The Logical Problem of Evil

Via:  drakkonis  •  4 months ago  •  347 comments

The Logical Problem of Evil

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


A while back I ran across this article. People have often told me that if God really existed, evil wouldn't. To be clear, we were discussing God as described in the Christian Bible. At the time, I wasn't all that familiar with the argument. In fact, I didn't even know some people considered God and evil existing at the same time a problem. I still don't think it is a problem but I understand the objections better now. 

In any case, while the article doesn't provide specific reasons why evil exists, it does cover why evil and God can exist at the same time and that they are not necessarily contradictions. The article comes from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, not a religious source. For anyone interested in the subject I think you will find it thorough and fascinating. Most of all, I admire that it doesn't seem to leave anything out or be biased in any way. Hope you enjoy. 

http://www.iep.utm.edu/evil-log/

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Drakkonis
1  Drakkonis    4 months ago

Please keep it civil.

 
 
TiG
1.1  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @1    4 months ago

Drak, I keep timing out trying to get to the article.

 
 
Bob Nelson
1.1.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  TiG @1.1    4 months ago

Me, too.... It appears that the site (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy) is down.

 
 
Drakkonis
1.1.2  Drakkonis  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.1    4 months ago

I can't get to it at the moment, either. Maybe they are doing server maintenance or something. It came up fine earlier. Try again tomorrow?

 
 
calbab
2  calbab    4 months ago

Evil is the polar opposite of Good. Can mankind comprehend good apart from evil showing up on the scene?

 
 
Drakkonis
2.1  Drakkonis  replied to  calbab @2    4 months ago
Evil is the polar opposite of Good. Can mankind comprehend good apart from evil showing up on the scene?

A good question with many implications, I think. For example, would we have a concept of joy? How would we without sorrow? What would God seem like to us if we didn't know good and evil? (assuming you believe in God). I, of course, don't know what such an existence would be like, but I wonder if our current ideas about joy, happiness and other such concepts would even apply. There would be nothing to add contrast in order to actually appreciate the good, or so it seems to me.

 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Drakkonis @2.1    4 months ago

You and Calbab have given the obvious answer. This existence was created on the basis of duality or relativity. Without  back AND forth there would be no orientation, if we couldn't use the concepts of left AND right , and up AND down, literally where would we be?  The same concept applies to good and evil.

We don't understand why existence is ordered in this way, except to say that it is necessary. 

Of course, if God exists, it could and would transcend good and evil. 

 
 
Drakkonis
2.1.2  Drakkonis  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.1    4 months ago
Of course, if God exists, it could and would transcend good and evil.

Not sure what you mean. Could you unpack this for us?

 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.3  JohnRussell  replied to  Drakkonis @2.1.2    4 months ago

God's understanding of morality might not be the same as ours. 

It is my belief at this stage of my life that we cannot ever hope to understand God's purposes, and we relate to them according to our function as human beings. I certainly don't think God is evil, and I do believe God is ''good', but isn't it likely that there is a good that exists outside our ability to understand it?

I think  it is quite sufficient and accurate to say that we experience an existence that is based on duality and relativity, and in order for us to experience the joy of "good" we must by necessity be susceptible to the pain of "evil".  This IS the nature of this existence. This nature neither confirms or invalidates the possibility of God's existence. 

 
 
calbab
2.1.4  calbab  replied to  Drakkonis @2.1    4 months ago

There would be nothing to add contrast in order to actually appreciate the good. . . .

Great point! Yes, of course, I am a believer in God with numerous articles and comments written in support of God, Jesus, and Spirit on NewsTalkers!

 
 
calbab
2.1.5  calbab  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.3    4 months ago
I certainly don't think God is evil, and I do believe God is ''good', but isn't it likely that there is a good that exists outside our ability to understand it?

Special Revelation revealed through Prophet Isaiah:

Isaiah 55:8. Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not my ways,” says Adonai.
“As high as the sky is above the earth
are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We can see from this ancient men have long ago dealt with the notion God is well advanced beyond any level of created beings.

 
 
Peter Loves the Real Tea Party.
2.1.6  Peter Loves the Real Tea Party.  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.3    4 months ago

This is pretty spot on I would say.

 
 
Drakkonis
2.1.7  Drakkonis  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.3    4 months ago
It is my belief at this stage of my life that we cannot ever hope to understand God's purposes, and we relate to them according to our function as human beings. I certainly don't think God is evil, and I do believe God is ''good', but isn't it likely that there is a good that exists outside our ability to understand it?

Thanks for the response. 

You make an interesting point. One that is similar to my own thoughts on this. I don't recall if we've spoken before so I don't know much about you. To help you understand my comments better, most of my comments should be understood as coming from a Judeo Christian belief system. 

Concerning your point/question, I've wondered the same or something similar. The way I tend to think of it is there is more to good and evil that we can understand as there is more to the spectrum of light than we can see with our unaided eyes. To put it a different way, I think we may be able to understand good in it's most obvious, blatant form, if you will, but I feel there is certainly more than we realize. 

I think it is quite sufficient and accurate to say that we experience an existence that is based on duality and relativity, and in order for us to experience the joy of "good" we must by necessity be susceptible to the pain of "evil". This IS the nature of this existence. This nature neither confirms or invalidates the possibility of God's existence.

I'm not sure what you mean by "relativity". That the same good doesn't always fit different situations? My own thoughts agree with you about the necessity of experiencing evil in order to enjoy good, but it seems the existence of good and evil would be evidence in God's favor. It seems to me that if existence is as some claim it to be, that is, without purpose, design or intent, we wouldn't be concerned with issues such as good and evil in the first place. Those concepts seem to indicate purpose on at least some level. How can purposelessness generate purpose? 

 
 
bbl-1
2.2  bbl-1  replied to  calbab @2    4 months ago

The answer is no.  Was Lucifer correct when he assumed 'Man' is undeserving of free will?

I disagree with Lucifer, but there are those who may agree----------especially those of the authoritarian bent of mind.

 
 
calbab
2.2.1  calbab  replied to  bbl-1 @2.2    4 months ago

Care to elaborate, please?

 
 
bbl-1
2.2.2  bbl-1  replied to  calbab @2.2.1    4 months ago

Rev. Jeffress.  Rev. Hagee.  Rev. Dobson.  And the hundreds more.

 
 
Galen Marvin Ross
2.3  Galen Marvin Ross  replied to  calbab @2    4 months ago
Evil is the polar opposite of Good.

I don't look at it like this, I see evil as being the other side of the coin from good.

 
 
calbab
2.3.1  calbab  replied to  Galen Marvin Ross @2.3    4 months ago

Is this an expression of good and evil as being either white or either black? No in-between? No Ying-Yang? Please elaborate.

 
 
Galen Marvin Ross
2.3.2  Galen Marvin Ross  replied to  calbab @2.3.1    4 months ago
Is this an expression of good and evil as being either white or either black? No in-between? Please elaborate.

Where did I mention black or, white? Look at a coin, it has two sides to it, a "head" side and, a "tail" side but, it is the same coin. Get it?

 
 
calbab
2.3.3  calbab  replied to  Galen Marvin Ross @2.3.2    4 months ago

It is cordially asked. What is wrong? I did ask for more elaboration, too.

 
 
Galen Marvin Ross
2.3.4  Galen Marvin Ross  replied to  calbab @2.3.3    4 months ago
It is cordially asked. What is wrong? I did ask for more elaboration, too.

Ok, take a coin out of your pocket and, look at it, does it have only one side to it? Of course it doesn't, it has two sides, I look at the gods and, goddess's the same way, they have two sides to them, a good side and, a bad side, you don't want to be on their bad side. They allow good in this world just like they allow evil in it, to teach, instruct and, punish us but, because of things that were unleased in the world during the beginning we suffer disease and, death, myth and, legend give us many possibility's as to how these things were released but, none of them have proven to be factual, those things that were released into the world cause bad things to happen in the world and, it is not incumbent for the gods and, goddess's to take care of every little thing in our lives, that is what we have "free will" for so, that we can decide what we want to do about them.

 
 
calbab
2.3.5  calbab  replied to  Galen Marvin Ross @2.3.4    4 months ago

I understand your position better now. Thank you. (Smile.)

 
 
Hal A. Lujah
2.4  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  calbab @2    4 months ago
Evil is the polar opposite of Good. Can mankind comprehend good apart from evil showing up on the scene?

This is not always the case.  Consider the Trolley Problem.

There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person tied up on the side track.

You have two options:

Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track.

Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

Which is the most ethical choice?

 
 
calbab
2.4.1  calbab  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2.4    4 months ago
There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person tied up on the side track.

You failed to reference this material, "Bad," Hal! (Smile)

Note: The video below delivers its (funny) solution to a moral dilemma.

Consider:

The first century Sanhedrin solution:

John 11:50 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

50 "You don’t see that it’s better for you if one man dies on behalf of the people, so that the whole nation won’t be destroyed.”

&

Spock says, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Captain Kirk answers, “Or the one.”

 
 
Hal A. Lujah
2.4.2  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  calbab @2.4.1    4 months ago

Unfortunately, in the Trolley Problem there’s no way around being exclusively responsible for the violent death of at least one person, regardless of intentions.  While you likely would not be persecuted for it by the public, you would be personally scarred over what you were responsible for.

 
 
calbab
2.4.3  calbab  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2.4.2    4 months ago

Like the 'solution' at the tail-end of the video? Furthermore, When I say Good and Evil are polar opposites it is to cause a picture of two poles with a great deal of shading in-betweens. This is what I was asking Galen MR about in 2.3.1.

 
 
calbab
2.4.4  calbab  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2.4.2    4 months ago

Oops. "Bad" Cal!! I failed to see your link to the "Trolley Problem" earlier.

[I]n the Trolley Problem there’s no way around being exclusively responsible for the violent death of at least one person, regardless of intentions.

What about this: Inaction.

Can I get in moral trouble for not doing anything in this deadly hypothetical scenario?

 
 
Bob Nelson
3  Bob Nelson    4 months ago

Drak,

The site is available.

So.... THANK YOU ! !

I'm pretty sure TiG, too, will recall a recent conversation...

I'd never heard of Plantinga, nor of any of these logic structures. I'll need to re-read the article several times. It seems that there should be means for a hybrid between Plantinga and Hicks.

Thank you for a new horizon.

 
 
Drakkonis
3.1  Drakkonis  replied to  Bob Nelson @3    4 months ago

You're welcome

 
 
Drakkonis
3.2  Drakkonis  replied to  Bob Nelson @3    4 months ago

It was an eye opener to me as well. It helped me understand not just the argument but the structure of logic as well.

 
 
Veronica
4  Veronica    4 months ago

That was a very interesting read.  Thank you, Drakkonis.

 
 
Drakkonis
4.1  Drakkonis  replied to  Veronica @4    4 months ago

You're welcome Happy

 
 
bbl-1
5  bbl-1    4 months ago

8.  If God was perfectly good he would want to prevent all evil and suffering in the world.  ( paraphrase )

Another example of how religion always absolves itself from responsibility.

 
 
Phoenyx13
6  Phoenyx13    4 months ago

interesting article - is it true that God created everything ? (asking for the opinion of those who profess belief in God)

 
 
Drakkonis
6.1  Drakkonis  replied to  Phoenyx13 @6    4 months ago

So we believe. Although I've come to believe there is a qualifier. Some things apparently necessarily exist without having to be created. Things that are not possible not to exist. Numbers would be an example. God, another. Such things are called aseities. Aseity in the singular. 

 
 
Phoenyx13
6.1.1  Phoenyx13  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1    4 months ago
So we believe. Although I've come to believe there is a qualifier. Some things apparently necessarily exist without having to be created. Things that are not possible not to exist. Numbers would be an example. God, another. Such things are called aseities. Aseity in the singular.

very interesting - usually Aseity is a term to justify/explain God's existence and now you are stating that Numbers just appeared out of nowhere and exist (in a similar fashion to God) ? Please explain further. It seems you are stating that 1. God created everything 2. But, God didn't create Numbers - those always existed along with a few other things

 
 
TiG
6.1.2  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1    4 months ago
Numbers would be an example.

Numbers are part of a human invented (created) formalism to make sense of reality.   The numbers exist like any other concept.   One could even point to the physical representation of these numbers in books, computers and in the neurological network of the brain.

Same deal with God, IMO.

 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.3  Drakkonis  replied to  Phoenyx13 @6.1.1    4 months ago
Please explain further.

A thing has necessary existence if its non-existence would have been impossible - Peter Van Inwagen

Can you imagine a possible existence where there is no such thing as numbers? No such thing as quantity?

 
 
TiG
6.1.4  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.3    4 months ago
Can you imagine a possible existence where there is no such thing as numbers? No such thing as quantity?

Yes, my dog exists in that reality.   Early man existed in that reality.   Even as late as the Romans there were numbers but there was no 0.   Imagine not having the notion of 0.   

Numbers are simply a conceptual formalism invented by humans that has evolved over time (as does everything else).   Can you imagine a possible existence where there is no such thing as tensors?   Our modern engineering could not exist without these constructs yet for those who do not know of them, life proceeds.

 
 
Eagle Averro
6.1.5  Eagle Averro  replied to  TiG @6.1.4    4 months ago

Yes, my dog exists in that reality

E.A  seems to me some one here is confusing the Human Concept of Numbers and how ALL of Nature KNOWS and deal with Plurality of anything relevant, Dogs can count and know when another Dog does not get their just rewards!

 
 
TiG
6.1.6  TiG  replied to  Eagle Averro @6.1.5    4 months ago
Dogs can count ...

Just barely.   Comparing the concept of numbers as perceived by a human being (the context of the post) with that of a dog is like comparing the game of chess to rock-paper-scissors.

 
 
Eagle Averro
6.1.7  Eagle Averro  replied to  TiG @6.1.6    4 months ago
Comparing the concept of numbers as perceived by a human being (the context of the post) with that of a dog is like comparing the game of chess to rock-paper-scissors.

E.A  Only for those with a limited comprehension that one has no " Time Limit " ( Within the defined Rules )while the other does.

See Dog Packs and how they know how many are in the pack, see how they hunt and how they know how many are where and what number is needed, see how the " Runners " take food back to the sick or injured and how they know how MUCH they need to take back, Simpletons see simplicity in High Complexity of Mathematics in Nature!

 
 
TiG
6.1.8  TiG  replied to  Eagle Averro @6.1.7    4 months ago
Only for those with a limited comprehension that one has no " Time Limit " ( Within the defined Rules )while the other does.

Eye Roll  Your post is almost at the point of gibberish.   

 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.9  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @6.1.2    4 months ago

I don't think human perception is involved at all in the thinking behind numbers as necessarily existing. Even in a potential, unrealized universe that hasn't been created yet, numbers are already there, ready to describe quantities in whatever comes about. That is, 1 is going to be 1 in any universe or no universe. 1 remains 1 regardless of the conditions. Nor can anything physical exist without a quantity attached.  I think that is what is intended when numbers are described as necessarily existing. Impossible not to exist. 

 
 
TiG
6.1.10  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.9    4 months ago
Even in a potential, unrealized universe that hasn't been created yet, numbers are already there, ready to describe quantities in whatever comes about. That is, 1 is going to be 1 in any universe or no universe. 1 remains 1 regardless of the conditions. Nor can anything physical exist without a quantity attached.  I think that is what is intended when numbers are described as necessarily existing. Impossible not to exist.

In any universe, there will be things that could be perceived as individual by an intelligence.   This alone enables an intelligence to assign conceptual symbols to groups.   These symbols are not necessarily part of a formal system of arithmetic (or higher), they might just be symbols.   The assignment could be something like pinkie, ring, middle, index, hand, pinkie-hand, ring-hand, middle-hand, index-hand, hands, pinkie-hands, ...      This is equivalent to what early human beings did.   They started with one-for-one representations of observed individual items and made piles.  They then assigned a representation to a pile (e.g. a rock with a mark on it) and so on.   

So if you wish to say that counting is the same as creating a model of individual items in reality and making groups to represent how many of them are observed then I think it is fair to say that in any universe any sentient entity would devise such a system.   

But that is simply a consequence of things existing that can be perceived as individual.   The existence of individual items does not seem at all remarkable to me.   What is remarkable, IMO, is that an intelligence would exist that could perceive the reality.

 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.11  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @6.1.10    4 months ago

I am not sure of what point you are making. Are you saying that numbers are an invention of the mind?

 
 
Eagle Averro
6.1.12  Eagle Averro  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.11    4 months ago
Are you saying that numbers are an invention of the mind?

E.A  

Not only can a honey bee count, it understands the concept of zero, according to researchers. CreditFrank Bienewald/LightRocket, via Getty Images

What would it mean if bees could understand the concept of nothing?
That would be really something.
Yet that is what scientists reported Thursday in the journal Science. Bees had already demonstrated they could count. Now, the researchers wrote, bees have shown that they understand the absence of things — shapes on a display in this experiment — as a numerical quantity: none or zero.
This is a big leap. Some past civilizations had trouble with the idea of zero. And the only nonhuman animals so far to pass the kind of test bees did are primates and one bird. Not one species, one bird, the famed African gray parrot, Alex, who knew not only words, but numbers.
Bees? Really? It’s not the results of the study I wonder about. There seems to be no question that bees do quite well at the standard understanding-zero experiment, clearly putting them in a cognitive elite.

 
 
Eagle Averro
6.1.13  Eagle Averro  replied to  Eagle Averro @6.1.12    4 months ago

E.A  what does a well written Book say about " The Blind Leading the Blind "?Do Bees Know Nothing?Researchers say bees understand the concept of nothing, or zero. But do we understand what that means?

  • June 7, 2018
 
 
TiG
6.1.14  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.11    4 months ago

Yes, numbers are a  symbolic representation of perceived reality.  Human beings conceived of the formalism we call numbers.  The individual items that are to be counted are also a result of perception.  

That which exists is perceived quite differently by different types of brains - the human brain being but one type.

 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.15  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @6.1.14    4 months ago

I have been thinking about what you've said here for a while now. I think we are talking about two different things. Or perhaps it is better to say that I see two distinct propositions concerning numbers but it seems you only consider there to be one. Or that what I see as two, you see only as one. 

Yes, numbers are a symbolic representation of perceived reality. Human beings conceived of the formalism we call numbers. The individual items that are to be counted are also a result of perception.

Your use of the word 'symbolic' leads me to believe that you are speaking of the system humans created in order to communicate quantity. I would agree that we have invented such a system, but I don't think that qualifies as actually inventing numbers. All we have done is create agreed upon representations of already existing quantity. If there are five marbles on a table all we have done is created a system whereby we can agree what to call the quantity of such a grouping. That isn't to say what we have created is not numbers. They are, of course. But I think that numbers also exist apart from perceived reality. 

If the same five marbles are still on the table and I place a block of wood in front of those marbles, does the block of wood's lack of perception change the quantity of marbles on the table? Or leaving perception in, can our perception change the quantity of marbles on the table? I would hope you would agree that regardless of whatever elaborate system we might try to come up with, there would still be five marbles on the table. All our invention of numbers has done is codify how we deal with numbers already inherently there. 

I suppose I consider myself a mathematical Platonist in this. Numbers are real objects, but abstract. 

That which exists is perceived quite differently by different types of brains - the human brain being but one type.

True, but it seems that while different brains may view different quantities differently, it has no effect on the actual quantities. 

 
 
TiG
6.1.16  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.15    4 months ago
True, but it seems that while different brains may view different quantities differently, it has no effect on the actual quantities.

Yes five individual marbles is five marbles to every perception which delineates the matter the same way.   The quantity of this agreement will be consistent.    So returning to your opening comment:

Drakkonis @6.1.9 - Even in a potential, unrealized universe that hasn't been created yet, numbers are already there, ready to describe quantities in whatever comes about. 

How can a numbers already exist in a yet to be realized universe?   It is true that in a realized universe there will be things that can be perceived as distinct and thus could be tallied (in some form).   Outside of an agreed-upon formalism for modeling reality what specifically do you think numbers are?

 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.17  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @6.1.16    4 months ago
How can a numbers already exist in a yet to be realized universe?

Because they are abstractions. They do not require a material existence. 

Outside of an agreed-upon formalism for modeling reality what specifically do you think numbers are?

Brute fact as pertains to quantity.

 
 
TiG
6.1.18  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.17    4 months ago
Because they are abstractions. They do not require a material existence.

Abstractions are a function of a perceiving mind.

Brute fact as pertains to quantity.

Numbers are 'brute fact' does not translate into anything meaningful to me.   What does this mean?

 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.19  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @6.1.18    3 months ago
Abstractions are a function of a perceiving mind.

This seems to imply that abstractions are a creation of the mind. If so, I don't think it is true. I think it takes a mind to recognize abstractions, but they don't create them. Five is five, regardless of the mind recognizing the abstraction. 

A brute fact is something that can't be explained. Existence doesn't seem to be necessary for numbers to exist. Whether anything exists or not, five is still five and can't be anything else. How did it come to be so? what caused five to only ever be five? It seems that it just is. A brute fact.

 
 
TiG
6.1.20  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.19    3 months ago
This seems to imply that abstractions are a creation of the mind.

Yes.   Creations of mind(s), to be more correct.

If so, I don't think it is true. I think it takes a mind to recognize abstractions, but they don't create them. Five is five, regardless of the mind recognizing the abstraction. 

An abstaction is a mental model of something perceived (Oxford:  "Existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.").

A brute fact is something that can't be explained. Existence doesn't seem to be necessary for numbers to exist.

Existence, by definition, is necessary for anything to 'exist'.

Whether anything exists or not, five is still five and can't be anything else.

Blue is blue.   Hot is hot.   Distant is distant.   Fast is fast.   Circular is circular.   Smooth is smooth.   Heavy is heavy.   Many concepts exist (as meaning) without a tangible item to apply to them.   But these concepts are typically the result of sentient entities perceiving things in our environment and forming concepts to describe and delineate .

How did it come to be so? what caused five to only ever be five? It seems that it just is. A brute fact.

'Five' is part of a formal system invented by human beings (evolved over time) to represent a particular quantity of things perceived to be distinct.   Do you not see how even an entirely undirected process might result in a particular number of things that could be perceived (by some sentience) as distinct?   Our solar system consists of eight planets.   The reality is that we have a star and we have recognized nine substantial masses orbiting it.   One of those masses is recently considered insufficiently evolved (not achieved gravitational dominance) to be perceived as 'like' the other eight so we have eight planets rather than nine.   The physical reality of our solar system has not changed, simply our perceptions and those changes resulted in us recognizing a quantity that we label as '8'.    The number '8' (as with '5') is an abstaction - one that is part of a formal system that most everyone understands and adopts.   

 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.21  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @6.1.20    3 months ago
An abstaction is a mental model of something perceived (Oxford: "Existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.").

I don't know if you are aware that this subject has been debated for thousands of years without either side able to conclusively prove this one way or the other. I'm pretty sure the Oxford dictionary would not be considered as the tie breaker by any serious philosopher. 

I would agree that an abstraction exists in the mind, else we could not comprehend things like numbers. However, as you say, it is a model of something perceived. That is, something perceived outside the mind. 

And while abstractions are able to exist within our minds, we appear to be unable to change that abstraction to mean something other than it does. That is, if you have five marbles we don't seem to be able to change that abstraction to six (in a normally functioning mind), when there are only five. And even if we could manage that, there would not suddenly be six marbles, but still only five. 

Lastly, the Oxford correctly states that it does exist in the mind, but that isn't the same as saying it is created by the mind. What's more, the idea of 'concrete' as pertains to this particular abstraction is apparently debatable. Some insist that if you have five of some thing, that's rather concrete. 

Existence, by definition, is necessary for anything to 'exist'.

You are correct. I should have been more precise in my meaning. I meant 'physical' existence.  

But these concepts are typically the result of sentient entities perceiving things in our environment and forming concepts to describe and delineate

 The highlighted portion seems the only thing we are really doing. The only thing we are actually 'inventing.' We don't decide that four is not the same as five. The difference isn't created by our mind or our ability to hold abstractions in our mind. The difference is already there. It doesn't have to be created. Any sentient mind will arrive at the same conclusion. What we name different quantities is all us, but that there are different quantities is not. These abstractions aren't created, they are discovered. 

Do you not see how even an entirely undirected process might result in a particular number of things that could be perceived (by some sentience) as distinct?

Of course, although I don't see what difference it makes whether or not it's directed or not. 

The physical reality of our solar system has not changed, simply our perceptions and those changes resulted in us recognizing a quantity that we label as '8'

Disagree. You are describing a change in what qualifies as a planet, not what qualifies as the number 8. 

The number '8' (as with '5') is an abstaction - one that is part of a formal system that most everyone understands and adopts.

I do not disagree with this. However, I see this as a subset of the larger set. That the abstraction exists prior to any mind able to hold it. It doesn't come into existence at the moment we are advanced enough to understand it. Rather, we discover what is already there. 

Let me ask you. The laws that govern the universe are abstractions. Did they not exist until we were able to hold them in our minds? Did we not discover these laws or is it your position that we created them? If we created them, what governed the universe before we were advanced enough to create them? 

 
 
TiG
6.1.22  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.21    3 months ago
I'm pretty sure the Oxford dictionary would not be considered as the tie breaker by any serious philosopher.

Oxford was used to define the word 'abstraction', not to make a philosophical statement.   Come on Drak.

That is, if you have five marbles we don't seem to be able to change that abstraction to six (in a normally functioning mind), when there are only five. And even if we could manage that, there would not suddenly be six marbles, but still only five. 

Because we are unable to change the physical reality it models using only our minds.   The fact that most people consistently correlate the concept '5' to five distinctly perceived items is not really noteworthy is it?   Is this not what we would expect?   

We don't decide that four is not the same as five. 

Back to my original answer of the thread.   We started off with simple tallies.   Imagine one rock for one item.   Two rocks for two items.   Three rocks for three items.   One-to-one physical-to-physical modeling.   As time went on we labeled these 'groups of rocks' as numbers.   The distinction of 4 vs. 5 is that of reality.  Of course we did not decide (as in invent the reality) that 4 items is not the same as 5 - we simply noticed that indeed they are different and represented same in our model (our numbers).

You are describing a change in what qualifies as a planet, not what qualifies as the number 8. 

Did that really go over your head?   Somehow I find that hard to believe so I am not going to try to explain it any further.

Let me ask you. The laws that govern the universe are abstractions. Did they not exist until we were able to hold them in our minds?

The physical reality that we model with these laws existed well before human beings so clearly the reality existed but no the laws (the model) did not exist.

Did we not discover these laws or is it your position that we created them?

Yes indeed, we discovered the reality and modeled same as laws (at least the ones we know of).  The laws of which we speak are models (approximations) of reality.

If we created them, what governed the universe before we were advanced enough to create them? 

N/A    We did not create the reality behind the laws, we created the laws as an abstraction to model said reality.

Now, laws are to reality (in terms of physics) what numbers are to distinct, countable items.   Model to reality in both cases.

 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.23  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @6.1.22    3 months ago
Oxford was used to define the word 'abstraction', not to make a philosophical statement.

It seems to me we are having a philosophical discussion. Why would I not think you are making a philosophical point with the Oxford definition?

Because we are unable to change the physical reality it models using only our minds. The fact that most people consistently correlate the concept '5' to five distinctly perceived items is not really noteworthy is it? Is this not what we would expect?

That we should expect it isn't the point. That it cannot be anything else, is. It seems to me that if abstraction only exists in the mind, then the mind should be able to come to a different conclusion than reality. We would, as humans are wont to do, have arguments as to what constitutes five, for instance. But that doesn't happen (normally). 

Back to my original answer of the thread. We started off with simple tallies. Imagine one rock for one item. Two rocks for two items. Three rocks for three items. One-to-one physical-to-physical modeling. As time went on we labeled these 'groups of rocks' as numbers. The distinction of 4 vs. 5 is that of reality. Of course we did not decide (as in invent the reality) that 4 items is not the same as 5 - we simply noticed that indeed they are different and represented same in our model (our numbers).

All true, but as I also said about this, all we've done here is come up with symbols and sounds so that we can communicate with each other concerning these things. We didn't create the abstraction, we just figured out how to talk about it consistently. The abstraction is there to discover, not create, for any mind capable of discovering it. 

So, thank you for the discussion. We aren't going to agree on this, apparently and I don't have anything new to say. I will say that it was interesting. I've done a lot of reading about this over the last few days and learned a lot of cool things. So many ideas about the nature of existence! So many ways of looking at things. Mind candy!

 
 
TiG
6.1.24  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.23    3 months ago
It seems to me we are having a philosophical discussion. Why would I not think you are making a philosophical point with the Oxford definition?

Seriously?  Noting the meaning of a word used in a discussion is an act of clarity.    If we had been discussing photography, defining terms like 'aperture' or 'exposure' would not be making a photographic point - it would be promoting clarity on words used in the discussion.

We would, as humans are wont to do, have arguments as to what constitutes five, for instance. But that doesn't happen (normally). 

Do we argue over what constitutes an inch?   Do we argue over what constitutes a second?   Do we argue over what constitutes a gram?   You are looking at fundamental realities and the formal systems we have for modeling those realities.   Did we have the concept of a gram before anything had mass?   No.   Mass existed billions of years prior to any human brains being formed to evolve a formalization to make sense of mass.

We didn't create the abstraction, we just figured out how to talk about it consistently.

We did not create the reality that we model.   We did create the models - the abstractions.   

 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.25  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @6.1.24    3 months ago
We did not create the reality that we model.

If you believe that, then it would seem that you must believe that we create reality. This is because everything in our mind is an abstraction. When you look at a chair, it is not the chair itself that you hold in your mind but an abstraction of the chair. Indeed, it is arguable whether or not the chair itself is actually 'The Chair' or just an instantiation of the abstraction 'chair'.

The number 5 is a real thing, even though it has no physical form. Any sufficiently advanced mind cannot fail to recognize that 5 is 5 and never anything else. Since everything is an abstraction, why should I believe only abstractions with physical models actually exist but not non physical, such as numbers? Especially when 5 can be modeled physically? 

 
 
TiG
6.1.26  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.25    3 months ago
If you believe that, then it would seem that you must believe that we create reality.

Good grief.   How do you come to such a conclusion?   Non sequitur.

This is because everything in our mind is an abstraction.

Yes!  (But that does not fix your non sequitur above.)  I spent quality time writing about reality being nothing more than perception to us; that two minds will have different perceptions of the same underlying reality.   The perception of reality held by my dog (or an insect) is profoundly different than mine even though the underlying reality is the same.   Do you recognize this as a point I have already made?

When you look at a chair, it is not the chair itself that you hold in your mind but an abstraction of the chair. Indeed, it is arguable whether or not the chair itself is actually 'The Chair' or just an instantiation of the abstraction 'chair'.

It is as though you finally read my opening posts in this thread.   Trouble is, you are writing as though you are explaining the concept of abstraction to me - as though you are explaining to me what I explained to you.   

The number 5 is a real thing, even though it has no physical form.

Yes.  It is an abstraction.   It is a real abstraction, but an abstraction nonetheless.   What is real (stated this 1/2 dozen times now?) is the underlying reality - the forms that we delineate into distinct, countable items.

Any sufficiently advanced mind cannot fail to recognize that 5 is 5 and never anything else.

Blue is blue.   Hot is hot.   Distant is distant.   Fast is fast.   Circular is circular.   Smooth is smooth.   Heavy is heavy.   Many concepts exist (as meaning) without a tangible item to apply to them.   But these concepts are typically the result of sentient entities perceiving things in our environment and forming concepts to describe and delineate.

Since everything is an abstraction, why should I believe only abstractions with physical models actually exist but not non physical, such as numbers? 

Why do you think you have been asked to do that?  The adjective circular exists as an abstraction even when not applied to a physical reality.   It exists as a word with an associated meaning.   When we apply this word to a noun (another abstraction) we get a more complex meaning.   People have used this technique of working purely in the abstract to do some very wonderful things.   Indeed, the entire Star Wars saga is a result of this very exercise.   And not a single thing in the saga is actually real.

Especially when 5 can be modeled physically? 

You mean like typing '5' on a keyboard and having that numeral be modeled as binary code?   That physical model is a representation of the abstract notion we call '5'.


You have been arguing that numbers intrinsically exist as things, not that numbers are abstract.   If you had stated that numbers are abstract notions I would have agreed and asked why you bothered to make such an obvious statement.   But you did not do that.  You have been trying to claim that numbers have some special existence outside of an abstraction in minds.   I have disageed.   If numbers exist outside of a mind then blue, hot, distant, fast, circular, smooth, heavy, etc. exist outside of the mind.   Your posit degenerates into: every abstract notion that is not currently tied to physical reality has some special existence.    It is as if you want this to be true.   My guess is that you want to claim numbers, etc. to be evidence of God.

 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.27  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @6.1.26    3 months ago
 I spent quality time writing about reality being nothing more than perception to us; that two minds will have different perceptions of the same underlying reality. The perception of reality held by my dog (or an insect) is profoundly different than mine even though the underlying reality is the same. Do you recognize this as a point I have already made?

Yes, I recognize it as something you already said. I don't recognize what your point is. You never really explain what it. I mean, your dog's perception of five marbles on a table is going to be different than yours. I understand that well enough. What I don't understand is how this helps us determine whether or not numbers exist in their own right. 

Are you saying that numbers don't exist because your dog in all likelihood doesn't understand numbers? That's about all I can imagine you are trying to say. That perception determines numbers and since your dog doesn't perceive numbers they aren't a real thing.

I'm completely baffled by your insistence that this is a matter of perception. How can it be a matter of perception whether or not there are five marbles on the table? There either are or there aren't. The only place perception has in this discussion is whether or not the mind is sufficiently capable of containing the abstraction of numbers. 

It is as though you finally read my opening posts in this thread. Trouble is, you are writing as though you are explaining the concept of abstraction to me - as though you are explaining to me what I explained to you.

Really? Because it doesn't seem like it to me. Do you remember this?

"Existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence."

You posted this definition because:

Oxford was used to define the word 'abstraction', not to make a philosophical statement. Come on Drak.

and:

Seriously? Noting the meaning of a word used in a discussion is an act of clarity.

Your argument has been that numbers are not real things in and of themselves because they aren't physical  or concrete. Now I bring up the notion that a chair is an abstraction, even though it is physical and concrete, that in fact, everything is an abstraction, and you want be to believe you have made this point all along? I don't think so. 

But in any case, you seem to agree that everything is an abstraction, since you seem to think I was just repeating your argument back to you, although I don't see how that's true. So, the question would be, if a chair isn't the abstraction but, rather, an instantiation of the abstraction of the abstraction 'chair', what makes that different from the abstraction 'five' when instantiated by a group of marbles? 

Yes. It is an abstraction. It is a real abstraction, but an abstraction nonetheless. What is real (stated this 1/2 dozen times now?) is the underlying reality - the forms that we delineate into distinct, countable items.

Yes, you have. Inexplicably, since I've not argued against this at all. I find nothing wrong with what you've said here. Basically because it just says what I said but in a longer form. 

Blue is blue. Hot is hot. Distant is distant. Fast is fast. Circular is circular. Smooth is smooth. Heavy is heavy. Many concepts exist (as meaning) without a tangible item to apply to them.

I get what you are trying to say, but none of these things are like numbers. Blue has a range. Five does not. The same goes for the rest of these examples. In these cases, perception matters in the manner you seem to be arguing for in this argument. But what we consider hot may not seem hot to a life form potentially existing on Venus. 

But these concepts are typically the result of sentient entities perceiving things in our environment and forming concepts to describe and delineate.

Yes, you keep making this point. Over and over. And I completely agree with it as it reads. It's completely true of numbers, as well. We are sufficiently advanced mentally to form concepts concerning numbers. Got it and agree. But there is nothing in this statement that says numbers aren't real, concrete things in and of themselves. All it says is that we are capable of recognizing abstractions and why it's important. That's it. 

Why do you think you have been asked to do that?

Because I have. I asked myself. When I first ran across this argument I wondered if an abstraction could be a real, concrete thing even though it isn't normally considered physical. Something I read convinced me there is no reason not to think so. It concerned what was a novel. Is it what is written on the pages of a book? Which novel is the real one and which are just copies? What if every copy of the novel was destroyed? The novel isn't the book, it is the abstraction the book records. The novel still exists even though all the books were destroyed because they were just instantiations of the abstraction. 

You mean like typing '5' on a keyboard and having that numeral be modeled as binary code? That physical model is a representation of the abstract notion we call '5'.

Absolutely agree. 1,000%. Just like a chair is the physical model or representation of the abstraction 'chair'. Every instantiation of the number 5, whether typed, spoken, represented by objects, is a physical representation, just as the chair is. Just as a planet is. 

You have been arguing that numbers intrinsically exist as things, not that numbers are abstract.

Incorrect. I am arguing that numbers as abstractions exist as concrete entities. Not physical in the normal sense, but definitely concrete.  You can't change them. Five can only ever be five, although you can call it whatever you wish. 

You have been trying to claim that numbers have some special existence outside of an abstraction in minds.

True. If you recall in my opening statement:

Some things apparently necessarily exist without having to be created. Things that are not possible not to exist.

When I asked: 

Can you imagine a possible existence where there is no such thing as numbers? No such thing as quantity?

You answered:

Yes, my dog exists in that reality. Early man existed in that reality. Even as late as the Romans there were numbers but there was no 0. Imagine not having the notion of 0.

I find this to be untrue. Your dog doesn't exist in that reality. Your dog is unaware of the reality of the existence of numbers. Since you are obviously aware of numbers, that your dog isn't doesn't negate what you know to be reality. What you've said here amounts to, if I don't know about it, it doesn't exist. 

Your posit degenerates into: every abstract notion that is not currently tied to physical reality has some special existence.

I don't see how that follows. One can have a pretty detailed abstraction of unicorns being responsible for all the color we see in the world, true. However, as you so often have pointed out, the difference is that numbers can be instantiated in reality. We use them constantly. We see them constantly. We have no evidence of instantiations of unicorns painting the world with color. 

It is as if you want this to be true.

I'm convinced it is true. I don't know why I would want this to be true. Whether you are right or I am doesn't make any practical difference at all. It doesn't change my life one way or another. To me, this is just mind candy. 

My guess is that you want to claim numbers, etc. to be evidence of God.

If you mean my motivation for this discussion or why I believe what I do about numbers, nope. At least not in the way you are thinking. I have no intention to use this as a means to talk about God in any way. Just mind candy. 

Have you been arguing this whole time, thinking I'm trying to sneak God into this in some way? Like, ' Drakk said this but I just know this is some sort of veiled reference to God"? 

 
 
TiG
6.1.28  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.27    3 months ago
How can it be a matter of perception whether or not there are five marbles on the table? There either are or there aren't. The only place perception has in this discussion is whether or not the mind is sufficiently capable of containing the abstraction of numbers.

I may see five marbles because I can recognize the distinctions.   If those marbles were arranged so that they touched each other, the result would look like a single object (star shaped).   Take 14 die and stack them into a pyramid.   One must have the means to recognize the individual spheres, cubes, etc. in the aggregate form to be able to count these things.    Another example in the other extreme (complexity) would be an xray.   What may look like various shades of gray to you and me might - to the trained eye of a specialist M.D. - appear as various normal defects and two tumors.   The moral of our story is that the actual number of things depends upon the perception of the sentient observer.

My point, of course, has been that the number of objects in reality is a function of perception.    Reality may show 3 things to you but 7 things to the aforementioned M.D.   So it is not the case that physically there are 'n' countable things.   The number of countable things is a function of perception too.   ( This is, by the way, just a sub-point. )

Really? Because it doesn't seem like it to me. Do you remember this?

I write 'A', you interpret 'B'.   You quote me writing 'A' and interpret it as 'B'.   Not sure what I can do about this since I always try to be clear.

Your argument has been that numbers are not real things in and of themselves because they aren't physical  or concrete.

My argument is that numbers are concepts.  Color is a concept.  Both numbers and colors are real but they are real only as a function of perception (and cognition).  They are a formal system evolved by human beings.   In reality there are indeed countable things - items that can be delineated as distinct and thus countable.  The physical reality is not 'numbers', it is perceived things.   Numbers are symbolic models of those things.

Now I bring up the notion that a chair is an abstraction, even though it is physical and concrete, that in fact, everything is an abstraction, and you want be to believe you have made this point all along? I don't think so. 

Drak, this is just bizarre.  Why do you think I quoted the definition of abstraction?   Okay, read these quotes which show me explaining that everything we perceive (every notion) is an abstraction (a model) of reality.   Explain how you can possibly "don't think so" after reading this:

Numbers are a concept - a representation of something:

TiG@6.1.2 - Numbers are part of a human invented (created) formalism to make sense of reality.   The numbers exist like any other concept.   One could even point to the physical representation of these numbers in books, computers and in the neurological network of the brain.

TiG@6.1.4 - Numbers are simply a conceptual formalism invented by humans that has evolved over time (as does everything else).   

TiG@6.1.10 - In any universe, there will be things that could be perceived as individual by an intelligence.   This alone enables an intelligence to assign conceptual symbols to groups.   These symbols are not necessarily part of a formal system of arithmetic (or higher), they might just be symbols.   The assignment could be something like pinkie, ring, middle, index, hand, pinkie-hand, ring-hand, middle-hand, index-hand, hands, pinkie-hands, ...      This is equivalent to what early human beings did.   They started with one-for-one representations of observed individual items and made piles.  They then assigned a representation to a pile (e.g. a rock with a mark on it) and so on.   

TiG@6.1.14 - Yes, numbers are a  symbolic representation of perceived reality.  Human beings conceived of the formalism we call numbers.  The individual items that are to be counted are also a result of perception.  

TiG@6.1.18 - Abstractions are a function of a perceiving mind.

TiG@6.1.20 - An abstraction is a mental model of something perceived (Oxford:  "Existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.").

TiG@6.1.22 - Oxford was used to define the word 'abstraction', not to make a philosophical statement. 

TiG@6.1.24 - We did not create the reality that we model.   We did create the models - the abstractions.   

So, yes, my entire series of comments have a common theme that numbers are an abstraction - a model of reality - a formal system invented by human beings.   We did not invent countable things in reality, just the conceptual means to make sense of them.

Blue has a range. Five does not. The same goes for the rest of these examples. In these cases, perception matters in the manner you seem to be arguing for in this argument. But what we consider hot may not seem hot to a life form potentially existing on Venus. 

Why even bring up range?  You got the point (blue above) yet are nit-picking on an attribute that has nothing to do with the point.   To what end??  (BTW color -as with mass, temperature, etc.- can be made as discrete (precise) as we wish - well below what we would consider a 'range'.)

But there is nothing in this statement that says numbers aren't real, concrete things in and of themselves. All it says is that we are capable of recognizing abstractions and why it's important. That's it. 

(Wow.)   Okay, show me a number as a real concrete thing  (in and of itself)

I am arguing that numbers as abstractions exist as concrete entities. Not physical in the normal sense, but definitely concrete.  You can't change them. Five can only ever be five, although you can call it whatever you wish. 

Then your language is part of the problem.  You are arguing that numbers are simultaneously concrete and abstract.   Those two terms are typically antonyms.   The immutability quality works fine but not abstract AND concrete.   A particular number (for a sane mind) will be an immutable concept.  5 is 5.   Just like 187.30498409830983049830498 grams is 187.30498409830983049830498 grams.    But simply being a well-defined, immutable concept does not make the number concrete.  It is this concrete thing that you need to explain.   And agreeing that a number is an abstraction does not help to explain how a number is concrete.   

What you've said here amounts to, if I don't know about it, it doesn't exist. 

What I said is that even the number of countable things in reality is a function of perception.   Explained this over and over.

Have you been arguing this whole time, thinking I'm trying to sneak God into this in some way? Like, ' Drakk said this but I just know this is some sort of veiled reference to God"? 

Just a thought in the back of my mind.   Read your opening comment:

Drakkonis@6.1 - So we believe. Although I've come to believe there is a qualifier. Some things apparently necessarily exist without having to be created. Things that are not possible not to exist. Numbers would be an example. God, another. Such things are called aseities. Aseity in the singular. 

You start off equating numbers with God proposing that both are aseities.   After such difficulty communicating, the thought does cross my mind that faith is somehow involved.

 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.29  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @6.1.28    3 months ago
I write 'A', you interpret 'B'. You quote me writing 'A' and interpret it as 'B'. Not sure what I can do about this since I always try to be clear.

Really? Let's look at that, too.

My point, of course, has been that the number of objects in reality is a function of perception. Reality may show 3 things to you but 7 things to the aforementioned M.D. So it is not the case that physically there are 'n' countable things. The number of countable things is a function of perception too. ( This is, by the way, just a sub-point. )

It doesn't sound like a sub-point. It sounds like the core of your argument. It's entirely based on perception, which is why I said you must think we create our own reality. You are giving an example of it right now. Look at how you state things and why it's so hard to try to follow what you say.

My point, of course, has been that the number of objects in reality is a function of perception.

Take a close look at what you wrote here. Your statement literally says that the number of marbles on the table is dependent on the observers! I have to translate what you said into my best guess as to what you meant, which is probably:

My point, of course, has been that determining the number of objects in reality is a function of perception.

Then, you immediately contradict yourself in the very next sentence. 

Reality may show 3 things to you but 7 things to the aforementioned M.D.

Now it isn't a person's perception but reality that is making the determination. Reality is showing, not us perceiving. Worse, reality is showing different things to different people. Again, trying to figure out what you probably meant:

You see 3 things while the M.D. sees 7 because your perceptions are different. 

If that is what you intended to communicate and I can figure that out, you might think I'm nitpicking but I'm not. You're just not paying attention to my argument. How you use the word 'reality' is important because it's central to what we are talking about. To put...

My point, of course, has been that the number of objects in reality is a function of perception.

into the way I'd say it if I were arguing your position...

Our understanding of the number of objects in reality is driven by perception.

Assuming this means the same thing as what you wrote, only in my own words, you should see why how you use the word 'reality' makes a difference.

Our perception of numbers is driven by reality. 

Or, if you prefer:

Our perception of the number of objects in reality, and thereby our understanding, is a function of reality.

If the difference isn't obvious, it should be clear in examining what you say next.

So it is not the case that physically there are 'n' countable things. The number of countable things is a function of perception too. 

If reality drives perception, then it is the case that there are 'n' countable things on the x-ray, regardless of the observers. That I see only 3 things has much less to do with perception and greatly more with training. The 'n' countable things do not cease to be there simply because I don't know what I am looking at. What's more, I cannot help but be forced into the same perception as the M.D. as I learn more of what I need to understand what I am looking at because reality will drive me there. What's more, people who's perception isn't driven by reality are usually regarded as some degree of mentally ill. 

This is why I resist your idea that it's about perception. Perception doesn't change reality. It just changes our understanding of it. Five marbles cannot be anything else, even if you put them into a star pattern. They remain five marbles. That doesn't mean the pattern doesn't exist, of course, or that it represents one star, but it's still five marbles. It is not possible to get away from that. 

(To continue as to why you are hard to understand because you aren't as clear as you think you are, when you say "So it's not the case that physically there are 'n' countable things," it reads the same as "it's not the case that physically there are 'n' countable moons in orbit around Earth." What am I to make of such a thing as that?)

My argument is that numbers are concepts.

Yes, they are, but everything is a concept so it's not really helpful in determining whether they exist outside concept. Just because they are concepts doesn't mean they don't. Trees are concepts and they exist outside concepts. 

They are a formal system evolved by human beings.

Yes again. The concept of trees is a generally agreed upon set of descriptions that define the concept 'tree'. When we see an instantiation of the concept 'tree', we just go ahead and call it a tree. In the same way, when we see an instantiation of the concept 'five', we go ahead and call it five. 

The physical reality is not 'numbers', it is things.

But you can't have a thing or things without numbers. Even if there is no being or thing that can conceptualize numbers. 

Numbers are symbolic models of those things.

If you mean the word 'five' or the typed symbol '5' or the sound we make to enunciate those things or anything else like them, you are right. But if you are looking at 5 marbles, you are literally looking at an instantiation of the actual, real number. 

Drak, this is just bizarre. Why do you think I quoted the definition of abstraction? Okay, read these quotes which show me explaining that everything we perceive (every notion) is an abstraction (a model) of reality. Explain how you can possibly "don't think so" after reading this:

Because everything you reposted for me to read reinforces what you say next. 

Numbers are a concept - a representation of something:

You only ever speak of numbers as a concept. Not something real outside that. So, when I pointed out that everything is an abstraction, citing the chair as an example, you jumped on me because you said I'm just repeating your argument. I am not. The question implied, and then actually asked in my post after that, was, if everything is an abstraction and a chair is an instantiation (physical manifestation of a chair) of the abstraction 'chair', why isn't five marbles a physical manifestation of the abstraction "five?" 

As you just stated, numbers are only a concept in your way of thinking. That is different from what I've just said here. What I said is not your argument. 

And as to why you quoted the definition of abstraction, I have no idea. Especially since what you're currently saying opposes the definition you provided. You are saying that everything is an abstraction but as many times as I've read the definition it seems to always say that only things that don't have a physical or concrete existence are abstractions. That would leave out things like chairs, wouldn't it? Something you agree is an abstraction? 

We did not invent countable things in reality, just the conceptual means to make sense of them.

This is a true statement, but all it is saying to me is that we came up with a formal way to communicate what is already there. The system we came up with to deal with numbers is no different than the system we came up with to deal with trees. How can we come up with a system that deals with something that isn't there? 

Why even bring up range? You got the point (blue above) yet are nit-picking on an attribute that has nothing to do with the point. To what end??

I'm sorry you don't see the relevance. That you can't see the difference between something that is an immutable fixed point and something that isn't. Perception matters with blue but doesn't with five. Five is five no matter the sentient observing, but blue is blue only because that is how we perceive it. To a sentient that sees in a different spectrum, blue may look entirely different to them. Even within our own species, what blue looks like depends on the degree of color blindness one has. They may not be able to see the difference between blue and green at all. Like my nephew.

(Wow.) Okay, show me a number as a real concrete thing (in and of itself)

Five marbles is an instantiation of the abstraction 'five.'

Concrete number

You start off equating numbers with God proposing that both are aseities.

Perhaps you should read it again. I said numbers and God were examples of aseities, not that they were equated. 

After such difficulty communicating, the thought does cross my mind that faith is somehow involved.

Which tells me I have been wasting my time. 

 
 
TiG
6.1.30  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.29    3 months ago
It doesn't sound like a sub-point.

You are now arguing about an editorial comment I made describing my intent??   Drak, I made that comment to provide information.  Your response is equivalent to calling me a liar.   I think I know the intent of my own argument better than anyone else.  

It sounds like the core of your argument. It's entirely based on perception, which is why I said you must think we create our own reality. You are giving an example of it right now. Look at how you state things and why it's so hard to try to follow what you say.

The core of my argument is that numbers themselves are a conceptual abstraction - a model of reality.  Numbers are concepts - they do not exist outside of cognitive processes.   My sub-point (above) goes further to illustrate that one cannot even claim there are 'n' things in physical reality because the distinct items in physical reality itself can be perceived differently.

Take a close look at what you wrote here. Your statement literally says that the number of marbles on the table is dependent on the observers! I have to translate what you said into my best guess as to what you meant, which is probably:

No it does not.  Face Palm   My statement literally says that the number of perceived objects (THINGS) is dependent upon the observers.    Is it 5 marbles or a star?    Is it 14 dice or a pyramid?   Is the xray a grayish picture with a variety of darker streaks and blotches or is it 5 ordinary flaws and 2 tumors?   The things one perceives is a function of how one delineates reality.  

Then, you immediately contradict yourself in the very next sentence. 

The fact that you must conclude that I am of such poor command of my own argument to contradict myself in the next sentence should be a clue that maybe you are misreading.   That would be reasonable (unless you actually do think I am stupid).  

Now it isn't a person's perception but reality that is making the determination. Reality is showing, not us perceiving. Worse, reality is showing different things to different people. Again, trying to figure out what you probably meant:

The physical reality is the same for both observers, but what they observe is different.   The example of the M.D. illustrates this clearly with a very familiar scenario (reading an xray).  That is the whole point of providing that example.   The perception of the M.D. differs from that of the patient.  What the patient sees as a largely meaningless pattern of shades (let's say the patient perceives 3 'shapes') is perceived as 5 ordinary flaws and 2 tumors by the M.D.     The number of THINGS in reality is itself a perception.  (Note this is still a sub-point, the comments on this sub-point are a result of you dwelling on it.)

If that is what you intended to communicate and I can figure that out, you might think I'm nitpicking but I'm not. You're just not paying attention to my argument. How you use the word 'reality' is important because it's central to what we are talking about. To put...

You offer these as illustrations of the problem:

TiG:  My point, of course, has been that the number of objects in reality is a function of perception.
Drak (restatement):  Our understanding of the number of objects in reality is driven by perception.

I see why you are confused.   Your paraphrase implies that there is a single specific number of objects in reality whereas my statement states that the number of objects (THINGS) in reality is a function of perception.    I am indeed saying that the number of objects (THINGS) in reality is a function of perception.   Do you not see why the xray example illustrates that the same physical reality will result in different THINGS depending upon perception??

I do not know if this will help or hurt, but here goes:

Reality itself is a network of atoms and forces.   We could (theoretically) agree on the number of atoms in a visible scene.   The atoms themselves are not a function of perception (not entirely true*, but deferred for clarity) but the forms that result (the aggregations of atoms) is a function of perception.   Two people will often see the same collection of atoms and perceive a different number of THINGS in the aggregate scene.   (I used marbles and dice in my earlier examples for simplicity.   Do you see 14 dice or do you see a pyramid?)   The point is that reality does not simply offer 'n' THINGS but an abundance of potential THINGS.   The quantity of THINGS is a function of how one draws the boundaries.    A pyramid of 14 dice is a single pyramid or 14 individual dice.  Same reality, different number of THINGS depending upon perception.

An affluent homeowner might look at their backyard and see the herb garden, the shade tree, the kid's play area, the dog 'zone', the pool, the patio, etc.    The homeowner might count 7 functional areas (THINGS).  When they show guests the backyard they will make a comment about each of those 7 functional areas.    Now bring in a landscape professional to 'modernize' the backyard.   This individual will certainly be able to understand the homeowner's functional perspective (once explained) but would undoubtedly see a much more complex reality in terms of plants, irrigation, maintainance, accessibility, etc.   The landscaper view consists of physical THINGS (e.g. plants) and conceptual THINGS (e.g. drainage infrastructure, groupings of THINGS).   The landscaper might perceive hundreds of THINGS.    All of these THINGS are part of reality (and the landscaper could explain these to the homeowner so that they too perceive hundreds of THINGS).   The point is, of course, that the countable THINGS in reality to the homeowner is different than the countable THINGS in reality to the landscaper.   Bring in someone else (say an electrician, irrigation designer, gardener, wedding planner, ... ) and the perceived THINGS in the reality will no doubt be different.   It all depends on how one draws the boundaries - it all is a function of perception.   The backyard does not contain 'n' things - it contains as many THINGS as determined by a particular perception.    

Back now to the start, these individuals could (theoretically) agree on the number of atoms in the backyard.   So now let's address the * point above.   An atom is also a result of perception.  What we perceive as an atom is actually a nucleus with one or more electrons.   The nucleus, however, is itself an aggregate of protons and neutrons.   And what we perceive as protons and neutrons is actually a set of three quarks (each).   (Not even mentioning the forces and their underlying quarks.)  And what we perceive as quarks is likely to change too as we learn more about reality.   So even at the atomic level, the quantity of THINGS is a function of perception.   It depends on where we draw the boundaries.   Same reality (reality is not changing) but quite different perceptions.   And, again, this was simply a sub-point.


The rest of your comment continues with more of the same so my responses would be repeating what I have just stated.


Bottom line, my argument is and has been rather straightforward:

Numbers do not exist in and of themselves - they are concepts - they exist in the minds of sentient entities.   And my sub-point simply emphasizes this by noting that even the THINGS in reality that we would count are a function of perception.   A scene does not intrinsically have 'n' objects - it varies (dramatically) depending upon perception.

I asked you to show me a physical number in reality.   Your answer was this:

Five marbles is an instantiation of the abstraction 'five.'

How is this showing a number (in and of itself) as physical??   The marbles are the reality (even so a function of perception - the subpoint).    The number, however, remains a concept.   Observers must look at these marbles and distinguish each one and then count 5 distinct forms.   You have shown an example of marbles in reality but where is the physical number?   Show me the number existing in and of itself outside of a sentient observer.


Finally, since you seem to want to argue about everything:

Perhaps you should read it again. I said numbers and God were examples of aseities, not that they were equated. 

I actually have to explain this straightforward statement of fact??  (note this is one sentence - one thought):

TiG:  You start off equating numbers with God proposing that both are aseities.  

When one states that x and y are both examples of z, one is equating x and y in terms of z.    Equating (as used) does not mean that x is identical to y, it means that x and y are equivalent with respect to z (just z).  Obviously you know I was not claiming that you consider God and numbers to be identical or even wholly equivalent - that God = numbers.  So why ignore the point I made and instead argue about a word whose meaning was entirely clear based on the usage?

Beyond focusing on the word equating, my point of course was that you posit numbers are aseities.   That is what you are trying to argue.   So when you start off stating that numbers are aseities and God is an aseity you should not be aghast when someone speculates that your argument regarding numbers might have a parallel argument regarding God.

 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.31  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @6.1.30    3 months ago
How is this showing a number (in and of itself) as physical?? The marbles are the reality (even so a function of perception - the subpoint). The number, however, remains a concept. Observers must look at these marbles and distinguish each one and then count 5 distinct forms. You have shown an example of marbles in reality but where is the physical number?

I am tired of repeating the same answer to this question. I'm tired of giving you the reasoning behind the answer. I'm tired of you ignoring the reasoning.

When one states that x and y are both examples of z, one is equating x and y in terms of z. Equating (as used) does not mean that x is identical to y, it means that x and y are equivalent with respect to z (just z). Obviously you know I was not claiming that you consider God and numbers to be identical or even wholly equivalent - that God = numbers. So why ignore the point I made and instead argue about a word whose meaning was entirely clear based on the usage?

I am also tired of you equivocating on things you say. If this is what you meant, what you should have said was, "You started off proposing both numbers and God are aseities." When you add "equate", I'm left to wonder what exactly you intend by the word, since it wasn't necessary to convey what you say you intended. Since your mind is not my mind, I have to try to interpret what is in yours by what you say. In light of your suspicion concerning my motives, I interpreted your meaning to be something along the lines of, "That if numbers are real things that exist outside the mind, then God does, too." That is, in light of your suspicion, isn't that what you really meant? It was hardly to point out that both are considered aseities in philosophical terms.  It was to point to your suspicions concerning my motives as to why I made that statement. You were trying to say I was equating God and numbers in that sense, not that they were both aseities. 

The truth is, I've not made one single statement that is even remotely connected to religion or faith. Everything I've said has been based in reason and logic.

I don't have any more time for this, so, thanks for the discussion. I know we don't agree but I appreciate the time you've put into this, even though I don't always appreciate what you say.    

 
 
TiG
6.1.32  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.31    3 months ago
I am tired of repeating the same answer to this question.

Maybe you should have tried explaining the details behind your assertion instead of 'repeating the same answer '.   That is what I have been doing - trying to come up with new (increasingly detailed) ways to explain answers that you (somehow) did not understand.   To be crystal clear, repeatedly claiming that numbers have an existence in and of themselves is not helpful.   What one needs to do is explain why this is true.   Stating that 5 marbles exist in reality is also not helpful to illustrate how the number 5 is a thing in reality in and of itself.

I'm tired of you ignoring the reasoning.

Remarkable.   You are trying real hard to clear things up, eh?   Looks to me that you choose to focus on irrelevant sidebar items about which to complain - even if you must introduce contrived meaning to do so.   I can only speculate as to why you are taking this approach.   This is not how I remember you operating.   Sucks to see this.

I am also tired of you equivocating on things you say. If this is what you meant, what you should have said was, "You started off proposing both numbers and God are aseities.

A perfect example of you working overtime on the irrelevant - arguing for arguments sake.   Equivocate?   Drak, do you really, truly think that I was saying you were stating that God is wholly identical or equivalent to numbers??  Because if not then from what would I be equivocating?   I gave you the explanation (should not have been necessary anyway) and instead of accepting the explanation you toss out yet another new pointless allegation of equivocation.   Arguing just to argue.   No focus on substance, just (apparently) emotional lashing out.

When you add "equate", I'm left to wonder what exactly you intend by the word, since it wasn't necessary to convey what you say you intended.

You are still complaining even after I have provided a clear explanation of my meaning.   It is not possible for me to figure out the exact combination of words that you want to read.   You have to put forth a tiny bit of effort yourself.   

Since your mind is not my mind, I have to try to interpret what is in yours by what you say.

Yes.    And I am convinced that you are not  trying to do that.

In light of your suspicion concerning my motives,  ...

Could you dwell on something more irrelevant?   

I interpreted your meaning to be something along the lines of, "That if numbers are real things that exist outside the mind, then God does, too."

I do not know if you would go there, but that is certainly a possibility.  But you have jumped to a specific conclusion reading tons into a single statement.  Not good.  In result, we wasted time trying to get you to understand that it is perfectly accurate to note that you did indeed equate God with numbers in that both are aseities.  (You equated x and y on the aspect z.)  (You equated numbers and God on the aspect aseity.)  That is a fact.   And that comment by you certainly opens up the door for a potential parallel God argument.   If you do not see that as a reasonable speculation then you just are not trying.  Your problem.

That is, in light of your suspicion, isn't that what you really meant? It was hardly to point out that both are considered aseities in philosophical terms.  It was to point to your suspicions concerning my motives as to why I made that statement. You were trying to say I was equating God and numbers in that sense, not that they were both aseities. 

At this point I do not even know what you are trying to accomplish.   My statement noted (numbers,God,aseity) and you claim my statement really noted (numbers, God, aseity).   ???   This all stems from this statement (in blue):

TiG @6.1.26 - You have been trying to claim that numbers have some special existence outside of an abstraction in minds.   I have disageed.   If numbers exist outside of a mind then blue, hot, distant, fast, circular, smooth, heavy, etc. exist outside of the mind.   Your posit degenerates into: every abstract notion that is not currently tied to physical reality has some special existence.    It is as if you want this to be true.   My guess is that you want to claim numbers, etc. to be evidence of God.

Given our discussions are almost always about God it is quite reasonable for me to speculate that this might also have a parallel God argument especially since your opening comment stated this:

Drakkonis@6.1 - So we believe. Although I've come to believe there is a qualifier. Some things apparently necessarily exist without having to be created. Things that are not possible not to exist. Numbers would be an example. God, another. Such things are called aseities. Aseity in the singular. 

Since there is no way to paraphrase this without you complaining Eye Roll we will just stick with your words.   Clearly you understand your own words so this should work:   

  • "Some things apparently necessarily exist without having to be created."
  • "Things that are not possible not to exist. "
  • "Numbers would be an example. God, another."
  • "Such things are called aseities."

Try to imagine someone other than you reading the above words.   You see no way someone might suspect a potential parallel God argument stemming from your numbers argument??  

Yet you have blown a gasket because I (far later in the debate) speculated (once) that your numbers as aseities argument might  lead to a parallel argument providing evidence of God.   Yeah, I really went too far.   How could anyone possibly speculate that your argument might have a God aspect given your opening statement?

Your complaints are unfounded Drak.   These bizarre interpretations throughout are a problem of your own making and you have perpetuated it in spite of my efforts.   Blame yourself.

 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.33  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @6.1.32    3 months ago

I probably shouldn't do this but I'm going to try ...

You said:

My guess is that you want to claim numbers, etc. to be evidence of God.

Not a problem. I can understand why you might think so. So I said...

If you mean my motivation for this discussion or why I believe what I do about numbers, nope. At least not in the way you are thinking. I have no intention to use this as a means to talk about God in any way. Just mind candy.

Have you been arguing this whole time, thinking I'm trying to sneak God into this in some way? Like, ' Drakk said this but I just know this is some sort of veiled reference to God"?

… in order to state clearly that it was not my intent to use this argument as evidence of God. When I asked you if thought I was trying to sneak God into this argument, you replied...

You start off equating numbers with God proposing that both are aseities. After such difficulty communicating, the thought does cross my mind that faith is somehow involved.

I didn't 'start off.' This was a reply to someone else's question and should have been understood in that light. I reply to your statement...

Perhaps you should read it again. I said numbers and God were examples of aseities, not that they were equated

You reply back with...

I actually have to explain this straightforward statement of fact?? (note this is one sentence - one thought):

When one states that x and y are both examples of z, one is equating x and y in terms of z. Equating (as used) does not mean that x is identical to y, it means that x and y are equivalent with respect to z (just z). Obviously you know I was not claiming that you consider God and numbers to be identical or even wholly equivalent - that God = numbers. So why ignore the point I made and instead argue about a word whose meaning was entirely clear based on the usage?

That God and numbers are both aseities is clear enough, but that wasn't your point. According to your own words, which are quoted in this very post, your use of 'equate' wasn't about aseity, but rather, your suspicion that somehow proving numbers exist that somehow that proves God exists or evidence toward that end. 

My guess is that you want to claim numbers, etc. to be evidence of God.

That is the manner in which you used 'equate.' I explained this but you came back with...

Drak, do you really, truly think that I was saying you were stating that God is wholly identical or equivalent to numbers??

Nothing I said would suggest I thought you were doing so. I did say you weren't using 'equate' as in they were both aseities. 

You are still complaining even after I have provided a clear explanation of my meaning.

Which is either a line of b.s. you think I can't see or you are unable to follow your own argument. You changed the topic from suspicion about my intent behind arguing that numbers are real things to whether or not I said God and numbers were both aseities.  

Could you dwell on something more irrelevant?

Then why did you bring it up? You could have just taken my assurance that I had no intention of involving religion or God in this discussion. But you didn't. You replied...

You start off equating numbers with God proposing that both are aseities. After such difficulty communicating, the thought does cross my mind that faith is somehow involved.

Not 'did cross my mind', but 'does cross my mind.' Present tense, indicating you still don't believe what I said. Which is why I said I was wasting my time. Instead of actually considering my arguments, you are apparently looking for some sort of reference to God or something. Which proves why you see the unambiguous statement...

So we believe. Although I've come to believe there is a qualifier. Some things apparently necessarily exist without having to be created. Things that are not possible not to exist. Numbers would be an example. God, another. Such things are called aseities. Aseity in the singular.

…the way you do. 

At this point I do not even know what you are trying to accomplish.

Probably because you lost track of what you were talking about. Suspicion that I had some sort of religious motivation concerning the argument about numbers. Don't blame me because I was staying on track. As to what I am trying to accomplish, I am trying to pin you down to what you say, but you keep trying to squirm out of it.

Try to imagine someone other than you reading the above words. You see no way someone might suspect a potential parallel God argument stemming from your numbers argument??

Actually, I understand your suspicion perfectly. I also find it reasonable, concerning our history. The problem here is you think it is I who's blown a gasket, but it is you. I plainly told you that I had no ulterior motive for talking about numbers. But it is you who kept going. You could have accepted what I said and moved on, but instead, you not only doubled down, but you tried to change what we were actually talking about. I'm not going to let that slide. 


It is things like this that make me weary of trying to discuss things with you. You think this is a trivial point. If it was trivial, why did you bring it up? And, what if I don't think it is trivial? If your suspicion is that I am somehow trying to relate this whole debate to God, why shouldn't I have a suspicion that you are dismissing everything I say in that light? That I'm not making real arguments, I'm just trying set the stage to talk about God? 

What's more, when I make an observation about something you say, you get upset about it. Then, somehow, it's my fault for 'complaining' about it. You think you make sound points, but when I disagree, you get upset. For instance:

Why even bring up range? You got the point (blue above) yet are nit-picking on an attribute that has nothing to do with the point. To what end?? (BTW color -as with mass, temperature, etc.- can be made as discrete (precise) as we wish - well below what we would consider a 'range'.)

I got your point but I think this is wrong. Completely wrong. But I guess you expect me to, what. just pretend I don't? What else am I supposed to do, TiG? Be afraid to make points because you might get upset? I say the things I say because I think they are important and relevant.

It get's old. I'm tired of having to deal with this attitude all the time. Which is sad. You're one of the few people in here who can argue at this level. I'm tired of being considered to be complaining because I make a counterpoint. I'm tired of being accused of nit-picking because you don't personally consider it to be important. I don't want to stop debating with you, but I can't keep doing this. Just because I have faith in God doesn't mean I can't argue subjects like this without bringing Him into it. If you can't accept that, then you're disrespecting me and cheating me. 

 

 
 
TiG
6.1.34  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.33    3 months ago

Drak, just scanning your post it appears you are still talking about the debate (meta) instead of actually trying to focus on the substance.   I have no desire to keep defending myself against your incessant and frankly bizarre allegations although I generally do not let someone make allegations that go unanswered.

My position is that you are playing games but I have bit my tongue quite a bit because I have found that it is better to try to ignore these things (avoid jumping to conclusions, ...) and try to focus on the topic.   Your position is that I am playing games but, unfortunately, you are spending pretty much all of your time trying to convince me (I suppose) that I am dishonest or stupid.   Nothing good will come from that and I will aggressively deal with anyone who even suggests I am dishonest.   Stupid (confused by my own logic) is not well received either.   

When I return (I am in the middle of some development work right now) I will come back and address your latest round of allegations.

However, I would prefer that you instead delete your latest post (before I read it carefully and lose my patience) and instead start with a clear thoughtful post on the topic you wish to discuss.    I am willing to not continue this pointless meta crap and attempt to discuss this topic.   

 
 
TiG
6.1.35  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1.33    3 months ago
I didn't 'start off.' This was a reply to someone else's question and should have been understood in that light. I reply to your statement...

I got this far and cannot read any more.   Yet again you demonstrate that you are just arguing to argue.  You are now complaining that I referred to your 6.1 comment as the 'start off'.   How petty and pointless can this be, Drak?   Worse still, it is demonstrably (and obviously) a bogus complaint:

Comment 6.1 is the second comment in this thread.   Look at the first two comments in this thread that launched this side-discussion on aseities (and numbers):

Phoenyx13@6  - interesting article - is it true that God created everything ? (asking for the opinion of those who profess belief in God)

Drakkonis @6.1 - So we believe. Although I've come to believe there is a qualifier. Some things apparently necessarily exist without having to be created. Things that are not possible not to exist. Numbers would be an example. God, another. Such things are called aseities. Aseity in the singular. 

Phoenyx complimented you on your article and then asked about God creating everything.   He made no mention of numbers or aseities.   (One could actually argue that he set God as the context of the thread - not part of my reasoning, but you should note that fact.)  You responded to him with 6.1.   In your response you initiated the discussion on aseities.   

Your 6.1 was the second comment in the thread and the first comment to introduce the topic of the thread.   Your comment was the beginning of this discussion.  

I think I will do myself a favor and not continue reading your post for now.   I am going to do something else for a while.   I cannot imagine how you could justify this complaint and suspect you will not even try.   

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
7  Dismayed Patriot    4 months ago

If going with the God of the bible theory, it appears that good and evil don't exist without being made aware of them and the biblical Gods original intent was for Mankind to never be made aware of them as he instructs Adam to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. This is where the myth stumbles right from the start. Supposedly you can't know what's right or wrong without eating of the tree, yet God tells Adam what is right and wrong by saying he can do anything he wants EXCEPT eat of the two special trees in the garden. So Adam is instructed on what is right and wrong and feels immediately guilty after eating of it (and also goes straight into blame mode saying "I only ate because this woman you gave me, she gave me the fruit").

Even when Satan supposedly deceives Eve, he tells her that eating of the tree will open her eyes letting her know what was good and bad making her like God, implying only God/gods knew what good and bad was. In fact, in the bible it implies that only doing what God doesn't want you to do is bad, so if God doesn't care about it, then it's not a sin and thus not "evil".

So in one sense, you can't have evil without God. Evil requires some arbiter of good and bad. On the other hand, if God is all powerful and all knowing, why does he allow things he doesn't like or considers "sin" to occur? Why does he allow bad things to happen to good people? And why is it just another day in the universe when a meteor strikes killing billions of life forms on our planet as has happened at times in our earths history, but when a human kill even one it's considered a sin? It would imply that the act itself isn't really evil but the intent behind the act that could be the root of evil. When God decides to murder millions on the planet it's good but when a mass murderer does it it's bad. That implies that sin/evil is relative.

If sin/evil is relative to what a believers personal God wants, then religion itself is the root of all evil because any person could claim their personal God wanted those babies to die and thus they were merely carrying out their Gods will which they believe to be inherently good. They can use their belief in "God" to justify any act no matter how heinous, and have throughout human history. This is why believers don't think atheists can be moral entities in the world and must be evil or incapable of being good. But any humanist/atheist who believes in protecting human life and caring for others, treating them as you would like to be treated simply because they feel it's the right way to live, then their moral compass is guided by each individuals effect on others. If you hurt others in your life, you are living an immoral/bad life, if you protect and defend others then you are living a moral/good life regardless of whether there is some deity telling you what to do. In fact, if everyone lived as a humanist does, they wouldn't be able to justify genocides and mass murder, it would take a God claiming it's okay to annihilate others to do that.

So it comes down to whether we, humans, are the arbiters of what is right and wrong, defining it as what is good or bad for humans, or if some outside source, some alien non-human gets to determine what is good and bad. If it's just humans then evil didn't exist until we invented it and called the first act that hurt other humans "evil", the near extinctions of life on the planet were just normal aspects of the universe. If it was some non-human who gets to be the judge then only what it considers evil is evil, and it could claim murdering all the first born children of all humans as good if it wanted to and evil would be relative to it's desires and opinions. 

 
 
calbab
7.1  calbab  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @7    4 months ago

You crossed so many "boundaries" there I do not know where to begin or end up! Suffice it for me to ask you this question. You wrote:

In fact, if everyone lived as a humanist does, they wouldn't be able to justify genocides and mass murder, it would take a God claiming it's okay to annihilate others to do that.

Will you define how you are using the word, humanist, above?

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
7.1.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  calbab @7.1    4 months ago
Will you define how you are using the word, humanist, above?

"Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism and empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism

It's not a secret. It takes a "God" to justify genocide such as the annihilation of humans with the flood, possibly millions killed but considered a good thing, but when Hitler does it he's as evil as evil gets. Hitler tried to justify it by using the God of the bible, "Gott Mit Uns!" (God with us!) emblazoned on Nazi belts and hats. It's only human opinion that he wasn't following the "true" God, if he were then all his mass murder and genocide would be seen as just and proper by those who accepted his "God punished the Jews for the death of his son through me" excuse. But from a humanist perspective it could never be justified, so it takes a belief in a higher power to justify true evil and to have "good" people commit atrocious acts of violence against their fellow humans. We see it today with the conflicts between Muslims, Jews and Christians, all sides justifying their violence by claiming they worship the true God thus the terror they inflict is considered a righteous thing to them.

 
 
calbab
7.1.2  calbab  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @7.1.1    4 months ago

But from a humanist perspective it could never be justified, so it takes a belief in a higher power to justify true evil and to have "good" people commit atrocious acts of violence against their fellow humans.

It is your position, apart from a belief in a God of some sort, humans never justify killing and committing atrocities against their fellow humans?

Note: I am not sure that pointing out individual cases of great evil is the topic of discussion, so I will not spend too much time doing so.

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
7.1.3  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  calbab @7.1.2    4 months ago
humans never justify killing and committing atrocities against their fellow humans?

That is not what I said. I said humanists would not be able to find a justification for genocide. If using rationalism instead of religious belief to value human beings individually or in groups it would be almost impossible to sentence an entire group of humans to death or to claim they are "infidels" that need to be cleansed from the earth. It's fairly easy and happens often when believing in a deity who is deemed superior and thus unaccountable to humans. 

 
 
calbab
7.1.4  calbab  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @7.1.3    4 months ago

To be clear, your comment in question seems to be saying several claims, such as this one:

But from a humanist perspective it could never be justified, so it takes a belief in a higher power to justify true evil and to have "good" people commit atrocious acts of violence against their fellow humans.

Do humanists consider anybody  "infidels" specifically? I doubt the term, "infidels" has a place with humanists. I could be wrong, nevertheless.  Do humanists ever reason the taking of life, individually or collectively, as necessary? If yes, what are some circumstances humanists will do so?

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
7.1.5  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  calbab @7.1.4    4 months ago
Do humanists ever reason the taking of life, individually or collectively, as necessary? If yes, what are some circumstances humanists will do so?

Individually? Yes, I think a humanist with reason could support the death penalty though I imagine most are against it. Collectively? It would be tough to come up with a reason for entire groups, but I suppose if a population was infected with a deadly highly contagious disease, maybe that would warrant wiping them out to protect the rest of humanity. Zombies maybe?

 
 
Drakkonis
7.1.6  Drakkonis  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @7.1.5    4 months ago

You should look to the Communist systems of the 20th Century to see what atrocities Humanist systems can do. 

 
 
calbab
7.1.7  calbab  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @7.1.5    4 months ago

The Philippine-American War, 1899–1902

After its defeat in the Spanish-American War of 1898, Spain ceded its longstanding colony of the Philippines to the United States in the Treaty of Paris.

On February 4, 1899, just two days before the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty, fighting broke out between American forces and Filipino nationalists led by Emilio Aguinaldo who sought independence rather than a change in colonial rulers. The ensuing Philippine-American War lasted three years and resulted in the death of over 4,200 American and over 20,000 Filipino combatants. As many as 200,000 Filipino civilians died from violence, famine, and disease.

The war was brutal on both sides. U.S. forces at times burned villages, implemented civilian reconcentration policies, and employed torture on suspected guerrillas, while Filipino fighters also tortured captured soldiers and terrorized civilians who cooperated with American forces. Many civilians died during the conflict as a result of the fighting, cholera and malaria epidemics, and food shortages caused by several agricultural catastrophes.

https://history.state.gov/milestones/1899-1913/war

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
7.1.8  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Drakkonis @7.1.6    4 months ago
You should look to the Communist systems of the 20th Century to see what atrocities Humanist systems can do.

Communist is not synonymous with humanist. You can be a humanist and believe in capitalism with a splash of socialism which is what we have here in America.

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
7.1.9  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  calbab @7.1.7    4 months ago

"Oh, you have been doing many things in this time that I have been absent; you have done lots of things, some that are well worth remembering, too. Now, we have fought a righteous war since I have been gone, and that is rare in history--a righteous war is so rare that it is almost unknown in history; but by the grace of that war we set Cuba free, and we joined her to those three or four free nations that exist on this earth; and we started out to set those poor Filipinos free too, and why, why, why that most righteous purpose of ours has apparently miscarried I suppose I never shall know." - Mark Twain

"General Wood was present and looking on. His order had been, "Kill or capture those savages." Apparently our little army considered that the "or" left them authorized to kill or capture according to taste, and that their taste had remained what it had been for eight years in our army out there--the taste of Christian butchers."

"There must be two Americas: one that sets the captive free, and one that takes a once-captive's new freedom away from him, and picks a quarrel with him with nothing to found it on; then kills him to get his land. . .

True, we have crushed a deceived and confiding people; we have turned against the weak and the friendless who trusted us; we have stamped out a just and intelligent and well-ordered republic; we have stabbed an ally in the back and slapped the face of a guest; we have bought a Shadow from an enemy that hadn't it to sell; we have robbed a trusting friend of his land and his liberty; we have invited clean young men to shoulder a discredited musket and do bandit's work under a flag which bandits have been accustomed to fear, not to follow; we have debauched America's honor and blackened her face before the world. . .

And as for a flag for the Philippine Province, it is easily managed. We can have a special one--our States do it: we can have just our usual flag, with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones." Mark Twain

Not really sure why you're bringing up the Philippine - American war, but Mark Twain hit the nail on the head in regards to it. 

 
 
calbab
7.1.10  calbab  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @7.1.9    4 months ago

 The Philippine-American War, a war of imperialism or a 'holy' war?

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
7.1.11  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  calbab @7.1.10    4 months ago
The Philippine-American War, a war of imperialism or a 'holy' war?

A war of imperialism carried out by those who imagined themselves holy. The US went there to "save" the people from the Spanish, but then refused to let them try self rule by claiming we were "saving" them from themselves.

"Apparently our little army considered that the "or" left them authorized to kill or capture according to taste, and that their taste had remained what it had been for eight years in our army out there--the taste of Christian butchers." - Mark Twain

 
 
Drakkonis
7.1.12  Drakkonis  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @7.1.8    4 months ago
Communist is not synonymous with humanist. You can be a humanist and believe in capitalism with a splash of socialism which is what we have here in America.

I didn't say communism was synonymous with humanist. I said it was a humanist system. Further, as a humanist system it is evidence that the atrocities you speak of are more than capable of being carried out by humanists. 

 
 
calbab
7.1.13  calbab  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @7.1.11    4 months ago

The U.S. used a confluence of reasons to annex the Philippines, of which "Christianizing" was an ancillary one. Surely, in a majority Christian nation nearly every decision could be suggested to take a view of religion under consideration. There were secular voices involved of necessity, again for a variety of reasons (see below). The results were imperialistic military actions as described in 7.1.7. With this post, I am done with this specific portion of the discussion as it is not the main thrust of the article.


Feb. 6, 1899: US Senate Ratifies Treaty of Paris

Peace%20Treaty%20ratified,%20Scranton%20

President William McKinley controlled all the information coming from the Philippines. On Feb. 6, 1899, after he reported to the American people that the Filipinos had attacked US troops in Manila, the U.S. Senate ratified the Treaty of Paris by one vote more than the necessary two-thirds (57 to 27). The American public tacitly endorsed the ratification by reelecting Mckinley in 1900. 

When the treaty was signed on Dec. 10, 1898, it had to be ratified by the U.S. Senate before it could take effect. It, however, met opposition, mainly against the annexation of the Philippines.

An Anti-Imperialist League was formed to rally American public opinion against the annexation. Many League members felt empires were anti-democratic and a violation of the nation's heritage. Some union leaders argued that overseas empire would only feed the overwhelming power of big business.

Grover%20Cleveland.jpgSome prominent Americans, such as former President Grover Cleveland, the writer Mark Twain and industrialist Andrew Carnegie, also opposed the ratification. The latter even offered to buy the Philippines for US $20 million and give it to the Filipinos so that they could be free; he believed the U.S. should exercise global economic power Mark%20Twain.jpgbut avoid annexing colonies.

One of the reasons why the United States should not acquire the Philippines was that the Filipinos themselves were fighting the Americans in the Philippines. Such an act, they said, showed that the Filipinos did not want to be under American rule. They also reasoned that it was inconsistent for the United States to disclaim—through the so-called Teller Amendment—any intention of annexing Cuba and then annex the other Spanish colonies, such as the Philippines.

Attitudes about race divided the anti-imperialists. Some opposed annexation because they did not want a "primitive race" to join the U.S. Others,  including many African Americans, suggested that U.S. talk of "uplifting" the Filipinos was hypocritical; at home, they argued, the U.S. was not even trying to protect the rights of black citizens.

Andrew%20Carnegie.jpgThere were also many in the United States who saw the advantages of taking over the Philippines. Many Protestant missionaries, for instance, favored annexation.  They felt the U.S. was duty-bound to educate and "christianize" the islands, not realizing that most Filipinos were already Catholic.

Some people feared that Germany or another European power might get the Philippines if the United States did not. Newspapers had painted the Filipinos as primitive "savages"; consequently, many Americans came to believe they  could not govern themselves or defend themselves against threatening European powers.

There were those who favored annexation to give America a “foothold” in the populous markets of Asia. They pointed to the Philippines' value as a coaling station for U.S. ships; and as a stepping stone for American exporters with an eye on the "Great China Market."

A group of prominent bankers, industrialists and politicians convinced high government officials that the U.S. economy faced stagnation, widespread unemployment and possibly revolution unless moves were made to penetrate Asian markets. Senator%20Albert%20J%20Beveridge.jpg

Senator Albert Beveridge observed: "American factories are making more than the American people can use; American soil is producing more than they can consume. Fate has written our policy for us . . . . The Philippines give us a base at the door of all the East . . . . The power that rules the Pacific . . . is the power that rules the world ....The mission of our race [is to control] the trade of the world....and the Philippines logically are our first target."

"Self-government," Senator Beveridge said, "applies only to those who are capable of self-government. We govern William%20Jennings%20Bryan.jpgthe Indians without their consent, we govern our territories without their consent, we govern our children without their consent."

In the 1900 presidential election, the Anti-Imperialist League supported William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic candidate, who opposed the annexation of the Philippines.

[To be sure, Bryan argued for approving the Treaty of Paris ending the war, by which the Spanish would cede Puerto Rico and the Philippines to the United States, saying that the United States should first secure the freedom of the Philippines from Spain and then award them independence when the international situation was more favorable.]

Reference: http://www.filipinoamericanwar.com/usratifiesparistreaty.htm

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
7.1.14  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Drakkonis @7.1.12    4 months ago
I said it was a humanist system. Further, as a humanist system it is evidence that the atrocities you speak of are more than capable of being carried out by humanists.

Communism: noun - a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.

Humanism: noun - an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.

While communists may claim to be taking your property for the good of the populace, it is a far cry from actual humanism. To try and compare the two and claim equivalency is dishonest as no communist society to date has ever embraced any type of modern humanism. Marx based much of his philosophy on George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and his Hegelian philosophy who claimed his philosophy was consistent with Christianity. This led Hegelian philosopher, jurist and politician Carl Friedrich Goschel  (1784–1861) to write a treatise demonstrating the consistency of Hegel's philosophy with the Christian doctrine of the immortality of the human soul. He believed it was Gods will to force equality on a populace by seizing all property and controlling worker pay and resources based on the immortality of all human souls thus making them equal in the eyes of God. So while you could claim that was intended to take care of "human needs" as a humanist may desire, it's a very different (and very flawed) method of achieving it.

So trying to lay the sins of communism at the feet of humanists is not only ignorant, it's completely dishonest. It's like trying to lay the blame of Hitler's genocide on vegetarians because Hitler happened to be a vegetarian.

 
 
Drakkonis
7.1.15  Drakkonis  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @7.1.14    4 months ago

Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition. The meaning of the term humanism has fluctuated according to the successive intellectual movements which have identified with it. 

Wiki

Humanism has meant different things over the years. The one central tenet that hasn't changed is a belief that humans are sufficient unto themselves. No deities needed. Now, you may perfume your meaning in such a way as it lets you feel you get to deny humanist actions you don't like so you can pretend it isn't humanism, but you're not going to sell it to any thinking person. I happen to be one of those. 

 
 
Phoenyx13
7.1.16  Phoenyx13  replied to  Drakkonis @7.1.15    4 months ago
Now, you may perfume your meaning in such a way as it lets you feel you get to deny humanist actions you don't like so you can pretend it isn't humanism, but you're not going to sell it to any thinking person. I happen to be one of those.

i would say you found a swinging door since that could also apply to religious people and their actions, correct ? Or does this door only swing one way ?

 
 
Drakkonis
7.1.17  Drakkonis  replied to  Phoenyx13 @7.1.16    4 months ago

No, it applies to all. 

 
 
Phoenyx13
7.1.18  Phoenyx13  replied to  Drakkonis @7.1.17    4 months ago
No, it applies to all.

i would be very careful treading that water - there have been plenty of "bad" men who murdered thousands (or more) and were religious people using political philosophies

 
 
Drakkonis
7.1.19  Drakkonis  replied to  Phoenyx13 @7.1.18    4 months ago
i would be very careful treading that water - there have been plenty of "bad" men who murdered thousands (or more) and were religious people using political philosophies

I think you misunderstood me. I was agreeing with you. Religion has plenty of blood on it's hands as well. That is why I said it applies to all. 

 
 
Phoenyx13
7.1.20  Phoenyx13  replied to  Drakkonis @7.1.19    4 months ago
I think you misunderstood me. I was agreeing with you. Religion has plenty of blood on it's hands as well. That is why I said it applies to all.

i thought as much, which is why i cautioned you, not many religious people will openly admit that both sides are at fault - including their own (so to speak). I give you credit for applying your standard consistently and fairly to both sides

 
 
calbab
7.1.21  calbab  replied to  Drakkonis @7.1.19    4 months ago

How can humanists argue for an objective moral standard? From where could such a standard derive? How is this standard established and maintained?

 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.22  Bob Nelson  replied to  calbab @7.1.21    4 months ago
How can humanists argue for an objective moral standard? From where could such a standard derive? How is this standard established and maintained?

Kant's Categorical Imperative is a good start...

 
 
calbab
7.1.23  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.22    4 months ago

It is a good start in context of Humanity being In-Charge. I will have to study this answer more in-depth.  Good answer, Bob.

Now then let me ask the question: Is this saying that mankind self-governs itself universally? How is this enforceable? To whom are appeals made? I'd love to flesh out some of this.

 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.24  Bob Nelson  replied to  calbab @7.1.23    4 months ago
How is this enforceable?

People have always delegated enforcement to a "police" of some sort. Variable according to the society.

 
 
calbab
7.1.25  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.24    4 months ago

Then let me add this from the Wiki page. Note, it is a partial criticism of Kantian's categorical imperative: (It made me 'crack up' too):


Søren Kierkegaard believed Kantian autonomy was insufficient and that, if unchecked, people tend to be lenient in their own case, either by not exercising the full rigor of the moral law or by not properly disciplining themselves of moral transgressions:

Kant was of the opinion that man is his own law (autonomy) - that is, he binds himself under the law which he himself gives himself. Actually, in a profounder sense, this is how lawlessness or experimentation are established. This is not being rigorously earnest any more than Sancho Panza's self-administered blows to his own bottom were vigorous. ... Now if a man is never even once willing in his lifetime to act so decisively that [a lawgiver] can get hold of him, well, then it happens, then the man is allowed to live on in self-complacent illusion and make-believe and experimentation, but this also means: utterly without grace. — Papers and Journals

Honest question: Is this 'charge' by Kierkegaard a statement about corruption bult-in the standard?

 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.26  Bob Nelson  replied to  calbab @7.1.25    4 months ago

Obviously, the problem with the Golden Rule, in any of its many formulations, is that people are not perfect. We lie. To ourselves and to others.

So none of us applies the Golden Rule perfectly.

I'm tempted to say... "Duh!!"

It's an ideal, not a roadmap.

 
 
calbab
7.1.27  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.26    4 months ago

In essence if mankind is its own highest standard of the law, then mankind may never receive its proper reward or punishment due it individually or collectively? This is relativism, no?

 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.28  Bob Nelson  replied to  calbab @7.1.27    4 months ago
In essence if mankind is its own highest standard of the law, then mankind may never receive its proper reward or punishment due it individually or collectively? This is relativism, no?

I'm not sure what "reward or punishment" means... Good is its own reward... and the punishment for evil is separation from good.   I think...

This is the Golden Rule, of whatever formulation. We are returned to the conversation about Free Will.

 
 
calbab
7.1.29  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.28    4 months ago

Kant's Categorical Imperative is not the objective moral standard, if it can be corrupted, yes?

 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.30  Bob Nelson  replied to  calbab @7.1.29    4 months ago

It's a variant of the Golden Rule, with the same advantages and disadvantages.

 
 
calbab
7.1.31  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.30    4 months ago

The objective standard of good and evil can not be based on mankind's ability to keep it, Bob.

 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.32  Bob Nelson  replied to  calbab @7.1.31    4 months ago
The objective standard of good and evil can not be based on mankind's ability to keep it, Bob.

Jesus told us to love one another. He also gave us His version of the Golden Rule: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:31 New International Version (NIV)

... we're back to the problem of Free Will.

 
 
calbab
7.1.33  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.32    4 months ago

That is a good moral principle. It is not the standard of good used to determine what is evil, nevertheless. What is the standard used to determine good from evil?

Plus, I do not follow your repeat statements about freewill.

 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.34  Bob Nelson  replied to  calbab @7.1.33    4 months ago

The Golden Rule doesn't express any values at all. It presumes that most people would like to be treated well. If that is true, then if we treat others as we would like to be treated... everyone will be treated well.

Obviously, the problem is the "cheater", the person who accepts good treatment but doesn't return it.

 
 
calbab
7.1.35  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.34    4 months ago

Self-centered, egotistical, pompous, murderous, and the like people you mean, I presume.

Back to the questions:

  • How can humanists argue for an objective moral standard?
  • What is the standard used to determine good from evil?
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.36  Bob Nelson  replied to  calbab @7.1.35    4 months ago

How can humanists argue for an objective moral standard?
What is the standard used to determine good from evil?

Dunno... nor do I know why you are asking me these questions.

I'm not sure what you mean by "objective moral standard", nor do I know the standard you are searching for.

We have laws, secular and religious, that define what is forbidden by man or by God... but that's not the same as good/evil.

 
 
calbab
7.1.37  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.36    4 months ago

My original question was to Drakkonis (7.1.21) above. You replied to it. (Smile.)

To the questions I asked: An objective moral standard presumes a Supreme Good, and by extension, a Supreme Enforcer. Otherwise, moral standards are relative, In my opinion.

 
 
Drakkonis
7.1.38  Drakkonis  replied to  calbab @7.1.21    4 months ago
How can humanists argue for an objective moral standard? From where could such a standard derive? How is this standard established and maintained?

My experience is that they don't even try. They don't believe in an objective moral standard and will tell you all day long one doesn't exist. Then, after telling you, will go out and act as if it did. Worse, will tell everyone else that they are morally wrong. Can't quite figure it out. 

 
 
calbab
7.1.39  calbab  replied to  Drakkonis @7.1.38    4 months ago
  1. Is there any living human so arrogant as to believe mankind has already enjoyed the greatest good or faced off against the worst evil our nature world can deliver?
  2. Does mankind imagine it has recorded history of the spectrum ends on Good and Evil?
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
7.1.40  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Drakkonis @7.1.38    4 months ago
They don't believe in an objective moral standard and will tell you all day long one doesn't exist. Then, after telling you, will go out and act as if it did.

There is no objective moral standard, only a subjective one and we humans are the subject. This is the core of the golden rule. But even the religious don't actually believe in an objective moral standard, they also believe in subjective morality, and their subject is their God. That's why the religious can justify the murder of millions when it's commanded by their God.

Objective: adjective - not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

Subjective: adjective - based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

Religious morality is based on the tastes and opinions of their supposed God. They claim to work hard in order to please his personal feelings by their actions.

Humanist morality is based on the tastes and opinions of humans. They claim to work hard in order to please other humans and their own personal feelings by their actions.

Science, math, physics, those are objective and none care a whit about how we treat each other. Gravity doesn't stop functioning just because it's a newborn baby being thrown from a fourth story building that's on fire, and neither does the fire. We as humans try our hardest to protect that child from the objectivity of the world around it by having a fireman there to hopefully catch the baby. And was it God that got the baby out of the fire? Of course not, it was a human who risked their lives to do it. Now some humans may attribute that humans actions to a higher power, but this is flawed logic, because otherwise ALL babies would be saved in that situation but sadly many babies and very young children have died in fires. To claim God saved some but couldn't save others you have to reason that somehow some babies deserved to be saved and others didn't which means that God who could have saved them but didn't is a dick.

 
 
TiG
7.1.41  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @7.1.38    4 months ago
Can't quite figure it out.

Your description does not align with my views, so here is my take:

  1. Objective morality must be defined and communicated, otherwise it is useless.
  2. If objective morality is defined as 'that which all human beings honestly agree as being objectively moral' then (assuming there is something that everyone does actually agree to) that would be your objective morality.   
  3. If objective morality is defined as something beyond the purview of human beings then there must be a third party of authority greater than all humans.   Logically this authority would be referred to as God.
  4. I think you and Cal would go with 3 over 2.   Presuming that I will continue.
  5. For objective morality to be effected, God would have to define it and then communicate it to every human being He wishes to know of objective morality.    Otherwise the human being could not possibly know that what they consider to be moral or immoral actually aligns with objective morality.
  6. If there is no God, this logic suggests there can be no objective morality (other than what all humans agree to).   
  7. To wit, without a God the best objective morality we can determine will be quite brief.

 
 
calbab
7.1.42  calbab  replied to  TiG @7.1.41    4 months ago

As relates to # 2 and # 7 exclusively, . . . any details for "the best objective morality we can determine will be quite brief"?

 
 
TiG
7.1.43  TiG  replied to  calbab @7.1.42    4 months ago
any details for "the best objective morality we can determine will be quite brief"

This would be a list of moral principles with which everyone agreed.   If there is no moral authority the closest thing to objective morality would be the common core of all moral systems (even then it would not truly be objective morality - just indistinguishable from same by human beings).

This would be a very short list.   Here is why:

  • Start with your own list of moral principles - what you consider to be the true list of objectively moral principles
  • For each person on the planet, if the person disagrees with a principle scratch it off the list
  • When you are done how many principles would remain?
 
 
calbab
7.1.44  calbab  replied to  TiG @7.1.43    4 months ago

A very short list indeed! Mankind's morality is relative morality

In your list # 3 and # 5 respectively, we can find God (in Jesus Christ) providing ought-tos which can make all mankind uniformly exist better together and thrive.  A standard which can work across all of cultures, should the world's people use their freewill to choose it. NOTE: I am fully aware that not all people have the capacity to live the same experiences. However, Spirit in-dwelling brings power to change and grace sufficient to the task!

 
 
TiG
7.1.45  TiG  replied to  calbab @7.1.44    4 months ago

Indeed, anything professed by a human being is relative morality.   Now extend that to the Bible.   How can anyone possibly declare that anything from the Bible is a principle of absolute morality given such a  declaration necessarily is a result of human interpretation?

 
 
calbab
7.1.46  calbab  replied to  TiG @7.1.45    4 months ago

Special revelation, TiG!  Objective moral truth is declared by virtue of its indissolubility. The believer accepts God has given objective moral truths, uncustomizable moral truths, to mankind through Jesus-Messiah.

Hebrews 4:12  See, the Word of God is alive! It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword — it cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart. 13 Before God, nothing created is hidden, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.

 
 
TiG
7.1.47  TiG  replied to  calbab @7.1.46    4 months ago

The believer accepts God has given objective moral truths, uncustomizable moral truths, to mankind through Jesus-Messiah.

Most everyone understands that believers believe based on faith.   This is nothing new.     Not Impressed

Stating that one thinks one has objective moral truth because one believes does not (in any way) answer the question of how one truly knows objective morality.

 
 
calbab
7.1.48  calbab  replied to  TiG @7.1.47    4 months ago

Special revelation, TiG!  Believer's have  a notion of what ought to be. And so we aspire to God's objective morality, even though we may never fully actualize it:

Philippians 3:12 It is not that I have already obtained it or already reached the goal — no, I keep pursuing it in the hope of taking hold of that for which the Messiah Yeshua took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I, for my part, do not think of myself as having yet gotten hold of it; but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind me and straining forward toward what lies ahead, 14 I keep pursuing the goal in order to win the prize offered by God’s upward calling in the Messiah Yeshua. 15 Therefore, as many of us as are mature, let us keep paying attention to this; and if you are differently minded about anything, God will also reveal this to you. 16 Only let our conduct fit the level we have already reached.

I can not 'speak' for what you lack being an unbeliever. Nor can I, a believer, maintain a level of relative truth, when I have a different calling: A non-fungible truth.

 
 
calbab
7.1.49  calbab  replied to  calbab @7.1.48    4 months ago

Moreover, we learn through our faith, which is palpable. It is possible to know what I believe from my 'actions' on NT.

 
 
TiG
7.1.50  TiG  replied to  calbab @7.1.48    4 months ago

Declarations of a faith and quoting scripture does not address the question of how anyone can know that anything written in the Bible is objective morality.     

 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
7.1.51  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  TiG @7.1.50    4 months ago
the question of how anyone can know that anything written in the Bible is objective morality.

the definition of "morality" is always subject to the culture which defines it.

 
 
calbab
7.1.52  calbab  replied to  TiG @7.1.50    4 months ago

Is this your only take-away from all I have written today? Oh, I wrote so much more meaning than that. I shall not bother to repeat any of it. It is already "present." These objective truths are universally in use across cultures.

 
 
TiG
7.1.53  TiG  replied to  calbab @7.1.52    4 months ago

Yes.

 
 
calbab
7.1.54  calbab  replied to  TiG @7.1.53    4 months ago

Oh well. That's not any fault of mine. (Smile.)

 
 
TiG
7.1.55  TiG  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @7.1.51    3 months ago
the definition of "morality" is always subject to the culture which defines it.

Exactly

 
 
Drakkonis
7.1.56  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @7.1.41    3 months ago

Can't find anything to object to in that. 

 
 
TiG
7.1.57  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @7.1.56    3 months ago

Let's mark this as a remarkable event.

 
 
TiG
8  TiG    4 months ago

First of all, thanks Drak for this seed.   Very good foundation for thoughtful discussion and debate.


Opening questions on evil and human suffering:

  1. Why does God allow pedophiles to rape and murder little girls?   ( an exemplar for evil and consequent suffering )
  2. Why does God allow little children to suffer with cancer only to die at age 4?   ( an exemplar for natural suffering )

Answer (per the seed):   Possibly because God considers pain and suffering a morally justified price to pay for what He considers to be a greater good.   

With that let's analyze the argument of this seed.


Summary of the argument

Question:  Why does an omnipotent, omniscient, loving, good, perfect God allow evil and suffering?

Answer:    God allows evil to allow free will.   Free will is a morally sufficient reason because (per God) the greater good of free will outweighs the cost of evil and suffering.

(pre) Argument F (Free Will):

  1. God wants His creatures to have free will  (presumed)
  2. Free will necessarily means being able to engage in evil acts  (logical consequence)

   God must allow [some?] evil acts to offer free will

So far this is logical (although 'allow evil acts' is an overstatement without 'some').   To allow free will (as defined), God (any entity) must allow His creatures to choose and act freely  - this means they can make evil choices and act on them.   So in answer to the question:  'Why does God allow pedophiles to rape and murder little girls?'  the answer is that this is the price to pay for free will.   So clearly we must presume that God considers free will important enough to subject His creatures to the consequences of evil.    Hold that thought.

Note that suffering (part of this argument) is only partially addressed.   There are two immediately obvious sources of suffering:   

  • from evil acts of human beings  
  • from nature 

Argument F covers evil acts from human beings (opening question 1) but what about from nature (opening question 2)?   Volcanoes, tornados, floods, famine, disease, cancer (and all other malfunctions of the body), birth defects, etc. are not the result of evil acts from human beings but rather as a consequence of God.   So how does this argument answer the question:  'Why does God allow a little girl be born and suffer from cancer only to die at age 4?'    This is not the consequence of free will - human beings did not genetically engineer this little girl - her malformed cells was not an 'act of man'.   So my opening challenge to this argument is:  How does God preventing cancer and other 'natural' problems inhibit free will?    (More on this later so that we can first address opening question 1.)

That established, let's take argument F's conclusion and proceed knowing that the 'suffering from nature' aspect of suffering needs to be addressed too.


Argument (in general):

  1. God must allow evil acts to offer free will (from argument F)
  2. God considers free will to be more important than not having evil  (presumed)
  3. God can be good and allow evil if there is a morally sufficient reason (by definition of good in the argument)
  4. Free will is a morally sufficient reason to allow evil  (presumed to be the judgment of God)

   God can allow evil and still be good

This argument hinges on premise 4.   It is the 'God works in mysterious ways' factor being applied.   God, per the argument would have to determine that free will is morally sufficient.   If so, God can be 'good' since the argument defines 'good' to be whatever God deems moral.   So basically if God decides free will is 'worth it' then God is 'good'.

In result, God is good and allows evil because (we presume) He thinks it is the morally correct and right thing to do since it (per the argument) is claimed to be the only way to allow free will.   Not Impressed   

(Hold that thought until the end.)


Pain & Suffering from Nature

So now let's turn to opening question 2:   Why does God allow little children to suffer with cancer only to die at age 4?   ( an examplar for natural suffering )

As for why God allows pain & suffering by 'natural causes', the answer is the unsatisfying:  God is punishing us for the sins of Adam & Eve.   That opens up the entire debate on how a loving God would impose such harsh penalties for all of time because of a minor infraction by two imperfect, naive creatures He designed and created.   The seed pretty much recognizes that this question remains open and essentially unanswered.

No doubt some apologist has a 'God decided this is for the greater good' (aka we just are too stupid to understand God) explanation for why it is necessary for an omnipotent, omniscient (at least partly), perfect, loving personal God to impose pain and suffering on the naive, imperfect creatures He designed, created and loves.   Yes your child just died at age 4 suffering from juvenile leukemia but this was a necessary part of God's plan (or because you and your child are still paying the price for Adam & Eve not following instructions).    


A few more points not addressed by this argument:

Free Will and Omniscience

Free will is central to this argument.   Yet for free will to exist (for people to actually choose and act on their choices) the future cannot be determined.   If the future is determined then there can be no choice (just the illusion of choice).   If God (or anything else) is omniscient then that means the future must be knowable - it must be determined.   If free will exists then no entity (including God) can be fully omniscient (it is impossible to know the future - by definition).   So God, per this argument, cannot be fully omniscient (collateral damage of the argument).

Free Will (digging deeper)

This is a topic on its own so I will just mention it as an addendum since it bugged me reading the argument.  Free will is defined as libertarianism:

(22) Libertarianism=df the view that a person is free with respect to a given action if and only if that person is both free to perform that action and free to refrain from performing that action; in other words, that person is not determined to perform or refrain from that action by any prior causal forces.

Note that God ostensibly created our reality.   That means God imposed all the rules under which reality operates.   God, therefore, has already pre-determined what actions are even possible for us to do.  We cannot fly (on our own) because God chose to not give us that ability.   Little girls cannot fight off adult male rapists because God did not give them a defense (maybe something like a venom that temporarily paralyzes the rapist so the little girl can run away).   These (and our imagination is the limit) are all things that constrain what we can do - impose limits on our free will.  The point, of course, is that free will is necessarily constrained - there is no such thing as 100% free will.    So it is not really a 100% free will or no evil choice.   God clearly could offer many levels of free will (from 100% - we are all demigods to 0% - we are all robots) and -indeed- multiple levels of evil.   

Stated differently, since free will is defined in this argument with respect to a given action, God is free to impose restrictions on our possible actions and still offer free will on those actions He allows.   That semantic consequence is not recognized in the argument.   Since free will is already not 100%, God could disallow (by human design) all rape and murder.   Plenty of evil choices exist - but those do not.   What value is there in allowing pedophiles to rape and murder little girls when this act can be disallowed and free will still can exist per the definition given in the seed?   Also, if God prevented Stalin from murdering 20+ million people, how exactly does that mean we do not have free will (since it is not 100% anyway)?   Stalin would not have free will to murder (or not murder) 20+ million people but countless billions would have the free will to move towards (or away from) God of their own free will.   

To wit ... free will vs. evil presumes there are no levels of free will and no levels of evil.   Where is the argument that shows both are ALL or NOTHING?    Show me how it is not possible for human beings to experience joy, love, goodness, etc. without little girls being raped and murdered.   God can create creatures capable of moral good and moral evil while limiting the range of moral evil they can effect since He does not grant 100% free will anyway.

Another Way of Reasoning 

This seed is trying to answer one of many perplexing questions raised by the apparent contradictions of reality and definitions of God.   By design, it presupposes the existence of God.   One can also not include this presupposition and then ask the question objectively:

Question:  Why do bad things happen?   Why do some people commit evil acts?

Answer:   Because reality is impartial with no governing force that makes things 'fair'.   The evidence would lead us to that conclusion.

 
 
calbab
8.1  calbab  replied to  TiG @8    4 months ago
Yes your child just died at age 4 suffering from juvenile leukemia but this was a necessary part of God's plan (or because you and your child are still paying the price for Adam & Eve not following instructions).

Why stop with a child of 4 with any combination of diseases? We have a world of animals and beasts being horribly shredded apart every second on the clock? Does God not see and is God not impacted by any of this? Or, can God be fully aware of all of this and see value and "schemes" beyond our limited knowledge? What about the myriad forms of plant life being 'tortured' by life on Earth surrounding them? Where is God in all of it?

Case in point:

Helen Keller was an author, lecturer, and crusader for the handicapped. Born physically normal in Tuscumbia, Alabama, Keller lost her sight and hearing at the age of nineteen months to an illness now believed to have been scarlet fever. Five years later, on the advice of Alexander Graham Bell, her parents applied to the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston for a teacher, and from that school hired Anne Mansfield Sullivan. Through Sullivan’s extraordinary instruction, the little girl learned to understand and communicate with the world around her. She went on to acquire an excellent education and to become an important influence on the treatment of the blind and deaf.

If man can discover any solution to problems in the world, it is because the solutions are ALREADY available within the 'fabric' of this planet. We simply have to find them and make them available to ourselves!

 
 
calbab
8.1.1  calbab  replied to  calbab @8.1    4 months ago

Link: https://www.history.com/topics/helen-keller


Note: This is something I wanted to express, it may not connect to the protracted comment in any significant way. I use my "free-will" to share it here.

 
 
TiG
8.1.2  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.1    4 months ago
Why stop with a child of 4 with any combination of diseases?

It was an example Cal.   One example out of countless millions of potential examples.   One should be enough to make the point, right?

I just presented a detailed analysis of a complex argument (this seed) and your comment is simply to question why one of my examples does not enumerate more possibilities.  Face Palm

 
 
calbab
8.1.3  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.1.2    4 months ago

My free-will in action.  peace

The implications of my comment are so much deeper than 8.1.2 allows.

Consider this: The 4 years old living with cancer can have faith in God. Moreover, the 4 years old parents will continue in belief in God after the child perishes from the disease. Why can these parents still believe in God? What is the "governing force" at play now?

 
 
TiG
8.1.4  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.1.3    4 months ago
Why can these parents still believe in God?

Because 'God works in mysterious ways' and they simply hold to faith and do not engage in any further reasoning.   That is one possibility.    Faith often blocks critical thinking.

 
 
calbab
8.1.5  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.1.4    4 months ago

That's your answer. Is faith really as "simple" as you suggest? Moreover, since you are using a cancerous child in your example - let's add to the example - both parents are scientists and persons of faith. Certainly a "possibility" in our modern era. What occurs in their individual and collective reasoning now?

 
 
TiG
8.1.6  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.1.5    4 months ago

You are aware that scientists are capable of faith so what difference does it make if the parents are scientists or parochial school teachers?

 
 
Phoenyx13
8.1.7  Phoenyx13  replied to  calbab @8.1.3    4 months ago
Consider this: The 4 years old living with cancer can have faith in God. Moreover, the 4 years old parents will continue in belief in God after the child perishes from the disease. Why can these parents still believe in God? What is the "governing force" at play now?

consider this: The 4 years old living with cancer doesn't have faith in God (was never taught). Moreover, the 4 year old's parents don't believe in God either, even after the child perishes from the disease. Why don't these parents now believe in God ? what is the "governing force" at play now ?

your argument goes both ways and still no explanation is found except "well, you just have to believe" and then you get a "mystical special revelation" that you are unable to share with anyone who doesn't believe

 
 
calbab
8.1.8  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.1.6    4 months ago

It was a furthering of an example TiG.

 
 
TiG
8.1.9  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.1.8    4 months ago

What point are you trying to make?

 
 
calbab
8.1.10  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.1.6    4 months ago

Consider Ms. Helen Keller, afflicted with total blindness and total deafness at a tender nineteen-months of age. (See 8.1). Here is an excerpt from this famous woman's perspective on belief and faith in God! Ms. Keller lived from 1880 until 1968!

John Hitz was the person who brought Emanuel Swedenborg and his religious teachings to Helen’s attention, giving her a copy of Heaven and Hell when she was fourteen. She writes:

When I began Heaven and Hell, I was as little aware of the new joy coming into my life as I had been years before when I stood on the piazza steps awaiting my teacher. . . . My heart gave a joyous bound. Here was a faith that emphasized what I felt so keenly—the separateness between soul and body, between the realm I could picture as a whole, and the chaos of fragmentary things and irrational contingencies that my limited senses met at every turn. I let myself go, as happy healthy youth will, and tried to puzzle out the long sentences and weighty words of the Swedish sage. . . . The words “Love” and “Wisdom” seemed to caress my fingers from paragraph to paragraph and these two words released in me new forces to stimulate my somewhat indolent nature and urge me forward evermore. . . . I was not “religious” in the sense of practicing ritual, but happy, because I saw God altogether lovely, after the shadows cast upon his image by the harsh creeds or warring sects and religions. The Word of God, freed from the blots and stains of barbarous creeds, has been at once the joy and good of my life.[3] 

Helen Keller’s father was a Presbyterian; and as she says, “I took ‘a, so to speak, standing jump out of my associations’ and traditions—and the rest is what I have grown to be.”[4] She reports that since the age of sixteen she has been a strong believer in the doctrines given to the world by Emanuel Swedenborg. Helen credits Swedenborg for giving her a faith that turned her darkness into light. It is to him that she acknowledges her indebtedness “for a richer interpretation of the Bible, a deeper understanding of the meaning of Christianity, and a precious sense of the divine presence in the world.”[5]She mentions particular gratitude for three main ideas: “God as divine love, God as divine wisdom, and God as power for use.[6]

In addition, Helen makes clear that blind people may be cut off from images of the material world but have vision within their minds such that they can more directly experience a spiritual world that is more wonderful than the physical world they are not capable of seeing. The blind, too, inhabit a world of images, but they are internal images and in a sense are more living or alive than are those of the sensual world. Helen writes that the teachings of Swedenborg have brought her to God’s city of light and that by walking there, she has known joy that has conquered darkness to such an extent that it has given her the strongest reasons to overcome her limitations. In Light in My Darkness,Helen declares that she cannot imagine living without religion, comparing it to living in a body without a heart. She writes:

To one who is deaf and blind the spiritual world offers no difficulty. Nearly everything in the natural world is as vague, as remote from my senses, as spiritual things seem to the minds of most people. But the inner or mystic sense, if you like, gives me vision of the unseen. . . . My mystic world is lovely with trees and clouds and stars and eddying streams I have never “seen.” I am often conscious of beautiful flowers and birds and laughing children where to my seeing associates there is nothing. They skeptically declare that I see “light that never was on sea or land.” But I know that their mystic sense is dormant, and that is why there are so many barren places in their lives. They prefer “facts” to vision.[7]

When speaking of her faith or credo, Helen writes, “I believe in the immortality of the soul because I have within me immortal longings. I believe that the state we enter after death is wrought of our own motives, thoughts, and deeds.”[8]It is clear from Helen Keller’s testimony that she completely embraced the religious and spiritual works of Swedenborg. That she responded to their charismatic quality is also clear. As she writes: “I do not know whether I adopted the faith or the faith adopted me. I can only say that the heart of the young girl sitting with a big book of raised letters on her lap in the sublime sunshine was thrilled by a radiance and inexpressibly endearing voice.”[9] In speaking of Divine Love and Wisdom, she writes, “[it] is a fountain of life I am always happy to be near. . . . I bury my fingers in this great river of light that is higher than all stars, deeper than the silence that enfolds me. It also is great, while all else is small, fragmentary.”[10]

While learning language opened Helen to the miracle of being human and possessing a mind, Swedenborg’s religious writings gave her a vision of the divine source of mind and spirit, as the gift of a loving God. His gift was not earthbound; it was eternal. With such a vision, Helen could view as temporary her physical impediments, like the six years she lived like a “clod of earth.” In what seemed like an instant, understanding the significance of “w-a-t-e-r” granted her access to natural human life. She believed with every fiber of her being that the truth of Swedenborg’s vision would bring her into eternal life. She already “saw” and “heard” with her spiritual eyes and ears. Through Swedenborg’s teachings, Helen knew that her mind, once it had been opened by another, would live forever in joy. As she writes:

I have a joyous sense of personal immortality. Life in the other world is just as real and full of change and wonder as on earth, but one is given eyes and ears to perceive far more clearly the varieties of good and constructive thought that the flesh conceals on earth.[11]

Swedenborg’s religious teachings gave Helen Keller not only the ability to overcome her physical limitations, but they also gave her the perspective that her limitations were the means to opening her inner self in order to “discover a new capacity and appreciation of goodness and beauty and truth.”[12]She learned to accept her limitations with grace and even joy, because her heart knew that they had a purpose and that, in fact, her life could be made all the richer not despite them but because of them. Through these challenges, she discovered the world of spirit, a world that she says “reunites and reconciles.” She continues, “I believe that when the eyes within my physical eyes shall open upon the world to come, I shall simply be consciously living in the country of my heart.”[13]

https://swedenborg.com/scholars-helen-kellers-spiritual-sight/


Ms. Keller was "well-acquainted" with human suffering and she trusted her life and future to God.

 
 
TiG
8.1.11  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.1.10    4 months ago

What is your point Cal?   

 
 
lennylynx
8.1.12  lennylynx  replied to  TiG @8.1.11    4 months ago

"What is your point Cal?"

Lol!  You mean sometimes he has one? Happy  Sorry Cal, I just HAD to...

 
 
Drakkonis
8.1.13  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @8.1.4    4 months ago
Because 'God works in mysterious ways' and they simply hold to faith and do not engage in any further reasoning. That is one possibility. Faith often blocks critical thinking.

True of some, not of others. In any case, is it your contention that, if God exists, man would be able to know and understand all that He does? If not, then at what point would you set the limit of man's capacity to understand, beyond which would necessarily require faith?


For some reason this place is acting strange. What I type is delayed, trouble copying and pasting, page refreshing on it's own. Not sure what's going on.

 
 
TiG
8.1.14  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.1.13    4 months ago

I am not experiencing that.  Have you rebooted your machine recently?

( I answered your question here )

 
 
TiG
8.1.15  TiG  replied to  lennylynx @8.1.12    4 months ago

How does one respond to a post that simply offers some tidbit of information (that anyone can grab from historical records) unless one frames the information so as to understand why said information is presented?

Strange approach to commenting IMO.

 
 
calbab
8.1.16  calbab  replied to  lennylynx @8.1.12    4 months ago

No problem. Hey doing another 'drive-by'? Happy  Sorry lennylynx , little room, had to...

 
 
lennylynx
8.1.17  lennylynx  replied to  TiG @8.1.15    4 months ago

Yes, Cal is rather vague sometimes.  I guess he just wanted to showcase a fine example of a strong believer in God.

 
 
calbab
8.1.18  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.1.4    4 months ago

A hasty generalization.

We are having presently having an informed discussion about these matters. Moreover, "God works in mysterious ways." Sounds similar to, "Proof without certainty." In both circumstances, the sides are displaying a willingness to wait for - or change explanation when - revelation or new and better data arrives.

 
 
calbab
8.1.19  calbab  replied to  lennylynx @8.1.17    4 months ago

I kindly ask for a thread-style 'cease and desist' immediately.

 
 
TiG
8.1.20  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.1.18    4 months ago
A hasty generalization.

Don't just drop fallacies allegations,  that is annoying.   You asked for an opinion and I gave one as evidenced by this critical sentence in my short post:

TiG @8.1.4  - That is one possibility.  

 I did not make an argument nor offer a conclusion.

We are having presently having an informed discussion about these matters. Moreover, "God works in mysterious ways." Sounds similar to, "Proof without certainty." In both circumstances, the sides are displaying a willingness to wait for - or change explanation when - revelation or new and better data arrives.

Not sure what this is supposed to mean.

 
 
calbab
8.1.21  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.1.9    4 months ago

That your comment was obvious.

 
 
TiG
8.1.22  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.1.21    4 months ago

Show the comment that was so obvious.  Looking back up the chain it seems to me you were asking questions.   The 'obvious comment' is not easy to spot.   Indeed my last couple of posts to you were also questions.   I would be surprised if you felt that my earlier comment TiG @8.1.4  was obvious since you certainly would not agree with it.

Looks like you typed a comment that makes no sense.

 
 
calbab
8.1.23  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.1.22    4 months ago

I'll  let you figure that out, TiG. Funny you can put all that together and yet still ask about the obvious. Well, it is of no matter now. Moving forward, now.

 
 
calbab
8.1.24  calbab  replied to  calbab @8.1.10    4 months ago

From @8.1.10

In addition, Helen makes clear that blind people may be cut off from images of the material world but have vision within their minds such that they can more directly experience a spiritual world that is more wonderful than the physical world they are not capable of seeing. The blind, too, inhabit a world of images, but they are internal images and in a sense are more living or alive than are those of the sensual world. Helen writes that the teachings of Swedenborg have brought her to God’s city of light and that by walking there, she has known joy that has conquered darkness to such an extent that it has given her the strongest reasons to overcome her limitations. In Light in My Darkness,Helen declares that she cannot imagine living without religion, comparing it to living in a body without a heart. She writes:

To one who is deaf and blind the spiritual world offers no difficulty. Nearly everything in the natural world is as vague, as remote from my senses, as spiritual things seem to the minds of most people. But the inner or mystic sense, if you like, gives me vision of the unseen. . . . My mystic world is lovely with trees and clouds and stars and eddying streams I have never “seen.” I am often conscious of beautiful flowers and birds and laughing children where to my seeing associates there is nothing. They skeptically declare that I see “light that never was on sea or land.” But I know that their mystic sense is dormant, and that is why there are so many barren places in their lives. They prefer “facts” to vision.[7]


Ms. Helen Keller was blind and deaf staring at 19 months of age possibly due to Scarlet Fever and it lasted her entire life-long. She lived to see old-age. I find this woman's testimony of what 'sight' is for the blind and how she being blind and deaf connected to the spirit world most interesting. Please check out the quote above!

 
 
TiG
8.1.25  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.1.24    4 months ago

Cal, this and similar comments that are intended for me have almost nothing to do with what I was originally addressing and are themselves trails of a distant tangent.  They seem like proselytizing or, more likely, preaching.   Either way, this is why I am not responding to them.    Helen Keller has nothing to do with the logical problem of evil.

 
 
calbab
8.1.26  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.1.25    4 months ago

Proseltyzing? Preaching? How dare you.

  1.  Ms. Helen Keller is expressing what she sees in her blind and deaf state.
  2.  No one can deny her experiences by simply brushing them off!
  3. Thirdly, I can reprint her understanding of the spiritual realm she says she inhabits, because it is an uncommon situation. Thus, it is quite interesting.
  4. Ms. Keller fits in with this discussion of SUFFERING and FAITH in God, precisely because she maintained a belief in God despite life-long blind and deaf sufferings.
  5. Ms. Keller's suffering has as much (and more) value as your repeat references to four year old leukemia and rape victims and murderous tyrant examples.
  6. I cannot properly discern rather Drakkonis placed this in the Religion and Ethics section of Newstalkers, I do not complain when atheists routinely arrive in the Religion and Ethics section seeking to change, or "correct" believers' hearts and minds away from dogma and doctrine.

You have maligned me this time. If you can not receive from discussion something which matters to others, what makes you feel that others should receive from you?!

 
 
TiG
8.1.27  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.1.26    4 months ago

Not interested.   

 
 
calbab
8.1.28  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.1.27    4 months ago

This is not about you. It really is not. (Smile.)

 
 
calbab
8.1.29  calbab  replied to  calbab @8.1.10    4 months ago

Drakkonis, did you know any of this about Ms. Helen Keller? She was an extraordinary woman who experienced life through living blind and deaf from nineteen months old! Blind and deaf as a baby. She lived a full life of 87 years! (Born 1880 Died. 1968) She lived a fascinating life, and maintained a belief in God, too! 'A woman acquainted with suffering.'

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An image of Helen Keller with her teacher, Anne Sullivan, in 1897. Keller learned to "lip read" with her hands.

Credit: PhotoQuest/Getty

 
 
Phoenyx13
8.2  Phoenyx13  replied to  TiG @8    4 months ago

This seed is trying to answer one of many perplexing questions raised by the apparent contradictions of reality and definitions of God.   By design, it presupposes the existence of God.   One can also not include this presupposition and then ask the question objectively:

Question:  Why do bad things happen?   Why do some people commit evil acts?

Answer:   Because reality is impartial with no governing force that makes things 'fair'.   The evidence would lead us to that conclusion.

i can see the reasoning with that statement - it's also interesting to me that even tho God is supposedly "above" or "beyond" being "human", the religious still assign "human qualities" to this entity regardless.

In result, God is good and allows evil because (we presume) He thinks it is the morally correct and right thing to do since it (per the argument) is claimed to be the only way to allow free will.

and oddly enough - God punishes humans for exercising the "freewill" given if it is used for "evil" acts even tho that is the morally correct and right thing to do.

Yes your child just died at age 4 suffering from juvenile leukemia but this was a necessary part of God's plan (or because you and your child are still paying the price for Adam & Eve not following instructions).

Bingo ! yet there are other issues that some religious people feel you shouldn't be "punished for the sins of your father" (slavery reparations) [please note: it's only one example and nothing more], but they still adhere to a system that continues to do "punish you for the sins of your father" for generations - it's a very interesting conundrum.

Overall, i think you presented a nice analysis, yet this article overall leads to more questions than answers, but i suspect i wouldn't have those questions if i "just believed".

 
 
Drakkonis
8.3  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @8    4 months ago
First of all, thanks Drak for this seed. Very good foundation for thoughtful discussion and debate.

You're welcome. I find it very informative, especially as an example of formal logic in action.

As for the rest of your post, I will do the best I can to answer you, but mostly it will be my reasoned opinion based on commonly agreed upon attributes and understood goals of God. Whether or not you agree with them is another matter, of course.

Also, I've noted that you've carefully constructed a nice cattle run for me, but I will tell you now that some of it I disagree with. So I will begin there. 

Summary of the argument

Question: Why does an omnipotent, omniscient, loving, good, perfect God allow evil and suffering?

Answer: God allows evil to allow free will. Free will is a morally sufficient reason because (per God) the greater good of free will outweighs the cost of evil and suffering.

First, do you believe the seeded article says this or is this your conclusion? Second, I don't think that is the answer. And I think you've worded it wrong anyway. It seems to me that allowing free will is what allows evil, not the other way round. 

I think God allows evil a. Because He must in order for us to have free will and b. We must be allowed the consequences of evil choices for us to understand fully what evil is. 

Now, perhaps you consider this a dodge. Can't help that if you do, but you can hardly expect me to answer your ultimate question here based on what I consider faulty assumptions. 

(pre) Argument F (Free Will):

1. God wants His creatures to have free will (presumed)
2. Free will necessarily means being able to engage in evil acts (logical consequence)

∴ God must allow [some?] evil acts to offer free will

No argument here, as long as free will is not recognized as the ultimate goal. As for the [some?] qualifier, I think that is accurate. I think God puts a limit on how much evil is allowed. I suspect that He didn't pre-flood. 

So far this is logical (although 'allow evil acts' is an overstatement without 'some'). To allow free will (as defined), God (any entity) must allow His creatures to choose and act freely - this means they can make evil choices and act on them. 

Sorry, TiG, but I won't argue God (any entity). I will only argue within the context of orthodox Judeo Christian concepts of God. If you can't accept that, then we probably shouldn't go any further.

So in answer to the question: 'Why does God allow pedophiles to rape and murder little girls?' the answer is that this is the price to pay for free will. So clearly we must presume that God considers free will important enough to subject His creatures to the consequences of evil. Hold that thought.

Tentatively agree with reservations. Having free will makes the rape and murder of little girls possible of course but it can't be blamed on having free will. Having free will also makes it possible to not do those things.

Further, your reasoning seems to make free will God's goal.  That can't be it because the goal has already been achieved. Are you arguing that free will is the entire enchilada? If so, I can understand why you think what you do. 

There are two immediately obvious sources of suffering:

from evil acts of human beings
from nature

No argument, meaning, agreed.

This is not the consequence of free will - human beings did not genetically engineer this little girl - her malformed cells was not an 'act of man'. So my opening challenge to this argument is: How does God preventing cancer and other 'natural' problems inhibit free will?

It doesn't have anything to do with free will, so the answer is, it doesn't inhibit free will. 

Argument (in general):
   1. God must allow evil acts to offer free will (from argument F)

Again, it isn't God allowing evil that grants us free will, it is God granting us free will that makes it possible for us to do evil. 

   2. God considers free will to be more important than not having evil        (presumed)

Disagree. Again, assumes free will as the goal rather than a means to an end.  

   3. God can be good and allow evil if there is a morally sufficient              reason (by definition of good in the argument)

Agreed

4. Free will is a morally sufficient reason to allow evil (presumed to be     the judgment of God)

Disagree. Free will is not a morally sufficient reason, in my opinion. Allowing evil simply for free will is pointless. The premise I operate on, and is supported by common view is that we have free will so that we can appreciate who God is and choose to do His will rather than evil, rather than be robots that have no choice and no understanding. 

∴ God can allow evil and still be good

Not sure about that, if your point is this is all simply about having free will. As I said, it would seem pointless to me.

This argument hinges on premise 4. It is the 'God works in mysterious ways' factor being applied.

I can see why you think that but I think your argument is based on faulty premises, mainly that in your reasoning, free will seems to be the goal rather than simply a means to an end.

God, per the argument would have to determine that free will is morally sufficient. If so, God can be 'good' since the argument defines 'good' to be whatever God deems moral. So basically if God decides free will is 'worth it' then God is 'good'.

In result, God is good and allows evil because (we presume) He thinks it is the morally correct and right thing to do since it (per the argument) is claimed to be the only way to allow free will.

Logically argued and reasonable, as long as it is held that free will is the goal that God is going for. 

However, I can offer another chain of reasoning (and I have) based on a different goal that has more support than your idea of free will. It would be as logical and more supportable. 

TO BE CONTINUED.

 
 
TiG
8.3.1  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.3    4 months ago
First, do you believe the seeded article says this or is this your conclusion?

This is how I interpreted the article - in summary form of course. 

It seems to me that allowing free will is what allows evil, not the other way round. 

The whole point of allowing evil is to enable free will.   Free will is the objective.    As you noted:  "I think God allows evil a. Because He must in order for us to have free will ".   This bugs me.   Ultimately we are saying the same thing yet you bring this up as a point of disagreement.   Do you presume we will always disagree?   

We must be allowed the consequences of evil choices for us to understand fully what evil is. 

I am not convinced of that.   I do not buy the idea that God is unable to preload whatever He wants into our minds.   If He can design and create us I think it is reasonable to assume he can load us up with whatever knowledge He wishes.   Forcing us to endure evil such as the raping and killing of a little girl by a sexual predator just to give us understanding seems contrived.

Sorry, TiG, but I won't argue God (any entity). I will only argue within the context of orthodox Judeo Christian concepts of God. If you can't accept that, then we probably shouldn't go any further.

You misread.   The '(any entity)' means that the sentence is also true for any entity.   In other words, it is not a special limitation of God.

Further, your reasoning seems to make free will God's goal. 

Plantinga's Free Will Defense is the core of your seed.   What does Plantinga argue?    I am writing in terms of what the seed states:

(from the seed) - What might God's reason be for allowing evil and suffering to occur? Alvin Plantinga (1974, 1977) has offered the most famous contemporary philosophical response to this question. He suggests the following as a possible morally sufficient reason:

(MSR1) God's creation of persons with morally significant free will is something of tremendous value. God could not eliminate much of the evil and suffering in this world without thereby eliminating the greater good of having created persons with free will with whom he could have relationships and who are able to love one another and do good deeds.

Came from your seed Drak.

It [God preventing cancer and other 'natural' problems] doesn't have anything to do with free will, so the answer is, it doesn't inhibit free will. 

You agree that God could prevent cancer and other 'natural' problems and still allow free will?? 

Again, it isn't God allowing evil that grants us free will, it is God granting us free will that makes it possible for us to do evil. 

(again)  This came from your seed:

(from the seed) - What might God's reason be for allowing evil and suffering to occur? 

Recognize that I am literally taking points from your own seed and you are insisting that I am wrong.   Consider why this is happening.    It would be nice if it did not happen.

Disagree. Again, assumes free will as the goal rather than a means to an end.  

Impossible to continue since you are disagreeing with your own seed which I have (up to this point) been summarizing.

Disagree. Free will is not a morally sufficient reason, in my opinion.

Did you read your seed Drak?:

(from the seed) - God's creation of persons with morally significant free will is something of tremendous value.

Or are you simply disagreeing with your seed?   If so, then I am lost as to what this is all about.

Allowing evil simply for free will is pointless. 

Your seed states that free will is the greater good - the means by which God can achieve His objective:

(from the seed) - God could not eliminate much of the evil and suffering in this world without thereby eliminating the greater good of having created persons with free will with whom he could have relationships and who are able to love one another and do good deeds.


There really is no point to my continuing since it appears to me that you do not agree with Plantinga's argument which is the core of your seed.

You will have to figure out what to do at this point.   Maybe state your case and we will then just proceed with what you think and ignore the seed?

Thinking 2

 
 
Drakkonis
8.3.2  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @8.3.1    4 months ago
There really is no point to my continuing since it appears to me that you do not agree with Plantinga's argument which is the core of your seed.

I assure you that I agree with what Plantinga said. I disagree with your interpretation of what he said. 

You will have to figure out what to do at this point. Maybe state your case and we will then just proceed with what you think and ignore the seed?

Surely you must acknowledge the possibility that Plantinga isn't saying what you think he is saying? That you are misinterpreting it? Yes, I know I could be, too, but since Plantinga and I share the same faith, the same belief, who do you think is more likely to understand what he said? I'll leave that for you to decide. 

As for what I will do now is attempt to explain something that I understand, and I have no doubt Plantinga took for granted when he made his argument. 

God's ultimate goal for us is not free will in and of itself. As Plantinga suggests:

(MSR1) God's creation of persons with morally significant free will is something of tremendous value. God could not eliminate much of the evil and suffering in this world without thereby eliminating the greater good of having created persons with free will with whom he could have relationships and who are able to love one another and do good deeds.

Do you see that it doesn't stop simply at having free will? There is a point to having it. God doesn't give it simply for us to have it. Further, it implies that without it, we can't have such relationships or do such deeds. 

(MSR1) claims that God allows some evils to occur that are smaller in value than a greater good to which they are intimately connected. If God eliminated the evil, he would have to eliminate the greater good as well. God is pictured as being in a situation much like that of Mrs. Jones: she allowed a small evil (the pain of a needle) to be inflicted upon her child because that pain was necessary for bringing about a greater good (immunization against polio).

Again we see that the point isn't simply to have free will, but rather, as something we have in pursuit of something else. Plantinga argued that this something else was connected to a greater good. 

And Plantinga answers your question as to why God necessarily has to allow evil as well. 

It is important to note that (MSR1) directly conflicts with a common assumption about what kind of world God could have created. Many atheologians believe that God could have created a world that was populated with free creatures and yet did not contain any evil or suffering. Since this is something that God could have done and since a world with free creatures and no evil is better than a world with free creatures and evil, this is something God should have done. Since he did not do so, God did something blameworthy by not preventing or eliminating evil and suffering (if indeed God exists at all). In response to this charge, Plantinga maintains that there are some worlds God cannot create. In particular, he cannot do the logically impossible. (MSR1) claims that God cannot get rid of much of the evil and suffering in the world without also getting rid of morally significant free will.

There again we see purpose. We don't have free will simply to have free will. We  have it because it makes it possible to make moral choices. We have it so we can choose between good and evil. We can't do that unless we are capable of understanding the difference and only the experience of our choices can do that. 

From here, he goes into the four worlds argument. What you suggest isn't logically possible according to his argument. You appear to want God to create world 3 (Why can't he just stick the knowledge in our heads) when doing so is logically impossible. Or, alternatively, possibly world 2? There isn't another choice I can think of, unless you want a world 5, a world which would have no consequence for evil. 

(As an aside, I personally think we have to go through world 1 to get to world 4, which will someday exist for some of us. )

I think C.S. Lewis puts it pretty well about why God gave us free will. 

Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata—of creatures that worked like machines—would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other.... And for that they must be free. Of course, God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently He thought it worth the risk.

In the end, I think if you re-read the seed, you might find that nowhere does Plantinga actually say or suggest that free will is God's goal or end game in and of itself. What he actually does is explain why it is necessary. 

 
 
Drakkonis
8.3.3  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @8.3.1    4 months ago
You agree that God could prevent cancer and other 'natural' problems and still allow free will??

Yes.

 
 
TiG
8.3.4  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.3.2    4 months ago
I assure you that I agree with what Plantinga said. I disagree with your interpretation of what he said.

That is why I quoted him.   Took my interpretation off the table and gave you his exact words.   

Surely you must acknowledge the possibility that Plantinga isn't saying what you think he is saying?

Sure, I could have lost my mind recently.  Other than that, the words are pretty damn clear Drak.

God's ultimate goal for us is not free will in and of itself.

Hold one there, you are jumping the gun to ultimate goal and missing the point of immediate goal.  Stick with the precedent order.   Plantinga states that allowing evil enables free will.   Free will is the goal of having evil.   The ultimate goal (as I noted in my comment) per Plantinga is:

(from the seed) - God could not eliminate much of the evil and suffering in this world without thereby eliminating the greater good of having created persons with free will with whom he could have relationships and who are able to love one another and do good deeds.

You interpret - those words are from your seed.  Pretty obvious though.

Do you see that it doesn't stop simply at having free will? 

LOL.   So what is this Drak?   I make a statement and you respond making the same statement as if you never read it from me.   You are arguing my own argument to me and exclaiming dismay that I do not 'see' it.   Face Palm    I had just made that very point.     I hate to go here, but it really looks like you are playing a game and are not trying to seriously, thoughtfully discuss this seed.  Sorry for the candor but man this is well past the point where it is appropriate to raise this question.

In the end, I think if you re-read the seed, you might find that nowhere does Plantinga actually say or suggest that free will is God's goal or end game in and of itself. What he actually does is explain why it is necessary. 

Face Palm  Good grief. 


Now that you spent your entire post basically arguing a point that I made as if I was arguing the opposite and ignoring everything else, maybe you can reread my comment (comments?) and try to rebut the points I actually did make.

I am calling it a night Drak.    Take your time (please).

 
 
TiG
8.3.5  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.3.3    4 months ago
Yes

Then why does God allow cancer, volcanoes, floods, famine, disease, etc.?   Are we back to tough love?   Presuming that the only way God can figure out how to teach us is to put us through pain and suffering?

 
 
Drakkonis
8.4  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @8    4 months ago
Why does God allow little children to suffer with cancer only to die at age 4?

I can't give you "THE ANSWER." I don't know specifically what it is. I have ideas about why, but I doubt you'd find those satisfying, either. But I note something in what you said that has bearing on this conversation.

That opens up the entire debate on how a loving God would impose such harsh penalties for all of time because of a minor infraction by two imperfect, naive creatures He designed and created. 

I find it interesting because you deem it a minor infraction. Not objecting to it, as you are allowed your opinion. However, upon what basis do you deem it minor? If the theist view of reality is correct, it can hardly be argued to be minor considering it's effect. 

The seed pretty much recognizes that this question remains open and essentially unanswered.

Not unanswered, just unsatisfying. Not the same thing. That doesn't indicate agreement or disagreement on my part concerning that answer. 

No doubt some apologist has a 'God decided this is for the greater good' (aka we just are too stupid to understand God)...

Again, I don't have a specific answer for you. I have ideas about it, but what you suggest here, that we are too stupid to understand, isn't the only possibility. Personally, I suspect the reason He doesn't explain His reasoning is party because not doing so forces us to think more about God and why He might do such things. It forces us to try to understand. Please do not confuse that as the reason God lets children get cancer. I offered it as a possible reason as to why He doesn't explain the  reason He allows it. 

Free Will and Omniscience

Sorry, plate's full enough without adding this to the discussion.

Free Will (digging deeper)

The way you are defining it, you are correct. We don't have 100% free will, but note that most of what you define as limiting free will to something less than 100% have nothing to do with moral free will. You are basing your argument on physical limitations having something to do with moral choices. There's no logical connection. 

Another Way of Reasoning

This seed is trying to answer one of many perplexing questions raised by the apparent contradictions of reality and definitions of God. By design, it presupposes the existence of God. One can also not include this presupposition and then ask the question objectively:

Question: Why do bad things happen? Why do some people commit evil acts?

Answer: Because reality is impartial with no governing force that makes things 'fair'. The evidence would lead us to that conclusion.

True. However, the seed doesn't deal with the question of whether or not God exists. It asks whether God and evil can logically exist at the same time.

In any case, while I'm sure a logical case can be made to support your answer, I don't believe it would be the only logical answer available. I think that there would be those who, even beginning without a presupposition of God, would end up there, as well. 

 
 
TiG
8.4.1  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.4    4 months ago
However, upon what basis do you deem it minor?

Two naive human beings curiously disobeying God at the prodding of 'the serpent' compares as rather minor to some of the sins that have taken place since.   Adam & Eve's naive mistake does not, in my way of thinking, compare to the acts of Stalin (continuing our prior example).   

If the theist view of reality is correct, it can hardly be argued to be minor considering it's effect. 

That was my point.   The minor infraction had an extraordinarily major effect.   Seems God did not moderate well.

Not unanswered, just unsatisfying. Not the same thing.

Are you going to argue every little nuance?   If so then at least attempt to understand what I wrote:  'essentially unanswered' is different than 'unanswered' and is quite close to 'unsatisfying'.   Can we please avoid these gratuitous sidebars?

Again, I don't have a specific answer for you. I have ideas about it, but what you suggest here, that we are too stupid to understand, isn't the only possibility. Personally, I suspect the reason He doesn't explain His reasoning is party because not doing so forces us to think more about God and why He might do such things. It forces us to try to understand. Please do not confuse that as the reason God lets children get cancer. I offered it as a possible reason as to why He doesn't explain the  reason He allows it. 

I could teach my son the importance of getting good grades in school or I could simply say you should get good grades in school.  I tend to think the simpler, more straightforward explanation is better than one that requires handstands.

Sorry, plate's full enough without adding this to the discussion.   

It is all related.   Bring in free will and omniscience is right there in your face.

You are basing your argument on physical limitations having something to do with moral choices. There's no logical connection. 

You do not see the moral core in what I included??:

TiG @8  - Since free will is already not 100%, God could disallow (by human design) all rape and murder.   Plenty of evil choices exist - but those do not.   What value is there in allowing pedophiles to rape and murder little girls when this act can be disallowed and free will still can exist per the definition given in the seed?   Also, if God prevented Stalin from murdering 20+ million people, how exactly does that mean we do not have free will (since it is not 100% anyway)?   Stalin would not have free will to murder (or not murder) 20+ million people but countless billions would have the free will to move towards (or away from) God of their own free will.   

To wit ... free will vs. evil presumes there are no levels of free will and no levels of evil.   Where is the argument that shows both are ALL or NOTHING?    Show me how it is not possible for human beings to experience joy, love, goodness, etc. without little girls being raped and murdered.   God can create creatures capable of moral good and moral evil while limiting the range of moral evil they can effect since He does not grant 100% free will anyway.

None of this has anything to do with morality?

However, the seed doesn't deal with the question of whether or not God exists. It asks whether God and evil can logically exist at the same time.

Indeed.  Upfront in my comment:

TiG @8  - By design, it presupposes the existence of God. 

Given I noted the seed presupposes God's existence why instruct me nevertheless that the seed does not deal with the existence of God?   What does restating what I just wrote as if you are telling me something new accomplish?   (Seriously, I do not understand the purpose.)

 
 
Drakkonis
8.4.2  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @8.4.1    4 months ago
That was my point. The minor infraction had an extraordinarily major effect. Seems God did not moderate well.

Interesting how it's always God's fault, not ours.

Can we please avoid these gratuitous sidebars?

I try to, but nuance is often everything. You have a very different view than I do. I can't just argue based on how you see it. If we are going to debate meaningfully, you have to know what I think. 

I could teach my son the importance of getting good grades in school or I could simply say you should get good grades in school. I tend to think the simpler, more straightforward explanation is better than one that requires handstands.

A curious objection from someone who earlier espoused reason over faith. I would think you would be all for something that would force someone to think more. 

It is all related. Bring in free will and omniscience is right there in your face.

True, but an unnecessary complication for this discussion, which you already complain is going nowhere. 

You do not see the moral core in what I included??:

Yes, I see the point you were making. I disagree with it but I see it. I was simply saying there is no logical way to connect physical limitations with moral choice. Physical limitation isn't a choice. 

TiG @8 - Since free will is already not 100%, God could disallow (by human design) all rape and murder. Plenty of evil choices exist - but those do not.

Okay, let's follow that to it's logical conclusion. Let's say God does exactly that. Not only is all rape and murder not allowed, but the thought of doing so can't even occur to us. Now what? 

The world would still have, as you say, plenty of evil choices to choose from. We'd each still hold the current views we have, only we'd be talking about why does God allow people to beat other people up. So, now God disallows that. So now what? 

The world would still have, as you say, plenty of evil choices to choose from. We'd each still hold the current views we have, only we'd be talking about why does God allow people to steal from other people. So now God disallows that.  

And on and on it goes until we're at world 2. You no longer have free will. You are an automaton determined by God with no option to do anything else. No thoughts that God didn't put there. No ability to desire anything other that what God causes you to desire.  No evil. No suffering. No pain. Also, no love, no joy or anything like them. You just are. 

Show me how it is not possible for human beings to experience joy, love, goodness, etc. without little girls being raped and murdered.

It isn't strictly necessary. As you say, there are enough other evils to teach us the difference between good and evil and the consequences of each. The problem is, how do you unmask the full horror of evil if you limit the exposure to it?

What you are arguing for, whether you realize it or not, is acceptable levels of evil. Stealing a candy bar from the store is acceptable evil because it isn't as horrible, as humans reckon it, as little girls getting raped and killed. And who get's to determine acceptable levels of evil? Us or God?

Seriously, I do not understand the purpose.

I was pointing out that although what you said was true, that God could also not be included in the presupposition, it was not on topic. 

 
 
TiG
8.4.3  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.4.2    4 months ago
Interesting how it's always God's fault, not ours.

It is actually the fault of the authors of the Bible.   It is human beings weaving tales that do not always make a lot of sense.   Adam & Eve is one of them.   The biblical authors created a God who overreacted to something that He (omniscient) knew would happen and could have prevented because He (omnipotent) created both of them and the situation in which they were placed.   Further, He (loving,perfect) doomed all of humanity to death, pain and suffering because of one minor naive pursuit of curiosity based on the prodding of a clever serpent.

Mimicking your phrasing: interesting how the God character in the Bible is never questioned by some.    God is always assumed to be right and all other factors are spun to that end.   Never is critical thinking applied to the God character because they (the 'some') have been conditioned to believe that even the act of questioning diminishes their faith and that faith is actually a divine gift.   If critical thinking were allowed while analyzing the Bible, I suspect many more would realize that the Bible is man-made and not divine.

... but nuance is often everything ...

But irrelevant on an adjective expressing an opinion on how well an argument made its case.   It is a level of nit picking that ultimately has no effect.   Instead of debating descriptive words (and leaving out a critical adjective at that) a more productive use of time would have been to show how the argument made its case or to simply agree that it did not (which you tacitly did anyway).   Another case where even though we agree, we go through an unnecessary interaction which alludes disagreement.

A curious objection from someone who earlier espoused reason over faith. I would think you would be all for something that would force someone to think more. 

You read the opposite of my point.   And it is quite possible to read what I wrote either way - except for the context in which it was written.   I would teach my son rather than simply have him take my advice on faith.   Given the context, Drak, it would make no sense for me to write what you misinterpreted.   Here again it seems to me that you are looking for ways to disagree rather than actually engage in discourse.   Your commentary -especially in this article- is replete with disagreement based on misreads of what I wrote and misreads of what is written in this seed.    

True, but an unnecessary complication for this discussion, which you already complain is going nowhere. 

Note how I included it.   I put it in the appendix of my comment.   Note how I did not weave it into my comments.   Look at the time we are wasting dealing with your complaint that I merely noted the critical tie between free will and omniscience.   Simple way to deal with this is to stop complaining.

Yes, I see the point you were making. I disagree with it but I see it. 

Of course you disagree.   

I was simply saying there is no logical way to connect physical limitations with moral choice. Physical limitation isn't a choice. 

Not the point I made.   The point was summarized in this sentence:

TiG @8 - Stated differently, since free will is defined in this argument with respect to a given action, God is free to impose restrictions on our possible actions and still offer free will on those actions He allows.     

My point was that we do not have 100% free will no matter what due to physical limitations of reality (laws of physics) and these would have come from God.   Since we do not have 100% free will now, clearly 100% free will is not something that must be preserved.   This means that God can continue to work with limited human free will and thus He could (logically) prevent the most egregious acts from taking place without having to remove all free will.  Sure, Stalin would not be able to murder 20+ million people because God limited his free will in that regard and pedophiles would not be able to kidnap, rape and murder little girls.  Lots of innocent people would be spared the consequences of evil human beings.  But free will would exist to allow people to decide to follow God or not, engage in evil or good, etc.   

In short:  free will does not mean God is unable to interfere.   (Also, per the Bible, God clearly has interceded so if you buy that, then the Bible is illustrating that God can intercede and still provide free will, albeit less than 100%.)

Okay, let's follow that to it's logical conclusion. Let's say God does exactly that. Not only is all rape and murder not allowed, but the thought of doing so can't even occur to us. Now what? 

The world would still have, as you say, plenty of evil choices to choose from. We'd each still hold the current views we have, only we'd be talking about why does God allow people to beat other people up. So, now God disallows that. So now what? 

The world would still have, as you say, plenty of evil choices to choose from. We'd each still hold the current views we have, only we'd be talking about why does God allow people to steal from other people. So now God disallows that.  

And on and on it goes until we're at world 2. You no longer have free will. You are an automaton determined by God with no option to do anything else. No thoughts that God didn't put there. No ability to desire anything other that what God causes you to desire.  No evil. No suffering. No pain. Also, no love, no joy or anything like them. You just are. 

You think that follows my logic?    It is nothing like what I offered.    

Drak, if nobody ever kidnapped, raped and murdered little girls I suspect we would all find the absence of that egregious act to be perfectly normal.   Right now we do not have phasers (Star Trek) which can dematerialize a human body.  So we cannot go around vaporizing heads and other body parts as some sadistic rite.   Does the fact that it is currently impossible to engage in this particular physical act of murder/torture really degenerate into we are all automatons?   (Answer:  no, not even close)

Your 'logic' (clearly not mine) continued to take away capabilities until no choices were left.  At that point you (properly) note that we would have no free will.   The problem with your argument is that it is a straw man.   I did not propose that God take away ALL choices - just the egregious ones (a detailed definition of 'egregious' is not necessary at this point - we all get the basic idea of 'egregious').    So what am I to make of this?    I proposed that God can logically step in and prevent the most egregious acts and you translate that into God stepping in and preventing ALL bad acts.    I seem to spend 90% of my time trying to untangle you from gross misunderstandings that seem to be of your own making.   

Very simple summary:   God prevents the most egregious acts yet free will would continue to allow people to decide to follow God or not, engage in evil or good, etc.    Go back to my original comment and you will see that is what I wrote.

It isn't strictly necessary. As you say, there are enough other evils to teach us the difference between good and evil and the consequences of each.

I agree.   How can you write this (illustrating understanding of my point) and also write your 'logic' prior to this illustrating a total misunderstanding of what I wrote?

The problem is, how do you unmask the full horror of evil if you limit the exposure to it?

God, the omnipotent, omniscient, perfect, loving creator of everything could include in His creatures the knowledge He wishes to impart.   Skip the rape and murder of little girls and provide the lesson.   Human beings cannot teach others this way, but it is reasonable to assume that such a powerful entity as the creator could pre-wire his creations.   As a software engineer I can do that with 'my' creations.   And if you again argue that God might not be able to do that I will agree but will note that it seems far more likely that He can than He cannot given how He is defined.   (Just as you can argue it is reasonable to assume God can grow new limbs.)

What you are arguing for, whether you realize it or not, is acceptable levels of evil.

No I am not.   Reading what I actually wrote shows that clearly.   I am positing a way to prevent egregious acts of evil on innocent human beings (and animals).   The seed argument insists that evil (and evil acts) must exist and I am working with that as a supposition.   If you want to label my comments as an argument for 'acceptable levels of evil' then you would have to label your seed as an argument that ALL evil is acceptable.   

Stealing a candy bar from the store is acceptable evil because it isn't as horrible, as humans reckon it, as little girls getting raped and killed. And who get's to determine acceptable levels of evil? Us or God?

Yet again you interpret the exact opposite of what I wrote.   I wrote that God could prevent the rape and murder of little girls but other evil acts would still exist.    You introduced the notion of 'acceptable levels of evil' and then pretend it came from me.   Straw man.

I was pointing out that although what you said was true, that God could also not be included in the presupposition, it was not on topic. 

Did you read the first sentence in your seed?:

The existence of evil and suffering in our world seems to pose a serious challenge to belief in the existence of a perfect God.

The seed goes on with the presupposition that God exists and addresses the challenges of that based on the existence of evil.    So my passing mention that God is presumed to exist in this seed (and I have been working within that presumption) really should not have generated any comment at all - especially since you agreed with me (although commented as if you were correcting me).

 
 
JohnRussell
8.4.4  JohnRussell  replied to  TiG @8.4.3    4 months ago
The biblical authors created a God who overreacted to something that He (omniscient) knew would happen and could have prevented because He (omnipotent) created both of them and the situation in which they were placed.

The story of genesis is the Judeo-Christian version of a creation myth. Why on earth should it be "logical"? Why would you demand that it conform to your logic? It is allegorical. There was no literal serpent. There was no literal "Adam and Eve". They don't have to be defended on the basis of formal logic. This is why some people don't want to "debate" with you. You insist on framing everything in terms that many people are not interested in. 

 
 
Phoenyx13
8.4.5  Phoenyx13  replied to  JohnRussell @8.4.4    4 months ago
The story of genesis is the Judeo-Christian version of a creation myth. Why on earth should it be "logical"? Why would you demand that it conform to your logic? It is allegorical. There was no literal serpent. There was no literal "Adam and Eve". They don't have to be defended on the basis of formal logic. This is why some people don't want to "debate" with you. You insist on framing everything in terms that many people are not interested in.

hold up ! i'm told the bible is the "word of God" by many of the religious - now you are saying it's not ? which parts, exactly, are the literal "word of God" and which are not ? God didn't create "Adam and Eve" ? (seems there is something to be said about "interpretation".....)

the religious seem to be getting more and more confusing (and possibly confused).

 
 
calbab
8.4.6  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.4.3    4 months ago

 I did not propose that God take away ALL choices - just the egregious ones (a detailed definition of 'egregious' is not necessary at this point - we all get the basic idea of 'egregious'). 

I got to say it: It is hubris for anybody to make suggestions about what God can, must, or whatever one wishes to call it along these lines. The first acquired understanding of a faith/believer in God is humility to see how small and insignificant human flesh is in the scheme of life, planets, and worlds without end.  Consider Job who attempted to 'vent' his frustrations with God while in the midst of illness; to reason his role and value to God and then the discussion which takes place when God replies to that man. Of course, I am assuming everybody has, at least once, read the Book of Job.

 
 
TiG
8.4.7  TiG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.4.4    4 months ago
Why on earth should it be "logical"?

Indeed.   One would expect (as I do per my point) that it would be illogical and errant.   We agree.

Why would you demand that it conform to your logic? 

Where did I demand that?    After all if you think I demanded it then you just demanded it in your opening sentence.   You write a post complaining that I have pointed out flaws in what you recognize are the words of ancient men yet you agree with the substance of what I wrote.    

It is allegorical.

Yes, that is my position too.   We agree again!   Now, are you suggesting that Drak considers it to be allegorical?   What if he believes the story is true?   Are you suggesting that all religous people consider it allegorical?   What, exactly, is your point John other than to launch this impotent attack?

There was no literal serpent. There was no literal "Adam and Eve". They don't have to be defended on the basis of formal logic.

That is my position too.  Lots of agreement in spite of your attempts.   Now, what if you are discussing this with someone who believes in a literal Adam and Eve?   What then?    Do you force them to reframe their beliefs to match yours or do you work within their framework?     I am working within the framework as I understand it.   See?   

This is why some people don't want to "debate" with you. You insist on framing everything in terms that many people are not interested in. 

Or maybe you are making an excuse for not prevailing in past debates.   Get over it.

 
 
JohnRussell
8.4.8  JohnRussell  replied to  TiG @8.4.7    4 months ago

Arguing whether or not there was a literal "Adam and Eve" is a waste of time. If for no other reason than that it is a matter of faith. I'm sure you know what the definition of faith is. 

 
 
Eagle Averro
8.4.9  Eagle Averro  replied to  JohnRussell @8.4.8    4 months ago

E.A  Is it, so you have not heard of " Mitochondrial Eve "?

 
 
TiG
8.4.10  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.4.6    4 months ago

Yeah I know Cal, it is off limits to logically analyze what a biblical character might logically do given its definition.     BlahBlahBlah

You do recognize that I do not hold that the biblical God actually exists, right?   To me, this is a character in a story.   So, is it hubris to analyze Luke Skywalker or Harry Potter or Zeus based upon how they are defined by their stories?

If God actually existed then your point would be well taken (but I would not be engaged in this debate then would I?).

 
 
TiG
8.4.11  TiG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.4.8    4 months ago
Arguing whether or not there was a literal "Adam and Eve" is a waste of time. If for no other reason than that it is a matter of faith. I'm sure you know what the definition of faith is.

Agreed.   So since you brought this up I am quite happy to agree that you never should have started this absurd argument and am happy for you to just drop it.

 
 
JohnRussell
8.4.12  JohnRussell  replied to  Eagle Averro @8.4.9    4 months ago
Mitochondrial Eve

Obviously, chronologically some human being , some "mother" was first. So what?  Was the being not the result of evolution?  The story of Adam and Eve relates to when human beings attained self consciousness. 

 
 
Eagle Averro
8.4.13  Eagle Averro  replied to  JohnRussell @8.4.12    4 months ago

E.A  " so what " does it not make an sliver of evidence that a Book Written Thousands of years ago, would make such an accurate Scientific Statement in its opening pages?

 
 
JohnRussell
8.4.14  JohnRussell  replied to  TiG @8.4.11    4 months ago

lol. 

 
 
calbab
8.4.15  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.4.10    4 months ago
If God actually existed then your point would be well taken

God does exist for believers who are witnesses to God's Spirit within. This free-wheeling around with reckless abandon asking logical questions about matters of spiritual insight, and evenso denying being affected by any other points of view is vaporous. Consequently, scoff "Blah, blah, blah,. . ." to your heart's contentment.

It changes nothing of what believers' understand, agree, witness to, and are convicted to be.

Ironically, many of us were agnostics and atheists in our former states of existence. We were changed. And though we can not "give" the Spirit to others who do not want it—I, we, understand what is happening on many levels with such persons.

The believer receives wisdom through the Book of Job, where some others see nothing of the sort! Question: Whose loss can that be?

One last point: When the Spirit enters into the life of a new believer, not just a so-called, "church-goer," as I said before humility comes in; the believer in that very instance realizes the vagary of 'casting about' in attempts to put God down. All the scoffing ceases. Consider Saul/Paul. I presume you have heard or read of his Damascus Road advent.

 
 
321steve
8.4.16  321steve  replied to  calbab @8.4.15    4 months ago
asking logical questions about matters of spiritual insight

always seems to be such a NO NO. Why ? If something isn't logical to me I certainly would like to know others reasoning for their belief. 

To me its logical to question what I dont understand, I assume others are the same way. 

When others reject logical questioning I certainly and naturally question... why ? 

 
 
calbab
8.4.17  calbab  replied to  321steve @8.4.16    4 months ago

Hi Steve! My comments are not a rejection of logic. I am a student of logic. I respect all the sciences and great thinkers. Like Dr. Francis Collins, Director of NIH, if you are familiar with his views, faith and reason combine to help us be more well-rounded persons. I never argue for or support in any small or large way, some of the religious "lunacy" and arrogance which runs amok by those who use their liberty in crooked fashions.

I am a believer in God. In my worldview, faith, reason, and science interact together.

I simply can not argue for logic alone as some come in to these discussions DEMAND.

 
 
JohnRussell
8.4.18  JohnRussell  replied to  321steve @8.4.16    4 months ago

Logic and faith are somewhat exclusive to each other. 

By definition, matters of faith cannot be proven , logically or in any other way. 

How can someone who wants to discuss everything in terms of logic or proof discuss matters of faith? 

 
 
321steve
8.4.19  321steve  replied to  JohnRussell @8.4.18    4 months ago
How can someone who wants to discuss everything in terms of logic or proof discuss matters of faith?
faith[fāTH]
NOUN
complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
......................................................
It seems realistic and logical that they would want to discuss or question the the reasoning behind the faith. 
Different people have different reasons for their faith in different things. So, logically questioning those believes seems perfectly reasonable to me. 
 
 
Bob Nelson
8.4.20  Bob Nelson  replied to  JohnRussell @8.4.18    4 months ago
Logic and faith are somewhat exclusive to each other.  

I'm afraid that this is too often right. But it shouldn't be. The basic act of faith ("I believe in God") is irrational, which is not the same as illogical. And once that statement of belief is made, there is no reason not apply logic to... everything.

Sadly, far too many Believers seem to consider that belief in God dispenses them from being logical.

 
 
TiG
8.4.21  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.4.15    4 months ago

God does exist for believers who are witnesses to God's Spirit within

Virtually everyone on the planet knows that billions believe their God exists.

 
 
321steve
8.4.22  321steve  replied to  Bob Nelson @8.4.20    4 months ago
Sadly, far too many Believers seem to consider that belief in God dispenses them from being logical.

True, Ironically for myself it was logic that brought me to believing IN GOD. 

I had read all the "popular" religious books The bible, the Book of Mormon and parts of the koran. One day I decided to go sit in nature and decide what I BELIEVED about god. 

I sat I on a hillside overlooking a valley and thought "Everything is made from atoms, Whatever arranged all the atoms to be everything is GOD, and I was done. I dont believe anyone alive knows any more than that for sure either. 

Therefor I dont consider what most others believe IS GOD is the same as I as what I believe GOD is.  

to each their own

 
 
Bob Nelson
8.4.23  Bob Nelson  replied to  321steve @8.4.19    4 months ago

IMNAAHO, "the reasoning behind the faith" is contradiction in terms.

Faith is unreasonable. Faith just is. The "complete trust or confidence in someone or something" comes from within. No evidence is needed.

I think this is important. I believe God exists. I cannot prove it... and I won't try. In consequence, I cannot demonstrate my faith to anyone else.

Faith is strictly personal.

 
 
321steve
8.4.24  321steve  replied to  Bob Nelson @8.4.23    4 months ago
Faith is strictly personal.

True some people seem to be able to explain what and why they believe what they do and some people can't do that near as well. 

Personally If you can't or are unwilling to explain what you beieve I believe that person may have a chance of being wrong in their belief from the get go.

Considering I can explain what I believe in. I also have no physical proof other that the universe itself and how I see it.

But to each their own

 
 
321steve
8.4.25  321steve  replied to  Bob Nelson @8.4.23    4 months ago
The "complete trust or confidence in someone or something" comes from within. No evidence is needed.

Not form me it doesn't I have NO faith in anyone till shown otherwise. 

Have Trust and faith in others or what they believe for no reason at your own peril as far as I'm concerned. 

 
 
Bob Nelson
8.4.26  Bob Nelson  replied to  321steve @8.4.25    4 months ago

C'mon Steeve!

That is your definition. In this case we're talking about confidence in God...

 
 
calbab
8.4.27  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.4.21    4 months ago

What point are you trying to make?

 
 
321steve
8.4.28  321steve  replied to  Bob Nelson @8.4.26    4 months ago
confidence in God...

Confidence in GOD or confidence in other people's beliefs of GOD ?  

I'm quite confident in what I believe about GOD however I'm usually not nearly as confident in what many others belief in or about GOD.  

 
 
Bob Nelson
8.4.29  Bob Nelson  replied to  321steve @8.4.28    4 months ago

We were talking about faith in God.

As I said, it's personal.

 
 
321steve
8.4.30  321steve  replied to  Bob Nelson @8.4.29    4 months ago
We were talking about faith in God.

As I said, it's personal.

I agree. 

For myself I actually asked myself WTF I believed personally even. Straight out. After reading the major religious books, I asked now, WTF do YOU Steve personally really beieve about GOD.

so yes I fully agree faith is personal. ... until we share it. Then it is no longer totally personal. 

 
 
TiG
8.4.31  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.4.27    4 months ago

That your comment was obvious.

 
 
Phoenyx13
8.4.32  Phoenyx13  replied to  JohnRussell @8.4.18    4 months ago

How can someone who wants to discuss everything in terms of logic or proof discuss matters of faith?

do you take people's claims on faith and belief or do you demand proof (or facts and logic) if someone makes a claim ?

 
 
TiG
8.4.33  TiG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.4.18    4 months ago
How can someone who wants to discuss everything in terms of logic or proof discuss matters of faith?

Agreed.   It makes no sense to discuss faith itself with logic because faith is not based on logic and evidence.   Faith skips over the critical thinking part and jumps directly to the conclusion.

What can be done, however, is to discuss reality in contrast with what one's faith would have one believe.   For example, those who believe in a literal Bible (e.g. the Young Earth Creationists) hold that the Earth is 6,000 or so years old, that biochemical evolution is a mass conspiracy of scientists worldwide and that baby dinosaurs were on the ark along with other carnivores who (at the time) were vegetarians.

Now with that stark example can you imagine how one might use facts and reason to challenge these faith based beliefs and, indeed, the folly of viewing faith as a form of knowledge?   That then is one example of how this is done.   Matters of faith are spiritual but the consequences of the beliefs are often quite appropriate for critical analysis.

 
 
Drakkonis
8.4.34  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @8.4.33    4 months ago
Agreed. It makes no sense to discuss faith itself with logic because faith is not based on logic and evidence. Faith skips over the critical thinking part and jumps directly to the conclusion.

Strongly disagree with this (surprise). When we hear the story of the Good Samaritan, we say "of course". But it wasn't always that way. In the day Jesus told that parable, it would have sounded like gibberish to his hearers. To them, the mantra was "love your friends and hate your enemies." They literally thought that was the right thing to do. It made sense to them (and still does to many today). Yet the logic of what Jesus said, although not understood at the time, was sound. Always treating an enemy as an enemy and he will always be your enemy. Love him, that is, do good to him and seek his well being, and he may not always be your enemy. Also, one's heart will be less filled with hate and more filled with love. Over time, because of Jesus' parable, human thinking changed over time concerning these ideas and so, today, we can say "of course."

There are many more things like that in the Bible which I understand. I see the logic in those things I understand. But I have faith that the things I don't fully understand are true as well because, so far, what I do understand has not been wrong. My faith in the things I don't fully understand is informed by what I do understand. If one undertakes a long trek through uncharted wilderness with the use of a guide, and after many miles that guide has not let you wrong, it isn't illogical to place one's faith in that guide. Evidence of the past dependability of the guide is sufficient evidence for a logical decision to continue trusting that guide. 

What's more, critical thinking, combined with God's word and the Holy Spirit, is what leads me to eventually understand the things I don't now. 

You may not believe that, and that's fine. But I am satisfied of it. 

 
 
TiG
8.4.35  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.4.34    4 months ago
There are many more things like that in the Bible which I understand. I see the logic in those things I understand.

I did not state that there is nothing of value (logically or otherwise) in the Bible.   The Good Samaritan parable, for example, works just fine if the Bible was nothing more than the work of ancient men.   There is no need for faith to get the value of the story.   

But I have faith that the things I don't fully understand are true as well because, so far, what I do understand has not been wrong.

That is good to hear.   What you described is a fine example of bypassing critical thinking and simply accepting something because it appears in the Bible.   (At least that is what your comment was suggesting.)    

My faith in the things I don't fully understand is informed by what I do understand. If one undertakes a long trek through uncharted wilderness with the use of a guide, and after many miles that guide has not let you wrong, it isn't illogical to place one's faith in that guide. Evidence of the past dependability of the guide is sufficient evidence for a logical decision to continue trusting that guide. 

That is reasonable.   But it is not critical thinking - it is accepting as true that which the guide suggests.   Your example is one of a rational thought process, but not critical thinking.

What's more, critical thinking, combined with God's word and the Holy Spirit, is what leads me to eventually understand the things I don't now. 

Noted.   That is what you have stated in the past (in different words).

 
 
Drakkonis
8.4.36  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @8.4.3    4 months ago
You think that follows my logic? It is nothing like what I offered.

No, I presented it as the logical outcome of your suggestion God prevents the rape and murder of little girls. You apparently believe that it would be morally right for God to always prevent such acts but fail to explain why the line should be drawn at that particular level of evil. 

I did not propose that God take away ALL choices - just the egregious ones (a detailed definition of 'egregious' is not necessary at this point - we all get the basic idea of 'egregious').

Which is the point of following your suggestion to it's logical conclusion. Who decides what is egregious? You don't get to just throw out "we all get the basic idea of 'egregious,'" because it will not be the same for everyone.

Why is the rape and murder of a little girl not allowed but the rape and murder of an adult is? Well, you might say, obviously that would be covered, too. That's egregious. Okay, then what if it was just rape? What if it was just pressured into sex? Is the murder of anyone egregious enough or just little kids? What's the age limit? Let's say the murder of anyone. God doesn't allow that. So instead, people settle for breaking as many bones as God will allow? Throw acid into someone's face? Steal some old lady's retirement? Where are you going to draw the line, TiG? 

How can you write this (illustrating understanding of my point) and also write your 'logic' prior to this illustrating a total misunderstanding of what I wrote?

First, you left of the rest of the quote. Second, I didn't misunderstand what you said. I just took what you said to it's logical conclusion. 

God, the omnipotent, omniscient, perfect, loving creator of everything could include in His creatures the knowledge He wishes to impart. Skip the rape and murder of little girls and provide the lesson. Human beings cannot teach others this way, but it is reasonable to assume that such a powerful entity as the creator could pre-wire his creations.

Then you say:

As a software engineer I can do that with 'my' creations.

So, then. You argue that the world God should have created was world 3. A world that better minds than either of ours, theist and atheist alike, agree is impossible. (Unless you're telling us you've created a sentient, self aware program with free will?)

No I am not. Reading what I actually wrote shows that clearly. I am positing a way to prevent egregious acts of evil on innocent human beings (and animals).

How is saying that God should not allow certain evil acts but allow others not the same as unacceptable and acceptable evil? How would God prevent us from logically claiming that the evil He doesn't prevent really isn't evil because logically, if it really were, He'd prevent it? If He's preventing some, why doesn't He prevent it all? Do you honestly believe that isn't exactly what His detractors would say?

What's more, how does this solve the problem of evil? Remember, the premise is, if evil exists, God cannot. What does allowing some evils but not others do for that? 

Yet again you interpret the exact opposite of what I wrote. I wrote that God could prevent the rape and murder of little girls but other evil acts would still exist. You introduced the notion of 'acceptable levels of evil' and then pretend it came from me.

Did you not posit that God could prevent what you consider egregious evil but still allow others? Does that not suggest to you that there must be some level of evil that isn't egregious? Some level of evil that satisfies your idea of free will? I can't think of another way to interpret what you've said concerning this. 

My belief that God allows egregious sin to be realized is because He can't give us free will and not allow us to choose. I think that view is supported by both sides of the argument in the seed. I also believe He allows it because we must know the full horror of sin. It isn't God's fault sin is horrible. He didn't create it. But we choose to turn from Him and so sin reigns. That's our choice. And no, it wasn't the choice of the little girl but that is what is most horrible about sin, I think. The innocent suffer because of the evil of others. 

Fortunately, there is a way out. Something to hope for other than this sinful world. I'm sure you know what I speak of. And, I can fight against evil, another consequence of having free will. 

 
 
calbab
8.4.37  calbab  replied to  Drakkonis @8.4.34    4 months ago
If one undertakes a long trek through uncharted wilderness with the use of a guide, and after many miles that guide has not let you wrong, it isn't illogical to place one's faith in that guide. Evidence of the past dependability of the guide is sufficient evidence for a logical decision to continue trusting that guide.—Drakkonis.

Matthew 15 (NASB)

10 After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand. 11 It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”

12 Then the disciples *came and *said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?” 13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”


We have a Guide: Jesus. Who charts a path through the "mine field" of this world. With each success of missing life's pitfalls we are encouraged to develop and grow more in faith.

"Day unto day!

 
 
Drakkonis
8.4.38  Drakkonis  replied to  calbab @8.4.37    4 months ago

Amen.

 
 
TiG
8.4.39  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.4.36    4 months ago
No, I presented it as the logical outcome of your suggestion God prevents the rape and murder of little girls. You apparently believe that it would be morally right for God to always prevent such acts ...

The logical outcome of suggesting that God stop egregious acts is not that God stop all evil.    That makes zero sense.   I never argued that so why pretend I did?

... but fail to explain why the line should be drawn at that particular level of evil.

I chose to not draw the line other than at egregious because there is no reason to get more specific than that.   The point is that God could stop egregious acts and retain free will.    Stop deflecting and address the argument.

You don't get to just throw out "we all get the basic idea of 'egregious,'" because it will not be the same for everyone.

I sure do!   The point is that God can draw a line and still maintain free will.  Try to debate the actual point instead of inventing a debate on where the line would be drawn.   The ability to stop the worst acts and still maintain free will is what you need to address.   

So, then. You argue that the world God should have created was world 3. A world that better minds than either of ours, theist and atheist alike, agree is impossible. (Unless you're telling us you've created a sentient, self aware program with free will?)

You quote my words and then invent something entirely different.   This is just bizarre to watch.   Face Palm  World 3, per your seed, is this:

W3: (a) God creates persons with morally significant free will;
(b) God causally determines people in every situation to choose what is right and to avoid what is wrong; and
(c) There is no evil or suffering in W3.

What I suggested does not have God setting up a world of automatons who never do wrong and it would not logically lead to that either.    Don't know what to suggest to you other than to read what I write.  More carefully?   Ask questions if you do not understand?  Don't know, but what you are doing right now is not working because you continue to get almost everything wrong no matter how many times I (consistently) correct you.   

This is not like you.  Makes me think that you have handed your keyboard to someone else.   Very strange.

How is saying that God should not allow certain evil acts but allow others not the same as unacceptable and acceptable evil?

No evil is acceptable Drak.   If you want to place a label, use 'God allows' and 'God disallows'.   That would match what I wrote.   Another label is 'egregious' and 'less than egregious'.   That is another label I wrote.   You are not going to force your dichotomy of choice into my mouth so stop trying.

How would God prevent us from logically claiming that the evil He doesn't prevent really isn't evil because logically, if it really were, He'd prevent it? If He's preventing some, why doesn't He prevent it all? Do you honestly believe that isn't exactly what His detractors would say?

Who cares?   Not even remotely relevant to the point.   The point, by the way, is that God could (logically based on how He is defined) stop the egregious acts and still have free will, but He does not do that for some reason.   God allowed Stalin to kill 20+ million.   He could have mitigated  Stalin's free will (and free will would still be in effect) in this regard but chose to not do so.   I understand why you are taking extreme measures to avoid dealing with that question, but smoke screens and straw man arguments simply project cognitive dissonance.   

What's more, how does this solve the problem of evil? Remember, the premise is, if evil exists, God cannot. What does allowing some evils but not others do for that? 

You really claim to have no idea what we are debating?   Hint:  I have argued a means whereby evil can coexist with God.  


Here is yet another summary of my position:

  • Free will is not 100% today as evidenced by the fact that we are all limited in what we can do by the physics of our environment that God made
  • God intervenes already (per the Bible) so clearly 100% free will is not in play today
  • If we do not have 100% free will then we need not pretend we are trying to preserve 100% free will - it is not an all or nothing proposition
  • Thus God is not forced to allow ALL possible forms of evil to preserve free will.   God could choose to intervene and prevent certain acts of evil.   
  • A reasonable example of this is God preventing egregious acts of evil.
  • An example egregious act of evil is Stalin murdering 20+ million people.
  • God could (logically given how He is defined) prevent such evil while keeping a compromised free will such as what exists today
  • God could (logically given how He is defined) also provide each human being with the knowledge He would want us to have if we endured the worst possible evil - thus no need to endure it.

A few questions:   

  • Why does God allow little girls to be raped and murdered by pedophiles?   
  • Why does God bring little children into this world with burdens such as juvenile leukemia only to suffer and die by age 4?
  • Why does God unleash forces of nature that kill people?
  • Why does God allow diseases?

The answer is not 'to allow for free will' so what is the answer?

Instead of inventing different arguments and pretending they came from me or tossing out smoke screens, take a stab at actually addressing what I have repeatedly argued.  

 
 
calbab
8.4.40  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.4.39    4 months ago

A few questions:

  • Why does God allow little girls to be raped and murdered by pedophiles?   
  • Why does God bring little children into this world with burdens such as juvenile leukemia only to suffer and die by age 4?
  • Why does God unleash forces of nature that kill people?
  • Why does God allow diseases?
  • (My addition) Why does God allow "Stalin to kill 20+ million"?

In sum of the above:

1.  What makes you think these are 'samplings' of the worst afflictions which can happen to people?

All of life as we know it is 'trapped' here on this planet. Imagine the suffering and confusions which would exist if a non-stop and raging world-wide pandemic or cataclysm in the natural world ever took place in the future.

2. Could it be that God keeps world-wide upheavals in check?

We do not know (are not privy to) what God does on a human "daily" basis to make life possible for all life on Earth. Consider this well before hitting "Post Your Comment."

 
 
TiG
8.4.41  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.4.40    4 months ago
What makes you think these are 'samplings' of the worst afflictions which can happen to people?

Use whatever examples of egregious evil you wish.   The point remains.

Could it be that God keeps world-wide upheavals in check?

God could be preventing all sorts of horrible events ... or not.   The question remains as to why what we see as the worst are allowed to happen.   Why Stalin was allowed to murder 20+ million people remains unanswered except by the catch-all surrender of thought:  'God works in mysterious ways'.

 
 
calbab
8.4.42  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.4.41    4 months ago

Perhaps you can ask God about it and/or PRAY about it.  I will add this: Special revelation adds this:


Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing† with the glory† that is going to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation† for God’s sons† to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected† to futility† ​— ​not willingly, but because of him who subjected it† ​— ​in the hope 21 that the creation itself† will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains† until now.23 Not only that,† but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits† ​— ​we also groan within ourselves,† eagerly waiting for adoption,† the redemption of our bodies.† 24 Now in this hope† we were saved, but hope† that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 Now if we hope for what we do not see,† we eagerly wait for it with patience. 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should,† but the Spirit himself intercedes for us†† with unspoken groanings. 27 And he who searches our hearts† knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 We know that all things work together† for the good† of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.† 29 For those he foreknew he also predestined† to be conformed to the image of his Son,† so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.† 30 And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified;† and those he justified, he also glorified.†


The Bible says that God did not save the Son from the wrath of ungodly men and women, but allowed for a larger scheme of salvation.  After you end your prayer request, ponder why mankind did not act to stop another man from extinguishing excess millions of lives, and the countless other deaths which occur on a daily basis. Hubris!

It is a mystery from our perspective, because as people and even people of faith, we only see dimly what the universe deals with on a routine basis and what God deals with eternally. But don't let this stop you from your quest to hold God's feet to an earth dweller's fire! /s 

Furthermore, to quote you, "what we see as the worse" does not supply an answer to the questions I asked. What we can all see is that mankind has been given stewardship over the Earth and its resources and what does he do with it? (Rhetorical question.) Before mankind turns to ask God why God does not fix the world for mankind, maybe ask: Why mankind repeatedly keep "f-ing" it up?

Consider this: The easiest way for God to rid the world of evil—get rid of mankind.  This will cause a near automatic return to a state of Innocence.

 
 
calbab
8.4.43  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.4.41    4 months ago
Why Stalin was allowed to murder 20+ million people remains unanswered

Why Stalin and any combination of villains and diabolical creatures are allowed to develop and flourish is a mystery to human beings—much like the consuming mystery of how life begin on Earth. Surely, some thing are some body was present at the beginning, we can know this because the planet is 'tooled' for elemental and complex life and 'abundant' living!

To the observant mind, it is as if Earth is waiting - alongside the universe continuously waiting - on some thing or some body else to discover how to use all its attributes.

God can not be surprised by evil 'doers' and world disasters. An all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present, God acknowledges the birth and outcomes of every living being in this system of existence we populate. Does this cause God to be responsible for evil 'doer's, diseases, and world disasters? The answer is no, not necessarily, and ultimately yes!

Mankind's freedom and responsibility are equally in play. For which mankind is accountable!

 
 
TiG
8.4.44  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.4.43    4 months ago
Why Stalin and any combination of villains and diabolical creatures are allowed to develop and flourish is a mystery to human beings ...

Drak has offered why an omnipotent, omniscient, loving, perfect, personal God would allow Stalin et. al. to commit such atrocities without lifting a divine finger to stop them.

This is such an important question - something that goes to the very definition of God.   Fundamental to how God works and God's plan.

One would expect that all believers - especially those who claim to know God through special revelation - would be able to consistently provide the solid answer to this question.

 
 
calbab
8.4.45  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.4.44    4 months ago

The point of special revelation is to lead mankind to God. God is the focus of the Book. However, as I explained above, God provides only such insights into God's essence as befits coming to faith. The operative word—faith.

The Bible points to a future time (not the present) when mankind will know God face to face. At that time, all 'mysteries' will be, along with faith, substantially ended.

Atheists can impatiently scoff this makes for a weak argument for the existence of God. These folks can do this. On the other hand, an argument from one of its adherents that there is a "perfect" standard of good by which to judge evil, ironically argues for the existence of a moral Mind.

 
 
Drakkonis
8.4.46  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @8.4.39    4 months ago
I have argued a means whereby evil can coexist with God.

Well, this pretty much sums up why we can't seem to communicate. I shouldn't be surprised, I guess. You've stated often enough that the Bible is just a bunch of writings of ancient men that doesn't make much sense. Apparently, the God I talk about is just an invention anyway So why wouldn't you want to argue for such a thing? If they can make it up, why can't you? 

I honestly didn't know that was what you were doing. I thought we were arguing within the framework of God as described in the Bible. What you wrote here is about as far from that God as is possible to get. God and sin coexisting? That you think such a thing is possible probably explains why, from my point of view, you don't understand much of what I say. Why we often get upset with each other because we aren't talking about the same thing at all. When we use the name "God", we aren't talking about the same thing. You seem to be talking about a concept while I am talking about an actual person.

That's fine, TiG. You don't have to believe what I do. You don't have to think as I do. Your opinions and beliefs are yours and you have the right to them. I'm not knocking you here. But the past has proved to both of us, I think, that we're never going to do any better than this.

So, Since I have no interest in discussing something I would find about as vile as it can get, I won't be continuing this conversation. Sorry.  

 
 
TiG
8.4.48  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.4.46    4 months ago

Your seeded argument also argues a means whereby evil can coexist with God.    

The word coexist means:  "exist at the same time or in the same place"     The notion of God coexisting with evil does not mean that God is evil, it means that God and evil can both exist - that the presence of evil does not necessarily mean there is no God.  

Well, this pretty much sums up why we can't seem to communicate. 

I think it is more that you jump to the worst possible way to interpret my words - to the level of presenting interpretations that at times bear no resemblance to what I actually wrote.   That explains why I spend the vast majority of my time in my replies correcting your interpretations (they are so off they appear to be straw man arguments). 

 
 
TiG
8.4.49  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.4.46    4 months ago

In any case, while the article doesn't provide specific reasons why evil exists, it does cover why evil and God can exist at the same time and that they are not necessarily contradictions.

This is evil coexisting with God.

 
 
Drakkonis
8.4.50  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @8.4.48    4 months ago
I think it is more that you jump to the worst possible way to interpret my words - to the level of presenting interpretations that at times bear no resemblance to what I actually wrote.

I took your meaning to be that of the more common one. As a way for God to accommodate our evil natures without the worst of our natures able to be realized. Since Plantinga's argument already allows God and evil to coexist in the manner you apparently intended the word to mean, it shouldn't be too hard for you to see why I took it the way I did. I understand that you intended the other meaning of the word, now, but in truth, I still see what you suggest as resulting in the more common meaning . That is, to get along with. 

However, for the sake of meeting you half way, suppose I agree to your hypothetical god. Let's assume that this god can and does prevent the most egregious evil. Let's also assume that it can also put whatever knowledge it wishes into our heads. Those seem to be the two main points you wish me to consider. If there are others that I've left out, let me know. 

I am not sure where you want to go from that, so I will await your reply.

 
 
TiG
8.4.51  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.4.50    4 months ago
I took your meaning to be that of the more common one. As a way for God to accommodate our evil natures without the worst of our natures able to be realized.

I do not follow how this relates to my comment of God coexisting with evil.   Your comment summarized the point of my earlier argument (at least it seems that way) but currently -at this moment- we are discussing the simple notion of God coexisting with evil.   You inexplicably consider this to be a vile notion yet state the very notion in your seed comments:

In any case, while the article doesn't provide specific reasons why evil exists, it does cover why evil and God can exist at the same time and that they are not necessarily contradictions.

On this notion we are in agreement.   To wit ...  you, me and Plantinga all agree that God could coexist with evil (albeit based on how God and free will are defined).

The more common meaning of coexist is:  exist at the same time.    My guess is that you inadvertantly read an unusual meaning into the word coexist - something quite different from the common meaning - to produce a meaning of disagreement because disagreement is what you expected.   Just my guess.

 
 
TiG
8.4.52  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.4.50    4 months ago
However, for the sake of meeting you half way, suppose I agree to your hypothetical god. Let's assume that this god can and does prevent the most egregious evil. Let's also assume that it can also put whatever knowledge it wishes into our heads. Those seem to be the two main points you wish me to consider. If there are others that I've left out, let me know. 

My scenario is that God can put knowledge of the most egregious evil in our heads and that God could -but does not- prevent the most egregious evil.

Something has to give.   Stalin murdered 20+ million (just sticking with one example for simplicity) and God allowed this to occur.   Besides 'God works in mysterious ways' I would be surprised if anyone could explain this.

 
 
Drakkonis
8.4.53  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @8.4.51    4 months ago
The more common meaning of coexist is: exist at the same time.

It seems the most common use of the word 'coexist' in daily use is 'live together in peace in spite of differences.' At least, that is the most common meaning I have encountered.

 
 
TiG
8.4.54  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.4.53    4 months ago
It seems the most common use of the word 'coexist' in daily use is 'live together in peace in spite of differences.' At least, that is the most common meaning I have encountered.

That is the concept behind the popular culture concept bumpersticker.   So instead of recognizing coexist in its Oxford, etc. generic definition of existing at the same time you took this bumpersticker meaning and focused on the phrase 'live together in peace' and then presumed that somehow I was arguing that God and evil would in effect cohabitate peacefully?   

I have no idea what I could do to prevent this level of semantic variation in the future so I guess this is something for you to work out.

 
 
Enoch
9  Enoch    4 months ago

Dear Friend Drakonis: Welcome back activity on the site.

We are pleased you are here.

Peace and Abundant Blessings.

Enoch.

 
 
Drakkonis
9.1  Drakkonis  replied to  Enoch @9    4 months ago

Thanks, Enoch : )

 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
10  The Magic Eight Ball    4 months ago
People have often told me that if God really existed, evil wouldn't. To be clear, we were discussing God as described in the Christian Bible. 

those people were wrong.  the bible says nothing to that effect.

they forget the rye grass (evil) among the wheat (sons of the kingdom)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Tares

 Matthew 13:24-30.   during final judgment, the angels will separate the "sons of the evil one" (the tares or weeds) from the "sons of the kingdom" (the wheat).

. "the sons of the evil one" or "the fallen ones"   were cast down by god or more simply put = god put evil on this planet. 

breaking news?  their descendants are still here.  

snakes.jpg

meaning..  evil does not exist in spite of god. evil exists on our planet BECAUSE of god.

the catholic church is evil... ironically they wrote the book on it.

Cheers :)

 
 
magnoliaave
11  magnoliaave    4 months ago

Mind if I join in for a few words? I thought I was given a reprieve in that I can help by being strong and determined for them.  Today, I learned something and my two sons taught me.  Praise God!

 
 
calbab
11.1  calbab  replied to  magnoliaave @11    4 months ago

Sure, come on in! This "discussion" is nice and warm now! (Smile.)

 
 
Drakkonis
12  Drakkonis    4 months ago
Because 'God works in mysterious ways' and they simply hold to faith and do not engage in any further reasoning. That is one possibility. Faith often blocks critical thinking.

True of some, not of others. In any case, is it your contention that, if God exists, man would be able to know and understand all that He does? If not, then at what point would you set the limit of man's capacity to understand, beyond which would necessarily require faith? 

 
 
TiG
12.1  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @12    4 months ago
... is it your contention that, if God exists, man would be able to know and understand all that He does?

No.   I am saying that 'God works in mysterious ways' does not explain anything.  When a challenge cannot be answered, stating the equivalent of 'I do not know, but God does' simply dismisses the challenge without critical consideration.   In particular it is the '... but God does' part that is the problem because that presumes that the challenge is wrong and defers to God for the rebuttal.   No critical thinking - no objective analysis to see if the challenge really has merit.   No consideration that not knowing how to respond suggests that maybe there is a flaw in one's thinking.   If that potential flaw is never explored due to deference to God, no learning takes place.

If not, then at what point would you set the limit of man's capacity to understand, beyond which would necessarily require faith? 

My position is that faith should never be used as a basis for belief.   Faith is an unsupported hypothesis - speculation.   When one turns to faith to believe something, one should admit that at that point critical thinking has ended (on the subject belief).   

 
 
Drakkonis
12.1.1  Drakkonis  replied to  TiG @12.1    4 months ago
I am saying that 'God works in mysterious ways' does not explain anything.

No, but we cannot be expected to have an explanation about every aspect of an Infinite Being, can we? We can't know specifically why He does or doesn't do in every situation. And you have never heard me say something like that, even though you accuse me of it often enough. 

My position is that faith should never be used as a basis for belief.

I don't think you understand what faith is. Faith that God asks of us isn't unreasoned belief, although some think that it is. God wants us to have reasons for the faith we hold. God doesn't want someone who loves enemies just because He said to, although I'm sure He feels it's better than nothing. Rather, He wants people who understand why He wants it. But mostly, faith He desires is faith in Him. Who He is and what He promises to do for those who love Him. 

What you seem to speak of is blind faith, which I would agree is a bad thing. But reasoned faith? That's different.

 
 
321steve
12.1.2  321steve  replied to  Drakkonis @12.1.1    4 months ago
we cannot be expected to have an explanation about every aspect of an Infinite Being

Without another human telling us about GOD what do we know ? 

How does that person know ?

and what wrote that ?

 
 
Eagle Averro
12.1.3  Eagle Averro  replied to  321steve @12.1.2    4 months ago
Without another human telling us about GOD what do we know ?

E.A   If I may, see Romans 1 in particular ...

20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

 So what we are told above, is that ALL we need to know can also be learned from Nature!  (what has been made )

 
 
TiG
12.1.4  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @12.1.1    4 months ago
No, but we cannot be expected to have an explanation about every aspect of an Infinite Being, can we?

No, and I am not asking that.   Note how I very clearly stated that the 'I do not know' answer is not a problem.  Note what I clearly stated as the problem.   My post was so short I do not feel I need to literally quote myself to make this clear.

We can't know specifically why He does or doesn't do in every situation. And you have never heard me say something like that, even though you accuse me of it often enough. 

You do not realize that you often explain God's motivations, desires and intent to others?   Anyone who presumes to know anything about God can be fairly asked the question:   how do you know this?

I don't think you understand what faith is.

Eye Roll   Here we go ...

Faith that God asks of us isn't unreasoned belief, although some think that it is. God wants us to have reasons for the faith we hold.

As if cued.   How do you know that 'God wants us to have reasons for the faith we hold.'?

Well, Drak, maybe that is what God wants but that is not what is happening.   Faith is routinely propped up as a virtue.   It is one of the master-strokes of religion to get people to believe something because an authority told them it is true.  Can you imagine the number of examples I could offer of people believing something true because their religious holy man or holy book said it is true (end of story)??

God doesn't want someone who loves enemies just because He said to, although I'm sure He feels it's better than nothing. Rather, He wants people who understand why He wants it. But mostly, faith He desires is faith in Him. Who He is and what He promises to do for those who love Him.

How do you know 'God doesn't want someone who loves enemies just because He said to' ... 'He wants people who understand why He wants it. But mostly, faith He desires is faith in Him. Who He is and what He promises to do for those who love Him' ?

What you seem to speak of is blind faith, which I would agree is a bad thing. But reasoned faith? That's different.

Most faith seems to be blind (partially blind?).   I would applaud reasoned faith as an improvement.   So I suppose this is a point of agreement.   I also think that you have a reasoned faith and that you are an exception.

 
 
321steve
12.1.5  321steve  replied to  Eagle Averro @12.1.3    4 months ago
ALL we need to know can also be learned from Nature!

Bingo. Whatever arranged the atoms to be all that is, is GOD. 

Give this Eagle a cigar !

...........................................................

That's all I trust. Period.. Everything else man had a hand in. Every religious book ever written that I know of was not written by GOD it was written by men. Infalible man. 

IMO: IF GOD wanted a "Rule Book" IT would have written one. IT "created" everything else.               

I'd say that's what our conscience is.  GOD's living Rule book, obey it or not 

each one's choice. 

 
 
Eagle Averro
12.1.6  Eagle Averro  replied to  321steve @12.1.5    4 months ago

LOL Thanks ….

Notice that " God the Creator " did not ask Adam or Eve to write a " Book Of Laws " hence that was not the original Intent.

That came about because of the " Rejection of the Rule by the Creator " to one that " Rulership by the Creation "  that is why so many still do not understand that the " Creator God " is NOT the ruler of this " WORLD " and hence all the problems on IT, are not of his doing!

 See the " Lords Prayer " and how clearly that states the above

 
 
Bob Nelson
12.1.7  Bob Nelson  replied to  321steve @12.1.5    4 months ago

Clapping

 
 
Bob Nelson
13  Bob Nelson    4 months ago

So... thanks again, Drak. It's not very often that I come across an article that occupies my thinking so constantly as this one has since yesterday. A rare gift!

Plantinga is convincing... almost... There are two major problems for me, though... "natural evil" and the limits of "free will"

I very much like the commentary on "omnipotence". "He cannot make a stick that is shorter than itself." Excellent! I would have liked to hear the same effort made about omniscience. "He cannot know an event that cannot happen," perhaps? That seems to be a logical corollary. OTOH, "He can know all the possible outcomes of all the free-will choices of all the denizens of the universe."

I say "of the universe" because while there's no explicit limitation of this conversation to our little blue world, it does seem very implicit. That is wrong. It is absurd to think of an omnipotent God... just for our little backwater planet...

I regret that Hick's thinking is not developed:

Hick claims that human beings are unfinished and in the midst of being made all that God intended them to be.

This hooks back into a God of the wide universe. If there is a God then He is so much wider than the Earth that it is hard to imagine that He notices our little world...

Also:

What is "free will"? Each of us was raised in a context. I am "Christian" largely because I was raised in a Christian society. Did I choose "freely"? How many of our choices are sufficiently exempt of "prior causes" that we can honestly call them "free"?

If we have a Creator... what would be the greatest gift He could give us? Would it not be the possibility of becoming something like Him? Is "free will" not absolutely essential on that path?

At the same time, we are so surrounded by "prior causes" that our free will is highly suspect.

If God interferes... in any way whatsoever... in the development of the universe... in the development of His children... in our development... do we truly have "free will"?

Are we perhaps a waypoint, on the road to Godhood?

-------------

Wonderful questions!

 
 
calbab
13.1  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @13    4 months ago

Bob, not if you read the last book of the Bible. It explains our place in God's "society" is with God, under God, and God having a people built up and united in love for God. The whole point of the OT and NT is to focus the attention on God. God is the object of the Bible—not mankind.

Sorry, I'm rushing this comment. Back later.

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
13.2  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Bob Nelson @13    4 months ago
If God interferes... in any way whatsoever... in the development of the universe... in the development of His children... in our development... do we truly have "free will"?

According to Genesis Gods original intent was for Adam to remain ignorant of "good & bad" since he forbade him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good & bad. This of course does present a bit of a contradiction since by telling Adam not to eat of the tree he was effectively telling him not eating of it was good and eating of it was bad, thereby giving Adam knowledge of "good & bad". And when Cain killed his brother Able, Cain was punished thereby inferring that killing other humans was bad, but then God supposedly wiped out 99% of humanity with a flood which he deemed as good. So good and bad as defined in the bible are purely based on the opinions of the God of the bible, so according to it there is no objective right & wrong, good & bad, righteous & unrighteous. There is only what God says is good and what he says is bad. When God tells his people to murder the inhabitants of a neighboring nation including all the women and children, that's defined as "good". If a human leader decides to do the same it's considered genocide and very bad.

And is it truly "free will" if we are threatened with eternal punishment if we don't follow the God of the bibles subjective good and bad? Can we really call it free will if a government puts a gun to your head and says they'll blow your brains out if you don't follow the governments laws? Yes, I suppose we have the free will to choose death over slavery, but is that truly "free will"?

 
 
Bob Nelson
13.2.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @13.2    4 months ago
There is only what God says is good and what he says is bad. When God tells his people to murder the inhabitants of a neighboring nation including all the women and children, that's defined as "good". If a human leader decides to do the same it's considered genocide and very bad.

Let's remember that that text was written three thousand years ago. Later, "good and bad" were codified in the Ten Commandments, a considerable improvement over the previous situation, when as you say, "good and bad" were defined by the mood of the war-god.

And then the rule-based system was replaced by a better one, "love one another". Those evolutions took a thousand years.

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
13.2.2  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Bob Nelson @13.2.1    4 months ago
Those evolutions took a thousand years.

I agree that those evolutions took place within scripture, going from an angry jealous God who would wipe out all life on the planet including all the animals save for a handful to get rid of the supposed bad apples to a "turn the other cheek" God (or Gods son) of the gospels. That to me tracks closer to the bible having human origins and not inspired by an infallible deity that is supposed to be perfect and thus never needs to change or evolve. We continue to see religious and social evolution to this day as most religions now are nearly unrecognizable from their roots or even just a hundred years ago.

 
 
Bob Nelson
13.2.3  Bob Nelson  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @13.2.2    4 months ago

That works for me.

Inerrancy only leads to nonsense. If we simply accept that the Bible was written by men trying to approach their God... the Book remains inspirational but its incoherences are understandable.

 
 
Drakkonis
13.3  Drakkonis  replied to  Bob Nelson @13    4 months ago
So... thanks again, Drak. It's not very often that I come across an article that occupies my thinking so constantly as this one has since yesterday. A rare gift!

You're welcome. It had the same effect on me when I first saw it a year or so ago and I often think about it. 

Plantinga is convincing... almost... There are two major problems for me, though... "natural evil" and the limits of "free will"

Understandable. Concerning free will, though, it helps to keep in mind that the article isn't concerned about the extent of free will in general but, rather, moral free will. In this, I think we are free in making whatever moral choice we do but also, God is free to limit the extent to which we can act on those choices. For instance, putting a government or some other system in place that prevents the free exercise of a person's will. 

I say "of the universe" because while there's no explicit limitation of this conversation to our little blue world, it does seem very implicit. That is wrong. It is absurd to think of an omnipotent God... just for our little backwater planet...

I can understand that, but consider. How much effort would it be for an omnipotent God to do all this for just one little blue world? A being with unlimited, infinite power? That would be easier than you opening and closing your hand. And, if it really is for our little blue planet, perhaps that can be taken as an indication of just how much He cares.

Are we perhaps a waypoint, on the road to Godhood?

My belief is that we are not. I think we will be like God in a moral sense. I think that we will desire what He desires, rather than the things we do now. I think we will be perfected in some way, but I think we will remain His creatures. I find that a very pleasing thought. 

Again, I'm glad you appreciated the article. 

 
 
Bob Nelson
13.3.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  Drakkonis @13.3    4 months ago
In this, I think we are free in making whatever moral choice we do but also, God is free to limit the extent to which we can act on those choices.

I cannot see this.

Either we're free or we're not. If God interferes in the world, the butterfly effect will ensure that that interference ripples through everything. So either He keeps hands off or hands on. I can't see any middle ground.

 
 
Bob Nelson
13.3.2  Bob Nelson  replied to  Drakkonis @13.3    4 months ago
I can understand that, but consider. How much effort would it be for an omnipotent God to do all this for just one little blue world?

Of course an omnipotent God could do whatever... but this would be a trickster God, making separate little games for each of a zillion worlds. And what will happen when we meet?

Good and evil should be independent of species, I think.

 
 
Drakkonis
13.3.3  Drakkonis  replied to  Bob Nelson @13.3.1    4 months ago
I cannot see this.

Think of it this way. You are free to choose to steal or not steal, correct? Let's imagine you choose to steal. There are a lot of other people out there with free will at this very moment exercising their free will specifically in efforts to prevent or limit your ability to exercise your free will decision to steal. They lock up their stuff. They create laws to do things to you if you do steal. They pay people to catch you if you do steal. The free will of others necessarily limits your free will and vice versa. It's something like that. 

 
 
TiG
13.3.4  TiG  replied to  Drakkonis @13.3    4 months ago
Concerning free will, though, it helps to keep in mind that the article isn't concerned about the extent of free will in general but, rather, moral free will. In this, I think we are free in making whatever moral choice we do but also, God is free to limit the extent to which we can act on those choices. For instance, putting a government or some other system in place that prevents the free exercise of a person's will.

Free will is thus not 100% pure, but rather it is a moderated free will.   This is consistent with the Bible which depicts God intervening in moral acts.   Accordingly, God could prevent the most egregious moral acts - such as Stalin's murder of 20+ million people or individual acts such as a pedaphile who kidnaps, rapes and murders a little girl without taking away (all) moral free will.   But He does not act.   Why He does not act remains a profound historical question.  

Plantinga offers this as his world 1 (W1) to logically show God and evil coexisting:

W1: (a) God creates persons with morally significant free will;
(b) God does not causally determine people in every situation to choose what is right and to avoid what is wrong; and
(c) There is evil and suffering in W1.

In W1, God will intervene at times, but not always.   Thus there are countless situations wherein His creatures can make a moral choice and even act on that choice without God preventing them from doing so.   That is a moderated free will - not 100% pure, but arguably a 'free will' of sorts.  

So, immediately, Plantinga's argument shows that an omnipotent God could exist who would allow evil and suffering in order to offer a moderated free will and thus the means by which His creatures can 'come to him' or not.   Evil would exist and God could still act to prevent some of this evil.   When God does not prevent evil, the argument explains this by positing God has a morally sufficient reason to not act.   And do we know what the morally sufficient reason might be?   No.  Only God knows.     (hold that thought)

Stalin did engage in mass murder and truly egregious, horrible, evil acts are routinely commited on innocent victims.  Given God did not / does not act, one must believe (per the argument) that God has morally sufficient reasons to allow the worst - most egregious - acts that have actually taken place.   Basically one is asked to believe that these acts allow for a greater moral good and that we are just too stupid to see the big picture.   This is a tacit surrender - aka a cop out that ends critical analysis.  It does not answer the critical question of how an omnipotent, omniscient, loving, perfect, personal God would allow egregious evil acts on His creatures.   It simply shrugs and delivers the equivalent of 'God works in mysterious ways'.    Plantinga's argument rests on a shrug.


In short, Plantinga's argument offers a possible scenario wherein an omnipotent God could logically coexist with evil (W1) if one moderates free will.   Okay.   But the argument skirts the long-standing question of why God allows the most egregious acts by offering nothing more than 'God has a morally sufficient reason' or as oft phrased 'God works in mysterious ways'.

... and then we have the question of why God imposes disease, congenital anomalies, famine, natural disasters, etc.   The death and suffering from these 'natural' forces are not the result of human moral choices.   We must, apparently, believe that here too God has a morally sufficient reason for inflicting these upon His creatures.  'God works in mysterious ways'.

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.5  It Is ME  replied to  TiG @13.3.4    4 months ago
Why He does not act remains a profound historical question.

I've always understood that the "After life" was the important issue as to the "Saving" thing !

I've NEVER understood "Gods" word to be that he/she will intervene in ones actual daily life to make it better for you. "Only YOU can prevent Forest Fires"….to simplify it !

The "trials and Tribulations" of being Human, and all that ?

As to evil v. Good.....There might be a reason evil exists. Maybe a life test ? We all know how "Tests" are given to humans in the simple, as in schools. You "Fail", you don't graduate. Cheat, and failure is imminent for sure !

 
 
TiG
13.3.6  TiG  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.5    4 months ago
"Only YOU can prevent Forest Fires"….to simplify it !

When a little girl is kidnapped, raped and murdered by a pedophile would you argue that this is a consequence of her bad moral choice?

To simplify it.

 
 
Bob Nelson
13.3.7  Bob Nelson  replied to  Drakkonis @13.3.3    4 months ago

I agree with this post... but here you do not invoke God. In the previous post, you said

God is free to limit the extent to which we can act on those choices.

Of course God can do whatever He wishes... but if He acts at all, our free will is compromised. And since free will is the linchpin justifying evil... the whole house would come tumbling down.

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.8  Phoenyx13  replied to  TiG @13.3.6    4 months ago

When a little girl is kidnapped, raped and murdered by a pedophile would you argue that this is a consequence of her bad moral choice?

To simplify it.

nope, according the post you replied to it is simply:

The "trials and Tribulations" of being Human, and all that ?

or possibly:

Maybe a life test ?

for the little girl. I guess that's her "trial and tribulation" of being human and her test from her "loving" God.

 
 
TiG
13.3.9  TiG  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.8    4 months ago

It is good to think things through.   Winking 2

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.10  It Is ME  replied to  TiG @13.3.6    4 months ago
When a little girl is kidnapped, raped and murdered by a pedophile would you argue that this is a consequence of her bad moral choice?

Did "God" have a hand in it ?

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.11  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.8    4 months ago
for the little girl. I guess that's her "trial and tribulation" of being human and her test from her "loving" God.

Could be.

Who REALLY knows huh.

 
 
TiG
13.3.12  TiG  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.10    4 months ago
Did "God" have a hand in it ?

God not interceding is the point.  

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.13  It Is ME  replied to  TiG @13.3.12    4 months ago
God not interceding is the point.

Is he/she supposed to ?

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.14  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.11    4 months ago

Could be.

Who REALLY knows huh.

could be - could be that God isn't that loving or that God is using the little girl as collateral damage as part of the price to pay for freewill, right ? Apparently God isn't interceding which should lead to many more questions - yet oddly the religious are largely remaining silent on these situations or use the cop-out of "God works in mysterious ways" (or a variation thereof while still singing praises and trying to recruit more people to do the same)

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.15  It Is ME  replied to  TiG @13.3.12    4 months ago
God not interceding is the point.

Is he/she physically supposed to ?

Personally, I never got that impression of "God" and his word. Maybe it's just me ?

Revelation 21:8 "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars— their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.16  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.14    4 months ago

Or...... maybe "GOD" is a simple parent, teaching his/her children the way, then sending them out to be "On their own", dealing with failings, evils and good all at the same time, without "Holding their hands" !

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.17  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.16    4 months ago
Or...... maybe "GOD" is a simple parent, teaching his/her children the way, then sending them out to be "On their own", dealing with failings, evils and good all at the same time, without "Holding their hands" !

really ? if you are a parent of a little girl (it's assumed this is a young child based on the description given - "kidnapped, raped and murdered by a pedophile" ) - you would let her get kidnapped, raped and murdered by a pedophile ? what are you teaching your child ? is this "sending them out on their own" and dealing with their own failings, good and evils without "holding her hand" ? What did she "fail" to do that you would willingly let this happen to her ?

(i guess it is important to think things through, huh ?)

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.18  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.17    4 months ago
(it's assumed

Isn't EVERYTHING being discussed on this subject, just an "Assumption" ? thinking

" you would let her get kidnapped, raped and murdered by a pedophile ?"

As I understand it, That's the way it works in "Religion land" !

Didn't know "GOD" was into saving Physical Body's . What is this "Soul" thing anyway. confused

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.19  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.18    4 months ago

Isn't EVERYTHING being discussed on this subject, just an "Assumption" ? 

I think that may be part of the crux of the argument between Logic vs Faith (or facts vs faith)

As I understand it, That's the way it works in "Religion land" !

that's what it is looking to be - i'm not quite sure i can agree nor condone that and just let it up to "God works in mysterious ways" while sleeping at night.

Didn't know "GOD" was into saving Physical Body's . What is this "Soul" thing anyway.

Good questions. What is the "soul" thingy ? people's physical bodies are "saved" at times from tragedies, aren't they ?

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.20  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.19    4 months ago
people's physical bodies are "saved" at times from tragedies, aren't they ?

Yep.

With a/the "Soul"? still trapped inside the shell.

"I think that may be part of the crux of the argument between Logic vs Faith (or facts vs faith)"

It seems it MUST BE all about the numbers most times. Such a boring life. talk to the hand 2

 
 
Eagle Averro
13.3.21  Eagle Averro  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.20    4 months ago

E.A  and it is in total contradiction to the well written and factual statements of Genesis 3, so what does that say about all those that claim to follow it?

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.22  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.20    4 months ago

Yep.

With a/the "Soul"? still trapped inside the shell.

interesting - define "soul"

It seems it MUST BE all about the numbers most times. Such a boring life

i'm sorry to hear that facts, logic and science bore you - even tho you have greatly benefited, will great benefit and continue to currently benefit from all of them (in case you are lost - it has to do with "numbers"). Such a boring life using your computer, watching TV, learning about the world around you through science and technology, etc, huh ?

(i see you still avoided answering the questions from 13.3.7 - would you like to take a stab at answering them ?)

 
 
lennylynx
13.3.23  lennylynx  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.10    4 months ago

God created the pedophile.

 
 
Eagle Averro
13.3.24  Eagle Averro  replied to  lennylynx @13.3.23    4 months ago
God created the pedophile.

E.A so say those that claim  not to believe in " God ".

 But in weird turn of events I have to agree with you, just with a proviso.. Which God, and why?

 
 
lennylynx
13.3.25  lennylynx  replied to  Eagle Averro @13.3.24    4 months ago

"Which god..."

L.L. Odd statement coming from you EA.  How many different gods do you think there are?

 
 
Eagle Averro
13.3.26  Eagle Averro  replied to  lennylynx @13.3.25    4 months ago

L.L. Odd statement coming from you EA. How many different gods do you think there are?

E.A  Not at all  it just shows that some have a memory problem, or could it be a wish to forget FACTS and play with fiction, so I mentioned earlier to you to show me the Biblical Contradictions and also mentioned Genesis 3  so tell me in Genesis 3 How many " gods " are referred there and which one have Humans chosen as " Their Leader "?

 
 
Eagle Averro
13.3.27  Eagle Averro  replied to  lennylynx @13.3.25    4 months ago
How many different gods do you think there are?

E.A Just to show once again that " contradiction " only exist in the mind of the Ignorant ::

1 Corinthians 8

5For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

7But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.

E.A So how many " gods " does the bible speak about, and again the BIBLE  states " WHOM as the God of THIS World "?

And why the LIES about this Simple well defined FACT?

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.28  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.22    4 months ago
interesting - define "soul"

I can't. I Never claimed I could. Maybe it's what gives EVERYONE there own personality ?

When one dies, where does that "Specific Personality" go ?

"i'm sorry to hear that facts, logic and science bore you "

Thank you.....FIANLLY.....someone cares ! Big hugs

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.29  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.28    3 months ago
I can't. I Never claimed I could.

really ??

With a/the "Soul"? still trapped inside the shell.

so why are you referring to something in your argument that you cannot define yet are still stating exists ? maybe you should stay away from the "soul" until you can figure out what it actually is :)

Maybe it's what gives EVERYONE there own personality ?

oh, so the brain has nothing to do with anyone's personality ? interesting.... the APA states:

Personality

Personality

Personalityrefers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.

and that looks like it all refers to the human brain... nothing about a "soul", huh ?

When one dies, where does that "Specific Personality" go ?

it ceases to exist - just like your brain functions. didn't you know that ? 

Thank you.....FIANLLY.....someone cares ! 

i understand why you love faith so much :) Big hugs

(sorry for delayed response, apparently i missed this post in the tracker)

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.30  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.29    3 months ago
so why are you referring to something in your argument that you cannot define yet are still stating exists ?

Apparently....YOU....missed the question mark. Face Palm

With a/the"Soul"? still trapped inside the shell. 

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.31  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.30    3 months ago

Apparently....YOU....missed the question mark. 

With a/the"Soul"?still trapped inside the shell. 

apparently you missed:

interesting-define "soul"

if you can't define it - then you probably shouldn't suggest it being "trapped inside the shell" since you have no idea (literally) what you are talking about (since you can't define it). Face Palm

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.32  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.31    3 months ago
if you can't define it - then you probably shouldn't suggest it being "trapped inside the shell"

Thus the question mark. Face Palm

Soul?

Now comes the days of questioning the question mark ?

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.33  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.32    3 months ago

Thus the question mark. 

Soul?

Now comes the days of questioning the question mark ?

not questioning the question mark - questioning why you would insert a term into your "discussion" that you can't define but wish to interject as a variable to the argument. Why are you even suggesting a "soul" exists if you can't even define the term ? that makes no sense. Face Palm

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.34  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.33    3 months ago
not questioning the question mark 

Yes you are....or just don't want to understanding the why.

"questioning why you would insert a term into your "discussion""

The article is about the bible and how people define/interpret/believe.

That's WHY !

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.35  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.34    3 months ago

Yes you are....or just don't want to understanding the why.

I think you fail to understand:

questioning why you would insert a term into your "discussion" that you can't define but wish to interject as a variable to the argument

or possibly just wish to intentionally not comprehend it so you can continue to interject it into your conversation "safely". As long as it makes you feel better, right ?

The article is about the bible and how people define/interpret/believe.

That's WHY !

good - tell everyone how you define/interpret/believe what a "soul" is. Thanks ! :)

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.36  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.35    3 months ago
I think you fail to understand:

I haven't failed to understand anything I've posted. I haven't questioned myself one time.

Your question again ?

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.37  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.36    3 months ago

I haven't failed to understand anything I've posted. I haven't questioned myself one time.

Yourquestionagain ?

ok:

tell everyone how you define/interpret/believe what a "soul" is.

if you are unable to do so then the question becomes:

Why are you even suggesting "soul" exists if you can't even define the term?

unless maybe you think we just debate on "faith" for every topic (instead of logic, facts/proof etc) including politics, right ? Face Palm

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.38  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.37    3 months ago
tell everyone how you define/interpret/believe what a "Soul" is.

You left a pertinent symbol out again. chuckle

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.39  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.38    3 months ago
You left a pertinent symbol out again.

that pertinent symbol puts you on track to refer to post #13.3.37 chuckle

(besides, someone who posts:

I haven't questioned myself one time.

shouldn't need a "?" near any terms they use in a debate, correct ? you seem sure of yourself and sure of your debate including the terms used, so i'm sure you have no issues defining the term "soul")

would you like to try againFace Palm

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.40  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.39    3 months ago
that pertinent symbol puts you on track to refer to post #13.3.37

And what "IS' that pertinent "Symbol" and what does it mean again ? thinking

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.41  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.40    3 months ago

And what "IS' that pertinent "Symbol" and what does it mean again ?

it would definitely mean you question yourself and the terms you use in a debate - if you are unsure of your terms you are using in a debate then you would use symbols like "?" (also includes just asking a question which most times is done to get more information), which would mean you aren't being truthful when you state you don't question yourself - apparently you do in the context of the terms you use in a debate that you can't even define but wish to try to interject regardless. thinking

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.42  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.41    3 months ago
it would definitely mean you question yourself and the terms you use in a debate

Nope.

"which would mean you aren't being truthful when you state you don't question yourself "

I've been very truthful in what I've posted.

"you can't even define "

I NEVER claimed I could, but you sure are jumping through hoops to try and get me to.  I think what you are trying is called "Dolphining".laughing dude

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.43  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.42    3 months ago

Nope.

absolutely, or there'd be no need for that symbol's usage.

"which would mean you aren't being truthful when you state you don't question yourself "

I've been very truthful in what I've posted.

you've truthfully posted a symbol that shows you question the terms you are using in a debate and question yourself in the context of using those terms - and you laid it out very nicely for everyone to see.

"you can't even define "

I NEVER claimed I could, but you sure are jumping through hoops to try and get me to.  I think what you are trying is called "Dolphining".

i think what you are trying is called "intentional misunderstanding" - if you want to use the term "soul", then be prepared to define it if questioned (like all debates, people want proof/facts/logic/definitions, some of us don't just go by "faith"), and if you can't define it then i'd suggest not using the term Digging a wholelaughing dude

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.44  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.43    3 months ago

You just reiterated …..AGAIN ……. you have NO understanding of the conversation as a whole, nor do you want to.

Good job....you Win ? Makes No Sense

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. "

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.45  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.44    3 months ago

You just reiterated …..AGAIN ……. you have NO understanding of theconversation as a whole, nor do you want to.

i understand it - you used a term you can't define and question, when confronted you tried to mask your inability to define it but still desire to use it by blaming me instead when all i did was ask for a simple definition since in debates people ask for proof/logic/definitions/facts (which you don't seem to have a close relationship with). If you are going to use a term - be prepared to define it if questioned (like all debates, people want proof/facts/logic/definitions, some of us don't just go by "faith"), and if you can't define it then i'd suggest not using the term

Good job....you Win ? 

win ? this was a contest ? are you feeling ok ? what in the world would i "win" ? can tell everyone what the "prize" is that supposedly i "win" ?

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. "

Martin Luther King, Jr.

cute quote, seems to define a few who go by "faith" instead of proof/logic/definitions/facts. laughing dude

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.46  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.45    3 months ago
i understand it

No !

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.47  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.46    3 months ago

Skirting the CoC "BF"

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.48  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.47    3 months ago

Digging a whole

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.49  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.48    3 months ago

it does seem odd to reply to me and show me what you are doing in that reply, but that is your decision and freedom to do so.

regardless, since you can't define simple words like "soul" in a debate of logic/facts/definitions etc, then i suppose it is done until you are able to accomplish this minor task. unfortunately for you, i don't go by "faith" that you understand the terms you are trying to use - and it's a good thing too as you have proven in this conversation with your inability to define the simple word "soul".

cheers ! :)

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.50  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.49    3 months ago
in a debate

de·bate
[dəˈbāt]

NOUN
a formal discussion

fake
[fāk]

VERB
make (an event) appear to happen.

A constant  "War Operation Plan Response" isn't a debate.

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.51  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.50    3 months ago

well now that you've demonstrated proficiency in using a dictionary - try looking up the word "soul" and see if you can finally define it laughing dude 

(other than that, your post was useless since i'm not engaging in "A constant  "War Operation Plan Response"", because this "war" only exists in your mind.)

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.52  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.51    3 months ago
try looking up the word "soul" and see if you can finally define it

Why do you have a need for me to do that ?

I NEVER claimed one existed.

Please do show me where I made such a claim.

 

im·ag·i·na·tion
[iˌmajəˈnāSH(ə)n]

NOUN
the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.53  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.52    3 months ago

Why do you have a need for me to do that ?

I NEVER claimed one existed.

Please do show me where I made such a claim.

 if you want to use a term in a debate then you should be prepared to define it (i think we went over this quite a few times already, see previous posts, your spin is dizzying)

im·ag·i·na·tion
[iˌmajəˈnāSH(ə)n]

NOUN
the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objectsnot present to the senses.

i already know what you are using in concerns to your little "war" comment, i can use a dictionary quite well, now can you use that dictionary to define "soul" since you interjected it into the debate ? (most likely not and you'll most likely keep dodging, but maybe for once you'll prove me wrong)

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.54  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.53    3 months ago
Please do show me where I made such a claim.

Again:

Please do show me where I made such a claim.

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.55  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.54    3 months ago

Again:

Please do show me where I made such a claim.

your inability to comprehend written comments is not of my concern, please take "personal responsibility" for it. Regardless, you interjected the term and i asked for it to be defined (do we really have to go over this again ? it's quite tiresome). if you can't define the term, i wouldn't suggest using it since it will put you in the situation you are currently in.

(and again, you dodged as predicted - let me guess, it's someone else's fault ?)

 
 
It Is ME
13.3.56  It Is ME  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.3.55    3 months ago

Please do show me where I made such a claim.

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.3.57  Phoenyx13  replied to  It Is ME @13.3.56    3 months ago
Please do show me where I made such a claim.

one more time:

Regardless, you interjected the term and i asked for it to be defined (do we really have to go over this again ? it's quite tiresome). if you can't define the term, i wouldn't suggest using it since it will put you in the situation you are currently in.

now, tell me where you see in my comment that i am stating you made any kind of claim, i will wait, reading comprehension is relatively easy :)

(and again, you dodged as predicted - let me guess, it's someone else's fault ?)

 
 
DocPhil
14  DocPhil    3 months ago

I may not be a believer, but this is one of the most interesting questions of theology that can be posed. For the sake of this argument, I will take the stance of a believer, albeit, an unorthodox one.

The question of the coexistence of good and evil in a world created by an almighty creator makes a few extraordinary assumptions. 

First: That a creator has ultimate authority over the earth. That is dominionship. If that argument is true, the rational explanation would be that the particular creator is unique to this world and is in constant contact with all that happens on this planet. That unique creator would be in conflict with other creators whose concept of "good" or "evil" may be diametrically opposed to that of our creator. That argument would make the creator one of a race of creators and inconsistent with the human concept of god.

Second: That a creator had the role exclusively of creation. That would mean that the creator may have created the world we live in and then moved on. That would have allowed man to evolve with his own set of morals and views of good or evil. That assumption would make the events of the bible historical actions related by man, but would explain why good and evil could co-exist.

Third: That the creator wants man to exhibit all of the positives and negatives that exist in a universe. It would be a logical result of the "punishment" that came with the eating of the forbidden fruit of knowledge. It would also be a powerful lesson that to fully understand good, one has to experience evil. That would fit the definition of the all-knowing god who is imparting wisdom upon us.

Fourth: That good and evil is an imaginarium of our own minds. We feel that our position is good and other positions are evil. Even Hitler felt that he was good......the rest of the world saw him as evil......same with Stalin......same with Pol Pot. That would make the dichotomy between good and evil a semantic issue rather than a theological issue.

Fifth:  That our concept of a god is flawed. A god may not be omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, or good or evil. A god may only have to be superior to that which it creates. If so, a flawed god would create flawed creations.

I don't think there is any inherent problem with good and evil co-existing. Whether we are believers or non-believers, we live in a world where both have always existed and both will continue to exist. The why is no where near as important as the action itself. We must, as higher level beings, find ways to lessen evil and increase good. That must come from us, not from some theological debate.

 
 
TiG
14.1  TiG  replied to  DocPhil @14    3 months ago

The question of God (defined by me as creator of everything) coexisting with evil is indeed interesting.   I see no problem with God (as defined) coexisting with evil.  The problem actually does not arise until one starts applying aggressive attributes to God.

Add the attribute of omnipotence and God immediately becomes responsible for evil.   The reason is that it seems reasonable to hold that an omnipotent God could create an environment with no (or at least substantially less) evil.   If not, the attribute of omnipotence does not seem correct.

Add the attribute of 'granting free will' and we have a common religious explanation for why God allows bad things to happen.   Plantinga's Free Will Defense (core to this seed) argues that God can morally coexist with evil because of God granting free will (of a sort) to His creations.

Basically I think the seeded argument works to offer an explanation as to why God would intentionally subject his creations to both good and evil, but the notion of free will must be mitigated (it is less than 100%).   Even so, the argument seems weak.  Evil, per the argument, is necessary to teach us morality.   I do not see why it is necessary since it seems reasonable that an omnipotent God - creator of everything - could wire His creatures with this knowledge.   And to sharpen the point, one can ask why Stalin was allowed to murder 20+ million people.   Why are little girls kidnapped, raped and murdered by pedophiles?   Are these and other atrocities really necessary, logically, just to teach a lesson?

Well some think that even the most horrific atrocities are necessary but I am not convinced by their arguments.

In addition, what is the point of natural horrors such as disease, volcanic eruptions, floods, etc.?   Is this also a teaching moment?

To me the most straightforward explanation for why 'evil' and natural horrors exist is because nature is entirely impartial to life and there is no sentient creator running the show.

 
 
calbab
14.1.1  calbab  replied to  TiG @14.1    3 months ago
To me the most straightforward explanation for why 'evil' and natural horrors exist is because nature is entirely impartial to life and there is no sentient creator running the show.

You starkly state that life is meaningless, then? That all this evolving "stuff" is pointless? Please clear this up.

Moreover, if nature is impartial to good and evil, why are people evolving with moral biases? Why is mankind equipped to care about good and evil?

 
 
lennylynx
14.1.2  lennylynx  replied to  calbab @14.1.1    3 months ago

That, my dear Cal, is the sad truth of the matter.  Biological life is like a fungus growing on this planet because the conditions happen to be right for it here.  We are nothing but advanced pond scum.  Life is a joke.

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
14.1.3  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  lennylynx @14.1.2    3 months ago
Life is a joke.

Life is what we make of it. To some it is a joke, a bad one. To others they see divinity in every ray of sunshine and absolute evil in every shadow. That's the beauty of it, and also the heartache. We have evolved past survival of the fittest because we have become the top of the food chain. We now choose to protect the weak from the strong. This may lead to imperfections of the body being allowed to continue when impartial nature would have cut it off long ago, but instead it allows the social and emotional evolution of humans allowing us to cherish and develop an empathy nature doesn't have. It gives us the opportunity to put as much or as little meaning as we want in our lives. God doesn't give meaning to us, we create meaning by caring for things, by loving things, by hating things.

 
 
Eagle Averro
14.1.4  Eagle Averro  replied to  lennylynx @14.1.2    3 months ago
We are nothing but advanced pond scum.

E.A Little wonder then that you and those with similar thoughts act as you do and want others to follow your " dead end " life style!

 
 
lennylynx
14.1.5  lennylynx  replied to  Eagle Averro @14.1.4    3 months ago

L.L.  In a few short years from now, EA, we will both be dead.  We will return to the same state of non-existence we were in before we were born.  In a few more short years there will not be a single person on the planet who knows that we ever existed at all. 

The best we can do is be nice to each other and try to enjoy our few short years of existence.

 
 
Eagle Averro
14.1.6  Eagle Averro  replied to  lennylynx @14.1.5    3 months ago
L.L. In a few short years from now, EA, we will both be dead.
We will return to the same state of non-existence we were in before we were born.

E.A  While I disagree with you because I know what you do not like  in one word Telomerase!

 Lets look at it from Your Perspective::

Your Negativism and its methodology gives NO hope to the Young Or Old, it drives them to despair, and the " Dead End " that you more likely have seen some of those in your close circle, commit to, commonly known as suicide, that that what you want?

Is that what YOU espouse for your Friends and Family?

Is that the Outlook you want to reflect to the Young and Venerable?

 
 
Eagle Averro
14.1.7  Eagle Averro  replied to  lennylynx @14.1.5    3 months ago
not be a single person on the planet who knows that we ever existed at all.

Deleted, CoC {SP}

Address the topic, not other members

 
 
Eagle Averro
14.1.8  Eagle Averro  replied to  lennylynx @14.1.5    3 months ago
state of non-existence

E.A Even  IF that is so! Is not the Existence something to Be Proud of, to make it from Best to Better?

 Imagine IF your Grandparents and parents have had the same " Dead End " attitude as you!! Just stop and think on THAT!

 
 
lennylynx
14.1.9  lennylynx  replied to  Eagle Averro @14.1.8    3 months ago

"...make it from Best to Better?"

I'm assuming you meant 'better to best,' and I DO try to make the best of life.  At least I believe in being nice to other people. 

Deleted, CoC {SP}

Address the topic, not other members

 
 
Eagle Averro
14.1.10  Eagle Averro  replied to  lennylynx @14.1.9    3 months ago
removed for context

E.A Am I, Thank you this discussion will stand that " Test of Time " those that will forget You, will be ably to read this and make their own mind who was what.

 
 
Tessylo
14.1.11  Tessylo  replied to  Eagle Averro @14.1.10    3 months ago
'E.A Am I, Thank you this discussion will stand that " Test of Time " those that will forget You, will be ably to read this and make their own mind who was what.'

I agree with lenny - ( Deleted, Coc  {SP} )

Address the topic, not other members

 
 
Phoenyx13
14.1.12  Phoenyx13  replied to  Eagle Averro @14.1.6    3 months ago
Your Negativism and its methodology gives NO hope to the Young Or Old, it drives them to despair, and the " Dead End " that you more likely have seen some of those in your close circle, commit to, commonly known as suicide, that that what you want?

that makes no sense - just because someone doesn't believe in your God doesn't mean they are negative and have a negative methodology. The belief that "Biological life is like a fungus growing on this planet because the conditions happen to be right for it here." looks to be correct from what we know from a scientific point of view - it's not negative at all and we all are aware that life is as good as you make it out to be (that never changed which means you have plenty of very positive people who don't subscribe to any beliefs in any Gods).
I personally find it slightly pathetic that someone needs to be threatened constantly by an unproven mystical entity of some "eternal" death after their nervous system ceases to function - in order for them to be a good person and help out their fellow man - but that's their belief and their choice so be my guest, but don't pretend that your belief in God is "positive" while all other views are "negative".
There's lots of hope for the young - to grow up, have a family, have adventures at the beach (or wherever they want, including college if they choose, high school, careers, etc.)... and none of those are dependent upon a belief in God. There's lots of hope for the old - to see their children grow up, see grandchildren, long lasting friendships... and none of those are dependent upon a belief in God. The only one that might have a negative viewpoint would be you since you are suggesting suicide for someone else's close circle just because that poster doesn't believe in God and you are trying to bully them into believing in your God with your suggestion.

 
 
TiG
14.1.13  TiG  replied to  calbab @14.1.1    3 months ago
You starkly state that life is meaningless, ...

I did no such thing.   

You cannot imagine a life of meaning without God.   But that is you.   Others have no problem having a meaningful life that does not require a sentient creator.

Moreover, if nature is impartial to good and evil, why are people evolving with moral biases? Why is mankind equipped to care about good and evil?

Consider what the word 'impartial' means.   You are surprised that people evolved brains capable of thought - capable of judgment (good and bad) and wonder how this is possible in an undirected process?   Do you hold that a God must put thoughts into our brains for us to evolve?   If so, explain why God creates pedophiles who kidnap, rape and murder little children.   If the capabilities of our brains are directed by a sentient entity ('equipping' mankind as you say) then said sentient entity is also 'equipping' the aforementioned pedophiles and historical monsters like Stalin who murdered 20+ million people.

 
 
calbab
14.1.14  calbab  replied to  lennylynx @14.1.2    3 months ago

Human intelligence functions well individually and in clusters. We make moral choices. We transform our surroundings through invention, discovery, and manipulation. We are stewards of this world—including its ponds. We deliberately survive off-world. We definitely are more than the sum of our parts!

 
 
calbab
14.1.15  calbab  replied to  TiG @14.1.13    3 months ago
If the capabilities of our brains are directed by a sentient entity ('equipping' mankind as you say) then said sentient entity is also 'equipping' the aforementioned pedophiles and historical monsters like Stalin who murdered 20+ million people.

Let's deal with this so-called, "conscience threat" concisely. The Bible states:

  1. The First Cause
  2. God is Alpha and Omega. Beginning and Ending.
  3. .The whole earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.

Therefore, there is nothing which occurs in this rather large 'fishbowl' of mankind's existence which can catch God unawares. (Even our efforts to probe interstellar space is being "observed.")

Is God causing evil, no! God is Good. Mankind has been gifted with potential to do good and/or evil—freewill allows for corruption and yes even, "utter" corruption—for now

Moreover, God has 'warned' or 'advised' mankind evil shall not dwell in the 'house of the Lord' ultimately!

 
 
Phoenyx13
14.1.16  Phoenyx13  replied to  calbab @14.1.15    3 months ago
Mankind has been gifted with potential to do good and/or evil—freewill allows for corruption and yes even, "utter" corruption—for now

you just stated God causes evil. God (supposedly) created Mankind and gave them the potential to do things that were ultimately created (and caused) by God - good and/or evil. Are you trying to state that Mankind created good and/or evil ?

Moreover, God has 'warned' or 'advised' mankind evil shall not dwell in the 'house of the Lord' ultimately!

no such warning or "advisement" would be needed had God not created and caused evil to begin with, correct ?

 
 
TiG
14.1.17  TiG  replied to  calbab @14.1.15    3 months ago

Your source is the Bible, right?    The Bible is demonstrably errant - almost certainly not the divine Word of a perfect God.   You might as well quote excerpts from the Iliad and the Odyssey.

 
 
calbab
14.1.18  calbab  replied to  TiG @14.1.17    3 months ago

This changes not a thing I have written in my multiple, recent comments.

I can fully digest why it may be entirely frustrating to atheists that Christians trust the Bible as a spiritual guide, and not any other books such as those ones you suggest, nevertheless. (Smile.)

 
 
TiG
14.1.19  TiG  replied to  calbab @14.1.18    3 months ago
This changes not a thing I have written in my multiple, recent comments.

Were you expecting me to change your mind?   That was not my intent.   

 
 
livefreeordie
14.1.20  livefreeordie  replied to  TiG @14.1.17    3 months ago

The Bible is demonstrably the Word of God, the direct of Jesus, the Word and His revelation of God to the world.

Christians are to know how to live our lives and please God by His Word

Jesus answered, “The scripture says ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’.”  Matthew 4:4 

"Life is spiritual. Your physical existence doesn’t contribute to that life. The words that I have spoken to you are spiritual. They are life."  John 6:63

“Jesus is the Word of God come in the flesh

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. “  John 1:1-3,14

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”  John 14:21 

John 8:31 (amplified Bible)

So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples.

Matthew 7:24-27  (Message Translation) 

 “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.

“But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”

We are made sanctified (set apart) by downing His Word

“Sanctify  them by Your truth.  Your word is truth.”  John 17:17 

“I still have many things to say to you,  but you cannot bear them now. However, when He,  the Spirit of truth, has come,  He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He  will take of Mine and declare it to you.”  John 16:12-15 

“Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness,”    2 Timothy 3:16

 
 
livefreeordie
14.1.21  livefreeordie  replied to  TiG @14.1.17    3 months ago

We understand the Word of God by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The unsaved cannot rightly understand the Word of God because they lack the Holy Spirit 

“These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the  Lord  that he may instruct Him?”  But we have the mind of Christ.”

1 Corinthians 2:13-16 

 
 
TiG
14.1.22  TiG  replied to  livefreeordie @14.1.20    3 months ago
The Bible is demonstrably the Word of God, the direct of Jesus, the Word and His revelation of God to the world.

Then please demonstrate.   Something other than using the Bible to certify itself.

 
 
livefreeordie
14.1.23  livefreeordie  replied to  TiG @14.1.22    3 months ago

The Bible is God speaking to us and those who believe in Him and His Word are transformed by it

His Word directs the steps of the Righteous

His Word brings joy to those who believe

His Word brings understanding of the spiritual realms of this world 

His Word brings life into us

His Word works at renewing our minds from a worldly mind to one focused on His kingdom and our King (Jesus)

His Word brings health, deliverance, peace in our hearts, confidence in our relationship with God

thats a partial answer and I could easily give more

 
 
TiG
14.1.24  TiG  replied to  livefreeordie @14.1.23    3 months ago
thats a partial answer ...

It is a claim, not a demonstration.   One can claim anything.

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
14.1.25  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  livefreeordie @14.1.23    3 months ago
His Word brings joy to those who believe

The same can be said of J.R.R. Tolkien including all the following claims you make. Some even make those claims of L. Ron Hubbard. What was being asked is some demonstrable evidence of your claims proving it's the word of God to which you list off several personal opinions. You believe, and that's fine, believe away, but stop trying to use the rest of us as validators of your faith just to make yourself feel more confident in your beliefs. And stop making claims you cannot prove like the bible is demonstrably the word of God.

Demonstrably: adverb - in a way that is clearly apparent or capable of being logically proved.

 
 
calbab
14.1.26  calbab  replied to  TiG @14.1.19    3 months ago

No.

 
 
calbab
14.2  calbab  replied to  DocPhil @14    3 months ago
I don't think there is any inherent problem with good and evil co-existing. Whether we are believers or non-believers, we live in a world where both have always existed and both will continue to exist. The why is no where near as important as the action itself. We must, as higher level beings, find ways to lessen evil and increase good. That must come from us, not from some theological debate.

I do not think there is an inherent problem with good and evil co-existing (simultaneously) either. I do not conceive any problem with man's role in tamping down evil for the sake of good increasing. I am confused by your last sentence: It seems to me it leaves the 'stage' and takes a seat in the audience.


The Bible says this about God:

 1 John:15 And this is the message which we have heard from [God] and proclaim to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in God — none!

&

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved. 18 Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is God’s only and unique Son.

19 “Now this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness rather than the light. Why? Because their actions were wicked. 20 For everyone who does evil things hates the light and avoids it, so that his actions won’t be exposed. 21 But everyone who does what is true comes to the light, so that all may see that his actions are accomplished through God.”


There are some in here who may take offense at the use of John 3:16 for its use and power to change hearts and minds. It is not my purpose to do so in this context. It is unavoidable to use John 3:16 to explain what comes next in verse 19. Here goes:

As far as we can tell right now, all the other creatures on the planet behave in the manner they do through a sense of innocence—apart from rights and wrongs. Evil is a product of knowledge. That is, knowing the differences between good (A sense of right) and evil (a sense of wrong), and deciding to do the latter—sometimes, as a way of life.

I John 15, says, "God is light," and thus pure. "There is no darkness in God." Consequently, the darkness in man stems from some where other than God.

Consider this: Darkness in mankind materializes in degrees as s/he pushes off and away from God (Light. right, good), casting oneself into a love of deeper darkness, hatred, wrong, evil.

 
 
TiG
14.2.1  TiG  replied to  calbab @14.2    3 months ago
The Bible ...

... encourages one to accept the words of ancient men rather than apply reason using modern knowledge.

 
 
calbab
14.2.2  calbab  replied to  TiG @14.2.1    3 months ago

Well, if you can not bother to consider the concept, that is not my fault. Perhaps, it is a negative bias?

 
 
TiG
14.2.3  TiG  replied to  calbab @14.2.2    3 months ago
Perhaps, it is a negative bias?

It is critical thinking.

 
 
calbab
14.2.4  calbab  replied to  TiG @14.2.3    3 months ago

Critical thinking. . . in a vacuum, scientism, or critical thinking informing there is no God? TiG wrote:

To me the most straightforward explanation for why 'evil' and natural horrors exist is because nature is entirely impartial to life and there is no sentient creator running the show.

If this is what you believe, it is certainly what you regularly argue, there is definitely a case to be made for you fully crossing the divide between spirituality and naturalism. Simply acknowledge a bias against God of any kind. Or is that too harsh?

 

 
 
TiG
14.2.5  TiG  replied to  calbab @14.2.4    3 months ago
Or is that too harsh?

It is misguided.   I have no bias against God.   I just see no compelling reason to hold that any god exists.   You try to make this so complicated when it really is easy to understand.   In all the years we have discussed this not once have you put forth anything other than faith as a reason for someone to conclude that a god exists.   

Some people are not persuaded to believe something simply because someone said that it is a good idea to do so.   However, should we ever get persuasive evidence that a god exists I am convinced that many of us (including the whole of the scientific community) will be quite attent and seriously reevaluating our positions.

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
14.2.6  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  TiG @14.2.5    3 months ago
I just see no compelling reason to hold that any god exists.

The religious can't accept unsolved problems. The rational have no problem accepting we have yet to find an answer to unsolved problems. 

For example, take the Hodge conjecture. It's one of six primary mathematical unsolved problems (it still has a $1M reward for solving/disproving it). It was one of seven until someone solved the Poincare conjecture leaving only six.

However, if you cannot accept that some things haven't been solved yet any religious person can multiply by their magic (G)od factor which would solve all of the problems because if you add an integer with no limits, one that can do anything and be anything, it wipes away any obstacles.

This is their supposedly "compelling" reason to believe in God with zero actual evidence of one. They cannot accept that we could exist without an intelligent designer and because science and mathematics haven't solved that equation yet they default to multiplying by (G)od. That puts their small minds at ease allowing them to move on instead of being frustrated by an unsolved problem. Sadly, depending on where you were born, you'll likely have a very different (G)od theory which is why some believe in Vishnu, some Allah, some Yahweh, some Jesus and other Zeus or any of the ancient pantheon of Gods which have been used since recorded history began to solve the unsolved.

If you had a math teacher that told everyone in class the best score they could get was a "B" unless they solved one of the six unsolved math problems, don't you think some might try to cheat because they refuse to accept anything less than an "A"? And since their integer of (G)od hasn't been disproved, they can claim victory by saying "(G)od did it!". No math teacher can disprove that the do anything integer doesn't exist, thus it overcomes any and all problems and the students get to feel like they're special because they claim the "A". And when science and mathematics refuses to give them the grade they demand they get angry claiming science and mathematics are in league conspiring against them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unsolved_problems_in_mathematics

 
 
calbab
14.2.7  calbab  replied to  TiG @14.2.5    3 months ago

I can not be 'charge' me with presenting God "mano-to-mano" to mankind. Would that God would "make it so!" Life could be so easy for everybody then, yes? Or, . . . no?!

Since God' advent is what atheists are seeking after, these people can stop responding to these articles right now! The advent is not nigh, near as I can discern.

Christianity is offered as  a journey of and into faith with an "indwelling Spirit" component by which believers are not left 'orphans' in the world. Informed believers, spirit-filled believers, are not persuaded by someone's ideas, we are spiritually "born-again," an expression which has limited to no meaning for the uninitiated.

I am not attempting to 'sell' atheists anything. What I am doing is my part to make any one who cares to read aware of why informed, spirit-filled, believers have a tangible faith we chose to live by. On the other hand, atheists, unbelievers, appear to me to regularly use their intellect to 'explore' methods and activities with deliberate intent to halt the faith novice and stun the experienced believer into deserting God and faith. I push back against such acts.

While it is true the success of religion has spilled over into secular places which do not wish a part in religion. It is not acceptable that faith in God be a casualty of 'checking' religious "extremes."

 
 
TiG
14.2.8  TiG  replied to  calbab @14.2.7    3 months ago
Since God' advent is what atheists are seeking after, these people can stop responding to these articles right now! The advent is not nigh, near as I can discern.

Atheists are generally not seeking God's advent.   

... informed, spirit-filled, believers ...

Is simply a claim.   Claiming to be informed and then failing to provide evidence of the actual informing is not persuasive.   You seem offended that people do not accept your claims.   You should not.    If I told you I could bench press 300 lbs yet provide no evidence, it is perfectly reasonable for you to not accept the claim on faith.   I am convinced that you actually believe what you express, just not convinced (not even close) that what you believe is true.

 
 
calbab
14.2.9  calbab  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @14.2.6    3 months ago
They cannot accept that we could exist without an intelligent designer and because science and mathematics haven't solved that equation yet they default to multiplying by (G)od. That puts their small minds. . . .

Yet, here you are. Apparently, the 'dumb' and 'directionless' universe which has made mankind all that it is, is just intellectual enough to withhold secrets in math (and other disciplines) from learned men and women of the modern world. Damn this dumb, directionless, 'home' of ours! /s

 
 
TiG
14.2.10  TiG  replied to  calbab @14.2.9    3 months ago

Apparently, the 'dumb' and 'directionless' universe which has made mankind all that it is, is just intellectual enough to withhold secrets in math (and other disciplines) from learned men and women of the modern world.

So the fact that we do not know everything means there is a God?   Or were you implying something else?

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
14.2.11  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  calbab @14.2.9    3 months ago
is just intellectual enough to withhold secrets in math (and other disciplines) from learned men and women of the modern world. Damn this dumb, directionless, 'home' of ours!

The universe isn't "intellectual" at all and isn't trying to hide things from us, it just happens to be 14.5 billion years old and due to our limited ability to truly explore every corner of it we find ourselves at a disadvantage in unraveling its mysteries. If you use the supposed logic of needing an intelligent complex designer to have created such a universe, you logically run into the giant wall of logic that says such a being must by your previous logic require a more intelligent more complex being to have created it and so forth. So if you're willing to suspend disbelief of a creator not having a more complex being creating it, then why couldn't you stop one step before, at accepting the universe itself may not have required such a being to create it?

Besides, the universe doesn't care if you insult it by calling it dumb, it doesn't care what any of us think, it's guided by the laws of macro physics and micro (quantum) physics and will keep doing what its been doing for the last 14.5 billion years following the pattern of energy that first exploded into existence. But I'm not trying to convince you there is no God, I can't disprove its existence much like I can't prove there's not a flying spaghetti monster or a tooth fairy. I'm simply trying to point out that without evidence the default should be accepting we don't know everything yet so I withhold judgement until more is know or some evidence is found. It's the religious like yourself who seem determined to get everyone else to accept your belief in a higher power, and I can only conclude you desire validation of your God theory to make yourself feel better and be more assured of your beliefs because if you're the only one left who believes you may give in to the doubts in your head.

 
 
calbab
14.2.12  calbab  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @14.2.11    3 months ago
it just happens to be 14.5 billion years old and due to our limited ability to truly explore every corner of it we find ourselves at a disadvantage in unraveling its mysteries.

The universe is considered to be 13 plus billion years old, and it just got around to intellect? 13 plus billion with a "b" years. Let that 'marinade,' for a while. This billions of years old universe just got around to intellect, mind, and conscience, for which we are its unique recipients. Lucky us. And it, the universe, is man's "dummy." /s.

Furthermore, how did a dumb universe construct itself with 'laws'?

I'm simply trying to point out that without evidence the default should be accepting we don't know everything yet so I withhold judgement until more is know or some evidence is found.

You are wise to hold to your "default" position. However, it is foolish to expect people of faith do pretend their faith in God is nothing. We, have, evidence sufficient enough to maintain our faith in God. Now then, what is the issue here?

 
 
calbab
15  calbab    3 months ago

TiG wrote: "Should [atheist] ever get persuasive evidence that a god exists I am convinced that many of us [atheist] (including the whole of the scientific community) will be quite attent and seriously reevaluating our positions."

Okay. What "persuasive evidence" will do?

Claiming to be informed and then failing to provide evidence of the actual informing is not persuasive. 

I am exhaustively presenting everybody assembled on these boards with Christian faith experiences from my own life, from other people in this nation, across the world, from varying and diverse cultures. I am not offended (stop projecting onto me) when atheists does not accept what I write—I am required to write it, nevertheless. 

 
 
TiG
15.1  TiG  replied to  calbab @15    3 months ago
What "persuasive evidence" will do?

Why?   Do you think you have evidence?

I am exhaustively presenting everybody assembled on these boards with Christian faith experiences from my own life, from other people in this nation, across the world, from varying and diverse cultures.

Yes you are.   To what end?

I am not offended (stop projecting onto me) when atheists does not accept what I write— ...

I am not offended.  Investigate psychological projection; you seem to toss it around as a tool of passive aggression even when it does not apply.  When it makes no sense to claim projection doing so takes away from the veracity of your comment.

... I am required to write it, nevertheless. 

Required by whom?

 
 
calbab
15.1.1  calbab  replied to  TiG @15.1    3 months ago

Nice dodging.

What "persuasive evidence" will do?

God's advent.

Moving forward.

 
 
TiG
15.1.2  TiG  replied to  calbab @15.1.1    3 months ago
Nice dodging.

Pure irony.

Moving forward.

... in a circle.

 
 
Phoenyx13
15.1.3  Phoenyx13  replied to  calbab @15.1.1    3 months ago

so basically the only "persuasive" argument you can give is akin to Pascal's Wager ? let me guess... you just have to "believe" and you'll suddenly receive (in a way similar to osmosis) unshareable and unexplainable information, correct ?

 
 
calbab
15.1.4  calbab  replied to  TiG @15.1.2    3 months ago

I will not engage in exchanging petty 'blows'. (Smile.)