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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: J0SH on March 27, 2013, 04:18:10 AM

Title: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: J0SH on March 27, 2013, 04:18:10 AM
The proof is in their book, Satan only killed several people and it was because God wanted to play a little game and made a bet with Satan. Sure, it wasn't right for Satan to torment Job, but the pain and misery Satan supposedly created is only a very small pond compared to the giant ocean of misery the biblegod has dished out on his creation. I am absolutely stunned that Xtians are too blind to see this. Is it low IQ? Gullibility? Brainwashing? A combination of the three? Why are Xtians logic and reasoning capabilities so twisted? They say that Satan is responsible for the downfall of mankind, which is simply ridiculous, and that all evil in the world is because of Satan corrupting people. They call him the "father of all lies, and a murderer" Now does that make any sense? ...No, it doesn't, but to a majority of Xtians it makes perfect sense. How silly! If Satan is supposedly so evil, then why is he mentioned very little in the bible?
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: One Above All on March 27, 2013, 04:20:50 AM
It's brainwashing with a side of cognitive dissonance.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Mooby on March 27, 2013, 07:18:04 AM
In Die Hard, John McClane kills 10 people while Hans Gruber kills 2. Therefore, John McClane is the true villain of the film. We could do the same with Commando.

I'm not sure why you find it ridiculous that Christians consider Satan the downfall of mankind and the father of all lies.   Straight recorded body counts aren't the only factor.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Graybeard on March 27, 2013, 07:25:15 AM
In Die Hard, John McClane kills 10 people while Hans Gruber kills 2. Therefore, John McClane is the true villain of the film. We could do the same with Commando.

I'm not sure why you find it ridiculous that Christians consider Satan the downfall of mankind and the father of all lies.   Straight recorded body counts aren't the only factor.

I was going to say the same myself, but I would have added that it would be reasonable to include all other factors, and sadly, with The Trinity, there are none.

In the OT, what did God actually do to make the whole of humanity's lot better? What did Jesus do, other than issue a series of vague offers that were completely unverifiable; offers that anyone could have made?

So, are there any other factors?
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: jynnan tonnix on March 27, 2013, 07:30:18 AM
In Die Hard, John McClane kills 10 people while Hans Gruber kills 2. Therefore, John McClane is the true villain of the film. We could do the same with Commando.

I'm not sure why you find it ridiculous that Christians consider Satan the downfall of mankind and the father of all lies.   Straight recorded body counts aren't the only factor.

You might have a point if the sheer numbers (as in 3 people vs. worldwide flood, for example) weren't so overwhelming.
Also, John McClane is hardly omnipotent. Had he been, it would have been the work of an instant to take out Hans Gruber with no collateral damage whatsoever.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: wheels5894 on March 27, 2013, 08:05:55 AM
Yet in Job, satan is not a proper name but a title, the accuser - prosecuting counsel if you like. The gospel writers are the ones to take up the name, along with Beelzebub (from the Elijah cycle where he is Lord of Flies). Given what we have in the gospels, it seems to me that it was theology that put everything together and blamed a character called Satan.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: naemhni on March 27, 2013, 08:16:02 AM
In Die Hard, John McClane kills 10 people while Hans Gruber kills 2.

NB that if McClane hadn't interfered with Gruber's plan, Gruber would have killed about thirty people.  NB also that McClane killed those ten people to save those thirty.  I could go on.

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Therefore, John McClane is the true villain of the film.

There's a bit of a difference between killing a criminal and killing an innocent person.

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We could do the same with Commando.

It's interesting that the two comparisons you come up with are both from fiction.  Do you have any nonfictional analogies?  (After all, you would say that the Bible is nonfiction, right?  Or at least partially nonfiction?)

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I'm not sure why you find it ridiculous that Christians consider Satan the downfall of mankind and the father of all lies.

Yahweh created Satan, so Yahweh is ultimately the source of anything Satan does.

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Straight recorded body counts aren't the only factor.

Generally speaking, no, but when the body count runs up into the millions, I personally tend to consider other factors as irrelevant.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Seppuku on March 28, 2013, 04:04:57 AM
Satan is responsible for the downfall of man? Why? Because he tricked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit? That's all Satan tricked man into doing. What did God do? He caste man out of the garden of Eden and brought them to a world of pain and suffering and cursed them with original sin. Remember, God made all the rules, He's the one who made the world work the way it does because He was the creator. Satan has done none of that. So no, I wouldn't say God's body count is the deciding factor, but it's certainly a contributing factor. We're talking about merciless killing of people, many of whom were innocent, who weren't murderers, terrorists or other criminals you might try to excuse execution for. People often associate pestilence with the devil too and yet, you see God using pestilence as punishment in the bible.

I would more liken God of the bible to some of the cruel dictators we've had in our time than an action hero. I am sure when people talk about the death toll as a result of genocide folks don't turn around and suggest those responsible aren't necessarily the bad guys, because look, James Bond killed loads of people and he's an action hero. Why would I bring up genocide? Because even in the Bible the death toll is that high - if we factor in natural evil as part of how God designed the world, then the toll is much higher. Plus, lets not forget the flood.


Have folks perhaps considered that if the bible really is true that history is written by the victors and it was God who won? Of course Satan is going to be passed off as the bad guy, of course God is going to be the good guy and all His killings would be justified in the text written to document them. We see this kind of thing throughout history.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: wheels5894 on March 28, 2013, 05:05:32 AM
Sorry, Seppuku, but I have to disagree with you on this one. The Genesis account of the incident, (Gen 3), specifically mentions the snake (ha nahash in Hebrew) and there is not connection there in the text with any other character. This incident is about the wiliest of the animals, who incidentally, spoke the truth about eating the apple whereas god had lied about them dying.

I even don't think there is a concept of devil in the OT at all. The only mention is in Job where the word satan comes with the article and means the accuser and is not a proper name at all.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: jaimehlers on March 28, 2013, 06:55:38 AM
Why?  This children's hymn I grew up listening to explains it pretty well.

"Jesus loves me, this I know,
for the Bible tells me so."
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: kcrady on March 28, 2013, 08:03:24 AM
I would say two reasons: indoctrination, and confirmation bias.  No one ever hands a potential convert a Bible and says, "Here, read this, and tell me what you think about God."  Instead, they are inculcated with the lens they're supposed to read it through before they're turned loose.  They're told the Cliff Notes version of "the Christian Story" (which isn't really what the Biblical texts actually say), that Yahweh/Jesus is the good guy(s), he/they are perfect, they love you, they're good, good, good, etc. and Satan is the bad guy.  In Christian-dominated cultures, there's all the art of Yahweh and Jesus portrayed in various appealing ways (fluffy clouds in a blue sky, rainbows and rays of light, pretty female angels, Jesus hugging the children, etc.), and Satan with horns and bat-wings--even though the Bible never describes Yahweh or Satan that way.

Once all that's in place, then the normal human tendency--even without the explicit theological injunction to give Yahweh a moral blank check ("he's infinite, we can't judge him," etc.)--to fit the text into the Yahweh is good/Satan is bad pattern.

Example: Is Dumbledore a good guy in the Harry Potter series?  Of course he is!  Charming, dotty old man with the long beard and half-moon spectacles, friendly and soft-spoken, not ugly and horrid like Voldemort.  And yet...he knowingly subjected a boy to a life of horrible abuse, then used him and his little friends as chess pieces in his war with Voldemort.  Also, let's not forget that he was the right-hand man of the Dark Lord Grindelwald during his rise to power.  It's only later with the benefit of Fridge Logic that readers start questioning Dumbledore's bona fides.  And he doesn't have the unique theological "armor" that Yahweh has.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Add Homonym on March 28, 2013, 08:56:36 AM
I like the book of Job.

It tells me that:

- sheol is a more pleasant place than Earth. 14:13
- bad people are punished by God while they are on this Earth. (incessantly)
- bad people are not punished after death. 21:13
- Satan wonders to and fro, like Peter Cook, and Liz Hurley
- nice people are very rich.
- nice people live until 200+
- Satan is the son of God, and that God had many sons.
- other people in your life can be collateral damage done by God, doing arbitrary things.
- if you curse God, you die 2:19
- we receive evil at the hand of God 2:10, as a natural consequence of balance
- the Earth is long 11:9, and can be picked up at each end 38:13

Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Tonus on March 28, 2013, 09:09:05 AM
The proof is in their book, Satan only killed several people and it was because God wanted to play a little game and made a bet with Satan.

The body count might be fairly staggering.  The story tells us that Job had thousands of domestic animals, which indicates that he had dozens --if not hundreds-- of hired hands.  All but one of these is massacred for the sake of seeing how far Job can be pushed.  God understood that these people might suffer considerable harm, because he makes sure to warn Satan not to harm Job.  Nor does god so much as mention all of these innocent dead when he trash-talks Satan after the first phase of their wager.  They are incidental.

Who survives the murderous rampages in the end?  Job's wife, who advised him to "curse god and die."  The three "false" friends are also allowed to live when Job intervenes on their behalf, even though their arguments made more sense than god's own actions.  They believed that Job must have done some wrong, otherwise why would he be suffering punishment?  A reasonable argument, for which they are threatened with death.

Satan is exactly as evil as god intends for him to be, and he falls short of god in that respect.  Hey, you can't be allowed to show up the Big Man, can you?
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Seppuku on March 28, 2013, 06:13:57 PM
Sorry, Seppuku, but I have to disagree with you on this one. The Genesis account of the incident, (Gen 3), specifically mentions the snake (ha nahash in Hebrew) and there is not connection there in the text with any other character. This incident is about the wiliest of the animals, who incidentally, spoke the truth about eating the apple whereas god had lied about them dying.

I even don't think there is a concept of devil in the OT at all. The only mention is in Job where the word satan comes with the article and means the accuser and is not a proper name at all.

I think this is a fair point. So it was a snake a not the devil. I remember when growing up it was always the snake was the devil, but I suppose this wasn't accurate to the OT accounts of this. Well, I guess I should probably read up on this. If what you're saying is accurate, then it's kinda funny, since joining this forum I've become quite researched in what the bible says from Christians and atheists alike and from my own digging, but it seems some of the stuff I rely on from what I learned from going to a Church of England school is inaccurate.

Ah well, I guess the point still remains at least, it was God who presented the downfall of man, not Satan or some snake.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Schizoid on March 28, 2013, 08:59:50 PM
"Their book"--the proof is always their book, the book, the "Word of God" or "God in Word Form".  Since believers consider the Bible to be god's word, then for them that is the last and final word, you can't argue with the word of god or question it (by their way of thinking).

Just because some of the Bible is historically accurate that is proof for believers that it is true.  Just because there may have lived a man named Jesus who was a preacher in the early first century, for believers that is all the proof they need that everything else the Bible claims about Jesus is true as well.

If it was a drug for a disease from which a Christian suffered, one which their god chose not to cure even though they prayed with faith to be cured, they would demand that it had been tried and tested and that there was clear evidence that it worked.  For them the bible gets a pass from the proof required for everyday, ordinary things when it should be held to a higher standard.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: wheels5894 on March 29, 2013, 03:53:08 AM
I think it is like looking at an historical novel and saying that because the facts about the places and the politics are right, the story must also be true.The bible is not an historical novel but people apply the same tests to it - places accurate, quotes Roman names - must al be true then.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Seppuku on March 29, 2013, 10:11:52 AM
I think it is like looking at an historical novel and saying that because the facts about the places and the politics are right, the story must also be true.The bible is not an historical novel but people apply the same tests to it - places accurate, quotes Roman names - must al be true then.

Heck, we could just compare it to just about any other mythology in History, I mean, in many mythologies there are things that are considered historically accurate, but I am sure we're not going to suggest that King Gilgamesh of Uruk was actually part god, who went on a quest with his best friend Enkidu, who was created by the gods to challenge Gilgamesh and was formed from a comet crashing to the earth. The two friends, then, protected by the god Shamash took down the guardian of the cedar forest, Humbaba, who was as large as a mountain. Also, we're not going to suggest that Gilgamesh was later proposed to by the goddess Ishtar and when turned down she unleashed the bull of heaven, who was consequently slain by Gilgamesh and Enkidu. We're also not going to suggest that Gilgamesh also managed to find the key to immortality and later lost it. Or that he visited the underworld, met the Noah of Mesopotamian mythology, Utnapishtim and sought to find his best friend in attempt to bring him to the land of the living.

It's a great story, but its historical accuracy is rather limited. We know there was a city called 'Uruk', we know there was a King Gilgamesh and where the ancient texts suggest he was buried, archaeologists found a tomb, I don't think it was confirmed as Gilgamesh's tomb.  We know flood stories are quite common and it is suggested there's some historical significance to this. For the Mesopotamians they relied heavily on irrigation systems and cities were situated along the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, waters that are described as the tears of Tiamat, the mother of the gods and goddesses, who was slain by the god Marduk.

Ancient mythology has a habit of using the landscapes, societies and even current events of the times they were dreamt up. I don't see why the bible should be treated in a different light. Once upon a time, these mythologies were a part of somebody's religion. The Mesopotamians built ziggurats in honour of their deities and had their own priestesses. Plus, I would argue there's more evidence to suggest that Gilgamesh was real than Jesus and nobody uses that as an excuse to say it's evidence for the existence of Mesopotamian deities or the supernatural.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Mooby on March 29, 2013, 03:06:22 PM
In the OT, what did God actually do to make the whole of humanity's lot better?
According to the OT, God created humanity, gave Israelites a spiritual leader, led them out of slavery, gave them commandments (including one against killing), gave them kings, and prepared them for the coming of the messiah.  Overall, the OT is the story of God's transformation of the Israelites from a directionless tribe into a nation of believers.

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What did Jesus do, other than issue a series of vague offers that were completely unverifiable; offers that anyone could have made?
According to the Bible, Jesus opened the gates of Heaven and made salvation possible, which is not something that just anyone could do.  He also directed his followers against treating other people cruelly.

NB that if McClane hadn't interfered with Gruber's plan, Gruber would have killed about thirty people.  NB also that McClane killed those ten people to save those thirty.  I could go on.
Good, now we're establishing that it's not just a matter of sheer body counts.  Things such as potential harm and future plans should also be taken into account.  This is in opposition to the OP, which claims that Christians are "blind" when judging the evilness of God and Satan, citing only acts directly recorded as having taken place.  Much as you do not simply look at the body counts at the end of the movie and draw your conclusion, but instead look at the bigger picture when making your assessment.

Oddly enough, according to the OP, Christians are unintelligent, gullible, or brainwashed when they try to use their brains instead of just comparing body counts.

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There's a bit of a difference between killing a criminal and killing an innocent person.
I disagree with that, and I think much of the industrialized world would also disagree, which would explain the general decline of stoning adulterers and capital punishment in the western world.

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It's interesting that the two comparisons you come up with are both from fiction.  Do you have any nonfictional analogies?
In the Iraq war, the number killed by "good guy" US far outnumbers those killed by "bad guy" Iraq and/or terrorists.

In World War 2, the Japanese civilians killed by the "good guy" US's bombs were more than double the number of US citizens killed by the Japanese.

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I'm not sure why you find it ridiculous that Christians consider Satan the downfall of mankind and the father of all lies.

Yahweh created Satan, so Yahweh is ultimately the source of anything Satan does.
Irrelevant to what I actually wrote, since whether you personally hold that God inherits X quality from Satan has nothing to do with whether Satan has X quality.

Also, I challenge the assertion that a creator is always the source of anything a creation does.  Can we say that the creator of a plastic bag is responsible for those who are intentionally suffocated by them?  Perhaps in an abstract, philosophical sense, but certainly not in any meaningful sense of the word.  The creator sets the features and limitations of the thing created, but that's not the same as the actual actions the creation performs.

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Generally speaking, no, but when the body count runs up into the millions, I personally tend to consider other factors as irrelevant.
I see.  Thank you for your personal opinion on the matter.  However, per the OP, I do not see why Christians should automatically be assumed to be "blind" if they do not all share the same personal opinions espoused in the OP.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Seppuku on March 29, 2013, 06:07:06 PM
Quote from: Mooby
In the Iraq war, the number killed by "good guy" US far outnumbers those killed by "bad guy" Iraq and/or terrorists.

In World War 2, the Japanese civilians killed by the "good guy" US's bombs were more than double the number of US citizens killed by the Japanese.

Well, those so called 'good guys' aren't good guys in my books. I probably wouldn't suggest the soldiers were bad guys, except maybe those who have abused their position. The reason I don't consider soldiers to be the bad guys is because we train them to not question their superiors and to do as ordered, so that we have a strong militia that puts those higher up in more control of what they do. So I place the responsibility on those issuing the orders and making the decisions.

I think Hiroshima was disgusting and I think the Iraq was morally abhorrent.

But interesting you choose this perspective, as one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. This is a statement I've often heard when talking about these things. From the perspective of one, the acts of the US government with Hiroshima was to protect the freedom of its citizens, but from the perspective of Japan, it was the mindless killing of innocents, maybe even revenge - last time I checked, many of the people killed weren't responsible for Pearl Harbour. Like the many innocents who died in Iraq, particularly on that initial attack on Baghdad, they weren't a threat to the US, they weren't the bad guys. These things are never as simple as 'good vs evil'.

So there is no 'good' guy in all of this. Personally, I would like to see George W. Bush and Tony Blair in prison for war crimes, because I think they are deserving.

Where does this put God? Given the actions in the bible, I wouldn't say he's a good guy either. Perhaps a good guy in the eyes of his allies, just as I am sure people on the side of Bush. Blair, Saddam, Laden and so on have consider them the good guys, but then they see their actions as benefitting them. But that doesn't change the weight of their actions, their decisions and the toll they've accumulated.

People generally assume that God is good, but I've yet to understand why, other than of course, only being fixated on his good side. But all the bad people in history have had a good side...at least, as far as I am aware.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: dloubet on March 30, 2013, 03:23:04 PM
Mooby wrote:
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According to the OT, God created humanity, gave Israelites a spiritual leader, led them out of slavery, gave them commandments (including one against killing), gave them kings, and prepared them for the coming of the messiah.  Overall, the OT is the story of God's transformation of the Israelites from a directionless tribe into a nation of believers.

Either you're moving the goal posts, or you seriously don't consider everyone else, besides a small tribe of favored people in the story, to be humanity. It's even worse if the people who don't believe in the god go to hell, because then the god created great numbers of humans specifically to burn there.

Gosh. Thanks.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Mooby on March 30, 2013, 08:35:31 PM
Well, those so called 'good guys' aren't good guys in my books.
Fair enough.  I don't see us coming to an agreement on this point.

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Where does this put God? Given the actions in the bible, I wouldn't say he's a good guy either. Perhaps a good guy in the eyes of his allies, just as I am sure people on the side of Bush.
Perhaps this explains the views of theistic Satanists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_Satanism#Values_in_theistic_Satanism).  Do at least some believe Satan is the true hero of the Bible?  I don't know; I've never met a Satanist.

I think we're heading towards a point where we're both willing to agree that people can have legitimately varied opinions on who is good/evil in the Bible.  Which is fine by me, as I'm not really interested in exploring the relationship of God/Satan in Christianity in deep theological detail, especially with someone whose mind seems at least partially made up already (I suspect this would require a good deal of time, and I haven't been spending much time on this site lately.)  Instead, I would hope you can at least see why I disagree with the OP that Christians are automatically blind with our interpretation of our own scripture.

Mooby wrote:
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According to the OT, God created humanity, gave Israelites a spiritual leader, led them out of slavery, gave them commandments (including one against killing), gave them kings, and prepared them for the coming of the messiah.  Overall, the OT is the story of God's transformation of the Israelites from a directionless tribe into a nation of believers.

Either you're moving the goal posts, or you seriously don't consider everyone else, besides a small tribe of favored people in the story, to be humanity.
Neither.  Let me try to clarify my response by breaking it down:

- God made humanity's lot better by creating humanity, without which "humanity's lot" would have no meaning;
- Also in the Old Testament, God gave the Israelites a spiritual leader, gave them commandments, gave them kings, and prepared them for the messiah;
- Thus, the OT is not the story of how God improved humanity's lot, it's the story of God's transformation of the Israelites from a directionless tribe into a nation of believers;
- This sets the stage for the events in the New Testament, in which Jesus makes the salvation of anyone in the world possible;
- In this sense, God improves humanity's lot in the OT by intervening in one nation's history to bring about what Christians consider the most important spiritual event in history (the Resurrection), which infinitely improves humanity's lot in Christian theology.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: screwtape on April 01, 2013, 08:20:53 AM
According to the OT, God created humanity, gave Israelites a spiritual leader, led them out of slavery, gave them commandments (including one against killing), gave them kings, and prepared them for the coming of the messiah.

So, you believe this stuff is literally true?  You think the whole nation of jews were slaves in Egypt?  You believe Moses and the Pharaoh's wizards had a magic duel?  You believe there were 10 literal plagues inflicted on the Egyptians by yhwh (after hardening the Pharaoh's heart)?  You believe the Red Sea was literally parted and hundreds of thousands of jews crossed it, while the Egyptian army was drown in it?  You believe the whole nation of jews was fed by "mana from heaven"?

You opening qualification "according to the OT" makes me wonder.

Overall, the OT is the story of God's transformation of the Israelites from a directionless tribe into a nation of believers.

Do you believe this satisfies the question "what did God actually do to make the whole of humanity's lot better?"  It strikes me as a very carefully phrased non-answer.   

Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Seppuku on April 01, 2013, 11:36:24 AM
Quote from: Mooby
Perhaps this explains the views of theistic Satanists.  Do at least some believe Satan is the true hero of the Bible?  I don't know; I've never met a Satanist.

I think we're heading towards a point where we're both willing to agree that people can have legitimately varied opinions on who is good/evil in the Bible.  Which is fine by me, as I'm not really interested in exploring the relationship of God/Satan in Christianity in deep theological detail, especially with someone whose mind seems at least partially made up already (I suspect this would require a good deal of time, and I haven't been spending much time on this site lately.)  Instead, I would hope you can at least see why I disagree with the OP that Christians are automatically blind with our interpretation of our own scripture.

Based on my understanding, I believe Satan is understood as the hero. However, the only Satanists I've known are Lavayan, where Satan is more of a symbol than a deity or as an existing entity. But, even then, I think some of the things in Satanism are kinda silly, but the Satanists I've known have been perfectly respectable.

With regards to our varied opinions, I have put a lot of thought before making my conclusions, as I am sure you have too. I can understand backing away. I've not been on the forum much too either and I don't have the time I used to for big discussions. So I'm gonna say 'fairdoes'.

And yes, I do understand why you disagree on that point. I agree to a certain extent with yourself in that regard. I don't think you're all automatically blind, I think many are, which is to expected in backgrounds where people are indoctrinated from a young age and taught to see things in a particular way, but of course it doesn't make up the whole of the Christian population. I understand a lot of scriptural studies have been made and I know that some people recognise the events in the bible and have tried to find an explanation for why God can be good despite the cold and dark things in the bible, despite the fact I don't think the God in the bible is a good guy. Of course, 'good' is highly subjective, but I do often find that people will exempt God from being judged bad by their own morality, even if his actions contradict said morality, sometimes filled with the argument, "it's a part of His plan" or "everything happens for a reason". These kinds of explanations would lead me to suggest that they're just making excuses and are trying to forcibly ignore the idea that God could ever be bad.

I think an example that probably best demonstrates the variation in thinking is when I went to a Christian run God debate. I posed the question, "should God be held accountable for His wrong doing?" and I made a couple of examples. 2 of the people on the panel were quick to make excuses to put God in the perfect light. One of the examples I used was the one where the kids were mauled by a bear for calling a prophet 'baldy'. One person made the excuse they're like "hoodlums" today, violent and destructive, which wasn't really based on anything and by proxy they're suggesting it would be okay if somebody were to set a load of bears free to attack a bunch of young hoodlums. One of the people understood what I was saying and I can't remember exactly what he said (it's been 4 years now), he admitted that the things God did could be seen as wrong, he understood that what I was asking wasn't black and white (good vs evil, where God is only good) and that God couldn't just be easily excused. He said he couldn't answer the question straight up, but he was willing to discuss it outside of the debate. As far as I saw it, he was clearly somebody who was willing to think on it and probably had thought about it himself and knew the answer wasn't an easy one for him to make. I since have sat down with said preacher with a drink and talked about his religion and he was very open and honest.

So he's one of the Christians to prove to me that you're not all necessarily blind followers, of course, I may not agree with your arguments. He's not the only Christian I've known to be like that, but I felt he's a good example.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: The Gawd on April 02, 2013, 04:16:52 AM
@Seppuku

But is the preacher as honest and candid with his congregation as he was with you? I think its a very important question because it addresses whether they are looking/leading to truth wherever that may fall OR whether they are thoughtlessly towing the line.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 02, 2013, 09:59:52 AM
Also, I challenge the assertion that a creator is always the source of anything a creation does.  Can we say that the creator of a plastic bag is responsible for those who are intentionally suffocated by them?  Perhaps in an abstract, philosophical sense, but certainly not in any meaningful sense of the word.  The creator sets the features and limitations of the thing created, but that's not the same as the actual actions the creation performs.
Responsibility certainly depends upon what control a creator has over particular aspects of that creation.  No, it would not be just to ascribe any responsibility to the plastic bag creator for the suffocation of the victim, because that plastic bag creator had no reasonable expectation that the creation can and would be utilized in such a regard.  But it would be just to ascribe some ethical responsibility for the creator of a defective seatbelt design if that creator a) knew about the defect, b) sold the seatbelt under the pretense that said defect did not exist (either through lying, obfuscation of the facts, or sheer avoidable negligence), and c) injury or death resulted from that defect.  Further, we ascribe responsibility to parties that do not step in to prevent tragedy when it is completely within their power to do so (depending on where you are, we may not give any legal responsibility but most people certainly put forward some ethical responsibility).

So your challenge is indeed valid, but it does depend on the capabilities of said creator with respect to said creation.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: screwtape on April 02, 2013, 10:52:46 AM
Also, I challenge the assertion that a creator is always the source of anything a creation does.

That would be an excellent challenge and one I agree with.  No, creators are not always responsible for their monsters. 

However, if the creator happens to be both omnipotent and omniscient, then she would indeed be responsible for everything her creations did.  Being omniscient would allow her to know what would happen under any and all circumstances and being omnipotent would allow her to have done things in a way for events to turn out exactly as she wanted. 

When you are omnipotent and omniscient, the buck stops at you.

Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: sun_king on April 02, 2013, 11:05:42 AM
Also, I challenge the assertion that a creator is always the source of anything a creation does.  Can we say that the creator of a plastic bag is responsible for those who are intentionally suffocated by them?  Perhaps in an abstract, philosophical sense, but certainly not in any meaningful sense of the word.  The creator sets the features and limitations of the thing created, but that's not the same as the actual actions the creation performs.

This challenge implies that you admit that the creator is not omniscient and so by default not omnipotent.

In the field that I work, divide by zero errors are quite possible and sometimes ends with unflattering results. That happens and no matter how unrealistic the scenario that made the system crash, the blame is on the developer for not anticipating the zero in the denominator. We expect the developer to be omnicient in that context and they are responsible for every action of their creation.

That says that a software developer has more responsibilities than god.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Seppuku on April 02, 2013, 12:55:16 PM
@Seppuku

But is the preacher as honest and candid with his congregation as he was with you? I think its a very important question because it addresses whether they are looking/leading to truth wherever that may fall OR whether they are thoughtlessly towing the line.

I think this is an excellent question. His openness with me was in front of a large group of Christians, seriously, there were only 2 atheists in the room, me and my friend and I was the only one to speak. It was an open event and it was a Christian who invited me, because they liked the fact I make challenges. Now, I do have Christian friends who I have found to be open and honest who are associates of said preacher. From how they've spoken about him, there's nothing that would have me bring his honesty into question. The group of Christians I would put him into, would be the kind who think it's good to question their faith. One of the people I know who tends to listen to him talk and seek advice holds the view that Christians should have their faith challenge, the reason she says this is because a Christian can't justify their faith if they just blindly accept it. She was also highly critical of the Church, last time I spoke of her she was looking to expose some corruption within her own Church, though I don't know what happened as a result.

Of course, I know very little about why he's a believer, be it because it's how he was raised or because as far as he's able to tell, there's truth in it. I don't see any of the traits I would associate with somebody who's following Christianity blindly, but of course, that doesn't necessarily mean anything as people can be good at wearing a mask, given my experience, I would say we're talking about somebody who isn't feigning honesty, I've not got anything that would suggest otherwise, for me to do so would bring the honesty of many others into question too and I have nothing to base such questioning on.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Graybeard on April 02, 2013, 02:35:23 PM
In the OT, what did God actually do to make the whole of humanity's lot better?
According to the OT, God created humanity, gave Israelites a spiritual leader, led them out of slavery, gave them commandments (including one against killing), gave them kings, and prepared them for the coming of the messiah.  Overall, the OT is the story of God's transformation of the Israelites from a directionless tribe into a nation of believers.

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What did Jesus do, other than issue a series of vague offers that were completely unverifiable; offers that anyone could have made?
According to the Bible, Jesus opened the gates of Heaven and made salvation possible, which is not something that just anyone could do.  He also directed his followers against treating other people cruelly.
Indeed, I agree, OT god is an addition too far in an historically inaccurate saga of the Jews and Jesus gave vague unfalsifiable promises. You know as well as I that there was no creation of humanity, and the fact that a tribe got a god, is more than unremarkable; all the other tribes in the area had gods too.

Anyway, I assume your answer and mine to "Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?" is, "Because the Bible says so." As a believer (of sorts) you need think no further and I as an atheist am not really required to answer a question that, to me, is in the same league as "If a unicorn and a dragon had a fight, who would win?"
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Noman Peopled on April 04, 2013, 04:06:55 PM
Satan has become prominent only the first centuries of christianity for reasons not related directly to theology.
Enter Courtenay Raia. (http://www.academicroom.com/video/science,-magic,-and-religion%3A-lecture-4-witch-craze)
(Don't like to vid-post, but she's much better at talking than I'm at writing and I got the info from her in the first place.)
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Nam on April 04, 2013, 05:19:35 PM
In Die Hard, John McClane kills 10 people while Hans Gruber kills 2. Therefore, John McClane is the true villain of the film. We could do the same with Commando.

McClane kills 10 bad guys holding people hostage. Gruber attempted to not only steal a lot of money but kill everyone on the roof of the building which McClane stopped by getting them off the building. Also, you seem to relay that Gruber has only killed 2 people in his entire life. Killing the people so easily and without regret, as shown in the film suggests he's killed more. McClane doesn't enjoy killing people, just something that happens to him.

Bad example.


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I'm not sure why you find it ridiculous that Christians consider Satan the downfall of mankind and the father of all lies.   Straight recorded body counts aren't the only factor.

Taking such into account: Satan still doesn't come close to non-killing that most agree are bad things to do.

Did Satan ever rape anyone? The Bible shows Biblegod did it at least twice.

-Nam
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Mooby on April 04, 2013, 05:52:33 PM
I got some similar-themed responses so I'll use this one:
That would be an excellent challenge and one I agree with.  No, creators are not always responsible for their monsters. 

However, if the creator happens to be both omnipotent and omniscient, then she would indeed be responsible for everything her creations did.  Being omniscient would allow her to know what would happen under any and all circumstances and being omnipotent would allow her to have done things in a way for events to turn out exactly as she wanted. 

When you are omnipotent and omniscient, the buck stops at you.

I disagree with that assessment, because even without infinite knowledge we allow people to create things they know will likely cause some harm.  Cars, guns, and even mothballs kill people every year, and those making them have good knowledge that at least some of their product will lead to deaths--but are not held responsible.  Does that change if the person is omnipotent?  If a car creator knows that cars will kill about 40,000 people in the US alone this year, should they suddenly be held responsible if they somehow gain perfect knowledge that the number will actually be 41,026?

Sure, you can counter that the car creator isn't omnipotent, but that requires us to make an assumption we have no basis to make.  Namely, that there is a perfect solution where no one gets injured.  If a car creator suddenly gained the power to make the safest car possible, would there still be deaths?  It's easy to say, "Yes, the car's perfect!" but would that be true?  Any car that's created is going to be a large projectile hurtling down a road at high speeds; is it right to simply turn off our brains, shrug off the laws of physics and claim that an omnipotent car manufacturer would have some way of making a perfectly safe car?

So what of our omniscient, omnipotent person who creates the most safe car possible?  What if he knows the car will cause exactly 31,142 deaths worldwide this year (if all cars in the world are replaced with that model), and makes the car anyways?  Then is he responsible?  Or would he likely receive a bunch of awards and make a ton of money?

By the same token, we have no basis to simply shrug and say that an omnipotent, omniscient God should be held responsible for His creation's actions, even if He knew that at least some of the creation was going to act against its design.  I think it's at least possible we're living in the best of all possible worlds (to quote Leibniz), and if that's indeed the case then we would be the maximum output of creation.

McClane kills 10 bad guys holding people hostage. Gruber attempted to not only steal a lot of money but kill everyone on the roof of the building which McClane stopped by getting them off the building. Also, you seem to relay that Gruber has only killed 2 people in his entire life. Killing the people so easily and without regret, as shown in the film suggests he's killed more. McClane doesn't enjoy killing people, just something that happens to him.

Bad example.
Actually, it's a great example, because the ease with which you refute my judgement underscores my point that there are other factors in play besides straight body counts.  You listed no less than four reasons that straight body counts are not the only factor, which is exactly my point.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: screwtape on April 05, 2013, 09:15:03 AM
I got some similar-themed responses so I'll use this one:

I'm flattered you picked mine. 

I disagree with that assessment, because even without infinite knowledge we allow people to create things they know will likely cause some harm.

We have no alternative.  It is not like we can stop doing everything because we lack perfect knowledge and the power to prevent harm.  Nor can we choose to be omnipotent.

Where we can forsee problems, we do our best to make sure they do not happen.  I use a tool called FMEA - failure mode effects analysis.  That lets me and a team anticipate problems and alter our design or process to ensure they cannot occurr or make problems that arise less severe.  It is imperfect and limited by our knowledge and imagination.  But it is the best tool we have.  From there we leave it up to other people to be responsible because we do not have the power to do it any other way.

An omnimax deity does not have those limitations.

Does that change if the person is omnipotent?

Absolutely.  Of course.  If I were omnipotent and I made mothballs, I would be able to make them so that they could not hurt anyone.  Or I could make moth larvae so they were uninterested in eating people's clothes. 

If an omnipotent me made cars, I could make them completely safe in all instances.  I could make them defy gravity if they drove over cliffs.  I could make them pass harmlessly through telephone poles and children upon contact.  I could make the roads light up at night when cars drove on them. I could make the sun appear dimmer to drivers so they could see. I could make cars automatically drive themselves perfectly.

That is what omnipotence means.  The ability to do literally anything.

What is it with xians that they cannot seem to grasp omnipotence?  Do they lack imagination?

If a car creator knows that cars will kill about 40,000 people in the US alone this year, should they suddenly be held responsible if they somehow gain perfect knowledge that the number will actually be 41,026?

But Mooby, we do hold car creators responsible to make cars as safe and non-leathal as reasonably possible.  You may be a young whippersnapper, but I remember a time before anti-lock brakes and airbags.  I hear tell they even used to make cars without seat belts and shoulder straps.  All those features came about because there were known modes of injury and car makers were held responsible for not doing anything to fix them. 

Here are some other examples:
Chevy Corvair was a total safety disaster.
Ford Pinto gas tank was dangerous and Ford knew it.
SUV roll over issues (1990s and early 2000s)
Audi and Toyota unintended acceleration (2010)
Roof crush on various vehicles
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automobile_products_liability

Namely, that there is a perfect solution where no one gets injured.

That is not an assumption.  That is the nature of omnipotence.

If a car creator suddenly gained the power to make the safest car possible, would there still be deaths?

Are you saying there are things god cannot do?  Because that is what it sounds like you are saying.

So what of our omniscient, omnipotent person who creates the most safe car possible?  What if he knows the car will cause exactly 31,142 deaths worldwide this year

Omniscience is not just knowing how many deaths will occur.  It is also knowing exactly why each one of them will happen and knowing how they could have been avoided.  Omnipotence is about being able to neutralize those causes.

...even if He knew that at least some of the creation was going to act against its design.

How can a thing act against its design?  I'm not sure what you mean by that. 

Whatever it means, god, knowing literally everything, would be able to perfectly anticipate any deviation (rebellion), the cause of it in the design and make the design so that the deviation would not occur.  Not doing so would be like Ford knowing the Pinto gas tanks were dangerous, but doing nothing about them.  Congratulations.  You have equated god to Ford motor company.

Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Mooby on April 05, 2013, 10:14:58 PM
We have no alternative.  It is not like we can stop doing everything because we lack perfect knowledge and the power to prevent harm.  Nor can we choose to be omnipotent.
We do have an alternative, we just choose to ignore it because we like the results better that way.  We certainly have an alternative to manufacturing cars--not manufacturing cars.  We're just willing to risk death to travel the world faster.

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An omnimax deity does not have those limitations.
Correct.

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Absolutely.  Of course.  If I were omnipotent and I made mothballs, I would be able to make them so that they could not hurt anyone.  Or I could make moth larvae so they were uninterested in eating people's clothes. 
Would you?  How would you do that?  Or is your method similar to the Romney method: make large claims, and then when pressed on the details say you'll sit down with Congress and figure them out?

It's easy to say that if you were omnipotent you could make mothballs that wouldn't hurt anyone, but what properties would such a mothball has?  And if you don't know, then how do you know that such a thing is even possible?  And how do you know that you could make moth larvae that were uninterested in clothes that didn't lead to some bigger problems--such as necessitate a dietary change that would have them eating carpets instead, or lead to moth extinction, or something else?

I certainly don't know, and if you don't know either, then the "I'd figure it out if I were omnipotent" claim is just baseless speculation. 

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If an omnipotent me made cars, I could make them completely safe in all instances.  I could make them defy gravity if they drove over cliffs.  I could make them pass harmlessly through telephone poles and children upon contact.  I could make the roads light up at night when cars drove on them. I could make the sun appear dimmer to drivers so they could see. I could make cars automatically drive themselves perfectly.
Defying gravity, passing through solid objects, and sun dimming are things that would likely violate the laws of physics and could necessitate changes to cars that would make them less efficient to drive or not be cars anymore.  Making roads light up is something that does not require omnipotence--we currently have that capability.  And self-driving cars is theoretically possible, but that doesn't mean that we'll ever choose to implement it if it actually arrives.  It's actually possible with humans, too, but then we'd be moving into a discussion on whether robotic humans are superior to humans with free will.

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That is what omnipotence means.  The ability to do literally anything.


What is it with xians that they cannot seem to grasp omnipotence?  Do they lack imagination?
Omnipotence actually means at least 5 different things. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnipotence#Meanings)  And, being the contradictory guy that I am, I believe in multiple ones simultaneously, but I'm mostly speaking from #4 in this thread.

To quote Lewis on that page, "meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words 'God can.'"  In other words, it's not simply enough to say, "If God were truly omnipotent, He'd find some way to make X work to my liking," without providing at least some basis on which to make the claim that an omnipotent being would indeed do X to your linking.

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But Mooby, we do hold car creators responsible to make cars as safe and non-leathal as reasonably possible.  You may be a young whippersnapper, but I remember a time before anti-lock brakes and airbags.  I hear tell they even used to make cars without seat belts and shoulder straps.  All those features came about because there were known modes of injury and car makers were held responsible for not doing anything to fix them. 
Were they held responsible before those things became standards, or did they set the standards and then enforce them?

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Namely, that there is a perfect solution where no one gets injured.

That is not an assumption.  That is the nature of omnipotence.
Cite?

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Are you saying there are things god cannot do?  Because that is what it sounds like you are saying.
Yes and no but yes in this context but ultimately no.  But yes.

As I mentioned earlier, I think it's at least possible that the best of all possible worlds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_of_all_possible_worlds) model is true, in which case the current world is equivalent to the maximally best world.  Though theologically I'm more concerned with God's plan, which theoretically doesn't have to be congruent with the best world as long as the plan is the maximally best plan, but practically speaking the best plan appears to imply the best world, but then again I am an imperfect being with non-infinite imagination so I might simply be failing to conceive of a best plan that doesn't use a best world.

This is me thinking clearly.  ;)

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Omniscience is not just knowing how many deaths will occur.  It is also knowing exactly why each one of them will happen and knowing how they could have been avoided.  Omnipotence is about being able to neutralize those causes.
And what forces those two potentialities into actuality?

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How can a thing act against its design?  I'm not sure what you mean by that.
I mean that something is used for a function that it was not expressly created to do.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Aaron123 on April 05, 2013, 11:51:58 PM
I find it amusing that whenever the subject of omnipotent comes up, we're(the atheists) are always itching for god to do amazing things, while christains (or other theists) always trys to bring down their god to a limited, more mundane power level.

I keep hearing "he can't do this", "he can't do that".  I don't know about anyone else, but I thought "omnipotent" would be a bit more... well, grand.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: The Gawd on April 06, 2013, 02:31:25 AM
I find it amusing that whenever the subject of omnipotent comes up, we're(the atheists) are always itching for god to do amazing things, while christains (or other theists) always trys to bring down their god to a limited, more mundane power level.

I keep hearing "he can't do this", "he can't do that".  I don't know about anyone else, but I thought "omnipotent" would be a bit more... well, grand.

I agree. Perhaps its time they just take all the "omni" stuff out of their belief system because at this point I see no evidence of it even when talking to believers, only proclamations. Theyre always saying specific things he cant or may be unable to do... all while proclaiming he can do anything.

How do we know its even possible to make a moth ball that isnt lethal? I dont know, how do we know its possible to make a human out of a spare rib?
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: wheels5894 on April 06, 2013, 05:59:05 AM
... how do we know its possible to make a human out of a spare rib?

I rather think we could do this trick now. We extract DNA from the rib, convert it and add it an ovum and implant.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: screwtape on April 06, 2013, 09:55:25 AM
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Absolutely.  Of course.  If I were omnipotent and I made mothballs, I would be able to make them so that they could not hurt anyone.  Or I could make moth larvae so they were uninterested in eating people's clothes. 
Would you?  How would you do that? 

How the heck should I know?  I am neither omnipotent nor omniscient.  If I were one of those two, then I'd tell you how.  Though I should warn you, an infinite number of my infinite possible solutions would be incomprehensible to you. 


And if you don't know, then how do you know that such a thing is even possible?

Definition of omnipotent.  I'm not talking about paradoxes like making a rock bigger than I can lift. Though, there is a significant percentage of religious people who think god can do that too.

"I'd figure it out if I were omnipotent" claim is just baseless speculation. 

Really, Mooby, you are putting monumental limits on your god.  Which kind of takes him from God (capital G) to just a god (lower case g), not a whole lot different than any of the other small gods you reject out of hand. 

Defying gravity, passing through solid objects, and sun dimming are things that would likely violate the laws of physics

Are you saying your god (now lower case g) cannot defy physics?  I thought god wrote the rules.  I guess that throws out all manner of miracle.  Why does Mooby's god not heal amputees?  Because he's no better at that sort of thing than we are.  He's just a regular guy with a big reputation and a good PR team.

Omnipotence actually means at least 5 different things. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnipotence#Meanings)  And, being the contradictory guy that I am, I believe in multiple ones simultaneously, but I'm mostly speaking from #4 in this thread.

to quote point 4:
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4. A deity is able to do anything that corresponds with its omniscience and therefore with its worldplan.

So, god just doesn't want to.  Well, that's kind of worse, isn't it?  You god wants us to suffer.  It must.  Otherwise suffering would not be part of its worldplan.

To quote Lewis on that page, "meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words 'God can.'" 

I agree with that quote generally if not in that specific case.  Like when xians talk about god existing outside time and space.  Or the idea of a triune god.  God is the father, son and holy ghost, but it's all just one guy, really, and how that works is a mystery.  Perhaps Lewis could get that plank out of his eye first.[1]

Another of his quotes in that article: "His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to him, but not nonsense." 

I would say the idea of existing outside time and space is intrinsically impossible and nonsense.  In what sense is a moth that does not eat your clothes intrinsically impossible?  Lots of moth larvae do not eat cloth.  I find that utterly plausible.  In what sense is a gravity defying car not a miracle and instead nonsense?  Or the sun dimming only for the driver?  It seems to be to me that is a miracle on lower order than, say, the sun standing still in the sky at noon,[2] especially given how we understand the motion of the planets.

In other words, it's not simply enough to say, "If God were truly omnipotent, He'd find some way to make X work to my liking," without providing at least some basis on which to make the claim that an omnipotent being would indeed do X to your linking.

That fails on the grounds that xians have a rich history of preposterous claims about all the wonderful and horrific things yhwh has done that they accept at face value.  Preposterous claim #1 - yhwh created the universe by speaking.  Preposterous claim #2 - yhwh created a guy out of dust.  Preposterous claim #3 - yhwh created the guy's wife out of his rib.  Preposterous claim #4 yhwh put a magical tree in the garden that bestowed moral knowledge on the man and woman when the at its fruit.  ... Preposterous claim #7,406 yhwh made a woman pregnant with... himself. ... etc, etc, etc. 

After accepting all that baloney (in one interpretation or another) you suddenly find skepticism when I suggest your god might have the ability to do things differently.  You say that nobody can say anything about god unless they have a plausible explanation.  Right.

Okay, then how about you look in the mirror with your new skepticism?  Focus it on the bible and Catholic doctrine for a change.  Let me know how long that lasts.  Because if you apply that same criterion you want of my claims to your own xian beliefs, one or the other must yield immediately.

Were they held responsible before those things became standards, or did they set the standards and then enforce them?

I cannot see how that matters.  It appears they were held responsible once it was apparent they had the ability to do otherwise and chose to not make things safer.  At that point standards were made. 

Cite?

your wiki article.

Yes and no but yes in this context but ultimately no.  But yes.

Punch yourself in the balls for typing that.   

As I mentioned earlier, I think it's at least possible that the best of all possible worlds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_of_all_possible_worlds) model is true, in which case the current world is equivalent to the maximally best world. 

I agree that it is possible.  But I disagree with it's built in assumptions.  He starts off with god, and a good one at that:
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Leibniz' solution casts God as a kind of "optimizer" of the collection of all original possibilities: Since He is good and omnipotent, and since He chose this world out of all possibilities, this world must be good—in fact, this world is the best of all possible worlds.

Bold mine.  For me, that begs the question.


And what forces those two potentialities into actuality?

I do not understand your question.  Please clarify so I can answer.

I mean that something is used for a function that it was not expressly created to do.

Like, using a screwdriver as a prybar? Or a wrench as a hammer?  I'm not trying to be a smartass even if it looks like I'm succeeding fabulously.  I'm not sure what you mean in this context.  Your original comment was about god's creations acting against design.  Are you talking about things like masturbating or homos? 

My reply would be, a human computer programmer should know what his program can and cannot do.  Because he is not a perfect programmer, his knowledge may be faulty and it may do some things he did not intend it to do.  I think someone here mentioned divide by zero errors.  They would all be errors of one kind or another.  But an accounting program cannot suddenly become Grand Theft Auto all on its own.  It cannot change its own code unless it was initially programmed to do so, which would be by design or an error on the part of the imperfect programmer.

Parallel to that, if we see god as a perfect programmer[3], there are no outcomes he would not anticipate.[4]  And in that parallel, we are the computers.  Thus, there could be nothing we could do that would go against his design.  Whether that is eating the fruit from the Tree of Moral Knowledge or an all male gang bang, it is all part of the program. 

When you are omnipotent, the buck stops at you.

 1. btw, I find Lewis to be a pompous, arrogant ass and an intellectual lightweight.
 2. Joshua 10:12-13
 3. what other kind of programmer could he be?
 4. that even keeps within your ideas of omnipotence and omniscience
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Mooby on April 08, 2013, 09:44:54 PM
How the heck should I know?  I am neither omnipotent nor omniscient.  If I were one of those two, then I'd tell you how.  Though I should warn you, an infinite number of my infinite possible solutions would be incomprehensible to you.
You're making an inscrutable claim.  If you expect me to scrutinize my beliefs based off it, then I need a way to scrutinize the claim.  Even if you're 100% right, I have no way of knowing it, and so can't act on it or draw any conclusions based on it.

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Definition of omnipotent.  I'm not talking about paradoxes like making a rock bigger than I can lift. Though, there is a significant percentage of religious people who think god can do that too.
I linked you to 6 different definitions of omnipotent.  So simply saying "definition of omnipotent" uncited is not sufficient to tell me how you are approaching omnipotence.

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"I'd figure it out if I were omnipotent" claim is just baseless speculation. 

Really, Mooby, you are putting monumental limits on your god.  Which kind of takes him from God (capital G) to just a god (lower case g), not a whole lot different than any of the other small gods you reject out of hand.
 
No, I'm putting monumental limits on you.  You're saying that if you were omnipotent, you would do X.  In other words, you're a being that's not omnipotent and not omniscient viewing the universe from an extremely limited perspective who is making inscrutable claims about how you'd do things differently.

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Are you saying your god (now lower case g) cannot defy physics?  I thought god wrote the rules.  I guess that throws out all manner of miracle.
If you mass produce a car that violates the laws of physics, then that means that the laws of physics do not hold, which means that the laws of physics aren't actually the laws of physics.  Congrats, by inventing your car you've made it impossible for humans to science.

Miracles are single violations of natural laws that therefore defy scientific investigation.  The car you propose would be part of the natural world, and thus would redefine the natural laws, rather than be an exception to the natural laws.  I believe God can (and does) perform miracles; I don't believe He's going to make physics-defying cars a commonplace occurrence.

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I would say the idea of existing outside time and space is intrinsically impossible and nonsense.  In what sense is a moth that does not eat your clothes intrinsically impossible?  Lots of moth larvae do not eat cloth.  I find that utterly plausible.  In what sense is a gravity defying car not a miracle and instead nonsense?  Or the sun dimming only for the driver?  It seems to be to me that is a miracle on lower order than, say, the sun standing still in the sky at noon,[1] especially given how we understand the motion of the planets.
 1. Joshua 10:12-13
Why would you say existing outside time and space are impossible and nonsense?

As for moth larvae, I'm talking about the specific species that does eat clothes, and I'm talking on a rather small-scale Year Of Hell type example.

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After accepting all that baloney (in one interpretation or another) you suddenly find skepticism when I suggest your god might have the ability to do things differently.  You say that nobody can say anything about god unless they have a plausible explanation.  Right.
You haven't read too many of my posts if you think I've "suddenly" found skepticism.

And no, you don't "suggest" God might have the ability to do things differently.  You're outright claiming that it's so, and that God should be held responsible for things not being different.  However, you do not have an omnipotent perspective, which is why I'm questioning how exactly you know things would be better if they were different.  If you want to play back-seat driver to the universe, I'd like to see at least some indication you know how to drive.

The things I believe are based in thousands of years of religious tradition discussed extensively by people a lot smarter than me with the common goal of uncovering the truths of the universe.  Your comments are inscrutable claims from someone who doesn't believe in the concepts he's commenting on, and who is making claims about it that don't reflect what believers actually believe.  If you expect me to abandon my theological beliefs for your assertions, you will have to give me some sort of basis on which to do so.  Simply claiming you'd figure out a way to be better at omnipotence were you omnipotent with nothing to back it up just doesn't cut it.

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Okay, then how about you look in the mirror with your new skepticism?  Focus it on the bible and Catholic doctrine for a change.  Let me know how long that lasts.
About 15 years so far, with the skepticism reaching it's peak about 4-5 years ago.

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I cannot see how that matters.  It appears they were held responsible once it was apparent they had the ability to do otherwise and chose to not make things safer.  At that point standards were made. 
So the standards were applied retroactively?

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Cite?

your wiki article.
Which part?

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I agree that it is possible.  But I disagree with it's built in assumptions.  He starts off with god, and a good one at that:
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Leibniz' solution casts God as a kind of "optimizer" of the collection of all original possibilities: Since He is good and omnipotent, and since He chose this world out of all possibilities, this world must be good—in fact, this world is the best of all possible worlds.

Bold mine.  For me, that begs the question.
In what way does it beg the question?  Leibniz does not go on to conclude that God is good and omnipotent.


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I do not understand your question.  Please clarify so I can answer.
You claim that omniscience is the ability to know every thing that will happen, and that omniscience is the potential to neutralize each of those things.

So the described being has:
- Potential to know A will occur (omniscience)
- Potential to prevent A from happening (omnipotence)

So what forces the being to prevent A from happening?  After all, do you do everything you have the potential to do?

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Like, using a screwdriver as a prybar? Or a wrench as a hammer?
Sure, those are two examples.

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Parallel to that, if we see god as a perfect programmer[2], there are no outcomes he would not anticipate.
 2. what other kind of programmer could he be?
Correct.  But again, my point is that we already can accept programmers who anticipate both positive and negative outcomes and program anyways; why then must we logically not accept programmers who perfectly anticipate both positive and negative outcomes and program anyways?
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 08, 2013, 09:50:38 PM
I agree. Perhaps its time they just take all the "omni" stuff out of their belief system because at this point I see no evidence of it even when talking to believers, only proclamations. Theyre always saying specific things he cant or may be unable to do... all while proclaiming he can do anything.

How do we know its even possible to make a moth ball that isnt lethal? I dont know, how do we know its possible to make a human out of a spare rib?
I suspect most believers use the prefix 'omni' as a synonym for 'most' or 'best'.
Is god omnipotent?  Yes - he is the most super-duper powerful entity (just don't ask me to define 'power' in any sort of meaningful way).
Is god omniscient?  Yes - he's the smartest entity (no need to debate about 'knowledge' or 'thinking ability' or 'prescience')
Is god omnipresent?  Yes - I feel god all of the time (whether god is actually present need not be discussed).

Many basically leave 'omni' out already - they just forget to stop saying it is all.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 08, 2013, 09:56:44 PM
Quote
Parallel to that, if we see god as a perfect programmer[1], there are no outcomes he would not anticipate.
 1. what other kind of programmer could he be?
Correct.  But again, my point is that we already can accept programmers who anticipate both positive and negative outcomes and program anyways; why then must we logically not accept programmers who perfectly anticipate both positive and negative outcomes and program anyways?
The perfect programmer would know if the outcome would be positive or negative, wouldn't s/he?

if(situation.x == true)
{
   outcome.good();
}
else
{
   outcome.bad();
}

The perfect programmer would know what chain of events and stimuli would result in (situation.x = true), right?

Edit:
A means of evaluating the 'quality' of a piece of software is with how predictable it is - some crap code is simply algorithmically-challenged; that is, say, a recursive algorithm for calculating the Fibonacci sequence is substantially slower and less efficient than an iterative algorithm.  But some crap code is crap specifically because it leads to undefined, unexpected behavior.  It stands to reason then that more predictable behavior is closer to perfect code.  Ergo, the most perfect program would be the most predictable, and the perfect program would be perfectly predictable.

Interesting discussion points -
While a perfect program would most likely need a perfect programmer, would a perfect programmer necessarily have to write perfect code?  Clearly no.  The perfect programmer could simply choose to make an error.  "Bollacks!  I'll do everything in double-precision math!"
...but any unpredictability arising from that error could only occur if the perfect programmer did not and could not know the outcomes of that intentional error.  So either there are things that god cannot know, or god knows everything.

If you've got a problem conceptually with god being responsible for everything, the solution is pretty easypeasy.
Either:
a) God simply is responsible for everything, and it's your problem, not his.
b) God is ultra-super-duper smart and knows a whole, whole bunch of stuffs, but he isn't all knowing.  He doesn't know fundamentally how consciousness works; he doesn't know precisely what time the electron jumps its shell; etc.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: screwtape on April 10, 2013, 01:08:17 PM
You're making an inscrutable claim.  If you expect me to scrutinize my beliefs based off it, then I need a way to scrutinize the claim.

I have faith and my heart tells me this is so. 

This same problem you voice here – assuming it is valid in our conversation – is the exact problem we have with every single thing anyone has ever said about gods. God loves us.  Impossible to discern.  God is omnipotent.  We have no way to tell.  God is omniscient.  We have no way to tell.  God exists.  We have no way to tell.

But I’m not agreeing you have a valid point here.  I do not think you do.  I disagree with you that my claims are inscrutable.  You agreed with me that being omnimax means having no limitations. Then you turned around and suggested mothballs could be the stumbling block to the omnimax Screwtape since the merely potent and conscient Screwtape cannot surmount the problem.  So, either I have misunderstood what you’ve written or your definition of omnimax is not my definition of omnimax. 

And in doing this, you have said it is impossible for you to say whether your god could create moth balls or cars that would not kill people.  Is that the case?  Is your version of god not omnipotent or omniscient or particularly benevolent?

I linked you to 6 different definitions of omnipotent.  So simply saying "definition of omnipotent" uncited is not sufficient to tell me how you are approaching omnipotence.


I did.  In fact, I gave my definition before you linked wiki.  In case you missed it, it was here:
That is what omnipotence means.  The ability to do literally anything.

If that is not acceptable, will this do?
http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/omnipotent
Quote
Having unlimited or universal power, authority, or force; all-powerful.

Neither definition is comprehensive or thorough, but I have pointed out that I do not consider it the ability to do logically impossible things or realize paradoxes.

Of the definitions you linked, I think the first one fits with what I am talking about best.

No, I'm putting monumental limits on you.  You're saying that if you were omnipotent, you would do X.  In other words, you're a being that's not omnipotent and not omniscient viewing the universe from an extremely limited perspective who is making inscrutable claims about how you'd do things differently.

Wait, wait, wait. Is this a question of perspective or one of ability?  As in, if I were omnimax I might not want to make non-poisonous mothballs?  If so, that’s very different.  Maybe I would see things differently, maybe my personality and desires would be different.  Maybe not.  But who cares? 

The question here is not what I would be like as omnimax.  The question here is accountability and responsibility.  If some being – any being - is omnimax, how responsible is it for its creation?  If omnimax Mooby creates a brick, leaves it on the sidewalk, and Joe Shmo trips over it later, how does omnimax Mooby escape responsibility?  Did he not know Joe would trip over it if he put it there?  Was there no choice among the infinity of possible choices before him that would have resulted in less suffering?  In the end I think there are only two possible conclusions – omnimax is responsible for everything or omnimax does not exist.  That’s it.


If you mass produce a car that violates the laws of physics, then that means that the laws of physics do not hold, which means that the laws of physics aren't actually the laws of physics.  Congrats, by inventing your car you've made it impossible for humans to science.

Each car that rolls off my assembly line is endowed with a miracle by Omnimax Me.  I would have given my technicians the power to do those miracles (a miracle in itself!), but I didn't want them to get swelled heads.  They are just paid laborers, not apostles.

And so what if I’ve made it impossible for humans to do science?  Is that my obligation as Omnimax Me?  To make science possible?  How dare you try to put Omnimax Me in a box.

I don’t think that would make science impossible anyway.  You see, the laws of physics would still hold, except when I make exceptions.  Just like you say god does in your next quote. No one else can make them.  Only Omnimax Me.  So if someone else wanted to make a car, they would be making a standard four wheeled death-machine like the ones we currently go around in, using the usual laws of physics.  Physics would only be inscrutable if they tried to scroot the mystical powers of my cars.

Miracles are single violations of natural laws that therefore defy scientific investigation.

And so are each of my cars. 

The car you propose would be part of the natural world,

This is a terrible argument and holds no water.  Many of the objects of miracles are part of the natural world.  The sun that allegedly stopped overhead for a day in Joshua is also a part of the natural world.  All the sick people who were allegedly miraculously healed were part of the natural world.  The young jewish lady who allegedly got knocked up by a ghost was part of the natural world.

Also, that is inscrutable.  You cannot say that my cars would be part of the natural world because you cannot know what Omnipotent Me would be capable of.  They could sit astride both worlds.  They could be ghost cars.  You don’t know.  If you cannot drive, quit attempting to do so from the backseat.

I don't believe He's going to make physics-defying cars a commonplace occurrence.

That is why I would be a much more believable and popular god.  Evidence of me would be abundant and positive.  I would lead my own parades, not appear on toast or leave my symbol on goldfish crackers.  I’d make people smarter, so they wouldn’t have to believe in me or rely on me to make their mothballs non-toxic.

Why would you say existing outside time and space are impossible and nonsense?

Because it’s an idiotic idea that has never been coherently explained by any xian, living or dead.  But that’s not the point.  I was making a point about differentiating between that preposterous xian position and the idea that it is impossible to think an omnimax being could surmount the problem of moths chewing on your good suits. 

As for moth larvae, I'm talking about the specific species that does eat clothes, and I'm talking on a rather small-scale Year Of Hell type example.

Not the point.  The point is those species could be different without invoking Burritos So Hot Even God Cannot Eat Them type of demands. 

I don’t know what Year Of Hell is.


I think you skipped over something important that might help the discussion.  This quote:
Quote
4. A deity is able to do anything that corresponds with its omniscience and therefore with its worldplan.

I get the feeling this is more at the crux of what we are talking about, but I am not sure.  Would you like to expand on it? 


However, you do not have an omnipotent perspective which is why I'm questioning how exactly you know things would be better if they were different.  If you want to play back-seat driver to the universe, I'd like to see at least some indication you know how to drive.

Here’s the thing - I am actually omnimax.  And I could explain it.  But you are not omnimax, and so, as you’ve said, you could not comprehend even if I told you and so you are unqualified to evaluate my driving skillz.

While that is hysterically funny and ironic, there is a point in there.

Your comments are inscrutable claims from someone who doesn't believe in the concepts he's commenting on, and who is making claims about it that don't reflect what believers actually believe.

I’m pretty sure you have at some point run into xians who believe the things I am portraying here.  I am not making up strawman argument, Moo.

So the standards were applied retroactively?
I don’t get where this is going and I get the impression we are not on the same page.  If you have a point, kindly make it.  Otherwise, I’m just going to let this piece of the conversation wait by the side of the road.

In what way does it beg the question?  Leibniz does not go on to conclude that God is good and omnipotent.

No.  He starts off assuming an omnipotent and good god and concludes a “best possible world”.  His assumption begs the question, where he should have made a demonstration. 

So the described being has:
- Potential to know A will occur (omniscience)
- Potential to prevent A from happening (omnipotence)

So what forces the being to prevent A from happening? 

Two possibilities:

Nothing forces it.  It is a matter of will.  Which means said being is responsible for A happening.

Or

Omniscience.  If it knows it will happen, then it must happen.  Which means said being is not responsible, but also is not omnipotent. The being is a slave to fate and has no choices.

It is as I said up top - either omnimax is responsible for everything, or it is not omnimax.

After all, do you do everything you have the potential to do?

Potential is a huge topic.  You could argue everyone has tons of potential they don’t live up to.  Or you could argue people actually have little potential and everyone lives up to it.  That is more than I want to get into here.   

Correct.  But again, my point is that we already can accept programmers who anticipate both positive and negative outcomes and program anyways;

What do you mean “accept”?  Whether the person is a proficient programmer or not, they are responsible for their program and what it does. We excuse them sometimes for making errors, because, heck, they’re just human.  And we certainly do not praise them and justify their errors.  Though, sometimes they get fired. 

why then must we logically not accept programmers who perfectly anticipate both positive and negative outcomes and program anyways?

If a programmer anticipated an error and did not avoid it, that would be a problem.  There is no excuse for the error.  He would be completely responsible for encoding an error intentionally.  Which is exactly what we are talking about with yhwh.
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on April 12, 2013, 05:45:50 AM
@ Graybeard - A dragon breathes fire. God. Of course it would kill a unicorn. (Voice of Napoleon Dynomite)
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Mooby on April 13, 2013, 06:54:04 PM
The perfect programmer would know if the outcome would be positive or negative, wouldn't s/he?

if(situation.x == true)
{
   outcome.good();
}
else
{
   outcome.bad();
}

The perfect programmer would know what chain of events and stimuli would result in (situation.x = true), right?

Edit:
A means of evaluating the 'quality' of a piece of software is with how predictable it is - some crap code is simply algorithmically-challenged; that is, say, a recursive algorithm for calculating the Fibonacci sequence is substantially slower and less efficient than an iterative algorithm.  But some crap code is crap specifically because it leads to undefined, unexpected behavior.  It stands to reason then that more predictable behavior is closer to perfect code.  Ergo, the most perfect program would be the most predictable, and the perfect program would be perfectly predictable.
You're assuming a deterministic model, which is how computers are programmed.  Which works fine when we want each program to have an express purpose: if I want to click and launch Microsoft Word, I consider it an error if it launches Firefox instead.  But the analogy starts to break down once we get past such a deterministic system.

And sure enough, with the advent of non-Newtonian mechanics the notion of a purely deterministic universe becomes, at best, dubious.  If this is indeed the case, then the application of a computer programmer's notion of a perfect code to the design of the universe is at best misguided and at worst fraudulent. 

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...but any unpredictability arising from that error could only occur if the perfect programmer did not and could not know the outcomes of that intentional error.  So either there are things that god cannot know, or god knows everything.
First off, is knowledge equivalent to a perfect prediction, and is a perfect prediction equivalent to knowledge?  I'd say "no," because a prediction has a temporal link while knowledge does not, which could be significant in cases where linear time may not automatically apply.

Secondly, there's the issue of active vs. passive foreknowledge.  In short, is there a compelling reason for us to say that knowledge that something will happen forces the thing that happens that way?  In other words, if I invent a coin that has an exactly 50% probability of landing on heads, and I somehow know the 10th flip will be heads, did my knowledge cause that outcome (and am I therefore responsible for that outcome?)

Granted, I'm now venturing into territory that's probably better served in a discussion on theological fatalism, so I'll simply conclude that I think the issue is philosophically complex enough that we can't just call it solved and claim God is necessarily responsible with any pretense of intellectual honesty.

Quote
If you've got a problem conceptually with god being responsible for everything, the solution is pretty easypeasy.
Either:
a) God simply is responsible for everything, and it's your problem, not his.
b) God is ultra-super-duper smart and knows a whole, whole bunch of stuffs, but he isn't all knowing.  He doesn't know fundamentally how consciousness works; he doesn't know precisely what time the electron jumps its shell; etc.
Again, for the reasons I listed above, I don't think the solution is "easypeasy" at all.  You present a binary solution for something that to me doesn't look binary at all (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Either-or_fallacy), as it doesn't even address compatibilitic models of omniscience (again, more classically associated with theological fatalism.)
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: Mooby on April 13, 2013, 09:04:04 PM
I have faith and my heart tells me this is so.
You have a trust-based relationship with that thing you asserted?  Ok...

Quote
This same problem you voice here – assuming it is valid in our conversation – is the exact problem we have with every single thing anyone has ever said about gods. God loves us.  Impossible to discern.  God is omnipotent.  We have no way to tell.  God is omniscient.  We have no way to tell.  God exists.  We have no way to tell.
And that's probably why you're not a Christian: precisely because you felt there were no grounds on which to scrutinize your current beliefs (or lack thereof) about God.

Quote
But I’m not agreeing you have a valid point here.  I do not think you do.  I disagree with you that my claims are inscrutable.  You agreed with me that being omnimax means having no limitations. Then you turned around and suggested mothballs could be the stumbling block to the omnimax Screwtape since the merely potent and conscient Screwtape cannot surmount the problem.  So, either I have misunderstood what you’ve written or your definition of omnimax is not my definition of omnimax.
As I mentioned before, my views on omnipotence encompass multiple views at once.  In the most extreme sense, I believe God could create mothballs that do not kill and have them work exactly the same way as they do now, including killing.

Of course, this is illogical nonsense, but that's exactly my point: I don't think omnipotence is constrained by what is logical or coherent.  It's similar to this somewhat cavalier response to the rock paradox ("could God create a stone so big He can't lift it?"): "Of course He could, and then He'd lift it anyways because He's God!"  In other words, a truly omnipotent being could do something that is simultaneously true, false, partially true, undefined, and in such a way that "simultaneous," "true," and "false" have no meaning.

However, in human discussions, this quickly becomes unintelligible, and thus if we're going to have any discussion on it at all we must approximate it under an assumption of coherence that might not hold.  In this case, the latter definitions of omnipotence become much more useful, though as you go down the list they increasingly invoke a forced perspective.[1]

Were you truly omnipotent, would you be able to solve the problem?  If we lift all human constraints on omnipotence, it becomes impossible for us to say what that would look like from our perspective, whether we would even exist, or whether that's actually already happened (or has simultaneously happened and not, etc.).  Furthermore, if we go to the extreme of omnipotence, "solving the problem" becomes undefined as the constructs that allow problems to exist are no longer binding.

However, if, for the sake of salvaging any coherent thought and recovering Mooby from a combination of delusion and insanity too absurd for even the most satirical of Poes to entertain, we assume that the change is being made in a universe that is consistent from our point of view, then I do indeed think we're obligated to provide a mechanism via which Definition 3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnipotence) can hold under that assumption.  In other words, could omnipotent you make the change in such a way that we can point to the current state of things and make judgements based on our current understanding and perspective such as, "That's wrong and God's responsible?"

Quote
And in doing this, you have said it is impossible for you to say whether your god could create moth balls or cars that would not kill people.
Impossible for me to say, yes.  But then again, I'm just a lowly cow.

Quote
If that is not acceptable, will this do?
http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/omnipotent
Quote
Having unlimited or universal power, authority, or force; all-powerful.

Neither definition is comprehensive or thorough, but I have pointed out that I do not consider it the ability to do logically impossible things or realize paradoxes.

Of the definitions you linked, I think the first one fits with what I am talking about best.
 1. The issue is not that I lack imagination (as you suggested earlier); it's that I have too much.  You want me to drop some constraints while upholding the ones you assume apply but in my view are just as arbitrary.  I suspect we have some fundamental differences in the assumptions we make about reality that are beyond the scope of this discussion.
The first one I linked doesn't preclude doing illogical things; that would fall under Definition 3 (if logic were to be one of the deity's laws.)

If you're assuming a constraint that omnipotence does not apply to logically impossible things, then "definition of omnipotent" is a circular response to "How do you know that such a thing is even possible?"

Omnipotent being could do X --> X is possible via definition of omnipotent --> since X is possible, omnipotent being could do X

and

X is possible --> Omnipotent being could do X --> X is possible via definition of omnipotent

are both circular.  You can't simultaneously justify that:

1. An omnipotent being could do X
2. X is possible

via a definition of omnipotent that's dependent on both those things being assumed true before you can even apply it.  Rather, you must first have evidence that either 1) or 2) is true before you can apply the definition to show the other is contingently true.

Hence, while acting under those constraints, I have at various times asked you to show either:
1) How you know X can be done
2) How you know X is possible

You have done neither; you have instead applied a definition that does not hold via your own standards if either 1) or 2) is false.

Quote
Wait, wait, wait. Is this a question of perspective or one of ability?
Yes.  ;)

Quote
Was there no choice among the infinity of possible choices before him that would have resulted in less suffering?  In the end I think there are only two possible conclusions – omnimax is responsible for everything or omnimax does not exist.  That’s it.
I disagree, with the short answer being that to truly answer that question we must head down a road where that binary assessment does not apply.  Even still operating under the umbrella of logic, we run into some of the issues I mentioned in Reply #43.

Quote
And so what if I’ve made it impossible for humans to do science?  Is that my obligation as Omnimax Me?  To make science possible?  How dare you try to put Omnimax Me in a box.
If omnimax you wanted the laws of physics to exist (Wiki definition 3) or value sciencing as part of your plan (Wiki definition 4) and we're making assumptions about logical coherence and consistency, then yes you're constrained by that box.

Quote
And so are each of my cars. 
As you described them, they'd be repeatedly and consistently observable.

Quote
Not the point.  The point is those species could be different without invoking Burritos So Hot Even God Cannot Eat Them type of demands. 
How?

Quote
I don’t know what Year Of Hell is.
It's a reference to Star Trek: Voyager. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_of_Hell)

Quote
No.  He starts off assuming an omnipotent and good god and concludes a “best possible world”.  His assumption begs the question, where he should have made a demonstration. 
Begging the question is where the conclusion of an argument is a premise or hidden premise.  For his argument to beg the question, "assume that we live in the best of all possible worlds" would have to be somewhere in the premises (explicit or implicit.)

Premises are assumptions.  Two ways to dispute the conclusion of a logical deduction are:
1. Dispute the premises (which is what it appears you're actually trying to do here)
2. Dispute the logical structure/reasoning (fallacies)

Quote
Omniscience.  If it knows it will happen, then it must happen.
You're invoking theological fatalism here, and I don't accept theological fatalism due to the fact that it makes unjustifiable assumptions (http://www.galilean-library.org/site/index.php/page/index.html/_/essays/philosophy/theological-fatalism-part-1-reply-to-robert-p-r58).  With an attempt to avoid going too tangential into that subject, I'll summarize that depending on how the argument is constructed it uses either disputable premises or commits the modal fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_future_contingents#20th_century).

Quote
Potential is a huge topic.  You could argue everyone has tons of potential they don’t live up to.  Or you could argue people actually have little potential and everyone lives up to it.  That is more than I want to get into here.
Ok.  Let's not get into it then.  This post is long enough already.  :P
Title: Re: Why do Xtians think Satan is evil and the biblegod is perfect?
Post by: screwtape on April 16, 2013, 10:33:58 AM
Mooby,

That's a good post.  There is a lot there for me to think about.