Flip Flop Existance


#1

Well, lets bring up another one of these… same rules as before: Senior Members attack, Junior and Regular Members defent.

Topic: Does God Exist?

and i’ll start off with a simple profession:

God Exists because the Bible says he Exists!


#2

OK then, your reasoning is circular, because you have to believe God exists in order to give any authority to the words of the bible.


#3

But The church says the bible cannot have error…

(i konw this is pathetic of me, but why not start somewhere stupid and get it out of the way, right?)


#4

Again, you need a God to have a Church who tells you there’s a God. Circular reasoning.

Consider this:

1 There is a God.
2 God is all good.
3 God is all powerful.
4 There is evil.

There is a problem with the above.

If God exists and is strong enough to get what he wants and wants good, there would be no evil.

If Evil exists, and God is all powerful, he can’t be all good, for he allows evil in the world.

If evil exists and God is all good, he can’t be all powerful, for he can’t get what he wants (all goodness).

If there is evil in the world, an all good and all powerful God does not exist.


#5

[quote=trumpet152]Again, you need a God to have a Church who tells you there’s a God. Circular reasoning.

Consider this:

1 There is a God.
2 God is all good.
3 God is all powerful.
4 There is evil.

There is a problem with the above.

If God exists and is strong enough to get what he wants and wants good, there would be no evil.

If Evil exists, and God is all powerful, he can’t be all good, for he allows evil in the world.

If evil exists and God is all good, he can’t be all powerful, for he can’t get what he wants (all goodness).

If there is evil in the world, an all good and all powerful God does not exist.
[/quote]

Well, unless you give us a specific idea of what sort of evil you’re talking about, this argument has problems. Namely, if we look at all the evils committed by humans, and they are considerable, we can imagine that an all-good God has a good reason for allowing them: free will. We would be no more than robots if we were incapable of doing evil, and certainly a group of people with the capacity for good is better than a group or robots - mere matter in motion.


#6

[quote=EnterTheBowser]Well, unless you give us a specific idea of what sort of evil you’re talking about, this argument has problems. Namely, if we look at all the evils committed by humans, and they are considerable, we can imagine that an all-good God has a good reason for allowing them: free will. We would be no more than robots if we were incapable of doing evil, and certainly a group of people with the capacity for good is better than a group or robots - mere matter in motion.
[/quote]

This is something I always wondered about.

Why do people consider “free will” a good or desirable thing, somehow superior to “robots”? As a constructor, engineer or computer programmer we all strive to create widgets, which perform exactly according to specifications. If a computer program exhibits “free will”, it is erroneous, “buggy”, and the programmer would try his best to fix it.

It makes no sense at all to allow one’s creation to behave erratically, or in a manner which was not intended. It is of course possible that the designer wishes to study chaotic behavior, for whatever purpose. But that presupposes that unpredictable, chaotic behavior exists in the first place. If God would be omniscient, all-knowing, that would make no sense. There is no unpredictability in God’s universe, therefore it makes no sense to create “unpredictable beings”. Therefore there is no “free will”, we only think we have it, due to our ignorance.


#7

[quote=Hitetlen]This is something I always wondered about.

Why do people consider “free will” a good or desirable thing, somehow superior to “robots”? As a constructor, engineer or computer programmer we all strive to create widgets, which perform exactly according to specifications. If a computer program exhibits “free will”, it is erroneous, “buggy”, and the programmer would try his best to fix it.

It makes no sense at all to allow one’s creation to behave erratically, or in a manner which was not intended. It is of course possible that the designer wishes to study chaotic behavior, for whatever purpose. But that presupposes that unpredictable, chaotic behavior exists in the first place. If God would be omniscient, all-knowing, that would make no sense. There is no unpredictability in God’s universe, therefore it makes no sense to create “unpredictable beings”. Therefore there is no “free will”, we only think we have it, due to our ignorance.
[/quote]

Hey, you’re not playing by the rules! You’re supposed to be defending the existence of God.

Anyways, let me make my own analogy: would you want your children to perform precisely as you designed them? Would you want to have complete control over their actions? Or would you prefer that they be their own person - even if this preference entailed that on occasion, some of them did things you didn’t approve of?

Additionally, I think your conception of free will is problematic. Let’s imagine, for an instant, a Godless universe. Now, at this point, there’s nothing with enough knowledge about you to predict your actions. So you’ve got free will. But then, unbeknownst to you, an alien begins monitoring the Earth, and with supercomputers and very sensitive measuring tools, she gains enough knowledge about your behavior to be able to exactly predict it. So now you wouldn’t have free will. But in reality, nothing about you has changed. So it’s silly to say that you might have gained or lost free will, since there was no actual change in yourself - and it seems that free will is definitely a property of a thing/person.


#8

[quote=EnterTheBowser]Well, unless you give us a specific idea of what sort of evil you’re talking about, this argument has problems. Namely, if we look at all the evils committed by humans, and they are considerable, we can imagine that an all-good God has a good reason for allowing them: free will. We would be no more than robots if we were incapable of doing evil, and certainly a group of people with the capacity for good is better than a group or robots - mere matter in motion.
[/quote]

How can an all-poweful, all-good God allow children to die of hunger? Either he can’t stop it (and he’s not all-powerful) or he won’t stop it when he can (and not all good). There’s an easy solution to this problem: God doesn’t exist.

So God gave us free will knowing that would reject good? He allowed evil? Why didn’t he stop it? I thought he was God, the being so wise that he deserves worship. Doesn’t sound like he thought this idea out.


#9

[quote=trumpet152]How can an all-poweful, all-good God allow children to die of hunger? Either he can’t stop it (and he’s not all-powerful) or he won’t stop it when he can (and not all good). There’s an easy solution to this problem: God doesn’t exist.
[/quote]

Incidentally, starving children are generally not considered to be a sort of moral evil. In debate on this particular question, moral evil is usally equated with those acts committed by humans which cause suffering.

So God gave us free will knowing that would reject good? He allowed evil? Why didn’t he stop it? I thought he was God, the being so wise that he deserves worship. Doesn’t sound like he thought this idea out.

Because if he stopped us from committing evil, then we would probably not have free will.


#10

Since I’ve been specifically invited

If the Bible were to be independently determinable to be of naturally inexplicable origin or character, its credibility would be substantially enhanced. There would be rational justification to take at least simple declarative statements as true by default, especially those statements discussing the origins of the book.


#11

[quote=trumpet152]If there is evil in the world, an all good and all powerful God does not exist.
[/quote]

Ah, the PoE, the most powerful argument against the existence of a god.

The Free Will defense fails (since I’m defending, not attacking, I’ll leave the details as an exercise to the Senior Members) so the only viable alternative is the Unknown Purpose defense. That whatever happens is in fact the highest possible good. This lets us preserve our temporal ethics (hint).

Of course, it is then not at all clear what we would mean by calling God “omnibenevolent”, since we ex hypothesi don’t know what ultimate goodness actually is.


#12

On the unknown purpose defense:

Imagine the following situation: a mad scientist, being mad, one day kidnaps a sleeping person. The scientist then places him in a vat, which wll sustain his body, and which contains “electrodes” (don’t pay attention to the specifics) which are attached to the various nerves in the person’s body. On “waking,” the person has the illusion that everything is in fact normal. In other words, we’ve got ourselves a brain in a vat.

Now, our mad scientist, being devious in addition to being mad, decides to have a little fun with the BIV. She attaches further devices to the person’s brain, which allow her to monitor - and to some extent control - the BIV’s thoughts. Now, one day at “work,” the BIV is confronted with a problem he hasn’t seen before - some question about engineering or other. The MS (bm) then uses her machines to manipulate his thoughts so that he never figures out the answer to the question - nor does he realize that he is being manipulated. Nevertheless there is an answer to the question - he just doesn’t know it.

I don’t mean to suggest that God is fooling us. In reality, I’m suggesting a situation more analogous to making a silly error on a test - we’ve made a mistake and are not aware of it. There’s always the possibility that there is some error, some new fact, that we’re simply not taking account of.

In other words, there might indeed be a good reason for God allowing the suffering we see. Just because we can’t figure it out doesn’t mean it’s not there.


#13

Here’s a fun website by a former atheist and apparently big science geek. I haven’t searched the site enough so I’m not presenting this as Catholic evidence - just science geek evidence.

doesgodexist.org/Phamplets/Mansproof.html


#14

[quote=EnterTheBowser]Incidentally, starving children are generally not considered to be a sort of moral evil. In debate on this particular question, moral evil is usally equated with those acts committed by humans which cause suffering.
[/quote]

Fine, how can God exist when men molest children? When women are raped? When thousands are murdered?

Because if he stopped us from committing evil, then we would probably not have free will.

You missed the point. Why did God give us free will if he knew it would lead to evil? Didn’t he see this coming?


#15

Isn’t that like saying, “I can’t find a flaw in your logic, so instead of admitting your right, I’ll be untruthful with myself and say there’s an answer out there that I can’t think of.”


#16

[quote=PLP]Since I’ve been specifically invited

If the Bible were to be independently determinable to be of naturally inexplicable origin or character, its credibility would be substantially enhanced. There would be rational justification to take at least simple declarative statements as true by default, especially those statements discussing the origins of the book.
[/quote]

Prove it’s origin. I see no reason to accept it. The burden of proof is on you.


#17

[quote=trumpet152]Fine, how can God exist when men molest children? When women are raped? When thousands are murdered?
[/quote]

The argument runs that the importance of free will outweighs possible harms. Without free will, we would be mere robots, and no good at all would arise - whereas in a free world, though there is evil, there is also the oppurtunity for good.

You missed the point. Why did God give us free will if he knew it would lead to evil? Didn’t he see this coming?

I imagine God did see this coming, but the point I am making is that free will is a compelling reason to allow individuals to make mistakes.


#18

[quote=trumpet152]Isn’t that like saying, “I can’t find a flaw in your logic, so instead of admitting your right, I’ll be untruthful with myself and say there’s an answer out there that I can’t think of.”
[/quote]

What I am arguins with the UPD is that the POE is not a conclusive argument. Simply, we generally allow that in certain instances, it is morallly acceptable to allow some suffering - generally to promote some higher goal or good. Since we are not in possession of all the facts (particularly about the future), it is unreasonable to unilaterally dismiss possible such reasons.


#19

[quote=trumpet152]Prove it’s origin. I see no reason to accept it. The burden of proof is on you.
[/quote]

The best argument I’ve seen for the supernatural origin of the Bible is the presence in it of fulfilled prophecies. I’ll have to look up some references when I have more time.


#20

[quote=PLP]The best argument I’ve seen for the supernatural origin of the Bible is the presence in it of fulfilled prophecies. I’ll have to look up some references when I have more time.
[/quote]

Nostradamus had “fulfilled prophecies” too (as did 1984)…


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