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-   -   When Does Religion Become Just Silly? (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=341273)

Thor 2 30th December 2019 02:53 PM

When Does Religion Become Just Silly?
 
I can accept the notion of a god, however you define it, as being involved in creation. I don't entirely discount the possibility what's more, although I think it most unlikely.

The notion of a caring god, who takes great interest in our activities, I find much harder to accept. This not only because the god seemingly prefers not to intervene in our favour, and keeps itself invisible, but because the purpose behind our creation eludes me.

When we progress to the notion of a god who creates perfect beings, (angels and us), who then turn out to be not perfect, (which is somehow there own fault), then you've lost me altogether.

So then we go still further, to notions of a place of eternal torment, where hapless souls suffer for eternity, just because they don't believe in the the secretive god.

I mean it just gets sillier and sillier.

I think that Ame Perdue said it best in the New Rubaiyat:

"But still I hear the Wrangling Sects proclaim
Their Paradises and their Seas of Flame,
Their Holy Ghosts and mystic Trinities.
With no degree of Intellectual Shame."

Yes "Intellectual Shame" is what's missing.

8enotto 30th December 2019 10:58 PM

Correct. Accept the illogical for a hope of something greater than raw reality.

Find a leader when you cannot find your own way through life seems to be a popular choice too.

Roger Ramjets 31st December 2019 01:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12938431)
I can accept the notion of a god, however you define it, as being involved in creation. I don't entirely discount the possibility what's more, although I think it most unlikely.

The notion of a caring god, who takes great interest in our activities, I find much harder to accept.

If you can accept a God, why not a caring God?

Accepting the notion of a God at all is by far the biggest hurdle. The rest is easy. This God will of course have human characteristics, including a desire to take an interest in and 'care' about other beings, just like we do. If it didn't then how could it be differentiated from an uncaring universe?

Quote:

This not only because the god seemingly prefers not to intervene in our favour, and keeps itself invisible, but because the purpose behind our creation eludes me.
The reason God doesn't intervene in our favor is blindingly obvious, but if we are to accept the notion of a God then we have to discount the obvious. Once we do there are plenty of reasons that make sense.

To start off with, how you define 'favor'? If there is a Heaven waiting for us then wouldn't the best 'favor' a caring God could do for us is hasten our arrival there? Yet many people might find that idea a bit disturbing.

And what to do when one person's wishes impinge upon another's? Better to intervene as little as possible so people have the freedom to make their own way in the world, rather than relying on supernatural handouts.

As for the purpose of it all, just because it eludes you doesn't mean there isn't one. I bet there are a million things you don't know the purpose of, yet you don't deny that they exist.

Quote:

When we progress to the notion of a god who creates perfect beings, (angels and us), who then turn out to be not perfect, (which is somehow there own fault), then you've lost me altogether.
The Bible says that man was created 'in the image of God'. But just like a photocopy is a not a perfect duplicate of the original, we a not a perfect image of God. In fact the idea that we would be is silly.

As for the angels, if they are lesser than God then they cannot be as wise, and therefore may be be subject to errors of judgement just like us. And again, nowhere in the Bible does it say that the angels were created perfect.

But how does that square with the notion of a perfect god? Surely if God is perfect then He cannot create anything but perfection? But who gets to define perfection? Certainly not us. One thing is for sure though. If the Bible is correct then God created angels with independent minds, and since those minds are lesser than God's they must be less capable of avoiding error. This is simple logic, and to think otherwise would be silly.

Quote:

So then we go still further, to notions of a place of eternal torment, where hapless souls suffer for eternity, just because they don't believe in the the secretive god.
According to the Christian Bible unrepentant sinners are sent to Hell to be destroyed, so it is a place of (almost) eternal torment. But the torment is of their own making, as they contemplate their crimes while being forever separated from God. It is this separation and knowledge of their unavoidable destruction that torments them.

This concept should not be foreign to you - after all we do it to people on Death Row. We don't torment them either, but they are still tormented.

Quote:

I mean it just gets sillier and sillier.
Does it? Or is it all just the logical extension of accepting the notion of a God in the first place?

A non-caring God without a consciousness like ours might as well be a rock (or whatever scientists think was the origin of the 'Big Bang'). If it created everything 'perfect' then we would not exist as independent minds free to make our own decisions (and mistakes). A caring God would not torment us by letting those who sinned against us go unpunished. This is all perfectly logical once you accept the notion of a God.

Different religions have different ideas, some of which are a bit wacky. But the concepts that have evolved in major religions mostly have good reasons for being there. Take the 'God' bits out of the Bible for example, and it is full of practical advice, cautionary tales and sensible laws that have served our civilization for centuries - as well as being a good read for historical fantasy buffs.

psionl0 31st December 2019 02:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12938431)
The notion of a caring god, who takes great interest in our activities, I find much harder to accept. This not only because the god seemingly prefers not to intervene in our favour, and keeps itself invisible, but because the purpose behind our creation eludes me.

When we progress to the notion of a god who creates perfect beings, (angels and us), who then turn out to be not perfect, (which is somehow there own fault), then you've lost me altogether.

The Logical Problem of Evil explores the concept of God and Evil in great depth from a logical view point.

One line of reasoning goes like this: God created humans to have free will (not controllable by God otherwise they would just be bots). If this is true then
- Humans must have the ability to make evil choices.
- Humans must have the opportunity to make evil choices.
- Humans must have the temptation to make evil choices.

This is not proof of anything. It is just an alternative to the bible.

rjh01 31st December 2019 03:50 AM

Must remember those that believe in God have major issues. They need a security blanket, so they use God as one. The rest does not matter.

abaddon 31st December 2019 04:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
If you can accept a God, why not a caring God?

Because now one would find oneself in the position of claiming attributes for an entity that one has failed to demonstrate.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
Accepting the notion of a God at all is by far the biggest hurdle.

A hurdle which has never been surmounted by anyone, ever.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
The rest is easy.

Of course it is. Making up fictional attributes for a fictional entity is trivial. That is why fiction exists.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
This God will of course have human characteristics,

Why should it? Exactly how did you determine which characteristics this "god" may or may not have? Just how limited and weak is this "god" you propose?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
including a desire to take an interest in and 'care' about other beings, just like we do.

The claimed god/s are not human at all. None of them. Why should any of them have human characteristics?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
If it didn't then how could it be differentiated from an uncaring universe?

Quite easily.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
The reason God doesn't intervene in our favor is blindingly obvious,

Is it? Then why do billions of god-botherers believe the exact opposite?
Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
but if we are to accept the notion of a God then we have to discount the obvious. Once we do there are plenty of reasons that make sense.

Sure. We can simply make them up out of convenience. Lucky us.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
To start off with, how you define 'favor'? If there is a Heaven waiting for us then wouldn't the best 'favor' a caring God could do for us is hasten our arrival there? Yet many people might find that idea a bit disturbing.

Correct, which gave rise to Andrea yates, Jim Jones, Heavens Gate and so on.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
And what to do when one person's wishes impinge upon another's? Better to intervene as little as possible so people have the freedom to make their own way in the world, rather than relying on supernatural handouts.

Then you have a problem because that makes your caring god totally uncaring.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
As for the purpose of it all, just because it eludes you doesn't mean there isn't one.

Either you are claiming that YOU know what that purpose is, in which case you must demonstrate it. Or you don't know either, in which case it is useless o claim that there might be some purpose, maybe, somehow.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
I bet there are a million things you don't know the purpose of, yet you don't deny that they exist.

Because those can be demonstrated to exist. A test god fails every time.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
The Bible says that man was created 'in the image of God'. But just like a photocopy is a not a perfect duplicate of the original, we a not a perfect image of God. In fact the idea that we would be is silly.

How did you determine the limitations of gods power?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
As for the angels, if they are lesser than God then they cannot be as wise, and therefore may be be subject to errors of judgement just like us. And again, nowhere in the Bible does it say that the angels were created perfect.

Kindly demonstrate the existence of "angels". Until you do so, all you have is fan fiction created out of whole cloth.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
But how does that square with the notion of a perfect god? Surely if God is perfect then He cannot create anything but perfection?

He could be a total bastard. You have no way to tell.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
But who gets to define perfection? Certainly not us.

Yet here you are defining it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
One thing is for sure though. If the Bible is correct then God created angels with independent minds, and since those minds are lesser than God's they must be less capable of avoiding error.

Faulty premises lead to faulty conclusions. Syllogistic logic 101.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
This is simple logic, and to think otherwise would be silly.

Stick in false premises, get out faulty conclusions. Again syllogistic logic 101.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
According to the Christian Bible unrepentant sinners are sent to Hell to be destroyed, so it is a place of (almost) eternal torment.

Nope.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
But the torment is of their own making, as they contemplate their crimes while being forever separated from God.

Nope.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
It is this separation and knowledge of their unavoidable destruction that torments them.

Nope.
All of that is tacked on post hoc rationalisation.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
This concept should not be foreign to you - after all we do it to people on Death Row. We don't torment them either, but they are still tormented.

Which is why most of the rest of us have got rid of the death penalty. It is religion that provokes the US to retain it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
Does it? Or is it all just the logical extension of accepting the notion of a God in the first place?

Sure. Accept the magic sky fairy. Then you can simply make up whatever you want.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
A non-caring God without a consciousness like ours might as well be a rock (or whatever scientists think was the origin of the 'Big Bang').

Who are you to place limitations and constraints on the consciousness of "god"?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
If it created everything 'perfect' then we would not exist as independent minds free to make our own decisions (and mistakes). A caring God would not torment us by letting those who sinned against us go unpunished. This is all perfectly logical once you accept the notion of a God.

So your caring god doesn't care about some people.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
Different religions have different ideas, some all of which are a bit wacky.

FTFY.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
But the concepts that have evolved in major religions mostly have good reasons for being there.

Yup. Accumulation of secular power.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
Take the 'God' bits out of the Bible for example, and it is full of practical advice, cautionary tales and sensible laws that have served our civilization for centuries

Really? Don't eat shellfish? Bats are birds? Snakes and donkeys can talk? Don't wear clothing of mixed fibres? Slavery is morally fine? Rape victims must marry their attacker? Incest is a good thing? Genocide is OK? Human sacrifice is a good thing?
Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
- as well as being a good read for historical fantasy buffs.

Fantasy being the operative word.

P.J. Denyer 31st December 2019 04:37 AM

Aside from the myriad other problems with any god-concept, I couldn't believe in any god that is universal and takes a special interest in humanity. The universe is too big, a scientist doesn't study a microbe by putting it in Lake Eyrie.

The Great Zaganza 31st December 2019 04:51 AM

Both Scientology and Mormonism are supremely silly, yet very successful in their own way.

Darat 31st December 2019 06:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12938796)
The Logical Problem of Evil explores the concept of God and Evil in great depth from a logical view point.



One line of reasoning goes like this: God created humans to have free will (not controllable by God otherwise they would just be bots). If this is true then

- Humans must have the ability to make evil choices.

- Humans must have the opportunity to make evil choices.

- Humans must have the temptation to make evil choices.



This is not proof of anything. It is just an alternative to the bible.

Of course that fails for the abrahamic religions as their god did create people that did not know good nor evil, in other words their god created automata to praise their creator.

DuvalHMFIC 31st December 2019 06:04 AM

I have had an interesting look into the minds of believers over the last 5 weeks or so. Long story short, I finally realized I had a drinking problem and, despite the fact that it's a spiritual group, I went to Alcoholics Anonymous. I actually like the fellowship, so to speak. But the God thing is a bridge too far. I think I'm just too logical. God is going to help me stay sober, right? Meanwhile, ten minutes ago some 6 year old kid just got kidnapped, raped, and killed. My feeble mind simply cannot reconcile these two ideas.

They even try to cover their tracks by telling you that you can "believe in god however you see fit" or something like that. And maybe it's different in other areas, but out of the 30 some odd people at the group I attend, every last one of them is a Christian. Sure, I hear stories of how others showed up agnostic, there's even a chapter in the Big Book, "We the Agnostics." But at the end of the day, you have to give yourself over to this higher power or, I'm told, you can't stop drinking.

Like I said, the fellowship is great. I DO benefit from hearing others talk about their successes and failures in sobriety. But that higher power stuff, it just makes me cringe. What next? Santa Claus is going to leave me sobriety under the Christmas Tree?

Darat 31st December 2019 06:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza (Post 12938833)
Both Scientology and Mormonism are supremely silly, yet very successful in their own way.

The only reason we don't view the abrahamic religions as equally silly as all the other religions is simply familiarity.

psionl0 31st December 2019 06:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 12938856)
Of course that fails for the abrahamic religions as their god did create people that did not know good nor evil, in other words their god created automata to praise their creator.

I would have thought that the fruit from the tree that gives knowledge of good and evil fitted that theory like a glove.

timhau 31st December 2019 06:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza (Post 12938833)
Both Scientology and Mormonism are supremely silly, yet very successful in their own way.

Same with catholicism. If in doubt, visit the relic wing of a well-stocked medieval cathedral treasury.

Bikewer 31st December 2019 06:59 AM

I always wondered why a God with the characteristics we commonly give such a being... Omniscience, Omnipotence, etc....
Would bother to create anything?
What would be the point?

Such a being could envision literally anything, and effortlessly bring it into existence with an act of will, and further understand it’s creation’s ultimate destiny down to the last subatomic particle.
So why bother?

Lithrael 31st December 2019 07:08 AM

Personally I just can’t square all the judgement over normal things. I imagine if I had created cats and then wanted them to think they needed my forgiveness for doing things like lazing about and licking themselves and torturing mice, or else risk eternal damnation. Like even if I didn’t like the mouse thing that’s on me, I made predator practice a vital part of being a cat 99% of the time.

In short, suffering seems to be an accident of competitive life, and competitive life, if you wanted to find a purpose for it, seems to be for creating variety. So if I posit a god, I am left assuming it wanted variety and couldn’t or didn’t care to find a way to achieve that without suffering.

Lithrael 31st December 2019 07:48 AM

(Coffee is on)

I guess part of my trouble with many of our religions is they’re far too human centric. I look at the world and if I guess at what a creator would want out of the conditions set, it’s definitely variety in general and not humans in particular, though we’d probably be appreciated for driving a whole bunch of attendant variety.

I think a few people have said before that if humans are the point, it’s kind of odd that a whole heck of a lot of time and space doesn’t have any. Even if we’re supposed to be here to appreciate it all, you’ve got what, a century of popularly accessible naturalism? And only for the bits on our own environs that we can point cameras, telescopes and probes at?

Loss Leader 31st December 2019 07:54 AM

Of course, even to engage in this discussion one must first dismiss as trivial the social aspects of religion, the labor-forming effects of collaboration, and all the other evolutionary advantages it brought the species.

timhau 31st December 2019 08:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lithrael (Post 12938884)
Personally I just canít square all the judgement over normal things. I imagine if I had created cats and then wanted them to think they needed my forgiveness for doing things like lazing about and licking themselves and torturing mice, or else risk eternal damnation. Like even if I didnít like the mouse thing thatís on me, I made predator practice a vital part of being a cat 99% of the time waking hours.

Fixed. Huge difference.

Darat 31st December 2019 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12938866)
I would have thought that the fruit from the tree that gives knowledge of good and evil fitted that theory like a glove.

Nope. We were not meant to eat that.

Lithrael 31st December 2019 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Loss Leader (Post 12938935)
Of course, even to engage in this discussion one must first dismiss as trivial the social aspects of religion, the labor-forming effects of collaboration, and all the other evolutionary advantages it brought the species.

How well it works as a means to an end and how much of it is true are two different discussions. Itís certainly possible to use it to successfully bolster social cohesion and adherence to rules etc.

I mean, itís great if itís helping my local chunk of the world to agree to help the king run the country smoothly but Iím still going to be annoyed when I get set on fire for saying it sounds made up.

JoeMorgue 31st December 2019 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza (Post 12938833)
Both Scientology and Mormonism are supremely silly, yet very successful in their own way.

Scientology and Mormonism are just newer, so they seem sillier.

Magic hat viewing rocks and alien volcano DC-10 ghosts are no crazier then talking Apple tempting snakes, they just haven't saturated our collective conscious as much.

All religions would sound more or less equally absurd if you were hearing them for the first time.

sackett 31st December 2019 10:00 AM

One way out of the Christian conundrum is the notion of a finite god, that is, a god who can't do everything. Maybe even a god who could use our help!

Of course, the idea isn't supported by scripture, which seems to go for making god bigger and even more infinite* all the time. So it would surely be rejected by all abrahamic believers, not just christians.

And yet, the religions of auld lang syne appear to have featured nothing but finite deities, specialized gods who obviously couldn't all, or any of them, be infinite in power. And people were content with that, and muddled along happily (or not) in crowded polytheism, while exercising considerable tolerance toward other's choice of cult.

Something about that finite god notion appeals to me. Not enough to believe in it, natch, but, well, it's my sentimental fave.

*Holy Evangelist, Batman! That's the gospel according to Buzz Lightyear!

psionl0 31st December 2019 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 12939030)
Nope. We were not meant to eat that.

Exactly. Without that tree there would have been no opportunity to make a bad choice and free will would have been moot.

P.J. Denyer 31st December 2019 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12939080)
Exactly. Without that tree there would have been no opportunity to make a bad choice and free will would have been moot.

Unless the tree was there specifically as a test. Of course, since Adam & Eve were supposedly immortal at this point what you have is a test where the only end condition is failure, with punishment for that failure. So kinda sadistic.

BStrong 31st December 2019 10:14 AM

When the snakes asre brandished or the sick are healed.

Meadmaker 31st December 2019 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by abaddon (Post 12938823)
Really? Don't eat shellfish? Bats are birds? Snakes and donkeys can talk? Don't wear clothing of mixed fibres? Slavery is morally fine? Rape victims must marry their attacker? Incest is a good thing? Genocide is OK? Human sacrifice is a good thing?

Shellfish is a pretty bad idea if there's no refrigeration. The word "bird" is just a word to describe animals that can fly and are not insects. Umm....yeah, the donkey and snake thing....well, the idea of miracles in general can save people from despair in a world where it is not uncommon for your children to die with little or no warning. Despair might be the most realistic option available, but it isn't the most useful ...And on and on.

The Bible, Judaism/Islam/Christianity worked. The practitioners of the Abrahamic faiths spread, because those faiths provided something to bronze age and medieval minds. They were useful.


I think sometimes people of our age don't really grasp just how incredibly different the world was before contraception and antibiotics.


That being said, keeping to the words of a bronze age book today is just daft, and, even more directly to the OP, yes, sometimes it does get just silly, and specifically in the case of Christianity it goes beyond silly to the bizarre. It's hard to believe that for 2,000 years it was the biggest thing in Europe. God sends down his child (what does that even mean?) to make up for distant ancestors eating fruit is a bit nutty. And yet, if I search my memories, I can recall a time when I thought it made sense.

ynot 31st December 2019 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12938866)
I would have thought that the fruit from the tree that gives knowledge of good and evil [bad] fitted that theory like a glove.

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12939080)
Exactly. Without that tree there would have been no opportunity to make a bad choice and free will would have been moot.

If they had to eat from the tree before they could know what good or evil (bad) even are, how could they possibly make a bad choice before eating from the tree? (that’s a rhetorical question). Might as well punish babies with eternal torture for crapping in their nappies/diapers.

ynot 31st December 2019 11:54 AM

Religions don’t become just silly, they all ARE just silly from the very beginning.

Giordano 31st December 2019 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12939080)
Exactly. Without that tree there would have been no opportunity to make a bad choice and free will would have been moot.

Exactly! God supposedly created evil before creating Adam and Eve and commanded Adam and Eve to not eat the fruit (why create the fruit at all is another puzzle, right?).

So in the absence of knowledge of good and evil Adam and Eve having the free will to choose between them would be moot.

Giordano 31st December 2019 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer (Post 12939089)
Unless the tree was there specifically as a test. Of course, since Adam & Eve were supposedly immortal at this point what you have is a test where the only end condition is failure, with punishment for that failure. So kinda sadistic.

Even worse: a test of naive subjects with no prior understanding that it would be bad to eat of the fruit. What was the point of God commanding them to not eat of the fruit if they did not understand that going against his command was "bad."

ynot 31st December 2019 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Loss Leader (Post 12938935)
Of course, even to engage in this discussion one must first dismiss as trivial the social aspects of religion, the labor-forming effects of collaboration, and all the other evolutionary advantages it brought the species.

What you claim are the "social aspects of religion" are merely the social aspects of humans. There's nothing good done by religions that can't be done and isn't done without religion (and all it's stupid and harmful baggage).

Riding horses was once very common, might as well claim that one must first dismiss as trivial the social aspects of riding horses, the labor-forming effects of collaboration, and all the other evolutionary advantages it brought the species.

Giordano 31st December 2019 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12939178)
Religions donít become just silly, they all ARE just silly from the very beginning.

^This.

I've always liked the statement that most believers reject all other religions than their one; atheists just add one additional religion to the believer's rejection list.

Giordano 31st December 2019 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Loss Leader (Post 12938935)
Of course, even to engage in this discussion one must first dismiss as trivial the social aspects of religion, the labor-forming effects of collaboration, and all the other evolutionary advantages it brought the species.

The OP focuses on the paranormal aspects of religion. The elements you cite are societal, are unrelated to the truth of of the paranormal aspects, and I submit belong in a different discussion. Notably many different religions propose very different paranormal dogmas yet nonetheless fully serve the social aspects of religion you site.

JoeMorgue 31st December 2019 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Giordano (Post 12939194)
^This.

I've always liked the statement that most believers reject all other religions than their one; atheists just add one additional religion to the believer's rejection list.

That's why I bristle whenever Scientology and Mormonism get dismissed with "Well obviously those two are silly."

No... they really aren't. Not comparatively. They are about average. They are just newer.

And yes this does work both ways. All you horoscope wearing, "Oh I'm not religious... i'M sPIrITuAL!" salt of the Earth hippies are held to the same rules.

Captain_Swoop 31st December 2019 01:24 PM

It's always been silly

abaddon 31st December 2019 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Giordano (Post 12939185)
Exactly! God supposedly created evil before creating Adam and Eve and commanded Adam and Eve to not eat the fruit (why create the fruit at all is another puzzle, right?).

So in the absence of knowledge of good and evil Adam and Eve having the free will to choose between them would be moot.

Correct. Adam and Eve didn't know it was wrong to eat from that tree until after they had eaten from it. Original sin is moot as it can only be an intentional act of the deity to curse them no matter what.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Giordano (Post 12939189)
Even worse: a test of naive subjects with no prior understanding that it would be bad to eat of the fruit. What was the point of God commanding them to not eat of the fruit if they did not understand that going against his command was "bad."

Because it provides a framework for a priesthood to gain power over others. Command everyone to be sick, then hold out the lure of a cure. For the sickness you made up in the first place.

Thor 2 31st December 2019 03:10 PM

I think that abaddon did a good job in answering the following so will just confine myself to responding to the sillier bits.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12938776)
If you can accept a God, why not a caring God?

Accepting the notion of a God at all is by far the biggest hurdle. The rest is easy. This God will of course have human characteristics, including a desire to take an interest in and 'care' about other beings, just like we do. If it didn't then how could it be differentiated from an uncaring universe?

Well I think I answered the question of why not a caring god with my comment about it not interfering when all kinds of nasty stuff is happening. A bolt of lightening or two zapping child molesting priests would be a good start.

Quote:

The reason God doesn't intervene in our favor is blindingly obvious, but if we are to accept the notion of a God then we have to discount the obvious. Once we do there are plenty of reasons that make sense.

To start off with, how you define 'favor'? If there is a Heaven waiting for us then wouldn't the best 'favor' a caring God could do for us is hasten our arrival there? Yet many people might find that idea a bit disturbing.
This is a bit of a jumble but here goes.

The Abrahamic god of the OT did lots of intervening but grew tired of it it seems. He did chat directly with some people using props like burning bushes and such also. He stopped doing this also, (some who hear voices in their heads my dispute this), good while ago. If the god you are referring to is this one then the "blindingly obvious" is now but not then?:confused:


Quote:

As for the purpose of it all, just because it eludes you doesn't mean there isn't one. I bet there are a million things you don't know the purpose of, yet you don't deny that they exist.
It's obvious our minds work somewhat differently.

I don't look for a purpose for every phenomena I come across. This would be nonsensical for me given I think all phenomena just happened and wasn't made by a god. If you start off with the assumption that God did it it's reasonable to look for a purpose. So asking what purpose the god of Abraham had in creating man is a reasonable question. Any answer?

Quote:

The Bible says that man was created 'in the image of God'. But just like a photocopy is a not a perfect duplicate of the original, we a not a perfect image of God. In fact the idea that we would be is silly.

As for the angels, if they are lesser than God then they cannot be as wise, and therefore may be be subject to errors of judgement just like us. And again, nowhere in the Bible does it say that the angels were created perfect.
So we were made in Gods image but not a perfect copy?

I suppose the many failings of the human physical body would not look good on God so there would be one exception. I have heard it said we are made spiritually in His image but I have some difficulty with this notion. Our spiritual replication was flawed in the decision making process perhaps? You know by eating the apple - mainly Eve's fault of course.

Quote:

But how does that square with the notion of a perfect god? Surely if God is perfect then He cannot create anything but perfection? But who gets to define perfection? Certainly not us. One thing is for sure though. If the Bible is correct then God created angels with independent minds, and since those minds are lesser than God's they must be less capable of avoiding error. This is simple logic, and to think otherwise would be silly.
I'm glad you're comfortable with this roundabout reasoning. :)

Quote:

According to the Christian Bible unrepentant sinners are sent to Hell to be destroyed, so it is a place of (almost) eternal torment. But the torment is of their own making, as they contemplate their crimes while being forever separated from God. It is this separation and knowledge of their unavoidable destruction that torments them.
Almost eternal now then.

But their crimes will be forgiven if they just believe in Jesus! Wow yes, just like that! Mind you if your geographical location has stopped you from learning about Jesus, or your God given spiritual mind cannot accept this truth, you're stuffed.

Quote:


Snip.

.

Thor 2 31st December 2019 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 12938856)
Of course that fails for the abrahamic religions as their god did create people that did not know good nor evil, in other words their god created automata to praise their creator.


Yes that is a curly one that is.

People who did not know good and evil but did the evil thing that made them aware of good and evil. :confused: Isn't it good we have inspired theologians to make sense of this stuff for us.:)

That praising the creator idea is what occurs to me as the reason for mans creation. God gets off on having lots and lots of people praising Him eternally - or almost eternally Roger? Can't make them perfect enough from scratch, in spite of his omnipotence, so has to test them out in this world to see if they make the grade. Pity about the collateral damage.

Gord_in_Toronto 31st December 2019 04:01 PM

Silly God really can't get much right. After creating the Universe and looking on His work and "seeing it was very good" has to start over by drowning every living thing (almost) shortly thereafter. :rolleyes:

DuvalHMFIC 31st December 2019 04:03 PM

*Eve ate from the tree first. Remember "the wamen" were man's downfall...

abaddon 31st December 2019 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
I think that abaddon did a good job in answering the following so will just confine myself to responding to the sillier bits.

Thanks, but I am no authority. Well, perhaps I have at least some authority as we shall see in the next section.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
Well I think I answered the question of why not a caring god with my comment about it not interfering when all kinds of nasty stuff is happening. A bolt of lightening or two zapping child molesting priests would be a good start.

And that is a moral problem for the god botherers. Is there a man or woman among us who would not prevent a child being raped? I would give my life to stop such a thing. Pretty sure Thor would. Pretty sure many members here would. But god would not. He could, but he refuses to do so. He just watches and tells the perpetrator that he will merely watch as it happens and punish the perp at some later time.

Perhaps god is a perverted voyeur. It seems so. Were either of my children so assaulted, I could not stand by. But bible god could and apparently does. Thus I have higher morals than bible god.

Any bible basher care to explain?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
This is a bit of a jumble but here goes.

It is a jumble.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
The Abrahamic god of the OT did lots of intervening but grew tired of it it seems.

Exactly how did you determine that god got "bored"? Seems more likely that it doesn't exist in the first place.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
He did chat directly with some people using props like burning bushes and such also.

Nope.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
He stopped doing this also,

Yep.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
(some who hear voices in their heads my dispute this), good while ago.

Those are called delusions.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
If the god you are referring to is this one then the "blindingly obvious" is now but not then?:confused:

Simples. The blindingly obvious god is the one that whichever protagonist happens to believe in.

Amusingly, on another forum, there are two muslims arguing. That is how religion works.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
It's obvious our minds work somewhat differently.

Ha. Thank you captain obvious.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
I don't look for a purpose for every phenomena I come across. This would be nonsensical for me given I think all phenomena just happened and wasn't made by a god. If you start off with the assumption that God did it it's reasonable to look for a purpose. So asking what purpose the god of Abraham had in creating man is a reasonable question. Any answer?

Your optimism is admirable.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
So we were made in Gods image but not a perfect copy?

That is a problem for the abrahamic religions. According to the bible, god is of human form, showed his butt to the imaginary moses, cheated at wrestling and so forth. This leaves the believers in a quandary. And they cannot work it out.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
I suppose the many failings of the human physical body would not look good on God so there would be one exception.

Why should there be an exception? Because...
Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
I have heard it said we are made spiritually in His image but I have some difficulty with this notion.

Of course you do because the bible claims the opposite.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
Our spiritual replication was flawed in the decision making process perhaps? You know by eating the apple - mainly Eve's fault of course.

What a bitch, I suppose. Blame her, why not?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12939370)
But their crimes will be forgiven if they just believe in Jesus! Wow yes, just like that! Mind you if your geographical location has stopped you from learning about Jesus, or your God given spiritual mind cannot accept this truth, you're stuffed.

Well, as an atheist, I can do whatever I like. But if I have a deathbed conversion, I go straight to heaven, no questions asked no matter what I might have done in the past.

Justice simply does not exist in christianity.

Giordano 31st December 2019 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto (Post 12939437)
Silly God really can't get much right. After creating the Universe and looking on His work and "seeing it was very good" has to start over by drowning every living thing (almost) shortly thereafter. :rolleyes:

And you think he would have foreseen that, wouldn't you? Being omniscient and all. He even missed out at the very beginning when Adam and Eve ate the fruit of knowledge. Why did he even bother to tell them not to when he knew they would? To quote Bugs Bunny - "What a maroon!"

Giordano 31st December 2019 04:31 PM

BTW: if I was a believer I would honor Eve with the highest reward I could! Eating of the fruit of knowledge was the event that made humans who we are and presumably different from other animals. Plus the willingness to defy authority unwilling to provide a rationale for their commands. Secondary credit to the snake of course.

Thor 2 31st December 2019 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza (Post 12938833)
Both Scientology and Mormonism are supremely silly, yet very successful in their own way.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 12938862)
The only reason we don't view the abrahamic religions as equally silly as all the other religions is simply familiarity.


Well I do agree with you to a large extent Darat, but there are some issues with the origins of of Scientology and Mormonism, that speak loudly about the apparent gullibility of the followers.

The founder of Scientology apparently just extending his science fiction mythology, and Joseph Smith coming from a background of story telling and fraud as I understand it.

Thor 2 31st December 2019 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Giordano (Post 12939488)
BTW: if I was a believer I would honor Eve with the highest reward I could! Eating of the fruit of knowledge was the event that made humans who we are and presumably different from other animals. Plus the willingness to defy authority unwilling to provide a rationale for their commands. Secondary credit to the snake of course.


Praise be to the snake who became legless for his trouble.

psionl0 31st December 2019 07:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer (Post 12939089)
Unless the tree was there specifically as a test. Of course, since Adam & Eve were supposedly immortal at this point what you have is a test where the only end condition is failure, with punishment for that failure. So kinda sadistic.

Typical. The logical question is "can you have free will if there is no opportunity to exercise it"?

But who cares about logic when you can judge God instead?

ynot 31st December 2019 07:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12939615)
Typical. The logical question is "can you have free will if there is no opportunity to exercise it"?

But who cares about logic when you can judge God instead?

You really think that's logic!!!???.

The logical question is "Can you exercise free will to choose between good and bad if there is no knowledge of good and bad with which to exercise it"?

But who cares about logic when you can judge Atheists instead?

That Atheists can't judge what they don't think exists is yet another logical point that seems to elude you.

psionl0 31st December 2019 07:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12939626)
The logical question is "Can you exercise free will to choose between good or bad if there is no knowledge of good or bad with which to exercise it"?

They weren't vegetables. They still had the ability to make a choice. They were given the warning that if they ate the fruit then they would "surely die". They didn't have to know that it was good or evil to reject that warning to exercise a choice.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12939626)
That we can't judge what we don't think exists is yet another logical point for you.

Yet you judge away anyhow.

ynot 31st December 2019 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12939634)
They weren't vegetables. They still had the ability to make a choice. They were given the warning that if they ate the fruit then they would "surely die". They didn't have to know that it was good or evil to reject that warning to exercise a choice.

And that warning in the fairy story was a lie. It wasn't merely "surely die", it was "in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die".

So a totally uniformed, uneducated, blind, innocent decision for a purely "because I said so" order that deserved eternal punishment for them and all subsequent humans as well! What a silly fairy story.

Given A and E were made immortal in the fairy story, would they have even understand what "die" meant?

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12939634)
Yet you judge away anyhow.

Sure, but we judge the god beliefs and stories, not gods we don't think exists. Bet you have trouble seeing the difference there.

smartcooky 31st December 2019 08:09 PM

Become silly?


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