The Morality Dilemma

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The Morality Dilemma

Deriving the Morality Dilemma from the Euthyphro Dilemma
Consider the following: Is what is commanded by God good because it is good, or because it is commanded by God?

The Morality Dilemma

From here, we can infer that either: 1. God is not omnipotent, and must adhere to morals or 2. that for God and morals to be compatible, God must be an inferior being or 3. God has no basis for his actions and thus cannot act rationally and objective morality does not exist. This is the heart of the Morality Dilemma. How we reach these two conclusions can be seen in the following parts of this thread.

Implication #1
If the former, then God must be, in some aspects, subservient to morality. This means that God's sovereignty is compromised--morals are superior, at least in some regard, to his Will and power, and God's goodness depends on some independent standards, something that is unalterable. Clearly, this is a problem for those who consider God to be the most superior being, as even He is subject to something outside himself. If this is true, God cannot be omnipotent and all-sovereign.

Implication #2
If, on the other hand, morals are something created by God, morals must necessarily be inferior to him (lest he create morals only to have them rule over him, which takes us back to Implication #1). That means that if God chooses to follow such morals, he is following something lesser than what he is; this is a problem since that doesn't make God the greatest being as he is bogged down and controlled by something inferior than he is. Still, it doesn't seem like such a big deal, does it? A theist can merely answer that God exists outside of morals and be done with it, although some rather nasty questions must be answered about the nature of morality, but that is something that we will not discuss here.

Complications of Implication #2

When we combine Implication #2 with the Problem of Evil, serious complications arise for the Theist. The most popular response is that God allows free will to exist because it allows for some greater good to occur. To act with the purpose of achieving some greater good, however, implies following a moral system. If Implication #2 is to be followed, then that means that for God to determine that giving us free will and allowing evil to exist (two independent actions, mind you) will result in a greater good, he must have acted from morals. The complication here is that this means that at least for some time, God was not the most potent being, and was subservient to some lesser concept. That is, our world would be the creation of an inferior being than what God normally is. To complicate matters more, a Christian theist, who believes in an unchanging, omnipotent God would either have to admit that God changed into an inferior form of himself, contradicting his own theology OR admit that Free-Will Theodicy is not applicable to the Christian conception of God.

Implication #3

A. If the way God acts defines morality, then God has no basis for any of his actions. This is because God does not need to think about the consequences of his actions, as whatever they are, they must be inherently good. That is, it doesn't matter if killing someone infringes upon their free will, so long as God acts that way, it would be moral. This means there is no rational basis for morality, or any of God's actions. God could create a world were people can only make others suffer, and it would be moral. There would be no reason in the world why God would favor a perfect world over one full of suffering. Furthermore, the word "good" becomes a mere tautology (because God's Will=good) and there would be no difference between God and an all-powerful demon. In other words, God's rationality, goodness, and very identity is compromised.

B. Alternatively, if the Theist assumes that God was perfect and complete before creating or acting, then God was perfect without morals. That means that although we call God's actions "moral", to God they are merely his actions and he is not subject to them (if God decides not to kill, that would be called moral. If later he decides to kill, that would also be called moral, but God is not affected by any action, since morality is still dependent on him), and we are back to Implication #2.


Conclusion
This dilemma is by no means the be-all end-all question to Theism, let alone the question of "Does God exist". However, it seriously compromises the belief that God is omnipotent. Furthermore, it makes Free Will Theodicy tricky, as it is either the conception of an inferior God or a God that is not omnipotent, and for the Christian, it is not even an option.

Too lazy, didn't want to read it

Basically: If morals exist outside of God, at least in some regards, Morals must be greater than God. On the other hand, if morals are created by God, they are both arbitrary (a nasty little problem in and out of itself) and inferior to God, meaning that if God acts based on morals, he is an inferior being than what he was prior to subjecting himself to morality. This is a huge problem because Free Will Theodicy relies on God acting out of some moral system. It also implies that for Free Will theodicy to work, God's character and qualities must change, which directly contradicts Christian theology.

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

"You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You should be taken outside and shot!"


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The main basis of this

The main basis of this argument is that whatever God creates must be inferior to what God is. This is because if it isn't, God's omnipotence is reduced. Ex: If God were to create morality, and it IS superior to God, God has now placed a restriction on what he can or cannot do, and Implication #1 applies. On the other hand, if whatever God creates is alterable by Him, then it must be inferior to him. The reasoning behind this is that implication #1 is true only if morality is not alterable by God, and thus, it must be superior in some regard, able to override God's will. If something is alterable by God, then it is inferior. The instant that God subjects himself to morality (if we take implication #2), he is ruled by something inferior, making God himself an inferior being than what he was prior to being ruled by something inferior (this is just common sense). Henceforth, for God to act based on morality, he must change some aspect of himself and be an inferior being.

 

To illustrate this, I'll use a clear example: let us suppose humans are Created because of God's will. If humans cannot be altered by God, God's sovereignty is challenged along with his omnipotence. On the other hand, if God can control humans, then humans are inferior to God. Now, if for whatever reason God allowed himself to be controlled by humans, he would be an inferior being than the God that is not controlled by humans, as the former is inferior in some regard whereas the other is superior in all aspects. The same applies to morality.

 

I hope this makes sense.

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

"You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You should be taken outside and shot!"


EXC
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Religious morality reduces

Religious morality reduces to 'might makes right'. Every persons so called morality reduces to 'I do what is convenient, what I believe maximizes my own pleasure'.

Morality is a false concept powerful people use to manipulate and dominate others. So to analyze God's morality is meaningless. They are both false concepts. That is why this can not make sense.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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I think it is false to say

I think it is false to say there is no such thing as morality. I think there are two different moralities.

Jst like when theists confuse "law" as used by laymen as being a law maker, verses when a scientists uses the word "law".

Morality is not absolute, but exists only in the natural sense, not a divine sense as given by a fictional sky daddy.

I think you could call "morality" a description of "social norms". But our evolution as a species has developed into cooperation. The maximization of that "cooperation" could be called "morality".

I think without "morality" there would be kaos and no order and no groups at all. Now in saying that as I said, morality evolves and changes and is different to different people all over the world.

I think it is better to look at the word "morality" as merely being a word to describe social norms. Much like running isn't a thing, but a description of an action. Running exists even though it is not an actual thing.

 

 

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The Morality Dilemma has

The Morality Dilemma has nothing to do with whether or not objective morals exist, but rather, if morals and God co-exist, then what their relationship would be like, and what complications that brings up. It's basically telling theists, suppose we grant this, then it must logically follow -insert complication here-.

 

It can be summarized as thus:

 

Morals>God---> Non-sovereignty, lack of omnipotence

God>Morals---> Morals are inferior to God, so God himself cannot act with the goal to create a "greater good", as that follows a moral system which must inherently be inferior to him.

God=Morals---> God has no free will, and it means that perfection can exist without free will and that no "good" comes out of tempting people with evil or making evil an option.

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

"You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You should be taken outside and shot!"


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morality

I think you could say morality exists as a universal, but that is only after recognizing that it is a dependent and complex relation between physical acts and a subjective perspective.  That murder is objectively wrong has merit, but only if you assume certain shared desires and needs. Morality is dependent on our personal views, but so long as you determine a general right to life you can then logically reach objective conclusions on how people should act in order to protect that right.  Morality itself isn't a constant, but specific morality is.  Does that make sense?

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Ugh

[Double post]


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FreeHugMachine wrote:I think

FreeHugMachine wrote:

I think you could say morality exists as a universal, but that is only after recognizing that it is a dependent and complex relation between physical acts and a subjective perspective.  That murder is objectively wrong has merit, but only if you assume certain shared desires and needs. Morality is dependent on our personal views, but so long as you determine a general right to life you can then logically reach objective conclusions on how people should act in order to protect that right.  Morality itself isn't a constant, but specific morality is.  Does that make sense?

 

I follow completely, but what I'm trying to do with the Morality Dilemma is to expose how the existence of morals (which are fundamental to most versions of theism) actually compromise the position of God. The Dilemma assumes God and morals exists, and then examines the complications that arise.

 

The Dilemma can be summarized as follows:

 

If Morals>God--> God is not all-sovereign and omnipotent

If God>Morals--> God cannot with the intention of achieving the greater good, or he will be subjecting himself to something inferior than himself and therefore be an inferior being

If God=Morals--> God has no free will, and the greatest possible good can be achieved without free will or temptation of evil. This contradicts Free Will theodicy and it means God would create a world were evil wouldn't exist.

 

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

"You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You should be taken outside and shot!"


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D33PPURPLE wrote:If

D33PPURPLE wrote:

If God=Morals--> God has no free will, and the greatest possible good can be achieved without free will or temptation of evil. This contradicts Free Will theodicy and it means God would create a world were evil wouldn't exist.

 

Not necessarily. If by free will you mean choosing between right and wrong then you are correct, but free will is not defined in this way. A free will is a will free from outside influence in order to make "uncaused" decisions. The will has complete control over decisions and therefore is free.

Therefore even if God must act in a moral way (because what he does is moral by definition), this does not mean that he does not have free will. The fact that he is not able to do evil does not mean that his will is inhibited when making moral decisions when more than one outcome is good.

Assuming God does not have free will also does not present the problem you spoke of. All someone would have to do is reject that God achieved the greatest possible good. They would rightly reject it since it would only apply if God was beneath morality and not equal to it. If God is equal to morality, then he is the greatest possible good. If we are beneath that standard, then we must achieve it.

There is a third way to reject your conclusion. You assume that if free will theodicy is contradicted, then God would not have created evil or allowed man to create evil. For this argument, let us assume FWT is false. If we can come up with another reason for evil than "God values human free will above their eternal safety and comfort" then we will have shown your conclusion doesn't follow.

The answer arises from the answers to the previous objections. If God is the moral standard, then achieving it doesn't make sense for him. He is it. However, everything that he created would aspire to it since God's only inspiration is himself (and therefore what he created will have moral views based on him). Human aspiration and growth cannot be fueled without knowledge. This knowledge is given through personal experience. Therefore evil could be necessary in order to better understand good in order to better understand God.

This conclusion shows God creating evil in order to "achieve the greatest possible good" (which could be understanding both good and evil and only doing good), can make sense. The greatest good after understanding is the eradication of evil by means of good. Therefore humanity would be left with the knowledge of evil and not the will to do evil. Notice none of this requires man to be able to make "uncaused" decisions.


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FlamingHedge

FlamingHedge wrote:

 Therefore evil could be necessary in order to better understand good in order to better understand God.

So evil exists because of God's extreme narcissism and need to be worshiped? Or is he extremely insecure and just needs people to understand him?

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:So evil exists

EXC wrote:

So evil exists because of God's extreme narcissism and need to be worshiped? Or is he extremely insecure and just needs people to understand him?

 

It doesn't have to be either of those. Evil could exist for our ultimate benefit. The phrase "understanding God" is obviously completely foreign to you. Understanding how someone feels in order to comfort them is completely different from understanding someone who has supposedly created everything. The latter would be intellectually fulfilling - solving every problem and connecting every dot.


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...

What if God is Himself morality? Then He wouldn't be bound by it because He is it.

 

Edit: just finished reading your implications. Sorry. I think it was implication 4 A or something like that. If this is the case, which I believe it to be, then God is the measuring stick that justifies our pursuit to replicate our creator. A tangent argument of Descarte's Proof. I believe that was the correct correlation.


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FlamingHedge wrote:EXC

FlamingHedge wrote:

EXC wrote:

So evil exists because of God's extreme narcissism and need to be worshiped? Or is he extremely insecure and just needs people to understand him?

 

It doesn't have to be either of those. Evil could exist for our ultimate benefit. The phrase "understanding God" is obviously completely foreign to you. Understanding how someone feels in order to comfort them is completely different from understanding someone who has supposedly created everything. The latter would be intellectually fulfilling - solving every problem and connecting every dot.

 

Last November - I'll look up the news story if you insist - a mother in North Carolina sold her 5 year old daughter to a man who raped and killed the baby.  Could you please explain to me just what ultimate benefit this could have for anyone?  And don't tell me god wanted the baby in heaven - if he wanted her that bad, he could have just stopped her heart painlessly when she was asleep.  There was no need to torture her first.  God/s/dess is a sadistic bastard if evil is part of his/her/its/their plan.

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cj wrote:Last November -

cj wrote:

Last November - I'll look up the news story if you insist - a mother in North Carolina sold her 5 year old daughter to a man who raped and killed the baby.  Could you please explain to me just what ultimate benefit this could have for anyone?  And don't tell me god wanted the baby in heaven - if he wanted her that bad, he could have just stopped her heart painlessly when she was asleep.  There was no need to torture her first.  God/s/dess is a sadistic bastard if evil is part of his/her/its/their plan.

 

You don't have to look up the news story, it doesn't matter if it's true or not.

 

First off, it doesn't matter if you give me individual cases since I don't know anything about them. How am I to explain the results of such a case if I know nothing about it? Therefore if you wish to give an adequate rebuttal, it cannot include specific cases since not everything is known about them, and therefore it proves nothing if I can or can't give an explanation.

 

If you want me to take a stab at it anyway, then I suppose I will. However, it's just going to be a bunch of BS since I don't know anything about that case. Honestly, it isn't hard to turn any horrible scenario into the best thing that's ever happened to the planet. If you can't think of how to then you are very uncreative.

 

You obviously didn't understand anything I was saying about ultimate benefit. If someone is raped and murdered, then there doesn't seem to be many possible immediate benefits, but ultimately there could be thousands, and there is at least one guaranteed ultimate benefit which I already explained.

 

Your conclusion that God is a sadistic bastard if evil is a part of his plan also doesn't follow. Like I said, if evil is here so that we can come to understand it, and that by understanding it, we understand all that is good, then evil always has at least one ultimate benefit that would outweigh any temporary horrible results.

 

Also, just because you find an especially revolting case doesn't make your argument any stronger. All is does is appeal more to emotion, it still has no logical base.


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Hi FlamingHedge

FlamingHedge wrote:

Your conclusion that God is a sadistic bastard if evil is a part of his plan also doesn't follow. Like I said, if evil is here so that we can come to understand it, and that by understanding it, we understand all that is good, then evil always has at least one ultimate benefit that would outweigh any temporary horrible results.

Also, just because you find an especially revolting case doesn't make your argument any stronger. All is does is appeal more to emotion, it still has no logical base.

 

It's interesting you'd suggest the existence of evil with the associated eternal torment for the majority of humans is fine so long as it teaches some of us a lesson. Excellent notion. Very moral concept.

As for stories that baselessly appeal to emotion, I offer you calvary, the story of Jesus "Flash Gordon" Christ, a man who allegedly gave his life to save all of humanity.

Feel any emotion on Easter Friday, do we?

 

 

 

 

 

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cj
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FlamingHedge wrote:Your

FlamingHedge wrote:


Your conclusion that God is a sadistic bastard if evil is a part of his plan also doesn't follow. Like I said, if evil is here so that we can come to understand it, and that by understanding it, we understand all that is good, then evil always has at least one ultimate benefit that would outweigh any temporary horrible results.

 

Also, just because you find an especially revolting case doesn't make your argument any stronger. All is does is appeal more to emotion, it still has no logical base.

 

A dead child is not a temporary evil.  Death is a permanent condition.  Who knows, perhaps that child was the next genius - equal to Beethoven or Einstein or ......

So is hell a permanent condition - I have never seen or heard of anyone who claimed one could leave hell at any time during eternity for any reason.  Sounds permanently evil to me.

I have a perfectly fine logical base - one case of evil with out a positive result will trash your argument.  And I can find many, many cases of evil without positive results.  You could too, if you bothered to take a look around you.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Atheistextremist wrote:It's

Atheistextremist wrote:

It's interesting you'd suggest the existence of evil with the associated eternal torment for the majority of humans is fine so long as it teaches some of us a lesson. Excellent notion. Very moral concept.

As for stories that baselessly appeal to emotion, I offer you calvary, the story of Jesus "Flash Gordon" Christ, a man who allegedly gave his life to save all of humanity.

Feel any emotion on Easter Friday, do we?

It's interesting that you seem to think you know more about what I believe than I do. First off, I don't believe in hell, because if you do a short word study, it's not talked about once in any early christian writings until Tertullian including the new testament. Hell was actually only widely accepted after about 500 years of Christianity shortly before the dark ages (probably caused by the doctrine). There were several Christian schools of thought before that, one at Alexandria. That school clearly taught a doctrine called Universalism, which was a popular topic even among atheists and "pagans," as they called them. Don't assume you know anything about the doctrine from it's name. It's not taught in the UU Church, it's quite different. If you care to know where I am coming from, then go look up the doctrine. In the mean time, I'm just going to say, hell is gross, and it obviously doesn't exist.

 

I fail to see how Calvary baselessly appeals to emotion. I don't have any sort of emotional response when I hear the story, but that's probably because I know more of what it means than the people that do get that response. Also, the correct term is "Good Friday." Not that I ever go to those services.


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cj wrote:A dead child is not

cj wrote:

A dead child is not a temporary evil.  Death is a permanent condition.  Who knows, perhaps that child was the next genius - equal to Beethoven or Einstein or ......

So is hell a permanent condition - I have never seen or heard of anyone who claimed one could leave hell at any time during eternity for any reason.  Sounds permanently evil to me.

I have a perfectly fine logical base - one case of evil with out a positive result will trash your argument.  And I can find many, many cases of evil without positive results.  You could too, if you bothered to take a look around you.

Right, right, death is a permanent condition. Are you a gnostic atheist, or can you at least entertain the fact that death might not be permanent, and there isn't much way to know unless you die?

And even if you are an atheist, there was no way that child was going to be the next Beethoven or Einstein. Want to know how I know? The kid died. That's all that would ever have happened, unless you believe there is some way to override cause and effect.

Once again, I don't believe in hell, not every Christian does. I believe earth is temporary and it's purpose is so that we may learn what evil is. Seems perfectly consistent with the facts.

One case of evil does nothing to my argument, I already explained that. A million cases does nothing to my argument either. Why? Because the argument shows why those cases might be ultimately beneficial, and if you took one second to look at it, you'd have known that. There's no way for you to know that that case of evil did not have excessively more positive results than negative ones. Also, I said ultimately there would always be at least one positive result that would outweigh any negative ones (evil is known). If these two cases are true, then everything you come up with means nothing.


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FlamingHedge wrote:cj

FlamingHedge wrote:

cj wrote:

A dead child is not a temporary evil.  Death is a permanent condition.  Who knows, perhaps that child was the next genius - equal to Beethoven or Einstein or ......

So is hell a permanent condition - I have never seen or heard of anyone who claimed one could leave hell at any time during eternity for any reason.  Sounds permanently evil to me.

I have a perfectly fine logical base - one case of evil with out a positive result will trash your argument.  And I can find many, many cases of evil without positive results.  You could too, if you bothered to take a look around you.

Right, right, death is a permanent condition. Are you a gnostic atheist, or can you at least entertain the fact that death might not be permanent, and there isn't much way to know unless you die?

And even if you are an atheist, there was no way that child was going to be the next Beethoven or Einstein. Want to know how I know? The kid died. That's all that would ever have happened, unless you believe there is some way to override cause and effect.

Once again, I don't believe in hell, not every Christian does. I believe earth is temporary and it's purpose is so that we may learn what evil is. Seems perfectly consistent with the facts.

One case of evil does nothing to my argument, I already explained that. A million cases does nothing to my argument either. Why? Because the argument shows why those cases might be ultimately beneficial, and if you took one second to look at it, you'd have known that. There's no way for you to know that that case of evil did not have excessively more positive results than negative ones. Also, I said ultimately there would always be at least one positive result that would outweigh any negative ones (evil is known). If these two cases are true, then everything you come up with means nothing.

Hi.

What does a belief in life after death have to do with a lack of belief in gods?

Or that your particular flavor of God is the correct one?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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jcgadfly wrote:Hi.What does

jcgadfly wrote:

Hi.

What does a belief in life after death have to do with a lack of belief in gods?

Or that your particular flavor of God is the correct one?

You already know the answer. For the most part, people who believe in God or gods believe there is life after death. Therefore it's a valid assumption that if you are an atheist, you also hold no belief on life after death. However, he was certain there wasn't any, and the valid assumption was that he must be certain about God's existence in order to be certain of his position on the afterlife. Much more valid than presuming I believe in hell.

However, I understand your point. I shouldn't have made that assumption. It could be that he is uncertain of God's existence and certain that there is no afterlife. Though I don't see how that's possible, so I should have told him instead that it doesn't make sense that he holds a position on the afterlife and not one on God.

As for your other question, it really doesn't have anything to do with this discussion. I never said my God was the correct one, because then I'd have to prove it. I simply stated that a solution to this moral dilemma (or rather trilemma) is possible with that view of God. Your job would then be to attempt to disprove that solution by finding some inconsistency, not to ask the same old questions you probably bring up every time you talk to a theist.


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FlamingHedge wrote:Right,

FlamingHedge wrote:

Right, right, death is a permanent condition. Are you a gnostic atheist, or can you at least entertain the fact that death might not be permanent, and there isn't much way to know unless you die?

And even if you are an atheist, there was no way that child was going to be the next Beethoven or Einstein. Want to know how I know? The kid died. That's all that would ever have happened, unless you believe there is some way to override cause and effect.

But the lesson I learn form this is that might makes right. Therefore whatever is mighty, will be considered good by Christians.

I prefer CJs morality over this supposed almighty god. She is good while Yaweh is bad for allowing any suffering for any reason. But you don't say she is the ultimate good because you don't believe she can send you to heaven or hell. So there is no good and evil only powerful and not powerful. Ass kissers and non ass kissers.

FlamingHedge wrote:

Once again, I don't believe in hell, not every Christian does. I believe earth is temporary and it's purpose is so that we may learn what evil is. Seems perfectly consistent with the facts.

Funny how religion has evolved to where more and more christians don't believe in hell. Just shows Christianity is on it's way out because it's doctrines are indefensable. Let me guess 'love thy neighbor' is OK because this would not make you an outcast.

What if I learn that religion and superstion are 'evil' causes of a lot of suffering in the world? Do I go to this non-hell, even though Jesus states I would be in torment?

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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The "some greater benefit"

The "some greater benefit" argument doesn't hold any water if you also assert an omnipotent God.

1. God is omnipotent

2. There is evil in the world because God uses this evil to create a greater good.

 

The obvious next question is:

If God is omnipotent, why doesn't he just create the greater good without the evil?

 

In order for the "some greater benefit" to work, you need to have the evil be required for the greater benefit.  But this means that God is not omnipotent, because he can't make that benefit without that good.  Or alternatively, if he could, then why would he not.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


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EXC wrote:But the lesson I

EXC wrote:

But the lesson I learn form this is that might makes right. Therefore whatever is mighty, will be considered good by Christians.

I prefer CJs morality over this supposed almighty god. She is good while Yaweh is bad for allowing any suffering for any reason. But you don't say she is the ultimate good because you don't believe she can send you to heaven or hell. So there is no good and evil only powerful and not powerful. Ass kissers and non ass kissers.

Funny how religion has evolved to where more and more christians don't believe in hell. Just shows Christianity is on it's way out because it's doctrines are indefensable. Let me guess 'love thy neighbor' is OK because this would not make you an outcast.

What if I learn that religion and superstion are 'evil' causes of a lot of suffering in the world? Do I go to this non-hell, even though Jesus states I would be in torment?

That's not necessarily the intended lesson. I'm not defending Divine Command Theory, and I'm not saying that whoever is the strongest in smaller situations makes morality. I'm simply stating that God could be the origin of morality. Also "might makes right" wouldn't be detestable in this case since we would naturally agree being made from self-inspiration. The argument doesn't say how to determine morality, just that it's possible that God is the origin of morality.

Once again, God doesn't "allow," he predetermines. Allowing isn't logically possible for an omniscient, omnipotent first cause. Causing bad can be good iff several conditions are met:

1) The bad is educational for the purpose of understanding good

2) The bad is finite

3) The bad is done away with once it's purpose has been served

4) People are left with knowledge of bad and no desire to do bad (best possible case)

Also, God cannot send me to hell. It is against his character and therefore impossible for him. That and being an ass kisser wouldn't do anything for your chances since everything is predetermined.

Christianity hasn't evolved in response to an indefensible hell. It originally didn't accept a hell, was deluded by Papal Rome, and is now coming out of that. Get your facts straight. Your last statement showed me that you don't know what you are talking about, so I'm not going to respond to you anymore.


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Zaq wrote:The "some greater

Zaq wrote:

The "some greater benefit" argument doesn't hold any water if you also assert an omnipotent God.

1. God is omnipotent

2. There is evil in the world because God uses this evil to create a greater good.

 

The obvious next question is:

If God is omnipotent, why doesn't he just create the greater good without the evil?

 

In order for the "some greater benefit" to work, you need to have the evil be required for the greater benefit.  But this means that God is not omnipotent, because he can't make that benefit without that good.  Or alternatively, if he could, then why would he not.

Thank you for being the first person with a legitimate objection. You made my day.

Your objection has to do with a misapplication of the word omnipotent. Omnipotence with respect to the Omnipotent is impossible, therefore God is not omnipotent in that way. He is omnipotent with respect to what he created. This makes more sense and is quite natural. Therefore God cannot change who he is in order to change his methods, however, he can accomplish whatever he wants with his methods and with respect to his character.

Also the greater good was defined as "knowledge of evil without desire to do evil." Therefore if knowledge is acquired through discovery, then evil is necessary. The next question would then be, 'Why is knowledge acquired through discovery?' This is because knowledge not acquired through discovery is not meaningful. You could then say that God could get around this by supplying a false experience, but then we would have acquired knowledge of truth through a false means, and therefore it is worthless as well since our search is for absolute truth (evil being a part of that).


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I completely agree with

I completely agree with FreeHugMachine. Also I think CJ is way better than Yahweh. She has much higher moral standards and I would rather have her as a God instead...

I have done some thought into the Euthyphro Dilemma. I haven't come to any conclusion, mostly because of the fact that I don't know if God is omnipotent or not. Starting by the very definition of omnipotence. Omnipotence brings paradoxes that I can't solve. For me asking if God is omnipotent is the same as asking if 10 to teh power of 80 is better than infinite. I don't worry about this concept much.

But I'll say this: Even if moral is something lesser than God it is bigger than us humans. we are too weak, frail and stupid. Moral is an intrinsic value hard linked to life.

This made me think on a 3rd solution about the origin of moral or meta-ethics, perfectly described by the Euthyphro Dilemma.

Both solutions to the Euthyphro Dilemma propose moral as a thing outside God.

But I think there is a 3rd solution - Ethics is a part of God, it is part of is very nature it is not devisable. Saying that moral is lesser or bigger than God is the same as saying that oxygen and hydrogen are lesser or bigger than water.

Following this reasoning, if God was not created, neither were Ethics, they are hardwired to the very existence of Existence. As are numbers... I also believe that numbers were not created, they are a must for the existence of consciousness itself.

This, I believe, is the most likely explanation for me.

 

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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FlamingHedge wrote:1) The

FlamingHedge wrote:

1) The bad is educational for the purpose of understanding good
2) The bad is finite
3) The bad is done away with once it's purpose has been served
4) People are left with knowledge of bad and no desire to do bad (best possible case)


But if this god is all powerful, he doesn't need to use suffering to educate people. He could just instantly transfer this information to people's brain. If you're saying god needs to do this because there is no other way, you are putting a limit to his power. So he must be either a sadist that enjoys suffering as a means to teach or he is not all powerful.


FlamingHedge wrote:

Also, God cannot send me to hell. It is against his character and therefore impossible for him. That and being an ass kisser wouldn't do anything for your chances since everything is predetermined.


But if god is all powerful, he has the power to change his own character. He could decide at any point Christians bore me and just kiss my ass cause I'm all powerful. I'm going to send them to hell and bring atheists into eternal paradise. Who is to say this would be wrong?


FlamingHedge wrote:

Christianity hasn't evolved in response to an indefensible hell. It originally didn't accept a hell, was deluded by Papal Rome, and is now coming out of that. Get your facts straight. Your last statement showed me that you don't know what you are talking about, .


I thought Jesus was the first Christian. Here is what he said:


“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments. . .” Luke 16:23
The man in Luke 16:24 cries: ". . .I am tormented in this FLAME."

In Matthew 13:42, Jesus says: "And shall cast them into a FURNACE OF FIRE: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

In Matthew 25:41, Jesus says: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting FIRE,. . ."

Revelation 20:15 says, " And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the LAKE OF FIRE."

In Mark 9:46, Jesus Christ says about hell: "Where THEIR WORM dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
 

Are these verses wrong or did the infallable god want his infallable words to be easily misinterpreted? All part of the devine plan?

FlamingHedge wrote:

so I'm not going to respond to you anymore.

Or you can't respond because your position is indefensable.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


cj
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FlamingHedge wrote:1) The

FlamingHedge wrote:

1) The bad is educational for the purpose of understanding good

2) The bad is finite

3) The bad is done away with once it's purpose has been served

4) People are left with knowledge of bad and no desire to do bad (best possible case)

 

1.  This particular bad did not educate me.  Maybe it educated someone, but all I felt was disgust, despair and dismay.  I did not get a better understanding of good.  How could I do that?  All that happened for me was a confirmation of just how shitty some people can be.

2. I'm a true atheist.  When you are dead, you are dead.  And so is that child.  There is no finite bad here, only infinite.  And I meant the comment about genius as reflecting on the loss of her potential.  Maybe her potential was going to be another dope head like her mom, but maybe not.  And now we will never know.

3. The bad has not been done away with.  Oh, sure, this particular mom and this particular child rapist are put away.  But nothing has been done to prevent this in the future.  No one is examining our societal beliefs and practices and how to change them.  No one has an increased regard for women and children in our society because of this.  The headlines were on the internet for a few hours, the story may have been reported in a few non-local papers but not on the front page.  Just another rape, just another victim, just another dead child - big deal.  And all I feel is despair.

4.  Find me one child rapist who was or will be deterred by this story.  Find me one dope head who has or will suddenly decide to go clean because of this story.

 

PS:

Thanks for the nomination for goddess-hood, guys, but I respectfully decline.  Maybe when they raise the pay and the perks improve.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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FlamingHedge wrote:jcgadfly

FlamingHedge wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Hi.

What does a belief in life after death have to do with a lack of belief in gods?

Or that your particular flavor of God is the correct one?

You already know the answer. For the most part, people who believe in God or gods believe there is life after death. Therefore it's a valid assumption that if you are an atheist, you also hold no belief on life after death. However, he was certain there wasn't any, and the valid assumption was that he must be certain about God's existence in order to be certain of his position on the afterlife. Much more valid than presuming I believe in hell.

However, I understand your point. I shouldn't have made that assumption. It could be that he is uncertain of God's existence and certain that there is no afterlife. Though I don't see how that's possible, so I should have told him instead that it doesn't make sense that he holds a position on the afterlife and not one on God.

As for your other question, it really doesn't have anything to do with this discussion. I never said my God was the correct one, because then I'd have to prove it. I simply stated that a solution to this moral dilemma (or rather trilemma) is possible with that view of God. Your job would then be to attempt to disprove that solution by finding some inconsistency, not to ask the same old questions you probably bring up every time you talk to a theist.

Well, Buddhism holds to an afterlife without a god. JW's believe in God without an afterlife. Both options are possible. Put the broad brush down.

You're half right. You'd have to prove your position. I don't have to disprove your position to dispute it. After all, you are the one who claimed to have facts and that belief in your flavor of God was consistent with them.

And as for the "same old questions" - if they have to be repeated what does that tell you? It tells me those questions aren't being answered by these people who supposedly know the answer lies in believing in their God.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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cj wrote:FlamingHedge

cj wrote:

1.  This particular bad did not educate me.  Maybe it educated someone, but all I felt was disgust, despair and dismay.  I did not get a better understanding of good.  How could I do that?  All that happened for me was a confirmation of just how shitty some people can be.

2. I'm a true atheist.  When you are dead, you are dead.  And so is that child.  There is no finite bad here, only infinite.  And I meant the comment about genius as reflecting on the loss of her potential.  Maybe her potential was going to be another dope head like her mom, but maybe not.  And now we will never know.

3. The bad has not been done away with.  Oh, sure, this particular mom and this particular child rapist are put away.  But nothing has been done to prevent this in the future.  No one is examining our societal beliefs and practices and how to change them.  No one has an increased regard for women and children in our society because of this.  The headlines were on the internet for a few hours, the story may have been reported in a few non-local papers but not on the front page.  Just another rape, just another victim, just another dead child - big deal.  And all I feel is despair.

4.  Find me one child rapist who was or will be deterred by this story.  Find me one dope head who has or will suddenly decide to go clean because of this story.

1. By feeling disgust, despair, and dismay in response to that evil, you learned. How did you not get a better understanding of good? We come to understand what things are by first understanding what they are not. You understand that something is smooth by first understanding what is rough. Perfect smoothness, you come to understand, is the complete absence of roughness. In this same way, since you have seen that evil, you know what good is not. You learned whether you think you did or not.

2. So by true atheist, you mean you are a gnostic atheist? If you are, I'd like proof that God doesn't exist. If you aren't, then it makes no sense to say dead is dead forever. Also, there was no loss of potential. This is a different topic, but by the laws of cause and effect., nothing else could have possibly happened to that girl. Therefore, the only potential she had was to die. This isn't based on God, it's based on cause and effect. It's a position called determinism, you can look it up if you don't know what I'm talking about.

3. You have ruled out the possibility of life after death, and therefore ruled out the solution I was obviously referring to. First prove God doesn't exist, then we can discuss this from this position, and I'll be wrong. If you can't, then bad can be done away with in the afterlife.

4. I am being much more general in my conclusion than just this particular case. I am saying bad will only be a knowledge. This wouldn't be a decision of the dope-addict or the child rapist, it would be a dispensation of the actually ability to do bad. It's rather sad that you can't seem to comprehend what I am saying.


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FlamingHedge wrote:  We

FlamingHedge wrote:
  We come to understand what things are by first understanding what they are not. 

 

Really ?  For example, you mean Paris Hilton doesn't understand that she is fantastically wealthy simply because she's never experienced poverty ?  I seriously doubt it.

  

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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jcgadfly wrote:Well,

jcgadfly wrote:

Well, Buddhism holds to an afterlife without a god. JW's believe in God without an afterlife. Both options are possible. Put the broad brush down.

You're half right. You'd have to prove your position. I don't have to disprove your position to dispute it. After all, you are the one who claimed to have facts and that belief in your flavor of God was consistent with them.

And as for the "same old questions" - if they have to be repeated what does that tell you? It tells me those questions aren't being answered by these people who supposedly know the answer lies in believing in their God.

Yes, but an agnostic atheist cannot logically hold an absolute belief in no afterlife, because they are acknowledging that a God may exist, we just can't know. If a God may exist, then an afterlife may exist as well. In essence, you can say there is a God and there isn't an afterlife, you can say there is no God and there is an afterlife, you can say there is no God and there isn't an afterlife, but you cannot say there might be a God and there is no afterlife. You have to acknowledge that there might be an afterlife. Use your brain.

A small correction: JW's believe in an afterlife, just not for everyone.

I'm completely right in my next statement as well. I do not have to prove my position, because I am simply trying to show that it is POSSIBLE, not that it is true. My position is possible because it makes sense and is internally and externally consistent. If you want to state absolutely that God being responsible for the origin of morality is impossible, then you need proof. I am stating that it is possible. The position of possible simply needs to be consistent. It doesn't need facts, and I never claimed to have factual support anyhow. Stop putting words in my mouth, and stop asking irrelevant questions or I won't respond to you.

All repeating the same old question says to me is that you can't think of an actual argument for the current topic.


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:Really

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Really ?  For example, you mean Paris Hilton doesn't understand that she is fantastically wealthy simply because she's never experienced poverty ?  I seriously doubt it.

That's not at all what I said. Has Paris Hilton ever seen somebody else in poverty? Has Paris Hilton ever read about what poverty is? Has someone ever talked to Paris Hilton about poverty? Those are all legitimate ways to learn about poverty, and yes, I am saying that Paris Hilton would not know that she is wealthy if she didn't know what poverty is. Obviously. It's like saying Paris Hilton wouldn't know she was wealthy if she didn't know what not wealthy was. It's axiomatic and painfully obvious. I can't believe you actually tried objecting to that.


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FlamingHedge wrote:1. By

FlamingHedge wrote:

1. By feeling disgust, despair, and dismay in response to that evil, you learned. How did you not get a better understanding of good? We come to understand what things are by first understanding what they are not. You understand that something is smooth by first understanding what is rough. Perfect smoothness, you come to understand, is the complete absence of roughness. In this same way, since you have seen that evil, you know what good is not. You learned whether you think you did or not.

2. So by true atheist, you mean you are a gnostic atheist? If you are, I'd like proof that God doesn't exist. If you aren't, then it makes no sense to say dead is dead forever. Also, there was no loss of potential. This is a different topic, but by the laws of cause and effect., nothing else could have possibly happened to that girl. Therefore, the only potential she had was to die. This isn't based on God, it's based on cause and effect. It's a position called determinism, you can look it up if you don't know what I'm talking about.

3. You have ruled out the possibility of life after death, and therefore ruled out the solution I was obviously referring to. First prove God doesn't exist, then we can discuss this from this position, and I'll be wrong. If you can't, then bad can be done away with in the afterlife.

4. I am being much more general in my conclusion than just this particular case. I am saying bad will only be a knowledge. This wouldn't be a decision of the dope-addict or the child rapist, it would be a dispensation of the actually ability to do bad. It's rather sad that you can't seem to comprehend what I am saying.

 

1. What I had confirmed was that god/s/dess hates little girls.  There was no good outcome from this.  My understanding of good has not increased.

2.  Proof that god/s/dess doesn't exist - I am not into philosophy.  Someone here posted some sort of proof along those lines.  You will have to discuss that with them.  For me, it is enough that there is no evidence that god/s/dess has ever acted in this reality.  No physical measurements can be made of his/her/its/their influence.  You can feel it in your heart?  Bully for you.  I never could, even when I attended church and really, really wanted god in my life.  Give me something tangible and I'll think about it.

3.  No spirits.  No ghosts.  No paranormal experiences.  No verified faith healing.  James Randi's challenge still has not been claimed.  Show me one amputee who has a limb that magically regrew.  Something other than a flame retardant polyester dress that was hard to burn.  (That was my mom's story - said dress was inhabited by a demon <rolls eyes> ).  Give me one instance of hard physical proof that there is eternal life.  Just one.  Eternal life is just wishful thinking by a bunch of babies afraid of the dark. 

And if god/s/dess wanted that little girl so bad, why the hell did s/he/it/they have to torture her first?  To piss me off and turn me further away from god/s/dess?  HOW THE HELL CAN ETERNAL BLISS COMPENSATE FOR HAVING YOUR INSIDES TORN APART WHILE BEING STRANGLED?  "Oh, it's okay god/s/dess I understand why you had to have me raped by an adult man and strangled and all is wonderful now that I am in your holy presence.  Could you please forgive my sins while you are at it?"  You think this is okay?  You and your god are really sick puppies.

4.  I think you are delusional.  And I'm not sad that you are, I'm disgusted by your attitude.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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cj wrote:1. What I had

cj wrote:

1. What I had confirmed was that god/s/dess hates little girls.  There was no good outcome from this.  My understanding of good has not increased.

2.  Proof that god/s/dess doesn't exist - I am not into philosophy.  Someone here posted some sort of proof along those lines.  You will have to discuss that with them.  For me, it is enough that there is no evidence that god/s/dess has ever acted in this reality.  No physical measurements can be made of his/her/its/their influence.  You can feel it in your heart?  Bully for you.  I never could, even when I attended church and really, really wanted god in my life.  Give me something tangible and I'll think about it.

3.  No spirits.  No ghosts.  No paranormal experiences.  No verified faith healing.  James Randi's challenge still has not been claimed.  Show me one amputee who has a limb that magically regrew.  Something other than a flame retardant polyester dress that was hard to burn.  (That was my mom's story - said dress was inhabited by a demon <rolls eyes> ).  Give me one instance of hard physical proof that there is eternal life.  Just one.  Eternal life is just wishful thinking by a bunch of babies afraid of the dark. 

And if god/s/dess wanted that little girl so bad, why the hell did s/he/it/they have to torture her first?  To piss me off and turn me further away from god/s/dess?  HOW THE HELL CAN ETERNAL BLISS COMPENSATE FOR HAVING YOUR INSIDES TORN APART WHILE BEING STRANGLED?  "Oh, it's okay god/s/dess I understand why you had to have me raped by an adult man and strangled and all is wonderful now that I am in your holy presence.  Could you please forgive my sins while you are at it?"  You think this is okay?  You and your god are really sick puppies.

4.  I think you are delusional.  And I'm not sad that you are, I'm disgusted by your attitude.

You don't need physical proof to state that something is possible. You just need consistency. I don't need to prove their is a God. I don't need to prove their is an afterlife. I don't need to prove anything in order to state a possible alternative to the presented trilemma. This argument is by nature philosophical, so you shouldn't have even bothered talking if you weren't ready for a philosophical answer.

Not all knowledge is empirical, and some topics are specifically not empirical (God and morals being two). So you can't rule out philosophical arguments that are specified as not being empirical because they are not empirical.

You asked how an infinite amount of something can compensate for a finite amount of it's opposite? Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is infinite compensation.

Your comment of the girl's response to eternal bliss just shows how truly ignorant you are of the argument. On top of that, it seems all you are good at is emotional appeals (actually you can't be too good at those either since they aren't working). None of what you said is logical, and despite having shown that to you again and again, you ignore what I've said, so I'll stop responding to you.


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Excuse me if your theistic position

FlamingHedge wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

It's interesting you'd suggest the existence of evil with the associated eternal torment for the majority of humans is fine so long as it teaches some of us a lesson. Excellent notion. Very moral concept.

As for stories that baselessly appeal to emotion, I offer you calvary, the story of Jesus "Flash Gordon" Christ, a man who allegedly gave his life to save all of humanity.

Feel any emotion on Easter Friday, do we?

It's interesting that you seem to think you know more about what I believe than I do. First off, I don't believe in hell, because if you do a short word study, it's not talked about once in any early christian writings until Tertullian including the new testament. Hell was actually only widely accepted after about 500 years of Christianity shortly before the dark ages (probably caused by the doctrine). There were several Christian schools of thought before that, one at Alexandria. That school clearly taught a doctrine called Universalism, which was a popular topic even among atheists and "pagans," as they called them. Don't assume you know anything about the doctrine from it's name. It's not taught in the UU Church, it's quite different. If you care to know where I am coming from, then go look up the doctrine. In the mean time, I'm just going to say, hell is gross, and it obviously doesn't exist.

 

I fail to see how Calvary baselessly appeals to emotion. I don't have any sort of emotional response when I hear the story, but that's probably because I know more of what it means than the people that do get that response. Also, the correct term is "Good Friday." Not that I ever go to those services.

 

is so personally interpretative it falls outside of my comprehension of gospel teaching. In any case, I'm glad you don't believe in hell but I disagree that Calvary is not an appeal to emotion. Given jesus never actually died and went to heaven and rose again for the sins of the world, what else could it possibly be? There is no falsifiable proof any of the resurrection claims in the NT actually took place. Therefore, this is an appeal to emotion.

As for Easter Friday and Good Friday, debating these terms is fruitless. In my part of the world they are interchangeable. This is a pointless cultural variation.

The original issue, that evil is made worthwhile through its ability to teach us about good remains unanswered. To wit, millions of years of agonising death in childbirth and whatever other crap humans have battled with over time. Bone cancer, SIDS, viral infections. What good does emotional destruction offer us?

Conversely, badness makes perfect sense if we live in a competitive world, in flawed bodies surrounded by dangers and predators large and small. It makes no sense in the face of a loving god who is perfectly merciful and perfectly just. A god who, oddly, will address all the challenges of eradicating evil and living with non-robotic humans, lovingly, once all his penpals join him in heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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


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Flaming

FlamingHedge wrote:

Your objection has to do with a misapplication of the word omnipotent. Omnipotence with respect to the Omnipotent is impossible, therefore God is not omnipotent in that way. He is omnipotent with respect to what he created. This makes more sense and is quite natural. Therefore God cannot change who he is in order to change his methods, however, he can accomplish whatever he wants with his methods and with respect to his character.

 

This is a baseless assertion. I agree with you omnipotence is an impossible concept. But how do you know god is nominally omnipotent? How do you know anything about his nature at all? Does this gap-plug fit because it is verifiably true or because it makes more sense to you? Describing omnipotence as quite natural is an odd thing. You go on to speak with great authority on god's abilities. How do you substantiate any of these claims without appealing to ignorance?

 

 

 

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


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Atheistextremist wrote:is so

Atheistextremist wrote:

is so personally interpretative it falls outside of my comprehension of gospel teaching. In any case, I'm glad you don't believe in hell but I disagree that Calvary is not an appeal to emotion. Given jesus never actually died and went to heaven and rose again for the sins of the world, what else could it possibly be? There is no falsifiable proof any of the resurrection claims in the NT actually took place. Therefore, this is an appeal to emotion.

As for Easter Friday and Good Friday, debating these terms is fruitless. In my part of the world they are interchangeable. This is a pointless cultural variation.

The original issue, that evil is made worthwhile through its ability to teach us about good remains unanswered. To wit, millions of years of agonising death in childbirth and whatever other crap humans have battled with over time. Bone cancer, SIDS, viral infections. What good does emotional destruction offer us?

Conversely, badness makes perfect sense if we live in a competitive world, in flawed bodies surrounded by dangers and predators large and small. It makes no sense in the face of a loving god who is perfectly merciful and perfectly just. A god who, oddly, will address all the challenges of eradicating evil and living with non-robotic humans, lovingly, once all his penpals join him in heaven.

I'm not quite sure what you were trying to say in the first sentence because it was cut off. If it has to do with me personally interpreting the bible or whatnot, that is incorrect. You don't hear of christian universalists often, but there are actually quite a lot of them. Also, clearly reading early manuscripts is where the doctrine comes from, but none of this is all that relevant to this conversation so I'll drop it.

If the argument is that Calvary CAN be an appeal to emotion, then you are right. However, there isn't much way to know if it was intended as an appeal to emotion or not. I think it makes perfect logical sense in light of some other ideas, but that is also diverting off topic.

Right, well I'll try to stay away from cultural variations when correcting you.

The answer to your question, "What good does emotional destruction offer us?" is quite simple. It gives us a knowledge of emotion destruction. In turn, we better understand some positive aspects of emotion. If the greatest good is "knowledge of evil without desire of evil," then this is obviously beneficial since it heads towards that achievement.

Your second argument assumes the purpose of this world is to be shown mercy and justice from a loving god. If those are some of god's attributes but that isn't the purpose of life as we know it, then it is still possible to make sense of the situation. Also, addressing evil only after a certain period is not odd at all, assuming the purpose of evil is to acquire knowledge of it before it is eradicated.

As a final note, I want to clarify that the concept of free will (a will free from outside influence) is impossible in time. I'm not a christian that'll tell you that humans fucked up the omniscient omnipotent God's plan. I hold to determinism with God as the source, therefore predestination.


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Hi again, Flaming.

 

Look - we live in a world of extreme badness in which everyone and everything around us is falling apart, often in terrible pain. It's hard to rationalise the goodness of bad in this light.

It's especially confusing when our alleged ultimate goal is to be lifted into an elevated state where we can enjoy god's company without the attendant suffering.

If in heaven there will be no suffering what is suffering doing here? Does it really serve to separate us into groups of people who see pain as a sign there is no loving father and groups

who think it's a wonderful lesson in fortitude? How does this show which of us is moral and which not? Heaven will be filled with the guileless and hell with the dubious.

What sort of god would contrive such a mess? Bringing predestination into it only serves to make things worse, in my opinion. If god knows who will get to heaven. Create only them and get them

into heaven and go on endless picnics by gurgling summer rivers already.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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


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Atheistextremist wrote:This

Atheistextremist wrote:

This is a baseless assertion. I agree with you omnipotence is an impossible concept. But how do you know god is nominally omnipotent? How do you know anything about his nature at all? Does this gap-plug fit because it is verifiably true or because it makes more sense to you? Describing omnipotence as quite natural is an odd thing. You go on to speak with great authority on god's abilities. How do you substantiate any of these claims without appealing to ignorance?

I do not know that God is nominally omnipotent for sure. I believe it, and it is quite possibly true since it is consistent. That's all that is possible to prove, so I'm satisfied with that. For me it satisfies the question of why better than anything else, and therefore I enjoy philosophizing about it.

Omnipotence with respect to the thing created makes sense. If you were to create something from nothing, under perfect conditions, it makes sense that you would know everything about it and have complete control over it.

I have decided that a God that doesn't make sense is not worth my time. Therefore, when I philosophize about God, I operate under logic and assume that logic will be consistent with God. If I seem to be speaking with authority, sorry. I just postulate a reasonable God that seems extremely consistent with the Judeo-Christian one.

So, I don't appeal to ignorance, I appeal to possibility and reason. I also think that if my original reasoning is reasonable, then I will discover the truth about God.


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Atheistextremist wrote:Look

Atheistextremist wrote:

Look - we live in a world of extreme badness in which everyone and everything around us is falling apart, often in terrible pain. It's hard to rationalise the goodness of bad in this light.

It's especially confusing when our alleged ultimate goal is to be lifted into an elevated state where we can enjoy god's company without the attendant suffering.

If in heaven there will be no suffering what is suffering doing here? Does it really serve to separate us into groups of people who see pain as a sign there is no loving father and groups

who think it's a wonderful lesson in fortitude? How does this show which of us is moral and which not? Heaven will be filled with the guileless and hell with the dubious.

What sort of god would contrive such a mess? Bringing predestination into it only serves to make things worse, in my opinion. If god knows who will get to heaven. Create only them and get them

into heaven and go on endless picnics by gurgling summer rivers already.

 

It may be hard to rationalize the goodness of bad, but it isn't impossible seeing as I did. Suffering is here so we can learn what it is. If we know what it is without it, then this is the best possible scenario. There needs to be a period to learn about it though.

Remember, I don't believe in a hell. I hold the position that God saves everyone regardless of faith. There are many logical arguments for this, but it's also plain in the new testament:

1 Tim 4:9-11 - This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. These things command and teach.

So my answer: God didn't create a mess.

Maybe the last part was a joke, but I don't know anyone who thinks of heaven as a sort of "endless picnic" place. That isn't our ultimate goal, it's just a pleasurable earthly place. Our ultimate goal is not just infinitely higher quantitatively, but also qualitatively.


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Hi Flaming

FlamingHedge wrote:

I do not know that God is nominally omnipotent for sure. I believe it, and it is quite possibly true since it is consistent. That's all that is possible to prove, so I'm satisfied with that. For me it satisfies the question of why better than anything else, and therefore I enjoy philosophizing about it.

Omnipotence with respect to the thing created makes sense. If you were to create something from nothing, under perfect conditions, it makes sense that you would know everything about it and have complete control over it.

I have decided that a God that doesn't make sense is not worth my time. Therefore, when I philosophize about God, I operate under logic and assume that logic will be consistent with God. If I seem to be speaking with authority, sorry. I just postulate a reasonable God that seems extremely consistent with the Judeo-Christian one.

So, I don't appeal to ignorance, I appeal to possibility and reason. I also think that if my original reasoning is reasonable, then I will discover the truth about God.

 

Look - you don't have to apologise for speaking with authority. I'm taking the same tone anyway. The fact you don't believe in hell reflects credit on you in my eyes, even if I groan on about lack of evidence.

I like banging on about the god possibilities, too. And while I comprehend what you mean in your pursuit of a true god I can never understand why a withheld judgment on the possibility of a god we have never seen is not the best position.

God must exist outside the universe and therefore cannot be proved in any normal way. We might say that there must be some motive force for the beginning of the universe but there's no reason to think this would be an

anthropomorphic deity who longed specifically for a loving relationship with the deluded monkeys he created. I understand why a loving relationship with a "heavenly father" works from our mortal point of view. But from a god's point of view?

If god did create the universe he's likely to be a cloud of gas or background magnetism or something. He's not going to be some guy with feelings like ours - not unless we invented him and invested him with our 'best' qualities, that is. 

The appeal to ignorance I refer to is suggesting that because we do not and perhaps cannot know if there's a god, that there must be a god despite the fact there is no evidence of a god. We can wish there to be a god. We can imagine there's a god.

But we can't prove there is a god. In the absence of any proof, isn't it more honest to conclude there is no biblical deity?

 

 

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


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Naw

FlamingHedge wrote:

 

Maybe the last part was a joke, but I don't know anyone who thinks of heaven as a sort of "endless picnic" place. That isn't our ultimate goal, it's just a pleasurable earthly place. Our ultimate goal is not just infinitely higher quantitatively, but also qualitatively.

 

 

It wasn't a joke just a turn of phrase. What are people going to do in heaven? If I had my way it would be like that part in Omar Khayyam where the poet takes his girlfriend down to the river for wine and cheese. As a preacher's son I have had my fill of hymns and bible study. I imagine in heaven although there's no sin, there's still pleasure and lazing by a river sounds nice to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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


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I have to say

FlamingHedge wrote:

 

Our ultimate goal is not just infinitely higher quantitatively, but also qualitatively.

 

 

You're sneaking outside the realms of the knowable again. Can a human soul, given such exists; feel, know and experience things at an infinitely higher level of quality? And infinitely higher in comparison to what measure? I can imagine a momentary conception where in the process of attempting to grasp the hidden delights and glories of heaven, my brain might serve up a serotonin rush my prefrontal cortex conceptualised as a potential heaven 'infinitely higher' than a lazy afternoon beside a river but this would be subjective and without means of proof. It would be a product of my imagination's longing. And while it might say something about human craving it wouldn't say anything about heaven at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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


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FlamingHedge wrote:You don't

FlamingHedge wrote:

You don't need physical proof to state that something is possible. You just need consistency. I don't need to prove their is a God. I don't need to prove their is an afterlife. I don't need to prove anything in order to state a possible alternative to the presented trilemma. This argument is by nature philosophical, so you shouldn't have even bothered talking if you weren't ready for a philosophical answer.

Not all knowledge is empirical, and some topics are specifically not empirical (God and morals being two). So you can't rule out philosophical arguments that are specified as not being empirical because they are not empirical.

You asked how an infinite amount of something can compensate for a finite amount of it's opposite? Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is infinite compensation.

Your comment of the girl's response to eternal bliss just shows how truly ignorant you are of the argument. On top of that, it seems all you are good at is emotional appeals (actually you can't be too good at those either since they aren't working). None of what you said is logical, and despite having shown that to you again and again, you ignore what I've said, so I'll stop responding to you.

 

Maybe you don't need physical proof, but I do.  I am a pragmatic realist - which means if I can't measure it in some fashion, it doesn't exist.  Since most versions of god/s/dess are not measurable and there are no measurable effects of said being(s), then as far as I am concerned, s/he/it/they do not exist.

The morals of a society are measurable.  Compare health, wealth, rates of mental illness, number in and condition of jails and so on.  Those societies with the highest scores are the most moral. 

There is no such thing as infinite compensation - no sky fairy to bail you out.  No ultimate plan - just randomness.  Riddle me this - if god/s/dess has a plan for you, do you know what it is?  Don't you go through life just muddling along doing the best you can with what you have?  Yeah?  So what is the difference between you and me?  Ah, I get really, really pissed over nonsensical and cruel death and I try to think of ways to stop it.  You shrug and say - god's will - and do nothing.

Emotional?  Look - an menopausal old lady is emotional.  Get over it - and thank your god/s/dess for making old ladies cranky.  It is, after god's fault.  Think of it as a test of your faith in god's supposed goodness.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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That's fine as far as it goes, Flaming,

 

FlamingHedge wrote:

You don't need physical proof to state that something is possible. You just need consistency. I don't need to prove their is a God. I don't need to prove their is an afterlife. I don't need to prove anything in order to state a possible alternative to the presented trilemma. This argument is by nature philosophical, so you shouldn't have even bothered talking if you weren't ready for a philosophical answer.

 

But philosophy remains subjective opinion until proven, at which point it becomes scientific theory. For instance, there's no such thing as the philosophy of electrical conduction.

And Newton's mathematical principles of natural philosophy is now embodied in the laws of gravity.

Is there a specific philosophical position you feel best supports your theistic belief system or is it a more general thing relying on a range of philosophical and other positions?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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


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Atheistextremist wrote:Look

Atheistextremist wrote:

Look - you don't have to apologise for speaking with authority. I'm taking the same tone anyway. The fact you don't believe in hell reflects credit on you in my eyes, even if I groan on about lack of evidence.

I like banging on about the god possibilities, too. And while I comprehend what you mean in your pursuit of a true god I can never understand why a withheld judgment on the possibility of a god we have never seen is not the best position.

God must exist outside the universe and therefore cannot be proved in any normal way. We might say that there must be some motive force for the beginning of the universe but there's no reason to think this would be an

anthropomorphic deity who longed specifically for a loving relationship with the deluded monkeys he created. I understand why a loving relationship with a "heavenly father" works from our mortal point of view. But from a god's point of view?

If god did create the universe he's likely to be a cloud of gas or background magnetism or something. He's not going to be some guy with feelings like ours - not unless we invented him and invested him with our 'best' qualities, that is. 

The appeal to ignorance I refer to is suggesting that because we do not and perhaps cannot know if there's a god, that there must be a god despite the fact there is no evidence of a god. We can wish there to be a god. We can imagine there's a god.

But we can't prove there is a god. In the absence of any proof, isn't it more honest to conclude there is no biblical deity?

It is honest to conclude that there might be a biblical deity. If empirical proof is possible, then it would be dishonest to believe something without it. However, it isn't possible, so belief and disbelief should be based on rigorous philosophical work. People believe possible, unprovable things all the time. All that has to be shown for it to be satisfying is that it is internally and externally consistent. Morality is another such case. Utilitarianism, while unprovable, is a satisfying explanation of morals for many people.

Also, it isn't withheld judgment, it's permanently removed judgment, since there will never be any solid proof. A lot of atheists are just lazy in my opinion. They ask for proof for a being that is by definition unprovable before they will consider it. Obviously this is the incorrect approach since it trashes the endeavor from the start. To me, it makes sense to accept God as a possibility and then do philosophical work in an attempt to reach the best possible conclusion.

I agree that God is likely to be some strange foreign "substance," which is why the Christian claim that he is "Spirit" is interesting. However, it is more likely that he will be a guy with feelings like ours, since if he did create us, his inspiration was most likely himself. It is also possible that his "feelings" or "emotions" are idealized versions of ours, not constricted by time.


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I don't agree it's sloth

 

FlamingHedge wrote:

Also, it isn't withheld judgment, it's permanently removed judgment, since there will never be any solid proof. A lot of atheists are just lazy in my opinion. They ask for proof for a being that is by definition unprovable before they will consider it. Obviously this is the incorrect approach since it trashes the endeavor from the start. To me, it makes sense to accept God as a possibility and then do philosophical work in an attempt to reach the best possible conclusion.

 

But I think there is a type of mind that follows a philosophical path to god. I don't have that type of mind. Many philosophical arguments to me are outright fabrications that may have internal consistency of a sort but don't represent reality in any way. The chances I would embrace a malevolent god under threat, without proof, are not high. I see philosophy as an interesting way to think that breaks free from general rules. But I have yet to hear a philosophical argument for the existence of god that was compelling.

To me the absence of absolute knowledge allows humans to turn loose all their cognitive shortcomings and project weird and unlikely alternative realities on the complete unknown. I still say the honest position is to not know. You can imagine how it sounds to fact-based mind when some one says decries it for asking for proof of something that is unprovable. If it's unprovable, how is it you are so convinced? You seem to know quite a lot of specific things about this unprovable thing. How can this be?

 

 

 

 

 

"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 wasn't a joke just a turn of phrase. What are people going to do in heaven? If I had my way it would be like that part in Omar Khayyam where the poet takes his girlfriend down to the river for wine and cheese. As a preacher's son I have had my fill of hymns and bible study. I imagine in heaven although there's no sin, there's still pleasure and lazing by a river sounds nice to me.

Well, I could explain what the bible says about heaven, but it'd take awhile and it wouldn't be worth it if you didn't really care to know


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Atheistextremist wrote:But

Atheistextremist wrote:

But philosophy remains subjective opinion until proven, at which point it becomes scientific theory. For instance, there's no such thing as the philosophy of electrical conduction.

And Newton's mathematical principles of natural philosophy is now embodied in the laws of gravity.

Is there a specific philosophical position you feel best supports your theistic belief system or is it a more general thing relying on a range of philosophical and other positions?

Philosophy is not completely subjective since it relies on logic. It is only subjective when logic allows for more than one satisfying answer, which doesn't happen too often. While much philosophy eventually becomes scientific theory, much of it cannot.

There isn't a position that directly supports my theistic belief system that I can think of off the top of my head. For the most part, I assume a God, and then question what he could possibly be like. The philosophy done simply shows what kinds of Gods are possible and which ones are most likely and most satisfying. You are also able to deduce whether anyone has possibly found the right God by comparing their system of beliefs to the philosophy done.

 


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Atheistextremist wrote:But I

Atheistextremist wrote:

But I think there is a type of mind that follows a philosophical path to god. I don't have that type of mind. Many philosophical arguments to me are outright fabrications that may have internal consistency of a sort but don't represent reality in any way. The chances I would embrace a malevolent god under threat, without proof, are not high. I see philosophy as an interesting way to think that breaks free from general rules. But I have yet to hear a philosophical argument for the existence of god that was compelling.

To me the absence of absolute knowledge allows humans to turn loose all their cognitive shortcomings and project weird and unlikely alternative realities on the complete unknown. I still say the honest position is to not know. You can imagine how it sounds to fact-based mind when some one says decries it for asking for proof of something that is unprovable. If it's unprovable, how is it you are so convinced? You seem to know quite a lot of specific things about this unprovable thing. How can this be?

That is why it is important for a philosophical argument to not only be internally consistent, but externally as well. If it doesn't line up with the world, then it doesn't matter. That is why, when exploring philosophical arguments about God, you have to start with a problem that would otherwise disprove God.

I would not embrace a malevolent God either since a malevolent God is not consistent with reality. Assuming God reflects reality, God would have to be benevolent since:

1) He would have created us.

2) Therefore we would be based off of him since he has no other source of inspiration.

3) We would see his character as the standard since we are based off of him.

4) We do not consider malevolence the standard.

5) Therefore God is not malevolent.

There are many more points in there that could be elaborated on, but with this route of thinking, God's character should be obvious to most people. What we find to be moral would be God's character.

Once again, there are no good philosophical arguments for God's existence. All of my attempts at that always leave open the possibility of a random occurrence possibly accounting for it as well. Philosophical arguments can tell you what God would be/is like though by assuming he corresponds with reality.

Why am I convinced? Why do I believe something that might not be true? It's really a preference. If it is true, and I decide that I don't believe it because of lack of proof, then I missed out on truth. If it isn't true, and I believe without proof, then I also missed out on truth. Since both are possible but neither is provable, it's up to preference whether you'd rather do the philosophical work and come up with a satisfying answer, or not do it an be satisfied with no answer. Personally, doing the philosophical work for God gave me a lot of satisfying answers to other questions, and based on that, I think I am coming closer to what is true.

If you ask me, agnostic is the default position, not atheist.


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FlamingHedge

FlamingHedge wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

But I think there is a type of mind that follows a philosophical path to god. I don't have that type of mind. Many philosophical arguments to me are outright fabrications that may have internal consistency of a sort but don't represent reality in any way. The chances I would embrace a malevolent god under threat, without proof, are not high. I see philosophy as an interesting way to think that breaks free from general rules. But I have yet to hear a philosophical argument for the existence of god that was compelling.

To me the absence of absolute knowledge allows humans to turn loose all their cognitive shortcomings and project weird and unlikely alternative realities on the complete unknown. I still say the honest position is to not know. You can imagine how it sounds to fact-based mind when some one says decries it for asking for proof of something that is unprovable. If it's unprovable, how is it you are so convinced? You seem to know quite a lot of specific things about this unprovable thing. How can this be?

That is why it is important for a philosophical argument to not only be internally consistent, but externally as well. If it doesn't line up with the world, then it doesn't matter. That is why, when exploring philosophical arguments about God, you have to start with a problem that would otherwise disprove God.

I would not embrace a malevolent God either since a malevolent God is not consistent with reality. Assuming God reflects reality, God would have to be benevolent since:

1) He would have created us.

2) Therefore we would be based off of him since he has no other source of inspiration.

3) We would see his character as the standard since we are based off of him.

4) We do not consider malevolence the standard.

5) Therefore God is not malevolent.

There are many more points in there that could be elaborated on, but with this route of thinking, God's character should be obvious to most people. What we find to be moral would be God's character.

Once again, there are no good philosophical arguments for God's existence. All of my attempts at that always leave open the possibility of a random occurrence possibly accounting for it as well. Philosophical arguments can tell you what God would be/is like though by assuming he corresponds with reality.

Why am I convinced? Why do I believe something that might not be true? It's really a preference. If it is true, and I decide that I don't believe it because of lack of proof, then I missed out on truth. If it isn't true, and I believe without proof, then I also missed out on truth. Since both are possible but neither is provable, it's up to preference whether you'd rather do the philosophical work and come up with a satisfying answer, or not do it an be satisfied with no answer. Personally, doing the philosophical work for God gave me a lot of satisfying answers to other questions, and based on that, I think I am coming closer to what is true.

If you ask me, agnostic is the default position, not atheist.

Either your assumptions are faulty or you are claiming that God is a mess.

The human body is a poorly designed thing. If the only source of inspiration was himself, God was working from bad plans.

His character is that of a homicidal loon so you might have something there. After all, many homicides have been committed in God's name and in defense of his character.

We don't consider malevolence the standard because we don't use the Bible as a legal document. there are exceptions to this (Fred Phelps, you).

Agnosticism is a position that concerns knowledge - I'm agnostic to whether there is a God or not. Because of my agnosticism and no evidence being presented to change my mind, I don't believe in gods (I am an atheist).

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin