Author Topic: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)  (Read 9590 times)

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Offline median

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Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« on: December 20, 2013, 03:33:08 PM »
The idea that the all-powerful, all-good, god Yahweh (the alleged deity of the bible) is morally perfect (and all loving) cannot be rationally defended while still maintaining that Satan is roaming the earth like a lion "seeking whom he may devour". This God allegedly created hell (a place for Satan) but then allows Satan and his minions out of hell to torment his alleged children. Such actions are neither moral nor loving.

If I discovered creatures, persons, or animals that were harming or tormenting my children I would get rid of them. That is in my character. My moral compass (and likely all of yours) is far superior to this deity Yahweh b/c I would not stand back and allow someone, or some-thing, to harm my children, nor would you, (especially when I know I have the power to step in immediately). Thus, I propose there are only two possibilities:


1) The god Yahweh is not all-loving/all-moral

or

2) The god Yahweh does not exist

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 08:48:19 PM »
The idea that the all-powerful, all-good, god Yahweh (the alleged deity of the bible) is morally perfect (and all loving) cannot be rationally defended while still maintaining that Satan is roaming the earth like a lion "seeking whom he may devour".

Your perspective assumes that you know at least as much, or more, than Yahweh.  That would be the only position from which you could then pass moral judgment on Him.


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God allegedly created hell (a place for Satan) but then allows Satan and his minions out of hell to torment his alleged children. Such actions are neither moral nor loving.


What is your source for saying that God ever had satan and his minions in Hell ever?  The Bible doesn't say that they have ever been in Hell yet, but if you know of a verse that says so, please share it and I'll stand corrected.

Regarding your take on God tormenting His children, again your perspective assumes that you know at least as much, or more, than Yahweh.  That would be the only position from which you could then pass moral judgment on Him.

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If I discovered creatures, persons, or animals that were harming or tormenting my children I would get rid of them. That is in my character. My moral compass (and likely all of yours) is far superior to this deity Yahweh b/c I would not stand back and allow someone, or some-thing, to harm my children, nor would you, (especially when I know I have the power to step in immediately). Thus, I propose there are only two possibilities:


1) The god Yahweh is not all-loving/all-moral

or

2) The god Yahweh does not exist

The truth comes out - you believe you are morally superior to God. The problem of evil does not disprove God's existence nor His holiness nor His love for humanity.

Are you familiar with martial arts?  How do students become better skilled?  By facing opponents.  Sometimes facing opponents stronger and better skilled than they are.

Satan and his minions can be used by God for good in someone's life if it brings that person into a better understanding of God and their relationship to Him and others. God can use negatives to bring about much positive, but at the time it may seem like eternal torment, because we are limited in our understanding of God and our own selves.

Peace and grace.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline Wasserbuffel

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 11:52:05 PM »
Quote
The truth comes out - you believe you are morally superior to God.

I believe Median to be morally superior to god. I only know him by his writing, just as you only know your god by his writing (or his word as he inspired humans to write it, close enough). Median, if he had the power, has no plans on torturing me for eternity for not worshiping him. God, if he has the power, plans to do just that.


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The problem of evil does not disprove God's existence

Here you're correct. God might be real despite the problem of evil.

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nor His holiness nor His love for humanity.

Wrong. The problem of evil does disprove his love for humanity.   Actually his setting them up for failure in the garden, killing all but eight in a flood, and his endgame of tossing the bulk of us into eternal hellfire are also pretty damning evidence that he's not so very fond of us as you've been led to believe.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 12:33:34 AM »
Your perspective assumes that you know at least as much, or more, than Yahweh.  That would be the only position from which you could then pass moral judgment on Him.

So you're saying that humans can't know right from wrong.
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2013, 01:49:04 AM »
The idea that the all-powerful, all-good, god Yahweh (the alleged deity of the bible) is morally perfect (and all loving) cannot be rationally defended while still maintaining that Satan is roaming the earth like a lion "seeking whom he may devour". This God allegedly created hell (a place for Satan) but then allows Satan and his minions out of hell to torment his alleged children. Such actions are neither moral nor loving.

If I discovered creatures, persons, or animals that were harming or tormenting my children I would get rid of them. That is in my character. My moral compass (and likely all of yours) is far superior to this deity Yahweh b/c I would not stand back and allow someone, or some-thing, to harm my children, nor would you, (especially when I know I have the power to step in immediately). Thus, I propose there are only two possibilities:


1) The god Yahweh is not all-loving/all-moral

or

2) The god Yahweh does not exist

Wait which proposition are you making? Clearly you are not claiming one or the other, or you would be breaking the law of the excluded middle. Lets then consider the middle.:

How can we have the freedom to do anything if we do not have the freedom to fail. If we do not have the option to be harmed, if we do not have the option to harm others, how then could we ever chose to be good? Please list any scenario in which God could stop something bad from happening to us without taking away our freedom to chose.

The problem with this argument is that you are forwarding that God is a parent to humanity in the same way that a mother is a parent to their child. The position of creator of the universe and humanity may hold certain moral implications that neither you nor I understand. But I will leave you with this, Does not even a Mother, after her child grows up, let her child forge his or her own path?
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2013, 04:13:32 AM »
How can we have the freedom to do anything if we do not have the freedom to fail. If we do not have the option to be harmed, if we do not have the option to harm others, how then could we ever chose to be good? Please list any scenario in which God could stop something bad from happening to us without taking away our freedom to chose.

Um, where is there freedom to choose when a 4 year old is being raped and murdered? Why does the villain get to do all the choosing?

It is one thing to tell me that I benefit from learning via failure (no argument) and another to tell me that if my failure harms others, no biggie.

Good and not good are fine as variables. Good and horrible are not. Not if the power to prevent tragic events exists.

Why does the rapist's freedom of choice get priority over the choice of the victim? I've asked that over and over and never gotten a christian to even try answering it. If there is a god in the picture, and he lets the innocent die left and right to benefit the baddest amongst us, then I see this god of yours as a monster. Here I am, supposedly the sinner in the picture, and the "good" that I know from "bad" is vastly superior to the "good" vs. "bad" that your god considers normal. How do I know this? Because my morals, if applied universally, would assure that no innocent, be it a man, woman or child, would ever be harmed by the selfish acts of another. Your god, on the other hand, artificially ascribes such importance to, as you describe it, the freedom of choice (others tell us that it is free will) that the harm is of no importance whatsoever. His motto, "Eh, who cares!", words he speaks he shrugs his shoulders tens of thousands of times a day, is not a phrase of kindness, consideration, love or even indifference.

What you are doing here is justifying this invisible god of yours, and giving your okay for him to create a world where all kinds of crap can happen. Because we live in a world where all kinds of crap does happen, and you need to carefully dovetail your lord into it. As an atheist, who isn't perplexed by the bad stuff (I don't like it, but I'm not surprised when it happens), I am concerned with finding real world ways to minimize terror and sorrow using real world methods. People have been praying for the bad stuff to stop for 2,000 years, but that approach hasn't helped. I don't know if there actually are human solutions, but I know with almost complete certainly that there are no supernatural ones.

There is no god. Followers of various imaginary beings have to work multiple excuses into their belief system because reality doesn't match their artificial world. In other words, made up stuff is inadequate, so they have to make up more stuff to justify their stance. So here you sit, working your brain cells overtime, so that you can completely justify your god's lack of action. An all powerful being who could easily create scenarios where the innocent would not suffer, but who does not, is truly a monster. None of your justifications for what appears to be complete indifference can make up for his absence. But again, there is no god, so everything you are saying is for your benefit, not the benefit of people.

I could sit down today and make up a brand new religion from scratch. And my god would have to be invisible, just like yours. There would have to be a back story to explain why he takes no action when bad things are happening. I would have to invent some variation on the free will theme to justify his apparent indifference. And I would have to tell people that they can ask for his help, but not to expect it to come in the form they request. And the story of my god would have to be quite old so that I had a good excuse for the current lack of evidence.

There is no difference between your supposedly real god and a made up one. That you can eke out a difference and happily claim you have it all figured out is ego at its worst.

(By the way, being good is pretty unnatural for us humans, on the scale we're asked to be good. Back when we were all in hunter/gatherer mode, it is apparent that in many cultures, killing members of others groups was the norm. Heck, your bible talks of such events all over the place. Our efforts at civilization are unnatural, and we humans are trying to fit ourselves into situations that couldn't have existed even a few hundred years ago. There are literally ten of thousands of reasons why bad things happen between humans. None having to do with a god. Religion just has a knack for making such things worse most of the time.)
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2013, 04:42:46 AM »
Parking Places,

The rant about a lack of God was probably unnecessary, The OP was about if it was possible to have a moral god that does not act to prevent evil or if the lack of action was evidence that God did not exist.  When you go into the analysis of my motives you take away from the discussion that is at hand here.

Now with your rather graphic example in mind, If you suggest that their is a threshold in free will. That at some point something becomes so tragic that a moral god would have to intervene. Where then is this line that you speak of?

Maybe it would be better to consider it this way, Your example brings up the idea of power theory. Or that what makes this event tragic is that even though both parties had a choice, the evil party was so overwhelmingly powerful that the choice of the other party almost seemed to disappear. So then consider the implications of God's intervention of every tragedy. If God is all powerful, then direct intervention would literally render the other party without choice. Weather the choice is right or wrong is it not that persons choice to make? I ask then again where is the line to where God should intervene?

Now on the point that God artificially makes the freedom of choice as the most important. What then would you say is the most important?

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2013, 04:53:08 AM »
So, you - like all other xians he's asked - will never, ever answer the question of why a rapist/murderer gets free will by divine decree but the victim does not.
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2013, 05:08:07 AM »
So, you - like all other xians he's asked - will never, ever answer the question of why a rapist/murderer gets free will by divine decree but the victim does not.
I apologize if that was not clear. Both parties have free will. The rapist murder has more power than the victim. In result in this case the murderer's will wins over the victim's will.
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2013, 05:12:17 AM »
The victim's free will is curtailed by the aggressor's power.  That's the problem.  It makes sense in a natural universe.  With a supernatural being capable of adjusting the power balance, however, the dilemma returns:  Why does one deserve, in the eyes of God, to have more power than the other?  Spell out the reasoning.
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Offline The Gawd

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2013, 07:07:42 AM »
I never understood why Christians, who claim to have a moral high ground, support torture.  :o

Why dont they realize that words have meanings. The word "love" has a meaning, and torture falls outside of the meaning of love. They are incompatible. If you torture me, you do not love me, period. Why the charade gezusfreke? Why act like this is some sort of higher form of love that we cannot understand? You would just as soon destroy all language rendering it worthless than to admit that torture is not love, and that is scary.

Offline shnozzola

Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2013, 09:12:25 AM »
Where then is this line that you speak of?

We can get an idea where god intervened 1000s of years ago can't we?

 - pillar of fire, plague of locusts, killed the first born sons of Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, the story of Job, Daniel in the lion's den, the story of Joseph, Noah's flood, raising of Lazarus, healing a man born blind, David and Goliath - the bible tells the story of god's intervention, doesn't it?

The line is actually easy to see.  We can pinpoint that line we speak of.  Christians spend their lives studying the line where god intervenes.

So the problem is not the "line", the problem is, why has this type of intervention stopped?  Hmmm.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 09:16:12 AM by shnozzola »
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Offline SocialConstruct

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2013, 09:25:20 AM »
I never understood why Christians, who claim to have a moral high ground, support torture.  :o

Why dont they realize that words have meanings. The word "love" has a meaning, and torture falls outside of the meaning of love. They are incompatible. If you torture me, you do not love me, period. Why the charade gezusfreke? Why act like this is some sort of higher form of love that we cannot understand? You would just as soon destroy all language rendering it worthless than to admit that torture is not love, and that is scary.
It is because religious moralism allows you to justify just about everything, because God said so and God is superior to us all.

I would say that atheism provides a far better framework for dealing with morality than any religion in the world. At least atheists can be corrected. Nobody can correct the almighty God.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 09:30:31 AM by SocialConstruct »

Offline shnozzola

Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2013, 09:34:52 AM »
Atheism shouldn't even be a term, in my view, just a realization of the truth, and when it really does one better than religion is when people realize that there is no free will, there is no evil.  Then you look at parking places' rapist murderer with a different lens, realizing that person comes from a hellish childhood, or mental disease, or a host of problems, and needs to be separated from society, and probably not in a place where inmates share the same problems.

Edit:  It's far easier for humanity to argue about god's morality than taking care of our fellow "broken" people.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 09:40:00 AM by shnozzola »
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Offline jetson

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2013, 09:59:22 AM »
I am always amazed when Christians use the argument that there are things about YHWH that mere humans could not understand, while simultaneously claiming to know not only that there is a YHWH, but precisely what YHWH means based on a pile of disjointed and in-comprehensive letters, songs, and books written by unknown people, cobbled together by a committee of humans, and claimed to the precise word of the YHWH character.

The convenience of claiming that we cannot know the mind of YHWH is quickly eliminated when the Christian recognizes the complete irony of their claims.  Said no Christian, ever.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2013, 11:59:18 AM »
Parking Places,

The rant about a lack of God was probably unnecessary, The OP was about if it was possible to have a moral god that does not act to prevent evil or if the lack of action was evidence that God did not exist.  When you go into the analysis of my motives you take away from the discussion that is at hand here.

How exactly was my post, saying that a god that does not act to prevent evil is evidence that god does not exist, off-subect? Or whatever you are saying? And what did I say about your motives that is any different than what you say about ours each and every time you suggest we hit our knees and beg forgiveness?

And don't you find it kind of ironic that in a world where your god does nothing during a rape/murder, you are expecting me to stop? If I'm a psychopath, you are helpless right now.

Quote
Now with your rather graphic example in mind, If you suggest that their is a threshold in free will. That at some point something becomes so tragic that a moral god would have to intervene. Where then is this line that you speak of?

No, I don't suggest that there is a threshold of free will. In case I was not clear in my post, I am stating that free will, as you define it, does not exist. There is no threshold. If I can't keep a madman with a sniper rifle, who is out to kill an random person, from blowing a hole in my chest, then I have no free will in the matter, as per your definition. None whatsoever. But if we add the ostensible existence of your moral god and nothing changes, then either he is not moral or he does not exist. And I assume the latter. You, of course, are saying that there is a threshold, and that you don't understand it but he's the boss so it doesn't matter anyway, though its okay to pray every now and then for some other, more humanly acceptable outcome, as long as we don't go getting our hopes up or anything.

Your world view on this subject is an excuse as to why there is evil, et al. Mine is an explanation. You view implies that more prayer will help. My view is that humans can help themselves, but there is no outside force available to assist us.

Quote
Maybe it would be better to consider it this way, Your example brings up the idea of power theory. Or that what makes this event tragic is that even though both parties had a choice, the evil party was so overwhelmingly powerful that the choice of the other party almost seemed to disappear.
I have no quarrel about the victim being less powerful, except you said "almost", when at times the victim has no say whatsoever.
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So then consider the implications of God's intervention of every tragedy. If God is all powerful, then direct intervention would literally render the other party without choice. Weather the choice is right or wrong is it not that persons choice to make? I ask then again where is the line to where God should intervene?

You are saying that there is a god but he doesn't do diddly for good reason. He used to do diddly, like, you know, when he made us and stuff, and drowned folks and turned that nice lady to salt and things, but these days, not so much. And while you tell us that he is omnipotent, it didn't occur to him to design us to be a little less bad at being humans. And that, even though he messed up in that department, it isn't his fault about the tree and snake and stuff, because he casually mentioned the horrors that that would bring to Adam that one time. Which should have been more than enough. Because, you know, husbands always communicate well with their wives, so certainly he would have communicated the dictate effectively to Eve.

Plus you are telling us that he he used to have such casual conversations with people, but now he is agoraphic and we need to be understanding about his problem.

If god is real, of what value is he? Why worship him? Is it only because you're hoping that you can cop a reserved seat in heaven? And because you like feeling better because you have answers to the really big important stuff? (note: this is not a personal attack. I am asking you, as a self-defined christian, why you accept the stories.) According to most of the believers who come here, your god demands our adoration, based on his ill-defined intrinsic love and the kid thing. Which, as an atheist, I see as just another part the myth.

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Now on the point that God artificially makes the freedom of choice as the most important. What then would you say is the most important?

If god is real, and if he makes freedom of choice more important than anything else, then he doesn't understand how powerless he is leaving some people, and how powerful he is allowing other people to be. And that this power imbalance is clearly not a part of his specific plan, but rather a by-product of his refusal to participate in his own creation. If he is real, his reliance on one old book and heresay is inadequate, and so obviously he doesn't actually care. And if he doesn't care about the world in general, he presumably also doesn't care about the dying child in my example. And if that is the case, even if he is real, why bother getting on my knees today if he is going to let me be killed by a crazed maniac tomorrow? For salvation and heaven? How would I know if that would be an improvement? He can't do anything right by humans standards on earth. What would his motivation be to do any better up there? That he calls it paradise is irrelevant. His standards are so much different than my own that I doubt he knows what a paradise is. It may be a paradise for him, but I've no reason to think that it would also be a paradise for humans. His track record is too poor to imagine otherwise.

If he's real, I'll take hell. If billions of others can be down there suffering right now, for not kowtowing to him, that's where I belong. Which means, of course, that he only gets around to doing what he says he's going to do after death. Which is no use to the planet right now.

My knees shall remain clean. Unless I drop another pen under the sofa.

Edit: minor rewording
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 12:02:15 PM by ParkingPlaces »
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Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2013, 10:07:48 PM »
So you're saying that humans can't know right from wrong.

No, that's not what I said, but since you brought it up, on what basis do humans decide what is right and what is wrong?
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Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2013, 10:21:24 PM »
The same two problems keep in appearing in the Forum.  I see a constant assumption that people are capable of being "innocent," but if they aren't innocent, then God is evil for setting people up where they can't be innocent. Therefore, those with this view seem satisfied that they have all the information that they need in order to assert their moral superiority to God.

It is appalling to think that God did not make them innocent or perfect, so He must be evil, because no one wants to be less than perfect, right?

But the problem is that all mankind was capable of choosing to be flawed, so whether I or you had replaced Adam in the garden, both of us would have chosen the fruit over obedience to God. Therefore, Adam was all of mankind's representative in the garden.  Again, if it were you, you would have been mankind's representative and you would have chosen wrong too. So there are no "innocents" as all stand guilty. 

"Not fair!" you say? "I didn't elect Adam!" you say? Then that again shows that you place yourself in a superior position of not only morals but knowledge over God. 

If all are guilty before God, then God would be just in punishing all and would not be evil for doing so.

If God instead chooses to show mercy and save some, then He is not only just but merciful, but still not evil for saving some instead of all.

The question for most people is "Why would God save any?"
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2013, 10:32:40 PM »
So you're saying that humans can't know right from wrong.

No, that's not what I said,

That is totally what you said.  If humans aren't able to make a moral judgment about a situation because our moral ideas might be inferior to those of a god, then that applies to all contexts - whether or not the god is the subject being judged.  If you didn't mean to state that humans have no grounds to make any moral judgments, then you shouldn't have said what you did.

but since you brought it up, on what basis do humans decide what is right and what is wrong?

That would vary from human to human.
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2013, 10:35:19 PM »
But the problem is that all mankind was capable of choosing to be flawed, so whether I or you had replaced Adam in the garden, both of us would have chosen the fruit over obedience to God.

Perhaps many of us would have made the same choice, although it's not possible to know that for sure.  However, I'm not convinced that "obedience to God" is a moral action.  Speaking in general terms here, I think that obedience per se is one step removed from actions that would substantially help or harm someone else, and that it's those actions that should be assessed for their moral qualities.
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Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2013, 10:39:31 PM »
So you're saying that humans can't know right from wrong.

No, that's not what I said,

That is totally what you said.  If humans aren't able to make a moral judgment about a situation because our moral ideas might be inferior to those of a god, then that applies to all contexts - whether or not the god is the subject being judged.  If you didn't mean to state that humans have no grounds to make any moral judgments, then you shouldn't have said what you did.

but since you brought it up, on what basis do humans decide what is right and what is wrong?

That would vary from human to human.

Based on your logic, you are saying that humans aren't able to make a moral judgment because since the ability would "vary from human to human," then some would make moral judgments inferior to other humans.

But humans do make moral judgments, and yes some make better moral judgments than others, but a human is in no more position to make a case for being morally superior to God than my 2-year old 3/4 Chihuahua/ 1/4 Dachshund is capable of being morally superior to me.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 10:47:56 PM by gzusfreke »
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Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2013, 10:47:09 PM »
But the problem is that all mankind was capable of choosing to be flawed, so whether I or you had replaced Adam in the garden, both of us would have chosen the fruit over obedience to God.

Perhaps many of us would have made the same choice, although it's not possible to know that for sure.  However, I'm not convinced that "obedience to God" is a moral action.  Speaking in general terms here, I think that obedience per se is one step removed from actions that would substantially help or harm someone else, and that it's those actions that should be assessed for their moral qualities.

In this case, per the Christian Biblical view, Adam's disobedience substantially harmed the entire human race, so using your criteria, then his choosing the fruit was immoral.  But the Christian Biblical view says that morality is based on one's response to God and His Word, so if one disobeys God then that person has committed rebellion against God.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2013, 10:50:00 PM »
So you're saying that humans can't know right from wrong.

Can you tell me your theory of how humans decide what is right and what is wrong?
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline shnozzola

Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2013, 10:50:52 PM »
I see a constant assumption that people are capable of being "innocent," .......

Hi Gzusfreke
   I don't know if I have ever greeted you, so, hello.  I have always believed the story of Adam and Eve is about humanity evolving to the point of self realization.  Even in my christian denomination, the idea of the apple and all humanity being born guilty wasn't taught.  So, although you may be well studied in christianity, with 30,000 - 40,000 denominational views, some christians don't agree with you.

Frankly, I consider it horrendous to get to the point in a child's life where you must say, put down your kite, sit down, I have bad news, but you have a way out...........

I wish you could look objectively at your own religious training and question it.
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Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2013, 11:02:42 PM »
Hi Gzusfreke
   I don't know if I have ever greeted you, so, hello. 

Thank you for your greeting.  Peace and grace to you shnozzola.

Quote
I have always believed the story of Adam and Eve is about humanity evolving to the point of self realization.  Even in my christian denomination, the idea of the apple and all humanity being born guilty wasn't taught.  So, although you may be well studied in christianity, with 30,000 - 40,000 denominational views, some christians don't agree with you.

If you get a chance, can you direct me to a website that lists that many Christian denominations?  It would be fascinating to see it. Which denomination did you receive your instruction from?  Are you still involved with that denomination?

And it is no shock to me that Christians disagree over views of the Bible.


Quote
Frankly, I consider it horrendous to get to the point in a child's life where you must say, put down your kite, sit down, I have bad news, but you have a way out...........

I wish you could look objectively at your own religious training and question it.

Yes, it is horrendous that there is a story of sin and rebellion, but it is great that there is "a way out."

Thank you for your suggestion.  I got on the Forum back in '09 full of zeal but had little knowledge of the faith and Bible that I claimed (which Forum members were quick to point out) and so I did look objectively at what it was I believed, which led me to seek additional training, but not from just one denomination.

Peace and grace.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline Astreja

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2013, 11:04:23 PM »
However, I'm not convinced that "obedience to God" is a moral action.

In this case, per the Christian Biblical view, Adam's disobedience substantially harmed the entire human race, so using your criteria, then his choosing the fruit was immoral.  But the Christian Biblical view says that morality is based on one's response to God and His Word, so if one disobeys God then that person has committed rebellion against God.

But at the time of the choice, Adam was missing some critical information.  Knowledge of good and evil was supposedly not there until the forbidden fruit was actually eaten, so hypothetically neither Adam nor Eve would not know whether eating the fruit was good or bad, or whether disobedience was good or bad, or even what "good" and "bad" meant.  There's certainly nothing in Genesis 3 itself that suggests that Adam or Eve were warned about the potential effects on future generations, and IIRC the only Old Testament allusion to Original Sin is Psalm 51:5.

From a non-Christian point of view, at very least it appears that the Biblical god used questionable methods for teaching morality to his two brand-new humans.  The idea of "Do what I command, because to disobey is wrong" also seems a bit subjective.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2013, 11:27:17 PM »
Based on your logic, you are saying that humans aren't able to make a moral judgment because since the ability would "vary from human to human," then some would make moral judgments inferior to other humans.

Look, I explained how I got what I said from what you said.  Care to return the favor?  Because as it stands, nothing you've written other than "vary from human to human" relates to anything I'd said.

But humans do make moral judgments, and yes some make better moral judgments than others, but a human is in no more position to make a case for being morally superior to God than my 2-year old 3/4 Chihuahua/ 1/4 Dachshund is capable of being morally superior to me.

Is your dog capable of moral communication and argument?  No?  Hmm, guess the analogy doesn't hold any water.  Why not think of an analogous situation?

Can you tell me your theory of how humans decide what is right and what is wrong?

As I said, that varies depending on the kind of moral reasoning used by the person in question.  Some people don't think much about it at all.

In case you're asking for my theory of how humans can come to logical decisions of moral judgment, then that's simpler.  We use our values are premises upon which logic yields judgments.  Even for those who don't think much about their morality, it's still their values that they're going to act on.

This is what actually happens.  It is also why gods tend to be forced into agreement with the believers who create them.
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2013, 01:39:27 AM »
Parking Places...

I would say that if you think that you have no free will in the case of the sniper, you and I are at a pass.  While your free will in the situation is small it is certainly not non existent. Think of power theory like a limit. As the power of someone who is trying to harm you increases over yours, the effectiveness of your will approaches 0. It does not in fact reach 0. THe only way it could reach 0 is if that persons power was absolute, like an all powerful god. But please explain a moral way on which God could balance power through the 7 billion people on this planet....

 
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Re: Divine Indifference and Moral Character (Humans vs. God)
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2013, 07:39:57 AM »
But the problem is that all mankind was capable of choosing to be flawed, so whether I or you had replaced Adam in the garden, both of us would have chosen the fruit over obedience to God. Therefore, Adam was all of mankind's representative in the garden.  Again, if it were you, you would have been mankind's representative and you would have chosen wrong too. So there are no "innocents" as all stand guilty.
...
If all are guilty before God, then God would be just in punishing all and would not be evil for doing so.

So what you are saying is that every person, ever, would have chosen to disobey Yahweh and take the fruit - because that is the only way that Adam can stand as representative for us all.  Okay.  But then some questions occur.....

1) If EVERY being, ever, would have chosen to disobey Yahweh, does he not bear some responsibility for creating a situation that is impossible to prevent?  Whether in his construction of man, or his layout of events, he made a Kobayahsi Maru "test" that could never be passed.  What kind of loving god sets up a situation that can never be passed?

2) Perhaps more pertinently, if ever human being ever is programmed to disobey god - indeed, would inevitably disobey him - then what chance does anyone have of reaching heaven?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?