Why Must Children Suffer?
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19-08-2013, 01:53 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote:so groupthink is your idea of utopia?

No, that would be a complete dystopia! I treasure the opinions of others. Even my spouse and I differ often yet we are one. One in spirit does not mean single-minded.

What I meant, if it wasn't clear over the last few posts, is that there cannot be kidnappers in Heaven, paedophiles, liars, adulterers, etc. tearing down the place. Nor can there be people in Heaven saying to God there, "You made children suffer and I hate you!" because that dissonant rebellion would ruin Heaven for those of us enjoying the Lord there.

Have you ever tried to read a good book with people screaming at you? Or watch a favorite movie with half the audience yapping on their cell phones?

If you don't understand what a utopia is, how can you dictate to me and to God what His perfect world must have in the way of suffering, pain or learning from suffering or pain? Do you see the double standard you have?
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19-08-2013, 01:55 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote: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.

Well, why not open one today and I'll sign on? Who is stopping you and the other 10,000 Atheist webmasters in the world? Just because Atheists are so closed-minded they wouldn't start a Christian forum doesn't mean you have to imitate them all...
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19-08-2013, 02:09 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(19-08-2013 01:53 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:so groupthink is your idea of utopia?

No, that would be a complete dystopia! I treasure the opinions of others. Even my spouse and I differ often yet we are one. One in spirit does not mean single-minded.

What I meant, if it wasn't clear over the last few posts, is that there cannot be kidnappers in Heaven, paedophiles, liars, adulterers, etc. tearing down the place. Nor can there be people in Heaven saying to God there, "You made children suffer and I hate you!" because that dissonant rebellion would ruin Heaven for those of us enjoying the Lord there.

Have you ever tried to read a good book with people screaming at you? Or watch a favorite movie with half the audience yapping on their cell phones?

If you don't understand what a utopia is, how can you dictate to me and to God what His perfect world must have in the way of suffering, pain or learning from suffering or pain? Do you see the double standard you have?

What your Bible describes as heaven (as much as it does describe it) certainly would be groupthink.

Since everyone is different, everyones Utopia would likewise be different. Unless we go back to groupthink.

We aren't trying to tell your God how things should be, we do not believe it exists. We will point out to the willingly obtuse the flaws in their arguements but unlike their magic man in the sky, they really do exists. Their beliefs also visit a lot of unnecessary misery on others.Drinking Beverage

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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19-08-2013, 02:10 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(19-08-2013 01:55 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote: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.

Well, why not open one today and I'll sign on? Who is stopping you and the other 10,000 Atheist webmasters in the world? Just because Atheists are so closed-minded they wouldn't start a Christian forum doesn't mean you have to imitate them all...

Why would we start a Christian forum? That makes no sense.

We are open-minded - Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, whatever can join here and discuss their religious views.

But atheists are booted from from Christian forums as a matter of policy.

We are open-minded, they are not.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-08-2013, 02:12 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(19-08-2013 01:53 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:so groupthink is your idea of utopia?

No, that would be a complete dystopia! I treasure the opinions of others. Even my spouse and I differ often yet we are one. One in spirit does not mean single-minded.

What I meant, if it wasn't clear over the last few posts, is that there cannot be kidnappers in Heaven, paedophiles, liars, adulterers, etc. tearing down the place. Nor can there be people in Heaven saying to God there, "You made children suffer and I hate you!" because that dissonant rebellion would ruin Heaven for those of us enjoying the Lord there.

Have you ever tried to read a good book with people screaming at you? Or watch a favorite movie with half the audience yapping on their cell phones?

If you don't understand what a utopia is, how can you dictate to me and to God what His perfect world must have in the way of suffering, pain or learning from suffering or pain? Do you see the double standard you have?
Double standard? Where did I express a double standard?

So no adulterers, what happened to confession/redemption? No liars, huh. Based on some of your posts here, I think you have disqualified yourself from heaven. Who draws up the rules in "your" heaven as to who gets in and who doesn't? What about slavery? Can a slaveowner be in heaven with you? What about rapists? Its not a commandment and there is precedent for acceptance for rape as long as you marry the victim? If I practiced FGM in Africa in "god's" name and was otherwise a good "christian" would I be in your heaven?
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19-08-2013, 02:16 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(19-08-2013 01:29 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
Quote:Fuck 'em, let them die - after all, it IS survival of the fittest right?

Excellent summation of the naturalist's position, yes. Thanks.

Right. You, uh... you do know he wasn't serious, right? I think you'll find precisely nobody has said that sincerely. I'm also pretty sure that you're well aware of that.

That pretty much sums you up, really. Idiotic or disingenuous. And it's not an exclusive or.

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19-08-2013, 03:36 PM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2013 03:52 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(19-08-2013 01:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  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.

I was using the phrase "cold" response to describe my own post, and it was in the same sense as a "cold call" or a "cold read". I simply meant that I hadn't read up on the conversation to date before responding to the OP.

As for whether I am a naturalist, that depends on what you mean by the word "naturalist". I do tend towards a philosophy of naturalism in my view of the universe, subject to a broad understanding of what constitutes "natural" phenomena. (I try to avoid using the language of "natural" versus "supernatural" simply due to an imprecise definition of what constitutes one or the other, but since you insist on it...) If a box falls off a shelf in my closet, I'm more inclined to speculate that some natural phenomenon, like vibrations through the wall from the water heater working, or some rodent having nudged it, caused it to fall off. I will favor this "natural" explanation over a "supernatural" explanation like, say, a ghost or divine intervention pushing it off the shelf, even if I'm in no position to confirm one or the other after the fact. In that sense, I am a naturalist. (I don't know whether you are one or not, in this sense.) However, I am quite certain that is not the sense in which you are using the word, because your characterized "naturalist" in this thread indicates your conception of naturalists drastically diverges from the type of naturalist that I am.

As for characterizing something filled with suffering and pain as cold (which I didn't do, but won't disagree with), the very act of acknowledging pain and suffering as evolved responses to circumstances (which I didn't get into, but don't disagree with) requires an awareness that pain and suffering exist. The perspective that they originated in evolution does not amount to dismissing them. It in fact requires the opposite.

(19-08-2013 01:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  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.

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.

As for whether the suffering accomplishes a greater goal (meaning, purpose, whatever) (EDIT: with the goal not being immediately obvious), the question still remains about whether that same goal could have been accomplished without the suffering, and whether the deity being discussed could have known that a better option existed. (Or if you prefer, whether the same goal could be accomplished without the suffering AND with free will maintained.) And if we're talking about an omnipotent, omniscient being, who sees all possibilities and to whom all things are possible, then the answer is yes simply by reference to that omnipotence and omniscience. Which in turn sets up the question of why said being chose a possibility that included suffering over one that didn't.

If we're not talking about such an omniscient, omnipotent being, or one which is characterized as loving or benevolent, then the problem of suffering is indeed less of a counterargument, and other counterarguments would be brought to bear instead. This is why I said that the problem of suffering is a narrow argument. It only works against a specific notion, in the same way that a Phillips screwdriver only a loosens a specific kind of screw. The fact that it's not particularly good at prying up nails doesn't mean that it's broken, and the fact that the problem of suffering doesn't address all notions of a deity doesn't mean it's wrong. It just means that when a different notion of a deity is brought up, we have to reach into the toolbox for a different tool.

(19-08-2013 01:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  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.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by adulthood. If you're proposing that humanity is growing, or has grown, into an adulthood where it will be in some way on the same level with your God, then you are most definitely in the minority of Christianity, and cannot reasonably expect our views of the Christian religion in general to actively address your own views specifically, especially on the points where they diverge from the majority. But again, I'm speculating about what you meant, and cannot make a good reply until you've clarified your comments.

As for not including love in the definition of omnipotence, I indeed did not. Nor did I rule it out in the definition. This makes sense, for it is possible to imagine a being that is omnipotent and loving, as well as imagine a being that is omnipotent and cruel. Omnipotence in itself does not imply either, and if a being were loving, cruel, or indifferent on top of being omnipotent, that would be an entirely separate quality, and not defined by omnipotence. The argument you are countering (what I've been calling the problem of suffering) originally leaves love as an open question, and at the outset assumes in neither direction. It is only as it advances that omnipotence, omniscience, the observable states of pain and suffering in the world around us, and a loving quality, are highlighted as inconsistent when juxtaposed. This in the end serves to cast doubt on the notion that the universe is presided over by a loving Christian God (in the traditional conception of such). But that conclusion (which is more inductive than deductive) is most certainly not definitional in nature.

(19-08-2013 01:37 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  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?"

And I could immediately drive the thread off-topic with the question of, "If there was an omnibenevolent, omnipotent God, why would it be impossible for That Thing to create free willed beings that WOULDN'T cause suffering, perhaps by crafting that creation so that suffering was impossible?" (It would seem to contradict with he property of omnipotence.) Which was a point of my original reply that you did not address, unless it was in your nebulous comments about shared power.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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19-08-2013, 05:40 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
PJ, a few questions:
1. What are the conditions for entry into heaven?
2. What are the conditions one experiences having failed to gain entry into heaven?

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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20-08-2013, 10:33 AM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
(19-08-2013 01:28 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
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.

(19-08-2013 01:28 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  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?

Nice. You want to play semantics, huh? I said 'gift' so you've decided it's okay to assume life was 'given'. Let's look at the quote, then, since you like wordplay:

"It's not always a gift to be alive..."

Not always a gift. There it is, right there, in plain English. So tell me, PJ: what is life when it is not a gift? Because that's what I actually said.

"Magical thinking," (more like 'PJ projecting magical thinking') by the way, is compatible with atheism. Atheism is the lack of belief in gods. If I wanted to believe in a gift-giving mindless thing, I guess I could. It still would be less of a stretch than believing in the Jesus fable.

(19-08-2013 01:28 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  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.

What is the gospel, then? What is witnessing? If gratitude is a free will choice, what are you doing trying to influence that choice with your witnessing? You forget, AGAIN, that this forum has a thread search. You absolutely believe we should be grateful to god. You just accept that 'free will' means many of us won't.

(19-08-2013 01:28 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
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..."

Not a straw man. You do not get to dismiss one of the biggest problems your religion has. Sorry. Children are punished with early, miserable death because of something that happened before they were born? That's just? That's perfection? That's love?

That's psychopathic. And you WORSHIP it.

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, 12:10 PM
RE: Why Must Children Suffer?
Quote: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.

Interesting. Others said on this very thread I posted some good logical thoughts and food for thought.

Are you saying someone else was the last person to post on those threads and that I abandoned them or are you just judging my work?
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