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#81 Anastasis

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 03:50 PM

Using the 'argument from free will' (i.e. a potential paradox between divine omnisience and human free will) is philosophically a bit of a moving target. There are a number of possible rational positions:

1) The universe is determinist and there is free will ("soft determinism", cf. David Hume)
2) The universe is not determinist and there is free will ("Libertarianism", cf. Robert Kane)
3) The universe is determinist and there is not free will ("Hard determinism" cf. d'Holbach)
4) The universe is not determinist and there is not free will (er... not generally supported)

The tricky bit seems to be dealing with vague but heavily loaded term like 'Free will'. Christadelphians are (as you may have noticed) soft determinists.

Still I think there is a stronger (or at least more emotive) criticism which can be made - stemming from the combination of both 'omnisience' and 'beneficence'.

Basically - it doesn't seem terribly reasonable to allow several billion people to suffer and die, for a single action (by one) whom you designed and built, and allowed to malfunction - despite having the foreknowledge and ability to stop.


Option 3 strikes me as the obvious.

#82 Anastasis

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 08:49 AM

I also note the absolute lack of knowledge of verses like Heb 4v3 and Col 1v16 in this thread. It's really scary that CDs and many others believe in this taking-his-best-shot-chaossubjecter.

#83 Skeptic

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 01:31 AM

Pantrog

Basically - it doesn't seem terribly reasonable to allow several billion people to suffer and die, for a single action (by one) whom you designed and built, and allowed to malfunction - despite having the foreknowledge and ability to stop.


It certainly never has to me anyway.

In this context, malfunction could refer to "choosing to sin", but over many (de)generations it has also come to signify the biological malfunctioning of organisms due to the decay caused by the Fall (in other words by one person's actions), manifested in babies being born with genetic defects.

According to the Bible, God encouraged Adam to procreate and also commanded Jews to restrict themselves to their own gene pool, at the exclusion of Gentiles, throughout the Old Testament (with perhaps a handful of insignificant exceptions). Today if a baby has Tay Sachs, chances are that the baby is an Ashkenazi Jew. Tay Sachs also manifests as Chronic GM2-gangliosidosis.

In addition Ashkenazi Jews have a high risk of Bloom's Syndrome, Canavan Disease, familial dysautonomia, fanconia anemia, Gaucher Disease, mucolipidosis IV, Niemann-Pick Disease and torsion dystonia. [Source]

But even in non-Jewish populations where the gene pool is not restricted in that way, there are still other diseases caused by gradual degeneration of the overall human genetic material:

Most common illnesses, including cancer, stroke, arthritis and schizophrenia, are thought to be caused by several errant genes acting together.


[Source]


So, even though no-one escapes the "decay", ordering people to restrict their gene pool will make things worse, since it prevents particular causative genes from being "bred out" and therefore causes the incidence of certain terrible afflictions to be worse for a given population. From a genetic point of view, ordering people with a known defect to breed and multiply and not intermarry with others, is very bad advice.

Edited by Skeptic, 30 May 2005 - 01:43 AM.


#84 DJP

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 03:05 AM

Pant, out of interest, what's your connection with Christadelphians?

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#85 DJP

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 03:05 AM

Feel free not to say if you like.

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#86 Anastasis

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 03:56 AM

Pantrog

Basically - it doesn't seem terribly reasonable to allow several billion people to suffer and die, for a single action (by one) whom you designed and built, and allowed to malfunction - despite having the foreknowledge and ability to stop.


It certainly never has to me anyway.

In this context, malfunction could refer to "choosing to sin", but over many (de)generations it has also come to signify the biological malfunctioning of organisms due to the decay caused by the Fall (in other words by one person's actions), manifested in babies being born with genetic defects.

According to the Bible, God encouraged Adam to procreate and also commanded Jews to restrict themselves to their own gene pool, at the exclusion of Gentiles, throughout the Old Testament (with perhaps a handful of insignificant exceptions). Today if a baby has Tay Sachs, chances are that the baby is an Ashkenazi Jew. Tay Sachs also manifests as Chronic GM2-gangliosidosis.

In addition Ashkenazi Jews have a high risk of Bloom's Syndrome, Canavan Disease, familial dysautonomia, fanconia anemia, Gaucher Disease, mucolipidosis IV, Niemann-Pick Disease and torsion dystonia. [Source]

But even in non-Jewish populations where the gene pool is not restricted in that way, there are still other diseases caused by gradual degeneration of the overall human genetic material:

Most common illnesses, including cancer, stroke, arthritis and schizophrenia, are thought to be caused by several errant genes acting together.


[Source]


So, even though no-one escapes the "decay", ordering people to restrict their gene pool will make things worse, since it prevents particular causative genes from being "bred out" and therefore causes the incidence of certain terrible afflictions to be worse for a given population. From a genetic point of view, ordering people with a known defect to breed and multiply and not intermarry with others, is very bad advice.


Very interesting. I think this serves as evidence against those that believe the Ashkenazi Jews are God's chosen people.

#87 pantrog_*

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 09:06 AM

wow, I go away for three days and I have to come back to post of theology and metabolic disease in childhood. eclectic.

Adanac, sorry I'm trying to be brief. I was providing illustration that western philosophy is nowhere near a consensus - there's a long tradition of apparently logical but contradictory view points. Mainly because no one really knows an absolute definition for 'free will'. I hoped we could discuss an alternative consequence of divine omniscience - the 'problem of evil'.

In this context, malfunction could refer to "choosing to sin", but over many (de)generations it has also come to signify the biological malfunctioning of organisms due to the decay caused by the Fall (in other words by one person's actions), manifested in babies being born with genetic defects.


Skeptic, genetic disease is a very specific example of the way in which humans suffer in day-to-day life. We could make a more general argument and ask if everything is in the divine plan - has human history really been the optimal route - was the suffering of every child (or adult) that died or experienced pain - necessary.

example - Around 1 million people will die this year due to Malaria. Most of them will be under 5 years old. Needless to say fatal Malaria is unpleasant. Was it impossible for the deity to have organised the world so this was unnecessary?

{as a nota bene Skeptic I'd argue that DNA mutation, although harmful in small inbreeding communities, is a vital part of a species adaptation, and I personally don't think there's evidence for a decline in human function over the past few thousand years - after all there's 6 billion of us ticking along fairly well}

Pant, out of interest, what's your connection with Christadelphians?

DJP, I was brought up in a Christadelphian family. I have lots of family members and acquaintances who are Chirstadelphian. - Out of habit I still pull used stamps of envelopes to give to the Christadelphian Bible Mission!

Very interesting. I think this serves as evidence against those that believe the Ashkenazi Jews are God's chosen people.


Anastasis, That would probably be the Ashkenazi Jews themselves, and I don't think they see it as particularly convincing evidence. Although they have a high incidence of a specific Tay-Sachs mutation theres no reason to believe they have an unusual amount of mutations in general. Relatively high inbreeding rates (typical of small religious or geographically isolated comunities) means that parents tend to share the same mutations.

Edited by pantrog, 30 May 2005 - 03:43 PM.


#88 Fortigurn

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 06:17 AM

The argument goes that Adam did not have a sin-prone nature, but since he chose to procreate it is Adam's fault that we all have sin-prone natures. But wait a minute, weren't Adam and Eve explicitly instructed by God in Gen 1:28 to have children? Indeed. So in essence God told Adam and Eve to have children, knowing in his omniscience full well that these children would not stand an equal chance of choosing for or against obeying him and that allowing them to procreate would result in a world filled with sin. Who is responsible? Good question, that...

There are two main ideas going around about what God intended:
  • Glory by conquering sin
  • Glory by means of sin
I'm with the first idea. The second requires God to be fully responsible for sin, which is an integral and essential part of His plan, without which it would fail.

#89 Adanac

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 10:10 AM

Never mind.

Edited by Adanac, 31 May 2005 - 10:27 AM.


#90 pantrog_*

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 12:08 PM

I'm with the first idea. The second requires God to be fully responsible for sin, which is an integral and essential part of His plan, without which it would fail.


Clarfiy for me Fortigurn are you agreeing only with the first option (and just explaining a second alternative, but in your mind erroneous, view) or agreeing with both?

#91 mordecai_*

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 03:18 PM

Back to omniscience...

How can a god that doesn't respect justice be worth worshipping? How can the bibles definition of justice (which is man made by the way) be in anyway considered glorious, fair and just and worthy of praise by all?

If you were born in one of the more ignorant places of the world, and had no access to the bible and were and islamic fundamentalist as a matter of lineage and geographical location, and time and age in which you live how exactly is that just since no one chooses where they are born and which beliefs and traditions will be available in their geographical area?

The thing about mankind being responsible for their fate and their flawed reality is probably the most idiotic bible doctrine. Why can't god have a perfectly functioning unvierse with no war, death, disease or destruction and just put time limits on peoples lives and actually interact with his race via angels (who dont mysteriously disappear or reveal themselves to special people or groups making outlandish claims then suddenly disappear) or what have you. The bibles man made definition of justice, morality and kindless reaks of mans making all over it, it seems barbaric, tedious, and moronic.

How life can be some kind of test for the "enlightened" who through pure lottery of their birth find a book called the bible, can be called gods glorious and enlightened people seems pretty screwed up for a divine plan.

The problem is the world as it exists, and the bad design of the human mind (amazingly prone to superstition and error) and the failure rate of correct god belief is enormous if you are christian, how can one reconcile the omnipotence and omniscient ability with such blundering idiocy that the world reflects in the alleged creator god?

Edited by mordecai, 01 June 2005 - 03:21 PM.


#92 Evangelion

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 03:24 PM

God is not obliged to make absolutely everything absolutely wonderful for absolutely everybody.

That's not justice.

Even secular society will agree that this is not justice.
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#93 mordecai_*

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 09:14 PM

God is not obliged to make absolutely everything absolutely wonderful for absolutely everybody.

That's not justice.

Even secular society will agree that this is not justice.

Most peoples concept of justice includes concept of fairness or tit for tat, exactly what is tit for tat about being born in a village just down the hill from a volcano and being overcome burned alive? What exactly is just about a huge tsunami wiping out people and their homes?

if god is in control of nature surely he can make laws that govern it that protect people from harm from things that have no bearing on their free will. Nothing is beyond gods power. The fact is, the reality that exists is simply insane by any intelligent standard. If we were god and were desigining reality and had infinite energy and capability, we certainly wouldn't design it like this. After all being god, any reality, with any kind of rules is possible because of the infinite and inexhaustable source of energy to power any kind of physics or laws you would need for the perfect reality, after all most believers in god believe god can do anything they imagine, and even beyond their imaginations, if this is the case, then god has a really limited imagination. A mundane universe of exploding stars and geological and cosmic disasters is not exactly the ideal universe. That's all you need to argue that the bibles god simply does not exist in any real objective sense.

Why exactly to you need human intermediaries and 1000 years to write a book when you're omnipotent and omniscient creator of the universe who knows all past presents and futures, have all presently existing and future technology at your command, why exactly would you use a book and slow inefficient and dumb beings to save peoples lives? It's like sending drunk people off the street to perform surgeries on people in hospitals. It's ridiculously stupid any way you slice it.

First you have

1) The enormous failure rate of people to believe in him (but wait he's omnipotent and DESIGNED the human brain, so in effect, he's responsible for their disbelief by proxy because of bad design of the brain)
2) People dont pick where or who they are born to
3) People dont pick what diseases they get or natural disasters that are inflicted upon them by god (since he's in control of nature and the bible says he sustains it, and is also omnipotent).
4) God doesn't get tired, it takes no effort on his part to change or control reality and make it non-violent, how can violence be viewed as a sign of intelligence in a godlike being? Violence is only necessary for animals that are dependent competing for limited resources, why exactly does god need violence and a finite creation of limited resources being a self-sustaining entity with infinite energy? It makes no sense at all, for being around for an eternity the bible god sure is bloody ignorant and sloppier then any human engineer or english major I know in picking the right technology and right people to represent him and spread his saving message to mankind.

Which only further adds more questions, why send a men to do a gods job while people are living and dying waiting for little sects to travel to distant places to educate the barbarians?

Edited by mordecai, 01 June 2005 - 09:27 PM.


#94 Dianne

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 09:15 PM

God is not obliged to make absolutely everything absolutely wonderful for absolutely everybody.

That's not justice.

Even secular society will agree that this is not justice.

The problem is that Mordecai believes that God should fix everything that man messed up from the beginnning. It seems that he believes that man shouldn't have to do anything to rectify this situation. God should do it all and make it perfect.

#95 mordecai_*

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 09:23 PM

God is not obliged to make absolutely everything absolutely wonderful for absolutely everybody.

That's not justice.

Even secular society will agree that this is not justice.

The problem is that Mordecai believes that God should fix everything that man messed up from the beginnning. It seems that he believes that man shouldn't have to do anything to rectify this situation. God should do it all and make it perfect.

How can man mess up nature when man cannot even control nature? Please, where is the evidence that natural law has changed suddenly in recent history, where is the geology, the cosmological history, the chemistry that supports the very laws of nature changed because of our ancestors decision, how could I ever know which god was right if they all claimed their gods were capable of changing the laws of nature on disobedience of their commands?

It's an impossibility for anyone to determine what kind of god to beleieve in period without supernatural representatives existing for all time in all times so people could see for themselves if it was true or not.

There is no criteria to distinguish the truth or falsity of a god from another god, because you can always claim that your god changed reality and it is impossible to detect the original reality, and therefore all other gods are false.

Islamic people do this "God decieved you", I mean the very fact that people can believe that god wants to decieve other people purposely make it impossible to measure because supernatural changes to the laws of nature leave no evidence makes it impossible to determine what is true, and we go down into relativistic hell. How you guys can't see the problem of religious relativism is shocking. Without physical detectable evidence and knowing how to detect whether or not the laws of nature were changed, then necessarily how you can know that it was your god and not somebody elses with no physical evidence or infallible methodology to divide true and detectable changes in reality from false ones? Then there is the question of false positives, how can any person deal with a supernatural fasle positive? For instance a reality that looks like it may have been changed but actually in reality wasn't and it's undetectable?

Edited by mordecai, 01 June 2005 - 09:32 PM.


#96 Dianne

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 11:20 PM

God is not obliged to make absolutely everything absolutely wonderful for absolutely everybody.

That's not justice.

Even secular society will agree that this is not justice.

The problem is that Mordecai believes that God should fix everything that man messed up from the beginnning. It seems that he believes that man shouldn't have to do anything to rectify this situation. God should do it all and make it perfect.

How can man mess up nature when man cannot even control nature?

Mordecai why are you even asking these questions of Christians who believe in the Genesis account whereas you see things from a completely different perspective. Why are you wasting time? I could answer your question from the Bible but since you don't believe it why even bother?

#97 Fortigurn

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 11:40 PM

I'm with the first idea. The second requires God to be fully responsible for sin, which is an integral and essential part of His plan, without which it would fail.


Clarfiy for me Fortigurn are you agreeing only with the first option (and just explaining a second alternative, but in your mind erroneous, view)...

Yes. That is why I said there were two main ideas going around, and that I go with the first.

...or agreeing with both?


No I am not agreeing with both. I am agreeing with the first. I attempted to communicate this by saying 'I'm with the first'. Let me know if I'm still unclear.

#98 Fortigurn

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 11:40 PM

God is not obliged to make absolutely everything absolutely wonderful for absolutely everybody.

That's not justice.

Even secular society will agree that this is not justice.

The problem is that Mordecai believes that God should fix everything that man messed up from the beginnning. It seems that he believes that man shouldn't have to do anything to rectify this situation. God should do it all and make it perfect.

Yes, Mordecai subscribes to the doctrine of what I call the 'Celestial Nanny'. :baby:

It's attractive, because it removes all responsibility from men.

#99 mordecai_*

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 03:33 AM

God is not obliged to make absolutely everything absolutely wonderful for absolutely everybody.

That's not justice.

Even secular society will agree that this is not justice.

The problem is that Mordecai believes that God should fix everything that man messed up from the beginnning. It seems that he believes that man shouldn't have to do anything to rectify this situation. God should do it all and make it perfect.

Yes, Mordecai subscribes to the doctrine of what I call the 'Celestial Nanny'. :baby:

It's attractive, because it removes all responsibility from men.

God is ultimately responsible by proxy whether someone turns out a stupifying brain damaged idiot, or a genius scientist since life runs on his hardware and software he designed himself, it stands to reason that if people dont believe in him its a defect in the god itself and not the human being. Again, failure to believe in a being that is omnicapable of solving the problem of people believing in him with 100% success rate is a contradiction of omnipotence or is intentional evil on gods part in which case he's not worth worshipping since he is a non god and/or doesn't exist because the men that wrote about him lied about him posessing one of the claimed qualities of omnipotence and omniscience.

Edited by mordecai, 02 June 2005 - 03:35 AM.


#100 Evangelion

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 05:44 AM

God is not obliged to make absolutely everything absolutely wonderful for absolutely everybody.

That's not justice.

Even secular society will agree that this is not justice.

Most peoples concept of justice includes concept of fairness or tit for tat, exactly what is tit for tat about being born in a village just down the hill from a volcano and being overcome burned alive?


Why does it need to be tit for tat? I don't believe that even secular justice is limited to so primitive a concept. Indeed, secular justice is largely utilitarian; "tit for tat" has been replaced with "the greatest good for the greatest number."

And if someone is born next to a volcano, it's because someone else chose to build a village next to a volcano. So they should be blaming the people who built the village, not God.

What exactly is just about a huge tsunami wiping out people and their homes?


Absolutely nothing. It's not just; it's not unjust. It's simply nature at work.

If a pigeon excretes on your car but not on your neighbour's car, would you call that "unjust"? Should God be ensuring an even distribution of guano throughout the suburban areas?

if god is in control of nature surely he can make laws that govern it that protect people from harm from things that have no bearing on their free will.  Nothing is beyond gods power.  The fact is, the reality that exists is simply insane by any intelligent standard.  If we were god and were desigining reality and had infinite energy and capability, we certainly wouldn't design it like this.  After all being god, any reality, with any kind of rules is possible because of the infinite and inexhaustable source of energy to power any kind of physics or laws you would need for the perfect reality, after all most believers in god believe god can do anything they imagine, and even beyond their imaginations, if this is the case, then god has a really limited imagination.  A mundane universe of exploding stars and geological and cosmic disasters is not exactly the ideal universe. That's all you need to argue that the bibles god simply does not exist in any real objective sense.


Why do you believe that God is obliged to make absolutely everything absolutely wonderful for absolutely everyone? Why do you believe that God is obliged to create a perfect reality straight away? How is this "justice"?

It's not "justice", Mord; it's merely an unrealistic utopia.

"I don't want to live in a world where anything bad happens; I don't want to stub my toe, drop a plate, lose my dog, break a nail, catch a cold or have a bad hair day. And if I do live in such a world, that's unjust!"

Can't you see how facile this notion is?

Why exactly to you need human intermediaries and 1000 years to write a book when you're omnipotent and omniscient creator of the universe who knows all past presents and futures, have all presently existing and future technology at your command, why exactly would you use a book and slow inefficient and dumb beings to save peoples lives?  It's like sending drunk people off the street to perform surgeries on people in hospitals.  It's ridiculously stupid any way you slice it.


You don't need them; it's simply how God chose to do it.

First you have

1) The enormous failure rate of people to believe in him (but wait he's omnipotent and DESIGNED the human brain, so in effect, he's responsible for their disbelief by proxy because of bad design of the brain)
2) People dont pick where or who they are born to
3) People dont pick what diseases they get or natural disasters that are inflicted upon them by god (since he's in control of nature and the bible says he sustains it, and is also omnipotent).
4) God doesn't get tired, it takes no effort on his part to change or control reality and make it non-violent, how can violence be viewed as a sign of intelligence in a godlike being?  Violence is only necessary for animals that are dependent competing for limited resources, why exactly does god need violence and a finite creation of limited resources being a self-sustaining entity with infinite energy?  It makes no sense at all, for being around for an eternity the bible god sure is bloody ignorant and sloppier then any human engineer or english major I know in picking the right technology and right people to represent him and spread his saving message to mankind.

Which only further adds more questions, why send a men to do a gods job while people are living and dying waiting for little sects to travel to distant places to educate the barbarians?


Because if you absolve humanity of all responsibility and effort, you end up with (a) mindless automatons, and/or (b) a largely deterministic universe.

Neither of which can be equated with "justice" in any form.
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.




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