Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
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28-08-2013, 03:07 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
(28-08-2013 02:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  But since you’re focusing on my ideas about god and saying “The Holocaust could have been better” why is it a perceived threat to you for me to say “The Holocaust might have been worse”? Is that a fair playing ground in our debate, do you think?

Who said what about the holocaust is archived on this forum. I've never said it "could have been better" as an argument for any of my points.

(28-08-2013 02:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  I just wrote I’m NOT asking the mods to censor you and was using the term liberally. So I’ll back off my comments and apologize. But I will insist you not say my comments about rape in the context of blaming the rapist for exerting free will are offensive. That’s just being rude.

Rude is fine. You can be offensive and I can be rude. We can both take it. You can call me rude and point to my comments as your evidence. I'm fine with that. I'm not okay with words like 'hate speech.' Especially when my words are public record and very obviously not fitting of that criteria.

Don't ever accuse me of something that serious again.

(28-08-2013 02:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Um, no. I just felt the shoe fit. But don’t YOU believe in a level playing field? I have umpteen freethinkers down my throat and waiting for a slip up or no slip up to pounce. Is your chest not that broad? I’ve been called worse just today, here.

You chose to be here.

Someone called you names on the internet? Do tell... Tongue

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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28-08-2013, 03:16 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
(28-08-2013 01:49 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote: Neither your God nor any other directly causes suffering. All substantiated instances of suffering, and anything else that people might ultimately attribute to these figures, have immediate causes in the natural world, in a form indistinguishable from overall natural causation and a manner wholly consistent with said deities having taken not the least part in them, and for that matter consistent with them not existing at all. This may just possibly be because they don't actually exist.

Now, wait just a minute. If we take “Neither your God nor any other directly causes suffering” as TRUE, then there is NO WAY you can EVER have a problem of suffering with a god or deity, real or imagined. Be consistent.

If I shoot someone, the direct cause of that person's injuries is the bullet. The fact that I only INDIRECTLY caused the injuries does not negate my culpability, nor does it prevent my victim from having a problem with me for shooting them. Same for if we posit that God causes someone to be trapped in an avalanche. If God caused the avalanche, then God caused the suffering, albeit only indirectly, and one can question just how loving He is. But then, I don't think God did this either, because I don't think God exists.

(28-08-2013 01:49 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:And who, in your world view, was it that crafted the human character such that it would spend inheritances quickly, to needing hardship to stimulate achievement, et cetera? There is good reason to believe that these tendencies -- not whether they are overcome by individuals, but the fact that they exist to be overcome at all -- are genetically determined, rather than the consequence of individual human choices. If so, why does the necessity of hardship to promote innovation justify that hardship, if the necessity is not really necessity after all?

There are two possibilities. Human character is evolved toward survivability characteristics or god has a consistent economy where “sin” and “the fall” equals suffering as a result. And? I’m not sure I see your point. You can say I think god made us this way. That’s fine.

... but you missed the last sentence. If God chose to make us in a way that necessitated suffering... and God had the option of accomplishing all the same goals in some way that didn't necessitate suffering... and you're attempting to justify the suffering by explaining the suffering is necessary... then you're left with the question of why God would have chosen to create humanity such that we would require suffering at all, and this question undermines the "meaning"s of suffering you've proposed. From a logical standpoint, that leaves us right back where we started. I'm pointing out that your attempt to address the problem doesn't actually address it.

(28-08-2013 01:49 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:And it makes sense to call a believer who asks those questions in a genuine sense whiny, if it's in the tone of "I want so why ain't I getting?" When an atheist asks the question in the hypothetical sense and in the tone of "hey, this spiel you're trying to sell me doesn't add up, look at this here, isn't this inconsistent?" then that's not whining, that's critical thinking.

Well, what you wrote is critical thinking! “F you, you’re a moron, you have no logic, etc.” is whining. Do you disagree? I ask you, read the pages of posts on this thread so far and tell me everyone here who isn’t a Christian is consistent in applying critical thinking without emotionalism.

Oh, agreed, many of them are presently demonstrating more hostility than critical thinking. (Granted, a lot of them applied critical thinking early on, perhaps in the previous thread or to versions of this argument they heard before then, and are simply resting on those laurels until that critical thinking is significantly debunked, but I'll agree that their current posts aren't putting it front and center.) But that's a red herring. The comparison you were replying to here was how my pointing out the inconsistency was different from you asking your fellows about "why couldn't God have made us without the possibility for deafness?" in the sense of wishing that things were better. The fact that others have broken out the flames in no way matters to this.

(28-08-2013 01:49 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:In any case, I don't see how finding an advantage in suffering, such as stimulation towards innovation, doesn't count as seeking a silver lining.

“Meaning” is not a crutch or silver lining. It is one way in which all humans add purpose to their life. I know atheists regard with a skeptical eye (and they should!) the countless studies on meaning and purpose done by scientists, but meaning is important.

Note carefully I will hold you and me and all others to a consistent viewpoint here. If anyone’s resolution is “a loving god wouldn’t cause evil and suffering” those words have ascribed meaning and moral force to natural actions and results. When a lion bites a gazelle to feed upon it, the gazelle feels sharp pain. This is desirable from an evolutionary standpoint as a stimulus to fight or flight, etc.

Is it “evil” when a lion bites a gazelle? Then how can a naturalist ascribe meaning to human suffering and then demand that the Christian should avoid any different interpretation of meaning on subjective issues? Is that fair, do you think?

I will agree that there is significance and consequences to various events. I'll further agree that there are situations in which some behavior or event would only be present, or be more likely to be present, BECAUSE of a consequence it could be expected to achieve, such as the hunting instincts of a lion (yay evolution), and perhaps that could be called the instincts' purpose. I would not however automatically ascribe an intelligence behind these types of significance, consequence, or purpose. That a person is in pain can signify a serious medical condition, and trigger all sorts of positive outcomes, such as seeking medical care and having the condition addressed before it gets worse, and have the evolutionary purpose of warning the person not to move their body in a certain way. And it can also all sorts of negative consequences and significance, such as suffering and worry in their loved ones and possibly a horrific death. Suffering can signify things about the past, too, like shingles signifying that you had chicken pox as a child. In this manner, the existence of suffering can be taken to signify or mean that God (if He exists, which I of course do not grant) is not loving.

However, I don't think that's what you're getting at when you talk about meaning and purpose. What you seem to be doing is sifting through these things I mentioned, discarding all the negatives, and holding up the positives (what I call the silver linings) and arbitrarily choosing these to be identified as some sort of OBJECTIVE meaning and purpose, in the sense of "this was done with the deliberate intention of accomplishing such and such goal or conveying such and such message". Why not simply call decomposition the purpose of death or pain the meaning of a broken arm? Your entire methodology here (which strikes me as bewilderingly biased towards assuming every meaning and purpose is benevolent) seems to simply be to pick out positive consequences or significance that you can arbitrarily point to and call the purpose of something. All this, by the way, is before you ever try to bring God into the picture (unless it is as the declarer of "meaning" and "purpose"), and does not address the question of "why would omnipotent God choose a painful way of doing this, when He could choose a painless way of doing it?" It is a question you keep dodging.

A lion attacking and killing the gazelle is not pointlessly cruel, because the lion achieves a goal in this that cannot be achieved without some critter suffering. There is indeed a point. Nor would I say it is cruel at all, because the suffering is not itself a goal of the lion, simply a side effect of how the lion achieves the goal of a full belly. I would say that the lion is indifferent to the gazelle's suffering. The lion cannot be regarded as being loving towards the gazelle. (Save perhaps in a gastronomical sense, which is not the typical way in which God is described as loving people.) However, the the lion who has no alternative but to kill critters in order to live is a poor analogy for an omnipotent God choosing to create a world with suffering, who simply by being omnipotent would have an alternative.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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28-08-2013, 03:56 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
(28-08-2013 01:58 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote: I'll back off on this point actually, simply to avoid the tangent of objective versus subjective good and evil, which deserves a thread or five of its own. I'll rephrase to say that death might come to be viewed as a lesser of two evils, and I'll clarify that I'm using evil in the sense of "something perceived as a negative, harm, or ill outcome", with the subjective perceiver obviously being the person (or people) viewing death as the lesser of two evils. This is not to say one way or the other that it would actually be a lesser evil in any sort of objective sense, or even that the broad sense of the word evil that I'm using here is the only possible way to define evil.

If we cannot come to an agreement on some way to define evil, even just for this resolution, than how can we debate at all?

Because this conversation wasn't about evil, which suffers from multiple conflicting definitions and connotations. It's about suffering, and what constitutes a loving nature. I won't say that this is wholly unrelated to evil, but we hardly need to define evil to talk about suffering and loving natures.

(28-08-2013 01:58 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:In any event, I'm not maintaining that a hypothetical God would HAVE to alleviate suffering, or have no choice or free will in the matter. I'm saying that if a God did have a choice between inflicting suffering, or accomplishing the same purposes without that suffering (which would definitely be an alternative for an omnipotent being), and then of his own free will did choose to inflict suffering with all things being equal, that such a God would not be described as loving. Such a being would be at best indifferent. Free willed, but indifferent. (Or possibly pointlessly cruel. Pointlessly cruel's an option.)

Is that all anyone has in the atheist box today? And don’t you know, I considered these alternatives a dozen years ago? “God could have made a place where there is no suffering but he may just be a cruel being instead”.

Let’s reword as “God could have made a place where certain actions, unlike other actions, have no consequence.” For example, if I do something right for which I should feel joy, I feel joy, but if I kill a small child in a cradle, I don’t suffer from guilt.

THIS now abrogates Newton’s law about action and reaction! This makes life a crap shoot, doesn’t it? That’s an insane proposition. Please rephrase!

.... okay, first of all, Newton's 3rd law is entirely about mechanical physics, not psychology. It IS possible for someone to kill an infant in its cradle and feel no guilt afterwards. That's not a normal human reaction, and we might lament that it's possible, but it's been done.

Your rewording doesn't address why God created a world where infants are vulnerable to being killed in their cradles.

And the reason I (and I suspect others) keep reiterating the point, is that it is a highly relevant counter to both this thread's original concept and the previous one's, and you've never addressed it. Rather, you've made several attempts to address it, and each one not only fails to address it but can be directly dismantled by it. This makes your choices of counterarguments inexplicable, unless you don't understand the argument at all. It's like you're faced with the problem of trying to build a barrier to keep out a raging fire, and your first attempt is to stop it with a wall of wax (which melts), your second step is to attempt to construct a wall out of filled oil drums, your third attempt is to make a web out of twine... it suggests you don't understand the nature of the fire and what it's capable of at all. Your counterarguments of how suffering can be a learning experience, or an impetus to innovate, or so on, are not only insufficient to demolish the argument, but are themselves demolished by it. That's why it keeps getting repeated: because you keep bringing forward things that it addresses.

.... it seems our back-and-forth has gotten separated into multiple posts per exchange. I'll have to consolidate them tomorrow.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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28-08-2013, 04:16 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
(28-08-2013 02:33 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote: Really there is Justice? I would say such is an unreachable ideal. Millions of children suffering for no reason is justice when, if what you claim is true, there is a being that could end it? No, my sad little apologist there can be no justice in a world with suffering when it is well within the scope to relieve it. So again I pose this question, knowing full well you will never even attempt to answer it honestly. Is your God evil or incompetent?

So to you there is NO justice in a world with ANY suffering in it? Does that seem like a balanced view to you? It sounds like your (hypothetical) deity really has no love in it at all!

I demand justice for paedophiles. I demand justice and possible rehabilitation for criminals.

To answer your question, by the way, my god could be incompetent but not evil, since “evil” is a moral term a naturalist cannot hold to with authority. Maybe rephrase your resolution?

Why did your god create pedophiles and criminals?

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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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28-08-2013, 04:22 PM
Re: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Pj if you have had family memberd go through suffering that was harsh to you it's far less likely your view is from logical perspectives. . It further adds thought that you are simply rationalizing ideas in the way that makes you feel good about the issues suffering. You view God the way it fits best to you while other actual believers, unlike many here, completely disagree with you for other reasons.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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29-08-2013, 11:52 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
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?
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29-08-2013, 11:58 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Quote: Genetic counseling wasn't an option for most of human history. Trying to inject free will is a big stretch here.

I used the word “sometimes” accordingly. So, okay, god is 100% responsible for all genetic defects. We’ll take Adam and Eve out of it. Why do you say all genetic defects are “bad”?

I think you’re being anthropocentric, too. Maybe we’ll all get defects and die and let the roaches take over as the superior species. And you say you’re a committed Darwinist? Are you sure?

Quote: Truly sorry for your loss.

Thank you. It wasn’t just a loss but a gain. That’s my point. No freethinker has yet responded to my resolution:

“Some suffering has meaning some of the time. Not all suffering is bad.”

I mean, in your “an omnipotent god could eliminate all suffering” you are now making paedophiles and serial killers experience joy but not suffering? Do you get my meaning here? I wouldn’t cry myself to sleep at night if certain people suffer a little. I am to pray for my enemies, and when one suffers I pray for relief for them and for salvation…

Quote: Fortunately, we have the ability to make some of their lives better. See, that's an option too. Extermination is obscene; why do you keep bringing it up?

Medicine, science, and human compassion. Real things I believe in. No god required.

The first two are not in any part of nature that we know of except for man. If you’re saying those are the solutions to problems, evolution sure waiting a few billion years. How do you account for that shortfall?
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29-08-2013, 12:00 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Quote:Again, we honestly do not believe in "God"...fucking seriously...we don't. You NEED to understand that.

We "blame" (for lack of a more correct expression) everyting on anything other than "God" because we honestly don't believe "God" exist.

Seriously. Stop saying that shit. It's stupid. It's stupid that you keep talking that way. We don't believe in "God" so we don't blame "God" for anything, because if we were to blame "God" for anything we would be blaming nothing. Contrastly when you give credit to "God" for anything, or for everything, then you are giving credit to nothing...at all... There is nothing there.

We blame "God" for nothing because "God" is not a thing that actually exist, and you give credit to nothing because "God" is not a thing that actually exist.

The difference is that we understand that there is no "God" to give credit or blame to. You do not. We give credit or "blame" (again for lack of a more correct expression) to the actual causes of them as best we can describe and recognize them. You give credit and "blame" to nothing. You are wasting your life on a fantasy, a fiction.

Again, it's not "God" that we give a shit about. Because who losses sleep about the nonexistant unicorn? It's people's fucked up belief in a non-existant "God" that we care about, and in particular how it is expressed in the real world.

People who believe in this non-existant "God" act out "his" made up, not real, "will" on the rest of the population and force them to live, believe, and act in accordance with a made up nothingness. Do "this", and do "that" because the great, "not-actually-real-thing" in the sky, where "it" doesn't actually reside, because it doesn't actually exist anyway, has not actually told you to do it, because "it" can't because "it's" not a thing that exist in universe, but you must obey our made up concept of "it" anyway because WE ACTUAL REAL PEOPLE WILL PRETEND LIKE "HE" IS REAL AND WILL FUCK WITH YOU IF YOU DON'T PRETEND ALONG WITH US, there by acting out "his" nonexistent athority on earth which is really just us making up a non-real entity and fucking with you if you don't go along with us.

To be clearer. It is you people who pretend "God" exist and force this bullshit on the rest of us that piss us off. It's not "God" that pisses us off (he can't because he doesn't exist). It is you (using the universal "you" there) and other religious people who piss us off because the "thoughts and feelings" of "God" do not reside in "God" (because "he" does not exist), they reside in you.

Um, is that why you never get my Bible context? Because the Bible is consistent if you start with the hypothetical that a superior being wrote it. That explains much.

And my point stands, which was no freethinker around here seems to blame any suffering on anyone but the “god concept”. Do you REALLY look at a paedophile and blame a god concept or religious instruction for that? Really? Really?!
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29-08-2013, 12:04 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer? [The Astonishing Sequel]
Quote: As I said, pathetic and lame, SexuallyPleasingJebusTrollJoke. Fail.
When it's convenient to say your deity intervenes in the natural world, you claim it. When it isn't, you claim things are just part of the "natural world".
You think we don't see that inconsistency, and that when it's convenient, you pretend your deity isn't really in charge. You are inconsistent, and totally intellectually dishonest. You have nothing to offer. Nothing. FAR more intelligent men of faith have tried and failed at the question of suffering, including the writers of Job. No answer really. You haven't even gotten to first base. Give it up. You are incompetent, as a "preacher-man". In WAY over his head. Try to tell your CRAP, to the 7 year old, HIMSELF, or his parents. You have no clue what the life of the 7 year old consisted of. Many babies die with NO life. They certainly experience no joy. Take away the fallacy of "you'll soon be with Jebus". (you do know your cult did not believe in immortality until very very late in the game), and what have you got ? NOTHING. You have not explained WHY HE GOT AML IN THE FIRST PLACE. You can't carry an argument to save your soul. Always jumping to something that has NOTHING to do with the subject at hand, (my kids). You can't even decide which side to argue from.
So that's it ? That's all ya got ? You have nothing to offer to the question of either suffering or evil, except your tired old platitudes you memorized 50 years ago. You got nuthin.

Well, I have two live children and one dead one. You?

And when I denote the natural world, I’m showing a good “faith” in looking at each issue from both sides. Of course, the naturalist side fails. Deal with it, why don’tcha?

I have a lot to offer on this issue of suffering. While I showed those on this forum respect and address the grey areas, and then got chewed on like you just did now, I can be more laser-like in focus:

“God causes suffering but suffering is necessary, even vital.”

Since you’re a naturalist, you’d agree with this part,

“…suffering is necessary, even vital”

or are you disagreeing that suffering is an evolved response to stimulus that enhances survivability?
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29-08-2013, 12:09 PM (This post was last modified: 29-08-2013 07:23 PM by Bucky Ball.)
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?

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.

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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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