1. Territories Unknown
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    02 Jan '13 16:18
    I'm still waiting for you to tell me exactly which premises of the argument you think are false and why. I have already granted that you are perfectly free to read the "greater good" in the way you describe. You say that the greater good is served by nothing less than God permitting his creatures to act freely. Fine. Again, consider this fully granted for the purpose of argument. Now, proceed with explaining why you think the argument fails.

    The problem you will have is that you cannot seriously tell me that premise 2 is false in virtue of this particular reading of the greater good. That is just absurd, since there are any number of instances of suffering that have absolutely nothing to do with facilitating human free will. Let's take a specific example. You're aware of course of all the suffering and havoc wreaked by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Do you have some account of why your God saw fit to let such events unfold? You cannot seriously claim with a straight face that His reasons for not preventing such instances of suffering have anything to do with His needing to provide a congenial environment for the freedom of his creatures. No one in his right mind actually thinks that such instances of suffering are requisite for human freedom. There are simply countless instances of suffering that are like this; that bear no relevance to discussion of those things that provide for human free will. So, at minimum, there needs to be a lot more to your theodicy than just saying that God needs to allow His creatures to be free in order to serve the greater good. (I'm actually being quite generous here, since, in fact, even if we restricted our attention only to those instances of suffering that have been brought about directly by acts of human free will, it would still be virtually impossible to justify the claim that all such instances were necessary for human freedom and hence necessary for your greater good to be served.)

    I also find it rather hilarious that you think it takes an "exaggerated sense of justice, fairness or even righteousness" to suggest that an agent who by supposition has the power; knowledge; and opportunity to prevent such an event, would do so. You imply that to suggest such a thing shows a lack of historical and broad picture perspective. Well, for me to take you seriously there, you need to actually give me reasons to think that there are substantive, relevant considerations that these persons have failed to entertain. You haven't done this in the slightest, though, because as I already explained above, your attempt at theodicy offers no reasons at all that would make any sense of why your God would stand by and watch something like that event unfold.


    The above was from LJ in response to my comments on the thread now since closed. I had an unusually hectic season and failed to respond prior to the closure of the thread, but will attempt to do so here.

    What does life look like without God? Any atheist can tell you: it has moments of joy, of laughter, of sorrow, of general melancholy and, ultimately, no resolve. This is not an attempt at insult, but rather, an assessment of boiled down existence. There is no meaning to life, because life being what it is--- it just is--- has no meaning. We cannot say 'you're supposed to give life its meaning,' since there really is no 'supposed to' in something that just is.

    What does life look like with God? Any theist can tell you: it has moments of joy, of laughter, of sorrow, of general contentedness and ultimately, resolve. Of course, the theist may very well live like the atheist, but the point is, only with God can there be resolve... even if it is only a trick of the mind.

    When the man and the woman were in the Garden, suffering did not exist in any form. They voluntarily followed His plan. When the man opted to reject God's plan, he chose his own plan instead--- and all that it entailed. He couldn't possibly see all of the ramifications of life without God with all of its iterations, but he understood that death and all of its expressions were part of the package. There was no third option, one which had parts of God (wherein suffering is mitigated) and parts of man (wherein death holds sway).

    You're wishing God to intervene in some cases but to allow others to slide. Why do you get to decide which instances of suffering will be allowed to happen and which He ought to dispense with?

    This entire existence we are part of takes place in a sphere in which God's plan does not hold sway. Rather, this is what life looks like without His plan in place. Frankly, I think it sucks, but in other ways, I am grateful for it since its existence made mine possible. Does that mean I wouldn't have been created had the man and the woman opted to stay with God's plan? Hmmm. Now that's a good question.
  2. Standard memberavalanchethecat
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    02 Jan '13 16:38
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    [quote]I'm still waiting for you to tell me exactly which premises of the argument you think are false and why. I have already granted that you are perfectly free to read the "greater good" in the way you describe. You say that the greater good is served by nothing less than God permitting his creatures to act freely. Fine. Again, consider this fully grant ...[text shortened]... he woman opted to stay with God's plan? Hmmm. Now that's a good question.
    ...There is no meaning to life, because life being what it is--- it just is--- has no meaning...


    You may not have been attempting to insult, but there is definite flavour of arrogance within this post. I am delighted that your faith has enabled you to find meaning and purpose to life, but you are incorrect in your assumption that faith is the only route to this end.
  3. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    02 Jan '13 18:08
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    [quote]I'm still waiting for you to tell me exactly which premises of the argument you think are false and why. I have already granted that you are perfectly free to read the "greater good" in the way you describe. You say that the greater good is served by nothing less than God permitting his creatures to act freely. Fine. Again, consider this fully grant ...[text shortened]... he woman opted to stay with God's plan? Hmmm. Now that's a good question.
    Are you using 'resolve' in the sense of having the willpower to do something, or in the sense of 'resolution' - bringing matters to a satisfactory close?
  4. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    02 Jan '13 19:55
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH

    [quote]I'm still waiting for you to tell me exactly which premises of the argument you think are false and why. I have already granted that you are perfectly free to read the "greater good" in the way you describe. You say that the greater good is served by nothing less than God permitting his creatures to act freely. Fine. Again, consider this fully grante ...[text shortened]... he woman opted to stay with God's plan? Hmmm. Now that's a good question.[/b]
    "Does that mean I wouldn't have been created had the man and the woman opted to stay with God's plan? Hmmm. Now that's a good question."

    If the two in the park had passed the positive volition test, the Appeal Trial of The Prehistoric Angelic Conflict would have been over. God would have illustrated to Lucifer that a lesser creation made the correct decision, wheras he and one third of the other angels wern't able. And, the creation of a lesser species (the human race) would have served its purpose. No Cain and Abel; no brothers and sisters; no children for your parents or theirs or theirs or theirs....
    .
  5. Territories Unknown
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    02 Jan '13 20:24
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "Does that mean I wouldn't have been created had the man and the woman opted to stay with God's plan? Hmmm. Now that's a good question."

    If the two in the park had passed the positive volition test, the Appeal Trial of The Prehistoric Angelic Conflict would have been over. God would have illustrated to Lucifer that a lesser creation made the corr ...[text shortened]... no brothers and sisters; no children for your parents or theirs or theirs or theirs....
    .[/b]
    Unless He had in mind to fill their vacancies via perfect heritage!
  6. Territories Unknown
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    02 Jan '13 20:24
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    Are you using 'resolve' in the sense of having the willpower to do something, or in the sense of 'resolution' - bringing matters to a satisfactory close?
    The latter.
  7. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    02 Jan '13 23:561 edit
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH

    Unless He had in mind to fill their vacancies via perfect heritage!
    While it's true that the Risen Christ required a Royal Family (which becomes His eventual bride) to be formed during the Dispensation of Grace, the imperative lineage completion / heritage need wouldn't have been present before Israel and The Flood in the Garden and the Higher Order of Angelic Creation. Bear in mind that the co-equal and co-eternal persons of the Royal Triumvirate in Eternity Past were in and of themselves complete without any generational movement or adoption. Not only complete but totally fulfilled with perfect happiness and contentment in each other's presesence.... since [need a better phrase, here] Non-Time began in Eternity Past (which is in itself a laughable and pitiful stab at a suitable application of Language of Accomodation).
    .
  8. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    03 Jan '13 00:15
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    The latter.
    But why do I need a god for a satisfactory resolution to my life? I just don't see it. If I die having had a good career in an interesting field, good relationships with family and friends, and all my needs always provided, that is good enough for me.

    These things have meaning to me - derived from what I value. I don't need an external source of meaning.
  9. Joined
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    03 Jan '13 04:53
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    [quote]I'm still waiting for you to tell me exactly which premises of the argument you think are false and why. I have already granted that you are perfectly free to read the "greater good" in the way you describe. You say that the greater good is served by nothing less than God permitting his creatures to act freely. Fine. Again, consider this fully grant ...[text shortened]... he woman opted to stay with God's plan? Hmmm. Now that's a good question.
    So which premise(s) of the argument are you rejecting and why, again?
  10. Territories Unknown
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    03 Jan '13 20:05
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    So which premise(s) of the argument are you rejecting and why, again?
    Premise 2.

    It uses "logically" as though the reader can know or ingest all possible sequences within the history of man, and then systematically eliminate specific events as unnecessary to achieve the greater good.
    Based on what, exactly?
    Logic?
    Reason?
    Personal sense of fairness?
    What is the criterion which is to be used to measure whether or not an event is logically connected to the greater good?

    The fact of the matter is, this entire mess, i.e., man at war with man, man struggling with nature, life being generally shiddy, all of it is the RESULT of the removal of God's plan from the ruling of the planet.
    There is no in-between plan, the one where only some (direct free will action) bad things will happen but others (natural disasters, birth defects, cancers, etc.) will be mitigated.
    We asked for God to remove His plan and replace it with ours.
    This is what we got.
  11. Joined
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    03 Jan '13 23:042 edits
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Premise 2.

    It uses "logically" as though the reader can know or ingest all possible sequences within the history of man, and then systematically eliminate specific events as unnecessary to achieve the greater good.
    Based on what, exactly?
    Logic?
    Reason?
    Personal sense of fairness?
    What is the criterion which is to be used to measure whether or no tigated.
    We asked for God to remove His plan and replace it with ours.
    This is what we got.
    Okay, so you say you are rejecting premise 2, which reads as follows.

    2) There has occurred at least one event E such that E brought about unnecessary suffering; suffering not logically necessary for the bringing about of greater good.


    So, what is your support for the denial of premise 2? Have you read bbarr's defense of premise 2 in the original thread? What specific parts or aspects of his defense do you take issue with?

    It uses "logically" as though the reader can know or ingest all possible sequences within the history of man, and then systematically eliminate specific events as unnecessary to achieve the greater good.

    No. The argument uses the phrase 'logically necessary', and it is made explicitly clear in bbarr's later defense of premise 2 what that phrase means here. To repeat the basic idea, to say that X is logically necessary for Y means that a logical contradiction (P & not-P) is entailed by the conjunction of "It is not the case that X" and "It is the case that Y". So, it is basically to say that if X does not obtain, then it is logically impossible for Y to obtain (at pain of a logical contradiction). So by a "logically necessary" instance of suffering here, we would be talking about an instance of suffering that is such that if it had not obtained it would have thereby been logically impossible to bring about some greater good.

    So, I think you're confused here. Premise 2 does not suppose that the "reader can know or ingest all possible sequences within the history of man, and then systematically eliminate specific events as unnecessary to achieve the greater good", whatever exactly that means.

    Based on what, exactly?
    Logic?
    Reason?
    Personal sense of fairness?
    What is the criterion which is to be used to measure whether or not an event is logically connected to the greater good?


    That's up to the reader, remember? The problem for you here is that there is no sane reading of the greater good under which premise 2 will be false. Remember, you've already stated that the greater good is served by nothing short of God's allowing his human creatures to be autonomous, volitional creatures. Is there something more to your reading of the "greater good"? Because under this reading, premise 2 is still clearly true. Again, I thought bbarr's defense of premise 2 already makes that fact clear.

    What's the actual substance of your refutation of bbarr's argument? You say you are rejecting premise 2; but premise 2 is obviously true, even given the reading of the greater good that you yourself specified. I mean, take any instance of suffering associated to the tsunami (referring to my text you quoted above): it's blatantly false that this instance of suffering is logically necessary for God's allowing his human creatures to be autonomous. To suggest otherwise is just painfully absurd.
  12. Territories Unknown
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    05 Jan '13 17:081 edit
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Okay, so you say you are rejecting premise 2, which reads as follows.

    2) There has occurred at least one event E such that E brought about unnecessary suffering; suffering not logically necessary for the bringing about of greater good.


    So, what is your support for the denial of premise 2? Have you read bbarr's defense of premise 2 in th tures to be autonomous. To suggest otherwise is just painfully absurd.[/b]
    Let's try a different tack.

    God does not 'need' wholesale and rampant rejection of His system in order to see the greater good occur; remember that prior to the Fall, both the man and the woman were autonomous wholly volitional creatures for an unspecified amount of time.
    There were no contradictions between the characteristics of God and the state of affairs in the world.

    It wasn't until after the Fall--- and quite some time, at that--- that man began to see the disconnect between the characteristics of God and the state of things and failed to understand how it came to be so.
    Why?
    Because he was missing (or had rejected) the history of man up to that point.

    Now here we sit, thousands of years removed, the history clearly hidden in an archaic book filtered through several languages both living and dead, and find ourselves trying to make some sense of the supposed characteristics of God and the state of affairs in the world.

    According to GAFE, God couldn't possibly be at least some of His stated properties if something happened that didn't need to happen.
    The presumption is that the reader can imagine one event or another that has no direct or indirect impact on the autonomy of any one, that the event simply wasn't necessary, and further, that God as a moral being is obligated to stop such unnecessary events.
    Pretzel logic, at its best.

    But why, Freaky?
    Why is it pretzel logic?
    Glad you asked.
    The greater good involves autonomous volitional creatures, but it doesn't require the same to be in opposition to God, nor does it require the same to be in concert with Him.
    Why?
    Because God was perfectly content prior to the creation of any of His creatures.
    He is content before, during and after.
    He did not need creatures in order to complete some deficiency; there is nothing short of completion in the Trinity.
    He already possessed all that is good, all that could be good.

    So why create?
    To share.
    To allow others to be filled with the same overflowing glory and joy which He has enjoyed from eternity past.
    This involves autonomous volitional beings, but does not diminish His perfection, His enjoyment of Himself--- whether the former choose for Him or against Him.
    Why? Because He had a plan for either contingency.

    Pre-Fall, God was not keeping anything at bay; there was no threat to His character, no death, no evil, no suffering to protect man against... save one.
    The fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of 'Good and Evil,' was the only exception given to man.
    Avoidance of that fruit kept man in God's system, whereas partaking of the fruit would supplant God's system with that system: 'Good and Evil.'
    God's characteristics are the same post-Fall as they were pre-Fall.
    However, the plan pre-Fall--- wherein He was free to commune with man and share Himself with them--- was decidedly different than the post-Fall plan.
    The post-Fall plan restricts man's access to God and in turn, to His various characteristics.
    Pre-Fall, with autonomous volitional creatures choosing to abide in His system, His characteristics were unrestrained.
    Post-Fall, with autonomous volitional creatures choosing to abide in the system of 'Good and Evil,' His characteristics are restrained.

    The system of 'Good and Evil' is antithetical to the system of 'Lives.'
    In the system of 'Lives,' we saw His omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience.
    In the system of 'Good and Evil,' we don't see His omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience.
    Instead, we see a world that is both 'good' and 'evil,' with seemingly no rhyme or reason for either one.

    GAFE wants God to intervene in the post-Fall world as though we were still in the pre-Fall world--- as though the plans ought to not have any impact on His policies.
    GAFE expects God to restrict the evil in the world to only those "logically necessary" events, i.e., events related only to the volition of man.
    All other evil/suffering God is expected to mitigate.
    GAFE fails to consider that the volition of man was in play pre-Fall, and it was good.
    GAFE further fails to consider that the post-Fall plan does not allow God's system to be in power; the post-Fall plan is 'Good and Evil' and all that it entails.
  13. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    05 Jan '13 21:40
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH

    Let's try a different tack.

    God does not 'need' wholesale and rampant rejection of His system in order to see the greater good occur; remember that prior to the Fall, both the man and the woman were autonomous wholly volitional creatures for an unspecified amount of time.
    There were no contradictions between the characteristics of God and the state of ...[text shortened]... ; the post-Fall plan is 'Good and Evil' and all that it entails.
    Christ has been revealed with clarity in the Written Word. Yet there is so much ignorance and emotionalism in the world.

    Red Hot Pawn Members reading the above post have no excuse. That places the onus on the proper anus, so to speak.
    .
  14. Joined
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    06 Jan '13 06:202 edits
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Let's try a different tack.

    God does not 'need' wholesale and rampant rejection of His system in order to see the greater good occur; remember that prior to the Fall, both the man and the woman were autonomous wholly volitional creatures for an unspecified amount of time.
    There were no contradictions between the characteristics of God and the state of e post-Fall plan is 'Good and Evil' and all that it entails.
    remember that prior to the Fall, both the man and the woman were autonomous wholly volitional creatures for an unspecified amount of time.

    And I take it that the man and the woman did not have to endure any tsunamis prior to the fall. See, this would only show that premise 2 is true under your own reading of the "greater good". This only affirms that instances of suffering such as those associated with the tsunami I brought up are not logically necessary for some greater good, even by your own lights regarding what constitutes the greater good. You probably need to step back, regroup, and figure out what exactly you intend to argue. You say that you intend to reject premise 2; but then when you purport to explain why, you only end up affirming that premise 2 is true. So, your response to the GAFE is just a confused mess.

    According to GAFE, God couldn't possibly be at least some of His stated properties if something happened that didn't need to happen.

    No, according to the GAFE God does not exist. Again, which premise(s) are you going to reject? You've already managed to affirm that premise 2 is true, even though you seemed to be under the impression that you were arguing against it.

    Post-Fall, with autonomous volitional creatures choosing to abide in the system of 'Good and Evil,' His characteristics are restrained.

    This is ambiguous. Are you saying that God, under your conception, is not as defined in the GAFE; that God, under your conception, does not possess one or more of those capacities attached to the definition of 'God' in the argument (omnipotence, omniscience, moral perfection)? Or are you saying that God, under your conception, possesses said capacities but chooses not to exercise them in the "post-fall"? If the former, then you should simply reject the GAFE on the grounds that the 'God' defined in the argument does not match your own conception (which is fair enough, but of course you will have to live with whatever upshot there is). If the latter, then you need to reject one or more of the premises of the GAFE. Which will it be? You've already shot yourself in the foot on the rejection of premise 2 approach.
  15. Standard memberSoothfast
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    06 Jan '13 06:30
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Christ has been revealed with clarity in the Written Word. Yet there is so much ignorance and emotionalism in the world.

    Red Hot Pawn Members reading the above post have no excuse. That places the onus on the proper anus, so to speak.
    .
    Whoa, man.

    I think you can chalk up the Ty-D-Bol in the hookah as a fail.
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