Suffering, prayer and god's will

fortitude
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Suffering, prayer and god's will

I ceased to believe in god when I finally let go of the idea that somehow suffering can be part of god's long term plan.  After quite a lot of other sh1t happening, my 30 year old husband of 10 years suffered permanent nerve damage to his lower spine due to cancer.  While he appeared to everyone else to be reasonably healthy, he was in fact unable to urinate.  He also lost sexual function and partially lost bowel function.  He had to self catheterize for the rest of his life.  Which turned out to only be another year due to proliferation of tumours in his brain. 

I am no philosopher.  I find that when people are talking about hypothetical occasions of suffering and god's will, they can always come up with hypothetical ways that God could be working in the situation.  So therefore, apparently, we have no right to judge it as unacceptable for an omnipotent god.  I could dismiss hypothetical suffering as not being in conflict with an omnipotent god.  I did for over a decade.  I could, however, not dismiss the private indignity and pain he suffered daily as being somehow beneficial to something.  No possible benefit could come of my husband being unable to urinate.  Noone will be inspired by a situation like that, and even if they were, it is abhorrent to think that it would in any way justify the suffering and indignity he went through.  It was a humiliation that brought him to depression.  I lost my belief in prayer then, and my belief in god followed along accordingly.

The christians in my life had many things to say about the situation.  At the time, the things were often hurtful, even as they were trying to be encouraging.  Things like 'it's all part of god's plan and god is always in control.  You just have to trust in him.'  It rang hollow.  More than hollow.  Horrifying really.  It was better for us to just admit that 'sh1t happens' to everyone, believer and unbeliever, worthy and unworthy.  He and I faced what came with courage.  And I was proud of the depths of courage he and I found in the horror that came.  He died almost two years ago.  And it was my strength that saw the situation through to it's conclusion.  Not god's grace.  I was there for our two children through all of it.  We came through it.  There was no'Footprints' poem moment where I realized that when my strength failed, that a magic daddy carried me.  I found depths to my humanity I didn't know I had.  I found wisdom in many situations that saw us through.  I was proud of myself for that.   And I was pround of my late husband for his dignity in facing death.  I became an atheist at peace with the choices I had made given a tragic situation.

"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right." Martin Luther King


BobSpence
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FurryCatHerder

FurryCatHerder wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

No, I was trying to figure out how far you were going to go with this.

What I do care about is that you've felt like you are allowed mock and ridicule myself and others just because for some reason or other my brain is wired to believe in G-d.

You are doing it again, jumping to conclusions about what we feel and why.

You are the one doing the most aggressive mocking and ridiculing here.

Bob, obviously (or not) I feel that I could go back through this and various other threads and point to where I felt "you started it".  What stands out the most for me in my memory of you, is where you asserted that using "G-d" instead of "God" was "ridiculous".  Not "different", or "an interesting perspective", but "ridiculous".  I didn't make you choose that word.  And maybe you didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition (I'm a Jew -- I get to gratuitously compare things to the Spanish Inquisition) for writing that, but frankly, you had plenty of opportunities to think better of it and passed them all by.

In the last reference I can find I made to G-d I said:

"I can see your point of view, even as I still find it a little silly."

I stand by that. If you are going to take such trivialities so seriously, you are justifying my general attitude to the ritual crap surrounding religion, which in many ways I find more irritatingly pointless than the belief itself.

You seem to have reacted more strongly to that than I have to "idiot". Who has the more adult sense of proportion?

Quote:

Quote:
At least you are honest enough to admit that you may have no better reason to believe in God than an inherited brain structure. There is certainly good evidence, from twin studies, that the predisposition to attribute certain mental experiences to an external entity is about 50% genetic.

And I trust that you understand that it can be equally said that you have no better reason to NOT believe in G-d than an inherited brain structure or lack thereof.

You want to disprove G-d?  It's impossible.  You want me to prove G-d?  Likewise impossible.  All that can be done is analyze whether or not a particular god-concept is internally consistent and whether or not it serves Humanity.  That's about as good as it gets, and even then, very subjective.  And that's what I see missing here -- acceptance of the limitations of "Logic" to the central topic of this entire website.  Logic cannot help you, except to point out that the task is impossible.

It is not a logically symmetrical situation. Proposing the existence of a logically unnecessary entity requires some extra justification, beyond the alternative of simply accepting what has some actual postive empirical support.

The mark of human intelligence is our ability to transcend, at least to some extent, our wired-in instincts and intuitions. That allows us to get closer to truth.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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FurryCatHerder wrote:So, why

FurryCatHerder wrote:

So, why are so many Catholic priests alcoholics?

 

Personal experience has shown me the answer to be of Irish and German influence... lol


Atheistextremist
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I'm pretty sure it's usually Bob

FurryCatHerder wrote:

You want to disprove G-d?  It's impossible.  You want me to prove G-d?  Likewise impossible.  All that can be done is analyze whether or not a particular god-concept is internally consistent and whether or not it serves Humanity.  That's about as good as it gets, and even then, very subjective.  And that's what I see missing here -- acceptance of the limitations of "Logic" to the central topic of this entire website.  Logic cannot help you, except to point out that the task is impossible.

Who tells our fundy brethren that logical contortions can't be used to prove god or not tho mostly the funsters are buried so deep in the poo they're not listening. 

Anyway - I think this argument has reached the head of the pin.

It would be good to know the truth of things, one way or the other.

I rather like this statement:

 

"All that can be done is analyze whether or not a particular god-concept is internally consistent and whether or not it serves Humanity.  That's about as good as it gets, and even then, very subjective".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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FurryCatHerder wrote:And


FurryCatHerder wrote:

And that's what I see missing here -- acceptance of the limitations of "Logic" to the central topic of this entire website.  Logic cannot help you, except to point out that the task is impossible.

 

From a philosophical standpoint, I see my atheism as my desire to promote that truth should stem from logic.  I.E. in order for it to be true, it must be capable of having logic applied to it.


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v4ultingbassist

v4ultingbassist wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

And that's what I see missing here -- acceptance of the limitations of "Logic" to the central topic of this entire website.  Logic cannot help you, except to point out that the task is impossible.

 From a philosophical standpoint, I see my atheism as my desire to promote that truth should stem from logic.  I.E. in order for it to be true, it must be capable of having logic applied to it.

Much of life is outside the domain of Logic.  And whether you, or I, or Bob or anyone else here wants to admit it, "G-d" falls well outside the domain of Logic.  No greater abuse of Logic, one way or the other, has been done in the name of religion that any other field, excluding perhaps only politics.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


v4ultingbassist
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FurryCatHerder

FurryCatHerder wrote:

v4ultingbassist wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

And that's what I see missing here -- acceptance of the limitations of "Logic" to the central topic of this entire website.  Logic cannot help you, except to point out that the task is impossible.

 From a philosophical standpoint, I see my atheism as my desire to promote that truth should stem from logic.  I.E. in order for it to be true, it must be capable of having logic applied to it.

Much of life is outside the domain of Logic. 

 

This is precisely what I don't agree with.  I don't see how humans can understand anything without logic.  We evolved our reasoning abilities, which rely heavily (arguably entirely) on the logic we have obseverd in the universe.  While things may not seem logical, I am of the belief that there is an explanation for everything, and if, for whatever reason, we can't understand something with reason and logic, then there simply isn't a way for humans (in their current evolutionary state) to understand it. 


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Nodeity,Quote:I don't like

Nodeity,

Quote:
I don't like that tactic either and I wasn't trying to trick you.  I want to get to the core of this discussion because we seem to be talking past each other and the conversation doesn't seem to be very useful, so far.  To that end, I was trying to find out more precisely where we agree and where we disagree.

 

jumbo1410 wrote:
If you are of the opinion that "something other than evil [being] produced does not speak to the argument [you are] trying to make", then you have forced my posisition.

 

I think we need to pick one point and work on that and then, if we both want to do so, move on from there.  Would you prefer to work at that point or another one?  Let's narrow the focus significantly and perhaps then we can have a better conversation.  You choose.

Or, if you'd like, we could start a new thread specifically for our discussion of the argument evil, and starting with a single point and working from there.  

Thankyou for the offer, but I am not sure if it will accomplish anything more than what has already been discussed. By the end of this thread we were writing page-long responses. In my experience, the more specific one becomes, the less coherent the arguments become. This happens with just about any study - matter, language, philosophy, science, morality, ethics etc.. I've often wondered if there is a measurable negative correlation between simplicity and coherency ("The paradox of simplicity&quotEye-wink.

 

But anyway, for the most part it was fun.

Fort:

Quote:
I also had read about the appeal to pity fallacy, and that it is a fallacy of irrelevance.  I would contend that when discussing suffering and death, the depths and reality of pain (physical, emotional and psychological) is relevant.  It is when theologians deny the reality or importance of real suffering, that bringing them into touch with the world of reality is a relevant part of a discussion.  If doing so evokes an emotional response, then perhaps those emotions have some relevance in the discussion.

Incorrect. Appeal to pitty is not just a fallacy of irrelevance - rather it is a fallacy of rhetoric. The difference is that what you say may be relevant, but it has no logical components. "I don't like coffee" has no logical components. "Coffee kills brain cells" does. They both can be relevant to a persons' decision not to drink coffee, but only one provides a basis for an argument - you cannot convince me that I do like coffee, but you can convince me that coffee does not kill brain cells.

Moreover, there is a general rule of impartiality assumed. The reason being, if partiality is passed as having logical force, then all I have to do is be partial to the opposite of what you are partial to - resulting in a stalemate. Bear in mind that the more people who are partial to your flavour of partiality, does not increase the force of your argument (no, not even inductive arguments work that way).

 

Quote:

One cannot simultaneously trust and mistrust something.  Since trust requires a force of will (also known as 'faith'), one cannot objectively mistrust that thing - lets call it Vince - while still maintaining by force of will trust in Vince.  One can justify Vince's behavior or lack of it (theodicity), ask Vince for answers, and ask for wisdom to better understand Vince.  While maintaining trust in Vince, you will only be able to absorb answers that support your trust in Vince, while explanations that would suggest your trust is misplaced are rejected.  Because you trust Vince.  As a choice.   

So once I decided that I would try out not trusting god, given god's apparent failure to live up to my expectations, I was able to look at the situation objectively.  I had no trust in anything at that point, on a trial basis.  

Ummm, I would disagree...

"Trust is a matter of degree" ... *waits for obvious objection* ...

If it weren't, "Faith as a mustard seed" would not make much sense. Objectively assessing your beliefs does not necessitate unbelief (unbelief is still not objective).

 

There are more points in contention than just these, but they are compounding, and I can't keep up.

 

@ Mellestad:

Quote:
I'm confused, are you saying that there is no human suffering that is not a result of human action?  Because...well, I guess if you are I just get to write you off as a nutjob.

No. I am proposing that human suffering is a result of action or inaction. Using a chess analogy - it is not how badly one fucks up, it is how well one recovers, that determines the outome of the game.

 

1. Man disobeyed God - should it have consequences?

2. Man kills other men - should it have consequences?

3. Man starves other men - should it have consequences?

4. Man rapes other men - should it have consequences?

5. Man destroys nature... you get the point.

 

@ Kevin R Brown:

...No. Just... no.

 


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jumbo1410 wrote:Using a

jumbo1410 wrote:
Using a chess analogy - it is not how badly one fucks up, it is how well one recovers, that determines the outome of the game.

Lol, you don't play chess, do you? 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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 So just what act of

 So just what act of omission leads to tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and the existence of nasty and virulent disease organisms and parasites?

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Quote:Lol, you don't play

Quote:
Lol, you don't play chess, do you?

You bet. Love it.

 

Quote:
So just what act of omission leads to tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and the existence of nasty and virulent disease organisms and parasites?

I think the answer was already given to you.

Adam and Eve allegedly disobeyed God - as a consequence they got turfed out of the padded sand-box of Eden to face Tsunamis and disease.

That said, floods and disease have been used by God to kill off the wicked before now, perhaps it is punishment - who knows.

Maybe we just don't take notice of the warning signs of Tsunami's, or invest enough in prevention thereby making it our responsibility.

 

I don't know. I'm tired, you figure it out.


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FurryCatHerder wrote:My sort

FurryCatHerder wrote:
My sort of "key theological concept" is that G-d exists outside our space-time.  So "then", "now" and "next Tuesday" are all the same.
Hmm.


From here:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Deadly Fingergun wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:
Don't have to know how to put together a quantum equation to know (which I got right and Bob got wrong) that the 2nd Law doesn't apply to quantum phenomena.

The premise that Bob advanced is that the 2nd Law can be applied, somehow or other, to "god" as a concept because "god" has to have some kind of "substrate" existing within this universe's space-time in order to be "sentient" such that the 2nd Law would apply.

False premise, invalid argument.  And that is Logic 101.  Also pronounced "Bob is an idiot".

And claiming that something that isn't part of this universe is called "special pleading". Pronounced "FurryCatherder's head rattles when you shake it".

Uh, all the things I mentioned as being irrelevant to 2nd Law based arguments very much ARE a part of this universe.  It only takes one something to invalidate the premise that all "omniscient gods" are somehow subject to 2nd Law arguments.

I realize I can be hard to follow because I don't claim G-d is a bearded old white guy sitting on a throne deciding who to zap tomorrow, but be VERY careful what you claim I've said because I've had people claim I've said things that are against my religion to say in the first place.

And the "h" in "Herder" is capitalized.  Furry Cat Herder.  And the cats are furry, not me.

All gods are a special plead, it's the only way they can be all the things their worshipers/believers need them to be.

Big E wrote:
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Why, yes, I am!


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jumbo1410 wrote:Quote:Lol,

jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:
Lol, you don't play chess, do you?

You bet. Love it.

 

Quote:
So just what act of omission leads to tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and the existence of nasty and virulent disease organisms and parasites?

I think the answer was already given to you.

Adam and Eve allegedly disobeyed God - as a consequence they got turfed out of the padded sand-box of Eden to face Tsunamis and disease.

That said, floods and disease have been used by God to kill off the wicked before now, perhaps it is punishment - who knows.

Maybe we just don't take notice of the warning signs of Tsunami's, or invest enough in prevention thereby making it our responsibility.

 

I don't know. I'm tired, you figure it out.

You are joking, right?

You take that G of E stuff seriously?

Whatever the merits or otherwise of arguments for the existence of a God, the G of E story is so clearly a story invented to try and justify why a presumed benevolent God would cause those things to happen, or refrain from stopping them.

That, along with very idea of visiting those evils on all the descendants of those blatantly mythical ancestor figures, is such an obscenely f**ked up concept. It supports and justifies every evil dictatorship (obey my arbitrary, unexplained orders, or else), and all the ongoing wars between ethnic or religious groups based on ancient transgressions, from the Balkans to Rwanda - "your grandfathers did evil things to our grandfathers".

Genesis is the best story ever written to justify Atheism...

I strikes me as one of the more offensive attempt to resolve the fundamental "problem of evil" confronted by every religion or world-view that believes in the basic fairness or justice of the God or Ultimate governing principle of reality. Buddhism's "karma' idea, that it is payback for stuff done in a past life is still lame, but it does attempt to blame some earlier version of yourself, even if you don't remember it, rather than other people who were presumably actually different individuals, with their own 'souls'.

If you are not joking, please reassure us you at least take it as an allegory, not an actual origin of man. Even as an allegory, the 'moral' reasoning behind it is still literally backward and evil.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Jumbo1410 wrote:Fort:Quote:I

Jumbo1410 wrote:

Fort:

Quote:
I also had read about the appeal to pity fallacy, and that it is a fallacy of irrelevance.  I would contend that when discussing suffering and death, the depths and reality of pain (physical, emotional and psychological) is relevant.  It is when theologians deny the reality or importance of real suffering, that bringing them into touch with the world of reality is a relevant part of a discussion.  If doing so evokes an emotional response, then perhaps those emotions have some relevance in the discussion.

Incorrect. Appeal to pitty is not just a fallacy of irrelevance - rather it is a fallacy of rhetoric. The difference is that what you say may be relevant, but it has no logical components. "I don't like coffee" has no logical components. "Coffee kills brain cells" does. They both can be relevant to a persons' decision not to drink coffee, but only one provides a basis for an argument - you cannot convince me that I do like coffee, but you can convince me that coffee does not kill brain cells.

When suffering is irrelevant to the argument, it is a fallacy.  The appeal to pity is just a fallacy of relevance - nothing more.  If I used an emotional appeal to distract from the real issue, then it is a fallacy.  When suffering is the crux of the discussion, then the reality of experienced suffering is evidence.  You can't arbitrarily decide that because some situation was personally painful, that it is irrelevant to the discussion.

One can also be suspicious of emotions and any discussion that evokes them as being manipulative. But suspicion of manipulation is not enough to dismiss  my examples.  That is just a convenient escape from a sticky problem.  Won't work.

I would contend that one cannot discuss suffering and it's putative meaning without understanding suffering.  It is how one rates the importance of real suffering that directly impacts the possible conclusions of all these theodicities.  

You say:

Quote:

I am proposing that human suffering is a result of action or inaction.

The theological argument of  the 'problem' of suffering (theodicity) dismisses only a strawman of suffering.  By dismissing this strawman, you dismiss the thousands of people experiencing this 'problem'.  When you are given concrete examples of suffering to try to fit into your argument, you have no answers.  You cannot prove that it was possible to prevent my late husband's nerve damage and death.  There is no difference between the experiential problem of suffering and the logical problem of suffering.  It is a false distinction.  Suffering is experience.  Nothing more.

 

Jumbo1410 wrote:

Moreover, there is a general rule of impartiality assumed.

Since when do the people in a logical argument have to be impartial.  Their arguments merely have to be sound.  Nice try at dismissing me though as emotional and irrational.

 

Jumbo1410 wrote:

fortitude wrote:

One cannot simultaneously trust and mistrust something.

Ummm, I would disagree...

"Trust is a matter of degree" ... *waits for obvious objection* ...

If it weren't, "Faith as a mustard seed" would not make much sense.

ummm, I am not required to make your bible make sense.  You are however, which is quite a liability.  I don't agree that trust is a matter of degree.  Calling trust 'faith' merely confuses the issue.   

Quote:
Objectively assessing your beliefs does not necessitate unbelief (unbelief is still not objective).

That's not what I said.  I said either you can trust as a force of will or suspend that trust in order to critically evaluate the previous object of your trust.  It doesn't require disbelief in the existence of the thing on order to mistrust it.

You suggested I was illogical in my process of gradually going from trusting believer to atheist.  I disagree.

Quote:
 

@ Mellestad:

Quote:
I'm confused, are you saying that there is no human suffering that is not a result of human action?  Because...well, I guess if you are I just get to write you off as a nutjob.

No. I am proposing that human suffering is a result of action or inaction.  

You can propose that the moon is made of cheese as well.  It is nearly as preposterous.  So prove your assertion - using the examples of

  • brain cancer - which killed my husband
  • trisomy 18 (chomosomal tripling) - my sister had a child die of this 

Prove that humans are to blame for their slowness in correcting the deficiencies in their own genetic encoding.  We don't even know at what point it will be possible to cure these diseases.  

As I said before, we would be happy to redirect the funds going toward supporting organized religion and putting it toward finding cures for the diseases that cause pain to so many people.

"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right." Martin Luther King


Atheistextremist
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Christians who take the bible

 

Literally make their task so much harder. The garden of eden concept is a farce. I don;t even think it's a jewish story, it got lifted from babylonian mythology. To lean this rubbish up against a wall and use it as justification for real suffering underscores in no small way the depletion of empathy typical believers undergo in their play for personal longevity.

Sure - the garden of eden justifies all the evil humans have ever experienced in the history of mankind and best of all - it's all our own fault!

Christians. How did we let these selfish people brand name our human morality?

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Literally make their task so much harder. The garden of eden concept is a farce. I don;t even think it's a jewish story, it got lifted from babylonian mythology. To lean this rubbish up against a wall and use it as justification for real suffering underscores in no small way the depletion of empathy typical believers undergo in their play for personal longevity.

Sure - the garden of eden justifies all the evil humans have ever experienced in the history of mankind and best of all - it's all our own fault!

Christians. How did we let these selfish people brand name our human morality?

 

 

 

 

 

  The concept of inherited guilt is pure nonsense.  If I was still a Christian and believed that I was going to Heaven after I died the first thing I would do after my arrival would be to slap Eve across the face as hard as I could and then kick Adam in his nuts and then scream "Thanks for f**king everything up you worthless pieces of crap !!!"

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.


Atheistextremist
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Hey good point

Eve is going straight over my knee and that fig leaf is going to provide no protection at all. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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empathy?

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Literally make their task so much harder. The garden of eden concept is a farce. I don;t even think it's a jewish story, it got lifted from babylonian mythology. To lean this rubbish up against a wall and use it as justification for real suffering underscores in no small way the depletion of empathy typical believers undergo in their play for personal longevity.

Sure - the garden of eden justifies all the evil humans have ever experienced in the history of mankind and best of all - it's all our own fault!

 Which is why it is ever so important to dismiss or discount stories like mine.  It makes their 'theodicities' so apparently sociopathic.

 

 

 

 

"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right." Martin Luther King


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jumbo1410 wrote:You bet.

jumbo1410 wrote:
You bet. Love it.

Oh, okay. That just seems like a strange analogy to use for someone who plays the game. 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


Atheistextremist
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Yes Fortitude

fortitude wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Literally make their task so much harder. The garden of eden concept is a farce. I don;t even think it's a jewish story, it got lifted from babylonian mythology. To lean this rubbish up against a wall and use it as justification for real suffering underscores in no small way the depletion of empathy typical believers undergo in their play for personal longevity.

Sure - the garden of eden justifies all the evil humans have ever experienced in the history of mankind and best of all - it's all our own fault!

 Which is why it is ever so important to dismiss or discount stories like mine.  It makes their 'theodicities' so apparently sociopathic.

 

It does seem to be a key thing for the godly to minimalise actual suffering in the real world. No doubt this is the mind set that will prevail on judgment day as the godly tuck into cabanossi and over salted cheese and alcohol free beer around god's steaming pit of a BBQ.

Thankfully we won't be there to hear the conversation.

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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 Quote:When suffering is

 

Quote:
When suffering is irrelevant to the argument, it is a fallacy.  The appeal to pity is just a fallacy of relevance - nothing more

You said you are new to the fallacy thing. I'm not sure what you are trying to say above, but if it is "Appeals to pity are appeals to irrelevance", then pop over to wiki and research it further. Of particular interest is the part about "The appeal to pity being a specific kind of appeal to emotion."
It is NOT a fallacy of irrelevance, given by the sentence "Recognizing an argument as an appeal to pity does not necessarily invalidate the conclusion or the factual assertions."
I think you should look over my post about "appeals to pity" a little more carefully, as I think there has been a misunderstanding. Maintaining that Appeals to Pity are appeals to irrelevance is really just another strawman, for it is not the position I am defending.
 Now, I asked that you state the reason why you stopped believing in God. I will ask again, but this time can you state it without the rhetoric or appeal to emotion please?
If the answer appears some time before this post, just post it up again.
 

Quote:
One can also be suspicious of emotions and any discussion that evokes them as being manipulative. But suspicion of manipulation is not enough to dismiss my examples.  That is just a convenient escape from a sticky problem.  Won't work.

 
Emotions have little or no logical components. I'd like to hear HOW they are relevant in a reasoned discussion though. A fallacy is a fallacy.
I take it that this is the context for the argument below. 
 
  
Quote:
I would contend that one cannot discuss suffering and it's putative meaning without understanding suffering.  It is how one rates the importance of real suffering that directly impacts the possible conclusions of all these theodicities.
You say:

Quote:
I am proposing that human suffering is a result of action or inaction.
 
The theological argument of  the 'problem' of suffering (theodicity) dismisses only a strawman of suffering.  By dismissing this strawman, you dismiss the thousands of people experiencing this 'problem'.  When you are given concrete examples of suffering to try to fit into your argument, you have no answers.  You cannot prove that it was possible to prevent my late husband's nerve damage and death.  There is no difference between the experiential problem of suffering and the logical problem of suffering.  It is a false distinction.  Suffering is experience.  Nothing more.


 
These are really just unreasoned statements, but I have tried to format them into an argument:


1.    The theological argument of the 'problem' of suffering (theodicity) dismisses only a strawman of suffering.
2.    It is how one rates the importance of real suffering that directly impacts the possible conclusions of all these theodicities.
3.    By dismissing this strawman, you dismiss the thousands of people experiencing this 'problem'.
4.    (When you are given concrete examples of suffering to try to fit into your argument, you have no answers.)
5.    (You cannot prove that it was possible to prevent my late husband's nerve damage and death.)

---
6.    I would contend that one cannot discuss suffering and it's putative meaning without understanding suffering
 
 
I have spent a bit of time going over what you have said, and am still not sure what you are driving at.
 
 

Quote:
The theological argument of the 'problem' of suffering (theodicity) dismisses only a strawman of suffering.

 
I was originally going to have this statement as the conclusion, but I don't see where this statement is supported at all in the argument. Now I take it you mean “Theodicies dismiss only an illusion of suffering”.
Firstly, my Theodicy does not represent all Theodicies.
Secondly, I'm not even sure what strawman you are referring to. I can only guess that you refer to the reality of those that suffer.
Third, you have not shown that any given Theodicy does not address the "real" issue of suffering.
 
Quote:
It is how one rates the importance of real suffering that directly impacts the possible conclusions of all these theodicities.

 
I believe that everyone takes suffering seriously. But you would have to define “importance” for there to be a contention, as many theologians think suffering is extremely important. It allows for “Greater Goods” for one, and may be character building in some cases. Would you have had the fortitude you have now if it weren’t for your husband’s suffering?
 
 
Quote:
By dismissing this strawman, you dismiss the thousands of people experiencing this 'problem'.

 
I don't think anyone is "dismissing" suffering or sufferers at all. Suffering actually leads some sufferers to God, so now there is a contention (in the context assumed) between those that believe suffering is bad and those that believe suffering is good.
I find it mildly frustrating that those who come to God via suffering are ridiculed on this forum for their conversion, while those who choose disbelief for the same reasons are praised.
The "Problem" does not exclusively support any of your conclusions so far.
In fact, it is irrelevant how many people believe either side. It's an ad populum fallacy when used to persuade people one way or the other.
 
Quote:
When you are given concrete examples of suffering to try to fit into your argument, you have no answers. You cannot prove that it was possible to prevent my late husband's nerve damage and death

 
And here is where I believe the real "crux" of your argument actually resides. "Jumbo doesn't know". Throughout my posts I have asked questions and framed ideas so as to ascertain an answer. Attacking the fact that I don't know is an ad homenim fallacy in this context.
Put another way, you are saying that because I don't have a coherent argument, I should just believe your side of affairs, which is an appeal to pity. This is no different than saying, "Well, you don't know a God doesn't exist, so you should just believe in one because it makes you feel better". This, combined with the ad populum fallacy, amounts to, "Besides, everyone here agrees that belief is better than non-belief". (You obviously do not believe this, but this drives the point home).
 
I believe your arguments do not hold water. I hope I have shown this not by emotion or rhetoric, but through reason and analogy. I would like to hear your revised argument - but please keep any objections "reasonable".
 
 
Quote:
There is no difference between the experiential problem of suffering and the logical problem of suffering.

 
There is a huge difference.
Quote:
Since when do the people in a logical argument have to be impartial.  Their arguments merely have to be sound.  Nice try at dismissing me though as emotional and irrational.

Impartiality helps with being objective. Is your argument sound?
 
Quote:
ummm, I am not required to make your bible make sense.  You are however, which is quite a liability.  I don't agree that trust is a matter of degree.  Calling trust 'faith' merely confuses the issue.

 
Very well, I disagree. Do you trust other people as much as you trust yourself? This really is futile.
 
Quote:

That's not what I said.  I said either you can trust as a force of will or suspend that trust in order to critically evaluate the previous object of your trust.  It doesn't require disbelief in the existence of the thing on order to mistrust it.
You suggested I was illogical in my process of gradually going from trusting believer to atheist.  I disagree.

 
So the options are either distrust or trust fully - a choice between black and white? You disagree about my evaluation of the process of gradually going from trusting believer to atheist; as being illogical?
Then what do you mean by "gradually" going from trusting believer to atheist? "Gradually" indicates some sort of transition from black to white - hence, your “trust” must have been a matter of degree.
 
Quote:

You can propose that the moon is made of cheese as well.  It is nearly as preposterous.  So prove your assertion - using the examples of brain cancer - which killed my husband trisomy 18 (chomosomal tripling) - my sister had a child die of this  Prove that humans are to blame for their slowness in correcting the deficiencies in their own genetic encoding.  We don't even know at what point it will be possible to cure these diseases.
As I said before, we would be happy to redirect the funds going toward supporting organized religion and putting it toward finding cures for the diseases that cause pain to so many people.

 
1. Pollution.
2. Incest somewhere in your genealogy - don't fret, tracing back human history (even in the bible), it occurs more often than you think, especially in Greece or Rome
3. Exposure to radiation for both.
The above need not be necessarily true. They do have to be possibly true, then plausibly true to be a coherent inductive argument. Bear in mind that I said this was a work in progress, hence the word "proposition".
 
AE/Fortitude:
Quote:
It does seem to be a key thing for the godly to minimalise actual suffering in the real world. No doubt this is the mind set that will prevail on judgment day as the godly tuck into cabanossi and over salted cheese and alcohol free beer around god's steaming pit of a BBQ.

Thankfully we won't be there to hear the conversation.

These sort of responses are exactly why pity fallacies are fallacies. Complaining about a lack of empathy is a waste of time - it achieves nothing. The list of fallacies above is extraordinary, the last thing you want to do is pile on more.


 


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Jumbo,While pollution and

Jumbo,

While pollution and radiation have both been proposed as causes of brain cancer, neither are the actual fault of the individual affected. In any individual case, radiation also includes naturally occurring sources, such as local mineral concentrations or cosmic rays, which are the responsibility of the creator of the universe, if any.

Viral infections are increasingly being implicated as possible causes of many cancers. Why are their viruses???

Genetic factors are also a significant factor , but NOT INCEST! That does not increase your chance of having any particular gene, harmful or otherwise, or having damaged genes. It only increases your chances of having two copies of any gene, and then only to a significant extent if your parents were closely related, rapidly reducing in effect as you trace further back.

Who allegedly "designed" our genetic makeup, which included the tendency to get cancer under various conditions, including the bad luck of inheriting several genes which together happen to make the chances of developing cancer much higher than normal???

 

The only proposed cause that can be blamed on the individual is tobacco smoking, which strangely enough, you didn't mention.

Viruses and genetic causes are explicable under a naturalistic world view, but require acts of intent or refusal to prevent on the part of God, under a religious world-view, and therefore are specifically evidence against an omnipotent benevolent God. Your attempts to spin things away from acknowledging this blatant truth are disgusting and pathetic.

 

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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I'm kind of disappointed

I'm kind of disappointed that Jumbo couldn't respond to my post. Maybe he just didn't see it.

Vastet wrote:
jumbo1410 wrote:

I doubt we will ever find out (it negates faith for one).

That's not true at all. Faith is negated NOW. In order to have faith in something, you have to at the very least believe it exists. You may have faith in a friend, but you cannot have faith in ultraviolet monkeys. I cannot have faith in a god unless I know or believe it exists. If I know or believe it exists, then I can have faith in it, or choose not to. Without the knowledge there is no choice to make.

FurryCatHerder wrote:
Okay, I'll give you one. G-d created everything there ever was, is and will be.

Did god create itself? I know and understand your reluctance to define god as defining it may limit it or attribute aspects to which it does not adhere, but to say it created everything is too vague.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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 jumbo1410

jumbo1410 wrote:

 

Quote:
When suffering is irrelevant to the argument, it is a fallacy.  The appeal to pity is just a fallacy of relevance - nothing more

You said you are new to the fallacy thing. I'm not sure what you are trying to say above, but if it is "Appeals to pity are appeals to irrelevance", then pop over to wiki and research it further. Of particular interest is the part about "The appeal to pity being a specific kind of appeal to emotion."
It is NOT a fallacy of irrelevance, given by the sentence "Recognizing an argument as an appeal to pity does not necessarily invalidate the conclusion or the factual assertions."


 

You want to dimiss any issue I bring up that involuntarily evokes a response from some 'emotional' or I would say instinctive part of your brain as being manipulative.  If you are capable of bypassing those visceral responses in your own brain and looking at it in a rational way, please do so.  My arguments to not depend on you having impaired brain function as a result of instinctual responses.

One of the few benefits of close familiarity with suffering is the ability to maintain objectivity and rationality even while viewing or discussing those types of suffering that instinctively release visceral, sometimes irrational , sometimes unhelpful thoughts and behaviors.  It is our evolutionary baggage.  You see that in doctors and nurses.  They do care about people - that's why they are there.  But their ability to bypass the instinctive response to suffering and help the person is one of the things that makes them so valuable to us. 

I claim that ability.  The fact that most people do not have it is a liability in discussion for me, not something I'm looking to take advantage of. Those who have not had a close association with suffering have not exercised their brain pathways to bypass those responses.  So the strategy of the person I'm talking to becomes one of avoidance of those types of topics, if they are to keep the rational part of their brain engaged fully.

I hope i have explained that in an understandable way.  And it by no means suggests a lack of sympathy or intelligence among anyone in such a discussion.  Just differences in experience and an odd sort of skill.

 

Jumbo1410 wrote:
  
Quote:
The theological argument of the 'problem' of suffering (theodicity) dismisses only a strawman of suffering.


Now I take it you mean “Theodicies dismiss only an illusion of suffering”.
Firstly, my Theodicy does not represent all Theodicies.
Secondly, I'm not even sure what strawman you are referring to. I can only guess that you refer to the reality of those that suffer.
Third, you have not shown that any given Theodicy does not address the "real" issue of suffering.


The various arguments  either deny that undeserved suffering exists, suggest that they are a result of  'original sin', or that they are the result of an act of human will.  Either way, defense of God gets to choose between the unwilling excuse or the unable excuse in these arguments.  Identification of suffering are reduced to aids babies, 'god won't give you a pony, so suck it up' , and the like.  However, such examples are usually not the 'meat' of the problem of indiscriminate suffering.  They are easy to dismiss (strawman).    
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I was able to prevent my child from suffering permanent spinal cord damage, would you fault me for failing to do so?  You certainly suggest in your arguments that people are resonsible for their failure to act.  So what if I told myself and my child that it would be character building for them and the whole family for them be permanently paralyzed?  Would that be considered good parenting?  Or would I be put in jail?  I suspect the latter would be the universal opinion.  What if my child was playing with a drug needle covered in AIDS virus in my sight?  I could tell myself that this is a learning lesson and that perhaps someone will be inspired by their struggle with a fatal disease.  Would that make me a good guardian of my child?

And for those of you Christians who say that's a bad analogy, Jesus supposedly used a very similar one when talking about god in Matthew 7:9-11.

 

 

As to the purported many benefits of indiscriminate suffering:

I found that the main 'inspiring' effect on other people during the course of our tragedy (is that too emotionally charged? - too bad) was to make them feel that their own problems were inconsequential, at least as a transitory effect.  What lasting effect on their life it had is not clear.  How is that enough of a benefit to outweigh the cost of a young father dying painfully?  Too emotional? - it's the fact of the situation - deal with it.  Turn off your visceral survival instincts and look at it rationally if you are able.   

I was strong before the tragedy.  I just didn't realize how strong.  It taught me things which I could have more easily learned at 60 as at 30.  It gave me confidence in myself.  Encounters with sufferers happen throughout our life, and it can be marginally beneficial to the observer in understanding our own mortality.  This is one of the reasons that wisdom often comes with age.  None of those inevitable 'learnings' can justify the process of a young man gradually loosing his ability to urinate (appeal to pity?  turn off your survival instincts and fear.  Look at it without those engaged, if you can.  Either way it makes sense.   

If you would not prevent that pain and humiliation (too emotional? - too bad) to happen to a person that you care about, how does god get off the hook?  If the answer is that 'God's ways are not our ways', then you have just stumbled on the reason that I lost trust in god.  Any god that gets to behave in ways that would be considered 'sociopathic' for a human is no god that I can respect or trust.

Jumbo1410 wrote:

 
Quote:

So prove your assertion - using the examples of brain cancer - which killed my husband trisomy 18 (chomosomal tripling) - my sister had a child die of this  Prove that humans are to blame for their slowness in correcting the deficiencies in their own genetic encoding.

 
1. Pollution.
2. Incest somewhere in your genealogy - don't fret, tracing back human history (even in the bible), it occurs more often than you think, especially in Greece or Rome
3. Exposure to radiation for both.
The above need not be necessarily true. They do have to be possibly true, then plausibly true to be a coherent inductive argument. Bear in mind that I said this was a work in progress, hence the word "proposition".

 

If I'm not structuring this discussion in a way that you recognize in formal logical debates, that's because this isn't a formal debate.  You would be in your comfort zone and I would be very much out of mine in trying to conform to such structure.  That doesn't make me less rational or intelligent.  Just less experienced in such formality.  As this is my thread originally, i guess I can write how I please.  

 

Saying that all suffering is a result of action or inaction has no physical or scientific support.  Ependymoma brain cancer has no known environmental or lifestyle causes.  It strikes children and adults in no relation to their location (a factor in human-caused pollution and radiation exposure) or their history of incest (royal houses of europe would be striken more than others).  If everyone has relatively equal histories of ancient incest, then it is still an indiscriminate killer.  Indiscriminate human suffering predates the industrial revolution, so you can't suggest with any validity that our current ailments all trace to diseases the technological industrial age.  You may as well suggest that genetic abnormalities in pre-industrial peasants was due to their choice in cooking fuel.  It has no meaning as to the resonsibility of a benevelent 'god' for acting to heal those indiscriminate ailments.

Trisomy 18 is a genetic 'misfire' which is more common in older mothers, but can occur in young mothers, as was my sister.  It has nothing to do with anything on your list, as these trends would be very quickly noted among medical literature.

In your opinion, is god capable of correcting physical ailments like brain cancer or trisomy 18?  Because the supposed logical impossibility (of overriding man's free will) does not hold up to scrutiny in those examples. 
 

 

Jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:
It is how one rates the importance of real suffering that directly impacts the possible conclusions of all these theodicities.

 
I believe that everyone takes suffering seriously. But you would have to define “importance” for there to be a contention, as many theologians think suffering is extremely important. It allows for “Greater Goods” for one, and may be character building in some cases. Would you have had the fortitude you have now if it weren’t for your husband’s suffering? 


 

 

By 'Importance' I meant 'relative importance' or how we rate the benefits and costs of an occurence of suffering.  In order to make indiscriminate suffering palatable and push the balance in favor of 'benefit', theodicities adressing indiscriminate suffering must caricature suffering.  They can say that physical, emotional and psychological pain is not, after all, really that bad for the sufferer.  In effect, this is putting one's thumb on the scale of 'good' and 'bad'. 

As humans in a human society, we instintively recognize and identify suffering = bad as a survival mechanism.  And are able to distinguish between 'good' pain and 'bad' pain.  Animals have the same survival instinct.  It's an evolutionary asset.  We recognize that suffering of children and parents of children is especially bad for our society, since survival of our society depends on survival and nurture of healthy children (evolutionary asset).   This is why it evokes such a visceral response in us.  This is one of the reasons that real, honest discussions of suffering are very difficult to disconnect from the emotional part of our brain.  But it can be done.

Sociopaths do not take suffering seriously.  (not an emotional 'plea' or ad hominem - just a fact that denies your assertion). Most criminals do not take suffering seriously.  Or they have decided that their own objectives are more important than the suffering of other people or even animals.  Their ends justify their means.  Lets say a gang banger kills another gang banger.  We as a society have determined that the ends (taking a thug off the streets) do not justify the means (killing).

"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right." Martin Luther King


BobSpence
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 The G of E story and

 The G of E story and Original Sin was the attempt by the main Middle Eastern religions to address the "problem of evil", but only succeeded in showing that their God was an evil petulant prick.

EDIT: And BTW, Fortitude, excellent response.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Respect, Fortitude.

 

Jumbo,

Does my suggestion that only a psychotic god could consider tormenting every unconverted teenager screamingly for all eternity constitute an appeal to pity? Is saying that his followers are less than completely human for rationalising his insane plans also an appeal to pity?

You could also let me know if my being required to love jesus because he died and was tortured in hell for me constitutes an appeal to pity from his side. I think it does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:It

Atheistextremist wrote:

It does seem to be a key thing for the godly to minimalise actual suffering in the real world. No doubt this is the mind set that will prevail on judgment day as the godly tuck into cabanossi and over salted cheese and alcohol free beer around god's steaming pit of a BBQ.

Thankfully we won't be there to hear the conversation.

There's a difference between "minimalize" and "minimize".  Some people seem to think the object is to "minimalize", in the sense of "trivialize", rather the "minimize", in the sense of "make there be less actual suffering".

Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d.  I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam Haba going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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@Jumbo:   I hope you get

@Jumbo: Sad  I hope you get around to showing some actual evidence for your claims about the causes of human suffering.  You always dodge the hard questions too...how is a tsunami caused by human action or inaction?  Or a meteor strike?  And now you are all the way back to claiming that we are being punished for what our nth degree ancestors did...which is pretty sad.  Why would you try so hard to defend a deity that...evil?

 

@Furry: Have you ever sat down and written out what your actual beliefs are about your religion?  You've been asked a couple times and it seems pretty hard to pin you down.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Olam Haba sounds a nice place for sail boats

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

It does seem to be a key thing for the godly to minimalise actual suffering in the real world. No doubt this is the mind set that will prevail on judgment day as the godly tuck into cabanossi and over salted cheese and alcohol free beer around god's steaming pit of a BBQ.

Thankfully we won't be there to hear the conversation.

There's a difference between "minimalize" and "minimize".  Some people seem to think the object is to "minimalize", in the sense of "trivialize", rather the "minimize", in the sense of "make there be less actual suffering".

Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d.  I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam Haba going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question.

 

In using minimalise in this context I meant they try to make suffering seem smaller/less than it actually is - they blank it out, make excuses and they'll cheerfully call vast suffering an appeal to pity. I'm not sure watching people being herded into hell is going to agree with me and I imagine judgment day as depicted in the bible would rapidly turn into history's most entertaining mass riot.

Anyway FurryCat, your views are so generally pleasing to former fundamentalist brainwash victims that I hope anytime I say anything unpleasant or denigrating about theists you can discount yourself as the target.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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FurryCatHerder wrote:  I'm

FurryCatHerder wrote:

  I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam Haba going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" .

Perhaps you are correct and that's how it will play out,    ...still, for various reasons, the prospect of eternal life, re-incarnation, etc is not very appealing to me.


 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.


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mellestad wrote:@Furry: Have

mellestad wrote:

@Furry: Have you ever sat down and written out what your actual beliefs are about your religion?  You've been asked a couple times and it seems pretty hard to pin you down.

Go study Judaism.  The belief that non-Jews who lead moral lives have a share in "The World to Come" is very normative Judaism these days.  Have a snippet from the URL I referenced earlier --

Quote:
Do non-Jews have a place in Olam Ha-Ba? Although there are a few statements to the contrary in the Talmud, the predominant view of Judaism is that the righteous of all nations have a share in the Olam Ha-Ba. Statements to the contrary were not based on the notion that membership in Judaism was required to get into Olam Ha-Ba, but were grounded in the observation that non-Jews were not righteous people. If you consider the behavior of the surrounding peoples at the time that the Talmud was written, you can understand the rabbis' attitudes. By the time of Rambam, the belief was firmly entrenched that the righteous of all nations have a share in the Olam Ha-Ba.

There is a MAJOR difference between Judaism and other religions, and double-plus-extra so for Christianity.  While Judaism and Islam don't insist you must be a Jew or a Muslim in order to go to "Heaven", Christianity not only insists you have to be a Christian, but different sects insist you must be "their" sect.

One bit of confusion that occurs is that "Righteous" has the same root as "Justice".  Thus a "righteous" person is not one who prays all day long, but rather one who does the JUST, PROPER and MORALLY CORRECT thing.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

There's a difference between "minimalize" and "minimize".  Some people seem to think the object is to "minimalize", in the sense of "trivialize", rather the "minimize", in the sense of "make there be less actual suffering".

Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d.  I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam Haba going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question.

In using minimalise in this context I meant they try to make suffering seem smaller/less than it actually is - they blank it out, make excuses and they'll cheerfully call vast suffering an appeal to pity. I'm not sure watching people being herded into hell is going to agree with me and I imagine judgment day as depicted in the bible would rapidly turn into history's most entertaining mass riot.

Yeah, I caught that from the context.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Anyway FurryCat, your views are so generally pleasing to former fundamentalist brainwash victims that I hope anytime I say anything unpleasant or denigrating about theists you can discount yourself as the target.

Judaism is a pretty laid back religion.  All the laws and whatnot can be a bit much -- like I should be lighting Chanukkah candles instead of typing (had to finish up some work-work) -- but it's just "Ethical Monotheism" and the "Monotheism" isn't a requirement unless you're a Jew.  So ... it's just ethics.

Anyway -- must go celebrate our victory over the Greeks over 2,000 years ago.  Gotta light some candles, thank G-d for all the cool stuff G-d has done, then eat lots of greasy food.  Chanukkah is the "Greasy Foods" holiday.  Which means -- fried potato pancakes and lots of donuts.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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Hey everyone,

Did this thread suddenly get bigger and clearer and easier to read? My presbyopia thanks the forum lord.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:Eve

Atheistextremist wrote:

Eve is going straight over my knee and that fig leaf is going to provide no protection at all. 

 

This sounds like something that would make an excellent cartoon.  She probably would have liked it anyways.  And this sounds more like a fantasy of yours than righteous indignation.  

I think a more humiliating punishment is in order. 

"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right." Martin Luther King


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Lol

fortitude wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Eve is going straight over my knee and that fig leaf is going to provide no protection at all. 

 

This sounds like something that would make an excellent cartoon.  She probably would have liked it anyways.  And this sounds more like a fantasy of yours than righteous indignation.  

I think a more humiliating punishment is in order. 

 

Yes I might have over-seized an opportunity there - though righteous indignation does lend necessary authenticity.

 

I'm not sure about poor eve - she was probably just trying to organise the family lunch while Adam ponced about boring the lord with his inane protestations of undying love.

Maybe the tree was closest to the picnic spot. In any case, odds are high she'd be exonerated by a normal god and it would turn out to be all Adam's fault.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Quote:If you would

Quote:
If you would not prevent that pain and humiliation (too emotional? - too bad) to happen to a person that you care about, how does god get off the hook?  If the answer is that 'God's ways are not our ways', then you have just stumbled on the reason that I lost trust in god.  Any god that gets to behave in ways that would be considered 'sociopathic' for a human is no god that I can respect or trust.

I'm saying I would prevent suffering if I could. What I will not do is blame God either way. That is what this is all about. You are casting doubts about the fact that you say you do not blame God as far as I am concerned.  You have not answered the trust issue either. Your posistion is extremely inconsistent, and now I look like a dick for trying to make it a little more formal.

The argument is yours, I resign.


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jumbo1410 wrote: Quote:If

jumbo1410 wrote:

 

 

 

Quote:
If you would not prevent that pain and humiliation (too emotional? - too bad) to happen to a person that you care about, how does god get off the hook?  If the answer is that 'God's ways are not our ways', then you have just stumbled on the reason that I lost trust in god.  Any god that gets to behave in ways that would be considered 'sociopathic' for a human is no god that I can respect or trust.

 

 

 

I'm saying I would prevent suffering if I could. What I will not do is blame God either way. That is what this is all about. You are casting doubts about the fact that you say you do not blame God as far as I am concerned.  You have not answered the trust issue either. Your posistion is extremely inconsistent, and now I look like a dick for trying to make it a little more formal.

The argument is yours, I resign.

An omnipotent, benevolent God is monstrously inconsistent with the world we find ourselves in.

EDIT: It is incredibly blind or hypocritical to accuse someone of inconsistency while not ackowledging that elephant in the room.

Throw that unnecessary and silly idea out.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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Crumbs...

jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:
If you would not prevent that pain and humiliation (too emotional? - too bad) to happen to a person that you care about, how does god get off the hook?  If the answer is that 'God's ways are not our ways', then you have just stumbled on the reason that I lost trust in god.  Any god that gets to behave in ways that would be considered 'sociopathic' for a human is no god that I can respect or trust.

I'm saying I would prevent suffering if I could. What I will not do is blame God either way. That is what this is all about. You are casting doubts about the fact that you say you do not blame God as far as I am concerned.  You have not answered the trust issue either. Your posistion is extremely inconsistent, and now I look like a dick for trying to make it a little more formal.

The argument is yours, I resign.

 

Empathy.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:Did

Atheistextremist wrote:

Did this thread suddenly get bigger and clearer and easier to read? My presbyopia thanks the forum lord.

You should thank G-d you're NOT Jewish.  This morning we were studying Pirkei Avot ("Wisdom of the Fathers" -- stuff written around the first century CE) and we're doing the around-the-table reading bit.  My Hebrew skills still require me to see the tiny little dots that are Hebrew vowels.  Except my bifocal prescription is out of date enough that I have to hold the book arms length to see them.  By which time they are too small to see anyway.

Must. Get. New. Bifocals.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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jumbo1410 wrote: What I

jumbo1410 wrote:
 What I will not do is blame God either way.

That is simply absurd.  With power and knowledge comes responsibility.  With ultimate power and ultimate knowledge comes ultimate responsibility.  There is no rational escape unless you can rationally justify divorcing power and knowledge from responsibility.

Reality is the graveyard of the gods.


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Hey NoDeity

 

Haven't you head the good news about free will?

god can't influence us or he reneges on our free will and this, combined with eve's fruity moment in the botanical gardens, makes evil all our own fault.

Of course this doesn't hold him back from using coercion to gather new chums - love me or you'll die - a relationship technique that I'm sure never occurred to Dale Carnegie.

Finally and best of all, we can't complain because that's an appeal to pity and renders our position fallacious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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NoDeity wrote:jumbo1410

NoDeity wrote:

jumbo1410 wrote:
 What I will not do is blame God either way.

That is simply absurd.  With power and knowledge comes responsibility.  With ultimate power and ultimate knowledge comes ultimate responsibility.  There is no rational escape unless you can rationally justify divorcing power and knowledge from responsibility.

That's a nice Nanny State morality.

Let me guess -- you're a staunch Socialist?  (Not that anything is wrong with being a Socialist -- a lot of my closest friends are Socialists.  I just want to know if you're internally consistent in your belief structures.)

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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NoDeity wrote:jumbo1410

NoDeity wrote:

jumbo1410 wrote:
 What I will not do is blame God either way.

That is simply absurd.  With power and knowledge comes responsibility.  With ultimate power and ultimate knowledge comes ultimate responsibility.  There is no rational escape unless you can rationally justify divorcing power and knowledge from responsibility.

Especially when it concerns beings which supposedly wouldn't even exist without the entity in question - that magnifies the responsibility enormously.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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FurryCatHerder wrote:NoDeity

FurryCatHerder wrote:

NoDeity wrote:

jumbo1410 wrote:
 What I will not do is blame God either way.

That is simply absurd.  With power and knowledge comes responsibility.  With ultimate power and ultimate knowledge comes ultimate responsibility.  There is no rational escape unless you can rationally justify divorcing power and knowledge from responsibility.

That's a nice Nanny State morality.

Let me guess -- you're a staunch Socialist?  (Not that anything is wrong with being a Socialist -- a lot of my closest friends are Socialists.  I just want to know if you're internally consistent in your belief structures.)

Incorrect.  I favour reducing the power of the state as much as possible (preferably to zero).  One of the reasons for that position is that power is responsibility and the state being responsible for me is something I find to be repugnant.

Reality is the graveyard of the gods.


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NoDeity wrote:FurryCatHerder

NoDeity wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

That's a nice Nanny State morality.

Let me guess -- you're a staunch Socialist?  (Not that anything is wrong with being a Socialist -- a lot of my closest friends are Socialists.  I just want to know if you're internally consistent in your belief structures.)

Incorrect.  I favour reducing the power of the state as much as possible (preferably to zero).  One of the reasons for that position is that power is responsibility and the state being responsible for me is something I find to be repugnant.

That assumes the State exists separately from the People, as opposed to the Government existing through the consent of the Governed.

It's your choice, as a participant in the process, whether you want the State to be responsible or the People to be responsible.  It isn't like there's some universal law which says states must be responsible.  It's just that "democracy" seems to be falling out of favor.  "Me-First-Ism" and "Screw-The-Poor" seems much more en vogue these days.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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FurryCatHerder wrote:NoDeity

FurryCatHerder wrote:

NoDeity wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

That's a nice Nanny State morality.

Let me guess -- you're a staunch Socialist?  (Not that anything is wrong with being a Socialist -- a lot of my closest friends are Socialists.  I just want to know if you're internally consistent in your belief structures.)

Incorrect.  I favour reducing the power of the state as much as possible (preferably to zero).  One of the reasons for that position is that power is responsibility and the state being responsible for me is something I find to be repugnant.

That assumes the State exists separately from the People, as opposed to the Government existing through the consent of the Governed.

Statists love to tell people that they are the state.  It's a lovely fantasy.  There is no "the People", by the way.

 

FurryCatHerder wrote:
It's your choice, as a participant in the process, whether you want the State to be responsible or the People to be responsible.  It isn't like there's some universal law which says states must be responsible.

Those who exercise power are responsible for the consequences of doing so, whether we're talking about gods or government.  How could it be otherwise? 

The actions of the state are the actions of individuals who happen to be in particular positions of power.

 

FurryCatHerder wrote:
It's just that "democracy" seems to be falling out of favor.  "Me-First-Ism" and "Screw-The-Poor" seems much more en vogue these days.

Democracy has nothing to do with fairness or compassion.  It's merely one of many ways of attempting to legitimize the state.  Elections are popularity contests; the popularity of an idea tells you nothing about its truth value or its morality and democracy can as easily give the appearance of legitimacy to atrocity as to kindness.

Reality is the graveyard of the gods.


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FurryCatHerder

FurryCatHerder wrote:

mellestad wrote:

@Furry: Have you ever sat down and written out what your actual beliefs are about your religion?  You've been asked a couple times and it seems pretty hard to pin you down.

Go study Judaism.  The belief that non-Jews who lead moral lives have a share in "The World to Come" is very normative Judaism these days.  Have a snippet from the URL I referenced earlier --

Quote:
Do non-Jews have a place in Olam Ha-Ba? Although there are a few statements to the contrary in the Talmud, the predominant view of Judaism is that the righteous of all nations have a share in the Olam Ha-Ba. Statements to the contrary were not based on the notion that membership in Judaism was required to get into Olam Ha-Ba, but were grounded in the observation that non-Jews were not righteous people. If you consider the behavior of the surrounding peoples at the time that the Talmud was written, you can understand the rabbis' attitudes. By the time of Rambam, the belief was firmly entrenched that the righteous of all nations have a share in the Olam Ha-Ba.

There is a MAJOR difference between Judaism and other religions, and double-plus-extra so for Christianity.  While Judaism and Islam don't insist you must be a Jew or a Muslim in order to go to "Heaven", Christianity not only insists you have to be a Christian, but different sects insist you must be "their" sect.

One bit of confusion that occurs is that "Righteous" has the same root as "Justice".  Thus a "righteous" person is not one who prays all day long, but rather one who does the JUST, PROPER and MORALLY CORRECT thing.

 

My specific question has been more about what you believe specifically.  Do you accept any supernatural claims about your religion or are you secular?  I have seen debates where someone is a Jew but basically secular and I am curious about where you fall.

At one point you said you (paraphrased) followed the religion because it was easier to build an acceptable morality using religion that without it.  I am aware that Judaism is not monolithic and there are many, often radically divergent interpretations...I am curious about the specifics of your belief.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad wrote:My specific

mellestad wrote:

My specific question has been more about what you believe specifically.  Do you accept any supernatural claims about your religion or are you secular?  I have seen debates where someone is a Jew but basically secular and I am curious about where you fall.

At one point you said you (paraphrased) followed the religion because it was easier to build an acceptable morality using religion that without it.  I am aware that Judaism is not monolithic and there are many, often radically divergent interpretations...I am curious about the specifics of your belief.

It's not important to me.  I'm definitely NOT a secular Jew.

But to answer your question, the question makes no sense -- G-d created "Nature", and G-d recreates the entire Universe instant by instant.  So ... what does "supernatural" mean in that context.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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Hi FurryCat

FurryCatHerder wrote:

G-d recreates the entire Universe instant by instant.

 

Do you mean sustains or actually recreates instant by instant? Wouldn't natural laws be sufficient to keep things on an even keel without poor god having to endlessly juggle all these subatomic balls?

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

G-d recreates the entire Universe instant by instant.

Do you mean sustains or actually recreates instant by instant? Wouldn't natural laws be sufficient to keep things on an even keel without poor god having to endlessly juggle all these subatomic balls?

Who do you think created those Natural Laws in the first place?

And some of y'all are as bad as pagan Theists who are constantly anthropomorphizing G-d.  Why would "juggling all these subatomic balls" be hard for G-d?

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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FurryCatHerder

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

G-d recreates the entire Universe instant by instant.

Do you mean sustains or actually recreates instant by instant? Wouldn't natural laws be sufficient to keep things on an even keel without poor god having to endlessly juggle all these subatomic balls?

Who do you think created those Natural Laws in the first place?

And some of y'all are as bad as pagan Theists who are constantly anthropomorphizing G-d.  Why would "juggling all these subatomic balls" be hard for G-d?

The natural Laws are just descriptions of the way stuff behaves, and as we dig deeper, the 'fundamental' laws become simpler and simpler in form. So the 'ultimate' laws are likely to follow from the same 'source' as the 'laws' of logic - the raw 'fact' that one thing can be distinguished from another, leading to the starting points of Logic, that A = A, and A ~= ~A.  A god itself would be just as contingent on such 'laws' existing.

As for 'recreating' the universe instant by instant' that is total bollocks, and totally unnecessary, whatever your concept of God. But of course 'God' itself is a totally unnecessary concept.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology