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Fri Sep 14, 2018, 12:03 PM

Why Does Allah Allow Human Suffering? For What Purpose?

From the article:

A paradox formulated long ago by Greek philosopher Epicurus asks, if God is perfectly good and omnipotent, why do we suffer? He proposed two alternative answers: Either God is not perfectly good and thus not willing to stop human suffering; or God is not powerful enough to end all the pain in the world.....

According to Islamic teachings, although human beings can grasp just a small part of reality, they are inclined to make judgments as if they perceive the whole of reality....

The Quran not only points out limited human knowledge in relation to the problem of suffering, it relates, as many philosophers do, the suffering in the world to human free will. Although Allah guides and motivates human beings to be moral, just and righteous, He also let them to be free in making their choices, which includes acting immorally and causing suffering.


To read more:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/altmuslim/2018/09/why-does-allah-allow-human-suffering-for-what-purpose/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Muslim&utm_content=49

I read replies using this seeming paradox often in the Religion Group.

238 replies, 3194 views

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Reply Why Does Allah Allow Human Suffering? For What Purpose? (Original post)
guillaumeb Sep 14 OP
Cartoonist Sep 14 #1
guillaumeb Sep 14 #2
Cartoonist Sep 14 #3
guillaumeb Sep 14 #4
Fred Sanders Sep 14 #6
trotsky Sep 14 #8
guillaumeb Sep 14 #9
Loki Liesmith Sep 16 #126
guillaumeb Sep 17 #149
Igel Sep 15 #96
marylandblue Sep 15 #97
Towlie Sep 14 #5
guillaumeb Sep 14 #15
trotsky Sep 14 #7
guillaumeb Sep 14 #10
trotsky Sep 14 #11
guillaumeb Sep 14 #13
trotsky Sep 14 #16
guillaumeb Sep 14 #17
Cartoonist Sep 14 #18
guillaumeb Sep 14 #24
Cartoonist Sep 14 #48
guillaumeb Sep 14 #55
Cartoonist Sep 14 #62
guillaumeb Sep 14 #64
trotsky Sep 14 #21
Major Nikon Sep 17 #142
marylandblue Sep 14 #58
guillaumeb Sep 14 #60
marylandblue Sep 14 #65
guillaumeb Sep 14 #69
marylandblue Sep 14 #73
guillaumeb Sep 14 #76
marylandblue Sep 14 #85
guillaumeb Sep 14 #86
marylandblue Sep 14 #87
Lordquinton Sep 15 #108
guillaumeb Sep 15 #112
marylandblue Sep 16 #117
marylandblue Sep 16 #121
MineralMan Sep 16 #122
Lordquinton Sep 15 #107
guillaumeb Sep 15 #111
marylandblue Sep 16 #119
Major Nikon Sep 17 #143
guillaumeb Sep 17 #150
Major Nikon Sep 17 #152
qazplm135 Sep 14 #37
trotsky Sep 14 #41
qazplm135 Sep 14 #66
Voltaire2 Sep 14 #74
qazplm135 Sep 14 #89
Voltaire2 Sep 15 #92
qazplm135 Sep 15 #93
Voltaire2 Sep 15 #94
qazplm135 Sep 16 #123
MineralMan Sep 14 #12
guillaumeb Sep 14 #14
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guillaumeb Sep 18 #175
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underpants Sep 15 #101
True Dough Sep 15 #102
guillaumeb Sep 15 #105
Act_of_Reparation Sep 17 #134
guillaumeb Sep 18 #177
Act_of_Reparation Sep 18 #180
Voltaire2 Sep 17 #164
TomSlick Sep 15 #109
guillaumeb Sep 15 #113
TomSlick Sep 15 #115
MineralMan Sep 16 #120
TomSlick Sep 16 #128
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TomSlick Sep 16 #131
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Act_of_Reparation Sep 17 #145
guillaumeb Sep 17 #146
Act_of_Reparation Sep 17 #154
Voltaire2 Sep 17 #155
guillaumeb Sep 18 #176
Mariana Sep 17 #160
trotsky Sep 20 #200
MineralMan Sep 20 #201
marylandblue Sep 16 #124
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trotsky Sep 17 #139
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gtar100 Sep 25 #215
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tymorial Sep 26 #227
guillaumeb Sep 27 #229
Mariana Sep 27 #232

Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 12:10 PM

1. Have you ever found a good answer?

I haven't. And this bit about free will doesn't excuse God from sitting idle.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 12:12 PM

2. 2 things:

1) I am not omniscient, and
2) I have free will.

And that is my answer.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 12:14 PM

3. I guess god forgot

He forgot to give himself free will.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 12:16 PM

4. I fail to see the logic behind your response. eom

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 12:23 PM

6. If not omnipresent then not God. A Demi-God for Earth?

"Free will" is always the answer to this question, all major religions.

Which is then admitting not omnipresent.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 12:26 PM

8. Please prove #2.

Thanks.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #8)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 12:52 PM

9. If you look at replies 1 and 2,

it is obvious that my answer in #2 is my personal view.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 05:11 PM

126. A terrible answer

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Response to Loki Liesmith (Reply #126)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 02:25 PM

149. No, it is my answer.

If you have another, that is your answer.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 09:21 AM

96. My answer is simple.

If you have a child who never has to do anything for himself, never encounters difficulty, never experiences hurt or suffering, that child grows up to be incapable. Lacking resilience, empathy, the ability to deal with any headwind or accept that the universe isn't centered around himself. They cant' take correct, they're convinced the universe is there to wipe their butts. Now, the person may seem fine for a while, all nice and outgoing living under perfect conditions, until the minimal empathy and resilience that he has is strained--maybe by being asked to do an assignment instead of some fun activity, maybe a significant other has a problem with him.

I've grown plants like this. They grow in perfect conditions. Perfect water, nutrient, sunlight, temperatures, etc. Then when you put them outside in the ground they die, even the conditions are superior to the conditions that species would normally encounter in natura. They need to be hardened off first. Cactus nurseries often grow plants to a size desirable by collectors, but if they put those plants, who normally grow exposed to 10-12 hours of intense sunlight per day in the wild, who have the capacity to withstand really challenging conditions, in the sun for just 2-3 hours they sunburn.

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Response to Igel (Reply #96)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 11:16 AM

97. But you didn't create the universe or the human condition

Your analogies don't work because God created a universe in which suffering is necessary. He could have created a universe in which it is possible to grow in empathy and resilience etc., but with less or no suffering. Since he is omnipotent and omniscient, he had the power and knowledge to do so, by definition. That he didn't means he was unable, didn't know how, or was unwilling to do so.

On the other hand, your children and your plants evolved to need suffering in order to develop fully. We evolved this way, because the natural world already has suffering we can't prevent.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 12:18 PM

5. It seems that Allah grants free will to hurricanes as well.

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Response to Towlie (Reply #5)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 01:15 PM

15. A natural weather occurence. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 12:25 PM

7. Straw man plus begging the question.

Why a straw man? Because the people who question religious "wisdom" are generally judging it only within the context of human existence. Children are born with debilitating conditions all the time, through no fault of their own (or their parents). They might be sentenced to a brief, painful life. For what purpose? Neither you, nor any other theist, can answer that question.

Why begging the question? The author presumes (without knowing themselves, of course) that perceiving the "whole of reality" is guaranteed to answer the queries. This is wholly unsupported.

Keep trying, gil. This is pathetic.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #7)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 12:54 PM

10. I am certain that the author would be devastated by your response.

And your second paragraph demonstrates only that you misunderstood the author.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #10)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 01:04 PM

11. Ah yes, everyone is just too stupid to understand the brilliant logic.

Your go-to insult and response.

Too bad you can't actually counter anything I said. Guess I hit a nerve.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #11)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 01:07 PM

13. I did not say that you were/are stupid.

I said that you misunderstood that part of the article.

And no, I will not attempt to counter what you said because you start from a position of misunderstanding.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #13)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 01:26 PM

16. Then explain it.

Or am I too stupid for you to explain it to me?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #16)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 01:31 PM

17. What the author said:

According to Islamic teachings, although human beings can grasp just a small part of reality, they are inclined to make judgments as if they perceive the whole of reality....


And Christian teachings agree with this framing.

So the claim is that the Creator knows more than humans could possibly know. And, with such knowledge, the Creator can see far more than you or I.

What you see as reality is limited.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #17)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 01:40 PM

18. No we don't

We make judgements based on our understanding of reality. Nobody, except theists, claim to know more than than what can be observed.

No one but theists make judgements based on what they do not know.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #18)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 02:32 PM

24. And do you agree that you and I do not know the whoe of reality?

If so, we agree.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #24)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 04:30 PM

48. I agree

but that's not what the OP says.

You are always posting stuff that doesn't support religious BS. Keep at it. Count me as one of your supporters. I love to see theists make fools of themselves.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #48)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 04:37 PM

55. Speaking of making a fool of oneself,

did you read this part, that I excerpted?

According to Islamic teachings, although human beings can grasp just a small part of reality, they are inclined to make judgments as if they perceive the whole of reality....

Keep responding. Your responses are truly as insightful as your original posts.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #55)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:08 PM

62. Who is they?

Not me. Not anyone who knows there's a lot we don't understand. This guy has invented a whole group of non-thinkers and accuses everyone of belonging to that group. You're one of them.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #62)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:10 PM

64. Again, so insightful.

And again, you obviously missed the point.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #17)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 02:03 PM

21. "What you see as reality is limited."

No doubt. Same with you. I don't dispute this statement and never have, so it's a straw man.

But neither you, nor the author of the article, was able to explain why this matters. You are begging the question by assuming that A) your creator exists, B) it knows everything, and C) knowing everything will explain why humans have to suffer.

All you've managed to do is take one unanswerable question and create 3 new unanswerable questions, and then blame skeptics for not accepting your "answer."

Keep trying, gil. You haven't explained a thing.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #17)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 12:18 PM

142. Ah yes, the old, tired and worn out, "god works in mysterious ways" excuse

The obvious problem being if god's will is unknowable, why do virtually all religionists pretend to know it?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #10)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 04:47 PM

58. He is correct about the author's presumption

The author presumes Allah knows what he is doing and that is all for a greater good. There is no actual evidence for this, so he has to assume it based on scriptural quotes, which themselves have no evidence behind them.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #58)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:03 PM

60. The author has faith.

The essential foundation.

And the responder presumes that there are no deities, a presumption based on no evidence.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #60)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:14 PM

65. I consider lack of evidence to be "evidence" but perhaps not absolute proof

I differ from most other posters in this regard, who think you can't prove a negative.

If you have diligently searched for evidence but found none, such that the lack of evidence is itself axiomatic, than that is evidence that something doesn't exist.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #65)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:19 PM

69. Or, it shows that the search started from false premises. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #69)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:27 PM

73. What would be the correct premise to begin the search for God?

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #73)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:54 PM

76. Faith.

And yes, I understand that you are referring to some sort of physical manifestation. But we can only project what qualities we feel are present in the Creator.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #76)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 07:11 PM

85. Sounds like a good starting point for comfirmation bias

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #85)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 07:14 PM

86. Agreed.

And deciding at any age that, with no evidence, there are no gods sounds like a good point for confirmation bias as well.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #86)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 07:21 PM

87. If there is no evidence for God, then the most likely conclusion

is that there is none. No faith required. Just evidence.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #76)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 05:51 PM

108. So you just have to decide that there is a god?

You keep saying faith as if it's anything but deciding something is true inspite of a complete lack of evidence. Why do you consider this "good" and not believing something because there is no evidence "bad"

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #108)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 08:42 PM

112. In each case, for each position,

there is no evidence. And I make no claim of good or bad. If you are an atheist, I would not say that your atheism is either good or bad. And the same applies for theists.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #112)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 07:47 AM

117. What else do you accept without evidence?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #112)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 09:26 AM

121. There is no evidence phlogiston exists

Last edited Sun Sep 16, 2018, 12:35 PM - Edit history (1)

Doesn't that lead to the conclusion that phlogiston most likely does not exist, rather than it does exist but we don't need to evidence to prove it?

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #121)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 10:02 AM

122. The Phlogiston Theory is a wonderful example of science working

to clarify things. The discovery of oxygen and its role in combustion was partly due to a paradoxical flaw in the phlogiston theory and experiments designed to explain it. Science is always looking for flaws and explanations that explain them, using experimentation and logic to find a more accurate answer. That's why science works. There is a method to it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phlogiston_theory

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #60)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 05:42 PM

107. Speaking of framing

Both the author and the responder in question have the same level of evidence on the topic in question, but you only label one of them as such.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #107)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 08:38 PM

111. I have previously given my position on faith, and that no evidence is needed.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #111)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 08:48 AM

119. Using Lordquinton's translation stated elsewhere

You statement is a tautology. I accept without evidence the existence of God because accepting something without evidence doesn't require evidence. Is that your position?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #60)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 12:22 PM

143. What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence

-- Christopher Hitchens

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #143)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 02:30 PM

150. Hitchens made many good points when he confined himself to politics. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #150)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 02:59 PM

152. Meanwhile you are making many poor fallacies

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Response to trotsky (Reply #7)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:14 PM

37. If you could

"perceive all of reality" then you are pretty much outside the laws of physics as we know them.

Your perception would ignore the speed of light barrier, and could see the macro, micro and quantum.

You probably could see at all points on a timeline (although if a photon could think/perceive, so could it along the track it traveled since time stops at c and a photon is, from it's perspective, everywhere on it's line from start to finish at the same time).

IF you could do all of those things, then yeah you probably could answer all those queries. You could read the book from front to back, simultaneously. You'd know who killed the cook and with what instrument in what room.

Of course, again, you'd have to break all the rules the universe has, and it certainly makes free will seem illusory if one can do that because no matter what free will you think you have, page 74 is coming, and you are going to kill the cook in the living room with a knife.

That's ignoring of course the possibilities of a multiverse, or an infinite, repeating universe, in which case all choices are made by all versions of you which renders no particular choice at all special (since all choices must be made by at least some of the infinite versions of you). A multiverse really, really destroys any notion of a God, or the uniqueness of reality.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #37)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:22 PM

41. Nope.

IF you could do all of those things, then yeah you probably could answer all those queries


There is no guarantee that knowing everything will explain why suffering exists. You are also assuming a conclusion without providing any evidence.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #41)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:15 PM

66. Lol

Almost nothing has a "guarantee" that is not remotely a standard in logic or rational thought. It's not even scientific.

My post was a hypothetical, if you had this ability what would that mean? It would mean you could see all points on a timeline if you are literally outside the space-time continuum.

It's the same thought experiment scientists do when they imagine someone about to cross the event horizon of a black hole and time stopping for them as they watched all of eternity flash by for the rest of the universe.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #66)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:28 PM

74. And yet the clear and wholly unoriginal thesis

of the article is that if only we mere mortals could perceive all of reality like Allah can, we would understand why horrible shit happens.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #74)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 11:54 PM

89. and what was my response

think first before answering instead of reflexively attacking.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #89)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 06:08 AM

92. This.

“IF you could do all of those things, then yeah you probably could answer all those queries”.

Perhaps you forgot you wrote that?

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #92)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 08:00 AM

93. What's the all caps word there

And what followed after?

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #93)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 08:42 AM

94. Perhaps you forgot that the op was referring

to an unperceivable (to stupid humans) moral good in all the atrocious pain and suffering in the universe? You seem to be agreeing that such a good is possible.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #94)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 10:24 AM

123. ffs

Try reading what I said, in total, one last time. Because if you can't comprehend it after that, I'm done with you.
I didn't "forget" anything, that's the second time you've basically accused me of being stupid.
You are pointless to try to debate with because you spend time responding to what you think/want the other person to have said instead of making an attempt to see what someone else is saying and that maybe they have a valid point.

Instead you go full snark and full "are you just stupid or forgetful."

So I'm done with you as long as that is your default setting.

Feel free to have the last snarky word.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 01:05 PM

12. Converting, are you, guillaumeb?

Epicurus was right, you know...

All scripture is man-made, and suitable for confusing people. Since there is no evidence of the existence of any deities, reason is what we have to work with. I suggest using it regularly.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #12)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 01:09 PM

14. You believe that Epicurus was correct.

Probably because it confirms what you already believed.

For further reading:

Once we have formed a view, we embrace information that confirms that view while ignoring, or rejecting, information that casts doubt on it. Confirmation bias suggests that we don’t perceive circumstances objectively. We pick out those bits of data that make us feel good because they confirm our prejudices. Thus, we may become prisoners of our assumptions. For example, some people will have a very strong inclination to dismiss any claims that marijuana may cause harm as nothing more than old-fashioned reefer madness. Some social conservatives will downplay any evidence that marijuana does not cause harm.


https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/science-choice/201504/what-is-confirmation-bias

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #14)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 02:02 PM

20. You cannot say what I believe, guillaumeb, nor when

I believed it. In reality, I read Epicurus before realizing that I didn't believe that deities existed. I came to that understanding at about age 20. By then, I had read many things, learned from them, and applied them to my own personal philosophy, world view and ethical compass. Those were generated after taking in more information than you can imagine.

You cannot speak to my beliefs. Only I can. Stick to your own beliefs, and speak about them, if you dare. So far, you've remained quite silent about any material statements about your beliefs.

But do not presume to tell me what I believe or how I came to my beliefs. You have no way of knowing that, except from what I write here. You are not capable of knowing my thoughts. To think you are is the very definition of blind arrogance.

Goodbye.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #20)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 02:31 PM

23. Speaking of blind arrogance.....

it is interesting that you decided to attack rather than debate.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #23)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 02:34 PM

25. When you presume to tell others what they think or believe,

you can expect them to tell you you're full of something. You are not competent to tell others how they think or what they believe. Not in any way.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #25)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 02:36 PM

26. And my point was on confirmation bias.

Not on what you believe.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #26)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 02:38 PM

27. I realize that you have convinced yourself of that.

Go look again at your initial post in this subthread. See if you do not find the word "believe" in there.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1218&pid=293507

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 01:52 PM

19. "Allah" doesn't allow anything...

...Allah* is a phantasm, a mere fantasy of the mind preserved on paper to infect future minds.


Allah* has not allowed anything...
Allah* does not allow anything...
Allah* will never allow anything...

Allah* does not exist in the real world.


Allah* = a placeholder for the name of any purported supernatural deity that has ever been, is being or ever will be proffered.

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Response to NeoGreen (Reply #19)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 02:30 PM

22. The Creator understands.

Jesus understood as well.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #22)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 02:39 PM

28. And the understanding is all still of no greater effect in reality than...

...the understanding of a leprechaun.

For both leprechaun versions 2.1 and 3.0.

For all leprechaun versions from beta 0.0 to 9.99.

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Response to NeoGreen (Reply #28)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 02:42 PM

29. Do you understand all of reality?

Or is your understanding limited?

Assuming that the second applies, do your limitations inhibit reality, or constrain it in any way?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #29)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 02:48 PM

30. (nt)

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #29)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:16 PM

39. your limitations make it impossible

for you to understand in the slightest even the concept of a being that exists outside of reality.

Yet you persist in believing that you do.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #39)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:18 PM

40. The Creator cannot exist outside of the reality that is a creation of the Creator.

The Creator is a part of reality.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #43)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 04:30 PM

49. Your new favorite term?

Tired of whataboutism?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #40)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:53 PM

45. Actually, a Creator cannot exist within the reality that is its creation.

Since that reality did not exist prior to its creation, such a thing would be impossible.

Think, guillaumeb. Think!

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #45)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 04:31 PM

50. Follow your own advice.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #40)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:18 PM

68. Nonsensical

If the creator is part of reality then that creator is bound by that reality and thus cannot violate the laws of reality anymore than you or I can.

Pretty much not a God then.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #68)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:22 PM

71. Your determination of the limits of the Creator.

And I accept it as only that.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #71)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:23 PM

72. No the basic definition of what a god is supposed to be

Ya know, omniscient, omnipresent and responsible for creating the universe.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #40)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 06:33 PM

110. Since when?

Does this reverse previous claims the creator exists independent of creation?

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #110)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 08:49 PM

114. 2 different concepts.

The Creator is a part of the creation, but being the Creator, obviously existed prior to the creation.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #114)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 07:50 AM

118. This sounds very traditionally Christian in a way.

Last edited Sun Sep 16, 2018, 08:38 AM - Edit history (1)

Do you believe The Word became flesh? If so, literally or metaphorically.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #118)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 02:25 PM

148. The Word becomes flesh every time someone accepts the Word. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #114)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 04:51 PM

125. So your answer is that you get to have it both ways?

That no matter which way the question is asked, you cannot be wrong?

If so that goes a long way to explaining why that belief is so popular.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #29)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:52 PM

44. Do you understand any of reality.

Uff da!

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #22)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:02 PM

31. 2 wholly unsupported claims. n/t

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Response to trotsky (Reply #31)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:04 PM

32. Excellent counting skills. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #32)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:06 PM

33. Offsets your pitiful argumentation skills, I guess. n/t

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Response to trotsky (Reply #33)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:08 PM

34. Notice that I made no comment on your argumentation ability. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #34)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:10 PM

35. Yes, I realize that, because you acknowledge its superiority by being unable to respond.

And instead making snide remarks about counting ability.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #35)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:13 PM

36. I understand. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #36)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:15 PM

38. Thanks for agreeing with me! n/t

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #36)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:55 PM

46. Clearly, you do not. nt

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #46)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 04:32 PM

51. So you disagree with trotsky?

Dissonance?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #51)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 08:53 AM

95. My reply was to you, not anyone else.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #22)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 06:26 PM

81. Haven't you claimed

that the Creator™ is so complex that no human mind can begin to fathom it? So, how is it that you understand the Creator™ well enough to ascribe properties and behaviors to it?

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Response to Mariana (Reply #81)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 06:29 PM

82. Many here understand that this is my opinion.

Thus...……. please treat it as such.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #82)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 06:34 PM

83. How can you even have an opinion

about a being that is beyond human comprehension? Did you just make stuff up to believe?

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Response to Mariana (Reply #83)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 06:52 PM

84. How can some have an opinion that the Creator does not exist?

Do they simply post to fill up space?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #84)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 08:47 PM

88. Gil, you don't just posit some creator might exist.

You say it's unfathomable to human minds, and then you ascribe all kinds of traits and actions and behaviors and opinions to it. You didn't answer my question. Did you just make all that stuff up to believe?

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Response to Mariana (Reply #88)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 03:02 PM

98. I assumed that you recognized that my opinion posts are just my personal view.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #98)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 04:23 PM

103. Did you just make up your personal views

about nature of The Creator™, its characteristics, intentions, and opinions, and then decide to believe the stuff you made up? Seriously, how did you come to hold all these opinions about The Creator™, if The Creator™ is so unfathomable to human minds?

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Response to Mariana (Reply #103)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 05:18 PM

106. We all approach faith as individuals.

How did you come to your own conclusion about the existence of deities?

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 03:50 PM

42. Allah, Yahweh, Zeus allow nothing.

They do not exist. What does not exist cannot allow. Good day, Sirrah.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #42)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 04:35 PM

53. Thus it is definitively decided.

To your own satisfaction.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #53)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 04:37 PM

56. ..

..

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #56)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 04:39 PM

57. Always your best response. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #57)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:09 PM

63. Often, it's all I need.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 04:09 PM

47. This theodicy rests on a logic error

God is omniscient, omnipotent, and infinitely good. Since he is infinitely good, he wants to do good for us. But he allows evil. So, the thinking goes, the evil must be for a greater good than would otherwise be possible. Therein lies the error.

God is omnipotent, there is nothing he cannot do, right? And omniscient, there is nothing he doesn't know how to do. Therefore, no matter what good actually comes from evil, God could have given us the exact same thing, only without the evil part. We don't have to know what God knows. We only have to know he is either unable (therefore not omnipotent), doesn't know how to (therefore not omniscient), or unwilling to (therefore not all-good) to prevent evil.

It's pure logic based on the supposed characteristics of God. If you want to keep all three characteristics, you are arguing 2+2=5. Now if you want to drop one of these three characteristics, then at least we'd be arguing about a God who doesn't defy logic.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #47)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 04:34 PM

52. Your error is presuming that you understand the reason for the Creator's actions.

And all of your response is built on that initial error.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #52)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 04:36 PM

54. I don't assume anything other than the usual definition of God

The existence of evil I take as empirically indisputable. If you have some other definition of God, we can talk about it.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:02 PM

59. If a human being cannot make an informed judgement of reality, then why are we supposed to trust it?

If a human cannot tell whether or not there is a God or what he's like or what he wants or how to worship him or how to live your life... BECAUSE HE CANNOT GRASP THE BIGGER PICTURE... then what's left of religion?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #59)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:04 PM

61. Any human believes in a god because of faith.

And none of us can know all of reality.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #61)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:15 PM

67. Is human faith fallible or infallible?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #67)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:21 PM

70. Nothing human can be infallible.

Except for Trump. He has never been wrong.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #70)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:40 PM

75. Then faith is irrelevant for the question whether God exists.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #75)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:55 PM

77. No, faith is the belief in the Creator. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #77)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 03:46 AM

91. But you just said that it's fallible. That means, it's unreliable.

If faith is unreliable, we cannot base statements on it.
"X is true because my faith says so" doesn't work if you can't trust faith to be true.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #91)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 03:08 PM

99. Faith requires belief. Any statement of faith represents a statement of belief. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #99)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 04:02 PM

100. What are your definitions of "faith" and "belief"?

I think, I already asked you that a few months ago during the course of another discussion we had. You never responded.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #100)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 05:15 PM

104. My faith in this area refers to my belief that the Creator created what we

perceive as existence.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #104)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 04:42 AM

116. I don't ask what your faith and your belief are. What are your definitions of "faith" and "belief"?

Before we discuss about "faith" and "belief" we have to clarify what those words even mean.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #116)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 02:23 PM

147. Faith has been defined as the willing suspension of disbelief.

I agree with that.

A subset of belief can be related to faith, but belief can also encompass any philosophical position.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #147)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 05:45 PM

159. Willing? Little children are indoctrinated to have faith

long before they are capable of understanding what it is they are being taught. Their faith isn't willing, it was forced upon them.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #159)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 12:40 PM

178. Are little children indoctrinated into believing in patriotism?

Your choice of words shows your state of mind.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #178)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 01:44 PM

181. Yes, and that isn't voluntary either. It is forced upon them. nt.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #147)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 08:27 PM

162. This is also the definition of enjoying science fiction

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #147)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 02:50 AM

170. Now we're getting somewhere.

Let's assume that the definition of faith is that faith is the willing suspension of disbelief.

The most important part here is "willing". That means, faith is a conscious act of a subject. And as the subject has free will, he is free to have faith or not to have faith.

This again bolsters my earlier argument that faith cannot be used as an argument in theological discussions: Why would somebody base his chain of reasoning on an element that depends on whoever is making the argument in this instance?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #170)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 12:42 PM

179. Faith is the foundation for religion.

Theology is the philosophy of religion. They are links in a chain.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #179)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 03:03 PM

182. So what? It's not my fault that religion is full of philosophical errors!

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #182)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 04:39 PM

183. Religion takes many forms.

Some contradict others.

People often take actions that contradict their stated beliefs.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #183)

Wed Sep 19, 2018, 03:00 AM

185. This is not about people. This is about faith.

Faith is fallible. That's what you said.
Faith depends on will. That's what you said.

If faith is fallible and depends on the person who has it in this one instance, how can faith be the foundation of anything?

How can somebody use faith as an argument for X when he cannot even say whether faith actually supports X?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #185)

Wed Sep 19, 2018, 07:10 AM

186. He won't answer, because faith isn't an argument

It's a shield. Whatever is behind the shield of faith cannot be touched. Why? Because it is faith. You don't need to prove the existence of leprechauns if you have faith in them.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #185)

Wed Sep 19, 2018, 12:10 PM

189. Faith and belief are dependent on each other.

One must have faith that a belief is true, and obviously one must have an unprovable belief in which one has faith.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #189)

Thu Sep 20, 2018, 02:57 AM

195. Stop digging. You are only making it worse.

As we have deduced, faith cannot be used as an argument to bolster or refute something. And now you are dragging belief into this. Are you secretly trying to prove that belief is as useless as faith???

Why must one have an unprovable belief? If there must be an unprovable belief, which one and why?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #195)

Fri Sep 21, 2018, 06:32 PM

202. Do you only have provable beliefs? eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #202)

Sun Sep 23, 2018, 09:02 AM

203. The point is, how willing are we to defend that which cannot be defended?

I believe in mathematics, in the scientific method, in logic, in empiricism... None of which is proven to be correct.

The difference between a scientist and a theist is that the scientist a priori acknowledges the possibility that he could be wrong.
A theist also has unproven premises, but he refuses to entertain the possibility that his unproven premises could be wrong.

That's the difference.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 06:02 PM

78. Allah is the same Abrahamic god worshipped by Christians. If you believe the OT, he actively ...

... and purposefully created all sorts of human misery by commanding his "chosen people" to commit genocide, infanticide, regicide, etc., and ordered his worshippers to enslave other human beings. Like all scripture, the Qur'an contradicts itself regularly.

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Response to malchickiwick (Reply #78)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 06:03 PM

79. Some Christians deny that Allah is the same as the god of the Bible. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #79)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 06:06 PM

80. *Historically illiterate Christians deny that Allah is the same as the god of the Bible. eom

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Response to malchickiwick (Reply #80)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 12:33 PM

175. Agreed. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #79)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 03:06 PM

153. Some Christians also deny that Jesus is the same as the god of the bible

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 12:59 AM

90. Drivel.

The same recycled, flaccid arguments. Over and over and over and over again. Nothing new to see here. The state of apologetics for the past, what, two hundred years?

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 04:07 PM

101. Free will.

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Response to underpants (Reply #101)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 04:13 PM

102. Free Willy!

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Response to underpants (Reply #101)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 05:16 PM

105. Yes.

The will to act freely, even if that action is harmful. If there were no free will, there could be no humans as we know them.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #105)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 07:08 AM

134. Is human suffering always contingent upon the free action of other humans?

Because I got a cancer center that says otherwise. Your bumpersticker theodicy only not-answers half of the not-question.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #134)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 12:38 PM

177. How insightful of you.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #177)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 12:55 PM

180. Not really.

It only seems that way because your rationalization is so poor.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #105)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 09:06 PM

164. It is entirely likely then that you don't know any humans.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 06:00 PM

109. You ask an interesting question.

One that eventually occurs to all people of faith.

My answer, I think like yours, is the recognition that human understanding is altogether too limited.

Unfortunately, the Religion Group on DU has lost its purpose as a place to discuss religious issues. Any posting raising a serious question on religion will always draw attacks on we poor ignorant people who can contemplate the idea of an understanding greater than our own.

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #109)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 08:47 PM

113. Agreed. An excellent repsonse.

My answer, to those who demand proof here, is to ask them to define the Creator. And of course no definition is possible. I also ask what evidence would they expect to find?

I also agree with your conclusion that discussion is difficult when theists are framed as not thinking rationally. But that contingent who do not want real discussion, or discussion that presents theism in a positive light, is small.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #113)

Sat Sep 15, 2018, 09:25 PM

115. I regret there is no place to discuss religion on DU.

We are told the Religion Group is a group and specifically not a forum, therefore a "safe place" to "Discuss religious and theological issues."

I note your frequent attempts to discuss religious issues. I also note that these are mostly met with harangues by those who attack the intelligence of believers. I admire your willingness to fight the fight. I will not be convinced by anyone whose only argument is to attack my intelligence. I am also convinced that it is not worthwhile to argue with the closed minded.

Perhaps there needs to be another group with a ground rule that no religion or lack thereof are to be dismissed.

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #115)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 08:55 AM

120. Here is the Statement of Purpose for the Religion Group:

Statement of Purpose
Discuss religious and theological issues. All relevant topics are permitted. Believers, non-believers, and everyone in-between are welcome.


Not all DU groups are "safe havens." There are, however, groups here where DUers can discuss specific faiths without interruption by those who do not believe. There are several such groups, which can be found by clicking "Religion & Spirituality" under Topics in the left sidebar of any page.

Discussion in the Religion Group allows for disagreement. All are welcome to participate. The basic general rules of DU apply in the Religion Group, but there is no bar against full discussion from all points of view.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #120)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 07:06 PM

128. Correct.

However, on the opening page for the Group it states: "This is a group, not a forum. Groups often serve as safe havens for members who share similar interests and viewpoints. Individuals who post messages contrary to a particular group's stated purpose can be excluded from posting in that group."

Given that any posting in this Group raising a religious question is met with a series of posts attacking the poster as another mindless deist, the Religion Group is obviously not a safe space to discuss religious issues. If the Group Hosts intended the Group to serve as a place for DU members to seriously discuss religious issues, they would have stepped-in long ago.

The real purpose of the Religion Group seems to be to convince anyone who stumbles on DU that Republicans are correct when they tell people in my part of the country that Democrats are anti-religion. When I first found DU, one of the things that interested me was the happy realization that there were interesting discussions about religion issues going on between progressive people in which everyone respected the beliefs and non-beliefs of others. If when I first found DU, I had read multiple posts in the Religion Group attacking all religious people as unintelligent, I would have concluded DU was a bigoted site and moved on.

I do not find arguments challenging my intelligence to be persuasive. Also, I do not post on DU to be told that I am unintelligent. As a result, I try to make it a point not to post in this Group. I rely upon DU as a beacon of hope down here in south Arkansas. If I often posted in this Group, I would have to give up on DU. It is difficult enough to realize that many in DU are convinced that I am a hopeless moron.

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #128)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 07:16 PM

130. I do not recall anyone saying anything like that to you.

Some DU groups are safe havens. Others are not. The Religion Group is not. There are other groups that discuss religion that are safe havens.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #130)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 07:41 PM

131. We agree.

The Religion Group is obviously not a safe haven for the discussion of religion. As best I can tell, its purpose is to prove that Democrats are anti-religion. I am careful not to attack anyone's belief or non-belief. It is common in the Religion Group to have vicious attacks on any beliefs.

I have suggested before that DU is not a closed system. Others will find DU the same way I did. When they do, they will see postings telling them that Democrats believe that any person of faith is mentally deficient. When that occurs, we may lose not only a potential DUer but a potential Democratic voter.

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #131)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 07:58 PM

132. Religion is a topic that is open for debate.

This group is used for that purpose on DU. Visiting it is not in any way mandatory. The debate will continue, as it has for centuries.

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #131)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 02:17 PM

145. Wow. Fascinating.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #145)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 02:21 PM

146. Illustrating one of the poster's points.

Undoubtedly unintentional on your part.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #146)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 03:08 PM

154. Uh-huh.

Whatever you say, man.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #146)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 03:11 PM

155. His point was that cluelessness gets mocked?

Where is that stated?

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #155)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 12:35 PM

176. This is you illustrating my observation of the 11th Commandment.

As if any further proof were needed.

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #131)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 06:00 PM

160. You really should back up your statement.

Please link to a posting on DU telling anyone that "Democrats believe that any person of faith is mentally deficient."

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Response to Mariana (Reply #160)

Thu Sep 20, 2018, 09:53 AM

200. You'll never get one.

This is how they try to demonize atheists and silence dissent.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #200)

Thu Sep 20, 2018, 12:30 PM

201. Well, it isn't working, apparently.

I'm not demonized and I'm dissenting like crazy.

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #115)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 11:49 AM

124. Yes, there is some harsh rhetoric and ridicule in that regard

But this group is not a safe space. I'm not sure what can be done about it. Arguments here get harsher and less substantive than I would like, but nobody seems to be actually breaking the rules.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #124)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 03:17 PM

156. People break the rules here and they get dealt with

appropriately. The poster clearly does not understand the charter of this group, and is not aware of the other groups that have charters that would fit his requirements, or as is more typical for these complaints, has decided that outspoken criticism of religion should not be tolerated anywhere on this website.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #156)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 04:16 PM

157. I think criticism on this site goes beyond "outspoken"

into unecessary harshness and ridicule that is detrimental to dialogue. This is even justified on the basis that religion deserves such treatment. Well fine. You can do that. It just isn't dialogue.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #157)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 04:57 PM

158. Do you think that there have been any attemps

at meaningful dialog? I think in fact the irreligious here have bent over backwards to coax dialog out of the religious, but have failed utterly. We are a choir of interchangeable 11th commandment robots.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #158)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 08:10 PM

161. Yes there is that one poster, but I've seen harsh rhetoric directed at others

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #161)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 08:57 PM

163. Like this current subthread where a religionist

dropped in to tell us we were all wrecking DU?

Seems to me people bent over backwards to be polite.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #163)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 09:11 PM

166. I didn't see any harshness and I didn't see him say we were wrecking DU

He just said we might be turning off some potential liberal religious voters by perpetuating the stereotype that liberals are anti-religious.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #166)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 09:42 PM

167. He's said several demonstrably false things in this thread.

Lying isn't usually a good way to advance one's position.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #167)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 10:06 PM

168. I got the sense he was offering an impressionistic viewpoint rather than any direct quote

Do you deny that some posters in this group think religion is just a bunch of dangerous nonsense?

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #168)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 10:09 AM

174. That is not what he was squawking about.

Saying that religion is dangerous nonsense is not the same as saying that all religious people are bad, stupid, or anything else. TomSlick is quite intelligent enough to know the difference, so he was being dishonest to say what he did. No here has claimed that "Democrats believe that any person of faith is mentally deficient." or anything like it. I've asked him to back up this ridiculous assertion, and he hasn't because he can't.

He also lamented there is no place on DU to have the kind of discussion about religion he seems to want. In fact there are several such groups with the rules he suggested, that were set up specifically to enforce the intolerance of opposing views that he desires. It's possible (but unlikely) that he didn't know of the existence of these groups, but if so he should have asked. I suspect that like Gil, he just opposes the existence of even one group on DU in which criticism of religion is permitted.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #174)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 11:07 PM

184. People don't distinguish between attacking their cherished ideas and attacking people

It's not a matter of intelligence, but of being emotionally attached to the ideas. They may be smart enough to understand the distinction rationally, but they still feel attacked, and then dialogue is shut down.

I don't think Tom, wants a place of enforced intolerance, but I don't know for sure. The ones on DU are mostly empty and boring, so I take it he'd rather have something more lively. I am sure Gil doesn't want place where no criticism of religion is allowed. Where would he perform his artwork if he had no opponents?

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #184)

Wed Sep 19, 2018, 07:49 AM

187. He wants what most people lurking the internet want.

A place to bellyache without serious socio-occupational repercussions.

And yes, I am entirely self-aware when I say that.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #187)

Wed Sep 19, 2018, 07:53 AM

188. I hate people

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #184)

Wed Sep 19, 2018, 12:39 PM

190. Tom said:

"Perhaps there needs to be another group with a ground rule that no religion or lack thereof are to be dismissed." So, he wants something that already exists - the Interfaith Group. The Interfaith Group is certainly empty and boring, but changing the rules of this group to make it into a clone of that one isn't going to fix it. It seems to me it's up to people like Tom, who claim to want that sort of environment and that kind of discussion, to make the place more lively.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #190)

Wed Sep 19, 2018, 08:09 PM

191. Ok I concede that point.

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #115)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 10:31 PM

133. That is false. There is such a place.

The Religion Group is not one of the safe haven groups, it is true ( "often" does not mean "always" ). However, the SOP of the Interfaith Group is as follows:

A safe haven that provides opportunities for people of all faiths, spiritual leanings and non-belief to discuss religious topics and events in a positive and civil manner, with an emphasis on tolerance. Criticisms of individual beliefs or non-belief, or debates about the existence of higher power(s) are not appropriate in this group.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1264

Gil knows about the Interfaith Group and its purpose, but he prefers to post here instead.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #133)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 08:19 AM

135. Of course, nobody has posted there since April.

What does that mean? It means that people want lively discussion and debate. The Religion Group is the busiest DU Group of all. Apparently, it is a place people want to post.

And, as has been said many times, this is not the Religious Group. It is the Religion Group. It is open to all sorts of discussions about religion, including discussions from people who are opposed to religions for one reason or another. It has never been a "safe haven" group.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #135)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 09:22 AM

137. I was just correcting TomSlick's false statement

that there is no such place on DU, and reminding him that the words "often" and "always" are not synonyms.

Now, TomSlick has been enlightened about the existence of the Interfaith Group and its purpose and rules. He need no longer "regret there is no place to discuss religion on DU" as he lamented in his earlier post. Gil, of course, has known about the Interfaith Group for years, along with the several other safe haven groups for discussing religion.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #137)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 11:47 AM

140. Some people like a fight, I guess.

Some people prefer that to polite agreement all the time. Not surprising.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 05:37 PM

127. Same reason humans don't save every bug, or animal from pain and suffering. We are just so

Arrogant that we believe we deserve to be pain free. We are ants in the unversal hierarchy.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #127)

Sun Sep 16, 2018, 07:11 PM

129. Some do have that as a goal.

Some Buddhists, Hindus and Jains follow the principal of Ahimsa. The goal is to do no harm to any living creature through actions words or thoughts. Its a very difficult principle, in practice. Read about it at:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahimsa

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #129)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 09:14 AM

136. This is true, but a very small percentage of religions or mankind as a whole. It is the arrogance of

Man that we value ourselves so high and separate from the animal kingdom. That we would be no different in Gods eyes as the antelope, or sea turtle, or polar bear. We are Gods ant farm, amusing to watch and put on a counter top. It is only man's ego that won't let him ponder this idea. We self inflate our importance. Maybe if we had definitive proof of intelligent life out in the universe we would be forced to reanalyze our situation.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #136)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 10:50 AM

138. I call foul...

...the net total of religious adherents in the three religions (i.e. Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain) mentioned in post #129 are not a "very small percentage" unless approximately 1.675 billion people or 22% of the world's population is considered "very small".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_populations

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Response to NeoGreen (Reply #138)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 11:50 AM

141. Thanks for supplying the numbers.

People never seem to think about those Asian religions, somehow. I've always been interested in Ahimsa. It's definitely different from the western religious viewpoint. Of course, it's also a very difficult principle to uphold.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #141)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 02:41 PM

151. I would, humbly, suggest that the author of post #136...

...revisit and reconsider their definition of "arrogant" with the question "Would dismissing ~1.7 billion people as a 'very small percentage' of the world's population in-of-itself be a practical example of arrogance?"

or would hubris be a better synonym or maybe (gasp) Pride?

Don't some religious cults have something to say about Pride?
Isn't it on some list?
I thought I read that somewhere.

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Response to NeoGreen (Reply #138)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 09:08 PM

165. Very few actively practice harm avoidance.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #165)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 08:15 AM

173. That is true, but the principle still exists.

Very few who adhere to any religion actually follow the entirety of that religion's advice, it seems to me. They do, however, give lip service to it. That's sort of how religion works, most likely.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #136)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 02:07 PM

144. Reading stuff like this...

...makes me glad God doesn't exist.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #144)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 10:59 PM

169. Why?

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #169)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 07:07 AM

171. You don't find anything disquieting...

...about being compared to an ant in a farm, scurrying about your short pathetic life while a bored eternal deity watches on with detached amusement as your children die of neuroblastoma?

Personally, I find chaos a more reassuring scenario. At least there's the comfort of knowing no one's watching you while you're taking a shit.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #171)

Tue Sep 18, 2018, 07:13 AM

172. No, I find it metaphorical for the physical universe

Which, if it could think would find us no more important than other animals, and perhaps too dangerous to the rest of creation.

"The earth has a pox called man." - Nietzche

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Response to Pisces (Reply #127)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 11:33 AM

139. Why do some people have to experience so much more pain than others?

Doesn't seem "arrogant" to ask, if someone set up this "hierarchy" without asking us first.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #139)

Wed Sep 19, 2018, 08:33 PM

193. Why are some people taller than others?

Why do some people live longer than others?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #193)

Wed Sep 19, 2018, 09:36 PM

194. Random variation and natural selection

Consistent with either no god, or a god who does not care.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #193)

Thu Sep 20, 2018, 08:34 AM

196. Genetics.

Now answer my question.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #196)

Thu Sep 20, 2018, 08:47 AM

197. We both know he won't.

Because once again, he's argued himself into a corner. He wants to have a capital "C" creator, but he doesn't want that entity held to task for its creation.

Some people live longer than others because genetics and epigenetics. Who created genes? Who created the environment? Why, the Creator, of course. But the creator can't very well be held accountable for how its creation functions. That'd be fucking silly.

So instead, he's going to fire back with trite dismissal or not at all. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #197)

Thu Sep 20, 2018, 09:34 AM

198. It's his standard propaganda technique - whataboutism.

Inquiring person: Hey, gil, why do some people suffer so much and others hardly at all?

Gil: Whatabout tall people? Whatabout old people?

No answer, just distraction.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #198)

Thu Sep 20, 2018, 09:41 AM

199. Performance art.

I hear it rates well with the people-who-can't-post-here-anymore-because-they're-actually-really-terrible demographic.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #127)

Wed Sep 19, 2018, 08:32 PM

192. An interesting response.

And this arrogance also allows people to ruin the planet in the name of greed.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 23, 2018, 02:17 PM

204. I don't know why but the effects of suffering are like a gamble.

Could grow stronger and wiser as a result or could be broken. The statement you bolded is very germane to this discussion.

The statement "allow human suffering" implies a will for it to happen. Reality has been set up that provides for the opportunity for life and the universe to exist - that, I think, is a given. Choices (or "coincidences", if one prefers) were made (or happened) that created circumstances we as beings within this reality have to contend with and we don't know why, only that we have to deal with them or suffer more consequences for not doing so (like ignoring symptoms until things get so bad we can't ignore the problem). If there is a "will" behind suffering, then it also seems that in balance that will also put in place compassion and justice. Why?

Our short lives are not nearly long enough to understand the bigger why but we certainly do try. This is where faith or trust comes in...that it's worth the effort and if we approach suffering as part of reality, it will teach us and push us in a direction for the better. Even that is a notion shaped by culture but we have to start from somewhere.

The only other option I've heard about is to escape the suffering by becoming one with all, dissolving self back into the void. But then you miss out on all the creativity going on in Samsara.

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Response to gtar100 (Reply #204)

Tue Sep 25, 2018, 11:53 AM

205. My interpretation of the phrase "allow human suffering" is that

it refers to free will. It does not, in my view, imply that the Creator wants suffering, or approves of suffering, but that free will might lead to choices that cause suffering.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #205)

Tue Sep 25, 2018, 03:09 PM

206. What free will human decision causes earthquakes?

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #206)

Tue Sep 25, 2018, 05:10 PM

207. Is that the best response you could think of? eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #207)

Tue Sep 25, 2018, 05:46 PM

208. That was a question, not a response. Do you have an answer?

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #208)

Tue Sep 25, 2018, 05:59 PM

209. I was serious.

Unless you feel that humanity is responsible for natural disasters.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #209)

Tue Sep 25, 2018, 06:03 PM

210. That was my question to you.

"Allowing human suffering" you interpret as a reference to free will. Yet there is suffering that does not appear to be related to any human action. So what is the connection between that type of suffering and free will?

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #210)

Tue Sep 25, 2018, 06:06 PM

211. The commonality is suffering.

Hot weather can cause sunburn.

Racism can cause violence.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #211)

Tue Sep 25, 2018, 06:09 PM

212. The causal mechanisms are different

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #212)

Tue Sep 25, 2018, 06:24 PM

213. Of course.

And that difference in agency illustrates the essential difference between the free will of a human actor and planetary weather events.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #213)

Tue Sep 25, 2018, 07:23 PM

214. Human actors have free will to cause pain to otherhuman actors

and get away with it. The Creator has free will to cause pain through planetary events on human actors. I fail to see the difference.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #214)

Tue Sep 25, 2018, 08:01 PM

216. Human actors have the ability, and the will.

The Creator has the ability.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #216)

Tue Sep 25, 2018, 08:11 PM

218. The Creator doesn't have free will?

Or does it have free will but choose to cause (or not to prevent) suffering?

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #218)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 07:52 PM

219. The Creator created, and free will exists in sentient beings.

Without free will, we would be puppets. Or non-sentient.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #219)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 08:15 PM

220. That doesn't answer the question

Is the Creator sentient? Or a puppet?

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #220)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 08:17 PM

221. Now your questions seem designed to avoid dialogue. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #221)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 08:21 PM

222. Not at all. I asked if the Creator has free will.

It's a yes or no question. You gave a roundabout answer that I do not understand. Can you answer yes or no?

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #222)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 08:31 PM

223. The Creator created.

And one can only assume that the Creator freely created.

Now, a question for you. Do you have free will?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #223)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 08:37 PM

224. Sure.

But if the Creator has free will, that just goes back to the problem I raised in #214.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #224)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 08:37 PM

225. Prove that you have free will.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #225)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 08:59 PM

226. Definition: Free will is the ability to make a choice with no external forces controlling you

Some may disagree with that definition, but that is my definition, and my answer only makes sense in accordance with that definition. The answer is empirical. That is if I am forced to do something, say if you point a gun at my head, then at that moment I don't have free will, except in the limited sense that I could choose to die instead of doing what you ask.

But you do not have a gun to my head or have any other means of forcing me. Nobody else is applying any force to me right now. I chose to write this. I could have done something else during this time but I didn't. I have free will.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #226)

Thu Sep 27, 2018, 12:03 PM

230. And does your entire life experience influence your decisions?

And are/were there any external forces that modified and perhaps directed those experiences?

And, male or female, are any of your responses affected/influenced by hormones?


Now, apply free will to a tornado? Does the tornado have free will?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #230)

Thu Sep 27, 2018, 12:41 PM

231. Free will isn't 100%, it can be influenced modified etc.

Tornados are controlled by the laws of physics. Not influenced by. Controlled. Laws that the Creator created knowing they would produce tornados that would hurt people. Being omniscient, it even knew exactly which people the tornados would hurt, down to the last innocent baby killed. So the issue in #214 remains.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #231)

Thu Sep 27, 2018, 12:46 PM

233. No, there is no issue.

Unless you claim that only a perfect universe would be acceptable. Weather conditions are all part of a dynamic earth.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #233)

Thu Sep 27, 2018, 12:51 PM

234. The issue is that the Creator created a world with suffering and death

It could have created a world exactly like this one, with the same exact opportunities for growth as this one, except with no suffering and death. We know it could because it is omniscient and omnipotent.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #234)

Thu Sep 27, 2018, 12:52 PM

235. Overcrowding?

Your universe is a fantasy.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #235)

Thu Sep 27, 2018, 01:21 PM

236. Omnipotent, remember?

No second law of thermodynamics so we have infinite matter and energy? We live forever with no babies do just a set number of people? How do you think heaven works anyway?

For an omnipotent being everything is possible and nothing is fantasy. That's the definition of omnipotent, isn't it?

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #236)

Thu Sep 27, 2018, 01:34 PM

237. No death, no illness,

no sun to burn us.

No wind or snow to chill us.

No bad language to upset us.

No insects to sting and bite.

No predatory animals.

No phsyical laws at all, apparently.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #237)

Thu Sep 27, 2018, 01:51 PM

238. Not no physical laws. Different laws.

Last edited Thu Sep 27, 2018, 04:29 PM - Edit history (1)

Or just give us the technology. If science advances enough, we could create a world like that ourselves. Why did we have to wait 200,000 years just to get rid of smallpox?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #225)

Thu Sep 27, 2018, 08:26 AM

228. Prove ANY ONE of the many statements you have made about your creator.

If you want to go that route, fine. You can't expect others to "prove" their statements if you categorically refuse to do it for any of yours.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #205)

Tue Sep 25, 2018, 07:56 PM

215. Exactly. And that implies (to me) conditions in which we can grow in knowledge through experiences.

To intervene in that process would rob us of experience that may be key to overcoming the problem or teaching us right relationship to the cause of the suffering. But that doesn't mean I would stand by and watch others suffer if I can do something about it. Between each other, we are inclined to want to help and that seems to be the channel that compassion and empathy takes in response to suffering. To do otherwise is kind of like "playing God" thinking we know better. But again, it implies the situation is something we can influence.

That there are these conditions we can and do learn from implies meaning and purpose in life that we can, with free will, choose to partake in. A meaning and purpose that transcends our individual selves.

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Response to gtar100 (Reply #215)

Tue Sep 25, 2018, 08:02 PM

217. A very nice reply.

And I generally agree with your analysis.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 09:09 PM

227. Why do you post these questions and then get dismissive and irritated with the responses?

The majority of responses inevitably challenge you because this site has a substantial amount of active atheists. Everytime you post your questions and comments the same thing occurs: you are questioned and challenged and you respond with short curt responses end tagged with eom. Why? I sometimes understand your point of view but I just dont get why you do this when the result is always the same. You have to realize that it is unlikely that an atheist is going to agree with you let alone convert.

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Response to tymorial (Reply #227)

Thu Sep 27, 2018, 11:46 AM

229. I am not looking for conversion.

But this site also has a substantial amount of theists. And I am writing, and posting, for any who wish to read.

As to the sometimes short responses, they are mainly reserved for those who wish only to attack any positive posts about religion.

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Response to tymorial (Reply #227)

Thu Sep 27, 2018, 12:46 PM

232. Who knows why Gil does what he does?

Many people have noticed this pattern, and have asked him the same thing.

Gil is aware of the existence of groups on DU that were created for religious discussion, but in which there is no tolerance for any disagreement, arguments, awkward questions, pointing out of inconsistencies, etc. etc. This is stated in the SOP's of those groups. Posters may be and have been blocked from those groups for doing those things. Gil shuns these groups.

Only this one group permits this kind of exchange about religious topics to take place. Gil chooses to post about religious topics almost exclusively in this one group, and to behave as you have seen. 'Tis a mystery.

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