Why Must Children Suffer?
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15-08-2013, 03:33 PM (This post was last modified: 15-08-2013 03:37 PM by Skippy538.)
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Good job creating your own Naturalist straw man and knocking him down with your Christian. I'm really impressed. You are right that only Christians care about feeding starving children in Africa, or anywhere else. We don't believe in that un-evolved sort of nonsense. Fuck 'em, let them die - after all, it IS survival of the fittest right? It is TOTALLY impossible to care about your fellow man without believing in the invisible dick. Just look at how much love there is - Westboro Baptist Church, the catholic pedophiles and massive coverup, blah blah blah.

You jump on the bandwagon to blast Catholic Pedophilia, but you do realize that the fact that a glut of Catholic Priests molesting children is a direct result of the Catholic Church literally following Paul's direction that it "would be better for you if you were not married," lonely priests and the COMPLETE failure of the holy spirit to help these men remain celibate? Let's put a bunch of men who never have sex in private situations with little boys and see what happens, that sounds like a generally great idea.

Oh wait - the Christian protests (hey this is kind of fun making up shit you say) I am a protestant, and I don't look to the bad Catholic Church for my guidance, but rather the father of my church is the eminent Martin Luther!

Materialist: Oh, right, that great loving christian who wrote "On the Jews and their Lies"? The father of modern Nazi-ism?

Where is the Holy Spirit working in any of these people?

Seriously though, I wish you were born in Iran. I wonder, would you be a Shiite or a Sunni?

OK, go set up a few more straw men to knock down. A lot easier than dealing with the ringing in your ears from Cognitive Dissonance you feel when you read about Jesus to make these great quotes..... You said "It is Finished." Sorry I thought it was "Father into your Hands I commit My Spirit"? or was it "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?" Oh wait, we don't actually know his last words, because none of the Gospels agree! Maybe it was "Holy Fuck this Hurts" But we won't ever know how the myth of Jesus really ended, because there were too many people trying to come up with a good ending.

But the entire concept of God, becoming man, killing himself, and going back to heaven (except for the 40 days where he wandered around???) to be with his father. Dude, if I could end all suffering by dying tomorrow, and in three days I KNOW I'm in heaven, I would totally do it. How is that a sacrifice? It's only scary to us because we know when we die we are worm food. Yeah, it would suck, but I would totally do it. Easy.

Jesus totally cared about the little children but the God of the Old Testament required abortions when spouses were suspected of infidelity? But God is the same now always and forever right? The God of the Old Testament kills 42 children for mere words against a prophet (how two bears could ever actually catch 42 children running in different directions is an entirely different matter) but now he cares SO MUCH for them right? If a group of school-children were mocking you, would you curse God and hope that he killed them? NO? Well why not? If it was right for Elisha, why not? Right, because you have a modern sense of morality that is not derived from the Bible but from your community. The same reason you don't believe in slavery but the bible does right?

Now is the time where you pick out one inaccuracy in what I'm writing an expound about how I can't possibly understand any of this because of blah blah blah languages and blah blah blah context and God really wasn't mean to those kids because blah blah blah they would spend a million years in heaven blah blah blah, and its all just a bunch of BULLSHIT.

I heart trolls.

Cheers.
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15-08-2013, 07:20 PM (This post was last modified: 15-08-2013 11:01 PM by Reltzik.)
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.

(This is a cold response. I haven't looked at any of the other replies, and I'm certain others have made considerably more poignent points than I.)

You make severe errors of ommission.

Not all suffering is the result of human free will, as in the example of the stove. For example, a child might be mauled by an animal, or fall victim to a painful disease. In these cases, an intervention could be made without violating free will. The cougar could turn left instead of right upon exiting her den. The disease need never infect the child. Nor is all suffering a learning experience. A child who is caught in an avalanche and spends the next hours being slowly crushed to death and suffocated will learn no necessary lessons for life from the experience. She will simply be dead. You make a case that some suffering serves a useful purpose or cannot be averted without violation of free will, prop that up as a counterargument, and then blithely ignore all the instances of childhood suffering to which that counterargument is inapplicable. EDIT: To be clear, ALL such suffering must be accounted for by such a counterargument. If not, then there is still some measure of suffering about which we can ask, "why would God allow this?", and the problem of suffering would remain.

But that's not the most glaring omission. You start off by discussing the problem of suffering as a refutation aimed at any sort of theistic god. It is a much more narrow argument, aimed at a much more specific concept of deity: One that is an omniscient, omnipotent, flawless creator of the whole universe and all the natural laws which govern it. So in setting up the dilemma of how such a god should act in a particular case of potential suffering (intervene to prevent it, let it transpire, etc), you ignore an option which said god had, but already chose to forgo: creating a world with no potential for suffering at all. Create the human body so that it does not need food or water, and so need not suffer from hunger and thirst. Make all animals instinctively avoid attacking humans. Make it impossible to die at all or even suffer injury, and engineer the world such that the resulting population growth could be sustained. Then the child need not be taught not to touch the stove, because touching the stove would not be a danger. Surely this would be within the means of an omnipotent, flawless creator. For that matter, any goals not related to such suffering would be within the reach of such a being to accomplish, without requiring the suffering or the circumstances in which that suffering would prove useful. It is only if the deity were totally indifferent to the suffering, or actively desired it, that it would create a world with suffering. What other alternative is there? Did God not see this as a consquence of the nature of His creation? What of omniscience? Did God face a dilemma of wanting something else, and being unable to bring it about without also introducing suffering? What of omnipotence?

This is the main thrust of the problem of suffering. You've ignored the actual force of the argument, and instead focussed on a trivial straw man of the child with the stove. Destroy the straw man if you wish (and you did this only in part), but the rest of the argument remains.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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15-08-2013, 11:48 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(13-08-2013 04:29 PM)JAH Wrote:  At the risk of offending many I find this quite fascinating. PJ has written so much crap here that he has been more than offensive on occasion. In this tread he has made reasonable, sort of, arguments. All based on his self centered interpretation of god, but reasonable.

I am forced into one comment, self centered is an operative word when dealing with christians. They make up what the bible tells them and then suggest that is the true word of god. They can even find quotes that support their hypothesis. It should but does not give them pause.

I will now withdraw, carry on.

Agreed. For once, PJ actually came up with an original argument (at least, it looks kinda original, in the "someone else probably invented it before he invented it but at least he came by it on his own" sort of way), and then stuck around to talk about it. Nor does it suffer from the "why the hell is he presenting this to atheists in this manner?" question. Definite, definite improvement.

If he keeps this up, I might have to raise his bar to the adult height.

(15-08-2013 02:47 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  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

... What I'd like to hear is an explanation of how God not intervening in this circumstances was a defense of free will. Certainly it wasn't a defense of Elisabeth's free will -- she was being deprived that. Arguably, it was a defense of Josef's free will, in which case his free will was valued more highly than Elisabeth's, else why leave his intact in favor of restoring hers? SOMEONE'S free will was gonna get violated in this case, either through action or inaction.

Hrrrm. Could someone with more Bible-quoting chops than I find some passages relating to whose free will is more important in these cases? ... for that matter, could someone find any passage, anywhere, that guarantees free will? I seem to recall something about hardening pharaoh's heart, but I don't remember anything about the promise of free will.

Also, for your viewing pleasure:




"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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16-08-2013, 02:59 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?





9 Million children under the age of 5 die every year.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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16-08-2013, 11:00 AM (This post was last modified: 16-08-2013 11:19 AM by Skippy538.)
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
The idea of free will is implied by some passages in the bible, and then contradicted by others. The matter is hardly settled in protestant circles. Calvinists, for example, believe that pretty much everything and everyone who is saved is actually pre-ordained by God. Your atheism, preordained. PJ's christian faith, pre-ordained. What you had for breakfast, pre-ordained. God's will works through all of our perceived choices to come to his ultimately perfect plan. This is wrought from a reasoned, systematic theology created by emphasizing some scriptures, and de-emphasizing others.

Other biblical passages seem to indicate man does have free-will and can freely choose or reject God. Other passages show that God actually "chooses" to do things in the world and among man, particularly related to choosing certain people and not choosing others, and then working in the lives of those he has chosen. This is a clear violation of man's free will, but the christian will counter that because its a "good" thing to be chosen by God and "called according to his purpose," it doesn't interfere with man's free will, it just helped someone on the right path go further down it. This is another way of saying "god chose us because we were on the right path and DESERVED IT." *[PAT SELF ON BACK AND FEEL DESERVING OR HUMBLE HERE]*

Of course its hypocritical to think that by mythological god's action to choose in some circumstances, and not choose in other circumstances but just let "free will" play out, that he is not choosing by omission. Acts of omission, especially of an omniscient being, are clearly actions designed to elicit a certain result.

But of course PJ and every other Xian will, in the words of Paul Simon, "hear what he wants to hear and disregard the rest." I would change that to read "hear what he NEEDS to hear and disregards the rest."

EDIT: Wow the DarkMatter2525 video above does a lot better job explaining this than I did. The point is there is no guarantee of free will or predestination, both can be supported by various scriptures. Both sides of an argument supported by scriptures, where have I seen this before? Hmmmmmm.......
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16-08-2013, 11:44 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(15-08-2013 01:46 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
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.

I was speaking of free will IN heaven where it is also supposedly pain free. If you believe that is possible, then it should not be hard to imagine how such a god could create a pain-free Earth and still grant us our free will. Thus, children would not have to suffer at all in that case nor would anyone. Yet, here we are... Consider

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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16-08-2013, 03:26 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
The arrogance self centredness
of believers really irritates me.

Thanking god for all sorts of pointless and trivial things that happen in their lives. What makes them so important? Why would god
Help a 45 year old rich woman succeed at a job interview yet will sit back and let thousands of kids die of starvation every day? Where is their sense of perspective?
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19-08-2013, 01:22 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote: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

Do you see the problem with saying "Christians are closed minded" when you've stated above that if there is a rationalization for the above scenario, you do not wish to review it?
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19-08-2013, 01:23 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote: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.

I apologize. There are only a few of us Christians on this forum and we are in extraordinary demand despite the protestations of Atheists that we're unwanted here. I do tend to ignore old threads when they drop from the first several pages of the forum. If there's something I haven't address and you'd like me to reply, please post a link here.

Thanks!
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19-08-2013, 01:27 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(19-08-2013 01:23 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote: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.

I apologize. There are only a few of us Christians on this forum and we are in extraordinary demand despite the protestations of Atheists that we're unwanted here. I do tend to ignore old threads when they drop from the first several pages of the forum. If there's something I haven't address and you'd like me to reply, please post a link here.

Thanks!

Hey KC? Did you hear that we don't want Christians here? Learn something new every day I guessDrinking Beverage

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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