1. Joined
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    06 Sep '09 13:261 edit
    He loves you and he needs your money!
    YouTube
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    06 Sep '09 15:35
    For a serious possible response to this comedian's argument about the existence of evil, I recommend W.L. Craig on the objection here:

    YouTube&feature=related
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    06 Sep '09 16:52
    Originally posted by jaywill
    For a serious possible response to this comedian's argument about the existence of evil, I recommend W.L. Craig on the objection here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPqSrnR6VtI&feature=related
    To be honest, I didn't find the content of that link impressive. In particular the crass notion that a child dying of cancer could have some meaning for a god at some time in the future an awful case of special pleading.
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    06 Sep '09 17:21
    Originally posted by Diodorus Siculus
    To be honest, I didn't find the content of that link impressive. In particular the crass notion that a child dying of cancer could have some meaning for a god at some time in the future an awful case of special pleading.
    There's only One God.
  5. Joined
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    06 Sep '09 18:518 edits
    Originally posted by Diodorus Siculus
    To be honest, I didn't find the content of that link impressive. In particular the crass notion that a child dying of cancer could have some meaning for a god at some time in the future an awful case of special pleading.
    Why in your supposedly athiest world view is the child dying of cancer any worse than the child living to a ripe old age without such suffering ? You just prefer it ?

    Problem is that by objecting that evil exists you necessarily agree that good does also. And if you acknowledge that good exists too, as well as evil then you must have some universal moral "yardstick" upon which to measure and catagorize each.

    What is your ultimate reference point upon which you know good from evil and vica versa ? Is it simply your personal taste about things ?

    If so that's not too strong and the child dying of cancer could be arbitrarily evil to you with the same force that you, say, arbitrarily prefer chocolate ice cream to vanilla.

    Anyway, I watched practically all of your video. Thanks for watching what you did of my contribution.
  6. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    07 Sep '09 04:23
    Originally posted by jaywill
    Why in your supposedly athiest world view is the child dying of cancer any worse than the child living to a ripe old age without such suffering ? You just prefer it ?
    What a dumb question.
  7. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    07 Sep '09 04:41
    Originally posted by jaywill
    For a serious possible response to this comedian's argument about the existence of evil, I recommend W.L. Craig on the objection here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPqSrnR6VtI&feature=related
    I watched it. There is not much in it that has not already been stated on these forums.

    My main disagreement with him is his objection to the probabilistic problem of evil. He claims we are not in a good position to weigh the probability that it is morally justified to allow the evil actions and events we see in the world. The most poignant objection to his objection has been given several times on these forums. It is that, by claiming that God has morally valid reasons for permitting all the acts of evil that occur, the theist is saying that this is the best of all possible worlds. That's too bold a claim.

    That claim means that if even one less person had died in the Holocaust, or in the Asian Tsunamis, or in World War II, etc. etc. the world would somehow be less good than it is. Just too implausible to be believed.

    I ruled out his other objections. I feel in #2 he is trying to change the argument's definitions - he is changing the definition of 'morally perfect' without admitting it. Instead of preferring that the most morally good state of affairs obtains, God is more concerned with people coming to know him instead. Objection #2 is thus not attacking the argument at hand, but rather a different version of it.
  8. Cape Town
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    07 Sep '09 06:15
    Originally posted by jaywill
    Why in your supposedly athiest world view is the child dying of cancer any worse than the child living to a ripe old age without such suffering ? You just prefer it ?
    And how is your theist world view any different? Is the main difference the fact that instead of knowing or figuring out what is better or worse you are told by God what is better or worse? ie God just prefers it (but oddly lets the poor child die anyway).
  9. Cape Town
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    07 Sep '09 06:21
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    My main disagreement with him is his objection to the probabilistic problem of evil. He claims we are not in a good position to weigh the probability that it is morally justified to allow the evil actions and events we see in the world. The most poignant objection to his objection has been given several times on these forums. It is that, by claiming that ...[text shortened]... ur, the theist is saying that this is the best of all possible worlds. That's too bold a claim.
    There is another objection to that claim. If we are unable to judge Gods actions morally then we cannot and should not assume that God is good. To simply 'have faith' that he is good is basically a random bet. You might as well 'have faith' that Satan is the good one as I am sure that nobody is in a better position to judge Satan's actions morally than they are with respect to Gods. Its ones word vs the others.
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    07 Sep '09 10:36
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    There is another objection to that claim. If we are unable to judge Gods actions morally then we cannot and should not assume that God is good. To simply 'have faith' that he is good is basically a random bet. You might as well 'have faith' that Satan is the good one as I am sure that nobody is in a better position to judge Satan's actions morally than they are with respect to Gods. Its ones word vs the others.
    "If we are unable to judge Gods actions morally then we cannot and should not assume that God is good."

    We can, but only because we base the conclusion that God is good because He said He is good.

    "Its ones word vs the others."

    God's word vs ours. This is what objective truth means. Not our truth, but God's truth.
  11. Cape Town
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    07 Sep '09 11:301 edit
    Originally posted by josephw
    We can, but only because we base the conclusion that God is good because He said He is good.
    But surely Satan makes the same claim? So your decision to accept Gods word as factual is purely arbitrary?
  12. Joined
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    07 Sep '09 11:39
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    I watched it. There is not much in it that has not already been stated on these forums.

    My main disagreement with him is his objection to the probabilistic problem of evil. He claims we are not in a good position to weigh the probability that it is morally justified to allow the evil actions and events we see in the world. The most poignant objection ...[text shortened]... jection #2 is thus not attacking the argument at hand, but rather a different version of it.
    This is a tough issue and I cannot avoid that my reply is longer than you probably want to read.

    ==================================
    God has morally valid reasons for permitting all the acts of evil that occur, the theist is saying that this is the best of all possible worlds. That's too bold a claim.
    =================================


    I will not answer for Craig here for my reply is my own at this point.

    For me the "bold claim" is based upon a kind of resume of God given in the Bible. Thankfully, what I read is God's dealing with a nation a world with its individuals over a very long time.

    When I see His work with Abraham (over years), with Joseph (over years), over David and other of partriarchs, I see a record of how God caused misfortunes to work positive results for His purpose.

    Even with some instances of people not closely related covenantually to God, I see such providence at work over the span of centries.

    Now I admit that this does not inform me of each and every case of all people. That is true. But a kind of "approvedness" is built up in the record which furnishes me with boldness to think "God can over time cause misfortune to turn out to His good will."

    The problem of bad things happening to seemingly undeserving people is not one which is ignored in the Bible. Had it been completely ignored I might be more swayed by your objection. However, I see at least one entire book dedicated to the thorny issue of "Why did a righteous man had to suffer terribly?" That would be the book of Job.

    The issue is not skirted over or naively ignored in the Bible. And there are some cases revealing God's sovereign providence to cause all things to work together for good to some people. Because of this record, I have the boldness to suggest God has this power to do as Dr. Craig suggests.

    At any rate, mocking as the comedian did does nothing for me to address the problem.

    ================================
    That claim means that if even one less person had died in the Holocaust, or in the Asian Tsunamis, or in World War II, etc. etc. the world would somehow be less good than it is. Just too implausible to be believed.
    ================================


    I think his point was that our limited view may not validate that.

    With me it is not a closed issue with Holocaust or Tsunamis or American Slavary or the Holocaust of abortions or many other terrible historical events because God is eternal. He has eternity to work in. And I believe that there are some unknowns about the outcome of some things.

    To weep and to be appalled is the proper human response. And to avoid or see that such things do not happen is an appropriate response. I do not suggest that "We let evil come so that good may happen."

    At the same time I trust this eternal Father.

    I recall the day that I had to take my little baby girl to the doctor for a meningitus shot. The were concerned that she possibly had the deseaase. I had to hold her from struggling while the doctor inserted a needle into her back. That was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.

    Afterwere she stopped her crying and struggling and went to sleep in my arms. After a little while she strung up to life again and looked around. I was so happy to see that she was alright and that the dreaded yet recommended procedure was over.

    This is not a perfect analogy. But it gave me a feeling that maybe this is what God has to go through. I know that histories most awful and most terrible event was the bearing of the sins of the world by the Righteous Son of God. I think that touched the Father's heart to the uttermost.

    I just believe that He is eternal, unlimited, and can cause all things to work together for some ultimate good plan.

    I didn't find the comedian's blasphamies and mockings did much to offer consulation in the problem.

    =============================
    I ruled out his other objections. I feel in #2 he is trying to change the argument's definitions - he is changing the definition of 'morally perfect' without admitting it. Instead of preferring that the most morally good state of affairs obtains, God is more concerned with people coming to know him instead. Objection #2 is thus not attacking the argument at hand, but rather a different version of it.
    =======================================


    For me "knowing God" is a matter of coming into living union with God as the indwelling divine life. It is not simply objectively knowing some information about God.

    I think the universe and man exist for this purpose that God and man might be united in a life union, ie. "knowing God". So there is nothing more important than this for it is why I think man was created.
  13. Joined
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    07 Sep '09 11:482 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    And how is your theist world view any different? Is the main difference the fact that instead of knowing or figuring out what is better or worse you are told by God what is better or worse? ie God just prefers it (but oddly lets the poor child die anyway).
    ===============================
    And how is your theist world view any different? Is the main difference the fact that instead of knowing or figuring out what is better or worse you are told by God what is better or worse? ie God just prefers it (but oddly lets the poor child die anyway).
    ================================


    My worldview is that the recessess of that child's mind, heart, and spirit are totally more open to His view than to yours. And in the recessess of that child's heart the Spirit of God and that child can interact in a way of which you and your cynicism have no concept.

    My worldview is that the transendant God also has a overview of all people related to that tragedy and the recesses of their hearts, how it may have turned them to God, turned them from temptation to God, caused their prayer, caused their dependency on God, caused their thanksgiving for blessings, or wrought any number of other positive results unseen by us.

    If He oversees the working of every atom in the universe I trust that His awareness is without limit, infinite, eternal. What appears to my sight may be superfiscial. I am sure though that God does not hold it against us that we mourn the loss or work to prevent such.

    One of the very elementary and early precepts of the kingdom of God is "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matt. 5:4)

    I agree with Craig that Christian Theism is probably our best hope to deal with the tragedy.
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    07 Sep '09 11:57
    I the Triune God of the Bible were only a God which dealt with people in comfortable circumstances, He would not be to impressive.

    If He reveals Himself of a God who can get underneath tragedy, death, terrible misfortune, then I am more hopeful.

    The problem of tragedy and misfortune is by no means skirted over in the 66 books of the Bible. Even a general reading of the 150 Psalms proves to me that God is one who can uphold man in his tragedies, including those of his own making because of his own stupid mistakes.
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    07 Sep '09 12:02
    One othe thing I think modern man in his arrogance is not aware of. That is to what degree God has blessed man with advancement of technology and medicine so as to combat some natural disasters.

    I think this is one area where cynics assume that God is opposed to man and would not aid him. But my Bible says something like "The Lord keeps watch over all knowledge"

    Perish the skeptical thought, but I think in more occasions then we give credit for, God blessed some breakthrough of science or provided some bright mind to help eleviate human suffering.
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