The Instigator
MadCornishBiker
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
muslimnomore
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

God is not to blame for suffering of any sort.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/28/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,153 times Debate No: 39559
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

MadCornishBiker

Pro

My argument was that whilst God does allow suffering at the moment, he is not the original cause of it, and was forced by his own moral standards to allow it for a limited time.

My "weapon of choice" is the bible, and whilst I will primarily use the New World Translation I advice using alternative translations to check out what I say, and may occasionally also do so.

I ask my opponent to use the first round purely for setting out his basis for his argumentation, as I have here.
muslimnomore

Con

My counter-argument will be that since God (assuming the god of the bible exists) is the un-caused cause of everything (the universe), and therefore is ultimately the cause of (and is responsible for) the suffering of human beings and animals.

My "weapon of choice" will be a cold war era AK47... just kidding... I plan on using rational and logical arguments to prove that the Bible narrative pertaining to the sacrifice of Jesus is nonsensical and in no way demonstrates that God is loving, just or wise, but that it has the opposite effect.
Debate Round No. 1
MadCornishBiker

Pro

Oh course a lot of the point of this debate revolves around the concept of Justice is.

To me Justice is that which is fair to all, guilty and innocent, and something which needs not only to be done, but be seen to have been done.

That being the case there are inevitably going to have to be compromises.

There is also a difference between the concepts of responsibility and blame.

A child who commits a crime is the only one who can be to blame for it.

However responsibility lies with the parents for not having taught the child it was wrong to do so, and trained the child's conscience sufficiently to cause the child to refuse to carry it out.

God has never shirked responsibility for what developed, for the simple reason that the main cause of it was the gift of free will given to his creation, both spirit and human.

Was that wise? Well would you want, for example, a pet who could only do what you told it. Nothing more, nothing less? Such a pet would be nothing more than a robot as it would have absolutely no control over what it did or why.

The other question associated with that is, would you want to be a robot, or would you like to have, as we do, a reasonable ability to make our own decisions.

Given free will there was always the risk that at least one would misuse that free will, as Satan did,and then Adam after him.

Given that whist God is responsible for the suffering that ensued, he is not in fact to blame for it.

The otehr question is, why was it allowed to develop and continue?

With the associated questions, was it wise to do so? and was it just?

Satan raised a challenge to God over whether mankind would ever serve God willingly, especially, under persecution. The first time this challenge was detailed was in teh case of Job:

Job 2:1-5
1 Afterward it came to be the day when the sons of the [true] God entered to take their station before Jehovah, and Satan also proceeded to enter right among them to take his station before Jehovah.
2 Then Jehovah said to Satan: "Just where do you come from?" At that Satan answered Jehovah and said: "From roving about in the earth and from walking about in it." 3 And Jehovah went on to say to Satan: "Have you set your heart upon my servant Job, that there is no one like him in the earth, a man blameless and upright, fearing God and turning aside from bad? Even yet he is holding fast his integrity, although you incite me against him to swallow him up without cause." 4 But Satan answered Jehovah and said: "Skin in behalf of skin, and everything that a man has he will give in behalf of his soul. 5 For a change, thrust out your hand, please, and touch as far as his bone and his flesh [and see] whether he will not curse you to your very face."

Here Satan clearly stated that mankind would always capitulate under sufficient pressure.

Faced with a challenge like that God was really left with only two alternatives.

1: Wipe out Satan and all who followed him and start again with the faithful angles and a new human creation.

2: Allow Satan the opportunity to prove his case, as he attempted to with Job.

Which of the above is true Justice?

Which of the two is most likely to prevent it ever recurring?

Should God simply be a powerful bully? (option 1), or should he actually prove beyond any doubt that no such challenge could ever be 100% successful (option 2)?

God chose option 2, but only for a set time period, and with the over-riding provision tat Satan could not directly cause the death of any human.

That still left Satan with the ability to influence human thought, and he has clearly done so for the millennia since.

Satan has influenced men to cause suffering to others in an attempt, all too successful in many cases to make them do precisely what you are doing with your accusations.

That limited time is almost up. Satan has had a fair opportunity to prove his point, and failed.

In the meantime God has arranged for a resurrection of all who have suffered and died in the past to give them the chance of a much improved life, and the renewed option of eternal life on earth which Adam threw away, and also the privileged of helping to restore the earth.

There will, at the end of his son's reign, be one last, and very brief opportunity for Satan to prove his case, this time against a large number of perfect humans who have had a great deal of experience living in complete peace, complete health God's way.

Any who fail this final test will be destroyed with no opportunity of resurrection, and that will include Satan and all the spirit beings who followed in his wicked course..

Is that Just?

Those who survive that final test will be rewarded by the opportunity of perfect health, perfect peace, for eternity, as well as a personal relationship with their creator. In time any suffering will be long forgotten, and the 3 score years and 10 that some may have achieved in their original human life will seem so insignificant as to be not worth considering against the blessings that faithfulness will have brought them.

That, to my mind is perfect justice, and the fairest possible course for all concerned. There will be absolutely no room left for any to say "Ah, but what if?" because all has been tried and failed over the last 6,000 years. That past suffering, and it will be past by then, will soon be forgotten, and can never be repeated. Should any, whether spirit or human, ever raise a challenge to God again the precedent will have been set, and God can, with complete justification, wipe such ones from existence.

Not only that, but we today have the advantage of being able to look back over the development of the challenge and God's answer to it, thanks to the detailed record in scripture, so today, in this time of the end, we are able to judge for ourselves, and react accordingly to God.

However those who blame God will be doing precisely what Satan's challenge told God he would get Job to do, so we will actually be supporting Satan's side of the challenge.

That is the basis of my case, that not only was the option God chose the fairest to all in the long term, because it is a once for all time solution, but he has been frank enough in it's record of the progress of the challenge and his answer to it to detail both his successes and Satan's and allow us to choose our side.

However it is important to remember there are no neutrals in this issue. As Jesus said "He who is not on my side is against me, he who does not gather with me scatters" Matthew 12:30.

With that in mind it behoves us all to make sure we know the challenge, and the history of it's development well enough to make a fully informed decision.
muslimnomore

Con

God has never shirked responsibility for what developed, for the simple reason that the main cause of it was the gift of free will given to his creation, both spirit and human.

A gift is not something which is forced upon you without any choice of your own. If you do not have the choice to receive it or not to receive it, it is something that is forced upon you and it is not a nice gesture. It is not a gift. We were all thrown into this world, none of asked for it. If I give you a human-being-sized bug zapper to keep in your house, and tell you that it could easily kill you, you would probably not want it. But if I kept it in your house anyway without giving you any other options, you would not call it a gift. The woman who's child is raped and killed in front of her eyes probably does not see the existence of free-will for the criminals as a gift from God. If she had the choice she would probably do without it. Some people would prefer not ever living than seeing their children killed. This 'gift' of free-will is most certainly worse than the 'gift' of a dangerous bug-zapper because it has lead to more unimaginable tragedy and disaster than a bug-zapper ever could.


Also, building upon your parent analogy God being responsible for creating such a system where a multitude of his creations are bound to suffer, often eternally, makes God a very 'irresponsible parent'. For a smart and loving parent, there would be nothing that would be worth giving their child cancer or allowing them to get raped.

Was that wise? Well would you want, for example, a pet who could only do what you told it. Nothing more, nothing less? Such a pet would be nothing more than a robot as it would have absolutely no control over what it did or why.

I am not an all-powerful and therefore self-sufficient being. It is ok for me to have 'wants'. God should not have any desires. And in addition to this, to be quite honest I would really rather have a robot dog than a dog that gets raped, diseased and brutally killed in this life and then get tortured eternally in the afterlife. I would actually hate to watch that happen to something that I loved. I would certainly not think of myself as benevolent. I would certainly not think that it was all worth it because it allowed for 'the gift of free-will' to exist.

The other question associated with that is, would you want to be a robot, or would you like to have, as we do, a reasonable ability to make our own decisions.

That's an easy question for me to answer because I live a very happy life. I have not really ever had a major tragedy in my life. Not even the death of a very close family member. And I have lived on this Earth for 3 decades now. But please ask this question to a child who knows nothing but hunger throughout his existence, or an orphan who saw his parents tortured and killed in front of his eyes, or woman who's been abused so many times she's about to commit suicide. Ask these people what they would have chosen: being what they are, being robots, or being non-existent. I think everyone knows what their answer would be.

Given free will there was always the risk that at least one would misuse that free will, as Satan did,and then Adam after him.

Did God have free will? Did he choose to do all of this? Did he know that his plan would lead to so much suffering? In what sense of the word then did God not misuse his free-will?

Given that whist God is responsible for the suffering that ensued, he is not in fact to blame for it.

But he is to blame for it. Being All-Powerful, he should have no needs, or wants or dersires. Nothing a mortal being can do should be of any use to him. Yet he still chose to create a system where literally billions of souls would suffer not just on this Earth, but eternally in the afterlife as well.

Satan raised a challenge to God over whether mankind would ever serve God willingly, especially, under persecution.

So.... essentially God let all of this happen because of a bet? Is this a serious defence of God's actions? Sounds like a joke to me. “Hey God, I bet these creatures are really evil.” “Oh yeah? Prove it! I don't care how many children get raped, I'm gonna prove to you that they're always gonna serve me. Just you watch.”

Faced with a challenge like that God was really left with only two alternatives.

1: Wipe out Satan and all who followed him and start again with the faithful angles and a new human creation.

2: Allow Satan the opportunity to prove his case, as he attempted to with Job.

Should God simply be a powerful bully? (option 1), or should he actually prove beyond any doubt that no such challenge could ever be 100% successful (option 2)?

How about 3) Not make bets with a being that you yourself created and avoid the suffering of billions of creatures. Separate Job and Satan as you would two quarrelling children. Let them live and make their decisions independent of each other since none of this is necessary. No responsible parent 'wipes out' a bully. Nor does a good parent give a bullying sibling an opportunity to prove that they can sway their siblings to do bad things and become disobedient to their parents. That is absurd. The only way to deal with a bully is to try to reason with them and if that doesn't work, isolate them. No wise parent would just let them go and do whatever the heck they want just to prove a point. Also, please don't forget, the torture of children is a very real and possible consequence of all this. Is a bet more important to God than avoiding such a consequence?

God chose option 2, but only for a set time period, and with the over-riding provision tat Satan could not directly cause the death of any human.
Even a second spent getting raped is a long time period.

That still left Satan with the ability to influence human thought, and he has clearly done so for the millennia since.
Millenia is certainly a long time period.

Satan has influenced men to cause suffering to others in an attempt, all too successful in many cases to make them do precisely what you are doing with your accusations.
Yeah, some might say Satan's been far more successful than God. There have been less true christians than non-christians. Far more eternally damned souls than saved souls. Billions more. What does this say about God's planning skills?

That limited time is almost up. Satan has had a fair opportunity to prove his point, and failed.
You just said he was all too successful... which is it?

In the meantime God has arranged for a resurrection of all who have suffered and died in the past to give them the chance of a much improved life, and the renewed option of eternal life on earth which Adam threw away, and also the privileged of helping to restore the earth.

Oh goodie, how nice of God. By the way, why are we suffering for Adam's mistake? Why are we to blame for something he did?

There will, at the end of his son's reign, be one last, and very brief opportunity for Satan to prove his case, this time against a large number of perfect humans who have had a great deal of experience living in complete peace, complete health God's way.

I do not know which biblical prophesy you are talking about here and what the evidence for the coming of this era is. But it sounds quite nutty (just a personal opinion there).


Any who fail this final test will be destroyed with no opportunity of resurrection, and that will include Satan and all the spirit beings who followed in his wicked course.

Again, none of this needed to happen since God has no needs. So good job God, you proved you can start a lot of drama.

Is that Just?
No.

Those who survive that final test will be rewarded by the opportunity of perfect health, perfect peace, for eternity, as well as a personal relationship with their creator. In time any suffering will be long forgotten, and the 3 score years and 10 that some may have achieved in their original human life will seem so insignificant as to be not worth considering against the blessings that faithfulness will have brought them.

This is what muslims would tell me too. There is even a hadith that says that a man who goes to heaven will not even remember the difficulties he went through on Earth after he sees his rewards in heaven. That still does not make any of this ok. What if I told you that for a trillion dollars, I was going to torture someone you loved in the worst way possible, but that you'll forget all about it a few days after the payment is made? Would you take the deal? I wouldn't. But we weren't even given a choice to exist or not.

That, to my mind is perfect justice, and the fairest possible course for all concerned. There will be absolutely no room left for any to say "Ah, but what if?" because all has been tried and failed over the last 6,000 years. That past suffering, and it will be past by then, will soon be forgotten, and can never be repeated.

“God, I am getting raped, help!”
“It's ok you'll forget about this in the afterlife. I'm just gonna let the rapist carry on for now. Love you.”

Btw, Homo Sapiens have been around for well over 6000 years.

That is the basis of my case, that not only was the option God chose the fairest to all in the long term

I believe that this 'solution' is a solution to a problem that did not need to exist since an All-Powerful and Self-Sufficient being should by definition have no needs, wants or desires. Furthermore this 'solution' is one that could be attributed to a crazed, needy entity with poor planning skills. Not a fair, just and wise entity. This is a solution that has failed, since more souls have clearly taken Satan's side than God's side. This is by no means a successful solution.

All of this does not even begin to address the fact that natural disasters do not need to exist in order to facilitate free-will either.

I wish I could respond to every sentence in your argument, but 10,000 characters is not enough this time.

Debate Round No. 2
MadCornishBiker

Pro

No-one is forced to use free will, even though it was given us as a gift, we can, and often do capitulate and put our own choices aside in favour of those of others. So free will is an option not something you are forced to use.

Why should we not choose to do so for our creator who is infinitely wiser than us?
You illustration simply doesn"t work, you are blaming the one giving the gift for it"s abuse by others. Electricity can and does kill if abused. Do you blame the generating company for supplying it, or the one abusing it?

Would you want to be nothing but a robot?

So you would criticise a parent who allows a child to be put through a painful operation, with a lengthy and painful recovery period just because the end restful means they live much longer, and have a much easier time doing it would you? Because that is what you are saying.

God did not give us the cancer, Adam chose to accept it by his actions, and his insistence on doing just what you are doing, blaming God for Eve"s mistake, not accepting his responsibility for not having taught her well enough, or relying on God to sort it out, so if you want to blame someone for what resulted to humans, blame Adam.

God warned Adam the result of his abusing free will would be, the same way we warn our children of the fatal consequences of abusing electricity, but we don"t refuse to have it in the house, n fact if it were an option we would insist on having it. The same goes for free will.

Even if you didn"t want the electricity would you not just switch it on? Why use free will if you don"t want it?

Why should God not have wants? You are not exactly being just in your argumentation there are you? As far as you pets are concerned, if you have any, you are all powerful, you have the power of life or death over them. They cannot eat unless you provide it. All you ask in return is the privilege of watching them enjoy what you give them. Should God be any different? That is all he wants, and what he will achieve.

No, not because of a bet. He let it all happen to ensure that it can never happen again, and humanity is subjected to a stream of disrupted peace. Had God gone the other way, the only other way, and wiped out the guilty and started again, what would that have done to stop it happening again? Is fear the only reasonable motivation for doing good? Should not choice come into it?

Your argument on this is parallel to that of a child blaming its parents for a long and painful operation, with a long and painful recovery which actually allowed it to walk again properly and pain free, for the rest of its life rather than being confined to a wheelchair.

Should the child take your attitude? Or should he or she rather accept the short term pain as a benefit in respect of the long term benefits?

Humans are in precisely in the same position, except the comparison of the ratio of the suffering of the child compared to the benefits of the operation are very different to the ratio of 70 years of suffering compared to an eternity of peace and health reveals that the benefits of the operation are far less, infinitely less in fact, than the benefits of enduring this current life.

Life is, and always will be a cost/benefit analysis. The cost of the child having the operation compared to the benefits it receives, and yet there are very few parents who would not choose the operation rather than the future suffering which would result from not having it.

Your option 3) would have resulted in even worse happening than is happening currently because it would have given Satan and those who followed him carte blanche to do whatever they wanted with no opposition or control. The events that led to the flood are witness to that. The wicked angels materialised human bodies and came to earth as bullies and rapists, taking any woman they desired and killing any who stood in their way. The human progeny of such enforced relationships were known as "fellers" because of their equally murderous behaviour, Is that an attractive alternative to you? To God it wasn"t an alternative even worthy of considering.

Would you suggest to the parents in my illustration above that they should simply do nothing and allow the child to suffer for the rest of its life? That is "option 3" in that case.

In fact he has, so far, been more successful than God, because humans have chosen to take an attitude like the one you display here. Satan has won many battles, but not all, and he will not win the war, because God will make sure that those who have stayed faithful no matter what will reap the benefits of doing so, whereas those who have chosen, out of ignorance, to take Satan"s side, will get a second chance to prove faithful themselves, this time in human perfection, and without the interference.

God did not give Satan completely unfettered opportunity to do as he wanted. Had he done so, any who stood up to Satan would have perished there and then, just like those who tried to stand up to the "Fellers" pre flood. Eventually those that remained would have destroyed themselves.

No one of the first things God did, post flood, was remove the ability of unfaithful spirits to materialise human bodies, hence now the "best" they can do is find a willing, or unwitting victim to "possess" and enjoy their thrills vicariously.

It says nothing, negative or positive, for God"s planning skills. It says much more for the inclination of the heart of imperfect man, which is, as scripture tells us, at Genesis 8: 21 And Jehovah began to smell a restful odor, and so Jehovah said in his heart, "Never again shall I call down evil upon the ground on man"s account, because the inclination of the heart of man is bad from his youth up; and never again shall I deal every living thing a blow just as I have done".

The important thing is that, despite Satan"s influence, some imperfect humans have at least tried to do what is right by God and their fellow man, and the success of God"s son, when inhabiting a perfect human body on earth, was a major and most important defeat for Satan and his followers. Form that moment on, Satan"s days were numbered, and it was "only" left for the gathering of those special "few", in relative terms, who would qualify to serve alongside God"s son as kings and priests in heaven

Because of Satan"s continued interference, both on earth and in heaven, that has taken over 1800 years so far, and is either complete, now, or nearly so, and only the gathering of those humans who qualify to survive Armageddon and have the role that was entrusted to Adam and Eve, and establish the earth in the form it should have been, as well as training, not their children this time, but the resurrected ones in doing the same, before they, and their work with the resurrected ones are given one brief but final test, and for those who survive it, the war will be over forever, and they will share in God"s victory, which was guaranteed by Christ faithful death as human.

The prophecies that cover this are Isaiah 65, and Revelation (most of it) along with all the prophecies that Revelation brings together in one place, including Daniel 2, Daniel 4, as well as some in Ezekiel, and in fact the first 3 chapters of Genesis, which details the original plan, and the last 3 chapters of Revelation which describe the results of everything being "back on plan", including the destruction of Satan, all his followers, human and spirit, as well as the removal of death as we know it.
muslimnomore

Con

No-one is forced to use free will

The point that I made was not that we are forced to USE free will. This statement does not even make any logical sense. How can you choose to use something if that something happens to be your ability to choose?

I explained that we were created as agents of free will. This is not something that we received (i.e. a gift), it is an existence that we were thrown into. We did not choose to have free will because it's not possible to choose anything before you even have the to choose, and before you even exist.

It's like a bank that gives you money without any choice of your own and then says that if you use this money in a way that is against any of the bank's rules, the bank will not only make you suffer unimaginable mental and physical pain in this life, but eternally in the next one unless you proclaim that the bank is your saviour and that this money was a gift. This life, this existence and the 'free will' that comes with it is by no means a gift, in any sense of the word and by any definition of the word. As I demonstrated earlier, there are many people who would choose not to have ever existed over possibly suffering eternal torture in the afterlife and inevitable and incredible pain in this life.



You illustration simply doesn"t work, you are blaming the one giving the gift for it"s abuse by others. Electricity can and does kill if abused. Do you blame the generating company for supplying it, or the one abusing it?

Very convenient how you not-so-subtly changed my analogy into one that revolves around an energy company. Perhaps you did this because everyone knows it would be wrong for someone to place an extremely dangerous item into your house without any choice of your own. Regardless, even with the energy company, the energy company gives you a choice to receive electricity or not. You ask, the energy company to supply it and pay them for it. This analogy does not work in the case of God. None of us asked God to throw us into this existence? You know why? Because we didn't exist. Furthermore, if an energy company were to design an electrical system that had as many hazards as this life, I would readily change it.

Would you want to be nothing but a robot?

I already answered this question quite comprehensively. I wish you had read my previous argument with more care.

So you would criticise a parent who allows a child to be put through a painful operation, with a lengthy and painful recovery period just because the end restful means they live much longer, and have a much easier time doing it would you? Because that is what you are saying.

Again, another case of changing my analogy. This time into one about an operation. If a parent had a choice, they would never allow their children to get sick in the first place. God created us and threw us into a world full of suffering, without any choice of our own. And we should then thank him for giving us a painful operation for a disease that he caused in the first place? This is ridiculous. You would thank a doctor who put you through a painful operation to save your life, but not if the doctor was responsible for giving you the disease in the first place.

God did not give us the cancer, Adam chose to accept it by his actions, and his insistence on doing just what you are doing, blaming God for Eve"s mistake, not accepting his responsibility for not having taught her well enough, or relying on God to sort it out, so if you want to blame someone for what resulted to humans, blame Adam.

Why did Adam get to accept a cancer on my behalf? How are Adam's actions my fault? This is another point you failed to address. And you are also missing the main point here: God created this system where it was possible for Adam to fail even though he did not need to, and with the knowledge that billions of souls would be tormented because of the creation of such a system. This foreknowledge and this act of creation, puts the blame for suffering squarely on God, and not Adam and certainly not me. I wasn't even there.

n fact if it were an option we would insist on having it. The same goes for free will.

That's easy for you to say. You seem quite well-fed, and since you can afford to use the internet I am guessing you're not in a bad financial situation either.

Even if you didn"t want the electricity would you not just switch it on? Why use free will if you don"t want it?

Can you please explain to me how I can possibly turn my free will switch off? These questions don't make any sense to me. You do not get to choose not to have 'free will'. You are created with it.

Why should God not have wants?

Because that turns him into a being that is not self-sufficient. It should not require the existence of any other beings. An All-Powerful God should not be affected in any way by our actions. Our actions cannot possibly benefit or harm a self-sufficient and all-powerful being. If they can, the being is not all-powerful or self-sufficient because now it is dependent on its own creations to fulfil its desires.

No, not because of a bet.

Satan challenged God. He said he would prove to God that human beings would not serve him. God said that they would and allowed Satan to influence human beings just to prove him wrong. In what sense of the word is this not a bet? And if God did not allow suffering because of this particular event, why even mention it?


Your argument on this is parallel to that of a child blaming its parents for a long and painful operation,

You already brought up this analogy and I have addressed it fully earlier in my response.


Humans are in precisely in the same position,

No we're not. God is not just the one giving the operation, he is also the cause and propagator of the disease of the disease. This is not true of the parents, who would prevent the child from getting sick in the first place if they could


Your option 3) would have resulted in even worse happening than is happening currently because it would have given Satan and those who followed him carte blanche to do whatever they wanted with no opposition or control.

First of all, my solution was to separate Job and Sata (i.e. Not let them interact with each other). So in fact, Satan would NOT be able to do whatever he wanted (i.e. influence humans Didn't humans have enough temptations already? I mean give us a break Yahweh). Furthermore, the option God chose is in fact the option whereby Satan got to do whatever he wanted except directly cause the death of human beings.

Would you suggest to the parents in my illustration above that they should simply do nothing and allow the child to suffer for the rest of its life? That is "option 3" in that case.

I have no idea how yu could possibly conclude that separating two quarrelling children is the equivalent of letting them suffer eternally. This statement blows my mind.

In fact he has, so far, been more successful than God, because humans have chosen to take an attitude like the one you display here.

I am just trying to understand God's wisdom. And it does not make sense to me. If it did, I would immediately start serving and loving God and start believing in his existence. Is it my fault that none of this makes sense to me? Why would God think of me as someone who has an attitude as opposed to someone who tried to understand but was never able to?

God did not give Satan completely unfettered opportunity to do as he wanted.

Didn't you JUST state that my option 3 would lead to this same consequence? I thought that it was your opinion that it would be a bad thing. But apparently it's exactly what God wanted.

Also please address my point about the fact that suffering through natural disasters as well as animal suffering is not necessary to allow for 'free will' to exist.

Debate Round No. 3
MadCornishBiker

Pro

In fact if you study the history of deaths and injuries to both mankind and animals you will find that in fact exercise of free will most definitely di come into most of them.
Why? How? Simple, the vast majority have happened to mankind because of choosing to live in areas that are prone to that sort of event. Had they been in a position to use their free will wisely and consult with God about it they would doubtless have been steered away from those areas, however, Adam"s misuse of his free will prevented that being possible..
What about the Natural disasters themselves?
An interesting point tends to emerge if you follow the bible story closely.
Genesis 1:9 tells us that the waters on the earth were all gathered into one place, which by default means that effectively the land was also. Had the earth"s crust remained that stable there would have been no natural disasters.
So when did the land become unstable as it is currently?
The first, and only, hint that Genesis gives us about that is in Genesis 10:25 tells us that after the flood, Peleg was born and it was in his lifetime that the Earth was divided., because people were already dispersing, that can only mean the literal earth, and the continent splitting and starting to form the Continents we know now.
What could be the link between that and the flood?
Genesis 1:6-8 tells us that there were two lots of waters. One of which remained on the earth, and one which was taken to high in the Atmosphere, presumably in the form of vapour. This would be the source of the water that was brought down to form the flood.
Since that water was never taken back up, how did dry land appear?
Geology tells us that at some point the earth"s crust cracked and was violently tilted in places, which is why we have tectonic plates that move under each other and are the cause of earthquakes and Tsunami.
It would be logical to suggest this was the point at which the crust cracked and tilted allowing water to sink not the lower parts and the higher parts to rise above the surface, because of the weight of water being brought down onto the earth to form the flood. This could also explain the "instantly frozen" mammoths that have appears from the thawing Permafrost for over 100 years now.
This means that the natural disasters themselves are all caused by the historic misuse of free will that brought the flood down on humanity.
The important thing is that you can chose how you use free-will, and also whether or not to give it up.
The original intention was for mankind to use it wisely by consulting with God on difficult issues and accepting his advice, sought or not.
Would God have been wiser not to give man free-will? Really considering he wanted a semi-autonomous humanity, he had no choice but to give us free will and his trust to use it wisely.
Would he have been more loving to withhold free-will? Does anyone really feel that would like to eb nothing more than a robot with no control whatever over their lives?
Of course we didn"t shoes to be "Agents of free-will". We didn"t choose to be born either. We didn"t choose to have the need to breathe either.
There is no such thing as eternal suffering in the next life. For those who fail the final test , eternity will be very brief indeed.
I supplied an alternate analogy because it works, simple as.

Except that God did not give us this disease, Adam did. It was simply an inevitable result of Adam"s sin. Which, again, is why I gave you an alternative analogy which actually works.

"Why did Adam get to accept a cancer on my behalf? How are Adam's actions my fault?"
It"s called Heredity, Just as you can inherit a weakness to cancer from your parents, towards heart problems, so you inherit all the sinful nature of Adam and all the weaknesses that his imperfection brought with it.
" God created this system where it was possible for Adam to fail even though he did not need to, and with the knowledge that billions of souls would be tormented because of the creation of such a system."
In fact if, as I explain above, God wanted something other than ether a static display, or a completely predictable creation with no control over its own actions, then he had no choice but to give us free will and trust us to use it wisely.
" That's easy for you to say. You seem quite well-fed, and since you can afford to use the internet I am guessing you're not in a bad financial situation either."
Guess again.
I am a partially disabled 64 year old living on pension credit and low level DLA, which the government seems intent on doing away with because3 of the need to make financial cuts.
I have no other income and am in fact, due to a period of ill health, heavily in debt and under an "Independent Voluntary Agreement" to pay those debts off.
The internet is not a luxury for me. It pays for itself in lack of stress because I can shop from home, manage what finances I have from home, it saves me money by allowing me to shop at home, and most of the time is my sole contact with the outside world as I have no family and few friends in this area, as well as being unable to get out and make more.
I have been homeless a number of times, and the one thing I have never done is starve, because food, and my only touch of independence, my Kawasaki ZX10, come before all else.
For the last few months I have been living, deliberately, well below the "bread line" because I have been saving radically. I have had the good fortune to meet on the internet, a young lady, currently working as a house servant in the Lebanon, who has agreed to become my wife and carer, to which end she has refused to renew her contract, after 5 years, and is going home to the Philippine so that we can get married there, because that is her home country. She knows of my health problems and lack of money, partly because she knows I have been having a very restricted diet simply in order to save to get there, and bring her home with me.
Things are rarely as they seem on the surface.
"Can you please explain to me how I can possibly turn my free will switch off?"
Easy, you simply choose to let others make all your decisions for you. You wouldn"t be the first to do so, and you won"t be the last if you go that way.

"Why should God not have wants?" He is a super intelligent being, why should he not have wants?
"Because that turns him into a being that is not self-sufficient."
How? If he were not self-reliant he would have needed help to do everything he ash chosen o do.
" It should not require the existence of any other beings."
Creating this whole caboodle was a want, not a need; he could manage perfectly well without it, and did before he decided he wanted something to love and care for.
" An All-Powerful God should not be affected in any way by our actions."
Other than our ability to make him happy or otherwise, he is not affected by us in any way.
" Our actions cannot possibly benefit or harm a self-sufficient and all-powerful being."
True, we cannot affect him in any way other than making him happy or otherwise.

"Satan challenged God. He said he would prove to God that human beings would not serve him. God said that they would and allowed Satan to influence human beings just to prove him wrong. In what sense of the word is this not a bet? And if God did not allow suffering because of this particular event, why even mention it?"
That was not a bet it was a challenge to God"s authority, and right, as well as ability, to have others serve him voluntarily. He accused God of being a liar in his temptation of Eve when he told her "You positively will not die"
What was God to do, ignore such an insult, and all the problems that stem form it? No. He took the only truly wise course open to him to remove once and for all the challenger and ensure that none were able to follow in Satan"s footsteps in the future, the only option that would achieve that end other than completely wiping out all of his creation and forgetting the whole thing. Why would he, as the epitome of Justice, thus punish all the faithful angels that have stood by him through all of the events of the last 6,000 years or so despite Satan openly mocking God in front of them all? That really would be completely unjust.
"No we're not. God is not just the one giving the operation, he is also the cause and propagator of the disease of the disease. This is not true of the parents, who would prevent the child from getting sick in the first place if they could"
No, he did not cause or propagate it. Satan caused itr and is continuing to propagate it.
"My solution was to separate Job and Satan (i.e. Not let them interact with each other). So in fact, Satan would NOT be able to do whatever he wanted (i.e. influence humans Didn't humans have enough temptations already? I mean give us a break Yahweh)."
Job is merely an example; Satan has been influencing people since the Garden of Eden. Simply preventing one from doing anything does not prevent others from trying it. Proving beyond doubt that the challenge is not true solves all problems which is why God chose that course.
"Furthermore, the option God chose is in fact the option whereby Satan got to do whatever he wanted except directly cause the death of human beings.

Would you suggest to the parents in my illustration above that they should simply do nothing and allow the child to suffer for the rest of its life? That is "option 3" in that case.

There is no eternal suffering. And separating those two children only affects those two, Satan and his followers affect all of mankind , past and present except those few who have chosen to accept God"s protection, as has always been the case.

The logic of it is really very simple. He was not to blame for it all going wrong, and once it had he took the only course that would prevent it ever recurring. Simple as. There really is no other alternative.
muslimnomore

Con

First of all I would like to apologize for assuming that you were living a happy life and that it was not difficult for you to feed yourself. And despite the fact that I have a learned a good lesson/reminder from all of this, I do not think your detailed life story was relevant to nor in any away effective in helping your argument. this is because the point I was trying to make though is that not everyone would insist on choosing this life and this existence. I cannot imagine myself insisting on a life where I am constantly in a state of starvation or am bed-ridden, or where my loved ones (especially children if I had any) are killed or tortured in front of my eyes. I think that your statement that we would all insist on choosing this existence is an assumption and most likely not to be true.

Here is the rest of my response
1) God allowed people to be killed through natural disasters because they chose unsafe places to live in? Can you please indicate to me which place in the world has not experienced a natural disaster or other calamity? And no, a lot of people do not have any choice as to where they can live. Especially children. They don't choose where they live. there are over 7 billion of us today. How can God expect us to not spread out to different regions of the world. This was probably the silliest argument you made so far in the debate. Even choosing to live in Japan for example because you got a job there, does not mean that you did something so evil that you deserve to be killed by a tsunami. This is so ridiculous, I can't even believe this was supposed to be a serious argument.
2) You say that God did not cause us to be born sinful and flawed. That it was Satan's fault. Who created it Satan? How is God not the original cause? Also, I thought Satan did not have power to kill people? So who's causing people to die in horrible ways? I don't know about you, but if it were up to me, and I saw an creature like Satan trying to cause human beings to suffer and do more evil than they normally would, I would stop him immediately, because this action would not have any effect on anyone's free will. Not stopping Satan however, puts human beings at a disadvantage. Essentially God is interfering with our ability to make decisions on our own. Therefore, if God is allowing Satan to influence us, he is interfering with our free will.
3) Building on this idea, that by introducing Satan into our existence, and thereby interfered with our ability to make decisions freely, let me ask you this: doesn't God interfere with human affairs in the bible all the time? How come he killed the first borns of Egypt, the entire nation of Noah, performed miracles to heal lepers, and also protect his people from evil countless times? How is that not interfering with free will? If he can stop evils in the stories in the bible without interfering with free will (I assume you think the miracles in the bible did not interfere with free will, otherwise your arguments are even more nonsensical), how come he does not stop other evils? Is this a double standard? seems to me like it is. If God can start plagues to teach evil people a lesson without interfering with free will, he can stop rapists without interfering with free will.
4) So we inherited Adam's sins? Is this one of God's rules, if your dad is a sinner, you are too? And you think this is fair? That this is just? In what sense of the word is this justice? If your dad stole something from me, would it be just for me to torture you eternally for something your dad did? that would be nothing but ridiculous.
5) Would you suggest to the parents in my illustration above that they should simply do nothing and allow the child to suffer for the rest of its life? That is "option 3" in that case.
No that is exactly the opposite of option 3. not allowing Satan to itnerfere with human beings would in no way to influence their free will. in fact this would be the opposite of interfering with free will. this is simple logic. if no one interferes with or influences your decisions, you will make choices more freely. AND this would insure that the children suffer less, not more. Are we even speaking the same language right now? This is the question I ask myself when you make 'arguments' like this.
6) God does not have to punish anyone for anything. He should not need to punish, or cause anyone to suffer. All-powerful and self-reliant means, by definition, that God should not need to rely oon other beings to satiate himself and his own sense of fairness. this is not the equivalent of trying to make a square circle. satisfying oneself without needing other sentient beings is possible, and necessary for a self-sufficent being. even human beings can find happiness regardless of how other people act. I am happy right now even though there are injustices going on around the world according to my standards. If it was up to me I would just end those injustices instead of allowing them to continue, because I am not a reality tv show contestant who needs drama in order to exist. God shouldn't have such needs either.
7) There is no eternal suffering. Ok, we're talking about the god of the bible here right? Are yous serious right now?
8) What was God to do, ignore such an insult, and all the problems that stem form it? Ignoring insults is actually a very noble thing to do, a worthy act for a person who does the right thing despite what others say about him. In fact, didn't god take this attribute to the next level by saying "turn the other cheek"? God shouldn't be petty enough to be swayed by an insult especially since by definition he is supposed to be the all-powerful creator of everything that exists. What kind of a drama-loving imbecile is insulted by something that he created himself. This is laughable argumentation and logic.
Debate Round No. 4
MadCornishBiker

Pro

Again my apologies for my tardiness.

No need to apologise, and no it wasn"t relevant to the debate but it just cleared up a misunderstanding. It also was a long way from my life story, I can assure you.

1) Everyone can choose where they live it all depends on what you use as your criteria for making the decision. I have lived in many parts of the UK, and moved around for a number of reasons, but I would not move to a high risk area for any reason on earth.

If others choose to do so then they have to accept the consequences of their choices.

San Francisco will always be a high risk area and yet when it was practically demolished by an earthquake, did people move away? No, San Franciso is still in the same high risk spot.

In fact God wanted us to spread out, but his idea was never for us to gather together in great big cities, that is man"s idea, not God"s, and it ahs so many drawbacks and few real benefits. Cities are even contributing to climate change because all the concrete acts like storage heaters.

Check temperature readings for cities compared to surrounding countryside, Cities are always more extreme. You cannot create micro-climates and expect them not to affect the climate as a whole. It simply doesn"t work that way. Don"t forget God disrupted work on the first real city, and caused the people to scatter.

No, what it does mean is that if they choose to move into a high risk area then they cannot expect to be safe, and can only have to bear the consequences of their decision whatever they may be.

2) God did not create Satan to sin either, that was his own doing.

Yes I know you would, such is human wisdom, and what would that prove? Nothing, How would that stop others following in his footsteps? Do sanctions against criminals stop others becoming criminal? No they don"t because there is always someone who thinks he can do it better.

No, the only way to stop it ever happening again is to amass enough evidence to prove that it doesn't, and cannot work, and that is what God is having to do. Should anyone be stupid enough to try it again God can then point to the evidence and say "been done, didn't work, goodbye".

3) Once again, God did not introduce Satan into our system, Satan started off as a faithful , but un-named, angel who got greedy, simple as. No-one is to blame but Satan, for everything which he has forced upon us.

He wiped out the Egyptian firstborn to get them to set his people free.

He wiped out all but Noah from the pre flood world because of how bad things had got with disobedient angels materialising human bodies and fathering cruel and violent children.

Easy, the Egyptians could have chosen just to let Israel go and then not have had to suffer any of the plagues.

The people of Noah"s day could have listened to Noah"s preaching and got on the Ark.

Allowing people an informed choice, as he is doing today through people like me, is not interfering with freewill, it is giving them options to exercise that freewill on.

Gravity doesn"t limit free will, you can still choose to step off a cliff if you want, I simply presents you with reliable alternatives. So you can make an informed choice.

4) It is not a rule, it is an inevitable result of Adam becoming imperfect through his sin, he ash passed that imperfection on to his offspring. What good would making his offspring perfect? They were a lot nearer to perfection than we are anyway, it has been a gradual slide, and Adam was prefect when Satan corrupted Eve, who was also perfect. However we still have a choice as to whether or not to learn what sin is and do all we can to avoid it.

No, sorry God"s way is the only way it will work, because God is the only one with enough foresight to see all possible outcomes.

The only way God stopped them was to wipe them out, in his own time, and even then people cry "genocide". As he did back then so he will again wipe all evil men from the face of the earth, again in his own time. However he is currently giving all men, no matter what they have done, the chance to see the error of their ways and save themselves by turning their back on their wicked works.

5) Again, the faulty human wisdom.

But if you did option 3 you would have to do it again and again. As humans have proven beyond doubt, "quick fixes" don"t last. This way it will last forever once finished. Done to option 3 would be better short term but disastrous long term., and would be unlikely to make for much less suffering by humans along the way.

7) Since the bible tells us very clearly that the dead are not conscious of anything, they cannot be suffering, that is a pagan teaching dragged with the Apostasy in to instil fear in the congregations and frighten them into not asking too many questions.

Gen. 3:19: "In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return."

Eccl. 9:10: "All that your hand finds to do, do with your very power, for there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol ["the grave," KJ, Kx; "the world of the dead," TEV], the place to which you are going."

Eccl. 9:5: "The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all."

Ps. 146:4: "His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts ["thoughts," KJ, 145:4 in Dy; "all his thinking," NE; "plans," RS, NAB] do perish."

John 11:11-14: ""Lazarus our friend has gone to rest, but I am journeying there to awaken him from sleep." . . . Jesus said to them outspokenly: "Lazarus has died.""

(see Also Psalm 13:3)

The bible only mentions eternal suffering, or torment, once and from the context that "eternal" means for as long as the sufferers are conscious to feel it, which is not long. After all, if they are to be cast into the "Lake of Fire" which as scripture assures us means the second and permanent death, how can they suffer past that point?

It also shows a lack of knowledge of God"s personality, and is why Christ told us to get to know them both in order to achieve everlasting life. Once we know their personalities we know only too well what they will or will not do. Getting to know God as I do would certainly alleviate all of your concerns, as it has mine.

8) If the insult only affected him then yes I would agree with you, but that insult is bringing much suffering to people earth wide and is causing such as you to doubt his word and not have the trust in him that he deserves.
After all, he continues to "make his son shine down on the righteous and unrighteous alike" at present and he really doesn"t need to. If he chose to stop supplying the energy to run this system it would very quickly wind down to nothing.

He proved what he can do and does doe when he made the sun "appear to stand still for almost a whole day" when Joshua needed more time ti defend the Gibeonites who had promised to join Israel.
I don"t know if God did that by slowing the rotation of the earth, or stopping it, or what he did, but it worked and Joshua won the day, meaning the Gibeonites were saved.

We need never doubt that whatever God does it is for the benefit of his creation in the long term, and God always plans for the long term even if he has to sacrifice the short term for it.

Don"t forget also that 6,000 years plus is very much "short term" for God if not for us.
muslimnomore

Con

1) Everyone can choose where they live it all depends on what you use as your criteria for making the decision.

No. I was born in Pakistan. I was given no choice. If I had a choice, I'd never choose that place to live. Almost no one gets to choose where they live, especially as children. And children are often killed by natural disasters, famines and other calamities.

2) God did not create Satan to sin either, that was his own doing.

So God did not create Satan to sin, but that's what Satan ended up doing to such an extent that it lead to billions of souls being lead astray? This says a lot about this supposedly wise being. Very poor planning skills. An All-wise being should not fail so miserably.

"been done, didn't work, goodbye".
First you say that god's plan is overall successful, then you say that God will say that it didn't work. Why is god carrying on plan that even you know is not going to work? How dumb is this god?

3) Once again, God did not introduce Satan into our system, Satan started off as a faithful , but un-named, angel who got greedy, simple as. No-one is to blame but Satan, for everything which he has forced upon us.

No one is to blame but Satan? So why are we the ones to suffer? Did you, or god, think about this at all?

4) It is not a rule, it is an inevitable result of Adam becoming imperfect through his sin

I still don't understand how this is fair to us. Why did we inherit Adam's sins? Why is this result inevitable? How is it fair or just for a loving God to pass on the faults of the parents to the offspring? A very fundamentally flawed and unfair plan if you ask me.

5)
But if you did option 3 you would have to do it again and again. As humans have proven beyond doubt, "quick fixes" don"t last. This way it will last forever once finished. Done to option 3 would be better short term but disastrous long term., and would be unlikely to make for much less suffering by humans along the way.
No idea what you are trying to say here.

7)After all, if they are to be cast into the "Lake of Fire" which as scripture assures us means the second and permanent death, how can they suffer past that point?

Alright, so you don't believe there anyone will be tortured forever in the afterlife. Even though the way you interpret the bible seems like a bit of a stretch, I'll assume you're right for the sake of discussion. This still doesn't solve the problem of immense suffering on this Earth.

8) If the insult only affected him then yes I would agree with you, but that insult is bringing much suffering to people earth wide and is causing such as you to doubt his word and not have the trust in him that he deserves.

An insult is causing rapes and cancers ? How does that even follow?

I don't know what else to say, beyond the points I've made repeatedly in this argument. Honestly, I don't think I actually understood what you were trying to say because none of the excuses you've made for God's horrible plan are good excuses.

The bottom line is, even I can think of a better plan for humanity than the one you attributed to God here. I think both of us can see that this plan is not worthy of being called success. Since God created and executed this plan that he knew would involve the suffering (torture, pain, sorrow) of innocent people, he is to blame. No one came up with this idea other than God.


If the team fails, the coach often gets fired for a reason: he plans the plays. He is at least in part to blame. For God, an All-Powerful being who had no limitations and could have stopped anyone's suffering at any time, there is no excuse. God is wholly to blame.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by muslimnomore 3 years ago
muslimnomore
no worries. take your time.
Posted by MadCornishBiker 3 years ago
MadCornishBiker
My apologies for taking so long to get this reply posted. Especially since you have so far been so prompt
Posted by MadCornishBiker 3 years ago
MadCornishBiker
OK , will do. easy done.
Posted by muslimnomore 3 years ago
muslimnomore
misread the following statement:
God did not give Satan completely unfettered opportunity to do as he wanted.

Thought it said the opposite of what it did. Please ignore the response to this particular statement..
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