51
   

How can a good God allow suffering

 
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2016 07:01 pm
@snood,
snood wrote:
So I try to imagine myself as an atheist. The very first thing that occurs to me is asking myself why I would even be in an argument with a theist/Christian/believer-in-fairy-tale-beings, etc. I mean, if I am sanguine in my belief that no such beings exist, why would it be in my interest to try to convince someone who believes to... not believe?

Maybe you're not there to try to change their mind, but to try to understand how they address the challenges you present to their ideas. To see how their minds work and to understand them better. And the only way to do that is to expose them to your viewpoint and see how they respond.
snood wrote:
If I as a liberated thinking man, free of the bonds of belief in anything supernatural think the person I am arguing with would be better off being like me - then I could see trying to convince them as sort of a humanitarian thing. You know - liberate their minds and make them happier, and all that.

Maybe you see that as an unlikely but possible bonus from your original goal.
snood wrote:
If I see myself as a crusader against the evils of organized religion and all the harm its done to mankind, then I could see myself trying to enlighten someone that their beliefs are screwing up humanity.

Yet another possible, but unlikely bonus.
snood wrote:
But short of those - if I see myself and the other guy as just two people who differ in how they think, I don't see myself as motivated to engage in argument about it.

Maybe you ignore a large number of such posts, but know that you can offer an actual logical, reasonable, functional answer to the original question. And since it was asked, you answer.
snood wrote:
If my neighbor (in my thought exercise scenario) thinks there is a God, and is otherwise an okay person, why would I want to mess with that? I don't know.

Maybe you don't want to harm people with your knowledge unnecessarily, but then again, they did ask. And you don't know them so you don't know how they will react. And it is a question on a public forum, with no caveats on the perspective from which it should be answered...
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2016 07:23 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
I personally on occasion visit these threads because Christians have been demanding I accept their viewpoint and using their faith to degrade the quality of learning in science and schools.
If that's true, then shame on them. I personally have not seen that here on A2k. I see fundamentalists come in waving a bible verse like it was some kind of proof, but the 'cheap trick coercion' you mentioned I have not seen.

OTOH, most of your posts on theist threads usually follow one where the poster gives a long winded version of 'there is no God' and you then chime in with a 'well said'. The thumbs up among atheists must give them comfort that they have backed the right horse.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2016 07:36 pm
@Leadfoot,
You haven't been on a2k long enough to know my posting history. There are many threads where I argued long and hard for my viewpoint. I have said it enough times I don't care to bore my friends by endlessly repeating myself. Which is another reason I only show up on these type threads sporadically. Many of the people I complained of in the post you quoted are from real life, beginning nearly sixty years ago. But, excluding my personal history, we still have the fact that so many in America are doing all they can to subvert science and separation of church and state in the schools. That fact alone makes it worth dropping in to complain every now and then.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2016 07:45 pm
@rosborne979,
Quote:
Ros wrote:
"I disagree. If the person asking the question doesn't specify that it is an "academic" question only, intended as an analysis of a particular document, then it's implicitly a question about the real world, in which we all have equal experience and interest."

Leadfoot replied
You are making assumptions or transferring your own preconceptions on the OP. It does not mention any 'document'. And since you have self identified as an atheist, by 'real world' we know that that does not include a 'God'. Therefore, you have no experience or credible interest in the thread.

Ros then said:
Your logic is flawed. So it follows that I don't agree with your conclusions. And only I know my inner motives. So you can draw any conclusions you like, but I will be the only one who really knows how accurate they are.


Another empty charge. How is my logic flawed? I pointed out that the OP did not mention any document. YOU are 100% responsible for bringing that into the conversation.

It is obvious that you have no credible interest in the thread based on your ridiculous fear that theist threads are harming others. In the current example, how could contemplating the question of "How can a good God allow suffering" possibly harm anyone? If anything, that question could and has dissuaded many away from believing in God. But rather than actually argue the point of the OP, you choose instead to claim damage to your atheist ideals.

Your motives obviously lie elsewhere. I may not know the root of your inner motives, but you certainly are not telling us what they are either. It's always possible that even you are not conscious of them.

But regardless of this, do not take anything I've said as meaning you don't have a right to post here or anywhere else. You certainly do.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2016 08:02 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
You haven't been on a2k long enough to know my posting history. There are many threads where I argued long and hard for my viewpoint. I have said it enough times I don't care to bore my friends by endlessly repeating myself.
I can certainly appreciate that. I hate repeating myself. In 'real life' I am an introverted person who sits silently on the sidelines in conversations. Even if I have something to say about the subject being discussed I will not say it because I know I've said it before, even though the people there have never heard it.
Quote:
so many in America are doing all they can to subvert science and separation of church and state in the schools.
I just don't see or hear this myself, and it's something I actively listen for. Maybe if you are a school board member you probably hear from very vocal fundamentalists trying to push that. But 'so many in America'? What so many in America actually hear are the pronouncements from people like Steven Hawking saying things like 'There is absolutely no need for a God to explain the universe'.

When it comes to society in general, atheism is in no danger of being shouted down. It is considered enlightened and in vogue these days.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2016 08:23 pm
@Leadfoot,
Leadfoot wrote:


Quote:
so many in America are doing all they can to subvert science and separation of church and state in the schools.
I just don't see or hear this myself, and it's something I actively listen for. Maybe if you are a school board member you probably hear from very vocal fundamentalists trying to push that. But 'so many in America'? What so many in America actually hear are the pronouncements from people like Steven Hawking saying things like 'There is absolutely no need for a God to explain the universe'.

When it comes to society in general, atheism is in no danger of being shouted down. It is considered enlightened and in vogue these days.



I don't know how you could miss it if you simply read the news.
SawyerMentink
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2016 08:31 pm
@rosborne979,
@rosborne979
If there is no God then how can things such as the origin of the universe and the existence of Jesus Christ be explained?
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2016 08:39 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
I don't know how you could miss it if you simply read the news.

Got an example?

Here's an example of just the opposite. Here's a snippet of this taxpayer funded study synopsis:

Quote:
studies reveal that scientific misconceptions about natural selection not only persist among high school students and undergraduates who are usual targets of instruction on evolution by natural selection, but, disturbingly, also among many of the teachers trained to teach them. Research further reveals that the origin of many of these misconceptions can be traced to intuitive cognitive biases found at the elementary school level. This project will address this problem by building and testing a learning sequence on natural selection at the early elementary grades before intuitive theoretical misconceptions are likely to have become entrenched.


Gotta get those young minds before "before intuitive theoretical misconceptions are likely to have become entrenched".

Sounds more like brainwashing rather than education.

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/05/evolution_in_ki_1102814.html
snood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2016 09:40 pm
@Leadfoot,
Quote:
When it comes to society in general, atheism is in no danger of being shouted down. It is considered enlightened and in vogue these days.


So grateful to see someone else acknowledging that. Bill Maher-type "imaginary friend" mockery is very chic in 2016.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2016 10:20 pm
Just a few links. There are as many as you care to spend time googling
http://mic.com/articles/80179/14-states-use-tax-dollars-to-teach-creationism-in-public-schools#.aUnzVo1tj
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/28/texas-public-schools-teac_n_2568828.html
http://www.refinery29.com/2015/06/88759/louisiana-schools-bible-teaching-creationism
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  2  
Reply Thu 5 May, 2016 12:06 am
@Leadfoot,
Leadfoot wrote:
. . . When it comes to society in general, atheism is in no danger of being shouted down. It is considered enlightened and in vogue these days.
Some of us are just plain stupid, I guess.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 May, 2016 02:26 am
Christians on the one hand tout their religion as the most numerous in terms of adherents, and on the other, try to pretend they're persecuted. They seem to love to pose as martyrs. Yes, it's sad how they are no longer allowed to burn atheists, and shout down everyone else in the public discourse on religion. Poor, poor christians . . .
snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 May, 2016 03:31 am
@neologist,
neologist wrote:

Leadfoot wrote:
. . . When it comes to society in general, atheism is in no danger of being shouted down. It is considered enlightened and in vogue these days.
Some of us are just plain stupid, I guess.

Oh, now you've done it.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 May, 2016 04:21 am
@SawyerMentink,
SawyerMentink wrote:

@rosborne979
If there is no God then how can things such as the origin of the universe and the existence of Jesus Christ be explained?

The Universe came about naturally, and Jesus was either a normal man or he never really existed at all. Academics who study biblical history extensively are evenly split on whether Jesus even existed at all, and we already know with certainty that most of the miraculous stories attributed to Jesus in the bible are derived from much older local legends of other deities. The Egyptian Horus is just one of them.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 May, 2016 04:24 am
@Leadfoot,
Your reading comprehension skills are horrible. It's virtually impossible to communicate with you, which is a shame. You completely mis-interpreted the bulk of that post. And it's far from the first time many of us have run into this with you.
snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 May, 2016 04:38 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Your reading comprehension skills are horrible. It's virtually impossible to communicate with you, which is a shame. You completely mis-interpreted the bulk of that post. And it's far from the first time many of us have run into this with you.

Friction is probably intrinsic to discussions about anything God-related on A2K. But (IMO) you'd do much to preempt some unnecessary friction by only speaking for yourself. We'd appreciate it.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 5 May, 2016 05:20 am
Several years ago, someone here posted a blog post in which the blogger said that if anyone tells you that christians in the United States are persecuted, right there you know you're talking to a moron. Here's an excerpt from a 1970s documentary about the "evangelist" Marjoe Gortner. At about 4:00, you can see him counting the cash on his motel bed, and saying "Praise the Lord!"



There are entire networks devoted to christianity on American television. Stations and networks which are not necessarily christian still broadcast drek like The 700 Club. Robert Schuller with his Crystal Cathedral, went bankrupt before he died, with debts of about $55,000,000, but those widows and poor deluded fools on social security still send in their tens and twenties.

Some judge a few years back wanted to have the ten commandments put up on a courthouse wall. I haven't yet heard of anyone wanting to put the words of Daniel Dennett or Sam Harris up on the courthouse walls.

So someone doesn't like what Bill Maher has to say? Don't watch him. "That Maher really pisses me off! I'm going to tune in right now so i can get even more pissed off!" Small wonder that Jesus wept.

What drivel . . . you know, beam, mote . . .
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 May, 2016 06:54 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
Christians on the one hand tout their religion as the most numerous in terms of adherents, and on the other, try to pretend they're persecuted.
I, for one, have not said a thing about being persecuted. The only thing I have issues with are the empty childish cries of "There is no God" without supporting reasons in the midst of a theological discussion and then the inevitable 'talk of God will infect our children, we've got to stop it!'.

Not talking about teaching in schools, that's a different issue. I am against religion in public schools. But I don't want that anti-god stuff in schools I mentioned earlier either. I'm talking about the public discourse, like here in A2K and in greater society.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 May, 2016 06:58 am
@rosborne979,
Quote:
Your reading comprehension skills are horrible. It's virtually impossible to communicate with you, which is a shame. You completely mis-interpreted the bulk of that post. And it's far from the first time many of us have run into this with you.
Once again you make a complain about me without defining what it is about. There's a Latin term for that but it's over used around here.

What did I misinterpret?
snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 May, 2016 07:19 am
@Leadfoot,
Leadfoot wrote:

Quote:
Christians on the one hand tout their religion as the most numerous in terms of adherents, and on the other, try to pretend they're persecuted.
I, for one, have not said a thing about being persecuted. The only thing I have issues with are the empty childish cries of "There is no God" without supporting reasons in the midst of a theological discussion and then the inevitable 'talk of God will infect our children, we've got to stop it!'.

Not talking about teaching in schools, that's a different issue. I am against religion in public schools. But I don't want that anti-god stuff in schools I mentioned earlier either. I'm talking about the public discourse, like here in A2K and in greater society.


Yeah I thought it was sort of odd that no one here was talking about Christian persecution at all until the person who brought it up started in railing about how Christians are always whining about it.
0 Replies
 
 

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