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Why would a Christian want to change the world?
Posted: 01 October 2012 11:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 181 ]
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StephenLawrence - 01 October 2012 10:32 PM
Bryan - 01 October 2012 12:57 PM
George - 01 October 2012 12:29 PM

I want to know how you know what is logically possible for God and if you think that God is a subject to what is logically possible the same way we are.

I try to use the principle of non-contradiction to rule out conceptions of god that are self-contradictory.

There is nothing apparently self contradictory about God making the world better than this.

My point to George was that if we make omnipotence mean the ability to do anything at all regardless of logical possibility then we can throw contradiction out the window.  Contradictions are no obstacle to the god George wants to argue.

You apparently want to argue the point meaningfully, which I appreciate.

I’d argue that if the best possible world includes free will then it cannot be caused meticulously by God.  And we should expect this not to be the best possible world because human free agents ensured a suboptimal outcome not long after showing up.

Clearly this doesn’t seem like a perfect world to us, it seems like it could be better without any contradiction.

People keep saying “clearly.”  If it was clear then I’d be seeing sound deductive arguments from evil.  Those are pretty scarce from philosophers these days.  Think it’s coincidence?

How do you know this is the best of all logically possible worlds?

What makes you think I know this is the best of all logically possible worlds?

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Posted: 01 October 2012 11:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 182 ]
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Write4U - 01 October 2012 04:26 PM
TimB - 01 October 2012 04:04 PM

Natural processes of evolution resulted in the abilities of humans to have morals.  But morals don’t “evolve” by exactly the same processes as do organisms.

Why not?

What makes a mother protect its offspring? Is it a moral obligation? Why can “emotional” equilibrium not be governed by the same laws as “physical” laws of equilibrium. The object of the action is to “restore” order, and is evident even in a termite society, and in the self healing of a wound. Seems to me that our perception of some universal constants confirms the logic. Any disturbance of equilibrium in anything is causal to an event. I see no reason why this principle should not hold in meta-physics.

Other animals with less complex verbal behavior can evolve to have behaviors that we might consider moral.  But with complex language we can develop a moral such as, e.g., “Though shalt not kill.”  Within an individual lifetime, this moral could evolve to “Though shalt not kill, except in this circumstance (fill in the blank).  Within the same lifetime, (fill in the blank) could have a myriad of permutations. Our morals, in fact, do change, within lifetimes, and with circumstances.  They do not depend completely upon generations of our ancestors surviving to reproduction in order to “evolve”.

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Posted: 02 October 2012 01:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 183 ]
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TimB - 01 October 2012 11:36 PM
Write4U - 01 October 2012 04:26 PM
TimB - 01 October 2012 04:04 PM

Natural processes of evolution resulted in the abilities of humans to have morals.  But morals don’t “evolve” by exactly the same processes as do organisms.

Why not?

What makes a mother protect its offspring? Is it a moral obligation? Why can “emotional” equilibrium not be governed by the same laws as “physical” laws of equilibrium. The object of the action is to “restore” order, and is evident even in a termite society, and in the self healing of a wound. Seems to me that our perception of some universal constants confirms the logic. Any disturbance of equilibrium in anything is causal to an event. I see no reason why this principle should not hold in meta-physics.

Other animals with less complex verbal behavior can evolve to have behaviors that we might consider moral.  But with complex language we can develop a moral such as, e.g., “Though shalt not kill.”  Within an individual lifetime, this moral could evolve to “Though shalt not kill, except in this circumstance (fill in the blank).  Within the same lifetime, (fill in the blank) could have a myriad of permutations. Our morals, in fact, do change, within lifetimes, and with circumstances.  They do not depend completely upon generations of our ancestors surviving to reproduction in order to “evolve”.

I agree with that viewpoint, inasmuch that we can actually verbalize our feelings. But especially in herbivores the subject of killing is not even an issue. Killing is a predatory activity and in nature no one kills more than what they need. Only humans kill in order to harvest hands and teeth to sell for profit.
With our evolving intelligence we were (are) able to take more than what we need and in spite of our communication skills, we are not even close to living in a moral manner as far as nature is concerned. The results are obvious.

But my argument is that a god seems to be completely ineffective and superfluous. There is only one known species that can both express morals, yet act immorally. Which alarms me as we have moral teachings from many sources, including scripture. The problem lies not in “knowledge”, it lies in our “actions”.

[ Edited: 02 October 2012 04:18 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 03 October 2012 02:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 184 ]
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Write4U - 02 October 2012 01:15 AM
TimB - 01 October 2012 11:36 PM
Write4U - 01 October 2012 04:26 PM
TimB - 01 October 2012 04:04 PM

Natural processes of evolution resulted in the abilities of humans to have morals.  But morals don’t “evolve” by exactly the same processes as do organisms.

Why not?

What makes a mother protect its offspring? Is it a moral obligation? Why can “emotional” equilibrium not be governed by the same laws as “physical” laws of equilibrium. The object of the action is to “restore” order, and is evident even in a termite society, and in the self healing of a wound. Seems to me that our perception of some universal constants confirms the logic. Any disturbance of equilibrium in anything is causal to an event. I see no reason why this principle should not hold in meta-physics.

Other animals with less complex verbal behavior can evolve to have behaviors that we might consider moral.  But with complex language we can develop a moral such as, e.g., “Though shalt not kill.”  Within an individual lifetime, this moral could evolve to “Though shalt not kill, except in this circumstance (fill in the blank).  Within the same lifetime, (fill in the blank) could have a myriad of permutations. Our morals, in fact, do change, within lifetimes, and with circumstances.  They do not depend completely upon generations of our ancestors surviving to reproduction in order to “evolve”.

I agree with that viewpoint, inasmuch that we can actually verbalize our feelings. But especially in herbivores the subject of killing is not even an issue. Killing is a predatory activity and in nature no one kills more than what they need. Only humans kill in order to harvest hands and teeth to sell for profit.
With our evolving intelligence we were (are) able to take more than what we need and in spite of our communication skills, we are not even close to living in a moral manner as far as nature is concerned. The results are obvious.

But my argument is that a god seems to be completely ineffective and superfluous. There is only one known species that can both express morals, yet act immorally. Which alarms me as we have moral teachings from many sources, including scripture. The problem lies not in “knowledge”, it lies in our “actions”.


“The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.”  Samuel Clements

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Posted: 03 October 2012 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 185 ]
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Does Christian morality rightly lead to ethical paralysis or a celebration of baby death? 
It can’t be both.
[quote/] 

I don’t really see a problem here. Given all the things that fundamentalists believe, they
should BOTH be celebrating the (accidental) deaths of children AND be unsure about whether massacres, disease, natural disasters and poverty are really bad or not. The first one is clear if you really believe all children go straight to heaven, whereas the second one is an inconsistent mess for reasons I’ve already talked about. Now, of course, most fundamentalists probably do believe that the death of a child is a terrible tragedy and that they should be doing everything in their power to eradicate poverty and fight tyrants. In my opinion, this just shows that they don’t really believe all the things that their religion tells them they should believe. Thankfully, they go with their moral intuitions rather than with all the dogma and apologetics.   

 
Do you know any fundamentalist Christians who favor abortion at all?
[quote/] 

I’ve been trying not to talk about things like euthanasia and abortion simply because they’re so difficult, and so I’ve been trying to use less controversial examples to show what’s wrong with the fundamentalist world view. Still, it does strike me that here again the fundamentalist is in a mess. According to their world view, the only thing that’s wrong with abortion is that the abortion doctor is breaking a commandment by committing a murder. No harm is actually being done since these souls all go straight to heaven anyway. Yet most fundamentalists do actually believe that abortion is wrong because it’s harmful, even though this doesn’t make any sense according to their world view.  So even if fundamentalists are right to say that abortion is wrong, their REASONS are essentially secular reasons and have nothing whatever to do with heaven or God or the Bible.

 
Severely punishing or killing those who disagree may also work.  Some famous secularists have used that one in the past (Stalin, Mao).
[quote/] 

This comes back to what I was saying about the importance of learning lessons from history. The lesson here is that terrible things can happen when you don’t have DEMOCRACY and accountability. It has nothing to do with belief in God. I could easily point to examples of successful democratic secular societies like Sweden or Denmark. It’s amazing that fundamentalists are still bringing up Stalin and Mao to argue against secularism! 


It would be a mistake to think that Craig justifies killing children generally based on
their going to heaven.
[quote/] 

What’s interesting here is how Christian fundamentalists and Muslim fundamentalists sound almost the same. There’s the idea that genocide is OK so long as it appears in our religious tradition, but it’s disgusting and immoral if found in any other tradition. This is what religious fundamentalism can do to a person, even someone as intelligent and decent as Craig. It’s absolutely chilling. His reason for doing it, I think, is that he doesn’t want to start picking and choosing the bits he likes and doesn’t like, fearing that this will put him on the slippery slope to liberal Christianity. Nonetheless, his position here is absolutely disgraceful, and despite what some fundamentalists would have you believe, somebody like C.S. Lewis would never have defended genocide in this way. 

By the way, on this idea that all kids go straight to heaven, where do fundamentalists get this from? Throughout history Christians certainly haven’t always believed this. It seems to me that today’s fundamentalists just feel intuitively that a loving God would never send kids to hell. The problem, of course, is that we also feel intuitively that a loving God would never command people to commit genocide.     

 
Minus a reasonable meta-ethical foundation for morality, the approach to argument Maitzen uses amounts to argumentum ad populum.
[quote/]   

Not really. The argument is not that Christianity seems wrong to our moral intuitions and therefore is probably not true. Rather, the idea is that many people will probably choose their moral intuitions over fundamentalist Christianity. Given the choice between our own experience, our knowledge of history, and our deepest moral intuitions on the one hand, and fundamentalist Christianity on the other hand, many of us will choose the former.

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Posted: 03 October 2012 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 186 ]
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Bryan - 01 October 2012 10:30 AM

 
Does Christian morality rightly lead to ethical paralysis or a celebration of baby death? 
It can’t be both.

 

I don’t really see a problem here. Given all the things that fundamentalists believe, they
should BOTH be celebrating the (accidental) deaths of children AND be unsure about whether massacres, disease, natural disasters and poverty are really bad or not. The first one is clear if you really believe all children go straight to heaven, whereas the second one is an inconsistent mess for reasons I’ve already talked about. Now, of course, most fundamentalists probably do believe that the death of a child is a terrible tragedy and that they should be doing everything in their power to eradicate poverty and fight tyrants. In my opinion, this just shows that they don’t really believe all the things that their religion tells them they should believe. Thankfully, they go with their moral intuitions rather than with all the dogma and apologetics.   

 
Do you know any fundamentalist Christians who favor abortion at all?

 

I’ve been trying not to talk about things like euthanasia and abortion simply because they’re so difficult, and so I’ve been trying to use less controversial examples to show what’s wrong with the fundamentalist world view. Still, it does strike me that here again the fundamentalist is in a mess. According to their world view, the only thing that’s wrong with abortion is that the abortion doctor is breaking a commandment by committing a murder. No harm is actually being done since these souls all go straight to heaven anyway. Yet most fundamentalists do actually believe that abortion is wrong because it’s harmful, even though this doesn’t make any sense according to their world view.  So even if fundamentalists are right to say that abortion is wrong, their REASONS are essentially secular reasons and have nothing whatever to do with heaven or God or the Bible.

 
Severely punishing or killing those who disagree may also work.  Some famous secularists have used that one in the past (Stalin, Mao).

 

This comes back to what I was saying about the importance of learning lessons from history. The lesson here is that terrible things can happen when you don’t have DEMOCRACY and accountability. It has nothing to do with belief in God. I could easily point to examples of successful democratic secular societies like Sweden or Denmark. It’s amazing that fundamentalists are still bringing up Stalin and Mao to argue against secularism! 


It would be a mistake to think that Craig justifies killing children generally based on
their going to heaven.

 

What’s interesting here is how Christian fundamentalists and Muslim fundamentalists sound almost the same. There’s the idea that genocide is OK so long as it appears in our religious tradition, but it’s disgusting and immoral if found in any other tradition. This is what religious fundamentalism can do to a person, even someone as intelligent and decent as Craig. It’s absolutely chilling. His reason for doing it, I think, is that he doesn’t want to start picking and choosing the bits he likes and doesn’t like, fearing that this will put him on the slippery slope to liberal Christianity. Nonetheless, his position here is absolutely disgraceful, and despite what some fundamentalists would have you believe, somebody like C.S. Lewis would never have defended genocide in this way. 

By the way, on this idea that all kids go straight to heaven, where do fundamentalists get this from? Throughout history Christians certainly haven’t always believed this. It seems to me that today’s fundamentalists just feel intuitively that a loving God would never send kids to hell. The problem, of course, is that we also feel intuitively that a loving God would never command people to commit genocide.     

 
Minus a reasonable meta-ethical foundation for morality, the approach to argument Maitzen uses amounts to argumentum ad populum.

   

Not really. The argument is not that Christianity seems wrong to our moral intuitions and therefore is probably not true. Rather, the idea is that many people will probably choose their moral intuitions over fundamentalist Christianity. Given the choice between our own experience, our knowledge of history, and our deepest moral intuitions on the one hand, and fundamentalist Christianity on the other hand, many of us will choose the former. As I understand it, the project is just to get clear about what fundamentalist Christianity really is, and then let people decide whether they want to go down that path. Maitzen thinks, and I agree, that people would leave fundamentalism in droves if they really understood how it conflicts with common-sense morality on things like harm, death and killing.

[ Edited: 03 October 2012 06:57 PM by Dom1978 ]
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Posted: 09 October 2012 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 187 ]
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Dom1978 - 03 October 2012 06:42 PM
Bryan - 01 October 2012 10:30 AM

 
Does Christian morality rightly lead to ethical paralysis or a celebration of baby death? 
It can’t be both.

 

I don’t really see a problem here.

That’s a problem.  Note your followup statement (bold emphasis added):

Given all the things that fundamentalists believe, they should BOTH be celebrating the (accidental) deaths of children AND be unsure about whether massacres, disease, natural disasters and poverty are really bad or not.

Babies can die of massacre or disease.  So a Christian supposedly won’t know if it’s for the good or not.  And you think a Christian should supposedly celebrate it since it’s clearly good.

The Christian either knows it’s clearly good or the Christian does not know that it is clearly good.  Your position (and that of the philosopher you admire) is self-contradictory.

You’re right that a Christian might hold either position.  But that’s for the reason I’ve already pointed out:  People (not just Christians) don’t tend to hold absolutely (logically) self-consistent positions on things.  If you’re going to argue that logic compels two contradictory things, however, then the problem with logic is on your end.

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Posted: 11 October 2012 06:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 188 ]
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Yeah, well let’s not worry too much about what Maitzen thinks. I would put it like this. The accidental death of a baby seems to be a clear case of a good thing for the fundamentalist. Sure, the parents will miss the child terribly, but they’re just being selfish here, since it’s clear that the baby will now definitely be much better off. On the other hand, we don’t know what kind of world is likely to send as many souls to heaven as possible - a peaceful and happy one or one that’s full of violence and disasters. Yes, massacres are bad in that you have lots of people disobeying God and breaking his commandments, but a terrible world like this could actually end up bringing more people to Jesus in the long run, and thus sending more people to heaven, which presumably is the goal of the fundamentalist. So there’s no logical problem with someone saying that they’re pretty sure that a baby dying is a good thing, and also that they’re not sure what kind of world is going to maximize the number of souls saved overall.     

I would also add that, for me, almost all fundamentalists are skeptical theists, in that they will always resort to ‘God is mysterious’ when they get into a tight corner. The problem, though, is that this will come back to haunt them when they start discussing ethics and what we should be trying to do to make the world a better place. This for me is the main problem for the fundamentalist. They have to try to make the things they say in a problem of evil/suffering context consistent with their ethics. The thing I like most about Sehon and Maitzen is that they just keep on reminding the fundamentalists of this. You can’t keep these two worlds separate.

[ Edited: 11 October 2012 06:46 PM by Dom1978 ]
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Posted: 13 October 2012 04:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 189 ]
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Dom1978 - 11 October 2012 06:35 PM

Yeah, well let’s not worry too much about what Maitzen thinks.

Okay.  But you were kind of lauding his work in the context of the thread topic.

I would put it like this. The accidental death of a baby seems to be a clear case of a good thing for the fundamentalist. Sure, the parents will miss the child terribly, but they’re just being selfish here, since it’s clear that the baby will now definitely be much better off. On the other hand, we don’t know what kind of world is likely to send as many souls to heaven as possible - a peaceful and happy one or one that’s full of violence and disasters. Yes, massacres are bad in that you have lots of people disobeying God and breaking his commandments, but a terrible world like this could actually end up bringing more people to Jesus in the long run, and thus sending more people to heaven, which presumably is the goal of the fundamentalist. So there’s no logical problem with someone saying that they’re pretty sure that a baby dying is a good thing, and also that they’re not sure what kind of world is going to maximize the number of souls saved overall.

I don’t see how that follows.  If the baby dying is a good thing then it ought to likewise follow that it maximizes the number of souls saved overall. 

AFAICT, you make the conflict vanish by shutting your eyes and assuring me that it has disappeared.     

I would also add that, for me, almost all fundamentalists are skeptical theists, in that they will always resort to ‘God is mysterious’ when they get into a tight corner.

I love that story.  wink

The problem, though, is that this will come back to haunt them when they start discussing ethics and what we should be trying to do to make the world a better place. This for me is the main problem for the fundamentalist. They have to try to make the things they say in a problem of evil/suffering context consistent with their ethics. The thing I like most about Sehon and Maitzen is that they just keep on reminding the fundamentalists of this. You can’t keep these two worlds separate.

Yeah, well.  The way I heard it we’re not worried about what Maitzen says.

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Posted: 14 October 2012 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 190 ]
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Bryan - 01 October 2012 11:18 PM

My point to George was that if we make omnipotence mean the ability to do anything at all regardless of logical possibility then we can throw contradiction out the window.  Contradictions are no obstacle to the god George wants to argue.

I don’t think George does want to argue for that. I think he is saying you are coming up with imaginary logical contradictions to get God off the hook. I think I agree with George, I was agnostic but now find myself to be an atheist, I see these imaginary logical contradictions as excuses for God.

People keep saying “clearly.”  If it was clear then I’d be seeing sound deductive arguments from evil.  Those are pretty scarce from philosophers these days.  Think it’s coincidence?

The deductive argument is pretty obvious:

1) If God existed there would be no evil.

2) There is evil

3) Therefore God does not exist

Of course what you then do is argue with one of the premises of the argument which in this case is premise 1)

The way you do it is to bring in this thing about logical contradictions, somehow it would be a logical contradiction for God to create a world without evil (or less evil). And you bring in free will, (seemingly a logical contradiction in itself).

What makes you think I know this is the best of all logically possible worlds?

I thought that because I take it for granted that God would create the best of all possible worlds.

Stephen

[ Edited: 14 October 2012 09:46 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 14 October 2012 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 191 ]
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StephenLawrence - 14 October 2012 09:23 AM
Bryan - 01 October 2012 11:18 PM

My point to George was that if we make omnipotence mean the ability to do anything at all regardless of logical possibility then we can throw contradiction out the window.  Contradictions are no obstacle to the god George wants to argue.

I don’t think George does want to argue for that. I think he is saying you are coming up with imaginary logical contradictions to get God off the hook. I think I agree with George, I was agnostic but now find myself to be an atheist, I see these imaginary logical contradictions as excuses for God.

If I’m “coming up with imaginary logical contradictions to get God off the hook” then please have the courtesy to identify one or more of them.

People keep saying “clearly.”  If it was clear then I’d be seeing sound deductive arguments from evil.  Those are pretty scarce from philosophers these days.  Think it’s coincidence?

The deductive argument is pretty obvious:

1) If God existed there would be no evil.

2) There is evil

3) Therefore God does not exist

Of course what you then do is argue with one of the premises of the argument which in this case is premise 1)

Obviously, since the modus tonens form is little better than a circular argument for a case like this.  Everything rides on the first premise.  I don’t try to argue with the first premise.  I ask you to reasonably demonstrate why anybody should accept it rather than allowing you to engage in what amounts to a shift of the burden of proof.

The way you do it is to bring in this thing about logical contradictions, somehow it would be a logical contradiction for God to create a world without evil (or less evil). And you bring in free will, (seemingly a logical contradiction in itself).

If you have an argument that would support the main premise in your argument then you’d use it.

You don’t use it

Therefore you don’t have it.

See how that works?

What makes you think I know this is the best of all logically possible worlds?

I thought that because I take it for granted that God would create the best of all possible worlds.

Why would you ignore my explanation above as to why that type of thinking is probably too simplistic?

You’re just trying to keep it simple?  wink

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Posted: 14 October 2012 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 192 ]
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Bryan - 14 October 2012 11:02 AM

If I’m “coming up with imaginary logical contradictions to get God off the hook” then please have the courtesy to identify one or more of them.

The situation is that I say if God existed he would create a world without evil.

You say no he wouldn’t because he would be prevented from doing so because logic doesn’t allow it.

I say these preventions are imaginary.

I’ll leave it to you to identify them and argue why they are not imaginary.

Stephen

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Posted: 14 October 2012 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 193 ]
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StephenLawrence - 14 October 2012 11:29 AM
Bryan - 14 October 2012 11:02 AM

If I’m “coming up with imaginary logical contradictions to get God off the hook” then please have the courtesy to identify one or more of them.

The situation is that I say if God existed he would create a world without evil.

You say no he wouldn’t because he would be prevented from doing so because logic doesn’t allow it.

I say these preventions are imaginary.

I’ll leave it to you to identify them and argue why they are not imaginary.

Stephen

I’ve already done that.  If we remove logical restrictions from omnipotence then God can do anything at all regardless of whether it is logically impossible.  Obviously that includes existing despite the existence of evil.  Or refraining from making a universe free of evil, to put it more precisely in line with your objection.

It isn’t up to me to show that god must produce a universe free of evil.  It’s up to you.  Best of luck.

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Posted: 14 October 2012 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 194 ]
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Bryan - 14 October 2012 11:42 AM
StephenLawrence - 14 October 2012 11:29 AM
Bryan - 14 October 2012 11:02 AM

If I’m “coming up with imaginary logical contradictions to get God off the hook” then please have the courtesy to identify one or more of them.

The situation is that I say if God existed he would create a world without evil.

You say no he wouldn’t because he would be prevented from doing so because logic doesn’t allow it.

I say these preventions are imaginary.

I’ll leave it to you to identify them and argue why they are not imaginary.

Stephen

I’ve already done that.  If we remove logical restrictions from omnipotence then God can do anything at all regardless of whether it is logically impossible.  Obviously that includes existing despite the existence of evil.  Or refraining from making a universe free of evil, to put it more precisely in line with your objection.

It isn’t up to me to show that god must produce a universe free of evil.  It’s up to you.  Best of luck.

Yeah, and while you’re at it, Stephen, prove that the Easter Bunny doesn’t lay jelly beans.  It’s up to you.  (Bryan, OTOH, can assert whatever he wishes, without proof.)

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Posted: 14 October 2012 05:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 195 ]
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TimB - 14 October 2012 03:38 PM
Bryan - 14 October 2012 11:42 AM
StephenLawrence - 14 October 2012 11:29 AM
Bryan - 14 October 2012 11:02 AM

If I’m “coming up with imaginary logical contradictions to get God off the hook” then please have the courtesy to identify one or more of them.

The situation is that I say if God existed he would create a world without evil.

You say no he wouldn’t because he would be prevented from doing so because logic doesn’t allow it.

I say these preventions are imaginary.

I’ll leave it to you to identify them and argue why they are not imaginary.

Stephen

I’ve already done that.  If we remove logical restrictions from omnipotence then God can do anything at all regardless of whether it is logically impossible.  Obviously that includes existing despite the existence of evil.  Or refraining from making a universe free of evil, to put it more precisely in line with your objection.

It isn’t up to me to show that god must produce a universe free of evil.  It’s up to you.  Best of luck.

Yeah, and while you’re at it, Stephen, prove that the Easter Bunny doesn’t lay jelly beans.  It’s up to you.  (Bryan, OTOH, can assert whatever he wishes, without proof.)

Apparently TimB failed to note that I replied to Stephen with a deductive argument in the form of modus ponens.  The same form of argument Stephen used.  So whose proof is better, Tim?  And why?

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