Why Must Children Suffer?
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19-08-2013, 01:28 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote: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.

I see. The empirical fact of the unlikelihood of your existence is reason to say it is "a gift". Who awarded you this gift? It couldn't be Christ, Allah, Gaia or Mother Nature, right? So now we have a "what" that is mindless, impersonal and bestows gifts. Do you think your magical thinking is appropriate on an Atheist forum?

Quote: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.

A straw man argument. I never said everyone should be grateful to God. Gratitude is a free will choice. Nor are Christians in any way in "competition" with spurious belief systems like Islam or Buddhism. We stand on empiricism, fulfilled prophecy, the magnificent words of Jesus, etc.

But yes, let's get back to your question, which is:

Quote: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.

Which is another straw man since a biblical view of God is that Jesus is not only loving, but just. You'd do better to ask, "Let's get back to how you God said suffering is a resultant from the Fall and from human sin, which makes sense on its face but since I don't believe in sin, doesn't work for me..."
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19-08-2013, 01:29 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(19-08-2013 01:27 PM)KidCharlemagne1962 Wrote:  
(19-08-2013 01:23 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  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

Weird, I have never seen a christian forum that has an open atheist as an admin but PJ has never let the facts get in the way of a good argument.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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19-08-2013, 01:29 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:Fuck 'em, let them die - after all, it IS survival of the fittest right?

Excellent summation of the naturalist's position, yes. Thanks.
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19-08-2013, 01:34 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!

I refer to threads YOU started. I don't expect you to follow other peoples threads to ultimate conclusion (if any). So if you've started a thread and it goes 7 pages and you don't bother responding I consider your original post to be worthless, which lowers your reputation and standing with the group.

PJ, the problem is not with "christians", the problem is with "christians" who post crap.
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19-08-2013, 01:37 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:(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.

Your concept of "cold response" is curious. You're a naturalist, right? If I point out that naturalists should understand suffering and pain as an evolved response, you have no grounds for saying death and suffering are "cold". That sounds poetic of you, if not downright theological.

Also, I've stated in this thread that not all suffering has obvious, immediate meaning. If it did, there would be no "problem of suffering" as you put it. However, the problem of suffering is not able to be wielded by an Atheist. It is not at all a problem from a naturalist's perspective. It's not a problem.

As for your "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..." you and most of the Atheists posting their views on this thread have the same continual straw man. My understanding of the scriptures is that God has chosen to make man in His image and share power. When the child becomes an adult, they go out from the parent to make their own way. One cannot equate your version of omnipotence with the true picture of love which frees to act. It would not be the act of a loving God to force people to Heaven or to Hell nor to subjugate their free will. Your version of omnipotence (and of the naysayers on the forum) has no love in its definition.

The Bible agrees in 1 Cor 5 where it says, "For the love of Christ controls us, for one died for all... so that they might no longer live for themselves but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf." In other words, one is not compelled to follow Christ even as a Christian, but rather is to be motivated by and persuaded by love.

Perhaps I should begin a new thread, "How would an omnipotent God behave if He was omnibevolent and loving, and knew that any created being given free will would err and cause suffering?"
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19-08-2013, 01:42 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote: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...

It's absurdly simple, actually, and the answer comes from meditation on the scriptures. It's not Heaven (utopia) if there are dissonant beings within. For example, the Bible states that one should not steal. Yet, some answer me here thoughtfully and others post hate and rhetoric in an attempt to steal my joy. Here I am, enjoying the gift that is being alive and the gift that is discourse on the things of God when someone tries to rain on my parade. Nor would Atheists achieve their utopia with theists telling them they're prideful and rebellious. "In Sparta, we have no opposing viewpoints!"

In other words, children have to go to Heaven because there are paedophiles and abusers here, who must be separated from them forever. Makes total sense if you think about it.
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19-08-2013, 01:46 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:I refer to threads YOU started. I don't expect you to follow other peoples threads to ultimate conclusion (if any). So if you've started a thread and it goes 7 pages and you don't bother responding I consider your original post to be worthless, which lowers your reputation and standing with the group.

PJ, the problem is not with "christians", the problem is with "christians" who post crap.

That's judgmental of you, isn't it? If I start a thread and it runs a dozen pages and then no one responds to my posts for a few days, I let sleeping dogs lie.

But contrast my behavior in this thread with everyone's behavior toward me... I've responded to nearly every post on this thread, but you have people who come here and curse me or make insinuations and then say, "I'll peace it out now. Just wanted to add my two cents before I disallow PJ to respond."

Nice. Then again, I expect a disparity between Atheist and Christian behavior. How many times do you think an Atheist has cursed me in public during open air preaching? Now make a donut hole with your forefinger and thumb and you'll see how many times Christians (real Christians) curse Atheists in public forums.
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19-08-2013, 01:47 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
so groupthink is your idea of utopia?
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19-08-2013, 01:50 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote: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?

Straightener, let me straighten you out here. Clearly you've spent less than zero time in a Christian prayer meeting. And we go beyond prayer to put our money where our mouth is. My family supports three families in Africa and Asia on a limited income so that the children can attend school rather than be forced to a life of servitude on a farm without formal education. How many people do you pay to help? You have some nerve IMHO.

And we Christians pray for the starving children and for the job interviews, and try to help with both. How dare you insult millions of good people like that? Then again, a naturalist really can't say anyone is good... or evil... which is why the judgments of God and Christ's atonement are stupifyingly inexplicable to them...

No matter, I'll keep loving on you. And Jesus loves you, too!
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19-08-2013, 01:50 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(19-08-2013 01:46 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:I refer to threads YOU started. I don't expect you to follow other peoples threads to ultimate conclusion (if any). So if you've started a thread and it goes 7 pages and you don't bother responding I consider your original post to be worthless, which lowers your reputation and standing with the group.

PJ, the problem is not with "christians", the problem is with "christians" who post crap.

That's judgmental of you, isn't it? If I start a thread and it runs a dozen pages and then no one responds to my posts for a few days, I let sleeping dogs lie.

But contrast my behavior in this thread with everyone's behavior toward me... I've responded to nearly every post on this thread, but you have people who come here and curse me or make insinuations and then say, "I'll peace it out now. Just wanted to add my two cents before I disallow PJ to respond."

Nice. Then again, I expect a disparity between Atheist and Christian behavior. How many times do you think an Atheist has cursed me in public during open air preaching? Now make a donut hole with your forefinger and thumb and you'll see how many times Christians (real Christians) curse Atheists in public forums.
Clearly I haven't learned my lessons from the past and responded to you. How about you take a look at your threads "snake demolted" and "you asked for it" and address comments there instead of starting yet another pointless thread in which you respond with unsupported statements, faulty logic, and unveiled ignorance.
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