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Thread: Religion, is it true?

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    Re: Religion, is it true?

    the greek gods were never "lawful" they did all sorts of thing to manny people... (in the stories...) well do you call Pandora lawful?
    death and life are one and the same

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    Re: Religion, is it true?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    I understand the free will idea, but I still don't quite understand why a benevolent God would even create a system whereby we must consume other life to survive. If you take food out of the equation for life, do you really end up losing something out of the spirit of humanity? I allude to the case of starving children specifically, because that atrocity doesn't necesarrily happen because someone was evil due to free will. It just happens because there was no food to be found.
    ... and the reason there is no food to be found is from the evil action or inaction of others. Doing wrong isn't just actions it can also be negligence. Religion refers to it as sins of omission. BTW, every famine in the last century has happened because of people seeking power and either their negligent or deliberate actions. When famines and other tragedies do occur completely naturally however it is an opportunity for everyone else to step up and help out. If we don't... well see above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    If God has good intentions(If we assume that...), there are a number of ways in which this design is questionable. Life feeds off life to survive, a rather brutal aspect of nature, the universe is fairly unforgiving to life itself, given that Earth is really the only ideal location for any to exist. Weather like hurricanes routinely kill the innocent. Bears maul little children because they can. Nature is chaotic and unforgiving. Could I imagine a good natured God that would create a universe knowing that would happen? I could more easily imagine a good natured God that would create a universe, but did not concieve of stuff like Evolution and the brutal food chain that follows it(Like the guy who invented dynamite!). I know this idea is also contra to Omniscience, so maybe I'll stop here before I go too far again.

    To sum up, if one were all powerful, they could do a lot better than this universe.
    Sounds merely like you are considering an eternal concept from a mortal perspective.

    From the eternal point of view this life is temporary and a test. A way to prove ourselves and who we will be in the hereafter. Such a test would not work if it had no ending and the only way to get ride of the need for sustenance is if your also remove mortality hence trapping all of life in an eternal cycle of imperfection. Imagine all the trouble we have with people who do evil now. Now imagine having to imprison them not just for life but for eternity for fear of what they would do to others. Now imagine you just described Hell, ie. being trapped for eternity with evil people.

    On the other hand if you consider this life a temporary stop in our eternal progression death ceases to be the horrible fate some consider it. The food chain is temporary and ultimately unimportant. Natural disasters are means by which we prove what we are by how we handle them. Those who die in such incidents are in the next life with God and have finished their trial... they can rest while the rest of us who live still have to "study" as we prove who we are each and every day.

    To sum it up the reason you are having trouble with the concept of omniscience in such a case is because you are applying a temporal standard to an eternal concept. Instead you have idealized the difference between an immortal after-life and all it is described as being like and a mortal life with both good and evil to choose from, our agency.

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  3. #139
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    Re: Religion, is it true?

    ... and the reason there is no food to be found is from the evil action or inaction of others. Doing wrong isn't just actions it can also be negligence. Religion refers to it as sins of omission. BTW, every famine in the last century has happened because of people seeking power and either their negligent or deliberate actions. When famines and other tragedies do occur completely naturally however it is an opportunity for everyone else to step up and help out. If we don't... well see above.
    What I find to be interesting to note that it is a "sin of omission" if we don't do anything, but the fact that the being that comes up with this concept does nothing at all and people don't see it as wrong. Hypocrisy, thy name is God.

    Giving an opportunity for people to step up? I have to admit it's another concept I don't quite understand. Sure, I could kick over a trash can and see if anyone picks it up, and I might be able to form an opinon on people based on who helps to clean the mess up. It doesn't change the fact that I'm a jerk for kicking the trash can over in the first place.

    From the eternal point of view this life is temporary and a test. A way to prove ourselves and who we will be in the hereafter. Such a test would not work if it had no ending and the only way to get ride of the need for sustenance is if your also remove mortality hence trapping all of life in an eternal cycle of imperfection. Imagine all the trouble we have with people who do evil now. Now imagine having to imprison them not just for life but for eternity for fear of what they would do to others. Now imagine you just described Hell, ie. being trapped for eternity with evil people.

    On the other hand if you consider this life a temporary stop in our eternal progression death ceases to be the horrible fate some consider it. The food chain is temporary and ultimately unimportant. Natural disasters are means by which we prove what we are by how we handle them. Those who die in such incidents are in the next life with God and have finished their trial... they can rest while the rest of us who live still have to "study" as we prove who we are each and every day.

    To sum it up the reason you are having trouble with the concept of omniscience in such a case is because you are applying a temporal standard to an eternal concept. Instead you have idealized the difference between an immortal after-life and all it is described as being like and a mortal life with both good and evil to choose from, our agency.
    I have some erratic, disjointed thoughts on this, so please bear with me.

    1. I understand the concept of life being a test, but I don't agree with it.

    2. I understand the concept of Hell, but I don't agree with it.

    3. If he wanted to test people, why bother with the concept of religion anyways? If people are living under the pretence that someone is watching them, they'll act different. Am I a good person if I give to the poor because if I don't, I'll have sinned and will spend an eternity in pain? The unreligious people who do good things because they are good people, I think they'd be the ones who should pass this "test", ironically.

    4. I think life as a test cheapens life itself. By that logic, people will be living life in anticipation of death, and not living for the sake of living. Life is much better when one considers it a barrel of monkey fun waiting to happen, and nothing else. To me it just seems more wonderful that way. A test? Much too serious.

    5. I'm not sure what the last paragraph was saying, so I can't comment on it. I do apologize.

    6. Omniscience and free will contradict themselves.(Don't want to touch too much on this, as I don't like using cliched arguements that much)

    7. Why test people? Why desire their worship? Why create people for that matter? The concepts most religions have are devoid of logical motivation on the part of the deity in question. A neutral deity might do it for fun and giggles, but that's as far as I can see. I know this is kind of off the specific topic a little bit, but I feel it is worth mentioning.

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    Re: Religion, is it true?

    I wasn't stating that all of the Greek Gods were Lawful, only some of them. Besides, do such terms really apply to the Gods? How can we comprehend what God(s) deem as right and wrong?

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    Re: Religion, is it true?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    What I find to be interesting to note that it is a "sin of omission" if we don't do anything, but the fact that the being that comes up with this concept does nothing at all and people don't see it as wrong. Hypocrisy, thy name is God.

    Giving an opportunity for people to step up? I have to admit it's another concept I don't quite understand. Sure, I could kick over a trash can and see if anyone picks it up, and I might be able to form an opinon on people based on who helps to clean the mess up. It doesn't change the fact that I'm a jerk for kicking the trash can over in the first place.


    I have some erratic, disjointed thoughts on this, so please bear with me.

    1. I understand the concept of life being a test, but I don't agree with it.

    2. I understand the concept of Hell, but I don't agree with it.

    3. If he wanted to test people, why bother with the concept of religion anyways? If people are living under the pretence that someone is watching them, they'll act different. Am I a good person if I give to the poor because if I don't, I'll have sinned and will spend an eternity in pain? The unreligious people who do good things because they are good people, I think they'd be the ones who should pass this "test", ironically.

    4. I think life as a test cheapens life itself. By that logic, people will be living life in anticipation of death, and not living for the sake of living. Life is much better when one considers it a barrel of monkey fun waiting to happen, and nothing else. To me it just seems more wonderful that way. A test? Much too serious.

    5. I'm not sure what the last paragraph was saying, so I can't comment on it. I do apologize.

    6. Omniscience and free will contradict themselves.(Don't want to touch too much on this, as I don't like using cliched arguements that much)

    7. Why test people? Why desire their worship? Why create people for that matter? The concepts most religions have are devoid of logical motivation on the part of the deity in question. A neutral deity might do it for fun and giggles, but that's as far as I can see. I know this is kind of off the specific topic a little bit, but I feel it is worth mentioning.
    If you don't know the story of Satan and Adam then don't go talking like this ,(your answers say that you don't since it (the story) holds most of the answers anyway)
    Life and Death are always one and the same
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  7. #142
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    Re: Religion, is it true?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    What I find to be interesting to note that it is a "sin of omission" if we don't do anything, but the fact that the being that comes up with this concept does nothing at all and people don't see it as wrong. Hypocrisy, thy name is God.
    You are still asking God to do it all for us. If God does that then there is no agency left or "good". See my previous post on the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    Giving an opportunity for people to step up? I have to admit it's another concept I don't quite understand. Sure, I could kick over a trash can and see if anyone picks it up, and I might be able to form an opinon on people based on who helps to clean the mess up. It doesn't change the fact that I'm a jerk for kicking the trash can over in the first place.
    Not quite. That would only be the case if everything that happens God does personally. Lets get back to agency. Things happen as a consequence of choices. Natural disasters happen from natural laws. The analogy isn't kicking over the trash can but watching someone/something else kick over the trash can and waiting to see which one of your kids will take the time to clean up.



    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    3. If he wanted to test people, why bother with the concept of religion anyways? If people are living under the pretence that someone is watching them, they'll act different. Am I a good person if I give to the poor because if I don't, I'll have sinned and will spend an eternity in pain? The unreligious people who do good things because they are good people, I think they'd be the ones who should pass this "test", ironically.
    Funny you should say that. They do find that people who believe in religion tend to act differently because of a belief in certain consequences. However... the scriptures are full of warnings about doing things for personal benefit including "good works". Why you do something is just as important as what and with an omnipotent God he knows which it was.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    4. I think life as a test cheapens life itself. By that logic, people will be living life in anticipation of death, and not living for the sake of living. Life is much better when one considers it a barrel of monkey fun waiting to happen, and nothing else. To me it just seems more wonderful that way. A test? Much too serious.
    More of a comment on what you want then anything else. Personally I see "eat, drink, and be merry and don't care" to be far more cheapening of life then "consider what you do because it effects others lives as much as your own". Trust me, you can enjoy life while being considerate as well. For that matter much of religion involves the fact that lives do have value. The question is whether the individual will value their own themselves?


    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    5. I'm not sure what the last paragraph was saying, so I can't comment on it. I do apologize.

    6. Omniscience and free will contradict themselves.
    Yeah, number 5 is obvious by number 6. Omniscience and agency ceases to contradict each other the instant you stop demanding that someone who is supposed to know and understand more then any of us could possibly begin to in our short lives should act the way you want them to. You are demanding that someone who is omniscient also be a dictator but if omniscience also means understanding that people are not happy under dictators why would an omniscient being be one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    7. Why test people?
    Lets get back to that definition of Hell, spending Eternity with evil people. Now being omnipotent God could say you, you, and you and separate everyone into what they were but that would hardly be fair would it? This way when time comes to determine what kind of people you will spend eternity with (or even if you will with some religions) you have made the choices yourself. You determine by your own actions and choices what kind of person you will be and what kind of people you will be with. Agency, we choose for ourselves and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    Why desire their worship?
    Worship is a matter of instruction. It is for learning and guidance and in a religion where there are requirements for transcendence following other rules will get you no where.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    Why create people for that matter? The concepts most religions have are devoid of logical motivation on the part of the deity in question.
    Really? I take it you aren't a parent then. Creating life, guiding it, and watching it grow into it's full potential is incredibly fulfilling. Yes, there will be disappointments and no matter how hard you try, how patient you are, when they make their own choices some will be wrong and some children will choose to rebel, be selfish, and do everything they shouldn't but that too is part of being a parent. In the end the choice is there and sometimes you cry because of them but other times you feel the most incredible joy at what they have become that it is indescribable.


    There is a reason that God is referred to as a "father" in nearly every religion. The role is a parental one where God knows more then "his children", sets rules, gives guidance, and occasionally punishes them, but ultimately leaves it up to the children themselves to decide for themselves what kid of person they will be when they grow up.

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    Re: Religion, is it true?

    You are still asking God to do it all for us. If God does that then there is no agency left or "good". See my previous post on the subject.
    I'm only asking him to help out with the dishes now and then. If someone is 6'7, and they are watching someone who is 4'5 trying to reach a high shelf for something, wouldn't it be nice if they helped out? Sure, the little guy probably has the capability, but I'm just talkng general niceness here.

    Not quite. That would only be the case if everything that happens God does personally. Lets get back to agency. Things happen as a consequence of choices. Natural disasters happen from natural laws. The analogy isn't kicking over the trash can but watching someone/something else kick over the trash can and waiting to see which one of your kids will take the time to clean up.
    Fair enough, but I personally don't regard the act of watching people as an act of good. I see the logic of "Oh, lets see who cleans up this mess", but what if one of those kids takes too long and soembody dies? I know, I know, they'll go to 'heaven', but blah, if you're God and you think that's omnibenevolent, you might as well kill everyone. I think a lot of my arguements stem from the fact that I don't agree with the policies of God if he exists. I do not define good as what God says good is. Thusly, I don't even think omnibenevolence exists in the first place.

    Funny you should say that. They do find that people who believe in religion tend to act differently because of a belief in certain consequences. However... the scriptures are full of warnings about doing things for personal benefit including "good works". Why you do something is just as important as what and with an omnipotent God he knows which it was.
    That makes sense, and that's precisely why I asked why bother with religion anyways. It's like "Be a nice person! If you're a nice person because I told you, you're a bad person! But be a nice person anyways!". Take out religion, and it becomes obvious who's being geneuinely naughty, and who's genuinely nice.

    More of a comment on what you want then anything else. Personally I see "eat, drink, and be merry and don't care" to be far more cheapening of life then "consider what you do because it effects others lives as much as your own". Trust me, you can enjoy life while being considerate as well. For that matter much of religion involves the fact that lives do have value. The question is whether the individual will value their own themselves?
    Actually, I'd probably fall under Epicureanism, where it's eat, drink, be merry, but also considerate, and don't care abut death, and indeed, it's a comment on what I want. If it differs from God, I'll not have him telling me his way is right. I would object to the idea that all life has value to whatever deity reigns over. I saw a rodent get run over a couple days ago, and all I could think was "Wow..that was both random, and meaningless. What value did that life have?" You live life, you love life, you die. It's probably quite simple in comparison to religion, but I prefer it to being watched and judged, and all that hoo-ha.

    Omniscience and agency ceases to contradict each other the instant you stop demanding that someone who is supposed to know and understand more then any of us could possibly begin to in our short lives should act the way you want them to. You are demanding that someone who is omniscient also be a dictator but if omniscience also means understanding that people are not happy under dictators why would an omniscient being be one?
    Ah, what I'm saying is, an omniscient being knows the future by definition, thereby eliminating free will, or making it so God isn't omniscient or omnipotent(If one is perfect, they know everything, also contradicting free will). If something that knows everything exists, the future exists, and if the future exists, we can't decide it. Again, I hate to use such a horribly cliched arguement, but it makes sense to moi.

    Lets get back to that definition of Hell, spending Eternity with evil people. Now being omnipotent God could say you, you, and you and separate everyone into what they were but that would hardly be fair would it? This way when time comes to determine what kind of people you will spend eternity with (or even if you will with some religions) you have made the choices yourself. You determine by your own actions and choices what kind of person you will be and what kind of people you will be with. Agency, we choose for ourselves and we have no one to blame but ourselves.
    Is it fair to judge someone for eternity based on a relatively short 100-ish years of activity on a planet that, with its limited resources and vastly different ideas, practically breeds strife? Tis like leaving a drug addict in a room full of drugs, then leaving the room saying "If you touch them, I will be very dissapointed, you silly rabbit!"

    Really? I take it you aren't a parent then. Creating life, guiding it, and watching it grow into it's full potential is incredibly fulfilling. Yes, there will be disappointments and no matter how hard you try, how patient you are, when they make their own choices some will be wrong and some children will choose to rebel, be selfish, and do everything they shouldn't but that too is part of being a parent. In the end the choice is there and sometimes you cry because of them but other times you feel the most incredible joy at what they have become that it is indescribable.
    I can understand that, but if you had kids, would you want them to be raised in a fairly unforgiving and hostile environment? Would a good parent drop their kids in the bully corner of the playground to see how they cope? Shouldn't parents nurture, rather than watch and judge their kids based on performance?


    Take away the enticement that is the afterlife, and God is just another author trying to sell you a book on how to live your life(Without the promise of a light at the end of the tunnel, would religion be so popular?) . With all this talk of tests, it seems clear that God does nothing for anyone in life itself. Thusly, his existance or non-existance is unimportant in the grand scheme of life, at least to me.

    Anyways, that's all my input on the matter for now. I suffer from debate fatigue, and it doesn't take too long for me to stop wanting to debate, so I'll just be fading into the background again now, if that's all right.

  9. #144
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    Re: Religion, is it true?

    Quote Originally Posted by basilisk888 View Post
    the greek gods were never "lawful" they did all sorts of thing to manny people... (in the stories...) well do you call Pandora lawful?
    Dude, considering that it was you who opened up this can of worms in the first place, you're not helping the discussion at all. We're not talking about Greek gods here. Besides,

    they

    don't

    exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    If God has good intentions(If we assume that...), there are a number of ways in which this design is questionable. Life feeds off life to survive, a rather brutal aspect of nature, the universe is fairly unforgiving to life itself, given that Earth is really the only ideal location for any to exist. Weather like hurricanes routinely kill the innocent. Bears maul little children because they can. Nature is chaotic and unforgiving. Could I imagine a good natured God that would create a universe knowing that would happen? I could more easily imagine a good natured God that would create a universe, but did not concieve of stuff like Evolution and the brutal food chain that follows it(Like the guy who invented dynamite!). I know this idea is also contra to Omniscience, so maybe I'll stop here before I go too far again.

    To sum up, if one were all powerful, they could do a lot better than this universe.

    Oh, looking at the newer posts, I'd say you've got your work cut out for you. You know, you could introduce plenty of new points to the discussion all at once in a single post, and hope that you could stop the show using numbers, but it won't get you anywhere closer to understanding my side. Just the opposite -- you'd just be confusing you. But not me; this ain't a live debate, after all, we have all the time in the world. I'd be bewildered at first with what you throw at me, but at least you've given me lots to chew on in my spare time.

    Are you willing to consider my side before arguing yours or not? If you interrupt me with further points, then you wouldn't be helping yourself. It's true that the more stones you use to build your fort, the stronger your position. The more shells you fire at the other guy's fort, the sooner you get to bring him down. But what applies in war doesn't work well entirely when it comes to serious discussion. You use force and deception to win in war. Unless you can manage to fool everyone, and keep them fooled for all eternity, either by force or persuasion, you can't win debates that way.

    We ask questions not because we simply want to, or because we want to topple down the other guy with questions he can't answer all at once, but because we want answers that are true. Not just baseless speculation, or things that are candy to the mind, but what really is.

    I want to hear what you think, one at a time, to make sure we don't overlook anything. So when I ask you a question, please answer it correctly as succinctly as possible. No new points until we resolve the issues we have at hand first. Capische?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    Anyways, that's all my input on the matter for now. I suffer from debate fatigue, and it doesn't take too long for me to stop wanting to debate, so I'll just be fading into the background again now, if that's all right.
    I can't stop you, but you won't be helping yourself if you concede the argument this early.

    Back to the discussion. Let's clear up a bit of confusion first. Since we've been discussing omnipotence, I assume that you've assumed with me, at least for the sake of the argument, that God exists, and that he is sentient, and powerful?
    Last edited by psychical; May 11, 2008 at 07:17 PM.
    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

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