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The Problem of evoL


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I had an epiphany this afternoon whilst arguing in the Twitter-verse.  When presented with Epicurus' Problem of Evil, most people want to say that god is able to prevent evil but free will blah blah... which amounts to able but not willing. 

 

Here's the lightening bolt, though.  When you present the Problem of Evil to a person, you are essentially asking them to choose between a god of power and a god of love.  And which god they choose speaks a lot about their own personal character.  Hmm...

 

What might it say that most choose the god of power?  Serious question, by the way; not rhetorical. 

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It’s good to not feel obliged to choose one or the other. #benefitsofatheism

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The free will argument is well countered with the question of heaven. Do we have freewill in heaven? No, then we are robots and having it here is meaningless. Yes, then why is there no evil in heaven? If God can make a place which is pure good with no suffering, and He is all-loving then He should want that for here too. 

But then changing to the problem of suffering gets around freewill too. Disease and natural disasters could be removed, reducing suffering, without infringing freewill. 

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12 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

When you present the Problem of Evil to a person, you are essentially asking them to choose between a god of power and a god of love.  And which god they choose speaks a lot about their own personal character.  Hmm...

 

What might it say that most choose the god of power?  Serious question, by the way; not rhetorical. 


It’s important to people that there is somebody in charge at the highest level.   You see this in politics, especially in certain countries: some populations seem to prefer having a ruthless dictator because they fear disorder more.  

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25 minutes ago, TABA said:


It’s important to people that there is somebody in charge at the highest level.   You see this in politics, especially in certain countries: some populations seem to prefer having a ruthless dictator because they fear disorder more.  

It's almost as if, subconsciously, christians know the loving father routine is just a facade and god really is a tyrannical autocrat.  This is why, given the option of defending god's omnipotence versus defending his omnibenevolence, they almost invariably choose to leave god's power intact and try to explain evil away with mysterious ways, free will, or some other magical pile of apologist horseshit.

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I think Christianity requires a god of both power and love, no?  At least that was the kind of god I once believed in.  To have to choose between a god of love or a god of power would not be the kind of Christianity that I am familiar with. 

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17 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

I had an epiphany this afternoon whilst arguing in the Twitter-verse.  When presented with Epicurus' Problem of Evil, most people want to say that god is able to prevent evil but free will blah blah... which amounts to able but not willing. 

 

Here's the lightening bolt, though.  When you present the Problem of Evil to a person, you are essentially asking them to choose between a god of power and a god of love.  And which god they choose speaks a lot about their own personal character.  Hmm...

 

What might it say that most choose the god of power?  Serious question, by the way; not rhetorical. 

 

Other people's problems are not a Christian's (or most peoples') problems. Putting food on the table, keeping a roof over your head, keeping a job, those are the important things for most people, imo. God being able to make shit happen is the more important thing when it comes to choosing power or love. You cant eat love. 

 

I know child sex slavery is a terrible thing, but my priorities are rent and other bills. 

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23 minutes ago, midniterider said:

 

I know child sex slavery is a terrible thing, but my priorities are rent and other bills. 

So you reckon it's more practical than dogmatic?

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How can god be both powerful and loving? The answer is easy (according to the answer I was told growing up): we cannot comprehend because his ways are not our ways. Damn straight. Our laws of the land are more benevolent and fair than those of bible-god and I will never understand why that is. 

 

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21 minutes ago, freshstart said:

How can god be both powerful and loving? The answer is easy (according to the answer I was told growing up): we cannot comprehend because his ways are not our ways. Damn straight. Our laws of the land are more benevolent and fair than those of bible-god and I will never understand why that is. 

 

Yeah, the guy I was arguing with kept bringing up the "mysterious ways" defense.  He dropped it after I told him there is nothing mysterious about god being able to stop a child being raped but not willing to do it.  It seems if god enables evil, he's evil himself.  My opinion, anyway.

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26 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

So you reckon it's more practical than dogmatic?

 

It's just something that a pagan told me once. He said most of the other pagans he encountered were low income people. They felt powerless , or less empowered because of their financial status so they looked to witchcraft to help them cope with the basics of living.

 

I know as a Pentecostal, intercessory prayer and prayer chains were a big deal. Peace on earth and all that was a nice sentiment but was usually back seat to "Please heal this person or help that person in some crisis." 

 

Just a thought.

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1 hour ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

 He dropped it after I told him there is nothing mysterious about god being able to stop a child being raped but not willing to do it.

 

Wow, I'm gonna steal that for later....

 

Nothing mysterious about being a dick. I remember a Christian here in Ex-c saying "I dont know why...." in place of "mysterious ways." Come on! You know why! lol

 

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6 hours ago, midniterider said:

Peace on earth and all that was a nice sentiment but was usually back seat to "Please heal this person or help that person in some crisis." 

Or . . . how about praying for a parking spot, or good weather for a wedding, or little johnny to win the soccer game.  . . .or even if not praying for such drivel, thanking the lord for these little kindnesses.

Funny how god finds it in his ever-so-thoughtful heart to find a parking spot for a Christian shopping at Walmart, but a few miles down the road in a hospital where a child is dying despite fervent prayer, god is like " nah. . .sorry man,  not today . . . I got parking to take care of."

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Interesting subject.  It was interesting that my father saw god as he saw his own father.  A mean SOB and you better not piss him off.   It was as if his brain disengaged if you pushed him to reason through the inconsistancies.  I remember a couple of times when discussing religion his eyes would suddenly cut to the side and he would immediately change the subject or think of something he had to do immediately.  He could no longer think about it.

 

And once when discussing religion with my wife she literally put her hands over her ears and hurried out of the room.  It is almost as if their life is threatened if they think about it.  She was also scared of her father.

 

Is something like this going on with Aibao?  Part of her mind sees through the crap?  But another unconscious part says you are toast if you go there?  And she is scared of her father.  

 

Coincidence?

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7 hours ago, Weezer said:

she literally put her hands over her ears and hurried out of the room.  It is almost as if their life is threatened if they think about it. 

Religious beliefs (in my humble opinion) are cultivated from fear of the unknown and the inability to satisfactorily answer existential questions, such as "what is death going to be like and is there anything afterwards?" or "why are we here and conscious of it?"  Religion/faith provides pat answers to those uncomfortable questions for a western culture that finds it almost taboo to talk about death - even among religious circles.  And I contend that fear of the unknown is actually greater than fear of the known. 

One of my brilliant children (who clearly struggles with inconsistencies in the bible) refused to read a book I offered (Why I Believed) written by a former missionary because she didn't think her faith was strong enough to handle that (her words).  And she goes in to the whole what-if-the-bible-is-right argument, fearing if she loses her belief she might go to hell. So in a way, any Christian who refuses to at least listen to anything that contradicts their beliefs is essentially covering their ears.  Why?  It all boils down to fear of some sort.  What else could it be?

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On 6/3/2022 at 8:15 AM, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Here's the lightening bolt, though.  When you present the Problem of Evil to a person, you are essentially asking them to choose between a god of power and a god of love.

Hi guys, sorry I have been out of touch for a while.  Just reading through some recent stuff this question caught my eye.  

 

The thing I dislike about this whole theodicy debate between power and love is that it wrongly presupposes that God could break the laws of physics.  Instead it makes far more sense to say God works solely through the laws of physics, and that any alleged departures from this rule, as Hume argued, involve deception or delusion.  I was chatting with my minister at church this morning, after she commented in her sermon that we are in the middle of a new reformation in which it is recognised that the real creed is that God is love, and that the official creeds make no sense, and are designed instead to support political control.  I commented to her that my view is that all supernatural claims should be read as allegory and that the whole of Christendom theology needs to be discarded as corrupt and incoherent.

 

If we take the line that the laws of physics are omnipotent and omnipresent, we then have the problem of omnibenevolence.  How this can be solved in my view is through the idea that if love rules the world, the extreme departure from this divine rule is due to the inability of humanity to integrate our lives with the laws of physics.  An enlightened scientific culture can gradually produce an enlightened ethical culture, enabling slow repair of the trauma that separates us from a life of love.

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On 6/2/2022 at 5:15 PM, TheRedneckProfessor said:

I had an epiphany this afternoon whilst arguing in the Twitter-verse.  When presented with Epicurus' Problem of Evil, most people want to say that god is able to prevent evil but free will blah blah... which amounts to able but not willing. 

 

Here's the lightening bolt, though.  When you present the Problem of Evil to a person, you are essentially asking them to choose between a god of power and a god of love.  And which god they choose speaks a lot about their own personal character.  Hmm...

 

What might it say that most choose the god of power?  Serious question, by the way; not rhetorical. 

Give it a rest maybe.  I'm starting to believe that our beliefs, our outcomes, are a product somewhat of experience.  "Right", "truth", might be the outcome that worked for an individual at a certain point in their life.....that then became right/truth.  Truth might be X for a few years until the pain subsides from a previously poor outcome.  The trick is to then wait on the next person until they move from "truth" to "truth".  Their is no seeming absolute outside of grace for others during these transitions.....and ours.  And we can choose to adhere to the former "truth" or a new "truth", power vs. Love/Grace.  

 

Move on to the next step sir.  There is no argument to be won.

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10 hours ago, Edgarcito said:

Give it a rest maybe.  I'm starting to believe that our beliefs, our outcomes, are a product somewhat of experience.  "Right", "truth", might be the outcome that worked for an individual at a certain point in their life.....that then became right/truth.  Truth might be X for a few years until the pain subsides from a previously poor outcome.  The trick is to then wait on the next person until they move from "truth" to "truth".  Their is no seeming absolute outside of grace for others during these transitions.....and ours.  And we can choose to adhere to the former "truth" or a new "truth", power vs. Love/Grace.  

 

Move on to the next step sir.  There is no argument to be won.

 

You claim that grace is an absolute, Ed.

 

Please explain how you arrived at this conclusion.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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On 6/2/2022 at 6:15 PM, TheRedneckProfessor said:

What might it say that most choose the god of power?  Serious question, by the way; not rhetorical. 

 

Leaving aside the problem of Dweezil for a moment, I'll take a shot this. 

 

It's impossible to maintain a god of love with respect to the bible. It's too bloody, it's too biased towards one population, and right through Revelation there's derogatory speech about all kinds of people, right down to killing them all off in the end. 

 

Even if subconsciously, I think people somehow realize that a god of power is more consistent and less contradictive than a god of love with respect to the biblical myths. The god who's angry and killing people off, is powerful. The same god who is supposedly not angry anymore, is still angry and is still killing people off anyways, with his great power. 

 

That defaults to a god of power. 

 

In addition, the god of power is the product of man made myths. People want to align with great power. That's why the myths read as they do. Killing off perceived enemies and "others." What was true back then, is still true today in terms of a lust for alignment with great power. And what must be a lingering wish to have people who disagree with you killed off. 

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15 hours ago, Edgarcito said:

Truth might be X for a few years until the pain subsides from a previously poor outcome.  The trick is to then wait on the next person until they move from "truth" to "truth". 

Indeed, sir.  I have been waiting for you since I arrived here in 2013.  Whenever you're ready...

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3 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Indeed, sir.  I have been waiting for you since I arrived here in 2013.  Whenever you're ready...

I hear you.  We are all waiting, I expect, on others...and ourselves as well. I guess there are times where it's intolerable to wait.....where trust then become a factor in the process. For me, I think there's something there....and Christianity has played a role in describing it well enough such that I am holding on to my subscription.  Not sure what else to say.  I think it's a decent revelation regardless...even thought it's later for some ;)

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8 hours ago, walterpthefirst said:

 

You claim that grace is an absolute, Ed.

 

Please explain how you arrived at this conclusion.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

I don't know that it's so much an absolute Walter as it's a choice.  Maybe it plays some role in survival.  Maybe it's more like a necessary constant in the equation of love.

 

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48 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

I don't know that it's so much an absolute Walter as it's a choice.  Maybe it plays some role in survival.  Maybe it's more like a necessary constant in the equation of love.

 

 

Then are you retracting your earlier claim that grace is an absolute, Ed?

 

Which you made like this...

 

Their is no seeming absolute outside of grace for others during these transitions.....and ours.

 

Here you are saying that grace is an absolute.

 

And now it's a choice?

 

So, is that a retraction or are you now saying that grace is both an absolute and a choice?

 

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39 minutes ago, walterpthefirst said:

 

Then are you retracting your earlier claim that grace is an absolute, Ed?

 

Which you made like this...

 

Their is no seeming absolute outside of grace for others during these transitions.....and ours.

 

Here you are saying that grace is an absolute.

 

And now it's a choice?

 

So, is that a retraction or are you now saying that grace is both an absolute and a choice?

 

I'm not sure what the entire message is at this point....which is my point.  Thx.

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