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Thread: Honest, polite questions for theists Thread

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    Honest, polite questions for theists Thread

    1.) Would you make murder impossible if you had the choice? (e.g. attempt to shoot someone and it would magically bounce off, magically only in cases of murder)

    2.) If given that option, would it it be your ethical responsibility to do so?
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehungersite View Post
    1.) Would you make murder impossible if you had the choice? (e.g. attempt to shoot someone and it would magically bounce off, magically only in cases of murder)

    2.) If given that option, would it it be your ethical responsibility to do so?
    Erm I don't think I understand your question. Basically you're asking to choose between:

    * world with murder
    * world without murder

    What does being a theist have anything to do with the *obvious* choice? What's the catch, am I missing something?
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    The Theist chooses to forgo absolute freewill, which is the question at stake here, and the main line of defense Theists have against Atheists. "God does not intervene because to do so would violate absolute freewill."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pORCo View Post
    The Theist chooses to forgo absolute freewill, which is the question at stake here, and the main line of defense Theists have against Atheists. "God does not intervene because to do so would violate absolute freewill."
    I hope they have a second line of defense because that directly contradicts the "God works in mysterious ways" mantra.

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    edited. dont want to start an argument. op is a trap
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    1) Yes.
    2) No.
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    On one, it depends. Would it limit people's liberties in a highly restrictive manor? I mean, if it meant locking everyone in a cell where they only interact with themselves and are fed and kept alive by robots, probably not. And then, would you consider it murder if someone did it to prevent harm? IE, killing a rapist who will definitely rape again if left alive. I mean, if there were theoretically no negative consequences, sure.

    On two, it depends on the situation just like one.

    Obviously what you're getting at is, if God can do one and chooses not to, isn't he malevolent? Or, if he can't do one, isn't he not omnipotent? Coming from a Catholic perspective though, I think it's important to realize that if humans are forced not to do bad/only to do good, then there is no merit in them doing good, and why would it be worthy of reward? If there were no suffering in the world, what purpose would good have to alleviate that suffering? Also, through one's suffering can come not only reward in the next world, but good in this world. IE, without Jesus' death, the would be no salvation, which is shown to be won only through unselfish giving of oneself, forgiveness of each others wrong doings to create peace and reconciliation, etc, which all have positive effects on the present material world, not just the next life. And it's a Christian teaching for one to, "take up his cross," and practice the same kind of self-denial for the greater good in this world and the next.
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    1. No.
    2. No.
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    Wpa gave a long essay response while Eyeballers just answered the questions Yes/No even though it doesn't seem directly relevant to theism. Carry on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pORCo View Post
    The Theist chooses to forgo absolute freewill, which is the question at stake here, and the main line of defense Theists have against Atheists. "God does not intervene because to do so would violate absolute freewill."
    there are different kinds of freedom of course so this isn't necessarily an intractable problem.
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    Sure I'd do away with murder. Why in the hell wouldn't I? I'm pretty sure the only people who wouldn't are the "god bless aids" crazies. Religion has evolved past the Job mindset of "praise the dick that is up your ass".
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    Quote Originally Posted by pORCo View Post
    The Theist chooses to forgo absolute freewill, which is the question at stake here, and the main line of defense Theists have against Atheists. "God does not intervene because to do so would violate absolute freewill."
    They already forgo "absolute free will."
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    what do these questions have to do with theists or atheists.
    My first thoughts were yes/yes. Then yes/no. After 10 more seconds of thought no/no. Atheist but don't see the relevance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhenPeonsAttack View Post
    On one, it depends. Would it limit people's liberties in a highly restrictive manor? I mean, if it meant locking everyone in a cell where they only interact with themselves and are fed and kept alive by robots, probably not.


    And no. Maybe I was not specific enough. It would work exactly the way I described it. This would only prevent cold blooded murder, eg. a bullet would bounce off and magically know who was in the wrong. Self defense would still be possible if needed in other cases.

    Yes, the idea is that if humans could reasonably be held to the standard that everyone should say yes (I believe this to be the case, what would the downside be? Many people noted how obvious it was), and society would be unequivocally better, why are excuses created for god such that he is actually held to a LOWER standard than humans? Shouldn't god, if he exists, be held to a higher standard?

    Note how I did not say eradicate all evil/suffering/pain/boredom of any form so there is no contrast from good, like you went down the road of (although that could be argued, as god could have simply redefined the rules such that there didn't need to be a contrast, being omnipotent).

    Rather, I simply used murder alone because it's an egregious example of wrongdoing. Take a Forensic Files episode I watched of a woman getting stabbed 36 times in the chest. Yes, good can come out of anything, but that's not a justification, if it is, then evil is actually a good thing then (and Judas was a hero if you believe in the Bible). Perhaps if I punched you in the face in a public crowd it would offer a lesson on not being a douchebag, how NOT to act to others and actually lead to a net good, but that does not make allowing or actively partaking in such a thing acceptable.

    Your thoughts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleofatra View Post
    no corpse is created outside either... its left in the burrow. But don't worry you can still put 4 peons in there even though their dead companion is rotting in it
    Don't tell me Lucifer and God don't carpoool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehungersite View Post
    Yes, the idea is that if humans could reasonably be held to the standard that everyone should say yes (I believe this to be the case, what would the downside be? Many people noted how obvious it was), and society would be unequivocally better, why are excuses created for god such that he is actually held to a LOWER standard than humans? Shouldn't god, if he exists, be held to a higher standard?
    The irony here is you are actually the one holding God to a lower, human, standard based on your mere opinions as to what would be "unequivocally better" for society. This error stems from the assumption that God created humanity/society and with it attempted to achieve some intended level of "goodness" that (in your view) he somehow fell short of [by not eliminating things like murder] in the first place.

    This is an incorrect assumption, from the Islamic theological view anyway. In the Islamic view, the way things are currently are exactly how it was intended by God; because this was not an attempt at creating a Utopian society (already created: paradise), or one that measures up to your (or anybody else's) standard of "goodness". That's not the purpose of this creation. For its actual intended purpose (which is to serve as 'test' and means by which to facilitate the worship of God) it is absolutely prefect. Thus attempts to critique certain perceived 'evils' are completely pointless. Murder is obviously an abhorrent act, but its actual existence fits into the larger purpose of creation in a way only God can fully comprehend.

    For example, if I were to get murdered in some horrific manner (in a situation where I am an innocent victim), I believe I would be rewarded with eternity in paradise; certainly far superior to living out the rest of my lifespan and not securing paradise at the end [although in Islamic theology your lifespan is already pre-determined so my death through murder would have already been intended anyway]. Does this change the fact that the murder was a crime and that it should be punished ? Of course not. To an atheist this type of thinking seems absurd because this existence is viewed as all we have and being willing to lose it in favor of paradise (which is ofc in their view a mere fairy-tale) makes no sense. That's because it comes down to belief. Given the belief in a God with absolutely perfect knowledge of everything and supreme power to do all things, in the Islamic view it is blasphemous and incorrect to think he somehow made a mistake or was deficient in what HE intended to create, even if things do not fit into the 'standard' or 'scheme' you personally, as a mere human, would have liked to see created. That's why I answered no, I believe if it would have better served the intended purpose of our creation, undoubtedly God would have made murder impossible, but since he did not, it is unfitting of me to even question his judgement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehungersite View Post
    And no. Maybe I was not specific enough. It would work exactly the way I described it. This would only prevent cold blooded murder, eg. a bullet would bounce off and magically know who was in the wrong. Self defense would still be possible if needed in other cases.

    Yes, the idea is that if humans could reasonably be held to the standard that everyone should say yes (I believe this to be the case, what would the downside be? Many people noted how obvious it was), and society would be unequivocally better, why are excuses created for god such that he is actually held to a LOWER standard than humans? Shouldn't god, if he exists, be held to a higher standard?
    You're begging the question. You're saying, "why is God held to a lower standard than humans," but haven't really proved that point. If God doesn't leave an unrepentant cold-blooded murderer unpunished in the next life, and rewards a righteous person for their sufferings in the next life, but also allows a murderer to be repentant so that he can still to good in this life with what he has left and be rewarded for it in the next, to me he's acting morally right. Furthermore, we already believe that a saved soul would go to heaven if he were murdered, so your whole question is pretty moot. You're asking why would God permit a life to be ended when we already believe the murder doesn't end the life of a soul.

    Note how I did not say eradicate all evil/suffering/pain/boredom of any form so there is no contrast from good, like you went down the road of (although that could be argued, as god could have simply redefined the rules such that there didn't need to be a contrast, being omnipotent).

    Rather, I simply used murder alone because it's an egregious example of wrongdoing. Take a Forensic Files episode I watched of a woman getting stabbed 36 times in the chest. Yes, good can come out of anything, but that's not a justification, if it is, then evil is actually a good thing then (and Judas was a hero if you believe in the Bible). Perhaps if I punched you in the face in a public crowd it would offer a lesson on not being a douchebag, how NOT to act to others and actually lead to a net good, but that does not make allowing or actively partaking in such a thing acceptable.

    Your thoughts?
    I never justified evil. If a just person is murdered, my belief is he will be rewarded in the next life. I never said what the murderer did wasn't wrong, and if unrepentant, I do believe he would be punished. Still, God permitting evil to exist for a short time in comparison to the infinite life that awaits can serve a purpose for the greater good.

    For example, St. Paul persecuted and killed many Christians before his conversion, after which he wrote most of the books of the old testament and became one of the key figures of Christianity. This would later show that no matter how far down the road one goes, it is possible for them to repent and adopt the way of life advocated by Christ and become a good person capable of great work. Because of the evil he had done, he was able to grow more than he would have been able to in the past. But this doesn't justify his murdering of Christians. In fact, one of the first steps to him becoming a Christian was understanding and admitting that what he did was wrong and repenting for it.

    A last thing about the difference between God permitting evil and a person doing evil. A person cannot foreknow that the evil he does will precede some sort of reactionary good. Why should he be thought of as good for doing, especially if his intent was malevolent? This pretty much refutes your argument that following the teachings of the bible, evil is good, Judas is a hero, or it would be good for you to be a douchebag. God on the other hand foreknows when good will come out of evil, so permitting it for the greater good would make sense for him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eyeballers View Post
    The irony here is you are actually the one holding God to a lower, human, standard based on your mere opinions as to what would be "unequivocally better" for society. This error stems from the assumption that God created humanity/society and with it attempted to achieve some intended level of "goodness" that (in your view) he somehow fell short of [by not eliminating things like murder] in the first place.
    No, you're misconstruing what I'm saying. Commanding one thing (that humans should not neglect to prevent murder when reasonably capable, and to do so would be a sin of omission, as most if not all religions teach) and doing another (not preventing murder himself when able) is hypocrisy which is a lower standard by any definition I've heard of. It's like the priest who rails against sexual sin then goes and rapes a kid. Maybe you think god is above the rules and that's the "higher standard," and by most religious definitions he is, but we've yet to prove that. Unless god had to do it that way, which is imposing human standards onto god and really ascribing a lack of creativity to him.

    Ask yourself this: which is better for everyone: ultimate good + suffering beforehand, or ultimate good + no suffering? I mean it sounds so simple, I hate to put it that way.

    If omnipotent, with a wag of a finger, god could've had it the former. I'd love to hear your argument for how the latter could possibly be "better" though by any standard, without citing "divine mystery" and saying little else on the matter. The crux of my argument is that god still could've gotten whatever his "goals" are accomplished, and made less suffering for humans to boot. It seems people always shift to the argument that god is just inscrutable to get around this, but simply asserting that doesn't demonstrate much about why it's not a lower, hypocritical (and/or malevolent) standard that god would be operating under. Now going back to your example. Even if your goal is paradise and being murdered led to that (let's say valiantly defending someone), you could still remove the murder from the equation, go to paradise, and the situation is unequivocally better for everyone, in every measurable way. I still fail to see where it needed to be that way under any coherent plan.


    WPA, if God knows 100% that humans are going to react a certain way, then that eliminates free will entirely. In fact the principle behind any test is that the outcome is NOT 100% known, otherwise it is more like a puppet show setting someone up for something. Why would you even theoretically give someone an exam if you knew, 100%, telepathically and omnisciently, that they were going to ace it? Because you actually don't. Even if they are an Einstein, a prodigious mind, you can only know say 99.9% at best, so to be fair to everyone you have to go through the motions of the test anyway. If you knew 100% someone would fail it would be even more pointless to give them the "test." Apparently God knew this but still decided to go through the whole Judas thing anyone and let him allegedly hang himself. That sounds like leading someone to their death as a puppet in an ill-conceived play, knowing they would give into temptation, like "testing" a drug addict with some meth knowing full well they'll do it, then making them the bad guy afterward. It's sick and immoral no matter how I look at it, and the only way out is again saying "but God is better than us and can't be judged!" It's a cop out.

    Let's say god, being all godlike and goddy, knows omnisciently, as a complete certainty I will eat an apple tomorrow. Well then even supposing I have free will, is there any chance I WON'T eat an apple tomorrow? Is there any way I could "surprise" god by choosing differently from something he already pre-known? "oh, I knew for a fact he'd eat that apple, but he used his free will to choose to eat an orange instead." Of course not, otherwise it was not 100% correctly known. So if there's no chance of doing differently, is that free will? Even if I am the agent initiating the choices, a truly pre-known event cannot be changed. The reason it may seem like it can, in my view, is that no one truly knows outcomes on a 100% level, so they're apparently free to play out differently. Speculation: maybe if we could examine every molecule ever we could...

    If an outcome is 100% known, that implies no chance of changing or chance for remorse and reconsideration, which is necessary for the concept of free will and really religion altogether. Otherwise the omniscient force would've seen that coming, and nothing would've been altered by the free agent all the same. I'm not buying it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleofatra View Post
    no corpse is created outside either... its left in the burrow. But don't worry you can still put 4 peons in there even though their dead companion is rotting in it
    Don't tell me Lucifer and God don't carpoool.
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    Last edited by thehungersite; 05-05-2012 at 03:32 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowJam View Post
    those who argue about religion are not religious ( even if they are in favour of it )
    Not true at all. What exactly is your reasoning behind this? So a man can go to church every Sunday and do everything according to his religion, but if an atheist comes up to him and says, "God doesn't exist," so the religious man says, "yes he does and here's why," suddenly the religious man is no longer religious? No.
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    @THS I have disagreements with you on many levels. If you are really curious about the answers to these questions, then there are a lot of different sources out there on theology and apologetics. There are sources that are going to be infinitely more fruitful as far as coming across answers to age old philosophical and theological questions. I'm studying for finals right now and I don't feel like arguing, and I'm sure there are many arguments out there that are far more logical and well thought out than the ones and I can write out. People wouldn't study these things for years if a sophomore accounting major can write about them as eloquently as they could. I'm sorry I won't be providing you with many answers at this time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megoydagi View Post
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