FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Young Earth Creationism (Page 2)

  This topic comprises 7 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7   
Author Topic: Young Earth Creationism
Marlozhan
Member
Member # 2422

 - posted      Profile for Marlozhan   Email Marlozhan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Giving your children everything they ask for isn't an effective teaching tool for helping them grow.
You know, I think this highlights something. Within the LDS belief framework, I do think that you can account for suffering of various kinds as a necessary side effect of [hand wave]the nature of mortal probation which is required for eternal progression[/hand wave].

However, the way you've phrased it here does not account for people who DO get everything they want. There are a few people who lead charmed lives, who have wealth and comfort and everything they want. Some of these people are atheists.

Is God being ineffective in how he's using teaching tools to help these people grow?

Talking about suffering as a path toward growth does not mean that it is the only path toward growth. There are any number of ways that we learn, grow, change, etc. Suffering is just the one we talk the most about because it sucks and none of us like it and good people work toward ending suffering.

Which then some people will respond to by saying: "Why should we work toward ending suffering when God allows suffering as a tool for growth? Does this mean God isn't good, but he expects us to be good? Is God a hypocrite?"

If he was anyone besides God, yes, he would be a hypocrite. The whole reason he can decide who needs which circumstances to learn whatever they need is because he is omniscient and can see the whole complex pattern as one whole. We cannot see the forest for the trees, so to speak.

From an LDS perspective, you must also understand the various stages of life. If mortal life is the beginning of our existence, then it makes much less sense. But if you understand that we all lived an unknown, possible very long, time as a spirit before coming to this world, then the idea of customized learning experiences makes even more sense.

Person A may need one set of circumstances to complete important lessons. Person B will need a similar or possibly entirely different. And as mortals, it prejudiced for us to even begin to decide who needs what. That is precisely what separates us from God. He is the only one qualified to make such a complex decision. Only a person who doesn't make even an iota of a mistake can make such decisions.

It is this same idea that led Christ to basically say: 'Your Father in heaven is in charge of who he does and doesn't forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men'. Why can't we decide who needs forgiveness and who doesn't? Because we are so completely unqualified to make a just judgment that it is ridiculous. Likewise, for us to attempt to judge who needs what lessons in the eternal picture is equally ridiculous.

And as a final note, while God is perfect at customizing the learning experiences we each need, this by no means guarantees a good outcome for each person. If God could guarantee that everyone will always choose good with the right set of circumstances, there would be no such thing as free will. But I do believe we each are given the best thing that honors our agency and opportunities for the most growth in the end of all things. But LDS people recognize you must take into account premortal life, mortal life, and postmortal life. To judge your existence by only 1 or 2 out of the 3 is to judge a play without watching all 3 acts.

Posts: 683 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Marlozhan
Member
Member # 2422

 - posted      Profile for Marlozhan   Email Marlozhan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
You can justify suffering if you really want to. I don't think you can map instances of suffering or getting-what-you-want to a series of decisions about what is or isn't a good teaching tool without running into logical contradictions.

I can't speak for anyone else, but saying that God understands the whole picture and will make all suffering worth it in the end, is not the same thing as saying us mortals are justifying suffering.

Anyone who says to another suffering person: 'just deal with it, it will make you stronger and it must be God's will' is being uncompassionate and is making a judgment that they are not qualified to make. I consider myself responsible to help alleviate all suffering that I can, while letting God be responsible for the reason and purpose of that pain.

Explaining God's reasoning and purposes cannot be confused with our own responsibilities and expectations.

Posts: 683 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scifibum
Member
Member # 7625

 - posted      Profile for scifibum   Email scifibum         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I can't speak for anyone else, but saying that God understands the whole picture and will make all suffering worth it in the end, is not the same thing as saying us mortals are justifying suffering.
Um, those are exactly the same thing.

To be fair, it is not the same as ignoring or encouraging suffering. I'm sure everyone tries to reduce it when they feel they can. I didn't mean to imply otherwise.

Posts: 4287 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scifibum
Member
Member # 7625

 - posted      Profile for scifibum   Email scifibum         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I do think it's slightly abhorrent to imagine a god that has custom-tailored lives of extreme torture and misery for a subset of his children, because that's the experience they need. I think it's an immature justification.

It's much, much more palatable to imagine that God's hands are tied, that he simply doesn't have the power to prevent these things, or that they are impossible to avoid side effects of extremely necessary conditions for some goal.

But the idea that God has chosen the very worst experiences for some of his children...ugh. The analogy to how we guide our own children breaks down completely. Nobody tortures their own child for benevolent reasons.

Posts: 4287 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
advice for robots
Member
Member # 2544

 - posted      Profile for advice for robots           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes, suffering is necessary, and everybody does their share of suffering. I'm not sure saying that means I'm justifying suffering, however. I don't have that power. I'm accepting that suffering is a fact of life.

My job when someone is suffering is to offer what support and comfort I can; my learning and growth opportunities thus become intertwined with someone else's. That is just as much God's will as the suffering end of the experience.

Posts: 5957 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DustinDopps
Member
Member # 12640

 - posted      Profile for DustinDopps           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Of COURSE it's possible that it's just a manifestation of my own body/will/changing attitude. It's entirely possible that I decided to be nicer, and she adjusted her reaction accordingly.
Out of interest, why wouldn't you have tried being nicer first?
That's a loaded question, but I'll try to answer it.

I have OCD, which causes me to be difficult to live with sometimes. For example, when I do laundry, I fold the clothes and stack them in order of age so I always know which pile belongs to which person. (There are seven of us, and five are girls, so the stacks can be hard to distinguish without a sorting system.) When my wife does laundry, however, she makes random stacks for each person that aren't in any order. So when I continue doing laundry she has started, I have to go through the stacks and figure out which belongs to which person. It's a minor thing, but it grates against my OCD.

I had been off of my medication (Prozac) for a while and now I'm back on it. While I was off the med, I had a hard time ignoring stupid little things that bugged me. But on the med, I can take a step back and think "That shouldn't bother you so much. Just ignore it."

To put it back in the context mentioned above: when off of Prozac, I don't choose my reaction - I just default to Irritated Man. Now that I'm back on it, I choose to be nicer and not act annoyed.

Posts: 285 | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
advice for robots
Member
Member # 2544

 - posted      Profile for advice for robots           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Personally, I think it's short-sighted to think that suffering and misery in this life are the worst thing that can possibly happen to someone--without considering what that person is ultimately gaining from the experience.

I don't think this whole thing makes much sense if you don't first believe in God. Without God, it's just a bunch of crap happening to people at random. With God, and the view of this life as only part of our existence and progress, then IMO it's the only way it can happen.

D&C 122:7-8
7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

Central to LDS doctrine is Christ's atonement, which not only provides mercy for those who repent, but ultimately swallows up suffering in joy and peace. Even if the suffering is ugly and terrible, there is always hope through Christ.

Consider also that God is the God of those who are suffering and also those who are causing that suffering. He isn't just concerned about the outcome for the sufferer.

That said, let me reiterate that another fundamental here is our duty to alleviate and prevent suffering wherever we can. We believe that in many instances, the comfort and hope God provides are given through other people, which blesses all involved. We are never off the hook to just stand back and let suffering happen.

Posts: 5957 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Talking about suffering as a path toward growth does not mean that it is the only path toward growth. There are any number of ways that we learn, grow, change, etc. Suffering is just the one we talk the most about because it sucks and none of us like it and good people work toward ending suffering.
The problematic part here is how this results in the same answer to radically different arguments and scenarios-or no answer at all, such as 'God is omniscient'. That's what I was referring to earlier-in any other portion of life, if I were faced with this kind of reasoning or even a reality tha appeared to be this way, I would rightly be suspicious-why do some suffer terribly? God's plan, though not *specifically*. Why does this person benefit? God's plan again, though not specifically-except if he prays and it's answers, in which case it's specially and also part of God's plan. Or he didn't pray enough or in the right way, so it's still God's plan, he's just not on board with it properly. Or he IS on board with it entirely, it's just God's plan has something larger in store that will make the scenario sensible in the future. Or it won't, but these unfortunate outcomes are the periodic randomness that's also part of God's plan.
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
advice for robots
Member
Member # 2544

 - posted      Profile for advice for robots           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Talking about suffering as a path toward growth does not mean that it is the only path toward growth. There are any number of ways that we learn, grow, change, etc. Suffering is just the one we talk the most about because it sucks and none of us like it and good people work toward ending suffering.
The problematic part here is how this results in the same answer to radically different arguments and scenarios-or no answer at all, such as 'God is omniscient'. That's what I was referring to earlier-in any other portion of life, if I were faced with this kind of reasoning or even a reality tha appeared to be this way, I would rightly be suspicious-why do some suffer terribly? God's plan, though not *specifically*. Why does this person benefit? God's plan again, though not specifically-except if he prays and it's answers, in which case it's specially and also part of God's plan. Or he didn't pray enough or in the right way, so it's still God's plan, he's just not on board with it properly. Or he IS on board with it entirely, it's just God's plan has something larger in store that will make the scenario sensible in the future. Or it won't, but these unfortunate outcomes are the periodic randomness that's also part of God's plan.
Except each outcome isn't just random but has a purpose, the same way you don't have just one or two ways of responding to needs and questions your child may have. Taken in the context of a specific situation, each of these outcomes might make perfect sense.

At any time we might be dealing with a variety of good and bad circumstances and faced with many choices, some easy, some perplexing. God deals with us on our level, at our capacity, at each point. Mormons at least believe that the closer we bring ourselves to him, the more he is able to help us, the way you wait for your toddler to take your hand so you can support her steps--and the more we understand why he lets each thing happen in our lives. Our relationship with him is finely nuanced; we may receive immediate answers and help in one thing while waiting to the edges of our patience for answers on something else, for example. All of it is going on, at many levels, all the time.

Resist the urge to harden explanations being given along these lines into some strange construct of a seemingly pointless, closed set of plans we think God is running us all through. It's not a marble maze. These discussions often seem to devolve into, "Well, what happens when you feed this into the little system you've created to explain how God acts?"

Posts: 5957 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Marlozhan
Member
Member # 2422

 - posted      Profile for Marlozhan   Email Marlozhan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Out of curiosity then, does anyone here think that it is logically possible for these three things to be simultaneously true?:

1) God is perfectly good
2) God has given his children free will
3) There is never any suffering anywhere, anytime, ever

In my mind, either 2 or 3 must go, but not both can remain at the same time.

If you believe that free will is the problem and that it would be better for there to be no free will in exchange for a perfectly controlled, safe, comfortable environment, well, then we just have to agree to disagree.

Posts: 683 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Darth_Mauve
Member
Member # 4709

 - posted      Profile for Darth_Mauve   Email Darth_Mauve         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I propose an experiment.

Many YE believers base their belief on a literal interpretation of a perfect Bible. Human scientists are imperfect and make errors or fall under the sway of Satan so their proofs are invalid.

The Bible has of course, passed through the hands of imperfect human interpreters and translators. However, these literalists believe that the Bible was always translated perfectly, because each such translation was overseen by religious men in almost constant prayer to God, asking that this translation be perfect.

Lets take a group of such religious men and apply their prayers to the math that disproves Young Earth thinking. Lets see if they can sanctify the math or find and destroy the imperfect human errors.

Posts: 1941 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Marlozhan
Member
Member # 2422

 - posted      Profile for Marlozhan   Email Marlozhan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
I can't speak for anyone else, but saying that God understands the whole picture and will make all suffering worth it in the end, is not the same thing as saying us mortals are justifying suffering.
Um, those are exactly the same thing.

To be fair, it is not the same as ignoring or encouraging suffering. I'm sure everyone tries to reduce it when they feel they can. I didn't mean to imply otherwise.

They are only the same thing if you don't believe there is a real God. If there is no God, then what I say about God and what I believe are no different. But if there is a God, then how God justifies suffering and how I approach suffering are not the same thing.

If some pain leads to ultimate, eternal good that would lead you to say: "Everything I went through made this so much more rewarding and was totally worth it," then it is good.

If some pain doesn't lead to that, then it isn't good. I am in no position to judge what pain will qualify for this. God is, and that is what makes it different.

Now, if you believe that it is possible to have the same eternal reward and fullness of eternal joy without going through any suffering, then that is where we disagree and I see no way of changing that. Innocent joy and mature, proven joy just don't feel the same to me and I don't know how you create the latter without ever experiencing some type of pain.

LDS doctrine also includes another caveat that takes into account free will: we believe that every one of us knew that this life would be really hard and each of us had a choice as to whether or not to accept the hardships of this life. God did not force anyone to come here. We also knew we would forget that decision. Whether or not we each knew in detail what unique challenges we would each experience, has not been taught in our doctrine. But I do know what it is like to want some good goal and completely underestimate how much work or pain it was going to take to achieve it. Understanding that things will be hard and experiencing that hardship first hand are two different things.

Posts: 683 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Out of curiosity then, does anyone here think that it is logically possible for these three things to be simultaneously true?:

1) God is perfectly good
2) God has given his children free will
3) There is never any suffering anywhere, anytime, ever

I do. And, in fact, I believe that would be my minimum standard for a competent God.
Posts: 37421 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Darth_Mauve
Member
Member # 4709

 - posted      Profile for Darth_Mauve   Email Darth_Mauve         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tom, I've done a lot of thinking on the nature of suffering, and the nature of evil. My conclusion is that there are four roots to all evil.

1) Pain.
2) Ignorance.
3) Self Absorption
4) Entropy.

Their opposites are divine attributes--Ecstasy, Enlightenment, Love, and Creation.

In our universe you can not completely defeat these evils, either singly or as a group. We can do our best to keep them at a minimum. As a result there will be some minimal suffering at the least.

You say you believe that there can be free will and no suffering. But if I can't make another person suffer, then I don't have truly free will. Most if not all of the pain and suffering we mortals endure is because of our free will. We, in our ignorance and self-absorption, influenced by the entropy of the universe, and our fear of pain, or under the influence of pain, make the wrong decisions.

It is rarely the one that suffers that has made the wrong decision.

Posts: 1941 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
But if I can't make another person suffer, then I don't have truly free will.
You can be free to try to make someone else suffer. But God is free to completely neuter those attempts, in the same way Superman could. God can temporarily remove your intended victim's ability to feel pain, or his memory of an insult. He could instantly heal all wounds, salve all hurt, and correct any misunderstandings. He could, in fact, alter the universe -- even retroactively -- so that if you were the sort of person who kept trying to hurt someone, you would have never existed in the first place. Heck, every time you thought about hurting somebody, He could arrange to have you distracted by a beautiful woman carrying cupcakes.
Posts: 37421 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But, of course, God does not exist.
Posts: 37421 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Marlozhan
Member
Member # 2422

 - posted      Profile for Marlozhan   Email Marlozhan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree that God is capable of putting beautiful women and other distractions before a person every single time they want to do evil.

It seems to me that the disagreement, then, comes down to this: some of you believe that a fullness of joy can and should be able to come to pass without any opposite...there should never be any pain or suffering and God should make it so that we are all happy without knowing its opposite.

I believe that happiness is severely limited without having experienced something of its opposite. A universe of happiness with no opposite makes happiness meaningless in my mind. I know of no way to prove this one way or the other, though.

Posts: 683 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would rather not see starving children suffer great agony so that a rich man in California has the free will necessary to lose some money on the stock market, thus making him appreciate his family more and in so doing come to a fuller understanding of happiness.
Posts: 37421 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aros
Member
Member # 4873

 - posted      Profile for Aros           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I haven't often seen TomDavidson exhibit troll behavior. I'm not saying that he is here . . . I'm just saying that it doesn't often happen.

Hmm. . . it might not be a bad idea, though, for him to avoid direct sunlight. Just for the time being. Until we're sure.

Posts: 1204 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marlozhan:
I agree that God is capable of putting beautiful women and other distractions before a person every single time they want to do evil.

It seems to me that the disagreement, then, comes down to this: some of you believe that a fullness of joy can and should be able to come to pass without any opposite...there should never be any pain or suffering and God should make it so that we are all happy without knowing its opposite.

I believe that happiness is severely limited without having experienced something of its opposite. A universe of happiness with no opposite makes happiness meaningless in my mind. I know of no way to prove this one way or the other, though.

It cannot be proven now or in any foreseeable future but that doesn't prevent us from recognizing one aspect of this 'terrible pain necessary for true joy argument': that it's faith-based. I don't mean that it's reliant on religion overall, rather that it's inherently faith-based. None of us really know at all, or are even close to the experience necessary to know, that terrible pain is a prerequisite of wisdom, joy, and a fuller more 'real' life.

We just know that it's impossible for any of us to escape shades of pain in the world. Which leads me to an important question: why should I believe this unescapable reality points to a truly just and omnipotent and omniscient deity, rather than the much simpler explanation 'humans find reasons to give their experiences meaning'? Particularly when the second explanation can be observed in other areas of human activity, too?

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Aros, what seems trollish about the observations that:

1) Even if God allows pain to permit us free will, it is very easy to imagine scenarios in which less pain is possible while still permitting free decisions;
2) Even if God allows suffering to maximize appreciation of the lack of suffering, thus increasing happiness, there is no clear connection between the experience of a given quantity of sorrow and an appreciation for a given quantity of joy, especially across individuals;
3) God does not actually exist.

Posts: 37421 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think Aros is either poking fun at you, or else engaging in the not-uncommon thinking that to speak plainly one's disbelief in God, or to plainly insist that someone else's faith needs to be demonstrated to ordinary argument standards rather than faith-standards, is considered combative or rude somehow.

Which it can be, of course. But isn't just on its own.

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
stilesbn
Member
Member # 11809

 - posted      Profile for stilesbn   Email stilesbn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm still trying to parse Aros' statement to figure out if he was actually saying Tom is behaving like a troll or not...
Posts: 362 | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DustinDopps
Member
Member # 12640

 - posted      Profile for DustinDopps           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I think Aros is either poking fun at you, or else engaging in the not-uncommon thinking that to speak plainly one's disbelief in God, or to plainly insist that someone else's faith needs to be demonstrated to ordinary argument standards rather than faith-standards, is considered combative or rude somehow.

Which it can be, of course. But isn't just on its own.

Tom said: "But, of course, God does not exist."

The 'of course' part of the comment makes it sound like this is a factual statement and if you disagree with it, you are obviously wrong. That's why the statement comes off as trolling.

But the 'of course' could also be a dry aside, which doesn't work so well in a text-based medium like this. In that case, Tom was just being funny.

Posts: 285 | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DustinDopps
Member
Member # 12640

 - posted      Profile for DustinDopps           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But, of course, Tom was being a troll. :-)
Posts: 285 | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If someone said "Of course, there is a God, and it is specifically the God outlined by the Christian Bible and not any other God." would that be taken as trolling

Because as "factual statements" go if someone is trying to tell me that it's more on the level than saying "of course, there is no god" then yeah no

Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Because, of course, blithe statements of certainty of the unknowable were unheard of in this discussion before Tom made that remark? I can recall without looking-without having looked at the thread for a few hours, in fact-statements of reassurance as to what God does.

They weren't trolling. Treat it as a direct, plain question rather than a gotcha: since they weren't, why was Tom's? Or, as seems very possible, was it this double standard Aros was remarking on in the first place?

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Or, well, what was said two hours ago when I had an incomplete post typed!
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Point being that if in this thread someone had made such a matter of fact statement about the existence of god, the immediate reaction would not have been that they are trolling.
Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nah, I think if an atheist was offering a reasonable argument that God didn't exist and then one of the Christians just said "but, of course, God does exist" that would be seen, rightfully, as a cheesy cop-out. I dunno if it's trolling per se, but I do think it's a pointless unargued assertion just there to tweak the opposition's nose. Which is a little too close to trolling.
Posts: 3580 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Nah, I think if an atheist was offering a reasonable argument that God didn't exist and then one of the Christians just said "but, of course, God does exist" that would be seen, rightfully, as a cheesy cop-out. I dunno if it's trolling per se, but I do think it's a pointless unargued assertion just there to tweak the opposition's nose. Which is a little too close to trolling.

So it's a cheesy cop-out if it stands alone, but if it's presented repeatedly as though it's an actual argument, it's not a cheesy cop-out?
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Huh? If anything, what mitigates it is the fact that Tom has also made posts in this thread that were not unargued assertions, but were instead actual critical arguments on the existence of God.

Those were good posts. The one in question wasn't, really.

Posts: 3580 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But my point is, any absolute assertion about God in either direction is ultimately absurd-and there have been many more in one direction that weren't trolling, apparently, than Tom's variety. Why are all of these unobjectionable, then?
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
advice for robots
Member
Member # 2544

 - posted      Profile for advice for robots           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The whole discussion was only meaningful within the context of God actually existing. No one was being asked to change their views on that matter--just work with it as a hypothetical. If you couldn't do that, then the whole thing was kind of pointless. This wasn't a discussion about whether God exists, but what the LDS and other religions believe about God and suffering.

Is it now necessary to preface every post in such a discussion with "Note: God's existence is only being assumed for the purposes of this discussion"?

I'd say Hatrack is still generally quicker to pounce on anyone who makes a bald assertion like Tom's, but also can't abide unqualified assertions of God's existence for longer than a couple of pages, regardless of the context.

Posts: 5957 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hrm. I regarded the conversation differently from pretty early in the thread, I think. That isn't to say the hypothetical discussion you mentioned wasn't going on, afr, just that it was also connected to another one as well.

When someone objects, 'Wait, this doesn't fit together, these things you're saying amount to a just and loving deity who is also omnipotent. To me that calls into question whether this deity you're describing is really there at all, or at least if it's as you describe' and the response includes (even when it's not limited to) 'we know God is just and loving even when things don't make sense in the short term, because we don't know what the larger or eternal picture is, or what the ultimate long-term outcome will be', to me that reads as an offering of a persuasive argument to the original proposition that was challenged: that God exists and is loving and also just and omnipotent.

The problem, for me and I suspect others, is that this isn't actually a positive argument for the idea that God exists, is omnipotent, loving, and just-it's just a challenge (and a good one) to the statement 'God doesn't exist, and/or as you've described isn't loving or just and/or is incompetent.'

It's essentially an argument of 'you can't say for sure he's not loving and just' which is quite true. So my question remais: why is it trolling to say, in effect, 'neither can you?'

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To clarify: I noted that the God I was describing -- the sort of God who was not only powerful but all-knowing, and was competent enough to use those abilities to eliminate suffering without negating free will -- clearly does not exist. The only God that could exist, based on the evidence before us, is one that is a) bound by rules considerably more powerful than He is; b) not all that powerful; c) not all that concerned about suffering; or d) not all that wise.
Posts: 37421 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
happymann
Member
Member # 9559

 - posted      Profile for happymann   Email happymann         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
To clarify: I noted that the God I was describing -- the sort of God who was not only powerful but all-knowing, and was competent enough to use those abilities to eliminate suffering without negating free will -- clearly does not exist. The only God that could exist, based on the evidence before us, is one that is a) bound by rules considerably more powerful than He is; b) not all that powerful; c) not all that concerned about suffering; or d) not all that wise.

First, I believe in God (of the Christian variety with more LDS specifics) and I can see a) as a possibility and c) with an asterisk describing how there isn't just one lifetime (what is this? reincarnation?) and we will continue to exist in some kind of capacity after death that we will continue to exercise free will in (with another asterisk that I only speak for myself and don't claim any special knowledge on what the religion I follow states as their official position).
Posts: 258 | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Belief that God isn't actually omnipotent mitigates quite a few, though far from all, of the problems involved with the world as it is and the existence of a loving creator.
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Marlozhan
Member
Member # 2422

 - posted      Profile for Marlozhan   Email Marlozhan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There are two different types of omnipotence:

1) A being capable of doing everything that is possible in a universe where literally everything is possible

2) A being capable of doing everything that is possible in a universe where there are limits to what is possible

In all fairness, LDS people believe in the second type of omnipotence, at least as far as we can understand it. Technically speaking, point 2 may not be considered true omnipotence.

Example of point 1:
"God please turn me into a God right now. In this instant, make me like you. Make me as loving as you, as knowledgeable as you, as powerful as you. Change who I am. I don't want to be me. I want to be exactly like you. Please do it now, Matrix-download-style." Then God says, "OK done."

Another example of point 1:
Making it so that evil actions actually lead to good things. Design a heaven where happiness is based on lying and hurting. Waving a wand, so to speak, and turning the devil into Christ, just because you feel like it.

An example of point 2:
"God please make me like you." God says, "Okay, I can do that. But you will have to learn one step at a time. I cannot instantly make you like me. You have to experience the learning for yourself."

Another example of point 2:
Good will always be good and the nature of goodness cannot be changed. Genuine happiness can not be changed to be based on things like murder, lying and hatred. God cannot force evil to be the same as goodness.

Posts: 683 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Marlozhan
Member
Member # 2422

 - posted      Profile for Marlozhan   Email Marlozhan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In fact, as I think about the Christian religion, the very fact that there needed to be a Christ shows that the Christian God does not have the first type of omnipotence. If he did, then he wouldn't need someone to pay for sins or to heal people's souls. He would just wave his wand and there would be no such thing as sin, or he could erase everyone's sins with no suffering, or he could have decided that 'justice' is defined as making other people suffer for your own mistakes. He could come up with probably an infinite number of other solutions as well. Why would he have ever invented sin in the first place?

In such a universe, would the words 'order' or 'logic' have any meaning at all?

--Note, I am just referencing Christian theology. I do not mean to imply that this same logic may not also apply to other religions.

Posts: 683 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Those are all interesting questions, but I note that none of them actually preclude an omnipotent deity at all, though they likely do for a simultaneously loving, just, and omnipotent one.

Why God at that time, according to His own press, would've been considered particularly loving or just by anyone except perhaps his chosen people is something of a mystery to me though, so I don't take it as a given.

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
advice for robots
Member
Member # 2544

 - posted      Profile for advice for robots           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Hrm. I regarded the conversation differently from pretty early in the thread, I think. That isn't to say the hypothetical discussion you mentioned wasn't going on, afr, just that it was also connected to another one as well.

When someone objects, 'Wait, this doesn't fit together, these things you're saying amount to a just and loving deity who is also omnipotent. To me that calls into question whether this deity you're describing is really there at all, or at least if it's as you describe' and the response includes (even when it's not limited to) 'we know God is just and loving even when things don't make sense in the short term, because we don't know what the larger or eternal picture is, or what the ultimate long-term outcome will be', to me that reads as an offering of a persuasive argument to the original proposition that was challenged: that God exists and is loving and also just and omnipotent.

The problem, for me and I suspect others, is that this isn't actually a positive argument for the idea that God exists, is omnipotent, loving, and just-it's just a challenge (and a good one) to the statement 'God doesn't exist, and/or as you've described isn't loving or just and/or is incompetent.'

It's essentially an argument of 'you can't say for sure he's not loving and just' which is quite true. So my question remais: why is it trolling to say, in effect, 'neither can you?'

I didnít personally see Tomís posts as trollingómaybe of a certain rhetorical nature on purpose, and getting just the reaction desired because Tomís just that goodóbut trolling isnít something I would attribute to Tom. If anyoneís got the feel for where a discussion is headed itís him. I also donít think anybody else who has contributed substantially to the thread has been trolling here, either.

I really donít know how to carry on a discussion about a few particular beliefs about deity without treating a few things as given for the time being: that God does exist and has us front and center in his designs. Otherwise itís an argument about whether God exists and why or why not thatís possible. I see posters arguing from an LDS perspective here explaining things as if God exists and has a certain list of characteristicsóand I do it as well. To me itís all part of presenting an LDS perspective, and my assumption, at least, is that many of these things donít need to be explained further here on Hatrack, as the regulars likely have a grasp on them already.

I donít see prolonged strings of such posts as an attempt to browbeat anyone here into believing that God exists. Thatís certainly not the intent, itís not how Iím reading the posts, and itís not what Iím trying to do in my own contributions. I didnít see the original question as being about whether God exists, but about how the God we believe in can permit suffering. Asserting that God doesnít, in fact, exist kind of makes the whole preceding discussion pointless.

Posts: 5957 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*nod* For the record, I find the LDS answer to the Problem of Evil -- that God is not omnipotent, and that God is bound by rules which transcend His abilities -- to eliminate the usual paradox.
Posts: 37421 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlueWizard
Member
Member # 9389

 - posted      Profile for BlueWizard   Email BlueWizard         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Back on the subject of Young Earth.

When you encounter a Young Earther, ask them how they know. Because I'll bet Dollars to Donuts, they don't know how they know. Likely they will say, it says so in the Bible. Then ask them to show you the passage in the Bible that says that. They won't be able to because the Bible does not specifically say that.

All they know is what some God-Whore Televangelist has told them. Personally I need more than the word of a morally corrupt money grubbing shill and grifter.

So, where does this idea come from? What is the foundation for it?

It date back to ArchBishop Usher, who, by the way, was on the outs with pretty much every religious authority of the day.

In roughly 1650, Usher went through the Bible and added up all the A beget B beget C, and X son of Y son of Z, and added up the generations to find the total. But this is massively flawed because the Bible in not consistently chronological.

When you move from Ezekiel to Daniel it is not Ezekiel on Monday to Daniel on Tuesday. There are huge gaps of time missing.

So, the Young Earth idea is base in the flawed chronology of an ignorant man, who was on the Outs with the Church, who based his information on a book that is not itself Chronologically consistent.

Keep in mind, in the year 1650, Doctors did not even know what the heart did. They assumed the Liver pumped blood.

And we weigh that massively flawed evidence against immeasurable volumes of Scientific Data that is being revised and updated all the time.

Now some will say that the fact the scientific data is being revised and updated proves it can't be trusted. But it is being revised and updated toward more and more accurate knowledge, not toward the flawed fantasies of money grubbing God-Whores.

No one of any honest intelligence could believe that the Bible gives a complete accounting of time from the beginning of time to 1650.

Not only did Archbishop Usher know how many years (4004), but he claimed to have calculated it down to the minute - October 23 at 6PM (some say 'night fall').

Further, using the same Bible many Biblical Scholar have tried to calculate the age of the earth, and are off relative to each other by thousands of years or more. It ranges from 4000 years to about 8000 years. Which only serves to prove that the Bible is not and can not be taken a Chronologically consistent.

Seriously folks.

Steve/bluewizard

Posts: 803 | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
what's this thing about 'god-whores'
Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
millernumber1
Member
Member # 9894

 - posted      Profile for millernumber1   Email millernumber1         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just for the record, not all Young Earth Creationists are Usherites. Nor do we all watch or listen to tele-evangelists.
Posts: 423 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlueWizard
Member
Member # 9389

 - posted      Profile for BlueWizard   Email BlueWizard         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, Sex-Whores trades Sex for Money.

A God-Whore trades God for Money, a particular game that has been going on for Centuries. However, the modern world has raised this grifter scam to a high art form with Televangelists.

Posts: 803 | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlueWizard
Member
Member # 9389

 - posted      Profile for BlueWizard   Email BlueWizard         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by millernumber1:
Just for the record, not all Young Earth Creationists are Usherites. Nor do we all watch or listen to tele-evangelists.

Regardless, as I have pointed out, you have absolutely no basis for your belief in Young Earth other than stubborn obstinance.

Believe what you will, but just because you believe it, doesn't make it true.

Posts: 803 | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
millernumber1
Member
Member # 9894

 - posted      Profile for millernumber1   Email millernumber1         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That is certainly an assertion made without talking to a Creationist who doesn't fit or can be made to fit your prejudices.
Posts: 423 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 10495

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by millernumber1:
That is certainly an assertion made without talking to a Creationist who doesn't fit or can be made to fit your prejudices.

A similar assertion. Are you trying to a pull a reverse No True Scotsman?

What is unique about your particular form of YEC that distinguishes it from the Answers in Genesis style of mainstream YEC with a superficial sciency veneer?

Posts: 3275 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 7 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Codeô is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2