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Awesomelyglorious
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10 Nov 2009, 11:07 pm

leejosepho wrote:
However, I am not aware of His ever having done anything to cause any man to embrace or become evil.

Depends on what you think it means when He says that He hardened Pharaoh's heart.

Exo 9:12 But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had spoken to Moses.

It seems as if God there was pushing for Pharaoh to do what was wrong.

In any case, setting up the institutions such that he knew some of us would choose evil itself seems questionable.

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Did He know some of us nevertheless would? I would say He did.

Then why bother with Eden? Or heck, why is free will in the way that would cause us to fall into evil so important? After all, the sort of free will that allows people to fall apparently does not exist in heaven.

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Does that make Him evil? I would say it does not.

I put forward a logical argument. Your response is at best a digression, but it does not address it.

I'll repost it and identify the premises.(as opposed to deductions from those premises)

1) Beings are responsible for the forseeable results of their actions. (Premise)
2) God is omniscient, therefore he knows all results. (Premise)
3) God's action is the basis of all things that occur. (Premise)
4) All of the evils in the universe are foreknown results from God's action(s) (from 2 & 3)
5) Therefore God is responsible for all evils. (from 1 & 4)
6) A world with less evil and no loss in goodness is possible. (Premise)
7) Therefore God is responsible for gratuitous evil (from 1, 2, 3, and 6)
8 ) Good beings do not cause gratuitous evil. (Premise)
9) Therefore God is not good. (from 7 & 8 )
10) God is defined as good. (Premise)
11) Therefore God does not exist (from 9 & 10)

Perhaps you want to address premise 1. If so, I would suggest stating my first premise, and then do the following two things: argue that the premise is counter-intuitive in some manner(try to get at the meaning, not just the phrasing in case there is some ambiguity or where if I had inserted or deleted some words the premise would be more correct in context) and suggest a different notion.

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But if He does not exist, then why are we discussing Him?

Existence does not equal viability as a discussion, or argument topic. People often discuss aliens and AIs but this does not entail that either exist. The issue is just that the logical possibility does exist in some form or fashion, different people hold different positions on it, and it poses some interesting philosophical problems. Minds often like exploring these ideas.



leejosepho
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11 Nov 2009, 6:22 am

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
It seems as if God there was pushing for Pharaoh to do what was wrong.


Nope. He let him have we He wanted, and He even made sure plenty was available.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
... why bother with Eden [if He knew some of us would embrace or become evil]?


A good way to show us what is available and to gtet us started on a right track.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Or heck, why is free will in the way that would cause us to fall into evil so important?


How does free will cause us to fall?

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
I put forward a logical argument ...


Not that I could recognize. All I saw was a bit of rhetoric.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Beings are responsible for the forseeable results of their actions.


Neither baking a cake and making it available to you nor sending to you the ingredients so you can make one yourself makes me responsible for whatever you later do with that cake even if I knew all the possibilities beforehand.


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TheOddGoat
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11 Nov 2009, 7:11 am

leejosepho wrote:
Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Beings are responsible for the forseeable results of their actions.


Neither baking a cake and making it available to you nor sending to you the ingredients so you can make one yourself makes me responsible for whatever you later do with that cake even if I knew all the possibilities beforehand.


You aren't omniscient or omnipotent, so that is a non-sequitur. You even said that the results of your actions are not forseeable to you - you just know multiple possible outcomes.

If you were omniscient and omnipotent and you did that, you would be in complete control of everything and know exactly what would happen, not the possibilities - you would be aware of the only possible outcome, because if you didn't know exactly what would happen you wouldn't be omniscient. Additionally, because you would be omnipotent you could have done an infinite number of other things with an infinite number of alternative outcomes, but you chose to deliberately do something by exerting your omnipotence, knowing exactly what would happen.

Awesomelyglorious put forward a logical argument in the clearest notation possible and even labeled it for you. If my crude way of putting the argument originally and Ag's sophisticated ways don't seem like logical arguments to you, how do you think a logical argument should be written out?

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Not so. His inability to contradict Himself is a matter of character, not potency.


But potency is a matter of character so you are contradicting yourself unless you specify which characteristic besides potency lack of power relates to.

"His inability to juggle is a matter of ability, not juggling skill."



TheOddGoat
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11 Nov 2009, 7:21 am

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
I expect that 6 is the point that would be most contested.


Sorry for double post.

But, I think another point can be taken from this.

If god could not have created a world with less evil then he isn't omnipotent. If he could, but didn't he isn't benevolent.

I think there's an epic quote from Epicurus along those lines?



techstepgenr8tion
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11 Nov 2009, 7:38 am

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
1) Beings are responsible for the forseeable results of their actions. (Premise)
2) God is omniscient, therefore he knows all results. (Premise)
3) God's action is the basis of all things that occur. (Premise)
4) All of the evils in the universe are foreknown results from God's action(s) (from 2 & 3)
5) Therefore God is responsible for all evils. (from 1 & 4)
6) A world with less evil and no loss in goodness is possible. (Premise)
7) Therefore God is responsible for gratuitous evil (from 1, 2, 3, and 6)
8 ) Good beings do not cause gratuitous evil. (Premise)
9) Therefore God is not good. (from 7 & 8 )
10) God is defined as good. (Premise)
11) Therefore God does not exist (from 9 & 10)


All of those bullet points seem like they have a pretty sound logical flow until I get to 8 through 11 where the logical operator seems more like sentiment.



TheOddGoat
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11 Nov 2009, 7:44 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Awesomelyglorious wrote:
1) Beings are responsible for the forseeable results of their actions. (Premise)
2) God is omniscient, therefore he knows all results. (Premise)
3) God's action is the basis of all things that occur. (Premise)
4) All of the evils in the universe are foreknown results from God's action(s) (from 2 & 3)
5) Therefore God is responsible for all evils. (from 1 & 4)
6) A world with less evil and no loss in goodness is possible. (Premise)
7) Therefore God is responsible for gratuitous evil (from 1, 2, 3, and 6)
8 ) Good beings do not cause gratuitous evil. (Premise)
9) Therefore God is not good. (from 7 & 8 )
10) God is defined as good. (Premise)
11) Therefore God does not exist (from 9 & 10)


All of those bullet points seem like they have a pretty sound logical flow until I get to 8 through 11 where the logical operator seems more like sentiment.


Add in another premise before 8 saying good is the opposite of evil? And then have 8 be a statement?



ThatRedHairedGrrl
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11 Nov 2009, 8:30 am

techstepgener8tion seems to have said the most coherent thing so far.

My view would be that there seems to be an actual experience at the heart of religion; what has been called cosmic consciousness, the mystical experience, there are a bunch of different names for it. 'Unitive experience' is a good basic non-denominational term, because the keynote of it appears to be feeling part of a much bigger unity. You can believe that it's supernatural, or you can believe it's just a quirk of the human brain, although that leaves you with the problem of explaining why it happens. But it seems to be pretty universal, and it happens to a lot of people who keep it purely personal and don't feel any need to form a system round it (or often, simply slot it into the religious system they were raised with). When people do form a system round it is when the problem starts, because then it collects the accretions of the culture, and that's when you get conflict between different systems of dogma, ritual and so forth.

At an outward glance, there appears to be not much in common between Christianity and Buddhism (except aspects of their morality, which is arguably a human system that's developed over time, from primate group behavior onwards, for the purpose of us being able to get along with each other in a civilised manner...which is why different religions don't like each other, because the radical notion that 'actually, chaps, beating up those slightly different looking apes is not OK' has taken rather a long time to catch on.) When, however, you look at the writings of some of the Zen masters and the writings of Christian mystics like, say, Meister Eckhart or the author of the Cloud of Unknowing, you start to see distinct similarities in what they're saying, and often a use of almost identical language. Same goes for the mystics of other apparently conflicting religions.

As for the 'problem of evil', that rather depends on your view of God, or whatever you call Ultimate Reality. If you have this idea of a creator who's separate from things, and perfect (i.e. good in all the ways we perceive life in general as not being), then you have the issue of where imperfection in the creation comes from. I tend to take the view that maybe a lot of what we call 'evil', outside of human causes, is just the way the universe had to be. Omelettes and broken eggs, plate tectonics and earthquakes, DNA and ageing. Even in human terms, how much do we really know about why people act the way they do? Not enough, I'd argue, to say that everyone always has a totally free choice about everything they do.

I think the Buddha's viewpoint - 'Never mind who shot the arrow - get it out of the guy's foot, already!' - has a lot going for it. In other words, argument about the origin of suffering is much less important than taking steps to relieve it. (Actually, if you read the Gospels carefully - 'Who sinned that this man was born blind?' - it's clear that Jesus thought along the same lines.)


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TheOddGoat
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11 Nov 2009, 8:52 am

If the universe -had- to be created this way then the god is not omnipotent and then why call it god?

My entire spectrum of feelings:
Main, base feeling-neutral.
interest, which leads to happiness through understanding or completion.
Fury.
I only really empathise with animals - dogs and reptiles in particular and this makes me happy.

I believe what you are talking about is a delusion that apparently some aspies don't have, a sense of relation to everything else leads to being over emotional and having a perceived vested interest in things where there is no vested interest.

P.S. what Leejosepho, Awesomelyglorious and I were talking about was the abrahamic god in particular.

If you can experience something, it is not supernatural because it has been experienced by you and humans are part of nature. Even if something supernatural caused something to happen, the effect would be part of nature, otherwise we would not be able to sense it.



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11 Nov 2009, 10:07 am

leejosepho wrote:
Nope. He let him have we He wanted, and He even made sure plenty was available.


Well, the passage in Exodus seems as if God intervened to make sure that the Pharaoh acted in a negative manner. I would

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A good way to show us what is available and to gtet us started on a right track.

Not really, given that there isn't much of a recollection of Eden and a lack of evidence that Eden ever was.

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How does free will cause us to fall?

Umm.... the existence of free will is cited as a reason why we fell. This means that there are a few possible issues:
1) Either the free choice given

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Not that I could recognize. All I saw was a bit of rhetoric.

Ok, I will cite it again.

1) Beings are responsible for the forseeable results of their actions. (Premise)
2) God is omniscient, therefore he knows all results. (Premise)
3) God's action is the basis of all things that occur. (Premise)
4) All of the evils in the universe are foreknown results from God's action(s) (from 2 & 3)
5) Therefore God is responsible for all evils. (from 1 & 4)
6) A world with less evil and no loss in goodness is possible. (Premise)
7) Therefore God is responsible for gratuitous evil (from 1, 2, 3, and 6)
8 ) Perfectly good beings do not cause gratuitous evil. (Premise)
9) Therefore God is not perfectly good. (from 7 & 8 )
10) God is defined as perfectly good. (Premise)
11) Therefore God does not exist (from 9 & 10)

That isn't a set of rhetoric. That is a logical argument. It might not be a good logical argument, but it is the job of an opponent to show where I am slipping up, so long as I am putting forward arguments honestly. I will even edit something.

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Neither baking a cake and making it available to you nor sending to you the ingredients so you can make one yourself makes me responsible for whatever you later do with that cake even if I knew all the possibilities beforehand.

Well.... actually yes. There is a reason why people need to diet together, because temptations will cause them to fail. If you are tempting a person with cake, knowing about their diet, then you are partially at fault if their diet fails. It is sort of like saying that you bear no responsibility for the results if you tell a man that his wife is cheating on him, and then then offer him a gun.

God is omniscient though, he knows what a person will do with a cake and a gun as well.

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Awesomelyglorious wrote:
1) Beings are responsible for the forseeable results of their actions. (Premise)
2) God is omniscient, therefore he knows all results. (Premise)
3) God's action is the basis of all things that occur. (Premise)
4) All of the evils in the universe are foreknown results from God's action(s) (from 2 & 3)
5) Therefore God is responsible for all evils. (from 1 & 4)
6) A world with less evil and no loss in goodness is possible. (Premise)
7) Therefore God is responsible for gratuitous evil (from 1, 2, 3, and 6)
8 ) Good beings do not cause gratuitous evil. (Premise)
9) Therefore God is not good. (from 7 & 8 )
10) God is defined as good. (Premise)
11) Therefore God does not exist (from 9 & 10)


All of those bullet points seem like they have a pretty sound logical flow until I get to 8 through 11 where the logical operator seems more like sentiment.

Premise 8 does not seem questionable, perhaps you want me to say "perfectly good" but either way the point is established, and I could be clearer about gratuitous evil. A gratuitous evil is an evil that is not justified by a greater good, and the existence of these was suggested in premise 6, where it was suggested that better worlds were possible. I could also use "perfectly good" in premise 10. I don't expect that "perfectly good" will be a questionable representation of the matter.



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11 Nov 2009, 10:08 am

TheOddGoat wrote:
Add in another premise before 8 saying good is the opposite of evil? And then have 8 be a statement?

I consider that gratuitous. Evil is usually considered the opposite of good as a matter of definition. I would only do this if I noticed people with definitions of evil I considered weird.



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11 Nov 2009, 10:12 am

leejosepho wrote:
TheOddGoat wrote:
If he can't contradict himself he is limited and therefore not omnipotent.


Not so. His inability to contradict Himself is a matter of character, not potency.


Then he is not omnipotent. He cannot change himself? Not omnipotent.


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11 Nov 2009, 10:25 am

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
TheOddGoat wrote:
Add in another premise before 8 saying good is the opposite of evil? And then have 8 be a statement?

I consider that gratuitous. Evil is usually considered the opposite of good as a matter of definition. I would only do this if I noticed people with definitions of evil I considered weird.


Rap music?

But I was thinking that maybe leejosepho didn't see the argument in it because it wasn't broken down enough?



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11 Nov 2009, 11:43 am

Fuzzy wrote:
Then he is not omnipotent. He cannot change himself? Not omnipotent.

I agree with leejosepho. There is a real difference between potency and character. If I cannot break my vow, rarely is this a matter of being lacking physical ability, but rather lacking will to do something of this nature. And a being can be defined as having unlimited power, without having the will to do all things. Perhaps a "won't" is better than a "can't", but I don't see how it makes much of a difference in this case.



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11 Nov 2009, 12:54 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Fuzzy wrote:
Then he is not omnipotent. He cannot change himself? Not omnipotent.

I agree with leejosepho. There is a real difference between potency and character. If I cannot break my vow, rarely is this a matter of being lacking physical ability, but rather lacking will to do something of this nature. And a being can be defined as having unlimited power, without having the will to do all things. Perhaps a "won't" is better than a "can't", but I don't see how it makes much of a difference in this case.


But then his power is controlled by, and therefore limited by, his will.

His power is not limitless. Power with literally no limit at any time would not be able to be controlled because it would be doing an infinite number of things an infinite number of times if it really had no limit whatsover. In fact, having control placed over it would be a limit in itself.



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11 Nov 2009, 4:21 pm

TheOddGoat wrote:
But then his power is controlled by, and therefore limited by, his will.

His power is not limitless. Power with literally no limit at any time would not be able to be controlled because it would be doing an infinite number of things an infinite number of times if it really had no limit whatsover. In fact, having control placed over it would be a limit in itself.

Umm... being controlled isn't being limited. Power has no will, so an omnipotent thing with no will could not do anything. So, I only see direction, not limitation.

The capability to do something, does not entail doing it. If God were omnipotent, then he would be able to control His omnipotence. In any case, as I said before, power lacks will. All of the power in the world undirected by will would do nothing, so I have to object to your starting point.



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11 Nov 2009, 4:34 pm

TheOddGoat wrote:
If you were omniscient and omnipotent and you did that [cake thing], you would be in complete control of everything ...


No. I suppose I theoretically *could* be in the sense of micro-controlling every little detail, but omniscient-plus-omnipotent does not mean I am thus automatically *required* to be "in complete control" and/or "responsible for the outcome" in the ways we mere humans think.


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