ForumsWEPRThe Religion Debate Thread

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nichodemus
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nichodemus
14,965 posts
Grand Duke

So yeah, our threads on religion have long since died out, so I figured it would be time to start afresh here!

Do you believe God exists (I know almost all of you don't)? Do you feel religion is important today? Is it a force for good? Discuss everything related to that here!

I'm going to start the ball rolling:

We all know about the rise of ISIS and the terrible acts it perpetuates. Does that show that Islam and religion in general is an awful concept? Is it the people who twist it? Or is it fundamentally an evil force?

Roping in the WERP frequenters
@MageGrayWolf @Kasic @Hahiha @FishPreferred @Doombreed @09philj

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nichodemus
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nichodemus
14,965 posts
Grand Duke

Well, it would make sense to revere the one who created us, especially since He holds the balance between life and death, and even life after death.

If your parents were total jerks to you and didn't care for you, would you still respect them? I would say it's more than a matter of automatic reverence.

Ntech
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Ntech
257 posts
Shepherd

@Fishpreferred


No, you didn't.

Quantum fluctuations are rapid expansions of energy in a small amount of space. Time and energy are related by https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/media/math/render/svg/fe2eb5d5f8e32e2fd788e9549f507d3f97b3838e3 which means that time was not created by quantum fluctuations for it was present at the time those fluctuations took place. If time is a preexistant force, then the Big Bang does indeed require one.


You're begging the question again. You stated one thing and then, instead of justifying it, stated it again with some rewording.

So you're acknowledging the presence of heaven by having me justify why only holy people can go there?


Why? What conceivable purpose is there for that?

Because if we see our faults, we will know when we go to heaven or hell that we merited it. If God creates us and puts us in heaven or hell saying "I know that this is where you would go anyway," we would probably argue otherwise.


Well, no. We can't deserve punishment for something that's been forced upon us through duplicity and outright sabotage.

He created us, we do not even deserve creation. We are His creatures, He may do with us whatever He wants.


1 If God is good, He is necessarily incompetent.
2 Our free will is irrelevant. It has nothing to do with what God is or is not justified in doing.

1. How does good justify incompetence?
2. He loves us so much that He wants us to have free will. It's a gift.


Why can't He make a person's will worthy?

Because we wouldn't have used our will to do so, we would not have free will.


1 He has given no proof whatsoever. Proof would mean we'd have nothing to discuss beyond "Hey did you notice [insert proof here]?" "Why no, but I see it now. It's clear that God is undisputably real." *thread goes inactive for 6 years until necro'd by RandomTroll83* "gr8 prufs dud lolz" *thread locked*
2 If He doesn't deceive people, how is He giving them "'proofs' of His non-existance"?

1 The universe is sufficient proof.
2 He wants us to merit heaven by having faith.


Why? It makes no sense to put anything to such a test, especially if you already know the necessary result.

He wants to prove to us our iniquity.


In that case, we can conclude that God's self-existence is either
a) inert, meaning that He has no interaction with the physical world, or b) spontaneous, meaning that He cannot choose His actions, but simply does them without thinking. I'm not sure which would be the better option here.

No. He sees everything, but remains hidden.


1 What do robots have to do with anything?
2 In what way does this contradict what I pointed out? Aside from the "NO" part, I mean.

Without free will we would be like robots. Programmed to be good.


No, you aren't.

Than what is your definition of the Big Bang? No link, say it here in your own words.


Ipse dixit.

I would argue, yours is argumentum ad ignorantiam.


Then He shouldn't have made it.

Why? Is it impossible for one to be holy?


you aren't proving that.

I just did by pointing out that it required preexistant forces.

@nichodemus


If your parents were total jerks to you and didn't care for you, would you still respect them? I would say it's more than a matter of automatic reverence.

No, I would not respect them in that case. But, God cares for us above all, even more than Himself which is why He died on the Cross, to make reparation for our sins.

nichodemus
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nichodemus
14,965 posts
Grand Duke

I think we can safely say, or at least I can say that I have quite a good hand dealt to be in my life. But would it be equally easy for someone living below the poverty line in a third world nation to say with his hand over his heart that God cares for him? Why does God allow suffering for such a significant portion of what supposedly is his creation?

Even if we accept there is evil in the world and that Satan (In mainstream faiths) causes such strife by meddling with God's supposed plan, why does such evil seem to beset certain regions of the world so specifically? Surely there are godly people in these places as well.

Ntech
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Ntech
257 posts
Shepherd

@nichodemus


Why does God allow suffering for such a significant portion of what supposedly is his creation?

Even if we accept there is evil in the world and that Satan (In mainstream faiths) causes such strife by meddling with God's supposed plan, why does such evil seem to beset certain regions of the world so specifically? Surely there are godly people in these places as well.

Firstly, we have to remember that this is a test. This is temporary, we shall not be here forever, this is our proving grounds. The poor have it better for their suffering in this life shall earn them greater merit in the next. Godly people understand that this life is temporary, and thus are interested in only attaining the next, which is eternal.

In fact, I would gladly give up my life for an atheist for I know that I am better prepared to meet my Creator, and to let the atheist have a opportunity to amend his ways.

nichodemus
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nichodemus
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Grand Duke

I think it's an unsatisfying piece of reasoning to state that it's all a test. If it is, then why would God not set the same test for everyone? Why do some go through far greater ordeals than the rest? Surely widespread equality in testing someone's faith in his temporal life would be a very reasonable criterion for God.

Why do Africans have a (generally) harder "test" in life than the average American or European? It seems a cop out to me. In fact if this is indeed's God's "test", what if I wish for a "harder" test so that I can earn more merit in the next life? Why should people who have it better now therefore earn less merit in the next? In fact, it seems a much better deal to have a harder life now to earn a more pleasant eternal life. In this regard, even the afterlife would be not be equal for people, so where is the fairness in that?

Conversely, if we accept that everyone will have an equally pleasant afterlife (So long as they believe in religion), then why should the poor be suffering more than the affluent now? Ultimately this reasoning based on it all being a test seems wholly unreasonable to me.

Ntech
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Ntech
257 posts
Shepherd

@nichodemus


why would God not set the same test for everyone?

Because each person has a different personality, and different factors influencing their life.


Why do some go through far greater ordeals than the rest?

God never lets someone undergo a greater burden than they can manage. Sure, it can be hard sometimes, but He never lets it go above what we can withstand.


Surely widespread equality in testing someone's faith in his temporal life would be a very reasonable criterion for God.

No, for example, an most atheists cannot be held up to the same faith standards as a believer; nor can most converts match the knowledge of the faith that a born believer posesses.


Why do Africans have a (generally) harder "test" in life than the average American or European?

Well, God gives humans free will and humans have greatly influenced the world, for better and for worse. Temporal issues such as poverty, and famine do not test the spirit as they test the body. While some Africans may suffer temporal issues, better off Europeans are exposed to vices that are destructive to the soul.


Why should people who have it better now therefore earn less merit in the next?

It is not that having a good life here lessens your merit, but that suffering here adds to your merit.


In this regard, even the afterlife would be not be equal for people, so where is the fairness in that?

In the afterlife, there shall be no suffering (except in hell) and everyone shall share a perfect homeostasis of contentment and joy, but those with greater merit shall be happier yet and enjoy the admiration of their brothers in Christ.

nichodemus
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nichodemus
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Grand Duke

Well I was referring more to more widespread economic status. It is undisputed that the average African is very much worse off than Europeans in terms of wealth, health, life opportunity. So why does God allow such groups to have it worse off than the rest of the world? It seems that he's setting very broad tests to very obvious groups of people. So whilst we say that each person is unique in terms of personality and different factors affect them, why is the test so obviously skewed depending on geographical factors? Why are the 1.25 billion Africans subject to a test that is more based on temporal hardship whilst Americans are not? That doesn't sound like a test that is very unique or personalised.

Furthermore whilst one says that Europeans are exposed to vices that are destructive to the soul and Africans suffer temporal issues more, than it becomes more apparent that different groups of people are being set very varied and different tests of faith. This leads to a few questions - 1) Why would he do so? 2) Why are different groups treated differently? 3) Arguably some "tests" are easier than the rest. I would much rather go through life in a comfortable temporal sense when my only "test" is to avoid vices in such societies than to struggle on two dollars a day and still maintain a good moral character.

Point being, the starting points for all six billion people are so different that God appears very arbitrary in his way of faith testing. And this arbitrariness is highlighted even further when it becomes apparent that geographical factor is a huge part in the equation and nothing more. If the end result is the same in Heaven, then arguably a) An American living in New York with a good job, good healthcare, loving family, without fear of war has a much much easier time passing the test than b) An African in wartorn Congo who not only has to cope with his severe temporal difficulties, but must also presumably adhere equally strictly to the morals taught by religion. I presume the hypothetical African would also have to be equally moral in his actions than the American, so how is his much more difficult test fair? He has far far more suffering to go through than the American. Why must this be the case? If we take this question further, why must the vast majority of the African nation go through this test when the rest of Europe/America doesn't need to?

Moegreche
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Moegreche
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Duke

@nichodemus

So why does God allow such groups to have it worse off than the rest of the world? It seems that he's setting very broad tests to very obvious groups of people.

I was thinking about a response to this and I wanted to see what you thought about it. All we need to agree on is that Heaven is an infinite reward. In other words, if we were to have a way to measure a reward (e.g. in terms of happiness, well-being, whatever), then we would end up with an infinite reward.
I feel like this is an acceptable claim (assuming heaven exists)--of course, putting aside any heaven paradoxes.

Since any well-being or reward on Earth is going to be necessarily finite, it's going to be incommensurable with you well-being in Heaven. Think about it like this. Suppose you're a millionaire with everything you could ever want in life. Your wellbeing would be really high. Let's just say 1 million. Compare this to a starving person who say, let's say, a 10.

And once we collect the data, we might start to think that God really hates people in particular regions or with a certain ethnic background. But if we compare these Earth-numbers to the infinite reward that awaits them in heaven, the difference doesn't really make a different. From the perspective of God, everyone on Earth is on equal footing because they all have a finite well-being/reward score.

nichodemus
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nichodemus
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Grand Duke

I hear you on that point. Off the top of my head the only response I can come up with is based on what a person can experience relatively now. The appropriate comparator isn’t heaven, but still what circumstances a person faces on Earth. He doesn’t know what an infinitely pleasurable place is like, rather he can only compare what he knows his lot in life to the maximum level of happiness available on Earth. So, what I’m proposing is that whilst we might accept that everyone will experience the same heaven, the tests are very real and fundamentally relative when we are still on Earth. A poor person doesn’t only need to compare his life to the reward he will achieve in heaven, he will still compare his life to the rich folk. That would probably add another element of doubt and difficulty in his mind not present in the rich person’s.

HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Nomad

Isn't the test fundamentally flawed if we assume that the test (our life in this world) is what can corrupt us in the first place? I assume that souls come from God, and thus are not inherently bad. What makes a soul unworthy to enter Heaven is its interaction with an imperfect world. If every soul was placed in Heaven directly, wouldn't that save everyone?

FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
3,173 posts
Duke

Quantum fluctuations are rapid expansions of energy in a small amount of space. Time and energy are related by https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/media/math/render/svg/fe2eb5d5f8e32e2fd788e9549f507d3f97b3838e3 which means that time was not created by quantum fluctuations for it was present at the time those fluctuations took place. If time is a preexistant force, then the Big Bang does indeed require one.
Time is not a force. Time is a dimension. Time does not need to be created. At all. Nor does the universe.

So you're acknowledging the presence of heaven by having me justify why only holy people can go there?
Ignoratio elenchi. I'm addressing the fact that your statement is completely groundless.

Because if we see our faults, we will know when we go to heaven or hell that we merited it.
Well, no. We can't merit punishment for something that's been forced upon us through duplicity and outright sabotage.

If God creates us and puts us in heaven or hell saying "I know that this is where you would go anyway," we would probably argue otherwise.
Or we'll rightly argue that it is ultimately God, and not us, who is to blame for where we end up.

We are His creatures, He may do with us whatever He wants.
And, apparently, what He wants is to cruelly torment His creations for highly dubious reasons.

1. How does good justify incompetence?
It doesn't need to justify it. It necessitates it. To have created the universe that we live in with good intentions is to be incapable of creating it as intended.

2. He loves us so much that He wants us to have free will. It's a gift.
So?

Because we wouldn't have used our will to do so, we would not have free will.
If God gives you something, and that something is unworthy of His kingdom and makes you unworthy just for having it, and He won't even let you exchange it for one that is worthy because uh, theermstuff-with-thefreedom-god-thingy-ness *cough* very technical reasons, it isn't really much of a gift, is it?

1 The universe is sufficient proof.
No, it isn't. This really shouldn't be hard to understand. Proof means that there is no possible way of reasoning any alternative. What you have is an inference based on a divine fallacy. You will never have any proof of a divine being that deliberately conceals itself from all forms of detection, not least because proof of its existence would be an infallible form of detection.

2 He wants us to merit heaven by having faith.
In other words, paradise is reserved for the gullible.

He wants to prove to us our iniquity.
Which is pointless, because He is the source of that iniquity.

No. He sees everything, but remains hidden.
Therefore, He is not "a Creature that is not acted upon or modified by any force."

Without free will we would be like robots. Programmed to be good.
Okay, so if God wants good little robots who do exactly as they're told, He should make those. If He wants fallible autonomous beings who are not subject to His will, He should not torture them for failing to conform to His will.

Than what is your definition of the Big Bang? No link, say it here in your own words.
A stupidly-named but highly plausible prehistoric event whereby some vast quantity of matter/energy of some form underwent rapid decompression from one or more localized regions of space.

I would argue, yours is argumentum ad ignorantiam.
See if you can give one example. Any example. Go ahead, I'll wait. *waits*

Why? Is it impossible for one to be holy?
1 Because that's entirely counterproductive to the goal you've ascribed to Him.
2 I don't know; do you have a copy of heaven's guest list?

I just did by pointing out that it required preexistant forces.
Which, as I pointed out, is not proof.

Firstly, we have to remember that this is a test. This is temporary, we shall not be here forever, this is our proving grounds. The poor have it better for their suffering in this life shall earn them greater merit in the next. Godly people understand that this life is temporary, and thus are interested in only attaining the next, which is eternal.
Yeah, sure, except that eternal one is subdivided into at least two extremes, and when one of those extremes is endless torment, an eternal afterlife isn't much consolation. In fact, why would there even be a need for hell? You probably wouldn't keep your child locked in a prison cell for life because they got a C- on their first ever math test. You probably wouldn't teach them misleading math lessons or discourage them from studying, either. Why should God keep people into hell forever for failing to meet His exacting standards?

In fact, I would gladly give up my life for an atheist for I know that I am better prepared to meet my Creator, and to let the atheist have a opportunity to amend his ways.
Because atheists are just inherently evil for not believing in one particular type of thing?

God never lets someone undergo a greater burden than they can manage. Sure, it can be hard sometimes, but He never lets it go above what we can withstand.
Just where do you get that idea?
nichodemus
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nichodemus
14,965 posts
Grand Duke

@Hahiha Well that still seems to leave Moe's point - If the upside is an eternity of pleasure then surely any suffering now would be tiny in comparison, and hence in a twisted way the test is "fair". At least that's how I'm reading his point.

Doombreed
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Doombreed
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Templar

Please explain to me how forces were used to create themselves

No, what we are saying is that they might have just spontaneously came to existence. Not created themselves, just created. As to how, well if I knew that, I'd probably be receiving the Nobel prize soon. How about you explain why it is impossible instead?

That makes no sense. "It could have started." What started it?

Possibly even nothing. As I've been saying for the past how many pages now

No. He created the universe to test man: man is only worthy of heaven if he can prove himself faithful to His Creator. God placed many challenged to man: 'proofs' of His non-existance, vices that contradict His commandments, etc. so that there would be many opportunities for man to prove himself worthy of heaven or hell.

It's a theory. And in my humble opinion more correct than anything you've posted in this thread so far At least it makes a certain kind of sense. Since yours doesn't, where do you base it on?

Ntech
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Ntech
257 posts
Shepherd

@Fishpreferred


Time is not a force. Time is a dimension. Time does not need to be created. At all. Nor does the universe.

Exactly what I was pointing out.


I'm addressing the fact that your statement is completely groundless.

And I'm addressing the fact that we are pondering why God does things, which means we agree that He exists.


Well, no. We can't merit punishment for something that's been forced upon us through duplicity and outright sabotage.

We owe Him because He created us. We do what He tells us to, and He is not that controlling.


In other words, paradise is reserved for the gullible.

In other words, paradise is for those who merit it.


Therefore, He is not "a Creature that is not acted upon or modified by any force."

How?


Okay, so if God wants good little robots who do exactly as they're told, He should make those. If He wants fallible autonomous beings who are not subject to His will, He should not torture them for failing to conform to His will.

If we did not have free will and use it to merit heaven, we would not be fit for heaven for we were coerced into that path of life.


Which, as I pointed out, is not proof.

Which is proof that it did not create what it used.


Because atheists are just inherently evil for not believing in one particular type of thing?

Because atheists do not yet believe in God.


Just where do you get that idea?

He tests us. He does not make it impossible to attain heaven, or He would just put us in hell anyway.

@Doombreed


No, what we are saying is that they might have just spontaneously came to existence.

lol. Explain how they "spontaneously [magically popped just like that] ... to existence."


Possibly even nothing.

Not logic. That sounds like fallacious reasoning. According to you, something can just pop right into existance where it was not before.


It's a theory. And in my humble opinion more correct than anything you've posted in this thread so far At least it makes a certain kind of sense. Since yours doesn't, where do you base it on?

Good. You're beginning to understand!

Doombreed
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Doombreed
7,024 posts
Templar

lol. Explain how they "spontaneously [magically popped just like that] ... to existence."

When you are done trying to make my argument look ridiculous you can explain why it can't first. Physicists think they might have. Anything you can provide as evidence to the contrary? if so I am sure they will appreciate your massive contribution to the Big Bang cosmological model.

Once again, if I knew how they can come to existence on their own, I'd probably be nominated for the Nobel Prize. So would you if you could definitely prove that they can't.

Not logic. That sounds like fallacious reasoning. According to you, something can just pop right into existance where it was not before.

Just because it's illogical does not mean it's impossible. You can start by proving why it can't.

Good. You're beginning to understand!

You misunderstood me. I was referring to the theory I posted before, which you denied (hence the "no&quot in the opening part of that segment.

Specifically, this:

I am of the mind that we don't. A lot of theological theories assume the presence of a much more passive God. Spiritually speaking, if said being exists, I doubt it keeps being actively involved in the Universe. It seems much more probable that God, even Christianity's god, would "jumpstart" the Universe (possibly not even create it, just put in motion some of the events), became actively involved for a bit to show the way when mankind was still a younger species, but gradually withdraw. See how we fare on our own. If you believe in such things, judgement has to necessarily take place after death, but it is on a more individual basis. We wouldn't be judged as a species.

Which you denied presenting your own theory. What I am saying, is that at least the theory above, makes sense, unlike yours, and asked where you base yours on. I didn't mean I agree with your denial of this theory.

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