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The Problem of Evil and the Free Will Defense

Cryo
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11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

This is where I've never gotten a good answer from theists. Take the Indonesian Tsunami back in 2004 for instance. Over 250,000 people died in that tragedy. It wasn't anyone's free will that caused it, so what purpose did that serve?

So, God allows suffering because He wants us to have free will, but He's completely okay with something completely unrelated to our will (but completely within His control) coming along and killing us, effectively violating our free will anyway. It doesn't even make sense.

If God truly cared about giving us the chance to make our own choices about Him, it would only be fair and benevolent to give people a fair chance at making their own decision, and an omnipotent God would be able to do just that. But when a child dies from AIDS in Africa, a tornado in middle America or a tsunami in the Pacific, apparently God isn't too concerned with that child's freedom to choose.
jodybirdy
Posts: 2,089
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11/5/2014 5:54:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

This is where I've never gotten a good answer from theists. Take the Indonesian Tsunami back in 2004 for instance. Over 250,000 people died in that tragedy. It wasn't anyone's free will that caused it, so what purpose did that serve?

So, God allows suffering because He wants us to have free will, but He's completely okay with something completely unrelated to our will (but completely within His control) coming along and killing us, effectively violating our free will anyway. It doesn't even make sense.

If God truly cared about giving us the chance to make our own choices about Him, it would only be fair and benevolent to give people a fair chance at making their own decision, and an omnipotent God would be able to do just that. But when a child dies from AIDS in Africa, a tornado in middle America or a tsunami in the Pacific, apparently God isn't too concerned with that child's freedom to choose.

It seems black and white doesn't it? But you do realize that someone is going to come back with a thousand shades of gray right?

This is very thought provoking. Maybe if god intervened it would be going against his own law?
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
mortsdor
Posts: 1,181
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11/5/2014 6:24:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Expected Responder says:
Ah, but when people die unnecessarily at an early age they get a free-pass and go straight to heaven (not needing to do the whole life free-will test thing) so if anything you should happy for them.

LOL (yeah, I make myself laugh...)
If that's better (which, relative to risking Burning in Hell, it might be) then why is god doing the whole free-will test thing in the First place!
Cryo
Posts: 202
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11/5/2014 6:33:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 5:54:52 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

This is where I've never gotten a good answer from theists. Take the Indonesian Tsunami back in 2004 for instance. Over 250,000 people died in that tragedy. It wasn't anyone's free will that caused it, so what purpose did that serve?

So, God allows suffering because He wants us to have free will, but He's completely okay with something completely unrelated to our will (but completely within His control) coming along and killing us, effectively violating our free will anyway. It doesn't even make sense.

If God truly cared about giving us the chance to make our own choices about Him, it would only be fair and benevolent to give people a fair chance at making their own decision, and an omnipotent God would be able to do just that. But when a child dies from AIDS in Africa, a tornado in middle America or a tsunami in the Pacific, apparently God isn't too concerned with that child's freedom to choose.

It seems black and white doesn't it? But you do realize that someone is going to come back with a thousand shades of gray right?


There is a lot to pick apart and discuss here, so someone coming back with shades of grey is what I expect and hope for. However, I believe that the basics of the argument are black and white.

If God wants us to have free will, then why does He allow things to interfere with that? Allowing things like diseases and natural disasters to kill people is completely contradictory to the motivations posited in the Free Will Defense. What about someone with autism or some other mental handicap that inhibits their ability to understand the God concept. How can they possibly make a choice in the matter?

This is very thought provoking. Maybe if god intervened it would be going against his own law?

If He intervened now then I could see some arguments saying He'd be going against His own law against violating our free will. Not that I'd necessarily be convinced by them, but I can imagine some counter arguments. But He's supposed to be omniscient.

He would have seen this moment in time a billion years ago. He could have created the world in such a way that gave people free will, but also the best possible chance to exercise that free will without His intervention, and I believe that we are not living in the best possible world that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God could have made if His purpose was to save as many as possible.

Why does a 50 year old recovering alcoholic get to find God when the 15 year old he killed while driving drunk doesn't? We don't get the same opportunities, yet theists seem to think it's fair for God to judge us all by the same standard and give out the same rewards and punishments.

Saying that this is the world created and ruled by an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being is ridiculous.
bulproof
Posts: 25,210
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11/5/2014 6:46:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
A god who is dead keen on maintaining man's free will wouldn't flood the planet.
That claim is shot out of the water.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Cryo
Posts: 202
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11/5/2014 7:11:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 6:24:43 PM, mortsdor wrote:
Expected Responder says:
Ah, but when people die unnecessarily at an early age they get a free-pass and go straight to heaven (not needing to do the whole life free-will test thing) so if anything you should happy for them.

LOL (yeah, I make myself laugh...)
If that's better (which, relative to risking Burning in Hell, it might be) then why is god doing the whole free-will test thing in the First place!

This gave me a good laugh as well. I never liked that answer though. There's no explicit scriptural basis for children going straight to heaven. The most common thing they'll bring up is the story of David mourning his son in 2nd Samuel, when he says he'll see his son again. Many Christians say that this means kids go straight to heaven, but they ignore the fact that the ancient Hebrews did not have the same concept of heaven and hell. Instead they had Sheol, the abode of the dead, and everyone went there regardless of how they lived their lives. Of course David thought he'd see his son again. Everyone went to the same place.

The Bible's clear on who gets into heaven, with verses like:
John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Romans 10:9 - "If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
John 14:6 - "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

In other words, Jesus sacrifice made it possible for you to go to Heaven, but it's a conscious choice. You have to accept God. Period. If you don't, then you don't get in. The Bible doesn't give a minimum age requirement. The idea of an "age of accountability" is nothing but wishful thinking from Christians trying to maintain their bias that God is good.
jodybirdy
Posts: 2,089
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11/5/2014 8:04:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 6:33:10 PM, Cryo wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:54:52 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

This is where I've never gotten a good answer from theists. Take the Indonesian Tsunami back in 2004 for instance. Over 250,000 people died in that tragedy. It wasn't anyone's free will that caused it, so what purpose did that serve?

So, God allows suffering because He wants us to have free will, but He's completely okay with something completely unrelated to our will (but completely within His control) coming along and killing us, effectively violating our free will anyway. It doesn't even make sense.

If God truly cared about giving us the chance to make our own choices about Him, it would only be fair and benevolent to give people a fair chance at making their own decision, and an omnipotent God would be able to do just that. But when a child dies from AIDS in Africa, a tornado in middle America or a tsunami in the Pacific, apparently God isn't too concerned with that child's freedom to choose.

It seems black and white doesn't it? But you do realize that someone is going to come back with a thousand shades of gray right?


There is a lot to pick apart and discuss here, so someone coming back with shades of grey is what I expect and hope for. However, I believe that the basics of the argument are black and white.

If God wants us to have free will, then why does He allow things to interfere with that? Allowing things like diseases and natural disasters to kill people is completely contradictory to the motivations posited in the Free Will Defense. What about someone with autism or some other mental handicap that inhibits their ability to understand the God concept. How can they possibly make a choice in the matter?

This is very thought provoking. Maybe if god intervened it would be going against his own law?

If He intervened now then I could see some arguments saying He'd be going against His own law against violating our free will. Not that I'd necessarily be convinced by them, but I can imagine some counter arguments. But He's supposed to be omniscient.

He would have seen this moment in time a billion years ago. He could have created the world in such a way that gave people free will, but also the best possible chance to exercise that free will without His intervention, and I believe that we are not living in the best possible world that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God could have made if His purpose was to save as many as possible.

Why does a 50 year old recovering alcoholic get to find God when the 15 year old he killed while driving drunk doesn't? We don't get the same opportunities, yet theists seem to think it's fair for God to judge us all by the same standard and give out the same rewards and punishments.

Saying that this is the world created and ruled by an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being is ridiculous.

These are all very good questions and I cannot answer them for you. I can only speculate from my perspective why God would stay out of things. Why children die. Why some people never even know about God. With all things being equal, I have to agree with you that what we have been told doesn't make logical sense. Perhaps God is not what we think he is. Maybe we're all way off base.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
SamStevens
Posts: 3,819
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11/5/2014 8:14:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 8:04:14 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 6:33:10 PM, Cryo wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:54:52 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

This is where I've never gotten a good answer from theists. Take the Indonesian Tsunami back in 2004 for instance. Over 250,000 people died in that tragedy. It wasn't anyone's free will that caused it, so what purpose did that serve?

So, God allows suffering because He wants us to have free will, but He's completely okay with something completely unrelated to our will (but completely within His control) coming along and killing us, effectively violating our free will anyway. It doesn't even make sense.

If God truly cared about giving us the chance to make our own choices about Him, it would only be fair and benevolent to give people a fair chance at making their own decision, and an omnipotent God would be able to do just that. But when a child dies from AIDS in Africa, a tornado in middle America or a tsunami in the Pacific, apparently God isn't too concerned with that child's freedom to choose.

It seems black and white doesn't it? But you do realize that someone is going to come back with a thousand shades of gray right?


There is a lot to pick apart and discuss here, so someone coming back with shades of grey is what I expect and hope for. However, I believe that the basics of the argument are black and white.

If God wants us to have free will, then why does He allow things to interfere with that? Allowing things like diseases and natural disasters to kill people is completely contradictory to the motivations posited in the Free Will Defense. What about someone with autism or some other mental handicap that inhibits their ability to understand the God concept. How can they possibly make a choice in the matter?

This is very thought provoking. Maybe if god intervened it would be going against his own law?

If He intervened now then I could see some arguments saying He'd be going against His own law against violating our free will. Not that I'd necessarily be convinced by them, but I can imagine some counter arguments. But He's supposed to be omniscient.

He would have seen this moment in time a billion years ago. He could have created the world in such a way that gave people free will, but also the best possible chance to exercise that free will without His intervention, and I believe that we are not living in the best possible world that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God could have made if His purpose was to save as many as possible.

Why does a 50 year old recovering alcoholic get to find God when the 15 year old he killed while driving drunk doesn't? We don't get the same opportunities, yet theists seem to think it's fair for God to judge us all by the same standard and give out the same rewards and punishments.

Saying that this is the world created and ruled by an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being is ridiculous.

These are all very good questions and I cannot answer them for you. I can only speculate from my perspective why God would stay out of things. Why children die.
Why does god allow this to happen? The examples are as follows:

https://www.youtube.com...

https://www.youtube.com...

Why some people never even know about God. With all things being equal, I have to agree with you that what we have been told doesn't make logical sense. Perhaps God is not what we think he is. Maybe we're all way off base.
"This is the true horror of religion. It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own." Sam Harris
Life asked Death "Why do people love me but hate you?"
Death responded: "Because you are a beautiful lie, and I am the painful truth."
jodybirdy
Posts: 2,089
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11/5/2014 8:41:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 8:14:41 PM, SamStevens wrote:
At 11/5/2014 8:04:14 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 6:33:10 PM, Cryo wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:54:52 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

This is where I've never gotten a good answer from theists. Take the Indonesian Tsunami back in 2004 for instance. Over 250,000 people died in that tragedy. It wasn't anyone's free will that caused it, so what purpose did that serve?

So, God allows suffering because He wants us to have free will, but He's completely okay with something completely unrelated to our will (but completely within His control) coming along and killing us, effectively violating our free will anyway. It doesn't even make sense.

If God truly cared about giving us the chance to make our own choices about Him, it would only be fair and benevolent to give people a fair chance at making their own decision, and an omnipotent God would be able to do just that. But when a child dies from AIDS in Africa, a tornado in middle America or a tsunami in the Pacific, apparently God isn't too concerned with that child's freedom to choose.

It seems black and white doesn't it? But you do realize that someone is going to come back with a thousand shades of gray right?


There is a lot to pick apart and discuss here, so someone coming back with shades of grey is what I expect and hope for. However, I believe that the basics of the argument are black and white.

If God wants us to have free will, then why does He allow things to interfere with that? Allowing things like diseases and natural disasters to kill people is completely contradictory to the motivations posited in the Free Will Defense. What about someone with autism or some other mental handicap that inhibits their ability to understand the God concept. How can they possibly make a choice in the matter?

This is very thought provoking. Maybe if god intervened it would be going against his own law?

If He intervened now then I could see some arguments saying He'd be going against His own law against violating our free will. Not that I'd necessarily be convinced by them, but I can imagine some counter arguments. But He's supposed to be omniscient.

He would have seen this moment in time a billion years ago. He could have created the world in such a way that gave people free will, but also the best possible chance to exercise that free will without His intervention, and I believe that we are not living in the best possible world that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God could have made if His purpose was to save as many as possible.

Why does a 50 year old recovering alcoholic get to find God when the 15 year old he killed while driving drunk doesn't? We don't get the same opportunities, yet theists seem to think it's fair for God to judge us all by the same standard and give out the same rewards and punishments.

Saying that this is the world created and ruled by an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being is ridiculous.

These are all very good questions and I cannot answer them for you. I can only speculate from my perspective why God would stay out of things. Why children die.
Why does god allow this to happen? The examples are as follows:

https://www.youtube.com...

https://www.youtube.com...


Why some people never even know about God. With all things being equal, I have to agree with you that what we have been told doesn't make logical sense. Perhaps God is not what we think he is. Maybe we're all way off base.

Thanks. I literally got sick after the second video. I'm not sure that I understand your point. Please explain.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
SamStevens
Posts: 3,819
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11/5/2014 8:43:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 8:41:56 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 8:14:41 PM, SamStevens wrote:
At 11/5/2014 8:04:14 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 6:33:10 PM, Cryo wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:54:52 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

This is where I've never gotten a good answer from theists. Take the Indonesian Tsunami back in 2004 for instance. Over 250,000 people died in that tragedy. It wasn't anyone's free will that caused it, so what purpose did that serve?

So, God allows suffering because He wants us to have free will, but He's completely okay with something completely unrelated to our will (but completely within His control) coming along and killing us, effectively violating our free will anyway. It doesn't even make sense.

If God truly cared about giving us the chance to make our own choices about Him, it would only be fair and benevolent to give people a fair chance at making their own decision, and an omnipotent God would be able to do just that. But when a child dies from AIDS in Africa, a tornado in middle America or a tsunami in the Pacific, apparently God isn't too concerned with that child's freedom to choose.

It seems black and white doesn't it? But you do realize that someone is going to come back with a thousand shades of gray right?


There is a lot to pick apart and discuss here, so someone coming back with shades of grey is what I expect and hope for. However, I believe that the basics of the argument are black and white.

If God wants us to have free will, then why does He allow things to interfere with that? Allowing things like diseases and natural disasters to kill people is completely contradictory to the motivations posited in the Free Will Defense. What about someone with autism or some other mental handicap that inhibits their ability to understand the God concept. How can they possibly make a choice in the matter?

This is very thought provoking. Maybe if god intervened it would be going against his own law?

If He intervened now then I could see some arguments saying He'd be going against His own law against violating our free will. Not that I'd necessarily be convinced by them, but I can imagine some counter arguments. But He's supposed to be omniscient.

He would have seen this moment in time a billion years ago. He could have created the world in such a way that gave people free will, but also the best possible chance to exercise that free will without His intervention, and I believe that we are not living in the best possible world that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God could have made if His purpose was to save as many as possible.

Why does a 50 year old recovering alcoholic get to find God when the 15 year old he killed while driving drunk doesn't? We don't get the same opportunities, yet theists seem to think it's fair for God to judge us all by the same standard and give out the same rewards and punishments.

Saying that this is the world created and ruled by an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being is ridiculous.

These are all very good questions and I cannot answer them for you. I can only speculate from my perspective why God would stay out of things. Why children die.
Why does god allow this to happen? The examples are as follows:

https://www.youtube.com...

https://www.youtube.com...


Why some people never even know about God. With all things being equal, I have to agree with you that what we have been told doesn't make logical sense. Perhaps God is not what we think he is. Maybe we're all way off base.

Thanks. I literally got sick after the second video. I'm not sure that I understand your point. Please explain.

So why does god allow that to happen? What did the animal do to deserve that kind of life?
"This is the true horror of religion. It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own." Sam Harris
Life asked Death "Why do people love me but hate you?"
Death responded: "Because you are a beautiful lie, and I am the painful truth."
jodybirdy
Posts: 2,089
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11/5/2014 8:46:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 8:43:14 PM, SamStevens wrote:
At 11/5/2014 8:41:56 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 8:14:41 PM, SamStevens wrote:
At 11/5/2014 8:04:14 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 6:33:10 PM, Cryo wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:54:52 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

This is where I've never gotten a good answer from theists. Take the Indonesian Tsunami back in 2004 for instance. Over 250,000 people died in that tragedy. It wasn't anyone's free will that caused it, so what purpose did that serve?

So, God allows suffering because He wants us to have free will, but He's completely okay with something completely unrelated to our will (but completely within His control) coming along and killing us, effectively violating our free will anyway. It doesn't even make sense.

If God truly cared about giving us the chance to make our own choices about Him, it would only be fair and benevolent to give people a fair chance at making their own decision, and an omnipotent God would be able to do just that. But when a child dies from AIDS in Africa, a tornado in middle America or a tsunami in the Pacific, apparently God isn't too concerned with that child's freedom to choose.

It seems black and white doesn't it? But you do realize that someone is going to come back with a thousand shades of gray right?


There is a lot to pick apart and discuss here, so someone coming back with shades of grey is what I expect and hope for. However, I believe that the basics of the argument are black and white.

If God wants us to have free will, then why does He allow things to interfere with that? Allowing things like diseases and natural disasters to kill people is completely contradictory to the motivations posited in the Free Will Defense. What about someone with autism or some other mental handicap that inhibits their ability to understand the God concept. How can they possibly make a choice in the matter?

This is very thought provoking. Maybe if god intervened it would be going against his own law?

If He intervened now then I could see some arguments saying He'd be going against His own law against violating our free will. Not that I'd necessarily be convinced by them, but I can imagine some counter arguments. But He's supposed to be omniscient.

He would have seen this moment in time a billion years ago. He could have created the world in such a way that gave people free will, but also the best possible chance to exercise that free will without His intervention, and I believe that we are not living in the best possible world that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God could have made if His purpose was to save as many as possible.

Why does a 50 year old recovering alcoholic get to find God when the 15 year old he killed while driving drunk doesn't? We don't get the same opportunities, yet theists seem to think it's fair for God to judge us all by the same standard and give out the same rewards and punishments.

Saying that this is the world created and ruled by an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being is ridiculous.

These are all very good questions and I cannot answer them for you. I can only speculate from my perspective why God would stay out of things. Why children die.
Why does god allow this to happen? The examples are as follows:

https://www.youtube.com...

https://www.youtube.com...


Why some people never even know about God. With all things being equal, I have to agree with you that what we have been told doesn't make logical sense. Perhaps God is not what we think he is. Maybe we're all way off base.

Thanks. I literally got sick after the second video. I'm not sure that I understand your point. Please explain.

So why does god allow that to happen? What did the animal do to deserve that kind of life?

You tell me.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
SamStevens
Posts: 3,819
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11/5/2014 8:49:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 8:46:52 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 8:43:14 PM, SamStevens wrote:
At 11/5/2014 8:41:56 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 8:14:41 PM, SamStevens wrote:
At 11/5/2014 8:04:14 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 6:33:10 PM, Cryo wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:54:52 PM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

This is where I've never gotten a good answer from theists. Take the Indonesian Tsunami back in 2004 for instance. Over 250,000 people died in that tragedy. It wasn't anyone's free will that caused it, so what purpose did that serve?

So, God allows suffering because He wants us to have free will, but He's completely okay with something completely unrelated to our will (but completely within His control) coming along and killing us, effectively violating our free will anyway. It doesn't even make sense.

If God truly cared about giving us the chance to make our own choices about Him, it would only be fair and benevolent to give people a fair chance at making their own decision, and an omnipotent God would be able to do just that. But when a child dies from AIDS in Africa, a tornado in middle America or a tsunami in the Pacific, apparently God isn't too concerned with that child's freedom to choose.

It seems black and white doesn't it? But you do realize that someone is going to come back with a thousand shades of gray right?


There is a lot to pick apart and discuss here, so someone coming back with shades of grey is what I expect and hope for. However, I believe that the basics of the argument are black and white.

If God wants us to have free will, then why does He allow things to interfere with that? Allowing things like diseases and natural disasters to kill people is completely contradictory to the motivations posited in the Free Will Defense. What about someone with autism or some other mental handicap that inhibits their ability to understand the God concept. How can they possibly make a choice in the matter?

This is very thought provoking. Maybe if god intervened it would be going against his own law?

If He intervened now then I could see some arguments saying He'd be going against His own law against violating our free will. Not that I'd necessarily be convinced by them, but I can imagine some counter arguments. But He's supposed to be omniscient.

He would have seen this moment in time a billion years ago. He could have created the world in such a way that gave people free will, but also the best possible chance to exercise that free will without His intervention, and I believe that we are not living in the best possible world that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God could have made if His purpose was to save as many as possible.

Why does a 50 year old recovering alcoholic get to find God when the 15 year old he killed while driving drunk doesn't? We don't get the same opportunities, yet theists seem to think it's fair for God to judge us all by the same standard and give out the same rewards and punishments.

Saying that this is the world created and ruled by an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being is ridiculous.

These are all very good questions and I cannot answer them for you. I can only speculate from my perspective why God would stay out of things. Why children die.
Why does god allow this to happen? The examples are as follows:

https://www.youtube.com...

https://www.youtube.com...


Why some people never even know about God. With all things being equal, I have to agree with you that what we have been told doesn't make logical sense. Perhaps God is not what we think he is. Maybe we're all way off base.

Thanks. I literally got sick after the second video. I'm not sure that I understand your point. Please explain.

So why does god allow that to happen? What did the animal do to deserve that kind of life?

You tell me.

I am asking you as to why God would allow this to happen.

If you want my opinion, god does not exist and this is a clear example of survival of the fittest.
"This is the true horror of religion. It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own." Sam Harris
Life asked Death "Why do people love me but hate you?"
Death responded: "Because you are a beautiful lie, and I am the painful truth."
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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11/5/2014 10:14:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

This is where I've never gotten a good answer from theists. Take the Indonesian Tsunami back in 2004 for instance. Over 250,000 people died in that tragedy. It wasn't anyone's free will that caused it, so what purpose did that serve?

So, God allows suffering because He wants us to have free will, but He's completely okay with something completely unrelated to our will (but completely within His control) coming along and killing us, effectively violating our free will anyway. It doesn't even make sense.

If God truly cared about giving us the chance to make our own choices about Him, it would only be fair and benevolent to give people a fair chance at making their own decision, and an omnipotent God would be able to do just that. But when a child dies from AIDS in Africa, a tornado in middle America or a tsunami in the Pacific, apparently God isn't too concerned with that child's freedom to choose.

Our Father the Creator of all things said this through His prophets; "Thy will be done".

If God created man to be the Creator of His own destiny, He would have had it written like this, "Your will be done".
Cryo
Posts: 202
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11/5/2014 10:37:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 10:14:24 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

This is where I've never gotten a good answer from theists. Take the Indonesian Tsunami back in 2004 for instance. Over 250,000 people died in that tragedy. It wasn't anyone's free will that caused it, so what purpose did that serve?

So, God allows suffering because He wants us to have free will, but He's completely okay with something completely unrelated to our will (but completely within His control) coming along and killing us, effectively violating our free will anyway. It doesn't even make sense.

If God truly cared about giving us the chance to make our own choices about Him, it would only be fair and benevolent to give people a fair chance at making their own decision, and an omnipotent God would be able to do just that. But when a child dies from AIDS in Africa, a tornado in middle America or a tsunami in the Pacific, apparently God isn't too concerned with that child's freedom to choose.

Our Father the Creator of all things said this through His prophets; "Thy will be done".

If God created man to be the Creator of His own destiny, He would have had it written like this, "Your will be done".

This is a pretty weak strawman. My argument wasn't about man's will vs. God's will, nor was it about who should determine our ultimate fates.

What I'm saying is if there is an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being, who truly wants to save as many of us as possible, then the world we live in is a pathetically inefficient system. It's certainly not one that anyone would claim was designed by such a being.

Again, if evil exists because He gave us free will, then why would He allow for natural evils to kill people and render the free will He gave us meaningless? It's counterproductive and nonsensical.

And if by quoting, "Thy will be done" you are implying that everything that happens is exactly what God wanted, then He is clearly not omnibenevolent.
Benshapiro
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11/5/2014 11:22:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
This brings up a good point and there's no easy answer. On the surface of it, it definitely seems like there is gratuitous suffering in the world. But to know whether gratuitous suffering ultimately exists is unknowable. Even in some of the most dire and tragic circumstances good can still come of it. Ultimately, you make a good point. It doesn't disprove an omnibenevolent God as an impossibility though because we lack the knowledge to know if gratuitous suffering is actually true.

To me, it also shows that human beings recognize that good and evil really, truly does exist.
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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11/5/2014 11:26:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

Okay - I'll play Devil's advocate. 1. Who says that suffering is bad? Sure, we'd rather not do it, but we'd rather not work our butt's off, either, and how can we know how temporary suffering might affect an eternal afterlife? I once had surgery where I had to remain away, but they gave me a med to keep me from remembering. During the surgery I was in intense pain. Others saw it. I cried-out and writhed in agony. But to me it never happened. I have no sense of that pain having ever occurred. Does that happen at death? Who are we to assume that we are aware of what's best and what's not?

This is where I've never gotten a good answer from theists. Take the Indonesian Tsunami back in 2004 for instance. Over 250,000 people died in that tragedy. It wasn't anyone's free will that caused it, so what purpose did that serve?

Perhaps everyone's free will caused it, or do you not believe in global warming? Perhaps it was merely a test? Again, who are we to claim to know that the net result of it was bad?

So, God allows suffering because He wants us to have free will, but He's completely okay with something completely unrelated to our will (but completely within His control) coming along and killing us, effectively violating our free will anyway. It doesn't even make sense.

If God truly cared about giving us the chance to make our own choices about Him, it would only be fair and benevolent to give people a fair chance at making their own decision, and an omnipotent God would be able to do just that. But when a child dies from AIDS in Africa, a tornado in middle America or a tsunami in the Pacific, apparently God isn't too concerned with that child's freedom to choose.

We do have the choice to make our own decisions. Poor people from Pakistan become rich in America. Americans die of hunger. 50% of Americans with doctorates come from foreign countries. You can't question things which it's impossible to understand.

Now what really freaks me out these days is that science is promising the world everything that they mock about religion. Eternal life, instant healing, the ability to become super-beings. You should read about the Singularity. It sounds far more crazy than the Bible. A scientist will believe with no problem that we could have been created by an advanced foreign race which guides our development, but they never consider that God would be and advanced foreign being. Just saying. The truth is that I am not a religious person, and YECers drive me nuts, but I'm able to see that it's all crazy, and that no matter what you believe about reality, that's crazy, too. Were we "created" by some supreme being? Did the universe just pop into existence and then start to slowly come to life? Because eventually anything is possible. Mankind has the ability to perform deeds normally attributed to gods, and we're only becoming more advanced.

There's a scientific theory you may have heard about. Our galaxy is full of billions of planets, a great many which should be capable of supporting life, many of which are millions of years older than our young Earth. By all reckoning the odds say that there should be highly-advanced civilizations in our galaxy, but we've heard nary a peep from them. Is there some law which causes civilizations to destroy themselves at a certain point, and even if there is, why aren't there any radio or TV signals bouncing around? Do you realize how advanced the Earth should be in a million years?

I think the important thing is to keep one's mind open until we have enough info to do more than guess.
Cryo
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11/6/2014 5:55:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 11:22:07 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
This brings up a good point and there's no easy answer. On the surface of it, it definitely seems like there is gratuitous suffering in the world. But to know whether gratuitous suffering ultimately exists is unknowable. Even in some of the most dire and tragic circumstances good can still come of it. Ultimately, you make a good point. It doesn't disprove an omnibenevolent God as an impossibility though because we lack the knowledge to know if gratuitous suffering is actually true.

To me, it also shows that human beings recognize that good and evil really, truly does exist.

I'm going to have to disagree with the idea that gratuitous suffering is unknowable. One does not need to be omnipotent to know if any instance of suffering is gratuitous or unnecessary. Working within the framework of Christian doctrine, there are a few things we can determine if we assume the claims are true.

1. After death, you can only go to either heaven or hell. There is no other destination beyond these two.
2. You can only get into heaven if you believe in God and Jesus' sacrifice and accept Him as Lord. Christians debate over whether works are a factor, but this is the baseline that all Christians accept: If you don't accept Jesus, you don't go to heaven.
3. If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you CANNOT and DO NOT enter Heaven. And since there are only two possible options, you MUST go to Hell.

Now comes the age-old question of Predestination vs Arminianism. Different schools of thought on salvation, but I believe it can be known that either one results in unnecessary or gratuitous suffering.

Predestination:
Proverbs 16:4, "The Lord works out everything to its proper end - even the wicked for a day of disaster."
Romans 9:18, "Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden."

If you subscribe to Predestination, the idea that God has already predetermined who will go to heaven and who will go to hell, then that means that God created tens of billions of souls knowing full well that they would spend a brief time on earth, only to spend an eternity in conscious torment in Hell, regardless of how they lived their lives. God specifically created beings then deliberately chose not to bring them into Heaven, thus condemning them to Hell. This is clearly not an omnibenevolent plan, and in fact I could come up with a better one myself.

If I was God, and wanted friends/followers/worshipers, then I could run the "life on earth" simulation, take the ones who I wanted, then simply blink the rest out of existence instead of having them tortured for eternity. I would gain everything I wanted, with less suffering. In fact if I was God, I wouldn't even need to run the simulation. I would know the outcome already, then I could just create the specific people I wanted. God cannot be omnibenevolent and also predetermine that billions of souls, or even just one soul, should suffer in Hell.

Arminianism:
1st Timothy 2:4, "God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."
2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

Arminianism is the school of thought that God has made salvation is available to all.
If God wants everyone to be saved, and sacrificed Jesus so that all would have the opportunity to be saved, then the world we live in is in complete contradiction to that goal.

Let me illustrate with an example. Say there are two high school friends, two girls age 18 named Jessica and Maria. Neither are Christian, but Jesus' sacrifice was meant for everyone, and God wants these two girls to come to Him.

But since we have free will and the capacity to do evil, one day Jessica is kidnapped, raped and murdered. Since she died not believing in God and Jesus, she doesn't get to go to Heaven. Jessica's gonna burn in hell forever. Meanwhile, her friend Maria goes to college, has a Christian roommate, gets saved and lives the rest of her life as a Christian. When she dies, she gets to go to heaven.

Either it was God's plan for Jessica to be kidnapped, raped and murdered only to go to Hell (Predestination) or it wasn't His plan, but it happened anyway (Arminianism). The problem is, whether He wanted it to happen or not, she ends up in the same place. Hell. And there are no second chances after death. You make your choices in life, you die and you are subsequently judged based on what you believed in life.

No matter how you look at it, there is suffering that exists, both in this world and in the next, that could be avoided by an omnipotent being, but it isn't. Such a being cannot be called omnibenevolent. Even if what happened to Jessica served some greater good, say by inspiring others to make the neighborhood safer, her suffering still exists, and her continued suffering in Hell serves absolutely no purpose to anyone except to satisfy God's own selfish desires.

If you have knowledge of lasting suffering and the power to stop it, but choose not to, then you are not omnibenevolent.

Now, if you believe that there is some sort of higher power that ultimately wants everyone to be healthy and happy, that's a separate question. But if that's what you believe then you certainly cannot call yourself a Christian.

And the icing on the theological cake? The guy who raped and murdered Jessica while on death row gets his hands on a Bible. After years of thought and reflection, realizes what a horrible thing he's done. He falls to his knees and begs God for forgiveness, and proclaims Jesus as Lord and accepts Him as his savior. He gets to go to Heaven now.
Cryo
Posts: 202
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11/6/2014 6:47:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 11:26:18 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

Okay - I'll play Devil's advocate. 1. Who says that suffering is bad? Sure, we'd rather not do it, but we'd rather not work our butt's off, either, and how can we know how temporary suffering might affect an eternal afterlife? I once had surgery where I had to remain away, but they gave me a med to keep me from remembering. During the surgery I was in intense pain. Others saw it. I cried-out and writhed in agony. But to me it never happened. I have no sense of that pain having ever occurred. Does that happen at death? Who are we to assume that we are aware of what's best and what's not?

It seems like you're trying to trivialize my argument. I'm not talking about working when you'd rather not, or pain you don't remember feeling because of the meds you were on. Frankly I don't understand what your story has to do with any of this. I'm talking about the people starving to death, dying of incurable diseases, being murdered, etc. The people who are having their ability to make decisions taken away from them by something outside of their control, but completely in God's control. I'm talking about the tens of billions of souls that will spend an eternity suffering in Hell. I'm arguing that there is unnecessary suffering that exists, both in this world and in the afterlife described by the Bible.

Suffering does exist, and some of it doesn't need to exist. If God has the knowledge that unnecessary suffering exists and the power to remove it but doesn't, then He cannot be called omnipotent.

"How can we know how temporary suffering can affect the afterlife?" Which afterlife are we talking about here? Because I'm specifically referring to the Christian afterlife. We don't know about the afterlife or if there even is one at all. But if you're not going to discuss theodicies with me, then there's no point in having this discussion, at least not in this thread.


This is where I've never gotten a good answer from theists. Take the Indonesian Tsunami back in 2004 for instance. Over 250,000 people died in that tragedy. It wasn't anyone's free will that caused it, so what purpose did that serve?

Perhaps everyone's free will caused it, or do you not believe in global warming? Perhaps it was merely a test? Again, who are we to claim to know that the net result of it was bad?

Global warming? So let's say people's decisions contributed to global warming which caused the tsunami. That would mean that people died horrible deaths because of choices someone else made. In other words, God saw fit to punish one group of people for the choices of another group of people, which is insanely immoral and unjust and cannot be called the best an all powerful, all good God could do.

Who are we to claim that the net result was bad? Who are we not to? Like I said, I am arguing within the framework of the Bible and Christian doctrine. If you're talking about some great, unknown potential afterlife unrelated to any particular religion, which is what it sounds like you're doing, that's cool but then you're not defending Christianity, which is the subject of this thread.


So, God allows suffering because He wants us to have free will, but He's completely okay with something completely unrelated to our will (but completely within His control) coming along and killing us, effectively violating our free will anyway. It doesn't even make sense.

If God truly cared about giving us the chance to make our own choices about Him, it would only be fair and benevolent to give people a fair chance at making their own decision, and an omnipotent God would be able to do just that. But when a child dies from AIDS in Africa, a tornado in middle America or a tsunami in the Pacific, apparently God isn't too concerned with that child's freedom to choose.

We do have the choice to make our own decisions. Poor people from Pakistan become rich in America. Americans die of hunger. 50% of Americans with doctorates come from foreign countries. You can't question things which it's impossible to understand.

"Poor people from Pakistan become rich in America", what the hell does this have to do with what I'm saying? Nothing, and it's not impossible to understand. We can make our own decisions as long as, oh I don't know, something OUTSIDE OF OUR CONTROL DOESN'T KILLS US. If we're dead, then we can't make any choices at all. Obviously.

If God gave us free will because he wanted us to choose Him, then there's not point in having people killed by things outside of their control thereby negating the free will He gave us in the first place. It's very easy to understand.


Now what really freaks me out these days is that science is promising the world everything that they mock about religion. Eternal life, instant healing, the ability to become super-beings. You should read about the Singularity. It sounds far more crazy than the Bible. A scientist will believe with no problem that we could have been created by an advanced foreign race which guides our development, but they never consider that God would be and advanced foreign being. Just saying. The truth is that I am not a religious person, and YECers drive me nuts, but I'm able to see that it's all crazy, and that no matter what you believe about reality, that's crazy, too. Were we "created" by some supreme being? Did the universe just pop into existence and then start to slowly come to life? Because eventually anything is possible. Mankind has the ability to perform deeds normally attributed to gods, and we're only becoming more advanced.

There's a scientific theory you may have heard about. Our galaxy is full of billions of planets, a great many which should be capable of supporting life, many of which are millions of years older than our young Earth. By all reckoning the odds say that there should be highly-advanced civilizations in our galaxy, but we've heard nary a peep from them. Is there some law which causes civilizations to destroy themselves at a certain point, and even if there is, why aren't there any radio or TV signals bouncing around? Do you realize how advanced the Earth should be in a million years?

I think the important thing is to keep one's mind open until we have enough info to do more than guess.

All in all, this was a really poor attempt at playing Devil's Advocate. You didn't really address my points, and these last two paragraphs have nothing to do with what I said. Seriously, I'm talking about the problem of evil and different theodicies and you're bringing up theories about other galaxies and alien civilizations.

I'm not claiming to know everything, and I am open minded. Am I omniscient? No. Can I draw logical conclusions from the information at hand?
Cryo
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11/6/2014 7:01:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 11:26:18 PM, Idealist wrote:
Now what really freaks me out these days is that science is promising the world everything that they mock about religion. Eternal life, instant healing, the ability to become super-beings. You should read about the Singularity. It sounds far more crazy than the Bible. A scientist will believe with no problem that we could have been created by an advanced foreign race which guides our development, but they never consider that God would be and advanced foreign being. Just saying. The truth is that I am not a religious person, and YECers drive me nuts, but I'm able to see that it's all crazy, and that no matter what you believe about reality, that's crazy, too. Were we "created" by some supreme being? Did the universe just pop into existence and then start to slowly come to life? Because eventually anything is possible. Mankind has the ability to perform deeds normally attributed to gods, and we're only becoming more advanced.

I almost ran out of space in my last post but I need to expand on some things you said here.

First, let's not make the mistake of equating the "promise" made by religions with the hypotheses being explored by scientists. Scientists aren't "promising" eternal life to people. There are scientists who believe it's possible that we could find ways to accelerate healing and prolong life, and they're working towards it, but it is NOT the same as what's being preached by theists.

Why? Because the scientist's projections are based on evidence. They have reasons to believe the things they say are possible. They look at the fact that our bodies heal themselves to a certain extant, there are other animals that can grow back entire limbs, hey, maybe it's possible that one day we'll be able to reach that kind of regeneration in humans. It may sound like science fiction to some, but it's an idea entirely based in reality. They don't just refer to some centuries old book written by anonymous authors making claims that go completely against what we understand about the world and the universe. They're not even close to the same thing.

Also, a scientist will entertain the notion that we were created by aliens but not by God? Yeah, I've wondered that to, you know why? BECAUSE IT'S MORE BELIEVABLE. We have a precedent for life in the universe right here on Earth. We already know that it's possible for life to exist, so it's possible that life could also exist somewhere else.

That is not the same thing as a god. Did I ever once say that a god couldn't possibly exist? No. What I'm arguing is that the Christian god is not simultaneously omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent. Big difference.

On one hand you have life forms that evolved on another planet, like life on our planet, completely bound by the same laws of nature, and then on the other hand you have the completely unfounded assertion that there is a supernatural, transcendent, all-powerful, all-knowing God? And you talk about them like they're both equally plausible. They're not.
Cryo
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11/6/2014 7:10:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
"Can I draw logical conclusions from the information at hand?" I wrote this at the end of my first response to Idealist. There was supposed to be a big "YES!" at the end of that. Oh well.

Anyway, I'm gonna grab a beer. Here's hoping someone comes along and has something to add to this thread, because so far all I've got is, "These are all very good questions and I cannot answer them for you," and "This brings up a good point and there's no easy answer."

If you're a Christian and you think I'm making good points and you can't come up with an answer, perhaps you should reconsider why you're a Christian at all.
Idealist
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11/6/2014 7:53:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 6:47:05 PM, Cryo wrote:
At 11/5/2014 11:26:18 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

Okay - I'll play Devil's advocate. 1. Who says that suffering is bad? Sure, we'd rather not do it, but we'd rather not work our butt's off, either, and how can we know how temporary suffering might affect an eternal afterlife? I once had surgery where I had to remain away, but they gave me a med to keep me from remembering. During the surgery I was in intense pain. Others saw it. I cried-out and writhed in agony. But to me it never happened. I have no sense of that pain having ever occurred. Does that happen at death? Who are we to assume that we are aware of what's best and what's not?

It seems like you're trying to trivialize my argument. I'm not talking about working when you'd rather not, or pain you don't remember feeling because of the meds you were on. Frankly I don't understand what your story has to do with any of this. I'm talking about the people starving to death, dying of incurable diseases, being murdered, etc. The people who are having their ability to make decisions taken away from them by something outside of their control, but completely in God's control. I'm talking about the tens of billions of souls that will spend an eternity suffering in Hell. I'm arguing that there is unnecessary suffering that exists, both in this world and in the afterlife described by the Bible.

Suffering does exist, and some of it doesn't need to exist. If God has the knowledge that unnecessary suffering exists and the power to remove it but doesn't, then He cannot be called omnipotent.

"How can we know how temporary suffering can affect the afterlife?" Which afterlife are we talking about here? Because I'm specifically referring to the Christian afterlife. We don't know about the afterlife or if there even is one at all. But if you're not going to discuss theodicies with me, then there's no point in having this discussion, at least not in this thread.

I said right off the bat that I was "playing Devil's advocate," which means these aren't my personal arguments or feelings, but rather the opposite of yours. When I say that we would rather not work I am pointing out that in life we are required to do things we aren't happy about. When I talk about pain I am asking, "does it really exist?" I felt pain during my surgical procedure, and yet I only know that because other's told me so. My own experience tells me that I didn't feel any pain. It doesn't seem like you've tried to understand much of anything I've written, or what it might refer to, but that's up to you. If you jumped forward a million years in time then you might easily think you were living in heaven. Perception is everything. My wife gave birth to 3 children and swore each time would be the last, but after the pain is gone she found that the reward was worth the pain. I hope you can get that, and learn how to discuss ideas instead of feeling personally attacked.
Cryo
Posts: 202
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11/6/2014 11:27:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 7:53:38 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 11/6/2014 6:47:05 PM, Cryo wrote:
At 11/5/2014 11:26:18 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

Okay - I'll play Devil's advocate. 1. Who says that suffering is bad? Sure, we'd rather not do it, but we'd rather not work our butt's off, either, and how can we know how temporary suffering might affect an eternal afterlife? I once had surgery where I had to remain away, but they gave me a med to keep me from remembering. During the surgery I was in intense pain. Others saw it. I cried-out and writhed in agony. But to me it never happened. I have no sense of that pain having ever occurred. Does that happen at death? Who are we to assume that we are aware of what's best and what's not?

It seems like you're trying to trivialize my argument. I'm not talking about working when you'd rather not, or pain you don't remember feeling because of the meds you were on. Frankly I don't understand what your story has to do with any of this. I'm talking about the people starving to death, dying of incurable diseases, being murdered, etc. The people who are having their ability to make decisions taken away from them by something outside of their control, but completely in God's control. I'm talking about the tens of billions of souls that will spend an eternity suffering in Hell. I'm arguing that there is unnecessary suffering that exists, both in this world and in the afterlife described by the Bible.

Suffering does exist, and some of it doesn't need to exist. If God has the knowledge that unnecessary suffering exists and the power to remove it but doesn't, then He cannot be called omnipotent.

"How can we know how temporary suffering can affect the afterlife?" Which afterlife are we talking about here? Because I'm specifically referring to the Christian afterlife. We don't know about the afterlife or if there even is one at all. But if you're not going to discuss theodicies with me, then there's no point in having this discussion, at least not in this thread.

I said right off the bat that I was "playing Devil's advocate," which means these aren't my personal arguments or feelings, but rather the opposite of yours. When I say that we would rather not work I am pointing out that in life we are required to do things we aren't happy about. When I talk about pain I am asking, "does it really exist?" I felt pain during my surgical procedure, and yet I only know that because other's told me so. My own experience tells me that I didn't feel any pain. It doesn't seem like you've tried to understand much of anything I've written, or what it might refer to, but that's up to you. If you jumped forward a million years in time then you might easily think you were living in heaven. Perception is everything. My wife gave birth to 3 children and swore each time would be the last, but after the pain is gone she found that the reward was worth the pain. I hope you can get that, and learn how to discuss ideas instead of feeling personally attacked.

I didn't feel personally attacked and if I came off as defensive it wasn't my intent. Also, when I said it was a poor attempt at devil's advocate I was speaking strictly on the content of your response, so if I offended you in any way I apologize. I should have said so in my first response but I do appreciate the counter argument.

However, I said what I said because I felt your response wasn't addressing my argument. I understand completely what you were trying to say with the examples about work you don't want to do and the pain you don't remember feeling. But just because you don't remember it hurting, doesn't mean it didn't happen or that it didn't affect you. It doesn't even apply here because people often are conscious during their suffering, and we certainly would be aware of it in hell.

I'm not talking about enduring some pain and suffering to earn a greater reward, like your wife wanting another child after the pain of childbirth had passed. I'm talking about unnecessary suffering. Pain that we endure, not because of a decision we made, or as some trade off for a reward, but pain that is simply a result of something outside of our control.

I'm also not saying there should be, or even could be, zero suffering whatsoever. I'm simply stating:
1. There is unnecessary, gratuitous pain and suffering in both this life and the next.
2. A system which contains unnecessary, gratuitous pain and suffering is contradictory to a system designed and governed by a God that is simultaneously omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.

This is the point which I feel you haven't addressed. It's the fact that God could have set up this life and the afterlife in such a way in which there would be less suffering, but He hasn't. Because of this, He cannot be called Omnibenevolent.
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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11/7/2014 12:11:34 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/6/2014 11:27:17 PM, Cryo wrote:
At 11/6/2014 7:53:38 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 11/6/2014 6:47:05 PM, Cryo wrote:
At 11/5/2014 11:26:18 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

Okay - I'll play Devil's advocate. 1. Who says that suffering is bad? Sure, we'd rather not do it, but we'd rather not work our butt's off, either, and how can we know how temporary suffering might affect an eternal afterlife? I once had surgery where I had to remain away, but they gave me a med to keep me from remembering. During the surgery I was in intense pain. Others saw it. I cried-out and writhed in agony. But to me it never happened. I have no sense of that pain having ever occurred. Does that happen at death? Who are we to assume that we are aware of what's best and what's not?

It seems like you're trying to trivialize my argument. I'm not talking about working when you'd rather not, or pain you don't remember feeling because of the meds you were on. Frankly I don't understand what your story has to do with any of this. I'm talking about the people starving to death, dying of incurable diseases, being murdered, etc. The people who are having their ability to make decisions taken away from them by something outside of their control, but completely in God's control. I'm talking about the tens of billions of souls that will spend an eternity suffering in Hell. I'm arguing that there is unnecessary suffering that exists, both in this world and in the afterlife described by the Bible.

Suffering does exist, and some of it doesn't need to exist. If God has the knowledge that unnecessary suffering exists and the power to remove it but doesn't, then He cannot be called omnipotent.

"How can we know how temporary suffering can affect the afterlife?" Which afterlife are we talking about here? Because I'm specifically referring to the Christian afterlife. We don't know about the afterlife or if there even is one at all. But if you're not going to discuss theodicies with me, then there's no point in having this discussion, at least not in this thread.

I said right off the bat that I was "playing Devil's advocate," which means these aren't my personal arguments or feelings, but rather the opposite of yours. When I say that we would rather not work I am pointing out that in life we are required to do things we aren't happy about. When I talk about pain I am asking, "does it really exist?" I felt pain during my surgical procedure, and yet I only know that because other's told me so. My own experience tells me that I didn't feel any pain. It doesn't seem like you've tried to understand much of anything I've written, or what it might refer to, but that's up to you. If you jumped forward a million years in time then you might easily think you were living in heaven. Perception is everything. My wife gave birth to 3 children and swore each time would be the last, but after the pain is gone she found that the reward was worth the pain. I hope you can get that, and learn how to discuss ideas instead of feeling personally attacked.

I didn't feel personally attacked and if I came off as defensive it wasn't my intent. Also, when I said it was a poor attempt at devil's advocate I was speaking strictly on the content of your response, so if I offended you in any way I apologize. I should have said so in my first response but I do appreciate the counter argument.

However, I said what I said because I felt your response wasn't addressing my argument. I understand completely what you were trying to say with the examples about work you don't want to do and the pain you don't remember feeling. But just because you don't remember it hurting, doesn't mean it didn't happen or that it didn't affect you. It doesn't even apply here because people often are conscious during their suffering, and we certainly would be aware of it in hell.

I'm not talking about enduring some pain and suffering to earn a greater reward, like your wife wanting another child after the pain of childbirth had passed. I'm talking about unnecessary suffering. Pain that we endure, not because of a decision we made, or as some trade off for a reward, but pain that is simply a result of something outside of our control.

I'm also not saying there should be, or even could be, zero suffering whatsoever. I'm simply stating:
1. There is unnecessary, gratuitous pain and suffering in both this life and the next.
2. A system which contains unnecessary, gratuitous pain and suffering is contradictory to a system designed and governed by a God that is simultaneously omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.

This is the point which I feel you haven't addressed. It's the fact that God could have set up this life and the afterlife in such a way in which there would be less suffering, but He hasn't. Because of this, He cannot be called Omnibenevolent.

So then tell me honestly; if someday you died and found yourself in some perfect and eternal place, would you not think that whatever it took you to get there was worth it? Or if the opposite happened and you found yourself facing eternal unhappiness, wouldn't you wish you had done things differently? I don't believe in things like Heaven and Hell, but I am speaking theoretically here. It is theoretically possible that even a divine being could limit himself by choice or necessity. In order to create a being who chooses to embrace certain values then you must give them a choice, even if you possess the power to deny them one. As far as "incidental" suffering is concerned, there may well be a point where even a divine being must make the decision to not interfere. Every scientist knows that if you interfere in an experiment then it is no longer reliable. It sounds to me as if what you are asking for is a divine being who would create a race of slaves who all lived in a golden cage. I don't find it hard to understand that pain and challenge are required to build character, and if after we died the suffering disappeared in the manner that I experienced then it would not have existed in any experiential way to begin with.
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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11/7/2014 12:20:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 10:37:45 PM, Cryo wrote:
At 11/5/2014 10:14:24 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
The most common theodicy you'll hear is that God gave us free will because without it we'd never be able to choose to follow Him, and because we have free will we are capable of doing evil. He allows this evil because He doesn't want to violate our free will. When I was a Christian this was enough for me to stop questioning it, at least for a while, but eventually I realized that it wasn't an explanation for anything.

God is described as being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, among other things. I'll define these terms as such:
Omnipotent - The power to do anything, at least within the bounds of His own nature
Omniscient - Full awareness and understanding of everything past, present and future
Omnibenevolent - An unlimited willingness to do good; disposition to alleviate or prevent suffering

So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

This is where I've never gotten a good answer from theists. Take the Indonesian Tsunami back in 2004 for instance. Over 250,000 people died in that tragedy. It wasn't anyone's free will that caused it, so what purpose did that serve?

So, God allows suffering because He wants us to have free will, but He's completely okay with something completely unrelated to our will (but completely within His control) coming along and killing us, effectively violating our free will anyway. It doesn't even make sense.

If God truly cared about giving us the chance to make our own choices about Him, it would only be fair and benevolent to give people a fair chance at making their own decision, and an omnipotent God would be able to do just that. But when a child dies from AIDS in Africa, a tornado in middle America or a tsunami in the Pacific, apparently God isn't too concerned with that child's freedom to choose.

Our Father the Creator of all things said this through His prophets; "Thy will be done".

If God created man to be the Creator of His own destiny, He would have had it written like this, "Your will be done".

This is a pretty weak strawman. My argument wasn't about man's will vs. God's will, nor was it about who should determine our ultimate fates.

What I'm saying is if there is an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being, who truly wants to save as many of us as possible, then the world we live in is a pathetically inefficient system. It's certainly not one that anyone would claim was designed by such a being.

Again, if evil exists because He gave us free will, then why would He allow for natural evils to kill people and render the free will He gave us meaningless? It's counterproductive and nonsensical.

And if by quoting, "Thy will be done" you are implying that everything that happens is exactly what God wanted, then He is clearly not omnibenevolent.

God planned, created and formed everything. This means we are totally manipulated by our Creator just like robots God had us build and run by computers. In fact, He used the computer as an analogy to teach me exactly how He created us as information first, then processed into visible illusions that appear to be real.
SNP1
Posts: 2,403
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11/7/2014 12:34:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:

Even the free will defense is flawed. Could god create a world without evil that maintained free will?

If yes, why is there evil?
if no, then god is not all powerful.
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
Cryo
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11/7/2014 2:27:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/7/2014 12:11:34 AM, Idealist wrote:
So then tell me honestly; if someday you died and found yourself in some perfect and eternal place, would you not think that whatever it took you to get there was worth it? Or if the opposite happened and you found yourself facing eternal unhappiness, wouldn't you wish you had done things differently?

Most likely, yes and yes. I'm totally cool with talking about an undefined afterlife, but that changes the issue because I was specifically arguing against Christian soteriology and the Biblical concepts of heaven and hell. I made that explicitly clear in my original post.

Also, is it's not just about me. If you're going to base entry into paradise solely on one's belief, as the Christian God does, then it makes no sense to allow that person to be killed by something unrelated to our own free will before they've had a chance to make that choice, like a child too young to understand the concept of God, or someone with a mental handicap incapable of understanding the concept of God, or a person born in a time and place where they don't ever hear about God at all. Not just to allow them to be killed, but to then pass judgment upon them just as you would someone else who did have the opportunity that make that choice. To condemn them to hell for not believing in you when they couldn't possibly have believed in you is cruel and unjust.

If God were omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, He would have at the very least some sort of contingency for people killed before they could make a choice, but there isn't any such contingency outlined in the Bible. Could there be? If we're talking about some undefined deity and an undefined afterlife, of course, but according to the Bible there isn't, so the Christian God cannot be called omnibenevolent as it stands. As far as the Bible is concerned, those people go to hell, where their suffering would serve no purpose and continue on forever.

I don't believe in things like Heaven and Hell, but I am speaking theoretically here. It is theoretically possible that even a divine being could limit himself by choice or necessity.

I agree that a divine being could place limits on itself. But we'd have to determine what those limits were before we could argue about whether that being could be called omnibenevolent, among the other omni's.

In order to create a being who chooses to embrace certain values then you must give them a choice, even if you possess the power to deny them one.

Again, I agree and I haven't argued against this at all. If God, or some other divine being wanted us to freely, willingly choose to follow them, then He/She/It would have to give us the ability to do so.

As far as "incidental" suffering is concerned, there may well be a point where even a divine being must make the decision to not interfere.

I also agree to an extent. I don't know what you mean by "incidental", and I haven't used that word. There's also a difference between incidental and unnecessary or gratuitous. There's a difference between the suffering that comes as a direct result of one's or someone else's decisions, and suffering that is simply a result of the way the world and life on it were designed.

This is the whole idea of moral evil vs. natural evil. It's one thing if one person wrongs another, it's another if both people are made to suffer because of something outside of their control, like an earthquake or a disease.

All I'm saying is that if God gave us free will because He wanted us to choose Him, then it would make sense that, since He's omnipotent, he could make a world with the least amount of possible suffering. I'm not saying and have never said that He needs to send a legion of angels to save everyone when there's a natural disaster or something like that. I'm saying why did He create a world with natural disasters in the first place? If He's omnipotent, He could have made a world without them.

1. God made the world capable of having earthquakes.
2. God made me.
3. God determined that to get into Heaven I had to believe in Him.
4. I am killed in an earthquake without ever hearing about the Bible and Christianity.
5. God sends me to Hell for not believing in Him.

It's ridiculous.

Every scientist knows that if you interfere in an experiment then it is no longer reliable. It sounds to me as if what you are asking for is a divine being who would create a race of slaves who all lived in a golden cage.

That's not at all what I was arguing. It's like you didn't even read my posts. Did I say we shouldn't have free will? No. Did I say we should all live in golden cages where nothing bad ever happens to us and the world is all rainbows and sunshine? No.

If God is the scientist and the universe is His experiment, then He is not God. Because an omnipotent, omniscient being wouldn't even need to run the experiment. He would know the outcome, and could just skip all the suffering that would take place and simply create the people He already knows would live up to His standard. More importantly, if He was omnibenevolent, He wouldn't need or even want to condemn the rest of us to an eternity in hell. Eternal punishment serves no purpose whatsoever.

I don't find it hard to understand that pain and challenge are required to build character, and if after we died the suffering disappeared in the manner that I experienced then it would not have existed in any experiential way to begin with.

I agree that pain and challenges build character, but THAT IS NOT THE POINT OF MY ARGUMENT. How does dying from cancer build someone's character? What good is that experience going to do them in hell? The kind of suffering you're talking about only applies if you survive it. It's like when Christians say, "God never gives you more than you can handle," which is stupid because if it kills you then it obviously was more than you could handle.

Could God give someone cancer to strengthen their faith and build character? Is that what you're saying? That all these hardships that kill non-Christians and send them to hell are God's way of testing us? Because that's what it sounds like, and if it is then surely you would agree that that God is not all-good.

But then you're not talking about the Christian God specifically are you? No, you're talking about something different from what I outlined in my original post, and then you say that I don't understand what you're saying. You're telling me I don't understand you when you haven't even defined what characteristics your deity has, what your theoretical afterlives are and how one would end up in either one. I've made my points as clearly as I can, and you're either not reading what I wrote or you're deliberately misrepresenting my argument. How many times do I have to repeat myself?

To top it all off you still haven't actually responded to my argument. Can the Christian God be considered omnibenevolent, omniscient and omnipotent given what we know about the world and assuming the Bible is true? Yes or no?
Cryo
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11/7/2014 2:28:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/7/2014 12:20:23 AM, bornofgod wrote:

God planned, created and formed everything. This means we are totally manipulated by our Creator just like robots God had us build and run by computers. In fact, He used the computer as an analogy to teach me exactly how He created us as information first, then processed into visible illusions that appear to be real.

I'm not sure whether to laugh or facepalm. I've said this to you in another thread, but I'll say it again.

I don't know if you're a troll or insane.
12_13
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11/7/2014 2:47:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

At the beginning people wanted to know good and evil like God. That is why we were expelled to this death that we could know really what evil and good means. Luckily this is not all and soul can"t be destroyed by anything of this world. Body is only like a temple for soul and it can be replaced and we shouldn"t give too much value for it. Those who love more good than evil have opportunity to be rescued from death to life.

"Most assuredly I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and doesn't come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
John 5:24

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Matt. 10:28
bornofgod
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11/7/2014 2:51:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/7/2014 2:28:20 PM, Cryo wrote:
At 11/7/2014 12:20:23 AM, bornofgod wrote:

God planned, created and formed everything. This means we are totally manipulated by our Creator just like robots God had us build and run by computers. In fact, He used the computer as an analogy to teach me exactly how He created us as information first, then processed into visible illusions that appear to be real.

I'm not sure whether to laugh or facepalm. I've said this to you in another thread, but I'll say it again.

I don't know if you're a troll or insane.

I'm neither a troll or insane. I am the voice of the Lord who knows you're an idiot and a liar.
Cryo
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11/7/2014 3:47:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/7/2014 2:47:44 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 11/5/2014 5:32:53 PM, Cryo wrote:
So, if a being such as the Abrahamic God was truly all powerful, all knowing and all-good, we would expect His creation to be free from suffering, or at the very least be free from unnecessary suffering.

At the beginning people wanted to know good and evil like God. That is why we were expelled to this death that we could know really what evil and good means. Luckily this is not all and soul can"t be destroyed by anything of this world. Body is only like a temple for soul and it can be replaced and we shouldn"t give too much value for it. Those who love more good than evil have opportunity to be rescued from death to life.

"Most assuredly I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and doesn't come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
John 5:24

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Matt. 10:28

God made people knowing full well that tens of billions of them would go to hell. Hell is eternal, and their suffering in hell serves absolutely no purpose to anyone except to God, to satisfy His desire to punish us. There are no lessons to be learned, those in hell can't change or grow, they're stuck there being tortured. There is nothing benevolent about that at all.

Even if you're one of the few Christians who believe unworthy souls are simply annihilated, then that still leaves the suffering endured in life. Either God could have not created a soul, or He could have knowing that the body would starve to death within a few years and then the soul would be annihilated. The latter option thus creates unnecessary suffering (however temporary, it still exists) while the former does not. If God would simply remove souls from existence, then there is no point in creating them in the first place, because by creating them he introduced suffering that would not have existed otherwise.

To create and allow suffering to exist when it does not need to is the exact opposite of omnibenevolence.

You can't say that "those who love more good than evil have opportunity to be rescued from death to life", because salvation has nothing to do with morality. For a Christian to say so, they would have to demonstrate that following God is moral, and that not following God is immoral. That's what Christians believe, but it doesn't comport with reality when scrutinized. In Christian theology, a person can commit any crime, any immoral action imaginable, and as long as they repent and accept Jesus, they can gain eternal life in heaven. That is a complete lack of accountability and profoundly immoral. It's a loophole that allows murderers to enter heaven while their victims burn in hell.

So no, it's not enough to "love more good than evil" to enter heaven, and offering us an opportunity for salvation does not absolve God of any accountability. He created the system, He wrote the rules, He is the judge who decides where everyone goes. He is responsible and you cannot say that He is all-good when the responsibility ultimately rests with Him.