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Thread: The Tangent Topic (Currently: Homosexuality and Religion)

  1. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    When he did command them to go to war, it was to protect their own nation. And this further illustrates that obeying god = life, disobeying god = death. There is a portion of the law protecting an executioner from the crime of murder. Just like when they would go to war, the people who were killed were by no means innocent. And just like a criminal who faces the death penalty, the executioner is not held morally responsible.


    God requires that everyone obeys him, it doesn't matter male or female. If the man served god and the wife does not, she would be the one to pay the consequences, and vice versa.


    Would you consider the one who carried out the execution of a criminal immoral?
    Would you find this a healthy system of government in real life? An all-powerful dictator who executes anyone who disobeys him?

    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    The descendants are not being punished. They are being tested.
    Imposing death, disease, and suffering on innocent people? Sounds like punishment to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    As I said before, when Adam sinned, he insinuated that man would be better off without god, and so the only way god could prove that statement false, was to test it for a while. And history has shown, that "man has dominated man to his injury", and cannot rule themselves without having the most common of problems ie. war, crime, famine, disease, death etc.
    I wonder who is ultimately responsible here.

    Let's see. Who created man with all his flaws, and indeed the fruit and snake as well? God.

    Who knew beforehand what would happen? God. He is supposedly omniscient, after all.

    I really can't see how God can dodge moral responsibility for this one.


    And really, what made eating the fruit evil in the first place? If the fruit gives knowledge, how is it evil to eat it? Would it be better to live in ignorance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    I wonder who is ultimately responsible here.
    I want to add that God essentially allows Adam and Eve to be influenced and deceived by the serpent, knowing their ignorance, and eat from the "Tree of Knowledge", which is, by the way, the only thing that could have allowed them to determine what is and isn't moral in the first place. Not only does this make God morally responsible for mankind's plight, but it makes A&E innocent by definition, never having known whether disobeying God was a moral or immoral. This means that God is responsible for every mistake man has ever made, because he knowingly allowed them to act as they did despite having the power and knowledge to stop it all.

    After this, God places a guard around the "Tree of Eternal Life", preventing them and their posterity from regaining eternal life. Why God would forgo placing a barrier around the Tree of Knowledge, preventing the fall of man and the suffering of A&E as well as every future generation, nobody can possibly know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Not like it matters in the long run because the argument that atheists as a group are immoral is silly, because of the lack of central dogma, but here's a direct quote from Mein Kampf:
    Mein Kampf was published in 1925. The other quote was in 1922. Both were LONG before WWII. People's ideology changes and his did prior to his atrocities. What about Stalin and Mao then?

    The argument that the religious as a group are immoral is also very silly. If you are a seeker of truth, you will realize that your own internal ideological prejudices and preconceived notions have no bearing on objective reality. In other words, because you think a group is "icky" like the religious does not make them so. If you think a group you belong to is "cool" and "moral," your thoughts also do not make them so. Any conversations regarding atrocities have to include those big ones from the 20th century because a seeker of truth is not allowed to be selective based on his/her own internal prejudices.

    Either Stalin, Mao, and Hitler count "against" atheists in the "blame tally" or the "blame tally" is very silly and not accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Atheism is simply a rejection of religion, so it holds no moral burden. It's a non-position given relevance only because religion is so common.
    Agnosticism doesn't have a burden because it says that the nature of the universe is unknown, but agnostics are not entitled to intolerance because their position is that the nature of the universe is unknown. You can't prove someone else wrong on that basis that you don't know the nature of the universe because there isn't any way for you to prove that no one out there possesses more information than yourself. (I've been over this before, so I'll refer to my prior posts for more in-depth discussions.)

    Atheism without Agnosticism can logically be intolerant precisely because it asserts knowledge. It asserts that humanity is in charge of its own destiny/is the most powerful intelligent force in the universe. That is a position because it asserts knowledge. If systems of belief have a burden to prove its own truth, the minute you assert that you have knowledge of how the universe works is the minute you now have a similar burden.

    So, your belief system might be minimalistic, but it is an actual position and it is still there. It's a good thing for you too. Atheists don't want to known as people who go around destroying the belief systems of others while leaving nothing they deem to be true in its place. It would be petty, and it would be anti-truth. If there is potentially a seed of truth in any of the religions you try to destroy and if you don't assert anything to be true yourself, the only possible net effect of your actions as an atheist is the destruction of information and potential destruction of truth. You would add absolutely no value to society.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    You're just wrong here. Most people who understand free speech and accountability will conclude that speaking against poisonous ideas, protesting deadly philosophy, is important. Once again, we see this in the case of the WBC, whose beliefs are often disgusting in every way. People protest it and I doubt even you would suppose it's intolerant to do so.
    You mentioned that you do cross-examinations. Now I know you aren't an attorney. Firstly, I said "virtually always." Secondly, Free Speech is why the government doesn't intervene and close down WBC. It is certainly not an argument for why you should be allowed to shut down religion or even to close down WBC yourself for that matter. Don't quote the constitution. It's for free exercise of religion.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    You're attacking people. This isn't analogous in the slightest. Attacking ideas, thoughts, beliefs, can't hurt anyone, but attacking people is intolerant. Most often action is required, unless you are hatefully discriminating against a group of people. I don't hate or even dislike Christians, but I do want the religion wiped away. I'll say it again: the sooner you separate yourself from your beliefs and ideas, the better off you will be.
    Wait, wait, wait... didn't you just say that WBC is intolerant and should be shut down. What do they do? They talk. Exclusively. About ideas. In fact, I'd even label them cowards when it comes to actual action.
    I get it. You define intolerance completely internally. Intolerance to you is whatever you feel people should be offended by regardless of what actually is offensive to them.
    Religion is part of the religious. They live their lives by it.

    Let me use a more concrete example: Muslims in Europe. You'd bite the head off of anyone using a racial stereotype. Yet, you'd pass a law that impedes their religion by, for instance, forcing them to import Kosher/Halal meat at great expense because of the slaughtering technique involved. It is the same group of people. Quite frankly, they might actually be okay with an iffy stereotype about their people in the same way that vast majority of Hispanics love Speedy Gonzales. However, they aren't okay with any laws that interfere with their religion, and they think any such law is racist. I'm amused by the sheer absurdity of how carefully you tread around direct racial issues and how easily you'd offend them by running over their religious beliefs.
    So, do you define tolerance internally to be whatever you feel should offend them while ignoring what actually offends them?


    Finally, about the deer and the rose example. You don't seem to understand the possibility that it might not be beneficial to us as a whole to interact with every part of reality. If it weren't beneficial, we wouldn't. Roses don't see deer coming because it doesn't help them produce more roses. We can't assume it is beneficial overall to know the nature of the universe, especially if the truth isn't to our liking in that either nothing is out there or what is out there doesn't love humanity. Evolution is in fact that cruel that it would deprive us of methods of determining truth if it meant us leaving behind more babies.

    In fact, if religion is a form of wish fulfillment and overall tends to make humans happier (which is associated with long life and more children), it could be why almost every primitive human society has a religion of some sort. So, how many children do you have/are you going to have? Are you sure evolution isn't selecting against you?
    Last edited by emawerna; 12th December 2013 at 5:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by emawerna View Post
    Either Stalin, Mao, and Hitler count "against" atheists in the "blame tally" or the "blame tally" is very silly and not accurate.
    Moral responsibility isn't intrinsically shared, but spreading a religion is spreading false notions of moral rules, which itself is morally wrong because it will probably lead to horrible consequences. Therefore, people who spread religions may be held morally responsible for this deed. This is not the case for agnostic atheism, which is not incorrect, nor does it contain normative premises in the first place.


    Quote Originally Posted by emawerna View Post
    Agnosticism doesn't have a burden because it says that the nature of the universe is unknown, but agnostics are not entitled to intolerance because their position is that the nature of the universe is unknown. You can't prove someone else wrong on that basis that you don't know the nature of the universe because there isn't any way for you to prove that no one out there possesses more information than yourself. (I've been over this before, so I'll refer to my prior posts for more in-depth discussions.)

    Atheism without Agnosticism can logically be intolerant precisely because it asserts knowledge. It asserts that humanity is in charge of its own destiny/is the most powerful intelligent force in the universe. That is a position because it asserts knowledge. If systems of belief have a burden to prove its own truth, the minute you assert that you have knowledge of how the universe works is the minute you now have a similar burden.

    So, your belief system might be minimalistic, but it is an actual position and it is still there. It's a good thing for you too. Atheists don't want to known as people who go around destroying the belief systems of others while leaving nothing they deem to be true in its place. It would be petty, and it would be anti-truth. If there is potentially a seed of truth in any of the religions you try to destroy and if you don't assert anything to be true yourself, the only possible net effect of your actions as an atheist is the destruction of information and potential destruction of truth. You would add absolutely no value to society.
    Just for the record, do you understand the difference between descriptive and normative premises? If someone draws a normative conclusion, he must also have normative premises, not simply the descriptive premise of atheism (not believing in deities).


    Quote Originally Posted by emawerna View Post
    You mentioned that you do cross-examinations. Now I know you aren't an attorney. Firstly, I said "virtually always." Secondly, Free Speech is why the government doesn't intervene and close down WBC. It is certainly not an argument for why you should be allowed to shut down religion or even to close down WBC yourself for that matter. Don't quote the constitution. It's for free exercise of religion.

    Wait, wait, wait... didn't you just say that WBC is intolerant and should be shut down. What do they do? They talk. Exclusively. About ideas. In fact, I'd even label them cowards when it comes to actual action.
    I get it. You define intolerance completely internally. Intolerance to you is whatever you feel people should be offended by regardless of what actually is offensive to them.
    Religion is part of the religious. They live their lives by it.
    Free speech isn't absolute. There are times when spreading disinformation can cause so much damage that it has to be stopped by force.


    Quote Originally Posted by emawerna View Post
    Finally, about the deer and the rose example. You don't seem to understand the possibility that it might not be beneficial to us as a whole to interact with every part of reality. If it weren't beneficial, we wouldn't. Roses don't see deer coming because it doesn't help them produce more roses. We can't assume it is beneficial overall to know the nature of the universe, especially if the truth isn't to our liking in that either nothing is out there or what is out there doesn't love humanity. Evolution is in fact that cruel that it would deprive us of methods of determining truth if it meant us leaving behind more babies.

    In fact, if religion is a form of wish fulfillment and overall tends to make humans happier (which is associated with long life and more children), it could be why almost every primitive human society has a religion of some sort. So, how many children do you have/are you going to have? Are you sure evolution isn't selecting against you?
    Something isn't preferred simply because it is common in nature or benefits evolution. Normative goals can only be reliably established through rational thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    I'm thinking that everything you just listed would be deviations from what the bible says. Sure it advocates for those types of things, but it tends to say Justas much about how to oppress and deny other's rights. Contradictory moral grounds... aren't grounded.
    At least up until this point, you have not shown this to be the case.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Oh, and again, you can't prove this. If you could, then everyone would be a JW, wouldn't they? People are dumb sometimes, but when a deal like that comes up, nobody would pass it up. Sorry, but not only can you not prove this would be the case, but the fact that it isn't the status quo quietly refutes the claim that it would be as perfect as you describe.
    I just did prove it. The article stated that basically in a country where you have the option to obey the the law to kill, or to obey gods law not to kill, they will choose gods law instead of mans. And that is the way with 99% of JW's with all of the things that I have listed.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    This is a god that personally decimated the Egyptians just to prove he could,
    "false, read your bible some more"
    Have you really never heard of the Ten plagues? The Hebrews were enslaved by the Egyptians and god did this to free them.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    who approves beating slaves to death (provided they die slowly)
    ...What?
    20 “If a man strikes his slave man or his slave girl with a stick and that one dies by his hand, that one must be avenged. 21 However, if he survives for one or two days, he is not to be avenged, because he is someone bought with his owner’s money.
    This passage is saying that while god allowed people to have slaves, he would not tolerate you killing them.
    The slave would have to be "avenged"(soul for soul) if they were killed. But if the slave lived, they could not be "avenged"(soul for soul).

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    and, for whatever reason, sent fire snakes to kill Israelites.
    Seriously dude? "for whatever reason"?
    Read a bit before and after that. This is after he freed them from Egypt. They complained and complained to get out of Egypt and after they were free for a while, they complained and complained to go back. Now take a look at the following verses:
    7 So the people came to Moses and said: “We have sinned by speaking against Jehovah and against you. Intercede with Jehovah so that he may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses interceded on behalf of the people. 8 Then Jehovah said to Moses: “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and put it on a pole. Then when anyone has been bitten, he will have to look at it in order to keep alive.” 9 Moses at once made a serpent of copper and put it on the pole, and whenever a serpent had bitten a man and he looked at the copper serpent, he survived.

    You think you are accusing god of things, but you're just reinforcing my side of the argument for me.

    [QUOTE=The Federation;16737977]This reminds me strangely of totalitarian governmental tactics. So, God is basically the NKVD of the world?[?QUOTE]
    Remember when god put Adam and Eve on earth? He intended for them to live forever on the paradise Earth. And he is ready and willing to restore it to that. Now, obeying god = eternal life and if you don't, you will eventually die, either by god or by time.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    If only the poor livestock, unborn children, and young kids who couldn't have known better were told. They should have known that the random guy pretending he could do magic was real, huh?
    I'm going to assume that you know the story of Jonah? This is the last chapter in the book of Jonah, this is after he ran away, came back, and warned the city of Ninevah, and they heeded his warning. Take a look at the Example god gave and especially look at the last verse. [source]


    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Yes, if the executioner was also the judge, the jury, and the witness. Killing because you don't like how others are acting is morally repugnant, especially if something with the power to stop all killing and suffering does it.
    Ok, lets assume for a moment that you can create sentient life. You do so. You give them a few simple rules. 90% of them are for their own good and for the peace of the society(don't kill each other, don't steal from one another, etc. etc.) and then you threw in a couple of things that you just don't want them to do, maybe you have a reason, maybe you don't. They owe you their lives, do they not owe it to you to just obey the few "quirks" that you may have?

    You created them, without you, they would be dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Umm, didn't god allow all of that to happen? Where is the loophole now? If he allowed it, hell, commanded it, then why isn't he responsible? Typical.

    This is like a man holding another man from falling off a cliff, only to let go because the man hanging said, "Pull me up, idiot!" What a petty God to be so offended by an action that didn't affect him in the slightest. How immoral of a God to allow death and suffering and disease, all for what? A woman stole his fruit? That's a God no moral person should ever consider following.
    It did effect him, majorly. When the "serpent"(The Devil, who I have mentioned that god did not create) said that humans would be better off ruling themselves, he was essentially challenging gods ability and right to rule. Now he could simply kill the Devil, and Adam and Eve and start over. But remember, they were not the only sentient beings at the time, god had his son Jesus, and thousands of angels. If he just killed them, the questions would still stand in their minds "Was the Devil right? Could they have ruled themselves? Can God handle this? etc. etc.". Now god has allowed time to pass and will soon rectify the problem, and then be rid of the rebellious humans ans angels and restore the earth back to its intended state. Then after that if anyone were to raise the issue again, there would be countless years of human history to prove him wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    This means that God is responsible for every mistake man has ever made, because he knowingly allowed them to act as they did despite having the power and knowledge to stop it all.
    I have already addressed why he did not stop them. And as you have mentioned in the past, in a world where you cannot make your own decisions, you are nothing more than a "mindless slave". God allows us to make out own choices, he will not stop us from doing something wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    After this, God places a guard around the "Tree of Eternal Life", preventing them and their posterity from regaining eternal life. Why God would forgo placing a barrier around the Tree of Knowledge, preventing the fall of man and the suffering of A&E as well as every future generation, nobody can possibly know.
    As I said before, he allows us to make our own decisions, right or wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    Would you find this a healthy system of government in real life? An all-powerful dictator who executes anyone who disobeys him?
    Lets think about both sides for a moment, the positive and the negative aspects of this.
    Positive:
    No death
    No crime
    No War
    No Disease
    No famine
    No Violence
    Complete honesty from everyone
    No greed
    No Fear
    No insecurity
    No theft
    etc.etc.

    Negative:
    Disobeying a law would result in your eternal life being taken away just like A&E


    Not sure about you guys, but it sounds like a fair trade to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    Imposing death, disease, and suffering on innocent people? Sounds like punishment to me.
    He is showing that man cannot rule themselves, once that becomes clear(and in my opinion, that time is fast approaching) he will return the Earth to its Eden-Like state and give all those things I listed above to those who deserve it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    Let's see. Who created man with all his flaws, and indeed the fruit and snake as well? God.
    [Did God Create The Devil?]
    And he did not create man with his flaws, man obtained those flaws after eating from the tree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    Who knew beforehand what would happen? God. He is supposedly omniscient, after all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by emawerna View Post
    Either Stalin, Mao, and Hitler count "against" atheists in the "blame tally" or the "blame tally" is very silly and not accurate.
    You made up the blame tally. You're the one making this a big deal. I also didn't say that the religious as a group are to blame, but their religion. Like I said before, atheism can't be accountable because it's not a dogma.

    Agnosticism doesn't have a burden because it says that the nature of the universe is unknown, but agnostics are not entitled to intolerance because their position is that the nature of the universe is unknown.
    I'm only agnostic in terms of belief in a God or gods. I am a functionalist when it comes to epistemic roots, I so can come to logical conclusions about the reality of the world without asserting that I know for fact the truth of these claim. You're simply incorrect in claiming that it's intolerant to dispute a belief. It isn't.

    It asserts that humanity is in charge of its own destiny/is the most powerful intelligent force in the universe.
    Atheism doesn't assert any of that. It's simply the position that there is no evidence for theism. It's A-theism, get it?

    So, your belief system might be minimalistic, but it is an actual position and it is still there.
    Wrong. It's not an affirmative position. Sorry if this hurts your position.

    You mentioned that you do cross-examinations. Now I know you aren't an attorney. Firstly, I said "virtually always." Secondly, Free Speech is why the government doesn't intervene and close down WBC. It is certainly not an argument for why you should be allowed to shut down religion or even to close down WBC yourself for that matter. Don't quote the constitution. It's for free exercise of religion.
    You still don't understand that attacking an idea isn't even close to the same as attacking a person.

    Wait, wait, wait... didn't you just say that WBC is intolerant and should be shut down.
    You need to read my post again, because you're still mischaracterizing almost all of my positions. I am for free speech, more so than almost anyone you'll ever meet. But I'm also necessarily for the expression of ideas and the ability to dispute dangerous or morally incoherent beliefs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by emawerna View Post
    Agnosticism doesn't have a burden because it says that the nature of the universe is unknown
    emawerna, your definitions of agnosticism and atheism are very particular and very unusual.

    Aren't we talking about the existence of deities, here? Agnosticism about deities is simply the idea that we don't or can't know about them. A(non)-gnostic(knowledge). And in this case, it is even possible to argue that such an agnosticism does have the burden of explaining how we don't, or why we can't, know about potential deities.

    It is true that one can be agnostic about many things: deities, extraterrestrial life, mathematical monism, etc. (That last is an example of being agnostic about the "nature of the universe.") But that's an awfully unusual way of describing agnosticism about deities, as I said, and is not very likely to be the way agnostic atheists would define their agnosticism. If you want to define agnosticism that way and write posts about it, that's a fine intellectual exercise and good for you, but it doesn't seem to be the agnosticism of The Federation or Aegiscalibur (or popular atheist blogs and media icons). If you want to claim that your particular definition of agnosticism is implicit in their positions, and that's why we should be debating your definition, then may I request you more clearly explain how you've reached that conclusion?

    Atheism without Agnosticism ... asserts that humanity is in charge of its own destiny/is the most powerful intelligent force in the universe.
    Again, this is a very poor definition of atheism. Granted, it is possible to be an atheist and believe these things (and there are probably many atheists who do!), but these beliefs are not necessary to atheism.

    For instance, there are many atheists who are materialist determinists (Jerry Coyne, for one) - they believe that humanity's destiny is completely determined by the laws of physics, and would probably not wish to use concepts like "destiny" in the first place. And there are definitely fringe atheists who believe in super-advanced intelligent alien life (which would be a contradiction with your definition of atheism).

    So your definition of atheism is a little overwrought. You're adding some unnecessary corollaries. You're arguing a strawman, is what it is. Atheism really is as simple as its etymology.


    the minute you assert that you have knowledge of how the universe works is the minute you now have a similar burden.
    This is what we have science for.

    Finally, about the deer and the rose example. You don't seem to understand the possibility that it might not be beneficial to us as a whole to interact with every part of reality. If it weren't beneficial, we wouldn't. Roses don't see deer coming because it doesn't help them produce more roses. We can't assume it is beneficial overall to know the nature of the universe, especially if the truth isn't to our liking in that either nothing is out there or what is out there doesn't love humanity. Evolution is in fact that cruel that it would deprive us of methods of determining truth if it meant us leaving behind more babies.
    The Federation understands your point, emawerna. He's just asking you, "So what?" (And now I'm asking it, too.) We have enough senses and intelligence to be successful, and that's not ideal but it is good enough. What we can sense gives us knowledge to work with. You're saying that what we can sense is not necessarily all that there is to know - and you are 100% unquestionably right. Everyone agrees with you up to that point. But your next step appears to be defending one or both of the following propositions: either A) the things we can sense are actually untrue, or B) that other unsensible stuff is really, actually, truly out there.

    And to this next step, we say, "Sure. Now give us some reason to believe that." If you can't give us reasons to believe those propositions, we're not going to believe them. And we're going to ask that you not teach those propositions in public schools or base public laws or moral policies upon them. We'll need the reasons first before we let you do any of that.



    ... almost every primitive human society has a religion of some sort. So, how many children do you have/are you going to have? Are you sure evolution isn't selecting against you?
    Ahaha~ Very nice. ^_^

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    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    Ok, lets assume for a moment that you can create sentient life. You do so. You give them a few simple rules. 90% of them are for their own good and for the peace of the society(don't kill each other, don't steal from one another, etc. etc.) and then you threw in a couple of things that you just don't want them to do, maybe you have a reason, maybe you don't. They owe you their lives, do they not owe it to you to just obey the few "quirks" that you may have?

    You created them, without you, they would be dead.
    So basically, your argument is this: if a person creates a sentient entity, they can treat them with whatever cruelty they want to. In essence, if people have a child, according to you they can abuse the child as much as they want. Similarly, if people create life in a laboratory, they can do whatever they want with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    I have already addressed why he did not stop them. And as you have mentioned in the past, in a world where you cannot make your own decisions, you are nothing more than a "mindless slave". God allows us to make out own choices, he will not stop us from doing something wrong.

    As I said before, he allows us to make our own decisions, right or wrong.

    [Fate]
    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    [Did God Create The Devil?]
    And he did not create man with his flaws, man obtained those flaws after eating from the tree.
    You are basically admitting that God is not omniscient. Which is fine by me in principle, but it is a pretty contradictory belief if you simultaneously find him both omniscient and not.

    And how does your system of free will actually work? Are people's cognitive processes not subject to natural laws? Can God not detect natural processes?


    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    Lets think about both sides for a moment, the positive and the negative aspects of this.
    Positive:
    No death
    No crime
    No War
    No Disease
    No famine
    No Violence
    Complete honesty from everyone
    No greed
    No Fear
    No insecurity
    No theft
    etc.etc.

    Negative:
    Disobeying a law would result in your eternal life being taken away just like A&E


    Not sure about you guys, but it sounds like a fair trade to me.
    You are describing a classic dystopia where peace is maintained through fear, surveillance, and depriving the population of their individual liberties. If you think it's a great place... well, I don't know what to say anymore. You basically want to remove all the recent advances in the governance of modern society and go straight to Orwellian levels and beyond.


    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    He is showing that man cannot rule themselves, once that becomes clear(and in my opinion, that time is fast approaching) he will return the Earth to its Eden-Like state and give all those things I listed above to those who deserve it.
    That doesn't answer at all why he imposes sufferings on people who did nothing to deserve those sufferings in the first place. Is it moral to assault someone without permission if you hand them a gift afterwards?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    This is one of the reasons why religion has evolved among humans, but it does not make religion correct or preferred in any way. Something is not true simply because it is emotionally satisfying. There are secular ideologies that provide better alternatives.
    Humans actually do need a valve for emotional satisfaction/wish fulfillment. I hate to see it become science.
    I use Coraline and not the Bible because I discuss "seeds of truth." I don't defend religion line-by-line nor do I think I must because I'm sure the truth found in religion is distorted, maybe even beyond recognition. I'm not even impressed by a so-called "debunking of a religious text." Why should I be when someone couples it with an equally unsupported conclusion that there is nothing there at all? Excuse me, where is YOUR evidence? The true opposite of religion is agnosticism not atheism because agnosticism doesn't add its own assertions. Of course, you're stuck being tolerant...

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    More precisely, he was making a normative statement, but science as it is usually understood is descriptive, especially natural sciences. Therefore, he is also using normative premises that are not a part of science, but I can't really say whether he thought they were.
    Not really. Only part of the problem is the normative element in his beliefs. The other part is his use of inductive reasoning to support his belief of a future mega computer.

    If you have a metal plate and if I ask you to gather as much temperature information about it as you possibly can, you should come back to me with its current temperature and its temperature in the near past. Nothing more. That's what we know.

    You can make a prediction for the future, but we still can't use inductive reasoning. If we start providing more information about the plate's surroundings and make assumptions to make the calculations easier, we've now turned the problem into one of deductive reasoning. Of course, we need to clarify when we draw up the conclusion how far off the actual values our assumptions have made the result. We must support our calculations of the level of uncertainty in our measurements deductively using some method. No inductive reasoning in science (or at least none without massive amounts of supporting data and experiments that use deductive reasoning exclusively). Make sense?

    So, his prediction of the "computonium" mega computer should never have been called scientific because of its use of inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning is an avenue by which wish fulfillment can be introduced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    It would definitely be best if people didn't use atheism as a label for any normative premises.
    You don't get a choice in the matter. Neither do theists under your paradigm. Some times choices in life aren't what you want them to be. I am always suspicious of people who judge based on labels and then refuse the implications of their own label. It is insincere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    2) Buddhism does have some moral guidelines.
    Those were made up by others or interpreted from his words after Buddha himself died I wouldn't consider them mandatory to Buddhism for that reason. If someone is to blame for the moral guidelines of their religion based on no more than being part of that religion, those guidelines must be mandatory. Then again, I could be mistaken. I'm not Buddhist.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Profesco View Post
    emawerna, your definitions of agnosticism and atheism are very particular and very unusual.
    How so?

    Agnostic
    1 : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
    2 : a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something <political agnostics>

    Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/agnostic . In this context, I go with definition #1 above.

    Atheist
    1. : a person who believes that God does not exist.

    Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dicti...0&t=1386886842

    Someone CANNOT be both agnostic and atheist at least using these dictionary definitions. I won't allow it on logical grounds. Under the above definitions, agnostic atheists I consider to be agnostic though leaning towards the ultimate answer of God being "no." My arguments for tolerance don't depend on which direction the agnostic leans.


    Quote Originally Posted by Profesco View Post
    Aren't we talking about the existence of deities, here? Agnosticism about deities is simply the idea that we don't or can't know about them. A(non)-gnostic(knowledge). And in this case, it is even possible to argue that such an agnosticism does have the burden of explaining how we don't, or why we can't, know about potential deities. [...]
    I said, and is not very likely to be the way agnostic atheists would define their agnosticism.
    I am not debating about the existence of deities. I've even avoided listing my person views. I am talking about the place religion should hold in society and that religion should be tolerated.

    Your last point is well take about agnostics also have some burden though I think it is a lower burden. I typically say they don't in forums such as this because it is hard enough to get atheists to admit to having a burden. Also, many people who call themselves "agnostic atheists" are actually just non-agnostic atheists using the name to try to avoid the difficulties of taking a position of certainty regarding the existence or non-existence of God. That's why I make it simple: if state your belief in higher beings with certainty and start arguing against the other side, you have a burden.

    From what you've said, the two groups of atheists you mention "materialist determinists" and "fringe atheists" seem to be putting forth different assertions, but they are still ASSERTIONS. In fact they appear to be bigger ones than plain vanilla atheism, meaning my analysis is unchanged by the existence of these two groups.

    Quote Originally Posted by Profesco View Post
    But your next step appears to be defending one or both of the following propositions: either A) the things we can sense are actually untrue, or B) that other unsensible stuff is really, actually, truly out there.
    No to A. Science does not put us in a position to discount B because it isn't wish fulfillment. I just want to make extra, extra sure that you use something other than science if you are going to assert that we see everything, but you guys just keep trying to science to prove what you want to believe: "if we can't see it, it isn't there." I like objectivity in science. Science my baby.

    If you want to continue this conversation, let's talk shop about the existence or non-existence of unseen multiverses, no more lengthy philosophical ramblings about science. It's time to talk about science in scientific terms. You know the stuff, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Profesco View Post
    And to this next step, we say, "Sure. Now give us some reason to believe that." If you can't give us reasons to believe those propositions, we're not going to believe them. And we're going to ask that you not teach those propositions in public schools or base public laws or moral policies upon them. We'll need the reasons first before we let you do any of that.
    Very disturbing. I argue for the tolerance of beliefs, which is literally my entire point. I didn't even MENTION my personal views. You argue for intolerance. The absolutely only basis for this intolerance is your assumption that I believe differently than you do.
    Last edited by emawerna; 13th December 2013 at 12:08 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    So basically, your argument is this: if a person creates a sentient entity, they can treat them with whatever cruelty they want to. In essence, if people have a child, according to you they can abuse the child as much as they want. Similarly, if people create life in a laboratory, they can do whatever they want with it.
    I never said anything about cruelty, I was referring to setting moral rules. You would have the right to give them rules, not abuse them. The moral rules that god has set out are not cruel, but people twist them and use them in ways that make them that way. I haven't debated with you very much yet, but in the past I have mentioned that 90% of what I call "Mainstream Christianity" does not do what the God actually lays out as his moral code.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    You are basically admitting that God is not omniscient. Which is fine by me in principle, but it is a pretty contradictory belief if you simultaneously find him both omniscient and not.
    The Bible indicates that when it comes to the Past and Present, yes he is. But when it comes to seeing the Future, he either supresses the ability, or just chooses not to use use it, unless he wants to. Because he does want us to have free will, or the ability to make our own decisions. Another possibility: (I don't know if you have seen the movie Men in Black 3? But in it, there is an alien who can see every possible outcome of a situation, yet it is the actions of others that make a given reality real. God could see every possible outcome to a situation, but he would allow us to actually make the decisions that decide our own fate)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    And how does your system of free will actually work? Are people's cognitive processes not subject to natural laws? Can God not detect natural processes?
    Detect, yes. But would he interfere and make us think what he wanted us to think? No.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    You are describing a classic dystopia where peace is maintained through fear, surveillance, and depriving the population of their individual liberties. If you think it's a great place... well, I don't know what to say anymore. You basically want to remove all the recent advances in the governance of modern society and go straight to Orwellian levels and beyond.
    Those advances, have done no good in ridding the world of the things that I listed, if anything, they have gotten worse. I mean, we had in the last 100 years, the 2 worst wars in recorded history, I wouldn't call that progress.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    That doesn't answer at all why he imposes sufferings on people who did nothing to deserve those sufferings in the first place. Is it moral to assault someone without permission if you hand them a gift afterwards?
    Perhaps not. But think of it like this:
    A mountain guide has a group of tourists with them, and they come across a type of fungus. The guide knows what it is and tells them "if you eat that, it will cut short your life and the life of any children born from you, and you will suffer. Also, I know a cure." Then someone eats it. He lets them suffer for a while, see that their children would also suffer, then cures them. Would the guide be morally responsible?
    Last edited by Mr. Spock; 13th December 2013 at 12:02 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by emawerna View Post
    Humans actually do need a valve for emotional satisfaction/wish fulfillment. I hate to see it become science.
    I use Coraline and not the Bible because I discuss "seeds of truth." I don't defend religion line-by-line nor do I think I must because I'm sure the truth found in religion is distorted, maybe even beyond recognition. I'm not even impressed by a so-called "debunking of a religious text." Why should I be when someone couples it with an equally unsupported conclusion that there is nothing there at all? Excuse me, where is YOUR evidence? The true opposite of religion is agnosticism not atheism because agnosticism doesn't add its own assertions. Of course, you're stuck being tolerant...
    If by "wish fulfillment" you mean ways to set normative goals, I already said that you don't need religion for that. Secular ideologies offer better alternatives.

    As for emotional satisfaction, runaway emotions may not be the best idea to live out a life, so you shouldn't satisfy just any emotion you come across.

    Like has been said several times, your definitions of agnosticism and atheism are unusual. The lack of theism is atheism, as in a-theism, which is lack of belief in deities, nothing more. If you attach all sorts of other beliefs into it, we are no longer talking about the same things.


    Quote Originally Posted by emawerna View Post
    Not really. Only part of the problem is the normative element in his beliefs. The other part is his use of inductive reasoning to support his belief of a future mega computer.

    If you have a metal plate and if I ask you to gather as much temperature information about it as you possibly can, you should come back to me with its current temperature and its temperature in the near past. Nothing more. That's what we know.

    You can make a prediction for the future, but we still can't use inductive reasoning. If we start providing more information about the plate's surroundings and make assumptions to make the calculations easier, we've now turned the problem into one of deductive reasoning. Of course, we need to clarify when we draw up the conclusion how far off the actual values our assumptions have made the result. We must support our calculations of the level of uncertainty in our measurements deductively using some method. No inductive reasoning in science (or at least none without massive amounts of supporting data and experiments that use deductive reasoning exclusively). Make sense?

    So, his prediction of the "computonium" mega computer should never have been called scientific because of its use of inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning is an avenue by which wish fulfillment can be introduced.
    There is a difference between hoping a supercomputer will be built and predicting one will be built. If the former is morally wrong, it is poor moral judgment. If the latter is unlikely to be true, it is poor understanding of descriptive facts.

    However, how does this in any way show that science itself is somehow wrong? I'm not entirely sure what you are arguing here. Is it just general criticism of the principle of induction?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    I never said anything about cruelty, I was referring to setting moral rules. You would have the right to give them rules, not abuse them. The moral rules that god has set out are not cruel, but people twist them and use them in ways that make them that way. I haven't debated with you very much yet, but in the past I have mentioned that 90% of what I call "Mainstream Christianity" does not do what the God actually lays out as his moral code.
    Setting incorrect moral rules and threatening punishment for breaking them is cruelty. If a tyrant sets immoral laws, he is not excused by saying he will only punish people if they don't obey.

    Are you now saying that you can't demand just anything of your creations, but they have to be justified? Then what was this about?
    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    Ok, lets assume for a moment that you can create sentient life. You do so. You give them a few simple rules. 90% of them are for their own good and for the peace of the society(don't kill each other, don't steal from one another, etc. etc.) and then you threw in a couple of things that you just don't want them to do, maybe you have a reason, maybe you don't. They owe you their lives, do they not owe it to you to just obey the few "quirks" that you may have?

    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    The Bible indicates that when it comes to the Past and Present, yes he is. But when it comes to seeing the Future, he either supresses the ability, or just chooses not to use use it, unless he wants to. Because he does want us to have free will, or the ability to make our own decisions. Another possibility: (I don't know if you have seen the movie Men in Black 3? But in it, there is an alien who can see every possible outcome of a situation, yet it is the actions of others that make a given reality real. God could see every possible outcome to a situation, but he would allow us to actually make the decisions that decide our own fate)
    So, you are saying he could choose not to be omniscient. Thus he is not truly omniscient. I am fine with this if you openly admit it, but it does make God a lot less impressive.

    Besides, I can still argue that by not choosing to see future events, he would be responsible for them due to missing the opportunity to stop them even if it was easy for him.


    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    Detect, yes. But would he interfere and make us think what he wanted us to think? No.
    If he detects them, he will know every decision people make beforehand, so you undermine your excuse for denying his moral responsibility.


    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    Those advances, have done no good in ridding the world of the things that I listed, if anything, they have gotten worse. I mean, we had in the last 100 years, the 2 worst wars in recorded history, I wouldn't call that progress.
    Modern society is so far ahead of a few centuries earlier in technology, knowledge, welfare, and moral integrity. If you compare even further back to the Middle Ages and the like, the difference is even more obvious.

    I don't get how there wouldn't be less disease and famine now than before. Have you been looking around? There is now also less violence and crime than ages before. The World Wars are famous in part because in the older times of history, violence and war were so commonplace that it was the norm rather than the exception.

    And perhaps most importantly, there are individual liberties, something your dystopia lacks. Even if you created your dystopia, its benefits would be of little value because it would be based on oppression. Its population would not truly be good; they would only be in fear of punishment.

    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    No Fear
    Other than the fear of an omnipotent and omniscient dictator giving you death for disobeying him?


    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    Perhaps not. But think of it like this:
    A mountain guide has a group of tourists with them, and they come across a type of fungus. The guide knows what it is and tells them "if you eat that, it will cut short your life and the life of any children born from you. Also, I know a cure." Then someone eats it. He lets them suffer for a while, see that their children would also suffer, then cures them. Would the guide be morally responsible?
    EDIT: If God actively designed the fruit to cause sufferings to their children, it is God's fault for designing it that way.

    Secondly, A&E did not know of good and evil before eating the fruit, like The Fed said. They are not responsible.
    Last edited by Aegiscalibur; 13th December 2013 at 1:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    At least up until this point, you have not shown this to be the case.
    I've already proven my side. I offered verses from the bible to prove this. It's sort of ironic you would respond like this because you have simply asserted the good without warrant, while I have justified my claims. It seems to me to be the case that I have been the only one to outline evidences for my claims in this regard. And in case you challenge this:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation
    False, read your bible some more. He commanded the Israelites t go to war, obliterating nations near them. He also commanded them to kill women and children. Defending your nation against women, who at the time didn't participate in war, and children, who can't defend themselves, is hardly "protecting their nation". This is a god that personally decimated the Egyptians just to prove he could, who approves beating slaves to death (provided they die slowly), and, for whatever reason, sent fire snakes to kill Israelites.
    This is the post where I linked to the verses.

    I just did prove it. The article stated that basically in a country where you have the option to obey the the law to kill, or to obey gods law not to kill, they will choose gods law instead of mans. And that is the way with 99% of JW's with all of the things that I have listed.
    This evidences nothing. You don't have a large enough sample to pull from. This also fails to establish moral grounds, because abstaining from war isn't the be all end all to morality. It could even be argued that refusing to serve the people of your country against aggressive foreign invader is more moral than excluding yourself for religious reasons. You are still far, far from justifying this position. It's still not evidenced.

    Have you really never heard of the Ten plagues? The Hebrews were enslaved by the Egyptians and god did this to free them.
    The verses in question explicitly state that he did so to prove his own power. On top of this, most of these plagues targeted everyone, all due to the fact that God didn't like being challenged by the leader of Egypt.

    20 “If a man strikes his slave man or his slave girl with a stick and that one dies by his hand, that one must be avenged. 21 However, if he survives for one or two days, he is not to be avenged, because he is someone bought with his owner’s money.
    If he "survives one or two days", that implies he dies later... It's quite nice to be able to choose how you want to interpret your own bible. Makes it flexible, no?

    Read a bit before and after that. This is after he freed them from Egypt. They complained and complained to get out of Egypt and after they were free for a while, they complained and complained to go back.
    The point was that he sent snakes to kill the Israelites, succeeded in doing so for "many of them", for a completely unjustified and petty reason. The fact that he chose to do so at all is what I was referencing.

    Remember when god put Adam and Eve on earth? He intended for them to live forever on the paradise Earth. And he is ready and willing to restore it to that. Now, obeying god = eternal life and if you don't, you will eventually die, either by god or by time.
    Why aren't you immortal. This is contradictory nonsense; if anyone can accept his willing offer to restore eternal life, why isn't everyone an immortal JW? Oh wait, is this another one of those things you have to take on faith that happens after you die so it can't be disproven?

    Take a look at the Example god gave and especially look at the last verse.
    So, basically, you shouldn't feel a moral obligation to your fellow man because you didn't take part in or encourage his growth? Just because you weren't a part of that phenomena, just because you don't know them, human life, animal life, all of it has value. This is essentially the bible's way of excusing atrocity by passing off the responsibility entirely? I get it- if God feels sorry for his hideous crimes against humanity, it's all suddenly alright? That's disgusting.

    You created them, without you, they would be dead.
    This complex is very common among the religious. If I created sentient robots who can think and feel and act rationally, should I be able to do as I will, having created them? If I torture a cloned human grown in a lab environment, should I not be arrested and sent to jail? Life is more valuable than your God dictates. The creation of man, if there was evidence it occurred, doesn't allow the creator to massacre and torture his creation (as he would be, if he was real).


    When the "serpent"(The Devil, who I have mentioned that god did not create)
    Him and God, both timeless beings. Gotcha. Know that that invalidates a huge number of philosophical arguments for God's existence. And if God created the man who would become the Devil, then yes, he created the devil. A God that knows everything can't not know everything, because that God would contradict logic and therefore be, by the definition of the word, an illogical proposition. Either God is accountable, or he is not omniscient, omnipotent, or universal.

    Then after that if anyone were to raise the issue again, there would be countless years of human history to prove him wrong.
    So he is making an example of the entirety of humanity at the expense of the billions of innocents that have died in terrible, tortuous way you or I can't imagine? What I great God. If he wanted robots to obey his every whim, then he should have made robots. He is inescapably morally responsible for every death, every instance of suffering, due to his choice to give humans free will. Free will is illusory, in the end, so he could have simply granted a "free will" which would never question him. But he didn't, and as such is responsible for every instance of pain anyone has eve suffered.

    I have already addressed why he did not stop them. And as you have mentioned in the past, in a world where you cannot make your own decisions, you are nothing more than a "mindless slave". God allows us to make out own choices, he will not stop us from doing something wrong.
    If you're going to keep making this case, you are going to have to prove Divine Command Theory. Eating a piece of fruit that bestows an understanding of right and wrong, by the nature of the act, cannot be a moral action. It's necessarily amoral, because the choice couldn't be evaluated for beneficial consequence or even moral motivation.

    As I said before, he allows us to make our own decisions, right or wrong.
    Except in the case of the Eternal Life bush. He physically prevented them from choosing that. This is not an answer, you need to explain further.
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    Quote Originally Posted by emawerna View Post
    Atheist
    1. : a person who believes that God does not exist.

    Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dicti...0&t=1386886842

    Someone CANNOT be both agnostic and atheist at least using these dictionary definitions. I won't allow it on logical grounds.
    Fair enough for agnosticism; I agree with that. But the definition of atheism here displays a very interesting aspect of the movement. Merriam-Webster's definition uses language that casts atheism as a positive belief in not-theism. However, it is also accurate to define atheism as a lack of any positive belief:

    "noun
    a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods"
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us...nglish/atheist

    Consider a parallel: the hobby of collecting stamps. You could arguably describe someone who does not collect stamps as someone who affirmatively pursues the hobby of not-stamp-collecting, but you'll probably agree it is more accurate to say they just don't have the stamp-collecting hobby. And this is an ongoing question among modern atheists, of whether it is more accurate to call atheism an affirmative belief or a withholding of belief pending evidentiary satisfaction. I favor the latter.

    This vagueness is why the addition of the gnostic content to the label is useful. It is also why I think your comment about not allowing the two adjectives together on logical grounds is mistaken: theism and atheism are propositions about belief, while gnosticism and agnosticism are propositions about knowledge. If you say one of the former can't be joined to one of the latter, you're making what is called a category mistake.

    To demonstrate, consider why I identify as agnostic atheist. I come to the designation by way of answering a hypothetical inquirer's questions. If you ask me whether I believe gods exist, I have to say no. That makes me an atheist. If you then ask me whether I know that no gods exist, I again have to say no. That makes me an agnostic. Belief and knowledge are very similar (and in fact you can't have knowledge without belief), but they are not identical (you can have belief without knowledge). (See the FAQ in this post? I literally wrote the text on this issue! =P )


    No to A. Science does not put us in a position to discount B because it isn't wish fulfillment. I just want to make extra, extra sure that you use something other than science if you are going to assert that we see everything, but you guys just keep trying to science to prove what you want to believe: "if we can't see it, it isn't there." I like objectivity in science. Science my baby.
    Well, I agree about something here: a definite assertion would have to have both science and philosophy behind it (to satisfy its burden of proof - and it may be a burden that can never be fully satisfied); science alone would not be sufficient. But where you say folks use science to say, "if we can't see it, it isn't there," I think I would say the better argument - which is also espoused by scientists and atheists, and usually the wiser ones - is "if we can't see it, we need some other reason to believe it's there; and in the absence of any such reason, we're not compelled to believe it."

    I don't reject that the affirmative atheistic claim of "there actually is no God" has a burden of proof to satisfy. What I reject is that said affirmative claim is worth our attention. If that claim is the one you want to address in this thread, then I'm just being a distraction, heh (sorry!).

    If you want to continue this conversation, let's talk shop about the existence or non-existence of unseen multiverses, no more lengthy philosophical ramblings about science. It's time to talk about science in scientific terms. You know the stuff, right?
    I only know a little. The math and physics is pretty beyond me. ^_^;

    But I don't mind discussing it, if you want to.

    Very disturbing. I argue for the tolerance of beliefs, which is literally my entire point. I didn't even MENTION my personal views. You argue for intolerance. The absolutely only basis for this intolerance is your assumption that I believe differently than you do.
    Well, hold on. I didn't mention your personal views either (and though I might guess at them, I don't know or care what they are). As far as I'm concerned, we both could just as easily be playing devil's advocate for the sides we've taken. (Well, I have been upfront about my own views, but it doesn't matter.) I'm sorry if it seemed like I was going after your personal views; I wasn't.

    I also fail to see where we've so far disagreed about tolerance for beliefs. The quote you were replying to voiced an objection to certain actions. (In full disclosure, I do actually think beliefs and ideas are not immune from thoughtful criticism, but that sentiment was absent from the post you quoted anyway.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Profesco View Post
    I also fail to see where we've so far disagreed about tolerance for beliefs. The quote you were replying to voiced an objection to certain actions. (In full disclosure, I do actually think beliefs and ideas are not immune from thoughtful criticism, but that sentiment was absent from the post you quoted anyway.)
    You have to be tolerant in practice. It isn't enough to be tolerant in theory only.

    When we are thinking about beliefs, there are two parts:
    1) "What should I myself believe?"
    2) "How shall I interact with people who disagree with me?"

    I've only been here to talk about the second one. That's why I used Coraline and not the Bible because I didn't want my example to be taken so seriously that it over shadowed the second part.

    Freedom of speech covers EVERYONE when they go to express the first part about what the believe. If you were merely politely disagreeing with a belief system and presenting your own views, you'd be well within your freedom of speech rights.

    The problem I see with you three (Profesco, Aegiscalibur, and The Federation) comes in the form of the second part. You go far, far beyond your right to state your own beliefs. You've all expressed at least the notion that you have the freedom to tell people they are stupid and wrong and that their beliefs are harmful to society, and you've gone so far as to say that you should be able dictate when and how they are able to express their opinions. In fact, The Federation has explicitly asserted that he/she has the duty to stomp out religion.

    I know what the problem is here. The three of you think you are in a "safe harbor" against being called out as intolerant because being anti-religion has been a safe harbor in academia for a long time. Tolerance isn't really about personal safe harbors.

    You have to be tolerant from the perspective of others because tolerance loses its meaning when you allow yourself to define tolerance solely internally (You aren't tolerant solely because you think of yourself in that way). Tolerance is very much an exercise in taking into consideration values and ideas that are meaningful to others but not to oneself.

    Let's say there are two people: 1) a homosexual atheist AND 2) a heterosexual theist. The freedom of religious thought means nothing to person number one. The freedom to marry someone of the same sex means nothing to person number two. What is the most equitable solution here? Both might not be completely simultaneously achievable but don't underestimate what can be achieved by showing respect. While there is some direct conflict, some religions like the episcopal church have come very close to embracing both and probably will in the future.

    Don't act like atheism is a poor repressed minority here or that must not show respect lest it itself become endangered and go extinct. That might have been true in the 1920's. It isn't today.

    That reminds me: On what basis other than your own sheer intolerance, do you think a mild accepting church like the episcopal church should be stomped out of existence? It isn't exactly WBC. What do you achieve if you meet your goals of driving the episcopal church to extinction other than its most extreme members moving over to WBC and expanding that church?
    Last edited by emawerna; 13th December 2013 at 5:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by emawerna View Post
    You have to be tolerant in practice. It isn't enough to be tolerant in theory only.

    When we are thinking about beliefs, there are two parts:
    1) "What should I myself believe?"
    2) "How shall I interact with people who disagree with me?"

    I've only been here to talk about the second one. That's why I used Coraline and not the Bible because I didn't want my example to be taken so seriously that it over shadowed the second part.

    Freedom of speech covers EVERYONE when they go to express the first part about what the believe. If you were merely politely disagreeing with a belief system and presenting your own views, you'd be well within your freedom of speech rights.

    The problem I see with you three (Profesco, Aegiscalibur, and The Federation) comes in the form of the second part. You go far, far beyond your right to state your own beliefs. You've all expressed at least the notion that you have the freedom to tell people they are stupid and wrong and that their beliefs are harmful to society, and you've gone so far as to say that you should be able dictate when and how they are able to express their opinions. In fact, The Federation has explicitly asserted that he/she has the duty to stomp out religion.
    1) We are currently in a debate. It is sort of required of all of us, you included, to not just state our positions but argue for their superiority. At least, that is what I expect in the Debate forum; do you expect something different?

    2) I object. I don't want to tell anyone they are stupid. I do reserve the right to point out when someone is wrong, or when someone is hurting someone else. And I'm not sure I fully understand why you think those last are bad things..?

    3) I object again. I haven't said a single thing about stopping somebody from expressing their opinions. I said if somebody wants to teach a public school class, or to write a law, or to treat someone else according to a moral standard, that I want them to provide satisfactory reasons for those behaviors. They can keep the content of their heads, and talk about that content as freely as they please; I'll be peachy. But if they want to turn that content into behavior that affects the lives of other people, then I will demand good reasons.


    Let's say there are two people: 1) a homosexual atheist AND 2) a heterosexual theist. The freedom of religious thought means nothing to person number one. The freedom to marry someone of the same sex means nothing to person number two. What is the most equitable solution here? Both might not be completely simultaneously achievable but don't underestimate what can be achieved by showing respect. While there is some direct conflict, some religions like the episcopal church have come very close to embracing both and probably will in the future.
    To the bolded: says who? You think the homosexual atheist is a mind-reader? Or the Orwellian thought police? Or ignorant of the US Constitution's guarantee of free speech and respect for all religious perspectives?

    It is clear you are operating on faulty - but utterly quotidian - premises.


    Since I haven't said two words about oppressed minorities or eradicating all religions, I'll go ahead and assume the other parts of your post were not intended for me.



    Edit: emawerna, I want to say I feel bad for having you alone against three opponents. Three is a lot to take on by oneself. Also I rather think the things you're arguing against are not the actual positions I've been advocating, heh. For these reasons, if you'd prefer not to continue the discussion you've been having with me in the thread, I won't hold it against you. Or, if you'd like to continue but under less of an adversarial context, I'd be glad to keep the conversation going in VMs. Regardless, it's been interesting so far. =)
    Last edited by Profesco; 13th December 2013 at 9:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emawerna View Post
    You go far, far beyond your right to state your own beliefs.
    I don't think you understand that disagreement isn't intolerance. You don't understand that protest isn't intolerance. No matter how passionate the disagreement, as long as you remain in the realm of ideas and, in the case of religion, dogma, you are harming no one.

    It's true, ideas leads to actions. If a acted on the idea by proposing legislature against religion or creating a lobby against the religious, I feel that would be intolerant. Simply disagreeing, telling someone their beliefs are disgusting and immoral or anything of the sort, is perfectly fine. People aren't their ideas. Those who argue that homosexuals shouldn't have the right to marry for example, is an idea. It's fine for someone to claim that as long as they have the intention to debate the point. It's only intolerant when it affects others rights and social status as humans.

    You've all expressed at least the notion that you have the freedom to tell people they are stupid and wrong and that their beliefs are harmful to society, and you've gone so far as to say that you should be able dictate when and how they are able to express their opinions. In fact, The Federation has explicitly asserted that he/she has the duty to stomp out religion.
    To briefly correct this, I don't think anyone here has said the religious are stupid. In fact, Ansem has been posting for a while, and he proves that isn't the case; he's not a dumb guy in any sense of the word. I don't know where you got the idea that someone can dictate where the religious can express their opinions, but that's simply false. If you're thinking of secularism, though, I wholeheartedly agree with it. And finally, I don't see it as my duty, as it were, to "stomp out religion". I do believe that the world would be far better off without it, though, and anything I can do to remove it by educating those who believe on the nature of the issues is totally fine for me.

    Tolerance isn't really about personal safe harbors.
    It isn't really about verbal disagreement, either. Attacking an idea is not attacking a person, and the person is what matters. Get that through your head.

    You have to be tolerant from the perspective of others because tolerance loses its meaning when you allow yourself to define tolerance solely internally (You aren't tolerant solely because you think of yourself in that way). Tolerance is very much an exercise in taking into consideration values and ideas that are meaningful to others but not to oneself.
    Actually, tolerance is neither subjective for us or subjective for others... that would make it meaningless, if we allowed it to be defined by anyone but us, because it would have some many different and conflicting definitions it would be a wash. Tolerance is simply forbearance in action, restraining yourself... it's a policy of noninterference in the rights of others, basically. And, last I checked, ideas can't be interfered with in a way that prevents others from practicing a religion, except for an amazing phenomena called "education".


    The freedom of religious thought means nothing to person number one.
    This analogy completely and utterly fails because the nonreligious care more about religious freedom the most religious people do. This is called secularism, and it was created to protect religious rights. Now it's being used to protect the rights of nonbelievers, but since we're in the minority, it makes sense.

    Don't act like atheism is a poor repressed minority here or that must not show respect lest it itself become endangered and go extinct.
    I think you might be associating tolerance with respect. I do not respect religious ideas. I do tolerate them.

    That reminds me: On what basis other than your own sheer intolerance, do you think a mild accepting church like the episcopal church should be stomped out of existence?
    I don't want it "stomped out of existence". If you're going to be intellectually honest here, you'll eventually have to stop strawmanning my position. I want it gone, sure, because it's a backwards superstitious dogma with no basis in it's beliefs that is part of an overall organization which suppresses science and global progress on almost all fronts. Will I "stomp it"? No. I'll wait until the world has educated itself to the point that dogma can't exist in the mind of the rational thinker. For me, this is an intellectual movement, not a social one.

    If you want to call that intolerance, then do you believe missionaries are being intolerant when they convert those too young for themselves, changing their minds after giving them food and water? Is that ok?
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    Quote Originally Posted by emawerna View Post
    You have to be tolerant in practice. It isn't enough to be tolerant in theory only.

    When we are thinking about beliefs, there are two parts:
    1) "What should I myself believe?"
    2) "How shall I interact with people who disagree with me?"

    I've only been here to talk about the second one. That's why I used Coraline and not the Bible because I didn't want my example to be taken so seriously that it over shadowed the second part.

    Freedom of speech covers EVERYONE when they go to express the first part about what the believe. If you were merely politely disagreeing with a belief system and presenting your own views, you'd be well within your freedom of speech rights.

    The problem I see with you three (Profesco, Aegiscalibur, and The Federation) comes in the form of the second part. You go far, far beyond your right to state your own beliefs. You've all expressed at least the notion that you have the freedom to tell people they are stupid and wrong and that their beliefs are harmful to society, and you've gone so far as to say that you should be able dictate when and how they are able to express their opinions. In fact, The Federation has explicitly asserted that he/she has the duty to stomp out religion.

    I know what the problem is here. The three of you think you are in a "safe harbor" against being called out as intolerant because being anti-religion has been a safe harbor in academia for a long time. Tolerance isn't really about personal safe harbors.

    You have to be tolerant from the perspective of others because tolerance loses its meaning when you allow yourself to define tolerance solely internally (You aren't tolerant solely because you think of yourself in that way). Tolerance is very much an exercise in taking into consideration values and ideas that are meaningful to others but not to oneself.

    Let's say there are two people: 1) a homosexual atheist AND 2) a heterosexual theist. The freedom of religious thought means nothing to person number one. The freedom to marry someone of the same sex means nothing to person number two. What is the most equitable solution here? Both might not be completely simultaneously achievable but don't underestimate what can be achieved by showing respect. While there is some direct conflict, some religions like the episcopal church have come very close to embracing both and probably will in the future.

    Don't act like atheism is a poor repressed minority here or that must not show respect lest it itself become endangered and go extinct. That might have been true in the 1920's. It isn't today.

    That reminds me: On what basis other than your own sheer intolerance, do you think a mild accepting church like the episcopal church should be stomped out of existence? It isn't exactly WBC. What do you achieve if you meet your goals of driving the episcopal church to extinction other than its most extreme members moving over to WBC and expanding that church?
    You take a far too simple view on tolerance. You can't tolerate every single ideology, or you would have to let people do whatever atrocities they feel like doing. For individual liberties to have meaning, you also need to protect people in case someone decides to violate their liberties. Most obviously this is physical violence, but the use of words can also fall into this because words lead to physical actions. Surely you wouldn't allow unlimited slander or incitement into violence, would you?

    And again, I don't want religion to be banned by law. Rather, I want rational arguments to convince people to leave their religion. However, there may be individual movements that need to be banned for reasons mentioned above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    Setting incorrect moral rules and threatening punishment for breaking them is cruelty. If a tyrant sets immoral laws, he is not excused by saying he will only punish people if they don't obey.
    There are only immoral in your opinion, that does not mean that they actually are.
    Now, as I have laid out before, this is basically what god has laid out as immoral:
    Manslaughter
    Sexual immorality
    Spiritism
    Idolatry
    Drunkenness
    Stealing
    Lying
    Greed
    Violence
    Improper speech
    Refusal to provide for one’s family
    Use of tobacco or so-called recreational drugs
    Misuse of blood

    Are you saying that these laws are immoral?


    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    Are you now saying that you can't demand just anything of your creations, but they have to be justified? Then what was this about?
    There are 2 separate "rights" I am talking about here. The First is a Legal Right (for lack of a better term) and the Second is a Moral Right.
    Technically god would have the Legal right to do whatever he wanted with us, but would he have the Moral right to torture us? No. So basically, he does have the Legal right to set laws, but as long as those do not harm us. And quite frankly, 90% of those laws are against things that are proven to be harmful. (ie, mudrer, theft, etc, etc, see list above.) People, just don't think that the other 10% is harmful, now maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Lets say its neutral, it wont harm, us, it wont benefit us, we owe it to him not to do something, that will not harm us.



    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    So, you are saying he could choose not to be omniscient. Thus he is not truly omniscient. I am fine with this if you openly admit it, but it does make God a lot less impressive.
    Just thinking out loud here really. If God knew everything, then wouldn't he know, how to suppress it? After all, if it is possible, he would know how to, because he would know everything. Now, would he be truly omniscient during the times he suppressed his power, no, I guess he wouldn't. Would that make him any less impressive of a being? In my opinion, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    Besides, I can still argue that by not choosing to see future events, he would be responsible for them due to missing the opportunity to stop them even if it was easy for him.
    But, then he would be accused of foreordaining, everything, including anything wrong that would happen. In the way he does it, he does not foreordain everything, and no he will not stop evil in advance, but once it has happened, he will correct it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    If he detects them, he will know every decision people make beforehand, so you undermine your excuse for denying his moral responsibility.
    True, he could do that, but knowing what leads up to something hardly means that you know for a 100% certainty the outcome of a given situation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    Modern society is so far ahead of a few centuries earlier in technology, knowledge, welfare, and moral integrity. If you compare even further back to the Middle Ages and the like, the difference is even more obvious.
    technology, yes
    knowledge, yes
    welfare, that could be argued, yes we have more luxuries, but I still don't see the majority of people being truly happy with their lives.
    moral integrity, by no means. It has changed. The definition of change is not better, just different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    I don't get how there wouldn't be less disease and famine now than before. Have you been looking around?
    Do a quick google search, its not hard to find out that those problems are not, getting any better. Here, I even did it for you. [Source1] [Source2]

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    There is now also less violence and crime than ages before. The World Wars are famous in part because in the older times of history, violence and war were so commonplace that it was the norm rather than the exception.
    ...Since World War I, we have never had a period of time where there was not war somewhere in the world, I would not call that less violent. [Source]

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    And perhaps most importantly, there are individual liberties, something your dystopia lacks. Even if you created your dystopia, its benefits would be of little value because it would be based on oppression. Its population would not truly be good; they would only be in fear of punishment.
    Saying this is like saying that the idea of Government and Law itself is flawed, and that each human should be able to decide what they think is right and wrong and have absolutely free reign to do who-knows-what, and that would by definition include, Murder, theft, violence, etc. etc. with absolutely no consequences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    Other than the fear of an omnipotent and omniscient dictator giving you death for disobeying him?
    1) In the past god has often, given humans a second chance. To automatically assume that death is the punishment for everything, would be an exaggeration.
    2) Once again, do disagree with this would be to disagree with Government and Law itself. Society has to have a set of Laws or else chaos would abound. And you seem to be fine with imperfect humans creating Laws, then why not the one who created us and knows what we can an cannot do, so he wouldn't give us a Law that would be impossible to follow, yet there are many laws like that that are laid out by humans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    EDIT: If God actively designed the fruit to cause sufferings to their children, it is God's fault for designing it that way.

    Secondly, A&E did not know of good and evil before eating the fruit, like The Fed said. They are not responsible.
    Perhaps, but he did not create it with the intent for it to be eaten by A&E. He laid out quite bluntly what would happen to them if they ate the fruit, and they still ate it. They knew the consequences and they still chose to disobey, to rebel.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    This evidences nothing. You don't have a large enough sample to pull from. This also fails to establish moral grounds, because abstaining from war isn't the be all end all to morality. It could even be argued that refusing to serve the people of your country against aggressive foreign invader is more moral than excluding yourself for religious reasons. You are still far, far from justifying this position. It's still not evidenced.
    If no one participated in war period there would be no "foreign invaders" and thus no need to defend. It is evidenced, is it enough to be concrete proof, probably not, but to write it off as unimportant would just be stupid.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    The verses in question explicitly state that he did so to prove his own power. On top of this, most of these plagues targeted everyone, all due to the fact that God didn't like being challenged by the leader of Egypt.
    Yes he did show off his power. He was going to execute his judgement one way or the other, yet he decided to put on "the cherry on top" and it served a dual purpose: 1) To show the enemy exactly who they were dealing with and 2) Show his followers the power of their protector.
    And that is incorrect. Here is basically what happened:

    Moses goes to Pharaoh
    Moses: Let my people go
    Pharaoh: Never
    FIRST PLAGUE
    Moses comes back
    Moses: Let my people go
    Pharaoh: Never
    SECOND PLAGUE
    Moses comes back
    Moses: Let my people go
    Pharaoh: Never
    THIRD PLAGUE
    Moses comes back
    Moses: Let my people go
    Pharaoh: Never
    FOURTH PLAGUE
    Moses comes back
    Moses: Let my people go
    Pharaoh: Never
    FIFTH PLAGUE
    Moses comes back
    Moses: Let my people go
    Pharaoh: Never
    SIXTH PLAGUE
    Moses comes back
    Moses: Let my people go
    Pharaoh: Never
    SEVENTH PLAGUE
    Moses comes back
    Moses: Let my people go
    Pharaoh: Never
    EIGHTH PLAGUE
    Moses comes back
    Moses: Let my people go
    Pharaoh: Never
    NINTH PLAGUE
    Moses comes back
    Moses: Let my people go
    Pharaoh: Never
    TENTH PLAGUE
    Pharaoh: You can go now.

    To say Pharaoh had an adequate amount of time to listen would be an understatement, I would say he got what was coming to him.
    And I touched on this before, but:
    “Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
    He doesn't want to destroy anyone. And over and over again, in the Bible, and in our modern world, he gives humans second chances, and warnings. Over and over in the Bible he sends warning to those who are breaking his Laws, and gives them time to turn around. Its not like You do something by accident and them lightning comes down and fry's you before you can even say "oops".


    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    If he "survives one or two days", that implies he dies later... It's quite nice to be able to choose how you want to interpret your own bible. Makes it flexible, no?
    It can be taken that way yes, but is that the logical way that examines all the evidence? Lets take a look at a few other verses:
    “Throw all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
    "For Jehovah loves justice" Psalms 37:29
    "He loves righteousness and justice" Psalms 33:5
    "For I, Jehovah, love justice" Isaiah 61:8

    Remember how I said you have to let Scripture interpret Scripture? Using these other scriptures, how do you think we should take that other verse. Would it be just for Jehovah to say it was okay to kill your slave? And please don't answer by saying something along the lines of "it doesn't matter because, its all fake anyways."


    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    The point was that he sent snakes to kill the Israelites, succeeded in doing so for "many of them", for a completely unjustified and petty reason. The fact that he chose to do so at all is what I was referencing.
    He warned them, they did it anyways. They got punished, its basic Government.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Why aren't you immortal. This is contradictory nonsense; if anyone can accept his willing offer to restore eternal life, why isn't everyone an immortal JW? Oh wait, is this another one of those things you have to take on faith that happens after you die so it can't be disproven?
    Sorry I worded that badly. Well, I may be, you never know till I actually die. So here's what the Bible lays out, when he returns the earth to the Eden like state, then he will grant eternal life to his followers. Now if he does that before I die, then no I wouldn't die, but if I die before he does that, then he will bring me back, and I will not die from that point on.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    So, basically, you shouldn't feel a moral obligation to your fellow man because you didn't take part in or encourage his growth? Just because you weren't a part of that phenomena, just because you don't know them, human life, animal life, all of it has value. This is essentially the bible's way of excusing atrocity by passing off the responsibility entirely? I get it- if God feels sorry for his hideous crimes against humanity, it's all suddenly alright? That's disgusting.
    Well, as the Scripture I cited earlier mentioned:" he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance." Combine that with the fact that he does "Feel sorry" for the ones that do get destroyed, and the fact that he frequently, gives people second chances, and warnings....What else would you expect him to do? When he returns the earth to a Paradise, all those things wont even matter anymore. And what do you think he will do then?


    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    This complex is very common among the religious. If I created sentient robots who can think and feel and act rationally, should I be able to do as I will, having created them? If I torture a cloned human grown in a lab environment, should I not be arrested and sent to jail? Life is more valuable than your God dictates. The creation of man, if there was evidence it occurred, doesn't allow the creator to massacre and torture his creation (as he would be, if he was real).
    this is what I mentioned to Aegis earlier in this post:
    There are 2 separate "rights" I am talking about here. The First is a Legal Right (for lack of a better term) and the Second is a Moral Right.
    Technically god would have the Legal right to do whatever he wanted with us, but would he have the Moral right to torture us? No. So basically, he does have the Legal right to set laws, but as long as those do not harm us. And quite frankly, 90% of those laws are against things that are proven to be harmful. (ie, murder, theft, etc, etc, see list above.) People, just don't think that the other 10% is harmful, now maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Lets say its neutral, it wont harm, us, it wont benefit us, we owe it to him not to do something, that will not harm us.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    So he is making an example of the entirety of humanity at the expense of the billions of innocents that have died in terrible, tortuous way you or I can't imagine? What I great God. If he wanted robots to obey his every whim, then he should have made robots. He is inescapably morally responsible for every death, every instance of suffering, due to his choice to give humans free will. Free will is illusory, in the end, so he could have simply granted a "free will" which would never question him. But he didn't, and as such is responsible for every instance of pain anyone has eve suffered.
    A "'free will' which would never question him" would nto be free will at all, and that is why he did it the way that he did. He allows us to make choices, that either obey his Laws or not, but he does lay out what will happen if we do disobey. To say that you disagree with this is like saying you disagree with Law period. I also mentioned this to Aegis earlier:
    Saying this is like saying that the idea of Government and Law itself is flawed, and that each human should be able to decide what they think is right and wrong and have absolutely free reign to do who-knows-what, and that would by definition include, Murder, theft, violence, etc. etc. with absolutely no consequences.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Except in the case of the Eternal Life bush. He physically prevented them from choosing that. This is not an answer, you need to explain further.
    I assume you are referring to the Tree of life? He blocked that off, because A&E had already made their choice, yes they would have a chance to redeem themselves (and perhaps they did, it doesn't say). But God had said: If you eat from the tree of knowledge you will die. He had to at least follow through on his word, and let them die, if he gives them life in the Paradise to come...we can only speculate.
    Last edited by Mr. Spock; 16th December 2013 at 7:34 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    If no one participated in war period there would be no "foreign invaders" and thus no need to defend.
    There might be no war, but only because the invaders succeeded. Would you rather be oppressed, tortured, and killed by the enemies of the U.S., losing all of the civil liberties that came with the privilege, or defend yourself? This is like refusing to defend yourself from a bully who's cornered you, because "if nobody bullied others, there would be no need to defend myself".

    Yes he did show off his power. He was going to execute his judgement one way or the other, yet he decided to put on "the cherry on top" and it served a dual purpose: 1) To show the enemy exactly who they were dealing with and 2) Show his followers the power of their protector.
    I love it when God attacks everyone indiscriminately just because they live under a rule who owns slaves, like many other kingdoms at the time. Killing random citizens without remorse is clearly the thing a loving God should do if he wants to prove his power.

    To say Pharaoh had an adequate amount of time to listen would be an understatement, I would say he got what was coming to him.
    This isn't even about the pharaoh. This is about the innocents he killed.

    He doesn't want to destroy anyone.
    That's weird, because he did so without reason plenty of times in the OT.



    Remember how I said you have to let Scripture interpret Scripture? Using these other scriptures, how do you think we should take that other verse.
    Would it be just for your God to advocate so strongly for slavery in the first place? If your God is a just God, then where is the recompense for the slaves? Where is the justice for the millions he ordered killed? If you want to talk about the consistency of the bible, you should understand it needs to be universally consistent to make sense in your view. If he doesn't endorse the beating of the slaves as the verse so clearly acknowledges, then at the very least it endorses slavery as a whole.

    He warned them, they did it anyways. They got punished, its basic Government.
    Like heaven's omniscient secret police. Cool, what a moral God.

    Now if he does that before I die, then no I wouldn't die, but if I die before he does that, then he will bring me back, and I will not die from that point on.
    So, just more improvable ideas from your personal interpretation of the bible? That's fine.

    Well, as the Scripture I cited earlier mentioned:" he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance." Combine that with the fact that he does "Feel sorry" for the ones that do get destroyed, and the fact that he frequently, gives people second chances, and warnings....What else would you expect him to do? When he returns the earth to a Paradise, all those things wont even matter anymore. And what do you think he will do then?
    So, he does not want to kill everyone, but he does it anyway? And the reason behind it is because they broke his moral arbitration? So, he makes up a rule, people break the rule, and instead of forgiving them, he kills them. He even kills those who could never have one wrong, because why not. You excuse your God from atrocity because he "feels bad"? I wonder if Stalin "felt bad". Would you forgive him too?

    There are 2 separate "rights" I am talking about here. The First is a Legal Right (for lack of a better term) and the Second is a Moral Right. Technically god would have the Legal right to do whatever he wanted with us, but would he have the Moral right to torture us? No. So basically, he does have the Legal right to set laws, but as long as those do not harm us.
    So he has a moral right, and the capability to do whatever he wants. Nobody is saying he can't do as he will. The moral objection is the only one that matters, unless you believe that morality stems from God, which means there is only truly one "right". If moral arbitration from God is moral, then he can't do any wrong. Laws that restrict a person, take away their freedom, without really good reason, are laws that shouldn't exist.

    A "'free will' which would never question him" would nto be free will at all, and that is why he did it the way that he did.
    No, it would still be free will. If the person simply never chooses to question him, then he has freely created his own world, his own reality.

    I assume you are referring to the Tree of life? He blocked that off, because A&E had already made their choice, yes they would have a chance to redeem themselves (and perhaps they did, it doesn't say). But God had said: If you eat from the tree of knowledge you will die. He had to at least follow through on his word, and let them die, if he gives them life in the Paradise to come...we can only speculate.
    And he told them they would die because he was such a merciful God who wouldn't want to kill innocents who had no grasp of morality, right? The question remains: why block off something then, removing their free will, and not before? Is he such an unintelligent God as to not have thought this through?

    He has to remove their free will one way or another. A threat of death is one way to remove freedom of choice. A wall is another. If he won't remove their free will by his choice, then he has failed twice. Once when threatening them with death, and again when he enforced the arbitrary rule by physically preventing them from going near a tree. Why not make an arbitrary rule that places a barrier around the first tree?? What an imbecilic God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    There might be no war, but only because the invaders succeeded. Would you rather be oppressed, tortured, and killed by the enemies of the U.S., losing all of the civil liberties that came with the privilege, or defend yourself? This is like refusing to defend yourself from a bully who's cornered you, because "if nobody bullied others, there would be no need to defend myself".
    I see your point. But making a decision to defend yourself from a punch, and to kill another sentient being are two different things entirely. And "participating in war" would include both offensive and defensive military actions. So it would not just be "defending yourself".

    I love it when God attacks everyone indiscriminately just because they live under a rule who owns slaves, like many other kingdoms at the time. Killing random citizens without remorse is clearly the thing a loving God should do if he wants to prove his power.


    This isn't even about the pharaoh. This is about the innocents he killed.
    *rubs temple* so far, you have never cited a verse where he has killed someone innocent and without warning, I refer to the account of Pharaoh:

    Then Jehovah said to Moses: “Get up early in the morning and station yourself in front of Phar′aoh, and say to him, ‘This is what Jehovah the God of the Hebrews has said: “Send my people away so that they may serve me. 14 For now I am directing all my blows to strike your heart, your servants, and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have thrust my hand out to strike you and your people with a devastating plague, and you would have been wiped out from the earth. 16 But for this very reason I have kept you in existence: to show you my power and to have my name declared in all the earth. 17 Are you still behaving arrogantly against my people by not sending them away? 18 Here I will cause a very great hail to rain down tomorrow about this time, such as has never occurred in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19 Therefore, send word to bring all your livestock and all that is yours in the field under shelter. Every man and beast caught in the field and not brought into the house will die when the hail comes down on them(and there is a warning here, he said that those in the house would be saved).”’”
    20 Anyone among Phar′aoh’s servants who feared Jehovah’s word quickly brought his own servants and his livestock into the houses,(Even some Egyptians heeded gods warning) 21 but whoever did not take Jehovah’s word to heart left his servants and his livestock in the field.
    22 Jehovah now said to Moses: “Stretch out your hand toward the heavens, so that hail may come down on all the land of Egypt, on man and beast and all the vegetation of the field in the land of Egypt.” 23 So Moses stretched out his rod toward the heavens, and Jehovah sent thunder and hail, and fire fell down to the earth, and Jehovah kept making it rain down hail on the land of Egypt. 24 There was hail, and there was fire flashing in the midst of the hail. It was very heavy; there had never been any like it in the land since Egypt had become a nation. 25 The hail struck everything in the field throughout the land of Egypt, from man to beast, and it struck down all the vegetation and shattered all the trees of the field. 26 Only in the land of Go′shen, where the Israelites were, there was no hail.(see? He did not even bring the plague to the Isrealites, and you will see that there is a similar situation in the other Plagues.)


    That's weird, because he did so without reason plenty of times in the OT.
    Then show me them, because the 3 last ones that you have cited have not shown this.

    Would it be just for your God to advocate so strongly for slavery in the first place? If your God is a just God, then where is the recompense for the slaves? Where is the justice for the millions he ordered killed? If you want to talk about the consistency of the bible, you should understand it needs to be universally consistent to make sense in your view. If he doesn't endorse the beating of the slaves as the verse so clearly acknowledges, then at the very least it endorses slavery as a whole.
    Alright then, just like death, he does not like it, but he allows it to happen, to prove his point. Allowing slavery further proved his point that man cannot rule himself, they will simply dominate one another. Just because it is contained in the Bible, does not mean that god endorses it, just that he has not stopped it. Slavery, just like death, is one of the things that he will get rid of when he restores the Earth to a paradise. (and just because slavery is gone in the US, does not mean that it is gone from the world, just google it)


    Like heaven's omniscient secret police. Cool, what a moral God.
    The peace has to be kept. Its is done, by setting laws, and enforcing them, just like our current government.

    So, he does not want to kill everyone, but he does it anyway? And the reason behind it is because they broke his moral arbitration? So, he makes up a rule, people break the rule, and instead of forgiving them, he kills them. He even kills those who could never have one wrong, because why not. You excuse your God from atrocity because he "feels bad"? I wonder if Stalin "felt bad". Would you forgive him too?
    He made the rules to keep the peace, not just because he wanted to. Things like don't kill, don't steal etc. Now, the few that are not widely known to be harmful, lets say they're neutral, we owe it to him to at least do what he tells us on something that will neither, harm nor help us.

    And for the record, yes I would.


    So he has a moral right, and the capability to do whatever he wants. Nobody is saying he can't do as he will. The moral objection is the only one that matters, unless you believe that morality stems from God, which means there is only truly one "right". If moral arbitration from God is moral, then he can't do any wrong. Laws that restrict a person, take away their freedom, without really good reason, are laws that shouldn't exist.
    That is your opinion, and while I respect it, it is not gospel. Like I said, when something will neither harm nor help us, we should follow the wishes of the one who gave us the ability to make said decision. And that is not taking into account the many laws that I'm sure you would agree are best for people not to do. (Killing, theft, greed, lying etc.)


    No, it would still be free will. If the person simply never chooses to question him, then he has freely created his own world, his own reality.
    I'm not sure, what you're getting at here.

    And he told them they would die because he was such a merciful God who wouldn't want to kill innocents who had no grasp of morality, right? The question remains: why block off something then, removing their free will, and not before? Is he such an unintelligent God as to not have thought this through?
    They still had free will, they could just no longer go back on the decision they had already made. The consequences of their last decision was death, eating from the other tree would undo that, thus undoing the consequences of their previous decision, and thus showing them that one could rebel against god and face no consequences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    I see your point. But making a decision to defend yourself from a punch, and to kill another sentient being are two different things entirely. And "participating in war" would include both offensive and defensive military actions. So it would not just be "defending yourself".
    No war is waged under the pretense of assault in the day and age. It still happens, sure, and I myself would sit out of it. However, sitting out of a war that defends the nation from intrusion is immoral.

    *rubs temple* so far, you have never cited a verse where he has killed someone innocent and without warning, I refer to the account of Pharaoh:
    Then show me them, because the 3 last ones that you have cited have not shown this.
    By your reasoning, declaring an attack on innocents make you unaccountable for any preceding action. This is made even worse by the fact that your God is so pitifully unproven, apparently even during the time he was in everyone's business. Furthermore, many plagues killed without regard to forewarning.

    Exodus 12:29-30 and the pestilence in 1 Chronicles 21:12, which was David's fault yet God took it upon himself to punish everyone. Great guy, God. If you want more, I can simply do a Google and find around 100 verses of God killing senselessly.

    Alright then, just like death, he does not like it, but he allows it to happen, to prove his point.
    First off, I'm going to reiterate that it's morally disgusting to let harm befall others to prove a point. Second, your God advocates for slavery. In Genesis he wants slaves circumcised, and he has no qualms about age. Exodus 21:1 literally tells you that it's ok to remove a slave from his family and gives you guidelines on how long to keep him. This has nothing to do with him "letting it happen", as immoral as that is, but rather his advocation for the action.

    The peace has to be kept. Its is done, by setting laws, and enforcing them, just like our current government.
    Except our laws are created by common consent, by elected officials, by stringent process. They aren't mindless bronze age arbitration we nothing to suggest their morality is any more advanced than the men of the time.

    He made the rules to keep the peace, not just because he wanted to.
    Just going to point out that this idea is contradictory to your claim that God wants to make an example of humanity. If he was moral, he wouldn't have "allowed us" to die and suffer, but you're going to argue that a caveat where he makes up rules makes him a fine example of morality? This is the most immoral action imaginable, suitable for the man of the time, not an omniscient God.

    Things like don't kill, don't steal etc. Now, the few that are not widely known to be harmful, lets say they're neutral, we owe it to him to at least do what he tells us on something that will neither, harm nor help us.
    Yeah, we owe it to the being responsible for death and suffering to follow rules that restrict our freedoms. What about commands that are directly detrimental, like circumcision and other genital mutilation?

    And for the record, yes I would.
    I hope you never make it onto a jury, because the man who broke into someone's house and killed their whole family and their dog, for fun, might feel sorry too.

    I'm not sure, what you're getting at here.
    Freedom of choice is illusory, whether naturalistically or through your own system. Christians main selling point for a long time was that you couldn't choose without religion.

    They still had free will, they could just no longer go back on the decision they had already made.
    Listen. God made a rule which would take away their free will if an action was taken. Why not make another rule that prevented them from doing what he didn't want them to do in the first place? It would have the same value. Better yet, why not create them with morality in the first place? Once again, you're stuck having to prove divine command theory, or none of this makes sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Profesco View Post
    1) We are currently in a debate. It is sort of required of all of us, you included, to not just state our positions but argue for their superiority. At least, that is what I expect in the Debate forum; do you expect something different?
    I respond to what you write. Debate isn't about only addressing and discussing with people who agree with you on the basic assumptions and only disagree with you about the details. Debate can also be where people with different values and perspectives characterize and evaluate opposing arguments.

    My position is that you three are being intolerant more or less for the sake of being intolerant. I know it does make you uncomfortable (especially since I argue the position well), but I view tolerance the way I described: as a call to respect things important to others but not important to oneself. It is a heavy burden and perhaps only an ideal for which to strive. I don't see anything you said as a personal attack against me. This makes me unusual for someone arguing the position.

    The reality of it is this: You have to be extremely careful when shooting down something someone else values a lot like religion. You are ultimately at their mercy for how they interpret the criticism. I mentioned the Muslims in Europe seeing laws impacting their religion as being racist. That isn't some hypothetical example. This is how they actually feel. I see fewer and fewer people criticizing religion as a whole every year, and I think it is related to them.

    I'll mention again that I'm not personally insulted.
    I feel the three of you are being intolerant for the sake of being intolerant because your ideological basis for calling religion out is very sketchy.

    Here's the most basic debate about the position religion in society:

    To what degree is human nature dictated by society (blank slate) versus to what degree is human nature a natural, instinctive phenomena?

    Let's face it religion as a whole has been everywhere for a very long time. If a part of human nature is a natural, instinctive phenomena, religion is the biggest contender. So, a natural extension of the above question is this:

    To what degree is religious belief dictated by society (blank slate) versus to what degree is religious belief a natural, instinctive phenomena?

    Position 1: REMOVAL OF RELIGION IS POSSIBLE. If you believe that it is even possible to remove religion from society long term, you must also believe that religious belief is determined by society and not an intrinsic part of human nature that society ultimately can't eliminate. Otherwise, you are constantly chasing down new religions that pop up every generation or two. Rephrased, this position is that society dictates religion. NONE OF THIS DEPENDS ON WHETHER RELIGION IS "TRUE" OR NOT.

    Position 2: ELIMINATION OF RELIGION IS NOT POSSIBLE. If you believe that religion is a "natural phenomena" (regardless of whether you think it is true or not), then the goal of removal of religion from society is ultimately futile. If your goal of eliminating religion is ultimately futile, you are being a CUSS if you go after someone else's belief system that is very important to them.

    The original people who advocated strongly for atheism to destroy existing religions had one thing is common: they were Marxists or influenced by Marx. They believed that humans were blank slates that the state could write on and that building the ultimate society was a matter of writing the correct formula on those slates. Mao and Stalin were prime examples of this type of thought, though no one is faulted for thinking they were the wrong type of people to do the actual writing on the slates.

    In other words, these Marxists/Marxist influenced people agreed very strongly with Position #1 above in that religion can be eliminated because they also agreed with the corresponding position in the larger question about human nature (i.e. blank slate). Many also believed that religion should be eliminated because it mucks up what the state is trying to write on these blank slates.

    These original Marxists were not being bigoted or intolerant by going after religion. In my mind, they were simply going after ideas and not people because they believed a perfect society was achievable through writing on the "blank slates" of succeeding generations of humanity. The alternative being that nature has already written on these slates.

    I VERY STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH THESE MARXISTS. I TAKE POSITION #2 ABOVE IN THAT IT IS ULTIMATELY FUTILE TO TRY TO ELIMINATE RELIGION. I do this based on my knowledge of genetics and biology in general. (I do think nature writes on these slates.) I also cite the example of the Falun Gong as a spontaneous religion that appeared following the destruction of religion among the Han Chinese. Also, the Chinese government never did eliminate minority religions despite stealing all religious artifacts from them during the revolution. Despite having the power to drive 40 million people to starvation, Mao failed to eliminate religion as did Hitler and Stalin.

    The problem with you three is that I have given you ample opportunity to argue with my sprinkling of suggestions that religion is some type of natural wish fulfillment/instinct selected for during evolution etc. These suggestions have all been strongly correlated with my support of position #2. A Marxist (or Marxist influenced person) would have argued all night and day long against my support of position #2 because it undermines his or her most basic assumptions about human nature/justification for large scale government intervention into human thought.

    This leads me to suspect very strongly that each of you at least partially agree with position #2, meaning you are going after a futile goal if you think you can eliminate religion. I posit that this due to intolerance.
    Just as some beliefs are intolerant, a belief can be intolerant because you believe it solely to hurt someone else and not because your belief comes part and parcel with a larger worldview like Marxism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Profesco View Post
    Edit: emawerna, I want to say I feel bad for having you alone against three opponents. Three is a lot to take on by oneself. Also I rather think the things you're arguing against are not the actual positions I've been advocating, heh. For these reasons, if you'd prefer not to continue the discussion you've been having with me in the thread, I won't hold it against you. Or, if you'd like to continue but under less of an adversarial context, I'd be glad to keep the conversation going in VMs. Regardless, it's been interesting so far. =)
    Three against one is fun, but you'll have to excuse me if by necessity I have to consolidate your positions and/or respond to only some of the posts you guys leave. If you feel I haven't addressed an important point adequately, feel free to repeat.

    As for my "atheist homosexual," people in this society and on this board are quick to judge what others should and should not believe. I was setting up a realistic hypothetical not saying that every homosexual feels this way. If you prefer, I'll replace this hypothetical person with my brother who is both homosexual and atheist and who doesn't respect the right for others to practice religion. Better?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    There are only immoral in your opinion, that does not mean that they actually are.
    Now, as I have laid out before, this is basically what god has laid out as immoral:
    Manslaughter
    Sexual immorality
    Spiritism
    Idolatry
    Drunkenness
    Stealing
    Lying
    Greed
    Violence
    Improper speech
    Refusal to provide for one’s family
    Use of tobacco or so-called recreational drugs
    Misuse of blood

    Are you saying that these laws are immoral?
    Prima facie evil, but may depend on the circumstances:
    Manslaughter
    Violence
    Stealing
    Lying


    Prima facie morally neutral, only evil if others are affected:
    Drunkenness
    Use of tobacco or so-called recreational drugs


    Morally neutral:
    Misuse of blood: Such as blood transfusions? What harm do they do to anyone?


    More irrational than evil:
    Spiritism
    Idolatry


    Too vague:

    Sexual immorality: For example, rape may be evil, but homosexuality and sex before marriage are not.

    Refusal to provide for one’s family: You need to provide only for people who deserve it regardless of whether they are family. For example, you don't need to provide for parents who have been beating you just because they are family.

    Greed: It depends on how it relates to the benefit of others.

    Improper speech: For example, slander is a bad thing, but simply going against social standards not per se.



    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    There are 2 separate "rights" I am talking about here. The First is a Legal Right (for lack of a better term) and the Second is a Moral Right.
    Technically god would have the Legal right to do whatever he wanted with us, but would he have the Moral right to torture us? No. So basically, he does have the Legal right to set laws, but as long as those do not harm us. And quite frankly, 90% of those laws are against things that are proven to be harmful. (ie, mudrer, theft, etc, etc, see list above.) People, just don't think that the other 10% is harmful, now maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Lets say its neutral, it wont harm, us, it wont benefit us, we owe it to him not to do something, that will not harm us.
    Legal right in the sense of having the capability to do so? A strange choice of term, but if you go by that, it does not imply moral right in any way, and that's the relevant one.

    Shouldn't we rationally think whether the 10 % is harmful or not? How do you know whether it's neutral?

    And then the main question, why would we owe God anything just because he created us? It was his own decision; we did not agree to be created in exchange for services, and such negociations would be too one-sided.


    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    Just thinking out loud here really. If God knew everything, then wouldn't he know, how to suppress it? After all, if it is possible, he would know how to, because he would know everything. Now, would he be truly omniscient during the times he suppressed his power, no, I guess he wouldn't. Would that make him any less impressive of a being? In my opinion, no.
    Or rather, this is one example why calling someone absolutely omniscient is contradictory. And it kind of does make him less impressive because now his plans may very easily go wrong because of his lack of knowledge, and I have to ask whether someone with such limited knowledge should be single-handedly carrying out plans at a universal scale.

    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    But, then he would be accused of foreordaining, everything, including anything wrong that would happen. In the way he does it, he does not foreordain everything, and no he will not stop evil in advance, but once it has happened, he will correct it.
    Not ruling in a dictatorial manner would be a good thing, sure, but he does so anyway. Rather, it seems pretty arbitrary what he stops and what he doesn't. As for what kind of governance he should do, I'll answer this better in a later part.

    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    True, he could do that, but knowing what leads up to something hardly means that you know for a 100% certainty the outcome of a given situation.
    So, are you saying that free will is nondeterministic and outside God's vision?

    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    technology, yes
    knowledge, yes
    welfare, that could be argued, yes we have more luxuries, but I still don't see the majority of people being truly happy with their lives.
    moral integrity, by no means. It has changed. The definition of change is not better, just different.
    At what point in time have people had higher moral integrity? Back in the middle ages? In antiquity? In the stone ages? Hardly.

    As for happiness, the meaningful kind of happiness is one that is born out of some measure of intellectual understanding. If you are happy because you are blissfully ignorant of what is really going on, it isn't worth much.


    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    Do a quick google search, its not hard to find out that those problems are not, getting any better. Here, I even did it for you. [Source1] [Source2]
    I hope you realize that the reason why they discover new diseases nowadays is that they didn't have the knowledge or means to do so before. It doesn't mean that people are dying of them more than before. On the contrary, with modern medicine things like the Black Death would have been far less damaging.

    And yes, there is still famine, but the situation is still better than before. Are you saying people were better fed in the middle ages, let alone in antiquity? Or before the invention of agriculture, perhaps?


    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    ...Since World War I, we have never had a period of time where there was not war somewhere in the world, I would not call that less violent. [Source]
    In anquity, violence was commonplace in people's ordinary lives. The upper classes regularly used the military to keep their own subjects in line. People were murdered or executed over the smallest things. Ethnic minorities faced horrible violence. Slaves, women, and children were in the worst situation. Of course this would not be called war because war is something out of the ordinary. This was business as usual.

    But when there was war, it was so cruel that the murder, rape, and looting of civilians were considered a matter of course. It was also common to attack the civilian population by poisoning their water supply, otherwise infecting them with disease, or simply letting them starve to death. This was still very much the case in the middle ages.

    Just going by sheer scale, there is a reason why the largest wars have taken place in recent times. It is hard to top WW2 if the world population is at a far lower level.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_p...nd_Middle_Ages


    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    Saying this is like saying that the idea of Government and Law itself is flawed, and that each human should be able to decide what they think is right and wrong and have absolutely free reign to do who-knows-what, and that would by definition include, Murder, theft, violence, etc. etc. with absolutely no consequences.
    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    1) In the past god has often, given humans a second chance. To automatically assume that death is the punishment for everything, would be an exaggeration.
    2) Once again, do disagree with this would be to disagree with Government and Law itself. Society has to have a set of Laws or else chaos would abound. And you seem to be fine with imperfect humans creating Laws, then why not the one who created us and knows what we can an cannot do, so he wouldn't give us a Law that would be impossible to follow, yet there are many laws like that that are laid out by humans.
    It is better to formulate a society where you teach moral norms to people through rational argumentation and allow a wide measure of free thought and privacy for this rational argumentation to take place. The problem with God is that he doesn't give much reasoning to why people should obey his laws, other than the fear of punishment. It is like getting small children in line with the fear of getting beaten, but the children won't truly understand why the laws should be followed.

    Secondly, there is no guarantee that God will set good moral laws. What would you do if someone were to show that there exist better laws than those set by God? If God is a moral actor, there is by definition the possibility that he can choose to do evil. And if God does not know everything, there is by definition the possibility that he will make a mistake. There is no room for reform in your system. You say that humans are imperfect, but why would God be perfect?


    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    Perhaps, but he did not create it with the intent for it to be eaten by A&E. He laid out quite bluntly what would happen to them if they ate the fruit, and they still ate it. They knew the consequences and they still chose to disobey, to rebel.

    I assume you are referring to the Tree of life? He blocked that off, because A&E had already made their choice, yes they would have a chance to redeem themselves (and perhaps they did, it doesn't say). But God had said: If you eat from the tree of knowledge you will die. He had to at least follow through on his word, and let them die, if he gives them life in the Paradise to come...we can only speculate.
    A&E didn't understand the consequences because they did not understand good and evil before eating from the tree. That was mentioned before.
    Last edited by Aegiscalibur; 18th December 2013 at 7:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    Or rather, this is one example why calling someone absolutely omniscient is contradictory.
    I want to point out a logical inconsistency here, and that is how Ansem has categorized omniscient and omnipotent. If you know how to "turn off" your omniscience, and you choose to, can you ever get that ability back? Furthermore, if you possess the trait b default, then turning it off would fundamentally change what that God would be. The problem lies in the fact that an inherently omniscient being is capable of being non-omniscient, which is a contradiction in the most fundamental laws of logic.

    The same goes for omnipotence. If an omnipotent God can do everything, then even the logically contradictory is valid. The "lifting the unliftable stone" analogy comes to mind. If he is capable of everything, then he can lift a stone which is impossible to lift by nature, and that is a logical contradiction. If he can break logic at will, the God in question is by nature illogical.

    So, are you saying that free will is nondeterministic and outside God's vision?
    And another thing I meant to mention earlier he mentioned here. If an omniscient God knows everything, then by definition, your God is not omniscient. A being who has the trait of omniscience knows everything, which has been explicitly stated not to be the case. How do you know your God to be intelligent and moral enough to be relied upon? Refer back now, to your bible, and find a verse proclaiming him to be simply "vastly intelligent", because the vanity of such a God dictates it be there many times.

    But what is included in this intelligence? How can he be an objective source of knowledge, lacking the knowledge of everything? He can't. Even lacking knowledge of a single thing could change everything.
    Last edited by The Federation; 19th December 2013 at 12:23 AM.
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