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This is absolutely preposterous


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Hello friends:

Our local paper runs a weekly blurb on Sundays from the Billy Graham outfit. I almost never read it but today I took a look. This is absolutely the most preposterous, illogical, convoluted thing I've read this year. Perhaps one of you would give it a read and untangle the second-to-last sentence for me. On second thought, don't waste your time. It's all junk and twisted thought, but the ending is just one big whoosh:

 

https://billygraham.org/answer/why-doesnt-god-remove-all-suffering-from-our-world/

 

 

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It is a riff on the free will defense of theodicy. I find "free will" to be an incoherent concept beyond the level of social behaviour anyway. 

    In a theological framework of abrahamic religions, it is even more absurd. 

    For one thing you have to suppose that a choice between eternal inimaginable bliss and eternal inimaginable torment is really a "choice" . Or somehow that that choice has any value at all. 

     I mean let us imagine that you could choose between being in a situation where anything you choose to eat is fresh tasty and nutritious and another where half is rotten and poisoneous. Would you feel "robbed" of the choice to be fed poison? Is the rrstaurant manager making you a "robot" for only offering good food? I just cannot imagine that the restaurant with only good food is worse to the one with fifty /fifty chance. ( I would add the difficulty in the second situation to actually "know" what dish is good and what not)

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1 hour ago, older said:

I continue to fail to understand how people could possibly believe this junk.

Well, from my XP, I think you WANT to believe very hard. Or as one modern Orthodox theologian said, they do not believe it, they just believe they believe it. Like if you give up that belief, you can lose a lot - family, friends, whole worldview and structure, and seems to gain very little at the beggining - loneliness, confusion, hardship, insults from loved ones, activation of phobias, etc. Also, you lose the advantges of the faith - there is a "Sky Daddy" that is going to make all things well, suffering has a meaning, but will end soon, etc. That rationalisation serves a purpose, like most rationalisations. Like in my country there are still COVID deniers - not skeptiks, not people reserved about official information - which I actually consider sane and useful - but deniers. I just think sometimes that is easier for them to think that. If there is no Covid, there is no reason to panic, it cannot get me, I am actually the one who has THE TRUTH, etc. 

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If God were to eradicate all evil from this planet, He would have to eradicate all evil people.

 

This is complete and utter bs. They claim that their god is all-powerful, and such a god would not "have" to do anything. 

 

There's a lot more that could be said, but I don't feel like bothering with it. I just wanted to point out the logical fallacy of placing a boundary on an allegedly boundless being.

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Free will?

 

Com'n...

The bible expends many lines of text to say that you are surrounded on all sides by evil.

Release a mouse into a cage with two snakes and tell him he has 'free will'.

 

The obverse of that is "trust God".

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A ten-year-old girl gets raped and sold into sexual slavery because god refuses to violate "free will"...

 

...but isn't the girl's free will being violated?

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     So god can't remove "evil" because that would mean god would have to remove everyone?  So what was the flood?  Just because Noah and his family (maybe some giants...the text is sketchy) didn't get wiped out doesn't mean that god didn't simply kill the "evil" people.  If we accept the argument from Paul here all we're dealing with here is the flood plus Noah's family this time around (meaning everyone not everyone minus one family which is a small difference really).  The only thing I would have to accept is it cannot be by global flood since, you know, rainbows.  And if anyone keeps their word it's god.  So, yeah, rainbows.  Just scream that as the waters rise.

 

     Anyhow, this god did wipe out evil.  He didn't care.  He's promised, in the Revelation, that he's going to call it all a day again.  This won't be once everyone is happily transformed from evil to good but just whenever he's done.  The battle will start and the "evil" will be slaughtered and their bodies will be left for the critters.

 

     None of this is about free will.  Free will doesn't enter into any of this since it will always be violated in some way and at some level.  It's just saying that god isn't go to do shit about anything right now.  It's about kicking the can down the road to when god will do something.  It will happen.  Until then you, not god, but you need to do something and that thing is to convert.  That's the closest thing to free will here but it leans coercive to me.

 

          mwc

 

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The bible states that ALL fall short.

The best from the best among us is as "filthy rags".

 

Yet God finds favor with Noah, with this one or that one along the way..

Wish I could have been among them. Must be great to be favored in the eyes of God.

 

 

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The God must allow evil argument fails on several accounts.

 

First, under the Christian model there can be no free will when one thinks about it deeply enough. If there was true free will then we'd be able to do something against God's will and upset his plans for humanity. I haven't found a Christian willing to cede that God is not in control of everything.

 

Second, God apparently created all the rules for the entire cosmos. There was no requirement to include evil. According to the Bible, in heaven there will be no sorry, suffering or evil. Thus such a place can exist without evil. Now the article said that if evil was removed then we'd all be automatons. So are they willing to cede that in heaven they will be automatons made to worship God? If not then their argument for evil on earth fails.

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