How could God allow 26 pilgrims to die in a crash - times online "debate"

iranu
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How could God allow 26 pilgrims to die in a crash - times online "debate"

I wish to highlight a "debate" in a British online newspaper (the Times) that I think that people here may be interested in. I don't have the collective knowledge or ability to reason that the pro's here have (although I try my best) but this online publication is well renowned as is it's broadsheet.  This maybe seen as a "why don't you fight you own battles",  however I think that bringing in heavy artillery is justified with regard to a "fight them on the beaches...we will never surrender " mentality (unless there is evidence to the contrary, ofcourse).  Why should we sit back and take it? 

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article2134320.ece

 

If this is not within the remit of the site or is posted in the wrong forum then I apologise. 

 

 


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For what it's worth I

For what it's worth I dropped my two cents in. I don't think that there can be any meaningful discussion on that kind of forum. Also, there are theists present...which means the discussion will be pointless to begin with Smiling


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My answer is simply that

My answer is simply that (god, he, it) doesn't exist...

Last night I read a religious persons answer to a question similar to this and all they talked about was that this life is just a preperation for the afterlife, lol. Religion is the only idea where people dream of dying and leaving the only real existence there is.

 Slimm,

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"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called Insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." - Robert M. Pirsig,


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Slimm wrote: Religion is

Slimm wrote:
Religion is the only idea where people dream of dying and leaving the only real existence there is.

Slimm,

It just boggles the mind doesn't it. I can't imagine the constant effort it must take to maintain actual belief in such an idea.  


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I find it hilarious that we

I find it hilarious that we humans personify God.  It doesn't take any effort to believe in the idea that we all share something in common.

 

Generally speaking, we all have the same emotions and we all share the same stats.  As an atheist, you claim that there cannot be a God becasue He wouldn't let people die like this.  As a Christian, I claim that if those that died were at peace in life, they are in Heaven - if not, it must be Hell to have never known peace.

 

We all have the same chances at dying in a tragic accident.  I feel that our biggest difference is how we live life.  You only get one life and it's apparent that it could be over at any moment, so why feel it's necessary to take on the world.  Nobody is responsible for your life, you make the choices.

Personally, I don't think there's intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one? -- Bob Monkhouse


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rch10007 wrote:  Nobody

rch10007 wrote:

 Nobody is responsible for your life, you make the choices.

I wish all theists of all labels felt that way, but they dont. Which is why we have theocratic judges trying to gang tag goverment property with their sectarian logos. Which is why Sunni's and Sheites in Iraq blow themselves up, because some invisable friend they've never met in person told them that they had the divine right to dictate to others.

I agree, I am responsible for my life which is why most atheists dont want, and even alot of theists too, dont want MORE religion mixing with government.

I am responsible for myself, not George Bush Jr, or Pat Robertson or Al Sharpton, which is why none of them should be picking my pocket to pay some liberal or conservitive church to use OUR government for their personal billboard.

If you really mean what you say, then "faith based" funding by our goverment needs to stop and "God" needs to be taken off our money and out of our pledge.

Like you said, I am responsible for me, not you and neither is any Rabbi, Cleric or Preist or politician. I decide what to believe, who to vote for and who to follow, not some church and most certainly not some politician.

 

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rch10007 wrote:Generally

rch10007 wrote:

Generally speaking, we all have the same emotions and we all share the same stats.  As an atheist, you claim that there cannot be a God becasue He wouldn't let people die like this.  As a Christian, I claim that if those that died were at peace in life, they are in Heaven - if not, it must be Hell to have never known peace.

They were at peace in life just as a drunken person feels at peace in life Drunk, intoxication and delusions don't equal peace. Excepting reality for what it really is without any superstition...loving science & discovery...knowing how lucky you are you be here thinking with a mind attached to a body that evolved by an infinate number of chances...Having Strong Friendship, Family, & Intimate Partnership Bonds... Then taking a deep breath is all the peice you need. Smiling

Slimm,

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"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called Insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." - Robert M. Pirsig,


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Thanks for dropping in and

Thanks for dropping in and having a look.  The thread has developed a little and has been pushing more recent "most commented on" threads out of that section - it's old news still being discussed!.  I am heartened that in Britain we don't seem to have the rabid crazies and those that are willing to fight their corner by simply resorting to quoting scripture and worse. 

One of the hardest things is pinning down what these people believe in.  Two folks can consider themselves Catholic but still have different, widely held views, so you end up trying to reason with a whole multitude of beliefs even though the believers consider themselves to be of the same "church/belief".

My real problem is recognising the logical fallacies especially when sofistry and semantics are employed.  I guess I'll just have to learn.


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rch10007 wrote: As an

rch10007 wrote:
As an atheist, you claim that there cannot be a God becasue He wouldn't let people die like this.

Not to nit-pick rch, but this is not a valid generalization of atheists viewpoint on an event like this. Atheists don't need a reason to not believe in gods any more than you need a reason not to believe that garden gnomes come alive at night and war with dopplegangers from other dimensions.

An atheist might take the stance you sited but it's flawed to the core. Since there is no way to know for sure what qualities this alleged god might have it is ludicrous to assume that it has peoples well being in mind. And even if it has humans best interests in mind, what if it has plans so far reaching as to be perfectly reasonable to mangle and murder his own followers.

It does put question on the validity of faith and prayer. What are the odds these pilgrims were praying to their god the very moment they died? Isn't a lifetime of faithful works and humanitarian endevours able to stand for something? Does this alleged god care at all? Is it even there? If it is, is it listening? 


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marcusfish wrote: Atheists

marcusfish wrote:

Atheists don't need a reason to not believe in gods any more than you need a reason not to believe that garden gnomes come alive at night and war with dopplegangers from other dimensions.

That is true but theists don't propose the existence of a god for no reason.  It may not be encumbent upon you to disprove the existence of a specific god but it is encumbent on you to

(1) Explain the existence of the universe;

(2) Explain the apparent fine-tuning and biophilic nature of the universe;

(3) Provide an account for abiogenesis;

(4) Explain the existence of consciosness;

(5) Provide an epistemology and ontology for moral value.

These are fundamental concerns that any thoughtful and minimally educated person is concerned with.  Theists provide an answer to these matters.  You may not like their answers but that is besides the point.  You are at least obliged to refute the theistic answers to these questions.  Ideally you would also provide a set of naturalistic replacements to pave the way for a "deconversion".  Being derogatory and nasty doesn't make the grade. 

Quote:
Since there is no way to know for sure what qualities this alleged god might have it is ludicrous to assume that it has peoples well being in mind.

This is an excpetional standard of evidence that not even science demands.  No result in the physical or life sciences is expressed in terms of certainty.  No empirical result is known "for sure".  Inductive logic doesn't allow for certainty.  It offers only probabilities.

Some theists infer the nature of their god based on the features of the physical universe (including humans themeselves).  For example, the physical universe is amenable to understanding through reason and its consistency permits us to identify and express its laws (using mathematics).  This suggests a god that is benevolent.  The universe could instead be like a surreal nightmare with cause comnpletely dissociated from effect.  Human may well have been so limited in their cognitive capacities that the formulation of Newton's Laws was impossible.

 

Quote:
And even if it has humans best interests in mind, what if it has plans so far reaching as to be perfectly reasonable to mangle and murder his own followers.

What if it does?  You position implies you are in possession of some moral standard which is not only shared by all humans but is also applicable to supernatural beings.  Where did you get this standard from? 

Quote:
It does put question on the validity of faith and prayer.

It makes doubtful your personal conception of faith and prayer.  If your conception of deity is some being that you ask for stuff and they are given to you (like a genie) then you have found a counterexample in the tragedy of the pilgrims.  None of the major monotheistic religions invest in prayer and faith protection from all suffering and tragedy.  These are pagan ideas.  Magick and witchcraft are supposed to provide their practitioners with the sort of protection you are alluding to.  Judaism, Christianity and Islam offer no such "deal". 

 

Quote:
What are the odds these pilgrims were praying to their god the very moment they died?

They may very well have but not for the reasons you suggest.  Prayer is different from ceremonial magick, talismans, amulets and sacrifices -- in intent and phenomenology. 

 

Quote:
Isn't a lifetime of faithful works and humanitarian endevours able to stand for something?

You are in essence saying "If I were God..".  You have a standard of virtue and reward in your head and you are questioning why god doesn't conform to your standard.  What is the signfificance of your standard of value?

 

Quote:
Does this alleged god care at all? Is it even there? If it is, is it listening?

This is more of the "If I were God..." line of reasoning. 

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Slimm wrote: They were at

Slimm wrote:

They were at peace in life just as a drunken person feels at peace in life Drunk, intoxication and delusions don't equal peace.

Peace is peace irrespective of how you achieve it.  Even heroin users achieve a form of peace and happiness (the problem is that it doesn't last long).  Most people understand "peace" as tranquility and the absence of anxiety.  That can be achieved in a multitude of ways.  Whether you approve of the methods used is altogether another matter and besides the point.   

 

Quote:
Excepting reality for what it really is without any superstition

So you know reality as it actually is?  Is there a set of books you can recommend so that I too can reach this exalted, omniscient state?  

 In anthropological, sociological and psychological terms religion and superstition are distinct phenomena.

Quote:
...loving science & discovery

Given that you have a direct unmediated understanding of reality and all the secrets of the universe are laid bare for you what place is there for "science and discovery".  You've already decided what does and doesn't exist a priori

Quote:
...knowing how lucky you are you be here thinking with a mind attached to a body that evolved by an infinate number of chances...

How does this idea promote inner peace?  It's a recipe for angst and nihilism. 

Quote:
Having Strong Friendship, Family, & Intimate Partnership Bonds... Then taking a deep breath is all the peice you need. Smiling

These are good but they are nothing more than distractions.  In The Myth of Sisyphus Albert Camus contends that "There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.  Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy." (p.3)   Indeed.  Why bother with it all if you'll die, decompose and after a few hundred years won't even be a memory.  Albert Camus -- an atheist -- answered this question and it is well-worth your consideration if it is your aim to "deconvert" theists. 

Fusing rationality with sexiness using the arc welder of charisma -What I do.
Therefore, proposition P can't be true - A conclusion I once deduced that made me pwn.
You're so smart. - Me talking


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marcusfish wrote: Slimm

marcusfish wrote:
Slimm wrote:
Religion is the only idea where people dream of dying and leaving the only real existence there is.

Slimm,

It just boggles the mind doesn't it. I can't imagine the constant effort it must take to maintain actual belief in such an idea.  

It takes a lot of dillusion and a constant need to find others that believe the same way you do.

Nero(in response to a Youth pastor) wrote:

You are afraid and should be thus.  We look to eradicate your god from everything but history books.  We bring rationality and clear thought to those who choose lives of ignorance.  We are the blazing, incandescent brand that will leave an "A" so livid, so scarlet on your mind that you will not go an hour without reflecting on reality.


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Raki wrote: marcusfish

Raki wrote:
marcusfish wrote:
Slimm wrote:
Religion is the only idea where people dream of dying and leaving the only real existence there is. Slimm,
It just boggles the mind doesn't it. I can't imagine the constant effort it must take to maintain actual belief in such an idea.  
It takes a lot of dillusion and a constant need to find others that believe the same way you do.
Which is why you're here...right? Eye-wink

"If I have a little money I buy books and if any is left I buy food and clothes.'


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Scribe wrote: Raki

Scribe wrote:
Raki wrote:
marcusfish wrote:
Slimm wrote:
Religion is the only idea where people dream of dying and leaving the only real existence there is. Slimm,
It just boggles the mind doesn't it. I can't imagine the constant effort it must take to maintain actual belief in such an idea.  
It takes a lot of dillusion and a constant need to find others that believe the same way you do.
Which is why you're here...right? Eye-wink
When i gave up my theism,i was alone. I don't need to dillude myself to affirm my non-belief in a deity.

Nero(in response to a Youth pastor) wrote:

You are afraid and should be thus.  We look to eradicate your god from everything but history books.  We bring rationality and clear thought to those who choose lives of ignorance.  We are the blazing, incandescent brand that will leave an "A" so livid, so scarlet on your mind that you will not go an hour without reflecting on reality.


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lucretis wrote:

Quote:

but it is encumbent on you to

(1) Explain the existence of the universe;

(2) Explain the apparent fine-tuning and biophilic nature of the universe;

(3) Provide an account for abiogenesis;

(4) Explain the existence of consciosness;

(5) Provide an epistemology and ontology for moral value.

It is encumbent on me to prove these things before having the belief that there is no logical reason whatsoever to believe in an all-knowing all-seeing super-wizard?

That's pretty neat.

Quote:
These are fundamental concerns that any thoughtful and minimally educated person is concerned with. Theists provide an answer to these matters. You may not like their answers but that is besides the point. You are at least obliged to refute the theistic answers to these questions.

I am? I have to have a really good reason to not believe that someones imaginary friend invented the entire universe because they were bored?

Quote:
Being derogatory and nasty doesn't make the grade.

I would have to agree.

Quote:
Quote:
Since there is no way to know for sure what qualities this alleged god might have it is ludicrous to assume that it has peoples well being in mind.

This is an excpetional standard of evidence that not even science demands. No result in the physical or life sciences is expressed in terms of certainty. No empirical result is known "for sure". Inductive logic doesn't allow for certainty. It offers only probabilities.

So insert "within even remotely probable perameters" where I said "for sure". Let's not play semantic games...you understood full well the nature of the argument and you are picking at word choice.

Quote:
Quote:
And even if it has humans best interests in mind, what if it has plans so far reaching as to be perfectly reasonable to mangle and murder his own followers.

You position implies you are in possession of some moral standard which is not only shared by all humans but is also applicable to supernatural beings.

What?

I was implying no such thing. I was merely stating that IF the thing is supernatural that we WOULDN'T be able to apply "some moral standard" to it because it would be SUPERNATURAL as in outside our natural world and therefore beyond our natural ability to understand it. 

Quote:
Quote:
It does put question on the validity of faith and prayer.

It makes doubtful your personal conception of faith and prayer. If your conception of deity is some being that you ask for stuff and they are given to you (like a genie) then you have found a counterexample in the tragedy of the pilgrims. None of the major monotheistic religions invest in prayer and faith protection from all suffering and tragedy. These are pagan ideas.

Well then, I gues your god is the one true god. Eh? Let's go burn some Pagans!!!

Quote:
Quote:
What are the odds these pilgrims were praying to their god the very moment they died?

They may very well have but not for the reasons you suggest. Prayer is different from ceremonial magick, talismans, amulets and sacrifices -- in intent and phenomenology.

I stand corrected, let's show our tolerence and go burn some Pagans!!!

Quote:
Quote:
Isn't a lifetime of faithful works and humanitarian endevours able to stand for something?

You are in essence saying "If I were God..". You have a standard of virtue and reward in your head and you are questioning why god doesn't conform to your standard. What is the signfificance of your standard of value?

Because I actually exist and God is a figment of your imagination? 

Smiling


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lucretis wrote: marcusfish

lucretis wrote:
marcusfish wrote:

Atheists don't need a reason to not believe in gods any more than you need a reason not to believe that garden gnomes come alive at night and war with dopplegangers from other dimensions.

That is true but theists don't propose the existence of a god for no reason.  It may not be encumbent upon you to disprove the existence of a specific god but it is encumbent on you to

(1) Explain the existence of the universe;

(2) Explain the apparent fine-tuning and biophilic nature of the universe;

(3) Provide an account for abiogenesis;

(4) Explain the existence of consciosness;

(5) Provide an epistemology and ontology for moral value.

These are fundamental concerns that any thoughtful and minimally educated person is concerned with.  Theists provide an answer to these matters.  You may not like their answers but that is besides the point.  You are at least obliged to refute the theistic answers to these questions.  Ideally you would also provide a set of naturalistic replacements to pave the way for a "deconversion".  Being derogatory and nasty doesn't make the grade.

The theists offers nothing in regards to any of these questions. He simply inserts the term god into the unknown area, without offering any useful information, and then smiles blankly thinking he has provided some basis for something. I can do the same with the term 'gid' which is defined as the natural means by which all these things have occured. Just as much useful information is conveyed by my saying 'gid' is the natural means by which the universe came to be, life began, in which we base morality, etc. as is when the theist envokes 'god' as an answer. Absolutely none.

Basically, the term 'god' is interchangable with the phrase 'I don't know'. Just claiming theism provides an answer to the questions without showing how 'god' is an answer does not "make the grade".

  

Quote:
Quote:
Since there is no way to know for sure what qualities this alleged god might have it is ludicrous to assume that it has peoples well being in mind.

This is an excpetional standard of evidence that not even science demands.  No result in the physical or life sciences is expressed in terms of certainty.  No empirical result is known "for sure".  Inductive logic doesn't allow for certainty.  It offers only probabilities.

You can not ascribe a probability to the qualities of an undefined subject. Any attempt to find the probability of a 'gods' qualities is useless unless we know what a 'god' is.

Quote:
Some theists infer the nature of their god based on the features of the physical universe (including humans themeselves).  For example, the physical universe is amenable to understanding through reason and its consistency permits us to identify and express its laws (using mathematics).  This suggests a god that is benevolent.

How does this suggest a benevolent god? 

 

Quote:
The universe could instead be like a surreal nightmare with cause comnpletely dissociated from effect.  Human may well have been so limited in their cognitive capacities that the formulation of Newton's Laws was impossible.

And could have been perfectly fine with this if it was the environment as they knew it. Humans could simply have been different entities that existed in such a universe. What is the reason in thinking that knowing anything about one's environment, existence, nature, has any bearing on benevolence?

 

Quote:
Quote:
And even if it has humans best interests in mind, what if it has plans so far reaching as to be perfectly reasonable to mangle and murder his own followers.

What if it does?  You position implies you are in possession of some moral standard which is not only shared by all humans but is also applicable to supernatural beings.  Where did you get this standard from? 

Since 'supernatural being' is self-contradictory there is no way to answer this question.

The real question should be why should one think that what is moral for some type of being that is not human has any relation to what is moral for a human? So you are right, even if there were a 'god' we would have no reason to equate its morals and our own, or to assume morals even exist removed from our perspetive as humans at all. This is one of many reasons why 'god' is not useful as a grounding point for human morality. 

Quote:
Quote:
It does put question on the validity of faith and prayer.

It makes doubtful your personal conception of faith and prayer.  If your conception of deity is some being that you ask for stuff and they are given to you (like a genie) then you have found a counterexample in the tragedy of the pilgrims.  None of the major monotheistic religions invest in prayer and faith protection from all suffering and tragedy.  These are pagan ideas.  Magick and witchcraft are supposed to provide their practitioners with the sort of protection you are alluding to.  Judaism, Christianity and Islam offer no such "deal". 

In other words, nothing can ever contradict that prayer works because anytime the prayer doesn't work was a time when 'god' didn't answer a prayer and anytime the prayed for thing occurs is a  time it did. What a splendidly useless concept.

 

Quote:
Quote:
What are the odds these pilgrims were praying to their god the very moment they died?

They may very well have but not for the reasons you suggest.  Prayer is different from ceremonial magick, talismans, amulets and sacrifices -- in intent and phenomenology.

Or, just by chance, they were praying to a non-existent 'god'. Ockham approves.

 

Quote:
Quote:
Isn't a lifetime of faithful works and humanitarian endevours able to stand for something?

You are in essence saying "If I were God..".  You have a standard of virtue and reward in your head and you are questioning why god doesn't conform to your standard.  What is the signfificance of your standard of value?

No, what is being said is, "If a god is good by the definition of good as I, human being X, know it then a god would not do this thing." You are right that one would have no reason to hold a god to this standard, but then what you must accept is that you are left with a god which is not relevant to us as humans (only morally here but in any significant way when we dig deeper). 

 

Quote:
Quote:
Does this alleged god care at all? Is it even there? If it is, is it listening?

This is more of the "If I were God..." line of reasoning. 

This is more you can't understand gods will/morality line of reasoning.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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As the deity in question, I

As the deity in question, I have received many such questions in the time since you guys started doing stuff like "thinking" and "writing", but today I have finally decided to break my silence. I feel that, in today's world, now is the right time to finally speak up and explain myself. The Rational Responders should feel honored that I, God, have chosen their forums as the medium of my divine message. So, without further ado, I will now provide the answer to one of the deepest theological questions in the history of history.

Q: Why did those people die in that crash? Why does anyone die? Why do bad things happen to good people?

A: Well, to be honest, I'm stoned pretty much 24/7. I wasn't even paying attention. I think there was an infomercial on. I mean, I tried to keep my eye on what was going on down there, but whatever they were selling was really shiny... so... yeah. So, there you go. The solution to the Problem of Evil: God was hittin' da bong.

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.