Author Topic: The Evil Problem  (Read 6377 times)

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Offline One Above All

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #58 on: July 07, 2013, 03:09:20 PM »
Prayerful hands become motived hands.

Which then work. How exactly was that supposed to disprove Star Stuff's quote?
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Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #59 on: July 07, 2013, 03:11:45 PM »
Because prayer precedes the work.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline One Above All

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #60 on: July 07, 2013, 03:13:14 PM »
Because prayer precedes the work.

But doesn't replace it. That's the whole point. Prayer by itself is useless, as most of the planet knows (apparently you included).
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #61 on: July 07, 2013, 03:23:50 PM »
Because prayer precedes the work.

But doesn't replace it. That's the whole point. Prayer by itself is useless, as most of the planet knows (apparently you included).

If prayer is the sole motivational cause then the prayer is most important.  Without the cause there would be no effect.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline One Above All

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #62 on: July 07, 2013, 03:27:03 PM »
If prayer is the sole motivational cause then the prayer is most important.  Without the cause there would be no effect.

Prayer is not the sole motivational cause. I'd go so far as to say it's not a motivational cause, but that takes longer and is harder to prove.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #63 on: July 07, 2013, 03:31:18 PM »
Prayerful hands become motived hands.

Sometimes they might, but my observation is that most of the time they aren't. The person praying feels like their prayer goes to their father figure in the sky who will then go to work fixing the issue.  It should be clear though, and you must admit, that prayer by itself does absolutely nothing.  Why?  Because god is imaginary.  All there is is the natural world.  You could get all the people in the world praying for the survival & cure of a 3 year old child with cancer, (and all praying to the right god - you know Yahweh), but when the child succumbs to the cancer, all you god believers just stare at the floor and say: "Well, I guess it was just god's will".  An exercise in denial, excuses and intellectual dishonesty if there ever was one.
God is an Imaginary Friend for Grown-ups

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #64 on: July 07, 2013, 03:44:50 PM »
Why would God help us if we're just intent on murdering one another?  That's never going to happen no matter how many prayers are offered.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #65 on: July 07, 2013, 03:51:00 PM »
If prayer is the sole motivational cause then the prayer is most important.  Without the cause there would be no effect.

More special pleading.  The fact is that people are motivated to help others out of natural and evolutionarily developed sense of empathy.  Whether a person prays or does a dance before commencing in the assistance which they've identified is meaningless.  What you need to display is that empathy and its resultant aid to others can only be done by the believer or prayer-maker, and you cannot do this.



« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 04:37:48 PM by Star Stuff »
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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #66 on: July 07, 2013, 03:58:27 PM »
If prayer is the sole motivational cause then the prayer is most important.  Without the cause there would be no effect.

More special pleading.  The fact is that people are motivated to help others out of natural and evolutionarily developed sense of empathy.  Whether a person prays or does a dance before commencing in the assistance which they've identified is meaningless.  What you need to display is that empathy and it's resultant aid to others can only be done by the believer or prayer-maker, and you cannot do this.

Why do I need to demonstrate that?  Because some do it without worship does not mean that some don't do it because of worship.  Personally I have found that my worship has increased and trained my empathy.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline One Above All

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #67 on: July 07, 2013, 04:06:40 PM »
More special pleading.
<snip>

While I agree with the rest of your post, I'm having a hard time with this statement. How is it special pleading?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #68 on: July 07, 2013, 04:09:14 PM »
Why do I need to demonstrate that?  Because some do it without worship does not mean that some don't do it because of worship.  Personally I have found that my worship has increased and trained my empathy.

Because implicit in your stance, is a claim to a moral high ground.  As Arthur C. Clarke said: "One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion."

Or as Daniel Dennett said:  "I think religion for many people is some sort of moral Viagra."
God is an Imaginary Friend for Grown-ups

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #69 on: July 07, 2013, 04:10:28 PM »
More special pleading.
<snip>

While I agree with the rest of your post, I'm having a hard time with this statement. How is it special pleading?

Because he said this:

"Without the cause there would be no effect."
God is an Imaginary Friend for Grown-ups

Offline One Above All

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #70 on: July 07, 2013, 04:14:03 PM »
Because he said this:

"Without the cause there would be no effect."

...I'd love to say I understand, but I still don't.
He's right. Cause precedes effect. No cause, no effect (in most cases). It'd only be special pleading if he were to claim that something had happened with no cause, even though cause and effect apply to everything else. The only example I can think of would be the existence of his god, but he didn't mention it in this discussion, AFAIK.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #71 on: July 07, 2013, 04:22:30 PM »
...I'd love to say I understand, but I still don't.
He's right. Cause precedes effect. No cause, no effect (in most cases). It'd only be special pleading if he were to claim that something had happened with no cause, even though cause and effect apply to everything else. The only example I can think of would be the existence of his god, but he didn't mention it in this discussion, AFAIK.

I guess what I mean is, it seems that he's making a necessary link between prayer and any subsequent helpful act.  I'm saying that just isn't so.  If a praying christian or a non-praying atheist sees someone in need, both will feel compelled to help, and if the christian did or didn't pray, that would have zero effect on their level of empathy (or if it did, then they are closer to being a psychopath).
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 04:55:30 PM by Star Stuff »
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Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #72 on: July 07, 2013, 04:30:56 PM »
Of course history is also littered with instances of people praying to their god just before they go out and start a genocide.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #73 on: July 07, 2013, 04:40:51 PM »
As Arthur C. Clarke said: "One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion."

Or as Daniel Dennett said:  "I think religion for many people is some sort of moral Viagra."

I agree.  Where is my claim to moral superiority?

Quote from: Ron
Of course history is also littered with instances of people praying to their god just before they go out and start a genocide.

So one should be careful what they pray for.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline One Above All

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #74 on: July 07, 2013, 04:44:25 PM »
I guess what I mean is, it seems that he's making a necessary link between prayer and any subsequent helpful act.  I'm saying that just isn't so.  If a praying christian or a non-praying atheist sees someone in need, both will feel compelled to help, and if the christian did or didn't pray, that would have zero effect on their level of empathy (or if it did, then they closer to being a psychopath).

Ah. Now that makes sense.

So one should be careful what they pray for.

Really? That's weird, given what you said here:
Why would God help us if we're just intent on murdering one another?  That's never going to happen no matter how many prayers are offered.
Mind explaining this cognitive dissonance and picking just one statement to stick by, or would you rather just live with it by ignoring it, like theists generally do?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #75 on: July 07, 2013, 04:57:22 PM »
I guess what I mean is, it seems that he's making a necessary link between prayer and any subsequent helpful act.  I'm saying that just isn't so.  If a praying christian or a non-praying atheist sees someone in need, both will feel compelled to help, and if the christian did or didn't pray, that would have zero effect on their level of empathy (or if it did, then they closer to being a psychopath).

Ah. Now that makes sense.

So one should be careful what they pray for.

Really? That's weird, given what you said here:
Why would God help us if we're just intent on murdering one another?  That's never going to happen no matter how many prayers are offered.
Mind explaining this cognitive dissonance and picking just one statement to stick by, or would you rather just live with it by ignoring it, like theists generally do?

I also think prayer has a meditative effect.  I think just the act of praying can affect people even if there is no god there.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #76 on: July 07, 2013, 05:00:39 PM »
So one should be careful what they pray for.

Not at all. You can pray for absolutely anything and it won't make the blindest bit of difference to reality. You can pray from now until the end of time for everyone south of the equator to die; your prayers will not affect one life. You can pray for the seas to be emptied; it'll never happen. However if you happen to be the chap with your finger on the launch button of a nuclear missile aimed at Moscow and you pray for the destruction of Moscow...well that prayer may come true simply because it's within your power. But then praying to Santa Claus would have the same effect.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 05:02:12 PM by Ron Jeremy »
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline One Above All

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #77 on: July 07, 2013, 05:07:01 PM »
I also think prayer has a meditative effect.  I think just the act of praying can affect people even if there is no god there.

So the second one then. Good to know.
I've yet to find an intellectually honest theist. I wonder if this qualifies as evidence of absence...
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #78 on: July 07, 2013, 05:21:42 PM »
I also think prayer has a meditative effect.  I think just the act of praying can affect people even if there is no god there.

So the second one then. Good to know.
I've yet to find an intellectually honest theist. I wonder if this qualifies as evidence of absence...

Both statements are true.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline nebula

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #79 on: July 07, 2013, 06:33:31 PM »
Neb, I'd view your hypothesis as being the same as any prospective parent; can the parents look after the children and allow the children to grow and live as adults?

In the case you've mentioned, both the god and this Christ fellow will not allow the sentient beings to go their own way. If they dare not love god or christ then they will be tortured for eternity. Probably in this case its best not to allow the delusional individual to create sentient beings in the first place, they strike me as neglectful parents.

The sentient beings can't go their own way because they don't exist on their own, they are only characters in God's dream.   They have no free will and are playing out an unplanned, spontaneous series of events in a dream.   There is no heaven or hell for them, other than POSSIBLY as a transitional state where the dream characters realize they never existed in the first place and the attachment to human form is gradually lost.   

Each particle, object and life form in the universe is a delusion of God disguised as a particle, object or life form.   So for example, one aspect of God falls under the delusion that it is me and another aspect of God is under the delusion that it is you, and God's experience of these delusions is exactly what you and I experience because the awareness that we think is ours is really God's. 

I have had dreams in which I am someone else or I am a younger version of myself and during the dream I don't question it.   It is only after I wake up that I realize I was someone else all along, me laying in my bed, not the person I thought I was in the dream.   In my belief, this is similar to God's perspective when he is under the delusion of being an individual human.   Humans are delusional aspects God in disguise.   
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 06:39:32 PM by nebula »

Offline One Above All

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #80 on: July 07, 2013, 06:44:27 PM »
Both statements are true.

I meant my second; not yours. In other words, that you'd prefer to ignore the contradiction and attempt to live with it, like pretty much all theists do.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #81 on: July 07, 2013, 07:56:00 PM »
I'm not sure I follow that reasoning either.

Yes, he said that if prayer was the sole motivational cause for something then it would be the most important (by definition), but I don't think that means that prayer is therefore the only motivational cause available.  I think he meant more like a person who's sole motivation for something is prayer (as opposed to someone else, who isn't motivated by prayer, or not solely motivated by prayer).  I'm not sure, because his statement wasn't very clear, but that's what he seems to have meant.

Of course, then you have the question of whether prayer would ever be the sole motivational cause for something.  And I don't think it can be, because for that to be true, they would have to have no empathy or any other motivation to do something.  It could only be provided by prayer, but if they didn't already have the motivation, then I don't see how they could acquire it by praying.  Meaning that they would already have motivations, but two or more of them might be conflicting.  And thus the act of praying helps to remove the conflict (whether or not they recognize that it even exists).

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #82 on: July 07, 2013, 08:23:13 PM »
Yes, he said that if prayer was the sole motivational cause for something then it would be the most important (by definition), but I don't think that means that prayer is therefore the only motivational cause available.

Correct.

Quote from: jaimehlers
Of course, then you have the question of whether prayer would ever be the sole motivational cause for something.  And I don't think it can be, because for that to be true, they would have to have no empathy or any other motivation to do something.

Sole motivation may be too strong of wording because then you have to ask, what causes prayer?  Prayer can be the straw the breaks the camel's back and moves one from inaction to action.  It can also keep a person focused.  It is certainly not good to pray and then not work in harmony with your prayers.  It is like this principle.

"What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? can that faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked and in lack of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; and yet ye give them not the things needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself."  (James 2:14-17 ASV)
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #83 on: July 08, 2013, 12:34:34 AM »
Neb, I'd view your hypothesis as being the same as any prospective parent; can the parents look after the children and allow the children to grow and live as adults?

In the case you've mentioned, both the god and this Christ fellow will not allow the sentient beings to go their own way. If they dare not love god or christ then they will be tortured for eternity. Probably in this case its best not to allow the delusional individual to create sentient beings in the first place, they strike me as neglectful parents.

The sentient beings can't go their own way because they don't exist on their own, they are only characters in God's dream.   They have no free will and are playing out an unplanned, spontaneous series of events in a dream.   There is no heaven or hell for them, other than POSSIBLY as a transitional state where the dream characters realize they never existed in the first place and the attachment to human form is gradually lost.   

Each particle, object and life form in the universe is a delusion of God disguised as a particle, object or life form.   So for example, one aspect of God falls under the delusion that it is me and another aspect of God is under the delusion that it is you, and God's experience of these delusions is exactly what you and I experience because the awareness that we think is ours is really God's. 

I have had dreams in which I am someone else or I am a younger version of myself and during the dream I don't question it.   It is only after I wake up that I realize I was someone else all along, me laying in my bed, not the person I thought I was in the dream.   In my belief, this is similar to God's perspective when he is under the delusion of being an individual human.   Humans are delusional aspects God in disguise.

No, we are not. We are living on a planet that came together 4.5 billion years ago in a universe that began 15 billion years ago. There is no more evidence of us being delusions of a god than there is of us being a computer simulation. Look out of your window; all the stuff out there is real. Fanciful thoughts about us being a delusion or computer simulation or existing in a cell on the back of a giant space rabbit are just that; fanciful thoughts.

We can test the theory that gods exist; for example the Christian one that many deluded people are enthralled with, this fellow promises prayers will be answered. They never are. Not once.

One life is all we have. Enjoy it and experience it before we return once more to eternal sleep. Don't waste it on imaginary magicians.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline Ron Jeremy

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #84 on: July 08, 2013, 12:58:39 AM »
I still haven't seen a decent excuse as to why biblegod allows this child to suffer a lengthy death down this well. No one saw the girl fall, she will never be rescued and she survives for a month in agony, surviving by licking moisture off walls. She used a stick to carve the days into the wall. She's three years old, the worst thing she's ever done is steal a cookie and is too young to understand the concept of a god.
Now I know biblegod doesn't exist; that's why there's no action from him. But how do theists explain this lack of action from their imaginary god? Does it really not make you question his existence? Do you simply accept biblegod commits evil acts? (having the ability to help a child in distress and not using it, I think in any reasonably sane person's book would count as an evil act)

1. No one knows she's there. Free will cannot be affected
2. The excuse that biblegod says she's part of humanity therefore is equally guilty of our 'sin' shows biblegod to be a an evil monster.
3. Its part of biblegod's plan. If this excuse is used, please tell me what possible plan would demand this girl's torture. 'We are not to know god's plan' doesn't cut it when Christians happily know that god exists outside time and seem to know he had no creator along with countless other 'facts'.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #85 on: July 08, 2013, 05:52:48 AM »
I have had dreams in which I am someone else or I am a younger version of myself and during the dream I don't question it.   It is only after I wake up that I realize I was someone else all along, me laying in my bed, not the person I thought I was in the dream.   In my belief, this is similar to God's perspective when he is under the delusion of being an individual human.   Humans are delusional aspects God in disguise.
The problem being, this doesn't work as an explanation unless you think only one human is real, or (much more likely) unless you think that this sleeping god's personality is so fragmented that he can run literally billions of individual 'fragments', each literally thinking they're a unique individual, in this dream.  That goes way beyond schizophrenic, not to mention the multiple personality thing.

Offline junebug72

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Re: The Evil Problem
« Reply #86 on: July 08, 2013, 08:45:36 AM »
I still haven't seen a decent excuse as to why biblegod allows this child to suffer a lengthy death down this well. No one saw the girl fall, she will never be rescued and she survives for a month in agony, surviving by licking moisture off walls. She used a stick to carve the days into the wall. She's three years old, the worst thing she's ever done is steal a cookie and is too young to understand the concept of a god.
Now I know biblegod doesn't exist; that's why there's no action from him. But how do theists explain this lack of action from their imaginary god? Does it really not make you question his existence? Do you simply accept biblegod commits evil acts? (having the ability to help a child in distress and not using it, I think in any reasonably sane person's book would count as an evil act)

1. No one knows she's there. Free will cannot be affected
2. The excuse that biblegod says she's part of humanity therefore is equally guilty of our 'sin' shows biblegod to be a an evil monster.
3. Its part of biblegod's plan. If this excuse is used, please tell me what possible plan would demand this girl's torture. 'We are not to know god's plan' doesn't cut it when Christians happily know that god exists outside time and seem to know he had no creator along with countless other 'facts'.

Would you please post the article so that I can see details of this story.  Where's the girl's parents at? I find it quite miraculous a 3 year old would think to mark the walls. Either way God didn't put that little girl in the well. If God was to save that little girl from dying, God would have to save us all from dying or you would say what makes her so special, right?  Why does God save that child but not mine?  Death is a part of life.  That's why most of us cherish life with all our heart and soul.

The serenity prayer has helped me along with many other people like AA members.  There are benefits to certain prayers.  You should be careful what you pray for.  When I can't find the strength within myself I can say the serenity prayer and I find that much needed courage or strength that I need to make it through tough times.  It is helping me right now. 
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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