If there were no God


#322

I can’t answer for everyone and its unreasonable for anyone to ask that, but such is not the teaching of the Catholic Church which contains as many Christians as all other Christian sects put together. It teaches that while man is bound by the sacraments, God most certainly is not.

Judgement is God’s alone. That’s completely the end of that discussion, as far as I’m concerned.

There does appear to be a substantial disparity between what Christendom is in your mind and what it actually teaches. Just saying…


#323

That theoretical god (lower case!) is not the same as the Christian God (capitalized). If any agency (human or god or God) values “that nearly unlimited freedom” over the well-being of the victims, then the words we use to describe it are not the terms of endearment. Something like evil, horrible, despicable, sadistic… and so on. As opposed to “loving” and “caring” that the Christian God (capitalized) is supposed to be.

It is included in your “maybe that hypothetical god (lower case!) values the free will more than the incredible pain and suffering of millions of Jews and others in the Holocaust”.

So in heaven we shall just change into mindless robots? Well, it would be worth it.

This problem is easy to resolve. Expose everyone to their “medicine”. If you (or that lower case god) prefers the (nearly) unlimited freedom over the well-being of the victims, let’s expose you (and it) to the result of such preference. Let get a few Gestapo thugs equipped with all the equipment of torture, and see how fast you (or it) would change your (or its) preference.

If you have no problem with torturing others in the name of “free moral agency” let’s do the same to you.

The golden rule cuts both ways. “Do unto others as they prefer to do unto you”. Or “Do unto you what you prefer to do onto everyone else”. You would definitely deserve it - as a teaching process.


#324

So you’re HP Lovecraft.


#325

You have no idea of that and maybe some well known theologians (like Aquinas) would take issue with your position here. This is the hundredth time you’ve doggedly tried to pose your opinion as fact and it’s getting tiresome…

I think the gift of choosing our moral deeds and misdeeds is a gift that is greater in magnitude than the ill that comes about as a result. As such, what a benevolent god to have given such a gift, right?

Again, you feel differently. But that’s a far cry from being factually based. You appear to reject one ideology in exchange for another and attempt to proclaim it as more rational. Except, you don’t appear to use any more empirical facts than the Christians your trying to lambaste.

This makes me smile, but in a bittersweet way. It’s another example of someone trying to proclaim their sky-fairy as being more mighty than someone else’s sky-fairy…

Sure. And that’s not the same as saying it’s A-OK. You just need it to be in order to salvage your bad argument. Not working.

We do seem to lose the negative aspect of moral agency somehow. Whether by destruction or fulfillment is something left to the religious debate floors.

No it’s not. How do you forcefully expose a theoretical god to what you think is just desserts?
It’s not able to be resolved at all. You don’t even think the god exists, but you want to try an subject it to tests? Did you actually read this as you were typing it?

If this is a sloppy and sophomoric appeal to the Golden Rule, it’s merely a reinforcement of the morality in which it’s already nested. Benevolent societies use the GR, Right of Might societies use the GR. It doesn’t actually identify any specific morals, as I hope you knew?

Who said I had no problem with torture? I do. But I have a problem with destroying my ability to choose. I don’t want to be an automaton. I like deciding and the power it gives me. Everyone does. Just like you enjoy trying to cause suffering in the form of cognitive dissonance in Christians (Oooh, the irony there… :slight_smile: ).


#326

That is only your unsupported opinion.

You think??? Another unsupported opinion. Just pile them on, don’tcha? And you would very quickly abandon this opinion, if YOU or your loved ones would be on the receiving end of this “gift”.

Just desserts?? What the heck is that? But the solution is still simple. I use my imaginary magical powers and make your invented “god” to become physical, and then subject it to some “wonderful” acts of moral decisions - the ones you and your imaginary “god” find so desirable. And in the meantime, since you and your imaginary “god” share the same value system, I would expose you and your loved ones to some “juicy little examples of that oh-so-wonderful free will”. I would give you at most a few minutes before you would change your mind.

You did… of course only as long as the sufferers are not you. What a hypocrite!


#327

I’m sure someone has said this already but I have to tell you. The fact that you started with the mistaken premise that miracles don’t happen completely destroys your argument. I suggest that miracles happen everyday you are unaware of. Go to St. Charbel’s Tomb in Lebanon when you have a chance.

LOL good luck!


#328

Considering that gigantic IF

  1. If there is no God then
    when things get bad just end your life. Who cares. Since there’s nothing after this life then there is No judgement, so no reward for good we do, no chastisement for wrong doing. We’re just dead. Like we’ve never been here.

The fact people pray for good outcomes here when things go bad, shows faith in an almighty God. Even if prayers aren’t answered the way we want them answered here, the hope also goes past this life. People of faith, take the long view. We know we are already immortal. We live forever. The question is, where will forever be for any given person. Heaven or hell.

  1. If there is a God then

There is a heaven and hell. There is judgement

The next life is outside of time. No clock, to keep track of time, no calendar to keep track of months and years, no yesterday, today, tomorrow, In the next life. A billion years from now is still now in the next life.

As Peter put it, God is outside of time

Bottom line,

  • If one is judged for heaven, they are there forever and happy beyond belief.
  • If one is judged for hell, they are there forever AND screwed beyond belief

Thus as they say … the wager … the bet … or to use your alias, the gamble

cutting to the chase

  • If you’re right and I’m wrong, well… no harm no foul. We’re just dead and that’s it. I won’t know I was wrong you won’t know you’re right.
  • If I’m right and you’re wrong, well… you can’t even put your head around the error you made. As for me, I can’t get my head around the bliss

#329

They can have justice by ensuring no one dies from that cause needlessly again. An Afterlife seems to be a clean bill of responsibility to try and stay alive.


#330

God has left us to sort out our differences here on Earth. Mankind can’t stop people dying needlessly from injustice, only God can put things right after our death…


#331

Not with that attitude.


#332

Could there even be powers of the soul that are not sensitive if God didn’t exist?? I mean could intellect exist without God? I think it’s impossible to have a thought experiment that is able to remove God. Here we are a thinking rational animal discussing the absence of God. Since humans are alone in being able to do that, there is a mysterious chasm between us and any other animal. Understanding or observing a process to know how it happened in humans has proven completely elusive… We have no proof that intellect is something that the powers of nature could produce. This is an impossible thought experiment if intellect remains a mystery and not a proof of one or the other position. Sorry if this has all been covered. Just ignore.


#333

I find this unnecessarily hostile. I don’t believe in God, but I accept positing the existence of such an entity is a solution to an apparent problem. I just am not convinced that it is a problem at all. In other words my atheism isn’t founded on the idea that the existence of God is improbable (how could one ever measure the likelihood of God existing), nor is it based on the notion that the Judeo-Christian God punishes unbelievers (who could ever hope to understand the mind of such a fundamentally inscrutable being). I’m an atheist simply because I have yet to be convinced that a Prime Mover is necessary all. But I still respect that many people believe in God, even if some seem to want to use their belief as a sort of rhetorical cudgel.


#334

I have no problem with believers or atheists. But I DO have a huge problem with hypocrites.


#335

I’m not a hypocrite. I’ve suffered. Everyone suffers. This is just another redoubt you retreat to when a particular argument isn’t going well for you and you seek other high-ground to try and defend.

As suffering can’t be measured, how can you objectively declare any particular example of suffering as excessive or gratuitous? Just when you don’t see the causality behind it? How do you determine “just the right amount” of suffering over which we reach the excessive?

How can one declare suffering as unnecessary? Even sans god, it still exists. It is actual. As such, suffering arguments are nothing more than the attempts of appeals to pathos employed when their appeals to logos seem to falter, as I think you’ve done here.


#336

Where did these moral codes begin?


#337

In the behaviors of animals, in particular ours stem from social primate behaviors. Chimps have fairly complex social rules, for instance. But really, if you survey morality throughout history, for the most part what counts is that there are rules, but the rules themselves have been pretty variable.


#338

The default position for mankind is not a belief in God. This is something that has happened very recently. If, for whatever reason we reached this point without this belief, then almost everyone would be happy with the natural explanations that we have for how everything is as it is, barring some unknowns such as aspects of the big bang and abiogenesis. And those woukd still be sitting in the ‘Don’t Know’ basket.

And what was suggested as a solution to that which we didn’t understand (and still by some people who fail to understand or actively refuse to listen - and a quick hi to some of the guys on every evolution thread we’ve ever had) and to what we still don’t understand is…a deity.

But not JUST a deity. Otherwise we’d simply call her Nature and be done with it. This particular deity has more attributes and more direct involvement with us than you could poke a stick at.

So the scales weren’t even being used at the beginIng. They still aren’t now. This is not a debate as to who has the weightier arguments. As I have said before, there are no arguments on this side for No God. What everyone on this side of the fence is doing is saying that this is the way that existence appears to work and that no deities need apply in order for that to be so.


#339

I have never met a hypocrite who would admit his hypocrisy. Because if he did, he would cease to be a hypocrite.

Irrelevant. We are not talking about suffering in general, rather about the suffering caused by some evil psychopath, whose act could be prevented. The problem is that you declare that if one can choose between limiting “free will” and “suffering”, then you would prefer the freedom and thereby allow the suffering. It is obvious that you would prevent your own suffering, or the suffering of your child IF some psychopath would attempt to torture you or your child, and this PROVES that you would NOT value the freedom of the psychopath over the fate of your child. Q.E.D. You are a hypocrite.

You also said that every instance of suffering is due to some human action, thereby declaring the difference between “moral evil” and “natural evil” to be nonexistent - which is patently absurd.

Anything and everything that a LOVING and OMNIPOTENT God could eliminate, is by definition - unnecessary.


#340

The default position for mankind was “theological non-cognitivism”. Just like the default position for mankind on black holes was “‘black hole’ non-cognitivism”. There was no cognition of the ideas to form any position for or against.

This bears a striking similarity to the statistical, hypothetical and philosophical nulls - that “it” (whatever you want “it” to be) has a truth value of “undefined” until proven otherwise.

We don’t really know that. We’re limited by the records our forbears left us and prepared burial along with artifacts and relics (preparation for “the other side”) seems to be at least 100k years old and likely older. 100k is just the present evidence “wall” and modern homosapiens are only twice as old. Our “footprints” in the time just weren’t very deep at that point in history.

Not solely for that reason, obviously. The French Revolution’s Worship of the Supreme Being was suggested because Robespierre saw it as the best source for virtue (sorry for getting metaphysical, here. Hazard of the topic).

Natural side effect of culture. American vs Egyptian vs Indo-European vs Asian pyramids. They all served pretty similar functions with a lot in common yet the have all these different additional details.

Physical existence, I’m happy to grant.

I don’t particularly need a god for “is”. I need one for “ought”.


#341

That’s a very interesting theory. I would love to hear more about that theory if you have the time to enlighten me. For now, however, I will go ahead and utilize the widely-accepted running theory that Judeo-Christianity was where it all began. Thereby, the idea of morality, as we know it today, was created and perpetuated by humans. And thusly imposed upon other humans, as such.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.