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Inferno

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Inferno
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MetalgodBannedUser avatarPosts: 196Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

Metalgod wrote:Knowing everything about the present is different from knowing everything about the future. Heres one of the verses I was talking about earlier. TGotB says in Jeremiah 32:35
"They have built altars to Baal in Hinnom Valley, to sacrifice their sons and daughters to the god Molech. I did not command them to do this, and it did not even enter my mind that they would do such a thing and make the people of Judah sin"

God even seems at times to not even have total knowledge about the present. Especially in Genesis. He's asks questions like Where are you? What are you doing? Where's your brother? ect. Questions that we often ask our own childeren.


Inferno wrote:
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

ALTERNATE VERSION

Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.


If I read that correctly, that's premonition.
But like I said, there are contradictory parts in the Bible. Sometimes, God knows everything in advance and everything about the presence, then God does not know places that other people do know.
The Bible is self-contradictory. What do you make of that?


From the evidence we have both given so far, we can say that TGotB knows some things about the future. What I asking is, is there anywhere in the bible where God says he knows everything about the future.


Inferno wrote:More or less. A rather more complete list can be found here:
http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

So again: How is that not immoral? Isn't that proof enough of an immoral God? If not, why?


Did God have to kill those people, those babies? Was that self-defence? I would hardly think so!?

Tell me a single instance where the murder of an innocent, healthy baby born into a loving, caring family is a good thing and I will grant you your answer.
Failing to do that, God has failed the easiest moral hurdle. How can you revere such a being, how can you believe in it?


Knowing that, in the bible, TgotB created life, you must also know that He has the authority to take it away. If that was all we knew about TgotB, then we would have to say Hes pretty morally neutral.

In the Bible, God also suffers because of us and for us, dies for all of our sins and communicates a way to eternal life in paradise.

Inferno wrote:where do morals come from?


I dont know right now. Thank you, Inferno.

Also, I would like to spend a few days in Austria next week just as a tourist. I hate driving. Will I need a car?
Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:41 pm
MetalgodBannedUser avatarPosts: 196Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

Noth wrote:
Metalgod wrote:Ok, sure. TGotB must be all-powerfull, after all the bible says he created the universe, no?

As for as Him all-lovingness, I dont believe TGotB loves a child abuser while he rapes a 5 year old girl, for instance. I think all-lovingness and omnibenevolence are just words we use to try to accurately describe what we cant fully comprehend. Things that go beyond our limits of understanding.
- Emphasis mine.
Right. So we're agreed on the fact that God, should He exist, does not love everyone and everything, at least not equally so.

What I take issue with here is not that there might be things I, or any human, could not wrap my brains around. It is the follow-up logic that suggests we should not try to understand because there is an alleged explanation available to a God that we cannot fully understand. If you pardon me, I feel this is intellectually lazy. And I say lazy because I think people, especially Christians on issues like this, should be more hungry for knowledge and more hungry for truth - or the closest to truth you can achieve.

Do you not feel it is simply too easy to say that we cannot comprehend something? To me, and to many others like me, this statement comes across as a way not to have to answer, not to have to atone for, the actions of the Christian God that, at face value at least, truly appear atrocious.

I am not saying, mind you, that I feel that Christians should apologise for the moral atrocities commited that were directly ordained by God*. Being a non-believer I do not think there is a god that did anything at all; it has always been and will always be, according to me, the actions of men. Yet it is the fact that, as Inferno pointed out, when actions are (as the Bible tells us) committed/ ordained by that God, believers tend to excuse His actions by not holding these actions up to human moral standards. They suggest that God should not be judged by what we know to be right and wrong or they simply say, as you now did, that we cannot understand them. I really do not feel that is sufficient.

Metalgod wrote:Thats a good point.
And we suffer a lot. Terrible diseases, war, animal attacks, earthquakes, emotional pain. If you're lucky, you were at least born in a country where you can find a lousy job that you'll have to get up at 4 in the morning and goto 5 or 6 or 7 days a week until you die.

But for now I think that without suffering, none of us would be able to really show our love for another.

Why do you think this? And do you think this is why your God allows suffering in this world?

It seems to be that this is arguing with a sample size of one. There has never been, nor will there likely ever be, a society where there is no suffering. There are places in the world where people have it 'better' than others in many respects, but even here there will be misfortune and pain. There are people that do not feel that love, or have no one to share even platonic love with, let alone romantic love. So there is nothing to compare this world with. As such how would we know whether we could not show our love to one another in this Utopian idea of a world? We have never had the chance to try. Even in the Christian mindview, Adam and Eve in paradise don't suffice as a comparison as they are inherently flawed and we cannot properly determine if or how they loved.

That said, I do think there is merit to the idea that the knowledge of suffering allows us to appreciate the love we feel and receive better. I do not, however, think this would be sufficient reason to let God off the hook, should He exist. The amount of suffering is simply too disproportionately large and too unevenly distributed to serve as a moral groundwork for God to stand on and be excused where he could have prevented or eased said suffering. Does that make sense?

*edit: re-reading this, I do think large institutions like the Catholic church should do some more apologising for the atrocities that were ordered or allowed to happen by them throughout their existence. I am speaking here of individual guilt.


Noth, I need more time to reflect. Especially on your point about Adam and Eve. Its something I never thought about before.
Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:35 am
NothPodcasterUser avatarPosts: 335Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:25 pmLocation: the Nether-regions Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

Metalgod wrote:Noth, I need more time to reflect. Especially on your point about Adam and Eve. Its something I never thought about before.


Take as much time as you need, there is no rush. But don't be afraid to follow conclusions where they lead :)

*edit. Rather than reposting I'll edit this post to give my answer to your statement:
Metalgod wrote:In the Bible, God also suffers because of us and for us, dies for all of our sins and communicates a way to eternal life in paradise.

I disagree with both prepositions here:
For one, I take issue with the idea that we were in need of salvation. The very idea of original sin and this being carried over into all successive generations is a profoundly disturbing thought. It was one of the initial seeds which bloomed into my eventual non-belief.
The second disagreement is with the general idea that someone can suffer for my sins (set aside for the moment that I do not subscribe to the idea of 'sins' in the first place, of course). I think it was Christopher Hitchens who offered the argument against the idea of atonement as follows (correct me if I am paraphrasing it wrongly) :
Say your child is brutally murdered. The murderer is caught and brought before the court to be judged. You, being somewhat relieved that justice will at least be served, sit through the progress expectantly. Now a person walks into the courtroom that has nothing to do with you or with the murder and offers to serve the murderer's jail sentence instead of the murderer. Do you accept this? Should the court accept this?

If you answer with no - which I suspect you will - why?
Last edited by Noth on Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:55 am
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Inferno

Metalgod wrote:From the evidence we have both given so far, we can say that TGotB knows some things about the future. What I asking is, is there anywhere in the bible where God says he knows everything about the future.


I don't know.
My point is that there are contradictory accounts in the Bible, so it can't be trusted.

Metalgod wrote:Knowing that, in the bible, TgotB created life, you must also know that He has the authority to take it away. If that was all we knew about TgotB, then we would have to say Hes pretty morally neutral.


I reject that flat out. If my imaginary wife and I create life by having a child, do I have the authority to take said life away? Of course not.
In the same manner, no God has any right to take any life away. (Well, it does, but then it can't be considered moral in any meaningful way.)

Metalgod wrote:In the Bible, God also suffers because of us and for us, dies for all of our sins and communicates a way to eternal life in paradise.


God can't die, so of what utility is Jesus' death? Couldn't God simply have forgiven us?
Useless.

Metalgod wrote:Also, I would like to spend a few days in Austria next week just as a tourist. I hate driving. Will I need a car?


Where do you intend to stay? In Vienna, no. The public transportation system is one of the best in the world. If you intend to hop cities, you won't need it either, the trains are excellent. But if you want to go to the country side, then yes, you will.
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:36 pm
MetalgodBannedUser avatarPosts: 196Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

Noth wrote:For one, I take issue with the idea that we were in need of salvation. The very idea of original sin and this being carried over into all successive generations is a profoundly disturbing thought. It was one of the initial seeds which bloomed into my eventual non-belief.
The second disagreement is with the general idea that someone can suffer for my sins (set aside for the moment that I do not subscribe to the idea of 'sins' in the first place, of course). I think it was Christopher Hitchens who offered the argument against the idea of atonement as follows (correct me if I am paraphrasing it wrongly) :
Say your child is brutally murdered. The murderer is caught and brought before the court to be judged. You, being somewhat relieved that justice will at least be served, sit through the progress expectantly. Now a person walks into the courtroom that has nothing to do with you or with the murder and offers to serve the murderer's jail sentence instead of the murderer. Do you accept this? Should the court accept this?

If you answer with no - which I suspect you will - why?


I would have to answer no to that. One reason is because I was not the person who was murdered. Neither was the judge, DA, county prosecutor ect. I would not even consider jail time as a justifiable penalty in this case to begin with.
Also it is possible that this other person is also guilty of some crime, maybe even a murder.

I would also not expect someone to be immediately comforted in knowing that their childs murderer might be in heaven right now. We are human beings, after all.

All of us certainly able to reject Christ's payment for our sins if we choose to do so. For any reason.
Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:52 pm
MetalgodBannedUser avatarPosts: 196Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

Noth wrote:Right. So we're agreed on the fact that God, should He exist, does not love everyone and everything, at least not equally so.

What I take issue with here is not that there might be things I, or any human, could not wrap my brains around. It is the follow-up logic that suggests we should not try to understand because there is an alleged explanation available to a God that we cannot fully understand. If you pardon me, I feel this is intellectually lazy. And I say lazy because I think people, especially Christians on issues like this, should be more hungry for knowledge and more hungry for truth - or the closest to truth you can achieve.



Yes. But in order for me to tell you honestly why I believe what I believe, I must not, at least, consider any new information which might support my beliefs.

Noth wrote:Do you not feel it is simply too easy to say that we cannot comprehend something? To me, and to many others like me, this statement comes across as a way not to have to answer, not to have to atone for, the actions of the Christian God that, at face value at least, truly appear atrocious.

I am not saying, mind you, that I feel that Christians should apologise for the moral atrocities commited that were directly ordained by God*. Being a non-believer I do not think there is a god that did anything at all; it has always been and will always be, according to me, the actions of men. Yet it is the fact that, as Inferno pointed out, when actions are (as the Bible tells us) committed/ ordained by that God, believers tend to excuse His actions by not holding these actions up to human moral standards. They suggest that God should not be judged by what we know to be right and wrong or they simply say, as you now did, that we cannot understand them. I really do not feel that is sufficient.



I understand that. Still, I do not see death as evidence of TGotB being immoral.

Also, lets say God cures your uncle of cancer or some other terminal illness. I think thats unfair because my uncle also has cancer so God must cure him as well. And what about my grandmother who died of cancer 20 years ago? God must cure her too. Things can quickly become irrational if we choose to judge God by our human moral standards.



Metalgod wrote:Thats a good point.
And we suffer a lot. Terrible diseases, war, animal attacks, earthquakes, emotional pain. If you're lucky, you were at least born in a country where you can find a lousy job that you'll have to get up at 4 in the morning and goto 5 or 6 or 7 days a week until you die.

But for now I think that without suffering, none of us would be able to really show our love for another.


Noth wrote:Why do you think this? And do you think this is why your God allows suffering in this world?
It seems to be that this is arguing with a sample size of one. There has never been, nor will there likely ever be, a society where there is no suffering. There are places in the world where people have it 'better' than others in many respects, but even here there will be misfortune and pain. There are people that do not feel that love, or have no one to share even platonic love with, let alone romantic love. So there is nothing to compare this world with. As such how would we know whether we could not show our love to one another in this Utopian idea of a world? We have never had the chance to try. Even in the Christian mindview, Adam and Eve in paradise don't suffice as a comparison as they are inherently flawed and we cannot properly determine if or how they loved..

That said, I do think there is merit to the idea that the knowledge of suffering allows us to appreciate the love we feel and receive better. I do not, however, think this would be sufficient reason to let God off the hook, should He exist. The amount of suffering is simply too disproportionately large and too unevenly distributed to serve as a moral groundwork for God to stand on and be excused where he could have prevented or eased said suffering. Does that make sense?



And childeren who have known very little suffering are still able to love mom and dad for example. So I think you've made a good point.

We are the cause of most of the suffering that goes on in the world.

We turn our backs on God, and when things dont work out we tend to blame Him instead of ourselves. This, at least, is a major theme in the old testement and I believe it is true today. I am generalising a bit of course. I hope you or Inferno dont take this as a personal attack.


Noth wrote:*edit: re-reading this, I do think large institutions like the Catholic church should do some more apologising for the atrocities that were ordered or allowed to happen by them throughout their existence. I am speaking here of individual guilt.


They should apologise and then disappear.
Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:08 pm
MetalgodBannedUser avatarPosts: 196Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

Inferno wrote:
Metalgod wrote:From the evidence we have both given so far, we can say that TGotB knows some things about the future. What I asking is, is there anywhere in the bible where God says he knows everything about the future.


I don't know.
My point is that there are contradictory accounts in the Bible, so it can't be trusted.

Metalgod wrote:Knowing that, in the bible, TgotB created life, you must also know that He has the authority to take it away. If that was all we knew about TgotB, then we would have to say Hes pretty morally neutral.


I reject that flat out. If my imaginary wife and I create life by having a child, do I have the authority to take said life away? Of course not.
In the same manner, no God has any right to take any life away. (Well, it does, but then it can't be considered moral in any meaningful way.)

Metalgod wrote:In the Bible, God also suffers because of us and for us, dies for all of our sins and communicates a way to eternal life in paradise.


God can't die, so of what utility is Jesus' death? Couldn't God simply have forgiven us?
Useless.

Metalgod wrote:Also, I would like to spend a few days in Austria next week just as a tourist. I hate driving. Will I need a car?


Where do you intend to stay? In Vienna, no. The public transportation system is one of the best in the world. If you intend to hop cities, you won't need it either, the trains are excellent. But if you want to go to the country side, then yes, you will.


Thank you, Im going to have to postpone my trip to Vienna for now. But Im glad to know that they have a good rail system there.
Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:17 pm
NothPodcasterUser avatarPosts: 335Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:25 pmLocation: the Nether-regions Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

Metalgod wrote:Yes. But in order for me to tell you honestly why I believe what I believe, I must not, at least, consider any new information which might support my beliefs.

Perhaps it's the way the sentence is construed, but I'm afraid I don't quite follow. Could you rephrase this?

Metalgod wrote:I understand that. Still, I do not see death as evidence of TGotB being immoral.

Yet it is not death itself we take issue with. It is that it is caused/ordained by God that we find morally reprehensible (if we were to grant His existence, of course ;)). I am more than comfortable with the fact that life is finite and that, in the end, we all die. What I take issue with is murder, even if it comes from an alleged divine source.

Metalgod wrote:Also, lets say God cures your uncle of cancer or some other terminal illness. I think thats unfair because my uncle also has cancer so God must cure him as well. And what about my grandmother who died of cancer 20 years ago? God must cure her too. Things can quickly become irrational if we choose to judge God by our human moral standards.

I think it is possible to judge a deity by human moral standards despite its omnipotence; maybe even because of this omnipotence. What you've touched on here is an actual problem many atheists have with religious claims about miracles. Not to digress too far, but if we grant that God performs miracles and heals people then he is indeed, as you proposed, quite selective in his approach. Why indeed would he choose to heal one cancer patient but not another? Why indeed would he heal any at all? Personally, I am quite comfortable saying there is no healing going on by anyone other than doctors ;).

Yet, though it is an interesting discussion in itself, who God is benevolent to is not the point. Rather, it is who he is malevolent towards that should be a cause for concern if God should exist.

Metalgod wrote:We are the cause of most of the suffering that goes on in the world.

We turn our backs on God, and when things dont work out we tend to blame Him instead of ourselves. This, at least, is a major theme in the old testement and I believe it is true today. I am generalising a bit of course. I hope you or Inferno dont take this as a personal attack.

I'd go further and say we are the cause of all the suffering (at least all premeditated suffering) in the world. ;)

I don't think either Inferno or myself can see that as a personal attack because we both do not believe there is a god to cause any suffering, so it must be humankind that is the cause. Neither of us, therefore, blames God for anything. Any blame we assign to a deity is only in hypothetical cases where we grant their existence, as we do in this talk.

I know there are minor points in your responses I skipped and I hope you don't mind, but I wanted to end with a hypothetical question, if you'll indulge me. You don't have to answer this - I'm not sure whether it's fully relevant to the topic at hand - but I'm always curious to see how believers answer it.
Here goes:

Say that in this world you and I currently live in there truly is no god. What - besides the obvious thing of not believing in a god any more - would change in your life?
Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:05 pm
CommonEnlightenmentUser avatarPosts: 649Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:06 amLocation: Plato Crater Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Inferno

Noth wrote:Yet, though it is an interesting discussion in itself, who God is benevolent to is not the point. Rather, it is who he is malevolent towards that should be a cause for concern if God should exist.


Yes a very interesting point indeed. This almost sounds like a 'tribal' human characteristic. I would ask myself the question..... Why and/or how would God carry such a human characteristic?
There is still light in the 'Earthly' darkness. Finding light in the darkness can be more satisfying than merely seeing the glaring light of our sun. It gives us a better understanding of light and a deeper understanding of our universe.
Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:47 pm
MetalgodBannedUser avatarPosts: 196Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

Inferno wrote:My point is that there are contradictory accounts in the Bible, so it can't be trusted.


I found a list titled "Biblical Contradictions" at http://www.evilbible.com/Biblical%20Contradictions.htm


1. God is satisfied with his works
Gen 1:31
God is dissatisfied with his works.
Gen 6:6

Not very impressive so far.

But In the Bible, Christ himself asks, if David calls Christ "Lord" how can he be his son?" Thats a contradiction.

Metalgod wrote:Knowing that, in the bible, TgotB created life, you must also know that He has the authority to take it away. If that was all we knew about TgotB, then we would have to say Hes pretty morally neutral.


Inferno wrote:If my imaginary wife and I create life by having a child, do I have the authority to take said life away? Of course not.
In the same manner, no God has any right to take any life away. (Well, it does, but then it can't be considered moral in any meaningful way.)


Interesting. I agree that you do not have that authority. But you do recognise that you would have at least some authority over your own childeren?

I hope to address the rest of you above post in an answer to Noth

Also,
Would you consider it moral of God to kill unborn babies?



Inferno wrote:God can't die, so of what utility is Jesus' death?


Short answer. To make the option of living with God in eternity more readily available to us. Its possible I have misunderstood the question.

Inferno wrote:Couldn't God simply have forgiven us?



If you just automatically love and forgive everybody no matter what, then your love and forgivness become meaningless.
Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:02 pm
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Inferno

Metalgod wrote:Interesting. I agree that you do not have that authority. But you do recognise that you would have at least some authority over your own childeren?


I see where you're going with this. To a certain age, yes. Until they are legally adults, it is my burden to do what is best for them. Though not to kill them.
But the same can never apply for a God, because Its works (if there are any) are not even remotely comparable to those of parents. (Works not traceable, not consistent, usually affect everybody...)

Metalgod wrote:Would you consider it moral of God to kill unborn babies?


Yes.
I know you'll call it a double-standard when I say "but the same thing does not count for humans", so here's me taking the wind out of your sails. We humans sometimes do not have the mental capacity, the physical make-up, the social background, the economic backing, etc. required to raise a child. In many cases, it is a better choice for the parents to terminate a pregnancy because the result would only be a neglected child.

But God, who is supposedly omnipotent, should have no problem with that. So there is never any reason for God to kill anyone who is good and moral.

Metalgod wrote:Short answer. To make the option of living with God in eternity more readily available to us. Its possible I have misunderstood the question.


You understood the question, but I reject your answer.
Was there no other way for God to do this? If God has the power to forgive our sins, a concept I myself find hugely immoral in itself, then surely that same God could have chosen a different way to grant us this option. Why did this God have to take the way of a barbaric human sacrifice, a sacrifice we would have been obliged to stop if we had lived at the time?

Which also answers your last answer.
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:41 pm
MetalgodBannedUser avatarPosts: 196Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

Noth wrote:
Metalgod wrote:Yes. But in order for me to tell you honestly why I believe what I believe, I must not, at least, consider any new information which might support my beliefs.

Perhaps it's the way the sentence is construed, but I'm afraid I don't quite follow. Could you rephrase this?


Sorry. I thought you were nicely kinda accusing me of intellectual laziness. The point I am making is I cannot use information that I had no prior knowledge to honestly answer questions about why I believe something. Does that make sense? It was a small point, it doesnt really matter now anyway..

Metalgod wrote:I understand that. Still, I do not see death as evidence of TGotB being immoral.

Noth wrote:[Yet it is not death itself we take issue with. It is that it is caused/ordained by God that we find morally reprehensible (if we were to grant His existence, of course ;)). I am more than comfortable with the fact that life is finite and that, in the end, we all die. What I take issue with is murder, even if it comes from an alleged divine source.


Everyone in the bible, died. To maintain an accusation of a single murder against TGotB you must also accuse Him of murdering everyone. And then, If God is guilty of even a single murder than God must also be guilty of murdering every single person who has lived, by default. (If you or anyone else see this as a strawman, let me know)

So instead of accusing God of murder, I say that God can not murder. He has the authority to take any life at anytime.


Metalgod wrote:Also, lets say God cures your uncle of cancer or some other terminal illness. I think thats unfair because my uncle also has cancer so God must cure him as well. And what about my grandmother who died of cancer 20 years ago? God must cure her too. Things can quickly become irrational if we choose to judge God by our human moral standards.

Noth wrote:I think it is possible to judge a deity by human moral standards despite its omnipotence; maybe even because of this omnipotence. What you've touched on here is an actual problem many atheists have with religious claims about miracles. Not to digress too far, but if we grant that God performs miracles and heals people then he is indeed, as you proposed, quite selective in his approach. Why indeed would he choose to heal one cancer patient but not another? Why indeed would he heal any at all? Personally, I am quite comfortable saying there is no healing going on by anyone other than doctors ;).



The miracles God/Christ did in the bible were specific to that time period. I dont believe God is healing people today. When I hear someone today say "God took away my cancer!" I cringe. I immediatley assume that this person is trying to trick me into believing that he has some kind of special knowledge about God that I need to be aware of. Or this person is going to try to convince me that I need to goto certain church so that God can work a miracle for me. Or maybe he just dont really understand what he's talking about. Still, although it is impossible to over-glorify TGotB, I think its important not to misrepresent Him.

Noth wrote:Yet, though it is an interesting discussion in itself, who God is benevolent to is not the point. Rather, it is who he is malevolent towards that should be a cause for concern if God should exist..


Christ healed a man who had leprosy in Mark 1:40-41. He was not oblidged to do so. He could have simply told the man "Im sorry. I will not do this because It would be too difficult for people to determine whether or not healing you would truly be an act of benevolence". Just as you pointed out. But he did it anyway. And then of course, in the bible, people accused Christ of being evil because he healed people.

So you can see why I would expect you to give me conclusive evidence of TGotB doing evil before I address your issue of Him being malevolent.

Metalgod wrote:We are the cause of most of the suffering that goes on in the world.

We turn our backs on God, and when things dont work out we tend to blame Him instead of ourselves. This, at least, is a major theme in the old testement and I believe it is true today. I am generalising a bit of course. I hope you or Inferno dont take this as a personal attack.


Noth wrote:I'd go further and say we are the cause of all the suffering (at least all premeditated suffering) in the world. ;)

I don't think either Inferno or myself can see that as a personal attack because we both do not believe there is a god to cause any suffering, so it must be humankind that is the cause. Neither of us, therefore, blames God for anything. Any blame we assign to a deity is only in hypothetical cases where we grant their existence, as we do in this talk.


I appreciate that. I have also tried to make that evident to the reader. Still I think my point stands.

Noth wrote:I know there are minor points in your responses I skipped and I hope you don't mind, but I wanted to end with a hypothetical question, if you'll indulge me. You don't have to answer this - I'm not sure whether it's fully relevant to the topic at hand - but I'm always curious to see how believers answer it.
Here goes:

Say that in this world you and I currently live in there truly is no god. What - besides the obvious thing of not believing in a god any more - would change in your life?


You may as well ask me, "If the sun does not exist, then where does the daylight come from?". Can you be more specific?
Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:00 pm
NothPodcasterUser avatarPosts: 335Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:25 pmLocation: the Nether-regions Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

Metalgod wrote:
Noth wrote:[Yet it is not death itself we take issue with. It is that it is caused/ordained by God that we find morally reprehensible (if we were to grant His existence, of course ;)). I am more than comfortable with the fact that life is finite and that, in the end, we all die. What I take issue with is murder, even if it comes from an alleged divine source.

Everyone in the bible, died. To maintain an accusation of a single murder against TGotB you must also accuse Him of murdering everyone. And then, If God is guilty of even a single murder than God must also be guilty of murdering every single person who has lived, by default. (If you or anyone else see this as a strawman, let me know)

I do not agree that this logically follows. As I see it you are then equating murder with death again. Murder is the willful and premeditating act of taking someone's life. Death is, for instance, the result of murder OR of natural causes (assuming for the moment that we don't say 'murder is natural'). I mean, we could be pedantic and insist that God is the cause of all death because he created life, but that argument doesn't get anyone anywhere. Just as we could not discuss the way Adam and Eve would have loved, we cannot presuppose that death is not an unavoidable condition and final outcome of life. In the world we live in death is simply a part of life.
Yet knowing this, knowing that everyone, in the end, dies, we still take issue with murder. And with good reason, of course. Knowing this, we cannot say God kills everyone simply because everyone dies. He is not the direct cause or the inspiration for the death of every single human being that ever lived. This IS the case, however, in some cases. It is for these instances that we would accuse God of murder.

If we do not draw a clear distinction between people dying 'normally' and people dying at the hands of/ by order of someone (God, in this case) then life itself has little value.

So instead of accusing God of murder, I say that God cannot murder. He has the authority to take any life at anytime.

As Inferno has already made a point about God's authority over life I'll let this rest. Might pick this up later if need be.

The miracles God/Christ did in the bible were specific to that time period. I dont believe God is healing people today. When I hear someone today say "God took away my cancer!" I cringe. I immediatley assume that this person is trying to trick me into believing that he has some kind of special knowledge about God that I need to be aware of. Or this person is going to try to convince me that I need to goto certain church so that God can work a miracle for me. Or maybe he just dont really understand what he's talking about. Still, although it is impossible to over-glorify TGotB, I think its important not to misrepresent Him.
- Emphasis mine
I recall a remark against that along the lines of "It is quite remarkable that God chose a people in an illiterate area of the middle-east, long before type-writers were invented or people could properly document goings-on, to perform miracles to." The point being, I think the decrease in miracles over the last millennia (especially the last centuries) has more to do with our increase in understanding of the world and ability to do things like video-tape events than with God actually ceasing to perform them. ;)
But, as we're operating out of the assumed position that God exists, this is only a sidetrack.

Metalgod wrote:
Noth wrote:Yet, though it is an interesting discussion in itself, who God is benevolent to is not the point. Rather, it is who he is malevolent towards that should be a cause for concern if God should exist..

Christ healed a man who had leprosy in Mark 1:40-41. He was not oblidged to do so. He could have simply told the man "Im sorry. I will not do this because It would be too difficult for people to determine whether or not healing you would truly be an act of benevolence". Just as you pointed out. But he did it anyway. And then of course, in the bible, people accused Christ of being evil because he healed people.

I'm going to be a little cheeky and use a version of your own argument against you ;) :

Seeing as how all the people that God/Jesus healed in the bible are dead, we must conclude that healing them, in the end, meant nothing. If we cannot say that God murders, as death happens to everyone, then we cannot praise him for extending these finite lives a fraction.

If these miracles are to mean something then life must have some intrinsic value. If that is the case, ending it 'prematurely' must needs be the opposite of extending it by healing. And if we are to call God healing an individual an act of good then we must also call ending such an individual's life evil.

So you can see why I would expect you to give me conclusive evidence of TGotB doing evil before I address your issue of Him being malevolent.

So before answering this I think we first need to find a measure of common ground on the distinction between death and murder. After that, either Inferno or I will see if we can find a couple of unambiguous examples.

Metalgod wrote:
Noth wrote:Say that in this world you and I currently live in there truly is no god. What - besides the obvious thing of not believing in a god any more - would change in your life?

You may as well ask me, "If the sun does not exist, then where does the daylight come from?". Can you be more specific?

Hmz, I don't think the two are comparable myself. The existence of the sun is not a matter of dispute; that of God, is. And there is the matter of the readily observablitity of the sun, of course. I understand that you feel the existence of God is 'readily apparent' to you in some way or another, but you'll agree that there's a marked difference between how you perceive the sun and how you perceive God.

What I can do for you is make it a hypothetical case. In the understanding that this is a thought experiment, indulge me to ask you to envision a world that is more or less similar in every aspect to ours except for one: the existence of a deity. In this hypothetical world, what would be different about your life? (For this we must assume that in this hypothetical world its existence is possible without the existence of a deity).
Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:22 am
MetalgodBannedUser avatarPosts: 196Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

Inferno wrote:
Metalgod wrote:Interesting. I agree that you do not have that authority. But you do recognise that you would have at least some authority over your own childeren?


I see where you're going with this. To a certain age, yes. Until they are legally adults, it is my burden to do what is best for them. Though not to kill them.
But the same can never apply for a God, because Its works (if there are any) are not even remotely comparable to those of parents.


I was just wondering because to me it seems that the idea of parents not having any authority over there childeren has actually become quite common.

Metalgod wrote:Would you consider it moral of God to kill unborn babies?

Inferno wrote:Yes.
I know you'll call it a double-standard when I say "but the same thing does not count for humans", so here's me taking the wind out of your sails. We humans sometimes do not have the mental capacity, the physical make-up, the social background, the economic backing, etc. required to raise a child. In many cases, it is a better choice for the parents to terminate a pregnancy because the result would only be a neglected child.
But God, who is supposedly omnipotent, should have no problem with that. So there is never any reason for God to kill anyone who is good and moral.?



Im tempted to simplify your answer a bit and to restate it, in accordance to the question that was asked.

I(Inferno) can think of lots of reasons why we should kill unborn babies. However, I(Inferno) would find it immoral of TGotB to kill unborn babies because If TGotB was real, then he could simply make these reasons not exist.

It seems to me that you think that If TGotB exists, then He should force us to live in a consistantly irrational world. Can you concede for just a moment that if a moral God does exist, then He might have chosen for us to live in a world where there are consequences for our actions?

If not, I understand. None of us are capable of knowing the full effects of our ideas and actions. In the bible, Christ asked God to forgive us because we dont know what we are doing. How then, can you find it immoral of God to forgive our sins?


Metalgod wrote:Short answer. To make the option of living with God in eternity more readily available to us. Its possible I have misunderstood the question.

Inferno wrote:You understood the question, but I reject your answer.
Was there no other way for God to do this? If God has the power to forgive our sins, a concept I myself find hugely immoral in itself, then surely that same God could have chosen a different way to grant us this option. Why did this God have to take the way of a barbaric human sacrifice, a sacrifice we would have been obliged to stop if we had lived at the time?


Again, how do you find it immoral of TGotB to forgive sins?

Thank you Inferno.
Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:23 pm
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Inferno

Metalgod wrote:I was just wondering because to me it seems that the idea of parents not having any authority over there childeren has actually become quite common.


Metalgod wrote:If not, I understand. None of us are capable of knowing the full effects of our ideas and actions. In the bible, Christ asked God to forgive us because we dont know what we are doing. How then, can you find it immoral of God to forgive our sins?


Which is why I've countered the argument immediately. This is not the first time I've heard any of these arguments and I would tend to think that I've got some good answers to them.

Metalgod wrote:I(Inferno) can think of lots of reasons why we should kill unborn babies. However, I(Inferno) would find it immoral of TGotB to kill unborn babies because If TGotB was real, then he could simply make these reasons not exist.


That is an oversimplification. I'd agree in part, but let's assume that the reasons still exist. Let's assume that God indeed created us with free will. What then? Well, I'd suggest that an omnipotent God would not have to resort to killing, but could change our mind in a different way. How about by giving us all a vision? By giving us one holy book that's entirely accurate!

We judge humans on their ability to prevent war, yet we are perfectly fine with an omnipotent being killing at the first sign of conflict? Ridiculous!

Metalgod wrote:It seems to me that you think that If TGotB exists, then He should force us to live in a consistantly irrational world. Can you concede for just a moment that if a moral God does exist, then He might have chosen for us to live in a world where there are consequences for our actions?


No and no. Quite the contrary, I am holding your God to a consistent standard. Can you do the same? Why should special rules apply to a God, but not to a human?
The second is the idea of free will, which I've already often described as being incompatible with a heaven.
But let's assume you don't believe in heaven, only with hell. You're still left with the idea that this heaven is forced upon you by an omnipotent being. That's slightly contradictory, don't you think?

Metalgod wrote:Again, how do you find it immoral of TGotB to forgive sins?


Christopher Hitchens said it best:


Time of writing: 03:36
Status of writing: Intoxicated

Can anyone do better not being drunk?
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:36 am
MetalgodBannedUser avatarPosts: 196Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

Inferno. Drinking. I have a spot for you on the floor here in front of the toliet. If you ever want to make a contest of it, I promise you that's where you'll end up.

Im very sad to know that you have already heard all of my arguements before. It must be very boring for you. I, on the other hand, find all of your comments in this thread to be totally fascinating.
Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:31 am
NothPodcasterUser avatarPosts: 335Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:25 pmLocation: the Nether-regions Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

Metalgod wrote:Im very sad to know that you have already heard all of my arguements before. It must be very boring for you.

That most of your arguments are familiar to us in some way shape of form does not make them, or you, boring ;).
The risk is that you'll get a ready-made, sometimes pointed, answer that may not do justice to you as an individual due to the argument sounding worn-out to our ears.
The difficulty for me, I guess, is in gauging exactly what your beliefs are on certain matters in order to respond properly. For instance, when I talk to one of my brothers (who is of some sort of evangelical denomination) I need to remember that I don't ask him questions that would only be relevant for a believer in sola scriptura (that the bible contains all there is to know about salvation etc.).

Nevertheless, don't hold back on arguments because they may have been used before. If anything it may help you develop your beliefs if you change positions on certain issues. Also - and I don't think this is something for me personally - we are not actively trying to deconvert you or anything. When arguing with a Christian creationist, for example, I'd be pleased if I can convince them that creationism isn't proper science and evolution is a provable fact of our existence. How that impacts his religious beliefs is up to the individual. I may have an opinion about that, but that's not relevant to that particular discussion.

I have been enjoying this conversation so far, though, so don't hold back ;)
Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:54 pm
MetalgodBannedUser avatarPosts: 196Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

Oh I have been enjoying this thread too and I know I've skipped over some things you and Inferno posted for now. Right now Im trying to fight off a re-occuring eye infection that is really starting to drive me crazy.
Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:23 pm
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Inferno

Metalgod wrote:Inferno. Drinking. I have a spot for you on the floor here in front of the toliet. If you ever want to make a contest of it, I promise you that's where you'll end up.


I'm sure I would. But given an equal stage of drunkenness (say, we're both in the "I love you, man" stage) I predict more coherent and sensible answers from myself. ;)

Metalgod wrote:Im very sad to know that you have already heard all of my arguements before. It must be very boring for you. I, on the other hand, find all of your comments in this thread to be totally fascinating.


Up until now... there's nothing new. I'd even go as far as saying that some of your answers were predictable, though you take a different route than most Christians would, which at least makes it somewhat novel.

That being said, I'm only in this for two reasons:
1) You might happen on something new. That would make it infinitely more challenging and interesting.
2) You might take something away from it. No matter what it is, maybe just "he's got a point about that one claim out of a thousand he's made" or "maybe I should rethink that bit" or something to that extent. That would validate my being here and discussing with you.
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:52 am
MetalgodBannedUser avatarPosts: 196Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Inferno

If The God of the Bible did not exist, how would my life be different? I dont know. How is your life different from mine?

Thank you Inferno and Noth. I cannot think of anything else I want to add to this thread. I think you understand where Im coming from. And although I havent typed out a response to every point you both have made, I really have given them all consideration. It is very unlikely I will ever become an atheist. But I think I can tell you I have taken something from this thread, and I mean that to be a positive comment about the both of you, as I guess it should.

As far as the questions I have not answered. After re-reading this thread, I cannot find a reason to take one over another. If one of these is a question that you believe I might actually have an answer that would be of some signifigance to either of you, please point them out here or in new thread.
Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:53 pm
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