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Old 17th June 2022, 05:40 PM   #81
xjx388
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
This is nonsense since we read books and assess who the characters are. Who the villains and the heroes are. Even if it's not clear we make assessments.

The idea that we can't use our own frame of reference is just hand waving away the terrible acts attributed to God.

I can say that if God told me
to kill all the members of a neighboring tribe except the virgin girls that he's awful.
That if he told me to make them my slaves he's awful.
That I could sell my daughters into bondage he's awful.

I don't need to be a wizard or a king to tell me Voldemort and Sauron to know they are bad.


As for Willy Wonka we're not sure about him until the end of the story.

Christians don't view it as a work of fiction. They attempt to run their lives and the lives of others by it.

Well, hold on a minute….

If God tells you to do something, he exists. If he exists, then the Bible is true. You should do what he tells you, even if you consider it awful. If God is telling you to do it, it must serve some purpose and his purposes are by definition good.

I guess you can sit there and question God and tell him he’s awful . . . good luck with that!

You would have to rethink your definitions of good and evil should such a thing come to pass.
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Old 17th June 2022, 05:46 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by p0lka View Post
Boring? On the contrary. It is endlessly fascinating watching theists struggle with those basic insights.
This thread doesn't even offer any of that.

If it's so endlessly fascinating, why are we not being treated to an endless parade of anecdotes about real theists in real conversations with our resident atheists, laying bare their endlessly fascinating struggles with these basic questions?

Why do we instead just get the same old questions, repeated by atheists for atheists, so we can all agree one more time that they are basic?
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Old 17th June 2022, 06:08 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Well it is a boring game. I'm not saying you have to stop playing. I'm just wondering why it's the only game atheists have, and why they can't stop playing it.

Doesn't it ever get old, rediscovering the same basic insights every fledgling atheist discovers?
Are we being unfair in our judgment? What are we atheists missing?

Are you saying that the stories in the Old Testament are false? Do you think that God did not make the Jewish people God's chosen people? That God didn't tell them to take their neighbor's lands? That God didn't tell them to kill their neighbors except for the virgins? That God didn't tell Abraham to kill his son Isaac?

Is there a hell? And do you believe that God will send all those who cannot believe there?
Is that right?

Do you think God told us to own other human beings as property? Do you think homosexuality is an abomination deserving of stoning? Do you think I should kill my bride because her hymen isn't intact on our wedding night? And why isn't there a similar punishment for men?
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Old 17th June 2022, 06:11 PM   #84
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Funny thing, usually when I find a thread boring I don't keep posting in it.
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Old 17th June 2022, 07:33 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
This doesn't dismiss the flood and every other awful thing God did. It doesn't dismiss the flood or killing the firstborn. It doesn't dismiss slavery.. And it doesn't dismiss condemning half the population to eternal torture. You're saying he's a good guy for not condemning us all? Gee thanks. And God makes the rules. If he wants to forgive man, why does he have to send his son to suffer for a few hours?

What difference does it make? God put him in power did he not?
You missed the point. So many parts of the bible directly contradict other parts that they can not all be simultaneously true.

You can choose to believe only the bad parts of the bible to justify your atheism but that doesn't prove that only those parts are true.
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Old 17th June 2022, 07:51 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You missed the point. So many parts of the bible directly contradict other parts that they can not all be simultaneously true.

You can choose to believe only the bad parts of the bible to justify your atheism but that doesn't prove that only those parts are true.
No, I understand that. But outside of forgiveness the main themes in the Bible are terrible. And no where in the Bible is slavery actually contradicted. Neither is homosexuality

Man is punished for seeking knowledge. Why would God do that?
Vicarious Redemption is not a good thing
Hell...Carrot and a stick mentality. And hell isn't for terrible acts. No it's reserved for those that don't believe.
Master slave mentality throughout the Bible
Worship?

Basically, you're saying because there is so much contradiction in the book, you just choose what you like. What fits your own sensibility. So the book doesn’t matter then.
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Old 17th June 2022, 08:29 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Basically, you're saying because there is so much contradiction in the book, you just choose what you like. What fits your own sensibility.
That's pretty much all you are doing.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
So the book doesn’t matter then.
It doesn't (shouldn't) matter to an atheist. A believer would have their own problems: not only does every passage in the bible contradict every other passage but so does every preacher.
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Old 17th June 2022, 09:58 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
It doesn't (shouldn't) matter to an atheist. A believer would have their own problems: not only does every passage in the bible contradict every other passage but so does every preacher.

"The Bible is like a person, in that, if you torture it long enough you can get it to say anything you want it to say"

- Rev Dr. Francis H. Wade - Rector, St Alban's Episcopal Church
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Old 18th June 2022, 04:52 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
...When will the discussion move forward? When will it make progress? When will it evolve? When will you come up with something more novel and insightful than the old "god is the real villain" chestnut?
Yeah! Like, say, participating and contributing to discussion when it turns to arguing ethics from first principles, and not drifting off as soon as original thinking is required? Broadening the discussion to the general case of political and religious absolutism and its inherent fundamental flaws, such that argument is not tailored to simply trashing something, but rather sets about developing useful method and approach? Or most broadly, dealing with the tendency to confuse concept and reality, affecting critical thinking by introducing abstract mental models that are then taken as factual representations?

Didn't think so. Been there, tried that, moved on from the inevitable quote mining and one-liners.
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Old 18th June 2022, 04:58 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
One of the questions I pose to Christians is this.

Who is more evil, God or the Devil? And how did you decide?
Satan being man kinds oldest enemy is deliberately cruel whereas God just sits there watching horrors unfold one after the other and just sits there. IN their own way one is as bad as the other.
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Old 18th June 2022, 05:03 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
Satan being man kinds oldest enemy is deliberately cruel whereas God just sits there watching horrors unfold one after the other and just sits there. IN their own way one is as bad as the other.
Actively evil v passively evil? Fair comment, although this assumes the reality of either for both, for which there is no evidence.
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Old 18th June 2022, 09:44 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And that takes us back to the core problem, it makes no rational sense that, or indeed even how, God somehow has a vastly less powerful archnemesis.
The most internally-consistent take I've seen on this in fiction is God being the devil too. We've already got three personalities rolling around, why not a fourth that serves as a foil to the rest? That lets you keep omniscience and omnipotence, and omnibenevolence skates in on a technicality.
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Old 18th June 2022, 10:21 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Are we being unfair in our judgment? What are we atheists missing?
You're missing making any progress or advancement in your thought. Your judgement isn't unfair. It's just boring in its repetition. Nobody here is even debating with you, but for some reason you keep fringe resetting anyway.

Did you just discover the basic atheist principle that the Christian God is the real bad guy in the Christian mythos? No, of course not. Did anyone else on this forum just discover this, thanks to you? No, of course not. It's a meme that comes up pretty much any time Christianity is mentioned on this forum.

It's not even like you're relating actual personal experiences you have had, real conversations with Christians about their faith. Just dropping the basic gotcha meme like we haven't seen it a million times before.
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Old 18th June 2022, 10:41 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
No, I understand that. But outside of forgiveness the main themes in the Bible are terrible. And no where in the Bible is slavery actually contradicted. Neither is homosexuality

Man is punished for seeking knowledge. Why would God do that?
Vicarious Redemption is not a good thing
Hell...Carrot and a stick mentality. And hell isn't for terrible acts. No it's reserved for those that don't believe.
Master slave mentality throughout the Bible
Worship?

Basically, you're saying because there is so much contradiction in the book, you just choose what you like. What fits your own sensibility. So the book doesn’t matter then.
I've come to pay more attention to belief systems and traditions rather than whatever holy text someone subscribes to. There is a correlation but religious practices don't perfect mirror the text.

The concept of hell introduced later in the NT really does bother me though in a way none of the other things do; there's little someone can say to me to work their way around the idea that a powerful god could threaten any finite living being with eternal punishment. And I believe it feeds this human tendency to want to "purge the bad" from people with gratuitous punishment. People nonchalantly wishing some suspect they saw on Court TV to "rot in hell" is highly disturbing to me. I think Christianity has played a part in normalizing this. And it wasn't Satan's idea.
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Old 18th June 2022, 10:43 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
The most internally-consistent take I've seen on this in fiction is God being the devil too. We've already got three personalities rolling around, why not a fourth that serves as a foil to the rest? That lets you keep omniscience and omnipotence, and omnibenevolence skates in on a technicality.
Well, that's sort of the premise of Gnosticism: that the thing we call God is really a second-rank demiurge, not exactly the devil but not God either - the real god being accessible, of course, only to possessors of the occult knowledge, etc.

And for another amusing take, don't forget Anatole France's The Revolt of the Angels.
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Old 18th June 2022, 11:01 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You're missing making any progress or advancement in your thought. Your judgement isn't unfair. It's just boring in its repetition. Nobody here is even debating with you, but for some reason you keep fringe resetting anyway.

Did you just discover the basic atheist principle that the Christian God is the real bad guy in the Christian mythos? No, of course not. Did anyone else on this forum just discover this, thanks to you? No, of course not. It's a meme that comes up pretty much any time Christianity is mentioned on this forum.

It's not even like you're relating actual personal experiences you have had, real conversations with Christians about their faith. Just dropping the basic gotcha meme like we haven't seen it a million times before.
There is no basic atheist principle other than non-belief in a diety.

I mention christianity since I was a christian and christianity is the most popular religion in the US. I'm also not arguing that God is the real bad guy either.

I'm interested in how people decided that the Devil is bad and God is real. What epistemology did they use? Christians paint the Devil is bad. But why? It can't be based on his bad deeds as they pale in comparison to God's. Is it simply because the Bible says the Devil is bad?
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Old 18th June 2022, 11:17 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'm interested in how people decided that the Devil is bad and God is real. What epistemology did they use? Christians paint the Devil is bad. But why? It can't be based on his bad deeds as they pale in comparison to God's. Is it simply because the Bible says the Devil is bad?
If that's your interest, where's the results? You say you ask Christians about this all the time. Where's the anecdotes relating their answers and reasoning? If that's your interest, why aren't you reporting that part of it?
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Old 18th June 2022, 12:19 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If that's your interest, where's the results? You say you ask Christians about this all the time. Where's the anecdotes relating their answers and reasoning? If that's your interest, why aren't you reporting that part of it?
Like you they won't answer the question. They are taught that God is good and the Devil is bad. And that is that. Still, occasionally an individual will actually consider why they believe what they believe

Why we believe in anything IMV is far more important than what we believe.

For example, one of my favorite YouTube contributors is Professor Nick Zentner. He teaches Geology at Central Washington University. He tells stories about how specific geological landscapes formed. But far more important is that he tells us why he believes the stories. He doesn't expect anyone just to accept his stories. No he presents the reasoning behind the stories.

All I'm doing is asking people to present reasoning. Why do you conclude that God is good? Why do you conclude that the Devil is bad? It's not a difficult question.
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Old 18th June 2022, 01:25 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post

All I'm doing is asking people to present reasoning. Why do you conclude that God is good? Why do you conclude that the Devil is bad? It's not a difficult question.
Exchange between two friends of mine, back in the days when I actually sort of believed:

1st Friend: How do you know God is good?
2nd Friend: Because He wouldn't be God otherwise.

It wasn't all that long before I stopped believing.

And as a strange aside, 1st Friend ended up divorced because he tried to get all Old Testament Patriarch with his wife, and the second ended up working for the BBC - as an engineer...
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Old 18th June 2022, 01:42 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by SteveAitch View Post
Exchange between two friends of mine, back in the days when I actually sort of believed:

1st Friend: How do you know God is good?
2nd Friend: Because He wouldn't be God otherwise.

It wasn't all that long before I stopped believing.

And as a strange aside, 1st Friend ended up divorced because he tried to get all Old Testament Patriarch with his wife, and the second ended up working for the BBC - as an engineer...
It's those kind of answers that frustrate me. "Just because" or "I told you so" has never been a satisfactory reason for me. This is why as a kid I absolutely detested the hymn Yes Jesus loves me. It says "Jesus loves me, this I know, For the Bible tells me so." The circular reasoning is awful.
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Old 18th June 2022, 01:49 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Like you they won't answer the question.
I'm certainly not going to answer the question every single time it's asked.

Quote:
They are taught that God is good and the Devil is bad. And that is that. Still, occasionally an individual will actually consider why they believe what they believe
See, now that would be new and interesting, if you were to actually tell us the tale of a Christian of your acquaintance, who heard your question, thought it over, and then talked to you about what they considered and where it led them. But it sounds like for all your talk about asking this question of Christians, you're not actually talking to any Christians, nor they to you, in any meaningful way.

Quote:
Why we believe in anything IMV is far more important than what we believe.
But you're not actually talking to any Christians about why they believe what they believe.

Quote:
All I'm doing is asking people to present reasoning. Why do you conclude that God is good? Why do you conclude that the Devil is bad? It's not a difficult question.
No, it's not. And the atheist answers you'll get here are already well-known. Why re-hash them? Did you really think this choir was going to sing some new and interesting song, in response to the same old sermon?
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Old 18th June 2022, 01:59 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
This thread doesn't even offer any of that.

If it's so endlessly fascinating, why are we not being treated to an endless parade of anecdotes about real theists in real conversations with our resident atheists, laying bare their endlessly fascinating struggles with these basic questions?

Why do we instead just get the same old questions, repeated by atheists for atheists, so we can all agree one more time that they are basic?
Yeah you're right,
I retract my post as there aren't many theists on this forum so yeah I agree.

swap 'theist' for 'anyone' in my post and I'll stick with that.
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Old 18th June 2022, 04:31 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm certainly not going to answer the question every single time it's asked.
Instead you make a dozen posts why the subject bores you.

I stand by my earlier assessment. The subject threatens your worldview. That, and you don't have a defensible answer.
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Old 18th June 2022, 05:46 PM   #104
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Imaginary beings can't be good nor evil.
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Old 18th June 2022, 05:57 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
Imaginary beings can't be good nor evil.
But fictional ones can, in the pertinent fictions.
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Old 18th June 2022, 06:37 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
I've come to pay more attention to belief systems and traditions rather than whatever holy text someone subscribes to. There is a correlation but religious practices don't perfect mirror the text.
You're right. They don't even come close. People eat shellfish, cheesburgers and pork. All of which are outlawed in the texts of Christianity. The are are more than 600 laws in Leviticus. People today only keep a few of these rules despite that Jesus specifically said he didn't come to set aside these laws.
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Old 18th June 2022, 06:48 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Well, hold on a minute….

If God tells you to do something, he exists.
But God cannot tell anyone to do anything, because He doesn't exist. But even He did...

Quote:
If he exists, then the Bible is true.
Nope. That's like saying Abraham Lincoln existed, therefore Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a documentary.

Quote:
You should do what he tells you, even if you consider it awful.
Nope. You should do what you think is right, not what some lesser Iron Age god tells you to do - especially not the one in the Bible.

Quote:
If God is telling you to do it, it must serve some purpose and his purposes are by definition good.
Who says God is good? Oh yeah, He did. How convenient.

Quote:
I guess you can sit there and question God and tell him he’s awful . . . good luck with that!
I sure would! Probably get Him real angry too...

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You would have to rethink your definitions of good and evil should such a thing come to pass.
Nope. A God like that would reinforce my definitions of good and evil.
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Old 18th June 2022, 07:36 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Well, hold on a minute….

If God tells you to do something, he exists. If he exists, then the Bible is true. You should do what he tells you, even if you consider it awful. If God is telling you to do it, it must serve some purpose and his purposes are by definition good.

I guess you can sit there and question God and tell him he’s awful . . . good luck with that!

You would have to rethink your definitions of good and evil should such a thing come to pass.
I would beg to differ. If God tells you to do something, then you believe he exists, but you could be hallucinating. Crazy people hear voices too. And if you're right, and he does exist, it does not mean that all the stories about him are true. Otherwise you'd have to go along with the Quran and the Book of Mormon, and on and on. And while it is likely a good idea, if God is speaking to you directly, to do what he says, even the Bible itself presents as a viable case an argument with God in which the human arguer (Lot) negotiates with considerable success. Talk about Chutzpah!

I am assuming the question in the thread is concentrated on the Biblical God and Satan, and I think the god depicted by the Bible is a rotter, but I also think that even if there were a "good" god in some alternative system it would take a lot of explaining. I know you can't get an omelette without breaking eggs and all, and we're but the tiniest bit of the vast universe, etc. etc. , but we're knee deep in shells here.
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Old 18th June 2022, 07:45 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Well, hold on a minute….

If God tells you to do something, he exists.
I am unaware that God has told anyone anywhere what to do. The Bible is a book written by men not God.

Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
If he exists, then the Bible is true.
RR points out the fallacy in this.

Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
You should do what he tells you, even if you consider it awful.
That's divine command theory. That's like saying you should obey Hitler. If God told me to kill my own son like the Bible says God told Abraham to do, I'd say "GO TO HELL!" And how do you know if God is not testing your gullibility?
Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
If God is telling you to do it, it must serve some purpose and his purposes are by definition good.
Says who? Look up the Euthrypro dilemma.
Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I guess you can sit there and question God and tell him he’s awful . . . good luck with that!
Well, you're right. If a God exists and he's all powerful he could squash me like a bug. But that only would make God a powerful dictator. It says nothing about how good he is.

Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
You would have to rethink your definitions of good and evil should such a thing come to pass.
Basically, you're saying might makes right.
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Old 18th June 2022, 08:00 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I would beg to differ. If God tells you to do something, then you believe he exists, but you could be hallucinating. Crazy people hear voices too. And if you're right, and he does exist, it does not mean that all the stories about him are true. Otherwise you'd have to go along with the Quran and the Book of Mormon, and on and on. And while it is likely a good idea, if God is speaking to you directly, to do what he says, even the Bible itself presents as a viable case an argument with God in which the human arguer (Lot) negotiates with considerable success. Talk about Chutzpah!
IE:
Andrea Yates who drowned her 5 children
Deanna Laney who stoned her 2 sons to death
Lori Vallow charged with killing her 2 children
LeRoya Moore killed her two children

All of these women were ultra-religious and killed their children because it is what they thought God wanted them to do.
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Old 18th June 2022, 08:36 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
IE:
Andrea Yates who drowned her 5 children
Deanna Laney who stoned her 2 sons to death
Lori Vallow charged with killing her 2 children
LeRoya Moore killed her two children

All of these women were ultra-religious and killed their children because it is what they thought God wanted them to do.
Of course if there really were a god and he really were good he'd welcome our questioning any command that purports to come from him, so we do not fall for delusion, error, and the tricks of Satan. An actual god that was good would have a lot more patience with atheists than with those who attribute horrible sins to him.
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Old 18th June 2022, 09:01 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Of course if there really were a god and he really were good he'd welcome our questioning any command that purports to come from him, so we do not fall for delusion, error, and the tricks of Satan. An actual god that was good would have a lot more patience with atheists than with those who attribute horrible sins to him.
This is my thought.

Christians are assuming that the Bible is the word of God but Christians didn't even begin to believe this until the fourth century. Even if we assume there is a God, what makes anyone believe they know what he/she thinks and wants?
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Old 18th June 2022, 09:42 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
IE:
Andrea Yates who drowned her 5 children
Deanna Laney who stoned her 2 sons to death
Lori Vallow charged with killing her 2 children
LeRoya Moore killed her two children

All of these women were ultra-religious and killed their children because it is what they thought God wanted them to do.

Yes. They were deluded. We know this. We are all pretty much atheists.

In their minds, in their mythology, they were like Abraham. God is good. His purposes are good. Whether or not they are objectively wrong is totally irrelevant.

I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t see them as “evil.” I see them as mentally ill. So caught up in a delusion that they literally couldn’t tell right from wrong. They thought they were doing the right thing.

I don’t really believe in the concepts of good and evil.
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Old 18th June 2022, 09:51 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Yes. They were deluded. We know this. We are all pretty much atheists.

In their minds, in their mythology, they were like Abraham. God is good. His purposes are good. Whether or not they are objectively wrong is totally irrelevant.

I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t see them as “evil.” I see them as mentally ill. So caught up in a delusion that they literally couldn’t tell right from wrong. They thought they were doing the right thing.

I don’t really believe in the concepts of good and evil.
No, we are not all atheists. Theism and atheism is about a belief in God or gods. None of these individuals were atheists. They all believed in a God.

I believe in good or evil. I just don't believe in a supernatural good and evil.
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Old 19th June 2022, 03:50 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
No, we are not all atheists. Theism and atheism is about a belief in God or gods. None of these individuals were atheists. They all believed in a God.

I believe in good or evil. I just don't believe in a supernatural good and evil.
Why do you believe in good or evil? Do animals have such a concept? Surely this is just as irrational as believing in any abstract concept. When did you start thinking there was such a thing as good or evil? Why don't animals?
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Old 19th June 2022, 04:03 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Why do you believe in good or evil? Do animals have such a concept? Surely this is just as irrational as believing in any abstract concept. When did you start thinking there was such a thing as good or evil? Why don't animals?
I guess it depends on how you define it. IMV, Hitler is evil, Putin is evil, Trump is evil, Idi Amin is evil, Stalin is evil, Pol Pot is evil, Ted Bundy, Gacy, Ridgeway
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Old 19th June 2022, 04:04 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Why do you believe in good or evil? Do animals have such a concept? Surely this is just as irrational as believing in any abstract concept. When did you start thinking there was such a thing as good or evil? Why don't animals?

I have seen evidence presented, that some animals do behave sensitively towards each other. We are animals also incidentally.
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Old 19th June 2022, 07:40 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You're right. They don't even come close. People eat shellfish, cheesburgers and pork. All of which are outlawed in the texts of Christianity. The are are more than 600 laws in Leviticus. People today only keep a few of these rules despite that Jesus specifically said he didn't come to set aside these laws.
The idea that Christians should still be bound by Old Testament law is fallacious. Jesus fulfilled that law.
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Old 19th June 2022, 08:25 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Why do you believe in good or evil? Do animals have such a concept? Surely this is just as irrational as believing in any abstract concept. When did you start thinking there was such a thing as good or evil? Why don't animals?
Something doesn't have to be part of the natural order or mandated by divine superbeings in order to be valuable to the human race. We invented the concepts of good and evil and may employ them as we deem fit.
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Old 19th June 2022, 08:27 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The idea that Christians should still be bound by Old Testament law is fallacious. Jesus fulfilled that law.
No it's not. Jesus didn't change a jot or a tittle of the law.
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