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Emmisal

The God Debate - Is it really about evidence?

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Paranoid Android

Fry puts it well:

Stephen Fry sounds like a child, in this instance, if you ask me (assuming children are able to communicate with the repertoire and reasoning of an adult). He's looking at something painful and seemingly unnecessary and saying "well, there's no reason for that to be there, therefore God, if it exists, is monstrous". I wonder how a baby going through teething issues, if it could speak as Stephen Fry spoke, would relate his/her situation. Imagine that there was a nice, cold rim of porcelain that would relieve the pain of the teething, but mom and dad kept stopping them from sucking the toilet bowl. The child doesn't know about germs, doesn't know WHY mom and dad are preventing him from sucking the rim. They just know that mom and dad are being cruel in allowing them to feel pain.

Just because the child doesn't understand why the suffering exists, even though the parents have the ability to relieve that suffering if they wanted to, doesn't mean that the child is right. Now to extend back to us and God, to God we are but children. We are always free to ask "why would God not stop the pain or suffering" in situation x, y, or z, but ultimately we are not qualified to then say "well we don't know why, so there can't be a valid reason, so God is monstrous".

And this isn't even taking into consideration that burrowing insect that makes children blind could effectively be made extinct (at least in human populations) if we in the West actually cared about ending poverty in the Third World. If we devoted the necessary resources to bringing up Third World nations to First World levels of sanitation and cleanliness, the conditions wouldn't exist for insects to fester in human villages and make people blind. This is a problem that humans can fix - if we want to fix it (by "we", I use in the collective term of all mankind, individuals may want to fix it, but without a global effort by all, it just won't happen [not in our lifetime, at least]).

Needless to say, while I understand the argument that Stephen Fry is making, I find it to be personally inadequate.

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psyche101

I've seen intelligent atheists who became theists and I've also seen intelligent theists who turned atheists. I've come to the conclusion that the whole fuss in the debate of God's existence is not so much about evidence or lack of it as we make it look. I believe that the side on which many stand has more to do with how the hearts have been shaped by life's circumstances rather than evidence for or against. The evidence or lack of it therefore, is only used as a justification for what has already been concluded in the heart.

Former Chicago Tribune Editor, Lee Strobel said: "My road to atheism was paved by science... But, ironically, so was my journey back to God"

In his case, was it really about science or his heart. I can't judge.

I don't want to generalize it and assert that this is the case with everyone (it's definitely not), but if we are to search our hearts individually and be sincere with ourselves, is the whole debate at it's heart really about evidence or lack of it? This has been my thought for a while now.

What do y'all think?

Quite simply put, where does the evidence lead?

I do not understand atheists who have returned to theism I can only see that as weak and unable to stand to conviction or the person never was an atheist at all. (Probably in both cases) The evidence is overwhelming and it does not lend itself to the supernatural. That is simply personal choice and evidence trumps belief every time. Belief is a personal choice people make science is the hard fact observation offers us. I can only see support for religion via indoctrination if placed side by side from day one on a level playing field I fail to see what religion has to offer a modem world

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Davros of Skaro

Stephen Fry sounds like a child, in this instance, if you ask me (assuming children are able to communicate with the repertoire and reasoning of an adult). He's looking at something painful and seemingly unnecessary and saying "well, there's no reason for that to be there, therefore God, if it exists, is monstrous". I wonder how a baby going through teething issues, if it could speak as Stephen Fry spoke, would relate his/her situation. Imagine that there was a nice, cold rim of porcelain that would relieve the pain of the teething, but mom and dad kept stopping them from sucking the toilet bowl. The child doesn't know about germs, doesn't know WHY mom and dad are preventing him from sucking the rim. They just know that mom and dad are being cruel in allowing them to feel pain.

Just because the child doesn't understand why the suffering exists, even though the parents have the ability to relieve that suffering if they wanted to, doesn't mean that the child is right. Now to extend back to us and God, to God we are but children. We are always free to ask "why would God not stop the pain or suffering" in situation x, y, or z, but ultimately we are not qualified to then say "well we don't know why, so there can't be a valid reason, so God is monstrous".

And this isn't even taking into consideration that burrowing insect that makes children blind could effectively be made extinct (at least in human populations) if we in the West actually cared about ending poverty in the Third World. If we devoted the necessary resources to bringing up Third World nations to First World levels of sanitation and cleanliness, the conditions wouldn't exist for insects to fester in human villages and make people blind. This is a problem that humans can fix - if we want to fix it (by "we", I use in the collective term of all mankind, individuals may want to fix it, but without a global effort by all, it just won't happen [not in our lifetime, at least]).

Needless to say, while I understand the argument that Stephen Fry is making, I find it to be personally inadequate.

Well if Mr. Fry looked at the pain and suffering of Jesus Christ, and many things in the OT? He would understand that's just how God rolls.

Judges 4:21

21 Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

tumblr_ms3jz4CBzY1solxm8o1_500byhiswoumdswearehealed.gif

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psyche101

Just because the child doesn't understand why the suffering exists, even though the parents have the ability to relieve that suffering if they wanted to, doesn't mean that the child is right. Now to extend back to us and God, to God we are but children. We are always free to ask "why would God not stop the pain or suffering" in situation x, y, or z, but ultimately we are not qualified to then say "well we don't know why, so there can't be a valid reason, so God is monstrous".

The difference as I see it one can eventually learn why one should not suck on a toilet bowl these reasons for Gods punishments remain a mystery. The simpler solution appears to be man controlling man

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psyche101

Humans today are brainwashed by science and are blinded from reckoning other form of truths. In reality, science is just about a very limited form of truths. The different types of truths are basically as follows,

1) scientific truth

it is about a repeating pattern governed by a set of rules in behind. Humans can confirm such a set of rules by establishing a predictive model. The truth is considered confirmed once a prediction made by the rules will not fail.

The prediction that 2H2O = 2H2 + O2 will never fail in terms of Chemistry. It is thus a chemical/scientific truth. You make a prediction before each and every lab test and your this prediction will never fail, or else you deserve a Nobel Prize.

This kind of truths is verifiable as it repeats itself endlessly.

2) Truths in present time

They are the things/events happening around you or in this world. Such as daily news, the existence of Barrack Obama and so forth.

This kind of truths is verifiable because it happens presently and continues to happen along time.

3) Truths in history

They are the things/events happened in the past. There are limited resources which can make them verifiable, the longer the history the less verifiable it is. For example, what evidence do you have for someone (any human) who died 2000 years ago?

4) Truths which are directly touchable to us

You can touch water to tell that it's wet.

5) Truths which are unreachable to us in our time frame of existence

Humans in stone age can hardly reckon the existence of black holes.

Religious claims belong to 3) and 5).

I do not believe that is the case I could make up a story about Donald Trump living in the underworld by night with fairies and goblins trump exists but none of the other items do. There were about 19 Jesuses 2.000 years ago all some type of soothsayer or prophet there is no reason that the Jesus in the Bible could not be an amalgamation of all of them.

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alibongo

1 After Ehud1 died, the Israelites once again did evil2 in the eyes of the LORD.3

×

References for Judges 4:1



2 So the LORD sold them4 into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor.5 The commander of his army was Sisera,6 who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim.

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References for Judges 4:2



3 Because he had nine hundred iron chariots7 and had cruelly oppressed8 the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the LORD for help.

×

References for Judges 4:3



4 Deborah,9 a prophetess,10 the wife of Lappidoth, was leadinga Israel at that time

I looked up the tent-peg quote out of curiosity and found the above, which was putting it in context.This crossed my mind: why would anyone bother to "study" this nonsense?

It is so obviously the rambling of a deranged ancient scribe.

Look, if God, who obviously is credited with some power (he sold the Israelites into slavery) wanted people to worship him, he would do a few miracles and convince them that he is the one god. In fact, at the time this incident describes, the world's population was much smaller,so he could have visited everyone and persuaded them all to worship him- then we would have one religion and a lot less strife. It wouldn't have taken him very long. But no, he sells them into slavery and waits 20 years for them to grovel to him.

It sounds to me that someone is trying to put a religious spin on what they believed to be historical fact, explaining the 20 years slavery as really the will of god. That is assuming any of this happened- a lot of stuff in the OT obviously didn't.

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Stubbly_Dooright

Quite simply put, where does the evidence lead?

I do not understand atheists who have returned to theism I can only see that as weak and unable to stand to conviction or the person never was an atheist at all. (Probably in both cases) The evidence is overwhelming and it does not lend itself to the supernatural. That is simply personal choice and evidence trumps belief every time. Belief is a personal choice people make science is the hard fact observation offers us. I can only see support for religion via indoctrination if placed side by side from day one on a level playing field I fail to see what religion has to offer a modem world

I find this interesting, and begs the question, for me. I have always felt, that for quite a few years in my young adulthood, I was an Atheist. Well, maybe I wasn't. Was I? Or was I Agnostic. ................. or gnostic................. ;)

Well, I felt that life itself, was what it was, and despite my inability to understand science on a grand scale, it's still science I will acknowledge. I still do. I felt, that I needed to see the truth in proof to behave in a way that has me seeing what is in front of me. But, spirituality, I think I started a path, and at the same time, I took various experiences, that were not showing me a logical result, but a more paranormal result, and then I noticed a connection between the two.

But I still felt I was an Atheist.................. now I have to reflect on that.

I do not believe that is the case I could make up a story about Donald Trump living in the underworld by night with fairies and goblins trump exists but none of the other items do. There were about 19 Jesuses 2.000 years ago all some type of soothsayer or prophet there is no reason that the Jesus in the Bible could not be an amalgamation of all of them.

Good point, but I would like to ask nicely, ...

.... don't you dare put those type of Donald Trump mental images in my head! ACK!

my brain needs to be cleansed.

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Jungleboogie

I've seen intelligent atheists who became theists and I've also seen intelligent theists who turned atheists. I've come to the conclusion that the whole fuss in the debate of God's existence is not so much about evidence or lack of it as we make it look. I believe that the side on which many stand has more to do with how the hearts have been shaped by life's circumstances rather than evidence for or against. The evidence or lack of it therefore, is only used as a justification for what has already been concluded in the heart.

Former Chicago Tribune Editor, Lee Strobel said: "My road to atheism was paved by science... But, ironically, so was my journey back to God"

In his case, was it really about science or his heart. I can't judge.

I don't want to generalize it and assert that this is the case with everyone (it's definitely not), but if we are to search our hearts individually and be sincere with ourselves, is the whole debate at it's heart really about evidence or lack of it? This has been my thought for a while now.

What do y'all think?

The whole 'real evidence' debate is a null debate. The very nature of religious belief is between oneself and G_d. Therefore, real and physical evidence is moot.

I tend towards only metaphysical/philosophical arguments, with suitable logic for that application.

If everything is predetermined and we are nothing but actors reading the script, there really isn't any point to anything. How can there be good or evil with predetermination? This would make even the most evil acts become blameless. The Earth would be already destroyed if the populous all followed this doctrine.

Or perhaps you believe in the flesh robot theory* where you are nothing more than piles of rotting flesh bumbling about doing nothing that will matter in the grand scheme of anything, and of course with flesh robot theory there are no grand schemes anyway. You live, you die, more useless than an ant.

I always thought of the spirit as driving the flesh, such as the 'head controllers' in Edgar Rice Burrough's Mars series.

The old Egyptian tale of the scrutiny of one's life, weighing the deceased's heart against a feather on a scale was I thought a riveting interpretation of G_d's judgement.

Real evidence can only be applied to the real, such as organized religion, and so;

The Old Testaments are nothing but a mishmash of Hebrew folk tales intertwined with the dominating aspect of the upbringing and education of Mosis - fully indoctrinated and immersed in the Egyptian religion. The Old Testament even reads like an Egyptian religious text.

*My 'flesh robot theory' is my adaption of an idea expressed by K Vonnegut. I take no credit for it.

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Sherapy

Stephen Fry sounds like a child, in this instance, if you ask me (assuming children are able to communicate with the repertoire and reasoning of an adult). He's looking at something painful and seemingly unnecessary and saying "well, there's no reason for that to be there, therefore God, if it exists, is monstrous". I wonder how a baby going through teething issues, if it could speak as Stephen Fry spoke, would relate his/her situation. Imagine that there was a nice, cold rim of porcelain that would relieve the pain of the teething, but mom and dad kept stopping them from sucking the toilet bowl. The child doesn't know about germs, doesn't know WHY mom and dad are preventing him from sucking the rim. They just know that mom and dad are being cruel in allowing them to feel pain.

Just because the child doesn't understand why the suffering exists, even though the parents have the ability to relieve that suffering if they wanted to, doesn't mean that the child is right. Now to extend back to us and God, to God we are but children. We are always free to ask "why would God not stop the pain or suffering" in situation x, y, or z, but ultimately we are not qualified to then say "well we don't know why, so there can't be a valid reason, so God is monstrous".

And this isn't even taking into consideration that burrowing insect that makes children blind could effectively be made extinct (at least in human populations) if we in the West actually cared about ending poverty in the Third World. If we devoted the necessary resources to bringing up Third World nations to First World levels of sanitation and cleanliness, the conditions wouldn't exist for insects to fester in human villages and make people blind. This is a problem that humans can fix - if we want to fix it (by "we", I use in the collective term of all mankind, individuals may want to fix it, but without a global effort by all, it just won't happen [not in our lifetime, at least]).

Needless to say, while I understand the argument that Stephen Fry is making, I find it to be personally inadequate.

I don't think Fry is adequately addressing the problem of evil, I do think he is bringing it up and it is a serious question, one worthy of being asked, regardless, of whether one is Relgious or not.

One of St. Augustine's main concerns was to explain why an all good and all powerful God allows evil to be present in the world. This is referred to as the problem of evil. Two underlying assumptions in addressing this problem are:

(1) God exists and

(2) God is all good and all powerful.

The logical problem of evil is the argument that the existence of an all good and all powerful God is logically inconsistent with the existence of evil. Have you read Augustine's "The Free Choice of the Will.” Do you think Augustine's free will argument adequately responds to the problem of evil. Can you think of a better way to respond to the problem of evil? The essay also raises the issue of the evidentiary problem of evil, which considers whether the existence of evil is evidence for the non-existence of God, rather than focusing on logical inconsistencies. Robbie, you say you find the video inadequate. What I'd be interested in is hearing of your response to the problem of evil, genuinely, thank you for addressing this.

Edited by Sherapy
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eight bits

PA

The insect was making children blind before there was a West to blame. Whose fault was it then?

Sherapy

You are actually probing "natural theology," the possibility that observations of natural conditions (e.g. that there are impersonal circumstances that are evil for all persons and good for no person, like the insect) may be a source of information about the divine.

As such, you are asking the wrong person about Augustine. PA subscribes to sola scriptura, that the canonical record of revelation is the only basis for information about the divine. In that supposition, Augustine simply errs to attempt to learn from both natural and revealed theology. The former can at best be explained away in light of the latter, since only approved revelation provides any information about the divine character.

The arguments that PA offers (the teething child and the toilet bowl, for instance) are not directed at theodicy, but at natural theology in all its aspects. Human beings in his analogy are incapable of evaluating their natural surroundings (they are babies with undeveloped, and therefore ineffective, cognitive apparatus), and so we are unable to make inferences on that basis.

Thank God we can read, eh?

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Paranoid Android

The difference as I see it one can eventually learn why one should not suck on a toilet bowl these reasons for Gods punishments remain a mystery. The simpler solution appears to be man controlling man

But not until they develop the cognitive ability to do so. It just so happens that unless and until a human is given a new spirit body (aka, the afterlife) they will never cognitively develop to properly understand the nature of God and its dealings with the universe.
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Paranoid Android

PA

The insect was making children blind before there was a West to blame. Whose fault was it then?

No one's. I wasn't laying fault, I was simply saying that if humanity wanted, this is one problem we could eliminate if we as a species chose to do so. The fact that we don't shows how far we as a species still have to come in our development.

Human beings in his analogy are incapable of evaluating their natural surroundings (they are babies with undeveloped, and therefore ineffective, cognitive apparatus), and so we are unable to make inferences on that basis.

Not entirely true, we can understand SOME things about our natural surroundings, and being that I believe we are made in God's image he has imparted some ability for us to comprehend part of his plan. Laying out a carte blanche comment that we are "incapable" and "ineffective" at understanding God or the universe gives us an excuse to stop trying, which should never be the way of a human attempting to understand the world.

But for the most part this is an accurate rendering of my views, we will never understand EVERYTHING about God or the world we live in.

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Davros of Skaro

I don't think Fry is adequately addressing the problem of evil, I do think he is bringing it up and it is a serious question, one worthy of being asked, regardless, of whether one is Relgious or not.

One of St. Augustine's main concerns was to explain why an all good and all powerful God allows evil to be present in the world. This is referred to as the problem of evil. Two underlying assumptions in addressing this problem are:

(1) God exists and

(2) God is all good and all powerful.

The logical problem of evil is the argument that the existence of an all good and all powerful God is logically inconsistent with the existence of evil. Have you read Augustine's "The Free Choice of the Will.” Do you think Augustine's free will argument adequately responds to the problem of evil. Can you think of a better way to respond to the problem of evil? The essay also raises the issue of the evidentiary problem of evil, which considers whether the existence of evil is evidence for the non-existence of God, rather than focusing on logical inconsistencies. Robbie, you say you find the video inadequate. What I'd be interested in is hearing of your response to the problem of evil, genuinely, thank you for addressing this.

Problem of evil

God is perfect, and is the embodiment of love. What ever God does, or does not do is just. God is the arbitrator of the utmost morality, and the standards which to live by. God made the Universe and holds the right to destroy the Universe, and anything in between.

We are apart from God because of our sinful nature. We are unworthy to be in the same Room, or even a Stadium with God. Our sin is like the smell of an overflowing Septic Tank to God.

God wants a personal relationship with each of us. God made this possible, but there's conditions only to deem us worthy.

We are in an evil world. God limits his grace in this world. This is done to make us grow spiritually. When we turn from evil to seek God, we are in essence going to a spiritual Gym. Those that choose evil, and dismiss God, just get weak, and are left to rot.

God loves everyone. Evil just separates those that choose not to love him back.

Evil has no bearing in my God belief because it's necessary, and not a problem for the eternity that awaits.

No problem of evil.

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eight bits

PA

No one's. I wasn't laying fault, I was simply saying that if humanity wanted, this is one problem we could eliminate if we as a species chose to do so.

Then let me rephrase. If the "West" is responsible for fixing the situation now, then who was responsible for fixing it over the past 100,000 years or so?

The fact that we don't shows how far we as a species still have to come in our development.

In other words, it's our fault (yup, what you describe is a fault), not God's, because we're still babies who suck on toilet bowl rims. (Your analogy, PA, don't shoot me for repeating it).

Not entirely true, we can understand SOME things about our natural surroundings, and being that I believe we are made in God's image he has imparted some ability for us to comprehend part of his plan.

Don't be coy. You believe that he has revealed the part of the plan it suits him to reveal in canonical scripture, and we can read about it there. That's it as far as our development in supernatural matters goes. Daddy (most pointedly not Mommy) will always be pulling us away from toilets, because our teeth are never actually going to come in.

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Lilly

This is all about the Abrahamic concept of God. If one looks at God in a more pantheistic (nature based) manner things begin to make more sense...just my personal opinion here.

BTW, belief in God is all about faith, not about evidence.

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third_eye

Pascal's wager ... anyone ?

~

The Wager

The Wager uses the following logic (excerpts from Pensées, part III, §233):

  1. God is, or God is not. Reason cannot decide between the two alternatives.
  2. A Game is being played... where heads or tails will turn up.
  3. You must wager (it is not optional).
  4. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.
  5. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is. (...) There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain.
  6. But some cannot believe. They should then 'at least learn your inability to believe...' and 'Endeavour then to convince' themselves.

Pascal asks the reader to analyze mankind's position, where our actions can be enormously consequential but our understanding of those consequences is flawed. While we can discern a great deal through reason, we are ultimately forced to gamble. Pascal cites a number of distinct areas of uncertainty in human life:

~

Further References ( critical ) :

Variations

  • An instantiation of this argument, within the Islamic kalam tradition, was discussed by Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni (d. 478/1085) in his Kitab al-irshad ila-qawati al-adilla fi usul al-i'tiqad, or A Guide to the Conclusive Proofs for the Principles of Belief.[35]
  • The Sophist Protagoras had an agnostic position regarding the gods, but he nevertheless continued to worship the gods. This could be considered as an early version of the Wager.[36]
  • In the famous tragedy of Euripides Bacchae, Kadmos states an early version of Pascal's Wager. It is noteworthy that at the end of the tragedy Dionysos, the god to whom Kadmos referred, appears and punishes him for thinking in this way. Euripides, quite clearly, considered and dismissed the wager in this tragedy.[37]
  • The Christian apologist Arnobius of Sicca (d. 330) stated an early version of the argument in his book Against the Pagans.[38]
  • Pascal's Wager is often concluded (not by Pascal) by stating that people should 'choose the safer wager'. Pascal stated that people could not simply choose to believe, but that they might develop a faith through their actions.
  • In the Sanskrit classic Sārasamuccaya, Vararuci makes a similar argument to Pascal's Wager.[39]

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Paranoid Android

PA

Then let me rephrase. If the "West" is responsible for fixing the situation now, then who was responsible for fixing it over the past 100,000 years or so?

Humanity is responsible for fixing the situation it is in, as best it can given our current level of advancement. That remains just as true today as it was 100,000 years ago. That we today have the ability and global network to elevate the Third World to something more than it is is simply a fact of the modern world. It does not mean that someone before we had this ability was morally responsible.

In other words, it's our fault (yup, what you describe is a fault), not God's, because we're still babies who suck on toilet bowl rims. (Your analogy, PA, don't shoot me for repeating it).

It IS most definitely the fault of humanity that we have not taken steps to eradicate preventable sicknesses and diseases, hunger, and poverty in the Third World, but more importantly this fault carries with it an inherent guilt for not fixing a problem we have that we can actually fix. Not necessarily YOUR guilt or MY guilt, but as a collective, we are definitely at fault. More fault lies in those who have the power to actually facilitate a process to fix it (the governments who we elect, and/or the elite 2% who own 50% of the world's wealth ), but we all carry a burden of guilt with this type of thing. Whatever the answer is, God created the world, so on the broadest level he is at "fault", but he has no "guilt".

Don't be coy. You believe that he has revealed the part of the plan it suits him to reveal in canonical scripture, and we can read about it there. That's it as far as our development in supernatural matters goes. Daddy (most pointedly not Mommy) will always be pulling us away from toilets, because our teeth are never actually going to come in.

And we'll continue to complain that God is being unfair when he pulls us away from toilets because we will never understand exactly why some pain and tragedy happens. He gave us some information (yes, the revealed part of canonical scripture), and in it we get some information - Jesus suffered and died on a cross, so he not only created suffering, but he actively experienced suffering. If God can suffer, why should we expect God to shield us from suffering?

At the end of the day, I trust God, the way a teething child trusts their parents. We might not always understand what is happening or why, but I trust daddy (a euphemism, God is spirit, neither male nor female, though the Bible does ascribe male descriptors to this God, it is not an indication of the maleness of the creator) when he says he only wants what is best for us.

Edited by Paranoid Android
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Stubbly_Dooright

But not until they develop the cognitive ability to do so. It just so happens that unless and until a human is given a new spirit body (aka, the afterlife) they will never cognitively develop to properly understand the nature of God and its dealings with the universe.

I have often thought that, myself, and will continue to do so, on various occasions. I think that coincides to my feelings, that we're not suppose to understand in this life, because we are unable to comprehend it.

But to me, that is just a varying unconcluded theory that I sometimes may want to wrestle with. I feel, we really are not sure on that, and I see, personally in the outside looking in perspective, if there is any evidence to that and if there will ever be to be comprehended.

But, a part of me thinks, why waste our time, to go through life, and not have the body to understand.

Unless, there is a reason for that, .................... but still go through life.................... being protected................. I don't know.

Maybe we need to have that challenge on a daily basis. *shrugs*

God wants a personal relationship with each of us. God made this possible, but there's conditions only to deem us worthy.

If I am to see this perspective, and the thought that he's our father and he created us, why put obstacles there to hinder that?

As a parent myself, I like to have them prepared, aware, and able to work through out their lives the challenges they face. But in does boil down to wishing they didn't go through the challenges in the first place. If I created them, and I created a world full of challenges, I mean, really, why do that if there is no real result of why you are doing that?.

We all like to have that 'personal relationship' with our children, and yet true loving parents of grown children love them much to want them to be on their own. I think we would like to skip 'the middle man' of the challenges, and just get down to have a close parent/child relationship no matter what.

............... but that is me. :D

My apologies PA, ( ya know I luv ya .) ) and I have my beliefs dealing with the after life, but in the end, there is no objective proof. I just wonder, if one should get down to the basics of giving ways of standing on your feet in this life.

Which now has me reflecting, if God already has that relationship with every child and it's that even in the struggles, is part of their world.

Kind of like, I say to myself, during the hard times with my children, I still think how good it is I'm there for them, and be with them.

Just a reflecting thought.

Edit: to say, the second part of my post, I still thought I was answering PA, or something, so I am not sure if I said anything that would be taken as................... wrong thing to say.

Yeah, ................... I need to pay attention to who I'm answering to. :yes:

That is not to say, I don't luv ya PA. Because I most certainly do.

You too, Davros.

............................................................... more coffee please!!!!!

Edited by Stubbly_Dooright

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Rlyeh

And this isn't even taking into consideration that burrowing insect that makes children blind could effectively be made extinct (at least in human populations) if we in the West actually cared about ending poverty in the Third World. If we devoted the necessary resources to bringing up Third World nations to First World levels of sanitation and cleanliness, the conditions wouldn't exist for insects to fester in human villages and make people blind. This is a problem that humans can fix - if we want to fix it (by "we", I use in the collective term of all mankind, individuals may want to fix it, but without a global effort by all, it just won't happen [not in our lifetime, at least]).

I'm sure God had his reasons for this.

More fault lies in those who have the power to actually facilitate a process to fix it (the governments who we elect, and/or the elite 2% who own 50% of the world's wealth ), but we all carry a burden of guilt with this type of thing. Whatever the answer is, God created the world, so on the broadest level he is at "fault", but he has no "guilt".

By that logic is God not the one most at fault? And how are we guilty of a problem we didn't create, yet the one who did is innocent? Edited by Rlyeh
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Gold Star

There is no way to force a non-believer to believe through presenting evidence, or vice-versa. The human mind is free to believe what it wants to believe, regardless of evidence. So far,

we haven't evolved to the point where independent mental processes are able to triumph over free will.

The customary idea of God isn't nearly profound enough for everyone, especially those with supposedly critical minds. If God were truly all-perfect there would be no need for extras like the universe or humanity. Although traditional religions describe God as good, omnipotent, omniscient, etc., none of them call God perfect in every possible respect. For perfectionists, an imperfect God is not wanted as an authority to order them to do what they don't want to do.

Looking at the heart, it comprises a spectrum from extremely bad to extremely good. People can be born good and become bad, or be born bad and become good. It doesn't work to generalize about the human race regarding the heart. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17.9

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Sherapy

PA

The insect was making children blind before there was a West to blame. Whose fault was it then?

Sherapy

You are actually probing "natural theology," the possibility that observations of natural conditions (e.g. that there are impersonal circumstances that are evil for all persons and good for no person, like the insect) may be a source of information about the divine.

As such, you are asking the wrong person about Augustine. PA subscribes to sola scriptura, that the canonical record of revelation is the only basis for information about the divine. In that supposition, Augustine simply errs to attempt to learn from both natural and revealed theology. The former can at best be explained away in light of the latter, since only approved revelation provides any information about the divine character.

The arguments that PA offers (the teething child and the toilet bowl, for instance) are not directed at theodicy, but at natural theology in all its aspects. Human beings in his analogy are incapable of evaluating their natural surroundings (they are babies with undeveloped, and therefore ineffective, cognitive apparatus), and so we are unable to make inferences on that basis.

Thank God we can read, eh?

Thank you for the feedback Paul, ( I cherish it as you well know) for me, it was an important question to ask, I was really hoping Robbie would respond, and (not that I am above anyone), I can certainly question more myself. I do think that regardless of the path one chooses ( and I have no preference) but evaluating it, asking questions, getting informed about it is important, choosing based on a thorough investigation is important to keep things above board for oneself and all others, I think this is one small impactful way we can make things better, that way when we are trying to be an example, recommending a path, or advocating a position at the very least it comes from a place of integrity and fairness.

Edited by Sherapy
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eight bits

Sherapy

Sorry about that. I'd have done better to wait for PA's thoughts on the Augustine work you mentioned, "The Free Choice of the Will."

https://archive.org/details/ancientchristian009933mbp

PA has explained some of his personal views on the issues of evil. I'd be interested to read his comments on Augustine.

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Doug1029

I don't believe the "debate" about god's existence really has anything to do with evidence. It's about personality. No matter what you say, I won't believe it if you don't back it up with facts and reasoning. BUT: there are others who are not swayed by facts or reason. No matter how many facts are marshaled; no matter how impressive the reasoning, they are not impressed. So how do I communicate with/persuade them? I probably don't. The very things I would need to say to convince them make no sense to me. The very things they need to say to convince me, make no sense to them. Where does that leave us? In the middle of the creek, reaching for the paddle.

Doug

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Sherapy

Sherapy

Sorry about that. I'd have done better to wait for PA's thoughts on the Augustine work you mentioned, "The Free Choice of the Will."

https://archive.org/details/ancientchristian009933mbp

PA has explained some of his personal views on the issues of evil. I'd be interested to read his comments on Augustine.

Thanks for putting the link. :)

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psyche101

But not until they develop the cognitive ability to do so. It just so happens that unless and until a human is given a new spirit body (aka, the afterlife) they will never cognitively develop to properly understand the nature of God and its dealings with the universe.

As I understand it the bible makes no promise of enlightenment Paradise is dumbing the world down isn't it? The Lion shall lie with the sheep and so on. Does that not indicate that the environment will be altered not man? The pleasures sought but hard to come by are represented as reward in the Bible when referring to paradise which indicates man will think the same in heaven as he does on earth unless one prescribes to the earth being transformed into paradise which offers the same outcome.

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