problem of evil and suffering
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28-08-2015, 09:56 AM
RE: problem of evil and suffering
(27-08-2015 06:08 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(27-08-2015 12:44 PM)Chas Wrote:  I'm going to quibble with that.

Evolution has given us some rudiments (e.g. empathy) that channel and limit what human societies will come up with for morality. There are some things (unwarranted killing, theft, etc.) that are so common to societies that people mistake them for absolute.

It's just that evolution is not arbitrary; the products of evolution need to survive and the attributes that aid that are whatever works.
What shows up may be considered arbitrary, but what persists is not.

No arguments from me. I made note of it in my own post, in fact, though in rather less detail - the mention of evolutionary and social pressures shaping the more common principles in play.

But, as a whole, morality remains unshaped by any sort of guiding hand or law. It is a byproduct of pack behaviors becoming molded into the species. I use "arbitrary", in this case, to indicate that it isn't in any way a law unto itself.

(27-08-2015 01:00 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  A tip: Do tell your opponent what your position is, if you want to be accused of honesty and forthrightness.

I have never hesitated to expound upon my various philosophical positions when asked, but I'm not the one who came into the thread spouting nonsense. If you'd like to question me, fine, but don't try to shift the spotlight onto another to avoid having to own up to your own failings.

(27-08-2015 01:00 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Please explain to us how it is that social pressures form collective morality. Please also explain how evolutionary, mechanistic processes formed morality.

Social animals that don't cooperate don't survive.

This is not complicated.

(27-08-2015 01:00 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Please explain why there is no universal law(s) of morality how it is that most if not all cultures at all times in all periods of history have held similar moral and legal codes.

Such as marrying your immediate family, the idea that the opportunity to rape the women and children of a slain opponent was a divine right, and so on?

Even ignoring the above, the fact that humans tend towards certain codes of behavior does not in any way indicate an external source of morality. The development of social mores is quite neatly within the predictions made by the theory of evolution.

The burden of proof is upon you, not me.

I think you are confusing our now-childish debate with real life. The burden of proof might be on me in a formal debate setting, but in life, you and I have to be responsible for living out our commitments. I think the commitment you have, for example, that rape and murder are possibly, subjectively warranted is awkward.

Do you disagree? I thought the "new atheists" let atheists finally have what the Christians seem to wish to deny them, moral codes--that are binding on all persons.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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28-08-2015, 10:00 AM
RE: problem of evil and suffering
(28-08-2015 09:53 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  God is hidden from those from those who loathe Him because that's the power of being self-willed.

So you can only see him if you already believe that he exists? Handy.

(28-08-2015 09:53 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  But as I've said BEFORE, YOU can have evidence from God.

Any time you wish it.

Based on your recent posts, you don't wish it.

Why? Are you afraid to have to deal with real evidence? Are you that cocksure that you are unwilling to pray to God? What's the worst thing that would happen? No answer, so that you would know for certain life is objectively meaningless?

Well, no. I'd hardly call that the worst thing that could happen. The worst thing would probably, again, involve a response from Azathoth, though I wouldn't be particularly enthused to receive a reply from your god either - he's not the most pleasant chap.

Regardless, I have prayed at multiple times in my life - mostly when I was very young, as my family is devoutly Catholic, so I got hauled to church a lot despite thinking the whole thing was extremely silly even then. There was never any reply.

Of course, the response to this is either that I have admitted to not loving God even when I was young, so of course I couldn't expect a response, or that I am outright lying - but then we're just getting into personal attacks rather than dealing with the question in hand, which is: how do you know that your prayers have actually been answered?

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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28-08-2015, 10:06 AM
RE: problem of evil and suffering
(28-08-2015 09:56 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  I think you are confusing our now-childish debate with real life. The burden of proof might be on me in a formal debate setting, but in life, you and I have to be responsible for living out our commitments. I think the commitment you have, for example, that rape and murder are possibly, subjectively warranted is awkward.

Do you disagree?

Yes.

You seem to be operating under the misapprehension that subjective morality necessarily means that I believe there is a situation in which rape is warranted. I do not*.

(28-08-2015 09:56 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  I thought the "new atheists" let atheists finally have what the Christians seem to wish to deny them, moral codes--that are binding on all persons.

I have no idea who you think that the "new atheists" are or what they believe. I speak for myself and no one else.

I have never seen the need for some sort of universal law of morality.

*: With the possible exception of the "do-this-horrible-thing-or-I-blow-up-the-trolley-full-of-orphans" scenario, which is both rather silly and irrelevant, as it still applies to supposedly objective moral codes as well.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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28-08-2015, 10:45 AM
RE: problem of evil and suffering
(28-08-2015 09:53 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Documentary evidence from reliable witnesses is available. There were 9 NT authors but 10 first-century historians who give credence to the events of the NT. Archaeology up to today's newspapers verify Bible prophecy.

Yawn. You have yet to provide a single example of any "archaeology" that verifies any Biblical prophecy. Your claims to do so have all been thoroughly refuted.

Quote:Are you that cocksure that you are unwilling to pray to God?

Prayer is a logically incoherent concept. An all-powerful, omniscient being is going to change his mind because I ask him to? Sorry, but that makes no sense at all. If he exists at all (which is highly doubtful), he's going to do what he's going to do. He "has a plan". I'm unwilling to pray to God because it's a complete waste of time. I don't need any other reason.
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28-08-2015, 11:39 AM (This post was last modified: 28-08-2015 11:57 AM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: problem of evil and suffering
(28-08-2015 10:45 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(28-08-2015 09:53 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Are you that cocksure that you are unwilling to pray to God?

Prayer is a logically incoherent concept. An all-powerful, omniscient being is going to change his mind because I ask him to? Sorry, but that makes no sense at all. If he exists at all (which is highly doubtful), he's going to do what he's going to do. He "has a plan". I'm unwilling to pray to God because it's a complete waste of time. I don't need any other reason.

But but but... how are you going to get the million dollars when you leave town if you don't kiss Hank's ass?

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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28-08-2015, 11:43 AM
RE: problem of evil and suffering
(28-08-2015 11:39 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(28-08-2015 10:45 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Prayer is a logically incoherent concept. An all-powerful, omniscient being is going to change his mind because I ask him to? Sorry, but that makes no sense at all. If he exists at all (which is highly doubtful), he's going to do what he's going to do. He "has a plan". I'm unwilling to pray to God because it's a complete waste of time. I don't need any other reason.

But but but... how are you going to get the million dollars when you leave town if you don't kiss Hank's ass?

Almighty himself will give me a cheque.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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04-09-2015, 01:16 PM
RE: problem of evil and suffering
(28-08-2015 10:00 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(28-08-2015 09:53 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  God is hidden from those from those who loathe Him because that's the power of being self-willed.

So you can only see him if you already believe that he exists? Handy.

(28-08-2015 09:53 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  But as I've said BEFORE, YOU can have evidence from God.

Any time you wish it.

Based on your recent posts, you don't wish it.

Why? Are you afraid to have to deal with real evidence? Are you that cocksure that you are unwilling to pray to God? What's the worst thing that would happen? No answer, so that you would know for certain life is objectively meaningless?

Well, no. I'd hardly call that the worst thing that could happen. The worst thing would probably, again, involve a response from Azathoth, though I wouldn't be particularly enthused to receive a reply from your god either - he's not the most pleasant chap.

Regardless, I have prayed at multiple times in my life - mostly when I was very young, as my family is devoutly Catholic, so I got hauled to church a lot despite thinking the whole thing was extremely silly even then. There was never any reply.

Of course, the response to this is either that I have admitted to not loving God even when I was young, so of course I couldn't expect a response, or that I am outright lying - but then we're just getting into personal attacks rather than dealing with the question in hand, which is: how do you know that your prayers have actually been answered?

No, rather, God is self-evident in the minds of those (most people) who haven't sullied their conscience fully (via skepticism).

And no, neither response is correct. It would be more correct, perhaps, to say that since you didn't give God a time limit when you prayed in your youth for revelation that I am the answer to your prayers. So now you know.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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04-09-2015, 01:18 PM
RE: problem of evil and suffering
(28-08-2015 10:06 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(28-08-2015 09:56 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  I think you are confusing our now-childish debate with real life. The burden of proof might be on me in a formal debate setting, but in life, you and I have to be responsible for living out our commitments. I think the commitment you have, for example, that rape and murder are possibly, subjectively warranted is awkward.

Do you disagree?

Yes.

You seem to be operating under the misapprehension that subjective morality necessarily means that I believe there is a situation in which rape is warranted. I do not*.

(28-08-2015 09:56 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  I thought the "new atheists" let atheists finally have what the Christians seem to wish to deny them, moral codes--that are binding on all persons.

I have no idea who you think that the "new atheists" are or what they believe. I speak for myself and no one else.

I have never seen the need for some sort of universal law of morality.

*: With the possible exception of the "do-this-horrible-thing-or-I-blow-up-the-trolley-full-of-orphans" scenario, which is both rather silly and irrelevant, as it still applies to supposedly objective moral codes as well.

So subjectively speaking, to you rape is always wrong. If it is wrong 100% of the time, you are saying it is an objective fact that rape is wrong. A fact is "on" 100% of the time.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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04-09-2015, 01:21 PM
RE: problem of evil and suffering
(28-08-2015 10:45 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(28-08-2015 09:53 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Documentary evidence from reliable witnesses is available. There were 9 NT authors but 10 first-century historians who give credence to the events of the NT. Archaeology up to today's newspapers verify Bible prophecy.

Yawn. You have yet to provide a single example of any "archaeology" that verifies any Biblical prophecy. Your claims to do so have all been thoroughly refuted.

Quote:Are you that cocksure that you are unwilling to pray to God?

Prayer is a logically incoherent concept. An all-powerful, omniscient being is going to change his mind because I ask him to? Sorry, but that makes no sense at all. If he exists at all (which is highly doubtful), he's going to do what he's going to do. He "has a plan". I'm unwilling to pray to God because it's a complete waste of time. I don't need any other reason.

I think you may misunderstand the nature of fact checking and evidence research. There is neither peer-reviewed research proving the miracle claims of the Bible nor peer-reviewed research disproving the miracle claims. We should not expect archaeology to find the wood of the ark or the wood of the true cross. There is, however, MUCH archaeology and history verifying that the NT and OT writers were contemporaneous to their periods. The NT was written "then" and not centuries after. We can proceed from there to understand the many conversions among Jewish people who could have pointed out then and there if there was no Jesus performing miracles then resurrecting in Jerusalem.

Prayer doesn't change God's mind or will, you have that right. Prayer, however, changes those who pray. Take out the mystic mumbo jumbo of heathen prayer and you have prayer is talking to God. Talking to my Father helps me feel right and understand my dilemmas.

Thanks.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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04-09-2015, 01:58 PM
RE: problem of evil and suffering
(04-09-2015 01:21 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  I think you may misunderstand the nature of fact checking and evidence research. There is neither peer-reviewed research proving the miracle claims of the Bible nor peer-reviewed research disproving the miracle claims. We should not expect archaeology to find the wood of the ark or the wood of the true cross. There is, however, MUCH archaeology and history verifying that the NT and OT writers were contemporaneous to their periods. The NT was written "then" and not centuries after. We can proceed from there to understand the many conversions among Jewish people who could have pointed out then and there if there was no Jesus performing miracles then resurrecting in Jerusalem.

Horseshit. No serious theological scholar thinks they were written "right then". The closest we have are the writings of Paul, and they are very different from the Gospels, when examined closely. The Gospels have all kinds of problems, and any serious (even Christian, just not fundamentalists who refuse to honestly consider the question for fear of defying The Truth™ as their churches demand it be) scholar knows it. No one expects the Ark because there are a thousand reasons we can demonstrate the Flood did not happen. Like most of what's in your Wholly Babble, it never happened. It's a story.

And as for the "miracle claims", no we have no research "disproving" magical events of 2000 years ago because how could we? But we do have the same group of Christians today who claim to make the same sort of miracles by the same mechanism as the original claimants, and groups like CSICOP have clearly demonstrated them to be false via the Scientific Method.

(04-09-2015 01:21 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Prayer doesn't change God's mind or will, you have that right. Prayer, however, changes those who pray. Take out the mystic mumbo jumbo of heathen prayer and you have prayer is talking to God. Talking to my Father helps me feel right and understand my dilemmas.

Thanks.

Just like meditation helps Buddhists feel right and understand their dilemmas. And it has measurable benefits to the body, in terms of blood pressure, stress hormone levels, etc., identical to the results of serious prayer... yet even they do not claim to be talking to God. You know what else changes people? Learning the skeptical mindset, so they stop accepting bologna and can learn to accept the world as it is, rather than as they wish it to be.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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