God or Not-God

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    55 Responses to God or Not-God

    1. To clarify, do not believe there is a god, not to be confused with believing there is not a god.

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    2. @Crystalkestrel: @Crystalkestrel: That has to be one of the most stupid, convoluted things I have ever read.

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    3. @Special Kail: Repost on MCS? This is the first time I’ve seen it.

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    4. Why is my comment awaiting moderation?

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    5. @diabetuus
      I fail to see a strawman here. Explain.

      To quote Thomas Jefferson:
      “Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.”

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    6. You’re right, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Jefferson was an atheist scum like you.

      www.conservapedia.com/Thomas_Jefferson

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    7. This guy’s analogy is broken.

      One way to think of it is this: If god created us, and put us on earth, then it cannot be perfect, because according to sources heaven is… well heaven. Therefore it’d be pointless for life to be perfect down here too.

      And thats why that analogy is broken.

      (This doesn’t represent my personal view in any way, just pointing out some guy from antiquity was really fucking stupid)

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    8. I’m just going to point out that Epicurus (as the name’s usually rendered in English) isn’t talking about the Christian god but rather the Greek Pagan godhead.

      So, thrella, Epicurus was completely unaware of the Christian concept of heaven.

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    9. The guy wasn’t stupid, and your argument doesn’t refute his statements. Also, he wasn’t making an analogy, he was making a rational argument.

      He says that God cannot be infinitely knowledgeable, infinitely powerful, and infinitely benevolent.

      Your argument basically states, “yeah you’re right, God isn’t infinitely benevolent, because if he were, Earth would look like Heaven and what would the point of that be?”

      So your argument pretty much helps to confirm his initial reasoning, even if it also argues that his argument isn’t very important (apparently we don’t need an infinitely benevolent God, which is a fine position to have, it just doesn’t make him stupid).

      Seriously, this is introductory ethics/theology course material. These are the kind of questions monks and scholars (mostly very religious individuals) have been wrestling with for thousands of years. There have been some truly strong responses to the argument from very respected theologians (including the free will argument of St Irenaeus or the “without evil how would we know what good looked like?” argument of Augustine of Hippo that superficially resembles what you said). None of them, however, refute the basic argument, only address the last part (the “then why call him God?” part).

      You might not support it’s importance, but it is not a broken argument. Nor is it, as suggested, a straw man.

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    10. I’ve come up with 3 solutions to Epicurus’s paradox:
      1) God doesn’t exist
      2) God doesn’t care about us
      3) God is insane. Let me expand on this. If God does not operate on logical principles, then there is no way for us to predict his actions or speculate on his motivations. This also means that if he did talk to us, there’s no reason to believe he is telling the truth. “God works in mysterious ways” is the basically the Christian way of saying he’s crazy.
      Atheism, by contrast, is actually optimistic.

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    11. @diabeetus
      You guys actually have your own wikipedia online?!! I don’t know why, but that makes me smile.

      Hahahaha, “The trustworthy encyclopedia.”

      That’s awesome.

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    12. Does believing in a god really matter? Until I firmly see evidence whether that there is a god or gods, I will not have any major component of a plan based on the intervention of a supernatural being. Moral support is fine, but divine action can not be counted on.

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    13. @Caio:

      I know, but Greeks believed in 2 after-lifes, the one of heroes (The awesome gardens of awesome i think its called), and the crappy ass one for everyone else. Either way you went to something, which would still give them meaning. Their paganism was pretty much like “hey if you’re a badass you mingle with the gods, if you’re not, well… tough shit. So go out there and do… stuff.”

      All he said was that the gods don’t punish people, everything has something to do with the atoms, bouncing around, being atoms and hanging out and chilling with his bros.

      So in a way the same thought process it applied. AKA he’s just stupid. Although he probably threw awesome orgies.

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    14. The island of the heroes would have contained only semi-divine heroes like Herakles and Achilles; people who had among other things descended directly from Gods

      Hades was the place where regular morals went and it was seen as having good parts and bad parts, but it certainly wasn’t envisioned as the “perfect” place you describe Christian heaven as.

      By the by, Epicurus did believe in indifferent gods: Gods who took no interest in human affairs.

      You made a stupid argument, Thrella, and your pathetic attempt at back-tracking is making me depressed: How could someone be as stupid as you? I’m very morose just thinking about it.

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    15. @Caio: Christian heaven is not exactly perfect either. Sure you get to spend it with your family but you basically worship God for eternity. God is pompous ass. There is no god, only the present.

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    16. Christian believe that when you die you either burn in a lake of fire or have eternal choir practice. Oddly, only one of these is considered hell.

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    17. I just “love” “discussions” between science and faith, or more to the point between scientific faith and religious faith.

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    18. That was Thrella’s word and claim, not mine Puulaahi.

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    19. @pvdlkccfzs: Don’t bring science into it. Science has nothing to do with this discussion. Science is the process of testing ideas with experiment. This is a contradiction between logic and religion, the only outcome of which is the religion is illogical. Which is a statement that many religious people wouldn’t bother to dispute.

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    20. There is a way God can be able but not willing and NOT be malevolent. there very well could be a good reason why he is not willing, that doesnt make him a bastard.

      also, TIMING must be taken into account. what if god totally plans to rid the world of evil, but just not right now. what if he is waiting for the right time?

      i am not saying that the above reasons are right. i’m just saying that the Epicurean Argument is not as solid as people think.

      also, @Puulaahiand reboot: y’all’s view of the christian “heaven” is a bit flawed. “heaven” will actually be here on earth, with Jesus/God living here with the people. this period shall be ushered in after the millennial reign.

      rev 21:3“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”

      rev 22:3-4 “No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face…”

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    21. Using language to prove or disprove God strikes me as like trying to boil water in a straw hat.

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    22. @natedog: “there very well could be a good reason why he is not willing, that doesnt make him a bastard.”
      That argument doesn’t work for an omnipotent being. We, as limited humans, sometimes need to make compromises, allow a little harm to occur in order to prevent a greater harm, etc. But a omnipotent being doesn’t need to make those compromises, that’s the whole, damn point of being all powerful.

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    23. According to the story of Job, God is more than willing to allow evil (literally) to occur. In fact, he gives, more than just tacit, permission to Satan to do so. This was/is not seen as malevolent.

      I’m too lazy to go looking stuff up, but the ancient Greeks did not have a seamless view of either the afterworld or afterlife. There was Tartarus, Hades and Elysium (and prolly more). It was led by Kronos, Rhadamanthys or Hades/Pluto. There was no sense of any real omniscience. Actually the Gods were always being fooled and tricked by mortals (and the other Gods), usually because they had made an oath, that they couldn’t break, and were then forced by the literalness of these oaths.

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    24. @diabeetus: Funniest thing about Christian Conservatives: They hate liberals. Now, I wonder, what would you call a guy who preached about love and brotherhood, casting off material wealth, and advocated pretty radical changes to the status quo of the day?

      I call him “Jesus”. And he was about as “liberal” as they come.

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    25. @nyokki:All the Greek Gods have human flaws. That alone makes them so much more exciting than Christianity. Plus there were tons of minor gods and local gods. Pagans are so much more interesting. The Greeks weren’t ashamed of nudity or sex either.

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    26. @Tyger42: I’m a conservative atheist and I hate liberals.

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    27. First of all, if we’re arguing about an omnipotent being, who are we to claim to understand why he would/wouldn’t do anything in accordance with what we know and understand?

      Doesn’t it make sense that if such a being does exist, then his method of thinking and understanding would obviously far surpass our own in every way? You all seem to be confining your arguments to a very human understanding of things, which wouldn’t apply to a being such as this.

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    28. the real truth is that there is no way to know the truth, which makes the argument silly. However, since I am a goofy bastard, I ask the crowd what they think of the marriage between the two: logic and faith- i.e. The Clockmaker(or similar term) Deity wherein a grand designer set the laws in motion and ceased to interact, or even the similar idea of a deity which set in the universe and whose being is wholly consumed by the maintenance of order- it’s a cute little extension of an Asimov short story.

      regardless of what you think of fun little flights of fancy like this, logic can’t explain past the Prime Cause- (even a repeating cycle/ closed loop demands a source) and faith can’t deny logic (it’s kind of like attacking rocks with cotton candy)

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    29. To be honest arguing about religion on the internet is pretty much the most pointless thing you can do, but I find myself strangely draw to it.

      First of all, lol @diabeetus: Really. Conservapedia. Really you’re so desperate for arguments? Figures.
      How is this quote a straw man argument?
      The quote itself only argues that god must be evil. That’s it.

      Anyway, can’t we all just get along?
      Apparently not, the conservapedia article on atheism is blatantly hilarious.

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    30. @elzarcothepale:
      the whole “prime cause” thing (for the unfamiliar) is, in my opinion, the only question in the “law” of Causality. Granted, the idea of mapping cause and effect is an exercise in insanity, but understanding the principle, i think, is a backbone of a logical view of the universe.

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    31. @elzarcothepale: dammit. I’m drunk and forgot twice.
      Prime Cause Flaw= you can’t have a “first cause” without some form of creator existing outside of rules. maybe a philosophy expert can do this better. and soberer.

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    32. @Exacerbate: *Shrug* The way I see it, both sides have their good and bad points. “Liberal” isn’t a bad thing, nor is “Conservative”. The problems are those who go to the EXTREME end of EITHER side. I’m more a moderate with liberal leanings. But I agree with the conservative side and disagree with the liberal side on some things.

      As far as religion goes, believe whatever the hell you want. As long as you’re not trying to legislate YOUR faith to force me to follow its morals, it’s all good.

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    33. God has both the power and will to stop evil. The only reason that he has not done so yet is because of the issue that Satan brought up in the garden of Eden when god originally created mankind. The issue of gods sovereignty, his right to rule. Satan believes that god is not the best possible ruler for man and he thinks that he can do a better job than god. God allows Satan to attempt to lead us for the time being so that he can prove to every living creation once and for all that he is the rightful ruler of mankind and that no one else can successfully do it. By looking at the world around us we can indeed see that Satan is failing miserably. Don’t worry though because soon Satans trial period will be over and god will restore earth to the paradise it was originally intended to be.

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    34. @frozen_fire: “God allows Satan to attempt to lead us for the time being so that he can prove to every living creation once and for all that he is the rightful ruler of mankind and that no one else can successfully do it. By looking at the world around us we can indeed see that Satan is failing miserably.”
      If God were omnipotent, he could teach us whatever lesson he wanted to without actually allow evil to happen. If you’re are saying that he has to let us suffer in order for us to learn, you are implying that he is not omnipotent. An all-powerful being does not have to make compromises.

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    35. @frozen_fire: so what happens with a more Jewish approach, saying that the class of angel known as ha-satan (with a little ‘s’) is an obedient angel who does God’s will, which is to test and obstruct humanity?

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    36. @reboot: How else could he possibly prove his right to rule? Sure he could use his infinite power to just embed that fact into our minds, but that would go against the one area that he promised not to use his power: our free will. The best illustration I can think of is a teacher who calls on a student. The students thinks he knows how to do a problem better than the teacher but the teacher knows he cannot. Would it be more effective to just say that the student is wrong and then go on with his class like nothing happened or instead give the student a chance to try his method and then show him its flaw. That way all the other students can see that the teacher is right and the issue will never be raised again, they will all recognize that the teacher surely is the best teacher.

      @twosticks: You’d have to ask a Jewish person dude. That is not what the bible teaches.

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    37. @frozen_fire: “How else could he possibly prove his right to rule? Sure he could use his infinite power to just embed that fact into our minds, but that would go against the one area that he promised not to use his power: our free will.”
      I don’t know how, but if he is an omnipotent being then there must be way without allowing evil and without messing with free will. Omnipotence means just that, anything can be done regardless of limitations or restrictions.
      Besides, your so-called god is kind of a petty bitch to allow people to suffer just to prove some power trip point.

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    38. Also, your response to twosticks is rather ignorant. The book of Job illustrates exactly the point that twosticks is making: that Satan is a servant of God. Satan means “accuser”, sort of like a prosecuting attorney.

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    39. @reboot: Maybe I was using the term omnipotent wrongly. Let me restate the bibles view of gods power. He has unlimited physical and mental energy and can do anything that would otherwise be restricted if he lacked those abilities. He cannot however do something that there is no possible way to do. For example he cannot break a pencil in half without breaking the pencil. Being that he has infinite mental power, if there is a way to accomplish something he will be able to find it. But sometimes it is just not possible. That is the case in this situation, there is no way to clear up the issue of his sovereignty without effecting free will. And yes upfront it may seem petty but it is truly necessary in order for mankind to live under his rule for all time without questioning his right to rule, as Satan did.

      I hope this shed a little light into what I believe but I really got to go to bed now. Hopefully, I’ll talk to ya later.

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    40. So I read frozen_fire and natedog’s posts, and what I read them as saying is: god has to fill his holy quota of human deaths, tragedies and ‘evils’ before he’ll step in and queen-wave at us, because otherwise we won’t believe that he’s all-powerful and loves us and is fit to rule the universe? …wha?

      frozen_fire, you’re still not quite there. The definition of omnipotent is ‘having unlimited power’. Meaning that his power has no limits. So really, if he is that powerful – yes, he could definitely break a pencil without a breaking a pencil.
      If there are no limits placed on your power to break pencils, then why the hell not?

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    41. @diabeetus
      Jesus would have voted for Obama.

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    42. Damn it, did I miss all the fun? Well, let’s see if I can keep it going. *clears throat*

      JESUS WAS AN ALIEN!

      …proceed.

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    43. @reboot: just because someone is all powerful does not mean they MUST use their power at all times. Jah may have a reason that your awesome mind can’t comprehend or see…

      Jah may have set himself some limits, you know. if that makes him less that omnipotent, then tell me where god claims to be omnipotent. there are several things god can’t do, like microwave a burrito that’s too hot to eat, etc…

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    44. @Ando: Exactly. The Jesus portrayed in the bible would never vote for or endorse any candidate in favour of killing children in third world countries. That would be Republican Jesus (ie. Ted Nugent).

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    45. The fact that everyone in this thread keeps ‘rationalizing’ and editing their points of view on this deific figure when new logic is presented SHOULD readily present the fact that he is a composite formed on the perceptions ascribed by those who ‘believe’ in him.

      In example:
      Fictitious beings can evolve with the times, supposedly omnipotent beings don’t become more omnipotent as human awareness grows.

      “Oh, well… my omnipotent point of view was okay with selling daughters into slavery back then (Leviticus 25:44-46 ), but it’s bad now… because people now think it’s bad.”

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    46. Maybe God is all powerful but he doesn’t give a fuck about humanity. Maybe he made thousands of better worlds and he plays with them instead of us.

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    47. @two-sticks, the Jewish conception of God rarely claims the same level of universal benevolence that Christianity tends to.It’s a very different relationship between believer and divine. I know a number of Jewish individuals who claim never to worship God (or sometimes even to believe in God), then in the same breath say that they talk to God every day.

      @frozen_fire, also @bajizzle, this is one of those other arguments that the theologians and philosophers have argued over for eons. Usually called the problem of the stone (like the problem of evil, as the above one is called), it is usually reduced to the question, “can God create a stone so heavy that even He can’t lift it?” Other good example is can God create a square circle. And again, some think this is a reasonable thing to require of an omnipotent God, others do not.

      None of that changes the central point Epicurus made. God clearly could stop evil from happening, or not be omnipotent. Therefore, if God is omniscient and omnipotent, He must have some priority of more importance to Him than our benevolent treatment (be it free will, testing us, proving a point vs. satan). And to him, that is not the sign of a God worth calling God.

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    48. What if Evil exists for our own good?

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    49. @natedog: That’s basically the argument frozen_fire was making.

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