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Posted: 02 January 2009 02:56 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Concerning the Greek Philosopher Epicurus-what was that commentary he made about the existence, or non, of God?

The thing about God not being omnipotent because he cannot stop evil and not malevolent because if he can he does not stop it etc.,

Thanks in advance.

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

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Posted: 02 January 2009 03:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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β€œIs God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”

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“You know I’m born to lose, and gambling is for fools.
But that’s the way I like it baby, I don’t want to live forever.”

From the autobiography of A.A.Mills, ‘The passage of time, according to an estranged, casual tyrant.’

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Posted: 02 January 2009 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Full description and modern view. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_evil

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Why is there Something instead of Nothing: No reason or ever knowable reason.

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Posted: 02 January 2009 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Sander - 02 January 2009 08:13 PM

Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.

Not quite. Consider the possibility that God is able, but temporarily not willing, for some other reason, for some other purpose. Perhaps to allow things to play out for awhile to give us a better understanding of the nature of evil.

If God exists, and if God temporarily is not willing to prevent evil, but later plans to eradicate it, then he is not malevolent. He just pisses us off because he doesn’t work according to our schedule, dammit.

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Posted: 02 January 2009 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 02 January 2009 09:55 PM
Sander - 02 January 2009 08:13 PM

Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.

Not quite. Consider the possibility that God is able, but temporarily not willing, for some other reason, for some other purpose. Perhaps to allow things to play out for awhile to give us a better understanding of the nature of evil.

If God exists, and if God temporarily is not willing to prevent evil, but later plans to eradicate it, then he is not malevolent. He just pisses us off because he doesn’t work according to our schedule, dammit.

Only a good Christian could make such a ridiculous argument in order to try and rationalize their faith. God is going to torture you so you know what evil is before he eradicates it for all entity. LOL! He wants women to be brutally raped first so they’ll know what it’s like before he puts them in heaven where they can never comprehend that pain and suffering again because there is no pain or suffering or sadness in heaven.

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Why is there Something instead of Nothing: No reason or ever knowable reason.

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Posted: 02 January 2009 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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GAD - 02 January 2009 10:22 PM

Only a good Christian could make such a ridiculous argument in order to try and rationalize their faith. God is going to torture you so you know what evil is before he eradicates it for all entity. LOL! He wants women to be brutally raped first so they’ll know what it’s like before he puts them in heaven where they can never comprehend that pain and suffering again because there is no pain or suffering or sadness in heaven.

The torture that people experience in this life typically comes from other people, not God. He simply temporarily allows it. And nobody said that he “wants” this evil. Evil, to some degree, may simply be necessary in order for us to develop into what God ultimately wants. Perhaps there is an element of personhood that requires that we be subjected to evil during our development before we reach our destiny. I’m thinking more in terms of the entire human race being subjected to the futility of evil before we can fully become what God wills for us.

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Posted: 02 January 2009 06:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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GAD - 02 January 2009 10:22 PM

Only a good Christian could make such a ridiculous argument in order to try and rationalize their faith. God is going to torture you so you know what evil is before he eradicates it for all entity. LOL! He wants women to be brutally raped first so they’ll know what it’s like before he puts them in heaven where they can never comprehend that pain and suffering again because there is no pain or suffering or sadness in heaven.

Most believers are exceptional compartmentalizers like that though. They can believe in an omnipotent god and yet strangely fail, utterly, to apply the concept but in very strategic and limited ways. They can believe in an “omnipotent” creator god, while at the same time arguing (and believing) this god is somehow limited to certain parameters of reality, forgetting in one instant that it allegedly created that reality as an omnipotent creator—it’s believed to have absolute power, and yet has to adopt conventional means through which to teach us things. If that’s not the thinking behind the popular strained apologetic here, then they’re really just arguing that God likes to fuck with us and let many of us suffer rather than just creating us with such knowledge.

Most believers, in my experience, have a formidable mental block literally crippling their intellects when it comes to these kinds of fundamental concepts—the critical aspects of the foundation supporting their world view that are in truth so feeble as to be effectively missing. Maybe, just as they say we have a “god-shaped hole” in our lives that we need to fill with Jebus, we could retort that they have a “foundation-shaped hole” in their world view that they need to fill with reason and intellectual integrity ... hmm ... gotta find a more catchy way to put that.

Byron

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Posted: 03 January 2009 03:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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SkepticX - 02 January 2009 11:35 PM

Most believers, in my experience, have a formidable mental block literally crippling their intellects when it comes to these kinds of fundamental concepts—the critical aspects of the foundation supporting their world view that are in truth so feeble as to be effectively missing. Maybe, just as they say we have a “god-shaped hole” in our lives that we need to fill with Jebus, we could retort that they have a “foundation-shaped hole” in their world view that they need to fill with reason and intellectual integrity ... hmm ... gotta find a more catchy way to put that.

Byron

Cognitive dissonance.

Or, to run with “god-shapes”, theists have a “god-shaped lens” (clarity may vary).

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He who is not a misanthrope at forty can never have loved mankind  -Chamfort

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Posted: 03 January 2009 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Sorry Bruce, Epicurus was way smarter than you and thousands of years ago. grin

You should be embarrassed. He tried to explain it to people like you way back then but you still have not gotten it.

Einstein got it, and his response was even better IMO.

‘I cannot conceive of a god who rewards and punishes his creatures or has a will of the kind that we expereince in ourselves. Neither can I, nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egotism, cherish such thoughts.’

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

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Posted: 03 January 2009 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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SkepticX - 02 January 2009 11:35 PM

Maybe, just as they say we have a “god-shaped hole” in our lives that we need to fill with Jebus, we could retort that they have a “foundation-shaped hole” in their world view that they need to fill with reason and intellectual integrity ... hmm ... gotta find a more catchy way to put that.

Byron

The response I like to “a god-shaped hole in the heart” is “a god-shaped hole in the brain.”

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Posted: 03 January 2009 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 02 January 2009 10:41 PM
GAD - 02 January 2009 10:22 PM

Only a good Christian could make such a ridiculous argument in order to try and rationalize their faith. God is going to torture you so you know what evil is before he eradicates it for all entity. LOL! He wants women to be brutally raped first so they’ll know what it’s like before he puts them in heaven where they can never comprehend that pain and suffering again because there is no pain or suffering or sadness in heaven.

The torture that people experience in this life typically comes from other people, not God. He simply temporarily allows it. And nobody said that he “wants” this evil. Evil, to some degree, may simply be necessary in order for us to develop into what God ultimately wants.

Bruce, do you really think you get to conveniently decide what your mysterious and unknowable god’s actions/desires are on a case-by-case basis? That’s very manipulative of you. I don’t care if you’re ignorant - that’s just plain evil in my book.

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Posted: 03 January 2009 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 02 January 2009 09:55 PM

Perhaps to allow things to play out for awhile to give us a better understanding of the nature of evil.

So we should simply trust God that he knows what he’s doing? No, what you’re really asking is for us to trust YOU that God knows what he’s doing. We’re being asked to take YOUR word for it and not your god’s. (Implicit also is the request that we automatically disregard all the other claims by other religions.) That’s the main objection to any claims about gods - we’re really being asked to trust the claimants and not their gods.

Also, it’s wrong to one to tell people that one knows what’s best for them. There are exceptions, such as with children and the mentally infirm. But what kind of parent doesn’t explain to his child, at a level that the child can understand, that shots will keep the child from getting sick? If you want us to believe that your god has a purpose behind suffering, that it’s not up to your god to provide that purpose. It’s up to YOU to provide it, because you’re the one who believes everyone should follow your religion.

Longing for an inherent purpose behind an instance suffering is counterproductive and a waste of time. There’s no evidence for such inherent purposes, so the best approach is to create our own purposes when we suffer. I don’t know about John Walsh’s religious beliefs, but I see him as someone who created meaning from his suffering so that others would not suffer.

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Posted: 03 January 2009 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 02 January 2009 10:41 PM

The torture that people experience in this life typically comes from other people, not God. He simply temporarily allows it. And nobody said that he “wants” this evil. Evil, to some degree, may simply be necessary in order for us to develop into what God ultimately wants. Perhaps there is an element of personhood that requires that we be subjected to evil during our development before we reach our destiny. I’m thinking more in terms of the entire human race being subjected to the futility of evil before we can fully become what God wills for us.

Wait, we know what god wants, people like you tell us all the time. God wants us to use our supposed “freewill” to chose to worship him forever. That is, to give up our freewill and be turned into zombies who can never chose to do other then what god wills. If that is the case then there is no purpose in suffering or evil other then to try and coerce one to chose the all loving god, or else…......

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Posted: 03 January 2009 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Yep. We get free will but we must use it to worship the abrahamic god or else we go to hell. Sure is nice having that freedom of choice isn’t it?

The creator of the universe is this narcissistic, selfish, egotistic madman?

Amazing how mind numbing this train of thought is.

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Posted: 03 January 2009 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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SkepticX - 02 January 2009 11:35 PM
GAD - 02 January 2009 10:22 PM

Only a good Christian could make such a ridiculous argument in order to try and rationalize their faith. God is going to torture you so you know what evil is before he eradicates it for all entity. LOL! He wants women to be brutally raped first so they’ll know what it’s like before he puts them in heaven where they can never comprehend that pain and suffering again because there is no pain or suffering or sadness in heaven.

Most believers are exceptional compartmentalizers like that though.
Byron

Precisely. I think that by definition belief requires the construction of a cognitive filter or complete cognitive disconnect from dissonant information.

If a plane full of christians crashes and half are violently killed, inevitably the surviving half will credit a loving god with their survival, while completely failing to acknowledge god’s concomitant violent murder of half of their fellow passengers.

They will even claim, as Bruce does here, that god intended that half die so as to teach the survivors a lesson of some kind so they might better appreciate their coming salvation.

I think that it may be possible that as our brains grow and change, and to the extent to which we regularly experience or subject ourselves to such cognitive disconnects, we might build actual cognitive filters and walls into our brains. We are what we eat so to speak. We become what we experience regularly. What was once software can be burned into firmware. In a kind of reverse cognigiton, information that is dissonant or clashes with belief is filtered out of the experience up front. Moreover, dissonant information can be re-cognized, and substitutes and subroutines made available to make up the experience. To a large extent, much of our awareness of the territory is made up of consultations with the map of it that we spend our lives drawing.

Notice how easily Bruce’s response rolled out of his keyboard.

[ Edited: 03 January 2009 01:02 PM by eucaryote]
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Posted: 03 January 2009 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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For the purposes of discussion, let’s define “evil” as needless suffering that is deliberately caused. If there are several ways of accomplishing a goal, and some cause suffering and some don’t, then it would be evil to chose a method that causes suffering since that suffering would be needless. That’s why the gap in the Argument from Evil is the suffering that has no human case, such as a meteor that would cause the deaths of millions. If the meteor was caused by gods, a goal behind the meteor would ONLY be valid if there were no ways of accomplishing the goal that involved less suffering or no suffering. But if gods are omnipotent, they would be capable of accomplishing anything without suffering, so by definition all such suffering caused by those gods would be needless and therefore evil. Again, I’m not talking about human-caused suffering, but suffering that has no human cause.

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