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Adjunct to "A Tiny Light"

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A dialogue between two people  in which each takes his turn speaking:

"I want your opinion. Does God exist?"

"By the term 'God ' what do you mean?"

"Well a loving personal God."

"As espoused by the Abrahamic religions?"

"Yes."

"It doesn't matter."

"Why not?"

"If that personal loving God exists He doesn't stop the most vile wickedness to His creatures. He isn't loving or is mostly powerless to stop said wickedness, so it doesn't matter."

"Well then, what about an impersonal, amorphous God that created things as they are?"

"It seems likely that such exists. But again, it doesn't matter to me since "It," is in fact, impersonal in nature, does it?"

"Clearly not. But getting back to your previous point: It is humans that cause wickedness, not God."

"That is neither here nor there. But if I understand correctly your argument, you are indicating that this personal God allows the vileness of the human creature to continue unabated when He has the power to stop it. Does that make God an accessory? By human law He most definitely would be."

"But God's laws and reasoning are not humans laws and reasoning, His are higher."

"Then it doesn't matter, again, from the human point of view because His reasoning and laws are unknowable."

"You say that the question of whether God exists in any form doesn't matter. And yet many, many people will attest to the hand of a loving God in their lives. Are they deluded?"

"I never said such a thing and never will. However, for every person that you can produce that will testify as to what you just said, I can produce one that will attest to the opposite, myself included. Besides that, neither one of the two witnesses previously mentioned can prove his or her claim either way, which makes it based upon a feeling. Feelings are emotion. And when it comes to trusting emotions, I will trust mine over another's."

"But what about future rewards and punishments? What about an afterlife?"

"It doesn't matter."

"It does matter, at least to those that have died. If you haven't checked recently, the mortality rate still hovers around 100%."

"Well, a future system of rewards and punishments assumes this fact: that those rewards and punishments will be perfectly meted out in a rational manner based upon the actions of this irrational current life. That assumption is preposterous, thoroughly unjust--as all people are born into very different circumstances-- and is not even based upon an extrapolation of current life. At least the Ancients assumed that the future life would be more or less like the current. But their views have fallen out of favor of late. Nevertheless, it would be the 'greatest vanity' to attempt to influence, by our current actions, a future system that is unknowable to any living human. Therefore, it doesn't matter."

"Well then, what's the point to life? I suppose you'll say that it doesn't matter, huh?"

"No! the point to your life is whatever you want it to be, irrespective of any future payment or punishment."

"But that type of thinking would have such corrosive effects upon our culture's moral fiber. We would loose our moral anchor and people would be emboldened to do whatever harmful things that they wish."

"In what culture, religious or not, do harmful people not exist and do as they please? Remember, our conversation initially centered on the burning question that has plagued humanity, 'Is there a loving God, and if so, why does He permit wickedness?' This then, is at least a tacit admission that religion does not prevent wickedness, seeing as how religion is the oldest and most entrenched institution that humans have."

"Well, religion is easier. It can tell me what God wants of me and that will be my purpose."

"It doesn't matter. Your opinion is as valid as mine."

"Which, by parity of reason, means that your opinion doesn't matter either."

"Precisely."

Comments (9)

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Aint free will a b**ch?

You made me bite Joshua! Remember our previous conversations:
I am presupposing that randomness at the sub atomic level allows for an indifferent universe, and that Evil as such exists when this randomness is applied...

Aint free will a b**ch?

You made me bite Joshua! Remember our previous conversations:
I am presupposing that randomness at the sub atomic level allows for an indifferent universe, and that Evil as such exists when this randomness is applied for the destruction or disruption of order. In the human, the conscious decision to apply the reality of randomness in order to impose destruction or disorder is conscious Evil as opposed to Universal Evil. The latter occurs to the Universe, or any sentient beings within it, while the former is imposed upon it and or them. - AA “Our free will, as shown by Stapp, must involve a violation of the complete randomness of ordinary quantum physics.” – Matter Mind and God by Jack Sarfatti ----

The first step in arguing the existance of a caring God is establsishing evil as a truth. Oh, and Merry Chirstmas!!

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a
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So humans, via free will, can make, influence, or even create the conditions whereby the natural randomness of the universe becomes un-random in order to wreak havoc? That, presumably, places the responsibility upon humans to NOT use that power...

So humans, via free will, can make, influence, or even create the conditions whereby the natural randomness of the universe becomes un-random in order to wreak havoc? That, presumably, places the responsibility upon humans to NOT use that power lest they be culpable, which consequently, relieves an omnipotent God of responsibility for that portion of evil found in the world. So far so good, as humans are subject to the influences of the universe. But at best, we've only divided the share of evil between the two parties. What does it matter if a rock falls from a cliff and crushes a person or someone pushed the rock? The results are the same.
But what about that omnipotent God? If one is to believe that a God created everything from nothing, then at one point the entire randomness of His creation existed only in His mind. By setting about the physical creation of the universe, He set in motion universal randomness and all of the consequences that flow therefrom, i.e. evil. And to put the icing on the cake, one of those consequences are His human creation (whether by evolution or direct creation, it doesn't matter) that would eventually have enough of this thing called "consciousness" to apply order to randomness for the purposes of evil.
If humans can impose order to randomness for the purpose of evil (and presumably goodness, which we haven't discussed), then why could not their Creator, that is not subject to the universal randomness, do the same? We return to our previous affirmative statement: "God cannot or will not prevent evil." Ho, Ho, Ho, and a Merry to Christmas to you!"

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Joshua Hennen
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Simply because one is able to do something doesnt mean they will do it. Look for instance at a parent with a child. The parent can prevent the child from climbing up a step in order to protect it, but how will the child ever learn how to climb...

Simply because one is able to do something doesnt mean they will do it. Look for instance at a parent with a child. The parent can prevent the child from climbing up a step in order to protect it, but how will the child ever learn how to climb the step unless the parent makes the conscious choice not to intervene? Allowing it to climb the stair could be disastrous, Evil, with the cracking of a skull. Or triumphant, with the climbing of a step, Good? This is the paradox of Free Will v Predeterminism. The omnipotent force knows all, yet at the same time gives it's creation a choice. The paradox points towards an impossiblity, but we are so more inclined to believe for instance, that physicists have shown that an object can exist in two places at the same time, (if you want the literature on this let me know) I suppose my point is that via science we are shown that what was before impossible is in fact not, and that randomness and order can and do exist in our physcial universe simultaneously. How this applies to the existance of God? I'm working on it, but its somewhere there within the Free Will V Determinism paradox.

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a
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I think that you have "hit the nail on the head" in one respect. All fields of discipline are, at their very core, an intractable paradox--at least to the reasoning abilities of humans. This is true of the sciences, theology, philosophy, the...

I think that you have "hit the nail on the head" in one respect. All fields of discipline are, at their very core, an intractable paradox--at least to the reasoning abilities of humans. This is true of the sciences, theology, philosophy, the human condition, etc.... No sooner does one think that she has answered one question than five more arise; its a Hydra with an infinite number of heads. It wouldn't be so bad if humans didn't have the disease of the mind that makes us think that everything should be logical to us. Pi drove the Greeks to madness because it was "crazy." Life only APPEARS to be logical but deep down, we all know that life is not rational, which is why people have faith that someone or something out there has it "all under control;" a loving parent, if you will. But once one has made logical sense of ALL of the available data with no contradictions, he will have the mind of God and be God.

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Joshua Hennen
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The unknown is dead, long live the unknown. God IS the unknown! (i am fighting with all I have to allow someone the last word. Please reply so I can prove I can do it!!)

a
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Well, I'm not one of those strident types that insists that I know for a certainty that there is or isn't a God. Everyone has his or her own ways of making some sense of the world. It's all been said before between the great debate between...

Well, I'm not one of those strident types that insists that I know for a certainty that there is or isn't a God. Everyone has his or her own ways of making some sense of the world. It's all been said before between the great debate between Rousseau and Voltaire. If people choose to believe in a loving God because it makes them happy to do so and helps them in some meaningful way, I'm happy for them. Let us just do good to others irrespective of who or what they are. With civil debates like these, maybe we can learn something about ourselves in the process.

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Joshua Hennen
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Believe me when I tell you I would love to pounce on this with both feet, but alas, There would be no satisfactory end except for the stimulation alone. So I here by decree that I shall stand on the side with Van Morrison. I don't believe there...

Believe me when I tell you I would love to pounce on this with both feet, but alas, There would be no satisfactory end except for the stimulation alone. So I here by decree that I shall stand on the side with Van Morrison. I don't believe there is a heaven but I pray there is no hell. This is kind of like the true answer (There is no right or wrong answer is their???)

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Vangoman
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I'm afraid not. That's why there is no reason to get red in the face over differences of opinion on this subject or worse yet, go to war over it!

Joshua Hennen
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If we had but world enough and time. I agree 100%

Vangoman
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