1. Standard memberAgerg
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    01 Jun '10 17:074 edits
    The knee jerk response made by many theists to the claim that an omnipotent God doesn't stop cancer, rapists etc... and is therefore not perfectly good tends to be of the form

    You think god should suspend physics and perform miracles on a second by second basis???

    My answer to that would be yes! Given the assumption it is omnipotent then it would be little inconvenience at all for it to do that very thing, and having created a system where nasty things occur then to justify any claim of being perfectly good/loving etc... (assuming these concepts bear any relation to accepted notions of goodness or loving etc...) it is necessary it should act to minimise the sum of all suffering.

    Anticipating arguments of the form: "ah but what if god stopping something bad from happening indirectly decreases the amount of good in the world" please tell me how (in detail) this is applicable, say, to the thousands of lives being torn apart or extinguished right now by tropical storm Agatha in Guatemala.

    *edit* I acknowledge this thread does not apply to a god that isn't assumed to be perfectly good etc...
  2. Standard memberPBE6
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    01 Jun '10 17:44
    I have yet to hear a satisfactory response to the question of why an omniscient, omnipotent and omni-benevolent God would allow a child to be sexually molested.
  3. Hmmm . . .
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    01 Jun '10 22:15
    Originally posted by PBE6
    I have yet to hear a satisfactory response to the question of why an omniscient, omnipotent and omni-benevolent God would allow a child to be sexually molested.
    Often, a “free will” argument of some kind is made. Often this overlooks two points--

    First, our “free will” is already constrained by the physical conditions in which we exist. I cannot breathe under water, nor survive for more than a short time without breathing, if I accidentally fall through the ice, no matter how much I “will” to. I cannot bear a child (I being male), no matter how much I might desire the experience. Etc., etc.

    Second, an omnipotent creator god would not have to intervene in our actual behavior, thereby further violating free will (free will in action), but could simply have further constrained our available “choice set”. For example, our innate disgust response could be set to trigger at the very thought of sexually molesting a child. That way, such molestation would never be part of the set of choices that we would entertain. This does not seem to me to be so different from the fact that my “choice” to breathe underwater (as above) is simply not part of any viable choice set.

    So, an omnipotent creator god could have set up creation in such a way that our ability to choose among alternative actions is not constrained, in any qualitative way, all that differently from the constraints that we do live under. Our list of viable choices would simply not include certain harmful acts.

    Since not all theists make that kind of argument, I want to stress the “often”--as opposed to an “always”, or even a “generally”. There are theists who are quite willing to relax one element of the trilemma.
  4. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    02 Jun '10 00:39
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Often, a “free will” argument of some kind is made. Often this overlooks two points--

    First, our “free will” is already constrained by the physical conditions in which we exist. I cannot breathe under water, nor survive for more than a short time without breathing, if I accidentally fall through the ice, no matter how much I “will” to. I cannot bear ...[text shortened]... en a “generally”. There are theists who are quite willing to relax one element of the trilemma.
    Other than what you wrote I would add to that that to be human is very complex. (Not that complexity alone justifies child molestation). But we are a species that is spiritually evolving. To not repeat the mistakes of the past we must first make them. Well not all of us, but some of us. We all have our own mistakes to make and all these experiences get incorporated into the fabric of what it means to be human on this planet at this time. (I believe this "database" of experience has been refferred to as the nooseshpere)
    Its like once something is experienced, then its a part of all of us. Those experiences are there for all of us to draw from so we may understand and evolve.

    That is the reason we have "bad" things happen. So we can mature as a species.
    (If anyone would like any furthur elaboration on any points raised here, just ask🙂 )
  5. Standard membercaissad4
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    02 Jun '10 01:11
    I wonder if laboratory rats in a maze believe they are making important choices upon which their survival depends. Or even if they are conscious of the researcher as some superior being who gives them all they need.
  6. Donationbbarr
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    02 Jun '10 02:361 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Often, a “free will” argument of some kind is made. Often this overlooks two points--

    First, our “free will” is already constrained by the physical conditions in which we exist. I cannot breathe under water, nor survive for more than a short time without breathing, if I accidentally fall through the ice, no matter how much I “will” to. I cannot bear ...[text shortened]... en a “generally”. There are theists who are quite willing to relax one element of the trilemma.
    This theodicy overlooks at least one other very basic and important point: This response is inconsistent with our considered judgments regarding our own interventions in the wrongdoing of others. Typically we do not think that by attempting to stop wrongdoers we thereby interfere with their free will. We interfere with their actions, but not with their will. Perhaps this is tendentious, but it really doesn't matter. Even if we grant, for the sake of argument, that when I stop one person from wrongly harming another, I thereby interfere with the free will of the wrongdoer. It simply does not follow, and we generally disagree, that such intervention is impermissible. But if it is permissible for me to attempt to stop wrongdoers, then it is similarly permissible for God to do so. This is both obvious and generally overlooked by theists who opt for this defense. If I come across a rape in progress, should I stop and worry about whether beating the hell out of the rapist is a violation of his freedom? Should I wring my hands over whether to call the police, since the rapist's autonomy might be undermined by the law? Of course not, this is absurd. But if it is absurd, then so is this theodicy.
  7. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    02 Jun '10 02:45
    Originally posted by bbarr
    This theodicy overlooks at least one other very basic and important point: This response is inconsistent with our considered judgments regarding our own interventions in the wrongdoing of others. Typically we do not think that by attempting to stop wrongdoers we thereby interfere with their free will. We interfere with their actions, but not with their will ...[text shortened]... ed by the law? Of course not, this is absurd. But if it is absurd, then so is this theodicy.
    So is the nature of the "response" from a lot of the police "services"
    (Its called the "police service" now over here, rather than "police force"😕 )
  8. Territories Unknown
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    02 Jun '10 03:17
    Originally posted by PBE6
    I have yet to hear a satisfactory response to the question of why an omniscient, omnipotent and omni-benevolent God would allow a child to be sexually molested.
    You likely will never hear a satisfactory response to that question until you can first answer the question of why He allowed the perfect God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die as a substitute for imperfect man.
  9. Territories Unknown
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    02 Jun '10 03:26
    Originally posted by bbarr
    This theodicy overlooks at least one other very basic and important point: This response is inconsistent with our considered judgments regarding our own interventions in the wrongdoing of others. Typically we do not think that by attempting to stop wrongdoers we thereby interfere with their free will. We interfere with their actions, but not with their will ...[text shortened]... ed by the law? Of course not, this is absurd. But if it is absurd, then so is this theodicy.
    For those who are convinced it really all ends here, such considerations are redundant. For those who consider there to exist a hierarchy of sins, of wrongs, these same considerations are simply pointless.

    The example you give is intended to incite shock, but only in that intention does your argument hold any water. Rape is shocking. Start smaller and see if the shock wears off--- say, with a scowl, one person to another. Surely God should stop that scowl, yes? Does He not have a moral obligation to keep one person from feeling the rejection and/or discomfort associated with a scowl from another?

    What is the greater good to which God is bound by the nature of His character. That is the question that ought to be asked.
  10. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    02 Jun '10 03:39
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    You likely will never hear a [b]satisfactory response to that question until you can first answer the question of why He allowed the perfect God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die as a substitute for imperfect man.[/b]
    Thats lame. Real lame
  11. Territories Unknown
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    02 Jun '10 03:57
    Originally posted by karoly aczel
    Thats lame. Real lame
    I'll take your scowl as a vote in the negative. Thank you.
  12. Cape Town
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    02 Jun '10 04:35
    Originally posted by Agerg
    The knee jerk response made by many theists to the claim that an omnipotent God doesn't stop cancer, rapists etc... and is therefore not perfectly good tends to be of the form

    You think god should suspend physics and perform miracles on a second by second basis???
    Oddly enough I have never come across that reaction before. I normally see the response: "Its all our fault and we must live with it". On further inquiry it often turns out to be all Adams fault (for which we for some reason share the blame).
    Also some vague references to free will are always brought up but never really clarified.
  13. Standard memberavalanchethecat
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    02 Jun '10 08:50
    Originally posted by Agerg
    The knee jerk response made by many theists to the claim that an omnipotent God doesn't stop cancer, rapists etc... and is therefore not perfectly good tends to be of the form

    You think god should suspend physics and perform miracles on a second by second basis???

    My answer to that would be [b]yes
    ! Given the assumption it is omnipotent then it ...[text shortened]... knowledge this thread does not apply to a god that isn't assumed to be perfectly good etc...[/b]
    Well, this god of theirs is omniscient right? So he's probably punishing them in advance.
  14. Joined
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    02 Jun '10 14:207 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Often, a “free will” argument of some kind is made. Often this overlooks two points--

    First, our “free will” is already constrained by the physical conditions in which we exist. I cannot breathe under water, nor survive for more than a short time without breathing, if I accidentally fall through the ice, no matter how much I “will” to. I cannot bear ...[text shortened]... en a “generally”. There are theists who are quite willing to relax one element of the trilemma.
    To address your first point, I think God is only concerned with free will in relation to relationship to him, much like our own loving relationships. After all, we are said to be made in the image of God. It would then explain our drive for loving relationships. In fact, that is what makes us "tick".

    So what is worse, is it sexually molesting a child or is it neglect? Our inner voice may tell us that sexual abuse is worse, but research tells us that neglect is far more devestating. This then raises Freakies point that the mere presence of "pain" and "sin" is the issue, not the degree of such. In fact, he correctly states that the mere mention of sexual abuse of a child is to provide a sense of outrage. However, what of a child riding his bike down a hill that is too steep and he falls and bangs up his or her knee? It seems to me that, although there is pain in falling down and baning up your knee, a valuable lesson has been learned. I think it then plays a valauble role in our "choice sets". Having said that, what of a child who is rejected by his peers etc? Should such "troubles" be part of our "choice set"? It seems to me that the phenemenon we call love has certain attributes. In fact, pain seems as though it is sticking its ugly head around every corner where love is present. For example, will they reject me? Will they neglect me? Will they suffer thus making me suffer? Will they die ect? It seems as though the proverb rings true in that in order to love you must first set them free and make no mistake about it, we all face this dilemma at some point.

    I think that God has a dilemma of sorts. On the one hand, he wishes to protect our free will but, on the other hand, we often infringe on the free will of others when we exercise our free will because we are unjust to others at times. Biblically, we see that God has limits. Examples include Noah's flood and Sodom and Ghommora etc. It seems as though he must allow us to inflict injustices upon one another. Otherwise could "sinners" cohabitate? Would not isolation be far worse than any "pain" that we inflict upon one another? The strory of God wanting to provide Adam a companaion and the devestating effects of neglect on children should give us some insight into this issue. I suppose your "choice sets" would forbid "innocents" from harm as where God's "choice sets" seem much more liberal, but again, if we are to cohabitate with "innocents" then how is this achieved 100%? . From my perspective, however, God is merciful and allows us time to "repent". In fact, it seems he waits until the last possible second until nothing can be salvaged from such wickedness, assuming the levels of wickedness in the days of Noah and Sodom are to be believed which led to their demise.
  15. Standard memberavalanchethecat
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    02 Jun '10 14:39
    Originally posted by whodey
    To address your first point, I think God is only concerned with free will in relation to relationship to him, much like our own loving relationships. After all, we are said to be made in the image of God. It would then explain our drive for loving relationships. In fact, that is what makes us "tick".

    So what is worse, is it sexually molesting a child or ...[text shortened]... days of Noah and Sodom are to be believed which led to their demise.
    Assuming god is omniscient, there's no such thing as free will is there? He already knows in advance which of us will believe and which of us will follow reason instead. Or are you arguing that god is not omniscient?
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