Author Topic: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf  (Read 2291 times)

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Online screwtape

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Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« on: March 23, 2011, 08:19:11 AM »

The topic is :
Resolved: The treatment of Job and his family by the Christian God (as described in the Biblical book Job) was monstrous.

This is a one-on-one debate between Voter and Pianodwarf.  Other members who wish to comment, please use the commentary thread.

Voter and PD, I strongly recommend you establish engagement rules - whether you will be taking turns, how many posts the debate will last, narrow the scope of discussion, commit to a posting frequency, etc - and post them here. 
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 08:20:55 AM by screwtape »
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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2011, 09:22:33 AM »

Voter and PD, I strongly recommend you establish engagement rules - whether you will be taking turns, how many posts the debate will last, narrow the scope of discussion, commit to a posting frequency, etc - and post them here.

I agree.  I propose the following to start:

1)  We take turns -- no making a new post until the other person has responded.
2)  A post must be responded to within two days -- I'd make that shorter if I could, but I've got a lot going on right now and can't promise to have sufficient free time to post more frequently.

Number of posts, I'm really not sure about.  Maybe Voter has a preference?  Voter has also already offered a description for scope that I've agreed to.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2011, 09:58:48 AM »

Folks, this is the Debate thread for the two participants and only for the two participants.  It is not the commentary thread.  That is here.  And please do not post here to apologize.

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Offline Voter

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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2011, 10:55:41 AM »

Voter and PD, I strongly recommend you establish engagement rules - whether you will be taking turns, how many posts the debate will last, narrow the scope of discussion, commit to a posting frequency, etc - and post them here.

I agree.  I propose the following to start:

1)  We take turns -- no making a new post until the other person has responded.
Agreed, with the exception of a minor clarification that could aid the other party.
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2)  A post must be responded to within two days -- I'd make that shorter if I could, but I've got a lot going on right now and can't promise to have sufficient free time to post more frequently.
There's no rush.
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Number of posts, I'm really not sure about.  Maybe Voter has a preference?  Voter has also already offered a description for scope that I've agreed to.
I don't like to be limited, but it can't go on forever, either. I suggest an upper bound of 20 posts each as some sort of limit, thought I doubt we'd need that many.

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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2011, 10:58:07 AM »
That all sounds good.  Unless there's anything else we need to clarify, please go ahead with your first post whenever you're ready.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 06:18:35 PM »
As I said in our planning discussions, I’ll begin with a summary  of the events in Job. I think you’ll find it to be fair, but of course you are free to propose changes or additions.

1.  Job was a good and righteous man. He feared and worshiped God. He had a large family and was the richest man in his region.

2.  In a conversation with Satan, God boasted of Job, implying that God took pleasure and glory in Job’s faith. Satan pointed out that God had protected and enriched Job, and suggested that Job’s faith was merely practical in nature. He charged that if Job lost all the good things in his life, he would lose faith and curse God. God saw that there would be even greater glory for himself if Job would remain faithful in adverse circumstances, and allowed Satan to take all that Job had.

3.  Satan caused Job’s children to be killed and his possessions to be stolen or destroyed. It should be noted that while Satan actually performed the acts, God accepts responsibility: 2:3 …And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.

4.  Job accepted the disasters and did not charge God with wrong. In fact, he continued to worship him.

5.  Satan upped the ante, charging that if Job’s own physical well-being were ruined, he would lose faith and curse God. God accepted and gave Satan freedom to torment Job physically, with the only provision being that he couldn’t take it all the way to death.  Satan afflicted Job with painful boils all over his body.

6.  At first Job again accepts his fate and maintains his faith.

7.  Job’s three friends come to Job. The bulk of the book is theological discussion among these four. The main theme is that the friends say God would not allow Job to suffer so much if he had not sinned greatly. Job maintains his innocence. The pain gets to Job and he does complain about his treatment.

8.  At the end, God appears in a whirlwind and speaks to Job. In short, God says that due to his power and status as creator, Job has no right to question him. He also chastises the three friends.

9.  God restores Job, giving him health, a new family, and greater riches than before.

To really cut it down: God would receive honor and glory if Job maintained his faith despite suffering, so he let Satan torture Job. God put his own pleasure and glory ahead of Job’s suffering.

Please propose any changes or additions. If none, feel free to start your argument.

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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2011, 06:00:12 AM »
I read Job on Thursday morning in preparation for this, and I would say this is essentially accurate, except for seven and eight... my reading of it was that Job never complained and that the chastisement was aimed only at Job's three friends.  Might be wrong about that, though; I'll have to take another look at the text.

Oh, one more thing.  I think this is a given, but mentioning it just for the sake of clarity: I don't want to talk about dinosaurs here.  That's a separate discussion.

Edit:  You're the one who's supposed to start, not me.  The way it works is, the one issuing the challenge is the one who starts the debate.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2011, 08:23:03 AM »
I read Job on Thursday morning in preparation for this, and I would say this is essentially accurate, except for seven and eight... my reading of it was that Job never complained and that the chastisement was aimed only at Job's three friends.  Might be wrong about that, though; I'll have to take another look at the text.
Whether Job complained is unimportant to my argument, so we can strike it.
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Oh, one more thing.  I think this is a given, but mentioning it just for the sake of clarity: I don't want to talk about dinosaurs here.  That's a separate discussion.
Agreed. I've had very interesting discussions on the topic, but it has no bearing on this debate.
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Edit:  You're the one who's supposed to start, not me.  The way it works is, the one issuing the challenge is the one who starts the debate.
OK, will get to it when I have time.

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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2011, 12:15:52 PM »
The charge that God is monstrous for his treatment of Job and his family fails as it is special pleading.

First let’s review the special pleading fallacy:

Special Pleading is a fallacy in which a person applies standards, principles, rules, etc. to others while taking herself (or those she has a special interest in) to be exempt, without providing adequate justification for the exemption.

From a philosophic standpoint, the fallacy of Special Pleading is violating a well accepted principle, namely the Principle of Relevant Difference. According to this principle, two people can be treated differently if and only if there is a relevant difference between them.


We agree that God put his own pleasure and glory ahead of Job’s suffering.

Job and his family put their own pleasure and glory ahead of the suffering of others. Job was the greatest man of his time and locale, and his children were partiers:

Job 1
3 Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.
4 And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.

They could have given their possessions to those suffering from poverty, but they didn’t. They could have used their wealth to redeem slaves and free them, but they didn't. They put their own pleasure and glory ahead of the suffering of others.

Probably everyone who reads this does the same. (“You” below is collective and includes myself – I’m not picking on you personally, pianodwarf.)

Any of you going to go out drinking tonight?
Ever spend more on a car, house or clothes than you absolutely need to, because people will think more highly of you?

You’re putting your own pleasure and glory ahead of the suffering of others. You could have fed a child who starved to death or died for lack of medical attention, but you wanted to get drunk, or buy a flashier car, or thought your ass looked better in a more expensive pair of jeans; and those uses were more important to you.

The time you spend screwing around on the internet at this site and others could have been spent at a homeless shelter, or with habitat for humanity, etc. As with money, you’re putting your own pleasure and/or glory ahead of the suffering of others.

So, unless you’re calling yourself and your friends monstrous, it’s special pleading to call God monstrous, and the charge fails.

My argument fails if you can show a relevant difference, but I’ve never seen it done. The knee-jerk reaction is to say that God has greater resources and could stop all suffering, but that also is a special pleading. You presumably don’t argue that only the current richest man on earth is responsible for relieving suffering in his fellow man.

The difference is that God admits to it, while people charging God with wrong do the same thing, but rationalize it away.

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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2011, 02:58:38 PM »
The charge that God is monstrous for his treatment of Job and his family fails as it is special pleading.

This is not correct, as I shall demonstrate.

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First let’s review the special pleading fallacy:

There's no need for that.  I know what special pleading is, and it's highly unlikely that there's anyone else (regular) at WWGHA who doesn't know what it is, either.

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We agree that God put his own pleasure and glory ahead of Job’s suffering.

That's not quite accurate, inasmuch as Yahweh inflicted that suffering.  It would be more accurate to say that Yahweh inflicted that suffering as a demonstration of his own pleasure and glory.  (Well, glory, at least.)  "Look how awesome I am!  I can do absolutely anything to this sap, and he'll just sit there, go belly up, and take it!"  We do not grant any human being a free pass to torture other human beings, so there's no reason that Yahweh should be permitted to do it, either, especially inasmuch as Christians would say that Yahweh is, himself, the source of all morality.

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Job and his family put their own pleasure and glory ahead of the suffering of others.

The text of Job does not, in fact, say that anyone else was suffering.  We cannot therefore definitively state that any suffering was present in Job's community (other than the suffering that Yahweh inflicted on Job).

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They could have given their possessions to those suffering from poverty, but they didn’t.

Nor does the text of Job say that anyone was in poverty.

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They could have used their wealth to redeem slaves and free them, but they didn't.

Was there some reason that they should have?  Scripture indicates quite clearly that Yahweh permits and endorses slavery, to the point of setting down a variety of rules for the way slaves were to be treated.  There would not appear to be any incentive for freeing slaves.  Indeed, in light of Yahweh's rules about slavery, it might even be considered disobedience to Yahweh to release slaves.

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They put their own pleasure and glory ahead of the suffering of others.

And, once again, the text of Job does not indicate that anyone other than Job was suffering.

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You’re putting your own pleasure and glory ahead of the suffering of others. You could have fed a child who starved to death or died for lack of medical attention, but you wanted to get drunk, or buy a flashier car, or thought your ass looked better in a more expensive pair of jeans; and those uses were more important to you.

The child who starves to death or dies for lack of medical attention, does so because Yahweh wants it to happen, and despite the fact that humans don't.  If it were within my power, I'd eliminate all hunger and infectious disease on the planet.  (I have to be satisfied with what little I can do to help with charitable donations and the like.)  Yahweh, however, has that power, but refuses to exercise it.

Special pleading only applies when you try to apply two or more different rules to different elements in the same category, which is not the case with humans (finite power) and Yahweh (infinite power).  Indeed, to say that special pleading applies in such an instance is itself the logical fallacy known as a category error.

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The time you spend screwing around on the internet at this site and others could have been spent at a homeless shelter, or with habitat for humanity, etc. As with money, you’re putting your own pleasure and/or glory ahead of the suffering of others.

You cannot state this with any definitiveness unless you know how much any one person here is giving to charitable and humanitarian causes -- and even if you did, it would still be a questionable call.

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My argument fails if you can show a relevant difference, but I’ve never seen it done. The knee-jerk reaction is to say that God has greater resources and could stop all suffering, but that also is a special pleading. You presumably don’t argue that only the current richest man on earth is responsible for relieving suffering in his fellow man.

Same category error.  The richest man on earth is still a man of finite resources, the same as any other human being.  Yahweh does not have greater resources, he has infinite resources, which is a very different matter.

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The difference is that God admits to it, while people charging God with wrong do the same thing, but rationalize it away.

This, too, is resolved by recognizing the category error.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2011, 05:42:13 PM »
First, I want to note that you made absolutely no case for the pro position in your first post. All you did was attempt to rebut me. Please provide a positive argument for your own position. You cannot simply treat it as being true prima facie in an attempt to shift the entire burden of proof to me.

Now to address your response to my position:

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We agree that God put his own pleasure and glory ahead of Job’s suffering.

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That's not quite accurate, inasmuch as Yahweh inflicted that suffering.  It would be more accurate to say that Yahweh inflicted that suffering as a demonstration of his own pleasure and glory. 

No, what I said is quite true. We discussed and agreed to the factual aspects of the story, including:

3.  Satan caused Job’s children to be killed and his possessions to be stolen or destroyed. It should be noted that while Satan actually performed the acts, God accepts responsibility: 2:3 …And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.

God would receive honor and glory if Job maintained his faith despite suffering, so he let Satan torture Job. God put his own pleasure and glory ahead of Job’s suffering.

It is disingenuous to now argue that God directly inflicted the suffering.

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The text of Job does not, in fact, say that anyone else was suffering.  We cannot therefore definitively state that any suffering was present in Job's community (other than the suffering that Yahweh inflicted on Job).
Nor does the text of Job say that anyone was in poverty.

Sure it does. I thought you were going to read it before the debate. Examples:

Job 3
Or why was I not hidden away in the ground like a stillborn child,
   like an infant who never saw the light of day?
17 There the wicked cease from turmoil,
   and there the weary are at rest.
18 Captives also enjoy their ease;
   they no longer hear the slave driver’s shout.
19 The small and the great are there,
   and the slaves are freed from their owners.
 20 “Why is light given to those in misery,
   and life to the bitter of soul,
21 to those who long for death that does not come,
   who search for it more than for hidden treasure,
22 who are filled with gladness
   and rejoice when they reach the grave?
Job 7
Like a slave longing for the evening shadows,
   or a hired laborer waiting to be paid,
3 so I have been allotted months of futility,
   and nights of misery have been assigned to me.

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Was there some reason that they should have?  Scripture indicates quite clearly that Yahweh permits and endorses slavery, to the point of setting down a variety of rules for the way slaves were to be treated.  There would not appear to be any incentive for freeing slaves.  Indeed, in light of Yahweh's rules about slavery, it might even be considered disobedience to Yahweh to release slaves.
Your knowledge of the law is on par with your knowledge of Job. Slaves could be freed, and in fact were required to be freed in certain circumstances, so no, it would be no affront to God for Job to use his wealth to redeem slaves.

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The child who starves to death or dies for lack of medical attention, does so because Yahweh wants it to happen, and despite the fact that humans don't.  If it were within my power, I'd eliminate all hunger and infectious disease on the planet.  (I have to be satisfied with what little I can do to help with charitable donations and the like.)  Yahweh, however, has that power, but refuses to exercise it.
First, you’re committing a version of the tu quoque fallacy here. If it’s wrong to put one’s pleasure ahead of the suffering of others, than it’s wrong for you to put your pleasure ahead of the suffering of others, period – it doesn’t matter what God does.

Second, as an atheist, that argument is utterly ridiculous.

Third, you don’t have to be satisfied with what little you’re doing to help if you expend any resources at all on your own pleasure and/or glory. Until you’ve given it all up, you shouldn’t be satisfied, or should admit that by your own criteria you’re monstrous.

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You cannot state this with any definitiveness unless you know how much any one person here is giving to charitable and humanitarian causes
Yes, I can state it definitively, because as noted, everyone here is necessarily putting their time here when it could go to better uses.
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-- and even if you did, it would still be a questionable call.
How so? You can’t just make a general assertion like this and expect it to go unchallenged.
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Same category error.  The richest man on earth is still a man of finite resources, the same as any other human being.  Yahweh does not have greater resources, he has infinite resources, which is a very different matter.
Same three answers as above.



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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2011, 06:23:40 PM »
First, I want to note that you made absolutely no case for the pro position in your first post. All you did was attempt to rebut me.  Please provide a positive argument for your own position. You cannot simply treat it as being true prima facie in an attempt to shift the entire burden of proof to me.

If you need someone to explain to you that torturing someone is a monstrous thing to do, then in my opinion, you are beyond intellectual reach.

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No, what I said is quite true. We discussed and agreed to the factual aspects of the story, including:

3.  Satan caused Job’s children to be killed and his possessions to be stolen or destroyed. It should be noted that while Satan actually performed the acts, God accepts responsibility: 2:3 …And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.

God would receive honor and glory if Job maintained his faith despite suffering, so he let Satan torture Job. God put his own pleasure and glory ahead of Job’s suffering.

It is disingenuous to now argue that God directly inflicted the suffering.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other... if I give you a gun knowing that you're going to use it to kill someone, the law will hold me responsible for the homicide just as much as you, especially in a case such as this one, where, as you say, Yahweh himself accepts responsibility.

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The text of Job does not, in fact, say that anyone else was suffering.  We cannot therefore definitively state that any suffering was present in Job's community (other than the suffering that Yahweh inflicted on Job).
Nor does the text of Job say that anyone was in poverty.

Sure it does. I thought you were going to read it before the debate.

I did.

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Examples:  Job 3

The first half of the passage you quoted from Job 3 refers explicitly to people who are dead.  Dead people cannot suffer or be in poverty.  The second half, saying things like "why is light given to those in misery", does not mean that anyone actually is in misery, only that those who are in misery receive light (whatever the hell that means).  I could just as easily talk about "those who are infected with variola contracting smallpox", and the sentence would make perfect syntactic sense, even though no one has had smallpox in something like forty years and probably never will again.

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Job 7

This passage refers to hypothetical individuals; it does not state or even imply that the slave or laborer described are actual people.  If you read the Wikipedia passage about Saturn's moon Titan, it says that a man on that moon who attached large wings to his arms and flapped them would be able to fly, but that doesn't mean that anyone is actually flying on Titan, only that someone could.

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Was there some reason that they should have?  Scripture indicates quite clearly that Yahweh permits and endorses slavery, to the point of setting down a variety of rules for the way slaves were to be treated.  There would not appear to be any incentive for freeing slaves.  Indeed, in light of Yahweh's rules about slavery, it might even be considered disobedience to Yahweh to release slaves.

Your knowledge of the law is on par with your knowledge of Job. Slaves could be freed, and in fact were required to be freed in certain circumstances, so no, it would be no affront to God for Job to use his wealth to redeem slaves.

Cite.

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The child who starves to death or dies for lack of medical attention, does so because Yahweh wants it to happen, and despite the fact that humans don't.  If it were within my power, I'd eliminate all hunger and infectious disease on the planet.  (I have to be satisfied with what little I can do to help with charitable donations and the like.)  Yahweh, however, has that power, but refuses to exercise it.
First, you’re committing a version of the tu quoque fallacy here. If it’s wrong to put one’s pleasure ahead of the suffering of others, than it’s wrong for you to put your pleasure ahead of the suffering of others, period – it doesn’t matter what God does.

Even if that were true, it would prove only that I was a hypocrite, not that I was wrong.  Besides, since Yahweh is omnipotent, there is no reason that one needs to come before the other.

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Second, as an atheist, that argument is utterly ridiculous.

Does that mean it's wrong?

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Third, you don’t have to be satisfied with what little you’re doing to help if you expend any resources at all on your own pleasure and/or glory. Until you’ve given it all up, you shouldn’t be satisfied, or should admit that by your own criteria you’re monstrous.

Yahweh could fix it all without having to give up anything at all, yet he doesn't.  More significantly, though: if I were to give up everything I had, I would not be able to give any further help in the future.  By taking care of myself as well as helping others, I can ensure that I can give a greater deal of support to others than I would be able to if I gave up everything all at once.

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You cannot state this with any definitiveness unless you know how much any one person here is giving to charitable and humanitarian causes
Yes, I can state it definitively, because as noted, everyone here is necessarily putting their time here when it could go to better uses.

Better in whose view?  I, for one, am working to eliminate religion from the world, and I consider that to be a very high calling.

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-- and even if you did, it would still be a questionable call.
How so? You can’t just make a general assertion like this and expect it to go unchallenged.

Because you would necessarily be bringing your own biases to the table.  What is a "better use" is at least somewhat subjective.  You and I would probably both agree that eradicating polio and ending world hunger are both good goals to pursue, but it's not at all inconceivable that you would think one was more important, while I would think the other one was.

Such judgments, in fact, are not even merely the result of personal biases, but even world circumstances.  If it were 1950, for example, I'd probably say that eliminating polio was more important.  Today, I'd be more likely to say that world hunger is the more pressing problem (although I do give my support to both causes).

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Same category error.  The richest man on earth is still a man of finite resources, the same as any other human being.  Yahweh does not have greater resources, he has infinite resources, which is a very different matter.
Same three answers as above.

Same rebuttals.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2011, 07:42:29 AM »
I could have said this last night, but I decided to be generous and wait until this morning.

We agreed on a two-day time limit for posting, and you've exceeded it.  I hereby claim victory by default.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2011, 06:58:18 PM »
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I could have said this last night, but I decided to be generous and wait until this morning.

We agreed on a two-day time limit for posting, and you've exceeded it.  I hereby claim victory by default.
OK, whatever. I’ve been busy at work, so technical victory is yours, if that means something to you. Moving on…

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If you need someone to explain to you that torturing someone is a monstrous thing to do, then in my opinion, you are beyond intellectual reach.

There’s a number of fallacies in this statement. I’m not surprised, though, as what can you really argue? What’s monstrous is completely subjective. It’s just one opinion against another. But, there is one way to analyze this objectively, which is, as I’ve been doing, analyzing consistency.

Take a trip to the local grocery store. Go to the meat aisle. Look around. Think about it.

We torture (food animal living conditions are frequently deplorable) and kill animals merely because they’re tasty.

Then go check out the pesticides. We torture (death by poisoning is presumably unpleasant) and kill animals merely because they annoy us by crossing a boundary which we set and of which they have no understanding.

So, yes, you do need to explain why we can treat other species like that and not think ourselves monsters, but God is monstrous for his treatment of us.

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The first half of the passage you quoted from Job 3 refers explicitly to people who are dead.  Dead people cannot suffer or be in poverty.  The second half, saying things like "why is light given to those in misery", does not mean that anyone actually is in misery, only that those who are in misery receive light (whatever the hell that means).  I could just as easily talk about "those who are infected with variola contracting smallpox", and the sentence would make perfect syntactic sense, even though no one has had smallpox in something like forty years and probably never will again.

Are you seriously arguing that the best interpretation is that Job knew of people who had suffered, but they had all died prior to the current events, and at that time there was no suffering or poverty? That’s so laughable I won’t bother arguing against it.

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This passage refers to hypothetical individuals; it does not state or even imply that the slave or laborer described are actual people.

Same as above. This is really desperate, and the strange thing is that it’s not really important to my argument.

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Cite.
Pretty snippy for someone who didn’t back up his own Biblical assertions, but OK: Exodus 21. Now how about yours?

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Even if that were true, it would prove only that I was a hypocrite, not that I was wrong.
As we can’t prove a matter of opinion, proving that you’re a hypocrite is mostly what I’m up to.

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Yahweh could fix it all without having to give up anything at all, yet he doesn't.
We’ve already agreed that he received glory and thereby pleasure from the events in Job, so this is false.

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More significantly, though: if I were to give up everything I had, I would not be able to give any further help in the future.  By taking care of myself as well as helping others, I can ensure that I can give a greater deal of support to others than I would be able to if I gave up everything all at once.
That’s true, but a red herring. I’ve specifically stayed with unnecessary items of pleasure and glory or status. Yes, you may optimize what you can give to others by having a car and certain clothes etc. in order to make the best living possible. But, we buy things beyond what we need to optimize giving potential merely because we enjoy it, while children are starving and people are enslaved elsewhere in the world.

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I, for one, am working to eliminate religion from the world, and I consider that to be a very high calling.
Is all of your internet time – all of your spare time – devoted to causes you consider noble? If some of your time is devoted to pleasure, you’re putting your pleasure ahead of the suffering of others.

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Because you would necessarily be bringing your own biases to the table.  What is a "better use" is at least somewhat subjective.  You and I would probably both agree that eradicating polio and ending world hunger are both good goals to pursue, but it's not at all inconceivable that you would think one was more important, while I would think the other one was.

Such judgments, in fact, are not even merely the result of personal biases, but even world circumstances.  If it were 1950, for example, I'd probably say that eliminating polio was more important.  Today, I'd be more likely to say that world hunger is the more pressing problem (although I do give my support to both causes).

It’s evident that going to bars, watching sports, playing video games, and lots of other things are not helping our fellow man.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2011, 07:49:03 PM »
As it happens, I am also a tournament chess player.  I don't know how much you know about such things, but all formal games are subject to time restrictions.  If one player runs out of time, it doesn't matter how much of a positional or material advantage he has or doesn't have; he has lost the game.  And if that player were to continue moving his pieces after his flag had fallen, it would amount to nothing, and those piece movements would not even be recorded in the game record.  And it would not matter what the reason was for the person running out of time, either.  A loss is a loss is a loss.

So it is here.  You ran out of time, so you lost.  And that being the case, I did not read your response, nor will I reply to it.  Nor will I reply to any subsequent posts you might make in this thread.

Screwtape, I request that you close and archive this thread as per usual with ended debates, for that is what this one is.
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Offline Voter

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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2011, 07:05:27 AM »
I didn’t want to go into the fine points of the rules, but if you insist, a correct analysis shows that I won on your violation of the rules.

You’re correct that we had a two-day window for response. However, that’s not enough for you to claim victory. We did not have:
-   a minimum required number of posts; or
-   a notification requirement for the last post.

When two days expired, you therefore had no right to claim victory. I could have simply been done with my case.

You did have a right under the rules to PM screwtape and force closure.

And you really should have PM’d him, rather than posting in the thread. We had a rule prohibiting consecutive posts, except for clarification of previous posts. Your victory proclamation was a consecutive post which did not clarify a previous post. Therefore, when you made that post, you broke the rules, I won, and the debate was over.

I also request that this thread be closed and archived.

Online screwtape

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Re: Job: Voter vs Pianodwarf
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2011, 05:22:09 PM »
Since both parties agree to closing and archiving, let it be so.
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