ForumsWEPRThe Religion Debate Thread

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nichodemus
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nichodemus
14,955 posts
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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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HahiHa
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HahiHa
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I demonstrated before that quantum fluctuations require preexistant forces.

1. You never came up with quantum fluctuations. We (mostly Doombreed) told you that as far as we know, this was what was commonly thought to be the cause of the Big Bang among physicists. Or at least it certainly was at some point. Since then you have been claiming this as if it was factual.

2. You proposed that according to the principle of causality, the Big Bang must have been caused by something and thus cannot be self-caused, which is a very reasonable assumption. It is not proof of anything, as our current technology cannot give us information of anything that happened before the Big Bang. We do not know. We cannot yet know.

The interesting thing here is that we don't really understand how causality works on the quantum level. The assumption is that there must be causality because there is on the level of conventional physics, but we don't even know for sure if that's true. If you're interested I found this and this article that give a superficial peek into the debate. I think this is interesting because if we assume that causality works differently on the quantum level, the Big Bang could very well be its own cause.

He is so Good that He allows us to hurt Him.

That's bad parenting. Also masochism.
No but in all seriousness, being good =/= letting everything happen. What you described here is a deity that loves us so much that it doesn't care for us; it doesn't care. We're free to do whatever we want, but we will be eternally tortured if we happen to do something that a deity (a being so different to us that we cannot understand it) has arbitrary standards against? If a deity like that existed, I would not feel compelled to worship it.
Ntech
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Ntech
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@Hahiha


You never came up with quantum fluctuations. We (mostly Doombreed) told you that as far as we know, this was what was commonly thought to be the cause of the Big Bang among physicists. Or at least it certainly was at some point. Since then you have been claiming this as if it was factual.

I am just disproving the Big Bang by using your definition of it.


which is a very reasonable assumption.

Thankyou. Also, I thought those links were interesting.


That's bad parenting.

No, He loves us just as much as He loves Himself, that's why he lets us hurt Him.


loves us so much that it doesn't care for us; it doesn't care.

On the contrary, He loves us.


We're free to do whatever we want, but we will be eternally tortured if we happen to do something that a deity (a being so different to us that we cannot understand it) has arbitrary standards against?

God is not supersensitive. No, God is pure Good and as such, nobody that bears the slightest trace of evil may enter heaven; He cannot tolerate evil. In addition, He gives us commandments not to impair what we can do but to test our loyalty in Him. We have to be worthy to enter heaven.

HahiHa
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HahiHa
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I am just disproving the Big Bang by using your definition of it.

Wait what? I must have missed something because I don't remember you trying to argue against the Big Bang ever happening.

Also you cannot disprove something (like the cause of the Big Bang) if there are no proofs for or against it. What you do is argue for a particular point using assumptions. It's semantics, but it's important. Please understand that.
Ntech
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Ntech
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Wait what? I must have missed something because I don't remember you trying to argue against the Big Bang ever happening.

I am saying that I was proving that the Big Bang could not have been the First Mover.

FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
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Archduke

I demonstrated before that quantum fluctuations require preexistant forces.
No, you didn't.

Please explain to me how forces were used to create themselves.
No, because that's an obvious presupposition. Forces were not "created". Forces exist and always have.

Well, man needs to merit heaven, for only the holy may go there.
You're begging the question again. You stated one thing and then, instead of justifying it, stated it again with some rewording.

Second, God knows everything but wants us to see for ourselves the faults we have, [...]
Why? What conceivable purpose is there for that?

[...] and if He sends us to hell, at least we will know that we deserved it.
Well, no. We can't deserve punishment for something that's been forced upon us through duplicity and outright sabotage.

Third, God is Good and gives everyone free will.
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.

He cannot make someone worthy all of a sudden, if one's will is against it or if one's will is not worthy.
Why can't He make a person's will worthy?

He does not deceive them: He has given so much proof.
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"?

But He allows the devil to mislead them, that they may be tested and may merit heaven by their upholding of His Truths.
Why? It makes no sense to put anything to such a test, especially if you already know the necessary result.

Through reason alone, we can determine a first cause necessary.
Yet, as you have clearly demonstrated, you can't.

By self-reliant and self-contained I mean a Creature that is not acted upon or modified by any force.
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.

I do not care what term you have came up with. The Truth remains the Truth.
And the tautology remains unsupported.

NO. God is so Good that He gives us free will. He does not want us to be like robots, he gives us the opportunity to make up our minds. He is so Good that He allows us to hurt Him.
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.

I am just disproving the Big Bang by using your definition of it.
No, you aren't.

No, He loves us just as much as He loves Himself, that's why he lets us hurt Him.
1 Why would He even give us reason to hurt Him?
2 How can an almighty transcendent being be hurt by ... well, anything?

On the contrary, He loves us.
Ipse dixit.

No, God is pure Good and as such, nobody that bears the slightest trace of evil may enter heaven; He cannot tolerate evil.
Then He shouldn't have made it.

I am saying that I was proving that the Big Bang could not have been the First Mover.
And HahiHa was saying that, no, in fact, you aren't proving that.
nichodemus
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nichodemus
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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
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@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
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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
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@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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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
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@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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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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Archduke

@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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Viceroy

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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Viceroy

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?

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