1. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    07 Aug '08 08:33
    There is a basic principle to understand about the relationship between allowing for the freedom of a person and their development and the potential for suffering.

    If you don't accept the principle you will find the God /+ suffering debate to be clearly in favour of Atheism. If you do accept it you will find Theist arguments about suffering more plausible (if not wholly palatable)

    A parent allows the potential for suffering to occur when he lets his child learn to ride a bike. There is the potential for serious injury , death , and pain. Why do it?

    Why not just leave the stabilizers on or not let the child near the bike?

    Is the parent being cruel in allowing the child to suffer? Does the parent really have any alternatives? If not , why not?

    Think about what principle is at work here. You either accept that there are some things that cannot logically happen without allowing for the potential for suffering/pain or you don't.

    For a christian , children learning to ride bikes is one of these things , another is sentient beings with free will.
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    07 Aug '08 08:51
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    There is a basic principle to understand about the relationship between allowing for the freedom of a person and their development and the potential for suffering.

    If you don't accept the principle you will find the God /+ suffering debate to be clearly in favour of Atheism. If you do accept it you will find Theist arguments about suffering more pla ...[text shortened]... ren learning to ride bikes is one of these things , another is sentient beings with free will.
    I think you have misunderstood the point of this line of argument:
    why would an all powerful but kind god be either unable or unwilling to allowing for the freedom of a person and their development but WITHOUT the potential for suffering?
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    07 Aug '08 09:18
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Think about what principle is at work here. You either accept that there are some things that cannot logically happen without allowing for the potential for suffering/pain or you don't.
    The suffering can however be prepared for, or minimised almost to non-existence. If you start your child off on a motor bike on the free way, then expect trouble. If you give him a crash helmet and training wheels then he has a better chance. Also your 'logic' is based on the assumption that we are human and have severe limitations in our abilities. God could supposedly prevent bicycle accidents.

    I have heard parents with your reasoning try to use it as an excuse for why they totally neglect their children ie they go around saying 'well if he doesn't hurt himself, he wont learn.'

    For a christian , children learning to ride bikes is one of these things , another is sentient beings with free will.
    But the amount of necessary suffering is debatable. It is not necessary to die or break a leg in order to learn to ride a bike. The amount of suffering I observe in the world today is not in my opinion necessary for free will. In fact, I would say that a large amount of the suffering in fact prevents free will. I have never managed to get any theist to explain to me the necessity for malaria. Since you seem to have such a good grasp of the subject, please explain to me in detail how it is necessary for a child to die of malaria in order for free will to exist.
  4. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Aug '08 09:55
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    I think you have misunderstood the point of this line of argument:
    why would an all powerful but kind god be either unable or unwilling to allowing for the freedom of a person and their development but WITHOUT the potential for suffering?
    The Christian belief (and I also think this quite logical) is that it's logically impossible. Atheists always say this sort of thing but don't seem to be able to back it up with a logical alternative that is risk free. It's a bit like asking why couldn't God have just helped us make cars that go really fast but never crash?

    A universe that is set free from the total control of a perfect God is bound to have the potential to have some things in it that God does not wish or desire.

    If you like Star Trek you will know about Data's struggle to be human. In my mind the next step of his development might involve some potential risks. He could become more human by learning to love and feel emotion but could this be achieved without the capacity for hate?

    You might think that Data could get more freedom / sentience /humanity without any inherent risks involved. I do not. Once you understand the risk/reward relationship between freedom and potential pain then it becomes easier to get your head around things.
  5. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Aug '08 09:571 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The suffering can however be prepared for, or minimised almost to non-existence. If you start your child off on a motor bike on the free way, then expect trouble. If you give him a crash helmet and training wheels then he has a better chance. Also your 'logic' is based on the assumption that we are human and have severe limitations in our abilities. God c n detail how it is necessary for a child to die of malaria in order for free will to exist.
    The suffering can however be prepared for, or minimised almost to non-existence.-------whitey----------------

    Ahhhh , but it cannot be eliminated , and that's the point. Eliminate the risk and the activity is ended. You think you can teach a child to ride a bike without them ever falling off and getting a cut? You maybe have no children?
  6. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Aug '08 10:00
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The suffering can however be prepared for, or minimised almost to non-existence. If you start your child off on a motor bike on the free way, then expect trouble. If you give him a crash helmet and training wheels then he has a better chance. Also your 'logic' is based on the assumption that we are human and have severe limitations in our abilities. God c ...[text shortened]... n detail how it is necessary for a child to die of malaria in order for free will to exist.
    The amount of suffering I observe in the world today is not in my opinion necessary for free will.-----------whitey---------------

    So how much suffering would be acceptable or inevitable? You do at least accept that there is some relationship between freedom and risk yes?
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    07 Aug '08 11:283 edits
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    The Christian belief (and I also think this quite logical) is that it's logically impossible. Atheists always say this sort of thing but don't seem to be able to back it up with a logical alternative that is risk free. It's a bit like asking why couldn't God have just helped us make cars that go really fast but never crash?

    A universe that is set ...[text shortened]... etween freedom and potential pain then it becomes easier to get your head around things.
    [/b]
    …The Christian belief (and I also think this quite logical) is that it's logically impossible….

    If it is “logically impossible” as you say then it must logically follow that it must be possible to give a logical argument as a premise for this belief that, despite “god” being all-powerful, it is logically impossible for this “god” to do this. So what is your logical argument that you use as a premise for this belief that, despite “god” being all-powerful, it is logically impossible for this “god” to do this?

    If you have no such logical argument, then how can you logically justify your belief that it is “logically impossible”?
    If you claim that a particular thing is “logically impossible” then you need to logically demonstrate how so to show that your claim has rational bases -yes?

    …Atheists always say this sort of thing but don't seem to be able to back it up with a logical alternative that is risk free.….

    -and atheists don’t need to be able to back it up with a logical alternative that is risk free because it is not atheists that are claiming they are the ones that are “all-powerful” but it is the theists that claim that there exists a “god” that is “all-powerful”.
    Why would this “all-powerful” god with infinite intellect be unable to work out how to create logical alternatives that are risk free?

    …If you like Star Trek you will know about Data's struggle to be human. In my mind the next step of his development might involve some potential risks. He could become more human by learning to love and feel emotion but could this be achieved without the capacity for hate? .….

    Hate is just one of a number of emotions. So why is it logically impossible for somebody not to ever feel hate but to occasionally feel love? After all, people on occasions feel love but no hate and hate is not necessary for the development of love.
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    07 Aug '08 11:447 edits
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    The suffering can however be prepared for, or minimised almost to non-existence.-------whitey----------------

    Ahhhh , but it cannot be eliminated , and that's the point. Eliminate the risk and the activity is ended. You think you can teach a child to ride a bike without them ever falling off and getting a cut? You maybe have no children?
    …The suffering can however be prepared for, or minimised almost to non-existence.-------whitey----------------

    Ahhhh , but it cannot be eliminated, and that's the point.….


    No. That isn’t the point. Not all risk cannot be totally eliminated by us mortals -that is true. But it isn’t us mortals that are supposed to be “all-powerful”. If a kind “god” exist that is “all-powerful”, why couldn’t this god eliminate all risk while still giving everybody numerous choices?

    …Eliminate the risk and the activity is ended.…

    Only if you are not all-powerful. With only limited power you can never totally eliminate ALL risk. But this “god” is supposed to be “all-powerful” -yes? So why couldn’t this god eliminate risk? -the fact we mortals cannot eliminate risk is irrelevant to the issue.
  9. Cape Town
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    07 Aug '08 11:45
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Ahhhh , but it cannot be eliminated , and that's the point. Eliminate the risk and the activity is ended. You think you can teach a child to ride a bike without them ever falling off and getting a cut? You maybe have no children?
    And you think that God cannot. You maybe have no God?

    I have a child, and if I thought it was important enough, I could teach him to ride a bike without him falling off. It is not logically impossible as you claim. Your argument is flawed and you know it but you persist with it because you see no other explanation for God allowing evil.
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    07 Aug '08 11:50
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    So how much suffering would be acceptable or inevitable?
    None.

    You do at least accept that there is some relationship between freedom and risk yes?
    A relationship maybe, but not the one you are thinking of. I certainly don't believe that increased freedom necessitates increased risk. In fact I would claim that risk is itself a limit on freedom ie if there is a risk then there is a potential circumstance that we are incapable of controlling.
  11. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Aug '08 11:53
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    [b]…The suffering can however be prepared for, or minimised almost to non-existence.-------whitey----------------

    Ahhhh , but it cannot be eliminated, and that's the point.….


    No. That isn’t the point. Risk cannot be eliminated by an atheist -that is true. But it isn’t the atheist that is supposed to be “all-powerful”. If a kind “god” exist ...[text shortened]... this god eliminate risk -the fact we mortals cannot eliminate risk is irrelevant to the issue?[/b]
    why couldn’t this god eliminate all risk while still giving everybody numerous choices? ---------hamilton--------------------------------------


    And this is the very question we have to ask. Why can't he ? If it was merely a question of power then in theory it should be possible. But what if there is more to it than that.

    To a Christian the question falls into the same catagory as "why can't God create a rock so heavy that he can't lift it? " --OR-- " why can't God create a green tree that is actually red?"

    To a Christian the idea of creating a being that has free will and allowing freedom in the universe WITHOUT any possible risks is illogical. It doesn't make sense. God allowing freedom implies directly that there is a loss of control by God and this would logically effect the scope of his power.

    My question to you is how does God go about creating a free universe whilst simultaneously controlling every outcome and making it 100% risk free.
  12. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Aug '08 11:57
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    None.

    [b]You do at least accept that there is some relationship between freedom and risk yes?

    A relationship maybe, but not the one you are thinking of. I certainly don't believe that increased freedom necessitates increased risk. In fact I would claim that risk is itself a limit on freedom ie if there is a risk then there is a potential circumstance that we are incapable of controlling.[/b]
    So you think it's possible to create a being that can go it's own way if it pleases but at the same time the risk of it going the way you don't want it to can be eliminated?

    Look around you (eg politically correct health and safety laws) reducing risk leads to reduced freedom of choice. My children can't even do a three legged race anymore at school!!!!Lol
  13. Standard memberknightmeister
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    07 Aug '08 11:58
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    [b]…The suffering can however be prepared for, or minimised almost to non-existence.-------whitey----------------

    Ahhhh , but it cannot be eliminated, and that's the point.….


    No. That isn’t the point. Not all risk cannot be totally eliminated by us mortals -that is true. But it isn’t us mortals that are supposed to be “all-powerful”. If a ...[text shortened]... this god eliminate risk? -the fact we mortals cannot eliminate risk is irrelevant to the issue.[/b]
    So why couldn’t this god eliminate risk? -the fact we mortals cannot eliminate risk is irrelevant to the issue.--------------hamilton--------------

    It's not irrelevant if the issue is one of logical contradiction rather than power.
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    07 Aug '08 12:291 edit
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    why couldn’t this god eliminate all risk while still giving everybody numerous choices? ---------hamilton--------------------------------------


    And this is the very question we have to ask. Why can't he ? If it was merely a question of power then in theory it should be possible. But what if there is more to it than that.

    To a Christian the que universe whilst simultaneously controlling every outcome and making it 100% risk free.
    …And this is the very question we have to ask. Why can't he ? If it was merely a question of power then in theory it should be possible. But what if there is more to it than that.

    To a Christian the question falls into the same category as "why can't God create a rock so heavy that he can't lift it? " --OR-- " why can't God create a green tree that is actually red?" .….


    But, regardless of what a Christian believes, the question does NOT fall into the same category as "why can't God create a rock so heavy that he can't lift it?” etc because these things can be demonstrated via logic to be logically impossible while for a god to be unable to give us choices without risk cannot be demonstrated via logic to be logically impossible.

    …God allowing freedom implies directly that there is a loss of control by God and this would logically effect the scope of his power. .…

    Yes. This would “logically effect the scope of his power”. So why cannot he reduce his scope of his power by giving us the freedom to make choices while at the same time not allowing risk? Where is the logical contradiction in that?

    …My question to you is how does God go about creating a free universe whilst simultaneously controlling every outcome and making it 100% risk free..….

    Simple: he allows a vast number of possible outcomes but EXLUDING those outcomes that result in suffering or death. So it would be like me instead of offering a child two possible flavours of ice-cream or a nuclear bomb to play with (this would make me a bit irresponsible), I just offer a child two possible flavours of ice-cream but no nuclear bomb. Of course I am not supposed to be all-powerful or all-knowing so I cannot guarantee that the ice-cream won’t cause food poisoning but “god” IS supposed to be all-powerful so this is not supposed to be a problem for “god”.
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    07 Aug '08 12:351 edit
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    To a Christian the question falls into the same catagory as "why can't God create a rock so heavy that he can't lift it? " --OR-- " why can't God create a green tree that is actually red?"
    You keep saying "to a Christian" when what you really mean is you yourself. I doubt you cant find one single other Christian to back you up, and at a minimum you are essentially saying that the vast majority of people professing to be Christian and who do not agree with you on this point are not 'true Christians'.

    As for your actual statement, one is logically obvious to anyone, Christian or not, the other it appears is only obvious to your particular brand of Christian. Blinders perhaps?
    If something is logically true, then it should be possible to convince anyone of that fact not just Christians.
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