Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
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30-08-2013, 10:26 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Quote: 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.

“And time.”

I liked you better, Chas, when instead of mere insults, you came up with one liners. Not that you more than rarely say anything beyond a one liner…
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30-08-2013, 10:28 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Quote:
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 ?

I’d requested “Jesus is Lord”. Can you do it or should I call for Max von Sydow?
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30-08-2013, 10:30 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Quote: Jesus is Lord.

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.....

I’ll tell you this. You are consistent at being inconsistent.

“Lord Jesus, I hear Skippy’s request. I ask now in your Name that you NOT strike him down, though your will be done!”

Let’s see whose prayer is stronger, shall we?

PS. Lieutenant Dan pulled the same move you're pulling. In the morning, him and Forrest had themselves lots of shrimp aboard the Jenny.
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30-08-2013, 10:36 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Please Jesus, your god has created a mess of a world. He created beauty but made it impossible for vast numbers of humans to enjoy any of it by creating an environment of hate, poverty and disease.

Should such a god actually exist, he certainly screwed up badly and needs to fix shit before any sane human being would consider worshipping him.

[Image: dobie.png]

Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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30-08-2013, 11:04 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Quote: 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.

Kay.

Quote: 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.

What do you mean “a much less natural question to ask”? That almost sounds like some kind of empirical evidence you’re offering to prove suffering is bad, but I’m not sure. Tell me more.

Quote: 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.

How do you know a lion or snake cannot make a conscious choice?

Quote:(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.)

I’d agree with both parts actually, about lions and dogs! My question was a little annoying, I know, if TRUE. Yet atheists seem rather pissed off when the Bible standards of man as steward and man as the pinnacle of creation are discussed. Why that dichotomy, do you think?

Quote: 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? )

That’s why I asked. So, for example, if someone raped my teen daughter, you are proposing that I shouldn’t FEEL like they deserve punishment, which seems counterintuitive to me. Are you saying that logic is an evolved tool to overcome feelings? Or that I should have compassion on my enemies rather than compete with them in the Darwinist sense?

Quote: 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.

So, for example, you would commend an atheist who helped the poor or worked in medicine, rather than simply complain on a forum about suffering. I give income, time and instruct others to help the poor and needy. What advice would you give atheists on this forum who say god (if one exists) is responsible for our suffering and also that the same god would be responsible by implication for their own lack (some of them) of helping alleviate the suffering of our neighbors?

Quote: 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.
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.

Agreed, 100%. Which does lead to a follow-up thought. If these kinds of ideas are subjective and vary from person to person, what then gives a person the right to know de facto what an omnipotent being should have done or must do in these areas that we ourselves find subjective?

Quote: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.

I see. So if touching a stove hurts 15 times as much as that itch, I would say, “Wow, an appropriately evolved evolutionary response to a greater stimulus,” and you would say, “god screwed this up, if he exists. The hotter the stove, the more the suffering, even though that is a NATURAL consequence.”

In other words, pain AND suffering are typically natural consequences of natural laws. And if you say “typically? Not every time?” then you are ascribing supernatural causes to suffering.

Quote: 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.

But that’s not my creed, nor the creed of any born again Christian I’ve met in decades. They ALL add “just” and even “wrathful” (!) and NO atheists ever add “just” to omnipotence and love until I prompt them about five times.

We can love like 10-year-olds or we can evolve an informed viewpoint on love that sees it not as “love feels good and suffering feels bad” but rather, love makes sacrifices and tough calls. I LOVE my friends, so if I see them shooting heroin, I’ll yank the needle from their arm rather than sending them a greeting card sometime.

Or look at this resolution and tell me how it makes sense:

“A loving god who sincerely cares for people will eliminate all suffering in this life. So that should they die and suffer in Hell forever, they had no clear warning and couldn’t even understand what the word “suffering” meant in their language when Christians warned them of Hell.”

Quote: 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.

I would agree with you on two counts: 1) as you wrote, the suffering caused by a loving being must not slide over into cruel territory. 2) The amazing parsing here you made in decision making is something you said above a mere animal cannot do. Isn’t it interesting that atheists also love to point out on this forum that people and not mere animals also seem to be the only ones with a god delusion? Doesn’t Occam’s Razor suggest that our heightened sense of morals, decision making, and choices naturally leads us to yearn for understanding about god?

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

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.)

I see your “basic arguments”.

30 God knew we would suffer after the Fall. Of course.

40 God has multiple purposes for inflicting suffering. Yes.

Etc.

The real problem of course, in all the lines of code the one that is moot, that cannot be a yes/no, is that assumption that an omnipotent being is able to create a universe with people in it who don’t suffer!

Here’s some code and I’m trimming if/and loops and etc. for simplicity:

10 Is a part of omnipotence free will? Yes

20 Let’s be really sure about 10! Can an omnipotent being who cannot do what he wants (has no free will—is subservient to another being or a natural law of some type) be truly omnipotent? No.

30 If this omnipotent being can do what he wants and his nature is omni-good, will he take good actions most of the time if not all the time? Yes.

40 If people need to suffer for their immediate or their long-term benefit, will an all-omnipotent being with free will who also happens to have a very good nature CAUSE suffering willfully? Yes.

50 If Reltzik disagrees, as all atheists seem to do on the forum, that an omnipotent being is only omnipotent if they can do bad and good in equal measure, than what are the odds of being in a particular universe where there is suffering? 50/50.
60 50/50? Oh crap. We’re just in the wrong universe! I knew it!

God is a moral being. People are moral beings. Discussing their abilities to choose makes no sense with free will being part of reality. And certainly, I can make a judgment call on god’s nature, since atheists always return to “If god makes children suffer he’s a bad god.”

I have resolved, “god makes people suffer because he’s a good god.” Get it?
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30-08-2013, 11:05 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Quote: OK, I've gotten the sequel bit down but I'm still not astonished. What am I missing here?

That most of the atheists (not all) on this forum who posted in both threads would repeat themselves. Again. And again.
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30-08-2013, 11:09 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Quote: Please Jesus, your god has created a mess of a world. He created beauty but made it impossible for vast numbers of humans to enjoy any of it by creating an environment of hate, poverty and disease.

Should such a god actually exist, he certainly screwed up badly and needs to fix shit before any sane human being would consider worshipping him.

So… Dom… you are saying you know people who find it “impossible”, even “vast numbers” of people who find it “impossible” to enjoy “any of the world”.

I’d already cited (several times) that even a child who dies in their youth has many happy hours in life.

Are you going to stand behind all the “nevers” and absolutes in your statement, other than perhaps miscarried foetuses?

Who is the miserable person you know who finds it impossible to enjoy any part of anything in the world, and did they teach you apatheism? I mean, I feel sad for you. I’ve had smiles and laughter with precious people who were dying of terminal illnesses? Why do you live a life with no joy, and no hope?
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30-08-2013, 12:04 PM (This post was last modified: 30-08-2013 10:14 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
(30-08-2013 11:09 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote: Please Jesus, your god has created a mess of a world. He created beauty but made it impossible for vast numbers of humans to enjoy any of it by creating an environment of hate, poverty and disease.

Should such a god actually exist, he certainly screwed up badly and needs to fix shit before any sane human being would consider worshipping him.

So… Dom… you are saying you know people who find it “impossible”, even “vast numbers” of people who find it “impossible” to enjoy “any of the world”.

I’d already cited (several times) that even a child who dies in their youth has many happy hours in life.

Are you going to stand behind all the “nevers” and absolutes in your statement, other than perhaps miscarried foetuses?

Who is the miserable person you know who finds it impossible to enjoy any part of anything in the world, and did they teach you apatheism? I mean, I feel sad for you. I’ve had smiles and laughter with precious people who were dying of terminal illnesses? Why do you live a life with no joy, and no hope?

Many children do not enjoy anything, ever. They simply experience starvation and want from the first moment, until they die. Many are never aware of anything else.
Your god (were she to exist), provides them with NOTHING at all. Ever.
Oops. There's goes that argument. Your stupid "relative quantitative" (at least "some good") argument. That's the best your (religion) business can offer ? Not buying THAT crap.

As far as requesting "Jebus is lard" goes ...
Thanks for proving yet again SPJTJ ... you are not here to discuss anything. You want atheists to SUBMIT to the same unreasonable bullshit you bought when you bought the bill of goods. Whether they see it as a reasonable or sane thing to do is irrelevant. Just submit. Tell Jebus you trust him. That's all you want. Safety in numbers.

Get lost.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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30-08-2013, 12:44 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
(30-08-2013 11:09 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote: Please Jesus, your god has created a mess of a world. He created beauty but made it impossible for vast numbers of humans to enjoy any of it by creating an environment of hate, poverty and disease.

Should such a god actually exist, he certainly screwed up badly and needs to fix shit before any sane human being would consider worshipping him.

So… Dom… you are saying you know people who find it “impossible”, even “vast numbers” of people who find it “impossible” to enjoy “any of the world”.

I’d already cited (several times) that even a child who dies in their youth has many happy hours in life.

Are you going to stand behind all the “nevers” and absolutes in your statement, other than perhaps miscarried foetuses?

Who is the miserable person you know who finds it impossible to enjoy any part of anything in the world, and did they teach you apatheism? I mean, I feel sad for you. I’ve had smiles and laughter with precious people who were dying of terminal illnesses? Why do you live a life with no joy, and no hope?

My niece suffered through spinal meningitis from the moment she was born until the day she died, 16 months later. The awareness she had of this life had to have been pain and hopefully some measure of relief from that pain from time to time. I know she smiled and played, but on the inside she was dying as this bacterial infection that covered her brain and spinal cord slowly ended her life.

This natural world we live in has many wonderful things, but it also has deadly diseases and viruses and bacterial infections that are all NATURAL. And I'm glad they are, because that means we can defeat them. We can find cures and we have for many diseases. We have the potential to end much of the worlds suffering as time goes on, but only if people care more about others than they do about themselves.

It would seem to me that the supernatural, (that which is beyond the natural) cannot effect the natural by it's own definition.

Humans care for others and try to ease suffering. This is part of human nature.
If something supernatural exists, it will not have this natural property.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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30-08-2013, 03:13 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Dude seriously needs some Imodium, like a triple dose.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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