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Man is nothing like the Almighty God
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JamesJah
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:42 pm    Post subject: Man is nothing like the Almighty God  Reply with quote

If man gave up listening to Almighty God's direction, why does he think any one would want to listen to his?

Look at the mess he has made so far.
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Shaker
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That line of, for want of a far better word, "argumentation" founders on a rather large and (usually) completely obvious rock.

Which is namely that for people who believe in a theistic god (a deistic one doesn't really apply), that entity has to be responsible for everything that happens - not only the good but the bad, the wrong, the downright wicked and outright evil as well. Anything else - that well-worn tactic of ascribing all the bad stuff to man/natural causes and all the good stuff to that god - is nakedly contemptible special pleading. This means that while "god" is responsible for charity and kindness, it is also responsible for famine and rectal cancer. There's no way around this. It's either one or the other.

In a natural, godless universe, however, while human beings are certainly responsible for Bergen-Belsen and the Rape of Nanking, they're also responsible for the Salk polio vaccine and good drains. That's exactly what I'd expect of what Christopher Hitchens called the overdeveloped apes with over-active adrenal glands which we actually are. The world isn't a mess; the world is the world. That's it. As Nietzsche so rightly said (he was usually right), the Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.

In short, if you start from the premise, as Christians are committed to do, that the world is essentially a factory reject supposedly created by a perfect being of perfect knowledge, infinite goodness and unlimited power but who disclaims any responsibility for its conduct, a world inherently wrong/damaged/broken from the get-go and the humans in it as intrinsically and inherently flawed when compared to some ridiculously unattainable lunatic fantasy of "perfection," of course you're going to see the world as a mess. It isn't. The world is a world, full of lots and lots and lots of different kinds of people doing different kinds of things, some good, some bad.

For all its woes and imperfections the world is as it is and most people, while understanding the need for and wanting to see change, tacitly like it the way it is by continuing to live in it. The god of theism depicts an entity said to be capable of creating a universe out of nothing but who on any dispassionate, disinterested reading of theistic scriptures actually reveals an entity unfit to run a whelk stall.
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ELEVENSES81
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a natural, godless universe, however, while human beings are certainly responsible for Bergen-Belsen and the Rape of Nanking, they're also responsible for the Salk polio vaccine and good drains

Good post Shaker.

What you imply of course is that although the universe may be godless, we are capable of confronting our freedom and making moral choices. One could argue that vile doctrines like National Socialism or the cult of the military as exemplified by Japan in the first half of the 20th century, are a fallback into deterministic blindness in which any vile act can be justified. 'It's not my fault, I'm part of an historical process over which I have no control'. The sublimation of personal freedom to causes such as these are the price we pay for also being able to engage with the noble.  
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cyberman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ELEVENSES81 wrote:
while human beings are certainly responsible for Bergen-Belsen and the Rape of Nanking, they're also responsible for the Salk polio vaccine and good drains

Good post Shaker.  


Not a bad post as far as it goes, I suppose - but what is it gainsaying? Has anyone claimed that anyone other than humans should take the credit for good drains?
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JamesJah
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cyberman wrote:
ELEVENSES81 wrote:
while human beings are certainly responsible for Bergen-Belsen and the Rape of Nanking, they're also responsible for the Salk polio vaccine and good drains

Good post Shaker.  


Not a bad post as far as it goes, I suppose - but what is it gainsaying? Has anyone claimed that anyone other than humans should take the credit for good drains?


Vegetables grow franticly well when they have good manure, that some one does not charge you for getting rid of.

People do not have to live in cities if they can live at piece with each other.
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Shaker
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cyberman wrote:
Not a bad post as far as it goes, I suppose - but what is it gainsaying? Has anyone claimed that anyone other than humans should take the credit for good drains?


Ultimately theism does this, surely, ascribing ultimate, not proximate, goods and goodness to God. Consider doxology - in Protestant circles the passage known simply as The Doxology has a first line which runs Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.

Now the theist is inserting an extra link into the chain. Clever, kindly, philanthropic, humanitarian people certainly create vaccines that cure diseases, give billions to the needy, look after disabled kids and suffering animals and so forth, but on the theistic view this goodness is ultimately of God working in/through such noble individuals, isn't it? The naturalistic view has a chain of two links only which goes: nice people - good things (in that order) whereas the theistic view has three: God - nice people - good things (ditto). The naturalistic view, as usual, is the simpler.
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JamesJah
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When gas some one been able to live without telling some one ells the he is doing it wrong?

Why is it the biggest bully gets to have it the way he wants it?

What's so good about the Arab way of life they want to dump it on every one?
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Jim
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wot the blood and stomach pills have Arabs got to do with it?
Orthodox Christian Arabs?
Palestinian Christian Arabs?
Evangelical Christian Arabs?
Coptic Arabs?

---oh, surely not MOSLEM Arabs?
Which sect?
There are at least 123 sects and sub-sects of Islam amid Arab culture, some diametrically opposed to each other.

Or are you being racist and meaning ALL Arabs?
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cyberman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shaker wrote:
cyberman wrote:
Not a bad post as far as it goes, I suppose - but what is it gainsaying? Has anyone claimed that anyone other than humans should take the credit for good drains?


Ultimately theism does this, surely, ascribing ultimate, not proximate, goods and goodness to God. Consider doxology - in Protestant circles the passage known simply as The Doxology has a first line which runs Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.

Now the theist is inserting an extra link into the chain. Clever, kindly, philanthropic, humanitarian people certainly create vaccines that cure diseases, give billions to the needy, look after disabled kids and suffering animals and so forth, but on the theistic view this goodness is ultimately of God working in/through such noble individuals, isn't it? The naturalistic view has a chain of two links only which goes: nice people - good things (in that order) whereas the theistic view has three: God - nice people - good things (ditto). The naturalistic view, as usual, is the simpler.


But saying that it is God who made good people doesn't mean that you are denying that those good people have done what they have done, does it?
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Shaker
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cyberman wrote:
But saying that it is God who made good people doesn't mean that you are denying that those good people have done what they have done, does it?


Goodness me, no.

Thank heavens I never said that. I've said what I've said - the theistic approach is a three-links-in-the-chain approach: God - good people - good deeds. The theistic three-links-in-the-chain approach at the very least does imply that the good things done by good people may not have ever been done without God as the fons et origo of all good as that first link in the chain. This is rarely explicitly stated as atheists-have no-morality anymore, but it was common enough in the distant past and still does crop up here and there from time to time. It's not denying that good people have done what they've done; it's stating that the ultimate (rather than the proximate) basis for that good is God. Human beings may be in the middle of the chain, but the chain begins (or ends) with God, from whom all etc. etc. This is pretty basic theism, isn't it?

The naturalistic, non-theistic account of reality says that humans do good things because we're a social primate. We're an ape which lives in groups and we have to get along pretty well most of the time. What we do to get along is what we have arbitrarily come to know as 'good'. Cooperation is good. Altruism is good. Sharing limited resources is good. Basic charity and kindness are good. Deceit is bad. Stealing is bad. Making somebody experience pain is bad. And so on. There's no evidence whatever that there's any such thing as any absolute and ultimate, independent-of-what-anybody-thinks-about-it good but much evidence that we have ascribed the term good to this thing and that thing for evolutionarily prudential reasons.

The opposite view, the theistic/supernaturalist view, is to act like the Texas sharpshooter (the Texas sharpshooter being the one who fires his gun into a barn door and draws a bullseye around the hole afterwards); it's to assume that there's an external, some say transcendent, one might say Platonic idea of good in the first place and then to go looking for it. It's creating a concept - 'good' - and then going to look for anything which fits the description, rather than vice versa as Ralph Waldo Emerson had it:

Quote:
Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this


I suspect that a considerable number of religious people fight shy of this naturalistic view, and in some cases actively reject it with a suspicious degree of heated emotional investment, because they fear that it means that what we humans have come to regard as right/good and wrong/bad are essentially arbitrary and the result of evolutionary accident - things fell out this particular way but need not have done so; they are like this but they could have been otherwise and there's no absolute and immutable grounding behind it.

They are, as far as I can see, perfectly right to think so. That they are bothered by it is their problem, not mine.


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