The Pastor of my Old Church Tried to Re-Convert Me Yesterday
However in the long run are you positive that it would create a better world?
Try publishing an open letter to the relatives of the quarter of a million victims to tell them that it turns out the world is a better place for the elimination of their loved ones.
Theodicy never dares to get out the ivory tower.
To me it seems as though your argument against the exisistance of God is like this ...
No, nothing like that at all. Please don't put words in my mouth.
My atheism - or more accurately, anti-theism - is based on a huge body of information, facts, experience, reason and logic.
But you are changing the subject. This thread is not "god does not exist".
It is about the failure of theism to deal with natural evil. If you want to discuss the wider issue of atheism we could do that too on a different thread.
Little sokrates: To me it seems as though your argument against the exisistance of God is like this "If I really think about I am sure I could invent a world better than this one. If there is a God, God must be greater than I. Since I could create a better world than God could there must be no God" Can't our own self confidence in our own rationality become like an idol?
i am from austria. Actually i am josef fritzls old neighbour, you know, the crazy guy who kept his daughter in a dungeon as a sex slave for twenty years.
about ten years ago at a road party, old joseph had a beer too many and told me about the dungeon. I knew he was serious, but i didnt go to the police because he used to lend me his gardening tools.
i have long debated if i should have intervened, but upon reading your post, i realise i did the right thing: after all, to say i should have intervened is to say that would have made the world better, which is to say god could have made the world better too by intervening, and thats treating my own rationality like an idol.
thanks for making it clear!
My lack of belief in a god doesn't stem from the observance of suffering, it comes from the understanding that supernatural phenonmena have never explained anything and they never will.
Oh and Kate - do I really need to state in every post where I mention the god concept that I am talking hypothetically?
Why must suffering be rationalized in the first place? Do we rationalise the fact that we breath, that we walk that we talk.... Its just another part of our existance. That fact that we can actually conceptuatize it in the fist place is proof that there is an something "else" out there that is NOT suffering.
LS - Please explain that further. I think its a "deepity" but I want to reserve judgement for the moment.
Sorry I can't figure out how to say it without actually taking away from what I already said. I need to do some deep thinking for myself.
Do we rationalise the fact that we breath, that we walk that we talk....
We don't need to rationalise these things, we need to breathe in order to obtain enough oxygen to carry the process of cell respiration to create the energy to maintain metaboloic processes.
We walk and talk as a consequence of evolutionary adaptations that have allowed us to survive and exploit our environment.
Why must suffering be rationalized in the first place? Do we rationalise the fact that we breath, that we walk that we talk.... Its just another part of our existance.
Go back to the victim we described previously...
Are you asking her why she should be in despair since the agony she is feeling is just part of life like breathing, walking and talking?
You really do live in an ivory tower don't you?
That fact that we can actually conceptuatize it in the fist place is proof that there is an something "else" out there that is NOT suffering.
That is a non sequitur.
The fact that certain things like the death of our loved ones causes us emotional pain does not in any way prove that "Not suffering" is "out there" like a Platonic triangle.
It's a good example of a fallacy known as reification. "Not suffering" isn't a thing.
Impact of Natural Evil on People in the U.S.
Natural evil % People Affected/Year
0% Earthquakes 0.02% (Northridge, 1994) 34 Volcanoes 0.2% (Mt. St. Helens, 1980) 35 Landslides 0.02% 36 Floods 0.03% 37 Hurricanes 1% (Katrina, 2005) 38 Tornadoes .006% 39 Lightning 0.00004% 23 Fires 0.1% 40 Genetic diseases 1.3% 41 Cancer 0.5% 42 Infectious diseases 0.06% (deaths) 43 Total 3.2%
Earthquakes and civilization—Despite the fact that earthquakes can be disruptive to civilization, 13 out of 15 of the first civilizations developed in the vicinity of earthquake fault zones (with the exceptions being ancient Egypt and China). 20 Scientists have speculated that plate boundaries often have ample water supplies that might have attracted early settlers, and that volcanoes help create rich soils. Obviously, earthquakes could not have been that detrimental to human beings if the vast majority of ancient civilizations developed in proximity to active faults.
Tsunamis—When earthquakes occur under the oceans, the plate's movement dissipates its energy through the ocean in the form of waves known as tsunami. When these waves make landfall, they can be up to 100 feet high and travel inland for several miles. The 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean caused widespread devastation to surrounding coastal areas, while killing over 200,000 people. A very large tsunami struck Japan, following a massive earthquake in 2011. We have already discussed the problems involved with stopping earthquakes and have determined that stopping them would result in a greater evil (lack of continental land masses and excessive solar radiation on the surface of the earth). So, it is not possible to eliminate all tsunamis without causing greater damage.
I guess the thought is that God must bat a 1000 % .......right ?
How sick is this ? Men had to sacrifice their lives for the good of the many (Hover Dam ) some sources cite the number of deaths as 112
On the question of suffering. We suffer because WE need to learn about empathy and compassion. Suffering says very little about the nature of God but is tell us alot about OUR nature.
Unfortunately, the Bible says in Genesis 3 that God created the first "perfect" human pair devoid of, and desirous of, wisdom (which many psychologists would say is manifested by the ability to emphathize with others, putting oneself in the shoes of others). Wisdom is of course required to make proper moral decisions, needed to fuel one's conscience and to decide right from wrong, good from bad.
Story gets worse for God, though, for He forbade the first pair from possessing wisdom, forbidding them from eating the wisdom-bestowing fruit.
So God made humans without wisdom (and hence empathy and compassion), and God seemingly intended them to stay that way and dependent on Him as their source of morality; of course, they only gained wisdom and the ability to exercise independent judgment on moral issues via an act of disobedience to His one rule, but the cost was their lives. (Or so the story goes.....)
Also interesting to note that sociopaths still exist in God's "perfect" creation, or even in more limited forms, some humans have difficulty reading the emotional reactions of others (eg asperbergers syndrome, etc) which is a skill required to emphathize?
So why would God make broken and flawed humans, call them "perfect", but only engage in mass slaughtering of other humans to give them an opportunity to improve on our personality traits (believers call them their "shortcomings") which He gave humans, in the first place?
Resolving these kinds of questions involves use of an awful lot of excusiology and jumping thru mental hoops, all required to patch a horribly-flawed belief system!