Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statements?

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby a_toddler » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:00 pm UTC

digression: Johnson probably did mean "son of john" whenever surnames were still a new thing, kinda like peterson and O'Reilly(of Reilly). but anyways, before Az comes around swinging, time to start some more relevant discussion

sourmìlk wrote:If God is omnipotent then he must be malevolent, to allow evil.
If God is omnibenevolent he must not be omnipotent, as he doesn't have the power to end evil.
If God is both omnibenevolent and omnipotent, then what's with all the evil?


heard this many times XD (and as you said, swap evil for suffering if the conversation/topic applies).

firstly because Christians believe that God WILL end the evil (same swapping rule applies to my response), around the time we think Jesus will return and the whole judgement thing. So why not right now? Short answer is because God is also patient and to a certain extent tolerates evil (for now) - judgement day kinda involves ending life as we know it.

Why would God choose to wait? Can't really answer that, not being God and all. But Christians believe that he has his reasons and I suppose it is a small act of grace that he allows the world to continue as of now to give us the opportunity to further spread the good news.

I hope my response was logically satisfactory?

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Soralin » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:33 pm UTC

a_toddler wrote:I hope my response was logically satisfactory?

Not really, all that you said would mean that god still isn't omnipotent and omnibenevolent. You're just just making the claim that he will become those things, sometime off in the future, but that wouldn't make him those things right now.

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Whimsical Eloquence » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:04 pm UTC

a_toddler wrote:firstly because Christians believe that God WILL end the evil (same swapping rule applies to my response), around the time we think Jesus will return and the whole judgement thing. So why not right now? Short answer is because God is also patient and to a certain extent tolerates evil (for now) - judgement day kinda involves ending life as we know it.

Why would God choose to wait? Can't really answer that, not being God and all. But Christians believe that he has his reasons and I suppose it is a small act of grace that he allows the world to continue as of now to give us the opportunity to further spread the good news.

I hope my response was logically satisfactory?


But were he all powerful - having created the Universe, defined Morality and the like - could he not end it now without further consquences? If he isn't ending it now then you have to conclude that either he can't (and therefore isn't all powerful) or won't (therefore isn't All Good).
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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Zamfir » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:08 pm UTC

Whimsical Eloquence wrote:
a_toddler wrote:firstly because Christians believe that God WILL end the evil (same swapping rule applies to my response), around the time we think Jesus will return and the whole judgement thing. So why not right now? Short answer is because God is also patient and to a certain extent tolerates evil (for now) - judgement day kinda involves ending life as we know it.

Why would God choose to wait? Can't really answer that, not being God and all. But Christians believe that he has his reasons and I suppose it is a small act of grace that he allows the world to continue as of now to give us the opportunity to further spread the good news.

I hope my response was logically satisfactory?


But were he all powerful - having created the Universe, defined Morality and the like - could he not end it now without further consquences? If he isn't ending it now then you have to conclude that either he can't (and therefore isn't all powerful) or won't (therefore isn't All Good).

Or there might be inherent good in allowing people a free will to choose, even if that means they can choose to do evil.

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:20 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Or there might be inherent good in allowing people a free will to choose, even if that means they can choose to do evil.


Except that if God is omnipotent then he knows what actions people will choose, and if people could not have acted otherwise then, by definition, they lack free will. Expand God's knowledge to the probabilities of various quantum states and deviations across the 5th dimension to account for this weird quantum state duality nonsense.
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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby skeptical scientist » Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:51 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Or there might be inherent good in allowing people a free will to choose, even if that means they can choose to do evil.

At best this accounts for the existence of human-caused evil. There's lots of suffering in the world not caused by human actions, which god could end if he existed and cared at all without affecting human free will.
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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Glass Fractal » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:29 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Whimsical Eloquence wrote:
a_toddler wrote:firstly because Christians believe that God WILL end the evil (same swapping rule applies to my response), around the time we think Jesus will return and the whole judgement thing. So why not right now? Short answer is because God is also patient and to a certain extent tolerates evil (for now) - judgement day kinda involves ending life as we know it.

Why would God choose to wait? Can't really answer that, not being God and all. But Christians believe that he has his reasons and I suppose it is a small act of grace that he allows the world to continue as of now to give us the opportunity to further spread the good news.

I hope my response was logically satisfactory?


But were he all powerful - having created the Universe, defined Morality and the like - could he not end it now without further consquences? If he isn't ending it now then you have to conclude that either he can't (and therefore isn't all powerful) or won't (therefore isn't All Good).

Or there might be inherent good in allowing people a free will to choose, even if that means they can choose to do evil.


Earthquakes and smallpox. Human inventions!

And actually that's not a wholly invented line of thinking. IIRC the Black Death was blamed on immorality and earthquakes have been credited to not killing gay people. The reality is that lots of bad things happen that humans have no control over.

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby a_toddler » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:28 pm UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:At best this accounts for the existence of human-caused evil. There's lots of suffering in the world not caused by human actions, which god could end if he existed and cared at all without affecting human free will.


Whimsical Eloquence wrote:But were he all powerful - having created the Universe, defined Morality and the like - could he not end it now without further consquences? If he isn't ending it now then you have to conclude that either he can't (and therefore isn't all powerful) or won't (therefore isn't All Good).


God isn't some cosmic cause-effect machine. It is easily possible for someone to not act right away and still be willing and able. For instance if you were waiting for your friend to pick you up from the station and they weren't there immediately when you arrived, is it not reasonable to think that they are still both willing and able to give you a lift, but for whatever reason they just haven't acted? My friend said he was both willing and able to give me a lift - because he hasn't, is it reasonable to assume he doesn't exist?

Soralin wrote:Not really, all that you said would mean that god still isn't omnipotent and omnibenevolent. You're just just making the claim that he will become those things, sometime off in the future, but that wouldn't make him those things right now.


To re-use a metaphor, is my friend only willing and able the moment he turns up to the station, and not a moment prior?

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Soralin » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:12 am UTC

a_toddler wrote:God isn't some cosmic cause-effect machine. It is easily possible for someone to not act right away and still be willing and able. For instance if you were waiting for your friend to pick you up from the station and they weren't there immediately when you arrived, is it not reasonable to think that they are still both willing and able to give you a lift, but for whatever reason they just haven't acted? My friend said he was both willing and able to give me a lift - because he hasn't, is it reasonable to assume he doesn't exist?

It's reasonable to assume he doesn't exist if there isn't any evidence of his existence, independent of any of this. If he does exist, it's reasonable to assume that he either isn't maximally willing, for not being there at exactly the right time, or that they're not maximally able to be there at the right time (for example, something else came up and they weren't able to do two things at the same time, that they weren't able to predict when you would arrive there perfectly, that they weren't able to instantly teleport there when you arrived, etc.)
To re-use a metaphor, is my friend only willing and able the moment he turns up to the station, and not a moment prior?

If he is maximally able (i.e. can just teleport to the station at will with no preparation or travel time, and knows exactly when you will arrive), then not showing up at the exact time, indicates he is not maximally willing to do so.

And to make the analogy closer, imagine that you need him to take you to the hospital, and every second that he delays, you spend in horrifying agony. And at the same time, he is maximally able, that he can teleport there in an instant, and instantly teleport you to the hospital to relieve your suffering, and nothing else could be delaying him, or be more important, because he can do an infinite number of things at the same time, so doing anything else wouldn't prevent him from picking you up, because he could do it at the same time. Nothing else could be distracting him, since he could know everything at the same time. And yet, he waits, while you are in agony, for minutes, hours, days, years, until you eventually die, and still he waits. That is definitely not someone who is willing to help you out, much less maximally so.

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby a_toddler » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:38 am UTC

so basically the contradiction stems for your definition of "God is good", which seems to be "God wants to end all the suffering/evil right now", or which you've coined as "maximally willing".

examine the bible and see that it claims no such thing. It describes God as hating evil and being just, etc but it also describes him as patient and full of grace. Of course, don't interpret this as meaning that God wants suffering/evil to continue forever; as

2 Peter 3:9 wrote:The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.


but my point is to say, "I expect God to be like this. I examine it to find that he is not. Therefore he doesnt exist." is somewhat misguided. Something more like "I expect God to be like this. I examine it to find that he is not. What I expected is not true." is as far as one can deduce.

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby collegestudent22 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:55 am UTC

webgrunt wrote:It says in the Bible that God can do anything. This means that God can make it so that everyone, of their own free will, chooses the path that leads them to heaven. If you say God can't do this, then you're saying the Bible contains lies, because the Bible doesn't say "god can do anything within reason" or "God can do anything within the restraints of what is physically possible," it says God can do anything, period.


Even God cannot do something that is a logical impossibility. Free will, by definition, allows for choice, right or wrong. Forcing a specific choice means there is no real choice. Making it so that someone will choose right of their own free will no matter what is as much a logical contradiction as "this statement is false" or a reference to a "square circle".

It’s long been understood that omnipotence doesn’t entail the ability to do literally anything, only anything capable of being done. As such, God needn’t be able to do the logically impossible in order to be omnipotent. For example, a square, by definition, is a shape with four sides; having four sides is a logically necessary part of its nature. If a square ceased to have four sides, it would thereby cease to be a square. And thus the phrase “a three sided square” isn’t just some odd and very uncommon sort of square, it’s a logically incoherent bit of nonsense. And as a result, the fact that God can’t make a three sided square doesn’t imply that God is weak, it’s merely a function of the fundamental logical impossibility of the task. (A similar thing can be said about asking if God can make a rock bigger than he can lift: a rock bigger than an omnipotent being can lift is a logical impossibility and thus simply can’t exist.)

But this awareness has a direct bearing on our dilemma, for if, as the dilemma assumes, humanity possesses free will even as it applies to moral issues, then it’s difficult to see how even an omnipotent being could “force” us to do only good. As C. S. Lewis once wrote:

We can, perhaps, conceive of a world in which God corrected the results of this abuse of free will by His creatures at every moment: so that a wooden beam became soft as grass when it was used as a weapon, and the air refused to obey me if I attempted to set up in it the sound waves that carry lies or insults. But such a world would be one in which wrong actions were impossible, and in which, therefore, freedom of the will would be void; nay, if the principle were carried out to its logical conclusion, evil thoughts would be impossible, for the cerebral matter which we use in thinking would refuse its task when we attempted to frame them.


What you are attempting to do is create meaningless combinations of words and claim this shows a limit to God's omnipotence. Well, of course it does - but it is also meaningless gibberish, so what of it?

As to your argument of what is good - claiming that a sentence to Hell is not good or just - what are you basing that off of? To quote C.S. Lewis again:

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist–in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless -I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality–namely my idea of justice–was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.

[...]

A universe that contains much that is obviously bad and apparently meaningless, but containing creatures like ourselves who know that it is bad and meaningless. There are only two views that face all the facts. One is the Christian view that this is a good world that has gone wrong, but still retains the memory of what it ought to have been. The other is the view called Dualism. Dualism means the belief that there are two equal and independent powers at the back of every thing, one of them good and the other bad, and that this universe is the battlefield in which they fight out an endless war. I personally think that next to Christianity Dualism is the manliest and most sensible creed on the market. But it has a catch in it.

The two powers, or spirits, or gods–the good one and the bad one–are supposed to be quite independent. They both existed from all eternity. Neither of them made the other, neither of them has any more right than the other to call itself God. Each presumably thinks it is good and thinks the other bad. One of them likes hatred and cruelty, the other likes love and mercy, and each backs its own view. Now what do we mean when we call one of them the Good Power and the other the Bad Power? Either we are merely saying that we happen to prefer the one to the other–like preferring beer to cider–or else we are saying that, whatever the two powers think about it, and whichever we humans, at the moment, happen to like, one of them is actually wrong, actually mistaken, in regarding itself as good. Now if we mean merely that we happen to prefer the first, then we must give up talking about good and evil at all. For good means what you ought to prefer quite regardless of what you happen to like at any given moment. If ‘being good’ meant simply joining the side you happened to fancy, for no real reason, then good would not deserve to be called good. So we must mean that one of the two powers is actually wrong and the other actually right.

But the moment you say that, you are putting into the universe a third thing in addition to the two Powers: some law or standard or rule of good which one of the powers conforms to and the other fails to conform to. But since the two powers are judged by this standard, then this standard, or the Being who made this standard, is farther back and higher up–than either of them, and He will be the real God. In fact, what we meant by calling them good and bad turns out to be that one of them is in a right relation to the real ultimate God and the other in a wrong relation to Him.

The same point can be made in a different way. If Dualism is true, then the bad Power must be a being who likes badness for its own sake. But in reality we have no experience of anyone liking badness just because it is bad. The nearest we can get to it is in cruelty. But in real life people are cruel for one of two reasons–either because they are sadists, that is, because they have a sexual perversion which makes cruelty a cause of sensual pleasure to them, or else for the sake of something they are going to get out of it–money, or power, or safety. But pleasure, money, power, and safety are all, as far as they go, good things. The badness consists in pursuing them by the wrong method, or in the wrong way, or too much. I do not mean, of course, that the people who do this are not desperately wicked. I do mean that wickedness, when you examine it, turns out to be the pursuit of some good in the wrong, way. You can be good for the mere sake of goodness: you cannot be bad for the mere sake of badness. You can do a kind action when you are not feeling kind and when it gives you no pleasure, simply because kindness is right; but no one ever did a cruel action simply because cruelty is wrong–only because cruelty was pleasant or useful to him. In other words badness cannot succeed even in being bad in the same way in which goodness is good. Goodness is, so to speak, itself: badness is only spoiled goodness. And there must be something good first before it can be spoiled. We called sadism a sexual perversion; but you must first have the idea of a normal sexuality before you can talk of its being perverted; and you can see which is the perversion, because you can explain the perverted from the normal, and cannot explain the normal from the perverted. It follows that this Bad Power, who is supposed to be on an equal footing with the Good Power, and to love badness in the same way as the Good Power loves goodness, is a mere bogy. In order to be bad he must have good things to want and then to pursue in the wrong way: he must have impulses which were originally good in order to be able to pervert them. But if he is bad he cannot supply himself either with good things to desire or with good impulses to pervert. He must be getting both from the Good Power. And if so, then he is not independent. He is part of the Good Power’s world. he was made either by the Good Power or by some power above them both.

Put it more simply still. To be bad, he must exist and have intelligence and will. But existence, intelligence and will are in themselves good. Therefore he must be getting them from the Good Power: even to be bad he must borrow or steal from his opponent. And do you now beg to see why Christianity has always said that the devil is a fallen angel? That is not a mere story for the children. It is a real recognition of the fact that evil is a parasite, not an original thing. The powers which enable evil to carry on are powers given it by goodness. All the things which enable a bad man to be effectively bad are in themselves good things-resolution, cleverness, good looks, existence itself. That is why Dualism, in a strict sense, will not work.

But I freely admit that real Christianity (as distinct from Christianity-and-water) goes much nearer to Dualism than people think. One of the things that surprised me when I first read the New Testament seriously was that it talked so much about a Dark Power in the universe–a mighty evil spirit who was held to be the Power behind death and disease, and sin. The difference is that Christianity thinks this Dark Power was created by God, and was good when he was created, and went wrong. Christianity agrees with Dualism that this universe is at war. But it does not think this is a war between independent powers. It thinks it is a civil war, a rebellion, and that we are living in a part of the universe occupied by the rebel.


Finally, it is objected that the ultimate loss of a single soul means the defeat of omnipotence. And so it does. In creating beings with free will, omnipotence from the outset submits to the possibility of such defeat. What you call defeat, I call miracle: for to make things which are not Itself, and thus become in a sense, capable of being resisted by its own handiwork, is the most astonishing and unimagineable of all the feats we attribute to the Deity.


Edit:

sourmìlk wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Or there might be inherent good in allowing people a free will to choose, even if that means they can choose to do evil.


Except that if God is omnipotent then he knows what actions people will choose, and if people could not have acted otherwise then, by definition, they lack free will. Expand God's knowledge to the probabilities of various quantum states and deviations across the 5th dimension to account for this weird quantum state duality nonsense.


Knowledge of future actions doesn't equate to causation. For instance, let's say that I have a time machine that allows me to observe, but not modify, the future. I observe you doing some action in the future. Did I cause that to happen?

skeptical scientist wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Or there might be inherent good in allowing people a free will to choose, even if that means they can choose to do evil.

At best this accounts for the existence of human-caused evil. There's lots of suffering in the world not caused by human actions, which god could end if he existed and cared at all without affecting human free will.


Examples? Because anything I can think of (hurricanes, etc.) would end that suffering, and cause other suffering through potentially worse disasters. For example, eliminating tropical storms would also destroy the agriculture of the areas that get a large amount of rain from these storms. Eliminating blizzards would prevent both the pleasure of skiing, as well as destroy the ability for the American West (Vegas, California, Colorado, etc.) to support human life (as it would revert to complete desert).

In addition, it can be argued that suffering in some forms is necessary to teach humility, dependence on God, and other virtues that arise only when one has to deal with adversity and strife. One will never be courageous if courage is never required, for example.

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Soralin » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:00 am UTC

a_toddler wrote:so basically the contradiction stems for your definition of "God is good", which seems to be "God wants to end all the suffering/evil right now", or which you've coined as "maximally willing".

examine the bible and see that it claims no such thing. It describes God as hating evil and being just, etc but it also describes him as patient and full of grace. Of course, don't interpret this as meaning that God wants suffering/evil to continue forever; as

2 Peter 3:9 wrote:The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

No, the contradiction stems from the definition of the word good, and the existence of things that are not good. It isn't proof against all possible gods, it simply shows that whatever exists, an entity which is both all good and all powerful is not one of them. If the entity you describe existed, then the entity avoids that by either not being all good, or not being all powerful.

but my point is to say, "I expect God to be like this. I examine it to find that he is not. Therefore he doesnt exist." is somewhat misguided. Something more like "I expect God to be like this. I examine it to find that he is not. What I expected is not true." is as far as one can deduce.

More like: "God is claimed to be like this, I examine this, and find that it is contradictory to reality. Therefore anything with the property of 'this' cannot exist." Everyone seems to have their own unique definition of a god, and very few of them are willing to describe it in exact detail ahead of time. You quote out of the bible like it's the only thing that a god could be, or even the only thing a person or even a christian can believe a god to be.

As for "examine it and find that he is not" I would love to do just that, but everywhere I look I see nothing but claims, and never the claimed thing itself.

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby a_toddler » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:49 am UTC

Soralin wrote:No, the contradiction stems from the definition of the word good, and the existence of things that are not good. It isn't proof against all possible gods, it simply shows that whatever exists, an entity which is both all good and all powerful is not one of them. If the entity you describe existed, then the entity avoids that by either not being all good, or not being all powerful.


here we reach an agreement. Because I too believe that God is not "all good" - he is many other things as well.

Soralin wrote:You quote out of the bible like it's the only thing that a god could be, or even the only thing a person or even a christian can believe a god to be.


this is a valid observation of what christians believe. again, at an agreement.

@collegestudent: I take it you're a fan of CS Lewis? :P

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby skeptical scientist » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:51 pm UTC

a_toddler wrote:but my point is to say, "I expect God to be like this. I examine it to find that he is not. Therefore he doesnt exist." is somewhat misguided. Something more like "I expect God to be like this. I examine it to find that he is not. What I expected is not true." is as far as one can deduce.

This is a strawman. Nobody was concluding he doesn't exist based on the problem of evil. Evil is of course completely consistent with the existence of a vengeful, wrathful god. The conclusion that some of us are drawing from the problem of evil is that god, if he exists, is not omnibenevolent. This is entirely consistent with the Bible, at least the Old Testament, which is what I'm familiar with. (Jewish upbringing.) But I think this is a far conclusion to draw from the problem of evil, for all the reasons that I and others have given. If you disagree, please argue against the position we actually hold, and not an invented one.
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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Whimsical Eloquence » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:07 pm UTC

collegestudent22 wrote:Examples? Because anything I can think of (hurricanes, etc.) would end that suffering, and cause other suffering through potentially worse disasters. For example, eliminating tropical storms would also destroy the agriculture of the areas that get a large amount of rain from these storms. Eliminating blizzards would prevent both the pleasure of skiing, as well as destroy the ability for the American West (Vegas, California, Colorado, etc.) to support human life (as it would revert to complete desert).


But this is the point! He's all powerful! He created the Universe. He has decided not merely how Storms and the like work, but also how they will work for this specific community. Instead of arranging events so that they would get only the benefit but none of the pain, he has left things the way they are - a way that implies suffering on a huge scale for millions. An this isn't the "logically impossible" omnipotence - this is the very basic, can he change how storms work so as to have people not suffer? Miracles in the Bible demostrate the ability when he wishes to do so - so why dosen't he?


In addition, it can be argued that suffering in some forms is necessary to teach humility, dependence on God, and other virtues that arise only when one has to deal with adversity and strife. One will never be courageous if courage is never required, for example.


But why need one be courageous? Sure, Virtue is a demonstration of strife in the face of pain. Moral Good isn't though. That's like saying you'd rather an awful world than a perfect one - because the former would present more oppertuntieis for someone to do Good. Sure it would - but at the cost of the suffering of millions

But what does that suggest? You seem to imply Gods aim is to force us to show off our moral ability in the face of the odds he sets before us? It's essentially as if he has created a virtual game placed us inside and placed (in a lot of instances) enormous challenges in cruelties within our environment with, apparently, the express goal of testing us. Not eliminating this suffering but battering us in the hopes of "see what we're made of". Now the Morality of this is debatable if there was some need for him to test us but there isn't. He has perfect knowledge, he knows what we'll do in these situations anyway - he knows how we'll react when we face suffering.

Look, could you concieve of the world at present being better than it currently is? By that I mean, having less non-human caused suffering? Even a small bit? Of course you could - just as it could have worse. Yet it has worsenned and it's far from even what we as humans could concieve of as good let a lone perfect. I cannot see how this is the result of a an Omnipotentand and Benign Being - without qualifying one of those qualities.
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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby collegestudent22 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:11 pm UTC

Whimsical Eloquence wrote:
collegestudent22 wrote:Examples? Because anything I can think of (hurricanes, etc.) would end that suffering, and cause other suffering through potentially worse disasters. For example, eliminating tropical storms would also destroy the agriculture of the areas that get a large amount of rain from these storms. Eliminating blizzards would prevent both the pleasure of skiing, as well as destroy the ability for the American West (Vegas, California, Colorado, etc.) to support human life (as it would revert to complete desert).


But this is the point! He's all powerful! He created the Universe. He has decided not merely how Storms and the like work, but also how they will work for this specific community. Instead of arranging events so that they would get only the benefit but none of the pain, he has left things the way they are - a way that implies suffering on a huge scale for millions. An this isn't the "logically impossible" omnipotence - this is the very basic, can he change how storms work so as to have people not suffer? Miracles in the Bible demostrate the ability when he wishes to do so - so why dosen't he?


This then comes into the reason for suffering to exist, which is far more complicated. (I'll get into it below and try to explain it to you.) Either way, if you claim that God is good, and then he does something you don't like, maybe your definition of "good" is incomplete and flawed.

But what does that suggest? You seem to imply Gods aim is to force us to show off our moral ability in the face of the odds he sets before us? It's essentially as if he has created a virtual game placed us inside and placed (in a lot of instances) enormous challenges in cruelties within our environment with, apparently, the express goal of testing us. Not eliminating this suffering but battering us in the hopes of "see what we're made of". Now the Morality of this is debatable if there was some need for him to test us but there isn't. He has perfect knowledge, he knows what we'll do in these situations anyway - he knows how we'll react when we face suffering.


You ignore the potential for change that results from adversity and suffering. It isn't so much a "how will you respond", but a push for you to change. If you have everything provided, there is no incentive to change and modify your behavior (and your thoughts/feelings) as God desires you to - but will not force you to.

According to Christian doctrine, the human spirit is in constant rebellion against God. To quell this rebellion, the human spirit must be molded and changed on an individual level to be in harmony with God, and the past actions of individuals must be paid for (by Christ's crucifixion and resurrection). All the events of one's life are used to motivate this change, including times of suffering and adversity. This "refinement by fire" is a necessary step for humans to repent and turn to God.

So, yeah, I can think of a world that is perfect and there is no suffering or adversity. It also would not fulfill the purposes of God as stated in the Bible, and would logically contradict free will (if you also eliminate the vast amounts of human-caused suffering).

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Whimsical Eloquence » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:24 pm UTC

collegestudent22 wrote:So, yeah, I can think of a world that is perfect and there is no suffering or adversity. It also would not fulfill the purposes of God as stated in the Bible, and would logically contradict free will (if you also eliminate the vast amounts of human-caused suffering).


But surely if God removed suffering, the non-human caused kind, but placed humans within it, our "naturally rebelling spirit" (which I'd question as the correct interpretation of Christian Theology but I shan't get into that) will create suffering anyway? A suffering entirley of our own making which we can either amend or let proliferate. The Suffering would give us an oppertunity to amned our ways, as you said. That might be fair and benevolent - offering us a fair chance to either damn or save ourselves and ensuring that any suffering will be the result of our own sins rather than his world.

But this blantanly isn't the case - God has created a video game, one in which it is not our "naturally rebelling spirit" that causes any rebellion but the result of the challanges and nature he sets against his, the suffering he causes, the inequity he has ordained. For what? To witness how we will fare against a suffering he has set, something he already knows? That isn't an oppertunity for Moral Growth - Moral Growth only really happens in reaction to human evil. Sure, the horrifying natural disaster may lead to bleak odds that cause someone to do or be tempted to do x, y or z bad thing against which only p, q, and r virtue will prevail but the first cause suffering isn't nessecary for that. If we grow morally in the face of natural suffering it is not over coming in iniquity and vice of ourselves, of our rebelling spirit, but rather our overcoming of the adversary of God.
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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Thirty-one » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:28 pm UTC

collegestudent22 wrote:This then comes into the reason for suffering to exist, which is far more complicated. (I'll get into it below and try to explain it to you.) Either way, if you claim that God is good, and then he does something you don't like, maybe your definition of "good" is incomplete and flawed.


Assuming for a bit that you've found a good reason for suffering to exist, how come God didn't then create the world in a state where suffering existed, instead of in its garden of Eden state?
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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby collegestudent22 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:46 pm UTC

Thirty-one wrote:
collegestudent22 wrote:This then comes into the reason for suffering to exist, which is far more complicated. (I'll get into it below and try to explain it to you.) Either way, if you claim that God is good, and then he does something you don't like, maybe your definition of "good" is incomplete and flawed.


Assuming for a bit that you've found a good reason for suffering to exist, how come God didn't then create the world in a state where suffering existed, instead of in its garden of Eden state?


This tied the suffering more directly to human rebellion. Furthermore, the world was not in a "garden of Eden" state - just the garden was. The Bible clearly delineates that the region was bordered by 4 rivers explicitly - two of which still exist.

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Aaeriele » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:02 am UTC

Haven't read through the thread, sorry, but I glanced through it and didn't see this anywhere, so figured I'd post it since it seems to be relevant to the gist of the OP's thought (spoilered for size):

Spoiler:
Image
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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Thirty-one » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:59 am UTC

collegestudent22 wrote:
Thirty-one wrote:
collegestudent22 wrote:This then comes into the reason for suffering to exist, which is far more complicated. (I'll get into it below and try to explain it to you.) Either way, if you claim that God is good, and then he does something you don't like, maybe your definition of "good" is incomplete and flawed.


Assuming for a bit that you've found a good reason for suffering to exist, how come God didn't then create the world in a state where suffering existed, instead of in its garden of Eden state?


This tied the suffering more directly to human rebellion. Furthermore, the world was not in a "garden of Eden" state - just the garden was. The Bible clearly delineates that the region was bordered by 4 rivers explicitly - two of which still exist.


Seems like a sting to me then. Create a being whose nature will cause them to rebel in a certain setting, then stick them in that setting and act upset when they act out their nature (that supposedly mirrors your own, no less).
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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby collegestudent22 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:20 am UTC

Thirty-one wrote:
collegestudent22 wrote:
Thirty-one wrote:
collegestudent22 wrote:This then comes into the reason for suffering to exist, which is far more complicated. (I'll get into it below and try to explain it to you.) Either way, if you claim that God is good, and then he does something you don't like, maybe your definition of "good" is incomplete and flawed.


Assuming for a bit that you've found a good reason for suffering to exist, how come God didn't then create the world in a state where suffering existed, instead of in its garden of Eden state?


This tied the suffering more directly to human rebellion. Furthermore, the world was not in a "garden of Eden" state - just the garden was. The Bible clearly delineates that the region was bordered by 4 rivers explicitly - two of which still exist.


Seems like a sting to me then. Create a being whose nature will cause them to rebel in a certain setting, then stick them in that setting and act upset when they act out their nature (that supposedly mirrors your own, no less).


It was a "sting", in a sense. Free will, if truly present, will manifest itself, eventually, with a choice between the good and evil. Given enough of these choices, shortly someone will make the wrong choice. The Garden of Eden was a set up, it seems, to ensure that the bad choice would be a specific one, early enough in human history, that mankind would have to learn this lesson of what to choose on their own. God, according to the Bible, wants humanity to be like him in Heaven - that is, able to freely choose and to, of their own will, choose good over evil (the Biblical definition of wisdom).

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Thirty-one » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:25 am UTC

So why not skip the stage all together? It makes no more sense for me to be in a certain situation because of the inevitable from the start actions of some ancient predecessor of mine than it does to be in the same situation from the start.
Your infallible god is weird.
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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby omgryebread » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:38 am UTC

Thirty-one wrote:So why not skip the stage all together? It makes no more sense for me to be in a certain situation because of the inevitable from the start actions of some ancient predecessor of mine than it does to be in the same situation from the start.
Your infallible god is weird.
This whole discussion assumes that there was a prelapsarian period, in fact. It's absurdly easy to argue against biblical literalists, but most people aren't.

If one accepts that the Creation story was not literal, but meant to convey a meaning aside from a historical account, there's no argument there. And it turns out most people do accept that. (By sometimes depressingly slim margins, admittedly.)
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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Duban » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:17 pm UTC

Ok, morals and ethics are a sketchy and subjective thing. I think there's a much better way to argue against the 3 big monotheistic religions such as Christianity. Answer the three questions below.

What part of this universe do we need a sentient creator to explain? In this vast universe, far beyond our own ability to comprehend, anything that could happen has happened. Is it hard to believe that among all the billions of trillions of stars, each with it's own set of planets and moons, just 1 of them would have the right conditions to form life by random chance alone? It is true that our universe came from something that exists outside our universe and understanding, but what reason is there to assume that "something" is sentient and not just equally vast and random?

What reason do we have to believe the old/new testament and the Quran are divinely inspired? 2 Millennia ago people believed in all sorts of wild and crazy deities from Zeus to Thor to Rah to emperors that themselves seemed a living god. We look back and scoff at their beliefs, but this was the same time that the bible was written. Why look back at hundreds, maybe thousands, of religious beliefs and texts throughout history and think that a handful of monotheistic texts written during the same era are any different?

I made my argument why an intelligent creator isn't necessary to explain our existence. After that burden of proof lies on the people making the claim. Why is a deity, particularly the one of the Bible/Quran, necessary to explain our current reality?
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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby collegestudent22 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:03 pm UTC

Thirty-one wrote:So why not skip the stage all together? It makes no more sense for me to be in a certain situation because of the inevitable from the start actions of some ancient predecessor of mine than it does to be in the same situation from the start.
Your infallible god is weird.


Ah, now we are back to free will. Free will cannot exist if someone always chooses good over evil, no matter what, like a programmed robot, and it also cannot exist if the choice is not presented in the first place. Thus, if we skip this stage, humans would, by necessity, be robotic and lacking individual will.

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:24 pm UTC

collegestudent22 wrote:
Thirty-one wrote:So why not skip the stage all together? It makes no more sense for me to be in a certain situation because of the inevitable from the start actions of some ancient predecessor of mine than it does to be in the same situation from the start.
Your infallible god is weird.


Ah, now we are back to free will. Free will cannot exist if someone always chooses good over evil, no matter what, like a programmed robot, and it also cannot exist if the choice is not presented in the first place. Thus, if we skip this stage, humans would, by necessity, be robotic and lacking individual will.


No....

Things would be exactly as they are now, just there'd have never been a garden of Eden, and people's choices would be based only on their immediate circumstances. Adam's choice in the garden has no effect on any of my choices, so whether or not he existed is entirely irrelevant. God could have just as easily created the world as it is now, rather than creating a perfect world and then letting somebody mess it up with their free will.

Random aside: do you believe God has free will?

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby collegestudent22 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:05 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
collegestudent22 wrote:
Thirty-one wrote:So why not skip the stage all together? It makes no more sense for me to be in a certain situation because of the inevitable from the start actions of some ancient predecessor of mine than it does to be in the same situation from the start.
Your infallible god is weird.


Ah, now we are back to free will. Free will cannot exist if someone always chooses good over evil, no matter what, like a programmed robot, and it also cannot exist if the choice is not presented in the first place. Thus, if we skip this stage, humans would, by necessity, be robotic and lacking individual will.


No....

Things would be exactly as they are now, just there'd have never been a garden of Eden, and people's choices would be based only on their immediate circumstances. Adam's choice in the garden has no effect on any of my choices, so whether or not he existed is entirely irrelevant. God could have just as easily created the world as it is now, rather than creating a perfect world and then letting somebody mess it up with their free will.


And now you are arguing that it should be the way it is, for this free will to make sense. But the story of Adam does influence individuals, even now, as they read it in the Bible. When you read and understand what happened, you can learn from it yourself. If it just started without that, the lesson isn't as strong.

In addition, God ceded authority over the Earth to humanity. Not in the sense that it would directly respond to their commands, but that it would act roughly according to their will. The will of humanity being in opposition to God, the creation is broken and subject to frustration and decay from its ideal state. (This is analogous to buying something from the store - it works great when you buy it, but if you don't use it according to the instructions of the creator of the device, it will no longer function properly. The main difference is that humans cannot create something that will work indefinitely, while God can.)

Random aside: do you believe God has free will?


God has free will, but also has an essential, unchangeable nature, which also defines his actions. Thus, His moral nature and free will are where we are trying to get to, but God desires not that we start with that nature, but we choose it (and Him) on our own.

Whimsical Eloquence wrote:That isn't an opportunity for Moral Growth - Moral Growth only really happens in reaction to human evil. Sure, the horrifying natural disaster may lead to bleak odds that cause someone to do or be tempted to do x, y or z bad thing against which only p, q, and r virtue will prevail but the first cause suffering isn't nessecary for that. If we grow morally in the face of natural suffering it is not over coming in iniquity and vice of ourselves, of our rebelling spirit, but rather our overcoming of the adversary of God.



Natural disaster isn't an opportunity for Moral Growth? Since when? It creates a drastically different situation than human-caused evil. Dealing with Hitler or Stalin's evil was much different than a response to a tsunami in Japan or a flood down the Mississippi River. Natural disaster creates opportunity for moral growth through charity, empathy, and the risk of death creates an opportunity for individuals to reevaluate their lives in terms of moral and spiritual priorities - something that is not done when everything is "A-OK" in life. Natural disasters cause millions of people to reevaluate their priorities in life. Hundreds of millions of dollars in aid is sent to help the people who are suffering. Christian ministries have the opportunity to help, minister, counsel, pray, and lead people to saving faith in Christ! God can, and does, bring great good out of terrible tragedies.

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:13 pm UTC

collegestudent22 wrote:
Random aside: do you believe God has free will?


God has free will, but also has an essential, unchangeable nature, which also defines his actions. Thus, His moral nature and free will are where we are trying to get to, but God desires not that we start with that nature, but we choose it (and Him) on our own.


So God is able to commit evil actions?

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Enthalpie » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:46 pm UTC

collegestudent22 wrote:God can, and does, bring great good out of terrible tragedies.

You mean like the death and suffering of millions of innocent people, countless children among them?
How can you consider the opportunity to preach and help after a terrible tragedy as something even remotely good?

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby collegestudent22 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:57 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
collegestudent22 wrote:
Random aside: do you believe God has free will?


God has free will, but also has an essential, unchangeable nature, which also defines his actions. Thus, His moral nature and free will are where we are trying to get to, but God desires not that we start with that nature, but we choose it (and Him) on our own.


So God is able to commit evil actions?


I'm not sure what you mean. He could, but his nature means He would not do so. Just as I could rob a bank, but I would not do so, as it is against my nature. The difference being that God's nature does not change, as individual human nature does, so a human's individual nature might be to rob a bank now, but changes later in life.

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Armence » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:28 pm UTC

King I 7:23

"He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it."

Last I checked, Pi = C / d. According to this verse: Pi = 3. I'm pretty sure that's wrong.

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby bobjoesmith » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:38 pm UTC

Hmm, having read through the thread I'd like to contribute a few basic ideas:

By standard Christian theological tenets, all men are sinners and God is infinitely good.
1. God is benevolent, but also just. If you are a sinner, then you are also irreconcilable to infinite good. What is the most clear interpretation of hell is a "separation from God." The lake of fire may be metaphoric, or whatever, but there is a clear line drawn that hell is at the very least, separation from God. This is not unreasonable I would think, that as oil and water are, so are great good and terrible evil.

2. Not only is he pure loving, but he is just. The blurred line here is "omnibenevolence" vs. "righteousness." The Bible does present him as a loving figure- ready to forgive, but it never ever relaxes from the stance that he can be burning with a wrath- and wrath does not have to be evil.

If the junior I had built a Lego Star Wars set whose little 5 piece figurines decided to overthrow me with their plastic lightsabers and deny that I had built them from the overpriced Lego set from whence they came, then I would be justified in disassembling them, or not playing with them. Similarly, if God had created the universe, and man suddenly decided there is no God (a whole another discussion), then he would be justified to stop building lego X-Wings for them to fly around in- no?

The problem is evangelism only presents one facet of God- that he is loving. However, it is irreconcilable to have a fair God and a righteous God who also condones doing bad things. The wages of sin is death- there is a reward for everything. It is not that he loves anyone any less, or cares any less. It is that to be properly fair and righteous, that there must be payment for doing bad things.

Furthermore, humans have a egocentric nature. Who says the benevolence is for us alone. Without humans for example, would trees, animals and all manner of flora and fauna flourish? When we ask for omni-benevolence, we ask for it in our self interest. I want money. I want longevity. I want a good life. However, holding in tandem justice and benevolence, it is really hard for us to see on a macro scale of what truly is better and worse- we can only judge in an infinitesimally small time scale by scientific or spiritual stnadards.

3. Disasters suck. They really do. There's a whole plethora of reasons that people can give that don't capture in context the amount of unhappiness and suffering that occurs. I really don't like giving them because it makes God sound like an asshole and me as well. However, I will put a few lines to defend the idea of disasters and plague. Remember, I am not saying that disasters are good, or helpful, or any less hurtful.

People are bad, and by basic principles of Christianity, bad things die- spiritually, physically, whatever. This does not mean that people are being punished, or deserve it. What it means is that there is no reason to protest it. It would be just and equitable to kill every human alive- it would not be nice, but it would be just. I am not saying we should have more disasters or anyone deserves it. It is just when it comes, it is a tragedy, but to curse God is to presumptuous without taking other factors into account.

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby skeptical scientist » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:05 am UTC

bobjoesmith wrote:I am not saying we should have more disasters or anyone deserves it. It is just when it comes, it is a tragedy, but to curse God is to presumptuous without taking other factors into account.

What's with the double standard? If an action is moral, or immoral, when a human does it, why should it be any less so when the action is taken by a god? If a human being were to nuke a city and kill hundreds of thousands of people, we wouldn't call it just, we would call it monstrous. So why is it "just" if a god does it with an earthquake?

Or am I misunderstanding you?
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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Tirian » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:12 am UTC

Enthalpie wrote:
collegestudent22 wrote:God can, and does, bring great good out of terrible tragedies.

You mean like the death and suffering of millions of innocent people, countless children among them?
How can you consider the opportunity to preach and help after a terrible tragedy as something even remotely good?


Why is losing a chess game but learning from your mistakes "remotely good"? Because the game is ephemeral (even though you were totally "destroyed") but the knowledge is persistent (even though you may only have an inkling of knowledge).

In the same way, there are those who believe that humans contain a soul that will last beyond the unavoidable death of the body, and that the nature of the soul is therefore of far greater importance. If this is the case, then coming to understand and develop our spiritual essence is a crucial part of life, and perhaps even the only crucial part of life. Perhaps this is ironic, but if there were no suffering and evil in the world, then people would never be able to struggle to overcome it and thus there would be no good in humanity either. If there is a God who is interested in promoting good among humanity, then it seems quite natural to believe that there would have to be situations where good was required.

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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Duban » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:35 am UTC

Tirian wrote:
Enthalpie wrote:
collegestudent22 wrote:God can, and does, bring great good out of terrible tragedies.

You mean like the death and suffering of millions of innocent people, countless children among them?
How can you consider the opportunity to preach and help after a terrible tragedy as something even remotely good?


Why is losing a chess game but learning from your mistakes "remotely good"? Because the game is ephemeral (even though you were totally "destroyed") but the knowledge is persistent (even though you may only have an inkling of knowledge).

In the same way, there are those who believe that humans contain a soul that will last beyond the unavoidable death of the body, and that the nature of the soul is therefore of far greater importance. If this is the case, then coming to understand and develop our spiritual essence is a crucial part of life, and perhaps even the only crucial part of life. Perhaps this is ironic, but if there were no suffering and evil in the world, then people would never be able to struggle to overcome it and thus there would be no good in humanity either. If there is a God who is interested in promoting good among humanity, then it seems quite natural to believe that there would have to be situations where good was required.

If said struggle were evenly distributed or those strong enough to endure them, but this is not the case. What about the countless children with Leukemia, or other degenerative illnesses, or the countless children who die from earthquakes and other disasters that don't even have a chance at life? How could that ever be considered just?

I'm sorry, but arguing otherwise seems like little more than rationalization. There is no justification for those things. Good things happen and people thank their god, horrible things happen and it's "Gods will". It's hard for people to admit things bad things happen to good people, and people are frequently at the whim of random chance. Denying something doesn't make it any more or less true.
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Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:05 am UTC

collegestudent22 wrote:I'm not sure what you mean. He could, but his nature means He would not do so. Just as I could rob a bank, but I would not do so, as it is against my nature. The difference being that God's nature does not change, as individual human nature does, so a human's individual nature might be to rob a bank now, but changes later in life.


Well, obviously it ties into this:

collegestudent22 wrote:Free will cannot exist if someone always chooses good over evil, no matter what, like a programmed robot, and it also cannot exist if the choice is not presented in the first place. Thus, if we skip this stage, humans would, by necessity, be robotic and lacking individual will.


If God always chooses good over evil, no matter what, then He does not have free will. The reason why God makes the same choice every time is somewhat irrelevant--if I program a robot to always do good, then that robot will always do good because that is its nature; likewise, if God always chooses good, every time, because of His nature, this would imply, under the framework you propose above, that God does not have free will.

Tirian
Posts: 1891
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:03 pm UTC

Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Tirian » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:49 am UTC

Duban wrote:I'm sorry, but you're just rationalizing a response that fits your world view now.


The question was how someone can believe that God could be present and benevolent and yet only semi-active in a world of suffering, and I merely described a model in which that situation could take place that may have an intuitive sensibility to it. I made no claims that our reality follows that model, nor did I claim that it is my world view. An alternate theory is certainly that God is either non-existent or unaware of suffering or not benevolent, but any argument in that direction is similar in not using deductive reasoning and perhaps illuminating the world view that the arguer adopted for extra-rational reasons. This is the way of discussions regarding philosophy and spirituality.

To address your point, I don't believe my theory is harmed by the presence of leukemia or indiscriminate earthquakes. These are horrors that cause you and me and all people of good will to step forward to do what we can to address it. One man becomes a medical researcher, a woman studies material science to help build more solid houses, and large communities act to see that this knowledge is dispersed as widely and kindly as possible, and yet these and new horrors persist to continue to challenge us and all future generations.

And there is bound to be no consensus among this community as to whether there is a larger spiritual force that drives them. An atheist may believe that they are forced into action because there is no God to care for innocent children. A Christian in the same group may feel that their good works are embiggening their relationship to an ever-present God and that they will one day receive a reward commensurate with their growth. Perhaps some pantheist stands in the middle of them, believing that there is no external force but that God is somehow the personification of the combined will of the community that is able to exceed the sum of its parts. Personally, I don't have the will to convince two or three of those people that they're wrong, because I feel that the most important parts are that we continue to do what we can in this world and to puzzle out the spiritual issues without prejudice as best as we are able without objective quantification or deductive reasoning.

collegestudent22
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:36 am UTC

Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby collegestudent22 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:13 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
collegestudent22 wrote:I'm not sure what you mean. He could, but his nature means He would not do so. Just as I could rob a bank, but I would not do so, as it is against my nature. The difference being that God's nature does not change, as individual human nature does, so a human's individual nature might be to rob a bank now, but changes later in life.


Well, obviously it ties into this:

collegestudent22 wrote:Free will cannot exist if someone always chooses good over evil, no matter what, like a programmed robot, and it also cannot exist if the choice is not presented in the first place. Thus, if we skip this stage, humans would, by necessity, be robotic and lacking individual will.


If God always chooses good over evil, no matter what, then He does not have free will. The reason why God makes the same choice every time is somewhat irrelevant--if I program a robot to always do good, then that robot will always do good because that is its nature; likewise, if God always chooses good, every time, because of His nature, this would imply, under the framework you propose above, that God does not have free will.


I see your point, but I also think it differs a bit. For one, God is outside of Time, as it is part of our created universe. Thinking about choice without Time is confusing on its own, and so understanding whether God has free will is a bit tricky. I can't say that I have an answer for you, but I will point out that my theories of whether God has free will are not strictly Biblical - the Bible says that God has a Will, but not whether it is "free". Maybe, given the timeless state of God's existence, He merely made the decision once, and since no time occurs for Him, it does not change?

Enthalpie
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:28 pm UTC

Re: Is this evidence that the Bible contains false statement

Postby Enthalpie » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:52 am UTC

Tirian wrote:To address your point, I don't believe my theory is harmed by the presence of leukemia or indiscriminate earthquakes. These are horrors that cause you and me and all people of good will to step forward to do what we can to address it. One man becomes a medical researcher, a woman studies material science to help build more solid houses, and large communities act to see that this knowledge is dispersed as widely and kindly as possible, and yet these and new horrors persist to continue to challenge us and all future generations.

You are still seeing this tragedies only from the point of view of one completely unaffected by it. Of course you then see them as something that can bring forth the good in people. Next time show some empathy for those directly affected.

How you can compare loosing a chess game to the death of thousand of children is something I cannot even begin to understand. Neither your use of "ironic". I see nothing ironic in coping with suffering.


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