Why Must Children Suffer?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
22-08-2013, 01:48 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(22-08-2013 01:24 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Which is it? Were Stalin and Hitler not Darwinists at all or not true Darwinists?

No, Stalin threw out the Darwinists and brought in Lysenko and his bogus theories.

You are really a massively ignorant fuck.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Chas's post
22-08-2013, 01:56 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
The problem of pain and suffering in the world is a death blow to any concept of a loving, powerful god.

There is no explanation for it that does not end with "we can't know the mind of god".

Humans are more moral than any of those gods. We create morality by empathy and reason - two things those gods seem to be very short on.

I find PJ's explanations morally repugnant, dishonest, and logically incoherent.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-08-2013, 02:21 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
The ignore feature is amazing! I should have started using it weeks ago.

Thank you.

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?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-08-2013, 02:52 PM (This post was last modified: 22-08-2013 02:59 PM by Chas.)
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(22-08-2013 09:39 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote: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?

Seriously, yes. I've told people I've witnessed to who were upset about being raped or being molested as a child, and who asked me why God didn't intercede--exactly that--gently--and they said, "I can see that" and understoood what the level playing ground is. Then becalmed, I'm able to go further and to pray for them and in public, and the real issue is for every wishful hypothetical a freethinker proposes, Christians are out there doing the work of helping real people with real problems with real Bible solutions. Thank you for raising that issue.

Let me clarify my previous post.

If you 'witnessed' in that manner to one of my family members or friends who was a victim, I would drag you out of the room and beat you senseless.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Chas's post
22-08-2013, 03:29 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(22-08-2013 01:30 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:I like how you put "works" in quotes. Let's deconstruct that. Essentially, you are saying that we should ignore whether your world view is correct, because regardless of whether it's correct it has positive outcomes, specifically in terms of alleviating suffering.

First, I'll point out that in suddenly shifting your focus to positive effects of faith, rather than discussing the questions raised by the problem of suffering, you have totally abandoned your attempt to refute the problem of suffering, letting your original post fall by the wayside instead of continuing to defend it. Maybe you'll come back to it in the future, but for now you've dropped it. You are no longer discussing why, for example, an omnipotent God couldn't create a world where rape was as physically impossible as, say, flapping your arms to fly to the moon, or why doing one would be a violation of free will while doing the other wasn't, or why He went ahead with this option even if He did have a less-painful alternative. If you want to shift the topic, that's fine. This thread has stayed on topic longer than normal anyway.
Huh? My original post was not to “solve the problem of suffering with an omnipotent God” it was to start with no assumptions, and concluded that there is no problem of suffering if one is a naturalist. Do you agree?

Depends on what you mean by the word problem.

If we are referring to problem, specifically, as an inconsistency with a world-view, then I agree that a naturalist does not have a problem with suffering. This is of course not the only meaning of the word problem, but it was what you seemed to be discussing in the original post. In that post, you mentioned how the existence of suffering is often taken or presented as grounds to reject the notion of an omnipotent, loving God on the basis of inconsistency. You then went on to propose reasons that such a God might exist side-by-side with such suffering, and we have since gone into an argument over whether or not such grounds are valid in what I've been calling the "problem of suffering". Somehow you mixed in the notion that a naturalist would be indifferent to suffering. (If I'm misreading your first post, please go over it with me so I'm clear about what you were saying instead.) This was the original topic of discussion as I saw it, and whether someone finds a measure of their suffering partially alleviated by faith is irrelevant to that discussion, much as whether a particular car ran a red light in Pittsburg is irrelevant to a discussion of AIDS in Africa. In this narrow sense of the word problem, no, a naturalist does not have a problem with suffering, because the fact that suffering could exist is consistent with the naturalist world view, but a theist may well have such a problem with suffering, because a theistic world view may be inconsistent with the existence of suffering.

However, if we are speaking about whether suffering is a problem in a different definition of "something in the world we despise, and want to eliminate or reduce", the answer can be entirely different. A naturalist may well not have his or her world-view challenged by the fact that suffering exists (not a problem in the one sense) while at the same time dedicating significant time, energy, and resources to alleviating it, and despising the (regrettable and inevitable) fact that it does exist. This makes it a problem in a different sense of the word. The naturalist may even see the capacity for pain as serving a useful function, but then seek to reduce the world's suffering by removing the triggers of that pain without compromising its function. (For example, emotional grief when a kid kills herself playing with a firearm might serve a useful psychological function arising from evolution, but we can try to reduce that suffering by taking steps to keep kids from playing with guns, without compromising that function of the grief reaction.) However, the ability to do this is limited from a naturalist perspective, because we know that we can't simply wave our hand and eliminate suffering and don't think for a moment that we can, and so the fact that suffering exists doesn't challenge the naturalist paradigm OR the idea that a naturalist might prefer to alleviate it or eliminate it. This isn't to say that a naturalist will automatically have the latter sort of problem with suffering, but it is to say that it is to say that having such a problem with suffering in no way contradicts with naturalism. Thus, a naturalist can have one sort of problem with suffering without having the other. You seem to be equivocating between these two senses of the word problem.

(22-08-2013 01:30 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:But okay, that might be casting the net too wide for you. You bring up the case of a kid in a cancer ward happy at the prospect of death and what she has been led to believe lies beyond it. If we're JUST interested in whether or not she's happy, and not whether the belief is true or not, why not construct a better, happier lie? You know, one where there isn't any question that her best friend in the cancer ward, who happens to be a Hindu, or (gasp) an atheist, will be joining her in heaven or not. Or for that matter, why not teach instead that she'll be reincarnated in a much better life in her next pass through the Dharmic cycle, for the suffering she endured and the grace with which she endured it, or that she'll go to Isles of the Blessed. (Hey, we're not worrying about whether it's true, so let's throw aside whether she'd merit entry to the Blessed Isles in the Hellenic mythos or not. It's all about how comforting the story is, right?) Now I want you to tell me that it's impossible that that child would have the same hope and optimism about her new incarnation, or the Isles of the Blessed, compared to what she'd have about meeting Jesus. And if you can't, I'd challenge you to explain what you mean when you say that Christianity has something special.
Thanks for sharing how prayer and the Christian religion can actually hurt sick and suffering people. I just want to know one thing: Am I talking about a “story” here as you wrote or does the gospel come in power? I’ve seen people healed, marriages saved and lives changed.

My perception -- and I have yet to see anything to contradict it, and much to contradict the alternatives I've heard to it -- is that the power of the gospel is simply the powers of human belief and motivation, nothing more but also nothing less. That is to say, that belief in these tales and articles of faith may motivate people to react in positive ways, or negative ones. Psychologically speaking, this motivation and its effects may be very powerful, and can extend to the unconscious or psychosomatic level. In that sense, we may describe the gospel as powerful. However, my perception is that there is no supernatural power to the gospel, and that the words and concepts have no power beyond the simple, naturalistic responses of a human psyche in the grip of belief. This would seem to account for your general description of people healed, marriages saved, and lives changed. And yes, we might count these as the positives of the religion. But if we're discussing whether the presence or practice of a religion's a good thing (which, again, is separate form the discussion of whether it's logically consistent), we'd need to examine the positives in light of the negatives, and discuss whether they can be separated or whether they come as a package deal.

(22-08-2013 01:30 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote: You know what else helps alleviate suffering? PAINKILLERS.

EDIT: I thought I'd clarify that I don't have any objection to pastoral care being allowed in hospitals, provided that it's done only with the permission or request of the patient or, in the case of minors, possibly with the permission or request of their guardians, and provided that it's done evenhandedly, without the hospital favoring one religion over another religion or, say, secular humanism. I agree that it can sometimes alleviate suffering, and I don't object to that happening. I'm just not greatly enamored with the notion that it's anything special compared to the alternatives, or that these positives alone somehow justify all the crap that comes as part of the package deal.
I appreciate the disclaimer but you’re ducking what I wrote (I don’t think intentionally) which was painkillers are doctors are wonderful, and then when you want more that they offer or something special in addition to what they offer…

Sure, extras are nice. But what you said, the same thing could be said of almost any religion, or of something that fills the same role like secular humanism, or perhaps psychological counseling, or perhaps just being treated like a living person rather than a dying patient, or, "hey, they're getting all this great stuff, but what about something more, like a lollypop? Why shouldn't they have a lollypop on top of everything else?"

And yeah, throw any of those in and you can ask, "well, what about adding another plus in?" and it would be legitimate. (Debatable is whether adding Christianity to the mix is a plus or a minus, and I'd guess it comes down to subjective judgement.) But the same strategy could also be applied to Christianity. "Yeah, sure, the patient's receiving faith counseling, but what if they want something more? Like, I dunno, the prospect of scientists producing a cure?"

Does pastoral care provide benefits? Yes. For some patients. In some cases. It is hardly alone in this, and the positive way in which patients can react to the beliefs in no way renders the beliefs accurate.

We can (and usually do) measure the benefits of any treatment for a patient -- including the psychological effects of spiritual counseling. That's WHY there's data on the lack of effectiveness of prayer in healing. We can compare that to the effects of other treatments, including treatments that might be mutually exclusive (so pick one or another). We can measure the negative consequences of side-effects and weigh them in balance to the positive effects, even going so far as to examine how a treatment might negatively affect an otherwise-recovered patient thirty years down the line. To simply look at a few positive elements of a particular form of care to the exclusion of the negatives or the alternatives is to lose perspective.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Reltzik's post
22-08-2013, 03:56 PM (This post was last modified: 22-08-2013 04:06 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(22-08-2013 01:48 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(22-08-2013 01:24 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Which is it? Were Stalin and Hitler not Darwinists at all or not true Darwinists?

No, Stalin threw out the Darwinists and brought in Lysenko and his bogus theories.

You are really a massively ignorant fuck.

I'm going to dispute you here, Chas. I didn't know about Lysenko until you mentioned him and I hit Wikipedia, and I'd wager that most people haven't. Technically ignorance, but I wouldn't call someone massively ignorant for not knowing about Stalin's appointment of Lysenko.

No, the problem with what he said here is that PJ is PRETENDING he knows something, perhaps deluding himself that he knows something, when in fact what he thinks he knows is false...

.... actually, that's the problem with most of what PJ says anywhere on this board...

... but this problem isn't so much about ignorance, which in isolation could be quickly remedied, but arrogance, which is considerably more intractable.

In other words, calling him ignorant is an insult to the ignorant.

(22-08-2013 01:56 PM)Chas Wrote:  I find PJ's explanations morally repugnant, dishonest, and logically incoherent.

THIS, on the other hand, I won't dispute at all.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Reltzik's post
22-08-2013, 04:44 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(22-08-2013 01:33 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:You're either missing my point or you disagree with the premise.

Premise: In heaven, people have free will and also exist in total absence from suffering, which of course includes children.
Conclusion: If God can do that there, he could do the same here on Earth, but chose not to do so.

So first, do you agree with the premise? If so, how do you rectify that with the conclusion?

Now, in answer to your questions:

1. 100%
2. Because he doesn't exist. But, that aside to follow typical beliefs, he's supposed to be omnipotent. There is no "greatest possible" for him.
3. No, the reason for which should now be obvious from the premise and conclusion stated above. There should be no suffering at all for anyone given an omnipotent, perfectly benevolent, creator god.

I guess you've never seen the Matrix films, where the computers explain that the original Matrix had far less pain and suffering but humans couldn't handle it. So let me rephrase this way, "Are you absolutely certain that a perfectly benevolent God would not allow ANY suffering?" I MAKE my children suffer at times. It's called correction and it's good for them. The scriptures even say that Jesus learned perfect obedience through His suffering.

So I'll ask again, since it's like--repeated--like--over and over by different freethinkers on this thread, that Omnibenevolence = no pain which I say = no gain.

Are you absolutely certain that a GOOD leader NEVER would allow followers (or deserters and rebels) to suffer?

Do you agree with my premise? I keep answering your questions and you keep avoiding mine...

Yes, I am absolutely certain that an omnipotent, omni-benevolent god would not allow any suffering. It's not rocket science. Anything that can be gained through suffering can be gained another way without the suffering. For an omnipotent god, there is always another way. Such a god can do anything.

What I'm hearing from you, inferred by your comments and questions, is you don't believe your god is omnipotent. Hmm...

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-08-2013, 05:38 PM (This post was last modified: 22-08-2013 05:42 PM by Hafnof.)
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
PJ,

In your theology all have sinned. God made us sinners. God made Adam and God made Eve, and he knew they would sin. He provided the motive, means and opportunity for them to sin. He has implanted or allowed to be inherited that sin nature into all that followed.

God created hell, a place of eternal unbearable punishment that by definition all humans are destined for (you can quibble about children going or not if you like, but that argument doesn't affect the larger point), because all humans have the sin nature he gave them.

God created one way to avoid hell, and that is to believe the right things. The things you must believe are communicated 2000 years ago into an unverifiable self-contradictory document that is so unclear it required humans to vote on which parts should be included and has spawned thousands of contradictory denominations and cults.

1. God created humans with a sin nature
2. God created eternal unending punishment for those who sin
3. The only criteria for escaping unending punishment is to believe the right doctrine
4. The true doctrine has not been reliably communicated
5. God is good, omnipotent and omniscient
This seems like a self-contradictory set of statements.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Hafnof's post
22-08-2013, 06:20 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest

I do not envy PJ. My deconversion was 15 years ago and I am grateful (to myself) that I do not have to do that shit again. Sux. Go from hero to zero in T-minus 10 minutes. Not being able to visit with my own family is the worst part.

I'm with Impulse, if the whole point is getting to heaven, then why didn't Omniscient god just select those people that he knew in advance that would be saved and not make the ones who wouldn't be, go straight to heaven and just destroy this world? He easily could have done that when he "flooded" the earth, just not talk to Noah about it! Then you skip out on eternal punishment for BILLIONS of people but the other people end up in the same place! Perfect Justice and Mercy!

Did he not do it that way because he enjoys the drama of reality? Would that have been to boring? After all, we know from the old testament this dude loves him some blood and gore....there are plenty of ways of imagining a far easier scenario. There are few of imagining the present world is the best of all possible designs.

Still waiting on Genocide and Catholic molesting priests....
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-08-2013, 08:31 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:Nothing Stalin did was racially motivated, but don't let pesky facts get in your way.

You may want to check on that since certain groups and geographies were targeted. I recently read the book The Crimes of Stalin. Pretty interesting.

Quote:They didn't believe in the concept of races or racial biology as any evolutionary biologist would accept. They were scientifically illiterate even for their time. Which brings us to

Would you extend that to all those who were complicit in their crimes? The credentialed scientists and doctors who put skeletons in museums as examples? Are you saying not one Nazi (or underling of Mao or Pol Pot or Stalin) was an evolutionary biologist?

Quote:There are hundreds of millions of people of sound mind who are born and die without having heard of Jesus.

Are they damned? Then they cannot possibly have avoided it.

Are they saved? Then their knowledge of Jesus is irrelevant.

Pick one.

Ah. Jesus reviews individuals for salvation, not "untold millions". I would expect no less.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: