You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 02, 2016, 10:44:39 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox  (Read 7946 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Kate

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #100 on: December 25, 2010, 06:11:21 PM »
Zakharra / Silverfyre,

I am being straight out with it.

If my posts frustrate you don't read them.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2010, 06:13:01 PM by Kate »

Offline Trieste

  • Faerie Queen; Her Imperial Lubemajesty; Willing Victim
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: In the middle of Happily Ever After with a dark Prince Charming.
  • Gender: Female
  • I am many things - dull is not one of them.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 4
Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #101 on: December 25, 2010, 06:15:00 PM »
The bickering needs to stop.

Offline Tick

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #102 on: January 02, 2011, 01:12:52 AM »
Just going to throw out my person experience on the topic for what it's worth and try to touch on a few other people's points if I can. Some people, no offense Kate, in all honesty I couldn't really follow even after looking up a few words at trying. So instead of trying to respond to it and missing your point entirely, most likely due to my own fault, I am going to skip it till I get a better feeling that I understand.

In my experience there are a few reasons for why God(using Christian since I have the most experience with this particular version/belief system) allows evil in this world, and pointing out my person problems with those arguments, if anyone cares to pick them up and show me away around my little issues i welcome you to do so. I am open to such things.

1. God gave us free will and evil is born from that.

Honestly, I would agree that free will, or more specifically how we tend to utilize it, is the root cause of the most negative of events in life. Rape, torture(not the fun kind) and theft(is some ways worse then death) are all of human, or free wills, cause.

But as stated earlier, God is suppose to be all knowing, so that would mean such a response should be expected. And if he did not see evils birth coming then he cannot be all knowing. Which is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, attributes if god. So by creating free will, he had to have been aware of what would happen for the Perfect God to exist.

2. The choice to be evil is Gods way of testing us.

Okay now this is an almost good point. By seeing our response to the options given God could accurately decide who deserved Paradise and who doesn't. It seems simple and it is in a way. But the beat argument against this that I have seen, or made against it is that, as stated before. God is all knowing according to the teachings. God is perfect, god is a god, thus he must be all knowing. So where is the fault here? As someone stated earlier in the thread(forgive me for not looking it up, i am terrible with names and I am forced to use my iPad and I am not used to it and i have deleted posts four times already by accident. Or rather lost them) God would know how our lives would play out, even through free will since i can predict someone in a game just by knowing how they think, he should be able to predict our lives just by calculating everything. Despite common beliefs, humans tend to be rather predictable. So if he knows who will make it to heaven before they are even far into their lives. Or if he simply just knows. Is it not predestined rather then freewill?(again, reference to person whose name i unfortunately cannot remember). Agreeably so, why would he have to send so many people to hell, Make people go through so much pain, when he already knows who is destined to make it to heaven. Would it not be more kind and loving and overall Perfect to simply create them in heaven? Save the majority that he would, inevitably be damning to hell, and that he would knowingly be sending to hell, which is suppose to be like torture that nothing on earth can describe. Just seems to me like he would be setting up millions of people to horrible fates and knowingly doing so.

Now an argument I thought of in response to this(yes I argue with myself, get off me. Or I am remembering something i read and forgot.) is that god intervenes when he thinks someone can be saved. Would that not be giving that person a chance to turn to god. And being all powerful, he could give everyone that chance at once.

My problem with this, is that there would still be people who would miss or ignore or misunderestand that chance. And he would obviously know that. And if he was willing to give everyone that nudge' wouldn't he also know who that nudge would work on and who it wouldn't. In that case if he set a median nudge to help everyone, that would still mean half the people wouldn't respond accordingly to that. To use an example to explain since I am pretty sure i am making no sense. Imagine a girls mother dies in a car wreck and she stops believing in god since he took her mother away. Well in return the mother appears in her dreams and talks to her and helps her back on the path. In that same respect, if one of the most famous serial killers mother,(wish I remembered this guys name) who was a prostitute, pushed him into prostitution, married him to a prostitute, and who he personally killed. If this murderer saw his mother in his dreams, I, forgive me for being arrogant and assuming i know, don't think he would turn to god. And though god is all knowing and all powerful and by that would know and be capable of what it would take to convert this man, if he scaled that opportunity to convert this man over, is that really free will when he knows that man will respond how he will.

Seems to contradict free will and make Divine intervention a contradiction of what makes us supposedly unique.

And lastly, argument three, the Devil is the root of evil.

From my understanding, Satan, according to the bible was an angel of god who took advantage of his free will and betrayed god. So... Again, free wills fault, and god should have known according to the all knowing part of perfection.


Sorry if i was unclear in anything i tried to have it make sense. Having trouble writing so forgive me and take m opinion for what its worth. I got a C in my philosophy freshman course so obviously I barely know what I am talking about.

I respect and promote all religions, but as one who seeks the Truth, I have yet to identify with any religion since i have not felt an have given me just reason to believe(no offense to any religion) and thus I am defined as agnostic. Thank you for reading all of this as you have and you are free from my mess of a mind now.

Offline Kate

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #103 on: January 02, 2011, 01:45:47 AM »
Posting my beliefs on these issues creates passionate disagreement on what reality is
and seems to provoke insults from others.

Bickering appeared rappidly when a few agreed with each other on the inappropriateness of my logic... from their perspective.

Trieste then locked this thread.

Debating what is evil and good or god's perspective for humanity or its existence cant seem to be one I can be part of without it becoming something else which is unpleasant.

Although I have answers to you thoughts which explain matters without inconsistency in my own understanding of reality, voicing them here will likely cause more grief than good, so I will not post again (this doesn't mean I have run our of arguments or reasons to or faith in my perspective).

Offline Tick

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #104 on: January 02, 2011, 01:58:08 AM »
Well if you can try simplifying your views a bit(no offense I am just not that bright) so that I can keep up a it better I would happily discuss such things with you on pms(Don't think I can use them yet but if/when I can.)

Offline Trieste

  • Faerie Queen; Her Imperial Lubemajesty; Willing Victim
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: In the middle of Happily Ever After with a dark Prince Charming.
  • Gender: Female
  • I am many things - dull is not one of them.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 4
Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #105 on: January 02, 2011, 07:53:23 AM »
Posting my beliefs on these issues creates passionate disagreement on what reality is
and seems to provoke insults from others.

Bickering appeared rappidly when a few agreed with each other on the inappropriateness of my logic... from their perspective.

Trieste then locked this thread.

Debating what is evil and good or god's perspective for humanity or its existence cant seem to be one I can be part of without it becoming something else which is unpleasant.

Although I have answers to you thoughts which explain matters without inconsistency in my own understanding of reality, voicing them here will likely cause more grief than good, so I will not post again (this doesn't mean I have run our of arguments or reasons to or faith in my perspective).

What got the thread locked was the fact that people were starting to attack the person behind the views, which is unacceptable. It is, however, in your best interests to try to be as clear as possible.

Offline Kate

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #106 on: January 02, 2011, 09:41:08 AM »
well Tick if you want me to explain say so and i will make another thread in rel and politics that is titled "How Kate sees reality"
- which is open to anyone to post in - which I will take the time to answer the questions you have presented

I don't think its appropriate for me to do so in this one though.

Offline Star Safyre

  • Mrs. Fyre or, if you're slightly more daring, O Captain my Captain.
  • Dame
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2010
  • Location: Beyond the flesh
  • He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #107 on: January 02, 2011, 10:32:35 AM »
well Tick if you want me to explain say so and i will make another thread in rel and politics that is titled "How Kate sees reality"
- which is open to anyone to post in - which I will take the time to answer the questions you have presented

I don't think its appropriate for me to do so in this one though.

If the questions are between you both, I'd suggest placing it in the Dialogues board.  If anyone cares to comment on your dialogue, there's a board for that.

Offline Shjade

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #108 on: January 02, 2011, 11:31:08 AM »
Alright, there's too much in the thread to respond to all of it and I'd be rehashing too much trying to do so anyway, so just three things. First, @the OP:
...I don't even NEED to be religious or even read the freakin' Bible to get this one :/ What do you think would happen if God started reading Superman comics and got it in his head to duplicate into endless copies of himself so that he could swoop down and save every single puppy that falls in a storm drain, cure every instance of brain cancer, stop every bus full of kids from careening off a bridge? He'd be making a big mistake. Coddled children always end up screwed later in life, because they never faced hardship and never had to rely on themselves. So what happens when God babies us and then we go ahead to split the first atom, hmm? Without the tragedies of the past to learn from, what do you think we'd do with a nuke? We're spoilt, immature children with an overprotective father figure and a world ending weapon we are not ready to use.

And even so, if there is a Heaven, wouldn't making the mortal world free of pain and sadness completely defeat the purpose? Heaven would be rendered redundant!
There is a difference between permitting hardships to exist - what you described above - and creating those hardships. Depending on how omnipotent and omniscient a God we're talking about, the former cannot occur without the latter: he's not just allowing that busload of kids to go off a cliff, he personally chucked them off.

Rather different situation, ne?

But Shjade, you say, God gave us free will and said, "Go to it," ages ago. There's no way he's directly responsible for a schoolbus skidding off a cliff to doom thirty some-odd people, most of them under age 14, millenia later!

Well, if he's all-powerful and all-knowing, yes, yes he is. It doesn't matter how far ahead in time these events took place and how many decisions were made between the creation of humanity's free will and that bus manufacturer's decision to use inferior brake lines, God already knew everything. Even before he created free will he knew everything that would happen after doing so. He may not have technically made the decisions that led to the event, but he was aware of what decisions would be made and enabled them. He is, therefore, directly responsible. For everything. Good and bad.

"What about the Devil?"

Who do you think made him, knowing full well what would follow?

God is everything good. That characteristic in no way disqualifies him from also being everything evil. He has to be, really: everything requires balance. God is a total dick at least as often as he's life-changing for the better, and he can be awesome in both respects.

The thing is, colossal dick moves tend to be more obvious and get more press. Everyone remembers the time you accidentally set the carpet on fire - they tell that story every Thanksgiving. How often do they talk about when you installed it overnight as a Christmas present seven years earlier? Maybe as an anecdote to give context to your setting it on fire, but the fire story's going to be the headline from then on, isn't it? Silly comparison, I know, but what can I say, sometimes I'm silly.

I'm rambling. The point I'm trying to make is that the "if God is so good etc." argument isn't really an argument against the existence of God. It is a somewhat persuasive (depending on how well-argued it is) point against the existence of a strictly all-good God. I mean, sure, you can argue the whole "mysterious ways" thing and maybe in hindsight at the end of existence it will all make sense (or not - who knows), but it's still pretty hard to justify infant deaths, genocide, etc. as not being cruel on some level attributable to God, especially with some of the tried and true justifications like the aforementioned "mysterious ways" or, my favorite, "he is testing us." Okay, sure, he's testing us with the trial of that baby's death, maybe I can accept that...but how does being abruptly dead "test" the baby? What's he/she supposed to learn from being killed that early? It's practically justifying live sacrifice for the sake of faith in God, a practice I'm pretty sure the majority of his worshipers would be hard-pressed to support these days. Maybe some can, I don't know, but it seems like a difficult position to defend.

Honestly, from where I look at it, it just seems sensible to accept that God is everything rather than only the good, but that's just me.

Related:
2) merely because God knows the outcome doesn't mean that it's predetermined. I may know the outcome of the result of the Cote d'Ivoire election, but that does't mean I rigged it.
You might not have rigged it yourself, no, but given you set in motion the creation of the persons who are responsible for the outcome of the election it's difficult to claim the outcome wasn't predetermined. The winner was decided ages before the government running that election even existed. It wasn't forced - those voters still chose to vote the way that they did - but the choices were made well in advance of their respective births.

In other words, yes, you have free will...but you have also already made all of your choices (in that the choices you will make in the past, present and future are already known, thus already made), meaning your life is predetermined. It just wasn't predetermined for you - you made all your choices the moment God conceived of creating humanity and giving them free will (which was, theoretically speaking, the beginning of the universe).

I'm sure this sounds contradictory, but it isn't: free will and predetermination aren't technically exclusive to one another, though I suppose it depends on your point of view to some extent.

There is no situation in which rape or sexual assault is good. I find arguments based on karma to be deeply unconvincing - 'you deserve it'.
That's...not quite how it works...eh. I think in this case an examination of dharma might be even more relevant and interesting. Specifically: looking at this from the perspective of the victim rape, murder, theft, etc. are all clearly "bad things," but in some systems of belief it's possible not only that there is a specific reason the victim is on the receiving end of these actions, but that the perpetrator is the person enacting them. It's possible that committing this heinous act is the only way for the rapist (and, bizarre as this may sound, for their victim) to progress toward a higher state of existence, though it is likely a step taken backward in order to later move forward.

Really, if you're going to get into the whole karmic cycle conversation, that gets real complicated real fast. It's not really on the same page as the "is God good" question at all - it's an entirely different system of beliefs from an extremely different perspective toward life and existence as a whole. Trying to combine them is a mistake; it's just going to lead to confusion and frustration for everyone involved eventually. I suspect this is why people started getting irritable: it's not that the argument was becoming too complex, it was incorporating ideas from other systems of belief that aren't compatible.

It would be like having a discussion about the merits of car safety in various models based on their size, handling, etc. and having someone point out that airplanes are safer than any of them. It might be true, and they are both types of vehicles, but it's not really comparing the same things, is it?
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 11:37:40 AM by Shjade »

Offline Kate

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #109 on: January 02, 2011, 07:28:22 PM »
Shjade - that was a really interesting read.

Much of what you have detailed I agree with.

Thankyou for putting the effort into detailing your thoughts on the matter

Offline Tick

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #110 on: January 02, 2011, 07:32:43 PM »
I agree with Kate though there is one thing I noticed in oarticular that sparked my interest. You mentioned that because god is suppose to be perfectly good that doesn't mean he can't be perfectly bad/evil/whatever as well. Which is true but in that case would it really be just for him to condemn Satan for being evil? just a thought I had.

Offline Kate

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #111 on: January 02, 2011, 07:36:08 PM »

Lets move that specific issue into another thread ..

exploration of what good and evil is ...

Tick feel free to re-present your questions or topics you wish to discuss on that specific issue there
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 07:37:18 PM by Kate »

Offline Shjade

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #112 on: January 02, 2011, 11:35:56 PM »
I agree with Kate though there is one thing I noticed in oarticular that sparked my interest. You mentioned that because god is suppose to be perfectly good that doesn't mean he can't be perfectly bad/evil/whatever as well. Which is true but in that case would it really be just for him to condemn Satan for being evil? just a thought I had.
The new thread would probably be better for discussing what "perfectly good" and "perfectly evil" might mean. As for the last bit, though, I can think of a few reasons for that foible of religious detail. That'd take too long, though, so I'll just posit one: God was trying to dumb it down for us.

Remember earlier when I pointed out that blaming all the bad things that happen in the world on "mysterious ways" doesn't make for a very strong or convincing argument? It's just too ambiguous - there's no way of knowing if or when any of it will EVER make sense. How is that supposed to give people goals in life or understand what anything means, or if anything means anything?

Well, what if they had some antagonist to blame, or at least to hold responsible? That seems much simpler.

Time for another silly analogy: it's like meeting your new boss at corporate headquarters and being reassured by him that you can trust him, that he's keeping your job safe in these trying times and all he needs in return is your loyalty. Immediately after telling you this he says that, unfortunately, while that is true, he's also going to be responsible for your untimely death in three weeks.

How hard is it going to be for you to trust him for the next three weeks, no matter how good he is to you during that time, knowing that at the end of it he's going to kill you?

It's easy to talk about God being both sides of the coin in theory, on an individual basis in discussion. In practice, especially trying to tell that to the masses, that's probably not going to go over very well. Who's going to have faith in the awesome God who gave them life and a world to live in and wonderful families and so on and so forth if they also have to accept he's the one raping their children and tossing hurricanes around seemingly whenever he feels like it and is generally a jerk? This kind of thing was expected in, say, the Greek pantheon, but those folks also sorta tried to use various gods as totems against each other, believing Zeus would protect them from, say, Poseidon's wrath. At least one of the many gods had to be on their side even if the others weren't. If there were only one God and he was responsible for all that is good and all that is evil and indifferent to sacrifice and good works (depending on which interpretation of Christian religion you examine, good works have to be done to save you, or sacrifices are necessary, or all you have to do to reach paradise is believe in him, and so on, which makes it hard to hold any one practice as "correct" so you can't be sure any of it matters at all), what's the incentive to have faith in him at all? The same shit's going to fall on your head either way, right?

So he creates an adversary that everyone can understand, an alter-ego for himself, "the Evil One." He creates an entity he knows will be responsible for upheaval and division among the heavenly host because the host needs to be divided in order for mortals to comprehend it in a way to which they can relate. Damning Satan and casting him out gives people a foundation for making judgments on who is good and who is evil, what to do and what not to do, who to follow and who to reject, in very simple terms: this one is "good," this one is "evil." Satan acts as God's puppet to achieve his goals.

That's just one possibility, anyway. I could probably outline others, but they're all equally immune to testing, so there's not really much point debating which theory, if any, is more accurate than the others. I suppose it sorta skirted the question, though, didn't it. Is it "just" for God to use Satan that way? I don't know. When you're responsible for every action in the universe, can anything you've done be described as "just" or "unjust?" This is an issue with good and evil as well, of course, but justice is an even more difficult concept to define than good or evil - you can often get a fair amount of consensus on acts that are good versus those that are evil, but trying to determine which of those acts are just (for not all just actions are necessarily good and not all evil actions are necessarily unjust) is a mess of perceptions, opinions, comparative values, and on and on down a deep dark hole full of mirrors.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 11:39:44 PM by Shjade »

Offline Tick

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #113 on: January 02, 2011, 11:51:22 PM »
I had similar idea, and you put it in a. Much clearer way then in my head but the problem that lies in the idea of Satan being Gods alter ego is that there are sections of the Christian faith who believe the bible is real word for word. Or rather, literal interpretation.

Obviously there are problems there that need little explanation but that is only a section of Christians. So what about the rest of the sects? I wonder on this idea, if God is both perfect good and perfect Evil, does that mean that he hates us as much as loves us according to the bible? According to my understanding Satan is described as spiting and hating the human race, so if he is Satan...

Offline Shjade

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #114 on: January 03, 2011, 12:02:54 AM »
I had similar idea, and you put it in a. Much clearer way then in my head but the problem that lies in the idea of Satan being Gods alter ego is that there are sections of the Christian faith who believe the bible is real word for word. Or rather, literal interpretation.
I don't see that as a problem. If I understand the concepts that allow a 747 to fly, it isn't a problem for me that someone else thinks it is lifted by faeries. Someone disagreeing with an idea doesn't make it wrong. They just believe something different is true. Perhaps it's a problem for them, but it doesn't create a problem in the way things are, how ever that turns out to be.

Put another way, if, at the end of the universe, it turns out God is, in fact, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the fact that millions upon millions of people might deny that won't change anything. They might be upset about it, but that doesn't mean it's a problem for anyone but them.

As for the hate and spite, goes back to my original statement: God is everything and everything requires balance. If he is capable of unconditional love, he's also capable of unconditional hate. And really, it makes sense, doesn't it? How could he cause world-rending catastrophes if he didn't hate us? True, he could be completely immune to emotion altogether, but that resembles hate in its own way from a human point of view, ie: he killed my entirely family and never even blinked, he must hate me.

Offline Tick

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #115 on: January 03, 2011, 12:10:22 AM »
Do you happen to be a teacher? If so enroll me please.

So can I change the view point a bit?

If God both hates and loves us, then what decides how he treats us?

I can't imagine a bipolar or God that does whatever he feels like at the time.

Would you think he intentionally keeps a balance or that is just circumstantial? I would think it would be a semi concious act. Though I am being arrogant to assume I know what god is thinking, but I guess it just makes sense to me that he keeps a sort of mental tally.

I am curious to hear other opinions

Offline Shjade

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #116 on: January 03, 2011, 12:28:02 AM »
Me, a teacher? ^.^; It's been suggested for me a few times, but it's not something I've ever pursued - I don't think I have the patience for it. I try to explain things, but if the explanation doesn't work...I dunno, I tend to get frustrated with people who don't understand something that I understand, which seems like a poor quality in a teacher, ne?

That and I hate doing research so I'd probably be teaching things that aren't strictly accurate. ;p

But I dunno, I hadn't considered something like philosophy where what's "right" isn't so concrete...hm.

Anyway!

I would imagine God's actions are all predetermined in the same way, in that he already knows what's going to happen and has already acted on that and so on. As for how he chose to do what he's done and will do? No idea - I don't even try going down that road. "Mysterious ways" is a crap explanation for almost anything, but setting that aside doesn't mean I know anything to base conclusions upon. Just given the assumption that an all-powerful, all-knowing God exists isn't enough to start guessing at motives for the existence of the universe. I can guess at specific acts (like the above Satan question), but the whole shebang? No way. I mean, hell, the only things that come to mind for why we exist at all are "God was bored" and/or "God fills the universe with his ego and it needs stroking." The latter doesn't do much to answer your question at all, though boredom does, I suppose, leaning toward the answer of "he's just whimsical about it." Which is unsettling, to say the least.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #117 on: January 08, 2011, 01:25:21 AM »
I was out of line with the way I opened this thread, and I honestly don't know what drove me to word it like that :/ I apologize.

Offline Cooper5362

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #118 on: January 12, 2011, 01:49:50 PM »
It's not a paradox at all and this is why:  To be consistently good, you have to have infinite knowledge and to make a mistake, you have to not know something.

The concept of God is defined as infinite knowledge that never makes a mistake.  By definition, God has to know all of the infinite number of mistakes that can be made.  The only way to investigate this is to analyze in complete detail, the actions and reactions of beings that do not have infinite knowledge and can make all of those mistakes and to let them play all of the infinite variations out.  Our work is definitely playing out mistakes and their consequences.  The only question that remains is if the infinite level of awareness and decision making is out there.  Bad things are happening because we choose them.  We make decisions that God never would.  The fact is, if God exists, that awareness needs us to make those mistakes for its perfection of knowledge, and our fractured lives are an integral part of its knowledge base.  If God doesn't exist, then there is no real difference between us and a stone.  The universe is just throwing us until we break from fire and ice.

My personal guess is awareness is real and that God ends up being real as well.  If I were a stone, I would think I've already let myself skip way too long.

Offline Noelle

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #119 on: January 12, 2011, 05:13:22 PM »
It's not a paradox at all and this is why:  To be consistently good, you have to have infinite knowledge and to make a mistake, you have to not know something.

I have a perfectly functioning grasp of language, but when I make a slip of the tongue, it doesn't mean I fundamentally don't know what language I'm speaking or its rules, vocabulary, grammar, or syntax. I know how to drive a car, but failing to put on my blinker and getting a ticket for it doesn't mean I didn't know where the blinker was -- or better yet, accidentally hitting someone with my car when I lose control on some ice doesn't require that I not know something, it requires forces beyond my own control.

Mistakes also come at different levels of repercussion and significance. Forgetting a loop when you're tying your shoe is a mistake, but it's not one that necessarily launches you into a state of un-good.

Quote
The concept of God is defined as infinite knowledge that never makes a mistake.

The concept of God according to what or who? We've already considered a world in which its reigning deity is, in fact, capable of making a mistake.

Quote
Bad things are happening because we choose them.
 

Except I didn't choose the existence of hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, and other natural disasters. I didn't choose to have a miscarriage. I didn't choose to trip on a banana peel, suffer a horrible concussion, and have violent seizures the rest of my life.

Quote
We make decisions that God never would.

By what measure? What of our good decisions? And how can you even confirm this?

Quote
The fact is, if God exists, that awareness needs us to make those mistakes for its perfection of knowledge, and our fractured lives are an integral part of its knowledge base.


Whose awareness? God's? Why would God need to perfect his/her/its already-perfect knowledge? Why wouldn't he already know?

Quote
If God doesn't exist, then there is no real difference between us and a stone.  The universe is just throwing us until we break from fire and ice.

Which is why atheists have zero morals and have no value for human life, right? Not quite. If God doesn't exist, we still have worlds of separation between ourselves and a rock. The non-existence of God doesn't invalidate the inherent worth of your fellow human being -- we have sentience, which is a trait that is basically unshared on our level by any other thing in existence. The universe is nothing but a scientific explanation for the space in which we (including our planet, stars, solar system, etc. and all things encompassed therein) are contained. It's not a sentient being. A lack of a god doesn't necessarily mean there aren't better or worse ways to live your life, and it certainly doesn't mean that all events become worthless and our actions futile.

Offline Cooper5362

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #120 on: January 12, 2011, 06:07:29 PM »
Noelle, imperfect beings will make mistakes despite knowing better.  The concept of God is a being that doesn't make mistakes in my discussion.  Those observations don't cause reflection on my discussion for that matter.  A mistake does make you "un-good" because my definition of good is that rigorous and pain and suffering result from mistakes.  Imperfect beings can have all the goodwill they can muster and there will still be evil in their actions.

I've clearly defined the concept of God in my discussion.  I don't have to personify it to clarify the concept.  In fact, I would think if you read my definition without looking for an argument, you would have to agree that personifying God would in fact take the concept out of its stated definition from my discussion.

I did not clarify that the universe is offering bad things to us as well.  As it turns out, reality appears to be engineered to break and cause chaos on its own.  It is actually a motivation for beings with awareness to choose good intention to face challenges even if their personal decisions carry the best intention.  It's actually a follow-on concept to my basic discussion which is a bit pointless for us considering you find my basic discussion invalid.  There is not a reigning deity in that sense of things for our reality.  This place is inherently broken and forces imperfect beings making mixed decisions to face obstacles no matter what they choose.  The question only remains is if the choosing beings decide to add to the destruction or work to create some order out of it.

I have already explained a good decision rests solely on self control.  The above paragraph actually develops the thought that a good decision is one that faces the obstacles poised before us in an effort to draw order from them.  This point was not developed on purpose, but I see it added to confusion to my post.  You have my sincerest apology for that.

Well, from the viewpoint of God, that entity, if it exists already knows.  Our finite awareness forces us to work off the limited memory of our brains combined with new information from our senses.  If we had infinite facility like God, we would simply perceive infinite reality in infinite detail and there would be no past or present.  It would just simply all be there without a beginning or end.  We are talking about infinite awareness.  Everything will happen and everything already has happened in the end.  As it turns out, evil choice constantly steers towards perceiving nothing while good decision constantly steers towards understanding everything.  We are simply in a state that can do neither of these in totality, but we do have facility to influence which path we go down on this particular journey.

I never said an atheist did not have morals and that's an unfair judgment of my post.  I only explained that if there isn't a total awareness past the temporary lives we lead, then our awareness is going to dissolve just as surely as the sun is going to burn all life off of our planet.  Frankly, good and evil are built into the universe and it makes our sentience a reality.  The universe is not confined to the light energy and space you describe to me for what I was saying.  We differ on definition here.  When I say universe, I mean the total collection of everything, which probably includes all of the decisions we thought we didn't make.  Yes, that implies infinite parallel universes.  I don't see how free will could exist if the choices we didn't make were not in existence.  I would never be so arrogant as to believe the current context of our decisions is the only one around, either.  I do know we don't have a way to access the decisions we didn't make on this go around with any conventional known means.  That said, people have had some interesting dreams and visions which seem to imply access to points of existence we don't seem to currently touch.  It gives me optimism that we are not on the stone's path of fate, but rather shaping our destiny on a journey with infinite variations to it.  I understand that time is nothing more than another spacial dimension, and I don't require that a sentient being has to witness something to make it real.  In other words, all of our infinite futures already exist and we are in a context to influence which one we pass through.  We are free to influence, but we must also suffer the joys and disappointments everything else decides upon.  The whole thing can be summed up in, "No fate but what we make."  The only problem is, we must face the will of the universe in making it, so "we" is far more sweeping than just living things.  Because of this state, I must remain with my theory that the universe has will and good and evil get defined by it from a total perspective.  Yes, I reek of pantheism.  So far the only theory I've seen against it is fatalism, and fatalism seems to come to a conclusion that we are rocks.  I don't get a sense from you that you are a rock.  You seem significant to me.  I think we are in agreement to the sentience, and we only disagree on the idea that the sentience implies good and evil are real.  I don't see any real choice being made if it didn't matter, and I don't see us being anything more than slaves to the current context if there is only one path in existence and that path is finite.  The finite disappears in the context of the infinite, and quite frankly, you seem to have a kind of infinite quality to you despite the current context seeming finite.

I hope this clarifies things.


Offline Noelle

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #121 on: January 12, 2011, 07:13:57 PM »
Noelle, imperfect beings will make mistakes despite knowing better.

This isn't what you said in your initial post -- you said that mistakes come from humans not knowing something. Admitting that humans know better and make mistakes anyway already nullifies your original definition. It's not a huge or pressing point, but it is inconsistent.

Quote
A mistake does make you "un-good" because my definition of good is that rigorous and pain and suffering result from mistakes.


Yes, but which mistakes are we addressing? Is all of human suffering caused by someone accidentally calling cabbage "lettuce" or is there more nuance to this? If a human suffers from the aftereffects of a natural disaster, whose mistake is it then?

Quote
I've clearly defined the concept of God in my discussion.  I don't have to personify it to clarify the concept.  In fact, I would think if you read my definition without looking for an argument, you would have to agree that personifying God would in fact take the concept out of its stated definition from my discussion.

Well, no. Firstly, I don't exactly go through everyone's posts just looking for an argument, I address points I feel need clarification or have a weak/flawed point. Secondly, I'm asking you your concept of god according to what or who because in the context of your quote, you sounded as if you were stating it as if it were universal -- as if that view of god is one shared by everyone. I wanted qualification so you could elaborate on your point more and make it more clear from what angle we're taking this or if this is just your own personal speculation that has no bearing on the views of others. Stating "X is the very definition of Y" or "Y always does Z" is speaking in generalities unless you make it clear what point of view you're taking on here. The Christian perspective of god isn't the same as, say, a Hindu's or a Zoroastrian's.

Personifying God is actually an inverse action if you're speaking from the Christian view, given that it's stated that man was made in the image of God. This is why it's relevant.

Quote
It is actually a motivation for beings with awareness to choose good intention to face challenges even if their personal decisions carry the best intention.  It's actually a follow-on concept to my basic discussion which is a bit pointless for us considering you find my basic discussion invalid.  There is not a reigning deity in that sense of things for our reality.  This place is inherently broken and forces imperfect beings making mixed decisions to face obstacles no matter what they choose.  The question only remains is if the choosing beings decide to add to the destruction or work to create some order out of it.

I would be delighted if you would kindly point out where I deemed your basic discussion invalid. But I digress.

I guess I'm confused as to how there is a god, but that god is not in control or responsible for, in one form or another, this "chaos". You are dividing "the universe" and "God" into halves here. What's what? Where is god's domain? Did he or did he not create everything with his perfect knowledge, mistakes included? If he created man to make mistakes, then are those mistakes indirectly his, as well? And if the universe is imperfect, are you suggesting that something God created ("this world", and I assume that encompasses everything) is broken? That also defies your original intent, I believe.

Quote
As it turns out, evil choice constantly steers towards perceiving nothing while good decision constantly steers towards understanding everything.  We are simply in a state that can do neither of these in totality, but we do have facility to influence which path we go down on this particular journey.

This is primarily my issue, though. Saying that making "evil" choices steer towards human suffering is not the same as saying bad things happen because humans make them happen, because I've already demonstrated in a rather elementary way that not all bad things, not all conditions of human suffering are within our own control. Can you provide examples of these "evil" decisions that steers towards "perceiving nothing"? Perceiving what?

Quote
I never said an atheist did not have morals and that's an unfair judgment of my post.  I only explained that if there isn't a total awareness past the temporary lives we lead, then our awareness is going to dissolve just as surely as the sun is going to burn all life off of our planet.
 

Again, your elaborations are much different than what you're initially posting. Saying that if God doesn't exist, then nothing has value is vastly different than saying you have to have foresight for the future. This isn't terribly clear in the least. Of course we have to be conscious of the impact our choices make on the future generations as well as the future of our surroundings in order to ensure the perpetuation of human existence and a habitable environment, but what does that have to do with whether or not God exists?

Quote
Frankly, good and evil are built into the universe and it makes our sentience a reality.

How? I'm pretty sure there's no science of good and evil, I'm fairly certain that basic biology hasn't made it necessary for good and evil to exist for things to live and thrive -- animals don't practice morality, for one, as instinct drives merely the will to survive and reproduce. "The universe" would exist whether or not humans were on it. Good and evil is a construct only when a being has the mind to moralize it, otherwise nature rolls on without it and it falls out of relevancy completely. If "the universe" you describe as some kind of metaphysical being encompasses everything, then it encompasses science as well, that is completely unavoidable. What is the point of good or evil if humans aren't around? There is none. It's obsolete. Good and evil seem to point to being more of a human construct, and if it's God's, then why does he/she/it deem it good or evil?

I can't even begin to touch on the latter part of your post because for the most part, it feels kind of tangential and besides the point of the thread.

Offline Cooper5362

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #122 on: January 12, 2011, 08:42:26 PM »
Ok, let's address these points and see what there is to discover.

I said mistakes come from humans not knowing something and I also said imperfect beings will make mistakes despite knowing better.  This does appear logically inconsistent, but the two conditions do exist together by the facts you pointed out.  The fact is, humans are finite mental machines, and our knowledge does not always mix with our decision making because of it.  An infinite being would consistently do what it knows.  We as people cannot because we lack the facility.  Frankly, a lot of what you said we know, is actually a bad example because we can create situations where it is a bad idea to signal where you will turn or take the time to make sure your shoe is tied correctly.  We don't really truly know and we are going to be inaccurate in our current state.

Mistakes are determined by the universe at large.  A person does not determine them.  A natural disaster is not a mistake.  Failure to accept that natural disasters occur and to plan and respond to them properly is a mistake.  People are going to die and suffer no matter what.  The question is only how much are we preventing that suffering versus aiding it?  The only mistakes we can address are our own.

I agree the term God is emotionally loaded and invariably, it's almost impossible to agree upon a definition of what God is.  Frankly, I find it 100% probably to disagree on the definition of God because I suspect God is infinite and undefinable to us in our state.  I also suspect that whoever said man was made in the image of God made a mistake.  Yes, we can make good decisions, but that doesn't put us in the image of God, and to see the bigotry that has come from that dogma, it gives a sense of being invalid.  How can you make a finite thing ever come close to the image of an infinite thing?  May as well try to demand an artist paint a picture of the universe that is 100% accurate under all magnifications.

God didn't create anything is my guess.  My guess is everything is already around and if God does exist, it was already around as well.  Time is a finite condition for us to observe, but an infinite being would see it just like any line or road.  The mistakes all already exist.  The only God action that can be taken is to understand them inside and out and then not partake of them anymore.  A God could not erase the existence of a mistake and still understand it.  It would render the God less than infinite and no longer God.  Frankly, that kind of thing of wiping mistakes out already in existence is a kind of slavery, because the participants would not longer have that path as an option to them.  It would not surprise me in the least if there were an infinite set of places where no natural disasters occurred at all, and all the bad things that did happen were strictly a function of choice.  In making that guess, I'm basically buying off on the idea that free will is real, and God, if it exists, has no intention of taking that away from us.  In the meantime, the universe is giving us a run for our money, and if God exists, it would understand why and leave it there to be understood rather than steering it to wipe out understanding and free will in one fell swoop.

The only thing to perceive is reality, and there is more of it around than we could ever hope to perceive.  Pure evil would be the act of seeing nothing,  doing nothing, hearing nothing, wallowing in nothing.  It would be a kind of complete spiritual death that a rock couldn't even pull off.  Some thinkers have ascertained that the embodiment of pure evil would actually wipe out all mistakes, rendering the infinite universe gone, including the embodiment of pure evil.  They appear to have a very strong case.  I don't think you have demonstrated that evil doesn't happen just because the current universe appears to throw a lot of tough things our way.  Pure good would actually perceive all reality, not just this one and  understand it in complete detail.  Obviously, we won't be running into either of these characters anytime soon.  At least not survivors in this place.

I'm going to say I'm pretty sure science can detect good and evil, and if we don't start addressing that, then the sun is going to get rid of us all so biology won't be thriving without coming to understand and deal with it.  We know the sun is going to burn life off this planet.  It's hardcore fact.  The only question is will we gather together in an act of good towards each other to solve moving off the planet (and we will need full cooperation to cross the thousands of light years that will require), or will we sit around not perceiving good and evil while our evil elements ensure we do not possess the required cooperation to escape the sun going red giant.  All of the mental disciplines stack together.  You cannot separate reality from reality.  There is only making the mistake of not observing reality or working to observe it and move on it.  Evil would have us stand around and do nothing while we get devoured.  Good would move forward and try to survive.  I find it interesting you believe science does not involve good and evil when I see science has actually proven we have to deal with it if we are going to exist past 4 billion years.

One thing makes it painfully clear to me that good and evil exists.  You can see a rape scene or the scene of an unjustified killing and know it was an act of evil.  You can see the remains of the victims or the people that managed to not die and know evil befell them.  The results are clear and reality does not lie.  We can only trick ourselves.  If a person is dead or maimed from an accident, that presence just isn't there.  In fact, you can feel good things happening in those types of instances when people come and help others out of the mess.


Offline Jude

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #123 on: January 13, 2011, 12:49:14 AM »
I always wondered why people think the existence of god somehow gives meaning to life.  Even if something greater, as in more powerful and intelligent than us, does exist, does that really mean that life has meaning?  If so, does that mean animals which are inferior to us would live a life of meaning in an atheistic reality whereas human beings would not?  That is an extension of the same logic.

If god does exist and created everything for a purpose, that would mean god had a purpose in mind when humanity was created, not that we have a purpose without respect to any perspective.  God can know why he made us, he can explain mechanistically how we came to be, but those answers are quite literally equivalent to the answers we would give if someone asked us why we created a particular piece of art, how, and what purpose we intended it to serve.

Lets assume that two people, a man and a woman, decide to have a child.  Why?  Because they wanted someone to imbue their world view and genetic material into in order to have them carry on their identity after they pass away.  The child is born and they do their best to mold that child in their image and make that child like them.  The child is quite literally the fruit of their labors; they created him and nourished him in an undeniable way.  One day, the child decides that she does not like her parents' philosophy on life.  She doesn't share their world view, doesn't wish to go into the profession that they are in, and decides to instead be quite different from her parents.  Her parents are outraged, after all they created her and gave her everything she needed to survive when she could not provide for herself.  What right does she have to strike out on her own, decide what matters to her, and become her own individual?

I think most people would would view her parents as immoral for creating her with a set purpose in mind and forcing her to comply to it.  If they taught her cruel, painful lessons along the way in order to make her into who they wanted to be, they would despise them all the more.  If they believed that simply because she was born from their genetic material and efforts they had a right to be obeyed, they would be seen as sociopathic megalomaniacs.  Why then, do those who accept the existence of god allow themselves to be controlled as such?  We didn't ask to be created, so why should we owe a debt to the being that put forth a series of events that allowed us to exist?

Even if we believe that god is quite real and that he inspired the creation of the bible directly by speaking to prophets, why should we believe god when the claim of perfection is made even if we knew the claim came directly from god?  As the most powerful, intelligent creature in the universe, I bet a god would certainly believe in its own perfection, but does perfection really exist as an abstract notion that god conforms to, or is it simply a subjective notion that god has defined for the sake of self-glorification?

God is defined as a superior being, but hopefully we all know that might does not make right.  The world seems pretty screwed up to me.  I have an appendix that is worse than a vestigial appendage in many ways:  thousands of people die every year from complications involved with this organ which has only debatable use (if any in actuality at all, it's largely an evolutionary leftover, and lets not forget that evolution itself is a brute-force algorithm with a great deal of inherent cruelty, not a brilliantly designed mechanism).  The structure of reality lends itself to cancer, nuclear weapons, infectious bacteria, things like Huntington's Disease which are genetic calamities like ticking time bombs, determined at birth, just waiting to explode in tragedy at the proper time.

Now, maybe there's a greater meaning behind all of these.  You can play the game of Liebnitz if you wish.  "It's god plan and for the greater good" as a mantra whenever something happens is basically an unfalsifiable answer (which doesn't mean it's right), as Candide shows us.  Perhaps I'm missing some essential knowledge, but I can't understand how god, as our creator, could sit back and watch us suffer and be confused in our ignorance without stepping in to help clarify things at all, and still be considered good (imagine doing the same to your child -- Social Darwinism for the win).

My ultimate conclusion is that if there is a god, there are either:  a)  multiples of them with competing interests  b)  god doesn't care about humanity at all and thus is not "on our side" or good (if there is a difference between the two) like people assume  c)  god is not perfect.

One final thought, perfection is not goodness.  Evil can be perfect.  Perfection is merely a quality that allows one to enact their intent into reality.  A perfect god is not necessarily a good god, just a god that always gets what it wants.  I can't imagine a being that always gets what it wants could even begin to grasp what the life of a mortal is like (in the same way that the rich don't get what it's like to be poor, etc).  People always judge humanity as unable to understand god, well what if god doesn't understand humanity?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2011, 09:51:39 AM by Jude »

Offline Shjade

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #124 on: January 13, 2011, 02:26:05 AM »
By definition, God has to know all of the infinite number of mistakes that can be made.  The only way to investigate this is to analyze in complete detail, the actions and reactions of beings that do not have infinite knowledge and can make all of those mistakes and to let them play all of the infinite variations out.  Our work is definitely playing out mistakes and their consequences. ... The fact is, if God exists, that awareness needs us to make those mistakes for its perfection of knowledge, and our fractured lives are an integral part of its knowledge base.
For the sake of argument, I will take your definitions at face value: God needs to know everything to be God, and to know everything God needs us to play out the infinite possible scenarios required to catalog that infinite knowledge.

I immediately have two problems with this assertion:

1 - If God requires "our work" of playing out mistakes for him to investigate, his knowledge is imperfect. If he requires us to, for lack of a better term, check his work, then there is the possibility of flawed data. If there was no possibility he wouldn't need the check. Rather, this definition suggests a God that is not all-knowing, but that will be all-knowing at the end of existence. These are two very different things.

2 - The concept of a single entity creating - or at the very least observing - the activities that take place within the universe for the sole purpose of perfecting itself (or being assured of its perfection as the case may be) is one of enormous selfishness. It literally could not be more self-centered. What, exactly, is one meant to consider "good" about an entity that cares about the rest of existence only to the extent that the rest of existence serves that one entity's needs?

To put it another way, consider Jude's example of the parents who put their child through hell in order to raise the child into who they want him/her to be. That sounds bad enough on its own, doesn't it? But using the above definition, this example would be more like the parents raising a child and putting it through hell in order to improve their own lives entirely at the child's expense.

How is that supposed to be "good?"

The definition you provide is, at best, an indifferent God. If your intent was to present an argument for a simultaneously omniscient and all-"good" God your position appears to be fundamentally flawed. The inconsistencies later on don't help either: describing "pure evil" as knowing/seeing/doing nothing, "pure good" as knowing/seeing/doing everything, then saying you can witness a rape scene and know that it is an act of evil is contradictory; by your initial descriptions not witnessing, or taking part in, the rape scene is evil and witnessing, and taking part in, that act is good. How are those differences meant to mesh as a single coherent idea?