Why Must Children Suffer?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
14-08-2013, 06:25 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(13-08-2013 09:41 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  I’m genuinely interested in your thoughts touching my line of reasoning...

“Children having pain” is a frequently heard objection to the Christian God or indeed, there being any God at all. Is this a valid objection? I’d like to start from the naturalist’s perspective to free myself from assumptions.

Pain, whether physical or emotional, is a conditioned evolutionary response to stimulus. It is helpful and enhances survivability. Rotten foods produce loathing when smelled or consumed. A child who touches a hot stove to satisfy curiosity should feel pain and that as quickly as possible so that they will not linger touching the stove--so a first-degree burn does not become a second- or third-degree burn. The memory of this pain of burning will never be as strong as the actual event which triggers autonomic response, but the trace memory will help the child to not burn themselves once again.

Emotional pain is also a helpful conditioned stimulus, e.g. incest guilt helps keep families from pursuing incest and destroying their relationships emotionally, and a lack of incest helps maintain a diverse gene pool in play among the human species.

In other words, pain is a necessity to help children survive to adulthood, whether the pain of the children themselves or those who must experience guilt pangs when they try to hurt children. From a naturalist’s perspective, wanting children to not experience pain or suffering is actually an immature or neurotic response, although it is prompted by human compassion.

Therefore, saying “God ought to prevent the suffering of children” is asking for a supernatural intervention which breaks several natural laws:

*perhaps the event never occurs (which may necessitate abrogating someone’s free will, if free will exists)

*perhaps the experience is held supernaturally without pain (and the child continues to touch the stove and sear and scar their flesh because there is no pain felt)

*no benefit is gained from pain caused by eustress-inducing events (the child does not know it is benefiting from exercise or learning, there is no gain and no attendant pain)

This style of action would make a God spurious (miracles would now be used hurt and not help the recipient), a poor parental model (go ahead, kid, stick your face on the stove and sear it), and also determinist and unfair (a potential child abuser would have their free will removed but a child would still have free will).

I still arrive at my earlier assumption. The person who uses the suffering of children as an anti-God objection must therefore be:

1. Not understanding the meaning and purposes of suffering or else not wanting to understand them

2. Judging God by arbitrary and indulgent choices (“I say pain is bad even though it was created or evolved for protection.”)

3. Etc.

Please tell me where you find my line of reasoning illogical or can add clarification.

Thanks sincerely, PJ.

you conflate pain and suffering...pain is indeed useful for purposes of avoidance learning...you know, don't put your hand on the stove again kind of learning...the benefit of suffering, on the other hand, eludes explanation in this context - what is the benefit of childhood lymphoblastic leukemia? or gliomas or medulloblastomas?

of course suffering can be anticipated if their is no supernatural, omnipotent, omniscient involved in human affairs...nature is impersonal...
you also bring up psychic pain and mention incest..but what of pedophilia? what is the learning behind child victims of rape in the Catholic church?

the concept of god fails for me on a number of levels which i wont get into here...but when i became a parent it added another dimension to my thinking on the subject - i would do anything to prevent my children from suffering - so to me god doesn't pass the parent sniff test...

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

Born into and died in a Catholic family. Resurrected an atheist at the age of 7. My Blog; My Email
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes foxholeatheist's post
15-08-2013, 01:42 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:Naturalist: I have empirical evidence for the incredible gift that is life. The odds of being alive are astronomically small based on the lack of life we observe in our universe, as well as the knowledge that we were the lucky sperm that found the egg first. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a great life, but by your reasoning, not all of us will go to heaven. At least in my world, the suffering ends at death. PJ consistently uses eternal heaven as a way to show how relatively short suffering on Earth is. He must have forgotten that other people can use a forum search function to look up previous posts of his. No spin required!

Christian: I mention heaven constantly. I cannot accept life without some sort of context or purpose. Eternal life through belief in Jesus is a core tenet of my religion. In fact, the sole purpose of my religion is salvation and the afterlife. After all, if there were no afterlife, I'd be in the same situation as the atheists. Oops!!!

Curious. You wrote I cannot accept life without context, yet you seem rather ecstatic that your sperm-and-egg pairing has survived thus far. How do your feelings about the low probability of becoming a viable life serve as empirical evidence? Are we allowed to use feelings now on this forum as empirical evidence? If so, I have an earful for you about the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-08-2013, 01:44 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:Thank you for saying that in your opinion, I'm correct.
That actually means a great deal to hear you say that you agree that a caring being, if able, would help to reduce the suffering of a child if it is aware of the suffering.

Justice and suffering have nothing to do with one another.
Psychopathic Vengeance are the words you are looking for
(Infliction of extreme punishment in return for a wrong committed)

Unless you want to call your god psychopathic and vengeful, which I think your bible describes him as such a being, then I could imagine that if a god did exist that it must have these characteristics because that is the only worldview that works when we look at all the suffering in the world.

If justice and suffering "have nothing to with one another" as you put it, do you disapprove of Talionic judgments? And if so, how would you decide how much punishment fits how much crime?

Thanks.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-08-2013, 01:46 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:If God can create a pain-free heaven without diminishing free will, then he/she/it could certainly do the same here on Earth for children or anyone else.

An excellent observation. But first, one must divide the free will people who choose Heaven from the free will people who choose the other place. You cannot have a utopia with people in it who would assault it of their free will. They must be separated.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-08-2013, 01:51 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:That's basically what I was told. However, can anyone really have freewill if you haven't any urges to be naughty??

How does a mad dog act? How does a loving cat act? Each acts according to their nature.

Let's take your example further. God has free will, is wholly good. He always chooses from His nature. In Heaven, true born again believers and the infirm and children will be godlike in their good nature. We will do whatever we want but we will not do evil because it will not be in our nature.

Let's put this in human perspective again to benefit you, and Raptor and Bustead, etc. who commented. I have total free will. I could visit a black mass and participate in a ceremony where everyone swears fealty to Satan, but I don't want to do so, so I'm not planning to go. An Atheist has free will to attend a Bible study as a student and not the teacher tonight. Will they go?

We act from our nature and from our free will. This is a consistent harmony.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-08-2013, 01:56 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:1. if god is good it would have made us free of genetic flaws to prevent pointless suffering

Did you not know the Bible says He did? And can you think of anything about suffering from a genetic disorder that is not meaningless? Can you cite examples of heroes in the arts, sciences and other worthy endeavors who credited their overcoming a disability or defect as a part of their genius and persistence?

Quote:2. heaven is a place without suffering and if you went though pain and became stronger in yourlife, you will find out that all the pain you suffered is pointless as there is no need to be stronger in heaven.

Have you heard of the Millennial Kingdom? If there is a 1,000 year reign of Christ on Earth and non-Christians are living and learning in that environment, aren't the activities of Christians before the Millennium (who go one to help rule in it) also worthy and contributory to the vital knowledge coming in the Millennium?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-08-2013, 02:11 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:you conflate pain and suffering...pain is indeed useful for purposes of avoidance learning...you know, don't put your hand on the stove again kind of learning...the benefit of suffering, on the other hand, eludes explanation in this context - what is the benefit of childhood lymphoblastic leukemia? or gliomas or medulloblastomas?

I'd love to quote you quite a number of scriptures on this subject. Let's suffice it to say that if you don't understand how humans turn adversity to triumph, and how those triumphs elevate the human spirit... by the way, what you're really asking is why do people suffer and die. Everyone dies, and everyone suffers. Surely Christ who suffered most can sympathize and answer these basic (to a Christian!) questions of life and death.

Quote:of course suffering can be anticipated if their is no supernatural, omnipotent, omniscient involved in human affairs...nature is impersonal...
you also bring up psychic pain and mention incest..but what of pedophilia? what is the learning behind child victims of rape in the Catholic church?

I haven't said all suffering has obvious meaning. If that is true, not theologians or Atheists would discuss it! I can assure you the scriptures tell us God works to everyone's best benefit, especially that of believers, when bad things happen.

Quote:the concept of god fails for me on a number of levels which i wont get into here...but when i became a parent it added another dimension to my thinking on the subject - i would do anything to prevent my children from suffering - so to me god doesn't pass the parent sniff test...

I'm a parent too. Does a good parent prevent their children from having any suffering? I make my children clean their rooms, wash their hands, and do their homework. I let them bring their hands close to a hot stove without touching it. I can tell you what happens to a child whose parents prevents them from feeling any suffering... they become a brat.

Quote:Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.

Right. He allows evil, and this happens for good, sometimes. But let's not invoke Godwin and have the whole "God lets Hitler live" nonsense discussion, please.

Quote:Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.

He is both able and willing.

Quote:Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?

It cometh from evildoers. If you dare say you have never willed to do evil, I'd accuse you of lying... and my accusation would be spot on.

Quote:Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

He is able, and willing. And "it is finished".
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-08-2013, 02:24 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
holy fuck, what a bunch of contortionist crap. I will hand it to you PJ, however, that at least you have stuck to this thread that you started vs the several others that you dropped and ran from a couple weeks ago.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-08-2013, 02:47 PM (This post was last modified: 15-08-2013 02:50 PM by Rahn127.)
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
PJ - I give you this - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritzl_case

A woman locked away in basement for 24 years, raped by her father on too many occasions to count.
24 years of suffering

Three of the children were imprisoned along with their mother Elisabeth for the whole of their lives: daughter Kerstin, aged 19, and sons Stefan, 18, and Felix, 5. One child, Michael, died of respiratory problems three days after birth, having been deprived of all medical help; his body was incinerated by Josef Fritzl on his property. The three other children were raised by Fritzl and his wife Rosemarie in the upstairs home. Fritzl presented the appearance of these children as foundlings discovered outside his house: Lisa at nine months in 1993, Monika at ten months in 1994, and Alexander at 15 months in 1997. When the eldest daughter, Kerstin, became seriously ill, Josef acceded to Elisabeth's pleas to take her to a hospital, triggering a series of events that eventually led to their discovery

PJ - If there is some way you rationalize this as the actions of a god who is aware, who is able and willing, then I wish upon you the same fate as she suffered for 24 years.

This to me proves that there is no such being that christians define as god

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-08-2013, 02:54 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(15-08-2013 01:42 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Curious. You wrote I cannot accept life without context, yet you seem rather ecstatic that your sperm-and-egg pairing has survived thus far. How do your feelings about the low probability of becoming a viable life serve as empirical evidence? Are we allowed to use feelings now on this forum as empirical evidence? If so, I have an earful for you about the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

My feelings are meaningless... it is a FACT that my existence is highly improbable. That in itself is the context. More importantly, my context can be demonstrated through empirical evidence and is applicable to every human being. Whether or not someone chooses to appreciate this fact is up to them; the context is not always a reason for celebration. It's not always a gift to be alive, which makes my existence even more unique. If I was living in North Korea, I'd probably be cursing my life instead of embracing it. I'm also not going to go around 'witnessing' this improbability to Christians on their chat forums.

You, on the other hand, believe a guy named Jesus sacrificed himself so we could be forgiven for being created in sin by an omnipotent and all-powerful god who's perfect creation became imperfect. You think everyone should be grateful to your god for their life. You also compete with other religions making equally preposterous claims. I'm giving you an earful of observable data. You're giving me an earful of poop. Eagh.

Now, let's get back to how suffering children and child mortality make sense in a world created by a perfect, loving god. Your explanations have been poor.

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
Post Reply
Forum Jump: