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"There's simply no polite way to tell people they've dedicated their lives to an illusion" Dennet on Religion


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Showing 76-100 of 415 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2013 15:25:28 BDT
Tom M says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2013 15:48:35 BDT
Tom M says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2013 16:06:26 BDT
Tom M says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2013 16:08:48 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Nothing, since he doesn't exist.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2013 16:10:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 May 2013 16:14:51 BDT
Dan Fante says:
But did god create evil? Only, according to the Bible he did. With that in mind, why?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2013 16:18:25 BDT
Drew Jones says:
"This is what the argument from the existence of evil boils down to. God cannot create anything limited or imperfect. God can only create God to avoid the charge."
Well anything less is a failure of omnipotence and begs the questions of why God didn't want an equal.

"To start of course, what does God owe you?"
It's not a case of what he owes us but what standards the conclusion of omnipotence and benevolence demands of him.

Posted on 2 May 2013 16:20:05 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 May 2013 16:20:46 BDT
Bellatori says:
"To start of course, what does God owe you?" Why would a non-existent being owe me anything. It is a false premise.

The problem that you have Paul, is that even the best theologians for Christianity in two thousand years have failed to satisfactorily solve the problem of 'Whence came Evil'. You like to quote Plato (did not even think about the topic, that was left to Epicurus and look what his answer was.) and then Aquinas. The latter did not solve the problem which is why Father Molino had a go. He failed also which is why for the last thirty years a neo-molinist group have been trying to find that elusive answer. After 2k years the best minds have failed. What does that tell you?

Even those who have come close to what they believe is an answer all follow the same path. They have to weaken one of Gods attributes. In essence they have admitted that you cannot have an omniscient, omnipotent and benificent God AND have evil.Now of the three atributes it would be difficult to convince the congreagation that their God is not actually all-powerfull or actually kindly. They would leave in droves. So the path that Aquinas, Molino and others have all taken is to weaken the omniscient power slightly and talk about contingent knowledge. The truth, as they have found for all that time, is that this is a crock. Simply an artifice to reconcile the irreconcileable. But have a go. I am sure you can come up with a cut and paste answer. I have read a number. They all use clever word smithing but when you look, underneath it all the same issue prevails. He cannot be an all knowing God. Frankly the Gnostics had a better shot at reconciliation but look at what happened to the Valentinians.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2013 16:33:12 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 May 2013 16:34:37 BDT
Kleist says:
Dear Tom M

That's a bit long but I'll try my best.

'You had to just shift things a little and change entirely the flavor and intent of my comments so you could throw in moral depravity.
A cheap trick. An immoral trick.'

I'm full of them!

'And you just twist the points a little so that you avoid the issues and indulge your personal animus.'

I'm always doing that Tom, people always say so.

'To restate the obvious, no atheist. No person who denies a purposeful creation can speak coherently about right or wrong. If there is no objective purpose to reality, then there can be no right or wrong.'

I see, this is restating the obvious is it? Well apart from the fact that it is not obvious at all, it is also obviously not true. And I can't imagine anybody but a complete imbecile thinking it true.

On the other hand what you said in your other post was: 'one cannot speak of principles that apply to atheists of course.' A wholly different claim 'of course', just as false, still not a matter of course and certainly not equivalent to your 'restatement.'

'You are familiar enough with the inadequacies of the long extinguished 'argument from evil', to know that it doesn't hold any water at all. Everybody knows this.'

I'm afraid I'm not, they must have passed me by when I was sleeping. Would you like to share them? Or is it only for the initiated?

'Evil, as should be fairly obviously, does not even have a positive existence but is always as Saint Augustine observed, the absence of a good that shoud be there, for instance the good of coherence in argument.'

(If it should be there, why isn't it?)

Oh yes, it's perfectly obvious that the holocaust, rape, murder, genocide, the gulags etc. do not constitute a positive existence. The Nazi's weren't evil when they murdered millions, just lacking in good. What hideous theodicy! What sick indifference!

'And you want to paint me, indeed you do paint me as someone who blithley accepts the deaths of children etc etc. despite the failure of this tactical diversion.'

I only put the gloss on, you did a good job of the undercoat.

'The free will defence; that God has raised intelligent life within the cosmic dust of this intelligibly ordered universe, the only one for which there is evidence is a wonder and good that is undeniable.'

The free will defence is about as much use against genocide and world poverty as saying sorry to someone when you've accidently killed their child. (Could have chosen not to cross the road. Not my fault).

'But finally, you do not address my point. The atheist position criticizes God for not creating something infinite. So creating anything finite disproves the goodness of God.'

How can an atheist criticise God for not creating something infinite? The atheist doesn't believe there is...........I can't be bothered to finish this sentence, you're obviously an idiot.

'I will leave it to others to consider how rational that is.'

Please do. It might take a while.

Can't be bothered with the other worn bow string. You obviously know nothing about philosophy. Try reading Wittgenstein's response to Frege. I could do with a laugh.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2013 16:40:59 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 May 2013 16:41:53 BDT
Bellatori says:
Hi Anthony, by now you have seen my short comment about 'Whence came Evil'.

Though mainly discreditted by main stream theologians there is the alternative strategy which Paul Boire mentions which is simply to deny there is such a thing as evil. In the past when the RCC was doing most of the slaughtering this was easy to put across but the Holocaust rather put an end to that Theological argument. It was the fact that some evil was justified as a natural occurence in the world to 'test our metal' as it were that the argument got some support but in the face of Pol Pot or the Holocaust where the evil is palpably excessive this stance has been quietly buried. Only a complete philosophical idiot wuld try and resurrect it.

[EDIT] PS enjoyed your post. Paul is fun to play with but after a while it seems a bit cruel, like shooting fish in a barrel.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2013 16:43:17 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Anthony- thank-you for a much needed laugh.

Posted on 2 May 2013 16:48:08 BDT
Presumably God did create himself. Should've stopped while he was a head

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2013 22:47:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 May 2013 22:48:47 BDT
Dr HotFXMan says:
Drivel - especially the bit about "Divine Harmonies".

Sorry, kraka, but you are hopelessly, tragically deluded.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2013 22:56:25 BDT
kraka says:
Ian Maxwell hi,

Greetings Ian and many thanks for your interesting post.

Best wishes and take care, with regards.............................kraka

In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2013 00:30:46 BDT
Tom M says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2013 00:36:14 BDT
Tom M says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2013 00:57:20 BDT
Tom M says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2013 06:58:10 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 May 2013 09:27:41 BDT
Drew Jones says:
"Drew. Nice to see some actual content for a change."
Nice to see that concession but I doubt it will last long and suspect it is just a tactical admission to avoid others pointing out that pretending no one can question you is all you've got.

"So for God to create anything is a failure. By what standard?"
By eqivocation. You didn't say this originally, I didn't respond to anything like it or inject such and idea into the conversation. You're struggling already so having to reframe my comments to better your chances. Very poor 'Tom'.

"As I point out, the absurdity intellectually , if not emotionally, which is another matter, and not to at all dismiss either the reality or fact of evil, a consequence of this claim of God's deficiency is that God could create nothing and remain all good or all powerful."
With the first mistaken and dishonest paragraph you're done and back to moaning no one is smart enough. You don't show things 'Tom', your opinion pieces are just that, a commentary on how you need to see things to comfortably live your life.

"This makes no obvious sense at all."
You're right the debate you're now having with some imagined post that has no quotes from me but entirely new claims from you is preposterous on so many levels.

"As to my other question as to what God owes you, it of course goes to the core of the argument or reasonableness of the question itself."
Not really since it's only with Catholic dogma you reframe it, not with any logic or ethics that you might consider a the same question with a different entity in the position of power. What does the person who created the company you work for owe their employees? Does a head of state have no duty to their populous? Are we to be satisfied with whatever comes our way from them? I think not, and I think you don't think so either yet your readjust such considerations for your religion - that's how much it's affected your thinking and morals. We are not having a debate, no one can with you, you have your position and that's that - it's going to be shouted back regardless of it's merit or soundness, all anyone can do it show it up to others.

"If you have no claim for anything, then you have no basis for calling anything evil in any moral sense."
Is this another of your confused ideas taken from your faulty assumption that atheism = nihilism? I think so, so we'll just leave it there.

"And indeed you do not."
If it makes you feel better and gets you through the arguement 'Tom' you do that. Don't tell us that we don't understand stuff though, that's when your own self-deception becomes lying to others and that's just not on.

Posted on 3 May 2013 07:17:15 BDT
Kleist says:
No reply to me? I have to confess I'm a bit disappointed.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2013 07:22:27 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 May 2013 07:28:42 BDT
Drew Jones says:
You're welcome to borrow my reply as if it was your's, just swap my name out. It won't be related to anything you said but I found that problem too.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2013 07:55:04 BDT
Kleist says:
Thanks Drew. You're very generous. But I'd be hard put to improve on your response.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2013 09:30:55 BDT
Dan Fante says:
I don't know how he did but Isaiah says he did. I don't believe that, personally, but I assumed you might go along with that. If you don't agree with the Bible either, that's ok. I'm not sure how that would tie in with an all-powerful deity though but, since I don't believe in one, that's not really my concern.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2013 10:32:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 May 2013 10:33:12 BDT
Bellatori says:
"If you wish to take my argument to be asking why a non-existent being would owe you anything, then may I suggest that you continue arguing with yourself. " You asked a pointless question and it got exactly the answer it deserved. Why would I, as an atheist, ever think 'God' owed me anything?

"If you want to jump into a discussion, specifically my claim that God could not create anything and remain God if your beef were reasonable then by all means do so." More accurately you are responding to my question for theists, specifically monotheists, 'Whence cam Evil', so welcome aboard! I am, more in hope than expectation, going to assume that you can actually manage a discussion on this topic.

You are right about Aquinas. I am surprised you even mention him as,had he solved the problem there would be no need for Father Molino or the later neo-molinists of the last thirty years. However, as you say, that is for later.

You want a definition of evil... I am sure you must have looked at Wiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil

It start off with 'Evil is profound immorality'. I rather like this definition. I hope that your response is not simply going to be a quibble of the sort 'What do you mean by immorality?'.

Maybe it would be easier to agree on some examples of evil to save pointless nit picking over semantics. Would you agree that the following represent 'great or profound evils'?

Bubonic plague - killed millions in the 14th (?) century. Wiped out 25% of humanity.
Famine in Ethiopia - described on BBC as a famine of biblical proportion.
The Holocaust - murder of 6 million+ Jews, Gypsies, Communists and others.

The list does not have to be extensive.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2013 10:36:50 BDT
C. A. Small says:
You could have had the Catholic led rape and genocide of the native Americans in South America.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2013 10:40:32 BDT
Bellatori says:
Maybe so but why be needlessly provocative. I am not holding out much in the way of hope and I am betting it will subside into repeated ad hominem attacks but let's give him yet another chance!?

In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2013 10:48:23 BDT
C. A. Small says:
My money is on the following words appearing (but not in any coherent format)-

Feser, Aristotle, Dawkins, dumb atheists, Aquinas, materialism is stupid, Catholicism is common sense.
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  44
Total posts:  415
Initial post:  30 Apr 2013
Latest post:  28 May 2013

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