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Theism and Atheism

Posted Feb 3, '14 at 12:55pm

09philj

09philj

2,408 posts

In addition, if there are any of you who can justify evil without compromising god's omnipotence or omnibenevolence I'll be very surprised.

 

Posted Feb 4, '14 at 9:13pm

abt79

abt79

61 posts

God doesn't want to interfere with free will, we must make our own decisions to get into heaven.

 

Posted Feb 4, '14 at 10:42pm

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

10,000 posts

God doesn't want to interfere with free will, we must make our own decisions to get into heaven.


Then why the "believe in me or go to hell" rules?
 

Posted Feb 5, '14 at 1:00am

FishPreferred

FishPreferred

1,989 posts

God doesn't want to interfere with free will, we must make our own decisions to get into heaven.


So, God creates all matter, all energy, all forces, all physical laws. God also creates life, including human beings, and all organs and biological mechanisms thereof. Then God creates for them this "free will", right?

So, your all-knowing, all-powerful, all-creating God made everything exactly to His own specifications, leaving no room for error...and still has to wait and see how we behave, as though we weren't programmed (by Him, in all his all-knowingness) to do exactly what we end up doing from the start? How exactly do you see this as making sense?
 

Posted Feb 5, '14 at 1:25am

Fiends

Fiends

114 posts

The idea of a God is irrational and pathetic, invented by humanity to protect their fragile little minds from the dark abyss that is death.

 

Posted Feb 5, '14 at 1:45am

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

10,000 posts

The idea of a God is irrational and pathetic, invented by humanity to protect their fragile little minds from the dark abyss that is death.


Oh geez...where to begin...

1) You have taken the stance of gnostic Atheist. Because of this gnostic stance, you must now back it up.

2) Since when were you atheist?
Not only does the Bible condemn such behavior,
~Fiends - 2014; Is Homosexuality Right or Wrong
 

Posted Feb 5, '14 at 7:05am

Moegreche

Moegreche

3,313 posts

Moderator

In any religion where god is omnipotent, your understanding of the nature god is flawed, due to omnipotence paradoxes. ( "Can God create a stone so heavy that He cannot lift it?")


This is a common, though unfair, charge made against the theist. Consider the straightforward response to your question that no - God cannot create a stone so heavy that He cannot lift it. The response to this answer is typically something like 'Well, here is an example of something God cannot do, so He is not omnipotent'. But notice that the challenge lies in doing something that is logically impossible. God also can't make a square circle, nor can He make it so that 1 + 1 = 3. But this isn't a challenge to His omnipotence.

In addition, if there are any of you who can justify evil without compromising god's omnipotence or omnibenevolence I'll be very surprised.


This might be asking too much. I'm not even sure how one might go about justifying evil. The Problem of Evil is more about reconciling (a) the clear matter-of-fact that there seems to be unnecessary suffering with (b) God's loving nature. As for this question (and some other nearby ones), there are quite a few interesting responses within the philosophy of religion, though to be fair I've never found these responses all that compelling.

So, your all-knowing, all-powerful, all-creating God made everything exactly to His own specifications, leaving no room for error...and still has to wait and see how we behave, as though we weren't programmed (by Him, in all his all-knowingness) to do exactly what we end up doing from the start? How exactly do you see this as making sense?


I read a manuscript (I'm not sure if the paper ever got published) by Jon Kvanvig that developed a logical system that tried to preserve free will with God's omniscience (a position that is broadly called compatibilism). Jon is one of the best philosophers alive, though the paper is incredibly challenging. But the broader point here is that addressing the Problem of Free Will in this way isn't nonsensical. Well, at least to some people!

The idea of a God is irrational and pathetic, invented by humanity to protect their fragile little minds from the dark abyss that is death.


As pang mentioned, you would need to back up this claim. But you might want to hedge a bit here, as your stance is going to be pretty much indefensible. We should also keep in mind that there are very intelligent theists out there who have some deeply interesting things to say about their beliefs. So let's be civil and keep in mind the Principle of Charity (I like Donald Davidson's formulation) when attributing beliefs to the theist.
 

Posted Feb 5, '14 at 10:08am

Fiends

Fiends

114 posts

Not only


Convincing the fanatics too.


1) You have taken the stance of gnostic Atheist. Because of this gnostic stance, you must now back it up.



The whole thought or idea of a God or Gods is completely idiotic. Humanity needs to have a babysitter, nanny Jesus is a great example of this as humanity needs the thought of an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent being to look after them. Pathetic.

Dude, you're the one that has to prove me, considering how there is no evidence of God even existing.
 

Posted Feb 5, '14 at 10:52am

09philj

09philj

2,408 posts

But notice that the challenge lies in doing something that is logically impossible


You are assuming god is bound by logic and cause and effect. God being an omnipresent force that permeates everything but has no substance. Why should an omnipotent being be forced to obey logic anyway?
 

Posted Feb 5, '14 at 11:28am

Moegreche

Moegreche

3,313 posts

Moderator

You are assuming god is bound by logic and cause and effect.


Only logic, not cause and effect.

Why should an omnipotent being be forced to obey logic anyway?


Why shouldn't God be bound by logic? These are rules that necessarily obtain, so holding that God is bound by these laws isn't merely an assumption - it's a position the theist must hold on pain of inconsistency.
Think about it like this. The thought that God is bound by logic is a completely consistent position to hold, so this sort of argument is strawmanning the theist's position. This is because holding this position does not, in fact, challenge God's omnipotence in any significant way.
But maybe you're just not convinced by any of this, and that's okay! I don't know if I am either. However, there are much better questions to pose to the theist. One example would be whether God is bound by some sort of objective moral framework. If so, this might present a deeper challenge to His omnipotence (though there are compelling responses to this worry, too).

Dude, you're the one that has to prove me, considering how there is no evidence of God even existing.


I think pang's point here is that you're taking on much more than you need. So take this claim:

Humanity needs to have a babysitter, nanny Jesus is a great example of this as humanity needs the thought of an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent being to look after them. Pathetic.


Now you've charged the theist with beliefs that she wouldn't accept. It sounds like you're suggesting that these are the reasons that people do in fact (or should) believe in God. But the theist would agree with you that these are terrible reasons to believe in God and even worse reasons to worship Him.

pang also mentioned that you're taking on a gnostic atheist position. That means that you're claiming knowledge of the proposition that God doesn't exist. This stance requires some serious justification - the same sort that would be required by a gnostic theist. Since you haven't provided an argument, your position has no grounding.
 
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