The Pastor of my Old Church Tried to Re-Convert Me Yesterday
Welcome to JWN Viviane. Thank you for posting.
I'm cooking, will get back to the thread later.
My impression is the believers are resorting to the "its a mystery" answer non-answer now.
In other words - we are wrong but lack the humility to admit it.
bohm, you are speaking of the little picture, the life we are living right now. There is a bigger picture.
Why didn't the US, France or other civilized countries scramble the radio waves when the Tutsis were being slaughtered in Africa?
I don't know, but I think they should have. I am sorry, but I simply do not see how the observation is related to Gods inaction toward the tsunami victims or how it would affect the example in the forrest
I understand what you are saying and of course I would help someone in need. But let's look at it another way.
Aren't there times when men or women in authority must make hard choices? Choosing between saving a mother caught in a burning car or her child? Or the Fire Chief who must call his men out of a burning building knowing full well there are still people trapped in there. Hard choices happen every day in war as well. For the most part, these choices are recognized as necessary though much heartache has resulted.
Okay, so as I understand you have not dropped your original argument and are attempting another. I still do not see how that argument applies to the specific situation I described. I understand it to be something like this:
"I see you have a broken leg and you want me to call for help. But you must understand people in authority must make hard choices, such as saving a mother caught in a burning car or her child. Such hard choices happend every day. Therefore I will not call for help but leave you alone to die from exposure".
Suppose I used that explanation for my inaction. Would you think I was being reasonable? Would you accept it as a valid excuse for my inaction, naturally assuming I was making a "hard choice" of some kind and this was the more loving option? More importantly, what "hard choices" do you have in mind in my specific example? As I see it, it is a very, very easy choice to make...
I said I would help someone in need.
Cofty: May I propose "Retreat to vague, general statements about some forms of evil and mans inability to do good" as a sub-category to the mystery card?
PelicanBeach: I know you would, and so would I.
We are discussing the moral of NOT helping someone in need. The reasons one could possibly have for not helping in the specific situation.
I only claim I cannot see valid reasons for not calling for help. Can you? If not, we agree.
"I only claim I cannot see valid reasons for not calling for help. Can you? If not, we agree."
Yes, I would agree.
Cooking and eating - later!
Thanks, Cofty. What are you cooking? I am a bit of a foodie so I tend to cook quite a bit myself.
Since I want to contribute to this thread, I will add that I have noticed a running commentary along the lines "well, science doesn't know everything and we are not looking at the big picture" or "there is a plan God has, we just have to wait and see".
It seems that matches rather nicely with Cofty's point 15, I think, of "it's a mystery", but with just a dash of false equivalency. In the theological argument, there is no and can be no attempt to objectively solve the mystery. It's like waiting on an answer from a parent on why dinner is late when no one can see or hear the parent, there is no smell of food cooking and cupboard is bare. We (in the sense of those making that particular argument) are simply sure there is a parent and food will be here at some point and even if some people starve, well, there will be a good reason for it.
It's a false equivalency because mysteries in reality, when approached from a scientific standpoint, are NOT treated as "wait and see", but rather treated as something to be solved with proof for all to see. Investigations happens, facts are collated and analyzed and tests are performed. There would never be a wait and see approach, but rather an approach of "well, let's go see what's in cupboard, if there are pots and pans, things we can cook, oh look, we have ingredients for pudding, let's make that and feed everyone". We see this today in things like flu vaccinations where natural causes have killed millions, yet science has provided, not a perfect solution, but a way to save millions, we see those claiming "It's a mystery" happily partaking of the advances and answers that they claim we should just wait and see what the answer is, or that it's a mystery.
It's a false equivalency because it's an attempt to say the position of "it's a mystery/wait and see" is equal to "hey, let's go find out!", when they very are not equal.
It's as if, after being presented with and eating the pudding made by their fellow man who refused the "wait and see" approach, the very pudding they claim will come from an unknown parent at an unknown time, they deny that the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Okay now we are getting somewhere :-). Suppose I claimed I was the most moral person on earth, but I at the same time left the person to die in the forrest.
Would me leaving the person to die in the forrest lead you to conclude I was (with very high probability) not the most moral person on earth? (ie. you would be far more sceptical of that claim than you might be of other reasons?)