if you come here and spew forth your anti-religiobabble? You have to be smart enough to know you are not going to win any converts, so that is the prize? What is the reward? What's the point, if there is one, since when you die, there is nothing, and 100 years from now, no one will remember your name?

She is here because she belongs here and is a contributing, valued addition.

You, on the other hand, are pretty much a worthless waste of space.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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29-08-2013, 07:21 PM (This post was last modified: 29-08-2013 08:11 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
(29-08-2013 12:53 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote: Wrong. You have nothing to offer, except lame hackneyed platitudes. Go away.
We have no reason to believe a word you say, after the lies you have told here.
Nice try at deflection, SexuallyPleasingJebusTrollJoke.
She is here because THIS, (in case you hadn't noticed) IS AN ATHEIST COMMUNITY.
She doesn't have to justify herself to anyone here, least of all YOU.
The question remains. What the fuck do YOU think you're trying to accomplish here ?

You have accomplished nothing, except to remind us that indeed, in real life, Fundamentalists are ignorant of their own roots and foundations, and indeed are actually as illogical as they seem. Thanks for proving that, over and over.
Angie is trying to convert no one. That's YOUR JOB. I repeat JOB. You get PAID for that. It's your BUSINESS. You are NO GOOD AT YOUR JOB. Got it ? No good.
So thanks again for reminding us it's about the reward you get. The sucker for seeking the dentist. The infantile reward you get from Jebus. That's what is important to you, most of all, Church Lady.
Newsflash. 100 years from now, YOU also will be dead. *Stone cold dead*, just like every Christian and non-Christian who has ever lived. Humans are 100 % mortal. Get over it. So are you. Hebrew culture did not buy into "immortality", (which you would know if you had ever really studied that culture with a real (non-"fundie"scholar). Christianity re-invented it. Jebus and St. Paul did not buy that crap. Your cult appended immortality to itself, and grafted it into itself, as it makes for good sales numbers.

Sho fly.

Ah, but I can prove the Bible is true to my satisfaction if not yours. For example, 1 Corinthians 12 says,

“I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.”

I can type that here now, Jesus is… Lord. Let’s see if you ever were a Christian, and have the Holy Spirit inside you. Can you type “ Jesus is Lord ” with some space characters and not curses and filth around the words? The thing is, unless you are speaking ex cathedra if you will, via the Holy Spirit, you cannot do that.

I’ve noticed you are slavishly and pathologically unable to call Jesus anything but Jebus lately (guess I’m real astute, huh. Smile)

Why not prove the Bible wrong write (right) now and type a message that “Jesus is Lord” and nothing else in the post? Go on, do it. You know you can.

All irrelevant bullshit.

1. You can't use the Babble to "prove" the Babble. Only a fool would attempt that. So don't quote the founder of your cult, (Paulianity), to me.
2. Not "lately". Consistently, and ALWAYS........JEBUS.
Also irrelevant. Nice attempt to change the subject.
3. Why would you say something like "Lets see ... bla bla bla". Obviously you KNOW that's not true. Also irrelevant.

Why would you ask me to type something that is patently false ?
Is your god so fucking stupid, that she wouldn't know I am lying, if I did that ?

You are incompetent to judge "pathology".
Are you mentally ill ?

Go away.
You have nothing to offer this forum.

Jebus is lard.
Are ya happy now ? Tongue

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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29-08-2013, 08:34 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Jesus is Lord.

Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're an incredible slouch.

Martin Luther was the "father" of two movements - The Reformation and Nazism.
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29-08-2013, 08:36 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
The Holy Ghost is a lie,
Yahweh, and
Jesus too.

All a lie, told from liars.

If I am wrong, my God strike me down now in my seat.

Drum roll please.....

Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're an incredible slouch.

Martin Luther was the "father" of two movements - The Reformation and Nazism.
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30-08-2013, 01:56 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
I'm gonna reorganize the quotes some to clean up the post and categorize the threads of conversation by topic. I'll tackle your new questions first, and then return to the original topic.

(29-08-2013 12:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  I still think, however, that for every “why couldn't God have made us without the possibility for deafness?” there is a logical “how come more people aren’t deaf?”

Well, certainly you can formulate the question. However, it's a much less natural question to ask, because most of us don't wish more people were deaf, and we aren't investigating why a premise which suggests that they should be deaf hasn't led to the expected outcome.

(29-08-2013 12:43 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  If some pain is unneeded and caused by man, how is man not a moral degenerate compared to animals, who seem to cause only pain that’s needed?

I'd say that for most animals, judgements about their morality are pretty inapplicable. This is because a moral decision is a conscious choice, made with the ability to appreciate the consequences of that choice. A lion who doesn't begin to register the suffering of the gazelle can't make a moral choice on the subject. She doesn't have the capacity. Nor can we expect a rattlesnake, without the brain structure for any higher social reasoning, to have the capacity to consciously choose peaceful coexistence over paranoid, territorial murder. These are not moral actors, because they are not equipped with the capacity to make moral decisions. They are totally amoral. We cannot judge the moral decisions of most animals, because they make no moral decisions for us to judge.

(This isn't to say that ALL animals lack the reasoning ability and empathy needed to make these decisions. Higher primates and domesticated dogs, for example, have both. But I'd also say their reduced ability, relative to humans, to judge the consequences of their choices is a mitigating factor.)

(29-08-2013 12:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  ... do you feel a moral crime should be punished?

Not for its own sake, no. Punishment is not morally desirable in its own right. It's only moral value is as a tool to dissuade or prevent further violations of morality, or to in some measure redress or lessen the wrong done. Furthermore, as most forms of punishment are actions that are, out of context, fairly immoral (throwing someone in a cell for years, caning them, taking their money against their will, so on), they should be used only sparingly, when the benefits of the punishment (in terms of the reduction of future "moral crimes" or redressing the harm done by past ones) significantly outweighs the immorality of the punishment itself. So punishment as a deterrent for others considering the same act, or to remove a dangerous person from a society that would otherwise be her future victims, or as a means of reform, or making an arsonist rebuild (or pay to rebuild) the building he burnt down, all of that is reasonable. To be approached cautiously, with an eye for proportionate response and whether the cure is worse than the disease, but still of a plausible morality. But punishing just for the sake of doing something harmful to the criminal, or just to balance some metaphorical scales? No.

(Why is it that the metaphor of balancing the scales seems to always emphasize heaping yet more suffering onto the misery plate, without caring whether it adds one ounce of goodness to the "make things better for people" plate? )

(29-08-2013 12:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  If we take hypotheticals and god to the side for now, do you think people who complain about a situation rather than amending it are mature?

Kind of a loaded question, lemme qualify my answer rather than delving into all the nuances. IF a person knew of some way to amend it, that was well within their means... then just sitting there complaining instead of fixing it would be pretty unreasonable.

(29-08-2013 12:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  If on the other hand, all pain is “nothing but pain” than how is your “why did omnipotent god make pain” not a moot question?

I'll note that I brought up that the broken arm example which you were addressing to inquire into how you were picking out meaning and purpose from consequences, and asking why you aren't concluding that the purpose of the broken arm was pain. This wasn't to say that I held this position (and I'm quite certain that I don't view the world in the same meaning and purpose framework as you do), so much as to question what process was leading you away from it.

I'll get into the question of pain versus suffering a bit more when I post about the main topic. For now, I'll leave it at me viewing pain as being generally a negative, which means I disagree with the conditional, and further agree that with the conditional accepted, the criticism of God creating pain loses much of its force.

(29-08-2013 12:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Who gave you and me the moral high ground to say “Her pain is unjust. His is just.”?

Without even touching on notions of what comprises just versus unjust (if we're not careful, we'll end up debating twenty dissertation-worthy philosophical topics at once and be unable to focus on any of them in detail), we all have the capacity to say it, moral high ground or no. We all have the ability to form opinions, be it as final things in their own right, as guidelines to inform our decisions, or as ways of interpreting and understanding the world around us. This can be abused, but I'd also argue that it's an important piece of how human intelligence works. I'd question the existence of the moral high ground your question assumes, and also its necessity. I will agree that none of us have the moral high ground to declare this or that is just or unjust, and have it therefore be true in some objective sense. But we can certainly come to the conclusion, and attempt to persuade others of it or act on its basis.

--------------------------------------

I think that covers most of the questions that are off the original topic or threatening to diverge from the original topic, so it's time to return to that.

You were reading moral judgements into my declarations of some acts as cruel or indifferent. That was not my intention in using my words (though I'll agree that some judgements may follow naturally from them). Indeed, I think there was a lot of confusion about what I meant by certain words, so, let me throw out a few working definitions.

Pain: We could talk about all sorts of pain. I'll agree that some types of pain aren't necessarily bad. For example, let's say you've got an itch above your left eyebrow. It itches. It itches bad. You reach up to scratch it. In doing this, your fingernails cause damage to your skin, and your nerves register this and fairly insistently report it to your brain. This is a type of pain. Yet it is enjoyable pain, harms no one (if you don't scratch too hard, at least), and I would not consider it a negative in its own right without suffering.

Suffering: A state of anguish, misery, or discomfort. This I WILL describe as a negative. Note that not all pain becomes suffering, nor is all suffering caused by pain, but that there is overlap. (Also, it's not solely a Christian concept. For example, the existence of suffering is the first Noble Truth of Buddhism, and so predates Christianity.) You suggested I leave aside the topic of suffering and focus on pain, but the points I were trying to make (and for that matter both of these threads) are about the suffering, not the pain, so I'll leave off on the topic of pain instead. (Save, of course, for pain that is an example of suffering.)

As an aside, I would say that it is possible, if one has a positive attitude, to adjust one's response towards pain, privations, et cetera, and so avoid the suffering they usually trigger. At least, to a degree. Paper cuts are easy, but I doubt a someone could experience having their leg crushed under a boulder and not suffer.

Problem of Suffering: I felt you were getting confused again by what I meant by this, so I'll repeat what I said earlier. When I talk about the problem of suffering, I am not saying that suffering is undesirable. (It is, but that's not what I'm referring to by the phrase.) I am referring to the specific way some creeds held by some Christians (that God is an omnipotent, omniscient, loving Creator) are inconsistent with the observable existence of suffering.

Cruelty: Again, it was not my goal to make a moral judgement here (though moral judgements may easily follow from what I was trying to say). I will describe someone as cruel, who chooses methods with the full intention of them causing suffering. The suffering is either one of their goals, or deliberately integral to their method. What I called pointlessly cruel, I meant a choice between two options, wherein you chose one over the other, and you felt there was no benefit to what you chose save for inflicting suffering. Not only have you chosen to inflict suffering, but there was no point in doing so. In contrast, a school principle switching a child to get them to behave might be cruel (and maybe immoral, but I'm not addressing that), but not pointlessly cruel. The principle spanking the child just to hear the child bawl is pointlessly cruel. The lion killing the gazelle isn't being cruel, as I had put it, because it doesn't care one way or the other whether the gazelle suffers, and doesn't much register the suffering. The twitches, kicks, and bleats, maybe, but not the suffering that they signify. This is what I called indifference. In retrospect, cruelty isn't quite the right word for this, but I'm having trouble coming up with a better one. (Sadism is more about pain than suffering, so it doesn't fit.)

Again, these are clarifications about what concepts I was trying to convey with certain words, not philosophical arguments. Also, at no point am I bringing in concepts of good and evil. They might follow naturally from this train of thought, and it might be informative to view the problem of suffering in those terms, but I don't feel debating that subject now is worth the gain of adding the vocabulary to this discussion after the decades it will take us to reach a consensus on good and evil.

Finally, and we're now getting into the vein of a philosophical argument, I would suggest that to be described as loving, one cannot be pointlessly cruel in inflicting suffering on the one they love, or indifferent to the suffering they inflict on the person they love. Let me know if you disagree with this.

With those clarifications in place, let's get down to the main event.

(29-08-2013 12:43 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Reltzik, I’m working with more than wax and gas on fires here. Really. I believe that. And I constantly see me answering questions, and then throwing back questions met with deafening silence. Go ahead, take a count of how many posts in this whole thread I ducked.

The problem isn’t that Christians don’t have answers. The problem is non-Christians don’t like the answers IMHO.

The problem here is that while anything which you might produce to address the argument is a response, not every response addresses the argument. You've responded to the argument, several times, but you haven't yet addressed it. Attempted to, yes, succeeded, no. It's not that I don't like your responses in an it-makes-me-feel-uncomfortable sort of way. I don't like your responses because they are merely responses, and not answers at all.

Your newest batch of responses just underscores this. I'm tempted to repeat the argument yet again and show how each one fails to address it, but I've done that so many times and it's not working. I just don't know how I can make it any more basic than...

.... hmmmm. BASIC.

... okay. I'm going to present the argument in the format of pseudocode similar to BASIC. This will show how the argument AS IT ALREADY STANDS undercuts all of your responses to it. (The fact that you posted responses that it so easily undercuts is what makes me think you don't understand it.)

Code:
10  PRINT "You believe that God created a world with suffering in it.  Did He know his creation had the potential for suffering?  Yes/No"
20  INPUT response
30  IF response = "No" THEN GOTO 180
40  PRINT "Did God have a purpose for this?  Yes/No"
50  INPUT response
60  IF response = "No" THEN GOTO 200
70  PRINT "What was that purpose?"
80  INPUT purpose
90  IF purpose = "to cause suffering" THEN GOTO 200
100 PRINT "Was it in God's power " purpose " in another manner, just as thoroughly, without causing suffering?  Yes/No"
110 INPUT response
120 IF response = "No" GOTO 230
130 PRINT "Did God realize He had this alternative?  Yes/No"
140 INPUT response
150 IF response = "No" GOTO 180
160 PRINT "So God wanted " purpose ".  He did this through suffering.  He could have achieved it in another manner, just as thoroughly, without him needing people to suffer.  He was aware of this.  Yet of these two options, he chose to have people suffer anyway."
170 GOTO 40
180 PRINT "Then God is not omniscient."
190 END PROGRAM
200 PRINT "If God caused suffering for no purpose, save perhaps suffering itself, then God was either pointlessly cruel or indifferent, and cannot be called loving."
210 END PROGRAM
220 PRINT "Then God is not omnipotent."
230 END PROGRAM

The only thing preventing me from actually writing this program is how difficult it is to program a computer to comprehend the English language. For example, line 90 is far too simple because there are a thousand different ways to answer the question that amount to "to cause suffering" and the code would have to account for all of them.

Let's try out your most recent responses about why a loving God would create a world of suffering in this program. I'm going to have to slightly reword your responses, because of the problem of parsing English, but I'll try to stay true to them.

(29-08-2013 12:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  The best meals and beverages I’ve eaten and drunk came when I was hungry and thirsty.

Code:
> You believe that God created a world with suffering in it.  Did He know his creation had the potential for suffering?  Yes/No
>> Yes
> Did God have a purpose for this choice?  Yes/No
>> Yes
> What was that purpose?
>> to help us appreciate the best meals
> Was it in God's power to help us appreciate the best meals in another manner, just as thoroughly, without causing suffering?  Yes/No
>> Yes
> Did God realize He had this alternative?  Yes/No
>> Yes
> So God wanted to help us appreciate the best meals.  He did this through suffering.  He could have achieved it in another manner, just as thoroughly, without him needing people to suffer.  He was aware of this.  Yet of these two options, he chose to have people suffer anyway.  Did God have a purpose for this choice?  Yes/No
>> _

If you answer No any of the places I answered Yes, you'll end up at a result of God not being omnipotent, not being omniscient, or not being loving.

Let's shortcut to the end for your other responses.

(29-08-2013 12:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  *Because suffering leads to maturity and understanding suffering, more maturity

Code:
So God wanted to help us mature.  He did this through suffering.  He could have achieved it in another manner, just as thoroughly, without him needing people to suffer.  He was aware of this.  Yet of these two options, he chose to have people suffer anyway.  Did God have a purpose for this choice?  Yes/No

(29-08-2013 12:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  *Because we rejoice when god punishes evil

Code:
So God wanted to let us rejoice.  He did this through suffering.  He could have achieved it in another manner, just as thoroughly, without him needing people to suffer.  He was aware of this.  Yet of these two options, he chose to have people suffer anyway.  Did God have a purpose for this choice?  Yes/No

(29-08-2013 12:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  *Because some suffering promotes knowledge and achievement, etc.

Code:
So God wanted to promote knowledge, achievement, et cetera.  He did this through suffering.  He could have achieved it in another manner, just as thoroughly, without him needing people to suffer.  He was aware of this.  Yet of these two options, he chose to have people suffer anyway.  Did God have a purpose for this choice?  Yes/No

(29-08-2013 12:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Maybe suffering gives OTHER people something to do?

Code:
So God wanted to give other people something to do.  He did this through suffering.  He could have achieved it in another manner, just as thoroughly, without him needing people to suffer.  He was aware of this.  Yet of these two options, he chose to have people suffer anyway.  Did God have a purpose for this choice?  Yes/No

As you can see, these responses practically write themselves. That's because the logic of the argument works perfectly well on all the responses you provided, and the fact that you haven't adapted your responses into something it doesn't work on is what makes me think you don't understand it.

And yes, you can answer, "He had a purpose, but we can't expect to know what it was."

Code:
So God wanted to achieve some unknown purpose.  He did this through suffering.  He could have achieved it in another manner, just as thoroughly, without him needing people to suffer.  He was aware of this.  Yet of these two options, he chose to have people suffer anyway.  Did God have a purpose for this choice?  Yes/No

I suggest you run your future responses through this program before you post them, because it will be a good preview of my most likely response. By all means, attack my notion of what constitutes being loving, or omnipotent, or omniscient, or some other way in which the logic of the program is invalid. That would be a definite improvement over your responses to date, and constitute a reasonable attempt to address the argument. But don't just keep setting up these rationalizations that a simple fill-in-the-blank program could knock down. THOSE are what I'm calling webs of twine. And as I've shown here, they are extremely flammable.

While you contemplate that, I'm going to hunker down in anticipation of another type of flame. I anticipate some programmers are going to take issue with my having more GOTOs than REMs.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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30-08-2013, 04:32 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
^^ Ohmy Wow.

TL; DR for me though Tongue Maybe PJ will have the fortitude... At least if he does decide to read it we can next expect to hear from him around 2015 Big Grin
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30-08-2013, 04:36 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Also, Jesus, that looks like BASIC... I cut my teeth on that, back in the day... Nice to see some old school code there Smile Reminds me of happy days playing with those $%^@# gorillas and their bananas.
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30-08-2013, 07:17 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
OK, I've gotten the sequel bit down but I'm still not astonished. What am I missing here?

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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30-08-2013, 10:13 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Quote:Jesus is Lord.

Perhaps you are a Christian and deconverted but are still saved. I asked BB. Let's see what he does.
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30-08-2013, 10:24 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Quote: I'll try my hand at an analogy here. You tell me if it's a fair comparison or not.

You say a man is a just and loving husband because he only gives his wife one black eye; her other eye is unharmed. I say a man is a just husband because he never allows himself to harm his wife, period. Level playing field?

Absolutely. I love analogies. I would amend yours to:

A professor catches a cheating student and gives her an “F” though she deserves expulsion also. He tells her he wants her to learn from the experience so there is not expulsion--yet.

Or we could look at your analogy like this (context):

A husband sees his wife cheating and caught in the act he rushes to her and her lover. He grabs his wife and pulls her to his side to hug her and asks why she’s doing something so wicked. She yanks herself away from him and hits her face on a lampstand. She screams, “You gave me a black eye and I hate you!”

His wife tells everyone who will listen her husband gave her a black eye.

Quote: And my apologies for being rude. It accomplished nothing and added nothing to the debate. I'll focus on better behavior from my end

I sincerely appreciate that.

Quote: You certainly take your share of shit. I admire your tenacity. Being called illogical and irrelevant, however, means your arguments are failing. If you don't change your arguments or speak more clearly, expect 390 more comments along the same lines.

It’s funny. I use the same analogies with non-Christians who are also non-atheists and they say, “Good point” or “interesting” and turn down the assaults 90%.

Quote: There are more of you????

I'd send atheists to a christian site to show them what rudeness is, but I normally get banned after my introductory post that simply says "I'm an atheist looking to debate..." [BANNED].

Sucks. I’ve had the same experience on atheist forums! Well, I cannot apologize enough for moronic Christians who fear to defend what they believe, but even stupid Christians go to Heaven. Level field for everyone!

Quote: Oh, and...

Jesus is Lord.

It was directed @BB, who I think has deeper spiritual issues than many of the people on this forum. Let’s see if he might respond.
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