Why Must Children Suffer?
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20-08-2013, 01:54 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:Messianic cult figures are the exact opposite of naturalism. Top-down dictated ideology based on enduring toil and torment with the promise of a future paradise. I wonder where they got the idea?

But Christianity does not offer paradise based on toil. It's a free gift:

"For the price is sin is Hell, but the free gift of Heaven comes through Jesus our Lord." - Romans 6:23

I hope and pray you see the problem here. Salvation is absolutely a free gift taken by free will.

Quote:Stalinism repudiated Darwin, not that I'd expect you to know that, and as for Hitler, I guess it was a typo when the Nazis inscribed Gott Mitt Uns on everything?

If by "repudiated" you mean "regretted" Darwinist agrarian policies and practices and a quote like this:

**In the book published in Moscow entitled "Landmarks in the Life of Stalin" (1940), describes Stalin's exchange with a fellow pupil.**

"I began to speak of God. Joseph heard me out, and after a moment's silence, said:

"'You know, they are fooling us, there is no God. '"

"I was astonished at these words. I had never heard anything like it before.

"'How can you say such things, Soso?' I exclaimed.

"'I'll lend you a book to read; it will show you that the world and all living things are quite different from what you imagine, and all this talk about God is sheer nonsense,' Joseph said.

"'What book is that?' I enquired.

"'Darwin. You must read it,' Joseph impressed on me." says G. Glurdjidze.

...You've got something there.

Quote:and as for Hitler, I guess it was a typo when the Nazis inscribed Gott Mitt Uns on everything?

Hitler’s Table Talk is a compilation of sayings by Hitler in private conversations that were recorded by other Nazis. It is a good source for what Hitler really thought.

“…the only way of getting rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little.” -Hitler’s Table Talk, pg 61

“It’s Christianity that’s the liar. It’s in perpetual conflict with itself.” -Hitler’s Table Talk, pg 61

“In the long run, National Socialism and religion will no longer be able to exist together.” -Hitler’s Table Talk, pg 6

“Kerrl, with the noblest of intentions, wanted to attempt a synthesis between National Socialism and Christianity. I don’t believe the thing’s possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself.” -Hitler’s Table Talk, pg 145

“As far as we are concerned, we’ve succeeded in chasing the Jews from our midst and excluding Christianity from our political life.” -Hitler’s Table Talk, pg 394

“There is something very unhealthy about Christianity.” -Hitler’s Table Talk, pg 418

Quote:Glib and self-assured illusions are so much more comfortable than reality. It's understandable you'd cling to them.

Is that going to continue to be the typical Atheist manner in which to end a post? A generalization and an ad hom?

Reality is the naturalist needs to stop complaining about suffering, or else admit they maintain a double standard and use it against theists while maintaining suffering is an evolutionary necessity.
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20-08-2013, 01:56 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:It's so nice to have a loving, benevolent God with the wisdom and compassion to separate children from evil in heaven, isn't it?

Bullshit! If he was all that, he would separate them here on Earth too!

1. You have a problem of infinite regression there, how much separation from suffering and pain do you demand for the children?

2. How do you know God hasn't minimized sin and suffering to the greatest possible extant possible for His free will creatures?

3. Will you not admit that if we come to your naturalist viewpoint instead of mine, that children may suffer or even be eaten by adults for food and that this is evolution at its level best?
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20-08-2013, 01:58 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(20-08-2013 12:34 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Wasn't your original statement, "It is a gift..." and not "not always a gift..."? Regardless, I apologize. Life is not a gift. It is meaningless as it should be for the naturalist.

I definitely consider it a gift and I did say that in my first post; it is meaningful to me. But that only applies to me. For some, life is a horrible experience. I think where you struggle is accepting that I find meaning without a deity, god, or higher calling. I don't think we are important. I don't think the universe was created for us. I don't think the rest of the universe even knows we're here.

(20-08-2013 12:34 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Not at all. There are subtleties here and gray areas. For example, a young person who trusts in Christ at age eight, and is raped at age nine by a pastor. I'd expect her to live a life of anger and bitterness, and even to be a leading poster on a forum like this one. Then she would die and go to Heaven. No, free will is part of the puzzle, as it sovereignty of the divine and our life experience. I witness of my free will and you may trust Christ of your free will.

Why do you witness? What is your goal?

(20-08-2013 12:34 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  However, you should personally be grateful to God because I'm on this forum to help you. Smile (Don't go off on that last, please.)

How helpful do you feel you've been during your time here?

(20-08-2013 12:34 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  It's hardly one of the biggest issues Christianity faces. As I've stated elsewhere in this thread, one may respond maturely to the suffering of others or whine in a babyish fashion when dealing with the vagaries of life. Have you never met an Atheist parent who had a small child who died in their youth and still felt a sense of gratitude for having shared in their life? Did a child who died at six not experience joy for the previous five years at all? Did no one say, "They'll never have to experience other heartbreaks of adulthood, thank goodness..."?

You love to make light of difficult topics. There are children who die at the age of six who do not experience joy. And you consider it whining for me to complain about that fact?

(20-08-2013 12:34 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  This "issue" is little more than a stick wielded by Atheists against God believers of all sorts. All it does is underscore the problem that they find suffering and pain utterly meaningless and uncomfortable, and indeed are unfirm in their resolve.

No, it underscores the contradiction between your claims and reality. I've seen how casually you dismiss human suffering. You even tried to put a silver lining on the holocaust. It's not a stick, it's a nuke, and I've yet to see a theist offer a satisfactory explanation.

(20-08-2013 12:34 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  A mature response might be, "Okay, pain and suffering do have meaning in my naturalist worldview as they are a part of the cycle of life and death. Also, it sounds like theists have some strong beliefs about the meaning of pain as well. Let's move on..."

I will not move on. Unequal pain, misery, and suffering do not make sense based on the claims the bible makes about god. You may give up your line of reasoning, but calling it "immature, whining" etc. in an attempt to get me to drop the subject is childish.

(20-08-2013 12:34 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  But this whole, "If there was a God, I wouldn't worship Him, not because of the Bible issues I see, but because I'm intolerant of the way He runs life and death systems," is mind-bogglingly immature. Do you disagree?

I disagree. And the bible issues are just as effective an influence on my atheism as the imbalance of suffering in human life. Bible issues, however, only apply to your god. Dismissing other gods is something I'm sure you can relate to.

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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20-08-2013, 02:10 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote: PJ - OK I'm convinced that this is troll behavior. Whether the intent is to be a troll or not, there is no genuine attempt to learn here PJ.

You skip over the good points made and then cherry pick something, twist it, and then misuse it to make a point completely off the topic because you don't have a good answer for the question.

I reiterate, you jumped on the bandwagon to say that Catholic Child-Molesters are bad, and I pointed out that the Catholic church is just literally following your bible as written by Paul. To be clear, the verses (1 Corinthians 7:32 - 35) are:

"But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord."

To be clear, we need to secure "UNDISTRACTED DEVOTION TO THE LORD."
So the question remains - how can their be such widespread molestation by Priests in the Catholic Church when:

1. These people pray to your God for strength.
2. They are directly observing Paul's direction that is better for them to remain unmarried.
3. They are still molesting children.
So the question remains - how can their be such widespread molestation by Priests in the Catholic Church when:

1. These people pray to your God for strength.
2. They are directly observing Paul's direction that is better for them to remain unmarried.
3. They are still molesting children.
Double standard. I’m a “troll” but these “good priests” pray for strength. I’m not a Catholic nor can I be in good conscience because child molesting priests are not going to Heaven and are not saved.
But you are bringing up a raw issue here, and it is this—from a naturalist’s perspective, the priests are having offspring via intercourse, and cannot help this evolved desire, being animals and needing to breed based on millions of years of evolutionary stimuli.
Quote: Help me understand how this honest attempt to follow scripture went so wrong.

Now a human social scientist would say, well clearly if you remove men from all sexual relationships and then put them in close proximity in private situations with young boys, there will be a strong statistical correlation in the increase of sexual molestation. Similarly, when you put men in prison where they cannot have sex with women, there will be statistical increase of men who consider themselves heterosexual having homosexual sex in prison. There is no supernatural answer - no answer to prayer, no holy spirit "guiding their word and deed," no statistical correlation whatsoever. Conclusion? NO HOLY SPIRIT AND PAUL WAS WRONG. Just men doing men things.

Secondly, you take the bait on my sarcastic comment that "It IS survival of the fittest" and say that is the naturalist's worldview. You are really good at creating straw men, but horrible at identifying them. Your statement presupposes that morality is impossible if not derived from a pronouncement from God. Yet you conveniently ignore all morality that you create yourself. Do you believe in slavery? Do you believe in raping women and getting away with it without criminal punishment? Do you believe in Genocide in the name of God?

NO? Well why not? This are all clearly approved of in the Bible. From whence cometh your ethics then? Oh, of course, from the COMMUNITY in which you live and the ethics of YOUR DAY. A consensus of belief has developed around you, and you have internalized it as something from God. How convenient. My morality is much more in tune with the consensus of my day than with the bible and so is yours. The only difference is, I recognize it and you don't.
The scriptures are also clear that an elder of the church must have but one wife. Celibacy for pastors is not biblical. You hit the nail on the head. I agree with the above, a married man has some more outlets for sexual activity than for temptation.
Quote: Secondly, you take the bait on my sarcastic comment that "It IS survival of the fittest" and say that is the naturalist's worldview. You are really good at creating straw men, but horrible at identifying them. Your statement presupposes that morality is impossible if not derived from a pronouncement from God. Yet you conveniently ignore all morality that you create yourself. Do you believe in slavery? Do you believe in raping women and getting away with it without criminal punishment? Do you believe in Genocide in the name of God?

NO? Well why not? This are all clearly approved of in the Bible. From whence cometh your ethics then? Oh, of course, from the COMMUNITY in which you live and the ethics of YOUR DAY. A consensus of belief has developed around you, and you have internalized it as something from God. How convenient. My morality is much more in tune with the consensus of my day than with the bible and so is yours. The only difference is, I recognize it and you don't.
My statement that naturalism makes meat of people and the fittest eat meat does not presuppose theistic-driven morality. It excludes it. Take away God and you have a naturalist worldview. Will you continue to sidestep it?

And, your morality is—like you stated—from the ethics of your day, or your own imaginings. It is “unnatural”.

And no, I don’t believe in genocide in the name of God, since in the Bible the Israelites “genocided” people who were giants with iron chariots, fortified cities and fierce weapons. They were so afraid to fight these monsters they disobeyed the call of God to fight and wandered 40 years in the desert, a point that most Atheists and liberals conveniently forgot. Tell me the truth, you forgot this too, right? It was a way and you might get away with calling it a just war or a holy war but a genocide? Never.
Quote: Last, in your posts you posit that people are being rude and unkind to you. This is a CLASSIC CHRISTIAN HIGH HORSE argument that atheists are arrogant, close-minded, rude to Christians, etc. I would refer you to many of the Christian web-sites I have visited where the call to action is that "atheists deserve death" and worse, and direct threats from people saying they will follow this call to action.
But as a class of people on this website, they are. About three of you have reasonable discourse with me and use logic and science and the rest are so vile they’d never behave that way with their friends…

By the way, any Christian who says “atheists deserve death” is understating the case. ALL PEOPLE deserve death except Christ, who became death for us to pay for our sin. Romans 6:23 again.
Quote: Further, you are being challenged directly and honestly about specific ideas - and you float around the periphery needling people instead of addressing the arguments, like the argument I just remade above that you conveniently ignored. So a post that starts as a genuine attempt to address and answer questions quickly devolves, because everyone can see that you are not making a genuine attempt to address what we perceive to be gaping faults in the christian claims, and instead you insert little emotional ditties like "It is finished." If you aren't going to make a good faith effort to engage the actual ideas, this is intellectual dishonesty and is probably the worst intellectual sin a person can make to a skeptic. If you continue in this vain, I would expect the harassment to get worse rather than better - and in my view it will be fully merited.
Be careful, it sounds like you are advocating disrespect and harassment there. I think I’ll modify what you said to “I want to whine because you snip my posts and answer others more fully.”  Need I remind you that there are about three of us Christians on here who have to respond to dozens of posts in a single thread? Are you sure you don’t want to revert to saying I write TOO MUCH and answer TOO MANY questions in this thread? You are being categorically unfair.
Quote: Why someone who comes onto a pro-atheism forum, starts threads and then makes idiomatic statements without support or logic is beyond me, except if my first assumption is true, you are just acting trollish because you get a kick out of pissing off atheists. If that's the case I have better things to do with my time. I'm 90% convinced..BUT..the reason I stayed this far is the other 10% chance that you are doing your best to figure out the religion of your parents and defend it, but have genuine questions about its veracity. If that is the case, I would strongly suggest engaging the issues directly and not superfluous arguments that revolve around who hurt who's feelings. My 2 cents.
I don’t have hurt feelings but an occasional smack down against some, not all of you, does a body good. The scriptures also say “reprove a mocker lest he be wise in his own eyes.” I do want to exhibit respect to you on this forum, but… well, let’s just say I make up for it when I preach publicly and Atheists throw things, curse and jeer while I smile and exhibit the love of Christ.
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20-08-2013, 02:15 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(20-08-2013 01:54 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:Messianic cult figures are the exact opposite of naturalism. Top-down dictated ideology based on enduring toil and torment with the promise of a future paradise. I wonder where they got the idea?

But Christianity does not offer paradise based on toil. It's a free gift:

"For the price is sin is Hell, but the free gift of Heaven comes through Jesus our Lord." - Romans 6:23

I hope and pray you see the problem here. Salvation is absolutely a free gift taken by free will.

But I can accept Jesus and still sin. Does half of me go to heaven and half to hell? Do I go to both? Is it like Schroedinger's Soul, both at once? Quantum afterlife?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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20-08-2013, 02:22 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:I definitely consider it a gift and I did say that in my first post; it is meaningful to me. But that only applies to me. For some, life is a horrible experience. I think where you struggle is accepting that I find meaning without a deity, god, or higher calling. I don't think we are important. I don't think the universe was created for us. I don't think the rest of the universe even knows we're here.
Then why not be consistent in that worldview and say, “I agree with PJ. Pain and suffering for a child are [ultimately] meaningless…”?
Quote: Why do you witness? What is your goal?
To represent.
Quote: How helpful do you feel you've been during your time here?
I’ve gotten some public and private messages that I’m bringing some interesting discourse and am unafraid to go toe-to-toe in our marketplace of ideas. Admit it, since Muslims and non-Messianic Jews and Buddhists have little to offer you in the way of salvation, we Christians make it interesting around here. Wouldn’t you be bored to have only Atheists on this forum giving their testimonies and complaints to one another?
Quote: You love to make light of difficult topics. There are children who die at the age of six who do not experience joy. And you consider it whining for me to complain about that fact?
Which child do you know who was ill from birth to six and never had an iota of joy? And yes, if you’re an Atheist why are you complaining? And to whom are you complaining? You “don't think the rest of the universe even knows we're here” so on what basis are you offering us your complaints?

And maybe my personal suffering would be lessened if you’d stop complaining! Would you dare visit the bedside of a sick child and tell the parents during your hospital visit that the suffering has no meaning for them, and that if there was a God you’d complain to Him on their behalf? (I know some Atheists who would, Love forgive them…)

Is it any wonder Christians find that Atheists range from complaining, whiny children to vicious narcissists? Look, I’m not trying to offend you, just to be honest with you… that’s how your arguments would come off in this thread to someone who is sick who reads them.
Quote: No, it underscores the contradiction between your claims and reality. I've seen how casually you dismiss human suffering. You even tried to put a silver lining on the holocaust. It's not a stick, it's a nuke, and I've yet to see a theist offer a satisfactory explanation.
Then we’re even, because there is not one naturalist explanation for the suffering of children offered on this thread except for the ones I proffered in my first post!

What is YOUR reason why children suffer? And how do your reasons subvert the conclusions I offered with my first post?
Quote: I will not move on. Unequal pain, misery, and suffering do not make sense based on the claims the bible makes about god. You may give up your line of reasoning, but calling it "immature, whining" etc. in an attempt to get me to drop the subject is childish.
I’m not asking you to drop the subject. I’m asking you to drop the double standard:

1. Pain is an evolutionary response and a necessity in an evolutionary economy

2. Therefore, it is hypocritical to say “Christians can’t solve this problem” since it isn’t a problem!
Quote: I disagree. And the bible issues are just as effective an influence on my atheism as the imbalance of suffering in human life. Bible issues, however, only apply to your god. Dismissing other gods is something I'm sure you can relate to.
I certainly can. We have much in common, you and I.

Naturalist: All religions are BS.

Christian: Most religions are BS.

And there you go…
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20-08-2013, 05:02 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(20-08-2013 02:22 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Then why not be consistent in that worldview and say, “I agree with PJ. Pain and suffering for a child are [ultimately] meaningless…”?

I think you overlooked something in my very first response. I can see how you missed it. I said:
"These deaths make sense in a world subject to the simple and uncaring rules of nature."

Pain and suffering for all of us is, on a grand scale, meaningless. That doesn't mean I have to like or accept it. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy my life.

(20-08-2013 02:22 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Admit it, since Muslims and non-Messianic Jews and Buddhists have little to offer you in the way of salvation, we Christians make it interesting around here. Wouldn’t you be bored to have only Atheists on this forum giving their testimonies and complaints to one another?

Muslims and Buddhists have a lot to offer. I'm fascinated by Buddhism. I don't think they'd appreciate you speaking for them.

My favorite content on this forum is the "Recovering from religion," followed closely by this section. I've learned a lot about biblical history and have seen some great displays of empathy for those suffering from the emotional side effects of religion. All this from atheists, no less.

(20-08-2013 02:22 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  And yes, if you’re an Atheist why are you complaining? And to whom are you complaining? You “don't think the rest of the universe even knows we're here” so on what basis are you offering us your complaints?

I'm "complaining" to you, in this thread. I'll continue to "complain" here, in this forum, as long as you continue to make a case for your god.

(20-08-2013 02:22 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  And maybe my personal suffering would be lessened if you’d stop complaining! Would you dare visit the bedside of a sick child and tell the parents during your hospital visit that the suffering has no meaning for them, and that if there was a God you’d complain to Him on their behalf? (I know some Atheists who would, Love forgive them…)

Really?

Would you dare go to a rape victim and inform her that her attacker will be welcomed into heaven because he accepted Christ while in his holding cell? That her rape couldn't be prevented by god because he wants the rapist to have free will?

Would you dare stand over a cancer-stricken Buddhist and tell them they'll burn in eternal hell if they don't accept Christ into their heart before they die?

Would you dare tell a church full of Muslims that they and their children are damned for not accepting Christ?

(20-08-2013 02:22 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Is it any wonder Christians find that Atheists range from complaining, whiny children to vicious narcissists?

Spare me. You wouldn't believe the things christians have said to me when I tell them I'm an atheist. Yet here I am, still willing to debate with a christian and not call you names or swear at you. I will, however, attack your statements and ideas.

And here you are, labeling me 'whiny' and 'narcissist' because I dare to question why a god would allow children to suffer. Hmm...

(20-08-2013 02:22 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  What is YOUR reason why children suffer?

"These deaths make sense in a world subject to the simple and uncaring rules of nature."
No reason. They suffer because they are unlucky, born into unfortunate circumstances beyond their control.

(20-08-2013 02:22 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Therefore, it is hypocritical to say “Christians can’t solve this problem” since it isn’t a problem!

It is a problem if you believe in a god. You want me to believe in your god? No solution required. Just offer a reasonable explanation.

You haven't yet.

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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20-08-2013, 05:57 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(20-08-2013 01:54 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  But Christianity does not offer paradise based on toil. It's a free gift:

"For the price is sin is Hell, but the free gift of Heaven comes through Jesus our Lord." - Romans 6:23

I hope and pray you see the problem here. Salvation is absolutely a free gift taken by free will.

You can quote Romans 6:23, and I can quote Acts 14:22 or the parable of the sower. Cherry-picking scriptural extracts is not a productive discourse.

(20-08-2013 01:54 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  If by "repudiated" you mean "regretted" Darwinist agrarian policies and practices and a quote like this:

**In the book published in Moscow entitled "Landmarks in the Life of Stalin" (1940), describes Stalin's exchange with a fellow pupil.**

"I began to speak of God. Joseph heard me out, and after a moment's silence, said:

"'You know, they are fooling us, there is no God. '"

"I was astonished at these words. I had never heard anything like it before.

"'How can you say such things, Soso?' I exclaimed.

"'I'll lend you a book to read; it will show you that the world and all living things are quite different from what you imagine, and all this talk about God is sheer nonsense,' Joseph said.

"'What book is that?' I enquired.

"'Darwin. You must read it,' Joseph impressed on me." says G. Glurdjidze.

...You've got something there.

Oh, a single anecdote of hearsay from an unattributed author. Let's contrast that with twenty years of official state policy while we're at it.

Stalin was a disaffected seminary dropout whose paranoia extended to any possible alternate power structure. He suffered the Russian Church only in the midst of an apocalyptic war of survival.

I still fail to see how anything to do with him is germane.

(20-08-2013 01:54 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:and as for Hitler, I guess it was a typo when the Nazis inscribed Gott Mitt Uns on everything?

Hitler’s Table Talk is a compilation of sayings by Hitler in private conversations that were recorded by other Nazis. It is a good source for what Hitler really thought.

“…the only way of getting rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little.” -Hitler’s Table Talk, pg 61

“It’s Christianity that’s the liar. It’s in perpetual conflict with itself.” -Hitler’s Table Talk, pg 61

“In the long run, National Socialism and religion will no longer be able to exist together.” -Hitler’s Table Talk, pg 6

“Kerrl, with the noblest of intentions, wanted to attempt a synthesis between National Socialism and Christianity. I don’t believe the thing’s possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself.” -Hitler’s Table Talk, pg 145

“As far as we are concerned, we’ve succeeded in chasing the Jews from our midst and excluding Christianity from our political life.” -Hitler’s Table Talk, pg 394

“There is something very unhealthy about Christianity.” -Hitler’s Table Talk, pg 418

If nothing else (that is, complicity of church hierarchies in Nazi activities notwithstanding) the point is that the statement "Hitler was atheist" is exactly as false as the statement "Hitler was Christian". It's a misdirect which proves nothing. It's also irrelevant. Wehrmacht belt buckles among other things literally said "God is with us". That is a fact. So clearly somebody thought that was so... Naziism is a faith-based anti-scientific totalitarian ideology. Rejection of inconvenient science for prior political and ideological reasons; you know what we don't call that? Naturalism. Such a conflation is delusional or malicious.

(20-08-2013 01:54 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Is that going to continue to be the typical Atheist manner in which to end a post? A generalization and an ad hom?

Even if Hitler and Stalin and Mao had a secret meeting in 1925 and swore to each other that all their future acts would be governed by their strict adherence to 'naturalism' as they understood it, and they later buried the secret records in New Swabia and we found it verbatim tomorrow - that would still have nothing to do with the evolving consensus of actual scientists. Alluding that it does is disingenuous.

You repeatedly and consistently misunderstand fundamental scientific and historical realities. You're not stupid enough to be doing so genuinely. Therefore it is deliberate. That is a character flaw. Deal with it.

(20-08-2013 01:54 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Reality is the naturalist needs to stop complaining about suffering, or else admit they maintain a double standard and use it against theists while maintaining suffering is an evolutionary necessity.

This, finally, in defiance of the nonsense above, contains a worthwhile kernel.

It still isn't a double standard, though. If suffering is an evolutionary necessity - I agree that the statement is substantially true, but it is contingent on the definitions of suffering, evolution, and necessity - then suffering is explicable. The human desire to reduce suffering in others is just as natural.

In a theistic universe suffering is not necessary. It is included in reality by the whim of an all-powerful creator.

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20-08-2013, 09:23 PM (This post was last modified: 20-08-2013 09:27 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(20-08-2013 12:20 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:You're quite right that it's not a problem in a naturalist perspective. It's only a problem from a certain kind of theistic perspective, and would tend to either contradict that perspective or characterize the theist's deity as indifferent or actively cruel. That is why atheists can and do wield it against that particular perspective. It's a bit like an antibody in the atheist's immune system. Not at all a problem for the atheist, but quite effective against a certain breed of virus.

1. Agreed, as stated in my first post, a naturalist should never have a problem with suffering and pain, unless:

2. They tack it onto theology as exclusively a theist's issue, thereby promoting a double standard.

The difference is a Christian can see meaning to suffering in either perspective. Grandpa is ill and experiencing great pain before he dies:

If he's lost, he's getting a wake up call.

If he's a believer, he's looking forward to Heaven.

Other than the fact of the Holy Spirit comforting the one in pain, something I've seen many times, literally and figuratively easing pain, suffering can have meaning and be that simple. Does a child have to suffer to taste Hell, since they die and go to Heaven? I'm tempted to say no. But do the scriptures comment here?

"It's through many hardships that we must enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

Thanks for agreeing with me and for admitting that Atheists maintain a double standard in this area.

....

Okay. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you were not DELIBERATELY misinterpreting what I said. I don't have much reason to do so, and am frankly inclined to do the opposite, but it's better to assume ignorance than malice, so there you go. I will now attempt to clarify my earlier comments, and I hope (but don't expect) that you will not go on to misinterpret this clarification (deliberately or honestly) in a creatively new way, or to mischaracterize it as a reversal of anything I've said.

When I was talking about "having a problem with suffering" and not having a problem with it, I was not discussing this on an emotional level. At all. I was discussing it in terms of consistency of paradigm. In other words, the fact that suffering exists does not undermine a naturalist view, because there is nothing in that view that would suggest that suffering would not exist. But it does cast doubt on the existence of a loving, omnipotent deity, because one might conclude that the existence of such a being would create an agency that world forestall suffering. Since suffering is not forestalled, one then has a (further) basis to question the existence of this being. How MUCH of a problem this presents, whether it is resolvable or not without serious modification of that world view, is certainly debatable. But the fact that this problem is presented as an inconsistency with a paradigm, rather than emotionally having a problem with suffering, is not.

To reiterate, the only problems that I was talking about, were problems of consistency of world views or concepts. I was making no comment -- at all -- about you or I or naturalists or supernaturalists or any human having a problem with suffering on an emotional, sympathetic, aesthetic, idealistic, moral, and/or personal level. Just in terms of whether the existence of suffering tends to contradict one's world views. My earlier comments will bear this out in careful review. (Assuming that there was a careful view in the first place, which I doubt.)

We are most certainly not in agreement on the points you claim that we are in agreement on.

Naturalism has no direct implications for or against emotional responses to suffering. This in much the same way that having brown hair has no direct implications for or against emotional responses to suffering. This is not to say that brown hair should automatically makes a person utterly indifferent to the suffering of others, and it is also not to say that naturalism should do that either. It is quite possible, and presents no philosophical inconsistencies at all, for a person who subscribes to natural rather than supernatural explanations in their world view to also dismay at the suffering of others, sympathize with it, or seek to alleviate it. This in no way presents a double standard, any more than having both yogurt and berries in the same refrigerator is a double standard. Though one doesn't require the other, and it's possible to have either without the other, there's no rule against them both being there, and they work pretty darn well in combination. This is the obstinate fallacy where your caricature of naturalism seems to diverge from the reality.

If anything, it is your theistic view that tends to dismiss suffering as irrelevant or meaningless. I'm not talking about theistic views in general (though that argument can be made). I'm talking about yours specifically. An example from this very thread:

(13-08-2013 12:56 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  The five-year-old who goes to Heaven for 1,000,000 years of joyful life will account the suffering and sickness as lightweight:

(Translation: Because of stuff held in theistic belief, their suffering can be regarded as being of reduced import.)

Now it may be that wasn't the actual intent of what you wrote there. It reads like that to me, but certainly experience in this and other threads with you tells me that the potential for miscommunication with you runs unusually high. Nevertheless, even if it was not your intent to express this sentiment, it does highlight how SOME theistic philosophies can (and do) denigrate worldly misery as virtually meaningless.

If I have publicly presented an erroneous and disparaging characterization of you personally (I believe this is known as bearing false witness, in the Christian vernacular) in how I interpreted you in that quote, simply correct me on this point and you shall have my apology. Just as I would hope that you would practice similar caution and consideration where the possibility of engaging in false witness against others via false characterizations would present itself.

Hope, but not expect.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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20-08-2013, 10:09 PM (This post was last modified: 20-08-2013 10:48 PM by Skippy538.)
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
[quote]Double standard. I’m a “troll” but these “good priests” pray for strength. I’m not a Catholic nor can I be in good conscience because child molesting priests are not going to Heaven and are not saved.
But you are bringing up a raw issue here, and it is this—from a naturalist’s perspective, the priests are having offspring via intercourse, and cannot help this evolved desire, being animals and needing to breed based on millions of years of evolutionary stimuli.[\quote]

1. I didn't say they were good, I said they prayed to your God and got no strength from the Holy Spirit in records numbers. The Holy Spirit did not help avoid a genuine plague of child molesting. A humanist explanation to this makes total sense, a biblical explanation makes no sense. I guess this is conceded.
2. I'm sure they will have a last minute sincere appeal to God, so YES they WILL go to heaven as long as they are sincere. Christians love using heaven as the great way to excuse God's crimes. Nice try.
3. The evolutionary need to procreate is pushing men to have sex with boys, who can't bear their children? That doesn't make any sense. But yes, sexually frustrated men should not be in private with children, and the verse I quoted to you is conceded as bad church policy. There are bad ideas for public policy in scripture, shocker.


[quote] The scriptures are also clear that an elder of the church must have but one wife. Celibacy for pastors is not biblical. You hit the nail on the head. I agree with the above, a married man has some more outlets for sexual activity than for temptation.[quote]

So then why would Paul say that it would be better if you were not married? This is setting a higher standard than that of Timothy and Titus, which when I studied the bible all the scholars seemed to be in agreement that the idea of Timothy and Titus was that one was a Maximum. Either way, Paul makes it clear in many places he considers total devotion without distraction from marriage to god to be the highest good. Not sure how you can deny this?

[quote]And no, I don’t believe in genocide in the name of God, since in the Bible the Israelites “genocided” people who were giants with iron chariots, fortified cities and fierce weapons. They were so afraid to fight these monsters they disobeyed the call of God to fight and wandered 40 years in the desert, a point that most Atheists and liberals conveniently forgot. Tell me the truth, you forgot this too, right? It was a way and you might get away with calling it a just war or a holy war but a genocide? Never.[quote]

Never? Really? Great go back and read your bible a little closer. Multiple times they are given orders to kill the women and children, except the women who are virgins. Other times, they are given orders to just kill everyone. When the men are dead, the WAR is over. If you are still killing people after the men are dead, i.e. women or children, its called Genocide. Once again, here an actual scripture (one of many):

Here's Numbers 31:13-18:

And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp; and Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle; and Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. Now, therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known a man by lying with him; but all the women-children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Killing women and children after the battle is over, that's called GENOCIDE. That's God demanding it. Your argument is invalid. What did I forget again? Oh, that they were scared? Being scared of women and children after the battle is over and therefore killing them? There is NO justification for killing innocents. And if GOD wanted to do it, why didn't he do it himself with a plague or something? Scripture fail.

[quote] By the way, any Christian who says “atheists deserve death” is understating the case. ALL PEOPLE deserve death except Christ, who became death for us to pay for our sin. Romans 6:23 again.[quote]

1. I don't care what Romans 6:23 says, I have done nothing that deserves death. If you think I am to blame for some guy named Adam's sin, then we should start sending every child to jail for their father's crimes. Makes about as much sense. The concept of original sin is retarded, and is not supported by the Old or New Testament. Even if they were, it would still be a retarded idea that has no support in common sense and everyone knows it. A totally UNJUST idea by an UNJUST god.
2. Wow, please don't use the phrase atheists deserve death in any context. It's a little too close to this:

http://onemansblog.com/2011/08/06/christ...book-page/

My favorite is the chick that says if you don't love god "I hope someone rapes you." Feeling that love of Christ!

[quote]Be careful, it sounds like you are advocating disrespect and harassment there. I think I’ll modify what you said to “I want to whine because you snip my posts and answer others more fully.”[quote]

Aw snap! I did want you to answer my post more fully. Conceded.

But, to the extent you promote a position that makes no sense and mistakenly use scripture, your ideas should be subject to some form of ridicule. I don't hate the christian, I hate their bad ideas. I try to make a distinction clear in my writing. I respect all peoples, I doubt all ideas....

[quote] I remind you that there are about three of us Christians on here who have to respond to dozens of posts in a single thread? Are you sure you don’t want to revert to saying I write TOO MUCH and answer TOO MANY questions in this thread? You are being categorically unfair.[quote]

Probably a fair criticism. A number of your posts were short and flippant, but more recent ones have been direct and addressing issues point by point. Conceded. I was being a bit whiny, but you still didn't address the issue of where is the holy spirit helping these men. I think I know the answer.

[quote] SNIP “reprove a mocker lest he be wise in his own eyes.” SNIP [quote]

This tone comes through in some of your emails, and explains some of the vitriol you receive. When you feel that your are reproving a mocker instead of explaining to a peer, that tone of condescension creates problems. Christians are condescending, atheists are arrogant. Wash.
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