Curiosity About The Bible's Supposed Divinity

One more time: if you want to discuss about gods, then change the forum. This forum is only about God - the Biblical God.
If you have a problem with the way I explain myself (using the word "gods"), then it's your prerogative not to have a discussion with me.

How about the universe? Isn’t that a good reason to believe?
No. The universe just proves that there's a universe. Doesn't tell me anything about whether it was created, much less what attributes any creator would have.

Wrong: evil is the absence of good; evil is the absence of God. It’s a consequence of free will (although not a necessary, automatic, consequence).
As with before, this has come up elsewhere in this forum, defining evil as the absence of something similar to how science currently defines darkness as the absence of light. You're trying to make the point that evil doesn't technically exist because it's the absence of good, right? If so, I can respond similarly to how I responded to someone else.

Keep in mind, my original argument was a philosophical argument. In a philosophical sense, a key characteristic of existence is the ability to have an effect on other existent objects. Evil has an effect in this hypothetical example, even if you do define it as the absence of good. Just like darkness exists because it has an effect on other existing object, even though science currently defines it as the absence of light.

I think you should settle - either this way:
“That's what I came here to do, discuss and listen.“

or this way:
“totally sarcastic”

If the latter, then sorry but I’m not interested in such a ‘dialogue’.
Refer to the first thing I said in this post.

Then why aren’t you honest about the logical contradictions of formal paradigms such as big bang - did you stop believing in those too?
I don't understand the Big Bong theory well enough to have an intelligent conversation about it, so I can't say much about it.

Oh, and could you tell me what victory are you claiming? Victory over what exactly?
My username is reference to the Greek mythology of Nike, the god they associated with victory. It's an inspiring myth. I claim victory in many areas of my life; school, fitness, friendships. This victory is claimed by hard and smart work.
 
Actually, evil is the absence of good, just as dark is the absence of light.

God did not create evil. Sin which separates from God 'created' evil.

Free will provided the opportunity for sin, but without free will we would be no more than robots.

God allows evil for a season. He will deal with it in due time. And when He does, it will cease to be.

I respectfully disagree with a couple of these points. I understand the good/evil light/dark analogy, but unlike light, God is omnipresent. If good/evil followed the light/dark paradigm, then evil could not exist since God's goodness is omnipresent and there is no absence anywhere of God and His goodness. In other words, if light is omnipresent, then darkness cannot exist.

Instead, I see it this way:

God created evil.
If God did not create evil, it wouldn't exist. Nothing exists without having been created by God.
Satan is not a creator. Satan did not create evil. Same applies to humans.
If we say that God did not create evil, then we have to conclude that evil exists outside of God's sovereignty and thus God would have no power to abolish it.
We know God will abolish evil (or contain it in the abyss, if you prefer) in the end, thus it follows that God created it and is sovereign over it.
God does not DO evil, however the fact that evil exists IS GOOD because it will eventually be used to glorify Him with the eventual destruction of it.
God ordains evil and USES evil for good purpose. Gen 50:20 - He meant it for good.
Evil is a tool that God uses to illustrate His divine justice.
 
I respectfully disagree with a couple of these points. I understand the good/evil light/dark analogy, but unlike light, God is omnipresent. If good/evil followed the light/dark paradigm, then evil could not exist since God's goodness is omnipresent and there is no absence anywhere of God and His goodness. In other words, if light is omnipresent, then darkness cannot exist.

Instead, I see it this way:

God created evil.
If God did not create evil, it wouldn't exist. Nothing exists without having been created by God.
Satan is not a creator. Satan did not create evil. Same applies to humans.
If we say that God did not create evil, then we have to conclude that evil exists outside of God's sovereignty and thus God would have no power to abolish it.
We know God will abolish evil (or contain it in the abyss, if you prefer) in the end, thus it follows that God created it and is sovereign over it.
God does not DO evil, however the fact that evil exists IS GOOD because it will eventually be used to glorify Him with the eventual destruction of it.
God ordains evil and USES evil for good purpose. Gen 50:20 - He meant it for good.
Evil is a tool that God uses to illustrate His divine justice.
You're the only person I've seen on this forum that hasn't tried to explain away the logical conclusion that God created evil assuming the 3 premises I made, or trying to say that evil doesn't exist using some type of word game. Good job.

What you believe your god uses evil for and why he created it is interesting.

I'd imagine it would make many Christians uncomfortable. Have you found that to be true?
 
You're the only person I've seen on this forum that hasn't tried to explain away the logical conclusion that God created evil assuming the 3 premises I made, or trying to say that evil doesn't exist using some type of word game. Good job.

What you believe your god uses evil for and why he created it is interesting.

I'd imagine it would make many Christians uncomfortable. Have you found that to be true?

Most people on this forum do not hold to this theological position. We often disagree on a lot of points and have heated debates over it. But we also agree on a lot of points. I'll get to that in a second.

If I recall, your 3 premises were something like this:
1.) GOD IS ALL GOOD
2.) GOD IS ALL POWERFUL
3.) EVIL EXISTS

You see this as a logical inconsistency, but you're missing one additional premise:
4.) GOD HAS A MORALLY SUFFICIENT REASON FOR THE EVIL WHICH EXISTS.

When you add this final premise, there is no more logical inconsistency. So the problem of evil is not a logical difficulty after all. If God has a morally sufficient reason for the evil which exists, as the Bible teaches, then His goodness and power is not challenged by the reality of evil events and things in human experience. The only logical problem which arises in connection with the discussions of evil is the unbeliever's philosophical inability to account for the objectivity of his moral judgments. If you do not believe in a transcendent moral authority, i.e. God, you have no basis for which to make value judgments or even provide a coherent definition of what evil is to begin with.

I mentioned earlier in this post that my brothers and sisters on this forum and I disagree on a lot of things. But we also agree on a lot of things as well:
1.) You are under God's law and are in rebellion from it.
2.) There is a consequence for this rebellion. The wages of sin is death.
3.) If you do not repent your sin to the LORD and believe in Jesus Christ's saving sacrifice, you will find no grace and will have no hope of escaping God's unmitigated wrath.

As I have told you a few days back when you first started posting here, I personally don't believe you are here to "listen and learn." I believe you are here for the sport of testing your self-important wit, intelligence, and clever arguments of "science" and "reason" against members of the forum. If you were truly a seeker genuinely interested in learning, you would show more respect and refrain from taunting us with language referencing the Creator GOD as "your god" which you clearly take great care to never miss an opportunity to do. It stings my spirit every time you say it. I can see from other members' messages, they're starting to pick up on this too.

I usually don't take this approach when witnessing to unbelievers, but I also typically don't witness to unbelievers who are as dug-in as you are, but let me caution you: It remains to be seen whether the Holy Spirit will work in your life to save you from your arrogant pride. If you continue to be unrepentant in your selfish rebellion against God, His wrath will be revealed from heaven against you. He will put you in hell, and it is only His gracious long-suffering and forbearance that keeps you from the burning pit this very moment. He is not obliged to withhold His judgment another minute.

The good news for you is that there is a kind of sinner that God cannot despise, one whom He can indeed love without violating His holy character. "A broken and a contrite heart. 0 God, thou wilt not despise"(Psalm 51:17). Read the 51st Psalm and see the deep repentance portrayed, the unsparing confession of guilt, the utter renunciation of self, the thorough disgust with wicked ways and the earnest plea for mercy and cleansing from God. It is then, and then only, that you can know of God's love.
 
If you have a problem with the way I explain myself (using the word "gods"), then it's your prerogative not to have a discussion with me.

You previously said that you’re willing to both discuss and listen. You don’t seem that willing, all of a sudden.


No. The universe just proves that there's a universe. Doesn't tell me anything about whether it was created, much less what attributes any creator would have.

Well, according to that logic, when you see a painting it’s wrong to assume a painter. When you see a building it’s wrong to assume a builder. And so on.

Tell me, when you sit down in the evening to have dinner, does your food materialize itself out of nothing, or do you have to cook it (and previously buy it)?

So, by that argument of yours, don’t you disprove yourself, in the end?


As with before, this has come up elsewhere in this forum, defining evil as the absence of something similar to how science currently defines darkness as the absence of light. You're trying to make the point that evil doesn't technically exist because it's the absence of good, right?
In a philosophical sense, a key characteristic of existence is the ability to have an effect on other existent objects.

Then, in all philosophical senses, you just proved God’s existence.

Because there are many here, including me, who can testify how God has changed their lives – thus your condition for existence, “to have an effect on other existent objects”, is satisfied. (change “objects” with “persons”)

Now, is there anything else you’d like our help with?


I claim victory in many areas of my life; school, fitness, friendships. This victory is claimed by hard and smart work.

Could you tell me how many friends you have made on this forum?
 
Kurt75, I never thought I’d be forced to suggest to someone to look into kabbalah (mostly because it’s against God, although it claims to be for God), but I think you should look into Tzimtzum.

That should settle some of your misunderstandings.

But even the Jews couldn’t take their reasoning all the way. The final conclusion is this: the very existence of us is a sacrifice of God - belittling Himself so that we could exist.
 
You previously said that you’re willing to both discuss and listen. You don’t seem that willing, all of a sudden.
First off, my comment was towards your willingness, not mine. You must have read it wrongly.
Second, I should have qualified. Of course there are limits to what I'm willing to discuss. Certain discussions I see as not worth having.


Well, according to that logic, when you see a painting it’s wrong to assume a painter. When you see a building it’s wrong to assume a builder. And so on.

Tell me, when you sit down in the evening to have dinner, does your food materialize itself out of nothing, or do you have to cook it (and previously buy it)?

So, by that argument of yours, don’t you disprove yourself, in the end?
I'm glad you brought this up.

the reason why I see a painting and infer a painter doesn't have anything to do with the painting's complexity, beauty, or order. Instead, it has to do with my experience that the phenomena of paintings aren't something that happens without someone creating it. I've had so many examples of this that I'm able to have reasonable confidence in my assumption that a painting had a painter.

I, however, don't have multiple examples of universes being created by an intelligent designer. So, I can't conclude anything about whether there's an intelligent designer or not.

If you play a very high stakes poker game and your hand is a spades royal flush, that's pretty significant. Some might even be tempted to say you fixed, or intelligently designed the deck. However, the probability of you getting that hand is the same as any other hand. The significance of the event causes people to underestimate the probability of the event happening by chance and be more likely to assume intelligent design. T


Then, in all philosophical senses, you just proved God’s existence.

Because there are many here, including me, who can testify how God has changed their lives – thus your condition for existence, “to have an effect on other existent objects”, is satisfied. (change “objects” with “persons”)

Now, is there anything else you’d like our help with?

No, I haven't. Yours and anyone else's supposed experiences doesn't do anything for my knowledge or belief, especially when these claims many make about their experiences don't seem to be very testable, or fail when tested.

Is it possible that some (logically consistent) God gave you guys an experience that has unequivocally proven his existence and effect to you? Yes. Should I believe based on ya'lls hearsay? No. Just like I don't believe based on Islamic hearsay, or Bahai hearsay.



Could you tell me how many friends you have made on this forum?

Zero as far as I can tell. I've met respectful people who provide learning experiences, but the term "friends" is too sacred of a word to use for anyone here just yet.
 

Glomung

Account Closed
In all this a couple of very important points have cropped up.
1. To influence anothers views it help to have verifiable evidence to support your own views.
arguments such as "cause the Bible says so" is not a valid argument and wastes the time of everyone concerned

2. as one philosopher stated (I don't remember his name) the only one anyone ever really knows is themself
so as a corrolary, personal experiences, no matter how valid, are of little use to sway another who has not experienced them

For example, in 1917 the Virgin Mary appeared to 3 children in Portugal and told them there would be a rather spectacular miracle that would occur soon. On October 13, 1917 30,000 plus people were there to see the show. 30,000 plus people saw the sun dance in the sky and witnessed other "miracles".
Regardless of the evidence and witnesses, how many today take any of it seriously?
 
Most people on this forum do not hold to this theological position. We often disagree on a lot of points and have heated debates over it. But we also agree on a lot of points. I'll get to that in a second.
I see. I would imagine there would be a lot of agreement and disagreement. That's why I make it a point to qualify that not all agree when I talk about Christian beliefs.

If I recall, your 3 premises were something like this:
1.) GOD IS ALL GOOD
2.) GOD IS ALL POWERFUL
3.) EVIL EXISTS

You see this as a logical inconsistency, but you're missing one additional premise:
4.) GOD HAS A MORALLY SUFFICIENT REASON FOR THE EVIL WHICH EXISTS.

When you add this final premise, there is no more logical inconsistency. So the problem of evil is not a logical difficulty after all. If God has a morally sufficient reason for the evil which exists, as the Bible teaches, then His goodness and power is not challenged by the reality of evil events and things in human experience. The only logical problem which arises in connection with the discussions of evil is the unbeliever's philosophical inability to account for the objectivity of his moral judgments. If you do not believe in a transcendent moral authority, i.e. God, you have no basis for which to make value judgments or even provide a coherent definition of what evil is to begin with.
Actually, this was my argument:

Premise 1: Before all that exists came into existence, there was ONLY God (I'm ignoring the special pleading fallacy, he is thought to be preexisting).
Premise 2: God created ALL that came into existence.
Premise 3: Evil exists.
Conclusion: God is the ONLY person who could have had a hand in creating evil.

This in itself isn't logically inconsistent. It's logically inconsistent when you add that this God, knowing full well that he created all things that exists and all evil, holds us ultimately responsible for our evil actions. If even the first 2 premises are correct, everything in existence is like a story that an author wrote. The author decides what happens, who to send to hell, who to send to heaven. An author can't complain with a character about the decisions the character makes.
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As I have told you a few days back when you first started posting here, I personally don't believe you are here to "listen and learn." I believe you are here for the sport of testing your self-important wit, intelligence, and clever arguments of "science" and "reason" against members of the forum. If you were truly a seeker genuinely interested in learning, you would show more respect and refrain from taunting us with language referencing the Creator GOD as "your god" which you clearly take great care to never miss an opportunity to do. It stings my spirit every time you say it. I can see from other members' messages, they're starting to pick up on this too.
It's not a taunt or disrespect when I say "your god". It's simply recognizing that your concept of god isn't the only concept out there. I understand why you may feel that way, but if you or anyone else feels taunted by that, there isn't much I can do about it. I see no reason for my value of seeking truth to be inconsistent with me recognizing that your ideas aren't the only ones out there.

As for your sport comment, I do like testing my wit, but I'm also here to listen and learn.
 
I didn't mean to overlook this point you made.
If you do not believe in a transcendent moral authority, i.e. God, you have no basis for which to make value judgments or even provide a coherent definition of what evil is to begin with.
I'm not used to discussing morality, so I appreciate you bringing it to my attention.

I don't need a transcendent moral authority in order to make value judgments of what's good an evil. I simply see the effect of certain actions and events on myself and others.

First, morality as I see it is concerned with the area of well being. My morality is about the decisions I make in order to enhance/maintain my well being. I avoid actions that go against my well being, and I gravitate towards actions that enhance it.

That said, science gives us plenty of objective ways to tell what is moral and what isn't moral. Also, morality isn't black and white. For example, I understand stabbing myself isn't moral in most cases, but if I had to get a bullet out of my body, stabbing myself then becomes moral. My understanding of what is moral is subject to change as my understanding changes.

Of course, I'm not always moral. I do moral things and I do immoral things. Contrary to your comments about my "arrogant pride", I actually know that I don't know everything and that I'm prone to make mistakes.
 
In all this a couple of very important points have cropped up.
1. To influence anothers views it help to have verifiable evidence to support your own views.
arguments such as "cause the Bible says so" is not a valid argument and wastes the time of everyone concerned

2. as one philosopher stated (I don't remember his name) the only one anyone ever really knows is themself
so as a corrolary, personal experiences, no matter how valid, are of little use to sway another who has not experienced them

For example, in 1917 the Virgin Mary appeared to 3 children in Portugal and told them there would be a rather spectacular miracle that would occur soon. On October 13, 1917 30,000 plus people were there to see the show. 30,000 plus people saw the sun dance in the sky and witnessed other "miracles".
Regardless of the evidence and witnesses, how many today take any of it seriously?
I agree, personal experience isn't of persuasive value to anyone else unless you can show it to someone else.
 
An author can't complain with a character about the decisions the character makes.

First, this statement is false as it applies to God. The Author and Creator of the universe, i.e. God, does what He pleases and is not bound by your value judgments. A prominent theologian once said, "For God's will is so much the highest rule of righteousness that whatever He wills, by the very fact that He wills it, must be considered righteous." Hence, whatever God decrees is right simply because God decrees it; God can never err. God, says the Scripture, answers to no one: "He does not give an accounting of any of His words" (Job 33:13). He is the lawgiver (Isaiah 33:22; James 4:12); man is under the law. God is accountable to no one; He is above the law, whereas man is under the law. The Ten Commandments are binding on man, not God. The only precondition for responsibility is a lawgiver--in this case, God. Thus, man is necessarily responsible for his sin because God holds him responsible; whatever God does is, by definition, just.

Second, you have made a value judgment based on what, exactly? Your opinion? You have conceded that you have no transcendent authority upon which to anchor your value system. Hence, in your world-view there are no objective values and everything is relative. If morality is based on some combination of people's opinion, how can yours have any validity since not everyone is going to agree on what those values should be? In other words, what philosophy of value or morality can you offer which will render it meaningful to condemn the previously mentioned author for holding his characters responsible for their decisions? Why should I take any of your moral indignation seriously when you hold to no objective moral truths? And without any objective truth, how can you even define what evil is or label something as such?

It's not a taunt or disrespect when I say "your god". It's simply recognizing that your concept of god isn't the only concept out there. I understand why you may feel that way, but if you or anyone else feels taunted by that, there isn't much I can do about it. I see no reason for my value of seeking truth to be inconsistent with me recognizing that your ideas aren't the only ones out there.

Maybe you're getting your forums confused. I'll remind you this is the ChristianForumSite. There is only one God here. Any "other" gods are not recognized here. And there is something you can do about it - you can stop patronizing anytime now.
 
First, this statement is false as it applies to God...

I've explained the logic of my argument again below.

Second, you have made a value judgment based on what, exactly? Your opinion? You have conceded that you have no transcendent authority upon which to anchor your value system. Hence, in your world-view there are no objective values and everything is relative. If morality is based on some combination of people's opinion, how can yours have any validity since not everyone is going to agree on what those values should be? In other words, what philosophy of value or morality can you offer which will render it meaningful to condemn the previously mentioned author for holding his characters responsible for their decisions? Why should I take any of your moral indignation seriously when you hold to no objective moral truths? And without any objective truth, how can you even define what evil is or label something as such?
No sir, didn't say there were no objective values. I said I don't need a transcendent authority, meaning a being that I get my morality from other than myself.

Making moral decisions means me doing things that will bring me the most pleasure and least pain. This is the objective standard that I would contend all people strive for as well with respect to their pleasure and pain. From that, we make our moral decisions and have our moral issues. If I observe something to give me pain, I should tend to avoid it more than I would something that gives me pleasure.


As I've said though, this isn't black and white. Some pain might be required in order to get a bigger pleasure. Giving up some pleasure might be required in order to avoid a bigger pain. Also, the specific decisions I see as moral aren't set in stone. This is where science assists in morality. If I take vitamins thinking that it will increase my health, I'm doing what I think it is moral. However, if I find those vitamins to cause cancer, then I have to change my view of it and consider it immoral to take them.

As far as people not agreeing on my particular evaluation of what is pain and pleasure, that's to be expected. We all have different physiologies and DNA, as well as different life experiences. However, the pleasure-pain principle applies to all. None of this requires the need to conclude a transcendent being who makes morality.

In other words, what philosophy of value or morality can you offer which will render it meaningful to condemn the previously mentioned author for holding his characters responsible for their decisions?
Again, you misunderstand my point. I said it would be logically inconsistent for him to knowingly hold his characters ULTIMATELY responsible. That's not the same as condemning it. I can't condemn something that I believe to be logically impossible. That's like asking me if I condemn someone for drawing a four sided circle.

And for the record, I didn't say it was impossible for this god to send us to hell. He just wouldn't be able to say it was our fault. I explain below


Other characters can hold each other responsible within the plot of the story because those characters don't know any better, but the author, being the ULTIMATE creator of every event that happens in the book and decision the characters make, can't possibly hold his characters ULTIMATELY responsible. The same is with God in my example. Being the only preexisting thing, he is like the sole author of a book, this book being the universe.

The only way an author could honestly think that a character is really responsible for his own decisions is if the author is mentally ill or otherwise deluded (it happens all the time). Also, if there were more than one author, one author COULD claim not to have complete control. But these two scenarios don't apply to this hypothetical god. If God were deluded, that would rule out the part about him being all-knowing. If God weren't the sole creator of the universe, that would rule out the first premise of him being the only preexisting thing. Thus, I judge this god holding us ultimately accountable to be inconsistent with his attributes.


Maybe you're getting your forums confused. I'll remind you this is the ChristianForumSite. There is only one God here. Any "other" gods are not recognized here. And there is something you can do about it - you can stop patronizing anytime now.
You have the right to not recognize other gods. That's fine. I don't recognize them either.

I know very well that the vast majority of you guys only believe in one god (though there may be some henotheists out there). However, I will and have simply recognized that others believe in other gods. In my mind, your god isn't any special and deserving of distinction than all of the other legends out there. That's where my terminology of saying "your god" comes from. Not out of a desire to taunt anyone. I'm not going to change my view simply because someone is offended by it. I think it's reasonable to expect someone to get over it, or just stop talking to me if you are that offended by me being objective about your beliefs.
 
Making moral decisions means me doing things that will bring me the most pleasure and least pain. This is the objective standard that I would contend all people strive for as well with respect to their pleasure and pain. From that, we make our moral decisions and have our moral issues. If I observe something to give me pain, I should tend to avoid it more than I would something that gives me pleasure.


As I've said though, this isn't black and white. Some pain might be required in order to get a bigger pleasure. Giving up some pleasure might be required in order to avoid a bigger pain. Also, the specific decisions I see as moral aren't set in stone. This is where science assists in morality. If I take vitamins thinking that it will increase my health, I'm doing what I think it is moral. However, if I find those vitamins to cause cancer, then I have to change my view of it and consider it immoral to take them.

As far as people not agreeing on my particular evaluation of what is pain and pleasure, that's to be expected. We all have different physiologies and DNA, as well as different life experiences. However, the pleasure-pain principle applies to all. None of this requires the need to conclude a transcendent being who makes morality.

Different physiologies and DNA, respective of their pleasure and pain, isn't black and white, aren't set in stone, science assisted morality.....

i do not know how a law maker can make laws on that..... much more how a state, the police, the people themselves to implement......
 
That said, science gives us plenty of objective ways to tell what is moral and what isn't moral. Also, morality isn't black and white. For example, I understand stabbing myself isn't moral in most cases, but if I had to get a bullet out of my body, stabbing myself then becomes moral. My understanding of what is moral is subject to change as my understanding changes.

Sounds like a moral subjectivism, thus, never mind my post#75….having a discussion with this topic is surely chaotic…

Science of morality? there goes my favorite subject in class .... the subjectivists now want to mask themselves with objectivism....

Subjectivism invents, Objectivism discovers…..
 
i do not know how a law maker can make laws on that..... much more how a state, the police, the people themselves to implement......


Laws do use this actually. Law makers recognize that we are social people and have to live with each other. Therefore, laws objectives are for the well being of society as a whole, not just one person. That's why me stealing something from you is against the law, it hurts your well being. In turn, me stealing from you might be awesome for me in the short run, but could hurt my well being in the longer run because the law is being enforced by police. That, in my eyes, is where we can begin to have an objective conversation about what is actually helping the group and what's not.

As I said said before with morality, laws aren't always black and white either. Using the example of stabbing, stabbing someone normally is against the law, but if you were trying to stab someone in order get get a bullet out of them with their consent, you likely won't be convicted in the court of law. My understanding is that the court of law allows for extenuating circumstances, things that we do with our morals as well.

As for my DNA and physiolgies comment, the law actually does consider those difference. For example, a schizophrenic killer is more likely to be put in a psych ward than someone with normal physiology in their brain. The law recognizes that these people need to be handled differently than others. Scientific discovery alters the way we enforce and make laws.

Sounds like a moral subjectivism, thus, never mind my post#75….having a discussion with this topic is surely chaotic…

Science of morality? there goes my favorite subject in class .... the subjectivists now want to mask themselves with objectivism....

Subjectivism invents, Objectivism discovers…..

I made my comments above before reading this post of yours, so if you still don't want to have a discussion, just ignore this post.

The way I see it, we are discovering in terms of morality. First off, just because I don't believe in a god of all morality doesn't mean that I believe moral objectivity is impossible. I can't assume that there is no objective morality just because I don't believe in a transcendent moral being.

Back to the discovering of morality, we do discover. Because morality isn't in black and white, we can't just make one overarching statement of what is moral. That's why it can be compared to and assisted with science. Science discovers things that add more complexity, or completely debunks things that we thought were right.

As a society, we still have problems of well being in people, however. This means that we aren't perfect as a society. But, with the advance of science, I'd say we are better off than people 5,000 years ago. Our objective scientific discovery ideally will go hand in hand with the demonstratively increased well being of society. This, in my eyes, is no coincidence. Scientific knowledge doesn't claim perfection, it only claims improvement. Same with moral decisions. We might not every make the "perfect" moral decision, but we can see that some are better than others.

To me, saying that morality is created by a transcendent, set in stone morality is what leads to lack of discovery. There's simply "do this" and "don't do that". No progress. Many Christians I talk want to highlight the 10 commandments in old testament as the example of why the Bible should be our moral bases, but then try to explain away the other 603 (some of which are terrible) commands and laws in the Hebrew scriptures as "just Old Testament", ignoring or attempting to explain away the part where God said "I, the LORD, do not change" in Malachi. If we as a society adhered to these laws, we'd be able to keep and beat slaves, a woman would have to marry her raper, and much more. In my opinion, the fact that these Christians pick and choose what they want they want to follow out of the book shows that they are more moral than the supposed transcendent morality they believe in.
 
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I've explained the logic of my argument again below.


No sir, didn't say there were no objective values. I said I don't need a transcendent authority, meaning a being that I get my morality from other than myself.

Making moral decisions means me doing things that will bring me the most pleasure and least pain. This is the objective standard that I would contend all people strive for as well with respect to their pleasure and pain. From that, we make our moral decisions and have our moral issues. If I observe something to give me pain, I should tend to avoid it more than I would something that gives me pleasure.


As I've said though, this isn't black and white. Some pain might be required in order to get a bigger pleasure. Giving up some pleasure might be required in order to avoid a bigger pain. Also, the specific decisions I see as moral aren't set in stone. This is where science assists in morality. If I take vitamins thinking that it will increase my health, I'm doing what I think it is moral. However, if I find those vitamins to cause cancer, then I have to change my view of it and consider it immoral to take them.

As far as people not agreeing on my particular evaluation of what is pain and pleasure, that's to be expected. We all have different physiologies and DNA, as well as different life experiences. However, the pleasure-pain principle applies to all. None of this requires the need to conclude a transcendent being who makes morality.


Again, you misunderstand my point. I said it would be logically inconsistent for him to knowingly hold his characters ULTIMATELY responsible. That's not the same as condemning it. I can't condemn something that I believe to be logically impossible. That's like asking me if I condemn someone for drawing a four sided circle.

If it's not black and white, it's not objective. When I speak of objective, I'm talking about something that applies to everyone whether they believe it or not. If they're not set in stone, they're not objective. If it's all about a person's pleasure or pain, that is also not objective. My pleasure could equal your pain. Who is right and who is wrong in that scenario?

In the atheist world, I may be hungry and find you to be a tasty meal. What's to stop me from killing you and eating you for dinner? That would be pleasurable to me because it satisfies my hunger. (And by the way, the hungry cannibal could care less about your pain.) What makes that objectively wrong? If there is no transcendent authority, i.e. God, to establish that killing each other for those reasons is objectively wrong, then why am I obligated to align my life with values that include not eating other humans? After all, we're just evolved primates in the atheist world view. This sort of thing happens all the time in the animal kingdom. The concept of right and wrong does not exist in the animal kingdom. If one male lion kills another male lion so he can assume control of raping the rest of the females in the pride, nobody considers that wrong. It's just the way it is, right? But for reasons no athiest can coherently explain, during our "evolution" the concept of right and wrong started to apply to us. Why? Because we're intelligent? Why does intelligence obligate me to act selflessly instead of selfishly? It's advantageous for a civilized society? What if I don't want to be in your civilized society?

If there is no objective right and wrong (which is the case in the atheist world view) then the best thing you can say is that public opinion determines right and wrong. And the guy who acts contrary to public opinion and kills and eats his neighbor for dinner is doing nothing more than acting unfashionably. There is no transcendent authority to determine his actions are objectively wrong or evil.

You have essentially said that right and wrong, good and evil are based on human reasoning or choices - thus being relative to the individual or culture. This is logically incoherent. On the one hand, you believe and speak as though some activity (e.g., child abuse) is wrong in itself, but on the other hand you believe and speak as though that activity is wrong only if the individual (or culture) chooses some value which is inconsistent with it (pleasure, the greatest happiness of the greatest number, freedom, etc.).

When the unbeliever professes that people determine ethical values for themselves, the unbeliever implicitly holds that those who commit evil are not really doing anything evil, given the values which they have chosen for themselves. In this way, the unbeliever who is indignant over wickedness supplies the very premises which philosophically condone and permit such behavior, even though at the same time the unbeliever wishes to insist that such behavior is not permitted -- is "evil." What we find, then, is that the unbeliever must secretly rely upon the Christian worldview in order to make sense of his argument from the existence of evil which is urged against the Christian worldview. Atheism presupposes theism to make its case.

And for the record, I didn't say it was impossible for this god to send us to hell. He just wouldn't be able to say it was our fault. I explain below


Other characters can hold each other responsible within the plot of the story because those characters don't know any better, but the author, being the ULTIMATE creator of every event that happens in the book and decision the characters make, can't possibly hold his characters ULTIMATELY responsible. The same is with God in my example. Being the only preexisting thing, he is like the sole author of a book, this book being the universe.

The only way an author could honestly think that a character is really responsible for his own decisions is if the author is mentally ill or otherwise deluded (it happens all the time). Also, if there were more than one author, one author COULD claim not to have complete control. But these two scenarios don't apply to this hypothetical god. If God were deluded, that would rule out the part about him being all-knowing. If God weren't the sole creator of the universe, that would rule out the first premise of him being the only preexisting thing. Thus, I judge this god holding us ultimately accountable to be inconsistent with his attributes.

We do this all the time even here on Earth. You've never heard of the saying "ignorance to the law is no excuse?" If you get pulled over for a traffic violation - even one you were unaware of breaking - you're getting a ticket and you're paying a fine. You may cry "unfair", but you're still guilty. As I said before, the only precondition for responsibility is a lawgiver -- in this case, God. It doesn't matter if you agree to the law. It doesn't matter if you are aware of the law. You are under the law and God will hold you responsible for it.


You have the right to not recognize other gods. That's fine. I don't recognize them either.

I know very well that the vast majority of you guys only believe in one god (though there may be some henotheists out there). However, I will and have simply recognized that others believe in other gods. In my mind, your god isn't any special and deserving of distinction than all of the other legends out there. That's where my terminology of saying "your god" comes from. Not out of a desire to taunt anyone. I'm not going to change my view simply because someone is offended by it. I think it's reasonable to expect someone to get over it, or just stop talking to me if you are that offended by me being objective about your beliefs.

Fair enough. Continue in your defiance. We're done here.
 
First off, my comment was towards your willingness, not mine. You must have read it wrongly.

No, I haven’t. Your language limits the probable responses.


I, however, don't have multiple examples of universes being created by an intelligent designer. So, I can't conclude anything about whether there's an intelligent designer or not.

I think you’re shooting yourself in the foot: if a simple thing such as a painting or a building had to have, even by your own admission, a painter and respectively a builder, how could the entire universe possibly have not been created by somebody?

After all, the universe is immensely more complex than a painting or a building, wouldn’t you agree?


If you play a very high stakes poker game and your hand is a spades royal flush, that's pretty significant. Some might even be tempted to say you fixed, or intelligently designed the deck. However, the probability of you getting that hand is the same as any other hand. The significance of the event causes people to underestimate the probability of the event happening by chance and be more likely to assume intelligent design.

Well, if you like probability so much why don’t you find out the chances for your undesigned evolution to happen. At each and every step. Also explain why the universe is so anthropic.


Yours and anyone else's supposed experiences doesn't do anything for my knowledge or belief

If you exclude anything that you don’t like you’ll end up only with things that you do like. No surprise here. In other words, your position is reinforcing itself. Your philosophy stands in your way of correcting your philosophy. But I would expect you to claim your philosophy in support of your philosophy, so…


especially when these claims many make about their experiences don't seem to be very testable, or fail when tested.

Really?


Is it possible that some (logically consistent) God gave you guys an experience that has unequivocally proven his existence and effect to you? Yes. Should I believe based on ya'lls hearsay? No. Just like I don't believe based on Islamic hearsay, or Bahai hearsay.

OK, how about this: cosmic expansion, return of the Jewish people to their land (Israel) and so many other prophecies that came true - including those concerning Jesus (there are more than 400 prophecies about Jesus alone).

Can you find me another ‘religious’ book not with thousands of prophecies, not with hundreds, but at least with 10 verifiable prophecies?

Let’s compare that with the formal paradigm of big bang. Not at any time throughout its history this theory have had more than 4 claimed predictions – although ironically, those weren’t really predictions since they first observed things and only then they have come up with theories about them. (In the separate case of CMBR, that’s disputable as prediction, since the values proposed prior to actual discovery ranged from 0 to 50K – the latest is almost 20 times the found value.)

Furthermore, from all those 4 major arguments for big bang, not a single one is left standing today. One is actually neutral, while the rest of 3 turned out to be evidence against big bang.

Oh, and could you tell me what exactly is wrong for example with this sentence:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang
“The Big Bang is the scientific theory that is most consistent with observations of the past and present states of the universe”


because not only it’s wrong, but it’s terribly wrong. Extremely ironically, it runs against their theory in one of the highest degrees possible. Wouldn’t you agree that wikipedia editors should first learn the basics (yes, basics) of their own theories prior to preaching them to the world?


I've met respectful people who provide learning experiences, but the term "friends" is too sacred of a word to use for anyone here just yet.

Well I find that “sacred” term to be truly ironic…


First, morality as I see it is concerned with the area of well being. My morality is about the decisions I make in order to enhance/maintain my well being.

Really? Well your well being states that you should steal (to have more “well being” than previously). Would you do that? And so many other things.


That said, science gives us plenty of objective ways to tell what is moral and what isn't moral.

Really? How exactly does morality come from science?


For example, I understand stabbing myself isn't moral in most cases, but if I had to get a bullet out of my body, stabbing myself then becomes moral.

No, it doesn’t become moral. You can only claim it becomes necessary.
 
WingedVictory, I want to revisit some of the earlier points.

First, this one:

I claim victory in many areas of my life; school, fitness, friendships. This victory is claimed by hard and smart work.

Sorry, but I think that if you use “hard and smart work” to make friends then you can’t really call your “friends” as actual friends. Friends don’t come, in my view, from tactics.

Then, this argument - your definition of existence:

In a philosophical sense, a key characteristic of existence is the ability to have an effect on other existent objects.

I reiterate my previous argument (because it stands):

Then, in all philosophical senses, you just proved God’s existence. Because there are many here, including me, who can testify how God has changed their lives – thus your condition for existence, “to have an effect on other existent objects”, is satisfied. (change “objects” with “persons”)

To which you replied:

Yours and anyone else's supposed experiences doesn't do anything for my knowledge or belief

But sorry, you have no argument. Because in the end that’s exactly what you do, in so many cases: submit to others’ authority. Submit to their “experiences”. For example, think of all the things that you learned in school: you certainly didn’t make yourself all the experiments or observations used in support of a certain theory, did you? So if you believe a particular theory, that means you believe a certain group of people. Those with a certain “experience”, as you say.

So why exactly such a ‘blind’ (with the meaning of no personal verification) acceptance is valid in one case and not valid in another? In my view, the only answer you could give is based on your worldview (your philosophy).

Looking forward to your replies to my arguments – these and previous. Thanks.
 
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