12 of 17
12
How can I respond to the following Christian “apologetic”......
Posted: 05 October 2013 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 166 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4379
Joined  2007-08-31
inthegobi - 04 October 2013 08:22 AM

Theodicy, greek for ‘god’s justice’ just is about the problem of evil, or the problem of unjust suffering (synonyms, I think)

Bold by me. Exactly. Punishing sinners in hell, I suppose, is not unjust in a Christian theology. So that needs no justification, and it cannot count as evil. So we stay at the point: the theodicy is the problem of why an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenovelent God allows evil in the world.

inthegobi - 04 October 2013 08:22 AM

You’re frustrated.

I would say ‘irritated’. I can’t discuss with somebody who says ‘read this’, instead of giving arguments pro or contra a position. I read extensively, but only what I am really interested in at this moment. Here on these fora I discuss. But I am happy to invite you in our philosophy study group in Lucerne, Switzerland…

inthegobi - 04 October 2013 08:22 AM

As for pointing to links or quoting extensively: I just prefer to do it that way. I find that others say things better than I much of the time. Most of the people I’m linking or quoting are more learned or smarter than I, and why examine the lesser when you can get to the greater.

Yeah, and I don’t like it that way. OK? If you cannot explain an argument in your own words, then better learn to do it, as clear (and succinct) as possible.

inthegobi - 04 October 2013 08:22 AM

And let’s face it, most of ‘our’ opinions were gotten from someone. Dennett, Dawkins, Lakoff. C’mon, admit it.

I admit it. But that is hardly a revelation, otherwise I would be a famous philosopher myself. But if you agree with somebody, and represent his ideas, then they are your ideas. And I can defend them independently of who had the original idea. And of course it would be honest to refer to them occasionally, or useful in referring to the one who explains it much better than I do. But if I would react on the topic of consciousness with “read ‘Consciousness explained’”, then that would be clearly overkill, wouldn’t it? I prefer the radical other end: give your arguments in your own words, as if they are your own ideas. Then we get clear discussions in the threads, threads that one can read on.

And as a small aside: as non-native speaker, I have difficulties with some posters here. Some postings I have to read twice or thrice before I understand what they are saying. Your’s belong often to this category. Expressing your thoughts clearly and succinctly helps me to understand what you are saying. I am pretty sure that you, as a philosophy teacher, can do better.

[ Edited: 05 October 2013 07:51 AM by GdB ]
 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 October 2013 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 167 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4379
Joined  2007-08-31
LilySmith - 04 October 2013 08:51 AM

It most certainly does.  We measure time from our vantage point in the universe at this stage of its expansion.  DarronS is then trying to put God in our time frame.  I’m pointing out that God is not so easily put in a box of our making.  Science does not belong solely to the atheist. 

But relativity is absolutely silent about what is outside or before spacetime. Such a concept does not even make sense. You can say anything about what is outside, before, between, under, above or after spacetime. It is a God of a gap, this time not an explanatory gap, but a metaphysical gap.

LilySmith - 04 October 2013 08:51 AM

That’s because the Biblical quotation ends where I put the quotation marks.  Scientific theory tells us that space-time is a part of this universe.  If God created the universe, then he also create the space-time that exists as a part of it.  That’s a logical conclusion given the premise.

Spacetime is not ‘part of the universe’. ‘Spacetime’ is the universe, all of it. And if your God did interfere with human history, then he is in spacetime. You just postulate a miracle God.

LilySmith - 04 October 2013 08:51 AM

My belief does not boil down to ‘because I believe it to be true it is true.’  I’m giving you reasons and explanations for what I believe. 

Sorry, but the reasons are empty. Relativity is not a reason for your belief. You just create a gap of your misunderstanding of relativity in which your God would fit.

LilySmith - 04 October 2013 08:51 AM

It’s corrected itself since science used to posit the universe was eternal, but it has not corrected the Bible since it has always claimed the universe had a beginning and will have an end.

So the universe is created in six days, in the way it is described in Genesis? Science did not correct that idea?

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 October 2013 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 168 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4379
Joined  2007-08-31
inthegobi - 04 October 2013 04:05 PM

(Scratching chin) I guess so. Do you think this is true, or is it just one possible explanation? (In Christian apologetics, we need not prove things, except to prove our doctrines are not against reason. That’s the problem Paul/LaClair is having with us.)

Eh? And when I say the opposite, which might also not contradict reason? What is the value of such explanations? If science is silent about God, I can say everything about him, as long as it does not touch some established scientific theory.

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 October 2013 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 169 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2011
Joined  2007-08-09
GdB - 05 October 2013 07:20 AM

Punishing sinners in hell, I suppose, is not unjust in a Christian theology. So that needs no justification, and it cannot count as evil.

I disagree in the strongest possible terms. The above is an unacceptable form of relativism in the eyes of any person who truly values decency. Punishing anyone eternally with no hope of redemption is consummately evil. I can’t force you to think so but if you can equate hell with justice, then you can justify any atrocity against anyone, any time you like. The notion that it is justice explains much about why Western civilization is spiritually sick.

 Signature 

I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 October 2013 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 170 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  542
Joined  2007-09-29

Paul,

You said

I’ll respectfully decline your offer to have a private discussion. Suffice to say, your epistemology doesn’t convince me in the least. The mere fact that a theologian happened upon a scientific discovery through his theology doesn’t mean that his theology can be credited for it; verification was still accomplished by naturalistic means. This anecdote is like the stopped clock that is right twice a day.

Bishop Tempier’s injunction is not a mere anecdote, but one example among many. A good modern history of science in the West would be helpful. For a contrast in how religion did stab science in the heart, recall the debates surrounding Al Ghazali’s occasionalism (God makes cotton burn, not the match; He does it ‘habitually’, on occasions where burning matches touch cotton). These debates about the role of God in relation to the natural world were not scientific but metaphysical; and yet were important to the health or decline of natural science in European Christian and the Muslim ambits. Unfortunately (heh) there is no such thing as an atheist culture where science arose, so a comparison is tough to make, true.

For more ‘mere facts’ try the atheist historian of science online Tim O’Neill’s Armarium Magnum. He’s good for straightening out the falsehoods perpetrated about Christians and science. I’m a fan of The Renaissance Mathematicus too. he specializes in the Scientific Revolution and Early Modern period.

All fact claims should be subject to the same tests of reliability

That seems a mere assertion. Different kinds of facts should be subject to different kinds of tests. You’re presuming what no-one believes, that God is just the same kind of putative fact as propylene on Titan, or cows in a field. You understand, don’t you, that the Soviet cosmonaut who came back from his trip in space and claimed he didn’t see God or Heaven was a fool, right? Not just mistaken or lacking in scientific rigor - a fool.

So, yeah. Here we are. You can’t understand how anyone intelligent can use anything but Science (trademark) to answer any question, and i can’t understand how all the most wonderful natural science in the world makes an argument for (or against) God’s existence *unethical* epistemology. We lack common ground. Time to shift that ground to something we can agree on.

Chris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 October 2013 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 171 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  542
Joined  2007-09-29

GdB,

I am happy to invite you in our philosophy study group in Lucerne, Switzerland

Yeah, and I don’t like [gesturing to a lot of links]. OK? If you cannot explain an argument in your own words, then better learn to do it, as clear (and succinct) as possible. . . . if I react on the topic of consciousness with “read ‘Consciousness explained’”, then that would be clearly overkill, wouldn’t it? I prefer the radical other end: give your arguments in your own words, as if they are your own ideas. Then we get clear discussions in the threads, threads that one can read on.

Well, that’s very kind of you to invite me! I’ll pack - oh, it’s online. Well, that’s good too smile Let me know how to join. What specific topics do they discuss?

I’ve given my reasons for quoting others and asking people to read. I should add more, because it’s important.
I do this *in context* of this forum.
(1) Some people just don’t do due diligence, and IMO this forum could use a lot more quoting. (IMHO.) I might not do so much linking in a different forum. Another forum I visit likes links - a lot. Curious differences.
(2) As for ‘I better do it your way.’ Heh, I hope that’s a translation blunder! But this *is* a public forum, and you’re free to ignore me. God knows I might ignore me sometimes.
(3) I feel *very* strongly that it is a service to direct people to relevant information.
(4) People here often refuse to believe me or accept my word just on the grounds that I am a Christian. There’s a thread where one poster refuses to even look at a link because, since the link was written by a professional rabbi, it couldn’t be trusted. That’s extreme; but IMO, linking is essential for *me* to participate and make some real contribution.
(5) You might well be going too far to gesture to a whole book by Dennett, for reasons you can discern. I have linked to short articles and pages easily accessed, most tailored for the rushed Internetter. Have some sense of proportion. Most people here know how to Google, too. I haven’t demanded anyone read the entire *Republic* - though a man could do far worse.

And as a small aside: as non-native speaker, I have difficulties with some posters here. . . I am pretty sure that you, as a philosophy teacher, can do better.

You now are too optimistic about me! But I’ll work harder at it. I am in fact a poor writer. Sentences wander without a period in sight. I’ve gotten addicted to the semi-colon, the colon, and - worse - the dash. I use ‘and’ a lot for subordinate clauses. The “-ing” gets worked like a sheepdog. Fortunately, I’m better in front of a class, and class notes tend to be in a rigorous outline style to avoid just these problems.

Chris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 October 2013 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 172 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  296
Joined  2013-07-25
StephenLawrence - 04 October 2013 08:50 PM
LilySmith - 04 October 2013 02:19 PM

 

All of what you say depends on what God is accomplishing.  Your idea is that God should create man, not give him any choice in the matter of his life, make everything pleasant for him and be sure to feed him on time.  And for heaven sake, no natural disasters.

You’re not answering why god didn’t prevent naturals disasters before man came along.

Yes, I am.  Why God created this world to include natural disasters is dependent on what God is using this world for.  He’s using it for the purpose of raising up sons from among mankind.  This was his plan before he created the world and it was his plan before he created man.  That means that the order in which each was created doesn’t matter. 

When you say “any choice” you are talking about libertarian free will which he didn’t and couldn’t give us in any case. And you know this because you know you can’t believe my father is an alien and equally I can’t believe Jesus was the son of god.

I agree man cannot act outside his nature.  However, I also believe God can change man’s nature if man desires him to do so.  Have you ever desired a quality in your life, but it just wasn’t in your nature?  No matter how good your intentions were, you always failed to be different from what you are.  What if God, or whatever you believe is responsible for your design, offered you the ability to be something you weren’t but wanted to be?  A program upgrade of sorts.  By accepting the offer, you could be a different person. 

In Christian teaching, God offers man the forgiveness of sins and the ability to overcome the temptation to sin through faith in Christ.  Christians don’t change themselves, but receive a new nature from God.  It’s called living by the Spirit, rather than the sinful nature.  That’s why Jesus said you must be born again of the Spirit.  You must receive a new element in your life that makes you a different person—a righteous person in the eyes of God. 

So it isn’t about man remaining the same and simply choosing to behave differently.  It’s about man desiring to be something he isn’t, and God providing that new nature for him.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 October 2013 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 173 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2011
Joined  2007-08-09

Chris, before I would get to any of the questions you pose I would have to have a reason to take the proposed existence of a being who predated matter and created the universe out of nothing seriously in the first place. Of course, you can posit another kind of god if you want to, and many have, but then I would have to have a reason to take that hypothesis seriously. The reason I don’t is not just that there isn’t any evidence for a god but also because the history of these beliefs, coupled with an understanding of human psychology, makes crystal clear where these beliefs come from. People wish to believe that someone is in control of all things, so they imagine that there is a god, or gods. There’s no reason to consider the matter beyond that, barring some new development that has not occurred.

 Signature 

I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 October 2013 02:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 174 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  296
Joined  2013-07-25
GdB - 05 October 2013 07:36 AM

But relativity is absolutely silent about what is outside or before spacetime. Such a concept does not even make sense. You can say anything about what is outside, before, between, under, above or after spacetime. It is a God of a gap, this time not an explanatory gap, but a metaphysical gap.

I’m not claiming the theory or relativity says anything about what’s outside or before the universe.  I’m simply pointing to it to explain that time IS relative and is a part of the universe, and therefore God is not bound by our time frame.

Spacetime is not ‘part of the universe’. ‘Spacetime’ is the universe, all of it. And if your God did interfere with human history, then he is in spacetime. You just postulate a miracle God.

Spacetime is not matter.  Matter is also a part of the universe.  My God designed human history.  That’s my point.  He does not interfere in it, it is his creation.  A creator does not have to be in his creation or subject to his creation to affect it. 

Sorry, but the reasons are empty. Relativity is not a reason for your belief. You just create a gap of your misunderstanding of relativity in which your God would fit.

No, just like you I take what I’ve learned from the latest science and incorporate it into my understanding.  The difference is I start from a position of belief in God, as many scientists do, and you start from a belief that there is no God and organize the information you learn into that worldview. 

So the universe is created in six days, in the way it is described in Genesis? Science did not correct that idea?

No, science did not correct the six day creation since it cannot say what time frame the six days were measured in.  Genesis teaches that God existed.  He then created the heavens and the earth.  How do you measure the passage of time at that point—before the sun and earth were put in their place, before the universe expanded to its current size.  What do you use to measure the first day?  On the seventh day God rested.  In scripture we are exhorted to enter that rest.  For all I know, we are still in the seventh day—the day of God’s rest.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 October 2013 04:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 175 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  813
Joined  2009-10-21
LilySmith - 05 October 2013 02:53 PM

I’m simply pointing to it to explain that…

The difference is I start from a position of belief in God, as many scientists do, and you start from a belief that there is no God and organize the information you learn into that worldview. 

You’re starting to sound desperate. When someone uses phrases like “I’m simply…”, that’s a sign they understand their own points are weak.

I don’t start from a belief that there is no God. I start from of a point of using what faculties I have, God given or not, to best understand the universe where I find myself. Thomas Aquinas pointed the “West” in that direction, and we have come a long way since then. If I were “organizing information” into a predetermined worldview, then I would be going against everything I believe about how to discover truth.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 October 2013 08:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 176 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7641
Joined  2008-04-11
LilySmith - 05 October 2013 02:53 PM

No, just like you I take what I’ve learned from the latest science and incorporate it into my understanding.  The difference is I start from a position of belief in God, as many scientists do, and you start from a belief that there is no God and organize the information you learn into that worldview. 


No, that is NOT how science works. We start with a question, formulate a hypothesis which is then tested, and retested, and then we see what the answer is, then others test it to see if you did it right and it can be reproduced. If it is a great breakthrough, and can be reproduced by others, the science community awards you. Conversely, if you upend something thought to be true for a very long time, you get an award.
It is crystal clear you do not understand science.

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 October 2013 12:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 177 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
LilySmith - 05 October 2013 11:55 AM
StephenLawrence - 04 October 2013 08:50 PM

You’re not answering why god didn’t prevent naturals disasters before man came along.

Yes, I am.  Why God created this world to include natural disasters is dependent on what God is using this world for.  He’s using it for the purpose of raising up sons from among mankind.  This was his plan before he created the world and it was his plan before he created man.  That means that the order in which each was created doesn’t matter.

He could have prevented all natural disasters before man and just started them off once man came along. Although why natural disasters are part of the plan at all is still mysterious.

He could also spare all animal suffering in natural disasters and makes sure only man suffers.

I agree man cannot act outside his nature.  However, I also believe God can change man’s nature if man desires him to do so.

Yes perhaps. But that’s *can if…*

Can if circumstances were different. (edit: if there was something different about us)

What God knows is we are merely lucky or unlucky that circumstances are not different since he created the circumstances.

We merely get the desire god gives us (or it appears out of nowhere for no reason at all). There is no way out of this Lily. What you are arguing for is logically impossible.

[ Edited: 06 October 2013 12:43 AM by StephenLawrence ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 October 2013 05:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 178 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2011
Joined  2007-08-09
StephenLawrence - 06 October 2013 12:27 AM
LilySmith - 05 October 2013 11:55 AM
StephenLawrence - 04 October 2013 08:50 PM

You’re not answering why god didn’t prevent naturals disasters before man came along.

Yes, I am.  Why God created this world to include natural disasters is dependent on what God is using this world for.  He’s using it for the purpose of raising up sons from among mankind.  This was his plan before he created the world and it was his plan before he created man.  That means that the order in which each was created doesn’t matter.

He could have prevented all natural disasters before man and just started them off once man came along. Although why natural disasters are part of the plan at all is still mysterious.

He could also spare all animal suffering in natural disasters and makes sure only man suffers.

I agree man cannot act outside his nature.  However, I also believe God can change man’s nature if man desires him to do so.

Yes perhaps. But that’s *can if…*

Can if circumstances were different. (edit: if there was something different about us)

What God knows is we are merely lucky or unlucky that circumstances are not different since he created the circumstances.

We merely get the desire god gives us (or it appears out of nowhere for no reason at all). There is no way out of this Lily. What you are arguing for is logically impossible.

Ms. Smith continues to lay bare her abhorrent theology. A loving parent doesn’t create children for his own use. Every parent knows that each child is born with an inborn temperament; we all hope that each child will be born with the best inborn qualities possible. This notion that a just and loving god would start us off with anything less than the best is ridiculous. But of course, theists like Ms. Smith need corrupted human nature to explain suffering. Problem is, their explanation is absurd.

 Signature 

I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 October 2013 06:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 179 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4379
Joined  2007-08-31
PLaClair - 05 October 2013 10:17 AM

I disagree in the strongest possible terms. The above is an unacceptable form of relativism in the eyes of any person who truly values decency. Punishing anyone eternally with no hope of redemption is consummately evil. I can’t force you to think so but if you can equate hell with justice, then you can justify any atrocity against anyone, any time you like. The notion that it is justice explains much about why Western civilization is spiritually sick.

Eh? From where do you read that I agree that some Christians think this way????

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 October 2013 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 180 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4379
Joined  2007-08-31
LilySmith - 05 October 2013 02:53 PM

I’m not claiming the theory or relativity says anything about what’s outside or before the universe.  I’m simply pointing to it to explain that time IS relative and is a part of the universe, and therefore God is not bound by our time frame.

Which still means you put God in a gap where nobody, which includes you and the authors of the bible, can know anything.

LilySmith - 05 October 2013 02:53 PM

He does not interfere in it, it is his creation.  A creator does not have to be in his creation or subject to his creation to affect it. 

Explain to me the difference between ‘affect’ and ‘cause’. You seem to suppose that miracles exist. Not very scientific.

LilySmith - 05 October 2013 02:53 PM

No, just like you I take what I’ve learned from the latest science and incorporate it into my understanding.  The difference is I start from a position of belief in God, as many scientists do, and you start from a belief that there is no God and organize the information you learn into that worldview. 

Ah? You know my personal history? Well, you are wrong. As a child I believed in God. When I grew up, I learned however that in no science we find any reason to believe in God. We find “we don’t know” in science, but to throw ‘God’ in the gaps of our knowledge is a bad strategy. Of course there are questions that no science can possibly answer, and you can throw your God in there. But then science does not support your belief. It is just silent about it.

LilySmith - 05 October 2013 02:53 PM

No, science did not correct the six day creation since it cannot say what time frame the six days were measured in. 

And you can neither. To do as if you can is, yes, I cannot say it otherwise, dishonest.

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
   
12 of 17
12