Customer Discussions > Religion forum

An Open Letter to the Masses of Sheep


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-25 of 371 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 10:51:53 PM PDT
Harry Marks says:
Shakespeares Dog -

"Evil is just a label to atheists"

Speaking for all atheists, are you?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:28:05 PM PDT
Jack Vix said: "ac: Jack's argument was lost when he assumed [insert things I never said here]

JV: Your argument was lost when you put your own words on my post."

And what is it exactly that I claimed you said that you never actually said?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 1:45:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 6, 2012 1:49:34 PM PDT
Amar says:
CT,

Thanks.

But I must add that it was a little harsh and not easy for me to say those things about Jen, whom I know for several years on these forums and admired her for standing up for rationalism with verve and strength in the past. I even recall calling her sis a few times. So it was hard.

But now she finds her "faith returned", in a way that she can't explain to all of us. Which is fine with me. It happens to people. It only means that she now has one more belief than she had until a year ago. If that works for her, it shouldn't be anyone else's concern. All of us have beliefs to varying degree and none of us are without them; no off-switch in our belief-module in the brain.

But what's not working for her is the way she goes about showing her new-found faith and defending it, with the enthusiasm of a neo-convert and often in direct contradiction to what she used to be saying in the past. That's the thing I find troubling and hard to reconcile. I believe she is better off without wearing her faith on her sleeve, at least for now. Hence my attempt to make her understand that, not to reach her or anything. She will be fine on her own.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:38:23 AM PDT
>>>Amar says to KNYN;
Because you (KNYN) don't have any(arguments for the existence of God), other than merely asserting his existence based on nothing but blind faith. I have no quarrel with that. That's your choice. What concerns me here is your attempt to resist irrationally the rational pathway leading from the problem of evil to questioning the existence of your all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly just being that you have spouted often earlier. You feel threatened by the force of that logic, and yet you know no way of cogently countering it; instead, you have chosen to bury your head in the sand in abject denial. Why, because you are so deeply invested in your belief about your "Living and Eternal King" that you find questioning his existence is "beyond arrogance" and "downright delusional". <<<

Bravo, Amar.

Excellent try at communicating with someone whose head is so far into the sand that he has lost touch with reality.

Good luck ever reaching him, though.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012 7:03:38 AM PDT
J. Harding says:
KNYN,

Here's your tired "stop telling me what to believe" mantra. Discussing beliefs doesn't prevent people from believing whatever they want.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012 2:58:26 AM PDT
'probabilist says:One could also ask, "Why is there good in the world?"

Prob, The "problem" is not one atheist have to wrestle with.
there are behaviours we deem "good" for a variety of biological, social, cognitive and cultural reasons and others we deem to be "bad" with similar roots.
We have a spectrum of behaviour and we reflect on it and categorize it. Good and Evil are labels like rich and poor or fast and slow.

There is good in the world because we elect to label some actions "good" but as history would probably illustrate - some stuff we used to call good is bad and some seemingly bad stuff turns out to be good.

Evil is just a label to atheists and a very poor one full of emotive baggage.

For theists the problem is, I think - that they see evil as a tangible force - an entity almost - with corruptive intent that is in active opposition to some nebulous nature god would like us to willingly choose [goodness ?]. it is an integral part of a teleological force in the world and is outwith the biological realm of genetics and evolution or even the physical universe of photons, atoms and electrons.

I could have this very wrong and am open to being corrected and educated on "evil" and how it is perceived by believers.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012 12:04:08 AM PDT
'probabilist says:
Shakespeares Dog asked:

> Why is there evil in the world?

One could also ask, "Why is there good in the world?"

'prob

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2012 4:12:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 4, 2012 4:21:12 PM PDT
D. Thomas says:
Who gives a good g-dd--n what you will or won't indulge?

The theodicy problem is a perfectly sound reason for rejecting the C----tian concept of a just deity.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2012 3:58:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 4, 2012 4:00:41 PM PDT
KNYN says: the problem of evil does attempt to present what "seems" to be a contradiction. Clearly, little gets past you

SD: Thats a bit rich :).... it is a blatant contradiction. what part of it only "seems" to be contradictory?
William Craig Lane has spent hundreds of hours trying to defend the gaping hole or irrationality that is illuminated by the very real and not at all "a seeming" contradiction ie the disjunction between gods nature and gods actions.

The bottom line........ either god has limitation or he decided to create a world with evil. Logical contradictions are clues to the fact your logic reasoning or theory are full of holes.

In this case all three. You cannot defend a belief in any god by recourse to logic or reason. just accept that you are happy to believe in god and abandon hope of ever logically justifying gods existence.

Could god have created a world without evil? if the answer is yes and he chose not to he is malevolent. if the answer is no .....then he is not omnipotent.

WCL's answer god created the best possible world to accomplish his plans so So he cannot create a world without evil and accomplish his plans (whatever they are). Anyway you look at that it means god is limited in what he can do.

how do you avoid the problem of evil? you re orientate your world view and accept there is no god then the problem ceases to be a problem.

however I'd like to know how you get round the "seeming' contradiction.

For the sake of argument Lets assume that there is evil in the world.

Why did god create a world with evil if he had the power to create a world without it?

Why is there evil in the world

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2012 1:18:31 PM PDT
Sure we're still friends, Amar. At least, I have always hoped that we could continue to be friends, despite disagreement.

When I said that I am threatened by *some* intolerant atheists, who feel that I must justify my beliefs to their personal satisfaction, or I must stop believing, because they command it, I was not talking about feeling threatened because they are 'agents of doubt'. It is their intolerance, that I feel threatened by. I simply do not believe that they can be as intolerant as they are, for much longer, without starting to commit the same atrocities that other intolerant people commit.

Now, my reasoning about the problem with the problem of evil stands. People 'believe' that they are drawing conclusions from it, that they are deriving through reason. They aren't. Their 'conclusions' are simply stuff that they made up-- which exactly squares with their already held beliefs. Surely you have noticed that Harding always qualifies suffering as 'unnecessary', in his premise, right? It's not even necessary for him to 'cheat' like that-- he just wants to be sure!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2012 12:33:39 PM PDT
Amar says:
Jen,

What you call a "threat" is more imagined than real.

There was no threat. Only an argument from the problem of evil which, by logical extension, leads to questioning the existence of an all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly just being.

It's you who feel threatened by that line of reasoning and, instead of acknowledging the logic of that argument as you have done in the past, you have rather peremptorily dismissed it as meaningless, claiming that it's all beyond human comprehension what an all-powerful God may or may not do.

So, your fear is your own and its cause is from within, not from without. You do appreciate critical thinking, right? After all, we are not Homo Sapiens for nothing. Unless of course you are from the Republican party in Texas.

OTOH, if your gripe is about "An atheist started a discussion, in the Religion Forum, in which he expresses his beliefs", it is understandable.

Not because he has no business to do so here (he has as much right as a theist), but because of the style and substance of it. At least two skeptics have called him on it and roundly criticized him for it. Shows how even-handed and fair-minded skeptics can be, and are. I would consider one of them actually a reprimand:
http://www.amazon.com/forum/religion/ref=cm_cd_et_md_pl?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1M9TK6UGAX6EO&cdMsgID=MxG4W4COLVOUDB&cdMsgNo=147&cdPage=6&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=Tx2VKUG04K3VH9U#MxG4W4COLVOUDB

If only you have been listening, this must have given you a pause before you raised your finger at my "friends".

Btw, are we not (virtual)friends anymore, Jen?

Posted on Jul 4, 2012 6:20:29 AM PDT
Without trawling through the whole thing to figure it out, are you Kayenwyen Jack?

And Bubba, you are pedantically.............mmm....er....hmmmn...mm...er..mm.... by my reckoning not wrong, but not correct.

Because then you are talking about concentration - you know - moles per litre type jargon.

1 ion in a litre is still a concentration.

Well i bloodywell hope it is, because i'm not expert in much else.
8.)
071V8

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2012 6:04:30 AM PDT
Bubba says:
Unless the solution is already saturated or super-saturated, then additional solute does not become part of the solution.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2012 4:44:40 AM PDT
What is a threat to me, Amar, is people who think that they can demand that I prove my beliefs to their personal satisfaction, or stop believing, because they command it. That's what your friends do, Amar.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 11:51:21 PM PDT
Amar says:
KNYN says: "That wasn't clever, Amar."

Thanks. You know I wasn't trying to be clever, but real.

>Saying that I don't have sufficient information to draw a conclusion, isn't drawing a conclusion.<

Are you telling me that you stated the following because you didn't have "sufficient information": "I am specifically saying that any conclusions derived from the problem of evil, properly belong in the category of 'stuff that people make up, and believe'."

How do you "specifically" say something without sufficient information?

Not only that, you sound like you have all the information about the problem of evil for you to say categorically that conclusions derived from the problem of evil are all made up.

Isn't that so, or are you trying to be clever here, Jen?

>I have not used the 'problem with the problem of evil' to buttress any arguments for the existence of G-d.<

Yes, you have. Otherwise, why would you dismiss the conclusions from the problem of evil as being made-up, if not to save him from a threat to his existence?

>I haven't made any arguments for the existence of G-d.<

No, you haven't. Because you don't have any, other than merely asserting his existence based on nothing but blind faith. I have no quarrel with that. That's your choice. What concerns me here is your attempt to resist irrationally the rational pathway leading from the problem of evil to questioning the existence of your all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly just being that you have spouted often earlier. You feel threatened by the force of that logic, and yet you know no way of cogently countering it; instead, you have chosen to bury your head in the sand in abject denial. Why, because you are so deeply invested in your belief about your "Living and Eternal King" that you find questioning his existence is "beyond arrogance" and "downright delusional".

Where you once used to bring a keen intellect and a skill to match at analytical thinking to bear upon the discussion on hand, you are now showing nothing but polemical anger, empty rhetoric, and an unseemly rudeness. For some of your old friends, it's painful to watch you degrade yourself this way. For what purpose, I know not. But one thing is certain. You are not going to be able to convince anyone here about your views on the problem of evil, how it's not a threat to the existence of your g-d. I find your constant harping about "creedal atheism" is nauseating. You simply lack the credibility to do that. Your past does not cohere with your present. For your own good, either you change your rhetoric, or you should perhaps stay away from these forums. You are not accomplishing anything, unless you think making a fool of yourself is worth something.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 10:16:30 PM PDT
You mean obfuscate, Kayenwyen?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 9:42:45 PM PDT
You are rationalizing.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 9:39:42 PM PDT
Fair point that time... read too quickly.

I think it is certainly possible that proselytizing can fosters intolerance... depending on exactly how the proselytizing is done, and to whom.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 9:36:13 PM PDT
So, you refuse to answer. That is, of course, your choice.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 9:21:51 PM PDT
I agree with you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 9:19:54 PM PDT
KNYN: The common point that I have frequently attempted to retreat to, is an agreement that proselytizing fosters intolerance. Unfortunately, *some* atheists want to proselytize, and they are completely intolerant of what I had hoped might be a common point."

MICHAEL: What "common point" did you think we would arrive at?

KNYN: Dude, you have serious comprehension problems.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 9:16:52 PM PDT
You have to ask questions that are relevant to the issue being discussed, Michael. (That would mean 'Don't ask questions that would shift discussion to something else'.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 8:29:05 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 6, 2012 8:37:24 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 8:20:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 3, 2012 8:23:28 PM PDT
Amar says:
Aardwizz says: "What you are describing is not (as you admit to) an ALL knowing, ALL powerful being"

You are right, even though I am questioning, rather than describing, the existence of an all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly just being, claimed rather exclusively by the monotheistic creed(s). Such creeds have problem explaining the presence of evil without resorting to sleight of hand tactics, verbal gymnastics, or abject denials.

> -- merely a VERY knowing, VERY powerful one.<

Yes, perhaps. Simply because there's room for error in such concepts of a very knowing deity as opposed to an all-knowing deity. The deity's power here is either limited or its actions are imperfect sometimes. There are (polytheistic) religious traditions embodying such concepts where a deity can carry out some questionable acts sometimes. There's also the issue of bad Karma vs good Karma which often comes handy to explain why bad things happen to good people and good thing happens to bad people.

Not that these beliefs have anymore validity than the monotheistic beliefs, but they seem to have a better explanatory power for our tragedies than the monotheistic ones.

>ASSUME that a VERY,VERY knowing "deity" knew that there was an afterlife, and that it was really, really nice, and that the little girl in your example would really like it and be well off there. **IF** that were the case, then I can see such a deity deciding not to act and yet still be "just".<

If that were the case, then how do you explain the all-knowing trait of the deity? Shouldn't he have known that the little girl is better off not being born at all? Why should he let her be born and allow her to be smashed by a car for a better afterlife? Is he a sadist who enjoys torture like that? Or if letting her be born and dying like that is for some reason a necessary part of his Plan, then why can't he take her away quietly in her sleep, instead of letting her die a violent death like that? Isn't that cruel? What kind of a heartless person would carry out such an exercise?

I find attempts to explain tragedies as if it's part of the (God's) Plan are diabolically self-serving and heartless on the part of the theologians. Often these days, they are not getting away with such mutterings. Here are some examples (narrated in another thread recently):

"I had a pastor tell a story where a widow was told by a parishioner, at her husband funeral, that it was "God's will". Apparently it was a drunk driver accident or similar incident. As the pastor told it, she spit in the person face and he approved! I don't think he was officiating, so it was probably easier --- I love that story!!!"

"My children were raped by their father...I lost count of the number of those who told me it was all part of The Plan...and that someday I would understand why it "had" to happen. Some of those people were religious leaders...

...It was The Plan as in God works in mysterious ways, we don't know why but one day we might..blah blah blah and PUKE!!! I got so tired of hearing that excuse. Using that pathetic excuse means only one thing to me...for some reason known only to god, "he" allowed my children to be raped as part of some divine plan that will reveal itself at some point. I even had one person tell me...well you finally got a divorce once you found out as he was too scared to deny you anymore..and I was like..are you kidding me. I benefitted from my children's rape..so that should please me in some way??? Again, PUKE!!"

No, it's not the Plan. It can't be. It's all due to earthly causes, nothing celestial.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 8:05:59 PM PDT
mark says:
Of course it does. If evil is a metaphor for the physical manifestation by physical entities of some measure of unpleasantness, how are you ever going to reconcile it with, or merge it with, or resolve the conflict with, a purely conceptual entity? Once again, pure reason does not avail itself to empirical justifications.

If I am being dismissive, it's because I think the problem of evil is that people exhibit it, nothing more complicated than that. We should be accepting responsibility for our own shortcomings, rather than foisting them on some being we invent so we don't have to.

Peace.
‹ Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 15 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


 

This discussion

Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  49
Total posts:  371
Initial post:  Jun 24, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 6, 2012

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 3 customers

Search Customer Discussions