How do we approach a new proposition?

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Og3
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Re: How do we approach a new proposition?

Post by Og3 » Mon May 13, 2019 5:51 am

SEG wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:16 pm
Og3 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 7:04 am
What I'm getting at with the Herodotus story, just to be clear: When you say that God could have allowed them to live happy and fulfilled lives... What exactly constitutes a happy and fulfilled life? And how can we say that their lives, to that point, were not happy and fulfilled?

We run the risk of saying that there is something that they were supposed to have done with their lives... That their lives had an intrinisc meaning. And that will lead you down a rabbit hole I doubt you wish to follow.
Og3 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 7:04 am
What I'm getting at with the Herodotus story, just to be clear: When you say that God could have allowed them to live happy and fulfilled lives... What exactly constitutes a happy and fulfilled life? And how can we say that their lives, to that point, were not happy and fulfilled?

We run the risk of saying that there is something that they were supposed to have done with their lives... That their lives had an intrinisc meaning. And that will lead you down a rabbit hole I doubt you wish to follow.
You disappoint me here Og. What happened to the bit about the murdered kids leading much better lives in Eternity being at the feet of God? That their physical pain was only miniscule in the scheme of things and that the killer did them and their grieving families a favour by delivering them early unto his awesomeness?
And of course, because there is nothing you can Google that matches "Sandy+Hook"+Herodotus, you do not see the relationship between those statements.
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

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SEG
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Re: How do we approach a new proposition?

Post by SEG » Mon May 13, 2019 6:53 am

Og3 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:51 am
What I'm getting at with the Herodotus story, just to be clear: When you say that God could have allowed them to live happy and fulfilled lives... What exactly constitutes a happy and fulfilled life? And how can we say that their lives, to that point, were not happy and fulfilled?
Oh my apologies, You already have this covered:
And if we believe that this experiential evil relates somehow to a spiritual good, then we see again, as with the child whose abrupt death at the hands of an evil man leads to eternal life in abundance and fullness, that our grief today sets the stage for glory in a future time.

So if you believe that there is no god, then the death of X, while lamentable, is only status quo; and if you believe in God, then X and someday the parents of X will see their mourning turned into gold.
What stinking thinking all that is...
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: How do we approach a new proposition?

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Mon May 13, 2019 7:00 pm

SEG wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 4:17 am
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 5:50 pm
It seems to me that your position is much more subtle than SEG's. As far as I can tells SEG's view is that in a properly ordered cosmos no one should be suffering even the mildest discomfort. You will allow that some pain and discomfort may have a purpose and hence not be gratuitous but I am not sure how you are making that distinction. Are you saying that in some cases you can see why something which seems evil or unpleasant can have a purpose such as when pain warns us to get our fingers out of the fire but in other cases like the ones you mention above you cannot see such a purpose. The problem I see there is that the same purposive process, the pain response, is operating in both cases. And as far as the role of the agents in such cases seems without purpose I disagree. I believe that all organismic actions, even distructive ones, have purpose but that these purposes sometimes misfire, sometimes conflicting with the intentionality of the agent, sometimes seeming to create that intentionality but as what Freud would call a rationalisation. However in order to understand what I am saying here, since I feelit may be obscure, you would need to have in mind a clear distinction between intention (something held in conciousness and which can be stated in language) and purpose (a broader category which includes any goal directed action, even when the goal is not held in the awareness of a concious being).

Or we could look at purpose in a much broader sense; in terms of some kind of ultimate or cosmic purpose.

Now I am very aware that resoning about these things always seems to trivialise them; Lewis's friend Charles Williams once humbled Lewsis by comparing Job'scomforters to the kind of people who write books about the problem of pain. And actually the best book I am aware of on this issue is John Hick's Evil and the God of Love but it is many years since I read that.

Does anything I have said seem worth clarifying or exploring further?
I would like you to clarify what you think about this comment in the Captain's link:
For if we assume that God must always choose the best, then our world must be, as Leibniz infamously stated, the best of all possible worlds (or the best world creatable by God). But this leads to the idea that our world, with all its holocausts and innumerable other evils, is the best that an infinitely powerful, infinitely wise and infinitely good being could do. And this idea, as you put it in one of your publications, seems to be an absurdity that merits the ridicule heaped upon it by Voltaire. Do you think, however, that the theist can avoid this outcome by rejecting the initial assumption that there is a best possible world (or a best creatable world)?

Yes, provided there are good reasons to think that instead of a best world, there is an unending sequence of increasingly better worlds. The other possibility is that there are a number of equally good worlds and none better, or perhaps worlds that are incommensurate in value. Consider what seems to be the favoured option to there being a best world, an infinity of increasingly better creatable worlds, and no best world. Since there is no best world for God to create, some claim he would be free to create any good world in the series, even the least good world. I’ve argued that it is impossible for there to be such a series, given the necessary existence of a being who is necessarily perfect, all-knowing, and all-powerful. For, given an infinite series of increasingly better creatable worlds, no matter what world a being might create, it would be possible that there be a being whose degree of goodness is such that it simply could not create that world given that there is a better world that it could create instead. If this principle is true, and I believe it is, then if there necessarily exists a being than which none better is possible, it cannot be that for every creatable world there is a better creatable world.
If this is the best God could do, he has failed miserably by leaving us with so many degrees of evil which he could have easily avoided. If he was only good enough to spare lives and tragedy on children under 5, he would be worthy of worshipping. But he can't/won't even do that.
Personally I don't think you can rank order goods, I don't think the concept of perfection when applied to God needs to refer to rank ordering goods and I don't think you can rank order possible worlds. Obviously some people do think along these lines beginning with St Anselm and I suppose before him a lot of the Greek philosphers. I think it would be interesting to set Rowe's thinking against some of the Christian philosophers who do seem to take this rank ordering approach, such as Keith Ward or Plantinga, since they do not think he has provided a defeater for their concepts but the arguments on each side are goingt to get very heavy and may not seem conclusive on either side.

Og3
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Re: How do we approach a new proposition?

Post by Og3 » Mon May 13, 2019 7:24 pm

SEG wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:53 am
Og3 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:51 am
What I'm getting at with the Herodotus story, just to be clear: When you say that God could have allowed them to live happy and fulfilled lives... What exactly constitutes a happy and fulfilled life? And how can we say that their lives, to that point, were not happy and fulfilled?
Oh my apologies, You already have this covered:
And if we believe that this experiential evil relates somehow to a spiritual good, then we see again, as with the child whose abrupt death at the hands of an evil man leads to eternal life in abundance and fullness, that our grief today sets the stage for glory in a future time.

So if you believe that there is no god, then the death of X, while lamentable, is only status quo; and if you believe in God, then X and someday the parents of X will see their mourning turned into gold.
What stinking thinking all that is...
ridicule is not refutation.
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

captain howdy
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Re: How do we approach a new proposition?

Post by captain howdy » Tue May 14, 2019 4:47 am

Hi again Moonwood and 0g3 both. I’m going to pool my responses to both of you since you’re both arguing along similar lines.

The heart of the evidential problem is that there is an inherent contradiction between the existence of gratuitous evil and the existence of an omnibenevolent God. You guys retort that because we’re not omniscient then we’re in no position to judge God’s reasons for allowing those kids to die like that after all. Maybe just maybe God has some grand secret good he planned to achieve by way of those kids’ deaths. But as Rian has pointed out, looking at something like the massacre of defenseless children in school requires a better explanation than God only knows.

If God is the greatest being that can possibly be imagined, then a God that does not require the slaughter of small children to achieve his ends is greater than one that does, so by that rationale a god that requires such gratuitous evil does not exist.

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SEG
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Re: How do we approach a new proposition?

Post by SEG » Tue May 14, 2019 2:35 pm

Og3 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:24 pm
What I'm getting at with the Herodotus story, just to be clear: When you say that God could have allowed them to live happy and fulfilled lives... What exactly constitutes a happy and fulfilled life? And how can we say that their lives, to that point, were not happy and fulfilled?
The kids had not fully experienced life yet. They hadn't grown up, had a career, loved a partner or had a family of their own.
SEG wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:53 am
Oh my apologies, You already have this covered:
Og3 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:51 am
And if we believe that this experiential evil relates somehow to a spiritual good, then we see again, as with the child whose abrupt death at the hands of an evil man leads to eternal life in abundance and fullness, that our grief today sets the stage for glory in a future time.
That's the classic Christian false promise to console the wretched to keep them quiet and manageable...don't worry about your life or terrible loss, it will all be worth it and it all gets squared up in Heaven. What are you complaining about?
Og3 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:24 pm
So if you believe that there is no god, then the death of X, while lamentable, is only status quo; and if you believe in God, then X and someday the parents of X will see their mourning turned into gold.
Here you have reduced those innocent children down to an algebraic term. If you don't believe in a ghost then the death of that term (x) is sad, but just par for the course. If you do believe in ghost then X and someday the parents of X will see their mourning turned into gold. So the grieving is worth nothing until you get to Heaven and it's only then that it's valuable.
What stinking thinking all that is..
ridicule is not refutation.
It wasn't ridicule and now it's been refuted.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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Moonwood the Hare
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Re: How do we approach a new proposition?

Post by Moonwood the Hare » Tue May 14, 2019 7:12 pm

captain howdy wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 4:47 am
Hi again Moonwood and 0g3 both. I’m going to pool my responses to both of you since you’re both arguing along similar lines.

The heart of the evidential problem is that there is an inherent contradiction between the existence of gratuitous evil and the existence of an omnibenevolent God. You guys retort that because we’re not omniscient then we’re in no position to judge God’s reasons for allowing those kids to die like that after all. Maybe just maybe God has some grand secret good he planned to achieve by way of those kids’ deaths. But as Rian has pointed out, looking at something like the massacre of defenseless children in school requires a better explanation than God only knows.

If God is the greatest being that can possibly be imagined, then a God that does not require the slaughter of small children to achieve his ends is greater than one that does, so by that rationale a god that requires such gratuitous evil does not exist.
Your point here is well made cap. I am not sure I can add much to what I have already said. I was not really thinking of some grand plan in which each tragedy finds a purpose, but more the way things like pain and human freedom are part of the general way the universe is in the outworking of God's purpose. I don't really accept Anselm's definition of divine perfection. I am grateful to Roy Clouser who has pointed out that when the Bible uses the word perfect of Godit is not using it in that kind of sense. For example it says to human beings, 'be perfect as I am perfect'. He is not directing people to be the greatest being that can be imagined but to keep there end of a deal as he has kept his. I am not sure world where the slaughter of children cannot happen is really possible once one has children and slaughter as possibilities. It would be a world very different from ours.

Ultimately I think God only knows will always turn out to be the final answer even if one has to work through a lot of reasoning and imagining to get there. But actually I apologise if my answer seems so inadequate to the things you are wresting with.

Og3
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Re: How do we approach a new proposition?

Post by Og3 » Tue May 14, 2019 7:41 pm

captain howdy wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 4:47 am
Hi again Moonwood and 0g3 both. I’m going to pool my responses to both of you since you’re both arguing along similar lines.

The heart of the evidential problem is that there is an inherent contradiction between the existence of gratuitous evil and the existence of an omnibenevolent God. You guys retort that because we’re not omniscient then we’re in no position to judge God’s reasons for allowing those kids to die like that after all. Maybe just maybe God has some grand secret good he planned to achieve by way of those kids’ deaths. But as Rian has pointed out, looking at something like the massacre of defenseless children in school requires a better explanation than God only knows.

If God is the greatest being that can possibly be imagined, then a God that does not require the slaughter of small children to achieve his ends is greater than one that does, so by that rationale a god that requires such gratuitous evil does not exist.
Hi, Captain.

Speaking for myself only: I do feel that there is a greater and better explanation than "God only knows" but I don't know it. So I am left pointing out the logical problems in assuming that there is not a greater explanation. To give you specific answers would be pure speculation on my part, and I'm not going to do that.

As an example of the assumptions you're making, notice that you say that God requires the slaughter of small children to achieve his ends. That is not what any of us are saying; Christian doctrine would instead say that God permits the killing of children to achieve his ends. And while that doesn't seem much better, we come back to the question of why it's a bad thing. If the pain of dying is momentary, and then there is no more pain, why would death be bad per se? Even if we do not suppose an eternity of bliss, the end of pain in itself is necessarily a good. Unless...

Unless we also assume that there was some purpose, some meaning to the lives these children should have led. And that's why it really seems outrageous to us: We believe that these children should have grown up, learned to ride bicycles and to write in cursive, had first crushes and first kisses and first dates, loved and married and found careers and raised children... I'm sure you agree that that is what our hearts tell us about these children: They should have grown up and it is outrageous that they didn't. Right?

So why do we believe that they should have grown up? Why do we believe that these 20 lives had any meaning or significance at all, and "should haves" at all? What leads us to believe that?

You see, we're caught in the middle here: If we say that they were just 20 random children in the ongoing chain of billions of people in the history of the world; accidental combinations of seed and egg; or as Rich Mullins put it, "Two-legged monuments to happenstance"... Then we have to concede that there was no good or bad time for them to die; they had no purpose, and their lives and deaths were meaningless. But we don't believe that! We believe that they should have grown up! But if they "should have" grown up -- if they "Should have" anything at all -- then their lives had a purpose and a meaning.

So what we believe about humans in general is at odds with what we believe about these children. One of these two things must be wrong. Either humans have a meaning and a purpose, or else these children did not.

But if we say that these children had a meaning, then we have to ask, "And what was it?"

And to answer that, we must question the one who meant it... the one who gave that meaning, and who assigned that purpose.

So rather than prove that there is no God, it seems to me that Sandy Hook establishes that there is a God.
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Og3
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Re: How do we approach a new proposition?

Post by Og3 » Tue May 14, 2019 7:52 pm

SEG wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:35 pm
Og3 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:24 pm
What I'm getting at with the Herodotus story, just to be clear: When you say that God could have allowed them to live happy and fulfilled lives... What exactly constitutes a happy and fulfilled life? And how can we say that their lives, to that point, were not happy and fulfilled?
The kids had not fully experienced life yet. They hadn't grown up, had a career, loved a partner or had a family of their own.
So...
No child can be happy; he has not grown up.
No child can be happy; she has not had a career.
No child can be happy, he has not loved and raised a family.

That can't be right. Let's try that a different way.

No person can be happy who has not had a career. Stay at home mothers are inherently unhappy. Retirees are inherently unhappy. Rich people are inherently unhappy.
No person can be happy who has not loved a partner and had a family. Therefore all bachelors and spinsters are unhappy. All childless couples are unhappy.

I'm sorry, SEG, but the corollaries to that seem logically untrue.
SEG wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:53 am
Oh my apologies, You already have this covered:
Og3 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:51 am
And if we believe that this experiential evil relates somehow to a spiritual good, then we see again, as with the child whose abrupt death at the hands of an evil man leads to eternal life in abundance and fullness, that our grief today sets the stage for glory in a future time.
That's the classic Christian false promise to console the wretched to keep them quiet and manageable...don't worry about your life or terrible loss, it will all be worth it and it all gets squared up in Heaven. What are you complaining about?
How do you know that the promise is false?
Og3 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:24 pm
So if you believe that there is no god, then the death of X, while lamentable, is only status quo; and if you believe in God, then X and someday the parents of X will see their mourning turned into gold.
Here you have reduced those innocent children down to an algebraic term. If you don't believe in a ghost then the death of that term (x) is sad, but just par for the course. If you do believe in ghost then X and someday the parents of X will see their mourning turned into gold. So the grieving is worth nothing until you get to Heaven and it's only then that it's valuable.
X was to represent a random one of the 20 children. I do not know their names, and if I did, I wouldn't want to name a specific one for my purpose. But if you wish to see it algebraically, then so be it.
What stinking thinking all that is..
ridicule is not refutation.
It wasn't ridicule and now it's been refuted.
Sure, Lich. I mean, SEG. If by refutation you mean that you restated your original position, then, sure, you refuted the hell out of that. If by stinkin' thinkin' you mean any concept that you do not understand and cannot answer on point, then sure, that's stinkin' thinkin'. Go pat yourself on the head now.
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

captain howdy
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Re: How do we approach a new proposition?

Post by captain howdy » Wed May 15, 2019 2:52 am

Og3 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 7:41 pm
captain howdy wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 4:47 am
Hi again Moonwood and 0g3 both. I’m going to pool my responses to both of you since you’re both arguing along similar lines.

The heart of the evidential problem is that there is an inherent contradiction between the existence of gratuitous evil and the existence of an omnibenevolent God. You guys retort that because we’re not omniscient then we’re in no position to judge God’s reasons for allowing those kids to die like that after all. Maybe just maybe God has some grand secret good he planned to achieve by way of those kids’ deaths. But as Rian has pointed out, looking at something like the massacre of defenseless children in school requires a better explanation than God only knows.

If God is the greatest being that can possibly be imagined, then a God that does not require the slaughter of small children to achieve his ends is greater than one that does, so by that rationale a god that requires such gratuitous evil does not exist.
Hi, Captain.

Speaking for myself only: I do feel that there is a greater and better explanation than "God only knows" but I don't know it. So I am left pointing out the logical problems in assuming that there is not a greater explanation. To give you specific answers would be pure speculation on my part, and I'm not going to do that.

As an example of the assumptions you're making, notice that you say that God requires the slaughter of small children to achieve his ends. That is not what any of us are saying; Christian doctrine would instead say that God permits the killing of children to achieve his ends. And while that doesn't seem much better, we come back to the question of why it's a bad thing. If the pain of dying is momentary, and then there is no more pain, why would death be bad per se? Even if we do not suppose an eternity of bliss, the end of pain in itself is necessarily a good. Unless...

Unless we also assume that there was some purpose, some meaning to the lives these children should have led. And that's why it really seems outrageous to us: We believe that these children should have grown up, learned to ride bicycles and to write in cursive, had first crushes and first kisses and first dates, loved and married and found careers and raised children... I'm sure you agree that that is what our hearts tell us about these children: They should have grown up and it is outrageous that they didn't. Right?

So why do we believe that they should have grown up? Why do we believe that these 20 lives had any meaning or significance at all, and "should haves" at all? What leads us to believe that?

You see, we're caught in the middle here: If we say that they were just 20 random children in the ongoing chain of billions of people in the history of the world; accidental combinations of seed and egg; or as Rich Mullins put it, "Two-legged monuments to happenstance"... Then we have to concede that there was no good or bad time for them to die; they had no purpose, and their lives and deaths were meaningless. But we don't believe that! We believe that they should have grown up! But if they "should have" grown up -- if they "Should have" anything at all -- then their lives had a purpose and a meaning.

So what we believe about humans in general is at odds with what we believe about these children. One of these two things must be wrong. Either humans have a meaning and a purpose, or else these children did not.

But if we say that these children had a meaning, then we have to ask, "And what was it?"

And to answer that, we must question the one who meant it... the one who gave that meaning, and who assigned that purpose.

So rather than prove that there is no God, it seems to me that Sandy Hook establishes that there is a God.
This is all a bit um....strained. Did their lives have purpose? Of course. You haven't proved God exists. You've proven parents exist because that's where most if not all of the purpose in their lives came from originally.

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