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Impotent or Evil

 
bbearren
 
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bbearren
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19 June 2016 07:07
 
Poldano - 18 June 2016 09:12 PM
bbearren - 18 June 2016 04:53 PM

...

There is the view that before the big bang, as it were, the plan was laid out in full, and the clockworks is merely winding down.  It is what it is, as we sometimes say.

That’s structurally equivalent to Deism. It’s also worth talking about from a completely physical point of view. For example, did the Big Bang or something before it initiate the causality that is currently responsible for the apparently random events in Quantum Mechanics?

Similar, but not equivalent.  In the physical point of view, the apparently random events in Quantum Mechanics would not at all be random; rather a winding down of the clockworks at sub-nanoscale—a much finer point on Ecclesiastes 3 than meets the eye.

 
 
Poldano
 
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Poldano
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19 June 2016 20:27
 
bbearren - 19 June 2016 07:07 AM

...

Similar, but not equivalent.  In the physical point of view, the apparently random events in Quantum Mechanics would not at all be random; rather a winding down of the clockworks at sub-nanoscale—a much finer point on Ecclesiastes 3 than meets the eye.

By structurally equivalent, I meant that both are compatible with the view of nature as an unbroken network of efficient causes from a single beginning. Any intentionality as presented in Ecclesiastes, Deism generally, or whatever initiated the “plan” before the Big Bang is not part of the structure that I had in mind. Sorry for the ambiguity.

 
 
Hypersoup
 
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Hypersoup
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01 November 2016 07:00
 
LarryP - 14 June 2016 05:32 AM

In light of conversation about the Orlando massacre, I looked up Sam’s “impotent or evil” quote, and keep seeing references (many in memes) to the following:
Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist.

Take the commandmet “Thou shalt not murder”.


Thats God “doing something” but not compelling physically (by natural law) something. So the dilemma is broken.

Analogy. Like a speed limit. If the government sets a limit, they have done something, even if people sometimes violate that limit.

Or theft. There are cases of theft, but we dont say that the governemnet has done literally nothing. Maybe not enough, but not nothing.

Note the word God “can” do nothing. This - interpreted modally - means it is impossible for God to do anything. But if he does just one thing to stop it, it is not stopped out of necessity (ie stopped in all logically possible worlds, or stopped by means of being an analytic truth that always and everywhere it is stopped) is it? God prevents evil synthetically, not analytically.

Or IOW, It can be stopped contingently, in some cases but not others. Rather than necessarily, in every circumstance a priori.  And this is what “Gods influence” purportedly does.

Not sayiing I actualluy believe above, I just like philosophical sudoku.

” Certainly, Allah wrongs not men at all; it is they who wrong their own souls.”

 

 

[ Edited: 01 November 2016 07:15 by Hypersoup]
 
 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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27 December 2016 12:24
 
LarryP - 14 June 2016 05:32 AM

In light of conversation about the Orlando massacre, I looked up Sam’s “impotent or evil” quote, and keep seeing references (many in memes) to the following:
“Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely.”

I’ve seen this quote in many speeches/debates, and written in Letter to a Christian Nation, but I have never seen him add “or he doesn’t exist”,  “or imaginary” or the entire last sentence.  The last sentence seems pointless and stupid and out of character (unless it was said sarcastically in a debate).

Does anyone know if he actually said/wrote this?

You might be interested in the movie, ‘Silence’ - Scorsese’s take on Shusako Endo’s novel about 17th Century Portuguese missionaries in Japan.  Terrible things happen to the converts, but God is silent.  Impotent?  In the December 19 Time Magazine, Stephanie Zacharek includes it in the ‘10 best movies’ of 2016:  [the Christian’s story] “as Scorsese tells it, is meditative and melancholic, an elaborately illuminated prayer book of brutal beauty.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqrgxZLd_gE 

I read Endo’s book years ago, but haven’t seen the movie.

 
 
brandon davis
 
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brandon davis
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01 March 2017 21:12
 

here’s (perhaps) an annoyingly oblique response:

is the Universe itself Evil or Impotent?
(and does that question even make sense?)

(as per Jungian Archetypes + Chaos Theory)
word-object ‘Society’ is an anthropomorphized construct to describe the aggregate-behavior of 7billion individual people
(eg “Society is cruel”)
well, might archaic references to ‘God’ be such a construct
to describe the semi-arbitrary winds of Fate?
imho that’s what the Greeks, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, and Romans seemed to be talking about
(with different deities representing different dimensions of psychopathology/sociology/weather/karma/etc)

Cheers,
-b

 
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