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TheLaw
Posts: 70
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10/25/2010 3:53:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I've been noticing questions by non-Christians or non-Religious people questioning several things they find wrong with Christianity. They find the followers of the religion hypocrites or they find that the beliefs don't make sense. I just wanted to start this thread (forgive me if it has already been made before) about people asking me questions or telling me why they aren't Christian or why they aren't religious or maybe why they think God doesn't exist so that I might be able to respond to your posts.
LaissezFaire
Posts: 2,050
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10/25/2010 4:10:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I'm sure this has been answered before on this forum, but how about the problem of evil? Some evil things, like war, can fit in with the Christian God, because of free will and all. Others, such as young people dying, I've heard explained as "God taking them up to heaven" or something like that. But why do little children get cancer and other fatal illnesses and die slow, painful deaths? If God wanted to take them up to Heaven for whatever reason, why make them and their families suffer so much first?
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TheLaw
Posts: 70
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10/25/2010 4:42:19 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 4:10:53 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
I'm sure this has been answered before on this forum, but how about the problem of evil? Some evil things, like war, can fit in with the Christian God, because of free will and all. Others, such as young people dying, I've heard explained as "God taking them up to heaven" or something like that. But why do little children get cancer and other fatal illnesses and die slow, painful deaths? If God wanted to take them up to Heaven for whatever reason, why make them and their families suffer so much first?

There are a few reasons we live in suffering and pain. If we didn't, we not only woudn't appreciate life as much, but we wouldn't appreciate God as much. Additionally, this is a test of faith as well. I remember listening to a sermon at church about about how sometimes we'll be caught in a storm (bad times in our life) and we must put our faith in God and regardless of whether he helps us or not we still must love and praise him because that shows unconditional faith in him. Finally, there are also reasons like punishment of sin like unforgiveness, murder, and stealing.

For further information on this, look at this longer response: http://www.preciousheart.net...
Austriananarchist
Posts: 9
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10/25/2010 5:02:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 4:42:19 PM, TheLaw wrote:
At 10/25/2010 4:10:53 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
I'm sure this has been answered before on this forum, but how about the problem of evil? Some evil things, like war, can fit in with the Christian God, because of free will and all. Others, such as young people dying, I've heard explained as "God taking them up to heaven" or something like that. But why do little children get cancer and other fatal illnesses and die slow, painful deaths? If God wanted to take them up to Heaven for whatever reason, why make them and their families suffer so much first?

There are a few reasons we live in suffering and pain. If we didn't, we not only woudn't appreciate life as much, but we wouldn't appreciate God as much. Additionally, this is a test of faith as well. I remember listening to a sermon at church about about how sometimes we'll be caught in a storm (bad times in our life) and we must put our faith in God and regardless of whether he helps us or not we still must love and praise him because that shows unconditional faith in him. Finally, there are also reasons like punishment of sin like unforgiveness, murder, and stealing.

The problem I see with your first argument is that it leads to the conclusion that there must be some optimal level of suffering, where extra suffering would not result in an increase of appreciation of God/life/whatever great enough to outweigh the suffering itself, but less suffering results in a reduction of appreciation great enough for the extra suffering to be worth it in the long run. This implies one of two things:

1. If the amount of increase in appreciation due to suffering is uniform among all people, we cannot all receive the maximum amount of happiness because some of us suffer more than others, leading at least some of us to deviate from the optimum.
2. If the amount of increase in appreciation due to suffering is capable of varying from person to person, then God could make it so that only a very small amount of suffering, or none at all, is necessary to reach this optimum. If this is the case, most suffering is superfluous.

On your last point, suffering as a punishment fails to be a proper explanation for a couple reasons:

1. The most obvious reason this is flawed is because suffering is clearly not proportional to sin. Hitler probably suffered far less than Mother Teresa, even though he sinned far more.
2. For anyone to deserve suffering in the first place, we must first posit free will; however, many people, myself included, would argue that free will does not exist. I could give you my argument against free will if you'd like.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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10/25/2010 5:10:10 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 4:42:19 PM, TheLaw wrote:
At 10/25/2010 4:10:53 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
I'm sure this has been answered before on this forum, but how about the problem of evil? Some evil things, like war, can fit in with the Christian God, because of free will and all. Others, such as young people dying, I've heard explained as "God taking them up to heaven" or something like that. But why do little children get cancer and other fatal illnesses and die slow, painful deaths? If God wanted to take them up to Heaven for whatever reason, why make them and their families suffer so much first?

There are a few reasons we live in suffering and pain. If we didn't, we not only woudn't appreciate life as much, but we wouldn't appreciate God as much. Additionally, this is a test of faith as well.

Does this apply to babies who die before they reach the age of two? Does this apply to people who are killed in natural disasters??

The baby that died, that's just a test right? The baby needed to die to appreciate life more, right? The baby's death was just a test of faith, right? The baby apparently failed the test of faith. What a terrible God.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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10/25/2010 5:23:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 5:10:10 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 10/25/2010 4:42:19 PM, TheLaw wrote:
At 10/25/2010 4:10:53 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
I'm sure this has been answered before on this forum, but how about the problem of evil? Some evil things, like war, can fit in with the Christian God, because of free will and all. Others, such as young people dying, I've heard explained as "God taking them up to heaven" or something like that. But why do little children get cancer and other fatal illnesses and die slow, painful deaths? If God wanted to take them up to Heaven for whatever reason, why make them and their families suffer so much first?

There are a few reasons we live in suffering and pain. If we didn't, we not only woudn't appreciate life as much, but we wouldn't appreciate God as much. Additionally, this is a test of faith as well.

Does this apply to babies who die before they reach the age of two? Does this apply to people who are killed in natural disasters??

The baby that died, that's just a test right? The baby needed to die to appreciate life more, right? The baby's death was just a test of faith, right? The baby apparently failed the test of faith. What a terrible God.

The baby may have served to bring about a better outcome for others, thus it's death, while unfortunate, was not necessarily an instance of gratuitous evil. There's a number of theodicies that could explain it.

If you're going to make an argument from evil, it's better to use something like earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, avalanches, etc. Things like that are much more difficult to account for.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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10/25/2010 5:34:55 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 5:23:56 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 10/25/2010 5:10:10 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 10/25/2010 4:42:19 PM, TheLaw wrote:
There are a few reasons we live in suffering and pain. If we didn't, we not only woudn't appreciate life as much, but we wouldn't appreciate God as much. Additionally, this is a test of faith as well.

Does this apply to babies who die before they reach the age of two? Does this apply to people who are killed in natural disasters??

The baby that died, that's just a test right? The baby needed to die to appreciate life more, right? The baby's death was just a test of faith, right? The baby apparently failed the test of faith. What a terrible God.

The baby may have served to bring about a better outcome for others, thus it's death, while unfortunate, was not necessarily an instance of gratuitous evil. There's a number of theodicies that could explain it.

If you're going to make an argument from evil, it's better to use something like earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, avalanches, etc. Things like that are much more difficult to account for.

Except, I wasn't trying to make an argument from evil. I was just demonstrating that his justifications for evil are absurd so my responses were directed toward that (his claim: "There are a few reasons we live in suffering and pain. If we didn't, we not only woudn't appreciate life as much, but we wouldn't appreciate God as much. Additionally, this is a test of faith as well.")
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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10/25/2010 5:38:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 5:34:55 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 10/25/2010 5:23:56 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 10/25/2010 5:10:10 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Does this apply to babies who die before they reach the age of two? Does this apply to people who are killed in natural disasters??

The baby that died, that's just a test right? The baby needed to die to appreciate life more, right? The baby's death was just a test of faith, right? The baby apparently failed the test of faith. What a terrible God.

The baby may have served to bring about a better outcome for others, thus it's death, while unfortunate, was not necessarily an instance of gratuitous evil. There's a number of theodicies that could explain it.

If you're going to make an argument from evil, it's better to use something like earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, avalanches, etc. Things like that are much more difficult to account for.

Except, I wasn't trying to make an argument from evil. I was just demonstrating that his justifications for evil are absurd so my responses were directed toward that (his claim: "There are a few reasons we live in suffering and pain. If we didn't, we not only woudn't appreciate life as much, but we wouldn't appreciate God as much. Additionally, this is a test of faith as well.")

Ehh, using one theodicy in a particular situation doesn't mean you can't use a different one another situation. Just because his example fails to account for the baby's death doesn't mean it's completely worthless.
TheLaw
Posts: 70
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10/25/2010 5:58:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
@Austriananarchist: To begin, all I stated is that if there was no pain and suffering we would not appreciate God as much because we would believe we are fine on our own, which is false. You are implying, however, there must be some definitive point of suffering so we all this definitive point of appreciation for God. That's not correct as God works in different ways for different people and affects these people differently as well.

Secondly, you didn't comment on my second point about it being a test of faith so I will assume you either agree with it or don't know how to refute it at the moment.

Finally, you fail to realize sin is something is not only individual. Jesus suffered an enormous amount of pain in an effort to allow us to have eternal life. Did Jesus sin? No. Did he suffer? Yes. You can almost think about as a collective mass of sin from this human race causing things like natural disasters and diseases. Now I know you will say something like that isn't fair to those who don't sin, again however, it is a test of faith plus the fact that everyone sins.

@GeoLaureate8: You are drawing conclusions far too quickly. Like I said to Austrian, punishment is not always personal, it can be something overall. You use a baby as your example. Well, what I can say in response is that it could be a test of faith for the parents. You might say that is not fair for the baby, but still, that's what happens when sin is rampant across the world.
Austriananarchist
Posts: 9
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10/25/2010 6:23:54 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 5:58:25 PM, TheLaw wrote:
@Austriananarchist: To begin, all I stated is that if there was no pain and suffering we would not appreciate God as much because we would believe we are fine on our own, which is false. You are implying, however, there must be some definitive point of suffering so we all this definitive point of appreciation for God. That's not correct as God works in different ways for different people and affects these people differently as well.

Secondly, you didn't comment on my second point about it being a test of faith so I will assume you either agree with it or don't know how to refute it at the moment.

Finally, you fail to realize sin is something is not only individual. Jesus suffered an enormous amount of pain in an effort to allow us to have eternal life. Did Jesus sin? No. Did he suffer? Yes. You can almost think about as a collective mass of sin from this human race causing things like natural disasters and diseases. Now I know you will say something like that isn't fair to those who don't sin, again however, it is a test of faith plus the fact that everyone sins.

First, you seem to be claiming that this optimal point of suffering varies from person to person and can be different for different people; however, this assumes that it is, in fact, capable of varying. As such, God, being omnipotent, could achieve the desired result by altering our nature so as to require a minimal amount of suffering. Please let me know if I'm misunderstanding you.

Second, I apologize, I must have missed that point. I do not agree with it and I do believe I can refute it. My response to it would be that the idea of 'testing' presupposes a lack of knowledge, which omniscience removes the possibility of. Also, the 'test' is not given equally to everyone, making it akin to a math teacher giving some students tests with problems like "2+2" and others problems involving calculus. Last it presupposes free will, which I believe I can disprove with the following syllogism:

P1: All chosen actions are determined by their agent's values and preferences
P2: Agents do not freely choose their values and preferences
P3: If an agent's choices are ultimately determined by factors outside it's control, those choices are not free
P4: All choices are determined by factors which are not freely chosen (from 1 & 2)
Conclusion: Free will does not exist (from 3 & 4)

Provided that this syllogism is true, the idea of a test of faith seems absurd, as those who fail have no other choice, and those who succeed have no other choice. Also, since one outcome (the maximization of faith) is desirable to God, God could simply set our values such that they are conducive to faith.

As for your third point, you concede that this theodicy breaks down into your second. Also, the fact that everybody sins could be changed by God merely altering our values, as my argument against free will implies. There are other problems I see with this, but these two I believe will suffice.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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10/25/2010 6:35:44 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 6:23:54 PM, Austriananarchist wrote:
Last it presupposes free will, which I believe I can disprove with the following syllogism:

P1: All chosen actions are determined by their agent's values and preferences
P2: Agents do not freely choose their values and preferences
P3: If an agent's choices are ultimately determined by factors outside it's control, those choices are not free
P4: All choices are determined by factors which are not freely chosen (from 1 & 2)
Conclusion: Free will does not exist (from 3 & 4)

Lol. You seriously think you can refute free will that easily?

Also, there is no need to go that route. You can simply demonstrate how free will is not compatible with an omniscient, sovereign God.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Austriananarchist
Posts: 9
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10/25/2010 6:44:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 6:35:44 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 10/25/2010 6:23:54 PM, Austriananarchist wrote:
Last it presupposes free will, which I believe I can disprove with the following syllogism:

P1: All chosen actions are determined by their agent's values and preferences
P2: Agents do not freely choose their values and preferences
P3: If an agent's choices are ultimately determined by factors outside it's control, those choices are not free
P4: All choices are determined by factors which are not freely chosen (from 1 & 2)
Conclusion: Free will does not exist (from 3 & 4)

Lol. You seriously think you can refute free will that easily?

Also, there is no need to go that route. You can simply demonstrate how free will is not compatible with an omniscient, sovereign God.

Yes, it is that simple, but premise 2 needs another syllogism to be justified. I figured I'd bring that argument up if someone questions premise 2.

I considered that too, but theists can just respond by claiming open theism, which is the belief that God does not know how we will act. This is supposedly possible because an omnipotent God is capable of doing anything, which includes placing limits on his omniscience.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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10/25/2010 7:13:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 6:44:25 PM, Austriananarchist wrote:

I considered that too, but theists can just respond by claiming open theism, which is the belief that God does not know how we will act. This is supposedly possible because an omnipotent God is capable of doing anything, which includes placing limits on his omniscience.

Yeah, that's not how open theism works. That being said one wouldn't need to retreat to open theism anyway to answer that issue.
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J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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10/25/2010 11:25:38 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 6:23:54 PM, Austriananarchist wrote:
P1: All chosen actions are determined by their agent's values and preferences
P2: Agents do not freely choose their values and preferences
P3: If an agent's choices are ultimately determined by factors outside it's control, those choices are not free
P4: All choices are determined by factors which are not freely chosen (from 1 & 2)
Conclusion: Free will does not exist (from 3 & 4)

Lol. The only argument against free will I take seriously is van Inwagen's Consequence Argument, and even that's not perfect.
J.Kenyon
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10/25/2010 11:32:06 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 7:13:26 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 10/25/2010 6:44:25 PM, Austriananarchist wrote:
I considered that too, but theists can just respond by claiming open theism, which is the belief that God does not know how we will act. This is supposedly possible because an omnipotent God is capable of doing anything, which includes placing limits on his omniscience.

Yeah, that's not how open theism works. That being said one wouldn't need to retreat to open theism anyway to answer that issue.

Right. The standard molinist model uses true counterfactuals, ie, in situation X, Y will freely perform action Z. So in the creation timeline, you start with God's necessary knowledge of things like the laws of logic; then contingent knowledge, which includes counterfactuals; then the creation of the world.

Open theists just substitute true counterfactuals with "might" counterfactuals, ie., in situation X, Y might freely perform action Z.
Austriananarchist
Posts: 9
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10/25/2010 11:52:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 11:25:38 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 10/25/2010 6:23:54 PM, Austriananarchist wrote:
P1: All chosen actions are determined by their agent's values and preferences
P2: Agents do not freely choose their values and preferences
P3: If an agent's choices are ultimately determined by factors outside it's control, those choices are not free
P4: All choices are determined by factors which are not freely chosen (from 1 & 2)
Conclusion: Free will does not exist (from 3 & 4)

Lol. The only argument against free will I take seriously is van Inwagen's Consequence Argument, and even that's not perfect.

Would you mind pointing out the problems you see with this argument? I can't find anything.
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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10/26/2010 12:05:06 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 11:52:47 PM, Austriananarchist wrote:
At 10/25/2010 11:25:38 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 10/25/2010 6:23:54 PM, Austriananarchist wrote:
P1: All chosen actions are determined by their agent's values and preferences
P2: Agents do not freely choose their values and preferences
P3: If an agent's choices are ultimately determined by factors outside it's control, those choices are not free
P4: All choices are determined by factors which are not freely chosen (from 1 & 2)
Conclusion: Free will does not exist (from 3 & 4)

Lol. The only argument against free will I take seriously is van Inwagen's Consequence Argument, and even that's not perfect.

Would you mind pointing out the problems you see with this argument? I can't find anything.

I'll debate you on it :P
Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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10/26/2010 12:15:22 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 3:53:32 PM, TheLaw wrote:
I've been noticing questions by non-Christians or non-Religious people questioning several things they find wrong with Christianity. They find the followers of the religion hypocrites or they find that the beliefs don't make sense. I just wanted to start this thread (forgive me if it has already been made before) about people asking me questions or telling me why they aren't Christian or why they aren't religious or maybe why they think God doesn't exist so that I might be able to respond to your posts.

I am an atheist because Richard Dawkins has appeared to me in a vision and told me that Christianity is false. At first, I didn't want to believe it was him, but then he pulled out his Ph.D in Biology from Oxford, so I figured it must be him. From that point on, I always get a warm fuzzy glow on the inside whenever I reflect upon the wonderful state of affairs that lead me towards this exquisite truth. If you would only open your mind and heart to the Richard Dawkins, you too may have one of these enlightening experiences.
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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10/26/2010 12:24:12 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/26/2010 12:15:22 AM, Freeman wrote:
I am an atheist because Richard Dawkins has appeared to me in a vision and told me that Christianity is false. At first, I didn't want to believe it was him, but then he pulled out his Ph.D in Biology from Oxford, so I figured it must be him. From that point on, I always get a warm fuzzy glow on the inside whenever I reflect upon the wonderful state of affairs that lead me towards this exquisite truth. If you would only open your mind and heart to the Richard Dawkins, you too may have one of these enlightening experiences.

10/10
Marauder
Posts: 3,271
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10/26/2010 7:35:38 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/25/2010 5:10:10 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 10/25/2010 4:42:19 PM, TheLaw wrote:
At 10/25/2010 4:10:53 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
I'm sure this has been answered before on this forum, but how about the problem of evil? Some evil things, like war, can fit in with the Christian God, because of free will and all. Others, such as young people dying, I've heard explained as "God taking them up to heaven" or something like that. But why do little children get cancer and other fatal illnesses and die slow, painful deaths? If God wanted to take them up to Heaven for whatever reason, why make them and their families suffer so much first?

There are a few reasons we live in suffering and pain. If we didn't, we not only woudn't appreciate life as much, but we wouldn't appreciate God as much. Additionally, this is a test of faith as well.

Does this apply to babies who die before they reach the age of two? Does this apply to people who are killed in natural disasters??

The baby that died, that's just a test right? The baby needed to die to appreciate life more, right? The baby's death was just a test of faith, right? The baby apparently failed the test of faith. What a terrible God.

no, the baby was not forced to suffer through life itself any longer than to years if it died of the age of two. it wasn't a test but a straightforward blessing. Death is not worse state of existence than life. Only the ones God has specific plans for get the honor of suffering through this life. and the ones he does the greatest things with often suffer the most before things get better. (Joseph in prison as slave for years before things went extremely up for him)
One act of Rebellion created all the darkness and evil in the world; One life of Total Obedience created a path back to eternity and God.

A Scout is Obedient.
jharry
Posts: 4,984
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10/26/2010 11:02:22 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/26/2010 7:35:38 AM, Marauder wrote:
At 10/25/2010 5:10:10 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 10/25/2010 4:42:19 PM, TheLaw wrote:
At 10/25/2010 4:10:53 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
I'm sure this has been answered before on this forum, but how about the problem of evil? Some evil things, like war, can fit in with the Christian God, because of free will and all. Others, such as young people dying, I've heard explained as "God taking them up to heaven" or something like that. But why do little children get cancer and other fatal illnesses and die slow, painful deaths? If God wanted to take them up to Heaven for whatever reason, why make them and their families suffer so much first?

There are a few reasons we live in suffering and pain. If we didn't, we not only woudn't appreciate life as much, but we wouldn't appreciate God as much. Additionally, this is a test of faith as well.

Does this apply to babies who die before they reach the age of two? Does this apply to people who are killed in natural disasters??

The baby that died, that's just a test right? The baby needed to die to appreciate life more, right? The baby's death was just a test of faith, right? The baby apparently failed the test of faith. What a terrible God.

no, the baby was not forced to suffer through life itself any longer than to years if it died of the age of two. it wasn't a test but a straightforward blessing. Death is not worse state of existence than life. Only the ones God has specific plans for get the honor of suffering through this life. and the ones he does the greatest things with often suffer the most before things get better. (Joseph in prison as slave for years before things went extremely up for him)

Suffering is always negative to a immature person. A person with a limited spiritual scope can't understand how suffering can be beneficial.

Suffering has helped me greatly in becoming a better person. And you are correct, life here is but a moment. Suffering is usually but a moment also.

But that is hard to grasp when a persons mental capacity is severely stunted or immature, or they refuse to accept it due to not wanting it to be apart of reality so they can remain in their current state.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
TheLaw
Posts: 70
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10/26/2010 2:05:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
@Austriananarachist: To begin, I would like to say I appreciate your interesting arguments and responses as well as your proposal for a debate. However, I can't formally debate you right now on this subject because I've already started another debate. When I'm done with that I wouldn't mind at all to debate you on this.

Next, yes, you seem to be misunderstanding me. What I said is that we would take for granted that God is protecting us and freeing us from disease if we had nothing wrong with us. We'd assume we would be fine on our own. You are saying that God should give us the smallest amount of suffering to get the right amount of appreciation for God and that this suffering should stay constant with everyone. However, the fact is that some people interpret the suffering they face differently. As everyone is different, the suffering upon different people would be in fact different as everyone would react differently. For example, one devout Christian could start to not appreciate God as much because he/she has been having a great life and forgetting it was God that blessed him/her in the first place. That person begins to suffer but brushes it off until it gets really bad, that's when the person turns back to God in which God forgives them. This shows how people will react differently to suffering and let it drag on until they return back to God.

Next, you talked about my faith argument and you refuted it with ‘testing' and free will. Well first of all, it's not necessarily ‘testing', if you have a Bible at your house check out the Book of Job which is a great example of my faith argument. If not, I'll give you a quick summary. Satan tells God that God's devout servant Job would not love God anymore if Job went through an intense amount of suffering. Job holds out and continues to love God. I'm not saying this is the same scenario for everything but it is merely an example. Also this is possible with free will which you say does not exist. Your syllogism says we are bound to our own values and preferences but these values and preferences are subject to change because God gave us free will. One day you may like basketball, the next day you like soccer. One day you're an Atheist, the next day, you're a Christian. So because free will does exist that collapses your refutation of my third point and second.

@Freeman: Dawkins and his evolution theories…it's all wrong…

@jHarry: Very nice post, I agree with you fully.
TheLaw
Posts: 70
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10/26/2010 2:51:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
You could say that however I do not believe that the earth was created in six literal days. I believe that in the Bible, the term 'day' is used to represent a time period. For example, when I say "Back in the day..." I don't mean a specific day but an era of time.
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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10/26/2010 2:56:01 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
You know, one can be religious and still accept evolution. I'm like that(well religious-ish, I'm not hardcore, but I'm not atheist either).
Austriananarchist
Posts: 9
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10/26/2010 3:04:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/26/2010 2:05:02 PM, TheLaw wrote:
@Austriananarachist: To begin, I would like to say I appreciate your interesting arguments and responses as well as your proposal for a debate. However, I can't formally debate you right now on this subject because I've already started another debate. When I'm done with that I wouldn't mind at all to debate you on this.

Okay, I won't be able to debate you right now either as I am currently in three debates.


Next, yes, you seem to be misunderstanding me. What I said is that we would take for granted that God is protecting us and freeing us from disease if we had nothing wrong with us. We'd assume we would be fine on our own. You are saying that God should give us the smallest amount of suffering to get the right amount of appreciation for God and that this suffering should stay constant with everyone. However, the fact is that some people interpret the suffering they face differently. As everyone is different, the suffering upon different people would be in fact different as everyone would react differently. For example, one devout Christian could start to not appreciate God as much because he/she has been having a great life and forgetting it was God that blessed him/her in the first place. That person begins to suffer but brushes it off until it gets really bad, that's when the person turns back to God in which God forgives them. This shows how people will react differently to suffering and let it drag on until they return back to God.

You seem to be misunderstanding me. My point in response to this argument is that for it to be true that Person A could need 'X' amount of suffering to achieve goal N, while Person B needs 'Y' amount of suffering to achieve the same goal, it must be the case that the amount of suffering necessary to reach goal 'N' is not necessarily uniform among everybody and is capable of varying; therefore, it follows that an omnipotent God would be capable of making it such that a minimal amount of suffering is necessary to achieve this same goal.

Next, you talked about my faith argument and you refuted it with ‘testing' and free will. Well first of all, it's not necessarily ‘testing', if you have a Bible at your house check out the Book of Job which is a great example of my faith argument. If not, I'll give you a quick summary. Satan tells God that God's devout servant Job would not love God anymore if Job went through an intense amount of suffering. Job holds out and continues to love God. I'm not saying this is the same scenario for everything but it is merely an example.

Why did God even cause Job to suffer if he already knew what was going to happen though?

Also this is possible with free will which you say does not exist. Your syllogism says we are bound to our own values and preferences but these values and preferences are subject to change because God gave us free will. One day you may like basketball, the next day you like soccer. One day you're an Atheist, the next day, you're a Christian. So because free will does exist that collapses your refutation of my third point and second.

If I understand you correctly, you seem to be saying we can freely choose our values; however, the problem with this argument is that it leaves out the fact that if these values are chosen, then by premise one, they must be determined by other values. Those values must be chosen by others and so one ad infinitum. This infinite regression must ultimately be halted by something that is not chosen. As such, all values, and consequently all actions, must be determined by factors outside one's control.